The first two A330neos of TAP Air Portugal, fitted with the Airspace cabin, are “painted and in the final assembly line,” Airbus VP-cabin marketing Ingo Wuggetzer said. They are scheduled to enter into service in the middle of the year, he says, speaking at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany. With the new layout, Airbus believes its widebody family is offering a “consistent experience.”
It will even be brought to the single-aisle family—a feature deemed especially relevant on the long-haul A321LR.
The first Airspace attribute will not enter into service on an A320neo family aircraft until mid-2019, however. That is when Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines will receive Airspace XL overhead baggage bins on its new and retrofitted aircraft. The latter will be classic A321s.
The new bins, manufactured by Austria’s FACC, are only slightly bulkier, externally, than their predecessors. But they make a major difference. Eight pieces of luggage—of the largest authorized size for carry-on bags—can be accommodated, where the current design can only take five. The trick is an additional 3.5 in. in depth, which involved rearranging some piping and wiring between the fuselage and the interior sidewall. As a result, a typical roller suitcase can be placed on its side, as opposed to laid horizontally.
An additive manufacturing process is used to produce a spacer that is part of the design. Airbus describes it as the first 3D-printed part a passenger can see.
The Airspace overhead bin layout resembles Zodiac’s Ecos design, which already flies on Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines aircraft. Airbus claims its design is lighter.
A total 750 aircraft have been ordered with the XL bins or the entire Airspace interior, according to Wuggetzer. Another component of the Airspace suite is the upgraded lavatory. Touchless controls bring more hygiene. The internal volume of the lavatory compartment has been increased by 70 liters, Airbus said.
Entry into service of an A320neo with a complete Airspace cabin interior is slated for mid-2020.
by :Thierry Dubois