For the past decade airlines are competing on how to get the most from the space inside the airplane. As long as the space inside the airplane is limited and confined, airlines try to increase the seating density in each cabin starting from the first class ending with economy class.
Since airlines are using the (ASM) or (ASK) available seat per mile or available seat per kilometre respectively, the more seats are included the more revenue is generated. This type of cabin design come with safety regulation and limits of seat numbers in the cabin for example the emergency evacuation procedures of oxygen masks.
On the other hand, Airbus have introduced a new project for modular interior design which can change the concept of flight for many people especially long-haul flights from 8 hours and above. Let us explain to you what are modular cabins. Modular means interchangeable, in this case a modular cabin is a portion of cabin that can be changed every flight according to the passenger’s choice.
In which the various cabin configurations serve different purposes so the plane can have a children’s space, a cycling studio, restaurant area, sleeping area, or even workspace office all in one flight.
But all of this comes with a challenge of how to do it, from an engineering standpoint the team used the cargo planes concept in loading and unloading modular cabins to passenger planes. The cargo planes use giant pallets to move around the cargo throughout the plane on rollers. The idea is to have the same structure of these pallets but with changing what is inside it.
So, these cabins will give an experience to the passengers and could make the airline think in charging more for each type of experience. We may think that airlines could charge for higher prices which could not be affordable for normal people, but actually the airlines are trying to reach out for the most premium economy prices as long as the seating density is nearly reached.
Furthermore, to approve the safety of this design it needs to follow the safety regulations of the FAA (federal aviation authority) which could take from 2 to 5 years of approval according to the project complexity human interactions, testing, and any adjustments. “The good news that FAA and EASA gave a good feedback on weather this type of project could be in the skies in next few years,” Janson Chua (project executive) said.
We believe it is interesting to have this kind of flight experience while we are not thinking of how many hours are left for landing in my next destination. So how about You ?
*All attached pictures are in the lab of Airbus with cabin size of A330.