March 29 2019  |  Seating

Recaro readies for growth of Business Class

By Rick Lundstrom

A Business Class laid out for privacy and wellbeing is now an important demand by airline passengers

Recaro Aircraft Seating expects a spike in demand for Business Class seats fueled by passengers’ expectations for airliners to deliver ‘individualized living spaces’ onboard. To be fully ready to answer market needs, the company has invested heavily in its research and development.

Recaro will announce a number of innovations for the Business Class category at the Aircraft Interiors Expo April 2-4 in Hamburg.

Recaro has been following the evolution in Business Class and in the aircraft seating market in general for the years to come. The company identified the trends in a release sent out today.

  • Business Class to become the new First Class: There will be a further decline in the number of First Class seats in the foreseeable future. Few airlines still offer First Class and when they do they tend to go for a superior First Class-product with limited availability. Recaro also sees a rise in demand for a wider range of Business Class seats. Similar to Economy+ and Premium Economy being available next to regular economy, Business Class will have different category seats offering more or less features.
  • Further development of a highly individualized Business Class product: The evolution towards more Business Class will have an effect on the seats themselves: since airlines have started to eliminate First Class from their long-range fleet, Business Class has become an even bigger differentiator than it already was. Airlines expect a highly individualized product with a premium look and feel. Privacy, connectivity and interactivity, comfort and wellbeing as well as an individually adjustable seating environment equipped with personal air-conditioning and a mini-bar will become the new normal in business class. Passengers expect their own “individual living space” in the sky.
  • Bespoke and platform (Business Class) seats: Premium airlines strive to be ahead of their competition by bringing innovations to the aircraft cabin. As such, these airlines expect tailor-made products for all their seats. Carriers with smaller fleets often do not have the means to bear the costs nor the resources to go through an entire product development process. They prefer to go with a mature and/or off-the-shelf platform product, that has proven to be successful with one of the legacy carriers, enhanced with customized features.
  • Increase in demand for Premium Economy: Business Class moving up to replace First Class widens the gap with the Economy Class seats and increases the need for an ‘intermediate’ Economy segment. Over recent years Recaro has seen a higher demand for Premium Economy seats. They foresee this trend to continue in the years to come.

“Recaro has a reputation of delivering high quality seats on time, be it in business, premium economy or economy class,” says Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “In order to uphold that reputation and meet increasing demand in the business class seating, we invested heavily in research and development for that specific class. This means we are now more than ready to answer to our customers’ every need.”

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