Staying seated on James Park Associates’ Cirrus


During the Paris air show in June, I broke the story that US Airways would launch the James Park Associates (JPA)-designed Cirrus seat on its new Airbus A330s. Some journalists tried to debunk my story, referencing vague quotes from US Airways that the seat RWG sat on in Paris was not the seat being selected by US Airways. Well I’m glad I held my ground (or rather, stayed seated). 

Last week, US Airways finally confirmed it has selected the signature JPA herringbone design for its new Envoy business class product, which is also being equipped with Panasonic’s eX2 in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) system (note Panasonic’s new reference to eX2 as IFEC!).

This morning, JPA released the following statement:

US Airways launches unique JPA-designed business class seat on A330-200s

London, September 2009: An innovative concept in aircraft seating design has just been unveiled as US Airways launches its new Envoy Suite, the airline’s business class seat, designed by James Park Associates (JPA), the leading designers of aviation interiors.

The Envoy Suite, which is fitted to US Airways’ new A330-200 aircraft, utilises a unique ‘angled mini-suite’ configuration, offering every passenger more space, greater privacy and direct aisle access. It is based on JPA’s unique ‘reverse herringbone’ seating concept, which provides an imaginative, high quality, yet cost-effective seating system that can be tailored to meet the needs of individual airlines’ wide-bodied aircraft.

Commenting on the launch of US Airways’ new seat, JPA’s managing director, James Park, says:

“We would like to congratulate US Airways on the launch of their brand new Envoy Suite. US Airways has led the way in bringing JPA’s innovative seating system into commercial service, demonstrating their commitment to providing the best possible passenger experience, whilst also delivering great value for the company. We are sure US Airways’ customers will be extremely impressed.

“The Envoy Suite is a fantastic illustration of the flexibility of JPA’s system, and the opportunities it offers airlines for clear differentiation. Whilst its reverse herringbone configuration and ease of maintenance are core features, passenger density, seat pitch and width, surrounding furniture and upholstery can all be varied to meet different needs, preferences and corporate identities.”

US Airways’ new Envoy Suite is fitted in a four abreast 1-2-1 configuration, ensuring uninterrupted aisle access for each of the Envoy cabin’s 20 business class customers. The seat is 20.5 inches wide between armrests and ranges from 76 to 80 inches in bed mode, depending on the Suite’s location in the cabin. It is located within a fixed back shell and is upholstered in fabric, with leather-covered armrests and ottoman. The seat is fully adjustable, using a backlit passenger control unit, and has three pre-set positions: taxi, take-off and landing; relax (z-position) and; full-flat (bed position). A manually adjustable armrest, a large, sliding tray-table, immense personal stowage capacity and privacy dividers between central seats each help to put the passenger in control of their own environment. In addition, state-of-the art in-flight entertainment and telecommunications technology, including a USB port, 110-volt universal power outlet and audio/video on demand (AVOD), with a 12.1-inch fully adjustable video monitor, ensure that the passenger can work or relax and be entertained in the seat.

US Airways’ Senior Vice President, Marketing and Planning, Andrew Nocella, says:

“We are pleased to be launching the Envoy Suite on our Transatlantic A330-200 aircraft. The concept that JPA has developed has given us a seat that offers increased comfort, privacy and convenience, together with a wealth of passenger amenities and technological features. Our business class customers will be pleased by what they experience and we look forward to delivering them to their destinations relaxed, refreshed and ready to do business.”

This new concept is the latest in a line of elegant and innovative aviation interior designs from JPA. Their business class seat for the Singapore Airlines (SIA) A380 and B777s has won a range of awards since its launch in October 2007 and follows JPA’s designs for SIA’s B747 and B777 first class cabins. More recently, Japan Airlines launched the JPA-designed first class JAL Suite and Gulf Air appointed JPA to redesign its aircraft interiors, livery, uniforms and passenger lounges. Arik Air has also appointed JPA to design its B777 interiors, as well as advise on configuration and market positioning.

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