Over the years, Business Traveller has reported on how aeroplane manufacturers have crammed more economy seats into their planes to simplify promoting their products.
Do you remember the B707? There are now six rows across the board instead of five. Following that came Boeing’s B747, which changed from nine-across to ten-across, a move later mirrored on the company’s B777.
It’s Airbus’ turn with the passenger-friendly A350.
Flightglobal.com claims that Airbus has built a new version of the A350-1000 with ten economy seats instead of nine.
Boeing has already achieved this with its next B777-9 aircraft (which has yet to enter service).
Airbus has also widened the fuselage by reshaping the inner cabin as Boeing did. Hopefully, passengers won’t notice the more condensed seating arrangement.
What’s the reasoning behind Airbus’s decision? To increase the appeal of the A350-1000 to potential consumers in the highly competitive aviation market.
A B777-9 (with 42 business and 372 economy seats) can fit 414 passengers in a two-class arrangement with ten-across economy seats.
The A350 originally had 369 seats, with 54 in business class and 315 in economy.
This means that the A350-capacity 1000s would be closer to the B777-if 9’s they had ten-across economy. Of course, airlines that invest in this more recent model stand to gain financial benefits.
However, this configuration is based on the original cabin width of the A350, which implies that passengers will be crammed into a smaller space.
There have been only a few airlines so far that have implemented the above, including French Bee.
It should be noted that no airline has yet purchased the ten-across A350-1000 variant.