Perhaps in summary, the digEcor company is summed up in three words: Integrated Flight Experience. digEcor is redefining the expression “IFE”. Their entertainment solutions, power, LED lighting and connectivity for customers and crew is redefining the integrated suite of products that extends the company portfolio outside the realms of IFE only. And this is what new digEcor CEO and Managing Director David Withers (2 years now) told IFExpress recently at an industry trade convention and what he told us here is for our readers evaluation. Make no mistake, David is an ambitious guy, and his personality and drive will be expressed in the products, service, and the philosophy of the “new” digEcor heralding a new era for the company and setting them up as a key market player for years to come.
Let’s look at the three pieces we mentioned in our Hot Topic title separately; New Concepts, New Company, and the New CEO, David Winters.

First, the issue here is NEW Concepts, or new products, which we note include new ideas on new products and new features on existing ideas/products. We contacted the company for help and they gave us a “running” description that we include for your edification.

Obviously Glide is our cornerstone product and it is a game changer. The lightest and cheapest seat back solution on the market today is also the easiest to install with only 3 components none of which need a rack. We are really proud of Glide, we’ve got a great engineering team and they’ve turned out a superb product at a great price. We design and manufacture everything in house so we have complete control over the functionality, quality and cost. I know others have been making noises about price but our similarly priced product is developed and ready for installation. Glide is available in 8”, 10”, 12”, 15” and 21” screen sizes. But, Glide is just part of the product range.”

One of the challenges we’ve faced is that digEcor as a brand was historically known for its Portable IFE devices. However, we are now so much more. Our integrated suite of products across the flight experience positions us in a much broader territory and we’ve had to work hard to get the message out. All of our products are either certified or on a certification path with a launch customer. It has been a busy two years!” That said, portables remain an important business for us and we’ve recently launched our fifth generation of purpose built portable media player, the NV series available in 8”, 10” and 12” screen sizes and with content storage from 64GB to 2 TB. Being purpose built they are rugged and have an exchangeable battery without losing any of the style of a contemporary tablet.”

In-Seat Power
Passenger surveys keep telling our airline clients that power is becoming essential for their customers in every class. Passengers expect power in the seat and digEcor has the right solution at the right price for both 110VAC and USB2.1A. Our USB power solution is very lightweight and fits in the audio seat box provisions on most seats making it surprisingly easy to install and certify. Airlines also have the ability to drive ancillary revenue through selling in-seat power on our system with an optional Cabin Management Panel (CM) where power is selectable at each individual seat by the cabin crew.”

Cabin Lighting
In Hamburg this year we launched our LED Lighting product range. This new feature of digEcor’s embedded Glide inflight entertainment system, allows passengers to control their in-seat lighting service by manipulating over 4 billion color settings to choose their preferred shade and intensity. It is easy-to-install, replaces existing light assemblies, operates through Glide and runs efficiently from existing power. It is configured for sidewall and ceiling use and is easily controlled by cabin crew.”

“Of course our focus is on the Integrated Flight Experience and our Engage crew connectivity solution exemplifies that. It brings the wealth of knowledge most airlines have on their frequent fliers buried away in ground systems on to the aircraft in a user friendly application for cabin crew. Qantas loves it and use it on every flight now.”

Tape Replacement Solution
digEcor’s Tape Replacement Solution is installed in place of the video control cabinet and connects to the aircraft’s existing audio/video systems to consolidate tape decks, PRAM and video controllers into a single unit. It mounts on a convenient galley or cabin wall and frees up overhead bin or galley space. It features up to 1 TB internal storage and is updated via SSD content drives, USB or 4G modem transfers. Because digEcor’s Tape Replacement Solution is the actual video control panel for Glide, our embedded IFE system, installing a seat centric system in first class, business or all seats becomes easier and more cost-effective should future needs drive such a change.”

Next, lets take a look at the New Company. In a discussion with Mr. Withers, he told IFExpress: “We pioneered portable inflight entertainment in 2003 when Bill Boyer, a baggage handler at Alaska Airlines, decided to take entertainment into his own hands. In 2004, the digEplayer 5500 won IFE Product of the Year at the IPEC Inflight Online Awards. The company was renamed digEcor and moved to Springville, UT. Over the coming years digEcor released the digEplayer XT, XLP, L7, L10 and now the new NV. It used the same innovation to develop Glide, it’s signature embedded inflight entertainment solution. In 2013 digEcor was acquired by Total Aviation Solutions and is now headquartered in Australia with offices in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe.

David went on; “What the new company means and why… We now have offices in London, Australia and the US and provide 24/7 customer support. Our management structure follows our customer philosophy i.e. we are organized around our customers and we have been very successful in recruiting excellent leaders. For example Paul Thorpe our president Europe, Middle East and Africa operating from our London office has had a very successful career selling for and supporting the customers of some of the industry’s biggest players. But it wasn’t just his experience that I was looking for, it was his attitude towards the customer, his desire to take responsibility and be held accountable and above all else his ability to lead in a humble way. He is a typical digEcor employee and I love working with him and all the other members of the digEcor team.”

To give our readers an idea of the fallout of the new products and redirected team efforts here is what has been happening at digEcor HQ, here are a couple recent announcements:

  • AZUL: “digEcor is pleased to provide its L7 digEplayer solution to Brazilian carrier, Azul and Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airline. Its agreement with Azul to provide 1,100 L7 portable digEplayers also involves the provision of maintenance support and content integration services ensuring the airline can offer its passengers movie, television and audio programs from all the leading Hollywood studios and independent distributors. “digEcor is proud to work with Azul to deliver this portable IFE solution,” said digEcor Sales Director Americas Josh Rasmussen. “Azul is a leading airline in Latin America and we look forward to growing our relationship with them by providing first-class IFE service and support.”

Readers note that digEcor rents L7 portable media players for a low all inclusive daily rate, provides all the required hardware, content and a perpetual warranty. Every 60 days the players are swapped out with a fresh set containing updated content.

  • Sun Country Airlines: In further news, digEcor is very happy to be working closely with our valued customer Sun Country Airlines, who are bringing 700 portable L7 digEplayers back into service on all of their schedules services. “It’s a clear demonstration of the durability and reliability of the L7 system and a much appreciated acknowledgement of the quality and flexibility of digEcor’s content management program,” said Mr Rasmussen. “Sun Country Airlines always deliver excellent passenger service, we’re proud to help them do it.”

And finally IFExpress should mention a bit more about the NEW CEO David Withers. David founded digEcor’s parent Total Aviation Solutions in 2009 and has over 25 years’ experience in the aviation industry. He is a former President of Boeing Australia and was the Asia Pacific Managing Director for Smiths Aerospace (now GE Aviation) after completing his time with Qantas Airways. David has a Masters of Business Administration, an Honors degree in Communications Engineering, trade qualifications in aircraft maintenance and is a commercial pilot. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.

From the IFExpress perspective, it is obvious that David is passionate about building great businesses based around great teams, with great products… and all focused on delivering value to customers. Cliché? Perhaps, but it is what drives him… and he is driven. In the two years since acquiring digEcor he has brought to market a huge range of new cabin technology products all designed for a new and better passenger experience.

So where to from here? David told IFExpress; “Having achieved so much in the past two years we could be easily forgiven for taking some time to consolidate, but I’m a builder by nature and won’t rest until we’ve carved a place in history for digEcor. This is the tip of the iceberg, there is a large market to capture and we are well on our way to do so. Watch this space…

Irvine, CA | June 29, 2015– The Lumexis Corporation today announced that Dubai-based airline flydubai will continue to use the award-winning Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) In-Flight Entertainment system for its follow-on order of 11 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft on order for 2016 and 2017. The announcement extends the strong partnership which began in 2010 as flydubai became Lumexis’s launch customer.

“flydubai continues to invest in the latest technology to ensure that our passengers are getting the best onboard experience,” said Daniel Kerrison, flydubai’s Vice President Inflight Product. “Being the launch customer for the FTTS system, we were very happy with what it had to offer and we look forward to rolling out the new 4th generation of the system which will enter service with flydubai from May 2016.”

The award-winning Fiber-To-The-Screen® (FTTS®) In-Flight Entertainment system has been part of the flydubai experience since 2010, providing passengers with over 1,300 hours of television shows, audio, games and movie titles in Arabic, English, Hindi and Russian. Selected for its light weight and cutting-edge technology, the efficient HD system with the unique FTTS fiber optic network is half the cost and weight of earlier generation, copper-based systems. As a result, the airline could achieve lower fuel burn while generating ancillary revenue.

“The Lumexis team is delighted to be continuing our partnership with flydubai,” said Lou Sharkey, Lumexis President and Chief Operating Officer. “With their flexible service and revolutionary High Definition IFE system, flydubai has consistently set new benchmarks for inflight customer experience”.

  • High-Density Connector Product Family Delivers Reliability and Flexible Configurations for Military Applications

Harrisburg, PA | June 30, 2015– TE Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity, announces its metal-shell micro circular connectors are now available globally. The new connector family is a complete line of small circular connectors ideal for rugged military and commercial applications. The metal-shell micro circular connectors are versatile, tested for harsh environments and offer multiple coupling styles, contacts and mounting options. New additions to the original product line include inline receptacles, a new band strap for termination of braided metallic shielding, and a new 30-position, size M22 shell.

“The metal-shell micro circular connector family was originally designed for military applications in Japan, now we are excited to make the product available globally,” said Kim Whitman, product manager, Global Aerospace, Defense & Marine, TE. “The availability of multiple connector coupling styles, pin counts and shell sizes provide a full breadth of options for any military operating environment. We’ll soon be adding aluminum shells that provide weight savings for applications where weight saving is critical, making new connector family ideal for military vehicles, aircraft, radios and equipment worn by soldiers.”

The metal-shell micro circular connector family has IP67 sealing with individual O-rings on all contacts that help provide improved sealing for extreme reliability. The connector family also includes a metal adapter for shield termination and overmolding. Metal-shell micro circular connectors have an operating temperature range of minus 55 degrees Celsius to 150 degrees Celsius, and can withstand up to 120 hours of salt spray.

The new connectors offer multiple coupling styles which include push-pull, bayonet and threaded. The product family is IEEE 1934 compatible and able to perform to the latest military and commercial signaling requirements including gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0.

  • Unique technologies ensure high availability of connectivity services on land

Lyngby, Denmark | June 29, 2015– Cobham SATCOM is launching the latest innovative antenna system in its highly regarded EXPLORER portfolio for land ‘Comms-On-The-Pause’ users. Developed completely in-house by Cobham SATCOM, the new one meter EXPLORER 8100 Auto-Acquire Drive-Away antenna is designed to offer unparalleled performance, ensuring high quality connectivity on any Ku- and Ka- band networks. The terminal features genuine EXPLORER design, which is already established and proven with Cobham SATCOM’s highly regarded EXPLORER BGAN and GX terminals.

With EXPLORER 8100, Cobham SATCOM has focused on ultra-reliable connectivity even in situations where the vehicle is experiencing sudden movements or rocking on its suspension while the antenna is transmitting. This could be caused by high winds or more commonly, people stepping in or out of the vehicle. Particularly important for Ka-band usage, mechanical impacts as small as 0.3 degrees may lead to an immediate loss of signal. Cobham SATCOM introduces ‘Dynamic Pointing Correction’ from its stabilized Maritime Antennas on this new series of Land Comms-On-The-Pause VSAT antennas. Dynamic Pointing Correction ensures uninterrupted transmission when similar antennas would experience a complete loss of signal.

A state-of-the-art RTM carbon fiber reflector provides impeccable precision, and when combined with pointing correction technologies, it delivers the most accurate Drive-Away VSAT antenna on the market.

EXPLORER 8100 features industry-fast satellite acquisition with pointing achieved automatically in less than two minutes. The system is available in both Ka- and Ku-band configurations and works with all major satellite networks. A swappable feed system allows users to change frequency bands, ensuring they have full choice of what services to use throughout the lifetime of the antenna.

EXPLORER 8100 comes with built-in Wi-Fi for easy access to the terminal and the same Web-based user-interface developed for Cobham SATCOM’s cutting edge Inmarsat GX series of antennas. Once connected, EXPLORER 8100 provides high performance, continuous connectivity in the field, optimally supporting high definition video streaming, high throughput data transfer and tactical and emergency communication.

“EXPLORER 8100 really does raise-the-bar for Drive-Away antennas,” said Henrik Nørrelykke, VP Land Business, Cobham SATCOM. “Its revolutionary design makes it lightweight, strong and easier to install whilst the time it takes to get connected from a cold start sets a new industry standard. However, the fact that EXPLORER 8100 is the only Drive-Away antenna that can deliver highly accurate Dynamic Pointing Correction, and therefore significantly enhance availability of connectivity, positions it as the most advanced Drive-Away Land VSAT antenna available.”

Nevada & Dubai | June 25, 2015– Flemingo International signs up with Gulf Air for in-flight duty free supply and deploys North Star Connects onboard retail solution for the Middle East carrier.

Flemingo International, the global travel retail and duty free operator, has signed a contract with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air, to supply the airline’s in-flight duty free. Renowned for its traditional Arabian hospitality Gulf Air serves 43 cities in 24 countries spanning three continents with a combination of a wide and narrow body fleet totalling 28 modern aircraft. The airline also operates one of the largest networks in the Middle East, with double daily flights to over 10 regional cities, from its hub at Bahrain International Airport.

The agreement sees Flemingo International, collaborate with North Star Connect, a global provider of travel retail systems, to provide point of sale, back office and pre-order applications to support duty free retailing, including merchandising, inventory management, supply chain planning, payment and business intelligence applications. Gulf Air expressed their full support for the initiative from Flemingo and North Star Connect.

Atul Ahuja, CEO of Flemingo International said: “Winning this contract has helped us take the first step in extending our inflight business beyond Turkey and we are pleased to do this with an international carrier such as Gulf Air. We plan to use the latest innovative technologies to deliver best-in-class experiences for our customers. By selecting North Star Connect we have the platform we need to deliver these customer experiences. ”

“We are excited that Flemingo International has chosen North Star Connect to meet this critical need,” said Elisabeth Galvin, CEO of North Star Connect. “Our innovative solutions will provide Flemingo with the necessary end-to-end retail process and analytical solutions to successfully run their retail operations and to deliver great traveller experiences for their partners like Gulf Air.”

  • Fleet upgrade continues with the world’s most versatile wide-body

France and Kuwait | June 25, 2015– Kuwait Airways has taken delivery of its first A330-200, becoming a new operator for the type. In February 2014, Kuwait Airways announced the lease of 12 Airbus aircraft including 7 A320ceo and 5 A330-200s in addition to the purchase of 25 aircraft including 10 A350-900 and 15 A320neo Family aircraft marking the start of a major fleet renewal plan.

Kuwait Airways’ first A330-200 accommodates a three-class configuration of 17 full-sleeper first class modules, 30 very high-comfort business and 165 latest standard economy seats, a combination that shows a clear attention to comfort and efficiency detailed in the features that also include the latest Entertainment systems, and Connectivity throughout the cabin.

“The delivery of our first A330-200 marks a key milestone towards enhancing our fleet,” said Al Rasha Al Roumi, Kuwait Airways chairperson. “The addition of this highly efficient aircraft to our fleet ultimately translates to unbeatable operating costs, best-in-class services, unrivalled comfort and will maintain our schedule integrity and assist in increasing our load factors”

“We are pleased to welcome Kuwait Airways as a new A330 operator,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “With the A330, Kuwait Airways will benefit from the aircraft’s low operating costs, proven reliability and great passenger appeal – as well as high levels of technical commonality with its existing A320 fleet.”

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody aircraft ever and has to date won over 1,500 orders, with over 1,100 flying with some 110 operators worldwide. The A330 Family is part of the world’s most modern and comprehensive widebody product line, which also includes the larger A350 XWB and double deck A380. Together, the various family members and type variants efficiently cover all airline widebody requirements for regional, medium and long-haul operations, seating from 250 to over 500 passengers and sharing unique levels of operational commonality.

Napoli | June 25, 2015– FL Technics, a global provider of tailor-made aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services, has been selected to act as an exclusive representative of Aviointeriors, one of the top world leaders in the aircraft passenger seat market segment. As of June 2015, the company shall represent the supplier in multiple in Russia, CIS, the Baltic States and several European states, including Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria.

According to the 2 year-long partnership agreement, FL Technics will act as an exclusive seller and promoter of Aviointeriors’ passenger seats and their spare parts for various narrow- and wide-body aircraft, such as Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330 series, Boeing 737, 747, 757, and 777 series, McDonnell Douglas DC-9, DC-10 and MD90 series, as well as ATR series.

Under the new cooperation, FL Technics will represent the Italy-based supplier in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Hungary and Bulgaria.

“With over 40 years of experience, Aviointeriors is one of the most long-standing seat manufacturers in the world. Allowing FL Technics to offer its clients aircraft seats for economy, first and business class, the newly developed business relationship will certainly become a new source of quality aviation products for the region’s industry players. Needless to say, we strongly believe that this partnership will be beneficial not only to us and Aviointeriors, but also to the entire market,” comments Aldas Juronis, the Head of Components and Materials Sales Department at FL Technics.

  • Intelsat and OneWeb partnership to result in the first and only fully global, pole-to-pole high throughput satellite broadband network
  • Investment features a commercial alliance to exclusively distribute to certain vertical markets

Luxembourg and London, UK | June 25, 2015– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world’s leading provider of satellite services, today announced that it has entered into a commercial agreement with OneWeb, the venture planning to build, deploy and operate a low earth orbit (“LEO”) Ku-band satellite constellation. Under the agreement, Intelsat will partner with OneWeb to use OneWeb’s LEO platform, once established, to complement Intelsat’s geostationary orbit (“GEO”) satellite services, resulting in the first and only fully global, pole-to-pole high throughput satellite system.

Complementing their commercial agreement, Intelsat announced that it will make a minority share investment of $25 million in OneWeb. The companies will also collaborate to develop hybrid LEO/GEO end-user access terminals, furthering Intelsat’s vision to lower the cost and accessibility of satellite-based broadband and unlock new markets for satellite broadband.

“As the world’s first and largest provider of commercial satellite services, Intelsat believes that the opportunity for space-based communications is at a new inflection point, especially as broadband connectivity has become an essential input to economic growth for individuals, businesses and communities,” said Intelsat CEO, Stephen Spengler. “In this context, we are accessing new technologies and leveraging sector innovations to the benefit of our customers and our network.

“Through this partnership with OneWeb, we will further differentiate our own GEO infrastructure, including our next generation Intelsat EpicNG® high performance satellites that will begin to launch in the first quarter of 2016,” Spengler continued. “By complementing our GEO services with LEO services, we will be able to provide connectivity over the Earth’s poles and in urban canyons, coverage that is important for certain mobility applications, including automotive services. In collaborating on Ku-band access hardware, we will develop technologies with additional scale that will simplify access, reduce costs and open new addressable markets.”

“Intelsat’s endorsement of our technology and solution is key to driving our venture to the next phase of development. Our mission is to enable affordable Internet access for everyone,” said Greg Wyler, CEO and Founder of OneWeb. “While the primary goal is to bridge the digital divide for rural areas, we recognize the potential for a seamless Ku-band infrastructure to support other applications as well. The OneWeb and Intelsat alliance allows each company to leverage the strength of the other. We believe that access to Intelsat’s global service and technology footprint, and collaboration on solutions which combine the benefits of LEO and GEO, will advance our mission.”

Pursuant to the commercial agreement with Intelsat, OneWeb will develop its platform to provide seamless network interoperability with Intelsat’s global EpicNG GEO infrastructure and service offerings. This will enable OneWeb to coordinate the provision of services over the equatorial regions, where GEO services have spectral priority, overcoming a major operational hurdle to LEO platforms.

The agreement will also include a firm service commitment from Intelsat for OneWeb services upon commencement of operations, which is currently estimated for 2019. Intelsat’s service commitment is in exchange for exclusivity granted to Intelsat for distributing OneWeb’s services within the aeronautical and maritime sector verticals, and for certain U.S. government and oil and gas customer applications. The agreement also includes granting to Intelsat certain exclusive distribution rights for connected car and rail customer applications.

Industry consultant NSR forecasts over $7 billion of incremental revenue industry-wide through 2024 from demand for satellite-based broadband connectivity services for aircraft, ships, connected devices, cars and remote villages. These applications are currently, or planned to be, served by Intelsat’s global fleet of approximately 50 C-band and Ku-band GEO satellites.

By combining GEO and LEO capabilities, Intelsat will be able to address specific requirements within the above applications. For example, the combination will allow Intelsat to extend its broadband mobility offerings to the polar cap regions, important to some aeronautical and maritime routes. In addition, Intelsat will be able to complement highly efficient GEO broadcast capabilities with the high elevation angle solutions of LEO services for situations where GEO signals might be blocked, such as in mobility applications in cityscapes. This would result in unmatched ubiquity for enabling software downloads to vehicles for the automotive industry. Development of mass market end-user hardware will further Intelsat’s strategy to deliver high performance, cost effective and simple access for customers, growing satellite’s share in the global telecommunications infrastructure.

When fully deployed, OneWeb’s initial constellation of more than 600 LEO satellites will be the largest satellite constellation in orbit, providing approximately 10 terabits per second of low-latency, high-speed broadband to consumers around the globe.

A reader sent us this:

Old News – “Boeing CEO Jim McNerney apologized Friday in a company-wide message for telling analysts this week that he won’t retire after turning 65 next month because “the heart will still be beating, the employees will still be cowering.” Despite having reached the company’s customary retirement age, analysts say, McNerney has privately expressed his wish to remain at the helm until Boeing’s 100th anniversary in 2016.”

New News – “Boeing Co. said Chief Executive Jim McNerney will step aside next week after a tumultuous decade at the aerospace giant and hand over the top job to one of his lieutenants. Mr. Muilenburg’s appointment also returns an engineer to the company’s top management position. Mr. Muilenburg holds a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University and a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington. The outgoing Mr. McNerney was often criticized for not having a classical technical background when running the aerospace giant. Mr. McNerney holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a master’s of business administration form Harvard University. Tuesday’s appointment, however, came sooner than many analysts had expected. Boeing fell 1 percent to $143.01 at 4:59 p.m. in New York in extended trading.”

Newest News –  “Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group said that Boeing’s “toxic labor relations” are worse now than any he’s seen in 26 years in the industry. And he’s concerned about “an erosion of Boeing’s core capabilities” if Puget Sound-area engineers leave the company when it transfers work to new design centers around the country. “This is an engineering company. That’s been forgotten,” said Aboulafia. “A ruthless focus on cost is not a very good long-term vision for an engineering company.”

The SITA Airline IT Trends Survey is available now. The connected passenger is a reality. But are airlines focused on the best areas to meet their demands? This year’s Airline IT Trends Survey focuses on the key needs of the connected passenger and outlines how airline IT deployments fit with the latest passenger trends.
The survey provides key insights into how airlines are making life easier by:

• Enabling a wider range of passenger choice through personalization
• Easing passenger anxiety at journey pinch points
• Keeping passengers up to date with the latest information
• Empowering staff with mobile devices

For the first time the survey asks airlines about their intentions for the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s still early days, but the IoT is fast becoming a reality and airlines are already planning for the dawn of this game-changing technology across the Air Transport Industry.

You can get it here

Looking for the good article on the Paris Air Show about Airbus/Boeing? Look no further

Today, Global Eagle sent out the following press release… but we had a few questions: Global Eagle Entertainment and flydubai Sign Groundbreaking Agreement to Deploy Fully-Integrated Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFE&C) System

Los Angeles, CA | June 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (“GEE”) (Nasdaq:ENT), a market-leading media and connectivity provider to the travel industry, today announced that it will equip Dubai-based airline flydubai’s current and future fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft with GEE’s broadband AIRCONNECT satellite connectivity system. The comprehensive agreement provides flydubai with a unique offering and technical capabilities that will continue to differentiate the airline from its peers. The deployment on flydubai will be the industry’s first to provide a bundled solution of inflight connectivity, in-seat IFE content and a provision for operations data, all from a single provider.  GEE will also introduce a new capability, which updates the media content on the in-seat IFE system already in place on flydubai aircraft via the AIRCONNECT connectivity system. This is expected to be the industry’s first use of broadband connectivity to routinely update the media content on embedded IFE systems. flydubai is already a GEE customer for inflight media content, and this new agreement greatly expands the relationship between the two companies.  GEE’s integrated IFE&C solution will offer wifi-enabled internet connectivity, an extensive library of stored content, such as local and international movies and TV shows, and other media delivered to passenger’s handheld devices. GEE will support the generation of ancillary revenue through the sale of advertising and sponsorships, and will manage billing and payment processing. “This is a ground-breaking opportunity for both companies and will provide flydubai with the industry’s broadest and most integrated inflight entertainment and connectivity solution.  GEE is excited to partner with one of the world’s most innovative airlines,” commented Dave Davis, CEO of GEE. “We’re eager to help flydubai further enhance its award-winning IFE&C strategy.” “GEE’s solution, which we are deploying across our fleet, will bring a new level of connectivity to our passengers,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai. “With an integrated inflight entertainment, connectivity and digital media system, we are able to provide the highest standards and latest innovations of inflight services to our passengers and enhance their onboard experience.” So here are our our IFExpress questions:

  • Does every flydubai 737 (existing and future) get equipped with GEE’s AIRCONNECT (Row 44’s satellite connectivity)?
  • They are calling it “a bundled solution of inflight connectivity, in-seat IFE content and a provision for operations data, all from a single provider.” (what about Lumexis?)
  • Will flydubai use AIRCONNECT to routinely update the media content on the embedded IFE system? (Remember the size of media loads, isn’t that going to be expensive?)
  • GEE’s integrated IFE&C solution includes Wi-Fi-enabled internet connectivity and an extensive library of stored content, such as local and international movies and TV shows, and other media delivered to passenger’s handheld devices… isn’t that going to be expensive as well?
  • GEE is going to help flydubai generate revenue via sales of ads, sponsorships — who also will manage billing and payment?

If we get some answers, we will keep you posted.

SITA OnAir’s Tracker just announced 3 new carriers – Singapore, Royal Brunei, and Norwegian Air Shuttle  – Read about it here

Now Available: TripCase Apple Watch Travel App.  With the TripCase Apple Watch travel app, you’ll be able to see your upcoming trip items on your wrist.  You can use handoff to easily open the TripCase app on your iPhone, use their convenient “Remember This Place” feature, or even immediately access the new TripTime widget, right on your watch. You can also view a map of your destination, and they’ve hidden a few other great features in the experience for you to discover, as well. The TripCase Apple Watch travel app now includes Glance support! To access, simply swipe to the Glances section on your watch and you’ll be able to see information about your next upcoming trip item. Tap the watch to load the full TripCase Apple Watch app to view more details about your trip.

And don’t worry – you’ll also continue to receive the real-time travel notifications that you already expect on your iPhone, delivered straight to your Apple Watch.

… Of course, you do have an Apple Watch right?!