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Guten tag Hamburg!

Alexander Preston reports from his first PEC and AIX

Despite the wet and dull start to the day, there was a warm buzz of anticipation from delegates as they awaited the morning plenary sessions of this year’s Passenger Experience Conference, held once more in its spiritual Hamburg home, CCH – Congress Centre.

Under the overarching conference theme of collaboration for the connected journey, Jason Chua, project executive, A3 by Airbus Group gave a blue sky talk, in which he highlighted the longer-term benefits of innovation – the introduction of new technologies and experiences in-flight, which allow and create greater personalisation and more opportunities for revenue generation. Importantly, Chua stressed this was applicable across all classes of travel.

The opening address concluded with a discussion with representatives from across the passenger experience sector, including STG Aerospace, JPA Design, Boeing Seat Integration Team and AIM Attitude.

Recognising that collaboration is good in itself, the panel admitted the industry was too mechanical in its approach – collaboration was not done enough or well to help companies form a clearer and stronger vision, in turn helping them create product offering that more clearly meets a customer airline’s priorities.

The inflight entertainment and connectivity breakout session was dominated by the issue of personalisation. Whether it was in conjunction with on-board e-commerce (Immfly), the crossover of consumer electronics onto the aircraft and the need for a passenger digital ecosystem (Airline Trends), or the rise of big content as a result of subscription media models such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon and the emergence of 4K technology (GEE), meeting passenger’s needs in-flight, will be met by data capture and analysis.

As Katie Murphy, senior event director for Aerospace, said, “Collaboration is key to creating a truly connected journey. The high profile attendees and industry analysis at this conference sets the agenda for the passenger experience industry, and are truly a reflection of the exciting times and innovations ahead.”

Although major news was thin on the ground, there were plenty of demonstrations of innovation on the AIX show floor, from VR, apps and seating concepts. With the Inflight editorial team reporting live from the halls each day, most of the announcements have already been covered, our May/June issue includes a review of the entire event.

Having survived three days, returning some pounds lighter and with many miles in my legs, I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing more ideas and innovative designs next year.

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