AIX announces the first raft of buyers and exhibitors for Virtual event

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) has announced details of the airline buyers and exhibitors set to attend its new AIX Virtual event, which will take place online from 14-16 September 2021.

The digital platform will enable aviation professionals from across the globe to come together for three full days to conduct targeted business meetings, discover the latest products and services from the supply chain of cabin interiors and gain insights from sector experts via three streams of content. Representatives from more than 60 airlines have already expressed their interest in attending the virtual event, including Air France, Emirates, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways and United Airlines.

Kevin Kleist, Emerging Trends at Southwest Airlines said: “The AIX gathering always brings us exposure to new and emerging technologies, products, and solutions while providing an opportunity to meet with existing vendors and learn more about their products and innovations. Now more than ever, even virtual discussions could bring immediate value to Southwest, as we look to solve new needs and identified use cases. We look forward to maintaining connections and establishing new ones, as we all hopefully move toward future in-person gatherings, like those we’ve valued in previous years.”

Rainer Kroepke, Director of Customer Experience at Condor Flugdienst GmbH added: “A vital part of AIX is walking by the exhibitor stands and making discoveries you weren’t looking for. Whilst this aspect may be more difficult to transfer online, the upside of a virtual event is that you can better organise appointments meaning you can fit even more topics and discoveries in the same amount of time.“

A leading line-up of exhibitors

The world-renowned event will bring the show floor to life online for the first time. Buyers from the world’s major airlines will be able to meet with key suppliers and discover the latest products and solutions, with product demonstrations offering insights into the key benefits and functionality of services on show. Major exhibitors already confirmed include Geven SpA, MGR Foamtex, Inmarsat Global Ltd, Safran SA and Sabeti Wain Aerospace Ltd.

New product developments prioritise hygiene

Returning exhibitor Muirhead will showcase its new Muirhead Active Hygiene Leather, which offers built-in antiviral properties for best-in-class hygiene onboard. The self-disinfecting leather features built-in ViralOff® technology, which is proven to eliminate 99% of bacteria and viruses within two hours, including SARS-CoV-2, H3N2 and H1N1, without compromising performance, appearance or sustainability.

Attendees can also find out more about the company’s new lightweight, full substance leather specifically designed for the aviation industry. Selected by Ryanair for its Boeing 737-800 and Max fleet, the innovative, easy-clean leather is 25% lighter than its standard counterpart, offering substantial lifetime weight savings.

Fellow exhibitor ADHETEC manufactures technical adhesive films dedicated to decorative and industrial applications for aerospace. It will present its antimicrobial range of antivirus and antibacterial films ideal for IFE screens, tray tables and other high touch areas in the cabin.

Mankiewicz, a leading manufacturer of high-quality coating systems, will also highlight its paint products for cabin interiors, including ALEXIT FST PUReGuard. The long-lasting carefree interior coating with antimicrobial effective additives is proven to deactivate a corona typed virus and fulfils the most stringent OEM requirements.

Speaking about AIX Virtual, René Lang, Executive Managing Director Aviation at Mankiewicz, said: “For Mankiewicz, as the market leader in cabin interior coatings and a loyal exhibitor since the very beginning of AIX, it was a matter of course to also follow the digital path. AIX has chosen a great way to provide a modern communication platform for all market participants to meet each other and discuss the latest developments for the cabin.”

Bucher will present new products, concepts and further developments including a brand new antiviral Galley kit to protect passengers and crew throughout the flight, a compact front row monument and tray tables for the business class cabin, as well as various retrofit solutions. While International Water-Guard (IWG) will highlight how its Healthy Lav Touchless products offer a simple and effective way of increasing onboard lavatory hygiene, enhancing passenger confidence and comfort.

In addition, SEKISUI KYDEX will display a range of new innovative solutions that allow designers to expand the possibilities for cabin design, including its KYDEX ION Technology™ which was shortlisted in the Crystal Cabin Awards.The new technology is 99% effective at inhibiting the growth of stain and odor causing bacteria on KYDEX® Thermoplastics. The antimicrobial treatment is incorporated into the sheet, which helps keep the treated surface cleaner between cleanings.

Smart lighting solutions to illuminate the cabin

Demonstrating the latest in cabin lighting innovations, STG Aerospace will bring its latest generation saf-Tglo® emergency floor path marking, with the widest CMF palette and edge to edge colour, along with its photoluminescent signage which can be installed throughout the cabin to complete the emergency exit marking system when used as progression signs. The company will also demonstrate its liTeMood® LED plug and play main cabin lighting system which is fully interchangeable with incumbent lighting systems, offering major improvements in reliability, functionality and in-situ re-programmability.

Dr Sean O’Kell, Business Unit Director – Photoluminescent, STG Aerospace said: “In a year that has been filled with uncertainty and turbulence, it is critical now more than ever that we continue to support our customers and the wider aerospace industry. Even though it’s not in person, we can’t wait to meet our customers and contacts again at the virtual event and get that customer interaction and direct feedback we have missed during the past year.”

SCHOTT will have two of its latest innovations on display at AIX Virtual: the SCHOTT® Jade Reading Light and the flexible SCHOTT® HelioCurve LED. The company aims to address two main trends that will help to reach the airlines’ goals of differentiating and to create a unique experience for the passenger: the design of customizable, individual light products that create a unique atmosphere and customer experience and offer latest technology features, and the synchronisation of cabin, seat and monument illumination to run fully integrated scenarios

Philip Fischer, Vice President SCHOTT Aviation said: “As air travel has begun to pick up again in the past weeks, we look towards a positive future and are convinced that now, more so than ever, airlines have to continue to develop new cabin and seat concepts as well as retrofit solutions in order to bring their valued customers back into their aircraft. This virtual event is a first step in establishing some “normalcy” in the industry and we are happy to support this with our participation.”

Digital solutions for new challenges

With digitalisation playing a critical role in supporting the aviation industry’s long-term recovery, Inmarsat Aviation will showcase its award-winning inflight connectivity solutions at AIX Virtual, including a brand new platform that helps airlines to monetise onboard Wi-Fi. Inmarsat will also delve into the findings of a major upcoming global report into the latest impact of the pandemic on travel habits and passenger expectations. Elsewhere, Generation Global, a leading upholstery and interiors supplier, will showcase its seat cover and seat cushion products and production capabilities.

Polly Magraw, Event Director at RX (Reed Exhibitions), said: “We’re excited to reconnect cabin interior and onboard services professionals at this critical time. The impressive names and companies that have already expressed their interest in attending or booked stands at the virtual event is testament to the industry’s eagerness to move forward. AIX is renowned for being a hotbed of innovation and the place to do business, and this will be no different at AIX Virtual 2021.”

AIX and WTCE Virtual replace the live editions, 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 AIX Virtual, sign up here.

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) is the world’s leading cabin interiors event where airlines and the supply chain to meet and has been for over 20 years. AIX plays host to the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries.