Will This Air-Seat Revolutionize The Aviation?

There is no magic pill for enjoying intercontinental flights, even if you travel by Business Class. However, a new plane seat design will completely improve your flying experiences.

James SH Lee, from Paperclip Design, was honored the top prize at IATA’s Passenger Innovation Awards for his metamorphosing Butterfly seat design. This new revolute seat allows airlines to adjust cabin configuration based on real-time demand of Economic Seats or Business seats for each flight and, therefore, makes the most efficient use of limited cabin space.

“Flexible seating configuration helps airlines battle uncertainties. Demand is never constant and predictable – it differs seasonally, across different days of the week, across different markets, across different phases of the economy cycle. With a fixed configuration there are bound to be lost opportunities to inefficiencies,” said Lee.

The Butterfly seat design is very flexible and smart. When used in Business class, it will be built in a staggered arrangement to offset passengers’ elbows from each other, offers a width of up to 21 inches between armrests, and other features including large cocktail trays, seat pockets on the side, and an adjustable ottoman. Note that, pilot seats are built differently to accommodate the cockpit design. The accessory space is minimal in the cockpit, and this is where kneeboard for pilots becomes useful because it has the capacity to hold specific electronic gadgets.

ht_butterfly_2_kab_141031_4x3_992butterfly-pey-baby-sleepIf passengers want to have a bed for their nap, the convertible seat can be flipped over to form a private suite including a side couch. And of course, it can be arranged as the size of Economic Seats. This advanced design makes long haul economy look bearable.“My background was in airline management. As a designer, instead of focusing on pure aesthetics, I tend to think of ideas that can actually help the airlines business. My focus in the past few years has been on flexible seating because I know for sure it helps revenue management tremendously. There has yet to be a design that works elegantly for long-haul flights,” described Lee.


The Butterfly seat design impressed every Aviation Expert, including Nawal Taneja, Airlines Business Strategist, Industry Author, and Professor Emeritus of Ohio State University. “It’s worth looking into concepts that benefits customers and improve the customer experience – and airlines in terms of a potential for higher profitability. Although the convertible seat design is not a new idea, this one seems to be worth exploring a little further,” shared Taneja.


This design is a brilliant revolution for our aviation industry. Hopefully, it will be applied soon so that millions of passengers could be able to fully enjoy intercontinental flights. Share your comments with us.

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