Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SPIRIANT tableware design gets Red Dot award

Lufthansa German Airlines’ premium economy product has been making headlines for months, and now it is tableware in the spotlight and receiving awards.

Representatives from the SPIRIANT design and sales teams from LSG Sky Chefs yesterday received the Red Dot award for the Lufthansa Premium Economy Class tableware series.

“Exclusive design of unobtrusive elegance is achieved by round edges and the tapered form

of the bowls and cups. Its modular design ensures that it combines well with different tray sizes where every centimeter is perfectly utilized,” said a release from LSG Sky Chefs.

“After winning the Good Design ™ earlier this year, we are very proud and honored to be recognized by one of the most prestigious design award juries of the world!” said Daniel Knies, Design Director at SPIRIANT.

This year, the award also saw a record 4,928 entries from 56 countries and marked its 60th year. The Red Dot Gala, which is held in the Aalto-Theater in Essen, Germany, is seen as the international design event of the year, honoring the very best designers and product design.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Europe business travel gains footing

Five important countries in Europe that serve as barometer for Western Europe saw increased spending for business travel in 2014 and projected growth for the next two years, according to a report released this week from the GBTA Foundation, part of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Those countries, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain saw approximately €146.1 billion (US$186.3 billion) spent on business travel in 2014, a 4.9% increase from the previous year. The GBTA Foundation projects that spending is expected to increase another 6% this year to €154.79 billion (US$197.47 billion) and 6.1% to €164.15 billion (US$209.41 billion) in 2016.
Germany and the U.K. led the way in travel spending, but the GBTA noted that Spain’s travel market saw a notable increase.

Much of the GBTA Foundation report saw a shift toward domestic business travel demand as the primary driver for the spending. The GBTA Foundation said general fiscal improvements, lower energy prices and aggressive monetary policies are some of the reasons for the uptick.

“This year’s global BTI™ reveals promising news for business travel spending in Western Europe,” said Brain Triplett, Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial Products at Visa Inc. “With five markets along averaging nearly a five percent gain in 2014 and domestic travel expected to grow, the region continues to show signs of recovery.”

Outbound travel from the United States also saw some significant increases, but not as much to Europe. U.S. travel to overseas markets totaled 6.889 million in March, up 6%. Big winners were the Middle East and Caribbean, up 16% and 10% respectively. Visits to Asia from the U.S. were up 7% and Oceania 5%. European visits were up slightly at an increase of 2%. Central America visits from the US were up 1%, and both South America and Africa were flat.

This is good news for companies that supply airlines on the continent. The downturn in the European economies has had noted affects on some of the big suppliers. To see aircraft filling again, and companies expanding travel budgets ,the rest of the year holds promise, through the summer season and into the fall.

The report is available for purchase, or complimentary to GBTA members.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Tech companies, universities and Zodiac subsidiaries seeking seat solutions

ESI Group a provider of “virtual prototyping” for manufacturers is working with Zodiac Seats France to identify needs and seek solutions for the “Passenger Seats of the Future”. 

The company announced this week that research is starting at the University of Valenciennes and Hainaut-Cambr├ęsis and at the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1. Texisense, a French company that specializes in hi-tech sensors, and ESI have joined with several subsidiaries from the Zodiac Group: Zodiac Aerotechnics, Zodiac Aerosafety Systems and Zodiac Actuation systems.

ESI specializes virtual prototyping and seat comfort prediction - addressing static seating comfort, thermal comfort, and vibration absorption during different phases of a flight, and for all populations.

ESI’s software Virtual Seat Solution is dedicated to the virtual design, manufacturing and prediction of seat performance and takes into account material physics, manufacturing processes and the behavior of a human body.

“Thanks to its unique precision, Virtual Seat Solution enables the creation of virtual seat prototypes and the evaluation of seat performance right from the early phases of design,” said a release from ESI. “Virtual Seat Solution empowers seat specialists to quickly explore different innovative designs at an affordable cost, and ultimately to pre-certify these designs before a physical prototype is ever produced.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Students find new uses for KLM cabin material

Wearable tech from the KLM World Business Class cabin
Various materials from the old KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s World Business Class cabin have been repurposed with the help of students of the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Seats, carpeting, seatbelts, inflight entertainment screens are among the items now on display at the Bijenkorf warehouse in Amsterdam starting today through June 15.
A child's backpack like this one may
was made from 70% recycled material
KLM has selected eight prototypes for the exhibition. Also on display is KLM’s new World Business Class cabin interior – including tableware designed by Marcel Wanders and cushions and blankets designed by Hella Jongerius.

Fourteen students of the “Man & Identity” faculty at the Design Academy Eindhoven worked months designing prototypes for travel items. The materials used for these prototypes were for at least 70% recycled. 

Jongerius designed the new cabin interior for KLM World Business Class that was introduced in 2013. Jongerius is also a former student of the Design Academy Eindhoven. Apart from the new full-flat seat measuring more than two meters long, the new interior also has carpets partly made of discarded KLM women’s uniforms, new wall decorations, curtains, blankets, cushions and seat upholstery.

KLM's entire 747 fleet now has the new World Business Class cabin, and the 777-200/300 fleet is currently undergoing installation.