Though the coronavirus has temporarily reshaped the world we live in and set into place a “new normal,” the pandemic could also have major lasting effects on the way we go about our day-to-day months, or even years, down the road. For example, Avio Interiors, an Italy-based airline design firm, just proposed a new plan for “reverse” airplane seats, which could become the new way to fly in a post-pandemic world.
The design, called “Janus” after the two-faced Roman god, is a new take on the three-seater plan. Rather than all three seats facing toward the front of the plane, the Janus design proposes that the middle seat face backward. This ensures “maximum isolation between passengers seated next to each other,” as Avio Interiors explains in a April 20 Instagram post.
“[This] arrangement allows all three passengers to be separated with a shield made of transparent material that isolates them from each other, creating a protective barrier for everyone,” the caption continues. “Each passenger has its own space isolated from others, even from people who walk through the aisle.”
The shields placed around the Janus seat will help cut down on possible virus transmission and “breath propagation” to other passengers. Both the seats and the shields would be made from “safe hygienisation” materials.
Avio Interiors has also designed similar shields—called “Glassafe”— to be installed in existing aircrafts with traditional seating plans. The transparent shields will keep the aircraft “aesthetically light” but provide the appropriate isolation to keep germs and viruses at bay. However, Avio Interiors also proposed an opaque Glassafe shield, “or with different degrees of transparency,” to enhance a passenger’s privacy.
As of right now, these design plans have yet to be put into motion by any major airline. But, depending on what the world looks like as we come out of the pandemic, these new seating arrangements may become commonplace on aircrafts worldwide.