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Boeing 777 Overhead Rest Areas now certified for occupancy during taxi, takeoff, and landing

Travel News Asia 5 August 2004

Boeings innovative overhead rest area for pilots, available exclusively on the long-range 777 family of airplanes, now is certified for occupancy during taxi, takeoff, and landing. Relief pilots now can be seated comfortably in the overhead rest without interruption at the beginning and end of long-range flights, freeing up premium seats in the main cabin for revenue passengers.

The updated certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and Europes Joint Aviation Authority creates additional value for airlines that operate long-range 777s with the overhead flight crew rest.

Airlines want to maximize the earning potential of all their flights, said Lars Andersen, Longer Range 777 program manager. We worked closely with our customers to develop a crew-pleasing, revenue-generating crew rest and storage solution that is simply not available from our competitor.

Boeing estimates that the crew rests could generate between $4.9 and $11.25 million in additional revenue over 20 years for an airline.

The pilot rest area includes two spacious sleeping berths, two business-class-comfort seats, and an area for optional amenities such as a closet, sink, or lavatory. Leading airlines currently operating the overhead flight crew rest, including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, are not only pleased with the additional revenue generation, but have received very positive reviews from their pilots.

KLMs 777 pilots appreciate the spaciousness and complete privacy of the rest area, said Michel Coumans, Senior Vice President, Fleet Services, KLM. The resulting benefit is having more seats available to passengers in our World Business Class cabin.

By taking advantage of the overhead area of the airplane located between the top of the stow bins and the crown of the airplane for crew rest stations and storage, airlines can use the main and lower decks exclusively for revenue-generating passengers and cargo. Operators of the 777-200ER (Extended Range) and 777-200LR (Longer Range) can save up to four passenger seats and four cargo containers, while the 777-300ER saves up to seven seats and six cargo containers.

Overhead rest quarters for flight attendants are also available with no sacrifice to the passenger-pleasing 777 interior. The 777-200ER and 777-200LR are provisioned for a six-bunk attendant rest station, with some personal stowage for the attendants. The 777-300ER has options for a six-, eight- or ten-bunk arrangement. In addition to the bunks and personal storage, airlines can add optional stowage to the module. All are accessed through private and secure entry doors in the economy class section.

The 777s overhead rests are unique, since the bunks are not stacked vertically on top of each other. Also, flight crews are no longer required to descend into crew rests traditionally located in the airplanes cargo hold. The innovation has not only delighted airlines such as Air France with increased cargo capacity, but also has pleased flight attendants who have enjoyed the spaciousness and privacy found overhead on the 777.

Air France flight attendants prefer the privacy, comfort, and increased personal space found upstairs on our all-new 777-300ER aircraft, said Nicolas Bertrand, Long Haul Fleet Director, Air France. The additional cargo capacity that results is a tremendous benefit to us more revenue. 

The overhead space innovations were developed in cooperation with 19 airlines, and included a team comprised of pilots, flight attendants, and engineers. The Working Together team spent over three years creating and perfecting the design, focusing on factors that contribute to getting a good rest.

To date, Boeing has 81 orders for its 777-300ER and 777-200LR, and every customer wants crew-rest modules. Three customers have ordered 777-200ERs with the overhead crew-rest option.

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