It’s clear flying will be different after coronavirus, and while some airlines are discussing the removal of middle seats to maintain social distancing, one airplane interiors company has come up with concepts for adapting economy class cabins.
Italian designers Aviointeriors, the company behind the standing airplane seat, has unveiled two new seat designs aimed at keeping a safe distance between passengers “in accordance with the new requirements” without compromising too much space onboard.”
Named after a god of Ancient Rome, the “Janus” seat has “two faces” and is made of “easy cleaning” and “safe hygienization materials.”
This is essentially a row of three with the passenger seated in the middle seat facing the opposite direction to those on the aisle and window seat, to ensure “maximum isolation between passengers seated next to each other.”
In addition, each seat is fixed with a three-sided shield “made of transparent material,” to prevent “breath propagation” between those in adjacent seats.
It’s not clear whether these seats are intended to fill the entire cabin, but it’s been noted that the exit row could not be replaced with a design such as this due to regulatory requirements, which recommend these seats have at least seven inches extra room in case evacuation is necessary.
Coronavirus flying solution?
While the “Janus” seat would require existing cabins to be overhauled, “Glassafe,” Aviointeriors second coronavirus flying proposal can be fitted onto most standard airplane seats.
However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t adhere to current social distancing guidelines, which require us to maintain a distance of approximately six feet or two meters from others wherever possible.
But the shield is intended to impose a safe barrier between passengers who are sat close to each other, creating an “isolated volume around the passenger” to “reduce the probability of contamination by viruses.”
Aviointeriors tells CNN that airlines are already showing interest in both designs and the company is currently prototyping “Janus” and “Glassafe” as well as going through the engineering design steps.
Once they’ve been through all of the design phases, they’ll need to be approved by aviation regulators.
However, the company believes it can roll them out within eight to 11 months, if or when they get the go ahead.
Although there’s no guarantee we’ll actually see these designs fitted on airplanes, it’s certainly encouraging that companies are already coming up with new and innovative concepts to reflect the altering travel landscape.