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Lufthansa to 'add more seats to its Airbus fleet'

Published: 02/12/2013 - Filed under: News »

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Profit margins are wafer thin in the dog-eat-dog world of short-haul aviation.

So it's no surprise to learn that many European carriers are copying their low-cost rivals by squeezing in more seats, because the more passengers that can be carried, the greater the revenue per flight.

Germany's Lufthansa was an early adopter of so-called slim-line seats which enable a carrier to carry more passengers without sacrificing legroom or, because they are lighter, payload. But even slim-line seats are not enough it seems.

In order to squeeze yet more revenue out of every flight, Lufthansa is on the verge of removing the rear galleys from its short-haul Airbus A319, A320 and A321 fleet, Der Spiegel has reported.

The freed-up space would then be used to add an additional two rows of seating which would enable an Airbus to carry up to 12 additional passengers.

It also means that the rear toilets will be moved further back. But it is unclear whereabouts on the plane the galleys will be repositioned.

It is understood that plane manufacturer Airbus has given permission for the necessary modifications to take place.

But there is a minor issue with the A321 variant. If Lufthansa were to add 12 more seats it would take the passenger count to over 200 which would mean an extra cabin attendant would be required (under safety rules).

So it is believed that, on this particular Airbus aircraft, some or all of the extra space would be used to provide extra legroom for those passengers sitting at the front of the aircraft.

And Lufthansa is not alone. At a recent British Airways Investors day it was revealed that BA also has plans to increase the seat count on its short-haul Airbus fleet when refurbishment starts next year.

lufthansa.com, ba.com

Alex McWhirter

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COMMENTS » 

JordanD - 02/12/2013 14:24

So on the one hand Airbus wants to push for a minimum seat width on planes, but on the above, to hell with the leg room - pack more people in with less comfort?

monnides - 02/12/2013 16:20

It is laughable, the 18 inches minimum promote by Airbus is now gone, or is it?

GrahamSmith - 02/12/2013 16:31

The Airbus 18-inch minimum relates to seat width. This story is about replacing the rear galleys with seats, which won't alter row width.

JordanD - 02/12/2013 16:47

That it may be Graham, but hardly consistent messaging when this is "squeeze more onto a plane" by any other name.

rferguson - 02/12/2013 21:04

I guess the rear galley won't be repositioned.....it will just be removed. With food offering in Economy class on short hall flights tending to be of the 'snack' variety I guess they can find some way of doing without the rear galley complete with ovens etc (not that there is any hot food to heat on many shorthaul routes in Y!).

I reckon this will be the start of other 'legacy' airlines following Lufthansa.

SergeantMajor - 03/12/2013 08:47

Seems a sensible move to keep fares down and compete more effectively with the LCCs.

Without hot food being served to most passengers, a rear galley is superfluous and I'm surprised it's taken this long to have it removed.

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