• The Crystal Cabin Award 2015 goes to B/E Aerospace, Embraer, SABIC Innovative Plastics, SII Deutschland, ViaSat, Etihad Airways and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

AIX, Hamburg | April 14, 2015– This year’s winners of the globe’s most prestigious prize for aircraft cabins received their shining white trophies this evening. The thrill of winning the Crystal Cabin Award 2015 was shared by B/E Aerospace, Embraer, SABIC Innovative Plastics, SII Deutschland, ViaSat, Etihad Airways and Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. A record total of 68 submissions from 18 nations made it onto the shortlist this year. On Monday, each of the 21 finalists appeared in person before the 24 international experts of the Judging Panel for final questions. The “Cabin Oscars” were initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation in 2007 and presented this year for the ninth time – as always, at a formal ceremony at the Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg as a feature of the programme for the “Aircraft Interiors Expo”.

The winners and their products will be presented in person tomorrow (Wednesday, 15 April) at 11:00 a.m. in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery at Stand 6C10 in Hall B6.

“Selecting the Crystal Cabin Award winners was a tough decision this year, as all finalists were of very high quality – ranging from renowned manufacturers to inspiring university concepts, which we will hopefully see flying soon”, says Melissa Raudebaugh, General Manager Aircraft Experience at Delta Air Lines and Chairwoman of the Judging Panel. “To see the Crystal Cabin Award continuing to evolve at such a high level is rewarding for us jury members as well. We are looking forward to the next season!”

The first Crystal Cabin Award of the evening was presented by Peter Bishop of Bishop Aeronautical Engineers, to B/E Aerospace for the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment” category. The US manufacturer developed the “Solar Eclipse” concept. A thin solar cell film is installed in the sun visor of the cabin window, providing passengers with electricity to charge their electronic devices during flight. Although the system is still under development, the manufacturer is already working on achieving production approval soon.

Dr. Philip von Schroeter of Lufthansa Technik presented the second trophy to Embraer. The Brazilian manufacturer won over the jury in the “Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts” category with the cabin for its E2 generation of regional jets, characterised by an innovative, easy maintenance design. The use of space is especially well thought-out. Special baggage lockers, for example, and a staggered seating concept, provide more space in the aircraft.

Dr. Holger Friehmelt of AAT Composites announced the winner in the “Material & Components” category. The honour went to SABIC Innovative Plastics. The “LEXAN XHR2000” film has a transparency level of 80 percent, currently the highest possible level. Application possibilities range from windows to surface elements within the cabin, providing interior designers in particular with completely new possibilities.

The Crystal Cabin Award for “Passenger Comfort Hardware” was presented by Tony Dixon of Airliner World Magazine. This category saw SII Deutschland overcome the competition. The “SANTO Seat” (Special Accommodation Needs for Toddlers and Overweight Passengers) is beneficial for both passengers and airlines. The normally wasted space at the rear of the aircraft cabin, where the fuselage narrows, is used by a special seat, one-and-a-half times the width of a normal seat. The seat is ideal for overweight passengers and for passengers with small children. For these passengers, the seat is safer than a standard seat.

The accolade in the “Passenger Comfort Systems” category was announced by Katie Murphy of Reed Exhibitions, organiser of Aircraft Interiors Expo, who presented the prize to ViaSat. The US company’s satellite-powered “Exede in the Air” solution brings a 12 Mbps internet connection to every seat, allowing passengers to stream films or shop online above the clouds without difficulty.

One highlight this year was in the “Premium Class & VIP”, where the prize was presented by Ian Harbison of the British trade journal, Aircraft Cabin Management. In a head-to-head A380- First Class race between airlines, Etihad Airways won by a nose with its “A380 Upper Deck”. Etihad is the first airline in the world to install a three room apartment in a commercial airliner, the “Residence by Etihad”. Behind the Residence is the First Class Cabin with nine compartments and 70 Business Class seats.

The future lies with the next generation, and the final Crystal Cabin Award for the evening was presented by Jury chairwoman Melissa Raudebaugh of Delta Air Lines for the “University” category. The coveted trophy went to Marc Spille from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. The student of aviation studies, in collaboration with Airbus, developed a mobile trash container which uses the vacuum technology of the on-board lavatory to compress trash bags into a space-saving format within seconds. Spille already took home the Hamburg Aviation Young Professionals Award in late 2014.

All of the winners and finalists, with their innovative products and concepts, will be presented in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery (Hall B6, Stand 6C10) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (14 – 16 April, 2015). And on the second day of the trade fair (Wednesday, 15 April, 11 a.m.), the winners will personally present their concepts to the public.

The Crystal Cabin Award 2015 is supported by the following sponsors:
Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME), APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Embraer, Emirates Airline, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG and SEKISUI SPI.

“I think 2015 was the best AIX Hamburg in years.  Creative connectivity solutions are expanding.  The off-aircraft connectivity space is growing with the big players recognizing content and strategic alliances are the fastest way to market.  As for inside-the-aircraft connectivity, I saw at least 6 new suppliers or added offerings from traditional IFEC players.  This is exciting.  The winning strategy is to get on as many aircraft as possible and let the competition scramble for the rest.” John Courtright

Another year in Hamburg complete and quite a show it was. Without a doubt, this was the biggest ever – we saw online numbers like 800 airline buyers, 500 + suppliers and 13, 897 expected visitors (probably more)… This is the IFEC industry “Big Dog” and you can find out more on Facebook (Aircraft Interiors Expo) and YouTube. Social Media and IFEC seem to be good friends so check out those sources as well.

“For the first time at a major expo such as AIX, airlines have asked us if our solution could also be integrated in their mobile App, which actually was anticipated by our teams. It seems that the seamless journey pre-, during and post-flight is rising very quickly thanks to wide personal device adoption and better IT integration.  This will encompasses the meal menus, video and music selection before the flights for example, the duty free sales and tickets booking during the flight, the interactive airport info and city guides for post-flight. IFE is widely entering the digital age. Let’s take just the best of it, and preserving the magic of a unique inflight PaxEx.” Cyril Jean

Of course, IFExpress was there and we interviewed a different supplier almost every half hour, and in the next few weeks, we hope to give our readers some inside info about what we saw in the way of industry innovations and what it means for all of us. In that context, we thought you might see value in some trends that we observed, or surmised, after talking to hundreds of attendees and vendors.  Bullet-ed below are our two cents worth… not in any particular order.

“We will see more crowd sourced start-ups bring new technology to the market which, in turn, will push the dominant tech companies in our industry to respond in kind.  Expansion from IFEC to passenger health through seat or cabin based biometrics and wearable technologies will lead the way.” Hratch Astarjian

• There is a lot of vertical and horizontal product integration happening in this industry.

Larger Pipe connectivity will facilitate more innovation in the cabin and the aircraft in general, not to mention the possibility of more revenue generation for the airline and the vendors alike.

New hardware technologies in conjunction with in-cabin wireless connectivity are providing value-added solutions to IFE, especially at the lower end, and engendering new IFE solutions for low cost and single-aisle aircraft.

• The next generation of wireless access points with features like cognitive hotspot technology and the smart signal cancellation are providing a better passenger Wi-Fi experience.

• IFE customizable GUI’s are providing airlines with interfaces that they can tailor themselves, reducing costs and allowing individuality to stand out. Further, the same suppliers are providing aircraft real-time operational data about IFE and content usage that gives the airlines more time to evaluate and track operations and equipment inflight, as well as, passenger utilization.

Device charging technologies were seen at many booths, whether it was on a seatback or used in conjunction with a PED holder. Also, there was a lot of interest beyond USB charging, the most common was Qi Wireless Power Charging Technology.

Moving maps have grown up and some were offering the opportunity for ancillary revenue. Beyond that, second-generation map software was selectable by passengers and contained even more information and control.

New technology circuit designs and component technology are enabling smaller inseat power box footprints with the ability to serve more seats.

• More low-cost, limited color, cabin lighting solutions were on exhibit. Further, cabin LED mood lighting systems are being sold for retrofit applications with simpler control boxes than those on new aircraft.

NFC is now becoming a small purchase payment solution as part of cashless retail systems… no doubt influenced by such developments as Apple Pay and others.

Antenna technologies are bringing smaller devices to the forefront as transmission frequencies go up and technologies like meta-materials invade the arena. Coincidentally, the resultant radomes for some new solid state, flat plane types promise to deliver radome height measured in centimeters.

Manufacturer combined teams are now in vogue as product specialists contribute to common goal designs for items like seat and IFE/power combinations.

App technology is increasing for on-ground and in-air product and service solutions, reflecting the strong usage and patronization of passenger portable devices. Accordingly, passenger usage of them is increasing on the ground and in the air… both increasing the possibility of more revenue generation.

• The subject of content provision is generating stranger, but bigger, bedfellows. As of now, the top three are all anyone talks about anymore, thus the future may be a real challenge for the small player.

• There is a lot of action in the COTS semi-imbedded tablet arena and a number of suppliers are touting ancillary hardware and seat modifications, which leads us to believe Samsung and Apple devices could some day replace some big vendor screens – they are thinner, lighter, battery backed, and very pixel oriented and rugged. The challenge will be in environmental, vibration, RFI and power. However, some system vendors are using only off the shelf tablet solutions with some modifications.

• In a perceived sense, there were more first time cabin product vendors at AIX 2015 than in recent years.

Demand for bigger pipes in the air is now obvious.  This includes more smart, flexible spotbeam equipped satellites. There are more smart spot-beam satcom birds planned than ever. Who could have imagined such a large competition for connectivity solutions 5 years ago?

“iPAX’ wireless to the in-seat screen is the architecture of the future for narrowbody aircraft that currently have only overhead video – iPAX will replace overhead monitors with its incredibly light weight and low cost AVOD – giving passengers first–run movies that they cannot get on their PEDs, and giving airlines a revenue-generating kiosk at every seat.” Rich Salter

The next few issues of IFExpress will be devoted to some of the folks we saw at AIX and we hope you Stay Tuned!

“We didn’t see big announcements – new products, acquisitions and so on – in Hamburg this year. Instead, it was all about delivery. By next year, we’ll see a step-change in the connectivity products and solutions available for airlines, in part driven by the new high bandwidth capacity which is coming on stream.” Charlie Pryor

On another note and after 18 years with Sony followed by 15 years at Thales, Lori Krans has left her VP position and is now a consultant focused on b2b marketing communications and business transformation for companies of any size – lmkrans@pacbell.net

First, breaking news straight from the news release: Panasonic Corporation and ITC Global announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Panasonic to acquire ITC Global, a leading provider of satellite communication services for the energy, mining, and maritime markets. Founded in 2001 with regional headquarters in Houston, Texas; Sion, Switzerland; and Perth, Australia, ITC Global serves customers at more than 1,300 remote sites across 70 countries and all the world’s oceans. Panasonic, through its subsidiary Panasonic Avionics Corporation, is a leading provider of inflight communications and entertainment systems to the aviation market. By combining complementary strengths, ITC Global and Panasonic Avionics will become a new leader in global satellite services poised to support long term customer requirements as demand for bandwidth and efficient, reliable communications solutions continues to grow across the energy, mining, maritime and aviation markets. Panasonic Avionics’ satellite network already covers 99% of all airline flight hours and 98% of all maritime traffic routes, and the organization is in the process of adding High Throughput Satellite capacity that will wrap around the globe. Upon the closing of the acquisition, ITC Global will become “ITC Global, A Panasonic Company” and will operate as an independent unit of Panasonic Avionics. ITC Global will continue to execute its current strategic plan under the leadership of Joe Spytek, ITC Global’s founder and Chief Executive Officer, who will report to Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics. ITC Global’s management team will remain in place and will continue to focus on its customers in the energy, mining, and maritime markets, while Panasonic Avionics will remain dedicated to its customers in the aviation market. “Panasonic’s acquisition of ITC Global highlights the natural alignment of customers across the aviation, energy, mining and maritime markets, all of whom require mobile broadband, high reliability, global coverage and responsive customer service,” said Margis. “ITC Global is a proven leader and we share a common passion for excellent customer service. Together, we look forward to taking satellite communications services to a new level of value and performance.”

The United States Government Accountability Office, under the title of Information Security has issued a report earlier this month giving the FAA a do-better slip for security weakness (cyber-based and other (hacker) plus natural based threats) in the Air Traffic Control Systems. IFExpress has been noting concerns and deficiencies, at least based on non-governmental system hacking, and earlier this month the GAO reported the deficiencies. The 45 page report can be found here and we note the threats from their document: “While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken steps to protect its air traffic control systems from cyber-based and other threats, significant security control weaknesses remain, threatening the agency’s ability to ensure the safe and uninterrupted operation of the national airspace system (NAS). These include weaknesses in controls intended to prevent, limit, and detect unauthorized access to computer resources, such as controls for protecting system boundaries, identifying and authenticating users, authorizing users to access systems, encrypting sensitive data, and auditing and monitoring activity on FAA’s systems. Additionally, shortcomings in boundary protection controls between less-secure systems and the operational NAS environment increase the risk from these weaknesses.”

Further, the FAA is under pressure from the GAO for failing to implement a complete security program: “FAA also did not fully implement its agency-wide information security program. As required by the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, federal agencies should implement a security program that provides a framework for implementing controls at the agency. However, FAA’s implementation of its security program was incomplete.” It goes on but worth the 45 page read.

The solution, according to the GAO, lays in some 17 public recommendations that focuses on a present and future security risk management by organizations and agency management present and future decisions; while laying out some 170 security weaknesses recommendations. Stay Tuned to this one… the ramifications of a slip here could be catastrophic.

Check out this Security story on the Internet.

And speaking of data and airplanes, did you know that Routehappy, can tell you if your flight has Wi-Fi, seat power availability, seat pitch, and a basic score for the availability of services – Nice!

While we are on the Internet subject, did you know that you can find US flight times based on airline for city pairs?

On the plane, what if your batteries die – did you know that two different metal electrodes and an acid will create a battery? Here’s how you can make a lemon battery but you will need 2380 oranges for your iPhone.

So much for up, but on the ground, airport Wi-Fi Access Charts from AirFareWatchdog cover US and International destinations.

And speaking of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac is right around the corner… for aircraft too! We now have 801.11a, b, g but they are quickly being surpassed by 802.11n, at least on the ground. Last week, we linked to an 802.11n Wi-Fi router developed and just introduced to the aircraft, the VT Miltope nMap2 features 802.11n technology. Today, there are some 38 million 802.11n access points in the market (ground) so that technology is quite mature. Since June 2013, the Wi-Fi Alliance has certified some 500 802.11ac ground based products but the technology has to be some 5 years away for planes. When 802.11ac gets here for aircraft, the world will be saturated with it on the ground, but that is another story. The issue here is 802.11ac and if you want to get up to speed on this ground technology today, we have a tip – Fluke Networks. Check out this link for an intro and 7 great info programs on 802.11ac, and their test products as well.

And again, speaking of the Internet naturally brings up the subject of Wi-Fi. While our Wi-Fi experiences are at 2 Ghz and 5 Ghz for the most part, Intel has developed a 60 Ghz version called 5th Generation. But what is interesting, at that frequency, their solution can provide a wireless display, short distance wireless charging, wireless docking, and wireless data (also short range). You can read about it .

AIX Hall Growth – Senior Event Director, Katie Murphy, said: “This year will see the largest and most comprehensive global passenger experience event ever staged, as Aircraft Interiors Expo expands from five halls to seven.” And don’t forget, The World Travel Catering and Onboard

Mea Culpa: It came to our attention that last week’s reference to the Stanford Paper on inflight telephony/connectivity did not include the GEE/Row 44 as a competitor on their list. GEE has over 600 aircraft connectivity/content installations.

SkyMall lives, sorta

The Monday starter to AIX in Hamburg this year, as in the past, is called The Passenger Experience Conference and hosts an industry Networking Party in the evening following the seminars. Both will be held at the CCH-Congress Center Hamburg located near the SAS Radisson Hotel. We should mention that the CCH-Congress Center is a different venue but is walking distance from the exhibition halls where the Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo are held the following three days.

Registration is easy; check out the weblink and you can download the program too. Now in its fourth year, the premier aviation conference and networking forum is designed to discuss the vital strategic issues surrounding cabin innovation, consumer expectations and strategies for profitability within the cabin. We should also mention that the conference is hosted by the Aircraft Interiors and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expos.

This year, the AIX folks will, through schedule shifting, give attendees the ability to attend two of the three keynote sessions, and the option to attend one of the three concurrent breakout sessions (IFEC, Cabin or Hospitality topics) that run late morning and one of three (featuring new IFEC, Cabin or Hospitality topics) in the afternoon. We suspect that this schedule adjustment from previous years arose out of attendee requests. From our past experience there is always one good session in another focus group held at the same time we couldn’t afford to miss… at least this year, attendees have an additional option since there is a repeat in each of the groups. Check out Monday’s Schedule for more detailed information (13 page PDF) but print out this 1 page PDF Programme-At-A-Glance to take to with you.

Noted Katie Murphy, AIX Exhibition Senior Event Director: “This year, as in previous years, we will be running concurrent breakout sessions for IFEC, hospitality and cabin topics. A new departure for 2015 is that we will start these sessions mid-morning with a keynote presentation. After the lunch break we will repeat the keynotes again to give delegates a chance to experience two out of three of these presentations, before moving on to new breakout topics. For IFEC that will be a look at the future for in-flight content and the potential impact of virtual reality technologies on the passenger experience.”

As we noted in the above, the conference schedule covers topics and subjects in detail but we wanted to give our IFExpress readers a summary outline of the Monday meeting by looking at the three breakout session focus topics – IFE, Cabin, and Hospitality.

Passenger Experience Conference – 2015

Registration & Coffee 08.00 – 09.00
Welcome (Plenary) 09.00 – 09.10
Introduction (Plenary) 09.10 – 09.15
Blue Sky Talk (Plenary) 09.15 – 10.00 – Emotional Ergonomics in the Air
Debate: The Flexible Interior (Plenary) 10.10 – 10,50
– Coffee –
Keynotes: Disrupting the Status Quo, 11.20 – 11.55 & 14.00 – 14.35
Breakouts 12.00 – 12.55 7 14.40 – 16.05


AM: 1. Desire In The Travel Zone, 11.20 – 11.55 (35 Min. Total)
LATE AM: 2.The Connected Aircraft, 12.00 – 12.55 (55 Min. Total)
PM: 1. Desire In The Travel Zone, 14.00 – 14.35 (35 Min. Total)
LATE PM: 3.The Future For In-flight Content, 14.40 – 16.05 (1H. 25 Min. Total)

AM: 1. Guest Centric Approach For Customizing The Cabin, 11.20 – 11.55 (35 Min. Total)
LATE AM: 2. Making A Difference To Passenger Experiences, 12.00 – 12.55 (55 Min. Total)
PM: 1. Guest Centric Approach For Customizing The Cabin, 14.00 – 14.35 (35. Min. Total)
LATE PM: 3. The Future For Seats And Galleys, 14.40 – 16.05 (1 Hr. 25 Min. Total)

AM: 1. Onboard Sustainability Strategies, 11.20 – 11.55 (35 Min. Total)
LATE AM: 2. Food And Service Trends, 12.00 – 12.55 (55 Min. Total)
PM: 1. Onboard Sustainability Strategies, 14.00 – 14.35 (35 Min. Total)
LATE PM: 3. The Future For Revenue And Retail, 14.40 – 16.05 (1 Hr. 25 Min. total)
– Coffee –

Leaders in Innovation (Plenary) 16.35 – 17.30
Industry Networking Party 17.30 – 21.00

Last year’s Passenger Experience Conference was the fourth edition of the Monday educational sessions prior to the opening of the AIX show floor. The 2014 PEC started with 2 plenary sessions then split into four areas of focus, which were run simultaneously and built on the subject matter of the 2013 event: 1) In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity: a voyage of discovery and opportunity 2) The Cabin: Getting smarter about space and comfort 3) Hospitality & Service – making the onboard experience memorable and 4) Protecting the Brand: cabin maintenance. IFExpress felt that one of the highlights from the sessions was Devin Liddell of Teague who discussed the power of “co-making” and how partnerships are our most powerful currency, with the capacity to partner having a big impact on influencing the passenger. The informative day finished with the AIX Networking Party that provided delegates, speakers, visitors and exhibitors an opportunity to strike up new professional relationships and fortify existing business partnerships in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the Monday sessions in 2012, 2013 or 2014, IFExpress suggests you give this year’s conference a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Editors notes: “Plenary – (of a meeting) to be attended by all participants at a conference or assembly, who otherwise meet in smaller groups.” Yes, we didn’t remember it either… Also we wanted to let you know that there is a Lufthansa discounted travel deal

IFExpress will see you there!

Hamburg, Germany | February 12, 2015– With In-flight Entertainment (IFE) at the forefront of the aviation commercial industry, the IFE Zone at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 has increased in size by some 25% and echoes rising passenger demand for the same quality and variety of entertainment in the air as is currently available on the ground. Confirmation of this growing demand was illustrated by a recent survey conducted by Honeywell which reported that the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi directly influenced flight selection for 66% of passengers. Aircraft Interiors Expo will take place at the Hamburg Messe from 14 -16 April.

Senior Event Director, Katie Murphy, said: “The entire supply chain will be represented from around the world in this year’s IFE Zone, with 13 new companies joining the already 134 in the zone, which will showcase the latest and most innovative IFE technologies on the market today to meet burgeoning passenger needs. 67% of visitors at last year’s event confirmed their interest in IFE-related products so there is no doubt that the IFE Zone will again be a significant presence at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015.”

Gogo will be showcasing its latest connectivity technology – 2Ku – which has recently received regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission to operate this next-generation technology. Steve Nolan, Director of Communications and PR, Gogo said: “Product showcases will include Gogo Vision, Gogo Text & Talk and the Gogo Platform. We will also have lots of information on the connected fleet and what we are doing to use connectivity to get beyond passenger internet access and connect the plane and crew.”

Maintaining the connected theme, TE Connectivity, the world’s largest supplier of passive electronic components, will focus on the high bandwidth expansion demands for the IFE and In-Flight Networks. Earle Olson, Manager Business Development, TE Connectivity said: “Airline passengers continue to require the ability to connect their mobile phones, laptop computers and tablets to the Internet during flights. Meeting this demand requires integrated solutions that focus on increased bandwidth, faster download speeds and miniaturisation of electronics to save space and weight.”

The company’s showcase will feature solutions such as antennas for wireless applications and high-speed copper and fibre optics that tackle bandwidth and download speeds. Each of the integrated solutions on display boosts the performance of any cabin with flexible IFE, web access, and high-speed networking.

One of the 13 new companies will be PXCom, a developer of interactive media for IFE suppliers, will be presenting its latest enriched content at the expo and will use the event to unveil a fully customisable destination guide for premium classes and private jets. The guide features recommendations for prestigious locations and has a built-in partnership with world-class luxury editors.

Cyril Jean, CEO, PXCom said: “Aircraft Interiors Expo is the world’s only place to engage with an exclusive audience of key aviation decision makers. The event is dedicated to the passenger experience, covering the full spectrum, from cabin innovations to IFE and connectivity, passenger comfort and on-board technology to hospitality and retail.”

The international reach in the IFE Zone will also include SINTERS AMERICA, who in collaboration with Rockwell Collins, will showcase its Paves On-demand Seat Electronics Tester which provides overhead broadcast video and in-seat audio and video. Travellers can enjoy high-definition entertainment while the system’s compact footprint, light weight and maintenance features help minimise cost of ownership.

Éric Ledoux, SINTERS AMERICA President, commented: “SINTERS AMERICA is proud to support Rockwell Collins at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 in demonstrating Paves at our booth 4B60. Rockwell Collins’ clients will have the opportunity to practice and test first-hand this new and easy to use seat tester.” He added: “This collaboration with Rockwell Collins demonstrates SINTERS AMERICA INC’s strong commitment to meet our customers’ needs and to be a reliable and efficient automated test equipment integrator.”

Hamburg, Germany | February 2, 2015– Two new motivating plenary sessions from Seymourpowell and Virgin Atlantic Airways will open and close an unmissable programme at the Passenger Experience Conference, which takes place on 13 April 2015 at the CCH – Congress Centre Hamburg, to be followed by Aircraft Interiors Expo. Hosted by Aircraft Interiors Expo, this industry-leading conference will open with the first plenary presented by Richard Seymour, Founder, Seymourpowell with the closing session presented by David Bulman, Director of Technology and Reuben Arnold, Brand and Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways.

The theme for the opening plenary session is to free up collective thinking about what is possible and Richard Seymour’s “Blue Sky” presentation entitled ‘Clippers in the Clouds – Rediscovering Romance in the 21st Century,’ will investigate the theory of “Emotional Ergonomics” in the air and reflect on how much can actually be achieved within the technical confines of a modern airliner in the decades to come.

“When I’m spending the kind of money that a transatlantic flight costs nowadays, I’m inevitably comparing the experience with other ways I could use that cash…in-flight experiences always seem to be trying to ‘catch up’ with even some of the simpler pleasures on the ground. It’s time for the unique, delightful and exciting time in the air again,” said Richard Seymour.

The following plenary session will debate the dynamics of the flexible interior, to be moderated by Vern Alg, Consultant, Reed Exhibitions. Current panellists Leo Mondale, President, Inmarsat Aviation; Adrian Berry, Creative Director, Factorydesign; Baden Smith, Head of Airline Business, Altitude Aerospace Interiors and a senior executive from Airbus. The theme for this segment is building flexibility into original designs to satisfy multiple and changing needs of airlines and their passengers.

The focus for ‘Taking a Guest-Centric Approach to Customising the Cabin and Creating Differentiated Brand Experience’ is the team behind Etihad Airways’ A380 and B787 interiors who will share the challenges and learning from achieving a high level of customisation in all cabins including a guest-centric approach to overcome the constraints and design demands. Confirmed panellists will include Michael Crump, Product and Innovation Director, Honour Branding; Anthony Harcup, Associate, Acumen; Calum Laming, Vice President, Guest Experience, Etihad Airways and Adam White, Director, Factorydesign.

A new feature at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will see the morning keynotes being repeated after lunch to enable delegates to listen to more than one keynote presentation.

‘Designing Desire in the Travel Zone: Reaching Beyond Basic Passenger Needs to Create Impact in “In-Between” Places’ will be presented by David Cleaves, Creative Director, frog. When passengers leave their homes to travel, they enter a series of “in-between” places – airports, planes, hotels, and other venues – where fantasy and reality collide to shape their experiences. He will follow two typical passenger archetypes along the travel journey and map their needs and aspirations, exploring how airlines and airports can – moment by moment – go beyond the basics to deliver something surprising and new.

During ‘Re-zoning the Cabin: The Athlete’s Plane,’ Philipp Steiner, Creative Director, TEAGUE will offer insights on TEAGUE and Nike’s collaboration on a concept aircraft for professional athletes.

“Challenging assumptions, understanding user needs, and questioning the status quo is the job of design; the same could easily be said of Nike’s business, making them the ideal partner for TEAGUE,” said Philipp Steiner.

Air travel often hinders athletic performance due to the impact on physical, physiological and cognitive functions – especially when travelling across time zones. “TEAGUE and Nike both pursue game-changing innovation,” he added. “There’s no better way to achieve that than by bringing together the best brands in their respective fields to co-make entirely new products, services and experiences.”

The heart of the third and closing plenary session will showcase the much-anticipated ‘Leaders in Innovation’ finale. Virgin Atlantic has racked up a significant track record for innovation to improve the passenger experience. David Bulman and Reuben Arnold will provide insights on some of the airline’s recent initiatives which have included upgrading upper class beds with seat/bed padding on suspended webbing, transforming the meals service with low-tech tableware, and trialling the use of Google Glass.

Following the conclusion of the final plenary session, the Passenger Experience Conference will then close leading to the Industry Networking Party, sponsored by The Gill Corporation, which will take place from 1730 – 2100.

Katie Murphy, Senior Event Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo, said: “The opening and closing plenary sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will be a major highlight for delegates as these top-level speakers will be stimulating and thought-provoking. In general, the range of issues and topics to be debated this year highlight the vibrancy of this industry which continues to evolve at high speed. There is no doubt the line-up to date is already impressive and will be an occasion not to be missed.”