It’s with great pleasure TheDesignAir’s 10th annual award winners have been announced today, celebrating the very best in aviation design, brand and passenger experience from across the globe. We’re thrilled to see airlines once again investing in passenger experience and brand, and there have been many excellent entrants and shortlisted entries this year. We’re thrilled to see new entrants to the market as well as established airline brands with decades of experience both stepping up to the mark to win their awards in 2022.
As always, TheDesignAir uses both an esteemed judging panel and for our design airline votes, a blend of public vote too. We had more than 10,000 votes cast this year. 2022 saw fierce competition and there were a few close calls, but we are thrilled to finally announce this years standout winners.
|Judge’s Choice Awards 2022||Design Airline Awards 2022|
|NEW: Design Innovation Award 2022|
|Design Airline of the Year North America, 2022|
|Best New Uniform 2022|
|Design Airline of the Year South America, 2022|
|Best New Airport Lounge 2022|
LATAM Santiago Lounge
|Design Airline of the Year Europe, 2022|
|Best New Livery 2022|
|Design Airline of the Year Middle East, 2022|
|Best New Business Class 2022|
|Design Airline of the Year Africa, 2022|
|Best New Premium Economy Class 2022|
|Design Airline of the Year Oceania, 2022|
Air New Zealand
|Best New Premium Business/First Class 2022|
|Design Airline of the Year Asia, 2022|
|Most Improved Airline Brand 2022|
|Design Airline of the year 2022|
NEW Design Innovation Award, 2022
Finnair’s new Airlounge business class product caught the eyes of our judges this year. Whilst on the surface it looks like yet another luxurious herringbone product, the engineering concept behind the seat is revolutionary. With its innovative fixed shell seat-back design and removal of traditional actuation and recline, the passenger benefits from greater levels of personal space, flexibility in movement and superior seat and sleep comfort. The product also finally connects Finnair’s signature Nordic look and feel that has been incorporated to its international lounges, and new Helsinki airport departure hall.
By removing the mechanics that create the traditional seat-back recline, more space is provided back to the customer. This gives a greater sense of personal space and greater flexibility in movement and seating + sleeping positions than a typical business class seat. The reduced part count and actuation helps with maintenance and seat despatch reliability along with being lighter, saving weight on the aircraft and therefore fuel.
Best New Uniform, 2022
This year saw WestJet celebrate the launch of its new uniform collection for frontline team members. The gender and body inclusive uniforms – conceptualized by international designer, Juli Grbac – were created with safety and inclusivity at the forefront. Reflecting an emerging trend in the airline industry, WestJet’s new uniforms – The Lakes and Rocky Mountain collections – further that approach as they are genderless, providing the opportunity for WestJetters to select the uniform that is most authentic and comfortable to them. Redesigned name tags also feature a newly created space for pronouns, to promote greater inclusivity for everyone in WestJet’s world, while an infusion of the airline’s iconic teal colour highlights its 26-year history. Our judges loved the progressive approach to the uniform, and felt that the designs were a true reflection of WestJet’s brand image.
Best New Airport Lounge, 2022
LATAM, Santiago de Chile, Chile
LATAM has continued to update and develop its product offering this year with a new lounge design in one of its most important hubs. The recently renovated lounge offering in Santiago de Chile is now the new centrepiece for the carrier’s ground product globally. Featuring a wealth of local design touches, the carrier has managed to sensitively represent the warm, vibrant culture of Chile, while still remaining true to the carrier’s design language, that is why TheDesignAir is also pleased to award Best New Airport Lounge, 2022 to LATAM this year.
Best New Livery, 2022
There are very few examples of bold confident design in aviation, usually due to such radical designs always being watered down by committee, but it seems Condor didn’t follow the same fate. This year has seen Condor completely reimagine itself with a striking new look, passenger experience strategy and new aircraft. It’s impressive to see this much-loved leisure carrier embrace its roots with such a statement livery that will turn heads wherever it flies. It’s this bold, unapologetic design, that truly won the hearts of our judges this year.
Best New Business Class, 2022
Finnair’s Airlounge which is being rolled out across its fleet this year is a testament to the airline’s design roots. This Finnish carrier has managed to develop a product that has not only turned heads, but started shape the way passengers think about a business class hard product. AirLounge delivers an all new seating experience with the highest levels of comfort. It delivers increased personal space with flexibility in movement, ample storage space, privacy and most importantly for a business class traveller, a best in class sleep experience. It will become a flagship signature product for the carrier, creating a point of difference, and as passengers get used to the new product, we believe build brand loyalty too.
Best New Premium Economy Class, 2022
The first of Starlux’s multiple awards this year, the carriers new Premium economy product on its A350 takes a traditional Recaro PL3530 seat and elevates it with stunning trim and finish, creating a product that fits perfectly in to the rest of this brand new four-class A350. We’re taken aback by Starlux’s unapologetic and unadulterated approach to the passenger experience aboard, which is clearly positioned as a leading luxury carrier in the market. As the product continues to roll out on its long-haul international routes, the judges feel this will only enhance every regional premium economy product as they try to keep up.
Best New Premium Business / First Class, 2022
This year we’ve updated our First Class category to include Premium Business propositions too, as the market continues to evolve and adapt. That said, Starlux once again beat the competition with their impressive new First Class A350 product. The judges appreciated the attention to detail, luxurious finishes and by scooping both Best New First/Premium Business Class 2022, Best New Premium Economy 2022, the carrier’s new A350 product has set the already-high bar for the carrier stratospheric.
Most Improved Airline Brand, 2022
Condor’s new livery might have won an award this year, but the carrier has proved its new look isn’t just skin deep. The new interiors launched on the new A330neo fleet herald a new era for the carrier, with an exciting new hard product that has elevated the carrier far beyond its current proposition. In many ways the new hard product has set the bar even higher than its legacy counterparts, with all aisle access, privacy, and a smart new interior that is unmistakably Condor now. It’s this monumental shift forwards that has also won the carrier a second award this year, as Most Improved Airline Brand 2022.
Design Airline of the Year North America, 2022
JetBlue has held on to its crown this year as the leading design carrier for North America. The airline’s strong design aesthetic, smart use of brand partnerships, and design flourishes throughout the passenger experience have created a consistent, much loved airline brand. Pairing digital, personal and hard experiences, there’s an intuitive design language that flows throughout the entire passenger journey, and it’s this well thought through approach that propels the carrier above its regional counterparts. JetBlue continues to fly high this year.
Design Airline of the Year South America, 2022
LATAM’s solid brand position has helped the carrier feature in our awards since 2017, but the recent award for Best Design Airline, South America 2022 is the fifth consecutive award for the airline. Thanks to a carefully considered brand aesthetic that reflects the multiple countries it represents, the carrier has brought the very best of the South American continent to the global stage, and with the addition of recently updated ground products, it continues to shine bright for this cosmopolitan continent.
Design Airline of the Year Europe, 2022
We’re proud to award Turkish Airlines yet again with Design Airline of the Year, Europe 2022. Turkish has continued to excel at passenger experience, brand and customer service, and where some carriers have been cutting back, Turkish has continued to invest in enhancements both on the ground and in the skies. The use of a consistent brand image, colour palette and design language throughout the digital and physical experiences has helped create a powerful airline brand that continues to impress against its European counterparts. Turkish Airlines has once again this year reaffirmed its position as a leading design airline of the world, taking the crown for the European region once more.
Design Airline of the Year Middle East, 2022
Etihad truly deserves its award this year as Best Design Airline, Middle East 2022 with the addition of its beautiful new A350 product to the fleet. The carrier has continued to invest, develop, and enhance the passenger experience, and once again is concentrating on elevating the brand above its competitors. The recent additional upgrades to the carrier’s soft product highlights Etihad’s attention to detail and signifies an enhanced passenger experience in its business class cabins.
Design Airline of the Year Africa, 2022
As the leading airline of Africa, Ethiopian is one of the most modern, progressive carriers from the continent, and has become a well-known, respected airline brand across the globe. With the recent upgrade of Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and the enhancement of the airline’s ground product including all-new lounges, the carrier is highly deserving of its award as Design Airline of the Year, Africa 2022. With the addition of new hard products in its A350 and 787 fleet, and an impending order for further new airframes, the airline is investing in a fleet and passenger experience that will keep the carrier at the forefront of the airline industry on this – the world’s fastest growing continent.
Design Airline of the Year Oceania, 2022
Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has earned a well-deserved award this year as Design Airline of the Year, Oceania 2022. With the announcement of a new cabin product in the coming years, a strong bold brand, its clever use of safety videos as a marketing device and brand partnerships with excellent design leaders, the carrier oozes design details across the passenger experience. We’re thrilled to see the carrier continue to evolve its passenger experience, invest in new products, and continue to be the brand platform for Aotearoan design on the international stage.
Design Airline of the Year Asia, 2022
Design Airline of the Year, 2022
Starlux might be a relative newcomer to the Asian market, but its already making waves. With a beautifully elevated customer experience, interiors programme and ground product, Starlux looks to create stiff competition in an already impressive market. While competition is stiff, the carrier this year has walked away with no less than four prestigious TheDesignAir Awards for 2022. It’s no surprise that combined with its award-winning uniforms, stunning aircraft interiors, luxurious lounge offering and impressive existing fleet the carrier has not only also won Design Airline of the Year, Asia 2022, but also the most prestigious award of the year, Design Airline of Year 2022, beating all other regional winners. This might just be the beginning chapter for Starlux, but we look forward to seeing this carrier make waves for years to come.