It seems Norwegian is bored with the seats it has got for its Boeing 737 MAX Fleet, and is swapping them to the Recaro BL3710.
And that’s the semi-good news. Now, lets delve into the interesting parts of the announcement.
First up is the seating capacity, which is still a cosy 189 seats on a 737. This is identical to what they operate. Seat pitch will be at 30″ (again around what they operate at the minute). Allegedly, this will improve leg space compared to the current seat used.
Originally, the release stated that the plane would be fitted 16.8″ width seating through the cabin. It seems the press release has been hurriedly re-written, with the following specifications released:
- Front row/fixed armrest rows – 16.8″seat width
- All other rows: 17.2″ seat width
Note, that Norwegian have edited their press release after the initial outcry of 16.8″ seating across the plane.
The BL3710’s weigh in at 10kg – 1kg less than current seat. That comes in at just under 200kg less weight to lift per flight – allowing for fuel saving costs
The first plane is flying with the new seats (EI-FYG). The BL3710 seats will be retrofit the seat to the existing six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft delivered last year.
Going into the offical release from Norwegian:
Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian states:
“More than 370,000 customers have flown Norwegian between the UK & Ireland and the US East Coast and now thousands more passengers can fly in slimmer seats that provide more space for the longer flights.
“The Boeing 737 MAX’s versatility can provide passengers with lower fares on direct transatlantic routes and shorter flights as we plan to replace older aircraft as we maintain a young, modern and fuel-efficient fleet.”
Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO and Recaro Aircraft Seating stated
“We are delighted and proud, that Norwegian is the first customer for our new BL3710 seat. The seat embodies RECARO’s high quality standards and design principles, while setting all new standards in economy class. With an ideal balance between lightweight design and comfort, RECARO supports the airline to offer their passengers enhanced living space and outstanding comfort.”
Earlier this year, I tried the BL3710 when it was first unvelied at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018. At that point, I suggested that it could be the standard for short-haul seating.
However, I didn’t test it at these seat widths that have been delivered to Norwegian.
Whilst at 17.2″ its not exactly comfortable, it’s still average for 737 type seating (with seats around 17-17.5″ width depending on the seat design, and how airlines measure seat width*. At 16.8 inches (or 42.672cm) in those fixed armrest rows, unless you’ve got a slim hips or waist.. this isn’t going to be pleasant.
And considering the length of flights these planes are being used on (UK & Ireland to USA), the numbers of decent massage therapists in destination cities are going to be in reasonable demand if you’re in a row where the armrests are fixed.
Editors note: At Economy Class and Beyond we measure between the armrests. Not over the armrests, between them only.
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