Airbus wants to make business class seats feel more like a living room with wider, couch-like seats. The “Settee Corner” suite was one of many concepts on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2019, designed by the French manufacturer and seat builder Geven.
The future of business class may not be individual suites with enclosures, but rather an open couch with room to work, lounge and even sleep. Bloomberg reports the “Settee Corner” concept seat was one of the stars of the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2019 show (AIX) on display from Airbus.
The prototype seat is a collaboration between the French aircraft manufacturer and Italian seat builder Geven. Designed around the narrow-body Airbus A321, the curved seat looks much like a living room couch. The bench seat is designed for one passenger but can accommodate others in flight for work meetings or communal dining. If flyers want to get some sleep, there’s no bed to be made: the bench is designed to let passengers lay down on their own schedule.
“Airbus is promoting the 321 long range — now, the 321 is going to fly seven-to-eight hours,” Airbus business line leader Amalia Martinez Martin told CNN Travel. “So we need to have the comfort in business class, a lie-flat surface, but with very competitive weight.”
In addition to adding more surface space and comfort to the business class cabin, the conceptual seat is also up to 50 percent lighter compared to traditional business class seats. And because the seats would be installed in a narrow-body aircraft, all passengers in the premium cabin would have aisle access.
But would it ultimately be comfortable for all passengers? The reporter from CNN Travel who tried the seat out noted “there’s not a lot of leg-room in the take-off position…but the roomy sofa-style space is very inviting.”
Other mock-ups on display from Airbus at AIX include the larger “Airspace XL” overhead bins and “day and night” lighting options for the A350 airframe. The company has not commented when the new items may end up on commercial aircraft.
[Image Source: Airbus]