The organiser of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) has announced details of the airline buyers and exhibitors set to attend its new virtual event, which will take place online from 14-16 September.

    The digital platform will enable aviation professionals from across the globe to come together for three full days to conduct targeted business meetings, discover the latest products and services from the supply chain of cabin interiors and gain insights from sector experts via three streams of content.

    Representatives from more than 60 airlines have already expressed their interest in attending the virtual event, including Air France, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways, as well as suppliers such as Geven SpA, MGR Foamtex, Inmarsat Global Ltd, Safran and Sabeti Wain Aerospace.

    Kevin Kleist, who looks after emerging trends at Southwest Airlines said: “The AIX gathering always brings us exposure to new and emerging technologies, products and solutions while providing an opportunity to meet with existing vendors and learn more about their products and innovations. Now more than ever, even virtual discussions could bring immediate value to Southwest, as we look to solve new needs. We look forward to maintaining connections and establishing new ones, as we all hopefully move toward future in-person gatherings, like those we’ve valued in previous years.”

    Director of customer experience at Condor Flugdienst Rainer Kroepke added: “The upside of a virtual event is that you can better organise appointments, meaning you can fit even more topics and discoveries in the same amount of time.”

    New product developments prioritise hygiene 

    Returning exhibitor Muirhead will showcase its new Muirhead Active Hygiene Leather, which offers built-in antiviral properties for best-in-class hygiene onboard. The self-disinfecting leather features built-in ViralOff® technology, which is proven to eliminate 99 per cent of bacteria and viruses within two hours, including SARS-CoV-2, H3N2 and H1N1, without compromising performance, appearance or sustainability.

    Attendees can also find out more about the company’s new lightweight, full substance leather specifically designed for the aviation industry. Selected by Ryanair for its Boeing 737-800 and Max fleet, the innovative, easy-clean leather is 25 per cent lighter than its standard counterpart, offering substantial lifetime weight savings.

    Fellow exhibitor Adhetec manufactures technical adhesive films dedicated to decorative and industrial applications for aerospace. It will present its antimicrobial range of antivirus and antibacterial films ideal for IFE screens, tray tables and other high touch areas in the cabin. Mankiewicz, a leading manufacturer of high-quality coating systems, will also highlight its paint products for cabin interiors, including Alexit FST PureGuard. The long-lasting carefree interior coating with antimicrobial effective additives is proven to deactivate a corona typed virus and fulfils the most stringent OEM requirements.

    Speaking about AIX Virtual, René Lang, executive managing director for aviation at Mankiewicz, remarked: “For Mankiewicz, as the market leader in cabin interior coatings and a loyal exhibitor since the very beginning of AIX, it was a matter of course to also follow the digital path. AIX has chosen a great way to provide a modern communication platform for all market participants to meet each other and discuss the latest developments for the cabin.”

    Bucher will present new products, concepts and further developments including a brand-new antiviral Galley kit to protect passengers and crew throughout the flight, a compact front row monument and tray tables for the business class cabin, as well as various retrofit solutions. While International Water-Guard (IWG) will highlight how its Healthy Lav Touchless products offer a simple and effective way of increasing onboard lavatory hygiene, enhancing passenger confidence and comfort.

    In addition, Sekisui Kydex will display a range of new innovative solutions that allow designers to expand the possibilities for cabin design, including its Kydex Ion Technology that was shortlisted in the Crystal Cabin Awards. The new technology is 99 per cent effective at inhibiting the growth of stain and odour-causing bacteria on Kydex Thermoplastics. The antimicrobial treatment is incorporated into the sheet, which helps keep the treated surface cleaner between cleanings.

    Digital to the fore

    With digitisation playing a critical role in supporting the aviation industry’s long-term recovery, Inmarsat Aviation will showcase its award-winning inflight connectivity solutions at AIX Virtual, including a brand-new platform that helps airlines to monetise onboard wifi. Inmarsat will also delve into the findings of a major upcoming global report into the latest impact of the pandemic on travel habits and passenger expectations.

    “We’re excited to reconnect cabin interior and onboard services professionals at this critical time. The impressive names and companies that have already expressed their interest in attending or booked stands at the virtual event is testament to the industry’s eagerness to move forward. AIX is renowned for being a hotbed of innovation and the place to do business, and this will be no different at AIX Virtual 2021,” commented RX (Reed Exhibitions) event director Polly Magraw.

    In May, the first details of the new virtual events were announced. Hosted on a fully digital platform, AIX and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services will enable the entire supply chain of cabin interior and onboard services professionals to reconnect at this crucial time and thereby accelerate the industry’s recovery.