Boeing and Adient are showcasing jointly developed prototypes for lie-flat business class seats at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Adient, an automotive seating company, and Boeing are proposing a joint venture, Adient Aerospace, to address the profitable commercial airline seating market.

Industry analysts expect the sector to grow from some $4.5 billion in 2017 to $6 billion by 2026.

The companies say their aim is to deliver “superior comfort, craftsmanship and operational excellence… additional capacity and improved on-time performance”

“Adient, with its global automotive competencies, delivering more than 25 million seats to the automotive industry every year, will help to create a compelling new choice for customers,” said Jason Fahlbush, nominated COO of Adient Aerospace. “Adient is also looking for opportunities to grow, diversify its business, and at ways to use transferable capabilities beyond our core automotive business.”

For new airplanes and retrofits

The joint venture will focus on providing seating solutions, future design concepts and layout of passenger accommodations (LOPA) strategies for airlines, aircraft leasing companies and passengers around the world. The seats will be offered for installation on new airplanes and as retrofit configurations for aircraft produced by Boeing and other commercial airplane manufacturers.

Initial product development is expected to take place in Kaiserslautern, Germany, near Frankfurt. The joint venture’s initial customer service centre will be based in Seattle, Washington state, capitalising on the constant flow of airlines and airplane leasing companies visiting the region. The aftermarket spare parts distribution will be performed exclusively through Aviall, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing.

Adient will be the majority stakeholder in the new company (50.01% share) and expects the joint venture to be included in its consolidated financial statements. Boeing (as 49.99% partner) will receive a proportionate share of the earnings and cash flow. Both will have representation on Adient Aerospace’s board of directors.

Adient and Boeing announced their intention to form Adient Aerospace in January 2018. Its formation is subject to the usual regulatory approvals.

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