BY Kai-Chin Shih/ 26 DECEMBER 2014/ TOKYOJAPAN/ talkairlines.wordpress.com
(Updated 5 January 2016) Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL / J2 / AHY) has finally released details on its new 787-8 Dreamliner cabin products and configurations. The carrier is the first Central Asian carrier to receive the next generation aircraft type, yet has been keeping all related information at a surprisingly low key. (Just like what Air China did with its 747-8I) The AZAL 787 is configured with 210 seat, including 18 in Luxe Class (First Class), 35 in Business Class, and 157 in Economy Class.
In Luxe Class, Zodiac Aura Lite seats in a 2-2-2 layout. As mentioned in the XiamenAir 787 interior article, the Aura Lite seats are typical among 787 operators, such as LOT Polish Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Air India. Usually, other airlines choose to sell the seats as Business Class ones. However, AZAL has chosen to name the product as Luxe Class and market it as First Class seats. The seats are fully-reclinable and allow passengers to sleep comfortably in-flight.
At the airport, Luxe Class passengers can enjoy priority check-in, fast track services, and access the Business Class lounge. In the air, 17-inch PTV screens for the passengers’ entertainment and power outlets for business travellers to work. Pajamas and amenity kits will also be distributed, making travelling even more comfortable.
AZAL chose for a 2-3-2 layout for the Business Class. The class was previously marketed as Premium Economy Class yet later renamed as Business Class. Besides relaxing on more comfortable seats, customers in the class also get to enjoy meals presented in porcelain tableware.
At the airport, Business Class passengers will get to enjoy priority check-in and boarding, fast track services, and access to the Business Class lounge. In the air, each passenger will receive their own amenity kits and enjoy the latest entertainment from their PTVs.
Economy Class is configured in a 3-3-3 layout, also typical among 787 operators. Each seat is ergonomically designed, with adjustable headrest and recline for added comfort. Decorated with the dark and light blue colours representing the AZAL brand, the seats also have 10.6-inch PTV installed to provide customers with entertainment.
The one-of-a-kind features of the 787 will also enable AZAL to further enhance its service standards. Not only does the 787 feature the signature Boeing Mood Lighting, it also has higher humidity, higher cabin pressure, better air filters, and larger windows (with various levels of tints) when being compared to other aircraft types.
AZAL’s 2 787-8 orders, VP-BBS ‘Fizuli’ and VP-BBR ‘Ordubad’, have both arrived at the carrier’s headquarters in Baku. The new 787 fleet is expected to be deployed on the carrier’s Beijing, London, and newly launched New York-JFK route, which is currently operated by Airbus A340-500s.
>talkairlines is excited about how AZAL is introducing not only a new aircraft type but also new in-flight products. Yet, it is disappointing how the carrier’s PR team was rather inactive with regards to the lack of promotion for the supposedly exciting new products. Nevertheless, we would still like to congratulate the delivery of the 787s and hope success to the airline’s future 787 operations.