Reed Exhibitions (RX), the organiser of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), has announced details of the virtual Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) taking place from 14 –16 September. The event will offer a programme of live conference sessions online as part of AIX and WTCE Virtual, with a focus on new business models and revenue streams that can be implemented to address the changes and challenges that aviation has faced as a result of the pandemic, as well as changing consumer expectations.
Experts representing the whole aviation industry, from companies including Airbus, Boeing, Panasonic Avionics, Heathrow Airport, Diehl Aviation, Inmarsat, Safran, BlueBox Aviation and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are confirmed to speak, with live Q&As set to follow each session.
Innovations for the future
The conference will begin on the first day with a panel discussion that focuses on putting passengers at the heart of each journey in the digital age. The session will look at how the industry can safely bring the human touch back into flying and create new personal and people-centric experiences. The panel discussion will be led by Simon Calder, travel correspondent at The Independent and a regular guest speaker on Sky News, BBC Breakfast and CNN, with speakers including Jeremy White, director of transport design at Seymourpowell and Luc Gesvret, senior VP of guest experience at Accor Hotels.
New ideas for cabin interiors
The second panel at the conference will bring together aircraft interior experts to explore how to innovate new cabin environments, prepare to launch new routes, and even launch new airlines.
The panel will consist of:
• Ingo Wuggetzer, vice president of cabin marketing at Airbus
• Juliane Trummer, vice president of strategy & design at Mormedi
• Navdip Singh Judge, chief executive and founder of flypop
• Mariya Stoyanova, director of product development at JetBlue Airways
• Anne Bigand, passenger experience director at Alstom
• Moderator: Cristian Sutter, CEO at Avensis Aviation
The first day will conclude with a session on democratising air travel for passengers with disabilities. Christopher Wood MBE, aviation accessibility consultant at Flying Disabled will lead a panel to discuss the innovation and mindset changes required to make air travel dignified for all. Joining the discussion will be Sara Marchant, Heathrow Airport’s service manager for passengers requiring support; Rene Adam, head of research and technology at FACC; Nico Langmann, a professional wheelchair tennis player and participant at the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020; and Sebastian Petry, director of innovation at Panasonic Avionics.
Providing the tools for recovery
The first session on the second day of the virtual conference will see a panel of experts focus on how new tools are underpinning the industry’s recovery. The discussion will be led by Samantha Bunyan, head of industry engagement & sustainability at Cecence, Roy Bjorlin, VP of business development at e2ip technologies, and Roland Gerhards, CEO of ZAL. They will answer questions such as how professionals can harness new components and processes to transform the cabin experience and how these approaches can change the way the passenger experience community collaborates.
Climate change is demanding disruptive thinking from the entire aviation industry, and the cabin community has a vital role to play in effecting the necessary paradigm shift. Moderated by Murdo Morrison, head of strategic content at Flight Global, this session will welcome Jan-Boris Philipp, head of innovation & technology at Diehl Aviation; Gary Doy, founder of Doy Design; as well as senior representatives from Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Collins Aerospace. They will consider topics such as how airlines need to engage with passengers on the industry’s sustainable journey.
The final session of Day Two will see Chris Rogerson, VP of global sales at Inmarsat Aviation, Ron Verweij, Safran Cabin’s senior manager for UX design & innovation connectivity, and a senior representative from SITA For Aircraft join Celine Canu, head of passenger process & facilitation at IATA in a session on strategies for a digital revolution in the cabin. They will debate the strategies airlines and their partners should adopt to meet travellers’ expectations for a more connected – and touchless – inflight experience. The panel will explore where to find the opportunities to support greater customisation of the cabin, and how to help crews deliver great experiences to passengers.
Disrupting the industry
The penultimate PEC session on Day Three will consider whether passenger engagement as a service can be a new revenue driver. Offering retail services before and after the journey is an opportunity waiting to be explored, according to the panel experts: Kian Gould, founder and chairman of Omnevo; Manuel Hübschmann, retail director at Retail inMotion; Chris Pok, CEO at KrisShop; and a senior representative from Bluebox Aviation. They will discuss the key digital and business strategies that support this transformation, as well as highlighting what can be learned from recent digital travel initiatives.
The final session will help attendees prepare for the future of disruptive innovation, with expert advice from Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, founder and president of Branding.aero, Ben Kaufman, director of marketing & communications at JSX, and a senior representative from Hybrid Air Vehicles.
They will cover a range of topics, from the initiatives to bring electric and hybrid electric or hydrogen cell aircraft to service, and how these could inform experiences in commercial aircraft cabins. The discussion will also address whether new business jet and air vehicle business models and services compete with or complement the commercial fleet and the extended journey.
Polly Magraw, event Director at RX (Reed Exhibitions) said, “Complementing the world-class activity at AIX and WTCE Virtual, we are delighted to announce the full line-up for this September’s Passenger Experience Conference. As people have come to expect, we have an enviable line-up of speakers who will be covering the most pertinent topics that the aviation industry needs to address as it begins on the road to recovery. We have worked hard to carefully curate a conference programme that delivers expert insights, ideas and analysis on transformative approaches that will improve the passenger experience to help the industry recover and excel into the future.”
AIX and WTCE Virtual replace the in-person events, which will not take place in 2021 due to the ongoing challenges and global restrictions on international travel. AIX and WTCE will return to Hamburg from 14-16 June 2022 at the Hamburg Messe. For more information on the 2021 virtual events please visit: AIX Virtual or WTCE Virtual.