This is our company

Our Vision

An inspired flying experience

Our Mission

To design and deliver inspirational products and services, of the highest quality, to realise the expectations of our customers

Our Inspiration

At Thompson Aero Seating we believe that TOGETHER, WE INSPIRE. This encapsulates our distinctiveness and ingenuity, along with our people-centric approach and a beginning-to-end methodology, working in true partnership with our customers and suppliers. All of which sits within the aim of continually increasing our sustainability credentials.

We are an agile and innovative company, offering customisation and consumer understanding at an unparalleled level. Our experience and excellence enable us to work with you on a truly inspirational journey.

About Us

Thompson Aero Seating is renowned for its ingenuity in the design and delivery of premium, business-class airline seating. We were founded by James Thompson twenty years ago when the first Vantage fully flat-bed seat was conceived, to bring greater comfort and space-efficiency to business-class seating solutions.

Today, Thompson Aero Seating offers a wide range of innovative, beautiful, comfortable, highly efficient, and reliable business- and first-class seating products. The constantly expanding and evolving Vantage seating range now includes products for twin- and single-aisle aircraft, which range from turnkey, through customised, to utterly bespoke, using intelligent design to maximise passengers’ comfort and personal space, optimising every inch of the cabin. The company is owned by AVIC.

Our Values

Ethics and integrity

We are accountable, inclusive and responsible, maintaining the highest ethical standards in all that we do.

Operational excellence

We strive to deliver the best, exceeding our customers’ expectations and embracing continuous improvement.

Customer focus

We put our customers at the heart of everything we do, offering the most agile, flexible and innovative solutions, supported by on-time and on-budget delivery with the highest levels of safety, value and quality.

Resilience

We are optimistic, courageous and bounce back quickly from setbacks. We continuously strive to gain the competitive advantage by evolving and rapidly recovering whilst remaining robust, calm and steadfast.

Working together

We work together as one team, leveraging and celebrating our diverse perspectives, talents, individuality and cultures.

Innovation

Innovation is the foundation of all that we do, creating a platform of sustained growth for the company, customer and the environment.

Our Team

Tongyu Xu – Chairman of the Board

Tongyu Xu joined AVIC Cabin Systems as executive vice president in March 2022, in charge of the Group’s UK business. He has also taken the role of chairman of Thompson Aero Seating to oversee strategic operation of the business. Prior to that, he worked as chairman and CEO of AVIC Supply Chain. He has rich experience in managing a variety of global businesses as part of the AVIC Group.

Tongyu Xu

Chairman of the Board

Haiyuan Fang – Managing Director of the Board
Immersed in the aircraft industry for 35 years. From project management to program operation, from trade business to industrial production, from business function to overall business management, it’s mostly enjoyable and there is still so much more to be explored. “Our job is a process of whole-hearted engagement until in the end you are part of the process itself.”

Haiyuan Fang

Managing Director of the Board

Keith Anderson – Chief Executive Officer

 

 

 

 

 

Keith is a collaborative executive leader with a wealth of manufacturing experience gained across multiple industries. His track record is one of consistently transforming organisations and teams to deliver outstanding results.

 

 

 

 

Keith joins Thompson from IQE plc where he was Chief Operating Officer. He previously enjoyed six successful years at Collins Aerospace in Kilkeel, where he was Business Unit Director for Collins business-class seats, leading the company to a three-fold increase in revenue with strong profitability. Keith was instrumental in the successful on-time delivery of multiple major seating programmes and left an outstanding team as a legacy when he moved on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith has been married to Caroline for 21 years. They have three children: Ben, Emily and Grace. Keith enjoys watching all sports, particularly rugby, and loves his Saturday mornings watching his children representing their school sports teams.

Keith Anderson

Chief Executive Officer

Peter Bell – Chief Financial Officer

Peter Bell joined Thompson in January 2017. He is responsible for all aspects of financial reporting, compliance, planning and analysis, as well as the company’s information technology functions. Peter trained as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Belfast, including secondments to London, New York, California and Melbourne. After eight years in practice and prior to joining Thompson, he worked in senior financial roles at Magellan Aerospace and Terex Corporation, both based in Northern Ireland. Peter holds a BSc from Queen’s University, Belfast and a MSc from Ulster University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

Peter Bell

Chief Financial Officer

Andy Morris – Chief Commercial Officer
Andy Morris is Chief Commercial Officer within Thompson. This broad, global role encompasses overall responsibility for Thompson’s future sales, marketing and contractual activities, as well as the future product roadmap. Andy’s team is truly global with locations in the UK and Northern Ireland, USA, Hong Kong, China and New Zealand. Andy’s extensive experience in aviation and the wider travel sector spans many years. Joining Thompson in 2013, Andy previously had spent six years as Fleet & Cabin Development Manager with the UK-based airline bmi British Midland. One of Andy’s career highlights was leading the programme to install full lie-flat beds on bmi’s single-aisle fleet, the world’s first commercial airline to achieve this landmark, which has since been followed by many other airlines around the world.

Andy Morris

Chief Commercial Officer

Jonny McGreevy – VP Engineering

Jonny entered into engineering through a post-graduate Higher National Diploma in electrical engineering. He then progressed to obtain an honours degree in electronic & electrical at Queen's University, Belfast. Having worked in various engineering roles in related aerospace businesses he moved to Thompson Aero Seating in 2011 as an electrical project manager. Having introduced a number of new technical systems to the product range he moved to project management for various initial customers along with the introduction and accreditation of the business to OEM offerability. In 2013 Jonny took responsibility for the design team as Engineering Design manager to manage the introduction of the new VantageXL range of seating, later becoming the head of design. Jonny is driven by listening to customers and providing technical solutions which allow Thompson Aero Seating to continually redefine the cabin interior by linking technical advancements with product evolution to deliver first-to-market, innovative products to our customers.

Jonny McGreevy

VP Engineering

Eva McElroy - Head of HR&D
Eva McElroy joined Thompson Aero Seating in 2019 as a HR Business Partner and was promoted into the role of Head of HR&D in May 2023. She is responsible for leading, developing and implementing a best in class strategy to optimise and harness the contribution and performance of all employees across the full employee lifecycle. Prior to joining Thompson, Eva held HR Manager roles across some of NI’s leading and largest FMCG organisations. She holds a BA (Hons) degree in HRM from the University of Liverpool, holds an Advanced Diploma in HRM and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

Eva McElroy

Head of HR&D

Eva McElroy - Head of HR&D

Catherine Mitchell joined Thompson Aero Seating in November 2023 as VP for Supply Chain. She is responsible for purchasing, supplier management, strategic sourcing and scheduling.
She has extensive experience in senior roles in Aerospace and Defence working in multiple locations in the UK and also spending some time in the US. Her portfolio includes senior Procurement, Supply Chain and Operational roles with Airbus, Spirit Aerosystems, BAE Systems. She is particular expertise supporting NPI activities and has worked on large projects such as the A350 XWB. She has a Fellowship in Manufacturing Management from Cranfield University and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (MCIPS).

Catherine Mitchel

VP of Supply Chain

Emma Stewart - Head of Quality

Emma Stewart is the Head of Quality at Thompson Aero Seating, joining the company in May 2022. Emma and the wider quality team are responsible for managing the quality approvals that we hold within the factory, supporting the approval and management of the suppliers to our business, and delivering top quality product to our customers. Emma studied at our local NI universities completing her BA at QUB, followed by a Masters at UUJ, in more recent years completing an MBA at Bradford School of Business. Emma has worked within the aerospace industry for more than 20 years and has held senior quality roles across a number of organisations including Survitecgroup, Magellan Aerospace and B/E Aerospace. With more than 20 years working within the aerospace sector Emma has been involved in many change and improvement activities over the years with a wealth of experience gained across a range of areas. These include multiple regulatory approvals such as AS9100, 21G, 145, AS9100, 14001, product transfer activity, continuous improvement and problem-solving tools, and new product introduction.

Emma Stewart

Head of Quality

Edwin Ratnam – VP Aftermarket & Services

Edwin has been with Thompson Aero Seating since 2019, initially as the Head of onsite support for Thompson seat installation activities at Airbus, Boeing and across the various MRO’s around the world. Upon the onset of Covid in 2020, Edwin assumed the aftermarket portfolio with P&L responsibility where he and his team helped customers navigate the challenging aviation market with support on all Thompson matters. Post pandemic, Edwin is spearheading all Thompson customers’ activity as they return to the skies, with various cabin reconfigurations, cabin refresh, re-housing of aircraft etc. He and his team are currently setting up a service-based organisation where customers are able to look to Thompson for support in their end-to-end cabin maintenance apart from just spares. Edwin is no stranger to the aviation industry as he was with Malaysia Airlines for 27 years in various roles starting as an apprentice, engineer and working his way to head of aircraft projects, overseeing the aircraft procurement business within Malaysia Airlines. His final role in Malaysia was head of maintenance operations – Malaysia Airlines, before joining Thompson in 2019.

Edwin Ratnam

VP Aftersales and Services

Christopher Agnew, Head of Operations

Chris Agnew is the Head of Operations, joining Thompson Aero Seating in 2017 as part of the creation of the Manufacturing Engineering function. During his time in TAS, Chris has been promoted through the business, holding the roles of Lead Manufacturing Engineer, Production Engineering Manager, and prior to his current role, the Head of Manufacturing Engineering. As the Head of Operations, Chris is responsible for the execution of the Operational departments, both Assembly and Manufacturing, ensuring the customer requirements are met on-time and on-quality whilst driving a continuous improvement philosophy with the Operations function. As well as the Manufacturing and Assembly operations, Chris’ team includes Logistics, Manufacturing Engineering, Operational Planning and Stores. Before joining TAS, Chris worked for 15 years within Aerostructures, focussing on NPI, composite manufacture, and Tier 1 supplier management projects – travelling to supplier sites across the world, offering technical support and helping improve manufacturing strategies.

Christopher Agnew

Head of Operations

Stephen Acheson
Coming Soon

Stephen Acheson

Interim Head of Planning

Our Products

Thompson’s product design evolution is founded upon an extremely flexible and customisable platform, coupled with a unique methodology used during the build process of the seats. 

This approach facilitates a fluid and continuing design process with reduced lead times, constantly pushing the boundaries and driving many ‘first-to-market’ features.

The Vantage range of products continues to grow and evolve with different densities and features, but all underpinned by innovative solutions and our focus on space creation.

The Vantage seating range from Thompson comprises:

  • Vantage – Full-flat business-class comfort, with maximised cabin density, for single- and twin-aisle aircraft
  • VantageXL – Work, relax and sleep in luxury. Business class for twin-aisle aircraft
  • VantageSOLO – The world’s first all direct-aisle access full-flat bed, designed and certified for single-aisle aircraft
  • VantageDUO – Full relaxation, maximum density, for single-aisle aircraft
  • VantageFirst – encompassed within both the VantageXL and VantageSOLO configurations is the possibility of enhanced front-row first-class suites without any loss of cabin density. First class for free! 

Our Approvals

EASA Part 21G CertificationUK. 21G. 2638 (until 29th March after Brexit it will be EASA.UK.21G.2638)
EASA Part 21A.602B(b)(2) ApprovalEASA.305
EASA PART145 CertificationUK.145.01290 (until 29th March after Brexit it will be EASA.UK.145.01290)
AS EN 9100 Rev D CertificationFM 540498
TCCA CAR 573 AMOTCCA 814-05
FAR1456TOY336C

The Thompson seating range is available across all Airbus (A320F, A330, A350 and A380) and Boeing (B737, B757, B767, B777 and B787) platforms.