Boeing and automotive seating supplier Adient have announced the formation of Adient Aerospace, a joint venture that will develop, manufacture and sell a portfolio of seating products to airlines and aircraft leasing companies. The seats will be available for installation on new aircraft and as retrofit configurations for aircraft produced by Boeing and other commercial aircraft manufacturers.
A joint release states that the joint venture “addresses the aviation industry’s needs for more capacity in the seating category, superior quality and reliable on-time performance”. Adient Aerospace will compete with the likes of Zodiac Aerospace, which is being acquired by Safran, and Rockwell Collins, which completed the acquisition of B/E Aerospace in 2017.
Kevin Schemm, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Finance & Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “Seats have been a persistent challenge for our customers, the industry and Boeing, and we are taking action to help address constraints in the market. Adient Aerospace will leverage Boeing’s industry leadership and deep understanding of customer needs and technical requirements, to provide a superior seating product for airlines and passengers around the world.
“This joint venture supports Boeing’s vertical integration strategy to develop in-house capabilities and depth in key areas to offer better products, grow services and generate higher lifecycle value.”
The formation of Adient Aerospace comes 10 months after Boeing and Adient announced their first collaboration to explore innovative comfort, efficiency and functional improvements to commercial aircraft seating and interiors.
Commenting on the joint venture, Adient Chairman and CEO Bruce McDonald said: “Adient has a strong set of transferable competencies that will offer a unique opportunity to create value for our company and for Boeing, our shareholders and the broader commercial aircraft market.
“To enhance the customer experience for passengers, airlines and commercial airplane manufacturers, we will apply our unmatched expertise for comfort and craftsmanship along with our reputation for operational excellence.”
Adient Aerospace’s operational headquarters, technology centre and initial production plant will be located in Kaiserslautern, Germany, near Frankfurt. The joint venture’s initial customer service centre will be based in Seattle, Washington. Adient Aerospace aftermarket spare parts distribution will be performed exclusively through Aviall, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing. Adient is the majority stakeholder in the new company, with a 50.01% share.