Optimares breaks into the commercial and business jet markets with Zest premium seat

August 23, 2012


Optimares small Optimares breaks into the commercial and business jet markets with Zest premium seatOptimares says it does not want to be confused with aircraft seat suppliers that are content to churn out basic economy-class seats. Instead, it says, everything it designs is based on the behaviours and habits of travellers and tailored to their specific desires. Some industry stakeholders have started to embrace Optimares’ approach.

“If we offer an economy-class seat it will be for someone who really wants to invest in the passenger experience,” says Marco Tonucci, who handles business development for Optimares. “We debated internally if it’s safe to start a company and concentrate on super-premium airlines whose brands are linked to interiors. We decided that we want to fill this market gap, providing everything from special lumbar support to automotive design; everything that can be perceived by the airline as a ‘wow’ idea and which other suppliers did not see because their production lines are so full they didn’t innovate.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Italian company’s innovations will initially be seen in premium and VIP cabins, where luxury is crucial.

Tonucci says the first ship-set of Optimares’ “Zest” first-class seat has been delivered to a Boeing 757 that will be operated by PrivatAir on behalf of Congo-based airline start-up ECAir.

Since ECAir is competing with Air France on flights to Paris, “the government of the Republic of Congo wanted to do something really special” so it contacted Lufthansa Consulting, which in turn reached out to Optimares, says Tonucci. “This is really consistent with our strategy.” The seat below will be personalised for ECAir.

Optimares Zest Optimares breaks into the commercial and business jet markets with Zest premium seat

Supplemental type certification for the double-actuator, full-flat seats on board the 757 is expected “soon”, he says, and the aircraft – which will feature five rows of a 2-2 first-class configuration – will fly “at the end of the summer”. PrivatAir is sourcing a second 757 for ECAir, and Zest seats will be installed on the aircraft.

Separately, the Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) in France has selected Zest for installation on an ACJ from mid-2013. The agreement represents Optimares’ foray into the VIP market.

Breaking further into the commercial airline market with a top tier carrier is next on Optimares’ agenda.

The company explains its approach to design in the following video:

share save 171 16 Optimares breaks into the commercial and business jet markets with Zest premium seat
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About Mary Kirby

Editor in Chief - APEX Media Platform | Previously Senior Editor at Flight International where she led the magazine's coverage of in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) and aircraft interiors | Former proprietor of the highly-regarded Runway Girl blog, which focused on the passenger experience | Regularly speaks at industry conferences about airborne communications, ancillary revenue opportunities for airlines and social media | You can connect with Mary on Twitter, LinkedIn

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4 Responses to “Optimares breaks into the commercial and business jet markets with Zest premium seat”

  1. Pam Says:

    Congrats to Optimares; VIP and Commercial at the same time ?!? We knew something was cooking there, I could not figure out what !


  2. Michael Says:

    It’s nice to finally see a airline seating company that is taking passengers needs into consideration instead of only focusing on trying to get as many PAX into a limited space and therefore making an already stressful situation more-so. Lets hope this vision catches on to not only super-premium airlines but to the other carriers as well.


  3. Dune Says:

    Best of luck to Optimares. Always good to see a new entrant not afraid to bring new ideas and thinking to a market space full of incumbents unwilling to rock the apple cart due to their full order books.

    Now to find the courageous and visionary airline customers willing to grab their own market share gains armed with such innovative seats and satisfied passengers.

    What will be interesting will be to see if Optimares can bring innovation and new concepts to the frankly dull space of long-haul economy. New A380 and 787 seats bring little or no extra comfort than those installed in B777s and A340s five years ago. All the innovation is coming from the IFE.

    Whoever is going to be first to find a workable solution to the encroachment on a economy passenger’s already limited personal space when the seat in front reclines is going to be one very successful company. That will be a game-changing innovation.


  4. eric Says:

    Welcome to the seating industry, Optimares ! I wonder waht kind of innovation they are thinking for economy class …everything that has been introduced in the past few years (staggered, slim, non reclining) has been a failure as for customer experience. Best of luck ! E.W.


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