PAX TECH Seating & IFEC April/May 2023

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MRO, Interiors & IFEC MRO, Interiors & IFEC APRIL/MAY 2023 | SEATING & IFEC
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PAX Tech

Mississauga, Ontario Canada

Tel: (1 905) 821-3344



Aijaz Khan



Jane Hobson, Managing Editor

Tel: (1 416) 997-3914


Stephanie Philp, Editor

Tel: (1 416) 822-1758


Alex Preston, Senior Editor

Tel: +44 (0) 7969 092913


Reedah Hayder

Editorial Assistant

Ash Khan, Advertising Sales Executive



Jessica Hearn, Art Director


PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times a year by PAX International, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. International Distribution.

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ISSN 1206-5714

Key title: Pax International

Reasons to be cheerful

The airline industry’s investment in the cabin experience continues as we put together this annual Seating & IFEC digital issue.

With demand for air travel continuing to increase despite the looming recession, airlines are loosening their purse strings, with several announcements that look set to raise the bar further for the passenger experience when it comes to being comfortable in the cabin and keeping connected.

Emirates closed 2022 with the launch of a four-year multi-billion dollar project to upgrade the entire interior cabins of 120 of I380 and 777 aircraft. Overseen by Emirates Engineering, and proving there is still life in such widebody icons, everything is being refreshed: seats, IFE and even the carpeting.

In Europe, Lufthansa unveiled the latest details of its equally ambitious and largest product and service overhaul in the Lufthansa Group’s history — Allegris. We’ve already seen glances of the new Premium Economy Class which is flying with Swiss as of last year, but from 2024, a new First Class will take to the air, upgrading the travel experience in all classes on long-haul routes.

In my recent visit to to Butterfly Engineering’s Belfast office as Senior Editor of PAX Tech I had the pleasure of witnessing major advancements in seating innovation. CEO and Founder Lars Rinne says the company’s flexible seating solution allows for the instant transformation between Premium Economy and Business Class flatbed

suites — primarily without motors. This design significantly reduces weight, maintenance needs and price for airlines.

In the IFEC category, the industry is responding to the passenger demand to stay as connected in the air as they are on the ground. Much the same as easily connecting to the complementary network of your favorite downtown coffee shop or airport lounge, it seems free inflight Wi-Fi is the way of the future, with many airlines moving toward this offering.

“More and more, passengers expect to be connected while in flight, and with the technology now available, carriers will need to offer full connectivity in order to remain competitive,” Kevin Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Porter, tells PAX Tech in our IFEC report.

Delta Air Lines began rolling out the service on most domestic mainline aircraft in February, with full availability on international and regional aircraft expected by the end of 2024. airBaltic, Hawaiian Airlines and ZIPAIR have also committed to complementary Wi-Fi with their respective agreements with new kid on the block, StarLink.

Our next print issue of the year is for June’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. The PAX Tech team will be there to cover all news and announcements — and we hope to fly there in style with first-hand experience of the seats and connectivity we report in these pages. We look forward to the further innovation that is on the Hamburg horizon. | PAX TECH | 3
4 | PAX TECH | APRIL/MAY 2023 8 Features ON THE COVER: Euphony, the collaborative result between Safran and Devialet, provides a headset-free sound solution for seats in Business and First Class. Read it on page 12 DEPARTMENTS 3 EDITOR’S LETTER 6 NEWS SEATING 8 METAMORPHOSIS BY DESIGN PAX Tech reports on its visit to Butterfly Engineering’s Belfast office, with an interview from CEO and Founder Lars Rinne 12 HEADSET-FREE SOUND Arthur Glain, Advanced Concept Manager at Safran, shares how the company is revolutionizing inflight audio with speakers built directly into headrests IFEC 14 FREE FOR ALL Airlines across the globe are ramping up inflight Wi-Fi services in hopes of driving revenue, maintaining passenger loyalty and making the onboard experience as seamless as possible EVENTS 20 AIX PREVIEW The Aircraft Interiors Expo will set the scene for the next chapter of aircraft  cabin innovation as airlines anticipate profitability in 2023 14 CONTENTS

CTT launches active carbon filter humidifier to elevate Business Class experience

an active carbon filter that increases humidity to 22 percent

CTT is launching an onboard humidifier that uses an active carbon filter. The new Humidifier Onboard Pure Air generates a striking humidity increase that elevates comfort by decreasing dryness in Business Class.

On long-haul flights, the average cabin humidity without any active humidification remains at seven percent in Business and five percent in First Class, creating extremely dry conditions. Low humidity dehydrates the body, including the eyes, sinuses, mucous membranes, thereby reducing the function of the immune system.

The Humidifier Onboard aims to ensure travellers have better relaxation through improved sleep, which means less jet lag. The humidifier also reduces odours from fuel and de-icing. By restoring cabin climate performance, airlines can upgrade the traveller’s experience and introduce new comfort levels.

Available for retrofit and line-fit on commercial aircraft as well as private jet completions, this CTT humidifier has started to migrate to the premium passenger cabin and large-cabin, long-range business jets.

Qantas unveils Business and First Class seats for Project Sunrise

Qantas has unveiled the Business and First Class seats made by Safran for “Project Sunrise” in Sydney, Australia. The project involves operating direct flights between the East Coast of Australia, Europe and North America. These new direct routes will conquer “the last frontier of global aviation,” said Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO. The premium products will be installed in Qantas’ future A350-1000 fleet.

Together with Caon Studios, Safran has developed premium suites that will offer a high level of comfort with generous ergonomically designed living space.

For each aircraft, Safran Seats will supply 52 Business Class suites with a door, also providing a wide seat and a parallel, rectangular bed. There are multiple options for the stowage of personal items, including console cubby stowage, under ottoman bag stowage, a large literature pocket and a closed accessory case.

In First Class, Safran will supply six bespoke suites per aircraft. Each suite includes a fixed bed with an adjustable backrest and a separate

seat. Stowage areas for passengers include a wardrobe, vanity cupboard and pajama drawer. There is a substantial table to allow dual dining, a touch screen suite controller and a 32-inch screen.

CTT’s Humidifier Onboard acts as
Qantas’ new Business and First Class seats focus on wellness

ABC International to showcase Movable Class Divider at AIX 2023

ABC International has developed and certified a new Movable Class Divider (MCD), a solution for passenger cabin class division that will be showcased at AIX 2023. This divider has been conceived and developed for A320 aircraft with the aim to allow a more dynamic and easy class separation across single aisle aircraft by avoiding fixed installations and so reducing costs.

MCD is composed by three elements: two side pelmets and one central divider.

All parts are manufactured in aluminium and honeycomb. The central divider includes the label “EXIT” and informational placards that can be customized together with panel colours and trim.

Side components have been designed with a large frontal window in order to allow visibility of luminous NS (No Smoking) and FSB (Fasten Seat Belt) signs from any angle in compliance with cabin safety regulations. This cost saving solution has been adopted to ease retrofit installation and avoid drastic PSU units’ relocation and reduce the relevant cost impact.


Crew members and LM Staff can fix and secure the Movable Class Divider in the desired row by means of fast-locking system: no specific training or MRO support is needed. Upon request, ABC International can produce curtains using either its raw materials or fabrics provided by a customer.

Iberia installs Recaro’s CL6720 Business Class seat

Iberia has become the launch customer of Recaro’s CL6720 Business Class seat with privacy doors, following its introduction into commercial service.

Each CL6720 features sliding doors for extra privacy, ample living space with a 79-inch-long full-flat bed and is configured in a honeymoon layout with electronic full-length

privacy dividers for the center seats and direct aisle access.

The CL6720 is also designed for dignified in- and outaccess to the seat for passengers with reduced mobility. A total of 31 CL6720 seats are outfitted in the A350 Business Class cabin.

“The CL6720 on Iberia’s A350 will take the business class experience to the next level, thanks to the seat’s comfort amenities and generous living space,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating in a recent press release. “Our partnership with Iberia has created a unique product that will serve passengers for many years to come while keeping carbon emissions and maintenance costs low.”

“Recaro has been a perfect partner in elevating our customers’ travel experience with greater privacy, comfort, warmth, and more space for personal items,” said Javier Sánchez-Prieto, CEO of Iberia in the same release. | PAX TECH | 7 COMPANY
ABC International’s MCD allows a more dynamic and easy class separation across single aisle aircraft
The CL6720 featured sliding doors and was referred to as a “mini-suite”


by design

The newest office of the award-winning start-up seat manufacturer Butterfly Flexible Seating Solutions is tucked away on the Catalyst science park at the historic Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Butterfly Engineering opened in April 2021, focusing on the engineering and airworthiness certification of the Butterfly seat concept. PAX Tech visited in March 2023 to hear all the latest from CEO and Founder Lars Rinne.

The system

Butterfly provides a flexible seating solution that allows for the instant transformation between Premium Economy and Business Class flatbed suites. Butterfly is composed of two recliner seats with the aisle seat offset backwards. When both seats are used, an airline can sell it as premium economy seating. To upgrade the solution into a regional Business Class product, the change is simple: flipping over the inboard seat forms a flat surface and immediately turns the seats into a private suite for one passenger, with a seat and a side couch. When a passenger wishes to sleep, they can flip the aisle seat over as well.

Combined with the side couch, Butterfly/Rinne says this arrangement forms one of the largest and flattest cabin bed surfaces in the industry. The configuration allows passengers to lay flat diagonally across the bed, which at 78 inches in length can easily accommodate the tallest of passengers.

What makes the Butterfly solution stand out is that the suite is primarily designed to be operated without motors. In fact, passengers can make the change from seat to bed in just ten seconds and with the use of only one hand. Hence, Butterfly claims this solution to be the only manual flatbed solution currently in the market — significantly reducing weight, maintenance and price compared to motorized solutions. Rinne oversees the young, small but steadily growing company. Butterfly is currently occupied with stress testing and certification of its seat after successfully completing its first crash test last year.

Crash test innovations

As explained during PAX Tech’s on-site visit, prior to the development test, the Belfast team had the entire seat simulated into a Finite Element (FE) model to

give them a good understanding of how the seat would perform during the test.

But developing and simulating a crash test in a mathematical model requires high skills in modelling — something the Belfast team happens to do well.

Through the use of computer-aided design (CAD) and dynamic finited element method (FEM) software, the team/ crew built a virtual model to identify issues and solutions that can be repeatedly validated via such experimental test, including Head Injury Criterion (HIC) tests using virtual Anthropometric Test Devices (ATDs). There are as many as 16 different testing scenarios to satisfy. The Belfast team’s dynamic method avoids the trial and error approach that some companies take. The efficient Butterfly technique reduces time and cost— an essential aspect for a start-up the size of Butterfly Engineering and

Alex Preston, Senior Editor at PAX Tech (foreground) and Lars Rinne (background) Founder and CEO of Butterfly Seating PAX Tech reports on its visit to Butterfly Engineering’s Belfast office, with an interview from CEO and Founder Lars Rinne
The award-winning Butterfly aviation seat for single-aisle aircraft offers airlines a new monetarization channel

Celebrating 30 Years of Partnership

Celebrate. Collaborate. Innovate. Now more than ever, Linstol remains committed to serving as your purveyor of choice for passenger comforts and luxurious travel experience amenities. We provide these enhancements seamlessly in alignment with your highest expectations.


Bespoke products influenced by practical knowledge and understanding


Linstol designs custom products specifically for the airline industry


Fostering creative relationships drives imagination and innovative ideas

certainly on the wish list for any OEM.

The ability to test assumptions and introduce changes, however minor or critical, into the simulations requires a lot of computational power and runtimes — it can be hours or even days depending upon the complexity of the test. While time consuming, such attention to detail is at the heart of the mission of Butterfly, especially in light of the possible configuration for the seat: sitting (either as two individual premium economy seats or as a single private seat) and sleeping.

“It’s worth spending the time at the start to get it accurate,” Rinne says.

The accuracy of the FE model is best shown in the results of the actual tests. For instance, the FE stress test analysis prior to the actual physical dynamic testing showed potential points of failure in some components. Having identified these and redesigned them, the structure of the dynamic seat remained intact during the pitch and roll elements of the test.

“Analysis on the seat was worth it, as it showed the seat structure was valid,” Rinne tells PAX Tech. The seat survived with all four attachments remaining in place.

The Belfast office is also home to the seat demonstrators, which over the years

have transformed from simple carboard/ MDF (medium density fibrewood) variants into today’s impressive shell scheme. The improvements are in part due to the increasing talents of the Butterfly team both in Belfast and Hong Kong but also the long-standing support of sponsors, which are namechecked on the demonstrator’s accompanying data sheet.

Looking ahead

The Butterfly concept has other applications — it can be adapted to work on other types of public transportation where passengers travel long distances, such as coach and rail. The Belfast office is at the heart of this pursuit too.

Butterfly Motorcoach, a convertible seat designed for coach buses, recently entered service between Washington DC and Nashville with US-based launch customer Napaway Coach. Each coach carries 18 Butterfly motorcoach suites — all of which contain more than 13 square feet of usable space and a 78-inch-long flatbed that can be transformed into a personal lounge or two separate seats. Bedding and other amenities are provided.

As Rinne says of the Butterfly product, “Now we know what is working, the mission is refining the product further.”

With such a skill base and passion on display in Belfast, such improvements are sure to deliver a unique, comfortable and monetizable seat, all built on a tried and tested approach.

10 | PAX TECH | APRIL/MAY 2023
The still intact seat underwent a successful dynamic test, including pitch and roll
The team in Belfast use cardboard models to investigate changes in design and component placement before moving onto more stringent testing

We master the elements. We develop designs. But only when imagination has fully spread its wings have we achieved the cruising altitude of our minds. Imagine the impossible and we make it real. Visit our website and watch our Imagine-Clip.


Advances in technology are redefining how passengers listen to audio inflight. Safran’s Arthur Glain shares how the company is revolutionizing the experience with speakers built directly into headrests

Headphones have become an essential accessory for travelling passengers, especially on long-haul flights. Passengers onboard are often using headphones to connect to the inflight entertainment system — sometimes for 15 hours or longer. By mid-flight, many cabins are a tangle of headphone cords, charging cables and other restrictive wiring as passengers seek to entertain themselves and stay connected. While some headphones are connected via Bluetooth, most headsets provided by airlines must be plugged into the seatback IFE system via a wire.

Harvard Health Publishing (HHP), the consumer health education division of Harvard Medical School, advises that wearing headphones for an extended period can be uncomfortable and even painful.

HHP says, “Ultimately, personal listening devices should be comfortable to the listener.”

Safran Seats is aiming to resolve this issue for passengers onboard.

“Our user experience studies have consistently shown for a number of years that headphones often create a number of pain points at various stages of the flight. Physical fatigue on and around ears, difficulties to communicate with cabin crew and other passengers, wires getting in the

12 | PAX TECH | APRIL/MAY 2023
Arthur Glain, Advanced Concept Manager at Safran
Euphony, the collaborative result between Safran and Devialet, provides a headset-free sound solution for seats in Business and First Class

way when using the airline headphones or battery planning when bringing personal headphones,” Arthur Glain, Advanced Concept Manager at Safran, tells PAX Tech.

“In an ideal world, we would all rather be able to listen to our content the way we do at home, with no intrusive hardware, wirelessly and with the ability to communicate with close-by individuals.”

Safran Seats introduced its award-winning Euphony at last year’s Aircraft Interior’s Expo (AIX) as the solution to these longstanding challenges of inflight headphone use.

The Euphony solution for seats in Business and First Class is a “headset-free,” high quality individual sound experience developed in partnership with acoustic engineering company Devialet. The result of nearly four years development, the speakers are built into the headrest, delivering high-fidelity audio to each individual passenger while ensuring other passengers in the cabin are undisturbed.

Euphony is based upon Devialet’s unique patented acoustic technologies and acoustic tuning expertise, coupled with Safran Seats’ innovation consisting of two Devialet bespoke loudspeakers on each side of a standard-sized headrest. Together, it provides the passenger with a clear and full-bodied sound.

“Concisely and without disclosing too much detail, we can say that thanks to patented algorithms, Euphony dynamically adjusts the audio output based on an array of factors making for a truly seamless experience,” Glain tells PAX Tech. The audio output volume adjusts automatically to the wing positions, as well as the fluctuation of the cabin noise environment and flight phases preventing any sound leaking to disturb other surrounding passenger.

Unlike headphones, Euphony does not cover the passenger’s ears, isolating them from any announcements made over the cabin PA. During an announcement, the IFE system pauses any ongoing media, and the passenger is free to hear any announcements directly via the cabin PA. This ensures passengers remain informed and aware of all announcements.

“It is not rocket-science to install a pair of loudspeakers in a headrest. However, providing high fidelity audio at an audible level without disturbing any surrounding passenger proved a sizable challenge,” Glain says.

Several acoustic engineering companies were considered before Devialet’s proof of concept convinced Safran Seats. With experience working in diverse and sometimes very demanding environments, Devialet meets the challenges of a low frequency-saturated cabin interior coupled with close proximity between users.

“We needed a partner able to come up with the right hardware but most importantly with the right digital signal processing, and this is what Devialet is all about, a tech company creating advanced algorithms to perfectly compensate any environment while delivering top tier quality audio,” says Glain.

Good news for audiophiles. While today’s aircraft cabins are less noisy than their predecessors, being able to dampen the noise of the aircraft engines or air flow through noise-cancelling technology is a significant achievement.

With Euphony already available across all Safran Business and First Class portfolio, does this mean an end to headphones and the common and inconvenient phenomenon of tangled and twisted cables? Not really, admits Glain. “To be perfectly clear, we do not pretend to completely replace headphones with Euphony. Euphony does a fantastic job at allowing passengers to watch movies or listen to audio content with much more freedom,” he states.

Janus Label of Excellence

Underlining Safran’s innovative efforts, the jury at the Institut Français du Design awarded its Janus Label of Excellence to Euphony in January of this year.

Reacting to the announcement in a January 26 press release, Victoria Foy, Safran Seats CEO said, “This award highlights the excellence of the engineering teams at Safran Seats and is a strong reflection of our capacity for innovation on behalf of our customers and the passenger experience.”

Euphony has also been shortlisted for the Cabin Design — Concept Award in The International Yacht & Aviation Awards 2023, with the winners to be announced on June 9 in Venice. | PAX TECH | 13
Devialet aims to bring great sound to every moment, whether on the ground or in the sky


Airlines across the globe are ramping up inflight Wi-Fi services in hopes of driving revenue, maintaining passenger loyalty and making the onboard experience as seamless as possible

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Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic. The Latvian airline is set to become the first European airline to offer free, fast Wi-Fi to all passengers
A growing number of airlines either offer unrestricted free inflight Wi-Fi or plan to introduce complementary cabin-wide connectivity

Airlines have long sought to solve the dilemma of offering free Wi-Fi while simultaneously recouping the often huge investment in such satellite services. Consequently, there are now a variety of flavours of “free” inflight connectivity, dependent upon a range of factors including loyalty class, cabin class, flight time, data package and service application.

Earlier this year, Singapore Airlines extended its complimentary inflight Wi-Fi to all Suites and First Class passengers regardless of status, as well as its PPS (Priority Passenger Service) Club members and PPS Club supplementary card holders. Previously, Business Class customers and PPS Club members enjoyed 100 MB worth of complimentary inflight Wi-Fi. PPS is the airline’s program that rewards its highest spending frequent flyers.

In addition, members of SIA’s KrisFlyer loyalty program now receive free three-hour Wi-Fi plans when travelling in Premium Economy Class and free two-hour Wi-Fi plans when travelling in Economy Class. In the past, both were offered a two-hour complimentary inflight Wi-Fi plan that was available for text-only messaging services.

First mover

In 2007, JetBlue became the first U.S. domestic carrier to provide complimentary inflight e-mail and instant messaging services, using customized inflight versions of Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry smartphones could access their corporate and personal e-mail.

A decade later, the airline became the first to offer free, high-speed Wi-Fi available gate-to-gate, with its Fly-Fi service in partnership with Amazon. The partnership allowed the airline to deliver Amazon Video streaming entertainment to passengers via personal devices as well as web surfing and chatting on messaging apps.

Fast forward more than a decade and JetBlue’s position as an innovator in the provision of free Wi-Fi can be considered even more revolutionary in context of a series of recent announcements.

Things to come

Passengers in all cabins on Qantas’ forthcoming A350, that will fly non-stop from Australia to New York and London from late 2025, will have access to complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity across their devices. The service, in partnership with Viasat, will be introduced following the completion of key satellite launches covering the Qantas international network.

In spring 2022, Starlink officially entered the inflight connectivity market with the announcement that Hawaiian Airlines had selected the SpaceX company to provide high-speed, low-latency broadband internet access to every passenger onboard flights between the islands and the continental U.S., | PAX TECH | 15
Kris Tanahara, Managing Director, Corporate Communications at Hawaiian Airlines Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, used the occasion of CES 2023 to announce the rollout of free Wi-Fi to all Delta passengers. Image credit: Rank Studios for Delta Air Lines

Asia and Oceania. The airline will equip its A330 and A321neo aircraft, as well as an incoming fleet of 787-9s, with Starlink’s LEO (Low Earth Orbit) satellite internet connectivity service.

Installations are expected to begin this year on select aircraft — excluding Hawaiian’s 717s that operate short flights between the Hawaiian Islands.

Kris Tanahara, Managing Director, Corporate Communications at Hawaiian Airlines, tells PAX Tech, “We look forward to having the best connectivity experience available in the air with Starlink. It was important to us to have a superior Wi-Fi product for our guests that was fast, seamless and free to complement our award-winning onboard Hawaiian hospitality.”

The beginning of 2023 saw further announcements as Starlink signed more regional agreements. In early January, Latvian airline airBaltic announced it will equip its entire A220-300 fleet with Starlink becoming the first airline in Europe to launch high-speed, unlimited, free-of-charge satellite internet on board.

The airline has since launched an internal initiative to explore and generate ideas for the wider use of the service, be it from an individual passenger point of view or companywide. The initiative is part of airBaltic’s ideaHub, an established

internal innovation and idea generation system. It aims to improve the airline’s passenger service and drive efficiency within the company.

airBaltic is working with SpaceX to achieve the required supplemental type certification approval and is expected to begin installations across the whole fleet.

And recently, ZIPAIR Tokyo became the first Asian airline to sign up to Starlink. It too is working through an engineering review and regulatory certification process for the installation.

The time is now

While these installations are still some way off, Canada’s Porter Airlines provides free Wi-Fi to all passengers aboard its new E195-E2 fleet via partner Viasat. Passengers can use personal electronic devices, surf the web or stream entertainment from platforms such as Netflix and AppleTV.

According to Kevin Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Porter, the airline believes that high-quality Wi-Fi that supports unlimited streaming on board will become the standard for airlines in the next decade.

“More and more, passengers expect to be connected while in flight, and with the technology now available, carriers will need

16 | PAX TECH | APRIL/MAY 2023
For Hawaiian Airlines, free Wi-Fi is a key aspect of onboard hospitality
Cabin air dehydrates people. A long distance aircraft requires active humidification in order not to be more dehydrating than any place on earth. Discomfort with dry cabin air include fatigue, jet lag, red eyes, dry skin, more susceptible to virus diseases, etc. HUMIDIFIER ONBOARD TRANSFORMS THE EXPERIENCE. Better protected from virus and colds. Better wellbeing. Better comfort. WOULD YOU COMPROMISE ON YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?

to offer full connectivity in order to remain competitive,” Jackson tells PAX Tech. There is also a selection of free IFE content to choose from that does not require Wi-Fi access, he adds.

Porter’s service is supported by advertising. If the passenger logs in as a VIPorter member, they will only see an ad at the beginning of their session. They can also join the program for free at any time during the flight to view unlimited content after watching the single ad. If they are not logged in as a VIPorter member, they will see an ad every 30 minutes.

According to Jackson, Porter’s complimentary Wi-Fi has received an overwhelmingly positive response from passengers, with many connecting on multiple devices to work and stream simultaneously. The ratio of connected devices to passengers is often greater than 1:1, he reveals.

The biggest news of the year came as Delta Air Lines used the occasion of Consumer Electronic Show 2023 in Las Vegas (owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association) to announce plans to bring free Wi-Fi to all its international and regional aircraft by the end of 2024.

The service, in partnership with T-Mobile, launched on more than 500 domestic mainline aircraft this February. Since then, the airline reports that more than 100,000 passengers have signed-up for Delta SkyMiles, with more than 2.1 million free Wi-Fi sessions launched onboard. As of March 1, the service is available on more than 540 aircraft.

Also in March, Delta and Viasat announced plans to bring Ka-Band inflight satellite connectivity onboard Delta’s international widebody fleets, with upgrades beginning this year.

“We didn’t just want free Wi-Fi to offer base-level service — we wanted it to be transformative for the entire onboard experience,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in a January 27 company press release.

T-Mobile also partners with Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines offering its Coverage Beyond customers free inflight connectivity. In addition to texting, browsing and e-mailing, T-Mobile customers can also stream, where available.

18 | PAX TECH | APRIL/MAY 2023
Porter Airlines’ free Wi-Fi service is supported by adverts
By 2024, all Delta Air Lines aircraft will offer free Wi-Fi to all passengers. In its first month of service, more than 2 million free Wi-Fi sessions had been recorded

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) returns to Hamburg in June

Building on the success of last year’s event, Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) will return to Hamburg this June 6 to 8. As the world’s leading marketplace for airlines and the supply chain to meet, the 2023 event is on track to exceed expectations, with the industry’s leading airlines, lessors and business jet operators expected to attend, ready to source nextgeneration products and solutions that will transform the passenger experience.

With a full spectrum of interior products and services on display, AIX will deliver the optimal platform for product specifiers to see and test more than 1,000 products from leading global airline suppliers based in 30+ countries. Among those returning to the event, major OEMs Boeing and Airbus will be joined by some of the leading players operating in the interiors sector from seating specialists Safran, RECARO Aircraft Seating, JAMCO Corporation and HAECO Cabin Solutions; and inflight entertainment and connectivity providers Panasonic Avionics, Thales Group, Astronics Corporation, Latitude Aero and Bluebox Aviation Systems

Leaving no product area uncovered,

AIX attendees will find solutions for every aspect of the cabin interiors environment, including cabin management systems, flooring solutions, galley equipment, inflight entertainment and connectivity, interior paints and coverings, lighting, lavatory and waste equipment, seating and more.  Helping attendees make the most of their time at the show, dedicated zones will bring together the industry’s leading suppliers and specialists in key product areas. The event’s ever-growing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Zone will again provide a dedicated space for attendees to test the latest IFEC products from more than 50 exhibiting companies. The IFEC Zone at AIX will once again provide airline attendees with access to experts, enabling them to navigate the complementary technologies facilitating a seamless interaction with IFE ahead of, and during a flight.

And, while dedicated show areas will help attendees discover the innovations and new technologies to meet their current business challenges, the event’s innovative show planning tool, AIX Connect, returns to enable attendees

and exhibitors to meet during the show. With more than 5,000 confirmed meetings scheduled across the three days of last year’s show, AIX Connect will once again help attendees build business connections, discuss new projects and facilitate the industry’s overwhelming desire to network and do business.

Polly Magraw, Event Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo, commented:

“It is great to see the recovery of the industry maintaining pace. While there is still a long way to go back to prepandemic levels, the industry is taking the right steps, and we’re delighted to see airlines embracing the opportunity to transform their business operations to meet the evolving expectations of passengers. After the return of AIX in 2022, we’re excited to get back to business, creating even more opportunities for attendees to connect, learn and source the latest innovations. After what was one of our most successful years for new exhibitor launches, we can’t wait to see what the industry has in store for 2023.”

As a proud media partner for the event PAX Tech will be in attendance, distributing copies of the AIX show issue, in addition to hosting the annual PAX Readership Awards — this year in partnership with TravelPlus. The Awards ceremony will be held on June 6 alongside AIX as a component of an early cocktail reception.

20 | PAX TECH | APRIL/MAY 2023
The expo will set the scene for the next chapter of aircraft cabin innovation as airlines anticipate profitability in 2023
Polly Magraw, Event Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo




From onboard caterers to connectivity and all the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that go above and beyond — this year in partnership with TravelPlus for the first time!

The award winners will be announced on June 6, 2023 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg.

Award winners will be featured in a special spread, as well as in our e-Newsletter.

WHERE CABIN CONCEPTS TAKE OFF Join us in Hamburg from June 6 - 8, 2023. Aircraft Interiors Expo is the definitive marketplace where everyone involved in developing cabin interiors needs to be. Visit us at: Co-located with: Organised by: In co-operation with: EXPO Aircraft Interiors HAMBURG,GERMANY 6 - 8 JUNE 2023
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