British Airways unveiled the business-class seat it’s counting on to fend off Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. and other rivals in markets including London-to-New York, the world’s most lucrative route for corporate travel.

The “Club Suite” will transform into a flat bed, a feature now standard after BA introduced it in the 1990s, but will also come with a door, meeting customer requests for added privacy, the airline said Monday. Also included are a vanity unit and mirror, an 18 1/2-inch screen and 40 percent more storage space.

British Airways will switch to the new seats with the arrival of its first Airbus SE A350 jets in July, the IAG SA unit said in a statement. Each plane will feature 56 of the berths, plus the same number of premium economy seats — which get a new pillow, quilt and amenity kit — and 219 in economy. BA plans to install the berths across the bulk of its long-haul fleet.

The contest for the most appealing business cabin, always a major focus for premium carriers, is set to become even more intense as Virgin Atlantic prepares to unveil a revamp of its Upper Class berths next month on its A350 jets set to enter service over the summer.

–With assistance from Andrew Noël.

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Photo Credit: The new British Airways business class seat will debut soon on the airline's Airbus 350s. British Airways