Air New Zealand unveils new seat for Airbus A320neo/A321neo fleet

Air New Zealand's new seat for its all-economy Airbus A320neo and A321neo. (Air New Zealand)
Air New Zealand’s new seat for its all-economy Airbus A320neo and A321neo. (Air New Zealand)

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.

Arco Aircraft Seating and Air New Zealand launching the new Arco Series 6 seats at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. (Arco/Facebook)
Acro Aircraft Seating and Air New Zealand launching the new Acro Series 6 seats at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. (Acro/Facebook)

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.”

Comments

  1. Al says

    That may well be the case and aligns with Jetstar and Tiger, however if the seat has been well designed with thinner padding on the rear of the seat, the actual space available may end up the same of superior to existing Air NZ A320’s. Proof will be in the pudding!

  2. Glen Towler says

    I do hope there not reducing the seat pitch. These seats are meant to give passengers more leg room rather than less. Just another reason why I prefer Airbus to Boeing

  3. Broderick says

    I stand corrected, Seat pitch will be 28″ based on a the new 240 Seat Configuration for the A321 NEO.

  4. Chris says

    Currently there are no plans for Air NZ to reduce the seat pitch to 74cm (29in) for Y class on both the A320/A321neo’s. Air NZ has enough moans with 76cm (30in) pitch for Y class on all aircraft types.

  5. hs says

    That’s 10cm of collective width that has to come from somewhere. Where? Is the aisle narrower? Thinner walls?

  6. Bernadette howard says

    From Bernadette i live with chronic pain an wen i fly home 2 nz frm aust air nz arranges 5 blankets 4me – 1 to fold in half an put under my bum an 4 to fold in half an put behind my back as t back of t seats r so hard. Hope they improve this an not make t backs any thinner as ill need 10 bloody blankets!!!! I hope air nz thought of people wit disabilities wen making these seats an didnt make seats any thinner!!!

  7. Glen Towler says

    I have to say 30″ seat pitch is fine for short haul and trans Tasman flights. They say the new seats will give everyone more room that has to be a good thing.

  8. Anil Kattula says

    If the seats are wider then aisle has to be narrower as airframe width and height has not changed. Does this mean air new Zealand will have to purchase all new galley carts that fit narrower aisle? Seats still look far more comfortable than Qantas 787 dreamliner. Strongly doubt seat pitch will be reduced as air NZ don’t see themselves as a budget carrier like jetstar.

  9. Richard says

    I think if they reduce below 30″, tall travelers like me will just choose VAAs new economy X.

  10. John says

    Would think they would not be allowed to reduce aisle width without recertifying Evacuation Procedure