Can flying really become a remarkable experience?

Cabin layout. Seat space. Entertainment consoles. Gastronomic experiences. With so many opportunities for customization, why haven’t airlines really made their mark on the in-air flight experience? With decades of airline branding expertise, Peter Knapp, our chief creative officer, sat down with Panasonic Avionics to discuss the challenge of rebranding a major airline and the future of the airline industry.

Reflecting on his personal experience, Knapp described his work with Etihad Airways, where he was tasked with creating a transitional strategy for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier to make its flying experience a destination in and of itself. Knapp noted, “The challenge and the secret for success for Etihad, or any airline brand, is to ensure that the brand strategy and the idea are consistently and coherently infused into all points of the customer journey.”

Etihad Airways

But airlines will have to find ways to deal with new technology and rising customer expectations. “For example, as virtual reality (VR) begins to grow, there will be an expectation that it will be available on-board. Passengers will want a seamless entertainment experience before, during and after the flight. Therefore, airlines will be forced to get into the business of being entertainment content managers,” Knapp stated.

He continued, “Airlines need to keep in mind that IFEC (in-flight entertainment and connectivity) innovations are a direct reflection of the airline brand itself. The quality and creativity of the interface are massively important to airlines’ presentations to the public, as are speed, breadth of offerings, and user experience.”

Virgin America in-flight experience

Knapp concluded, “These, combined with new delivery ideas, are critical to [establishing] a great passenger experience and building the reputation of the carrier.”


To see this full article, go to the Panasonic Avionics blog. 

To learn more about the future of the airline industry, read Peter Knapp’s take on supersonic travel and flights of the future.