Want more seats on your airplane? Airbus has good news for you. The company now has a 195-seat max capacity certified on its A320neo model thanks to European regulators and “an enhanced egress rate that applies to the existing forward and aft doors of the whole A320 Family” according to stories from Leeham News and Runway Girl.
The new layout is not in use anywhere yet and not even really in demand, at least not specifically from any particular airline. One of the reasons for the lack of demand is that it would require 27″ pitch seats, a place no airline is yet willing to go. That said, there are manufacturers with their eyes on that prize. And it could get mighty ugly by the time we’re there. This is not quite to the 23″ pitch promised by the Aviointeriors SkyRider seat some 5 years ago – another idea which never really progressed past the hype – but it is something manufacturers are at least talking about somewhat seriously. Especially after Boeing and Ryanair agreed on a 200 seat model of the 737 MAX type.
The Leeham story has some great quotes from Airbus about the possibility, noting that the company expects free market economics to drive such decisions in the end.
In short, nobody is forcing anybody to do anything – it’s just a question of what’s possible to offer customers. And the market – ie you the passenger, at the end of the day – is free to decide what they buy.
And lest anyone think this isn’t at least on the cusp of reality, take a look at the new Vueling A320 configuration with 186 seats. At least it also has WiFi available to help keep passengers distracted, though we can assume most usage will be on phones and tablets, not laptop computers, given the tight spaces.
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.