Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have unveiled a design collaboration for lower-deck aircraft modules that contain passenger sleeping berths.
The modules would be fitted inside an aircraft’s cargo compartment thereby presenting unprecedented possibilities for airlines to offer additional services to passengers which will improve air-travel experience whilst adding commercial value to airline operations and enabling them to differentiate.
Airbus-Zodiac Module mock up
The new modules are designed to sit atop the aircraft’s cargo floor and to be interchangeable with regular cargo containers on a regular turnaround, therefore unaffecting the cargo loading process.
Commenting on the partnership, CEO of Zodiac Aerospace Cabin Branch, Christophe Bernardini said, “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.”
Speaking for Airbus, Head of Cabin and Cargo Programme, Geoff Pinner said, “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.”
To begin with, Airlines will be able to choose from a list of certified solutions for retrofit and line-fit markets on the A330. These options will be made available by 2020.
Sleeper compartments may also be offered on the A350 XWB but are still being studied. The new passenger sleeping modules draw from Airbus’ and Zodiac Aerospace’s innovation in producing and integrating lower-deck rest facilities for crew members.