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Crystal Cabin Award: More than 100 ideas for how we could fly tomorrow

Whether business or holiday, all over the world, more and more people are travelling by plane. But cramped seating and always the same, tedious grey cabins are taking the magic out of travelling by air.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though, as the Crystal Cabin Award shows. The award for aircraft cabin innovations and on-board products is the sector’s most highly regarded honour amongst media and the industry alike, and it is being presented for the 13th time in 2019. This year’s field impressively demonstrates that there is no shortage of fresh ideas. For the first time, more than 100 submissions were received from all over the world. 94 concepts from 22 countries made it to the shortlist — a new record for the sixth year running.

Entrants include airlines, suppliers, universities and major aircraft manufacturers — put simply, a who’s who of the industry. The international expert jury, gathering at Aircraft Interiors Expo, the world’s leading trade show, in Hamburg, will decide just who gets to raise the aviation industry’s most coveted trophies this year.

Turning First Class into a suite: a place of your own with a virtual view

The magic of air travel is still, of course, a question of money. If you have the means, you can fly more exclusively now than ever before. The new First Class Private Suites on the Emirates Boeing 777 prove the point. As separate compartments, they shield passengers from the rest of the cabin, lending the whole experience the feeling of a private jet. And personnel can be summoned by video call at any time. That’s not all that technology is achieving here, either. Thanks to high-resolution real-time wall monitors, even the internal cabins have an unobstructed window view — something no other internal cabin can offer.


Business Class trends: enhancing well-being rather than luxury


And despite such high-end ideas as the Emirates suites, less and less long-haul flights are offering First Class. The focus is increasingly shifting to Business Class. Here, too, the trend to privacy and separation can be seen. Meetings and full calendars are sapping people’s energy, so that business passengers are more interested in calm and relaxation than in luxury when they fly. A good example of how the industry is responding can be seen on the shortlisted entries from Panasonic. The technology company has equipped a Business Class sleeper seat with a partition that not only absorbs noise but can also play calming music or the sound of rainfall if the passengers wishes, accompanied by appropriate mood lighting. And the nanoe air filtration system extracts pungent smells from the Business Class cabin, for example after meals, improving the air in the cabin.