The modular nature of an aircraft interior fit out always used to bug the OCD in us. Window panels and overhead bins not aligning, PSUs not perfectly spaced. Lavatories and cupboards that jutted at awkward non-sensical dimensions from the cabin walls. However, we have found our Zen here at TheDesignAir, in the form of Airbus’s latest cabin interior for their A330 Neos. Like the Dreamliner cabin, they will be some of the most beautiful in the skies. Taking a familiar ‘Jonny Ive’ approach to design, unnessecary lines and design flourishes have been removed to enhance space and offer a truly futuristic approach to the cabin environment.
The cabin pushes the current cabin environment to a new level, and while not groundbreaking, the advancements all match the current design trends of simplification and de-cluttering. The new concept, which will be first seen on the A330s have taken design cues from the A350 project, and developed them to match the feedback from the roll out.
Overhead bins are large and raised to increase the feeling of space, the side walls have been perfectly sculpted to offer more width in the cabin where it is needed. Cupboards and fixtures now perfectly fit in line with the overhead bins to simplify the cabin architecture. More interestingly the new lighting panels found in the welcome areas have a familiar ‘Etihad A380’ appearance to them, showcasing the emerging trend in lighting design in aircraft interiors too.
“This new cabin, developed with passengers at heart and airlines in mind, fully encompasses the four pillars of the Airspace by Airbus brand: Comfort, Ambience, Services and Design and will ensure the A330 continues to be a benchmark in passenger experience and airline value. At the same time, it visibly sports an Airbus cabin and is a clear partner to the A350 XWB in the mid-size widebody market.” states the Airbus press release.
“Encompassing four key dimensions: Comfort, Ambience, Service and Design, Airspace cabins will be more relaxing, inspiring, beautiful and functional, they will stimulate a unique and leading passenger experience.” Also on offer are spacious and contemporary lavatories, wider seats & aisles, and unobstructed under-seat foot space. In addition, signature design elements will be consistently recognizable throughout all Airspace cabins – examples include the latest LED technology ambient lighting, clean, straight lines and shapes, clear surfaces, and also a unique, customizable welcome area. Altogether, these aspects result in an aesthetically-pleasing design combined with not just a ‘feeling’ of space, but real space – which is fulfilled in the brand new cabin for the A330neo.
Dr. Kiran Rao, Airbus’ Executive Vice President of Strategy and Marketing commented: “Airbus’ history of success is down to innovation – which has always included the cabin as a key driver. With the great passenger feedback on the A350 XWB, and our application of A350 cabin technology and features to the A330neo, we are proud to embrace our cabin design principles through our new brand – Airspace by Airbus.”
These small differences may not account to much at first glance, however, for most passengers who travel in economy, these cabin improvements will be welcome news, creating a calmer, more contemporary interior, especially on the long haul routes which the A330 Neo will be mainly rolled out on.