Grappling with premium seat production problems – which have resulted in the delayed delivery of United Airlines’ Polaris product and prompted American Airlines to take another direction for its Boeing 787-9s – and amid rumors that Boeing is advising airlines that it has cancelled offerability across all platforms, Zodiac Aerospace is keeping a stiff upper lip at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, and even touting some very specific gains for its Zodiac Seats US division.
“As far as Seats US, we have limited offerability, although there is rumours going around. We are getting contacted everyday for short-flow programs from our friends in Seattle,” Robert Funk, VP of sales and marketing for Zodiac Seats US, told Runway Girl Network in an early interview on the show floor, whilst Zodiac’s booth was being set up.
Though Funk declined to comment on the rumors concerning premium seating, and Zodiac’s galleys and lavs work, he stressed, “I will tell you that [Zodiac] Seats US is producing 450 pax a day today, so we are still alive and breathing and taking orders. We have been on time to Boeing for over 18 months, 100% on time, and we have been 100% on time to Airbus now for eight months.”
Moreover, revealed Funk, “We’re proud to be the coach class launch customer for the 777X. We are selected and we’ve attended the IPCM [illustrated parts catalogue meeting]; we’re the first out of the gate. So we’re unveiling the seat here, it’s called the Z400. It’s lightweight [and offers] improved living space. Lightweight to the point where it is 10kgs per pax without the IFE equipment. That’s all provisions. Nobody will touch that seat.”