Seating the Skies: Exploring, Sustainability, Reliability, & Comfort with the CEO of a Prominent Airliner Seat Manufacturer

Alt text: A large sign with the word "RECARO" in bold white letters is displayed on a black perforated background. The image is taken from a low angle, showing the ceiling of the building with lights and structural elements. The text "Nerdkatravel / Ah" is overlaid at the top of the image.

The airline industry is not just competitive in the skies. It’s also very competitive in the cabin. Airlines have a lot of choice when it comes to choosing which seats to install in their aircraft. Seat manufacturers such as Safran, Geven, Collins Aerospace and many others. One of the largest airliner seat manufacturers is Recaro Aircraft Seating (referred to as Recaro). Recaros’ seats can be found in many planes around the world. Recaro Aircraft seating is a division of the parent company Recaro Group. Recaro Group makes seats for a variety of purposes: automotive, gaming, aircraft, and more.

The image shows the logo of the brand "RECARO" in bold, black capital letters on a white background.

Recaro Aircraft seating was present at an industry trade show Aircraft Interior Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany showcasing their latest premium economy product PL3810.

The image shows the interior of an airplane cabin, specifically the premium economy or business class section. The seats are arranged in a 2-2 configuration, with each seat featuring a large headrest, ample legroom, and individual armrests. The seats are upholstered in a combination of dark and light gray fabric, with some metallic accents. The cabin has large windows, and the overall design appears modern and comfortable.
Image courtesy of Recaro Aircraft Seating: Showcasing the PL3810 Recaro’s latest premium economy class seat

Nerd Ka Travel spoke with the CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating Dr. Mark Hiller to learn more about the airline seat market and what differentiates the seat maker from the competition. Recaro makes seats for economy, premium economy, and business class cabins.

A man in a blue suit and white dress shirt is sitting in a black office chair against a plain gray background. He is smiling and has his legs crossed, with his hands resting on his lap.
Image courtesy of Recaro Aircraft Seating. Pictured is Dr. Mark Hiller CEO of Recaro Aircraft seating

Recaro airline customer portfolio is diverse, ranging from low cost airlines to full service airlines. Recaro seats can be found in the cabins of full service airlines such as most of Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737 aircraft fleet, Singapore Airlines, & British Airways Boeing 787 aircraft. Low cost carrier Frontier also uses Recaro seats. In addition, Recaros’ seats can be found inside of Delta Airlines’ A321Neo first class.

The image shows a large sign with the word "RECARO" in bold, white letters mounted on a black perforated panel. The panel has numerous circular holes of varying sizes. Above the sign, the ceiling of the building is visible, featuring a grid-like structure with lights and beams. The text "Nerdkatravel / Ah" is overlaid at the top of the image.
Photo by Nerd Ka Travel: Recaro Exhibit at AIX 2023 in Hamburg, Germany

Low cost and full service airlines have different expectations.

Low cost airlines, for instance, desire easy to maintain seats, and wider aisles (to allow for quick boarding and unloading of the aircraft). The preference of full service airlines are more towards a premium well-designed product with lower maintenance requirements.

The image shows a row of business or first-class airplane seats. The seats are upholstered in dark blue leather with a diamond pattern and have headrests with white covers. Each seat has a large screen in front of it and a tray table. There are packaged blankets and headphones placed on the seats. The cabin lighting has a blue hue, giving the area a modern and comfortable ambiance.
Photo by Nerd Ka Travel: Delta A321Neo First class features Recaro’s CL4710 premium class seat

While each seat is customized based on airline specifications, as a starting point Recaro designs a base product. The base product is designed with a few principles in mind:

1. Sustainability

2. Comfort

3. Reliability

These principles are at the heart of Recaro seats Recaro must balance these principles, customer specifications, and regulatory compliance. Making and installing seats have variable timelines. Dr. Hiller and Recaro Aircraft confirmed that a narrowbody aircraft takes anywhere from 2 months (pre configured with nothing customized) to 12 months to be fitted. While a widebody passenger aircraft can take as much as two years to be fitted with seats.

The image shows the interior of an airplane cabin. The cabin features rows of modern, grey seats with headrests, arranged in a 3-3 configuration on either side of a central aisle. The overhead compartments are closed, and the lighting is bright, giving the cabin a clean and spacious appearance. The seats are labeled with the brand "RECARO."
Image courtesy of Recaro. Pictured is Recaro’s CL3810 an economy class seat.

The airline typically specifies the inflight entertainment provider if any is required. However, Recaro has a long term relationship with Panasonic which allows them to easily integrate inflight entertainment equipment into the aircraft seat.

The image shows the interior of an airplane cabin, specifically the economy class seating area. The focus is on the back of two rows of seats. Each seat has a built-in entertainment screen, and one of the screens is displaying an image. The seats are upholstered in dark material, and there are tray tables folded up on the back of each seat. The cabin is well-lit, with light coming in from the windows on the right side of the image. The floor is carpeted, and there are armrests and seatbelt buckles visible on the seats.
Image courtesy of Recaro BL3710 an economy class seat with tablet holder.

Recaro Aircraft seating stands out from the competition by following its guiding principles of sustainability, comfort, and reliability. The seats made by the manufacturer are found in many airline’s aircraft such as Frontier Airlines, Alaska Airlines to well recognized brands British Airways, Delta Air Lines, Singapore Airlines & many more. In future flights be sure to see which seat manufacturer builds the seat you’re traveling on!

The image shows the interior of an airplane cabin, specifically the economy class section. The seats are arranged in rows, with three seats on each side of the aisle. The seats are upholstered in dark gray material with green accents and have the brand name "RECARO" on them. The cabin is well-lit, and the overhead compartments are closed. The windows along the sides of the cabin are visible, allowing natural light to enter. The overall appearance is clean and modern.
Image courtesy of Recaro pictured is Recaro’s BL3710, an economy class seat.
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