UPDATE | Is this Turkish Airlines' new business class seat for its Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 jets? It certainly looks that way, with photos of the product featured in Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News over the weekend.
And as Turkish Airlines' Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmuştur previously told Australian Business Traveller, privacy is a clear priority of the seat, which adopts a modern 1-2-1 layout with curved sidewalls.
Turkish Airlines' new business class seat will take pride of place in its new Boeing 787-9 fleet, due to take wing from the middle of 2019, as well as the Airbus A350s from 2020.
However, it won't be refitted to the Star Alliance member's current Airbus A330, A340 or Boeing 777 jets.
The seat itself is based on the new Aurora platform of Stelia Aerospace, which is an evolution of the seatmaker's popular Solstys III 'luxury business class' design.
This is the same seat chosen by Singapore Airlines for its new regional business class on the Boeing 787-10 and selected Airbus A350 jets.
Don't let the 'regional business class' moniker lead you astray: this is an international-grade business class seat which converts into a fully-flat bed, with plenty of useful personal space around the seat.
Turkish Airlines' adoption of this seat means its Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 business class cabins will follow the same alternating layout as Singapore Airlines: some window seats see passengers sitting directly next to the window and away from the aisle, as shown below...
... while others will swap this around and position the passenger at the aisle, with a shelf between them and the window.
Likewise, paired middle seats will either be next to one another or further apart, in what some industry wags term a 'honeymoon and divorce' configuration.
In either case there's a screen between the middle seats which can be raised for privacy or lowered for sociability.
For more insight into the practicalities of Turkish Airlines' new Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 business class seat, read our detailed review of Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 regional business class.
PREVIOUS | Turkish Airlines will launch an all-new business class seat on its forthcoming Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 jets.
A 'new fleet, new seat' strategy will see the airline shift to a 1-2-1 business class layout with the arrival of the first Dreamliner in 2019.
The new seats will be both more competitive and more contemporary than the Star Alliance member's current international premium seating, which largely follows a 2-2-2 configuration and includes a middle seat 2-3-2 layout on its Boeing 777-300ERs.
"Our new business class product will have 1-2-1 seating layout instead the existing and will be featured both in the new Boeing 787 and the new Airbus A350 jets," Turkish Airlines' Chief Marketing Officer Ahmet Olmuştur tells Australian Business Traveller.
"The design will be applied to the first received Boeing 787 jets in 2019."
Privacy is a priority
"High privacy is our priority," Olmuştur stresses. "We are still working on with our design partner for many different features such as individual enclosed storage areas and 44-inch knee distance."
However, Olmuştur says the new business class seat will be exclusive to the Boeing 787s and Airbus A350s and won't be retrofitted to the current Airbus A330, A340 or Boeing 777 fleet.
"We do not have any plan on the implementation of this new design for our existing aircraft, but so far we have a different retrofit project for the existing widebodies."
Turkish Airlines has signed up for as many as 30 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 30 Airbus A350-900s, with the first six Dreamliners joining the fleet from 2019 followed by an initial five Airbus A350s from 2020.
All 60 of the next-gen jetliners will be in place by 2024 and are intended to revitalise the airline's fleet while also providing room for growth.
Sydney is still on the radar
This may still include the airline's long-desired route to Sydney, which has been on-again and off-again for several years, with direct and stop-over flights both being considered.
"We would like to start direct flights to Sydney as soon as possible, as you may know," Olmuştur tells Australian Business Traveller.
"We are still working on some solution methods to start flights directly to there in a most optimal way. If we do not able to reach such an ideal solution in our short-term planning, which is our priority, we may focus on connecting flights."
New Istanbul airport to get an 'exclusive lounge'
With the opening of Istanbul New Airport currently slated for October 29 2018, Turkish Airlines will also embrace the opportunity to reinvent its flagship lounges to a point beyond the benchmark of today's sprawling two-level Lounge Istanbul.
In addition to domestic and international "CIP / business lounges" open to business class and top-tier frequent flyers, Olmuştur reveals that Turkish airlines will add a more exclusive lounge – which he fittingly calls the Exclusive Lounge – to deliver "a totally new private passenger lounge concept."