Bombardier Commercial Aircraft unveiled its new Atmosphère cabin for the CRJ 900 regional jet aboard an aircraft in launch customer Delta Airlines livery on Monday afternoon at the Farnborough Airshow. The “fourth generation” RJ cabin features larger overhead luggage bins, in-seat power, improved connectivity options, mood lighting, and a larger, handicap-accessible lavatory.
Together the upgrades present a “maximum branding opportunity,” the Canadian airframer said. The cabin is the result of two years of internal studies and work and extensive consultation and feedback from airline customers and passengers, said Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer.
“Larger aircraft get the attention, but smaller regionals are the workhorses,” he said, calling the new cabin “a game changer.”
Norman Jordan, CEO of Zodiac Aerospace, the Safran subsidiary which collaborated with Bombardier’s design team on the cabin, said his company accomplished the goal of accommodating full-sized roll-on luggage “wheels first” in the first class cabin by “doing creative things inside the bins” with latches and other hardware to maximize space. The same size luggage will fit sideways in the main cabin, reducing the need to check bags and thereby expediting turn times.
Dan Pietrzak, managing director of aircraft transactions at Delta, which has ordered 20 CRJ 900s, said he’d seen the cabin mockups at different stages during development, but “to see it today for the first time as a completed product was very impressive.” He noted, “Delta launched the CRJ 200 many years ago.”
Asked if the interior would be made available for Bombardier’s Q400 twin turboprops, Cromer said the decision would be based on “what makes sense for customers, passengers, and the industry.”
Bombardier (Chalet A5) forecasts deliveries of 5,750 large regional aircraft between now and 2036.