INTERIORS: Optimares has designs on seat market

Hamburg
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Italian seat manufacturer Optimares (stand 6H40) is using the Aircraft Interiors Expo to introduce itself to the market, and is hoping its focus on designing around customer wants and needs will make it stand out from the competition.

"The process to design our seats started with interviewing people to find out what they like and don't like, and space and quality were perceived as the most important aspects," says Optimares chief executive Alessandro Braca.

The company has placed a strong emphasis on building mood lighting into its seats. Christine Ludeke, principal designer at ludekedesign and a consultant for Optimares, says the seat design "aims to show a different look at things. It's important to have a clear, strong, formal language to give passengers a sense of calm and peace."

Ludeke adds that privacy is an important issue for passengers. To address this, Optimares' business class seat has a curved privacy barrier built into the head rest. The company's premium economy and business class seats are constructed out of the same base, and offer a seat pitch ranging from 38in to 50in. In economy class, the seat pitch ranges from 28in to 33in.

Braca says Optimares is yet to sign up any customers for its product, something he is hoping will change this week. "There are some prospects but we have no customers yet. We are crossing our fingers, and we have more than 30 airlines visiting us." Braca's ultimate goal is for passengers "to choose an airline because of our seats".