German carrier Lufthansa has unveiled a new cabin for its short and medium haul flights within Europe featuring the Recaro BL35xx slim-line seats which will provide the carrier both weight saving and increased seating capacity while still maintaining superior seating comfort and leg room.
The new Recaro seats are fitted with a special foam and net material that makes them slimmer, lighter and take up less room than the previous seats. The average seat pitch has been reduced from the current 32 inches to 30 inches, but the new slim-seat with its slim backrest allows passengers to gain 4cm (1.6 inches) at the knee. The interior of the backrest is perforated, which ensures high breathability to improve seating comfort. No more sticky back after a flight.
The reduction in seat pitch allows for the installation of up to two additional rows of seats which will allow the airline’s total capacity to grow by 8% or 2,000 additional seats. This is the equivalent of twelve Airbus A320 aircraft which would be worth about 1 billion euros, more than enough to off-set the 170 million euro cost the airline will spend in the cabin renovation.
Question to other airlines — why are you not using these seats as well ?
A reduction of over 300kg in seat weight even after the additional seats will continue to deliver the carrier long term savings.
In order to provide enough cabin stowage space for all passengers, the new seat-backs have been designed with a different angle of inclination, ensuring permitted cabin luggage fit under the seat in front.
Lufthansa is also deepening its overhead bins in its Boeing 737-300 and 737-500, which are not from the current generation 737s, to allow hand luggage to be stowed vertical i.e. sideways to the direction of travel thus increasing capacity and passenger comfort.
For a detailed view on the seating, and how it was designed, tested, selected, and how it will be rolled out, please read this document, It has some very interesting snippets of information embedded in it.