Transportation Updates

Air France Latest Carrier To Debut Larger Overhead Bins

In October 2019, Air France announced that it had chosen new, spacious baggage compartments for its Airbus A320 fleet. Two years later, aerospace tech powerhouse Safran has now shared that the first refitted A320 of the flag carrier of France with “ECOS” shelf bins has returned to service.

Air France has made progress with its overhead bin refits. Photo: Getty Images

Plenty of benefits

ECOS stands for Efficient Cabin Open Space. These bins provide up to 60% additional storage capacity on the popular Airbus narrowbody. Safran adds that the new compartments are fitted with easy to reach doors that don’t dominate the space in the aisle of the cabin. Moreover, they offer a lower shelf height for more effortless loading and navigation.

The FAA and EASA have given Supplemental Type Certification to the ECOS system. Additionally, Safran has implemented movable class dividers with the refit.

Safran Cabin has worked with manufacturers and airlines across the globe on several aircraft innovations. New lavatories, modern espresso machines, pivot bins, flexible galleys, and business jet interiors are all part of the French outfit’s portfolio. So, it’s not a surprise that Air France joined up with the company for its storage needs.

2021 Safran Cabin ECOS Overhead Bins (c) AirFrance
Safran highlights that the compartments are light and easy to maintain. Photo: Safran

High hopes

Airbus and its partners have been making significant strides to increase storage space. Yet, Air France is the first firm to opt for Safran’s ECOS bins.

In total, 24 Air France A320s will be fitted with the ECOS bins. The ECOS model can fit up to 62 additional luggage items on Air France’s A320s and 79 extra items on the carrier’s A321s.

“Air France will be the first airline to offer these innovative luggage compartments. They will enable us to meet the high expectations of our customers wishing to travel with cabin bags only to save time during their trip. Boarding will be smoother and faster, both for them and for our crews,” said Catherine Villar, SVP Customer Experience Air France, shared in a statement.

“This represents a significant improvement in comfort and operational efficiency.”

Safran Cabin
An example of the Safran ECOS bin on an Airbus A320. Photo: SafranStay informed:Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Market developments

Safran has been affirming its presence across the aviation spectrum this summer. This week, it bagged two accolades for cabin innovations at the Crystal Cabin Awards. The two awards were in the ‘Judges Choice’ and the ‘Clean and Safe Air Travel’ categories. Furthermore, it recently announced the CFM Rise, a joint project with GE Aviation to develop next-generation engines to emit lower emissions while consuming less fuel.

Meanwhile, Air France has been busy preparing for its next chapter. At the end of last month, its first Airbus A220 conducted its maiden flight. Altogether, the company is expecting 60 A220-300s to join its fleet. Both Air France and Safran are gearing up for an important decade ahead in the aviation industry in the new climate.

What are your overall thoughts about Air France’s Airbus A320 aircraft being refitted with Safran ECOS shelf bins? Do you feel that the new fit is a good move for the airline? Let us know what you think of the setup and its prospects in the comment section.