News

Lufthansa to 'add more seats to its Airbus fleet'

2 Dec 2013 by Alex McWhirter

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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