ACCESS is a premium fixed-back reclining lounger with direct aisle access for all passengers, prioritising aisle access over a bed, with a higher cabin density than lie-flat seats. The brief was to create and define a seat that is not a full business class product yet offers an enhanced passenger experience when compared with conventional seating, while also maintaining a commercially beneficial cabin density.
Prompted by the likely commercial benefits of long-range narrow body aircraft, over the last few years, the aviation industry has been looking at business class on single-aisle aircraft. In response, Factorydesign created the SOLO business class seat concept, now manufactured by Thompson Aero. SOLO, and others like it, are full lie-flat business class seat with direct aisle access for all passengers, improving on the expected minimum feature requirements in business class, but on a single aisle aircraft.
ACCESS offers a fine balance between providing a premium experience to passengers and maintaining a commercially viable seat count and cabin density. While it may look similar to a conventional layout with two seats either side of a single aisle, the fundamental difference, and resulting advantage, is the inclusion of an angle and a stagger.
This configuration provides the outboard, window passenger with the ability to leave their seat and access the aisle (to stretch a leg, visit the lavatory or a destination are such as a self-serve bar) without the discomfort and interruption of having to step-over the legs of their neighbour. Passengers travelling together, or couples, have the option to close off this egress to provide an additional console surface.
ACCESS is a seat product which is a premium enhancement beyond a conventional 2-2 configuration but not as space hungry as fully lie-flat, direct aisle access seats. Factorydesign Ltd are confident that there is market need for a high-density, less space hungry premium seat for single aisle that provides added features and enhanced passenger experience beyond a standard 2-2 configuration, with higher-density cabins than full lie-flat business class.
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