PEC virtual series returns following summer success

PEC conference, passenger

Following a successful summer series, the organisers of the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) – have announced that the virtual series will return with an eight-part autumn edition.

Free-to-attend, the webinar series will run weekly, every Wednesday from 19 August through to 7 October offering professionals from across the cabin interiors and onboard hospitality industry with a chance to gain the latest insights, ideas and analysis from the people and businesses that are driving the evolution of the passenger experience.

The summer series, which ran from 17 June to 22 July, was “applauded by attendees” who described the sessions as “insightful and interesting”, and included practical discussions and a mix of guest speakers.

Responding to calls for increased airline representatives, the Autumn edition of the PEC Virtual Series will welcome experts from Qatar Airways, Qantas Airways, Etihad Airways, Delta Air Lines and Alaska Airlines as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), PriestmanGoode, Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Airbus.

The first two webinars will reflect topics commonly debated in the Taste of Travel Theatre at PEC’s sister event, World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE). Run in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine, the sessions will focus on blueprints for flying experiences post-pandemic and are detailed below.

Wednesday 19 August – The future of inflight catering: Experts in the inflight catering field including Genevieve Reis Rosario, senior manager, Product Development & Service Design at Qatar Airways, Stefan Patermann, chief executive officer of Retail inMotion, and Marc Warde, regular Onboard Hospitality columnist and director of Libero Meals, will discuss positive solutions emerging for the ‘new normal’ for inflight catering.

The session will be led by Sarah Klatt-Walsh, an independent consultant within the inflight industry with over 30 years’ experience including time at Swissair Catering (now Gate Gourmet), Swiss International Air Lines and most recently British Airways. The session will include a deep dive into the post-Covid challenges, and a panel debate which will explore how pre-ordering technology, supply chain change and travel retail can provide solutions airlines need without compromising on established sustainability priorities.


Wednesday 26 August– Rebuilding onboard confidence: The second session will focus on how the inflight sector can help rebuild passenger confidence and tap into the growing demand for overt wellbeing measures in the air. Led by Linda Celestino, vice-president Guest Service and Delivery for Etihad Airways, a panel of experts in cabin hygiene will discuss spotlight pioneering wellness programmes, as well as new hygiene and comfort solutions.

The panel – made up of Federico Heitz, CEO of Kaelis, Keith Yates, director of Yates and Partners, and David Young, executive manager – Sustainability and Future Planet at Qantas Airways – will also address the challenges of PPE as Single-Use Plastics regulations tighten and the need for closed-loop solutions increases.


The future of passenger experience

The following six webinars will consider some of the biggest challenges facing the aviation industry in the post-pandemic world, exploring how airlines, manufacturers and suppliers can establish a road map for businesses evolution in the ‘new normal’, including:


Wednesday 2 September – Flying for all: what next for the accessible cabin?  Initiatives to ensure that flying becomes more accessible for all passengers, as well as people with other disabilities such as visual and hearing impairments, were increasingly in the spotlight over the past 18 months. Moderated by Christopher Wood, founder of Flying Disabled, this session will reveal how these initiatives have been impacted by the pandemic and what will shape the next round of accessibility innovations.

The expert panel includes Geraldine Lundy, director at Accessible Travel Consultancy, Hans-Gerhard Giesa, senior expert Human Factors Cabin & Cargo at Airbus, Matthew Coder, Inflight Experience program manager at Alaska Airlines, Gina Emrich, consultant at Open Doors Organisation, and Hank Scott, chief executive officer at Molon Labe Seating.


Wednesday 9 September – The economy of the next fifty years will be run by the customer experience: For the fourth webinar, Peter Shankman, futurist at Epic Marketing Consultants, will be joined by Melissa Raudebaugh, general nanager – Inflight Service Fleet & Galley Planning, at Delta Air Lines, plus experts in key passenger experience segments, to discuss the way forward for the industry.

The session, moderated by Blake Emery, president of Emery & Associates, will cover areas including the five rules of the customer economy, why “nice” matters, and how to stay “top-of-mind” in every passenger’s brain, from before they plan their trip until long after they return home.


Wednesday 16 September – Driving new revenue streams from a customer-centric journey: Michael Raasch, head of Airline Solutions at AOE and Henry Coles, head, Airline Distribution Standards at International Air Transport Association (IATA), will come together to question how meeting customers’ specific needs revolutionise the retail opportunities for airlines and their travel partners and support business recovery.

Issues covered include the role of technology and contactless experiences, new delivery mechanisms, and opportunities to innovate, such as buy before you board and buy on arrival.


Wednesday 23 September – Direction of travel: flying more sustainably: Denise Delaney, senior director at SustainAbility, an ERM Group company will share insights on how other industries are addressing their contributions to global warming and integrating sustainability into their post-Covid business strategies, as well as opportunities for a “green” reset for travel.

This session will also be an opportunity to learn about critical sustainability trends and understand how future passengers will view the challenges for air travel.

Wednesday 30 September Sustainable onboard solutions – how they can support the recovery: The penultimate session, moderated by Juliane Trummer, vice-president Strategy and Design at Mormedi, will explore initiatives to accelerate airline transition into more eco-friendly experiences that will reassure passengers and support business recovery. Anne de Hauw, founder of IN Air Travel Experience and Jo Rowan, associate director, Strategy at PriestmanGoode will cover everything from rethinking the onboard service business model and the solutions that will deliver for airlines and their passengers to minimising waste on board to save space and costs.


Wednesday 7 October – The outlook for aircraft interiors – looking into 2021: Setting the scene for business into 2021, Rob Morris, global head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, Sebastian Petry, director, Innovation at Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Gary Weissel, managing officer at Tronos Aviation Consulting will come together to debate the outlook for interiors specification programmes and reconfiguration projects.

This session will cover the latest future fleet scenario from Cirium, the outlook for line-fit and retrofit of major interiors components from Tronos Aviation Consulting as well as trends in interior retrofits and line-fit products, plus insights from experts in key market segments.


For more information and to register free for any of the sessions, visit the website.

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