Airbus will introduce new pivoting overhead bins as an optional extra on the A320 family of aircraft in 2016, boosting usable storage space by up to 60% over the existing ‘fold-up’ lockers.
Unveiled at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in Anaheim, USA, Delta Air Lines is on board as the launch customer with 45 A321 aircraft to be delivered with the new bins from Q1 2016.
The bins are also available as a retrofit on existing A320-family aircraft, and could one day appear on Jetstar’s extensive A320 fleet.
The low-cost airline has already flagged carry-on baggage as a potential cause of flight delays, normally resulting from inadequate room in the cabin to store every bag on full flights.
As a result, Jetstar is cracking down on excess cabin baggage and heavily enforcing its published size and weight limits with new ‘cabin baggage officers’ to be stationed at five of its busiest airports.
Airbus touts its new pivoting bins as offering “the most overhead stowage volume of any single-aisle airliner per passenger” – even ahead of Boeing’s new ’Space Bins’ which take to the skies in late 2015 and could potentially be retrofitted to Qantas’ and Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737 aircraft.
While the new Airbus bins bring only a 10% increase in volume over the current A320 lockers, their shape and design allows for up to 60% more luggage space in practice – providing ample room to load bags in on their side, rather than loading them flat and having ‘wasted space’ above.
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