Metropolregion Hamburg

AIX Trends: What Air Travellers Can Expect

04.04.2018Exhibition

From 10 to 12 April, Hamburg is once again hosting the world’s leading trade show for aircraft cabins — Aircraft Interiors Expo.

At the world's leading trade show for aircraft cabins and passenger experience, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 - 12 April, Hamburg Messe, organised by Reed Exhibitions), global industry-leaders and regionally rooted suppliers alike will present new concepts and products - and it may not be long before passengers are encountering these concepts and products on board. The order books, especially for short and medium-haul airliners, are full, so there is sure to be a large contingent of airline customers at this key Hamburg trade fair. New models like the Airbus A321 LR, making new long-haul routes accessible for single-aisle aircraft, add to the current dynamics of the segment.

Whether the flight is short or long, more and more passengers expect to be able to stay online while airborne. The increased demand here is reflected by the floor plan, where the space allocated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity has grown yet strongly again. In fact, the whole aircraft interiors segment is booming. This year, according to the show organisers Reed Exhibitions, the Aircraft Interiors Expo has expanded to a new record in size, with the number of exhibitors having grown significantly once again as well. The spectrum of products on show ranges from seating rails to fully equipped First Class cabins.

Adding to the programme: Conference, sub-expos and a special flight

Once again, the Aircraft Interiors Expo is the main component in the "Passenger Experience Week", starting with the Passenger Experience Conference on Monday, 9 April. The main expo is then flanked by the World Travel & Catering Expo (WTCE - leading trade show for in-flight catering) and, for the first time, Passenger Technology Solutions (trade show focusing on aviation-related IT services). All these events are taking place at at the Hamburg Messe convention site, and are organised by Reed Exhibitions.

The growing international importance of the show is also increasingly seen in the programme around the show itself: the airline Emirates is flying a Boeing 777 equipped with its new First Class cabin to Hamburg on Wednesday, 11 April in order to present the on-board product to selected partners in person.

Showdown of the aviation industry: the Crystal Cabin Awards

Also traditionally presented as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo are the Crystal Cabin Awards. This industry prize, initiated by the Hamburg Aviation cluster and closely followed by the industry and media around the world, will be presented on the evening of 10 April in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. In eight categories, the award honours the leading innovations of the year for aircraft operators and passengers. Amongst this year's finalists are famous major players like Airbus as well as airline products from Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. Information on the finalists is available at the Expo at a special exhibition in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery (Hall B3 Upper). And at 11am on Thurs., 12 April, all the winners will present their innovations in person one more time - after which they are available for questions and interviews.

Aircraft Interiors Expo a "home game" for Hamburg

The scale of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region's presence at the "local" trade show is appropriate for the most important location worldwide in the field of aircraft cabins. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus, for example, has concentrated its global development activities for aircraft cabins in Hamburg, and the company has a strong presence in Hall B5. With four finalists, Airbus is also looking at a very successful Crystal Cabin Award season this year - e.g. with the new "Airspace" cabin for the A320 range of aircraft.

For Lufthansa Technik, located in Hall B6, the show is an important event, too - and not only because of the activities in the exclusive VIP segment. The Hamburg company now supports every fifth commercial aircraft worldwide, and it is particularly expanding its activities in the so-called "retrofit" market. Every five or six years, an aircraft cabin has to be completely refurbished. With innovative business models such as aircraft seat leasing, the company is responding to a growing market.

Another heavyweight in the aircraft cabin segment is the family-run Diehl company. The third-largest industrial employer in Hamburg's aviation industry produces galleys and toilets as well as complex cabin trims with baggage lockers. Diehl, too, is focusing on the high-demand "single-aisle" segment with its presence in Hall B7, and the company has a walk-through cabin model that shows just how much potential remains untapped in a single-aisle airliner.

Alongside the major international companies, SMEs have also always been well-represented at the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Dozens of small and medium-sized enterprises are active in the segment in the Hamburg region alone. They are particularly concentrated on the Hanse Pavilion, operated by the Hanse-Aerospace association in Hall B6, with more than 2,000 square metres of space and almost 100 exhibitors. As well as conventional suppliers, the site is also home to test laboratories and engineering service providers such as Altran. The French-headquartered company has massively expanded its Hamburg operations in recent years, turning the city into its global head office for aircraft cabin activities.

The Hanse Pavilion is also home to the Hamburg Aviation stand (6B90), a central point of contact for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The aviation cluster is providing updates on Hamburg-related news from and during the trade show via Twitter, WhatsApp and the live ticker on the Hamburg Aviation Website.

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