Airbus’s goal of offering its Airspace cabin to all its aircraft models has advanced one further step with the decision to offer A220 family customers a set of new cabin features. Aimee Turner found out more about this development at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.
Whether Airbus would design an Airspace derivative for the A220, formerly known as the CSeries, has been always in question ever since the European airframer acquired majority ownership of that aircraft from Bombardier in 2018.
Airbus had always expressed its intention to achieve a single experience cross-fleet even though the CSeries was acknowledged as a modern, spacious and well-conceived cabin supplied by Zodiac. In addition, in offering A220 customers the Airspace cabin, Airbus has achieved another goal in being able to also offer a choice of cabin suppliers.
Announcing the decision at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, the airframer said Diehl Aviation has been commissioned to develop and produce new overhead bins for the Airbus A220. The A320 family is already supplied by Diehl, which equips the aircraft with lavatories, lighting and sidewalls, while Austrian company FACC provides overhead bins and the door area for the narrowbody aircraft.
The new Diehl overhead bins for the A220 – called Airspace XL Bins – will provide 20% more stowage capacity than the CSeries equivalent. Weight optimised, Airbus has also integrated a redesigned and improved passenger service unit (PSU) provided by Astronics and an enhanced ceiling to convey the Airspace design language. An optional third LED light is also offered, located under the new bins.
The new overhead bins, which will be available in several versions, will now enter the development phase. Production is scheduled to start in early 2024. All future A220 cabins will ultimately be equipped with the new overhead bins. It is also planned to offer them for retrofit. The simpler and lighter bins will also support faster turnaround times and will reduce the weight of the cabin structure by around 300 lbs.
Airbus Vice-President of Cabin Marketing, Ingo Wuggetzer, told Inflight that the move by the airframer had been the result of much customer research and feedback from several airlines about the future of the passenger experience of the A220 cabin.
He said: “If you look at our Airspace DNA we have nine elements that we need to cover. And if you apply that to the A220 airspace cabin, we have now ticked all the boxes. The main feature of the new cabin design is based on the Airspace XL overhead bin that means that rather than have a pivot pin as there is today, there will be a fixed pin solution, having the same design language as you find in the A320. In that bin there is 20% more volume, 50% more bags, 10% more payload, but 20% less weight. This was clearly the preference for all airlines. Additionally, we have an underbin light that we also have on the A320 and a new PSU design so we have now a consistent experience across A350s A320 and now the A220.”
Harald Mehring, Chief Customer Officer of Diehl Aviation, said: “The order is particularly important for us because this is the first time that we have been represented with our solutions on the A220. We are very excited to be working with the Airbus A220 team.”