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Qantas' latest business class seat is getting an upmarket sibling designed for first class flyers.
It's the Vantage First, designed by Ireland's Thompson Aero Seating and marketed as a first class version of the Vantage XL business class seat which Qantas adopted for its Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 Business Suite (below).
The Vantage First is built on the same platform as the Vantage XL – which gives it the same passenger-friendly 1-2-1 layout, lie-flat bad and recline for taxi, take-off and landing.
The dimensions are also in the same ballpark – with seat width up to 61cm (24 inches) and a bed that's 2m (79 inches) from top to toes – although the video screen is supersized to a massive 32 inches (81cm).
But there's "more personal space for relaxation, fine dining or sleeping", more space for stowing your personal kit and a greater focus on privacy, with a movable screen between the middle seats plus an option for suite doors.
Thompson also considers the Vantage First as a "super business product" which for airlines rolling out its Vantage business class and "looking for additional revenue /upsell opportunities."
Those could come from just one row of Vantage First nestled immediately in front of business class, with Vantage First's "integrated cabin divider" providing "no loss of cabin space or the need for additional monuments between cabins."
It's an intriguing notion: a way to offer something better than business class without fitting a dedicated and markedly different first class cabin.
Thompson has already signed one unnamed customer for the vantage First, which it says "will launch in late 2017."
Qantas has previously said that its Boeing 787 fleet will be a three-class airplane with business class, premium economy and economy, and boasting what Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has described as "a very luxurious configuration" to match the very long-range routes which the Dreamliner will fly.
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