Thales, AIX, and a Security Question!

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Well, 2018 is upon us and the buzz words/phrases for the coming year are supersonic transports, possible drone integration, new GPS, a new Boeing Midmarket Airplane that might be announced, and new LEO satcom installations. How this will affect flying travelers is still up in the air (sorry). But in the world if IFE and Connectivity we will surely see new hardware, as well as, new and better (possibly less expensive) satcom connectivity and more. What we see is the following focus within our niche market: security folks keep trying to make it safer, airlines are trying to make it safer and cheaper, airport folks are trying to make it easier, IFEC vendors keep trying to make everything better and faster, we all keep traveling with better electronic stuff to keep our minds occupied and off the flight experience, and so it goes on, and on, and on. In fact, IFE’s Rory Briski sent us an article and here is the link to some of the madness airlines are seeking in order to make your flight a little bit better – Beating boredom at 30,000 feet is an airline’s next big challenge – The Globe and Mail. We don’t know about you, but if we want to sleep on a flight, having a hippie sing along down the aisle(s) might not be the best live entertainment?

Like it or not, security and hacking are going to be bigger in 2018 and if you are aware of some of the latest security problems with chips from Intel and AMD that might include aviation products airborne potential hacking has certainly gone up a notch. Add to this the cryptocurrency growth that may show up in aviation – as David Weston from Microsoft has said; “Targeting wallets will become more popular as more people dabble in investing in bitcoins and accessing them…”

Also, Artificial Reality and Artificial Intelligence just might change training, as well as, security in 2018 so it might be wise to stay on top of these subjects as they apply to aviation. Further, “big data” is a continued focal point to stay focused on and the following article shows a big data impact –  How Big Data Could Adversely Impact The Industry


On to some news and other interests:

BOEING & ADIENT

Today, Boeing  and Adient announced the formation of Adient Aerospace, a joint venture that will develop, manufacture and sell a portfolio of seating products to airlines and aircraft leasing companies. The seats will be available for installation on new airplanes and as retrofit configurations for aircraft produced by Boeing and other commercial airplane manufacturers.

The joint venture between Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, and Adient, the global leader in automotive seating, addresses the aviation industry’s needs for more capacity in the seating category, superior quality and reliable on-time performance. Adient Aerospace will benefit from the world-class engineering teams and innovative cultures at both companies, as well as shared expertise in managing complex, global supply chains.

“Seats have been a persistent challenge for our customers, the industry and Boeing, and we are taking action to help address constraints in the market. Adient Aerospace will leverage Boeing’s industry leadership and deep understanding of customer needs and technical requirements, to provide a superior seating product for airlines and passengers around the world,” said Kevin Schemm, senior vice president of Supply Chain Management, Finance & Business Operations and chief financial officer for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “This joint venture supports Boeing’s vertical integration strategy to develop in-house capabilities and depth in key areas to offer better products, grow services and generate higher lifecycle value.”

“Adient has a strong set of transferable competencies that will offer a unique opportunity to create value for our company and for Boeing, our shareholders and the broader commercial aircraft market,” said Adient chairman and CEO Bruce McDonald. “To enhance the customer experience for passengers, airlines and commercial airplane manufacturers, we will apply our unmatched expertise for comfort and craftsmanship along with our reputation for operational excellence.”

Adient Aerospace’s operational headquarters, technology center and initial production plant will be located in Kaiserslautern, Germany, near Frankfurt. The joint venture’s initial customer service center will be based in Seattle, Washington. Adient Aerospace aftermarket spare parts distribution will be performed exclusively through Aviall, a wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing.

Adient is the majority stakeholder in the new company (50.01 percent share) and expects the joint venture to be included in its consolidated financial statements. Boeing (as 49.99 percent partner) will receive a proportionate share of the earnings and cash flow. Both will have representation on Adient Aerospace’s board of directors.

Industry analysts forecast the commercial aircraft seating market to grow from approximately $4.5 billion in 2017 to $6 billion by 2026.

(Editor’s Note: This makes you wonder if Boeing will venture into the IFEC arena…)


THALES

1.) Thales was selected by the HNA Group to equip42 A330 and 17 A350 XBW fleet with the latest IFE innovations.

2.) AVANT IFE and Ka-band connectivity will be fully integrated on the A330 and A350 to provide a premium passenger experience.

HNA group manages several subsidiary airlines, including Hainan airlines, Capital Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Lucky Air and West Air. In 2017, Hainan Airlines was honored as Top 10 Airlines by SKYTRAX, a global research firm and provider of professional aviation evaluation services with a focus on airline and airport services. The subsidiary airlines of HNA group already have a combined fleet of over 50 A330 aircraft flying with Thales IFE systems. HNA Group’s selection of Thales is a further demonstration of the carriers trust in Thales’s commitment to making the travel experience more enjoyable for their passengers. As part of this commitment, Thales is investing resources in the region to further enhance the integration of software and media capabilities that will enrich passenger experience and satisfy local market demands.

AVANT, Thales’s state-of-the-art Android IFE solution, will provide HNA Group Airlines’ passengers a highly customizable experience with a robust selection of features and applications.  The new fleet will be equipped with the latest AVANT full high-definition monitors, the most lightweight ever deployed, featuring the Avii Touch Passenger Media Unit. Avii provides intuitive navigation, full android smartphone look and feel, and acts as a second entertainment screen. Integration of Ka-band connectivity to the AVANT IFE system will provide a fully connected premium passenger experience. Thales FlytCARE, the nose-to-tail- maintenance of in-flight technology ensuring the highest levels of performance, already provided on current HNA Group Airline fleet, will be expanded to these new aircraft. The dedicated Aircraft Technical Services team, will support system reliability for the enhancement of passenger experience.

Noted Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience, “We are proud of our long-term successful relationship with HNA Group. The selection of Thales AVANT IFE and connectivity solutions is a testimony to our continued investment in the region. We look forward to partnering with HNA Group to develop innovative solutions that enrich the passenger experience.”


AIX

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event that showcases innovations in aircraft passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe from 10 – 12 April 2018, for the 19 annual AIX. The leading event will host 500+ exhibiting companies, more than 1,200 airline buyers from 268 unique airlines and lessors and almost 14,000 visitors. Over 30 new exhibiting companies including 3D Systems, General Aerospace GmbH and Vanema will join longstanding exhibitors such as Acro, Boeing, Gogo, Haeco, Inmarsat, Molon Labe, Panasonic Avionics and Thales.

The week will commence with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on Monday 9 Apriland is set to examine the impact of futuristic travel trends on the air and rail industries. Visitors to the event will hear from speakers including Rosalyn Gough, Cabin Quality Product Manager at Thomas Cook Group Airlines, José Rui Marcelino Chief Executive Officer of Almadesign and Raymond Kollau Founder or AirlineTrends. The event will also feature breakout sessions exploring Convergence and Mobility, Sustainability and Flexibility and Personalizing the passenger journey, followed by the popular Industry Networking Party. This year will not only see AIX span a larger floor space, but introduce new and improved networking opportunities to ensure that attendees can easily initiate business discussions and maximize their time spent at the event.

Both visitors and exhibitors can enhance their show experience by using My Event on their mobile or desktop to build their own itinerary. The tool enables all attending AIX to create a personal list of must-see contacts and book meetings before and during the show, as well as tagging key products and CabinSpace Live sessions of interest. Visitors to this year’s show will also have the opportunity to hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on the aircraft cabin, consolidation and the interiors supply chain and the future of IFE, in the Cabin Space LIVE Seminar theatre.

Polly Magraw, Event Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo noted: “As AIX approaches its milestone 20th anniversary in 2019, the 2018 show illustrates how the event has evolved to become a platform for companies right across the passenger experience sector, and the world’s largest event dedicated to aircraft interiors. For the thousands of influential airline buyers who attend the show each year, AIX covers the full spectrum of aircraft interiors from cabin design innovations to in-flight entertainment and connectivity. This enables our exhibitors to generate highly-targeted business leads and network with the who’s who of the aircraft interiors industry. For visitors, AIX is the perfect place to connect with the entire supply.”

AIX returns to join the Passenger Experience Week line up, comprising four leading events in one destination – the Passenger Experience Conference, AIX, World Travel Catering and On Board Services Expo (WTCE) and new to 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions. The new event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience. With all Passenger Experience Week events being staged under one roof, the Hamburg Messe is the destination to discover the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and retail offerings to create the ultimate passenger experience.

For more information about the exposition please visit Aircraft Interiors Expo  Or contact  Nicola Powell at +44 (1) 07 790324869 – Nicola@pembrokecommunications.com


AIRBUS

Eric Chen, previously President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft China, succeeds Laurence Barron as Chairman of Airbus China. Simultaneously, George Xu has been appointed CEO of Airbus China. In his role as country head of Airbus China, Xu is responsible for all Airbus Commercial Aircraft activities and for leading the company’s Helicopters and Defence and Space businesses in China.


LUFTHANSA

Lufthansa InTouch, responsible for managing customer service across the Lufthansa Group, has again selected SITA to manage its service center communication network and key infrastructure elements, ensuring that more than 11-million customers are connected to service agents every year. SITA supports more than 500 local numbers in more than 90 markets, efficiently delivering traffic via a global IP network across seven service centers managed by a team of 2,230 staff speaking more than 30 languages. The service provided by SITA has transformed how customer calls to Lufthansa Group airlines are handled. A close integration between SITA’s global voice network and Lufthansa InTouch’s Genesys contact center platform, ensures a caller – regardless of their location – is automatically and directly routed to a consultant best equipped to meet their specific requirements. These calls are allocated according to the routing policies defined by SITA’s Unified Communications portfolio has allowed Lufthansa InTouch to consolidate voice, data and audio into one platform while effectively connecting the airline to its far-flung destinations.


SECURITY QUESTION/ANSWER

Recently, we asked a number of tech folks about their view of aircraft effectivity to some of the recent chip flaws – we wrote: “I am sure you all have seen this subject of related press releases on Intel chip issues that could make them susceptible to hacking. My question to you is: Can/will this affect aviation applications/boxes using Intel chips and do you see future industry involvement in searching for aviation hardware hacking issues around this chip design failure?” Now we know many of our readers might not be interested in techie dialog so we have a link here with the response from Jose Gonzalez (Galgus) and Mark Thompson (Thompson Aerospace). Security issues from everyday electronics can, and probably will, affect aircraft! Check out their responses


MORE STUFF

  • Part of the history of earphones and ear plugs has been the design of the electronic audio control and amplification chips used in them. Historically, they could be better and they now might be. The folks at Qualcomm have a new set of buds with the new chips called the QCC1500 that improves hearing and battery life…and was tested with aircraft engine sounds and should be out mid 2018 – Tiny new Bluetooth chip is a big revolution for high-tech headphones
  • Airbus CEO Tom Enders was chosen as Aviation Week 2017 Person of the Year – A good read

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