Airbus is introducing new, larger, pivoting overhead bins as an optional fit for A320-family aircraft in the first quarter of 2016, with the delivery of the first of 45 new A321s for Delta Air Lines.
Delta Air Lines placed an order for 30 new A321s in 2013 and it ordered 15 more in 2014.
Atlanta-based Delta has selected the new pivoting-bin option for all 45 Airbus A321 jets it has ordered and it will be the first customer to put the larger overhead bins into service.
The new pivoting bins from Airbus, which are also available for retrofit to existing Airbus A320-family jets, use the A320’s wide fuselage cross-section to offer the most overhead stowage volume of any single-aisle airliner per passenger, according to the company.
Airbus says the new pivoting bins embody a modern curved appearance which incorporates the manufacturer’s most up-to-date design branding – as exemplified in the cabin of the new Airbus A350 XWB widebody jet.
“Now passengers will have more space for their personal carry-on items, while keeping the overall feeling of cabin spaciousness,” says Daniel Baubil, Airbus senior vice president and head of the A320 program.
According to Airbus, not only do the new overhead bins offer 10 per cent more volume than current A320 bins, but the A320 cabin cross-section also allows increased capacity for up to 60 per cent more luggage in practice.
For example, says Airbus, each overhead bin section now efficiently accommodates eight TP22-enhanced roller bags, each measuring 22x 14.5 x 9 inches – half an inch higher than ‘FAA-standard’ bags.
Alternatively, says Airbus, the same section can also hold four TP24s. According to Airbus, the TP24 is the largest type of carry-on roller bag, at 24 x 14.5 x 11 inches.
In another A320-family cabin-interior development, Airbus and aircraft-cabin interior products manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace have agreed to develop a second, optional version of their integrated ‘Space-Flex’ PRM (persons with reduced mobility) lavatory and galley module.
Called ‘Space-Flex v2’, the new option offers a larger galley area than the original Space-Flex PRM lavatory-and-galley module option, while maintaining the original version’s ability to allow airlines to install up to six extra passenger seats by removing the module temporarily.
Airbus expects the Space-Flex v2 module to enter service in the first half of 2016.
According to Airbus, Space-Flex v2 builds on the in-service experience from the original Airbus Space-Flex option as well as market feedback from Zodiac Aerospace’s ‘Innovative Space Interior System’.
The manufacturers claim the new Space-Flex optional version leverages the strengths of both companies in terms of module design and integration optimization.
Airbus says the new cabin option will be particularly attractive for airlines which wish to provide a full tray-catering experience while still offering a PRM-capable lavatory at the rear of the aircraft.
The galley’s greater capacity for meal trays can also allow an operator to carry sufficient trays to serve both the outward and return sectors, thus avoiding the need to re-stock with food and beverage at outstations, according to Airbus.
Avoiding the need to re-stock ensures consistency of an airline’s food-service offering, as well as helping to minimize turnaround times, according to Airbus.
Additionally, says Airbus, thanks to a more-optimized center lavatory design, Space-Flex v2’s enlarged galley area will accommodate up to eight half-size food and beverage carts (or three full-size carts plus two half-size carts), as well as the two lavatories – of which one is PRM-capable.
The SpaceFlex cooperation between Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace covers the line-fit and retrofit markets for the entire A320 family.
The retrofit will be integrated via an Airbus Service Bulletin (SB) and Airbus-certified supplier-furnished-equipment material. According to Airbus, this will ensure that operators can maintain fleet commonality between new and older aircraft.