Brussels Airlines has just revealed a rebranding and repositioning of its in-flight product which will grace the skies on it’s A330 fleet starting in April. By investing 10 million euros per aircraft in a completely new Business Class, new Premium Economy and Economy Class the airline wants to offer a personal experience – dubbed ‘a boutique hotel’ feel – at 30,000 feet.
Luckily, the airline opted for London based JPA Design to help bring their new cabins to life, who managed to bring the interiors to life in record time. However the Boutique hotel isn’t just a hard-product realisation. Tweaks to the service and food and drink offerings have also been brought to life.
Belgian Art Nouveau and Victor Horta were the inspiration for the new A330 cabin interior, with touches of wood and leather. The dome light of the ceiling in the boarding area features an elegant Art Nouveau design mimicking the one found in the lounge. All seats feature rich textured fabric, inspired by famous Belgian designers including Dries Van Noten.
Brussels Airlines has also teamed up with a different Belgian Star Chef every year to re-design the Business Class menu on its long-haul flights. The airline has also created a self-service bar area featuring 8 different Belgian beers, on top of Belgian wines, coffee and premium Belgian chocolates from Neuhaus that are personally served by the airline’s crew.
John Tighe, Design Director for Transport at JPA Design explains how they tried to encapsulate the airline’s niche brand positioning. “It has been an absolute joy to collaborate with such a characterful combination of the Brussels Airlines brand & Belgium itself. Both have a genuinely unique ‘joie de vivre’ and with such great design culture to draw on it has been a fun and enjoyable project to deliver. The new cabins reflect a ’boutique hotel in the sky’, which captures the warmth and friendliness of the Brussels Airlines brand, whilst perfectly melding JPA Design’s experience in creating hospitality and aviation interiors.”
The business class cabin has been reconfigured, with 30 seats, 90% of which feature aisle access, so there’s a high chance you won’t have to step over someone mid-flight. The redesigned seats also offer enhanced privacy, with the addition of storage units between the seats. The seat can be adjusted to turn in to a 2m long bed, and the seat cushion firmness can also be adjusted. The most noticeable addition is the personal reading light and this, combined with the new lighting ambiance tailored to all flight phases, ensures a rejuvenating sleep for jet lag-free flying across time zones. A nice addition is that the new 15.6” HD screen can be tilted to adapt to all seating positions including the bed position.
A new addition to the fleet is a new Premium Economy Class, which offers just three rows of larger reclining seats in comparison to the usual economy seats with a quiet and relaxed environment featuring soft purple and blue colours.
The premium seat features increased private space, comfortable cushioning and an expanded armrest. With an industry standard 38” seat pitch, a wider seat with a bigger headrest and a generous 40° seat recline allows for greater comfort. It also features one of the largest HD Premium Economy screens in Europe at an impressive 13.3”. There is also a large table and the seat includes AC & USB power plugs.
In Economy, the cabin features a playful design. The economy seat features an ergonomic headrest offering increased privacy and a new adjustable neck support. There is also a decent seat recline, personal USB port and a wide choice of entertainment and games on a 10.1’’ screen.
Christina Foerster, CEO Brussels Airlines is especially proud.“At Brussels Airlines we are continuously working on improving the comfort for our guests on board as well as on the ground. With this significant investment in our long-haul travel experience, we emphasize once more on our commitment towards an exceptional passenger experience. We want to be the most personal airline, give a personal service to every guest and offer everyone the warm hospitality Belgium is known for. And that is exactly the essence of a boutique hotel, offering a world-class service in a small scale environment. The comparison of our aircraft – especially on the long haul – with a boutique hotel makes a lot of sense.”