While the aircraft cabin could be regarded as a blank canvas for those operating these metal tubes in the sky to flesh out, manufacturers Airbus and Boeing have over the years tried to guide their airline customers with some helpful suggestions.
Take Boeing’s Sky Interior, which features new lighting, new larger overhead compartments and other features designed to improve the passenger experience and was first seen on the 787 Dreamliner.
Airbus too is attempting to add a few flecks of colour onto the canvas that is the aircraft cabin, launching its “Airspace by Airbus” cabin brand in London on Wednesday (European time).
In almost breathless terms, the manufacturer describes the concept as a “subtle and sophisticated Airspace design language” that is “unmistakably Airbus” and centred around four key themes of comfort, ambience, service and design.
Beyond the marketing language this means, perhaps unsurprisingly, larger overhead compartments, wider seats and aisles and new lighting, a “welcome area” and removal of the inflight entertainment box taking up legroom under the seat in front.
There are even new “spacious and contemporary” lavatories that promise a more efficient use of space, and the revival of a concept seen on Airbus’s now discontinued A340 line where some crew rest areas and lavatories are relocated to the lower deck of the aircraft to free up room for either more seats or larger galley areas for cabin crew. (Based on the amount of sway those who run the numbers at airlines hold, it is likely to be the former rather than the latter.)
These concepts are being launched on the Airbus A330neo (new engine option).
Airbus has also produced a promotional video of the concept:
“The signature details and iconic elements consistently recognisable throughout the cabin will add to passengers’ enjoyment of the flight,” Airbus says in a fact sheet.
“It is a beautiful space with straight lines, clean shapes and clear surfaces. And above all, it is the passengers’ space, which for the airlines also becomes a flexible canvas onto which they can project their own brand.”
Airbus executive vice president of strategy and marketing Kiran Rao said: “The new A330neo is the launch vehicle for this brand, which along with the A350 XWB begins a new family of Airbus cabins.”
“These will inspire and empower airlines to build the next generation of personalized flying experience for their passengers, while and at the same time optimizing the economic performance of their aircraft space.”