Airbus is promoting the newly created “Settee Corner” concept for business class, combining flexible use and lower production cost.

Named after a British English word for sofa, the seat can only be used during taxi, takeoff and landing phases.

In cruise flight, various usages are suggested. Two people can sit next to each other and their relative positions will be favorable for a conversation, as the outboard portion is angled. When used for sitting, the seat is fixed, meaning it cannot recline.

The passenger may extend the cushioned outboard fold-up panel. He or she may then use the entire seat as a lie-flat bed in a herringbone configuration, with the head next to the window. It can accommodate travelers up to 1.85 m (73 in.) tall.

The Settee Corner also includes some personal stowage space.

Meanwhile, passenger density in business class is unchanged, Airbus officials say.

In terms of manufacturing costs, the main feature is the seat uses an existing economy seat structure. Moreover, as it uses existing rails, installation costs are reduced. Also, the limited number of actuators make the seat more reliable and less costly to produce.

Weight is estimated to be cut by 30%, compared to a conventional business-class seat. The Settee Corner is seen as particularly adapted to the long-range A321LR.

Developed in partnership with seat manufacturer Geven, it could be in the Airbus catalog in 18 months.

Thierry Dubois,