AIX educational sessions garner expert opinion

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) Virtual will host a first-class programme of educational seminars when it returns in a digital format from 14-16 September. Through a series of AIX sessions, attendees can gain insights from experts and leaders in the cabin interior industry as they share their experiences and the latest data, as well as relevant case studies to help solve current and future challenges in aircraft cabin design.

Recovery in progress

Commercial aviation is on the road to recovery with daily passenger flights having recovered to approximately two-thirds of 2019’s level, driven primarily by the large domestic markets of the US and China. However, significant challenges remain in international markets, and several regions of the world are yet to see meaningful recoveries in passenger traffic due to government travel restrictions. So, what do these challenges mean for the aerospace supply chain and more specifically the aircraft interiors sector, and how will the industry transform to ensure its return to financial health?


A session dedicated to answering these questions will see Rob Morris, head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, deliver a commercial aviation market outlook briefing alongside an interiors market outlook from Gary Weissel, managing officer at Tronos Aviation Consulting. Following this, a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Doyle, senior director of strategy at Cirium and featuring Harald Mehring, chief customer officer at Diehl Aviation and Beth de Young, VP of business development for aircraft interiors and lease customers at Safran, will debate the challenges and opportunities presented by the current market.

Elsewhere, JLS Consulting director John Strickland will be in conversation with senior level executives from key airlines, including Tom Stevens, director of brand and customer experience at British Airways and Flyr CEO Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, talking about their future strategies and how they have coped with the challenges of 2021.

Celebrating women in aviation

Following AIX’s successful Women Behind Aviation campaign in 2020, AIX Virtual will host a dedicated panel celebrating and highlighting the role of women working across the industry. This session will bring together a cross-section of women in senior roles in the aviation sector including Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo, founder of the Young African Aviation Professional Association; Karyn McAlphin, design director at Sekisui Kydex; Erin Lear, executive sales director for Jet Token and founder of Jet Blondie, and Jane Hoskisson, director of talent, learning, engagement & diversity at IATA.

They will come together to discuss their career paths; current and future initiatives to improve both diversity in the workforce and leadership roles; plus immediate challenges for the industry to address. Moderated by Jane Hobson, editor of PAX International and PAX Tech magazines, the all-female panel will discuss learnings from sectors outside aviation, role models and mentoring both for professional development and to encourage more women into aviation, along with the benefits that a diverse and gender-balanced workforce brings to corporate culture, innovation and the bottom line.

Design exchange between business and commercial

A session curated by Business Jet Interiors International magazine and moderated by the magazine’s editor, Izzy Kington, will explore what the business aviation and commercial airline markets can learn from each other to benefit cabin design. Experts including Tom Chatfield, CEO of Camber Aviation Management; Howard Guy, CEO of Design Q; and Andrew Muirhead, Head of OEM and Engineering services at Lufthansa Technik AG will come together to discuss innovations, trends and general lessons with cross-sector potential.

They will explore the factors required to achieve a successful crossover; and if there is potential for a service level somewhere in-between the sectors. The session will outline the differences in how each market is structured, conventions in the design and outfitting process, customer requirements and more.

A more innovative future for aviation

Focusing on encouraging the start-up ecosystem in aviation and how they can help achieve sustainability goals, the event will welcome a panel of Crystal Cabin Award Winners and Sustainable Aero Lab mentors. Moderated by Lukas Kaestner, co-founder of Sustainable Aero Lab, experts including Dr Achim Leder, co-founder & CEO, Jetlite, Nico Buchholz, aerospace executive and co-founder of Flightlevel 500, and Omer Bar-Yohay, founder and CEO of Eviation Aircraft, will come together to discuss how they have succeeded in such a challenging environment and what the road to success looks like.

Finally, AIX will also play host to the highly anticipated Crystal Cabin Awards, world-renowned as the international prize for innovation in aircraft cabin design. These prestigious awards have been presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg every year since 2007, and this year will take place during the virtual event on Wednesday 15th September from 15.15-16.15 CEST.

A high-calibre jury made up of renowned academics, engineers, specialist journalists and airline and aircraft manufacturer representatives will present the awards that aim to honour extraordinary cabin concepts and products.

Visitor registration for the (AIX) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) Virtual events opened in late July. With access to a personalised diary, attendees can pre-schedule meetings with new business connections, watch live and on-demand conference sessions and browse innovations from some of the leading businesses from around the world.

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