Virgin Blue hope to put the glamour back in to air travel with the unveiling of new designer flight attendant uniforms, a new business class cabin and a “superior economy class”.
Modelled by Elle Macpherson and a team of 60 Virgin crew and pilots, the uniforms were unveiled on a makeshift runway at Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall in true Virgin style.
Juli Grbac of Project Runway fame designed the new uniforms with “style, sophistication and old-world glamour” in mind.
“I took inspiration from the glamour of flying in the 1960s, and gave it a contemporary edge”, she says.
Ms Grbac said she spoke to flight attendants on a transit flight and quizzed them on what they didn’t like about their old uniforms.
Among their complaints were that the sleeves were too long, tight and restrictive, the hemline too drab, and that they just weren’t stylish enough.
“They just really wanted to look good for work”, Ms Grbac said.
So far the response from the staff has been positive, according to flight attendant Alicia Cicero.
“Juli’s brought a sort of glamour in to air travel, elegance and fun back into uniforms”, she revealed.
The new designs are more striking in colour and design than the previous khaki uniforms, have shorter sleeves, come to the knee and are made of super stretch and ultra breathable fabrics.
“I had to work with Virgin’s red, silver and purple, so I decided to make the red a little richer and add the purple as a splash of colour in the silk scarves”, Ms Grbac said.
The male uniform, which features the brand’s iconic purple in the tie, had some personal input from Mr Borgetti, who “wears a lot of designer brands and has an eye for style”.
“The guys said they actually feel like pilots now”, Ms Grbac says
As well as the new uniform, Mr Borghetti promised a new business class product and new airport lounges in a bid to lure more corporate travellers.
The airline group has flagged more changes to come over the year to December 31, 2011, including a new marketing campaign, new product across the fleet and a revamped Velocity frequent flyer program.
Mr Borghetti confirmed the first routes for Virgin Blue’s widebody Airbus A330 aircraft would be between Sydney and Perth, with services to start in May.
“The aircraft would feature a new business class cabin and a “superior economy class”, the Virgin Blue airline said.
Virgin will open a lounge at Coolangatta airport by June 30 this year and a further two lounges would be added by the end of the year.