Trends for the aircraft cabin: We want your ideas!

Trends for the aircraft cabin: We want your ideas!

by Lukas Kirchner | News | Tuesday, 02 October, 2018

Entry phase begins in eight categories for 2019’s Crystal Cabin Awards.

In the coming year, for the thirteenth time, the Crystal Cabin Award Association will be honouring the best ideas for aircraft cabins. The prize, launched and awarded in Hamburg, gives a foretaste of what is to come above the clouds. In 2019, for the first time, it will be presented on in the hall of the trading floor at Hamburg’s Chamber of Commerce. Amongst the winners in 2018 was PriestmanGoode, taking home one of the coveted trophies for its Qsuite, developed for Qatar Airways. Competition last year was stronger and more diverse than ever before, with 85 shortlisted submissions from 21 nations. The submission phase for the 2019 Crystal Cabin Award runs until 24 October on The awards ceremony, as always, will take place as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (2 - 4 April 2019) in Hamburg.


Over the past 12 years, the Crystal Cabin Award has grown to be an internationally recognised industry prize for innovations in the aircraft cabin. The trophies are a highly sought-after seal of quality. They will be presented at a formal awards ceremony in Hamburg on the evening of 2 April 2019 as one of the highlights of the world’s leading trade fair for the cabin industry, the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Winning innovations last year included the “Qatar Airways Qsuite”, where four seats can be arranged around a table to eat and relax together in no time, a resource-efficient water nebuliser designed by students at Cranfield University, and accessible in-flight entertainment for the visually impaired, developed by Bluebox Aviation Systems in cooperation with Virgin Atlantic. And just recently, on 24 September 2018, a special category for “Best Customer Journey Experience” was presented as part of the APEX Awards in Boston, Massachusetts. This special prize was outside of the regular submission phase for the Crystal Cabin Awards. The FLIO app’s “Digital Airport Experience” won the day.

Watched the world over

The three finalists in each category, chosen by a jury of 28 experts, get to present their concepts to leading industry representatives at the Final Viewing. A victory at the Crystal Cabin Award represents unmistakeable recognition by the global community of specialists in the sector. There is no doubt about the attraction of this honour, and not just for newcomers in the annual University category.

The fascination reaches well beyond the boundaries of the aviation industry, too, with the Crystal Cabin Awards receiving global attention. To date, the 2018 awards have generated more than 800 online publications in 67 countries.

From the Atlantic to the trading floor

For the first time in the history of the Crystal Cabin Award, the 2019 ceremony will take place in the trading floor hall of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. After eight years, the exclusive gala dinner, attended by numerous international airline and media representatives, has relocated from the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski.

An overview of the 8 Crystal Cabin Award categories:

Cabin Concepts

This category is provided for full cabin concepts that are already existent or at a market-ready stage. The Cabin Concepts category is tailored for airlines as well as manufacturers and design companies.

Cabin Systems

The Cabin Systems category comprises all innovative products that will bring airlines a major benefit in operations and efficiency. Such products could include galleys, lavatories, trolleys, air conditioning systems and seat concepts, with a focus on operating efficiency (e.g. lightweight structures, easy installation, better use of cabin space etc.)

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity

The IFEC category caters for the fastest growing product range in the aviation industry and includes inflight entertainment as well as on-board connectivity and communications solutions.

Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment

This category combines different classes of innovations. An entry for this category must either reduce negative effects on the environment, or minimize health & safety hazards and security problems for passengers, staff, or live cargo.

Material & Components

In this category, the CCA jury is looking for new materials or new material applications for cabin systems that cut production costs and maximize usability.

Passenger Comfort Hardware

Entries to this category must improve passenger comfort within the cabin, either for all passengers or for specific groups of passengers. The category includes all hardware directly noticeable for the passenger, including seats and seat-related products such as tray tables, partitions, lavatories, premium class and VIP products.


This category provides room for college and university students to present their visions for innovative products and concepts for aircraft interiors.

Visionary Concepts

Visionary Concepts can give us an impression of aircraft cabins of tomorrow, through technical concepts, ergonomic ideas, and aesthetic design. The category relates to engineering concepts and design studies that have not yet been implemented.

Once a year, the global aviation industry gathers at Hamburg’s Messehallen trade fair for the Aircraft Interiors Expo (2– 4 April, 2019) to present the latest cabin innovations and on-board products. The Crystal Cabin Award, presented during the AIX, is one of the highlights of the week. 

The Entry Form, an overview of 2018’s winners, and a detailed explanation of all categories for the Crystal Cabin Award are available online from the official website:

Submissions may be lodged until 24 October.