Swiss is to begin installing a fully-flat business class product on its long-haul fleet from 2009.
The carrier is referring to the new seating as a “bed above the clouds”, and says it will be fully reclinable and two metres long.
At first glance the images of the new product on Swiss’ website (click here to see image gallery) suggest that the seats will be angled lie-flat, but a closer look shows a staggered fully-flat formation, with the passengers’ legs tucking into a compartment in between the two seats in front of them (which also forms the armrests of those seats).
Swiss also says it will be the first aircraft seat to replace conventional foam filling with an “air cushion” across the entire length of the seat, allowing the passenger to adjust the pneumatic pressure of the seat, “from firm when seated upright and medium when relaxing, to soft in the fully flat position”.
Designed by aircraft-interiors provider Lantal Textiles, Swiss says the seat will be four kilograms lighter than a foam-filled equivalent. Its adds that this reduced weight will save the carrier over 650 tonnes of fuel each year, resulting in a reduced CO2 emission of over 2,000 tonnes.
Other features of the new seat include an integrated massage function, USB and iPod sockets, and a larger TV screen. New Airbus A330-300s joining the fleet will be fitted with the seating, and the carrier’s A340s will also be retrofitted. Swiss says around a third of its long-haul fleet will enjoy the new seating by the end of 2009, with all long-haul flights due to have the product by 2011.
For more information visit swiss.com.
Report by Mark Caswell