Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways plans to refurbish 23 Airbus A320s and A321s with new economy seats, as part of a short- and mid-haul economy product refresh.

Etihad has selected UK-based Acro Aircraft Seating to provide the new extra-spatial design seats, which will be retrofitted to the fleet by August.

“The next-generation seats, which will maintain comfortable ‘living space’ in the seat area, and provide increased knee room, are cleverly designed around the guest’s digital devices with fast-charging USB points and an adjustable phone and tablet holder,” Etihad said.

The airline deploys A320 family aircraft on short-haul regional services and to 38 destinations within 5 hrs. of Abu Dhabi.

Passengers will be able to access Panasonic eXW wireless inflight entertainment (IFE), streamed to their devices via the E-BOX STREAM app or internet browser.

“Inflight entertainment via personal seat back screens will remain standard in the economy cabins on the airline’s fleet of widebody Airbus and Boeing aircraft,” Etihad said.

Economy catering has also been upgraded as part of the product revamp, with larger complimentary meals on flights over three hours and a new buy-on-board menu. Etihad has been offering paid catering extras since late 2017.

Cutlery for the service will be 85% lighter and Etihad will remove 27 million plastic lids and other containers as part of its drive to reduce single-use plastics by 80% by 2022.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@informa.com