Airbus’s Supersize Seat

Airbus is starting to market a wider economy-class seat for its single-aisle product.

The goal is to help win campaigns in regions with high levels of obesity, such as in the U.S. Discussions with several airlines in North America are already underway, says Airbus head of aircraft interior marketing, Zuzana Hrnkova.

The two aisle seats in the narrowbody would be larger and measure 20-inches in width. The aircraft maker argues it can offer the option because the A320 is wider than the rival Boeing 737.

Use of the seat means the other two passengers will only have a 17-inch-wide seat, rather than an 18-inch-wide seat. However, Hrnkova notes the 17-inch seat is what is offered on the 737.

BE Aerospace is the seat provider. No name was given, but XWB (or extra wide behind) has an Airbus ring to it.

Airbus claims the premium pricing that could be offered represents around $3 million in net present value over 15 years – not exactly a fat profit, but any little bit may do for an airline hungry for revenue.

Tony Fernandez, AirAsia CEO and a big A320 customer is not a fan of the idea. He thinks it just adds complexity.

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