The concept of Skynest, which reimagines economy class seats and promises double-decker beds in the sky, has caught the attention of many long-haul passengers!
And today, this concept has received the seal of approval through the prestigious Crystal Cabin Award, presented at the 2022 Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany.
Lucas von Cranach, the Chairman of the Crystal Cabin Award Association, told CNN that the win by the national airline of New Zealand was notable because this category often rewards exciting ideas that are far from being realized.
Skynest is not just a futuristic concept, but it is being produced by an airline and is scheduled to take flight in 2024.
The Winning Designs
The Crystal Cabin Awards announced its longlist earlier this year.
The finalists presented their ideas at the AIX exhibition earlier this week, with a panel of expert judges in attendance.
Among the other winners in the passenger comfort category is the concept InteliSence.
InteliSence utilizes artificial intelligence and data collected from cameras and sensors onboard the aircraft to track passengers’ travel experiences.
In the university category, a team of students from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands won after presenting their concept of lightweight airplane seats. These seats are designed with minimal materials while ensuring passenger comfort.
In the sustainable cabin category, Lantal Textiles’ deep-dyed carpet took the lead for its ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions onboard the aircraft.
Cranach mentioned that it is encouraging to see more sustainable innovations in the aviation industry and suggests that the industry has begun to account for its environmental impact, although there is still a long way to go.
The Crystal Cabin Awards are announced annually, and Cranach and his team enjoy monitoring the nominees and previous winners in the years following their victories.
Airlines operating shorter flights may have less need for the seats offered by Skynest from the national airline of New Zealand.
However, Cranach will closely monitor the performance of Skynest.
He said, “It will be genuinely interesting from a business perspective to see if the idea is successful.”
Cranach added that the Crystal Cabin Awards serve as a “fantastic way to get into the industry.”