Inside Air India's Boeing 787: the ugliest Dreamliner seats yet?

Inside Air India's Boeing 787: the ugliest Dreamliner seats yet?

We're ardent admirers of the Boeing 787's interior – the high ceilings, oversized scenic windows, clever overhead bins, show-stopping entryway, LED lighting and the overall sense of space which blesses the Dreamliner's cabin.

Of course, how each airline chooses to dress up their Dreamliner is up to them.

To date only two airlines have begun commercial Boeing 787 services – competing Japanese carriers ANA (the 787's launch customer) and JAL.

One of the next in line is Air India, which has already flagged plans to fly the Dreamliner from Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne as early as September this year.

Thanks to India's Bangalore Aviation we now have our first glimpse at the interiors of Air India's Boeing 787 in a video tour shot and shared via YouTube.

 

The video shows Air India's two-class configuration, with 18 business class seats in a 2-2-2 layout and two economy cabins with 3-3-3 seating.

All the seats appear to sport touchscreens (presumably running Google's Android operating system) plus USB and AC power sockets.

After viewing the video to make those notes, we're moved to ask: is this the ugliest Boeing 787 seating and interior to date?

Seriously, Air India – a business class cabin with slab-like seats in orange-red or mushroom-grey, and headrests in a custard yellow cream?

Not to mention economy class in a spotted murky red or something that's not-quite-orange, with headrests in dusky red or mustard.

We'll grant you that the interior of ANA's first 787 won't set pulses racing or win any international design contests.

Here's the domestic business class, above and below...

... plus row upon row of short-haul 2-4-2 economy seats.

The lie-flat business class seats in ANA's international 787 configuration are more appealing, if still looking a bit "mass-produced modular plastic".

Here they are in real life.

David Parker Brown, airlinereporter.com

David Parker Brown, airlinereporter.com

Japan's JAL may have been second in the Dreamliner delivery stakes, but its polished 787 business class is more of what we'd expect to see in this next-generation jet.

The brown-meets-beige-meets-stripes in JAL's 787 economy? Not quite so much.

But we'd suggest that even the uninspiring business class seats from Boeing's own 787 demonstrator (below), which visited Australia last week on the final leg of its global Dream Tour, outclass Air India's effort.

And now, back to Air India's Boeing 787 business class.

Are we being too harsh on Air India? Don't hold back on your comments – we can take it, and we're sure Air India can too!

For more news, reviews and the very latest info for business travellers, follow us on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

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.
 

25 comments

  • airtraveladdict

    airtraveladdict

    31 May, 2012 08:13 pm

    OMG...im speechless

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  • aero-seat

    aero-seat

    31 May, 2012 08:32 pm

    I have to agree! I hope I am not flying Air India 787. Shocking...

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  • am

    am

    31 May, 2012 08:56 pm

    It's very Indian.


    I don't think Economy looks too bad, but definitely a disappointing effort. Mind you, very few 787's will look any different to the rest of the airline's fleet in reality, so it's hardly a surprise.

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  • sagidec

    sagidec

    28 Aug, 2013 06:20 pm

    the colour of sarees or curry on the seats.

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  • raj

    raj

    6 Mar, 2014 01:31 am

    What do you mean by "it's very Indian" ?

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  • am

    am

    6 Mar, 2014 11:43 am

    What do you think I mean?

    The colours and style reflect the sort of style and tastes that I have seen displayed in a very broad cross section of Indian culture and society during the several trips that I've made to the country. 

    That's no different to me describing BA's newish First Class seats as being very British, or the hard white plastic seats of the Japanese carriers as being very Japanese. 

    There's no need to be quite so defensive or jump to rash conclusions about the true meaning of our comments. Just go and have a look at some of what is being said about Qantas and you'll realise that it has nothing to do with India and everything to do with the fact that we're just a bunch of grumpy middle aged/old people who like to complain. 

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  • tonywills

    tonywills

    31 May, 2012 09:08 pm

    Is this how they saved money from the delayed deliveries???

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  • aero-seat

    aero-seat

    2 Jun, 2012 04:36 pm

    I thought so too, but Air India denied that. They said these seats were to show the Indian flavour. I would like to remind them that they are planning to fly these planes internationally.

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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    31 May, 2012 10:10 pm

    Yup, it is disgusting.
    Surely this plane will be up for sale soon anyway since I understand AirIndia is close to broke, one of the reasons being that staff have a tendancy to pilfer company items.
    But I doubt anyone would steal those seats.

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  • ozavanti

    ozavanti

    1 Jun, 2012 03:03 am

    Spot on with 'Disgusting' fxdxdy - The indians aren't exactly known for exceptional taste in colour schemes or subtleness :)) ... Mind you if i hadnt been paid in 3-4 months I'd be looking to pilfer everything that was and wasnt bolted down too.

    I'm not sure i would want to try a Cavier Biryani even if washed down with Moet though ;)

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  • raj

    raj

    5 Mar, 2014 10:14 am

    That is like saying Australians are not known for hard work consistent with their high wages which could be why Qantas could go broke. Oh wait, Qantas IS broke !

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  • fxdxdy

    fxdxdy

    5 Mar, 2014 09:41 pm

    Loosing money is not the same as being broke.
    I'll let you ponder that for a while.

    I struggled to find out much about Air India's profits, probably because it hasn't ever had any. Actually, it looks like it has been receiving handouts since, well, forever:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_India#Financial_unrest

    I have no idea about their staff wages or conditions or how hard they work but I do understand they don't like NRIs from Australia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_India#Criticism_and_controversy

    It is a shame to be honest. I work with a very proud Indian and we always talk about property in Mumbai, Bollywood films and ofcourse the cricket. He was able to return home over the summer break and before he went we were disussing his trip. He was really looking forward to going through Dubai with Emirates which seemed odd to me since he is normally proud of anything Indian.
    I asked him why he wasn't going travel on the new Air India 787.
    His reply was 'Are you kidding, they will crash it and I will die'.
    I guess their poor reputation is both domestic and international.

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  • raj

    raj

    6 Mar, 2014 01:24 am

    Where is your proof Air India is close to going broke ? Where is your proof the staff steal company items as a cause ?

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  • raj

    raj

    5 Mar, 2014 10:09 am

    ...and yet it is Qantas who is broke, begging for handouts with a large bowl. Maybe you should contact Joyce and alert him him to staff theft of company items as a cause ?

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  • yoshisturt

    yoshisturt

    31 May, 2012 10:13 pm

    How can they ruin such an innocent airliner? *sigh*

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  • Al Glidden

    AlG

    31 May, 2012 10:30 pm

    I think I just threw up!

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  • spudseamus

    spudseamus

    31 May, 2012 11:47 pm

    wow! I hope those things are not classed as sacred!

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  • raj

    raj

    6 Mar, 2014 01:29 am

    Not as sacred as the far too high Qantas staff wages.

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  • Rufus

    Rufus

    2 Jun, 2012 12:00 am

    That aside:

    - it looks like only the Japanese airlines are going with 8-abreast economy, as Boeing intended.  United and Air India are both squashing in 9-abreast.   What a shame.

    - the interior of that demonstrator?  Looks like it's straight out of a porn movie or a rapper's house.  Shiny black leather?  No thanks.

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  • am

    am

    2 Jun, 2012 04:42 pm

    These planes were supposed to be delivered in May - any idea what has caused the delay? Are there still technical issues or is it just a paperwork delay?

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  • AirportAddict

    AirportAddict

    5 Jun, 2012 01:48 pm

    3rd best in service so far - for only one reason - there is only three in service

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  • Peter Riddell

    Pericon9

    13 Jun, 2013 09:36 pm

    I hope they're comfortable because god, they're ugly!  

    As a frequent traveller to India I will use them for at least 1 trip to try them if it means a shorter haul than the current one via Singapore but they're going to have to be good to keep me away from SQ.

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  • ADRIAN BROWNING

    captaincupcake

    14 Jun, 2013 10:59 pm

    What on earth were they thinking?

    So they have a beautiful aircraft on the outside and 'dump' seats with as much appeal as something you might step in is a joke... come Air India!

    Passenegers these days are a lot more demanding and it won't be long before they start going else where to get their monies worth. I for one would not consider spending the sort of money for a longhaul business class and get something like that, it's easy to understand why the likes of Emirates are so popular!

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  • Sam  Po

    Sampo

    30 May, 2015 06:47 am

    The trains in India do get stuff robbed by the staff and I wouldn't be surprised if air India cabin crew pilfer what ever they can whenever they can. If you are Indian raj then you obviously know that 90% of the population try and make an extra buck wherever they can. Ethics go straight out the window. Or maybe it's just in civil service. I know one thing for fact air Indias cabin crew (not the pilots) are the only ones at ANY international airport in the world traveling with huge suitcases for an overnight stay. Any airport. Every single time. 

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  • Sam  Po

    Sampo

    30 May, 2015 06:48 am

    And the seats are disgusting, this is what planes looked like in the early 80's 

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19 Jun, 2019 09:24 pm

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