Skift Take

Sometimes the battle for interiors takes a silly turn.

Asiana Airlines has revealed what they’ve had up their sleeve for their A380. With clever sleight of hand they’ve worked some nifty magic in the skies.

Asiana opted to include twelve First Suites for passengers, with sliding doors in a brushed metal finish, to provide both privacy and a sense of space, through smooth lines and the use of light colours.

Each First Suite comes with 83-inch pitch, and space to play chess with a mate on the buddy seat.

The private cabin features a mini personal closet to keep a jacket wrinkle free as passengers stretch out to sleep under their comfy duck-down duvet on the 80-inch bed.

To ensure passengers are entertained, Asiana has installed a 32-inch HD Monitor, “the world’s largest in-flight screen,” which can be controlled via video handset.

Asiana has also installed ovens in their galleys, to cook up “delicious and fresher meals.”

A ceiling reminiscent of Mickey’s robes as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice also features. Asiana believes their Starlight ceiling creates “a veritable Milky Way,” and will help passengers relax and sleep better.

Once awake, passengers can freshen up in the multi-purpose lavatories which “efficiently combine” a lavatory, powder and dressing room.

Business Class is transformed to “Business Smartium.”

Asiana has installed their sixty-six full-flat seats onboard in a zig-zag staggered pattern, which gives every Smartium passenger full aisle access and space to themselves.

IFE in this section of the cabin features a 15.6-inch HD monitor, also with a touch-screen control. In case passengers are inclined to get some work done onboard, the seat comes with a separate dining table and side table, a handy place to lay a laptop down when those fresh-baked meals arrive.

Asiana has also included added a social area on the A380, with a bar and lounge to sit in and chat-up fellow passengers, while enjoying some refreshment.

The lavatories in Smartium also have separate dressing rooms, for those critical wardrobe changes between acts.

A slim seat on Asiana’s A380 Travel Class isn’t a slim seat. It’s a “magic slim-fit” seat.

Asiana indicates that the 417 seats are “1-inch slimmer than previous versions,” indicating that “the slimmer design creates more legroom,” on a 33-inch pitch.

These “magic” seats are ergonomically designed, and Asiana claims the cushioning “remains unchanged,” providing passengers with the same level of comfort as conventional seats. Asiana has also installed footrests to stable support reducing travel fatigue.

The IFE screen in Travel Class is 11.1-inches, HD, with “realistic sound effects.” Those seated on the second floor window seats also get personal lockers to stow their little extras.


Then it all gets a little too magical, depending on your personal preferences. For reasons we have yet to fathom, Asiana has decided to have magicians performing their tricks onboard. More mystical passengers can have their Tarot cards read.

In fairness, the magic shows are intended to entertain the kiddies, along with cookie baking, balloon art, chalk-art, dress-up and a photo session.

Ladies can enjoy a “Charming” service to help refresh their makeup before landing.

There are also “Delighters” on these flights, who will put on traditional Korean fashion shows and portray traditional wedding ceremonies.

As Asiana reveals, the Delighters are actually flight attendants, which is a curious choice of duties for safety personnel.

These same flight attendants, Asiana indicates, are certified in bar tending and provide a cocktail service onboard. That is a more conventional secondary duty for flight attendants, but it’s clear that cabin crew on Asiana have to have some prestidigitation skills to succeed.

They must also serve as baristas and sommeliers. Asiana does not specifically say that the functions of magician, mystic, and make-up artist are also performed by flight attendants, but who else would it be?

Last, Asiana promises magical meals, created by Korea’s top master chefs exclusively for the airline, ranging from traditional Korean cuisine to Chinese, Japanese and Western menus. They all look appetising.

The cabin design as a whole is a refreshing take on luxury, balanced by functionality. And, yes, a bit magical.

We can’t fault Asiana for trying to pull a rabbit out of their hat, after the troubles the airline has experienced; and it’s always nice to see a new A380 design appear before our very eyes.

We do wonder whether assigning these numerous and varied duties to personnel, whose primary job function should be the safety and security of passengers on board, is such a smart trick.

Marisa Garcia has worked in aviation since 1994, spending 16 years on the design and manufacturing of cabin interiors and cabin safety equipment. She shares insights gained from this experience on Flight Chic and Tweets as @designerjet.


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Tags: a380, airbus, asiana airlines

Photo credit: First-class seating compartments. Asiana Airlines

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