March 6 2019  |  Events

Crystal Cabin Award announces 2019 finalists

By PAX International

The 24 finalists across eight Crystal Cabin Award categories have been announced.

The international expert jury viewed and evaluated some 94 shortlisted entries. The winners will be announced in Hamburg on April 2 at a gala dinner for the industry during Aircraft Interiors Expo.

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has come up with a new use for the space underneath the passenger cabin with its Lower Deck Pax Experience Modules. Today, the space is used for, among other things, cargo containers. In the future, though, it could contain lounge areas or quiet zones for Economy Class passengers to make ultra-long-haul routes more pleasant. Travel with First Class, on the other hand, and you can already experience such luxuries on the newer aircraft in the Emirates fleet. The Boeing 777 First Class Fully Enclosed Suites have the atmosphere of a private jet.

There are also numerous high-tech components such as video calls from the passenger to the crew and virtual windows for suites located in the center of the plane, meaning every seat has a guaranteed window view. Rather than opulence, Safran Essential Business Class is focused on efficiency and sustainability. Doing away entirely with heavy mechanical components, the concept relies instead on innovative cushion structures. The result is 25 percent less weight and almost 20 percent more space for the passenger.

One of the central questions shaping the “Cabin Systems” category is how to most efficiently use the space within an aircraft. Collins Aerospace provides a great example with its Flex Duet self-service counter for snacks and drinks. During cruise flight, it can just be opened up like a closet door, folding in front of the aircraft door to give a purpose to otherwise unused space. The X-Tend Seat from Airbus increases efficiency in individual seating rows by partially folding down the seat cushion when the passenger stands up. This provides the passenger with more freedom of movement within the row, whilst the airline can compress the seating pitch in emergency exit rows. Diehl Aviation, meanwhile, offers greater seat pitch independence with its Flexible Passenger Service Unit system. The modules, containing for example air vents and reading lamps, are not fixed in place above the seats; instead, they can be repositioned for optimal passenger convenience.

In the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category, the nanoe air filtration system by Panasonic extracts pungent smells from the cabin, for example after meals, improving the air quality. (The concept is currently only available for Business Class.) For some years already, the Skycouch from Air New Zealand has led the way in creating a genuine luxury upgrade for Economy Class passengers, converting an entire row of seats to a bed on demand. And now, this practical concept is available in a family edition, with new belts and safety guards ensuring that even babies and infants can be safely put to bed here. The jury showed its appreciation of this enhancement with a place in the finals. Diehl Aviation provides the third candidate in this category, too, with an innovation equally advantageous for old and young. The UV-LED Water Disinfection Unit is a retrofit antibacterial filter for the toilet area. For the first time, tap water is reliably drinkable on board.

For more information on all of the finalists,please visit the Cabin Cabin Award website.

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