Boeing collaborating with major automotive supplier for aircraft interiors

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Above: Adient will be applying innovative thinking from projects such as its autonomous vehicle interior concept to the aircraft cabin environment

March 28, 2017 – There is a major new name in aircraft interiors: Adient. While the name may be unfamiliar – it was established on October 31, 2016 – its previous name of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience is very well known. One in three automotive seats in the world are manufactured by this company, and it is now widening its focus, with a goal of achieving US$1 billion in annual revenues from non-automotive markets over the next five years.

One key market is aviation, and the company is collaborating with Boeing to explore innovative comfort, efficiency and functional improvements for commercial aircraft seating and interiors. Under the terms of the collaboration, Boeing will provide insight into the commercial aviation industry and its technical specifications, as well as an understanding of FAA certification requirements, while Adient will contribute expertise in design, comfort, craftsmanship, operational excellence, and supply chain management.

“Adient is committed to our strategy of leveraging our strong global expertise and leadership in automotive seating and interiors to deliver customer value and competitive advantages in adjacent mobility markets,” said Adient chairman and CEO, Bruce McDonald. “Through discussions with Boeing, we believe there’s an opportunity for Adient to raise the bar on the aviation passenger experience, building on our leadership in the automobile seat market.”

According to Counterpoint Market Research, the aircraft interiors market is estimated to reach US$21.7 billion by 2025, at a compounded annual growth rate of 4.3% from 2016 to 2025. This thriving industry is consolidated among a small and ever-decreasing number of providers: something Boeing is turning its attention to; indeed last year it announced its collaboration with LIFT by EnCore, a newcomer in aircraft seating, to design a new Tourist Class seat particularly suitable as an SFE option for the B737.

“Boeing is building commercial airplanes at record rates to deliver on an order backlog of more than US$400 billion,” said Kent Fisher, vice president and general manager for supplier management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We continually explore opportunities to offer more value to our customers and believe they would benefit from a wider range of options and more reliable, on-time performance in the airplane interiors and seating category.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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