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Cabin Layout Change

From a single class to a two-class layout

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our customer, an airline operating a fleet of 13 Airbus A320 and Boeing B737 passenger aircraft decided to approach new passenger groups by offering greater comfort in some of their aircraft. To win this market, a cabin upgrade from a single class layout to a two-class layout was required. Due to specific regulatory requirements, only factory-new equipment could be used for this modification. As operations had to start at very short notice, all engineering, certification, parts supply, and logistics had to be performed seamlessly and failure-free.

The project team faced challenges from the onset of the project. From the beginning, it was clear that the OEMs in that market would never be able to deliver seats and equipment within the given time frames. Furthermore, it was predicted that liaison with the National Aviation Authority (NAA) would be a timely process. Also, with the holiday season fast approaching, authorities, suppliers and logistic companies would either be not working or running on low capacity.

Our Design Organisation was assigned as a prime contractor with responsibilities including all parts sourcing and on-site support during the “head of version” installation. The team utilised their extensive contacts with parts suppliers and production organisations and evaluated the market for the required cabin parts including seats. Per the customer’s demand, all internationally sourced parts were sourced by our Design Organisation, meeting all certification requirements and lead times. The final modification kit contained a combination of OEM parts, second market surplus and 21G production parts.

In parallel, our cabin engineering and certification team worked on the layouts and modification documents in alignment with the customer’s NAA. By using our latest Cabin Layout Management tool (CLM), which is based on digital twins of the affected aircraft, the cabin modification was completed in a very short time. With the installation date fast approaching, all the required parts were shipped to the assigned Maintenance Repair Organisation (MRO) by us in time. Our onsite engineers joined the installation team onsite to provide installation instructions and cabin inspection with the NAA inspectors.

The customer was then able to start the operations immediately. The success of this project led to a further order for the next aircraft and a roadmap for additional aircraft.