April 29 2013  |  Inflight Entertainment

Visitors to Aircraft Interiors Expo 2013 up 12 percent

By Lauren Brunetti

This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, which played host to the world’s largest display of aircraft interiors products and services, welcomed 8,906 (pre- Audit figure) visitors through its doors between 9 – 11 April.  This was a remarkable 12 percentage increase on the previous year.  The exhibition featured over 500 exhibiting companies from 26 countries, covering a record floor space on 18,000 square meters – the largest footprint to date.  

Organised by Reed Exhibitions and taking place in Hamburg, Germany, the exhibition attracted more than 750 airline representatives that were ideally placed to witness the launch of important new innovations in the cabin interior sector.

The Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity sector hosted numerous product launches and upgrades, including, TriaGnoSys’ AeroConnex+ which offers greater data streaming capabilities, integrated gatelink to 3G and 4G mobile phone networks and WLAN access point.  Another key feature is its weight at only 4kg, making it 20% lighter than its predecessor.  Panasonic Avionics used the exhibition to launch its new conceptual 14-inch monitor developed specifically with economy class in mind, while Lufthansa Systems unveiled its e-reader functionality for its BoardConnect Wireless IFE system. 

Aircraft Interiors Expo has become known as the platform for seat manufacturers to launch their latest offerings to save weight and increase comfort and 2013 saw this trend continue. First time exhibitor, Expliseat, presented its Titanium Economy Class seat that promises airlines a weight saving of 50% with an associated fuel saving of 5%.  EADS Sogerma unveiled its first premium economy class seat and a related business class seat for narrow body aircraft – called Celeste.

Standards for flame-smoke-toxicity (FST) performance are increasingly becoming more stringent and SABIC’s Innovative Plastics business announced the launch of its super low gloss LEXAN XHR 6005 sheet in Hamburg.  The sheet brings velvety texture aesthetics after thermoforming for interior applications and the new LEXAN XHR A13 film adds robustness in multilayer laminate constructions used in decorative interior applications. These industry-leading solutions not only meet demanding performance requirements, but also demonstrate SABIC’s on-going investment in advanced materials technologies and the company’s commitment to helping aircraft OEMs meet the critical challenges of weight-out, regulatory compliance, sustainability and improved flying experience.

Hilmar Backer, Industry Marketing Manager Europe for Aerospace, SABIC, commented, “This is the eighth time we have participated in the show as SABIC and each year it provides a great opportunity to connect face to face with our customers.  We feel this show attracts the right audience and it’s also wonderful to see the results as well, as some of our own customer’s exhibit and present compliant and lightweight solutions based on SABIC thermoplastics, sheets and composites.”

Announcements from the floor included:

  • MacCarthy Aviation secured Condor as its first customer of its new retro-fit lavatory system on its 12 strong 767 fleet of aircraft.
  • A partnership between Gogo and Thales whereby airlines can select an integrated IFEC product that uses Gogo’s connectivity strengths with Thales’ TopConnect cabin system.
  • OnAir announced that Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350 and A380 fleet will be fitted with both Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir Connectivity.
  • Turkish Airlines selected Lumexis’ IFEC system – Fiber-To-The-Screen - for two of its Airbus A330s.
  • Bluebox Avionics announced that leading Scandinavian leisure airline, Primera Air, has selected the Bluebox Ai Inflight Entertainment system for deployment across its expanding fleet.

More than 300 delegates attended the Passenger Experience Conference that took place on 8th April at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg.  The audience, which included senior representatives of major airlines, air framers and cabin interiors suppliers, heard Tom Costley, Director, Head of Travel & Tourism, TNS UK give some encouraging news for the industry, saying that despite what looked like being a prolonged period of depressed global economic conditions, the travel and tourism sector was proving more resilient than most. The older generation, having both the desire and money to see the world, was a major driver.  Delegates also heard from Dr. Joachim Schneider, Head of Product Management & Airport Passenger Services, Lufthansa German Airlines; and Devin Liddell, Principal Brand Strategist, Teague, who gave a compelling plenary session on branding. 

'We are absolutely thrilled with the number of visitors that attended not only the exhibition but also the Passenger Experience Conference.  We are fully committed to building on Aircraft Interiors Expo's position as a global showcase for innovation and an influential forum for the discussion of key topical issues," said Katie Murphy, Aircraft Interiors Expo Exhibition Director, in a recent media release.,

Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 takes place 8 – 10 April 2014 with the Passenger Experience Conference taking place on 7 April at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg.  For more information please visit www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com


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