Airbus is planning ultra-comfortable seats for long distance flights on its new A350 XWB when the plane makes its debut in 2014.
Zuzana Hrnkova, Airbus' cabin interiors exec, confirmed to Australian Business Traveller that both fully flat beds and angled lie-flat seats are on the cards for the XWB (or "Extra Wide Body") airliner.
Airbus' early A350 models used the Sogerma Solstys seat as a demonstrator. That's a very comfortable, very spacious fully flat bed in the staggered layout with direct aisle access.
The Solstys is the business class seat you'll see on Etihad's flights to and from Australia, and is a similar kind of layout to Emirates' A380 business class, in a staggered 1-2-1 configuration.
For shorter routes, Airbus is also planning to offer Sogerma's Equinox seat in a 2-2-2 layout across the A350's extra wide body.
Passengers on Cathay Pacific -- an early A350 customer -- will be pleased to see that Cathay's new business class, a modified Sicma Zodiac Cirrus, is on the cards.
Sicma Zodiac is "soon to become [an] Airbus Contracted Supplier" and is planning a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration (which Cathay Pacific modified to make its very popular new business class).
For shorter regional flights, Sicma Zodiac's 2-3-2 layout Arcus seats are "under study", while Jamco's Journey 2-3-2 seats have also been approved for installation.
John Walton travelled to Toulouse to attend the Airbus Innovation Days as a guest of Airbus. Catch up with all the news from the Innovation Days!
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About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.