A new generation of single-aisle aircraft is set to serve long-haul routes. How will this affect passengers, asks Alex McWhirter.

Some 35 years ago, wide-body jets were ushering in a new era of comfortable long-haul flying. The Boeing 747, McDonnell Douglas DC-10 and Lockheed Tri-star provided flyers with space and comfort beyond their wildest dreams. Never again, it was thought, would passengers be condemned to sit in a narrow, claustrophobic tube for hours on end.

However, recent developments threaten to turn back the clock. Narrow-body aircraft such as the B737 MAX and A321LR are shaking off their short-haul origins and are poised to make a comeback on longer flights. Initially, they will operate between Europe and the US East Coast but eventually they could ply other lengthy routes, too.