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Airbus

More Airlines Offer Lie Flat Seating in Premium Cabins

More Airlines Offer Lie Flat Seating in Premium Cabins
Joe Cortez

Among the time-honored aviation traditions, one of the most revered is the lie-flat seats in the forward cabin. Airlines are taking note as well, as more aircraft are offering this amenity in more narrow-body aircraft than ever before.

It seems that in today’s travel world, flyers come to expect lie-flat seats for longer trips. Now, with the development of next-generation narrow-body aircraft, more airlines are using cabin real estate to lure more luxury travelers. BlueSwanDaily.com reports the number of airlines that are adding premium seats has nearly doubled in the past 15 months, thanks to the new airframes.

With the introduction of the Airbus A321neo, long-range variants and (currently grounded) Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, these narrow-body workhorses can cover more distance. This makes them a much more viable player for routes between markets where there is little demand for wide-body aircraft.

As a result, a group of 13 airlines is now offering lie-flat seating in the premium cabin, an increase of five carriers over the last 15 months. According to CAPA Centre for Aviation, Copa Airlines, La Compagnie and TAP Air Portugal have all joined the lie-flat narrow-body club, with Gulf Air expected to join in 2020.

But they may not be the final entrants to the market. According to analysts, the narrow-body revolution could also inspire other carriers to join the international marketplace with their offerings. For example, JetBlue’s addition of long-range Airbus A321neo aircraft could inspire them to expand the Mint premium cabin experience to Europe. The airline is planning to add 13 A321neoLR variants by 2021 and 13 A321neoXLR variants by 2023. The airline has not commented publicly about expanding beyond its current footprint.

And with the continual grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, Airbus can become the leader in premium narrow-body travel. Among carriers in the United States, CAPA Centre for Aviation projects American Airlines could become “the first A321neoXLR lie-flat operator.” American currently operates lie-flat service on special A321 aircraft, configured in a three-cabin configuration for cross-country operations.

 

[Featured Image: Airbus]

View Comments (2)

2 Comments

  1. donyagf

    September 22, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    OMG, I can’t wait for JetBlue to start flying internationally.

  2. MatthiasWagner

    September 23, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    SAS has also (to high tier customers) revealed that their 2020 A321LR will feature lie-flat

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