This Week’s News Mix


The big news this week is from Gogo: The company announced today that it has received regulatory approval from the FCC to operate its next generation in-flight connectivity technology – 2Ku. The FCC approval clears a major hurdle in the path to launching the new service. The approval is a blanket approval from the FCC for Gogo to operate its 2Ku system on 1,000 aircraft. “Clearing the necessary regulatory hurdles to provide this service to an aircraft flying anywhere around the globe is no small feat. Gogo has proven it is a leader at navigating these environments for all aircraft types no matter where they fly,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.   “We are happy that the launch of 2Ku is proceeding as planned and are continuing to work with the FAA on approval for installation.” Gogo expects the new 2Ku technology will outperform other global connectivity solutions currently available in the market. The new antenna technology is expected to deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of more than 70 Mbps. The advantages of 2Ku are significant. The antenna is more spectrally efficient which means it will produce more bandwidth at less cost than competitive solutions.   2Ku’s performance benefits will be even more dramatic in tropical regions where other satellite solutions degrade significantly due to restrictions associated with operating at high skew angles. The antenna itself is only 4.5 inches tall and the low profile produces very little incremental drag on the aircraft. The 2Ku antenna and its increased spectral efficiency are compatible with today’s Ku satellites and future Ku satellites, including future spot beam satellites. When future satellite technologies become available, Gogo expects peak speeds for the service in excess of 100 Mbps. Because the antenna can be used with any Ku-satellite, it also avoids the single point of failure that comes with reliance on a single satellite for connectivity in a given region, and offers airlines much desired redundancy and reliability.

If you forgot about what 2Ku actually is, and how it works, we have a perfect solution – look here!

Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 will again be at the Hamburg Messe, April 14 – 16 this year in Germany and you can keep abreast at To steal from their press release: “The countdown is now on for next year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo which takes place at the Hamburg Messe in Germany from 14-16 April 2015. Organized by Reed Exhibitions, Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015 will be the essential hub for the aircraft interiors industry to view groundbreaking new products and innovative technologies, as well as networking with exhibiting companies and professional visitors on both the conference and show floors. The demand for air travel, particularly from new emerging markets, will see the global airline fleet witness extraordinary growth over the next decade. Developing markets in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East will continue to serve as the main catalyst for this upward trend. According to a recent Airbus global market forecast for 2014-2033, China will need more than 5,300 new passenger aircraft and freighters at a total market value of US$820 billion – this represents 17% of the world total demand for over 31,000 new aircraft during the next 20 years. Factors such as the increase in demand for cabin customization to enhance passenger comfort, together with increasing passenger growth rates, are boosting the cabin interior market worldwide. The cabin seats market is predicted to be best overall performer in the sector.”

As they note about the exposition; “Aircraft Interiors Expo is the world’s largest event dedicated to sourcing the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries. Taking place in Hamburg from  14- 16 April 2015 the exhibition attracts thousands of buyers and decision makers from major scheduled, regional and charter airlines and offers the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers and manufacturers covering the full spectrum of the industry.” Also, we note that a total of 74 submissions were received for the Crystal Cabin Award 2015. After detailed examination we understand, the six members of the preselection committee have approved 68 of these for the shortlist. In the next stage, the international jury of 25 experts, including representatives of various airlines, aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, and technical service providers, along with university professors, consultants and specialist journalists, will now evaluate all accepted entries, so that the finalists for the seven categories can be nominated shortly before the Aircraft Interiors Expo (14 – 16 April, 2015). The winners will be crowned, as they are every year, at a formal gala event held in association with the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

Also, don’t forget the other reason for going, the World Catering and Onboard Services Expo will take place there as well. “Visitors will include onboard services and retail buyers, food and beverage buyers as well as procurement representatives from air and rail travel operators. The exhibitor base includes providers of snack foods, pre-prepared meals, food service equipment, hygiene products and services, food packaging, passenger comfort products and onboard retail items.  In other words, you had best go because all your friends and competitors will be there. By day we will be roaming the floor (more on that later) but we will have more later on this event!

An ‘“industry source” sent this update on the new CEO at Zodiac Inflight Innovations – please welcome him: Zodiac Aerospace is pleased to announce the appointment of Matt Smith as CEO of Zodiac Innovations (Zii) as of January 19th, 2015. Matt replaces Rod Farley who will enter retirement at the end of January. Rod has been an integral part of creating Zii, serving as a leader in the former IMS Company and Zii CEO for the last 2 years. His customer focus has been instrumental in making Zii a key player in the IFEC industry. We are going to miss Rod and wish him all of the best in his future.

Matt joins Zii from Panasonic Avionics Corporation where he spent the last 6 years and was recently Senior VP of Operations. He was also the Chairman of Panasonic Corporation Singapore (PACSS) joint venture. Previously, Matt was with Rockwell Collins in both Avionics and Inflight Entertainment, and Honeywell Aerospace in Avionics. Matt has a Bachelors and Masters Degree of Electrical Engineering from the University of Wyoming. Matt will be based in Brea, CA office.

The folks at Bell-Pottinger sent us an Alitalia update and here is a condensed version: “Change is underway at Alitalia as they will introduce new routes, new product and service standards, a new cost management strategy and new branding, as the foundations to build a premium global airline representing the best of Italy. Mr Hogan (CEO) said that Alitalia’s major investors had set a clear deadline for the airline to deliver profitability by 2017. He said; “We need to create a performance-based, customer-focused culture which results in a sustainably profitable airline, one which can grow over the long term.” Alitalia and Etihad Airways and its partners are exploring opportunities to improve jointly fleet efficiency.  For example, Alitalia is in the process of relocating 14 Airbus A320s to airberlin, and looking into options with Etihad Airways to acquire additional wide-body aircraft for Alitalia. Alitalia will also have opportunities to receive aircraft from Etihad Airways’ existing fleet order book. Alitalia Società Aerea Italiana ( is a completely private company that started operations on January 1, 2015. The new Alitalia is a limited company with an Italian majority share and a 49% share owned by the industrial partner Etihad Airways, U.A.E.’s national airline.”

As you may know, 2014 was certainly the year of the “hack” and data breaches are now a weekly event. The folks at Zenedge provided a very good infographic on the subject and we provide it here for you. While the aviation industry and aircraft have seemingly been lightly affected, you might want to view the 1 hour Internet Webinar Recording that SITA and Recorded Future put together.

You might enjoy reading Aviation Week’s Person of the year article, especially the Letters To The Editor!

Lastly, did you know that powdered alcohol is on its way to your local liquor store… if your state doesn’t ban it first. Called Palcahol, the powder, when mixed with water or mix, can deliver vodka or rum flavored drinks with the booze built-in. Boy are the inflight passenger requests for water going to increase.

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