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First Look: Inside JAL’s Flagship Airbus A350-1000

JAL's premium-heavy A350-1000 features brand-new first and business suites with maximized space and privacy.

JAL’s first A350-1000 aircraft (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

Japan Airlines, also known as JAL, will take delivery of its first A350-1000 on December 14. AirlineGeeks was able to gain early access to its cabin, which consists of brand new, industry-leading hard products that will set to debut on JAL’s flagship route from Tokyo Haneda to New York-JFK next January and to Dallas/Fort Worth later in 2024.

The new airplane will feature a total of 239 seats, with six in first, 54 in business, 24 in premium economy, and finally 155 in economy class. In terms of cabin floor space, the premium classes will occupy door 1 to door 3, with only the very last section of the cabin for economy class.

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JAL’s A350-1000 seat map (Photo: JAL)

Cabin Overview

The First Class cabin is configured in a 1-1-1 arrangement, with sofa seats that can be turned into a double bed and 4K personal IFE screens. There are sliding doors for privacy and all overhead compartments are removed to create space.

First Class on JAL’s A350-1000 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

The Business Class seats have a 1-2-1 configuration with private suites that come with doors and dividers. Each lie-flat seat comes with a personal IFE screen, plenty of storage, and a so-called smart cushion.

Premium Economy seats use hard-shell products in a 2-4-2 configuration; the electrically controlled seats can recline without affecting the passenger behind. Each seat is equipped with reading lights and privacy dividers are present between every seat.

Premium Economy on JAL’s A350-1000 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

Japanese Elements Meets Western Functionality

JAL has stated that many Japanese elements are consciously incorporated into the designs of the seats and cabin. Especially in business class, the use of the Japanese rice paper wall, or Shoji, is incorporated in both sliding doors and closets. The individual lights also carry an Eastern flair.

Economy Class seats feature Japanese-style patterns (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

The designs also kept functionality in mind. Working with U.K.-based design firm Tangerine, the cabin has an emphasis on practicality. Many storage spaces are available and business class travelers are able to store their luggage in their seats under the footrest, on top of the many mini storage spaces and overhead compartments on the two sides.

First Class Shoji-inspired door allows light into the suite (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

The emphasis on privacy resulted in sliding doors and dividers between seats. All seats are separated from one another as JAL intends to deploy the aircraft on business-oriented routes where many solo corporate travelers fly. Another focus for the new products is space, from seating space, legroom to storage space, across the board there is more space and fewer total seats, compared to the 777-300ER which the new Airbus replaces.

Economy seating on JAL’s A350-1000 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

Many Industry Firsts

JAL has invested heavily in improving customer experience, especially focusing on improving the cabin features and innovating when designing the seats. In forward cabins,

  • Industry’s first built-in speakers in seats, available in both business and first class cabins;
  • First three-people dining space in first class, a seat which could also be turned into a double bed.

In Premium Economy:

  • The first airline to use an electric automated recline in the premium economy cabin;
  • It will also feature a non-moveable privacy divider between seats in the middle of the cabin, as shown below, to maximize privacy for premium economy passengers.

Large divider ensures greater privacy (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

Crew Friendly Design

The design keeps the crew and operation smoothness in mind. The cabin galley space is significantly larger than other types thanks to the ‘New Cabin Standard’ that Airbus has rolled out on most of its A350s. The seats in the premium cabin also come with an external touch screen that gives the crew the status of the passenger, lightening up their workloads significantly during services and turbulences.

Crew panel on the outside of premium seats (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Anthony An)

Anthony Bang An
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Author

  • Anthony Bang An

    Anthony is an airline enthusiast who also loves traveling. He grew up around the world from St. Louis to Singapore and now lives in Amsterdam. He loves long-haul flying and finds peace in the sound of engine cruising. Fresh out of high school, he aspires to be working in the aviation industry and share his passion for the sky. 

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