Airbus, Diehl and Latécoère enter the final round for the Crystal Cabin Award special category, “Best Customer Journey Experience”

Hamburg, Germany | August 22, 2019–The finalists have been named for the Crystal Cabin Award special category, “Best Customer Journey Experience”. Nominees for the trophy, to be presented during the APEX Expo in Los Angeles, honouring the best integrated solution for passengers, are: the “Connected Experience” application from Airbus, a voice- controlled lavatory from Diehl, and light-based data transfer for Air France with “LiFi Power” from Latécoère.

A life without apps is barely conceivable, from controlling the lighting in our living rooms to cashless payment for pizza delivery. The “Connected Experience” from Airbus brings this comfort to the aircraft cabin. “Pasta or chicken” – passengers can order either, direct from their smartphones. And the app can also confirm whether or not the cabin baggage will fit in the overhead locker, avoiding unnecessary suitcase stress. Thanks to the networked cabin, the crew can regulate temperature and lighting as well as communicate with passengers.

“Please turn on the water faucet”: The “Voice-controlled Lavatory” from Diehl makes it possible to use the aircraft toilet without touching it, an attractive option both for passengers with restricted mobility and for the hygiene-conscious. From flushing the WC to operating the trash can, all essential aspects of the lavatory can be controlled by voice commands in several languages. And thanks to the modular system, this innovation from Hamburg, Germany can easily be retrofitted.

As light as light: Latécoère already presented “LiFi Power”, transmitting data using light, at this year’s Paris Air Show. Crew communication could soon be wireless, and data transmission speeds up to one hundred times conventional wiring will bring a whole new dimension to passenger entertainment and connectivity. Air France has already integrated this innovation in one of its cabins.

This category in the Hamburg Crystal Cabin Awards operates outside the regular entry phase, and will be presented on 9 September as part of the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas trade fairs in Los Angeles. The award ceremony in LA also ushers in the new submission phase for the eight main categories of the Crystal Cabin Awards, to be presented in Hamburg on 31 March 2020. Amongst the winners in 2019 were such renowned industry representatives as Airbus, Collins Aerospace, Recaro and United Airlines.

“Best Customer Journey Experience” relates to products that enrich and enhance the passenger experience, with hardware or software solutions, throughout the entire air journey, from planning and booking to beginning the journey, on-board products all the way to the time

after landing. Submissions may be targeted at passengers, airlines, manufacturers and/or suppliers. The goal of this category is to provide inspiring examples of how new service products can be developed for personalised passenger experience.


IFExpress is home from a week in Germany where many new developments in the IFEC arena were on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg 2019. As we mentioned to many of you during the show, predominately 2019 was a ‘step change’ year verses a new product/hardware unveiling – however, there were one or two major exceptions, which we will address in upcoming issues of IFExpress.

As many of you know, this is a huge show and we never managed to get outside of the IFEC Zone but we did see some noteworthy concepts. For example, this spring there were three different companies exhibiting LiFi technology (a mobile wireless technology that uses light instead of radio frequencies to transmit data) for IFEC applications; whether it was streaming movies to an inseat screen or using LiFi to upload content to the aircraft when it was parked at the gate. All pretty amazing, and we were impressed with the rate of proliferation of the technology from APEX 2018 to now. Needless to say, we think LiFi is here to stay and anticipate the Tech Committee to establish a working group on the technology in the near term if they haven’t done so already.

An area that did have some major advancements that we were wowed by was satcom antennas. We saw an amazing new development antenna project that we are still in awe of and cannot wait to see how it will impact the industry once it is certified and flying. Having said that, there were several other companies that were also exhibiting new antennas that were much more aerodynamic and provided more performance. More on these developments in a later issue.

Another area that was addressed in many booths was the concept of Health/Wellness applications. This is a definite growth area for our industry and the IFEC venders appear to be embracing the concept. Health/Wellness is a circumstance where the aircraft is mimicking the trends on the ground and, as we know, airlines are always looking to engage their passengers with technology and services that meet their expectations and ease the stress of the travel experience. Expect to be hearing more and more on this area over the coming months.

None of the aforementioned would be possible without the new, massive solid-state drives that are embedded in today’s IFEC in conjunction with the proliferation of installed connectivity services, artificial intelligence and biometrics. As these four technologies evolve in the IFEC industry the amount of data that can be garnered about each individual traveler and their expectations will result in a tailored travel experience from the moment the ticket is booked, throughout the journey itself, until the passenger reaches his/her destination. The industry has long talked about touching the end-to-end passenger experience and how it will facilitate the airlines ability to meet, and possibly exceed, expectations of those utilizing their services whether it be for leisure or business travel. It is the belief of IFExpress that we are finally on the cusp of being able to deliver on that promise. Having said that, one of the primary areas of concern that has, and will continue to be, voiced was the issue of privacy and security around the individual traveler’s personal data. This translates to the need for an increasingly cybersecure system. As an industry, both the airlines and the IFEC vendors will be continuing to focus on the issues of hacking and maintaining the passengers’ faith and trust that their personal information is secure. This is an issue that is here to stay.

Another major announcement that was discussed last week was the news that Future Travel Experience (FTE) and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) reached an agreement to fully integrate the FTE into APEX. This decision to integrate FTE into the APEX family will create an end-to-end passenger experience and innovation powerhouse that will benefit the entire air transport industry, including airports, airlines, vendors and all other stakeholders who play an important role in enhancing the customer experience and optimizing operational efficiency on the ground and in-flight. Said Daniel Coleman, Founder of FTE. FTE will continue to operate with autonomy but both organizations believe that by teaming they can strengthen and amplify their respective propositions, which provide an opportunity to consolidate yet build large-scale interactive events together. Time will tell.

Over the next few weeks, our publication will review what we had the opportunity to see and experience during AIX. We will start with the Passenger Experience Conference and the Digital Trends breakout session from April 1st. During the following weeks we will do a deeper dive into the interviewed companies and their technologies. As always, thanks for subscribing and reading IFExpress!

Editor’s Note: “With all the press and industry concern over the recent B737 MAX incidents, we have created a section lower down in IFExpress on Boeing because this subject is very important, and it is news with a great impact – safety will always be a BIG DEAL.” – Patricia Wiseman

American Airlines is starting scheduled flights with the first of its 100 new Airbus A321neo aircraft on order. These aircraft come equipped with an all-new cabin interior designed for enhanced passenger comfort and convenience, including larger Airspace XL overhead luggage bins that increase carry-on bag capacity. American is the launch customer for the Airspace XL bins, which provide approximately 40 percent more overhead storage space for passengers on board the 196-seat aircraft. In addition to equipping its new A321neos with the XL bins, American also plans to retrofit its entire in-service fleet of earlier A321 models – more than 200 aircraft – with the cabin features included on the new A321neos.

Airbus has extended its Airspace Customer Definition Centre (CDC) at its Airbus site in Hamburg, Germany for cross-program cabin customization by now including the A320 and A330 programs – to complement the existing A350 XWB customization areas. From now on operators of all these programs can experience the well-established approach for a fast, easy and state-of-the-art cabin definition which Airbus has been offering for A350 XWB customers since the original CDC first opened in 2014. Furthermore, the CDC now fully adopts the ‘Airspace’ Cabin Brand, which was first launched with the A330neo, and sets new cabin standards of comfort, ambience, service and design for airlines and their passengers. Consequently, the CDC was renamed to Airspace Customer Definition Centre.

Following the launch of this extension in April 2017, construction began to enlarge the existing CDC premises by redeveloping and equipping a large adjacent aircraft hangar into a state-of-the-art and cooperative working environment. Recently completed, the new facility adds approximately 4,500 m² of new space over two floors dedicated for A320 and A330 customers, and will foster the realization of their integrated cabin solutions. The CDC extension features new customer-specific mock-up areas as well as highly flexible presentation and conference rooms on two levels with the ambience of an industrial loft.In the CDC customers follow a unique definition process through a purposely designed array of highly dedicated zones. In line with Airbus’ track record of cabin innovation, the extension brings several new technologies and services which are now available across the different aircraft types. A key highlight is a new Airbus invented floor projection system which displays the full-scale real cabin layout on the floor. Combined with original cabin elements, customers can perform ‘live’ tests of alternative layouts and scenarios. In addition to this innovation, some configuration mock-ups have been expanded to include a cargo area to discuss solutions for the use of the space in the lower-deck. Furthermore, meeting rooms are updated with the latest VR-technologies.The combination of functional play rooms for cabin equipment testing, exhibition areas for typical airline product staging, design studios for material and mood light definitions, virtual and augmented reality technology complemented by customer-specific mock-up areas, make the Airspace CDC a unique and attractive one-stop-shop for customers.

Air Portugal – Lisbon based TAP Air Portugal received its first of twelve A321LR’s on order, becoming the first airline to operate a combined A330neo and A321LR fleet. The A321LR is the world’s most flexible and capable large single aisle aircraft. Powered by CFM engines, TAP’s A321LR is configured with 171 seats (16 full flat Business, 48 Eco Premium and 107 Ecomomy seats). The combination of the A321LR and the A330neo within a single fleet provides operators a powerful lever to cover the needs of the medium to long haul market. With both newest generation single aisle (20% fuel burn reduction) and widebody aircraft (25% fuel burn reduction) airlines benefit from an unrivaled commonality for operations whilst passengers experience a higher and harmonized comfort standards.

Astronics Corporation, a provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission-critical industries, announced that Astronics and HAECO Cabin Solutions have collaborated to jointly integrate SmartTray passenger electronic device (PED) holder technology for inclusion on HAECO’s Vector economy seats’ in-arm tray tables.

Astronics also announced an expanded line of CorePower power conversion products for use on commercial aircraft, business jets, and rotorcraft applications. These new power converters are available off-the-shelf and certified to provide an easy path for modernizing aircraft power systems.

FAA was urged by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to remove Boeing from Aviation Rule-making Advisory Committee (ARAC) until the formal investigation into MAX crashes has ended. He also demanded that FAA make public who else sits on the committee.


AIX, Hamburg | April 2018– At the world’s leading trade show for aircraft cabins and passenger experience, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April, Hamburg Messe, organised by Reed Exhibitions), global industry-leaders and regionally rooted suppliers alike will present new concepts and products — and it may not be long before passengers are encountering these concepts and products on board. The order books, especially for short and medium-haul airliners, are full, so there is sure to be a large contingent of airline customers at this key Hamburg trade fair. New models like the Airbus A321 LR, making new long-haul routes accessible for single-aisle aircraft, add to the current dynamics of the segment.

Whether the flight is short or long, more and more passengers expect to be able to stay online while airborne. The increased demand here is reflected by the floor plan, where the space allocated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity has grown yet strongly again. In fact, the whole aircraft interiors segment is booming. This year, according to the show organisers Reed Exhibitions, the Aircraft Interiors Expo has expanded to a new record in size, with the number of exhibitors having grown significantly once again as well. The spectrum of products on show ranges from seating rails to fully equipped First Class cabins.

Adding to the programme: Conference, sub-expos and a special flight

Once again, the Aircraft Interiors Expo is the main component in the “Passenger Experience Week”, starting with the Passenger Experience Conference on Monday, 9 April. The main expo is then flanked by the World Travel & Catering Expo (WTCE — leading trade show for in-flight catering) and, for the first time, Passenger Technology Solutions (trade show focusing on aviation-related IT services). All these events are taking place at at the Hamburg Messe convention site, and are organised by Reed Exhibitions.

The growing international importance of the show is also increasingly seen in the programme around the show itself: the airline Emirates is flying a Boeing 777 equipped with its new First Class cabin to Hamburg on Wednesday, 11 April in order to present the on-board product to selected partners in person.

Showdown of the aviation industry: the Crystal Cabin Awards

Also traditionally presented as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo are the Crystal Cabin Awards. This industry prize, initiated by the Hamburg Aviation cluster and closely followed by the industry and media around the world, will be presented on the evening of 10 April in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. In eight categories, the award honours the leading innovations of the year for aircraft operators and passengers. Amongst this year’s finalists are famous major players like Airbus as well as airline products from Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. Information on the finalists is available at the Expo at a special exhibition in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery (Hall B3 Upper). And at 11am on Thurs., 12 April, all the winners will present their innovations in person one more time — after which they are available for questions and interviews.

Aircraft Interiors Expo a “home game” for Hamburg

The scale of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region’s presence at the “local” trade show is appropriate for the most important location worldwide in the field of aircraft cabins. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus, for example, has concentrated its global development activities for aircraft cabins in Hamburg, and the company has a strong presence in Hall B5. With four finalists, Airbus is also looking at a very successful Crystal Cabin Award season this year – e.g. with the new “Airspace” cabin for the A320 range of aircraft.

For Lufthansa Technik, located in Hall B6, the show is an important event, too — and not only because of the activities in the exclusive VIP segment. The Hamburg company now supports every fifth commercial aircraft worldwide, and it is particularly expanding its activities in the so-called “retrofit” market. Every five or six years, an aircraft cabin has to be completely refurbished. With innovative business models such as aircraft seat leasing, the company is responding to a growing market.

Another heavyweight in the aircraft cabin segment is the family-run Diehl company. The third-largest industrial employer in Hamburg’s aviation industry produces galleys and toilets as well as complex cabin trims with baggage lockers. Diehl, too, is focusing on the high-demand “single-aisle” segment with its presence in Hall B7, and the company has a walk-through cabin model that shows just how much potential remains untapped in a single-aisle airliner.

Alongside the major international companies, SMEs have also always been well-represented at the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Dozens of small and medium-sized enterprises are active in the segment in the Hamburg region alone. They are particularly concentrated on the Hanse Pavilion, operated by the Hanse-Aerospace association in Hall B6, with more than 2,000 square metres of space and almost 100 exhibitors. As well as conventional suppliers, the site is also home to test laboratories and engineering service providers such as Altran. The French-headquartered company has massively expanded its Hamburg operations in recent years, turning the city into its global head office for aircraft cabin activities.

The Hanse Pavilion is also home to the Hamburg Aviation stand (6B90), a central point of contact for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The aviation cluster is providing updates on Hamburg-related news from and during the trade show via TwitterWhatsApp and the live ticker on the Hamburg Aviation Website.

The finalists for the Crystal Cabin Award 2018 have been decided. Aviation giants from around the world battle it out in eight categories for the coveted trophies.

Hamburg, Germany | March 1, 2018– There is hardly any other prize watched as closely by the aviation industry from year to year as the Crystal Cabin Award. The jury of international experts has now announced the finalists for this year’s 12th annual award. A total of 24 products and concepts are facing off in the final round in eight categories. Finalists this year include the new A380 First Class from Singapore Airlines, printed electrical wiring and an environmentally friendly water tap from British students. With 91 submissions reaching the shortlist, the competition this year was tougher than ever before. In 2018, for the first time, the white trophies will be produced using 3D printing technology. Just who gets to take them home will be decided on the evening of 10 April, 2018, during the leading global trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

New this year is the “IFEC” category, short for “In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity”. And this is not just a matter of technology, as finalist Bluebox Aviation Systems shows: the “Bluebox Accessible IFE” platform provides barrier-free access to in-flight entertainment for visually impaired passengers on long-haul routes. In partnership with Virgin Atlantic the product is already in use. Barriers are being broken down in other ways, too, with products such as the new “European Aviation Network” from finalist Inmarsat. More than 300 Deutsche Telekom ground stations will provide passengers with LTE network access above the clouds throughout Europe this year. Even more visionary, from a technological persepctive, is the in-flight entertainment concept from United Screens. This German company is offering the first on- board 3D television. Passengers don’t even need to use 3D glasses.

Three leading industry representatives have made the final in the “Cabin Concepts” category this year. From Airbus comes the “Airspace” cabin for the A320 range of aircraft, with an improved flight experience for passengers regardless of what class they are flying. Extra-large overhead lockers, light and airy panels and atmospheric lighting scenarios will make flying more pleasant even on short and medium-haul routes. PriestmanGoode has made it to the final with a long-haul Business-Class product. The design agency has brought its customer, Qatar Airways, into the last three with the new “Qsuite”. Up to four seats can be arranged together in the “Qsuite” to create a private area for the whole family. And Singapore Airlines is one class higher with its new A380 First Class suites. The secret is that the partition between neighbouring suites can be stowed away to allow for a genuine double bed, turning the flight almost into a hotel stay!

Everyday life on short-haul routes is generally not so comfortable — and not just for the passengers. The airlines have little time on the ground to get their aircraft ready for the next flight. The PASSME Consortium, based in Portugal, offers relief. The PASSME Innovative Aircraft Seat, a finalist in the “Cabin Systems” category, makes it possible to push the seats of an Economy row together during boarding, creating more space in the aisle. The result: less

congestion and quicker boarding. Finalist Rockwell Collins is looking at a different sort of separation with its “Silhouette MOVE”. The flexible partition between Business and Economy Class is curved in such a way that the Economy passengers sitting behind it can still stretch their legs or stow heavy cabin baggage. Zodiac Aerospace has turned its attention to one particular passenger need that crosses class boundaries with “Durinal”, an aircraft urinal cabin. The innovation will benefit female passengers, too, at least indirectly: when the men have their own urinal facility, the queue for the rest of the cabin will be reduced — and things may be a little cleaner, too.

On the subject of clean toilets: US manufacturer Boeing is looking at the hygiene factor this year, too, with its “Boeing Cabin Dry Floor” that has made the final of the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category. What makes this so special is that the innovative floor is almost sponge-like in its absorption of moisture, leaving a dry, germ-free surface. Austrian company Villinger, too, is looking at cabin floors with its allegedly indestructible heated floor panel. The photographic evidence of the product being attacked with a pickaxe obviously proved the company’s point: welcome to the final. And the third finalist here is VT Miltope with security software for wireless cabin networks, so that mobile devices in the sky can be as virus- free as the lavatory floor.

One finalist in the “Material & Components” category is bringing something reminiscent of science fiction to the cabin — behind the scenes. If Airbus and Altran have their way, the heavy, space-consuming cable harnesses behind the cabin wall panels will soon be a thing of the past. In the future, wiring — for lighted signs, for example — will be produced by a direct “Printed Electrics” process. The wow-effect that got Rockwell Collins into the final in this category, on the other hand, was visual in nature. The US company’s “Secant Luminous Panel” lights up the complete cabin ceiling with high-resolution images. Weigele Aerospace from the German Southwest, meanwhile, has its eyes clearly on creature comforts, reaching the final with its “Airborne Cooking Robot”. This new energy-saving oven for the galley allows for cold and warm food to be prepared on one plate at the same time so the crew can serve “to perfection”.

The “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category is all about individual components to increase passenger comfort. The focus extends to the back rows of the aircraft cabin: Californian company LIFT by EnCore, in collaboration with Boeing, has developed a comfortable approach to long-haul seating even in tourist class for the 787, soaring into the final for this category. The segment’s major players, Rockwell Collins and Zodiac Aerospace, are here too. The former developed the “Valkyrie Bed”, a form of roll-up mattress for Business Class, which can be drawn out of the side panel, across the seat, for a more comfortable sleep. Zodiac’s “Eco Zlounge”, meanwhile, enables Economy Class passengers to make use of an empty seat in front of them to stretch their legs onto the seat surface in front.

The Crystal Cabin Award isn’t just about the big names in the aviation industry, though, offering the next generation of stars the opportunity to position themselves with creative ideas. Universities from around the world are represented again this year in the “University” category. Britain’s Cranfield University made it into the final with “E-tom Smart”, a water tap that atomises water to achieve on-board water savings of up to 90 percent without impacting the cleaning effect for the passengers’ hands. The University of Edinburgh made it to the final round, too, with its pioneering “Li-Fi” technology, using visible light to transmit data much like wifi. “Li-Fi” is also extremely practical from a security perspective, too, as the transfer network only exists as long as the human eye can see the light source. America’s University of Cincinnati, the third finalist, is also pointing the way to the digital future. Together with Boeing, students have developed a hologram surface that turns the aircraft cabin into a virtual extended space.

The “Visionary Concepts” category, meanwhile, looks even further into the future. Included here this year is the “Day and Night” concept from Airbus, dividing premium cabins into a living/working zone and a separate sleeping zone. Finalist Renacen of Spain provides a virtual view of the cabin. Reminiscent of Google Street View, the 3D Seat Map VR allows passengers to pass through the cabin from home to choose their preferred seat for their next flight. Finalist Rockwell Collins, meanwhile, has gone significantly further with its “Universal Passenger Seat Interface” concept: an electronic system for seating that can be deployed everywhere from aircraft to private cars, creating completely new synergies throughout the transport sector.

Who will win the Crystal Cabin Awards 2018? Information on the awards ceremony and trophies

The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”.

To win, the 24 finalists now have to present their ideas in person to the 28 international experts of the jury. The winners will be announced, as every year, as part of the leading global trade fair for aircraft cabins, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April in Hamburg), at a gala dinner to be held at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the evening of Monday, 10 April. The winners will then present their concepts once more at the Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery, Hall B3, 1st floor, on Thursday 12 April, at 11 AM. Information on all finalists will be available there throughout the entire Expo.

The characteristic Crystal Cabin Award trophies are moving with the times, too. This year, for the first time, the trophies are being additively manufactured from aluminum using a honeycomb structure, under the auspices of FIT AG, a Platinum Sponsor of the Crystal Cabin Award.

Acclaimed industry award – acclaimed industry support

The Crystal Cabin Award stands for the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide.

91 entries from 18 countries on the shortlist: The battle for world’s most renowned prize for innovation above the clouds is tougher than ever before

Hamburg, Germany | January 22, 2018–

It is one of the most coveted awards in the international aviation industry. Year after year, suppliers, major aircraft manufacturers, universities and airlines alike join the fray in the hope of holding aloft one of the snow-white Crystal Cabin Award trophies. In 2018, the most prestigious prize for aircraft cabins and passenger comfort will be presented for the 12th time, with a record number of entries for the fifth year in a row. 91 innovative concepts from 18 countries have made it onto the shortlist this time round. The spectrum ranges from individual lightweight components to a long-haul VIP aircraft with on-board cinema, from a practical economy-class module to a first-class suite. In the industry, a victory in the Crystal Cabin Award is the equivalent of a knighthood, and the global media resonance is significant too. The decisions of the 28 expert jury members on this year’s pioneering aviation concepts will be finalised on 10 April, 2018, during the industry’s leading trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 — 12 April, 2018).

Five prominent aircraft manufacturers are represented on the Crystal Cabin Awards shortlist this year: Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream. Other major players in the industry, such as Diehl, Rockwell Collins and Zodiac Aerospace are shortlisted too, joined by student concepts from ten universities from all over the world.

Double bed and family suite: making flying almost like a hotel stay

Distinguished international airlines are also amongst the shortlisted candidates for the 12th Crystal Cabin Awards, particularly in the premium segment. The new A380 first-class suites from Singapore Airlines, for example, create an experience not far removed from a hotel room. And if you are not travelling alone, a crew member can remove the partition wall to the neighbouring suite and you will have a real double bed. Qatar Airways goes one step further with the new Business Class QSuite: where needed, up to four seats can be faced at each other to create an “open-plan compartment” for the whole family. Good news for those whose budget is more likely to seem them travelling in the open plan section of an Intercity train, too: The new Airspace Cabin on the Airbus A320neo will provide a hotel-like atmosphere for all classes on short- and medium-haul flights.

Every millimeter counts, and economy passengers benefit too

But even the most stylish design is poor comfort to a passenger engaging in a cramped battle for the armrest in an economy seat. At least the industry seems to have ecognised the problem. Numerous shortlisted entries for the Crystal Cabin Award are focussed explicitly on the passenger experience in the “back rows” of the cabin. There are two entries of innovative armrests with space for two elbows. And the noise-absorbing headrest from seat manufacturer

Haeco will bring smiles of relief to those who are disturbed by the neighbouring passenger’s choice of volume; with a single movement, the headrest folds across the ears. The queue for the toilet may soon be a thing of the past, too, when the new lavatory concept from Jamco and the urinal solution from Zodiac Aerospace significantly reduce the time spent in the smallest cabin on the plane.

The digital aircraft cabin: 3D screens and virtual reality

The Crystal Cabin Award shortlist, of course, does not only cover the basic needs of the passengers. There are numerous submissions in the multimedia area that will delight every tech fan and make sure that time spent on board flies — both figuratively and literally. This includes the first 3D monitor for in-flight entertainment and even VR glasses for deep immersion in new entertainment worlds in the sky. Another digital trend is the extension of the flight experience to include the time before boarding, such as individual seat selection via a virtual walk through the cabin, and advance selection of films and music on the passenger’s own smartphone or tablet.

Electronics from the printer — innovations the passenger doesn’t see

The increasing digitalisation benefits not just passengers, but also the airlines themselves. Particularly good examples are provided by engineering service provider Altran, with a system for sending relevant information to crew members via smartwatch, and Airbus, with plans to print the cabin electronics on panels instead of tedious cabling work. And if simple improvements in everyday passenger experience are what you are looking for, rather than futuristic industry concepts, you will be taken with the unpreposessing box produced by US manufacturer Astronics, allowing for rapid recharging of your own laptop via USB.

Categories and roadmap: What’s next in the 12th Crystal Cabin Award?

The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”. For each category, the 28 international experts on the Judging Panel choose three shortlist entries as finalists (announced at the start of March). These concepts can then be pitched to the jury in person within the framework of the world’s leading trade fair for aircraft cabins, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (Hamburg, 10 – 12 April). The winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2018 will then be crowned at a gala dinner in Hamburg’s Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the evening of 10 April.

Acclaimed industry award – acclaimed industry support

The Crystal Cabin Award stands for the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide.

The list of sponsors and media partners of the Crystal Cabin Awards reads like a Who’s Who of the international aviation industry:
Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, Aircraft Interiors Middle East, ALTRAN S.A.S. Co. KG, APEX, ATR, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, Boltaron, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, FIT AG, Flightchic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Global Eagle Entertainment, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Runway Girl Network, SEKISUI SPI and Thales.

You too can become a supporter of the Crystal Cabin Award. Information on sponsorship opportunities and packages is available from Carmen Krause (carmen.krause@crystal-cabin-

A selection of photos of the shortlist is available for editorial use here:

The complete shortlist with the entrants’ own English press texts and contacts, along with photos, may be downloaded here (825 MB in total):

Plaisir | March 29, 2017– Zodiac Aerospace will present its latest innovations in Cabin, Seats and Systems at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from 4-6 April at its main stand 7B40, stand 4C20 in the IFEC zone, and at stand 4E10 at World Travel Catering Expo.

At the main stand 7B40 Zodiac Aerospace will present its two finalists for the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards: the ECOSTM baggage management system and the RevolutionTM toilet. Both products are integrated in a real size ECOSTM Cabin mockup that additionally features updated PaxPOD PSUs, DMS Lavatories, the Space-Flex v2 galley-lav aft complex, and Z300A and Z85 economy class seats with the latest RAVE IFEC products.

Other highlights at the main stand are the Zodiac Connected Aircraft Experience and the launch of three new seats: Optima, a unique business class offering the perfect balance of efficiency and comfort; Skylounge, that combines flexibility, customization and comfort, and Z400 which will sets new economy seat standards.

Get comfortably seated to view the extensive range of economy, premium economy and business class seats and the many innovations at the stand: Try the new LED lighting offer, look at the benefits of the Cabin Surveillance System or discover how the power of scent from our Five Fragrance diffuser can complete your flight experience and boost on board sales.

After your visit to the main stand, be welcomed at stand 4C20 in the IFE hall to take a look at the latest RAVE IFEC offer, and discover how you can get more control over your own flight experience with SeatNet Elite, the new Heliott Reading light and Whizper Noise control.

Finally at the World Travel Catering Expo, stand 4E10, Zodiac Aerospace will be proud to show you its latest addition to the Hybrite S trolley and container line: the smart Universal Waste Solution for trolleys. Additionally it will present the Smart Lock and Cool trolley.

Crystal Cabin Award finalist: ECOS Cabin Baggage Management System (stand 7B40)
Come and take a look at the new real size ECOS cabin mock up that includes the Crystal Cabin Award finalist ECOSTM Baggage Management System.

With checked luggage charged at a premium, more than 80% of today’s passengers try to bring theirs on board and almost half of those bags are larger than the aircraft was designed to carry. The result is a perfect storm of stress and anxiety at the boarding gate for passengers and crews alike.

ECOS is much more than a larger overhead luggage bin. It is a system which addresses cabin design and how both passengers and crews interact with it to make maximum use of limited overhead space.

Informed by extensive real-world luggage studies, proprietary passenger boarding simulations and over 35 tried and tested development prototypes, ECOS combines amazing space efficiency with unmatched ease of operation and a simple visual indicator which allows passengers to find precious space for their bags

With ECOS, a happy passenger is one who can bring what they want and depart on time. That also means stress free crews and efficient aircraft turn-around operations.

Crystal Cabin Award Finalist: The Revolution Toilet (Stand 7B40)
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest products including the Crystal Cabin Award Finalist – RevolutionTM Toilet. The RevolutionTM toilet is a modular toilet assembly that minimizes health hazards in the lavatory. It not only uses 33% less water per flush than the industry standard toilet, but also uses composite and recyclable materials for a light yet durable toilet.

One of the many improvements the RevolutionTM toilet exhibits incorporates air gaps into the toilet rinse ring. This allows the toilet shroud to seal directly to the toilet, creates more airflow for a cleaner flush, and helps prevents waste from building up under the toilet shroud reducing bacteria and odor in the lavatory. Combined with a new 360 degree spay pattern, the RevolutionTM toilet improves the overall health and safety of the passengers and crew in the lavatory.

Launching Optima, a Unique Business Class Offer, the perfect balance of
Efficiency and Comfort (Stand 7B40)

Officially launched at AIX17, Zodiac Seats latest product Optima is expected to set new standards in business class travel. Combining class leading passenger experience and improved cabin efficiency, through a unique cabin configuration that mixes in-line and angled seats, Optima can offer the uncompromised business class solution that the market was expecting.

An elevated business class experience comes from direct aisle access for every passenger, large surface areas, extensive stowage options and configurable privacy. Thanks to its seating arrangement and electrically actuated privacy screens, Optima offers an exclusively private environment for travelers wanting to relax and unwind, or passenger interaction for those travelling together. With bed lengths up to 83.5” and the option for a centerline double bed, Optima creates a sleeping experience for travelers that would typically only be associated with First Class Travel. However, Optima’s unique quality is that while it pays close attention to the needs of its passenger, it never forgets the requirements of airlines; to increase their profitability through increased passenger count. The unique cabin layout, originally designed by Acumen, allows airlines to maximize their revenue potential, offering 15% more seats in the cabin compared to standard business class products.

Optima can be tailored to the brand of the airline; thanks to its modular architecture. A variety of optional product features and customizable areas, allows each customer to embed its brand identity. This design ethos has been integrated into the product from its origination, building upon Zodiac Aerospace’s heritage and experience in manufacturing bespoke premium aircraft cabin solutions.

The perfect marriage of empathetic design and innovative engineering, Optima is the dawn of a new era in Business Class Travel.

Skylounge Core, the business class seat that combines flexibility, customization and comfort

Skylounge Core is a completely re-designed business class seat that focuses on offering class leading features and airline branding solutions while minimizing program costs. Its revolutionary product architecture enables airlines to offer the best possible experience to their passengers whilst also offering airlines customizable elements that reflect their branding and unique identity. This next generation platform offers a reliable and risk free solution with quality at its core.

A business class seat must represent the airline’s brand, but also needs to be easy to maintain. That’s why Zodiac Seats developed a modular architecture based upon the need to customize high value brand-able areas. With a few simple changes customers can make this seat their own. Zodiac Seats has created the PAX module which includes all the features dedicated to the business class passenger. Ideally located above the console it is entirely customizable from a fully open design to maximum stowage capacity option. The aisles’ privacy wings are also customizable to let airlines select between an open cabin feel or maximum privacy.

The seat is available at 42” or 44” of pitch and has been optimized for A330, B787 and A350 aircraft taking into account all the specificities of those platforms. The design integrates all the constraints of the different seat locations in the aircraft in order to reduce the number of parts. Developed with Zodiac Seats’ industrial processes in mind

Skylounge Core reduces maintenance cost and improves on time delivery performance.

Skylounge Core is a new member of the successful Skylounge family, offering a more flexible and easy to customize new offer.

New Z400 economy class seat sets new standards
Zodiac Aerospace launches a new long range economy class commercial airline seat at AIX17: Z400.

The Z400 series offers increased living space and greater weight optimization while establishing a new standard in comfort for seats in its class. In developping Z400, Zodiac Seats worked closely with ergonomics experts and the latest structural analyses software to create a design that is smooth, contemporary and completely optimized for weight with a beginning weight of 10 kg per PAX.

The sleek IFE system integrations have been designed to provide a seamless appearance accommodating up to a 13.3 inch monitor. The thinner design of the seat back, coupled with the articulating motion, provides industry leading shin clearance. The result is an ergonomically satisfying, comfortable, and enjoyable flight that will leave passengers with a fresh experience that positively reflects the airlines’ brand. Cherry on the pie is a revisited meal table design that hides a unique passenger module which is fully customizable.

Two different mock ups of the Z400 will be displayed at Zodiac Aerospace stand 7B40. This includes one with the latest IFE screen manufactured by Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The Z400 will be available on A330, A330NEO, A350, A380, 777, 777X and 787.

WhiZper Active Noise Control System (stand 4C20)
Noise is stressful. Noise is disturbing. Thanks to WhiZper, the passenger can now experience a quieter flying trip. The active noise control system protects the passenger from environmental sounds. The passenger can comfortably watch its favorite programs, listen to its own music or just read or sleep without disturbing or being annoyed by its neighbors. This headset-free technology keeps the passenger in a quiet environment and mood.

Heliott Smart Reading Light (stand 4C20)
If you have to adjust your reading light every time you change position, you quickly stop moving… and are uncomfortable! With the smart reading light, the passenger can now focus on what one’s reading, the light automatically adjusts to the passenger. Tracking the passenger’s support, Heliott always lights at the right place, at the right moment. The passenger can freely move around in its seat, comfortably enjoying his reading.

It’s a neck-and-neck race for the industry’s big names in the 2017 final of the Crystal Cabin Awards. The award ceremony is on 4 April in Hamburg.

Hamburg | March 7, 2017– 21 products and ideas are in the finals of the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards, the world’s most renowned prize for innovation in aircraft interiors. From a parking guidance system for cabin baggage to a lavatory mirror that displays on-board video and information as if by magic, the finalists’ submissions include innovative ideas for pretty much every aspect of the cabin – revealing today how we will be flying in the world of tomorrow. In the field of “Cabin Concepts” in particular, the giants are lining up for a showdown: Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are all hoping for a trophy in the same category. With 85 shortlist entrants from 21 nations, the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards have been more popular and more international than ever before in their 11 years of history. The seven winners of the coveted Crystal Cabin Award trophies will be announced on the first evening of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (4 – 6 April, 2017) in Hamburg, Germany.

The final in the “Cabin Concepts” category this year might be more exciting than ever before: three international “heavyweights” are going head-to-head. Two of them are leading American airlines: Delta Air Lines is offering business class passengers enclosed cabin areas with privacy partitions in its “Delta One Suite” – a luxury which was until now reserved for first class passengers. The concept is initially being implemented in Delta’s A350s. The business passenger concept from United Airlines, “Polaris”, also promises a maximum of freedom. After enjoying the exclusive Polaris Lounge with dinner service and relaxation rooms, passengers experience a new cabin configuration with all-aisle access seats in a density neutral layout, not compromising space or comfort. Also in contention for the best cabin concept is Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier with the cabin for its C Series, the first completely new short and medium-haul airliner for 30 years.

Another completely new innovation in the market this year is the “K-Reflexion Mirror” from Krüger Aviation. This finalist in the “Material & Components” category is the first plastic mirror which, thanks to its semi-transparent structure, can display safety announcements, product information and tips for the destination – in the on-board lavatory. Studio Moderna Bologna concentrates its efforts primarily on long-haul aviation seating, and its innovative, elastic material units for the aircraft seat provide a solution for the optimal distribution of body weight – almost like cushioned on clouds, above the clouds. Flexibility is the order of the day for Diehl Aircabin, and the company is tackling the typical monotonous wall surfaces in the aircraft cabin: with the help of its direct printing method, individual colours and patterns can enliven the cabin wall without the troublesome effort of removing panels.

The innovations in the “Cabin Systems” category are more in the background, but no less relevant. The “Watchdog” from Airbus addresses a problem that at first sounds absurd but in fact generates enormous costs for the aviation industry every year: accidental activation of the emergency escape chutes on the ground when crew members open the aircraft doors. The Watchdog sensor warns whenever there is a movement near the door handle, which will enable it to reduce this expensive and dangerous source of error. Zodiac Aerospace has also come up with a sensor, but in an entirely different field: the first cabin baggage management system for overhead compartments. Similar to the green arrows in multi-storey car parks, lights above the overhead baggage lockers indicate free space for cabin baggage. The concept also includes larger space for cases, so that the finalist promises a reduction in “cabin baggage anxiety”. Diehl Aerospace, together with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, combines data and electricity cables with their newly developed “Power Line Communication”. This “free-loading” of data flows using existing power cabling on board results in an immense saving of materials and thereby weight.

Efficiency and sustainability are, as would be expected, also at the forefront in the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category. Amongst the finalists is “GermFalcon” from the US-based company of the same name. This cleaning device for cabins uses ultraviolet C light, which removes bacteria and viruses from seats and other surfaces without the use of chemical agents. The “Revolution Toilet” from Zodiac Aerospace also aims to fight bacteria. Not only does it consist of recycled composite fibre materials and save water, it is also merciless with germs on the toilet edge thanks to special vents. Airbus successfully pushed the ReTrolley all the way into the finals, a rubbish collection trolley allowing the crew to sort and compress waste while they pass through the cabin.

Bombardier is present at the Crystal Cabin Awards for the first time this year and already has a double entry in the finals. In the “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category, the Canadians present their concept of barrier-free toilets for their CRJ range of aircraft. They are facing off with Airbus, whose “Smart Cabin Reconfiguration” solution for moving aircraft seats on rails has also made it to the final. Past years have already seen ideas for efficient reconfiguration of seating depending on load. The Airbus approach now promises particularly minimal effort in both the initial installation and, most importantly, crew operation, so that the rail system may be operated without any prior mechanical knowledge. An idea creating a benefit with minimal effort for the crew is what brought Diehl Comfort Modules into the finals, too: the company’s bar module can be integrated into the gallery in just a few simple steps, magically transforming the grey and boring kitchenette into a bar or a duty-free sales counter within seconds.

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity stays a major field of growth: More and more airlines are installing wireless connectivity solutions for passengers. The “Electronic Systems” category has two finalists which showcase this development: Lufthansa Technik’s “niceview mobile” product is offering passengers a way to follow their journey with interactive maps on their personal mobile devices. Global Eagle Entertainment has submitted a complete entertainment portal, allowing passengers to surf the internet, watch films and read magazines on their smartphones. Airbus apparently found the right frequency in communicating to the Award’s 29 international jury members this year, making it to the finals in this category also (and thus being a finalist in four categories in total) with radio-based wireless communication (WAIC – Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications). Smoke detectors, lighting and temperature regulation can be controlled with a patented radio frequency – no cables are required and it is easy for the airlines to install.

It’s back again in 2017 with creative student concepts: the “University” category. Repeating its success from last year, the Delft University of Technology has more than one idea in the final: “myseat” is the equivalent of a parking guidance system for passengers, accompanying them all the way from check-in to their seat using Bluetooth technology. The idea is to achieve a structured boarding process. Meanwhile, “The Revitalisation System” turns the cabin seating upholstery into a game controller, with body movements whilst sitting controlling the on-board entertainment system. Lengthy periods in the seat become a workout. Finalist Hamburg University of Applied Sciences has given thought to the other end of the spectrum: Independent travel for wheelchair users faces many hurdles – especially when it comes to using the on-board toilet. Thanks to its specially designed seat, the “Smart Onboard Wheelchair” from can be rolled directly over the toilet.

The seven winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2017 will be announced during the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair at a gala event to be held on the evening of 4 April at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. First, all of the finalists have to personally answer the critical and probing questions of the 29 international experts on the judging panel – airline representatives, professors, aircraft manufacturer representatives, and journalists – and present their projects in an “elevator pitch”.

Recently shortlisted finalist for the Crystal Cabin Awards and operative since the 16th of January in its first long haul flights, Immfly, branded as XL Cloud, has already welcomed more than 30.000 new users flying onboard XL’s A-330 fleet

Barcelona, Spain | February 13, 2017– “Connect to XL CLoud and Kiss Boredom Goodbye” – that’s how the new XL entertainment platform is introduced to its passengers. Since beginnings of 2017, Paris-based XL Airways is upgrading the inflight experience with Immfly’s wireless platform, available on routes to the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and the US. Passengers that fly with XL Cloud can access the platform using their personal electronic devices via the app – available to download for free prior to the flight – or web. Once in the platform, they can browse through a large selection of movies, TV Shows, newsfeeds, magazines, kids channels and travel guides, among others. The frequently renewed catalogue, which is available in English and French, includes free content and a Premium offer, available for 9.95€ per flight, or for 15€ when renting an ipad Mini onboard provided by a third company.

XL Airways is the first airline to launch Immfly’s entertainment digital solution on long haul flights.“The platform’ scalability played a major role in the decision process, it’s the power of the Cloud”, says Vincent Tomasoni, XL’s Product Marketing Manager. “Offering XL Cloud marks the completion of a major project destined to improve customer experience through breakthrough technologies. We chose Immfly’s pioneering solution as a key player to help us make this possible and reach the milestone of becoming the First French airline to offer streaming entertainment”.

Pablo Linz, cofounder of the Spanish based company, Immfly, stated that “Making our product ready for long- distance aircraft has encouraged a significant growth opportunity for our product. We are now exposed to a higher volume of passengers who have an average of 10 hours to enjoy our content, and as part of our ambition to continuously improve the passenger experience, we have developed new product features such as a games channel and an onboard chat. Certainly, the user metrics collected until now reaffirm the success of the project”.

Immfly, which will be exhibiting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg and attending the Crystal Cabin Awards Ceremony, continues to get closer to its objective of becoming the travel industry’s favourite on-board monetization partner, reaching 100 million connected passengers by 2018.


London | February 9, 2017– This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2017, which takes place in Hamburg, Germany from 4th – 6th April, is the global stage to see the latest innovations and product launches from the world’s leading suppliers in aircraft cabin interiors and Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity.

This year, AIX welcomes 55 new exhibiting companies, including Adient, Bombardier and airtango. They will join more than 500 companies at the event including longstanding exhibitors such as; Airbus, B/E Aerospace, Boeing, Inmarsat, Panasonic Avionics and Zodiac and newer entrants such as Acro, and Mirus Aircraft Seating.

Across AIX as a whole, 125 companies are expanding their presence taking an additional 3,000 sq. metres between them.

According to the IATA’s 2016 Global Passenger Survey, a key concern for passengers, particularly those under 24, is having the same connectivity in the air as on the ground, highlighting the need for continued airline investment to meet passenger needs. This is reflected in the continued growth of the IFEC Zone. It is now the world’s largest event dedicated to content and service providers. There are 18 new showcasing companies including Philotech, LiteAir Aviation Products and Otonomy Aviation, alongside 100 existing exhibitors in the Zone.
AIX is part of the Passenger Experience Week, which also includes the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, co-located with AIX at the Hamburg Messe from 4th – 6th April. Organised by Reed Exhibitions, some 20,000 visitors are expected to register to attend Passenger Experience Week.

The first of the events taking place at the Hamburg Messe during Passenger Experience Week is the renowned Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on 3rd April. The event is dedicated to the future of the passenger experience industry and incorporates a broad choice of presentations and panel discussions on the key themes of generating revenue, the connected journey and comfort and wellbeing. Leading speakers on these topics come from inside and outside the passenger experience industry including Dick Powell, the Chairman of design agency Seymourpowell, Paul Edwards, head of Industrial Design at Airbus and Blake Emery, Direction Differentiation Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

New to the PEC this year is the Airline Breakfast Forum. This addition presents an opportunity for airline attendees to network, debate informally with their peers about issues relevant to improving the passenger experience in their businesses and to share best practice insights. Attendees at the Airline Breakfast Forum will also be invited to a keynote by Jeff James, vice president and general manager of the Disney Institute.

Polly Magraw, Event Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “2017 is set to be a landmark year for AIX, with record growth from both new and existing exhibitors, much of it in our burgeoning IFEC zone.

“With such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show, and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, it’s no surprise that AIX is becoming firmly established as the event that sets the agenda for the aircraft interiors sector.”

Also taking place during AIX will be CabinSpace LIVE, a theatre style series of seminars where visitors can learn and be inspired on a variety of pressing issues within the IFEC, Interiors and MRO sectors.

Passenger Experience Week also incorporates the 11th annual Crystal Cabin Awards, which takes place on the evening of Tuesday 4th April, with seven award categories that celebrate the most innovative ideas in cabin design and technology.

  • The submissions phase for the 11th Crystal Cabin Award begins today. The industry award will have an extended jury for 2017.

Hamburg, Germany | October 10, 2016– For the eleventh time already, the Crystal Cabin Award Association is searching for the most innovative ideas in the aircraft interiors market. Submissions for the Crystal Cabin Award 2017 may be lodged until 4 November at The winners will be crowned, as always, as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (4 – 6 April, 2017) in Hamburg. The prize, created and presented in Hamburg, has become the most highly regarded honour in the industry. Last year, the award was more successful than ever before, with 78 submissions making the shortlist. The winners for 2016 include cabin innovations and on-board products from major players like B/E Aerospace and Boeing but also from newcomers such as the British aircraft seat startup, Rebel.Aero. There will be an addition to the Judging Panel for next year, when the specialist journalist Mary Kirby joins as a new member. She is the editor of the online magazine “Runway Girl Network”. Next year’s prize will once again be sponsored by well-known companies.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, summarised the growing importance of the industry prize at the 10th anniversary awards dinner for the Crystal Cabin Award in April 2016: “The Crystal Cabin Award is kind of a culmination of what defines the industry. It needed focus, it needed to bring all the entities together to a cohesive group where there would be a lot of cross- fertilisation of ideas. And when they started it ten years ago it was an interesting development, something that nobody else had done before. They made it to what it is today and we’ll go on for the next few years I hope.”

An overview of the 8 Crystal Cabin Award categories:

Cabin Concepts
This category is provided for full cabin concepts that are already existent or at a market-ready stage. The Cabin Concepts category is tailored for airlines as well as manufacturers and design companies.

Cabin Systems
The Cabin Systems category comprises all innovative products that will bring airlines a major benefit in operations and efficiency. Such products could include galleys, lavatories, trolleys, air conditioning systems and seat concepts, with a focus on operating efficiency (e.g. lightweight structures, easy installation, better use of cabin space etc.)

Electronic Systems
The Electronic Systems category caters for the fastest growing product range in the aviation industry and includes inflight entertainment as well as on-board connectivity and communications solutions.

Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment
This category combines different classes of innovations. An entry for this category must either reduce negative effects on the environment, or minimize health & safety hazards and security problems for passengers, staff, or live cargo.

Material & Components
In this category, the CCA jury is looking for new materials or new material applications for cabin systems that cut production costs and maximize usability.

Passenger Comfort Hardware
Entries to this category must improve passenger comfort within the cabin, either for all passengers or for specific groups of passengers. The category includes all hardware directly noticeable for the passenger, including seats and seat-related products such as tray tables, partitions, lavatories, premium class and VIP products.

This category provides room for college and university students to present their visions for innovative products and concepts for aircraft interiors.

Visionary Concepts
Visionary Concepts can give us an impression of aircraft cabins of tomorrow, through technical concepts, ergonomic ideas, and aesthetic design. The category relates to engineering concepts and design studies that have not yet been implemented.

A detailed explanation of all categories as well as the Entry Form for the Crystal Cabin Award is available online from the official website, completely redesigned for the jubilee year: Submissions may be lodged until 4 November.

Products in the area of in-flight entertainment (IFE), in particular, are receiving more and more attention in the cabin industry. This includes innovations for the passenger screens but also, and most importantly, in terms of connectivity in the air. The space dedicated by the Aircraft Interiors Expo to the subject of IFEC keeps on growing. Now the Crystal Cabin Award expert Judging Panel is also growing in this respect. The specialist American journalist Mary Kirby ( is now joining the team. In 2016, Kirby hosted the Crystal Cabin Award Gala for the second time.

Global attention for the Crystal Cabin Award

The eyes of the world were on the Crystal Cabin Award especially in 2016 as it celebrated its 10th anniversary. To date, more than 600 online publications in 50 nations have reported on the awards ceremony in April. Being chosen by the 25 expert members of the Judging Panel to be amongst the three finalists in each category means having the opportunity to present the concept to leading figures of the industry in person at the Final Viewing. A victory at the Crystal Cabin Award, presented each year at a gala dinner as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, is recongised as a clear and unmistakeable accolade from the international trade community. The appeal here is not limited to newcomers in the annual University category. The victors in 2016 included Boeing, with a self-cleaning aircraft toilet; flexible folding Economy Class seats from Rebel.Aero; and the “Lifestyle Cabin” from Zodiac Aerospaces, which breaks out of the conventional cabin categories. An overview of the 2016 winners can be found at

A detailed explanation of all categories and the Entry Form for the Crystal Cabin Award is available online from the official website: Submissions may be lodged until 4 November.

Hamburg, Germany | April 6, 2016– Zodiac Aerospace is proud to announce that its Lifestyle Cabin concept won the design award for Visionary Concept. “We are honored our efforts have been recognized by jury of the Crystal Cabin Award. It’s an award recognizing our continuous innovation efforts to go beyond current habits and models to reach an unmatched experience in the air”, said Laurent Stritter, VP Marketing & Products Strategy of Zodiac Seats.

In 2015, at Aircraft Interior Expo, Zodiac Seats unveiled the 1/20th scale aircraft 3D model representing a new passenger cabin design: The Lifestyle Cabin. This concept, created in collaboration with the Design agency London based, Territory, demonstrates a reclassification of classes away from a hierarchical system

Luke Miles, Director at New Territory commented: “Working in partnership with Zodiac Seats, we identified new consumer attitudes that will shape the future of aircraft interior design and the onboard passenger ‘journey’. Our brief was to ensure that the design met these changing consumer needs and define a more immersive travel experience, which will ultimately boost revenue streams for airlines.”

With only a small percentage of capacity reduction, different revenue streams are created using berths, modular seating and self-service points. The three key themes of the concept are:

  • Creating a more human experience onboard the aircraft that promotes passengers’ well-being.
  • Challenging the architecture of today’s platforms and creating new customer experiences within them.
  • Exploring new ways to support airlines in differentiating themselves and generating additional revenue streams amidst an increasingly competitive market.

This concept shapes a new future for the aerospace industry to illustrate possible aircraft interior design for ten years’ time

Aircraft Interiors (AIX and PEC) is now the biggest show in IFEC each year. It got that way because there was a need for a centralized European and Middle East source of information, communication, demonstration and celebration of the IFEC experience, as well as, being located at the same venue for over ten years. With over 530 exhibitors this year, there was a wealth of innovative products and services on display last week in Hamburg Germany. IFExpress was told that over 16,000 visitors attended the event (Entrance is free – good idea.), and of course, we covered as many booths that we thought our readers might find both interesting and useful, and that caught our fancy. Obviously, it will take a few weeks to get the story of our visits out so stay tuned on that front. Pictures will be on the website soon so keep watch there as well.

In case you did not go, there are a couple things about the show you should know. First, the expo consists of two parts – the first day (Monday) is comprised of a Passenger Experience Conference. It is a one-day inflight data extravaganza and covers almost every facet of the inflight experience with lectures, small meeting/discussion forums, and culminates in a useful food and beverage entertainment party. The next 3 days are dedicated to the exhibition show with over 530 exhibitors.

Second, there are the Crystal Cabin Awards, below are a few of the winners:
Cabin Systems class – B/E Aerospace
Electronic Systems – Lufthansa Systems
Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment – Boeing
Visionary Concepts – Zodiac Aerospace … and more. You can find the complete winners list here

Like last year, there was an IFEC Zone comprised of three of the total AIX zones and an App to help sort it out. The IFE Zone had 102 exhibitors and grew by 31% over 2015. The App is designed to enhance your experience before, during and after the show, by putting the following features and information at your fingertips:
3D Floor plan with routeplanner features information about walking distances between the halls
Find exhibitors by category to view profiles and to add to your list of favorites
• View the exhibitor’s products
• View the full four-day event program and speaker listings
• Take a look at the features that are at the exhibition including Wi-Fi areas
General and venue information to help plan your journey
My Event – perfect for storing your favorite exhibitors and sessions
Guide to Hamburg to help see what Hamburg has to offer including hotels, restaurants and in case you have time local attractions
• And yes, you could take a selfie with their personalized background

In summary then, the AIX folks note the following show statistics and info: “16,000 industry executives are estimated to have attended Passenger Experience Week, from 5th – 7th April, whilst the number of VIP airline attendees rose by 14% – many of whom were senior executives from more than 180 airlines located in 26 markets across the globe. There were more than 530 exhibitors at this year’s AIX –– with 145 companies exhibiting for the first time. AIX was preceded by the Passenger Experience Conference, which saw more than 50 speakers from across the passenger experience industry sharing insights with some 400 delegates from airlines, suppliers, designers and the media.”


The folks at AIX note: Defining the future of the passenger experience industry, the Passenger Experience Conference is the leading global conference and networking forum delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Check out the program and speakers here

One of the best part of the flying future is the potential for onboard purchases, as many speakers at the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) meeting on Monday stated. One presenter noted that the folks at GuestLogix pegged onboard sales in 2014 around $1.8B worldwide. Beverages were 58% of the total, food was 38.2%, while “Passenger Comfort” was given at 3.8%. The interesting part was the growth – 11% per year! Part of this is attributable to the airlines reduction of free items; however, this kind of growth is indicative of a couple things. First, passengers have money to purchase items, that is proof of the growth rate, but further, as an area of purchasing potential, the cabin is ripe. Thus, there is a growing market for providing a way to purchase more on the plane is an obvious potential. We should also mention that Visa and MasterCard also exhibited 10 and 13.6 % growth, respectively, in the same period. Further, off-line limits are in the $100 to $200 range, while on-line sales via the credit card world has no limits. The authentication process is delivering real-time proof-of-ownership status with the bank that issues the card (and a real-time Lost/Stolen card status as well). Obviously, connectivity and credit card sales onboard have a future on aircraft and folks like IFPL are prepping the technology for that eventuality.


One of the early show surprises was the involvement of Google with IFEC and we can thank Joe Leader of APEX for their inclusion. By using their world class data aggregation and knowledge data base capability, the folks at Google see a connection to this business in the pre-flight, in-flight, and the post-flight regimes by helping to extend the engagement window and shortening the rebooking cycle. In flight, they see the capacity of helping the connected passenger to experience a better, personalized experience, and finally, enabling ancillary revenue growth for products and post flight services. Google has a part in the future of air travel… they think so and so does APEX.

On the same note, Joe Leader of APEX, see’s a world of data assisted passenger experiences and kicked off their announcement of an Official Airline Rating program. Beginning with seats and product catalogs, the APEX view talks about high effectiveness and high airline control over the eventual personalization of the travel experience and the resulting “differentiated” airline in the evolution process. Of course, the issue is data and while passengers (74% on average) are comfortable using technology when they travel, there is a plethora of apps available, fewer are really used. He noted that an average of 80 are device installed, only 25% are seemingly used for the travel process. While the numbers may be higher than you or I use, the issue is one of data obfuscation – too many apps, and a better way to use them is needed. In the next few years as Joe noted, there will need to be an interoperability between apps, Facebook, and Google. There also needs to be a friendlier branding eco-structure in the ticket process… and thus there needs to be a neutral party to pull the process together. In essence, he sees a future airline rating system that can know and confirm validity for all airlines (Tall order!). Next, it has to be useful to passengers beyond travel and since there are over 10 million active users, this tool has value. Further, the tool that Joe is proposing has to correctly use feedback and exhibit some neutral bias such as a non-profit position because it has to provide non-conflicting results to the airlines. Thus, he proposed OfficialAirlineRatings (TM) (patent pending), which will be validated flight ratings for worldwide airlines by the passengers… this is a global project.  He expects the data service to begin this summer and time will tell if airlines will get in bed with this passenger response driven system.

From a data point of view, APEX plans to analyze subjective data from passengers, use objective data captured from actual sources like seat measurements and IFE capability and availability. We expect APEX to calibrate and review the data and sources by flying the airline noted routes (hopefully announced), and provide raw data and awards as the final output for the effort. Make no mistake, this is no easy challenge because the airline involvement is key and we will wait to see if APEX can corral the airlines into this program – lofty goal, hard to do in practice. IFExpress wishes APEX the best on this program because it establishes a common goal for measurement but historically, this has been hard to achieve.


  • AIRBUS’ launch customer for the Airspace by Airbus cabin is TAP Portugal’s 14 A330-900neos. The new Airspace by Airbus has a LED mood lighting system, larger overhead bins, new lavatories, a new welcome area and the latest innovations in IFE and connectivity.
  • SINGAPORE AIRLINES selected STELIA AEROSPACE, to design and manufacture their new business class seats.
  • ROCKWELL COLLINS and THALES  were selected by Airbus to supply high-bandwidth connectivity (HBC) solution for A320s, A330s and A380s; companies will collaborate with Airbus to develop and deploy line-fit and retrofit systems.
  • Hainan Airlines selected THALES to supply Android-based AVANT IFE for its new A330s. Deliveries start in the second half of 2017.
  • PANASONIC AVIONICS eXO overhead IFE system was selected by Saudi Arabian Airlines for 30 A320s currently on order.
  • STG AEROSPACE launched new saf-Tglo blu photoluminescent floor path system that uses a cool blue glow instead of the traditional green glow, and liTeMood LED a newplug-and-play replacement for incandescent reading lights on the 737NGs. They also secured Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA.  Additionally, STG Aerospace expands its emergency and informational cabin signage product range with Malaysia Airlines. Lastly, Eastern Airlines improves passenger experience by installing STG Aerospace’s LED mood lighting system.
    Summit selected TELEFONIX PDT to secure STC for its IFEC hardware for 737-700/800/900ER.
  • HAMBURG AVIATION presented 2016 Crystal Cabin Awards to B/E AEROSPACE (Cabin Systems), BOEING (Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment), ETIHAD(Cabin Concepts),  LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS (Electronic Systems),  REBEL.AERO (Passenger Comfort Hardware), SEKISUI SPI (Material and Components), TU DELFT (University) and ZODIAC(Visionary Concepts).
  • AFI KLM E&M received an EASA STC to install ROCKWELL COLLINS PAVES PSS on A330.
  • ROCKWELL COLLINS announced a new virtual training simulator for maintenance and operation of its seat-centric PAVES and overhead IFE systems. Rockwell Collins was also selected by AIR ASTANA to provide onboard broadband connectivity
  • GORE unveiled HDMI 2.0 cables to provide higher video resolution for IFE systems.
  • GOGO released: From the Ground Up: How the Internet of Things will Give Rise to Connected Aviation, which was created to spark an industry wide conversation about how the Internet of Things will reshape aviation. Free Also, GOGO partnered with Airbus Corporate Jet Centre to install 2Ku technology on new A350 aircraft. Delta Air Lines will take delivery of 2Ku-equipped A350s in 2017.
  • FOKKER SERVICES displayed iShade dimmable technology integrated into its new panoramic window at AIX.
  • INMARSAT to enhance airline passenger broadband offering with roadmap for aviation capacity growth. Global Xpress will serve as the foundation of an integrated global network that can be shaped to fit any airline route system and built upon to meet future demand.
  • INFLIGHT DUBLIN strikes worldwide IFE agreement with Sony Music.
  • DMD (Dawson Media Direct) welcomes digital media expert Andrew Wiltshire to head Digiredoo their digital newspaper and magazine delivery service to airlines independent airport lounges and major rail operators across the world.
  • MEZZOGLOBAL launched low cost wireless In-Flight Passenger Entertainment App for Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD).
  • PANASONIC AVIONICS is first to offer NFC Technology with multiple aircraft OEMs.
  • ASTRONICS CORPORATION awarded Emergency Lighting and Passenger Service Unites (PSU) contract for the Embraer E2 program.
  • SITA released that Australia Border Exit Checks are now powered by SITA’s advanced technology. Automatic advance security checks now being run on all passengers exiting Australia.

Lastly, we apologize to those folks we missed at AIX. We tried but it has finally come down to time versus the number of IFEC displays and presentations. If you have something you want to say, send it to us and we will get your message out… we hope!

  • At the world’s leading industry show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, the trends in international aviation will once again be presented in Hamburg from 5 – 7 April.

Hamburg | March 30, 2016– Touchscreen monitors in television format – even for economy passengers. Lighting concepts that minimise jetlag and can project complex imagery on the cabin ceiling. Armrests for business class where simply putting your smartphone down is enough for it to automatically be recharged. And an app that allows you to follow the progress of your flight on your own mobile device. Aircraft Interiors Expo, the cabin industry trade fair in Hamburg (5 – 7 April), is a fixed date that the world’s major airlines cannot afford to miss. And not just them, either: The event defines international trends for the entire civil aviation sector, from economy class all the way up to private jets. As part of the trade fair, the “Oscars” of the aircraft cabin industry are also presented – the Crystal Cabin Award, launched by Hamburg Aviation and celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.

The Aircraft Interiors Expo is being held at Hamburg’s Messehallen Trade Fair for the 15th time this year. Over the years, it has become established as a major event in the city’s trade fair calendar, and it is growing year by year. This year will see more than 530 exhibitors from some 30 nations presenting to over 10,000 visitors from the industry – with an exhibition space equivalent to almost 130 tennis courts. Three of the seven exhibition halls are dedicated to the field with the strongest growth: on-board entertainment and connectivity. Once again, the affiliated World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo is being held in parallel at the Trade Fair site. The exhibition week begins on Monday, 4 April when high-ranking figures from the industry gather at Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) for presentations and discussions in the Passenger Experience Conference.

Hamburg the world’s largest competency center for aircraft cabins

Many of the exhibitors at Aircraft Interiors Expo are already based in Hamburg. The metropolitan region is the world’s largest competency center in the field of aircraft cabins, one of the aviation industries most important growth areas. The global cabin research operations of Hamburg’s biggest employer, Airbus, are located at the company’s site in Finkenwerder, Hamburg, and the manufacturer is one of the largest exhibitors at the trade fair. Just recently, the company presented its “Airspace by Airbus” long-haul cabin concept, focussed on a combination of design and a comfortable environment. Lufthansa Technik, another heavyweight amongst the exhibitors at the trade fair, is presenting new entertainment products, seating concepts, or innovations for galleys such as an inductive cooking platform. And there are also innovations to be seen from Diehl Aerosystems, the third-biggest industrial employer in Hamburg’s aviation sector. The company is presenting various products and ideas, including a novel lighting concept for the aircraft cabin and an innovative fire extinguishing system for the cargo hold. The largest booth at the Expo in 2016, however, will once again be the Hanse Pavillion of Hamburg’s supplier association, Hanse-Aerospace, where more than 70 companies, mostly SMEs, will display their products and services – among them P3 engineering with the first halon-free fire extinguisher for aviation. Here, too, is Hamburg Aviation, along with the all new ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research, formally opened on 7 March, a beacon for cabin-related research worldwide (6B90 12.4).

Hamburg Minister for the Economy, Senator Horch, & State Secretary Zypries attending

“The Aircraft Interiors Expo has long been an indispensable event in the industry’s calendar. Hamburg is on show here – not just as host and at the same time home to important players in the field of cabins and on-board products, but also and above all as a global innovation center. What you see on display here today will be experienced by airline passengers tomorrow,” says Hamburg’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Transport and Innovation, Senator Frank Horch who will tour the trade fair on 6 April to see for himself the full spectrum of cabin trends, accompanied by the Parliamentary State Secretary for aerospace policy, Brigitte Zypries.

Crystal Cabin Award, aviation innovation prize, to be presented for 10th time

This year in particular, all eyes will be on the Crystal Cabin Award, a prize launched by Hamburg Aviation that is celebrating its 10th anniversary at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2016. The winners in the eight different categories of this year’s international “Cabin Oscars” will be announced at a formal ceremony on the evening of 5 April at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the banks of the Alster. An overview of the 2016 finalists is available throughout the Aircraft Interiors Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery in Hall B1 Upper. Here, too, the winners will present their concepts to visitors and the press in person on 6 April at 12:30 p.m.

  • Groundbreaking new IFEC, seating and cabin interiors products on display

London, UK | March 29, 2016– With less than a week to go until Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2016, many of the 530+ companies exhibiting at this global event for the passenger experience industry are providing a taste of what they’ll be showcasing.

This year’s show will welcome 145 new exhibiting companies such as Mirus Aircraft Seating, Ballore Logistics Germany GmbH and General Dynamics, who will be attending with longstanding exhibitors that include Airbus, B/E Aerospace, Boeing and Panasonic Avionics.

This year’s 17th edition of AIX is expected to be a record event with more than1,000 airline executives from 188 Airlines such as; Emirates, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Delta to name a few, with 16,000 attendees due to visit the Hamburg Messe between 5th and 7th April 2016.

The event kicks off with the annual Passenger Experience Conference, taking place on the 4th of April. The fourth edition of this one-day conference will bring together a wide range of thought leaders and key decision makers from the interiors industry. The main theme for this year’s agenda is collaborating on the connected journey. In an increasingly connected world, how do we create seamless and positive passenger experiences across the touch points of the customer’s journey? How will innovative technology, connectivity and service combine to create comfortable and personal experiences from home to gate to cabin and to destination? The sessions will be a mix of visionary thinking and in-depth explorations of the issues for the cabin and inflight entertainment and connectivity sectors.

Polly Magraw, Show Manager of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), says: “AIX is now firmly established as the global event dedicated to the passenger experience industry, and this year’s show will provide visitors with rich insights into ground-breaking advances in the passenger experience.”

In partnership with Flightglobal, knowledge sharing continues beyond the PEC. This opportunity for attendees to debate and exchange information will see discussions centre around the increase in aircraft production rates and the future of inflight entertainment. The sessions are free to attend and will take place in the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre upper level of hall B1 next to the Airline Club Lounge

The Crystal Cabin Awards Gallery will also be in B1 Upper. Now in its 10th year, the competition initiated by Hamburg Aviation, received a record 95 entries from 18 countries for the 2016 event. Innovations across 8 categories will be on display in the Gallery. I invite you to attend the AIX hosted awards reception on the 6th of April in B1 upper at 12:30pm where all winners will provide a brief talk about their winning entry.

One of the companies recreating the HD experience in the air is Lumexis. They’ll be launching their iPAX system, an ultra-low cost embedded IFE system which weighs only 8.9 ounces whilst delivering a 1080p HD picture.

As more and more passengers bring their own devices to travel with, more suppliers are developing products to cater for this – one of which is Skycast Solutions, introducing their “TabCaddy Clip” that allows passengers to secure their remote devices to tray tables.

Also on display at the show will be Bluebox Wow, a wireless unit the size of a lunchbox with the capability of supporting streamed video and audio content, games, digital publications and Bluebox’s new Seat2Seat networked messaging application. The portable box can be taken onboard fully loaded, fully charged and ready to go, making it easy for airlines to switch between aircraft as needed.

Technology design and manufacturing company Telefonix is displaying the expansion and evolution of its Summit line of IFEC equipment. Having previously launched the line at last year’s show, which included CabinACe Wireless Access Point (WAP), this has now been expanded to include both a retro-fit and line-fit option for the access point. The line now features a brand new content loader, CabinEdge.

Another integral element of the passenger experience is seating, and first time exhibitor Mirus Aircraft Seating is launching a brand new light-weight economy seat. With production not set to commence until mid-2016, the show will be the first opportunity to view the new seat which blends stylish design, improved ergonomics and quality.

Rebel.Aero is unveiling its STwo seat, a unique patented folding “booster” seat offering each passenger the ability to change seating positions during flight where the seat surface can be folded upwards. This new design of seat will challenge previous seat designs and allow passengers to move around comfortably in their seat and relax in different positions, whilst minimising the impact to other passengers and crew around them.

The Waterfront Teague concept seat brings the comfort and technology of a living room and bedroom into the cabin. This partnership between Teague, Panasonic Avionics, B/E Aerospace and Formation Design Group incorporates a 24 inch 4K display screen, device charging and personal mood lighting, all seamlessly connected around the seat.

Another name taking inflight comfort to new levels is Supracor, who will be showing attendees their new economy cushions made with Stimulite and to be featured on Swiss International Airlines. The cushions, made from Elastollan thermoplastic urethane (TPU), will provide passengers with sustained comfort on long haul flights. The material is naturally antimicrobial with excellent hydrolytic stability and because there are no adhesives used to fabricate the cushions, they are also washable.

Cabin Interiors
Forward thinking technology can improve every aspect of the passenger experience, and this is recognised at the Crystal Cabin Awards. Amongst the finalists is Boeing with a self-cleaning lavatory, which utilises ultraviolet (UV) light to kill 99.99 percent of germs. By combining this cleaning system which can disinfect all surfaces after every use in just three seconds with touchless features will dramatically improve the passenger experience on commercial flights.

Vision Systems has developed SPD-Smart electronically dimmable windows, which dramatically enhance the passenger experience. These windows not only provide cabin-wide light and glare control, a quieter cabin while in flight, and a cooler cabin while boarding and taxiing, they go a step further to integrate a colour video touchscreen into an electronically dimmable aircraft window.

Also targeting light control within the cabin are new exhibitors National Research Council Canada. They have developed sound and light panels to simulate accurately the light and sound levels passengers’ experience during their flight. Passengers can also benefit from elevated window share, lighting and acoustic technologies.

Critical to the passenger experience is staying connected, and the need for passengers to charge their own devices is central to this. Imagik will be introducing the smallest USB charging unit on the market – the QUATRO PLUS. The unit brings high power, 1.2 AMP charging to every seat and is low power to run, and brings significant economies to airlines looking to install new charging facilities.

This message just about says it all for the upcoming IFEC event in Germany from the AIX website: Aircraft Interiors Expo – April 5 – 7, 2016… 1000+ airline attendees, 530+suppliers and approximately 16,000 attendees at the Hamburg Messe. The show is a culmination of a wide variety of product factors and the size is expressed by the Markets and Markets folks: “The in-flight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) market is expected to reach USD 5.80 Billion by 2020 from an estimated USD 2.85 Billion in 2015.”

Check out what show Manager, Polly McGraw told IFExpress: “AIX is now firmly established as the global event dedicated to the passenger experience industry, and over 16,000 visitors, including executives from more than 180 airlines, are expected to attend this year. Over 530 exhibitors, 60 of them present for the first time, will be showcasing the latest product innovations in areas including aircraft seating, inflight entertainment and connectivity, and lighting, with over 100 companies in the dedicated IFEC zone.

We should also mention the Passenger Experience Conference that happens April 4 (the day before the EXPO) is very worthwhile if you want an update on the insides and technical heartbeat of the industry. Said Ms Mcgraw: “AIX is part of Passenger Experience Week, which kicks off with the Passenger Experience Conference where delegates can learn about the future of the global passenger experience industry from executives at companies including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Global Eagle, Inmarsat, Lumexis and Panasonic. The following day sees the opening not only of AIX but also the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo with which it is co-located. These three events create the platform that sets the agenda for our industry. From addressing the ever-increasing demand to be connected and entertained, to offering a unique and unexpected experience, the journey to a seamless future passenger experience begins here.”

So, we thought it would be easier to swallow an outline of the AIX Best Stuff so you can memorize it when you ask your boss for the money to go!


  • 530 exhibitors, including 60 first time exhibitors, but also including the following “regulars” like Boeing, Recaro, BEAerospace, Zodiac Aerospace, Panasonic Avionics, Airbus, and more!
  • The IFEC zone of AIX show has grown by 31% in 2015, reflecting the increasing spend on IFEC by airlines, which is set to grow to nearly $6 billion by 2020*
  • 25% of the 60 new exhibitors will be displaying products at the IFEC dedicated zone.
  • Industry speakers at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) show include companies such as Global Eagle, Immfly, Lumexis, Inmarsat, Panasonic, Gogo and GOL Airlines.


  • 2016: AIX (see above),Passenger Experience Conference, Crystal Cabin Awards, Cabinspace LIVE
  • PEC – the main theme for this year’s agenda is collaborating on the connected journey. The PEC is split into three categories of sessions:
  • One of the primary themes is how these three elements come together in flight. Note that the speakers and breakout sessions will include the discussion about how to create an end-to-end passenger experience in a digital age. It will also discuss how innovative technology, connectivity and service combine to create comfortable and personal experiences from home to gate to cabin and to destination.
    • One of the primary themes is how these three elements come together in flight. Some of the discussion speakers are:
      • Juan Carlos Iglesias from Immfly – discussing e-commerce onboard in the IFEC session
      • Chris van Rÿswÿck from Pragma Consulting – exploring the game changing ancillary to create a seamless digital experience
      • Vassilios Georgakopoulos, Director Product Marketing and Michael Wahl, Vice President Product Marketing – discussing hospitality, service and retail opportunities
      • Michael Wahl, Vice President Product Marketing and Innovation of LSG Sky Chefs – discussing the evolution of industry and passenger needs
  • CCA (Crystal Cabin Awards) will be hosting their 10th anniversary in 2016, a record number 78 new ideas and innovations for aircraft cabins have made it onto the shortlist this year. The awards include the following categories:
    • Cabin concepts
    • Cabin systems
    • Electronic systems
    • Greener cabin, health, safety and environment
    • Material & components
    • Passenger comfort hardware
    • University
    • Visionary concepts – This is a new category introduced this year, relating to concepts that have not yet been implemented. The aim is to give an impression of aircraft cabins of the future. (By the way, don’t forget the Crystal Cabin Awards and here is a downloadable file with the contestants identified – HMG Seafile Server)
  • Cabinspace LIVE – in Hall B1 Upper is a face-to-face dedicated platform for the exchange of information with direct access to airlines, operators, buyers and specifiers from the industry. This space will host a dedicated IFEC workshop session on:
  • The future of in-flight entertainment, can passengers entertain themselves? This session will be led by Jan-Peter Gaense, Director Project & Certification, Lufthansa Systems. The workshop will cover a discussion on Personal Electronic Devices vs embedded IFE systems, the pros and cons of Inflight Wi-Fi and the willingness of passengers to pay for connectivity and inflight entertainment changing.
  • Other sessions include how the increase of aircraft production affects the industry (led by Emirates Engineering Technical Services) and how to make the most of cabin space (hosted by consultants from Ascend Flightglobal and Michael Lischke Consulting)


  • Skylights – developed the SkyTheater, specially designed portable glasses, allow 2D/3D movie-viewing on a wide angle screen with a black background, high definition image, large depth of field, visual and auditory isolation from the cabin.
  • ATR – presenting a “Smart Galley” concept, a modular solution in terms of on-board service to passengers.
    Inflight Vr Software – a company that is bringing virtual reality entertainment into the aircraft.
  • Mirus Aircraft Seating – launching a new lightweight economy aircraft seat.

Some more new entrants this year: SmartSky Networks, the folks who talk of 4G wireless connectivity. Also, the publisher, distributor and integrator Adaptive Channel will be there, as well as, new aircraft seat manufacturer ComFly, and finally the Global One Media people who say; “We make your passenger experience is… One of a kind.” Not to mention just about everyone who is anyone in the inflight arena will be there too. After all, this is the Big One, and again this year they have an IFEC Zone

(Editor’s Note: We want to thank the folks at AIX and Bell Pottinger who supplied these two show floor images – print them out!)

Messe Infographic

Rockwell Collins has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company®.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Ethisphere and the World’s Most Ethical Companies designation which recognizes those companies who align principle with action, work tirelessly to make trust part of their corporate DNA, and in doing so, shape future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices today. Congratulations, Rockwell!

Gogo announced today it is partnering with Intelsat (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, to leverage the first shared GEO/LEO satellite network for in-flight connectivity. Under a long-term agreement, Gogo’s next generation in-flight connectivity technology will be powered by an innovative high performance shared network featuring reliable, multi-layered Ku-band capacity on the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput geosynchronous (GEO) satellites combined with OneWeb’s planned low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. The Gogo 2Ku airborne terminal is designed to be compatible with multiple networks, including both the Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb satellite constellations. This flexibility ensures a long-term technology solution that provides immediate benefits as well as a path to future network evolutions well into the next decade. Beginning in 2016, Gogo will expand its use of the Intelsat Globalized Network by purchasing additional capacity on Intelsat’s Ku-band infrastructure, a contiguous, resilient network within Intelsat’s 50 satellite system which covers 99 percent of the world’s populated regions. Gogo’s Intelsat network infrastructure will initially include use of traditional wide beam services and the next generation high throughput satellite (HTS) Intelsat EpicNG platform, which is expected to enter service in 2016. Coverage will include HTS for the North Atlantic, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Ocean provided by Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e. In 2019, Gogo’s 2KU system will begin to access the world’s first GEO/LEO shared network, an evolving service architecture that will incorporate the best features of Intelsat GEO and OneWeb LEO HTS capacity as the complete Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb systems deploy. When the network is fully deployed, Gogo’s 2Ku systems will be able to dynamically route traffic across the fully global 10 Tbps shared network based on coverage, latency, throughput and other performance criteria. Gogo’s customers will benefit from the continuous planned upgrades of the shared network, including up to 250 Mbps per plane on the Intelsat EpicNG fleet. OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit satellites are expected to be the first satellites to enable high performance services at high latitudes and on polar flights. (Editor’s Note – We wonder what antenna they are using?)


  • If you are lucky enough to have an Apple Watch and you travel, TripCase might be the app you need: Apple Watch Travel App – TripCase Smartwatch Travel App
  • At AIX, be careful about what “free” Wi-Fi you use. We tell you this because the folks in eWEEK noted: “It’s very stupid to have a completely unencrypted network,” Yolanda Smith, product manager at Pwnie Express, explained to eWEEK. “Anyone can attach themselves to it and from there could run a man-in-the-middle attack … they can execute mobile malware.”
  • We are trying to figure out how the airline would treat you if you wore one of these? Adjustable Travel Pillow by Grand Trunk
  • Pioneering use of advanced UV light sanitizes all lavatory surfaces
  • Touchless features increase hygiene

Everett, WA | March 3, 2016– Boeing [NYSE: BA] engineers and designers have developed a self-cleaning lavatory prototype that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to kill 99.99 percent of germs. The cleaning system can disinfect all surfaces after every use in just three seconds. Boeing believes this self-cleaning technology, combined with touchless features, will enhance the passenger experience on commercial flights. Click here to download b-roll of the lavatory.

The lavatory uses Far UV light that would be activated only when the lavatory is unoccupied. Far UV is different from the UVA or UVB light in tanning beds, and is not harmful to people. Boeing engineers have shown through testing on their prototype that this innovation can minimize the growth and potential transmission of micro-organisms. Boeing has filed for a patent on this concept.

“We’re trying to alleviate the anxiety we all face when using a restroom that gets a workout during a flight,” said Jeanne Yu, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Director of Environmental Performance. “In the prototype, we position the lights throughout the lavatory so that it floods the touch surfaces like the toilet seat, sink and countertops with the UV light once a person exits the lavatory. This sanitizing even helps eliminate odors.”

The cleaning system, which will require further study before it can be offered to airlines, would lift and close the toilet seat by itself so that all surfaces are exposed during the cleaning cycle. The design also incorporates a hands-free faucet, soap dispenser, trash flap, toilet lid and seat and a hand dryer. A hands-free door latch and a vacuum vent system for the floor are also under study, all to keep the lavatory as hygienic as possible between scheduled cleaning.

“Some of the touchless features are already in use on some Boeing airplanes today,” said Yu. “But combining that with the new UV sanitizing will give passengers even more protection from germs and make for an even better flying experience.”

Boeing’s Clean Lavatory is a finalist for a Crystal Cabin Award that will be announced at the Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo on April 5.

  • The finalists have been announced for the 8 categories of the Crystal Cabin Award. The “Aircraft Cabin Oscars” will be presented for the 10th time this April.

Hamburg, Germany | March 2, 2016– These days it’s not just the aviation industry that looks to Hamburg when the Crystal Cabin Award is presented in Hamburg during the Aircraft Interiors Expo each year. The jury of international experts award the honours in eight different categories for game-changing innovations in the field of aircraft cabins and on- board products. In 2016, once again, a total of 24 finalists give a good overview of the trends and innovations that passengers and airline operators will encounter above the clouds in the years ahead – or maybe even now. Innovative lighting moods, sophisticated entertainment systems, and clever ideas for the efficient use of space are amongst this year’s highlights. In its tenth birthday year, the prize, initiated by the Hamburg Aviation cluster, has seen a record number of submissions, with 78 ideas from 18 different nations making it onto the shortlist. Eight of the 24 finalists will be taking one of the coveted trophies home on the evening of 5 April.

Some of the entries in the “Visionary Concepts” category have already attracted international attention recently. One of the finalists, Formation Design, has been turning heads with a concept that mixes First and Business Class. The key: passengers in the First Class suites are lying down above Business Class passengers. The Lifestyle concept from Zodiac Aerospace goes one step further and completely redesigns the cabin. Instead of the traditional, established class system, there are different areas – sitting, sleeping, meeting, and lounge. The third finalist in this bundle is breaking with every convention: Design studio TEAGUE has developed a fully new airline concept, Poppi. Companies can sponsor the unpopular middle seat, for example, using it to offer passengers free products and additional services. Passengers can also get to know one another before the flight in a social network.

Submissions for this year’s new “Cabin Concepts” category, aimed at airlines, are at a far more advanced stage of development. Etihad Airways, working together with Acumen Design, has made it to the final round for the second time in a row: ingenious use of space means that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner First Suite has the same creature comforts as their Airbus A380, despite a significantly smaller fuselage. Virgin Australia’s tangerine cabin is another airline concept that has made it to the final three. The designers have created a new cabin experience for the long-haul A330 and Boeing 777 fleet. Seymour Powell has also created a special cabin experience: The design agency aims to create a boutique hotel atmosphere above the clouds with First Spaces, complete with single and double rooms. The judging panel were inspired by the spacious concept, choosing the Londoners to complete the list of finalists in this category.

But the Crystal Cabin Award is not only there to inspire the wealthiest passengers. Numerous finalist innovations are also beneficial to Economy Class passengers – for example those in the “Electronic Systems” category. This includes the 2Ku technology developed by American company Gogo, guaranteeing stable broadband internet access in the sky for all passengers thanks to a double antenna on the aircraft roof. Lufthansa Systems, on the other hand, has focussed its attention on data transmission within the cabin. With the BoardConnect Portable solution, the crew can simply pick up a broadband router and carry it through the cabin. And for passengers who are more interested in outstanding entertainment than outstanding bandwidth, the Digital Sky from finalist Thales is sure to be a winner. The entire backrest of the seat in front can be used as a touchscreen, making for almost unlimited entertainment.

Entertainment on the cabin ceiling is on offer in the “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category. The German company Diehl Aerospace has been getting attention with its Dandelion concept. This allows for the complex projection of images or films in segments of the cabin, for example to create a relaxing or jetlag-reducing lighting mood. Rebel.Aero, on the other hand, made it into the final with an innovative Economy Class seat where the seat surface can be folded upwards, varying the seating position during the flight. It is ideal for taller passengers who would like to stretch their legs for a while even in Economy. The Waterfront Business Class Seat has brought TEAGUE into the final in another category. The new long-haul seat has a number of innovative elements, such as the ability to charge a smartphone by simply laying it on an inductive surface.

Clever use of induction technology is also behind Lufthansa Technik’s successful entry in another new category, “Cabin Systems”. The Hamburg company has developed an inductive hotplate allowing fresh meals to be prepared in the galley almost the same as at home. Diehl Service Modules have secured the company from Germany’s Franconia region with a second ticket to the final round, too: The Smart Galley’s modular construction makes it possible to reconfigure the galley at lightning speed. American company B/E Aerospace scored well with its flexible LED lighting system, Viu, which can even be installed in hard-to-get-to areas of the cabin and can create an endless variety of colour moods.

Whilst innovative lighting technologies can be experienced directly, other innovations in the cabin often take place “behind the scenes”. One example is in the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category, where Apparatebau Gauting reached the final round with an innovative and environmentally friendly fire extinguishing system for the cargo hold, spraying a mixture of water and nitrogen when things become serious. While passengers will never get to see Gauting’s innovation, it’s a different matter with the concept submitted by US aircraft manufacturer Boeing. The company has developed a more hygienic on-board toilet, the Fresh Lavatory, which incorporates not just cleaner surfaces but also innovative air filters. The third finalist in this category is Fraunhofer’s PYCO Institute. The German researchers have applied an environmentally friendly recycling process to composite materials used in the cabin.

New materials are also covered in the “Material & Components” category. The company F.LIST made it into the final with the first wooden floor certified for use in the aircraft cabin. This innovation is sure to bring the Austrian company to the attention of the VIP market. Much less glamourous for the passenger, but just as innovative, is the ERMS (Easy Release Modular System) concept, an innovative and significantly more efficient adjustment mechanism for backrests. Sekisui SPI also made it into the final round in this category with a thermoplastic surface design. The company’s technology, called Infused Imaging, allows for much more detailed and creative designs on cabin elements such as seat shells and partition walls.

Even before the awards ceremony in Hamburg, it is already clear the Crystal Cabin Award in the “University” category will go to Delft University of Technology this year. The Dutch university impressively stormed the awards this year, eliminating even last year’s winner, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, to dominate the final round. This means that students will face off against their own colleagues at the awards ceremony in Hamburg. Manon Kuehne has an innovative headrest for Economy Class, Ting Yu Chen has a multimedia on-board lounge called “FiO”, and a team of six students has a concept study for a movable galley, “Modulair”.

The eight winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2016 will be announced during the Aircraft Interiors Expo 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, all of the finalists have to personally answer the critical and probing questions of the 24 international experts on the judging panel – airline representatives, professors, aircraft manufacturer representatives, and journalists – and present their projects in an “elevator pitch”.

  • Crystal Cabin Award, the aircraft cabin “Oscars”, celebrating 10th anniversary and reporting record submissions: 95 entries from 18 countries

Hamburg, Germany | January 21, 2016– The world’s most famous prize for aircraft cabins and on- board products, the Crystal Cabin Award, can boast of a new record number of entries for its tenth anniversary. 78 ideas and innovations for aircraft cabins have made it onto the shortlist for the 2016 “Oscars” of the international cabin industry. This reinforces a fundamental trend: around the world, efficient cabin usage and appealing passenger experience are becoming ever more important features of air travel for both airlines and passengers. Thematically, the focus this year is on the integration of passengers’ own electronic devices with in-flight entertainment systems along with innovative lighting concepts. In 2016, the Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, will be awarded in eight categories for the first time. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 5 April in Hamburg within the framework of the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Speakers at the dinner will include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for Aerospace.

Surfing, streaming, texting: more and more passengers expect the same communications possibilities in flight that they have on the ground. It’s no surprise, really, because almost every passenger brings a smartphone or tablet on board these days. Manufacturers and airlines are responding, on the one hand, with a massive expansion of connectivity technology. In the future, US company Gogo, for example, will be fitting its 2Ku system to aircraft, equipping them with a dual antenna that allows every passenger to enjoy uninterrupted broadband connectivity for the entire flight. Journalists on a test flight already streamed their experience above the clouds live via smartphone.

On the other hand, there is also connectivity within the cabin. Whether it’s the integration of content from passengers’ own equipment in the in-flight entertainment system, the use of passengers’ own iPads as monitors in the backrest on short-haul flights, or the possibility of charging a smartphone simply by placing it on the armrest – many manufacturers already have solutions on offer. Conventional in-flight entertainment systems are moving forward, too, as can be seen with “Digital Sky” from Thales, where the screen covers almost the entire backrest of the seat in front. The Skylights company is pursuing a different path, offering the in-flight program via 3D data glasses for distraction-free cinematic pleasure.

Alongside the growth in entertainment and connectivity, the “feel good atmosphere” is also becoming more and more important on board. Modern LED technology is making it possible to illuminate the cabin independently of flight phase and time of day, so that, for example, a sunrise can be simulated on long flights to minimise jet lag. German cabin fitting specialist Diehl Aerosystems is going one step further with its “Dandelion” concept, allowing coloured patterns and photographic images – passing clouds, for example – to be projected onto the cabin ceiling and overhead lockers.

Physically tangible innovations are not hard to find in the Crystal Cabin Award shortlist, either. There’s the first airborne timber floor, developed by LIST from Austria, for example, and the first bionic-based 3D-printed cabin partitioning wall from Autodesk and Airbus, stable and at the same time extremely lightweight. One especially ingenious idea comes from the young company Soarigami: an economy-class armrest that can be folded out into separate sections, consigning the eternal battle with the neighbouring passenger for the last two centimeters of elbow-room to the history books.

Once again, the shortlist also includes bold visions for the cabin of the future. The spectrum ranges from an innovative way of dividing the cabin into seating and sleeping areas, as presented in the Zodiac Lifestyle Cabin, to an “Airline of the Future” concept developed by the TEAGUE design studio from America. The team’s “Poppi” case study extends the airline business model with new elements. Companies could sponsor the unpopular middle seat, for example, using it to offer passengers free products and additional services. “Poppi” may still be a creative and remote idea, but the participation of numerous reputable airlines such as Swiss, Turkish, and Virgin Australia in the Crystal Cabin Award 2016 underlines the fact that this is now much more than just a small event for a small community of specialists.

On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, the Crystal Cabin Award has been expanded to eight categories for 2016. From now on, the distinctive trophies will be awarded in the fields of “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “Electronic Systems”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”. Entrants whose submissions are amongst the three finalists for each category, chosen by the 27 expert members of the international judging panel, will have the opportunity to present their concepts at the world’s largest cabin industry trade fair, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, to be held in Hamburg (5 – 7 April).

The winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2016 will be formally announced on the evening of 5 April at a grand tenth anniversary gala in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. Speakers at the dinner will include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for Aerospace.

A detailed shortlist with English press material, press contacts for the individual entrants, and photographic material, is available upon request: lukas.kirchner@hamburg-

The Crystal Cabin Award stands for the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide, and is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Emirates Airline, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, Flightchic, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Runway Girl Network and SEKISUI SPI.

You too can become a supporter of the Crystal Cabin Award. Information on sponsorship opportunities and packages is available from Carmen Krause (

  • 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.

Hamburg, Germany | March 27, 2013– First time exhibitor Molon Labe Designs will use Aircraft Interiors Expo – organised by Reed Exhibitions – to present its innovative and unique seating design concept at the Hamburg Messe, Germany from 9 -11 April.

The Slip-Slide seat permits the normal 19” wide aisle to open up to an impressive 43”, offering a number of benefits to both the airline and passengers. The company states that it is the only seat in the industry that provides wider aisles during turnaround, minimising passenger embarkation and disembarkation times and enabling full wheelchair access the length of the cabin.

This new concept in seating design utilises the aisle column of seats as a semi-fixed structure attached to its respective row, but not directly to the floor. The aisle seat moves up and over the middle seat using a single action operation, sliding away from the plane’s central concourse, generating an extra 24” of space to permit passenger access and egress. Before take-off the seat slides back into position and locks in place.

Molon Labe asserts that for an airline there are numerous advantages, especially since the slowest part of an aircrafts turnaround is the loading and unloading of passengers. These include two extra hours of flight time per aircraft and savings on fuel as there is less time on the ground powering essential services while passenger’s access and egress. The company states that the seat pays for itself in two years through the fuel saving element alone.

A stalwart of Aircraft Interiors Expo, Thales will use the exhibition to present its Eyetracking and Gesture Control system. The IFE system is controlled via a combination of the passenger’s eye movements and hand motions, allowing them to navigate through the seat display menu options and select their entertainment preferences. Developed for premium passengers, the system is used in a far reach seat configuration often called a pod seat. The use of Eyetracking and Hand Gesture Control technologies creates an MMI (Man-Machine Interface) whereby the Field-of-View between the passenger’s eyes and hands is all within the same visual plane of the seat display, eliminating the need to constantly look down at a remote control to make a selection. This product is a finalist in the “Passenger Comfort Systems” category at the annual Crystal Cabin Awards 2013.

Inflight internet specialist Gogo will soon be offering a new product that will allow passengers to send text messages from any Gogo equipped commercial aircraft. Called Gogo Text & Voice, it uses Gogo’s Wi-Fi system and will be available without picocells. Gogo expects Text & Voice to be the first solution in the market to leverage an in-air
Wi-Fi system to allow airline passengers to send and receive texts in real-time using their own mobile phone number while flying at 30,000 ft and in excess of 500 miles per hour.

Row 44 will be exhibiting the industry’s first full-scale platform for in-flight entertainment and connectivity. The company’s Ku-band satellite technology is unique in its ability to deliver live television direct to passengers’ personal mobile devices throughout an entire fleet of aircraft at a consistent quality and cost-effective rate. This service can be made available to passengers as a separate Wi-Fi offering, regardless of whether or not a passenger chooses to pay for internet access. It offers 1.8 terabyte of video-on-demand service which enables unprecedented choice for the customer. The service allows airline partners of Row 44 to impress their customers with a new entertainment product offering opportunities to garner incremental revenues. Row 44 also permits airlines to retain control of the branding of the services and portal in order to maintain brand continuity. Row 44 is a finalist in the Passenger Comfort Systems category of the Crystal Cabin Awards.

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