KLM wants to offer its passengers on European flights even more comfort and style, while at the same time reducing the CO2 emissions of flights. That is why KLM continues to invest in the product on board and in sustainability, so that we can continue to meet the expectations of our customers and emerge stronger from the crisis.– Boet Kreiken, Executive Vice President Customer Experience, KLM
The BL model will be featured in the carrier’s business class cabin on board. It is still a euro-biz product, but the extra seat pitch will now be accompanied by a six-way adjustable headrest and additional back support.
The premium seats also feature a table holder for passengers. That is absent in economy.
KLM is the launch customer for the SL3710 model and recently introduced its first Embraer E195-E2 jets with the seats installed.
The upholstery is made of mostly recycled leather. The seats are on average 20% lighter in weight, reducing the total cabin weight by 700 kilos. This results in annual savings of 58 tons of fuel per aircraft and a reduction of 184 tons of CO2 emissions. For the 14 aircraft together, this means an annual saving of 812 tons of kerosene and a reduction of 2,576 tons of CO2 emissions.
In addition to the new seats passengers also get in-seat power in the form of USB-A ports.
New, larger overhead bins and LED mood lighting round out the visible changes on board.
Not visible, but very useful, is the in-flight WiFi also flying on the retrofit 737s (plus 4 others). The service, powered by Viasat, will be installed on the retrofit 737s and eventually on the E195-E2 fleet as well.
KLM expects the 14 conversions to complete by March 2022.
Partial 737-800 fleet retirement planning
KLM currently operates 31 737-800s. Only 14 will be retrofit. They join 4 aircraft delivered in 2019 to make the 18 that will have WiFi installed.
The 13 older frames – all delivered between 1999-2000 – will not remain in the fleet long enough to justify an investment in the new interior or wifi systems. They also will not see power installed on board, though they are slated for upgraded lavatories.
Timing for their retirement is unclear, as are plans for the fleet to replace them.
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