Saturday, September 15, 2018

Will shrinking lavs spell rising fortunes for Indian carriers?

It is no secret that airlines are bolstering seat counts on their aircraft by adopting smaller lavatories and space-saving galleys. And Indian operators are no exception, with budget carriers GoAir And IndiGo, for instance, each opting for the controversial, compact Airbus Space-Flex lavatory/galley combo on their re-engined A320neo narrowbodies.

But the optimized lavs in Space-Flex do not receive universal acclaim. Not by a long shot. Expressing “hate” for the IndiGo lavs specifically, 28-year old radiologist Karthik Gupta says he cannot stand straight in the space.

“I just didn’t fit,” Gupta, who is 6’ 3”, tells Runway Girl Network. He adds, “It felt [like] the wall around the lav had shrunk.”

IndiGo’s A320neos feature 186 seats, a six-seat increase over the carrier’s 180-seat, current-engine A320ceos. Savvy passengers will be able to spot the difference in layouts, as the cabin crew seat is positioned directly on the lav door in the Space-Flex configuration, forcing the attendant to get up when a passenger needs to use the facility. “GoAir has the same configuration,” notes an engineer.

Unfortunately for Gupta, he is likely to find the same lavatories once IndiGo receives its 220-seat, all-economy A321neos.
RGN has received a torrent of complaints from crew about Space-Flex, which comes in two versions – v1 and v2, with the latter offering increased galley capacity.
15/09/18 Neelam Mathews/Runway Girl Network