Work / Japan Airlines (JAL)

Infusing JAL’s international A350-1000 service with the essence of Japan

In January 2024 JAL launched its long-haul A350-1000 flagship aircraft, with cabin interiors designed by tangerine. The project is the culmination of almost a decade-long partnership which involved us establishing an “Infused Essence” design strategy which has now been implemented across the majority of JAL’s fleet through individual programmes, including line fit A350-1000s, A350-900s and retrofit Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 777-300ER. The partnership has received accolades including Gold for ‘Best Passenger Experience Initiative’ at FTE-APEX Asia 2019 and Crystal Cabin Awards recognition.

JAL’s ambitions were to grow their business by attracting more domestic and international travellers. tangerine’s brief was to express the “traditional innovative spirit of Japan” in the design of the new four-class international aircraft interiors including First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy. The launched product includes many industry firsts, including built-in speakers in Business and First seats, which allow passengers to enjoy inflight entertainment without using headphones and the first Premium Economy to use automated recline.


  • Design Strategy and Creative Direction
  • Aircraft cabin interior design
  • Industrial Design and Product Engineering
  • Mock-ups and Prototyping
  • CMF Design


Following our collaboration on JAL’s domestic programme that launched in 2019, we used our ‘Infused Essence’ strategy, which established tenants of the ‘stylistic beauty of Japan’, to create a new design vision that could be translated across all four classes of A350-1000 to express a new interpretation related to the aircraft, while also being a consistent part of the design language established by our team for across JAL’s fleet.

Crucially, before the programme started, we supported JAL in a seat vendor selection with two prospective manufacturers, developing two versions of our concept to maximise the standard offerings being put forward by the vendors in response to JAL’s requirements. This iterative process involved holding workshops with JAL and each vendor to assess the potential of their products, including the level of customisation that could be achieved, and how well they could implement our design concept. Following the process, with tangerine’s input, Safran Seats was selected to create the First Class, and Business Class seating, with JAL also selecting Safran for PEY and Recaro for Economy.


Three concept directions were developed for the chosen seating choices. spanning from a close interpretation of the original Infused Essence design vision, through to a more progressive route, and finally, a more innovative interpretation. These routes explored different design languages and CMF treatments of the cabin spaces and seating, allowing the programme team to make informed decisions on the right fit for JAL’s brand and for achieving an optimal passenger experience.  The selected route was a progressive interpretation of Infused Essence, with the team finding innovative ways to apply it in a way to support the LOPA and class strategy.


The A350-1000 cabin interior has been designed to immerse customers in the elegance of Japanese culture and aesthetics, enveloping guests in a sense of tranquillity and a serene ambience that encapsulates the beauty of Japan. Completely redesigned seats have been installed in all classes to provide JAL’s most relaxing and comfortable experience to date.

Industry Firsts include built-in speakers developed by Safran Seats for JAL’s Business and First seating, allowing passengers to enjoy inflight entertainment without using headphones. A three-people dining space is provided in First, as well as a seat that can also be turned into an extra wide bed. JAL also becomes the first airline to introduce an electric automated recline in Premium Economy and a fixed privacy divider between seats in the middle of the cabin to maximize privacy.

The cabin interior design was inspired by the sights, sounds and experiences present in Japan. For instance, in Business the use of the Japanese rice paper wall, or Shoji, is incorporated in both sliding doors and closets. Whereas in First, the delicate downlight design was inspired by cocktails drunk in the Orchard Bar at the old Hotel Okura, once a Tokyo landmark, graced by visiting Presidents. And for the first time in the carrier’s history, first class seats will feature privacy doors; beautifully crafted in latticework that is reminiscent of the famous Ukiyoe artwork and traditional Japanese woodcraft.

The launch of JAL’s A350-1000 brings synergy to the airline’s domestic and international fleet, building on tangerine’s Infused Essence design strategy first implemented on JAL’s A350-900 in 2019.


Crystal Cabin Award 2024 Finalist