Sit Down For This News

Business Jet Traveler » December 2010
Photo: Aviointeriors
Monday, November 29, 2010 - 11:00pm

Need another reason to keep flying privately? Consider the SkyRider ultra-high-density seat, which Italy-based Aviointeriors has developed for airline use. The 23-inch-pitch seat looks like a cross between a miniature horse saddle and a thinly sliced seatback. It doesn't recline, and not only is the pitch so small that passengers' knees are forced into constant contact with the seat in front, but elbow room is nonexistent as well. The saddle seating itself isn't entirely uncomfortable, although it does feel strange not to be able to lean back even a bit and to have all weight on the posterior instead of distributed between the back and thighs. There's no room to crack open a laptop or unfold a newspaper-indeed a big-bellied person wouldn't even be able to lower the seat-tray-though the seatbacks do have space for an entertainment system display.

Overall, the seats seem less suited to passengers' bottoms than to airlines' bottom lines. They weigh less than half as much as normal economy-class seats and would allow carriers to fit in 14-percent more passengers. "Airlines are searching for solutions," said Fredrik Meloni, Asia regional manager for Aviointeriors. "This does make a huge impact on revenue."

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy