Acro’s Series 3 seat on display at Aircraft Interiors International Asia. Image: Lim Kok Wee / Low Kian Tiong

APEX Insight: Aircraft seating suppliers for the low-cost market Mirus and Acro are at the forefront of innovation in their sector. The former unveiled a customer design app at Aircraft Interiors International Asia and the latter showcased minimalist seat designs that optimize comfort, together proving that low-cost doesn’t equal low yields.

At the center of Mirus Aircraft Seating’s three-row display of black Hawk slimline seats on the Aircraft Interiors Asia showroom floor stands one seat outfitted in a houndstooth pattern. Ben McGuire, chief operating officer of Mirus, revealed that the customer-designed seat was inspired by the interior of a 1960s Porsche.

Patterns aren’t the only thing Mirus has borrowed from the automotive industry: The lightweight seat manufacturer – which secured a deal in April to equip AirAsia’s fleet of Airbus A320s with its economy seat – has debuted an app that allows customers to configure and customize their own seats on their personal devices.

After selecting add-ons and seat colors on the Hawk Experience app, customers can view their creation in augmented reality – a feature the manufacturer says is a first for the aircraft-seating sector. Apart from streamlining the design process, McGuire said, the app was created as “something customers will remember them by.”

“We believe that lots of the innovations in the seat market come from low-cost carriers because they are pressed by economics to be innovative.” — Andrew Bowen, Acro

According to Andrew Bowen, commercial director of low-cost carrier (LCC) seating supplier Acro Aircraft Seating, the low-cost seating market is a breeding ground for such innovations. “We believe that lots of the innovations in the seat market come from low-cost carriers because they are pressed by economics to be innovative. These [innovations] can then be brought to flag carriers.”

Acro made its name in the LCC market for its lightweight, ergonomic, low-part count Series 3 seat, which is currently flying on board the likes of Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Air, Condor and The manufacturer’s minimalist design philosophy is refined in its newly unveiled Series 6 seat, slated for launch on an undisclosed airline in mid-July.

The company’s “less is more,” 20th-century modernist style frees additional space around the seat; optimizing hidden dimensions is a requisite for comfort, Bowen explains. The comfort of Acro’s seats are matched only by their robustness, which Bowen demonstrated by climbing on to one of the seats on display.

Valerie is deputy editor at APEX Media.