FlightPath3D Announces 500+ Installations | Royal Jordanian Expands SkyConnect W-IFE Services | Inmarsat Unveils Plans for ORCHESTRA | AIRFI and Basecare Vietnam Announce Partnership | Boeing Charitable Trust Donates to the American Red Cross | Other News

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FLIGHTPATH 3D

FlightPath3D announced  that they achieved over 500
installations in the first half of 2021 thanks to its availability on any device and any platform.

Duncan Jackson, FlightPath3D President, says, “Our suite of interactive travel applications, including our route map and smart travel guide, is driving the demand, especially with our best in class in-seat installations. We’re also seeing the move to a touchless cabin driving demand for our Wi-Fi streaming map that’s viewed on passengers’ own devices.”

Figure 1 – FlightPath3D Route Map Wi-Fi Streamed to Passenger’s Smart Phone

Jackson adds, “Thanks to our any device, any platform approach, our market-leading map, and travel applications, are available on any IFE architecture (seat-back, overhead, and Wi-Fi streaming) and on any OEM platform. We’re proud of the integration, certification, and joint sales efforts with all of our OEM partners, which include: Anuvu, Astronics, Burrana, Gogo, IDAIR, Immfly, Panasonic, Safran Passenger Solutions, and Thales.”

Figure 2 – FlightPath3D Moving Map Displayed on an In-Seat Monitor

Jackson continues, “Our airline partners greatly appreciate that we can integrate our map across their fleet of aircraft, regardless of the type of IFE system installed, ensuring fleet commonality and enhancing their passengers’ inflight experience.”

FlightPath3D CEO, Boris Veksler, says, “We’ve been busy creating new applications that help passengers find flights, routes, and destinations based on personal profiles and their experience desires. We’re well on track to surpassing our target of 4,000 aircraft installs by the end of
2021.”

Veksler adds, “We’re excited to see these products enter service in the next few months with several airlines and airports. More news about that to come shortly.”


BLUEBOX
Royal Jordanian, Jordan’s national flag carrier, has expanded their “SkyConnect” wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) service to its Embraer E175 and E195 aircraft. Originally launched in 2019 with a deployment of Bluebox Wow on its Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft, the expansion occurred in conjunction with several enhancements from Bluebox, through which Royal Jordanian has received upgraded Bluebox Wow boxes across the fleet, a refresh to the passenger interface, and conversion to app-free DRM content delivery, which removed a previous requirement for passengers to download an app prior to flights in order to access “SkyConnect” on board.

Given the flexible route pattern served by Royal Jordanian’s fleet, with some aircraft flying a mix of long- and short-haul routes, Bluebox has also introduced new functionality to the crew management tool, giving RJ cabin crew the ability to select different content sets, depending on the flight length. Restricting the content provided on short-haul flights to more appropriate short-form content (i.e. no long movies) will help the airline save content licencing costs.

Royal Jordanian Vice Chairman & CEO, Samer Majali said: “The addition of Bluebox’s wireless IFE solution to our Airbus fleet proved very quickly to be a valuable service enhancement enjoyed by our passengers, and so we wanted to expand this to our passengers flying on our Embraer aircraft as well – ensuring that wherever our passengers are flying they have access to our “SkyConnect” service. The flexibility of Bluebox Wow – and the excellent support we’ve had from Bluebox – has helped us ensure that as we emerge from the pandemic, our passengers will return to a rich in-flight experience and we’re making the most effective use of W-IFE on board.”

“When we first deployed Bluebox Wow on Royal Jordanian’s Airbus aircraft, we’d said it was a natural fit,” said Kevin Clark, CEO, Bluebox. “The fact that we’ve now extended the service to RJ’s Embraer fleet flying shorter routes demonstrates the flexibility of Bluebox Wow – and the ability of our team – to serve different requirements and to continually enhance the value of our solution for our customers.”

Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and other digital content. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit stowed securely in overhead bins.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future. In the largest ever transformation of its current world-class services, Inmarsat ORCHESTRA will bring together existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G into an integrated, high-performance solution.

Whether for a ship in a crowded port, an aircraft preparing to land at LAX, or a defense force deployed in a remote location, ORCHESTRA is designed to meet evolving connectivity needs in the mobility market with a service unmatched by any competitor offering, planned or in existence.

“An orchestra brings different instruments together, each supporting the other and playing its role in the masterpiece. We’re building ORCHESTRA on the same concept,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat. “By combining the distinct qualities of GEO, LEO and 5G into a single network, we will deliver a service that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Our customers will benefit from dramatically expanded high throughput services around the world. This is the future of connectivity and Inmarsat is perfectly positioned to bring it to the world with its proven technology expertise, right base of customers and partners, and financial strength.”

ORCHESTRA will open up a host of new and previously unattainable possibilities for industries across the world. New services include close-shore navigation for autonomous vessels, next-generation emergency safety services for maritime crews, secure and tactical private networks for governments and direct-to-cloud connections for airlines. New segments set to benefit from ORCHESTRA include energy rigs and drilling platforms, mid-market business aircraft, coastal vessels, smart passenger ships and urban air mobility.

ORCHESTRA is unique because it draws together the benefits of multiple technologies to create one cohesive solution. LEO, GEO and terrestrial networks have never been combined at scale before to create a unified connectivity service for mobility customers. The result is a ‘dynamic mesh network’ that will deliver high-performance connectivity everywhere. Bringing together the lowest average latency and fastest average speeds with unique resilience, ORCHESTRA will eliminate the industry-wide challenge of congested network ‘hot spots’.

Inmarsat’s existing GEO satellites – both GX and L-band – will continue to provide global coverage, high performance, security and resilience. Terrestrial 5G adds ultra-high capacity in busy ‘hot spots’, such as ports, airports, and sea canals. A small constellation of LEO satellites will layer additional high capacity over further high-demand areas such as oceanic flight corridors. As a result, the network will offer the highest capacity for mobility users worldwide, and at ‘hot spots’.

The network will benefit from ‘dynamic mesh’ technology, which allows individual customer terminals to direct traffic to and from other customer terminals. This means that a ship within reach of a 5G ground station can receive ample capacity for its own needs as well as route capacity onwards to other vessels beyond terrestrial reach. This effectively creates a mobile web of terminals that extend the network’s reach and improve its performance and resilience.

“ORCHESTRA ensures Inmarsat is well positioned to deliver long-term, profitable growth by delivering new services to existing customers, targeting near-adjacent market segments, and maintaining a strong competitive position,” said Suri. “We have a record of adopting the right technology at the right time. We plan to focus initially on delivering the ORCHESTRA terrestrial network, while preparing for a future LEO constellation in the range of 150-175 satellites. This is a highly cost-effective approach that leverages Inmarsat’s leading GEO satellite networks as part of ORCHESTRA’s unique multi-layer architecture.”

The new approach means that Inmarsat can easily boost capacity in high-density areas such as ports and airports, ensuring customer needs continue to be met well into the future with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements. The initial five-year (2021-2026) total investment for ORCHESTRA is expected to be in the order of $100m.


AIRFI.AERO

The latest in a series of strategic alliances supports AirFi’s expansion in Southeast Asia and underscores the company’s commitment to providing global expertise with local support to airline customers.

AirFi, the leading provider of portable wireless inflight entertainment and onboard ancillary revenue solutions to the airline sector, and Basecare Vietnam, a Hanoi-based consultancy specializing in cabin interiors and technologies, have today announced a new partnership that will accelerate the rollout of AirFi’s digital cabin solutions across more airlines in Vietnam.

Effective from July 2021, Basecare Vietnam will operate as AirFi Vietnam and becomes the exclusive sales representative of AirFi solutions to airlines in the country, which is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and home to a flurry of start-up activity in aviation. AirFi Vietnam is the fifth strategic regional representative for AirFi, following the successful introduction of AirFi Indonesia, AirFi America, AirFi Korea, and AirFi Romania. Each local representative brings valuable regional expertise, advice, and service not only to AirFi’s customers but also to other airlines in the region.

Under the new strategic alliance, Basecare Vietnam (AirFi Vietnam) will act as vendor for AirFi’s inflight entertainment and ancillary revenue solutions and will also draw on deep knowledge of local business practice, consumer habits, and many years of experience in airline start-ups to optimize UX, content and retail offerings, as well as supporting system monetization and enabling zero capex deployment for qualified airlines.

“I’m thrilled to announce the signing of this strategic alliance with AirFi for the benefit of all of Vietnam’s Airlines,” commented Clarence Phua, Director of Customer Service at Basecare Vietnam. “The Vietnamese sky is brimming with fleets of Boeing and Airbus aircraft, all of which are perfectly suited for AirFi’s wireless streaming solutions. We believe the AirFi portfolio is truly the market’s leading array of portable inflight entertainment, ancillary revenue and connected crew ePOS solutions.”

Commenting on the partnership, Vimal Kumar Rai, AirFi EVP Global Sales and Marketing said: “The magic of selling onboard is all about curating a mix of products and services that are timely and relevant to the passenger. The local representation and regional expertise of our in-country representatives helps AirFi develop culturally intuitive and engaging passenger experiences through customized onboard retail offerings while streamlining crew operations and otherwise maximising the profitability of the AirFi system. Basecare Vietnam is the ideal partner to help localize our offerings and optimize ancillary revenues for our partners in the region.


BOEING

The Boeing Company announced a €500,000 donation from the Boeing Charitable Trust to the American Red Cross to assist with flood relief efforts in Germany. Funds will be deployed by the German Red Cross to provide emergency power, distribute emergency relief supplies, improve communication infrastructure and mobilize medical care, first aid and rescue services to the hardest hit areas in the region.

“Our hearts go out to all of the people of Germany who have been impacted by these devastating floods,” said Marc Allen, Boeing’s chief strategy officer, senior vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development and interim leader of Government Operations. “Through our partnership with the American Red Cross and German Red Cross, we are working quickly to bring much-needed emergency funding to communities hit hardest by these recent events. Germany is an important partner to both the U.S. and to Boeing, and we hope that this emergency assistance package provides some level of relief during these difficult times.”

“Boeing has a strong relationship with Germany and we feel that it is our responsibility to stand at the side of the German people in these exceptional circumstances,” added Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany.

In the aftermath of the severe flooding, hundreds of people have lost their lives and the property loss is estimated to be in the billions. More than 3,000 German Red Cross workers are providing assistance in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate. The work is only just beginning, and the Red Cross will continue to provide assistance in the months to come.

“The American Red Cross is grateful for partners like Boeing for stepping up during these unprecedented times,” said Koby Langley, senior vice president of International Services for the American Red Cross. “Boeing’s contribution supports the Red Cross efforts to help communities affected by flooding in Germany. We are deeply grateful for their generous support during this challenging time.”

Boeing continues to monitor the situation and is in regular communication with its 1,000 employees in Germany. All Boeing facilities in Germany are currently operating normally.


OTHER NEWS

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