Virgin Atlantic Wins with Upper Class Suite

29th Jun 2004

Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce that it has won six of the industry’s most prestigious design awards for its revolutionary Upper Class Suite.  The product, which has been rolling out across Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of Boeing 747-400’s and Airbus A340-600’s since last October, has been awarded the following:D&AD AWARDS   Yellow Pencil (Silver Award) Product Design
IDEA AWARDS   IDEA Gold Award - Transport Design
FX AWARDS   Best Leisure Furniture Award
DESIGN WEEK AWARDS   Best Industrial Product Design
ID ANNUAL REVIEW AWARDS Best in Category - Furniture
RED DOT AWARDS   Best of the Best of High Quality Design    

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, said:
“We are delighted with this recognition received for the Upper Class Suite.  These awards are testament to the efforts and talent of our in-house design team and all those involved in the development of the Upper Class Suite.  We are extremely proud of the new cabin and feedback from passengers confirms that we have every right to be!”

Joe Ferry, Virgin Atlantic’s Head of Design, said:

“We are so pleased that Virgin Atlantic’s designs are being recognised, in this way, by the design industry. It is so challenging creating designs within the space and legislative constraints of an aircraft interior and to see Virgin’s designs compete and win alongside brands such as Apple, Lamborghini and BMW is a magnificent achievement.

“Virgin has a history of creating innovative designs and these awards acknowledge the results of the unique way in which our in-house design team select and collaborate with the best external design consultants to create the aviation industry’s leading designs.”


The aim of the redesign of the Upper Class cabin was to create a new travel experience based around an ‘air of natural glamour’.  The centrepiece of Virgin Atlantic’s new cabin is its revolutionary new seat and bed.  Different to anything else flying today, the product was designed to be separately both the most comfortable bed and the most comfortable seat in the air.  Virgin Atlantic’s seat provides the passenger with a luxury leather armchair to relax on which then flips over into a separate bed with a mattress to sleep on.

The famous D&AD AWARDS , widely known as the ‘Oscars’ of the creative industry and better known as the Yellow Pencil Awards are the most internationally respected and prestigious creative awards for the design and advertising industry.  The D&AD Awards hold a special kudos as they are not automatically awarded each year. Only on the rare occasion that a piece of work breaks the mould or sets a new standard of excellence in creativity is the ‘Yellow Pencil’ awarded.

The INDUSTRIAL DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARDS (IDEA) are dedicated to fostering business and public understanding of the importance of industrial design excellence to the quality of life and the economy. Winning the IDEA is a distinction like no other that brands your design as the very best in the business, among your peers, among your clients, among consumers around the world.

Now in their sixth year, the FX AWARDS reward the best in interior products and projects. Organised by leading contract interiors magazine FX, these coveted awards are a highlight in the industry calendar.

Now celebrating its fourteenth year, the DESIGN WEEK AWARDS scheme sets out to honour creative excellence in design.  Entry to the awards is open to individual designers, design consultancies and in-house design teams. A panel of expert judges, a mix of designers and design clients chaired by Design Week editor, judge the entries across all categories for great ideas, beautiful executions, that are appropriate for their target market. Innovation and wit are among the qualities that win points.

Since 1954, the ID ANNUAL DESIGN REVIEW has recognized the best in product, furniture, graphic and environmental design, from the iconic to the obscure. Throughout the years, this annual showcase has chronicled the evolution of design, and highlighted its impact on our material and visual culture.

With more than 4,000 registrations from 40 countries, the RED DOT DESIGN AWARD is among the largest design competitions in the world. The competition is divided into two sectors, product design and communication design, which are separately organised and evaluated by a jury.


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