Polly Magraw, exhibition director for Reed Exhibition’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), outlines why the Hamburg show has become the global must-attend event for those involved in the passenger experience industries. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of RGN.
This year’s expo was extremely successful with some 18,000 attendees and more than 700 exhibitors attending Passenger Experience Week, which incorporates AIX as well as the one-day Passenger Experience Conference and WTCE.
The continuing popularity of the expo proves that it remains the world’s leading forum for airlines and companies in the aerospace industry and continues to go from strength to strength.
However, it wasn’t just strong attendance from key industry players that made this year’s expo such a success.
It was also the quality of the insights that attendees gained from the fantastic speakers at CabinSpace LIVE, a dedicated public space where delegates and exhibitors could attend interactive debates on the most pressing industry issues.
The sessions covered topics including the cabin-retrofit opportunity for airlines, the future of IFE, predictive maintenance and the connected aircraft, as well as the environmental impact of end of life cabin equipment.
Attendees also had the opportunity to network with colleagues and listen, learn and discuss issues in a relaxed setting at the heart of the expo.
For the first time, AIX 2017 also provided visitors with the chance to take part in several experiments run by Delft University of Technology investigating the best methods of stimulating passenger movement to improve their comfort.
The results of the experiment were unveiled at Cabin Space LIVE to an audience of attendees and journalists from across the industry, showcasing the next generation of aviation talent.
As always, the expo acted as a platform for long-standing and first-time exhibitors to share their news.
Airbus, Flydubai, Mirus Aircraft Seating, Recaro, Panasonic, Paxlife and Thales were just some of the industry names making major announcements and showcasing their latest products and innovations from the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort sectors.
As expected, inflight entertainment and connectivity announcements featured strongly throughout AIX 2017.
AirAsia led the way, signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Inmarsat for its next-generation GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution. The agreement covers AirAsia Group’s Airbus A320 and A330 fleets and installation is expected to commence this year, with the service going live in 2018.
Gogo, the inflight internet and entertainment provider, was named lead supplier for Airbus’ High Bandwidth Connectivity programme, and Paxlife announced it was to provide inflight entertainment to Thomas Cook Group Airlines.
Recaro launched its new business class seat CL6710 and Mirus Aircraft Seating announced that its Hawk Long Range seat model, which is optimised for comfort on long range flights, is to be fitted across the AirAsia X fleet of Airbus A330-300 aircraft.
These are just a taste of the many announcements that were made and reflect the growth in global passenger numbers and increasing demand for inflight connectivity solutions from carriers.
Once again, the whole team at Reed Exhibitions was delighted to welcome many familiar faces and new visitors and exhibitors to the expo.
We’re looking forward to next year’s event where we will continue to build on the expo’s international reputation as the global must-attend event for those involved in the passenger experience industries.