Skycouch: Lie-flat space in the economy class

Air New Zealand passengers can now stretch out

Schwaebisch Hall/Hamburg, Germany. Sitting for hours on long-haul flights in economy class will soon become a thing of the past. Recaro Aircraft Seating is presenting the “Skycouch” designed by Air New Zealand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. This new concept converts three adjacent seats into a lie-flat, flexible space. Recaro Aircraft Seating will start supplying the new seats for Boeing aircraft operated by Air New Zealand in autumn 2010.

It is now possible to lie down comfortably in economy class thanks to intelligent engineering by Recaro Aircraft Seating. A privilege that was once reserved for passengers in business class or first class is now made possible with this innovative seat. The Skycouch comes with an ergonomic legrest that can be folded up to a 60- or 90-degree angle. “Adjusting the legrests to 90 degrees creates a comfortable, lie-flat space across the three seats,” explains Recaro Aircraft Seating CEO Axel Kahsnitz. Air New Zealand will start refitting each of its longrange Boeing 777-300 aircraft with 20 rows of Skycouch seats in December 2010.

The airline relied on Recaro know-how and experience for the new product working closely together with a team from Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas, in Fort Worth, Texas, where the seat is being managed, engineered, certified and manufactured.

According to Kahsnitz, “The challenges involved with the new seat were widely varied and extremely demanding. The final result reflects a successful overall concept.” Based on the Recaro CL3510 economy class seat, the Skycouch offers excellent ergonomics and more passenger comfort.

The seat features a newly designed backrest in lightweight, high-tech materials with matching armrests that can be easily folded away when the seats are configured for sleeping. Other features include an extended headrest, swivel-mounted video display and in-flight entertainment system with PC power, USB and iPod connections.

“The Skycouch is the innovative result of direct cooperation between our multidisciplinary, international teams,” Kahsnitz explains. Recaro experts from across the globe formed a working group with representatives from Air New Zealand. “The cooperation was excellent. The airline has already expressed interest in working with us on the next project – providing the same Recaro specialists are available.”

Press contact

RECARO Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG
Daimlerstr. 21
74523 Schwäbisch Hall
Phone: +49 791 503-5500