Virgin Atlantic is ditching an on-board drinking area made famous as James Bond’s watering hole in favour of a social space and movie hub in its latest aircraft. The flight firm has given the first glimpse of its new Airbus A350-1000 carrier and, in particular, its jaw-dropping business class area termed “upper class.” The Loft will welcome passengers this summer and will be a stark departure from the bar area found on previous flights. Instead, it will be able to accommodate around eight passengers in a “flexible” space which can be used from everything from movie watching to important business meetings.
Mark Anderson, an executive vice president at Virgin Atlantic, told the Press Association: “We know the bars work very well.
“We know people love to socialise but we also know we can only get three or four people around the bar.
“We wanted to do something that brought more people into the party – a more flexible space.
“You can have it for a meeting, you can watch a movie, you can have your dinner.”
Mr Anderson denied the switch is in response to some passengers complaining about noise from the bar, but admitted: “In any kind of social space you can have people enjoying it too much.”
He said: “There’s an element of wanting to take it to a more democratised level, because for some people the bar could be a bit intimidating.
“If there’s a group of people there already and you’re by yourself, you may not feel quite so able to go and relax.”
The brand made clear the heritage of the on-board bar, which featured in Daniel Craig’s 2008 film, Quantum of Solace.
They say they are the first airline to introduce the concept of an on-board bar.
Bond knocked back cocktails as he took to the skies and Mark said he believed the 007 character could well do the same in the new space format.
He added he thought the MI5 agent would enjoy the luxuries of the Loft and would be enticed by it, and said: “I’m sure we could (entice him).
“You’ll have all the things you had with the bar and more.”
The Upper Class section of Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A350-1000 also boasts a number of other new features, including an 18.5in screen at every seat as well as a partial privacy screen and seats.
Meanwhile, it’s not just Upper Class passengers who will see the benefits.
Economy seats will be upgraded with new fabrics and adjustable headrests, as well as a larger screen exceeding 11in.
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