High-flying design

Ultra comfortable seats, menus from award-winning chefs, fine champagnes and quality china and tableware from the top design houses around. It’s not a new luxury hotel, but the latest developments in air travel, reserved for the cream of international airlines. We have arrived at a new level of hospitality, not just because we’re doing it at 10,000 feet, but because the attention to detail and quality of the services offered in Business and First Class are, in essence, five-star standard. The big airlines are battling out for the famous names of kitchenware and design, through which they hope to pamper their passengers. Alitalia, for example, has renewed its partnership with Poltrona Frau – founded in 1990 – to dress the armchairs in its new intercontinental Business Class with colour-contrast Pelle Frau® leather (beige and black), in a nod to the style of the luxury sports car. It seems to be the mode du jour for the big players in the sector, given that Poltrona Frau has also been chosen by Singapore Airlines and Etihad for their new luxury suites.
But the Italian national airline (which, on the subject of exclusive collaborations, has also teamed up with Frette for its linen) is not the only one looking to join forces with the giants of contemporary design. AirFrance has tasked the widely celebrated Jean-Marie Massaud with designing a new line of tableware. The French designer has devised two very different lines, for Business and Premier: the former is characterised by fluid, light geometric lines, while the latter is brimming with pure, sophisticated character, featuring 40 pieces of Bernardaud china, bevelled glasses and cutlery from the brand’s Christofle collection. An illustrious forefather in this field was Marcel Wanders, who in 2010 created a line of tableware for KLM’s Business Class.
Quality hospitality is thus broadening its horizons and extending its possibilities, maintaining a strong focus on Italian design and expressing itself through an unmistakeable style that exalts the art of eating.