Aircraft Cabin Management

Highly customised VantageXL First enters service as Virgin Atlantic’s Retreat Suite

A highly customised version of Thompson Aero Seating’s VantageXL First fully flat-bed seat has entered into revenue service with Virgin Atlantic.

The VantageXL First is an innovative and exclusive front-row enhancement, which Virgin Atlantic has named its luxury Retreat Suite.

The configuration of the VantageXL seating range creates the option for a seamless two-class cabin at all-business-class density, effectively providing airlines with first class ‘for free’. Virgin Atlantic has taken advantage of the innovative design to create its Retreat Suite, offering passengers another level of luxury within the same density as a traditional all-business-class cabin.

Each Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo features two Retreat Suites in the centre front row. These exclusive suites provide additional personal space for relaxation, fine dining, or sleeping. The fully flat beds are 78.9” and each passenger has a 27” touchscreen TV with Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. Thompson has created an ottoman that doubles as an extra seat, enabling the passenger to dine with a friend, or to increase the sleeping space.

The rest of the Upper-Class (business-class) cabin also features the VantageXL Suite, each one providing 77” fully flat beds, privacy doors, 17.3” touchscreen TVs, and passenger-controlled mood lighting, all meticulously customised by Thompson. Each seat has direct-aisle access, extensive work and relaxation space, and a variety of personal stowages.

Andy Morris, VP Commercial for Thompson Aero Seating, said: “We have taken great pride and satisfaction in working with Virgin Atlantic to create this truly exclusive option. The VantageXL offers Virgin Atlantic passengers an extremely comfortable and enjoyable flight. The bonus of the VantageXL First suites – the Retreat Suite – is an added element of indulgence, and an extra draw for customers, with no additional LOPA demands. It really is a win-win for passengers and airlines alike.”

Henry Buckley, Design Manager at Virgin Atlantic commented: “In true Virgin Atlantic style, we have elevated the functionality, styling and features within our latest Upper-Class cabin, as we strive to develop innovative products and services that create memorable experiences for our customers. The VantageXL suite is a fantastic product, and our enhanced front-row offering, known as the Retreat Suite, is a particularly exciting addition to the cabin. It’s our most spacious suite yet. These two exclusive seats, with lots of extra space, storage and bigger screens, give our customers the opportunity to connect with each other in-flight, and engage with shared experiences for up to four people to enjoy. We are thrilled that our newest product is now in service and we hope that our customers are as delighted with it as we are.”

In creating the bespoke cabin interior for Virgin Atlantic, Thompson Aero Seating worked closely with Virgin Atlantic and with Factorydesign to ensure the design features met the distinctive vision and ethos of the airline. The styling and functionality have been carefully conceived to give a feeling of opulence and to differentiate Virgin Atlantic’s offering.


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