BA is rumoured to be adding an extra 52 seats onto its Boeing 777 flights, the Telegraph reports. The airline is supposedly attempting to keep up with competitors at Gatwick from 2018. Heathrow is also expected to follow suit with an additional 12 seats on its short-haul Airbus A320.
Currently, if you climb aboard a 777 you will find nine economy seats per row. This number is expected to rise to ten seats – an overall increase of a fifth – by 2018 in a bid to “densify” the aircraft.
According to the Independent, the number of toilets will not be increasing along with the seats. There are currently 11 toilets on-board, providing one for every 25 passengers. Under the new plans, this will fall to one per 30.
BA insists that the changes are driven by efficiency and not by profits. In fact, BA stated that those passengers in economy seats will be rewarded with an updated entertainment system, complete with bigger screens.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA’s parent company IAG, explained that the move would allow the airline to “lower the average cost per seat, charge a lower price and stimulate demand”.
A British Airways spokesman said: "We are flying more customers than ever before to our expanding network of destinations.
"To meet this demand, we are updating our 777 cabins to bring us into line with many of our competitors and allow us to offer even more low fares.
"As part of the update, we will also be fitting new entertainment systems with bigger screens.
"British Airways continues to offer customers a generous hand baggage allowance and complimentary food and drink on all our long-haul services."
The question is, how far will BA go to keep up with rivals? Air New Zealand, Emirates and Air France are all running aircraft with seats in rows of 10!
Cutting costs and space further still is budget airline Ryanair, who provides seats just 17 inches wide on its 737-800 aircraft.
While cabin space might be being squeezed, you should always make room for travel insurance! Why not get a quote for yours today?