February 5, 2016 – Germany’s second-largest airline, Airberlin, has reported that it is seeing “very positive results” from the introduction of additional XL (extra legroom) seats on its long-haul fleet. In September 2015, the airline started fitting an additional five rows of XL seats on each of its 14 long-haul Airbus 330-200 aircraft. For an extra fare of 69-79 Euros per leg, these seats (arranged 2-4-2) offer passengers 20 percent more legroom (36in pitch) than the standard economy seats, which according to Skytrax is the largest economy class seat pitch on transatlantic flights.
The seat is a customized version of ZIM Flugsitz’s modular ECO-01 model, manufactured in Markdorf, Lake Constance. Amenities include adjustable headrests, coat hooks, literature pockets and DVT cushions. ZIM Flugsitz estimates that the seats offer airberlin a 575kg weight reduction per flight compared with its previous seats, reducing fuel consumption by 800 tonnes per year.
The seats are also fitted with Zodiac Inflight Innovations ‘RAVE IFE system, with high-resolution ‘plug and play’ 8.9in monitors.
“Whilst other airlines rely on premium economy, Airberlin’s decision to offer XL seats in economy class at a relatively affordable price was absolutely right. The XL seats are very popular with our passengers, especially on long-haul tourist routes, and already have an average occupancy rate of over 80%. The seats are now the best-seller among our fee-based ancillary services”, said Julio Rodriguez, chief commercial officer at Airberlin.