Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red, a new UK domestic operator, and Dutch carrier KLM are using more durable leather – but with a lower carbon footprint – for their new aircraft seats.
KLM’s new World Business Class seats are predominantly fabric but feature Andrew Muirhead and Son-supplied leather trim on the head- and arm-rests, while Little Red features full leather seat covers on its four Airbus A320 aircraft, Muirhead sales director Archie Browning recently told the APEX editor’s blog at the firm’s Glasgow headquarters.
“Airlines are keen to increase and improve on their carbon credentials. The Sateen leather, a Muirhead product that both [KLM and Little Red] have used, is a very fine grain leather, not a heavy print. It is made within a thermal energy plant to produce low carbon leather. This was important to KLM,” says Browning.
“We have supplied leather seats for Virgin for over a decade and because of the longevity of the product we were approached on the Little Red project.” Muirhead delivered the leather for Little Red’s fleet in four weeks, he says.
Leather finishing technology has evolved over the last decade. “The last layer to go on the leather is the top coat and the technology on its finish has improved. Leather is even more durable which means it will look better for even longer,” says Browning. “British Airways has flown with the same leather for more than ten years. It doesn’t look brand new, but the new types of leather we’re producing now will not age at the same rate.”
Little Red is offering multiple daily flights between London and Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. KLM’s new interior will be seen on its refurbished fleet of 22 Boeing 747-400 in July 2013.