June 19 2024  |  Events

A focus on innovation, connectivity and personalization at AIX 2024

By Robynne Trueman

Panasonic Avionics and Collins Aerospace unveil MAYA at AIX 2024

The Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) came to a close on Thursday, May, 30 after welcoming 12,817 attendees from across the globe. This marked a 22 percent increase from last year.

Over the course of three days, representatives from 166 airlines joined the event to find new products and services to enhance their cabin interiors.

“It's great to see what's out there right now in the industry, specifically scoping out the latest innovations in IFE, lighting, and electrical components in general. We've had some really beneficial conversations - [it’s] been good to put some faces and names. I'd recommend the show to my peers, it's overwhelming in the best way," said Felipe Amorim, Cabin Avionics Engineer at Delta Air Lines.

Lauren Kenealy, Marketing Director at Tapis Corporation, said: “Every year tops the last somehow. This is my third show, and it’s been super to maintain and grow these relationships and see familiar faces each time we come. We’re already looking forward to next year.”

Product launches

AIX 2024 kicked off with major announcements from exhibitors, including Panasonic Avionics and Collins Aerospace, who jointly unveiled MAYA in a press briefing on May 28, a next-generation business class suite concept. MAYA combines the companies’ respective expertise in design, technology, and integration into a singular integrated solution, redefining comfort, passenger immersion, accessibility and sustainability for the Business Class cabin.

The Astrova Curve 45-inch ultra-wide, ultra-high-definition curve screen with an OLED display and headphone-less audio system is three times larger than typical Business Class screens and is in the same 21:9 screen format used in cinemas.

Ben Asmar, Vice President Products and Strategy, Safran

Safran also showcased its RAVE IFE system, a set of cloud-based services that will drive its next generation of IFEC, branded under the banner of RAVE Cloud Services. The system is designed to move large volumes of data to and from aircraft, as well as process and store data onboard.

RECARO Aircraft Seating introduced its new seat naming system at AIX, aligning it with the wider RECARO brand and featuring names from R1 to R7 to represent the various classes and intricacies of their seating solutions.

Its R Sphere seat, a seating concept that uses sustainable materials including cork, wood, recycled fishing nets and cactus, was also featured at its booth.

Airbus unveiled its airspace interior for the A330neo, in a first full-size mock-up on the show floor. The interior design now features a Hero Light and Welcome Panel, along with a range of new linings, door frame panels and windows. The company also showcased the A321xlr which brings a wide-body feel to a narrow-body aircraft.

Muirhead showcased its chrome and heavy metal-free FreeTAN® tanning solution with FR technology and free from heavy metals, chrome, and glutaraldehyde. The manufacturer has fully replaced its existing tanning chemistry with compostable technology, marking a significant stride in its commitment to eliminating the use of fossil fuels, oil-based elements and heavy metals from all its operations and products. The leather is already in used on select British Airways flights.

Thales revealed its new FlytEDGE digital IFE solution to enable cloud-based content management and onboard edge caching to facilitate content streaming and overall improvements to the passenger experience.

ExpliSeat unveils the TiSeat 2x at AIX

ExpliSeat revealed its all-carbon-and-titanium structure, TiSeat 2x, for Air France at AIX. The seat will be making its debut on Air France flights this fall as part of the airline's cabin renewal program for its regional subsidiary's E190 fleet.

A total of 458 companies showcased their solutions to international airlines searching for the future innovations of aircraft interiors. This included 63 businesses that joined the event for the first time, such as SleeperTech – an Australian manufacturer and supplier. It launched a brand-new patented product, SleeperSeat, that aims to redefine passenger comfort and experience in economy-class cabins. The product combines a reclining backrest with an articulated headrest and thigh support pad.

Insightful discussion panels

CabinSpace Live, the dedicated theatre to discuss the cabin of tomorrow and beyond, continued to showcase visionary ideas at AIX this year. On May 28 and 29, leaders and experts from Valour Consultancy, Iberia, Hughes, Axinom, Burrana, Flydubai and many more, took to the stage for informational sessions and panels covering IFE, cabin interiors, business jets, sustainability, accessibility and connectivity.

Discussing the future of aircraft cabins, highlighting new and improved onboard concepts and products in the session, “New Era: The Fascinating Future of the Aircraft Cabin” was Ralph Wagner, Co-Founder and CEO of Axinom; David Pook, Vice President of Burrana; Duncan Jackson, President of FlightPath3D; and Mats-Omri Schumacher, Head of Product Management at AerQ. Jackson shared his thoughts on the future of aircraft cabins, predicting that 30 percent of the audience will experience vertical take-offs (VTO) at some point in their lifetime and noted that we are likely “the last generation needing explanations for basic internet functions.”

Other sessions included “Cabin Refurbishment: Investing to Impress” sponsored by HMG Aerospace. Here, moderator Jennifer Coutts-Clay, Author at Jetliner Cabins, was joined by David Rice, Managing Director at Optimum Aero; Melanie Berry, Director of Customer Experience at Iberia; Jacobo Mesta, CEO of Soisa Aircraft Interiors; and Daniel Kerrison, SVP Inflight Operations at Flydubai. The session began with panelists discussing memorable cabin refurbishment programs before they delved into the question of measuring ROI and achieving customer validation. Closing the discussion, Coutts-Clay shifted towards the future, with panelists exploring how to introduce a more personalized experience into the cabin during future refurbishments.

The Viasat Women in Aviation Panel at AIX 2024

On Wednesday, May 29, Viasat hosted a Women in Aviation Panel and Luncheon, led by female executives, focused on the evolving landscape of the travel industry, with a particular emphasis on personalization, seamless travel experiences, the role of AI, leadership and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).

Speakers from Delta Airlines, Icelandair, and Viasat discussed the importance of customer loyalty and a frictionless travel journey.

"This year saw the numbers of attendees increase not only on the previous year but on pre-pandemic levels, demonstrating that airlines around the world are looking for innovative ways to improve the cabin experience,” said Polly Magraw, Event Director of AIX and WTCE.

She continued, “Familiar faces and newcomers alike contributed to one of the most dynamic environments we have ever seen, with so many unveilings and product launches that remind us once again that AIX is the leading event for the aircraft interiors industry. We look forward to next year to see the next generation of cabin interior solutions.”

The Aircraft Interiors Expo 2025 will return to the Hamburg Messe in Germany from April 8 to 10, 2025.

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