By providing in-flight entertainment on personal electronic devices rather than clunky in-seat systems, the airlines will give much more creative freedom to cabin designers. "From a design standpoint, I think this would give more freedom with the rest of the seat, and the seat back, as you wouldn't necessarily need very heavy LCD screens, all of which require a lot of cooling," said interiors designer James Park.
Virgin Atlantic is upgrading its fleet of Boeing 747s with new seats, carpeting and paint job. The massive undertaking is the "ultimate spring clean," this feature says. "This investment is a testament to Virgin Atlantic's commitment to offer the best onboard experience and comfort in the U.K. leisure market," said the carrier's director of corporate communications, Greg Dawson.
To better weather the fluctuations in the price of jet fuel, Air India is set to roll out a new ticket-pricing measure tentatively called "fuel pass through." The fee would work both ways -- higher when the price of fuel rises and lower when it drops. "It will be implemented in a month," said a senior official.
C&D Zodiac says it has come up with an answer for today's overstuffed carry-on luggage -- a pivoting SmartBin that provides more stowage without cramping cabin space. The SmartBin is part of a new cabin interior that also includes special lighting. "We were trying to do a couple of things. One was obviously to provide a much more open cabin and a lot more baggage storage but also take advantage of LEDs," said Scott Savian, marketing executive at C&D.
The International Airlines Group is expected to remain busy with partnerships and mergers. But while it looks ahead, it should also not forget its arrangement with troubled American Airlines, an analyst says. "It will be a high priority to keep American Airlines. The joint venture was a long time coming and should yield many future advantages," said analyst John Strickland.