Premium repositioning for a sumptuous flying experience
Contender to Australia’s larger flag carrier Qantas, Virgin Australia wanted to reposition itself from a low-cost airline to complete with its competitors in the premium travel market both domestically and internationally. Having undertaken to upgrade its long-haul A330-200 and B777 aircraft, the airline tasked us with the design of their cabin interiors for Business and Premium Economy. With business suites selected from Collins Aerospace’s popular Super Diamond, the challenge was to infuse the cabin with sophistication and elegance that would define the airline for its quality and provide a stage for its outstanding service.
- Product Design
- Design Engineering
- Colour, material & finish
- User Experience & UI
- Trend Forecasting & Vision Setting
The project involved bleary early mornings, late night conference calls and long business trips between Tangerine in London, Collins Aerospace in Winston Salem and Virgin Australia in Brisbane. Working together the ambition for the level of change and customisation in the cabin was agreed, and an ambition set to deliver something special and truly on brand for the airline.
Within the space constraints and certification requirements, we rethought everything. The aim was to give the passenger experience a sense of flow, from walking through the aircraft door right down to the intimate detailing at the ends of their fingertips.
When looking at the competitive landscape, we identified that one of the shortfalls for 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 the environment flat and with a utilitarian feel. Here was a unique opportunity to inject richness into the design of the cabin interiors to distinguish the Virgin Australia brand and significantly improve the passenger experience.
Dubbed ‘The Business’ by national press, the business class suites are premium, stylish and exclusive. A tapestry of different materials and textures were introduced to create a sumptuous cabin environment. Particular consideration was given to how light and shadows play upon surfaces like the louvered privacy screens, and how sparkles appear within the metallic paint on the adjacent surfaces.
A stunning new bar area on the B777 aircraft, interweaves with the seating layout to maximise available space for the face-to-face service, which is critical for the Virgin brand. The bar design utilises interconnecting angles and a striking flying maiden motif to bring flair to the environment. Working closely with Virgin Australia and Collins Aerospace, the new cabins are a testament to the fusion of ambition, effective collaboration and design that makes customers fall in love with a brand.
“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 at Virgin Australia
Revenue uplift on key routes