Onboard insights to be a highlight of the Passenger Experience Conference


Many people attend World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) to find out about the trends, products and technologies that will drive the evolution of the onboard industry, with the conference part of the event always being a draw. RX, the organiser of WTCE, has now announced details of the sessions planned for this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC).

The sister event to WTCE and AIX, PEC will take place at Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) on Monday 5th June 2023, the day before the expos open their doors. The conference will bring together experts and visionaries from airlines, airframers, OEMs, suppliers and design organisations to discuss the future of the passenger experience, onboard environments and services.

This year’s conference will deliver more sessions geared towards WTCE attendees than in previous years –  focusing on inflight catering, onboard services and passenger comfort – with delegates able to immerse themselves in the latest insights, ideas and analyses that can be applied to gain an edge to get passenger satisfaction.

The plenary session will explore the future of multi-modal transport trends. Eric Bogner, executive creative director of design and innovation company, Teague, will lead a session on ‘Debunking the Seamless Journey’. Bogner will look at how passengers can be influenced to care more about airline brands at a time when brand loyalty is fading. The session will explore how the world’s most valuable companies have found ways to build emotional connections with their customers across every touchpoint.

The new passenger experience

Aimed specifically at audience members with an interest in onboard services, a session entitled ‘Preparing for 2030 and A New Travel Landscape’ will examine the types of experiences that will attract Generation-Z and Generation Alpha customers, and crucially, keep them coming back.

Innovative travel leaders will share their strategic visions on how best to meet the expectations of passengers who will be travelling in the second half of this decade, and for those keen to hear more on this topic, the ‘Good Vibrations’ session will use new research from Delft University of Technology to shed light on how best to meet the expectations of the passengers flying post-2025.

There will also be an interactive round table titled ‘Setting New Standards for Passenger Comfort’, which will see participants from Collins Aerospace, Tronos Aviation Consulting, Flying Disabled and Delft University of Technology come together to discuss how airlines can deliver an inclusive cabin experience that meets the comfort needs of every traveller.

Succeeding in a green revolution

Another session, ‘Better Efficiency, Better Economics’, will look at how the passenger experience community is innovating and readying itself to reuse, repurpose and recycle the cabin interior and its onboard services. Led by Matt Crane, founder of the Aviation Sustainability Forum (ASF), the panel will examine how what we waste today can be redefined as an asset for tomorrow, and how to integrate recyclability into the business model. This comes as climate change and the reappraisal of international trading ties continue to deliver challenges and uncertainties. The session is underpinned by a need to be more sustainable in the use of the planet’s resources to help reduce the environmental impact of air travel.

Continuing the theme of sustainability, the afternoon sessions at PEC will delve deeper into how the onboard sector can ensure greater transparency across the supply chain, including the materials that go into making the products and parts that airlines and suppliers rely on.

The discussion around ‘Energising Cabin Waste’ will explore how cabin waste can be transformed into a resource that will help reduce the carbon footprint of travel. The panel, made up of speakers from Antos Environmental, IN Air Travel Experience, 2030 Markets and Iberia, plan to share ideas for practical and uncomplicated changes that will demonstrate how the whole supply chain can integrate a circular economy approach, to help meet emissions reductions targets.

Furthermore, the session on ‘Planning For The Low-Impact Future’ led by Formia’s head of sustainability, Sarah Klatt-Walsh, and the executive VP of sales & marketing at Safran Cabin, Nathan Kwok, will see the cabin interior and onboard services communities discuss their net-zero carbon goals and strategies for delivering them.

After a day of sessions at the conference, delegates are invited to the Passenger Experience Conference Welcome Party – the must-attend networking event of the week. This event is free to attend for conference delegates, and is a great opportunity to connect with new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and meet with friends, old and new, all in a relaxed atmosphere. For those looking to attend WTCE but unable to attend the conference, tickets for the Welcome Party can be purchased during registration.

Polly Magraw, event director for WTCE, commented: “Complementing this year’s WTCE themes, we are excited to announce that the line-up for the 2023 Passenger Experience Conference has more relevant sessions for our core audience than ever before. Wellness, sustainability and creating memorable experiences are all key elements of WTCE this year, and the sessions at PEC will help us to answer how we should be preparing for the future whilst ensuring the next generation is compelled by what airlines are able to offer in terms of onboard services and passenger comfort. After leaving the PEC with a better understanding of the future and the trends shaping air travel, professionals can then visit WTCE armed with the intelligence to identify suppliers that will help them deliver an even better future onboard experience.“

The Passenger Experience Conference will take place at the Congress Center Hamburg on Monday 5 June, ahead of the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, which returns to Hamburg Messe from 6-8 June 2023. For more information and to register to attend, visit the Passenger Experience Conference website.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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