Air India’s widebody retrofit, a USD 400 Million exercise, will see the airline change everything from the outside paint on the aircraft to the seats and the cabin layout. The intention is to make these aircraft “as good as new.” It is a big project for everyone in the aviation ecosystem and big bucks for everyone involved.
Air India selects RECARO for Economy and Premium Economy seating on retrofit projects.
Air India’s 777 and 787 fleet retrofits will start in the second half of 2024, as discussed with Air India management. The first aircraft to go in for a retrofit will be a 787-8, and this exercise will be fully completed by the end of 2025. However, beyond a video of the 777, Air India had yet to indicate which seat models would be selected. We predicted the RECARO PL3530 and CL3710, though, and these are precisely the models that RECARO confirmed.
RECARO Aircraft Seating indicates that more than 22,000 RECARO seats will be installed in both line fit and retrofit programs over the next five to six years, which will involve the Boeing 787-8, the 777-300ERs and also the A350-900 and the 787-9 aircraft due to be delivered to the airline.
Air India has chosen the CL3710 and the new CL3810 for economy class, while the premium PL3530 will outfit the premium economy cabin. The first phase of this collaboration involves retrofitting 40 B787 and B777 aircraft with CL3710 and PL3530 seats, which are set to enter service in 2024 and 2025. The same seat configuration shall be maintained for 12 A350 and B787-9 line-fit aircraft entering service in 2025.
The PL3530, designed for premium economy class passengers, offers unparalleled comfort, functionality, ample stowage, and a generous 7” recline.
The economy CL3710, a recipient of multiple design accolades, features a six-way adjustable headrest with neck support, enhancing sleeping comfort. As per RECARO, the CL3710 has a striking 50% market share on the A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft seating.
Beyond 2025, the Air India A350 and 787-9 aircraft that will be delivered will feature the CL3810 and PL3530 seats in the economy and premium economy cabins, respectively.
The CL3810 combines comfort innovations and a sleek, modern aesthetic for economy-class travellers. Lufthansa has picked the CL3810 for its widebodies and that of Swiss, and by Qatar Airways as well, who is the launch customer of the seat. It will be interesting to see if Air India picks the winged headrest on these seats. Also, Qantas’ Project Sunrise A350s will be equipped with these seats, so there is quite the pedigree of demanding customers on the roster already.
RECARO will supply about 22,000 seats to Air India to retrofit their Boeing 787 and 777 jets and later for the airline’s A350 and 787-9 aircraft. The RECARO seats supplied will be fitted in the Premium Economy and Economy sections of Air India’s widebody aircraft.
What do you think of the seat choices made by Air India?
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