Jetstar, the Australian low-fare airline, has unveiled the cabin features on its Airbus A321neo (long range) aircraft which it hopes will offer fuel savings and greater passenger comfort.
The airline’s A321LR is expected to join the fleet in August next year, and will seat 232 passengers in a single class cabin.
The new aircraft are set to offer “wider, ergonomic seats, greater stowage and in-flight streaming for personal devices” the Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans explained on the unveiling of the cabin interiors, adding: “We think customers are going to love them.”
The ergonomic seats will be provided by Recaro and will feature tapered arm rests in a move to maximise space. The Recaro BL3710 seats will be 18.2 inches wide with 29-inch pitch (for the majority of seats).
Seats will also feature a flip-down smartphone and tablet holder as well as in-seat USB power. This will likely be welcome news to passengers who will also be able to enjoy digital streaming of Jetstar’s in-flight entertainment to their own devices, with the IFE featuring new release movies, TV shows and games.
The cabin will benefit from extra-large overhead bins with 40% more room to stow bags, as well as colour LED lighting that adjusts to different stages of flight.
The 18 A321LR aircraft are set to be deployed on domestic routes, and ultimately on some international routes such as Sydney to Bali, and will add capacity on popular routes, with CEO Evans adding “with the potential to free up some Boeing 787 flying for use on other, longer international leisure routes.”
As the aircraft can fly 1,200km further than the current generation of A321s, the airline expect it could enable new city pairs, such as Avalon to Bali, Melbourne to Nadi (Fiji) and Cairns to Auckland.
The new aircraft are expected to burn less fuel than previous generation aircraft (with CFM LEAP engines set to reduce fuel burn by approx 15%), and along with advanced weather detection technology, the airline believes pilots will be able to plot more fuel-efficient flight paths.
Evans added: “We expect our neos to save one point two million kilograms of fuel per year compared with our current generation aircraft. That’s a reduction of almost 4,000 tonnes of emissions or removing 1,500 cars from the road each year.”
To further minimise fuel burn the aircraft will be painted using a new weight-saving technique, and will also operate with lightweight galley carts and freight containers, which Evans said will remove 170kg from each flight.
The aircraft are part of the Qantas Group’s order for 109 A321neos, which includes 36 XLRs, and are due to arrive between August 2020 and mid-2022.