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Air Berlin joins the slimline club

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Published: 09/01/2015 - Filed under: News »

Air Berlin will follow in the footsteps of Lufthansa and British Airways when it introduces "slimline" seating across its Airbus A320 fleet from this spring.

Germany's second airline will fit the seats on its short and medium-haul fleet.

Details are sketchy at the moment, but the roll-out will finish in 2017.

An Air Berlin spokesperson in Berlin told Business Traveller: "The Recaro-manufactured seats will be installed on our short and medium-haul fleet with the installation starting in the spring and will be completed in 2017."

Seat pitch remains unchanged at 30 inches (the same as Lufthansa and BA), but Air Berlin claims the seat design allows for 1.5 inches more living space. There will also be a USB slot for passengers to use their mobile devices.

As slimline seats take up less space, one would have thought that Air Berlin would, like Lufthansa and BA, have seized the opportunity to increase seating capacity, but the airline says this will not be the case.

"The number of seats per plane will remain the same," the spokesperson confirmed.

So, besides having a newer and fresher product — although reader feedback suggests slimline seats are not too popular — the main benefit for Air Berlin is that these seats are lighter by 1.5 kilos which, the carrier claims, is positive in terms of eco efficiency and fuel costs. One presumes the decision to acquire the new seating was made before the fall in oil prices.

Air Berlin has ordered 23,000 of the new seats at a cost of hundreds of millions of euros.

The carrier, which is 30 per cent owned by Etihad, has a widespread domestic and mainly short to medium-haul network.

Air Berlin has already started the process of equipping its entire fleet with wifi technology (see news, November 20).

airberlin.com

Alex McWhirter

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Surely you mean slimline seats take up less space?!

Thanks. I've amended the story.

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