They say, ‘Fortune favors the bold.’ We say, ‘Bold is just the beginning.’
That’s the phrase WestJet uses to tease its new 787 interiors, unveiled today. And, yes, it is a bold offering from a low-cost carrier. But as new aircraft cabins go the product looks to be more of keeping pace rather than innovating. These are just renderings so future improvements are possible, but the initial take suggests mostly stock products, with some nice finishes on top.
As promised, the business class cabin features fully flat bed seats and direct aisle access for all passengers; the reverse herringbone layout will be familiar to many customers used to business class today. Travelers will have on-demand dining and a turndown service for sleeping as well. Some of the details, such as the stitching, reflect the company brand and add nice nuance to the otherwise relatively commonplace hardware.
The cabin features only four rows of business class – just 16 seats – which is among the smaller offerings flying. As a low cost carrier, however, the smaller cabin should not be surprising. It is also helpful in making the premium economy offering work on board.
Similar to the business class cabin, the premium economy offering should look familiar to those who have seen that cabin before. The 2-3-2 layout and relatively generic seat likely won’t win awards but the overall space will be a nice boost from the economy class cabin. The renderings suggest the seats include a foot rest but not a leg rest.
The four rows of premium economy (28 total seats) fill out the “A” zone on board between the forward two entry doors.
Behind the premium economy cabin, at doors 2L/R is a self-service “social area” for premium economy passengers. This is the same area that some other airlines use as a business class galley or snack bar. Because of the smaller premium cabins for the WestJet 787 layout it is allocated to premium economy for the carrier.
The economy cabin is roughly what anyone should expect on a 787 these days. The 9-abreast seating, USB power and in-seat entertainment all tick the boxes that travelers expect for a longhaul offering. Predicting seat pitch from an artist rendering is probably not a great plan but the mockup shows 14 rows of seats.
If in the overwing space that could be reasonably spacious compared to what other airlines are flying. If in the rear zone it is closer to a 30-31″ offering. Alas, the latter seems more likely.
While very little of the renderings show as flashy or even really “bold” the overall layout is competitive. Pending more details the WestJet 787 looks to be a solid offering in the growing long-haul LCC market.