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This is what plane cabins could look like in ten years

A new design proposal focuses on hygiene and personal space – and it also looks fabulous

James Manning
Written by
James Manning

This week we heard news that international air travel might not return to normal until 2024. But who needs ‘normal’ anyway? Once mass flights start up again, wouldn’t it be great if they could be better?

For what that looks like, take a look at the new ‘Pure Skies’ designs put out by British design firm PriestmanGoode. Fresh from designing a balloon that goes into space, it’s turned its collective hand to rethinking the inside of an aeroplane cabin – and we can’t get enough of the results.

Pure Skies Zone aviation design by PriestmanGoode
Photograph: PriestmanGoode

Reimagining economy class as ‘Pure Skies Zones’ (the class system is so twentieth-century), PriestmanGoode has introduced full-height divider screens down the cabin to increase separation; staggered some seats slightly to maximise a sense of personal space; turned banks of seats into shiny surfaces (easier to clean); replaced in-flight entertainment screens with a space to hook up your own phone; and swapped fold-down trays for clip-on versions that come straight from the trolley. Snazzy.

In business class – renamed ‘Pure Skies Rooms’, things (of course) get even swankier. Each seat is an individual personal space with curtains to shut yourself off from your fellow passengers. You’d also get a personal wardrobe and overhead locker space, and an almost comically big in-flight entertainment screen, synced to your phone.

Pure Skies Room aeroplane cabin design
Photograph: PriestmanGoode

The proposal also includes antimicrobial materials and finishes, aiming to reassure travellers about the safety of travelling by plane. ‘We have not only taken onboard present anxieties but also tried to ensure our solutions are future-proofed against future pandemics,’ the company says, reassuringly if not optimistically.

It should be stressed that this is just a concept, and that it would potentially take many years to make it a reality. But if the goal was to try to get us excited about air travel again, consider us jazzed.

Here’s everything we know about where you can travel right now.

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