We talk with the CEO of an aircraft seat upholstery specialist company. In the news, airline loyalty programs are changing, unapproved parts are plaguing the airline industry, and Boeing is expanding its presence in India.
Jacobo Mesta is CEO of Soisa Aircraft Interiors, an AS9100-certified aircraft seat upholstery specialist headquartered in Chihuahua, Mexico, with a further facility in Dubai, UAE. The family-owned and run business was founded in 2006 and provides a range of flexible design and manufacturing services including prototyping, product and quality engineering, and the integration of foams, composites, and other interior parts.
Soisa employs over 250 skilled workers across its sites and manufactures airplane seat dress covers, cushions, composite panels, curtains, carpets, and armrests. The company works with all major seat OEMs and its products are currently flying with more than 100 airlines worldwide. Soisa also has a robust ESG (environmental, social, and governance) program.
We learn how Soisa pivoted in 2006 and joined the aerospace industry, growing its business and adding capabilities over time. Originally a fill-to-print shop, Soisa now has design and engineering capability. Products include seat dress covers, composite panels, and foam for OEMs and the aftermarket.
Jacobo explains who their customers are, the important design criteria, and some of the material and design changes that have occurred. We also learn about Soisa’s very strong ESG (environmental, social, and governance) program where the company provides surplus material to the local Tarahumara tribe in Chihuahua who then make products they sell for income. Leasing company Avolon has started contributing seat components as well. Also, Soisa works with people in jail in a similar program.
Prior to becoming CEO, Jacobo held a number of roles, including Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and Sales Director.
Before joining Soisa and the aviation sector, Jacobo was involved in fuel oil trading at PEMEX, serving as a fuel oil trader and managing storage operations in Houston and Panama from 2002 to 2006.
The Atlantic says airlines “make more money from mileage programs than from flying planes—and it shows.” In Delta SkyMiles changes: Airline overhauls how you earn Medallion status in biggest change yet, The Points Guy says,
Delta Air Lines is overhauling how you earn Medallion status as part of perhaps one of its biggest loyalty updates yet. The airline is retiring Medallion Qualifying Miles and Medallion Qualifying Segments, and it’ll instead focus on a redefined version of Medallion Qualifying Dollars… Depending on your personal travel and spending habits, Delta’s news may not necessarily sting that much, but there will certainly be some flyers who will miss the old program.The Points Guy
Under the old Delta SkyMiles formula, status was based on a combination of dollars spent and miles traveled. In the revised program, status is based on dollars spent, and the amount of spending required to achieve status has gone up. As The Atlantic says, “SkyMiles is no longer a frequent-flier program; it’s a big-spender program.”
A new bill proposed in Congress would reduce the so-called “swipe fees” retailers pay every time a customer uses a credit card. This could impact airline (and other) credit card loyalty programs.
Escalating scandal grips airlines including American and Southwest, wreaking havoc on flight delays and cancellations as nearly 100 planes find fake parts from company with fake employees that vanished overnight
Airlines around the world have announced they have found parts sourced from AOG Technics that lack valid documentation. Allegedly, the parts were sold to shops repairing CFM International jet engines. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) says that certain documents had been forged to make it appear as if AOG Technics’ parts had come from legitimate manufacturers.
Boeing is opening a 43-acre complex in Bengaluru, India that will include laboratories, testing infrastructure, and research and development activities. It may create about 3,000 jobs. The company announced the investment following an order from Air India for 20 787 Dreamliners, 10 777Xs, and 190 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing has headquarters in Delhi and field service offices in other locations. Boeing is also expanding its Boeing India Engineering & Technology Center (BIETC), with locations in Bengaluru and Chennai.
For sale by owner, the Pratt and Whitney 4360 Wasp Major R-4360-63A is a 28-cylinder, supercharged, air-cooled engine. This example was removed from a 1955 Douglas C-124 Globemaster II.
Wikipedia reports the R-4360 is an American 28-cylinder four-row radial piston aircraft engine designed and built during World War II. First run in 1944, at 4,362.5 cu in (71.5 L), it is the largest-displacement aviation piston engine to be mass-produced in the United States, and at 4,300 hp (3,200 kW) the most powerful. It was the last of the Pratt & Whitney Wasp family and the culmination of its maker’s piston engine technology.
The engine was used postwar on many aircraft, including:
- Boeing 377 Stratocruiser
- Boeing B-50 Superfortress
- Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter
- Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Hosts this Episode
Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and our Main(e) Man Micah.