If there was one seat that spotted in more than a few locations this year at Aircraft Interiors Expo, it’s the Collins Aerospace AirLounge Seat.
Or what most of you might know better as the new Finnair Business Class seat.
Now, I’ll be honest, I haven’t had much time to sit in one (but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to ride in it on one of the two remaining Finnair sectors I have coming up), but here are some pictures, some impressions and thoughts.
The Collins Aerospace Airlounge seat is a commercial offering from the company, with the idea that you can make the space your own. Interestingly, there is only one powered mechanism in the seat – the one that raises or lowers the leg rest (which becomes part of the bed).
One electronically powered part to reduce complexity.
The seat’s fixed contoured shell has no normal “recline” function in it – rather you can find a wide variety of sitting and sleeping positions: passengers can sit at different angles, rest their feet on the ottoman or use infill panels to create a large flat surface.
A mattress and duvet turn the space into a comfortable bed, with pillows to provide support.
The example is fitted with a three-point safety belt.
With the high sides, you also have the privacy aboard that some crave at 35,000ft. For those who love to share experiences, there’s a divider in the middle seats which can be raised and lowered as needed. And it’s high enough to be very private indeed.
And side on.
The seating concept was originally conceived by PriestmanGoode of London. The seat was further developed by Collins Aerospace, with the customisation and final design execution by Finnair and its appointed design partner, Tangerine.
The lighting options in the seat allow tailoring the ambience of every passenger’s own “nest”. Along with a customised lamp that doubles as a reading light, a do not disturb light is included if total privacy is desired.
The storage options within the seat include spaces for personal items, laptop and all pillows and blankets. This is all certified for taxi, take-off, and landing.
Of course, there are further collaborations with Marimekko and Iittala in the cabin.
It’s a different way of looking at the Business Class Seat
We’ve seen plenty of seats, from staggered seats, herringbones, reverse herringbones and the fashion for suites with doors. This is a very different way of looking at the business class seat and asking the question “How does the customer want to relax?”.
Everyone has their own methods of getting comfy on a plane (and I’ve done everything from a simple curl to a lotus position on a business class seat (the joy of many school assemblies), to sleeping in a slanted position (for those of you who remember lie-angle business seats), and lots of different positions in between.
As for sleeping – we all have our own preferred ways (be it face up, on the side, face down or curled up on three economy class seats). The Collin Aerospace Airlounge is an interesting option, which offers the chance for customers to adapt the space how they wish to be comfortable.
As it is a catalogue product, it can be offered to other airlines, so there’s a chance we could see other airlines who want privacy but don’t want doors or who want to differentiate themselves from what other carriers offer.
Like a lot of seats, it is very much a “try it out” to understand it, rather than the traditional seat designs we’ve come to love and know. However, its simplicity in terms of mechanics could be a real eye-opener for airlines.
Disclosure: Thanks to Finnair, (David Kondo), Collins Aerospace and Airbus for access to their stands to try this product out.
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