INTERIORS: Airlines advised to focus on whole-life seat costs

Hamburg
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Recaro Aircraft Seating chief executive Mark Hiller says airlines need to start considering the total cost of ownership for seats.

“At the moment we’re talking about that and life-cycle assessment, such as spare parts consumption, weight and CO2 emissions,” he says. “But many airlines are not even considering it and are only interested in the initial purchase price.”

Hiller says Recaro is willing to its extend customer service agreements.

“A seat can typically be in service for 30 years with the initial owner only having it for eight of those. If another airline buys the seat, then we will continue to support them,” he says.

To facilitate this, Recaro allows customers to fine-tune seat features after they have entered service and crews have had an opportunity to discover which seat options are working. Hiller says increasing numbers of airlines are taking advantage of this.

Recaro has presented its new CL6710 business-class seat for long-haul flights at the Aircraft Interiors show in Hamburg. The chair is a 180° fully flat seat. It has direct aisle access and weighs only 80kg (176lb). Meanwhile, the new BL3530 economy seat, which weighs just over 10kg, has been tailored for tablet PC use.

“Airlines are increasingly asking for tablet holders and USB power slots,” says Hiller, “because of the advantages of tablet use in general. Having said that, while I’m sure integrated IFE will die off on short-range flights, I’m not so sure about long-range.”