Airbus’ excellence in cabin design, innovation and efficiency was on display at this month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, where the company unveiled a space-saving rear lavatory and galley concept for its best-selling A320 Family of jetliners.
Called Space-Flex, this new concept replaces an A320 Family aircraft's full-width rear galley with a smaller unit and two lavatories which previously were located left and right of the central aisle – making efficient use of the jetliner’s rear volume.
The freed space will allow operators to install up to three additional revenue-generating seats or increase the area between seating rows for even higher levels of passenger comfort. In addition, the Space-Flex lavatories can easily accommodate travellers in wheelchairs with a simple conversion process that includes opening the two facilities’ dividing wall.
According to Airbus Aircraft Interiors Marketing Manager Stefanie von Linstow, the Space-Flex mock-up on display at this year’s event was a hit with airline representatives, who found the opportunity to sell more seats while enhancing flight services very appealing.
Making its second appearance at the Aircraft Interiors Expo was the SPICE (SPace Innovative Catering Equipment) galley system, which Airbus believes has potential to become the first new industry-wide standard for galleys in over forty years.
Based on a modular concept, SPICE is lighter and requires less space than conventional galley systems, and offers airlines a number of operational advantages – including additional room for passengers, more rapid service times and better ergonomics for cabin crews. The SPICE operational prototype made its public debut at last year’s event, and has since demonstrated many of its key benefits during full-scale testing.
“We created a 'wow effect' among the customers with SPICE at the last exhibition, so our task [this year] was to take concrete steps and talk to airline representatives about its technical realisation,” said Dan Percy of Airbus’ Aircraft Interiors Marketing department.
Rounding out Airbus’ presence at this premier trade fair for aircraft furnishing and design was the company’s A350 XWB enabling platform, which facilitates easier cabin customisation and reconfiguration for airline customers through the use of standard interfaces.