Surprise: ANA Unveils New 777 First Class and Business Class
Well this is a pleasant surprise to wake up to. While most of us are still nursing our way through our morning coffee, ANA decided to go big. This morning, ANA announced they will be offering a new first class and business class seat on their 777-300 ER planes. I’m not even sure calling it a surprise gives ANA enough credit though. This is a mic drop.
New First Class – “The Suite”
ANA describes their new first class suite as the most spacious fully enclosed seating ever seen on an ANA aircraft”. It certainly looks roomy and impressive. While their current first class is an awkward not-enclosed-kind-of-enclosed-faux-wood seat, the new seat is fully inclosed and looks really sleek. If you’re sitting in a middle seat, the suite also includes a partition that can be raised or lowered, depending on if you like the person next to you 😉.
Perhaps the most noticeable feature is the new 43-inch 4K in-flight entertainment screen. Let that sink in for a second – 43 freaking inches. That’s close to what many people have in their homes, but ANA put it in an airplane. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of anything close to that on an airplane. If they can figure out how to serve wings and show football, I’d feel right at home on Sundays in the fall.
New Business Class – “The Room”
Not to be forgotten, ANA is also introducing a new business class seat called, “The Room”. The new business class seat seems to take a page out of the Qatar Qsuite playbook. “The Room” features doors, giving passengers the option to have a fully enclosed seat. The seat also offers what ANA describes as, “one of the largest Business Class seating environments in the world – with a wide sofa which is double the width to previous Business Class seating”.
Based on promotional pictures, ANA’s new business class seat looks incredible. This has the potential to rival Qatar’s Qusites for the top business class product in the world. We’ll have to wait and see whether the actual product matches the marketing speak once it is officially launches next month.
ANA’s updated 777-300 ER will maintain a premium-heavy cabin layout. The updated cabin will feature:
- 8 first class seats in a 1-2-1 layout
- 64 business class seats in a staggered 1-2-1 layout
- 24 premium economy seats in a 2-4-2 layout
- 116 economy seats in a 3-4-3 layout
Great! So, when can I fly this?
The redesigned cabin will launch on the Tokyo Haneda/London (HND-LHR) route on August 2nd. The flight will operate under the flight numbers NH211 (westbound) and NH212 (eastbound).
To start out, the aircraft will be operated on the even number dates in August and odd number dates in September. The new aircraft will operate daily beginning in late August or early September.
We’ve seen many airlines significantly upgrade their business class offerings the past few years. With the recent innovations in business class, many airlines are choosing to do-away with first class entirely. With the addition of doors to products like Qatar’s Qsuites, Delta One, and British Airways new Club World Suite, airlines don’t see as much of a need for a higher service cabin.
Not only has ANA improved their business class and added a door. They’ve given us a new product that looks like a first class seat, while still being in business. On top of that, they’ve also improved their first class. It’s a welcome surprise to see an airline not only commit to keeping first class, but improve their product. The real star here though is the business class. I can’t wait to see it in action.