PAX International AIX March/April 2017

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Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg

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ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International


rowsing an online infographic from the research company Frost & Sullivan confirmed that our magazine’s desire to try, for the first time, publishing a portion of our editorial in Mandarin was a step worth taking. The introduction to a pricy report on the multi-billion cabin services industry reveals in a section called The Last Word, that indeed the future of cabin services products is tied directly to China manufacturing. The comments by Irene Tan of Recaro Aircraft Seating also reinforce the importance of the country in the future in a question and answer session on the company’s manufacturing plant in China. “As mentioned previously, our seating production capacity has doubled each year, and these numbers are driven by the demand from Chinese airline carriers,” said Recaro’s General Manager of Asia-Pacific, who headquarters in Hong Kong, but spends a lot of her time at the company’s threeyear-old facility in Qingdao. “Boeing has projected 15,130 new aircraft to be delivered to the Asia-Pacific region by 2035 and this number equals the total demand from America and Europe.” Like so many other industries that seek out Chinese labor, knowhow and infrastructure, the country will become a prime aircraft interiors manufacturing location in the future. After the initial introduction of the C919 aircraft, in just two short years, Frost & Sullivan predicts that the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China will be seeking out an increasing presence by local interiors suppliers. And, in a surprising conclusion, given the amount invested in the front cabin in recent years, the company said, “simpler and more utilitarian interiors are the future.”

Other important market drivers are the ones discussed on our pages and on the websites and blogs that cover this industry. Over the next three years, there will be a high demand for new cabin interiors, as a result of, naturally, new aircraft purchases. However, with the growth in aircraft demand also comes demand for weight reduction and increased efficiency. Companies, from the trolley manufacturers and the seating manufacturers we cover in this issue, are all doing their part to see that cabins of the future are filled with products that would have been unheard of only a few short years ago. But with the certainty there are also questions on how the cabin industry is taking shape. This report was published in May 2016, before the purchase of B/E Aerospace by Rockwell Collins. The company asks: has consolidation of the industry reached a logical conclusion? In this issue, and in past ones, we have reported on a number of robust, feisty start-ups that are making their own niche in a market dominated by three big players. In the few days we all spend in Hamburg, most of us will come away with more questions than answers. Some people have even told us that at least an additional day is needed to take in everything. That’s not in the cards for now, so the best bet is to listen carefully while visiting this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, and bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief, PAX International  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  3

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Recaro Aircraft Seating opened its Qingdao facility a little more than three years ago. This year, the company’s General Manager for Asia Pacific is doubling production to 20,000 units. FOLLOWED BY MANDARIN TRANSLATION




Recent product developments in Economy Class and Premium Economy Class seating are in line with airline demands for greater passenger density and comfort at a tighter pitch



With the inflight entertainment and connectivity needs of airlines and passengers continually evolving, the development of advanced solutions has become an ongoing effort for suppliers — one that requires the newest and most sophisticated equipment and capabilities



It is Year 12 of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, and Event Manager Polly McGraw and staff is again looking at a year of record attendance as the industry headed into the final month before Passenger Experience Week



A Hamburg-based paint and coatings company with decades in the industry has added an extra layer of cabin cleanliness with a new coating approved for Boeing and Airbus aircraft



A Lufthansa Systems expert explains why the company’s BoardConnect IFE platform is the optimal solution for airlines

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ON THE COVER: SWISS Bombardier CS100 cabin. Photo courtesy of SWISS.



An industry segment crowded with players will be descending on Hamburg in April with a selection of improved trolley products boasting weight reduction, choice and even the promise of elegance


44 MAXIMUM IMPACT Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg














Mary Jane Pittilla profiles two cabin lighting suppliers seeking to provide maximum passenger impact at the lowest cost to airlines



With seat width, legroom and distance to neighbor listed as the areas of lowest satisfaction among today’s travelers; Bombardier has put forth two disruptive solutions in the form of its C Series aircraft and its recently refreshed CRJ Cabin Series



Technological innovation from the cockpit to the in-seat passenger experience and beyond, is both challenging and exciting the industry as interiors and MRO professionals returned to Dubai for MRO & AIME Middle East 2017

One of 40 million secure connections we make every day. To her, it’s everything.

Over 14,000 commercial aircraft rely on Rockwell Collins to stay connected, ensuring safe and efficient operations. Imagine what we can do for your passengers – engaging, entertaining and empowering them – even beyond the cabin. Because when you connect them to their world, they connect with yours.

Visit us at Aircraft Interiors Expo, hall B4, stand 4C40. © 2017 Rockwell Collins. All rights reserved.

IFE systems for today and tomorrow Global broadband connectivity Applications and value-added services



JAL opens Wi-Fi up on domestic routes Japan Airlines (JAL) in February upgraded its current promotion that offered 15 minutes free inflight Internet to a completely free Internet service on all domestic flights, which are operated by aircraft equipped with inflight Wi-Fi system. The new campaign will be available from February 1 through August 31. During flights, passengers will be able to use inflight Wi-Fi for free and without time limitation on select JAL’s domestic routes. JAL’s 77 domestic aircraft have been equipped with Inflight Wi-Fi system. Inflight video programs such as sports, gourmet, music and animation are also provided on Wi-Fi equipped aircraft on domestic routes. Passengers can access the complimentary programing by using personal electronic devices.

Qantas offers three popular entertainment services Qantas Airways passengers on Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights will be able to watch Foxtel, Netflix and listen to music on Spotify with speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional inflight Wi-Fi, the airline announced recently. Qantas offered passengers video and audio streaming when the service was switched on its first domestic aircraft in late February this year. The rest of the airline’s fleet of domestic 737 and A330 aircraft will follow from mid-2017 onwards. “The faster connection speeds – which enable streaming – are made possible through the nbn Sky Muster™ satellite service; and represents a significant upgrade over older satellite technology accessed by most airlines around the world,” said a release from Qantas. “The service uses idle data capacity, with the signal reaching the aircraft as it flies through the satellite’s 101 spot beams across Australia.” Qantas Group Executive of Brand, Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth, said that fast, free Internet would


JAL has 77 aircraft in its domestic fleet outfitted for Wi-Fi

open up a huge range of options for customers inflight.” While Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify are all paid subscription services; they will offer free access to Qantas customers on and off the aircraft for between three days and one month after their Qantas flight. Foxtel will offer three days free access to its Foxtel app every time a passenger flies, allowing customers to stream live sports, news and TV shows as well as its full range of on-demand content. No sign-up to a subscription is required. Netflix will offer new customers access to the entire Netflix service as part of a 30-day free trial. Existing Netflix members only need to log in to continue watching at no extra charge. Spotify will offer a 30 day free trial of its Premium music service, which has no ads, shuffle play and unlimited skips. Both Netflix and Spotify require passengers to signup to a subscription to access the free trial. Passengers will log on to the Qantas inflight Wi-Fi via their own devices, and will be greeted by a landing page with a range of options. As well as links to access Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel, the page features real-time flight data; hotel, restaurant and transport options at your destination; the latest weather; and personalized information linked to itinerary and Frequent Flyer account. Streaming of Sky News Australia will also be available. In November 2016, Qantas installed ViaSat satellitereceiving equipment on its first 737 to be Wi-Fi enabled. Hardware and software testing is underway on this aircraft, ahead of the service being switched on for customers soon.

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Recaro marks 2016 with 100K deliveries Seat maker Recaro announced that during 2016 the company delivered more than 100,000 aircraft seats, which was record production for its four sites. The company was tabulating exact figures, which would be available in May when its financial statements were finalized. Recaro has made a number of investments in its sites. At the end of this year, it will open is 6,000 square meter logistics center built at a cost of €13.5 million. Last year, its Qingdao, China facility produced 10,000 seats. Recaro expects the output in China to double this year. Recaro is moving ahead with its CL6710 “intelligent seat” that can digitally transmit operating status to cabin crew and ground staff. An app for the seat can be used by passengers for seat setting, inflight entertainment programming. Light and ventilation can be controlled from a smartphone or tablet. The company said several orders have been received for the CL6710 that will be first delivered this year. The new 3530Swift economy class seat, developed together with Airbus as Supplier Furinished Equipment (SFE) went to market in 2016. Recaro was able to book orders for more than 100 aircraft by mid-year. The first ship sets were delivered in the middle of July. Thanks to the predefined and precertified Airbus layouts, time-consuming, individual product approvals can be avoided. “An outstanding year for Recaro and its employees has come to an end. New products, new customers and numerous new orders successfully drove business development in 2016. The full order books are ideally matched to the workforce and capacity expansion we have undertaken in recent years,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder at Recaro Aircraft Seating, in a recent announcement.

Recaro has received several orders for its CL6710 seat for front cabin


AviIT and Bluebox now one company AviIT Ltd. and Bluebox Avionics Ltd. have been combined under a new company — Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. — with AviIT leadership assuming full management and operational responsibility for the new company. The Bluebox brand, products and IP will be owned and represented by Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. “This new operational structure will help us meet our ambitious growth plans over the coming years, building upon Bluebox’s 10 years of IFE market success which we celebrated last year, and AviITs rich history of airline industry software innovation,” said Kevin Clark, who has been appointed CEO of the newly combined business. “I’m looking forward to leading this new stage of growth through innovation, sales and customer service, so here’s to celebrating a new year and a new decade, with a new corporate platform.” “We have an increasing flow of product innovations that we are bringing to market and need to do so in a way that ensures customers benefit quickly,” said David Brown, founder of AviIT, who will lead the strategic development of the new company as Business Development Director. “Refocusing all of our product development under one organizational structure, helps us strengthen our core software development business, enhance our ability to differentiate our products, and allows us to engage more effectively in the kinds of partnerships that bring the best parties together to meet customer demand.” “Bluebox already has long-standing relationships with all major content providers to deliver early window content on our systems and a range of highquality IFE products that are easier to deploy and upgrade at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems,” added Clark. “This new corporate platform streamlines our ability to respond to market requirements much more rapidly than the previous Bluebox joint venture structure allowed, and provides greater flexibility in how we engage with partners in the creation and delivery of joint offerings.”

RJ and Turkish Technic sign cooperation agreement Royal Jordanian and Turkish Airlines Technic, Inc. sealed an agreement in February that will allow the airline to receive Line Replaceable Units (LRU) components pool support and spares for V2500 engines installed on RJ’s A320 family aircraft. The services and spares that will be provided within the framework of the agreement will be based in Turkish Technic’s Istanbul base and supply stations throughout the world. The LRU components will be serviced in the state-of-the-art facilities of Turkish Technic at Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport. Royal Jordanian operates the V2500 engine The contract will also serve to enhance the from IAE International on its A320 family strong business relationship between the two parties and will be a sustainable step for Turkish Technic in the Middle East region. Emphasizing the trust in the services provided by Turkish Technic, Royal Jordanian President/CEO Captain Suleiman Obeidat said: “We are pleased to cooperate with a pioneer MRO company in the region, Turkish Technic. We believe their contributions and technical services will back our endeavors to provide a continued on-time, efficient operation, all for an enhanced passenger satisfaction.” “We are glad to be reaping the fruits of our labor with this winwin cooperation model. Turkish Technic has reached a fleet size of about 800 aircraft in the component pool market with the signing of this agreement,” Ahmet Karaman, CEO of Turkish Technic.



Bickelmann is Linstol’s Director, Global Brand Development Amy Bickelmann has been appointed Director, Global Brand Development for Linstol. She will be based in Linstol’s U.S. office and work closely with its U.K., Canadian and Hong Kong teams to strategically develop and maintain brand relationships to support the airline industry. Bickelmann has 15 years experience as a flight attendant at Delta Air Lines and nine years of experience as a Relationship Manager at Trading Technologies in New York. She joined Linstol in November 2015 as a Sales Manager. “Amy has a passion for bringing innovative concepts to market and is an integral part of our team,” said Linstol CEO Mark Russell. “Amy’s authenticity and confidence are immediately apparent and her dedication to creating mutually beneficial relationships is inspiring. Amy is a true asset and I look forward to seeing her continue to bring value to our team, our airline clients Amy Bickelmann and our brand partners.”

Cobin is Gogo’s EVP and CCO Gogo announced January 19 Jon Cobin would be the company’s new Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. Cobin has served in a leadership position at Gogo for six years, most recently as head of strategy and global sales for the commercial aviation division. In his new role, he will continue to manage strategy and sales, but will take on the added responsibilities of managing Gogo’s product and marketing teams. Under Cobin’s leadership, the company has experienced numerous successes, including adding more than 1,000 2Ku aircraft to the backlog in 2016. Before joining Gogo, Cobin served as the head of strategy at Centennial Communications and held Jon Cobin positions of increasing responsibility as a strategy consultant at Dean & Company and in investment banking at J.P. Morgan.

Bluebox picks director for Asia-Pacific

Bluebox Aviation announced in February Sek Boon Foo would be the Director of Sales for the Asian-Pacific region working out of company offices in Singapore. Late last year Bluebox named Neil Robinson to a similar role for Europe, Middle East and Africa, and enhanced the company’s ability to support more customers globally. Foo has more than 15 years aviation industry experience specifically Sek Boon Foo in the IFE systems market, having represented Lumexis Corporation in Asia. He developed complementary expertise in program management and aviation technology sales, with a particular emphasis in areas involving retrofit technologies and industry certification. “Sek Boon has spent his entire career in the aviation sector and he brings a superb blend of technical knowledge and commercial experience that will serve our clients and prospective clients well,” said Kevin Clark, Bluebox Aviation’s CEO. “Sek Boon is ideally placed to drive our ambitious growth plans in Asia and add to our existing list of clients in the region that includes Vietnam Airlines and Bangkok Airways.”

STG Aerospace adds to sales team STG Aerospace, the cabin lighting specialist, has expanded its global sales team with two new key appointments. The new Regional Sales Managers, Robert Keepers, based in Dallas and Theresa Härtel, based in Germany, will join the U.S. and EMEA sales teams respectively. Before taking up his new role, Keepers worked for Panasonic Avionics Corporation advancing in a number of roles since first joining the company in 2000. Most recently, as Marketing Account Manager he worked directly with airlines in Central/South America, coordinating the promotion and Robert Keepers installation of the company’s inflight entertainment systems. Härtel joined the company from UTC Aerospace Systems where, as Product Sales Manager – Europe, Middle East and Africa, she was responsible for initiating and leading sales campaigns for the company’s Interiors Business Unit. Prior to that, she worked for one of UTC’s subsidiaries, Goodrich Lighting Systems GmbH, as Program Manager – Worldwide Aftermarket. Theresa Härtel


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Initially, workers were trained at Recaro facilities in Europe. Now, more training takes place in house


ith an initial crew of approximately 70 employees, Recaro Aircraft Seating opened the doors on a new production plant in Qingdao, China in October of 2013 and took the first steps to begin work on a substantial order of the company’s BL3520-RAC for Shandong Airlines. With a crew of European-trained workers, the short- to medium-haul seats began moving off the assembly line early the next year. Management at the facility has not looked back since, but forward to fill the needs of a Chinese market that has demanded enough seating to double the production year on year. “We are starting local production in China as one of the first international aircraft seat suppliers,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, Recaro’s CEO and Shareholder, at the time of the opening.


Recaro Aircraft Seating opened its Qingdao facility a little more than three years ago. This year, the company’s General Manager for Asia Pacific foresees doubling production to 20,000 units “This means that we are now present with our own production facilities in all three major aviation markets — Asia, Europe and America. But building this new plant in Qingdao, we are expanding our capacity to service the Chinese market, because in the future, Asia will be the largest market for aircraft seats. Studies show that Chinese airlines alone will need about 5,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years.” Total area of the Recaro plant is approximately 25,000 square meters. It houses a production area of 8,000 square meters and room for sales, engineering, purchasing, program management, production, quality and logistics departments. A little more than a year ago, Irene Tan joined the company as General Manager Asia-Pacific for Recaro. Working out of a location in Hong Kong, Tan works with

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REGIONAL REPORT: CHINA the company’s integrated sales department, while also overseeing business and operations in Qingdao, located in Shandong Province on the country’s east coast. “With Irene Tan, we can expand our competence in this region and strengthen our position in the market, moving closer to our customers will enable us to act even more quickly and more flexibly,” said Hiller at the time of the announcement. Recaro is also moving ahead with an executive with deep experience in the region and a wealth of airline experience. Before joining Recaro, Tan was Regional Director of Marketing and Product Strategy at Panasonic Avionics Corporation. Before that, she held executive positions at Singapore Airlines, Dragonair and Cathay Pacific Airways. Much of her work with the airlines involved passenger experience. “In my previous position, I learned the significance of providing passengers with a seamless flight experience,” she said, at the time of the announcement. PAX International caught up with Irene Tan just before this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. She will be our first multi-language Industry Q and A. PAX International: Recaro’s factory in Qingdao opened near the end of 2013. Since then what has been the yearly seating production and what is projected for the year ahead? Irene Tan: The yearly seating production has been doubling each year. It started with 5,000, then it achieved 10,000 and, going ahead, it is projected at 20,000 pax. PAX: What seats in the Recaro line are made at the factory? Tan: At our factory in Qingdao, we manufacture economy class seats for single-aisle aircraft. PAX: From start to finish, how long does it take to produce an airline seat for Economy, Business and First class? Could we get a general step-by-step description? Tan: Recaro Aircraft Seating produces economy and business class seats for Airbus and Boeing aircraft. We are very focused and want to be the best in what we are doing. Our site at Qingdao specializes in producing Economy class seats. The time required to produce an aircraft seat varies tremendously depending on the seat model, as well as on the level of customization requirements specified by the airline. It isn’t really possible for us to give a step-by-step description since the seats for each customer are always different. PAX: How much does Recaro work with subcontractors on seating? Tan: At first glance, it may appear that all seats within the cabin are identical, but in fact there is a variety of the same seat type in one aircraft. Due to the low quantities, Recaro also produces parts. We do seat customization as well as the final assembly entirely on our own. However, we also assemble components from local suppliers and from our worldwide supplier network. PAX: The facility was designed to meet the seating needs of airlines in China. The country has been going through some economic ups and downs in recent years. What sort of demand from China for airline seating are you seeing in the immediate future? Tan: As mentioned previously, our seating production capacity has doubled each year, and these numbers are driven by the demand from Chinese airline carriers. As you may have read, Boeing has projected 15,130 new aircraft to be delivered to the Asia-Pacific 14  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2017

Irene Tan

region by 2035 and this number equals the total demand from America and Europe. More than half of these aircraft will be delivered to China. Since the traveling population is increasing, there remains a strong demand for new aircraft and therefore, demand for new seats will continue. We see tremendous growth in China and remain optimistic about the Chinese market. PAX: A description of the facility mentions “state-of-the-art” lean production methods. What are some examples, and how much of the manufacturing processes are automated? Tan: Due to the wide range of different seats within the cabin, aircraft seat manufacturing is more of a manual process than an automated one. However, we are very lean-focused in our operations and our results speak for themselves — we have been given the best rating in terms of our on-time delivery. Since we began operations at our site, we have achieved 100% on-time seat delivery as well as high ratings for our quality output from the original equipment manufacturer. With shop floor management, we have developed a culture of consistent improvements in terms of management performance and communication: thanks to regular information exchange, problems can be recognized at an early stage, we can immediately react to variations and solutions can be introduced quickly. PAX: At the beginning, workers were trained extensively in Germany and Poland. What is the training process now? Is there more taking place in-house? Tan: We focus very much on continuous staff training and qualification. Training is generally conducted in-house as well as within our global network. We also focus on best practices that are shared further within our global network group. PAX: What have you learned about running manufacturing operations in China? What’s essential for a company that may be considering a similar move? Tan: Setting up a manufacturing plant in China is essentially the same as in all other countries. Establishing clear processes and paying attention to staff training and qualification are high priority. Putting clear processes and the right people in place are the fundamentals leading to quality output. I believe that maintaining a stable and capable team along with clear communication is essential. This also plays an important role in ensuring success.


全速前进 早在三年前,Recaro 航空座椅公司就在青 岛开设了自己的工 厂。今年,在亚太区 总经理的领导下,该 公司实现产品销量 翻番,达到 2 万台

Shandong Airlines received the first order of BL3520 Economy Class seats produced at Recaro’s China facility


ecaro 航空座椅公司最初仅有约 70 名员工, 在 2013 年 10 月,新成立的中国青岛制造工 厂正式投入运营,,迈出的第一步便是开始为 山东航空公司制造大量的 BL3520-RAC 座椅。 2014 年年初,经过一群在欧洲接受过培训的工人的 努力,中短途座椅开始离开生产线。自此,工厂的 管理层一路勇往向前,以前瞻性思维考虑中国航空 座椅市场的巨大需求,争取实现逐年产量翻番。 “我们是首批在中国开始本地化生产的航国际航空座 椅供应商之一,”Recaro 首席执行官兼股东 Mark Hiller 博士在开业时表示。“这意味着,我们目前在 亚洲、欧洲和美洲这三个主要航空市场都建立了自己 的制造厂。凭借在青岛成立的这间新工厂,我们正在 拓展公司服务中国市场的能力,原因是亚洲将是未 来航空座椅需求最大的市场。研究表明,在未来 20 年内,中国航空公司将增加约 5000 架新飞机。 Recaro 工厂的总面积约为 25,000 平方米。生 产区面积为 8,000 平方米,涵盖销售、工程、采 购、项目管理、生产、质量和物流等部门。

进一步拉近与客户的距离,能让我们的行动更快速 敏捷。”Hiller 在宣布 Irene Tan 就职时说道。 和 Recaro 并肩作战的还有一位在亚太区拥有丰富 经验及大量航空公司工作经验的经理。加入 Recaro 之前,Tan 曾出任松下航空电子公司的市场营销和 产品战略区域总监。此前,她曾于新加坡航空公 司、港龙航空公司和国泰航空公司担任行政职位。 她在航空公司的许多工作都与乘客体验相关。 “在之前的职位上,我了解到为乘客提供无缝飞 行体验的重要性,”她在宣布就任时表示。 在今年的飞机内饰博览会召开前,PAX International 采访了 Irene Tan。Irene 将是我 们首位参与行业多语问答环节的嘉宾。

PAX International:Recaro 的青岛工厂已 于 2013 年年底开业。自开业起,工厂每年的座 位产量如何?下一年的预测产量是多少? Irene Tan:我们每年都实现了座椅产量翻番的目 标。在 2013 年,我们生产了 5,000 个座椅,然 后是 1 万个,预计今年可以实现年产 2 万个。

一年多前,Irene Tan 加入公司,担任 Recaro 亚 太区总经理。Tan 的工作地点是香港,负责与 公司的综合销售部门协作,同时管理位于中国 东海岸山东省的青岛工厂的业务和运营。

PAX:Recaro 系列的哪些座椅在该工厂制造? Tan:我们的青岛工厂负责生产单 通道飞机的经济舱座椅。

“在 Irene Tan 的领导下,我们有信心扩大公司在 中国市场的服务能力,加强我们的市场地位,同时

PAX:从开始制造到完工,经济舱、商务舱和 头等舱航空座椅的生产分别需要多长时间?您  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  15


Recaro’s Qingdao facility opened October 24,2013

可以跟我们谈谈大概都需要哪些流程吗? Tan:Recaro 航空座椅公司致力为空客和波音 飞机生产经济舱和商务舱座椅。我们专注于这 项事业,并希望能在这个领域做到最好。 我们的青岛工厂专门生产经济舱座椅。生产飞机座椅所 需的时间各不相同,具体取决于座椅型号以及航空公司 的定制要求等级。抱歉无法向您一一介绍各个制造流 程,因为通常情况下,每家客户的座位都是不同的。

PAX:座椅生产过程中,Recaro 与分包商有哪些合作? Tan:乍看起来,机舱内的所有座位好像都一样, 但实际上一架飞机内有着多种座椅类型。由于数 量少,Recaro 也生产零件。座椅定制和最终装 配都是由我们自己完成。不过,我们也组装由 当地供应商和全球供应商网络提供的组件。 PAX:青岛工厂旨在满足中国航空公司的座椅需求。 近年来,中国经历了一些经济上的起起落落。在不 久的将来,中国对航空座椅的需求会是怎样? Tan:如前所述,我们的座椅产能每年翻一番,这 些数字是在中国航空公司需求的推动下实现的。您 可能也已知晓,截止 2035 年,波音预计将向亚太地 区提供 15,130 架新飞机,这个数字是美洲和欧洲需 求量的总和。其中有一半以上将运往中国。由于旅 行人数增加,中国对新飞机的需求仍然很大,因此 对新座椅的需求也将持续增长。我们认为中国的座 椅需求将有大幅增长,对中国市场持乐观态度。


PAX:对青岛工厂的介绍中提到了“最先进的”精益生 产方法。可否举例说明?制造过程的自动化程度如何? Tan:由于机舱内有各种不同类型的座椅,因此飞机 座椅的制造更多的是手动过程,而非自动化。不过, 我们在运营中非常注重精益操作,我们的成果就是证 明 - 我们能按时交货,在这点上备受客户好评。自工厂 投入运营来,我们已实现了座椅 100% 准时交付,并 因产品的高质量获得了原始设备制造商的较高评价。 通过车间管理,我们在绩效管理和沟通方面建立了持 续改进的文化:通过定期的信息交流,做到尽早地发 现问题,即时地响应变化,快速找到解决方案。 PAX:最开始,贵厂的工人是在波兰和德 国接受大量的培训。现在的培训是怎样进 行的?是否更多地是在内部进行? Tan:我们对持续的员工培训和员工资质非常重视。培 训一般在内部以及我们的全球网络内进行。此外,我们 还对在公司的全球网络组织中推广最佳实践很是重视。 PAX:您对在中国经营制造业有何见解? 对于可能考虑和贵司一样在中国设立制造 厂的公司来说,哪些工作是必需的? Tan:在中国建立制造工厂和在其他国家或地区基本上 并无差异。建立明确的流程,注重员工培训和资质是重 中之重。制定明确的流程,聘用合适的人员是实现高 质量产出的基本原则。我认为,维持团队的稳定性和 才干能力,确保各成员间清晰明确的沟通是必不可少 的。此外,这对确保我们能取得成功也非常重要。

Passenger comfort has been upgraded Our Series 6 heralds the next generation of Economy Class seat, built on our belief that seats can’t be comfortable, only passengers can. Discover the future passenger experience - visit our stand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo on 4-6 April in Hamburg hall B6 stand 6c100. T +44 1737 304700

SEATING The new Series 6 Economy seat from Acro Aircraft Seating does away with the standard aluminum tube-framed seatback and replaces it with a fully composite one

PITCH PERFECT Recent product developments in Economy Class and Premium Economy Class seating are in line with airline demands for greater passenger density and comfort at a tighter pitch by MARY JANE PITTILLA


t the busy trade floors and the giant halls of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, visitors spend their days walking the hard floors and hoping that around the next corner comfort awaits. Oftentimes, that comfort could be found in the form of an airline seat display, one of dozens that offer luxurious features. As important as selling the high-end, high-tech seating found in First and Business Classes, there are also row after row of slim, lightweight products that will fill cabins on aircraft old and new. The products of a half-dozen suppliers mentioned here are aimed at a section of the cabin that is evolving as well. The maturity of the Premium Economy trend has continued with other airlines offering the products. As aircraft like the A350 now proliferate the industry, the desire to add capacity to the cabin has companies developing slim-line seats from lightweight materials.


Acro and Airbus

The Series 6 seat boasts increased passenger comfort, a more sophisticated appearance, greater legroom, lighter weight, greater durability and is easily maintained

The new Series 6 Economy seat from Acro Aircraft Seating is a redesigned new-generation Economy Class seat. The key innovation was to do away with the standard aluminum tube-framed seatback and to replace it with a fully composite one. The seatback curves gently around the passenger’s behind, creating a bucket shape that both creates an ergonomically correct shape and returns the otherwise wasted space to the left and right of the passenger’s hips to the person seated behind. This generates around 2 inches more room at knee height and allows a person 6 feet 3 inches tall to easily stretch legs out at 28-inch pitch without touching the seat in front. This seat innovation has led to increased passenger comfort, a more sophisticated appearance, greater legroom, lighter weight,

• Competitive pricing • Soon available with electronic locking mechanism for duty free applications


• Thermally efficient



• Ultra light weight


AIX 2017 BOOTH 7A60


SEATING 2017, both in the global aircraft seating market and within our business. Exciting times ahead!” enthuses McInnes. In 2016, Italian manufacturer Aviointeriors launched an Economy Plus seat called the Columbus C4, a derivative of its Columbus C3 widebody Economy seat with added recline (up to 10 inches) and a pitch of 38 inches to offer a midrange solution for airlines not looking to invest serious money in a Premium Economy seat for their passengers. The seat pitches of each product are as follows: C1, its LCC seat, runs from 28 inches; C2, its narrowbody seat, runs from 28 to 30 inches; C3, its widebody Economy seat, from 29 to 34 inches; and C4, its Economy Plus seat, from 38 to 40 inches. Aviointeriors’ Columbus C4 Economy Plus seat is a derivative of its Columbus C3 widebody Economy seat with added recline and a pitch of 38 inches to offer a mid-range Pricing starts at €3,500 per passolution for airlines not looking to invest serious money in a Premium Economy seat senger to €4,000 per passenger for in-arm video installation. All seats greater durability and is easily maintained, says the company. are fitted with a smart tray tablet holder as standard and For the Premium Economy cabin, the Series 7 seat there are several other costed options on request. can be offered as Business/First Class on narrow-body All Columbus programs, if not a follow-on, are currently 26 aircraft and as a Premium Economy Class seat on wideweeks delivery after the initial technical coordination meeting. body installations. Series 7 delivers unparalleled legroom, “Economy class has a huge growth potential, both in linefit class-leading width and full recline, the company says. and retrofit markets, and we see Premium Economy has a “Not only does our Series 7 embody all of Acro’s characgood potential for the future,” says Jeffrey Forsbrey, Senior teristics, comfort, robustness, maintainability and lighter Vice President Sales and Marketing, Aviointeriors S.p.A. weight, it can be pitched at 34 inches and still meet Air“Market forces are driving weight out of the product bus’s minimum egress requirements of 9 inches,” says Alan and we are seeing a shift in design, seat cushion techMcInnes, Head of Sales at Acro. “It also incorporates smart nology and overall parts count reduction, and possibly design features including personal storage consoles, and an the use of magnesium in the near future,” he adds. elegant single-leaf table that not only enhances the experiAdditionally, Aviointeriors has developed a new highence, but also increases the space available to passengers. density premium Business Class seat for the widebody It was designed to offer passengers a premium experience market with seat densities of eight abreast for the 777 and whilst ensuring that every component justified its presence.” 787 and seven abreast for the A330. The seat, named AdaThe Series 6 seats can be pitched from 28 to 34 inches gio, can also provide five abreast in an A321 and could and are designed to offer the passenger the maxialso grow to a First Class suite. “The seat will be on show mum comfort at the minimum pitch. The Series 7 frees in Dubai and we are already getting very good feedback up living space and even pitched at its minimum of from targeted customers right now,” says Forsbrey. 34 inches, it feels like 38 inches, says McInnes. In 2016, Expliseat unveiled its newest innovation: the Series 6 will be available for deliveries from October, while Series 7 will have first deliveries in December 17. In a major milestone, having supplied seats for linefit since 2015, the company signed a contract with Airbus during January 2017 for Acro products to be included in its BFE (Buyer Furnished Equipment) catalog. “This agreement with Airbus reflects how hard we’ve worked to grow Acro by investing in our staff, product innovation and supporting infrastructure. Appearing in the Airbus catalog extends our reach and accessibility to scheduled flag carriers, enabling our growth and pursuing our vision of perfect comfort for passengers,” he says. The Air Tahiti cabin showcases the Titanium Seat for “The market [for Economy Class seats] regional aircraft, weighing five kilograms per passenger is very buoyant and we see growth for 20  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2017


Geven’s new Essenza Economy Class seat seeks to offer style, innovation, technology, robustness, in-service life, comfort and flexibility of modularity options

Titanium Seat NEO (five kilograms per passenger), made in partnership with Peugeot, building on the operational benefits and unique technology of the Titanium Seat, originally introduced in 2013 and described by the French manufacturer as the lightest aircraft seat in the world. The Titanium Seat’s main features include its exceptional feather weight and a very resistant structure made of titanium and composite which has 1,000 times better durability performance (no corrosion, better fatigue resistance) compared with standard seat aluminum. Also, the Titanium Seat structure is made of very few parts (less than 40 parts versus 300 for competitors), which offers many benefits to the airlines in terms of manhours and maintenance cost. The Titanium Seat NEO adds several new features, such as: three separate seats, ergonomics conceived for flights up to seven hours, and an elegant trim and finish at the highest standard in the aerospace industry. The pitch of the Titanium Seat is between 27 and 34 inches. In 2015, the Titanium Seat for regional aircraft was introduced (five kilograms per passenger), and a linefit catalog agreement was signed in April 2016 with Air Tahiti as its launch customer. Expliseat’s customers are located in the U.S., Asia, Pacific and Latin America. More than 40 shipsets have been sold in the past six months, with 100% on-time delivery. A recent customer is Cebu Pacific Air. “The market for aircraft seats is following the growth of the overall aerospace market and is in constant growth,” says Expliseat’s CEO Benjamin Saada. “Nowadays airlines are always in search of more comfort for their passengers but they are also extremely careful about the aircraft weight as the price of fuel is going up again.”

The Titanium Seat NEO has three separate seats, ergonomics conceived for flights up to seven hours, and an impeccable trim and finish


Also, the Titanium Seat is designed to provide very fast and easy maintenance. Geven Spa has recently focused on its new Economy and Premium Economy product developments, as airlines increasingly demand a higher seating density in the cabin. The Italian company is closely involved with the main airframe manufacturers to assist in developing even more challenging new configurations for both the Economy and Premium Economy sections of certain widebody aircraft, according to Doria De Chiara, Geven’s Business Development Manager. Geven has created Economy Class seats capable of including more passengers in the cabin, with more living space and greater comfort, but with a tighter pitch and less spacious aisles, all at a 28-inch pitch. “Pitches for Premium Economy Class have fortunately remained pretty much fixed on the 38 inch range – we’re only having to add more passengers abreast – that is all,” says De Chiara. Geven’s new Essenza seat is flying on two large European carriers and one large Asian airline and the Premium Economy version is being supplied to Italian flag carrier Alitalia and an Eastern European customer. The design of Economy Class seats has changed over the past few years, with the list of requirements growing ever longer. “They must be lighter, more ergonomic, more comfortable, with greater living space, essential (like our Essenza), must never, ever break and be almost maintenance-free. They must also be fresh and young in look, and very appealing,” she says. De Chiara said he believes the outlook for both Economy and Premium Economy seating is looking “very promising” for 2017 and in the near future. “The ‘more abreast’ projects we are working on with airframe manufacturers are very challenging as well as interesting. We are working closely with airframe innovation groups and the future looks very, very mobile, both inside and outside the aircraft,” she concludes. HAECO Americas’ Cabin Solutions division continues to evolve its Vector product line, and now has a full array of selectable features as well as IFE integraHAECO Cabin Solutions’ new Vector tion for the platform. Premium narrowbody Business Class seat, pictured with the new Arc Headrest, will be launched at the AIX show in Hamburg

SEATING  A desk in the sky: The PF3000 fixed back seat is designed to provide passengers with personal space with the literature behind the tray table

PITCH aims to provide added leg room and comfort at tight pitch settings but with the look and feel of quality and personal space

The company will also be unveiling Vector Premium, the single-aisle Business Class iteration of the Vector family of products, at the AIX fair. It will use the opportunity to collect customer feedback to refine its product offerings. The seat pitch of each product is as follows: Vector Economy Class: 28-33 inches; Vector Premium (narrowbody Business Class): 38-44 inches; and Vector Premium Economy: Targeting 36-40 inches. HAECO Americas is able to deliver a catalogselected product in as little as four months from program award to product delivery. Standard lead times are 12-14 months for the Vector platform of products and can vary depending on the program and product mix. First delivery of Vector Premium is expected in Q2 2018. “The single-aisle market shows no signs of slowing down, plus, we are seeing product deliveries for twin-aisle aircraft doing well due to an uptick in retrofit programs,” says David Kelly, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, HAECO Americas. “We have recently expanded our Cabin Solutions business and have been actively adding to our workforce in anticipation of an increasing demand. HAECO Americas is expecting a busy 2017 and beyond.” The company says that Economy Class seating trends have remained fairly unchanged in recent years, with incremental improvements to living space and passenger amenities. HAECO Cabin Solutions aims to encourage innovations in product design while maintaining a sharp focus on providing a seat that is easy for airlines to operate and maintain while providing passengers a comfortable experience. Visitors to the Aircraft Interiors Expo can see examples of these innovations at the HAECO booth, where it will launch the Arc Headrest, a Crystal Cabin Award shortlisted candidate, as well as Vector Premium. PITCH Aircraft Seating Systems’ PF3000 Economy seat provides three inches of added legroom over other seats in the class – an important factor at the tighter pitch settings of 28 inch, notes Gary Doy, Director of New Product Development. The basic seat offers a high-specification configuration including: upper and lower literature pockets; synthetic leather covers; a high level of comfort due to the patented cushion and seatback design; internet service provider provisions – a USB connector located behind the tray table stops a passenger PED charging during take-off and landing; and an iPad and computer mounting position.

The fixed back seat is permanently reclined and set at the optimum passenger recline angle. Weight including synthetic leather covers is 9.6 kilograms per passenger place, and 28.8 kilograms per standard triple. Comfort tests by operators have received a high level of customer satisfaction, says Doy. The PF3000 fixed back seat is designed and certified for pitch settings from 28 to 32 inches, and is compliant with a pitch setting of 27 inches. The delivery time is 12 weeks standard lead-time for a certified LOPA configuration. The launch customer was Monarch Airlines, on its A321 fleet. The 214-passenger place configuration boasted an increased number of extra legroom seats available due to the PF3000 design, notes Doy. The PF3000 seat has completed all indicative certification testing including 16G HIC and is about to start formal certification testing with off tooled parts. The launch will take place in July 2017, with plans to deliver 15 shipsets in 2017 increasing to 90 shipsets in 2018. The company’s new manufacturing facility, located in Redditch, UK, will have a capacity of 20,000 passenger places in 2018. “PITCH was a driver of the fixed back seat into the economy market and for high-density operators the customer acceptance has been very high,” says Doy. Product design has played a part in its success. “PITCH drove the weight down from the legacy suppliers to under 29 kilograms per standard triple but removing any risk by using smart design and conventional materials,” he says. “Airlines are looking for high-density, high-utilization seats which provide a very positive cabin image with reduced parts count. By using automotive processes to manufacture the seat cushions and covers, PITCH is able ensure the seats look sharp always.” PITCH is part of the DesignQ family, which specializes in innovative high-end design, and it is through this relationship that Pitch is able to offer superior designs to the Economy market, he explains. “PITCH provides added leg room and comfort at tight pitch settings but with the look and feel of quality and personal space,” he says. PITCH will be launching the PR3000 recline seat range in 2018. This recline seat seeks to reset the industry understanding of recline and is targeted at the full-service singleaisle operators and the long range Economy market.  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  23

IFE & CONNECTIVITY UPDATE An A319 aircraft with the radome installation completed for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation service

Faster, smarter, better With the inflight entertainment and connectivity needs of airlines and passengers continually evolving, the development of advanced solutions has become an ongoing effort for suppliers — one that requires the newest and most sophisticated equipment and capabilities by



hile there seems to be no end to suppliers’ efforts to develop more advanced connectivity systems, the goals of their potential customers remain much the same: enhancing the passenger experience and possibly improving revenues by installing the latest versions. So, while airlines are still looking for opportunities to elevate the passenger experience and capitalize on new revenue streams, and passengers continue to expect an IFE and connectivity offering comparable to the same services received on the ground, suppliers are gearing up to deliver smarter, faster — and altogether better — systems. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, established companies and newcomers to the industry will be talking about an old challenge, but tackling it with a new array of equipment and capabilities. Leader and pioneer of mobile satellite communications, Inmarsat, understands the importance of having the right connectivity services available to both passenger and crew. “The right connectivity services can give passengers control over their own entertainment and improve daily offerings and procedures, from providing online duty free with goods people can order on their phones or tablets, to facilitating last-minute travel plan changes,” says Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. From an operational perspective, van Essen adds that effective connectivity systems — such as those on offer from Inmarsat — can equip pilots with real time updates to increase safety, optimize fuel consumption and provide on-the-ground teams with real-time diagnostics, thus reducing delays. “They can also strengthen the security of flight deck communications and enable more flights to be in operation at any given time,” he adds.


But the ‘right’ or most effective connectivity comes at a price, and oftentimes, the price does not always match the quality of service. “Passengers and airlines are getting very frustrated by the poor service offered by many inflight connectivity providers and from having to pay a high price for that level of service,” says Mary Rogozinski, Vice President Airlines at SmartSky Networks, a next-generation aviation communications provider. “Airlines are looking for IFC service providers to partner with to offer fast, reliable and affordable inflight connectivity with a cost-effective business model for the airline,” Rogozinski adds. Fast service in particular, seems to be the feature that passengers value the most when it comes to connectivity, followed by cost. “It’s always a conversation around more bandwidth,” says Edward Popek, Sr. Director of Marketing at Astronics AeroSat, designer and manufacturer of airborne Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) SATCOM connectivity solutions. “Passengers want faster data speeds, like at home, at cost effective prices (preferably free). The connectivity industry debate is whether to offer connectivity for free and cover the cost in the ticket prices, or to charge the user per use. No one answer appears to be right; each airline will choose the model that best fits their passenger experience strategy.”

Seamless solutions GX for Aviation from Inmarsat is the world’s first global, high-speed inflight broadband service from a single operator. It provides, reliable, seamless coverage, offering an onboard connectivity experience that compares with Wi-Fi services available on the ground. The technology allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream


Gogo TV enables airlines to deliver live television content to a passengers’ own Wi-Fi enabled device and can also be integrated into an airline’s existing seat-back entertainment system

videos, check social media and more during flights. In 2015, Inmarsat signed a 10-year strategic agreement with the Lufthansa Group, which included the selection of GX for Aviation for Lufthansa’s European Continental fleet of more than 180 aircraft, in addition to more than 30 Austrian Airlines A320 family aircraft, and 69 A320 family aircraft from the Eurowings fleet. Inmarsat also signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines in the same year. “Interest in the service has equally continued to be strong in 2016 and early 2017, with Air New Zealand, Norwegian and Air Astana all set to be equipped with GX for Aviation,” says van Essen. Inmarsat will be launching the European Aviation Network (EAN) this year. As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite — operated by Inmarsat —and an LTE-based ground network — operated by Deutsche Telekom — EAN will provide an inflight broadband experience for millions of airline passengers traveling throughout Europe — all 28 European Union states, together with Norway and Switzerland. “This is a revolutionary hybrid broadband solution which combines satellite coverage with a 4G LTE ground network,” says van Essen. “It is designed specifically to expand capacity for high-traffic flight paths and busy airport hubs.” The network recently passed a major milestone, with the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station in Nemea at the beginning of February. “We have contracted Arianespace to launch our S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network on an Ariane 5 heavy lift launch vehicle in mid-2017,” adds van Essen. Looking ahead, the company plans to continue prioritizing the advancement of aviation safety. The only system of its kind, SwiftBroadband–Safety, can trigger one-minute position reporting and stream data off aircraft in real time, creating a “Black Box in the Cloud.” “Such technology will be vital in improving communications between aircraft and their operators,” says van Essen.

Above and beyond Internet and entertainment provider Gogo has experienced continued success with its inflight connectivity solution, 26  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2017

2Ku. In 2016, Gogo had several major airlines commit to bringing 2Ku on board, including Air Canada, Aeromexico and IAG (Iberia, British Airways) and is now flying on more than 125 aircraft globally on Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico and GOL Airlines. Gogo recently proved its 2Ku service continues to operate at peak performance at speeds of more than 100 Mbps to the aircraft by using its proprietary 2Ku antenna along with its new generation modem and a high-throughput satellite on Gogo’s test aircraft, the Jimmy Ray. “Our new modem upgrades the performance of both our 2Ku and our Ku global satellite services,” says John Wade, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Gogo. “The proprietary features of the new modem significantly increase throughput and reliability to and from the aircraft,” he adds. “Gogo Ku system has been performing well and will continue to deliver even better as we roll out installations of our new modem in the second half of 2017.” To date, about two-thirds of Gogo’s connected aircraft are on the ATG-4 technology. Gogo is currently working to launch a second-generation air-to-ground network that will deliver ground-like speeds to aircraft. As for Gogo’s inflight entertainment offerings, Gogo Vision adds almost no incremental weight to an aircraft that already has the company’s connectivity. Gogo’s content cycle is shifting from 60 days to 30 to meet its airline partners’ desires to deliver fresh and new content to passengers. Gogo’s latest achievements in passenger experience and IFE is its Gogo TV solution, Gogo’s live IPTV offering. Gogo TV enables airlines to deliver live television content to a passengers’ own Wi-Fi enabled device and can also be integrated into an airline’s existing seat-back entertainment system. Gogo’s airline partner GOL Airlines in Brazil will be the first to launch live TV on their Gogo-equipped flights this year. Looking ahead, Gogo is moving beyond passenger connectivity. The provider has already taken the Internet of Things (IoT) to its advantage by providing improved services and connectivity to passengers, and is now focused on engaging partners to bring the benefits of IoT to airline operations in order to better business efforts and safety protocols. “We’ve already started connecting flight attendants, pilots and crew, through enhanced messaging applications and other services and eventually will connect the entire aircraft itself through our Connected Aviation Services,” Wade explains. “In fact, we’ve already connected 50,000 flight attendant and crew tablets, with the first application being real-time credit card processing and Delta is the first airline to go live with a cutting-edge turbulence avoidance application.”

Prioritizing performance Bringing the advantages and efficiencies of a high-speed bi-directional broadband internet to aviation for the first time, SmartSky Networks is launching a new 4G airto-ground high-speed internet service in the U.S., with international deployment on the roadmap. This 4G net-

work will bring high-speed, low-latency connectivity both to and from the aircraft for the first time in aviation. This means Internet users in the air will be able to have a connectivity experience similar to what they experience on the ground. “While this will be a major benefit to the user in the cabin, over time, we think it will also be important for other aspects of aviation like aircraft operations and will bring significant benefits to the crew,” says Rogozinski. SmartSky Networks recently received the first ever certification from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission for the use of 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum with a beamforming-based air-toground network. This certification provides the validation that the utilization of this unlicensed spectrum will not cause interference to, or be interfered by, the operations in the same band on the ground. The provider also received DO160G qualification for its airborne parts and is moving closer to receiving its first STC for the SmartSky Cessna Citation Excel. In addition, inflight STC work has commenced on other aircraft, including a 737. SmartSky Networks is also conducting demonstration flights with various customers and partners on its jet, receiving excellent reviews from participants. Passengers have been able to concurrently stream videos from the ground, conduct Skype and Facetime sessions, plus send and receive large files. SmartSky Networks’ patented 4G beamforming technology provides for dedicated spectrum to be used by each aircraft, providing an experience on aircraft equal to, or better than, the internet services on the ground. Further, its technology enables users to: use 60 MHz of spectrum vs. the 3MHz currently in ATG use; use phased-array beamforming to deliver a really fast link to the aircraft with speeds comparable to KA-band solutions; remove data off the aircraft with a return link that is nearly as fast as the forward link; and lastly, for the first time in the aviation industry, provide these high speeds in both directions without the latency of satellite solutions, all at the least cost per bit. “We believe once customers get a taste of the combination of high bi-directional bandwidth coupled with our low latency, they will understand the importance of low latency to the overall quality of the connected experience, for both IFE and operational needs,” says Rogozinski. “Furthermore, we think airlines will start to adopt a practice the Business Aviation community has long understood, namely that they can save money and have a higher performance by putting both a satellite and ATG system on their aircraft. Each system has unique attributes, no system

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SmartSky Networks is conducting demonstration flights on its jet, which features its new 4G air-to-ground high-speed internet service, with various customers and partners


B29 th #4U o o B t in a ee Us nce to w


a ! for a chscreen Tablet h a Touc  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  27

How can my passengers feel at home half way round the world? Š AIRBUS, 2017. All rights reserved. Airbus, its logo and the product names are registered trademarks.

AIRBUS Ask for Airspace by Airbus. We offer the most enjoyable cabin experience. With extra room for carry on, your passengers won’t have to leave any home comforts behind.

Airbus is the answer.


Certified speed

Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream connectivity products include the F-Series and T-Series

fills all needs alone, and with the advent of optimal routing (whether by cost or application), a business aviation customer with both systems can save nearly US$1M over 10 years, as compared to a customer with only a satellite system.” In the coming months, SmartSky Networks plans to focus on a few priorities, including: complete deployment and launch of the SmartSky 4G nationwide network; complete more STC projects to expand the number of aircraft models its system can be installed on; announce and launch its first airline customer; and lastly, launch an application technology framework to use APIs to facilitate the development of apps by consolidating multiple data sources and advanced algorithms for collaboration and interoperability.

Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream connectivity products have continued to be certified and installed on airline and business aviation aircraft. The T-Series tail mount products were certified on a launch G-IVSP aircraft in 2016 and has received FAA PMA certifications. This new product for the business aviation market is transitioning into full production and is now available through Astronics AeroSat’s dealer network and VAR partner(s), such as Satcom Direct. This new FliteStream product represents the only business aviation connectivity product that can offer high speed data, live DBS-TV and live global TV in a single antenna package. The certification of the first FliteStream T-Series tail mount SATCOM product, called the T-210, on a launch G-IVSP aircraft, will facilitate sales and installations of the new product this year and beyond, by Astronics AeroSat’s dealer network of over 20 dealers on business aircraft for high-speed inflight connectivity and live TV. “The FliteStream F-Series fuselage mount connectivity product continues to be a reliable proven high-speed solution for airline aircraft and is in production; certified for most Airbus and Boeing aircraft today,” says Popek. Astronics AeroSat will continue to work with Ku band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) operators this year and onward, to offer higher speed bandwidth, which offers comparable or higher speeds than Ka satellites today with less weather issues. AeroSat’s FliteStream products are compatible with these next generation highspeed satellites that utilize spot beam technology.

CLAR·I·TY clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.

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Neotex will attend Aircraft Interior Expo 2017 in Hamburg Visit us at Hall B6 - Stand 6F51, 4-6 April 2017, Hamburg Messe

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The busy show floor at the Aircraft Interiors Expo


It is Year 12 of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, and Event Manager Polly McGraw and staff are again looking at a year of record attendance as the industry headed into the final month before Passenger Experience Week


t the conclusion of last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, Event Manager Polly McGraw was enthusiastic over another year of record attendance, and the industry’s constant interest in what is new an innovative among the 530 suppliers who set up shop in Hamburg for the three days over networking and meetings. “The marked increase in the number of VIP airline visitors clearing demonstrates the airline sector’s appetite for new products that AIX showcases,” she enthused in a April 16 release a the close of AIX. Another year of high attendance, and anticipated news was taking shape at the end of February, as news of another successful year for the airline industry promised high profits and increased competition. McGraw Answered a few questions posed by PAX International in the run-up to this year’s Hamburg extravaganza.

PAX International: How long have you been Exhibition Director for Aircraft Interiors? Are you involved with any other events at Reed Exhibitions? Polly McGraw: I have worked at Reed Exhibitions, based in the UK, since 2003. During that time I have worked on a number of events in the travel and tourism sector focusing on the ‘World Travel Market’ portfolio of events. Since April 2015, I have been the Exhibition Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX). It is a fantastic event and a very rewarding role. I thoroughly enjoy managing the whole event process from planning to execution and watching it evolve year on year. PAX: In your time at AIX, what perceptions have you formed about the cabin service products industry? McGraw: The cabin service products industry is fascinating 32  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  MARCH/APRIL 2017

because it is constantly innovating, looking forward and pushing the boundaries. What I find particularly impressive is the way the industry makes all these products work 30,000 feet up in the air, which really is an extraordinary challenge. PAX: Last year, the Aircraft Interiors Expo broke records. What can we expect in the way of attendance this year? McGraw: This is the 12th year that we have touched down in the Hamburg Messe and this time around we are thrilled to welcome 18 new showcasing companies to AIX including Adient, Mac Interiors and airtango. They will be joined by some 20,000 attendees from across the aviation industry and over 1,000 airline buyers to Passenger Experience Week. Yet again, 2017 is set to be a landmark year for AIX, with record growth from both new and existing exhibitors, much of it in our burgeoning IFEC zone. With such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show, and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, it’s no surprise that AIX is firmly established as the event that sets the agenda for the aircraft interiors sector.

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INDUSTRY Q&A PAX: In terms of size, scope and attendance, where does AIX/ WTCE fit in among Reed Exhibition’s many events? McGraw: Reed Exhibitions runs some 500 exhibitions globally, with AIX being one of our largest and one of our flagship events. It’s been running for 18 years in a niche sector and has built up a very dedicated following. PAX: Has Reed Exhibitions done any calculations in the amount of business that is done during Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg? McGraw: It’s hard to be precise, however with such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show, and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, I would expect the amount of business that will be done to be very substantial. In addition to the figures, brands also benefit from the networking and brand exposure opportunities at the event, with Passenger Experience Week providing attendees with the opportunity to expose their brand, products and services to buyers from over 180 global airlines. PAX: What are some of the topics and details planned for the April 3 Conference and Airline Forum? McGraw: New to the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) this year is the Airline Breakfast Forum. This exclusive event for airline attendees will kick off with an inspirational keynote speaker and will offer insightful and thought-provoking content delegates will not find at other conferences. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has been home to the Aircraft Interiors Expo since 2005

It will be a fantastic Polly McGraw opportunity for airline attendees to network and debate with their peers about the issues most relevant to improving the passenger experience in their business and to share best practice insights. The discussion will be led by an industryexpert moderator and the key issues for the agenda will be decided in advance by a poll of the participant airlines. The previous Leaders in Innovation format has evolved into a new head-to-head with the innovators sessions, offering a series of one-to-one conversations with speakers spearheading improvements in passenger experience. This year’s PEC programme features in-depth breakout sessions, focusing on a different element of the passenger experience and providing attendees a further opportunity to discuss the industry with their peers. The sessions will be split into three streams running in parallel: Generating Revenue, Comfort and Wellbeing and The Connected Journey. The new focus of these breakout streams reflects an increasing convergence of interest among different airline departments. This year’s event will host more than 50 speakers, a wide range of speakers from both inside and outside the industry. Speakers confirmed include Delft University of Technology, Archetype Discoveries Worldwide, Gogo, American Airlines, Plug and Play. PAX: You mentioned last year a marked increase in VIP Airline visitors. What qualifies to earn VIP status? McGraw: To qualify as a VIP airline visitor you must be a senior executive from a commercial airline business or someone who works with a lessor company. Importantly, the individual must be involved in all aspects of cabin interiors products, from seating to in-flight entertainment. PAX: The event has certainly become the largest in terms of news and announcements. What is the general profile of the media people who attend? McGraw: We receive a huge amount of interest from media in attending, and as you say, many companies use the event as an opportunity to make significant announcements. The profile of the media is very wide ranging. It includes everything from specialist in-flight publications, to aviation blogs, international business media and business travel titles. Last year we attracted more than 130 media to the event – which was an increase of 51% in media attendance on the previous year. We already have nearing one hundred journalists registered to attend this year and look forward to welcoming them and many more


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A coating of hygiene A Hamburg-based paint and coatings company with decades in the industry has added an extra layer of cabin cleanliness with a coating approved for Boeing and Airbus aircraft

Testing at Mankiewicz’s facilities in Hamburg



isitors to a stand in Hall 7 of at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo may have a chance to learn a more about what dwells in the corners and spaces in aircraft lavatory on a long haul flight than they may want to know. The two major airframe manufacturers have, over the years developed aircraft that have pushed the envelope in passenger aviation capability. Just recently, Qatar Airways announced that it now had the distinction of the world’s longest flight – a 17 hours 30 minute, 14,535 kilometer trek between Doha and Auckland. While certainly an important milestone and a great achievement in civil aviation, there are some practical considerations for the aircraft cabin when so many passengers are in an enclosed space over long periods of time. A longtime supplier to the industry, Mankiewicz raised one of them in the run-up to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. “Have you ever considered how many germs accumulate on an aircraft toilet during a 12-hour flight with more than 200 fellow travelers onboard,” the company asked in its promotional material for an antimicrobial coating called ALEXIT® FST Antimicrobial Topcoat that lays

down a permanent layer germ protection along with giving an efficient, clean look to the modern aircraft lavatory. Combine the distance and times with the latest ultra-long haul flights with the modern developments taking place in cabin design and the task of keeping an aircraft cabin a safe and comfortable place for the passenger increases. With more seating and more equipment onboard, it naturally follows that there are many more places onboard for bacteria to hide. Like the problems that have plagued cruise ships, an outbreak aboard an aircraft is an occurrence that airlines, caterers and other suppliers want to avoid at all costs. At the company’s stand, Mankiewicz will explain how at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo there is a solution that means “Game Over For Germs.” With the help of petri dishes and technical explanations, the company will show visitors the advantages of laying down a permanent coating layer of ALEXIT® antimicrobial topcoat as opposed to a coating without the anti-microbial protection. One of the major challenges for companies like Mankiewicz is developing products that can pass the rigid burn-testing requirement. Not only will ALEXIT® provide the level of

Visitors to the Mankiewicz stand will see the affects of treating airline surfaces with the company’s ALEXIT® FST Antimicrobial Topcoat






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CABIN SAFETY hygiene protection important to airlines; it is also compliant with fire, smoke, toxicity (FST) and heat release requirements for aircraft around the world. With the coating, the company claims that airlines can save money for disinfection and reduce the number of cleaning cycles without any toxic side effects. “They need to still clean the lavatory as usual but with less aggressive cleaning agents. A further major benefit is that it does not put additional weight or coating layers,” said Janine Paelchen Key Accounts Manager Aviation Interior at Mankiewicz. With the FST requirements and the ability of Mankiewicz to create a nearly unlimited number of shades, the company said ALEXIT® “will allow airlines not only a hygiene add on for the marketing but also full freedom to design their interiors and differentiate from others.” ALEXIT® is among the standard interior offerings for the lavatories of the 737 and is an option on the A350. Already, company officials say several airlines have opted for the additional hygiene protection with the aircraft deliveries. Mankiewicz has been supplying the airline industry with interior coatings for more than 40 years from its location in Hamburg and several the group companies around the world. The company’s products are found in more than a dozen applications ranging from automotive to aviation and rail, to yachts and graffiti removal. Next to interior coatings, it is well known for exterior coatings and structural parts coatings within an aircraft’s fuselage, giving the company the capability to supply all an airline’s painting needs.


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Celeste develops cleaner to solve tray table woes Surfaces and materials aboard an aircraft cabin are evaluated and tested extensively, but even the best efforts by airlines and manufacturers can bring unforeseen results. One of those results prompted Easton, Maryland based Celeste Industries to seek out companies to collaborate with, and led to the development of a new aircraft interior cleaning agent that it will bring to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. The latest version of the company’s Sani-Cide product, called Sani-Cide EX3 is a bio-degradable cleaner and disinfectant that is water based, non-toxic and, as important, safe to use on virtually any aircraft surfaces. It is an answer to the industry’s need to protect equipment that recently have been experiencing permanent staining, forcing replacement. It is a problem that has been around since about 2012, said Carla Repko, Aerospace Marketing Manager at Celeste. Cleaning agents by Celeste and more than a dozen other companies, in combination with fire-retardant additives to onboard equipment were determined to be the cause of a chemical staining that was turning tray tables an unpleasant tea color. The company set about to develop a new version of its Sani-Cide cleaner that could alleviate the problem. Repko said the new EX3 version could be used by airlines with confidence. To help develop the product, Celeste worked with a wellknown seat maker, said Repko. On the company’s website, Ronn Cort, President of COO of Sekisui SPI (which makes Kydex and Allen brands) also gave EX3 a thumbs up for cleaning thermoplastic interior components made by the company. Now, she said, the company has the endorsement of a seatmaker that its disinfectant/cleaner is non staining. In addition to disinfecting, EX3 is an effective cleaner for the cabin and lavatories and is safe for any glass, mirrors, metal, plastic, leather, fabric and carpet.

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A DATA CENTER IN THE SKY A Lufthansa Systems expert explains why the company’s BoardConnect IFE platform is the optimal solution for airlines by MARY JANE PITTILLA


ufthansa Systems is preparing for an exciting AIX show in Hamburg, where a series of big announcements will be made regarding its wireless IFE platform BoardConnect, which is operational onboard some of the world’s leading airlines. In an interview with PAX International in the run-up to the show, Jan-Peter Gaense, Director Project and Certification for BoardConnect, says he is looking forward to announcing a “major new release” of the award-winning product in Hamburg. Although the details remain under wraps until the trade fair begins, he reveals: “We have a major new release with a new user interface, which is more flexible for the airlines. They can modify the user interface to adapt to the look and feel of their airline, and add or remove features. It will also be an even better experience for the passenger.” The technology powering BoardConnect has also been modified, he says, so that other, third-party applications can access the features of the operating system. Put simply, it means more content can be provided to passengers. Gaense is very clear about why he believes BoardConnect is the best solution for airlines: its stability and its wide range of features. “Lufthansa Systems is the most experienced in delivering wireless IFE to airlines, and it is the most stable solution. It is good, reliable solution that will increase the passengers’ travel experience,” he enthuses, adding that the company’s reputation in the market for providing a quality product is an important factor in its success. BoardConnect offers both Classic and Portable solutions – a product suite that Gaense believes is unique in the marketplace. BoardConnect Classic is accessed via an app onboard the aircraft, allowing up to 350 devices to enjoy content such as chat, games, TV series and movies from leading content partners such as Napster. Virgin Australia was the launch customer, and the connectivity-ready product flies today on Virgin Australia, El Al, Lufthansa, NEOS and AirCalin. BoardConnect Classic won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2012. BoardConnect Portable, meanwhile, is a low-cost, low-effort solution that supports up to 150 devices. This flexible system does not require an STC, and the only piece of hardware needed is a portable modem, meaning installation onboard can be fast. Eurowings, the Lufthansa Group subsidiary, has installed BoardConnect Portable on its entire 80-strong fleet. “As a platform, BoardConnect is more than IFE,” explains Gaense. “We offer a platform to hook up with any airline’s

BoardConnect Classic is accessed via an app onboard the aircraft, allowing up to 350 devices to enjoy content such as chat, games, TV series and movies from leading content partners such as Napster Copyright: Westend61/Getty Images

connectivity partner. It is an open platform. Our preferred partner for connectivity is Inmarsat, but if the airline chooses another supplier, we are able and open to cooperate.” During the AIX show, Gaense said the company will reveal a further new product development: “On top of IFE, we have opened up BoardConnect to become a data center in the sky, thereby completing an airline’s digital transformation goals. Essentially, we give airlines the tools to get digital in the aircraft. We are an open platform that can host all their applications.” For example, a moving map used in the BoardConnect system can also be provided to other applications. He cites Lufthansa, which has incorporated the BoardConnect moving map data into its Lufthansa app. Therefore, by opening up the platform to applications from other partners, the breadth of content and data can expand exponentially. “Content” can also mean boosting ancillary revenues. Lufthansa Systems has partnered with Epteca to offer a holistic approach to passengers across the entire travel chain, providing targeted offers such as hotels and car hire. For now, Lufthansa Systems is busy equipping Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings aircraft with connectivity solutions provided by Inmarsat. Austrian Airlines’ system will go live fleetwide by the end of April 2017, while the entire Lufthansa A320 fleet will be operational in mid-2018. After equipping the whole Eurowings fleet with BoardConnect Portable within one weekend last summer, Lufthansa Systems is now upgrading the Eurowings aircraft step by step to the connectivity solution based on BoardConnect Classic. “This shows the great flexibility of theproduct suite,” says Gaense.

BoardConnect flies today on Virgin Australia, El Al, Lufthansa, NEOS and AirCalin Copyright: Manfred Nerlich  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  39

TROLLEYS Norduyn plans several new accessories for its FleX trolley line

Rolling IN THE AISLES An industry segment crowded with players will be descending on Hamburg in April with a selection of improved trolley products boasting weight reduction, choice and even the promise of elegance by RICK LUNDSTROM


ew could argue that the manufacturers of today’s airline trolleys have not been listening to requests by potential customers for products that lighten the load in the cabin and offer a departure from the standard designs that dominated the industry for decades. Over the last decade, kilograms have been trimmed, designs simplified to decrease the number of parts that require maintenance, and important steps have been taken to make the products not just a workhorse of the airline cabin, but a more technical piece of equipment designed for airlines that want it to work smart. Now, at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, a new manufacturer with a famous name is also holding out the promise – while keeping details under wraps – about a first generation line of trolleys that brings “style to the aisle.” The Aircraft Interiors Expo comes at an important time in an airline’s buying year. The early spring is the time when many airlines start making important decisions to have a new selection of cabin products ready for the busy summer travel season. To secure a spot on


a company’s assembly line schedule means that decisions need to be made. And when potential airline customers arrive at the Hamburg Messe, companies like Norduyn will be waiting with new choices and a new sales partner in the United States to represent the Canadian firm. Norduyn makes the Quantum FleX trolley in full and half sizes. Since the product’s introduction, more than 50,000 trolleys are now in service around the world in more than 20 configurations and working the aisles in every continent but Africa. The FleX, a lightweight combination of composite and aluminum and has a number of exclusive features that allow users to save up to 37% in repair costs compared to a full aluminum trolley. A number weight and security feature make up the FleX and some additions are in the works. Among the notable features is the capability of an airline customer to repair, rather than replace damaged side panels. The company makes the FleX with a special scratchresistant paint on the flexible and sturdy composite panels. Norduyn has also patented a four-point slam latch for the FleX. Thomas Köhler, Vice-President

The FleX in half size with the patented slam lock

Business Development at Norduyn, said the company’s manufacturing operations recently received the AS 9100 quality management system designation for the aerospace industry. He and his colleagues will be coming to Hamburg with a number of new acces-

Trolleys amount to 70% of the production at Diethelm Keller Aviation

The half-sized trolley from Diethelm Keller Aviation weighs in at 10 kilograms

sories for the FleX that will be unveiled at the company’s stand A60 in Hall 7. Shortly before this year’s AIX, Norduyn announced that it would be working with RMT Global Partners to advance the company’s sales in the United States. RMT, with main offices in Atlanta sells a range of comfort and food service products to the airlines, and has branch offices in Munich and Shanghai.

Light weight and flying high It was two years ago in Hamburg, that Diethelm Keller Aviation launched

the EcoLite® GEN2 cart. Now, the company will be showing visitors a lightweight model in a 16-kilogram design in the full size configuration and 10-kilogram half size. So far, the EcoLite® GEN2 products have been sold to more than 10 airline customers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, which will have put nearly 20,000 trolleys in their cabins this year. The EcoLite and EcoLite GEN2 trolleys account for more than 70% of the company’s production. Diethelm Keller Aviation has made the EcoLite® GEN2 24% lighter than its earlier models through what it said is smart design. New materials were selected with an emphasis on light weight and strength. The company has also innovated its manufacturing processes to allow lighter and exceptionally strong parts for the EcoLite® GEN2 carts and standard containers. “Instead of taking the classical approach of working within the weightstrength boundary, we made leaps in all areas and pushed the boundary much further,” said a spokesperson at Diethelm Keller Aviation. “The result is an exceptionally strong and light EcoLite® GEN2 range of products.” At this year’s AIX, Diethelm Keller Aviation will also be bringing a new duty free sales cart with an electronic seal and lock that deter pilferage. Another company that has listened to the call of airlines for a lightweight trolley is Spain-based Industrial Neotex. Not only is the company’s trolley line

competitive in the weight, it is also 100% recyclable at the end of its lifetime. It is made in a sturdy design meant to maintain temperature of 8 degrees Celsius for four hours in the composite configuration. Other unique features of the trolley line is a trolley brake system that is operating with a push-button as opposed to a foot pedal, most common among trolley manufacturers. Industrial Neotex specializes in a number of areas in cabin service, most notably carpets, draperies, seat cushions and leather material. To enter into the trolley supply segment, Industrial Neotex is offering its products in a way that reduces risk, and costly maintenance: leasing. “We are offering serviceable trolleys to the airlines by monthly rate and they do not have to worry about maintenance of spare parts,” said Angel Hernanz Arbeloa, Vice President Commercial at Industrial Neotex. “They will always have a stipulated number of trolleys in their system.”

Style under wraps Trolleys may be made lighter and more maneuverable in the 21st Century but they still have aesthetic that has changed little over the years due to requirements for standardized size and galley design. One newcomer to the market, with a famous name, says that needs to change. Maria Rosaria Iacobucci will be showing visitors a trolley line called HIGHLINER at this year’s WTCE that she said would break the mold with a lightweight product that is cost effective and stylish. Few in the industry would not recognize the name Iacobucci. The The line of trolleys from Industrial Neotex is available for risk free leasing  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  41

TROLLEYS company’s cabin products have been bringing Italian design and taste to the industry for decades. During those years, Maria Iacobucci worked alongside her father, Emilio, gaining experience and knowhow. The daughter left the company, Iacobucci SPA in 2009, after 25 years of passionate work, but not before working to place Iacobucci trolleys in the aisles of airlines around the world. In 2016, working out of Switzerland, she set out to develop a trolley line with the help of companies like Factorydesign and SWS Certification Services. At this year’s WTCE she and

the partners will bring a product that they say meets operational needs of the industry with new technical features in a product design that meets European Airworthiness regulations and brings the aforementioned “style to the aisle.” Maria Iacobucci was not sharing images of the new HIGHLINER in the run-up to WTCE, but her company was sharing some strong opinions in a release in February of this year. The problem, she says is the appearance of trolleys throughout the industry. “Currently, trolleys are built as unappealing back-of-house catering equipment, yet they are the main focus

for all customer facing activity on a plane,” said a release from HIGHLINER. “Airlines disguise their industrial look by fitting doors in the galley to give more of a ‘boutique hotel’ appearance by hiding old fashioned looking trolleys. “This merely adds precious weight, making them bulkier and more complex, while passengers often complain about noise levels during opening and closing.” The HIGHLINER will offer a solution, said the company. Among the features that will be part of the line are digital intelligence and other smart features to help with stock and temperature control.

Bucher brings innovation for new aircraft Visitors to the Bucher stand at Hall 5 in Hamburg will be treated to a walk through and a glimpse into one of the company’s products, which has a future in the new Airbus aircraft set for introduction next year. The A330neo (New Engine Option) will be flying this year, with an expected delivery to launch operator TAP Portugal in 2018. Among the products on the newest neo will be an aft galley develHoneycomb design in the panels cut the weight in the Bucher galley for the A330neo


oped by Switzerland based Bucher. “What new about this monument is it has more stowing capacity than previous platforms on the A330 particularly in the trolley bays, so some the trolley bays are deeper,” Beat Burlet, CEO at Bucher tells PAX International. Among the features that Bucher has incorporated into the galley are lighterweight aluminum construction along with new honeycomb-constructed panels.

While the new galley system is designed for the rear cabin, Bucher is also developing a new drink serving system for First and Business Class with the help of a partner, Skytender Solutions. Skytender, a German company has been in business since 2009 when it began development on its wellknown trolley based beverage product of bag-in-a-box concentrate-based post-mix dispensers. The company has now developed a follow-on product called SkyDrinx designed for the galley and geared toward a service that does not involve a trolley. The SkyDrinx is a modular based component installed in the front galley. Burlet said the product was developed for a number of reasons. While trolley service may have dispensers like the SkyTender on trolleys, flight attendants in First and Business Class would still have to rely on bottle service. As many airlines are now opting to serve food and beverage without trolleys in the front cabin, flight attendants can dispense drinks with the SkyDrinx. With a galley installation, it can also be a self-service feature for passengers in any class. Such products fit well into the Bucher philosophy that moves away from customization so often seen in service. The company has been in business since 1953 with production facilities in Switzerland, Germany and near the Boeing plant in Everett, Washington.


STG Aerospace’s new, patented liTeMood passenger reading light emits a square light that defines the passenger’s personal space


Mary Jane Pittilla profiles two cabin lighting suppliers seeking to provide maximum passenger impact at the lowest cost to airlines


he glowing, multi-hued cabins on the latest modern aircraft have created a new look for the cabin and a new experience for passengers who occupy its space. LED lighting has mostly led the way to these changes. With a few controls, day can be turned to twilight and passengers can be roused with a gentle suggestion that the flight is nearing an end. Behind the change is also the nuts and bolts of outfitting a cabin for the experience in as cost effective and efficient way as possible. Companies gathering for this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo will be touting the capabilities of their products, but also the ways the can be line-fit or retrofit to meet any cost requirements.

Aesthetic and engineering benefits “Simplicity and quality” is the design philosophy that STG Aerospace works

STG Aerospace’s award-winning saf-Tglo blu photoluminescent floor path marking system is designed to match airline branding and offers an aesthetic improvement in both light and dark conditions


by for its LED cabin lighting. Dr Sean O’Kell, Director of Innovation, tells PAX International that this simple plug-and-play approach removes the expense and complexity of installing a new system for the airlines. Unlike some other systems in the marketplace, the company’s products only use two or three colors, not millions, making its lighting solutions easy to operate, well controlled and cost effective. “Our system is easy to install,” says O’Kell. “For example, with ceiling lights, once they are installed, there’s no change in the operation for the crew. They can continue to operate the lights in exactly the same way. Our LED lighting is very reliable and robust, reducing maintenance checks and power consumption, so our system has both aesthetic and engineering benefits.” STG Aerospace, as a medium-sized

supplier, prides itself on spending a lot on research and development. Dr. O’Kell says this strategy is paying off, as the company has generated record sales every year since he joined 13 years ago, and customer feedback has been positive across the board, on the thousands of aircraft flying with its system. The company’s research focuses on human-centric aspects of lighting, such as stress reduction, and it works on projects with three universities. Retail is one area of research that Dr O’Kell said believes is critical to new product development. This includes retail store lighting, as lessons learned about good lighting from the ground can be applied in the air. Take STG Aerospace’s new, patented liTeMood passenger reading light. After its plug-and-play installation on-board, the product emits a square light that defines the passenger’s personal space. “The uniform, high quality light makes the passenger more relaxed and gives them more control over their environment, without annoying the person in the next seat,” Dr. O’Kell explains, adding that the rendering of images in an inflight magazine is also improved. Critically, according to research studies, relaxed passengers are more likely to become good impulse buyers, thereby boosting ancillary revenue. During the upcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo, STG Aerospace will be showcasing this reading light, along

LIGHTING digEcor aims to build an integrated flight experience that integrates IFE with in-seat power and cabin lighting

with its other innovations, such as the award-winning saf-Tglo blu photoluminescent floor path marking system, whose blue light is designed to match airline branding and offers an aesthetic improvement in both light and dark conditions. A number of large European carriers are using this system, which has been validated by the company’s inhouse approvals process (STG Aerospace has had EASA DOA status since 2016). In addition, the firm will announce new customers and projects in Hamburg. “With our system, seeing is believing,” Dr O’Kell concludes. digEcor has developed a low-cost LED cabin lighting solution, as part of its efforts to build an integrated flight experience. “We are the only single vendor in the market today who integrates IFE (embedded and portable) with in-seat power (110V and USB) and cabin lighting,” the company says. The benefit of this integrated approach is it provides the modularity to build on over time and provision for future upgrades. It is flexible enough that it can be designed to suit

specific airline requirements offering a tailored solution whether the airline is an LCC or full service carrier. It can be offered as a fully integrated solution or products can be installed as standalone. With minimal line replacement units that are shared across the integrated approach, the system is described as cost effective and low in weight. “With the right setting, colors and intensity levels, the impact of cabin lighting is surprising,” says the firm. “It can impact passenger moods, restfulness, sleep and awake times reducing jetlag. It enhances the spacial 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 – restaurant feel for dinner, cafe feel for breakfast, sunrise and sunset – and all that can be replicated based on the sector flown.” From an airline brand perspective, cabin lighting can bring to life the entire cabin experience, bringing together hard and soft products and enhancing the ambience in the cabin.

STG Aerospace Director of Innovation Dr. Sean O’Kell

The digEcor system has an easyto-use touchscreen via the Cabin Management Terminal. The cabin crew can easily manipulate the colors – over 4 billion are available – and stages of flight and they benefit from the same ambience that makes their work environment a pleasant one. For airline maintenance engineers, the system is easy to install and maintain. With installation taking hours, there are no significant out-of-service down times needed for aircraft upgrades.

Lufthansa debuts innovative lighting technology on A350-900 The new A350-900 LED technology onboard Lufthansa can provide around 24 different lighting settings © Photographer: Dominik Mentzos


Lufthansa German Airlines will be the first airline worldwide to use a range of different settings for the onboard lighting of the A350-900, which are designed to fit with the day and nighttime biorhythms of its passengers. With the introduction of Lufthansa’s new A350-900, it has now become possible to work with and fit with the passengers’ biorhythms by providing the right type of light at the right time. Lighting effects will also be used to emulate a pleasant restaurant atmosphere onboard during mealtimes. “The well-being of our passengers is of particular importance to us. So it represents a real milestone for us that we can now achieve these improvements with this innovative lighting technology,” says Dr. Reinhold Huber, who is responsible for further development in the area of Customer Experience. The new A350-900 LED technology can provide approximately 24 different lighting settings. Following on from the A350-900, Lufthansa will also be refitting its Boeing 747-800s with the new lighting system. The use of a range of lighting settings is based on findings from research in the field of chronobiology and on known effects of our day and nighttime biorhythms. A large number of scientific findings provide the foundation for the technology, such as those by Professor Christian Gunga of Charité and by Dr Achim Leder. Warm light for relaxation is supplied during periods of rest, whereas cooler light provides stimulation for more active phases. Lufthansa has developed these various lighting moods in collaboration with lighting designers from Kardorff Ingenieure in Berlin. “Our focus is on passengers’ needs when it comes to selecting the type of light to be used. We are thus able to create a pleasant atmosphere which can significantly improve the passengers’ feeling of well-being,” explains Professor Volker from Kardorff.

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In response to the dissatisfaction with seat width, legroom and distance to neighbor among today’s travelers, Bombardier has presented two solutions in the form of its C Series aircraft and its recently refreshed CRJ Cabin Series by MELISSA SILVA


hen Bombardier was developing its C Series, the Canadian aerospace and transportation manufacturer set out to design an aircraft that would address the aviation industry’s biggest challenges today: lowering operating cost, increasing connectivity, and ensuring a more sustainable future for aviation. And how would Bombardier accomplish such ambitious tasks? The answer is in the final product: a combination of advanced aerodynamics and materials with optimal balance of leading-edge technology. As the leanest and most economical clean-sheet design aircraft built in 30 years for the 100-150 seat single-aisle market, the C Series is the only aircraft optimized for this category — not a regional aircraft, the company maintains. “Comprised of the CS100 and the larger CS300 aircraft, the C Series family represents the fusion of performance and technology,” says Patrick Baudis, Vice President, Marketing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The result is an aircraft that delivers unmatched performance and economics in the 100- to 150-seat market segment and an 18% lower cost per passenger, making them the ideal candidates to complement larger single-aisle aircraft.” The Pratt & Whitney PurePower® PW1500G engine, combined with the aircraft’s advanced aerodynamics, are designed to reduce fuel burn, noise, and emissions, has made the C Series a community-friendly aircraft. With a fuel burn advantage of 20% over in-production aircraft, the C Series aircraft consumes as little as two liters of fuel per 100 km per passenger, a record in the industry. As for composition, the Bombardier C Series team used aluminum-lithium alloys and advanced composite to create a modern structure, weighing 12,000 pounds lighter. For the passenger, the C Series designers sought to give


the feel of wide-body comfort in a single-aisle setting. The C Series’ 21st century blended-radii cross-section — a first in its market segment — addresses the growing demand for more comfort. The cabin features larger seats, more sidewalls clearance, spacious overhead pivot bins — allowing one roller-bag per passenger — and larger windows for added comfort. “The C Series is the only single-aisle aircraft that provides a new key differentiator to airlines by addressing passengers need for a wider seat (19 inches), which procure a larger perception of space and leg room compared to narrower seats,” says Baudis. “The C Series also offers the largest windows on a single-aisle, giving the C Series cabin a beautiful natural light and allowing passengers to maximize their flying experience by connecting with the outside world.” The C Series family offers several options for inflight entertainment and connectivity, including, but not limited to: in-seat audio/video on-demand (AVOD), cabin Wi-Fi connectivity for onboard entertainment distribution and/ or web-browsing via the latest generation of satellite and ground-based networks, as well as onboard mobile telephony. “During early program phases, the C Series design team reserved space for many of the systems mentioned to ensure there would be no impact on the cargo or cabin stowage spaces,” explains Baudis. “The C Series allows airlines to maximize opportunities to provide their passengers the best technology has to offer.” The CS100 entered service with SWISS in July 2016 with its maiden commercial flight, taking passengers from Zurich to Paris-Charles de Gaulle. SWISS plans to gradually replace its Avro RJ100 fleet with the C Series aircraft and currently has five aircraft in service. Since entering revenue service with SWISS, the CS100 aircraft has completed more than 3,300 flights, carrying over 330,000 passengers and serving 23 destinations.

– amburg H n i 7 1 0 at AIX 2 th 5D60 s u t e e M Boo Hall B5,

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INDUSTRY INNOVATORS: BOMBARDIER The CS300 entered service with airBaltic in December 2016, with its maiden commercial flight taking passengers from Riga to Amsterdam. The airline currently has two aircraft in service.

A successful series In May 2016, Bombardier publicly previewed the new cabin design for its CRJ regional aircraft during a media briefing at the Regional Aircraft Association event held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Anticipating operators’ need to better accommodate passengers and distinguish their fleet, Bombardier has continued to invest in and improve on the CRJ Series — the world’s most successful regional aircraft program. “This cabin refresh is the result of airline consultations, which clearly indicated the need for passengers to have a seamless experience between regional and mainline flying,” explains Baudis. “This resulted in several clear improvements: more space in the entrance area, a wider aisle, larger overhead bins for increased carry-on capacity, mood lighting and a larger front lavatory that is three inches taller and features up to 60% more volume. This lavatory can also be turned into a passenger-with-reduced-mobility (PRM) lavatory — a first in the regional aircraft industry.” The CRJ Series’ PRM-compliant lavatory has set new standards in space utilization and occupant privacy, as it eliminates the need for additional partitions or curtains. It can be used independently of other lavatories in the cabin, so able-bodied passengers will not need to wait for cabin crew to reconfigure doors or partitions. Additional features of the state-of-the–art cabin include: integrated connected cabin solutions (IFE, inseat power), 50% more space for carry-on bags in Business class, new wheels-first overhead bins and larger main cabin bins to stow oversized carry-on bags. With the plethora of features each present, both the C Series and new CRJ cabins offer a disruptive — and necessary — solution for tending to the areas of lowest satisfacThe CRJ Series cabin refresh offers 50% more space for carry-on bags in Business class, new wheels-first overhead bins and larger main cabin bins to stow oversized carry-on bags


Patrick Baudis, Vice President, Marketing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft

tion among air travelers today, according to recent passenger surveys: seat width, leg room and distance to neighbor. Attending the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg for the first time, Bombardier will be participating in the event’s Passenger Experience Conference alongside representatives from its C Series launch customers, SWISS and airBaltic. “They will provide the audience with more information about their passengers’ appreciation of the C Series cabin,” shares Baudis. Bombardier has also been placed on the coveted shortlist for a Crystal Cabin Award for two designs — the C Series cabin, as well as the PRM Lavatory concept for the new CRJ cabin.


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MAKING IT IN THE MIDDLE EAST Technological innovation from the cockpit to the in-seat passenger experience and beyond, is both challenging and exciting the industry as interiors and MRO professionals returned to Dubai for MRO & AIME Middle East 2017 by CLAIRE MALCOLM


UBAI -- The aviation industry continues to fly high in the Middle East despite the on-going impact of weak oil prices, with ratings agency Moody’s forecasting revenue passenger kilometer (RPK) growth of 9% this year. This was also the keynote address theme delivered by Air Arabia CEO, Adel Ali, at the opening session of this year’s MRO Middle East and Aircraft Interiors Middle East exhibition and conference February 8 and 9. 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 had a record run according to the organizers, welcoming 300 exhibitors (an increase of 8% on 2016) and in excess of 4,500 trade visitors from more than 60 countries including representatives from over 100 airlines. Speaking at a packed session on day one, Ali noted that future aircraft orders are exceeding growth projections, in addition to significant spend on airport infrastructure in the MENA region totalling in excess of US$100 billion, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Middle East is also expected to boost seat capacity by 10% in 2017, and exhibitors at MRO & AIME were generally positive about business prospects going forward. Commenting on the 2017 edition, Lydia Janow, managing director, events at Aviation Week, said: “Around 15% of exhibitors were first-time participants and we have already confirmed an additional 10% show floor space for 2018, in response to exhibitor demand.” A 10-year market forecast and overview of developments impacting the sector presented by David Stewart, partner at Oliver Wyman, tapped into trends reshaping the MRO landscape, highlighting several key areas. “We are seeing an unprecedented change in the nature of the fleet being operated. In the last 10-15 years we’ve seen so many new aircraft types being introduced that are particularly technology intensive. While only 33% of the fleet are these next generation planes, 10 years down the line they will account for 97%,” he said.


The two-day show welcomed over 4,500 visitors and registered record attendance

He explained that this will create an incredible surge of available information and systems data, and noted: “The real question is, are we ready for that? Do we know how to best use the data and how to maintain common platforms for leveraging that data, for example?” This will necessitate the need for more IT skills, which Stewart said offers opportunities for vendors, with 22% of respondents surveyed for the company’s Winds of Change 2016-26 Global Fleet & MRO Market Forecast report stating they are prepared to outsource such services. “However, it’s a very big requirement for training and capability building,” he remarked.

Myles Hobbs, Head of Sales Middle East for Muirhead, has his eye on Iran as an emerging market for interiors specialists


Returning exhibitor Diehl Aerosystems is looking at retrofit opportunities within the Middle East

He also flagged the shift eastwards of the critical mass center of gravity for the industry. “Within 10 years, the Middle East and Asia will double total flee to 15,000 aircraft. China will be as big as Western Europe by itself, and the combined MRO supply base of China and ASPAC will be larger than North America, as will the spend on MRO generated by airlines in this area.” Technology in the inflight space was also a leading topic at the Inflight Pavilion workshops. In a session entitled ‘4k and beyond’, the panelists discussed the onboard future of ultra high-definition (UHD) video services. “There are areas of the cabin, like the front, where there is a lot of benefit for 4k technology, while towards the back a passenger won’t really be able to tell the difference. It will be some time before it becomes a really solid enabler, but it could definitely add value to growing demand for products in business and first,” said David Withers Chief Executive from digEcor. “It’s very early days in the cabin environment, but there’s always the passenger expectation of a cabin experience that matches what they have on the ground. There’s also a limited number of channels that can transmit in UHD, but I think bespoke [sporting] events could help recoup the investment costs,” commented Valour Consultancy’s Craig Foster. On the busy exhibition floor, Coralie Wigg, director, Starling Aerospace Interiors was showcasing a new in-house designed berthable divan and hi-lo table combination. “We developed the divan with Ethiopian as the launch airline, and they have it as a role change kit so it goes in the front end instead of first class, with a curtain kit. We’ve already delivered a second one to a corporate leasing company currently flying with a rock band,” she said. Wigg noted that the UAE and Saudi Arabia remain the top performing markets and that presence at AIME sees the company “come away with a really good contract every year.” Renewed commitment to interiors was also highlighted by Tim Garvin, Vice President sales for Regent Aerospace Corporation, who said: “Interiors seem to be at the forefront of every airline CEO’s mind, and keeping them in top shape. I think there is more focus on the passenger right now with cabin comfort.” Myles Hobbs, head of sales Middle East for Muirhead, agreed, and remarked: “We are showcasing examples of how leather can be used in an economy class setting on widebodied aircraft. Airlines in this region are extremely brand and appearance-oriented and we are seeing more interest in this as [they] are driving costs savings. Plus wear and tear, functionality and cleaning are major issues with fabric seating.” Hobbs also talked about new market opportunities, and was one of several exhibiting companies looking at opportunities out of Iran, as he explained: “It’s definitely an emerging market,

with a huge population with domestic passports and around 40% with international passports. They have been using very old aircraft, but that’s changing with new aircraft orders from Iran Air and Iran Azeman for example.” For MRO-focused exhibitors such as Bahrain based cargo airline Texel Air, niche market opportunities are the way forward, as CEO, Fraser Currie, explained: “We’ve applied for our Part 145, which is in final legal approval, and we want to offer maintenance services up to A Check for the Airbus 300 and Boeing 727 family, to small family-type aircraft businesses in the region; where we see good potential.” Diehl Aerosystems, a second-time exhibitor, is looking at retrofit opportunities. “It’s a new direction for us to approach customers directly, as we are first of all an OEM supplier; but we see huge demand for retrofitting in the coming years with the market cooling down a little and carriers like Etihad delaying delivery of new aircraft. “We are also talking to local companies in the UAE as we are in the process of establishing our own presence here with warehousing, logistics and customer support.” Janow from the Aviation Week events team is also hoping to expand international pavilion presence for 2018. “We’re trying to get more country pavilions and perhaps bring in an Asian delegation,” she said. Samantha Douarin, aerospace project co-ordinator for Business France, who is responsible for the French pavilion, which has been a staple of the show floor for six years, said she believes that uniting country expertise is invaluable, as she explained: “French companies in the MRO sphere are very innovative and can offer a lot. We have 12 companies here from the Toulouse region and 23 participants in total. Companies partner with us as this further strengthens exposure for France.” For Alexis Gabillon, president, DHETEC, which produces specialist adhesives for external liveries and technical markings, the exhibition is the perfect awareness platform as it looks to extend its portfolio with other major regional carriers, smaller airlines and MRO service providers. Another French pavilion exhibitor, Air Cost Control, has been coming to the MRO show for 10 years. Said business development manager, Christine Durand: “It’s very important for us to be here and see our partners as well as support the Dubai office. We have also just taken our first step into Asia, and opened an office in Singapore with the objective of growing business in that market.”

The UAE and Saudi Arabia remain top performing markets for Starling Aerospace Interiors  |  PAX INTERNATIONAL  |  53



HOT!  Phitek Content Delivery System – Amphenol Phitek Ltd.: The Phitek Content Delivery System (PCDS) brings high-quality wireless media streaming to passengers’ personal electronic devices for an uninterrupted and reliable IFE experience. The system was designed to be portable and utilize safer battery chemistry, eliminating any requirement for aircraft modifications. Phitek offers flexible commercial options, from offering the product as hardware only, to comprehensive service packages providing all the necessary hardware, software, and digital rights management for minimal up-front capital investment by the airline. Visit Amphenol Phitek Ltd. at AIX, stand 2E70

 Series 6 Economy seat – Acro Aircraft Seating: The new Series 6 Economy seat from Acro Aircraft Seating is a completely redesigned new generation Economy class seat. The redesign involved replacing the standard aluminium tube-framed seatback with a fully composite seatback for increased passenger comfort, a more sophisticated appearance, more legroom, lighter weight and greater durability. Easy to maintain, the Series 6 Economy seat is available in both fixed-back and reclining configurations. Visit Acro Aircraft Seating at AIX, stand 6C100

 Brussels Airlines Decorative Crest – ABC International: Developed by ABC International in response to the increasing interest by airlines looking to feature branding elements in the cabin, the new decorative crest for Brussels Airlines (operated by Cityjet) features a branding panel made of aeronautical transparent polycarbonate sheets with aluminum letters representing the logo of both airlines. Meeting the requirements of each airline, the crests will be installed on SSJ100 aircrafts. Visit ABC International at AIX, stand 7A29

 Tourist Class Seating – LIFT by EnCore: After last year’s successful collaboration with Boeing on Tourist Class Seating for the 737, LIFT is returning to AIX this year with new 737 launch customers and an exciting new product. LIFT’s Tourist Class Seating is spatially, structurally, and aesthetically optimized for the Boeing Sky Interior. It is designed for reliability, ease of maintenance and comfort, all while remaining cost and weight competitive. To make an appointment to meet with LIFT at AIX, email Visit LIFT by EnCore at AIX, stand 6C10



LIGHT Our patented passenger-centric reading light delivers a unique square light pattern that precisely defines their personal space. Another first from the Innovators of Light. Learn more at


 Tourist Class Seating – ViaSat: Having acquired Arconics — a leader in aviation software and mobile apps — this past November, ViaSat now offers more than just internet services. For the crew, ViaSat offers an innovative software platform and mobile apps for document management and electronic flight bag. For passengers, ViaSat’s wireless onboard entertainment delivers extensive content choice. Visit ViaSat at AIX, stand 2B30, IFEC Zone, hall B2

 ULTIMATE 17® Suite – STELIA Aerospace: Highly versatile, the ULTIMATE 17® Suite is designed to be customized to customers’ specific needs. Features range from mini bars, wardrobes and a fully customizable environment, to double or single doors for enhanced privacy. For added comfort on long-haul flights, the suite features a bed measuring 26-inches in width and 81-inches in length. The ULTIMATE 17® Suite is currently flying with Malaysia Airlines, Kuwait Airways and Asiana Airlines. Visit STELIA Aerospace at AIX, stand 7A20, Hall B7

 ELEMENTO – Geven: ELEMENTO is Geven’s answer to the recent need for densification in the twin-aisle cabin. Designed to be comfortable for long-haul flights and at tighter pitches, ELEMENTO features a combination of technology and modern Italian design, making it a highly versatile long-haul seating product. Visit Geven at AIX, stand 5A30, Hall B5

 Spring-Fast Wire Protection Grommet Edging – Device Tech: Spring-Fast is being adopted by aviation seating/interior OEM’s because of the patented encapsulated spring steel ‘snap on’ design that speeds assembly and boosts productivity by 950%, reduces total installed costs by 49% and delivers best-in-class performance. Spring-Fast also improves worker safety by eliminating the toxic VOC’s associated with the glues and solvents used in plastic grommet assemblies. Shown above: FAA-approved Spring-Fast Composite Grommet Edging per NAS M22529/2 (on left) and the fully encapsulated “SL Series” (on right). Visit Device Tech at AIX, stand 4UB29

 My Leki Web Shop – Leki Aviation: Leki Aviation is launching the all new My Leki Web Shop, together with their newly re-launched website. The new web shop is a single point of entry for visitors to get full access to what Leki offers in terms of products and services, all in one place and in real time. Get full access to updated price, stock and lead time, and speed up your order process. To learn more, visit and Visit Leki Aviation at AIX, stand 5C66




“This is our third year exhibiting at AIME and our experience gets better every year. We have achieved more than expected – we have closed some business in addition to making some new contacts.” Marjan Trobis, General Executive Manager, Boxmark Leather

W W W. A I M E . A E R O

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO




he International Air Transport Association (IATA) in early February announced full-year global revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) increased 6.3% compared to 2015, or 6.0% if adjusted for the leap year. IATA says the growth is well ahead of the 10-year average annual growth rate of 5.5%. Capacity rose 6.2% compared to 2015, pushing the load factor up 0.1 percentage points to a record full-year average high of 80.5%. Driving the increase was a strong performance in December with an 8.8% rise in demand outstripping 6.6% capacity growth. In 2016, IATA reported that airlines added 700 new routes and few 3.7 billion passengers flew safely to their destination. IATA’s breakdown by region follows: Asia Pacific carriers recorded a demand increase of 8.3% compared to 2015. IATA said the pace is considerably ahead of the five-year growth average of 6.9%. Capacity rose 7.7%, pushing up the load factor 0.4 percentage points to 78.6%. European carriers’ international traffic climbed 4.8% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.0% with a load factor of 82.8%. Passenger volumes have been increasing at an average of 15% year-over-year since June, easily compensating for a slight decline over the first six months of 2016. North American airlines saw demand increase 2.6% in 2016. Most of the growth occurred in the second quarter, and traffic has been strongest on Pacific routes. Capacity rose 3.3%, reducing the load factor by 0.5 percentage points to 81.3%. Middle East carriers had the strongest regional annual traffic growth for


the fifth year in a row. RPKs expanded 11.8%. Capacity growth grew 13.7% continued to outstrip demand, with the result that the load factor fell 1.3 percentage points to 74.7%. Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 7.4% in 2016. Capacity rose 4.8% and load factor strengthened by 1.9 percentage points to 81.3%. International traffic from Latin America remains very healthy despite some economic and political uncertainty in the region’s largest market, Brazil. African airlines had their best growth performance since 2012, up 7.4%. Growth is being underpinned by strong demand on routes to/from Asia and the Middle East. Capacity exactly matched demand, with the result that the load factor remained flat at 67.7%. Domestic air travel rose 5.7% in 2016. Capacity rose 5.1% and load factor was 82.2%, up 0.5 percentage points over 2015. All major markets except Brazil showed growth, but India and China, with RPK expansion of 23.3% and 11.7% respectively, were the standout performers. “And the four billion people who will travel by air this year are an opportunity to build an even better world through the positive impacts of globalization— mutual understanding, innovation and business opportunities among them,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Aviation is the business of freedom. And we must defend its social and economic benefits from barriers to travel and protectionist agendas.”

C A L E N D A R Aircraft Interiors Expo/World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo April 4-6 Hamburg. For general inquiries contact AIX at aixhamburg. or call +44 208 271 2174 Marine Hotel Association 31st Anniversary Conference and Trade Show, April 2-4 Naples Grande Beach Resort, Naples, Florida. For more information, contact MHA at or call 415 332-1903 World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, Middle East, May 15-17 Dubai. For more information, contact Reed Exhibitions, at Telephone 971 2 4917615 or e-mail Website http://www. APEX Multimedia Market, April 24-26, Berlin. For more information contact APEX at or call 212 297–2177 International Flight Services Association Conference and Exhibition, APEX EXPO, September 25-27 Long Beach, California. For more information, contact IFSA at or call 404 252-3663 SIAL Middle East, Catering Exhibition and Mercury Awards, December 11-13, Abu Dhabi. For more information, call 971 (0) 2 401 2949 or e-mail info@

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