Environment 95 Stories

New cabin interior, sustainable design

Published

22nd Mar, 2013

A full-flat seat, new carpeting, panel decorations, curtains, blankets, cushions and upholstery – the entire interior and style of World Business Class is being renewed. KLM is fulfilling the wishes of passengers by offering them even more comfort, privacy and a homely atmosphere in World Business Class. Leading Dutch designer Hella Jongerius was contracted to design a comfortable cabin interior with a homely atmosphere. And it all had to be as sustainable as possible, of course.

Sustainability is a guiding principle in all new developments at KLM. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius teamed up with KLM to seek solutions within the existing options available to the airline industry. One example is the full-flat seat, which allows passengers to recline in a fully horizontal position. The seat is not only more comfortable than its predecessor, but also lighter. That means lower fuel consumption and, consequently, lower CO2 emissions. In addition, the total number of seats in World Business Class will be reduced.

Cradle-to-cradle carpeting

The innovative and sustainable new carpeting was developed together with the supplier Desso. This is the first time that cradle-to-cradle carpeting will be used in the air transport industry. The carpeting is made of offcuts of Norwegian wool and snippets of discarded uniforms previously worn by KLM stewardesses. The 90,000 kilos of textile that remained after the ladies exchanged their uniforms in 2010 was transformed into a felt-like raw material. This was used, among other things, to create handbags (designed by Omar Munie), baggage labels, and now carpeting for our cabin interiors. A great example of “upcyling” – transforming old textile into new raw materials for high-quality products. On top of that, we never just throw away our old carpets, opting instead to have them recycled by Desso in accordance with their cradle-to-cradle principle.

Homely

In addition to sustainability, other guiding principles included comfort, privacy and safety, as well as our passengers’ wish to feel even more at home aboard our aircraft. Hella Jongerius has succeeded in combining all these elements to create a superb design. A World Business Class (WBC) cabin interior with an entirely new atmosphere, furnishings and style. A more homely environment than before.

Renovated aircraft

The first KLM aircraft featuring the new interior will take to the air in July 2013. We’ll start with our Boeing 747-400 fleet – a total of 22 aircraft – which will all have been redecorated by April 2014. After that, we plan to start on our Boeing 777-200 fleet.

Who is Hella Jongerius?

Hella Jongerius (1963) is considered one of the most important designers of her generation. She creates tableware and vases, but also fabrics, chairs and sofas. Her work is exhibited in numerous international museums, including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (New York), MoMA (New York) and the Design Museum (London).

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