When it comes to delivering a flashy business class experience in the sky self-service bar and snack areas tend to be popular. But they take up space that could otherwise be used to seat paying passengers, a tough balance for airlines to strike. Collins Aerospace hopes its new M-Flex™ Duet monument can change that equation, converting otherwise unused space on board into a more useful and welcoming area.
Traditionally, the space needed to add this type of service area meant sacrificing seating for the airlines which could mean an annual revenue loss in the millions per twin-aisle aircraft. Our team has created a brand new concept that benefits both the passenger and the airline by offering new amenities in the cabin with minimal to no seat reductions.– Jefferey McKee, director of Research & Development, Interiors for Collins Aerospace
M-flex Duet installs as monuments on either side of the aircraft boarding door. It looks and operates much like those monuments do today while the plane is on the ground; there’s nothing particularly special to consider. But once at cruising altitude the monuments “flex” open, blocking off the door area with a snack bar or crew work area.
That space is frequently used by the crew today as a staging area for the meal service. On longer flights, however, it remains unused for the bulk of the trip. The M-Flex Duet option repurposes the space, making it more appealing for passengers and allowing airlines to increase comfort options available in the sky. It could be an opportunity to implement the hot/cold food service area Collins demonstrated at the 2018 event, for example.
While the primary target is a business class offering, the M-Flex Duet could also play well in the premium economy cabin for carriers that prefer to keep a more high-touch experience further forward. With light snacks and drinks available in the bar area this option significantly raises the bar for a premium economy experience. For ultra long haul flights it could even be used in economy class for a similar snack area at the back of the plane.
The M-Flex Duet monuments fit within standard monument footprints, allowing them to be easily installed as a line-fit or retrofit solution. The M-Flex Duet product is expected to be commercially available later this year.
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