Airbus today unveiled the A350 XWB’s development cabin interior installed on board flight-test aircraft ‘MSN002’ at the Airbus site in Hamburg.

MSN002 made its first flight on 26th February 2014 and is the first of two test aircraft fitted with a passenger interior as part of the A350 XWB development fleet. Intensive cabin flight and ground tests have already been performed during a two-week stay of the aircraft in Hamburg in mid-March 2014. The cabins of all Airbus aircraft are developed by the engineering and research teams based there. Airbus say “The new interior demonstrates how the aircraft’s “eXtra-wide” fuselage will soon offer passengers even more personal space, flexibility and comfort in business and economy classes, and especially, a wide 18” seat in 9-abreast economy.”

A350 economy cabin

9 abreast

Of course airline customers may demand a 10-abreast economy deemed the “high-efficiency” layout, and at least one airline has done so. Let us hope that most airlines go with the preferred 9-abreast option.

A350 business class cabin night

A350 business class

Potentially cramped accomodation in economy aside, the business class cabin looks positively lovely, and the aircraft’s near-vertical sidewalls will add eXtra spaciousness to the cabin and the large overhead stowage bins are designed to match growing hand-luggage volume requirements.

British Airways A350 on order for 2017

A mock up of the BA A350

Excitement is building as the first new long-haul aircraft are only months away from arriving.  British Airways has now revealed the interior design and layout for its Airbus A380 Super-jumbo and Boeing Dreamliner.

The Dreamliner will seat two hundred and fourteen passengers in comfort and the A380 will seat 469 with an “enhanced” version of First.

Designwise, the cabins will feature the designs already found on the new Boeing 777-300ER which have been very popular.

All of the Dreamliners will feature a new Club World layout, the t 787-8s will feature a new Club World 2:3:2 layout, the latest generation World Traveller and World Traveller Plus seats.

In addition, the new A380 will also have an enhanced version of First.

The exact seating plans of another 16 787-9s on order have yet to be finalised, they could have three or four-cabin configurations.

British Airways is set to be the first European airline to operate both new aircraft types, with its first Dreamliner arriving in May and A380 deliveries starting in July.

Speaking in Seoul, Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), said: “We are investing £5bn in British Airways’ new and upgraded aircraft, innovative technologies and customer services.

“We now have six Boeing 777-300ERs all fitted with our latest cabins.

“Our customer feedback and satisfaction scores show the seat and cabin designs have achieved the highest ratings we have ever seen.

“By next Spring we will have finished installing our new First cabins.

“The nine new aircraft we take delivery of in 2013 will feature our latest signature designs to ensure the customer experience maintains the highest standard across our fleet.”

The British Airways Dreamliner will have 35 seats for customers in the new Club World triple configuration of 2:3:2; 25 seats in a World Traveller Plus layout of 2:3:2; and a further 154 seats for those travelling in World Traveller, with a 3:3:3 configuration.

On the British Airways A380 there will be 14 seats in First on the main deck, with extra personal and stowage space; the Club World cabin will feature 44 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration; and there will be 199 seats in World Traveller, with a 3:4:3 layout.

The A380 upper deck will feature 53 seats in the new Club World triple configuration of 2:3:2; 55 seats in a 2:3:2 World Traveller Plus layout; and World Traveller will have 104 seats in a 2:4:2 configuration.

Both new aircraft will also feature the airline’s latest Thales in-flight entertainment system, which offers customers 50 per cent more movies, 200 per cent more TV shows and 200 per cent more audio programmes and music.

British Airways will announce the routes the new aircraft will operate in spring 2013.