When British Airways' (BA) new 787-9 Dreamliner begins flying, it will be among the most technologically advanced planes in the company's fleet. For passengers in first class, it will also be among the most exclusive. There will be just eight seats compared to 14 on BA's other long-haul aircraft.
Boeing's first 787-9 Dreamliner rolled off the production line and took flight in 2013. The first of those ordered by BA will commence a route between London and Delhi on Oct. 25. BA says that its cabin design has been largely based on feedback from BA's existing first class flyers.
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Developed by Forpeople, each first class suite is replete in soft leather with fabric trim. Larger windows than in BA's other first class cabins offer more expansive views. Lighting can be set to reflect the time of day so as to be in line with passengers circadian rhythms, with the aim of helping passengers to fall asleep and wake up more naturally, so that they arrive at their destination feeling more refreshed than might otherwise have been the case.
Each suite features a "jog-dial" that controls the angle of a passenger's seat, the inflation of their headrest and lumbar support and the suite lighting. There's also a new smartphone-like handset that can be used for controlling the seat and the in-flight entertainment console.
The handset can be used undocked for convenience and can also be docked and used as a second screen. In this way, passengers can view two different pieces of content, such as a film on their 23-in fixed screen and the flight map on their handset screen. The large, main screen does not need to be stowed in any way for take-off or landing, meaning passengers can enjoy what BA calls "gate-to-gate entertainment."
There are four new storage areas for passenger belongings. An ottoman has enough room for items like shoes and handbags, an eye-level locker provides space for tablets, spectacles, passport and wash-bags and there is a stowage space next to the armrest for charging mobile devices. In addition, a personal suiter for jackets and coats can be accessed from the passenger's seat.
BA has ordered 22 of Boeing's 787-9 Dreamliners for its fleet. After its route from London to Delhi has commenced, routes to Abu Dhabi and Muscat from November, Kuala Lumpur in December and Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California, next year will come into service.
The video below provides an look at BA's new 787-9 Dreamliner first class cabin.