Forget turning left, or climbing to the top deck – soon the glamorous place to be on an aircraft will be the cargo deck.
That’s because airlines will soon be able to fit out the cargo decks of their Airbus planes with sleeping berths.
Airbus has announced that carriers will be able to choose from a range of sleeper compartment configurations in the holds of A330 aircraft by 2020 – and that it’s also looking to offer this feature on the A350 XWB.
The modules have been designed by Airbus in partnership with Zodiac Aerospace.
The manufacturer claims that the modules won’t affect the aircraft’s cargo floor or cargo loading system because the compartments will sit directly on it.
The sleeping modules can even be reconfigured during the turnaround.
Christophe Bernardini, Chief Executive Officer of Zodiac Aerospace Cabin Branch, 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.’
Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin & Cargo Programme, 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.’
Airbus added: ‘The innovation builds on both Airbus’ and Zodiac Aerospace’s experience in producing and integrating lower-deck crew-rest facilities.’