Boutique airline Virgin Atlantic have taken the lid off their new Airbus A350 cabins. These are due to enter service on the London Heathrow to New York John F Kennedy route from around August, with the first aircraft to be called Red Velvet.
The A350 cabins feature entirely new seating for Virgin Atlantic in all three classes. Upper Class receive new seats as well as a new social space concept called The Loft. Let’s have a look at it all.
Upper Class Suite
Upper Class is the business class product at Virgin Atlantic. All seats will feature direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration, and the design is bespoke for Virgin Atlantic, manufactured by Safran. This means no-one else is, or will be, flying this particular seat.
There will be 44 Upper Class Suites in the A350 cabins. Inspired by high end retailers, luxury cars and hotels, it features chocolate browns, soft gold and polished whites in addition to Virgin’s red and purple.
Seat pitch is 44 inches (or should that be Suite Pitch!), has an 18.5 inch entertainment screen and you’ll be able to pre-order pyjamas on long overnight flights. What I’m looking forward to is the ability to customise your mood lighting at your seat. Sounds fun!
How About The Loft?
Accommodating eight people (or five with seat belts during turbulence), The Loft is a social space which will replace the bar. It features a sofa, a 32″ television screen, tables and standing areas. There is a large gold “chandelier” (aka a lighting feature) overhead which should prove eye catching.
Apparently it has been designed as a place for colleagues to meet and will feature Bluetooth capability. It is located right at the entrance door, hopefully to get the economy class passengers to trade up in the future!
One of the most popular cabin classes nowadays is Premium Economy. New seats with a high end look and feel will also be present in this cabin, which is excellent.
Passengers will find larger screens and split tray tables which I always find handy during flight. The design has been inspired by luxury handbags of all things.
Texture is an important feature of the A350 cabins, and you will notice it on things like the tray table in Premium Economy. From the pictures, it looks pretty decent to me.
Seat pitch will be 31″ in Economy Class and 34″ in Economy Delight, with an 11.6″ entertainment screen. This screen is larger than what is currently offered in Upper Class! Little details such as the Virgin red on the back of the raised headrest are quite cute.
The render above is pretty crappy – it actually looks a hell of a lot better in real life from what I’ve seen. All the textiles used are custom developed by Virgin Atlantic incidentally.
The Airbus A350-1000 will see the phase out of the Boeing 747-400 and the Airbus A340 at Virgin Atlantic. High time these aging types were put out to pasture, though they certainly will be missed.
With a vast improvement across all cabins, with bespoke seating and custom fabrics, Virgin Atlantic should be well positioned to stay at the forefront of the industry for some time to come. It is not yet decided if the new cabins will be retrofitted to the existing fleet, so pay attention to aircraft type when you book.
What do you think of the Virgin Atlantic A350 cabins? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.