Written by By Staff Writer
What will happen to the world’s first business class cabin? It has long been rumored that nothing much will remain. But Airbus thinks differently. The European aviation group has embarked on a futuristic concept: a future in which business class is transformed into an information hub.
“We need to convince the airline industry that there is a future with business class. Business class has to improve if it is to be sustainable and viable,” says the president of Airbus Group Europe, Mr. Laurent Morizot.
“You have all these people traveling — a lot of them will be flying economy economy with a separate space for themselves. In the future, they will prefer to connect business with leisure from one class to another. When a business passenger crosses between two classes, they will also think ‘you are one of me’.”
“There will be no more separating ‘seats’.”
The Airbus business concept, which is currently under development and should be ready by 2025, can be viewed in full at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Passenger Summit 2015 in Montreal.
It is called “Boom” because in theory it can power, within a flying envelope of roughly 50 miles, all your inflight necessities and personal media with its cylindrical lift and tilting hinge. Because it uses electric power, its light and strong, which means it can be reused.
And unlike other inflight entertainment options such as tablets and laptops, where a single hand can not carry as much as a million pages, there will be enough space to organize and rest your laptop with a pillow that can sleep 10 people, explains Airbus.
The Airbus concept can make reading and watching a movie and watching a TV streaming video separate experiences.
And it won’t be just for business class passengers. All of the public seats in the plane will have audio infra-red headrests, so passengers could watch video or read in the same seat.
The concept, which Airbus hopes to eventually make into a commercial aircraft, was dreamed up by its in-house design team in Toulouse in conjunction with German design studio Dusabungle.
“It’s not exactly futuristic, because we’ve done ‘Boom’, we’ve done inflight entertainment, we’ve done this seat [in the Lufthansa RDS], but in some way we’re coming to a new realization, which is that ‘it’s not so much about what technology or what material or how we look, it’s about how the experience can be better.”
And does this mean you’ll see an end to business class seats in the future? “I’m sure that there will be new people who will try to find an alternative, say in the next 10 years or 20 years, from business class seats to something else,” says Airbus’ Mr. Morizot.
“The door that will be opened up will be about relaxing — relaxing space for each passenger, with seats that have the privacy to sleep, but also have the comfort and strength to keep you strong.”
“I think it’s going to happen.”
Watch the concept video below: