Cabin interiors rise to the passenger challenge
Feb. 10, 2011, Hamburg, Ger. - Passenger demand is growing once again and passenger expectation levels also appear to be increasing. Both these factors have an impact on an airline’s cabin interior. The world’s largest event that encapsulates everything that is happening within the cabin environment, Aircraft Interiors Expo, is taking place at the Hamburg Messe in Germany, from 5 – 7 April.
Increased expectations of what the cabin interior should provide cover everything from more comfort and convenience to inflight entertainment. Picking up on the theme of comfort, one of the major product focus areas of Aircraft Interiors Expo is new seat designs. With business travellers starting to return to business class in healthier numbers it is anticipated that new business class designs will be on show at the event as airlines look around for innovative ideas to enable their growth plans in this area.
New designs for the economy cabin space will also be shown. Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors is using the exhibition as the launch platform for its UltraLight Plus economy, short range seating system. The system has been specifically designed and engineered for 28” pitch installations and is made up of a mixture of aluminium and composite panels allowing for increased passenger comfort and a larger living space at 28” pitch.
Inflight entertainment and connectivity is still a buzzing sector with today’s passengers hoping for IFEC systems on even relatively short flights. Aircraft Interiors Expo devotes a whole zone to this subject. Recent trends here include providers increasingly working in conjunction with seat designers and manufacturers to produce more integrated and lightweight products. New IFE supplier Intelligent Avionics is making its Aircraft Interiors Expo debut and will be launching its production ready, seat-integrated AURA system, in an economy class configuration. The company says AURA is an integrated, multi-touch, gesture controlled entertainment and communication system, suitable for all cabin classes, that is more than one tonne lighter than other comparable audio-video on demand (AVOD) systems.
Meanwhile French IFE supplier Vision Systems’ will be promoting its new VisiTouch system. Integrated into a seatback, this AVOD system claims to be easy to install and maintain thanks to the design of the plate which fixes it on the seat. Customisation options include different colours for the screen frames so airlines can choose what suits their onboard livery best, while passengers can adjust the tilt of the screen to the optimum viewing position for them. Each screen has an embedded memory module, which links to a central VisiBox unit, and is designed to avoid data network bottlenecks during flights.
Demonstrating the PlayStation Portable (PSP) as a handheld entertainment system at the exhibition, IFE Services is working in conjunction with Sony Computer Entertainment America. The company says there are currently seven airlines offering the PSP device to passengers either for renting during the flight or on a complimentary basis as part of the business class experience.
Katie Murphy, Exhibition Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “Time and again this exhibition has acted as the launch pad for many cabin interior programmes and innovative new products. We expect this year to be no different with our exhibitors displaying the designs of tomorrow to the world’s airline buyers. The beauty of the event is that we incorporate the breadth of products that cover the whole cabin experience.”