When an airline buys a plane, it must make choices about the cabin layout, paint, and sometimes the engines.
In the cabin, various customisation options are offered by aircraft manufacturers.
As Bruno Delile in charge of Air France’s long-haul activity explains: "Airbus and Boeing offer a catalogue of options that allow airlines to select seats, colour shades, partitions, galleys; everything concerning cabin interiors to help a company to differentiate itself from others."
Differentiating themselves from the competition, means they have to go through the various options presented in the aircraft manufacturers’ showrooms, where life-size cabin layouts are on display, such as here at Airbus. Each product offered is certified beforehand and validated by the manufacturer.
In the case of multi-engined aircraft, airlines also have a choice, which is made according to their fuel consumption, noise, CO2 emissions and maintenance cost constraints.
Lastly, there is the company’s livery and fuselage painting to consider. In recent years, new paints have been developed. Being lighter in weight and with improved aerodynamics, they reduce the fuel bill, but cost more than traditional paints. It’s each company’s decision.
Over the last three years at Air France, 500 million euros has been invested in refurbishing all of their aircraft cabins.