Conventional, high density business class seats can be replaced by a fully flat seat thanks to a new design being sneak previewed at Asian Aerospace.
European manufacturer EADS Sogerma has a working mock-up of the new seat, called Equinox, kept behind closed doors at their stand where it is being viewed by invited airline representatives only. It will make its formal launch at the Aircraft Interiors Expo which takes place in Hamburg, Germany next month.
Patrice Boursiquot, EADS Sogerma general manager for Asia Pacific, says: "This is a unique show and a vital opportunity for us to present Equinox in the region. It is a very important market place for us and we believe Equinox will have an exciting future in Asia Pacific carriers' fleets."
The new seat is designed to replace conventional business class seats with a standard 58in pitch, and because it is track mounted the old seats can be replaced without any modification to the cabin. "It is a simple swap," Boursiquot says.
The design features a pair of forward facing seats that are angled at 13 degrees. Storage space is provided in the seat sides and in the unit ahead. When the seat reclines to the flat bed one of the pair rises and the other lowers to provide a 1.8m bed with privacy screens.
"There has been a lot of interest in advance," Boursiquot says. "We are still waiting for a launch customer to sign but I think it will be soon. I expect there to be airlines from this region among the first customers"
EADS Sogerma already has a major customer base in the region for its design of first class and business class seats for commercial airlines and VIP aircraft.
In the past few years the company has provided seats for Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ERs and Airbus A330-300s; Thai Airways A330-300s, 747-400s and A380s; Vietnam Airlines 777-200ERs; Hong-Kong Airlines A330-200/300s and China Airlines 747-400s.