February 2 2021  |  Seating

JetBlue named launch customer for Thompson Aero Seating’s VantageSOLO

By Sabrina Pirillo

JetBlue has revealed a reimagined version of its Mint cabin experience featuring a bespoke edition of the VantageSOLO Business Class seat from Thompson Aero Seating.

The fully flat bed seat for single-aisle aircraft is part of JetBlue’s first major design overhaul of Mint, which was announced in mid-November 2020 with Acumen Design Associates leading the design work and managing suppliers, such as Thompson Aero. The seats will launch on the airline’s anticipated London flights this summer. A smaller layout will debut on a limited number of flights between New York and Los Angeles in 2021.

JetBlue introduced Thompson Aero’s original Vantage seat to its Mint Suites in 2014. The second iteration, VantageSOLO, was conceived by creative design agency Factorydesign for Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2015, then developed by Thompson Aero in response to the emerging medium- to long-range market serviced by a new generation of single-aisle aircraft. Thompson Aero Seating was awarded the JetBlue Mint Suite program for a bespoke version of VantageSOLO in 2016.

As part of the reimagined version of the Mint experience, all suites on the A321 have doors – making it the first of its kind on this aircraft type. Collaborating under AVIC Cabin Systems (ACS), AIM Altitude worked with Thompson Aero Seating to integrate the premium front-row monuments. The forward monument has self-service water and snack options, as well as fold-down tables and tablet stowage. In addition, an articulating guest seat is linked with the movement of the VantageSOLO seat to create an expansive sleeping or lounging surface. The monument includes a rear-facing padded monitor panel and vertical pull-out table above an outboard sofa. The surface styling features unique trim and finish colours and materials, including a bespoke feature light and customised thermoplastics from Kydex.

“We are proud to be the first in the market who acknowledged the single-aisle trend,” said Neil Taggart, Vice President (VP) & General Manager at Thompson Aero Seating. “The arrangement of the VantageSOLO is quite ground-breaking on this type of aircraft. From only a 33-inch seat pitch, it offers a fully-horizontal flat bed with direct aisle access for every seat. For JetBlue’s re-imagined Mint, we have configured this with a fully functioning suite door, offering an exclusive business class seating experience normally only the reserve of a wide body cabin.”

“We have very much enjoyed working once again with the team at JetBlue to bring to market this industry-leading product to their popular Mint experience,” said Andy Morris, VP Commercial of AVIC Cabin Systems. “The seat and monuments include a huge array of exclusive and distinctive features, offering JetBlue’s customers real added value. The resulting suites are quite remarkable for a single-aisle aircraft.”

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