Starting Monday, I will be reporting from Hamburg covering events at the Passenger Experience Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, the co-located World Travel Catering and Onboard Services EXPO, the Crystal Cabin Awards, with a special tour of Hamburg’s new ZAL Technology Research centre.
It will be a very busy week and you can expect lively reporting here, on my social media channels and elsewhere.
As we prepare, the organisers have given us a taste of what’s in store.
- +530 companies exhibiting of which 145 are first time exhibitors
- More than 1,000 airline executives attending from 188 airlines around the world
- More than 16,000 attendees expected
“AIX is now firmly established as the global event dedicated to the passenger experience industry, and this year’s show will provide visitors with rich insights into ground-breaking advances in the passenger experience,” says Polly Magraw, Show Manager of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX).
The Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), on April 4 kicks off the week. It is the fourth year this special one-day conference as accompanied the EXPO and promises to once again deliver insights from a wide range of aircraft interiors industry thought leaders and key decision makers.
This year, the theme of the PEC agenda is “collaborating on the connected journey.”
As the organisers write: “In an increasingly connected world, how do we create seamless and positive passenger experiences across the touch points of the customer’s journey? How will innovative technology, connectivity and service combine to create comfortable and personal experiences from home to gate to cabin and to destination?”
The various sessions during the PEC will explore issues of cabin experience, inflight entertainment, and the bustling sector of in-flight connectivity (Wi-Fi) sectors as well as insights from experts sharing their future vision for the air travel experience.
As every year, among the innovations presented will be blue-sky notions and practical applications ready to take flight.
The new Airspace by Airbus cabin, shown in the featured image, for example, will take flight by 2017.
But we’d never get to practical applications like this, without the aspirational goals of designers and engineers dreaming far into the future. The trick is knowing if and when a development will launch.
Experience working behind the scenes on programs like these helps me fine-tune my crystal ball a bit more accurately. Readers can expect that I’ll report on those experts’ visions with deep respect for their highly-specialised knowledge. But, as always, you can also expect that I’ll temper some of the shared enthusiasm with a reality-check of what is viable and deliverable.