EasyJet has taken delivery of its first 186-seat A320. Until now, the airline’s A320s have been configured with 180 seats.

Easyjet says that the new “Spaceflex 2” configuration has allowed both the average seat pitch and minimum seat pitch across the fleet to remain the same, with the configuration change achieved by “using previously unused space at the rear of the aircraft”.

Speaking with Business Traveller earlier this year (see Easyjet launches Venice base), Chief Executive Carolyn McCall said that the airline had “…done a huge amount of work with Airbus and they have very cleverly reconfigured the plane to let the extra six seats in. We could have gone for nine but we didn’t want to do that because we thought it would restrict the seat pitch.”

McCall also said that the new lightweight seats were “more comfortable than the old seats”. These seats are the Recaro’s lightweight SL3510 seat which the airline began fitting to new deliveries in 2013.

The new aircraft configuration also sees Easyjet introduce:

  • A partition in front of row 1ABC providing privacy and more protection from the elements during boarding
  • Redesigned galleys with larger ovens so more food can be cooked simultaneously
  • A new fully wheelchair accessible toilet in the rear galley,
  • New seat pockets,
  • New carpets throughout the cabin
  • A new tray table design on which customers are able to stand a tablet device.

The airline says that the increased seating on board will help support its target to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by 8 percent by 2020 compared to 2013.

Gary Smith, Business Lead for the new aircraft, commented:

“With the new aircraft configuration, we took the opportunity to look at all aspects of our cabin design and the result is a really clean, modern new look. We now have LED lighting throughout the cabin and an updated colour scheme. The new partition provides all front row passengers with an enhanced experience and allows our crew to take rest.”

Six further 186 seat configuration A320’s will be delivered this coming summer and will be based out of London Gatwick. By the end of September 2016 Easyjet will have eight 186 configuration aircraft in the fleet. Over the next two years all of Easyjet’s A320’s will be retrofitted to 186 seats. The retrofit is expected to be completed by summer of 2018.