Welcome to our 100 part series on the history of BA and its predecessor airlines.
It was in January 1988 that BA introduced the “Club World” brand, roughly ten years after the concept of long-haul business class first became known.
Initially, long-haul business class was simply a separate part of the economy cabin for full fare passengers. Then, BA introduced its Super Club cabin.
BA claimed that the introduction of Club World in 1988 which featured a dedicated crew for the first time, improved catering and ground services, increased traffic by 31%.
Since then, Club World has become by far BA’s most important cabin and it has featured the airline’s biggest innovations. The financial performance of BA is inextricably linked to the volume of Club World traffic. So much so, it was to become known as the “profit engine” of BA.
The First Club World Seats
The initial Club World seat was a “slumber seat”.
In the 1990s, BA maintained a regular pace of change in the cabin. Another new cabin interior and seat was introduced in the early 1990s with seat-back TV for the first time.
The Cradle Seat
The next significant change to Club World came with the “Cradle Seat” in 1996.
The concept behind this seat was that rather than simply reclining, the seat would tilt and, with the aid of “ears” in the headrest and a built in leg-rest, it would support the entire body whatever the position of the seat.
“Presenting a revolutionary view from business class”
At the turn of the century, BA announced one of the most significant innovations in its history, the first fully flat bed in business class.
Designed by tangerine, it featured a patented “yin-yang” layout of rear and forward facing seats that would convert into fully flat beds.Continue reading “BA100: 6. Club World”