B/E Aerospace Confirms They’ll Be Supplying New American Airlines Business Class Seat

American dropped Zodiac as their seat supplier and went looking for a new business class seat.

  • American’s new Boeing 777-300ERs got an off the shelf business class seat from Zodiac Aerospace. It’s basically the US Airways seat, later adopted by airlines like Cathay Pacific and EVA Air. It’s a fantastic seat.

  • For their Boeing 777-200s being retrofit, and their new Boeing 787s, they went with a custom-designed business class seat from Zodiac. It’s sleek looking, and the rear-facing seats have fantastic table space, but in my opinion it feels tight and confining especially at the shoulders in bed mode. Some passengers complain about the divider between the two center seats being fixed up or down and not movable, and some complain the seats shake.

American Airlines Boeing 777-200 Business Class Seat from Zodiac

The 777-200 retrofit project has been slow. Deliveries of the 787s had been delayed. And that’s long been thought to be the result of slow deliveries of seats from Zodiac. American cancelled their Zodiac contract, filed a lawsuit, and went looking for new seats.

American has too many old angled seats left on their Boeing 777-200s. The new 777-200 seat is different than the 777-300ER seat. And now we’ll see more than one new business class on the 777-200s. The 767s, of course, have a different (and narrower) seat as well.

Back in September I predicted they’d go with B/E Aerospace for new seats. It seemed like their Super Diamond seat would be a good fit.

That began to look more likely when American announced a premium economy product debuting with their Boeing 787-9s. B/E Aerospace would provide those premium economy seats, and also the new US Airways first class seats going into retrofitted Airbus A319s.

B/E Aerospace is now confirming that they are the seat supplier for all three classes of service on American’s Airbus A350s that will be entering the fleet. So they will be providing American with a new business seat!

B/E Aerospace also confirmed last night that it would be making seats for all three seating classes on Amercian Airlines’ new A350s.

David Thomas, the airline’s regional director for the UK/Ireland, Middle East and Africa, told the Belfast Telegraph it started working with B/E Aerospace after problems with former supplier Zodiac Aerospace.

Hopefully we’ll hear more specifics soon. And I’d hope that they’ll be using the same seat on Boeing 787-9s that will be delivered in a few months as they will on future aircraft like the A350. Because American really doesn’t need even more different business seats than they have today.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Was the seats on the 77W so much more that it was worth this hassle? Seems penny wise and pound foolish. Any chance the new seats will be as good?

  2. Super Diamond is the new Qatar widebody business seat. So an excellent product.

    The 77W seat was an off the shelf product [very similar to Cathay, EVA, US Airways].

    The 772 seat was a custom-designed seat, a long process that originally was going to be much more spacious than the final implementation. The idea was for the 772 product to be substantially better than the 77W seat though that’s not my view of how things wound up.

    Zodiac has had significant challenges, and not just with American.

  3. Having flown both on multiple occasions, I can tell you the Zodiac Cirrus seat found on CX and the AA 777-300ERs is far more comfortable than the B/E Super Diamond. The table on the Super Diamond is stowed under the IFE screen, making the footwell quite tight.

  4. Why the assumption of the Super Diamond? Why not the Apex Business Suite, a la JA, KE and others?

  5. And the UA decision to go in their even higher density, faux 1-2-1 looks all the more foolish

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