Boeing has received US and European approval for the 777's overhead flightcrew rest area to be occupied during taxi, take-off and landing. The manufacturer says relief pilots can now be seated in the compartment - installed above the passenger cabin in the forward fuselage - at the beginning and end of flights, freeing premium seats in the main cabin for revenue passengers.

Boeing estimates the crew rests could generate between $4.9 million and $11.25 million in extra revenue over 20 years for an airline. Longer-range 777 programme manager Lars Andersen points out: "The revenue-generating crew rest and storage solution is simply not available from our competitor."

The rest area includes two large sleeping berths, two business-class seats and an area for optional amenities such as a closet, sink or lavatory.

KLM, which introduced the 777-200ER equipped with the rest area last year, says it has received positive reviews from crews. "Pilots appreciate the spaciousness and complete privacy of the rest area," says Michel Coumans, senior vice-president, fleet services. "The resulting benefit is having more seats available to passengers in our business cabin."

Boeing also offers overhead rest quarters for attendants - a six-bunk station on the -200ER/LR and six-, eight- or 10-bunk arrangements on the -300ER.

Airbus offers various crew rest options on its long-range aircraft, including a flightcrew station on the main deck behind the flightdeck as well as flight and cabin crew areas in the cargo hold.


Source: Flight International