The Crystal Cabin Award is expanding with the new “Best Customer Journey Experience” category. Submissions can be made online until the end of July.

Hamburg | July 9, 2018– With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at until the end of July.

The new category is running outside the normal entry phase for the Crystal Cabin Award. It will be presented on 24 September together with the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas events in Boston, Massachusetts. The application phase for the other eight categories, traditionally awarded every April at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, will then begin.

“Best Customer Journey Experience” comprises all products that help to improve the customer experience journey (inspiration, planning, booking, purchase, pre-trip, departure, in- flight and post-trip) across airline travel categories. It includes technical end-to-end solutions across categories including applications, artificial intelligence, tools, devices, software, programs etc. The product should offer benefits for airlines, OEMs, and/or suppliers by offering new digital solutions and specific insights about passengers experience for the benefit of on- board technical utilization. The finalists and award winner will provide airlines and their suppliers an inspirational example on how to optimize the cabin for end-to-end travel solutions centered around personalized passenger experience.

This special category complements the existing eight categories awarded each year in Hamburg for the Crystal Cabin Awards: „Cabin Concepts“, „Cabin Systems“, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity”, “Material and Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University” and “Visionary Concepts”. Winners of the 2018 season included renowned industry players such as Airbus and Altran, Rockwell Collins, and PriestmanGoode with Qatar Airways.

The Crystal Cabin Award 2018 is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, AIME 2019 – Aircraft Interiors Middle East, ALTRAN S.A.S. Co. KG, Ameco Beijing, APEX, ATR, Boltaron Inc. – A SIMONA Company, DIEHL Aviation, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, FIT AG – Additive Manufacturing Group, Flightchic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Global Eagle, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Runway Girl Network, SEKISUI SPI and Thales.


Hamburg, Germany | April 6, 2016– Manon Kűhne from the Technical University Delft, in collaboration with Zodiac Aerospace, has won the Crystal Cabin Award with the HeadRest concept.

The HeadRest offers a subtle way to retreat within the space of an economy seat during long-haul flights. Unfolding the side wings of the HeadRest reveals a hammock construction which cradles the passenger’s head as leaning sidewards, preventing sliding and nodding. The side wings offer privacy at eye level with the subtle act of adjusting the passenger’s HeadRest for sleeping or relaxing. This provides a feeling of increased autonomy, control and privacy, which are important factors for experiencing comfort.

Since the establishment of a Human Factors and Ergonomics Lab at Zodiac Seats US, a subsidiary of Zodiac Aerospace Group, a small group of talented specialists and gifted young scientist are working on the challenging task to increase comfort in modern air travel. Within this effort, the cooperation with Professor Dr. Peter Vink of the TU Delft developed to be a very fruitful endeavor for both students and Zodiac Seats. Students are given the opportunity to work on real live projects that can have a direct impact on the experience of flight and make traveling stress free and enjoyable again.

Dr. Udo Schultheis, Director of Human Factors and Ergonomics of Zodiac Seats US, comments: “ Manon Manon Kűhne is a very talented designer who had a great idea and did a fantastic job in realizing her headRest project. I am convinced that a lot of travelers will enjoy the fruits of this product in future”.

  • Over the past 10 years, the Crystal Cabin Award has become established as a global seal of quality for innovative products and ideas in the field of aircraft cabins.

Hamburg | March 30, 2016– For three days each April, the international aviation industry turns its gaze to Hamburg. At Aircraft Interiors Expo, the world’s biggest trade fair for aircraft cabins and on-board products, decisions are made about what creature comforts passengers can expect when they fly in the future. And for 10 years now, the Crystal Cabin Award has been an established feature of the event and a clear point of orientation for the industry. The prize, launched by the Hamburg Aviation cluster, is awarded to the most innovative new products and ideas in eight different categories. Over the years, it has gone from a niche event to become a world-renowned “Oscar” for the aviation industry.

Amongst the many sponsors of the trophies, to be awarded on 5 April this year, are such respected corporations as Airbus, Emirates, Panasonic and Lufthansa Technik. The list of winners and finalists in the Crystal Cabin Award provides a good overview not just of the highlights of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, but also of general trends in global aviation. Included in that list are products that have since become successfully established in the market, such as the “Skycouch” in Air New Zealand’s Economy class, which folds out as a bed, along with such bold visions as the futuristic “LIFE” cabin from Portuguese design agency Almadesign, and practical inventions like the double armrest from Paperclip Design in Hong Kong. To mark the tenth anniversary of the award, the team are taking a look back at some of the highlights of a decade of winners on the official website,, and on the Crystal Cabin Award Youtube channel.

The Crystal Cabin Award was launched to strengthen and reinforce the awareness of the aviation industry for cabin fittings as an increasingly important aspect of the passenger experience. It represents the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide. The list of entrants to date is a veritable “Who’s Who” of the aviation industry, and the striking trophies are recognised as a seal of quality and a marketing tool within the industry. For several years now, the Crystal Cabin Award has been avidly followed well beyond the borders of the aviation industry. Just being shortlisted is enough for many companies and products to attain international visibility. The event benefits not only participating companies but also the City of Hamburg and the cluster, Hamburg Aviation, as the world’s leading competence center for aircraft cabins.

A new record was set for this year’s race to win the coveted Crystal Cabin Award trophies, with 95 entries from 18 nations. The big trends of 2016 include large-screen entertainment systems, broadband connectivity above the clouds, and lighting concepts to set the right mood in the cabin. The Crystal Cabin Award is being presented in eight categories for the first time in this jubilee year, with three finalists fighting it out in each category. The spectrum ranges from technological areas such as the “Materials & Components” category, where the world’s first approved timber floor for an aircraft cabin has reached the final three, to new business models for entire airlines in the “Visionary Concepts” category. An overview of all categories and finalists for 2016 can be found here.

The eight winners in this jubilee year will be announced during the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair (5 – 7 April, 2016 in Hamburg) at a gala event to be held on the evening of 5 April at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. Speakers at this year’s dinner will include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for aerospace policy. First, though, each of the finalists has to personally face the critical questioning of the 24 expert judges. The international Judging Panel consists of representatives of various airlines, aircraft manufacturers, suppliers and technical service providers, along with university professors and expert journalists. A victory at the Crystal Cabin Award is unmistakeable regognition by the global community of specialists in the sector.

Finalists’ products and concepts are all on display in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2016 (Cabin Space LIVE Auditorium in Hall B1, upper level). And on the second day of the trade fair (6 April, 12:30 pm), the winners will personally present their concepts to the public.

The Crystal Cabin Award is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, Aircraft Interiors Middle East, APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, Dabelstein & Passehl, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Emirates Airline, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, Flightchic, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Panasonic, Reaktor.Aero, Runway Girl Network and SEKISUI SPI.

  • From private jet to no-frills: the new developments that will soon be found on board airliners are being presented at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (8 – 10 April).

Hamburg, Germany | April 1, 2014– What do I have to install in an aircraft so that passengers can surf the internet just as quickly above the clouds as in the café on the corner of Main Street? How can we provide even economy class passengers with more legroom without reducing the number of seats? What can I do to offer even more luxury to first class passengers when the most precious on-board commodities are space and weight? Airline representatives from all over the world are gathering at the Hamburg Trade Fair from 8 to 10 April to find answers to these questions at the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

According to the event’s British organiser, Reed Exhibitions, over 500 exhibitors will be presenting at the show, covering five halls of exhibition space. And this year’s trade show is setting a new record, with more than 60 first-time exhibitors from over 20 different countries. The number of visitors is expected to match last year’s amazing figures, too. Already last year almost 9000 visitors came to the Hamburg Trade Fair site, including more than 800 representatives of the world‘s airlines. The IFE zone in particular is seeing strong growth. This is the area of the show dedicated to multimedia solutions for the aircraft cabin: In-Flight Entertainment. With more than 55 exhibitors, this area alone has grown by more than 10 percent over last year, showing the substantial increase in importance of in-flight entertainment systems in aviation. And once again, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) is also being held at the Trade Fair site at the same time. Meanwhile, the day before, 7 April, will see the third Passenger Experience Conference held at the neighbouring CCH –
Congress Center Hamburg. The successful launch of this conference last year was attended by more than 300 participants.

This is the 13th time that the world’s largest cabin trade fair has been held in Hamburg. And there is a reason. With a network including such major companies as Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, hundreds of SMEs, universities and research institutes, Hamburg’s aviation sector has risen to become the most important location for cabins worldwide. “The Aircraft Interiors Expo is
one of the biggest trade fairs in Hamburg’s calendar. This shows not only how closely interwoven the life of our city is with aviation, but also that there is simply no getting past Hamburg in this international industry,” says Bernhard Conrad, President of Hamburg Aviation, the Metropolitan Region’s aviation cluster. Prof. Dr Monika Bessenrodt-Weberpals, Board Member at Hamburg Aviation and VIce President of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (HAW Hamburg), adds: “In Hamburg Aviation, companies, universities and politics develop innovative forms of cooperation along the supply and education chain. This benefits education and research at the site of Hamburg, but more than this, it has also been a huge boon for our global visibility – especially in the field of aircraft cabins.”

Hamburg’s major players, Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, are joined at the Aircraft Interiors Expo by a strong SME contingent. The Hanse-Aerospace supplier association’s Hanse Pavilion in Hall B6 has grown by 30 percent to 1,600 square metres and 84 exhibitors, making it once again the largest stand at the Expo. And amongst the exhibitors in the Hanse Pavilion, located at position 6D60 12.2, is Hamburg Aviation’s own stand. “It is a special pleasure to us to regularly welcome Hamburg Aviation as co-exhibitor at the association’s joint stand. Hamburg Aviation, representing the cluster activities, and Hanse-Aerospace as a network of more than 160 companies along the value creation chain – also politically active on behalf of SMEs – form a tandem that is moving Hamburg forward as a centre of aviation,” says Uwe Groening, President of Hanse-Aerospace.

The finalists and winners of the Crystal Cabin Award will be presented at Stand 1A41 in Hall B1 this year. The prize, an initiative of Hamburg Aviation, honours the most promising innovations in the field of aircraft cabins. Since being launched in 2007 it has grown to become the world’s most famous and respected award in the sector. The winners are to be announced on the
evening of the first day of the Expo, 8 April, in a formal ceremony at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. ŠKODA will support the event as mobility partner over two days with exclusive VIP shuttle limousines. All winners and finalists will be in attendance in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery at 11am on 9 April to present their products in person.

20 May 2010: Korean airline Asiana walked away with the 2010 World Airline Awards’s top award. The coveted Airline of the Year award was announced during a ceremony, held during Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Organised by Skytrax, the World Airline Awards are now in their 11th year.  Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, handed out awards across 53 categories including Best Cabin Staff, Best Inflight Entertainment and Best Seat, in each of the cabin classes.

The World Airline Awards are the most prestigious awards to recognise product and service quality across the world airline industry.  The awards are based on the World Airline Survey, which is organised annually by Skytrax; unlike many airline awards winners are selected by airline passengers. The survey measures over 35 different aspects of passenger satisfaction for an airline’s product and service standards, evaluating the typical travel experience. Regarded as the primary benchmark tool for passenger satisfaction levels of airlines throughout the world, the survey is based upon analysis of both business and leisure travellers and across all cabin travel types – first, business, premium economy and economy class passengers. 

Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said: “What marked Asiana out above all the other airlines this year was the overall quality of their customer service – across both the airport and the onboard environment. This award represents a true recognition of the front-line product and service that Asiana Airlines is delivering to its customers and the award slogan of ‘The Passenger’s Choice’ underlines the fact that Asiana Airlines are succeeding in satisfying the hardest critics – their users.”

Reed Exhibitions Group Exhibition Director, Ian Crawford, said: “This is the second year that Aircraft Interiors Expo has played host to these prestigious awards; it was wonderful to see so many airline attendees this year. Congratulations to Asiana Airlines and all the other winners.”