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Business Travel Upgraded: Explore 2024’s New Business Class Experiences

As business travellers’ needs, preferences, and expectations continue to evolve, travel suppliers adjust their services and product offerings accordingly. Factors such as traveller well-being, experience and technological advancements are reshaping travel booking behaviour.

Skift’s State of Travel 2023 report underscored a notable uptick in demand for premium flights globally, with premium cabin classes rebounding at a faster pace than economy class throughout 2022. In response to this trend, many airlines are prioritising traveller experience and well-being by enhancing their existing business class offerings and introducing innovative next-generation business class options.

This blog explores the new business class experiences taking to the skies in 2024 and beyond.

Qantas A350 Business Suite

Qantas will debut the next evolution of its business class in late 2025 on the ‘Project Sunrise’ international flights. ‘Project Sunrise’ marks Qantas’ initiative to introduce nonstop services from Sydney and Melbourne to New York and London aboard the Airbus A350-1000.

Qantas’ Airbus A350-1000s will house 52 meticulously designed business class suites, arranged in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration to ensure direct aisle access for every passenger. Emphasising privacy, each suite will boast 47-inch-high walls and a sliding privacy door. The design prioritises comfort, with each suite spanning 1 metre in width and featuring the flexibility to transform into a 2-metre-long lie-flat bed, providing ample space for passengers to relax during the journey.

Moreover, the suites will have an 18-inch ultra-high-definition touchscreen television, a spacious dining table, a large mirror, abundant storage options, and wireless induction charging capabilities for smart devices, ensuring passengers a seamless and luxurious travel experience.

Qantas A350 Business Suite

Air New Zealand’s New Business Premier Suite

Air New Zealand will introduce a revamped seat and cabin experience for its Business Premier passengers to elevate travellers’ comfort and well-being. From September 2024, the airline will launch a refreshed international business class across its Boeing 787 fleet, replacing existing seats with an updated design focused on enhancing passenger privacy.

Those flying in the new Business Premier class can anticipate a comfortable journey with spacious seats that seamlessly convert into lie-flat beds for a refreshing sleep experience. Each seat will also have a 24-inch TV, USB ports, generous storage options, wireless charging capabilities, and Bluetooth audio connectivity for seamless integration with smart devices and headphones.

Air New Zealand’s enhanced Business Premier class will debut on direct flights from Auckland to New York and Chicago.

Air New Zealand Premier Busienss Class

Business Premier Luxe suites

For travellers looking to elevate their experience even further, Air New Zealand will also introduce Business Premier Luxe. This premium offering builds upon the core features of the new Business Premier seats with added enhancements.

With two sliding partitions, Business Premier Luxe passengers can enjoy an entirely private suite. These seats also provide extra space and are equipped with a memory foam mattress pad, feather pillows, and a larger tray table and ottoman for added convenience and relaxation.

Emirates Airbus A350 Business Class

In mid-2024, Emirates will unveil a brand-new business class seat coinciding with the arrival of its new Airbus A350 fleet. Transitioning from the current 2-3-2 seating arrangement, Emirates will adopt a modern 1-2-1 configuration, granting passengers direct aisle access for added convenience. The airline plans to introduce the A350 to Australia in mid-2024, with the relaunch of services between Adelaide and Dubai.

While specific details of the new business class remain undisclosed, Emirates has confirmed that the seats are being crafted and supplied by European aerospace specialist Safran Seats. These seats will provide added privacy, comfort, and overall convenience while offering passengers a luxurious and sophisticated suite.

Furthermore, the design will showcase cutting-edge technology to enhance the passenger experience. This new business class design will also be featured on the airline’s Boeing 777-9 jetliners, slated for delivery in 2025.

Etihad 787 Business Class

Etihad has recently unveiled its second-generation Boeing 787 business class, coinciding with the delivery of three new Dreamliners in late 2023. This revamped business class comprises 32 seats arranged in a reverse herringbone 1-2-1 configuration, ensuring every passenger enjoys direct aisle access.

Each business class seat embodies the distinctive style of Etihad, boasting a sliding privacy door and taller walls compared to previous iterations for increased privacy. Furthermore, passengers will enjoy more personal space within each suite, complemented by a 1.9 metre fully lie-flat bed, ensuring a comfortable journey from start to finish.

The suites are also equipped with a state-of-the-art 17.3-inch 4K TV screen, which seamlessly connects to travellers’ personal headphones via Bluetooth and offers USB, AC, and wireless charging. Together, these enhanced suites elevate Etihad’s business class offering, promising an exceptional travel experience for passengers.

Etihad Boeing 787 Business Class

Business class travel is transforming, and carriers like Air New Zealand, Emirates, Etihad, Qantas, and American Airlines are leading the way in elevating the passenger experience. From improved seating configurations to the finer details, these airlines place comfort, convenience, and technology at the forefront of their business class experience. As travel suppers innovate and adapt their product offering, travellers can look forward to a more comfortable and elevated travel journey.

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