Spanish low cost carrier Vueling is the first European airline to receive an Airbus A320 fitted with the fully accessible lavatory Space-Flex.
Producing almost half of the world’s commercial airliners, Airbus recently introduced a revolutionary concept significantly improving the air travel experience for passengers with reduced mobility.
The A320 single aisle plane can be fitted with the revolutionary Space-Flex lavatory, an innovative solution that makes on board toilets fully accessible.
To fit the Space-Flex solution the aircraft cabin has been reconfigured, with lavatories moved to the rear end of the aircraft. The two toilets, each of a size comparable with those existing in the A320 family of aircraft, become one through a simple process of conversion.
Two Space-Flex toilets can be converted into one space for persons of reduced mobility, in a similar way to those used in wide-body Airbus aircraft. Today’s delivery is the first of the 30 A320ceo and 32 A320neo the low cost airline ordered in August 2013.
Commendable for becoming the European launch customer for the Space-Flex lavatory, Vueling still needs to address illegal caps the carrier imposes on the maximum number of wheelchair users allowed on board its flights.
Currently, the airline limits the number of unaccompanied immobile wheelchair users to two per flight. The airline also imposes a limit to 18 disabled passengers per flights operated with the A320 airplane (14 on flights operated with the Airbus A319). The airline the limit is “required by Civil Aviation regulations.”
But Vueling also says the cap “may be exceeded by groups of passengers, applying to the company in advance for specific flights or dates.” Vueling also applies a cap on the number of guide dog per flights, currently accepting a maximum of two per flight.
The airline also has weight restriction on mobility aids. Currently, Vueling does not accept electric wheelchairs or scooters over 150 kilograms.
“With today’s delivery Vueling truly raised the bar on accessibility in European skies,” Reduced Mobility Rights director Roberto Castiglioni said. “They now have to amend these outdated restrictions to comply with EU legislation on carriage of disabled people by air.”