The pandemic and its effect on the aviation has been dominating industry media for over the year already – and the passenger’s confidence in flying has been a requiring topic. Surely, it is one of the key elements that has a huge impact on the recovery of the air travel, thus cabin interior designers and manufactures has been putting a lot of effort to come up with the solutions to help travelers feel safer onboard.
Before the pandemic, carriers have been investing into cabin modifications to make them stand-out from the competition – but since early 2020, with the cost-saving mode on, airlines are reluctant to make new orders, and the signs of confidence can be seen only when considering modifications for the increased safety.
“We are not expecting to see the increase in demand just yet – in aviation interior sector, it will be delayed and come just after the air traffic will increase and stay steady for some time”, shared Marko Männiste, Managing Director of MAC Aero Interiors.
However, according to Mr Männiste, there’s a flip side. “On the other hand, carriers are interested in a certain type of production, like cabin layout configurations which has really peaked during the first lockdown as it allowed airlines to continue their operations at least to some extent helping out with, for example, medical cargo transportation. Also, products like personal protective equipment (PPE), safety placards and minor modifications alike additional filters have been sought of. Touchless solutions are the new factor, common for most of the incoming requests, which illustrates the main trend in the market.”
Innovations, challenged by the cost-saving
As aviation industry proved its agility and ability to bounce back from the crisis, it applies to interior sector – just this time, it is not only about the high-quality and top-notch tech, but also about how it can be done with cost-saving in mind.
According to Pärtel-Peeter Kruuv, Interior Projects Manager at MAC Aero Interiors, finding how to boost the existing interior rather than producing totally new products is the key. “Instead of totally new solutions which comes with a hefty price-tag, customers are expecting upgrades – for example, relatively easy upgrades for lavatories to make them more touchless instead of opting for the brand new, albeit good looking, solution. With this in mind, we are developing the touchless lavatories solution that would allow us to merge best of two worlds – reasonable price and increased safety”.
Certainly, in industry with very high standards, seeing innovations on board takes time: the process from the idea to actual implementation is lengthy – but manufacturers and designers can find the niche to help airlines – and their business – by providing products that can improve safety as well as contribute to restoring passenger’s faith in flying. After all, every little helps on the way to the new-normal in post-pandemic world.