New STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS Business Class Seat With Door

A new business class seat concept has just been revealed. It’s nothing ground-breaking, though it looks nice, and I imagine we’ll see it on some airlines soon enough.

Airbus’ new business class seat with doors

STELIA Aerospace is a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbus, which manufactures airplane seats. The company has unveiled its new RENDEZ-VOUS staggered business class seatintended for wide body jets.

As it’s described, this new seating product is one of the widest in the market, and offers:

  • 100% direct aisle access for all business class passengers
  • A “honeymoon” or “solo” seating option, depending on whether you’re traveling alone or with someone
  • A spacious and comfortable fully flat bed, with the option for a double bed in the center section
  • A large privacy door, turning the seat into a more private suite
  • A full privacy divider in the center section, allowing passengers to work or read while the person in the other seat can rest
STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat
STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat
STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat
STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat

STELIA Aerospace describes the seat as being designed like a comfortable and vast sofa, integrating the backrest into the backshell. With this product, travelers are freed of any constraint in terms of position due to headrest or armrests, and can relax as they would in a sofa.

Here’s how Thierry Kanengieser, STELIA Aerospace’s VP of Cabin Interior, describes this new product:

“When you’re traveling far, thousands of miles from home, all you desire is to feel like you would at home. With RENDEZ-VOUS, our brand new Business Class staggered seat presenting a unique sofa seating comfort, airlines can offer their passengers an outstanding travel experience with a perfect ‘at home’ feeling while flying”

No customers have been announced for this new seating product yet, though I imagine that will change soon. Presumably the launch customer will be an airline ordering an Airbus wide body jet.

Admittedly this is a tangent, but am I the only one who is amused by STELIA Aerospace’s use of models for promoting products? Like, in the first picture doesn’t it look like these people are meeting for the first time? And then by the third picture, they’re sleeping together…

STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat
STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat
STELIA Aerospace RENDEZ-VOUS business class seat

My take on this new staggered business class seat

This new product from STELIA Aerospace appears to be more evolutionary than revolutionary. The company already has popular staggered configurations, including the SOLSTYS family of seats. You’ll find this product on many airlines, including Thai Airways A350s, Vietnam Airlines A350s, Iberia A330s, etc.

Thai Airways has STELIA Aerospace SOLSTYS seats

With this new product it seems like some minor (positive) tweaks were made, and then a door was added to the seat.

Ultimately that’s a perfectly nice improvement, and it’s no different than how we’ve seen Collins Aerospace add a door to reverse herringbone seats, as you’ll find on British Airways A350s and Etihad Airways A350s.

British Airways has Collins Aerospace reverse herringbone seats with doors

In general these kinds of staggered configurations aren’t going to be the most cutting edge products out there, and personally I don’t rank them as being among the best business class seats. However, I know many people traveling as a couple like the “honeymoon” seats, given how close you can sit to your travel companion. That’s a challenge otherwise with many of the world’s newer business class products.

I’d say the closest current competitor to this new product is Thompson Aero’s VantageXL product with doors, which you’ll find on planes like Delta Air Lines Airbus A350s. The difference is that the center seats aren’t staggered in such a way that you have “honeymoon” seats.

Delta has Thompson Aero VantageXL seats with doors

Bottom line

Wholly owned Airbus subsidiary STELIA Aerospace has revealed its new business class seating concept, which will be known as RENDEZ-VOUS. This is essentially an evolution of the company’s staggered configuration, with some positive updates, including the introduction of a door.

While not cutting edge, this looks to me this looks like a pretty solid product, and I’m curious to see what airline will be the launch customer.

What do you make of this new business class seat?