New slimline economy class seats took this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo by storm. These seats are impressively engineered, carving out extra space at the knee and shin in particular, giving passengers more room at the lower seat pitch spacing that airlines are increasingly using.
It’s all about the placement of the horizontal support structures, and the way they connect to the vertical legs attached to the floor. Structural seat cushions, plus special channels for inflight entertainment and power, round out the extra space list.
Crystal Cabin Award winner Rebel.aero has a new seat on show.
Top of the pack at this year’s AIX is Geven, the Italian seatmaker with its Essenza slimline. It’s significant that this same product has been chosen by both the Lufthansa Group for Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss, and by low-cost carrier Wizz Air. The A320 versions of these seats are spacious and a real improvement on what’s flying today — enabling these carriers to fly more passengers, more cheaply, with less of a space and comfort tradeoff than before.
Recaro, originator of early slimlines like the BL3520 that Lufthansa currently uses for its shorthaul Europe flights, also unveiled its new premium shorthaul product, the equally snappily monickered BL3710.
For once, this new generation of slimlines is good news for both airlines and passengers.
John Walton reporting from Aircraft Interiors Expo