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Aviation News AFI KLM E&M producing three ultra-high density Boeing 777s for AerCap

AFI KLM E&M producing three ultra-high density Boeing 777s for AerCap

Léo Barnier
11 APR 2019 | 450 words
AFI KLM E&M producing three ultra-high density Boeing 777s for AerCap
The new 531-seat configuration developed by AFI KLM E&M. © Azur Air
Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) is conducting a major project to modify and reconfigure three 777-300ERs for the AerCap leasing company. The project will increase cabin capacity for the three planes to 531 seats, which constitutes a world record for Boeing's plane. This ultra-high density is going hand in hand with the introduction of the RAVE in-flight entertainment system from Safran Aerosystems (ex-Zodiac Inflight Innovations).

After initial studies in November 2017, the contract between AFI KLM E&M and AerCap was made official in April 2018. The project itself began in October 208, with coverage of the first plane (MSN 32728). Cabin capacity has increased from its relatively traditional previous configuration with 385 seats in economy class and 42 in business to 524 in economy and seven business class seats. The special feature of this new layout is the introduction of four separate zones for economy class.

The Italian equipment manufacturer Geven has been chosen to supply its Steezy model for the economy class seats. The name of the business class seat supplier has not yet been revealed. Nevertheless, at the official announcement, AFI KLM E&M indicated that it had "developed a dedicated supply channel for Business seats, which will considerably reduce project launch and TAT" under this contract.

Sending RAVE to the whole cabin

In addition to this reconfiguration one of the major challenges involved in the project was to install the RAVE video on-demand system, something which had never been done on this type of plane, or in such volumes. AFI KLM E&M therefore not only had to adapt the IFE system to the 777-300ER's architecture, but also to put in an electrical system that was robust and powerful enough to supply 531 individual screens and eleven collectives screens, as well as 50 sets of spare equipment. They also had to guarantee that all of these terminals could operate at the same time.

The American Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) approved the work and issued the supplemental type certificate (STC) on 9th January. The first plane was then able to be delivered to Russia on 12 March, under its new registration VQ-BZA. Since then, it has mainly been operating out of Moscow-Vnukovo airport.

This project is actually part of an operator change. Up to now, the three 777-300ERs had been leased by Emirates and will now be operated by the Russian airline Azur Air pour for international charter links. This airline is a subsidiary of Turkey's Anex Tourism Group, which has a very strong presence in Russia, and which it purchased from the UTair group at the end of 2015. It had previously been known as Katekavia.
Léo Barnier
Specialized journalist
Industry & Technology, Equipments, MRO


 
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