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Turkish Airlines to Upgrade Boeing 777s with New Business Class

The chairman of Turkish Airlines has hinted at the airline's plans to improve the Business Class seats on its long-haul aircraft, but full details have yet to be confirmed

by Fergus Cole

July 24, 2023

Business Class service, Boeing 777-300ER. Photo: Courtesy of Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines has announced plans to upgrade the Business Class cabins on its Boeing 777-300ER planes, promising ‘full privacy’ for every passenger.

During an interview with Executive Traveller in Melbourne, Ahmet Bolat, the chairman of Turkish Airlines, confirmed the airline’s plans to upgrade its 777s with its own Business Class seats.

Bolat stated that the airline’s Turkish Cabin Interior (TCI) arm produces seats for them and the world, and they are currently working on certifying one of the seats for Business Class on the 777.

Turkish Airlines currently has a good reputation among frequent flyers for its Business Class service, including its renowned ‘Flying Chef’ service that sees an onboard chef prepare award-winning dishes for premium passengers, although its actual Business Class seats on its Boeing 777-300ERs don’t quite live up to these high standards.

Although the Business Class seats on the 777s have a seat pitch of 78 inches (198cm) and are fully reclinable, they are arranged in a 2-3-2 formation, which may result in some passengers being assigned the less desirable middle seat. Additionally, the level of privacy provided is not as high as that of other airlines’ Business Class cabins—including the ones installed on Turkish Airlines’ Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A350-900s.

Photo: Turkish Airline’s Stelia Aerospace Opal seats, Boeing 787-9 / Courtesy of Turkish Airlines

But the airline’s premium passengers can expect this to change soon, as Ahmed Bolat confirmed that its plans for upgrading its cabins include giving each passenger ‘full privacy’ and direct aisle access. However, complete details about the new seats and cabin layout have not yet been revealed.

Nevertheless, Bolat did provide some hints as to what the new layout might look like, indicating that the airline has no intention to compromise on the capacity of the aircraft.

According to Bolat, Turkish Airlines aims to utilize the space in its aircraft fully. However, the existing seats in the market would result in a decrease in the number of Business Class seats on its 777s from 49 to 42. This is why the airline has partnered with TCI to create unique seats that meet its requirements.

Business Class, Flying Chef service. Photo: Courtesy of Turkish Airlines

“There are not many seat companies in the world, so you are really bound to what they have available,” explained Bolat.

Passengers can expect sliding doors, wireless device charging capabilities, and large, high-definition in-flight entertainment screens if the new seats offer “full privacy,” as Bolat claims. These features are commonly found in other Business Class products.

There is yet to be a timeframe for when Turkish Airlines’ 33 Boeing 777s will be upgraded with these new Business Class cabins and seats. Still, Bolat suggested that the new seats may also be included in its future fleet of Airbus A350ULRs or Boeing 777X aircraft, which the carrier plans to adopt for ultra-long-haul flights over the next decade.