Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Adient (NYSE: ADNT) today announced their airplane seat joint venture Adient Aerospace is operational after securing regulatory approvals. The companies also appointed Alan Wittman as Chief Executive Officer and named the team that will lead Adient Aerospace in addressing the aviation industry's need for more capacity and quality in airplane seating. Industry analysts forecast the commercial aircraft seating market to grow from approximately $4.5 billion in 2017 to $6 billion by 2026.
"Adient Aerospace is now open for business, providing better customer and passenger experience with quality seats," Wittman said. "Our focus is comfort, craftsmanship and operational excellence that will differentiate our products and services, all while offering more choice and better meeting the commercial airplane industry's needs."
The joint venture between Boeing, the world's largest aerospace company, and Adient, the global leader in automotive seating, is developing a portfolio of seats for new airplane and retrofit configurations. Adient Aerospace has opened a customer service center in the Seattle, Washington area, and product development is underway in Kaiserslautern, Germany, as a continuation of work performed under an agreement the two companies signed in 2017. Adient Aerospace is initially developing lie-flat business class seating offerings for widebody airplanes.
Adient Aerospace CEO Wittman was most recently the director of Business Operations for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner program. Others named to the Adient Aerospace leadership team include:
Jason Fahlbush (Adient), COO
Jörg Kaib (Adient), CFO
Gary Senechal (Boeing), VP of sales & marketing
Stefanie Rautio (Boeing), VP of certification & regulatory compliance
Frank Toenniges (Adient), VP engineering