A Look at the New First- and Business-Class Seats Coming to Airbus Cabins
Airbus aircraft are in use all around the world — whether the airline is flying its flagship A380 or the traditional A330 — and some cabins are being updated to feature the very best first- and business-class seats on the market today. I recently caught up with Stelia Aerospace — the manufacturers of Asiana Airlines' A350 business-class seats — to see what's new and coming soon to an Airbus aircraft near you.
The Ultimate 17 First-Class Suite
First up is the Ultimate 17 by Stelia Aerospace, a fully-enclosed first class suite with double doors and a curved HDTV flat screen.
The suite comes with a single bed that's 32 inches wide and has a fully-flat length of 79 inches.
The ottoman has multiple uses, acting as a footrest in the reclined position and making up part of the fully flat bed. It's also a generous storage compartment and works as a "buddy seat" if another passenger wishes to dine with you, as long as the table is pulled out and placed in between.
While it can be heavily customized by the airline, the showcased option I saw was a good example of the amount of luxury achievable in a "ready to buy" first-class suite seat. Additional innovative features include the ability for passengers to control the recline, position and firmness via an iPhone app.
The Solstys Business-Class Seat
Stelia Aerospace also showcased its Solstys seat, which is already in service on several airlines, including Thai Airways, Asiana, Etihad and Air Berlin. These seats have a pitch of 77 inches when in the full lie-flat position and can be customized with different headrests and upholsteries depending on the airline.
Also great to see was the new technology that's been integrated into the seat. In addition to USB power points and headphone jacks, the illuminated black panel to the left of the seat offers compatibility for contactless credit card payments, definitely a trend we are moving toward. Furthermore, the circled battery logo on the right side of the table indicates a wireless charging point.
In terms of comfort, airlines can define the cushioning effect of the seat using technology called Octaspring. Multiple springs are placed within the seat during the definition and customization phase, and depending on the airline, the "firmness" of the spring will be adjusted, determining the overall comfort of the seat for passengers.
Stelia Aerospace is continuing to provide innovative updates either new and existing seats that have become a passenger favorite. With contactless payments, wireless phone charging and Octaspring technology, there's a lot for first- and business-class flyers to be excited about.
All photos by the author.