MAR C H / a p r i l 2 0 1 4
VOL. 18, NO. 2
N e w s a n d An a l y s i s f o r t h e IFE C & In t e r i o r s E x e c u t i v e
aircraft interiors expo hamburg
at the fingertips
IFEC in Hand On Tray Tables With Passengers and Crew
airbus innovates p.
seating solutions p.
trolleys and inserts p.
AIME/MRO Coverage p.
© AIRBUS, 2014. All rights reserved. Airbus, its logo and the product names are registered trademarks.
You don’t need to squeeze them in…
...to squeeze down fuel bills.
What if you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to choose between improving fuel efficiency and passenger comfort? What if you could offer wider seats whilst cutting bills? What if customer loyalty didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suffer at the hands of economics? With Airbus, you can have the best of both worlds.
Comfort without compromise.
PAX International 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website: www.pax-intl.com
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E d i t o r i a l s ta f f Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX International 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852
in your hand
For those of us who can’t justify spending US$4,500 to purchase a report called Consumer Electronics – Global Trends, Estimates and Forecasts 2011-2018, we can relate few statistics from an online summary. You can use this issue of PAX International and I’m sure others around this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo to see what your colleagues in the cabin services industry are thinking. The report, published in December, is available on a website called reportlinker. com, if it happens to be in your budget. In its 500 pages, it tracks the sales of analog and digital television, tablets, digital cameras and camcorders, personal computers and video/audio equipment. There’s much more, with markets broken down by country and information on more than 1,300 companies. We’re sure it would make good reading for any tech geek (and there are many) at this year’s AIX. Here’s a few tidbits we found: According to the report summary, the consumer electronics market will see a worldwide value of US$1.6 trillion by 2018. Through the study period, the gadget market increase reached a compounded annual growth rate of 17.6% in the Asia-Pacific region alone from 2011-2018. The Middle East will see a CAGR of 17%, followed by Africa at 16.9%. Analog and digital television still accounts for nearly 32.3% of the overall market share followed by personal computers at 25.5%. Tablets (the device everyone on this market watches) will continue to record strong growth over the next five years, driven by raising demand in fast-growth markets in Asian and other emerging countries. It is within everyone’s memory when Apple Computer introduced the iPad and many watchers in the consumer electronics industry yawned. It had been done before, they said. Or, it was merely a larger version of the iPhone without the calling capability. The iPad is now a permanent part of the aircraft cabin and is flying in the tens of thousands around the world through the efforts of companies like BlueBox, featured in our issue, and is on the way to replacing the bulky flight bag carried by pilots. If you’re interested in more tech talk, you can arrive early enough in Hamburg and take part in the “New Opportunities for Passenger Experience” discussion April 7. The topic will probably come up in several forms throughout the day. Just as we were putting this issue of PAX International to bed, a headline moved across Internet news noting a significant silver anniversary. The World Wide Web marked its 25th birthday. For those of us who were around to see it born, consider its ramifications next time you pick up your tablet. Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief, PAX International
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Advertising Offices Deepa J, Subscription & Conference Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x35 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PAX International is published six times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June/July/August, September/October, November/December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. March/April 2014, Vol. 18, No. 2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine
ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax international
MAR C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 4
VOL. 18, NO. 2
10 Interiors, Maintenance, IFE and more
PAX International caught up with Aircraft Interiors Expo Event Manager Katie Murphy for a rundown on planning and preparations for this year’s Hamburg exhibition
14 Making Heathrow hum
Leisure travelers, business road warriors and heads of state all cross paths at London’s Heathrow Airport and some well known companies at AIX/WTCE are setting up new facilities to cater to all of them in their own way
16 From the inside out
Renowned for its innovative developments pertaining to fleet design, Airbus continues to focus on improving passenger comfort and experience
18 Making it modular
Zodiac Aerospace makes room in the aircraft cabin for more equipment, and, good news for the airlines, more revenue
20 Industry Rundown
PAX International looks across the industry at the up-and-coming and established companies that are writing the next chapter in IFE/Connectivity
28 Making the call
As mobile connectivity continues to advance, the U.S. airline industry is presented with an opportunity for advancement onboard, and operator AeroMobile is taking note
New Interiors/Seating 30 No back seat
Seating companies have spent the last year developing products and improving production lines as a result of a surge in demand not only by airlines, but also by passengers looking for greater comfort
VIP/First Class Design Firms 34 At Altitude
The Air New Zealand subsidiary concludes a year of newly developed products and services, and watches one of its creations gain worldwide acceptance
36 A VIP Collaboration
Last year, 328 Support and Turkish Technic gave a new look to a government business jet in a joint venture that both companies say turned into a fruitful partnership
Catering/Galley Equipment 37 Making it fit
Hainan Airlines’ third decade promises new aircraft, service enhancements
Company Profile 38 Crest appeal
With airlines always looking to spruce up their cabin interiors, Aviation Business Consultants answers the demand with unique and customized offerings
Trolleys & Inserts
40 Coffee, Tea and More
PAX International speaks with trolley manufacturers about their sleek, new designs
47 AIMEing high in 2014
Multibillion-dollar fleet investment and technological innovation are driving new opportunities for the interiors, IFEC and MRO market as Gulf carriers, regional governments and passenger expectations reshape the future of the industry
51 Table talk
As the number of PEDs per passenger continues to increase, tray table manufacturers are faced with the task of bringing tray table design up to speed
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 5
Visit us at AIX 2014 Booth #6B20
NEWS COMPANY NEWS
GuestLogix revamps business units, launches websites, logos GuestLogix, the onboard retail and payment technology company in March unveiled a new online and corporate look to the industry and moved into the future with a new tagline, Powering Ancillary Revenue™. As part of the rebranding, GuestLogix has established three sub-brands. Ancillary Insights™ encompasses all of the GuestLogix business intelligence units, including its analytics platform and syndicated data. The division was put in place to help airlines make informed decisions for their retail program, throughout the passenger travel journey. The two other divisions are the company’s OnTouch® division and its TravelRPM®. The OnTouch® division will be in charge of the company’s destination merchandising. The company has clients selling destination content onboard aircraft, trains and at other points along a traveler’s journey. TravelRPM® will offer a variety of consulting
El Al to add Internet platform from ViaSat El Al Israel Airlines will be the launch customer in Europe for the Exede® In The Air in-flight Internet service from ViaSat Inc. Initially, ViaSat plans to deliver the service to El Al 737s flying routes from Tel Aviv into several European cities. Work began in March toward certification and installation of the Exede terminals on El Al aircraft with a target date to launch service within one year. For EL AL, ViaSat will provide and manage a complete inflight Internet service to the aircraft, including airborne terminals, antennas, radomes, and airtime from the Eutelsat KA-SAT high-capacity Ka-band satellite. “As part of our commercial strategy, installation of Internet service on European routes will significantly improve the quality of service and flight experience for El Al customers,” said El Al CEO Elyezer Shkedy in the announcement. “Enabling passengers to connect to the Internet in flight is nothing less than a technological and service revolution. El Al passengers who use portable computers, tablets or smartphones will be offered a choice of surfing packages, including a free option, so that during their El Al flight passengers will be able to remain connected for work or pleasure.” “As we introduce Exede inflight service outside North America, we expect the same enthusiastic response we’ve seen since our launch in the U.S.,” said Mark Dankberg chairman and CEO of ViaSat. “The personalized, friendly flight experience that El Al strives for is just the right fit for the fastest Internet in the air.” 8 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
services including on-site assessments in areas of operational processes, retail modeling and product benchmarking. In the future, GuestLogix plans to increase its online presence and add communications capabilities. “Moving forward, we are being called upon to play a more holistic payments role in the retail efforts of the passenger travel industry and these new brand assets and business units signal that expansion,” said Brett Proud, CEO of GuestLogix in the March 4 announcement of the changes. “There has never been a moment in time when travel and retail have been at more of a convergence than right now, and the goal is to elevate the core attributes of the GuestLogix brand to convey our extensive ability to serve the travel market,” said Dan Thompson, Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications and Investor Relations.
Interior work takes greater role at Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies Although the company is often the regional source for exterior and scheduled maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies went into this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO event in February with a complete list of capabilities for the servicing airline cabins as well. Workers at the company can carry out a number of projects within the cabin, including interior refurbishment, furnishing and carpet replacement, repairs to cabin amenities and inflight entertainment down to cabin cleaning and decal and mirror fabrication. “The shops in the cabin maintenance department at ADAT include
Interior work takes up a large portion of the activities during regular aircraft maintenance at ADAT
NEWS COMPANY NEWS the interior workshop, carpet workshop and interior painting,” said Abdul Khaliq Saeed, President of ADAT. “Our in-house laundry cleans seat covers and blankets. More than 30,000 blankets go from the ADAT laundry to the line every day.” ADAT was a key player and sponsor at this year’s AIX/MRO event, which was held in February in Dubai. The company provides service to more than 70 commercial aircraft customers. ADAT has an extensive component repair capability and 14 fully Abdul Khaliq Saeed, President of equipped workAbu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies shops. When aircraft arrive at the company for standard C-check maintenance, Saeed said cabin maintenance might be up to 25% or more of the total work. “We have performed complete refurbishment of all cabin items from seats to lavatories for different types of aircraft for one of the leading airlines in the Middle East,” said Saeed. “As well as reconfiguration and side walls for multiple aircraft of a European customer most recently.” Located in the UAE capital city, ADAT is part of a small but growing market for maintenance repair and overhaul. Currently, MRO demand in the Middle East is less than 10% of the overall market. Like nearly every aviation company in the region, ADAT is closely following the growth of commercial aviation that is outpacing the larger markets of Europe, North America and Asia/Pacific. It is also noting the aircraft types that are coming on stream in the region. “At this point in time, the Middle East MRO spend still remains wide-body heavy,” said Saeed. “This could bring its share of challenges in the regional MROs in ensuring they can support such annual growth in man hours, even though the new aircraft types ordered will be less man-hour intensive.” Despite that, ADAT is staffing up and training employees in the latest techniques. Last year employees enhanced skills at Airbus, Boeing, Rolls Royce and the Federal Aviation Administration Academy in the United States. In house, schooling took place on a wide variety of subjects from GE engine training to first aid. “ADAT also invites instructors from all over the world to Abu Dhabi to conduct training across various department and at our dedicated training center on premises,” said Saeed.
Bacardi/Virgin Atlantic partnership enters fourth year It has been three years since Bacardi Brand Ambassadors began pouring drinks in the front cabin on Virgin Atlantic Airways and in its Clubhouses around the world. In that time, Bacardi has developed a global training program for bar staff, turning the experience into a study of the finer details of professional cocktail making. “One small but effective aspect is how we are adapting learning from the Grey Goose loft, such as the way that the bar experience is personalized with staff giving their own recommendations of top bars and restaurants at the passenger’s destination,” Marc Plumridge, Global Brand Ambassador, for Bacardi Global Travel Retail tells PAX International. When passengers enter the Clubhouse on the ground they are served with an amuse bouche of Grey Goose vodka and given a menu card, often containing suggestions for personal recommendations from the Clubhouse bartender. “It is a small but personal touch which further enhances the whole experience,” says Plumridge. The airline has undertaken aggressive development programs at Clubhouses in New York Kennedy and Newark. Training programs have been undertaken at Clubhouses in Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Washington, with more set for this year. In the Virgin Upper Class cabin Bacardi Global Travel Retail serves Grey Goose, Bombay Sapphire® Gin, Bacardi® Rum, Aberfeldy® Highland Single Malt Whisky and Baron Otard® Cognac. The Virgin Atlantic cabin last year was the scene of a special promotion with a limited edition blend of Dewar’s blended Scotch Whisky. Only 200 bottles of the company’s 17-year-old Scotch were produced. One bottle was presented to each passenger onboard the launch of the airline’s Little Red service from London Heathrow to Edinburgh. Onboard the flight, passengers were offered a special Rob Roy cocktail with Dewar’s White Label, Martini Rosso vermouth and orange bitters.
Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson was on hand for the launch of the airline’s Little Red service from Gatwick to Edinburgh
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 9
REED EXPO INTERVIEW
Interiors, Maintenance, IFE and more PAX International caught up with Aircraft Interiors Expo Event manager Katie Murphy for a rundown on planning and preparations for this year’s Hamburg exhibition
ith April still a month away, PAX International queried Aircraft Interiors Expo Event Manager Katie Murphy on the progress of the massive interiors show April 8-10 in Hamburg. Even then she said that organizers are pleased to see an increase in new exhibitors and an increased interest from suppliers of inflight entertainment this year.
PAX International: The commercial aviation industry had a good year in 2013. Are you noticing the evidence in registration or interest? Katie Murphy: It has been good reading the various reports and news features highlighting the buoyancy of the aviation sector and yes, we have seen the evidence when it comes to participation in Aircraft Interiors Expo. Compared to the previous year, we already have an increase of 10% in exhibition space. This year we have had to build a temporary structure to house the growing number of IFE exhibitors, which is a great to see. This is only a temporary structure and for 2015 we have big plans to grow the show, so watch this space. Visitor registration went live back in January and we are really encouraged by the numbers that have registered to date. There is still six weeks to go, but we hope to continue the upward trend of visitor numbers we have seen over recent years. Issues of capacity, environment, safety, security and financial sustainability are all areas that need to be addressed in the near future and are inextricably linked to the interiors sector. The Passenger Experience 10 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
Conference and Aircraft Interiors Expo are uniquely positioned to be a platform to discuss and showcase developments and innovations that contribute to the challenges I mentioned above.
PAX: What are some of the new companies that have signed on this year? Murphy: Currently we have 69 first time exhibitors this year that are coming from 20 countries, so this is always encouraging. Particular exhibitors of note include Display Interactive that has made the wise decision, although I am slightly biased, of using the Aircraft Interiors Expo to launch UGO. UGO gives airlines the opportunity to develop their offering by integrating an expanded range of services and content closely resembling those usually available on passengers’ personal mobile devices. Steller Entertainment will also exhibit for the first time and will promote its expertise as a fullservice content service provider, offering world-class IFE, video and audio production and post-production, music composition and
content acquisition. Belt-Tech Products has a very simple yet ingenious product to demonstrate to visitors in Hamburg. Essentially the company produces a centralised seat belt status system that offers real time information via a centralised screen on which passengers are secured in their seats and importantly which ones are not. Each seat contains a pressure sensor within the seat and a small battery to produce a signal. Crew safety is also a key feature with this product. Majilite Corporation’s Aerospace Group has chosen Aircraft Interiors Expo as the venue to announce its first product range for the aircraft cabin market. Products include Majilar, a fluoropolymer film with outstanding fire retardant and chemical resistance properties; TecDec-M1, a lightweight and inherently fire retardant decorative laminate; and AeroTec leather, a lightweight synthetic leather for soft surfaces that is half the weight of leather and comes in hundreds of grains and thousands of colors.
PAX: Why did you decide to add the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul segment? Can you see a dedicated trade show for MRO in the future? Murphy: Our Conference Manager started researching this year’s program immediately after the 2013 conference concluded, and from her discussions it became evident that the topic of cabin maintenance was an integral part of the Passenger Experience concept. The stream is entitled ‘Protecting the Brand: Cabin Maintenance’ and will focus on how airlines can avoid the pitfall of spending too
REED EXPO INTERVIEW much money fixing poorly designed elements of their cabin. The stream will also consider strategies that ensure that cabin products are robust enough to be sustained throughout their lifecycle. I’m so pleased with the speaker line up in this session. We have Mike Kotas, Director of Cabin Maintenance, Delta Air Lines chairing the first session. Mike will then introduce Olaf Bischof, Head of Maintenance System Engineering, Airbus who will present ‘Designing for ease of future maintenance’; Jason Lazich, Manager Aircraft Appearance, Virgin America will then take the stage addressing ‘Setting the standard — keeping the condition of the cabin up to spec’. The second session will be chaired by Vern Alg, Consultant, Reed Exhibitions who will introduce Geoff Pettis, Manager Cabin Operations Support Engineering, Delta Air Lines. Geoff will present ‘Innovation in action case study:
Building Reliability into the Passenger Cabin’.
PAX: Large exhibitions like this have increasingly relied on new technology. Will there be any new ways attendees can make use of mobile devices or other tech tools to enhance their experience this year? Murphy: Yes, it’s almost like we have become victims of our own success! As we have so many exhibitors covering the entire spectrum of the aircraft interiors supply chain, the sheer meterage of the event means it becomes a little hard to navigate at times — especially if you’re visiting for the first time. We have an Aircraft Interiors Expo mobile app that is designed to enhance the experience of the attendee before, during and after the show, by putting the following features and information at their fingertips: full event schedule, personalized agenda, exhibitor listings,
floor plans, venue maps, social networking, speaker listings etc. I’d recommend downloading the Aircraft Interiors Expo app to keep you up-to-date with what’s happening at the show. The app also contains news on show highlights, exhibitors’ product information as well as a tool to plan your day at the event, this will enable you to make appointments and track them onsite during the show. For more information visit www.aircraftinteriorsexpo. com/app
PAX: Logistically what are the challenges to add events like the MRO and WTCE each year? Murphy: To be honest there are no great challenges when it comes to adding a stream into the conference. We selected a venue last year that allowed us to develop and grow the content and as we are running the afternoon streams, of which there are four, concurrently with the same timings delegates can tailor their own content. Regarding World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, this is an event in its own right. Clearly the are synergies between the two shows and with the facilities at the Messe, we found ourselves in the enviable positions of being able to run the two shows side by side. Reed Exhibitions is an event organizer first and foremost and our Operations team has an abundance of experience when itcomes to running an exhibition for the first time.
PAX: You’ve been the Event Manager for several years now. Do you have some favorite exhibits that you visit each year? What other Reed events are you involved with? Murphy: My portfolio includes Aircraft Interiors Expo, Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo and the Passenger Experience Conference. Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas will again be taking place in Seattle from October 14-16. We announced towards the end of last year that the Passenger Experience Conference will make its debut at the Americas show this year, so over the coming months keep an eye on our website for more information. As you can see my portfolio is enough to keep me busy all year round! Regarding your question about favorite exhibits, I pride myself in building up relationships with exhibitors, but each company is unique as has its own diverse range of qualities it would be impossible to name just a couple. www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 11
Lumexis promotes Sharkey to President
Lumexis Corporation announced in December the promotion of the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Lou Sharkey, to the additional role of President. Sharkey has more than 20 years of operations and engineering management experience, including a key managerial role with Sony Trans Com.
Linstol changes management structure Linstol has announced a new group management structure, to support customer service and sales development. Peter Hough has been appointed Commercial Director for Linstol U.K. Hough worked for British Airways from 1995 to 2010, and was an independent consultant for the airline industry between 2010 and 2013. He will be responsible for management of the Linstol U.K. Company. Mark Russell, Vice President of Sales for Linstol U.S. the past five years, has been appointed Vice President of Linstol U.S., taking responsibility for management in the U.S. Kevin Peat, Managing Director of Linstol U.K. for the past five years, has been appointed Group Finance Director taking responsibility for financial management of Linstol U.K. and Linstol U.S. The European sales office is located in London and the U.S. sales office in Naples, Florida.
Codd new General Manager at Novo IVC Lou Sharkey
During his time at Lumexis, a team led by Sharkey developed and delivered fiber optic technology to the airline industry. One of Sharkey’s goals will be to guide to line-fit the company’s products at major aircraft OEMs.
Novo IVC has appointed Bill Codd as the company’s General Manager. Codd spent eight years as Head of IT Projects and as a Program Manager at easyJet. He has also worked in IT solutions at Argos Plc and Amazon. UK based Novo IVC provides logistics process automation solutions for the airline
Davis to Chief Operating Officer at Global Eagle Dave Davis was named Chief Operating Officer of Global Eagle in January. Davis will continue in the role of Chief Financial Officer. In his new and expanded role he is responsible for for the operating, administrative, and shared services functions of the company. He will be integrating the businesses Global Eagle has acquired, achieving revenue and earnings goals, and developing new strategic relationships for the company. Before joining Global Eagle as CFO in November 2012, Davis spent three and half years in private equity, first as Senior Managing Director of Perseus LLC, then as Partner and Co-Founder of Bearpath Capital LLC. He previously was with Northwest Airlines for nearly nine years, where he was appointed to the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Office and played a key role in the merger of Northwest and Delta Air Lines in 2008.
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and rail sectors. Solutions include onboard retail technology, aircraft inspection and re-fuelling systems and large-scale warehouse and logistics implementations.
a new Information Management Services (IMS) business that combines ARINC with Rockwell Collins’ Flight Information Solutions business and its Ascend family of products and services. The new business will report to Rockwell Collins CEO and President Kelly Ortberg, along with the company’s existing Commercial Systems and Government Systems businesses. “In recent years there’s been a dramatic increase in demand by airlines and business aircraft operators, as well as the broader transportation and security industries, for the types of network and connectivity services ARINC provides, and we expect that demand will continue to grow,” said Standerski. “I’m excited about the opportunity to work with this talented and dedicated team to explore the new possibilities that now exist given the combined strengths of our organization.” Standerski’s aviation experience includes 25 years in Rockwell Collins’ Commercial Systems and Government Systems businesses. Most recently, he was Vice President and General Manager, Business and Regional Systems. He previously served as vice president and general manager, Air Transport Systems, and as vice president, Strategy Development for Commercial Systems.
Standerski named VP Information Management
As a result of Rockwell Collins’ acquisition of ARINC Incorporated this year, Jeff Standerski has been appointed senior vice president of Information Management Services. The acquisition will lay the foundation of
regional report: heathrow airport Looking out over the future, planners at Heathrow Airport envision another runway and the capacity to handle 130 million passengers a year
Leisure travelers, business road warriors and heads of state all cross paths at London’s Heathrow Airport and some well known companies at AIX/WTCE are setting up new facilities to cater to all of them in their own way by RICK LUNDSTROM
o much of the world, the idea of ties to meet travel demand. Terminal 2, The luxury travel is part of daydreams Queen’s Terminal, will phase in 26 airlines during the few idle moments that when it opens in June. Organizers are planwork hours allow, as the spring ning further out as well. Projections for an melts into summer and holiday additional runway by 2026 are taking shape, which would push operations to 740,000 plans start to take shape. But for other companies that work air- flights per year and 130 million passengers ports such as London’s Heathrow, making “allowing the UK to compete with internaplans for luxury travelers and their demands tional rivals and providing capacity for the foreseeable future,” said the year-end report is serious business and very, very real. Take, for example two companies that in on the airport from BAA. the last six months have opened facilities around the airport, which last year handled dnata handles a regional jet chartered by a premier football team at London’s Heathrow Airport as part more than 72 million passengers and nearly of its newly launched private aviation services 470,000 flights. One company, based in Dubai, late last year set up a new facility to cater to the growing demands posed by private jet operators. The other, an established consortium with brick and mortar facilities through the United Kingdom and Ireland, opened an airline-catering unit built for flexibility and the desire for premium quality airline meals that are demanded by a growing, diverse clientele. Chances that both set up shop in the right place are good. Despite its location in a crowded urban environment, Heathrow Airport needs elbowroom and more facili-
That will require support facilities for small aircraft as well as large and for oneflight-a-year-holidaymakers and exclusive business travelers. For the latter, dnata in November opened its Private Aviation Services to cater to the needs of VIP passengers, pilots and crew and airport services. Heading the operation for dnata at Heathrow is Paul Williams , Business Development Director for Ground Services at dnata’s U.K. operations. This will be the second such
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 13
regional report: heathrow airport operation for the company with a simular service recently opening at Singapore’s Changi Airport. At LHR, passengers and crew are handled through dnata’s Royal Suite, which opened in November. “Heathrow is primarily a commercial airport and it is unlikely that additional facilities will be built for GAT,” said Williams. “However the Royal suite and Terminal 4 options are both viable for handling VIP passengers.” Runway slots are at a premium, said Williams, however access for general aviation, which could include standard aircraft or helicopters, are available during weekends and off-peak times. With its place as a crossroads to the world, royalty and heads of state are constantly moving through the area. For meal service on the the flights, Williams said dnata routinely seeks out high-end catering companies and restaurants to supply the flights. Terminal 4 has a VIP lounge along with its 24-hour security, in-house de-icing, fueling services, VIP catering and chauffer services. The Premium Aviation Services facility joined an expanded cargo facility presence by dnata. In October the company opened three facilities at Gatwick, Birmingham and Glasgow airport. The three cargo facilities are between 15,000 and 25,000 square feet, with the largest at Glasgow. They are part of a massive investment of more than £100 million (US$120 million) in cargo infrastructure. “Cargo volumes coming in and out of the U.K. need to easily make it to the far reaches of the country,” said Gary Morgan, CEO of the company’s U.K. operations, in the October announcement of the opening of the three new facilities. “By adding cargo services at these regional airports on top of our existing capabilities at Heathrow and Manchester, dnata customers can rest easy know that there will be a seamless service across the U.K. network.”
The Premium Kitchen In late January of this year, Alpha LSG threw the switch on a new £10 million (US$16.7 million) catering, logistics and food development facility in Heston that gives the group its first large-scale project since the 50/50 venture was formed in October of 2012. Alpha is the airline catering company owned by dnata with the other partner being LSG Sky Chefs. By the time delegates gather in Hamburg this April, organizers of the Alpha LSG Premium Kitchen plan to have the integration completed and the facilities fully operational. However, before that, a flurry of activity had brought aboard partners in the form of 14 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
London’s foremost catering college, the U.K.’s most recognized culinary guild and even a personal chef to the Royal Household. “We wanted to increase the service focus in the areas that we believe are key to success in this tough marketplace,” said Alex Forbes, Chief Operating Officer at Alpha LSG. “We have achieved increased focus by physically separating food development and production from our logistics operations, but by having both operations adjacent on the same site, we have retained total service flexibility and response capability.” This modular business model enables Alpha LSG to supply one or all of those aspects to airline customers operating out
make a real difference to the food we create for people eating at 35,000 feet. This kitchen gives us the opportunity to show off new techniques including smoking, dehydrating, sous vide, high pressure cooking, real charcoal cooking and much more besides,” said Forbes. Though London Heathrow is the largest site in the partnership’s group of units, Alpha LSG also has a sizeable presence throughout the U.K., including other large facilities at London Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow. Outside London, Alpha LSG has picked up Emirates catering at all its regional locations in the U.K., as well as provides catering and retail management services for major charAmong the many features of the Premium Kitchen is this presentation area
of LHR. Currently, Alpha LSG has more than 40 airline customers at this location. It is a diverse group of airlines drawn from all points of the globe and subsequently the Premium Kitchen will have what it says is the most comprehensive range of authentic cuisine ever assembled under one roof in the U.K. market. The Premium Kitchen will have the capacity produce up to 76,500 meals per day and currently services more than 24,500 flights per year. To handle the international demand of carriers at the airport, there is a separate dedicated Halal kitchen in one portion of the complex and a Japanese and Asian kitchen in the Premium Kitchen, which has a 52,000-square-foot production area. I n e a r l y F e b r u a r y, t h e u n i t’s 124,000-square-foot Dynamic Logistics Centre began its services, which includes extra washing capacity, additional dispatch and unloading bays. “Our Premium Kitchen has some extraordinary and exciting equipment that will
ter and low cost carriers such as Thomson, Thomas Cook, Monarch and Jet 2. Alpha LSG employs 3,600 people throughout its system and has annual sales of approximately £300 million (US$502 million). It is at Heathrow where Alpha LSG jockeys for position with several players. Among the companies vying for airline business is Gate Gourmet, Do & Co, DHL and food production companies such as DSI. Altogether, the London Heathrow airline catering market is estimated at approximately £300 million (US$499 million). To earn a greater share of the lucrative market Forbes said the Premium Kitchen and the company’s Heathrow operations in a newly consolidated form can offer potential customers flexibility and expertise in several areas. “What we are doing in Heathrow with the Premium Kitchen is very much trying to bring something new and exciting to market. It raises the culinary bar while offering an unprecedented level of choice and value for our customers,” he said.
industry leaders: Airbus
from the inside out Renowned for its innovative developments pertaining to fleet design, Airbus remains focused on improving passenger comfort and experience by melissa silva
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Marketing Manager at Airbus. In its quest for a more robust home for IFE systems, one that will maximize in-seat availability, deliver the smartest in-seat integration and offer the best passenger legroom, Airbus is focusing on offering the next generations of IFE. The A350 XWB offers the first genuine fourth generation IFE platform, which provides above-par passenger resting and viewing comfort and lower-life cycle cost for the airline. The fourth generation IFE platform delivers high-definition content and features — for the first time — 12-inch touch screens in Economy Class. “Its simpler architecture results in a leaner physical integration,” says Candelier. “For example the A350 XWB is the only aircraft which maintains the cabin floor flat even with IFE installed.” The fourth generation IFE products are also offered on all other Airbus aircraft types, including the A320, which will benefit from a new Universal Platform from next year onwards. In addition, onboard wireless services are now available on all Airbus aircraft types and provide passengers with access to an onboard portal via Wi-Fi from their own device.
Staying connected For passengers with personal electronic devices, Airbus is the only airframer offering inflight connectivity in production on all aircrafts, with approximately 60 committed airlines to date. In response to the growing demand for inflight connectivity, Airbus has developed an aircraft connectivity platform, which delivers the full breadth of new connectivity services, placing Airbus a generation ahead of the other systems currently on the market. “Airbus pioneered connectivity and was the first manufacturer to receive certification for its onboard mobile phone system in June 2007,” Candelier tells PAX International.
“Since winter 2010, Airbus operators have been able to offer their passengers worldwide broadband connectivity services via Internet and mobile telephony.” The Airbus platform, called the Airline Network Architecture (ALNA), is the first connectivity solution available on all Airbus aircraft and can be retrofitted to Airbus and other manufacturers’ aircraft. It leverages the widely operated ‘L-band’ aircraft satcoms through ‘SwiftBroadBand’ connectivity with worldwide coverage. Passengers can use their own wireless communication devices such as mobile phones, Smartphones, tablet or laptops to send and receive SMS messages, e-mails, access the Internet as well as their company’s private network, or make and receive phone calls. “Both Wi-Fi and mobile telephony services are praised by passengers especially when traveling for business purposes, in priority for data services,” adds Candelier. According to Airbus, passenger feedback has shown that the service has been a great success, further consolidated by the rapidly expanding connectivity market. “For example, around two thirds of A380 customers plus all operators who have already defined their A350 XWB interior configurations have opted for connectivity,” Candelier continues. In addition, cabin crew can easily manage the service and have the option of selecting a ‘voice-off ’ mode to restrict mobile phone usage and allow data services only.
Happy crew, happy flight In addition to making strides in IFE and connectivity, Airbus has also focused significant attention to the needs of crew members, specifically when it comes to their comfort and optimizing revenue space. “Across the Airbus families, innovative solutions have been used to provide crew
Photos copyright Airbus
hen it comes to an airline’s fleet, specifically the interior of each aircraft, every detail counts. Considering the amount of time a passenger spends flying — especially if it is a long-haul flight — it’s no wonder why certain aspects that under different circumstances would not be noticed, are suddenly right, front and center when onboard an aircraft. Of all aspects onboard, seat design and comfort have become increasingly more scrutinized by today’s highly discerning passenger. This discretion is why the focus on making the interior of an aircraft as inviting and comfortable as possible is on the top of every major aircraft manufacturer’s priority list. To grab the attention of an airline is to also grab the attention of passengers. Simply put, the more attractive an airline’s fleet, the more potential for passenger satisfaction and return purchases. Airbus is well aware of this relationship; so much so, it has devoted its efforts to creating the most passenger-pleasing fleet for more than 40 years. With a product line consisting of successful families of aircraft, ranging from 100 to over 500 seats, Airbus routinely introduces innovative solutions for all fleet-related matters. New from Airbus this year is the integration of the latest generation IFE platforms into the seat, which preserves passengers’ legroom, while also providing the passenger with the option of connecting their own personal electronic device — such as a Smartphone, tablet or laptop — directly to their screen. “Not only can they charge their devices, but they can also complement the airline’s entertainment offer with their own content, whilst benefiting from the high audio quality headsets and viewing comfort of the larger screens available onboard,” says Patrick Candelier, Aircraft Interiors
industry leaders: Airbus with comfortable and private rest areas, while preserving revenue space in the cabin,” says Zuzana Hrnkova, Head of Aircraft Interiors Marketing at Airbus. The new A350 XWB cabin features overhead flight and cabin crew rest compartments integrated above galley trolley stowage to maximize installation of revenue seats. On both the A350 XWB and the A380, flight crew rest areas are located so as to allow pilots access without the need to enter the cabin area. The A380 cabin crew rest can be located on the upper or lower deck, depending on each customer’s needs. Also, the adoption of full LED cabin lighting (onboard the first A350 XWB aircraft, and onboard the A320 from this year onwards) further enriches lighting control, the variety of scenarios and the quality of lighting, allowing airlines to “make magic” out of light. At the Aircraft Interiors EXPO (AIX) this year, Airbus will have a prominent line-up of innovations across a number of Airbus programs. With the A350 XWB flight test program — soon to include the “Early Long Flights” with fully equipped cabin — this aircraft family’s “Xtra-wide” interior will be a major theme of the show. With airlines making significant strides when it comes to interiors and galleys today, the focus has been placed on incorporating weight-saving materials, something that Airbus has long been focused on. “Airbus is always striving to make its aircraft as efficient as possible, and the A350 is being constructed from the latest generation of materials,” says Hrnkova. “As for interior items, Airbus works closely with the equipment suppliers to deliver the most efficient products to meet our overall requirements.” In February, Airbus showcased the A350 XWB at the “Airbus Comfort Zone,” at the Singapore Airshow, which had on display a full-scale cabin mockup with an Economy Class section, where visitors could physically experience the difference between the standard Airbus 18-inch-wide seats and the 17-inch-wide seats. “During long-haul flights in economy
class, this extra width offers more room for passengers to move and adjust their position — what we call ‘dynamic’ seating — as well as enables increased personal space, both of which are critical factors to comThe A350 XWB (Business Class pictured here) offers the fort,” explains Christophe first genuine fourth generation IFE platform, which provides Cossart, Aircraft Interiors above-par passenger resting and viewing comfort Marketing Manager, Customer Affairs at Airbus. seat to a 25-inch aisle for faster boarding and Airbus makes a point to consider the deplaning, reducing turnaround times to 20 ample research on airline seating available minutes. This extra space can allow for the today, which attests that one additional inch installation of the Extra-Wide-Seat, a comof seat width is equivalent to as much as two fortable 20-inch-wide aisle seat, offering the additional inches of seat pitch in terms of premium comfort and ancillary revenue for passenger comfort. Airbus has also acknowl- a third of the cabin. edged research that confirms that seat width Space-Flex, a rear lavatory and galley is the key driver of seat comfort, which is arrangement developed by Airbus, allows demonstrated by the increasing numbers for the fitting of more revenue-generating of airlines that are making information on seats, while also making better use of the their seat width dimensions available to available space at the very back of the aircraft. passengers. Space-Flex also features the first lavatory in For Airbus, the key factor to offering the single-aisle market that accommodates superior levels of comfort for full-service passengers with reduced mobility. long-haul economy service without com“This innovative offering led to new promising aircraft operating efficiency, lays options on the A321neo, as a new door in its 18-inch seat width economy standard arrangement allows airlines to gain up to 16 seat, which it employs across all of its aircraft seats and use the full available cabin floor families. space,” says Cossart. “With longer flights and higher load facThe development of the A380’s widetors achieved today, one more inch of seat body and double deck arrangement provides width makes a massive difference for the extra seating capacity, while simultaneously passenger comfort. Preserving the right level improving the passenger experience. On each of comfort while maximizing revenue is the deck of the A380, Economy Class benefits winning combination,” adds Cossart. from seats that are at least one-inch wider. The A380 cabin architecture allows for efficient boarding and deplaning without longer On to the next In addition to LED mood lighting, connec- turnarounds. As for the A350 XWB, its extra-wide cross tivity and optimal air circulation, Airbus is always working on the next big development section will feature wider seats, wider aisles for increased passenger comfort. One such with straight sidewalls, while offering more development is its space-saving and comfort- head and shoulder clearance. As for more developments, industry focused A320 cabin. Airbus’ A320 cabin offers passengers a professionals are set to have their interests more spacious environment and 15% more piqued at this year’s AIX, where Airbus is usable overhead stowage volume. A320 sure to live up to its reputation for delivering operators can choose from a wider 18-inch newness in an innovative fashion.
The fourth generation IFE products are offered on all other Airbus aircraft types, including the A320 (Family Business Class pictured here), which will benefit from a new Universal Platform from next year onwards
In February, Airbus showcased the A350 XWB at the “Airbus Comfort Zone,” at the Singapore Airshow, which had on display a full-scale cabin mockup with an Economy Class section
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 17
industry leaders: zodiac aerospace report The ISIS modular cabin in a narrowbody configuration
Zodiac Aerospace makes room in the aircraft cabin for more equipment, and good news for the airlines, more revenue by RICK LUNDSTROM
nnovation is a game of inches when it the products can add an extra row of revenue- Thomas Lee, Director of Marketing and Innovation at Zodiac Aerospace. producing seats. comes to the airline cabin. Integrated into the T-shaped galley con“The overall ISIS approach to optimizing From the front cabin to the back cabin, airlines and suppliers evaluate every the cabin for both revenue generation and figuration is a three-cart lift system that helps an improved passenger experience seems create more space inside the aircraft’s galley square inch to make the most effective use of a limited space. Large, heavy objects are to be truly appreciated by our customers,” area. Zodiac Aerospace has also developed a positioned and repositioned. Materials are said Scott Savian, Executive Vice President “double deep” oven. With the new configuratested and evaluated to squeeze the most of ZEO the design and innovation studio at tion, and the T-shaped galley, meal capacity is doubled into a single deeper oven space, amount of revenue out of the space. Just Zodiac Aerospace. The popularity has prompted Zodiac said Lee. when it seems that all that can be done has The other piece of cabin and galley equipbeen done, innovators find ways to do more. Aerospace to broaden its approach to include With an eye towards helping airline cus- more products such as galley products and ment to fit into the puzzle will be the comtomers improve revenue, Zodiac Aerospace configurations. In fact, at this year’s Aircraft pany’s ISIS Lavatory, featuring the patent introduced its Innovative Space Interior Interiors Expo, Zodiac Aerospace will be pending Dynamic Modular System, which System (ISIS) to an industry looking for the showing their new ISIS Widebody mockup, is the third generation incarnation of its best way to add more revenue passenger including two premium cabins, The ISIS modular lavatory. “Our big reveal will include a full section miles to a typical aircraft layout. One of the wide-body configuration was shown to promost effective ways to achieve this goal is spective airline customers at Zodiac’s Annual of a wide-body premium cabin showing how to figure out the best way to make room for Airline Symposium at the company’s facilities various Zodiac Aerospace Seating products at Huntington Beach, California in February. combined with lavatories and galleys can more revenue passengers. Other space and revenue-enhancing optimize the cabin with more revenue proBut the company’s ISIS modular cabin system for narrow-body aircraft did more measures are taking place with Zodiac’s ducing seats,” said Savian. “Of course, followthan that. The modular approach increased Aerospace’s Galley and Equipment segment. ing the ISIS mantra, we have put significant luggage space in the industry workhorse Various business units within the company effort into ensuring that the passenger expeA320 by 60% by introducing a pivoting bin have come together to produce galleys in T- rience is dramatically improved as well.” configuration with new technology to opti- and U-shaped configurations. mize space. Electronic latches were designed When combined with the comfor easy access to luggage while optimizing pany’s seating products, airlines space and weight. From the ECOform side- are able to increase seat density walls to the lighting fixtures, the ISIS cabin to typical layout of passenger was designed for passenger comfort and accommodations (LOPA), said weight-saving results. But it was also designed for increased revenue. And combined with improvements that Zodiac Aerospace has made to its cabin and galley products and lavaZodiac Aerospace has developed Luggage bins are made for easy galleys in configuration tories, airlines selecting opening in a clamshell configuration designed to save space
18 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
IFE & Connectivity: IFE Update
Driven by aircraft orders and riding a crest of technological advances large and small, IFE and connectivity companies seem poised for a busy year ahead and for years to come by rick lundstrom
s the new year unfolds and airlines and suppliers gather reasons to do so. By 2017, the research firm Markets and Markets estimates the size at the this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, the future of the inflight entertainment and connectivity segments of the of the inflight entertainment and connectivity market will increase to cabin interiors industry is driven by what drives so many US$3 billion per year. The company also predicts that more low-cost carriers will seize on the ability of easier integrations. Airlines will industries: demand and competition. Commercial aviation is coming off a successful business year and see fuel saving from the slim line seat-centric systems. Also, wireless hundreds of billions of dollars in orders. Combine that with tech- inflight entertainment will increase in comparison to the overhead nological advancements and the increasing demands of a group of and seatback IFE system. Companies that will be showing their latest and greatest at this travelers anxious to be wired into the world, and its easy to see that the major companies that supply the US$2 billion inflight entertain- year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo are clearly building their playbooks ment and connectivity markets are happy to open their doors to any around these expectations. The year 2013 was one of developments and acquisitions, with companies stakand all prospective customers. Market studies of commercial inflight entertainment and com- ing out the territory to provide the best munications show an estimated growth rate of between 6.65% and and most productive service to airlines 6.67% per year over the next four to five years. Two research reports, waiting for new jets rolling off the by online supplier TecNavio and Custom Market Research Services assembly line daily. tracked IFEC spending beginning in 2012 and running through to 2016. The reports analyzed the activities of key players in the industry, growth trends and technology For wide-body aircraft Android occurring now and in the future. IFE systems will begin to Much of the prospective growth lies in the ability to proliferate, which will enable an access high-speed throughput satellite systems such as entertainment experience of a the KA-SAT (Eutelsat) and ViaSat regionally and on a standard people are used (to) on worldwide scale through Inmarsat’s Global Express and their tablet devices on the ground. Intelsat’s Epic, according to one report by Dublin-based – Adrian Lambert, IFE Services, Global Eagle Entertainment Research and Markets. “These new technologies will provide enhanced capabilities for satellite communication against original satelGlobal Eagle Entertainment’s Chief Technical Officer John Guidon lites,” said a summary of the Research and Markets Report. Airlines alone will not be the only ones bouncing signals and com- looked across the worldwide spectrum for IFEC and saw Asia poised munication off a worldwide network of satellites. Passengers, armed for tremendous growth in the near term. The company is watching with their trusty handheld devices will find plenty of places to make global aircraft sales from the major airframe companies and seeing up use of the technology in the aircraft cabin of the future. Airlines are to 40,000 aircraft sold to world worldwide fleet by 2032. IFE content keen to differentiate themselves and are finding plenty of places and alone will be up to US$424 million by 2020, up from US$240 million
20 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
IFE & Connectivity: IFE Update two years ago. “In the short to medium term, we expect some key trends to take place,” said Adrian Lambert, of IFE Services, one of Global Eagle’s subsidiaries. “For wide-body aircraft Android IFE systems will begin to proliferate, which will enable an entertainment experience of a standard people are used [to] on their tablet devices on the ground.” For the narrowbody market, Lambert said airlines will offer IFE products on a pay-per-access basis or complimentary through an advertisingbased model more frequently. He also sees an increased desire by the airlines to turn the IFE platform into a tool for increasing revenue. “Airlines will focus on making IFE a profit center through advertising, Amazon-style shopping platforms and the selling to destination based services to passengers,” he adds. All of Panasonic’s latest generation products these trends should create a win-win situaare for in-seat and in-hand use tion — airlines will be able to make substantial revenues from IFE and passengers will benefit from a brilliant entertainment experience.” tivity possibilities for aircraft in the Asian powerhouse airline. Last, but The multi-service provider, Global Eagle Partners became not least, Panasonic has also been selected by Canadian carrier Westjet for a publically held company in the first quarter of last year. Also wireless inflight entertainment and connectivity for the entire fleet of its in 2013, it made two important acquisitions: Post Modern next generation 737s. Group and IFE Services. The company also launched the “Panasonic will be making a number of announcements at Aircraft InteTV Flies Free program with sponsor DISH on Southwest riors, with several relating to the breadth and depth of its uniquely global Airlines that will give the airline’s passengers access to televi- satellite network,” said a statement from the company. sion through an agreement that continued this year. Across the ocean, the company completed a partnership with two Chinese satellite operations and the ThaiCom satellite service, which will open up connectivity for airlines flying into the region. The company’s satellite connectivity surpassed 500 installations last year.
Panasonic’s year This year, when Qatar Airways upgrades its business class with new seating on both its A320 and A330-200 aircraft, the latter’s wide bodies will be equipped with a new connectivity system from Panasonic. This is important, say officials at the company, because it has picked the company’s eXConnect global inflight broadband connectivity system over that of a previous provider. The company also won a major customer in Etihad Airways from another provider. Qatar Airways is also upgrading its A330 fleet with the latest generation eX2 system. Over the last four months, Panasonic has reached a number of milestones, including installing eXConnect on its 400th aircraft. The company has also passed U.S. Federal Aviation Administration muster for its bird strike compliant radome for the 777-200, clearing the way for 150 installations of connectivity by airlines around the world. The company says it can now go ahead with installation on up to 40 aircraft per month. As a result, broadband inflight Wi-Fi service could top out at more than 800 aircraft by the end of the year. Panasonic is also reaching out to Asia and signed an agreement with China Telecom Satellite Communications Limited to “develop, implement and support inflight connectivity solutions for Chinese airlines,” said a rundown of the year report by the company. Staying close to Asia, Panasonic also recently announced an agreement with Singapore Airlines to enhance connecwww.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 21
IFE & Connectivity: IFE Update
The latest generation of the PAVES system is in development for 2015
In September of last year, Panasonic announced the launch of its eXO inflight entertainment system. The eXO operates through a single server unit in the head-end of the system that delivers highdefinition audio and video on demand (AVOD) to the premium cabin overhead, video to economy class and wireless content to passenger devices. Built on a scalable platform, the system represents the next steps by the major hardware companies to provide flexible, lightweight solutions that solve a number of problems and provide passengers with the ability to use their own devices to access an airline’s treasure trove of entertainment options. “eXO is the next generation of overhead IFE,” said Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic, in the September 2013 announcement of its launch. “It provides a low-cost, lightweight and fully integrated system that gives airlines the power to scale the system as necessary and improve the passenger experience with a significant number of industry firsts.”
Broadcast and On Demand Another company has developed its own set of firsts, but with an already industry-established name: PAVES™. Though the PAVES™ system from Rockwell Collins has been around for years, officials from the Cedar Rapids, Iowa company still sees the need to make it fresh. In an effort to clear up some market confusion, Rockwell Collins now has the PAVES™ On-Demand, PAVES™ Broadcast and PAVES™ Wireless products in addition to taking a new company, satellite provider ARINC under its wing earlier this year. The US$1.4 billion purchase of ARINC from the Carlyle Group gives Rockwell Collins access to the company’s networks and services, helps the company’s new owners strengthen information systems as well as provides improved safety, efficiency and connectivity to airline customers. “In addition, the acquisition opens up adjacent market opportunities by leveraging ARINC’s strong presence in airport information systems and the broader transportation and security segments,” said Kelly Ortberg, CEO of Rockwell Collins in the December announcement of the completed acquisition. No less notable, Rockwell Collins also announced toward the end of last year, a launch customer for its PAVES™ On-Demand IFE system and the PAVES™ Broadcast system for narrowbodies in the A300 fleet of Sichuan Airlines. With PAVES™ on-demand currently in development, the airline will receive its first installed system 22 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
in 2015. The seat-centric On Demand system promises decreased weight and greater ease of maintenance. The company has eliminated the central server that has been a part of AVOD inflight entertainment for decades. Now, maintenance and line replacement can be carried out easily and network overload can be eliminated with passengers choosing programming from the seatback device in PAVES™ On-Demand. “The idea here is to have a full product line family that caters to many different types of airlines,” said Duke Tran, Director of Marketing for Cabin Systems at Rockwell Collins. The narrowbody fleet in the world’s commercial airlines is not the only place that Rockwell Collins has carved a niche. The company is the market leader in the business aviation market for its Venue inflight entertainment system. Its Airshow moving map display, well known in the commercial market, is now available in an application for hand-held devices currently useable only in the business jet market. The company is currently developing an app based on Android for tablets on commercial aircraft. Visitors to the company’s stand at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo will see a prototype of the product, said Tran.
AVANT® makes headway
The TopSeries AVANT® system from Thales will be installed on 10 airlines this year. In addition, the company has moved ahead on a number of fronts, picking up partners in satcom connectivity and inflight retailing and will open up six additional outbound stations before the end of the year that will expand the Thales meet and greet service to 16 countries. The company is also hoping to take home a trophy from this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. Its AVANT® inflight entertainment system has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Crystal Cabin awards. Winners will be announced April 7 in Hamburg. Like its competitors, the AVANT® product is designed to eliminate bulky electronics under the seat, satisfying the airline’s desire for decreased weight. It can be installed in aircraft with a single-aisle or double aisle configuration. Customers like Turkish Airlines, which selected the system in February will make use of AVANT® to offer a differentiation in classes with passengers in economy able to operate a single touchscreen while premium passengers can use a multi-screen. Turkish Airlines selected AVANT® for its fleet of 25 A321s and 20 The AVANT® system from Thales will be installed on 10 airlines this year
Visit us in Hamburg at the WTCExpo, Booth #3B30
IFE & Connectivity: IFE Update Bluebox iPads are now flying on Hawaiian Airlines and Bangkok Airways.
737s. At the end of February, Thales announced that China Southern would be the first airline to take the company’s AVANT® system with inflight entertainment and connectivity. China Southern will have the system on its fleet of 10 777-300ERs, with the first aircraft delivered this year on March 2 and more continuing through to 2016. Thales is also seeking to make inroads into onboard retail sales thought a 10-year partnership with Toronto-based GuestLogix. Through the partnership, the GuestLogix Transactional Processing Engine will be integrated into the TopSeries inseat system that will allow secure capture and payment processing. Users of the inflight purchasing system will be able to buy products and services though an application that is compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PC) and encrypts credit card numbers, offloading them to a payment gateway on the ground. The integration with the TopSeries system was completed last year. The process is watched closely for security. In order to be a part of the system, merchants must demonstrate annual compliance with PCI data security standards. They need to maintain firewalls, encryption abilities for credit card numbers and have security systems in place at all phases of the transaction process. Finally, the company’s efforts to enhance its connectivity credibility took a step forward at last year’s Airline Passenger Experience Association event when Thales announced an agreement with Inmarsat to develop connectivity solutions for the aviation market. With the agreement, Thales has access to Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and GX Aviation satellite services. “It is up to global organizations, such as Thales and Inmarsat, to ensure that airlines are able to provide customers with fast, reliable and above all safe connectivity,” said Thales CEO Dominique Giannoni, who took the position last fall. “In addition, this communications channel will allow access larger amounts of content from the Thales TopSeries IFEC system and/or passengers’ own devices.”
Entertainment in hand Speak with companies that provide inflight entertainment through handheld devices and it is soon understood that one of the biggest challenges is convincing major studios to provide early content video, which is securely processed and securely stored from encoding through to in the hand of the passenger. But this past year, Bluebox Avionics scored a coup aboard Qan24 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
tas Airways when its iPads were able to not only get early content, but also have the Disney movie Planes shown on the aircraft before release to movie houses in Australia. Planes follows the story of aircraft flying around the world. To tailor the movie for the land down under, a new plane character bearing Australian markings was substituted and a famous Aussie actress provided the voice-over. “It was a fun promotion,” said Kevin Birchmore of Bluebox Avionics Head of Technology. Also fun was winning the award for best handheld IFE solution, which was handed out at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East event. But the 1,500 iPad minis that are now flying on Hawaiian Airlines was the company’s biggest deployment for the year, and pushed the number of Bluebox Avionics units in service over the 10,000 mark. In early March, Bluebox also announced that Bangkok Airways would also be offering Bluebox players on selected inflight services. Bluebox has the blessing of all six major Hollywood studios for release of early content movies. With the option to access the Internet from any connected seat, Bluebox units give airline customers the ability to be compatible with consumer technology and adaptable as other capabilities develop. Both the iPad and iPad mini have a 10-hour battery life; however, Bluebox provides a Custom Case, with options for a stand or clips for the seatback, plus extended battery option that can keep the product in a passenger’s hands for up to 20 hours. This past year, Bluebox introduced its Content Carousel user interface to its Ai application, which is optimized for the iPad Air and iPad mini devices from Apple. “The Content Carousel delivers a more engaging and intuitive navigation experience for users,” said a description of the device from Bluebox. “And greater flexibility for depth of content and filtering options.” Finally, Bluebox wiFE is the company’s wireless solution, streaming non-premium content to passenger’s own devices. Enhancing the wireless IFE system, Bluebox Ai can be used in a hybrid mode, providing locally stored early window content and streaming additional content from a wireless system.
At the ‘cor Last year, Utah-based digEcor, one of the pioneers in handheld IFE, was purchased by Total Aviation Solutions, an Australian company. The two companies have moved ahead, integrating operations with its larger partner and marketed its newly developed GLIDE IFE system as
Results show embedded “systems are still a strong passenger preference around the globe -- over half the respondents prefer seat-back IFE to any other IFE option.
– Ben Fuller, digEcor
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IFE & Connectivity: IFE Update preference around the globe — over half the respondents prefer seat-back IFE to any other IFE option.”
The Engage app will be one of the newest products from digEcor
an embedded solution with a wide variety of services. “The acquisition has meant a number of things to digEcor,” said Ben Fuller, the company’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “In particular, a new and enlarged vision towards the passenger and the airlines.” Before the purchase, Fuller said the company saw itself as a provider of handheld IFE. Since the purchase, digEcor sees possibilities beyond the embedded system to cabin crew management, tape replacement solutions and even in-house manufacturing. The acquisition occurred in the midst of the company’s launch of its GLIDE IFE system. In addition to the owner, digEcor has aligned itself with a number of partners to enhance the product with content and software upgrades all leading up to the next generation of the company’s flagship digEplayer. The GLIDE player comes in a number of screen sizes and offers users a number of advantages, said Fuller. “It stands apart from traditional line fit systems with significant weight savings, extremely high reliability — the highest in the market today — and a price point per passenger place that beats traditional systems by 50% or more.” The company will be bringing products and obtained knowledge to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. The “son of GLIDE IFE” will be the GLIDE TRS, what the company says is a digital tape replacement solution for older overhead IFE systems. TRS is a wall-mounted line replacement unit that takes the place of a Video Control Center. For airline cabin crew, digEcor has developed the Engage mobile application, which replaces paper manifests, and gives crew passenger data. The product is designed to help airlines provide more personalized customer service. The company also does some thorough market research. In 2013 it completed a passenger survey. digEcor will be showing visitors to its stand at AIX the results of the survey, which was conducted in several languages. It is the fourth year the company has probed passenger preferences to new technology, ancillary revenue and purchasing tendencies. Fuller did hint at some of digEcor’s findings: Embedded IFE is still popular among the tablet-carrying crowd that is seen on airlines today. “Results show embedded systems are still a strong passenger 26 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
Interact — headquartered in Irvine, California — plays part in content programming for Hawaiian Airlines’ inflight entertainment tablets. “In terms of Hawaiian Airlines, we were delighted with the implementation of their mini iPads. Interact insured all the airline’s requirements and IFE needs were met,” said Stephanie Cooper, Interact’s Marketing and Business Development Director. Interact has been providing content to Hawaiian Airlines for more than a dozen years. Interact is a well-known content service provider supplying airlines with creative content programming and developing products such as safety videos and other informational videos. The company also consults with airline clients to match content with devices. Interact will recommend airlines to pick the right combination of newly released Hollywood titles or streaming content in their pricing and business decisions. The company will be exhibiting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo for the first time. However, Interact’s employees have been in the air and are branching out in terms of its activities. “Asia is an important emerging market for us; we have recently established new IFE contacts with Malindo Air, Batik Air and MIAT Mongolian Airlines,” said Cooper. “We believe this area of our business will continue to rapidly grow and more and more airlines are turning to us for out tailor-made IFE packages.” With a number of partner companies and a growing base in one region of the world, Cooper said Interact plans to stay independent and keep the company’s size to a degree that it can provide flexible service. Interact is seeking new ways to adapt its model to the changing technologies now bringing in Wi-Fi, portable solutions and content marketing.
Interact and Bluebox Avionics will supply programming and products for Hawaiian Airlines’ iPad minis
BUSINESS AVIATION: The Fastest Route from B to B
500 Exhibits 60 Aircraft 12,000 Attendees
Company profile: aeromobile
Making the Call As mobile connectivity continues to advance, the U.S. airline industry is presented with an opportunity for advancement onboard, and operator AeroMobile is taking note by MELISSA SILVA
Fast-forward to today, and although the ban on cell phone usage onboard U.S. aircraft is still in place, some believe it won’t be too long before it’s lifted. AeroMobile Communications Ltd. is one such believer. A British phone network operator based near Gatwick airport, AeroMobile is 51% owned by Panasonic Avionics and 49% owned by Telenor, the Norwegian mobile operator. While Panasonic Avionics sells the equipment and provides all of the necessary support to the airline, AeroMobile operates the phone service onboard the aircraft. “We are the operator that runs the phone network on that equipment and provides the entire infrastructure behind the scenes on the ground to ensure that the service [onboard] works,” says Kevin Rogers, CEO AeroMobile. Much like when someone travels abroad, his or her mobile phone will connect to a network wherever they land, AeroMobile provides a network onboard aircraft to which passengers can connect, providing their home operator has a roaming agreement with the company. AeroMobile currently operates (on round figures) 200 aircraft, including Etihad’s and Emirates’, and through the course of this year, the operator expects the number will exceed 300. “It’s dictated by the pace at which the airlines can get the aircraft out,” explains Rogers. “That number should continue to grow at 200 to 300 aircraft per year. It is significant growth [and] what I’m here to do is to grow the amount of usage we see from any aircraft that’s equipped, through good roaming equations, good marketing and by running a “We’re very committed to investing to good quality network.” help make this [change] happen and to In addition to Etihad and Emirates, give the U.S. airlines the opportunity to Qatar Airways will launch AeroMobile’s make a decision to put this equipment service soon, which will strengthen the onboard that the international airlines operator’s footprint in terms of airlines have been doing for many years now” and volume of aircraft in the Middle East. – Kevin Rogers, CEO, AeroMobile In addition, Lufthansa German Airlines is now accelerating its rollout, which will
n today’s day and age, mobile devices have seemingly become as vital to an individual’s well-being as air and water. To be separated from just one device for even a day, seems to result in some level of inconvenience or annoyance on the user’s part. As the number of technological devices owned per person continues to grow, the demand for widespread usage and increased communication access has increased steadily over the last few years. Where before it was convenient when a local café had wireless internet, or the train you were taking allowed passengers to make phone calls, now users are looking for that same convenience, but off the ground. This past November, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) caused a media frenzy when it announced that it was considering allowing mobile phone talk onboard aircraft. If put into action, this would allow passengers to make cell phone calls and send texts, but only when flying above 10,000 feet —not during takeoff and landing. In order for this to become a reality, airlines would need to equip aircraft with specific antennas approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Doing so would place the U.S. alongside several other countries that already allow cell phone use onboard similarly equipped aircraft.
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Company profile: aeromobile AeroMobile feels offering voice onboard is an important service for business personnel
continue across much of their long-haul fleet through the course of this year. “There’s also Transaero Airlines, which is the second Russian Airline rolling out our full connectivity on all of its fleet,” adds Rogers. “What is coming out — it’s been announced, but is not yet in service — is Thai Airways and Garuda Indonesia Airlines. So you’ll see those hitting service in the months ahead.”
Quality control Part of offering any service involves routine monitoring to ensure all elements of said service are running to standard. When it comes to AeroMobile’s network, it’s no different. “We have visibility of how the service is performing in the aircraft — throughputs, up times, down times, and so on,” says Rogers. “We have access to all of those data points and track that every day of course, as do the satellite providers — Panasonic in particular, given that it’s mostly their equipment. They’re running their own network operation centre, covering a vast array of parameters compared to what we’re looking at.” From monitoring comes the opportunity for improvement — if necessary. Even with a seamless network, there is always room for betterment, for some aspect to run that much smoother or faster. AeroMobile follows this line of thinking; more specifically that improvement is something that should be an ongoing process, not an effort made following an isolated shortcoming. “There’s a multitude of things where there’s always [room for] continual improvement,” says Rogers. “I think the big focus right now is to ensure that the network capacity continues to grow at the rate at which the demand is there.”
Banishing the ban Regarding the present ban on mobile phone usage onboard U.S. aircraft, AeroMobile feels strongly that there exists a light at the end of the tunnel, but that it’s difficult to predict exactly how long it will be before the ban is lifted. With the comment period coming to a close in February, followed by the respond-to-comment period, which ended just last month, the FCC now must consider the input and make its decision. “Depending on the scope of those comments, [that] will have a key influence on how long it’s going to take to finalize the rule,” Rogers tells PAX International. “But I think, in my personal opinion, providing the FCC stays motivated to bring this [ban] to an end, I’m hopeful that within the next 12 months this ban will be modified.” Now that the media coverage has diminished, Rogers feels the FCC will feel more comfortable continuing to push this issue through and allow the use of mobile phones on aircraft, provided the appropriate equipment is installed.“Then it will be down to either the department of transportation or the airlines to decide whether or not voice is activated. I think it’s moving in that direction,” he adds.
This direction makes sense, as the demand for phone usage onboard aircraft is currently increasing. “People are attached to their devices 24 hours a day. If they could have the simplicity of using their cellular phone [onboard] — we see a great demand for that,” says Rogers. “It’s proven highly successful on all of the international carriers that we’re operating on.” Rogers feels that today, there are arguably more phone users than there are Wi-Fi users on the average flight and the reasoning behind this discovery is quite simple. “The fundamental reason for this is that it’s so easy to use,” explains Rogers. “Passengers are just using the interface they’re already used to using and they’re not paying anyone else for anything; they’re just paying their home operator for using their service, so phone [usage] is very compelling and the industry as a whole is seeing a strong demand for this service onboard.” A common question that arises from this discussion is what role Wi-Fi plays in comparison to voice, and whether or not the need for the latter will disappear if the former exists onboard. “The answer is absolutely not,” says Rogers. “There is a cabin of 200 to 300 different user preferences. People have different needs. It’s no different to when you travel and go to your hotel room and you have both Wi-Fi and phone and you choose to use either, depending on what your needs are at that time.” Rogers adds that even if the ban is lifted, it’s ultimately up to the airline to decide whether or not it will offer voice onboard its aircraft. “There are one or two airlines out there that don’t offer voice, because they made the decision not to, but on the other hand if they do offer it, there really isn’t a social issue,” he says. “The calls are short in length because of international roaming; statistically they’re only one or two minutes in length. There haven’t been any complaints — we haven’t had any in the industry.” For many, especially those in the business sector that make frequent work-related trips, the convenience of having voice offered onboard trumps the concern that the inflight ambiance will be disrupted with perpetual chatter, a point AeroMobile strongly stresses. “It’s an important service for business personnel to be able to see if he or she has a missed call from a client or even from a family member,” Roger adds. “Phones are kept on silent or vibrate, so no one is getting disturbed.” For now, AeroMobile along with the rest of us will have to wait and see what decision the FCC makes. “Hopefully, this time next year we should see this change — that’s my personal hope and wish,” concludes Rogers. “And we’re very committed to investing to help make this happen and to give the U.S. airlines the opportunity to make a decision to put this equipment onboard that the international airlines have been doing for many years now.” AeroMobile provides a network onboard aircraft to which passengers can connect, providing their home operator has a roaming agreement with the company
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new interiors: seating
no back seat
The Recaro CL3710 will be delivered to airline customers this year
on the market, and in development. “The expected doubling in size of the seating market over the next decade will inevitably benefit the industry’s ‘big three’ of B/E Aerospace, Recaro and Zodiac Aerospace,” writes Heath Lockett, the researcher at IHS who prepared the May report on the industry. “However, the often more novel approaches we’ve seen from a range of other smaller manufacturers — such as Pitch Aircraft Seating Systems, Optimares and Thompson Aero Seating —indicates that these companies have a sizable opportunity if they, too, can expand to meet demand.” One of the “big three” mentioned, Germany-based Recaro, was busy expanding its reach and capabilities in 2013. The company opened a new plant in Qingdao, China and this year will deliver seats from the facility for the 737 fleet of Shandong Airlines. At the Recaro Customer Service Centre in Dubai, a team of representatives is working with the airline’s customers in the Middle East and Africa. Among the company’s goals in the Middle East will be to quickly supply replacement parts. Over the years, one of Recaro’s success stories was its BL3520 economy class seat. Seating companies have spent the last year developing Nearly 200,000 of the seats are flying in products and improving production lines as a result of a aircraft around the world. This spring, the company will begin delivering more of the surge in demand not only by airlines, but also by passengers seats to airberlin. LAN Airlines is also a looking for greater comfort by RICK LUNDSTROM customer for the BL3520. For the future, the company’s offering for long-haul economy class will be its CL3710, But Aviointeriors is hardly alone in makf there was ever any doubt of the importance of the role of the aircraft seating ing the claims. This past year has been a busy which was first shown to the industry in market will play in the months and years one for the many companies that make air- Hamburg last year. “We have also received numerous large ahead, it was laid out by Airbus this year in line seating and will each be making pitches orders for these innovative seats,” said Dr. a report called The Future of Comfort – Asia. for comfort and weight savings at this year’s Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer at The report was released in the run-up to Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. Seat makers have good reason to feel Recaro in early March. “The first seats will the Singapore Airshow. In it, the airframe soon be delivered to our customers so that manufacturer placed the responsibility of bullish and not reluctant to sink money into a successful cabin program in the hands of increased production capabilities and capaci- —already this year — passengers will be able seat manufacturers by placing their products ties. They are buoyed by the steady stream of to enjoy the premium comfort of the CL3710.” The makeup of the CL3710 checks all the ahead of anything else for a successful pas- aircraft orders, refurbishments and retrofits boxes airlines are currently seeking in an that are arrayed across the coming years. senger experience. In May, a London-based research com- economy class seat, says Hiller. Airlines need “The seat is the top factor affecting the to make optimal use of the aircraft cabin, sense of comfort while flying in economy pany called IHS, Inc. issued a report on the state of the aircraft seating market, which which means installing lighter-weight seats, class,” said the report. The comfort of the seat “supersedes all other elements, such as forecasted shipments of 840,000 aircraft increasing the number of seats abreast with seat location, inflight entertainment, meals seats from 2012 to 2022, more than double various seat widths, while at the same time reducing seat pitch without doing the same the previous 10-year period. As brisk as the and duty free.” The report was immediately seized upon demand for seating in new aircraft (330,000 to passenger comfort. With both economy class seats Recaro by Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors, over the period), the number of retrofit seats which issued an “answer to the challenge of will surpass half a million over the period, has made a slimmer profile in the backrest. A netting material is integrated into the backAirbus” which, of course, was the company’s the company predicted. rest core, which also reduces thickness that Such a demand opens up possibilities Columbus line of seats. Increased legroom, padded cushions, “the increased living space for many companies, and many of those would normally be conventional foam. Other features on the CL3710 include a headrest and all those elements that contribute to responding to inquiries by PAX International are reporting an optimistic outlook for 2014 with a six-inch adjustment range to accomenhance feeling of comfort” were part of the and confidence in their products currently modate passengers of different heights. The Columbus line, said the company.
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new interiors: seating headrest can be tilted horizontally for better neck support. Side bolsters can be adjusted for a comfortable resting position with lateral head support. Recaro will have one other star at the Aircraft Interiors Expo — the CL6710 business class seat can lie flat and “offers excellent living space even in high-density configuration, direct aisle access and generous stowage space,” said Hiller.
Seeking advantage It’s been another busy year at Thompson Aero Seating with several new airlines joining the company’s rapidly growing list of customers. In July 2013 the first Air Canada 777-300 with the Thompson Vantage Business Class seat was delivered, and has since been joined by a
Front and rear views of the Thompson Vantage XL seat for business class
further four aircraft. In December Air Astana entered service with their new 767 aircraft selecting Thompson Vantage for the Business Class cabin, and earlier this year Thompson Aero Seating completed their first line-fit installation as JetBlue installed the seat on their new transcontinental A321. Andy Morris, Vice-President Sales & Marketing for Thompson Aero Seating highlighted the success of the company’s relationship with their customers and are looking ahead at new challenges and opportunities. “We’ve recently started further line-fit programs and there’s also serious interest 32 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
Detail from the Eco long seat
that will be from potential customers across several of on Lufthansa the new generation aircraft platforms” said German Airlines Morris. “We’ll be working closely with our customers to secure offerability on these aircraft in the future.” At this year’s AIX show Thompson will be officially launching their latest product innovation, the Vantage XL. The seat was previewed at last year in Hamburg and has already secured a number of orders from as yet unannounced airlines. Testing and [S1] certification of the XL for the launch customer is expected to be completed by April 2014. Thompson’s Vantage XL offers a minimum 23-inch-wide seat and has a variety of stowages for shoes, laptops and other personal items. For meals, a large Zim Flugsitz more single-leaf table extends for dining and the than doubled its factory size last year. seat is integrated with ports for USB and electrical outlets and accommodates monitor sizes up to 18 inches. Cozy Suite, is Thompson’s innovative answer to the problem of decreasing seat widths for passengers travelling in the economy cabin. Courtesy of its patented staggered configuration, the Cozy Suite increases seat width by up to two inches when compared with traditional ‘in-line’ seats. The unique layout also gives home. Lufthansa German Airlines has plans passengers individual arm- to equip 106 aircraft with its Premium Eco rests, more shoulder space and Class seat for long-haul flights. First instalan area dedicated to sleeping. lations of the seats will be this summer. Also The seat also reclines within its last year, Zim Flugsitz installed shipsets on 12 own space, giving a solution to 767-300s of Condor Airlines and is working the age-old passenger dislike on completing an order of 10 shipsets for the of reclining passengers invad- airline’s A330s. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, Zim ing ‘my space’ within the cabin. “We are currently in dis- Flugsitz will be bringing a new seat designed cussions with several airlines for short-haul service and will be showing and expect to announce sev- visitors the new premium economy class eral new customers within seat for Lufthansa. “We will bring two new products into the coming months, maybe even in time for the show,” operation, the new Premium Eco Seat as well as the new short-range seat,” said Angelika said Morris. Another company that has added fac- Zimmermann, President of Zim Flugsitz. tory space and capacity to accommodate “For both of them, the development phase is demand is Zim Flugsitz. Shortly after last finished; production will start soon.” “That means the engineering departyear’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, the company cut the ribbon on an expansion that more ment will be open for new challenges which are already in internal discussion with the than doubled its production area. Six lines now move seats through assembly. There is a management.” new model shop where ideas are hashed out, mockups are built and products go through Setting sail early stages of development. The expansion Aviointeriors, the company that issued the is rounded out with a test facility where static, response to the Airbus report on Asia, went components and reliability testing takes place. into 2014 optimistic about its developments The company also has customers close to and growth plans that began in the last year.
new interiors: seating The company’s Columbus Two economy class seat are was installed on Air Niugini and Transaero. Early this year, the company was preparing to deliver the Columbus Two for the A320 and A321 fleet of the Greek carrier Aegean Airlines. Also on Transaero, Aviointe-
economy class that can double as a business class seat for medium-range flights. This group of seats, bearing the names of famous Italians reinforces the company’s pride in its homeland. Schisa mentions the country’s long history of inventors and contributions
weight economy class seats particularly in the single-aisle aircraft category, like KLM’s Fokker 70 fleet which were installed last year. We are now noting more interest from operators of larger twin aisle aircraft such as Airbus A330 and Boeing 767s and 747,” said
The Columbus Two seat from Aviointeriors is flying on Transaro and Air Niugini
A front view of the Ultra XC while will be installed on an A330
riors will install its Columbus and monaLisa seat on the Russian airline’s 747-800i. The company grew 20% in 2013, said the company’s CEO Mario Schisa. “We are confident that all innovations of our 2014 will be appreciated and welcomed by this market share. We are really proud of what we achieved and we are confident that our development program will allow us to strengthen both our growth and our presence in the aviation market.” The company has invested some of that growth in its Leonardo, its carbon seat; the Giotto, its business class product designed for staggered configuration; and its soonto-be introduced Canova seat for premium KLM Cityhopper selected the Acro seat for its Fokker 70 fleet
to art and culture. “We did all this keeping ourselves true to a value that we consider essential, to make our customer feel unique.” From its headquarters near London Gatwick Airport, Acro Aircraft Seating has been filling orders since 2006, but never more so than in recent times. Fueled by demand by airlines for a fast-moving supplier of lightweight economy class seating, the company had approximately 35,000 seats in operation at the end of last year. With firm orders into the fourth quarter of 2014, officials expect to have double the number of seats in service within the next 18 months. “We’ve captured a niche market in light-
Cameron Allan, Acro’s Commercial Director. “As the company grows and to support this wide range of aircraft, we need to focus on attracting the best quality team and build on our existing success,” Operations Director, Chris Poland said, in a press release in September 2013. “The company is now actively recruiting for a wide range of roles from untrained production staff who receive full in house training through to experienced staff working across a range of disciplines.” The company has reported recent success in regional airlines and low-cost carriers. Twenty-six shipsets of the company’s Ultra seats are now flying on the aforementioned KLM Cityhopper fleet. Braathens Regional will take delivery of Acro seats for its Saab 340 and 2000 aircraft in the second quarter of 2014. Also in August, the company reported that it had secured contracts for South Africa’s Mango Airlines. In the fall of last year, Acro products were on 20 airlines and 11 aircraft types. The company is also predicting success with its Ultra XC seat currently equipping Airbus A330 aircraft since the first quarter of this year. The Ultra XC is 19.3 inches wide at the center seat. Acro is showcasing its smaller iPad and drink-sized table for its low-cost carrier seat at Hamburg. Allan said the company’s core focus would be to develop products that are lightweight, simple and durable. “The market is in great shape. We had a hugely successful 2013 and we are delighted with the way 2014 is looking for us,” he added. www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 33
Vip first class & design firms – altitude aerospace
The Air New Zealand subsidiary concludes a year of newly developed products and services, and watches one of its creations gain worldwide acceptance by RICK LUNDSTROM
o outsiders, the image of New Zealand is that of an outdoors lover’s paradise; with clean cities and a healthy vibrant population in touch with its environment, which also happens to be home to an innovative airline with unique ideas for passenger service and operations. But it is not only the landscape and the attitudes that are “green.” The country is also gaining a reputation as a completions center
has outfitted bar units in sumptuous shapes for fleets of Boeing 777-300s, which they describe as “an elegant combination of functionality and design flair.” Other projects seem more practical. When another customer needed a closet for its Boeing 777-300, Altitude Aerospace developed a design of composite and aluminum that fit with the business class seats. Assembly of simple tinted glass partitions gives a sense of
Galley systems are a specialty of Altitude Aerospace Interiors.
for “green” aircraft that fly into the hangars and workshops at two locations for Altitude Aerospace Interiors. Green is the color of the aircraft completed at the Boeing plant in faraway Seattle and flown to New Zealand to be kitted out at the company’s VIP Completion Center in Christchurch. Their Auckland facility has recently been designated as one of the approved completion centers for the VIP version of the 787 Dreamliner. But work goes on elsewhere at Altitude Aerospace Interiors. Over the years, the Air New Zealand subsidiary’s base in Auckland 34 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
space to a fleet of Boeing 737-800s operated by another happy customer. All this is done, far away from supposed centers of airline and VIP aviation, where airliners and private jets darken the skies in European and Middle Eastern capitals. However, Mike Pervan, General Manager of Altitude Aerospace says it will not be long before economic powerhouses in Asia/Pacific start making similar demands for luxury aircraft. “The worldwide VIP aircraft market remains steady,” Pervan said. “Particularly for larger aircraft, but the Asian, and specifically Chinese VIP market shows significant
promise over the next 10 years.” The company began as Air New Zealand’s engineering design organization and rebranded with the name Altitude Aerospace Interiors in 2008, and operates as an independently run subsidiary of the airline. Pervan said change in business status allowed the company more flexibility and gave it the focus to operate as a fully resourced aircraft interior and design organization. Now Altitude Aerospace offers turnkey solutions for both the VIP and commercial aircraft market. The green Boeing jet that comes into New Zealand for completion can be in the Christchurch hangar for a year before it is done. Upon arrival the only completed part of the interior of the jet is the cockpit. When it arrives, the team at Altitude Interiors has already completed the plans for design and engineering, so workers can start on the project immediately. “Designing a VIP aircraft interior which meets the expectations of a customer as well as airline regulatory requirements can be a challenge,” said Pervan. “But the team at Altitude thrive on coming up with creative solutions in this environment.” The past year has been a busy one for the company, says Pervan. Visitors to the company’s stand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo can expect to see some inspirational new products, including a range of galleys, bars and partitions for the commercial market. The company will also have their new galley configuration tool on show. This new concept is designed to assist airlines through their decisions on galley design for their aircraft. “Altitude is gaining a reputation within the industry for challenging traditional design and as a result are fielding more enquiries than ever before from airlines that are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors,” Pervan says.
Vip first class & design firms – altitude aerospace Economy class cuddle When Air New Zealand launched its economy class Skycouch for its long-haul service, the aviation industry and the media around the world couldn’t help but snicker a little at such a quirky product and joke about the airline introducing “cuddle class” as one of the newest inflight products. But the story behind the Skycouch was rooted in practical application. The additional offering was helpful in selling out unused seats on a flight. Now the concept will soon be used on other airlines that have purchased the rights to the design. Altitude Aerospace Interiors and Air New Zealand worked to develop the Skycouch with a U.S. Innovation company called Ideo and Formworks Product Design. There are currently 22 Skycouches on Air New Zeland’s 777-300E aircraft offering a 33-inch seat pitch. The overall length of the couch is 61 inches from the sidewall aisle side armrest and the depth from the seat back to the front (with leg rests raised to 90 degrees) is 29.5 inches. Andrew Aitken, a spokesperson for Air New Zealand, says the carrier will be putting the product on more aircraft starting this year. “Our new 787-9 aircraft, which are due to
The Air New Zealand-developed Skycouch will be on the airline’s 787-9 fleet
begin arriving midway through this year and will be fitted with the Skycouch and our entire 777-200ER fleet, will be fitted with the product as part of a major interior refit program beginning in March of this year,” Aitken said. The airline has also worked out a number of logistical challenges. Until recently Aitkin said, the Skycouch product was pretty much limited to online bookings. Advances in
technology last year allowed the airline to sell Skycouch bookings through Global Distribution System reservations, which expanded the customer reach of the products. What also has expanded is the number of customers using the product. Starting this summer, the first licensed customer for the concept, China Airlines, will be using the fitted Skycouch on its new 777-300ER fleet.
VISIT US AT BOOTH# 2D38 WTCE 2014 IN HAMBURG www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 35
Vip first class & design firms – 328 SUPPORT The completed GIV interior for the Turkish government has new seats, IFE and galley
by RICK LUNDSTROM
A VIP collaboration The completed GIV interior for the Turkish government has new seats, IFE and galley Members of the Turkish government are traveling here and there in an extensively refurbished Gulfstream GIV through a crossborder collaboration between Germany’s 328 Group and the technical arm of Turkish Airlines. Turkish Technic, a provider of maintenance and overhaul for Boeing and Airbus airframes, was primarily known for its abilities to repair and maintain airframes, engines, auxiliary power units and landing gear. In the past year, the company has worked with SpiceJet on landing gear servicing, installed a sharklet on an A320 for a European airline as well as standard C-check maintenance. The company has more than 100 airline customers and 3,000 employees that work out of the company’s offices in Istanbul and Ankara. However last spring, Turkish Technic took a step forward to becoming a full completion house when it worked with 328 Group on a project that went beyond simple modifications to the jet to additional technical interior 36 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
work. In the end, both partners benefited from shared knowledge, and the Turkish government received a refurbished GIV in the bargain. Once the project was completed, the GIV rolled out of completion with an updated Rockwell Collins inflight entertainment system, refurbished seating and a completely new galley layout. The latter project is a specialty of 328 Group. In an aircraft cabin, galley systems pose a particular challenge, said Jörg Gorkenant, Head of Design Organization, Chief Operation Officer at 328 Support. The combination of electronics, heating elements, and water usage requires specific knowledge and expertise. The company developed a U-Shaped galley for the corporate VIP market that was tested and delivered for the first time this year. The work with the government GIV was part of an arrangement with Turkish Technic that was officially signed in 2012. Through the agreement, the two parties would share knowledge, using 328 Group experience in VIP conversions along with the company’s Supplemental Type Certificates for more than 200 maintenance operations that range from Hawker 125 business jets to A320s and larger aircraft. The goal is to continue the partnership until Turkish Technic has established its own STC approvals and built up experience. Last year, the GIV grew from simplicity
to something more complex. As a result, 328 Group provided guidance on a number of special projects. The aging IFE system was replaced with the Rockwell Collins Venue™ touch screen system with high-definition image that the Iowa company has developed for the business jet market. The partners then installed two seats from B/E Aerospace and one of the divans was removed. The crew from Turkish Technic replaced upholstery veneers and completed a galley layout on the jet. It was a week-long project at the Turkish Technic facility in Istanbul. But in the end, the completed aircraft was rolled out shortly after last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo and is now service. “Turkish Technic and 328 have developed an excellent working relationship, and we are impressed by the company’s outstanding conversion capabilities,” said Can Sasmaz, Vice President Technical from Turkish Technic, on completion of the project. “As aviation is continuing to expand in Turkey, we value sharing their experience as we work towards improving our own in-house knowledge and experience. We will continue to work with them on future projects.” 328’s Managing Director Dave Jackson called the project a “major milestone for our team and another important step to further our business capabilities on aircraft besides the Dornier 328.”
it fit Hainan Airlines’ third decade promises new aircraft, service enhancements
Hainan Airlines’ Cuisine from Shanghai service
by RICK LUNDSTROM
ainan Airlines began its third decade in operation this year, and its inflight food service component bears a reminder of its distinctly Chinese origins and its efforts to establish itself as an international carrier with goals and aspirations. Celebrations for the airline’s 20th year in 2013 were marked with one more honor as its onboard china service took an International Travel Catering Association (ITCA) Mercury Award at the November Awards presentation in Abu Dhabi. But before the Mercury Awards, Hainan Airlines had several high- sengers, and we plan to enhance the sleeping amenities in first and lights to mark completion of the carrier’s second decade in service. It business class cabins,” said a spokesperson from the airline. “Which received its first 787 Dreamliner, which it launched on its route from demonstrates our commitment [to] providing five-star service quality.” Beijing to Chicago. In May, company executives boarded an aircraft and spent the trip serving passengers. It also staged a national tour Hainan’s Mercury Winner of eight cities and airport terminals. Wine parties with executives Oriental beauty, environmental design and cultural innovation and loyal customers were held in seven of the airline’s international were the three core themes of the premium tableware introduced by destination cities. Hainan Airlines in 2012. The airline also held onboard fundraising for the United Nation’s The service starts with durable bone china in white. The china is Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with voluntary donations by passengers adorned in what the airline calls a “pixiu” pattern with tai-chi totems going to the group’s Change for Good program. “to represent oriental characters and embody the connotation of What is placed on the airline’s innovative china service is equally Chinese culture,” said a description of the service submitted for the distinct. This year in First and Business Class, Hainan Airlines 2012 Mercury Awards. launched its Cuisine from Shanghai program. On the menu are The service is built around a number of Chinese dining customs. signature dishes with origins from the Chinese metropolis. Braised When passengers select the Chinese cuisine, flight attendants place pork belly with soy sauce Shanghai is part of the lineup along with the heated meal in three small dishes to retain the flavor of the indibraised duck bouillon with bamboo shoot soup. Hainan Airlines vidual food and follow customs, which call for food to be placed in worked with a renowned Chinese restaurant to develop a seasonal a bowl before eating. Not only does the process follow customs, but menu that it will roll out through the year. eases the service for flight attendants. Other aspects of the service have a more international appeal. The tableware service is also designed to reduce the number of On the airline’s flights from Beijing to Berlin, passengers are served pieces required. A multi-function base or bottom plate can be used blutwurst (blood sausage), pickled cabbage and bacon. On the Beijing- for the service, eliminating specialized dishes. The services “cup mat” Moscow flight, smoked salmon topped with sour cream and caviar is can be used for tea and coffee service and the Chinese bowl can old served. On the route to Brussels, passengers are served French foie porridge, rice and soup. gras with asparagus and toast. Pacific cod and prawns sautéed in In the year ahead, the airline will take delivery of another 787 and white wine and cream sauce are the highlight on the airline’s flight A330. Hainan has plans to expand service from Beijing to the highfrom Beijing to Seattle. frequency Chinese cities of Haikou, Sanya, Guangzhou, Shenzen and Other plans for 2014 are a move toward greater sustainability. Shanghai/Honqiao Airport. Hainan has new tableware on many of its Energy conservation and emission reduction will be key goal of the domestic routes. On those domestic routes, Hainan offers passengers airline. the choice of three entrées in addition to the staples of Chinese rice “Hainan will offer more personal space to economy class pas- and noodles. www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 37
COMPANY PROFILE: AVIATION BUSINESS CONSULTANTS international ABC International has designed and manufactured new decorative crests in three different variants for Air Canada’s 787 fleet
appeal With airlines always looking to spruce up their cabin interiors, Aviation Business Consultants answers the demand with unique and customized offerings by MELISSA SILVA
lthough many follow the wellknown adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” in some cases, the cover — or appearance — is everything, especially when it comes to cabin interiors. As we navigate our way through an increasingly digital world we are saturated by an onslaught of visuals at every turn. Some would say the images have seemingly become more valuable than — and in some cases have even replaced — other forms of relaying information. Today, seeing has ultimately become believing, and Aviation Business Consultants International (ABC International) couldn’t agree more. As providers of qualified engineering and managerial services to the aviation industry, more specifically with regard to cabin interiors, ABC International understands the value of appearances. ABC International’s services include: Cabin refurbishment and revamping; carpet, seat covers, curtains, class dividers, stowage and doghouse installation; cushions and aesthetics/cosmetics; European Part Approved (EPA) and/or Parts Manufacturers Approval (PMA) customized monument design; and most notably, the design and installation of decorative crest logos. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, ABC International will present a new catalogue that includes a wide range of leathers, fabrics, carpets and curtains. “This catalogue will be a compelling tool in ABC’s Seat Overhaul and Soft Furnishing support,” says Alberto D’Ambrosio, Chief Executive Officer. The company will also present its new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) product. RFID technology offers significant advantages compared with traditional nameplates or barcodes, as it provides wireless use
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of radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to — and under the guidance of Air Canada’s transfer data. In so doing, tags attached to cabin design team. To date, ABC International has designed objects can be automatically identified and tracked. ABC International has invested and manufactured new decorative crests significantly in RFID in order to align its in three different variants for Air Canada’s services with the best practices in the cabin 787 fleet. In line with its plan to have more airlines interiors industry. To further align itself with such practices, outfitted with the decorative crests this year, ABC International recently ventured into ABC International already has crest programs designing, manufacturing, certifying and in the works for Royal Jordanian, Ethiopian providing installation approval of decorative Airlines and Gulf Air. Each program involves crests for airline cabins. This development the design, manufacturing, certification, came about as a means of providing airlines installation and approval of each airline’s with another way to customize their cabin decorative crest. “ABC International offers a full package interiors and add a unique quality to its approach,” explains D’Ambrosio. “Starting overall look and feel. “We are aware that aircraft OEMs always from the company brand logo, we develop put forth a huge effort to enhance the air- and propose a dedicated 3-D design and line cabin with new seats, overhead bins, once approved, we industrialize the crest for the galley, among other cabin items,” says manufacturing and deliver it for installation.” The crests have been performing well D’Ambrosio. “In this view, we believe the ABC Decorative Crest would increase the where installed, and ABC International has level of quality and customization of the received positive feedback from both Turkish Airlines and Air Canada. But this doesn’t cabin for the customer’s benefit.” The ABC Decorative Crest is a fully mean that the company isn’t looking for airworthy and certified product, and is further inspiration. “ABC’s Cabin design team is always changaccompanied by a PTS (Product Technical Specification) and a European Aviation Safety ing to develop new solutions that will satisfy Agency (EASA) Form One. It can be installed its customers’ needs, in terms of appearonboard by means of a Minor Modifica- ance, weight and installation performance,” tion Bulletin that ABC International will D’Ambrosio says. ABC International’s overall goal for its coordinate, issue and approve as an EASA A-DOA (Alternative Procedures to Design decorative crest program is all encompassOrganization Approvals) -approved company. ing. “Our aim is to bring the concept of Presently, ABC International’s Decora- customized cabin design to airlines all over tive Crest is onboard Turkish Airlines and the world,” says D’Ambrosio. In the near future, ABC International Air Canada, and the company plans to have more airlines under its wing by the end of hopes to carry out projects with airlines the year. The Air Canada Decorative Crest whose fleet includes the 787 Dreamliner, as Program was developed in cooperation with a means of consolidating the experience and Teague design, Boeing’s monuments sup- expertise it has gained through its past and pliers — namely AIM and B/E Aerospace ongoing projects.
Bluebox wins major IFEC prize at Inflight Awards At February’s Inflight Awards ceremony in Dubai we were delighted to win the prestigious prize for ‘Best Handheld IFE System’, awarded to our secure content delivery solution for iPad, Bluebox Ai. “We are very proud of this success and of the Ai app itself”, said a spokesperson. “It’s great that our industry recognises it as the class-leading IFE product we know it to be.”
Platform news: Bluebox Ai now on iPad Air
Content Carousel on Bluebox Ai
Our core IFE solution supports all Apple tablet iterations, including iPad mini and the latest, slimmest and lightest full-size model. iPad Air is a full-spec platform with 9.7-inch screen, weighing in at just 469g (1lb), with content capacity now up to a massive 128Gb A key virtue of our business model is future-proof compatibility with consumer technology as it develops. So Ai on iPad Air now delivers the same superior audio quality, retina-display and accelerometer functionality, but all in a slimmer, lighter package.
9-11 APRIL 2014 HAMBURG | GERMANY
+44 (0)1383 620922
+44 (0)20 7886 8370
Join us at the Aircraft Interiors EXPO STAND 6D30 We cordially invite all visitors to AIX 2014 in Hamburg to join us at our purpose-designed exhibit at the Messe. A team of senior Bluebox executives will be on hand to introduce our latest innovations and enhancements. We will be delighted to see you there, so please find time to drop by.
Ever more Bluebox customers are opting to enhance their IFE presentation with the new Content Carousel interface for our flagship iPad app. Content Carousel delivers superbly engaging, intuitive navigation, with more flexibility for content depth and filtering. It also makes best use of the iOS ‘gestures’ feature, for today’s tech-savvy travellers who expect smart and elegant solutions from any device they interact with.
Our unique hybrid IFE streaming solution
Together with technology partner Cobham Aerospace Communications we present Bluebox wiFE – the advanced cabin concept that delivers media content on both airline-owned and customer carry-on devices. Our hybrid solution hosts pre-loaded Early Window Content on airline tablets and streams non-premium and TV content to those and other devices from dedicated servers onboard. Join us at AIX Hamburg for a live wiFE demo direct to your device!
TROLLEYS & INSERTS
Coffee, Tea and
n a world of modern aircraft, wider seats and luxurious cabin interiors, lightweight trolleys and carts are trundling through the aisles delivering products and efficiencies from a full service bar to inflight entertainment for the ultimate passenger experience. Designs have changed and the following manufacturers know just how to deliver the goods.
Norduyn Headquartered in Montreal, Norduyn designs, certifies and manufactures products for commercial, business and military aviation markets. With its main manufacturing facility located near Shanghai, Norduyn serves approximately 50 airlines and specializes in high performance composites, holding several patents for recent innovations. PAX International recently spoke with Patrick Phillips, Vice President of Sales at Norduyn to learn more about its award-winning lightweight trolley. “A few years ago we decided to reinvent this very common com-
PAX International speaks with trolley manufacturers about their sleek, lightweight designs by Tanya Filippelli
modity by making it lighter, more resistant to impact and durable,” explained Phillips. Quantum trolleys results from the collaboration between Norduyn and LSG Sky Chefs, and has become part of the Spiriant line of products. As the trolleys weigh less than 10 kilograms (22lbs.), they are significantly more energy efficient as they are 40% lighter and have 45% fewer parts than its aluminum counterparts, according to Phillips. Award winning for eco-responsibility, the N9000/Quantum Series Galley Cart was the recipient of the 2010 Crystal Cabin Award in the Greener Cabin, Health and Safety category. Part of Norduyn’s new product development process involves finding ways to ensure the lowest environmental footprint over the product’s lifecycle from manufacturing the product in a socially responsible way, to sourcing raw materials to make the product. Key design parameters include reducing waste and ensuring that the product can be recycled at the end of its service life. To achieve this result, resin-based composites was the only way to go, according to Phillips. “Our trolley is made entirely of composites and high-performance plastics just like the ones found in today’s modern aircraft. One of the benefits to resin-based composites is the ability to constantly adapt and optimize the design,” Phillips explained. “Our trolleys are lighter than they were four years ago through optimization of the use of resin in the construction of the trolley,” Phillips added. For improved fleet management, the trolleys can optionally be fitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that are more difficult to do on a traditional aluminum trolley because of signal disturbances created by the metal, according to Phillips.
Norduyn’s trolley trio
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TROLLEYS & INSERTS “A ‘technological’ trolley makes great sense when you are an airline operating a fleet of duty free trolleys. We know that pilferage of those trolleys is an everyday issue and a source of loss of income of up to US$2 million per year for some airlines, so an intelligent trolley provides a good part of the solution to solving this problem,” Phillips explained further. “The RFID device is simply molded within the skin of our product enabling airlines to track and trace their assets,” said Phillips. The other significant area of design is ergonomics. The use of composites and plastics can create a design that is comfortable for the flight attendants to use on a daily basis, according to Phillips. “The trolley is their work instrument and we thought they deserved a product where we devoted our attention in removing all harmful, sharp edges or pinching hazards that is to our general dismay, still found in today’s trolleys,” added Phillips. Norduyn trolleys are used by operators of Airbus and Boeing on the latest models including A380 and 787. Norduyn has also been approved on the latest aircraft program, the C-Series of Bombardier. “We are installed on both Airbus and Boeing aircraft and we were even recently selected as a catalog option item on Bombardier’s most recent family of 10 seat aircraft,” Phillips added. Norduyn’s vision is to market product innovations that deliver high value to its customers in terms of energy efficiency and durability along with simplified operations and maintenance. “Our line of trolleys is airworthiness certified. This means they were rigorously tested and qualified for use onboard commercial airliners,” stated Phillips. “With Spiriant as a strategic development partner on the program, we have invested heavily to create the next generation of trolleys. Four years and 25,000 trolleys later, our market experience is proving conclusive,” stated Phillips. Last year, Norduyn recorded its best ever Hamburg Aircraft Interior’s show and this year will unveil new trolley types and other new projects.
Cart by Direct Air Flow and Korita Aviation
Direct Air Flow’s Coffee trolley
Direct Air Flow Direct Air Flow was first established in 1992 with the aim of being a solutions provider, while offering a high level of service and a range of galley equipment to airlines worldwide. Its manufacturing partner, Korita Aviation, was established in 2006 and received both European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals to manufacture a full range of lightweight galley equipment. The partnership between Direct Air Flow and Korita Aviation offers a broad range of services, and has resulted in establishing a facility in China in 2006 with the aim to offer a range of fully certified lightweight galley equipment built to meet the demands of today’s catering and onboard environments in both the aviation and rail sectors. According to Jamie Melleney, Sales and Marketing Manager at Direct Air Flow, all of its trolleys are lightweight, offer fuel burn economy and are built to a high standard in order to retain maximum strength and durability. “Our equipment ranges from standard lightweight trolleys to standard units, oven racks and drawers in operation with airlines worldwide,” Melleney recently shared with PAX International. According to Melleney, the new trolley design still retains use of traditional aluminum profiles offering the strength and durability associated with traditionally designed trolleys, yet ensures stability and safe and easy maneuverability within the confines of the cabin for crew. “All our aviation trolleys meet the strict safety standards for both the EASA and FAA regulations and are certified to these standards. Our clients can adapt their trolleys to suit individual needs with a range of standard options on all trolleys available such as a pullout table, push-to-close locking systems and kick plates,” Melleney explained. According to Melleney, reduced weight and fuel-burn savings are just as important as ensuring the lifecycle of a trolley. Importance is placed on minimizing maintenance cost and replacement due to ineffective equipment that does not meet clients’ needs. “Our designs for trolleys remain simple and effective. With www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 41
TROLLEYS & INSERTS
Trolley collection by Direct Air Flow and Korita Aviation
maximum levels of insulation, secure and low maintenance braking systems combined with lightweight, yet durable aluminum profiles, we provide a strong, cost-effective trolley that meets clients’ needs along with an ever-changing and challenging catering environment,” Melleney further explained. “The recent need to reduce weight has been incorporated into all of our designs,” Melleney added. Direct Air Flow offers the benefit of holding a full range of standard equipment in stock including trolleys, containers and drawers in its facility in the Netherlands, which gives airlines the advantage of reducing lead times for equipment and delivery to a minimum.
“We continue to be innovative with the aim to reduce weight further to meet the needs for even further fuel savings, and are now in the final development stages of a superlight trolley with weights of under 17 kilograms for a full size and under 10.5 kilograms for a half-size trolley,” said Melleney. The rail industry also continues to be an important part of the company’s business and has allowed it to produce more specialized trolleys to meet clients’ needs. Melleney shared a recent example with PAX International in which a specially-designed trolley incorporating a coffee machine enabled one of Europe’s well-known high speed rail operators to serve fresh coffee to its premier class passengers. “Such demands are becoming more common as both airlines and rail operators look to be innovative and creative in offering catering options that not only define individual service, but leaves a lasting impression on passengers,” said Melleney. The built-in machine offers the ultimate choice in fresh coffee from one of Italy’s most popular brands, according to Melleney. Visitors can see a working example of the trolley including the coffee machine at the World Traveling and Catering Expo.
SkyTender System The joint venture between SkyMax and Air-Eltec has resulted in the creation of the independent company, SkyTender Systems GmbH for the intelligent catering trolley system. The intelligent catering trolley system is a fully automated beverage system that offers passengers a wide variety of drink choices. With the ability to dispense hot and cold beverages with individual programming, SkyTender was designed to save time and space while delivering fruit juices, soft drinks, hot drinks and cocktails at the touch of a button. The beverage trolley operated by a certified post-mix system with syrup and water eliminates the requirements of bottles, cans and thermo flasks. Various mixed drinks can be offered by individual programming including both hot and cold beverages with and without carbonation.
Trolleys by Direct Air Flow and Korita Aviation
“Korita Aviation has always looked to design trolleys that meet the needs of the airline or rail operator. Our facility has the ability to offer full turnkey manufacturing from standard aviation trolleys to specialist at-seat catering trolleys designed to [meet] a client’s individual specification and their onboard service requirements,” stated Melleney. Both Direct Air Flow and Korita Aviation will exhibit at this year’s World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo where they will have their full range of galley equipment for both the rail and aviation industries. 42 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
The SkyTender System
TROLLEYS & INSERTS Using streamlined components, the performance parameters of the SkyTender include RFID technology along with a software-controlled touchscreen display. With 10 syrup slots and 15 flavors, the futuristic trolley can deliver up to 380 beverages with one filling. Oliver Kloth, Managing Director and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at SkyTender Systems shares some examples of the features of the ‘bartender and trolley in one’. “There is no longer a need of coffee makers and hot boilers on board,” Kloth told PAX International. “With a wide variety of choices [and] fresh drinks offered with consistent high quality, the first to last drink contains the same amount of sparkles,” he added. The SkyTender cart also offers fuel, weight and spacesaving opportunities. Savings per passenger has been estimated to be cut in half compared to traditional trol-
SkyTender beverage cart
The Hybrite trolley Recognized by the international jury of the Red Dot Design Awards, the certified Hybrite trolley from Zodiac Aerospace has a unique modular design through sleek curves and attention to detail. User-comfort is created with an ergonomic push bar, easy grip corners and a new wheel design for easy and stable maneuvering of the trolley. Combining aluminum and composites, using proven technologies and techniques, the Hybrite line is modular, flexible in configuration and quantities, and also fully maintainable and recyclable. The Hybrite product line includes half and full size trolleys, waste trolleys, folding trolleys and standard units.
leys while the reduction in waste is about 95%, according to Kloth. With a standard sliding weight of 87.5 kilograms or 192 pounds, the SkyTender cart also offers enough space for food, straws, spoons and other items. “The flight attendants profit from easy handling and facilitated service, to ergonomic workflow which are key aspects in the operation of a flight for cabin crew. “Using the SkyTender System in the aircraft will open new horizons,” said Kloth. SkyTender Systems has signed an agreement with FCG (Flight Consulting Group) who will act as their exclusive distributor in Eastern Europe. The SkyTender System also offers the opportunity to place two flat screens on the sides of the trolley in order to increase brand awareness. “In 2014, we are offering two route-proofing free sessions per month to airlines. This offer consists of ‘life experience’ on board and customer-related savings calculation in detail,” Kloth concluded.
CABINNET AKKURT GROUP CABINNET AKKURT GROUP is an international special system solution company with locations in Berlin, Beijing, Istanbul, Brussels, London, Dubai, Singapore and Johannesburg with a wide range of customers from aviation and aerospace to railway, bus and hospitality sectors. The company produces, develops and integrates its technology and content in 25 different Atlas Trolley or KSSU Trolley products. A German production company specializing in aircraft galley equipment since 1986, the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) supplier, Akkurt Aviation Inc. enables new technologies focused on embedded systems. Being certified in trolley production, CABINNET AKKURT GROUP developed two lines — the cabin.net® and the i.trolley®: an intelligent trolley that contains IFE content including music and films in 109 languages, configurable sensors for detection of security and temperature, and the ability to store information integrated in a worldwide portal. The multimedia-based cabin.net® includes enough capacity for 500 e-books, 1,000 newspapers, 10,000 songs and 100 films. 44 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
TROLLEYS & INSERTS “The paperless airplane reduces weight and is the basis for new opportunities,” said Jörg Rombach, Sales at CABINNET AKKURT GROUP. PAX International recently spoke with Rombach to learn more about the cabin.net® and its features. The cabin.net® includes Iridium Satellite coupling, Wi-Fi and storage for e-newspapers and electronic product catalogues. Passengers have the ability to read, buy or play games from their own smartphone or Tablet-PC with Operational Systems iOS, Android and MS-Windows. “We have been developing the cabin.net for the past seven years. Together with patented technology, we’ve been delivering the intelligent Trolley Family from product to solution to customers since 2012,” shared Rombach. The low-cost IFE alternative allows for cost reduction and shorter innovative cycles, as the i.trolley® isn’t an integral part of the aircraft and can have its software updated worldwide, according to Rombach. Project-specific i.trolleys are customized to the clients’ needs and include features that can be integrated such as movie integration or menu cards for passengers in their language of choice. Another benefit of the i.trolley is it enables new ways for advertising with banner ads or clips. Benefits of the i.trolley include the implementation of regional product requirements in about 109 different languages. An online product catalogue with more than 300,000 duty free products is also available along with installed sensors. Sensors are designed to alert via SMS if the i.trolley has been opened during sealed status. Another sensor alerts if the temperature becomes too high or too
Standing Ovation Zodiac Aerospace’s Symphony™ line of galley inserts is named for its beautiful composition of reliability, efficiency and flight crew satisfaction. The Symphony™ line takes into account the essentials for daily, high-functioning operation, focusing on a safer cabin environment, lower weight and ultimately enhancing the airline crew’s experience with a user-friendly interface. Focus is placed on creating a standard, industrial design across the suite that complements the galley and provides a simple, yet harmonized appearance. Every component of the Symphony™ suite plays its own unique role which works beautifully in harmony with all the other inserts, available in both ARINC and ATLAS standards.
iTrolley by CABINNET AKKURT GROUP
low. The information is available to the customer via the worldwide portal or a Virtual Private Network. Today, the passenger experience is filled with cartfuls of products and comforts at the touch of a button that make for an efficient and relaxing journey. The future of modern flying is coming to an aisle near you.
Setting the Stage Zodiac Galley Inserts also launches the Concert Suite™, a completely new generation of galley inserts. Features include lower weight, improved safety and noise reduction technologies. The Concert products are designed to trim up to 75 kilograms in weight on a typical widebody configuration. The design includes an oven door with double safety latching, an insulated serving pot and a steam oven.
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Want your IFE to stand out from the crowd? Talk to the Interact team! We create award-winning, handcrafted IFE content packages.
AIMEing HIGH IN 2014
n a region where an estimated US$550 billion will be spent on new aircraft over the next two decades as local carriers power ahead with aggressive expansion plans, the fifth edition of Aircraft Interiors Middle East, (AIME), which was held last month in Dubai, attracted nearly 100 of the world’s leading airlines, 228 international exhibitors and more than 3,500 visitors. The two-day event, co-located with MRO Middle East February 5-6, underscored the importance of interiors, maintenance and inflight entertainment and communications in the aviation sector, and the growing opportunities in the region. According to Boeing’s Current Market Outlook 2013-2032 report, Gulf airlines are driving many developments in the aircraft interiors market as they take advantage of new aircraft orders to introduce and optimize technologies that enhance the passenger experience by providing the latest in comfort and innovation. Twin-aisle models are set to account for 24% of new aircraft globally, while in the Middle East that figure is almost double at a forecasted 47%. Competition between carriers to attract air travellers is being driven largely by product with superior interior facilities and connectivity leading the agenda, while aircraft performance remains a key issue as operators look to streamline weight. The show was opened by His Excellency Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACCP), with high-level government delegations from Ireland and France also in attendance alongside leading exhibitors including Dubai World Central, which showcased what is set to be the largest maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) zone in the world with the launch of the 6.7-million-square-meter Dubai Aviation City.
Innovative advantage Following on from the 2013 Dubai Airshow at which regional carriers placed more than
Multibillion-dollar fleet investment and technological innovation are driving new opportunities for the interiors, IFEC and MRO market as Gulf carriers, regional governments and passenger expectations reshape the future of the industry by Claire Malcolm
US$200 billion in aircraft orders, exhibitors at this year’s event were keen to showcase their latest innovations. France-headquartered aerospace supplier SOGERMA introduced its latest seating solution to the market — a versatile seat platform with a minimum 35-inch and maximum 45-inch pitch suitable for single aisle business class or premier economy for long haul. According to Patrice Boursiquot, General Manager Asia-Pacific and Vice President Sales & Marketing, comfort is paramount for carriers, with airlines in the Middle East also targeting luxury products. “As well as looking at service and maintenance, and proximity with their suppliers, innovation is also extremely important and we need to come up with new ideas every year to stay ahead
enables us to offer the latest and greatest and also get new manufacturers’ products out into the market.” For Juliette De La Feronniere of France’s Gerflor, innovation and aesthetics go hand in hand in the region with carriers looking for more decorative patterned flooring solutions compared to Europe. At the sharp end of the operation, Airbus Flight Hour Services Marketing Manager, Paul Logue, commented on the trend towards providing innovative and local solutions for clients from FHS training and onsite stock provision to IT systems. “We have a partnership with IBM to provide advanced IT solutions such as health monitoring on board the A380 throughout Air Real Time Health Monitoring (AiRTHM), which follows the health of an aircraft as it is flying. If there is a failure message we are aware of it on the ground, and our technicians can ask the aircraft questions via an uplink even before the aircraft has landed,” he said.
Knowledge growth In his keynote speech at the opening of the MRO Middle East conference, Abdulrahman Altayeb, Vice President Maintenance for Saudi Arabian Airlines called for GCC countries to join together to demand higher levels
Peter Kjeldsen of Leki Aviation showed visitors the fine points of the company’s CoMMS supply chain system
in this highly competitive market,” he said. First-time exhibitor, Peter Kjeldsen from Leki Aviation, has been working with Middle East clients for four years on interiors products and repair capabilities, but was pitching a new concept at the show, as he explained: “We also have a unique concept with our CoMMS supply chain system, which is a cluster ‘shopping concept’ for airlines whereby they can go to one single source, get one invoice and one shipment. This consolidated solution
Ciro Faella of Atitech was seeking out UAE companies for partnerships
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 47
DUBAI COVERAGE of maintenance specifically aimed at dealing with the region’s harsh, dusty conditions. “Every airline wants three simple things from MRO: lower cost, higher quality and quicker turn around time. MRO suppliers must adopt a continuous improvement approach to help airlines survive,” he suggested. Several exhibitors are already pursuing opportunities to share knowledge and offering training to companies in the region in a bid to raise standards and bolster local capabilities. Ciro Faella, Sales Manager for Italian airframe maintenance company Atitech, specialists in cabin modifications and standard repair and ageing programs for aircraft, was at AIME to moot the possibility of supporting companies with new hangar facilities in terms of knowledge transfer and technician training capabilities. “We work with Air Arabia, and they alone will have 50 new aircraft in the coming years, so this is a very important market for us given the huge increase in fleets in general,” he remarked. In its CMO 2013-2032 report, Boeing suggested that there is a requirement for 53,100 trained technicians just in the Middle East. An intelligent approach to supply chain management is reshaping maintenance operations according to Graham Smith, Head of Business Development & Marketing, Regional Aircraft for BAE Systems. “Everyone is moving from diagnostics to prognostics: predicting failure and making sure that you have the parts you need in stock. If we are able to predict with more certainty, and know the stocks you need, then this effectively reduces inventory investment and downtime.”
Ziad Faisal Al Hazmi, CEO of LTMES FZE said the company is looking into line maintenance and parts service
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The Middle East is hungry for technology says Chisholm Jones of Boeing
Lufthansa Technik, which launched a regional workshop facility 18 months ago under the LTMES FZE banner, is flying the flag for localized operations, as Ziad Faisal Al Hazmi, CEO, explained: “It is a highly skilled area and labor intensive, and by having big parts and other materials stored here, rather than overseas, this saves airlines both money and time. “We are already looking to expand as a result of customer interest and are eyeing line maintenance as well as increasing the stock of parts we have available as we service the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Jordan and Iraq.” For Jim O’Sullivan, Vice President Business Development EAME, HEICO, the biggest challenge is changing mindsets in the region when it comes to alternative parts. “Success is not about competing on price, it’s about quality, dependability and availability. There are a lot of manufacturers now in the UAE, in Abu Dhabi in particular, such as ADAT, DAE and Mubadala, and are investing in technology and people to take this forward.” Saudi Arabia is also growing its own capabilities in the Kingdom with Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) set to open the largest maintenance facility in the Middle East in 2015. Located in Jeddah, it will have 12 hangars and, according to Hani Arab, PR and External Communications Specialist, the facility will be the third largest in the world. “Up until two years ago we only handled Saudia maintenance, but now we work with numerous clients from Kuwait Airlines and Delta to Turkish Airlines, and we already have advanced business on the books for the new facility,” he said.
“We have great aircraft and the region has growing fleets, and we are here to provide them with the tools and services to be successful as they grow, from parts programs to digital tools; and this equals higher efficiency in maintenance operations,” commented Chisholm Jones, Regional Director Services Marketing, Commercial Airplanes, Boeing. “The Middle East has an appetite to be at the leading edge of technology and we are seeing digital growth globally, with the tools to do everything directly from the maintenance control centre,” he added. Jones cites flydubai as the “perfect example” of the digital era. The company uses iPads for its technical maintenance programs and has the capability to easily share information through digital connectivity, thus improving the overall manner in which information is successfully shared across an entire organization. “Enabling extraordinary passenger experiences” is the end goal when it comes to technological innovation according to Ben Fuller, Director Sales & Marketing for U.S.based digEcor Inc., who was showcasing its GLIDE embedded IFE system and ENGAGE cabin crew mobile solution. Gulf Air is a regional client and the company is also targeting Africa, with business in Ethiopia, Morocco and Kenya. “Emirates sets the trends in terms of content across all classes and, along with Qatar Airways and Etihad, are all about exceptional customer service, whereas other regions are still in ‘budget mode’,” he remarked. The coatings sector is also undergoing change. “Historically it was quite conservative, but we are now seeing a lot of development and introduction of new technologies,”
DUBAI COVERAGE said Barry Allan, Sales Manager Aerospace Coatings Middle East & Africa for AkzoNobel, which has both Airbus and Boeing approval for its BaseCoat ClearCoat systems.
Cost saving customization Germany’s MTU Aero Engines is playing on its regional expertise to create tailored solutions for Middle East carriers. “A key advantage for us is that we understand the impact of climate and erosion on the industry here and have developed solutions specifically for this region. Things we have learned here can be adapted to other areas, and airlines here also have the influence and power to tell Europe and aircraft manufacturers what they need,” said Dr. Stefan Weingartner, Member of the Executive Board and President MTU Maintenance. MTU is also pushing for companies to adopt cost-effective solutions. “Our motto is ‘repair beats replacement’ and scrap rates in this region are extremely high. If [companies] are open to innovative repairs, not necessarily coming from OEM, they can really benefit as repairs clearly offer a significant cost advantage,” he added.
Tim Garvin, Vice President of Sales at Regent Aerospace was impressed with the Middle East Airlines’ desire for a new look and current brand
Ireland-headquartered Eirtech is also using customization to leverage new business as it expands into interiors project management, as Sales Director, Andrew Richardson, explained: “There is a lot of work for leasing companies and the transitioning process. Companies are looking for standardization from a common aircraft fleet and interiors layout to lower costs or non-OEM solutions. “We undertake engineering projects and layout of passenger accommodations (LOPA) and also have Design Organization Approv-
als (DOA) part 21J. With DOA we have an opportunity to develop more cost-effective air-worthiness modifications and offer viable cost-saving options in era of commercial accountability.” Interiors refurbishment specialists, Regent Aerospace Corporation, is eager to break into the Middle East market, and kicked off its AIME presence with an order from Petra Airlines. “We have worked on a number of one-off projects in the region and are well known in North America where we handle repairs and interiors maintenance for all the major U.S. airlines,” said Tim Garvin, Vice President Sales. “Compared to North America and Europe where the trend is to stay with current prod-
ucts for a longer period of time, here there is more focus on rebranding and having a new look, although we do see recycling of materials for private aircraft in the region,” he added. UAE-based SPS Aircraft Services, supplier of premium cabin appearance products in the Middle East, recently opened an additional facility to handle increased demand for leather and plastic repair and restoration services. “We’ve been maintaining cabins with Ink Stop leather products for three years and these innovative touch-up products can represent a cost saving of hundreds of thousands of dollars in replacement parts, and we are definitely seeing a trend towards bottom line savings, said Diane Meek, Director, SPS.
IFEC Showcase in Dubai
AIME 2014 also featured a dedicated Inflight IFEC Pavilion and an inaugural awards ceremony for the sub-sector along with the newly launched IFEC workshop series.
“We are showcasing our Lumexis FTTS IFE System which is the lightest weight-enabled system in the market at 60% lighter than legacy in-seat systems, plus highest capacity and low cost advantages. It also has a third generation monitor and scalability for future sector development. “We’re seeing a lot of interest internationally and the trends we are seeing are focused on screen size and a push towards HD and Super HD with 4K resolution. The advantage of our system is that we use a fibre optic backbone with one Gigabyte per second allowing for change in the future as new regulations come onto the market. It’s a future-proofed self-testing system with 99.98% reliability. “flydubai launched with it three years ago and Russia’s Transaero Airlines replaced their legacy system with our system. They had ex-South African Airways 747-400s with seating for 412 passengers and we added 110 seats with IFE but still saved one metric ton of weight as well as increasing functionality.” John Norris, Vice President Sales, Lumexis
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“As a leading international inflight internet provider we have 80% market share in the U.S. with over 2,000 connected aircraft. Every passenger wants to be connected or have the option and it’s got to a stage in the U.S. where you can rely on being connected on board an aircraft. “The Middle East is a growth market with a strong appreciation of quality and innovation. We do lot of research on why passengers need to be connected and which sites they are using, so we look at it from a consumer perspective and this is a slightly different approach from other providers.” David Russell, Senior Vice President and General Manager International Operations, Gogo
“We are leveraging what’s available in the consumer market and adapting it for inflight functionality. “With our new Android Apps portal, which has been launched in Beta phase, we are creating a community for developers who can share their latest apps which, once validated by us, can be uploaded to the portal for airlines to select. Thales is also bringing the tablet experience to inflight with customers including China Eastern Airlines and scheduled delivery to Qantas Airways in Q2 2014. “The seat-centric system will use a tablet and there is also an app for passengers to connect to their own systems via a hotspot, so airlines can offer either or both with wireless streaming capacity. We are launching the wireless experience with a regional airline in mid-June this year. “We want to give the passenger control of their experience. Our R&D on show at AIME include an eye tracking and hand gesture control feature and immersive sound,
Inaugural Inflight Awards
With categories covering the entire spectrum of the IFEC industry, winners of the inaugural awards included flydubai, which was named Airline of the Year in conjunction with systems provider Lumexis. Zodiac Aerospace won best seat-centric IFE system, 50 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
with the ability to pause when a passenger looks away or falls asleep. “Passengers will also be able to use near field communication and create a playlist while in the lounge or select movies prior to boarding. These are saved as a barcode and simply scanned with the in-seat module to play.” Bruno Guimand, Vice President and General Manager, In-Flight Entertainment EMEA, Thales Avionics
while Bluebox Avionics took the award for best handheld IFE system. Inflight Wi-Fi provider OnAir was named best connectivity provider, while Rockwell Collins was recognized for its innovation in corporate jet cabins.
or many of us who fly, whether frequently or even only a few times a year, our relationship with the seatback tray table in Economy Class is one of a love-hate nature. While we enjoy the convenience of having a relatively stable surface upon which we can prop reading materials, personal electronic devices (PEDs) and of course food, they aren’t the most versatile of tables. This realization coupled with the increased usage of PEDs has prompted many companies to look further into how the tray table can work in the passenger’s favor. The end goal: to have passenger and table coexist harmoniously on each and every flight. One company that strives to make this coexistence a reality is SmartTray International. Offering cost-effective, practical and simple retrofit solutions that make stowing and using PEDs Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) compliant, SmartTray substitutes traditional food trays with elegant, modern PED-friendly tray tables designed for today’s traveler. “Updating decades-old food tray designs with modern, elegant and PED-friendly tray tables that make flying safer for passengers and in-flight crew is our first and top priority,” says Nick Pajic, CEO Smart Tray International. According to Pajic, aircraft cabins were not ready for what he calls, “the explosive popularity” of PEDs onboard. For Pajic, making the necessary changes to accommodate this popularity is a natural evolutionary step, and one that is long overdue. “I am glad that we had the vision to forecast this trend,” Pajic tells PAX International. “To that end, we received patent grants for multiple tray table proprietary designs, and
SmartTray’s three current models, the SmartTray X1, X2 (shown here) and X3 are designed to accommodate and support both traveler- or airline-owned PEDs
As the number of personal electronic devices per passenger continues to increase, tray table manufacturers are faced with the task of bringing tray table design up to speed by melissa silva
have multiple additional utility and patents pending in the U.S. and internationally.” SmartTray’s three current models, the SmartTray X1, X2 and X3 are designed to accommodate and support both traveler- or airline-owned PEDs, which has been the company’s primary focus for quite some time now. The X3 product is a full electronic tray table that will keep PEDs fully charged between flights. “The X3 eliminates complex and costly logistics of getting tablet devices on and off airplanes between flights, at the right gate, at the right time and on the right airplane at dozens of airports around the world,” explains Pajic. At a lesser cost than traditional seatembedded IFE systems, the X3 offers significant economic advantages for airlines, while simultaneously reducing operating costs, including faster turn-around service times, simplified logistics, as well as lower fuel costs and carbon emissions. In time for this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), SmartTray will be launching its newest model, the hybrid X1/X2 tray table. Much like previous models, the hybrid X1/ X2 holds both passenger- and airline-owned PEDs, which are securely stowed and accessible within arm’s reach when tables are in the upright or down positions. Passengers can easily adjust their viewing angle when the seat in front is either fully reclined or upright, and PEDs are protected from falling, breaking or becoming dangerous airborne projectiles. SmartTray also allows for harmonized stowage of PEDs that make it super easy for flight attendants to verify that all PEDs brought onboard are safely stowed before allowing the aircraft to push back from the gate.
Swapping out a traditional food tray with SmartTray takes a mere 47 seconds
“Having PEDs in tray tables in full view makes it less likely for passengers to leave their PEDs on the plane, which is less work for the ‘Lost and Found’ folks,” says Pajic.
Entertaining design Across the pond in the U.K., Acro Aircraft Seating (Acro) has also recognized the need to accommodate passengers and their PEDs when it comes to tray tables. Acro designs its tray tables to be as robust and simple as possible, a strategy that the company applies to every aspect of its seats. The result is a low-part count, lightweight, durable and low-maintenance product. In response to consumer demand, Acro will present a new smaller table featuring a “latchless latch” at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. The table is designed to hold a tablet as well as a drink, in what the company calls, “the simplest, most reliable and lightweight method possible.” “We think the trend towards passengers bringing their own IFE hardware and content onboard with them leads to a need to consider the effectiveness of any table as a tablet support,” says Cameron Allan, Commercial Director at Acro. “Our new smaller table is our first specific implementation of this, and it seems this trend will continue.” Last year, Acro developed the Ultra InArm Table Seat (Ultra IAT) — a Crystal Cabin Awards finalist that is self-cleaning, lightweight and line replaceable in less than 60 seconds. To date, the Ultra IAT is flying on more than 50 aircraft. “It has been very well received, and based on current orders [it looks like] we will approximately double that number by the end of 2014,” Allan tells PAX International. In addition to the incorporation of IFE-
SmartTray’s platforms are up to one-fourth the weight of traditional seat-embedded IFE systems
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Acro designs its tray tables to be as robust and simple as possible, a strategy that the company applies to every aspect of their seats
friendly features, the speed at which the tray table is installed is another top priority for tray table and seat manufactures. For Acro, every component of an Acro seat is designed to be as vigorous as possible, including the tray table. “The nature of the aircraft cabin environment means that seats can become damaged; however, our responsibility is to limit the impact of this damage to the airline and its passengers,” adds Allan. “We therefore make sure all parts can be replaced in the aircraft with simple hand tools in a matter of seconds, and the table is no exception.” SmartTray too remains focused on rendering the installation process of its tray tables as simple as possible. From its very beginnings as a company, one of SmartTray’s key design elements was to be able to retrofit an entire aircraft in a single remain overnight service (RON), with no aircraft downtime. “In fact, on our website, we have a video that shows that swapping out a traditional food tray with SmartTray takes only 47 seconds,” says Pajic.
Sustainable measures As has become the trend in almost every industry today, incorporating sustainable or “green” materials and procedures when it comes to the development of tray tables is high on the priority list, along with timeefficient installation and IFE-friendly design. SmartTray’s platforms are up to onefourth the weight of traditional seat-embedded IFE systems. When less fuel is required to fly lighter IFE onboard, the result is significantly lower carbon emissions.
AirClipZ are designed to fit around all tablet and reader models with protective cases, as well as the majority of seatback tray tables in Economy Class
52 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
“The carbon emissions footprint is further reduced by making it possible to digitally deliver inflight magazines, catalogues and other paper products onto the aircraft,” says Pajic. “For example, in a recent meeting with an airline carrier, we pointed out to this one airline that they could save 10,000 trees a year by digitally delivering their inflight magazine. If all airlines follow, we can save a jungle, making our planet greener for future generations!” In addition to the lightweight nature of its IFE platforms, SmartTray’s standard protocol involves offering refurbished tray tables to all airlines. “For example, we take existing food trays and remake them into new PED-friendly tray tables,” explains Pajic. “Whenever possible,
SmartTray uses renewable materials in the construction of SmartTray tables.” Acro is on the same wavelength when it comes to sustainability, as its seats are mostly composed of aluminum and recyclable plastics. “Use of sustainable materials is one of the fundamentals of our design and development processes,” says Allan. Whether used as a surface to prop up your Kindle reader and settle into a good book, or for balancing your new iPad on to watch a favorite film, for today’s travelers the seatback tray table has become just as important as seat comfort. With new measures being taken to design the most PED-friendly tray table, finding a stable surface in the air may not be that far off.
AirClipZ complements today’s modern tray tables with a simple clip After spending a considerable amount of time watching passengers struggle to keep their PEDs in place on top of tray tables onboard aircraft, Chris Caggiula, President of CAM Marketing LLC. came up with an inventive way to ensure tablets or readers stay in place while in use during a flight. That idea was AirClipZ. AirClipZ are two identical lightweight, durable clips, small enough to fit into a pocket or carry-on bag and designed to fit around all tablet and reader models with protective cases, as well as the majority of seatback tray tables in Economy Class. Simple to use, passengers clip their device to the tray table, where it will stay for the duration of the flight, or until the user decides to remove it. “Most people who travel with an iPad or Kindle typically have them in a case, some sort of protective cover, so that was part of the design criteria,” says Caggiula. In its quest to create AirClipZ, CAM Marketing conducted a substantial amount of research on consumer-based plastic products to determine the most commonly reused materials. Considering AirClipZ would be a product that would be constantly mounted and un-mounted, Caggiula looked specifically at materials that were used in similar applications, namely those strong enough to handle regular use. “We had to make sure the material selected would sustain what we considered would be the maximum weight of the electronic tablets with their protective covers,” Caggiula explains. Launched only a year ago, CAM Marketing is busy working on a second revision to its existing model, which will see the incorporation of a new adjuster and will also accommodate logo imprints for different potential partners. “We’ve contacted several airlines [in the U.S.] that either sell or supply headsets to their customers, because we thought AirClipZ would be a very compatible product [to supply passengers with],” explains Caggiula. “It’s in the works.” In addition to airlines, CAM Marketing has also been looking into having AirClipZ offered in various airport stores, and has contacted several airport operators to see this idea come to fruition. “We’ve contacted several businesses within the airports, but have not yet secured anything,” Caggiula tells PAX International. “It’s a long process; [the product] needs to be tested and evaluated, but we’re hoping we will have an airport and/or airline partner this year.” Until then, AirClipZ will remain available online — its first “home” — on Amazon as well as EBay, where it’s performing very well. “We have close to 200 customers to date, and right now it’s available in five different countries,” says Caggiula. These numbers are expected to rise once AirClipZ becomes offered in airports. “The thing that we’re staying focused on right now, is trying to engage with the retail businesses that are in the airports and with the airlines themselves.”
THE DESTINATION FOR THE AIRCRAFT INTERIORS INDUSTRY. Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 8-10 April 2014, Hamburg Messe, Germany The world’s largest event for the aircraft interiors industry. Aircraft Interiors Expo is the launch pad for tomorrow’s designs, innovations and products for cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort.
REGISTER TO ATTEND
www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com/paxmarch Co-located with:
World Travel Catering & Onboard Services 8 – 10 April 2014
Hamburg Messe , Germany
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HOT! Clean screens
Company Name: Coolike-Regnery GmbH Company Location: Bensheim, Germany Description: Coolike-Regnery has launched new wet/dry cloths. Suitable for cleaning smartphones, notebooks and e-readers, the pocket-sized cleaning product does not contain alcohol and can also be used to wipe inflight seat screens. Certified and tested, the wet/ dry cloths are made in Germany and can be customized. The CleaningSmart cloths are under the company’s Cleanlike trademark. Visit Coolike-Regnery GmbH at WTCE: Booth #2D21
Company Name: Linstol Company Location: Naples, Florida & London, United Kingdom Description: Linstol has designed two new low cost headband headsets. The ST-60 features a contemporary full headband headset and provides beautiful sound from its 30mm speakers. The headset can be outfitted with sponge, silicone or leatherette earpieces. The ST-65 features enhanced sound reproduction and quality from its 40mm speakers. The design for both headsets presents opportunities to add color, logo or branding. Visit Linstol at WTCE: Booth #4B50
Raising the bar
Company Name: WESSCO International Company Location: Los Angeles, California Description: WESSCO introduces customized acrylics for onboard, lounges and clubs. Integrating the details of a brand, the acrylics draw attention to the airline and its diverse offerings while conveying a cohesive message. WESSCO also uses this concept working with cruise lines by integrating their programs from ticket jackets to dining room menu holders for a cohesive look. WESSCO works closely with design teams to tie the concept together. Visit WESSCO International at WTCE: Booth #2B30
Company Name: DigEcor Company Location: Springville, Utah Description: Engage is a mobile application that replaces paper flight manifests and makes data available on a tablet in the cabin. Passenger details including connecting flights, catering preferences and special requirements are available at the touch of a button, enabling cabin crew to identify guests quickly and provide personalized customer service. Cabin crew can also capture passenger and operational data and complete business forms on the mobile device in-flight to increase operational efficiency. Visit DigEcor at AIX: Booth #6B11
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Company Name: Chromalloy Company Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Description: Chromalloy is a leading supplier of technologically advanced repairs, coatings, investment castings, and services for turbine airfoils and other critical engine components. The company serves engine manufacturers and operators in commercial aerospace, defense, and the energy industry. Chromalloy facilities include operations, annexes and sales offices in 17 countries around the world.
Text & Talk
Company Name: Gogo Company Location: Ithasca, Illinois Description: Gogo’s Text & Talk allows passengers to send text messages and make phone calls using their own Smartphone much like they do on the ground. By downloading an app, passengers will be able to send and receive text messages in real time from 30,000 feet traveling in excess of 500 miles-per-hour. Visit Gogo at WTCE: Booth #6C20
Company Name: Mills Textiles/InflightDirect Company Location: Shropshire, U.K./Middletown, Rhode Island Description: Mills Textiles and InflightDirect have launched a new product line of USB hubs and sticks in the shape of airplanes. Compact and practical, the new additions are a memorable addition to any selection of buy-on-board items. Mills Textiles and InflightDirect have been reliably supplying the airline industry by partnering with the world’s leading manufacturing facilities for decades. Visit InflightDirect & Mills Textiles at WTCE: Booth #2C71
Company Name: Romtex Anjou Aeronautique Company Location: Paris, France/Sibiu Romania Description: Romtex Anjou Aeronautique presents new lightweight seat belts that are suitable for premium and economy seats and meet TSO C22g requirements. Advantages include a ninety-degree buckle and a rated strength of up to 3,000 pounds. The new seat belts are available in multiple color options and in a variety of custom finishes, plating and logos. Visit Romtex Anjou Aeronautique at AIX: Booth #5E19
Company Name: AVID Airline Products Company Location: Middletown, Rhode Island Description: AVID is pleased to present the latest arrival of high-performance noise-canceling headphones in its portfolio of audio devices. The ergonomic headphones come equipped with unique noise-canceling technology, tilted ear cups and snug-fit leatherette ear pads for reduced sound leakage and long-wear comfort. Styles include NC-306, NC-308 and NC311. AVID manufactures value-based audio equipment that can be customized to support branding efforts. Visit AVID Airline Products at WTCE: Booth #2D38
New inflight beverage system
Company Name: SkyTender Systems GmbH Company Location: Isernhagen, Germany Description: SkyTender is a fully automatic beverage system with the ability to dispense a wide variety of hot and cold beverages with individual programming. With the touch of a button, SkyTender delivers fruit juices, soft drinks and more while saving time and space. SkyMax has recently signed an agreement with FCG (Flight Consulting Group) who will act as their exclusive dealer in Eastern Europe. SkyTender Systems GmbH is an independent company and the joint venture between SkyMax and Air-Eltec for the intelligent catering trolley system. Visit SkyMax GmbH at WTCE: Booth #2D68, Hall B2
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Stick-on Cart Panel Cover
Company Name: RMT Global Partners LLC Company Location: Atlanta/ Munich/Shanghai Description: RMT Global Partners is proud to introduce its unique Stick-On Cart panel cover that can easily be applied and removed to inflight trolleys and carts. The panel cover can be used for marketing or cart enhancement. RMT Global Partners develops and modifies products in order to enhance the overall inflight experience. Visit RMT Global Partners at WTCE: Booth #4D20
Leading the way
Company Name: ETZIO® Company Location: Hong Kong, China/ Barcelona, Spain/Istanbul, Turkey Description: ETZIO® aims to create a new experience combining comfort and design with its amenity bag collection. Specially-designed for the traveller’s journey, each pack includes a different city map from around the world in addition to other accessories such as eye masks and passport holders. With design teams located in Hong Kong, Barcelona and Istanbul, the collection brings together different cultures and are characterized for being personal, energetic, revolutionary, and green. ETZIO® uses an eco-friendly material for all of its products.
Company Name: Onboard Logistics Ltd. Company Location: Dublin, Ireland Description: Onboard Logistics offers innovative solutions for collecting, segregating and storing waste onboard. The Flex-e-Vac is a vacuum system stowed and powered from a galley oven space. Onboard Logistics is an innovative waste management company working with airlines and rail companies to effectively manage onboard waste collection and stowage. Visit Onboard Logistics at WTCE: Booth #3B34
World Cup class
Company Name: Global Inflight Products Company Location: Redmond, Washington Description: Global Inflight Products has designed a new amenity kit to celebrate this year’s great international sporting event. The World Cup-themed iPad case serves as a long-lasting souvenir for passengers. Featured details of this keepsake kit include Brazil’s hosting cities and their stadiums as well as a soccer ball icon on the zipper. Trendy and functional, the amenity kit is also lightweight and waterproof. Visit Global Inflight Products at WTCE: Booth #3B30
Sleek and functional solution
Company Name: Bluebox Avionics Company Location: Fife, Scotland Description: Tablet IFEC solution, Bluebox Ai supports all iPad iterations including its latest, lightest full-size model. Bluebox on iPad Air delivers the same superior audio quality, retina-display and accelerometer functionality in a slimmer, lighter package. iPad Air is a full-spec platform with content capacity up to a massive 128Gb. Bluebox Avionics ensures compatibility with consumer technology as it develops. Visit Bluebox Avionics at AIX: Booth #6D30
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New Spafax-created APEX magazine set for April Global content marketing agency Spafax and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) announced in February a partnership to publish Airline Passenger Experience magazine. Industry veteran Al St. Germain was selected as publisher of Experience magazine and all digital media platforms, including an industry newsletter, blog and social media. The new magazine was scheduled to launch in April online with the print edi-
tion set to launch in June. The magazine’s emphasis will be on in-depth features as well as shareable, “snackable” content that informs, educates, delights and inspires readers said a release from APEX. Airline Passenger Experience will be published by a team based in Orange County, California; Toronto and Montreal; London and Santiago, Chile. “The APEX membership is a global community. Spafax showed us that they have a passion to enhance the conversation among our members and the industry as a whole,” said APEX President Alfy Veretto. “Given their vast resources, industry knowledge and experience, and under Al St. Germain’s leadership, we are confident that Spafax will deliver.”
Five inducted into Cruise Line Hall of Fame
The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced March 10 that five longtime cruise industry figures would be inducted into the Cruise Industry Hall of Fame in April. Howard Frank, Former Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Operating Officer, Carnival Corporation & plc, current Chairman of the Board, Costa Crociere S.p.A, Ulf Tukel and Don Walker, Co-Presidents and Founders of WMPH Vacations are “Outstanding Cruise Retailers”; and Brad Tolkin and Jeff Tolkin, Co-Chairmen and CEOs 58 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | MARCH/APRIL 2014
of World Travel Holdings, were selected for the honor. The 2014 inductees were honored at a gala event on April 5 during the 10th anniversary cruise3sixty conference and trade show, taking place April 2-6, 2014 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale. “The CLIA Hall of Fame honors individuals, past and present, whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to, and a positive impact on, the cruise industry,” said a release from the group. Honorees are selected based on open nominations from CLIA’s membership, followed by a review by the CLIA Trade Relations Committee. Howard Frank was named chairman of Genoa, Italy-based Costa Crociere S.p.A, a division of Carnival Corporation & plc and a major force in cruising throughout Europe, Asia and South America, in January 2014. He joined Carnival Corporation as Senior Vice President-Finance and Chief Operating Officer in July 1989. He has been Director, Vice Chairman of the board of directors and Chief Operating Officer of Carnival plc since 2003. Last November, after 25 years with Carnival Corporation, Frank stepped down to serve as special advisor to the CEO and to the Chairman of Carnival Corporation & plc. Uf Tukel and Don Walker co-founded WMPH Vacations, a multi-branded cruise and vacation agency in Delray Beach, Florida, in 2004. Today, WMPH, which stands for We Make People Happy, has 120 employees and operates under a number of brands including iCruise.com, AlaskaCruises.com, EuropeCruises.com and CruiseCheap.com. WMPH also provides private-label cruise fulfillment for other travel companies. Brad Tolkin and Jeff Tolkin each have more than 25 years of experience as operating executives in the travel industry. Before co-founding World Travel Holdings in 2005, the Tolkins owned and operated Travel Impressions, one of the country’s most successful privately-held travel wholesalers. In 1992, the Tolkins acquired Empress Travel, a retail travel agency with 40 stores, and expanded the chain to include more than 100 locations. In the last nine years, the Tolkins have grown World Travel Holdings to become the world’s leading cruise agency building a portfolio of more than 35 owned and partner cruise brands including agencies in the U.K.
Advertiser Index Airbus..................................................p.2, 3 Aircraft Interiors Expo..........................p.53 Aviation Business Consultants International Srl....................................p.19 AVID Airline Products...........................p.35 Bluebox Avionics..................................p.39 digEcor..................................................p.43 EBACE...................................................p.27 Global Inflight Products........................p.23 Gogo......................................................p.31 Interact..................................................p.46 Linstol....................................................p.15 LSG Sky Chefs......................................p.60 Onboard Logistics.................................p.21 SPIRIANT..............................................p.59 Zodiac Aerospace.................................p.25 Zodiac Inflight Innovations.................p.6, 7
calendar Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, April 8-10, Hamburg Messe. For more information +44 (0) 208 271 2174 aixhamburg. email@example.com cruise3sixty, April 2-6, Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale. For more information, contact Nicole Dunbar, ndunbar@ jmpa.com or call 949-457-1545 Airline Passenger Experience Association TV Market Conference, April 28-30, Dublin. For more information, contact the Association at 1 212 297 2177 or e-mail Michael Greskiewicz at firstname.lastname@example.org Marine Hotel Association 29th Annual Conference, April 27-29, 2014 Hyatt Regency Orlando | Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact the association at (415) 332-1903 Travel Catering Expo, May 11-13, Dubai, For more information, contact Deniyal Qureshi, Show Director at Reed Exhibitions +971 2 4090388 Airline Passenger Experience Association Technology Conference, May 13-14 Universal City, California For more information, contact the association at 1 212 297 2177 or e-mail Michael Greskiewicz at email@example.com APOT.Asia 2014 Travel Forum, June 2-5, Da Nang, Vietnam. For more information, contact APOT at firstname.lastname@example.org InnoTrans rail event, September 23-26, Berlin. For more information, contact Mary Jo Balve at email@example.com or call 732 933 1118 Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, October 14-16, Seattle. For more information contact: Customer Service at 203-840-5680 firstname.lastname@example.org NBAA Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition, October 21-23, Orlando. For more information, contact NBAA at Tel: (202) 783-9000 E-mail: email@example.com International Travel Catering Association Trade Show and Networking Event, November 23-25, Abu Dhabi. For more information, contact ITCA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call +44 (0) 1483 419449
spiriant goes global Inspiring in-flight equipment solutions now in the Middle East We design, create and deliver smart in-flight equipment concepts while optimizing the entire supply chain through state-of-the-art logistics. With our European heritage in-tow, SPIRIANT is taking its design expertise global â&#x20AC;&#x201C; opening a new office in Dubai in 2014. Â Discover how we can make your life easier, reduce complexity and inspire your passengers by visiting www.spiriant.com
Visit us at booth 4C54 (Hall B4) to learn more about SPIRIANT and our award-winning solutions.
Visit us at the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo / April 8-10, 2014 / Hall B4 / Stand 4C54
360° VIEW OF OUR WORLD
The possibilities are endless. We’ve broadened our portfolio to provide you with an even more complete range of services. Get the edge in passenger satisfaction – put our expertise to work for you. There are plenty of good reasons why LSG Sky Chefs is the worldwide market leader. Stop by our booth and see why. 360degreeview.lsgskychefs.com