Star Alliance researches standardised seating

Air China customers are taking part in research on new seat concepts, as part of Star Alliance plans to offer member carriers standardised seat structures.

The carrier has selected 200 of its Phoenix Miles members to test three new seat concepts “from various manufacturers” at a seating simulation zone in Beijing Capital Airport.

All of the participants have taken at least four international Air China flights and taken a flight of over six hours or more on another Star carrier within the last 12 months.

The research is taking place between March 24 and 31, with each individual spending 1.5 hours in the simulated cabin environment testing the seats, before completing questionnaires on aspects of the seat offering, including comfort, design and possible improvements.

Air China says the research will provide “an important reference for Star Alliance in deciding which seat is the most suitable”.

The survey is also being conducted in Germany, although it’s not clear at this stage if this will be with Lufthansa’s Miles and More members.

A spokesperson for Star Alliance said that the research could lead to Star Alliance member carriers being offered a single seat structure by one manufacturer, “for those who wish to use it”, but made it clear that the alliance was not trying to standardise seating across the airlines. Carriers would be free to adapt the seating in terms of IFE, headrests, etc, to suit their needs.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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  • UPDATE: Business Traveller understands that the new seat platform has been named the STellAr Seat, and that it will be available with a “pre-set list of options for the shape of head and arm rests, the seat back and the like”.

    Each airline would have “complete freedom to use colours and fabrics to match the look and feel they want”.

    Star Alliance says that it plans for the seat to be available for delivery “towards the end of 2011”.

    This information was originally printed in the July 2010 edition of Network, the magazine for Star Alliance employees. The edition can be seen in PDF format at:

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