Airbus is attempting to certify a 186-seat A320 according to a report last week by Jens Flottau in Aviation Week.
To put this in perspective, as I tweeted recently, Jetblue puts 150 seats on its A320s, which have an all coach configuration, though some seats do have extra legroom. As it now stands, according to Aviation Week, Airbus operators can place no more than 180 seats on the jet.
Keep in mind, the plane isn’t getting any bigger. So if this happens, it’ll be a tight squeeze for passengers on ultra low cost carriers that prefer dense configurations.
Flottau writes that the Spanish airline Vueling is interested in the 186-seat plane. Vueling is owned by IAG, which is also the parent of British Airways and Iberia. Flottau writes:
According to industry sources, one key element for Airbus to be able to win the Vueling order was the promise to be able to fit 186 seats in the cabin. Airbus has done some significant interior redesign work and has more in the works. Many airlines have either already installed or are in the process of installing slim backrest seats that allow the airlines to reduce pitch and gain space for several more seat rows . Also, as part of the Spaceflex concept, airlines can opt to move the rear lavatories to immediately in front of the rear pressure bulkhead if they accept a smaller galley at the same time. That way, another row of seats can be added.