Air France pulls back the curtain on new La Premiere first class

These oversized suites are promised to feature “a seat, a sofa and a fully flat bed.”

By David Flynn, May 25 2022
Air France pulls back the curtain on new La Premiere first class

Air France is joining the parade of airlines taking first class to new heights, unveiling its concept for a fresh and sophisticated first class suite resembling an elegant French boudoir.

This upgrade to the Parisian carrier’s current Boeing 777 La Premiere suites will be even larger and adopt a residential “living space” feel with “three modular configurations… a seat, a sofa and a fully flat bed.”

Early concept sketches indicate the sofa will somehow convert or extend to a bed – perhaps Air France will call this the La Premiere chaise lounge? – and it immediately calls to mind Finnair’s revolutionary business class sofa, in which the passenger rather than the seat reclines.

At far right, Air France's new first class takes shape...
At far right, Air France's new first class takes shape...

Other airlines to adopt the seat+bed combination in first class in recent years, rather than the ‘single berth’ format of a seat which converts to a bed, include Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines, in their respective Airbus A380 Apartments and A380 Suites, and Qantas’ new A350 first class for non-stop Project Sunrise flights to London and New York.

“La Première represents the highest level of French excellence and is an intrinsic part of Air France’s DNA,” says Air France-KLM Chief Executive, Benjamin Smith, with the La Première cabin on Boeing 777 flights between Paris and North American already seeing higher occupancy levels “than they were back in 2019.”

Air France promises the next-gen La Première suite “will be the longest on the market”, topping the 2.3 metre length of current models.

Tres chic: Air France's current Boeing 777 La Premiere first class.
Tres chic: Air France's current Boeing 777 La Premiere first class.

However, it seems that one unique trait – the use of a full-length curtain instead of a sliding door for privacy – will remain, having become a hallmark for the carrier’s understated air of refinement and sophistication.

Air France's current Boeing 777 La Premiere first class.
Air France's current Boeing 777 La Premiere first class.

Due in late 2023 to early 2024, the new La Première suites share much of their design DNA with the current iteration, created by London firm PriestmanGoode.

Air France's current Boeing 777 La Premiere first class.
Air France's current Boeing 777 La Premiere first class.

As it happens, those were based on an original concept by French agency Yellow Window and unsuccessfully submitted to Cathay Pacific for consideration as its own Boeing 777 first class.

Yellow Window's proposed Boeing 777 first class suites for Cathay Pacific.
Yellow Window's proposed Boeing 777 first class suites for Cathay Pacific.

Air France is tipped to add one row of La Première to some of its forthcoming Airbus A350 fleet, with the airline stating  “the new cabin will equip a larger number of aircraft than at present.”

Meanwhile, on the Boeing 777 front, a fresh take on Air France business class – complete with sliding doors – will take to the sky in September 2022, initially on the Paris to New York route, with all 12 aircraft kitted out by 2023.

Additional reporting by Matt Lennon

 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer P1

23 Aug 2014

Total posts 92

The best F overall experience I have ever had, including the most consistent food standards and service (JAL/ANA F too), the most comfortable bed, meticulous transfers by concierge service past security (including transfer flights and internal Europe connections) and then there's the lounge in Paris with its truffles shaved on scrambled eggs (there even a still and sparkling water menu from different regions in France) and the spa. The curtains add a level of "old world" comfort compared to the sliding doors other carriers have. Hard to see how it can be improved upon. Thanks for the article.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 120

I love the curtains….. those plastic sliding doors are horrible and box you in…. Not at all interested in sliding doors in J or F 


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Air France pulls back the curtain on new La Premiere first class