- 24 Jun 2021
- Matt Harris
AvBuyer’s Matt Harris spoke with F/LIST recently, where Melanie Prince and Markus Schröcker shared insights on trends in the Business Aviation cabin refurbishment sector…Back to Articles
Nothing ever stays still in the cabin refurbishment industry. Of course, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The needs and requirements of passengers flying today’s business jets are already high, and continues to grow...
With today’s top business jets capable of flying almost 8,000 nautical miles non-stop, necessitating more time spent in the cabin, there’s an obvious need for enhanced passenger comfort.
And with today’s travelers expecting to step aboard an airplane and be as productive and connected to the world as they would on the ground, the Business Aviation industry is forever pushing the boundaries of possibilities, striving to create new hardware, software, furniture, and materials that achieve those requirements in increasingly impressive ways.
One of the leading players in the refurbishment industry is F/LIST. Headquartered in Austria, the company has a presence in Canada, Germany, Brazil, UK, United Arab Emirates and increasingly the United States, and has undertaken several high-end aircraft cabin refurbishment projects in the past.
However the company doesn’t just source the products from other suppliers: it creates some truly innovative solutions itself, as Canadian aerospace professional Melanie Prince will attest to.
With over 20 years of experience in business jet interiors, Melanie is the Head of Innovations at F/LIST, guiding the research and development team towards creating the next generation of unique and innovative cabin interior products.
Joining her in a recent interview with AvBuyer on the latest cabin refurbishment trends in BizAv was Markus Schröcker, an Austrian aerospace professional with over 15 years of experience in Business Aviation. Markus has been part of the F/LIST team since 2016, and today is Group Director for Customer Relations and Sales in the Aftermarket Business Unit.
Here’s what Melanie (MP) and Markus (MS) had to say about the industry today…
AvBuyer: What is popular when it comes to cabin refurbishments in Business Aviation today? What are you finding clients request regularly, and why?
MS: That’s very hard to narrow down, since every customer has their unique requirements – whether they just want to keep their cabin in mint condition and wish to fix a minor defect, or they have just bought a pre-owned jet and want to transform and personalize the cabin experience.
Generally, though, across all the industries we serve, we see a growing appreciation for real craftsmanship, and owners tend to follow trends they are seeing – whether it is new aircraft interiors introduced to the market by the OEMs, or other trends in furniture and fashion.
AvBuyer: There are elements today that didn’t seem to factor in product selection so much in the past (i.e., sustainability/environmentally-friendly, and vegan-friendly products). Can you tell us more about these? Will they grow in their influence on product development within the refurbishments and completions sector?
MP: Firstly, we welcome the recent commitments made by several manufacturers, operators, and completion centers concerning environmental responsibility. Consequently, we have been very active in developing new, more sustainable cabin interior components, meeting the applicable airworthiness requirements while offering a uniquely refreshing look in the cabin.
We estimate that the demand for such products will grow significantly, as long as they are seen as a unique and attractive feature, and do not compromise on quality. Our market segment is historically attracted to natural products, and we aim to help our customers rediscover the beauty of sustainably sourced, naturally-produced materials.
AvBuyer: Cabin refurbishments is one of those areas of the Business Aviation industry that doesn’t stand still. Trends evolve, and the dizzying array of products on offer to business jet owners is forever expanding. What products are on the horizon that are catching F/LIST’s eye, and why?
MP: As you say, trends in our industry evolve at a dizzying pace, but there has always been a steady demand for interiors reflecting simplicity and timelessness.
Any new materials that are very innovative while simultaneously making an interior timeless are extremely impressive. With emerging manufacturing techniques and new material availability, there is a world of opportunity at our feet.
The most stunning materials we have seen are those currently being developed in our R&D Labs. These are not quite ready for prime time, but I can’t wait to tell you all about them soon!
AvBuyer: F/LIST is known for developing exciting new products and materials for use in Business Aviation refurbishments – particularly in the areas of flooring and lighting. Can you tell us more about these, and why they’re popular with customers?
MS: Just ask yourself, when was the last time you were in a bathroom that had a carpeted floor? I certainly can’t remember the last time I was. It is understandable that our hard flooring solutions are becoming so popular within the industry.
Also, more and more customers are looking for unique methods of setting mood lighting, beyond general colorful LED cabin lighting.
Our illuminated stone counter-tops are a perfect example for helping them achieve this in a truly unique way.
Together with our customers and R&D team, through the illuminated counter-tops, we developed a product which hasn’t been available on the market for a business jet cabin before. The feedback has been amazing.
AvBuyer: With so many exciting products, trends, and choices, how do you guide business jet owners in selecting a refurbishment that will not only meet their needs and demands for now, but continue to do so for several years to come?
MS: Understanding and listening to customers’ needs and wishes is key. The perfect interior for a purely private-use aircraft will probably not be the best choice for an aircraft that is also being chartered, for example.
On an aircraft that will see higher utilization, with more passengers moving through the cabin, we would recommend using more resilient products and materials, allowing the aircraft to age much better.
Due to the wide range of products and materials, making a decision isn’t always easy for customers. Therefore, we narrow down this broad offering with the support of renderings before making their vision come to life.
Since we, at F/LIST, constantly aim to innovate in every segment of our business, visualization is firmly a part of our roadmap. We’ll soon have some game-changing news to share with you. Stay tuned!
More information from https://f-list.at