MARCH/APRIL 2019 | www.pax-intl.com
MRO, Interiors & IFEC
The anatomy of comfort AIX HAMBURG
The Choice is Yours Astronics AES EmPowEr® In-Seat Power Systems Power all your passenger and crew devices with the expanding menu of innovative options from Astronics. Wireless, USB, and zonal charging systems are ready to futureproof your cabin, built from the reliable technology of the industry’s most proven power solutions. We invite you to see why all major airline manufacturers plus over 230 airlines rely on certified cabin, flight deck, and galley power solutions from Astronics. www.astronics.com/EmPower
Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems: U.S. Office +1.425.881.1700 • Europe Office +44.1983.897647
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PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Connectivity under the microscope
EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX Tech 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: email@example.com Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x34 E-mail: email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla
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ew aspects of the commercial aviation industry are scrutinized and studied as closely as the fate of inflight connectivity. The most recent findings we encountered came in early February with the release of a report called Prospects for In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity by Euroconsult. The report is available for purchase from the group, but they did reveal a little tantalizing information in the introduction. Among the predictions is an expected surge in connectivity installations. Researchers at the group say that more than 23,000 commercial aircraft will offer connectivity to passengers by 2027, up from 7,400 aircraft in 2017. The average very small aperture terminal (VSAT) capacity leased by commercial aviation is expected to grow from 9.8 gigabytes per second in 2017 to more than 380 gigabytes per second in 2027. Airlines will also be flying with Ka-band antennas more and more, as demand represented 20% of the VSAT capacity, but is expected to grow to 46% of the total VSAT demand in 2027. Kaband services are expected to show the
highest growth rate and will represent 48% of the total revenue by 2027. While such figures for growth, availability and capability are good news for the traveling public, somewhere in the growth has to be the possibility for airlines to recoup the cost of installation and maintenance. Addressing those needs take up two of the stories in this issue PAX Tech. In one (page 24), we learn of Thales’ approach to streamline the onboard shopping experience through a partnership with duty free operator Airfree, while finalizing another partnership for destination-related onboard purchasing. Lufthansa Systems, on the other hand, is making its software and technological know-how available to an airline’s partner (page 26) to help an LCC defray the substantial cost of installation. No doubt we will learn about other solutions like these during this year’s Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg. And if there are not enough such ventures, others will no doubt form over the years as demand skyrockets and airlines aim to keep up with the competition and with a demanding passenger.
will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. March/ April 2019, Vol. 26. No. 2. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine
ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International
Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International
www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 3
10 QANTAS GOING ULTRA
On the heels of the historic launch of its first London-Perth nonstop route last year, Qantas Airways is moving to outdo itself as it prepares services for flights of up to 20 hours
44 AT YOUR SERVICE
UK engineering specialist Semmco aims to offer personal service, fast response times and products to suit different markets
CABIN INTERIORS 16 COOKING UP SMART SOLUTIONS
Major galley suppliers are keen to showcase innovation and technology in this highly competitive market segment
28 THE HOLISTIC PASSENGER
Panasonic Avionics has enlisted partners for a line of solutions that give airlines the chance to make the cabin environment quieter, more attractive and even healthier through cutting-edge wellness-focused technologies
PICTORIAL 22 HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Take a trip down memory lane – or, more accurately, the aircraft aisle – with archival images from Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation that prove not only how far the industry has come but that hint at how far it can possibly go
IFE REPORT 24 PERSONALIZATION PLUS
Thales Avionics will be busy this year bringing prospective customers a passenger-centric a suite of products geared for entertainment and the possibility of enhanced onboard revenue
26 AN AFFORDABLE EXPERIENCE
Understanding that the best IFEC technology is no good if it’s not affordable, Lufthansa Systems is working with potential customers to make its products and services a good buy
ON THE COVER:
PAX Tech examines the latest seating technologies, including the TEC-Leather dress cover from Lantal, seen here. For more information, turn to page 38.
EVENTS 34 CAN YOU HACK IT?
At this year’s Passenger Technology Solutions event, teams of techies will feel the pressure to redefine the passenger experience – in real time, and in front of a real-life audience. PAX spoke with organizers and participants to get a feel for what this hackathon will hold
42 20 YEARS STRONG
Polly Magraw, Event Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo, takes a walk down memory lane with PAX on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the industry’s biggest event
46 THE TOAST OF DUBAI
FACTS & FIGURES
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The 2019 AIME and MRO Middle East expos brought together hundreds of companies and thousands of attendees to share one purpose: highlighting the latest and greatest the region has to offer
SEATING 38 CUSHIONING THE EFFECT
Airlines still focus on weight when considering all aspects of cabin products. However, companies that make seating cushions and dress covers consider the passenger their customer as well
At HAECO we understand space is a ﬁnite, precious thing, and so is passenger experience. Backed by our extensive MRO heritage, our stowage soluuons oﬀer innovaave designs and features for both passengers and operators alike. Coupled with our in-house engineering and installaaon services make HAECO your Network of One.
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.haeco.aero ©2019 HAECO Americas
TSI Aviation Seats shares strong 2018 results TSI Aviation Seats experienced considerable growth over the course of 2018, and the company is expecting the trend to continue into 2019. “In May, the first deliveries of TSI’s new Economy seat – the EPIANKA model – were completed for the A321neo ACF and 737 MAX,” said Managing Director Suat Sağıroğlu in a statement. The EPIANKA, he noted, is a comfortable and practical Economy seating design, and can be fitted with up to 13-inch IFE monitors. In addition to being delivered for the narrow-body A321 and 737, in 2019 EPIANKA will also be delivered for A350 and 787 wide-body line-fit projects for Turkish Airlines. In 2018, TSI also made its first step into narrow-body Business Class seating with the launch of the ROYALUX model. A prototype of the seat was showcased at Aircraft Interiors Expo last year. TSI also made considerable investments in its production facilities in the last quarter of 2018, increasing its size by 325%. A new 3,400-square-meter production facility at Sabiha Gökçen has increased TSI’s seat manufacturing capacity from 10,000 units to 25,000 pax per year. In the third quarter of 2019, a new production line for Business Class seats will also be established.
The number of TSI employees also increased last year by 30%. With 21 shipsets delivered in 2018, the total number of delivered shipsets by TSI has now reached 101, the company says. This number will reach over 1,000 through 2023, with orders secured from other international airlines.
TSI’s EPIANKA Economy Class seat
Pegasus Airlines selects ABC International for stowage box solution ABC International, a company that supports airlines, MROs and leasing companies with tailored full-package solutions for cabin branding and interior modifications, will be displaying a selection of its solutions and projects at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. After collaborating with Small Planet Airlines and Meridiana (recently renamed Air Italy) for A320 partitions and a 767 fixed class divider, ABC worked with a Sabiha Gökçen-based low-cost airline the launch of a new stowage box within its product portfolio. So when Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines wanted to remove its galley coffee makers and replace them with stowage boxes in order to optimize space for emergency equipment, ABC International was selected for the project because of its capability to design, certify and release new emergency equipment layout, thanks to its EASA part 21J approval. ABC’s stowage box solution will be showcased during AIX Hamburg in Hall B6, stand 6A79. Pegasus Airlines’ stowage box by ABC International
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Panasonic Avionics to showcase latest solutions at AIX Panasonic Avionics, a company with over 40 years of experience in building inflight entertainment and connectivity systems for the aviation market, will be highlighting its latest offerings at this year’s AIX Hamburg including NEXT, its latest system generation and portfolio of solutions. Other key showcase areas the company will display at the event include: • CLOUD – Panasonic’s partnership with Amazon Web Services, which supports airlines with faster computing and vast file storage locations, ensuring timely access and the ability to retrieve data efficiently. • WELLNESS – A suite of solutions that improves passenger health, comfort and overall wellbeing by transforming the seating environment into a cared-for space. • MARKETPLACE – An e-commerce SaaS (software as a service) platform designed to foster rapid growth and profitability for airlines by enabling them to design dynamic and flexible offers. • THEATER – The highest level of immersive inflight entertainment combining diverse media with the best audio fidelity and video quality. • ONLINE – Enables passengers to stay connected anywhere they fly while also enabling a broad ecosystem of solutions and services such as Live Television in flight.
Former Delta executive joins Recaro Recaro Aircraft Seating announced in February the appointment of Chris Buckner as the Director of Product Management. Buckner joins Recaro from Delta Air Lines where he was Director of Onboard Product. He will be involved in the development of new seating solutions with responsibility for the long-term product strategy, product roadmap and product lifecycle. He has more than 12 years experience in the aviation industry, both on the airline and manufacturing side. He worked at Delta in various commercial roles for the last 8.5 years. Before joining Delta, Buckner held positions at Rockwell Collins as a Systems Engineering Lead in Government Systems and as an Engineer in Performance Engineering at Northwest Airlines.
Visit Panasonic Avionics at AIX Hamburg from April 2 to 4, stands 4A10 and 4A60.
Salzer joins HAECO Cabin Solutions HAECO Cabin Solutions, a division of HAECO Americas and a business unit within the HAECO Group, announced in February that interiors industry expert Uwe Salzer has joined the company as Vice President of Product Development. His initial focus will be on the company’s new seating product development initiatives. Salzer’s career began at Dornier Flugzeugwerke where he was responsible for primary structure designs, including the design and development of pressurized doors and emergency exits. He later joined Recaro, holding several positions in design and management before being appointed president of its seating division. Most recently, Salzer was Vice President of Research and Development for Economy and Premium seating at ZIM FLUGSITZ.
“For more than 30 years, Uwe has demonstrated strong leadership in managing the technical and administrative functions of complex seating products,” said Jose Pevida, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Product Development at HAECO Cabin Solutions. “We look forward to the experience and creative insights Uwe will bring to his new leadership role with us,” he added.
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Iberia Express scores high NPS with Immfly’s system Since launching Immfly’s inflight entertainment and Julia Maruny, Head of Content at Immfly, also comdigital services platform in 2014 — originally flown under mented: “Our vision has always been to enhance our the name Club Express Onboard (CXO) and now availreputation as a world-class entertainment and services able across the airline’s full fleet — Iberia Express has partner which is recognized for its innovation, dynamism experienced a positive impact on its Net Promoter Score and ability to customize the IFE experience. We are con(NPS), according to a press release from Immfly. stantly seeking new ways to break ground and introduce In a 2016 post-flight survey, the carrier’s passengers were new entertainment formats to improve passenger satisfacasked a question about their overall satisfaction with the IFE tion. Just recently we have added the new Sports channel in and digital platform, and more than 30% of respondents Iberia Express which has been well received by the platgave the platform either an 8, 9 or 10 out of 10. These form’s users.” numbers rose to more than 35% of guests giving the Iberia Express same scores when customers were asked the first received question in 2017, and last year, 44.5% of those Immfly’s inflight surveyed gave the system an 8 or higher. solution “Passengers are very happy with the increased in 2014 content available on the platform, and their customer scores reflect that improvement,” said Paloma Cabañas, Head of Customer Experience and Inflight Services at Iberia Express, in a statement. “As a consequence, they are spending an average of 50 minutes per flight on the platform, an increase from the previous 30 minutes. In particular, our customers love the selection of films and TV shows.”
SilkAir to fly Thompson Aero seating Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional carrier, SilkAir, has selected Thompson Aero Seating to upgrade the Business Class seats on its 737 MAX 8 fleet. The upgrades are a part of an investment program that will eventually see SilkAir merged into Singapore Airlines. The upgrades will begin in May 2020 and will feature new lie-flat Business Class seats in a forward-facing staggered layout – in line with SIA’s regional Business Class offering on its A350-900 medium-haul and 787-10 fleets. SilkAir currently has five 737 MAX 8s in its fleet with another 32 on order. The new seats will be retrofitted onto aircraft already in the fleet; for aircraft not yet delivered, they are to be installed at the time of arrival in Singapore.
“Plans for the upgrades were announced in May 2018, as part of a move to more closely align SilkAir’s products and services with those of SIA in preparation for its merger into SIA,” said a release from Singapore Airlines. “The merger will eventually encompass a full re-branding of SilkAir as SIA, with repainting of aircraft and adoption of SIA’s service delivery.” The upgraded program will also see the installation of new seatback inflight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. Singapore Airlines said in February the supplier for the IFE systems would be announced soon.
SilkAir has five 737 MAX 8s in its fleet with another 32 on order (Photo by Venkat Mangudi)
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Qantas going ultra by RICK LUNDSTROM
On the heels of the historic launch of its first LondonPerth nonstop route last year, Qantas Airways is moving to outdo itself as it prepares services for flights of up to 20 hours
Stretching and yoga at the Wellbeing Studio at Perth Airport
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New York and London. Other cities are also on the drawing board. The answers the airline received were in many ways predictable. A stationary exercise bicycle on an aircraft flying close to the speed of sound would help passengers stretch sedentary limbs. Virtual reality relaxation and entertainment – which is finding its way onto aircraft and into airline lounges around the world – was another suggestion. But the researchers in charge of Project Sunrise also received other recommendations:
Business Class on the 17-hour flight from London to Perth
PHOTOS COURTESY QANTAS AIRWAYS]
ne day in the very near future, a wide-body aircraft will land on the east coast of Australia following a sub-24-hour trip that in the not-sodistant past would have taken four full days and seven stops to complete. The ability to carry an aircraft full of passengers such a long distance in a single bound represents an amazing degree of progress. However, advancements in air travel will likely not be the first thing on the minds of passengers making their way out of Economy Class and into the sunlight, half a world away from their homes. The first flight from London to Australia took place in the 1940s – the four-day epic referenced earlier – and was known as the Kangaroo Route. Now, Qantas Airways is calling its efforts to prepare and launch an ultra-long-haul route between Sydney and London – an additional four to five hours longer than its current London-Perth route – Project Sunrise, and its first flight could come as early as 2022. By the time the official launch rolls around, Qantas will probably have learned much about how to tailor its onboard and on-ground passenger service through its London-Perth flights. When the airline launched the first nonstop from Australia to London Heathrow last year it was ready with improved lounge facilities in Perth, but the groundwork was laid
much earlier than that. Qantas had started work a full year before the launch with the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre to prepare for delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner that is now operating the route. There is currently no final decision as to the type of aircraft that will be used on new routes, but the gauntlet has been laid for aircraft makers, says a spokesperson for Qantas. “This was part of the challenges issued to Airbus and Boeing: How can we make ultra-long-haul flights both commercially viable and comfortable for passengers who will be on a plane for 18 to 20 hours?” he says. “Continued developments and innovation for the cabin environment, including better pressurization, air conditioning, lighting and humidity levels (similar to what is found on our 787 Dreamliner service between Perth and London), will further improve the ultra-long-haul flying experience.”
Stretching and listening
Since the launch of the 17-hour LondonPerth flight, Qantas has incorporated food and beverage ideas from research at the Perkins Centre and handed them over to the airline’s longtime Executive Chef, Neil Perry, for service on the 787 route. The airline has also interviewed more than 550 survey participants, with many offering advice on what is needed when Qantas starts routes from the east coast of Australia to
• What survey respondents called “sense of separation,” experiences where passengers can socialize but also “zone out” such as by plugging into virtual reality or audio mindfulness experiences, or by merely offering expanded IFE options. • Spaces for light exercise to promote circulation and comfort. • Wireless, noise-canceling headsets. • Alternative cabin designs for places with and without seating where passengers can sleep, dine and relax. • An inflight café offering alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The menu could include wine, fresh juice, herbal teas and tisanes (botanical or infusion teas), and mocktails. Passengers could snack on dips with vegetable sticks. No doubt these and many other suggestions will have to wait until Qantas decides what aircraft it will use for the new ultra-long-haul routes. “These are the conversations we are having with Boeing and Airbus to understand how we can best utilize galley space and seat configuration on board while making it commercially viable,” the spokesman tells PAX Tech. “We are keeping customer comfort on these ultra-long-haul flights at the forefront of the development process.” Qantas has already incorporated some changes based on research from the Perkins Centre and what it has learned from passengers. Some of the choices seem common sense, such as refraining from the service of spicy foods before bedtime. However, spices could be used in meals served for breakfast, as research shows these ingredients suppress melatonin in the brain and stimulate metabolism. Qantas has also gone to work on cabin lighting, timing its use to correspond with passengers moving through time zones. In the case of its www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 11
PROFILE London-Perth route, the airline says though the trip is long, the fact that it is nonstop helps passengers avoid the stresses of an extra landing, disembarking, re-boarding and re-settling. In addition, there is the convenience of getting to their final destination hours quicker than before. Such a trip in years past would mean an additional stop, most likely in Dubai or Singapore. To start the next step in Project Sunrise, the airline will at some point need to pick an aircraft, and soon. In February of this year, media were stating that the airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, was considering a special version of the 777-8X or the ultra-long-range A350-900ULR or -1000ULR. Both aircraft makers were at work on proposals, and Joyce told the online aviation news publication Skift that a decision could be made by the end of the year. When the decision is finally made, it will be time to go to work putting together a suitable cabin for the aircraft. For that, Qantas will be bringing feedback from the passengers and the Perkins Centre to industrial designer David Caon who will create features for look of the cabin and breathe health and wellness into future lounges. “Bringing some of these concepts to life will involve an entire rethink around how to be clever about the use of all cabin space and what is practically possible, but it may well involve incorporating design elements never before seen on commercial aircraft,” Caon hinted in a February release from Qantas. Other decisions that will be made could be influenced by information taken from technology now being worn by volunteer passengers and monitored by the airline. Qantas and the Perkins Centre have invited passengers to take part in trials involving wearable tech that measures biorhythms during travel, enabling future products to be developed and designed with the insight of robust data. The Qantas Dreamliner, named Emily Kame Kngwarreye, was pressed into service on the LondonPerth route
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QANTAS AND JETSTAR TAKING ON WASTE
Over the next two years, Qantas Airways and Jetstar plan to eliminate single-use plastic items by the millions, with much of it coming from cabin service products. In a February 21 announcement of the initiative, Qantas said it plans to cut 75% of its landfill waste by the end of 2020, calling it “the most ambitious waste reduction target of any major airline globally.” The two airlines generate 30,000 tonnes of waste in a given year, which is the weight of eight 747s. The airline started the initiative by removing plastic wrapping from pajamas and headsets and ditching plastic straws. Later this year, Qantas and Jetstar will add coffee cups that can be recycled or composted, switch to packaging that will eliminate single-use plastic, get rid of printed boarding passes and operational manuals by going digital, donate or compost food, and recycle old uniforms. Qantas says it hopes to eliminate 100 million single-use plastic items per year and replace them with alternatives by the end of 2020. Over that period, Qantas and Jetstar will be working with manufacturers to find alternatives to items that are wrapped for hygiene purposes as well as heat-resistant containers for meal preparation. “Some of the best feedback to our efforts so far has been from our crew, who see the sheer volume of waste generated in the cabins [by] hundreds of people every day,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in the announcement of the initiative. “We will be asking for help from our people, customers, supplers and regulators to help us reach this goal.”
Premium buffet service in Qantas’ Perth lounge
Bringing some of these concepts to life will involve an entire rethink around how to be clever about the use of all cabin space and what is practically possible, but it may well involve incorporating design elements never before seen on commercial aircraft,” – DAVID CAON, DESIGNER
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smart solutions Major galley suppliers are keen to showcase innovation and technology in this highly competitive market segment by MARY JANE PITTILLA
Collins Aerospace: Intelligent cooking feature
Collins Aerospace is the world market share leader for galley inserts, and that continued in 2018, according to Brian Schmalz, Vice President, Sales and Marketing of Galley Inserts at Collins Aerospace. The company offers the Endura family of galley equipment, including coffee maker, convection oven, steam oven, bun warmer and tri-mode refrigerator. The range has proved to be a success. “With more units currently installed and flying than any other galley insert family, the Endura family is the versatile solution to reliable high-quality inflight food and beverage service for all types of service models on both short-haul aircraft and long-haul aircraft,” says Schmalz. The company recently boosted its Essence galley insert range. The new Essence Microwave Oven went into service in 2018 and is performing very well, he says. The oven quickly heats meals and snacks while maintaining texture and taste appeal. A large, see-through window in the door and illuminated inner cavity make it easy for flight attendants to monitor the heating process to ensure product quality. Also new are Essence Premier Ovens, which are upgraded versions of the Essence Ovens, adding to the world-leading line of premium meal preparation equipment. They use advanced material technology to achieve a new benchmark for oven weight, offer easy operation for inflight personnel and incorporate a revolutionary adaptive, intelligent cooking feature. Schmalz is seeing a trend among airlines to focus on food 16 | PAX TECH | MARCH/APRIL 2019
and beverage service as a differentiator in a competitive industry. “Our products are an integral part in helping our customers differentiate themselves and stand out by offering premium food and beverage preparations.” Going forward, Collins Aerospace aims to continue to innovate based on its customers’ needs so they can be as equipped as possible to provide the highest level of service to their passengers. “Passengers are seeking more from their flying experience and we see this as a major focus into the future. It is a very exciting time to be the world leader in galley inserts,” enthuses Schmalz. The new Essence Microwave Oven from Collins Aerospace went into service in 2018 and is reportedly performing very well
CABIN INTERIORS The Bucher Group: Next-generation galleys
The Bucher Group focuses on highly customized galleys and stowages in the linefit and retrofit markets and mainly serves Airbus and Boeing platforms. It specializes in durable and lightweight aluminium and composite galleys; the innovative combination of select materials allows it to reduce every unnecessary gram of weight and make optimal use of available space. And thanks to its highly skilled professionals, the company aims to provide Swiss-quality products with a reliable and long-lasting design. The company is currently working on the next-generation galleys, where the idea is to enable galleys to communicate by integrating intelligent power management solutions and features like inventory management and a cashpoint system. The goal is making catering processes more efficient, based on the data generated in flight. In terms of trends, airline customers are increasingly demanding design features like branding elements to be placed on galleys, notes Günter Müllers, Director Sales and Programs Galley, Executive Board of Bucher Leichtbau AG. Because they are often placed in the entrance areas, these monuments support the airlines’ corporate identity. “We also see a rising demand for galleys that can convert into self-service counters. The idea is to make food and beverages available for passengers during non-service hours.” Currently, Bucher is market leader in galley provision on the A330neo, and its galleys can be found in many customer
A rendering of AIM Altitude’s 2018 AIX show galley’s main view
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“We see a rising demand for galleys that can convert into self-service counters,” says Günter Müllers, Director Sales and Programs Galley, Executive Board of Bucher Leichtbau AG
versions of this new aircraft, including launch customer TAP Air Portugal. “As long as airlines look for individualization and therefore customization, as well as reliable products and comprehensive service, we see a lot more opportunities in this sector,” says Müllers. However, he sees price as one of the main challenges, as customers have become “more and more price-sensitive.” Lead time is also an issue. Müllers says that because aircraft manufacturers are trying to keep sales numbers up, especially for A330 and 777, short-term production slots have become available and filling these slots typically results in very short lead-times for suppliers. “Due to our efficient processes and our size, Bucher has been very agile and can respond to such demands quickly.” Turning to the outlook, Müllers observes that, according to the Airbus and Boeing forecasts, the demand for new aircraft will increase further, and the major demand will be in the Far East. “We are very curious to see when airlines will take the step toward the next-generation galley,” he concludes.
AIM Altitude: A passenger-friendly space
AIM Altitude is currently offering galleys for A330, 737, 777 and 777X. They are designed to offer class-leading quality and ergonomics, with a strong focus on whole-of-life value.
A new leader in Cabin Technology
Burrana is a leading provider of integrated, end-to-end cabin technology. We deliver reliable, tailored solutions that provide operational efficiencies, enhance passenger experience and enable your brand.
Visit us at AIX 2019 aix.burrana.aero
CABIN INTERIORS AIM Altitude’s galley products are often designed to specific customer requirements, but the company showcased certain features at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2018, such as a pull-out pantry, bi-fold doors over inserts and flushfitting sliding tables, some of which are being incorporated into customer programs today. Further developments of one or two of these features will be shown at AIX 2019. The company is seeing an increasing demand for customization at door 2 of wide-body aircraft as airlines are more often using this space to perform a dual role of operational galleys and a passenger-friendly space with an eye on the airline’s brand and design ambitions. Galley areas are increasingly being used for self-service and other direct interactions with passengers on board. Over the past year, AIM Altitude has performed very well and has delivered all of its programs on time for the last two years, says Richard Bower, CEO of AIM Altitude. “Our biggest achievement in 2018 has been our selection by Airbus as the second source for galleys on their A320 program, and we expect our galleys to be available for Airbus customers on that platform during 2020.” Bower expects to see further opportunity as production of the 777X ramps up. And, as part of Chinese group AVIC Cabin Systems, AIM Altitude also sees potential for the supply of galleys on future aircraft from Chinese state-owned aerospace manufacturer COMAC in the medium term. Despite this rosy outlook, Bower points to challenges ahead as competition heats up in the galley sector. “We see a fairly challenging environment with many capable suppliers competing for the available work. A320, A350 and 787 are already SFE (supplier furnished equipment) supply, limiting the BFE (buyer furnished equipment) market to A330, A380, 737 and 777. The build rates of the two Airbus platforms are declining, the 737 is very price-sensitive and 777X has a large undelivered backlog, suggesting limited new orders in the medium term. Most suppliers have the capacity available to aggressively chase any new work that does come up. “The key challenge is to ensure we continue to drive improvement through all areas of our business to enable us to compete,” he says.
Airlines are demanding equipment that can enrich the onboard passenger experience. In the galley sector for widebody aircraft, ABC International is experiencing an increase in dedicated welcome and refreshment areas, especially in First and Business Class. The aim is to create a sort of uniformity between the lounge and the cabin environment, says Capuano. For narrow-body aircraft, there is a trend for space saving, as the company is seeing a lot of new galley and lavatory concepts that are allowing airlines to increase the number of passenger seats in a high-density configuration. Capuano reports that ABC International’s performance over the past year has been “very positive indeed.” For interior monuments, it successfully delivered galley stowage boxes for Pegasus Airlines, installed on its A320 and 737 fleet. Turning to the opportunities ahead in the retrofit market, with the release into service of A320neo, A330neo, 737 MAX and 777X, there will be a huge fleet of “not too old to scrap” aircraft to be refurbished. “We see potential challenges in fulfilling the high demand and at the same time keeping the customization up to a certain limit in order to not jeopardize aircraft delivery timeframes,” says Capuano. “The outlook is strictly related to the constant increase in aircraft deliveries forecast for the coming years. The production rate is improving and so even the galley sector is forced to keep the same pace.”
ABC International: Dedicated welcome and refreshment areas
ABC International is known globally as one of the leading suppliers of customized branding elements for cabin interior applications. Stefano Capuano, Business Development Manager at ABC International, says that in a cabin environment, there is a high chance that galleys are selected as BFE (buyer furnished equipment) monuments on which customers would like to add a unique touch to differentiate themselves from competitors. That holds true on brand-new aircraft for the A330neo, A350 and 787 programs, and this is the reason why the main galley OEMs always welcome and accommodate airlines’ request for customization. Due to ABC International’s skills in tailored cabin solutions, it can design from scratch small monuments like partitions, movable class dividers, stowage and coatrooms. This is complementary to its Part 21J certification that allows it to deliver LOPA (location of passenger accommodations) modification together with cabin interior kit, ready to be installed on board. 20 | PAX TECH | MARCH/APRIL 2019
Galley stowage boxes designed and manufactured by ABC International for Pegasus Airlines
History in the making Take a trip down memory lane – or, more accurately, the aircraft aisle – with archival images from Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation that prove not only how far the industry has come but that hint at how far it can possibly go Captions by JENNIFER COUTTS CLAY
Virgin Atlant ic pioneered th inspired “m eateroo lighting” prog d in its cabins rams , demonstrate as Upper Class d in this co bar (Photo cr cktail Virgin Atlant edit: ic)
orld Airways American W In 1970, Pan al launch customer of in t three times was the orig which is abou the 747-100, predecessor, the 707 its the size of
Air New Zealand is noted for pioneering innovative cabin seating arrangements (Photo credit: Air New Zealand)
The fore-, aft- and side-facing seats positioned alongside coffee tables provide an attractive socialmeeting area inside the Alaska Airlines Convair 880 (Photo credit: Alaska Airlines)
Images reprinted with permission from Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation e-book app by Jennifer Coutts Clay
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r ice buffet ba This self-serv ideal for is s ta an Q m fro ts (Photo long-haul fligh Airways) s credit: Qanta
lossy This g ir Gulf A ity amen s kit wa ed with n desig inine a fem for touch le fema ngers passe
This sta nd factor” -up bar was th of e Jet Serv the “Golden “wow (Photo ice” during th Nugget credit: Alaska e 1960s Airlines )
In the early 1980s, in the upper deck of its 747s, Philippine Airlines installed lie-flat bunk beds for use by First Class passengers (Photo credit: Philippine Airlines)
An ele trolle gant aisle in the y display Class Business (Phot cabin Air Fr o credit: ance )
Trans World Ai during the gl rlines’ amenity kits, pres ory days of fly ented to prem ing, are still cherished as ium passengers collectors’ ite ms
The imp covers g eccably fitted s e a sophis ive this regiona at look. Th ticated upmark l jet is of the e cabin display et a s leather rly uses of syn one b th credit: C y Tapis Corp (P etic ontinen h tal/Tapis oto )
This looks like the Stairway to the Stars in a Bollywood mov ie. Welcome to the Airbus A38 0! (Photo credit: Emirates Airli ne)
Grateful acknowledgement is given to the airlines and other organizations credited for their permission to use their photographs in Jetliner Cabins: Evolution & Innovation. There are other images that come from other publicly available sources; for example, company sales brochures and websites. Pictures that are displayed without photo credits come from the collection of J. Clay Consulting.
www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 23
Richard Perrot, Vice President of Marketing and Product Line Management at Thales Avionics
by RICK LUNDSTROM
Thales will be busy this year bringing prospective customers a passenger-centric suite of products geared for entertainment and the possibility of enhanced onboard revenue
week before the 2018 Christmas holiday, Singapore Airlines flew its new A350-900 from its home one degree above the Equator to Adelaide, Australia, which was heading into a southern hemisphere summer. The wide-body aircraft pressed into medium-haul service was tricked out in a cabin configuration filled with features that have earned the airline its reputation for cabin service on the cutting edge of the industry. Forty seats in Business Class had 17-inch high-definition monitors, while passengers in the 283 Economy Class seats could easily access their entertainment with 11.6 inch touchscreens. What’s more, the user interface, called Signature, offered an intuitive experience, driving the AVANT inflight entertainment system from Thales. Thales’ Prestige package will be flying on Emirates’ 777X
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“We are working with Singapore Airlines on personalization and our aim is to bring personalization to a new level,” says Richard Perrot, Vice President of Marketing and Product Line Management at Thales Avionics. The company will always be in close proximity with its customers – Thales has invested in a “digital factory” in Singapore for product development and testing. The word “digital” comes up often in discussion with Thales. The company has invested €7 billion (US$7.93 billion) in digital services over the last four years in technologies such as connectivity, cyber security, artificial intelligence and big data. In addition to its entertainment portfolio of products and services, Thales offers digital services including its InFlyt 360 platform.
With these products, Perrot says, two important airline goals can be reached for the first time. First, he points out the ability for airlines to offer a range of personalized experiences. It is there, he says, that the IFE environment has lagged behind the consumer marketplace, where passengers have grown used to a Netflix-style experience that follows their preferences and history. Engaging passengers on board in a similar way will be a “huge disruption for the industry,” says Perrot. “Instead of having an interaction of the passenger to the system, we are now going to have interactions both ways. The passenger will interact with the system and the system will give recommendations and proposals,” he adds. With this personalization, Perrot said airlines can better avoid the “commoditization” caused by big names in the booking industry that is driving airlines into price wars. If the airlines do not take back control of the passenger experience, Perrot says they will face a future where “they will be just a seat reseller.” The second rung on the airline’s digital transformation ladder is providing airlines the ability to generate ancillary revenue with ease. Perrot said a “true shopping experience” on board has up until this point been elusive and cumbersome. High-throughput Internet will help make this possible. With the Thales platform, Perrot said passengers will have access to marketplaces, starting with the well-known duty free catalog which stores the airline’s products and feeds payment and inventory information to the ground. Thales is partnering with a start-up company called Airfree for this duty free capability. The second huge potential for shopping experiences will be destination shopping, allowing passengers to book hotels, meals and other events at the place they are traveling. Thales was finalizing legalities with its partner for the service, which may be announced by the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. A few other important announcements occurred in 2018. At last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, Thales announced its new brand strategy, introducing its CORE and PRESTIGE IFE products to go with its flagship AVANT system. CORE is Thales’ streamlined product. Its PRESTIGE IFE, which features such additions as 4K display, will be flying on Emirates’ 777X. Other important news through the year included an extended partnership with China Southern for its 777 fleet and with the airlines of the HNA Group in China. AVANT installations also occurred on the 787-10 fleet of Vietnam Airlines, the A350s of Sichuan Airlines and the A320neo of Royal Brunei Airlines. Shortly after 2018’s AIX expo, Spirit Airlines signed a contract for Thales’ FlytLIVE Ka-band connectivity solution. The airline will use the SES and Hughes satellite network and technology.
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An affordable experience by RICK LUNDSTROM
Representatives from Lufthansa Systems, Mahata Aero Teknologi, Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik celebrate the successful go-live of the first Citilink aircraft with complimentary Internet
Understanding that the best IFEC technology is no good if it’s not affordable, Lufthansa Systems is working with potential customers to make its products and services a good buy
he airline industry is a business of pennies and tight margins. Over the years airlines have come to recognize the cost of any given part of inflight operations, from the result of adding an extra pound of foam padding to a seat to the amount of money it takes to fly a single can of soda around the world for a year. So, when considering an inflight entertainment or connectivity option, cost is likely the first consideration on the table. Companies like Lufthansa Systems are aware of the pressures. Two years ago, it worked with a partner to help its customer, Spanish airline Air Europa, bring inflight entertainment to its cabin and into the personal electronic devices of passengers on its fleet of 737s and Embraer 195s in an affordable way – and in doing so, it built an immensely worthwhile partnership. Lufthansa Technik was an obvious ally for the integration of a safe and powerful solution onto Air Europa’s aircraft and in the fight against mounting efforts for battery exchange. The open architecture of Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect was a good fit for the personalized ancillary revenue offerings of a Swiss company called Epteca, which curates merchandise and services for travelers and communicates with them throughout their journey. For
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example, as a passenger browses through the concierge-style Epteca program, which takes into account the weather forecast, the traveler can go to the “Forgotten anything?” section and order a raincoat for the trip to be delivered upon landing. The service was brought on board Air Europa flights last year. Fast forward to 2019, and any observer of the industry can see that airlines are still commiserating about the same cost challenges lamented by carriers decades prior. Responding to demand, Lufthansa Systems announced a similar solution in January for a low-cost carrier half a world away. In most cases, Lufthansa Systems markets its BoardConnect IFE software products directly to airline customers. However, in other instances, the company’s product line is geared to partnerships that help airlines generate revenue and finance installation. The company is doing just that with Garuda Indonesia’s low-cost carrier subsidiary Citilink. At the end of January, Lufthansa Systems announced “a breakthrough for free inflight connectivity” through a flexible refinancing approach, made possible with its partners, that makes onboard Internet more attractive to airlines. In this case, Lufthansa Systems is offering its technology and software to an Indonesian company called
Mahata Aero Teknologi. Through the partnership, Citilink can use the Lufthansa platform to generate revenue. Citilink has a fleet of approximately 50 A320s with routes around Indonesia. “The financing here comes from Mahata, and we are the technology partner,” said Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Products and Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. The company sees other prospective arrangements on the horizon, where companies with an idea as to how to finance an airline installation come to Lufthansa Systems, which provides the technology and know-how. What Mahata Aero Teknologi supplies is an e-commerce product with a selection of goods for sale and advertising partners. “This makes it possible to allocate costs in the long term, if necessary, so that airlines can offer their passengers free Internet access,” said a release from Lufthansa Systems. Citilink launched its complimentary Internet in mid-January. Broadband Internet is supplied to the aircraft through Inmarsat’s GX Aviation network, while Lufthansa Technik provides hardware, installation and certification. The next step in the Indonesian partnership will be a similar program for its parent airline. Garuda Indonesia ordered a similar program for its international fleet in December of last year.
CABIN INTERIORS Active Noise Cancellation surrounds the passenger with soothing “white noise”
The holistic passenger by RICK LUNDSTROM
Panasonic Avionics has enlisted partners for a line of solutions that give airlines the chance to make the cabin environment quieter, more attractive and even healthier through cuttingedge wellness-focused technologies
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n the world of commercial aviation, Panasonic Avionics has built its reputation around inflight entertainment products and the capability to bring high-speed Internet to every passenger in the cabin. As important as those services and capabilities are, there is a growing need among the company’s most important airline customers to not only keep their passengers occupied and entertained but also to make their journey as refreshing and healthy as possible. With
WE ARE PIONEERS OF PASSION. Climbing higher. Together. What have all our associates at our different sites always had in common? The boundless enthusiasm and passion for aviation. Even today, both can be felt already in all solutions and products developed by us for our customers. For mutual success. www.diehl.com/aviation
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Panasonic’s nanoe™ solution is found in automobiles and hotel rooms
airlines pushing the envelope with ultra-long-distance routes that can take a toll on any human body, no matter how healthy, that challenge is growing – and the people paying the fares know it. “It is more than being fed, hydrated and entertained,” says Andrew Mohr, Head of Innovation at Panasonic Avionics. Panasonic Corporation makes devices for dental care, blood pressure monitoring and air purification. Bringing some aspects of wellness technology to the aircraft cabin is a natural fit, Mohr explains. After enlisting the help of some innovative partners that have been monitoring the wellbeing of cabin crew and modifying ambient sound, Panasonic announced at last year’s APEX event in Boston the launch of Wellness, a passenger experience solution that addresses inflight health and comfort, as part of the company’s NEXT platform of airline services. Working with teams from Panasonic Corporation in Japan, Panasonic Avionics has developed a solution that includes Active Noise Control, Premium Seat Lighting and a process called ‘nanoe™’ that can fill the space around the passenger with low-voltage moisture to neutralize odor and zap viruses and bacteria. Many of Wellness’ features are the result of a consumer marketplace that is 30 | PAX TECH | MARCH/APRIL 2019
Screens like this could one day help passengers en route from London to Boston maintain a healthy balance and ease jet lag
becoming attuned to health issues and more comfortable with technology that monitor and warn of impending risks. At the massive Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held annually in Las Vegas there is now a dedicated Wellness Pavilion with the latest developments in wearable tech and other devices that aid in the monitoring and maintenance of health. Apps designed to help users meditate or sleep better such as Calm,
a relaxation aid, are becoming popular on the West Coast, and hardware from Fitbits to the Apple Watch are on the wrists of more and more consumers. Some of the solutions in the line such as Active Noise Control and Premium Seat Lighting are designed for the premium cabin. Active Noise Control is a well-known feature in high-end headsets, but the technology used in Wellness is designed to reduce noise
Visit us at AIX booth no 4B11
BoardConnect The IFEC platform for the digital journey Passengers have come to expect the anytime, anywhere availability of a broad range of entertainment options, comprehensive service, shopping opportunities and access to the Internet. BoardConnect makes flying with your airline a digital experience. Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim | info@LHsystems.com | www.LHsystems.com
without bulky hardware and minimize the ambient sound around the passenger by up to 15 decibels as they relax in their seat. The effect is achieved with the use of speakers and microphones, along with in-seat controls for background sound to create what Mohr says is a “calming white noise” that can reduce passenger fatigue. To do so, Panasonic worked with Mimi Hearing Technologies, a Berlin-based company specializing in high-quality audio that will also help Panasonic enhance the sound in its embedded and streaming entertainment. The Premium Seat Lighting component follows the flight through its transitions from day to night and changes as passengers sleep and wake. A range of accent lights can reduce eyestrain from reading and improve the presentation and appearance of a passenger’s meal through enhanced color saturation of the food. Both the lighting and the sound technology are designed for the premium cabin, and can be incorporated into products from any supplier. The power needed is provided to the cabin for other activities such as IFE and seat control. But where the entire cabin could see an improved experience is through the use of nanoe™ which is used in Japanese hotel rooms as well
The premium lighting solution in Panasonic’s Wellness selection of products
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as the interiors of Lexus, Land Rover and MINI Cooper automobiles. With the use of nanoe™, the cabin and the passenger seating areas are sprayed with bursts of billions of nano-sized electrostatic atomized water particles. “It captures elements in the air,” says Mohr. “Anything from elements that create odors to allergens and pathogens that may be out there, and surrounds them with ionized water. And that prevents them from creating an irritation or attaching to a human.” After the Wellness announcement in Boston last year, Mohr said interest was high among airline customers. Panasonic has secured launch customers for each of the features, which Mohr said could not be announced at the time of publication. Panasonic also sought expertise from a company that is seeking to improve the work life of airline crew to bring elements of its app to the airline passenger. Detalytics has been studying fatigue in pre- and post-flight and developing cabin crew management and resource optimization, and pilot and crew shift scheduling integration. It has also developed a “personal lifestyle analytics app” called 42 that can supply data on sleep, physical activity and heart rate. Much of the information gleaned from the company’s research could one day
be deployed to help airline passengers eat better, rest better and combat the plague of long-distance travel: jet lag. With an IFE component that stores flight information and combines it with knowledge gained about the wellbeing of the passenger, Mohr said a system using “devices that understand what you are going through to travel” could advise passengers on meal selection and give them health recommendations such as cues when to move or advice on stretching. Some of that is taking place already in another form on one of Panasonic’s most important customers, Singapore Airlines. The airline has teamed with Canyon Ranch spas, using the airline’s IFE for health guidance. Mohr said the Wellness suite of solutions could best be thought of as less of an add-on or a feature and more of a way to round out a passenger’s flight experience. “Within the seat environment, we have got the entertainment,” he said. “How can that entertainment be tied into lighting and how does the lighting get tied into meal service to make the food more attractive? “They are not just bolt-ons to the seat, but really part of a holistic system that we try to tie into the overall experience, which includes the entertainment.”
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Can you hack it? At this year’s Passenger Technology Solutions event, teams of techies will feel the pressure to redefine the passenger experience – in real time, and in front of a real-life audience. PAX spoke with organizers and participants to get a feel for what this hackathon will hold by RACHEL DEBLING
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s a suffix, “-athon” carries extreme implications. Its mention brings to mind drawn-out, physically and mentally exhausting bouts of activity – events that only the best of the best can survive. It’s with that spirit in mind that the organizers of this year’s Passenger Technology Solutions implemented the first PAX TECH HACK, a live event that will pit teams of computer coding specialists against each other in a race to deliver innovative and, above all, realistic solutions for the onboard passenger experience. Though some might consider this a lofty goal – after all, how much can one accomplish in a mere 48 hours – Archana Sharma, Event Director for Passenger Technology Solutions, has high hopes for the inaugural edition of this high-tech spectator sport, a format that has gained popularity in recent years, notably in the inflight sector. (Ed’s note: Check out our July 2018 issue for coverage of Spafax’s recent hackathon.) “With new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and virtual reality (VR) transforming the way people travel, it’s important to bring professionals together that have the expertise to use the benefits of technology to improve the passenger experience,” she explains. “And, as airlines prepare to increase investment in IT by 3.67% as a percentage of their revenue, developing new software solutions that meet today’s and future industry challenges is essential.” This latest addition to the Passenger Experience Week event line-up will partner designers, marketers and developers from around the world for one purpose: to dream up new solutions to enhance the end-to-end passenger journey, according to Sharma. These developers will be given the opportunity to connect with big names in the passenger experience sphere, including representatives from airlines, airports and rail and cruise lines, to work collaboratively on ideas spanning the passenger experience spectrum – with the potential for endless possibilities. “Seamless, inter-connected journeys are key to staying competitive, and in order to keep up, fresh ideas and new digital solutions are key to improving the passenger experience,” Sharma predicts. When PAX Tech spoke to the organizers a month before the show, more than 70 developers and software engineers with travel industry experience had confirmed their participation. Over the course of 48 hours, these pros will design and develop practical programs with real-world applications to help airlines and airports build revenue through an improved travel experience. The winning team in each of the challenges – gauntlets thrown by the expert judging panel – will win glory, notoriety and a €5,000 purse. Visitors can watch the action up close and personal on the expo floor. The ticking time clock adds another layer of suspense to an already high-stakes competition: once the clock hits zero, Sharma says, the competitors will present their solutions to the judges and wait with baited breath for the announcement of the winners. Pedestrian ideas need not apply – only the most inventive will be rewarded. In true marathon fashion, PAX TECH HACK participants are encouraged to work the full 48 hours they are allotted, including through the night. “Attendees at PTS are invited to join the teams in the PTS Seminar Theatre where they will each present their final concepts to our panel of industry experts and challenge-setters,” says Sharma. “The panel will then be tasked
We’re confident that this event will continue to grow in line with the changes we’re seeing across the industry.” – ARCHANA SHARMA, EVENT DIRECTOR FOR PASSENGER TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS
with selecting the team that has created the most innovative and disruptive software solution, crowning them as PAX TECH HACK champions for 2019.” (At press time, specifics surrounding the challenges were under wraps. Participants will be filled in on the details prior to the event in April.) Cash prizes aside, PAX TECH HACK offers participants networking opportunities they can’t find anywhere else. More than 180 airline operators from around the world will be on hand to witness the event, and competitors will receive invaluable mentorship from the judges who will impart their knowledge of the challenges facing the industry and, in turn, help the engineers better shape their ideas into products and programs with true-to-life air travel implications. In addition, these problem-solvers will be given access to all events at Passenger Experience Week – Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, naturally, Passenger Technology Solutions – entry that will put them in touch with influential personalities and organizations across the industry, Sharma says. Passenger Technology Solutions, now in its second year, addresses the digital transformation of the travel sector, she continues. “Technology is enabling operators to deliver a connected, seamless journey. It enhances personalization and is putting passengers in control of their own adventure.” This growing link was what inspired organizers to move PTS from Hamburg Messe’s A Halls to the B4 Upper Hall, bringing it closer to the In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Zone at AIX. “We’re confident that this event will continue to grow in line with the changes we’re seeing across the industry,” Sharma states. Passenger Technology Solutions will be held April 2 to 4 in Hamburg, Germany, as part of Passenger Experience Week.
PAX TECH | 35
Talking shop We spoke with Ismail Shuaau, a developer at Cyprea Private Limited and a competitor in April’s PAX TECH HACK, to gain a better understand as to what attendees can expect PAX Tech: Why did you decide to enter PAX TECH HACK? Ismail Shuaau: I wanted to take part in the PAX TECH HACK as an opportunity to network and meet like-minded and energetic developers, designers, engineers and marketers. I’m not representing anyone, so I’m aiming to build a team at the event. PAX: Have you ever attended Passenger Experience Week before? Is aviation and inflight services of interest to you, or do you consider the competition the main draw? Shuaau: This will be my first visit to Germany, so I’m really excited to attend Passenger Experience Week and see Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). I work as a developer at Cyprea Private Limited and our travel department works with several airlines, so this is the perfect opportunity to use my skills as a developer alongside my knowledge of the passenger technology industry. PAX: Have you participated in a hackathon before? Shuaau: My first experience of a hackathon was in 2018, which I entered alongside 50 other participants. I was the leader of a team of three people and our prototype was awarded second place. I’ve also won second place with a team at another hackathon for a sea transport management system app. This time, I’m hoping to secure first place for our solution!
Shuaau: I’ve learned from previous hackathons that it pays to understand what competitors are doing in order to generate ideas and improve what you’re working on, in order to beat the other teams. PAX: What will you do with the prize money if you find yourself victorious? Shuaau: I’d really like to use the money to develop a start-up company, potentially based on what we develop during PAX TECH HACK. PAX: What advice would you give others who are considering entering a hackathon? Shuaau: Go for it – you’ll find opportunities to meet other industry professionals and learn from them. Once you’re at the hackathon, my best advice is to sleep well, even if you have limited time, because you’ll be more creative and productive when you’re rested!
PAX: Do you have any idea as to what you will be tackling before the event? Shuaau: We don’t know the challenges beforehand, but I know they will be interesting, considering the caliber of those attending PTS. Once we know what we’re facing, I’ll brainstorm ideas initially and then discuss with the team. Communication is the key to success. PAX: Will your M.O. during the competition be to keep your nose down and stick to your work or will you try to anticipate what your competitors are doing, to keep ahead of them?
This is the perfect opportunity to use my skills as a developer alongside my knowledge of the passenger technology industry.”
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A window to a lighter way
H a m b ur g in IX A t a M e et u s 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4, 2019 from April th 5D60 o Hall B5, Bo Combined Monuments
Front Row Monuments
Aircraft Interior Solutions
Airlines still focus on weight when considering all aspects of cabin products. However, companies that make seating cushions and dress covers consider the passenger their customer as well by RICK LUNDSTROM
Collins Aerospace’s Aspire Economy Class seat has a unique pan construction designed for passenger comfort
t the end of November of last year, executives from Recaro Aircraft Seating traveled to Świebodzin, Poland, to cut a ribbon on its newly opened dress cover production center and call attention to what the company called “a decisive interface with the passenger.” While executives stressed that it will still use subcontractors for the work, the company’s new operation, called cut2dress, will focus on visual quality and craftsmanship while shortening supply chain and lead times for its airline customers. While the move was a practical one, the company’s transition into dress cover production is also one of the most important aspects of seat production – the place where the passenger feels an airline’s attention to comfort for the duration of their flight. Across the cushion and dress cover manufacturing industry, companies are developing new materials and designs that closely follow what they see in other parts of consumer life. Memory foam found in bedding is being modified and imitated to make a similar product that is lighter and better suited for the aircraft cabin, and the look and feel of residential and automotive products are being incorporated into seating design. And the ever-present, ever-advancing technologies and detailed stitching features give a modern look that could not have been possible in recent past. “Typically, an airline will manage the aesthetics through their brand colors and ambiance they would like to provide in the cabin,” said Mary Lombardo, Innovation and Technology Leader, Interiors for Collins Aerospace. “The seat cover material selection, cover design and color scheme are critical to differentiating the airline cabin and delivering the brand experience.”
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Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) got into the seating business with its purchase of B/E Aerospace in 2016, bringing the Florida manufacturer’s expertise and experience along with it. It is now involved heavily in innovating products like its Aspire seating for Economy Class passenger comfort. One of its most notable design elements, says Lombardo, is a seating pan construction that complements traditional seating foam and allows the cushion to conform to a passenger’s body as they move. Thus, critical pressure points that arise from extended sitting periods are reduced, making the product suitable for long-haul seating configurations. “A poor cushion will ruin a comfortable seat, but a good cushion will only go so far to improve an uncomfortable seat,” Lombardo points out. To square the circle on passenger comfort, she says Collins considers the elements around the passenger as important as the seat cushion, including
Ribbon cutting at Recaro’s cut2dress operation. L to R: Bartosz Masny, Director Operations, Recaro Poland; Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder, Recaro Aircraft Seating; Rafał Milczarski, CEO, LOT Polish Airlines; Joachim Ley, Executive Vice President Supply Chain, Recaro; Thomas Keller, General Manager, Recaro Poland
Pitch Aircraft Seating’s expanded polypropylene structural cushion
aesthetics, leg room, optional foot rests, seatback equipment options, lighting, airflow and seat comfort. Nowhere is seat comfort put more to the test than in short-haul Economy Class on low-cost carriers. Tighter pitches and fixed back seating are commonly used to maximize space in the cabin and help turn the revenue needed to making the operation viable. As a result, it is one of the areas where seating companies are doing a significant segment of the experimentation. The PF3000 fixed-back seat from Pitch Aircraft Seating has been used on flights of up to five hours, but the trips are typically shorter. The fixed-back and slim design of the PF3000 was recently featured on a BBC program called Rip Off Britain. But instead of the usual tale of passengers being forced to endure tighter pitches, company officials were able make the point that while cabins may be getting crowded, Pitch built the PF3000 with a slim design that allows three more inches of legroom over a traditional seat at the same pitch. And while there is no way to move the seatback, the fixed recline can provide a relaxed position through ergonomically shaped cushions for enhanced comfort. While developing a comfortable seat for this segment of the industry, Pitch Aircraft had the additional challenge of growing and establishing itself in the crowded market. “Once you get the product out there and have the launch customer, you still have to keep climbing that mountain,” said Gary Doy, Director at Pitch Aircraft Seating. The next step for the company will be developing a recline seat, a process that is pegged for the near future.
To achieve the comfort required – even for short-haul, low-cost operations – Pitch Aircraft has a patented structural foam cushions made of expanded polypropylene (EPP). The material is used for energy absorption in car bumpers. “We also use [its] energy-absorbing properties to reduce the impact felt by passengers from the person behind [them] stowing their laptop or kicking the seat,” said Doy. The company combines a fire-rated version of EPP with long-lasting polyurethane foam for comfort and laminated dress covers to create sharp visuals. While materials and construction are important elements, there are other, more subtle ways to convey a message of comfort to the passenger, says Doy. The slightly curved look of the fixed-back seat gives it a visual softness. This pleasant appearance, says Doy, provides an airline with a branding opportunity “that makes you think ‘all right, that is going to be comfortable.’”
Foam and fabric
While every passenger would certainly enjoy the feel and comfort of the memory foam found in modern bedding and pillows while on board, being able to include it in an aircraft cabin requires some modification. The industry is evolving and changing relatively quickly as the flying public becomes much more savvy, much more vocal from a social media standpoint and much more demanding of comfort, says James Barrett, Vice President of Aerofoam Industries. To answer the demand, Aerofoam developed a graphitefilled product approximately a year ago. Since then, the www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 39
To make the qualities of memory foam work in the aircraft cabin, Aerofoam made two versions which incorporated more lightweight graphite
foam has gone through some revisions to increase its tensile and tear strength while lowering the density, giving it a highly resilient feel. It has been flying with major carriers in Europe and the United States for the past six months. Aerofoam has developed two graphite-filled memory foam products specifically for the airline industry. The two grades of memory foam, one firm and one soft, both come in at less than three pounds per cubic foot, which Barrett says makes them suitable for Economy Class – even if the products are used in both seat bottoms and backs. Aerofoam has also developed some specialty laminate foam that can be used in its production of dress covers. The foam is bonded as the middle layer in a seating “sandwich” between a backing material and the decorative fabric. With the new foam’s increased tensile and tear strength, Barrett said Aerofoam can develop a product similar to automobile seating in terms of strength and length of use. Aerofoam produces full dress covers from two plants in southern California. Barrett said he’s seeing a “big push into the synthetic materials.” “Most of the synthetics are laminated. You see a lot of decorative stitch now. And then you see layers where textures come into play,” he adds. While synthetic materials are reshaping the look and feel of seating, Austrian company Boxmark Leather recently worked with partners to produce an award-winning product combin40 | PAX TECH | MARCH/APRIL 2019
Lantal’s new TEC-Leather product features the tinted grays now popular in aircraft cabins
ing Boxmark’s natural leather with a lightweight seat cushion. The 2017 Crystal Cabin Award-winning seat featured Vanema’s lightweight foam Octaspring technology and Boxmark’s leather interiors. The seat used 30% less material and reduced the seat cushion’s weight by 32%. Octaspring cushions are made from foam and move in three dimensions, acting much like memory foam by cutting back on pressure points, evenly distributing body weight and improving seat ergonomics. Boxmark worked with seat maker STELIA on the design. Rupert Gollner, Business Leader of Boxmark’s Air/ Rail/Sea Divisions, said the diamond-stitching pattern used in the prototype is borrowed from the automotive industry and is an increasing desire of its airline customers. Soft-touch armrests in all classes are also becoming an important feature in new seating designs. Boxmark showed the design to visitors at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East expo in Dubai. The company combined the leather with seating and sewing techniques, along with special effects, to create what Gollner says is a look that resembles some of the company’s work found in hotels. In addition to showing the possibilities of outfitting cabins with a leather product, Gollner says he spends considerable time selling the material as an economical choice, despite its perceived image of exclusivity. The company carries out nearly every aspect of development, from tanning the leather to the finished product, in addition to upholstery, giving customers a single-source cost advantage. “Leather is not expensive if you compare it to artificial materials. We can create a more expensive feel, but that does not mean the seat cover is expensive,” Gollner says.
Lantal expands portfolio
At the beginning of 2018, Swiss company Lantal expanded its portfolio of available products with its purchase of Airline
Services Interiors, building on growth that began with several other moves taking place over the past two years. With the 2016 integration of the German company Aircraft Cabin Components and the acquisition of a cut and sew subsidiary in Kraslice, Czech Republic, Lantal has transformed from a company that produced yards of fabric to a source for ready-made seat covers, headrests, fire blockers, literature pockets and many other cut-and-sew parts. The company is also developing new products. Last year, it introduced TEC-Leather to the industry. Like the company’s line of fabrics, TEC-Leather is designed to undergo the rigors of airline cabins filled to capacity and withstand the effects of the residue that remains when passengers have left. “This enormous growth in passenger numbers also increases the need for hygienic interiors as well as simple and quick maintenance of aircraft cabins,” says Ermira Fetahu, who is in charge of brand communication at Lantal. The TEC-Leather product is made to be resistant to stains, fluids and alcohol. In addition to practical products, Lantal keeps its ear to the ground when it comes to aesthetic changes taking place in the industry. Fetahu says the blues often used in cabins have given way to subtle, tinted
grays with micro-patterns, 3D optics and residential and automotive looks. Lantal regularly publishes a “trendletter” and produces a yearly conceptual forecast. A stop by the company’s stand in Hamburg this April will give visitors a clear understanding of three design-trending themes: “Genuine Matter,” “Transcendent Reality” and “Fairytale.” The diamond stitching of the STELIA seat was done at Boxmark facilities in Austria
The Crystal Cabin Award-winning seat from STELIA that boasts Boxmark Leather as part of the construction
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20 years strong
Polly Magraw, Event Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo, takes a walk down memory lane with PAX Tech on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the industry’s biggest event
PAX International: How has AIX grown since it first began 20 years ago? Polly Magraw: In 2000, Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) opened its doors for the first time to 77 exhibitors. This year, more than 500 exhibitors will descend on our event, which proudly sits at the heart of the aviation industry. We’re expecting more than 1,200 airline buyers from the likes of British Airways, Etihad Airways and United Airlines, as well as more than 14,000 aviation decisionmakers, to join us from April 2 to 4 for the 20th anniversary of the show. PAX: What are the advantages of Hamburg as an aviation expo location? Magraw: The Hamburg Messe has been home to AIX for 19 years, providing a space for airlines and the supply chain to source the latest product innovations, technologies and services to the enhance passenger experience. As we’ve evolved and added co-located events, such as Passenger Experience Conference (PEC),
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Since its inaugural event in 2000, the aviation industry has evolved beyond expectations, and with it, the show has adapted and grown to showcase the best of the entire passenger experience profession.” Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), Hamburg Messe has been able to adapt to our changing needs and ever-growing numbers. There is no better backdrop to showcase the latest innovative cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail offerings and software technology than Hamburg – recognized as one of the world’s most important locations for the civil aviation industry. PAX: Can you share with us the names of some of the companies that have been with AIX Hamburg since the beginning? How has AIX managed to work so closely with them over the years? Magraw: At our 20th anniversary show we’ll be welcoming back 20 exhibitors who have been at AIX every year since 2000; some have merged or re-branded, but there are some recognizable names including Andrew Muirhead, Botany Weaving and Belgraver. Over the years, connections made at AIX have helped airlines streamline the passenger journey and enhance their cabins with better lighting, improved communications and innovative equipment. The opportunity to network and re-connect with buyers from across the world means that AIX has become an unmissable event for the industry, and explains why so many return to us year-on-year. PAX: Are there members of your organizing team that have been with you since the beginning? Magraw: Daniel Kazimierczak, [Reed Exhibition’s] Head of Sales, hasn’t always worked with AIX, but has attended every
show in various positions within the aviation industry. He has played his part in its expansion and development, and was also instrumental in the launch of the colocated event, WTCE. Daniel is delighted to see AIX reach its 20th anniversary, and he still regularly meets with many of the original exhibitors that participated at the very first show and reminisces about some of the post-show entertainment! PAX: What do you think are the biggest differences between the event in its early years and how it has evolved into the leading event it is today? Magraw: Since its inaugural event in 2000, the aviation industry has evolved beyond expectations, and with it, the show has adapted and grown to showcase the best of the entire passenger experience profession. The aviation industry continues to undergo a transformation, driven by passenger expectations and new technological innovations, so we expect to see this reflected at AIX this year. Catering to a demand for new onboard technology, we launched the In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) Zone in 2005, enabling airlines to source cutting-edge solutions for their fleets. PAX: What are some of the special events that AIX Hamburg is launching this year as part of the anniversary celebrations? Magraw: We’ve just launched our Pax Week Views podcast, a new source of insight from Passenger Experience Week. The first episode of the series features guest host Murdo Morrison of FlightGlobal and special guests Blake Emery and PJ Wilcynski of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Their fascinating discussion focuses on the future of cabin interiors and the 20th anniversary of AIX, so is not to be missed – you can listen on our website, our app or any podcast streaming site, and we’ll be releasing more in the coming weeks. We’re also very excited for this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards hosted during AIX, which has had more entries than ever before and will be a real celebration of the best the aviation industry has to offer.
of high-caliber speakers and a highlight will be the Airbus BizLab session “Future of flight: It is not only a question of technology!” moderated by Rey Buckman, Airbus BizLab Campus Leader in Hamburg. He will bring together experts from different backgrounds with a focus on innovation in aircraft interiors. The panel will look at the global macro trends shaping the future of aircraftbased mobility, and how factors like demographic and economic growth, tourism trends, oil prices and development of new and existing routes impact the air transport industry. PAX: What are some of the things you envision for AIX Hamburg over the course of the next 20 years? How do you want the event to grow and what sort of areas do you see the event expanding into? Magraw: Since the inaugural event, aviation has evolved immeasurably, thanks to a new generation of upwardly mobile global travelers with higher expectations of the passenger experience. Research from our official supporting organization, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), revealed ancillary revenue streams equate to 10% of all airline revenue in 2017, so we expect to see this area grow. As a result, AIX and in turn Passenger Experience Week will continue to adapt its offering to suit the market. Our decision to draw all four events under one name reflects the industry’s move to create a seamless, connected, end-to-end passenger experience, and no doubt we will see more of that in the future. We look forward to welcoming the best of the industry to AIX – to register to attend and save €50, visit www.aircraftinteriorsexpo. com/registration/
PAX: Who do you have confirmed so far as speakers or presenters at the event? Magraw: Our CabinSpace LIVE seminar theatre has a jam-packed program
Aviation has has evolved immeasurably, thanks to a new generation of upwardly mobile global travelers with higher expectations of the passenger experience.” www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 43
At your service UK engineering specialist Semmco aims to offer personal service, fast response times and products to suit different markets by MARY JANE PITTILLA
emmco, a UK engineering company that designs, manufactures and installs ground support equipment and aviation access platforms, has unveiled its plans for expansion beyond the buoyant Middle East market. Speaking with PAX Tech at the MRO Middle East 2019 show in Dubai in February, Ben Hoyle, Business Development Manager for the Middle East, Asia and Australasia at Semmco, was keen to highlight the two types of products offered by the company: locally manufactured items and higher-priced products that are manufactured in the UK. Responding to customer requirements in the Middle East region, Semmco has developed local manufacturing capability and a range of products that suit the market. Examples include the oxygen and nitrogen SMART Trolleys, which are lower-cost versions of the digital trolleys that are manufactured in the UK. As Hoyle explains: “It’s about adapting your product line to the market you’re operating in and listening to what the customers want and servicing that.” Hoyle is based in the company’s Dubai office in order to serve the growing client list in the region. “We listened to what our customers expected from us and decided to open a permanent
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Semmco’s Oxygen SMART Trolley
representative office here three years ago. I’m based here permanently looking after customers in the region. This means we can react quicker to issues or our customers’ requirements. We can also keep equipment here in stock so we can service the customer quicker. This saves on lead times and shipping costs compared to shipping products from the UK.” One of Semmco’s biggest customers in the Middle East is flydubai, which has bought equipment manufactured locally, such as nitrogen trolleys and wheel and brake change trailers. The client roster also includes other major players like Emirates, Etihad, Oman Air and Gulf Air. Now, the company is turning its attention further afield. “There are some exciting opportunities outside the Middle East,” he says, citing North Africa, India and the rest of Asia, New Zealand and Australia. “We’re looking to extend our presence in those countries and regions and broaden our customer base.” Semmco recently set up an office in the U.S., in Darlington, Texas, where the company also has its own local manufacturing facility. “Now we’ve got a global presence, which is really important for us,” he says. Over the next five years, the goal is primarily expansion, while continuing to
Semmco’s new SMART Charge and SMART Check digital tire inflators
develop products that satisfy customer requirements. “We make sure we keep up with the demand for modern technology and how the aviation industry is developing. For instance, we have a digital range of products – digital nitrogen trolleys, digital tire inflators and digital check gauges. It’s about developing products that people want. They want products that are accurate, easy to use and technologically advanced.” Hoyle reports good results so far for Semmco’s digital products. “We strive to offer solutions to problems that make engineers’ lives safer and easier. We offer good-quality solutions. It’s not about being the cheapest – we want to maintain our quality and the engineering aspect at value prices.”
SOME OF SEMMCO’S PRODUCTS INCLUDE: Nitrogen SMART Trolley
Semmco’s Nitrogen SMART Trolley has a lightweight, compact design that can carry up to three nitrogen cylinders, allowing them to sit at a 90-degree angle. The safe, quick and easy loading and unloading cylinder cradle system reduces manual handling risks associated with movement of cylinders from a vertical to horizontal transportation position. The ergonomically positioned control panel is easy to operate with clear color code markings for low-pressure inflation of aircraft tires and high pressure for strut or accumulator inflation. The panel is solar powered but also has a main charging point for backup if required. An Oxygen SMART Trolley is also available. Both trolleys can be supplied on a transport pack/pallet, for easy shipping and quick assembly.
SMART Charge and SMART Check digital tire inflator/checkers
Head torches burn battery power fast, which can be costly and cause frequent interruptions to the worker. Semmco’s
solution eliminates the need to wear a head torch, with instant easily visible results for the engineer, which stay on screen for 30 seconds to allow data recording. The SMART Charge and SMART Check are Semmco’s latest digital innovations in tire inflation and pressure checking. The easy-to-use, robust units give digital readings, with a calibrated accuracy of +/-2psi and feature a battery-powered backlight for use at night, making the process quicker, easier and more accurate.
High-Pressure Nitrogen Portable Charging/Walk-Around Kit
This charging kit is designed to provide a quick and simple method of topping up aircraft door systems and tires. The high-pressure nitrogen charging kit is lightweight and can be easily handled by one person and is housed in a robust, showerproof carrying bag with a double zip that allows easy access and visibility to the cylinder content gauge, regulator and fill pressure gauge. A low-pressure kit is also available for topping up low-pressure requirements (for example, aircraft tires).
easyJet is one of Semmco’s many airline clients
Ben Hoyle manning the Semmco booth at MRO Middle East 2019
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digEcor showcased its product line-up and new Burrana branding with CEO David Withers (right)
The toast of Dubai The 2019 AIME and MRO Middle East expos brought together hundreds of companies and thousands of attendees to share one purpose: highlighting the latest and greatest the region has to offer by RACHEL DEBLING on location in Dubai Starling Aerospace showcased its new VIP Track and Swivel seat at AIME
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Turbine Services & Solutions Aerospace displayed a scale model made out of tiny bricks
And when it comes to the men and women who steer the aircraft, fatigue can cause costly delays, mistakes — or worse. The majority of airlines focus on the luxury aspect of the journey, while many of their passengers consider their flight simply a way to get from point A to point B, said Bicqué. Understanding the health risks surrounding increasingly long flights and the ways in which crew can manage their health while on the job can go a long way in creating a better passenger experience from gate to gate. Detalytics’ work extends far beyond preventing jet lag and sleep deprivation, though both are very important symptoms of air travel. Bicqué explained that the company’s founder, Dr. Florence Jennings, developed algorithms to predict when people are most likely to fall into a depressive state, and after some consideration she recognized the valuable applications this data would have for the airline industry. Some of the information is gathered from wearable tech; others from partnerships with airport security and biometrics hardware providers. More information on their offerings and philosophies can be found on the Detalytics website at detalytics.com. Another first-day debate centered around the use of live TV in flight and its cost, both from an budget perspective and from a capacity point of view. Rachelle Peterson, Global Commercial Distribution Director for Turner Inflight Services, noted that her company is seeing growth in inflight live TV each year, and even smaller airlines are getting in on the action. Looking at the cost of the service, Peterson said sports
ubai World Trade Centre, UAE: Despite an unexpected bout of rain — a surprise for those not native to the desert climate, not the residents who recognized the value of a pocket umbrella — the two days that AIME and MRO Middle East descended upon the Dubai World Trade Centre were full of discussions, announcements and above all, the palpable energy that the events have come to be recognized for. Between February 11 and 12, over 5,000 attendees walked the show halls and took in the sights and sounds. From robots that could carry a conversation while taking a keepsake photo (printed on the spot, nonetheless) to a massive scale model of the Dubai South Aviation District, there was more than enough to occupy any aviation buff ’s time and hold their attention.
Intimate forums, big topics
Lively panel discussions, held at the Inflight Middle East Pavilion, covered topics that ranged from how to create a more sustainable inflight experience, down to the disposal and recycling of products that comprise seating and IFE systems, to ways in which a more collaborative design process can benefit suppliers and airlines alike. On the first day of sessions, Alain Bicqué, CEO of Detalytics, a company that specializes in purpose-driven human data analytics, spoke to the need for a greater understanding of the impact ultra-long-haul flights have on passengers and crew. Aviation regulations surrounding the sleep needs of airline crew are based on averages, he pointed out, and therefore not applicable to everyone. Whether a passenger is traveling for business or a pilot is preparing to fly a 787, “you can’t make good decisions if you are sleep-deprived,” Bicqué noted.
Lufthansa’s affable robot was by far the most popular guy in the room
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EVENTS Innovation was the topic du jour during the second day’s final panel, and the participants were eager to share their experiences and pearls of wisdom on how to best spur ideas. Jags Burhm, Senior Vice President Global Aero Mobility at Eutelsat, waxed poetic about breeding creativity. “Innovation comes from emotional space and freedom,” he said, noting that though the sentiment may sound fluffy, it’s based on tangible proof. And the commercial airline industry has a leg up on many innovation-rich industries such as medical and military since, by comparison, it can be considered “easier” — the risks often aren’t as high. To cultivate outstanding concepts, mentorship and coaching is a necessity, Burhm said. “People in sports have a coach throughout their whole career — why don’t we have that in business?” Every dollar invested in employees is returned multiple times over, he insisted. David Withers, CEO of Burrana (formerly digEcor, which
The Business France team kept busy at the French Pavilion
channels are always going to have a higher price tag, the same as customers would expect on land when compared to news channels such as CNN. To offset costs, Nigel Rhodes, Gogo’s Vice President Sales Europe Middle East and Africa, suggested that a pay-per-view model for certain events or programs might help absorb some of the expenses associated with the sometimes pricey IFE option. Other panelists, such as Axinom’s Oleg Knut, pointed out that airline-specific and passenger-specific advertising could be an option. “This is where the market is going — to get a more personalized experience to each passenger,” he reiterated. Kevin Greene and Rachel Debling repped the PAX Tech team on the Dubai show floor
The Inflight Middle East panel on connectivity drew a crowd
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Visitors took in a model of a 787 VIP interior design at Lufthansa Technik’s booth
debuted its new branding in-person at its expo stand), also emphasized the importance of a characteristic of any good relationship: the ability to listen. “Innovation for us is very much about listening to [our] customers,” he said. Airlines generally have a good idea of the product they want to create — they look to their partners to build that solution for them.
Hear ye, hear ye
As can be expected, the AIME and MRO Middle East show floor was the stage for two days of signings, announcements and launches from international interiors and MRO companies bent on making a splash in the Middle East market. Some companies, such as Starling Aerospace Interiors, were on hand to push their latest wares. For Starling, it was their latest generation VIP track and swivel seat. Other points of discussion for visitors to the company’s stand included a large aqua transfer tank allowing large scale aircraft interior components to be covered in one dip, a four-axis machining center for aluminum seating components, a five-axis CNC router for 3D composite structures and a Gerber automated CNC leather and fabric cutter. Many deals were signed live over the course of the two-day show, with Etihad Airways Engineering racking up much of the hype, including a collaboration agreement with Argentina’s main aircraft manufacturer, Fabrica Argentina de Aviones. 50 | PAX TECH | MARCH/APRIL 2019
On the signing, Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways Engineering, said: “Etihad Airways Engineering has built a strong customer base in Latin America, having carried out heavy maintenance work on a range of aircraft types from Airbus A330 to Boeing 767, 777 and the 787 Dreamliner for customers in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia.” Etihad noted the agreement will allow the companies to leverage their strengths in an effort to become significant players in South America’s narrow-body aircraft maintenance market. Another of Etihad’s newly announced partnerships is with a company that seemed to forge deal after deal over the course of the show. Extending a working relationship that has spanned more than 25 years, Satair and Etihad signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering supply chain solutions to ensure worldwide parts availability for select aircraft parts. “We are delighted to engage even further with Etihad Airways Engineering and we look forward to putting Satair’s forecasting and planning capabilities into play and exploring the many opportunities that lie in this forthcoming partnership,” Terry Stone, Managing Director and Head of Sales and Support EMEA for Satair, said of the MoU. Honeywell Aerospace and Satair also gathered journalists and inquiring minds for a briefing on their intentions to bring JetWave to the business jet market. The companies
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EVENTS announced that JetWave inflight high-speed connectivity will be distributed to the EMEA and India-based Honeywell Dealers by Satair. This is in addition to Part 145 MRO and repair facilities not part of the Honeywell network that will undertake installation work. “We are delighted that Honeywell continues to trust Satair to deliver great service to the business and general aviation market,” said Allan Riis, Business Development Director at Satair. “We now have dedicated Single Point of Contact (SPOC) order desks for JetWave and other business aviation products and we see JetWave as part of a continuous journey by Satair into the important business and general aviation market.” Another MoU was signed between Magnetic MRO and First Premium for Support Services (FPSS), a Saudi MRO company, on February 11 covering joint EASA-compliant MRO operations in Saudi Arabia and the surrounding region. Risto Mäeots, CEO of Magnetic MRO, said in a statement following the signing: “Magnetic MRO is delighted to join hands with the honorable Sheikh Ghassan Attar, the owner and CEO of First Premium for Support Services, to develop a wide range of high-quality level aircraft maintenance services in Saudi Arabia and across the region.” The deal, he added, will also help support the region’s aviation industry, part of Magnetic MRO’s vision.
Promoting French industry
Business France returned for the eighth time to the show floor with renewed vigor in 2019, and judging from the bustle around the organization’s branded area and the smiles on the exhibitors’ faces, the French Pavilion was a smashing success. Headsets were just one of the many topics of discussion on the expo floor
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More than 20 exhibitors took part in the pavilion, intent on highlighting the aerospace industry in France, where more than 85% of the industry’s activity is in exports. According to Business France, the country is already the third largest aerospace provider to the United Arab Emirates. In a pre-show statement, Samantha Douarin, Aerospace Project Manager at Business France, spoke of the country’s prominence in the industry. “France has a strong reputation when it comes to aircraft interiors and aerospace maintenance,” she said. “French specialists are able to supply products and services perfectly suited to the needs of airlines and MRO centers.” Companies such as ADHETEC, LATECOERE, Aerobay, Dedienne Aerospace and Mapaero took pride in showing passersby their offerings and taking meetings with potential customers. Representatives from ADHETEC, GMI Aero and Dedienne expressed their satisfaction with how the pavilion was organized, and spokespeople from Business France are looking forward to returning to Dubai in 2020 for the organization’s ninth appearance. The turnout and exhibitor reaction to the show was, all in all, positive. “The 2019 edition of the show has been incredible,” said Caryn McConnachie, Aerospace Director of show organizers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East, in a post-show press release. “We’ve seen a real growth in the interest from exhibitors and the quality of the visitors, and the amount of business done demonstrates that there is a real demand in the market for these kind of focused events.” AIME and MRO Middle East will return to Dubai World Trade Centre February 25 and 26, 2020. For more information, visit aime.aero or mromiddleeast.aviationweek.com.
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FACTS & FIGURES
Airbus by the numbers A look at the stats surrounding the aircraft manufacturer’s international activity
100 to 600 The range of seats offered on aircraft in Airbus’ catalog
AN AIRBUS AIRCRAFT takes off or lands somewhere in the world every 1.4 seconds
Airbus employs 130,000 people at nearly 180 international locations
square meters The size of the Airbus Maintenance Training Centre Europe in Hamburg, Germany, occupying two floors
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In January 2019, Airbus completed this number of aircraft deliveries for 27 customers. As of January 31, 2019, 7,525 aircraft aircraft remained in the company’s backlog
Hamburg Aviation is home to four final assembly lines for the A320 family: A318, A319, A320 and A321
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The average price of an A380 aircraft in 2018, the most expensive in its catalog, as per statista.com
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