Airbus creates bigger seats for obese passengers


Airbus creates bigger seats for obese passengersPA

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is designing wider aisle seats for obese passengers, but the width of regular seats will be reduced by one inch to compensate.

The Daily Mail reports that rather than having rows of three seats, each 18in wide, Airbus plans to make the aisle seat 20in and the other two 17in wide.

Airlines will then be able to charge extra for the seats, as just a £6.50 fee could generate £2million for each aircraft over 15 years of service. This could help to offset the cost of extra fuel required to carry overweight passengers.

The move comes in response to frequent complaints from passengers forced to sit next to an overweight person. A recent survey found that half of British flyers said that overweight passengers should pay more for their seats.

Nicholas Tschechne, who conducts research at Airbus, said: "Passenger size has emerged as a core issue we need to deal with. And sitting next to obese passengers is the number one complaint."

The first Airbus A320 with the bigger seats is likely to be bought by an American airline, as the US has the highest proportion of overweight people.

In the UK, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic already ask obese passengers to buy an adjacent seat and Ryanair has mooted the idea of a 'fat tax' to cover the extra cost of transporting overweight people.

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