Panasonic Avionics announces new executive appointments following Astrova launch

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, IFEC, InsightsNo Comments

Panasonic Avionics has announced several new executive appointments following a successful launch of Astrova, its new in-flight entertainment seat-end solution.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics commented: “Panasonic is entering this period of renewed industry demand from a position of innovation and strength. Our new Astrova product has been enthusiastically received by our customers and is but one example of how we have transformed our business to better develop our products and serve our customers. I am confident that the leadership changes that we are announcing today will build on this momentum.”

Satyen Yadav will join the company as Chief Technology Officer on 8 August and will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s software and systems engineering teams, cloud, hardware and IT/security. He will serve as a key member of Panasonic Avionics’ executive team and be directly responsible for an organisation of over 800 employees spread across Panasonic’s Irvine, California headquarters, as well as the Bay Area office and other global locations.

John Wade will join the company on 1 August as Vice President, Connectivity Solutions. Wade will be responsible for the overall strategy, performance, and day-to-day operations of the Connectivity business unit. He will oversee a team of network capacity engineers and satellite experts, while working very closely with sales, engineering, and product management to drive revenue and support airlines worldwide.

Tom Eskola will take on a new role as Vice President, Panasonic Technical Services. Eskola brings to this position a deep knowledge of Panasonic and commitment to its customers. He joined the company more than ten years ago and most recently has served as Vice President and General Manager of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region (EMEA).


WTCE welcomed nearly 5,000 visitors to first live event since the pandemic

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Catering, FeaturedNo Comments

The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) welcomed 4,909 visitors to its first live event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The show, which took place in Hamburg, also celebrated its 10-year anniversary as the leading global event for in-flight catering, onboard services, and passenger comfort, with more than 250 exhibitors from across the catering and onboard services industry welcoming attendees from 138 leading global, regional and low-cost airlines such as Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and easyJet.

Abdulrahim Aljneibi, Procurement Manager, Etihad Airways, said: “I came to WTCE to meet up with suppliers face to face and expand our portfolio and build up relationships. We want to discuss and see how the new market is growing. I have really enjoyed the environment here. Everything has been really organised.”

This year’s show included the ever-popular Taste of Travel programme, with a line-up featuring sessions focused on sustainable catering. The programme delivered educational content by passenger experience professionals and sustainability experts and featured cookery demonstrations by some of the industry’s leading chefs and numerous sampling opportunities. Jetvine showcased products from its portfolio, including Fruits for Drinks and MOTH cocktails in a can, while Marc Wade from Libero Special Meals opened the first day of the programme, discussing the dietary needs of special meal passengers.

Visitors were also able to explore technological advances, with subjects ranging from pre-ordering and in-seat ordering to personalised meals and the supply chain. Among the speakers were Maryann Simson from Jetway Communications, Job Heimerikx, CEO of AirFi, Nils Taubert, CEO of Retail in Motion, and Michael Raesch, CEO of Omnevo.

WTCE Event Director Polly Magraw said: “We’re absolutely blown away by the sheer level of industry enthusiasm and support for this year’s show following what has been a very challenging few years for travel.

“It’s clear that while passengers and stakeholders were forced to stay at home and shut down, innovation was still very much top of mind, so we’ve been hugely excited by the new products, services and technologies showcased this year. If this year’s support for WTCE is anything to go by, global travel is well on its way to a fantastic recovery.”


Panasonic Avionics and Recaro partner up for Astrova IFE seat end solution

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, IFEC, SeatingNo Comments

Panasonic Avionics has partnered up with Recaro Aircraft Seating to install its new Astrova in-flight entertainment seat-end solution on the CL3810 economy class seat. The launch took place on the first day of the 2022 AIX trade show in Hamburg.

Recaro says its lightweight approach to seating is further enhanced by the weight savings from the new IFE solution. Both Astrova and Recaro’s CL3810 seat are built with modularity in mind to minimise maintenance costs for airlines.

“It was an honour to be selected by Panasonic Avionics as the launch partner for their Astrova seat-end solution,” said Dr Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating and Recaro Holding. “Our aligned visions of transforming the passenger experience and supporting airlines with unmatched customer service has allowed us to work well together throughout this process. Congratulations to Panasonic on the launch of their new flagship product.”

Ken Sain, CEO at Panasonic Avionics, said: “We would like to congratulate Recaro on the launch of their CL3810 economy class seat. We are excited to be working with them to demonstrate how two companies can collaborate and help airlines achieve their business goals. We believe that this powerful seat and IFE combination is an excellent example of solutions that reduce cost, improve passenger comfort, meet sustainability goals, drive passenger loyalty and increase revenue.”

Recaro to supply BL3510 spare pax for Philippine Airlines’ A320 retrofit

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, SeatingNo Comments

Recaro Aircraft Seating’s BL3510 economy class seat has been selected by Philippine Airlines for a retrofit of a number of Airbus A320 aircraft.

According to Recaro, delivery of the spare pax seats began this month. As a part of the Philippine-based airline’s fleet modification strategy, the overhaul involves the installation of a 180-seat cabin configuration on each of the 11 A320 aircraft that are destined for short-haul high-traffic domestic routes to be operated by the airline’s PAL express subsidiary.

The selected A320 aircraft were originally equipped with a mixed 156-seat configuration for Asian regional flights of the mainline carrier PAL, which now deploys larger Airbus A321 aircraft with business, premium and economy class seating on said regional routes.

Recaro says its BL3510 economy class seat is a reliable product designed for short-haul flights, and provides passengers with ideal ergonomic positioning for greater comfort.


AirFi recognised at the Onboard Hospitality Awards

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, IFECNo Comments

AirFi CEO and founder Job Heimerikx has been named “Industry Champion” 2022 at the Onboard Hospitality Awards for his pioneering role in the development of the portable wireless in-flight entertainment product segment, which has made IFE and onboard retail solutions affordable for low-cost airlines and suitable for leased aircraft, and for his work on the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) Board of Directors.

In addition, AirFi’s low-bandwidth LEO connectivity solution was listed as “One to Watch” by the judging panel. The LEO solution enables air-to-ground messaging for crew and passengers, and because the antenna sits in the aircraft window (and the receiver in an overhead bin), it can be installed in an overnight stop as a minor modification. The LEO solution comes with all necessary paperwork. According to AirFi, several European airlines are currently running trials.

April Waterston, Digital Editor at Onboard Hospitality Magazine, said: “The judges selected Job for the Onboard Hospitality Industry Champion Award this year because of the pivotal role he’s played in influencing and changing the very shape of the IFE and inflight retail technology. Job is a great advocate for flexible IFE and onboard retail technology. He brings contagious energy to his work [and] the constant innovation that comes from AirFi, such as the LEO solution, serves as an inspiration to the industry. A standout quality that helped him win is his kindness. The judges all agree that Job is about as friendly as it gets and people remember that.”

Commenting on the two recognitions, Job Heimerikx said: “I am still in shock after receiving the Industry Champion Award and the “One to Watch” placard for LEO. Many impressive and worthy applicants were vying for both distinctions, so I feel truly honoured. I’ve always believed in fairness, transparency accountability and positivity in life and business. And of course, our LEO connectivity solution is going to bring the operational and customer experience benefits of a connected aircraft to many airlines that could otherwise not afford it. We’re all very happy!”

Safran’s latest software platform, RAVE OS

Safran Passenger Innovations announces partnership with WalkMix

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, IFECNo Comments
Safran’s latest software platform, RAVE OS

In-flight entertainment experiences provider Safran Passenger Innovations has announced an exclusive partnership with Audio Futures, Inc. and its WalkMix Service, introducing 360 Reality Audio – a new immersive music experience using Sony’s 360 Spatial Sound technologies.

Safran Passenger Innovations says its RAVE in-flight entertainment and connectivity system with 360 Reality Audio will offer more immersive realism for music and other audio content delivered on headphones during flights.

360 Reality Audio is compatible with all connected headphones, and WalkMix will also be offering airlines capabilities for branded content and third-party sponsorship along with exclusive digital collectables for music fans. Included are popular audio therapies from leading health and wellness content creators – especially significant for the airline industry, as according to Safran Passenger Innovations, recent studies suggest therapeutic audio can have a positive effect in alleviating traveller anxiety and stress.

All content will be sourced exclusively via and content providers can create new offerings in 360 Reality Audio and contribute other creations such as digital merchandise with delivery on Safran Passenger Innovation’s RAVE in-flight systems.

Ben Asmar, Safran Passenger Innovation’s Vice President of Products & Strategy, said: “RAVE spatial audio is the next frontier for in-flight multimedia and can take a passenger from their seat and virtually transport them into the middle of a concert hall. We believe this immersive experience powered by WalkMix and Sony 360 Reality Audio will be a compelling point of differentiation for RAVE customers by offering premium content and an elevated passenger experience.”

Tibet Airlines selects Recaro to outfit new A319neo aircraft

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, SeatingNo Comments

Recaro has announced its BL3710 seat was selected by Tibet Airlines to equip the carrier’s new A319neo.

The carrier has ordered 26 shipsets and first delivery is planned for September 2022.

Tibet Airlines also selected the CL4710 to outfit the aircraft’s business class cabin.

Recaro says its bestselling BL3710 has been recognised for its ergonomic performance since entering the market in 2019.

Weighing less than 10 kilograms, the lightweight seat was developed to enhance comfort for passengers and minimise the total cost of ownership for airlines.

IFPL reading light

IFPL unveils innovative overhead reading lamp design

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, IFEC, LightingNo Comments
IFPL reading light

IFPL has unveiled a new concept product: an LED reading lamp that offers passengers not just light but also USB power. The cost-effective solution empowers operators to supply in-seat power to every passenger on board.

IFPL says airlines can now enjoy an easy, economical way of providing passengers with a personal light and USB charger, all in one accessible overhead module.

Swapping the existing reading light with the new product takes just minutes according to the company, and no additional wire looms are needed. This module also requires no additional power from the aircraft, instead using the power savings created by replacing an incandescent bulb with an LED.

IFPL Group has merged the IFEC capabilities of IFPL with Cobalt Aerospace’s lighting skills and experience and honed on their award-winning drop-in LED solution, Cobalt Spectrum. Though this patent-pending concept is designed as a retrofit solution for Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, IFPL Group says it is keen to adapt the product for other aircraft types.

IFPL Group’s Commercial Director, Gary Girard, said: “As a group, we are keen to utilise the skills and experience of both companies to create products that benefit both passenger and operator. Combining Cobalt Aerospace’s knowledge of LED lighting with the power prowess of the IFPL team has been key to developing this concept. We’re excited to see what visitors to stand 4B20 think!”


Satair renews Asia Pacific exclusive distribution agreement with Siemens

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, InsightsNo Comments

Airbus Services company Satair and commercial aerospace aftermarket company Siemens SAS have renewed their exclusive distribution agreement covering airborne fire protection systems, including smoke detectors for the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to spares distribution activities, Satair also operates an authorised repair station for Siemens in Singapore to support the customers in the Asia-Pacific.

Satair and Siemens SAS, which specialises in the field of designing, manufacturing and selling airborne fire protection systems, have been working in close collaboration since 1999, with a repair station in Singapore being established in 2006.

Rene Frandsen, Managing Director for Satair Singapore, said: “We are pleased to strengthen our good partnership with Siemens and truly value their continued trust in Satair. We will continue our focused efforts to deliver world-class support to both our mutual customers and Siemens.”

Mirus kestrel seat

Mirus Aircraft Seating launches fixed back economy seat

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Featured, SeatingNo Comments
Mirus kestrel seat

Mirus Aircraft Seating has launched a new fixed back economy seat.

Mirus says the new seat, named Kestrel, blends unequalled levels of passenger living space and comfort in an ultra-lightweight fixed back seat.

It weighs just 7.5 kg and is designed specifically for short to medium range fleets – and to withstand the rigorous and diverging demands from ultra-low cost to premium carriers.

The 28-inch seat pitch delivers class-leading passenger living space and solves the problem of how airlines can achieve maximum economy cabin densification without compromising passenger comfort and space.

Kestrel has a wide range of custom trim and finish options and is highly configurable with additional features such as USB ports, PED holders and multiple literature pocket options.

CEO of Mirus Aircraft Seating, Ben McGuire, said: “We have adopted a zero-compromise mentality with the design of Kestrel to offer maximum living space, privacy and comfort whilst delivering an elegant, modern aesthetic.

“Whilst initially intended for the shorter-range market, the exceptional comfort and living space Kestrel offers means we are seeing strong interest from airlines flying much longer routes as they seek maximum cabin densification without compromising passenger comfort. We are working with a group of airlines in strategic markets and expect to announce our initial launch customers later this year.

“Currently available for Airbus A320 and B737 aircraft types, Kestrel is a game-changer in enhancing cabin appearance, reducing weight, reducing cost of ownership and extending seat life compared to previous generation economy seats, and probably all of the seats being offered in the market today.”