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February 11, 2010updated Feb 08, 2013

British Airways Launches New First Class; Expands Open Skies Flights

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

London, England — British Airways said it has launched its first plane with a new First Class cabin. The Boeing 777 will have the same number of seats, each converting to a full bed.

The airline plans to update its current fleet of 747s and 777s with the new product over the next two years.

The new product draws heavily on the existing offering that revolutionized premium travel when introduced in the 90s. Using inspiration from yacht designers, the BA cabins featured individual pods that provided a new level of privacy.

Major innovations in the re-launch include window treatments similar to upscale private jets such as the Gulfstream and new seat controls similar to BMW automobiles. Added features include a wider sleeping area and a personal storage closet for a jacket at the seat. Enhanced lighting is designed to add to the ambiance and an overhaul in the galley proposes to take airplane cooking to new heights.

At the same time, Open Skies, an airline wholly owned by British Airways said it will add a Paris Orly – Washington D.C. Dulles route to compliment its current Orly-Newark flight. Separate reports had BA Chief Executive saying the airline is also looking at expanding its all Business Class London City Airport trans-Atlantic flights beyond New York JFK to possibly Boston.

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