Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have partnered to develop lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths.
The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value for their commercial operations.
The new passenger modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system will not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it.
Airbus and Zodiac said the sleeping berths would not only improve passenger comfort but would let airlines add value for their commercial operations. “This approach to commercial air travel is a step change towards passenger comfort,” said Geoff Pinner, the head of Airbus’s cabin and cargo program.
“We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups.”
Christophe Bernardini, head of Zodiac’s aerospace cabin division, said the project “reaffirms our expertise in lower-deck solutions. An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.”
Airlines will be 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.