European aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, is planning to fit sleeping berth modules inside the cargo compartments on its airliners.
Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have partnered to develop and market 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.
Zodiac Aerospace already work with Airbus on building crew rest spaces. The new module designs will build on their skills and could include medical facilities, meeting rooms, child creches and lounge areas.
“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,” says Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin & Cargo Programme.
Airlines will be able to choose from a catalogue of certified modules for the A330 in two years time, and they are looking at developing sleeper modules for the long haul A350 XWB airliner.