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Thursday, May 30, 2013

JAL announces SKY SUITE 767 (SS6) details [Updated]

JAL will update the long-haul 767-300ER fleet with the New Sky cabin
JAL will update the long-haul 767-300ER fleet with the New Sky cabin. Image by Japan Airlines.
[Update: Added JAL SKY SUITE II development details]

Finally Japan Airlines has unveiled the details of it long-anticipated long-haul 767-300ER (763) retrofitting plan. The newly retrofitted 763 will be dubbed as SKY SUITE 767 and will be shown as SS6 in the timetable. Just like the 777-300ER fleet upgrade, the SS6 theme is to provide a New Sky experience 1 class above the current cabins and extra personal space.

Business Class Cabin - JAL SKY SUITE II


JAL SKY SUITE II
JAL SKY SUITE II (representation only, subject to final trim and design). Image by Japan Airlines.

Although the name might suggest the new seats are similar to the SKY SUITE used on SS7, it is a completely different seat. JAL has picked Zodiac Seats UK as the manufacturer of SKY SUITE II. The seats will be arranged in a 1-2-1 staggered layout and each seat will have direct aisle access. The goal is to provide "the ideal in-flight destination for your own personal enjoyment".

JAL SKY SUITE II can turn into a truly full bed.
JAL SKY SUITE II can turn into a truly full bed. Image by Japan Airlines.

Of course as a SKY SUITE, the seat will turn into a 180 degree truly flat bed. The maximum bed size is approximately 52cm by 200 cm. So it is narrower and longer when compare to the SKY SUITE's bed size of 65cm by 188cm.

Each JAL SKY SUITE II has a flexible side table and exclusive storage space.
Each JAL SKY SUITE II has a flexible side table and exclusive storage space. Image by Japan Airlines

JAL has upgraded the personal screen to a 15.4 inch touch-screen one.
JAL has upgraded the personal screen to a 15.4 inch touch-screen one. Image by Japan Airlines.

Each seat will come with a flexible side table and exclusive storage space and a 15.4 inch touch-screen personal TV. That's almost 1.5 times bigger than the former personal TV size. As a standard these days, each seat is also equipped with a USB port and a universal AC power outlet. All seats will be equipped with the latest MAGIC-V inflight entertainment system (IFE).

According to the computer rendering, looks like JAL will be using a similar seat control and reading light found on the JAL SKY SUITE.

There will be a total of 24 JAL SKY SUITE II installed on each SS6. That means there will be 6 rows of seats in the Business Class cabin. That's an extra row compared to the current configuration. But due to the fully flat beds, the actual seat number will decrease by 6 (that's 1 row of seats in the old configuration). To put this *confusingly*, SS6 has 1 extra row but 1 less row of seats compared to the old configuration :P The Business Class capacity will therefore decrease by 20%!

JAL SKY SUITE II development process.
JAL SKY SUITE II development process. Image by Japan Airlines Official Facebook page.

According to the Facebook post by JAL (Japanese only), During the development cycle, JAL staffs had flew over to the UK numerous time to work with the seat manufacturer. They have tried to pay attention to every details of the seat including but not limited to the seat cushion for example. They have also have foreigners (or those that are bigger than a typical Japanese) in mind when designing the seats. JAL has asked employees of different physiques to try out the seat to make sure it is comfortable for them as well. The production of seats for the first aircraft has already begun too!

Economy Class Cabin - JAL SKY WIDER
JAL SKY WIDER will be installed in the SS6 Economy Class cabin.
JAL SKY WIDER will be installed in the SS6 Economy Class cabin. Image by Japan Airlines.

In the Economy Class cabin, JAL will install the well received JAL SKY WIDER seats on SS6 as well. The design goal is to "add comfort features make flying in economy more relaxing and enjoyable than ever.

JAL SKY WIDER has a seat pitch of 84cm - 86cm.
JAL SKY WIDER has a seat pitch of 84cm - 86cm (SS7 is shown in the above picture). Image by Japan Airlines.

The slimmed seat back design of JAL SKY WIDER has added extra 3 cm of legroom
The slimmed seat back design of JAL SKY WIDER has added extra 3 cm of legroom. Image by Japan Airlines.

However, the JAL SKY WIDER seats on SS6 will only has approximately 45cm seat width when measured between the armrests. That's 2cm narrower than those installed on SS7. But it has the same 84cm - 86cm seat pitch, that's an increase from the current 79cm. Combined with the new slimmed seat back design, there's approximately 8cm - 10cm increase of legroom compared with the current seats.

Seat back of JAL SKY WIDER.
Seat back of JAL SKY WIDER. Image by Japan Airlines.

JAL SKY WIDER is equipped with 10.6 inch touch-screen TV.
JAL SKY WIDER is equipped with 10.6 inch touch-screen TV. Image by Japan Airlines


Since it is basically the same seat that's just a bit narrow. The JAL SKY WIDER on SS6 will also come with a 10.6 inch touch screen TV (8.9 inch for the front row) and is equipped with USB port and universal AC power outlet. All seats will be equipped with the latest MAGIC-V IFE systems.

There will be a total of 175 seats in the Economy Class cabin. That's down from the 197 seats in A43 configuration with JAL SKYRECLINER, and form 207 seats in A41 configuration with JAL SKYLUXE seats. That's a decrease of 11.2% and 15.5% capacity in Economy Class respectively. The total capacity will decrease by 12.3% and 16.0% respectively.

Rollout Schedule
JAL will first rollout the first SS6 plane to the Tokyo Narita (NRT) - Vancouver (YVR) route in December 2013, followed by flights to Honolulu (HNL) and long-haul destinations in Southeast Asia by fiscal year 2014. With this rollout, JAL will provide some kind of full beds (including the angled flat beds found in Shell Flat and NEO seats) to all long-haul destinations. Although JAL hasn't specified which routes are considered long-haul in SE Asia, you can simply look at the definition in its duty free shopping catalog :) (KUL, BKK? ;))

According to Business Traveller, JAL will retrofit 9 out of the 32 767's in its fleet to SS6. JAL will announce specific rollout details once dates and flights have been finalized.

For more details, you can refer to JAL NEW SKY website for SS6 (Japanese, English)

2 comments:

  1. It's nice to see YVR finally get a real long-haul business product and perhaps the best economy seat in the sky! Now, its time for SS8!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha I believe SS8 will be coming after SS6 but I have no insider info.

    ReplyDelete