April 21, 2015 – Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has introduced a new and rather unexpected entrant to the aircraft seating market, following a collaboration between the airline and Toyota Boshoku, which develops and manufactures seats for a variety of Toyota’s automobile lines, including compact, luxury and motorsport vehicles.
The first development program for the two companies is an economy seat for ANA’s domestic Boeing 767-300s. Support was identified as being critical to passenger comfort, so the seat is structured to limit muscle fatigue around the hips, and to maintain a relaxing posture by firmly supporting the pelvis. Also, the height, length and angle of the seat and backrest were designed to evenly distribute pressure on the body and to accommodate a wide range of body sizes and types.
In considering the design and position of the tray tables and armrests, Toyota Boshoku conducted a range of tests involving multiple angles in order to determine the optimal height and natural contours of these elements so they can accommodate a variety of body types.
As an interesting contrast to some recent economy seat headrests, such as Etihad’s ‘fixed wing’ design, the ANA design has rounded edges which are intended to help create a sense of openness by widening the passenger’s field of view. ANA has specified that fabrics are to be used at the passenger eye-level in order to help create a soft and welcoming cabin atmosphere.
The seats will appear on ANA’s domestic service beginning June 2015, and by FY2016, ANA plans to have installed a total of 1,560 seats across six Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The seats will be configured 2-3-2 on the B767-300s, with a seat width of 17.5in and a seat pitch of 31in.