With much fanfare earlier this week, Etihad launched their new A320/A321 short-haul product.
I’m taking a deeper look at the seat they’ve chosen – the Acro Series 6
The Acro Series 6 is more full-featured seat than the Series 3 or Series 6LC, featuring items such as a recline mechanism, the curved seat back and options of extras to be installed.
Let’s have a look at some of the pictures of the demonstration unit I examined at Aircraft Interiors Expo.
Meanwhile down the back of the plane, the Acro Series 6 seats will be deployed. These are a mid-range seat designed for short to mid-haul missions.
The seats themselves have got the option of a basic headrest or the other options (such as a proper multi-way headrest.
So there are a few nice features to recover space… one of which is the recline mechanism. Rather than building into the armrest, Acro has gone down the line of building into the seat base – reducing the part count.
One of the interesting things they did is how they recovered precious knee room. Rather than go with a straight seat back, they went with a curved seat back. This allows side for those who spread their legs when flying to recover precious space.
The seats can be fitted with various options in the back depending on the airline requirements such as power and IFE if specified.
For those in the middle seat of an Airbus A320/A321, there’s also good news here – with the middle seat having more seat width compared to others, with Acro leading the trend of having wider middle seats than the window or aisle seat – with the middle seat being an inch wider. For those who want extra space, spare seat blocking is possible as an extra
Etihad has chosen to upgrade 23 planes with this new seating. The seat has been customised for the airline, featuring a PED (personal electronic device) holder, upper and lower literature pockets, fast charging USB provisioning, headrest, bespoke fabric seat covers and backrest cushions.
These A320/A321 are used on missions within 5 hours of flight from Abu Dhabi – where a wide-body aircraft would offer too much capacity.
Chris Leese-Wood, Acro’s CEO said:
“Acro is proud to have our seat selected by Etihad, an airline which is renowned for its cabin innovation and world-class cabin products. The collaboration is a good fit as Acro is a pioneer in the field of aircraft seat design and manufacturing and our Series 6 seat delivers the best seat in its class for Etihad.”
Alan McInnes, Acro’s SVP Sales, adds:
“Etihad came to Acro with an exacting brief which challenged us to come up with a range of bespoke features and the result is a seat which provides a variety of functionality that will enhance the passenger experience. For example, the seat has been cleverly designed around the passenger’s digital devices with the fast-charging USB ports and a PED holder which adjusts to hold a phone or tablet devices. Furthermore, the seats feel significantly more spacious due to the unique curved seat back design that Acro’s seats are renowned for.”
A quick entry into service
As part of the A320/A321 revamp, these seats are being retrofitted to the Etihad narrowbody fleet, with the first aircraft expected to enter service in May 2019. The revamp will also introduce Panasonic’s E-Box Streaming IFE solution to the cabin (replacing the seat-back monitors not installed on the new seats) and revamped meal service that will increase portion sizes, yet charge for additional snacks.
The Series 6 is a good seat, with seeing service with Air New Zealand and TAP Portugal. It’ll be interesting to see the reception to these seats, with the additional space they create in the cabin.
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