Virgin Australia is getting slick new aircraft to go with its slick new brand and image, rolling out the first of almost 60 Boeing 737-800 'Next Generation' jetliners sporting the futuristic 'Sky Interior' cabin.
Christened the 'Bondi Beach' (all Virgin Australia aircraft will be named after Aussie beaches), the 737-800 made its debut at today's launch and is the first of its kind in Australia
The cabin itself was created by Boeing and is based on the interior of the revolutionary Boeing 787 Dreamliner... so let's start the guided tour!
Dubbed the 'Sky Interior', it represents a major makeover for conventional aircraft interiors by embracing organic curves and soft colours to make the cabin lighter and brighter, as well as looking ‘softer’ and more spacious.
Inset light wells in the ceiling are finished in a soft sky blue to convey a greater feeling of space and comfort, with LED lighting which gently changes colour and intensity throughout the flight.
Hans Hulsbosch, Virgin Australia's Creative Director, told Australian Business Traveller that the LED lighting employed by the airline will be purple and white.
"It will be very bright when passengers are boarding, to emphasise the plane's spacious feel and create a welcoming atmosphere" Hulsbosch says.
"During take-off and landing the purple will soften to help reduce stress levels, and it will also be dim during the flight for a more relaxing feel, but will be turned up again when meals are served.
Gently sculpted sidewalls feature larger oval window surrounds (shown below) to let in more light.
The 737-800 will contain a business class cabin with 8 deep-recline seats (two either side of the aisle) with 37 inches of legroom.
A colourful purple plexiglass dividing panel separates the business and economy sections.
Here's a closer look at the new business class seats. Note that the in-seat screens for the entertainment system have yet to be fitted.
Okay, the tour continues... we're walking, we're walking – and we're stopping, to check out the 168 'next generation' economy seats.
Each of these will also be fitted with a video screen for in-flight entertainment.
The seats use a slim-line construction to maximise legroom.
Even the toilet seems less claustrophobic!
Written by David Flynn, photographs by Dan Warne
This is just part of Australian Business Traveller's comprehensive coverage of Virgin Australia's launch day:
- Touchdown! Photos of Virgin Australia's first landings at Sydney Airport
- Couldn't be at the exciting Virgin Australia launch day? Our photos are the next best thing
- All-new airport lounges for Melbourne and Brisbane, with Luke Mangan overseeing the menu – and a dedicated 'priority access' security lane.
- Video of Richard Branson's speech at the Virgin Australia launch (and of course, Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti too!)
- Your seat guide to Virgin Australia's new Airbus A330 business class and economy class
- Photo gallery: Virgin Australia's Airbus A330 business class, economy class and new in-flight meals
- Photo gallery: Virgin Australia's Boeing 737-800 cabin, business class and economy class
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.