Philippine Airlines has unveiled its completely reconfigured and refurbished A330-300, with cabin design by LIFT Strategic Design.
“Above all, the design reflects PAL’s aspiration to be a top-rated airline to, from and within the Philippines, one of Asia’s most dynamic economies", said Daniel Baron, CEO of LIFT Strategic Design. "Many PAL employees have been at the carrier for decades. They are passionate to see their airline deliver on the company’s tagline ‘the heart of the Filipino’.
“In terms of hard product and styling, PAL’s recently added 777-300ERs represented an evolution. The reconfigured A330, however, is about revolution, with a new design on forward and rear walls, enhanced seat comfort and privacy in business class, and a new service class (premium economy).”
Inspiration for a new generation: the elegant Barong Filipino
“On any aircraft, the forward and rear walls of each seating zone define the ambience of the entire cabin. What goes on those walls also drives visual differentiation between classes, and between airline brands.”
“Over the past ten years, our original wall design for PAL, “Coastlines”, has served PAL well, welcoming customers with its soft shades of blue that represent the view of an island coast from above in a land of 7100 islands. But it was time for something new and completely different, something that further underscores PAL’s positioning as the full-service airline of the Philippines.”
“One aspect of the country’s rich cultural heritage stood out more than anything: the incredible beauty and diversity of its textiles. We wanted to celebrate this and create a modern interpretation suitable for an aircraft cabin. We chose a geometric element from a Barong Filipino, the traditional shirt worn by women and men throughout the country. Just like a piece of clothing woven with skill and love, the forward and rear wall coverings gently ‘wrap’ the cabin environment in warmth and elegance.”
In premium classes, the barong element appears in vertical sections of light gold and silver on a beige background. In Economy Class, the same pattern is used on a white background. “It communicates professionalism and filipino hospitality to foreign visitors, and immediately says ‘welcome home’ to Filipinos the moment they step aboard.”
“Our styling of the Thompson Aero Seating Vantage XL business class seat began with a simple proposition: the seat as embodiment of PAL’s true potential as a full-service network carrier. It’s about leveraging the visual and tactile qualities of a product to instantly communicate ‘premium experience in a calm, stylish environment.”
“The external surface of the seat shell is a delicious shade of champagne with a soft metallic finish that instantly communicates ‘premium’. A dark blue fabric for the shell lining creates a sense of cocooned coziness, while absorbing sound for an even more peaceful rest.”
“The seat fabric is a basket weave pattern of in two soft shades of blue, with detailing in cream.”
“The same barong pattern used for forward and rear walls of each zone appears on the lining of the pocket in shades of pewter and light gold, for a touch of classic glamour. “
“The retainer for the personal item shelf features a texture inspired by filipino mother of pearl known locally as capiz,”
“Table inlays have a pressed bamboo pattern, a reference to the abundance of beautiful natural materials used throughout the country in furniture and home decoration.”
“The business class seat covers also feature contour lines that reference PAL’s sunburst logo while enhancing perception of comfort. A small touch that underscores PAL’s commitment to quality throughout the customer journey.”
New and true premium economy seat
“PAL’s new Premium Economy Class provides an upgraded experience in a dedicated zone just after Business Class. The seat fabric features an elegant basket weave pattern in medium blue mixed with mandarin. The result is a highly textured, premium look and feel. Complementing the fabric are meal and cocktail tables in a light wood grain. Together with the super comfortable seat packed with creature features, the ambience of the cabin communicates to customers a differentiated, enhanced experience.”
Dedicated carpet for premium classes
“Business class and premium economy have a dedicated carpet design. Inspired by banig, handwoven floor coverings, it has the appearance of colors very subtly overlapping in a geometric pattern.”
Economy class seat
“Economy class is no less important, in the sense that ever element needs to communicate comfort, a modern Filipino aesthetic and the incredibly warm hospitality for which PAL is well known.”
“The main seat fabric features a flip-flop color-change effect, meaning that the color appears different depending on the angle of view. With a single fabric, the seatbacks appear turquoise, while the seat bottom cushions take on a sunshine orange hue. The look is both dynamic and premium. The sides of the seats are covered in a different fabric with a diamond pattern that has roots in traditional filipino weaving. With headrests in blue or turquoise leather, the overall appearance of the seat is modern and clean, and unmistakably Filipino.”
Economy class carpet
The carpet in economy class features a background of deep-sea blue with tiny dots in turquoise, in a vertical pattern of alternating waves. It represents the sea linking a nation of 7,100 islands.
LIFT also designed the cabin for PAL’s recently delivered 777-300ERs, and is working on the airline’s next-generation A350 and A321 fleets, to be launched in 2018. LIFT's warm relationship with PAL goes back to 2007 and cabin design for its first batch of 777-300ERs. “Over the past ten years, we have worked with PAL on twelve seat programs across seven fleets. The PAL team is truly like family, and I am deeply grateful for their trust and friendship” said Baron.