Here’s something to think about the next time you fly: Your airplane seat may have been made at Alliance Airport.
Recaro, a German seat manufacturer, turns out 30,000 seats a year from its Fort Worth facility, located on Eagle Parkway at the north end of the airport. The plant, which opened nearly two decades ago, expanded to a second building several years ago and now employs about 400 workers.
Last week, Recaro hosted the media to show its latest seat model, which will add a little more legroom and a little more comfort for passengers.
The CL4170 business class seat will make its debut on Alaska Airlines’ Boeing 737-700 aircraft next year and also will be used on 32 Boeing 737-MAX aircraft starting in 2019. The company also provides seats to American Airlines for its Airbus A319, A321 and Boeing 737 jets.
“It is a very comfortable seat and there are a lot of different features and premium foam support but it’s also a lightweight seat,” said Recaro chief executive Mark Hiller.
The business class seat has a seat pitch of 41 inches, 5 inches more than the current seat Alaska Airlines uses, and has a power outlet for passengers to charge their personal electronic devices. About 80 percent of Alaska’s fleet have Recaro aircraft seats.
Hiller said Recaro could add more employees at the Fort Worth facility as demand increases. Currently, the Fort Worth plant ships seats to Boeing facilities in Seattle and to airlines in Asia and Europe. Hiller said the company’s local workforce includes 120 workers on the production floor and 80 design engineers.
“There is a lot of aviation know-how here, being in the neighborhood of a couple of airlines, and it allows to have good access to employees,” Hiller said. “We have had a very good experience here.”