The belly of the plane. A quiet place where there’s cargo and fuel normally.
However, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace think it can be something more – and have partnered to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths.
Yes. Bunk beds on a plane.
BREAKING: @Airbus and @ZodiacAerospace sign agreement for lower deck passenger sleeping modules in the cargo hold for A330 and later A350xwb Certified by 2020. #AIX2018 @theAPEXassoc pic.twitter.com/PL8ApfLBWl
— Ari Magnusson (@AriMagnusson) April 10, 2018
The sleeping modules would fit inside the cargo belly of the plane – and thus opening up a lot of new opportunities for revenue generation and service offering.
The modules themselves will be interchangeable with regular cargo containers – and it is envisaged these could be changed in a normal airline turnaround. The modules themselves will sit on the cargo loading system – and not affect it or make changes to it.
In terms of the thoughts behind them move, Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin & Cargo Programme states
“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,”
Christophe Bernardini, Chief Executive Officer of Zodiac Aerospace Cabin Branch is interested in the development, stating
“We are delighted to work with Airbus on this new and innovative project, which reaffirms our expertise in lower-deck solutions. An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines,”
Initially, the project will certify a solution for sale by 2020. The moudules are being developed for the Airbus A330 family in the first instance – and will be offered as both a line-fit and retro-fit option. Consideration to develop the design for the A350XWB family too.
It’s not unusual to have crew rests in the belly of a plane – something that Zodiac and Airbus have done together for some years.
Making more efficient use of the belly space is an interesting concept – as airlines seem to be more interested offering light-fare with no hold luggage.
This could be one way to offer a superior product in the air – and get a real flat-bed at 35,000ft and above.
But would you sleep in the belly of the plane though?
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