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16/02/2009 – Airbus Announces Beds In Economy Class…Again?
This past week during the Business Travel Show in London Robert Lange, Airbus’ Head of Interiors, announced that Airbus was exploring how to introduce a bunk-bed concept into the Economy Class section of the Airbus A380 aircraft.
This announcement by Airbus is a little bit confusing as this not a new concept for Airbus, and this concept was already announced by Airbus, in cooperation with Lufthansa, in July of 2007. In Mid-2007 Lufthansa and Airbus worked in cooperation to create an Economy ‘Sleeper Class’ cabin, that would allow for bunk beds to be installed in the A380’s lower deck. In July of 2007 a full-scale mock up of this cabin was created and promotional images were released directly from Airbus and Lufthansa.
In August of 2007 Air New Zealand followed up that they were in the process of creating their own “sleeper class” to be installed in their fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft as early as 2010, and potentially the Boeing 787-900 when those aircraft are introduced to the fleet.
Following Airbus’s announcement this past week in London the travel sections of major editorial travel outlets, such as The Times of London, Travel Mole and USA Today have reported this ‘new’ concept by Airbus. I understand Airbus’ interest in taking the lead in the travel press’ news cycle, but couldn’t they have announced an innovation in this concept rather than re-announcing it with less details than when it was originally announced a year-and-a-half ago?
Personally I can’t wait for lay-flat in economy class to be introduced. I think it will be a great innovation to current commercial airline travel.
Below you can check out an image released by Lufthansa in July 2007 of the full scale mock up of their proposed new Economy ‘Sleeper Class.’