Flying amid the coronavirus pandemic is already posing its fair share of concerns for passengers — but one design firm is hoping to help us sleep through them.
Zephyr Aerospace, a San Francisco-based startup, has debuted a design for what it calls “the world’s first lie-flat double-decker seating concept,” claiming that it provides privacy, comfort and protection from other passengers in premium economy.
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“The idea, still in the concept phase, could revolutionize the in-flight experience as airlines encourage people to travel again,” reads a press release for the concept.
According to Zephyr, these double-decker seats can be installed on existing wide-body aircraft in a 2-4-2 seating configuration. And by stacking the seating on top of each other, the company claims that airlines would still be able to fit the same density of passengers in their premium economy cabins.
“Budget travelers can now sit, lie flat, and sleep in the same seat and maintain social distancing rules,” Zephyr Aerospace touts.
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A representative for Zephyr Aerospace was not immediately available to confirm if any major airlines had expressed interest in the design, though the company has made it clear that Zephyr Seats are still in a “concept phase.”
Zephyr, however, wouldn’t be the first design firm to propose new seating arrangements as a solution to social-distancing woes within the airline industry.
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In April, an Italian company called AvioInteriors told Fox News that at least one “major” airline was interested in its two different proposals for aircraft seating — one that utilized similar shields between seats, and another that flipped the middle seat around entirely. And earlier this month, a technology company called Universal Movement teamed up with the aerospace manufacturers at Safran Seating to develop the “Interspace Lite,” which transforms an aircraft’s middle seat into a divider that not only separates passengers, but forces at least a bit of social distancing by eliminating the ability to sit in the middle seat entirely.