Inflight bars and lounges are usually the domain of Airbus A380 superjumbos, but the aircraft manufacturer is eyeing the concept for its smaller A330neo jets, due to fly their first passengers by the end of 2017.
A modernised version of the existing Airbus A330s already flying with the likes of Qantas, Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways, the A330neo offers airlines a “unique and customisable welcome area at the main passenger boarding door”, says Airbus.
That’s precisely where you could plonk an inflight bar – and during a visit to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, Australian Business Traveller spotted one such mock-up: a simple bar with space for travellers to stand and pour Scotch, or have it served by the crew:
Airlines may choose to keep the default Airbus ‘Airspace’ pattern overhead for a funky look and feel…
… or could completely customise it to suit their own brand or design theme:
Disguised as regular air vents, micro data projectors can also help set the mood in the bar zone…
… whether displaying text and graphics on the surrounding cabin walls, on the floor below or even on passengers themselves, as we experience while exploring the bar mock-up:
But as to whether an inflight bar will ever take wing on an Airbus A330neo, that’s ultimately a decision left to the airlines buying the aircraft.
More on inflight cocktail bars and lounges:
- Airbus A380 ‘bar wars’: Qatar, Emirates and Etihad
- Review: Etihad Airways' Airbus A380 Lobby lounge
- The fabulous bars, lounges and restaurants of the Boeing 747
- Review: Qatar Airways Airbus A380 lounge and bar
- Raising the bar: Virgin Australia's swanky new Boeing 777 bar
- Review: Emirates Airbus A380 inflight cocktail bar and lounge
Chris Chamberlin travelled to Toulouse as a guest of Airbus.