Tim Clark Talks Passenger Comfort

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Airbus, in its newly-launched campaign for wider seats across the industry, revealed results from a passenger survey that confirms what we already know: passengers don’t like narrow seats. The survey was undertaken in three European and one Asian airport. A quarter of the respondents were North American.

Here at the Dubai air show, we asked Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline what he thought of the Airbus 18-inchcampaign. “It off-sided me a little bit,” Clark told us. “Can we do an 18 inch? Yes, everybody likes as wide a seat as possible.” But it’s clearly not a one-size-fits-all situation when you look at geographical body mass differences. Clark points out that a wider seat is less critical for the leaner Asian market, but in American and European markets, 18 inches is far too small. “In fact, you need 36 inches if the truth be told,” Clark told us. Watch the video to see what he had to say.

Clark also says he wants to introduce lighter seats on board the A380 fleet to reduce the weight of the aircraft. He wants to get two to three kilograms out of each economy seat and says Emirates will spec out what it wants. “We’re not going off the shelf. If you want our orders, your seats have to got to be designed in this manner at that weight with this material.” So far, he says, Recaro doesn’t want to customize seats for Emirates. But with the possibility of 11-abreast seating in economy and 50 new A380s on the order book, maybe Recaro might start listening.

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