Educational seminars lined up for AIX Virtual


The educational seminar programme has been released for Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) Virtual, the online replacement for the physical AIX event in Hamburg, postponed to 2022 due to Covid restrictions. The series of AIX Sessions, taking place from 14-16 September 2021, will give attendees access to insights from experts in the cabin interior industry as they share their experiences, insights, data, and case studies, with the overall theme of helping solve current and future challenges in aircraft cabin design.

Reed Exhibitions, the organiser of AIX Virtual, cites Cirium data that commercial aviation is “on the road to recovery”, with daily passenger flights having recovered to approximately two-thirds of 2019’s level, driven primarily by domestic traffic in the USA and China. However, challenges remain in international markets, and several regional markets, which can impact the aerospace supply chain.

One session will focus on how the aircraft interiors sector can adapt to ensure its return to financial health. The session will see Rob Morris, head of consultancy at Ascend by Cirium, deliver a commercial aviation market outlook briefing alongside an interiors market outlook from Gary Weissel, managing officer at Tronos Aviation Consulting. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Andrew Doyle, senior director of strategy at Cirium, who will be joined by Harald Mehring, chief customer officer at Diehl Aviation, and Beth de Young, VP of business development for lease customer aircraft interiors at Safran.

In another session, John Strickland, director at JLS Consulting, will be in conversation with senior-level executives from airlines, including Tom Stevens, director of brand and customer experience at British Airways, and Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, CEO at Flyr, who will discuss their future strategies and how they have coped with the challenges of 2021.

Celebrating women in aviation

Following AIX’s successful Women Behind Aviation campaign in 2020, AIX Virtual will host a dedicated panel celebrating and highlighting the role of women working across the aerospace industry. This session will bring together a cross-section of women in senior roles in the 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, talent, learning, engagement & diversity director at IATA.

The panel will discuss their career paths, current and future initiatives to improve both diversity in the workforce and leadership roles, plus immediate challenges the industry needs to address. 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 can bring to corporate culture, innovation and the bottom line.

Design exchange between business and commercial

Another session, curated by Business Jet Interiors International magazine and moderated by the magazine’s editor, Izzy Kington, will explore what the business aviation and commercial airline markets can learn from each other to benefit aircraft cabin design.

Experts including 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 discuss innovations, trends and general lessons with cross-sector potential. They will explore 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 outline the differences in how each market is structured, conventions in the design and outfitting process, customer requirements, and more.

A more innovative future for aviation

The startup ecosystem in aviation should be encouraged, especially as it can help achieve sustainability goals. Who better to discuss startups than a panel of Crystal Cabin Award winners and Sustainable Aero lab mentors. Moderated by Lukas Kaestner, co-founder of the Sustainable Aero Lab, the session will include experts including Dr Achim Leder, CEO of Jetlite, Nico Buchholz, aerospace executive at Flightlevel 500 (and mentor at Sustainable Aero Lab), and Omer Bar-Yohay, CEO of Eviation Aircraft. The panel will discuss how their companies have succeeded in 2020’s challenging environment and what the road to success looks like.

Finally, AIX will also play host to the Crystal Cabin Awards, the world-renowned international prize for innovation in aircraft cabin design. These prestigious awards have been presented at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg every year since 2007, but have taken place at virtual events this year. The second Awards ceremony for 2021, for the ‘Clean & Safe Air Travel’ and ‘Judges’ Choice Award’ will take place during AIX Virtual on Wednesday 15th September from 15.15-16.15 CEST. A high-calibre jury made up of renowned academics, engineers, specialist journalists and airline and aircraft manufacturer representatives, will present the awards that honour extraordinary cabin concepts and products.

Polly Magraw, event director at RX (Reed Exhibitions) said, “It’s incredibly exciting to announce the programme of AIX Sessions ahead of the virtual event in September. 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.”

More details of the AIX Sessions can be found HERE.

To view this year’s conference programme and to register for the event, CLICK HERE.

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About Author


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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