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Gloucestershire Business News

Safran working to get new seats off the ground

The aviation industry has been particularly badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic with airplanes grounded across the world, job losses and fears about the future safety of flying.

But necessity is the mother of invention and some of those fears are addresses by a new seat which will be developed and manufactured by Safran.

Safran, which makes landing systems at its factory in Staverton, has announced an exclusive partnership to bring the new Interspace seat technology to the market.

Launched in December, when its need in a post-coronavirus world could not have been predicted, the Interspace seat which creates partitions in between seats - effectively leaving the middle seat vacant and increasing space between passengers.

According to Safran, the padded shells can be installed on 90 per cent of existing economy seats.

Safran Seats, which has a base at Cwmbran, South Wales, has signed the partnership deal with London transportation technology company Universal Movement.

It involves other Interspace projects, including padded wings which fold out from the seat in premium economy, improving comfort and support as well as helping to separate passengers.

Quentin Munier, Safran Seats executive vice president of strategy and innovation, said: Safran Seats is confident that this partnership with Universal Movement will generate value to our customers thanks to its recognised agility and innovative spirit.

"Interspace is a great innovation for privacy of passengers, even more so in the post-COVID-10 travel environment."

Safran and Universal Movement are currently working on the Interspace Lite equipment adaptation, which gives airlines the flexibility to easily reconfigure their economy cabins, by providing delineation and privacy between passengers by locking out either the central or outboard seats of a row.

Universal Movement founder Luke Miles said: "With the travel industry severely affected by the spread of coronavirus, we have sought to provide a solution that could allow airlines to get back on their feet much sooner than if standard aircraft seating were to remain the same.

"Our partnership with Safran is a significant step in helping support the industry and also make planes a much more comfortable space for passengers when they look to travel again in the future."

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