Thompson Aero Seating is reporting an increase in customer interest for widebody aircraft seating from several airlines that are looking ahead to full post-pandemic recovery in 2024.
The single-aisle seating sector has seen a surge in demand recently, especially as long-haul narrowbodies come on fleet, a sector served by Thompson products such as the VantageSOLO and VantageDUO, but the company now notes similar interest for its twin-aisle platforms, including the recently updated VantageXL with options for fully enclosed suites and a ‘business plus’ enhanced front row.
Andy Morris, vice president of commercial for Thompson Aero Seating, said of the trend, “It is really positive that we are seeing such strong recovery and renewed interest in widebody aircraft. We have some exciting projects already underway and will be looking to increase our capacity based upon the current and forecasted demand for our products.”
OEM line-fit programmes take between 24 and 30 months from start to delivery, which means airlines are placing orders now in order to have the capacity available for 2024. The market is predicted to be fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels by then, but even retrofits of existing aircraft can take 12 to 24 months, depending upon the complexity and scope of the project.