Chinese airlines are not always integrated with the cutting edge of good seat design. However, this Beijing-based Air China is breaking the mold by introducing swish Recaro CL6720 seats in the business class cabins of its 15 incoming Airbus A350s.
The Recaro CL6720 will be introduced to Air China’s newest A350-900s in mid-2022. The CL3710 seats will be installed in the main cabin and PL3530 seats in premium economy. While it represents an upgrade across the whole plane, the new business class seats are getting the most attention this week.
Interestingly, Air China will be the launch customer for the CL6720 seat. This seat is an upgraded design of Recaro’s existing CL6710 product. The passengers who will fly in El Al’s 787-9 and TAP Air Portugal’s A330neo business class cabins are also expected to know and experience the CL6710 seat.
In a significant step-up, the new CL6720 comes with a sliding door. When combined with the high walls that surround the seats, Air China’s newest A350-900s will embrace this business class mini-suite concept many long-haul premium airlines now offer.
An Unusual, But Impressive Move By Air China
The upgrade is unusual but welcomed the move by Air China. Previously, the long-haul cabin hard product installed across many Chinese airlines has lagged that of many other long-haul airlines. At the time, passengers could often snag a premium-cabin bargain while flying long-haul on the airlines like Air China, but the cabin product usually reflected this.
But for now, on board the second wave of Airbus A350-900s due for delivery at the airline, Air China will push to the front of the pack. Recaro now calls their CL6720 seat:
“nothing less than the next generation of business class traveling.”
The lucky business class passengers are expected to get a 78″ (1.98 meters) lie-flat seat that comes with the aforementioned sliding door and privacy dividers. Recaro is hesitant to announce all the specs for the CL6720, possibly since individual airlines tinker around the various edges, adding and at times detracting bells and whistles that can considerably affect the general travel experience.
Is It A Winning Choice By Air China?
But this German seat manufacturer does insist that their CL6720 seat is the best in its class. Apart from the on-point design, the seat is now visually appealing with top-quality trim and finish. Recaro states that even in various high-density cabins, this type of mini-suite product provides a high level of personal space. Recaro comments about its CL6720 seat:
“The mini-suite feel is created through the smooth sliding doors, quality finish, and ambient lighting. State-of-the-art ergonomic features include numerous comfort positions, a six-way adjustable headrest, premium foam technology, and a 1.98-meter bed length.”
Recaro also says that the seat is a smart choice for most airlines. While the lie-flat beds in mini-suites will mostly prove a hit with passengers, the economies need to work for the airline. Recaro believes that the CL6720 seat is the lightest in its range, weighing around 10%-20% less than most of the other comparable seats.
The lighter the seats, the more the fuel savings and the lower the CO2 emissions. Recaro added:
“By finding innovative ways to lengthen the seat’s life cycle with the use of high-quality and durable materials, the CL6720 supports airlines in their pursuit of reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.”
Air China is currently operating 15 Airbus A350-900s. They are installed with B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats, and for now, there is no confirmation on whether Air China will change them to get the up-to-the-minute Recaro CL6720 seats.
However, the second round of A350-900s coming to Air China from the mid-next year, another 15 are due to arrive, will come installed with new Recaro seats. For the Air China loyalists, it will just be a matter of boarding the right aircraft..