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Airbus to reveal first A350 seats, cabin interiors next week

Airbus to reveal first A350 seats, cabin interiors next week

Airbus will unveil its first A350 cabin and seats next week as the aircraft manufacturer gears up for the late 2014 launch of its  next-generation jetliner.

The reveal will take place on Monday April 7th at Airbus’ new Cabin Design Centre in Hamburg, where airlines with orders for the A350 will choose the fitout for their planes from tip to tail.

This ‘one stop shop’ facility, similar to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner Gallery in Seattle, includes ‘showrooms’ for a wide range of pre-approved seating from economy to first class, galleys, toilets and cabin equipment plus cabin design studios.

Airbus’ order book for the A350 currently stands at some 38 airlines and leasing companies with 824 aircraft between them.

Qatar will be the A350’s worldwide launch customer, with its first plane due to debut before year’s end.

At an international Airbus press conference in June last year, A350 program director Didier Evrard told Australian Business Traveller that “for the first customer (Qatar) the cabin is fully defined, we have modelled everything to a level that has never been achieved before.”

However, South America’s LATAM Airline Group – comprising Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM – has already afforded a sneak peak of their common cabin and seating designs for their shared Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleets to begin flying from 2015.

Arranged in a front-facing 2-2-2 layout, the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 business class seats convert to fully lie-flat beds.

LATAM’s designs come from highly-regarded consulting firmPriestmangoode, which most recently crafted TAM’s slick Boeing 777 first class cabin.

Read: TAM’s slick new Boeing 777 first class is a living room in the sky

The new A350 and 787-9 business class cabins clearly share some of that design DNA, with Priestmangoode saying the palette of natural tones was inspired by South America’s colours and textures.

The new economy seats are, well, pretty much what you’d expect.

Even before these designs took shape, a mock-up of the A350’s cabin – dubbed Cabin Zero – made a ‘virtual passenger flight’ in August last year with 129 passengers and a Cathay Pacific crew.

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