Virgin Atlantic - A380

Challenges and opportunities

Virgin Atlantic planned to be the first airline to fly the new Airbus A380 from the UK. With twice the capacity of the ageing 747 and a hefty price tag, these planes represented an ambitious investment and an opportunity for Virgin to radically re-think aspects of its service offer.

Engine was brought on board to help the marketing team create a compelling vision for this new travel experience and to push the creative possibilities of the opportunity.

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What we did

Engine aimed to explore all aspects of this new scenario, from the passenger’s perspective of boarding, flying and disembarking. We undertook comprehensive experience audits to uncover expectations about tomorrow’s airline service and the types of customer who would be experiencing it. These provided invaluable insights about what travel could and should be about for customers. We compared these insights with further research into the existing realities of air travel services and delivery.

The research highlighted three main factors, people, spaces and activities, which helped to generate a high-level vision and a range of ideas and features to bring it to life. Engine then developed strategies for design and implementation in an overarching concept called ‘A Configuration Policy’.

The essence of the concept was adaptability and how any of the spaces and activities through the experience could be adapted and configured to suit a range of needs and behaviours. To distribute the experience across the classes, Engine developed a series of conceptual metaphors to represent the experiences in each class and to demonstrate the vision that the A380 travel experience would be a contribution to life, not an interruption. 

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Engine translated the vision, concepts, ideas and features into engaging storyboards to bring the vision to life across the passenger experience.

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