Air New Zealand's new seats for planes joining its short-haul international fleet are wider than existing ones and may help passengers stuck in the middle breathe a little easier.
At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg it revealed the seats made by British firm Acro Aircraft Seating for Airbus A320/A321neo (new engine option) planes that are joining the fleet.
The window and aisle seats will be 1cm wider than those on the airline's current international Airbus fleet, with the middle seat 3cm wider, which the airline says should give passengers a better sense of personal space across the row.
Currently seats are 45.4cm wide. New aisle and window seats will be 46.4cm wide and middle seats 48.6cm wide. Seat pitch (the distance between seats) will remain at between 76cm and 86cm. There are currently seats for 168 passengers and an airline spokeswoman said the final configuration for the new planes has yet to be finalised.
The delivery schedule is not yet finalised either.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
The design revealed today also features a new seat cover developed in conjunction with New Zealand company Flight Interiors, which customer testing has demonstrated delivers superior comfort levels for longer.
Air New Zealand general manager of customer experience Anita Hawthorne says the design of the new slimline seat was customer-led with the airline and Acro keen to address key areas of customer feedback and further improve the in-flight experience.
"The slightly wider middle seat helps balance out the fact that window and aisle seat customers enjoy a greater sense of space. 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.''
Acro chief executive Chris Brady says the seat attracted plenty of attention at the expo when it was unveiled today.
"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," Brady said.
Air New Zealand has 13 Airbus A320neo aircraft on order to replace its current A320 fleet. The airline will get a combination of A320neo and A321neo.
Air New Zealand also has 17 A320s on its domestic routes.