June 11 2020  |  Events

Passenger Experience Conference goes virtual

By Jane Hobson

Reed Exhibitions, organizers of the renowned Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), has announced details of its first-ever six-part PEC Virtual webinar series that will run weekly from June 17 to July 22. The free online webinars will debate some of the biggest problems facing the aviation industry in the post-pandemic world and how to plan for the future.

Representatives from Tronos Aviation Consulting, Viasat, Tapis Corporation, DesignWorks, Williams Advanced Engineering and Diehl Aviation, are among those coming together to discuss a range of important topics.

Weekly sessions bring together industry visionaries
Running in place of this year’s face-to-face event, which normally takes place ahead of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), the PEC Virtual Series will provide cabin interiors professionals with the latest insights, ideas and analysis from the people and businesses that are driving the evolution of the passenger experience.

Each week, a panel of industry experts will come together to discuss the current issues impacting the future of the passenger experience industry, including:

Wednesday June 17 – Outlook for aircraft interiors
Airlines and their interiors supply chain partners are facing unprecedented challenges, with much of the world’s fleet grounded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the aviation industry prepares for a return to air travel, the first PEC Virtual Series webinar will address the outlook for interiors specification programs and reconfiguration projects. Moderator Andrew Doyle, Director Market Development, Cirium will be joined by speakers Gary Weissel, Managing Officer at Tronos Aviation Consulting, Rob Morris, Global Head of Consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, Don Buchman, Vice President, Commerical Aviation, Viasat, and Matthew Nicholls, Sales Director at Tapis Corporation, will share insights from the industry’s key market segments.

Wednesday June 24 – Returning to air travel: Solving the MRO, modification and retrofit pain points
In the second PEC Virtual Series webinar, Nicole Noack, Managing Director at Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance; Cristian Sutter, Vice President Commercial Aviation Strategy at GDC Technics and Frederic Dupont, Vice President Technical Sales and Customer Services, Etihad Engineering will come together to discuss how reassurance for passengers will dominate the requirements of maintenance and cleaning regimes as well as modification and retrofit initiatives. This online session will ask important questions such as what impact will more stringent cleaning regimes have on seats, monuments and materials and OEM warranties; and what consequences will it have on the regulatory landscape?

Wednesday July 1 – Thinking like a disrupter
Technologies embedded in materials, or that emulate the natural user experience have the power to transform passenger interactions within the cabin. Leading the discussion, Johannes Lampela, Director of Design, Los Angeles, BMW Group Designworks, will explore the new opportunities to harness disruptive technologies to both support travellers and ensure a safe flying environment.

Wednesday July 8 – Insights into Innovating Aviation
Moderator Bernd Knobe, Managing Partner at umlaut consulting, will be joined by Aurélie Germain, Airline & MRO Industry Value Expert at Dassault Systèmes and Roland Naudy from the Airbus Aircraft Interiors Marketing Team, to offer insight into the initiatives and methodologies that aviation leaders are deploying to encourage innovations that will transform experiences and encourage passengers to return to air travel.

Wednesday July 15 – Developing lightweight products for the cabin
The penultimate PEC Virtual Series webinar will welcome industry experts, including Ben Orson, Managing Director London at JPA Design, Stu Olden, Senior Commercial Manager at Williams Advanced Engineering, and Nigel Smith, Managing Director & Head of Design at SWS Certification Services. They will address the opportunities to reduce both fuel usage and the CO2 footprint of aviation using lightweight materials and Formula 1 derived technology in the aerospace cabin market. Attendees will also gain an exclusive look at Project AIRTEK – an 18-month Aerospace Technology Institute/UK government sponsored programme to deliver a novel and innovative lightweight composite business class seat structure.

Wednesday July 22 – Returning to air travel: How data and tech can help meet the needs of passengers
The final PEC Virtual Series webinar for the summer will see Patrick Prefontaine, Vice President Business Development at Fethr a Black Swan Company, Jaime Moreno, Chief Executive Officer at Mormedi, and Helge Sachs, Senior Vice President Product Innovation at Diehl Aviation, consider how data and technology can help meet the needs of passengers in the post-pandemic world. The session, moderated by Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder & President, branding.aero will offer insights from passengers and consider how the adoptions of technologies, including AI, machine learning, biometrics and access to high-speed broadband, will help meet the expectations of travellers in the “new normal” once restrictions are lifted.

Speaking about the Passenger Experience Conference, Polly Magraw, Event Director, said: “The aviation industry faces unprecedented challenges and more than ever, we recognise the importance of facilitating a space for professionals to learn from their peers, share knowledge and support each other during this time.

“The PEC Virtual Series will enable us to deliver the first-class insight associated with the Passenger Experience Conference and co-located events, and we’re delighted to bring many of the sessions and speakers confirmed for this year’s event online. Taking place over six weeks, we look forward to providing a platform for industry experts and professionals to continue the discussion so the industry can take off and soar once again.”

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