Italian aircraft seatmaker Geven is preparing to launch a brand new economy class seat model aimed at meeting the needs of ultra-low-cost carriers and LCCs, which are expected to rebound faster from the COVID-19 crisis.
The work is part of a broader new product development strategy at Geven spanning all cabin classes. Company owner and managing director Alberto Veneruso tells Runway Girl Network that Geven’s product line is being updated in collaboration with one of the premier design houses in aviation.
Though specific details of the new economy seat are still under wraps, Veneruso says the model – internally referred to as “Super Economy” – will be “extremely competitive in terms of cost” and will maintain Geven’s standards for weight, comfort and living space features.
It will also become Geven’s baseline slimline economy class product for the ULCC and LCC market.
Veneruso reckons that restrictive corporate travel policies together with constrained travel budgets “will most probably impact (although temporarily) business class with a possible reduction of seat requests of this category in favor of the premium economy and economy class seats”.
Geven’s response to this paradigm, he says, “is represented by the new Super Economy model, which will allow airline companies to outfit with very competitive products. The new design of our Super Economy model will contribute in drastic reduction of fuel consumption, while allowing to add more seats on board and reduce maintenance costs related to the product by minimizing the number of parts of the seat. The name of the Super Economy seat will soon be released together with its major features.”
Geven has seen tremendous momentum for its Essenza slimline seat in recent years. “So far, 200,000 Essenza Family pax have been ordered for single-aisle aircraft platforms,” says Veneruso.
But in light of Geven’s work on Super Economy as a baseline slimline, Essenza, pictured, “instead will have a new goal”, representing “the high end product of the economy class for high demanding airline companies”, reveals the Geven managing director.
“Essenza has always represented a borderline product as was naturally positioned between ULCC/LCC economy and premium economy class. The new version will see an upgrade of comfort amenities which will definitely guarantee a new positioning in the hi-end economy class seating category.”
Geven boasts linefit offerabiliity at Airbus and a strong market share on A320 family types. It already counts Lufthansa, Flynas, Aero K, Wizz Air, Viva Aerobus, Air Corsica, Austrian, Viva Air Colombia, Azur, Air Dolomiti and Eurowings as customers for Essenza.
The firm is also presently working with S7 Siberia Airlines to outfit the carrier’s A320 and A321 twinjets with Essenza “with customized branding features including Geven’s latest (patented) Bring Your On Device with integrated USB port”, says Veneruso.
But Geven has also qualified as a seat supplier for Boeing 737 aircraft. Veneruso says he expects to see an increase in 737s with Essenza “when traffic goes back to normal, especially with the recent green light” for 737 MAX’s return to service.
In 2019, Geven was named a Boeing offerable seat supplier on the 787. “Timing was not in our favor. Unfortunately, Geven became offerable to Boeing at the very beginning of pandemic and therefore although ready, the actual take off did not yet happen. As you know widebodies have been heavily impacted by COVID crisis, more than single isle,” says Veneruso.
“We have been working on increasing our offerable products on Boeing 787 as well as other Boeing aircraft.”
Updated premium economy
Even before the COVID-19 crisis, premium economy was a growing market. That trend is accelerating amid the pandemic. To meet the needs of airlines, Geven is nearing the final stage of designing a successor to its Comoda AQ premium economy seat in two versions as part of its broader product development exercise.
“This new premium seat by Geven will support all current market requirements for premium economy class with increased comfort features, such as calf rest, leg rest, storage capacity, privacy dividers, connectivity, well being on board amenities and the possibility of installing electrical recliner,” says Veneruso.
Geven will begin marketing its new products starting at the end of February. A new corporate identity and product identity will also be unveiled.
But while Geven is optimistic about growth opportunities for its economy and premium economy products, it is realistic about the timeline for industry recovery, given the pace of rollout for the COVID-19 vaccine. Veneruso suggests that a best case scenario “could be Q2/Q3 2023” for industry recovery.
- My kingdom for a slimline: honesty and reality in PaxEx
- Commercial aviation may not see rebound until 2023
- Beyond seats: getting the new longhaul narrowbody cabins right
- Designing future #PaxEx in the COVID space shift
- Beyond Eurobusiness: the trend towards fully featured economy up front
- Rethinking the aircraft seat for a new market reality
- Italian seatmaker Geven readies ultra-slimline for major European airline
- Airbus, Geven unveil hybrid “Settee Corner” business-economy concept
Images credited to Geven