October 24 2022  |  Seating

ANZ selects Safran Seats and HAECO to outfit its cabin interior

By Mary Jane Pittilla

This is a special feature from PAX Tech's 2022 October APEX EXPO issue on page 16.

Air New Zealand’s Business Premier seat was designed specifically for the 787

Safran Seats and HAECO have been chosen to outfit Air New Zealand’s (ANZ) cabin interior for Business Premier and Economy Class, respectively, and both companies have come through with products filled with features and the latest in technological improvements.

In June 2022, Air New Zealand unveiled a new cabin interior featuring its latest Business Premier cabin, designed and manufactured with Safran Seats. They are due to enter into service in 2024 and retrofit the airline's current 787-9 fleet.

ANZ selected a concept to create a "home away from home" experience. The seat is specially designed for 787 aircraft maximizing the available space in the aircraft type. The Business Premier seat offers a comfortable and private area for sleep. If traveling with a companion, the middle row allows passengers to share their flight and dining experience.

The herringbone configuration of the cabin creates an equal experience for all passengers and ensures better sleep with the head of passengers being far from the aisle. A private environment for the passenger with high shells combined with adjustable aisle and center dividers helps for a restful flight. Passengers have stowage areas that are certified for Taxi, Take-off and Landing (TTL) as well as multiple surfaces including an electrically assisted large single-piece meal table. The suite has wireless charging and an active backrest offering the passenger another way to manage their personal comfort, certified for variable TTL positions.

This premium front row is offered across multiple Safran products in which the layout replaces the traditional front row monuments to provide the utmost privacy and space to the passenger whilst maintaining the same footprint. This also provides new and enhanced experiences such as welcoming another passenger into a suite. For ANZ, this increases the usable space for the passenger by 25 percent.

“We really encouraged Safran to think differently and push the boundaries with what we can do with the Business Premier seat to optimize the configuration and customer experience,” said Air New Zealand Head of Aircraft Programs Kerry Reeves in June’s announcement in Hamburg. “Working virtually throughout Covid added another layer of complexity. Without being able to travel to the Safran site to validate our ideas and concepts, we paralleled the mock-up build both in New Zealand at our innovation lab and at Safran to ensure we had a common design interpretation and valid feedback on the engineering development of the layout and features.”

Passengers rest on Air New Zealand’s Business Premier seats from Safran Seats

Safran Seats CEO Vincent Mascré added: "We are pleased to provide Air New Zealand with a product that meets their needs to offer choice and a product dedicated to ultra-long-haul flights. These seats are the fruit of incredible work between our companies, and they will allow a better journey for all their passengers. The creation of this seat displays the remarkable capabilities between Air New Zealand and the experienced Safran Seats teams based in the UK."

HAECO picked for Economy Class

In related ANZ seating news, announced in July 2022, HAECO Cabin Solutions is supplying Vector Economy – its fully-featured Economy Class seat – for ANZ’s newest long-range passenger cabins on 22 787s. The fleet will serve international destinations for its ultra-long-haul route network.

Vector Economy’s features include a high-comfort headrest, an ergonomically sculpted seatback and cushions, an amenity stowage compartment, a 13.3-inch high-definition seatback video screen with Bluetooth audio, and USB-A and USB-C charging ports. ANZ will offer three Economy Class seating options based on the Vector Economy platform: the Vector Economy Skycouch brand that converts into a lie-flat bed; the Vector Economy Stretch that incorporates increased legroom; and Vector Economy Standard – the baseline seat with a full complement of comfort-enhancing features.

Vector Economy is manufactured at HAECO Cabin Solutions’ facilities in Greensboro, North Carolina.

“We were really encouraged by HAECO in the way they approached our journey to think differently about how we could maximize the Economy customer experience,” said Reeves.

“Without being able to travel to the HAECO site to validate our ideas and concepts, we built a mock-up both at our innovation lab in New Zealand and at HAECO’s US facility to ensure we had a common design interpretation, and nothing was lost in translation,” Reeves added.

Doug Rasmussen, President and Group Director of HAECO Cabin Solutions, added: “We are honored to collaborate with Air New Zealand and highly value them as a strategic partner of the HAECO Group. Vector Economy hits the sweet spot of delivering on multiple goals for both the airline and its customers. Through the use of leading-edge design principles and material selection, including the use of composites and titanium, this seat achieves the dual goals of reduced weight while delivering high durability. Vector Economy also provides a new level of passenger comfort in the economy cabin through industry-leading living space and passenger-focused amenities.”

Eurowings gives Geven a boost

Geven's best-selling Essenza Seat model has once again fitted the bill for Lufthansa Group, having been selected for the Eurowings fleet retrofit program.

As part of a larger partnership, which began in 2017, Essenza was Lufthansa Group's first choice for line-fit seating across the various airlines of the German group. The Essenza model for leisure airline Eurowings features an exclusive design scheme and dedicated Eurowings trim and finish.

“The highly successful and ergonomically crafted Essenza delivers incomparable comfort on board for a memorable passenger experience with the utmost cost efficiency,” says Geven.

Essenza features in-arm and rear meal tables with an all-device accommodating dedicated holder, coat hook, as well as customized literature and amenity pockets as well a life vest pouch.

Geven’s Essenza model for leisure airline Eurowings features an exclusive design scheme and dedicated trim and finish

Essenza carries super-comfort bottom cushions, completed for the Eurowings fleet with a play of light and dark gray, finished with a personalized accent of violet-red on the backrest for the dress covers.

The tailor-made product created for Eurowings, says Geven’s program manager, Pasquale Savelli, is the result of close teamwork between Geven and the airline, which has proven to be the driving force for the two teams.

"We are delighted at the success of our cooperation with the Lufthansa Group and proud of the satisfaction with the product they have expressed,” says Alberto Veneruso, Managing Director, Geven, which is headquartered in Naples, Italy.

“We are especially proud of the punctuality with which the stringent Eurowings delivery schedule is being met – 23 ship sets, all at a rhythm of two per week between April and July of this year [2022]. Geven has a record of 100 percent on-time delivery, which we mean to keep unblemished. The teamwork on both the line-fit and this Eurowings retrofit program was fruitful and synchronized in such a way as to meet with maximum precision the needs and expectations of this exacting customer.”

Veneruso continues: “There is sound confidence that the product delivered to Eurowings is one of high customization and one which will offer the long-term service performance such a customer commands.

“We at Geven – and, we believe, our many satisfied customers – are convinced that Essenza is the best solution for onboard comfort thanks to its outstanding living space and careful ergonomic design which, combined with the lightweight, long service life reliability and overall low cost of ownership, will surely add value to the already prestigious Eurowings brand.”

Low-cost carrier Eurowings is the largest leisure airline in Germany with a fleet of around 100 aircraft. Eurowings offers non-stop flights to more than 140 destinations in Europe and has 11 international bases, including Palma de Mallorca on Europe's number one vacation island.

Safran Seats chief “confident” on outlook

Passenger privacy and sustainability are two key trends noted by Safran Seats CEO Vincent Mascré at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in June 2022.

Mascré said passengers expect privacy, such as sliding doors in Business Class.

Safran Seats showcased 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.

HAECO Vector seats will have a 13.3-inch screen on the seatback

On the subject of the Covid-19 pandemic 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.

Safran Seats CEO Vincent Mascré. Photo by Mary Jane Pittilla

Regarding the sustainability requirements of all companies today, 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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