August 2005 
Volume 04, Issue 4 
Industry Wrap

New regional jets could give passengers more interior room

The 787 Dreamliner isn’t the only new passenger airplane that will introduce passengers to a more comfortable flying experience—and possibly give airlines a competitive advantage.

According to a Wall Street Journal article in late June, Embraer, the Brazilian maker of regional jets, has put a full-size cabin in a small jet. The company did this by building a plane with a design involving two overlapping circular cross sections to maximize cabin width and still provide headroom above and cargo space below the cabin floor.

The result is a cabin that is “a miniairliner,” Orlando José Ferreira Neto, director of market intelligence, told the Journal, and would be bigger than the cabins of most of today’s regional jets.

The cabins of the Embraer jets—four models, labeled 170, 175, 190 and 195—are laid out with two seats on each side of the aisle. There are overhead bins for luggage, and a 6-foot-7-inch-tall person (201 centimeters) can stand in the aisle. This is in marked contrast to many of today’s regional jets, on which carry-on baggage allowances and passenger space can be tight. The bigger cabins could raise passengers’ air-travel expectations by bringing full-size-airplane passenger comfort on routes to and from smaller cities, the Journal said.

Alitalia was the launch customer for the 70-passenger Embraer 170, and commuter affiliates of US Airways and United Airlines are flying a few in the United States. New York-based JetBlue Airways will be the launch customer for the 100-passenger 190. JetBlue takes its first delivery this fall.

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