Could Lie Flat Business Class Travel Get Cheaper With This Seat?

Singapore based AirGo have come up with a new design for premium seating that they claim is the most space efficient in the world. The seating provides spaces for families and couples, as well as for solo travelers who want a more traditional product. IF the design really does save so much space, it could make lie flat business class travel a whole lot cheaper.

AirGo
AirGo has designed the most space-efficient business class product yet. Photo: AirGo

The Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg earlier this year was awash with new and innovative ideas for passenger accommodation. From the notorious stand up seat to an Airbus concept for a corner sofa, many manufacturers are attempting to change the way we travel.

But one company stood out as coming up with something that could be really useful, and that was AirGo with their innovative space saving business class seat.

The AirGo Galaxy

Singapore based AirGo has taken the concept of business class comfort and applied it to a new design that maximizes the available space. It’s Galaxy cabin configuration utilizes two types of seating, all super slim and, according to the company, the most space-efficient design ever seen.

AirGo
There’s even room for a bar! Photo: AirGo

The key to their product is the inclusion of two different seats. By the window, they use a sleeper-type sofa, which can be used by couples and families to have a more ‘together’ in-flight experience. These seats have a tiny pitch of just 27.6 inches, but the way they’re arranged means everyone gets a lie-flat experience and a product that feels luxurious.

AirGo
Families can have a more shared experience. Photo: AirGo

Between pairs of seats are dividing walls which can be dropped down to create a queen-sized bed, giving the opportunity to sleep in all sorts of different angles.

AirGo
Window seats transform into a queen-sized bed. Photo: AirGo

In the middle, there’s a pair of more standard business class seats. Here, the pitch is 47.6 inches, more in line with what we’ve come to expect from a business product.

AirGo
The Galaxy layout uses two types of seats. Photo: AirGo

Alireza Yaghoubi, co-founder and chief technology officer at AirGo spoke to CNN about the product, saying,

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“Typically, in business class, you have one type of seat, and they are positioned at different angles with respect to the access of the aircraft. We should have more than one kind of seat, we should be able to fit even more seats, by essentially using the wasted space.”

The company say that on a Boeing 777, the Galaxy layout would provide 36 seats, leaving space for a cocktail bar. They also claim it will even work on a narrowbody aircraft.

Could a seat like this make business class cheaper?

In theory, yes. While passengers may crave a double bed or a closed off suite type experience, giving away such a huge amount of airplane real estate is always going to hurt the airline. The more generously proportioned their premium products are, the fewer they can fit on board.

AirGo
Could this make business class travel cheaper? Photo: AirGo

So, it naturally follows that an aircraft with only 20 – 30 spacious business class seats would charge more per passenger than one which can accommodate 30 – 40 in the same sized cabin. If a space saving premium product were to be brought to market, there is a strong possibility that some carriers could charge less to travel in style.

AirGo
The product could even work on a narrowbody aircraft. Photo: AirGo

However, this is a long way off. AirGo is nothing more than an idea on paper for now. The next step will be to create a life sized mock-up, so that airlines and passengers can try out the seats for themselves. If the product does go into production, its likely to be several years before we see it installed on a plane.

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Nigel

It looks very clever — hats off for innovation! The seats along by the window are somewhat similar to the old Virgin business class…but with the added (very clever) “family options”. In the hands of a carrier like Scoot or Air Asia, this could be a very popular product; regular carriers would probably try to milk a disproportionate price out of the concept, and that would impede broad appeal. In current concepts, a business class passenger occupies about 2.5 times the floor space of an economy passenger; however, business class fares are typically about 10 times the economy fare, and… Read more »

Matt

I had a similar idea a while ago. I’m both happy and mad at this. Happy because they are making my idea a reality. Mad because they came up with it independently from me and I’m not getting any royalties.