Avianca shows off new short-haul cabin

The new Business Class seats. Photo: © Avianca

One of the largest South American airline groups, Avianca, has presented a new cabin that will be installed on its domestic Airbus A320 family aircraft during an industry event in Bogota.

A key difference to the older cabin is a new domestic business class seat. It features two wider than regular Economy class seats with headrests separated by a thinner seat that mainly functions as a small table for the adjacent seats, a configuration exclusively created for the airline. Previously, Avianca used seats similar to US-carriers for its short-haul Business Class and is expected to retain them for its international fleet.

In Economy, Avianca is installing two different types of seats: A ‘plus’ and a ‘basic’ Economy seat. The plus seat is equipped with more legroom, a headrest, USB-power outlets and is reclinable while the basic Economy seat only features USB-power outlets, is pre-reclined and has less legroom than the Plus seats. All seats will be supplied by Recaro, a German company and one of the market leaders for airliner seats.

Avianca’s new Plus seats. Photo: © Avianca
The new basic Economy seats. Photo: © Avianca

The airline expects to retrofit its entire domestic fleet with these seats and also the new Airbus ‘SpaceFlex’ configuration with larger overhead bins, mood lighting and enhanced aircraft galleys by the end of 2022. This change is part of a wider realignment of the airline as it hopes to successfully exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings over the next months, with lower operating costs to better compete with new and already established low-cost carriers flying in Colombia.

On the widebody side, the airline will keep operating its 13 Boeing 787-8 for European and high-density routes in the Americas, while retiring all six remaining Airbus A330-200. The Boeing jets are also set to receive a cabin overhaul in Economy with more modern seats and entertainment screens while retaining their lie-flat Business Class seats.