Safran will develop and manufacture the Interspace seat range from Universal Movement. (Photo: Universal Movement)
Leading aerospace manufacturer Safran and transportation technology company Universal Movement are pleased to announce an exclusive partnership to bring the unique Interspace seat technology to market.
Following Universal Movement's launch of Interspace at the Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit in December 2019, the new agreement will see Safran take up the exclusive development and manufacturing of the Interspace portfolio, across Economy and Premium / Domestic Business class; an upgradable retrofit solution for existing Premium Economy seating; and the Interspace 'Lite' edition for Economy.
Quentin Munier, EVP Strategy & Innovation at Safran Seats, said, "Safran Seats is confident that this partnership with Universal Movement will generate value to our customers thanks to its recognized agility and innovative spirit. Interspace is a great innovation for privacy of passengers, even more so in the post-Covid-19 travel environment that's ahead of us".
Interspace & Retrofittable Solution
Having observed that while comfort onboard tends to be equated to seat pitch*, few passengers would choose to sit upright for an extended length of time. Addressing this innovation opportunity, Interspace utilises its patented lateral-support wing design to provide greater privacy and comfort to passengers when travelling in premium economy. Passengers are able to fold out two padded wings to provide greater lateral support and the ability to change posture at seat. The system is also retrofittable, which allows carriers to remove an existing seat-back and fit the Interspace technology onto a fleet without replacing existing seat units and adding additional cost.
Safran Seats and Universal Movement are working on an equipment adaptation called Interspace Lite, which gives airlines flexibility to easily reconfigure their economy cabins, by providing delineation and privacy between passengers by locking out either the central or outboard seats of a row.
Luke Miles, Founder of Universal Movement, said, "When we launched the Interspace seat last year, we had established a clear gap in the aerospace seating market with an innovative new design. We are thrilled to be partnering with a company as significant and accomplished as Safran to bring a this portfolio of products to market."
Miles continues, "With the travel industry severely affected by the spread of coronavirus, we have also sought to provide a solution through the Interspace Lite solution that could allow airlines to get back on their feet much sooner than if standard aircraft seating were to remain the same. Our partnership with Safran is a significant step in helping support the industry and also make planes a much more comfortable space for passengers when they look to travel again in the future."
In response to the urgent need to provide flexible solutions to customers' aircraft seating configurations in both the Economy and Premium Economy cabins, the commencement of manufacturing for both our Lite and Premium Economy upgrade products is set to begin early summer of this year, with supply and kitting tailored to meet demand thereafter.
Design and development work will continue leading to a fully integrated Interspace product for Economy and Premium Economy as a new seat offering.
*Seat pitch: the space between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front of it
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