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EasyJet commits to higher-density A320s

UK budget carrier EasyJet has become the latest airline to commit to a higher-density Airbus A320 layout with the decision to fit 186 seats in the type.

Airbus has been developing a revised cabin interior allowing an increase in accommodation from the previous limit of 180.

EasyJet had hinted that it was leaning towards the higher-capacity version during the delivery of its 250th Airbus in Hamburg last month.

But it has confirmed its plans in its first-half results disclosure, stating that all new A320s delivered from May 2016 will be fitted with 186 seats.

EasyJet also says that it will retrofit its current A320s with the higher seat-count from winter next year. This retrofit will be completed by the summer of 2018.

The layout will result in a cost-per-seat saving of 2% over the 180-seat version, the airline says.

EasyJet has 162 A320-family jets, including 100 A320neos, on order.

Over the second half of its financial year EasyJet will take delivery of 12 aircraft, giving it an overall fleet of 241 of which 93 will be A320s.

Spanish low-cost operator Vueling has already committed to the 186-seat option for the type while Central European budget airline Wizz Air is taking the larger A321 with a high-density 230-seat configuration. The A321 had previously been restricted to 220 seats.

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