New York-based airline, JetBlue has revealed the cabin interior of its new A321neo aircraft, a design intended to create a downtown feel in the skies, with a comfort-focused LOPA.
The inflight experience has been created with input from the Acumen design agency in London, and the distinctive JetBlue onboard experience begins the moment passengers step on to the plane when they are bathed in the brand’s sky blue mood lighting and uplifting boarding music. The design teams strived to create a strong architectural signature at the entrance – including a bespoke graphic arc flooring design – and softened the aesthetic of the galley space, an area which can sometimes appear rather industrial, using features such as full-height edge-lit partitions.
The designers also customised the front row partition to enhance crew privacy, and also added fold-down tables and new stowage options for crew iPads, as well as a subtle window to facilitate a direct view of the cabin for crew seated in the attendant seats.
The cabins have been fitted with the Collins Aerospace Meridian seat, with an 18in seat width. The base economy offer, branded Core, offers a 32in pitch on average, which the airline claims is “the most legroom in coach” (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch for US airlines), with the economy-plus cabin (branded Even More Space) offering at least a 35in pitch.
All seats feature a custom-made, ELeather dress cover designed by Acumen and manufactured by upholstery specialists, Sabeti Wain Aerospace. The Core dress cover has been embellished with the airline’s signature blue branding, while the Even More Space seats feature a bold orange ‘halo’, to highlight the increase in seat pitch and help differentiate the offer.
All seats feature 10in IFE displays, adjustable padded headrests, memory foam cushions, as well as a new ‘backpack’ stowage system (also named the “gadget panel” by JetBlue) with pockets and a woven elastic grid that can be adjusted to suit individual needs. The backpack enables passengers to securely store, organise and charge multiple personal items such as phones, tablets, headphones and passports, and easily access them when needed.
Daniel Clucas, senior designer at Acumen Design Associates commented, “By re-working the LOPA and developing custom stowage options, we were able to give customers more choice in how they use their increased space.”
The A321neo’s lavatories have also been customised in line with the desired modern urban residential feel of the aircraft. Positioned at both the front and rear of the cabin, the lavs feature hints of New York style such as blue and grey laminate brick tiles, a large mirrored wall and polished concrete-effect flooring.
A unique feature of the JetBlue experience is the self-service snack and drinks station, known as the Marketplace on other aircraft in the fleet, but branded ‘The Pantry’ for the A321neo, and designed with residential styling that combines the airline’s brand blue with natural wood finishes and soft downlights. The airline hopes to subtly lure customers to this zone by use of creative mood lighting, which creates a blue hoop around The Pantry in the middle of the cabin, which flows alongside the denim-style carpet of the main cabin.
Andrew Litavis, product development manager at JetBlue, summed up the project: “Built with our crew members and our customers in mind, the new A321 cabin is unlike any other single-aisle aircraft interior flying today – and will redefine expectations for economy travellers taking to the skies.”
JetBlue has 85 A321neo aircraft on order including 13 A321LR (Long Range) aircraft for service to London from New York and Boston beginning in 2021, as well as 13 A321XLR (Xtra Long Range) aircraft which the airline intends to use to serve a variety of European cities.