New Airbus design offers more space for luggage, less for bathrooms

Airbus lavatory
A new cabin layout for Airbus A320 planes would make the lavatory space narrower.

For frequent fliers on short- and medium-distance flights, there is some good news and bad news from Airbus, the giant European aircraft maker.

The manufacturer has unveiled a cabin design that gives passengers more room to stow away their luggage but less elbow room in the back-of-the-plane lavatory.

The changes in the interior design are to begin in 2016 on the company’s A320, the midsize plane used for short- to medium-range flights by many U.S.-based carriers.

The A320 was redesigned two years ago to move the lavatories that were previously on either side of the aisle to the back of the plane, sharing space with the food-preparation galley. The move freed up space to fit six extra seats.


“As an airframe manufacturer we are always looking for ways to add seats,” said Zuzana Hrnkova, head of aircraft interiors marketing for Airbus.

But Airbus discovered that the bathrooms took too much space away from the galley, so the latest modification squeezes the width of one of the bathrooms to increase the size of the galley.

Hrnkova declined to specify how much the lavatory will shrink under the new design, saying only that the narrower bathroom will be “equivalent” in size to the previous lavatory.

Meanwhile, the overhead bins on the A320 have been redesigned to pivot down from the ceiling, increasing the volume by 10% over the previous overhead bin.


“Every inch counts in the cabin,” Hrnkova said.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin

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