CES 2017: Five Trends That Should Be on Your PaxEx Radar
When the Consumer Electronics Show takes off in Las Vegas tomorrow, some of the biggest and most daring technology companies will be displaying what they hope will be this year’s must-have gadgets. As crowds measuring hundreds of thousands prepare to descend upon two million square feet of exhibition space, APEX Media explores the tech trends that will matter most for the passenger experience industry, from wireless headphones and drones to augmented reality and wearables.
[PHOTOS] Air France Gives a Sneak Peek Inside Its New Dreamliner Cabins
Air France has released images of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, ahead of the aircraft’s maiden flight today from Paris Charles de Gaulle. The business-class cabin is equipped with 30 seats deployed in a 1-2-1 layout. Each seat offers 42 inches of pitch, is convertible into a 6.5-foot fully flat bed and comes with soft seat cushions, silk duvets and an XXL feather pillow. Laid out in a 2-3-2 configuration, the aircraft’s premium economy cabin features 21 seats, each offering a recline of 130 degrees and 40 inches of pitch – one inch wider than in standard economy. The 225 economy-class seats are 17.3 inches wide, with 31 inches of pitch, and offer 11-inch in-flight entertainment seatback displays. The Air France Dreamliner will make its first scheduled commercial flight, from Paris to Cairo, on January 9.
Guilty Pleasures: Qantas Reveals What Passengers Watched at 35,000 Feet
Qantas has revealed its most-viewed in-flight movies of 2016, and there are some surprising entries. While many passengers watched Hollywood blockbusters such as X-Men: Apocalypse, the chick flick Mother’s Day ranked number five and My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was the ninth most-viewed film. Action flicks dominated the list, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ranked as the second most-watched and Star Wars: The Force Awakens at number 10. The 2016 top spot went to the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, Spectre. Throughout December, holiday movies such as Love Actually, Elf and Home Alone performed strongly as many passengers traveled home for Christmas.
Virgin Atlantic Is Set to Retrofit Its Airbus A330 Fleet With Roomier Interiors
Virgin Atlantic is set to begin retrofitting roomier interiors on board its Airbus A330 fleet. The revamp comes after complaints by Upper Class passengers that the airline’s current Dream Suite 1-2-1 layout is too cramped compared to the 1-1-1 layout found on its A340s and Boeing 787s. Virgin will carry out the cabin refits across its 10 A330s over the coming months, with completion expected by March 26, ahead of the airline’s summer schedule.
Norwegian CEO Outlines Ultra Low-Cost Transatlantic Plans
Norwegian Air Shuttle’s plan to introduce transatlantic flights to smaller US airports will help it reduce costs, says the airline’s chief executive Bjørn Kjos. Having secured a foreign air permit for its Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International, from the US Department of Transportation, the low-cost carrier plans to launch services between regional European airports and minor eastern US hubs, using new-generation single-aisle aircraft. “We see that our long-haul is working and the more efficient an operation we have, the more aircraft we can put in long-haul, the less costs we will have,” says Kjos. “We fly extremely modern aircraft … that’s the key with cost in long-haul.”
CES 2017: Emotional Technology of Self-Driving Cars May Soon Feel Its Way Into Aviation
The self-driving car technology on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provides a glimpse into the future of in-flight entertainment and aircraft cabin technology. When combined with advances in data-powered content curation, predictive artificial intelligence could provide a multimedia passenger experience that’s personalized and reactive. Advancements in emotional technology may one day transform the aircraft from transportation tool to cabin crewmember, as biometric monitoring and haptic gesture control help airlines save on both cognitive strain and aircraft weight.