TAM scraps Boeing 777 first class, upgrades business class

By David Flynn, May 2 2014

Brazil's TAM Airlines is ripping the luxe first class seats from its international Boeing 777 fleet in favour of a larger and upgraded business class cabin.

Part of South America's LATAM Airlines Group and recently admitted into the Oneworld alliance, TAM says the shift in its premium passenger strategy is due to low patronage of the new first class cabin (below), introduced only last year on its flagship Boeing 777-300ER jets.

Photo gallery: TAM's slick Boeing 777 first class

“We took this decision to enable us improve the business class seats and the on-board service offered to passengers, after taking into consideration the average load factor of the first class" said LATAM Group chief marketing officer Jerome Cadier.

TAM will "discontinue first class services on flights to the United States, Europe and Mexico" from November 1. Sales of first class tickets have already been withdrawn on those routes.

While losing their stylish first class cabin – created by highly-regarded London consulting firm Priestmangoode along the lines of a 'living room in the sky' – TAM's Boeing 777s will gain new business class seats, and more of them.

TAM has shared few details on its Boeing 777 busines class upgrade, apart from that the new seats will be 84 inches (2.13 metres) long when reclined, which represents a 15% increase over the current seats.

However, it's expected that the airline will adopt the same new business class seats as LATAM will be fitting across its Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 fleet.

Arranged in a front-facing 2-2-2 layout, the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 business class seats convert to fully lie-flat beds.

TAM's Boeing 777's business class refit is expected to be finished by the middle of 2015.

The airline is also adding a dedicated crew member "who will be responsible for overseeing the flight experience", Cadier explains.

"With this change, we will be able to offer an even better and more personalized on-board service to more passengers".

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David

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

Oh dear!

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1229

Thats a big leap for window passengers!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2012

Total posts 2221

That's one small step for the carrier, one giant leap for the carried.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 May 2011

Total posts 29

Didn't they only have about 4 first class seats in a 777 anyway? While I understand that there is a drop in First class demand, is there ever any value in keeping a small first cabin going... Obviously sell as much as you can, but then use whatever is left to upgrade your most loyal customer base? 

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

Gosh that didnt last long!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

A shame really.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1381

Expensive mistake I suspect

If they were getting rid of them cheap a few second hand ones for the home theatre wouldn't go astray...   :o)

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

i think the reason for the F/C failure..is that it looks too similar to the new J/C cabin... basically TAM have 'extended' the 'wood center'.. slightly widened the seat and side storage..and then changed the colour palette... J/C and F/C still have the same 'footprint'...successful F/C cabins are visually MORE different to the airlines J/C cabins.....just my observation 


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