The annual Crystal Cabin Awards will return in 2023, serving as a trend indicator for what could be in the skies in the years ahead.

More than 80 entries qualified for the 2023 shortlist. This year the renowned trophy will once again be awarded in eight categories on 6 June 2023 in Hamburg, the birthplace of the award, during Aircraft Interiors Expo.

As every year, an international jury of experts will crown the winners.

Long-haul flights

On long-haul flights, providing a relaxing space for sleep becomes a high priority. In Economy, however, passengers often have to make sacrifices.

With Skynest, Air New Zealand presents an option for routes such as Auckland-Vancouver that long-haul Economy travellers have long dreamt of: a real, flat bed. Installed in sleep islands in the middle section of the aircraft, Skynest bunk beds can be booked for time slots, enabling a restive nap above the clouds for those on lower fares.

American Airlines also takes a comprehensive look at the future of long-haul with its new cabin concept. Together with Teague, the carrier presents various layouts for wide- and narrow-body aircraft that provide a neat solution for a well-known problem: the front seat row in premium economy faces a partition instead of a backrest, forcing designers to build tables and screens into these passengers’ seats in turn pushing up maintenance requirements. American Airlines’ concept incorporates tables and screens into the wall in front of the front Premium Economy row.

With Allegris, the Lufthansa Group presents a new cabin product from autumn 2023 across all four classes: First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy. While the latter will primarily benefit from more legroom and Premium Economy will enjoy more privacy, Business and First Class offering will see massive upgrades. Guests will find, among other added benefits, suites with double beds or heated seats.

More sustainability in the cabin

For its BioMat side panel, Airbus Operations mixes recycled carbon fibres from its A350 production with synthetic resins garnered from by-products of sugar cane processing.

Meanwhile, the cabin outfitters at Austrian company F/List have submitted two bio-based materials into the race for a Crystal Cabin Awards trophy. The company says it is introducing both to the aircraft cabin for the first time: Linfinium, a linoleum covering made from natural components, and the plant-based “Whisper Leather”.

Cabin innovation for air taxis

In 2023, the Crystal Cabin Awards team received more entries for electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft (eVTOLs) than ever before.

EVE Mobility and Almadesign have entered this year’s race with a sleek, airy four-seater cabin concept for Eve Air Mobility, a daughter brand of aircraft manufacturer Embraer.

Elements such as ceiling projection and pleasant colour moods are crafted to make the short flight experience as comfortable as possible.

HT-01, a cabin concept for air taxis by Hyundai Transys and its cooperation partner PriestmanGoode, also uses attractive colours and an optimised use of limited space. Building on the idea that the urban air shuttles of the future will be shared with other passengers, the South Korean company has included a variety of ideas to ensure sufficient privacy for all four seats.

The German “unicorn” Lilium has approached its cabin concept with a strong focus on exclusivity. The Pioneer Edition Lilium Jet features a light-flooded interior design with many customizable options, including a sky bar.Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter