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Ryanair's new planes still won't have seatback pockets.

Melanie Lieberman
August 03, 2017

This week, European budget airline Ryanair unveiled its new slim-line Zodiac seating for a “game-changing” fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which the airline will get in the spring of 2019.

Despite adding eight seats per aircraft (for a cozy 197 passengers), the redesigned seats actually allow for more legroom, increasing the seat pitch to 31 inches.

Related: Shrinking Plane Seats Could Pose a Safety Risk — But Will That Stop Airlines?

Already, Ryanair customers have a surprisingly spacious 30 inches of seat pitch. With the added inch, the legroom will be comparable with economy class on Qatar Airways.

But one thing won’t change with the new seats, and that’s the absence of a seatback pocket. Zodiac’s new design omits any seatback storage. According to The Telegraph, the exclusion is a deliberate timesaving tactic.

Ryanair seats have not included seatback pockets since 2004, a Ryanair spokesperson told The Telegraph, which allows the airline “to maintain [an] industry-leading 25-minute turnaround, and reduce cleaning costs.

“We also considered removing armrests, but decided against it,” a Ryanair spokesperson said in 2012, according to The Telegraph, when the airline cut the size of its in-flight magazine to save money.

The new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will offer travelers more legroom and more overhead space, but the low-cost airline doesn’t make concessions without watching the bottom line: The additional seating and energy efficiency are certainly the biggest selling points for Ryanair.

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