For the international aviation industry, it is one of THE highlights in the annual calendar: the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, the leading global trade show for everything to do with aircraft cabins, passenger experience and on-board products. And in 2019, the event is celebrating its 20th birthday. Thousands of airline managers, manufacturers, suppliers and journalists from all over the world will gather in the German city from 02 to 04 April, to view and discuss the latest trends in aircraft seats and in-flight entertainment at more than 500 stands. The absolute vanguard amongst the innovative concepts this year will be crowned by an international expert jury on the evening of 2 April at the Crystal Cabin Awards, an initiative of Hamburg Aviation.
Hamburg’s First Mayor to visit the Aircraft Interiors Expo for the first time
This year, Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher, will be visiting the Aircraft Interiors Expo for the first time. During a tour of the event on the morning of Wednesday 3 April, he will get an overview of Hamburg’s participants in the world’s biggest aircraft interiors show. The northern German metropolitan region is considered the world’s most important site for this rapidly growing segment. It is not just major corporations such as Airbus and Lufthansa Technik that have concentrated their worldwide activities in the field here. Dozens of suppliers of all sizes, research institutions, such as the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research and, on the university side, the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences have a focus on aircraft interiors here.
Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher, comments:“The final assembly and delivery of one in every six airliners worldwide takes place in Hamburg. More than 40,000 highly qualified specialists work in the civil aviation industry in Hamburg. Some 3,000 of them are in the field of cabin development. The Aircraft Interiors Expo underlines our status as an important location for this field. The Customer Definition Center at Airbus has contributed to this development by allowing the airlines to tailor their cabins with the latest technology. And the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research also plays a role with innovative developments that optimise cabins and associated technologies.”
Boom industry: the growing importance of aircraft interiors
Worldwide, air transport is growing rapidly, and already, around the globe, more than 120,000 flights take off every day, carrying over 10 million passengers. The atmosphere and services on board are increasingly serving the role of a “business card” for airlines, especially in the premium segment. At the same time, every square centimeter of space is precious. If the aircraft cabin were an apartment, the monthly rental would equate to some 1,400 euros per square meter. Just how to increase passenger comfort in a tightly packed Economy cabin therefore continues to be one of the most important areas for products at the show.
Crystal Cabin Award crowns the best concepts of the year
The leading international innovations and concepts this year will be selected at the Crystal Cabin Awards, to be presented in eight categories at a formal ceremony in the Great Stock Exchange Hall of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, on the evening of 2 April. The independent industry prize, an initiative of Hamburg Aviation, is one of the most coveted honours in the aviation industry for airlines, manufacturers, suppliers and universities alike, and it is closely watched by media from all over the world. The guest list for the evening event this year is full of famous names, too. Alongside political heavyweights such as Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher and the Coordinator of Aerospace Policy for the Federal German Government, Thomas Jarzombek, there are also several CEOs from the aviation industry,y along with top stars such as model Toni Garrn and Emirates President Sir Tim Clark. On Wednesday 3 April, at 2:30 p.m., all victors will be at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in person to present their concepts in the Cabin Space LIVE Auditorium on the 1st floor of Hall B4. Throughout the Expo, the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery is located here, displaying all of this year’s finalists.
Strong Hamburg presence amongst the exhibitors
The Aircraft Interiors Expo may be highly international, but Hamburg is all the more present. At its stand in Hall B5 (5A20), Airbus is focusing on matters including long-haul comfort, using the A320 range of aircraft as an example. A major portion of the final assembly for these best-selling aircraft takes place in Hamburg. The A320 family was conceived as a short and medium-haul airliner. However, the new A321LR (“Long Range”) version can serve lower-volume long-haul routes without passengers having to sacrifice comfort. The Airbus Airspace cabin concept incorporates additional elements to improve well-being on board, for example with customised lighting scenarios and more spatial depth.
The Aircraft Interiors Expo is an important event for Lufthansa Technik (Hall B6, 6B80), too. The company, headquartered in Hamburg, now provides maintenance support for 20 percent of the world’s airliners, giving it plenty of experience of where there is room for improvement in the cabin. Examples include the galley area, where flight attendants regularly get chilled feet and colds because of the unheated floors, or the lack of USB ports for passengers to charge their smartphones in flight. The Lufthansa subsidiary has solutions for both of these concerns.
Amongst this year’s biggest exhibitors, once again, is Diehl Aviation, a supplier active in the Hamburg market (Hall B7, 7D20). Alongside a walk-through cabin model that brings innovative lighting scenarios and digital assistant systems to life, Diehl’s booth is focused on the essential matter of water on board. A retrofit antibacterial filter for the lavatory, the UV-LED Water Disinfection Unit, uses ultraviolet light to ensure that for the first time, passengers can safely drink tap water.
Krueger Aviation and zweigrad Design present a complete re-invention of the on-board lavatory in their multicultural aircraft toilet. The re-thought lavatory can be used in a sitting position or, in line with Asian cultures, squatting. The diverse utility of the room is completed with a seating area for getting changed prior to landing and a large baby changing table with animated figures. (Hall B6, Stand 6B70). Pretty much right next door, but with a very different focus, Airbus partner Altran will for the first time be demonstrating its Printed Electrics technology that won a Crystal Cabin Award in 2018, with live printing of electronic wiring for the cabin. Hamburg companies Silver-Atena and jetlite are presenting the jetlite Controller in Hall B1 (1A58). The device uses scientifc algorithms and current flight data to calculate the optimal lighting scenario for the cabin. This has been proven to reduce the sense of jetlag.
The first point of contact for all Hamburg businesses and organisations this year is once again the Hamburg Aviation stand in Hall B6, 6B90, a shared presence with the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research. This is part of the “Hanse Pavilion”, the largest joint stand at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, organised by the Hanse-Aerospace supplier association. The Hamburg Aviation cluster is also politically active and will be holding a reception during the trade fair for a delegation of Canadian aerospace representatives, including the Minister of Economy for Québec, Pierre Fitzgibbon. The delegation is spending the entire week in northern Germany.
Aircraft Interiors Expo celebrates its 20th birthday
The Aircraft Interiors Expo, organised by Reed Exhibitions,is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2019. It has become part of the larger Passenger Experience Week, which begins on Monday 1 April with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) and continues with “AIX” and two other parallel trade shows, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). All these events are taking place at at the Hamburg Messe trade fair site.