Airbus is increasing the seating capacity of its A320 aircraft.
As part of the development of the new A320neo series, the European planemaker said it would offer nine extra seats in the standard A320neo model and 20 more seats in the stretched A321neo. This takes the total capacities up to 189 and 240 seats respectively, in an all-economy class configuration.
And Klaus Roewe, Airbus’ senior vice president for the A320neo programme, said the new high-density layouts would not come at the expense of passenger comfort.
“We are supporting the higher seat count with intelligent means to give living space to passengers,” said Roewe. “These new A320… configurations do not compromise on comfort, as they retain the Airbus standard of 18-inch wide seats in economy.”
To raise the A320’s capacity to 189 seats, Airbus will use slimmer seats and a new exit door arrangement, along with a revamped rear cabin galley and a “smart lavatory” design. Combined, these features will allow Airbus to add extra rows of seats while retaining the existing seat sizes and legroom.
The extra capacity is likely to be popular with airlines, which will now be able to generate extra revenue from each flight, with no rise in operating costs. Major airline customers include fast-growing Asian low-cost carriers like AirAsia, Lion Air, IndiGo and VietJet Air, plus global full-service airlines such as American Airlines, Qantas, Lufthansa and China Southern Airlines.
The A320neo rolled out of the Airbus factory for the first time earlier this month and is expected to enter service in the fourth quarter of 2015.