Thompson Aero Reports Upsurge in Interest in Widebody Seating Products

Thompson Aero Seating announced that it is seeing a positive increase in demand for its widebody seating products. The demand came amid the resurgence in demand for widebody aircraft following the pandemic. Many airlines want their wide-body fleets to be equipped with these premium seats by 2024.


The return of the jumbo jets

Inquiries about Thompson’s single-aisle configuration products have remained constant over the past year and have recently seen an increase in demand as airlines again add aircraft to their fleets. The VantageSOLO and the younger VantageDuo have been customer fan favorites in the narrowbody market. Over the past few weeks, it has received many requests to upgrade larger jumbo jets. The Boeing 787 and the Airbus A330 are the two most common wide-body aircraft that will be retrofitted.

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The Boeing 787 will be one of many aircraft equipped with the new VantageXL seats. Photo: Boeing

The VantageXL is the popular choice for these upgrades. The XL was refurbished earlier this year. It is designed to provide world-class living space. It has a flat horizontal bed and 100% direct aisle access. Thompson also provides the XL with a fully enclosed suite option and an upgraded “Business Plus” front-tier option. Thompson Aero Seating has informed Simple Flying that the first aircraft equipped with the refurbished VantageXL will be delivered in early 2023.

Thompson Aero Seating Vice President of Business Operations Andy Morris said:

“It is really positive that we are seeing such a strong recovery and renewed interest in wide body aircraft. We already have some exciting projects underway and will look to increase our capacity based on current and forecast demand for our products.”

Long installation period

The company’s OEM online fit programs last between 24 and 30 months from start to finish. Airlines wishing to install new planes and be ready to fly in 2024 will need to start the process as soon as possible. Aircraft that are already configured and need to be retrofitted with the new seats will take between 12 and 24 months to complete.

The installation process on new jumbo jets will take longer than on already configured jumbo jets. Photo: Airbus

Recovery 2024

In Doha, Qatar, the IATA Global Aviation Industry Global Financial Symposium is currently being held. During this conference, IATA is focusing on pandemic recovery. The airline industry saw a record number of travel requests this summer. Despite the losses suffered during the pandemic, many airlines have recovered quickly and appear to be profitable by the end of next year. The industry as a whole is expected to be profitable by the end of 2024. It also predicts that traffic levels will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

Wide-body aircraft, in particular, have made a comeback amid recent growth, as the limited air travel that has endured during the pandemic has been mostly made up of narrow-body planes operating domestic routes. With the reopening of borders, jumbo jets are back in international skies.

This year, many manufacturers have resumed aircraft deliveries to customers as the supply chain has been largely unblocked. Increased aircraft deliveries allowed Thompson Aero Seating to continue to equip aircraft with its world-class seats. Airlines that want these planes to be fully equipped by 2024 to meet growing demand will need to get their projects through quickly to Thompson Aero to secure a place in the inevitable queue that comes with demand.

What do you think of this increased demand for luxury seats on wide-body aircraft? Let us know in the comments below.

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