Qantas to Shrink Restrooms to Add More Seats

Author: Soo Kim 

The Australian carrier will be down-sizing its lavatories and galley space to create room for six additional economy seats at the rear of its fleet of 71 Boeing 737 aircraft, which would raise its seat capacity to 174 in total per plane.

The number of lavatories available on board and the amount of seating space each passenger has will not be reduced, according to Lyell Strambi, the Qantas Domestic chief executive.

The reduction in loo size forms part of the airline’s multi-million dollar development of its 737 fleet, which includes an enhanced in-flight entertainment system. The changes in the interior will not begin until the middle of 2015 and is expected to take about a year to complete.

Boeing announced it would be shrinking the aircraft’s standard 3 x 3 foot lavatory space last year . Delta Airlines was said to be among the first to use the new design at the time. The US-based airline insisted the reduction in size would hardly be noticeable by passengers and that the new design uses space currently wasted behind the sink. Passengers seated in front of the loos were also assured they would be able to recline their seat due to sculpted exterior walls.

More and more airlines have been attempting to include extra seats on plane, the Wall Street Journal reported last year. Several low-cost carriers have compromised more than just loo space, cutting down on passenger seat sizes . In a survey of 32 airlines carried out by Business Traveller last year, Ryanair was cited as the worst for seat width with its seats averaging at just 16 inches across. The airline has been criticised for its varied attempts at cost-cutting in previous years including a consideration for offering only one lavatory per aircraft as well charging passengers £1 to use its on board lavatories .

This article was written by Soo Kim from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.