Hamburg - The cargo hold could soon become a dormitory, at least in part. Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace are working on places where passengers can sleep in the lower deck of the A330 during long-haul flights from 2020 onwards. There is already a potential customer for the concept.

Modular berths could be installed in the cargo hold, said Airbus and Zodiac at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, AIX 2018, in Hamburg. In this way, the airlines have the opportunity to use the space again as normal freight container when necessary.

The normal cargo loading process is not affected, even with built-in sleeping places, according to Airbus and Zodiac. From 2020, airlines should be able to choose solutions from A330 catalogs.

However, a quick further development of the idea is obvious. This year in March, Qantas boss Alan Joyce expressed interest in such a solution during an interview with the "Australian Aviation" magazine.

Could a part of the hold be used as a fitness area? Could it accommodate berths for passengers? What options are out there that could change air travel? Nothing, really nothing off the table,
he said while talking about the long-range ambitions of his airline.

The current initiative by Airbus and Zodiac could give Airbus the decisive advantage in this regard. Alan Joyce has not yet decided whether he wants to serve the Sydney-London route with the Boeing 777-8 or the A350-900ULR.

Cargo hold concept

Alternatively, lounge and family and conference areas are conceivable in the concept as well as a compartment for the medical care of passengers, © Airbus