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IFEC, INTERIORS & MRO

Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg


Meet Tom, Quality technician and customer comfort hero He makes sure that every seat we deliver to our world-leading airline customers keeps their passengers comfortable and meets exacting quality standards too. Whether working with ultra-low cost operators or premium flag carriers, an entrepreneurial spirit lies at the heart of everything we do - realised through the unique expertise, passion and commitment of every one of our workforce.

At Acro, we don’t just create aircraft seating, we perfect comfort for passengers. Discover how by visiting stand 6B30 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg on 10-12 April. info@acro.aero www.acro.aero T +44 1737 304700


EDITOR’S LETTER 

PAX International 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada

THIS IS YOUR

Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website: www.pax-intl.com

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan

MAGAZINE

E-mail: aijaz@globalmarketingcom.ca

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: rick@pax-intl.com Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: rachel@pax-intl.com Ash Khan, Editorial and Marketing Assistant Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: ash@pax-intl.com CONTRIBUTORS Claire Malcolm Mary Jane Pittilla Polly Magraw

A R T D E PA R T M E N T Jessica Hearn, Art Director E-mail: jessica@globalmarketingcom.ca

ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: kevin@pax-intl.com PAX International is published seven times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, 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 2018, Vol. 25, No. 2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

I

n recent months, PAX International has been working hard to reach out to readers. We have added staff to monitor and disseminate news and information through several new social media outlets, ones that are now used by nearly all companies and publications in this industry and beyond. Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn have joined our digital portfolio, which started with the PAX International website and later the company’s blog and Twitter feed. The era of waiting for publications to “hit the streets” as in the days of newspapers is clearly over. We and all of our competitive colleagues, which include other publications, newsletters and bloggers, move at a breakneck pace that at one time seemed limited only to broadcast media. In PAX International’s other sphere of coverage, airline catering, we have added industry veteran Jeremy Clark to our lineup of online and print writers. We have also embarked on a more rigorous effort to recruit some of the best minds in the industries we cover as guest columnists to give their insight and perspectives as only they can. For those venturing out of the Aircraft Interiors Expo and to the stands at this

year’s jointly held World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, you will find another issue of PAX, one that focuses on the onboard catering and passenger services experience. Our joint coverage of the events at Hamburg is an initiative that we started several years ago, and we are still the only publication that takes this approach. While these two segments of the industry are related, we find that editorial coverage and marketing efforts by our loyal advertisers are different in several ways, and this dual publication approach fills a niche. But in the end, it will be people and not technology that will make a media outlet thrive and succeed. That’s why we encourage you to stop by our stand (2C21) in the WTCE section of the Hamburg Messe and give us your thoughts and ideas on our editorial coverage. Like many, we’re approaching this new era of technology-driven, fast-paced coverage on a learning curve, and who better to ask than the people who have been with us for 21 years and have helped us along the way? Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International

ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International

www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  3


Contents

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REGIONAL REPORT

10

10 SAUDIA TAKES THE STAGE

Two years of brisk aircraft deliveries and a cabin product to compete with any in the Middle East have Saudi Arabian Airlines preparing for increased travel through the Kingdom

14 THE VIEW FROM THE TOP

In a major milestone, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline group, was awarded Skytrax 4-star certification in 2017 – and much more is to come, as the carrier’s CEO explains

SEATING

18 THE BUSINESS CLASS BRAND

18

Seat makers are finding airlines anxious to establish their image with front-cabin seating, while a new generation of aircraft with new capabilities will create greater demand for comfort

36 QUANTIFYING QUALITY

PITCH Aircraft Seating Systems will be getting feedback from visitors at its stand in Hamburg on the importance of seating materials in Y Class. Will perceived value gain some acceptance amid tight pitches and passengers pinching pennies?

IFEC REPORT

26 NEXT GEN OUTLOOK

36

The present was the focus for Panasonic Avionics leading up to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo; however, its annual media briefing will be clearly geared for the future

27 GOGO’S ENTERTAINMENT OPTIONS

The Chicago-based company heads into the new year with new customers using its products for live television in South America and embedded seatback entertainment on a new fleet of Bombardier aircraft

28 LIVING WELL IN FLIGHT With spectacular scenery as a backdrop and the latest in breathing and movement techniques on the screen, Hawaiian Airlines has brought a collection of passenger well-being videos its trans-Pacific flights

INDUSTRY Q&A

30 THE HAMBURG EXPERIENCE

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IFEC, INTERIORS & MRO

ON THE COVER: An up close and personal look at STG Aerospace’s liTeMood® solution in action. Learn more on page 42.

Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg

DEPARTMENTS 3

EDITOR’S NOTE

6

NEWS

8

PEOPLE NEWS

50

WHAT’S HOT

54

ASSOCIATION NEWS

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The 14,000 attendees expected at this year’s AIX/WTCE will see an event that grows and evolves year on year. However, Event Director Polly Magraw says that with proper planning, visitors have all the tools they need to navigate the massive halls and plan their Passenger Experience Week

EVENTS

34 CELEBRATING INNOVATION

April 10, 2018 marks the twelfth annual Crystal Cabin Awards, a night when deserving candidates will be honored in categories ranging from cabin systems to IFEC and beyond

46 PAVED FOR POTENTIAL

January’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East offered attendees a chance to see a regional segment of the aviation industry anxious for needed growth

TROLLEYS

38 BRINGING COLOR TO THE CABIN

Leading manufacturers give their views on the trolley market and reveal their exciting new product developments in the pipeline

LIGHTING

42 GETTING IN THE MOOD

LED and cabin mood lighting bring benefits to both airlines and passengers, as these major suppliers are proving


ZODIAC INFLIGHT INNOVATIONS ZODIAC AEROSYSTEMS Connected Cabin Division


NEWS

COMPANY NEWS

Atlasglobal to repair A320 components at Turkish Technic Turkish Technic and Atlasglobal signed an agreement this year, effective until 2023, for the repair and supply of components for its A320 aircraft fleet. The contract covers component repair and supply on an ATA Chapter basis. Access to components will be available from Turkish Technic’s Istanbul main base and worldwide pooling stations. Repair work of the components will be carried out at Turkish Technic’s Sabiha Gokcen facilities. The new agreement is a continuation of the 2013 contract between Turkish Technic and Atlasglobal. “I would like to thank Atlasglobal for expressing their trust and confidence to Turkish Technic with regard to component repair and supply services for their A320 fleet,” said Turkish Technic CEO Ahmet Karaman. “The renewal of the agreement for another five years is a clear indicator of the quality of the service we deliver along with customer satisfaction. Turkish Technic is an important trademark, providing MRO services to more than a hundred airlines.” “We trust in the quality of Turkish Technic’s services. We are pleased to be provided with the services of Turkish Technic, one of the top 10 leading MRO centers in the world,” said Atlasglobal CEO Sermed Temizkan. Atlasglobal was established in 2001 in Turkey for passenger and cargo transportation on unscheduled flights. Atlasglobal began to operate on domestic and international scheduled flights in 2004.

Zodiac Aerospace selected to retrofit lavatories on SIA 777s Zodiac Aerospace Services announced in February that Singapore Airlines has selected the Revolution™ Toilet to retrofit its 777 fleet. Zodiac Aerospace Services and Singapore Airlines have signed a contract to replace their current lavatories and the associated maintenance covered by their Power By the Hour (PBH) program over a period of 10 years. Developed by Zodiac Water and Waste Systems, the Revolution™ Toilet is designed to reduce toilet problems and maintenance cost with the product’s modular design while improving the flight experience for Singapore Airlines passengers. Worldwide, all Airbus A320CEO and NEO and A380 aircraft are delivered line-fit with Zodiac Aerospace’s Revolution™ Toilet. Major multi-platform operators have started to implement the modification on their Boeing and Airbus fleets.

Zodiac’s Revolution™ Toilet

Expliseat adds new lightweight offering France-based Expliseat has launched the TiSeat E2, a model that is 60% lighter than traditional Economy Class seats, according to a February 15 press release from the seating company. The launch comes two years after Expliseat launched the proof of concept Titanium Seat NEO, designed in partnership with Peugeot Design Lab. When installed on 737, the company claims that CO2 emissions can be reduced by as much as 4% in addition to other valuable benefits such as a reduction in fuel bills and more room for passengers and cargo. On a new 737 MAX 10, this lighter profile could save up to 3,750 pounds in weight.

The company says 3,750 pounds can be trimmed from a 737 MAX 10 with its TiSeat E2

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“To design the TiSeat E2, we radically changed our way of working,” explained Benjamin Saada, President and founder of Expliseat, in a statement. “Our ambition for this product is twofold: to go as far as the TiSeat E1, our current short-haul aircraft seat, on weight performance and to satisfy as many airlines as possible, albeit their diverse needs.” Finding inspiration in auto manufacturers’ concept car model, Expliseat began showing seating concepts to airlines in 2016. This system allowed hundreds of experts and a dozen airlines to test the seat, which in turn allowed Expliseat to adjust the standard model. Being able to offer a multifaceted, flexible product is important in order to be able to adjust to a customer’s needs, said Saada. “New aircraft are more and more versatile. Today, the same aircraft can operate several short segments and then fly across the Atlantic. We had to offer a unique seat for all situations.” The TiSeat E2 configuration can be customized by airlines to support their unique needs, including IFE or in-seat power systems, storage configuration, meal tray dimensions and foam density, and level of support dictated by flight duration.


NEWS

COMPANY NEWS

Trolley additions showcased by Semmco Semmco showcased several solutions in their SMART range at MRO Middle East 2018, in addition to a nitrogen trolley that complements their existing portfolio of products. Innovations included a SMART Oxygen Trolley, SMART Charge and SMART Check digital inflators. In a post-show statement, Stuart McOnie, Managing Director at Semmco, said: “We have had a fantastic first year in the Middle East and were thrilled to introduce new products at MRO 2018. We found the show a great success, delivering many new opportunities. I look forward to seeing our ambitious growth plans take shape this year.” Semmco opened a dedicated maintenance and assembly facility in Dubai in 2017 that serves the Middle East, Far East and Africa. According to the company’s statement, Semmco’s attendance at the exhibition shows “how the company now

operates at the core of the Middle Eastern market” and its commitment to supplying customers such as Emirates, Etihad, British Airways and Lufthansa with quality product.

Semmco’s oxygen and nitrogen trolleys are among several products shown at this year’s MRO Middle East event in Dubai, where the company recently opened an office

AIRLINE NEWS

Finnair latest carrier to dump newsprint Cabin crew disposing of strewn-aside newspapers will be thing of the past, at least on long-haul Finnair flights. The airline announced February 8 that PDFs of more than 50 newspapers from all corners of the world would be available on Finnair’s A330 and A350 aircraft via their Nordic Sky portal. The portal can be accessed free of charge with passengers’ personal devices in both Business and Economy Class and without the need to purchase Wi-Fi. Digital newspapers will also be available on A350 flights on the Helsinki-London-Helsinki route. While the airline will cease distributing traditional paper newspapers on its long-haul flights, passengers on European flights will still be offered paper editions. Paper issues will be phased out altogether later this year when Wi-Fi is made available on the carrier’s European fleet. In a February 8 statement, Tiina Vesterinen, Director for Customer Experience Development at Finnair, commented: “We are happy to be able to offer a wide selection of digital newspapers to our international customers. With digital papers, customers always get the latest copy, regardless of where their flight is departing from, and we never run out of stock.” Fifty newspapers will be available through Finnair’s Nordic Sky portal

BA moves ahead with high-speed connectivity British Airways has started powering some of its long-haul aircraft with high-speed Wi-Fi, and will outfit connectivity in 118 of its widebodies over the next two years. Passengers are advised of the availability of Wi-Fi when they board a connected aircraft, allowing them to browse and stream from their seat. British Airways provides high-speed bandwidth to customers, with Internet being available approximately 10 minutes after take-off when the aircraft has passed 10,000 feet. The portal works with the latest operating systems from Apple, Android and Windows, allowing customers to connect on a variety of devices. To celebrate the launch, British Airways partnered with Visa to connect customers on board the first Wi-Fi enabled flights. For a limited time, they were able to connect to high speed Wi-Fi and enjoy an hour of free browsing and streaming, courtesy of Visa. Passengers now can choose from two paid-for Wi-Fi packages including the ‘Browse’ package, which supports internet surfing, social media and WhatsApp, or the ‘Stream’ package, which supports streaming of music and entertainment from the very best online content services, including Netflix. The packages are available to purchase for one hour, four hours or the full flight. Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said: “British Airways has launched its multi-million pound investment plan to benefit its customers with more choice and quality for all. Staying connected is important to our customers who want to be able to work, browse and stream in the air. They can now look forward to enjoying the latest generation Wi-Fi across our long-haul fleet over the next two years.” BA is offering Gogo’s 2Ku service on long haul, while partnering with the European Aviation Network for flights over the continent.

www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  7


PEOPLE NEWS 

Astronics names new EVP Sales Astronics Corporation, through its wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Test Systems (ATS), has expanded its senior staff with the hiring of Samer Kabbani as Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development. Kabbani’s career spans more than 20 years in the semiconductor capital Samer Kabbani equipment industry, where he served in a variety of engineering, corporate business development and executive management roles. He joins Astronics Test Systems after a 14-year tenure at Cohu, where he served in key senior management roles, including president of Delta Design Systems. He led the strategy and overall execution of the business unit’s automation, thermal and vision product lines. “I am delighted to join Astronics and be part of their innovative culture,” Kabbani stated in the January announcement. “With several industry-leading products under its belt and a highly agile and talented team, Astronics Test Systems is growing across a number of exciting industry opportunities. I look forward to playing an integral role in deploying disruptive and highly enabling solutions to our customers.” Kabbani holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal and has completed various management and development programs to further his education at the University of California, San Diego and Northwestern University. Throughout his career, he accumulated more than 20 patents and is a registered inventor in the areas of IC thermal management, photoresist processing, factory automation, vision alignment and inspection.

Girin heads Asia sales for Gogo Gogo announced late last year the appointment of Alexis Girin as Vice President of Asia Pacific (APAC) Sales. Girin has 15 years of international experience in airline IT business development, sales and account management, most recently Alexis Girin as the Amadeus Account Director for Singapore Airlines Group developing a long-term IT partnership designed to increase airline revenues, which included a next-generation revenue management system, personalization and a merchandising platform. At Amadeus, he worked across several regions including Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Before

8  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2018

relocating to Asia Pacific in 2011, he spent seven years based in Nice, France where he led an airline IT sales strategy that included digital platforms such as e-commerce, mobile and passenger service systems. He holds an MBA and an Engineering degree from L’Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees in Paris. Girin leads as sales team in the APAC region from Singapore and reports to Gogo’s Senior Vice President of International Sales, Niels Steenstrup. “Gogo is committed to serving our airline partners in APAC and growing our business in this region by selling 2Ku, which is the leading global connectivity solution designed the meet the needs of aviation,” said Steenstrup. “Alexis is a passionate and influential business leader with a proven track record of success and is the perfect fit to lead our sales efforts in Asia Pacific.”

Gogo Appoints Oakleigh Thorne as President/CEO Gogo announced March 5 that Oakleigh Thorne has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Thorne’s appointment follows the mutual decision by Michael J. Small and the Gogo Board of Directors for Small to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of the Company. Thorne, a director of the Company since 2003, has approximately 30 years leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Thorndale Farm LLC, the family office of the Thorne family, which is the largest Gogo shareholder, at 30% of the company’s outstanding common stock. Thorne has served in numerous senior management positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of two public companies. From May 2000 until July 2007, Thorne was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eCollege.com. Under his leadership, he drove a five-fold increase in equity value, which culminated in the sale of the company for more than $500 million. Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Clearing House and led a significant operational transformation that culminated in CCH’s $1.9 billion sale to Wolters Kluwer in 1996.

Oakleigh Thorne


ESSENZA Essentially: class! Geven's latest response to the newest quirks of high density comfort seating. Light and tight - Essenza's little body is all you need to carry passengers in comfort in spite of the smaller pitches.  Essential in design, but substantial in reliability.  Conceived for the short haul - its life cycle is one you can count on for the long haul.

Fly beyond expectations www.geven.com


REGIONAL REPORT

SAUDIA takes the stage Two years of brisk aircraft deliveries and a cabin product to compete with any in the Middle East have Saudi Arabian Airlines preparing for increased travel through the Kingdom by RICK LUNDSTROM

First Suite can be found in a 1-2-1 configuration on SAUDIA’S fleet of 777s

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month. The airline is concurrently beefing up its entertainment offerings and other onboard amenities and service elements across its fleet during this time. All of this activity is taking place during an ambitious expansion program in the King Abdulaziz International Airport to accommodate up to 80 million passengers per year by 2035. Rockwell Collins was selected by SAUDIA to supply the seating in the First Suite. In the currently equipped 777 aircraft, there are 12 suites in a 1-2-1 configuration with sliding glass doors. Entertainment is viewed on a 24-inch screen and passengers can control the lighting and inflight entertainment through a modern GUI panel.

IFE in the cabin

Lie-flat luxury on SAUDIA’s 777

Rockwell Collins supplied seating for SAUDIA’S First Suite

T

oward the end of 2017, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) marked one year in service for the launch of its suite-style cabin configuration on its fleet of 777-300ERs, including a suite that is a fitting showcase and an almost necessary passenger experience on full-service airlines in the region. In the year since the launch SAUDIA has carried more than 800,000 passengers on 4,500 777 flights. But growth and improvements for the airline have not stopped there. A small group of those 800,000 travelers, 25,000 or so, had the chance to experience the airline’s First Class suites, fittingly titled ‘First Suite.’ A number of important suppliers came together to help the airline build the cabin environment, and the privacy-cloaked tests highlighted the technological advancements showcased in the configuration. First Suite was only one development in a two-year period of dynamic change, with new aircraft, both 777s and A330-200ERs, arriving at a rate of more than two per

Passengers may not be aware of the pace of aircraft deliveries – SAUDIA has added 60 new aircraft to their fleet over the last two years – but what they no doubt notice is the substantial increase in inflight entertainment options, expanded connectivity and the ability to place mobile phone calls on dozens of aircraft in the fleet. In June of last year, SAUDIA announced that it would be increasing the entertainment options on board its aircraft by 50% following an agreement with entertainment powerhouses Warner Brothers and Fox. The agreement adds a selection of Hollywood titles, from early-window to late-window to classic. Arabic cinema from modern to classic is also offered, along with international films in more than 12 languages. Popular selections include Bollywood, European, Far East and regional Indian. The airline also has a selection of TV programs that includes Western and Arabic comedy and drama. In addition to these well-known entertainment companies, SAUDIA accessed more than 200 programs from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance. There are also hundreds of offerings customized for children, from classic cartoons to TV programs, movies and games. Like many other airlines in the Middle East, SAUDIA has recognized the need for passengers to use mobile phones in flight. With its GSM capability, 90 aircraft in the fleet outfitted with Wi-Fi have the capability for passengers to place personal calls. The increased entertainment offerings are playing on two embedded systems. SAUDIA has 18 aircraft currently outfitted with the eX3 system from Panasonic that can hold more than 3,500 hours of programming, while the remaining fleet is outfitted with the Generation Three Avant system from Thales that can store more than 3,000 hours of entertainment. SAUDIA has committed Panasonic as a supplier for its widebody fleet. In November of last year, Panasonic announced that it had secured a deal for 43 aircraft in the airline’s short- and long-haul fleets. Three systems, the Panasonic eX1 seatback system for single aisle, eX3 for widebody and eXO overhead system, were part of the order. “Once the new entertainment solutions by Panasonic are retrofitted on the existing A320 fleet and new A320 aircraft are delivered, our guests on board will be able to maximize their time in the sky with a wide range of entertainment solutions to make their onboard journeys even more enjoyable,” said Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al Jasser, in the November announcement of the Panasonic deal. The SAUDIA A320-NEO/A321-NEO fleet is expected to deliver in the third quarter of 2019 while the A320 aircraft with www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  11


REGIONAL REPORT the eX1 IFE system retrofit is expected to deliver in the second quarter of this year. SAUDIA has also revamped its Internet connectivity offering with a pair of initiatives that were first launched in the fall of 2016. It was then that the airline announced its SKYfi Club, a wireless streaming Internet platform supplied by KID-Systeme, which also supplies in-seat power to the airline’s 777s. The SKYfi platform was line-fit on 20 of SAUDIA’s A330s which will be completed by the end of this year. Up to 30 of the airline’s A320 aircraft will also be outfitted with SKYfi. With this system, passengers can access streaming Internet content through their personal electronic devices. The next improvement was announced in September of 2017 when SAUDIA began working with the Internet ONAIR system from SITAONAIR. The system will pro-

vide Internet connectivity on 76 of the airline’s aircraft. Internet ONAIR has what the airline says is the world’s first e-ticket solution and a welcome perk for premium passengers. With the service, passengers traveling in First and Business Classes will have access to complimentary inflight Wi-Fi content by entering their e-ticket code into the portal. “This means that going forward on flights with the new Wi-Fi hub, no codes are required to access Wi-Fi onboard,” said the September announcement from SAUDIA. “The user experience has been enhanced with faster speeds and a sleeker, more intuitive design with improved navigation and user interface.” Through the new service, passengers in Economy Class have the option to buy Wi-Fi packages before their flights, during the booking stage. The booking is completed through the Amadeus Application Programming Interface, and once on the aircraft these passengers are also able to access Internet with no codes or logins. SITA sees the system on board SAUDIA as the “next-level IFC experience” that offers more personalization, said Dominique El Bez, SITA’s Vice President of Strategy. “Every SITAONAIR Internet ONAIR-activated airline can now benefit from our more ergonomic, mobile friendly design and augmented user experience and take that next step to achieving the brand-defining, individualized IFC experience passengers value,” El Bez commented.

SAUDIA’s cabin layout on the 787 with line-fit of Panasonic’s eX3 entertainment system

Economy Class seating on SAUDIA’s 787s

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The future on board

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Visit us at AIX in Hamburg, 10-12 April 2018, booth 6B80.

Aircraft modification means more than just offering products from nose to tail. Our broadband connectivity solutions are a shining example of how we integrate a world of possibilities – ranging from live cooking to innovative cabin interiors – into fleets of any mix and size. Lufthansa Technik AG, marketing.sales@lht.dlh.de Call us: +49-40-5070-5553

www.lufthansa-technik.com


REGIONAL REPORT

THE VIEW from the top

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Ethiopian’s content providers Inflight Audio and West Outdoor Interactive offer audio and video content as well as games on board its flights

In a major milestone, Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest airline group, was awarded Skytrax 4-star certification in 2017 – and much more is to come, as the carrier’s CEO explains by MARY JANE PITTILLA

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ewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, has a wide-ranging and ambitious plan for the African carrier. And much of it centers on the passenger experience, not just operations. “As stated in our strategic roadmap, Vision 2025, we envision becoming the leading aviation group in Africa by providing safe, market-driven and customer-focused passenger and cargo transport, aviation training, flight catering, MRO and ground services,” he tells PAX International. “We realize that customer satisfaction is a defining factor to realize our overall growth ambitions. That’s why we consider building the capacity of our employees, including our frontline customer service providers, as one of the pillars of Vision 2025, besides improving and expanding our fleet, infrastructure and technology.” With that in mind, the airline has expanded its Aviation Academy – which is now the largest in Africa – so as to provide world-class aviation training to its staff, including its cabin crew who serve customers on board. “And our efforts are bearing fruit,” he enthuses. “Just last year, we won Skytrax 4-star certification as a recognition of our commitment to continuously improve our customer service. But we are not complacent with what we have achieved so far. We will keep pushing the boundaries of service excellence towards achieving 5-star rating as soon as possible.” Cabin service is one area the airline is supremely focused on – and that includes providing a distinct sense of place. “As a customer-focused airline, we strive to provide the best customer experience possible for our passengers. We treat our customers with the best of Ethiopian hospitality.


“In Business Class, passengers will have a taste of Ethiopian culture with a range of Ethiopian dishes and our unique flat bread (injera). Ethiopian coffee is also served with cultural cups and coffee pots.“ Furthermore, the carrier has also designed a traditional clothing pattern, locally known as ‘tilet’, for the cabin partition on the upcoming 737 MAX, due to be delivered in July 2018. In addition, traditional scarfs, shawls and jewelry are also sold duty free on board their flights, he says. Food is an area in which a sense of place is evident. For Economy Class travelers, a selection of breakfast and lunch/dinner is offered, including appetizers, beverage and dessert. In Business Class, passengers enjoy a full breakfast including a selection of beverages, appetizers and meals. The lunch/ dinner served in Business Class also contains a variety of salads, appetiz-

“We are not complacent with what we have achieved so far. We will keep pushing the boundaries of service excellence towards achieving 5-star rating as soon as possible.” ers, main course and dessert, as well as a range of Ethiopian national dishes. And that’s not all, thanks to a partnership with a well-known Ethiopian chef. “To ensure best meal service for our customers, we have partnered with Ethiopia’s most popular cook, Chef Yohanis, who traveled around the world to learn the art of cookery,” explains GebreMariam. Ethiopian’s state-of the art inflight catering facility was officially inaugurated in October 2016. The G+1 In-flight Catering covers 11,500 square meters, encompassing the most modern operations and food processing area,

fully-equipped with hi-tech cooking and bakery equipment, large capacity dishwashing and heavy-duty ice cube machines, hot kitchen, storage units, cold rooms, stores, flow wrapping, loading bays, high lift trucks and vans, varieties of cooling facilities and a dedicated Halal kitchen. The new facility boosted Ethiopian’s meal uplift capacity to more than 100,000 meals per day, compared to the 36,000daily volume it produced previously. At the time of the inauguration, GebreMariam remarked: “This modern facility will significantly enhance our capacity of offering a wide variety

A look at the flat-bed seats offered on Ethiopian’s retrofitted 767-300s

Making strides in Cloud Nine In late 2017, Ethiopian retrofitted Its 767300 fleet with flat-bed seats and Wi-Fi IFE. The newly refurbished airplane is fitted with new full flat-bed seats in Cloud Nine (Business Class), modern IFE with high-resolution 17-inch screen and in-seat power outlets for inflight entertainment, lighting and other modern cabin products. Customers in the main cabin will also enjoy new seats, multiple channels of inflight audio and video entertainment accessible with their own mobile devices or tablets. Commenting on the retrofit, GebreMariam said at the time: “We have invested more than US$6 million to retrofit our 767-300 ER fleet, which will surely provide more choice and greater comfort to our customers. By December 2017, all our 767 fleet will be fitted with flat-bed seats in Cloud Nine with access to a range of video programming available for wireless streaming in all cabins. I would like to congratulate our engineering and maintenance team at Ethiopian MRO for the job well done and wish to pledge to our customers that we shall always strive to ensure their extra comfort every time they fly with us.” Ethiopian Airlines has currently deployed 92 of the youngest (five years average fleet age) and most modern fleet, with future plans to receive 19 A350900s, four 787-900s and five Q400s.

www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  15


REGIONAL REPORT menu of meal services to our esteemed customers – from the traditional staple injera to a selection of world cuisines: Chinese, Indian, Ottoman, Italian, Halal and many more. Moreover, Ethiopian Catering being one of our seven Strategic Business Units, it has well positioned itself to successfully accomplish its vision of becoming the most competitive and leading in-flight catering service provider in Africa, while maintaining highest service quality and safety standards.” Ethiopian Catering provides in-flight catering services for more than 240 Ethiopian daily departing flights, VIP and charter flights, as well as to Ethiopian customer airlines flying to Addis Ababa. Following its strategic partnership with other airlines, Ethiopian Catering is looking to extend its operation, opening other new facilities in Africa. Other more recent highlights for the airline include the launch of the Single African Air Transport Market, which GebreMariam describes as “a

Vision 2025, Ethiopian’s strategic roadmap, envisions the airline becoming the leading aviation group in Africa by providing safe, market-driven and customer-focused passenger transport, aviation training, flight catering, MRO and ground services, says Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam

FACT FILE

Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines is the fastest-growing Airline in Africa. In its 70-plus years of operation, Ethiopian has become one of the continent’s leading carriers. Ethiopian commands the lion’s share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network, operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 100 international passenger and cargo destinations across five continents. Ethiopian’s fleet includes ultra-modern and environmentally-friendly aircraft such as A350, 787, 777-300ER, 777-200LR, 777-200 Freighter and Bombardier Q400 double cabin with an average fleet age of five years. Ethiopian is the first airline in Africa to own and operate these aircraft. Ethiopian is implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that will see it become the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centers: Ethiopian Express & Ancillary Services; Ethiopian International Services; Ethiopian Cargo Services; Ethiopian MRO Services; Ethiopian Aviation Academy; ET In-flight Catering; and Ethiopian Ground Services. Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline registering an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.

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“Ethiopian’s new facility boosted their meal uplift capacity to more than 100,000 meals per day, compared to the 36,000-daily volume it produced previously.” significant step towards creating an open sky for African airlines and boosting tourism, trade and growth for the continent. As a pan-African airline, we have been advocating for full liberalization of market access between African States, free exercise of traffic rights and elimination of restrictions in line with the Yamoussoukro Decision of 1999.” The other innovation for passengers is the launch of its brand new mobile application which enables customers to manage their travel process including booking, check-in, acquiring their boarding pass and checking flight status. The app is an innovative platform that seeks to improve its customer service even further. In a separate personnel initiative, the company recently installed an A350 flight simulator to train its trainee pilots to fly the cutting-edge A350 aircraft,

six of which it is operating currently. Turning to inflight entertainment, the airline’s content providers are Inflight Audio and West Outdoor Interactive companies. “We offer audio and video content as well as games on board our flights. The audio contents include different genres of globally popular music as well as instrumentals and Ethiopian music. Audio books are also among the audio materials passengers can enjoy on board our flights,” he says. The video content also covers different genres of movies, including for children. In addition to Hollywood movies, it also offers African, Hindi, European, Arabic, Brazilian and Chinese movies. Popular TV series are also included in the video content provided, and under the game category, more than 20 different games are offered.


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SEATING

THE BUSINESS CLASS BRAND by RICK LUNDSTROM

Seat makers are finding airlines anxious to establish their image with frontcabin seating, while a new generation of aircraft with new capabilities will create greater demand for comfort

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The QSuite in Qatar Airways continues to garner attention for its unique abilities and features

rowsing through the massive stands and exhibits of seating at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, it is easy to be impressed with the wave of new designs and innovations that are filling the Business Class cabins of full-service airlines around the world. Demand among these highly competitive airlines for a sophisticated Business Class configuration that not only provides comfort and luxury but also reflects the airline’s personality has been strong. The discussion of standardizing products for ease of installation seems to have given way to competition, pushing manufacturers to create unique layouts and products. Even as long-haul Business Class cabins continue to replace First Class, they are heavily borrowing elements from the luxury of that once-ubiquitous symbol of high-end travel, from doors to features designed to add privacy and comfort. In another part of the commercial aviation world, a new generation of narrow-body aircraft such as the A320 family and the 737 MAX stand poised to write a new chapter in air travel. The aircraft have the ability to fly longer and further, reaching Europe from the Middle East and the East Coast of the United States from Europe. With these new capabilities, Business Class in narrow body aircraft will more and more be outfitted with lie-flat seating with features such as ample storage and power for a variety of devices and inflight entertainment options that include seatback screens and accessories that adapt to passengers’ personal electronic devices. With all the demand for such seating, many companies are in a position to take full advantage. “These include companies that create components for seats, companies the manufacture seats, inflight entertainment manufacturers and companies that provide installation services,” reads the introduction to a report from Forecast International published in November of last year. Rockwell Collins has spotted the potential for growth and success in the seating market and last year fully acquired seat maker B/E Aerospace. With the large company now in the fold, Rockwell Collins boasts the ability to outfit an airline with its products from cockpit to the back cabin. One of the new owner’s most prominent products was the QSuite, now found on the long-haul fleet of Qatar Airways. The new seating bound

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for Doha was rolling off the assembly lines in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, when PAX International visited last spring. “Products like the QSuite highlight the need to enhance the passenger experience, and we think this will drive the Business Class market in the future,” said Mark Vaughan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Aircraft Seating for Interior Systems at Rockwell Collins. QSuite is installed on the 777-300ER wide-body aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet. The development was part of three years of collaborative design and development that began at B/E Aerospace. Outfitted with a range of connectivity and comfort features, the QSuite’s versatility can be enhanced with configurations made in flight that either create high levels of privacy or can be arranged as a collaborative work or family space. The world saw the first aircraft outfitted with the QSuite at last summer’s Paris Air Show. QSuite service was first introduced on flights to London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. At the start of this year, Qatar Airways also added QSuite service to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The product will also be onboard the airlines A350-900 and A350-1000. The CL4710 from Recaro is a replacement for the company’s CL4400


SEATING

The new Business Class cabin on El Al 787s with the CL6710 seat from Recaro

As Qatar Airways was showing its QSuite to the aviation world in Paris, German seat maker Recaro announced a launch customer for one of its projects that had been years in the works. The Business Class cabin on El Al Israel Airlines’ 787 Dreamliners now have Recaro’s CL6710 seat. The upper stowage compartment as well as the design of the CL6710 was adapted to El Al’s specific requirements. The airline will be equipping 15 model 787-9 and 787-8 aircraft with Recaro seats, and others are also planned. In addition to the CL6710, Recaro’s PL3530 and the CL3710 seats are also being deployed in the Premium Economy and Economy Classes. The CL6710 long-distance seat was developed at the Recaro headquarters in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, where it is also currently being manufactured. “When we started development of the CL6710, we started from a white sheet of paper,” said Hans Reuber, Head of Product Management at Recaro. What El Al was seeking, said Reuber, is the same thing that airlines around the world are after: the opportunity to make the look of the Business Class cabin clearly define the airline’s service product. “We took this into account when we started developing the concept for the CL6710, and we followed a modular approach,” said Reuber. That modularity enables Recaro to adapt designs to each airline’s requirements and fit it into the airline’s branding.” Another issue that Reuber and Recaro see surfacing in the future is the collective weight of Business Class cabins. With fully outfitted Business Classes, Reuber said airline customers are finding out that newly purchased aircraft may not be able to fulfill missions such as long-distance intercontinental routes.

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Once a concern for mainly the back of the aircraft, the new designs in Business Class (now incorporating elements of the less-prevalent First Class) are creating a weight burden that Recaro has addressed with the CL6710. “We believe that weight will be a very important factor in the future also in Business Class, and we are well prepared for that one,” he said. Recaro works with their subsidiary South African company AAT Composites for lightweight seating elements such as the shell on the CL6710.

The narrow-body experience

Plush seating with long lists of features may be grabbing headlines, but the workhorse aircraft that operate day in, day out service is where much attention and innovation will be found in the years to come. One of the products that Recaro will feature prominently at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo will be another seat in its Business Class portfolio, the CL4710. Recaro has outfitted the seat with a number of features, including a calf rest that is adjustable in length and tilt to accommodate passengers of any height. Reuber said the CL4710 has become a “first choice” for airlines’ domestic Business Class. With the product’s innovations, passengers seated in the CL4710 can organize their space into a comfortable workplace – with all controls in easy reach. From the outer console, a generously sized table with a tablet holder can be extended over half or the entire seat surface. Power, audio and USB ports are integrated into the center console, making them easily accessible without restricting the living space, and the Passenger Control Unit (PCU) allows the large


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SEATING “Some airlines – many of the Middle Eastern airlines – are asking for full-flat seating on the A320, so this is now the frontier and the direction we should move,” said Baldascino.

Stepping into Business Class

Forty-four shipsets of the Geven Comoda seat are flying on flydubai

video screen to be operated conveniently and intuitively. Recaro first showed the seat at the 2017 Aircraft Interiors Expo as a successor to its CL4400 product. Looking to other parts of the European seating market, Italian manufacturer Geven’s Business Class product is Comoda, designed for use on the A320 Series aircraft and the 737. Though the company specializes in seating for Economy Class, Geven found a potential market for a Business Class seating geared exclusively to the two aircraft types. “While we were participating in tendors from airlines for Business Class for single aisle, we were always facing competition [that was] proposing a Business Class for single aisle as a derivative product from long-range aircraft,” said Rodolfo Baldascino, Marketing and Sales Manager at Geven Spa. As a result, airlines often received seating that was too complicated, too heavy and sometimes manufactured with electronic components that did not fit the mission of the aircraft. Also, with a product not made specifically for the A320 or 737, aisle width was not optimized as easily as it would have been with seating that was designed both the aircraft types. The advantages of the Comoda are the simplicity of design and its materials, said Baldascino. Aircraft used on short- and medium-haul flights have a high rate of daily utilization, and the mechanical features of the Comoda make the product reliable and useful for aircraft that fly multiple segments per day. The company’s main customer for the Comoda has been flydubai, which has 44 ship sets of the seat in the Business Class cabins of its 737-800s. Other customers include South African Airlines and Germania in Europe. However, Geven is looking beyond the steady customer base toward the growing markets in Russia and the Middle East. To meet potential customer demands, plans are in the offing for a third-generation Comoda, and Geven is again watching the development of the A320 and 737 families into aircraft that are being manufactured with the capability of flying for five to six hours. For those airlines, a Business Class product resembling those on an intercontinental cabin will bring Geven back to the design tables.

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Since being purchased in full purchase last fall by Chinese conglomerate ZTC, Alan McInnes, Senior Vice President of Sales for Acro Aircraft Seating, says day-to-day operations in the UK company have not changed at all. The company’s CEO Chris Brady still calls the shots, but a new corporate shareholder is taking a long-term view of the airline seating market, giving planners the ability to see Acro’s direction in degrees of decades instead of two to three years. Acro has already started out the year with important milestones. In February, the company noted the delivery of its Series 6 seat for Economy Class and was counting the days until April when it will deliver its Series 7 seat, designed for a front-cabin domestic service. The company’s owner, a prominent seating maker in China, has been watching worldwide expenditures for aircraft. With nearly half of the worldwide seating expenditures for Business Class, Acro is well on its way to competing with players large and small. “It is a market underserved in terms of capacity and what the airlines want, and so we have already started forming the project team and building the resources to do something in Business Class,” said McInnes. But Acro will not entirely be a stranger to the market. Brady earned his reputation in the industry during his days as head of product development at Virgin Atlantic Airways where he developed one of the industry’s first lie-flat seats for the

Acro’s Series 7 will fly on Primera this fall


SEATING airline’s premium service. The company may also be taking on a design agency as a partner to develop the new product. From there, McInnes said Acro will take the next leap into engineering, testing, electrical actuation and all the other steps. Like the other competitors mentioned, McInnes said Acro will try to accomplish something that is very hard to do: the creation of a simple, elegant product, designed for a narrowbody market that is changing. By listening to aircraft manufactures he has learned that up to 15% of the aircraft in the A321 market will have a Business Class cabin with full lie-flat seating. “We see what is happening with the A321neo and the 737 MAX long-range. The capabilities of the airframes and the mission lengths they can operate on are going up, so suddenly you have this narrow-body

requirement for a Business Class seat,” he said. By having the longer-term viewpoint and a shareholder to back them, McGinnis said Acro could emerge with a Business Class seat, possibly with lie-flat capability, by 2022. One of the airlines that is making use of the functions of the new aircraft will be Primera, Acro’s customer for the Series 6 and the Series 7 that will be delivered in April. The leisure carrier, a long-time customer of Acro, is receiving new orders for the A321 and 737 MAX and will be doing point-to-point service across the Atlantic Ocean with the new aircraft. Among the destinations are routes from London Stansted Airport to Washington Dulles and Toronto, Birmingham to Toronto, and Paris to New York.

UTC makes mark with cabin attendant seating Though they may not make the headlines and offer all the features of seating in the premium cabins, seating for flight attendants has become increasingly important as aircraft missions change and labor unions call for a cabin geared for crew comfort as well. UTC Aerospace Systems, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has a division devoted to making seating for flight attendants. Though its acquisition of AMI years ago, the company has supplied more than 120,000 cabin attendant seats. Brandon Powell, Manager of Aftermarket Seating Product Development and VIP sales, says airframe manufacturers have asked the company to revisit its line of seating and make products that are lighter, have fewer parts and are more pleasing aesthetically. This year, UTC will bring its Vail™ line of Boeing cabin attendant seating and high-comfort cabin attendant seating. The Vail Seating Series encompasses an on-wing upholstery modification program for the Boeing fleet. The Silver package is designed to improve the upholstery quality of cabin attendant seats with a specific focus on look, feel and lead time. The company also makes the Aspen™ series of cabin attendant seating for the A330. Airline labor unions are starting to demand more comfort for cabin attendants on long-haul flights, says Powell. As aircraft such as the A320 and 737 MAX begin flying longer segments, he said signs point to a greater need for airlines to have comfortable features for flight attendants. The Vail is also built for weight savings. Depend-

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ing on the options, which could include storage space for flashlights and smoke hoods, airlines selecting the seat could see two to four pounds in weight reduction. In addition to cabin attendant seating, UTC Aerospace makes a line of VIP seating for business jets, cockpit seating for aircraft and helicopters, and ejection seating for the military.

UTC Aerospace brought a version of this high-comfort cabin attendant seating to last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo


IFEC REPORT

Next Gen Outlook

The present was the focus for Panasonic Avionics leading up to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo; however, its annual media briefing will be clearly geared for the future

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hough Panasonic Avionics was keeping much under wraps as the industry prepared for this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, the fact that an executive with a unique background was going to play an important role in this year’s media briefing gives some indication as to what lies ahead in Hamburg. Dave Bartlett joined Panasonic at the end of last summer as the company’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief Information Security Officer. Previously, Bartlett held the same title at Current by GE, a division of the aircraft engine maker specializing in LED lighting, solar solutions, networked sensors and software for modern cities. Before that, he was Director of IBM Europe’s Software Development Lab and led the company’s Autonomic Computing program strategy at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center where he worked on the development of the Watson computer, famed in IBM television commercials and the American quiz show Jeopardy for its ability to answer questions posed in natural language. Bartlett’s background in data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning will “give some hint of what we are going to be talk-

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ing about,” Jon Norris, Panasonic’s Senior Director – Corporate Sales and Marketing, tells PAX International. Other news was taking place in the run-up to the expo. At press time, Panasonic announced the future launch of the company’s first Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) coverage, planned to supply 21 Asian carriers that are Panasonic customers with multiple gigahertz Ku-band capacity over China and East Asia. The company is working with the APT Mobile Satcom Limited which helped design the satellite, dubbed APSTAR-6D. With the announcement, Panasonic confirmed that the companies are “building on a long-standing and successful capacity relationship.” In parts of the company’s IFEC business, eyes are on the future as well. Earlier this year, Panasonic began working with a number of airline customers on the company’s High Throughput Satellite (HTS) communications network that covers high-traffic areas around the world with spot beams that support Panasonic’s global inflight television service. The company’s first HTS coverage, Eutelsat 172B, entered service in November of last year over the Pacific Ocean after a launch in early June. The satellite is being operated by Eutelsat Commu-

nications with a footprint that covers the west coast of North America, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. More HTS satellites will be “layered” over the important air traffic areas of the world. The HTS network, which offers bandwidth up to 20 times greater than previously available, is supported with a satellite modem from a company called Newtec. The Newtec modem improves Internet and video streaming Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications, improves television picture quality and broadens channel choice. For the airlines that select it, it gives them the ability of offer 3G telephone service and greater bandwidth for crew applications. In early March, approximately 150 aircraft over North America were flying with the Newtec modem. “Progressively, we have a schedule where we are retrofitting those on the current fleet and all new aircraft going forward will have those installed,” said Norris. This XTS capacity was announced in March and will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently launched third-generation communications network, which is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.


Gogo Vision Touch is a go on Delta’s CS100 aircraft

GOGO’S entertainment options by RICK LUNDSTROM

The Chicago-based company heads into the new year with new customers using its products for live television in South America and embedded seatback entertainment on a new fleet of Bombardier aircraft

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t least year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, inflight Internet provider Gogo made its first moves into supplying embedded IFE with the announcement of a simple system of seatback entertainment called Gogo Vision Touch and a launch customer in Delta Air Lines. The Chicago-based company is also moving into the new year with a new Chief Executive Officer and President in the person of Oakleigh Thorne (see related story on page 8). Later this year, as the Atlanta-based Delta will take delivery of its C100 aircraft from Bombardier, Gogo Vision Touch will be wirelessly streaming the airline’s Delta Studio content to a tablet

permanently mounted in the seatback. The system is designed for seamless content update and delivery with onboard hard drive acting as content servers. The in-cabin network on the Delta aircraft will have Gogo’s wireless access points (WAP) and server. The displays are manufactured by a consumer electronics tablet manufacturer with infight entertainment experience. “We have worked with them in conjunction with Delta to take what started out as a consumer tablet and turn it into a device that is compatible and accepted to be used in an aircraft and integrated into the seatback,” said Scott Ralston, Vice President of Product Management at Gogo. Gogo has an initial release of Gogo Vision Touch scheduled for May 1. The launch of the service aboard a Delta Bombardier aircraft will be sometime this year. “There are several things within the Delta and Bombardier schedule and our schedule that we have to align, so the actual flyaway date has not been defined,” he said. In other news, Brazilian airline GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes announced late last year that it had launched Gogo

TV, powered by 2Ku Wi-Fi system installed on all GOL aircraft. GOL has been a customer of Gogo since 2015. The live programming offers six TV channels that can be viewed by passengers on their own devices such as smartphones, tablets or notebooks. The content comes from a partnership between GOL and TV channel producer Globosat, one of the prominent network operators and broadcasters in South America. The channel lineup includes Globosat’s most popular TV channels: TV Globo, GloboNews, Gloob, GNT, Multishow and OFF. “Innovation is part of GOL and adding live TV streaming is another important step. We are very pleased to be the first airline in Latin America to offer Internet connection, entertainment and live TV to our customers,” said GOL’s Chief Experience Officer Paulo Miranda in a recent announcement of the new service. “GOL is very proud of connecting people, and live TV streaming complements and enhances the inflight experience.” Gogo will soon be launching the Gogo TV service in North America. Ralston said the company is in talks with several potential customers. www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  27


IFEC REPORT

Living well

in flight

Wainani Arnold of the Wainani Wellness Center on Oahu

With spectacular scenery as a backdrop and the latest in breathing and movement techniques on the screen, Hawaiian Airlines has brought a collection of passenger well-being videos to its trans-Pacific flights by RICK LUNDSTROM

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ainani Arnold, founder of the Wainani Wellness Center on Hawaii’s Oahu Island, calls the low-level anxiety that can plague passengers at stages in the travel experience something that produces a “fight or flight” response – and she clearly doesn’t mean flight as in flying on an aircraft. Inspired by her vast travel experiences, as well as her veteran jetsetter clients, Arnold developed a series of videos on YouTube to help people cope with these types of experiences and downfalls. As luck would have it, the videos were also viewed by people from Hawaiian Airlines who contacted her to request that she develop a series of exercises for their passengers. “After we talked, I realized it was a really nice compliment and I really liked the vision and series they had in mind,” Arnold told PAX International. As a result of the collaboration, a portion of a new video series called Ola Pono (or “living well” in Hawaiian) is now on the carrier’s inflight entertainment system as well as their app for passengers to access before, during and after a flight. Hawaiian Airlines launched the series late last year, both

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inflight and on the carrier’s Facebook page. Since then, the videos have attracted more than 60,000 views. The videos are on all flights leaving Hawaii to North American cities and on 11 routes to international destinations. The videos are produced in three parts and focus on breathing and wellness exercises, along with travel information about the islands they feature. The video entitled “Air” is the video in which Arnold and her wellness program are featured. The exercise sessions start at the gate, continue in flight and conclude when the passenger deplanes. For the video’s material, Arnold drew from her 15 years of teaching yoga, Pilates and gyrotonic exercises, while throwing in some of her experience as a hula dancer. In her travels she has also witnessed exercises in other travel venues, such as train stations in Japan where passengers openly engage in exercise videos while waiting for their rides. She said she hopes that some day travelers on Hawaiian Airlines can shed their selfconsciousness and realize that breathing, stretching and movement are very beneficial for an improved travel experience. “Breathing first is very important because it allows people to get into a

calm, more centered place so that in general we are more grounded travelers,” she said. That calmness could give guests a better experience and pass that good feeling on to their fellow travelers. Many of the exercises in the video are subtle tests of strength such as isometrics and stretching. The exercises in total run about eight minutes. “Consistent, controlled movements while flying benefit travelers of all ages and can help with blood circulations, stiff joints and jetlag,” Arnold added. “The goal is to take care of yourself during the flight so you can get the most out of your Hawaii vacation.” Two other videos selections fill out the Ola Pono series. In the version entitled “Sea,” Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard Brian Keaulana and his daughter Ha’a Keaulana take viewers on a journey across Hakaha on the west side of Oahu, exploring the island’s history and connection to the ocean. In “Land,” Chef Lee Anne Wong, owner of the Koko Head Café in Honolulu, visits farms and local markets on the islands to discuss local produce and culinary techniques. Wong will also be the airline’s Executive Chef beginning in June.


IFEC REPORT 

BA adds Award Worthy channel to IFE lineup

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Award Worthy programming celebrates British and American filmmaking with new films and classics

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imed to celebrate the 90th year of the Academy Awards ceremony in early March and the British Academy Film Awards (the BAFTAs) in February, British Airways has added a collection of award-winning films to a newly created category in its inflight entertainment system. The category, called Award Worthy, features films which won 12 Oscars and 12 BAFTAs in this year’s awards season as well as receiving 87 nominations across the two ceremonies. Films in the category include Best Picture winners The Shape of Water, which led the 2018 Oscar nominations with 13 nods. The movie also received 12 nominations at the BAFTAs, with a subsequent three award wins. The star performer at the BAFTAs, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is also in the category, having received nine nominations and five awards last month. British war drama Darkest Hour has also been added. Actor Gary Oldman picked up the Leading Actor BAFTA, while the film won the award for Makeup and Hair. At the Oscar ceremony on March 4, Oldman was again recognized, winning Best Actor and referencing a great British tradition in his speech, telling his mother during the live broadcast, “Put the kettle on – I’m bringing Oscar home.” Beyond this, the IFE category hosts Call Me by Your Name, which won the Adapted Screenplay BAFTA and was nominated for four Academy Awards, and Roman J Israel, Esq., which received one Oscar nomination. “For many of our long-haul customers, being able to watch some of the latest film releases is one of the parts of the flight they most look forward to,” said Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, in a March announcement of the new channel. “That’s why we do everything we can to make sure our inflight entertainment systems are loaded with up-to-date, award-winning content, guaranteed to keep customers entertained.” A number of film classics that performed successfully in previous award seasons will also be added to the channel. These films span a broad range of genres, from Silver Linings Playbook to the sinister The Silence of the Lambs. Passengers who fly with British Airways on long-haul flights have free access to over 1,000 hours of films, top TV shows and audio programs via their personal seatback screen. The content is updated regularly, with categories often added for major holidays or key calendar events.

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INDUSTRY Q&A

The Hamburg

Experience The 14,000 attendees expected at this year’s AIX/WTCE will see an event that grows and evolves year on year. However, Event Director Polly Magraw says that with proper planning, visitors have all the tools they need to navigate the massive halls and plan their Passenger Experience Week

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ext year will mark the 20th anniversary of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. However, planners were still busying themselves with this year’s event as PAX International spoke with Polly Magraw, Event Director at Reed Exhibitions. Each year, the Hamburg Exhibition adds elements large and small to the week’s events. This year, Magraw said in this issue’s Industry Q and A, they can expect to find 50 first-time exhibitors and new communications tools to help attendees navigate the massive (and growing) show floor. This year’s Passenger Experience Conference also promises to give attendees a glimpse into the future of transport that was the stuff of science fiction only a few years ago. PAX International: We’re two months out for the April Aircraft Interiors Expo. Please set the stage for us with a little progress report thus far on attendance and participation. Polly Magraw: From April 10 to 12, the 19th annual Aircraft Interiors Expo will once again return to the Hamburg Messe. Over the three days of AIX 2018, the show will open its doors to over 500 exhibiting companies, with more than 1,200 airline buyers from 268 unique airlines and lessors and 14,000 expected attendees. This year, visitors to the show will be able to see almost 50 new exhibiting companies alongside those who are returning, and some who have been with us since the first event in Cannes almost 20 years ago. Companies exhibiting at AIX for the first time in 2018 include 3D Systems, Ametek MRO, General Aerospace GmbH, STS Component Solutions and Vanema.

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Part of the wider Passenger Experience Week (PEW), which takes place from April 9 to 12, visitors to AIX will be able to access four industry-leading events: The Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), AIX, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and new to PEW in 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). PAX: How has additional technology such as the app helped attendees make the most of the event? Have there been any changes made to the app and its uses? Magraw: We are always looking for ways to help visitors to AIX and the wider Passenger Experience Week get the most out of the show. The AIX app, introduced in 2014, has been a popular tool to help both new and returning exhibitors to the show find their way around and discover new features at the show that they might not have seen before. Visitors to the show this year who download the app will have access to the full exhibitor list featuring exhibitor and product information, along with contact information and 3D navigation tools to help you find the exhibitor you are looking for. A new feature on the app this year is messaging. The messaging feature will enable visitors at the show to connect with one another and to connect with exhibitors to make arrangements for meetings and to ask questions. Other app features that will enhance the show experience include a Hamburg city guide, speaker information and schedules for each day of the show. App users also have the opportunity to compile their own schedule for the day from within the app so that they can be sure not to miss any of the many events taking place.

Polly Magraw

PAX: The Passenger Experience Conference has been a popular attraction. How has it evolved in topics and discussion from the original event? Magraw: Over the years, the Passenger Experience Conference has become known as the industry-leading global conference and networking forum that defines the future of the passenger experience. Those in attendance at this year’s conference on April 9, including C-Level executives from airlines, will hear from companies including AirlineTrends, Embraer, Joon, KLM, Norwegian, Recaro Aircraft Seating, Thomas Cook Group and Virgin Galactic. With the first iterations of driverless cars, hyperloops, optionally piloted air taxis and electric planes all set to be realised in the next decade, this year’s PEC will address the many new frontiers for transport and the passenger experience. Following the morning plenary sessions, attendees at the Passenger Experience Conference will split into three streams: Convergence and Mobility, Personalising the Journey, and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking. Each of these streams is designed to offer delegates a deep-dive into the most pressing topics facing the passenger experience industry. The day will conclude with the Industry Networking Party. The party has become a popular networking event with the wide range of food, drink and live music on offer, making it the perfect place to enjoy meeting new people and building business connections.


INDUSTRY Q&A plenty of logistical information available which will help you plan your visit and ensure you do not miss out on all of the great features on offer. PAX: What are some tips for those attending AIX for the first time? Are there any mistakes that you feel people make when getting their schedule together? (For example, spreading yourself too thin, not dedicating enough time to worthwhile events at the expo, etc.) Magraw: At this year’s event we will once again be welcoming many The Free and Hanseatic new visitors. In order to get the City of Hamburg provide an most out of their time at AIX, these historic backdrop to the high tech, and future oriented visitors should ensure that they exhibits at the AIX/WTCE plan in advance of arriving at the show. It is a large event, but three days will give visitors plenty of time to explore all of the halls. One way to plan ahead is to download the AIX app and utilise all of the tools on offer. The My Event platform will allow visitors to plan their days at the show around the many events that are taking place. PAX: The website has become a useful First-time visitors to AIX wanting to source for attendees to learn and com- source new ideas and inspiration on a municate. Have you made any changes to variety of pressing issues facing the airthe online tools? craft interiors sector in the years ahead Magraw: The AIX website is the place to should be sure to stop by the CabinSgo for all of the most up-to-date informa- pace LIVE seminar theatre. The hugely tion about the show. We are constantly popular sessions will take place on April updating the site to ensure that visitors to 10 to 12 in Hall B3 Upper with speakAIX have all of the information they need ers from companies and institutions to make their time at the show a success. including Bluebox Aviation, Hamburg Allowing attendees to plan ahead University of Applied Sciences and of the show and throughout is the My Lufthansa AG all set to take the stage. Event tool. Both visitors and exhibitors can enhance their show experience PAX: What are some of the most hands-on by using My Event on their mobile or ways that exhibitors and AIX itself is allowdesktop to build their own itinerary. The ing delegates to participate and experience tool enables all attending AIX to create the latest innovations? (eg. IFEC Zone, a personal list of must-see contacts and CabinSpace LIVE.) book meetings before and during the Magraw: From exploring exhibitor stands show, as well as earmarking key products and attending product announcements to and Taste of Travel sessions of interest. immersive sessions in CabinSpace LIVE, Exhibiting companies have access to AIX is a very interactive event offering the exhibitor portal, which is a space exhibitors the chance to fully immerse where they can upload all of their themselves in the full spectrum of the company news and product informapassenger experience. tion. For those who are visiting the The IFEC Zone now claims the show, clicking “Find Exhibitors” on crown as the world’s largest event the site will allow you to filter exhibitdedicated to inflight entertainment ing companies by product categories and connectivity, as well as content to find the information you are lookand service providers. Visitors looking ing for in just a couple of clicks. to explore the latest technology in the For those new to the show, there is aircraft interiors sector should be sure 32  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2018

to visit the exhibitors here and test the latest in technological innovation. Adjacent to CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre will be the Crystal Cabin Awards Gallery. The winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards will present their winning concepts to the AIX audience in the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre at 11:00 on April 12. The awards, now dubbed the “Oscars of the aviation industry,” feature shortlisted companies from across the aviation industry including prominent aircraft manufacturers Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer and Gulfstream and other major industry players including Diehl, Rockwell Collins and Zodiac Aerospace. PAX: We have been reading news about Hamburg as a growing holiday/tourist destination. In the future, do you think organizers will have to think differently about available hotel space and scheduling when planning the event? Is there hotel construction going on? Magraw: Since 2002, Aircraft Interiors Expo has been located at the Hamburg Messe. As a well-connected major aviation hub, and with many OEMs and media outlets based in the region, we have found Hamburg to be the ideal venue for the show. Indeed, since our first year at the Messe, the show has grown substantially and along with our co-located events PEC, WTCE and PTS, Passenger Experience Week now occupies all of the Messe. During that time, we have also seen Hamburg grow, with tourism in the city increasing by 5% in the first half of 2017 alone, according to the Northern Statistical Office. Moving forward, we believe that the growing popularity of Hamburg as a tourist destination can only be a good thing for Passenger Experience Week and we look forward to welcoming many new faces to the show in 2018. PAX: Do you know of many attendees who make use of Airbnb and other similar sources of rooms during the week? Magraw: During Passenger Experience Week many visitors to the show choose to make the most of the many accommodation options on offer including hotels, apartments and private-rental accommodation. The official hotel-booking partner for the show is Interplan AG Hamburg which has a wide range of accommodation options on offer at competitive prices.


‘Celebrity On Board’: The Adventures of EmPower Man, episode 7 Hi, EmPowerMan, welcome aboard! What’s new?

Thanks! How about something new and exciting for you and your passengers?

What if I told you we’ve added wireless charging to the EmPower System, so you can recharge your new phone without plugging it in?

Great! And, knowing you, I’ll bet it’s good!

It is! We’ve come up with two cool new “futureproof” EmPower® in-seat power systems!

And what if you could connect your new laptop to one of our latest 60-watt USB-C outlets? Voila, no more bulky power brick! That would lighten my backpack and be amazing!

Sweet! I love anything that eliminates those annoying cables while I travel!

And best of all, these new features are compatible with most existing EmPower systems!

Wow, that’ll keep our finance and maintenance folks happy! Installing the latest technology and future-proofing our investment…all while adding new features for our tech-savvy customers!

Well, we never stop thinking of ways to make you and your passengers happy!

Thanks, EmPowerMan! EmPower® in-seat power systems make every flight a great one!

Join Astronics at the 2018 Aircraft Interiors Expo, April 10-12, stand #3B30, and see how our new EmPower in-seat power systems help you stay ahead of the future! Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems US +1.425.881.1700 | Europe +44.1983.897647 | AESsales@astronics.com | www.astronics.com


EVENTS With UNITED SCREEN’s system, which combines eye tracking, proprietary software and lenticular lens optics, glasses-free 3D entertainment during flights is possible

2018 Crystal Cabin Award Finalists

Celebrating innovation April 10, 2018 marks the twelfth annual Crystal Cabin Awards, a night when deserving candidates will be honored in categories ranging from cabin systems to IFEC and beyond

Cabin Concepts Airbus – A320 Family Airspace Interior PriestmanGoode – Qatar Airways QSuite Singapore Airlines* – Singapore Airlines New A380 Suites *Cooperation partners Pierrejean Design Studio and Zodiac Seats UK Cabin Systems PASSME Consortium* – PASSME Innovative Aircraft Seat Rockwell Collins – Silhouette MOVE Zodiac Aerospace – Durinal *Cooperation partners Almadesign, Optimares, TU Delft and DLR

by RACHEL DEBLING

A

fter whittling down a shortlist of 91 companies to 24, the Crystal Cabin Award jury is ready to hand out the hardware during their annual awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. New to this year’s event are 3D-printed trophies and an IFEC category, honoring the best in inflight entertainment and connectivity. Rounding out the categories are Cabin Concepts; Cabin Systems; Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment; Material and Components; Passenger Comfort Hardware; University; and Visionary Concepts. “Over the years, the Award has changed greatly,” explains Lukas Kirchner, Head of Marketing, PR and Events at Hamburg Aviation, the organizers of the Crystal Cabin Award. “We started out kind of as a niche prize to highlight the best innovations of the annual Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. While the Crystal Cabin Award are still regarded as an unofficial guidebook to much of the innovation showcased at AIX today, its significance has become truly global and industry-wide.” One thing that makes the Crystal Cabin Award stand out is its focus on the future and the young minds that will shape the AIX industry. “The University award is a great category and we encourage every young talent in the PaxEx industry to use this window of opportunity and participate,” says Kirchner. “For the students, the University category is the chance to present themselves and their creative ideas visibly to the industry and make a name for themselves, which can potentially open new doors for their future career.” For the rest of the industry, he continues, Hamburg Aviation believes it’s important to not only focus on innovation taking place inside the companies they recognize, but to think outside the box by looking at international academic potential. For the full in-depth Q&A with Kirchner, visit pax-intl.com.

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Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment The Boeing Company – The Boeing Clean Cabin Dry Floor Villinger GmbH – LiteHeat IHP™ - “Indestructible Heated Floor Panel” VT Miltope – Cyber - secured cabin wireless networks IFEC Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd.* – Bluebox aIFE: Accessible IFE (aIFE) for passengers with visual impairment Inmarsat – The European Aviation Network UNITED SCREENS GmbH – Glasses - Free 3D IFE *Cooperation partners Virgin Atlantic Airways and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Material & Components Airbus* – Printed Electrics applied: The new Info-Panel Rockwell Collins – Secant Luminous Panel Weigele Aerospace – Airborne Cooking Robot *Cooperation partners ALTRAN S.A.S & Co. KG Passenger Comfort Hardware LIFT by EnCore* – 787 Dreamliner Tourist Class Seating Rockwell Collins – Valkyrie Bed Zodiac Aerospace – Eco Zlounge *Cooperation partner The Boeing Company University Cranfield University – ‘E-tom Smart Faucet’: a water atomization concept The University of Edinburgh* – Gigabit Wireless Networking in Aircraft Cabins via Light-Fidelity (LiFi) University of Cincinnati** – Virtual Assistant: Boeing Onboard *Cooperation partners Airbus and pureLiFi **Cooperation partners The Boeing Company and Live Well Collaborative Visionary Concepts Airbus – New Cabin Premium Class “Day and Night” Concept Renacen Sistemas SL – 3D SeatMapVR Rockwell Collins – Universal Passenger Seat Interface


mb ur g a H n i X at A I 18 Meet us ril 10 – 12, 20 from Ap , Booth 5D60 H a l l B5

For a new direction. Try Bucher. www.bucher-group.com

Aircraft Interior Solutions


SEATING Seating components with a premium look and will be shown to visitors at the PITCH stand in Hamburg

Components of the PITCH seat are thermoformed at Balform, one the company’s tier one suppliers

Quantifying

quality by RICK LUNDSTROM

G

ary Doy and his team from PITCH returned from January’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East event in Dubai impressed with the efforts of airlines in the region to maintain a level of passenger comfort that is not found anywhere else in the world. But the visit also helped motivate him, the company’s Director, to take a new approach to marketing PITCH Aircraft Seating Systems’ Economy Class seating. The company originally had two versions of its PF3000 seat with a choice

PITCH Director Gary Doy hefts a seatback and frame

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PITCH Aircraft Seating Systems will be getting feedback from visitors at its stand in Hamburg on the importance of seating materials in Y Class. Will perceived value gain some acceptance amid tight pitches and passengers pinching pennies?

of dress covers at AIME. PITCH has teamed with manufacturer Sabeti Wain Aerospace to formulate the look of the product while adding an E-Leather appearance to another row on display. But even though their airline customers may be reaching for passengers shopping only on price, the UK-based PITCH will be traveling to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo with a table full of interesting ideas that may change an airline or two’s mind about what to look for in Economy Class seating. “A lot of airlines buy Economy seats just on cost,” said Doy. He plans on devoting time at this year’s AIX event to exploring another approach the company is calling “Project Surface” with potential customers. The initiative is aimed at investigating the use of “enhanced surface finishes” made via different manufacturing techniques to give the seats a look and feel that is conveys higher quality. PITCH’s stand will feature a selection of vacuum-formed and embossed seating components with a choice of finishes created in a process that gives them a more upscale appearance. The price point is marginally higher, said Doy, as is the weight of the finished product. However, the perceived quality may be something that interests an airline in the process of selecting new

Economy Class seating. Doy compared the characteristics of the product to those found in Business Class seating. “When we look at Business and First Class offerings we see significant improvements in craftsmanship and attention to detail, setting new standards and driving up customer expectations,” explained Doy. “We want to open a conversation with airlines about Economy Class and listen to their feedback.” PITCH will be touting some of its other capabilities in Hamburg, most notably the ability to recycle the vacuum-formed moldings on its PF3000 once they are separated from the metal structure of the seat. With this type of construction, replacing damaged plastic portions is easy. Like many seating companies, PITCH is also making use of new virtual technologies to give potential customers an advance look at an outfitted cabin. With a specially designed VR headset, airline customers can roam through a cabin with various seating configurations before the products are rolled into the aircraft, giving the viewer the feel of the passenger space. Though a mockup will not be available at Hamburg, PITCH is in the process of developing a recline version of its current seat, which will be named the PR3000.


Stadium Group brings high-tech passenger tools to AIX

I

n an industry rife with jargon and terminology to describe the experience of passengers, a term coined in recent years will be discussed at the Stadium Group stand at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo: Human Machine Interface. Called HMI for short, Stadium Group has devoted an entire division, Stadium IGT, to developing these products. The designer-led technologies that make up HMI include passenger control units (PCU), signage and lighting solutions, capacitive switch control panes, thin-film backlighting with LED illumination and traditional membrane keypads. Thin-film backlighting is an emerging part of the cabin experience and Stadium Group has developed a number of products using it for cabin applications. The company has also developed a working PCU and cabin mood lighting. Stadium IGT works with seating manufacturers. Among the company’s key partners are seat makers Jamco and Thompson Aero Seating. Stadium also partners with fellow UK company IFPL in the manufacturing of products for the cabin. “PCUs are still very much used and indeed functionality is increasing all the time,” said Terry Moss, Sales Director for the Stadium IGT. “They want more bang for the buck.” New developments are making PCUs not only a place for passengers to access entertainment, but now can control functions such as cabin lighting, heating and flight attendant call capabilities. Stadium Group is a US$75 million company with long history beginning with crash helmets. Now the company has evolved to supply niche electronic technologies to OEM customers in a variety of industries.

CREATING GALLEY SPACE WHERE IT DOES NOT EXIST

Introducing

Flex-e-Bags

New Friend

Flex-e-Drawer

Your Space Saving Companions in the Galley

Visit our stand 2A10 at the WTCE Hamburg Stadium works with several seating manufacturers to supply PCUs and other controls

www.onboardlogistics.com www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  37


TROLLEYS

Bringing

COLOR

to the CABIN

Leading manufacturers give their views on the trolley market and reveal their exciting new product developments in the pipeline by

MARY JANE PITTILLA An example of Egret Aviation’s ATLAS half-size cart with ice drawer, a popular style that is commonly used in airlines worldwide

Egret Aviation

Egret Aviation is an ambitious and dynamic manufacturer of reliable galley equipment with a new, state-of-the-art production facility located in the hightech industrial area of Suzhou, next to Shanghai. Since its establishment in 2011, Egret has achieved impressive results and its market share is growing rapidly with more than 100 major airlines worldwide using Egret equipment on a daily basis. Egret Aviation’s success is the result of a combination of factors. One such factor is the expertise of CEO Liu Yue´s aviation engineering background and more than 25 years of experience in sales, development and production of galley equipment. His expertise is combined with an enthusiastic, dedicated and highly skilled, professionally trained team of engineers and strong global distribution partners that have knowledge of the local markets and provide service, aftersales and parts support to Egret´s growing customer base. Liu Yue tells PAX International: “What we have noticed during our numerous interactions with purchasing, catering and inflight professionals 38  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2018

from airlines all over the world is that, despite the continuing wish to reduce fuel costs by using lighter equipment, composite trolleys have not lived up to the promises made upon their introduction a few years ago. This is mainly due to the high initial purchase price, combined with unexpected and expensive maintenance and repairs, leading to an increased total cost of ownership. “We at Egret Aviation – like the other major manufacturers of inflight equipment – believe that the best solution for balancing price, weight reduction, reliability and transparent maintenance and repair costs is the use of established and standardized trolley designs with as many lightweight components as possible. There will always be a tradeoff between the lifespan of a trolley and reducing weight (by using thinner/ lighter profiles and panels, for example) but by carefully listening to our customers´ wishes and expectations, [and] by analyzing their type of service on board, catering supply chain and logistics, we always offer the best equipment, suited to the specific needs of each airline.” He continues: “If these needs change

because of a different type of onboard service, we are able to adapt quickly and demonstrate our flexibility and short production lead time. Egret´s modern, EASA-approved production facility is set up in such a way that the output capacity can be increased easily and quickly to meet the often challenging deadlines as demanded by the market.” Egret Aviation produces a complete range of trolleys and galley equipment that exceed the high demands for durability and reliability while keeping in mind ergonomical and economical aspects to ensure satisfaction from crew, caterer, purchaser and passenger. “The specific wishes of the airline’s marketing department regarding customization, personalization and branding are also taken into consideration, so whenever and whatever the airline wants, Egret Aviation is also able to deliver,” he states. The research and development team of Egret Aviation is constantly working on new and exciting products, according to Liu Yue. The company will be exhibiting its products at booth 4E80 of the WTCE in Hamburg this April.


Zodiac Aerospace Cool Trolley keeps contents cool for up to 2.3 times longer than regular trolleys, while keeping temperature differences inside to a minimum

This design keeps meals and beverages chilled for an extended period of time, such as the return leg of a flight

This product seeks to cater to an increasing trend for healthy, fresh food, including items that have to be kept and served cold

Zodiac Aerospace

Zodiac Aerospace’s Cool Trolley is designed to keep meals and beverages chilled for an extended period of time, such as the return leg of a flight. A smart thermodynamic design uses the maximum potential of dry ice or cassettes, keeping contents at a temperature of between 0 and 8°C. The unique thermal insulation properties of the Zodiac Cool Trolley allow for superior cooling performance, according to Alwin Hollander, VP Sales of Zodiac Aircatering Equipment. “The Zodiac Cool Trolley keeps contents cool for up to 2.3 times longer than regular trolleys, while keeping temperature differences inside to a minimum,” he tells PAX International. “Moreover, the inserted dry ice is used more efficiently than in a regular trolley. The Zodiac Cool Trolley is the first and only certified onboard catering trolley available in the market with such properties.” In terms of trends, Hollander notes that there’s an uptick in passenger demand for a wider range of meal choices on board. He also sees a rising trend for healthy, fresh food, including items that

have to be kept and served cold. Airlines flying on longer routes with narrow-body aircraft require adapted catering operations, especially when there are no chillers on board, continues Hollander. He has also observed an increasing trend for return catering (a.k.a. double catering — taking meals on board for both the forward as well as the return leg of the flight) as a means for airlines to save costs associated with outstations (meal uplift, delays, etc). Following the success of the fullsize Cool Trolley since last year’s WTCE show in Hamburg, a half-size version is now making its way to the stage, says Hollander. “This compact trolley will provide even more possibilities for airlines in keeping meals chilled. Especially on smaller aircraft with limited galley space, a half-size Cool Trolley can be a welcome option for airlines when considering practical cooling solutions, which can lead to significant cost savings,” he concludes. Zodiac Aerospace has created a YouTube video containing information on the Cool Trolley. Search Zodiac Aerospace Cool Trolley” on the site to learn more.

Neotex

Trolleys supplied by Madrid-based Neotex are manufactured using new materials, such as certified plastics and foams. These materials make this trolley the lightest in the market and 100% biodegradable. The trolley weighs just 15 kilograms for the full-size version and 9 kilograms for the half-size. In addition, the trolleys do not have a footbrake but are hand-operated, which makes it easier to use for cabin crew. Angel Hernanz Arbeloa, Vice President Commercial, Neotex, is seeing airline demand for lightweight, big-capacity trolleys. “The airlines are demanding lightweight products but ones that are capable of containing as much as possible inside. They are also demanding a good price and a durable product. And a lot of operators are looking for a product able to show publicity on the side panels.” Regarding trends, Arbeloa is clear: “The trend right now is reduce weight.” Neotex has more products in the pipeline that aim to cater for these stringent weight demands. “We are working on a Standard Unit that’s

www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  39


TROLLEYS lightweight and made from full aluminum, and also with a new lock. Also, we will show our new oven rack and fridge rack at the AIX expo in Hamburg. We are trying to increase [our] number of galley insert products.”

Diethelm Keller Aviation

®

Diethelm Keller Aviation’s EcoLite GEN2 Ultra lightweight carts have an empty weight from 16 kilograms for the full-size cart, and 10 kilograms for the half-size cart. Design innovations and manufacturing processes make these GEN2 carts lighter and more durable than ever before, the Singapore-based company says. Improvements to the hermetic door seal keeps cold air in and enhances the chilling effect within the cart. The easy-to-use, push-to-close door lock mechanism for the GEN2 cart is made of cast stainless steel for strength, reliability and durability, while the integrated lock pan is fabricated from

Diethelm Keller Aviation is featuring its 100,000th EcoLite cart, using sublimation design, at this year’s AIX/WTCE show in Hamburg

40  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2018

high-grade aluminum alloy to ensure exceptional quality and strength. Customizable features are also available to enhance and benefit the inflight operation. DK Aviation is clear about what airlines are now demanding from trolleys. “Half a decade ago when the jet fuel price was above US$140 per barrel, airlines were very focused on lightweight equipment to achieve fuel savings. However, the oil price is now hovering just above US$80 per barrel (source: International Air Transport Association’s Fuel Monitor). Airlines still focus on lightweight equipment to achieve fuel savings, but are also seeking to strike a balance of focus between lightweight, strength and durability for their choice of equipment.” The company adds: “A strong and durable trolley will add value to their cost of investment, and customized features on the trolleys will benefit airlines in terms of their inflight service.” DK Aviation is also seeing another trend, having observed that the tops of the trolleys are often fully loaded with drawers containing food and beverage during inflight service, leaving the cabin crew with almost no room for preparation prior to serving. Airlines are now looking for unique features such as small pull-out tables to help with F&B preparation. Now the company is turning its attention to the side panels. “The monotonous side panel is often either blue or grey, but we can now make it in a vibrant color design,” it says. While this is not a totally new idea, it is a rising trend that airlines are actively exploring and adopting, the firm adds. Airlines are seeking to use this “moving physical space” as a marketing and communication platform for branding and advertising. “The visual appeal can attract the passenger’s attention during inflight service and allow the airlines to send their messages across to passengers.” In terms of new product development, sublimation design is now possible on trolleys. “It is a highly controlled process to fuse the desired design into the aluminum panel surface for durabil-

ity and enhanced image retention, and it provides airlines with the solution to their creative and branding needs.” DK Aviation will be featuring its 100,000th EcoLite cart, using sublimation design, at the Hamburg show.

Highliner

The newly established company Highliner made its successful debut at the Hamburg AIX show in 2017. “After the presentation of the new trolleys at Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2017, several airlines have shown their interest in our new trolleys and were ready to test them onboard,” the company says. One of the most attractive features for airlines has been the overall design aesthetic. “Airlines have described our trolleys as beautiful, a pleasure to have them onboard and to work with, in a lightweight and contemporary design – different from all trolleys on the market today.” The trolleys meet the latest operational needs and introduce exciting new technical features, combined with captivating modern styling. The company describes them as an exciting first for the industry, which meet the airworthiness regulations. So what makes Highliner different? For the company it is clear: a trolley’s aesthetic should be in harmony with cabin interiors. Currently, they are created as back-of-house airline catering equipment and yet they have a customer-facing job to do, going up and down aisles in front of passengers, and as duty free trolleys. The strength of the Highliner brand lies in the four-part fusion of design, engineering, customization capabilities and attention to detail of the products. Other distinctive features include the use of very light materials and efficient manufacturing methods. A highly qualified design and manufacture team means that Highliner can either meet individual customer specifications, or deliver the existing ATLAS, KSSU and ACE standard measures. Highliner believes that the aesthetic design of an airline trolley should fuse in harmony with cabin interiors and is working towards bringing style to the aisle. The trolleys need a stylish face when viewed as a group of loaded carts, so that they appear smarter than a collection of highlyengineered locks and hinges.


LIGHTING

Getting in the mood LED and cabin mood lighting bring benefits to both airlines and passengers, as these major suppliers are proving by MARY JANE PITTILLA digEcor’s top-end multi-colored LED solution offers full RGB with millions of color and intensity permutations to offer a unique brand experience

digEcor

digEcor offers three LED and cabin mood lighting solutions. The first is a like-for-like all-white LED product, which is described as an economic solution for maintenance-driven programs looking to achieve cheaper cost of ownership without the need for a Cabin Management Terminal (CMT). The second option is an enhanced, mid-range white-plusone-color solution. This is a mix of LED and fluorescent for on-attrition upgrades, enabling the option of removing heavy and less-relatable lighting components, delivering light color consistency and an upgrade path to multi-colored LED. The top-end multi-colored LED solution offers full RGB with millions of color and intensity permutations, recreating sunrises and sunsets to offer a truly unique brand experience, says Paul Thorpe, Vice President Global Sales for digEcor. Benefits to the airline are twofold, Thorpe explains: “The move to LED ensures greater economic and performance benefits in the long term, as LEDs don’t just fail – they lose their intensity. So the ability to provide high-intensity lights that are easily installed, use less power (therefore taking longer to lose their color) and at a cheaper cost to deliver is what we see is a great benefit.”

STG Aerospace’s liTeMood® solution can be installed in under five hours using all existing light controls and requires no retraining for the cabin crew

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Airline maintenance engineers gain a system that is easy to install and maintain and is completed in hours, therefore preventing significant out-of-service down times needed for aircraft upgrades, he adds. Additional benefits for airlines include up to 60% reduction in power, independent ceiling and sidewall control, and fully supported service with five-year warranty guarantees. The benefits of digEcor’s lighting systems can also be seen by passengers. “Cabin lighting is proven to be the single most important factor that influences the passenger experience, providing maximum passenger impact at the lowest cost to airlines,” says Thorpe. “More and more, airlines are looking to utilize cabin lighting to create unique brand experiences within the cabin and to enhance the overall passenger experience.” He continues: “With the right setting, colors and intensity levels, the impact of cabin lighting is surprising. It can impact passenger moods, restfulness, and sleep and awake times, reducing jet lag. It enhances the spatial feel of the cabin, creating a greater feeling of comfort, and assists passengers in reaching their destination feeling revived. It can essentially offer experiences in the cabin based on time of flight – a


Among the benefits of digEcor’s solutions are up to 60% reduction in power as well as independent ceiling and sidewall control

ing from passenger comfort with no compromises to fully featured AVOD functionality with 99.99% availability, passenger power to charge and power personal devices for longer, and all the conveniences of simplicity of use, ease of reach and the ability to grow to meet the future desires of all traveling passengers,” he concludes.

Rockwell Collins

restaurant feel for dinner, a café feel for breakfast, sunrise and sunset. All that can be replicated based on the sector flown.” digEcor has gained FAA approval with two AML (Approved Model List) FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for both cabin lighting and broad GLIDE IFE systems. The AML STC covers all Part 25 passenger transport aircraft and gives the firm flexibility while greatly shortening installation lead times. “The benefit of the AML STC is airlines can bring to market far more quickly benefits of each of its GLIDE, lighting and power products to their passengers. Or, indeed, some airlines simply get to offer passenger enhancements they never believed they could afford,” he notes. “digEcor is in the business of enabling all airlines to create extraordinary travel experiences. We are the only single vendor in the market to integrate IFE with in-seat power and cabin lighting. The value and benefit of this is the modularity to build over time and provision for future upgrades, essentially providing regular welcomed passenger enhancements rang-

Rockwell Collins offers a range of cabin lighting solutions, from simple white-only LED lighting to advanced color-shifting technology, which seek to provide the utmost in passenger experience and energy savings. A number of new products that were introduced in 2017 will be showcased at the 2018 AIX show. Explaining the benefits of its lighting systems for airlines, Steve Scover, Vice President and General Manager of Lighting and Integrated Systems for Rockwell Collins, says: “Lighting to merely illuminate is not our goal. Providing a cohesive design architecture is key to the overall cabin ambience. Color choices and lighting scene selections are very important since they must blend within the cabin seamlessly. We find it equally important to have a command of the technology as it is to understand textures and colors. How those elements interact with the lighting system provides a holistic approach to the design. We have the ability to simulate interior scenarios, and this allows the lighting designers the ability to predict and alter the systemic look of the cabin. The goal is to make the lighting system a seamless part of the cabin experience.” When choosing a new cabin lighting system, most of Rockwell Collins’ airline customers consider its features first and foremost; that is, what does the system offer and does Rockwell Collins will showcase new cabin lighting products at the 2018 AIX fair which seek to provide the utmost in passenger experience and energy savings

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LIGHTING it meet the technical and aesthetic requirements of their cabin? The reliability and long-term technical flexibility of the system is also a key consideration. The overall cost of ownership is also an element that enters into the discussion. Turning to passenger benefits, Scover believes that lighting technology can fully accommodate passenger preference, and the company is seeing some of its commercial and business jet customers embrace that thinking. “Whether it be by a phone application or by customer-based records, the cabin environment can automatically be tuned to the desires of the passenger. Additionally, if a customer desires a warmer color as opposed to a crisper white or a specific color, we offer the ability to personalize your space at the touch of a button,” he says. Recently, Rockwell Collins has been awarded a number of line-fit programs from a major OEM. “These awards validate our strength in product development and our ability to support this market,” enthuses Scover. And there’s more to come. “We have developed new and enabling technologies for aviation lighting and will be introducing them at Hamburg [AIX show in April 2018]. One of the most innovative is the Secant Illumination Panel, which provides a much different concept for lighting solutions within the cabin.”

STG Aerospace

With the next-generation Boeing Sky Interior and the Airspace by Airbus cabins rolling off production lines with extensive use of LEDs, the transition to LED in the aftermarket is no longer classed as a trend but an industry standard. That’s the view of STG Aerospace CEO Nigel Duncan, who believes that STG is playing a significant part in driving that transition. liTeMood , its award-winning LED mood lighting system, is installed and flying on 20 operators worldwide. As demand for retrofit lighting solutions continues to grow, so does the company’s product range. “Simplicity and quality are key to STG Aerospace’s design ethos,” states Duncan. “While plug-and-play is an abused term

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in the world of aircraft modifications, liTeMood is a genuine example of a truly simple but beautiful upgrade. In fact, the installation process of liTeMood couldn’t be simpler. Installed in under five hours using all existing light controls and requiring no retraining for the cabin crew, it’s the airlines’ most preferred LED retrofit lighting system in the market. Operationally, liTeMood is significantly more reliable “Simplicity and quality are key to STG than traditional fluorescent Aerospace’s design ethos,” says the company’s CEO Nigel Duncan lighting systems, offering up to a 36 kilogram weight reduction and at least 50% reduction in power consumption.” While there is merit in the operational and performance benefits, some operators may argue the real value is in the passengers’ improved perception of the aircraft, he continues. Installing a solution that enhances the cabin interior, making it appear more modern, cleaner and safer, is the real benefit, helping airlines increase customer loyalty and build a strong brand identity. Airlines are continually looking at ways to improve the customer journey, and personalization seems to be a topic that has airlines buzzing. “Take the Emirates First Class suite as an example, which is equipped with adjustable ambient mood lighting – but that seat comes at a price. How do we give the average passenger in the Economy seat a sense of control and First Class?” Historically, an aircraft cabin is fitted with a fluorescent/ incandescent lighting system, which provides a multidirectional light source to illuminate the entire cabin. Now, LED lights deliver a directional source of lighting that can be used to create multi-layered rich hues and tones, resulting in highly personalized spaces. Reading lights seem to be one of the most intuitive ways to achieve this, notes Duncan. While the full effects of lighting are still being determined, STG is continually researching how humans interact with light and how this can be used to improve the passenger experience. “We are experts in our field and apply our industry-leading research to our cabin lighting products, purposely designed to make passengers relax and feel better whilst transforming the entire look and ambience of the cabin,” says Duncan. Last year, STG released an industry-first info-stream on humancentric lighting, where some of its insights were shared. For example, its liTeMood system includes a night light setting designed to encourage passengers to relax, rest and sleep. Research suggests the best conditions for sleeping are little to no light. What about current trends in lighting? “As far as market trends go, we’ve seen increased interest in Africa and Asia, where operators in these regions really want to take full advantage of LED,” says Duncan. “SpiceJet, Kenya Airways and SA Airlink are just a few of the 20 airlines we have installed liTeMood on [and] who have chosen our LED lighting to help deliver a premium flying experience to everyone on board.” STG Aerospace also revealed to PAX that guests can expect further platforms to be announced during AIX.

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LED reading lights are one of the most intuitive ways to achieve highly personalized spaces for passengers, says STG Aerospace’s CEO Nigel Duncan

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EVENTS

Paul Thorpe, President EMEA & Vice President Global Sales at digEcor, chats with an associate during this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East

Paved for

potential

by CLAIRE MALCOLM on location for PAX International

January’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East offered attendees a chance to see a regional segment of the aviation industry anxious for needed growth

T

he hub for the region’s aviation industry, Dubai was once again the focal point for key players in the interiors and MRO sectors as the January 2018 edition of Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) and MRO Middle East registered record attendance earlier this year. Officially opened by HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chief Executive and chairman of Emirates Airline and Group, the two-day event, held January 23 and 24, beat last year’s figures, hosting 320 exhibitors and welcoming 4,541 trade visitors. Innovation was the overarching theme as international exhibitors and visitors connected with existing partners, explored new business potential and pinpointed market growth opportunities. For Paul Thorpe, President EMEA and Vice President Global Sales for IFE experts digEcor, recent FAA certification approval for the company’s cabin lighting solutions repre-

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sents a new opportunity. “We offer a full color suite, a midrange two-color option and low-cost version. There’s a strong business case for the lower end of the market, especially for airline fleets where there is a mishmash of older aircraft with fluorescent lighting and new LED-fitted aircraft,” he says. “A lighting change makes a surprising difference to the cabin interior, is a cost-effective solution and creates a more cohesive look for a mixed fleet,” he adds. Also exciting Thorpe about the region is growth in demand for in-seat power, as he explains: “This is especially relevant for operators focusing on Wi-Fi streaming, whether it is to drive ancillary revenues or simply part of the ticket price service. Interesting to us is the content model that goes with it as an area where our past revenue sharing experience may well give us a niche.” The primary focus for Gogo this year is 2Ku, its latest generation inflight connectivity technology. Steve Nolan, Vice President Public Relations and Communications, elaborates: “Already live on 500 aircraft, including a number of planes flying in and out of this region, we will more than double the number of connected aircraft in the next year. “We also recently launched live television and Gogo Vision Touch, which is a wireless seatback solution that we believe will disrupt the seatback IFE market. It’s basically taking a commercial-grade tablet and hanging it on the back of a seat, and is very maintenance-friendly.” A “vitally important” region for Gogo, with Nolan flagging major carrier systems’ transition strategies as a key demand driver in the Middle East, he confirms that interest in moving eastwards with the recent signing of a Cathay Pacific deal and “huge” market opportunities in ASPAC and China specifically. “India is also one of the last countries to have regulatory approval for IFE system connectivity and there’s been a lot of positive movement, making it an important future market for us,” he adds. Over at first-time AIME exhibitor and portable IFE solutions developer Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd, its iPadcentric IFE solutions are already onboard a coterie of highflying carriers including Air Astana, Etihad Airways and Virgin. “We’re also uniquely qualified for early window content as well as content integration, and are Apple approved,” says Mark Stevens, Director of Sales. Its latest product evolution, the Bluebox Wow, is a fully self-contained portable device that can stream to 50 passengers. “It can now handle 1.6TB of data, which is a lot of

Mark Stevens, Director of Sales EMEA, and David Brown, Business Development Director, at the company’s stand at Aircraft Interiors Middle East


Simplicity and reliability are key selling points in the Gogo Vision Touch system on display in Dubai

content, and is approved for both early- and late-window content,” notes Stevens. Available on a three-year leased basis, this means that customers have ongoing access to tech updates, and Bluebox recently added moving maps as well as 3G/4G capability and Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity. On board with Air Inuit in Canada, Japan’s Solaseed Air and in use as a gate entertainment service by a major unnamed U.S. carrier, it is specifically targeted for single-aisle or rigid aircraft operators, but Stevens also touts its suitability for twin aisle. “Put four to five boxes on an A330 and it’s significantly cheaper than building in your own IFE system,” he says. Good IFE deserves a decent seat and Aviointeriors’ Senior Sales Manager, Gianluigi Mormile, was showcasing the Columbus Three (C3) long-range economy class seat with key features including a cradle, 15-inch armrest and IFE video installation option. Weighing in at 13.5 kilograms per passenger, the C3’s latest customer is Icelandair, with installation on the carrier’s new 737 MAX fleet imminent. “Our Middle East customers have very high expectations and we are open to any kind of customization from detailing to leather covers. More importantly, we can still commit to delivery targets of seven months for economy and 12 months for business,” says Mormile. Similarly, high-level expectations are business bread and butter for Claire Besançon, President and CEO of Paris-headquartered uniform designers Création & Image. She says: “What is trending now is a move towards washable and more comfortable fabrics. In terms of style, a more feminine cut and shape is popular, which is a challenge when it comes to creating a uniform to fit all figures; and we are also seeing more clients wanting to visualize elements of their history through uniform design.” Looking to the future, the spare parts sector is also undergoing something of a transformation thanks to online marketplace Aerobay. A two-year-old business, the free-to-use platform was designed to automate a lot of the tasks involved in spare parts purchase. Buyers can search from thousands of parts, get detailed technical information and make a bid or buy direct with Aeroabay sellers’ guaranteeing real-time availability. Comparisons to the Amazon business model are a compliment as far as Richard Hervé, President of Aerobay, is concerned. “We offer a full-solution marketplace that aims to simplify the interaction between buyer and

The Columbus Three long-range Economy Class Seat from Aviointeriors will be on Icelandair’s 737 MAX aircraft set for delivery this year

seller and offer a completely digitalized spare parts channel. There’s no comparable platform and we currently have more than 900 aerospace partners,” he says. “We also work a lot with airline overstock and have signed major agreements with Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo to be their online distributor for rotable parts, and Saint-Gobain for windshield distribution. In addition, the platform functionality allows OEM to promote and sell their new factory parts through us,” he adds. From the literal nuts and bolts of aviation to customerfacing finishes, another French entity targeting Middle East growth is aerospace coatings firm Mapaero. “We specialize in cabin applications from galley to technical seats as well as aircraft corrosion protection. We’re known for our water-based structural coating and were the first company to introduce the option to Europe, back in 2001, and now have subsidiaries and offices around the world from Seattle to China,” says Alexia Apostolou, Key Account Manager at Mapaero. In the beginning it was Mapaero pushing its environmental and health-friendly solution, but now Apostolou reports that more and more clients are interested, so much so that they now sell more water-based than solvent-based paint. “The Middle East is very important to us and we already work with airlines such as Oman Air and Gulf Air, as well as indirectly through equipment manufacturers,” she adds. For SR Technics’ Oladi Olukolu, Director, Commercial Engineering and Business Development, 2018 is shaping up to an extremely diverse year. He says: “We are focusing on our expansion of our core services, support by our Malaysia facility and complimentary new products involving EASE/FAA engineering design certification (with some key customers in the Middle East). We’ll also be unveiling a new IFE system in Hamburg with a European customer. “In the Middle East, we really want to demonstrate how we can add value to our scope of routine services. If you look further east, with our China and APAC set to dominate in terms of forecasted fleet growth in the next two to three years, then this is where we see tremendous opportunity.” The decision to open a dedicated office in Dubai to service the region has further cemented the capabilities of access platform and ground support equipment company Semmco, as Stuart McOnie, Managing Director, explains: “We’ve been present in the region for 12 years and it got to www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  47


EVENTS

Stuart McOnie, Managing Director at Semmco Limited, used this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East event to stress the company’s commitment to the Middle East

a point where it was becoming too expensive to ship product so we set up a facility with a local manufacturer.” While Semmco has established relationships with the region’s legacy carriers, from Etihad Airways to SAUDIA and Qatar Airways, McOnie says that the company really needed on-the-ground presence to be able to offer a 24-hour response and service additional client needs. And there’s also been a cost reduction benefit, upping the advantages for the region’s airlines. Its product range is underpinned by a twin commitment to quality and safety. Innovation is also important from special access platforms with outward rotating railings to a range of products that can service four different wide-bodied aircraft in a mixed fleet scenario. “As well as servicing the region in its entirety, we are also seeing quite a lot of interest from India, which is easily accessible from Dubai. And we are also perfectly situated to access Africa and as far as Australia,” he comments. The retrofit and cabin upgrade expertise that Diehl Aerosystems is known for brought Arend Wedekind, Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, back to the Dubai show floor with densification solutions front of mind. “We are seeing a global trend towards aircraft modification for densification. This means that you can have six more seats in a single-aisle aircraft. Our SKYPAX solution for the A320 family was developed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik. In the Middle East there has previously been more of a focus on premium, but carriers here are also moving slowly in this direction with more seats to drive revenues,” he remarks. Diehl is also pushing boundaries when it comes to

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cabin interiors branding with a digital print solution using a powder coating that comes in the full CMYK color spectrum and is applied as a digital print as either a geometric pattern, rendering or full-color picture. Says Wedekind: “This can be personalised with anniversary styled branding or a city skyline motif, as just two examples. It’s incredibly flexible and we expect it to really take off in the next two to three years as a great way to achieve differentiation.” Ancillary revenue generation was on the agenda at the Inflight Pavilion Workshops where Kimberly Creaven, Vice President Global Advertising, Sponsorships and Partner Marketing for Global Eagle Entertainment, shared her insight on how airlines should exploit connectivity to boost income, pointing out that out of global advertising revenues totaling US$600 billion, airline advertising accounts for just US$200 million. “[For airlines] it’s all about understanding how they can fix [systems] to be relevant, smart and know how to deliver. Advertising buys eyeballs and it’s our job to monetize those eyeballs, so the more premium and targeted you can make it, the better,” she notes. “Data can be monetized. We know that airlines are crazy about data privacy, but if we can prove that we can turn data into a dollar, then that’s priceless. The big winner will be audience segmentation. Once we can do that, and I mean by talking to 12-year-olds as well as 40-year-olds — so as to segment them — then we can monetize that and communicate with them throughout the travel journey,” she adds. According to Philippe Combe, Portfolio Manager at SITAONAIR, improving the passenger experience stems from harnessing connectivity. “In the past, all service providers offered a ‘one size fits all’ experience to every traveler, but we are working with airlines to develop tailored offers, integrated with passenger profiles, through co-innovation. “Last year we worked with Emirates to deliver personalized inflight connectivity for airline customers through SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR portal, on more than 200 aircraft. This was expertly integrated with Emirates Skywards, the airline’s award-winning loyalty program, to offer special benefits to members, enabling passengers to connect simply using their Skywards’ credentials.” This is the starting point for a world of e-commerce activity, whether it’s inflight retail goods, seat upgrade suggestions or WiFi services. Says Combe: “We’ve seen good adoption and improved monetization of Wi-Fi services, and are beginning to see a steady increase in demand.” SITAONAIR is also working with SAUDIA, equipping the airline with its enhanced Internet ONAIR inflight Wi-Fi portal aboard 86 aircraft flying to more than 80 destinations worldwide. This features a “world-first” e-ticket solution, enabling First and Business Class passengers access to free inflight Wi-Fi by entering their e-ticket code. “It’s a real partnership journey with the airlines. Our vision – and what we are already realizing – is of an open platforms system, enabling all kinds of connectivity solutions from Internet to mobile devices and inflight services, while achieving a harmonious connectivity experience. This gives airlines and passengers alike the ability to choose the way they want to use connectivity on board, and not to simply have it imposed on them,” concludes Combe.


WHAT’S HOT

WHAT’S

HOT!  Bluebox aIFE - Bluebox Aviation Systems:

 Nuance V2 – Vision Systems: Nuance V2, the new electronically dimmable windows (EDWs) from Vision Systems, provides you with instant variable shading, from a fully clear window to an extremely dark shade, blocking the sun from getting into your eyes. With its ability to significantly reduce heat, in turn reducing the need for air conditioning, Nuance V2 delivers an additional level of comfort for passengers. These EDWs are also easier to maintain, as the electronics are fully integrated with no moving parts. Visit Vision Systems at AIX, stand 2D60.

Bluebox Aviation Systems’ latest innovation is Bluebox aIFE – an accessible IFE platform for visually impaired passengers. Based on the award-winning, Hollywood-approved Bluebox Ai portable IFE platform, Bluebox aIFE provides airlines a more advanced and lower-cost solution than updating seat-back IFE systems, and can do so across mixed fleets with different IFE systems on board. Bluebox aIFE is also a finalist for a 2018 Crystal Cabin Award in the IFEC category. Visit Bluebox Aviation Systems at AIX, stand 2D70, IFEC Zone

 280W IFEC and PED power supply unit – Data Device Corporation: Data Device Corporation announced their new 280W IFEC and PED power supply unit, designed to provide up to 18 aircraft seats with 28V power. The design can be mounted within the cabin wall or ceiling, eliminating the need for below-seat boxes, brackets or shrouds and providing a more comfortable, spacious travel experience for passengers. Visit Data Device Corporation at AIX, stand 2E90

 Air Europa headphones –

 Carbon fiber cabin branding element – ABC International: ABC International is confirming its field of specialization as the Cabin Branding Specialist. Many airlines have joined ABC International’s customer base, such as Pegasus Airlines with its new cabin branding elements, and thanks to its capabilities and constant research in new materials ABC International will introduce its new product at AIX 2018: the carbon fiber cabin branding element. Visit ABC International at AIX, stand 6A79

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Kaelis: Air Europa’s new Business Class headphones, designed and provided by Kaelis, cancel outside noises and allow passengers to concentrate on their inflight entertainment as if no one was around. The headphones have passive noise cancellation, removable ear cups made of ABS and high-tech foam for a perfect fit to the ears, a 1.5-meter cable length and 40mm diameter speakers. As light as they are, these headphones are designed to offer a superior sound experience. Visit Kaelis at WTCE, stand 4E11


 Truck-mounted anti-collision system – Mallaghan®: Mallaghan® has introduced an anti-collision system on their catering truck mounted high lift vehicles. This system helps to meet the basic safety requirements applicable to aircraft ground support equipment and conforms to the AHM 913 standard. The Mallaghan anti-collision system works on an “assist” principle and operates using the latest technology; for example, a 3D camera uses time-of-flight distance measurement and photonic mixing device technology to identify an object in its field of view, capturing the entire object in three dimensions. Visit Mallaghan at WTCE, stand 3

 Spring-Fast® – Device Technologies Inc.: Device Technologies Inc.’s Spring-Fast® is the future of wire protection. Adopted by aviation seating/interior original equipment manufacturers because of the patented encapsulated spring steel snap-on design, Spring-Fast® speeds assembly, can reduce costs by 49% and can boost productivity by 950% while delivering best-in-class performance. Listed in IFE wiring guideline standard ARINC 628, part 5, Spring-Fast® improves worker safety by eliminating the toxic VOCs associated with the glues and solvents used in plastic grommet assemblies. Pictured: FAA- Approved Spring-Fast® M22529/2 (left) and the fully encapsulated “SL Series” (right). Visit Device Technologies Inc. at AIX, stand 4UC29

 Air New Zealand – Economy Skycouch: Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch now includes upgrades that make the design more applicable to customers traveling with young children. The product now offers a dedicated harness and belt into which caregivers can strap infants throughout the cruise phase of their journey. In addition, the Skycouch Cuddle Belt, previously only certified for two adults or an adult and child, has also been updated so two children lying side-by-side can use the option safely.

 XÉN Wellbeing – Freshorize: Introducing XÉN Aromatherapy, designed to balance, harmonize and promote the health of the body, mind and spirit. XÉN Relax and Revive wellbeing range includes expertly formulated scents designed to soothe and refresh. Use Relax to clear your mind and Revive to invigorate yourself upon arrival. XÉN enhances your passenger experience. Visit Freshorize at WTCE, stand 1G50

www.pax-intl.com  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  51


WHAT’S HOT  ECO-PET Plus Blankets from Recycled Bottles – Linstol: Softer than modacrylic or wool, ECO-PET Plus Blankets are eco-friendly, naturally and permanently fire retardant, antistatic and can offer a cost savings. ECO-PET Plus Blankets are made of recycled plastic bottles and certified by GRS. In addition, ECO-PET Plus manufacturing reduces energy and carbon emissions by 70%. ECO-PET Plus can be woven similarly to modacrylic, allowing for complete customization to any airline specification and can be used to create pillowcases and covers for coordinated blanket/pillow sets. Visit Linstol at WTCE, stand 4E30

 PC Glassware and Bowls – RMT Global Partners: Designed to look and feel like real glass, these items are meant to replace wine, rocks and all beverage glassware, as well as bowls, plates and decanters. As they are not made of glass, fear of onboard breakage or glass chips in food and beverage is eliminated. A proprietary process produces a product without unsightly seams or fill points. Wash tested 2,000 times, they can withstand impact and pressures that would shatter traditional glass products. Visit RMT Global Partners at WTCE, stand 1D70

 HNC 88 headphones – Beijing Dapeng:

 Ultraleather® Promessa® by Ultrafabrics®

– Tapis Corporation: Ultraleather® Promessa® by Ultrafabrics® is breathable, comfortable, lightweight, easy to clean and maintain, and has proven durability. Launched at AIX 2017 with Lift’s 737 Tourist Class Seats, the Promessa product is now in service with LOT Polish (pictured) and United Airlines. Promessa weighs less than genuine leather – in some cases more than a 75% reduction – significantly reducing cabin weight and fuel consumption. At 460 g/m2 this can provide fuel savings upwards of US$50K annually on a single-aisle aircraft, even at today’s low oil prices. Visit Tapis Corporation at AIX, stand 7C20

Established in 1996, Beijing Dapeng specializes in various types of headsets, ranging from hi-fi headsets and Bluetooth headsets to inflight headsets. This year, it launched their latest inflight noisecancelling headphones model – HNC 88, specially designed for First Class and Business Class passengers. The HNC 88 meets the ARINC 628 regulations required for all airplane IFE systems. They are also compatible with all types of IFE audio interfaces in all types of airplanes. Visit Beijing Dapeng at WTCE, stand 1G80

 AR/VR onboard technologies – AK-Service: AK-Service is using new opportunities provided by virtual and augmented reality to level-up amenity kits for adult passengers and children. AK-Service took a usual game with stickers and upgraded it – now kids can bring the characters on the stickers to life using an easy-to-use AR mobile app. AK-Service is also presenting a VR-glasses solution for amenity kits using special cardboard models that easily fit into even very small budgets. Visit AK-Service at WTCE, stand 4E73 (Hall A4)

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ASSOCIATION NEWS

Sustainable travel on IATA agenda The International Air transport Association (IATA) laid down a goal to airlines around the world in February, saying the aviation industry should endeavor to transport one billion passengers on flights powered by a mix of jet fuel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2025. The group noted the goal on the 10th anniversary of the first flight to blend sustainable aviation fuel and standard jet fuel. A Virgin Atlantic Airways 747 flew from London to Amsterdam with sustainable aviation fuel in one of its engines on February 24, 2008. “The flight demonstrated the viability of drop-in biofuels, which can be blended with traditional jet fuel, using existing airport infrastructure,” said a release from IATA. “A flight completely powered by sustainable fuel has the potential to reduce the carbon emissions of that flight by up to 80%.” IATA said the industry passed the threshold of 100,000 SAF fueled flights in 2017, and is expected conduct one million flights during 2020. However, the group wants one billion passengers to have flown on a SAF-blend flight by 2025. “That won’t be easy to achieve. We need governments to set a framework to incentivize production of SAF and ensure it is as attractive to produce as automotive biofuels,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. The airline industry as a whole has committed to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to cut net carbon emissions by 50% compared to 2005. Cathay Pacific Airways, FedEx Express, JetBlue, Lufthansa, Qantas and United have together purchased more than 1.5 billion gallons of SAF. Airports in Oslo, Stockholm, Brisbane and Los Angeles are mixing SAF with the general fuel supply. IATA estimates that half a billion passengers will have flown on a SAF-blend powered flight by 2025. But if governments, through effective policy, help the sustainable fuel industry to scale-up its production, it is possible that one billion passengers could experience an SAF flight by 2025. The steps needed to deliver this include: allowing SAF to compete with automotive biofuels through equivalent or magnified incentives; loan guarantees and capital grants for

production facilities; supporting SAF demonstration plants and supply chain research and development; and harmonized transport and energy policies, coordinated with the involvement of agriculture and military departments. In IATA’s statement, de Juniac emphasized strongly the determination of the industry to only use truly sustainable sources for its alternative fuels. “The airline industry is clear, united and adamant that we will never use a sustainable fuel that upsets the ecological balance of the planet or depletes its natural resources,” he said.

APEX aims for biometric passenger movement In early February, the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) hosted nearly 200 of the airline industry’s top technology innovators in Los Angeles to discuss the latest advancements in inflight technology and the state of aviation industry. During the event, APEX unveiled its biometrics passenger initiative to speed up international travel. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Deputy Executive Director Daniel Tanciar was on hand along with Deputy Director, Innovation and Business Development, Rebecca Baer of San Jose International Airport (SJC) to share how biometric exit allows passengers to be verified automatically in less than two seconds when exiting the United States. When entering the U.S., airports with biometric entry have reported making entry speed up to 10 times faster 54  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2018

with passengers from an entire aircraft cleared in as little as 20 minutes. With facial recognition technology, passengers would be able to board without a boarding pass. It’s the Association’s vision that a passenger’s passport will become a backup document in the next 10 years. “Last year APEX was the leading industry voice advocating for against the U.S. in-flight electronics ban. This year, airports and airlines will enable biometric exit for entry for more in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Boarder Protection,” APEX CEO Joe Leader stated. “APEX welcomes this new era of air travel where the need for boarding passes, ID and passports will become secondary, and where airlines will have the capability to instantly recognize and appreciate their individual passengers while increasing security and safety.”


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Endless freedom above the clouds. In so many more ways than one. The new RECARO BL3710 opens up unprecedented freedom in the economy class. Its lightweight modular concept offers a vast selection of advanced features for outstanding passenger comfort. Curious? Find out more in April 2018.

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PAX International AIX March/April 2018  

PAX International AIX March/April 2018