Odds and Ends: Delta/Airbus/Zodiac unveil A320 interior; Upgauging narrow-bodies, down-gauging 747s

A320 interior upgrade: After nearly a year of denying a story by Mary Kirby of Runway Girl Network and avoiding our own report from two years ago, Delta Air Lines, Airbus and interior OEM Zodiac revealed a new interior for the A320 family.

The announcement was made at the APEX convention by Airbus. The interior will appear beginning in Q12016, in this case in Delta’s A321ceos.

New pivot bins will be installed on the Airbus A320 Family beginning in 1Q2016. Delta Air Lines will be the first customer in the A321ceo. Airbus photo.

New pivot bins will be installed on the Airbus A320 Family beginning in 1Q2016. Delta Air Lines will be the first customer in the A321ceo. Airbus photo.

The overhead bins, which mimic the A350 design, are available for retrofit. Airbus says there is 10% more space compared with today’s bins.

Boeing significantly upgraded the interior of the 737, including pivot bins, announcing the change in 2009. The upgrade was inspired by the 787 and is branded as the Boeing Sky Interior.

Zodiac has designed space-saving lavs and galleys that will also be used for the A320 family. Part of Airbus’ Space-Flex interior option, announced last year, the smaller lavs and galleys allow Airbus to put more seats in the A320 Family: up to 189 in the A320 and up to 240 in the A321.

Zodiac's A320 Space-Flex lav. Photo c. Zodiac.

Zodiac’s A320 Space-Flex lav. Photo c. Zodiac.


Zodiac's galley design to save space. Zodiac photo.

Zodiac’s galley design to save space. Zodiac photo.


In other news:

Upgauging in narrow-bodies: Aviation Week reports that narrow-bodies continue a trend toward larger capacity. AvWeek takes a close look at the shifting sands in the A320/B737 families and how the baby Airbus and Boeing products are showing weak sales and the largest members of the families are picking up steam.

Meanwhile, Boeing 747-400s continue to come out of global fleets in a trend toward down-gauging, Aviation Week reports. The aging 747-400s are being replaced by Boeing 777-300ERs, A350s and eventually 777Xs.

19 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Delta/Airbus/Zodiac unveil A320 interior; Upgauging narrow-bodies, down-gauging 747s

    • I think that more 777’s are going to make up the difference where the A380 leaves off, especially when the 777-9’s start visiting a gate near you. The only thing that can change this is if the A380 goes through a re-engine modification. Thing is if they do decide to embark on this endeavor, they would wanna do it fast.

      Say they launch it Jan 1 2015 with a EIS of 2019, 2020. The A320 NEO and A330 NEO launch has taught us that it takes around 4-5 years from start to finish to get the certs and kinks worked out. That being said, if the same scenario is played out on the A380 NEO, then you’d have it coming (fingers crossed in Toulouse) in 2019, 2020, the same year the 777-9 is making its debut. Clash of the titans, take 2.

      So if airlines who were going to buy The A380 back then better hope Airbus does a re-engine soon because if not, your choice is the same A380 if you can fill it, the A350-1000 (EIS 2017) The 748I or the 777-9.

      • Rotate, I feel capacity plays a role in airline network/ fleetplanning. But if its overrated, airlines can replace an A380 with a 777-9 easily, down gauging capacity, marketshare, workforce, feeder flights, revenue by approximately 30-35% on those many daily flights to/from Asia. Easy as that.

      • The best engine choice will be a GTF and unless they buy it from P&W, that will not come out until 2024 or so with RR.

        Rock and a hard place, an inferioir engine soon or a better one latter.

      • The drive to invest in an upgrade is lower when there is little competition. In an apples to apples comparison (same seatwidth, pitches, class build up) the A380 has 30-50% larger capacity then the 777-9X in 2021. The 747-8i is closer but less efficient. So no real competition / little incentives to invest. Of course the A380 will get an engine upgrade at some point. When is a delicate question. The Trent900 and GP7000 are newer then e.g. the GE90-115 of the 777-300ER and no so bad. Realizing a significant improvement isn’t that easy. Waiting a few more years is rational and low risk.

    • I think your list does more to prove the point of the article.
      BA: 55 747-400’s and 12 (+7 options) A380 delivered or on order. Twins – 58 777’s, 42 787’s and 18 A350’s on order. Some of the 787’s will replace the 21 767’s, but it is pretty clear where they are headed – smaller twins.
      AF paints a similar picture: 7 747-400’s, 15 A380’s, with 62 777’s and 25 each 350’s and 787’s.
      And LH: 19 747-400’s and 15 -8i’s (+4 opt), 12 A380’s (+2 opt); 34 777’s (+24 opt) and 25 (+30 opt) A350’s.

  1. As I said the other day, how can a “larger” person sit on the Space Flex toilet without squeezing his/her pendulus abdomen right into the handle until it disappears completely(right picture)? Other than that,galleys and bins are looking good.

  2. Whats interesting about the NB market moving towards larger and larger models is that with the launch of the MAX 200, if the MAX can be modified to accommodate close to 200 seats, what can be done to the MAX 9 to bring it closer to the seating capacity of the A321 NEO. Could it be feasible?

    • I think Scott has made a comment recently about MAX9 already having runway length issues on take-off which extra seats/weight would only make worse. So, probably on until clean sheet 757 replacement.

      • The Zodiac aft galley complex will most likely be available for -7 and -9 too. For a given runway length MTOW is more relevant then seatcount. Fuel, cargo, required range are in the equation too. Most runways are long enough. Airlines flying to/from hot places with shorter runways will choose other types.

        In the designs I’ve seen for the A320s the crew seat was stowed inbetween the trolley and the lavatory. The door location I see here makes me wonder how it can be 16g and stowed away.

        There was a 5 way conflict between Zodiac, Airbus, Diehl, the airlines and their crew unions on these galleys. Standardisation, line fits, politics, everything came together. Zodiacs A320 space flex launch customer is a well known premium carrier.

      • Martin, takeoff field length is driven by takeoff weight not payload plus operating empty weight [OEW] . “Extra seats/weight” will limit range out of a fixed field length. For example, two 737-900’s one with 150 seats and the other with 200 seats will have the same takeoff performance if their take off weight is the same. The 150 seater will fly farther because it is carrying more fuel and less payload than the 200-seater

    • The 737-8 and the A321 cannot be matched in seating capacity. They both have about a 2m greater cabin length advantage over their competing counterparts.

  3. when you see second tier freighter operations flying 747-400F, you know the market has sunk far.

  4. Open Google Maps, search “Pinal Airpark”, switch to sattelite view.
    Find 44 B747s,
    – 100 & 200s, mostly out of service or terminal storage
    – many 400s
    – even two -8F

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