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Airbus to fit 29 mini-suites in US carrier's A330neos

Airbus has sought authorisation to install ‘mini-suite’ seats on A330-900s to be delivered to a US operator, as part of a 281-seat configuration.

While the operator is not identified in the filing to the US FAA, Delta Air Lines is the only US carrier with A330-900s on order.

Airbus says the cabin interior proposed for the operator features a three-class layout comprising 29 business-class, 28 premium-economy, and 224 economy seats.

It states that the business-class cabin would entirely comprise mini-suites, characterised by a seat with surrounding furniture “intended to provide privacy” to the occupant.

Airbus says that this would be achieved typically with a sliding door.

The proposed configuration, notably the door mechanism, is not compliant with standard regulations, and the filing seeks an exemption to permit the installation of the suites.

Airbus points out that it has already installed mini-suites on its A321, A340, A350 and A380 models in Europe, while Boeing has similar fittings on 777s. It adds that similar designs, such as that for Delta’s A350s, have secured exemptions.

“The design of the mini-suites which will be installed on this A330 is in line with the previously-certified ones,” it adds.

“They are not creating a completely isolated compartment for occupants, as the sliding doors have a partial height.”

Design precautions, it adds, ensure that the occupant can exit the mini-suite in all conditions. The filing has been newly disclosed for public comment.

Delta is the only US operator with outstanding A330 orders, for a total of 35 A330neos – all A330-900s – following a supplemental agreement reached in November. Deliveries of the aircraft are scheduled to commence in 2019.

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