For those of you traveling in business class, comfort and service are the two main reasons why you decided to paid extra. But for those of you who travel in business often know that not all seats are created equal. Some business class seats offer more leg space than others, some more high-tech than others, and some even more comfortable, converting into fully-flat beds while others don’t.
That is why Zodiac Aerospace has created Optima—the perfect balance of efficiency and comfort—by designing a seat and a configuration that combines both angled and in-line seats so that everyone has direct access to the aisle. Moreover, this seat design allows you to have automatic privacy screens so that you can disconnect from your neighbor (if traveling individually).
Airlines can purchase the Optima design “off the rack” or use it as a base, then customize it as they please. Anthony Harcup, design-lead and co-inventor of the Etihad A380 first class cabin, says “This is when you can get a flat-bed seat that gives every passenger aisle access, and gives them privacy, a lot of personal space and maintains seat count…We call the new layout the ‘herring-line”.
Compared to other configurations where the seats have direct aisle access, the Optima design can increase the number of seats the airline can fit into a cabin by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
When the seat transforms into a fully-flat bed it measures up to 83.5 inches long, offering one of the best sleeping experiences you could ever ask for in business class (a luxury that is usually only available for first class passengers). Not only does the Optima design benefit the passenger, but it also benefits the airline as well. A double win!
Paul Wills, head of product development at Zodiac Seats UK, stated, “Optima shares a lot of DNA with Polaris. We wanted to take advantage of that DNA and make it available to a wider audience…We’ve given it a completely new set of furniture and an 18in monitor.”
Optima has been created as “an affordable product”, which in two years will be available for delivery.
Check out this video for a complete virtual tour of the Optima business class seat, courtesy of Hatem Lefi.