LATAM reveals new business class seats

By David Flynn, August 25 2018

LATAM Airways will roll out a vastly improved business class seat across most of its international fleet beginning later this year.

Those jets will be the Boeing 767 and Boeing 777 fleet, along with factory-fresh Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and the Airbus A350-1000 being delivered over the coming years.

And what their passengers will see is a thoroughly modern seat that's also very familiar, especially to Qantas frequent flyers, as LATAM has chosen the Vantage XL platform from Ireland's Thompson Aero Seating with styling by London-based PriestmanGoode.

Direct aisle access? Check. A wide console where each passenger can park documents, laptops and other items they wish to keep close at hand? Check.

A secuded shelf for keeping said items tucked out of the way until needed? Absolutely.

A fully lie-flat bed while you catch up on movies on an 18-inch HD video screen? But of course.

The staggered layout is identical to that of Qantas' Boeing 787, Airbus A330 and soon the Qantas A380s.

Each row alternately places the middle seats right next to one another (with a sliding privacy divider between  passengers) or puts them next to the aisle (with each seat's wide shelf separating the passengers).

The journey to this week's debut of the new business class seat has taken three years, LATAM says, including consultations with passengers and experts, carrying out seat trials and ergonomic tests with customers and cabin crew as well as 'simulated flights' with sleep trials over a two-week period.

The Oneworld airline carrier – created by the merger of Chile's LAN Airlines and Brazil's TAM Airlines, and now headquartered in Santiago – will also upgrade its short-range Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft to include WiFi and new ergonomically-designed Recaro seats fitted with fast-charging USB sockets.

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1117

I guess "mini first class" is coming to LATAM as well ;)

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Looks great, but the aisle-side seats need some more privacy shielding. Also I am not a huge fan of the married-divorced concept for the middle seat columns... at least they've found a way to reduce elbow-nudging.

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1372

Agree the aisle seats need more privacy. Qantas does this a bit better with the wing that comes over.

I actually like the option of couples seats, even if not many of them. On Qantas there is always a bench or the aisle between seats.

iamwill

iamwill

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 39

Flew with them last year from Santiago to Rio in business and must say great service and the best piece of dead cow I’ve ever had at 33000 feet!

Notso Swift

Notso Swift

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 99

I did the FRA-MAD hop on their 787 (which continues to SCL) and was similarly impressed

BatteryBen

BatteryBen

08 Aug 2017

Total posts 33

I’d be interested to hear what the product is launching on, and when. Like @iamwill I really like Latam’s long haul soft product. F&B is great and the staff have got the balance between polished professional and friendly spot-on. A new hard product like this should lift Latam to the top level.


(Though the Tam-inherited Brazilian domestic network Tam inheritance is absolutely awful.)

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 512

The staggered layout is not identical to QF. LAN has gone for the alternating single and couple seats in the middle section (like VS on their A332s) which I find probably more attractive when travelling with my wife but I understand the arguments either way.

eminere

eminere

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1117

Correct, the layout is only "identical" for the seats at either side of the plane. The middle section differs to QF.

brettepi

brettepi

10 Jul 2017

Total posts 32

i really enjoyed the open plan format of latam business class. not sure why everyone needs so much privacy. makes the whole area feel open and less like a plane. some of the other airlines have made each seat so private you feel crammed in and hidden away like a cocoon.

iM

iM

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Jul 2016

Total posts 49

Flew business class with them Syd-Akl return earlier this year, with my wife, for about $600 return each. It was about the same price as QF economy in the A330 and we impressed with their Dreamliner and service, for the price. New product looks good and will be interesting to try.

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