August 2012

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Airbus looks to offer 20in aisle seats for A320 family

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SEATTLE -- There was a collective "why didn't I think of that?" realization that dawned on the crowd at the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in Lynnwood, Washington this afternoon when Airbus said it was offering a 20in aisle seat to airlines for the A320 family.

The goal is to use the 20in-wide seat as additional ancillary revenue opportunity (aka charge more) for the aisle seat in a six-abreast configuration. Some airlines charge for the aisle seat today, though the difference is that there's no major product differentiation with the middle and window seats. Airbus said the width of the A320's cabin allows for the 3in flexibility in the aisle seat in comparison to the other four seats at 17in.

Varying the width of certain seats isn't new for commercial cabins, Bombardier offers a 1in .5in wider middle seat on the CSeries to make the five-abreast 3-2 configuration more attractive to the 20% of customers who will end up in that seat.

No word yet if any airlines have selected this for its A320 family aircraft.

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