Airplane cabins aren’t often known as incubators for great design inspiration.
But, Delta Airlines is looking to change that. This April, they’re announcing a partnership with Alessi to furnish their premium cabins with high-end, one-of-a-kind serviceware and dishes. The world-renowned Italian brand is known for creating some of the world’s sleekest, chicest, most modern designs.
The unique line has been 18 months in the making and is just now ready for primetime. Travelers in Delta’s premium classes of travel — including Delta One and First Class — will be the first to see the upgrade. The serviceware will then roll out to Delta Premium Select passengers later this year.
Six of Alessi’s most celebrated designers were tasked to rework a total of 86 pieces of dinnerware, glassware, flatware, and other service accessories. Adapting some of their existing designs for the rigors and weight requirements of air travel proved a daunting one. One of the company’s signature wine glass designs — the iconic “Ovale,” for example — needed to be reworked with a wider, hollowed-out base. The resulting design is lighter, more stable, and perfectly suited for the airline’s needs.
But, the design house took it a step further by altering the glass’s shape so that adjacent glasses fit more closely against one another when stored. Geometry fans can appreciate this concept of interlocking–known as tessellation–and it’s arguably the single most important business consideration for airlines. Applying better tessellation to these glasses — and the entire new line in general — means a space-savings of up to 33%. Delta will allegedly take advantage of the extra space to make room for all-new martini glasses. And that’s a win for everyone.
For years, the design, technology, and overall amenities of many domestic carriers in the United States have lagged behind the offerings of first-rate international carriers like Emirates and Virgin Atlantic. The introduction of this new serviceware is part of Delta’s commitment to providing a better, more competitive travel experience that includes extensive modernization of their entire fleet. Other enhancements rolling out in 2017 include seasonal wine menus, Wi-Fi Internet on most flights, upgraded seatback entertainment systems with free programming, and better snacks and meals all around.
We’ll drink to that.
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