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.
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