El Al’s 787s Will Have Premium Economy And Direct Aisle Access Business Class, But No First Class

2 years ago I wrote about El Al’s 787 order,

“Currently El Al operates ancient business and first class cabins.  The business class seats don’t each have direct aisle access like Air Canada, Delta, and USAirways all offer.  They operate the only “first class” between North America and Tel Aviv, but the seats are made of faux-leather and they too don’t each have direct aisle access.

Hopefully a new aircraft will bring new premium class seating for El Al that does include direct aisle access for every seat.

The vast majority of airlines don’t operate 3 cabin first class on the 787 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see El Al jettison it as well.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

El Al is configuring their 787s with reverse herringbone business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration where the middle seats are angled in towards each other. Each seat will have direct aisle access and should be comparable to the excellent business class seats used by American and Cathay Pacific.

Of course that means El Al’s 787 business class will be a much better seat than El Al’s current first class seat.

So it’s not a surprise that El Al won’t equip their 787s with first class. That leaves British Airways and Korean as the lone airlines with true first class service into Tel Aviv.

Premium economy will be in a 2-3-2 configuration while economy minus will have a 3-3-3 configuration.

El Al’s 787-9 will have 32 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 222 coach seats. It will enter service later this year.

Kudos to El Al for making the right decision for the 787’s seating configuration.

Now, let’s talk about your labor issues, mileage program, and website functionality 😉

HT: yandmk and chff, via DDF

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18 Responses to “El Al’s 787s Will Have Premium Economy And Direct Aisle Access Business Class, But No First Class”

  1. Joe Says:

    Swiss has true first class to TLV

  2. סטיב Says:

    Economy MINUS לועג לרש 😞

  3. danfan Says:

    I just flew el al, unfortunately since I’m not a matmid member I couldn’t easily upgrade to a economy plus or exit rown seat, even with money. There was a very tall big man in my row that agreed topay $1200 to be upgraded one way to business. After giving him the royal runaround, they said no!
    The trip to and from was a nightmare. This had nothing to do with my fellow passengers. The service on El Al is horrendous. They absolutely don’t care about service. This is the only airline I can recall ever flying that they don’t serve you coke in cans. They pour you a small plastic cup from a 2 liter bottle!..B”N, never again!

  4. Momo Says:

    Swiss has a first class

  5. Chff Says:

    @momo @joe – Swiss does not sell First to TLV

  6. Ari Says:

    Sorry @danfan, we just flew Delta Jfk-Tlv rt and got coke in plastic cups too. The coke, however, was poured from cans 🙂

  7. Anonymous Says:

    @danfan: I too flew El Al this winter. Service was actually pretty good. Knowing I was supporting a Jewish airline with Jewish employees was comforting.

  8. reb yid Says:

    Maybe Etihad could take over El Al and turn it around.

  9. Debbie - always travelling Says:

    @reb yid: Its great to hear that im not alone with el al romance
    Cant with them…cant without them

    I try to stay loyal nd use as often as i fly though not always possible

    Im with the points issue totally sucks .. get no value there…they want u to pay 70% more to get a few more points on old banger planes, king david charges have almost doubled to the long supporting original ff club members and customer service ranges between a 50 minute wait on the phone or a 40 day answer if you are lucky by mail
    Where by elal is always gonna be right no matter the issue.
    Im willing to help- assist with humane changes if there is such a thing…

    Would lov to see something done for the real frequent flyers who pay for tickets from their pockets nd not on account of their boss!!

  10. Izz Says:

    What about seat rows 1-8, wouldn’t that be for F class? Seems J is only starting from row 9.

  11. Rascal Says:

    USAirways does not exist any longer. They merged with American.
    Many airlines use bottles to dispense beverages.

  12. jeremiah Says:

    @Rascal: I believe US Airways was around to years ago. See first line of the post and stop being such a cynic

  13. Shaul Says:

    Anyone know what will be of F on the legacy planes before they are phased out? Can’t imagine them being able to sell a seat at 8k when for half of that you get a better J seat.

    I will say that the service in Elal J is very good, even though the seat is not. The food is also the best kosher J food you’re going to get (if you eat the regular meals- I don’t know about Mehadrin meals). They also offer mevushal wines. Once Elal has an industry-standard seat, I assume they’ll be able to win back a large premium market. Also helps that DL and UA don’t have true E+, so for people who want a little extra but not J, Elal will have a unique product.

  14. Davidthebest Says:

    Dan , you completely ignore swiss? ….

  15. David Says:

    Dan, completely ignoring Swiss?….

  16. Dan Says:

    So many iber chuchems…
    Swiss does not market or sell First to TLV. Nor is there real First service to TLV.

  17. yehuda Says:

    I fly a few times a year and cannot bring myself to fly El Al anymore. The business seats are filthy and worn. The service is horrible. Id rather walk. Sadly i have to give my business to other airlines.

  18. Gershon Says:

    If El Al wants to win a segment of C class travellers to and from Tel Aviv, it had better hire staff that understand what service means and sort out its disastrous labor relations record. You can put in the fanciest direct aisle seats you like, offer superb meals [with mevushal wine] but until your passengers feel like valued guests, whose flights are likely to operate as per the timetable and who the on board staff don’t treat like their next door neighbor who has no idea what travel is all about, that will all be worthless. I haven’t flown LY in years except when I have had no option. AZ or LX on the New York – Tel Aviv route suit me just fine thank you. For all people complain about it, Alitalia Business is actually a very good product.


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