Royal Dutch Airlines – KLM(KL) made the decision to convert 6 out of the 21 Boeing 787-9s Dreamliners (refer to this link for our coverage on the Boeing 787-9 program) it has on order into the -10 variant with delivery starting in 2020 (refer to link on news release).
KLM placed the original order back in September 2011 and selected General Electric’s GEnx-1B engines in March 2014 for the Boeing 787-9s. This pairing will help the airline reduce fuel consumption by an estimated 15% while decreasing noise and gas emissions (CO2 consumption could be reduced by 20%). The order was the first placed by the Air France KLM group and is part of the its strategy to replace older aircrafts in the long-haul fleet.
While the seat plan has not been finalized for the 787-10 variant, expect KLM to include an additional 40 seats on this aircraft with the same configuration as the smaller 787-9.
With its 787 program in general, both KLM’s economy and business class passengers will be treated with the latest generation seats and amenities (refer to this link for the seat map).
Economy Comfort / Economy Class
264 passengers (48 in Economy Comfort and 216 in Economy Class) on board the 787-9 will enjoy seats that will recline 40% more than last generation and will have access to a larger inflight entertainment screens at 11″ with touchscreens, interactive 3D maps and in flight communication tools available. The screen will be the biggest offered by KLM (its Boeing 777-300ERs only features a 9″ IFE screen)
Additionally, individual AC power(an likely USB) port will be provided to ensure mobile devices and laptops can be charged during flight.
Configuration will be 3-3-3 configuration in both classes which is common with other airlines’ Boeing 787-9. Pitch will be 35″ in the Economy Comfort and 31″ in the Economy Class. Width will be around 17.5″.
World Business Class
KLM designed a new World Business Class seat unique for its Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The 30 passengers in this cabin will be treated with seats that have direct aisle access for everyone with a configuration of 1-2-1. Inflight entertainment system will have the same features as economy class except the screen would be more than 45% larger at 16″. There will be an additional screen for passenger to play games, chat or control the main screen.
The seat will have a pitch of around 78″ (in bed position) and a width of around 21″. It will be lie flat in bed position.
Entertainment / Connectivity
The Panasonic eXO system is used to power the inflight entertainment experience for both classes featuring hours of music (KLM Music may be featured – refer to our coverage on it here), tv and movie selections.
Connectivity will be supplied by on board Wifi which KLM has been testing on its new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. The cost will be EUR 10.95 per hour or EUR 19.95 for the full flight, applicable for all classes. During trial, Wifi is available when the aircraft is at 20,000 feet. This may change when the solution is fully implemented.
The first Boeing 787-9 will be delivered around October 2015 and will be used to service Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) to Bahrain International Airport (BAH) with a stopover at Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Additional cities being considered for this aircraft included Cairo, Xiamen, Hong Kong, Guayaquil, Vancouver, Havana, Chengdu, Tokyo Narita, Rio de Janeiro and Fukuoka. However, no route has been announced at press time.