The Upper Class Loft, collaboratively designed by Virgin Atlantic and Factorydesign, embraces the social aspects of flying with a new lounge space on A350.

Guided by feedback from customers, Virgin Atlantic wanted to create a flexible social area that also doubled up as a welcome space to the aircraft.  There was a clear direction that customers would enjoy a versatile space where they could choose to socialise, work or enjoy a cocktail, therefore we created the Virgin Upper Class Loft.

Through manipulation of the available space either side of the doorway, a versatile seating arrangement was created, accommodating up to 8 people – five seated and three standing.  The Loft space is designed to allow it to be populated by varying group sizes, whether customers are travelling in a large group, as a couple, or alone, the Loft supports their needs.

The seats facilitate a range of different seating orientations.  Customers can either sit facing each other in booth seats, or facing the neighbouring banquette with a table between them for subtle separation.  A customer seated in the end bay can face into the doorway for an informal, more casual social space.   All of the seats in the Loft feature safety belts, a new feature for Virgin Atlantic, which enables customers to continue to occupy the Loft even during turbulence.

Doorway areas are often wasted during flight, so integration of the available cross-aisle space into the overall Loft layout, creates an area that is both efficient, spacious and has the signature Virgin Atlantic boarding theatre.  The flow into the Upper Class cabin is enhanced by the use of semi-translucent privacy panels which give a ‘glimpse’ either way into the spaces, lessening the visual barrier.

The Loft was developed through a series of full-scale mock ups and investigated for comfort and ergonomics, with the seating and spatial relationships fine-tuned in line with the correct positional, spacial and certification requirements.

With references to previous iterations of Virgin Atlantic on-board bars, including dramatic lighting, ceiling features and decorative finishes, the A350 cabin represents a significant step for Virgin Atlantic in continuing to pursue excellence in Customer Experience throughout their cabins.