Air New Zealand’s “Pleased to Seat You” truck on display in Terry Fox Square in Vancouver
Air New Zealand is in the midst of refurbishing its Boeing 777-200ER fleet, and is showcasing the planes’ new Premium Economy and Economy Skycouch seats during a North American “Pleased to Seat You” tour.
The seats are on display in a 26 foot, 5 ton, glass-walled truck that will cover more than 7,000 miles, giving the public a chance to see and sit in the -200’s new seats. The airline introduced the innovative Skycouch in its Boeing 777-300s – the footrest in a row of three seats can be positioned at the same height as the seat cushions, giving a flexible space for passengers.
With the update of the -200s, all of the long-haul aircraft in Air New Zealand’s fleet will include the Skycouch, along with the new Premium Economy seats also found in its Boeing 787-9s.
Hawaiian Airlines is streamlining their 717 cabins – Photo: Hawaiian Airlines
Hawaiian Airlines is now the second-largest operator of Boeing 717s in the world — with a fleet of 18 (tied with QantasLink — Delta is number one). Even though it is a smaller fleet, the airline operates five different configurations of the aircraft type, which they use to fly inter-island.
To simplify, the airline has decided to standardize each aircraft with 128 new seats and also update some of the design elements of the cabin.
“These new, modern design elements rejuvenate the interiors of our Boeing 717s while allowing us to deliver a consistent onboard experience for our guests,” said Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines.
Alaska Airlines new New Recaro seats for economy class that will make their appearance on the airline's new Boeing 737-900ERs. Image from Alaska.
Alaska Airlines has announced that they will be installing new seats from Recaro Aircraft Seating on their 22, soon-to-be delivered, Boeing 737-900ERs.
The seats will offer a six-way adjustable headrest, three inches of recline and an additional inch of legroom.
The additional leg room will not affect the airline’s seat pitch of 31-32″, but it will offer more room for your legs. “The extra inch we refer to is gained by Recaro’s clever design that effectively adds one more inch of room to your living space, without us moving the seats further apart,” Alaska spokes person confirmed to AirlineReporter.com. “Specific to pitch, our pitch will stay consistent with our current standard 31-32 inches.”
Alaska Airlines new New Recaro seats for First Class that will make their appearance on the airline's new Boeing 737-900ERs. Image from Alaska.
Alaska will also get new Recaro seats for the first class cabin that will offer five inches of recline, an articulating seat bottom and a six-way adjustable headrest.
The seat, “design includes a comfortable yet slimmer seatback and bottom and a literature pocket located above the tray table,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “The new seats add to a very special onboard experience that all of our customers flying Alaska’s new 737-900ERs will enjoy, including Boeing’s Sky Interior—with its improved lighting and sculpted overhead bins that create a more spacious cabin—onboard Wi-Fi, Starbucks coffee, premium Washington wines and delicious meals for purchase, as well as our renowned personal service.”
The seats are also lighter and are expected to save about 8,000 gallons of fuel annually per aircraft.
Allegiant MD-80 tail with a clear blue sky
Allegiant Air announced today that they will be adding 16 additional seats to most of their MD-80 aircraft. All of the 48 currently operating and nine of the additional ones will be operating with 150 seats will be changed to accommodate 166 seats. The three MD-87’s that hold 133 seats will not be changed.
Allegiant is investing $50million into this change, which includes removing the galleys. They will start the changes near the end of 2011 and will be completed by the end of 2012.
“These added seats will allow us to grow our capacity with the least amount of risk,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant President, said. “This project effectively increases our capacity by 11 percent while lowering our cost per seat. In addition, we expect to fund this through internally generated cash-flow.”
This investment shows that Allegiant will continue with their fleet of MD-80 aircraft as well as their newer Boeing 757s for the future.
Due to the increase in passengers, Allegiant will be adding a fourth flight attendant to the 166 passenger aircraft. This increases the ratio of flight attendant to passenger from 1:50 to 1:42.
I wondered if this would mean Allegiant would offer less seat pitch for customers. Just back in 2004, Allegiant made a big deal about taking out three rows of seats to provide more leg room (thanks to Dan Webb for that link). I asked Jordan McGee, Director if Allegiant Corporate Communications and she explained that all Allegiant’s aircraft are not configured the same, but even after the conversion to 166 seats, all the aircraft will have a seat pitch between 30-32 inches.
“Our current seat pitch varies by aircraft because of different configurations, but our average is 30-32 inches. We also have quite a few seats at 33 inches and then some upwards of that, depending on the aircraft. Once we make the conversion to 166 seats, each seat will be between 30-32 inches,” McGee explained.
If they aren’t using the galleys to serve food, why have them? Heck, if Allegiant can put in more seats and more flight attendants while not taking any leg room away from me and while trying to keep fares competitive, I am all for it.