We long for the days when you could count on the Olympics and World Cup to inspire with compelling design. The latest entrants have seemed more like chain restaurant rejects than icons.
There are many hurdles ahead before a concept as radical as the Twister could take-off, but it has sound principles in ergonomics to back it, and recognizes a pressing need for more healthful conditions in very long-haul Economy. If nothing else, White and Factorydesign have started a very important dialogue.
The joy of a journey partially comes through the anticipation of what will happen and travel brands have a real opportunity to connect deeper with customers by tapping into this.
The extra room in cargo could be used to fit more passenger luggage (airlines make a nice profit from that) but most already travel with enough baggage. New ways to structure the cabin, using lost space in the hold to improve the passenger experience, would be most welcome.
Vertical seat design (3D) offers a way to make more passengers happy than horizontal lay-out alone can accomplish. It’s unfamiliar. It’s odd-looking. That makes it a little bit scary, to some. But, after 100 years of flight, perhaps it’s time for a radical change in direction.
Studies show that passengers’ sense of pleasure onboard is driven by a combination of cabin architecture, lighting, and the various cabin services available. People who feel better as a result of improvements in holistic cabin design will feel better even when other cabin elements, such as seat type and seat lay-out, are identical to those on aircraft which might otherwise rate lower.
By avoiding abrupt changes, and ensuring a consistent design, at all customer touch-points, Cathay Pacific demonstrates the inherent value and long-life of a carefully curated brand. It is that consistency that makes Cathay's at-home-on-the-road passenger experience authentic.
The really good news is that, while Premium passengers drive profits, Economy passengers are growing. That passenger growth can lead to positive changes in future Economy cabin design.
It's a beautiful seat that will be popular with passengers. It's also both classy and smart of Hawaiian to give new suppliers a chance to earn their business, at a time when larger industry suppliers are overwhelmed by orders.
Finnair becomes the latest airline to take advantage of the passenger experience features of the A350, with a Nordic design appeal. It is an enlightened vision for the future of flying.