BRUSSELS AIRLINES – PROGRESSIVELY ENTERING AIRCRAFT WITH NEW CABIN LAYOUT INTO SERVICE
(Posted 17th June 2019)
Now Flying: Brussels Airlines’ First A330 With New Business Class & Premium Economy
In late February 2019, Brussels Airlines announced some changes to their long haul flying experience. They’re branding this as a “boutique hotel in the air,” which perhaps is a be a bit of a stretch. Then again, airlines like to push their luck when it comes to marketing like how American calls their distinctly uncomfortable new interiors “Oasis” – now THAT is a stretch.
Well, as I explained at the time in ATCNews, Brussels Airlines’ first A330 with the new cabins was expected to be flying by April 2019 and following many enquiries here comes an update on that front.
Brussels Airlines’ first A330 with new cabins is now flying to North America and Africa
Brussels Airlines has without much fanfare put their first Airbus A330-300 into service with the new cabin layout. The plane has the registration OO-SFD, and it has been operating since the end of April.
Brussels Airlines received the aircraft from the maintenance faility on April 26th. Since then has the plane flown from Brussles to Douala, Yaounde, Abidjan, Cotonou and New York but not yet to East Africa.
There is now visible pattern how the aircraft is being deployed on the routes it is scheduled to fly.
Looking at the seatmap, both the old and new business class cabins have 30 seats. However, the configuration of the new front cabin is slightly different.
In the new configuration, there are two seats in the center section in every row, while in the old configuration every other row has just one seat in the center section; in other words, the old configuration alternates between 1-2-1 and 2-1-2, while the new configuration alternates between 1-2-1 and 2-2-1.
Perhaps the easiest way to tell is to look at the economy class seatmap, because the first three rows will appear in a 2-3-2 configuration, since those are premium economy seats.
Brussels Airlines’ second A330 is currently undergoing the new cabin outfitting. Hopefully that plane will enter service in the coming two weeks as well after being flown to the maintenance facility in at the end of April.
That plane has the registration OO-SFE.
What is different about the new Brussels Airlines’ A330?
In business class is Brussels Airlines maintaining the same general configuration, with fully flat bed seats. However, the new seat version offers much more privacy similar to what Swiss – also a Lufthansa Group airline – offers on their 777-300ERs.
On top of that is Brussels Airlines following the general trend in the Lufthansa Group and is launching a proper 21 seat premium economy section with a 2-3-2 configuration. Brussels Airlines didn’t previously offer premium economy and only availed a section with deeper recline, greater pitch but still in a 2x4x2 seat configuration, called Economy Privilege.
The 2nd retrofitted aircraft (OO-SFE) will very soon enter service again and the 3rd A330 (OO SFG) will be the next aircraft to be retrofitted. This will improve the inflight product greatly compared to the old cabins now progressively being replaced.
Meanwhile does Brussels Airlines fly daily from the European capital to Entebbe / Uganda, six times a week via Kigali / Rwanda and once a week via Bujumbura / Burundi.