Koito to split companies from disgraced aircraft seat business

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Koito Industries intends to move various businesses into a separate company, in an effort to protect them from the fallout of its embattled aviation seat business, which has been sued by a number of airlines for fabricating test data on seats, ATI and Flightglobal has learned.

The businesses involved in the company split-up are Rolling Stock Instruments, Traffic System (which produces traffic light signals) and Environmental System/Household Equipment.

Implementation of the split is effective 1 August subject to approval at Koito's annual meeting of shareholders on 29 June.

Earlier last year Koito admitted it falsified test results on as many as 150,000 seats on 1,000 aircraft in the world fleet. The firm's problems impacted airframers and airlines on both sides of the Atlantic with delivery of some Airbus and Boeing aircraft delayed.

By the time of Koito's announcement, EASA had already withdrawn production organisation approval for Koito, effectively prohibiting Airbus from delivering aircraft equipped with Koito seats. Proposed FAA and EASA airworthiness directives ensued.

Airbus, however, recently granted exceptional authorisation to allow installation of business-class seats from Koito on Singapore Airlines Airbus A380s. The airframer is understood to have issued its authorisation with a number of stipulations, including EASA approval before delivery.

The arrangement for SIA underscores the continued impact to the industry of Koito's actions. Thai Airways International and Japan's All Nippon Airways are among the carriers seeking damages from Koito.

Further information about Koito's business plan is expected to be announced in the coming days.