15-19 hours non-stop flights are the new normal in many long-haul markets, along with rising airfares. And wellness now occupies a larger space than ever in the decision to travel or stay home. In this new environment, a complete rethink of the long-haul experience is needed.
Our proposal is Paradym, a seating concept that would deliver new opportunities for value creation in the space between economy class and business class. It challenges conventional notions of product division (business/premium economy/economy) using partitions between classes. Instead, multi-purpose extra-wide triple seats would replace the four seats currently in the centre section of economy cabins. On A350s, A380s and 777s, wide triples and wide doubles could be used in a 3-3-2 configuration.
We originally conceived Paradym with a future single-aisle aircraft in mind, and the reaction by the market has been very positive. After the invasion of Ukraine and resulting increase in flight times, we realised that the concept is relevant right now.
Paradym is the magic combination of enhanced comfort for passengers with revenue optimisation for airlines. Airlines are constantly faced with the challenge of matching supply with demand due to the inability to quickly convert seat hardware. Our concept simplifies the cabin while helping operators leverage their existing revenue management tools.
Each spacious triple would allow the airline to sell any location in the cabin as extra comfort economy, premium economy, or ‘economy flat’ with a sleeping surface that is 6ft/185cm long. That would enable the majority of flyers to sleep without bending their knees.
Paradym would also help airlines in their journey to a higher level of sustainability, through fewer seat programmes and longer product lifespans.
New ideas for a new era
We are now in a fundamentally different era of air travel. As a design studio, our job is to challenge the status quo with new ideas that address the needs of airlines, and ultimately inspire more people to fly long haul. My design partner Aaron Yong and I are massively pleased with how Paradym has turned out, and believe it has potential to be a game changer.
The original version of Paradym, for future single-aisle aircraft, was shortlisted for the 2022 Crystal Cabin Awards. You can explore the concept here: http://www.lift.aero/paradym.html
- Won’t replacing quads with triples, ie, seat reduction, mean less revenue?
Depending on the airline’s model, and the number of rows, we think Paradym would translate into additional revenue, since the airline can upsell to a more compelling comfort proposition, in any row with wide triples.
- Why shouldn’t the airline just sell the four centre seats as a bed?
Paradym’s flexibility with enhanced comfort as Y+, PY or Y-flat creates potential for three unique and better products, as opposed to just ‘standard narrow economy x 4’. This allows the airline to tailor each triple unit according to sector length, daytime/overnight, etc, while delivering greater value.
- What kind of airline is the concept targeting?
New airlines with hybrid product concepts and long-haul LCCs, which may currently have dedicated premium economy cabins but need greater flexibility. Or existing full-service airlines who are looking to create a sub-fleet for leisure markets.
- How about for single-aisle aircraft?
Paradym is a compelling proposition as 5-abreast product in single-aisle applications when aircraft have a variety of missions. The wide triples would give airlines much greater flexibility than separate cabins, with dedicated hardware for only business-class usage. (see link above).
- Is LIFT Aero Design planning to sell seats?
No. LIFT is not a manufacturer. We are a design studio that focuses on cabin design, airline branding and customer experience. We hope to partner with an aircraft seat vendor to see Paradym realised in the near future.
LIFT Aero Design specialises in aviation design and customer experience development. Founded in 2009, LIFT has offices in Tokyo and Singapore. The studio is global, boutique and 100% aviation. Above all, the team are passionate about helping clients achieve their business goals and leveraging the power of design to inspire more people to travel.
LIFT clients include: Air France-KLM, Air Seychelles, Bamboo Airways, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, HK Express, Gate Group, Oasis Hongkong Airlines, LAN/LATAM, Orbis International, Philippine Airlines, Skymark Airlines, TRAICY and U-Fly Alliance.