Interview: Plans for Aircraft Interiors Expo


Polly Magraw

Polly Magraw, event director at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), shares plans for the event, to be held on 6-8 June 2023 in Hamburg, Germany

What are the key facts people should know about AIX 2023?

The AIX show floor always aims to reflect the industry’s state of play, shining a light on the biggest trends and new cabin concepts that are driving change. It brings together airlines, designers, engineers, specifiers and manufacturers, providing a place to source the latest products for the cabin environment, from inflight entertainment and connectivity to galley equipment, seating, furnishings and more. This year, accessibility, sustainability and business jets will be among the trends represented more than ever before.

What kind of exhibitors (and numbers) can attendees expect?

Building on last year’s successful event, we are anticipating AIX will return bigger and better than before. We have over 7,000 visitors anticipated to attend, with more than 1,000 products from leading global airline suppliers on display. While the show floor will feature some of the latest, most ingenious products in the industry, the event’s education programme – from the Passenger Experience Conference, which returns on 5 June, the day before AIX opens, to CabinSpace Live at AIX – will touch on each aspect of aviation and cabin interiors with insights from the industry’s biggest players.

How will the business aviation industry be catered for at AIX?

Business aviation will be a heavily featured aspect across the entire show floor with a host of exhibitors set to demonstrate their products and services dedicated to improving the private jet passenger experience. From Lufthansa Technik and Collins Aerospace to Tapis and Aeristo, attendees looking for the latest cabin solutions for business jet interiors won’t be disappointed.

For example, aircraft cabin lighting solutions expert STG Aerospace will be unveiling its Business Jet Emergency Exit Marking System. Its latest emergency system package is designed specifically for VIP interiors, with full customisation options including its renowned patented blue glow saf-Tglo technology.

Meanwhile, Ipeco will be launching its galley equipment Executive Jet Passenger Seating designed for high structural performance and occupant injury protection. Keeping sustainability in mind, International Water-Guard Industries introduces its upgraded IWG-HE High Efficiency Lavatory Water Heater Series – a range of low-maintenance lavatory water heaters specifically for Airbus, Boeing and other business jet aircraft. Business jet operators and cabin designers will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with the leading suppliers working in these spaces.

What are the benefits of uniting business and commercial aviation players in an event such as this?

AIX is the leading marketplace where cabin concepts and designs are showcased for both commercial aircraft and business jets, and each year we see more business aviation specifiers and buyers attend as the world becomes ever more interconnected. Moreover, with the increased synergies between a first-class cabin in a commercial aircraft and the spaces within a business or private jet, the shared opportunities are boundless – and we’re proud to play host to exhibitors who are eager to share their solutions with attendees focussed on these areas.

Can you share your plans for the CabinSpace LIVE Theatre?

Connectivity, accessibility and sustainability will be among the most pertinent topics up for discussion at this year’s highly anticipated CabinSpace Live Theatre, in line with the trends we’ve observed over the last few years. Surveys have shown that 77% of passengers say inflight wi-fi is important to them – an increase of 40% since 2018 – demonstrating IFEC and connectivity is showing no signs of slowing down. Daniel Welch, senior research consultant at Valour Consulting, is set to lead a discussion on the tech behind the journey, joined by William Milroy, chairman and CTO of ThinKom Solutions, and David Coiley, regional vice president (Asia Pacific), Inmarsat.

Meanwhile, as increased importance is placed on making travel accessible to all, Christopher Wood MBE, founder of Flying Disabled, will be exploring the limitations and opportunities for airlines and suppliers as they strive to deliver an inclusive, dignified journey for all. Walt Fluharty, a board member for All Wheels Up, will join Wood to reflect on the pace of change and innovation.

Sustainability in the cabin will also be a headline topic at this year’s show in line with global net zero targets. Attendees can attend a host of talks with Satu Dahl, editor of Inflight Magazine, who will discuss the role of sustainability in cabin design, keeping in mind comfort, cost and safety, among others who will delve into the impact the sustainability movement is having on air travel. And don’t miss the winners of the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards, who will present their winning concepts in person the day after the winners are announced on the evening of 6 June.

What can attendees expect from the IFEC Zone?

This year’s IFEC zone will feature more than 50 exhibiting companies showcasing their latest innovations and solutions, spanning wireless connectivity hardware and software, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) solutions, seatback systems, 5G, streaming platforms, content services and more.

This year, aeroLiFi is set to exhibit its high-bandwidth wireless communication solutions based on LiFi technology, which uses only light to transmit data, and offers high data rates, maximum security and robustness – an intriguing option for airlines requiring IFE content distribution. Thales too will showcase its Pulse – Smart Power Management, which integrates the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) into IFE systems as a remote control and means to personalise the onboard IFE experience. And FVS Entertainment will be showcasing its comprehensive range of international content, such as a striking selection of content based on latest trends and recent releases, as well as developing bespoke strategies for airlines providing tailor-made content solutions, adapted to an airline’s specific budget.

Bluebox Wow will be introduced by Bluebox Aviation Systems – a compacted box device providing digital services and content that can be streamed to passenger devices in any cabin. As digital and connectivity become a must-have for passengers, the IFEC Zone ensures attendees will stay clued up on the latest trends and products at the show.

What other events are co-located with AIX?

AIX is co-located with World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), which can be found in Halls A1 and A4. Together, the events will provide passenger experience professionals with a unique opportunity to identify new products and solutions throughout the cabin.

What networking opportunities are available?

While dedicated show areas will help attendees easily navigate the plethora of innovations that can provide solutions to their current challenges, AIX Connect will enable attendees and exhibitors to meet and collaborate during the show. With more than 5,000 confirmed meetings scheduled across three days at the 2022 event, AIX Connect will help facilitate the industry’s overwhelming desire to network and do business. Even outside of show hours, AIX won’t disappoint – evening networking events across the show floor will be held, as well as events held by exhibitors – so attendees won’t be short of any networking opportunities!

Do you have long-term plans that you can share?

As we continue along the recovery trajectory for both commercial and business aviation, AIX will play a pivotal role in providing the most comprehensive representation of cabin interior products throughout the supply chain in one single place. As the synergy between first-class cabins of commercial aircraft and business jets continues, AIX will provide specifiers, designers and procurement teams with the perfect opportunity to source the best products and services.


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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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