The lie-flat seats of the long-range version of the A321neo seem to be the focus when we look at the cabin details. Many of the popular aircraft won't be flying for more than ten hours on long hauls. Many are already used as shorthaul workhorses, performing the unglamorous work for which the original A321 was designed and which it originally entered into service with Lufthansa in 1994.
Delta Air Lines will start flying the A321neos on transcontinental routes at the end of May, in the middle of the pack. The market aircraft will initially be based in Boston, where they will fly to Denver, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.
Edward Russell discovered recently that the recently leaked transcon aircraft, which will offer outward-facing herringbone seating on a subfleet of Delta's A321neos, are not the first batches of aircraft.
The domestic version is a decent product. There are twenty first class recliners in the usual 2-2 configuration. Factorydesign is involved in the design of the highly customised version of the recliner, which is made by Recaro.
The new domestic is from Recaro. The image is of Delta.
The airline says the table that offers 25% more workspace is the most striking difference.
A large bin between the seats in front of each passenger is visible and accessible. Special spots for water bottles and laptops are included in the three times more volume for personal stowed away by Delta. The seat is made of memory foam.
The manager for Delta's onboard brand experience and design tells RGN that his favorite part of the new seat design is the improved privacy and better definition of personal space. Our customers want to experience a more exclusive cabin on our domestic routes so we designed these elements. We put the seat through multiple rounds of customer testing to make sure the seat would meet their needs in-flight.
In between domestic first and 132 seats in the main cabin there are 42 seats in Delta's extra-legroom economy, Comfort+. Delta Premium Select is the proper premium economy recliner product, which will be installed on the transcontinental version of these aircraft.
One of the fascinating airline design and branding details that is to come is how Delta positions its transcon premium economy recliner versus its transcon domestic first recliner, with the extra privacy wings of the Recaro domestic first product as at least a visible differentiating factor.
Is the new A321neo configuration refitted onto Delta's A321ceos? Delta took delivery of the A321ceo in 2016 as part of its fleet replacement strategy. The very last A320ceo family aircraft was delivered by the airline, after a big purchase of end-of-the-line and keenly priced A321ceos.
More than 150 neos are currently on order, but Delta has over 125 of the A321ceos in its fleet. Delta's penchant for maintaining and upgrading the cabins of its older aircraft to modern standards, and its use of both its MRO and cabin product divisions to keep them flying, will be interesting to observe at the point at which Delta decides to upgrade its ceo cabins for neo commonality.
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The image was credited to Delta.