May 30 2023  |  Events

CabinSpace Live: Focusing on connectivity, accessibility, and sustainability

By Reedah Hayder

CabinSpace Live will feature informative sessions to help attendees navigate the complexities of onboard connectivity

The upcoming CabinSpace Live event at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) is set to address key topics such as connectivity, accessibility, and sustainability in the aircraft interiors industry. Running from June 6 to 8, 2023, the event will gather leading figures to discuss the future of cabin design and explore innovative solutions.

“CabinSpace Live promises yet another year of insightful and timely discussions to help attendees elevate their business strategies,” said Polly Magraw, Event Director, of Aircraft Interiors Expo, in a May 22 press release. “The speakers’ experience and expertise leave me with no doubt that every attendee will leave with a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. From a wider market outlook to deep dives into sustainability, accessibility, and the role of connectivity, we look forward to welcoming the industry back to AIX to learn how to shape the future of the passenger experience.”

Enabling mile-high connectivity

The increasing demand for inflight connectivity will be a major topic of discussion. According to Inmarsat’s annual passenger survey report, 77 percent of passengers now consider inflight Wi-Fi to be important — an impressive 40 percent increase since 2018. Airlines are recognizing the significance of seamless connectivity, with 82 percent of passengers stating that they would rebook with an airline that offers quality inflight Wi-Fi.

CabinSpace Live will feature informative sessions to help attendees navigate the complexities of onboard connectivity. Daniel Welch, Senior Research Consultant at Valour Consulting, will lead a discussion on the technology behind achieving the "ultimate connection" onboard. Joining him will be William Milroy, Chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions, and David Coiley, Regional Vice President (Asia Pacific) at Inmarsat.

Exploring the broader implications of free connectivity and improved in-seat power, Corinne Streichert, Founder of IFECtiv, will challenge attendees to consider how connectivity enhances the passenger experience. Esteemed industry leaders including Tal Kalderon, Head of Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity at EL AL Israel Airlines, Neale Faulkner, Regional Vice President at Inmarsat Aviation, and Mark Reed, Director of Business Development, North America at IFPL Group, will assess the benefits and outweighing costs in a panel session.

High-tech ancillaries and tailoring onboard retail to increase airline sales will be addressed by freelance aviation journalist Gordon Smith. Smith will emphasize how these solutions create limitless revenue opportunities and explore the role of passenger engagement in making onboard purchases more appealing and accessible to all.

Responding to passenger needs

Accessibility will be a headline topic at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference, which opens on June 5, the day before AIX opens. Continuing the discussion in the CabinSpace Live theatre, Christopher Wood MBE, Founder of Flying Disabled, will explore the diversity of passenger needs, focusing on age, physical and behavioural conditions. He will be joined by Walt Fluharty, a board member for All Wheels Up, as they reflect on the pace of change and innovation, and how operators can meet both existing and emerging needs.

Embracing sustainability in the cabin

Another significant topic at the Passenger Experience Conference, which opens on June 5, is accessibility. CabinSpace Live will continue the discussion with Christopher Wood MBE, Founder of Flying Disabled, exploring the diverse needs of passengers, including age, physical conditions, and behavioural considerations. Walt Fluharty, a board member for All Wheels Up, will join Wood to discuss the pace of change and innovation, as well as strategies for meeting both existing and emerging needs.

Sustainability will also take center stage throughout the conference and CabinSpace Live. Satu Dahl, Editor of Inflight Magazine, will address the role of sustainability in cabin design, with a particular focus on aircraft seating.

The German Aerospace Industries Association (BDLI) will present its recent findings on the role of the cabin in sustainable aviation. As the representative of the German aerospace industry, BDLI will share exclusive insights from its latest research, shedding light on the path to climate-neutral flying.

Celebrating award-worthy innovations

The event will also celebrate the winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards, which recognize excellence in aircraft interior innovation. Winners in all seven categories will present their winning concepts at CabinSpace Live, offering a detailed look at the motivation behind their designs and the innovative solutions that earned them these prestigious accolades.

Getting fleets back in service

Additionally, the event will address the changing landscape of retrofit programs and the role of turnkey solutions. Ahmad Rajei, Sr. Director, Design, Engineering and Innovation at Etihad Airways Engineering, and Nina Schulz, Managing Director of the Independent Aircraft Modifier Alliance, will reflect and focus on the changes brought about by the pandemic in the retrofit market and how to transition from comprehensive integrated solutions to personalized purchasing strategies.

Holly Ballantine, Key Account Manager EMEA (Aerospace) at Cirium, will explore how the recovery of air travel is generating demand for both new and reactivated passenger aircraft. Ballantine will be joined by Henk Ombelet, Head of Advisory Operations at Cirium, and Gary Weissel, Managing Officer of Tronos Aviation Consulting, who will present valuable market outlooks. The session will culminate in a panel discussion, addressing various challenges faced by the sector, such as retrofitting cabin equipment and ongoing supply chain constraints.

Visitor registration for AIX is now open. To register, visit the AIX website here.

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