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Two big names behind quest for perfect airline seat

January 19, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

What you need on a long flight is a really good seat – and now one of the world’s major plane-makers has teamed up with a leader in vehicle seating to design just that.

Boeing and Adient have announced the formation of Adient Aerospace, a joint venture that will develop, manufacture and sell a portfolio of seating products to airlines and aircraft leasing companies.

The seats will be available for installation on new planes and as retrofit configurations for aircraft produced by Boeing and other commercial airplane manufacturers.

A joint release from the two companies said that the venture between Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, and Adient, a global leader in automotive seating, addressed the aviation industry’s needs for “more capacity in the seating category, superior quality and reliable on-time performance”.

“Seats have been a persistent challenge for our customers, the industry and Boeing, and we are taking action to help address constraints in the market,” said Kevin Schemm, senior vice president of Supply Chain Management, Finance and Business Operations and chief financial officer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Adient Aerospace will leverage Boeing’s industry leadership and deep understanding of customer needs and technical requirements, to provide a superior seating product for airlines and passengers around the world.

“This joint venture supports Boeing’s vertical integration strategy to develop in-house capabilities and depth in key areas to offer better products, grow services and generate higher lifecycle value.”

Adient chairman and chief executive, Bruce McDonald, said Adient had “a strong set of transferable competencies that will offer a unique opportunity to create value for our company and for Boeing, our shareholders and the broader commercial aircraft market.

“To enhance the customer experience for passengers, airlines and commercial airplane manufacturers, we will apply our unmatched expertise for comfort and craftsmanship along with our reputation for operational excellence.”

Adient Aerospace’s operational headquarters, technology centre and initial production plant will be located in Kaiserslautern, Germany, near Frankfurt. The joint venture’s initial customer service centre will be based in Seattle, Washington. Adient Aerospace aftermarket spare parts distribution will be performed exclusively through Aviall, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing.

Adient is the majority stakeholder in the new company (only just – it’s share is 50.01%) and it expects the joint venture to be included in its consolidated financial statements. Boeing (as 49.99% partner) will receive a proportionate share of the earnings and cash flow. Both will have representation on Adient Aerospace’s board of directors.

Industry analysts forecast the commercial aircraft seating market to grow from approximately USD 4.5 billion in 2017 to USD 6 billion by 2026.

Edited by Peter Needham

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