FlapsOne
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Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:04 am

I’m wondering if anyone has examples of cabins which they consider to be a waste of space. By that I mean could there be a better layout in terms of doors or in terms of seating in your opinion? At a time where the public want to get from A to B as cheaply as possible then how do airlines achieve this? Yes you could just go 28” pitch but are there ways that airlines and airframers could perhaps do better? I appreciate we aren’t all engineers so I’m talking from an enthusiast point of view?

Subjectively for me I’d say the MC21 has four sets of type A doors meaning they will likely take up a row or certainly a gap or perhaps a missing seat by the exit. Would changing to two over wing hatch stole doors allow more capacity or maybe go A321NEO style and divide them between overwings and type A doors?

I also think A32S without the cabin flex to be a waste of space. By having two toilets in the cabin you’re losing out on capacity. Yes it’s nice to have two full size toilets and I’m sure the crew prefer it but surely having 6/12 extra seats allows for lower prices, better availability and lower carbon footprint per passenger.

There’s the A380 with crew rests on the main economy deck taking up a lot of seats but I believe it’s either this or cut into your cargo capacity? Then there’s the ‘spa’ but in all fairness there isn’t much you could put in that space safe for a few lounge seats. It’s dead space at the end of the day.

The ARJ21 has two sets of type A doors and is missing a row. I appreciate the whole project is a horror show on wings but would changing to one type A set at the front and one or two sets of overwings like the F70 help the capacity and economics?
 
paullam
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:47 am

The 767 comes to mind with its 2-3-2 layout. While it’s great for passengers in term of comfort it’s not the most economical cabin layout.
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FlapsOne
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:53 am

I agree. I believe Thomson had them in 2-4-2. I never flew it but I saw footage when they were on Airline back in the Britannia Airways days. The First Choice Airways flying for Thomson when they merged had 767s in 2-3-2 were easily the best flights I’ve ever had. Given a choice I think the 2-3-2 configuration is the best accross the Atlantic.

I guess we could also say the same about 3-3-3 A350s but it seems a step too far for most airlines. I think there’s only one flying in a 3-4-3 config. I wonder if we will see this become more mainstream the next time oil prices go up and it may become the norm like it did with the 777. Perhaps not as the A330 has survived numerous crises since it was introduced but 2-4-2 has remained standard and the high density 3-3-3 is still relatively rare.

Ukraine International have a 2-4-2 configured 767 and it looks a gloomy and depressing place to spend up to 10 hours but Kharkiv Airlines have refreshed their 2-4-2 cabin and it actually doesn’t look too bad. Stick proper IFE in and I don’t think many would complain too loudly.

Image
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:09 am

The club seating on WN would probably qualify. 12 seats facing each other in the first two rows of the aircraft where they now get an extra row/6 seats in a traditional layout. Now, if they had charged a premium for that configuration it might have been revenue neutral, but that wasn't the WN way, at the time.
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FlapsOne
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:12 am

OzarkD9S wrote:
The club seating on WN would probably qualify. 12 seats facing each other in the first two rows of the aircraft where they now get and extra row/6 seats in a traditional layout. Now, if they had charged a premium for that configuration it might have been revenue neutral, but that wasn't the WN way, at the time.


You’re right! I totally forgot SWA had the club seating! I would hate to be stuck in a middle seat facing some random stranger. Same as the front right hand row on some DASH8s. Not for me thanks!

I believe TUI once touted the idea of having club style ‘family seating’. Great idea if people are prepared to pay for it but outside of the kids holidays and on cruise flights I’d imagine the experience of facing a random for many hours would be miserable.
 
Ryga
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:52 am

FlapsOne wrote:
I agree. I believe Thomson had them in 2-4-2. I never flew it but I saw footage when they were on Airline back in the Britannia Airways days. The First Choice Airways flying for Thomson when they merged had 767s in 2-3-2 were easily the best flights I’ve ever had. Given a choice I think the 2-3-2 configuration is the best accross the Atlantic.
Image


BY seating configuration on the 763 is 2-4-2, when based in the UK during the summer months it’s not too bad still surprisingly comfortable for short haul. I even flew to Dubai on G-OBYE back in 2016, and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve felt more cramped on a Turkish A330.


FlapsOne wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
The club seating on WN would probably qualify. 12 seats facing each other in the first two rows of the aircraft where they now get and extra row/6 seats in a traditional layout. Now, if they had charged a premium for that configuration it might have been revenue neutral, but that wasn't the WN way, at the time.


I believe TUI once touted the idea of having club style ‘family seating’. Great idea if people are prepared to pay for it but outside of the kids holidays and on cruise flights I’d imagine the experience of facing a random for many hours would be miserable.


This is true, was supposed to be for the 789s I believe. However I don’t imagine this to ever come to light, the current 345 config brings in a lot of revenue for the Tour Operator.
 
cedarjet
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:18 pm

Air Italy's A330 have a second cabin for business of just one single row which would be super desirable for being very private and exclusive. In the kind of move that has made Alitalia a bit of a basket case, it is, of course, not sold to high paying business class passengers in the airline's top tier of their frequent flier scheme, no. It's repurposed as crew rest for flight attendants. Incredible!
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RRTrent
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:37 pm

FlapsOne wrote:
I agree. I believe Thomson had them in 2-4-2. I never flew it but I saw footage when they were on Airline back in the Britannia Airways days


Yup that's correct, flew both DUB-CUN and DUB-AUH-BKK with BY in the late 90's/early 00's. For the flight to CUN we were in the middle seats (family of 4) and it wasn't the most pleasant experience.
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:11 pm

cedarjet wrote:
Air Italy's A330 have a second cabin for business of just one single row which would be super desirable for being very private and exclusive. In the kind of move that has made Alitalia a bit of a basket case, it is, of course, not sold to high paying business class passengers in the airline's top tier of their frequent flier scheme, no. It's repurposed as crew rest for flight attendants. Incredible!



KL 77W's have the same single-row second J cabin in their 77W but it's not allocated for crew rest.
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:35 pm

The OP's 'inefficient' is somebody else's 'roomy' or 'amenity-laden.' There are people who design aircraft layouts for a living. Airlines know where every square centimeter and gram is allocated.
 
FlapsOne
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:56 pm

I’m not sure who that woman is on the photo but it was meant to be a picture of the 2-4-2 new cabin on Kharkiv Airlines shown https://hrk.aero/en/comfortable-flights-with-kharkiv-airlines/
 
musman9853
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:40 pm

Every a380 layout ever is massively wasting space
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paullam
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:03 pm

Another one might be Saudia’s planes. Most of them have praying rooms. While this is obviously for religious reasons, from an economical point of view it’s a waste of space.
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:10 pm

I think the back of the hump of the passenger 747-8, Lufthansa has some galley in there, looks a bit like wasted space to me. Quite as a contrast I think the A380 cabin looks very much like some perfect floorplan. At least the main deck. The 747 Freighter interior looks pretty perfect as well.
 
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:15 pm

380s with a lounge, bar and shower is a giant waste of space
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zuckie13
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:24 pm

I think I understand now. Passenger comfort is a waste of space....
 
FlapsOne
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:30 pm

There’s a very interesting video of the A380PLUS. It shows how numerous parts of the plane have been improved and more seats added with smarter designs of each section. The Q400 had a reshuffle in the cabin along with a cut in legroom takes the capacity from 78 to 90. Can anyone else think of an aircraft that is due a similar reshuffle?

zuckie13 wrote:
I think I understand now. Passenger comfort is a waste of space....


It is a waste of people aren’t prepared to pay for it. If people want cheap then airlines and airframers can adapt and in many cases have.
 
atv18ar
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:47 pm

To change the thought on this a bit from how you cram seats into an airplane, to how you on-board and off-board people, the 757-300 takes the cake. While The airplane is fantastic and is very economical, it takes longer to board and deplane that airplane than a 777. I know that because I fly them. That was why it was a poor seller. You could put a lot of people in the plane and fly for 7 hours, but it takes about 45 minutes to get everyone on the airplane. Seat numbers aren't always what makes or brakes an airplanes efficiency. Sure, you can get 40 more seats on an airplane, but if your yields are not high enough, you won't consistently sell those seats.

If you want an efficient airplane, then make it so the boarding process can reliably be shaved down to just minutes and then you can justify adding another segment to the aircraft's day. Or, in the 753 case, shave it to 25 minutes to board. And that added segment is what will make it more money than simply putting in 10 more seats.
 
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CrimsonNL
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:48 pm

FlapsOne wrote:
I’m not sure who that woman is on the photo but it was meant to be a picture of the 2-4-2 new cabin on Kharkiv Airlines shown https://hrk.aero/en/comfortable-flights-with-kharkiv-airlines/


Didn't Kharkiv Airlines stop flying in 2014 or something?

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citationjet
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:04 pm

The presidential VC-25A (747-200B) only seats 84 passengers. One of the most inefficient aircraft layouts for a 747.
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FlapsOne
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:05 pm

CrimsonNL wrote:
FlapsOne wrote:
I’m not sure who that woman is on the photo but it was meant to be a picture of the 2-4-2 new cabin on Kharkiv Airlines shown https://hrk.aero/en/comfortable-flights-with-kharkiv-airlines/


Didn't Kharkiv Airlines stop flying in 2014 or something?

Martijn


I’m not sure. Their website is still active by the looks of it but I can’t see any flights on flight tracker.
 
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Seabear
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:14 pm

Seats are an incredible waste of space. Imagine the efficiency of standing room only aircraft.
 
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:15 pm

atv18ar wrote:
To change the thought on this a bit from how you cram seats into an airplane, to how you on-board and off-board people, the 757-300 takes the cake. While The airplane is fantastic and is very economical, it takes longer to board and deplane that airplane than a 777. I know that because I fly them. That was why it was a poor seller. You could put a lot of people in the plane and fly for 7 hours, but it takes about 45 minutes to get everyone on the airplane. Seat numbers aren't always what makes or brakes an airplanes efficiency. Sure, you can get 40 more seats on an airplane, but if your yields are not high enough, you won't consistently sell those seats.

If you want an efficient airplane, then make it so the boarding process can reliably be shaved down to just minutes and then you can justify adding another segment to the aircraft's day. Or, in the 753 case, shave it to 25 minutes to board. And that added segment is what will make it more money than simply putting in 10 more seats.

but it takes about 45 minutes to get everyone on the airplane.


They could cut this time considerably if they would board and deplane through both the front and rear doors.
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ClassicLover
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:15 pm

Noshow wrote:
I think the back of the hump of the passenger 747-8, Lufthansa has some galley in there, looks a bit like wasted space to me. Quite as a contrast I think the A380 cabin looks very much like some perfect floorplan. At least the main deck. The 747 Freighter interior looks pretty perfect as well.


Many airlines (if not all) have a galley at the rear of the 747 upper deck. British Airways and Qantas certainly do, so Lufthansa is not alone. It makes sense seeing as you have passenger seats up there.

The staircases on the A380 are wasted space. Well, the front one at any rate - I'm sure it's helpful for an evacuation though. The problem then is the space upstairs on either side of the stairs. On British Airways it's used for two gigantic toilets for Club World. That is probably a big waste of the space, though it's really good for joining the mile high club, I'd guess :)
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:37 pm

paullam wrote:
Another one might be Saudia’s planes. Most of them have praying rooms. While this is obviously for religious reasons, from an economical point of view it’s a waste of space.

But what if Saudia gets more passengers on their plane or can charge a premium because this amenity is available? By your logic, everything but the densest legal configuration of seats would be a waste of space. Available space may not be directly paid for, but that doesn't mean it's inefficient--unless the sole consideration is the fact that it limits the total number of people on board--and without value.
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:51 pm

Space is wasted if it doesn't contribute. That has been a problem historically for some airlines - they measure efficiency purely on seating space. Unfortunately passengers are live people and so have preferences and choice. Just because a space is not being used for seating does not mean it is not contributing. For instance in Saudia's case, if they got rid of their prayer room, that would drive customers away. The extra seats would go unfilled and so wouldn't contribute any more. Passengers are not just in a pile at the airport and the airlines pack in as many as they can fit and then fly off.
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MoKa777
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:00 pm

KE Apex Suite J on their 77W and 748. These aircraft (especially the 748) can comfortably fit 2-3-2 across but KE does 2-2-2. In some instances they can get 20% more (10 vs 12) seats in the middle column of seats but stick with this inefficient layout.

JL abandoned the Apex because it is already a waste of space in a J cabin at 2-3-2 on a 777 yet KE went with even fewer across. Go figure...
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MoKa777
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:04 pm

For Saudia, the prayer area is actually a great use of space. There are people I can think of who would only fly Saudia (and no other airline) just for this reason.

Etihad advertises (on the seat maps on their website) the area around the exits as prayer areas. It is useful but it is not the most comfortable space.
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BobbyPSP
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:18 pm

Perception possibly and within last year I 4 flights on 773, LAX TPE BKK and reverse in Royal Laurel. I was surprised at the huge amount of galley space that just didn’t seem to get a lot of use considering extensive service in both classes.
 
KentB27
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:31 pm

I've always thought that the jumpseat/galley about 3/4 of the way back in the cabin on the left side of some MD-80s was really goofy.
 
Worldair1
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:42 pm

on the freighter side, WO used to operate a DC10-30 combi in the 90's that converted between pak and freighter versions. They always had trouble selling it as cargo due to the middle galley (which could not be removed) took up a lot of space that could have been used for cargo
Last edited by Worldair1 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:46 pm

musman9853 wrote:
Every a380 layout ever is massively wasting space


Yep, they should just do what the A380 was originally designed to do - put 868 seats in every single one of them. :white:

MoKa777 wrote:
Etihad advertises (on the seat maps on their website) the area around the exits as prayer areas. It is useful but it is not the most comfortable space.


Maybe they should convert that "Residence" into a prayer room :spin: :spin: . Not like it gets filled that often anyway :scratchchin:
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atv18ar
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:00 pm

L1011 wrote:
atv18ar wrote:
To change the thought on this a bit from how you cram seats into an airplane, to how you on-board and off-board people, the 757-300 takes the cake. While The airplane is fantastic and is very economical, it takes longer to board and deplane that airplane than a 777. I know that because I fly them. That was why it was a poor seller. You could put a lot of people in the plane and fly for 7 hours, but it takes about 45 minutes to get everyone on the airplane. Seat numbers aren't always what makes or brakes an airplanes efficiency. Sure, you can get 40 more seats on an airplane, but if your yields are not high enough, you won't consistently sell those seats.

If you want an efficient airplane, then make it so the boarding process can reliably be shaved down to just minutes and then you can justify adding another segment to the aircraft's day. Or, in the 753 case, shave it to 25 minutes to board. And that added segment is what will make it more money than simply putting in 10 more seats.

but it takes about 45 minutes to get everyone on the airplane.


They could cut this time considerably if they would board and deplane through both the front and rear doors.


That is very true, but the change for that in the states would be a considerable change in infrastructure in how airports are laid out. I don't think any airline or airport is willing to invest in that. But, you are correct.
 
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:17 pm

airplanenut wrote:
paullam wrote:
Another one might be Saudia’s planes. Most of them have praying rooms. While this is obviously for religious reasons, from an economical point of view it’s a waste of space.

But what if Saudia gets more passengers on their plane or can charge a premium because this amenity is available? By your logic, everything but the densest legal configuration of seats would be a waste of space. Available space may not be directly paid for, but that doesn't mean it's inefficient--unless the sole consideration is the fact that it limits the total number of people on board--and without value.


That’s obviously true and I haven’t thought about that before. Thanks for your insight! :)
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:32 pm

MoKa777 wrote:
For Saudia, the prayer area is actually a great use of space. There are people I can think of who would only fly Saudia (and no other airline) just for this reason.

Etihad advertises (on the seat maps on their website) the area around the exits as prayer areas. It is useful but it is not the most comfortable space.



it's not even that big of a space. on their old 744s, it was like 2 or 3 rows in the center. Like 12 seats less, not a huge deal.
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xxcr
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:44 pm

Virgin Atlantics A340-600 Upper class, its only a 1-1-1 yet you get very minimal privacy and storage space. Its like flying inside a coffin.....Same goes for their 789. Terrible design IMO.
To me, any airline that uses a similar layout needs a new design.
 
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:49 pm

The AIR FRANCE gallery in their A380's is the most unused space I have ever seen.

Inefficient Aircraft Layouts are quite common in the US due to the scope clause. E.g. operating a 90 seater aircraft with just 70 seats is not very economical.
 
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MoKa777
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:02 pm

musman9853 wrote:
MoKa777 wrote:
For Saudia, the prayer area is actually a great use of space. There are people I can think of who would only fly Saudia (and no other airline) just for this reason.

Etihad advertises (on the seat maps on their website) the area around the exits as prayer areas. It is useful but it is not the most comfortable space.



it's not even that big of a space. on their old 744s, it was like 2 or 3 rows in the center. Like 12 seats less, not a huge deal.


Yep, and I think on the 789 it is about 9 seats or something.
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MoKa777
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:04 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
"Residence"


That space on the A380 would actually be good for this purpose for airlines like EY or Saudia (If the had the A380 or ever add it to their fleet).
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FlapsOne
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:17 pm

debonair wrote:
The AIR FRANCE gallery in their A380's is the most unused space I have ever seen.

Inefficient Aircraft Layouts are quite common in the US due to the scope clause. E.g. operating a 90 seater aircraft with just 70 seats is not very economical.


You just reminded me of one of the most extreme examples and that's the late Great Lakes B1900s with half of the seats ripped out, I believe due to the 1500 hour pilot requirement
 
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:44 am

paullam wrote:
The 767 comes to mind with its 2-3-2 layout. While it’s great for passengers in term of comfort it’s not the most economical cabin layout.


The real problem was the cargo bay. The LD2 was developed specifically for the 767 since it was too narrow to fit two LD3s side by side.

As for inefficient...KLM is 10-abreast on its 777s but desires to keep a 17.5" seat width in Y+ and Y, which results in an ultra-narrow aisle. They could really use a W cabin to try to garner some higher fares.

I'll also second VS as well in J...they could go with a 1-2-1 layout very easily. Another example might be NH's 3-4-2 B77Ws (with 34"/17" seats in Y)...why not just go 3-4-3? (The seats there are also 34"/17" in Y). One would have 225 seats on the ultra-high J B77Ws and 264 on the mid-J B77Ws.

Another airline that I say could do better with a denser configuration is 4O---as Mexico is a market primarily on price for regional flying, their seat pitch is too wide; they could easily go 32"/17".
 
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:59 pm

xxcr wrote:
Virgin Atlantics A340-600 Upper class, its only a 1-1-1 yet you get very minimal privacy and storage space. Its like flying inside a coffin.....Same goes for their 789. Terrible design IMO.
To me, any airline that uses a similar layout needs a new design.


VS Upper Class, even at 1-1-1 in the narrow A340, is surprisingly space-efficient.

VS manage 45J38W225Y compared to SA 42J275Y. And VS J is all aisle-access.
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Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:27 pm

MoKa777 wrote:
xxcr wrote:
Virgin Atlantics A340-600 Upper class, its only a 1-1-1 yet you get very minimal privacy and storage space. Its like flying inside a coffin.....Same goes for their 789. Terrible design IMO.
To me, any airline that uses a similar layout needs a new design.


VS Upper Class, even at 1-1-1 in the narrow A340, is surprisingly space-efficient.

VS manage 45J38W225Y compared to SA 42J275Y. And VS J is all aisle-access.



VS seats have no storage space or privacy! they could of gone with a 1-2-1 layout and offer more storage space.

Lets use Etihad for example. They have a J layout of 1-2-1, though only 32 seats. Im sure if they didn't have F on their A346, they could fit close to 40 with a 1-2-1 layout.
 
EChid
Posts: 544
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:00 am

Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:09 pm

musman9853 wrote:
Every a380 layout ever is massively wasting space

As much as I love the A380, I agree. The upper deck with all of the space where the storage bins are because there is nothing else to do with it (due to the angle of the fuselage). The front of the upper deck is also tonnes of wasted space (I can't believe that more didn't do what EY/EK did with it - very creative). The stairways. The 747s, in general, are similarly wasteful, what with the curvature of the nose make efficient use of that space hard, and the upper deck suffering the same issues as the 388.
2018: DRW-PER-HKG-ICN-MEL-AVV-BNE-OOL-SYD-YYZ-YYZ-YUL-YVR-PDX-SEA-SFO-PEK-KIX-CDG-IST-NRT-HND-BKK-FAT; AC J-TK J-OZ F-DL F-TG J/F-NH J/F-CX J-VA J
 
EChid
Posts: 544
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:00 am

Re: Inefficient Aircraft Layouts

Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:16 pm

In terms of seat layouts, I find the herringbones (not the reverse herringbones) to be remarkably inefficient given how dissatisfactory they are as a flatbed product (I'm looking at you, VS and NZ). For example, Air NZ manages to fit 27 herringbones, which are pretty much universally disliked by reviewers (even if the soft product is fantastic) in the same place that AC fits 30 reverse herringbones, a product I find very comfortable and is generally liked.
2018: DRW-PER-HKG-ICN-MEL-AVV-BNE-OOL-SYD-YYZ-YYZ-YUL-YVR-PDX-SEA-SFO-PEK-KIX-CDG-IST-NRT-HND-BKK-FAT; AC J-TK J-OZ F-DL F-TG J/F-NH J/F-CX J-VA J

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