By Hugo Martin
8:41 PM EST, January 8, 2014
A move by Delta Air Lines to install seats with power outlets and bigger lavatories and overhead bins will also squeeze more economy seats in some of its narrow-body aircraft.
Atlanta-based Delta announced Wednesday that it plans to invest $770 million through 2016 to overhaul the interior on 225 narrow-body planes, typically used for short-haul flights in North America.
Delta's investment on its Boeing 757-200, 737-800 and its Airbus A319 and A320 planes is the latest example of an airline industry that has rebounded from the recession with higher profit margins and steady demand growth. Delta has a fleet of more than 700 planes.
Depending on the aircraft model, Delta is increasing the number of economy seats by six to 16 seats per plane, according to seat configuration data shown on the airline review site SeatGuru.com.
Like several other airlines, Delta is also installing "slim-line seats" in its economy sections. Such seats typically have thinner seatback cushions, which are lighter and usually take up less cabin space than traditional seats.
Delta officials say the slim-line seats have received positive reviews from passengers for comfort.
The airline plans to install in-seat video screens, satellite TV and power outlets for most passengers, along with new lavatories and overhead bins with up to 60% more space for carry-on bags.
"We're continuing to make smart long-term investments in our products and services to meet the expectations of our customers," said Glen Hauenstein, Delta's executive vice president and chief revenue officer.
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