Lie flat narrowbody trend: TAP, Compagnie, Air Astana, Gulf Air join

Premium Analysis

The number of airlines offering lie-flat seats on narrowbody aircraft is increasing rapidly, providing better options for corporates in a wide range of markets. The introduction of new generation narrowbody aircraft, including the A321neoLR and in future the recently launched A321neoXLR, is a game changer as it enables airlines to operate long haul narrowbody routes efficiently in low density premium-focused configurations. 

There are currently 13 airlines operating narrowbody aircraft with lie-flat business class seats, compared to only eight airlines 15 months ago.

Five airlines have introduced lie-flat narrowbody aircraft since May-2018, kicking off a new trend which is expected to accelerate as more network airlines take delivery of A321neoLRs, A321neoXLRs, 737 MAX 8s, 737 MAX 9s and 737 MAX 10s.

The five recent adopters are Philippine Airlines (PAL), Panama’s Copa, Saudia, France’s La Compagnie and TAP Air Portugal. Kazakhstan’s Air Astana is planning to put its first lie-flat narrowbody aircraft into service in Oct-2019, followed by Bahrain’s Gulf Air in early 2020.

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