Air New Zealand says its new Airbus A320neos and A321neos due for delivery from 2018 will feature wider seats than on the airline’s current narrowbody fleet.
The Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia alliance partner says window and aisle seats have been designed one centimetre wider than those on A320s that are flown internationally, while the middle seat is three centimetres wider.
The new slim-line seats from United Kingdom-based Acro Aircraft Seating were unveiled at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg on Tuesday (European time) and also feature a new seat cover developed with New Zealand based Flight Interiors.
Air New Zealand operates A320s, which are configured in an all-economy layout, on trans-Tasman and South Pacific routes, as well as domestically within New Zealand.
The airline has ordered 13 Airbus A320neo family aircraft comprised of nine A320neos and four A321neos, according to the Airbus website. Air New Zealand has guided the market to its first A320neo/A321neo arriving in 2018, with the aircraft earmarked to replace existing A320s.
Air New Zealand general manager for customer experience Anita Hawthorne said the seat design took into account feedback from passengers, particularly regarding the middle seat experience.
“We currently have many customers who state a preference for window or aisle seats and it’s possible the new design may see the middle seat get a boost in popularity,” Hawthorne said in a statement.
“We have a long history of innovating and of thinking outside the box for solutions so we were fortunate to work alongside a like-minded partner such as Acro.
“We believe what we’ve co-designed is not only practical from an operational perspective but importantly a more comfortable and spacious experience for our customers.”
Acro chief executive Chris Brady said: “To reveal the new seat at this event, which showcases all the very latest innovations, technologies and products for cabin interiors was hugely exciting and piqued a lot of interest in the new product from other airlines and the wider industry alike.”