Today, December 3rd, is International Day of People with Disability, which is why we are highlighting a world’s first that Airbus is now offering its customers who operate single aisle aircraft. Called "Space Flex" it is actually two toilets that can be transformed into one, thus facilitating access for wheelchair passengers.
Marc Muller, Marketing Director – Airbus
"We have two full size lavatories adjacent to each other, lavatory one and another lavatory here. Now the two adjacent lavatories are separated by a folding partition which can be opened up by cabin crew only, folded away and as you can see this creates more space, more privacy and more autonomy for a wheelchair bound passenger to use the facilities."
A configuration already offered to airlines on large aircraft but which was hitherto non-existent on short and medium hauls. A real inconvenience for passengers with reduced mobility in having to cope with the narrow loos on ‘planes. In London, this novelty has been greeted with enthusiasm by Scope, a charity that campaigns for the rights of people with disabilities.
Rosemary Frazer, Campaign Manager – Scope
"I think it will make a big difference to me as I will then be able to use the wheelchair that is on the ‘plane, go to the loo just like everybody else, and that means I will finally be able to go on those trips that I've always wanted to go on and just never been able to before.”
A win-win innovation. Situated at the rear of the aircraft, this new concept optimizes space and even allows the provision of six additional seats. Three companies have already been seduced, and there will be four times more operators with 500 aircraft soon to be equipped with this new configuration. With the growth of air transport in the coming years, this new provision could well become the norm. In 2050, there will be more than likely 16 billion people who fly regularly.