Boeing stops offering Koito seats to new customers

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(Adds further comment from Boeing)

Boeing is no longer allowing the installation of Koito seats on new-build Boeing aircraft, in a decision that puts the future of the embattled Japanese firm's aircraft seat business into question.

In a statement to ATI and Flightglobal, a Boeing spokeswoman says: "For new orders, Boeing has chosen alternate suppliers to furnish seats for our customers."

She says Boeing is still working with Koito, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) and its airline customers that have existing orders "to ensure Koito is delivering seats that meet safety and design requirements".

Earlier this year Koito admitted it fabricated test results on as many as 150,000 seats on 1,000 aircraft in the world fleet. The firm's problems created fall-out on both sides of the Atlantic with delivery of some Airbus and Boeing aircraft delayed. By the time of Koito's announcement, however, EASA had already withdrawn production organisation approval for Koito, effectively prohibiting Airbus from delivering aircraft equipped with Koito seats.

Continental Airlines, a significant Koito customer, has seen several of its Boeing 737-800s delayed. The carrier revealed this week that the aircraft are being fitted with B/E Aerospace-made seats and that it now expects to take delivery by the end of August.

"Passenger seats are a BFE (Buyer Furnished Equipment) commodity, and it is the customer that decides what seats are placed on their aircraft. Continental has made the decision to install seats from alternative seat suppliers on their current aircraft. We are working closely with each of our affected airlines to best support their aircraft deliveries," says Boeing.