IndiGo was supposed to have been the second airline to receive the Airbus A320 neo. Despite the delay, IndiGo will still be the first Indian airline to receive the A320 neos, followed by Go Air. Deliveries to IndiGo are likely to happen in the summer of this year. Lufthansa, the first customer of the variant, is already operating the neo albeit short routes within Germany, between Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin.
Seat maps published by Lufthansa allow one to compare the A320’s cabin with the A320 neo’s cabin. Both cabins are of identical length, but have a key difference in the layout: The aft two lavatories are moved to the rear bulkhead, reducing galley space, and making space for one extra row of seats (see the image on top). Lufthansa’s A320ceos has 168 seats in its cabin (across 2 classes), while the A320 neo with the rearranged ‘SpaceFlex’ cabin fits 180 seats (across 2 classes), as shown below.
In the case of IndiGo and GoAir’s A320 neos, the cabin will be fitted with 186 seats (single class), 6 more than the present 180 seats fit in the cabin. Moving the lavatories towards the rear bulkhead, and eating into the galley space makes sense for low cost carriers, as the quantum of uplifted food is lesser than full service carriers. But the last row will be where the lavatories were earlier located.
The issue is not about sitting where the lavatories once were, but that the last row (which will be identified as row 31 on IndiGo and GoAir, and row 32 on all other airlines that skip the number ’13’ when identifying rows) will have no window, and little to no recline. This will, undoubtedly, become the least preferred row on the entire aircraft. To make things a bit more uncomfortable, the walls start moving inwards at that row, part of the taper of the aft fuselage.
Seat pitch on the 186 seat A320s will remain unaffected at 28/29 inches. But remember to keep an eye out for windowless row 31 and above.
The 21st 787 to be delivered, and the first of 27 Dreamliners destined for Air India, VT-ANH was delivered yesterday to the ailing national flag carrier in a low key ceremony at Boeing’s South Carolina delivery centre. Scheduled to be ferried to Delhi today (Friday, 07 September 2012), the dreamliner is expected to touch down at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA: DEL, ICAO: VIDP) on the morning of Saturday, 08 September 2012.
The Dream-liner has actually been quite a nightmare for Air India. A four year production delay, and the antics of the Indian Government, and “pure-blood" Air India pilots, have made things quite distasteful. Air India pilots not wanting pre-merger Indian Airlines’ pilots to get rated on the 787, The Indian government (through Air India) demanding greater compensation from Boeing, and the 28th July un-contained GEnX-1B engine failure during high speed taxi trials on a 787 destined for Air India have culminated in making the 787 appear (literally) like an blood smeared dagger responsible for an aviation bloodbath.
VT-ANH is Line number 35, and the manufacturer’s serial number 36276; its first flight having been conducted on the 25th of January, 2012. Of the other 787s produced / in production, VT-AND (Line 29) and VT-ANI (Line 46) are ready for delivery, while VT-ANA/B/C/E/G are in storage and undergoing rework. VT-ANJ (line 54) and VT-ANK (Line 60) are undergoing pre-flight preparations, while line numbers 65 and 72 (unregistered) are undergoing final assembly. Line Number 90, to be assembled in Everett, is also destined for Air India.
Rework is underway on the earlier line numbers (25, 26, 28,30, 32), possibly to fix the 10 – 15% reduced range (6900NM as against the promised 7700 – 8200NM) due to the 8% overweight airplane.
How does this airplane compare to the existing twin engine widebodies flying for Air India?
Performance Comparisons between the four twin engine widebodies flying for AI. Note that performance figures for the 777 200LR and 300ER are based on FL350, LGD Wt: 200T, 7200NM. Data derived from graphs may have unspecified tolerances.
Seating on the widebodies, with seat pitch and sizes where available. Width and Pitch are in inches.
All technical information have been sourced from Airbus and Boeing published documents