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, and the first 2 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. This fleet will replace El Al’s 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 for direct flights between Tel Aviv and New York when 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, plus Tel Aviv – Newark (TLV>EWR) and 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 is 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 Plus2436”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, business class operates with a 6-abreast seating arrangement in a 2-2-2 format — an improvement from the 2-3-2, but still a bit cramped. Information on other cabin classes is 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, which is 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 Boeing 787-9 seatmap
**15 seats set to have 30″ pitch

El Al reports that the Dreamliner offers a big improvement in overall quality with 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
  • 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
  • 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 HDTVs with touch screen capability (incorporating Panasonic’s AVOD entertainment system), a 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, a personal comfort kit, 13″ personal HDTVs with touch screen capability (incorporating Panasonic’s AVOD entertainment system), a dedicated foot rest, a pull-out tray from the seat arm for increased space and comfort, a 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 HDTVs 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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