British Airways has ordered 9,000 Recaro SL3510 seats for a fleet of new A320/A321 neos * which will delivered in 2018.
With this order, BA will have changed its seat supplier (normally B/E Aerospace). It also means that BA will have the ability to change the onboard seat configurations when these new aircraft enter service.
Last month it was speculated that BA would reduce seat pitch across its short-haul fleet by adding an extra two rows to its A320 fleet.
At the time BA said that no decision had been made. We were told seating for both Club Europe and economy would remain unchanged at the present time.
Now matters are becoming clearer.
German seat manufacturer Recaro has announced an order from BA and Iberia for no fewer than 9,000 slimline SL3510 seats.
These Recaro slimline seats are similar to those used by Lufthansa for its new fleet of advanced A320 neos. The latter operate Lufthansa’s busiest and most important routes in Europe.
And the SL3510 seat is identical to the seating with which Easyjet has already fitted to its Airbus fleet.
Not only is the SL3510 seat slimline but it weighs a mere nine kgs (per seat).
It means airlines can both increase their passenger count and make further savings in reduced fuel costs.
British Airways will use the Recaro SL3510 seats for its forthcoming A320/A321 neo aircraft which arrive in 2018.
In a statement released by Recaro, BA’s CEO Alex Cruz said, “We particularly need world-class aircraft seats that are utterly reliable and robust, yet also light and easy to maintain, for our extremely busy short-haul routes within Europe. The SL3510 model from Recaro fulfills all of our expectations and offers our demanding customers an outstanding level of comfort, while freeing up extra legroom for our passengers. They are also lighter in weight, which translates into greater fuel economy and cleaner skies.”
CEO of Recaro Dr Mark Hiller says: “Our award-winning SL3510 sets global standards and is one of the best seats in its class. Installing these light-weight seats makes ideal use of the space in the aircraft cabin.”
But its lighter weight does mean the SL3510 cannot recline although some readers will applaud that development as it means the passenger in front cannot intrude on your space.
However these seats will allow BA to increase A320neo accommodation from 168 to 180 seats. There will also be greater seating density on its A321neos from 205 to 218 seats.
This information was disclosed at IAG’s Capital Markets Day last November. It is unclear whether some or all of BA’s existing fleet will be retrofitted.
One would imagine that, for these new A320/A320 neos, BA will be adopting a similar configuration to that of Lufthansa which has adopted Airbus’ space-saving toilet/galley combination.
As we reported last year, Lufthansa has taken the decision to decrease pitch in economy but increase pitch in the business class section.
Will BA do the same ?
*A320neos (neo=new engine option) are currently only in service with a few carriers. Note that A321neos have not yet been delivered to any airline.