James Park Associates has been appointed by Gulf Air to revamp its branding and upgrade its fleet of aircraft.
The consultancy signed a contract to work with the Middle East operator last Tuesday after the airline approached the architecture and design consultancy three months ago, says JPA managing director James Park.
The appointment follows the group’s creation of Singapore Airlines’ latest business class seat on the Airbus A380 plane, and business class seats for SA’s Boeing 777-300ER fleet.
A spokesman for Gulf Air says, ‘We intend to become the premium airline carrier in the Middle East.’ He says the appointment is aimed at strengthening the brand in a region where several carriers operate, with rivals such as the International Airline of United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways.
The consultancy replaces Landor Associates, which has been designing Bahrain’s national airline’s branding for the past six years (DW 10 April 2003).
The new-look corporate image will be applied to aircraft interiors, livery and uniforms, says the airline’s spokesman, who goes on to add that the company will be expanding its 35-strong fleet of aircraft to 85 by 2013.
Gulf Air chief executive Björn Näf adds, ‘We will redesign every aspect of the passenger experience.’
‘Our designs will change seating, interior finishes, passenger lounges and the colour scheme,’ says Park. He says his consultancy is in the initial stages of the design process and is looking at concepts. The designs should be completed in 18 months. He continues, ‘We intend to raise passenger expectations with our creations and will be drawing on our experiences of designing interiors in luxury hotels and railways.’
Previous projects by the consultancy include the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, the Eastern and Oriental Express, the Royal Scotsman, Taj Exotica Resort and Spa in Mauritius and the Pierre Hotel in New York.
MIDDLE EASTERN AIRLINE BRANDING
• April 2003 – identity by Landor Associates
• April 2008 – James Park Associates contracted to upgrade brand
• June 2007 – undertakes wholesale review of brand with Landor
• February 2008 – unveils latest stage of lounge and retail design in Abu Dhabi airport and city centre by Above Consultancy
• March 2001 – FutureBrand creates retail flagship in Dubai