A visitor takes a picture of an Airbus A380 as it lands after an air display at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris. Pascal Rossignol for Reuters

London - Is it a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same? Because, while there’s big excitement about British Airways’s (BA) new A350s, which come with "suites" in business class, the legroom in economy is, well, exactly the same as on the aircraft the planes are replacing.

Seats are slimmer, too with ten across, rather than the traditional nine in economy - as  I witnessed this week on the inaugural flight to Madrid.

But, on the positive side the A350s offer a far more attractive experience, wherever you are seated. 

There is 40 percent less noise and the planes burn 25 percent less fuel; the air quality is much improved and the ambient lighting is a welcome addition.

The new planes are part of a £6.5-billion (about R119 267-billion) investment by BA over the next five years, with 18 A350s to be pressed into service by the end of the year - on the Dubai route next month, followed by Toronto, then Tel Aviv and Bangalore. 

There are 56 "club suites", 56 seats in World Traveller Plus and 219 seats in World Traveller. 

For those who can afford business class, the suites come with their own privacy doors, 40 per cent more storage, longer beds, fluffier White Company duvets and bigger television monitors that no longer need to be swung into position.

There will also be no more embarrassing climbing over total strangers if your flat-bed seat is next to a window, because all the "suites" have direct access to an aisle in a clever herring-bone layout.

Take a tour of the British Airways A350

* Daily Mail