Jetstar to roll out new seats on half of its narrowbodies

Melbourne
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The Qantas group's low-cost subsidiary Jetstar Airways will retrofit approximately half of its Airbus narrow-body aircraft fleet with new B/E Aerospace's Pinnacle seats and fit the seat on all new narrow-body aircraft deliveries.

Introduced in 2009, the Pinnacle seat is "a good 10lb" or 15% to 20% lighter than its predecessor model in triple configuration, says Alex Pozzi, B/E Aerospace vice-president of research and development of seating products.

A Jetstar spokeswoman says passengers will benefit from extra legroom since the Pinnacle seat features the literature pocket on the top of the seat.

The literature pocket's relocation also "allows for the provision of a removable in-flight entertainment bracket which will hold our planned IFE system (iPad)," the spokeswoman says. Last year Jetstar announced its intention to be the first airline in the world to offer Apple's iPad as an IFE solution. Jetstar has completed a trial and is now planning how to roll out the offering across its fleet.

The retrofit, commencing later this year, will give Jetstar a standardised all-economy 180-seat configuration across its Airbus A320 fleet, the spokeswoman says. The carrier has 58 A320 aircraft in service across its Australian, Singaporean, and Vietnamese operations, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database.

Approximately half of the A320 fleet already seats 180 passengers while the other half seats 177. The 177-seat sub-fleet will have the Pinnacle seat retrofitted with three extra seats installed during the process, bringing capacity to 180 seats, the spokeswoman says. The existing 180-seat A320 sub-fleet has Brice 1010 seats and will remain unchanged, the spokeswoman says.

The carrier's fleet of six A321 aircraft will also be retrofitted with the Pinnacle seat. The retrofit will see six additional seats installed, bringing capacity to 220 seats in an all-economy configuration.

The lavatory and galley configuration will not be changed during the retrofits of the A320 and A321 aircraft.

Jetstar expects to complete the A320 retrofit early next year while the A321 retrofit will be completed by the end of this year, the spokeswoman says.

"All of our A320/ A321 aircraft deliveries moving forward will be installed with B/E Pinnacle Seats with the same configuration" of 180 and 220 seats, respectively, the spokeswoman says. The carrier has 44 A320 aircraft on order with a further 40 on option, according to ACAS.

ACAS shows no A321 aircraft on order for the carrier.