05 July 2009

Trends in aviation interior design, from an expert with vast experience in the field…

The other day, I was talking to somebody who asked me how I got into such a specialised field as aircraft manufacturing and interiors. ‘Because,’ he said, rather flatteringly, ‘you have had a successful aviation career and basically a broad experience in marketing and operational management.’

It is because I am a writer that I am interested in people and what concerns them the most. And aircraft comfort and product branding is rather an unwieldy name for people.

People look for the luxuries in travel. It is because luxury is a matter of taste that it has taken a century since the appearance of the Wright Brothers’ first flight to the ‘exciting developments’ in the aircraft industry (as demonstrated dramatically in June 2005 at the Paris Air show.”

Visual identities

This is Jennifer Coutts Clay — a remarkable woman who has transformed her technical know-how and expertise in the field of aviation into concrete shape in her new book, Jetliner Cabins. With a particular focus on airline and aircraft corporate and brand identification, the work covers all aspects of the visual identity of the airline industry, including the design for both exteriors and interiors of the Concorde and Supersonic fleets.

“The book has tackled serious questions and showcased the high efficiency of the next generation of aircrafts Airbus A380-800, Boeing B787 Dreamliner, Bombardier C Series, Embraer E-Jets, the Legacy and the Phenom100 and 300; and exciting new passenger service products for first, business, and economy classes.”

Aviation has grown into an industry that is often judged merely by the level of its technical advancement; however, in our times, advancements are becoming more and more consumer-oriented. In Jetliner Cabins, Jennifer includes beautiful illustrations of cabin interiors reminiscent of James Bond cocktail bars, with the promise that this sort of luxury might, one day very soon, be available to all travellers; yet, practical, as well, she also provides a commercial perspective of the aviation business in the past and present, and points to its future — rightly so by one who has been a key player in the Air Transport industry for 30 years.

Vast experience

After having worked with a broad range of companies, including short haul and long haul airlines, Jennifer worked on introducing a three-class upgrade program for the Boeing B747 fleet at South African Airways, and the introduction into commercial service of the Canadian Regional Jet at United Express.

In addition, as a certified consultant to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Jennifer has also been a guest speaker at a variety of industry conferences concerning aviation design trends. Her column in the magazine Aircraft Interiors, which has been appreciated for disseminating first-hand knowledge and resources to the public, provides qualitative evidence of her work.

One hundred and five years ago, on December 7, 1903,Wilbur and Orville Wright, by manually steering an aircraft in the presence of five people in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, began a revolution in the art of flying that would change the course of history, and now, in the modern day, the marvels of aviation — its developing economy and creation of a mass transport system — have imperceptibly become a part of our daily lives. The state of aviation art design intrigues and appeals to a large audience, not only of manufacturers, travel agents, designers, engineers, architects, but also to the millions of passengers who travel across the world in these specialised aircrafts. Jennifer’s Jetliner Cabins, now in the new millennium, promises to revolutionise commercial design, covering everything from flight operations to supersonic carpets — a truly a mammoth step in the direction of appealing directly to the consumer.







ISBN 0-979-8-218-33203-7


Grateful acknowledgement is given to the airlines and other organizations credited in this book for permission to use their photographs.
There are other images, also credited, that come from publicly available sources, for example, company sales brochures and websites.
Pictures that are displayed without photo credits come from the Collection of J. Clay Consulting.