This month was Aircraft Interiors Middle East – a big event that attracted over 5000 people from all over the world to talk everything aircraft interiors. As the aviation market recovers, virtually to where it was pre-COVID, the Middle East has become a major contributor to that growth.
One of the hot topics this year, that was more evident than ever, was sustainability. As mentioned by ST Engineering’s Director of Business Development, the future of aviation is all about innovating new products while ensuring the use of sustainable materials throughout.
Many of the presentations and workshops commented on this subject and there was a general buzz around the event from industry professionals. It appears that the environmental topic is starting to gather traction in the region and becoming a consideration for airlines when making purchasing decisions. The industry in starting to sit up and recognise that there needs to be a real change, right now. Reducing the impact on our planet can only happen when the entire industry comes together and collaborates to make a difference. Designing from the start with circularity in mind is critical for future cabin innovations so that materials can be recycled or kept in use for longer.
There is still a strong trend towards traditional leather, and the use of fabric for long haul, with the perception that fabric offers more comfort. However, the region is starting to explore more sustainable materials and airline’s perceptions are changing as they realise there are solutions that don’t mean a compromise on durability, luxury or comfort.
One example is Flynas, who have been flying with ELeather since 2017 following an upgrade of 70 aircraft to replace their traditional leather seats. The company have highlighted the quality and durability of the new material and enhanced experience it gives their passengers. The fact that it looks and feels just like traditional leather, but outperforms it, was a perfect fit for both the airline and their customers. That together with the significant environmental benefits it brings, gives Flynas a triple win that most material suppliers cannot.
AIME 2023 was a great show and we look forward to the next aviation events coming up this year where we will continue to leas the fight for sustainable aircraft interiors.