The ‘Air Lair’ from FactoryDesign is a personal, customisable cocoon that maximises passengers’ privacy and safety in the viral age. Rose Dykins reports

London-based FactoryDesign has come up with a honeycomb-style design for business class, where each air passenger has their own personal pod called an Air Lair.

The Air Lair comprises a series of individual “cocoons” for travel – ideal for travel in the Covid-19 age, when customers are looking for privacy and a new level of hygiene during their journey.

FactoryDesign’s concept also helps airlines use onboard space more efficiently as pods are stacked in a staggered formation – creating space for 30 per cent more passengers.

FactoryDesign Air LairThe pods are not directly on top of one another, so passengers will not need to climb in front of each other to access the top row – which is apparently similar to the height of a 4 x 4 vehicle.

Passengers can customise the temperature of their own pod, and cool or heat their personal environment to their taste.

Each of the ergonomically designed seats can recline to a fully flat position, and each pod has its own lighting and overhead projector that provides in-flight entertainment.

FactoryDesign Air LairThe Air Lair’s pods aren’t fully enclosed in FactoryDesign’s current model, but there is scope to add screens or doors to enhance the sense of passengers being cocooned.

The concept is not dissimilar to Air New Zealand’s economy class Skynest, which it unveiled a design for in February (it has not yet been installed on any aircraft.)

Globetrender wrote: “Never-before-seen in the air, the Skynest will take the form of six full-length, triple-height bunks, complete with sheets, duvets and cushions. Passengers will also have ear plugs and privacy curtains. USB ports and reading lights are additions that are being considered.Air New Zealand Skynest“What has motivated this innovation? Because the airline operates some of the world’s longest flights – such Auckland-New York, which takes 17 hours 40 minutes one way – it is wants to do more to make passengers feel comfortable and sleep. (Ultra-long flights are a growing trend so we can expect other airlines to start offering it too.)”

In the future, as Globetrender predicts in its free Aviation Trend Briefing (below), Isolation Class will be a more common feature on board planes in the viral age as customers associate privacy with safety. Design firm Priestmangoode’s “Pure Skies” concept also envisions private cabins for premium flyers.

What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE

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