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Airlines

Cabin insider

 

AT THE SHARP END

 

AIM Altitude has been working with PriestmanGoode and Recaro on new front-row monuments for EL AL’s Boeing 787-9 fleet (see Aircraft Cabin Management, July 2017).


The front row monuments were engineered, certified and built by AIM Altitude for the Door 1 area of the aircraft. Designed to be integrated with Recaro CL6710 business class seats, the monuments provide the footwell ottoman area, sliding tray table and IFE monument attachments. The continued style lines from the Recaro seats, running throughout the front row monument design, provide a smooth and cohesive look.


Darren Nicholas, Lead Engineer at AIM Altitude Cabin Interiors, said: “What makes this build different is the seamless transition from seat to front row monument. This provides functionality for the passengers, whilst also delivering a wider footwell space. We also managed to integrate additional forward stowages into the design.”


The EL AL Business logo, featured on distinctive diamond panels, required a two-tone finish and had to be shaped to match the curved diamond profiles. The operations team at AIM Altitude worked hard with the supply base to ensure the high level of finish could be generated in serial production. With passengers likely to be drawn to the tactile plated logo, AIM Altitude has even ensured that it can be easily interchanged with a new logo, should any damage occur.


Whilst appearing to be purely for the comfort and satisfaction of passengers, the front row monuments also conceal a range of half carts, standard containers and emergency equipment, hidden behind the main compartment doors.


The challenges of the programme were mainly the timeline and liaising with the Recaro CL6710 business class seat team, to enable the integration of the Recaro components into the front row monument design. The programme team at AIM Altitude remained consistent throughout, which helped the decision-making process to run smoothly. The whole project took just 16 months to complete, from the initial technical coordination meeting to the first article inspection.


AIM Altitude has also teamed with Thompson Aero Seating after being invited by Airbus to design, manufacture and install integrated front-row furniture and full-flat Business Class seats for a full-scale Airbus A330neo Airspace cabin in the manufacturer’s mock-up centre in Toulouse. AIM Altitude has integrated aisle stowage and literature display areas into the front-row furniture to complement the Thompson Vantage XL seats, which have been integrated with a variety of IFE systems and feature a bespoke trim and finish defined by Airbus.

 

ETHIOPIAN UPGRADE

 

Ethiopian Airlines has fully refurbished its fleet of six Boeing 767-300ERs, which are used on routes to Africa, India and the Middle East. The work was carried out by Ethiopian MRO, the airline’s maintenance organisation, in Addis Ababa.


The Cloud Nine business class cabin now features Optimares ZEST fully flat seats in a 2+2+2 configuration, the first time this model has been used by the airline. It features a 17in HD screen and in-seat power outlets. Lighting has been upgraded and a number of new cabin products have also been introduced. Economy class also features new seats.


Another first is the introduction throughout the aircraft of the Wireless Avionics Entertainment System (WAvES) wifi IFE system from Northern Avionics of Italy, assisted by AAR for the FAA STC. The core unit is the WAvES CELL, which includes a server, 1TB solid-state storage and a IEEE 802.11ac tri-band wireless access point in a single box, weighing 1.84kg. Each CELL can support up to 96 simultaneous wifi media streams plus wired connections through Ethernet.


The airline has invested more than $6 million on the retrofit, which is scheduled to be complete by December 2017.
 

PAIR AND PAY


LEVEL, IAG’s new low cost long haul carrier, is the first airline brand to introduce innovative ‘Pair & Pay’ technology allowing customers to browse and buy products onboard simply and easily from their seats using personal devices.


Pair & Pay enables customers to connect mobile devices with their individual seatback screen to buy food, drinks, wifi packages, amenity kits and duty free products. In the future, inflight entertainment including the latest movie releases, TV shows and audio albums will also be available through Pair & Pay.


This technology lets customers order items at any point in the flight and is very simple to use. Once selected products have been added to the shopping cart on the screen, passengers can connect their devices to the onboard network and pair their phone with the seatback. They can then use their phone to pay for the items.


To speed up the process even further, the Level .air app, available for Android and iOS, allows customers to set up their own account and store a payment card (either credit or debit) to make onboard purchases. This means that they can buy products with
a single click.


Pair & Pay features on LEVEL’s services between Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Oakland, Los Angeles and Punta Cana.


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