Thompson announces new Project Echo seating aesthetic

While Thompson Aero Seating’s expertise in the design, innovation and production of luxury seating is well established, the company is now putting the spotlight on an often-overlooked aspect of seating design: the colour, materials and finish (CMF).

Inspired by the landscape of Northern Ireland, Project Echo is the latest aircraft interiors design-development from Thompson. It is a new project from the CMF team, looking at the company’s surroundings and current industry key trends, and now showcased in the latest Vantage seating range.

Project Echo has initially been used to refresh the brand aesthetic of Thompson’s own ‘marketing’ seats, but all materials are based on ready-for-flight options and grounded in certification reality. 

Using the essence, or echoes, of Thompson’s Northern Irish heritage as a starting point, the CMF team has looked at the predicted long-term colour trends and added a contrast and energy to bring the brand aesthetic to life.

The landscape of the island of Ireland has influenced Thompson’s CMF team in terms of both colours and texture, with a layering of tinted darks, along with pops of brighter colours and highlights to capture the spirit of the land.

Belinda Mason, CMF designer at Thompson Aero Seating, said: “Our aim has been to create a narrative for Thompson that is a reflection of our culture. We have interpreted colours and textures into visuals, using nature and the chemistry of its colours as our influence. The result is a feeling of quiet luxury.” 

Belinda Mason, CMF designer at Thompson Aero Seating
Belinda Mason, CMF designer at Thompson Aero Seating

The Vantage range of seats has been given a visual coherence that makes the products stand together as a brand but gives each their own individuality. This further supports the new company brand and logo, which was revealed last year.

“Our range of seats constantly evolves,” added Mason. “Under Project Echo, we have made ourselves the client and created a unified pallet that gives alignment to each seat design, bringing them within the brand range as a whole.”

Aside from positives for the important aesthetic and brand recognition, Project Echo has the advantage of standardising many of the materials used within the seating range. This makes the supply of materials easier to manage and gives economies of scale. While cohesion and unification has been important, each seating product still looks quite individual with the different layering of textures and colours.   

The aim has been to give a premium feel, with great attention to detail and the use of luxury materials, giving a sense of elegance, sophistication, and quiet luxury.

Introducing Thompson’s seating range within Project Echo:


The redesign has introduced a lighter outer shell with a darker inner core. This, married with shades of natural stone and lighter woods, gives a distinct aura of quality.


An intense dark surround and sumptuous leather inner give the VantageXL a subtle confidence. The enhanced front row conveys first class with deep moss-greens and velvety suedes.


The enhanced front row of the VantageSOLO uses soft tan leather as a pop of colour. The CMF options correlate with the changing offering, defining each category of seat.


The VantageDUO cocoons the passenger with a dark fabric wrapping, highlighted with a lighter inner seat and light stone-coloured worktops. Premium leathers bring a feel that is as good as the look.

Throughout the design process, cleaning and maintenance have been carefully considered. Although light in colour, the fabrics are textured and wipe-clean.

“Alongside the given of world-class design and innovation we are proud to be able to showcase our CMF expertise through Project Echo, offering our customers a neutral starting point from which their own brand can be developed,” concluded Mason.

The Vantage seating range with the new Project Echo designs will be launched at AIX 2024 in Hamburg.

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