With an order from TAM Airlines, Airbus has officially launched the Space-Flex PRM (Persons with Reduced Mobility) lavatory as an option for operators of the A320 Family. TAM will become the first Airbus customer to benefit from Space-Flex, a new option now available for the A320 Family which creates more passenger comfort.
The TAM order is for Airbus to line-fit equip 39 new aircraft to be delivered from the 4th quarter of 2013. By making more efficient use of the volume at the rear of the cabin, two lavatories plus a galley can now be efficiently accommodated in this space, generating the following advantages for TAM:
• Freeing-up space for more passenger comfort, as with this new arrangement the revenue space of the cabin is maximized;
• Offering two lavatories each of comparable size to existing A320s i.e. larger than competitor lavatories;
• Providing a full PRM lavatory for the first time in a single-aisle aircraft. The ‘PRM-friendly’ lavatory is facilitated via a simple conversion process: two single Space-Flex lavatories are convertible into one PRM enclosure in a similar manner to those delivered on Airbus wide-body aircraft.
“Space-Flex maximizes the cabin revenue space and therefore gives us more flexibility in our new Airbus A320 Family aircraft,” said José Maluf, Supplies and Contracts Vice-President at TAM Airlines. “In the future we could easily adapt to market demand and improve seat-mile costs by adding six seats without any compromise in comfort.”
Prior to this launch selection by TAM, the Space-Flex concept had been reviewed and tested with numerous airlines, and the mock-up was displayed at recent trade shows, including Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.
TAM, which recently merged with LAN to form LATAM Airlines Group, is the biggest Airbus customer in the Southern Hemisphere with more than 200 orders and an outstanding backlog of more than 100 Airbus aircraft.
With around 8,400 A320 Family aircraft ordered, and over 5,100 aircraft delivered to over 360 customers and operators worldwide, the A318, A319, A320 and A321 make up the world's best-selling single-aisle aircraft family and are the preferred choice with traditional airlines and passengers, as well as with the fast-growing low-cost carrier market for which it is now the reference. Headquartered in Toulouse, France, Airbus is an EADS company.