PAX International AIX March/April 2016

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VOL. 23, NO. 2


N E W S A N D A N A LY S I S F O R T H E I F E C & I N T E R I O R S E X E C U T I V E


Regional Report Hong Kong Cathay Pacific Group Rebrands Hong Kong Airport Ends Record Year







SPIRIANT says Hola now in Latin America! After a successful launch in the Middle-East, SPIRIANT continues its journey to Latin America. With a dedicated team, we work with you to design and create the inflight process that can make your life easier and reduce complexity.

Explore the SPIRIANT world on or contact us for unique solutions at to learn more about SPIRIANT and our award-winning solutions.


PAX International 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344; Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website:




ust as PAX International was going to press for a large event in Germany, another important event was ending, also in Germany: proof positive that there is so much going on in this industry that it takes a small army to cover it. But we try. In Cologne, the Passenger Terminal Expo concluded on March 17 after three days of exhibitions and events that dealt directly with the passenger experience at an important stage, when the consumer of goods and services leaves the shelter of their automobile or cab and steps into the realm of air travel. Most of the time, they have to be ready for just about anything. The conference has been going on since 1998, the same year PAX International celebrated its first birthday. What it was like at the conference when it was in its infancy must be nothing like people experienced in Cologne last month. The terminal environment has become more hectic, tense and at the same time brimming with opportunity, mainly thanks to technological advancements. A quick glance through the event’s daily shows there have been breakthroughs in furnishings, passport control , bag drops and ways to track passenger movement.

Aijaz Khan E-mail:

EDITORIAL OFFICES 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 E-mail:

One of the companies that exhibited at the Passenger Terminal Expo and sets up shop in Hamburg, is Rockwell Collins. The company’s Global Airports team showed visitors biometrics readers equipped with facial recognition features that allow paperless travel throughout the airport. On the operations side, a new version of the company’s ARINC VeriPax™ system can provide improved passenger reconciliation and tracking capabilities. “Increasingly, passengers — and therefore airports — want a more streamlined travel experience,” said Christopher Forrest, Vice President of Global Airports for Rockwell Collins. Ask anyone on the food service side of the Expo in Hamburg and you’ll learn about the vast improvements in airport dining options in the terminals and lounges. A steady stream of non-aviation related revenue is needed to keep these massive operations running, and learning as much as possible about the millions who take to the air every day has become important, starting with the very first decision a passenger makes.

Melissa Silva, Editor

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief, PAX International

in whole or in part without written permission from

Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Kevin Rogers, CEO Aeromobile Mary Jane Pittilla Rebecca Byrne Stathis Kefallonitis, Ph.D

A R T D E PA R T M E N T Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail:

ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising Sales Executive Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: 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 2016, Vol. 23, No. 2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted the publisher. © PAX International magazine

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  3



VOL. 23, NO. 2




Cathay Pacific’s StudioCX, one of the first branded IFE systems, notes a significant anniversary as the airline itself marks 70 years in operation and a new brand image for its sister airline, Dragonair


A new terminal, awards and a handful of new airline customers has Hong Kong International Airport looking to a future planners say must have an additional runway




A rundown on activities of Rockwell Collins, Thales and Panasonic leading up to the Aircraft Interiors Expo


Noise canceling audio pioneer Phitek plans to show visitors at AIX a new wireless content delivery system, a suite of in-seat connectors, new headsets and testing equipment


AeroMobile was the first network provider to enable mobile phone calling on commercial flights and now, in conjunction with Panasonic Avionics, they are raising the bar higher with the launch of the first inflight 3G service


APEX has its first full-time employee in the person of CEO Joe Leader. Since his appointment in September, Leader has immersed himself in planning the group’s future and its role to create “the airline passenger experience of our dreams”



New cabin layouts and new materials are only a few of the challenges the multi-billion airline seating industry is facing as more aircraft come on stream and push production and demand


Pascall Electronics cut its teeth supplying in-seat power to some of the forerunners of inflight entertainment. Now the company moves into the future with new ownership and expansion taking place



As ABC International’s customer base continues to grow, the cabin modification and services provider remains focused on diversifying its offerings with airline satisfaction top of mind


ST Aerospace, the world’s biggest commercial airframe MRO provider, is eyeing opportunities in Asia and the Middle East with the opening of a new VIP aircraft interiors center in Singapore


With a new, state-of-the-art factory being built, and multiple projects on the go, AIM Altitude is making sparks fly in the aviation design and manufacturing sector



Style is popping up all over Helsinki airspace this spring, with a literal runway fashion show and new shopping portal on Finnair


LSG Group has two new fully owned subsidiaries and a popular awards program, all dedicated to growing inflight sales




45 Two Danish companies exhibiting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo have taken a new approach in onboard advertising, while another has given the airline tray the possibility for airline revenue



The Middle East is the home of service oriented airlines and organizers of this year’s World Travel Catering event in Dubai will find more to see as exhibitors set up shop next to some of the most important airport related companies in the region. Reed Exhibition’s Daniyal Qureshi talks about the May 9-11 event


Crystal Cabin Awards enters second decade of spotting the trends


This year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East met head on the need for infrastructure and personnel, as exhibitors touted new products for everything from flooring to falconry


As comfort continues to be a main factor influencing the passenger experience, airlines are looking for cutting edge solutions and Vision Systems’ electronically dimmable windows meets the criteria


With construction underway for a Widebody Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin, a joint venture agreement for airframe maintenance in Singapore and a Memorandum of Understanding with Philippine Airlines, Airbus is strengthening its leadership position in the Asia-Pacific region at an impressive rate














Our new premium seats in economy and business class

Welcome to the Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg April 5 – 7, 2016, hall B7, stand B20

Our innovative seating solutions allow for a wide range of configurations that can be customized to your specific requirements. With our comprehensive product and service offerings we are ready to serve you anywhere in the world. Let’s discuss your needs – for an appointment at the Hamburg show, please contact our Sales Department or email us at


Jet Airways Selects Global Eagle for IFE Streaming Connectivity Global Eagle Entertainment announced in February a partnership with India’s Jet Airways to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) streaming service and KU based Internet connectivity aboard the global airline’s fleet of 737 NG aircraft. Jet Airways operates more than 300 flights to 73 destinations. During the second quarter of 2016, Global Eagle will provide Jet Airways with its AIRTIME IFE streaming solution, with a clear roadmap for migration to full broadband satellite connectivity. The company will equip Jet Airways aircraft with digital rights management (DRM) technology, in-cabin servers and Wi-Fi routers, enabling the AIRTIME streaming platform to deliver movies, TV shows, music and other content to passengers’ laptops, tablets and smart phones. “GEE is honored to expand our long-term partnership with Jet Airways, an innovative airline keenly focused on elevating the passenger experience and a true leader across the exciting Asian region,” noted Walé Adepoju, Chief Commercial Officer for GEE. “By deploying GEE’s AIRTIME IFE streaming solution across its growing fleet, Jet Airways can deliver a broad range of entertainment content to passenger’s personal devices with an eye on full blown satellite connectivity aboard future flights.” “GEE has clearly demonstrated a deep understanding of our business over the past decade, providing the content at the core of our passenger entertainment experience. Jet Airways is now moving to GEE’s integrated IFE solution capable of streaming a broad range of content to our passengers’ own devices and providing a clear path to our future connectivity needs,” said Gaurang Shetty, Senior Vice President – Commercial for Jet Airways.

Turkish takes 300th aircraft outfitted with in-house interior elements A major milestone of the growth of Turkish Airlines may have been overshadowed a bit by its Super Bowl ad in February. On February 7, the airline noted that it had taken delivery of its 300th aircraft, an A330-300, with a ceremony at Atatürk International Airport in the new hangar of Turkish Technic Inc. The ceremony included the participation of Turkish Airlines’ Board Chairman, M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ CEO, Dr. Temel Kotil, Airbus’ Regional Sales Director/Middle East and Europe, Douglas Anderson, and Airbus’ Contracts Director, David Bonnel as well as a large number of business partners and media representatives. The A330-300 is the first aircraft to be equipped with galleys from TCI –Turkish Cabin Interiors- and economy class seats from TSI –Turkish Seat Industries- all manufactured in Turkey. The new aircraft will be deployed on existing medium and longhaul routes from the Turkish Airlines Istanbul hub, adding more capacity to enhance the airline’s growth strategy. The airline’s 300th aircraft rolled off the runway in early February


328 Design achieves Dassault cabin modernization milestone 328 Design GmbH, has achieved the first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the Dassault Falcon 50EX from the US FAA under the FAA/EASA bilateral safety agreement. The certificate covers extensive cabin refurbishment including the replacement of the legacy cabin management system/inflight entertainment with Rockwell Collins’ Fusion state-of-the-art CMS/ IFE, including T-PED (Transmitting Portable Electronic Device) connectivity via Wi-Fi. Additional features include a complete cabin refurbishment, replacing all hard and soft materials, the installation of new LED cabin lighting and galley modification. The project was achieved in collaboration with U.S.-based Duncan Aviation at the company’s full service facility in Michigan. The validation process posed a number of challenges as the project had been classified as a non-standard STC. However, following extensive collaboration and support from both EASA and the FAA, 328 Design GmbH was able to overcome the difficulties. Leading the project was Jörg Gorkenant, Chief Operating Officer and Head of 328DO. 6  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2016

“We are delighted to receive this first STC for the Dassault Falcon 50EX from the FAA,” he said. “328DO has become renowned for its expertise on certification capabilities and this represents another major milestone for the company.” 328 Design has collaborated with Duncan Aviation on EASA STC approvals for aircraft including the Bombardier Challenger Series, Dassault Falcon 900EX and 2000 as well as 7X and Citation 560XL.

328 Design worked with Duncan Aviation on this Dassault Falcon cabin

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Finaero and Greenline sign MOU on Middle East aircraft cabin interiors Finaero Group and Greenline Interiors have partnered to develop engineering and manufacturing activities in the Middle East. Their Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) seeks to develop the refurbishment, design, engineering and manufacturing of aircraft cabin interiors in the region. Finaero Group, through its painting division, STTS, is investing in a US$34 million project that will accommodate a wide body painting bay at the new DWC Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai South. The new painting bays will be operational in late 2018. Both partners are set to develop the STTS site in order to accommodate state-of-the-art aircraft interior activities. Finaero, through its aircraft interior division Aircraft Interior Products (AIP), and Greenline Interiors, through its Aviation Interior Division, aim to benefit from their expertise in airline, corporate and VIP cabin refurbishment. AIP is a specialist in aircraft cabin interiors for commercial and VIP aircraft. The French company delivers a wide range of cabin interiors, from Dassault Business Jets to 777s. AIP specializes in the engineering and manufacturing of complete work packages such as washrooms, bedrooms, galleys, including production of honeycomb panels, integration of systems (mechanical, electrical, water/air), and VIP varnish (such as wood veneering and upholstery). In 2016, AIP is also adding new engineering capabilities thanks to a Design Office Approval (DOA).

Greenline Interiors outfits the interior of luxury palaces, super yachts, high-end residences and commercial spaces, as well as five-to-seven star hotels in worldwide. Headquartered at Jebel Ali, Dubai, the firm has more than 35 years experience of skilled engineers and craftsmen able to design and manufacture any kind of VIP interiors in-house. “Our group’s vision is to offer customers proximity and quality. With Greenline Interiors we are confident our customers will benefit from the creativity, service and quality the Middle Eastern region requires,” said Finaero President Christophe Cador. Samir Badro, Chairman and CEO of Greenline Interiors, added: “We are thrilled to enter into this new adventure that will further diversify the services already offered by Greenline. We believe that the partnership with Finaero will allow strategic synergies to cater all the high demanding requirements of our clientele.” Finaero is a French industrial and international group, present in 10 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia and is active in aircraft painting and sealing (STTS), in airline and VIP aircraft completions (AIP) and in cabling and wire assemblies for the aviation sector (CIEE). Finaero’s turnover in 2015 totalled US$126 million.

Bucher brings innovations at AIX Bucher Group, the lightweight-construction (also known as Leichtbau) specialist will be showcasing several new and improved products. On display will be a full-fledged center galley, which is a part of Bucher’s new galley system for the 777. The well-known lightweight and reliable design has received a new appearance, which perfectly blends in with the cabin architecture. A seamless integration of many of Bucher’s product will also be presented. A newly designed approach has been applied to an entry area complex including a galley, which features innovative equipment and features. Also part of this exhibit will be an innovative and space-saving combination between a self-service counter and a Business Class front row monument. For application in aircraft seating a variety of sleek inflight entertainment and tray table deployment systems with improved reliability, simplicity and feel will be presented. Bucher will also show their latest air transport stretcher, which has now been certified for most Boeing and Airbus aircraft, including the 787 and the A350.


Innovative product features combined with a new design approach from Bucher

5-7 APRIL 2016




Two new executives at Alpha LSG

Paul Gurnell

Richard Wood

Alpha LSG announced in January that Richard Wood has joined the company as Managing Director at Alpha LSG’s LondonHeathrow business, while Paul Gurnell has become U.K. Sales and Marketing Director. Wood was most recently Site Director at Dairy Crest’s largest U.K. operation, where he held full profit and loss responsibility for a £300 million (US$427 million) turnover business and delivered a comprehensive and highly successful turnaround plan. Wood will be responsible for all activities within Alpha LSG’s LondonHeathrow business and will focus on delivering the next phase of its business strategy. Gurnell who has worked for Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline and most recently Amazon, will be responsible for the development and execution of the company’s U.K. business as well as its sales and marketing strategy. Also based at London-Heathrow, he will be working closely with the senior leadership team to ensure the sales strategy is aligned with operational delivery for commercial viability. He was previously Head of Vendor Management for one of Amazon’s key business accounts. During his time as Director of Consulting at Kantar Retail, his responsibilities included working with external clients to identify business opportunities through the use of intelligently applied sales data and trend analysis.

Tan joins Recaro in Asia Irene Tan has been appointed General Manager Asia Pacific (APAC) for Recaro Aircraft Seating. “By taking this step, the company is reinforcing its regional competence in order to be even more customer-oriented and with dedicated focus on the customers’ needs in this region,” said a release from the German seatmaker. Tan, will manage the Recaro Aircraft Seating business and operations in the APAC region, and oversee the site in Qingdao, China. Recaro’s APAC Sales Organization headed by René Lux, Vice President of Sales, will be integrated into the new Recaro Hub for the APAC region in Hong Kong and will be reporting directly to Irene Tan. Before joining Recaro Aircraft Seating, Tan was the Regional Director of Marketing and Product Strategy at Panasonic Avionics Corporation. Before that, she had also worked with Singapore Airlines, Dragonair (now Cathay Dragon) and Cathay Pacific Airways. Irene Tan


Nijhawan heads Kaelis business in Australasia, Middle East and Africa Inflight products, services and solutions supplier Kaelis has announced the opening of a branch office in the United Arab Emirates and has named Dilip Nijhawan, CEO for Australasia, Middle East and Africa. Nijhawan will be based out the company’s new UAE office. He has more than 35 years of experience in the on-board services, catering and hotel industries, most recently as CEO of Emirates Flight Catering. Over his career, he has also held senior management positions at Emirates, Oman Air, SriLankan Catering and Oberoi Hotels and Resorts. “As Kaelis’ CEO for Australasia Middle East and Africa, Dilip’s responsibilities span a large footprint, which will fortify the Kaelis brand in its quest of its global positioning in the OBS industry,” said a release from the company.

Dilip Nijhawan

WESSCO announces new executive appointments WESSCO International today announced that Nick Bregman has been promoted as Chief Operating Officer and Nabil Kazi has been appointed as Chief Marketing Officer with the leading provider of airline comfort and amenity programs. Bregman joined the WESSCO family 12 years ago, after earning a Bachelor of Science degree at University of Oregon. In his new role as COO, he will continue forming strategic alliances and leveraging his relationships with trendsetters in the entertainment, skincare and fashion worlds to enhance the passenger experience at every level. “WESSCO will continue to lead the way in establishing creative and innovative partnerships for our travel clients. I look forward to working closely with our talented team and the airlines of the world, developing inflight concepts that reflect the changing lifestyles of global business professionals and brand-conscious millennial travelers,” commented Bregman. Kazi joins WESSCO after more than 20 years in the entertainment industry, having served both The Walt Disney Company and 20th Century Fox as a marketing strategy and partnership senior executive. Both Bregman and Kazi will be based out of WESSCO’s head offices in Los Angeles.

Nabil Kazi

Nick Bregman


Catering, Airports and more The Middle East is the home of service oriented airlines and organizers of this year’s World Travel Catering event in Dubai will find more to see as exhibitors set up shop next to some of the most important airport related companies in the region


he world aviation industry continues to be drawn Dubai, and a threefold event awaits visitors this spring as airports and airline caterers hold a joint conference and trade show May 9-11 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Part of that will be an extension of the World Travel Catering and Onboard Service Expo (WTCE) that will be held in April in Hamburg. Co-located with the 16th edition of Airport Show and the 4th Global Airport Leaders’ Forum (GALF), WTCEME provides a dedicated platform for global travel catering industry players to network and showcase a wide range of products, services, solutions and technology. Organizers at Reed Exhibition estimate that companies exhibiting at the WTCE Middle East will benefit from access to over 7,500 trade visitors who attend the Airport Show and GALF. This will be the third year that Reed Exhibitions will be holding the catering expo alongside the other events in a dedicated platform for the catering industry in the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Sub-Continent. “Over the last two editions, Travel Catering Expo has established itself as the Middle East’s largest dedicated exhibition for the travel catering sector and a key procurement event for the region’s airlines and airports,” said Daniyal Qureshi, Group Exhibition Director, Reed Exhibitions Middle East. “As we look to further develop

Daniyal Qureshi

the event to match the region’s exceptional aviation growth, alignment with Reed’s global portfolio will allow us to offer international suppliers and regional buyers even greater opportunities to do business.” In a Q and A session with PAX International, Qureshi talked about the upcoming WTCEME and its importance to airline catering in the region: PAX International: What has been the reaction in the industry since the January announcement of newly branded WTCE event in Dubai? Daniyal Qureshi: The industry has received this exciting development enthusiastically as this highlights the event’s development in line with the globally leading World Travel Catering brand and its position as the largest travel-catering event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia

region. The rebrand has helped confirm a number of new international exhibitors at the event and to date we have 36 exhibitors from 15 countries, 24 percent up from last year’s figures. PAX: What are the advantages of the adding the WTCE designation? Will Reed Exhibitions continue the same brand name for the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas in Seattle? Qureshi: Not only will the event benefit from the strength of the global WTCE brand, but also this gives our customers the choice to attend WTCE Middle East if they are looking to expand in this rapidly growing market as well as attending the leading global event in Hamburg. The rebrand also allows the event wider reach as it expands our profile, especially in the on board segment.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  11


Visitors browse the displays at last year’s event

PAX: Will there be a selection of panel discussions for the event? If so what are topics currently scheduled? Qureshi: There are a number of discussions on the overall development of the aviation industry and particularly lessons to learn in global best practise and new technologies launched over the last year at the colocated Airport Show and Global Airport Leaders’ Forum. PAX: The event has been held in May for several years in Dubai. What has the company learned about the unique aspects of airline catering in the Middle East from your feedback of attendees? Qureshi: Travel catering has been an important aspect of overall passenger experience for airlines globally, including award winning regional airlines. Middle East passenger traffic has lead global growth and airlines are keeping a close watch on the travel-catering sector so that it remains top notch, despite the huge surge in passenger numbers being catered for. Meanwhile new technologies, products and services are constantly being evaluated to offer better value to the airlines and their customers. PAX: What are the other two events, the Airport Show and Global Airport Leader’s Forum, about and what are the typical visitors they draw? Qureshi: Airport Show is the world’s largest annual airport exhibition and provides an ideal B2B platform for companies to present airport and aviation-related products and services to regional airport authorities and developers. In 2015, the event gathered 12  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2016

over 7,120 aviation professionals who networked, sourced their product requirements and created over US$20 billion worth of regional business possibilities. Over 300 leading global companies are expected to participate at the 2016 event, showcasing their latest technology, innovation and product offerings to a projected 7,500 attendees, including 150 hosted buyers and over 50 regional aviation authorities expected to attend the event. It brings together the world’s foremost airport, policy, business and technology leaders in an effort to address their needs and provide them with a platform on which they can engage, exchange knowledge, share best practice, forge partnerships and discuss issues of common interest. PAX: What has been the interest from other transportation modes? The Middle East has a growing cruise line industry and plans for rail service are taking shape as well. Qureshi: We have had visitors from across the travel industry at the event’s past editions – including hospitality, cruise and rail. As the exhibitor profile grows, we expect to attract a larger and wider profile of visitors from these sectors as well. Several of them are also being invited to join the Hosted Buyers’ program this year giving exhibitors an exclusive opportunity to meet these buyers at the show as well. PAX: Has the company tracked the amount of business being done during the threeday event? Qureshi: Through our Business Connect

programme and exhibitor surveys we manage to get feedback on business opportunities generated at the event. However deals of this nature usually take several weeks to finalise and most are completed in the months following the show. Feedback from past exhibitors has shown that the event and especially the Hosted Buyers programme have delivered real business value to participants. PAX: What are some of the key sponsors for the event? Qureshi: Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Airports, Emirates Flight Catering, and Food Point PAX: For those who might be traveling long distances and for the first time, what sort of weather should they expect, and are there any interesting side activities going on at the time? Qureshi: May is the start of the summer in Dubai and is characterized by rising daily temperatures, ranging from 20-40 degrees Celsius with high levels of humidity. Dubai is a modern, international city that hosts some of the world’s leading sports, entertainment and lifestyle events, and offers tourists a host of activities all year round. The city offers a wide range of hotel and dining options, white beaches with excellent water sports activities, extraordinary shopping opportunities and enough activities to keep you busy for months! Dubai also has excellent public transport, with more than 50 bus lines, easily available taxis, water transport and a Metro.


Fifteen years in the Studio by RICK LUNDSTROM

division, located at Cathay City complex and at Cathay Pacific Catering Services. Themes and brands have been important to the Cathay Pacific Group. In the past, the airline touted its Best Chinese Food in the Air. Now the two airlines will be each working to maintain their separate themes and each airline will have its own approach. Dragonair will stress a “Contemporary Chinese” elements, while Cathay Pacific will be “Contemporary Asian.”

A studio is born

A new look for sister airlines: Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon

Cathay Pacific’s StudioCX, one of the first branded IFE systems, notes a significant anniversary as the airline itself marks 70 years in operation and a new brand image for its sister airline, Dragonair


athay Pacific Group is celebrating its 70th birthday in the Chinese Year of the Monkey with new branding; and not left out are the latest improvements is its inflight entertainment system, known since 2001 as Studio CX. As the airline extends its offering of inflight programming to flights that include short-haul and long-haul, its wholly-owned subsidiary, Dragonair will be, from later this year, known as Cathay Dragon. In addition to a new logo and livery, the airline that has been the Cathay Pacific Group’s link from Mainland China to its Hong Kong hub will be part of a more seamless brand seen most prominently by passengers as the iconic brushwing logo rendered in distinctive red on Cathay Dragon. The first of the aircraft with the new livery, an A330-300 was set to fly in April. Dragonair carried more than 7 million passengers last year, most of them from Mainland China to Hong Kong International Airport with a combination of widebody and narrow-body aircraft. “Cathay Dragon is a brand that will be recognizably part of the Cathay Pacific Group for our customers from different parts of the world,” said Cathay Pacific’s Chief Executive Ivan Chu, in the January 28 announcement of the rebranding. “The rebranding will enable us to capture the

fast-growing passenger flows across the two carriers by creating a more seamless travel experience.” Cathay Dragon’s Chief Executive Officer, Algernon Yau promised the airline would keep its sight on its regional passengers tastes and desires. Of particular interest will be the Cathay Dragon inflight food offering that will include specialty Chinese and Asian dishes and popular Hong Kong snacks. Other changes in the food service component were on the operational side. Before the announcement, work was underway for the special year ahead that will add a number of elements to the airline’s important food service department that is now handled from one

Planners sat down in 2001 to give the airline an inflight entertainment system that would be a singular experience. At the time, Cathay Pacific used color-coded water droplets to represent separate entertainment categories: New Releases, Original Cut, Asian and assigning them with their own icon. “We came up with the name StudioCX based on the brand guideline at the time,” Daisy Chan, Product Manager of Entertainment and Media Sales at Cathay Pacific tells PAX International. “The idea of naming it a studio is to support the AVOD proposition where the passenger can treat the inflight entertainment systems as a studio and pick and choose their favorite entertainment.” As the system evolved, Chan said Cathay Pacific has removed the color references to give them a more modern genre and different names for easier reference. “We continue to modernize the collection and enrich them to provide a more comprehensive collection to our passengers, like Box Set, Trilogy and Theme for the Month,” Chan added. The modernization and revamping continued elsewhere in February. On the

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu (third from left) and Dragonair Chief Executive Officer Algernon Yau (fourth from left) unveiled the new Cathay Dragon livery  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  13

REGIONAL REPORT Cathay Pacific debuted its Studio CX IFE system in 2001

airline’s website, surfers will now find the entire carrier’s inflight entertainment related information under the Travel Information section. A search option on the Cathay Pacific website also allows passengers to search a list of movie offerings on each the airline’s international flights. Plans are also in store for Dragonair’s inflight entertainment offering, known as StudioKA. Now, the carrier will be offering a selection of movies even on its shorthaul flights. The Cathay Pacific Group has also increased the number of new release movies, some of which would be shown in three-dimensional surround sound starting in March. “We now have a consistent content library for the two brands and they will be reviewed from time to time,” said Chan. The Cathay Pacific Group is also moving ahead with connectivity implementation. On some of the airline’s A320s, passengers can access and inflight entertainment streaming service with the personal electronic devices. The airline has also designed its seats with a tablet holder. Cathay Pacific’s A350-900 fleet will be equipped with connectivity capabilities. Their provider is working to secure the regulatory approvals needed to operate the in-flight connectivity system, particularly in some airspace of their route network. The airline said more details would come soon on scope of service.

In early July, the first issues the redesigned of Cathay Pacific Discovery magazine and Silkroad magazines rolled off the presses. In addition to the redesign, the magazines had a new editorial direction stressing on of the airline’s reoccurring themes: “Life Well Travelled.” At the same time as the release of the two inflight magazines, the airline’s shopping publications: Discover the Shop on Cathay Pacific and Emporium on Dragonair received a new look

Turning the page in print offering

Both Cathay Pacific, and Dragonair have been providing passengers with stylish inflight magazines. This past summer, both the onboard publications underwent a revamping and the feedback has been positive, said Chan.


The newly designed inflight magazines for both airlines rolled off the press in July of last year

The design for Discovery tapped the talent of local contributors including well known travelers, chefs, philosophers and artists. Starting in July, Discovery included a section with a new look for the airline’s inflight entertainment guide. As the airline expanded the inflight entertainment offering Cathay Pacific added the comments of film, television and music critics and a regular feature called 7 Essential Scenes and a curated art-house feature called the World Film Club. In Silkroad, content has been adding sections, among them a series called Extreme Itineraries, which challenges readers to make their trips memorable, by adding experiences. Passenger interested in the mysteries of Asia can read a section called The Mystery Of. Finally, the history of the region is wrapped up in stories and insights from the regional that gave Silkroad its name. Discovery magazines is available for download in a digital version for a passenger’s personal electronic device. “We are in the process of having Discovery in other digital channels,” said Chan.

Space travel Sometimes we all need a little extra room Visit our stand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo on 5-7 April in Hamburg Stand 6C110 T +44 1737 304700


An indoor look at the soaring architecture in the new Midfield Terminal that will add capacity for 10 million passengers




ong Kong Airlines flight 658 bound in December for Okinawa was the signal that the city’s iconic and this year, award-winning airport had a new chapter in its storied development that began when it opened in 1998 when opened on reclaimed land on Chek Lap Kok Island replaced another iconic airport: Kai Tak. Now, as the New Year begins, HKIA is coming off a record year, and starting to move traffic out of its HK$10 billion (US$1.28 billion) Midfield Concourse, which will give the airport capacity to handle 10 million more passengers, many of whom will be rolling off the automated people mover that connects Terminal 1. The Midfield Terminal is an important development was built to help HKIA meet the increasing passenger traffic demand. In 2015 the airport logged several records. During the year, it handled 68.5 million passengers and 406,020 flight movements. The increase is passengers was 8.1% while the aircraft movement moved up 3.8%. The airport also moved 4.38 million tonnes of cargo, which increased 0.1%. The airport is picking up passenger growth to and from the Chinese Mainland. HKIA also welcomed a number of new airlines: Jetstar Japan and Jetstar Pacific, Scandinavian Airlines, Myanmar

A new terminal, awards and a handful of new airline customers has Hong Kong International Airport looking to a future planners say must have an additional runway by RICK LUNDSTROM

National Airlines, Etihad Airways and Sky Lease Cargo. The construction of the new Midfield Terminal started five years ago. The new five-story structure is 105,000 square meters and had added 20 parking stands. In December, the terminal was beginning to add shops, retail outlets and restaurants. HKIA saw passenger volume grow 13.3% to 5.9 million in January. This was mainly driven by 17% growth in Hong Kong resident travel. Visitor and transfer/ transit traffic also recorded strong growth of 13% and 11%, respectively. Passenger traffic to and from Southeast Asia and Mainland China recorded the most significant increases. Flight movements also rose 5.4% to 35,195 compared to the same month in 2015. A new record of 1,227 flight movements in a single day was seen on February 6, two days before the Chinese New Year. The strong momentum in passenger traffic continued during the Chinese New Year holiday, with an average of more than 200,000 daily passengers recorded from February 6-13. HKIA also received one more honor for the year, as Air Transport World named it Airport of the Year at the publication’s World Airline Industry Achievement

Awards for 2016. To earn the honor, the airport was praised for its partnership with airline customers and environmental practices, passenger services and working relationship with local authorities. “We will strive to continue the economic miracle of Hong Kong by supporting tourism, logistics, finance, trading and various other industries,” said Jack So Chak-kwong, Chairman of the Airport Authority of Hong Kong in his acceptance of the award from Air Transport World in mid-February. Looking ahead to 2016, HKIA expects to see a growth rate of 4% to 6% in passenger volume. So also predicted that cargo growth will grow moderately due to continued global uncertainties. He added that air traffic should reach annual maximum capacity of 420,000 very soon. “While the Midfield Concourse commenced operation at the end of 2015, expanding the airport into a three-runway system is the only option for us to meet long-term traffic demand,” added Fred Lam, Chief Executive Office of the Airport Authority of Hong Kong. Lam said the Airport Authority would continue to work toward a runway expansion project, which is in the preliminary stages. Hong Kong International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal has 20 additional aircraft parking spots.



SPIRIANT expands competencies in Asia-Pacific


PIRIANT, LSG Group’s equipment design and procurement subsidiary, has opened a new office in Hong Kong. The SPIRIANT Asia-Pacific team will focus on two major areas: Sourcing onboard equipment, ranging from technical items to comfort items from the highly diverse supplier base in the region. The office will also function as SPIRIANT’s worldwide competence center for amenity kits, including branded and non-branded amenity bags and the items contained within them. “This move ensures that our customers benefit from a onestop-shop solution provider, assisting them through the entire process of creative and innovative designs to high quality procurement and logistic services,” said Alexander Spahn, Managing Director SPIRIANT. The newly built office houses more than 40 employees with expertise in design, sales, procurement and logistics working to support SPIRIANT’s overall growth strategy while bringing about efficiency and speed in its daily business. Since the official launch of the SPIRIANT brand in 2013, the company has been successfully pursuing a global expansion strategy. Teams have so far been installed in Dubai, Istanbul, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong in addition to the company’s long-established home base near Frankfurt, Germany.

At the ribbon-cutting for the new SPIRIANT office in Hong Kong are, left to right, Alexander Spahn, Managing Director SPIRIANT, Angie Fung, who handles global amenity kits, H.K. Cheung, Regional Chief Operating Officer Asia/Pacific and Egon Linde head of regional procurement and logstics

Finnair partners with Hong Kong restaurant


n February, Finnair announced its first foodservice partnership with an Asian restaurant the Nordic-themed FINDS located at the Luxe Manor Hotel in the Tsim Sha Tsui region of Kowloon in Hong Kong. FINDS stands for the five Scandinavian countries of Finland, Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. Since the restaurant opened in 2004 originally in the Lan Kwai Fong area of Hong Kong, it has received its share of media coverage and in March of 2010 relocated to the luxury boutique Luxe Manor Hotel. Since then, the restaurant specializes in entrée and appetizers featuring many well-known Scandinavian techniques including smoking, curing and pickling. Among its most recent awards was the Best European Restaurant of Restaurant Week 2015. Also last year Sorsa received the Summer Foodie Forks 2015 Chef of the Year. The restaurant is regularly featured in publications around Hong Kong. Chefs and staff at Cathay Pacific Catering Services have developed a selection of “Finnish Tradition” meals featuring down-home root vegetables such as porcinis, morels, carrots and potatoes. The vegetables are teamed with Norwegian salmon (flown in on Finnair cargo) and meatballs. Other enhancements include Scandinavian lingonberries, yellow beetroot and apples. A few of the menu items “The taste and look and Sorsa developed for texture was right there,” Finnair in the airline’s signature tableware said Head of Inflight Serfrom Marimekko

vice Maarit Keränen. “The catering company were professionals and you could see the excitement and they were learning something new about the Nordic kitchen.” For Finnair the collaboration with the restaurant and Chef Jaakko Sorsa was worked out in the kitchens of Cathay Pacific Catering with an initial meeting of the airline, staff at the unit and Sorsa. Spearheading the efforts was the caterer’s point of view was Cathay Pacific Catering Sous Chef Jessica Wong, who worked with the Sorsa to develop the menus. “With this cooperation, we want to honor our roots,” said Keränen, in the February announcement of the new work with FINDS. “And bring the best of Nordic flavors to the customers out of our Hong Kong route. Even if the majority of our customers flying from Hong Kong are connecting to Finnair’s broad network of around 70 destinations in Europe, they can enjoy a taste of Finland on board.”  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  17


The Sky’s The Limit Inflight Sales Group continues to gain market share in Asia through new partnerships and innovation by


The ISG team receives the award for Inflight Retailer of the Year at Airline Retail Conference in 2015


nflight Sales Group (ISG) has been providing airlines with duty free and inflight retail expertise for over 30 years. During this time, the company has seen the market grow steadily, particularly in Asia. According to Vimal Rai, Executive Director of Inflight Sales Group HK, however, the company will now have to look to extract value from selected opportunities only, as the days of expected, automatic growth are probably over. “The last 10 years has seen the inflight sales market in Asia fast outpace the overall market. While there are still pockets of potential, the market is maturing with the rate of growth in some areas declining year on year.” Many factors have contributed to this slowdown: the financial and currency turmoil has eroded personal wealth and dampened shopper sentiment, but the industry has also faced terrorism, political unrest, MERS and volcanoes, to name but a few areas of concern. A significant contributor to the slowdown in Asian growth is the change in Chinese spending habits. “Five years ago, the Chinese affinity for luxury goods translated into high sales. These days, with the growing duty free space within the Mainland, in Hainan for example, and with the anti-corruption measures in place, there has been an obvious decline in conspicuous consumption. Furthermore, the increased mobility of the Chinese, who are now traveling further afield, means they are spending their money in less-traditional channels. This has been made worse by brands that have obviously increased pricing in traditional shopping markets like Hong Kong and Singapore. The result has been a decline in the value proposition for the Chinese traveler as other countries become more attractive. Mobile-savvy consumers today know exactly where to find the best deals. That said, the increased number of travelers means there is still potential for increasing


Chinese custom; we just have to be flexible in our product range to meet the changing market.” This flexibility to offer bespoke, tailored products and promotions plays a key role in ISG’s success and has contributed to contract wins in 2015. “We constantly seek to understand what passengers are buying and tailor our range for each route. For example, flights going to China and Japan need to carry a particular brand of liquor, tobacco and skincare, and these brands would not sell as well on other routes. Similarly, with changes in the Chinese demographic we need to offer more affordable and trendy products such as Korean skincare brands alongside luxury products such as La Mer.” This carefully planned product offering is achieved through detailed market analysis. Take, for example, the recent win with Garuda Airlines. “We will start providing our retail solutions in April 2016. Prior to that the in-depth research begins. We spend time in shopping malls looking at what people buy, the colors, the trends and availability. We talk to suppliers. We look at non-traditional brands too, to fill

Missha and Sulwhasoo: Alongside its luxury brands, ISG now offers more affordable and trendy products such as these Korean cosmetics

Vimal Rai, Executive Director of Inflight Sales Group HK

any gaps – all this helps us get a real sense of what works and what doesn’t for a particular route.” So, with slowdown in growth of inflight sales and consolidation in the industry, what does the future hold for ISG in Asia? “Consolidation in Asia has meant that there are really only two or three main players competing for inflight business. With the focus for travel retail increasingly on the retail experience, success will only come from new ways of leveraging the inflight environment. Currently we have a captive audience restricted to browsing a magazine and calling a crew member to make their purchase. That needs to change. To increase sales penetration we need to fundamentally upgrade the customer’s mindset with respect to inflight duty free. Going forward, we are looking at ways of significantly improving the inflight retail experience, from the way the products are communicated to the way you buy it and the overall engagement in the process. “The winner over the next five years will be the one that can bring sales out of the plateau by changing the game fundamentally.”









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Asian Milestones by


The A350 XWB will be outfitted with the Thales InFlyt Experience

This year’s Singapore Air Show equaled in many ways its larger competitive shows, at least for announcements in the IFEC industry


ast fall, organizers for three major cabin experience events announced they were teaming up for an expo in the balmy city of Singapore. With the news that took place this spring, they appear to have made a solid choice. Connectivity, IFE and live television will be on the installation and retrofit schedule for years to come in the Asia Pacific region as major announcements by the industry’s IFEC players occurred in and around the Singapore Air Show. “Singapore Airlines’ selection is a crucial step in our growth and development,” said Dominique Giannnoni, Chief Executive Officer of Thales InFlyt Experience on February 16, the day the company announced it would provide connectivity to the airline’s A350 XWBs. “The airline has pioneered IFE and remains at the forefront of innovation in this sector.” The region is primed for growth in inflight entertainment and connectivity and the recent announcements bear out some of the market research that is out in the industry. A report by the company Research and Markets estimates that


between 2015 and 2020, the Asia Pacific IFEC market will grow at a compound annual rate of 14.27%. The reason is simple, according to the company. A majority of the new aircraft sales are happening in the region. More than a third of the aircraft backlog from Airbus will be delivered to Asia Pacific carriers. “Also,” says the report, “the entertainment systems are not so well entrenched in the Asia Pacific market as compared to the Western counterparts resulting in higher growth prospects.” While North America is expected to command the largest share of the inflight entertainment and connectivity market, a report by the British company MarketsandMarkets says Asia Pacific is expected to show the highest growth mostly due to the wireless and seat centric solutions onboard a number of airlines. The report paints a picture of a diverse market on the move. Airlines in India are very price conscious for systems that can run upward of US$3 million per aircraft. Many carriers in the region have done

away with what the report calls “infotainment systems” and are offering Wi-Fi as an alternative. Still, passengers expect seatback systems to be part of the inflight experience. It is little surprise that the best opportunities for IFEC sales and retrofit growth will be in China and India. “The region has a fast growing, but limited business jet market, making the contribution of the IFEC market from this segment limited,” said a description of the report. During the same five year period, the world’s IFEC spending is expected to swell to a compound annual growth rate of 15.23% growing from US$2.85 billion to US$5.8 billion by 2020, according to an estimate by the market reporting firm MarketsandMarkets. During the forecast period, most of the growth will be in the line-fit segment, with North America expected to take the largest sales. “However, the Asia Pacific market is expected to register the highest growth mainly due to the wireless and seat centric solutions being adopted an increasing


number of airlines,” said an introduction to a company report published in September of last year. Singapore Airlines selected Thales for its AVANT IFE system and the company’s Ka-band connectivity. With the outfitting will be the company’s suite of products including the high-definition video and the company’s AVii, the Thales Touch Passenger Media Unit in the premium cabins on the A350 XWB. Other news from Thales took place at the Singapore Airshow. Throughout the past year, the company said that it has signed contracts for installations on more than 700 aircraft in Asia. Though a number of the company’s contracts are undisclosed, among the key customers announced for systems in the region are the Air China and Shenzhen Airlines, which picked the company TopFlight, flight management system on a total of 91 Airbus single aisles. In Mumbai, low-cost carrier GoAir has picked the flight management system on its order of 72 A320 Neos. The other order came from BOC Aviation, a Singapore leasing company that picked the Thales flight management systems as a baseline avionics configuration. Thales has set up an important base in Singapore in one of three of the company’s global repair hubs for avionics and IFE. “Thales has developed an impressive local presence with more than 1,000 people, innovation capability and business partnerships across the region,” said a release from the company. In mid-February, Rockwell Collins was coming off some successful installations and an interesting configuration of the company’s PAVES™ seat centric IFE system that was line-fit at Airbus for an A320 for Sichuan Airlines. The airline has ordered a system from Rockwell Collins that offers front cabin passengers a seat-centric product while installing an overhead broadcast system in the main cabin.

“We’ve been in in-seat video for a long time,” Richard Nordstrom Senior Director of Global Marketing for Rockwell Collins tells PAX International. “But it is only the last five years that we have been offering and having these discussions about providing hybrids; and historically it has always been just overhead broadcast or in-seat video. But we are doing both now in the same cabin.” Advantages of seat centric systems like the PAVES™ installation on Sichuan Airlines is the elimination of a single point of failure and the ease in which the displays can be swapped out. In addition to a new hands-on demonstration section at AIX, Rockwell Collins will be showing its newest cabin crew training videos that it has supplied to Sichuan and another customer out of Asia, Bimen Bangladesh Airlines where the PAVES seat centric system debuted on the airline’s 737s. The system was flying on the airline’s 737-800. With the installation, the company was able to have a customer that made use of its graphical user interface developer kit and its web portal management tool. Other features of the PAVES system are an open-software architecture to support customized and third party applications with minimal effort. “This is an exciting moment for Rockwell Collins and one that highlights the shift taking place in the IFE market,” said Greg Irmen, Vice President and General Manager, Information Systems for Rockwell Collins. “It is gratifying to see the unique, personal touch that Biman was able to put into the design of its PAVES system using the Rockwell Collins GUI developer kit.” Passengers on ANA in Japan will be enjoying live television with a product that will be called ANA SKY Live TV that includes broadband Internet service on its domestic flights. ANA is working with Panasonic Avion-

Line-fit IFEC will be an important driver for industry spending over the next five years

The PAVES™ seat centric system on Bimen Bangladesh Airlines

ics and the country’s popular programming from JSAT Corporation’s Sky PerfecTV platform. ANA has picked several other providers. Sports programming will be offered through the Nittele G+ while latest news will be offered through Nippon TV News 24 and football on a network called Sukasaka. To go with the programming on the domestic routes ANA is offering highspeed connectivity for passengers’ personal devices. Panasonic has a long association with ANA said Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic Avionics in the announcement of the new service. The electronics giant also noted an important milestone that happened for one of its Asian airline customers. In February, it announced the company’s 1,000th commercial aircraft operating on the Global Communications Services network. The Ku-band satellite network would be delivering live television and broadband communications for a 777-300 on China Eastern Airlines. Since the installation on China Eastern, the company has added to its installation list, placing systems on and additional 25 aircraft. Panasonic is looking ahead to the growing market for its products in Asia and beyond, projecting a positional for outfitting and additional 12,000 aircraft by 2025.

Domestic flights on ANA will have a selection of news and sports programming  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  21


Noise canceling

niche by


Noise canceling audio pioneer Phitek plans to show visitors at AIX a new wireless content delivery system, a suite of in-seat connectors, new headsets and testing equipment


irlines spend millions outfitting the latest inflight entertainment hardware onto aircraft only to have its effectiveness undermined by headset equipment that despite its best efforts competes throughout the flight with jet noise and other distractions. Such problems may be a necessary evil in the economy class cabin. However, when it comes to premium passenger, an airline that promises active noise canceling technology to improve the passenger experience cannot cut corners. They have to deliver what they claim. That delivery has also been tricky, but a New Zealand company years ago helped smooth the operation by adding a connector for the seat that gives its customers active noise cancelation through a connector unit that reads headset capabilities to help deliver the experience the airline promises. It was tricky task at the beginning, because as the company’s Chief Executive Roy Moody noted, then as in now, one size does not fit all. “There were noise cancellation solutions in the market at the time but they were fairly disparate solutions. It was hard for the airlines to get the IFE systems set up to work with noise cancelling headphones,” he told PAX International. “The airline had to search for headphones that would work with the particular connector installed in all their different seat types.” What the airlines and hardware suppliers needed - and Phitek developed - was a smart connector that could figure out what kind of headset the airline was using and deliver the active noise canceling feature. That led to a company development and


patented system that now in use in premium cabins at airlines around the world. Now, the company sells its connectors to hardware IFE providers for their in-seat systems and its line of headphones to the airlines. Those headsets range from its durable and award winning economy class design to its premium headsets. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo the company will also be showing a new “Business Lite” headset that offers a non-serviceable construction that can be delivered at a competitive price. Other new products will be found at the company’s stand as it branches into the world of connectivity. Using compact onboard hardware in a battery operated housing the company will be showing its wireless content delivery system that passengers can access on personal electronic devices. The product can be adapted for movies and television, reading material, games, shopping and advertising. It is a dual-purpose system for airlines that want to deliver an IFE experience with the possibility of generating revenue. Like its noise cancellation solution, Phitek said its wireless box offers a reliable, high quality system for passenger to make use of personal electronic devices. The other new offering takes the company back to it roots. At Hamburg Phitek will demonstrate new connectors that will be a

Phitek is branching into wireless content delivery with its new system that will debut in Hamburg

“mix-and-match” solution for headsets, USB connections and various functionality and pin configurations. “We will have a suite of connectors to try and address the most common scenarios when it comes to pins and functionality required by the airlines,” said Chris van der Loo, Product and Marketing Director at Phitek. The other new development that will be shown in Hamburg is a new testing system, called PhiCheck, for the company’s entire range of connectors and headphones. With it, van der Loo said “go-no go” testing is available for airlines, and IFE providers and contract manufacturers can use the PhiCheck for quality assurance.

One of Phitek’s suite of connectors


Above and

beyond by


AeroMobile was the first network provider to enable mobile phone calling on commercial flights and now, in conjunction with Panasonic Avionics, they are raising the bar higher with the launch of the first inflight 3G service


fter facilitating the first mobile phone call on a commercial airline, AeroMobile is now proud to be taking inflight connectivity to new heights with the launch of the first inflight 3G service in conjunction with Panasonic Avionics. In March 2008, AeroMobile’s inflight connectivity service enabled a mobile phone call to be made on an Emirates commercial flight from Dubai to Casablanca. This monumental call was the first of its kind. Since then, AeroMobile services have been installed on major airlines around the world and over 36 million passengers have successfully connected to the inflight network. In December 2015, AeroMobile achieved another world first: the company launched the first ever inflight 3G service with airberlin. Offering 3G connectivity means faster service and a better experience for passengers. Faster browsing, bigger attachments, quicker posts, more responsive apps and gaming render the inflight experience similar to using 3G service on the ground. The airline, airberlin, was the first airline to benefit from the new 3G service and AeroMobile will be rolling out 3G connectivity across other partner airlines in the coming months. A UK-based mobile network provider for the aviation industry, AeroMobile’s


connectivity service allows passengers to use their own mobile devices to talk, text and browse the internet inflight just as they would on the ground. The service is currently available on Aer Lingus, airberlin, Air France, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, Malindo Air, Qatar Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SWISS and Virgin Atlantic. Inflight connectivity is proving popular with passengers across the world as an ever-increasing number of travelers are

realizing the benefits of being able to text, tweet or call inflight. In 2015, mobile data and SMS were the most popular services used by customers with a 110% and 38% year-on-year increase respectively. To date, AeroMobile has been available on over 700,000 flights. While the service was traditionally used mainly by business passengers, there has been a notable rise in usage on leisure routes, such as Orlando and the Caribbean. With inflight connectivity becoming the norm, rather than a luxury, the demand will only continue to soar.

A look at how AeroMobile’s network operates onboard


Cabin fever As ABC International’s customer base continues to grow, the cabin modification and services provider remains focused on diversifying its offerings with airline satisfaction top of mind by


The retro-looking illuminated decorative crest developed by ABC International and FL Technics for Small Planet Airlines


BC International entered 2016 on the right foot, with big orders from Air Canada, follow-up orders from Alitalia related to its “Trim and Finish” project, and several small cabin reconfiguration activities. The company’s plan for this year is to focus on obtaining full DOA capability that will provide it with an opportunity to hold a more competitive position within the industry and the means to better satisfy its customers’ requirements. Decorative crest production is ABC International’s core product, and its most successful, having recently added new airlines to its customer base including: Ethiopian Airlines, LATAM, Alitalia and Southwest Airlines. In November of last year, ABC International began a partnership with FL Technics and Lithuanianbased Small Planet Airlines to begin a partition and decorative crest program. “It was a challenge for us because of the delivery date of the first batch was in February,” says Virginie Iorio, Media Relations Communication and Business Promotion Representative for ABC International. “But we worked hard to complete the job and satisfy the customer, and the results were equally satisfying and rewarding for us.” 26  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2016

The decorative crest ABC International developed for Small Planet Airlines with FL Technics is a retro-looking illuminated decorative crest — a synthesis between innovation and design applied to a certified aircraft component. A combination of special geometries of aluminum support and globe/continents layers are used to reflect and direct light where needed. These properties allow ABC International to install a minimum quantity of LED lights and permit a drastic reduction of power consumption. “The energy stored in a common Smartphone battery can power up a large illuminated decorative crest for up to two to three hours,” explains Marco Piscopia, ABC International’s Electronic Engineer. “Moreover, the illuminated decorative crest is basically an easy-to-maintain tridimensional structure, but what gives it a soul is the upper layer — a new resin technology which, with a color play, makes it appear as though it is literally coming out of the wall.” ABC International feels strongly that a retro illuminated decorative crest is an excellent tool for an airline to represent itself in the cabin; it can provide an ambience that will contribute to a favorable first impression by passengers and therefore a

more enjoyable flight. “Each crest has been personalized and tailored for each customer down to the finest detail so that they really can identify themselves in its design,” says Stefano Capuano, Project Manager and Business Promotion. “And ABC International is of course able to develop tailored solutions with high level of complexity and applicability to different cabin positions.” In addition to the Retro-Illuminated Decorative Crest, ABC International has also developed a partition for Small Planet Airlines made from a honeycomb construction and various colors of decorative film supplied by ISOVOLTA, which it will exhibit at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. Also at AIX, ABC International will unveil a new service — seat cover cleaning. “This cleaning procedure is an excellent solution to revamp seat covers; the cleaning process removes dirt and grease from the leather, and thanks to a special scraper, recovers all imperfections and usage marks are smoothed,” explains Iorio. Looking ahead, ABC International aims to see progressive and continuous growth this year, improving on the results it achieved in 2015 in terms of customer satisfaction and its growing customer base.

Another First AeroMobile enabled the first mobile phone call on a commercial flight, and now we are the first to bring 3G to the skies.

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In December 2015 we launched our inflight 3G network, developed in partnership with Panasonic Avionics, which offers a better connected experience for passengers using their mobile phones inflight.


A new


APEX CEO Joe Leader

APEX has its first full-time employee in the person of CEO Joe Leader. Since his appointment in September, Leader has immersed himself in planning the group’s future and its role to create “the airline passenger experience of our dreams.” by



ast fall, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) ended a four-month search process and picked Joe Leader as the group’s Chief Executive Officer from a field of more than 600 applicants. The new chief executive made his first visit with the industry at last year’s Expo in Portland, where he outlined an ambitious list of plans that included additional events, and a program that recognizes the efforts of airline employees who go above and beyond the call of their duties to improve the passenger experience. “The airline passenger experience is currently the central differentiating fact amongst carriers worldwide,” said Leader, in the fall announcement, which revealed he would join the group. “This is why APEX will continue its longstanding commitment to working closely with members and partners to advance that experience in a manner that positively benefits our customers, our industry and the countless individuals who work tirelessly to make air travel a pleasure.” Before taking the position, Leader had years of experience in aviation, much of it in the airline cabin as a passenger and later in the boardrooms working with a major


U.S. carrier and a business jet company. Leader took time at the start of this year to answer a few questions from PAX International: PAX International: You have an extensive background in aviation; what was some of your previous experience before joining APEX? Joe Leader: Well, the journey to serve as APEX CEO started for me as an airline passenger. As I worked as a high tech executive, I became the most frequent flyer on an U.S. airline and in the process provided ideas that helped accelerate their growth. Afterwards, I led an international aviation association focused upon accelerating the adoption of on-demand air travel options. I mastered preference management technologies and presenting with Southwest Airlines, served as Chief Marketing Officer of the largest private jet seat service of its kind, and presented globally at aviation conferences primarily on accelerating technology adoption. PAX: What are you learning about this segment of the industry that you didn’t expect? Leader: That is a great question. I did not expect there to be such a positive reception

to elevating the passenger experience via technology. The technology exists to create the airline passenger experience of our dreams. The key to seeing that functionality come true has been demonstrating to airlines the return on investment. PAX: The APEX EXPO moves to Asia in the fall. How is the planning coming along for the joint event with Aircraft Interiors? Leader: Both Aircraft Interiors Expo and Future Travel Experience (FTE) Asia Expo are phenomenal partners, and the scope of the show will create the largest passenger experienced focused show ever conducted in the fall. The timing of the event in Asia, six months after Aircraft Interiors EXPO in Hamburg, provides the perfect opportunity in our collaborative partnership, and the cooperative planning has been absolutely seamless. PAX: Besides the relationship with Aircraft Interiors, could you share your thoughts on the Future Travel Experience (FTE) organization? Leader: Immediately after I was announced as APEX CEO in September, I did my premier presentation at FTE Global in Las Vegas. The rapport that I struck with the

How do I ensure that my passengers enjoy a truly memorable experience? Š AIRBUS, 2016. All rights reserved. Airbus, its logo and the product names are registered trademarks.

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ASSOCIATION INDUSTRY Q&A NEWS Future Travel Experience Team was so strong that we elected to move our Singapore 2015 regional event alongside FTE Asia Expo. We announced there the co-location of APEX EXPO with FTE Asia Expo. FTE Asia Expo had more than 1,200 attendees last year and adds to the depth and breadth of our co-located shows. My philosophy as APEX CEO is that partnerships strengthen our industry leadership. FTE is the perfect example of this philosophy in place from day one forward. PAX: Are there other cities that are looking like good possibilities for future APEX EXPO? Leader: We have Long Beach, California in 2017 followed by Boston in 2018 and then Los Angeles in 2019. At each of the events, we have a colocation partnership with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and look forward to continuing the partner inclusive philosophy demonstrated with our APEX EXPO this year.

providers looking to stand out in front of major airlines. On the airline front, we are broadening and deepening our relationships with low-cost carriers. Spirit Airlines is a great example of a carrier that joined APEX with a focus on improving their passenger experience. In Asia, there is the new U Fly alliance of low-cost carriers. PAX: The Passengers Choice Awards have been out in the industry for several years now. Given the way the flying public is so often asked to take part in surveys and

other feedback, how do you feel about participation level? Do you think APEX is getting a good cross-section? Leader: APEX previously focused upon doing the Passenger Choice Awards on its own. As an industry leader over the past four decades, we owe it to our airlines and passengers to have the broadest cross-section of participation via strategic partners. We have some major announcements on this front that we will conduct in April at AIX Hamburg that will demonstrate the future of airline ratings.

Joe Leader is shown here with representatives of Emirates, top winner in last year’s Passenger Choice Awards

PAX: What are some of APEX’s efforts to increase membership? How much of the industry is still out there as potential members of APEX? Leader: APEX has every major airline and industry supplier, but now we must deepen our focus on technology companies. We have a new gold carpet area at APEX EXPO called the Future Technology Pavilion. The idea was to feature leading technology companies alongside up-and-coming solution

APEX fills board seats

APEX announced several additions and veterans for the 2015-2016 Board of Directors at its conference last fall. The new Board includes several members who were re-elected: Kevin Bremer, The Boeing Company; Michael Childers, Lufthansa Systems; and Ingo Wuggetzer, Airbus; along with the following officers: President Alfy Veretto, Virgin America; Vice President Brian Richardson, America Airlines; and Secretary Dominic Green, Inflight Dublin. Jo Boundy, Qantas Airways and Maura Chacko at Spafax were each elected to their first terms. Board members currently serving a multi-year term and not a part of this year’s ballot include Treasurer Joan Filippini, Paramount; and Director Éric Lauzon, Air Canada. Additionally, Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways, rejoined the Board to serve in the position of Immediate Past President. Patrick Brannelly, Emirates, previously filled that position. “Our new Board members are an outstanding representation of the thousands of talented industry executives who make up APEX’s diverse membership,” said Veretto. “The Board’s leadership, experience and industry knowledge will continue to support and advance issues that affect our members and, in turn, their passengers, through our advocacy, critical analysis and problem-solving.” Elected by APEX members, the Board of Directors is composed of volunteers from both airline and vendor member companies; each brings insight and experience to meet the growing needs of the association and industry.

PAX: What are some of the important findings about passenger behavior and preferences that you have gleaned from the recent survey you did with LRA Deloitte? Leader: Passengers want the same type of experience on aircraft as they have in their home. Seven out of 10 want to have a screen in the seatback in front of them. Those same passengers want to be on a second device while they enjoy a movie or television. They want Wi-Fi connectivity and will give up nearly anything to get it. This was important worldwide data on passenger behavior. In addition, we found that heavier passengers had significantly more negative feedback on their passenger experience. On that front, I would love to see flexible seating solutions that better accommodate larger passengers.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  35


The BL3530 from Recaro

Diversity takes a seat New cabin layouts and new materials are only a few of the challenges the multi-billion airline seating industry is facing as more aircraft come on stream and push production and demand by



pace for airline seating may be strictly limited by the size of an aircraft fuselage, but it appears the development of seating products and the efforts by suppliers to accommodate the needs of their customers have a ways to go before running out of ideas. As the industry prepared for this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, seating companies contacted by PAX International planned to show the industry a range of new products designed for the latest aircraft models. They are developed by companies with backgrounds in auto racing and firms anxious to reestablish their place in a competitive and growing industry. Some suppliers will be attending the event for the first time, while others will be looking to reestablish their place in the competitive segment of the industry. One of the companies the closely tracks the expected growth of the seating market is one of its market leaders, Recaro Aircraft Seating. In the past year, the company has earned kudos from the industry in the form of awards for performance delivery, quality and innovations in products and factory production. In 2015,


Recaro for the first time passed €400 million (US$440 million) in sales. Signs point to a distinct possibility of further increases as the seating market heads into the third decade of the century. Recaro CEO Dr. Mark Hiller told PAX International that the company sees the seating market increasing as a compound annual growth rate of 5% per year and surpassing US$4 billion by 2020. In that time, not only will sales increase, but so to will variations in the airline cabin, said Hiller. The move toward airlines adding a premium economy cabin will continue apace in the years to come. However, that will not be the only place where the airline cabin is segmenting. One of Recaro’s significant deliveries will be the 30,000 units of the company’s fixed back SL3510 seats that are bound for the cabin of easyJet aircraft, which will be delivered through 2024. Hiller said he sees increased market demand as legacy carriers begin looking at cabin features, such as seating as ways of bundling products and selling features. One of the prime examples was the move by Delta Air Lines to develop a “basic economy” model designed to satisfy passengers who purchase tickets based solely on price. However, that is not the only area that Recaro sees a shift. As the number of airlines worldwide forego the addition of a First Class cabin in long haul, another market segment, what Hiller called a “business class plus” section that can have seating with additional features and room. “Some airlines have taken out First Class, but they are looking for at least one row of differentiation that is positioned above Business Class,” said Hiller. Recently, Recaro also announced it had four

airline customers for its 3530Swift Economy Class seat. The sales are significant because they are the first carriers to equip Airbus Aircraft with supplier-furnished equipment (SFE). They will be acquired by the airlines through aircraft lessors. “These seas are available in pre-defined, pre-qualified and pre-certified Airbus layouts and catalog configurations,” said Hiller in the announcement of the sale. “This saves considerable time usually required for individual product approval.” Recaro ties approximately 10% of its revenue into research and development. New technologies and lightweight materials are studied at its Schwaebisch Hall facility in Germany. The product of the research and development has led to improvements in its model 3710 Economy Long Range and 6710 Business Class Long Range Seats. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo the company will be show innovations in its short-range Economy and Premium Economy products.

Launch for the Vector Y+w

At last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, HAECO Cabin Solutions launched its Vector Y lightweight Economy Class seat. Before the year was out, the single-aisle product was flying in a retrofit program with LOT Polish Airlines. As the year turned over, the company found another customer for a variation on the seat for twin-aisle long haul. In February, HAECO announced its Vector Y+ that will be on Cathay Pacific Airways’ A350-1000s. The Two views of the Vector line from HAECO Cabin Solutions: A front view of the Vector Y and back view of the Vector Y+

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SEATING -1000s are part of an order of 48 aircraft from the Hong Kongbased airline. HAECO has been in the airline seating business since the company purchased Brice Manufacturing Aviointeriors’ new C4 seat will in 2002. However, HAECO credits be a derivative of the Columbus line, here the Columbus 2 much of the development of its seating products to the company’s vast experience in maintenance, repair and overhaul, which officials say make HAECO unique among seat manufacturers. Spending decades looking at vulnerabilities in airline seating the company has manufactured a product born of experience. “Seat supply is a substantial part of the cabin solutions portfolio,” said Jeff Luedeke, HAECO’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The Vector is made with an aluminum base frame, but the addition of carbon fiber material has result in a seat that offers a weight savings of approximately 20%. Economy product for a seat pitch of up to 38 On the Vector-Y+ HAECO has added inches. Aviointeriors has made the C4 with a more carbon fiber construction with a recline 10-inch recline coupled with an articulated seat along with seat pan articulation designed to pan, maximizing comfort for the passengers. be among the industry leaders in living space The C4 is aimed at a Premium Economy for the passenger. market, which Forsbrey said is growing at A third Vector model, this one designed approximately 7% per year. Because the seat for Premium Economy Class is scheduled for is a derivative of the company’s current line, introduction this year. he advised Aviointeriors can price the C4 at a cost of less than half of the current offering on A fourth C the market which is a big differentiator in this Another company looking for sales in the market. “We believe this product will attract a burgeoning Premium Economy segment is Aviointeriors. The Italian company has recently added a new CEO, Ermanno De Vecchi, who has a strong automotive background and noted change specialist. To work with airline customers the company also recently took on industry veteran Jeffrey Forsbrey, as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In recent years Aviointeriors has been concentrating on adding and improving its product line and operations at its massive plant located near Latina, Italy, just south of Rome. From there, the company makes a full line of airline seating from the Zeus and MonaLisa models for First Class, its Perseus, Zeus, Andromeda for Business Class and its Columbus family of Economy seats and Centaurus for Economy Class. It will be in the Columbus line where Aviointeriors debuts at Hamburg its latest offering, the C4. The company has designed a Premium


lot of airlines because of its comfort and cost factors,” said Forsbrey. In addition to the C4 Aviointeriors will be showing visitors its latest offering in seating for the VIP market. By the time the industry gathers in Singapore for the Airline Passenger Experience Association and Aircraft Interiors Expo, he said the company would also be showing its newest product for Business Class, a fully flat seat aimed at both the premium BC and high density BC markets.

The industry will be getting the first looks at the new lightweight Economy Class seat from Mirus Aircraft Seating at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo

SEATING Under wraps until Hamburg

This will be the first year that Mirus Aircraft Seating will be attending the Aircraft Interiors Expo, but in the short time the company has been in existence it has already secured a major customer for its lightweight Economy Class seat. The seat, and the customer will be unveiled in Hamburg. The company is also in active discussions with other potential customers and soon, manufacturing will begin at the company’s 3,500 square-meter plant in Norfolk, approximately an hour and a half northeast of London. Production is scheduled to start in the middle of this year. Mirus was started by Phil Hall, who is the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Ben McGuire, who is the Chief Operating Officer. Both men have an automotive background, which includes working with Formula 1 racecars. Mirus is touting the seat’s blend of sleek styling and ergonomics. “One of the things they have taken from the automotive world is computer aided engineering,” said Nicola Sykes, who works in Marketing for Mirus. “They have done a lot of modeling of dynamic events and testing in a virtual realm before anything was produced or manufactured.”

Lawmakers pressure FAA on seat pitch As the aircraft interiors industry was preparing to gather in Hamburg, the issue of seat pitch was playing out in the halls of Congress in the United States. On March 8, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal announced that he would file and amendment to the bill that reauthorizes funding for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration calling for the federal government to adopt minimum seat-space standards that the Connecticut Democrat said would “protect the health and safety of passengers.” In addition, Blumenthal said there should be a moratorium on further decreases in seating pitch until standards can be set. The move has picked up support. The U.S. Business Travel Coalition has said that that the country’s Department of Transportation should conduct a study. Blumenthal did not specifically name what dimensions he would deem acceptable or whether the rule could be applied to non-U.S. airlines operating in the country. On the other side of the debate is the U.S. lobbying organization Airlines for America, which has come out against regulation in seat pitch beyond determining what is safe and said the industry should rely on market forces and consumer decisions. The move to regulate seat pitch on U.S. aircraft also has the backing of U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. In a statement at the end of February, Schumer said that studies have shown that the seat pitch on aircraft has dropped from 35 inches before deregulation in the 1970s to approximately 31 inches, while seat width has narrowed from 18.5 inches 20 years ago to approximately 17 inches. The current FAA authorization was scheduled to expire March 31.


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One of Pascall Aviation’s selection of line replacement units

Powered through history

Pascall Electronics cut its teeth supplying in-seat power to some of the forerunners of inflight entertainment. Now the company moves into the future with new ownership and expansion taking place by RICK LUNDSTROM


omewhere, in a remote corner of the world, a 777 may still be flying with an in-seat inflight entertainment system from GEC Marconi (GMIS). The passenger, fiddling with the controls, is hoping to while away a few hours with some programming. It would be his or her good fortune if the system - no longer supported by the original suppliers – were still operable. But there is one thing that Phil Brace, who manages IFEC and Airborne Power Solutions for Pascall Electronics, said he can be fairly sure of: the power supplies for the IFE will still be functioning. The GMIS system, well known in the early generations of inflight entertainment, was one of the applications where the Isle of Wight-based Pascall Electronics earned its first reputation as a provider of reliable power units for media servers and in-seat displays. Though GMIS may have been one of the first, Pascall’s power supplies have been driving IFE products from the earliest days, with industry pioneers such as Hughes-Avicom, Sony Transcom and Matsushita to name a few. Now, as the company grows with new ownership, it finds itself also working with a new field of IFE, cabin and connectivity providers, supplying power to USB charging systems, high bandwidth satellite communications and the juice that drives actuators, moving expensive and


complicated aircraft seating into positions Brace considers that the design lifespan required for the comfort and safety of the of one of the company’s power supplies is passenger. It is probably not a company approximately 10 years, “What you always that is known to the passenger, but it has aim for in this business is that your power become an important partner for a num- solution should more than the adequately ber of high profile providers of airborne address the extended life cycle of the syshardware, many of whom are derived from tem,” he said. He has seen power supplies those early system manufacturers. that have been flying much longer than that “Our real strength is in our high levels coming into the company’s repair facility of service and reliability. It’s what Pascall as part of planned maintenance, refurbishis known and recognized for. It is a sincere ment and overhaul programs. and straightforward approach that we take Pascall Electronics is on the verge of seeto the market” said Brace. “For us ‘reliable ing increases in its capability in the months airborne power’ means that wherever tech- to come. Last summer, the company was nically possible we design and manufacture acquired by Data Device Corporation a ‘fit-and-forget’ product.” (DDC) of Bohemia, New York. In addiBrace estimates that over the company’s tion to the introduction of further lean 22-year history in the IFEC market, more manufacturing techniques to improve than 165,000 of the company’s line-replace- efficiencies, DDC has made a significant able units have been installed on aircraft investment to transform the Pascall plant. around the world. The number of Pascall This year, a number of upgrades have power supplies can vary greatly per aircraft increased Pascall’s production capacity and actual system architecture, from a and expanded the company’s vibration and single unit for a SATCOM application to a temperature testing capabilities in a new power supply for every seat group or row. purpose designed building. Pascall power supConstruction goes on at the Pascall plant on the Isle of Wight plies can be found in the electronic e quipme nt b ay, under seats, behind sidewalls, above the overhead lockers and in under floor compartments.


Value-added design ST Aerospace, the world’s biggest commercial airframe MRO provider, is eyeing opportunities in Asia and the Middle East with the opening of a new VIP aircraft interiors center in Singapore A completed BBJ awaiting redelivery to the customer at VT San Antonio Aerospace’s facility. Photo credit to ST Aerospace


T Aerospace (Singapore Technologies Aerospace Ltd) is the fast-growing aerospace arm of ST Engineering. Operating a global MRO network with facilities and affiliates in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, it is the world’s largest commercial airframe MRO provider with a global customer base that includes leading airlines, airfreight and military operators. Generating revenue of US$2.07 billion in fiscal year 2014, ST Aerospace is an integrated service provider that offers a spectrum of maintenance and engineering services that include airframe, engine and component maintenance, repair and overhaul; engineering design and technical services; and aviation materials and asset management services, including total aviation support. ST Aerospace counts around 8,000 employees worldwide. The company is growing from strength to strength, as it unveiled a new VIP aircraft interiors center in Singapore in

February of this year. The 2,690 square meter facility brings artisanal VIP interiors and refurbishment skills to the city-state, combining craftsmanship with the latest 3D printing technology. It targets the rising demand for bespoke cabin interiors from Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern customers. Located at the Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore, ST Aerospace will bring its full suite of VIP luxury cabin interior design, engineering, installation and maintenance services to the region. With a core team composed of highly skilled engineers and craftsmen, ST Aerospace’s new VIP aircraft interiors center will design, upholster and fabricate cabin interiors, as well as provide maintenance for narrow-body VIP aircraft, including the Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) and Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ), while conceptual design and certification continue to be supported by its VIP interiors team in San Antonio, Texas. The new facility is ST Aerospace’s sec-

ST Aerospace’s Boeing 787 lounge shows some of the Singapore company’s capabilities



ond of its kind – the first was established in 2011 at San Antonio, Texas. The Singapore factory leverages the experience and track record of the successful U.S. facility. All engineers and craftsmen in ST Aerospace’s new VIP aircraft interiors business have received skills training at San Antonio, the birthplace of large aircraft VIP completions, which has access to the skilled craftsmen and trained engineers in that region. “ST Aerospace’s VIP aircraft interiors center is an example of how local companies can move up the value chain by diversifying into high value-added design and engineering services,” said Lim Kok Kiang, Assistant Managing Director of Singapore Economic Development Board. “This center adds vibrancy to our aerospace ecosystem, and enhances Singapore’s attractiveness as a hub from which premium aftermarket services are offered to the region.” Speaking about the opportunities in the region, ST Aerospace President Lim Serh Ghee added: “We see potential in reaching out to customers in this region for VIP aircraft interiors. Besides increasing our geographical footprint to provide convenience to customers in this region, what is also exciting is the amount of skills transfer involved. New skills are imparted from our successful set-up in the U.S., to ensure we offer the same level of aesthetics, engineering and on-time delivery. “Going up the value chain, we believe this new capability in Singapore offers a complete suite of services that cover design, engineering and craftsmanship, enhancing the already strong aviation ecosystem here.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  41


ST Aerospace opened it new facility early this year

The VIP interiors center will create 70 new skilled jobs that will be filled by engineers, technicians and craftsmen. In a bid to uphold the high standards associated with ST Aerospace and its AERIA Luxury Interiors brands, a core group of personnel underwent training in San Antonio to learn the detailed processes that go into VIP completions – from cabinetry and upholstery, to interiors deign, certification and installation, ensuring the same levels of attention to detail and service at the Singapore facility. Officially opened by Dr. Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and National Development, the center is composed of a hangar capable of accommodating a 757 aircraft, design studio, workshops for carpentry, upholstery, sanding and painting, as well as offices for the sales and marketing teams. To meet the needs of high-profile aircraft owners, ST Aerospace’s VIP interiors design team will adopt a consultative design process with the customer or their manager, allowing them to customize each design element for the aircraft, down to the smallest details such as wood grain, fabric, decorative features, and even the upholstery stitching. To facilitate this consultative approach, the center is equipped with facilities that allow aircraft owners to work with inhouse designers to visualize the interior of their aircraft through 3D renderings and 3D printing of scale models for the most realistic impression of each element before the production phase. Upon agreement of the layout and furnishings, the teams proceed to work on the carpentry, upholstery, and entertainment systems, for fabrication and installation. In addition to the opening ceremony on February 11, ST Aerospace confirmed a strong start as it announced the clinching of five major refurbishment and maintenance contracts. Two projects, involving


ster our efforts to deliver world-class quality in aircraft interiors.” ST Aerospace entered the VIP aircraft completion and refurbishment business through its U.S. affiliate, VT San Antonio Aerospace in 2011, branding it AERIA Luxury Interiors. Based in San Antonio, the business specializes in the completions and refurbishment of both Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with access to the skilled craftsmen and trained engineering talent pool in the region. The successful build-up in San Antonio included the redelivery of its first green BBJ, and its appointment as an ACJ service centre and an approved BBJ completion centre. AERIA redelivered its first green BBJ VIP completion for an undisclosed customer at the end of December 2015. The company accepted the green BBJ in late 2014 directly from Boeing. The BBJ VIP interior features a dedicated forward crew lounge, finished galley, conference room, large resting lounge, and master suite. 3D-printed items are showcased in the interior as decorative pieces with elegant finishes, including the application of precious stone. Multiple high-definition monitors complement the modern digital entertainment system. The luxury cabin was also outfitted with a humidification and zonal drying system. A custom-designed exterior paint scheme was included with the design package created by the in-house AERIA design team. Commenting on the project milestone, Ron Soret, AERIA’s Vice President and General Manager of Completions, said: “Redelivery on our first green BBJ is a pivotal moment for AERIA Luxury Interiors. In just a few short years, AERIA has become a prominent competitor in the VIP market. We are pleased to offer a onestop-shop for maintenance, refurbishments and completions.”

an A319 ACJ and a 737 BBJ, will take place at its new VIP interiors center in Singapore. This, along with the strong demand shown at its San Antonio facility, and a steady growth of private aircraft ownership in Asia, are signs that the investment is justified. The five major maintenance and refurbishments contracts are for three BBJs, one ACJ and a 757, from VIP customers in Asia Pacific and the U.S. Aircraft arrivals are scheduled through the first three quarters of 2016. These various VIP refurbishment and maintenance contracts include C-level checks, landing gear and auxiliary power unit change, minor interior refurbishments, upgrading of the cabin management system and inflight entertainment system, improving the Ka-band (faster connectivity and wider bandwidth), and installation of the newly designed tail-mounted Ku/Kaband radome. “We notice a rising trend of aircraft operators requesting for VIP aircraft cabin interior refresh to be performed concurrently with heavy maintenance,” said Ang Chye Kiat, Executive Vice President, Aircraft Maintenance and Modification at ST Aerospace. “The breadth of our VIP completions and maintenance capabilities allows us to provide a complete experience for our customers. While we already offer a one-stop-shop, ST Aerospace continues Fabric and flooring samples at the ST Aerospace showroom to enhance our inhouse capabilities, as evidenced by the recent addition of a brand new VIP aircraft interiors center in Singapore and the expansion of our back-shop support in the U.S. We are confident that these investments will bol-

DESIGN FIRMS Interior work on a Qatar Airways A350

Aiming high With a new, state-of-the-art factory being built, and multiple projects on the go, AIM Altitude is making sparks fly in the aviation design and manufacturing sector by MARY JANE PITTILLA


igh-flying design and manufacturing company AIM Altitude is at the forefront of developing the latest aircraft interiors and is using cutting-edge technology to showcase its skills. Visitors to the company’s stand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in April will be able to experience the next generation of design ideas with the help of virtual reality. This VR experience will enable airline customers – and those passing by the stand thanks to screens on the booth – to see three different schemes for door 2, the entrance for most passengers on wide-body aircraft. The first Classic theme will show a galley on either side of the access point with different finishes and design cues. The second Space scheme will feature a galley on one side of the doorway and a halfheight bar unit on the other, so passengers boarding have a clear line of sight towards the Business Class area. The third scheme, dubbed Social, does not feature a galley at all. In an innovative concept for airlines, this scheme will display a welcoming space boasting a relaxing social area for premium class cabins. In a further showcase of the company’s talents from design to delivery, the AIX stand will incorporate a design studio and the final concept product. The studio will display design ideas, processes and materials (the composites division of AIM Altitude manufactures interior and exterior

components, ceiling and floor panels), alongside certain premium monuments. The concept product will include a life-size 777 galley at door 2, complete with ceiling and partition. “The idea for our AIX stand is to show three phases of our design process, from concept, via an interactive VR experience, through to the final product,” Group Commercial Director Richard Bower tells PAX International from the company’s newly expanded headquarters at Byfleet in the UK, which produces and tests wide-body galleys and stowages for Airbus, Boeing and other clients. “VR is a cutting-edge technology, and we feel it will be a helpful tool that will allow airlines to think about the art of the possible for airline interiors.”

So why the focus on door 2? “The trend is for airlines to have a branded handshake. From the minute the passenger walks onto the plane, they want to express their brand identity,” explains Bower. He says that airlines including British Airways, South African Airways and SWISS, have incorporated AIM Altitude-designed branding panels on their monuments on certain aircraft in their fleets, so this is an area where AIM Altitude believes it can bring real innovation. And, rather than the usual two-galleys-either-side-of-door-2 configuration, the company reckons it can bring clever branding features and ideas to what is often a standard, generic space. This is what the firm’s AIX show booth intends to emphasize.

The new AIM Interiors facility in Bournemouth  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  43

DESIGN FIRMS In a significant development for the company, AIM Altitude is supplying galleys to the 777 program in 2016 and is working with Boeing on achieving full offerability for the platform in due course. This focus on Boeing is a strategic decision. Since AIM Aviation – a world-leading expert in the manufacture of wide-body galleys and premium monuments – acquired the aircraft design specialist Altitude Aerospace Interiors from Air New Zealand in September 2014, the combined firm boasts Altitude’s well-established expertise in the field of Boeing monuments and cabins. “In the past year, we have developed a strong relationship with Boeing, and we’ve been working on a number of 777 galleys which are being supplied this summer,”

says Bower. “Altitude is a great design company that already had a good relationship with Boeing, but they just didn’t have the manufacturing capability that we can provide. It’s been a great acquisition for us.” AIM Altitude showcased an example of its 777 galleys at the Dubai Airshow 2015. The show galley was designed, manufactured and tested to meet 777 requirements, and was also enhanced with a number of features to demonstrate potential improvements in galley design and aesthetics. With an eye firmly on the future, AIM Altitude is continuing to invest in its UKbased manufacturing capability, which currently specializes in cabin interiors, including inflight bars, sky shops and other high-profile design projects. AIM Altitude’s

AIM creates a SWISS welcome AIM Altitude has achieved success in door 2 developments onboard SWISS’s new 777-300 ER, where it created a welcoming entrance featuring branding panels. The composite, backlit panels are controlled by AIM Altitude Autonomous-LightingDimmer (ALD) and are among the first airline applications of the new Sabic Lexan XHR200 transparent, polycarbonate sheet, which meets certification requirements for cabin-facing parts more than 144 square inches in size (a Crystal Cabin Award winner at the AIX show in 2015). The ALD enables feature lighting to be automatically controlled without any connection to the aircraft IFE system or the cabin mood lighting system, allowing airlines to provide differentiation and set the atmosphere for their cabins. The panels feature an illuminated welcome message and world map, as also found in the reception area of the SWISS lounges at Zurich Airport. The two panels, which are installed on the door 2 galleys, facing the passengers during boarding, were engineered, tested and produced by AIM Altitude. Also for SWISS 777 aircraft, the company recently engineered and produced front-row monuments in the premium cabins. These monuments, two located outboard and one in the center, were designed to reflect the overall look and feel of the existing cabin, blending in seamlessly with the surroundings and the premium class seating.

A world map and warm colors greet passengers entering door 2 on the SWISS 777-300 ER


facility in the UK town of Bournemouth designed and built the eye-catching Qatar Airways A380 bar. The construction and fit-out has begun on a new 160,000 square feet purpose-built factory that will be able to consolidate six or seven of the firm’s sites around Bournemouth Airport, located on the southern coast of England. This facility will also provide 30% additional capacity for the design, engineering and manufacture of aircraft cabin interiors, helping the company meet the growing demand for premium bars and monuments. Testing capabilities will also be expanded to support increasing market and regulatory requirements. A dedicated Customer Zone will also be created for existing and prospective customers to view full-size interior mock-ups and develop the customized specifications vital for delivering differentiation in today’s premium cabin areas. AIM Altitude’s new facility is due to be fully operational by late this year. Says Bower: “This major investment in our factory will reflect the high quality products we manufacture for leading airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways. We believed it was time to further industrialize the production of cabin interiors for a market that’s growing at around 5% year, and it will also create more capacity.” Bower points out that AIM Altitude currently has 40-45% of the A330 galley market, including China-based customers. He cites Delta, Hawaiian, South African, China Southern, Iberia and Airbus as examples of customers in this market. With such high ambitions, and with senior aviation industry leaders Dave Barger and Steve Ridgway CBE appointed as non-executive directors, and Andy Stevens, former CEO of Cobham plc, as Chairman of the Board, it was not long before AIM Altitude caught the attention of a suitor. This has come in the form of AVIC Aerospace International Corporation (AVIC), a Chinese multinational aviation company. AIM Altitude is in the process of being acquired by AVIC and, at press time, the deal was expected to be finalized shortly. On completion of the acquisition, AIM Altitude will become a wholly owned subsidiary of AVIC and will continue to operate as it does today, under the AIM Altitude brand, for existing and new airline customers in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas, as well as in China and Asia Pacific.


Lighting systems are taking center stage in this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards, like this short list entry from B/E Aerospace

10 years of

innovation T his year’s Crystal Cabin marks its 10th anniversary with a record 95 entries from 18 countries. Seventy-eight ideas and innovations for aircraft cabins have made it onto the shortlist this year. Organizers say the 2016 focus is on the integration of passengers’ electronic devices with in-flight entertainment systems along new and innovative lighting concepts. Handled by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, the awards will be will announced at a gala dinner on April 5. Speakers at the dinner will include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for Aerospace. Manufacturers and airlines are responding to the desire of passengers to work onboard with their PED’s. Gogo will be fitting its 2Ku system to aircraft, with a dual antenna that allows every passenger to enjoy uninterrupted broadband connectivity for the entire flight. There is also connectivity within the cabin. Whether it’s the integration of content from passengers’ own equipment in the in-flight entertainment system, the use of passengers’ own iPads as monitors in the backrest on short-haul flights, or the possibility of charging a smartphone simply by placing it on the armrest - many manufacturers already have solutions on offer. Conventional in-flight entertainment systems are moving forward, too, as can be seen with “Digital Sky” from Thales, where the screen covers almost the entire backrest of the seat in front. The Skylights Company is pursuing a different path, offering the in-flight program via 3D data glasses for distraction-free cinematic pleasure. Modern LED technology is making it possible to illuminate the cabin inde-


Crystal Cabin Awards enters second decade of spotting the trends

pendently of flight phase and time of day, so that, for example, a sunrise can be simulated on long flights to minimize jet lag. German cabin fitting specialist Diehl Aerosystems is going one step further with its “Dandelion” concept, allowing colored and photographic images — passing clouds, for example — to be projected onto the cabin ceiling and overhead lockers. On the Crystal Cabin Award shortlist, there is the first airborne timber floor, developed by LIST from Austria, for example, and the first bionic-based 3D-printed cabin partitioning wall from Autodesk and Airbus, stable and at the same time extremely lightweight. One especially ingenious idea comes from the young company Soarigami: an economy-class armrest that can be folded out into separate sections, consigning the eternal battle with the neighboring passenger for the last two centimeters of elbow-room to the history books. Once again, the shortlist also includes bold visions for the cabin of the future. The spectrum ranges from an innovative way of dividing the cabin into seating and sleeping areas, as presented in the Zodiac Lifestyle Cabin, to an “Airline of the Future” concept developed by the TEAGUE design studio The Digital Sky product from Thales

from America. The team’s “Poppi” case study extends the airline business model with new elements. Companies could sponsor the unpopular middle seat, for example, using it to offer passengers free products and additional services. “Poppi” may still be a creative and remote idea, but the participation of numerous reputable airlines such as Swiss, Turkish, and Virgin Australia in the Crystal Cabin Award 2016 underlines the fact that this is now much more than just a small event for a small community of specialists. The Crystal Cabin Award has been expanded to eight categories for 2016. From now on, the distinctive trophies will be awarded in the fields of “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “Electronic Systems”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”. Entrants whose submissions are amongst the three finalists for each category, chosen by the 27 expert members of the international judging panel, will have the opportunity to present their concepts at the Aircraft Interiors Expo.



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ANCILLARY REVENUE Skateboard models take a break from filming during a promotion for the Match Made in HEL skateboarding show in 2014. A fashion show on the airport’s runway is set for May 24

Fashion flies


Style is popping up all over Helsinki airspace this spring, with a literal runway fashion and new shopping portal on Finnair


t the end of May, runway number 2 at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport will become the home of a one-of-a-kind fashion show, creatively dubbed a Match Made in HEL. Seven top designers from Asia and Europe will be part of the May 24 fashion show on the airport runway. Organizers, which include Finnair and the airport, were letting out information week by week in mid-April with the first designer announced as Arashi Yanagawa from Japan. Designers from China, Korea, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have been invited to take part. Finnair is touting the event as a way to showcase its world connections that link Asia like no other airline in Europe. The airline flies to 17 Asian destinations, making use of its hub airport’s shorter con-

The Nordic Sky Portal on Finnair’s A350. The Portal is available for entertainment, connectivity and shopping throughout the aircraft


nections. However, before the first model’s feet meet the asphalt catwalk, Finnair has already begun a fashion-related program of its own aboard its new A350, opening its Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal for clothing sales in a cooperative agreement with a well-known Finnish fashion house. The Nordic Sky portal can be accessed by all passengers on the A350, on compatible handheld devices or laptops without any additional fees. The Panasonic system aboard the A350 has a section to purchase fashions from the spring and summer 2016 collection of Makia. Finnair currently has three A350s and will also install Wi-Fi on the rest of its Airbus fleet, starting this year. Finnair develops its Wi-Fi portal in cooperation with the Finnish tech company Reaktor. The Nordic Sky-Fi system does not require a dedicated app and is a web-based service that can operate without and Internet connection throughout the A350 aircraft. “Reaktor has also been involved on the Finnair mobile app project and the A330 and A340 IFE renewal project,” said Harri Valkama, Manager, Inflight eCommerce and IFEC. “From the Nordic Sky Wi-Fi you can now also book an airport taxi, book destination services

(tours, dinners, concert tickets) and rent a car from the destination. More retail partners will be coming soon.” Cabforce Taxi Service can be booked from the A350s at least two hours before landing. After the booking, passengers will have a driver meet them at the airport for a ride to their final destination. Finnair uses a company called Viator Destination Services for booking side trips, dinner cruises, and concert tickets. Passengers purchasing the Makia clothing can have the products delivered to the purchaser’s home. Finnair gets a commission from the clothing purchases. The offices of the clothing company, Makia are located in what is the old worker district of Helsinki, also known at Moterosso. The company offices are next door to the city’s shipyards. Makia has developed a line of durable clothing designed to handle the extreme weather of northern Europe. The company’s logo is the 19th century lighthouse of Harmaja. “Our cooperation with Makia is an example of the future of on-board shopping,” said Jarkko Konttinen, Vice President, and Product Development at Finnair in the February announcement of the new service. “Our acclaimed Nordic Sky Wi-Fi portal offers a unique way to our customers to shop Makia clothes while on board our A350 aircraft. We’re happy to introduce a top Finnish brand to our international customers: Makia’s fresh and timeless clothing design suits well to Finnair brand identity.”


Retail on the move

Stefan Patermann, Retail inMotion’s Chief Commercial Officer

LSG Group has two new fully owned subsidiaries and a popular awards program, all dedicated to growing inflight sales by RICK LUNDSTROM


wo Irish companies specializing in onboard sales are now completely part of the LSG Group and at this year’s AIX/WTCE event in Hamburg will be showing their capabilities in meeting consumer needs and building consumer profiles for their airline customers. At the same time, another division of LSG Sky Chefs has been taking a hands-on approach, bringing together cabin crew for days of discussion and fun, with a goal of learning the ropes of inflight sales. The announcement of the full purchase of Retail inMotion and Media inMotion happened in early February of this year, about the same time as gategroup announced it had purchased Scandinaviabased Inflight Service (see sidebar story). LSG Sky Chefs and Retail inMotion had been working closely since early 2003 with the goal of building up competence in onboard retail. Rather than concentrating on specific projects, customers or regions, the purchase will open up more capabilities. “This is a clear difference to other partnerships, which are usually focused on certain products or aspects of our business,” said Stefan Patermann, Retail inMotion’s Chief Commercial Officer. “Bringing them together under a common ownership in order to increase the benefits for all parties involved, was just a logical next step.” Currently, Retail inMotion and LSG Sky Chefs have four major customers: Germanwings/Eurowings, SunExpress, TUI Group and Ryanair. The purchase of the two companies comes at a time when onboard sales are increasing in importance, said Patermann. Among the focus by LSG Sky Chefs and Retail inMotion is food and beverage products, boutique items such as cigarettes, watches and pens and what Patermann

calls “virtual products,” such as dinner reservations and trips to holiday destinations. Such sales opportunities exist long before the flight, during a pre-order process and through onboard sales whether by crew or through the inflight entertainment system. “In the past, onboard retail mainly existed on board low cost airlines,” said Patermann. “But we see a clear shift from complimentary catering models to onboard retail. Currently almost all airlines are running projects to increase ancillary revenues through retail concepts.” Both acquisitions bring with them their own specialties. Retail inMotion focuses on retail business with an expertise on the procurement and distribution of buy-onboard products, complete management of Buy-on-Board programs and end-to-end information technology support. Media inMotion’s portfolio includes hardware and software solutions for inflight retail systems, which offer much more variety and choice than traditional Inflight Entertainment Systems. The company’s systems integrate onboard shopping capabilities, thus providing an additional sales channel to passengers, as well as broadening the range of products and services offered for sale onboard.

Motivation for Monarch Airlines cabin crew

Monarch Airlines cabin crew this year were again acknowledged for outstanding inflight sales performance at the third annual OMG! Conference, Training and Awards for sponsored by Alpha LSG a subsidiary of LSG Sky Chefs. The awards were presented during a dinner at the culmination of a two-day reward and recognition seminar held March 1-2 at the Beaumont Estate Hotel in Windsor. Sixty-five of the best performing members of Monarch’s cabin crew attended. Paul Gurnell, Alpha LSG’s Sales and Marketing Director hosted the ceremony and attended by Alpha LSG CEO Alex Forbes. Over the two days, Monarch’s best performing cabin crew and regional management worked with the Alpha LSG in-flight retail team in “brand immersion sessions.” They attended workshops on public speaking to help lead sales as and took part

A gala dinner and awards ceremony capped two days of seminars and discussions for the Monarch Airlines cabin crew  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  49

ANCILLARY REVENUE in commercially focused team-building activities such as a Masterchef and a Catwalk Challenge designed to motivate and display the brands that Monarch sells onboard. “It was a pleasure to see our Cabin Crew recognized by Alpha LSG for their excellent work for inflight service and retail. The crew really enjoyed the training days and of course, the recognition at the awards ceremony,” said Adrian Tighe, Monarch’s Chief Commercial Officer. “We are immensely proud of the very high levels of customer service that our crew consistently deliver to

our customers, something which we know they are all very passionate about. He said Alpha LSG is investing in the development of new products, innovative marketing concepts and new sales platforms, but added that the most important asset of all is the cabin crew. Gurnell said that Alpha LSG and Monarch had together designed a meaningful recognition program to reward and recognize as many people as possible who contribute to the airline’s inflight performance on more than17, 500 flights per year.

Inflight Service Group purchased by gategroup in February gategroup Holding AG announced recently that it has met all closing conditions and has acquired Inflight Service Group (“IFS”). The transaction, says gategroup will increase revenue to the company by CHF250 million (US$253 million) and EBITDA by CHF13.4 million (US$13.5 million) annually. Complementing the transaction is TUI Group’s recently announced a five-year contract with gategroup via Gate Retail Onboard. The agreement covers management of inflight retail food and beverage and duty free items as well as pre-order sales in the U.K. and across the Nordic countries. “The acquisition of IFS, now concluded, further expands gategroup’s leadership position in buy on board services in terms of size, number of customers, business intelligence (with data comprising purchasing preferences of more than 175 million passengers worldwide), and on-board technology,” said a February 2 release from gategroup. “We are very pleased to bring together gategroup and IFS, creating the basis for the best buy-on-board offering in the industry and leveraging our proven brand of quality and innovation to delight airline customers and their passengers. Additionally, the signing of the contract with TUI is another step in expanding our platform of customers, and we thank TUI for their trust in gategroup,” said Xavier Rossinyol, gategroup Chief Executive Officer.

Sessions on public speaking and sales were part of the workshop session of the OMG! Conference Training and Awards

Delta Air Lines Is 2015 IdeaWorksCompany champ for revenue innovation


deaWorksCompany continues a year-end tradition by identifying the airlines that have shown the greatest prowess in ancillary revenue, a la carte pricing, and loyalty marketing. “Throughout 2015, we assessed the top ancillary revenue producing airlines and the most generous frequent flier programs, and issued reports that described the industry’s service innovation and product development; and offered practical advice for airline executives,” said a release from the Wisconsin-based company. The culmination of this work is the Airline Ancillary Revenue and Loyalty Guide for 2015. The Guide includes every published report and survey issued by IdeaWorksCompany during the year. In reviewing this material, IdeaWorksCompany found that a select group of airlines clearly stood apart in their quest for new sources of revenue success. This list of the Top FIVE Revenue Innovation Champs for 2015 represents the work of the front line employees and management teams who delivered exceptional results during the year. At he top of the list is Delta Air Lines. In 2015 Delta began offering a new


product called Delta Comfort+. For a modest upgrade charge, passengers get priority boarding, dedicated overhead bin space, extra legroom, superior snacks on longer flights, free drinks such as beer and wine, and complimentary premium entertainment. “This ancillary revenue generator has been a huge financial success for Delta; IdeaWorksCompany estimates the carrier sells more than 45,000 Comfort+ seats a day,” said a release IdeaWorksCompany. A program at Gatwick Airport that allows passengers to purchase what looks very much like an insurance policy, gives them protection if an inbound flight is delayed or cancelled and a passenger misses and outbound flight. SWISS International is offering a new program of branded fares called Light, Classic and Flex. JetBlue Airways has improved its inflight purchasing with Apple Pay and added cabin software that helps crew break language barriers with passengers. Finally, AirAsia now offers a smart phone chat program with the help of its supplier, Tune Box.


One example of the Avia Carré Ecoline carpeting from ege and Leki Aviation

A blank canvas by


Airlines and companies have long contemplated the potential of reaching passengers through display advertising inflight. And though they have tread carefully, messages in parts of the cabin are showing up in various forms


sk Jens Klein, Head of Aviation and Trains for the Danish carpet company known as ege what makes up a high-quality airline carpet, and his answer covers the various qualities and range of materials that are used from the wools and nylons in various weaves and patterns that are found in airlines around the world. Toxicity and flammability compliance is one of the areas where there is little to no room for flexibility. Beyond that, airlines have a number of options. However, one of the discussions that inevitably comes up in each and every visit with a potential customer is the cost. Carpeting needs to be replaced regularly on an aircraft and the expense is naturally one that an airline would like to minimize. So ege, along with its partner, Leki Aviation is bringing to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo a solution that involves helping an airline save money on installations by turning the aircraft floor into advertising space using the latest printing technology. Brand-conscious airlines have been slow to accept the possibility of using advertising as a source of revenue. Ever concerned about how messages would be perceived by passengers, they have often chosen to leave behind a vast potential to tap into the consciousness of their captive audience and earn some revenue. However, when the first wave of lowcost carriers began adopting the practice,

they have become slightly more receptive to the idea, and the evidence can be found in places like the airline tray table that sits in front of passengers for hours at a time. Now, carriers like airberlin are offering potential advertisers a broad range of options through a Media Catalog for its flights that range from 40 minutes to up to five hours.

New technology, new possibilities

The carpet company ege first exhibited at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2015. They will be back this year, in partnership with Leki on a new product called Avia Carré Ecoline which opens up possibilities with the help of a tufted loop pile construction with a 100% recycled material called Polyamide. The line is combined with a patented process called Millitron® that embeds a custom-designed image deep into the carpet. The two Danish companies are planning to have samples available in Hamburg and say the possibilities for airlines using the product could range from logos, to row numbers. Using the Millitron technology, even pictures can be reproduced in a carpet with speed, precision and durability. The companies say that orders for the product can be placed in quantities as small as 200 square meters. Custom designs can be produced in a couple days and the lead time for delivery can be as short as four weeks.

However, Klein tells PAX International that the two companies are very aware that selling the concept will take some doing in some cases. Airlines are constantly concerned about alienating passengers with advertising messages. The two companies will also have to assure potential customers that the images will retain through the life of the carpet. Some potential customers, Klein said, simply may not like having their logo under someone’s foot. “You need to change some mindsets,” he said. But the partners appear ready for the challenge, and one of the ways that could be effective would be for airlines to avoid the costly installation process by passing it on to a company interested in getting a message out through the airline cabin. The companies have created some mockups and a product for a charter airline in Brazil for the FIFA World Cup football tournament. The carpeting touts the event and has a logo for Coca-Cola. One of the qualities that Leki Aviation saw in the Avia Carré Ecoline product was the environmental bona fides. The carpets are produced from a material called Aquafil ECONYL® that is sourced from discarded fishing nets. “Abandoned fishing nets account for one-tenth of the waste in the ocean and are a serious threat to the environment,” said a description of the product from Leki Aviation. “Reusing these materials to create lightweight carpets for the aviation industry  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  51

ONBOARD ADVERTISING not only helps marine life, but also saves fuel and non-renewable raw materials.” While an airline might like the idea of using recycled products, they would also be interested in the possibility of cutting the cost of installing the carpeting to zero and that possibility exists with Avia Carré Ecoline if the cost of the installation can be borne by a potential advertiser looking to market products and services in the airport environment.

Advertising space is available for purchase by companies in several locations on airberlin

On the tray

The airline tray table is certainly getting attention these days. Passengers flying with personal electronic devices are seeing features designed to accommodate viewing content inflight. With a tray table lowered, a passenger has within their view a platform for a potential advertising message that low-cost-carriers are making use of, and some of the legacy carriers are tentatively embracing as well. Brand Connections in New York has followed the retention rate in static advertising installed in the tray tables in its SkyMedia program. Follow-up surveys have shown that the retention rate for the advertising is in the 30% to 40% range without prompting. When prompted, subjects in the study recall messages in the ads in the 70% to 80% range. For more than 10 years, the company has had its SkyMedia program. However, when aviation took a financial hit in the last decade, much of the progress that the company had made slowed down. However in the last year, Brand Connections has had a heretofore unlikely partner in two major legacy carriers in American Airlines and United Airlines. The success however, took a different form. Instead of the airlines interested in advertising space for potential revenue, the Brand Connection seatback advertising was not for a paying third party, but for the airlines themselves. That has been successful in helping the airline customers get the word out to passengers about features and programs. “We really flipped the model,” said Victoria Drechsler Chief Operating Officer of Brand Connections in New York. Instead of touting SkyMedia as a place for potential revenue, it was also sold to American Airlines as a way to help holders of the airline’s Citi Card holder make some transitions during its merger with US Airways. A second ad campaign is heading into a six-month renewal on United Airlines. In that example, the company’s tray table is 52  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2016

used to promote its inflight entertainment app. United has the seatback message on its fleet of A319s and A320s and on its 777s. Brand Connections has also expanded the reach and logistics of the SkyMedia program, making use of exclusive partners in cities around the United States to handle the installation process. The use of a wellknown and dependable airside vendor in major cities has done much to calm airline’s concerns said Drechsler. In Europe airberlin has greatly expanded the potential for third-party display advertising aboard its A319s, A320s and A321s through a program with Atlanta-based Global Onboard. The company has an

exclusive product of adhesive advertising displays that it has sold to airline customers and advertisers around the world for several years. Each month, airberlin said approximately 800,000 passengers can be reached with the display advertising on the aircraft. The airline has studied the retention rate of its tray table advertising and has found that it has an unprompted recall rate of 79% among its passengers. The airline sells space elsewhere in the aircraft. Space is available at the time of flight booking, through to check-in, right up the to the flight and the service onboard the aircraft.

Brand Connections’ SkyMedia in use on American Airlines


Laurence Fornari (left) Executive Vice President Sales and Dieudonne Kamate, Vice President of Sales at Skylights stopped by the PAX International stand to demonstrate the company’s virtual reality headsets now in use on several airlines

Blessings and burdens by



ubai, an ancient trading crossroads, is hurtling toward a future along with the rest of the region of intense growth in commercial aviation. The advantages and burdens were discussed in the stands and sessions of the Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO event held February 3 - 4 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. More than 275 suppliers from around the world displayed products and touted capabilities during the two-day event organized by Aviation Week and F&E Aerospace. Organizers placed airline attendance this year at more than 700 from approximately 100 carriers. Altogether more than 4,300 people attended the two-day event. The Middle East region has been producing impressive travel and airline growth over the years. However, behind the numbers are serious challenges as aircraft deliveries continue and dropping fuel costs leave competitive airlines flush with funds for upgrades and in need of staffing in highly specialized areas from management in the offices, to technicians and mechanics in the field to personnel at the growing airports. In the Middle East, demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul is expected grow apace as a new fleet of wide bodies and narrow bodies are delivered. According to a study by aerospace consulting firm ICF International, Middle East MRO demand will grow from US$4.6 billion to US$8.8 billion in the next 10 years, driven highly by the additional twin aisle aircraft that have flooded the region in the last decade.

This year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East addressed the need for infrastructure and personnel, as exhibitors touted new products for everything from flooring to falconry

Part of that demand is being met by projects like the one currently in completion phases in Jeddah where Saudi Aerospace Engineering will increase its maintenance space from seven to 11 hangars in a project that will top US$1 billion. The region’s four main carriers, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines are all growing respective maintenance centers and expecting increases in third party maintenance.

However the burden of specialized maintenance, notably the work in cabin interiors, will also fall on independent operations such as SR Technics and others that specialize in end-to-end projects, and the numbers of such organizations are small. To meet the challenges will require contributions and increased communication between original equipment manufacturers (OEM), suppliers and operators. Such upgrades require more time to

Sebastien Such, Customer Support Manager for Middle East and Africa for seat maker Stelia gets comfortable in the Solstys III seat, which has several improvements over its predecessor  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  53

EVENT COVERAGE Bernhard Randerath (left), Vice President Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering and Oladi Olukolu, Sales Director Aircraft Engineering Services at SR Technics headed up a discussion on cabin interior maintenance

complete and can often result in increased down time for an aircraft. “A handful of MROs can justify a proven track record in complex cabin upgrades,” said Oladi Olukolu, Sales Director Aircraft Engineering Service at SR Technics, in a morning session the first day of the event. The issue of staffing took up a mid-day round table session on the second day. During the hour-long discussion representatives from airline maintenance divisions, engineering companies, airframe builders and others talked about the continuing effort to find and train departments that still rely heavily on expatriate staff. Additional training will also present a challenge as the region’s fleet of aircraft coming on stream will be newer and demand more technical training. Such shortages must be addressed across several segments of aviation and airport development to produce “the skills sets required to keep up with the growth of the aviation industry,” said Kashif Khalid, Campaign Manager for the Gulf Region of the International Air Transport Association. Khalid was moderator of a roundtable session where delegates discussed skilled workforce challenges of the region. Several news announcements and new products could be found at this year’s event. Here is a rundown of the few of the more recent developments: Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeri-


ors announced that TUIfly Netherlands and Jetairfly have selected the company’s economy class Columbus Crew Rest seat model for the provisioning of two 767300s. TUIfly Netherlands and Jetairfly are part of TUI Group, with leisure flights and a fleet of more than 140 aircraft. One or multiple seats in an aircraft cabin or flight crew compartment can recline 40 degrees from the vertical, and provide leg and foot support. The seats are separated from passengers and a curtain provides darkness and sound mitigation. Two exhibitors at this year’s AIME/MRO concluded a joint partnership to work together on the aircraft cabin retrofit and refurbishment markets. D i e h l Ae r o s y s t e m s signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Valencia, California-based Regent Aerospace, for the companies to offer a greater range of products and services from one single source. The agreement will enhance the sales opportunities for Diehl in the market segments for LED interiors lighting, floor-to-floor lining and monuments such as lavatories and galleys. In addition, the joint efforts of the two will include services for refurbishment and repairs for F2F lining parts and monuments. Two representatives from the Maren Münte, Fre nch st ar t - up Public Relations and Communications company Skylights at Kid Systeme with some of the were meeting with company’s line potential customers of products for the company VR headset. The company is offering the headset as turnkey solution that can give passengers an “immersive cinema experience onboard.” The company has developed SkyTheater product that is now in use on several airlines. Passengers can see films in

two and three dimensions on a wide-angle screen with a black background, high definition image, large depth of field, giving users auditory isolation from the cabin. The company combines its glasses with software, flight servicing and device management, handling logistics outside the aircraft, with glasses conditioned and ready for passenger use. Below one of its custom-made VIP leather seats Boxmark had on its stand one of its latest products – flooring, which it developed with a company called F/LIST®. The leather floor for VIP aircraft is available with a customized tiling concept in a range of colors and structures and meets all applicable certification requirements for flammability and slip resistance. “As with all leather products, the material improves with age, and does not suffer from wear and tear,” said a release from Boxmark. “F/LIST® Leather Flooring develops a rich texture that looks beautifully lived in, greatly enriching the style and charisma of the aircraft cabin.” Lufthansa Technik used the show to introduce its new Falcon Master, a transport device allowing falcon owners to carry birds on VIP commercial flights safely and hygienically. “Falconry is an important part of the Middle East’s culture and heritage; it’s a popular sport in the region,” said Ziad Faisal Al Hazmi, CEO of Lufthansa Technik Middle East in an announcement of the new product. “We met with one customer who had been removing rows of seats to create space for falcon transport. With this new Falcon Master he can save all that effort and cost.”


Comfort control



As comfort continues to be a main factor influencing the passenger experience, airlines are looking for cutting edge solutions and Vision Systems’ electronically dimmable windows meets the criteria


ith cabin lighting among the most significant factors separating a pleasant flight from an unpleasant one, it is no wonder innovations in the cabin lighting field are gaining speed. Cabin lighting can easily change a passenger’s perception, either improving their flight experience or hindering it substantially. It has become clear that airlines cannot generate more income by simply increasing seating alone. In today’s competitive market, they need to differentiate their offering by providing passengers with greater comfort, and cabin lighting suppliers like Lyon, France-based Vision Systems are armed with innovative solutions. Vision Systems is a tier-one system supplier that took over Robert Berliet Enterprise — a manufacturer of equipment for the automotive and aeronautic industries, including solar protection — in 2005. Focusing predominantly on solar protection in the aeronautic, boating and rail industries, Vision Systems not only develops solar protection solutions, but also creates onboard entertainment and driver assistance systems. Vision Systems’ Electronically Dimmable Windows (EDW) is the company’s flagship product. The windows are designed to gradually dim from clear to dark to regulate the amount of incoming light, glare and heat. A partnership with Research Frontiers Inc. allowed the company, through a license, to use the Suspended Particle

Device (SPD) film in its solutions and Vision Systems launched the first dimmable window at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2010. Further work enabled the development of other dimmable solutions that can be controlled with a touch panel directly on the window, with the flight attendant panel for cabin-wide master control from the crew, or automatically with integrated light sensors. Two years ago, Vision Systems developed a new concept, Energia, the first self-powered dimmable window with transparent photovoltaic cells integrated into the glazing, which was a finalist for a Crystal Cabin Award in 2014. “Vision Systems’ electronically dimmable windows are probably unique on the market today,” says Alexandra Martin-Devaud, Communication Manager for Vision Systems. “They offer variable shading from fully clear to an extremely dark state (over 99.9% light blockage) and instant response time. They also contribute to a reduction of air conditioning consumption as they default to their darkest possible state when the aircraft is on the ground, maximizing heat rejection and keeping the interior cooler. These solutions block more than 99.9% of harmful UV light and IR, and their fabrication involves noise barriers to keep the cabin quieter.”

Cutting costs

Because electronically dimmable windows have no moving parts as the electronics

In 2014 Vision Systems developed a new concept, Energia, the first self-powered dimmable window with transparent photovoltaic cells integrated into the glazing

are fully integrated, the maintenance costs and downtime are significantly reduced. Furthermore, the windows can be incorporated into flat or curved surfaces (2D, 3D), plastic, glass, or composite glass, offering exceptional optical quality. Vision Systems’ EDW range also includes a partition solution for complete privacy. “These solutions can come as a whole to replace the entire inside window comprising the casing and the dust panel,” explains Martin-Devaud. “The installation is limited to a simple mechanical operation, which is also very advantageous for the aftermarket. Moreover, they can be combined with Vision Systems’ motorized shades.”

Weighing approximately 30% less when compared with motorized shades, electronically dimmable windows do not add weight in comparison to a window with a manual shade  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  55

INNOVATION IN THE CABIN: VISION SYSTEMS Vision System’s electronically dimmable windows were designed to aid its customers’ efforts to reduce costs by way of weight reduction. Weighing approximately 30% less when compared with motorized shades, electronically dimmable windows do not add weight in comparison to windows with manual shades. Furthermore, they integrate X-lite composite glass, which offers a very lightweight, thin, long-life and scratch-resistant dust panel, significantly reducing HVAC consumption and increasing fuel efficiency. “Passengers are provided with visual and thermal comfort, protection from the sun without compromising view, the option to dim the windows dark enough to be able to sleep, no orb effect and an easy-to-control system that can be utilized in three of different ways: with a touch panel directly on the window or a PED, with a flight attendant panel for cabin-wide master control from the crew, or automatically with integrated light sensors,” adds Martin-Devaud. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Vision Systems will unveil a new electronic dimmable windows concept — the integrating transparent display, which was developed to enhance the value of the window seat. The solution combines a dimmable system with a transparent video display offering an interactive moving map and travel services, all together integrated in the aircraft window. The window can be controlled by the passenger through a transparent touchscreen incorporated into the glazing, or by the crew through the flight attendant panel. The dimmable system is based on SPDtechnology and the interactive display uses

a transparent, flexible and thin color video screen. “The benefit for the passengers is to regulate the light and heat, interact with the moving map and get more services, directly on the window,” says Martin-Devaud. “For the airline, the solution conveys a differentiating image and allows improved customer satisfaction, while maximizing revenues.”

Adding convenience

Aside from its EDW range, Vision Systems also allows airlines to offer Wi-Fi AVOD and Internet connectivity on personal devices. Vision Systems’ solution, VisiStream, comes as a single compact box providing Wi-Fi AVOD for 200 tablets simultaneously through wireless access points. The content is selected by the airline from the airline’s content service provider, or from Vision System’s Vision-Cloud catalogue that includes high-definition Hollywood DRM-protected movies, TV series, music, interactive moving maps, tourist information, newspapers, magazines and games. Furthermore, announcements and safety instructions reach the passenger’s PED with priority data flows. The airline can provide Vision Systems’ entertainment solution either via a downloadable application running on all major operating systems, or via web browsers. “The Visi-Stream solution can also offer other functionalities, such as broadcast, cabin management or connectivity, which allows internet access, email with attachments, texting and making calls with passengers’ own smartphones (VoIP),” explains Martin-Devaud. The embedded box can be simply updated daily thanks to 3G/4G connec-

Vision Systems’ electronically dimmable windows offer variable shading from fully clear to an extremely dark state — over 99.9% light blockage — and instant response time


tion with no intervention from the flight crew, which is mandatory in order to have daily press available on board. In the same way, maintenance, and software and settings downloads can be managed remotely. For each customer, Vision Systems develops a tailored solution with a customized user-friendly interface. Wi-Fi connectivity not only generates revenue as it increases customer satisfaction and retention, but also it creates direct additional income. Depending on the choice of the airline, Vision Systems’ IFEC solution can integrate a payment platform for pay content. “Visi-Stream also provides services such as car/hotel/tour hiring, confectionary purchases or advertising, allowing revenue generation for the airline,” adds Martin-Devaud. As for Internet connectivity, it can come as a chargeable option or be offered as a complementary service considering it represents a real differentiating service, especially for smaller airlines. “Vision Systems develops a customized solution depending on the airline business model to ensure a quick return on investment,” explains Martin-Devaud. As Vision Systems’ solution comes as an all-in-one integrated system, the company controls the efficiency of its system. Vision Systems proposes the most adapted configuration of its Visi-Stream solution for its client to ensure the best connectivity on board, and relies on the latest technologies for Satcom services. This allows passengers to benefit from a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection and Internet service, thus experiencing a more enjoyable and comfortable flight.


Philippine Airlines (PAL) will operate its A350-900s on non-stop flights from Manila to the U.S. west coast and New York, as well as on services to new destinations in Europe

Looking to

the East by



n the past few months, Airbus has been making significant strides in its internationalization efforts and partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region. One such stride is the construction that has begun for the development of Airbus’ A330 Widebody Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin, China. Last month, Airbus announced the additional steps the company was taking in the expansion of its global footprint and strategic partnership with China as construction got underway for the A330 Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC). The A330 C&DC will be co-located at the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre. “The ground breaking ceremony for the A330 C&DC in Tianjin marks a new milestone for Airbus’ international footprint and underlines the strong cooperation with our Chinese partners,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO in a release from the company. “This event is significant because the A330 C&DC in Tianjin is our first completion and delivery centre for widebody aircraft outside Europe. Airbus’ long-standing cooperation with China spans single aisle and now also widebody aircraft and we will continue to look for further opportunities in the future.”

With construction underway for a Widebody Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin, a joint venture agreement for airframe maintenance in Singapore and a Memorandum of Understanding with Philippine Airlines, Airbus is strengthening its leadership position in the Asia-Pacific region at an impressive rate

The A330 C&DC Tianjin will cover aircraft completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and flight tests, as well as aircraft delivery and customer flight acceptance. The A330 Family aircraft to be completed at the A330 C&DC Tianjin will be assembled in Toulouse, while painting and cabin fitting will be performed in Tianjin. The release outlines that this latest development of Airbus’ cooperation in China supports the forecast for passenger air traffic in China, which is set to grow well above the world average of 4.6%. The average annual growth for the domestic air traffic market in China will be 6.9% and that for the international market is forecast to be at 6.8%. At present, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators comprises more than 1,240 aircraft (over 170 A330 Family and over 1,000 A320 Family aircraft), making the A330 the most popular wide-body aircraft in China.

Leading the way

Further strengthening its market leading position in Asia-Pacific in 2015, winning 421 net orders from 17 airlines and lessors in the region, Airbus represented 39% of the company’s net order intake last year for 1,080 aircraft.

In addition, a release for the manufacturer states that Airbus delivered 282 new aircraft to 40 operators across the region over the 12-month period, either directly or via leasing companies. This figure represents 44% of Airbus’ total output of 635 aircraft during the year, reflecting the region’s importance to the company. The regional results were announced by Brégier and John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer at the Singapore Air Show earlier this year in February. “The Asia-Pacific region has traditionally been one of our strongest markets,” said Brégier in the announcement at the show. “We expect this trend to continue in the coming years, especially in the widebody market where the A350 XWB is setting new standards in the 300 - 400 seat category.” Presenting the company’s latest forecast for the region, Leahy said that an annual increase in passenger traffic of 5.6% would contribute to a requirement for some 12,800 new aircraft valued at US$2 trillion. This represents 40% of global demand for 32,600 aircraft over the next 20 years, and includes almost half of all widebody deliveries worldwide and over a third of all single-aisle aircraft. “Asia-Pacific will continue to experience stronger growth than any other world

Airbus’ A330 Completion and Delivery Centre in Tianjin, China, the construction of which began on March 2, 2016, will be co-located at the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  57


Airbus’ jetliner product line provides the answers to Asia-Pacific’s air transportation needs during the next decades with its capable and efficient A320, A330, A350 and A380 aircraft families

region as more people fly more often,” said Leahy in the release. “Airbus will be especially well placed to respond to this demand in every size category. From 100 to over 500 seats, and for everything from short regional flights to the world’s longest commercial services, we have the right products to meet the needs of airlines in this fast-growing market.” Over the past 10 years, Airbus has recorded the leading share of sales in the Asia-Pacific region in both the single aisle and widebody markets. This has seen the A320 Family account for 64% of net orders in the single aisle category, while the Airbus widebody aircraft, the A330, A350 XWB and A380 have together won 56% of orders during this timeframe.

Joining forces

Airbus and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) have signed an agreement to form a joint venture based in Singapore. The company will provide airframe maintenance, cabin upgrade and modification services for A380, A350 and A330 aircraft to airlines in the Asia-Pacific. This joint venture marks SIAEC’s first collaboration with a major aircraft manufacturer for airframe maintenance. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals being obtained in the relevant jurisdictions. Under the agreement, SIAEC will hold a 65% equity stake in the joint venture, with Airbus holding the remaining 35%. The joint venture will leverage on the synergy of SIAEC’s extensive maintenance experience and expertise with Airbus’ depth of technical and engineering knowledge as an airframe manufacturer. The joint venture will lease two hangar bays 58  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2016

from SIAEC for its operations, with plans to add another two hangar bays over the next six years. “The joint venture will be Airbus’ Centre of Excellence in Asia for the heavy maintenance of the world’s largest commercial airliner, the A380, and the latest aircraft from Airbus, the A350, said Png Kim Chiang, Chief Executive Officer, SIAEC in a release from Airbus. “SIAEC is delighted to partner Airbus in providing the airline industry with a focused service and technical support for the A380 and A350 fleet.” SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) is a major provider of aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services in the Asia-Pacific region, with a client base of more than 80 international carriers and aerospace equipment manufacturers. “We are pleased to enter into this innovative partnership with SIAEC,” said Brégier in the same release. “Setting up a world-class facility in this region through our joint venture with SIAEC reflects Airbus’ strategy to develop a full range of support services for operators of our aircraft near to their home bases.”

Choosing comfort

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for the order of six A350-900s, with another six purchase options. The news was announced at the Singapore Airshow by Brégier and Jaime J. Bautista, President & COO of Philippine Airlines. Philippine Airlines will configure its A350-900s with a premium three-class layout and will operate the aircraft on nonstop flights from Manila to the U.S. west coast and New York, as well as on services

to new destinations in Europe. The aircraft will enable the carrier to operate non-stop service on the 8,000 nautical mile New York – Manila route all year round with a full passenger load. “The A350 came out on top in meeting our demanding requirements,” said Bautista in a release by Airbus. “With the A350 we will be flying the world‘s most modern airliner, bringing greatly enhanced efficiency and superior passenger comfort. The A350’s range capability has been an important factor in our decision, enabling us to offer non-stop service on all our premium long-haul routes.” The A350 XWB is the world’s latest generation airliner and the newest member of the Airbus widebody family. Featuring the most modern aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuelefficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the A350 XWB brings a 25% reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The extra-wide cabin offers more personal space in all classes, including 18-inch wide seats as standard in economy class. “The A350 XWB has set new standards, combining extra-long range capability with the lowest operating costs of any aircraft in the larger twin aisle category,” said Brégier. “Passengers flying with Philippine Airlines can look forward to the new levels of comfort offered by the aircraft, with a wider and quieter cabin, and more personal space for all.” To date, Airbus has recorded 777 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 41 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.


Exhibit at AIME 2017: Over 750 airline visitors More than 100 airlines represented 280+ exhibitors

Co-located with MRO Middle East



HOT! 2Ku next generation satellite technology

Company Name: Gogo Company Location: Chicago, Illinois Description: Gogo is proud to introduce its next generation satellite technology, 2Ku. Featuring proprietary low-profile, phased array antennas, 2Ku is a game-changer for aviation, outperforming competing global solutions in capacity, cost, coverage and reliability. Since announcing 2Ku, 10 airlines representing more than 850 aircraft have adopted the technology for fleet deployment or a trial of the service. Visit Gogo at stand 3B30

Series 6 Economy Seat

Company Name: Acro Aircraft Seating Company Location: Crawley, United Kingdom Description: Acro’s Series 6 Economy seat is as much an expression of simplicity as the company’s current award-winning product lines. It is a completely redesigned new generation Economy Class seat. The key innovation is to do away with the standard aluminum tube framed seatback and replace it with a fully composite one. This leads to increased passenger comfort, a more sophisticated appearance, greater legroom, lighter weight and greater durability. The seat is offered with a tablet holder integrated into the seatback and is available in both fixed back and reclining versions. Visit Acro Aircraft Seating at stand 6C110

Bluebox Wow

Company Name: Bluebox Avionics Company Location: London, United Kingdom Description: Bluebox Avionics’ latest in portable wireless IFE, Bluebox Walk-on wiFE (Bluebox Wow), is a battery powered, wireless IFE system that can be implemented without the need for an STC. Each Bluebox Wow unit provides support for up to 50 simultaneous users and each unit automatically networks with each other to support larger user communities where necessary. Delivering video, audio and games content as well as a range of customer service capabilities, Bluebox Wow can very quickly bring the delights of wireless IFE to airline passengers. Visit Bluebox Avionics at stand 3B28

3530Swift seat

Company Name: RECARO Aircraft Seating Company Location: Stuttgart, Germany Description: The 3530Swift seat, which Airbus and Recaro offer as SFE (supplier-furnished equipment) for the A320 Family is an innovative economy class seat. Lessor CALC (for Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam), lessor ICBC (for Interjet in Mexico) as well as the Faroe Islands’ Atlantic Airways airline have ordered the SFE seats for eight aircraft from the A320 Family. Furthermore, lessor CIT and an undisclosed Chinese lessor selected this seat for their single-aisle A320ceo and A320neo Family, with a combined total order of over 100 aircraft. The first seat deliveries are to begin in July 2016. CALC/Jetstar Pacific and ICBC/Interjet will be the first customers to receive the 3530Swift seat for their new aircraft. Visit RECARO Aircraft Seating at stand 7B20 60  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2016


Vector Y+™ Economy Class seat

Company Name: HAECO Cabin Solutions Company Location: Lantau, Hong Kong Description: Designed for long-haul operations, HAECO’s new Vector Y+™ economy class passenger seat is the latest model from the Vector™ seat platform featuring carbon fiber construction, recline with seat pan articulation and industry-leading living space. The Vector platform was formally introduced at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in April 2015 and the first order for the Vector Y model, designed for short-haul operations, was booked shortly thereafter. A third seat model is expected to be introduced this year for premium economy cabins. Visit HAECO Cabin Solutions at stand 5D10

Vibration and Environmental Test Building

Company Name: Pascall Electronics Limited Company Location: Isle of Wight, United Kingdom Description: Celebrating its 22nd year supporting the IFEC and airborne power business, Pascall Electronics Limited, a subsidary Data Device Corporation (DDC), is in the midst of a well progressed expansion of the company’s U.K. facility as part of a significant investment program to increase production capacity and optimize manufacture efficiencies and throughput. In addition, a brand new vibration and environmental ‘shake & bake’ test building is being constructed to enhance the qualification testing capabilities. The investments support the ongoing business expansion in power systems to support IFE, connectivity and in-seat power applications. To date, Pascall has more than 165,000 power systems installed. Visit Pascall Electronics Limited at stand 2D81

Reversible USB power and data module

Company Name: IFPL Company Location: Newport, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom Description: IFPL’s new Reversible USB power and data module provides high power USB charging and data transfer at-seat for Portable Electronic Devices (PED) and will be demonstrated at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. The value of IFPL’s Reversible USB-A is that it: allows a passenger to insert their USB plug and always get it right first time; accepts 9-32 input allowing a broad range of installation options; provides 10 times the industry standard reliability; significantly minimizes Customer Induced Damage; and provides airlines with industry leading total cost of ownership. Visit IFPL at stand 2C40

Retro-looking illuminated decorative crest

Company Name: ABC International Company Location: Napoli, Italy Description: Developed in collaboration with FL Technics for Small Planet Airlines, ABC International’s retro-looking illuminated decorative crest is a synthesis between innovation and design applied to a certified aircraft component. The crest is a combination of special geometries of aluminum support and globe/continents layers, which are used to reflect and direct light where needed. These properties allow ABC International to install a minimum quantity of LED lights and permit a drastic reduction of power consumption — the energy stored in a common Smartphone battery can power up a large illuminated decorative crest for up to two to three hours. Contact Stafano Capuano. mobile +39 3459332222 Visit ABC International at stand 6D108  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  61

WHAT’S HOT! Easy Open Airsickness Bag

Company Name: Global Inflight Products (GIP) Company Location: Redmond, Washington Description: Global Inflight Products’ newly developed Easy Open Airsickness Bag easily allows fingers to stay on the outside, protecting passengers and flight attendants from contamination. Quick and easy to use, leak-proof (great to use for heating baby bottles) and available with a square or pinched bottom, the Easy Open Airsickness Bag can be easily customized with a logo. Visit Global Inflight Products at WTCE stand 1J20

B/C flat-bed BACIO

Company Name: Geven Company Location: Napoli, Italy Description: Geven’s B/C flat-bed BACIO, is an enhanced version of the concept demonstrator of last year, implemented with the support of customers and suppliers. The seat boasts the use of innovative and sophisticated materials, focusing on comfort, weight, customizations, distinctive elegance of Italian style, ensuring the best quality/price ratio. BACIO was conceived with the aim of finding harmony between the need for comfort and appeal of the B/C seat and the space and weight restrictions of the different long-range cabins. Passengers can adjust the seat into any position to ensure a high level of comfort not only for sleeping, but also when dining, reading, enjoying calls or inflight entertainment. Visit Geven at stand 5C20

Bi-Fold Tray

Company Name: Astronics Corporation Company Location: Kirkland, Washington Description: Astronics SmartTray® is a multi-purpose aircraft tray table feature for seatback and mounted Economy or Premium Class in-arm applications that facilitate hands-free use of airline-provided or passenger owned portable electronic devices (PEDs) inflight when tray tables are in deployed service position. PEDs are held in a unique and innovative expandable position mechanism (a PED holder) that expands and retracts automatically to accommodate the thickness of the most popular Smartphones and PEDs. Visit Global Inflight Products at stands 2B30, 2B50

Cyclean® Engine Wash Service Station

Company Name: Lufthansa Technik AG Company Location: Hamburg, Germany Description: Lufthansa Tecknik Cyclean® Engine Wash facility is mounted on a vehicle, making it fully mobile, so that it can also be deployed at other nearby airports. An engine wash can be carried out as part of maintenance work, in the transit period between two flights, or overnight. The autonomous system, which does not require any external electricity or water source, gives airline customers flexibility in the planning of engine washes. Cyclean® Engine Wash is up to 70% quicker than convention engine cleaning methods and can be carried out without restriction anywhere on the airport site. The new engine wash can be used on all engine models from the leading manufacturers General Electric, RollsRoyce, Pratt & Whitney, CFMI, and IAE. Cyclean® is the only established engine cleaning system on the market which can be carried out directly at the gate in less than an hour. Visit Lufthansa Technik AG at stand 6B80


THE DESTINATION FOR THE AIRCRAFT INTERIORS INDUSTRY. Aircraft Interiors Expo 2016 5-7 April 2016, Hamburg Messe, Germany The global market leader for the world’s aircraft interiors industry. Aircraft Interiors Expo is the launch pad for cabin programmes showcasing tomorrow’s designs, in-flight entertainment, connectivity and passenger services. Register online for your FREE place today Organised by:

In-corporation with:

Supported by:


MultiMedia Market on APEX schedule for April


msterdam will be the site for the industry’s only global industry event focused to bring together in-flight entertainment buyers and worldwide distributors of various content in the Airline Passengers Experience Association Multimedia Market April 18-20 at the Rai Convention Centre in Amsterdam. The exclusive member’s only conference is where airlines will see a diverse selection of TV shows, movies, GUIs, games, audio and applications as part of their annual content product planning. “With more than 80% of the traveling public represented within APEX’s membership, the impact of the MultiMedia

Market will greatly impact the future of the air passenger experience,” said a February release from APEX. The first two days of the conference are dedicated to appointments with distributors, with the third being an intense day of industry-shaping presentations from top industry experts. Highlights this year include the following presentations: A Keynote Address: The Future of the Passenger Experience will discuss smart investments, unique challenges and promising opportunities for location-based passenger experience enhancements. Technology Specific Content Strategies will be a deep-dive into content streaming, the capabilities and limitations of various inflight technologies and legal and technical hurdles, such as early window content, streaming capabilities, inflight rights and security. The Age of Social Engagement will explore how consumers increasingly engage with brands through social channels; this session will explore tools to help engage the right people. In a session on Virtual and Assisted Reality, attendees will learn how the aviation industry continues to push boundaries and will get get a virtual first-hand look at the current and future innovations that will shape experience at the push of a button. Finally, in Over the Top Content, industry insiders will share options for providing passengers with the content they crave and


C A L E N D A R Aircraft Interiors Expo/World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo April 5-7, Hamburg, Germany. For general inquiries contact AIX at aixhamburg. or call +44 208 271 2174 Marine Hotel Association 31st Anniversary Conference and Trade Show, April 10-12 Hyatt Place/ Orlando Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. For more information, contact MHA at or call 415 332-1903 APEX MultiMedia Market, April 18-20 Amsterdam. For more information contact APEX at or call 212 297–2177 Airline Retail Conference Europe, June 7-8, Olympia Conference Center, London. For more information, contact Martyn McMurray +44 (0)207 092 1284 International Flight Services Association Conference and Exhibition, September 19-21, Chicago. IFSA at or call 404 252-3663 APEX EXPO 2016/Future Travel Experience Asia/ Aircraft Interiors Expo, October 24-27, Singapore. For more information, APEX at or call 212 297–2177

will answer questions related to technical and legal restrictions, the staying power of in-air binge watching and more. In addition to presentations by influential speakers, the APEX MultiMedia Market gives airlines exclusive access to vast amounts of inflight content within the sold-out show floor. “Nowhere else can you find mainstream and specialized content from around the globe—from both niche and major distributors—all under one roof,” said Éric Lauzon, of Air Canada and co-chair for the group that organizes the event. “From an airline perspective, that’s a tremendous value.” For more information about the MultiMedia Market, including registration, attendee details, list of speakers and press information, visit For more information on APEX visit

The best in-flight sound ...just got better Increase headphone performance by combining with Phitek connectors. Magnetic connectors will also significantly increase the life of the jack and eliminate pin breakage.

To discover more, visit us at Aircraft Interiors Expo Stand 4C11, or email

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