AIX and WTCE Virtual announce first raft of buyers and exhibitors
Organizers of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) have announced the details of the first airline buyers and exhibitors set to attend this year's new Virtual event, which will take place online from September 14 to 16.
The digital platform will enable aviation and rail professionals from across the globe to come together for three full days of targeted business meetings and the opportunity to discover the latest products and services from the entire onboard catering supply chain and the supply chain of cabin interiors.
Representatives from more than 60 airlines and onboard service providers have already expressed their interest in attending the virtual event, including Air France, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, United Airlines, as well as Gate Group and Rail Gourmet Ltd.
"The AIX gathering always brings us exposure to new and emerging technologies, products, and solutions while providing an opportunity to meet with existing vendors and learn more about their products and innovations," said Kevin Kleist, Emerging Trends at Southwest Airlines. "Now more than ever, even virtual discussions could bring immediate value to Southwest, as we look to solve new needs and identified use cases. We look forward to maintaining connections and establishing new ones, as we all hopefully move toward future in-person gatherings, like those we’ve valued in previous years."
Rainer Kroepke, Director of Customer Experience at Condor Flugdienst GmbH added: "A vital part of AIX is walking by the exhibitor stands and making discoveries you weren’t looking for. Whilst this aspect may be more difficult to transfer online, the upside of a virtual event is that you can better organize appointments meaning you can fit even more topics and discoveries in the same amount of time."
AIX leading line-up of exhibitors
Buyers from the world’s major airlines will be able to meet with key suppliers and discover the latest products and solutions, with product demonstrations offering insights into the key benefits and functionality of services on show. Major exhibitors already confirmed include Geven SpA, MGR Foamtex, Inmarsat Global Ltd, Safran SA and Sabeti Wain Aerospace Ltd.
New product developments prioritize hygiene
Returning exhibitor Muirhead will showcase its new Muirhead Active Hygiene Leather, which offers built-in antiviral properties for best-in-class hygiene onboard. The self-disinfecting leather features built-in ViralOff® technology, which is proven to eliminate 99 percent of bacteria and viruses within two hours, including SARS-CoV-2, H3N2 and H1N1, without compromising performance, appearance or sustainability. Attendees can also find out more about the company’s new lightweight, full substance leather specifically designed for the aviation industry. Selected by Ryanair for its 737-800 and Max fleet, the innovative, easy-clean leather is 25 percent lighter than its standard counterpart, offering substantial lifetime weight savings.
Fellow exhibitor ADHETEC manufactures technical adhesive films dedicated to decorative and industrial applications for aerospace. It will present its antimicrobial range of antivirus and antibacterial films ideal for IFE screens, tray tables and other high touch areas in the cabin.
Mankiewicz, a leading manufacturer of high-quality coating systems, will also
highlight its paint products for cabin interiors, including ALEXIT FST
PUReGuard. The long lasting carefree interior coating with antimicrobial
effective additives is proven to deactivate a corona typed virus and fulfils
the most stringent OEM requirements.
Speaking about AIX Virtual, René Lang, Executive Managing Director Aviation at Mankiewicz said, “For Mankiewicz, as the market leader in cabin interior coatings and a loyal exhibitor since the very beginning of AIX, it was a matter of course to also follow the digital path. AIX has chosen a great way to provide a modern communication platform for all market participants to meet each other and discuss the latest developments for the cabin.”
Bucher will present new products, concepts and further developments including a brand new antiviral Galley kit to protect passengers and crew throughout the flight, a compact front row monument and tray tables for the business class cabin, as well as various retrofit solutions.
While International Water-Guard will highlight how its Healthy Lav Touchless products offer a simple and effective way of increasing onboard lavatory hygiene, enhancing passenger confidence and comfort.
In addition, SEKISUI KYDEX will display a range of new innovative solutions that allow designers to expand the possibilities for cabin design, including its KYDEX ION Technology™ which was shortlisted in the Crystal Cabin Awards. The new technology is 99 percent effective at inhibiting the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria on KYDEX® Thermoplastics. The antimicrobial treatment is incorporated into the sheet, which helps keep the treated surface cleaner between cleanings.
Smart lighting solutions to illuminate the cabin
Demonstrating the latest in cabin lighting innovations, STG Aerospace will bring its latest generation saf-Tglo® emergency floor path marking, with the widest CMF palette and edge to edge color, along with its photoluminescent signage which can be installed throughout the cabin to complete the emergency exit marking system when used as progression signs. The company will also demonstrate its liTeMood® LED plug and play main cabin lighting system, which is fully interchangeable with incumbent lighting systems, offering major improvements in reliability, functionality and in-situ re-programmability.
"In a year that has been filled with uncertainty and turbulence, it is critical now more than ever that we continue to support our customers and the wider aerospace industry," said Dr. Sean O’Kell, Business Unit Director – Photoluminescent, STG Aerospace. "Even though it’s not in person, we can’t wait to meet our customers and contacts again at the virtual event and get that customer interaction and direct feedback we have missed during the past year."
SCHOTT will have two of its latest innovations on display at AIX Virtual: the SCHOTT® Jade Reading Light and the flexible SCHOTT® HelioCurve LED. The company aims to address two main trends that will help to reach the airlines’ goals of differentiating and to create a unique experience for the passenger: the design of customizable, individual light products that create a unique atmosphere and customer experience and offer latest technology features, and the synchronization of cabin, seat and monument illumination to run fully integrated scenarios.
“As air travel has begun to pick up again in the past weeks, we look towards a positive future and are convinced that now, more so than ever, airlines have to continue to develop new cabin and seat concepts as well as retrofit solutions in order to bring their valued customers back into their aircraft. This virtual event is a first step in establishing some “normalcy” in the industry and we are happy to support this with our participation," said Philip Fischer, Vice President SCHOTT Aviation.
With digitization playing a critical role in supporting the aviation industry’s long-term recovery, Inmarsat Aviation will showcase its award-winning inflight connectivity solutions at AIX Virtual, including a new platform that helps airlines to monetize onboard Wi-Fi. Inmarsat will also delve into the findings of a major upcoming global report into the latest impact of the pandemic on travel habits and passenger expectations.
Generation Global, a leading upholstery and interiors supplier, will showcase
its seat cover and seat cushion products and production capabilities.
“We’re excited to reconnect cabin interior and onboard services professionals at this critical time," said Polly Magraw, Event Director at RX (Reed Exhibitions). "The impressive names and companies that have already expressed their interest in attending or booked stands at the virtual event is testament to the industry’s eagerness to move forward. AIX is renowned for being a hotbed of innovation and the place to do business, and this will be no different at AIX Virtual 2021."
“WTCE will always be a key event in the travel catering and onboard services calendar, whether in a virtual or face-to-face format. It provides a key opportunity for buyers and suppliers in the sector to meet, exchange ideas, catch up on the latest industry trends, learn about ground-breaking innovations and ultimately do business," said David Young, former Executive Manager, Sustainability and Future Planet at Qantas. "In the current climate, where the whole aviation sector is looking for ways to accelerate the post-pandemic recovery, I think the event will be more important than ever."
WTCE lineup of exhibitors
Joining the WTCE supplier line-up for the first time will be ECO Wheat – a natural straws and specialty chemical solutions supplier – as well as eco-friendly amenity kit provider The Bamboovement, GUDRUN Group Chocolates and Dolceria Corallo.
Among those already signed-up to take part are gourmet snack manufacturer NibNibs, who will be showcasing its range of savory and sweet solutions that are baked specifically for the travel catering industry. The company, which supplies US carriers United Airlines and Delta, will draw special attention to its newly launched Telstar Heavenly Cookies. The Indulgent mini star cookie makes a perfect accompaniment to coffee or tea onboard, and with 30 percent less sugar and no artificial sweeteners, colors or preservatives, there’s "all the taste, less of the naughty."
PLAYin CHOC will be showing off its range of chocolate products that have scooped up an impressive 19 awards since launching in 2018. The brand’s delicious goodies are perfect for airlines moving towards a more sustainable and ethical future as the packaging is 100 percent recyclable and plastic-free, while the ingredients are natural, organic and Soil Association certified. Furthermore, being vegan and free-from 14 of the main allergens makes them suitable for almost everyone.
Monty’s Bakehouse will be highlighting its new Snack Pack, a unique culinary innovation designed to provide passengers with a delicious light meal onboard. The Snack Pack also boasts strong sustainability credentials, whilst securing minimum effort and low touch solutions for the crew. Each Snack Pack contains two components - a unique delicate, soft roll and a moist sweet sponge – and is currently available in four flavor options.
Also new to the skies from Monty’s Bakehouse is the “Monty’s Croque Monsieur”, a delicious twist on the popular classic dish which has been re-designed by the company’s chefs for an indulgent light meal. It features layers of fresh ham, tangy mustard and a mature cheddar béchamel sauce topped with Gruyere cheese placed on top of crispy white bread. The Monty’s Bakehouse chefs use a unique baking process where the filling is baked into the bread to prevent the cheese oozing out or the ham separating from the sandwich for a clean eat. There is also a vegetarian and halal alternatives available, the Garlic Mushroom Croque.
Further companies also signed up to take part in WTCE Virtual include galley equipment manufacturers Egret Aviation, Sola Airline Cutlery and Callington, as well as Coffee Planet, which will showcase specialty coffee solutions available for all scenarios, from beans and ground to single serve solutions.
We are very excited to welcome exhibitors and visitors back to WTCE this year," said Magraw. "Although the show is Virtual, making the experience slightly different, it remains a great opportunity for the industry to reconnect after a challenging 18 months. We have a fantastic line-up of exhibitors who are already confirmed to take part as well as visitors from all the major airlines and catering companies who are planning on attending, so we can’t wait to open our doors and bring everyone together to help accelerate the recovery.”
AIX and WTCE Virtual replace the live editions, which will
not take place in 2021 due to the ongoing challenges and global restrictions on
international travel. AIX and WTCE will return to Hamburg June 14 to 16, 2022 at the Hamburg Messe.