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Aircraft Interiors Expo’s Cabin Innovation & Strategies for the Future Conference

Aircraft Interiors Expo conference highlights how the passenger experience will evolve

“You can’t research the future,” says Jeremy White, Head of Transport at design and innovation consultancy Seymourpowell. “But you can research emergent behaviour. If you watch carefully you can begin to prepare for the consumers of tomorrow and predict their expectations.” Mr White will be kicking off Aircraft Interiors Expo’s Cabin Innovation & Strategies for the Future Conference with insights into some of the trends that will influence tomorrow’s passengers. The conference takes place on Monday 26 March at the Hamburg Messe.

A more personalised experience is on the cards for passengers, according to Raymond Kollau, Founder and Trend Analyst at Mr Kollau will be talking about what airlines can learn from other business sectors as well as how the cabin experience is likely to evolve. “The combination of passengers wanting a more tailored experience and the need for airlines to increase their ancillary revenues is leading to a decline of traditional cabin classes – especially on short-haul flights. Air New Zealand has already turned its short-haul aircraft into a single-class configuration but offer four service options instead – ranging from the ability to take a bag into the cabin to the ‘full works’ service complete with catering and inflight entertainment,” he says. “Furthermore airlines such as Emirates, British Airways and KLM have equipped their flight attendants with digital devices to access the latest passenger information such as food preferences and prior service issues, so they can offer a more customised service.”

Inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) is an area that is expected to be hotly debated during the conference. Matthew Towers, Founder & CEO of IMS Research will be examining the future of traditional IFE systems during his session. He explains: “The advent of wireless IFE is starting to revolutionise the way that airlines think about the delivery of entertainment and other content of services to their passengers. This will provide huge opportunities for suppliers to the industry, but it also threatens those players who fail to react to the changing market dynamics.”

Reflecting Aircraft Interiors Expo’s co-location with World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo this year, the latest expectations for onboard hospitality and service will also be discussed. Sarah Klatt-Walsh, Director of Inflight Product & Services at Swiss International Airlines will be looking at this issue as well as how airlines can tackle different cultural and generational expectations in the same aircraft.

John Hyde, Exhibition Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo, said: “We are delighted with the interest that this year’s conference is already generating. Representatives of more than 60 airlines have already signed up to attend and one of the afternoon breakout sessions is already full. We feel the event is really demonstrating the need that today’s travel operators have to identify, understand and meet rising passenger expectations.” 

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