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, despite being the first Central Asian carrier to receive the next generation aircraft type, has been surprisingly low key with their new product. (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, Aura Lite seats are typical among 787 operators, such as LOT Polish Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines and Air India. Other airlines typically choose to market seats of this type as Business Class. Interestingly, AZAL has chosen to name the product as Luxe Class/ VIP Club and market it as First Class. 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 to the Business Class lounge. In the air, 17-inch PTV screens for the passengers’ entertainment and power outlets for business travellers to get work done. Pajamas and amenity kits will be distributed, making travelling more comfortable.
For “Business Class”, AZAL chose to install the HAECO 3050 FeatherWeight seats in a 2-3-2 layout. The class was marketed as Premium Economy Class before being renamed as Comfort Club/ Business Class. Besides relaxing in more comfortable seats, customers in the class also get to enjoy meals presented in porcelain tableware.
At the airport, Business Class passengers 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 his/her 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. The Pinnacle seats from B/E Aerospace are ergonomically designed, with adjustable headrest and recline for added comfort. Decorated with dark and light blue colours representing the AZAL brand, the seats have 10.6-inch PTV installed to provide customers with with the audio and video.
Besides the modern seats, many 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, currently operated by Airbus A340-500s.
>talkairlines is delighted to see AZAL not only introducing a new aircraft type but also a wide array of new in-flight products. Yet, it is disappointing how inactive the PR team of AZAL has been regarding to the lack of promotion for the supposedly exciting new products. Nevertheless, congratulations to AZAL on the delivery! May there be success with the operations!