Now in its fourth year, the premier conference and networking forum to discuss the vital strategic issues surrounding cabin innovation, consumer expectations and strategies for profitability within the cabin returns to Hamburg, Germany on 13th April 2015, hosted by the Aircraft Interiors and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expos.

It’s no secret, Aircraft Interiors (AIX) is one of the best and biggest international IFEC & Catering shows in the world and we want to get a few updates to our readers who are not up to speed on it yet. We wanted to make this Hot Topic a “one stop update” for our readers and we note that most have already set in motion their trip. However, for the late-goers, we hope this issue will convince you to make the journey to Germany.

One word a reader used about AIX really stood out. “Un-missable,” she said, but you be the judge, at least based on the information we have included in this IFExpress. We also note that our own industry experiences at the AIX have caused us to call it “un-missable” too. From new product rollouts, to meeting new industry players, to the one-on-one meetings and get-togethers… it all adds up to the kind of show that IFEC is all about. In accordance with being be a bit biased, we asked a few readers to give IFExpress a short sentence or two on their view of AIX and we have included their thoughts in this Hot Topic as well.

“The AIX Hamburg Conference is a tremendous event as it is well attended from both visitor and exhibitor perspectives and is surrounded by other strong activities the day before such as the Passenger Experience Conference and the Crystal Cabin Awards.” Lori M. Krans

To get a better view, we talked to Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibition Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo and asked a few questions that might help readers decide to go. She told IFExpress: “Aircraft Interiors Expo has long been recognized as the premier forum for new ideas to meet the needs of this vibrant and dynamic industry. We are confident that visitors to our 2015 show will find a wealth of innovation in key areas such as IFE, seating and cabin design. The opening and closing plenary sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will be a major highlight for delegates as it includes stimulating and thought-provoking discussion from Virgin Atlantic, Air Baltic and Seymourpowell. There is no doubt the lineup to-date is already impressive and will be an occasion not to be missed.”

Q. Why should our readers go to AIX in Hamburg (April 13 through 16) and what will they see?

A: This will be the 16th edition and it will be the largest passenger experience event as Aircraft Interiors Expo has now expanded from five halls to seven which means that the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo will be taking place in the A halls at the Hamburg Messe.

The Passenger Experience Conference, now in its fourth year, takes place on 13th April and will feature two new motivating plenary sessions, one from Richard Seymour, Founder of Seymourpowell and one from Reuben Arnold, Brand and Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways. Richard Seymour’s “Blue Sky” presentation entitled ‘Clippers in the Clouds – Rediscovering Romance in the 21st Century,’ will investigate the theory of “Emotional Ergonomics” in the air and reflect on how much can actually be achieved within the technical confines of a modern airliner in the decades to come.

Of course IFE is key for many airlines when it comes to enhancing the passenger experience and Hamburg will be the place to be as the largest ever IFE Zone – some 25% larger – will showcase 71 exhibitors including 13 new companies. The latest and most innovative IFE technologies will be displayed by a range of companies such as Astronics, Blue Box Avionics, Lumexis, Molex, Panasonic Avionics, Thales, Turkish Technic, ViaSat and Zodiac – to name a few. 67% of visitors at last year’s event confirmed their interest in IFE-related products so there is no doubt that the IFE Zone will again be a significant attraction at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015.

Q. What changes can regular visitors expect this year – what’s new?

A: There will be a new and exclusively designed US Pavilion in Hall B1 as well as a new feature called CabinSpace LIVE in Hall B6, a face-to-face platform with direct access to airlines, operators, buyers and specifiers from the industry – it will offer a dedicated area for the exchange of information and best practices and all sessions are free to attend. In co-operation with COMPOSITES EUROPE, we’re also delighted to introduce the Composites Zone located within Hall B1 this year where decision makers, buyers and designers from the most important application industries will find the very latest material solutions and technologies.

Q Besides IFE, what else is featured at AIX and a good reason to go?

A: To help visitors unwind during a busy day, the Relaxation Zone in Hall B1 will be offering free massages every day from 1100 to 1500 and you can ‘Meet at the Bar’ also in Hall B1 and have a seat and use the free WI-FI in the seating area in Hal B6.

Networking is an essential part of everyone’s time in Hamburg. The Industry Networking Party follows the Passenger Experience Conference and will be an opportunity to meet new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and meet peers and other industry professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, all exhibitors and visitors are invited to attend the hospitality evenings in the exhibition halls on the 14th and 15th from 1700 to -1900. We would also encourage everyone to visit the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery in Hall B6, which is sponsored by Aircraft Interiors Expo. In its ninth year, the competition, initiated by Hamburg Aviation, received a record 68 entries from 18 countries that secured a place on the prestigious shortlist. Innovations across seven categories will be on display in the Gallery and the winners will be presented with their trophies on 15th April at 11am.

Q. Are there any deals you can or are able to mention about close/reasonable accommodations?

A: We suggest that anyone wanting to book hotels should contact our official house partner via the website – INTERPLAN AG Hamburg – as they can offer a special rate to attendees at Aircraft Interiors EXPO 2015.

Q. How many square feet of IFE space – how many vendors do you expect?

A: This year there will be 71 exhibiting companies in the IFE Zone covering Halls B2, B3 and B4 at a total growth of approx. 25%

Q. How about the Pax Experience Event (April, 13th) – any thoughts for our readers?

A: One particular session we’d like to highlight is the “IFEC Debate: The Future For Inflight Content” which will feature an impressive platform of panellists to include Don Buchman, Vice President, ViaSat; Robin Cole, Vice President Global Business Development, Global Eagle Entertainment; Al St. Germain, Senior Vice President USA, Spafax and Dimiter Zahariev, Development Manager, Passenger Department, International Air Transport Association. Here is a link to the PEX Schedule – download it and take it with you: PEX Schedule/attached

Q. What does it cost to attend as a visitor? Do they need to register ahead and how if needed?

A: We advise to register before the event to avoid queuing on the opening days

Free of Charge to attend the exhibition
14 – 16 April
Hamburg Messe

Passenger Experience Conference and Industry Networking Party the prices are:

Passenger Experience Conference
Book by 12 April: €449 + VAT
Book after 12 April: €600 inc VAT

Industry Networking Party
Book by 10 April: €99 inc VAT
Book after 10 April: €120 inc VAT

Book by 10 April: €85 inc VAT
Book after 10 April: €100 inc VAT

FREE to attend for Conference Delegates and Airline VIPs

Q. How can readers get more info?

A: Our website has a lot of useful information but if anyone wants to get in touch they can call our Customer Services Helpline at +44 (0) 208 271 2174.
The website also has a link to download a free app before, during and after the show, the app provides a full event schedule, personalized agenda, exhibitor listings, floor-plan maps, social networking, speaker listings and many other features.

Q. Is there a way for last minute vendors to get a booth?

A: Currently the show is 98% sold out so although we’ve very little room left, if anyone is interested in exhibiting we suggest they contact us as soon as possible and we’ll do our level best to see how we accommodate them as we’d love them to be with us in Hamburg!

View the list of worldwide sales managers that are here to help you.

“AIX is always one of the big shows for us each year. Hamburg is a great location, and a wonderful opportunity to meet all the movers and shakers from the whole Interiors industry.” Geoff Underwood – IFPL

Here are some links IFExpress found to make you AIX search a bit easier:
IFE Zone link
IFE Floor Zone link
Find Exhibitors link
Here is a link to the AIX app

“We are thrilled to showcase our latest destination-related contents at AIX, since this expo is one of the major yearly events in the industry. With so many PaxEx managers attending the expo, it is for us a mandatory milestone to open the path to long lasting relationships with airlines for both passengers’ and airline’s benefits.” Cyril Jean, PX Com

See you there… and you can contact IFExpress at the show via text message to: +1 206 229 7899 or email

“AIX is an opportunity to see the latest IFEC systems – to see and hear about new products being launched – including exciting news from Lumexis. AIX is opportune for both airline and vendor meetings – airline meetings are most important of course, but vendor–vendor meetings are a close second – it’s a chance to meet with IFEC and seats vendors from all over the world, all in one place.“ Rich Salter, Lumexis

ATG-4 and satellite developments to broaden inflight Internet solutions

ITASCA, Ill., March 9, 2011 –-
Aircell, the world’s leading provider of inflight connectivity, today unveiled an expanded technology roadmap for the delivery of its revolutionary and widely deployed Gogo® Inflight Internet service. In addition to Aircell’s existing and highly successful Air-to-Ground (ATG) technology, the company will enable connectivity via a next generation version of ATG (“ATG-4”) as well as Ka-band satellite technology. These technology options will be selectable at the aircraft or fleet level and enable attractive solutions for every airline, aircraft and mission.

“Between business and commercial aviation, there are currently more than 6,000 Aircell-equipped aircraft across ATG and satellite technology platforms,” said Michael Small, President and CEO of Aircell. “We’re thrilled to be the only inflight connectivity provider that can meet our partners’ full fleet needs in the United States today. With this announcement we strengthen our offerings domestically and begin to extend our leadership globally.”
The suite of technologies powering Gogo® Inflight Internet will consist of the following:

· Air-to-Ground (ATG): With a proven track record of performance, reliability and scalability, Aircell’s ATG-based service will continue to provide a rich user experience for connected travelers by featuring 3G wireless utilizing EV-DO Rev. A.
· ATG-4: Aircell’s ATG-4 service will significantly enhance the existing ATG network and improve per aircraft capacity by approximately four times current performance through the addition of Directional Antenna, Dual Modem and EV-DO Rev. B technologies. ATG-4 is scheduled for commercial delivery beginning in the first half of 2012. This new platform is backwards compatible and allows for upgrades to existing ATG systems through low cost retrofits.
· Ka-band satellite: Aircell’s Ka-band satellite technology will provide additional capacity to supplement what is available through ATG, ATG-4 and current generation satellite technology, as well as enable Gogo service beyond the continental United States (CONUS). Based on satellite launch and antenna development schedules, Aircell expects its Ka-band technology to be available for CONUS in 2013 and globally by 2015. Aircell expects many aircraft to take advantage of its unique and proprietary ability to integrate air-to-ground solutions with satellite solutions for better performance, enhanced features and higher reliability.

By offering multiple technology platforms, Aircell is the only provider able to meet the needs of any aircraft and its mission. ATG’s combination of low cost, small equipment footprint and high performance will continue to delight travelers in the future. At the same time, many larger aircraft with higher capacity needs will benefit from the improvements enabled by ATG-4, again at a low cost and with a smaller equipment footprint as compared to satellite solutions. Aircraft with missions beyond CONUS will benefit from the geographic flexibility a satellite solution provides. In advance of the global availability of Ka-based satellite service, Aircell can provide a Ku-based satellite solution for the international needs of its airline partners.

For commercial airlines, Aircell’s technology roadmap will allow airlines to select the technology that best suits particular aircraft at a particular time, and to easily upgrade from one Aircell platform to another. In addition, all Aircell network technologies will utilize its enormous advantage in proprietary “know how” (including over 30 US and international patents for its inflight connectivity solutions), and will leverage its world-class systems for technical monitoring and support, customer care and billing.

In the business aviation market, Aircell currently offers three different inflight technologies, including Iridium Satellite, Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (satellite) and Gogo Biz™ (ATG). Specific details about ATG-4 and Ka-band Satellite technologies for the business aviation market will be released in the coming months.