Passengers could be forced to face one another in a new aircraft seating plan designed to make better use of cabin space.

The design for short-haul flights features alternating forward and backward facing seats placed side by side.

Industry supplier Zodiac Seats France says the aim of the unconventional design is to “increase the space available at the shoulder and arm area”.

It will also create room for more seats on board.

The lightweight seats would be built with televisions and foldable tray tables in the back, and the design would still comply with industry standards for aisle space.

The company said that the industry had shown strong interest in the concept of its economy class cabin hexagon seating configuration, according to the Times.