Airbus reveals new A321neo layout

By David Flynn, June 13 2014
Airbus reveals new A321neo layout

Airbus has revealed a new cabin layout for the A321neo ahead of the first flight for the A320neo in September this year.

But it's not just about "putting more sardines in the can" says Klaus Roewe, Airbus' Senior Vice President for the A320neo family.

The new 'Cabin-Flex' configuration adds an extra 20 seats in a standard all-economy design, boosting the number of passengers from 220 to 240 but retaining the same degree of comfort.

Airbus' all-economy layout assumes 18 inch wide seats with 28 inch pitch, although the airline says that using modern slimline seats is “good for an extra 1-2 inches in pitch, so you have living space for your knees."

The revised design also delivers a "6% fuel per seat reduction", Roewe says – a vital factor considering that this update to the A320 single-aisle jets will become the domestic workhorse for many airlines.

Airbus currently counts almost 2,700 orders for the A320neo family – comprising the A319neo, A320neo and A321neo – from 52 customers, with the most recent being Air New Zealand’s pledge to buy thirteen of the next-gen jets to sharpen its competitive edge against Qantas on the trans-Tasman market.

Read: Air New Zealand orders up Airbus A320neo, A321neo jets

"You can support a higher seat count and intelligently manage to to give living space and floor space to the customers" Roewe believes.

"We have reduced space for the galley and lavatory, with a new Space-Flex new rear galley configuration and Smart-Lav lavatory design to come" he says.

Airbus has also increased the number of passengers who can safely exit an A320neo family plane in the required time, with emergency exit doors which are taller and pack a wider inflatable slide.

The revised A321neo design also rejigs the location of the doors, as shown below.

"With increased evacuation limits we could eliminate door 2" Roewe explains, making for a more flexible cabin layout.

"This is the area where you want to position business or first class, so it removes that limitation for your layout and gives you additional seats."

Airbus expects the first A320neo to fly in September, Airbus NEO Flight Test Engineer Sandra Bour-Schaeffer confirmed at an Airbus media event today in Toulouse, adding that the first flight will be preceded by a "virtual flight test campaign" in the coming months.

Australian Business Traveller is attending the 2014 Airbus Innovation Days media conference in Toulouse, France as a guest of Airbus.

Get the latest for business travellers and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

23 May 2012

Total posts 51

28 inch seat pitch? - they must be joking!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

08 Sep 2012

Total posts 241

Can't agree with you more. I'm 6'4 and even 31 scares me!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 26

I'm 5'10 and 31 scares me so I hate to see how you feel.


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 672

Slimline seats are one thing but 28 inch pitch? Even if you do get an extra inch at the knees this is still way too tight!

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 149

28" pitch is horrible, but I can't see it being adopted by any airline other than perhaps one with an orange star on the tail.

It would also suit operators such as that Ryanair mob, and various tour and charter airlines whose passengers just want to get from Birmingham or Dusseldorf to Tenerife as cheaply as possible.

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