Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

This week has seen the marking of the International Day of Happiness. First celebrated in 2013, it has since been observed every 20 March across 193 UN Member states, 2 observer states, and 11 territories.

Flying can often be the root cause of much unhappiness, but a number of airlines have recently unveiled the latest phase of their respective investments in cabin upgrades.

In Europe, British Airways unveiled its new business class seat for its forthcoming A350 aircraft. Club Suite has been designed for today’s customers says the airline, whose “customers will leave their flight feeling rested thanks to higher levels of humidity and refreshed air as the cabin pressure is equivalent to an altitude of just 6,000 feet.”

Lufthansa Group member SWISS is set to introduce Premium Economy from spring 2021, initially available on its fleet of 777-300ERs.

As Tamur Goudarzi Pour, SWISS’s chief commercial officer, said: “All in all, our Premium Economy class travellers will enjoy a substantially stronger sense of personal space.”

Over in the US, JetBlue has introduced into service the first A320 aircraft to fly with a restyled cabin interior, featuring among other things, the “widest, most comfortable A320 seats, larger seatback TVs with even more entertainment, expanded gate-to-gate high-speed internet on nearly every JetBlue route and more.”

“JetBlue rocked the airline industry in 2000 with seatback television and all-leather seats. In our first makeover since, this incredible new onboard experience represents what the founders would have done if they were launching JetBlue today,” said Marty St. George, executive vice-president and chief commercial officer, JetBlue. “The new experience brings together technology, entertainment and comfort with the great service JetBlue customers love so much.”

For airlines, making people happy, is not a one-off annual event, but a daily operation that goes well beyond the duration of the flight.

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