Support Skift’s Independent JournalismMake a Contribution Now
KLM has revealed the sharp and cool interiors of its new 787-9 Dreamliner Cabin, which will go into service on routes to Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in October of this year.
In contrast to the high-gloss branding experience of Gulf carriers, KLM offers a crisp European understated elegance which characterizes its brand design, first introduced to its 747 and 777 aircraft, and dreamed up by top Dutch designer Hella Jongerius.
Jongerius explained the process for design of the new KLM image in a video produced by KLM earlier this year, describing her inspiration as reaching back to her roots and the whimsical, modern simplicity which characterizes the Dutch style.
“The KLM brand is in all Dutch people,” she says, “so it’s in our DNA.”
The emphasis for this design brief was on personal attention and privacy. “Privacy comes [when you are] recognized as a person,” says Jongerius. “Because a cabin is a uniform space where you can watch movies, dream, work, you want to have the feeling that you’re alone.”
“The Boeing 787-9 enables KLM to offer passengers even more comfort and privacy,” says KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers, of the announcement. “KLM has chosen to add specific improvements to this special aircraft, which make it unique among other 787s. All these details add up to ensure our passengers can experience a new way to fly.”
The KLM Dreamliner strikes a balance between aesthetics, form, and function, allowing the airline to maintain sound economics on these competitive routes while giving passengers the comforts they need and value most for longer journeys.
Luxury is not sacrificed by this focus on simplicity. It is woven into the fibers, with the craftsmanship of every detail, from textiles to composites. The cabin’s LED mood lighting settings will play off the decor to create what the airline describes as a distinctive “KLM mood.” The larger widows of the aircraft, combined with the higher cabin pressure (which makes altitude less stressful on the body) and the Dreamliner’s other advanced environmental settings aim to make the journey less stressful on the body and reduce jet-lag.
World Business Class
The airline’s 787-9 Dreamliner World Business Class cabin features Zodiac Cirrus seats which give each passenger direct aisle access. Every seat has a 16-inch in-flight entertainment (IFE) screen, and a touch-screen handset controller which lets passengers enjoy a dual-screen entertainment experience, chatting or gaming while watching a film, television show, or following the flight map.
There is also a fair amount of room for all passengers, enhanced by a unique staggered layout that also helps make the cabin less like uniform mass transport and more visually interesting.
World Business Class seats have an average pitch of 42-inches.
Economy Comfort and Economy
The tiered-up Economy Comfort product gives passengers 35-inches of legroom, and those in standard Economy will have an average 31-inch pitch. The structures are similar to those already selected for the airline’s new decor on the 777 aircraft, but with unique trim and finish selected for the Dreamliner’s design.
Economy seats include power sockets to charge mobile devices, 11-inch HD-quality in-flight entertainment touch screens, which includes 200 TV programs and 150 films in 12 languages, interactive 3D maps, and a Seat Chat service letting passengers stay in touch with friends seated elsewhere in the aircraft.
KLM has also picked sides in the seat recline debate, going for comfort by giving passengers 40% more recline on these economy seats.
The airline will also offer Panasonic’s high-speed Wi-Fi onboard, though pricing for the service is not yet available.
KLM will later add Dreamliner routes to Cairo, Xiamen, and Chengdu.