In April this year, I attended the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg where I had a look at Recaro’s selection of seats, which included their new CL6710. This is the latest generation lie-flat from the manufacturer best known for its slim-line economy cabins. According to a representative, the product was meant to debut on the TAP Portugal A330neo, though Runway Girl Network reports that El Al will now be the first operator. Let’s have a look at the Recaro standard layout for the product.
First of all, the seat is an interesting compromise between space efficiency and comfort. Overall, the layout is very similar to United’s Polaris layout. Perhaps United should have gone with Recaro instead of Zodiac. 😉
While I haven’t tried the new Polaris seat, judging by Ben’s seat comparison, I think these are quite similar comfort-wise as well. I’d much rather fly in an Apex suite or reverse herringbone seat, but this is probably a good fourth (behind direct aisle access XL Vantage by Thompson) given that it offers aisle access from every seat.
First and foremost, the seat goes fully flat. This is the biggest improvement over their current product.
Other than that, the bed is very slim, especially around the head and foot area.
On one side, there is a small storage surface with entertainment controls and a literature rack.
There is also an area on the floor (and a shoe closet) where a few items can be stored. That’s quite disappointing for a new business class product, but we can always hope that El Al configures it differently.
The entertainment screen is similar to reverse herringbone seats, meaning it needs to be ejected.
Beneath it is the extendable tray table.
So, what are my overall thoughts on this seat? Unfortunately, it’s not too impressive. While it’s great to have direct aisle access, this product offers airlines the highest density configuration in the market. That’s great for their profits, but not so good for passengers. In El Al’s case, they’ll have 32 business class seats in an area where most other airlines fit 30 or less.
Additionally, the lack of proper storage and the restrictive bed are big letdowns. Let’s hope El Al tweaks this seat for the better, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up that they’ll be offering anything industry leading on their new Dreamliners.
Are you excited to try El Al’s new business class?