KLM Premium Comfort class

KLM unveils new Premium Comfort cabin class

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KLM Premium Comfort class

KLM has unveiled its new Premium Comfort Class offering. The Dutch carrier says its intermediate cabin offers more space, luxury, service options, comfort and privacy than Economy Class at lower prices than World Business Class.

The new class allows KLM to meet the evolving needs and wishes of leisure and business travellers. According to the airline, Premium Comfort is an entirely new in-flight class with its own cabin, offering new type of a seat in addition to distinctive service and catering concepts. The seats were designed by Collins Aerospace together with specialists at KLM Customer Experience and are lighter than previous designs.

KLM’s Premium Comfort Class will vary from 21 to 28 seats depending on the aircraft type and will have wider than standard seats, more legroom, a larger screen and a footrest. The seats in the Premium Comfort class can also recline further than Economy Class seats. The reconfiguration work of the cabins will be carried out by KLM Engineering & Maintenance at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

Boet Kreiken, Executive Vice President of KLM Customer Experience said: “We have great expectations for this new Premium Comfort Class, based on extensive market research. The new class will meet the wishes of business passengers as well as leisure travellers, strengthening KLM’s standing as a global network carrier offering an appealing and varied range: World Business Class, Premium Comfort and Economy Class. It also reaffirms our partnership with Delta Air Lines, Air France and Virgin Atlantic on North Atlantic routes, where we can now combine all products on all routes.”

KLM’s Premium Comfort catering concept includes one or two hot meals depending on the duration of the flight on intercontinental services, and there will always be a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian dishes. Passengers will also be offered coffee, tea, liqueur and ice cream and a variety of snacks and cocktails will be served between meals.


Aircraft Interiors Expo announces an innovative planning platform

By Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022, Design, Featured, IFEC, InteriorsNo Comments

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event dedicated to the aircraft interiors industry will be returning to Hamburg, Germany, from 14-16 June 2022 with an innovative new show planning tool called AIX Connect.

The new tool is designed to help key airline buyers meet exhibitors during the show so they can build business connections and discuss new projects. The event organisers say the tool will play a pivotal role in facilitating the industry’s desire to source the latest cabin innovations, technologies, in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions by facilitating targeted business connections based on specific product requirements.

Major OEMs such as Boeing and Airbus, as well leading suppliers 3M, Acro Aircraft Seating, AD Aerospace, BAE Systems, EnCore, MGR Foamtex, Jamco Corporation, Collins Aerospace, Lufthansa Technik, Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Recaro are among companies confirmed to exhibit at the show.

Polly Magraw, AIX Event Director, said: “Connecting people to make new business contacts and source the right products is the cornerstone of Aircraft Interiors Expo.  As we emerge from the pandemic, we know that suppliers and airlines are eager to return in-person to save time and resources in their efforts to fast-track the industry’s recovery and seek the latest cabin innovations to enhance the passenger experience.

“We can’t wait to see the results of these incredibly important meetings as we support the aircraft interiors industry by facilitating networking with targeted business connections, as well as meeting all of their needs at the event with AIX Connect Lounge and concierge service; building connections has never been easier.”

FACC has established itself as a high-performing and reliable partner in the repair, maintenance and modernization of aircraft for airlines worldwide.

FACC announces partnership with Leki Aviation

By Featured, Interiors, MRONo Comments
FACC has established itself as a high-performing and reliable partner in the repair, maintenance and modernization of aircraft for airlines worldwide.

Aircraft modernisation, repair and maintenance company FACC has announced its partnership with international parts distributor and service provider Leki Aviation.

FACC’s services range from high-tech lightweight components for space to service and repair offerings for airlines and aircraft operators. Growth opportunities are very high according to the company particularly in the aftermarket services segment.

“The market for maintenance, repair and overhaul in civil aviation is making a noticeable recovery. Thanks to our innovative solutions, we have been able to establish an excellent position in this field in recent years, and are thus ideally equipped for the future,” says Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC.

The number of passenger aircraft worldwide, currently around 23,000, is expected to double to around 46,000 in the next 20 years, the company says, with demand for service and repair services growing rapidly. By 2030, the global market volume is set to exceed $180 billion, compared with approximately $70 billion at present. According to FACC, the Chinese growth market is particularly attractive.

Leki Aviation operates two branches in China and, thanks to its proximity to major Chinese airlines, occupies an outstanding position in the largest and most important growth market in the aircraft industry. Whenever airlines need a spare part for one of their aircraft, they will in future rely on components produced by FACC.

Leki Aviation has a total of nine locations worldwide, including four distribution centres and two repair stations.

Jamco America Branding Panels

Jamco America unveils new decorative branding panels

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Jamco America Branding Panels

Aircraft interior products supplier Jamco America has unveiled its new durable and aesthetically pleasing decorative branding panels.

The company says the panels offer airlines a cost-effective solution to update the forward and mid-cabin areas in their aircraft. They also provide branding opportunities which include the use of colour and embossed logos in addition to other decorative features.

John Cornell, Director of R&D at Jamco America, said: “The new Jamco decorative branding panels provide a perfect opportunity for airlines to refresh or rebrand the cabin interior. These new panels are not only beautifully finished but are extremely durable, which translates into a long-lasting and cost-effective solution for airlines.”

The new decorative branding panels are thermoformed and currently being provided at the door one area and mid-cabin for narrowbody single-aisle aircraft.

Unum One seat

Unum unveils Unum One business class seat

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Unum One seat

Unum Aircraft Seating has unveiled its first business class seat, Unum One. The company says the seat delivers exceptional comfort with class-leading dimensions and a consistent passenger experience across single- and twin-aisle aircraft.

Unum One offers an outward-facing herringbone layout with full lie-flat bed and direct aisle access. The seat can be used by airlines to provide a consistent business class passenger experience across all aircraft fleets and deployed at a wide range of pitches to maximise efficiency in the cabin layout.

Chris Brady, Unum’s Executive Chairman and CEO, said: “The remarkable thing about this seat is how it has surprised me. Early on in the development process it looked great on paper, then the first cardboard space models were exciting, but now the real thing has blown me away. I’m really proud of the team and the seat they’ve created – from the Zero Gravity position to the space, the table and the privacy door, it all just works.”

The seat offers an infinitely adjustable range of seat positions, including the heightened comfort of the well-supported Zero Gravity position. Every inch of available space has been utilised, in particular the often overlooked and constrained footwell area.

Airlines also have the option of a DOT-compliant privacy door at every pitch and generous side furniture with well thought out storage options.

According to Unum, the seat delivers a consistent experience across both single and twin aisle airframes with a 21″ seat width and, for single aisles, an 80″ bed length (78″ for widebodies).

Unum has been working on the seat with Acumen, one of the world’s most highly regarded industrial designers with more than 50 airline seat designs under its belt.

“We set out to be reliably comfortable and sustainably made, which has driven the design of our entire business,” said Brady. “For example, we see designing in maintainability as part of this promise. The seat needs to work like new every day, so we’ve made the replacement of all the moving parts and the high wear areas straightforward and quick for on-wing replacement.

“Similarly, our commitment to on-time delivery is more than just a promise to try hard. It’s about a fundamental alignment of our design choices and material selections with a short local supply chain. We are close to our suppliers in every sense, which gives us control and is part of our commitment to control our Scope 3 emissions.”

The Unum One seat will be available to experience in person at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from 14-16 June (stand 6E56).

Elevate by Teague

Teague and NORDAM create the world’s first ‘floating bed’ in the sky

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Elevate by Teague

Design and innovation company Teague and aerospace company NORDAM have unveiled the “Elevate” aircraft cabin concept.

Elevate, which will be showcased at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022 in Hamburg in June, is the world’s first single-aisle aircraft cabin that uses floating furniture to reimagine the in-flight passenger experience.

According to the two companies, Elevate offers passengers more personal space, privacy and comfort in a home-like interior without compromising existing passenger numbers.

With single-aisle aircraft increasingly being used for long-haul flights, the onboard passenger experience is in direct competition with twin-aisle aircraft that fly the same routes.

Elevate implements sidewall attachment points that enable the creation of a lighter and more efficient suite environment. By utilising mounted fixtures in the sidewall that eliminate restrictive structures around the monitor, side-furniture and ottoman, the concept increases the bed size, living space and stowage capacity for every passenger.

In the front row and business class, the suite environment wraps around the whole living space, creating a more exclusive and private zone that moves away from the typical tubular environment into a more luxurious residential atmosphere, with customised entrance lighting and overhead bins delivering a wow factor for all passengers entering the cabin.

Anthony Harcup, Senior Director of Airline Experience at Teague, said: “At a time when passenger wellbeing and sustainability are industry priorities, Elevate heralds a new generation of beautiful, simplified cabin products that will enable airlines to deliver exceptional experiences for their passengers with the economic efficiency that these smaller aircraft were designed to deliver.”

NORDAM, a global leader in advanced composite engineering and manufacture, intends to supply Nbrace to airlines and aviation companies worldwide, to spur further innovation throughout the cabin.

NORDAM’s CEO Meredith Siegfried Madden said: “This is a next-generation innovation that enables more creative freedom for the aircraft interior design community. By revolutionising how seats and other monuments attach to an aircraft, Nbrace recruits previously wasted space, transforming it into new aesthetic possibilities and dramatically improved passenger comfort, space and privacy.”

Starling Aerospace

Flying classroom takes to the sky

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Starling Aerospace

A project to facilitate the training of the next generation of aerospace engineers in the UK’s only “flying classroom” is now fully operational.

Working in partnership with Cranfield University’s National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC), aircraft interior specialist company Starling Aerospace provided its technical expertise to the project, which consisted of a six-month programme to modify and re-certify all 35 seats onboard the NFLC’s Saab 340B aircraft – the latest educational asset to join the university’s fleet.

The Saab 340B is unique in the UK in its role of creating new research capabilities, including the development of advanced aerospace technologies and flight operations.

According to Starling Aerospace, the project required a bespoke solution for the fitment of computer tablets and other equipment to each seat-back of the flying classroom.

Starling was responsible for the complete design, fabrication, modification, re-certification and installation process, which provides aerospace engineering students from over 20 universities and Cranfield with the chance to gain invaluable flight test experience as part of their research studies.

Starling’s co-founding director, Coralie Wigg, said: “Supporting Cranfield’s training programme of future aerospace engineers has made this an exceptionally rewarding undertaking for Starling and one that required a complex array of technical challenges to be overcome, regarding bespoke design, parts manufacture and stringent re-certification. Our team of design engineers and fabricators rose to these challenges with great professionalism and we were very proud to have partnered with Cranfield in support of its endeavours.”

Richard Jones, Aircraft Technical Manager at the National Flying Laboratory Centre, said: “Starling Aerospace delivered a fantastic ‘future proof’ solution to accommodate the Microsoft Surface Pro tablets in the headrests of the Saab 340 cabin seats, for our flying classroom tutorials. We were equally impressed with the durability and finish of the synthetic leather together with high standard of workmanship achieved by the whole Starling team.”

Lufthansa Explorer VIP 1

Crystal Cabin Awards 2022: Focus on sustainability, digitalisation, flexibility

By Crystal Cabin Awards 2022, Design, Featured, InteriorsNo Comments
Lufthansa Explorer VIP 1

The Crystal Cabin Awards 2022 competition is returning on 14 June as an in-person event and will see an international expert jury gathering at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

This year, the main focus is not just about quality, with the shortlist demonstrating that manufacturers, academia and individuals around the world are continually innovating to reduce the environmental impact of aviation and offer new solutions to give airlines more flexibility in configuring their aircraft cabin.

The Crystal Cabin Award is presented in eight categories that include cabin concepts, cabin systems, health & safety, IFEC & digital services, material & components, passenger comfort, sustainable cabin and university. For each category, 28 expert members of the jury select three finalists which will be announced at the beginning of May and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Hamburg on the evening of 14 June.

Entries this year include tangible concepts of cabin space re-configurations such as Elevate, an entry by Teague and NORDAM, who have collaborated on a “floating furniture” strategy designed to bring wide-body comfort to the single-aisle business class.

Collins Aerospace, PriestmanGoode and Tangerine joined forces to produce Finnair’s new business class offering, AirLounge. This disruptive design does away with some traditions such as seat recline while embracing others to offer an organic, cocoon-like feel.

The entry shortlist also sees multiple features that take a clean-sheet approach to cabin accommodation such as foldable, reconfigurable elements that allow airlines and passengers alike to reconfigure their expectations of how aircraft cabins use the available space. One example of this is the the ‘Shift Cabin Interior Study’ entry by student Jiayi Yu from the University of Reutlingen. The study allows seats to be configured in multiple positions for work or relaxation along the axis of the seat as well as to the side and fits more seats into the same business class space as existing, fixed seating.

MMILLENNIUMM’s experimental seating concept AirSleeper is an aircraft seat architecture that leverages the available space and passenger ticket price in new ways. Each passenger is provided with a seat that can be folded into a flat bed, accompanied by multiple surfaces both at seat level and above passengers’ heads.

NeXtGC by the German Aerospace Centre gives the “group of six” a surprising new twist. The organisation has created a modular concept that attaches two facing rows of three seats to the sidewall and the floor as well as to a rail system in the ceiling area, freeing up the space usually reserved for overhead bins. Stowage is also provided below the seats for faster passenger in- and egress, while the option to turn the seating into a sleeping area adds a flexible component.

The shortlist also includes several clever ideas to minimise the spread of infectious diseases onboard aircraft. AirShield by Pexco Aerospace in cooperation with Teague uses existing cabin infrastructure to lower the chance of catching an infection by directing a specially designed airflow between passenger spaces, and Weigele Aerospace’s Vientum clean air system takes techniques proven in ground-based systems such as school classrooms into the aircraft cabin to suppress the spread of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2.

Entries that focus on passenger safety include Safran Cabin’s new fire-resistant cargo container that can can inhibit Category D fires for six hours, including those resulting from faulty lithium ion batteries found in digital devices.

Caeli Nova’s Cordillera emergency oxygenation system could, if implemented globally, save 1.2m tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually by allowing aircraft to fly at higher altitudes after a decompression event.

Many entries focus on bringing more sustainability to aircraft interiors. ELeather’s Essence solution recycles leather waste to produce its upholstery and save on raw materials, while Switzerland’s Lantal Textiles in cooperation with Tenerías Omega and Olivenleder has introduced a wet-green tanning process for its leather fabrics using vegetable oils instead of chrome- and gasoline-based chemicals. Aircraft seat cushion maker Metzo’s entry, in cooperation with The Vita Group, features a recycling system for old cushions that offers passengers an option with lower environmental impact.

Waste and weight reduction are also seeing significant development. Airbus Operations’ technology-driven solution is designed to tackle the problem of passenger food waste, with its AI-based Airspace Food Scanner capturing data about passengers’ food consumption that allows airlines to adapt their catering services to better match customer demand.

RECARO Aircraft Seating’s modular, lightweight plug-in seat table system made from sustainable materials promises aircraft weight reduction that according to the company, if adopted for 50 aircraft, could save 1,000 tons of CO₂ annually.

Gentex Corporation’s proposal for an iris biometric scanning system addresses digital and physical security. The company’s engineers envisage an aircraft-wide system, for example authenticating crew when entering the cockpit or implemented in a seatback device to personalise passengers’ media or shopping offerings.

In-cabin digital offerings are also a hotbed of innovation, with KrisShop on KrisWorld embodying a novel approach by Singapore Airlines, airfree and Thales that shows that the future of in-flight shopping will go far beyond paging through a well-thumbed catalogue. Touted as the world’s first in-flight eShopping experience on a seatback IFE system, KrisShop on KrisWorld lets passengers browse a digital catalogue, buy in real-time using a credit card and determining the delivery point, either along their travel route or at home.

AerQ’s engineers have submitted an entry for AERENA, a platform that helps airlines quickly and cheaply adapt onboard apps to personalise their customers’ digital experience while reducing development costs.

Noise cancelling in consumer electronics has seen avid uptake among frequent flyers, and ACM Aircraft Cabin Modification’s MYZONE entry applies active noise cancellation technology to the headrest and beyond. The system is compatible with any aviation seat and its designers say the system can also use window panels and other cabin elements as a loudspeaker, attaining a sizeable 3 dB reduction in aircraft noise.