Airline Insights & Innovations: Airbus Hosts Inaugural Commercial Aircraft Customer Days


(Pictured left to right): APEX Group CEO Dr. Joe Leader enjoying Airbus Customer Days in Toulouse, France with Cebu Pacific Air’s Alberto López Blanco, Iberia’s Alberto García Torres, and Japan Airlines’ Jun Yamanaka. Photo: Joe Leader

Airbus inaugurated its first-ever Commercial Aircraft Customer Days at its headquarters in Toulouse, France last week. The event featured a future cabin panel moderated by APEX Group CEO Dr. Joe Leader with panelists including Iberia’s Fleet Planning Director Alberto García Torres and Japan Airlines’ VP Engineering & Quality Assurance in Europe Yamanaka Jun, along with other airline representatives. The discussion focused on long-range passenger experience and innovative strategies for enhancing in-flight services.

APEX Data Highlights Trends to 50+ Airlines

Dr. Leader kicked off the panel by presenting key data and trends from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX). He emphasized the importance of a holistic view on fleet changes and passenger experience improvements.

“Next-generation aircraft are significantly boosting NPS and CSAT scores, reflecting a trend toward enhanced passenger satisfaction and increased revenue.”

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX

According to APEX data, next-generation aircraft significantly boost Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores, with a minimum increase of five NPS points. This reflects a broader industry trend toward new aircraft enhancing passenger satisfaction and driving additional revenue.

Iberia’s Enhanced Passenger Experience

Iberia’s Alberto García Torres highlighted its advancements with the Airbus A350, focusing on enhanced passenger experience across all classes. The airline has introduced new privacy features, upgraded the amenities in its economy and premium cabins, and removed central overhead bins in business class for a more spacious feel. “We took advantage of the extra inches in the A350 to introduce new seats and privacy features,” García explained. This approach ensures a superior passenger experience while maintaining operational efficiency.

“We took advantage of the extra inches in the A350 to introduce new seats and privacy features.”  

Alberto García Torres, Iberia

These innovations reflect Iberia’s commitment to offering a premium travel experience. By removing overhead bins in business class, Iberia has created a more open and airy cabin environment, which significantly enhances passenger comfort.

Japan Airlines’ Blend of Tradition and Innovation

Slide via Japan Airlines

Yamanaka Jun of Japan Airlines presented the carrier’s newly configured Airbus A350-1000, which blends tradition with innovation to enhance passenger experience. The aircraft features high-walled first-class suites, embedded speakers and spacious cabins without overhead bins, creating a luxurious and comfortable environment. “We aim to provide a sense of Japan’s spirit and tradition in our design, making passengers feel they are already in Japan upon boarding,” he explained.

“We aim to provide a sense of Japan’s spirit and tradition in our design, making passengers feel they are already in Japan upon boarding.” 

Yamanaka Jun, Japan Airlines

Consistency and Revenue Strategies

The panel also discussed the importance of fleet consistency. García Torres addressed the challenge of maintaining consistency across different aircraft types in Iberia’s fleet, including the A330, A350 and the upcoming A321XLR. “We ensure consistency by maintaining a clear standard of service across all aircraft types,” he said.

“We ensure consistency by maintaining a clear standard of service across all aircraft types.”

Alberto García Torres, Iberia

Future Directions & Trends

As the panel concluded, the importance of continuous innovation and adapting to passenger needs was clear. Airbus’ inaugural Commercial Aircraft Customer Days provided valuable insights into the future of aviation, with industry leaders committed to enhancing passenger experience through innovative design, technology and strategic planning.

Embracing Technological Advancements

Panelists agreed on the critical role of technology in shaping the future of passenger experience. Dr. Leader noted the growing trend towards onboard entertainment systems and the potential of artificial intelligence to personalize customer experiences. He pointed out, “By the end of this decade, onboard screens will be lightweight and highly replaceable, becoming a standard even for low-cost carriers.”

“The future of passenger experience lies in the seamless integration of technology and comfort, ensuring a memorable journey for all travelers.” 

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX

Panelists also discussed the integration of more advanced in-flight connectivity solutions. As more passengers expect reliable internet access during flights, airlines are investing heavily in next-generation Wi-Fi technologies to meet this demand.

Artificial Intelligence in Aviation

Artificial intelligence and its role in personalizing passenger services was another critical trend discussed. Dr. Leader emphasized that AI would soon enable highly tailored passenger experiences, from customized in-flight entertainment to predictive maintenance that ensures smoother operations. The panelists agreed that leveraging AI could significantly enhance both operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction.

“AI will soon enable highly tailored passenger experiences, transforming how airlines operate and engage with customers.”

Dr. Joe Leader, APEX

As the aviation industry continues to evolve, the insights shared during Airbus’ Commercial Aircraft Customer Days underscore the importance of innovation and adaptation. The commitment to improving passenger experience through technology, design and strategic planning promises a future where air travel is more comfortable, personalized and efficient than ever before.