In 2015 Virgin Australia unveiled the next generation in it’s premium travel experience, ‘The Business’, having undertaken a major redesign of its long-haul A330-200 and B777 aircraft. The cabin interiors were designed by tangerine and engineered by Rockwell Collins, introducing suite-style seating. The challenge was to infuse the cabin spaces with sophistication and elegance that would define the airline as a quality carrier offering outstanding service.
“Within the constraints of the space and certification, we rethought everything,” says Chief Creative Officer, Matt Round. “The aim was to give the passenger experience a sense of flow, from walking through the aircraft door to the detailing at the end of their fingertips.” tangerine identified that one of the shortfalls with many aircraft cabins is the lack of variation in surfaces because of the way parts of the interior are manufactured and certified, tending to leave cabins flat with a utilitarian feel. Here was a unique opportunity to inject richness into the cabin interiors to distinguish the brand and significantly improve the passenger experience.
In business class, the design of the new lie-flat seats gives the suites a sense of international style and exclusivity. A tapestry of different materials and textures are introduced to create a sumptuous cabin environment. Particular consideration is given to how light and shadow play upon surfaces like the louvered privacy screens and the sparkle within the metallic paint on the adjacent surfaces, the combination of leather and fabric on the seat and the textures of curtains at the end of the cabin. A distinctive bar area on the B777 aircraft, created in collaboration with AIM Altitude, interweaves with the seating layout to maximise space and has interconnecting angles that bring flair and modernity to the environment. Working with Virgin Australia, the new cabins are a testament to the fusion of ambition, collaboration and design that draws customers towards the brand.
Award-winning aircraft cabin interior design
The design story
The client says:
“We believe the sophisticated new suites will set a new standard in Business Class travel, not just in Australia but around the world.”
John Borghetti, Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Australia