22 December 2013
Not all A350 XWB will be configured in what Airbus considers the passenger comfort standard of 18-in seat width. It can be called “high-density configuration” or also “eco-efficient leisure cabin”.
For the past few months, Airbus has been campaigning for an 18-in seat width standard on long-haul aircraft, even though the European airframer continues to advertise the option for airlines to order a high-density 10-abreast A350.
Some industry observers believe that, in flogging an 18-in “comfort” standard while actively pitching super snug, high-density configurations, Airbus is talking out of both sides of its mouth.
Airbus VP cabin innovation & design Ingo Wuggetzer disagrees, saying the airframer is being forward thinking, and considering the next generation of traveler. “In general, we see people are growing more in width than height, so there should be a demand and I think we also have a good position because we have the best cross section in the market. So we should make use of it. [So we’re] offering seat width that is superior, and is made for that next generation of traveller,” he says.
Wuggetzer notes that Airbus didn’t draw conclusions about an 18-in comfort standard on its own. “We also asked our questions during a customer workshop in June on a survey we performed based on several seating configurations.”
He also revealed that all Airbus A350 customers “except one low-cost carrier” had adhered to an 18-in seat width in economy. Flightglobal in May/2012 reported that AirAsia X had ordered its A350s in 2-class configuration, with 10-abreast in economy. Air Caraibes has ordered 3+3 A350-900 and A350-1000 with 387 and 439 seats in “eco-efficient leisure cabin”.
But one can’t help but wonder if other airlines will follow suit, as the market has wholly embraced the 10-abreast 777-300ER and its 777X successor (even in the face of passenger consternation about 10-abreast).
Based on the article “Nearly all A350 buyers opt for 18-in seat width” published in Run Way Girl Network.