The headrest of the Air France Hop customised Expliseat TiSeat seat on the show floor at AIX 2024

Air France goes industrial minimalist with new Expliseat seat for Hop


Paris-based Expliseat, which lays claim to offering the world’s lightest aircraft seat, in March announced that Air France has selected the seatmaker’s TiSeat 2 X platform for its regional subsidiary, Hop (formerly branded HOP!). The customised product, which will be installed on Hop’s Embraer 190 twinjets as part of a cabin renewal project, was on display at last month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, where RGN journalists got the opportunity to inspect the seat in detail.

Expliseat has adapted the TiSeat’s innovative seat support structure to Embraer’s specific seat mounting configuration, which fits into the wall. And, as you’d expect from Expliseat, the seat is focused on weight savings and features the firm’s patented titanium and composite fibre frame. Expliseat confirmed to RGN that its titanium is not sourced from Russia.

Clad in a blue leather seat cover with a white seatback, the seat boasts an industrial minimalist design. For instance, the seat’s PED holder forms a single piece of machined metal that folds out from the seatback. And the blue and white finish is only offset by a dash of red on the headrest. 

Air France collaborated with Expliseat on the design. The airline’s vice president for customer experience, Fabien Pelous, explained that the seat is part of Air France’s effort to create a more premium experience for Hop passengers. New cabins for Hop’s E-Jets aim to mirror the comfort levels found on Air France’s Airbus A220s. Hop is also improving its onboard service to more closely match Air France’s mainline offering.A close up oft two Air France Hop customised Expliseat TiSeat seats in blue seat covers with a red check on the headrest.

Interestingly, USB-A and USB-C power ports are built into the seatback PED holder mount. And cup holders on either side create a handy overall space for nesting.Close up of the silver PED holder and cup holders on the Air France Hop customised Expliseat TiSeat

Limited accents emphasise the titanium and carbon fibre components of the seat. The effect is very arresting, connoting a blend of sci-fi and French elegance. 

However, RGN is sceptical about whether the white seatbacks will remain pristine for long, especially given Hop’s intense regional patterns in Europe. Expliseat CEO Amaury Barberot said the carbon fibre design will aid its longevity, but Air France’s Pelous admitted this is a “courageous choice”.

Side view of the Air France Hop customised Expliseat TiSeat model.

Unfortunately, the severity of the design also translated to the comfort levels of the seat, which we found to be low. Expliseat explained to RGN at the launch event that it has been working on the balance between lightness and comfort, moving towards comfort from the seatmaker’s original sub-4kg seat for ATR.

A presentation of the Air France Expliseat TiSeat at AIX 2024The seat on the show floor certainly seemed expensive in finish, but was profoundly upright and offered only limited recline.


In a 30″ pitch configuration, the legroom was average but shin clearance was poor for your 193cm (6’4) author.

Given that the weight of the seat has now climbed past the 8kg mark, the TiSeat 2 X — at least in this iteration with comfort add-ons for Air France (PED holder, in-seat power) — makes it comparable with Recaro Aircraft Seating’s R2 and Collin Aerospace’s Helix, which were also showcased at AIX 2024.

It will be interesting to see if and how Expliseat makes adjustments to this balance to remain competitive in the future. The first TiSeat 2 X seats will appear on Air France Hop aircraft from Autumn 2024. 

A set of 4 Air France Expliseat TiSeat 2X seats in blue seat covers on the AIX 2024 show floor

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All images credited to the author, Fintan Horan-Stear