lesismore
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:26 am

Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:05 am

Hello all, just out of curiosity, I was doing some seating capacity comparisons for current operators of the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A340-600, since I believe they are supposed to be natural competitors.

Boeing advertises that their product accommodates 365 passengers in a three-class layout:
- 22F @ 61-inch pitch
- 70B @ 39-inch pitch
- 273Y @ 31/32-inch pitch

Airbus advertises that their product accommodates 380 passengers in a three-class layout:
- 12F @ 62-inch pitch
- 54B @ 40-inch pitch
- 314Y @ 32-inch pitch

Based on this data, it appears that the two should have very similar overall seating capacities if using the same number of seats in First and Business classes.

Of the current airline operators of each type I was able to find, based on three-class seating, the data shows that the 777-300ER accommodates on average 304 passengers and the A340-600 301 passengers.

Another tidbit to note is that when disregarding three-class or two-class seating, there is a larger discrepancy in seating capacities - the 777-300ER average is now at 335, and the A340-600 at 312. But that is probably due to the higher number of operators of the 777, which raises the average.

In any case, I was just wondering why do the manufacturers make such claims for seating capacities (it seems to be the case across all of their respective product lines) when they should know that no operator will ever arrange their aircraft that way? I mean, 61/62-inch pitch first class, and a 39/40-inch business? This pitch assumption is very outdated, but it does help their respective airplanes look better to customers.

If you have any thoughts on this, that would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down. - Abe Lincoln
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13807
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:15 am

Quoting Lesismore (Thread starter):
In any case, I was just wondering why do the manufacturers make such claims for seating capacities (it seems to be the case across all of their respective product lines) when they should know that no operator will ever arrange their aircraft that way?

It's not a claim. It's a baseline. Similar to MPG ratings for a car, list prices when discussing airline orders, etc.

But I do think that the standard should be adjusted to the 21st century.

F pods should be used, with 8-10 being the new standard for most jets.
J seats with a 55" pitch should be used.
Y seats with 32" pitch.

In this configuration, for example, the 787-8 holds 187 pax (with 8Y seating).
See page 10, section 2.4.1: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/acaps/787sec2.pdf

But as long as everybody knows how the baseline works, it's not a problem. The real issue is not using as high a premium to Y ratio in order to pump up numbers. The A346 capacity did this, and it didn't reflect in the real world.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
trex8
Posts: 4657
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

RE: Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:48 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
But as long as everybody knows how the baseline works, it's not a problem. The real issue is not using as high a premium to Y ratio in order to pump up numbers. The A346 capacity did this, and it didn't reflect in the real world.

Airbus certainly seem to do that to make their product look better in terms of CASM etc but as Lesismore points out, in the real world there is a whooping 3 seat difference between the 3 class configurations he looked at!
 
lesismore
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:26 am

RE: Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
But I do think that the standard should be adjusted to the 21st century.

F pods should be used, with 8-10 being the new standard for most jets.
J seats with a 55" pitch should be used.
Y seats with 32" pitch.

In this configuration, for example, the 787-8 holds 187 pax (with 8Y seating).
See page 10, section 2.4.1: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/air...2.pdf

Thanks Ikramerica for the response. Its good to see that Boeing is starting to use these new standards.

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 2):
Airbus certainly seem to do that to make their product look better in terms of CASM etc but as Lesismore points out, in the real world there is a whooping 3 seat difference between the 3 class configurations he looked at!

Trex8, this was certainly surprising to me; I thought the discrepancy would be far greater in favor of the 777.

I am curious to know how much actual floor space is available for seating on these two planes, because the two-class seating arrangement capacities are very different. For the B777-300ER the average is 396, and the A340-600 it is 338. That's a difference of almost 60 passengers! Why are the three-class seating capacities so similar, and the two-class so different?

Any thoughts?
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down. - Abe Lincoln
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13807
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Wed Jun 20, 2007 4:02 am

As for 3-class on the A346, I think it's because you can do 1-2-1 F seating similar to the 777, so the F cabin takes up more floor space on the 777. Then you factor in that SQ is flying 1-2-1 J on their 77W, and that brings the average down more since the "standard" is 2-3-2. That brings the average way down, even though BA has 2-4-2.

In two class, it's much the opposite, because the 346 can only do 1-1-1 in the VS style product, while the 777 can do 1-2-1 as it is on NZ and AC and soon DL. Also because the 777 has wide seats, some are doing Y+ at 3-3-3, while on the 346, it's typically 2-3-2, losing 1 seat per row.

It shows how cabin width plays a big part in capacity shifts from single class to dual class to 3 class to 3+ class.

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 2):
Airbus certainly seem to do that to make their product look better in terms of CASM etc but as Lesismore points out, in the real world there is a whooping 3 seat difference between the 3 class configurations he looked at!

Yes, in practice they are very close, which was my point. Airbus tried to "fudge" the numbers but you can't invent floor space. This is different than the issue of comfort btw, which some argue about the 748i vs. A380. The A380 can fly the Y pax more comfortably, but it doesn't mean you just subtract overall seats from the 748i.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
lesismore
Posts: 123
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:26 am

RE: Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Wed Jun 20, 2007 6:22 am

Thanks for the excellent explanation Ikramerica. I knew there was an answer that made sense!
I'm a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn't have the heart to let him down. - Abe Lincoln
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19287
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Actual Seating Capacity Of B777-300ER And A340-600

Wed Jun 20, 2007 7:26 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 4):
Also because the 777 has wide seats, some are doing Y+ at 3-3-3, while on the 346, it's typically 2-3-2, losing 1 seat per row.

What 346s are you referring to with 2-3-2 seating in Y class? Or did you mean 2-4-2 since you refer to losing 1 seat per row?

I'm not aware of any A340s (all models) with 2-3-2 in Y except the few SQ longhaul A340-500s used on SIN-LAX and SIN-EWR nonstops which is promoted as Deluxe Economy and has 37 inch pitch in addition to the 2-3-2 layout. It's more of a Premium Economy product although there is no other Y class seating on those aircraft.

2-4-2 in Y class on Airbus widebodies (300 through 340) is comparable to 3-3-3 on the wider 777 which most 777s have apart from a couple of carriers with 2-5-2 (and MS with their unique 3-4-2 layout), and a very few with cramped 10-abreast 3-4-3 including EK and a few AF 777s used on specific routes.

Some charter carriers have high-density 3-3-3 seating on Airbus widebodies (but no 340s as far as I know).

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