Singapore, APEX EXPO | October 25, 2016–
PXCom officially launches its Digital Inflight Ad-Serving solution called AirSAS at APEX EXPO 2016, and unveils the first KPIs
AirSAS enables brands to roll out their digital campaign throughout the IFE, without any required connectivity or bandwidth consumption, disrupting in- flight legacy advertising.
Until now, brands who wanted to reach the traveller during their flight had only the choice between paper inflight mag, global pre-roll videos, stickers… Whilst traditional advertising budgets are continuously tightening, digital budgets remain on a fast growing trend.
PXCom and its media sales partner, IMM International, decided to bring to the air industry an effective tool enabling airlines to tap into this growing gold mine, creating AirSAS.
The ultimate inflight digital ad-serving solution
Designed for both seatback screens and w-IFE, AirSAS is formed of several software modules: a back-office cloud suite, a dedicated IFE ad-server, and a reporting module.
The back-office encompasses campaigns management for both brands (from creation to reports edition), and airlines (enabling advertisers selection as well as self-promotion). Once created, the digital campaigns are either sent to PXCom’s IFE ad-serving module or to other connected IFE ad-servers developed by the IFE manufacturers themselves. The upload operation is conducted when the aircraft are on the ground. During the flight the ad-server rolls out the campaigns according to their management rules, and the gathered data are offloaded once the aircraft are back on the ground. Then the reporting module aggregates all the gathered data in order to update the campaigns.
“AirSAS offers the state-of-the-art features that can be found on the most accurate web/mobile ad-servers, enabling full targeting and rules management capabilities”, says Cyril JEAN, PXCom’s CEO. “However, some IFE systems already offer some digital advertising opportunities, even if they are not comprehensive. Since we are platform agnostic, in such case, we recommend to proceed step by step, and connect our back office as a good starting point. Then, on a second step, we can schedule a full integration of AirSAS into the IFE. Our ultimate goal is to enable brands to target passengers and no longer airlines. This involves a great shift of mind from the industry!”
First results and live update
Prior to launch AirSAS officially, PXCom has conducted some tests within its interactive destination guides for IFEC, measuring all the relevant KPIs, among them:
- An average of 23% of w-IFE users go to Destination Guides section
- 89% spend more than 11 minutes on a destination guide
- 16 minutes of average browsing time for a 2-hour flight / 28 minutes for a 4-hour flight.
- Top 3 sections are: Do&See (37%), Bars & Nightlife (14%), Restaurants (13%)
(Full results will be available online during the expo).
Full AirSAS solution is currently onboarding on its first airlines, with operational live report which updates the results between every 3 and 24 hours according to the considered airline and flight length. Stay tuned!
“The loop is now seamless and fully operational”, comments Cyril JEAN. “With a growing number of advertisers, the next step for AirSAS is the yield management feature, enabling automatic selection of the most profitable campaigns. With such a qualified audience, airline industry can easily avoid the digital pitfalls that has been digged by the real time biding (RTB) on the web & mobile.”
PXCom exhibits on #1120 at APEX Expo 2016.
- High performance 8-core airborne server easily handles increased broadband connectivity needs while supporting enhanced flight operations capabilities
Augsburg, Germany | October 24, 2016– Kontron, a leading global provider of Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), today added the advanced performance 8-core ACE Flight 4608 to the company’s industry leading general purpose airborne server product line. Bringing datacentre-grade performance to commercial aircraft, the Kontron ACE Flight 4608 is a complete, highly integrated application-ready platform specifically designed to meet sophisticated communication application requirements. The powerful Kontron ACE Flight 4608 offers an optimal server platform for a comprehensive range of flight information systems including crew and passenger web servers, flight maintenance or manifest servers, connectivity server, wireless content server, In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) servers, and virtualization of software.
The Kontron ACE Flight 4608 integrates the Intel® Xeon® processor D-1539 (1.6 GHz) and includes 32 gigabytes (GB) of ECC DDR4 memory and up to 1.6 terabytes (TB) of fixed SATA SSD storage and two removable SDDs with up to 1.6TB of storage each. It supports extensive connectivity and bandwidth with features including a dual 4G/LTE modem for global access, an L2/L3 managed Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Switch with 10x GbE Ports, 6 Rx (fixed), 1 Tx/Rx (Configurable) ARINC 429 channels and 2x Coax antenna connections for diversity. Its rugged 4MCU air flow-through design meets harsh environmental aircraft requirements in a low power and lightweight unit.
“The ACE Flight 4608 makes the connected aircraft of the future a reality today. With it, developers can solve a broad range of computing issues with a single platform solution that supports virtualization,” Kontron Head of the Avionics Business Line, Jim VandeSteeg. “Not only does it satisfy increased demands for satellite and broadband-based connectivity services onboard, it can also support real-time data sharing with ground personnel including advanced capabilities such as data analytics and fast video transfers.”
Kontron will showcase the company’s complete line of ultra-rugged computing platforms designed for commercial aviation market at the APEX Expo in Singapore, October 24-27, Kontron booth #1942, For more information on Kontron’s advanced commercial avionics IFE&C solutions, please visit: http://www.kontron.com/industries/avionics
APEX EXPO, Singapore | October 24, 2016– STG Aerospace is delighted to announce that its latest saf-Tglo® blu photoluminescent floorpath marking system has won the prestigious APEX Award for Best Cabin Innovation at the 2016 APEX Awards ceremony.
The ceremony was held during the APEX EXPO 2016 at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on 24th October 2016 and was judged by a panel of industry peers including APEX members from airlines, hardware and software companies, distributors, aircraft manufacturers and media. The APEX EXPO is the premier venue for airlines and vendors to showcase new products and innovations that will improve the airline cabin environment and enhance the air travel experience.
saf-Tglo blu® is the world’s first blue glowing photoluminescent floor path marking system, based on the proven technology of the original industry leading saf-Tglo® range. For the first time ever airlines and aircraft cabin designers can introduce an alternative glowing colour within the cabin interior, harmonizing perfectly with the latest LED mood lighting interiors. Whilst obviously a significant visual enhancement, the origins of the product are actually based in science and specifically the results of human perception analysis. These show that the blue wavelengths of emitted light enable enhanced passenger perception of the emergency track with a dark adapted human eye.
Having won the prestigious award for Best Cabin Innovation, competing with finalists American Airlines and Virgin Australia, STG Aerospace was also a finalist in the Best Passenger Comfort Innovation category for its new, patented square-light beam LED reading light.
Nigel Duncan, STG Aerospace’s Chief Executive, commented:
“Winning an APEX Best Cabin Innovation award underlines our commitment to stand out as leaders in cabin lighting innovation, with the goal of improving the passenger experience by enhancing cabin aesthetics whilst offering beautiful solutions that reduce operational and maintenance costs.”
The elite list of companies that won APEX awards in other categories includes American Airlines, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Reaktor and Air Canada.
- digEcor’s GLIDE platform with partner IFPL deliver fully integrated USB in-seat power solution
APEX EXPO, Singapore | October 25, 2016– Mirus Aircraft seating have selected digEcor to provide in-seat USB power for its new Hawk lightweight seat. In conjunction with our partner IFPL, a global leader in IFEC peripherals and leading industrial designer and by working closely with the Mirus engineering team we were able to deliver a system that maximises the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly design the USB outlet into the actual seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom.
This USB power sub-system of GLIDE will make its debut with the Hawk seat as part Mirus’ significant launch contract announced at AIX Hamburg 2016 on linefit A320NEO delivery on the first of close to 300 aircraft beginning 2017 in a supply contract spanning at least a decade.
GLIDE has been certified and is in revenue service today, and was designed specifically to reduce components, weight and cost. The in-house innovation at digEcor and IFPL translated into exactly what Mirus had in mind. To consolidate the number of components used, strengthen the efficiency and reliability across the supply chain and reduce the overall cost of delivery and maintenance.
The seat box fits within the seat pan itself, raising the seat box from the floor where traditionally passenger comfort was marginalized with large inconvenient seat boxes. The solution only requires three components, the high power USB outlet, the seat box and power supply unit. In the Hawk seat, each passenger will be able to charge and power their personal devices in flight.
Phil Hall, CEO at Mirus states, “digEcor and IFPL have done a fantastic job in helping to develop an elegant, fully integrated USB solution that delivers full functionality within an extremely tight envelope. We are proud to work closely with digEcor and IFPL, who like ourselves are not afraid to bring something new and innovative to the market.”
“We’re very proud to have been selected for this program and of our contribution to the innovative Mirus Hawk seat. This is a significant milestone for our business as we continue to deliver our game changing Integrated Flight Experience portfolio across IFE and Cabin Technology” comments David Withers, Chief Executive of digEcor.
“The innovative and open approach of Mirus, digEcor and IFPL has enabled a step change in the integration of peripherals into the seat. This solution demonstrates that ergonomics and aesthetics do not have to be compromised to deliver a low cost, low weight integrated solution. In fact, it provides a significant enhancement to the passenger experience and competitive advantage to an airline” states David Thomas, VP Business Development at IFPL.
digEcor IFE – Integrated Flight Experience is the only fully integrated system by a single vendor in the market including entertainment, power, cabin lighting and passenger services. A low- cost, flexible solution for airlines to improve customer experiences, operational efficiency and drive ancillary revenue. Modular in design, the portfolio products stand alone or integrate as parts or whole enabling all airlines to create extraordinary travel experiences for their passengers.
- Easy-to-use mobile service gives airline increased access to mobile-savvy passenger market
New Delhi, India | October 24, 2016– Air India has launched a completely new app to its more than 18-million passengers which will take the user experience to a new level. Built by global technology provider SITA using its state-of-the art mobile platform, the app makes it even easier for passengers to book, check-in and manage every aspect of their journey from their mobile device.
Air India’s new app meets the growing demand for mobile services in India and supports the airline’s drive to increase direct consumer booking – both domestically and internationally. Today more than one billion Indians use a mobile phone. Of these, more than 300 million regularly use them to access the Internet, a trend that is expected to grow by 56% per year.
Built on SITA’s iTravel® platform, the Air India app offers the ability to book and pay for a flight by quickly and securely scanning both your passport and credit card. Passengers can fully manage their booking from their mobile device, including selecting their seat, making changes to their itinerary, buying additional services, choosing their meal and checking in. The app has also been integrated with Air India’s Flying Returns loyalty program where passengers can securely access details of points earned or other updates to their accounts.
Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD of Air India, said: “Mobile apps are becoming an important tool for making travel bookings by passengers who are tech-savvy and like to access information on the go. This mobile app provides Air India the right tool to access a growing passenger market that is connected both in India and beyond. The new app, developed by SITA, provides an elevated mobile experience where passengers can easily manage every step of their journey on their phone or tablet no matter where they are.”
The new mobile service will be available on Android, iOS and Windows. This means at check-in, passengers can choose to receive their boarding pass on their phone or smartwatch. At the airport, passengers will receive regular updates on their flights and can use the app for mobile boarding.
Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA’s Vice President for India and Subcontinent, said: “What makes SITA’s iTravel® app really valuable to airlines is that it allows them to have an app that meets their specific requirements. We have worked alongside Air India over the past few years, supporting their passenger management and distribution at every step. This new app is an extension of that relationship, delivering a great experience to their passengers and opening up new opportunities in the fast-changing market here in India.”
iTravel is part of SITA’s Horizon® Passenger Management & Distribution solution used by Air India since 2010 to manage every aspect of its passenger operation from reservations, departure control services, ticketing, ecommerce, loyalty as well as fares and revenue integrity.
View a video showing all the new features of the new Air India app by clicking here
Endicott, New York | October 24, 2016– BAE Systems today announced it is bringing the IntelliCabin® In-Seat Power solution to Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The system makes 110vAC and USB charging capability available to every seat on the aircraft by delivering versatile power solutions to passengers with a smaller in-seat installation footprint than other competing solutions. Virgin Australia will install the system on one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft for a trial period to gauge customer demand across its network.
“Providing access to AC outlets gives passengers charging flexibility as USB ports advance and change,” said Jared Shoemaker, director of Cabin Systems at BAE Systems. “Our decades-long legacy of excellence in power management has allowed our In-seat Power Solution to be very robust with a smaller footprint. Our system provides power to every seat without impeding passenger legroom.”
“We are excited to partner with BAE Systems for this trial to provide an inflight charging solution to our guests to support our popular wireless inflight entertainment system. This will also help us define the future of our inflight product as we evaluate enhancements and fleet updates,” said Virgin Australia Head of Product Development Ben Asmar. “The IntelliCabin In-Seat Power solution is attractive due to its power demand monitoring, which ensures all guests have power when they need it most. The small under-seat footprint of the solution ensures we don’t compromise on guest comfort.”
BAE Systems will develop the supplemental type certificate for the Boeing 737-800, with entry into service slated for the second quarter of 2017. The system combines both alternating current (AC) and high powered USB outlets to provide maximum flexibility for passengers. Current in-seat power systems are typically mounted at the seat, with power converters taking up passenger legroom, luggage space, or both. Because the IntelliCabin system employs a centralized power converter with small Smart Junction Boxes that fit into conventional airline seats, this issue is eliminated. The system is configurable to provide as much power as needed across the cabin.
Development and production will take place at BAE Systems’ locations in Endicott, New York and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Lake Forest, CA | October 24, 2016– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and Flight Level Media (FLM) have today announced the signing of an exclusive multi-year partnership to offer a suite of complimentary in-flight social media applications.
Building on a trusted two-year partnership, Panasonic and FLM are launching a Facebook infight posting app that will enable passengers to post unlimited one-directional free messages throughout a flight.
Messages will include real-time flight data showing the aircraft’s altitude, type, air-speed and other flight-specific information. Each message – both on and off aircraft – will also contain promotional and advertising opportunities with click-through capabilities including “opt in” data capture fields.
The initial launch will be followed by applications for Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Scott Scheer, Director, eXTV & Ancillary Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation said: “We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with Flight Level Media. They have a great record of delivering new and engaging experiences that take advantage of connectivity.
“This extended partnership acknowledges the continued strong demand for specific and unique social media experiences in flight.”
Dan Callahan, CEO, Flight Level Media adds: “We are delighted to grow our relationship with Panasonic, a world-class inflight entertainment and connectivity provider. This joint product offering connects the inflight audience, their social media networks and media buyers in a new, easy to use and fun way.
“With our significant experience in airline operations, media sales and application development, FLM understands the importance of data-driven solutions that address many of the challenges associated with in-flight media while simultaneously enhancing the customer experience.
Panasonic and FLM’s relationship began in 2014 with the joint launch of the Postcards from the Plane product on Lufthansa’s FlyNet equipped aircraft.
- Honeywell is set to supply airlines and business aviation operators with new SwiftBroadband-Safety solution for improved safety and operations
United Kingdom | October 24, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced its intention to appoint Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) as a global distribution partner for its next generation SwiftBroadband-Safety aviation service.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the two companies, with Honeywell set to provide commercial airlines and business aviation operators throughout the world with SwiftBroadband-Safety, an advanced new service from Inmarsat that will transform cockpit and aircraft operations through the use of secure broadband connectivity.
SwiftBroadband-Safety utilises secure IP-based broadband connectivity that far exceeds the capabilities of other alternatives in the market and represents a paradigm shift in the advancement of aviation safety services. The ‘always on and always secure’ solution enables a range of breakthrough aviation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.
It also enables air traffic management modernisation programmes throughout the world and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including global flight tracking, by offering reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS).
SwiftBroadband-Safety hardware is available for initial retrofit installation on existing aircraft today and will become a standard option on new aircraft deliveries from 2018. The service builds on Inmarsat’s reputation as a provider of high-quality voice and data service to 95% of the world’s trans-oceanic aircraft fleet.
Inmarsat’s MoU with Honeywell marks the latest expansion of a successful partnership between both companies. Honeywell currently works with Value Added Resellers to provide the business aviation market with Inmarsat’s Classic Aero safety services and will now be able to provide migration options for existing customers to SwiftBroadband-Safety.
It also provides the business aviation market with access to Inmarsat’s current in-flight broadband service for private jet passengers, SwiftBroadband, and its next generation offering, JetConneX. In addition, Honeywell’s JetWave system is the exclusive hardware that connects to Inmarsat’s new GX for Aviation Ka-band broadband solution for passengers.
Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “Honeywell is a formidable powerhouse in both the commercial and business aviation markets, and an innovator in in-flight safety equipment that is embracing the exciting new possibilities that cockpit IP services offer. We are delighted to build on our successful partnership and look forward to welcoming them as a distribution partner for SwiftBroadband-Safety, an advanced new service that enables commercial airlines and business aviation operators to fly with greater efficiency, reliability and capacity at a lower cost.
“The world’s aircraft fleet is expected to double by 2035, and substantial advancements in technology are introducing exciting new possibilities when it comes to safety and navigation. SwiftBroadband-Safety will deliver significant benefits for both the commercial airline and business aviation markets. The higher levels of efficiency, reliability and increased capacity provided by SwiftBroadband-Safety will also optimise cost control for airlines, while business aviation users utilise its applications to increase passenger comfort and maximise efficiency.”
John Peterson, Director of Marketing and Product Management at Honeywell Aerospace, said: “Honeywell has a long history of working with Inmarsat to provide connectivity solutions from the cockpit to the cabin for air transport and business aviation. SwiftBroadband-Safety is a great addition to Honeywell’s GoDirect services portfolio as we anticipate strong demand in safety services from commercial airline and business aviation markets across the world.”
- MoU announced for Satcom Direct to supply aviation operators with an advanced broadband solution for cockpit and aircraft operations
United Kingdom | October 24, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to appoint Satcom Direct (SD) as a global distribution partner for its next generation SwiftBroadband-Safety aviation service.
A pre-agreement between the two companies has outlined the intention for Satcom Direct to supply aviation operators worldwide with SwiftBroadband-Safety, an advanced new service from Inmarsat that will transform cockpit and aircraft operations.
SwiftBroadband-Safety represents a paradigm shift in the advancement of aviation safety services by utilising secure IP-based broadband connectivity that far exceeds the capabilities of other alternatives in the market. The ‘always on and always secure’ solution enables a range of breakthrough aviation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.
It also enables air traffic management modernisation programmes throughout the world and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including global flight tracking, by offering reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS).
SwiftBroadband-Safety hardware is available for initial retrofit installation on existing aircraft today and will become a standard option on new aircraft deliveries from 2018. The service builds on Inmarsat’s reputation as a provider of high-quality voice and data service to 95% of the world’s trans-oceanic aircraft fleet.
Inmarsat’s MoU with Satcom Direct marks the latest expansion of a successful partnership between both companies. Satcom Direct currently provides the business aviation market with Inmarsat’s Classic Aero safety services and will now be able to provide migration options for existing customers to SwiftBroadband-Safety. It also provides the business aviation market with access to Inmarsat’s current in-flight broadband service for private jet passengers, SwiftBroadband, and its next generation offering, JetConneX.
Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “SwiftBroadband-Safety combines the advantages of broadband connectivity with the proven, extremely reliable L-band spectrum to set a new standard in aviation safety. It offers greater efficiency, reliability and capacity to the cockpit at a lower cost per bit than our trusted Classic Aero service, reflecting Inmarsat’s commitment to delivering the best safety services to commercial airlines and business aviation operators.
“SwiftBroadband-Safety has received a lot of industry support, underscored by its recent selection by Airbus for its A320 and A330 aircraft families, and successful ongoing evaluations by Hawaiian Airlines. Other airlines are also excited and have been asking us how to enable these advanced capabilities. The global aviation industry benefits from embracing new standards and, along with our partner network, we will deliver. We look forward to welcoming Satcom Direct as a distribution partner. They are an agile, innovative player that will now apply their impressive sales experience in the business and general aviation markets to selling SwiftBroadband-Safety to commercial airlines and business aviation operators.”
Chris Moore, Chief Commercial Officer at Satcom Direct, said: “Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety delivers unparalleled safety communication services to commercial airlines and the business aviation community worldwide. The next generation platform’s flexibility opens up a vast amount of possibilities in terms of how customers can optimise their cockpit and aircraft operations. As a result, we can provide our customers with the most cutting-edge technology in the business, while continuing to provide unrivalled customer care and significant value-add.”
- Airline chooses global Wi-Fi system and world’s leading inflight entertainment system
Singapore | October 24, 2016– Air Tahiti Nui, the French airline flying from Tahiti, has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to equip its Boeing 787s with global connectivity and industry-leading inflight entertainment (IFE) systems.
Air Tahiti Nui will equip four of its Boeing 787-9s with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service as well as its eX3 IFE system. The platform will offer passengers a high-definition screen and the latest advances in IFE together with an advanced broadband service through eXConnect.
Panasonic’s eXConnect operates over the company’s Ku-band satellite network – the only global broadband inflight connectivity service in operation today. The technology will guarantee that Air Tahiti flyers receive a unique on-board experience enabling them to send emails, access the Internet and social media channels.
Paul Margis, Chief Executive Officer at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Air Tahiti Nui again. Our eX3 system provides an industry leading entertainment experience and, when combined with our powerful broadband Wi-Fi, delivers a premium service to passengers traveling across the world.”
Michel Monvoisin, Chief Executive Officer at Air Tahiti Nui, adds: “Our service covers a network of long haul routes. It is important that our cabins help not only create an appeasing atmosphere, but also immerse passengers in the beauty of our islands. We needed a solution that could truly serve our passenger demands for a reliable IFE system combined with broadband service. With the help of Panasonic Avionics, we are certain to offer clients an incredible entertainment experience with high-speed connectivity services that will keep them connected while traveling.”
- Inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity to be equipped across its fleet of A350s and 787s
Singapore | October 24, 2016– China Eastern Airlines has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) industry-leading eX3 inflight entertainment (IFE) system and Wi-Fi connectivity service for its fleet of 35 new A350s and 787 aircraft.
China Eastern Airlines, in partnership with China Telecom Satellite, was the first Chinese carrier to offer Panasonic’s global Wi-Fi service on domestic flights and has already begun offering broadband communications on its international routes.
With this latest award, China Eastern Airlines’ entire wide body fleet will be equipped with Panasonic’s high-speed communications service.
Panasonic’s Global Communications Services are available across China and on over 99.6 percent of all air traffic routes. It is the only global, broadband inflight connectivity service operating in every country in the world today. The service will permit China Eastern passengers to be fully connected while traveling.
Paul Margis, Chief Executive Officer at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Panasonic remains the only global connectivity provider operating over China today, so we’re delighted to further strength our relationship with China Eastern Airlines through our third partnership agreement together. Panasonic continues to invest in developing reliable broadband Wi-Fi solutions that meet the increasing demand from passengers to be connected across the globe.”
Xulun Ma, Chief Executive Officer, China Eastern Airlines, adds: “China Eastern Airlines understands the needs of our customers for a premium inflight experience. Our partnership with Panasonic has proved extremely successful and we look forward to continue strengthening our relationship with Panasonic Avionics.”
Panasonic Avionics’ eXConnect uses the company’s global Ku-band satellite network to deliver broadband connectivity to aircraft flying all over the world – even over oceans.
- New Industry Ratings System Will Provide Valuable Passenger Insights to Airlines
New York | October 25, 2016– The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) today announced a partnership with TripIt® from Concur® that will help APEX launch its Official Airline RatingsTM program. This innovative industry program will gather passenger feedback based on travel itineraries and will provide an audited third-party analysis of the insights gathered. APEX will then share the feedback with its member airlines and honor the highest-rated airlines each year.
Serving nearly every major airline as the only non-profit membership trade association dedicated to improving passenger experience, APEX designed this program to provide the airline industry with a new way to measure the quality of a passenger’s experience. By partnering with TripIt, it also gives travelers an opportunity to provide feedback that will help shape future in-flight experiences.
“Mobile apps serve as the number one source of engagement during travel and after a flight. With a strong base of more than 13 million travelers worldwide, TripIt is a service that helps passengers keep their travel plans organized regardless of the airline they fly, making it the perfect partner to help us launch the Official Airline Ratings program,” said APEX CEO, Joe Leader. “APEX member airlines will be able to use the targeted, objective, and anonymous insights provided by the Official Airline Ratings to create an elevated personalized passenger experience.”
Through this partnership, travelers who use the TripIt mobile app will have the opportunity to provide anonymous feedback on their flight. Using a five-star scale, passengers will be able to rate their overall flight experience, along with five subcategories: seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment, and Wi-Fi. This feedback will then be analyzed by a third-party auditing service and used as the basis for the airline’s Official Airline Ratings. In addition, APEX airline members will receive exclusive access to the anonymous feedback provided by the airline’s passengers, which can be used to curate best practices and improve in-flight experiences for travelers.
“By partnering with APEX to provide the airline industry with the information it needs to make meaningful decisions about the passenger experience, we’re also giving travelers a bigger say in those decisions,” said Jugdeep Bal, Concur’s senior director of business development for TripIt.
The initial ratings period for the Official Airline Ratings will open in the coming weeks and will continue through July 2017. The airlines awarded four and five stars will be announced in September 2017 at APEX EXPO in Long Beach, California.
Additionally, APEX will be elevating the highly anticipated Passenger Choice Awards by using insights derived from the passengers’ ratings of their in-flight features to help determine the 2017 award winners. Airlines will be honored for outstanding performance in five categories: cabin service, seat comfort, food and beverage, entertainment, and Wi-Fi. Awards will also be presented to the best in region and the top airline in the world will be given the top award: Best in Passenger Experience.
For more information on APEX or the About TripIt Official Airline Ratings program, visit apex.aero or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on how TripIt delights more than 13 million travelers worldwide, visit www.tripit.com.
- Airlines now have even more flexibility in providing inflight entertainment
Raunheim, Germany | October 24, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it is expanding its partner network for the BoardConnect inflight entertainment platform. Airlines can now choose from a wide range of well-known partners in the fields of entertainment, infotainment and ancillary revenues. Growing competition is forcing airlines to set themselves apart from their competitors. Inflight entertainment is an important area in which to do this. Thanks to its open software architecture, BoardConnect from Lufthansa Systems offers tremendous flexibility, so partner offers can be easily integrated into the platform.
“Our large partner network enables airlines to customize their inflight entertainment platform. This means they can tailor their offer to the needs of their target group, which ensures satisfied passengers and brings in additional revenues for the airline,” said Norbert Müller, Senior Vice President BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems.
Lufthansa Systems and Touch Inflight Solutions are pleased to announce the appointment of Touch as Lufthansa Systems’ preferred content service provider for its content streaming services. The focus of the partnership is to provide individual services to airlines and fleets without IFE as well as to low cost carriers. With this partnership, Lufthansa Systems is able to offer a one-stop IFEC shop for its aviation customers, including a content offer that adapts to customer needs.
“We are able to provide a compelling end-to-end solution that includes affordable and rapidly deployed hardware, effective content options and management all the way up to technical and operational support” said Müller. As part of the deal, Touch will develop a customized content solution for BoardConnect clients. “We work closely together with Lufthansa Systems and the distributors to be able to fulfill the needs of Lufthansa Systems and its customers” said Joe Carreira, Managing Director for Touch.’’
In the area of music entertainment, Lufthansa Systems is cooperating with Napster. Passengers can use editorially prepared playlists from the music catalogue on board of the aircraft. On the ground, Napster provides all passengers with an exclusive offer that allows them to use the content anywhere as a regular customer. Companies such as Waves, Fraunhofer and 3D Sound Solutions ensure high sound quality and variation in the audio program.
Passengers can also enjoy engaging HTML5 games from G.U.E. Tech as well as high quality digital magazines from Media Carrier or Zinio. Bulls Press offers a great variety of information about celebrities, royals, fashion and style, traveling, lifestyle, food and art as well as kids content like puzzles, comics, eLearning or eBooks. Part of our new content offering is The QYOU, which provides half-hour and hour long shows targeting older millennials, made from stunning short videos curated from the world wide web. The partner for licensing of Hollywood movies, TV series and local content is Touch.
One new infotainment feature is GoGobot, an application that provides high-quality individual recommendations for a passenger’s destination based on personal preferences. A Look At Media produces “destination-specific” videos that allows passengers to explore the city they are flying to, before they even land. Passengers can learn about excursions, restaurants and shopping areas, as well as nightlife and entertainment. Airport Guides from Airguide provide arrival information, such as gates, shops and restaurants at the airport.
With Epteca, a new partner in the field of ancillary revenues, airlines can show their passengers individualized information from the time they start researching a trip, through the booking process, all the way to the journey itself. Ancillary revenues are passenger services that bring in additional revenue for both the airlines and their partners. Besides booking options for hotels, tourist attractions and tickets, this includes new and enhanced advertising opportunities.
BoardConnect and collaborations with partners such as Gruner + Jahr enable the high-quality integration of advertisement into the digital inflight entertainment program. Other Lufthansa Systems partners include PXCom and RIM, who explore new horizons with destination information and on-board sale.
The BoardConnect platform is flexible to install and use as well. Thanks to streaming technology, passengers can stream entertainment content with their own tablets or smartphones during a flight. Along with BoardConnect, which is permanently installed in an aircraft, Lufthansa Systems offers BoardConnect Portable, a more affordable and flexible solution that makes rollouts even for entire fleets quick and easy.
You can find more information about BoardConnect here:
APEX Expo, Singapore | October 24, 2016– In a world where companies constantly shout the trivial and mundane across the internet in order to be heard, one company is quietly becoming a force in the world of IFEC. Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii) has in the past six months secured well over 200 new RAVE AVOD equipped aircraft, four new A350 customers, 150 committed B737Max aircraft, their first A380 customer and probably the most surprising of all, over 200 Global Express Connectivity equipped aircraft committed with the first installation scheduled early in 2017. It seems some companies don’t need to shout in order to be heard.
Zii first hit the IFE scene with their revolutionary new Seat Centric IFE system in 2011 and just five years later they are growing with over 45 airline customers, over 550 aircraft in service, and over 650 aircraft in committed backlog.
Zii has added to their basic AVOD system (“RAVE Centric”) a wireless IFE system (RAVE Wireless) and a line fit offerable Ka-band connectivity system (RAVE Broadband) that is available on all Airbus platforms including the A350 and A380. Today, Zii is able to offer airlines a complete IFEC solution complete with all of the advanced features including 2nd screen applications and a truly personalized experience for passengers. Zii is line fit offerable on the Airbus A320, A330, A380 and A350 and is working to become line fit offerable on Boeing aircraft and is adding standard seat pairings with all of the major seat suppliers.
“We like to think of ourselves as different and disruptive” says Larry Girard, Executive Vice President for Zodiac Inflight Innovations. Mr. Girard goes on to say that “we are disruptive by design; our seat centric architecture has fewer LRU’s, it’s simple to operate and maintain with unprecedented availability and no dark flights – ever. Coupled with a common software platform and standard parts, we are commercially disruptive as well.”
Zii has this year added an aftermarket support package to round out their portfolio of products. With RAVE Care, an airline can tailor a support package to their specific needs for a fixed price per month per aircraft. RAVE Care can include everything that an airline needs to maintain and operate their IFE systems, including spares, repairs, customer abuse and even content integration. Included in RAVE Care is a software guarantee that means airlines never have to worry about the cost of updating their GUI’s and features over the lifetime of the system.
“Our RAVE systems are much easier to maintain than traditional IFE systems which allows airlines to maintain their own aircraft without the added expense of paying a traditional IFE provider for support” says Matt Smith, CEO for Zodiac Inflight Innovations. Mr. Smith goes on to say that, “Zii is a company that is different by design; our focus is always on putting our customers first. We want to be a company that Airlines want to work with; customer focused and innovation driven, we relentlessly pursue our core value of RAVE – Reliable, Affordable and Very Easy. It more than a name, it’s who we are.”
And their operational performance seems to bear this out. Zii’s on-time delivery and repair turnaround time performance is over 99%. The RAVE system reliability is over 99.5% and we are told that commercially RAVE is the most affordable system on the market today…
For further information contact Harry Gray, VP Sales & Marketing of Zodiac Inflight Innovations at +1 (714) 683 3793.
United Kingdom | October 20, 2016– Leading cabin lighting company STG Aerospace is delighted to announce that EASA has approved its latest photoluminescent floorpath marking system, saf-Tglo® blu, for the following aircraft in the current Airbus fleet – the A300, A310, A320, A330 and A340.
This is the first time that an emergency egress system using blue photoluminescence has been approved for use in any aircraft application. saf-Tglo® blu provides a unique colour glow for operators of aircraft in the Airbus family and cabin designers alike preparing to modify or upgrade Airbus aircraft interiors.
Engineered from the proven technology of the original and market-leading saf-Tglo® photoluminescent range, the unique and patented design of saf-Tglo® blu emits a blue glow, a noticeable change from the traditional green glow that has always been associated with the product, and enables airlines to subtly transform cabin aesthetics via simple illumination without compromising passenger safety.
In daylight, the body colour of saf-Tglo® blu is whiter than the glow produced by traditional photoluminescent systems meaning that when it is used with any translucent film or overlay, the result is a truer, brighter, cleaner colour. In darkness, the glow has a calmer, softer, more reassuring quality whilst still performing the critical safety function the system provides.
saf-Tglo® blu is an obvious choice for operators of Airbus aircraft looking to improve their interiors appeal, the unique transformation afforded by the simplistic modification of a saf-Tglo® blu installation has the distinct ability to transform any aircraft, blending seamlessly with the latest mood lighting systems. Whilst obviously a significant visual upgrade, the origins of the design are actually based in science, and specifically the results of a human perception analysis which show that the blue wavelengths of emitted light enable enhanced passenger perception of the emergency track with a dark adapted human eye.
saf-Tglo® is the world’s lightest, narrowest and most discreet floor path marking system and the first non-electrical system that can reduce maintenance and operational costs. Installed on over 10,000 aircraft worldwide and selected by virtually every major aircraft manufacturer it is the photoluminescent floor path marking system of choice for aircraft manufacturers, airlines and cabin designers.
The EASA approval process was executed using STG Aerospace’s own in-house Design Organisation Approval (DOA) procedures and, using its extensive in-service performance data, the company has been able to reduce the maintenance burden for airlines by minimising the requirement for inspections. As with other versions of saf-Tglo®, saf-Tglo® blu can be very easily installed – typically by an airline’s own technical staff during an overnight shift.
Sean O’Kell, Director of Innovation for STG Aerospace, commented: “Securing EASA approval for saf-Tglo® blu across the Airbus fleet obviously opens up exciting new marketing opportunities for us and we’re already in advanced negotiations with key launch customers. As a product, it symbolises our commitment to the continual evolution of the saf-Tglo® range – always enhancing the aesthetics without in any way compromising on safety.”
- Partner network expands possibilities / New service for crew members
Raunheim, Germany | October 20, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that at this year’s APEX in Singapore it will present innovations relating to its multi-award-winning BoardConnect and BoardConnect Portable inflight entertainment (IFE) solutions as well as an additional feature for its mCabin crew app.
“Our developments in the IFE field are currently being shaped largely by the trends toward digital transformation and commercialization,” said Norbert Müller, Senior Vice President BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems. “Connectivity is becoming an increasingly important topic for airlines because passengers expect to be able to use the same online and streaming services on board as on the ground. Our BoardConnect platform is the ideal enabler for this. We have also expanded our partner network so that airlines can tailor their IFE offers perfectly to the needs of their respective target groups.”
Together with Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems has established a long-term partnership to offer airlines a modern, multifunctional on-board IT platform with broadband access.
Thanks to the open software architecture of the BoardConnect platform, partner services in the areas of entertainment, infotainment and ancillary revenues can also be integrated easily. The diverse, high-quality offers benefit passengers as well as airlines, since integrated ads and services provided through subscriptions generate additional revenues. Together with its partners, Lufthansa Systems covers the entire travel chain, from researching a trip, to booking a flight, hotel and excursions, and finally following up after the journey.
Lufthansa Systems will use sample language versions for the Asian market, including Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian, to demonstrate the attractiveness of its BoardConnect platform for airlines worldwide. The services can also be easily adapted to other languages.
BoardConnect enables passengers to stream content to their own tablets or smartphones during a flight. In addition to the permanently installed “classic” version of BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems offers a flexible BoardConnect Portable solution. Its advantage is that all of the technical components are combined in a single device which can be installed quickly and easily on any aircraft. BoardConnect Portable received the renowned Crystal Cabin Award in spring 2016.
Lufthansa Systems will also be presenting a new module for its mCabin crew app at APEX. mCabin/CityGuide is an exclusive guidebook platform for the crew with local information about all of an airline’s destinations. In addition to layover information such as contact details, the crew hotel and pick-up times, the app offers tips and tricks for excursions and restaurants. The tips are entered by the crew itself, which makes the app a highly personalized crew travel guide. Crew members can rate and comment on locations they have already visited, so these recommendations are continually updated and optimized. Crew management has an editing and administration tool at its disposal to check entries and update content as required.
Prior to departure and during the flight, the mCabin crew app provides the cabin team with all of the passenger service information they need, including a passenger manifest complete with information about the passengers’ seats, status, food preferences and special requirements. And to bring mobility to IFE, the BoardConnect crew front-end has been integrated into mCabin.
APEX will take place from October 24–27 at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore. Visit Lufthansa Systems at stand 1737.
Palo Alto, CA | October 20, 2016– SkyLights , offering virtual reality (VR) on planes as inflight entertainment (IFE), proudly announces its new Bravo VR headset.
The new Bravo VR headset offers immersive 2D and 3D cinema, cinematic VR support, a revamped headset finish, the capability for wireless streaming, and a new graphical user interface with multilingual audio and subtitle support.
Skylights’ launching partners include 20th Century Fox and multiple airlines. Two of those airlines, as well as a fleet of private jets, will deploy the new Skylights VR IFE solution by the end of 2016. Three other airlines are performing in-flight pilot campaigns.
In the past 25 years there has only been 2 methods of connecting via satellite in an aircraft. The first for crew via Data3, initially Windows terminal interfaces or embedded aircraft terminals like CMU’s or inseat screens. The second is browsers using Internet protocols and Wi-Fi.
In today’s App world on the ground we are always connected and that’s where a quantum leap in aircraft technology is about to happen.
This article is about a new way to connect called fflya, and what you may not know is, its already flying on business jets and an A340, plus the military are about to fly it!
Why the Internet of Things (IoT) takes the risk out of installing Wi-Fi
The general definition of The internet of things (IoT) is “The internetworking of physical devices, vehicles (also referred to as “connected devices” and “smart devices”), buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data”(source Wikipedia 2016).
However, in 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on the Internet of Things (IoT-GSI) defined IoT as “the infrastructure of the information society. IoT allows objects to be sensed and/or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and resulting in improved efficiency, accuracy and economic benefit” (Wikipedia 2016).
When you consider that Boeing launched commercial inflight Wi-Fi on Lufthansa in 2004. Why is it so many airlines are still reluctant to get involved in Wi-Fi twelve years later? The answer is user price!
When it comes to price, the hardware cost of inflight Wi-Fi pales in significance to the cost of an aircraft. With technology moving so fast on the ground, there is that underlying concern that installing connectivity now will lead to it becoming quickly outdated or that financial expectations and passenger needs won’t be met.
Now more than ever people rely on connectivity when they move which means it’s no longer a question of whether airlines should install connectivity, but when and how they will do it. Many airlines have spent years looking and when comparing what Boeing had in 2004 with today’s technology, it’s hard to see a quantum leap!
What’s more disconcerting is that current Wi-Fi utilization levels, even on the most affordable US domestic network, show only 6% of passengers are prepared to pay for the service; the same as what Boeing experienced. It appears that justifying the cost of Wi-Fi as viable for the general public is a real challenge. We hope technology will provide the answers but satellite speeds and cost limitations continue to soften expectations in the air.
For decades people have relied on Wi-Fi for home and the office, and 3G or 4G when on the move. The industry persist with 3G in aircraft, however, the high roaming charges and slow speeds means it is not practical or commercially viable. This leaves the airline world with only one method to connect – Wi-Fi. This is where IoT is of great importance.
Wi-Fi vendors are reluctant talk about IoT because their business models rely on big data, yet it’s small data that’s enveloping the world. Small data is utilized on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, SMS and most emails. Small data costs are so miniscule that it seems free of charge to people using it. A societal mindset that believes small data is virtually free to use which is why 94% of passengers are reluctant to pay for connectivity inflight.
There is a Wi-Fi war in aviation pitting company KA band speeds against KU band speeds, and satellite against satellite. The intensity of this industry war makes it easy to get caught up in big data. We are lured into thinking there is no alternative given the significant size and cost of Wi-Fi platforms and the fact they all appear the same.
IoT is a paradigm shift and will change the way you think about connectivity. It creates an alternative platform that changes the way we connect, more inline with what we already do on the ground, that is, communicate with small data.
Why is it possible now?
Change is possible right now because of Bluetooth Smart, which is driving IoT faster than any other communication technology. While Wi-Fi vendors were busy launching billion dollar networks a new connectivity phenomenon was evolving. In simple terms, Bluetooth Smart capability opened up a portal for connecting devices and efficiently transmitting small data. Importantly, Apple is at the front Bluetooth advancements so it comes standard on all mobile devices.
For the first time you can now segregate aircraft bandwidth into narrowband and broadband applications by adding Bluetooth capability. This concept is similar to how airlines segregate business and economy: a standard service is delivered via Bluetooth and the premium service is supplemented with Wi-Fi.
Airlines can implement any satellite system in a staged approach by controlling the connection path with technology. This is because IoT lets you ‘shift gears’ as the demand increases. It begins as a simple no-frills messaging service and expands to include value-added services and live credit card processing that generate revenue to fund the platform upgrades as you go.
The benefit is: Airlines only need to gear up gradually and segregate live Internet for the very few willing pay, while the rest use minimal bandwidth down the same pipe. The ratio is similar to that of economy and business class: 6% of live internet passengers can be leveraged off 95% of the bandwidth, while the remaining 94% of passengers can be easily accommodated on remaining 5% bandwidth.
The objective is to control the delivery of passenger services with the ability to expand offerings as revenue dictates.
Corporate aircraft today already have this capability however it’s taken time to migrate to the realm of airlines. This is because connecting hundreds of devices simultaneously down a single link needed a revolutionary approach – this is what Bluetooth Smart delivers.
It eliminates the need to provision high bandwidth to accommodate everyone onboard. Twelve years of aircraft connectivity confirms that only 6% of passengers will pay for broadband meaning the remaining 94% expect it to be free. The provision of free services to the vast majority of passengers who expect it can only be a positive for airlines as bandwidth can be dramatically reduced. Delivering free services allows you to control the size of the pipe and what users see and do. App-based connectivity solutions still appear fast, yet it’s actually the servers managing the link that determines what you receive and when. This is the complete opposite to Wi-Fi…as once connected you are consuming bandwidth constantly, particularly in background mode.
IoT gives you a choice about what services to provide and at what charge (free or paid). The bandwidth is then staged to meet the demand. You can start with just a 200kbps link that can deliver free messaging, destination services and live credit card processing to hundreds of passengers at once. Importantly only one Bluetooth access point is required for all this to work!
How is this possible?
With the fflya solution, Bluetooth Smart keeps everyone connected and maintains a status of what devices are onboard and active. What makes Bluetooth Smart unique is that logged in devices run in parked mode meaning they are essentially offline. The link automatically activates when the user sends a message or processes a transaction, completing these events in milliseconds. As a result no one person can occupy a large portion of the bandwidth at any point in time. The security is quite unique not only for the way it switches channels, but is a closed network and when combined with encryption and proprietary protocols is more secure than open Wi-Fi as there is no external way to access it.
Imagine hundreds of passengers sending and receiving free messages or booking holiday tours at the same time – all occupying less than 10% of a 200 kbps link.
IoT takes the risk out of installing Wi-Fi as there is little or no outlay in the early implementation stages and by the time the demand for broadband increases the program is self-funding. The staged approach of the program means adding further capacity is not an issue as the revenue justifies the system upgrade.
One of the most difficult elements of managing any network is working out how to implement and how much capacity do you need. On the ground Wi-Fi access is random and bandwidth can be easily balanced. In contrast, when a crewmember announces that Wi-Fi is available inflight, you will notice the majority of passengers all log on at once regardless of whether they need it or are just curious. This is why Wi-Fi needs multiple access points, as the system can be easily overloaded. Having to reset the system when it grinds to a halt is frustrating for the crew and passengers. App-based Bluetooth messaging platforms do not have this issue, as users are not occupying bandwidth just to login. The network identifies them and parks them until they do something, which is why you only need one access point to cover an entire aircraft.
IoT leverages off bits of data using Bluetooth Smart whereas, Wi-Fi requires Kilobytes to deliver similar services. Let’s compare WhatsApp to the fflya messaging services. WhatsApp must stay online by maintaining touch with a ground network. Even if you do nothing you still consume bandwidth. So on a typical flight WhatsApp is occupying valuable bandwidth constantly. Sure you can be turn background mode off, but now you are disconnected and have the inconvenience of routinely checking in. In addition, as Wi-Fi is high power your battery will drain quicker
The fflya messaging app allows you to stay logged on for the entire flight as it consumes no bandwidth even when you are waiting for a reply. Furthermore, Bluetooth Smart uses the latest Low Energy technology so your phone battery lasts longer.
How does it work
The fflya IOS or Android App can be downloaded from the App Store via multiple means before a flight. The airline can embed fflya in their own booking App for easy access, mass-mail their frequent flyers or send the passenger a link to fflya upon booking a ticket. Since fflya is only 10Mb in size making it quick and easy to download compared to a typical WhatsApp or Facebook update that can be up to 150Mb.
Once you have the app all you need to do is to enter your user credentials for validation. You can do this on the ground or inflight.
Your credentials are your normal email address and cellphone number. We need this for 3 reasons:
Like all modern messaging platforms fflya has 2 levels of verification to protect your security.
- Late Delivery
Once you leave the aircraft the system automatically changes to ground mode, so any late replies are routed to you on the ground.
- Destination Offers
The app hosts attractions and savings on services based on the destination you are flying too, so discounts on items of interest selected inflight are reconfirmed to your mobile or email account on arrival.
Upon opening the App inflight, the Bluetooth access point updates your destination status with any new offers and you are registered on the network at the same time. Knowing you’re onboard, the app will automatically revert to park mode, only alerting you with regular notifications when necessary.
Our product fflya is an engaging product as it targets people who are captive, bored, disconnected, and destination-focused. This sort of connectivity is precise and impossible to achieve on the ground because the person is nowhere near as attentive. It creates a major opportunity for real-time marketing with immediate impact because of passenger focus. Further, fflya generates revenue and brand appreciation when passengers download the App, thereby increasing an airlines digital reach. Furthermore, fflya flags frequent flyers creating endless interaction both inflight and on the ground. By offering the App and free messaging, passengers become brand advocates since every App downloaded and message sent promotes the airline. As the connectivity is now free passengers will access it.
Our fflya app delivers revenue from day one with AEROS
AEROS are attraction discount vouchers available in the fflya App that deliver travel savings in hundreds of destinations including the passenger’s hometown.
- Once inflight, fflya displays a number of AEROS for the upcoming destination. When a passenger selects something they like, fflya uploads a message from the sponsor that confirms the discount and code.
- Then fflya sends an email to the passenger’s email account showcasing the sponsor and the attraction with a booking link. Passengers can also communicate directly with the sponsor.
- Upon arrival, passengers begin to save money on shows, restaurants and tourist activities. On arrival they have the opportunity to select more AEROS at the destination.
Interestingly, fflya’s AEROS enhance the airline’s reputation by giving passengers more value for money. The advantage of AEROS is that you have a captive audience who is destination focused and ready to spend. The simplicity means there is no activation required. Sponsors are incentivised to come on-board as it’s free to join the program and they only pay commission on real interactions and receive immediate passenger feedback. The AEROS systems profiles the interaction providing airlines with a unique insight into their passenger based which creates even more marketing opportunities.
What additional revenue services are offered?
With the evolution of Bluetooth Smart the promotional opportunities are endless. Note: fflya’s ability for passengers to interact directly with sponsors opens a whole new world and the airlines ability to host its own products can enhance revenue further.
What do I need on an aircraft?
The fflya system is compatible with any satellite network and all you need is a Bluetooth access point. The Bluetooth access point is flexible and can be installed on an aircraft in a variety of ways:
- It latches onto any existing Wi-Fi network.
- A hardwired connection to an existing satellite transceiver.
Evaluating any new service is a challenge and this is where fflya has a very unique solution that avoids any modification to the aircraft. Airlines can test the service with a fully self-contained portable system including SATCOM and custom window antenna. The system is classified as a carry on device and with supporting documentation there is no aircraft certification required, just operational approval. The following image illustrates an example of a flight test system onboard an A340 airliner.
The following image illustrates an example of a flight test system onboard an A340 airliner.
The benefit of this approach is airlines can evaluate and refine the services prior to selecting permanent hardware which removes the uncertainty of what do we need and will passengers pay to use it. Entry-level permanent hardware starts with the Inmarsat 200kbps link and it should be noted the test bed is also backwards/ forwards compatible with the new Iridium Next satellite platform that meets the same entry-level requirement. The business model is fully self funding so there is no equipment outlay.
When it comes the production level access point certification, it will be industry standard DO160, DO178 and DO294 compliance. Importantly as a low power device Bluetooth is already documented and tested as safe for use in aircraft, which eliminates the complexity associated of Wi-Fi installations.
The system requires an STC and the STC cost can be included subject to fleet size. The airline provides the installation manpower and fflya underwrites all the transmission costs including airline communications sent via the App.
Why haven’t we seen this before?
Bluetooth was originally designed as a one to one interface for tethered devices with its primary justification in mobile phones as Audio hands free. More recent developments saw it evolve into Personal Area Networks, Scatternets and Mesh networks but again it focused on controlling devices. The challenge and barriers of building a bidirectional communication network capable of accommodating hundreds of passengers in the aircraft environment without consuming valuable satellite bandwidth were endless. It has taken 10 years of development including 4 years of flight-testing and 4 years of working with Apple and Android to develop a proprietary BLE characteristic that connects via a custom satellite protocol to a purpose built ground based network with algorithms that manage every user by file type, flight number and aircraft.
For a demonstration of the new fflya system visit Ron Chapman ASIP Tech Inc. at APEX booth 1937
Want what the folks at IFPL will be showing in Singapore? Check this out.
- SITA Baggage Robot Visits Singapore and Hong Kong
Singapore | October 20, 2016– Leo, the innovative baggage robot, is touring Asia, with visits to Singapore and Hong Kong. Leo is a fully autonomous, self-propelling baggage robot which provides a glimpse into the future of baggage handling that is being explored by SITA Lab the technology research team at global IT provider SITA.
After spending time at some of SITA’s key customer locations, Leo can be caught in action at the Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO 2016 taking place 25 – 26 October in Singapore. This is Asia’s biggest free-to-attend passenger experience expo and this year the expected combined attendance of 3,000+ will have the chance to see Leo up close.
Leo, the baggage robot, has the capacity to check in, print bag tags and transport two suitcases. It also has an obstacle avoidance capability and can navigate in a high-traffic environment such as an airport. It is the first step to automating the baggage process from the moment passengers drop their bags to when they collect them.
Ilya Gutlin, SITA President Asia Pacific, said: “At SITA, innovation is a key driver of our business. It’s at the heart of everything we do. Our focus is on collaboratively developing technology solutions and services for the air transport industry, working with our airline and airport partners to stimulate technological innovation. It is great that we can share the experience that our technology research team SITA Lab has gained during the development of Leo, the baggage robot, here in Asia.”
This robot is a perfect example of how innovative thinking, neatly integrated with the systems in use across airlines and airports, can transform the passenger experience. Using robotics and artificial intelligence, Leo demonstrates how bags can be collected, checked in, transported and loaded onto the correct flight without ever having to enter the terminal building or be directly handled by anyone other than the passengers themselves.
Next stop for Leo is Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) where it will be on show for the participants of HKIA’s second Technovation Conference and Exhibition which will be focusing on smart airports.