Virgin Atlantic's new A330 has seductive mood lighting

By danwarne, August 3 2011
Virgin Atlantic's new A330 has seductive mood lighting

Who says the glamour has been lost from trans-Atlantic air travel? Virgin Atlantic's latest Airbus A330 will welcome you into a cabin bathed in a soft "rose champagne" glow, and it only gets better from there.

The primrose mood lighting in Virgin's new A330 welcomes you upon boarding.. Maxine Sheppard
The primrose mood lighting in Virgin's new A330 welcomes you upon boarding.
Maxine Sheppard

The airline says this colour has been chosen to de-stress passengers whilst encouraging them to relax into their journey.

This then changes into a cosy and comfortable “purple haze”, which during meal service transitions into “amber warmth” to mimic a candlelight dining environment.

To help passengers drift into a deep sleep, “silver moonlight” is introduced to reflect a starry night sky.

Virgin Atlantic is initially offering the mood lighting in the Premium Economy cabin on its new A330 aircraft, but will eventually extend the lighting throughout the fleet.

The airline says it commissioned architectural lighting experts DHA to research what colours were most beneficial for cabin ambience.

They found that apricot is the most flattering for skin tones, whilst yellow causes people to lose their tempers more often and makes babies cry.

Pink is seen as a relaxing, tranquilising colour and red is the most emotionally intense and stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing.

Luke Miles, Head of Design at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We aim to help our passengers unwind, sleep and arrive at their destination rejuvenated.”

The lighting may even help passengers beat jetlag: the airline says appropriate lighting can trigger the body to adjust time zones more rapidly.

Some of the effects of the light will only apply in-flight though. According to Virgin Atlantic: "a soft apricot filter on the reading lights makes people look more attractive during their long-haul flight" -- which means they will probably still look pale and drawn once they're off the aircraft and into the fluorescent glare of the airport!

Variable mood lighting is becoming more commonplace in air travel, with Boeing's next generation 737s now sporting a futuristic Sky Interior which includes adjustable LED lighting from tip to tail.

Virgin Australia is the first domestic airline with the updated 737-800. The airline's creative direct Hans Hulsbosch told Australian Business Traveller that colours employed by the airline will be purple and white, which complement the Virgin Australia colour scheme.

"It will be very bright when passengers are boarding, to emphasise the plane's spacious feel and create a welcoming atmosphere" Hulsbosch says.

"During take-off and landing the purple will soften to help reduce stress levels, and it will also be dim during the flight for a more relaxing feel, but will be turned up again when meals are served."

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