New airline seat to offer privacy and social distancing in a Covid-19 world

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 5, 2020

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Airlines are looking for innovative ways to offer social distancing seats on their planes, and travel companies designing planes are offering many ideas. 

The latest innovation is Interspace Lite, made by aerospace manufacturer Safran and transportation technology company Universal Movement. 

Safran Seats describes the company as a “world leader in aircraft passenger and crew seats” while Universal Movement describes itself as a company that is “dedicated to improving the travel experience for all.”

Apex revealed that the two companies joined forces following the unveiling of Universal Movement’s Interspace design during RedCabin’s Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit in December 2019. 

Travel + Leisure reported that Interspace Lite features a curved design over the middle seat that separates people sitting in the aisle and window seats. The middle seat is therefore unusable and great for social distancing and renders the middle seat unusable.

Quentin Munier, the EVP of strategy & innovation at Safran Seats told the publication that Interspace Lite offers privacy and expected to go into production soon. 

IOL Travel previously reported that Avio Interiors, a company that has produced aircraft cabin interiors and passenger seats for over 40 years, revealed two seating options to maintain social distancing without compromising their current seat configuration.

The suggestions include the Janus Seat and Glassafe, which will curb the spread of germs in confined spaces. The company describes Glassafe as a kit-level solution that can be installed on the airline’s existing seats. 

Glassafe, is made of transparent material to create an isolated volume around the passenger to avoid or minimise contact and reduce the probability of contamination by viruses. The Janus Seat is more complex and changes the way travellers will sit in a post-Covid-19 world. The company gained inspiration from Greek God Janus. The idea is that the middle aisle will be in the reverse position, which will provide a barrier for those seated in the window and aisle seats. Janus allows each passenger to enjoy their space isolated from others, even from people who walk through the aisle.

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