Air France passengers will soon find more overhead bin space on board. The carrier announced its intention to retrofit 40 A320s and 11 A321s with the”Efficient Cabin Open Space” ECOS bins from Safran. Air France is the first customer for Safran’s new product.
Air France will be the first airline to offer these innovative luggage compartments. They will enable us to meet the high expectations of our customers wishing to travel with cabin bags only to save time during their trip. Boarding will be smoother and faster, both for them and for our crews. This represents a significant improvement in comfort and operational efficiency.– Catherine Villar, SVP Customer Experience Air France
The ECOS product can be easily retrofit into the existing cabin design without significant aircraft modifications. It also brings the shelf slightly lower to ease loading, though at the expense of the hand grip on the bin base. The taller bin interior allows bags to be stored on their sides, increasing the capacity as much as 60%. In addition to less stressed passengers the companies expect that the new bins will deliver happier passengers and faster turn times.
On the A320s Air France and ECOS estimate capacity will increase from 104 bags to 166. On the A321s it will increase from 113 to 192.
ECOS is not the only new bin option on offer for the A320 family. American Airlines and JetBlue are among the carriers rolling out the “Airspace Bin” from Airbus on their fleet. The bin capacity increase is similar across the two product lines.
The Air France ECOS retrofits will take place over a two year period, from September 2020 through September 2022.