PAX Tech AIX Hamburg 2020

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APRIL 2020 |



MRO, Interiors & IFEC

seat TO THE future

Charging Into The Future

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

PUBLISHER Aijaz Khan E-mail:

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: Jane Hobson, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: Sabrina Pirillo, Associate Editor tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x34 E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla Jeremy Clark

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ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail:

Cracking down on coronavirus R

umors and speculation of the spreading coronavirus swirled like the fine sand that blew around outside the Dubai World Trade Centre among visitors to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and MRO Middle East. In some of the moments of idle talk, people at the stands were crossing their fingers that the largest and most important event in the aircraft interiors sector of commercial aviation would not go the way of the Mobile World Congress Exposition earlier this year in Barcelona. There, news of the spreading virus caused potential attendees to abruptly change their plans after the cancellation of a huge yearly event. But organizers and members in commercial aviation seemed to be on top of the problem and not as prone to panic. Before I left Dubai, organizers of the Aircraft Interiors and the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expos released a statement of their desire to continue with the expos and issued a detailed plan to deal with the virus outbreak to make this year’s Passenger Experience Week rewarding, and, more importantly, safe for the thousands who plan to gather again in Hamburg.

Others were even further ahead. In a story by our Editor, Jane Hobson, which ran on the PAX website two weeks before I left for Dubai, she learned of plans and advice from the Airline Passenger Experience Association and adjustments by airline caterers to control the spread of the coronavirus through best practices and caution. In this issue, we learn that cabin cleaning product suppliers are also working with their airline customers to keep cabins as safe and as welcoming as can be through a trying period. It’s all a serious and no-nonsense effort. In other circles, particularly political ones, we sadly see people we rely on for leadership jockeying for advantage and attempting to score points in what should be a time when the world is united against one common enemy. This is all being written weeks before the industry gathers in Hamburg. So, once this issue of PAX Tech reaches the aisles at the Hamburg Messe there will no doubt be new developments and new challenges. But at this point it looks from here that the suppliers that care about their airline customers, and the airlines that care about their passengers, are moving ahead, together toward a common goal.

PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times a year (February, March/ April, May, June, July, September, October, December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. July 2019. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX Tech

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






NO COMPROMISE Air Canada’s first A220-300 took to the air in January representing a pick that lets the airline spend billions of dollars in its home country, and fills a specific need while earning kudos for sustainability


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OVEN-READY SOLUTIONS PAX Tech highlights the latest product developments and trends in the increasingly tech-led galley systems sector FRESH IN FLIGHT From the coronavirus outbreak to long-haul flights, PAX Tech uncovers the latest in cabin hygiene directly from industry suppliers LIGHT YEARS AHEAD Leading suppliers are making the case for the transformative power of lighting at AIX Hamburg




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APRIL 2020 |


MRO, Interiors & IFEC


seat TO THE future

ON THE COVER: Read about TSI Seats’ Royalux featuring in Airbus BFE Product Catalogue on page 8, with a full seating report on page 44.


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PORTABLE POWERHOUSE Producers of portable IFE need more than a rugged, reliable product and Astronics has sought to feed the all-important needs of airlines for a cost-effective nimble design in its award-winning Sierra solution DECADE THREE Lufthansa Systems grew and matured during the early years of the digital revolution. Now at 25, the company is setting its sights on making solutions simple and valuable for the passenger A MODULAR FUTURE Two years of work by industry experts to develop standards for inflight connectivity will be introduced to the industry for the first time in Hamburg this year



SEATING AT THE SEAMS PAX Tech gets the inside scoop from experts at Acro Aircraft Seating, HAECO, Aviointeriors and Geven on the biggest seating contracts from last year and what is expected in the year ahead




BEEFING UP CONTENT The at-home experience airlines crave to give to the passenger can be found in the popular content and IFE technology introduced by JetBlue late last year


AIRCRAFT INTERIORS IN A DIGITAL WORLD Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Aircraft Interiors Expo. In this Q&A, Event Director Polly Magraw tells PAX Tech how the digital transformation at the heart of the industry is revolutionizing the passenger experience towards a customer-centric, personalized cabin interior EYE ON IFEC This year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East teamed IFE and connectivity with maintenance, repair and overhaul in a two-day event at the Dubai World Trade Centre


SIT DOWN FOR THIS Have a seat in Vector Light at AIX Hamburg Stand 5D10 | ©2020 HAECO Americas



ABC updates Aer Lingus interiors ABC International announced its first collaboration with Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus. The company worked with the airline to refresh interiors on its A330s and A321neos, including an updated shamrock logo. The project began in 2019 as part of Aer Lingus’ development strategy. After ABC International refreshed cabin interiors on the carrier’s A330 long-haul routes, Aer Lingus extended the branding to its A321neo fleet with a different sized shamrock designed and manufactured by the cabin branding specialist. The designer translated the new shamrock brand image into an airworthy product compliant with the aviation environment and ready for onboard installation, according to the January press release from ABC International. The CNC machined aluminum branding logo, surface treated with a sandblasted effect, is divided into three parts and installed separately to achieve the right look. The shamrock restyling underlines the “values of modernity, confidence and strength of the Irish carrier,” the release said. It has been installed on 14 A330s and eight A321s, and 30 other branding elements have been manufactured and delivered. On retrofitted A330s, ABC International has also been in charge of engineering and certification activities to approve, under its DOA privileges, logo installation on board and on line-fit A321neos, the installation has been coordinated with the a/c OEM. “It’s always challenging and a source of pride to welcome such a leading airline within our customer base,” said Olindo Spatola Vice President of Engineering and Programs at ABC International. “Having the chance to work on the A330 project and then on A321neo’s has allowed ABC to cement the relationship with Aer Lingus, experiencing different means of installation and working with several stakeholders involved in both projects.”


TSI Seats featured in Airbus BFE Product Catalogue With an agreement signed in November 2019, TSI Seats, will be featured in Airbus Buyer-Furnished-Equipment (BFE) Product Catalogue starting in the first quarter of 2020. The catalogue offers seating choices to Airbus customers and will expand TSI’s reach and accessibility to leading airlines and grow its market presence by putting it in the spotlight. TSI Seats Economy Class seats Skysofa and Epianka will be featured in the potential future products section of Airbus BFE Product Catalogue for the A350 XWB, A330 and A320 aircraft families. Additional seats like the Elesa S model and Royalux, TSI’s first Business Class product, will also be added into potential future products section of the catalogue after certification phase is completed. “This latest accomplishment shows how hard we have worked to grow TSI Seats by investing in our employees, supporting infrastructure and innovation,” TSI Seats General Manager Suat Sağıroğlu said at the time the listing was announced. TSI and Airbus have worked together since 2015. The seating company equipped the A321neo ACF with TSI seats in 2018 and has also delivered its first line-fit project to the A330. Economy Class seats for A350 have 13.3-inc monitors for inflight entertainment.

The exposure will place TSI Seats in the spotlight for airlines around the world


Trenchard Aviation Group appoints new VP Business Development Trenchard Aviation Group has appointed Mark Radford as its new Vice President Business Development. With 30 years’ experience in the aviation interiors industry, working for both OEMs and part of 145 organizations, he has held senior positions covering sales, operations and procurement. His range of product knowledge covers seats, lavatories, galleys, monuments and soft furnishings. Mark joins Trenchard from his most recent position as Sales Director – Western Europe with Iacobacci HF Aerospace SPA.

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“This is a great time to be joining an extremely progressive, forward-thinking organization,” said Radford. “I am looking forward to the challenge and to generating new business opportunities and potential new customers.” Neil Watkins, Trenchard Aviation Group Sales and Marketing Director, added: “I’m delighted that Mark has agreed to join us. Have recently undertaken a significant transformation in our operational capability, we are not gearing up for the next phase of our growth and development strategy and I have no doubt that Mark will be making a significant contribution to that.”



Delta A321neo to debut with Recaro Seating Delta’s A321neo, slated for delivery in late 2020, will feature domestic First Class seats from Recaro with more privacy, more comfort, larger screens and superior stowage. “Customer insights were instrumental to the new design, and we spent hundreds of hours listening to customers so that we could respond with thoughtful improvements,” said Mauricio Parise, Delta’s Managing Director of Product Development in January’s announcement. “We’ve completely customized every feature on the seat to create a truly unique, premium seating product for domestic First Class.” The airline also partnered with Factorydesign, using customer feedback and industry trends, to develop the next generation of domestic First Class cabin seats. The new seat design will bring elements of Delta’s international travel experience on widebody aircraft to domestic routes. Highlights of Delta’s A321neo First Class seats include: A fixed headrest for increased privacy and better sleep without compromising seat width or space, a larger and sturdier tray table, including 25 percent more workspace, three times more volume for storing personal items and devices, including dedicated laptop stowage and water bottle stowage, passenger-facing power ports and enhanced memory-foam cushions for added comfort and a high-definition monitor. In addition to its latest seat design, Delta’s A321neo will feature a next-generation, wireless inflight entertainment system created by the airline’s in-house start-up, Delta Flight Products. Delta has 100 firm orders and 100 options for the A321neo. The airline will configure the A321neo to a total of 194 seats including seating for 20 in First Class, 42 in Delta Comfort+ and 132 in the main cabin.

The updated seats offer more privacy, comfort, larger screens and better stowage

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Immfly receives strategic investment from Boeing

The investment from Boeing HorizonX aims to accelerate Immfly’s digital inflight entertainment solutions

Inflight digital services and entertainment company Immfly announced in February that it received a strategic investment from Boeing HorizonX in late 2019. Boeing HorizonX, an innovation and venture organization within Boeing, helps accelerate the next generation of products and markets by investing in technology. Immfly’s digital solution enables airlines to efficiently and remotely manage onboard digital products and services on all aircraft types, including inflight entertainment content and flight information. “This investment will help further establish Immfly as the industry’s leading partner for pioneering cabin digitalization and reinforce our ability to provide global services,” said Immfly Executive Chairman Jimmy Martinez von Korff. “Boeing and Immfly share a common vision to the continued growth of digital capabilities provided to airlines to enhance their onboard experience and develop new revenue streams.” “Boeing’s strategic investment in Immfly drives innovation across the entire passenger journey,” said Brian Schettler, Senior Managing Director for Boeing HorizonX. “Immfly’s digital cabin solution is fundamentally changing how airlines around the world are engaging with passengers during flight.” Immfly is one of four companies outside the United States to join the Boeing HorizonX portfolio. The company showcased its digital services in the Boeing HorizonX “What’s Next” booth at the Singapore Airshow in February.



Sanad and Ethiopian to create MRO Center in Africa Engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) solutions provider Sanad Aerotech announced in February that it has signed a landmark agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to expand its presence in Africa. Signed at MRO Africa, the agreement paves the way for Sanad and Ethiopian Airlines to collaborate and maximize on untapped MRO business opportunities in the region. The initial phase of the agreement will see Sanad and Ethiopian establish a Centre of Excellence for the repair and overhaul of auxiliary power units (APU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and will start with APU’s used on 737 and A320 aircraft, with goals to collaborate in the provision of APU MRO services to other African airlines in the future. The strategic alliance also has aspirations to expand capabilities to include aircraft components and aircraft engine MRO. This latest agreement between the two companies builds on a 2018 Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on APU capabilities, among others. “Our strategic alliance with Ethiopian Airlines goes beyond this announcement, as it provides greater opportunities for us to jointly collaborate and develop mutually beneficial activities across the entire African continent,” said Mansoor Janahi, Sanad Aerotech Chief Executive Officer, in the press release from the time of the announcement. “This Strategic Alliance with Sanad Aerotech is consistent with Ethiopian Airlines vision of making its MRO facility the leading MRO service provider in Africa through strategic

partnerships with OEMs and selected international MRO Service Providers,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer Tewolde GebreMariam. “Our MRO facility is ready to provide cost effective and efficient overhaul services with standard turnaround time to APUs of African airlines.” Sanad Aerotech is a part of Sanad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Company. Sanad has built strategic relationships with leading international OEMs including Rolls-Royce, General Electric and International Aero Engines, and has delivered aircraft engine MRO expertise throughout a variety of engine maintenance service programs across engine platforms.

At MRO Africa, Sanad Aerotech and Ethiopian Airlines signed a landmark agreement to establish an MRO Centre of Excellence in the region


Magnetic MRO acquires four airBaltic 737s Magnetic MRO has announced that it acquired four 737 Classic aircraft from airBaltic through a public tender. Following the delivery from Latvia’s flag carrier, all aircraft will continue their service in the fleets of new owners. As launch operator of the A220, airBaltic operates a fleet of 36 aircraft, including 21 A220s, 12 Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 NextGens and four 737s, as of December 2019. The decision to sell the 737 aircraft was a preplanned move by airBaltic in order to focus on its new

After maintenance checks and customization work by Magnetic MRO, the former airBalticaircraft will go to new operators

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A220 fleet which delivers higher fuel efficiency and reduces the carbon footprint. “In June 2019, we were awarded to acquire four Boeing 737s. Some of these aircraft have a long maintenance history at our MRO base in Tallinn. It’s delighting to witness the expansion of our cooperation beyond conventional MRO business – not only do we keep aircraft airworthy, but also commit to take the ownership of the very same assets and help airlines to manage their exit risks,” said Risto Mäeots, Magnetic MRO Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic said, “Boeing 737 Classics were a notable part of the airBaltic fleet for more than 10 years. They served as our breakthrough, helping to establish ourselves as a strong regional carrier. Now we are modernizing our fleet and relying on A220s as our future aircraft that will enable us to improve efficiency and better connect Baltics to the world.”

Idea first. From outline to airline.

Aircraft Interior Solutions



STELIA Aerospace recognized as Top Employer STELIA Aerospace has been awarded the “Top Employer” certification for 2020, for the second consecutive year. The company received the honor after several months of audit led by the international Top Employers Institute, comparing STELIA Aerospace’s human resource strategies, policies, processes and tools with the best practices worldwide, and after a second audit led by an independent organization. The international “Top Employer” certification was awarded to 91 French companies this year, among which only two companies in the aeronautical industry. The annual study conducted by the Top Employers Institute recognizes the best employers throughout the world, across all sectors of activity. The awarded companies are ones that offer a qualitative work environment, encourage the development of talents at all stages and try to constantly improve their HR practices. “Obtaining the “Top Employer” certification once again is a strong endorsement of our employer processes and policies, and we are very proud,” said Cédric Gautier, STELIA Aerospace Chief Executive Officer in February’s announcement. “Beyond the efforts of our HR teams to accompany the development of our men and women, this certification is also the result of the implication of all our employees. Much more than just a satisfaction survey, this certification represents the recognition of our processes aimed at being the “best in class” and enabling our company to maintain its external reputation and image.” STELIA Aerospace receives Top Employer certificate for the second consecutive year

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SAS A320neos to be serviced by Magnetic MRO

Magnetic MRO and SAS have extended the base agreement for the airline’s A320neo fleet until 2023

Magnetic MRO, a total technical care and asset management organization, and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) have extended the base maintenance agreement for its A320neo fleet. The original contract between the two companies was signed in December 2017 but has been extended until 2023 and consists of maintenance visits of 56 aircraft. “SAS’ A320neo fleet is brand new and just came out of [the] Airbus factory. And for our team of professionals here at Magnetic MRO, [this] is one more step forward working on new generation aircraft,” said Sergei Shkolnik, Base Maintenance Director at Magnetic MRO, in a press release from the company. “These new aircraft will serve as SAS’ narrow-body fleet backbone for the next couple decades and we are honored to be chosen as partners for its base maintenance.” The scope of work covered in the agreement is “technically demanding yet interesting,” the statement continues. “Magnetic MRO has an opportunity to work on the fleet for a long time. It allows [Magnetic MRO] to predict the maintenance needs and also serves as a great chance for the companies to mature together.”

Visit us at AIX booth no. 4B11

BoardConnect The complete solution for your digital passenger experience Count on the market leader in in-flight entertainment and choose from a wide range of services available through our strong partner network. Or build your own onboard offering based on our framework with BoardConnect Dock.

Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim | |


Some companies start with a contract. We start with eye contact. In a world of mega-mergers, a simple conversation isn’t always that simple anymore. That’s why Astronics takes a down-to-earth approach that invites collaboration. It’s a process that accelerates the innovation of technology systems that integrate seamlessly with your aircraft. Ready to work differently? Your seat is waiting.


© 2020 Astronics Corporation. All rights reserved.


ELEVATING innovation Let’s start the conversation. AIX Stand 3B30

AIRLINE PROFILE Air Canada is working with Bell Media on content for its IFE system

No compromise by RICK LUNDSTROM

Air Canada’s first A220-300 took to the air in January representing a pick that lets the airline spend billions of dollars in its home country, and fills a specific need while earning kudos for sustainability


o find what Air Canada’s Vice President of Product Andrew Yiu called a fleet addition that comfortably fills the “Goldilocks Zone,” executives did not have to look far, as in not far down the road. Bombardier manufactured the A220-300 in a partnership with Airbus Canada that lasted until February of this year. It was then the company announced that it had transferred its remaining shares in aircraft to Airbus Canada. However, with a long-term commitment by the Government of Québec in the form of a 25 percent share, production and jobs will remain in Montreal. As part of the agreement, Airbus has acquired the A220 and A330 production capability from Bombardier in SaintLaurent, Québec. The production

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activities will be operated in the Saint Laurent site by Stelia Aéronautique Saint Laurent Inc., a newly created subsidiary of Stelia Aerospace, which is a 100 percent Airbus subsidiary. Airbus also makes the A220 at a second assembly line for the aircraft opened this past summer in Mobile, Alabama. From the beginning as the Bombardier C-Series, the A220 was billed as a way for airlines to maximize opportunities and compliment larger single-aisle aircraft. With its comfort levels and range at 3,500-plus nautical miles, Bombardier insisted that it was not building a regional jet that the industry had become accustomed to seeing. And the national pride of Canada flies on the wings of the new A220-300. The airline has an order of 45 aircraft that

Andrew Yiu, Vice President of Product, Air Canada

runs through June of 2022. The order represents an investment of US$3.8 billion for Air Canada. PAX Tech caught up with Yiu at the airline’s new lounge in Toronto at the start of this year, as the airline was poised to put the A220-300 in the air on its first route from Montreal to Calgary. Soon, other A220-300s will be on routes from Toronto to San Jose, California and from Montreal to Seattle. The latter two routes are scheduled for May of this year. “The A220-300 represents an aircraft of no compromise for us,” Yiu says. “It is the right aircraft with the right range,

The Business Class cabin of the A220 seats 12 passengers Economy Class on the A220 is in a 3-2 configuration for 125 passengers

that delivers a premiere service. “Now the amenities and products you see on large widebody aircraft can be delivered to destinations all across North America.” Canadians wired into the aviation community first knew the aircraft as Bombardier’s C-Series. It became part of a longstanding debate in Toronto when regional carrier Porter Airlines unsuccessfully lobbied the city to allow it to operate out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on the Toronto Islands. With a range of between 3,500 and 3,800 nautical miles, the addition would have greatly enhanced Porter’s possibilities of opening up new routes. Air Canada is the second North American airline – after Delta Air Lines – to operate the aircraft. Nose to tail, it is the product of Canadian manufacturing with 30 of the country’s suppliers contributing. Engine maker Pratt & Whitney and Safran Canada were among the key suppliers Yiu mentioned. Other equipment, including galleys and lavatories along with lighting, were line-fit suppliers to Airbus Canada. The airline selected Business Class and Economy Class seating from Collins Aerospace for the A220-300. The two classes are arranged in a 2-2 layout in the 12-passenger Business Class and in a 3-2 layout in Economy Class which can hold 125 passengers. The spacious, airy cabin of the A220-300 has been a selling point since

the aircraft was introduced in 2016, about the same time as Air Canada placed the order. The windows on the A220-300 are 50 percent larger than the A320 and 26 percent larger than the 737. The additional size features do not end there. The Collins Aerospace Economy Class seats are 19 inches wide and the aisle is 20 inches wide. Additional shoulder space is available for the window seat passenger because of the A220-300s high ceilings and vertical sidewalls. Finally, bin space on the A220-300 is 15 percent larger than the A320. Four years ago, Air Canada settled on the C Series at a critical time in its initial production. In the January rollout of the A220-300, the airline’s CEO Calin Rovinescu said the airline placed the

order when the C Series’ future was in doubt. Now with the aircraft flying in North America and Europe, he said, “we are very proud to have paved the way for orders from other major carriers.”

Homegrown IFE

Last year, Air Canada pledged to boost its inflight entertainment content by 50 percent on certain aircraft types. In June it signed a partnership with the country’s largest content creation company, Bell Media. Bell Media owns 30 television stations and 29 specialty channels and 109 radio stations across nearly 60 markets in the country. It is also a digital media powerhouse delivering on-demand content online and to mobile devices across the country. For Air Canada, the company is supplying its  |  PAX TECH  |  19


An airy cabin with ample windows has made the A220 an attractive aircraft

streaming video service called Crave and multi-platform audio service, Stingray. “Passengers on Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge can enjoy the best of the Canadian streaming service’s offerings including Showtime’s Billions, Ray Donovan and The Affair, Crave original comedy Letterkenny and Comedy Central’s Broad City,” said Yiu. For the seatback on the A220-300 Air Canada has the Panasonic eX1 with a 10-inch screen in Economy Class. With the increased content, there is now more than 1,000 hours of entertainment in 15 languages. Air Canada claims that to consume all the entertainment, a passenger would need to fly from Toronto to Hong Kong 72 times or around the world 22.5 times. The airline introduced “Stingray Ambience” to the programming lineup which features videos of scenic locations set to relaxation music. On mainline routes passengers can access pop, country, hip-hop and wellness programming. The programming was promoted in June of last year in with a free

three-month trial of Stingray music. Like the majority of its fleet, Air Canada has selected Gogo’s 2KU platform for connectivity. Access to USB-A, USB-C and AC power is available to all passengers on the A220-300.

Next-gen sustainable

In this new decade, aircraft or other products for commercial aviation cannot roll off an assembly line without a list of environmental improvements. The September announcement of the A220-300 touted the fuel efficiency and performance of the aircraft. At 137 seats, Air Canada says the new addition to its fleet flies further while averaging 20 percent less fuel consumption per seat. Much of the fuel savings is the result of using more lightweight materials like advanced aluminum in the main body and carbon fiber reinforced plastic in the wing and body. The aircraft can also be coated with a light-weight paint. The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) operates cleaner and generates

a noise footprint that is 75 percent less than the aircraft it replaces which means the aircraft has a noise level 50 decibels lower. Carbon dioxide emissions are cut by 20 percent while nitrogen oxide emissions are 50 percent less. In the factory, Airbus Canada reduced the footprint of the production process and endeavored to eliminate the use of hazardous substances and toxic emissions. “Almost every operator of the A220 has exceeded fuel efficiency estimates and we expect to do the same when we begin operating this aircraft,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President of Network Planning at Air Canada. While the environmental features and comfort of the cabin are strong selling points, Air Canada needs to make the A220 a money-making addition to its fleet. That will be accomplished through opening up new opportunities and route pairings. In the future Air Canada will be operating the A220 from Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and New York-La Guardia. The airline has its eyes on expanding its North American network through new routes and year-round schedules from hubs in Canada to international destinations. The A220 takes its place among a larger program by Air Canada to update its aircraft fleet. “We have been continually modernizing our fleet and will never stand still,” Yiu says. “Not only have we been introducing new aircraft, we have been upgrading the ones we already have. A great example are the A330s that are currently being refurbished to bring them in line with our 787 and 777 fleets.”

Air Canada has ordered 45 A220s at a cost of US$3.8 billion

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Oven-ready solutions by MARY JANE PITTILLA

PAX Tech highlights the latest product developments and trends in the increasingly techled galley systems sector

Essence steam ovens developed by Collins Aerospace ensure that meals do not dry out

Barista-quality espresso beverages can be prepared easily inflight using the Essence espresso/ cappuccino machine from Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace’s Essence range accounts for more than 95 percent of the galley inserts flying on the A350

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he gleaming galleys, with softened lines and modern looks that catch the eye of boarding passengers take cues from the home kitchen in appearance, but much of the comparison stops there. Manufacturing products to the exacting standards of an aircraft is not an easy task, especially when airlines are still keeping a sharp eye on price, and turning their attention to the weight and environmental factors that are also shaping the selection processes. In the run-up to this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, PAX Tech caught up with two of the biggest players in this sector of the industry to learn about the latest in design trends and customer demands. Collins Aerospace is getting set to showcase a new galley insert concept at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. While the details have not yet been released, the new solution will build on the idea of enabling more efficiency in passenger service, going even further beyond the Essence Premier ovens with adaptive intelligent cooking that Collins Aerospace introduced at AIX in 2019 – and also enabling improved efficiency for equipment servicing and maintenance. The Essence Premier ovens offer a triple-benefit of reduced weight, reduced flight attendant workload and the highest quality meal preparation available. “We will be unveiling a revolutionary new solution at this year’s AIX,” says Brian Schmalz, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Galley Inserts at Collins Aerospace. The Essence collection is one of three major families of galley inserts offered by Collins Aerospace. It was designed for longer-haul international services or premium service on shorter-haul flights. The company has delivered more than 20,000 Essence units on a wide variety of aircraft and Essence accounts for more than 95 percent of the galley inserts flying on the A350. Collins has delivered more than 140,000 Endura units since the Endura family was introduced in the mid-2000s. It continues to be in high demand by airline customers as the versatile solution for reliable, high-quality inflight food and beverage service on both short- and long-haul aircraft. The company recently introduced the Modus product family, which is

focused on simplicity and efficiency. It is described as ideal for supporting efficient shorter-haul domestic service or for providing basic and consistent service on long-haul flights.

Social spaces

Collins offers a wide range of galley inserts. Beverage maker products include: coffeemakers to brew filters, using patented brew head and brew cup technology; and water heaters, offering variable flow faucets. The Essence espresso/cappuccino machine and the Nespresso machine enable barista-quality espresso beverages to be easily prepared inflight. Oven products include convection ovens with customizable menu settings that can be used to provide many profiles to ensure quality preparation of a wide variety of inflight meals; and steam ovens which ensure that meals do not get dried out. Microwave ovens are developed for on-demand food preparation. The new Essence microwave oven went into service in 2018 and has had a very successful introduction. The Essence microwave oven offers advantages of more cooking volume, and variable power settings (up to 1,800 watts) with customizable menu settings. Regarding trends in the galley sector, Ray Hough, Director of Business Development for Interior Structures at Collins Aerospace, tells PAX that for the past 50 years, price has been the main factor when airlines have selected galleys. He

says he believes that will continue to be a decisive factor. Recently, however, other considerations have risen in prominence, driven by increasing airline competition in the market and rising fuel prices. The advent of stronger and lighter composite materials has brought galley weight into the decision matrix. A second consideration is image. Since the galleys generally have to be placed at the main door areas, airlines are thinking about how to improve the first impressions of passengers as they board. “Airlines have increasingly invested more attention in this area over the years with some very impressive and exciting developments,” notes Hough. Airlines are integrating social zones, bars and passenger self-service features with galleys, recognizing the ability to transform galleys from a working area to a social area. Increasingly, the OEMs and cabin manufacturers are working together to find ways to integrate other features into the galley space, including wardrobes and seating. A third consideration when selecting a galley is service, as airlines seek to differentiate themselves by their service offerings, with many focusing on delivering high-end dining experiences. These include the ability to dine on demand, or improving the food delivery to restaurant quality. This can be as simple as transitioning from convection ovens to steam ovens, or by the use of new-generation microwave ovens that then drive the need for the galley configuration to accommodate them, explains Hough.

NUVO series inserts from Safran Cabin incorporate the latest technologically advanced features, such as full-color displays with easy-to-read icons  |  PAX TECH  |  23

CABIN INTERIORS A fourth consideration is the procurement model. Several OEMs have moved to an SFE (supplier-furnished equipment) business model for galleys, where the galleys are purchased by the airframer, leaving the selection of galley type and configuration to the airline customer. “This has driven catalog developments where the challenge, and reality, has been to develop rich and customizable catalog offerings to meet all airline expectations,” says Hough.

Control and convenience

Leading supplier Safran Cabin’s latest line of NUVO galley inserts feature a combination of touchscreen and rotary controls, similar to the modern appliances used in restaurants and homes. The NUVO series inserts incorporate the latest technologically advanced features, such as full-color displays with easy-to-read icons, ergonomic handles and kinematics, and advanced technologies such as NFC (near-field communication). In addition, the inserts have been redesigned and upgraded to provide more control, safety and convenience to the cabin crew so that they can work efficiently in their highly demanding environment. The ARINC-standard size oven can perform both steam and convection cooking cycles in single or combination modes. The design oven not only provides the user full control over the cooking method, but it also allows users to modify oven settings and preferences. It is the most technologically advanced oven in the market, according to Nathan Kwok, Vice President of Marketing at Safran Cabin. The ARINC-standard size coffee maker can brew two different flavors – standard and premium. This brewer has been designed to offer passengers different strengths and quality of coffee. The espresso maker is described as the first and only ARINC-standard size espresso maker that can brew two separate beverages simultaneously. It can brew up to five types of coffee beverages. The ARINC-standard size water heater features fast-acting heating elements with a redesigned faucet to easily dispense water by pushing a paddle with a pot or pulling a lever by hand for comfort and safety. The ARINC-standard size bun warmer has a compartment to warm bread and premium-class essentials as well, such 24  |  PAX TECH  |  APRIL 2020

MaxFlex G4C galley for B737: Safran Cabin’s MaxFlex galley is now available as a G4C, with more work deck, trash and meal cart capacity compared to the G4B

as dishes, espresso cups and towels. These products are being progressively certified on multiple Airbus and Boeing platforms with several new platforms becoming available in 2020. The ARINC-standard size multimode chiller unit aims to offer superior refrigeration, freezing and beverage chilling. A new see-through door allows users to control the color of the inner cavity light to complement the galley environment. It will be available in the near future on all Boeing and Airbus platforms. On the subject of trends in the galley sector, Kwok says that greater varieties of service and choice continue to be a major driver, even on regional routes and with low-cost airlines. “We see no-frills, ultra-low fares with à la carte service on one end of the spectrum, and for those customers we are designing very efficient, durable and low-cost cabins. On the other hand, we also have customers who want to give their First and Business Class travelers a very premium experience, even when they make a connection on a regional jet to their final destination.” He continues: “Our long-haul offerings are also being enhanced, with new single-aisle long-range specific products, as well as a widening array of wide-body products. We have seen more demand for creative social spaces such as hybrid galley/self-serve bar units and lounge areas. We will be exhibiting one such concept that brings the feel of a modern kitchen into the cabin at the upcoming Aircraft Interiors International Expo in Hamburg.” Safran Cabin sees many opportunities in the galley sector. The company offers

a full range of galleys for Airbus and Boeing aircraft, including its popular MaxFlex galleys for the 737, and a full range of 777X galleys. It also offers monuments that can integrate galley functionality on the 787, enabling an additional degree of flexibility to the catalog. On Airbus aircraft, Safran Cabin partners with Airbus to offer a complete catalog of galleys and monuments on the A320, and also has a wide range of pre-certified BFE galleys for the A330. Kwok says that technological advancement is one of the challenges for galley manufacturers today. “We live in a new world of smart, connected devices, and the galley of the future will need to be much more capable in this regard,” he says. “This requires developing new sensing and networking capabilities, but also refining the application of this capability into something very useful and practical. We are working to understand really deeply with our customers how technology can streamline their work, so they can focus on their customers.” Kwok sees a bright future for the galley sector. “People everywhere are becoming more conscious about what they consume, and are always looking for fresh, healthful options on and off the aircraft. That is what makes being in the business of meal preparation so interesting. In addition to the food itself, we are also investing in ways to reduce our carbon footprint, whether that is reducing food waste, reducing trash generation or reducing energy usage. In many ways, the trends of healthy bodies and a healthy planet converge in the preparation of and consumption of food, and we are excited to be a part of innovating in this space.”




From the coronavirus outbreak to long-haul flights, PAX Tech uncovers the latest in cabin hygiene directly from industry suppliers by JANE HOBSON

Freshorize 3-in-1 hand soap, moisturizer and scent emitter releases a natural scent, available in eight fragrances

This Foam Hand Sanitizer protects against germs and releases natural oil-based scent while sanitizing

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Freshorize one-step disinfectant wipes are disposable and deliver biocidal action against bacteria, fungi and viruses


Celeste Industries Corporation’s JetScent Pump Spray helps control odor in the cabin

hile the world battles the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China in December 2019, the global airline industry is collecting itself from the economic blow of travelers staying put, while at the same time pivoting to find ways to reduce the spread of the sickness. Some airlines suspended flights to China at the end of January and early February, such as Air France, British Airways, Delta Air Lines and Qatar Airways, and have yet to resume flights to the country. Other airlines organized special flights and scaled back inflight services. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency of international concern less than a month after the first case was reported. As of February 19, it reported 72,279 cases of the virus in China where 2,006 people have died, with 918 other cases across 25 countries and three deaths. The WHO stresses that proper hygiene can help reduce the spread of the virus: frequent hand washing with soap and water, hand sanitizing, covering mouth and nose with elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth, and


The World Health Organization promotes hand washing to limit the spread of germs

keeping a social distance of at least three feet (one meter) from other people. As the WHO claims data from China appears to be showing a decline in new cases, PAX Tech reached out to aircraft cabin hygiene solutions suppliers to learn how airlines limit the spread of contagious germs inflight. Freshorize, a London-based hand soap, lotion, air freshener and interior aircraft cleaner supplier, has been sharing best practices with airlines whose top priority is to keep their crews and passengers safe. Aziz Patel, Freshorize Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), tells PAX the company’s most popular product right now is its 3-in-1 hand soap, moisturizer and scent emitter. The 8.45 fluid ounce (250 milliliter) product cleans and moisturizes hands while the built-in micro-capillary scent emitter in the back releases a natural oil-based scent, available in eight fragrances or a custom fragrance formulation specific to the airline’s branding. The company also offers the 8.4 fluid ounce (250 milliliter) Foam Hand Sanitizer that protects against germs. It has a micro-capillary scent emitter that releases natural oil-based scents while sanitizing. Patel says this antiseptic is “suitable for use in the healthcare industry” due to its strength and effectiveness. “For more heavy-duty cleaning in the cabin, we offer our EPA registered Multipurpose Disinfectant Wipe that is shown to kill the coronavirus,” Patel says. The one-step disinfectant wipes are disposable for convenience and deliver biocidal action against bacteria, fungi and viruses. “Research has shown that hand washing is one of the most effective lines of defense against viruses,” 28  |  PAX TECH  |  APRIL 2020

says Patel. “Proper hygiene is a key factor in decreasing the spread of viruses and as a supplier of soap and cleaners to the airline industry, we are here to meet all their needs.” Maryland, US-based cleaning, maintenance and odor control solutions supplier Celeste Industries Corporation, has seen an influx in requests for information about its Sani-Cide EX3 Disinfectant and Multi-Purpose Cleaner from its customers around the world, specifically in China. The EPA registered broad-spectrum disinfectant provides a safe way to disinfect a variety of surfaces throughout the aircraft while cleaning multi-soils. The results are a clean and streak- and haze-free surface. “Airlines are looking for a disinfectant that is effective against the coronavirus and meets OEM requirements by being non-corrosive to aircraft components,” explains Carla Repko, Marketing Manager at Celeste. “We will be closely following the news on coronavirus as the situation develops. We want to ensure we can provide our customers with what they need to keep their passengers safe and limit the spread of the virus.”


Of course, hand sanitizers and heavyduty disinfectants aren’t the only trending demands in cabin hygiene. For ultra-long haul flights, like those planned by Qantas Airways, Repko says there is huge demand for odor control. Biozyme EX3, Sani-Pak, Flight Fresh Deodorant Discs and JetScent® cabin spray can all be used to maintain a pleasant atmosphere for passengers on the aircraft, she says. Celeste is also seeing a big push for Biozyme EX3 by Celeste Industries Corporation is a multi-purpose cleaner, deodorizer and frabic freshner

“all-in-one” solutions to cabin cleaning. “Airlines want to simplify their cleaning tasks and limit the number of products they need to purchase and carry on board,” Repko explains, adding that this demand was the force behind the development of the aforementioned Sani-Cide EX3 multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant. As well, airlines are concerned about the amount of moisture that potentially contacts cabin electronics during carpet cleaning and are looking for products that introduce less moisture and still perform well. Celeste is currently developing a product that will meet this need, Repko says. Meanwhile, Freshorize created its XÉN Wellness line to help keep passengers comfortable on ultra-long flights. The aromatherapy-focused line is designed to harmonize and promote health and provide a sense of well-being. The company also continues to see growth in scent branding. “Brands are really taken with the idea of developing a specialty scent that only they use,” says Patel, adding that the supplier has provided several airlines with a unique brand fragrance. “Research has shown that scent can be tied to memory, it can be highly emotive. Having a fragrance that triggers a positive, relaxing or refreshing emotion is a major factor in improving or maintaining high standards of passenger experience.” Freshorize earned its Platinum Status with the Green Business Bureau in February 2020 for its sustainable offerings, including its refillable bottles that eliminate 6,000 plastic bottles per year and PET products. The company is currently testing a plant-based handwash.


Light years ahead Leading suppliers are making the case for the transformative power of lighting at AIX Hamburg by MARY JANE PITTILLA

The latest generation of STG Aerospace’s saf-Tglo emergency floor path marking is available in a red daylight color for the first time


ore than 50 specialist lighting suppliers are showcasing their latest innovations at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in their bid to enhance the onboard experience. The aircraft cabin lighting market was valued at US$1.2 million in 2018 and is projected to grow by 5.2 percent CAGR to US$1.7 million by 2026, according to Allied Market Research. Today’s aircraft lighting systems have a major impact on the onboard experience, from helping passengers navigate the cabin, reducing jetlag and enhancing safety, to enabling airlines to create an atmosphere that aligns with their branding and color scheme. STG Aerospace advocates a holistic approach to cabin lighting. Marcus Williams, Sales and Marketing Director, says: “Even during daylight flying, natural light is having to work with (or against) the cabin’s ceiling lights, its sidewall lights, its emergency signage and reading lights, its galley lights, its photoluminescent floor path lighting and more. In our experience, a holistic approach to cabin lighting delivers the best experience for passengers. “We have also seen a growing trend for short-haul operators in particular, opting for our soothing blue glow lighting solutions to create a uniformity of light in the cabin without compromising passenger safety.”

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Setting the mood

At AIX, STG Aerospace will display its photoluminescent floor path marking system saf-Tglo and signage Saf-Tsign, along with its cabin LED plug-and-play lighting solution liTeMood. Currently, the company’s lighting solutions are used by 300 airlines on more than 12,000 aircraft to improve the passenger experience and reflect airline branding, each aiming to support passenger well-being. The rapid rate of development and innovation in the lighting sector has been fast-tracked as airlines recognize its ability to enhance the passenger experience, by creating and adapting cabin ambience throughout the flight. Among the pioneers of LED mood lighting, Boeing’s Sky Interior has demonstrated the dramatic use of lights onboard, allowing airlines to emulate sunrise and sunset for improved passenger comfort and ambience. Many smaller regional airlines have since followed its example, recognizing an affordable opportunity to improve aesthetics and enhance the experience onboard. Demonstrating how airlines can utilize new lighting technologies, AIX 2020 exhibitor Burrana will showcase its LED Lighting, which is described as an adjustable and reliable solution that is both flexible and affordable. With full control from the crew terminal, the system enables airlines to create a unique travel experience for passengers

A rendering of Schott’s new Jade light, the first aviation reading light ever made from glass PHOTO: PRIESTMANGOODE

by choosing from a number of pre-set lighting profiles, developed from more than four billion color settings. Meanwhile, Schott AG will demonstrate its HelioCurve, a flexible RGBW (red, green, blue, white) LED contour light – and the “Jewels in the Sky” Reading Light series, of which the Opal and Sapphire lights were launched last year. New at AIX 2020 and the latest edition to the company’s Reading Light series, Schott will unveil its Jade light, the first aviation reading light ever made from glass, bringing haptic and optical aesthetics to aircraft seats, and offering unlimited design possibilities, according to the company. It combines capacitive touch technology and Schott’s expertise in fiber optics and LED technology. Beadlight Ltd, a pioneer in LED in-seat reading lights, will showcase its Sirocco fixed position light, designed to be discreet and provide a defined pool of light to the required area. It is currently featured on Virgin Atlantic’s A350 cabin interior. Adding to the wide variety of lights available, STG Aerospace will also present its LED reading lights. The patented square-beam is designed to cover the passenger area without spilling over to neighboring passengers, creating a more restful, private space and a greater sense of personal control.


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The at-home experience airlines crave to give to the passenger can be found in the popular content and IFE technology introduced by JetBlue late last year


etBlue’s much anticipated flights to Europe are still a year away, but already there is enough inflight entertainment onboard many of its aircraft for passengers to bingewatch their favorites. A large increase in storage capacity that is offered by Thales’ new Avant system is aboard a growing number of aircraft in the JetBlue fleet. Now, passengers have access to more than 1,000 titles between movies and full seasons of television series. The airline announced the new content expansion in November that brings full seasons of television shows, cable television programming, streaming music and podcasts into the cabin, along with the ability for passengers to access headlines and stories in thousands of publications through an association with PressReader. The first Avant equipped systems are on a select number of A320s and A321neos, while the airline’s original Live TV is still flying on A321s and A320s. When transition to the new IFE hardware is completed, the airline that pioneered live television and added high-speed Internet with Viasat, will have written another new chapter in its inflight entertainment system supply. “Almost 20 years after disrupting the industry with free live TV at every seat, we are again redefining inflight entertainment by listening closely to our customers’ feedback and offering even more options to make the most of their time onboard,” said Mariya Stoyanova, JetBlue Director of Product Development in the November 6 announcement of the expanded content offerings. Already, the content has gone through a number of rotations. JetBlue’s Manager Product Development Inflight Content

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DirecTV brings more than 100 channels of live TV to the JetBlue cabin

and Tech Andrew Litavis , tells PAX Tech that full television seasons are often changed monthly along with new movies and classic titles. The airline closely watches engagement metrics to decide what comes off the aircraft in a given month. JetBlue’s selection of 15 podcasts will remain on board at least through September of this year. To round out the selection, JetBlue will continue to offer its live TV through its association with DirecTV, which places more than 100 channels at the touch of the 1080p screens that are part of the Avant system. What passengers will notice in the newest additions to the lineup is an effort by the airline (and the industry in general) to create the at-home experience by adding second-screen capability, which has earned the airline a finalist designation in this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards. “JetBlue’s latest partnerships build on the airline’s ongoing effort to provide a ‘multi-screen’ experience which allows customers to use a range of devices, simultaneously, including HD seatback entertainment, just as they would in their living room,” said Litavis . A rundown of the offerings brought on board in November is an example of some of the biggest companies that are shaping home entertainment: The Avant system from Thales has given JetBlue the ability to add extra content to its IFE offering


Seamlessly innovative and boldly green. KID-Systeme is a market-leading supplier of electronic cabin systems for passenger and corporate aircraft, based in Germany. With their mindset geared towards innovations in technology, sustainability and customer experience, KID counts the most renowned airlines worldwide as their valued customers. Our product range encompasses customizable in-seat power solutions, cabin and cargo safety features, as well as an open hosting platform for applications and entertainment.

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1. A Star is Born 2. The Lion King (2019) 3. Aquaman 4. Alita: Battle Angel 5. Bohemian Rhapsody

TOP TELEVISION SHOWS ON JETBLUE 1. Mickey Mouse 2. Puppy Dog Pals 3. Chernobyl 4. Modern Family 5. Friends

• Showtime: Available on Avant are full seasons of shows on the popular cable channel. In November, JetBlue passengers connecting to Viasat’s Fly-Fi connectivity received a free 30-day trial of Showtime’s streaming service and access to every original series, movie and documentary shown on the personal devices • Spotify: JetBlue’s podcast partner offers programming from Anchor, Gimlet, Parcast and Spotify Studios. Podcast titles include Business of HYPE, Conspiracy Theories, Dope Labs, Heavyweight, The Horror of Delores Roach and Superwoman • Inscape: JetBlue’s “meditation partner” that offers 20 sessions that include advice on jetlag, breathing exercises and sleeping advice • PressReader: Passengers on JetBlue can register for 24 hours of free access to thousands of publications after they connect to Fly-Fi. PressReader also offers an exclusive discount on a month subscription after the flight of US$9.99 for 15 publications The airline has also rolled out fresh content adding “snackable” videos to its airline-owned seatback channel, JetBlue TV. New content partners include: • Food52 (Food): Big Little Recipes, Hit the Road, Snack and More Ketchup, Please • Houzz (Lifestyle/Design): A behind-the-scenes look at home renovations in destinations throughout the JetBlue network • The Nantucket Project (Business): A thought leadership series highlighting notable figures with impactful ideas

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• PureWow (Entertainment): It’s Wine O’Clock, Hack My Travel and Vacation Confessions • Thrillist (Travel): What to Know Before You Go, Gatekeepers • Well + Good (Health): Inflight Fit, You Versus Food and What the Wellness

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powerhouse by RICK LUNDSTROM

Producers of portable IFE need more than a rugged, reliable product and Astronics has sought to feed the all-important needs of airlines for a cost-effective nimble design in its awardwinning Sierra solution


ooking across the airline industry’s future demand for portable IFE, Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification, sees a group of potential customers large enough to warrant continued development and refinement of its products, but also demanding enough not to settle for a limited solution. Reliability, scalability and robustness are a few of the words that come up when Kuehn is asked to describe the company’s portable IFE solution, called Sierra. But the overall market is filled with potential airline customers that do not want to be locked in to a system that limits their ability to deliver a highquality experience to their passengers. “Astronics takes a broader view of the entire passenger experience related to IFEC,” Kuehn tells PAX Tech. “We don’t see any one-size-fits-all product, which is why we have multiple product platforms to suit the needs of various operators and aircraft types.” Astronics’ portable IFE product Sierra is in its third generation. The most recent iteration was launched at last year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo. It

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The compact Sierra unit by Astronics is in its third generation

is currently flying with several airline customers and has earned some design accolades along the way. It is on the 2020 Crystal Cabin Awards shortlist. The compact look of Sierra was the product of the company’s in-house design and development team that took what it learned from previous generations of the device to make it small and lightweight, taking advantage of the latest technologies. In addition to the compact size and performance, Astronics has built Sierra for upgrades, whether it is used in small private jets or commercial aircraft. One of the notable features is a moving map display. For the crew, the system enables hands-free operation through the automated cell modem and ADS-B. “Its uniquely scalable architecture allows it to function both as a low-cost cabin IFE solution as a single batterypowered system or as multiple units

networked together,” said Kuehn. “Sierra accomplishes this by utilizing its dedicated third Wi-Fi radio for load balancing, allowing expanded service on large aircraft to more passengers.” Content can be uploaded through a removable SSD drive while a 4G cell modem enables wireless content loads. The cell modem has an autonomous feature that detects when the aircraft has landed, allowing content to be updated easily and frequently. Three generations of product development paid off for Astronics at the end of last year. It was then Sierra developers claimed a Good Design Awards presented by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design. Founded in Chicago in 1950, the program is the oldest and remains the most recognized authority for design excellence worldwide.




Lufthansa Systems grew and matured during the early years of the digital revolution. Now at 25, the company is setting its sights on making solutions simple and valuable for the passenger



hen Lufthansa Germany Airlines spun off its IT department in 1995, dropdown screens were still showing movies and inflight connectivity was still nearly a decade from first implementation. So it is fitting that one of the primary goals of the company in the years ahead is to make that all-important passenger experience the first priority. “We believe that in the years to come inflight entertainment has to be simple, easy to access and create a real added value for passengers,” said Franziska Stachl, Head of Global Sales Support & Strategy, Passenger Experience Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “The next step will be to simplify the use of various services for the passengers by connecting different apps and services into one.” Making something simple is oftentimes not easy. The company has faced its share of challenges in its 25 years, contributing to the development of the first inflight connectivity platform FlyNet, adding wireless technology through its BoardConnect product and expanding the options by developing a portable device that allows airlines to offer streaming and cost saving IFE that allowed airlines to bypass regulations. FlyNet was the first of what industry jargon called a “hotspot.” It was installed on Lufthansa in 2003.

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25Years_Logo_1920x1080.JPG: NO CAPTION Preparation for the rollout of BoardConnect (photo courtesy Lufthansa Systems)

The company’s continuing efforts to establish wireless connectivity resulted in the development of BoardConnect. This gave passengers, who were new to personal mobile devices at the time, the ability to take their eyes off seatback screens. It also saved airline customers money at the same time. “Requiring just a server and five wireless access points throughout the cabin, Lufthansa Systems estimated the weight savings (in comparison to a traditional wired IFE product on a Boeing 767-300) amounted to 850 kilograms per aircraft,” said Michael Gleich, Head of Customer Facing Functions, Passenger Experience Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Weight reduction, respectively the impact of additional weight, was of enormous importance to save fuel and, as a result, to cut costs.” Other customers followed. In 2013 Virgin Australia was the first airline to roll out BoardConnect fleetwide. Lufthansa Systems simplified the process further in 2015 when it launched BoardConnect Portable on Eurowings

and Azul Airlines as the first wireless IFE system without any aircraft installation requirements. The future of BoardConnect Portable system is BoardConnect Dock, an open digital platform that allows airlines and their partners to adopt and customize onboard services with a variety of applications. “With BoardConnect Dock, we are making the BoardConnect framework available to technology, content and finance partners, enabling them to create their own onboard offering on this basis,” says Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “By doing so, we address a new target group – our partners as a response to the changing requirements of the market.” With a full portfolio of digital solutions now in place, the company sees a future where inflight connectivity is increasingly important to the passenger. Next up is a digital realm that few would have imagined when home computers chirped loudly before connecting to the Internet.

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A modular future Two years of work by industry experts to develop standards for inflight connectivity will be introduced for the first time in Hamburg this year by RICK LUNDSTROM


ver the years, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) has been the place where many important announcements and developments are first placed in front of the industry for inspection and scrutiny. It is one of the driving factors that bring thousands to the Hamburg Messe for Passenger Experience Week. This year, another breakthrough will be introduced first in Hamburg, though more by circumstances than by planning. The Seamless Air Alliance, a group of industry experts who have been toiling through monthly meetings since 2018, will be giving visitors insights on the open standards approach to easing the installation of inflight connectivity on aircraft through a modular structure based on open interfaces. The system enables rapid adoption of new technologies without customization and without the complete replacement of equipment on the aircraft or fleet. The announcement of the completion of the platform and standards was originally timed for launch at the Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona. However, when large players such as Ericsson and Facebook began pulling out because of fears of the novel coronavirus, organizers cancelled the massive event. And while the introduction to Seamless Release 1.0 – which numbers in the hundreds of pages – may have been delayed, Jack Mandala, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Seamless Air Alliance, says that the completion of the specifications and plans that are designed to drive connectivity installations in the future

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was completed in impressive and expeditious fashion. “We have done alliances like this day in, day out and it typically takes three to five years to get to the first release,” says Mandala, who is the former Director of Global Development at Qualcomm where he worked on similar projects. “And we have done it in record time using the Design Sprint method.” Mandala said first discussions for the need for such a platform of standards began two years ago when a handful of founding members identified the need to improve inflight connectivity. It was then, Mandala says, discussion started on how connectivity could sometimes be a “brand damaging event for airlines.” Failure and inadequate service can affect an airlines Net Promoter Score and passengers tend to hold the airline responsible regardless of the supplier, he says. “It is a problem that the industry has been trying to solve for about 15 years,” Mandala says. “There are lots of different pieces to this puzzle. And our group took up the challenge to find the solution, quickly identifying the need for open standards and that was the birth of Seamless.” What started as only a few members and a press release has grown to a group of members that are a who’s who of the industry, with volunteers that have developed the standard, known as Seamless Release 1.0 or SR1. Though designed for easier installation and easier use of connectivity, the process to achieve it nonetheless requires voluminous detail

Jack Mandala, Chief Executive Officer, Seamless Air Alliance

to make inflight connectivity networks operate using components, subsystems and software from multiple suppliers connected over open interfaces. An overview of SR1 says the standards will create a common roaming framework for airlines, passengers, suppliers and mobile network operators that will streamline the passenger experience. “The Seamless interchangeable system enables rapid adoption of new technologies in a surgical manner without requiring customization to the aircraft or airline systems,” said one description of the aircraft system equipped with open technology standards. The need for improving the passenger experience is at the heart of the development. Not only does reliable Wi-Fi in the cabin mean a more satisfied passenger; it has the potential for a large increase in ancillary revenue and cost savings for the airline. The industry still follows closely the study done by the London School of Economics called Sky High Economics which was commissioned by Inmarsat. The multi-volume report forecasts that connected operations will save the global airline industry up


The Seamless interchangeable system enables rapid adoption of new technologies without requiring customization to the aircraft or airline systems

to US$15 billion a year by 2035, using the Internet to improve a vast array of efficiencies in an increasingly busy worldwide airspace. Moreover, the report notes that also by 2035, Wi-Fi in the aircraft cabin will deliver up to US$30 billion in ancillary revenue. With such opportunities, many more airlines will be jumping on board with fleetwide high-speed connectivity in the years to come. Armed with the new standards, airlines will have a set of unique, testable requirements to use when they set out to source products. SR1 contends that the standards will save time and money that would have been used to develop the requirements and will eliminate the guesswork of how to predict how developments will impact their choice of system. 42  |  PAX TECH  |  APRIL 2020

One of the people that worked on SR1 was Mark Cheyney, IFEC Development Manager at Virgin Atlantic.. He said that through the standards, airlines like his will be “more empowered and more in control of their connectivity service offerings, allowing them to meet their customers’ expectations.” “Passenger experience with inflight connectivity varies in speed and simplicity from one airline to another,” said Sherif Bakir, CEO of Vodafone Roaming Services, another Seamless Alliance member. “With rising consumer connectivity needs, this new standard is a promising first step towards a much improved and consistent inflight customer experience.” These points – and undoubtedly, more – will be addressed and answered at the

Alliance’s stand in Hamburg. Mandala said he expects to see more companies commit to work with the Alliance in the future. He also expects that the adoption of the standards will be a boon for the suppliers of components and other products that are used to create a wireless network that can cost an airline up to US$600,000 per aircraft. Many times, the Alliance notes that such systems become out of date and fall behind the technology curve in just three to five years. Mandala points out that suppliers can concentrate on just one component and do not have to do the end-to-end design. “We are encouraging innovation really by providing open standards,” he says. “We want the suppliers to go out and build a better mousetrap. It will really expand the market.”


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SEATING AT THE SEAMS Jenny Carlino, ACRO General Manager Sales – Europe

PAX Tech gets the inside scoop from experts at Acro Aircraft Seating, HAECO, Aviointeriors and Geven on the biggest seating contracts from last year and what is expected in the year ahead by SABRINA PIRILLO


utside forces and industry trends were driving the direction and the attention of the aircraft seating market at the start of the year. Seating companies contacted by PAX Tech were watching developments in the long-range narrow body market, while developing products that will stand up to ever-present environmental scrutiny that has become commonplace. At the same time, the ramifications of the coronavirus outbreak were still being considered along with the future of the 737 MAX. Nonetheless, development is moving ahead, and this year’s Passenger Experience Week promises some new seating products and improvements to existing lines.

Acro Aircraft Seating

Rachel Barnett, Head of Marketing, ACRO Aircraft Seating

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Acro Aircraft Seating has seen considerable global business growth in the past year. The low-cost market has always been important for Acro, from its first customer, Jet2, to Mango Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines and more recently Spring Airlines in China. Acro has continued to expand its business with low-cost carriers with the Series 3 family of seats and the launch of the Series 6LC at AIX Hamburg last year, which is the next-generation product aimed at low-cost carriers.

The launch of the series S6LC took place in Hamburg last year

Spirit Airlines’ new seats have a sleek and modern aesthetic with soft touch matte black synthetic leather upholstery and contrast border stitching in the airline’s signature yellow

“As a result of our continued investment in new product development and a broader product range, we have also been attracting the attention of flag carriers with our Series 6 Economy Class and Series 7 Premium Economy/Domestic First Class seats,” Jenny Carlino, General Manager of Sales, Europe at Acro tells PAX Tech. “Our philosophy, which puts passenger comfort at the heart of what we do, resonates with full-service carriers who are looking to differentiate their products.” Series 6 incorporates the company’s innovative “extra-spatial” design. The fully composite seatback curve provides more living space at knee level and two inches of extra leg room. The seat was first selected by Air New Zealand in 2017 followed by Etihad Airways last year. Acro also initiated additional production capabilities in China under existing Acro EASA Part 21 and AS9100D quality accreditation approvals. The 50,000 square-meter facility in Shanghai will make it possible for Acro to service Asia’s retrofit market with line-fit programs to follow later. Strengthening its aftermarket capability by gaining Part 145 maintenance organization approvals accreditation will enable Acro to perform maintenance and repair services both on and off wing. The company can then provide a comprehensive end-to-end service for its airline and leasing company customers with a cost-effective repair option. In April 2019, Etihad announced that it had selected Acro’s Series 6 Economy Class seat for an upgrade program on its A320/321 fleet, which are used for service within five hours of flight from Abu Dhabi. Acro worked with Etihad to develop a customized version of the seat that includes upper and lower literature

pockets, fast-charging USB provisioning, bespoke fabric seat covers, a headrest and backrest cushions. Another big announcement was Spirit Airlines becoming the launch customer for Acro’s Series 6LC Economy Class seat. Spirit President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ted Christie, unveiled the Series 6LC seats on stage during his “Invest in the Guest” keynote speech at the APEX Expo in Los Angeles last September. The cabin redesign is part of the airline’s commitment to improve the passenger experience. The Series 6LC will be on 40 line-fit and 43 retrofit A320 aircraft. First deliveries and installations began at the end of last year. Acro and Spirit’s relationship began in 2014 when the airline first carried the Series 3 seat. Then in 2015, Airbus became Acro’s first line-fit customer through Spirit. “Spirit is a long-standing customer of Acro’s and we are extremely proud that they are our first Series 6LC customer,” says Marc Westcott, Acro Key Account Manager, USA. “This launch event was the culmination of an intensive 15-month program, whereby both teams at Spirit and Acro have worked in close collaboration to achieve an industry-leading Economy Class product which has been endorsed by leading ergonomics experts.” As Spirit continues to grow and evolve its brand, Acro works hard to keep in stride with the airline’s updated requirements for its seating platform. Initial discussions on the Series 6LC seat started in 2018 and highlighted the perks: increased legroom and useable space, a large sliding meal tray, additional width for the middle seat, a memory foam layer on the cushion and improved pre-recline angle. Acro’s Series 6LC Economy Class seats on Spirit have  |  PAX TECH  |  45

SEATING HAECO’s Vector Light is designed to optimize living space without sacrificing comfort

a sleek and modern aesthetic with soft touch matte black synthetic leather upholstery and contract border stitching in the airline’s signature yellow. Other seat features include an upper literature pocket, a sliding single-leaf table with cup recess, thicker cushioning and lumbar support, and a pre-reclined seatback. The middle seat is an inch wider and the exit row gains more than an inch of pre-recline. In other product range expansions, Acro is launching two seating products designed specifically for twin-aisle aircraft. With Acro moving into the wide-body market, it’s keeping product details under wraps until the unveiling at AIX Hamburg. Acro is showcasing its narrow-body product range at AIX, including the next generation Series 6LC Economy Class seat (the seat selected by Spirit Airlines), the award-winning Series 3 Economy Class seating family, the extra-spatial Series 6 Economy Class seat (in service on Etihad and Air New Zealand) and Series 7 Business Class/Premium Economy seat. This year, the company will also focus on emphasizing sustainably produced materials and exploring new techniques to achieve greener cabin products.


HAECO will be unveiling its newest seating product, “Vector Light” at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg at the end of March. This iteration of Vector is specifically designed to optimize living space without sacrificing comfort, all at the most competitive weight of any fully featured seat. “Vector Light will simply make slimline seats obsolete, with the comfort level achieved at only 28 inches of pitch,” David Kelly, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for HAECO Americas tells PAX. The largest success story for HAECO continues to be publicly announcing the Vector product with Cathay Pacific on its A350-1000 fleet. Although the program was announced a few years ago, HAECO continues to deliver line-fit shipsets to Airbus. This credibility led HAECO to win additional programs with other large, Tier 1 airlines, which would not have made its roster a few years ago. HAECO’s largest market shares are on the A350 and 787 with continued expansion to its “catalog-offerability” for line-fit and retrofit programs, performing cabin and seat installations, and offering maintenance, repair and overhaul work. Kelly says the industry has experienced quite a long run of airline profitability and growing traffic. “We are now being faced with two exogenous events pressuring the industry, where by AIX in Hamburg, the industry will know more about the coronavirus and how long-lasting the impacts will be,” he says. Kelly is also hopeful to know more about the timing of the 737 MAX recovery.


Aviointeriors has always had a strong presence in the retrofit market when it comes to seating in both Economy and First Class, as well as servicing new customers in regions such as the Middle East and Africa. In the past year, Aviointeriors has been first in line as line-fit provider during aircraft production, 46  |  PAX TECH  |  APRIL 2020

The Vector Light by HAECO will be on display at Aircraft Interiors Expo

Aviointeriors CEO Paolo Drago tells PAX Tech. The company is currently in the supplier certification process, which should be finalized by the end of next year. One of the main long-time contracts for Aviointeriors is Icelandair. The flag carrier, headquartered near the capital city of Reykjavik, equips its 757, 767 and 737 MAX fleet with Aviointeriors’ Business and Economy Class seats. Two products that Aviointeriors will highlight in Hamburg are for Business and Economy Class. The first Business Class launch features a full flat seat that transforms into a bed for long-haul flights of about eight to 10 hours. This seat is for single-aisle aircraft, such as the A320 and 737. The other is Aviointeriors’ Economy seat that combines material and technology to deliver a low-weight per passenger seat. Drago says that to predict where the seating industry is headed, it must be first gain a better understanding of the 737 MAX and its market repositioning. “The industry is suffering due to lack of capacity for finding a replacement to service these routes,” he says. “We’ve seen shrinkage in terms of market volumes and I think as an industry, we need to work on the future and evolution of long-haul flights.”


Last year saw Geven consolidate the Economy Class seats market for single aisle aircraft. Wizz Air selected the company’s Essenza seat, and so did Lufthansa Group for its A320/A321 aircraft for Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and Austrian Airlines. Geven Marketing and Sales Manager Rodolfo Baldascino tells PAX Tech the supplier has already delivered several shipsets to Lufthansa and the demand is only growing. “The seat completed its EIS period successfully with Lufthansa and this was a very important task to be achieved. We have seen the customer list for the Essenza growing day-by-day.” In addition to its contracts with Wizz Air and Lufthansa Group, Geven’s Boeing seats also became available for line-fit in early-2019. Geven seats already fly on several Boeing aircraft, but until recently, only for retrofit projects. “This is a great addition to the Geven portfolio. It opens a new and wider market for the company,” Baldascino explains. Geven also dedicated 2019 to fine-tuning its new Economy Class seat for long-range, the Elemento, which will be presented at AIX Hamburg. The seat is designed

The Elemento by Geven is designed to provide more living space in reduced confines of pitch and has a video screen, cup holder, eyeglass holder, literature pockets, personal electronic device holders and reading lights

to provide more living space in reduced confines of pitch, including a super light but functional cradle option. The seat also features a large video screen, cup holder, eyeglass holder, customized literature pockets and universal use, personal electronic device holders and reading lights. “Long-haul travel has evolved into new and more demanding needs, dictated by fierce fare competition, which in turn, calls for more seats in less,” reads the press release for the Elemento seat. When asked where Geven see’s the industry heading in 2020, Baldascino says, it’s hard to say. The biggest demand in the last two years from the industry and

passengers, he says, is the request for less weight and more comfort at tighter pitches. The demand has shifted now, to long-haul seats for single-aisle aircraft. “This is a new category of products as the long-range Premium Economy was born just a few years ago,” Baldascino says. It will add complexity and be more challenging to develop and certify because suppliers will be expected to offer the same comfort as a long-range wide-body seat at the weight and price of an economy seat for short-haul. “That is a completely different product,” he says. “Here at Geven, we are prepared and already have solutions to meet customer demand for this new type of seat.”  |  PAX TECH  |  47



Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Aircraft Interiors Expo. In this Q&A, Event Director Polly Magraw tells PAX Tech how the digital transformation at the heart of the industry is revolutionizing the passenger experience towards a customer-centric, personalized cabin interior PAX TECH: Can you describe what the future of AIX will look like? POLLY MAGRAW: That’s the million-dollar question! The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reveals that every day, the aviation industry transports more than 10 million passengers and predicts that demand for air transport will increase by an average of 4.3 percent over the next 20 years. It’s almost impossible to predict how that growth will be played out in terms of the passenger experience and, in turn, AIX. For instance, if you think back a little more than 10 years ago to what mobile phone technology looked like pre-iPhone, you can see how in just a decade, mobile communications have evolved beyond almost all recognition. What we can predict is that technology will continue to revolutionize air travel on every level; from making it more sustainable to completely transforming the passenger experience. I’d expect to see the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the cabin, more personalization in terms of the food and drink served on board, plus a greater focus on wellbeing. What we can guarantee, as the industry evolves, is that all of these elements and more will be showcased at AIX and the co-located World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) in years to come. 48  |  PAX TECH  |  APRIL 2020

PAX: What is it about the event that has led to so much growth, success and companies returning to Hamburg year after year? MAGRAW: AIX is the world’s leading event for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries. It has built its outstanding reputation over more than 20 years, with each successive year embracing and showcasing the latest developments within the industry. From the very beginning it has not only provided a platform for airlines and their suppliers to spotlight the very latest in the passenger experience, but also a forum for the industry to meet, exchange and discuss ideas, share insight and learn from each other. This year we’re expecting to welcome more than 16,000 attendees with AIX 2020 offering a unique opportunity for suppliers to speak directly with more than 1,500 attendees from the world’s airlines and generate highly targeted business leads. PAX: What can both exhibitors and visitors expect to see at AIX this year? MAGRAW: This year will see 600 suppliers showcasing the very latest in products and services. Boeing and Airbus will be

Expect to see the development of the Internet of Things in the cabin – more personalization in terms of food and drink served on board, plus a greater focus on wellbeing.”

Air Interiors Expo celebrates more than 20 years of providing business networking to the aircraft industry

Aircraft Interiors Expo showcases the latest ideas and innovations from more than 500 companies in the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment, connectivity and passenger services sectors

joined by other industry heavyweights including Collins Aerospace, Safran, Recaro, STELIA and Adient, as well as first time exhibitors such as Apollo Aerospace Components and Foviatech GmbH. There will also be the industry’s largest representation of inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC), which returns to the IFEC Zone. Specialists such as Astronics, Thales, Inmarsat, Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Global Eagle will all be in attendance with the very latest in OTT systems, 5G and VR. I’d also strongly advise visitors to schedule time for the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre, which is open to all. It will play host to industry experts who will lead debate and discussion on key market trends and challenges. Topics confirmed this year include the challenges and opportunities of creating an accessible cabin, how to extract value from customer-centric experiences and the outlook for the aircraft interiors market. PAX: Does the Expo feature anything new this year? Why did Reed decide to bring this in? MAGRAW: Absolutely. In 2020, we will bring our dedicated meetings program called AIX Connect to Hamburg. It is designed to help buyers meet exhibitors during the show to build business connections and discuss new projects. Exhibitors taking part will be paired with procurement teams, OEMs and key airlines buyers to discuss business opportunities. The

program will give attendees the benefit of increased networking opportunities while exhibitors enjoy high-quality business connections matched to their product offering. Networking is at the heart of AIX, so it makes sense for us to launch a specific platform to facilitate business between suppliers and the airlines and OEMs. And, to make AIX as productive and simple as possible for everyone attending, we’ll soon be launching a new and improved AIX App to assist visitors in connecting with key exhibitors. By doing this, we can ensure that AIX continues to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding innovation now, and in the future. We will do this by listening to and speaking with the industry to keep AIX relevant, educational and – perhaps most importantly – business-focused. PAX: Which speakers do you have confirmed so far, and what topics to be discussed at the event? MAGRAW: Our Passenger Experience Conference, taking place on March 30, offers an unrivalled opportunity to hear some of the world’s foremost experts share their insights, ideas and analysis behind cabin design and passenger experience. Sessions will delve into how innovations might impact on and influence the passenger experience. With digital transformation at the heart of industry evolution, PEC will consider how personalization in aviation will evolve, plus discuss some of the innovations that will deliver tomorrow’s customer-centric journeys. Speakers will include Florent Petteni, Aircraft Interiors Marketing Director at Airbus, who will talk about ‘disrupting from within’; author and entrepreneur Peter Shankman will deliver a keynote presentation on how customer experiences will dictate the global economy over the next 50 years, and how Gen Z and Gen Alpha are plotting to take their travel to the next level. There will also be a session on driving new revenue streams with Michael Raasch, head of Airline Solutions at AOE and a closer look at sustainability with Thomas Rotte, Industrial Design Engineer from the Technical University of Delft. PAX: Can you share with us the names of some of the companies that are AIX vets, as well as some new companies who are expected to make their AIX debut this year? MAGRAW: We’re set to welcome back most of the biggest names in the industry –Airbus, Molon Labe, Safran. Meanwhile, AIX will warmly welcome many new names to the event, including AD Aerospace, specialists in aircraft video surveillance; Aircraft Interior Refurbishmente España S.L (AIRE), a leading cabin maintenance business; seating specialist Dynamic Safety LLC, and; cabin interior manufacturer and supplier, Schoutteten Froidure. Registration for Aircraft Interiors Expo 2020 is now open. For more information, visit  |  PAX TECH  |  49



Passersby sample seat offerings at the HAECO stand

This year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East teamed IFE and connectivity with maintenance, repair and overhaul in a twoday event at the Dubai World Trade Centre

D PAX International Editorin-Chief Rick Lundstrom stopped by the stand of Creation & Image to try on one of the company’s uniform offerings. He is shown here with Sales and Development Manager Melissa Kohlbry

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UBAI — If there was doubt in anyone’s mind about the importance of inflight entertainment and connectivity in the future of air travel and the passenger experience, the discussions at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East and Middle East MRO events from February 25 to 26 would put any of that skepticism to an end. Speakers detailed plans of major technology and satellite investment, and touted the importance of emerging cellular capability as a way for airlines to save and earn money, all in the billions of dollars in years to come. Outside the sessions, hundreds of companies sought to use their expertise to fill the ever-increasing demand for maintenance and overhaul in a region that will have its fair share of aircraft deliveries and airline growth in the next several years. Two days of networking and seminars, that ended February 26, brought in more than 5,000 visitors to two large halls that held 330 exhibitors. The stands bustled with

Interior Protection Solutions

activities throughout the two days. In the late-morning and early-afternoon IFEC Seminar sessions, panelists and presenters laid out a future of increased satellite and 4G and 5G connectivity designed to enhance passenger experience and provide a source of revenue for the airlines. “The event has yet again attracted some of the industry’s most exciting innovations,” says Caryn McConnachie, Aerospace Director at Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East show organizers. “We are proud to have been able to bring together the industry’s key innovators with its airline customers in a dedicated event, providing the ideal platform for business.” PAX Tech Editor-in-Chief Rick Lundstrom moderated the IFEC Seminar. The opening day of sessions first brought together two engineers, Zak Liyaqat-Ali, Senior Manager of Components at South African Airways, and Rana Kashif Altaf, Senior Fleet Manager of Engineering and Technical Services at Emirates. Liyaqat-Ali took visitors through the airline’s passenger tracking system that monitors people from check-in to aircraft using radio frequency TETRA technology. Altaf led numerous technical projects and retrofits on Emirates’ fleet including the airlines ice inflight entertainment system, cabin connectivity, live TV and cabin video monitoring. On both days, SITAONAIR’s Product Development Manager Philippe Combe made the case for the potential of inflight cellular 4G and 5G connectivity as a way for airlines to provide both a superior and flexible inflight connectivity experience as well as a revenue stream. By 2023, Combe said estimates show that there will be one billion devices produced that can accommodate 5G capability. To efficiently obtain the ancillary revenue available, he said airlines can work with some of the 800 mobile communications companies to bundle roaming packages that passengers can use throughout their trip. “Passengers are willing to pay for the right user experience,” Combe told the group. Neale Faulkner, Regional Vice President for Inmarsat, dwelled on the future of inflight connectivity for a generation of Millennial and Generation Z travelers that are now becoming regular flyers. Younger travelers have grown up expecting Internet to be readily available from any location and for airlines to retain a group that ignores such perks as frequent flyer memberships, a reliable Internet connection is vital to retaining their loyalty, he said. The first day of the IFEC Seminar ended with a panel discussion featuring Philippe Combe from SITAONAIR, Alya Al Qalam Al Yafie, Manager Development Engineer IFEC at Oman Air, Peter Schetschine, Managing Director of KID-Systeme, and Rahul Behal, Marketing Development Manager MEASA at Inmarsat. In a wideranging session, panelists talked about the importance of communication between airlines and technology providers and their goals of enhancing passenger experience. They also touched on the ways that airlines could better meet the needs of families and young travelers. Day two discussions brought back several panelists. Zak Liyaqat-Ali, a veteran of South African Airways, took the group through the airline’s decades-long history of the legacy airline from the early 90s’ when it was a pioneer in inflight entertainment and cabin service through

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KID-Systeme is one of the companies that has committed to next year’s AIME. The company’s Managing Director, Peter Schetschine, was a panelist for the opening day discussions

Stuart McOnie of Semmco with the company’s movable stairs used for cabin interior work

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Thomas Renz, Sales Director Middle East VIP and Special Mission Aircraft at Lufthansa Systems, with a mockup of the 787 cabin in a VIP configuration

the early 2000s when it had a comprehensive restructuring program which aimed to make the airline profitable. South African Airways is still implementing measures to return to profitability. These include targeted changes to the route network, deployment of more fuel-efficient aircraft, optimization of organizational structures and renegotiation of key contracts with suppliers. It has also acquired more fuel efficient A350s for its long-haul network. Steney Johns, Technical Manager for Inmarsat Aviation gave a detailed anaylsis. To establish global coverage of its satellite network, Inmarsat will be launching a group of three satellites in the near future. The company’s GX 7, 8, and 9 satellites will deliver approximately twice the total capacity of the entire current GX network. The company is also planning ahead for ultra-long-range flights by working to provide inflight connectivity over the North and South Polar regions where many of the flights will go. Software improvements and more maneuverable satellites will also be necessary to cover the burgeoning air traffic in several important regions, Johns said. The IFEC Seminar sessions rounded out with Tina Ghataore, Executive Vice President of Inflight Connectivity Solutions at Yahsat in Abu Dhabi. The company has a constellation that covers 55 countries in the Middle East region, providing inflight and ground Internet to the Middle East and Africa. The company is seeking out airlines in the region. Many of the region’s low-cost carriers would benefit greatly by offering passengers the service, she said. Yahsat took the first steps to offering inflight Internet two years ago through a partnership between Yahsat, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hughes Network System, and Carlisle Interconnect. As part of the partnership, Yahsat successfully tested and has implemented 50 megabits per second Internet connection. AIME and MRO Middle East will return to Dubai World Trade Centre March 2 to 3, 2021.

Stay in touch with PAX Tech Magazine is the leading voice of news and analysis for the MRO, interiors and IFEC industries. We cover the trends, challenges and changes facing the aviation industry now and we’re always on the hunt for the latest news. Share exciting developments with us in the run-up to AIME 2020 by visiting or contacting

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 Octaspring® – Vanema: Vanema has introduced a new cabin crew mattress using its Patented Octaspring® Aerospace technology. With foam spring technology for breathable support and natural thermoregulation, the technology uses 50 percent fewer material in its production, saving up to three kilograms of weight per mattress on the aircraft. El Al Israel Airlines partnered with the company to provide the mattress for crew on its 777s.

 portable IFE Sierra – Astronics Corporation: Astronics’ Sierra is an affordable, scalable solution that delivers IFE as a standalone unit from a single battery or, when installed and powered, can employ multiple units merged into a single network to cover a larger aircraft cabin. Sierra enables passengers to enjoy streaming audio, video, digital magazine content and more, matching the experience of installed IFE without the need for a supplemental type certificate (STC).

 SkyClip+ device holder: The SkyClip is a simple and affordable mounted mobile device holder. It eliminates the needs for passengers to balance several items on the tray, hold a personal device or adjust to get comfortable. It is foldable with non-slip surfaces and includes a detachable cord to secure the device. SkyClip+ works just as effectively on any flat surface. Compatible with most devices. Branding and custom colors available upon request. Branded SkyClips+ will fly on Air Canada Rouge starting in April.

 Model DSS-101 Seat – Dynamic Safety: This seat features an ergonomically contoured seat pan and back support for short- and long-range flights. It has a high hinge-point seat back and sliding seat pan that allow for relaxed seating with increased space to rear passengers. The curved thin-back design gives passengers more space. Other features include a low HIC / Femur test valued by design offering greater occupant protection and competitive weight for fully integrated Economy Class seats.

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 SSUL-X saf-Tglo® floorpath – STG Aerospace: SSUL-X photoluminescent emergency floor path system has edge-to-edge color that eliminates visible borders and comes in a matte or gloss finish. A variety of colors match airline brands and cabin schemes, including red for the first time. The customizable SSUL-X is easy to install, taking less than one hour for 737-800 aircraft. It builds on STG Aerospace’s range of environmentally friendly, non-powered photoluminescent floor path marking products.

 Interspace Comfort System – Universal Movement: This seating system by Universal Movement, a company by London-based creative firm New Territory, increases passenger comfort using a fold-out wing system on “living hinges” that fold into the upholstery. Airlines can brand the wings and embed technology. Facial recognition is being explored for future product lines.

 The Airchair onboard wheelchair – Mercury Products (South) Limited: Created by engineering company Mercury Products (South) Limited, the Airchair enables passengers to arrive at their seat easily and with dignity. With 360-degree swivel castor wheels, the Airchair is easy to maneuver around the confines of an aircraft. It gives access to onboard amenities and improves the experience for all passengers. Weighing just six kilograms, the Airchair is the market’s lightest onboard wheelchair. It reduces fuel cost for airlines and is easy to store.

 Boom Headrest – ABC International: ABC’s Boom Headrest is a revolutionary headrest, designed for passenger comfort and to enhance the flight experience in every seating position possible. The headrest can be adjusted to any position that the passenger wants, eliminating the need for airlines to supply orthopedic pillows or for passengers to bring their own onboard. This reduces stiff neck, neck pain and allows passengers to rest better onboard.

 Cobalt Unplugged – Cobalt Aerospace: 15-watt tri-coil version. Cobalt Unplugged is a 15-watt tri-coil wireless charging unit that is compatible with all Qi (wireless charging) enabled devices and blends seamlessly into interior surfaces, enhancing any cabin design and removing cable clutter. The new lightweight, slimline wireless charging unit provides more space to charge their device. It is durable and protected from damage and spills based on where it’s placed.  |  PAX TECH  |  55


 ARCTICart – Bucher

 Flymingo Box – Flymingo: Flymingo Box is a wireless inflight entertainment solution based on a patented portable server with the capacity to broadcast a catalog of 10,000 hours of content and can offer IFE streaming to 100 passengers simultaneously. Passengers can access the service from any type of device, without the need for an application. French passenger solutions tech company Moment recently integrated the Flymingo Box on Surinam Airways fleet. Through Moment’s app-free technology, passengers will be able to access DRM-protected content directly from their personal device browser.

Aerospace Corp: ARCTICart is a simple and effective way to keep chilled meals at a low temperature for 20 to 24 hours. Its high-performing yet compact thermal insulation is fully compatible with inside and outside ATLAS standard dimensions and does not require any dry-ice as coolant. The internal usable space of the half-size version is maximized with an allowance for seven drawers. ARCTICart is a great cost-saving tool for return or multi-segment catering strategies.

 Airborne Mains Adaptor – Weigele Aerospace: Weigele Aerospace designed this affordable and lightweight and cigarette box sized mains adapter to supply LED and microcontroller-based innovations wherever it is needed inside the cabin. The Airborne Mains Adapter endows the designers an entire new degree of freedom for enhancing passenger experience by introducing electronic devices where and how they want inside the cabin.

 Royalux Business Class

 BrighTan – Wollsdorf Leather: BrighTan is a modern leather tanning method that meets ecological requirements by being completely heavy metal-free, chrome-free and glutaraldehyde-free tanned. Wollsdorf Leather’s EVO+ antibacterial leather surface treatment protects again bacterial colonization. Within a few hours, bacteria on leather surfaces is reduced by 99.9 percent.

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seat – TSI Seats: The first Business Class product, this narrow-body seat from TSI aims to set a new benchmark for passenger comfort. It features an electronically controlled recline and leg rest extension, four-way head rest, lumbar support and massage function, a wireless charging module and a cocktail table. TSI developed two seats within the same platform, enabling carriers to select ‘standard’ or ‘premium’ and allowing for more customization options. The Royalux will be featured in Airbus BFE Product Catalog among other TSI products.

 IZIT Leather XRT – Willow Tex: IZIT Leather XRT, a new light-weight 360-grams-per-squaremeter leather alternative, was developed for aircraft seating applications. It meets oil burn flammability requirements for aircraft cushions assemblies, uses proprietary ECOCEL® technology and features a solvent-free micro-porous foam layer that improves durability, scuff resistance and hydrolytic stability. This technology has already been used in automotive seating for more than a decade.

 Life Vest Rigid Box – ABC International: The Life Vest Rigid Box is designed to provide easy life vest access to passengers in every seating configuration. Door opening and life vest extraction can be made with a single action. The box is manufactured using polycarbonate resin and supplied in transparent color for ease of inspection. Dedicated solutions may also be designed for airlines.

For most flights, your �me sitting inside aircra� is over three hours. Comfort ma�ers! Dynamic Safety Seat Features: Ergonomically contoured seat pan and back support for superior comfort during short and long range flights; High hinge-point seat back and sliding seat pan design allows for relaxed sea�ng with increased space to rear passengers; Curved, thin-back design provides more passenger space than tradi�onal seats; Low HIC / Femur test values by design offer greater occupant protec�on; Compe��ve weight for fully integrated Economy Class seats. Visit us at Booth 1UA03 adjacent to Airline Club Lounge.  |  PAX TECH  |  57


Headin’ to Hamburg! A look at what the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg has to offer, from its history of both great growth and destruction, to its cargo port, sights, nightlife and festivals

RATHAUS The neo-renaissance building, or City Hall, that is Hamburg’s seat of government where parliament and senate assemble

Bright nightlife The famous street Reeperbahn in the heart of St. Pauli is known for its nightlife and red-light district that kept sailors and others entertained in the 1960s


The view spanning The Elbphilharmonie Plaza and concert hall. A new Hamburg landmark that towers 37 meters above ground

The Fab 4 The Beatles played their first gigs in the ‘60s at dive bars in the Reeperbahn before becoming international rock stars 58  |  PAX TECH  |  APRIL 2020


The year St. Michael’s Church was completed, after two previous churches on the same site were destroyed by a lightning strike and a catastrophic fire, respectively

135 million

Tons of cargo that crossed the quay walls of the Port of Hamburg in 2018


Hosted three times a year, the iconic DOM is the largest public festival in Northern Germany. It serves classic German treats like sauerkraut, currywurst and roasted almonds, and attractions like rides, games and fortune tellers


The history of aviation began with making the impossible possible. This spirit still inspires our work at Lufthansa Technik today. Ingenuity is the basis on which we create exceptional solutions for an industry in motion. Each and every day, we combine imaginative engineering and the best in design and technology to bring excellence to all of our customers and partners. Together we challenge the status quo as we create new and better ways forward. CHR ISTOP H ER P ET ERM A NN • ENG INEER INNOVAT ION & RE SEAR C H

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

Fly beyond expectations

Articles inside

FACTS & FIGURES article cover image


pages 58-60
EYE ON IFEC This year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East teamed IFE and connectivity with maintenance, repair and overhaul in a two-day event at the Dubai World Trade Centre article cover image

EYE ON IFEC This year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East teamed IFE and connectivity with maintenance, repair and overhaul in a two-day event at the Dubai World Trade Centre

pages 50-53
WHAT’S HOT article cover image


pages 54-57
AIRCRAFT INTERIORS IN A DIGITAL WORLD Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Aircraft Interiors Expo. In this Q&A, Event Director Polly Magraw tells PAX Tech how the digital transformation at the heart of the industry is revolutionizing the passenger experience towards a customer-centric, personalized cabin interior article cover image

AIRCRAFT INTERIORS IN A DIGITAL WORLD Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Aircraft Interiors Expo. In this Q&A, Event Director Polly Magraw tells PAX Tech how the digital transformation at the heart of the industry is revolutionizing the passenger experience towards a customer-centric, personalized cabin interior

pages 48-49
SEATING AT THE SEAMS PAX Tech gets the inside scoop from experts at Acro Aircraft Seating, HAECO, Aviointeriors and Geven on the biggest seating contracts from last year and what is expected in the year ahead article cover image

SEATING AT THE SEAMS PAX Tech gets the inside scoop from experts at Acro Aircraft Seating, HAECO, Aviointeriors and Geven on the biggest seating contracts from last year and what is expected in the year ahead

pages 44-47
LIGHT YEARS AHEAD Leading suppliers are making the case for the transformative power of lighting at AIX Hamburg article cover image

LIGHT YEARS AHEAD Leading suppliers are making the case for the transformative power of lighting at AIX Hamburg

pages 30-31
A MODULAR FUTURE Two years of work by industry experts to develop standards for inflight connectivity will be introduced to the industry for the first time in Hamburg this year article cover image

A MODULAR FUTURE Two years of work by industry experts to develop standards for inflight connectivity will be introduced to the industry for the first time in Hamburg this year

pages 40-43
NO COMPROMISE Air Canada’s first A220-300 took to the air in January representing a pick that lets the airline spend billions of dollars in its home country, and fills a specific need while earning kudos for sustainability article cover image

NO COMPROMISE Air Canada’s first A220-300 took to the air in January representing a pick that lets the airline spend billions of dollars in its home country, and fills a specific need while earning kudos for sustainability

pages 18-21
OVEN-READY SOLUTIONS PAX Tech highlights the latest product developments and trends in the increasingly tech-led galley systems sector article cover image

OVEN-READY SOLUTIONS PAX Tech highlights the latest product developments and trends in the increasingly tech-led galley systems sector

pages 22-25
PORTABLE POWERHOUSE Producers of portable IFE need more than a rugged, reliable product and Astronics has sought to feed the all-important needs of airlines for a cost-effective nimble design in its award-winning Sierra solution article cover image

PORTABLE POWERHOUSE Producers of portable IFE need more than a rugged, reliable product and Astronics has sought to feed the all-important needs of airlines for a cost-effective nimble design in its award-winning Sierra solution

pages 36-37
NEWS article cover image


pages 8-17
FRESH IN FLIGHT From the coronavirus outbreak to long-haul flights, PAX Tech uncovers the latest in cabin hygiene directly from industry suppliers article cover image

FRESH IN FLIGHT From the coronavirus outbreak to long-haul flights, PAX Tech uncovers the latest in cabin hygiene directly from industry suppliers

pages 26-29
DECADE THREE Lufthansa Systems grew and matured during the early years of the digital revolution. Now at 25, the company is setting its sights on making solutions simple and valuable for the passenger article cover image

DECADE THREE Lufthansa Systems grew and matured during the early years of the digital revolution. Now at 25, the company is setting its sights on making solutions simple and valuable for the passenger

pages 38-39
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