Recaro Aircraft Seating (Recaro) is pleased with the rate of aviation industry recovery, with multiple customer announcements made at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. One major deal was with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), and its low-cost subsidiary carriers, Transavia France and Netherlands-based Transavia Airlines, to outfit their new Airbus narrowbody aircraft with economy class seats. Deliveries of the seats – the short and medium-haul BL3710 and short-haul SL3710 – will begin for installation on 100 of the group’s A320 and A321 aircraft in summer 2023.
The KLM aircraft will be configured in a hybrid layout, with BL3710 seats installed at the front of the cabin as an extra legroom product (with device holders and high-power USB-C), and the SL3710 as the standard economy seat. The backrests of KLM’s BL3710s and SL3710s will be redesigned to further reduce weight and increase comfort. The Transavia Airlines and Transavia France aircraft will be fully equipped with the SL3710.
“Our flexible and dynamic customer team, in tandem with our aligned goals on sustainability, has resulted in a strong partnership with KLM, Transavia Airlines and Transavia France,” said Dr Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating.
BL3510s for a reconfigured PAL Express
Recaro has also secured a new customer for its BL3510 economy class seat, with Philippine Airlines (PAL) selecting it for retrofit on 11 of its Airbus A320 aircraft. Delivery of the seats begins this month.
A 180-seat cabin configuration will be installed on the A320s, destined for short-haul, high-traffic domestic routes operated by PAL Express, the airline’s regional subsidiary.
The A320s were originally equipped with a mixed 156-seat configuration for mainline carrier PAL’s regional flights within Asia, but the airline is now deploying larger Airbus A321 aircraft equipped with business, premium and economy class seating.
In other PAL news, the Philippine flag carrier is running a trial of Aeroplay Entertainment’s AeroHub W-IFE system. The three-month trial, which starts this month, will see AeroHub available across PAL’s A330, A350 and B777 fleets operating on regional and long-haul routes.
The system consists of AeroHub hardware, IFE content, and separate interfaces (customised for PAL) for passengers, crew and maintenance teams. Passengers can access the content via their own personal electronic devices (PEDs) via an app-less browser interface, with options including the latest Hollywood blockbusters, classic movies, TV shows, digital publications, games, inflight menus, and survey forms.
AeroHub is FAA-certified and is approved by major Hollywood studios. Its Motion Pictures of America certified lab facility in Mumbai provides the security required to keep data protected and private for its clients and partners (studios and distributors). Aerohub’s data analytics module will also enable PAL to gather insights on passenger preferences and customer trends. In addition, the system’s dedicated airline portal supporting OTA Cloud synchronisation is intended to further improve crew and engineering activities.
A two-class deal with Tibet Airlines
In another deal, Tibet Airlines has selected Recaro’s BL3710 economy class seat for its new A319neo fleet, with deliveries planned for September 2022. The Chengdu-based airline has ordered 26 shipsets of the seat, which weighs less than 10kg (22 lbs). Tibet Airlines also selected the CL4710 for the A319neo business-class cabins.
An exciting partnership with Panasonic Avionics
Another highlight at AIX was Recaro’s unveiling of an IFE seat-end solution for its CL3810 economy-class seat, developed in partnership with Panasonic Avionics. The IFE in question is Astrova, Panasonic’s new flagship product, which Qatar Airways signed up for this week for its B777X fleet.
The companies showed how a seat such as the CL3810 can be fitted with Astrova tech including a 4K OLED screen with High Dynamic Range (HDR), Bluetooth technology, and 67W of fast-charge USB-C power.
Ken Sain, CEO at Panasonic Avionics said, “We would like to congratulate Recaro on the launch of their CL3810 economy class seat. We are excited to be working with them to demonstrate how two companies can collaborate and help airlines achieve their business goals. We believe that this powerful seat and IFE combination is an excellent example of solutions that reduce cost, improve passenger comfort, meet sustainability goals, drive passenger loyalty and increase revenue.”