A new Airbus, targeted at business travellers with a ‘luxury business class’, is set to take to the skies in 2014.
Passengers will see the continuation of a push away from first class, with a more concentrated focus on business class.
“The trend tends to be more to the two-class right now, with a very luxurious business — or a business/first with lay-flat beds — and coach,” said Airbus executive John Leahy earlier this year.
“And sometimes there’s premium economy in there so that it becomes three class again,” says Leah.
“It becomes business, premium economy and economy, rather than first, business and economy.”
The Airbus A350 XWB is an advanced next-generation design, similar to Boeing 787, with over 50 per cent of the aircraft built from composite materials such as carbon fibre.
The new Airbus, whose initials standing for ‘Extra Wide Body’, will start commercial flights on Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Qatar in 2014 and promises a new cabin ‘feel’ with innovative design and construction methods.
The A350 is eighteen inches wider than the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, its closest competitor and, at 5.96 metres across, business class will comprise of a 1-2-1 seating configuration, allowing all passengers aisle access.
The increased proportion of modern composite materials used in the A350 also allows for lower cabin pressure (down to 6000 feet from the previous 8000 feet) which lessens the effects of altitude on the body, making travelling less tiresome and jetlag less disruptive.