Mariya Stoyanova, director of Product Development at JetBlue (left) and Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus’ vice-president of Cabin Marketing (right). Image: Vance Walstra

There were slick space jackets and big smiles on show as Airbus and JetBlue announced the airline will be the launch customer for Airbus’ A320 Airspace cabin, a holistic design concept introduced on A330 and A350 aircraft last year. The A320 carries over the same design DNA, with optimized use of space for passenger comfort and flexible brand differentiation.

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Airbus’ vice-president of Cabin Marketing, Ingo Wuggetzer, credited JetBlue for its contributions to the development of the new cabin, a project that spanned over a year. “I would say that it was love at first sight, you know. We matched perfectly,” he said. “Having a trendsetter in the industry as the first to fly the A320 Airspace is excellent.”

“We’ll want to recreate something like your home …The Airspace cabin is a perfect opportunity to do that.” – Mariya Stoyanova, JetBlue

Mariya Stoyanova, director of Product Development at JetBlue, said the airline had been hoping for the right solution to come along. “We’re excited to bring a wide-body feel to the narrow-body customer experience of JetBlue,” Stoyanova added. “I was really hoping for something like that to come to the market.”

Though the ultimate design of JetBlue’s Airspace cabin will not be revealed before its launch in 2020, Stoyanova hinted at the type of design aesthetic that can be expected: “We’re going to leverage the Airspace cabin’s interior to design everything in the JetBlue style,” Stoyanova said. “We’ll want to recreate something like your home and a little bit of a residential feel. The Airspace cabin is a perfect opportunity to do that.”

At the cabin’s reveal, Airbus showed off fully retracting window screens, which make the most out of the Airspace cabin’s larger windows, and new bins with 40 percent more volume, which can fit 60 percent more passenger bags.

JetBlue has said it will not make a final decision on possible transatlantic service until later this year, but the more spacious cabin, extra luggage capacity and modern ambience of Airspace would certainly make international flights on the A320 aircraft a comfortable proposal.

Marisa Garcia was once locked in a hangar in Oberpfaffenhofen while fine-tuning Gandalf’s new seats. Seriously. The firemen got her out. Writing is less confining, but she has lovely memories of those hands-on days.