As anticipated, the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on April 9, and the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) on April 10 thru 12 were the IFEC big deals last week. Each year we attempt to give readers a bit of an oversight about this week dedicated to the aircraft cabin and all things IFEC. This year was not different and for this week and next week, IFExpress will cover the show summary put out by the folks who organize this incredible extravaganza in Hamburg Germany each year. In today’s issue, we cover PEC (April 9) and Day 1 of AIX (April 10)  – next week we will send out the summary of Day 2 and 3 of the Expo. Here we go! 


PASSENGER EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE

Monday April 9,  2018 – Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the industry-leading global conference and networking forum, returned to the Hamburg Messe, marking the start of the world-renowned Passenger Experience Week (PEW). Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw kicked-off the day with a welcome to delegates attending the Conference, which defines the passenger experience. Following this, Richard Chung, Vice President Innovation & Design at Adient  took to the stage to discuss the exponential changes that are emerging and converging to create new opportunities for the aviation industry (see image above).

One such change, is the future introduction of commercial space flight at Virgin Galactic’s facility in New Mexico. Adam Wells, Head of Design, talked delegates through every stage of the process of the journey of a spacecraft, including a video of a recent test flight where the spaceship reached 82,000 feet.

Closing the plenary sessions, Paul Priestman, Director and Chairman of Priestman Goode, discussed how convergence of existing technologies, including magnetic levitation, can facilitate new forms of transport such as the Hyperloop.

For the rest of the Conference, PEC delegates could choose sessions from three streams: Convergence and Mobility, Personalizing the Journey and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking.

Convergence and Mobility:

  • From seamless urban mobility to the on-demand economy, this stream explored how cross-pollination between transport modes can enrich the passenger experience and create business opportunities.
    • Arguing that millennials prioritize access over ownership, Jönna Pöllanen of MaaS Global introduced their new multi-modal transport planning and booking platform, ‘Whim’.
    • Sustainable materials were the focus of conversation between José Rui Marcelino of Almadesign, Joel Fragata of TAP Air Portugal and Luciana Ribeiro Monteiro of Embraer, while the Head of Partnerships & Advertising and Head of Product & Customer Experience at Joon told attendees about their new products and services being tested by Air France-KLM.

Personalizing the Journey:

  • This stream explored how connectivity and data-driven technologies can improve the passenger experience and enable deeper relationships between an airline and its service partners.
    • Nathaniel Giraitis of design company SmartDesign told attendees about Kite, a newly-conceived digital travel companion that could provide nervous flyers with personalized coping techniques.
    • Representatives from gategroup and Black Swan Data shared their insights on how artificial intelligence and data collection can revolutionize inflight food, while seamlessness and the harmonization of software and content were the focal points of discussions between speakers from Panasonic Avionics, Cathay Pacific, Gogo, Valour Consultancy and Spafax.

Flexible and Sustainable Thinking:

  • Examining how flexibility can be designed into products to afford more options for airlines and rail operators, this stream asks the question about the role sustainability plays in this equation.
    • Christina Fagin, Industrial Designer and Circular Economy Expert at Grüner Hering, emphasized the importance of ensuring that products have a full life-cycle and that environmental disposal is considered in the design phase in her key-note speech.
    • Later speakers from Boeing, Recaro, Zodiac Aerospace were among those who discussed the ways in which modularity and open platforms can support a more flexible approach to cabin design and services.

Polly Magraw, Event Director of Passenger Experience Conference, comments: “This year’s agenda offered delegates an insight into the future of transport and the technologies that are driving change for passengers. Our fantastic plenary speakers transported the audience through space, supersonic and electric air travel – a range of possibilities that now feel closer than ever before.”

“The breakout format of the conference let delegates explore the issues that are driving change in their industry and revolutionizing the passenger experience. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who continues to make the Passenger Experience Conference the huge success it is today.”

The PEC is the launch event for Passenger Experience Week – which comprises four leading events in one destination: the Passenger Experience Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions.


AIX DAY ONE – NEWS ROUND-UP

Tuesday, April 10 2018 – Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the world’s largest event dedicated to innovation in the in-flight passenger experience, kicked-off as world leaders in cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and passenger comfort gathered in Hamburg to showcase their latest products and developments.

Every year, exhibitors choose AIX to announce new products and deals, and 2018 got off to an impressive start with news from organizations including:

  • Airbus announced the development of a new option for A380 aircraft, ‘A380 Cabin-Flex’. The enhancement, which consists of a new cabin door area arrangement on the upper-deck, is available for line-fit and retrofit, and will be installed on Qantas’ current A380 fleet from mid 2019.
  • Thales announced the expansion of its inflight entertainment portfolio with CORE and PRESTIGE, offering a full spectrum of solutions and services to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and airline revenue.
  • Immfly announced a new partnership with Pegasus Air, to bring a dynamic in-flight digital services platform to the Turkish Market.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced the debut of their new airline on-board loyalty platform, called NEXT Loyalty, with Singapore Airlines as launch customer, as well as a partnership with gategroup on their new retail platform NEXT Marketplace, and an IFEC commitment from Turkish Airlines for 50 wide-bodied aircraft.
  • Gogo announced that Air Canada has extended its agreement to install the provider’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity service on its Bombardier CSeries CS300 fleet, with the system to be line-fit during assembly.
  • Global Eagle Entertainment has launched the Airconnect Go video-on-demand system portable IFE system for regional aircraft, which streams content to passengers’ own devices through Global Eagle’s Airtime portal.
  • Geven’s Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Wizz Air for the Airbus A321neos it will begin receiving in January 2019.
  • Acro is to supply its Series 3 ST seat to Viva Air for the airline’s 50 Airbus A320 aircraft on order.

Delegates to AIX were also able to enjoy the first day of a series of educational sessions in the Flight Global Cabin Space Live Seminar Theater.

Consolidation and the interiors supply chain: Panelists discussed how consolidation among the cabin supply chain could provide an opportunity for agile new suppliers to enter the market, as well as the demand on suppliers to boost production while reorganizing supply chains.

The future of IFE: The panel of airlines and technology providers discussed the need for airlines to have the flexibility to provide choice to the passenger, with platforms that adapt to meet the fast pace of technology development. The need for robust and stable connections for streaming in the air to meet passenger demand is critical, with embedded IFE, wireless IFE and connectivity all being part of the future mix.

Flight Ascend Market Outlook Briefing: This briefing assessed where the industry is in the demand cycle. It examined whether Airbus and Boeing are on track to hit their ambitious production-rate targets and what the prospects are for new market entrants such as the C-Series, C919 and MC-21, and new product studies such as the Boeing NMA.

AIX’s Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments: “AIX 2018 has launched with a busy and exciting day. It has been inspiring to see all the amazing innovations our exhibitors are showcasing and how they are bringing to life some of the key themes around the passenger experience we heard about in Monday’s Passenger Experience Conference.

Aircraft Interiors Expo is co-located with World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). Along with the Passenger Experience Conference the three expos make up Passenger Experience Week.

For further information please follow this link to Aircraft Interiors Expo

Hamburg, DE | April 3, 2017– Dozens of thought leaders and industry figureheads came together today to discuss the latest ideas and innovations shaping the passenger experience industry at the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC).

The annual event marks the start of Passenger Experience Week, hosted at the Hamburg Messe, which also encompasses Aircraft Interiors Expo and the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo.

New to the PEC this year was the Airline Breakfast Forum. The forum presented an opportunity for airline attendees to debate informally and to share industry best practice insights. Those who attended were welcomed by a keynote from Jeff James, vice president and general manager of the Disney Institute. His inspiring presentation focused on the importance of creating experiences that matter for customers and staff alike.

Following this, an address from Dick Powell, Co-Founder and Chairman of SeymourPowell, discussed the concept that reality and ideas are utterly inseparable and encouraged attendees to foster creative thinking in order to innovate effectively. This inspiring and creative session was followed by the Head to Head with the Innovators which saw industry leaders from businesses including; Plug and Play Tech Centre, Swiss International Airlines and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, share their experiences of generating passenger appeal.

From mid-morning the conference broke out into three concurrent streams, each of which analysed a different aspect of the passenger experience. The profiles of speakers from all three sessions can be found here.

Generating Revenue
The sessions in this stream took attendees through the innovations that are set to redefine customer expectations in the future and thought-provokingly encouraged the audience to disrupt conventional thinking about the onboard experience. Key highlights
Victoria Loomes, Senior Trend Analyst, TrendWatching talked about the trends airlines need to consider to create new digital products that consumers will enjoy
Nigel Duncan, Chief Executive Officer, STG Aerospace shed some insight regarding on-board discretionary spending and how aspects such as cabin lighting make a difference
John Baumgartner, Sales Director, Inflight & Catering, Gebr. Heinemann discussed strategies to ensure profitable retailing, looking at issues such as crew engagement and smart supply chain thinking

Comfort and Wellbeing
Focusing on passengers’ moods and physical reactions to their onboard experience as well as the learnings the industry can take from neuroscience, this stream enabled attendees to go back to the basics of human behaviour and apply it to the passenger experience. Key highlights:
· Dr G. Clotaire Rapaille, Founder, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide discussed the psychology behind flying, explaining that what people say about their flying experience is often wrong. He explained that the ‘reptilian’ brain often says it wants one thing – but in reality wants something completely different
· David Watts, Managing Director, CCD Design & Ergonomics talked about the British High Speed 2 rail network and those elements that will deliver a great customer experience based on passengers’ psychology and behaviour
· Avi Mannis, Senior Vice President Marketing, Hawaiian Airlines talked about how they have redesigned their cabin interiors to give a premium leisure experience to customers

The Connected Journey
This stream took industry attendees through the thinking behind the innovations streamlining the passenger journey from A to B and the designs revolutionising travel. Key highlights:
Loic Rigaud, Operations Manager, Peugeot Design Lab looked at the importance of connectively for car design in order to deliver the best experience
David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITONAIR discussed how inflight connectivity is opening up a stream of new content and services that consumers want to buy into
Jon Cobin, Chief Commercial Officer, Gogo joined a discussion about new revenue models for connectivity

The day provided many networking opportunities for attendees to make new connections and discuss the inspiring sessions with their industry peers. It also provided a platform for companies to launch new products. Notably, Hawaiian Airlines, revealed its distinctive cabin design for its new A321 neo fleet which will make its debut later this year.

The day closed with the Industry Networking Party which brought together industry leaders and attendees from across the airline supply chain under one roof. The event provided an ideal opportunity to facilitate new business connections in an informal environment.

As we approach Aircraft Interiors Hamburg we are seeing a lot more industry news hitting the airwaves. Let’s start by taking a peak at what to expect from AIX and PEC next month.

AIX & PEC

Polly Magraw, Event Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “Since AIX launched in 2000 it has firmly established itself as the event that sets the agenda for the aircraft interiors sector.  At this year’s event we’re thrilled to welcome more than500 exhibitors including 55 new companies showcasing innovations to some 20,000 attendees expected throughout Passenger Experience Week. This outstanding year on year growth has led to the event becoming a firmly established event in the aviation calendar. We are excited to announce the growth of CabinSpace Live, a theatre style series of seminars where the industry can discuss key topics and gain inspiration from industry leaders within the IFEC and MRO sectors. The Passenger Experience Conference, part of the wider Passenger Experience Week, remains a central attraction and key event for delegates who want to get a comprehensive understanding of industry’s current trends and challenges. The packed programme for this year’s conference is rich in thought-provoking and insightful content with speakers coming from both inside and outside the aviation industry.”

AIX Overview: This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) takes place in Hamburg, Germany from 4th-6th April 2017. We are, as always, excited to welcome over 500 showcasing companies to the Messe with 55 new exhibitors, many of whom will be in the IFEC zone. This rapidly expanding zone is now the world’s largest event dedicated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity and content and service providers making it a must-see for visitors to the show. With such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show from the supply chain, technology and products industries and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, the event once again promises to be extremely thought-provoking and insightful.

CabinSpace Live, a theater style series of seminars where visitors can learn and be inspired on a variety of pressing issues within the IFEC, Interiors and MRO sectors will also be taking place again this year. The event provides a fantastic networking opportunity for delegates to discuss key topics and gain inspiration from industry leaders and disruptors within the IFEC and MRO sectors.

Aircraft Interiors Expo 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 winners ceremony takes place at 13:00 within the CabinSpace LIVE seminar theater on Wednesday 5th April.

PEC Overview:  New to this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) is the Airline Breakfast Forum. This is an exclusive event for airline attendees which will kick off with an inspirational keynote speaker from Disney and will offer content that delegates would not experience at other conferences. The event is an opportunity for airline executives to network and debate with their peers about the issues most relevant to improving the passenger experience in their business and to share best practice insights. The discussion will be led by an industry-expert moderator and the key issues for the agenda will be decided in advance by a poll of the participant airlines.

This year’s PEC program features in-depth breakout sessions, focusing on a different element of the passenger experience and providing attendees a further opportunity to discuss the industry with their peers.  The sessions will be split into three streams running in parallel; Generating Revenue, Comfort and Wellbeing, and The Connected Journey.  The new focus of these breakout streams, reflects an increasing convergence of interest among different airline departments.

It will host more than 50 speakers from both inside and outside the industry.  Speakers confirmed include; Delft University of Technology, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide, Gogo, American Airlines, Plug and Play.


Inmarsat

Have you heard about the latest air traffic management research by Inmarsat who is provider of global mobile satellite communications? A new study by Helios and Inmarsat reveals that satellite communication has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits. One single Air Traffic Control benefit mechanism, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely, was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. More importantly, satellite communication (satcom) in the cockpit has saved airlines more than US$3 billion thanks to safety and efficiency benefits, according to a study released today by Helios and Inmarsat (ISAT.L). Satcom application reference here is the use of voice and data services via satellite to communicate with aircraft outside the range of conventional ground radar and Very High Frequency (VHF) stations, such as over oceanic regions. It is typically used for air traffic control and airline operations. The inaugural study, conducted by Helios, valued the benefit of satcom to airlines between 2001 and 2016. It found that one single Air Traffic Control (ATC) benefit mechanism – reducing separation minima, which allows aircraft to fly closer together safely – was responsible for savings of US$890 million alone. Thanks to satcom, planes can now fly within 30 nautical miles of each other because of safe, reliable communication and tracking; previously aircraft were required to maintain a separation of 100 nautical miles. This allows aircraft to fly closer together and means more planes can fly in a given airspace, which is particularly beneficial over the busy skies of the North Atlantic. If an aircraft is not equipped with satellite communication capability, it must maintain the 100 nautical mile separation, and is not permitted to fly in certain areas. Increasing airspace capacity also leads to more aircraft being able to choose optimum flight levels, saving time and fuel.

The US$890 million saving is a major part of the US$1.1 billion total ATC saving identified by the study. Other benefits that satcom provides to ATC include:

  • Individually-tailored flight plans that save time and fuel
  • Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedure, which allows airborne rerouting of aircraft when data indicates a more efficient route is available, for example due to a change in weather conditions
  • Tailored arrivals, where arrival times are planned to allow an ideal descent route and to avoid holding patterns
  • Procedures in some oceanic regions to allow aircraft to climb or descend through an altitude that is already occupied by another aircraft

A further US$1.9 billion is saved thanks to the ability of aircraft to communicate with their Airline Operations Centre (AOC). AOC applications use real-time information to help airlines improve flight safety or provide a more efficient service at a lower cost. Delay management and scheduling is improved, fleets and flight crew can be better managed, maintenance can be taken care of and turnaround time on the ground is reduced. Traditionally AOC communication is provided by the exchange of simple text messages between the pilot and the controller. As satcom bandwidth capacity increases, bringing broadband connectivity to the cockpit, there will be an explosion of IP-based AOC applications, allowing airlines to further optimize flight operations and fleet management. For example, an aircraft’s health can be constantly monitored, and any maintenance issue signaled ahead to the ground crew so parts and maintenance staff are ready as soon as the aircraft lands. Until now, most maintenance information was delivered upon landing, with potential for delaying speedy resolution of an issue.

Broadband connectivity will also help with urgent ATC demands, as our skies see ever more traffic. By 2030, there will be more passengers in the sky each year (7 billion) than there are people on the ground right now. They will fly in 40,000 aircraft, the majority of which will be connected.

Further, the Helios study looked at benefits over oceanic regions, but it also highlights how satcom can complement existing ground-to-air data communications over land too. Savings over continental regions could equal those over the oceanic regions. For example, in the congested airspace of Europe, the Iris Precursor project has been established by the European Space Agency with support from Inmarsat and other aviation companies. It uses satcom to allow precise ‘4D’ flight path control, which optimizes flight speed and descent profiles. It is designed to dramatically reduce delays, particularly around large hubs.

Also, in case you didn’t know, Inmarsat pioneered cockpit data with the launch of Classic Aero back in 1990 and is today the leading service provide with 95 per cent market share. SwiftBroadband-Safety, its new IP-based broadband platform for the flight deck, brings aircraft connectivity to new levels. Always-on, always-secure high-speed broadband in the cockpit delivers much faster communication and a host of new safety and efficiency applications.


Panasonic 

The recent lawsuit by CoKinetic against Panasonic caught our eye and Panasonic told IFExpress: “Panasonic Avionics Corporation (“Panasonic Avionics”) vigorously disputes the allegations made in a lawsuit filed today by CoKinetic Systems Corporation in the Southern District of New York. The allegations are without merit and Panasonic Avionics intends to contest the suit. This lawsuit involves a dispute around the commercial terms of a long-standing business relationship between CoKinetic and Panasonic Avionics. The timing of this suit is suspicious. As recently as October 2016, CoKinetic issued a press release praising its 10-year relationship with Panasonic Avionics. If, as the suit alleges, Panasonic Avionics has engaged in a “decades-long” effort to damage CoKinetic’s business, why did the company make such a public statement? It is important to note that CoKinetic’s counsel in this action, Todd Higgins, is also a former CoKinetic executive himself, which suggests a personal motive for bringing this lawsuit. Panasonic Avionics will seek the immediate dismissal of the suit.”


Boeing Roll-out

Boeing marked a milestone today as the first 737 MAX 9 made its debut in front of thousands of Boeing employees. The 737 MAX 9 is the second member of Boeing’s industry leading 737 MAX family, with a maximum capacity of 220 passengers and a range of 3,515 nautical miles. The airplane now begins system checks, fueling and engine runs on the flight line. Once completed, the airplane will begin flight testing in the coming weeks – the final phase of verification of the operational characteristics and overall performance of a new airplane. The 737 MAX 9 is scheduled to enter service in 2018. The 737 MAX 8 is on track to deliver to customers in the second quarter of 2017. The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market. The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and discussions continue with customers on growing the family.

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 3,600 orders to date from 83 customers worldwide. While the video provided on Boeing’s website is a sales pitch, it is worth the watch.


Other

 

  • Defining the future of the global passenger experience industry

London, UK | February 10, 2016– Now in its fourth year the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the leading global conference and networking forum delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections for the global passenger experience industry, returns Monday 4th of April in Hamburg, Germany.

The annual conference will offer delegates a chance to learn from industry specialists and visionaries, exchange knowledge and engage in lively debates, centred on the future trends of the passenger experience industry.

The conference will focus on the three elements critical to the passenger experience, exploring opportunities to improve air and rail travel through:

· innovation of cabin interiors
· in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC)
· hospitality, service and retail

In-depth breakout sessions, with moderators including Blake Emery, Director of Differentiation Strategy at Boeing and Rich Salter, Chief Technology Officer of Lumexis, will discuss and debate these elements of the passenger experience.
Keynote speakers at each session include Garen Moreno from BMW Group Designworks, who will lead a discussion on ageing travellers and the digital age.

Juan Carlos Iglesias from Immfly will discuss e-commerce onboard in the IFEC session and Chris van Rÿswÿck from Pragma Consulting will explore the game changing ancillary to create a seamless digital experience.

Joining Chris to discuss hospitality, service and retail opportunities, Vassilios Georgakopoulos, Director Product Marketing and Michael Wahl, Vice President Product Marketing and Innovation of LSG Sky Chefs will discuss the evolution of industry and passenger needs.

Other experts speaking at the global conference and networking forum will be Ian Scoley, Vice President Industrial Design of ZEO, Zodiac, Niels Steenstrup, Senior Vice President of Global Airline Sales at Gogo and Alexis Steinman, Senior Vice President of Digital Media Solutions at Global Eagle Entertainment.

Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibition Director, says:

“This is an exciting time to be a part of the passenger experience industry and the Passenger Experience Conference cannot be missed. Travellers are looking for so much more than just a flight from A to B and the conference is all about defining the future of the passenger experience industry and showcasing what it has achieved in the cabin, in IFE and in hospitality.

“The experiences on board, from physical to digital, are rapidly evolving and the possibilities to revolutionise the passenger experience are endless.”

Closing the day before the Industry Networking Party, will be the highly anticipated Leaders in Innovation session where delegates will be provided insights on how to drive innovation from speakers Don Buchman, VP and General Manager Commercial Mobility at ViaSat and Michelle Lee, Director of Marketing and Guest Experience, Aer Lingus.

Following the speaker sessions, visitors, exhibitors and industry VIPs will also meet at the Industry Networking Party, providing a further networking opportunity with leading figures and decision makers representing the entire passenger experience industry.

The PEC will kick off Passenger Experience Week, followed by the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) from 5th to 7th April 2016.

AIX, now in its 17th year, will present the latest innovations, technologies and products in the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries. This year’s event will host more than 60 first time exhibitors including Spafax, Comfly, Mirus Aircraft Seating, and long-attending exhibitors from 530 companies across the interiors industry such as Panasonic Avionics, B/E Aerospace, Airbus S.A.S. Zodiac, Boeing, alongside several others. AIX will also announce the winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards, who will be celebrating their 10th anniversary at the event.

Returning to Hamburg for its 5th anniversary, WTCE is the leading event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort. 2016 will offer a unique platform for professionals across the air and rail industry to source a wide range of product innovations from over 300 international industry suppliers including exhibitors such as LSG Sky Chefs, Global Inflight Products, gategroup, Albéa, Colpac Ltd, Anaik and The Bake Factory, part of the Crantock Food Group. With new products and fresh ideas for the onboard offering on show, WTCE 2016 will also host a wide range of networking events and demonstrations from world-class chefs.

Earlybird conference rates are currently available, offering delegates the chance to save over 20 percent. To book a place at the conference, delegates must register for either Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) or World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE). For more information or to register today, please visit http://bit.ly/1SZZPAx.