Emirates is retrofitting 105 of its widebodies with premium economy cabins. Starting at the end of 2022, it will install premium economy cabins on 53 Boeing 777s and 52 additional Airbus A380s. It also plans to install a new business class product on its 777s. The 18-month retrofit program will take place at its Emirates Engineering arm in Dubai.
Philippine Airlines Seating Retrofit
Credit: Recaro Aircraft Seating
Philippine Airlines on June 15 selected the Recaro Aircraft Seating BL3510 economy class seat to retrofit 11 of its Airbus A320 aircraft. The new seats will be installed as part of its fleet modification strategy, which will involve switching cabins to a 180-seat configuration in place of the mixed 156-seat configuration it has previously operated on short-haul regional routes.
Uzbekistan Airways Cabin Reconfigurations
Uzbekistan Airways signed a contract with Airbus Services on June 15 for the cabin reconfiguration of its nine A320s. Airbus will provide the airline with service bulletins and kits to install 24 additional economy seats in a full economy class cabin. Uzbekistan Airways will modify the cabins at its MRO center in Tashkent.
Southwest Connectivity, Storage Upgrades
Credit: Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines on June 8 signed a contract with Astronics Corp. for its Empower Passenger In-Seat Power System, which it plans to install on its 475 Boeing 737-7 and -8 aircraft. The deal is part of Southwest’s cabin upgrade initiative, which also includes installing enhanced Wi-Fi and larger overhead bin space. It plans to begin retrofit installations of in-seat power in early 2023.
Condor Floor Heating Modifications
Credit: Lufthansa Technik
German leisure carrier Condor on June 14 signed a contract with Lufthansa Technik (LHT) to install its HeatNOW flooring system on its Airbus A320 fleet. The system uses patented conductive coating to prevent formation of cold areas in aircraft cabins. LHT is offering HeatNOW as a retrofit option to airlines through a complete installation kit, which it says is easy to install on most floor panels, in galleys and in seating areas.
KLM Premium Comfort Upgrades
Credit: Collins Aerospace/KLM
KLM is upgrading its aircraft with a new premium comfort class. It is installing new Collins Aerospace MiQ seats with larger width, more legroom, a larger screen and a footrest. AFI KLM E&M is performing the aircraft cabin reconfigurations at its Amsterdam facilities. The first upgraded aircraft are expected to begin service at the end of July.
Eurowings Seat Upgrades
Eurowings is upgrading the seats on its fleet through a retrofit program with Italian manufacturer Geven. The customized Essenza seats feature Eurowings trim and finish, as well as in-arm and rear meal tables, amenity pockets and life vest pouches. Geven has been in the process of delivering 23 ship sets to Eurowings at a pace of two per week, which is expected to be completed by July.
Air Tahiti Seating Retrofit
Air Tahiti signed an agreement with French seating specialist Expliseat on June 16, choosing its new TiSeat E1 ultralight seat model to retrofit its ATR 42/72 aircraft. Expliseat says the seats’ weight savings enable airlines to carry a greater number of passengers.
Airlines are planning cabin modifications and retrofit installations to upgrade seating, IFEC and other cabin components.
Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.