By Fazeena Saleem
DOHA: Boeing’s long waited new generation aircraft model is scheduled to be delivered by end of this year, which will add more comfort for the economy class passenger experience.
Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s architectural and technological features and the interior promises to connect passengers as never before to the flying experience. The national carrier Qatar Airways too will be one among the customers to buy 30 of these aircraft in 2012.
“Passengers on a 787 will enjoy a more relaxed and spacious environment that makes their flights more comfortable,” said Colleen Rainbolt, Regional Marketing Director, Passenger Revenue Analysis.
“Passengers will be given an architectural welcome,” she said speaking to visiting journalists at Boeing’s Customer Experience Center in Renton, Washington.
All passengers will be welcomed onto the aircraft by wide arches, dynamic lighting, spacious luggage bins, and electronic window shades whose transparency passengers can change during the flight.
This Dreamliner aircraft will offer wider seats and aisles than competing models in every class, says Rainbolt. It has been designed after long years of research to keep the passengers entertained and comfortable during their flying time.
On boarding, passengers will be welcomed by an entryway with sweeping arches. Above them they’ll see a simulated sky that enhances their perception of spaciousness. The blue sky effect continues over the passageway throughout the aeroplane.
This sky simulation is designed to enhance the passenger’s sense of comfort, since he undergoes lot of stress from packing his baggage at home to boarding the aircraft. Illuminated by arrays of LEDs, this ‘sky’ can change in colour and brightness throughout the flight.
However, an average economy class passenger would get “little” better travel experience even in this wide-body twin-engine aircraft with long range and carrying capacity of 210 to 330 passengers. Even with some upgrading, the economy class still looks as less improved due to the large margin between the two grades.
To fill this gap some airlines introduce premium economy or economy plus, a travel class offered on some airlines, positioned in price, comfort, and amenities between Economy class and Business class.
“The economy class will be little nicer than before,” said Rainbolt, admitting that this class does not get upgraded as often as the business class.
Seat rows in the new Dreamliner can be arranged in four to six abreast in first or business (1–2–1, 2–2–2), with eight or nine abreast in economy (3–2–3, 2–4–2, 3–3–3). This is always decided by the customer airline.
The windows will be the largest on any current commercial aeroplane and will give all passengers a view of the horizon, connecting them to the flying experience.
The business class windows will be controlled with light to get a feeling as looking through a pair of sun glasses, instead of the plastic shades reducing cabin glare while maintaining transparency. In the economy class the shape of the rid triangle shaped windows will replace the oval shape.
The size of overhead stowage bins for each passenger is designed to maximise the number of bags and to increase the head space. Seats in an aircraft are one of the most important components for passengers’ comfort during journeys. The Dreamliner will offer wider seats and aisles than competing models in every class, says Rainbolt.
“The economy class seats will be designed with fibre layers one above one to make it strong and comfortable,” she said.
However, economy class travellers not only need an architectural improvement but they also need better service and facilities from airlines.