Airbus is preparing for introduction of the Airspace cabin on the A330neo and is refining the design on the A320neo. Both variants of the cabin are being touted as continuing the A350's passenger experience.

The first two A330neos for TAP Air Portugal, fitted with the Airspace cabin, are “painted and in the final assembly line,” says Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus' vice-president for cabin marketing. They are scheduled to enter into service in the middle of the year, he said, speaking at the Aircraft Interiors 2018 show in Hamburg. With the new layout, Airbus believes its widebody family is offering a “consistent experience.”

It will also be brought to the single-aisle family – a feature deemed especially relevant on the long-haul A321LR.

The first Airspace attribute will not enter into service on an A320neo family aircraft until mid-2019, however. That is when American Airlines will receive Airspace XL overhead baggage bins on its new and retrofitted aircraft. The latter will be classic A321s.

The new bins, manufactured by Austria's FACC, are only slightly bulkier externally than their predecessors. But they make a major difference. Eight pieces of luggage – of the largest authorized size for carry-on bags – can be accommodated, whereas the current design can only take five. The trick is an additional 3.5 in. depth, which involved rearranging some piping and wiring between the fuselage and the interior sidewall. As a result, a typical roller suitcase can be placed on its side, as opposed to laid horizontally.

An additive manufacturing process is used to produce a spacer that is part of the design. Airbus describes it as the first 3D-printed part a passenger can see.

The Airspace overhead bin layout resembles Zodiac's Ecos design, which already flies on Delta Airlines aircraft. Airbus says the new design is lighter.

A total of 750 aircraft have been ordered with the XL bins or the entire Airspace interior, according to Wuggetzer. Another component of the Airspace suite is the upgraded lavatory. Touchless controls improve hygiene. The internal volume of the lavatory compartment has been increased by 70 liters, Airbus says.

Entry into service of an A320neo with a complete Airspace cabin interior is slated for mid-2020.