Aerospace engineering provider, Causeway Aero Group, has acquired UK-based Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems for an undisclosed sum. This acquisition follows the award in March 2019 of a contract for Causeway to certify, manufacture and assemble the Pitch PF3000 lightweight, fixed-back economy class seat at its facility in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Causeway will continue to use the Pitch brand and market it separately from its integration, engineering and production support operations.
The acquisition of the Pitch brand marks the completion of Causeway’s ‘nose to tail’ aero interiors capability, according to the company. Causeway also believes the deal represents an opportunity for it to play an important role in the recovery of commercial aviation in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as low-cost carriers will be a key element in regenerating travel – an important customer base for the Pitch high-density seating designs.
Causeway does have engineering plans for the Pitch seats, originally designed by Design Q. “Causeway’s focus is to further enhance the cost, durability and serviceability of the seats to make them the economy seat of choice for operators looking to fix total cost of ownership over the life of the product,” noted Michael Rice, CEO of Causeway. “Causeway’s strategy is to sell great quality, durable seats – not spare parts for them, We will back this up with a range of new sales packages, which will be introduced in the coming months, offering seats and other interiors products.”
Causeway already has experience in engineering work on the PF3000 seat model, as illustrated with a recent issue. Multiple cases of a test failure were reported on a Thursday so the seats were shipped back overnight, followed by an engineering review on the Saturday. New designs were drawn up on the Sunday, and drawings issued to the supply chain on Monday. New parts were received and new test seats produced on the Tuesday, shipped on Wednesday, and then successfully retested the next day. “That level of agility will be at the centre of the Pitch brand’s success going forward,” stated Rice.
“We are delighted to add the Pitch seats to Causeway’s extensive Aero Interiors portfolio as we have been huge fans of them from the outset,” added Rice. “The seats provide a comfortable living space for the passenger, even at 28in pitch, with sculpted cushions that suit all shapes and sizes. My personal favourite feature is the fact that finally I can properly open the screen and use my laptop.”
The PF3000, currently certified for the Airbus A320 Family, is designed to provide comfort at a 28in pitch, a figure demanded in some high-density cabins. Pitch says that, compared with a standard economy seat, the sculpted seat back offers 3in of additional leg and shin room for passengers, as well as additional knee room provided by a chamfered table shape. It has a fixed recline backrest set at 1.5in.
A standard triple unit of the PF3000 weighs 29.4kg, or 9.8kg per passenger, complete with seat-belts, upper and lower literature pockets, life vest pouch and synthetic leather dress covers. With a seat width of 17.2in, the aisle in an Airbus A320 Family aircraft can be increased to 21.4in, helping to speed passenger loading and unloading and reduce turnaround times.