The challenge

Airlines are constantly trying to find ways to improve their already razor-thin profit margins.

The most profitable passengers for airlines are business class travellers who will up to 6x the price of a typical economy class ticket.

Los Angeles Singapore

Airlines look for innovative methods of organizing passengers to add an extra row of travellers.

Often that means less leg room for economy passengers, but with an innovative LOPA1, you can add an additional row of business class which can be significantly more profitable.

Business class doesn’t just mean more leg room; it means a full flat bed, exceptional service, fine food and drink, skipping the boarding queue, lounge access and many other services and amenities.

Seat products compared




Air France


Seat type

Traditional angle flat

Traditional full flat

High end business

High density business


Zodiac Aerospace

Zodiac Aerospace

Zodiac Aerospace

BE Aerospace











Passenger abreast





(pitch per passenger)





Lopa diagram
(half width)

Bed elevation


Reduce cost of ownership

Create a platform product

The Design


Improved bed space

15% improvement in bed space compared to competition by optimizing unused space in outboard and aisles

215% Larger IFE display

Up to 22” display, an upgrade from typical 15” configurations

More stowage

With dedicated stowages places for amenities, dinner menus, magazines and laptops.

Better privacy

A perfect balance between an open cabin and a private, suite feel.

Designed for change

A modular architecture designed to anticipate for mid life refreshes, maintenance and customizability

Focused on what matters

We focused on details and features that make passengers feel like they are part of something special.


With a modular architecture and grouping components that are often replaced, we’ve made it easier for airlines to create their own seat.

The Process

The was clearly a need for a competitor to the B/E Diamond and we used the Lufthansa business class seat as a starting point. We realized that if we could inverse the angle of the seats, we could optimized the size of the bed by utilizing space in the aisle and in the curvature of the aircraft sidewalls.

To quickly work through the early part the design, we quickly iterate and test by building a rough CAD model with key dimensions, sketch using the CAD as an underlay and plot 1:1 the key dimensions to validate the LOPA

Every couple of months, a large workshop is held and we invite experts from throughout the company: electricians, stress engineers, material experts, marketing, manufacturing, former airline representatives and corporate strategy. We go through many topics and build higher and higher fidelity mockups throughout the design process.

Prototyping is essential to creating the physical space and ergonomics that are critical to the success of the product. We are constantly weighing and validating design decisions: the amount of privacy, the amount of shared space, and proportions of certain features.

We then built the a full-scale, functional prototype the April 2015 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, where we revealed the concept to dozens of airlines and used their feedback to learn and improve the design further.

Thanks to many people at Zodiac Aerospace for helping this project become a reality.