Over the years, legroom on aircraft has generally decreased as airlines have looked to lower per-seat costs by making their cabins denser. That being said, even for economy class passengers, there are some relatively generous seat pitches out there if you know where to look.
According to a post by simpleflying.com, Let’s examine the best on each continent.
Starting with Africa, data from ch-aviation shows that the continent’s best economy class seat pitch can be found on South African Airways’ sole remaining Airbus A340-300 quadjet. Registered as ZS-SXF, this 18.7-year-old widebody offers a standard seat pitch of 33 to 34 inches in its 215 economy class seats. These are laid out eight abreast in a 2-4-2 configuration, all of which have personal IFE screens.
Moving on to Asia, South Korea’s Air Premia is the home of this particular continent’s most generous economy class seat pitch. The airline operates a small fleet of five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, and three of these have lower-density layouts, with 35 inches being the standard for their 253 economy seats. Meanwhile, the other pair have 282 economy seats, resulting in a lower pitch of 31 to 32 inches.
It is worth noting that many Asian carriers aren’t far behind, with a 34-inch economy class seat pitch on certain aircraft. These include Air Arabia’s Airbus A321 narrowbodies and Air India’s Boeing 777-200LR widebodies.
Over in Europe, three operators are listed as having 34-inch economy class seat pitches. However, among these are Saab’s own Saab 2000 corporate aircraft and an AirTanker Airbus A330 that serves the RAF. This just leaves Portuguese airline White, whose sole Boeing 737-800’s 34-inch seat pitch is present on 126 economy class seats, in front of which are another 20 in business class.
When it comes to North American operators, two stand out from the crowd in terms of their economy class seat pitch. The first of these is Freight Runners Express, whose Saab 2000s, according to ch-aviation’s data, have a standard pitch of some 51 inches for their 30 economy class seats. Meanwhile, a generous 36 inches can be found onboard Contour Aviation’s Embraer ERJ family jets.
In terms of aircraft that everyday passengers are more likely to fly on, however, the best options are JetBlue’s Airbus A320-200s. Indeed, data from ch-aviation shows that 10 of these have a standard 34-inch pitch in economy class.
Over in Oceania, the most spacious economy can be found on Virgin Australia Regional’s Fokker 100s. These aircraft have a standard seat pitch of 34 inches, which puts them one inch ahead of the same type at Alliance Airlines. In both instances, these aircraft are fitted with one-class configurations that have 100 seats.
Generally speaking, South America seems to be the least generous continent when it comes to economy class seat pitches, with this region’s best offering being 33 inches. This measurement can be found on two of Aerolíneas Argentinas’ Airbus A330-200s, as well as one Boliviana de Aviación Boeing 767-300ER.