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ExpatFlyer
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Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:56 pm

Hi guys, as anticipated my second trip report is fully dedicated to the new Business Class introduced by Air France.

As you know AF is my favorite airline, and i've been a loyal AF flyer since the good old Concorde times, and a loyal KL flyer even long before.

And since the 2 airlines merged into Air France-KLM back in 2004, AF-KL is today the European leader here in the ASEAN region, with AF operating from CDG to SIN, CGK, KUL, BKK, SGN, and KL from AMS to SIN, DPS, KUL, CGK, BKK, MNL with own metal plus from CDG to HAN in code-share with SkyTeam partner Vietnam Airlines.

Singapore got the privilege of being the first country, and first AF destination to receive the new 4 cabins which have been conceived and designed with the passenger in mind, and reflecting the art of welcoming guests “a la francaise".

Featuring the new long-haul products and services, with the new La Premiere Suites, the new Business Class, and the new Premium Economy and Economy class cabins, Air France debuted on 29 September 2014 with the first fully fitted aircraft, a Boeing B777-300ER, flying the CDG/SIN/CGK route and back, with flight numbers AF254 and AF259.

I can imagine the question: why Singapore?
And the answer is quite simple: Singapore is the leading Asian business, trade and financial hub at the strategic core of the 10 economies of the ASEAN markets which are experiencing strong economic growth; Singapore is France's third major trading partner in Asia, and Singapore is home to over 600 French companies which have elected the Lion City as regional HQ.

For those of you more interested, or with an interest, in business and trade aspects, the following is the link to my column "Here's why Singapore is Air France's first destination for new luxury in-flight service" which has been published on the Singapore Business Review magazine on 22 Dec 2014, and offers a snapshot on the trade and FDI flows between France and Singapore: http://sbr.com.sg/aviation/commentar...ation-new-luxury-in-flight-service

Back to the flight experience, and showcasing a commitment to constant innovation and room for improvement, Air France did indeed raise the bar of the way of flying to the highest levels, with the B777 featuring 4 La Premiere Suites, 58 Business class seats, 28 Premium Economy class seats, and 206 Economy class seats ensuring optimal travel comfort and better in-flight entertainment while introducing a higher and unique level of luxury in the 2 premium cabins.

So last 3Nov evening, as first leg of a multi-city biz trip to Europe, I checked-in at Singapore-Changi airport, Terminal 1, for what I was expecting to be a great flying experience. And indeed it was.

flight: AF 259
route: SIN-CDG (Singapore-Changi to Paris-CDG)
aircraft: B777-300ER
seat: 17A
class: Business
cabin load: 56/58
schedule: dep. SIN at 1:05am - arr. CDG at 8:15 am (14 h 10')

Right after passing the quick and easy passport control via the automated Singapore residents area, I walked as usual to the Skyview lounge which is currently used by passengers of a mix of airlines: AF, KL, DL, CX, CI, PG and MK.

The lounge develops on 2 floors, with different seating and lounging areas, and offers several food display areas.








Time to board via gate D44

and the magnificent triple seven stands proudly waiting for the long flight to Paris.





Upon entenring the 777 I turned right to my seat 17A, window seat.
The new Air France Business Class cabin comprises 58 contemporary-designed seats displayed in a 1-2-1 layout reflecting the latest development of air travel conceived by AF around the concept of 3 "F":
- Full flat - the seat converts to a fully flat bed - for crossing time zones without fatigue;
- Full access - direct access to the aisle, regardless of the seat’s location in the cabin;
- Full privacy - a protected area through the seat’s enveloping curves, providing a true bubble of privacy in the sky

The seat is a cocoon, a delicately-curved seat designed around the passenger, portraying contemporary design and great attention to details: leather-covered armrests, topstitching following the contours of the headrest, an individual red-lined storage space, and the fixed padded shell holding the full seat ensuring full privacy.












The first impression is superb, amazingly private, stylish, nothing comparable to the classic older configuration and layout on the 777 at 2-3-2, although, i have to admit I do like, and a lot, the 2-2-2 configuration on the AF A380, but this is superb.
The seat turns into a real bed by stretching to a perfectly horizontal 1.96 m-long bed, with the addition of an ultra large XXL pillow blending feathers with down, and the 2-tone blue-meeting-ecru plush blanket (and I will find both pillow and blanket are neatly placed on the seat).

By the time I make myself comfortable and the f/a reaches me for a personal greeting right followed by another f/a handing the new amenity kit which is inspired by that given to passengers on the supersonic Concorde





and by the time i inspect the travel kit here comes the champagne: Deutz Brut Classic

Still on the ground and the next step is familiarising with the in-flight entertainment which comes with a hefty 16-inch HD screen with a huge collection of movies from classic to blockbusters, documentaries, tv programs, games and music, complemented by a remote control that also becomes a screen.
The point is that I only use the video for watching the flight progress as I do enjoy spending my flying time reading and relaxing.




and take off time



Right after taking off, and it's almost 1:30am in the middle of the night, the f/a comes along with the menu card.



The dining experience starts with a stylish tableware designed by Jean-Marie Massaud and continues with gourmet flavours of the highest quality prepared by Michelin-starred chefs of the caliber of Joël Robuchon, Régis Marcon, Michel Roth, Guy Martin, and Anne Sophie Pic.
The dinner selection for this flight offers the following temptations:

Gourmet Appetizer
Duck foie gras with pear peach compote, oil marinated salmon and tomato over a spinach leaf

Choice of Main Course
Pan-seared fillet of beef with thyme sauce, chanterelle mushrooms cheese polenta, baby carrots
or
Linguine pasta with eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus cream sauce with shiitake mushrooms
or
Today's Suggestions: Roasted breast of duck with oyster sauce, boo choy, turned carrots, sesame rice

Our special Selection of Cheeses

Dessert: caramel dome

and from the wine list:
- Champagne: Deutz Brut classic
- Bourgogne Blanc: Chablis Domaine Sainte-claire 2011 Jean-Marc Brocard
- Vallee du Rhone Rouge: Cairanne Peyre Blanche 2010 Perrin et Fils
- Bordeaux Rouge: Lalande de Pomerol Chateau Siaurac 2008

so here we go, and my selection goes for the beef filet accompanied by the red Bordeaux






as you can see I do like foie gras

and next is the beef filet, deliciously tender and I accompany it with blackcurrant Dijon mustard






then cheese and a sweet side before a good Italian espresso coffee




and time to extend the bed full size and get some sleep

but as usual I wake up over India

so a short walk to the bar area


and time for a movie from the video selection, and will watch X-Men days of future past

already over Europe, the sun is rising and it's breakfast time as they are preparing the carts in the galley



The breakfast selection include:
Fruit juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate
Fresh fruit salad
Fresh cheese
Fresh bakery selection, breakfast pastries, butter and preserves
and a choice of entree between:
Scrambled egg crepes, sauteed potatoes, grilled tomato, chicken sausage
or
Assortments of cold cuts and cheese
or
French toast with figs and apples

and my choice goes for the scrambled eggs






Over 13 hours really flew away smoothly for the touch down at Paris-CDG





and welcome back to la ville Lumiere.

Well, overall excellent flight, outstanding seat, great comfort, great food presentation with great quality in terms of taste, and I can conclude by saying I truly experienced and enjoyed the French style of welcoming guests on board "a-la-francaise".

Hope you are enjoying this trip report, and until the next one, I wish all the best to you all.
It's so Miami!
 
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Miami
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:02 pm

Excellent report! Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible. - Eddie Rickenbacker
 
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readytotaxi
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:44 pm

Wow !, that was good,very good.
AF has upped their game in Business Class,really love that seat setup. Perhaps better than BA.
The food looked very nice, good size and choice.
How many of the AF fleet how have this new offering? Did it have the new First?
And how about that late/early departure, how do you plan your day to deal with that?

Thanks for that report.

 

PS. the breakfast looked good.
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9w748capt
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:53 pm

Wow - great TR. Very much enjoying your TRs so far. Keep em comin!

AF's product looks fantastic! A lot like the new J seats on CX and AA - I'm sure it's just AF's version of it.

Thanks for sharing and looking forward to the next one!
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:22 pm

I love this AF cabin, as well the seats in Y class on this new config are comfortable despite 3-4-3 layout. Thanks for sharing this report!
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
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lesfalls
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:30 pm

Hey Expatflyer  

Great second TR  

What was the load? Was the ticket expensive?

Anyways great read and thanks for posting  

-Lesfalls
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fallap
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:43 pm

Great TR!

It is nice to see that AF is moving away from that ridiculous 2-3-2 business config.
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EddieDude
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:07 pm

Thank you very much for your report ExpatFlyer. I really appreciate you took the time to write the report and upload your pics. Just this past weekend I was wondering what the new AF C-class seats and service were like, and this is a very insightful and enjoyable report.

Would you or anyone else know how much progress AF has made replacing the old 777 C-Class cabins (2-3-2) with this new Best & Beyond product? My understanding is that altogether 44 777s will be refitted and that the process will end in summer of 2016, but was wondering how many of those 44 planes already have the new B&B first, biz, premiumeco and eco cabins. Thanks!
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:20 am

Quoting Miami (Reply 1):
Excellent report! Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

You are welcome Miami. And you live in the place I call home: Miami ... It's so Miami!
It's so Miami!
 
ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:28 am

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 2):
Wow !, that was good,very good.
AF has upped their game in Business Class,really love that seat setup. Perhaps better than BA.
The food looked very nice, good size and choice.
How many of the AF fleet how have this new offering? Did it have the new First?
And how about that late/early departure, how do you plan your day to deal with that?

Thank you readytotaxi.

Indeed I do enjoy the new AF business class to the full.

The B777 on the CDG/SIN/CGK sector displays all the new 4 cabins including 4 La Premiere Suites

As per fleet upgrade to new cabins, there will be 26 B777 fully retrofitted by the end of 2015 with 18 more by end of 2016 for a total of 44 out of 62 currently in AF fleet.

As per the late/early departure, well I got accustomed to that: AF and KL depart from SIN after midnight to CDG and AMS, and DL leaves SIN to NRT, and onward to the US, before 7am, which means I have to be at Changi for checking-in by 5am.
And AF-KL-DL are my options when flying to Europe or the USA.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:30 am

Quoting 9w748capt (Reply 3):
AF's product looks fantastic!

Thank you 9w748capt.

The new AF business class seat is provided by Zodiac Aerospace, same manufacturer as per the CX business class seat.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:32 am

Quoting Lesfalls (Reply 5):
What was the load?

Hi Lesfalls, cabin load was 56/58
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:35 am

Quoting Fallap (Reply 6):
It is nice to see that AF is moving away from that ridiculous 2-3-2 business config.

Hi Fallap.

It will still take some time to get the fleet upgraded to the new product: by end of 2015 there will be 26 B777 fully retrofitted, and 18 more by end of 2016, for a total of 44 out of 62 currently in AF fleet.

So the chance of getting the 2-3-2 layout is stil there and also depending on the destination.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:55 am

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 7):
Would you or anyone else know how much progress AF has made replacing the old 777 C-Class cabins (2-3-2) with this new Best & Beyond product?

Hi EddieDude, and thank you and pleased to read you did enjoy my TR.

As stated in other replies, as per fleet upgrade to the new cabins, there will be 26 B777 fully retrofitted by the end of 2015, and 18 more by end of 2016, for a total of 44 out of 62 currently in AF fleet.
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jetblue777
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:11 am

AF's cabin look so stylish and classy! Although I'm a big fan of how CX and AA finishes their J product, AF definitely makes it very French! Love the splash of red, menu designs and little touches. The meal also looks impressive. Sounds like you had a wonderful flight, I've heard horror stories about AF and it looks like they're improving!

Great report thanks for sharing!

jetBlue777   
It's a cultural thing.
 
ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:58 am

Quoting jetblue777 (Reply 14):

Hi Jetblue777, indeed AF is doing its best to revamp cabin service and customer service, and they are doing a great job while bringing some "authenticity" feeling to the flight experience, which is what counts most for the passenger.

I've hear horror stories on AF as well, but frankly in all my flying with AF, from the Concorde time onward, and I'm now Platinum for Life with AF, I have never encountered or experienced a single problem with AF (and I've been using AF a lot on long range flights like SIN/CDG/SIN, CDG/MIA/CDG, as well as from/to HKG, SGN and from/to JFK, BOS.

I do not know whether it's been a matter of simple luck or coincidence, but I've always experienced a developing consistency in AF attitude towards passengers and the new 4 cabins are making AF again a great airline.
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EddieDude
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:12 pm

Quoting ExpatFlyer (Reply 9):
DL leaves SIN to NRT, and onward to the US, before 7am,

Been there, done that. But in all I think it is convenient for the onward connections to the U.S. and for the time of arrival in the U.S. Any idea whether DL is still using 77Ls on the SIN-NRT sector?

Quoting ExpatFlyer (Reply 13):
Hi EddieDude, and thank you and pleased to read you did enjoy my TR.

As stated in other replies, as per fleet upgrade to the new cabins, there will be 26 B777 fully retrofitted by the end of 2015, and 18 more by end of 2016, for a total of 44 out of 62 currently in AF fleet.

Thanks a lot for the info. So the 18 that will not be retrofitted are all high-density leisure aircraft?
Upcoming flights:
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:17 am

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 16):
Any idea whether DL is still using 77Ls on the SIN-NRT sector?

Yes, 77L, I flew SIN/NRT/SIN on it last month en-route for a multi-city trip to the USA flying SIN/NRT/SEA/ATL/TLH/ATL/EWR-JFK/FLL/ATL/DAL-DFW/ATL/FLL/DTW/NRT/SIN
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kl838
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:05 am

What a wonderful report Expatflyer! I just flew the new Business Class on AF254 two weeks ago and absolutely loved it, thought it was in line with BA's First product. The crew, the seat, the entertainment, and the food were all top notch! I also have been flying AF all my life, and have never experienced any of the horror stories that others have faced. Everyone always wonder why I love AF-KL so much. Hope to eventually be able to work my way up to a Lifetime Platinum one day like you!
 
BestWestern
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:33 am

A pity that AF serves the cheese and dessert at the same time as main course.

As an AF platinum, the new seats have transformed the business experience.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:01 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 19):
A pity that AF serves the cheese and dessert at the same time as main course

Hi BestWestern, you may be right but consider that it's being served at almost 3am in the middle of the night when you wish to make dinner quick.
On flights departing at hours where the dinner service can be planned at normal dinner time AF serves cheese and dessert one after the other and right after they have cleared plates from the main course.

[Edited 2015-07-02 00:05:26]
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edina
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:27 am

Quoting BestWestern (Reply 19):
A pity that AF serves the cheese and dessert at the same time as main course.

In France cheese is eaten as a palate cleanser, after the main course and before dessert, whereas most of us from 'anglo' influenced cultures will eat cheese as the last course. This way you have the choice....'a la française' or.......

On Iberia you would get your cheese in Business Plus with your tapas style starter tray......
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tjcab
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:55 pm

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 4):

I love this AF cabin, as well the seats in Y class on this new config are comfortable despite 3-4-3 layout. Thanks for sharing this report!
Quoting ExpatFlyer (Reply 15):
Hi Jetblue777, indeed AF is doing its best to revamp cabin service and customer service, and they are doing a great job while bringing some "authenticity" feeling to the flight experience, which is what counts most for the passenger.

I've hear horror stories on AF as well, but frankly in all my flying with AF, from the Concorde time onward, and I'm now Platinum for Life with AF, I have never encountered or experienced a single problem with AF (and I've been using AF a lot on long range flights like SIN/CDG/SIN, CDG/MIA/CDG, as well as from/to HKG, SGN and from/to JFK, BOS.

I do not know whether it's been a matter of simple luck or coincidence, but I've always experienced a developing consistency in AF attitude towards passengers and the new 4 cabins are making AF again a great airline.

I'll have to agree with both of you on this one. Personally in all my many flight mostly to Africa and Europe over the past 10 years, it's all been pleasant for me (except them a340s in Y in this decade). Personally i always found the crew friendly; even CDG if you can read and follow instructions was perfectly fine for me. 2 months ago, got the new interior from CDG-DL and DLA-CDG but the old from YYZ-CDG and back in the same trip in Y, and boy whet a difference, IFE and seat were much more comfy. Oh, is it just me or does the 10-abreast in the 777 feel more roomy that on the 747 in AF? May be the armrest width or something.
 
klkla
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Fri Jul 03, 2015 4:09 am

Great report.

The new AF business class looks great. I recently flew LAX-CDG-LAX on A380 in business and would have chose the new option if available.

The catering from and to LAX was not on the same level as what you are showing, though. And although the crews were friendly they were slow as molasses and not very responsive. The food was acceptable but nothing like what you experienced. Maybe they step it up a notch on that route because of the competition?
 
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Coal
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:19 am

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 16):
Been there, done that.

And I was there bidding you farewell from SIN!

Thanks for the report ExpatFlyer. Great report! Btw some of the pics are not loading from me, I assume the ones from SIN. The pics show up from the gate screen onwards.

Rgds
Coal
Nxt Flts: SQ SIN-KIX | HD UKB-CTS | NH CTS-NRT | SQ NRT-SIN | AK SIN-DPS-SIN
 
ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:50 am

Quoting Coal (Reply 24):
Btw some of the pics are not loading from me

Tks Coal, yes indeed since yesterday the first 7 pics disappeared from this TR while all th epics in my first TR "Hawaiian, First Class, HNL-OAK" disappeared completely and have instead this default image appearing.
I have no clue why. If you have any suggestion on how to fix it it's more than welcome. Tks.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:53 am

Quoting klkla (Reply 23):
The new AF business class looks great. I recently flew LAX-CDG-LAX on A380 in business and would have chose the new option if available.

Hi kikla and thank you.
The new AF business class is only available on the B777 and not scheduled so far for the A380 which still feature and will continue to feature the previous business class seat in the 2-2-2 display.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:49 am

Hi guys, I noticed that the first 7 pics in this TR have vanished since the past 2 days.

The same thing happened to my first TR on Hawaiian, First Class, HNL-OAK, where all the 52 pics have vanished complitely leaving space to a full anonymous default image display.

As pics are a must for aviation fans, I have contacted Airliners.net support asking them to remove the area of the 7 default images on this TR and remove completely my TR on HA.

For those of you who enjoyed the pics, thank you for viewing my TR.

Have a great week end to you all, and a special Happy Independence Day to my American friends and viewers from the USA.

[Edited 2015-07-03 19:51:30]
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ElanusNotatus
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:22 am

Hi ExpatFlyer,

I do like the lay out of the new cabin. The angled seats offer privacy to those at the window while for those travelling together and seated in the centre they afford some intimacy.

The meals look absolutely splendid. The variety, combined with the presentation, is a winner. Congratulations to you on your excellent photography.

Quoting ExpatFlyer (Reply 27):

Hi guys, I noticed that the first 7 pics in this TR have vanished

Where are the photos hosted? Is there a storage limit where once the limit is reached the oldest photos are deleted? You may need to subscribe to a photohost that allows greater storage and (this is a must) unlimited bandwidth.

An other possible cause might be if you changed to location of the image files since posting. In that case the original links in your report will no longer work.

Thanks for sharing. EN
Crawl, walk, fly into the future
 
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Coal
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Fri Jul 10, 2015 8:33 am

Quoting ExpatFlyer (Reply 27):
Hi guys, I noticed that the first 7 pics in this TR have vanished since the past 2 days.

Hi ExpatFlyer

By looking at your profile it looks like you hosted them on A.net. Probably the best is to host them on Picasa (by Google) and then you get the URL of the pic and add [img] before and [/img] after.

Hope this helps!

Rgds
Coal
Nxt Flts: SQ SIN-KIX | HD UKB-CTS | NH CTS-NRT | SQ NRT-SIN | AK SIN-DPS-SIN
 
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tlecam
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:30 pm

Thanks for posting this. I am based on the east coast of the US and will have a trip to Bangalore later this year. I will be departing from either BOS or JFK and there is a connection through CDG on to an AF 772 with the new business. The cabin looks exceptional! I've always enjoyed the AF service, and this new business class is a winner for me.
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ExpatFlyer
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:01 pm

Quoting tlecam (Reply 30):
I am based on the east coast of the US and will have a trip to Bangalore later this year. I will be departing from either BOS or JFK and there is a connection through CDG on to an AF 772 with the new business.

Hi tlecam, the Air France destinations currently receiving the new Business Class cabin are the following:

· USA: New York-JFK* - Washington - Los Angeles

· Canada: Toronto

· Brazil: Sao Paulo

· Africa: Douala - Malabo - Yaoundé

· UAE: Dubai*

· China: Guangzhou - Shanghai

· Japan: Tokyo-Haneda*

· ASEAN: Singapore* - Jakarta*


Destinations marked with * do also receive the new La Premiere cabin

For a trip report on Air France La Premiere please view: Air France, La Premiere Designer Suite, CGK-SIN (by ExpatFlyer Aug 18 2015 in Trip Reports)
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dancrane
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RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:26 pm

Great and sparlkling TR, thanks for sharing!
I do rather eggs benedict as breakfast, as long as you do like fois gras. Do you know if AF is going to upgrade the menu this way?
 
Bau
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 2:13 pm

RE: Air France, New Business Class, SIN-CDG

Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:27 pm

We missed your sparkling style!
Thanks for sharing this great TR.

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