Revealed: Turkish Airlines’ 787 Business Class Configuration

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While I’ve never flown Turkish Airlines, I’ve heard basically unanimous praise about their soft product. In particular, their inflight catering is provided by DO&CO,  which is renowned for having premium cabin catering that rivals anything you’d get in a nice restaurant on the ground. I’ve never actually taken a flight with DO&CO catering, but I may very soon. 😉

One issue where Turkish Airlines quite obviously lags behind is in the hard product. I haven’t flown Turkish Airlines before, but LATAM’s A350 features essentially the same seat, minus the finishes. It’s a good seat, but it’s not spectacular – I ranked it 6th (out of 9) out of the best business class configurations in 2018 last month.

img_2642Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Hong Kong Airport

Thankfully Turkish Airlines is fixing this by introducing a new business class product on their 787s. While nothing about the product has been revealed yet, Turkish Airlines just revealed their first routes and uploaded a seatmap accordingly, which gives us a few solid hints.

Let’s start with the routes. Turkish Airlines will operate their 787 between Istanbul and Denpasar from July 17, 2019 three times per week (going daily from August 8th). They also plan to operate their 787 between Istanbul and Washington D.C., as well as Atlanta.

However, they’ve uploaded the seatmap for one flight, which is their triangle route between Istanbul, Bogota and Panama City. Unfortunately the Bogota to Panama City leg isn’t bookable to the public, or else that would’ve been a cheap way to try the Turkish Airlines 787. The schedule is as follows:

Turkish Airlines 800 Istanbul to Bogota dep. 01:45 arr. 07:35
Turkish Airlines 800 Bogota to Panama City dep. 09:05 arr. 10:55
Turkish Airlines 800 Panama City to Istanbul dep. 12:25 arr. 09:30 (+1)

Now, let’s move on to the seatmap. ExpertFlyer shows the seatmap as follows:

a screenshot of a video game

There’s a lot of discussion out there saying that this is some new type of staggered seat that Turkish is creating. I’m actually quite surprised at the idiocy people are interpreting this with on multiple mainstream media sites. Really, they just neglected to add an aisle between columns A and D, and G and K on ExpertFlyer. A little photo editing gives you this:

a group of chairs with letters and numbers

Looks familiar? Yup, that’s the Solstys style configuration, which I’ve previously tried on Hong Kong Airlines (they’re far from the only airline featuring this configuration, though).

a plane with seats and a person standing in the backHong Kong Airlines Airbus A330 Business Class Cabin

Purely as it is, this configuration ranks third in my list of generic business class seats. However, I’ve heard that Turkish Airlines is in the works to create something with the door (or something along those lines), so I’m expecting to see something QSuite-esque. Maybe that’s a stretch, but Turkish Airlines is no stranger to having a top-notch soft product, so it would make sense for that mentality to stretch towards their hard product as well.

If they choose not to install a door, they’d be one of two airlines to have the generic Solstys-style configuration in their fleet, the other being Singapore Airlines’ regional business class configuration.

Bottom Line

I’m quite excited to see what Turkish Airlines can pull out of the bag with this business class seat, and will keep this site updated on what sort of product they choose to go with. Hopefully they don’t choose to stick to a generic Solstys-style configuration, and choose to go with something innovative, such as a door. Regardless, I look forward to seeing what they come up with, and hopefully get to try the product soon.

What do you think Turkish Airlines’ 787 business class product will be like?

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