Aircraft cabin

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Cabin of a Boeing 737 (Economy class) with typical seating arrangement Lufthansa 737 interior.jpg
Cabin of a Boeing 737 (Economy class) with typical seating arrangement
The British Airways World Traveller Cabin BA World Traveller cabin.jpg
The British Airways World Traveller Cabin
Aircraft cabin control system on board an Airbus A319 A319 ALITALIA20121225 232942.jpg
Aircraft cabin control system on board an Airbus A319
"Executive Class" cabin of Boeing 777-300ER operated by Biman Interior of Biman Boeing 777-300ER 'Palki' S2-AFO Business Class, Jeddah to Dhaka, 11 Apr 2015.jpg
"Executive Class" cabin of Boeing 777-300ER operated by Biman

An aircraft cabin is the section of an aircraft in which passengers travel. Most modern commercial aircraft are pressurized, as cruising altitudes are high enough such that the surrounding atmosphere is too thin for passengers and crew to breathe. [1]


In commercial air travel, particularly in airliners, cabins may be divided into several parts. These can include travel class sections in medium and large aircraft, areas for flight attendants, the galley, and storage for in-flight service. Seats are mostly arranged in rows and alleys. The higher the travel class, the more space is provided. Cabins of the different travel classes are often divided by curtains, sometimes called class dividers. Passengers are not usually allowed to visit higher travel class cabins in commercial flights. [2]

Some aircraft cabins contain passenger entertainment systems. Short and medium haul cabins tend to have no or shared screens whereas long and ultra-long haul flights often contain personal screens.


Business class is almost replacing first class: 70% of 777s had first-class cabins before 2008 while 22% of new 777s and 787s had one in 2017. Full-flat seats in business-class rose from 65% of 777 deliveries in 2008 to nearly 100% of the 777s and 787s delivered in 2017, excepted for low-cost carriers having 10% premium cabin on their widebodies. First-class seats were halved over the past 5–10 years, typically from eight to four. To differentiate from business class, high-end first class move to full-height enclosures like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, and Etihad. Business class became the equivalent of what first class was a few years ago. [3]

In 2017, 80% of the 777s and 787s delivered had a separate premium economy with one or two fewer seats across than regular economy class. In economy class, 2 in (5 cm) slimmer seats with composite frames and thinner upholstery can add legroom or allow more seating. While ground or more often satellite internet connection is available at lower cost due to competition, only 25–30% of carriers outside U.S. offer inflight connectivity. LED lighting can support different scenarios like boarding, food service, shopping, branding or chronobiology through simulated sunset or sunrise. First- and business-class are refurbished every 5–7 years compared to 6–10 years for economy. [3]

Market ($ million) [3]
Cabin upgrades20162026
Interior modifications26004600
AD/service bulletins302410
cabin connectivity190323

A 337 seats cabin (36 business, 301 economy) in a 787-10 for Singapore Airlines costs $17.5 million each. [4] Emirates invested over $15 million each to refurbish its 777-200LR in a new two-class configuration in 55 days initially then 35 days. [5]

Mezzanine seating

In the mid 2000s, Formation Design Group proposed using the taller wide-body cabins to layer the bed and seat arrangements for higher density. Revealed at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2012, Factorydesign devised a double-deck system of pods for 30% more density, between premium economy and business class. In 2015, Airbus filed a patent for a double-deck business class cabin, to monetize the vertical space. [6]

Cabin pressurization

Cabin pressurization is the active pumping of compressed air into the cabin of an aircraft in order to ensure the safety and comfort of the occupants. It becomes necessary whenever the aircraft reaches a certain altitude, since the natural atmospheric pressure would be too low to supply sufficient oxygen to the passengers. Without pressurization, one could suffer from altitude sickness including hypoxia.

If a pressurized aircraft suffers a pressurization failure above 10,000 feet (~3,000 meters), then it could be deemed as an emergency. Should this situation occur, the aircraft should begin an emergency descent and oxygen masks should be activated for all occupants. In the majority of passenger aircraft, the passengers' oxygen masks are activated automatically if the cabin pressure falls below the atmospheric pressure equivalent of 14,000 feet (~4,500 meters). [7]

Travel class

First class

Emirates 777-200LR First Class Suite Emirates Boeing 777-200LR First Class Suite.jpg
Emirates 777-200LR First Class Suite

The first class section of an airplane is the class with the best service, and it is typically the highest priced. The services offered are superior to those in business class, and they are available on only a small number of long flights. First class is characterized by having a larger amount of space between seats (including those that can be converted into beds), a personal TV set, high quality food and drink, personalized service, privacy, and providing travelers with complimentary items (ex. pajamas, shoes and toiletries). Passengers in this class have a separate check-in, access to the airline's first-class lounge, preferred boarding, or private transportation between the terminal and the plane. Due to its high cost, there are few airlines that offer this service. [8]

Business class

Etihad Airways' Business Class Cabin Airbus A330-243, Etihad Airways AN1619905.jpg
Etihad Airways' Business Class Cabin

Business class is more expensive, but it also offers more amenities to travelers than the classes below it. These may include better food, wider entertainment options, more comfortable seats with more room to recline and more legroom, among others. [9]

Premium economy class

Premium Economy Spaceseats on Air New Zealand Air New Zealand Premium Economy Spaceseats.jpg
Premium Economy Spaceseats on Air New Zealand

Premium Economy class is a travel class offered by some airlines in order to provide a better flying experience to the economy traveler, but for much less money than business class. [10] It is often limited to a few extras such as more legroom, as well as complimentary food and drinks. [11] Onboard Air Canada, Premium Economy comes with wider seats (3 inches on the Boeing 777-300) (2 inches on the Boeing 787), more recline (3 inches more than economy), a fold-down foot rest, an amenity kit, premium food and drinks on long-haul international flights, and much more legroom.

Economy class

Economy class is the airline travel class with the lowest ticket price, as the level of comfort is lower than that of the other classes. This class is primarily characterized by the short distance between each seat, and a smaller variety of food and entertainment.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

American Airlines, Inc. (AA) is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, within the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world's largest airline when measured by fleet size, scheduled passengers carried, and revenue passenger mile. American, together with its regional partners, operates an extensive international and domestic network with almost 6,800 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American Airlines is a founding member of the Oneworld alliance, the third-largest airline alliance in the world. Regional service is operated by independent and subsidiary carriers under the brand name American Eagle.

Airliner Aircraft designed for commercial transportation of passengers and cargo

An airliner is a type of aircraft for transporting passengers and air cargo. Such aircraft are most often operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is typically defined as an airplane intended for carrying multiple passengers or cargo in commercial service. The largest of them are wide-body jets which are also called twin-aisle because they generally have two separate aisles running from the front to the back of the passenger cabin. These are usually used for long-haul flights between airline hubs and major cities. A smaller, more common class of airliners is the narrow-body or single-aisle. These are generally used for short to medium-distance flights with fewer passengers than their wide-body counterparts.

Boeing 777 Wide-body long-range twin-engine jet airliner family

The Boeing 777 is an American wide-body airliner developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. It is the world's largest twinjet and commonly referred to as the Triple Seven. The 777 was designed to bridge the gap between Boeing's 767 and 747, and to replace older DC-10s or L-1011s. Developed in consultation with eight major airlines, with a first meeting in January 1990, the program was launched on October 14, 1990 with an order from United Airlines. The prototype was rolled out on April 9, 1994, and first flew on June 12, 1994. The 777 entered service with the launch customer, United Airlines, on June 7, 1995. Longer range variants were launched on February 29, 2000 and were first delivered on April 29, 2004.

Emirates (airline) United Arab Emirates flag carrier

Emirates is the largest airline and flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates. Based in Garhoud, Dubai, the airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is owned by the government of Dubai's Investment Corporation of Dubai. It is also the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from its hub at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, to more than 150 cities in 80 countries across six continents through its fleet of nearly 300 aircraft. Cargo activities are undertaken by Emirates SkyCargo.

Singapore Airlines Flag-carrier airline of Singapore

Singapore Airlines is the flag carrier airline of Singapore, with its hub at Singapore Changi Airport. Notable for using the Singapore Girl as the central figure in its corporate branding, it has been ranked as the world's best airline by Skytrax four times and has consistently topped Travel & Leisure's best airline rankings for more than 20 years. The airline's slogan is “A Great Way To Fly”.

Wide-body aircraft Aircraft with two aisles

A wide-body aircraft, also known as a twin-aisle aircraft, is a jet airliner with a fuselage wide enough to accommodate two passenger aisles with seven or more seats abreast. The typical fuselage diameter is 5 to 6 m. In the typical wide-body economy cabin, passengers are seated seven to ten abreast, allowing a total capacity of 200 to 850 passengers. The largest wide-body aircraft are over 6 m (20 ft) wide, and can accommodate up to eleven passengers abreast in high-density configurations.

Air China Flag carrier of the Peoples Republic of China

Air China Limited is the flag carrier and one of the "Big Three" airlines of the People's Republic of China, with its headquarters in Shunyi District, Beijing. Air China's flight operations are based primarily at Beijing Capital International Airport. In 2017, the airline carried 102 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 81%.

EVA Airways Corporation, of which "EVA" stands for Evergreen Airways, is a Taiwanese international airline based at Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan, operating passenger and dedicated cargo services to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. EVA Air is largely privately owned and flies a fully international route network. It is a 5-star airline, rated by Skytrax. It is the second largest Taiwanese airline. EVA Air is headquartered in Luzhu, Taoyuan City, Taiwan. The company slogan is “Sharing the World, Flying Together” (分享世界,比翼雙飛).

Transaero, officially OJSC Transaero Airlines was a Russian airline that operated scheduled and charter flights to over 150 domestic and international destinations. Transaero's main hubs were Moscow Vnukovo Airport and Saint Petersburg Airport with further bases throughout Russia. For much of its history the head office was at Domodedovo International Airport, and towards the end its head office was in Saint Petersburg.

Airbus A350 XWB Family of long-range, wide-body jet airliners

The Airbus A350 XWB is a family of long-range, wide-body airliners developed by Airbus. The first A350 design proposed by Airbus in 2004, in response to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, would have been a development of the A330 with composite wings and new engines. As market support was inadequate, in 2006, Airbus switched to a clean-sheet "XWB" design, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB turbofan engines. The prototype first flew on 14 June 2013 from Toulouse in France. Type certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was obtained in September 2014, followed by certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) two months later.

Singapore Airlines passenger fleet consists of wide-body aircraft from five aircraft families: the Airbus A330, Airbus A350 XWB, Airbus A380, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The airline also operates Boeing 747-400 cargo aircraft. As of 31 January 2021, there were 132 passenger aircraft and seven freighters registered in the Singapore Airlines fleet.

Business class

Business class is a travel class available on many commercial airlines and rail lines, known by brand names which vary, by airline or rail company. In the airline industry, it was originally intended as an intermediate level of service between economy class and first class, but many airlines now offer business class as the highest level of service, having eliminated first-class seating. Business class is distinguished from other travel classes by the quality of seating, food, drinks, ground service and other amenities. In commercial aviation, full business class is usually denoted 'J' or 'C' with schedule flexibility, but can be many other letters depending on circumstances.

Economy class, also called third class, coach class, steerage, or to distinguish it from the slightly more expensive premium economy class, standard economy class or budget economy class, is the lowest travel class of seating in air travel, rail travel, and sometimes ferry or maritime travel. Historically, this travel class has been called tourist class or third class on ocean liners.

Airline seat

An airline seat is a seat on an airliner in which passengers are accommodated for the duration of the journey. Such seats are usually arranged in rows running across the airplane's fuselage. A diagram of such seats in an aircraft is called an aircraft seat map.

Premium economy

Premium economy class, also known as elite economy class or economy plus class, is a travel class offered on some airlines. This travel class is positioned as a middleground between standard economy class and business class in terms of price, comfort, and amenities. In 1991, EVA Air was the first to introduce Evergreen Class and had since become the first airline to offer this class of service in the world. In some ways, Premium Economy class has become a standard reflecting what Economy class was like 40 years ago ; as an example the seat pitch of United Airlines' Economy Class was 36 inches back in the 1970s, the same seat pitch as most airlines' Premium Economy these days.

The Emirates fleet is composed of two wide-bodied aircraft families, the Airbus A380 and Boeing 777. The airline also has the Airbus A350-900, Boeing 777X and Boeing 787-9 aircraft on order.

Scoot Low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines

Scoot Tigerair Pte Ltd, operating as Scoot, is a Singaporean low-cost airline which is a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines. It launched flights on 4 June 2012 on medium and long-haul routes from Singapore, predominantly to Australia, China, and India. Initially, Scoot's fleet consisted of Boeing 777 aircraft obtained from Singapore Airlines. The airline began to transition its fleet to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from 2015. On 25 July 2017, Tigerair was officially merged into Scoot using Tigerair's air operator's certificate (AOC) but retaining the 'Scoot' brand. With the change of AOC, the airline's IATA code was changed from TZ to TR, and its ICAO code was changed from SCO to TGW, previously used by Tigerair. Its head office is at Singapore Changi Airport.

Boeing 777X Next generation of the Boeing 777

The Boeing 777X is the latest series of the long-range, wide-body, twin-engine Boeing 777 family from Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The 777X features new GE9X engines, new composite wings with folding wingtips, greater cabin width and seating capacity, and technologies from the Boeing 787. The 777X was launched in November 2013 with two variants: the 777-8 and the 777-9. The 777-8 provides seating for 384 passengers and has a range of 8,730 nmi (16,170 km) while the 777-9 has seating for 426 passengers and a range of over 7,285 nmi (13,500 km). The 777-9 first flew on January 25, 2020, with deliveries expected to commence in late 2023.

First class (aviation)

First class is a travel class on some passenger airliners intended to be more luxurious than business class, premium economy, and economy class. Originally all planes offered only one class of service, with a second class appearing first in 1955, when TWA introduced two different types of service on its Super Constellations.

The Air New Zealand fleet consists of Boeing jet aircraft for long-haul flights, and Airbus jet aircraft for domestic and short-haul international flights. The airline also operates ATR 72 and Bombardier Q300 turboprop aircraft on domestic services.


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  2. "What will passengers stand for?". The Economist. ISSN   0013-0613 . Retrieved 2015-10-01.
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  4. Firdaus Hashim (28 March 2018). "SIA invests $350m in new cabin products for 787-10s". Flightglobal.
  5. Lindsay Bjerregaard (Jul 18, 2018). "Inside Emirates Engineering's 777-200LR Reconfiguration Project". Aviation Week Network.
  6. Adam Gavine (Oct 9, 2018). "The potential for mezzanine seating". Aircraft interiors international.
  7. "When oxygen masks mysteriously appear".
  8. "Viajar en primera clase".
  9. "¿Cuáles son las diferencias entre primera clase, clase ejecutiva y clase económica?". eHow en Español.
  10. "777-200 Premium Economy".
  11. "The long and short of 'premium economy'".