Airbus is working with a UK company to equip its A320 aircraft with new lightweight economy class seats.
The European planemaker will use Acro Aircraft Seating’s Ultra XC economy class seat aboard its single-aisle aircraft from the first quarter of 2014. The seats are up to 18.1 inches (46cm) wide and feature a lightweight design with a slim seatback to offer greater legroom.
The new seat will initially be installed across the A320 fleet of a “major European carrier”, according to Acro.
“We are very excited to be working to supply a wider and more comfortable seat which will address the needs of passengers,” said Cameron Allan, commercial director at Acro Aircraft Seating.
“The new Ultra XC seat was developed very much in response to customer demand. At Acro, we want our customers to be happy and according to the recent research, when it comes to flying long-haul in economy, an inch or so makes a huge difference in terms of passenger comfort.”
The new seat follows recent research by Airbus and the London Sleep Centre that revealed that a minimum seat width of 18 inches improved passenger sleep quality by 53%, compared with the 1950s-style 17-inch standard.
The reduced weight of the seats will also help airlines improve operational efficiency and reduce fuel burn.