During ALTA Airline Leaders Forum 2021, an event hosted by the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association in Bogota, Avianca presented three new seats that will be retrofitted across the carrier’s short- and medium-haul A320 fleet. The Premium, Plus and Economy seats were all designed by Recaro Aircraft Seating, with an innovative approach to its new business class seats.
Dubbed ‘Premium’ the new ‘Business Class’ proposition was developed exclusively by Recaro for Avianca, available on the first three rows of the aircraft. This will be the widest seat for passengers who prefer traveling with the greatest comfort. The design will have a central console with individual compartments, a power plug, USB port and recline up.
Unlike competitor in the region, LATAM’s ‘Premium Economy’ product, Avianca’s seat goes beyond just blocking the middle seat, instead opting to alter the middle seat architecture with a permanent armrest fixture, optimising the passenger space. This is also a clever adaptation of an existing seat type, meaning less certification, reduced costs and lead time and more commonality to seat parts thanks to a the shared seat ancestry throughout the cabin.
Meanwhile the economy cabin is split in to two sections, similar to the approach other legacy carriers are taking. At the front, is ‘Plus’, available for those who prefer being closer to the door when disembarking. Available between rows 4 and 14, the seat’s design is lightweight yet comfortable, but it also has an independent headrest with 6 positions for ‘better rest’, an independent stand for personal electronic devices and USB ports and the option to recline.
Behind these enhanced economy seats sits the standard economy cabin in rows 13 to 32, which has a simpler design with additional services available for purchase to customise the travel experience. These seats are pre-reclined meaning there is no opportunity to recline the seat, but still has a stand for personal electronic devices integrated into the table and offers USB ports for all passengers.
These changes are all about optimising the fleet, and as such the aircraft also includes Airbus’ SpaceFlex, a module that optimises the rear of the aircraft, combining the galleys and lavatories, allowing Avianca to increase its seat capacity.
In the following days, clients will begin to see the Plus and Economy seats on flights within Colombia although the full SpaceFlex cabins won’t enter the fleet until the second quarter of 2022. It also confirmed that the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, currently used for long-haul flights in America and Europe, will preserve the traditional business class cabin, but the rest of the aircraft will be redesigned adding state-of-the-art seats.