June 14 2022  |  Seating

Safran Seats CEO “confident” at AIX show

By Mary Jane Pittilla, in Hamburg, Germany

Safran Seats CEO Vincent Mascré. Photo by Mary Jane Pittilla

Hamburg Passenger privacy and sustainability are two key trends noted by Safran Seats CEO Vincent Mascré at the AIX fair in Hamburg.

Speaking to the media on the first day of the fair, Mascré said passengers today expect privacy, such as sliding doors in Business Class.

Safran Seats is showcasing two seating innovations at the AIX show: Unity, a high-end Business Class seat for wide body jets, and Vue, a Business Class seat for narrow body jets. Both have full-flat seats and a sliding door option, and come into service in 2023.

Touching on the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on Safran Seats, Mascré said that after a strong first quarter of 2020, turnover plunged by 70 percent in early 2021 compared to the pre-Covid period.

Having closed some operations in the UK and California, the company “kept key skills to be ready for recovery”, and in particular the innovation team.

The upswing came after the US border reopened in November 2021. “We have seen a boom in traffic and airlines are investing again,” he said, adding that he was “delighted” to be back in Hamburg meeting customers again.

The new Business Class seats are modular in design and can be customized according to an airline’s branding.

Regarding the “eco-friendly” trend, Mascré said that airlines are demanding weight reduction and recyclable materials, such as aluminum. They also want their own look and are seeking to increase density.

During the Covid-19 crisis period, Mascré noted the importance of virtual reality (VR) in developing the seats.

He also said he was “confident” of being able to deliver the new products despite the supply chain crisis, which had affected transportation and commodities such as electronic components.

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