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Bombardier’s CSeries offering room to spare

March 15, 2013, Montreal - Some air travellers may find the seats in Bombardier's new CSeries planes a bit more to their liking than what they're used to.


March 15, 2013
By Carey Fredericks

The Montreal-based company says the aircraft, scheduled to enter commercial service in 2014, will have the widest seats, and greatest shoulder and foot space per passenger, in any single-aisle plane.

Each row in the five-abreast economy class will include one larger seat, in the middle of a grouping of three. That 19-inch-wide (48.3-centimetre) seat is "up to 1-1/2 inches (3.8 centimetres) larger than the competition,'' Bombardier says, referring to Boeing and Airbus.

The first completed CSeries aircraft was unveiled March 7 at Bombardier's facility in Mirabel, north of Montreal. The planes will carry up to 160 passengers, depending on the model, on short- and medium-haul routes.

SmarterTravel.com blogger Ed Perkins wrote that the new planes will have seats that "at last'' are starting to catch up with widening travellers.

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"The CSeries is a welcome sign that the aircraft manufacturers are finally recognizing that during the entire jet age, seats in most configurations haven't gotten any wider, while passengers have,'' wrote Perkins.

Last year Airbus also addressed the issue of expanding passengers, introducing a cabin design for its A320 jets that included an extra-wide aisle seat for those needing more space.

Sebastien Mullot, director of program management for the CSeries, said Bombardier was not specifically targeting overweight travellers with its new seat design.

"To be honest, I don't think we deliberately thought about larger passengers. We just thought about the average passenger, and the need for that passenger to get better living space.''

Mullot said the sculpted contours of the aircraft's side walls allow for more shoulder space, while bigger-than-normal windows let more light into the cabin.

"We also have an extra-wide aisle – 20 inches (51 centimetres) – which gives you a bit more elbow room . . . You are less likely to get bumped into by the flight attendant coming down the aisle with the cart.''

Bombardier has said that as of Dec. 31, 2012, it had booked orders and commitments for 382 CSeries aircraft.