Transport Airlines

Design Lessons for Domestic Routes from Japan Airlines’ New Cabin Design

Aug 20, 2014 8:20 am


JAL’s new coach-class seating.

JAL’s new first-class seating.

JAL’s new business-class seating.

JAL’s new firts-class seating.

Fabric details for JAL’s new coach-class seating.

Originally launched on the Haneda – Fukuoka route back in May, JAL have revamped their domestic cabins on their 777s to offer comfort to its guests.

Since then the ball has started rolling to retrofit 77 aircraft, as the new cabin, dubbed ‘Sky Next’ finds its way to new destinations on the JAL network. Recently, the airline announced they will also be rolling out elements onto their 767 fleet, too. Offering their First Class passengers large cream leather recliners with wood and glass dividers, the cabin looks more private jet than commercial, and on the short flights the aircraft fly, the cabin is more than comfortable. Business Class users have reclining seats the equivalent of international premium economy and economy passengers can enjoy Wi-Fi and mood-lit cabins.

20140130_SKY NEXT_fig11

In First Class, there is the biggest differentiator, similar to the seat comfort found on carriers such as Hawaiian Airlines First Class, the seat, with its deep cushions and leather finish is perfect for curling up with your iPad or watching the latest movies. We love these seats, and think the style is elegant and spacious. The curved dividers and cleverly positioned reading lights make the space simply refined. A large wooden veneer table becomes either your office or your dining table, where JAL really excel, offering wonderful Asian and Western meals and drinks from Champagne to fine wines to Sakes.

In their J Class (Business), the seats are 7 inches wider than in economy, and offers 38 inches seat pitch. There is a pneumatically operated leg rest and ample space to work or hang your jacket. Separating you from your fellow passenger in the 2 x 2 x 2 configuration is a large centre console with drinks tray. Interestingly none of the classes offer seat back TVs, but with such short flights, most people bring their tablets and mobiles with them, and with a good wifi connection, can either stream their own content, or watch pre-downloaded shows.

In economy, the seats, with its signature red stitching on black leather is super smart and sophisticated, and being 2 inches wider than the previous economy seats, is comfortable for any body shape on these shorter flights. The seat configuration on the 777 is 3 x 4 x 3, which while tight, is no different to the economy found on long haul jets from American. JAL have invested into LED lighting onboard, offering washes of colour depending on the time of flight.

All in all, the general look and feel is premium, and sits perfectly with the host of JAL products, making the experience seamless, whether just travelling domestically or connecting on to regional or long haul flights. We can’t wait to get to Japan to try these out for ourselves, we recommend you do the same.

designairsml3This story originally appeared on TheDesignAir, a Skift content partner.

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