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Top 5: The World's Most Generous Economy Class Seat Pitches


  • Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways offer a comfortable 34-inch seat pitch, providing ample legroom on their aircraft.
  • Air Premia, a South Korean airline, goes above and beyond with a generous seat pitch of 35 inches on its Boeing 787-9s.
  • Contour Airlines stands out in the US with a 36-inch seat pitch on its Embraer aircraft, offering passengers a comfortable experience.

For many passengers, a comfortable seat pitch can make all the difference to the onboard experience, particularly on longer flights. There are a limited number of carriers around the world still providing passengers with seat pitches of 34 inches or more. Such spacious seats are reminiscent of the early years of commercial flying, and more akin to what can be found today in premium economy cabins on some airlines.

Seat pitch is the distance from any point on one seat to the exact same point on the seat in front or behind. While it does give an indication of legroom, the two do not always correlate exactly, given that legroom can also be affected by a number of other factors, including seat cushion thickness and the location of in-flight entertainment devices.

Using data from, which are the five most generous airlines flying today in terms of seat pitch?

5 Japan Airlines

Coming in fifth place, with a more-than-comfortable 34-inch seat pitch, is Japan Airlines. The Japanese flag carrier’s generous seat pitch can be found on six of its 43 Boeing 737-800s, ten of its 27 767-300ERs, and all 12 of its 777-300ERs.

Japan Airlines Boeing 777-300ER

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Japan Airlines’ Sky Wider Economy product was introduced back in 2013 and was met with rave reviews from passengers. The airline is due to take its business class product to the next level later this year, when it unveils the interior of its Airbus A350-1000s on October 2nd. Japan Airlines is due to receive its first A350-1000 before the end of the year, and has a total of 13 on order.

4 All Nippon Airways

Also offering a 34-inch seat pitch, but on a much greater number of aircraft, is fellow Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways. The airline’s newly designed, slimline economy class seats can currently be found on three of its 36 Boeing 787-8s, 32 of its 40 787-9s, three 787-10s, and five of its 13 777-300ERs.

All Nippon Airways Boeing 787

Photo: Daisuke Shimizu | Shutterstock

It is important to note that there are a handful of other carriers also offering a 34-inch seat pitch across multiple aircraft types, including Air India, Oman Air, and Thai Airways International, as well as the low-cost carriers Air Arabia and JetBlue. They came in behind All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines for the purposes of this list due to them having a lower total number of aircraft with a 34-inch seat pitch.

3 Air Premia

South Korean newcomer Air Premia offers a generous seat pitch of 35 inches on three of its five Boeing 787-9s, registered as HL8387, HL8388, and HL8389. The aircraft operate out of Air Premia’s base at Incheon International Airport (ICN), from where it has been offering a unique hybrid budget service since beginning operations two years ago in August 2021.

Air Premia Boeing 787

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

The carrier deploys its 787s on a range of regional and long-haul routes, and recently announced the upcoming launch of services to its third US destination – Honolulu (HNL). From December 2023, Honolulu will join Los Angeles (LAX) and Newark (EWR) in Air Premia’s US route network. In addition to charter services to Dhaka (DAC), Oslo (OSL), and Barcelona (BCN), the airline also began scheduled services to Frankfurt (FRA) earlier this year.

2 Contour Airlines

Contour Airlines is a US charter airline, operating regional flights on behalf of Contour Aviation, and also boasts an interline agreement with American Airlines. The carrier began operations in March 2016, and now flies to 28 destinations across the US with a fleet of 28 aircraft (of which 22 are currently active).

Contour Airlines Embraer aircraft

Photo: Markus Mainka | Shutterstock

Passengers on 16 of the airline’s 20 Embraer aircraft are in for a treat with an impressive 36-inch seat pitch. The aircraft in question are eight Embraer ERJ-135s, six ERJ-140s, and two ERJ-145s. Passengers also benefit from leather seats and complimentary in-flight snacks and beverages.

1 Hi Air Korea

The list is topped by another South Korean airline, Hi Air Korea. The carrier’s fleet of four ATR 72-500s offers each of the 50 passengers an incredibly generous 38-inch seat pitch. For comparison, this is the same seat pitch found in many premium economy cabins around the world, including those of United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

Hi Air Korea is based at Ulsan Airport (USN) in South Korea, focusing on domestic flights. The airline currently operates to just one international destination – Kitakyushu Airport (KKJ) in Japan, and its 38-inch seat pitch should be more than sufficient legroom for its network of short-haul flights.

This list of the five most generous seat pitches in the world throws up a number of surprises, with the most generous seat pitches of all found on airlines operating short domestic and regional flights.

How important is seat pitch to you when flying? Do you choose an airline specifically for its seat pitch? Did any of the airlines featured in this list surprise you? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.



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