Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines introduces ‘layered’ Business Class seat on its A330s

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By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

As Business Class seats that can be turned into full-flat beds have become the industry standard in recent years, airlines have been facing the challenge to determine the best seat layout in order to optimize the valuable real estate onboard.

This has led seat manufacturers to come up with several inventive designs, such as herringbone, staggered, V-shaped and backward/forward-facing configurations [image].

Layered design
French seat manufacturer Sogerma has figured out that it can decrease the default pitch in a full-flat Business Class seat by about 4 inches by including a slight overlap in the foot wells for the two customers in the paired seats on its V-shaped Equinox product line, calling the seat Equinox 3D.

Both are fully flat but the seat on the right is raised above the seat on the left. When moving to the bed position, the window seat moves up to armrest level while the aisle seat moves down to just above the floor.  This design is said to also allow for easy access for the window-side passenger.

Or as aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz (aka AirlineFlyer) put it when testing the seat at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg: “The seat pair is angled in toward each other, which is nothing new. What is new, however, is that the two seats transform into a layered lie-flat bed. In essence, the feet of one passenger end up resting on a platform on top of the adjacent passenger. This saves a bit of width per seat without compromising comfort, but it sure does look strange. I tried the seat and found it to be comfortable, so this will be one to keep an eye out for in the future.”

Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines (PAL) is the launch customer of the Equinox 3D seat (images here and here) when it took delivery of its new Airbus A330-300 last month.

PAL’s A330s accommodate 368 passengers — 18 in Business, 27 in Premium Economy and 323 in Economy, and the airline will operate the aircraft on medium-haul routes between Manila and Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney, Melbourne, and Honolulu. Read full article

Philippine Air lets customers without a credit card book online and pay at a nearby 7 Eleven store

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

We have reported earlier how airlines in emerging economies have been introducing innovative services aimed at the rapidly growing middle class in the BRIC and Next-11 countries. Many of these consumers, often novice fliers, do not own credit cards or even have a bank account.

In Brazil, TAM sells tickets via low-end retail chain Casas Bahia and at high-traffic locations such as subway stations and bus stations. The airline also provides ‘how to fly’ advice to first-time fliers at its sales kiosks. TAM, Gol and Azul also allow customers to pay for their ticket in multiple installments.

In East Africa, airlines such as Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines have teamed up with mobile payment services M-PESA and Airtel Money to allow people without a bank account to purchase air tickets via sms. Qatar Airways, meanwhile, offers passengers in twelve countries across Africa the option to book their ticket online and pay for it using cash within 48 hours at a Qatar Airways reservation or airport office.

Philippine Airlines ‘Reserve and Hold’
In the Philippines, passengers who book a ticket online for a domestic flight with Philippine Airlines (PAL), and its low-cost subsidiary AirPhil Express, can now pay for their ticket using cash at over 750 7-Eleven retail outlets nationwide which are open 24/7.

The new scheme is designed for the large number of consumers in the Philippines who do not own a credit card and PAL says it wants to offer them the convenience to do their bookings online at home, office, internet cafe or via their mobile phone and then go the nearest 7-Eleven outlet in their neighborhood to make the payment.
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