One of the worst-hit industries in the wake of the pandemic has been the airline and travel industry. Even with the gradual easing of lockdown orders, airlines are finding it difficult to record the kind of passenger load they had pre-Coronavirus.
In a bid to increase patronage, some airlines have introduced attractive packages like Emirates that recently announced it would be offering its passengers free medical and quarantine costs, and Qatar Airlines that announced a new agreement for those looking to hire private flights.
A design firm, however, has a new concept it hopes will give airlines the tool they need to assure passengers of a germ-free flight. PriestmanGoode, a UK design consultancy company, has come up with a blueprint of new seats for both business and economy cabins. Called PureSkies, this innovative design promises hygiene and increased personal space- two features that airlines are under pressure to incorporate in their flights.
The Pure Skies Zone, which is the company’s name for the economy cabin features a combination of staggered and non-staggered seat configurations, helping to maximise the feeling of personal space and allowing passengers to sit in the groups they are travelling in, whether alone, as a couple or in groups. Each row also has dividing screens to separate travellers.
For the business cabin, called Rooms, it highlights a brand new seat design with minimal split lines and seam-welded fabrics to eliminate dirt traps. Each Room is a fully enclosed personal space, partitioned by full-height curtains and features personal overhead storage as well as a personal wardrobe, both with integrated UVC cleaning.
All seats have photochromic and thermochromic inks that react to new cleaning methods like UVC and heat cleaning, and their surfaces display a message of reassurance to passengers while boarding. They are also all designed around the concepts of personal space, hygiene and a touch-free journey which the design studio accomplishes with the introduction of an IFE system that synchronises with passengers’ devices in Business class or Rooms, and the (optional) removal of these screens in Economy or Zones in favour of passengers’ devices.
If airlines decide to incorporate these designs into their aircraft, then it is certain that our flying experience will be forever altered. For the better, certainly.