Which airline offers the widest seats?

Last updated 11:45 12/02/2014

SIZE MATTERS: There's not a lot of difference, but Singapore Airlines comes out on top when it comes to the width of economy seats.

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Does size matter? Surveys suggest that when it comes to the question of economy-class passenger comfort, seat width is every bit as important as legroom.

Aboard the major airlines that operate long-haul services out of Sydney and Melbourne as well as most that operate out of New Zealand cities, seat width lies in the range between 43-48.25cm.

That 5.25cm difference is less than the width of an iPhone.

Not much you might think, but a couple of extra centimetres makes  a lot of difference on a long-haul flight.

Consider that Emirates, an airline known for quality, offers its business class passengers a seat that is just 1.25cm wider than its economy seat aboard its A380 services.

Widest economy-class seats of all are Singapore Airlines, which offers a standard 48.25cm aboard all the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A380 and A330-300 that it operates in and out of Sydney and Melbourne.

Virgin's economy class seats are a generous 47cm aboard its long-haul flights, those operating between Melbourne/Sydney and Los Angeles or Abu Dhabi, but only up to 43cm in the case of short-haul flights, which is all the rest.

Etihad's seats are 44.5cm wide aboard the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A340-600 that it operates on its Melbourne/Sydney route.

Emirates' economy seats are 45.5cm wide on its A380 flights, 43cm on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that it uses for shorter services in and out of Australia.

Qantas offers a standard economy width of 44.5cm right across its range of A380-800 aircraft and the various configurations of the 747-400 that it operates.

The exception is the airline's A330-300 services to Hong Kong and Shanghai, where the width shrinks to 43cm.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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