New seating company aims to upgrade business class seating

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UK-based Unum Aircraft Seating has officially launched – targeting business class seating.

Spearheaded by industry veteran Chris Brady, the former CEO and co-founder of Acro Seating, Unum, working with Acumen, will launch with two lie-flat business class seating options.

Within a given cabin seat density, Unum One and Unum OneHD are wider and longer with more spacious side furniture than competitor seats, with customisation options available to airlines who wish to match their branding and cabin designs

According to Brady, Unum’s Executive Chairman and CEO: “Unum is launching to solve airlines’ longstanding dissatisfaction with business class seating supply. Our vision is to become the credible alternative for both narrowbody and widebody aircraft, offering on-time delivery and providing customer-centric designs. We will achieve this by delivering on the needs of every airline stakeholder, from passengers and customer experience teams to procurement and engineering, aircraft lessors and cabin design agencies.

“We recognise that airlines need to succeed in business class to rebuild their finances post-COVID. Whether an airline’s strategy is for high-density business class or a super-premium spacious environment, Unum’s seating solutions offer a consistent and superior passenger experience across both single- and twin-aisle aircraft.”

He added: “Because late, inflexible delivery is unacceptable, we have worked hard to design a seat and supply chain that both mitigates risks and prioritises local suppliers and additive manufacturing. Thanks to our modular design, parts can quickly be replaced or maintained. In addition, our lightweight approach will contribute to airlines’ emissions goals by reducing fuel burn per flight.”

ZIM Aircraft Seating is to triple its activities at Immenstaad by expanding its new headquarters opened in March 2021.

ZIM Aircraft Seating expands Immenstaad HQ

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ZIM Aircraft Seating is to triple its activities at Immenstaad by expanding its new headquarters opened in March 2021.

ZIM Aircraft Seating is to triple its activities at Immenstaad by expanding its new headquarters opened in March 2021.

Additional office space has already been occupied, with a new model shop with a design department for the market-driven development of future products set to open by April 2022. In addition, the headquarters will be expanded to include an automated test centre and a new customer service area with modern repair and maintenance facilities.

The new headquarters on Lake Constance is part of ZIM’s decision after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, to realign the corporate structure in order to be able to better serve future orders and to increase the efficiency of the processes within the company.

“The investment into our location expansion is a clear commitment to our employees and the region,” emphasised ZIM CEO Sven Achilles. “We have a social responsibility that is independent of time and which we also live up to by creating structures that will make us competitive in the future.”

ANA's Premium seating (above) and Economy seating on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

ANA introduces newly designed Boeing 787-9 interiors

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ANA's Premium seating (above) and Economy seating on its Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has begun introducing its revamped Boeing 787-9 aircraft for service on domestic routes.

“The Boeing 787 has served ANA with distinction for a decade now, and we are excited to add more comfort and functionality to our fleet of incredibly capable aircraft,” said Junko Yazawa, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Management & Planning of ANA. “The new features on the Boeing 787-9 strengthen an already great aircraft and will improve the passenger experience on domestic flights. ANA has always put passengers first and will continue to take all necessary steps to enhance comfort and convenience for everyone who chooses to fly with us.”

The aircraft offers 375 seats, with the number of premium class seats increased by 10 for a total of 28 seats. Inspired by the first class seating on ANA international flights, and originally introduced on ANA’s Boeing 777-200 fleet in autumn 2019, the seats manufactured by Safran Seats US feature large dividers between seats to provide greater security and privacy, intuitive electric seat control, easily accessible PC power and USB port locations and a large swivelling tray table. Additionally, premium class includes a 15.6-inch flat-screen personal monitor, the largest screen on a domestic flight.

In economy class seats, the new aircraft will feature the same seats offered on ANA’s domestic Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Each seat, manufactured and designed by Toyota Boshoku and ANA’s has a unique fabric pattern, allowing passengers to experience new in-flight spaces each time they board.

The seat’s backrest supports the pelvis to help passengers maintain a relaxed posture while the seat shape is suited to all body types. Each seat features a 13.3-inch thin personal screen, the largest economy class monitor on domestic flights, PC power supply and USB ports and a highly ergonomic table and armrest. Cup holders have adopted a clover shape to make it easier to remove paper cups.

Image: L-R: MP & Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman; CEO of Mirus, Ben McGuire.

Mirus breaks ground on new test facility

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Image: L-R: MP & Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman; CEO of Mirus, Ben McGuire.

Construction has begun for Mirus Aircraft Seating’s new dynamic test facility at its headquarters in Norfolk, UK.

Having received a £250,000 grant from the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership Growing Business Fund in July this year which will contribute toward the cost of the project, construction has now begun for the 407m² facility, which is due to be completed and opened in July 2022.

The facility will feature a state-of-the-art, dynamic test sled, which is a bespoke device used for destructive or non-destructive crash test replication. Designed for high-impact testing of automotive, aerospace, motorsport and rail vehicles, the 30m-long device is the most technologically advanced available.

Ben McGuire, CEO of Mirus, said: “As we start constructing the largest commercially available testing facility in the UK, we’re creating a hub for pioneering innovation in the seating industry. Rivalling some of the very best across Europe, our testing facility will not only allow us to develop new technologies at a much faster pace, but it will also be open to other businesses who require testing – improving testing processes across a variety of transportation sectors and attracting businesses internationally.”

McGuire continued: “As a result of this extension to our business, we are seeking talented people to come and join us in successfully running the facility. We have started a recruitment drive to hire for several technical, engineering and support roles, and we encourage anyone with passion and the right experience to apply.”

Mirus Aircraft Seating currently works with Airbus, TUI Group, and AirAsia, with seats flying since 2018 and over 100,000 of its flagship Hawk seats sold. The company is looking to expand its client base with the opening of the new facility.

Image: L-R: MP & Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, George Freeman; CEO of Mirus, Ben McGuire.
Interior of Cebu Pacific 's A330-900neo aircraft

Cebu Pacific receives first batch of A330-900neos

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Interior of Cebu Pacific 's A330-900neo aircraft

Cebu Pacific has taken delivery of its first sixteen A330-900neo aircraft kitted out with fully customised galleys, stowages, doghouses and partition walls from Bucher.

Bucher developed highly compressed galleys for the restricted space conditions to allow Cebu to maximise seating capacity.

The airline’s newest aircraft features 459 lightweight Recaro seats, ergonomically designed for comfort over long distances.

“Cebu Pacific’s first A330neo brings us closer to our target of having an all-Neo fleet by 2027, and shows our commitment to making air travel accessible, while ensuring environmental and social sustainability,” said Alex Reyes, Chief Strategy Officer at Cebu Pacific.

“We believe that growth and sustainability are not mutually exclusive and should in fact be inclusive if we want to work towards the greater good. This is why we will always choose the greener options – increased aircraft efficiency, reduced noise and carbon emissions, to ensure that more low fares will be available for everyJuan,” Reyes added.

“We thank and applaud Cebu Pacific for selecting our latest-technology A330neo as part of its fleet modernisation drive to fly the greenest aircraft for a sustainable future. The A330neo is the first aircraft in the world already certified to comply with ICAO’s CO2 emissions standards beyond 2028. The airline will benefit from the aircraft’s step-change in performance and economics, while maintaining passenger comfort and lowest operating costs,” said Anand Stanley, President Airbus Asia-Pacific.

The outstanding efficiency of the A330neo also ensures compliance with the current and future sustainability requirements in terms of noise and emissions, providing passengers with the utmost comfort in one of the quietest planes developed. Thanks to the construction materials and engines chosen for this aircraft, the exterior noise footprint is reduced to nearly 60%, and noise level in the aircraft is 3db quieter than competitors.

As one of the world’s youngest fleets, CEB’s newest aircraft is set to enter service next month to fly to various destinations across CEB’s international and domestic network.

Emirates announces major retrofit programme

Emirates announces major retrofit programme

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Emirates announces major retrofit programme

Emirates is to retrofit 105 of its modern wide-body aircraft with its Premium Economy product, in addition to other cabin enhancements.

The 18-month retrofit programme, scheduled to begin at the end of 2022, will be entirely conducted at Emirates’ state-of-the-art Engineering Centre in Dubai. It will see 52 Emirates A380s and 53 Boeing 777s fitted with a new cabin class –Premium Economy. The airline is also considering installing a brand-new Business Class product on its Boeing 777 aircraft, with customised seats in a 1-2-1 layout.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline, said: “Emirates is investing in this retrofit programme to ensure that we continue to serve our customers’ needs, and provide the best experiences in the sky. Since we introduced our Premium Economy seats a year back, we’ve received a hugely positive response. Customers have been amazed by the quality and comfort. As Emirates has done with our signature First, Business and full-service Economy travel experiences, we intend to further develop our Premium Economy into a distinctive Emirates experience that is unmatched in the industry. We are also considering a brand-new Business Class product. More details will be revealed in due course.”

Sir Tim added: “It is also a source of pride that the entire retrofit project will be conducted at our home base in Dubai. It demonstrates the strong aviation capabilities that has been built up within Emirates airline and the broader UAE ecosystem to support such a highly specialised and technical programme.”

At the end of the retrofit programme, Emirates will have a total of 111 Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft offering Premium Economy seats, including the 6 A380s that would have been delivered to the airline with four cabin classes by December 2021.

On the Emirates Boeing 777, 5 rows of Economy class seats located just behind Business Class will be removed to install 24 Premium Economy seats laid out in 2-4-2 configuration. On the Emirates A380, 56 Premium Economy seats will installed at the front of the main deck also in 2-4-2 configuration.

Covered in anti-stain leather with stitching details and a wood panel finishing, each seat is designed to provide optimal comfort and support with six-way adjustable headrests, calf rests and footrests. Offering a pitch of up to 40-inches, each seat is 19.5 inches wide and reclines eight inches into a comfortable cradle position with ample room to stretch out. Other thoughtful touches include easily accessible in-seat charging points, a wide dining table and side cocktail table.

The airline has also extended its partnership with Panasonic to provide a suite of IFEC solutions for the new cabin class.

Long-time customer Wizz Air has selected Geven to outfit its forthcoming fleet of 20 A321NY XLR aircraft.

Wizz reselects Geven

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Long-time customer Wizz Air has selected Geven to outfit its forthcoming fleet of 20 A321NY XLR aircraft.

Long-time customer Wizz Air has selected Geven to outfit its forthcoming fleet of 20 A321 XLR aircraft.

The new aircraft will feature the economy class SuperEco seating. The order brings the total of Wizz Air Geven-equipped aircraft to 232.

Owain Jones of Wizz Air said: “We are excited to be receiving Geven’s newest technology ultra-light weight seats in 20 of our new A321 XLR aircraft. These seats will contribute to Wizz Air’s sustainability initiatives aiming at reducing fuel burn and thus reducing emissions by further 25% in the next decade. We are convinced that thanks to their ergonomic design and thin, however comfortable design, these new seats will also win the hearts of our passengers.”

Geven's new Materia seat model, developed with PriestmanGoode

Geven and PriestmanGoode reveal Materia seat model

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Geven's new Materia seat model, developed with PriestmanGoode

Geven and PriestmanGoode have unveiled the latest seat iteration under its seating partnership announced in early 2021.

Following the launch of the Elemento economy seat in August, the first in the line of next-generation product, the pair have launched their new Materia seat model.

Designed for short-haul business class or long-haul premium economy class, Materia brings passenger experience to the next level, redefining comfort with integrated features.

Materia provides the passenger with different levels of privacy, storage room and greater directional lighting for a number of scenarios.

Materials were selected to give an enhanced sense of quality with details such as wood inlays, leather and infused plastics. The seat features an integrated class-leading monitor for in-flight entertainment, with an additional storage shelf beneath. End bays feature detailing that wraps around the back shell to give the feeling of a fully connected seat.

“Materia is the second seat model of the next generation platform which embodies our passenger centric philosophy,” said Pasquale Rapullini, RD Manager at Geven.

“Our goal is to provide the passenger with an experience of comfort and wellness while seated. All seat features and options have concentrated on achieving this goal. Adopting cutting edge technical solutions allows the enhanced living space and high level of comfort built into the seat. Composite materials to reach ergonomic profiles, pressure release wave system, innovative tablet holder and new cushion technologies are just some of the features introduced on Materia,” continued Rapullini.

“We take pride in presenting the newest addition to our family of seats ” Materia”. This new seat model embodies what we hope is the very soul of our Italian identity through style, comfort, careful sound design,” he added.

Daniel Macinnes, Design Director at PriestmanGoode stated: “Our partnership with Geven combines their technical expertise with our design knowledge and our combined insight into customer experience. We began working on this next generation of seats in September 2020. What we have achieved in that time is testament to the outstanding capabilities of both teams and shows that great collaborations can lead to great innovation. The next-generation seats provide Geven with a strong offer to support the aviation industry as we start to move towards recovery.”

British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it continues to retrofit the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the roll out expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

British Airways rolls out Club Suite to Boeing 777 fleet

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British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it continues to retrofit the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the roll out expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

British Airways is continuing with the roll out of its newest business class seat, Club Suite, as it retrofits the seat across its Boeing 777 fleet, with the project expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The airline already has retrofitted a number of its Boeing 777 aircraft with the latest seat and will be working with Collins Aerospace to ensure the rest of the airline’s 777 aircraft are fitted with the new cabin. Collins will also perform full-cabin integration work – including engineering design, test and approval – along with program management and third-party supplier approvals.

The airline’s sophisticated Club Suite was first rolled out in July 2019 on the first A350 and since then has been installed on the Boeing 787-10 aircraft. The Club Suite is a customised version of Collins Aerospace’s Super Diamond business class seat and offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Boasting 40% more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi, 18.5-inch in-flight entertainment screens, high-definition gate-to-gate programming and PC/USB power, the Suite is similar to the upgraded cabin on British Airways’ new Airbus A350 fleet.

As part of its commitment to the North Atlantic, all British Airways flights to JFK from London Heathrow will be operated by an aircraft that has the airline’s Club Suite product.

Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, said: “When we launched our Club Suite product, it was a huge hit with our customers who loved the privacy the new seat offers. We are focused on the roll out of this product and other cabin enhancements to ensure we deliver on our commitment to provide the very best British quality, style and comfort for our customers.”

Trevor Skelly, General Manager Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace, commented: “The upgraded Club World cabin raises British Airways’ already high standards and provides commonality across their fleet of aircraft. Our Integration Engineering team has worked closely with British Airways designers for several years to bring the latest in business class comfort, style and privacy from concept to reality.”

As part of the upgrade, the airline’s Club Kitchen is also getting a makeover with new Club chillers and built-in storage for snacks, drinks and other refreshments, allowing customers in Club World to help themselves to refreshments at their leisure.

The latest generation of the First cabin including the introduction of the First suite door will also continue to be rolled out across the airline’s B777-300 aircraft. The First suites were meticulously designed based on our customers’ feedback, the cabin puts comfort at the heart of the experience and makes the very best use of the generous space designed for just a few customers at a time.  The suite includes a fixed 23-inch high-definition in-flight entertainment screen that can be controlled with an integrated handset.

Manufacturing of the new suite seat is being completed at the company’s facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, while the new Club Kitchen was designed at the company’s facility in Everett, Washington.

Avianca has introduced three new seats as part of a cabin refiguration on its

Avianca begins A320 fleet reconfiguration process

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Avianca has introduced three new seats as part of a cabin refiguration on its

Avianca has unveiled its three new seats: Premium, Plus and Economy, all designed by Recaro Aircraft Seating and which will be installed on the airline’s reconfigured fleet in the coming days.

The seats will be available on Avianca’s short and medium-haul flights.

According to the airline, more than 100 Avianca experts have been working for over one year in the redesign project, with the participation of great strategic partners. Among these partners are Recaro, who is manufacturing all of the new seats, one of them exclusively for Avianca, and Airbus, with whom the airline is taking better advantage of the rear of the aircraft thanks to SpaceFlex and who have accompanied the reconfiguration process directly.

The seat design defined by Recaro reduces the weight per passenger by over 30% on each aircraft in addition to decreasing CO2 emissions per transported passenger by an average of 13%, becoming friendlier to the environment.

Premium has been developed exclusively by Recaro for Avianca and will be available on the first three rows of the aircraft. The reclining seat will be the widest available for passengers and will feature a central console with individual compartments, a power plug, USB port. It will be available from the first half of the next year.

Available between rows 4 and 14, the Plus seat’s design is light and comfortable, featuring an independent headrest with six positions, an independent stand for personal electronic devices, USB ports.

Economy is located between rows 15 and 32. This pre-reclined seat has a stand for personal electronic devices integrated into the table and USB ports.

The new interior design of the aircraft also includes Airbus’ SpaceFlex, a module that optimises the rear of the aircraft, combining the galleys and lavatories, allowing Avianca to increase its seat capacity.

“The installation of more than 14,000 seats and the new lavatory space in all of our A320 aircraft will be completed by the end of 2022. Until that date and pending the full transition of the fleet, our clients will find aircraft that will look different inside and will not have the final configuration; they will soon fly in aircraft with a renewed interior on which they will continue to travel comfortably, safely and pleasantly,” said Albert Perez, Vice President of Engineering and Maintenance for Avianca.

The airline estimates that the first fully redesigned aircraft will be ready by the second quarter of 2022 and the full and final configuration of the A320 fleet will be completed by the end of 2022. It also confirmed that the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, currently used for long-haul flights in America and Europe, will preserve the traditional business class cabin and the rest of the aircraft will be redesigned adding state-of-the-art seats and, considering this is a time of transition, clients will find aircraft with different-looking interiors.