Alaska Airlines has kicked off a major overhaul of the cabins of its Airbus A320-family aircraft – an effort to make the cabins of Airbus and Boeing 737s similar.

"We have made a decision to standardise all Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s to the Alaska standards," Alaska's managing director of cabin systems and airframe MRO Jason Lai said at a recent industry event.

The company will equip its 69 Airbus narrowbodies with new carpet, curtains, lights and other furnishings, and will equip the aircraft with new seats made by Recaro, says Lai.

"This will give us the opportunity to have common parts and common suppliers, and to introduce more first-class and more premium-class [seats]," Lai says. "Our goal is that this will enable our network planning the flexibility to do some swaps."

Alaska expects to complete the first A320 cabin overhaul in the third quarter of 2018 and to complete the overhauls by the end of 2019, according to Lai and to Alaska executives who spoke during the company's first quarter earnings call.

Alaska operates 10 A319s, 53 A320s and six A321neos, according to Flight Fleets Analyzer. It acquired those aircraft with the December 2016 purchase of Virgin America.

Alaska is making similar cabin updates to its 11 passenger-configured 737-700s. Those aircraft will likewise get new seats, lighting, carpet, curtains, lavatories and satellite entertainment systems, according to Lai.

The company expects to complete overhauls to the first 737-700 in the third quarter 2018 and to complete the project in early 2019, according to Lai's presentation.

Source: Cirium Dashboard