Home' Asian Aviation : AAV May 2011 Contents Aircraft Interiors Expo
Premium economy cabins are here to stay, aircra seats
may have reached the limit of their 'thinness' and the
in- ight entertainment (IFE) market could be about
to experience radical change, according to panellists at
the opening-day press conference of this year's Aircra
The panel of executives from airlines and
manufacturers dismissed any scepticism about premium-
economy products, con rming that they may hold
further opportunities to be explored.
According to panellist Alex Her vet, long-haul
products director at Air France, about 600,000
passengers have already own on the airline's Premium
Voyageur ser vice since its launch in late 2009 and the
product is now available across 90 percent of the carrier's
"Next month, we are receiving our h A380 aircra
and this will be the rst one to have Premium Voyager
onboard," Her vet said.
"There is big potential out there for Premium
Economy," said John Yeng, United Airlines' director of
product marketing. Feedback from United's Economy
Plus product shows that passengers rate the ser vice
significantly higher than
traditional economy in terms
of the overall travel experience.
With three out of four
business travellers today opting
for economy-class travel, there
is signi cant growth potential
in the sector.
Raising the issue of legroom and seating-density,
Airbus's Head of Aircra Interiors Marketing, Bob
Lange, said he felt it was now impossible to make seat
backs any thinner than the latest products on o er.
Meanwhile, Tom Plant, vice-president and general
manager of seating products at manufacturer B/E
Aerospace said he thought it was possible for a 28-
inch pitch to become standard for economy use in the
future, thanks to the latest seating technolog y.
" e challenge is still long-term comfort in that
area -- a true judge of how comfortable a seat is means
it needs to still be comfortable a er three months,
six months and a year's worth of use -- if it's still
comfortable a er that then you have a great product,"
In the IFE market, Lumexis Chief Executive O cer
Doug Cline said that companies are preparing for
another seismic shi , with new competitors o ering
innovative products. "Suppliers have to drive down
to the lowest cost of purchase, the lowest cost of
maintenance and highest levels of reliability" in order
to compete and sur vive, Cline said.
Airbus's Lange added that cost was also a major
factor for airlines, with annual maintenance costs for
IFE systems close to those for an aircra engine. "It's
important for airlines to make the right decisions from
the beginning ," he said.
According to United's Yeng : "There are many
companies with emerging IFE technologies -- we are
looking for partners that can o er reliable products
that can be delivered to market in the quickest way."
IFE grab Expo spotlight
The Hamburg Messe in Germany hosted the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2011 on 5-7 April. The show
attracted more than 500 exhibitors, while the organisers estimated that more than 7,900 visitors
attended the event, writes Andrzej Jeziorski.
Lu hansa Technik announced on 5 April that it plans
to work together more closely with Schott on cabin
lighting for passenger aircra .
The company said its Director of Innovation
Andrew Muirhead would sign a contract "very
shortly" with Dr Armin Plichta, general manager
of aviation for the lighting and imaging division of
Schott. e collaboration will pursue a "one-stop shop"
strategy covering everything from lighting design to
manufacturing, installation and approvals, as well as
ser vice over the course of the entire product lifecycle.
Lu hansa Technik will concentrate on the area of
lighting control, approval and validation and provide
installation, maintenance, repair and upkeep ser vices.
Schott will contribute its expertise and experience in
the area of lighting systems.
"We will now be able to o er our many customers
-- that include everything from owners of business
jets to commercial airlines -- a complete package
of services on cabin lighting ," Muirhead said. "We
are pleased to have found a partner like Schott that
complements our own range of ser vices just perfectly
as an expert on lighting design and customized
"By cooperating with Lu hansa Technik, we will
be able to assemble ser vice packages that address
the individual needs of both airlines and aircra
manufacturers," Schott's Plichta said. " ese will
include functional lighting solutions for the cabin,
like ceiling, seat and emergency lighting, for instance.
In addition, we are also developing e ect lighting , for
example, for daytime and night scenarios or meeting
other special demands."
e companies said the rst product they are
working on together is "a unique new lighting
technology", featuring a combination of glass
elements and light diodes that yields an e cient light
source that lowers maintenance costs and extends
service life. " is technolog y is designed for use in
mood lighting scenarios that rely on the entire colour
spectrum, but also for purely white cabin lighting,"
Lu hansa Technik said.
e company added that the partners are currently
preparing a "joint market and brand appearance" for
the products that they are working on together.
Lufthansa Technik, Schott team up on lighting
Air France now offers its Premium
Voyageur product on 90 percent of its fleet.
AsianAviation | MAY 2011 13
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