British Airways has introduced a modified First Class cabin on its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
BA was due to take delivery of four new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this year. It has recently received the first of these aircraft, which bears the registration G-STBM.
As expected, this aircraft features a smaller eight seat First Class cabin. The First Class seat is largely based on the First Class cabin on Boeing 787-9 aircraft, but with the addition of sliding door for complete privacy. This follows the decision to add a door to BA’s new Club Suite on all aircraft.
The new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is currently operating selected flights between London Heathrow and New York JFK (BA113 & BA114).
In total, the aircraft has 8 seats in First Class, 76 seats in Club World, 40 in World Traveller Plus and 136 in World Traveller.
Clearly, passengers will have their own views on the benefit of complete privacy versus being able to keep an eye on movements in the cabin, and not being out of sight of cabin crew.
BA had planned to refurbish its 12 other Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this year which were delivered to the airline between 2010 and 2014. This is to not only reduce the size of the First Class cabin from 14 to 8 seats, but also retrofit the Club Suite and “densify” World Traveller from 9 seats to 10 seats abreast.
More broadly, given the retirement of the entire Boeing 747 fleet and possible conversion of some four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft to three class, it is inevitable that First Class will be withdrawn from many routes in the medium term. The seating configuration of future deliveries of Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-9 aircraft is also likely to be reviewed.