Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Airbus unveils the passenger cabins for the new A350 XWB plane

April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0414 GMT (1214 HKT)
Airbus unveiled the interior cabin on two of its A350 XWB test planes. LED lighting and near-vertical side walls are two of the plane-maker's innovations. Airbus unveiled the interior cabin on two of its A350 XWB test planes. LED lighting and near-vertical side walls are two of the plane-maker's innovations.
HIDE CAPTION
Sitting comfortably?
An extra couple of inches
Relief for the long of leg
Customizable cabins
Little things make a big difference
Pipe me aboard, captain
In for the long-haul
It's all about efficiency
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Airbus show off the cabin configuration for its new A350 XWB jet
  • Economy class has nine, 18 inch wide seats across each row
  • Near straight cabin walls and larger overhead bins give the plane more space, says the manufacturer

(CNN) -- Last week Airbus announced a squeeze which will make most frequent flyers groan, but today the European firm unveiled how passengers flying on its new A350 XWB might travel.

Two test planes have been fitted out with full economy and business class interiors. The economy cabin has a nine-abreast configuration, with 18-inch wide seats, while business class has just four seats per row.

Airbus boasts that the new, extra wide-body planes will have near-vertical walls and larger overhead baggage bins compared to its current fleet of aircraft.

And for passengers with long legs, there shouldn't be any more issues with in-flight entertainment (IFE) boxes blocking the space under the seat in front of them; Airbus has placed all the electronic boxes and connections under the floor.

Airbus A350 XWB makes first flight
COO John Leahy discusses Airbus' future
Airbus A350 time crunch

Another innovation is the full cabin LED lighting that Airbus says can offer a mind-boggling 16.7 million possible colors.

"Passenger comfort is an increasingly important differentiator for the airline industry, becoming a fundamental deciding factor driving passenger choice and business success," said Chris Emerson, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Airbus.

Read more: Would you pay to cut in line for toilets on a flight?

If cabin interiors are a deciding factor for passengers when choosing an airline, then Airbus has also tried to make it easier for airlines to customize them. It has also opened a one-stop interiors showroom and test center in Hamburg, Germany.

The Customer Definition Center has mock-up interiors of the A350 XWB with a full range of materials and fourth generation IFE consoles, plus a virtual reality modeling tool to help airlines visualize their choices.

Airbus says that 39 airlines have placed orders for 812 A350 XWB jets, with three versions offering passenger capacity between 276 and 369 seats. The first will be delivered to Qatar Airways later this year.

The mid-size, long-range jet is set to go head-to-head with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and will be made of 53% composite materials. According to Airbus it achieves a 25% reduction in seat-mile costs and 25% lower carbon dioxide emission than existing, similar sized aircraft.

Are airline seats getting smaller or are you getting bigger?

Why Boeing and Airbus are cozying up to Asia's budget airlines

This plane has no window, but it's really fast

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)
Takeoff on one of Airbus' new A350WXB test planes is a strangely quiet experience.
July 30, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
What do you pack when you travel? Take a look inside other people's luggage.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0339 GMT (1139 HKT)
Few airline routes are as cutthroat as the one between London and New York.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1515 GMT (2315 HKT)
If it ain't broke, don't fix it, the old adage goes; Airbus unveils revamped A330 airliner.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 0248 GMT (1048 HKT)
Show us how you travel with twitpics and instagram via #howipack
July 7, 2014 -- Updated 0923 GMT (1723 HKT)
Could airlines drop fossil fuel in favor of cooking oil?
July 1, 2014 -- Updated 0940 GMT (1740 HKT)
How do you kill time during flight delays?
June 24, 2014 -- Updated 0800 GMT (1600 HKT)
Fancy stripping off before a flight and getting sweaty with fellow passengers? Head to Helsinki.
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 0255 GMT (1055 HKT)
The skies are under threat. Not from terrorists or hardened criminals, but from everyday passengers who seem to go a little loco.
June 18, 2014 -- Updated 0334 GMT (1134 HKT)
A German entrepreneur claims to have found a way to buy 1 million air miles for as little as $6,500.
June 12, 2014 -- Updated 0213 GMT (1013 HKT)
These days, no fashion house portfolio is complete without a hotel -- or at the very least, a luxuriously designed suite.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1039 GMT (1839 HKT)
Is sky the limit for green aviation? Take our quiz and find out.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 0319 GMT (1119 HKT)
Some collect spoons from their travel, others collect a whole lot more.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
There is no shortage of adjectives one can apply to airline seats; no wonder that many carriers are looking to make a change.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 0558 GMT (1358 HKT)
Etihad Airways has unveiled new cabins that are more like suites complete with butler and chef.
ADVERTISEMENT