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flee
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Lower-deck passenger sleeping facilities - Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:06 am

Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace enter into a partnership for a new lower-deck passenger sleeping facilities

Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have partnered to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths. The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value for their commercial operations. The new passenger modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system will not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it.

Image

So, the range of the A330Neo is so huge that sleeping facilities are required now! Lets see if this gimmick will see any airline bite the A330Neo cherry!

Check out the proposals here:
http://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-re ... new-l.html
Last edited by SQ22 on Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title updated
 
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frigatebird
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:10 am

You'd think Airbus would offer it for the A350 first, especially with QF floating this kind of concept for their next ULH aircraft earlier. Or will Airbus offer the 251t A338 to QF instead of the A359ULH? Sounds unlikely.

Funnily, the drawings on the Airbus webpage say 'A350XWB lower deck option'....
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Flyglobal
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:14 am

Yes, I will call all Airlines I have a mileage account from for this Option and why they haven't yet ordered the A330NEO.
Thanks for info.

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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:20 am

An all-premium A338 offering?
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:23 am

I guess they'd offer the same to a350 and why not a380? (3 floors :D )
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:25 am

I'm honestly just surprised that this didn't catch on sooner with more airlines and OEMs tbh. Having some form of underfloor area for passengers to reside in (even if not for the whole journey) has some notable advantages.

- It's a notable way for airlines to differentiate themselves in terms of product offering (sleeping beds? check, Conference rooms pre-booked with wifi for work? sure. A Bar to sell drinks at stupid markups to weary travellers? Why not.) Airlines that have fleets that regularly fly TPAC would benefit noticeably.
- It provides a potential way for Airlines to cram more seats in their aircraft without hurting premium yields, lie-flat Js take a ton of room on the main deck of aircraft, instead of having those, why not have J-pax sit on W-seats during takeoff landing, while retiring to their reserved beds for the rest of the flight (hopefully), saving a ton of space upstairs for more seats. If an airline is feeling particularly terrible towards it's customers, it can reduce the piss out of seat pitch and nix recline, only to sell pax time on the bunks :stirthepot:
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:41 am

Would the cargo doors be openable in the event of an emergency exit?.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:02 pm

flee wrote:
Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace enter into a partnership for a new lower-deck passenger sleeping facilities

Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have partnered to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths. The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value for their commercial operations. The new passenger modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system will not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it.

Image

So, the range of the A330Neo is so huge that sleeping facilities are required now! Lets see if this gimmick will see any airline bite the A330Neo cherry!

Check out the proposals here:
http://www.airbus.com/newsroom/press-re ... new-l.html


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Wildlander
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:03 pm

Never say never but past attempts at such amenities have all come to nothing. Height restricted to that of a LD3, no lav(s) and the loss of (at least) one YC triple. Not to mention the need for environmental and electrical system hook-ups. Each occupant would still have to have a main deck seat for takeoff and landing so no seat gain unless YC+ replaces BC seats. The only significant difference from the A330-200 or A340-600 ideas is that the cargo floor/CLS is not modified so avoiding expensive retrofit back considerations. Plus cargo managers going crazy over valuable lost underfloor volume. Colour me sceptical.
 
Kikko19
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:04 pm

it could work on wight restricted routes (a350ulr?) and of course Boeing could have it as well.
PS: why not make it stable and punch some windows on the lower deck so you would have a double decker with less costs?
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:24 pm

One would think that Airbus has discussed this concept with several airlines before launching it. To make it meaningful, flight time should be minimum 10 hours.
Who could be a possible launch customer?
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:27 pm

Beds would be better built into empty crown space above the cabin methinks. Like flightcrew rests. A flat bed is the best place to sleep in so I could be sold for true premiums. However passengers still need some assigned seat for takeoff and landing.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:46 pm

The same Zodiac that caused Boeing so many seat problems, oh well.
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flee
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:06 pm

frigatebird wrote:
You'd think Airbus would offer it for the A350 first,

Yes, that would be logical but they said it will be offered on the A330 first....
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:07 pm

So if you want it, you have to buy an A330, ok, now we need to see the rest of the fine print which says that you cannot defer an A350 or convert an A350 order to secure one of these.
Hmmmm.......all about controlling...I mean driving the client towards a specific product.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:27 pm

This has zero chance of long term viability. Someone might bite at the concept for marketing or vanity (QR ?), but it won't pay for itself over the long run.

Lack of lavs, will make for a less than premium experience, even if you can lie down in a semi-private area. I also posit that meal/drink service won't be available/allowed down there, mostly because it'll employ a steep and narrow stair case to access this area; oh, btw, that staircase will also cut into floor space on the main deck eliminating something..... a Y seat or two? a closet?

Yes, its stupid to think that food & drink would be expected in a place meant for horizontal sleep, but these are the kinds of ridiculous expectations that premium fare pax demand; there will no be Y fare pax with modest expectations also springing another 2x or 3x to lie down for a while.

Most of all, the additional demand on the cabin crew to "open" and "close" the area (takeoff/landing safety regs), police it to ensure unpaid pax don't "steal the product"... these are real issues.
Technically, I think climate control in these modules could be a real challenge if they are not a permanent fixture.

This won't sell a single frame on its own, and will be a short-lived money loser, IMO. I'm guessing Airbus knows it too, and did not put any of their own resources into this offering (I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt).
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:29 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
The same Zodiac that caused Boeing so many seat problems, oh well.


And Airbus too, with the A350.
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jeffrey0032j
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:30 pm

The Airbus way to making the A330 sell better is to hope for a production snag/battery issue/engine troubles with the 787 so that they can play the availability game.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 1:37 pm

Just lose the Euro-chic and million small parts to assemble. Make it simple. Work with lightweight camping gear manufacturers. Or just reengineer Coleman camp cots with nice mattresses.
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:05 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
The Airbus way to making the A330 sell better is to hope for a production snag/battery issue/engine troubles with the 787 so that they can play the availability game.


Which given the quality of design and construction, it's just a matter of time....
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:18 pm

This reminds me of the initial 747-8 concepts that included sleeping areas for first class passengers on the rear of the upper deck.... which never actually happened. It's a neat idea but I don't think it's very practical. What F passenger wants to shlep downstairs to sleep when other airlines offer a bed right in their F suite? They'd be better to use that space for a new "windowless economy class" lol. Realistically I think the cargo space would be the most valuable.
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:33 pm

Jayafe wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
The Airbus way to making the A330 sell better is to hope for a production snag/battery issue/engine troubles with the 787 so that they can play the availability game.


Which given the quality of design and construction, it's just a matter of time....


Production availability certainly matters to carriers, no doubt. However, the A330neo, particularly the 330-800, must simply match Dreamliner cost-per-available seat-mile, or seat-kilometer operating performance operating basis, while offering comparable range and a lower acquisition price to convince clients. Carriers are waiting for 'real world' operating data to validate this business case for the A330neo, as the program remains in pre-certification testing with deliveries starting over the summer to TP. Once these frames are in operation and customers can validate CASM/CASK and yield performance matches the Dreamliner (but with a lower capital acquisition price), they should place orders!
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:36 pm

Eh, of course aircraft makers would create designs that can sell their aircrafts, some airlines have previously said they want something like that too. What's so surprise about it?
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:58 pm

Jayafe wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
The Airbus way to making the A330 sell better is to hope for a production snag/battery issue/engine troubles with the 787 so that they can play the availability game.


Which given the quality of design and construction, it's just a matter of time....


Please do share. We'd all love to hear this scoop
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:17 pm

I think this concept (mind you not necessarily on the A330) has two potential customers:
1. Airlines that do not require a large amount of cargo space
2. Airlines that operate flights that are too long for any heavy cargo, but still could fit these modules.

For the first option I think it is a no brainer. Sell access to these modules at a premium. Perhaps this is the renaissance of first class: one buys a "first" ticket and gets a business class seat and access to a bed/working area...
An empty cargo hold is an area that is not making any money. Why not make use of it?

For the second option I think the principle would be the same and airlines like QF/SQ that will be flying ultra long routes could certainly use any extra revenue they can get...
Adding these modules will probably be lighter than a denser seat configuration or having pallets full of cargo...
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:19 pm

Asiaflyer wrote:
To make it meaningful, flight time should be minimum 10 hours. Who could be a possible launch customer?

:idea: PR could use that on an A338 across the Pacific or nonstop in the A359 over the polar region for MNL-JFK. PR could revive their old promo and offer that as another come-on! :cloudnine:

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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/08/e9/4c ... 220de7.jpg


flee wrote:
frigatebird wrote:
You'd think Airbus would offer it for the A350 first,

Yes, that would be logical but they said it will be offered on the A330 first....

Well, maybe Airbus thinks it wouldn't hurt the NEO as much if it flopped...rather than dragging the A350 down with it. :down:
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Arion640
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:27 pm

Or stick the crew rest/galleys where they propose to put in these bunk beds and put more seats on the aircraft main deck.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:31 pm

Look at the amount of real estate that installation occupies. Then think about the huge amount of cargo revenue which would be lost. Unless the airlines were charging around $5000 each way for a trans Pacific flight, they'd be better off selling cargo space. And honestly, I can't think of any airline operating long haul flights that was not also selling cargo.

The idea above about filling empty upper crown space might be more viable.
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:57 pm

dazwalsh wrote:
Would the cargo doors be openable in the event of an emergency exit?.


I doubt one would be allowed to occupy during take-off and landing. So that should not be a requirement.
 
pasu129
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:08 pm

How would passengers from main deck access lower deck with switchable loading of cargo and bunk space? What's the protocol for emergency? Does cargo door open for emergency usage? In case of emergency/water landing, will the lower bunk passengers more in dangers because of the proximity to emergency contact location?

Upper crown space of A330 isn't that big of a space vs Boeing 787, IIRC A330 crewrests are usually in the lowerdeck area for most airlines, again I could be wrong.
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Kno
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:25 pm

I just don't really see the appeal unless this is a product sold very cheaply. If I want to fly cheap long haul economy is what I'm willing to pay for. If I want to spend extra $$$ to
Sleep why not just enjoy a quality lie flat first class experience?

I can't imagine a situation where this product is profitable and worth much to a customer but I'm no expert and maybe others would like it.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:17 pm

JustSomeDood wrote:
I'm honestly just surprised that this didn't catch on sooner with more airlines and OEMs tbh. Having some form of underfloor area for passengers to reside in (even if not for the whole journey) has some notable advantages.

- It's a notable way for airlines to differentiate themselves in terms of product offering (sleeping beds? check, Conference rooms pre-booked with wifi for work? sure. A Bar to sell drinks at stupid markups to weary travellers? Why not.) Airlines that have fleets that regularly fly TPAC would benefit noticeably.
- It provides a potential way for Airlines to cram more seats in their aircraft without hurting premium yields, lie-flat Js take a ton of room on the main deck of aircraft, instead of having those, why not have J-pax sit on W-seats during takeoff landing, while retiring to their reserved beds for the rest of the flight (hopefully), saving a ton of space upstairs for more seats. If an airline is feeling particularly terrible towards it's customers, it can reduce the piss out of seat pitch and nix recline, only to sell pax time on the bunks :stirthepot:


Will it create enough opportunities to drive additional revenue to make-up for the cargo space it takes up? That's really the only question.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:36 am

readytotaxi wrote:
The same Zodiac that caused Boeing so many seat problems, oh well.


For real. :/
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:53 am

pasu129 wrote:
How would passengers from main deck access lower deck with switchable loading of cargo and bunk space? What's the protocol for emergency? Does cargo door
open for emergency usage? In case of emergency/water landing, will the lower bunk passengers more in dangers because of the proximity to emergency contact location?

Upper crown space of A330 isn't that big of a space vs Boeing 787, IIRC A330 crewrests are usually in the lowerdeck area for most airlines, again I could be wrong.


Evacuation should not be a big issue as certain planes already have facilities such as washrooms in the cargo area.
For the emergency/water landing, the crews should have time to ask their passengers to go back to their seats.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:02 am

I kind of imagined it could be used like this:

*It's not intended for first or business class passengers already in seats which can lie flat.

*But you could offer it as an upgrade to economy class passengers between takeoff and landing (where they otherwise have to be in their seats.)

*If there's more cargo, leave the pods out. But if there's extra space, you can stick a few pods in.

*Assign the pods as you like: reward frequently flyers, or use an in flight auction on the IFE. Or first come first serve based on a flat fee per hour.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:50 am

Kikko19 wrote:
I guess they'd offer the same to a350 and why not a380? (3 floors :D )


The A380 is already short of lower-belly space. Baggage of passengers from 2 widebody levels leaves very little space as it is for any cargo let alone amenities like this.

This idea will certainly work on routes where cargo uplift/premium is lower and/or cabin is in lower density config.
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:46 am

There are very few airlines let alone routes where this would offer a better business case than revenue cargo, this reminds me of the Boeing loft they floated when the 747-8 was nearing EIS. Of course that idea didn't go anywhere, this may have mild success with a few niche operators but in this day and age of slim margins, it'll be much easier and more consistent to fill that space with cargo.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:15 am

A sleeping module makes a much better marketing material than a toilet, even if the toilet is the more likely practical application.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:05 am

Airbus need to make very little effort here to be part of the project. They already have the designs available and certified for main deck access via the downstairs lav modules (LH and MT) as well as crew rest module options. Obviously they have data, power and even grey/black water hookups designed for them.

As long as Zodiac can use those existing modifications it becomes a much lower cost series of options to offer. I can see these selling more on the ACJ business side though.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:20 am

The A330 seems the perfect candidate for this concept, IMHO.

In fact, the A333 does have a rather big underbelly cargo space (33 LD3), but it does hit the MZFW limit earlier than the other aircraft in its class (787-9, 777-200, 340-300, 350-900). Because of this limitation, the ability to carry cargo starts reducing for missions as short as 4'000nm (234t CEO).
As a consequence, carriers who use the A330-300 for longer missions will find quite a lot of otherwise unusable space in the belly, this is where the lower deck sleeping facility could generate revenue.
On the other hand, the longer range competitors mentioned above are better off carrying cargo even for longer missions, limiting the added revenue potential of sleeping facilities to flights where there simply is no sufficient cargo demand.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:47 am

hitower3 wrote:
The A330 seems the perfect candidate for this concept, IMHO.

In fact, the A333 does have a rather big underbelly cargo space (33 LD3), but it does hit the MZFW limit earlier than the other aircraft in its class (787-9, 777-200, 340-300, 350-900). Because of this limitation, the ability to carry cargo starts reducing for missions as short as 4'000nm (234t CEO).
As a consequence, carriers who use the A330-300 for longer missions will find quite a lot of otherwise unusable space in the belly, this is where the lower deck sleeping facility could generate revenue.


The problem with that is, unless Airbus uses the patent they got for modular quick reconfiguration, airlines would be creating sub-fleets of A330s, which is anti economic by definition.

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Shrewfly
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:52 am

I wonder if this might be more suited to specialist or niche operators such as the Military? Lower deck bunks for injured soldiers maybe? Or even a field hospital with basic equipment that could be flown in to active theatres or relief areas?

I have no idea if that is even feasible, the cost would probably be too much for such a small amount of potential customers. But the RAF are using a version of the 330 for passenger transport already, they might be interested?

Another thought was that an accessible cargo hold might allow for some specialist cargo moves. Animals in particular could be kept in there, and the owners could pay visits in flight to check on them etc? I'm sure very rich racehorse owners might be interested, though the question would be how they would be loaded. Walking ahorse through the main cabin and down some stairs might be an issue!

All this is probably too niche to be a viable business to be honest, but I do think the added space below decks could be used for more than just beds
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:21 am

Spiderguy252 wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The same Zodiac that caused Boeing so many seat problems, oh well.


And Airbus too, with the A350.


LX015 wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The same Zodiac that caused Boeing so many seat problems, oh well.


For real. :/


Which SAFRAN has since bought.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:44 am

So many, so negative! Why?

Good out of the box thinking. Bravo to both parties.

How about this;

Sell a business class seat w less recline and get a bunk downstairs for the sleep part of the journey. Everybody could win.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:29 am

Planeflyer wrote:
So many, so negative! Why?

Good out of the box thinking. Bravo to both parties.

How about this;

Sell a business class seat w less recline and get a bunk downstairs for the sleep part of the journey. Everybody could win.


Is it really out of the box thinking though? The concept of a lower deck passenger area has been around ever since the first widebody jets took off in the 1970s.
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:23 am

I could see this working for bunk bed style berths on routes where potential cargo revenue is limited. I'm very sceptical about the other options though such as bars / lounges etc etc. Remember the height of an LD3 container is approx 162cm so people won't be able to stand up or move around easily. Plus you would need additional staff to man the bar, have potential issues with people getting drunk, people suddenly trying to stand up straight and bashing their heads etc etc.
 
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Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:34 am

Why all the negative comments? We are not talking about the development of a new aircraft, but just a container module that can be installed downstairs to make use of otherwise empty space resulting from an aircraft that is weight- rather than space-restricted in the cargo department. With relatively little investment, why not give it a try?
 
cpd
Posts: 6381
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:20 pm

drgmobile wrote:
JustSomeDood wrote:
I'm honestly just surprised that this didn't catch on sooner with more airlines and OEMs tbh. Having some form of underfloor area for passengers to reside in (even if not for the whole journey) has some notable advantages.

- It's a notable way for airlines to differentiate themselves in terms of product offering (sleeping beds? check, Conference rooms pre-booked with wifi for work? sure. A Bar to sell drinks at stupid markups to weary travellers? Why not.) Airlines that have fleets that regularly fly TPAC would benefit noticeably.
- It provides a potential way for Airlines to cram more seats in their aircraft without hurting premium yields, lie-flat Js take a ton of room on the main deck of aircraft, instead of having those, why not have J-pax sit on W-seats during takeoff landing, while retiring to their reserved beds for the rest of the flight (hopefully), saving a ton of space upstairs for more seats. If an airline is feeling particularly terrible towards it's customers, it can reduce the piss out of seat pitch and nix recline, only to sell pax time on the bunks


Will it create enough opportunities to drive additional revenue to make-up for the cargo space it takes up? That's really the only question.


If course it will, provided regular long haul economy seats are replaced with those saddle type seats:

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-ad ... d4626765a9

And business class could be updated with current economy class seats. :stirthepot:

Otherwise, the idea of very cramped bis-class seats and forcing those J passengers to buy time in these sleeping berths seems a great idea. I hope it happens.
 
EWRandMDW
Posts: 444
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:28 am

Re: Lower-deck passenger sleeping facilities - Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:55 pm

This can be the economy "Catacombs Class" where sleeping berths are stacked up 2-4 high on both sides of the aisle running on for the length of the compartment. Of course, with more $$, you can be in your own private "Coffin Class" berth! No thank you!
 
F27500
Posts: 832
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:52 am

Re: Lower-deck passenger sleeping facilities - Is this Airbus' way of making the A330 sell better?

Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:12 pm

I don't see any airline giving up valuable cargo space in order to put nooky-bunks in for passengers. Bad idea -- no one will buy it.

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