Brazil's TAM Airlines welcomes the first Airbus A350 into its fleet this week, ahead of a year which will see the Brazilian carrier and its Chilean sibling LAN rebranded as LATAM.
The Oneworld member and Qantas partner has already begun flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners ordered by LAN, and the new A350 will sport the same seats and cabin design as LAN's 787-9 jets.
TAM's Airbus A350 'Premium Business' cabin sports 30 forward-facing business class seats.
These are arranged in a 2-2-2 layout, so the downside of enjoying the view through the A350;s over-sized windows is the need to step over your seatmate.
That's not much fun for your neighbour, which is why our preference in a 2-2-2 configuration is generally one of the two middle seats – shown here on LAN's identical Boeing 787-9).
Every business class passenger gets a personal 15.4 inch HD video screen and, as you'd expect, the seat converts into a fully-flat bed.
The common LATAM business class design comes from highly-regarded consulting firm Priestmangoode, which most recently crafted TAM's cool-but-later-canned Boeing 777 first class cabin.
The new Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 business class cabins clearly share some of that design DNA, with Priestmangoode saying the palette of natural tones was inspired by South America’s colours and textures.
The 318 economy seats are, well, pretty much what you'd expect.
TAM has signed on the dotted line for 27 Airbus A350-900s, which will initially fly from the airline's Sao Paulo base to North America and Europe.
Mid-year should also see the first true LATAM A350, which will carry a new livery to reflect the unified brand, including a logo representing a stylised version of the South American continent.
This video profiles the new brand.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.