How do you prefer to fly? First class? Business class? How about cargo class?
While it may not sound so tempting, one of the world’s major aircraft makers is developing sleeping berths for the lower-deck cargo area on aircraft.
Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have teamed up in order to develop and market these “lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths.” The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for airlines to “differentiate”, a press release said.
The new passenger modules will be interchangeable with regular cargo containers. This means they will be able to be added and removed as needed. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system will not be affected at all, claim Airbus.
“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,” said Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin & Cargo Programme.
“We are pleased to partner with Zodiac Aerospace on this project which will introduce a new passenger experience and add value for airlines,” Pinner continued.
Airlines will initially be able to choose from a catalogue of certified solutions by 2020 on A330 for retrofit and line-fit markets. Sleeper compartments on the A350 XWB are also being studied.
The sleeping berths are a similar concept to the sleeping berths for crew members that are currently in place in the cargo area of the A380.