Caribbean operator Air Caraibes is calling for Airbus to offer a 10 abreast configuration on its A350 XWB, as it seeks to place a four-aircraft order by mid-2008.
Air Caraibes is seeking four aircraft to replace its A330 fleet around 2016-17, with candidates comprising the A350-1000 and the Boeing 777-300ER.
The Guadeloupe-based carrier operates its A330-300s in a nine-abreast, 372-seat configuration. Air Caraibes president Francois Hersen recently participated in an A350 XWB forum in Bordeaux and called on the manufacturer to offer the type with 10 abreast seating.
Speaking to ATI, flightglobal.com's sister publication, during the World Air Transport Forum in Cannes, Air Caraibes president Francois Hersen said: “If we want to increase capacity and cut costs, we want to have at least 450 passengers. The best solution is to increase the size.
“The target is for 2016-17 and we have to decide in the next few months which aircraft we will choose. The A350 XWB will be a good answer, but only if it is 10 abreast.”
Air Caraibes is also evaluating the Boeing 777-300ER, which Hersen believes is likely to be improved and possibly equipped with a new engine. But he adds that the A350 XWB has pilot training advantages due to fleet commonality.
He says: “We will have to decide before the middle of 2008 if we want to have an aircraft in 2016. It is difficult because I think Boeing could improve the 777. The 777 is too-big an aircraft for us today, but in the future it will be a good aircraft.”
Air Caraibes’ long-haul fleet comprises two A330-200s and a -300 on lease from International Lease Finance (ILFC). It is replacing the -200s and is due to take three more -300s in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Hersen says the type is a very good aircraft for Air Caraibe’s long-haul network.
Charlipr From Puerto Rico, joined Dec 2005, 340 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3987 times:
I higly doubt that Airbus would just "change" or truly take serious a call for 10 abreast seating from an operator that will only order 4 aircraft. I believe Air Caraibes will have to adjust there seating capacity to the available aircraft are/will be available.
Lokey123 From Barbados, joined May 2006, 138 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3943 times:
Quoting Charlipr (Reply 2): I higly doubt that Airbus would just "change" or truly take serious a call for 10 abreast seating from an operator that will only order 4 aircraft
This is true, however, they aren't the only ones asking Airbus to look at 10 abreast. You can sure bet Air Asia and Emirates are doing the same. I can imagine many tour travel operators doing the same as well.
FWI747 From France, joined Jul 2007, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3779 times:
Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 1): Why don't they order a few A380s and jam 750 people into them?
Far too big an aircraft for them...even AF does not regularly fill a T7 on that base. The "bigwhale" has been seen as a potential successor to the B747 but that idea was dropped, IMHO I don't think French West Indies will see it for a while - at least 2015 given the actual growth rate of the passenger traffic.
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13084 posts, RR: 33
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3528 times:
How much does wider is the 777 than the A350? I keep getting conflicting info about the A350XWB; I think Janes have the old fuselage width.
BA used to operate the 777s to certain Caribbean and FL destinations (specifically TPA), but thankfully they have now reverted to the normal nine abreast, which is quite nice.
I'm surprised that there is such a demand on the "Outre Mer" route from ORY; in addition to AF and TX, don't forget that Corsair also operates the world's most densely configured 744s (c.590) on this route. I wonder what average loads on the route (and other such routes) are?
BrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 4088 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3500 times:
Quoting JerseyFlyer (Reply 4): This would be tighter than 10-abreast in a 777 - which is awful
Ive experienced it on EK and its fine. However, EK have compensated somewhat with extra pitch on the 777.
I guess the A350 might be able to do 10 abrest with narrow isles and narrow seats, a la A330, I THINK in 9 abrest the A350 has a wider seat than the 787 9 abrest, which it does with the conventional 17.5" width, so it might be possible.
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