Plans for a denser version of the A320 have returned to the table at Airbus, which will make changes so it can carry more passengers than its Boeing competitor.
Currently, rival Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft are in new generations, MAX and NEO, respectively, but use the same fuselage as previous generations, Next Generation (NG) and CEO.
In all cases, planes have seating limitations, which are defined by the aircraft’s evacuation ability, measured in tests during certification. Today, according to the European regulatory agency, the A320 can carry up to 180 passengers and the 737-800 up to 189, as it is 2.4 meters longer than its competitor.
The new version of the 737 MAX 8, the MAX 200, made especially for Ryanair, but which has already won over other customers, brought the maximum number of seats of the 737 to 197 passengers with practically the same fuselage as the MAX 8 and the -800, but competitive Airbus does not want to be left behind.
According to journalist Andreas Spaeth, Airbus is about to launch the SpaceFlex V2, a new internal configuration that will allow 14 more seats on the A320neo, thus reaching a maximum of 194 passengers per flight, very close to the MAX 200 and above the 737 MAX 8. / 800.
Seat pitch alarm! @Airbus wants to get #A320 recertified for 194 seats up from 180 by 2024/25 with cabin mods, ending up with 28″😳 Equally #A330 is to be upgraded to max 465 pax from 440. Legroom becomes the new gold… #PaxEx #avgeek pic.twitter.com/BOU0XuE0kG
— Andreas Spaeth (@SpaethFlies) June 16, 2022
For this, as shown in the company’s presentation at the Aircraft Interior Expo, a row of four seats (two on each side) will be placed at the front of the aircraft, a traditional row of six seats at the back with another special row, four seats, plus the reduction of a toilet.
The space between one armchair and another will go to 28″ inches (71 cm). To give you an idea, Azul currently has a distance of 76 cm in its A320neo seats and LATAM has 73 cm in the same aircraft. Another Airbus plan is to increase the capacity of the A330-900neo from 440 passengers to 465 in single class, also with a change in the internal configuration.
These changes to the A320 and A330 are expected to be available to the market in 2024 or 2025, depending on the required regulatory approval.