Turkish Airlines’ new 777 business class breaks cover

Get ready for a fresh entrant in the business class arms race.

By David Flynn, May 28 2024
Turkish Airlines’ new 777 business class breaks cover
Executive Traveller exclusive

Turkish Airlines’ next-gen business class is being revealed this week at the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo show in Hamburg, ahead of a roll-out across the entire Boeing 777 fleet beginning in early 2025.

The private suites – which will also crown ultra-long range Airbus A350-1000 jets slated to begin non-stop flights to Sydney and Melbourne from late 2026 – were developed under the codename Crystal, although it’s not known if this may also carry over as a marketing brand similar to Cathay Pacific’s own 777 Aria Suites.

However, rather than a ‘big bang’ launch event, Turkish Airlines’ new 777 business class suites are being shown only to a small number of invited AIX attendees including partners, stakeholders and media.

Speaking with Executive Traveller earlier this year, Turkish Airlines chairman Professor Ahmet Bolat confirmed the Crystal suites will “of course” have the very on-trend sliding door, alongside other high-tech comfort features now expected by business class flyers.

Bolat said the seats would be a bespoke creation from the carrier’s Turkish Cabin Interior (TCI) arm and exclusive to Turkish Airlines, although early reports from the AIX floor suggest they may in fact be based on the same Safran Unity seats as Qantas’ forthcoming A350 business class.

Regardless of their provenance, Executive Traveller understands the 1-2-1 layout sees the middle seats alternately paired and separated, so that passengers can be either next to one another or apart (what some industry wags term a honeymoon and divorce configuration).

Likewise, the window seats are alternately next to the window or next to the aisle.

The seats are said to be framed by high surrounding walls, and each passenger has a wide bench next to them and a 22" screen in front.

Bolat said the modern 1-2-1 layout would allow 44 business class seats in the Boeing 777, representing a loss of just five seats from that jet’s 2-3-2 layout as the Star Alliance member ditches the dreaded ‘middle seat’ (something which Emirates is also doing).

Turkish Airlines' current Boeing 777 business class.
Turkish Airlines' current Boeing 777 business class.

According to Bolat, the Crystal business class suites would be installed across the airline’s entire Boeing 777 fleet – although that process wouldn’t begin until “early 2025”, with each 777 rolling into the upgrade hanger for around one week.

The carrier has previously planned to retire many of its older 777s, Bolat said, but ongoing delays in the delivery of new aircraft meant all the 777s must continue flying for now.

“We were thinking to phase out some of our old fleet with the current stream of the new-generation aircraft, but it appears that we have to keep them for a longer time.”

Turkish Airlines' current Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 business class.
Turkish Airlines' current Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 business class.

And from 2026, these same business class seats would also be fitted to Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A350-1000 jets, in keeping with their non-stop 17-hour non-stop flights to Australia.

However, Bolat didn’t indicate the flagship suites would make their way onto the Airbus A350-900 or Boeing 787 fleets; he also ruled out the return of Turkish Airlines’ Comfort Class premium economy, saying  “we are happy with our two class configuration.”

As previously reported, Bolat also pledged that Turkish Airlines would offer fast free WiFi for all passengers from 2025.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

13 Jun 2019

Total posts 13

Welcome to Australia Turkish Airlines! New long range business product, new Istanbul Airport, new A350-1000's! Whats not to like. And Qantas has no idea of the asymetric product & commercial competition that is about to hit them.

06 Jan 2017

Total posts 15

I think QF will be OK as they are also receiving A350-1000 before Turkish Airlines and they have PE on most aircraft.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

20 Mar 2020

Total posts 2

I have just done DPS IST EDI return on Turkish and found the service and food excellent.  IST airport is huge be prepared for a trek but the lounge is fine, again the food is excellent  The A321NEO from IST EDI return was great for the short haul, however the 787-9 was quite uncomfortable, the seats were hard, the seatbelts were extremely difficult to buckle up and the mention of like being in a box is being quite generous.  I feel I qualify in my assessment having once being an SQ Solitaire and QR Platinum member.  Retired oilfield.

06 Jan 2013

Total posts 12

I continue to be suprised, inspired and happy by Turkish Airlines' progress amongst the legion of the world's leading carriers. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 126

Shame about Comfort Class. Best premium economy experience to date and 48” of seat pitch in PE was amazing!

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 192

They realised if they don't change with times they are out of business their 777 product currently one of the worst. 2-3-2 those days are over now!

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