Time to bring Economy Class seating to the 21st Century

05 Sep 2016

We have all experienced ergonomic office chairs that are comfortable to use even after a full working day of 8 hours. So how come the airline seats are still so uncomfortable to sit on for even an hour or two. Why haven’t airlines done more to economy class passengers’ comfort?

Reasons are many and it is perhaps not airlines’ fault alone that we have to suffer when we take flights in Economy Class. Some of the world’s leading airlines are actually complaining that they can’t give their economy class passengers the comfort they would like to, as there just aren’t good enough, ergonomic seats available for economy class.

As a matter of fact, says Jere Tala, Chief Commercial Officer of AirGo Design, I have had airlines telling me they can’t differentiate themselves from competition in Economy Class as everyone is having the same seats, only the seat color differs from airline to airline. Even when you have some of the best airline brands in the world, the fact is that in Economy Class you can’t give better comfort to your customers than airlines with much less superior brand.

There are only a handful of companies making Economy Class seats and their order books are full for the years to come. They don’t need to innovate or do real improvements, as airlines have no choice but to buy from them anyway. Their R&D departments have mainly been focusing on how to make new seats slightly lighter than previous models so airlines can save little in their fuel costs, and how to make the seats thinner in order for airlines to add more seats into the aircraft.

A Singapore-based company, AirGo Design, has spent the last 3 years to address these issues with groundbreaking materials technologies and an award-winning design. Alireza Yaghoubi, the lead designer and CTO at AirGo, believes that it's up to newcomers to bring real innovation to the industry; "when you have established yourself, it's a game of numbers. If you scrap your decades-old specialty in favor of new technologies, you won't achieve the same level of profitability as before. At least not for several years and that's just way too uncomfortable for big players. They already dominate the market, so why take a gamble?”

AirGo is set to publicly showcase Orion, its long-haul economy class, for the first time in Singapore at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Asia (AIXA) in October. The new seat uses 3D scanning and pressure point data to offer improved ergonomics with a dedicated headrest, multi-density padding and up to 4" more legroom for the same seat pitch. Redesigned armrests allow for wider seats and an extra-wide middle seat, while the seat frame, including the lower structure, utilizes pioneering ultra light composite technologies that offer significant weight saving.

Catch up with the future of airline seating at Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Hall D/E, Level B2, stand D60, from 25th to 27th October 2016.

About AirGo Design

Founded in early 2013 in Singapore by four highly qualified individuals, AirGo Design Pte Ltd is a startup that aims to bring superior comfort and fuel efficiency to the airline industry through an award winning, patent-pending and internationally praised seating concept. Core competencies revolve around design and manufacturing of ultra light structures, human-centered products and development of new high-performance materials. AirGo is already an international sensation. It has been called “The Future of Airline Seating” by ABC News, Daily Mail, USA Today, The Economist and NBC News among many others.

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