After a year’s hiatus due to the pandemic, TheDesignAir is pleased to announce the return of its annual Airline Design awards. Celebrating the very best in airline passenger experience, brand and design across the globe, the awards – now in its 9th year – have once again bestowed its leading design airlines, new products and for the very first time, a Design Innovation Award specifically responding to COVID.
Judged by both our leading esteemed judging panel and by the public, this year’s winners have been selected. While competition was fierce in certain categories, there were clear stand-out winners in others. It’s with great pleasure we can reveal this year’s winners.
|Judge’s Choice Awards 2021||Design Airline Awards 2021|
|NEW: Design Innovation Award 2021|
All Nippon Airways, ‘Hands-free toilet doors’
|Design Airline of the Year North America, 2021|
|Best New Uniform 2021|
|Design Airline of the Year South America, 2021|
|Best New Airport Lounge 2021|
Air France, Jouin Manko Schengen Lounge
|Design Airline of the Year Europe, 2021|
|Best New Livery 2021|
|Design Airline of the Year Middle East, 2021|
|Best New Business Class 2021|
JetBlue ‘Mint’ A321LR
|Design Airline of the Year Africa, 2021|
|Best New Premium Economy Class 2021|
|Design Airline of the Year Oceania, 2021|
Air Tahiti Nui
|Most Improved Airline Brand 2021|
|Design Airline of the Year Asia, & Design Airline of the year (global) 2021|
NEW Design Innovation Award, 2021
All Nippon Airways, Hands-free toilet doors
Throughout the pandemic airlines have had to react quickly. These challenging times have brought the opportunity to innovate and improve passenger safety and build reassurance. ANA’s innovative and thorough approach to the humble inflight toilet was a clear front runner, as the innovative solution to improve passenger hygiene by adding additional door furniture was inspired. This simple solution turned into a real-life application within a matter of months, and solved a genuine issue, both psychologically and physically for passenger’s wellbeing, currently under a heightened sensitivity. We applaud ANA for investing in a product that delivers on the airline’s care promise and will benefit it post-pandemic for years to come.
Best New Uniform, 2021
Iberia has made waves with its new fashion-forward and runway-ready uniform. Designed by Teresa Helbig, these new airline outfits epitomise ‘contemporary Spanish’, creating a signature look for the airline’s crew across the globe. Choosing a designer closer to home also impressed TheDesignAir. We appreciate that the uniform project is a perfect realisation of Iberia’s #Talentoabordo project. In a modern world, the capsule collection allows crew members of all genders to express themselves in their own unique way.
Best New Airport Lounge, 2021
Air France, Jouin Manko Schengen Lounge, Charles De Gaulle Airport, Paris
We’re proud to award Air France with the Best New Airline Lounge, 2021 for its Jouin Manko lounge in Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris. Air France has invested heavily over the past few years on its ground product and this latest lounge is the jewel in Air France’s crown. This new lounge is delightfully uncomplicated. Set against a wall of curved glass, there’s a relaxing, open and airy vibe to the lounge. It reflects a new modern take on this stalwart French brand. There’s a clear decision to be as sustainable as possible too, with materials including terrazzo, lava stone, wood and leather all being selected to stand the test of time.
Best New Livery, 2021
Iceland’s new start-up low-cost carrier Play has created a bold, expressive livery that brings the fun back to flying. It’s simple, striking design stands out from the crowd and certainly represents its core message that ‘The sky is their playground!’. Against a sea of typical Eurowhite liveries of late, this exciting and challenging design caught the attention of all our judges. The use of colour, bold typeface and fresh trendy uniforms has set a high design bar for this low-cost carrier.
Best New Business Class, 2021
JetBlue ‘Mint’, A321LR
The airlines’ new ‘Mint’ business class product has continued JetBlue’s tradition of innovation and excellence in cabin product, but at the same time has propelled the brand lightyears ahead. It was a clear front runner in our judge’s eyes due to its disruptive design and world-class attention to detail. Paired with the innovative approach to inflight dining and soft product, makes this carrier a fierce competitor in the Transatlantic market. We’re thrilled to award the carrier with Best New Business Class 2021.
Best New Premium Economy Class, 2021
We’re proud to award Emirates with the Best New Premium Economy, 2021. Emirates have released a product that’s impressive both in design and function. Passengers have already seen how impressive this mid-cabin class is, and it’s paying dividends for the airline. It’s no surprise the airline has announced it is rolling out the product across more of its fleet. However, the Devil is in the detail – from the quilted leather seats to the wood-veneered cabin walls – Emirates has managed to bring its signature premium design aesthetic to its Premium Economy cabin in a way no other airline can.
Most Improved Airline Brand, 2021
This year sees JetBlue walk away with not just one, but three awards this year. It’s been an exciting time for the carrier with the launch of its transatlantic flights and new interiors. It’s for this very reason, elevating its already high-quality product to new heights, that the airline has been awarded Most Improved Airline Brand 2021.
Design Airline of the Year North America, 2021
The airline’s recent investment into a new product onboard has helped it leapfrog its competition this year, setting a high bar that existing legacy carriers will have to work hard to match. JetBlue has successfully married digital, service and physical design to create a design ecosystem that elevates the passenger experience from booking through to touchdown. The airline has carefully selected brand partnerships that further enhance the product from mattresses and bedding to dining and everything in between.
Design Airline of the Year South America, 2021
LATAM has continued to roll out its new signature Business Class product across its fleet, showcasing the airline’s investment in a design-based passenger experience. The airline has brought the very best of the continent to the skies and is an Iconic ambassador for the region. We’re thrilled that the airline continues to go from strength to strength and we look forward to seeing what 2022 brings for the carrier.
Design Airline of the Year Europe, 2021
Turkish Airlines takes the crown with Design Airline of the Year, Europe 2021. The carrier has been working hard over the past few years to modernise its fleet and harmonise both hard and soft products. The new design language throughout the passenger experience is consistent and thoughtful, with design touches on everything from menus to seats and the ground experience. It is clear Turkish Airlines is edging ever closer to become one of the top airlines in the world.
Design Airline of the Year Middle East, 2021
Qatar Airways’ modern fleet, award-winning QSuite and impressive ground product – both within Doha as well as across the globe – has made a name for itself within the region and internationally due to its elevated passenger experience. Design is at the very heart of the carrier, with no element left to chance, and the airline’s tireless attention to detail has paid dividends. In a region where competition is high with regards to passenger experience, this award is testament to how Qatar has performed over the past couple of years.
Design Airline of the Year Africa, 2021
We’re delighted to award Air Mauritius with Design Airline of the Year, Africa 2021. The airline’s modern fleet fitted out with such an elegantly designed hard product sets such a high standard within Africa. Both fantastic soft and ground products feature design flair throughout and as such the carrier has elevated the entire passenger experience. We applaud the teams at Air Mauritius for creating a true design airline to represent the African continent across the globe.
Design Airline of the Year Oceania, 2021
Air Tahiti Nui
Air Tahiti Nui was won Design Airline of the Year, Oceania 2021. Air Tahiti Nui has continued to be a design ambassador for the region, with its incredible award-winning livery, brand new uniforms and delightful soft touches that brings the rich cultural roots of the Pacific islands onboard. Air Tahiti Nui has carefully created a brand that works across all touchpoints, creating a memorable passenger experience.
Design Airline of the Year Asia, 2021
Design Airline of the Year, 2021
We’re thrilled to award Singapore Airlines with Design Airline of the Year, 2021. Not only has the airline won Design Airline in Asia, but also the crown as the leading global Design Airline, setting the carrier above all the other winners this year. Singapore Airlines is the epitome of a Design Airline, every nuance, every detail has been considered, and the airline’s quick adaptation of digital over the past 24 months has brought the carrier to an entirely new level. The carrier has invested in design, and by doing so created a passenger experience that is unparalleled. We applaud the carrier for continuing to invest, even during a challenging period, and its new short-haul narrow-body fleet beckons a new exciting era to further develop the brand and design.