Aircraft Cabin Management

Japan Airlines renews its domestic flagship with purchase of first Airbus

Japan Airlines

In 2013, Japan Airlines signed to purchase its first Airbus aircraft for its next-generation flagship.

Design consultancy tangerine’s brief was to express the essence of Japan Airlines through “tradition, innovation, Japanese spirit” in the design of the new fleet, featuring First Class, Class J and Economy Class cabins.

Japan Airlines’ ambitions were to grow their business and create a lasting impression on both their domestic and international travellers.

The challenge was to create an on-board experience that caters to the tastes of the domestic market, while appealing to the desires of the international passengers that the airline was hoping to attract.

Tangerine created a design strategy, ‘Infused Essence’, that captures the essence of Japanese culture and identity and embodies it in a contemporary travel experience aimed at Japanese and international passengers.”

Key features

Japan Airlines


“Infused Essence” concept inspired an update to the livery. Winglets dipped in JAL’s signature red, with the colour diffusing gently into the white of the wing to signify an infusion of tradition into the modern day.

Cabin space

The mood of the cabin is welcoming and spacious, yet cosy at the same time. It is the first and only A350 to feature dark side walls.

The dark colour brings a more intimate feeling to the cabin, contrasted with a pure white ceiling and overhead bins that reflect light into the space.

Passengers are met with a memorable JAL red wall with a gold Tsurumaru logo as they enter the aircraft.

First Class

Redefined seat geometry of Jamco First-Class seat to deliver significant improvements in passenger comfort

Origami inspired pleated bulkhead feature. Emphasis on craftsmanship in the design of form, materials and textures.

Grain and stitching of the e-leather wrapping over the top of the seat shell creates a distinctive signature for JAL.

Class J

The width of the Recaro seat is emphasised by splitting the seat covers into two distinct colour blocks of burgundy and inky blue-black.

Japan Airlines

Economy Class

When passengers enter the cabin, the impression is composed and monochromatic.

As they turn to sit down, this changes from tones of grey to crisp white, with a flash of red on the seat back literature pocket.


Inspiration came from small Japanese spaces, which often use a combination of dark colours and textures to create a sophisticated space.

Dark brown walls with a metallic copper overprint, mirroring the custom dark brown PU coating applied to the aircraft interior walls.

Colours and textures are contrasted with the pure white of the sink, the pale oak grain pattern on the vanity unit and the subtle lighting on the stone-like floor, creating a serene experience for JAL’s passengers.

Tangerine chief creative officer, Matt Round says: “tangerine set a vision that represents JAL across the whole customer experience for people travelling in every cabin. We have captured the essence of Japan and expressed it in JAL’s own unique way to entice its domestic travellers as well as widen the appeal to the international market.”

Tangerine Creative lead and head of Japan Business, Yuichi Ishihara says: “Across four years, tangerine formed a deep collaboration with JAL to implement the ‘Infused Essence’ design strategy. Working with people across different divisions of JAL, we helped to manage the project and the airline’s suppliers to ensure a high-quality result.”

JAL Representative director and chairman Mr. Yoshiharu Ueki says: “The cabin interior expresses JAL with a sophisticated taste. It is a wonderful achievement.”

‘Infused Essence’ is expressed throughout the aircraft, from the exterior winglet dipped in JAL red to the welcoming mood and spacious, yet cosy, passenger environment created for the interior.

Each cabin interior class has its own distinct identity unified by a single vision for JAL.

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