Published: Wed, April 11, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Airbus to offer sleeping berths down in cargo hold

Airbus to offer sleeping berths down in cargo hold

Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace say the cargo compartment modules would "offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value for their commercial operations". They'll be available to airlines by 2020.

Though the exact nature of the compartments will be decided by airlines, the Airbus-Zodiac press release included several suggested mock-ups. They would access the cargo hold via a staircase.

"Airbus corporate jets give you the freedom to get on with life that is missing in traditional bizjets, whether you want to work, rest or play, and you can take along more colleagues, friends and family too", said Airbus Corporate Jets president Benoit Defforge.

"The modules would not be occupied during takeoff or landing", Airbus spokesman Martin Fendt said by email to USA TODAY's Today in the Sky blog.

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"Airlines will initially be able to choose from a catalogue of certified solutions by 2020 on A330", for the sleeper pods, with the possibility of fitting them into A350 XWB airliners also being studied.

The new passenger modules will be interchangeable with normal cargo containers and won't affect cargo loading systems. "By installing this system on our A320 aircraft it will assist us in our mission of delivering that world and help us personalise the way we interact with our passengers".

In November 2016, the Air France-KLM had put forward the idea of sleeping berths for passengers in the economy class, either down in the hold or above the cabin in aircraft of the group's new low-priced subsidiary, Joon.

There might be at least one. Qantas' Alan Joyce said during a March conversation quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald. "I don't know if in 2022 if there's another going to be another class, but if there is Qantas is likely to be the airline that creates it".

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