Virgin Australia have been busy recently and have just released images of their new domestic A330 fleet operating both the Syndey-Perth and Melbourne-Perth routes. This comes just over a week after releasing news of them updating the interiors of their 777 cabins for their trans-pacific flights.
As designed by Brand Director, Hans Hulsbosch, Virgin Australia has got rid of their 2 x 3 x 2 seating configuration in business class, and have opted for a 2x2x2 seating arrangement, ridding that awkward middle seat that these cabins often have. They are slightly wider, and are the same as the Singapore Airlines regional business class seats made by Weber (pictured below – not in the Virgin Australia finish)
The seats however are still lie-flat rather than fully flat beds, and added with the problem of the leather finish, do still have the problem of finding their travellers ended up in a small heap at the bottom of the seat at the end of the flight. However Virgin Australia apparently have invested in a small fitted sheet that will cover the seat to prevent this slippage.
Whilst the seat pitch still remains it’s standard 60″ as per its previous cabin, now with the new seating, the seats are closer together, with the passengers feet slipping under the seat infront to provide the leg room, so it will appear slightly tighter in the cabin. A small compromise on the new seating configuration. Mr John Borghetti, CEO of Virgin Australia talking about their new product said “We are focused on becoming Australia’s airline of choice and key to that is creating a consistent experience of relaxation and comfort across all of our aircraft, complemented by the best of service. These new Airbus 330 aircraft will be the flagship of our domestic fleet, providing Business and Leisure travellers with the kind of experience that is valued on longer flights.”
Yet again, LED mood lighting now fills the cabin, and the Panasonic ‘Red’ entertainment system is fitted into both economy and business class, now offering a seamless transition across the Virgin branded airlines. (once they are all fitted) Passengers in economy will also be able to enjoy more technological advances, including USB connectivity, allowing the passengers to watch movies from their own portable devices on the larger economy screens, although seating still remains in a 2x4x2 configuration.
Although the cabin is an improvement on an already pretty decent product, as previously mentioned in a previous post, the leaf pattern that Mr. Hulsbosch introduced into the 777 cabins hasn’t seemed to have made it across into this design, and that leaf motif was meant to connect all the Virgin Australia brands. So sadly, from what I can tell, the Virgin Australia brand still seems a little disconnected, but it is early days and I’m sure, the whole feel and tone will start to work together as the brand matures.