Tamzin Hindmarch

The Cocoon is not just a seat, it's a business traveller's dream. But will it catch on with the airlines? That is the $64,000 question.

At a price a little above that, Avio Interiors' new super seat, which reclines to become a bed at the press of a button, is making its debut at this year's air show.

In front of each chair is a desk, fitted with a storage drawer, laptop power point, reading light, magazine rack and liquid crystal screen television, which can be adjusted using an armrest control.

The leather-padded mini-suite also features headphone sockets for in-flight entertainment, a petition screen that can be lowered for privacy, electronically-adjustable arm rests, a head rest which inflates or deflates for comfort and an in-built massaging device.

The Italian designers knew what they wanted to create after seeing similar types of chair on British Airways aircraft last year. But they lacked the technology to achieve it.

US-based PL Porter came to the rescue with the Airline Passenger Power System, an electrical seat actuation and control product for use in first and business class seats.

Made to comply with all Airbus and Boeing specifications, it controls all the Cocoon's electronic functions and boasts built-in test diagnostics, meaning faults can be quickly detected and traced to an individual seat.


This reduces cost per flight hour by speeding up maintenance and inspection procedures.

Avio Interiors engineer Pietro Rizzo says: "We saw that there was an increasing interest in this type of chair and several of the major airlines were starting to introduce them. Realising this, we decided to invest in one ourselves.

"We chose the name Cocoon because being inside it makes the passenger feel protected and also because of its shape."

"I know demand for this kind of service is growing all the time and I am confident that this design will reach all our expectations and those of our customers."

Source: Flight Daily News