A session curated by Business Jet Interiors International magazine has been announced as part of the seminar programme for Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) Virtual, to be held on 14-16 September 2021. Experts Tom Chatfield, CEO of Camber Aviation Management, Howard Guy, CEO of Design Q, and Andrew Muirhead, head of OEM and engineering services at Lufthansa Technik, will explore what the business aviation and commercial airline markets can learn from each other to benefit cabin design. The session is moderated by the magazine’s editor, Izzy Kington.
The conversation will cover innovations with cross-sector potential; the factors required to achieve a successful crossover; and if there is potential for a service level somewhere in-between the sectors. The session will also explore how the markets differ in terms of structure and challenges.
In another seminar in the AIX Sessions series, Rob Morris, head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, will deliver a commercial aviation market outlook briefing alongside an interiors market outlook from Gary Weissel, managing officer at Tronos Aviation Consulting. Following this, a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Doyle, senior director of strategy at Cirium, will debate the challenges and opportunities presented by the current market. That discussion will also feature Harald Mehring, chief customer officer at Diehl Aviation, and Beth de Young, vice president of business development, aircraft interiors – lease customers at Safran.
Elsewhere, John Strickland, director at JLS Consulting, will be in conversation with senior-level executives from key airlines, talking about their future strategies and how they have coped with the challenges of 2021. The participants include Tom Stevens, director of brand and customer experience at British Airways, and Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, CEO at Flyr.
Following AIX’s Women Behind Aviation campaign in 2020, AIX Virtual will host a dedicated panel highlighting the role of women working across the industry. This session will bring together a cross-section of women in senior roles in the aviation sector, including Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo, founder of Young African Aviation Professional Association, Karyn McAlphin, design director at Sekisui Kydex, Erin ‘Elle’ Lear, executive sales director for Jet Token and founder of Jet Blondie, and Jane Hoskisson, director of talent, learning, engagement and diversity at IATA.
They will discuss their career paths; current and future initiatives to improve both diversity in the workforce and leadership roles; plus immediate challenges for the industry to address. The session will be moderated by Jane Hobson, editor of PAX International and PAX Tech magazines. The all-female panel will discuss learnings from sectors outside aviation, role models and mentoring both for professional development and to encourage more women into aviation, along with the benefits that a diverse and gender-balanced workforce brings to corporate culture, innovation and the bottom line.
Focusing on encouraging the start-up ecosystem in aviation and how they can help achieve sustainability goals, the programme includes a panel of Crystal Cabin Award winners and Sustainable Aero Lab mentors. Moderated by Lukas Kaestner, co-founder of Sustainable Aero Lab, the panel’s experts include Dr Achim Leder, co-founder and CEO of Jetlite, Nico Buchholz, aerospace executive and co-founder of Flightlevel 500, mentor at Sustainable Aero Lab, and Omer Bar-Yohay, founder and CEO of Eviation Aircraft. They will discuss how they have succeeded in such a challenging environment and what the road to success looks like.
Finally, AIX Virtual will also play host to the Crystal Cabin Awards, which recognise innovation in aircraft cabin design and have been presented every year since 2007. This year’s event will take place virtually on 15 September from 15:15 CEST. A high-calibre jury of academics, engineers, specialist journalists and airline and aircraft manufacturer representatives will present the awards.
“It’s incredibly exciting to announce the programme of AIX Sessions ahead of the virtual event in September,” said Polly Magraw, event director at Reed Exhibitions. “Alongside the Passenger Experience Conference and Taste of Travel agenda at WTCE, the events educational programme is shaping up to be one no cabin interior professional can miss as we look ahead to recovery. We’re delighted to welcome so many industry experts, both familiar faces and new names, to discuss some of the most pertinent topics the aviation industry should be discussing to influence the future.”
AIX and WTCE Virtual replace the live editions, which will not take place in 2021 due to the ongoing challenges and global restrictions on international travel. AIX and WTCE are scheduled to return to Hamburg, Germany, from 14-16 June 2022.