Angus Baigent
February 27, 2024
Crystal Cabin Award 2024

Flying into the future: Shortlist Announced

Hamburg, 27 February 2024 // The Crystal Cabin Awards, organised annually by Hamburg Aviation, are among the most prestigious awards for aircraft cabin innovation and set standards for future travel experiences. They comprise eight categories and embdy the credo "Let your ideas take off". The outstanding 72 entries on the 2024 shortlist promise to make flying more comfortable, sustainable and accessible. The list of nominees reflects a wide range of innovations, from revolutionary seating concepts to sustainable cabin materials and advanced, inclusive entertainment systems. The prestigious trophy will be awarded on 28 May 2024 in Hamburg; once again as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo. The winners, who will be selected by an international jury of experts, will be published on the same day at

Maximising Comfort in Economy

Sitting or lying down on a long flight, working together as a team or playing games and watching films with the family - this should also be possible in economy class: Ameco presents the Fly-Buddy Hub, a versatile, social seating concept in which six passengers can sit opposite each other. The modular design creates a versatile space with convertible seats and beds, folding tables, a roll-up screen and intelligent partitions.

 Qantas Airways also wants to provide relaxation when flying. With its "Sunrise" project, the airline will be offering non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York by the end of 2025. To make such ultra-long-haul flights more pleasant, Diehl Aviation has designed an innovative Wellbeing Zone for the A350. The Wellbeing Zone is accessible to travellers of all classes and offers space for a guided training programme on screens, a drinking station and a range of healthy snacks to help them cope with the long journey time of up to20 hours.

Privacy and the option to sleep lying down. The Zephyr seat of the company Zephyr Aerospace is set to deliver this comfort, which many passengers are longing for, in Premium Economy Class.It is the world's first flat aircraft seat for long-haul flights in this class with direct access to the aisle and complete privacy for every traveller. The disruptive, stacked design of the seat means that any Zephyr seat can be installed without loss of seat density.

The cabin interior of the new A350-1000, a collaboration between Japan Airlines, British design agency Tangerine, Safran Seats and Recaro Aircraft Seating, is a prime example of Japanese innovation for all four classes: First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy. Completely redesigned seats with the elegance of Japanese aesthetics can be found in all classes. In Business and First Class, travellers can enjoy the first headphone-free in-flight entertainment system with loudspeakers in the seat. In First Class, there is a dining area for three people and a seat that can be converted into an extra-wide bed. In Premium Economy, passengers will find automatic electric seat adjustment and a fixed partition between the seats in the middle of the cabin to maximise privacy.

Thinking beyond the horizon: Accessibility for as many passengers as possible

When it comes to concepts for accessible travel, the main focus of this year's submissions is on assistive auditory, visual, cognitive and motor functions that can make air travel accessible and enjoyable for as many passengers as possible. For example, the Wheelchair Space and Securement System (WSSS) from the renowned University of Virginia Tech in co-operation with Boeing, All Wheels Up and Collins Aerospace benefits passengers with limited mobility by integrating the space required to secure wheelchairs into adaptable economy seats.

Collins Aerospace's ADAPT digital flight experience control follows the philosophy of inclusive design by allowing passengers to connect their mobile phone to their seat. The passenger's device communicates with all active visual sensors such as seat controls, in-flight entertainment controls and the crew. It even enables voice recognition or American Sign Language (ASL) recognition.

The ACCESS Beam from Airbus is the first solution for a temporary conversion of the aircraft cabin during ground turnaround for the transport of wheelchairs. It offers airlines maximum flexibility and passengers in wheelchairs the safety and comfort of flying in their own wheelchair.

Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI),in co-operation with Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic, has designed an in-flight entertainment product that enables passengers with auditory, visual, cognitive and motor impairments to enjoy in-flight entertainment.

M-SAAVE is an interdisciplinary student project team at the University of Michigan dedicated to humanitarian applications of aerospace engineering. Under the leadership of Collins Aerospace, it has developed a safety system for passengers with reduced mobility. This allows passengers to remain seated in their own wheelchair for the duration of a commercial flight.


Airbus C-Suite and Ameco Fly-Buddy Hub

An industry on a mission: Sustainability driving innovation in aircraft cabins

Engineering eco-friendly aircraft cabins is an enormous challenge. While engineers are required to meet extremely stringent safety protocols, the industry is on a mission to find new ways to cut emissions, use more recycled materials and reduce the levels of manufacturing pollutants.

Saving weight in the cabin directly translates into reduced emissions by lowering fuel consumption. Several entrants in the 2024 season offer significant weight (and therefore emissions) savings, among others companies like Zotefoams, Collins Aerospace, Diehl Aviation, Safran Cabin and a consortium headed by Hamburg-based Comprisetec. These companies use a diverse range of approaches to lower weight including ultra-lightweight foam insulators; ground-breaking manufacturing techniques that use far less material; new resin-based interior panels; ceiling seat anchor points for seating that replace overhead bins; and water dispensers that save weight by replacing bottled water onboard.

But reusing and recycling materials also offers significant ways of reducing aviation’s overall environmental impact. Airbus’ C-Suite Circular Business Class, for example, is built around a commitment to use far more recycled materials in its business class seats than previous offerings. Leading seat manufacturer Recaro makes a similar pledge with its R Sphere concept that prioritizes used and upcycled materials. Gen Phoenix, in collaboration with Sabeti Wain Aerospace & Doy Design, has entered a fully circular dress cover that is upholstered in end-of-life recycled leather and can be completely recycled again at the end of its life to create new dress cover material. Meanwhile Aircraft Cabin Modification has managed an impressive feat: Its TexEco material is the first 100% natural fibre certified for aircraft cabins.

The innovations of the year: presented live on 28 May 2024 in Hamburg

The Crystal Cabin Award, an initiative of the Hamburg Aviation cluster network, is presented in eight categories: Cabin Concepts,Cabin Systems, Health & Safety, IFEC & Digital Services, Materials & Components, Passenger Comfort, Sustainable Cabin and University.

The 28 experts from our jury will select the three finalists for each category, who will be announced in April 2024. This year, we are welcoming two new members to the jury: Jörg Rissiek, Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development at Diehl Aviation, and Claudia Friedrich, Managing Director of Interface Design at zweigrad Industrial Design. For the first time, the CCA thus welcomes a Hamburg-based SME into its jury. During the Aircraft Interiors Expo (May 28-30, 2024), all finalists will present their innovative ideas to the jury. The winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2024 will be announced on the evening of May 28 at a gala dinner at the Hamburg Chambers of Commerce.

Renowned Industry Award - renowned Industry Support

The Crystal Cabin Award is supported by

Platinum Sponsors: AERQ (Category Sponsor: IFEC& Digital Services), Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Category Sponsor: Sustainable Cabin)

Gold Sponsors: Airbus, The Boeing Company, Collins Aerospace, Diehl Aviation, Lufthansa Technik, Safran Cabin, Thales,Thompson Aero Seating

Online sponsors: Jetliner Cabins

Crystal Cabin Award Show Partner: Aircraft Interiors Expo

Trophy sponsor: Krüger Aviation

Media partners: Aircraft Interiors International, APEX, Flight Chic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Inflight Magazine, PaxEx Aero, Runway Girl Network

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agnus baigent
Angus Baigent
Marketing & Communications
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