Industry Update
External Article13 May 2020

This airplane seat design helps you socially distance on board

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(CNN) — No one quite knows what aviation will look like in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.


There's talk of removing middle seats, compulsory face masks and full body disinfection booths at airports – and aviation seat designers are experimenting with ways to make flying more appealing for concerned and conscientious passengers.

Ideas include Aviointeriors' vision of a row of three economy seats with the middle seat facing the opposite way or installing a protective shield around each seat.

Into the mix comes French aeronautical engineer Florian Barjot's vision, dubbed PlanBay.

Barjot reckons that what airlines want isn't a total redesign of the cabin or the installation of new seats, but an easily removable piece of kit that could be installed when necessary.

Like Aviointeriors' design, Barjot's concept is aimed at economy class.

PlanBay consists of a protection panel behind the seat and another protection panel between the seats. The structure fits onto the empty middle seat, so passengers in the aisle and window can maintain social distance from one another. It's not unlike the glass panel setup that business travelers might be used to.

According to Barjot, the installation process is straightforward, the kit is easy to produce and the cost would be low.

The name is a play on the term Plan B – spiraling off Barjot's previous experimental aircraft interior idea, EarthBay which reimagines the airplane cargo hold.

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