Airbus has designed a bench seat for economy class that could make it more comfortable for obese passengers and families with young children to fly.

The Daily Mail obtained a patent application by the European company with drawings that show two 'overweight' travellers having more space on a benchseat.

Another drawing features a family of four that would have to be split up on most planes.

The bench would be quickly and easily adjusted to cater to families with young children and people with restricted mobility.

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Drawing from Airbus of two 'overweight' passengers on the bench seat. Photo / Patentscope
Drawing from Airbus of two 'overweight' passengers on the bench seat. Photo / Patentscope

The bench would have armrests that hide away in the back of the bench and four detachable seatbelts.

In a two-passenger configuration, Airbus said, the bench would be suitable for use in business class or for those in economy who required increased space, including overweight passengers or travellers with restricted mobility.

While most airlines do not have weight limits for passengers, their policies on overweight passengers vary.

Depending on the airline, passengers may be required to pay for an extra seat if they cannot fit into one seat and/or are unable to buckle their seatbelt using an extender and/or are unable to lower both armrests without encroaching on the space of their seatmates.