Design update: Geven, Recaro, Boeing, Diehl, Haeco, Jamco and the Crystal Cabin Awards

In this issue’s overview of onboard trends in cabin design, Colette Doyle explores the perfect partnership between Geven and PriestmanGoode; finds out why Recaro is such a big hit in Alaska; reviews the worthy winners and finalists in this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards; and looks at two brand new seating options from Haeco and Jamco.

This piece first appeared in the May/June issue of Aircraft Cabin Management, you can read the full magazine here. 

Geven and PriestmanGoode partner on next-gen passenger seats 

Naples, Italy-based Geven has teamed up with UK design agency PriestmanGoode to develop a new family of aircraft seats across four different cabin classes, namely economy, premium economy, premium economy-plus and business class.

The project includes a complete overhaul of Geven’s catalogue and aims to supply the manufacturer with a distinct design language driven by a number of key product attributes: functional, timeless, clean and sculptural. The new seats will provide Geven with a versatile offer that is said to “enhance the passenger experience, be easily configurable for different aircraft platforms and allow for airline customisation”. 

Commenting on the project, due to be unveiled at this year’s AIX show in Hamburg, Geven MD Alberto Veneruso says: “ PriestmanGoode has precisely and skillfully designed our response to forward-thinking customer needs. The new family line products, which embody the partnership between the two firms, will certainly stand out as a ‘Made in Italy’ concept thanks to their innovative features.” 


The company’s R&D Manager, Pasquale Rapullini, agrees. “PriestmanGoode was the right choice; their remarkable proactivity, collaborative approach and full availability represent the successful key factors of our partnership”. Rapullini further notes that pandemic travel restrictions meant that the ambitious collaboration had to be conducted on an entirely virtual basis, making the results all the more remarkable. 

Meanwhile, over at PriestmanGoode, design director Daniel MacInnes comments on the highly collaborative nature of the project. “It’s very much a partnership, with our team of designers working closely with Geven’s engineers to develop this next generation of seats. The designs we’re working on build upon the brand’s strong history, as well as Italy’s outstanding heritage of exquisite craftsmanship and timeless design.” 

Recaro is a good fit for Alaska Airlines 

Recaro Aircraft Seating’s CL4710 (pictured above) and BL3530 (pictured below) models are proving popular with Alaska Airlines, which has placed an additional order of 13 shipsets to outfit its new B737MAX aircraft. 

Alaska is the first carrier to order more Boeing B737MAX aircraft after it was cleared by the FAA. The BL3530 is described as offering passengers “premium comfort and innovative amenities”, plus its low weight appeals to customers because it contributes to reduced fuel consumption and minimises the aircraft’s carbon footprint.

“I’m glad that Alaska has appreciated the quality of our robust CL4710 and BL3530 seats to select them on several different occasions. We are inspired by their mission to enhance the passenger journey while remaining committed to sustainable solutions,” observes Recaro Aircraft Seating CEO Mark Hiller. “Recaro and Alaska both face challenges head-on and we are privileged to have called them a partner for the past decade.” 

Alaska was the original launch customer for the CL4710, which was designed specifically for domestic and shorter international flights. The award-winning business class seat is characterised by its unique level of comfort and functionality, as well as its flexible equipment options. 

“Guests love our new seats. From the adjustable footrest and cup holder in first class, to the conveniently placed charging ports and tablet holder in the main cabin, there are so many thoughtful details in the seat design for everyone,” notes Amber Simonsen, director of product development & delivery at Alaska Airlines. 

Crystal Cabin Awardsshowcase creativity 

The 14th Crystal Cabin Awards ceremony took place at the end of March, having been postponed from last year due to the ramifications of the pandemic. The ceremony (which went digital and was live-streamed for the first time in its history) was certainly worth the wait, as it honoured a host of fascinating innovations. 

One good example was the award-winning Modulair S economy seat concept from Safran. Developed in co-operation with the French university ENSCI, the seat can be extended with various features, bringing creature comforts such as neck support or a tablet holder to economy passengers. 

Another well-deserved win went to Airbus, which presented an extension to its Airspace concept with the Airspace Cabin Vision 2030, equipping the cabin with more flexible seating and sleeping configurations along with exchangeable modules. 

Finalists in this year’s event included the Galaxy seat from AirGo Design (pictured above), which is described as being “all about passenger comfort”. Designed for long-haul flights, it will also soon be in use on single-aisle aircraft such as the Airbus A321XLR. 

The seat can be completely reclined and, with the help of partition walls, converted into a private sleeping area, making smart use of space in the narrow cabin. 

Mix and match to maximise space 

Also maximising the use of space is the 777X Sky Architecture from Boeing, developed in cooperation with Teague. This allows for a flexible mix-and-match approach to baggage bin and ceiling configuration in the aircraft cabin. 

The aircraft galley has hardly changed since the 1960s, and with it the way in which food is served to passengers. If the ARCA Galley System from AIM Altitude is anything to go by, the future will see some proper meal prep happening: instead of trays, passengers will be served food packets chosen online in advance, which can be stacked practically in the reconfigured galley. This saves space and protects the environment, because the lunch boxes can be recycled.

AIM Altitude was also involved in another ingenious shortlisted project: The Loft from Virgin Atlantic in cooperation with Factorydesign, Boltaron, Isovolta, Mankiewicz UK and FH Lambert. Created for the airline’s first A350-1000, it features mood lighting in the entry area as passengers board, transforming the area to an exclusive lounge and bar for premium class passengers during the flight. 

Lighting up the skies 

Cabin lighting that aligns with the airline’s colours or uses designs and moods to prepare passengers for the destination they’re flying to has been around for a while. The Experience Line Bridge from Diehl Aerospace extends this ‘digital décor’ idea with numerous colours and patterns and can even project onto curved surfaces. The system is retrofittable, making it suitable for a wide range of existing aircraft. 

Underlying Hamburg startup Jetlite’s products is the idea that the right light can have an impact on the comfort and even the biorhythm of passengers. This concept is now being applied in the Lite2fix cabin wall system, developed in collaboration with SFS Intec Aircraft Components. 

The wall shells can be installed into the aircraft fuselage with a simple snap-in process and integrate lighting scenarios and information displays for passengers. This ‘all in one’ idea was jointly developed at the ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research in Hamburg. 

Haeco proves light is right with Vector 

Haeco Cabin Solutions, a business unit of the Haeco Group specialised in aircraft seating, interiors and cabin reconfiguration, has successfully obtained an FAA Technical Standard Order (TSO) certification for Vector Light. This is the latest member of its Vector seating line, which it describes as “setting a new benchmark in weight and comfort on board single-aisle aircraft”. 

“With a weight of 7.9kg per passenger for a fully equipped seat, Vector Light has achieved significant weight savings, best-in-class passenger comfort and low cost-of-ownership without compromising on the quality and reliability which define our Vector seating line,” comments Haeco Cabin Solutions president and group director Doug Rasmussen. 


Utilising a patent-pending primary structure and making intelligent use of advanced materials such as titanium and flexible slotted body-contouring carbon fibre, this “design-forward” seat maximises available cabin space and enhances passenger comfort through a comprehensive ergonomic approach and offers industry-leading living space at a narrow pitch. 

The Vector Light catalogue features a wide range of selectable options for enhanced passenger convenience, as well as offering airlines a choice of two dedicated versions: recliner seat, or fixed-recline seat. Further optimised to achieve the highest possible reliability and a great ease of maintenance, Vector Light is said to support airline operations and reduce total costs of ownership. The company will begin delivering the new seat to customers from the Q4 this year. 

“Haeco has further built on its reputation for delivering high quality products that maximise comfort and exceed reliability standards,” asserts Rasmussen. 

Jamco’s pristine solution for business travellers 

Jamco Corporation has unveiled the latest addition to its Venture business class seating portfolio. Venture Pristine incorporates the latest antimicrobial and antiviral material finish solutions. Every aspect of the Venture Pristine trim and finish option has been designed to maximise cleanliness during flight, while also making sanitising the seat after use both easier and more effective, according to the company. 

A full radius, seamless integrated trim and a seamless capacitive interface for the seat controls create fewer split lines and gaps, making it easy to clean throughout its lifetime. The seat also incorporates high cleanliness finishes on all surfaces of the product; a variety of modern, hygienic materials and coatings that inhibit the growth of pathogens on all surfaces. 

High-touch areas incorporate materials that are both a poor environment for pathogens and nearly chemical-proof, allowing for the use of strong and effective cleaning supplies. Low-touch areas, which tend to be cleaned less regularly, incorporate paint impregnated with antimicrobial properties to reduce the surface lifespan of pathogens and maintain sanitary conditions between cleanings. 

In addition, Venture includes efficiencies from augmented reality training that supports remote contactless training, eliminating the need for face-to-face interaction. Jamco also notes that the lightweight design with fewer parts helps to reduce operational costs. 

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