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Airbus bets on wider seats for fatter American butts

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Published on May 28, 2012

Airbus is pitching A320 planes with wider aisle seats in its battle to break Boeing's grip on the US domestic airliner market.

Faced with fatter passengers and shrinking revenues, the European airline manufacturer is hoping the extra revenue that airlines could earn by offering wider 20-inch aisle seats will give it the upper hand against its US rival.

The new seat configuration would take advantage of the Airbus A320's extra 7.5-inch in-cabin width by reducing the middle and window seats to 17 inches — the same as on a Boeing 737 — while stretching the aisle seat to 20 inches.

Airlines could charge a $10 premium, which would add up to an extra $500 per flight.

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