Emirates believes Airbus’s campaign over minimum seat width needs to be linked with efforts to reduce typical seat weights.
Airbus has been publicly pressing for a minimum 18in seat, like those for its A350, in the run-up to the launch of the Boeing 777X whose 10-abreast layout will require narrower seats.
Emirates is taking both aircraft types and president Tim Clark believes the issue is more complex than simple width measurements.
“The trick is to maximise comfort levels,” he says, adding that there is a “need to get weight out of the seats” and introduce ergonomic improvements.
Clark says that seat structure has to change. Seats in the Airbus A340-500, he says, were around 30kg, but that this level has been cut to around 18kg.
He believes that the weight could be further stripped to 12kg, adding that the airline wants to see another 3t in seat weight removed from its aircraft – while maintaining comfort levels. “I think we’ll have to lead this personally,” he says.