Cabin interiors specialist Collins and in-flight entertainment connectivity (IFEC) provider Panasonic Avionics have teamed up at this year’s AIX to demonstrate a concept for next generation business class suites.

Unveiling its MAYA concept at a media briefing at the start of the show on 28 May, Panasonic Avionics chief executive Ken Sain said the aim is to illustrate what is possible to deliver when seating and IFEC specialists work together from the outset, and to address a future generation of more digitally-native premium travellers.


Source: Billypix

President of interiors at Collins Aerospace Ed Dryden (left) and Panasonic Avionics chief executive Ken Sain at the unveiling of their Maya concept seat featuring the Astrova ultra-widescreen

“Our teams kicked off this collaboration a year ago with the goal of developing the next generation business class designed for the next generation of business class passengers,” he says.

Ed Dryden, president of Interiors at Collins Aerospace, adds: ”Historically, and currently, products are designed in isolation. At Collins Aerospace Interiors we have been focused on shifting that paradigm and actually developing solutions rather than just products. This collaboration with Panasonic is really taking that to the next level.

”We have an aligned view and desire to shift what we can bring to the aircraft and the solutions we can provide. We are focused on setting new standards in comfort, accessibility, customisation and connectivity. Maya has a mix of physical and digital tech, as well as sustainability at its heart with eco-friendly materials and lightweight solutions.”

The centre-piece of the MAYA concept suite is Panasonic’s Astrova Curve 45-inch, ultra-widescreen, ultra high-definition OLED display with headphone-less audio system.

“Maya is our vision of the technology for the next generation business class,” says Sain. ”It is the pinnacle screen of the Astrova family, using all other Astrova components. It is seamlessly integrated into a reverse herring-bone business suite. Its three-times larger than today’s typical business class screens.”

While the screen and suite can provide immersive cinematic viewing, it is also designed to heighten personalisation and the wider digital experience. ”It’s the first customisable multi-screen experience on a seatback,” he says, noting customers can choose also to watch content on a 16:9 display while simultaneously interacting with things like airline’s journey map, commerce platform or loyalty app.