From virtual reality to sustainability - the Passenger Experience Conference examines the future of airline travel

02 Apr 2015

Can virtual reality help overcome the physical constraints of the airline cabin to improve the passenger experience? This intriguing subject will be under the spotlight at the annual Passenger Experience Conference, which takes place on 13 April 2015 at the CCH - Congress Centre Hamburg.

A session led by Dr Betty Mohler, Independent Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics will draw on the European Commission funded VR-HYPERSPACE project. The goal of the three-year project, which was completed last year, is to improve passengers' comfort in 2050 and beyond by enabling them to personalise and adjust their onboard experiences using virtual illusion. There will be a question and answer session when Dr Mohler will be joined by Eric Brown, Director of User Experience, BMW Group, DesignworksUSA; Fred Schreiner, Chief Technology Officer, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Thales; and Lynne Slowey, Head of Digital Content, Thomas Cook Group.

In-flight entertainment, another exciting area of technology, is also on the agenda. Developments in this sector offer an ever growing portfolio of possibilities for airlines to offer their passengers. But what is the optimum content mix when early-window movies, Youtube, Facebook and social media all have to be considered? And what are the expectations of the binge-watching Netflix generation? Delegates will benefit from the insights of Aditya Chatterjee, Chief Technology Officer, Global Eagle Entertainment; Ian Dawkins, Chief Executive Officer, OnAir; Axel Jahn, Managing Director/VP Business Development, Zodiac Inflight Innovations; Andrew Kemmetmueller, Vice President of Airline Applications, Gogo; Mike Moeller, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Thales; and Duc Huy Tran, Director Airline Sales & Marketing, Air Transport Cabin, Rockwell Collins.

Wider areas of cabin environment operations will be debated in a session entitled 'Unbundling Future Onboard Ancillary Revenue Opportunities.' A panel of experts comprising Rodrigo Llaguno, Vice-President Customer Experience, Avianca: Gary Mayger, Director, Sales & Business Development - EMEA, GuestLogix; Sue Walker, Managing Director, New Business and Product Innovation, Gate Retail Onboard; and Brian Yuen, General Manager, Inflight Services, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines, will discuss the consumer trends, behaviours and experience demands that will shape future revenue opportunities. This will include the tailoring of the onboard offering and the need for regional differentiators. While technology advances tend to make the news, the human element is still important and the role of the cabin crew in personalising the service will also be discussed.

Seating is always high on the agenda whenever the passenger experience is discussed. This year the issue will be debated by Ian Moore, Chief Executive Officer, NuBax; Ben Orson, Managing Director, JPA Design; Cristian Sutter, Cabin Design Specialist; and Gary Weissel, Managing Officer, Tronos Aviation Consulting. Among the subjects under review are what impact passenger cultures will have on seat design and how the industry can keep abreast of fast changing passenger expectations.

Sustainability is another key challenge for airlines and will be addressed in a session featuring Dr Yener Girisken, Chief Executive Officer, ThinkNeuro; Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder & President, branding.aero; and Vicky Stennes, Senior Consultant, Mulberry Consulting. The wide ranging discussion will include strategies that airlines currently use to encourage sustainability throughout their networks.

Katie Murphy, Senior Event Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo, said: "The Passenger Experience Conference is growing in authority year on year. This is because the event provides a platform for internationally renowned experts to inform and educate influential audiences from across the air transport industry, tackling the cabin interiors subjects that are critical to its future."

The Passenger Experience Conference will be followed by Aircraft Interiors Expo, which will be staged at Hamburg Messe on 14-16 April.

For more information please visit the Aircraft Interiors Expo website or download the app.

For press enquiries, please contact:
John Hony
john.hony@cmsstrategic.com

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