LATAM Debuts New 777 Cabin, Pledges $500 Million Investment in Passenger Experience

A newly-painted LATAM Boeing 777-300ER. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

LATAM Airlines on Tuesday announced several investments it will be making to improve passenger experience at an event in São Paulo. Estimated to cost over $500 million, the main enhancements come in product and service improvements across its fleet, including new seats and meal options.

Enrique Cueto, LATAM Group CEO, prefaced the event by saying that the toughest part of the merger between LAN and TAM is over; hence, it is time to consolidate the group’s importance in Latin America.

Enrique Cueto, LATAM Group CEO, speaks at an event in São Paulo. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

First, approximately 200 aircraft in the airline’s fleet, around half of the total number of aircraft, will receive cabin renovations. To this effect, the airline debuted the new cabins to be featured on the Boeing 777-300ER, the airline’s largest aircraft. LATAM currently owns 10 of them, all based in Brazil, and uses them to connect São Paulo to Frankfurt, London, Madrid and Miami.

In LATAM’s business class, dubbed “Premium Business,” the airline had evolved from its previous high-density configuration to a more modern layout. Previously, the Triple Seven was very much dismissed by business class customers owing to two major issues. First, the seats were allocated in a 2-3-2 configuration, which granted no direct aisle-access unless sitting in an aisle seat. Second, the seats were not capable of reclining to a full lie-flat position.

The retrofit with new Thompson Vantage XL seats addressed these two problems, solving them entirely with a new 1-2-1 configuration and fully lie-flat seats. Standard aisle and window seats line the cabin wall with two types of seats, honeymoon and aisle seats, dominating the center aisle. The fabric and color of the seats were also changed to a more modern template and the personal entertainment systems were also refreshed to a current, up-to-date model.

The new 1-2-1 configuration of the business class cabin will allow for more privacy over the previous 2-3-2 configuration. (Photo: LATAM)
LATAM’s Premium Business cabin on the 777 features state of the art Thompson Vantage XL seats. (Photo: LATAM)

The new cabin, with full aisle access and full-flat seats, is also a part of this rest-focused renovation of the cabin. Now, passengers will no longer need to bother – or to be bothered by – other customers when leaving their seats. The privacy afforded by these seats is crucial to acquiring rest on long-haul flights when sleep is paramount.

LATAM’s 777 Premium Business seat in a lie-flat position. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)
The new personal entertainment system in LATAM’s Premium Business class. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

In economy class, the airline maintained the 3-4-3 configuration that’s standard on the Boeing 777, but revamped the seat designs. The new seats feature a new red and blue gradient design, more representative of the airline’s colors, set into the fabric.

Economy seats feature a gradient design with the colors of the airline. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

The personal entertainment system was also changed to provide a more modernized offering. The size of the screens, though, wasn’t changed in order to save money in the retrofit process.

Economy seats on LATAM’s 777-300ER. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)
Economy seats offer features such as adjustable headrest and new personal entertainment systems. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

In the economy cabin, however, the biggest change is the addition of the “LATAM+” seats. This concept is already used on domestic flights and will serve, in the 777, as an enhanced economy class though not at the level of a full-fledged premium economy class, which the airline has opted against. The benefits of LATAM+ will include more legroom and boarding priority while seat width and layout will remain the same.

LATAM+ seats on LATAM’s 777-300ER. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Onboard Service Enhancements

When developing this new cabin, especially the business class product, the airline focused on maximizing the rest of the passengers. This included the food options, which, according to LATAM, will “provide the passengers even more comfort during the rest time and power for the awakening process.”

A small sample of what the airline will offer in business class. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

Instead of drawing out the service, multiple plates will be served on a single tray. When traveling for business, rest often trumps the meal service though a speedy service may entice those travelers to stay awake.

Meal offerings are being redesigned to maximize passenger rest on long-haul flights. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | João Machado)

With the merger between LAN and TAM a distant memory, the airline is finally taking a look at its product to see where it can improve as it faces heavy competition on most of the international routes it serves from São Paulo.

João Machado

João has loved aviation since he was six-years-old when he started visiting his home airport in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil. As he always loved writing, in 2011, at age 10 he started his very own aviation blog. Many things have happened since then, and now he is putting all his efforts into being an airline director in the future.
João Machado