Air France Expo, France is in the Air
In major aviation news, Air France presented is new travel concept at the “France is in the Air” Expo. After an expo in Shanghai in May where Air France first unveiled the new products, the French flag-carrier then brought the expo to New York from June 26th to 28th. Flight-Report.com had the opportunity to take part in the events of the Air France Expo.
Air France conceived of this expo as a voyage through real and virtual experiences, allowing participants to discover the new universe the company has created.
The Expo took place in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood at “Center 548” on 22nd Street.
There were numerous attractions open to the general public.
An exhibit of Air France flight-attendant uniforms throughout the company’s history.
We now arrive at the heart of this expo—the French airlines’ new products.
The Economy cabin has several new features including new slimline seats with large leather headrests, large IFE of the latest of the latest generation, and new larger pillows with several different designs.
Armrests, however, so seem a bit thin and the large gap between seatbacks is not conducive to a feeling of privacy.
The seat pitch appears to be generous; unfortunately, AF has done away with foot rests in Economy class.
The IFE is powered by the excellent Panasonic EX3 system.
Air France was also showing off its optional paid premium meal options for Economy class. The “Tradition” meal featuring traditional popular French cuisine (the most popular option), “Ocean” a seafood meal, “Biologique” an organic meal option, and the “Lenôtre” meal option by the famous French gastronomy house.
The new Premium Economy seat differs from the first generation by its black leather headrest and thicker, more comfortable padding.
The IFE screen is larger than the previous version.
The new noise-cancelling headphones are the same as in Business class.
On a wall panel, the elements of the Premium Economy service are exposed: Cones with gourmet candies, an upgraded meal tray. Unfortunately, the cutlery in Premium Economy, has gone back to plastic due to “service constraints” according to the airline.
Fully working models of the new Zodiac Cirrus Business class seats are also on exhibit.
We find the seat and its white side walls and seatbacks signed with the Air France logo. We also find the touchscreen IFE remote control. There is a separator screen between the seats which can be taken out when two passengers are traveling together.
One of the seats is in full reclined position with the new quilt and pillow places on the seat.
Close up on the remote and reading light.
The ottoman is very large.
And here is the new Business class china that will be put in service in the beginning of 2015. The rectangular design is more chic than the current china used.
The salt and pepper shakers, inspired by AF’s new logo, have also been updated. Another pleasant update is the addition of three new types of glasses, including stemware.
It appears that the elevated sides of the new plates are an indication that dishes will continue to be pre-made and re-heated as opposed to being plated in the galley.
The amenity kit has been completely re-designed and available in 4 different colors. The contents have also been upgraded with a few updated and additional elements including mouthwash, chapstick, and a new larger eye-mask.
As mentioned earlier, the new pillows are larger and of good quality. There are two different pillow cover designs. Slippers will also be on offer.
And finally, here is the new La Première suite.
In the upright position…
…and in sleep position.
A small pillow and red throw are on the seat.
The presence of a real lamp is a very nice touch, especially with the old Air France Sea Horse logo.
There are 3 pre-set positions: upright, relax mode, and sleep mode.
Additional seat controls and the IFE remote control in the bin next to the seat.
There are several power outlets and an outlet to plug in the noise-canceling headphones, or your own headphones.
The tray table is very large and allows for enough space for two passengers to dine together. The IFE screen is large, but perhaps not large enough considering how far it is from the seat.
And here is Air France’s innovation to the suite experience, the addition of a curtain. It is slightly transparent and stays closed with magnets.
Here is the new First Class china. The large plate, the cocotte, and the glass cover are a pleasant addition. The salt and pepper shakers are the same as in Business Class.
The glassware is different from Business, however, as Air France has finally introduced true Champagne flutes.
The amenity kit has also been overhauled. This exclusive Givenchy bag will be distributer to La Première passengers.
The pillow is quite large and the set of pyjamas given to passengers seems to be of good quality. The slippers are also thicker and better quality than those in Business class.
Thanks for visiting the Air France “France is in the Air” Expo with us!
The Expo will also be held in Paris on September 21st and 22nd at the Grand Palais.
We eagerly await your Flight-Reports in the new Air France cabins! In the meantime, make sure to check out the “Airline of the Month” page for a detailed in-flight report on the new Business class product.
A bientôt !