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Airbus Link: digital cabin to avoid traffic jams in front of the toilet and in front of the overhead locker

Airplane cabins are made up of more than just seats. Airbus has introduced a digital product designed to improve passenger comfort, from boarding to going to the restroom.

Airspace is the name of the cabin of the Airbus which is gradually being installed on more and more aircraft. More space for hand luggage, lighter materials, thinner sidewalls and a special lighting concept should ensure more space and comfort on board. Swiss, Jetblue, Tap and Finnair are among the airlines whose Airbus jets are already taking off with the new interiors. From 2024 it will be standard on newly delivered short and medium range aircraft.

At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, the European aircraft manufacturer unveiled an Airspace cabin extension. These are not new materials or building materials, but a digital extension. Airspace Link is the name of the product that Airbus offers together with the satellite company Inmarsat and the Safran technology group. It should be used in all areas of the cabin. Even on the toilet.

Data helps plan better

Airbus manager André Schneider cites onboard food ordering as an example of where Airspace Link can be used. The new technology allows travelers to use their mobile phones to order, for example, wine or a sandwich. This information then ends up on the crew’s tablet. This simplifies your work.

Gradually, according to Schneider, airlines could also collect data in this way. This allows them to better plan the amount of food to take with them. In this way it is possible to reduce both weight and food waste.

Digital information in the mirror

But boarding time – and therefore waiting time at the airport – can also be reduced by technology, according to Schneider. For example, it might be conceivable to reserve a seat in the overhead bin before the flight. This avoids the long search on the plane and the crowds upon boarding. In reality, for example, this could be regulated by green and red lights indicating whether a seat is reserved or not.

The toilet must also become part of the cloud, although, of course, no cameras are installed in the bathrooms, as Airbus makes clear. But with a camera mounted outside, you can observe, for example, when and how many people are in line, and thus get information on which toilets on board are important.

Available now

At the same time, thanks to Airbus Link, digital displays with flight information can be installed in the mirrors. A smart bathroom could signal to the crews themselves when they run out of toilet paper, towels or soap. This also simplifies your work.

Airlines may also use Airspace Link for ancillary revenue. For example, by offering travelers the ability to order from the duty-free shop on their devices and have the goods delivered to their home. The offer is available immediately, even for non-airspace cabins.

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