Star Alliance says it has become the first global alliance to partner with an airline-seat manufacturer to develop an economy-class seat which is designed for use by all of the alliance’s members.
Aviation seating and parts manufacturer B/E Aerospace is to be Star Alliance’s development partner for the Star Alliance long-haul economy seat program. While B/E Aerospace is headquartered in Florida, its ‘Seating Environments’ facilities are located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and in Kilkeel in Northern Ireland.
According to Star Alliance, its joint-procurement initiative for long-haul economy seats is aimed at providing member airlines the opportunity to offer their economy class customers superior ergonomic comfort, modern design features and best-in-class technology. To this effect, B/E Aerospace is developing both a base and an advanced version of the seat.
Air China, Austrian Airlines and Lufthansa will be the first Star Alliance member carriers to install the new economy-class seats on their long-haul fleets. Deliveries of the seats from B/E Aerospace are scheduled to begin in 2012.
“Star Alliance has again set an industry trend by becoming the first alliance to partner with an airline seat manufacturer to deliver product innovation to its member carriers,” says Jeffrey Goh, vice president legal and corporate services for Star Alliance. “With this initiative we demonstrate that our member carriers can continue to offer differentiated products while at the same time working together to drive synergies, lower costs and enhance the passenger experience.”
The vendor selection process was coordinated by Star Alliance and included initial market research along with joint customer trials, which were conducted in China and Germany earlier this year.
Star Alliance says the new seat will benefit its member carriers by offering shortened delivery lead times, reduced development expenses and competitive pricing, as well as the unique features that will make up the two versions of the seat.