Air France to Revamp First and Business in 777 Fleet
Air France announced plans to refurbish the first- and business-class cabins of the Boeing 777 aircraft in its long-haul fleet. The renovations will begin in 2014, after the airline’s last A380 is delivered and before delivery of Air France and partner KLM’s first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which are scheduled for 2016.
The French flag carrier plans to invest several hundred million euros in its 777 aircraft as the airline struggles to remain competitive with carriers from the Middle East and Asia. Nineteen of Air France’s 777-300s and 25 777-200 long-range aircraft will be refurbished based on recommendations of a panel of frequent Air France travelers. In addition to the new cabins, Air France will soon launch a new in-flight dining program in first- and business-class cabins, maintaining the cabins’ upscale positioning.
Air France is making changes to short- and medium-haul flights as well. Improvements to the in-flight experience include a choice of newspapers and magazines that can be downloaded digitally to passengers’ tablet or smartphone devices before leaving an originating city. The airline is also making it easier to gain elite status in the Flying Blue frequent flyer program, and some intra-EU flights will be added to the Metropolitan France travel saver card program.
Air France, along with Dutch flag carrier KLM, is part of the Air France-KLM group that is in turn part of the SkyTeam global airline alliance, which also includes Delta, Alitalia, and Aeromexico.
(Photo: Jonathan Spira)