Aviation has come a long way since its origin and continues to progress, offering passengers new in-flight experiences and accommodations. One of the major changes for many airlines is their aircraft interior, and how they accommodate their passengers.
Airbus and Zodiac have joined together to create lower-deck passenger beds.
The new project is giving aircraft the option for a slight alteration to their already existing lower-deck mobile crew rest compartments. The new accommodations could potentially provide quarters for passengers to rest, a possible area for meetings, and even space for children to play during the flight.
Zodiac and Airbus are choosing to use an A330 for their first model to begin retrofitting, which could potentially be fitted with two or three modules. If they decided to go bigger with an A350, then that craft could hold up to four modules.
The partnership still has to find an A330 for a demonstration module, and they still have to worry about flight testing.
If the lower-deck passenger beds become common accommodations in aircraft, then airlines could potentially increase their profit margins.
The sleeping berths also present another opportunity as well: in flight entertainment technology integration.
Aircraft IFE systems are already making advancements, with the ability for passengers to use their airline’s app to control their IFE monitors and content. Most aircraft come equipped with seat-back monitors that can stream films, television, and even games. Some offer in-seat power options as well. A significant portion (41%) of passengers use their provided in-flight entertainment to watch a movie for the duration of their flight already, and as IFE systems grow so will that percentage.
However, with these new flight accommodations, people could have a completely different and unique in-flight experience. Larger IFE monitors, consoled game systems, or more isolated entertainment areas could be possible directions for many aircraft upon the adoption of the lower-deck beds.
Airlines will have to begin working with their in-flight entertainment providers to brainstorm possibilities with these sleeping modules, but the prospects are virtually endless.