3 Links I Love: Shrinking A350 Seats, Zunum Death Watch, Seattle’s N Gates

This week’s featured link:

Airbus changes tack on seat comfort, posits ‘sub-economy’ on A350Runway Girl Network
Oh Airbus. The company loves to say how it has the widest seats flying, but then it pivots to say it has a great narrow option for low-cost carriers. The problem is that the seats are even narrower than what Boeing can put on its 777s. I know Airbus tries to thread that needle by saying it has the widest seats for full service airlines, but that’s just confusing. I guess we should just celebrate that the company figured out a way to get 10-abreast on an A350 with 17″ wide seats instead of 16.4″ wide seats. Yay?

Video of the Week: Pretty sure that’s not how that’s supposed to work. Delta is lucky that spinner stayed where it was and didn’t cause bigger issues. Yikes.

Two for the road:

Zunum Aero startup flounders as Boeing backs awaych-aviation
Uh oh. Things aren’t looking good for Zunum and its electric airplane. It seems like Boeing and JetBlue may have to write this one off unless someone can pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Sea-Tac and Alaska then and now: North Satellite expansion is the newest development in decades of growthAlaska Airlines Blog
Here’s a nice look back Alaska’s home base as the new N gates start to come online.

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6 Responses to 3 Links I Love: Shrinking A350 Seats, Zunum Death Watch, Seattle’s N Gates

  1. Angry Flyer says:

    Squeeze more people in a tight space? How does this affect the 90 second evacuation limit? I know the airplane manufacturers go through simulated drills but I don’t see how this would really work in a real emergency.

    • CF says:

      Angry – They have to meet the evac rules and the aircraft are certified up to a certain number of passengers with the doors as configured. If they want more than that, they have to re-test. So clearly they aren’t concerned about meeting the rules with this.

  2. Konstantin von Wedelstaedt says:

    As the article mentions, the 10-abreast A350 is already reality with Air Caraibe and FrenchBee – I experienced it on a 9 hour flight from Orly to Martinique, even in the middle seat. Not pretty but I survived… Fares on these routes can be quite low (below most other North Atlantic routes) So I guess it works for low cost, leisure routes.

  3. Kilroy says:

    17″ seat width on a long haul flight is bordering on inhumane. I still might consider it if the fare were REALLY cheap, but on a x-Atlantic flight I’d be willing to pay an extra $300 or $400 roundtrip for another inch or two of hip room.

    I forget which plane it was, but I sat in a very Meridiana seat (now renamed Air Italy) on a RT from JFK to Naples, Italy, and the Cranky Concierge helping me mentioned that they had an extra seat per row in the plane compared to most other airlines. Definitely not fun, and made it harder to sleep on a long haul redeye flight.

    I’ve since learned to check the hip room (matters far more to me these days than leg room, since even at 5’11” and a 32″ inseam I basically plan for my knees to be jammed into the seat in front of me on every flight) of seats for flights that last more than 2 or 3 hours.

    • CF says:

      Kilroy – Yes, Meridiana operated the old 767s with 8 abreast instead of the usual 7. It was rather tight, I hear.

  4. Specter Koen says:

    The situation with Zunum seems pretty difficult for Boeing. Airbus and Rolls Royce are still on track (as far as we know) with their E-Fan X project, but that’s just a proof of concept. The Zunum had actual airline interest, and could have been a viable ERJ/CRJ 200 replacement if they stretched it like they were planning to. That’s a very strong lead over the competition for Boeing to just let “passively” slip away.

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