Home' Asian Aviation : AAV February 2016 Contents 54 AsianAviation | FEBRUARY 2016
Greater comfort and space, a more
personalised experience, flexible seating,
multi-platform in-flight entertainment,
ubiquitous onboard connectivity and
cabin crew taking on the role of a concierge can all
be expected in the narrow-body onboard experience
These are just some of the findings of an industry
think tank tasked with looking at the future passenger
experience by UK publisher and event organiser
Future Travel Experience, with the results presented
at the FTE Asia Expo, which took place in Singapore
late last year.
The FTE Onboard 2025 Think Tank comprised Mike
Crump from cabin design specialist Honour Branding;
Ingo Gathje from Airbus; Bjorn Erik Barman-Jenssen
from Norwegian Air Shuttle; Panasonic’s Neil James;
and Avianca’s Rodrigo Llaguno.
The group looked at four areas of the onboard
passenger experience – cabin design and passenger
comfort; in-flight entertainment and connectivity
(IFEC); crew and passenger empowerment; and
cabin classes and differentiation strategies, Crump
told delegates at the FTE Asia Expo.
When it comes to cabin design and passenger
comfort, the key passenger requirements are more
seamless boarding and disembarkation, greater
comfort and space, bring your own device (BYOD)
compatibility and a more personalised experience.
The narrow-body aircraft cabin of 2025 will be
designed around speed and efficiency of boarding,
disembarkation and turnaround, the think tank
believes. Boarding will be conducted through
central double doors to improve efficiency and there
will be more “wow factor” at the entrance, like a
hotel-style entrance, says Crump. Passengers will
be guided to their seats via seat numbers displayed
on the floor, with colours representing seat zones,
resulting in a more intuitive and less stressful
boarding experience, Crump says.
The aircraft cabin itself will be reconfigurable,
they believe. Flexible seating will allow airlines to
change configuration overnight or on turnaround,
to meet the challenges of varied network demands.
Flexible monuments and galleys will be able to
change function, while multi-purpose spaces will
be used for relaxation zones or self-service for food
and beverages. Flexible zones will be able to support
more space for additional business seats, space for
cargo, adjustable seat pitch seating or zonal spaces
to meet different passenger needs, such as family
zones and booths.
Cabin design will be more spacious thanks to
the lack of overhead bins, the think tank suggests.
They also foresee windowless aircraft, whereby the
window panels, walls and ceiling panels become
digital displays. Lighting, smell and sound will
become more important and will be increasingly
used as part of airline branding, while there will also
be sound-proofed zones, anti-viral air conditioning to
stop the spread of viruses and bacteria and the use
of self-healing materials in the cabin.
Seating will be ergonomic in design and thinner
with the aim of creating more personal space.
Flexible seating zones will be available, suited to
specific passenger needs like those for families,
groups and older travellers, for example. There will be
a push to increase density without losing passenger
comfort using the z-axis and height of the cabin,
through overlapping seat concepts, for example.
The think tank expects to see further seat and IFEC
integration, leveraging the so-called ‘Internet of
Everything’, technology embedded into the seat,
passenger mobiles and wearables and biometrics
all working together to personalise the experience.
Seats will offer multiple charging options for personal
electronic devices (PED) using USB ports and
inductive charging trays, while speakers embedded
into seats could further enhance the IFE experience.
Looking specifically at IFEC, passengers in
2025 will require reliable, high-speed WiFi; gate-
to-gate entertainment; PED accommodation and
compatibility; personalised entertainment; and power
facilities. Current pain points in the narrow-body
cabin are the lack of IFEC options; limited ability
to charge PEDs; limited and expensive onboard
connectivity; and lack of personalised content, says
Matthias Walther, Panasonic’s senior manager of
The think tank sees a future where any surface
can become an IFE platform – from plastic seat parts
to windows. For some carriers, embedded screens
will still play an important role, especially in premium
cabins, but the majority of passengers will bring their
own devices and content, and consume content via
An industry think tank has come up with its vision of the passenger experience
onboard narrow-body aircraft of 2025. Emma Kelly looks at the vision.
The think tank expects to see further
integration of the seat and IFE.
4/02/2016 7:30:25 PM
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