Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

As the UK, with the exception of Scotland, looks forward to the last Bank Holiday weekend of the year, many will be jetting away hoping for a little R&R before the new school term starts.

According to a 2019 survey of more than 4,000 UK residents, 80% had some concern about climate change, so no doubt many will be racked with guilt over their use of flights, with aviation responsible for 12% of transport-related emissions.

And they will not be alone as flight shaming has become a bit of trend in recent months. High profile causalities even include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who have been accused of hypocrisy after taking four trips on private jets in less than a fortnight.

The emissions generated by such trips compared to commercial flights seem to be at odds with the couple’s call to tackle to climate change.

In June, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers wrote in a letter that “we invite all air travellers to make responsible decisions about flying.” Even airline operators are aware of their role in climate change concerns.

Travel shaming has gotten a boost recently from 16-year old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who is currently travelling by sailboat to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.

The ‘Greta Effect’ is leading to many to reconsider their flying habits, but it’s difficult to reconcile these with worries about global warming.

Travel may broaden the mind, but it may soon be that we stay on the ground to do so.

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Malaysia Airlines has partnered with the luxury brand Aspinal of London to provide travel amenities for its Business Class and Business Suite passengers.

Amenities provider FORMIA announced the partnership as part of its collaboration with the airline, and added that the Aspinal of London branded pouches will roll out by August 1 on selected Airbus A330 and A350 flights.

The travel bags are based on the ‘quintessential’ Aspinal washbag and contain items from the French skincare brand PAYOT, specially designed to provide customers with comfort in aircraft conditions and beyond.

Malaysia Airlines’ Group chief marketing and customer experience officer, Lau Yin May, explained that the airline recently ran a survey asking passengers what they look for in an ideal amenity kit, commenting: “We’ve closely studied their feedback and are delighted to be collaborating with FORMIA to debut Aspinal of London amenity kits which will be introduced in Business Suite and Business Class.

“Our new line of amenity kits, which include PAYOT hydration products, will meet our aim of bringing unparalled comfort and luxury to all our passengers.”

The travel bags come in a range of collectible colours and have been designed with the brand’s iconic fastenings and logo, to allow them to double-up as a clutch bag after the flight.

FORMIA’s Co-Founder, Roland Grohmann, called it a “welcome extension to our existing partnership with Malaysia Airlines” and added: “Aspinal of London is a superior luxury leather luggage brand respected the world over for its quality and elegance and, along with luxurious PAYOT contents, these amenity kits are sure to delight passengers.”

Mirus has dispatched its first ever shipset destined for the Airbus final assembly line as an approved Airbus supplier.

As CEO, Phil Hall noted: “Today marks the culmination of a dream that started over eight years ago. It also marks the fulfilment of a promise made. That dream and that promise was that I could deliver an economy seat to the Airbus final assembly line as an approved Airbus supplier… We are also immensely thankful of the steadfast support of our customer, AirAsia, and the patience and guidance received from Airbus, both of whom contributed so enormously to us reaching this momentous goal.

“For me, this achievement marks the maturing of Mirus Aircraft Seating as a business and as a real contender. I sometimes forget that 4 ½ years ago none of the business I see today existed.”

The first linefit shipset is due to be installed on 28 August in Hamburg, Germany, ready for flight on 29 August.

Finnair has signed a contract with Magnetic MRO, for complete paint work, full interior refurbishment and maintenance of all 12 of its ATR 72s operated partner company Norra.

All 12 of the aircraft will receive full interior refurbishment, which includes the painting of overhead bins, attendant seats, galleys, bin doors, stairs and linings, to achieve a fresh look for the aircraft interior; complete refurbishment of the lavatories, and installing new seats and carpets.

For Magnetic MRO’s Interior team, this project involved producing the largest number of new in-house made details for an aircraft that the company has ever manufactured for a single interior project. This included new kickstrips, stickers, latches and hinges for overhead bins, and other design elements.

“Finnair has exceeded all of our hopes as a customer as they have been very focused on the end result being as close to perfection as possible,” said Magnetic MRO’s Interior Project manager Pärtel-Peeter Kruuv. “Their attention to detail and strict standards for the interior design of their aircraft has lifted our team into new heights and made us work even harder. This project has been an amazing learning experience and we’re happy to work with an airline so committed to the comfort of their passengers. We hope this is just a kick-off for further design and production projects with our neighbouring flag-carrier.”

In addition to interior refurbishment, Magnetic MRO will be Finnair’s partner for doing maintenance checks and painting their entire ATR fleet. The project is expected to be completed by the end of Q1, 2020.