Optimistically, passenger loading projections are estimated to be approximately half of what they were pre-pandemic. One way the airlines may choose to address the light passenger loading is to reallocate some passenger space for cargo. This would enable the airlines to replace passenger capacity with in-cabin cargo transportation as a revenue stream. Following this approach could also provide some degree of passenger distancing which may contribute to passenger comfort and willingness to fly.
This approach presents a near to mid-term opportunity for aircraft seating and interior companies to assist the airlines in generating revenue from what was traditionally passenger occupied space. Tier suppliers should be looking at innovations in materials and parts solutions to extend the utility of single-aisle aircraft. New behavioral patterns will drive the operational models and although there is uncertainty around the new normal for air travel, material suppliers and part manufacturers must be ready with solutions.
Design considerations for dual-purpose capacity
Low Melt PAEK carbon-reinforced materials combined with VICTREX™ PEEK overmold and automated processing capabilities allow for innovative design freedom. TxV Aerospace can produce complex composite parts not previously thought possible. The challenge for the industry is in developing the material expertise, tools, and manufacturing capabilities to effectively bring a composite part to market. For engineers that are seeking a partner, TXV Aerospace can provide a total solution to support each step, from concept development through to commercialization.