• Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

Economy class airplane bunk beds get seal of approval as launch moves closer


Jun 7, 2023
Economy class airplane bunk beds get seal of approval as launch moves closer

By Francesca Street, CNN

Hamburg, Germany (CNN) — Air New Zealand’s Skynest, the upcoming reimagined economy-class seating which promises bunk beds in the skies, has currently attracted a lot of buzz and excitement amongst sleep-starved extended-haul passengers.

Now the concept’s got the market seal of approval by means of a prestigious Crystal Cabin Award, presented at the 2022 Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany.

Skynest won the cabin ideas award at this year’s ceremony, which celebrates innovation in airplane cabin interiors. Speaking to CNN Travel at AIX, Lukas Kaestner, president of the Crystal Cabin Award Association, mentioned Air New Zealand’s win was notable simply because this category usually rewards tips that are thrilling, but nowhere close to becoming a reality.

Skynest is not just a futuristic, possibly-one particular-day notion – it is an airline-developed item that is set to hit the skies in 2024.

“Bunk-bed answer for economy class – this is some thing which you often see as a notion,” mentioned Kaestner. “But we hardly ever see this level of innovation in fact becoming a actual item that is flying.”

Winning styles

The Crystal Cabin Awards announced its longlist earlier this year, prior to whittling the categories down to a shortlist. Finalists presented their tips at AIX earlier this week – with the group of professional judges then selecting their favorites.

Other winners consist of Collins Aerospace’s InteliSence notion in the Passenger Comfort category. InteliSence makes use of artificial intelligence and information gathered from on-board cameras and sensors to track passengers’ travel experiences. Collins mentioned in a statement that the purpose is to support “airlines optimize energy consumption, on-board provisions and crew workloads,” as properly as give passengers a a lot more customized on-board knowledge.

In the university category, a student group from Delft University of Technologies in the Netherlands won for its Lightweight Aircraft Seating notion – a lightweight seat cushion developed to use minimal material when nonetheless making sure passenger comfort.

Meanwhile in the Sustainable Cabin category, Lantal Textiles’ Deep Dyed Carpet was awarded for its potential to potentially lower airplane CO2 emissions by means of a a lot more eco-friendly, lightweight cabin carpet.

Kaestner mentioned it is heartening to see a lot more sustainable innovations in aviation, and suggests the market is beginning to reckon with its environmental influence – despite the fact that acknowledged there’s nonetheless a extended way to go.

“We have not been that superior but, as an market,” he mentioned.

Continuing influence

The Crystal Cabin Awards are announced annually, and Kaestner and his group delight in maintaining tabs on former nominees and winners in the years following their win.

Winning entries usually have a domino impact on the aviation market, mentioned Kaestner, who pointed to Delta’s 2017 win for its Delta 1 enterprise class suite with an ultra-private sliding door.

“After that the majority of enterprise-class cabins on extended-haul began possessing these sliding doors,” he mentioned.

Although airlines operating shorter flights could have much less require for the sort of seating answer presented by Air New Zealand’s Skynest, Kaestner recommended they’ll nonetheless be watching closely to see how Skynest performs.

“It will be genuinely fascinating also from a enterprise point of view to see if it operates out,” he mentioned.

For student nominees, the Crystal Cabin Awards are “a amazing way to get into the market,” added Kaestner.

Some, such as Alejandro Núñez Vicente, nominated in 2021 for his double-decker airplane seat, have gone on to located their personal start off-ups.

Winners, Crystal Cabin Awards 2023:

Winner Cabin Ideas:  Air New Zealand “Skynest”

Winner Cabin Systems, Components and Elements: Thales Avionics “Onboard Information Center”

Winner Wellness &amp Security: Teledyne Controls “ACES”

Winner Passenger Comfort: Collins Aerospace “InteliSence”

Winner IFEC and Digital Solutions: AirFi, coop. Iridium “LEO Connectivity Solution”

Winner Sustainable Cabin: Lantal Textiles “Deep Dyed Carpet”

Winner University: Technical University of Delft “Lightweight Aircraft Seating”

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