On 18th March, during a ferry flight between Toulouse (south west France) and Paris, along with a number of Air France staff and customers, we were able to experience the comfort of the first A319’s brand new cabin.
The reclining seat, manufactured in Ireland by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) B/E Aerospace, is 1.5 centimetres (almost 3/4 in.) wider, has removable armrests, and a leather finish adjustable winged headrest, to which the greatest care has been given to detail.
Carole Peytavin, Customer Experience Director - Air France
‘‘It’s embellished with red saddle stitching, which is an indication of the amount of care that has been put into the manufacture of the seat, and the leather back has additional soft, highly supple lumber support, making it even more comfortable.’’
Another advantage is the lifespan of the leather covering, being twice as long as for the previous seats, and will only require changing every eight years. On the occasion of this facelift, Air France has also opted for an LED cabin lighting system, with three possible colour variations for increased visual comfort of the passengers.
Air France clients
- "Overall the cabin is lighter, brighter, and I think that on long trips it will be much more comfortable.’’
- "It's really a beautiful leather seat, with that real leather smell.’’
By the summer of 2016, a total of 49 Air France medium-haul aircraft will be refurbished, requiring the installation of 7,400 seats. The revamping is being undertaken by Air France Industries, at a rate of between five and twelve days’ work per ‘plane.
Jean-Jacques Guichard, Director - Air France Industries Toulouse
‘‘We receive the aircraft, remove the existing seats and cabin furnishings, carry out the necessary maintenance operations, and then we go back in with the new seats and equipment.’’
For this upgrading, Air France has invested fifty million euros - one million per ‘plane. An investment that they count on converting into a profitable operation on their medium haul network between Charles de Gaulle (Paris), Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.