Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer held out the possibility of the company’s Atmosphère cabin being adopted for its Q400 turboprops as he unveiled the new interior fit at the Farnborough Airshow.

The cabin is being shown in a Delta Connection CRJ 900 regional jet. It has been hailed by customers as a “game-changer,” Cromer said.

Asked if it would make its way to the Q400, he said: “Certainly, as we talk to our customer base, we will think about what makes most sense for them.”

Extensive discussions with Bombardier’s client airlines had shown that the top item on regional carriers’ wish lists was larger overhead bins, he said. Traditionally, regional aircraft’s bins have been smaller than those on mainline aircraft. This often leads to passengers’ luggage being taken from them at the gate and placed in the hold, a time-consuming process and one unpopular with travelers.

Today’s passengers have usually flown throughout their lives and want more than comfort on an aircraft, said Bombardier VP and head of marketing Patrick Baudis. They want ease of access to the aircraft. “We know, in particular, what business travelers want to have – larger bins for wheels-in cases and a larger lavatory.”

Larger bins made life easier for both passengers and the airline, cutting boarding and turnaround time, while a larger lavatory made it more accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.

The aircraft also has what Bombardier says is the first use of full mood lighting in a regional jet.

That lighting and the cabin moldings helped make the new CRJ 900 cabin spacious, not only in physical terms, but also in ambience, Delta’s managing director of fleet transactions, Dan Pietrzak, said.

“From a Delta passenger’s point of view, it’s all about seamless transfer. If you’re getting off a Delta Airbus A321, you’re going to see a lot of Delta attributes, such as the lighting,” on the CRJ 900, he said. The lavatory was even larger than some of those on Delta’s existing mainline fleet, he added.

Speaking on board the aircraft, Bombardier’s director of product marketing, Antonio Ficca, said that that one of the starting points for the new cabin had been the decision to offset the aisle.

This allowed Delta to eliminate the existing, small right-hand overhead bin in the three-abreast business-class cabin, while more than compensating by enlarging the already large ones on the left-hand side.

These were now sufficiently large to accept not only the standard North American-gauge wheelie bags in ‘wheels-in’ position, but also to take the oversize bags – up to 40% larger than the approved size – that passengers increasingly managed to smuggle past gate staff.

Even the smaller bins in economy could take the oversize bags, albeit sideways, rather than wheels-in, said Ficca, who was responsible for the Atmosphère design team.

Delta Connection will fly the CRJ 900 in a two-class, 70-seat configuration, with the ability to accept 76 wheelie bags in the bins.

The offset aisle also makes for a larger entrance area.

The Atmosphère cabin will be able to be retrofitted to older CRJs.