Passenger comfort is a major design consideration for Airbus, which is why the company’s product line of modern jetliners – its best-selling single-aisle A320 Family, the versatile A330 Family, the A350 XWB new-generation aircraft, and the 21st century flagship A380 – have built a reputation for offering the most enjoyable experiences aloft today.

The high level of comfort is provided through a wide range of technological advancements, including environmental control systems, ambient lighting, in-flight entertainment and more.

Outside the cabin, Airbus aircraft contribute to the aviation sector’s growing eco-efficiency with reductions in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, as well as quieter aircraft. As part of its full-cycle focus, Airbus also is playing a key role in advancing the use of sustainable aviation fuels and the application of improved air traffic management procedures.

Inside the cabin

The “Airspace by Airbus” cabin concept creates the perfect space for maximising passenger well-being with a next-generation flying experience.

Comfort has always been a major design consideration at Airbus and its cabins are designed to offer passengers and airlines the highest levels of comfort, services and efficiency in order to ensure the best possible passenger experience across all its aircraft families.

Not only are Airbus cabins innovative and attractive, they are continuously being improved to offer travellers the quietest, most comfortable and enjoyable journeys.

In addition, Airbus has always championed passenger comfort with wider cross-sections for wider seats – particularly in economy class.

Configuration options

Airbus created a cabin centre at its Toulouse, France headquarters with full-scale interior mock-ups of the company’s jetliners, along with displays of buyer-furnished equipment. In addition, Airbus has developed configuration tools that help customers define their cabin layouts and equipment requirements.

Constant innovation is a feature of Airbus’ cabin interior development. Mood lighting capable of simulating day or night is offered that not only provides a relaxing ambiance, but that also can ease the stress of jet lag for long-haul passengers. High-efficiency air filters and air conditioning, which trap particles and organic matter, maintain high air quality, while the optimization of interior contours creates additional space overhead and ensures ample shoulder and elbow room for passengers.

Customer relationships

Airbus’ A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre (CDC) in Hamburg is a “one-stop shop” for airlines to establish their own A350 XWB cabin definition in one place.

As cabin furnishings, seats and other elements are selected and purchased by the operator, Airbus works hand-in-hand with them to determine the best possible match with market requirements and in-flight service – providing a number of customisation options from which the most effective layout can be chosen.

To help airlines choose “dream cabins” for Airbus’ new-generation widebody jetliner, Airbus established its A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre (CDC) in Hamburg, Germany. This facility has 5,000 square metres of presentation and lounge areas spread across two levels, and allows the customers to see, feel and test real catalogue solutions in individually-tailored zones.

Outside the cabin

All Airbus development aircraft are designed to be compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s noise standards.

Airbus’ commitment to improving the passenger experience doesn’t stop at the walls of the cabin: its extensive efforts to reduce aircraft noise are underscored by its efficient jetliner families – the quietest in the sky – ensuring operational freedom at airports with noise restrictions. Leading the way is Airbus’ 21st century flagship A380, which carries 42% more passengers than its nearest competitor but produces 50% less noise energy on departure, as well as three-to-four times less when landing.

The company places a high priority on noise reduction throughout its design processes, and is focussed on low-noise nacelle designs, acoustic treatment and low engine noise technologies in cooperation with engine manufacturers. Developments in this area include the Automatic Noise Abatement Departure Procedure (NADP), which optimizes the thrust and flight path to reduce noise over populated areas.

Airbus supports the new noise stringency level adopted in February 2013 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection – which lowers the current standard by seven decibels, coming into effect at the end of 2017. All Airbus development aircraft are designed to be compliant with the new standard.

A better environment

Airbus is working to meet future air travel demands by improving air traffic management through the SESAR project in Europe and NextGen in the United States.

Airbus is committed to ensuring that air travel continues to be one of the safest and most eco-efficient means of transportation. Environmental, health and safety considerations have long been an integral part of its activities at all levels of the company, and are a key priority in the development of all new techniques, products and processes.

Airbus has contributed significantly to the aviation industry’s improved eco-efficiency over the past several decades. In 1985, the average aircraft fleet consumed eight litres per passenger per 100 kilometres; today it is less than five litres, with an anticipated drop to three litres in 15-20 years. Likewise, since the 1970s, aircraft fuel burn and CO2 emissions have been reduced by 70% and noise by 75% – however, the industry is determined to further improve its environmental performance and is constantly seeking new ways to improve efficiency and reduce emissions.

For wider initiatives, such as air traffic management (ATM), Airbus even cooperates with its competitors to deliver the best solutions for airlines and the environment. Airbus has a leading role in the SESAR project to improve the efficiency of European ATM and works with teams involved in the NextGen project designed to do the same for U.S. ATM.

In addition, the company was selected to provide air traffic management and performance-based navigation expertise for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Greener Skies Initiative. As part of this effort, Airbus will identify procedures that fully utilize precision navigation capabilities to reduce an aircraft’s fuel burn, reduce emissions and decrease noise.

Alternate fuels

Airbus has developed a road map working towards making sustainable aviation fuels a reality for aviation use. As part of this continued effort, the company is actively engaged in the implementation and testing of sustainable aviation fuels derived from biomass, and strongly supports the installation of local sustainable aviation fuel value-chains around the world. In addition, Airbus is researching a number of additional promising technologies, including electric propulsion and fuel cells.

Passengers experience initiatives

Travellers today want to make smart choices.

The hotel industry has successfully differentiated its products by showing their specific amenities and services in the booking path.  Hotels help customers get excited about their products.  Choosing a flight shouldn’t be any different.

Until recently, flight shopping only focused on price and schedule which is a problem for airlines and flyers.  It ignores the flight experience; it ignores product investment, innovation and differentiation!

Airbus believes that its aircraft design offers a superior flying experience giving the passenger and airlines more of what really matters: personal space, comfort and wellbeing on board.  

  • 90% of flyers care about comfort*
  • 53% of leisure flyers pay attention to aircraft type*
  • 61% of business travellers pay attention to aircraft type*
  • 65% of passengers would make an extra effort to fly on the A380**

Airbus Passenger Experience Initiatives include the Airspace by Airbus cabin brand, the Airbus Routehappy Alliance, and the booking assistant.  

* Atmosphere Research Group’s US Travel Online Study, Q1 2016; base US airline passengers

** Epinion survey at Heathrow Sept 2015


The new Airspace cabin - now flying on the next generation A350 XWB - delivers the latest cabin innovation and design, creating a truly unique flight experience.  This includes ambient lighting and fresh air meaning passengers arrive refreshed, along with modern IFE keeping avid gamers and cinephiles happy.

For more information about the Airspace cabin brand, check out the website.


Airbus has teamed up with Routehappy, the merchandising content platform for flight shopping, to accelerate the transformation of flight shopping from commoditized to differentiated. 

The Airbus Routehappy alliance helps airlines create compelling, targeted merchandising content showcasing unique Airbus offerings such as seat width, personal space, inflight entertainment, connectivity, and jetlag-friendly ambient lighting when searching for flights on all sales channels. 

Now travellers can see key A380 and A350 XWB product features and amenities on booking websites and will be able to make smart choices.

Four of the world’s leading carriers - Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa Group and Singapore Airlines – are the first airlines to join the alliance. The Airbus and Routehappy program is expected to expand to additional airlines and Airbus aircraft later this year.

To learn more about Routehappy, visit: To learn more about why rich content matters, see Routehappy CEO Robert Albert at the Skift Global Forum

Learn more about the Airbus Routehappy alliance with a collection of Frequently Asked Questions. 


For fans of the iconic double-decker jetliner, Airbus has launched, the innovative booking assistant where travellers can browse all A380 flights, destinations and airlines that operate A380s in their fleet. 

Inspirational content and product attributes give travellers the information they want.  Passengers simply click on the desired flight and are taken to the airline website for final booking.  

A380 fans can also share feedback, pictures and videos that are displayed on the social wall. aims to inspire sales channels to use rich content and product attributes to sell flights beyond price and schedule.


Airbus believes in the superior design of its aircraft and how that adds value for airlines – giving airlines an extraordinary canvas to project their own unique airline brand and more space to create a unique passenger experience.  

Increased awareness of aircraft amenities and features means passengers can make smarter choices when selecting their next flight. As recent studies have shown, passengers not only care about what aircraft they are flying on but also what their flying experience will include. 

Passenger Experience Initiatives – added value smarter choices.