STELIA Tackles Single Aisle Lie Flat Business With New OPERA Seat

STELIA Aerospace has launched its latest business class seat. Known as ‘OPERA,’ it is a full-flat bed aimed at the increasing amount of single-aisle aircraft serving medium to long-haul flights. The Toulouse-based company is a world leader in the development of business class and first class passenger seats.

Stelia aerospace Opera
OPERA is a lie-flat seat with incredible privacy, designed for the narrowbody market. Photo: STELIA Aerospace

Specifically designed for single-aisle

Today STELIA Aerospace unveiled its brand-new OPERA business class seat. The design aims to offer “outstanding long-range comfort on single-aisle,” in a seat that provides passengers on narrowbody aircraft “the highest standard widebody comfort.” The product’s tagline is “Full Flat, Full Access, Full Privacy,” and the press release lists the following features:

  • The widest full-flat bed available on single-aisle, with ample foot space for unrivaled sleeping comfort.
  • An extra-large 20″ monitor screen.
  • Increased privacy with a fully integrated door.
  • Extra stowage capacity: a closed amenity stowage and a laptop stowage zone.
  • A large and stable meal table, stowed under the cocktail table.
The OPERA seat aims to offer widebody comfort on single-aisle aircraft. Photo: STELIA Aerospace

STELIA has tailored the design to suit not just passengers but also its customer airlines. Although passenger comfort is the seat’s primary aim, it also “boasts a simplified design, for weight and cost optimization as well as easy installation and wiring of screens.” A further practical consideration of the product is its adjustable armrests.

The seat’s appearance is another aspect that has undergone careful consideration in the design process. Soft lighting adds to its general ambiance, with “particular attention [having] been given to the interior trimmings of each seat.” The design looks to combine “soft and
warm materials, smooth mechanism, and smart ergonomics, for a tailored and interactive passenger experience.”

The OPERA features aspects such as a 20″ screen and increased stowage capacity that are sure to win favor among passengers and airlines alike. Photo: STELIA Aerospace

STELIA Aerospace’s VP of Cabin Interior, Thierry Kanengieser, underlines the advantageous nature of the seat for both passengers and airlines in the press release, stating that:

“With ‘OPERA’, airlines operating single-aisles on transcontinental routes can offer their customers the outstanding level of comfort they can find on wide-bodies. Combining design and efficiency, this brand new seat is a major step forward for our industry, creating an enhanced passenger experience and high added value for airlines.”

A growing long-range trend

Even before the coronavirus pandemic caused passenger numbers to tumble worldwide, airlines were increasingly beginning to turn to single-aisle aircraft to serve medium to long-haul routes. The STELIA Aerospace OPERA is aimed explicitly at such carriers.

Canada’s third-largest airline, Air Transat, for example, launched its Airbus A321LR in October 2019, serving European destinations such as Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Lisbon, London Gatwick, Nice, and Porto. Meanwhile, Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus was reported to be considering launching transatlantic flights from Cork in 2022, using Airbus A321LR and A321XLR aircraft.

Aer Lingus
Cork could see transatlantic narrowbody flights with Aer Lingus as early as 2022. Photo: Getty Images

The latter of these aircraft, with its lower capacity and long range, is said to be the perfect solution for aviation in a lower-demand, post-coronavirus world. STELIA Aerospace certainly seems to share this prediction, with their new seat specifically looking to tap into this market. It will certainly be interesting to see which airlines install the OPERA in the coming years.

Have you ever flown long-haul on a single-aisle aircraft? How does it compare to traveling on widebody aircraft? Let us know in the comments.