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Changes Coming to Business Class Seating?

Are business class seats too heavy?

Aircraft seat manufacturers may face a new conundrum in 2018: Build lighter seats, or lose orders to those who are. Aviation Week reports one industry builder is betting on international airlines favoring using newer materials, reducing the overall weight of aircraft.

Airlines are working to reduce as much weight as possible because lighter aircraft are more fuel-efficient, especially on long-haul routes. Airbus and Boeing moved to building aircraft out of composite materials with the A350 and 787 Dreamliner, respectively, while airlines are opting to drop in-flight entertainment screens to reduce weight even further. Now, the only thing that remains is finding a lighter business class seat for premium passengers.

As a result, Recaro Aircraft Seating tells Aviation Week they are betting on sales increasing for their lighter business class seat. Concerned that weight will be “one of the main topics” the industry will face in the years ahead, the company is shifting to build a seat made of lighter business class seats which provide as much comfort as their current counterparts.

“Our seat is one of the lightest at 176 lbs. — other seats go way beyond [220 lbs.],” Recaro chief executive Mark Hiller told the trade publication. “If you multiply that by 60 seats it can add up to a 2-3-ton difference…[it’s] even worse to be overweight at the front of the plane.”

How do the airlines and manufacturers feel about the situation? Lufthansa told Aviation Week “We have no weight problems so far, in our cabin designs,” while British Airways parent International Airlines Group and Emirates declined comment. Airbus and Boeing also deferred comment, calling interior installations the decisions of aircraft buyers. Recaro’s main competitor, Zodiac Aerospace, declined comment outright.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
NW.BTR.Than.The.Rest January 6, 2018

I used to make paper airplanes in elementary school, they are very light!

JTCz January 4, 2018

"the company is shifting to build a seat made of lighter business class seats" - so that airframe manufacturers can build airplanes made of lighter airplanes!