TAP reveals new Airbus A330-900neo business class

By David Flynn, March 10 2017
TAP reveals new Airbus A330-900neo business class

TAP will fit its new Airbus A330-900neo fleet with a slick-looking business class seat from Recaro.

The Portuguese flag-carrier and Star Alliance member is the global launch customer for the A330-900neo, a fuel-efficient 'new engine option' version of the A330 jets flown locally by both Qantas and Virgin Australia, along with Cathay Pacific, Malaysia Airlines and others.

TAP expects to take delivery of the world's first A330-900neo in March 2018, and the jet will also mark the commercial debut of the Airspace by Airbus cabin design concept, which is intended to provide a greater sense of space and comfort for passengers.

And there'll certainly be plenty of that space and comfort at the pointy end of TAP's A330-900neo, with Recaro's CL6710 business class seat.

Recaro talks up the CL6710 as "a hotel room in the sky with a full-flat bed, excellent living space, direct aisle access, and generous stowage space in a high-density configuration."

That 'high-density configuration' typically means a seating layout more akin to that of British Airways or United Airlines' new Polaris, which make for more crowded business cabins – albeit more profitable ones – than the conventional 1-2-1 seating of the A330 business class of Qantas, Virgin Australia and Cathay Pacific, for example.


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.

28 May 2016

Total posts 128

Those seats that are close to the aisle don't look very ideal for sleeping. There is no privacy no what so ever, and it looks like a jolt of turbulence could make you roll into the aisle.

Blankets and bedding dangling into the aisle could also be an issue with people walking over it pulling it off you.

Otherwise it looks like a solid product, those finishes look beautiful.  

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 71

It looks like 1-2-1 from the renders though? Just like the current QF configuration?

Indeed, but a product's overall density is measured by how many people can be fit into the space. Skybed II, for instance, is actually LESS dense than the Qantas Business Suite (at least going by Thompson's LOPA for the A380). 

1-2-1 LOPAs don't all have the same density... most First Classes are in 1-2-1 yet are less dense than reverse herringbone or staggered 1-2-1 Business Class cabins

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

It'd be officially 1-2-1, each seat with direct aisle access, but if you look at a seatmap for United Polaris for example you can see how they nest the rows together so while keeping a 1-2-1 layout it's still quite packed.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 462

well you shouldn't roll into the aisle because you would have your seat belt done up whilst sleeping! But I do prefer some form of bulkhead between the bed and the aisle, so you don't get knocked accidentally.

It looks pretty good. I wonder what the density advantage over Vantage XL is... Nice to see Recaro's CL6710 get a customer finally. 

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 61

It's always bugged me with the fashion of aircraft seat makers that they leave the aisle seats exposed like that instead of continuing the side around to privacy. Qatar and Delta are getting raves for a simple sliding door which adds privacy. It's not rocket science and makes a huge difference. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 167

I find the same with EK J - you're just too close to the aisle in some seats and it isn't conducive to sleeping well, especially when the seats are narrow as it is. Is it just me or does the seat not look remotely flat in the second picture of the article?

19 Sep 2015

Total posts 21

Fully flat airline seats are angled slightly because an airplane is always angled slightly upwards during travel.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2016

Total posts 167

Yeah I know but that picture looks like a much more severe angle.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 441

Not a big fan of the look of the 'aisle/window' seats - your head would be about 5 cms from a food or drinks trolley being wheeled down the aisle with no protection in between. Why don't they have any kind of privacy screen wrapping around the seat. Is it really such a difficult concept that J pax want as much privacy as possible?!

Also think the yellow and brown 'levels'  further up on the seat look quite cheap.

Unless you add a sliding door there is almost nothing you can do to improve the CX reverse herringbone which immediately looks better than this seat despite being released many years ago. That seat has privacy, loads of storage, direct aisle access, everything you could want in a confined space.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 692

"Also think the yellow and brown 'levels'  further up on the seat look quite cheap."

Thank you, smit0847 - it struck me the same way. The first thing I though of was : 'hey, someone's left an archive cardboard file box in the wrong place.' Not at all stylish - and ruins what looks to be an otherwise great product.

The real question is: what is it?

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1245

How odd that there is zero privacy around the head in the bed position for the true aisle seats pictured above.

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 650

the armrest can remain at 'normal' height whilst in bed mode, giving you the privacy you desire. It operates independently from the seat. (The same as the vantage xl seat QF uses). Promo pics show the armrest in the lowered position as it looks aesthetically better showing a whole person/whole bed and not just the bottom half of a person/bed with the top half hidden behind the armrest.

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

Said by many others, I'd be very careful about which row I was in.

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