For economy passengers, seat space is getting smaller as airlines try to squeeze more into the cabin to boost profits. A Singapore company, AirGo Design, is offering an innovative seating solution to counteract the discomfort and irritation this can cause – and a number of airlines are hailing it as a game-changer.

We talked to Alireza Yaghoubi, Co-founder and CTO, AirGo Design, to find out more about what makes AirGo seats different.

Losing weight

He said: “What’s interesting for the airlines is actually the weight saving. To be honest, they don’t really care as much as us passenger about the comfort.”

“We have a seat which is almost 50% lighter. This is going to be the world’s first full-composite aircraft seat, but that enables us to not take away your comfort.”

By Alireza Yaghoubi, Co-founder and CTO, AirGo Design

He added: “We make the seat frame lighter rather than cutting down on the padding, so the seats are also very comfortable. They give you more leg room for the same floor space, and they’re much wider because we have this new armrest mechanism. You stow it down rather than up, so these seats are almost three inches wider than a typical economy-class seat.”

Alan Peaford, FINN’s Editor-in-Chief, got a chance to sit in the chair at Singapore Airshow recently and noted: “It feels like a premium economy seat or even better, but it’s got a certain bounce to it. It’s got comfort, and it’s got firmness.”

Unlike a lot of other lightweight seats, the AirGo also reclines.

How is the company achieving all this?

 3D scanning

Yaghoubi said: “We have done 3D body scanning, so we bring in actual passengers, we scan their body, put it into the computer environment. That’s where you get this special contour. Then we combine that with pressure mapping. This is a multi-density foam, quite common in high-end automotive cars like Ferrari, but not so much in aircraft seating, so we’re bringing that from the automotive into aircraft seats. Then we have these special stitching patterns.

“These lumps of foam, they basically induce a better blood flow. When you sit for too long, your body goes numb – you start to move. This is the benefit of this so-called osteomorphic design. It follows the skeleton in your body.”

Coming soon

Yaghoubi hopes we could be flying in these seats soon.

He comments: “This is the world’s first full-composite seat, so in terms of regulations, there’s not much. We’re still in negotiations with the regulatory body. Tests might take a bit longer than expected, but we hope that by end of this year or early next year we [can] certify the seats.”

“Perhaps, next year in Hamburg during the Aircraft Interiors [show] we will announce the launch customer.”

By Alireza Yaghoubi, Co-founder and CTO, AirGo Design