Airbus and Zodiac have revealed designs for lower deck sleeping berths on the A330 and A350 family aircraft.
The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, would allow the airlines to sell additional sleeping seats to passengers.
The new passenger modules are intended to be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers, possibly as quickly as during a typical turnaround, Airbus says.
The aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system are not affected, as the passenger module sits directly on it.
“This approach to commercial air travel is a step change towards passenger comfort. We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups. We are pleased to partner with Zodiac Aerospace on this project which will introduce a new passenger experience and add value for airlines,” said Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin & Cargo Programme.
The companies says that airlines will initially be able to choose from a catalogue of certified solutions by 2020 on A330 for retrofit and line-fit markets. Offerability of sleeper compartments on the A350 XWB airliner is also being studied. The innovation builds on both Airbus’ and Zodiac Aerospace’s experience in producing and integrating lower-deck crew-rest facilities.
The sleeping berths are a similar concept to the crew rest sleeping berths currently in place on the A380 which can also be removed when not needed for shorter legs. The sleeping berths have an emergency exit which can be seen in this photo. From a passenger point of view, sitting in this seat is a good option because of the extra leg room).