Celebrating 20 years of Innovation at AIX

Hamburg has just hosted another great Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and this year, the prestigious event celebrated 20 years since it was established in March 2000.

The exhibition brings together more than 16,000 key aviation decision makers from the world's leading airlines and aircraft manufacturers who are involved in the purchase of cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment, connectivity, passenger experience and passenger services.

These decision makers meet with over 550 exhibitors, who are there to showcase their products and services. The show is an opportunity for exhibitors to uncover new concepts to improve passenger experience in the realms of design, health and safety, ergonomics, comfort and of course digital advances.

As usual, connectivity featured heavily and this year was full of interesting exhibits and announcements.

Here’s a recap on just what unfolded over the three action-packed days at the Hamburg Messe:

There was much excitement as we planned our presence at AIX, here’s some insight into the build-up.

Tuesday, 2nd April

The event kicked off with AIX 20th anniversary celebrations in mind, as well as lots of sunshine and exciting announcements.

Inmarsat announced that we’ve hit 1,000 terminals installed across our award-winning connectivity services, GX Aviation, Jet ConneX and EAN.

More details here.

SITAONAIR announced that Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution has now been activated on Philippine Airlines’ new generation aircraft, marking another important step forward for Asia Pacific aviation.

More details here.

Our partners Collins Aerospace announced that they have connected 55,996 passengers to inflight Wi-Fi on over 975 Norwegian Air flights using our global GX Aviation solution -

Our partners, Panasonic announced that just like us, they are celebrating turning 40 this year.

We were pleased to introduce visitors to our new interactive stand, here’s a little peak at what it looked like.

There was lots of excitement about our EAN stand in partnership with Deutsche Telekom too.

And EAN was celebrating being not only the fastest connectivity service in Europe but also having a super-fast installation time of just 9 hours.

Beyond the realms of digital innovation, there was plenty to see. Collins Aerospace were impressing visitors with their M-Flex Duet inflight mini bar that uses the empty space over aircraft doors.

Collins Aerospace also displayed their new first-class seat, designed for Emirates Airlines with a virtual window, showing fresh thinking for the cabin.

In fact, seats on offer were so comfortable, they were causing journalists to snooze off. 

The evening concluded with the Crystal Cabin Awards, recognising innovation within the aircraft cabin. The eight winners can be seen here: 

And here’s a video looking back at the first exciting day at AIX. 

Wednesday, 3rd April

Then it was day two.

Inmarsat announced that our Indian telecommunications partner BSNL have been granted an IFMC licence, so are now able to offer our GX Aviation and SwiftBroadband inflight connectivity solutions in the Indian market.

More details here:

SITAONAIR announced that it will be providing Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband to Taiwanese start-up carrier Starlux Airlines when the airline launches in 2020.

More details here.

The mayor of Hamburg honoured AIX with a visit for the first time, indicating how important the sector has become for the city’s economy. 

The Inmarsat drinks in the evening were a chance for people to mingle and network a little during some downtime. The evening was a great success and we very much appreciated the support of our sponsors Collins Aerospace, Deutsche Telekom, Honeywell Aerospace, Panasonic Aero and SITAONAIR.

We are also excited to see that the event organisers appreciated our efforts on our stand and even suggested we were a contender for most colourful stand. 

Thursday, 4th April

The final day was for the last of the meetings, presentations and goodbyes.

One of the highlights of the final day was the announcement of the ‘PaxTechHack’ winners. The challenge involved teams working for 48 hours of “non-stop innovating, creating and coding” to come up with solutions to two challenges:

1)      Inflight Passenger Community Challenge

Can you create a digital solution which can bring a flight together as a community, rather than strangers.

2)      Boost Airport Retail Challenge

Develop a digital solution to turn early-bird passengers that skip straight to the gate into airport retail consumers.

The winning team for each challenge received a €5000 cash prize.

AIX truly is a must-attend event for the aviation industry and we thank the organisers for putting on an outstanding show for yet another year. We’re looking forward to next year already.