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INTERIORS: New long-haul seats for Air Berlin

Seat manufacturing newcomer Zim Flugsitz is to supply the economy class accommodation for 12 Air Berlin Airbus A330-200s. The German company won the contract against international competitors, including B/E Aerospace, Recaro and Weber.

Originally an engineering consultancy, which designed structural components for Airbus, the company started in 2008 to develop its own seat. The first delivery was in January 2010 to Iran-based Mahan Air but also Thai Airways helped to boost production when it retrofitted its Boeing 747-400s and, perhaps more importantly, needed replacement for the seats it had ordered from Japan-based Koito for its A330 aircraft.

Zim now is developing a business class seat, which is to find first employment at Air Transat. The "Eco01" seat for Air Berlin has an aluminium base construction but the entire seatback structure is made of carbon fibre. While the manufacturer declined to specify the seat's exact weight, Air Berlin says it should shave off around 575kg (1,270lb) for each aircraft, which can accommodate 279 economy and 24 business class passengers. The seats will be equipped with an inflight entertainment system by US-based IMS, and the first shipset is due to be delivered in mid-October.

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