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Exceptional Widebody Premium Seats Expertly Crafted Into Narrow-body Platforms

Issue 7 - 2020
Exceptional Widebody  Premium Seats Expertly Crafted Into Narrow-body Platforms

Interview with Emmanuel Regnier, VP of Sales and Marketing for Cabin Interiors at STELIA Aerospace

Mr. Emmanuel Regnier, thank you for your time today. Can you give us some information about STELIA Aerospace?

Emmanuel Regnier : STELIA Aerospace was created in 2015, from the merger of two Airbus companies, Aerolia & Sogerma. Through the latter we have extensive experience in cabin interiors for more than 30 years with prestigious airlines customers, operating both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Today STELIA Aerospace is one of the world’s leading manufacturers for aerostructures, pilot seats and First Class and Business Class passenger seats. 

With a turnover of 2.4 billion euros (2.64 billion dollars) the group employs   7,500 employees worldwide, including 4,500 in France and 3,000 in North America, Tunisia, Morocco and Portugal. (figures as of the end of 2019).

Some Aerospace companies divide their activities between Boeing and Airbus. Can you tell us how STELIA Aerospace divides activities?

Emmanuel Regnier : For its aerostructures activities, STELIA Aerospace’s customers are Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, ATR and other manufacturers such as Bell, Embraer….

Our First Class and Business Class passenger seats are evenly spread between our Airbus and Boeing airlines customers (more than 50 worldwide) 

Finally, for our pilot seats, our customers are Airbus (for the entire aircraft family), as well as some business jets and helicopters.

What about your new Business class seat, OPERA? What do you offer your customers with your new business class seats?

Emmanuel Regnier : The OPERA seat brings the best level of comfort that is available today only on the widebody platform to the narrow-body aircraft market, thanks to its reverse herringbone configuration. Among its many innovative features, the seat offers passengers:

A wide and long full-flat bed

The full privacy with a fully integrated door in option

Direct seat access to all passengers with an enhanced direct view to the window

Very large surfaces and stowage capacities

 Largest screen capability on single-aisle

At present are there any airplane companies that have started to use these seats?

Emmanuel Regnier : The seat is currently in its final phase of qualification and is already present in the Airbus seat catalogue. It retains much attention from different airlines and we should see it flying soon!

Since OPERA is especially designed for the new coming long-haul market on single aisle, we are targeting airlines that are willing to operate 7 to 9 hour flights with single aisle platforms. The A321XLR is opening new opportunities to airlines, especially for the legacy carriers which will try to offer point to point premium routes in complement to their traditional offer via their hub platforms. 

In its current dimensions, the seat fits with all the A320 family platforms.

 You have partnered with Turkish Airlines in prior years; has Turkish Airlines shown interest in using OPERA seats? Any intentions from Turkish Airlines to perhaps use these seats in business class, are there any negotiations occurring with them?

Emmanuel Regnier : Turkish Airlines is definitely a strong partner for STELIA Aerospace but I’m afraid we cannot comment on ongoing discussions with our airline customers.…

STELIA Aerospace was awarded the ’Top Employer’ international certification from the Top Employers Institute in 2019 and we also know that STELIA Aerospace has strengthened its manufacturing resources and opened an assembly line in Portugal in 2019. What’s on the horizon for STELIA Aerospace, can you inform us more about your future plans and targets?

Emmanuel Regnier : This is another story. 

First, we are very proud to have been awarded Top Employer. This is the result of a combination of various factors including specifically effective, engaging, attractive and inclusive HR policies and practices.

Then, as for any other company in the aeronautical industry, we are strongly and durably hit by the Covid-19 crisis and its sanitary and economic consequences. Therefore, we have no other choice than to face this unprecedented crisis in order to secure our future. This is why, without entering into details, we have set up and are currently deploying robust action plans in order to firstly adapt our structure to a largely reduced market demand and secondly to recover our competitiveness and get ready for the day when the market demand is back.

 Would you like to add anything in the way of a message to our readers?

Emmanuel Regnier : Year after year, STELIA Aerospace’s teams deliver high quality products on time to our customers around the world. Our expertise and proactive approach result in premium seats that enhance passenger comfort as well as meeting high level requirements. From our bespoke first-class options to our luxurious mini-suites, each seat brings its own brand of rest and relaxation to passengers while optimizing cabin layout for maximum revenue efficiency for the airlines 

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