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El Al Reveals New 787-9 Dreamliner Specs Including Major Upgrades To Business Class

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The Scoop

On Sunday, Israeli Airline El Al revealed the new specs for its 787-9 Dreamliner fleet at an event for travel agents in Tel Aviv.

El Al 787 Dreamliner
image courtesy of elal.com

El Al will receive 16 planes in all, the first two of which are set to arrive this August.  Current estimates are reporting these products should be fully operational by September, after a month of staff training.

The remaining 14 planes will arrive in installments over the next 3 years with the full El Al 787-9 Dreamliner fleet coming together by 2020, replacing the current 747-400s and 767-300s.

Per the initial report by Reuters, Boeing states these planes will save El Al up to 47% on fuel costs on direct flights between Tel Aviv & New York, compared to its current flights operated with the 747-400 series.

The first routes to fly with the 787-9 are rumored to include Tel Aviv – London (TLV>LHR) in September, and Tel Aviv – Newark (TLV>EWR), & Tel Aviv – Hong Kong in October.

Out With The Old

El Al’s current products leave a bit to be desired in terms of design and comfort.  For example, the current 747s operate a business class product with a 7 abreast seating arrangement on the main deck in a 2-3-2 format.  In contrast to many other carriers’ layouts, not every seat has direct access to the aisle.  Information on other cabin classes below:

El Al 747-400 Cabin Details*
CabinNumber of SeatsPitchWidthRecline
First8 (flatbed)79”23”180 deg
Business49 (angle-flat)55”19.5”170 deg
Economy Plus24 36”18”undisclosed
Economy32432”18”undisclosed

* There are 3 different seating arrangements for the 747-400, this is the most prevalent format.

El Al 747-400 Business Class
747-400 Business Class; image courtesy of airlinereporter.com

On the current 767’s, the business class operates with a 6 abreast seating arrangement in a 2-2-2 format; improved from the 2-3-2 but still a bit cramped. Information on other cabin classes below:

El Al 767-300 Cabin Details*
CabinNumber of SeatsPitchWidthRecline
Business22 (angle-flat)60”20”170 deg
Economy Plus2836”18”undisclosed
Economy16833-34”18”undisclosed

* There are 3 different seating arrangements for the 767-300, this is the most prevalent format.

In With The New

The new 787-9 Dreamliners will function with 3 cabin classes – Business, Premium Economy, and standard Economy.  As you can see, First Class has been completely removed – a trend we’re seeing more and more of lately.

El Al 787 Dreamliner Business Class
787-9 Business Class; image courtesy of elal.com

On the new 787 Dreamliner, Business Class will operate 4 abreast in a 1-2-1 format meaning each seat will have direct aisle access.  Premium Economy will operate 7 abreast in a 2-3-2 format and standard Economy will operate 9 abreast in a 3-3-3 format.

El Al 787-9 Dreamliner Cabin Details*
CabinNumber of SeatsPitchWidthRecline
Business32 (flatbed)78”21”Lie flat, 180 deg
Premium Economy2838”19”7″
Economy22231”**17”5″

* per El Al’s Bowing 787-9 seatmap
** 15 seats set to have 30″ pitch

El Al reports the Dreamliner offers a big improvement in overall quality including a number of great upgrades including:

  • a smoother flight thanks to a unique system built to reduce the impact of moderate turbulence
  • cleaner air thanks to an advanced air purification system
  • implementation of a unique system to simulate lower cabin altitude so passengers receive more oxygen and feel more refreshed
  • the use of dynamic ambient LED lighting that adapts to different phases of the flight
  • a higher level of humidity to decrease dry air symptoms and improve overall comfort
  • the installment of extra-large windows to better appreciate the view

Business Class in Detail

Per El Al, their new Business Class Cabin boasts a number of upgraded features including a dedicated Business Class crew, lie flat beds, ergonomic cushions to fully support the neck and back, 16″ personal HD TVs with touch screen capability incorporating Panasonic’s AVOD entertainment system, personal comfort kit, and 30% more overhead bin space compared to other airlines.

El Al 787 Dreamliner Business Class
787-9 Business Class; image courtesy of elal.com

Premium Economy in Detail

El Al 787 Dreamliner Premium Economy
787-9 Premium Economy; image courtesy of elal.com

Per El Al, their Premium Economy Cabin will include dedicated premium service, personal comfort kit, 13″ personal HD TVs with touch screen capability incorporating Panasonic’s AVOD entertainment system, dedicated foot rest, pull-out tray from seat arm for increased space & comfort, water bottle holder, and 30% more overhead bin space compared to other airlines.

El Al 787 Dreamliner Premium Economy
787-9 Premium Economy; image courtesy of elal.com

Economy in Detail

Per El Al, their Economy Cabin will feature ergonomic seats designed specifically for long-haul flights with an adjustable 6-way headrest, 12″ personal HD TVs with touch screen capability incorporating Panasonic’s AVOD entertainment system, and 30% more overhead bin space compared to other airlines.

787-9 Economy Class; image courtesy of elal.com

As with all new planes, passengers will find dedicated power sockets installed throughout all cabin classes.  Additionally, the 787-9 planes are set to offer in-flight Wifi.

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