Narrow-body vs Wide-body: Which is better for transatlantic flights?

In recent years, we have seen many airlines such as TAP Air Portugal and JetBlue using narrowbody aircraft for their flights across the pond, but which option provides more comfort and ease when traveling?

Why are Narrowbodies used?

Narrowbodies are used on transatlantic flights to provide flights that may not have the same amount of demand but still need to be operated. For example, not many New Yorkers want to go to Lisbon in Portugal, however, many Portuguese people want to travel to New York, so TAP compromises by sending its A321LR over to New York to supply the right demand. Narrowbodies are also used to supply for different times, so a widebody might fly at a more mainstream time whereas a narrowbody wouldn’t.

JetBlue uses the Mint studio for business class on transatlantic flights with direct aisle access (credit: apex.aero)
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Which airlines use narrowbodies for transatlantic flights?

Because Narrowbodies is cheaper, you are more likely to find low-cost or less well-known airlines using short-haul planes to fly long distances. New short-haul aircraft such as the Airbus A321 neo might also be more efficient than old long-haul aircraft like the Boeing 767 and so would be cheaper to fly. Currently, the main airline flying narrowbodies transatlantic is United airlines, closely followed by Icelandair using their Boeing 757s.

United Airlines uses Boeing 757s to fly from JFK to LHR (credit: businesstravelnewseurope.com)
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Business-class

Whilst some might say that there is less comfortable on a narrowbody flying transatlantic, this is often not the case. In fact, when British airways used to fly the all business class confederated A318 Babybus from London to New York, many passengers preferred this option over a widebody because it provided a near private jet-like experience. On a narrowbody flying business or first class, you’re more likely to have direct aisle access seats due to not enough space to fit two seats on each side of the aisle.

Icelandair also uses its Boeing 757s from Rekjavik to New York (credit: twitter.com)
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All in all, it all comes down to personal preference. Both sides have their benefits and may appeal to different customers and they both provide an excellent level of comfort. However one thing’s for sure, whether we like it or not, we will definitely see a significant increase in narrowbodies flying across the Atlantic.

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Sources

  • wikipedia.com
  • simpleflying.com
  • Airliner World Magasine
  • airlive.net (cover image)
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Published by Sam Jakobi (Sam the Avgeek)

I am a young Avgeek who has been interested in aviation since the age of around 3 or 4. I run a very small youtube channel in which I review flights and explain common things in the aviation industry.

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