Airbus has revealed all-new cabin designs for the interior of its aircraft with an emphasis on a greater sense of space and comfort for passengers.
The designs – brought together under the ‘Airspace’ cabin brand, and launched overnight in London – will debut on the next-gen Airbus A330neo in 2017, and eventually flow onto other twin-aisle jets such as the Airbus A380.
The building blocks come from the A350, which introduced several individual elements to be marketed under the Airspace brand.
Passengers will board the plane at a 'welcome area' flanked by an illuminated LED panel with highly customisable displays so that airlines can create boarding scenarios to reflect their own brand.
This can be combined with projection lighting to illuminate the galleys and lavatories, similar to what Etihad does in its Airbus A380s as well as the Boeing 787.
Deeper overhead bins offer more storage for carry-on bags – Airbus claims this will increase capacity by some 66%, allowing five bags to be carried in each bin provided they go in wheels-first.
The bin doors have new latches for easier opening and closing, and an integrated LED hand/grip rail.
As in the Airbus A350, the central luggage bins have been removed from the business class cabin to ehance the feeling of overall spaciousness.
Other elements such as magazine racks, ventilation grilles and even window bezels have also been restyled.
Airlines can also opt for a ‘fourth-generation’ inflight entertainment system with HD screens, while smaller electronic control boxes will maximise legroom under economy seats
Also on the menu are onboard WiFi and broadband inflight internet, although this remain the choice of airlines.
The lavs have also been given a make-over with LED lighting, antibacterial surfaces, touchless flushing and taps, discrete aroma dispensers and “soothing, ambient sounds’.
“What we're doing is to optimise the ways airlines use the space within the aircraft" Kiran Rao, Airbus Executive Vice-President for Strategy and Marketing, told Australian Business Traveller. "We’re utilising the space in the aircraft in a much more wise and efficient manner.”
“The actual footprint is the same but we can put in maybe 10, 12 or 14 more seats without it feeling more crowded, and also give passengers a greater feeling of space.”
David Flynn travelled to London as a guest of Airbus
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.