AIRBUS
Airbus logged orders for 33 commercial jetliners in July – paced by the wide-body A350 XWB and A330neo, while making 69 deliveries during the month from across its product line of A220, A320 Family, A330, A350 XWB and A380 single-aisle and wide-body aircraft – which included numerous “firsts.”

The wide-body new business was led by Air China’s acquisition of 20 A350 XWBs in the A350-900 version. This Chinese carrier already is a major Airbus customer, currently operating A350-900s, along with A330s, A319s, A320s and A321s.

Also logged in July was Virgin Atlantic’s booking for eight A330-900s to support the UK carrier’s fleet renewal and expansion; this agreement originally was announced at the 2019 Paris Air Show. Completing the month’s wide-body bookings was Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s acquisition of two A350-900s.

Single-aisle orders in July involved two A320neo jetliners for Spain’s Iberia and one ACJ319 Airbus Corporate Jetliner for a private customer.

The month’s deliveries were made to 41 customers overall, with the activity led by 52 jetliners provided from the single-aisle A320 Family. Notable deliveries included the first A321neo for South Korea’s Asiana Airlines, and the initial A321LR long-range version delivered to Aer Lingus of Ireland. Two A220 jetliners – the newest addition to Airbus’ single-aisle aircraft line-up – were delivered during July as well.

Wide-body aircraft provided to customers involved seven A330s in both the NEO and CEO versions, seven A350 XWBs in the A350-900 and A350-1000 configurations, along with one A380. Delivery “firsts” in July included the no. 1 A350-1000 for British Airways and the first A330-900s delivered to Air Calin of New Caledonia and Indonesia’s Lion Air.

Taking the latest orders, deliveries and cancellations into account, Airbus’ backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered as of 31 July stood at 7,198 aircraft. The single-aisle total was composed of 5,822 A320 Family jetliners and 431 A220s; while the wide-body tally involved 618 A350 XWBs, 276 A330s and 51 A380s.

AirAsia has taken delivery of its first A330neo aircraft, to be operated by its long-haul affiliate AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft was delivered via lessor Avolon and is the first of two A330neos set to join the airline’s fleet by the end of the year. With its enhanced economics the A330neo will bring a step-change in fuel efficiency for AirAsia’s long haul operations. The new generation A330neo will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, supporting the airline’s growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. The AirAsia X Thailand A330-900 features 377 seats in a two-class configuration, comprising 12 Premium Flatbeds and 365 economy class seats.


SmartSky Networks

SmartSky has partnered with Mosaic ATM to further enhance SmartSky’s Skytelligence open marketplace and framework infrastructure to connect aviation applications and services developers. The expanded Skytelligence allows for the development of new data and services products to improve the efficiency of aviation operations.

SmartSky’s open interface and integration environment now includes more ways to optimize and improve the flight experience for every aviation-related company, from airlines and aircraft owners to data managers and developers.

“SmartSky’s patented system for five-dimensional trajectory optimization with continuous re-planning is an industry breakthrough, and accessing this capability via a software as a service model is a game-changer. This feature allows developers to take advantage of the combination of several data sources and services, including weather and traffic constraints, to quickly and cost-effectively build enhanced services,” said Chris Brinton, Mosaic ATM CEO.

Mosaic has provided SmartSky with expertise to expand upon and refine the Skytelligence concept, including unique insights for data processing, transformation and fusion techniques to increase Skytelligence’s data offering. SmartSky and Mosaic will continue to collaborate to develop applications and services related to airport data, convective weather data, navigation aids and more.

Using Skytelligence reduces development investment and accelerates outcomes. Application developers and service providers now can realize new revenue while enhancing passenger and flight deck experiences and optimizing operations.


BOEING
A Boeing-built 702 digital satellite called Amos-17 will provide affordable internet access and other communications services to undeserved parts of Africa as well as Europe and the Middle East. The satellite launched today from Cape Canaveral, Florida at about 7:00 p.m. It will enter service in a few months after on-orbit tests and moving to its final position over Africa.

Built on Boeing’s 702 satellite platform, AMOS-17 will deliver television, internet and data services to a potential market comprising hundreds of millions of people in its coverage regions. With both fixed and steerable beams, the multi-band AMOS-17 satellite can provide continual service to long-term customers while moving bandwidth to accommodate short-term demand for high capacity throughput, for example, during special events or natural disasters. “AMOS-17 is packed with innovations so that it can support many challenging missions,” said Chris Johnson, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “We are proud to support Spacecom in their use of satellite technology to bring services, promote economic development and foster a greater sense of connection to people around the world.”


OTHER NEWS

  • Perhaps one of the best applications of self-driving autos is on the airport, or at least, an application analysis of auto usage for airplane/airport applications? Under the hood of Waymo’s self-driving fleet project
  • While reading about the satcom applications of inflight communication, we came across a PR release that the folks at Gogo will introduce 5G systems for usage on aircraft in 2021. What got us interested was the 5G phone usage on aircraft in the future. In case you missed it, here is the release – Gogo to launch 5G network in 2021 – May 29, 2019
  • Optics are not our expertise, however, most aviation folks use binoculars to watch take-offs and landings. This lead-in gives us an amazing solution to a standard problem we found that most of us are aware of: “It’s a problem that plagues even the priciest of lenses, manufactured to the most exacting specifications: the center of the frame might be razor-sharp, but the corners and edges always look a little soft.” Here is the solution by a Mexican physicist that you just have to read. And, oh yes, check out the solution formula! A Mexican Physicist Solved a 2,000-Year Old Problem That Will Lead to Cheaper, Sharper Lenses.
  • If you plan to storm US Area 51 on September 20 this year, we don’t recommend it, in fact, we warn the planned raiders, it might be a life threatening event. Legal expert Devin Stone really put the story and resultant warnings together expertly. While fines and jail time are minimal results, your life might be the “big one”. What Would Happen To You If You Were Caught ‘Invading’ Area 51? – Digg
  • Ever heard of “Intellectual Debt”, a subject by Harvard Professor Jonathon Zittrain? Here is a good article on the new subject discussion. We found the technical version specifically interesting in the article he wrote: “Two crashes of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 jets resulted in the worldwide grounding of its MAX fleet. Analysis so far points to problem of technical debt: the company raced to offer a more efficient jet by substituting in more powerful engines, while avoiding a comprehensive redesign in order to fit the MAX into the original 737 genus.” The subject is related to the dangers of AI and problems we don’t totally understand because systems will produce data that we don’t understand and pass it along to other AI systems: while machine learning systems can surpass humans at pattern recognition and predictions, they generally cannot explain their answers in human-comprehensible terms.” So here is the article – you decide it’s validity: Intellectual Debt: With Great Power Comes Great Ignorance
  • Need to learn more about AI, check out the AI presentation and high level overview of the chip landscape by James Wang, AI Research Lead at ARK Invest. Good Stuff, includes AI hardware innovation (GPU chips), Light and Quantum Computers, AI chip market, 3 unique markets and market size, and more! This Is A Very Good Presentation!! The AI Chip Landscape in 2019: Competition is Heating Up
  • Here is another AI discussion with a Tech entrepreneur who said: “In 10 years, AI will significantly shorten capacity and route planning cycles in air travel”. However he mentions a company called Assaia who makes an AI solution that improves airport turnarounds (Watch their video). Tech entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher: In 10 years, AI will significantly shorten capacity and route planning cycles in air travel

Group agreement with Lufthansa Systems optimizes codeshare connections and harmonizes administration within the Group

Raunheim | August 13, 2019–Lufthansa Systems announced that the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will continue to use its SchedConnect codeshare management solution. SchedConnect helps airlines optimize the handling of codeshare flights, reduce costs and increase revenues. By signing the group agreement, the five airlines – Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti and Edelweiss Air – will also enjoy standardized administration, which will reduce complexity and costs.

“Our innovative SchedConnect codeshare management solution was already being used successfully by a few separate airlines in the Lufthansa Group. This joint agreement will now generate additional long-term synergies that will benefit all the airlines,” said Renata Widmann, Key Account Manager Lufthansa Group Airlines at Lufthansa Systems.

SchedConnect is currently the most technologically advanced system of its kind. It processes around 360 million schedule changes per year and identifies the potential effects on codeshare connections. The solution guarantees a high degree of automation in order to calculate the best codeshare connections for the 35 customers and their partners. If a minimum connecting time is not met due to a schedule change or if a partner flight is canceled, SchedConnect assigns the marketing flight number to another suitable connecting flight operated by a partner. Changes are sent through the reservation systems to travel agents and customers as well as to the operations and passenger-related systems of the airlines involved.

“In a Group with shared goals, the only way to achieve success is by acting together. Despite the airlines’ different needs, we quickly found a suitable solution through pragmatic, constructive cooperation,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “This project is another example of the role Lufthansa Systems plays as a strategic partner in the digital transformation of airlines and of the close collaboration within the Lufthansa Group.”

Increases 2019 Adjusted EBITDA Guidance to $105 Million to $115 Million

Chicago, IL | August 8, 2019–Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, today announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Highlights for Q2 2019

  • Consolidated service revenue of more than $173 million, up more than 9% from Q2 2018
  • Net loss of $84 million, which includes a $58 million loss on extinguishment of debt due to the $925 million debt refinancing
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $37.8 million, up from $18.9 million in Q2 2018
  • Combined segment profit from CA-NA and CA-ROW of $6.9 million, up from a combined segment loss of $17 million in Q2 2018
  • Total Aircraft Online for Commercial Aviation of 3,134, up 81 from Q1 2019
  • Cash Flow from Operating Activities of $11.7 million; Unlevered Free Cash Flow(1) of positive $36 million, up $73 million from negative $37 million in Q2 2018
  • Renewal of our 2Ku agreement with American Airlines and our commercial relationship with T-Mobile
  • In May, Delta Airlines conducted a two-week trial of free Wi-Fi on 55 domestic 2Ku daily flights as part of Delta’s evaluation of offering free Wi-Fi to passengers

Second Quarter 2019 Consolidated Results

  • Gogo completed a $925 million debt refinancing to lower borrowing costs and extend debt maturities, including the repurchase of $159 million of the Company’s 3.75% convertible senior notes due 2020.
  • Consolidated revenue totaled $213.7 million.
  • Service revenue grew in all three segments to a consolidated $173.7 million, an increase of more than 9% from Q2 2018.
  • After excluding the $58 million loss on extinguishment of debt, net loss of $84 million would have been $26 million, an improvement of 30% year-over-year.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $37.8 million as compared with $18.9 millionin Q2 2018, driven primarily by strong service revenue growth and lower operating expenses.
  • Free Cash Flow(1) in Q2 2019 was negative $3 million, an improvement from negative $35 million in the prior-year period. In the first half of 2019, Free Cash Flow was negative $37 million, an improvement from negative $144 million in the prior-year period.
  • Cash and cash equivalents were $182 million as of June 30, 2019 as compared with $189 million as of March 31, 2019, and reflects $40 million of interest payments made in Q2 2019.
  • 2Ku aircraft online reached 1,216 as of June 30, 2019, an increase of 109 aircraft in Q2 2019. Gogo had a 2Ku backlog of approximately 900 aircraft as of June 30, 2019.(2)

“Gogo delivered a solid second quarter, driven by strong underlying service revenue, operational execution and successful implementation of cost controls, including lower than expected satcom expense,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s President and CEO.  “Following our excellent second quarter financial performance, we are again raising our 2019 Adjusted EBITDA guidance.”

“We continue to strengthen our balance sheet and expect to improve Free Cash Flow by at least $100 million in 2019,” said Barry Rowan, Gogo’s Executive Vice President and CFO.  “Looking ahead, we are on track to drive Gogo to meaningfully positive annual Free Cash Flow in 2021.”

Second Quarter 2019 Business Segment Results

Commercial Aviation – North America (CA-NA)

  • Service revenue increased to $96.4 million, up 1% from the prior-year period, due to increased take rates offset by the 555 de-installations from American Airlines aircraft that began in early 2018 and were completed in Q2 2019.
  • Aircraft online increased sequentially to 2,443 from 2,412 as of March 31, 2019.
  • Equipment revenue decreased to $9.3 million as compared with $23.9 million for the prior-year period, due to lower 2Ku installations and a shift in mix from airline-directed to turnkey installations.
  • Total revenue decreased to $105.7 million, down 12% from Q2 2018, due to the decline in equipment revenue.
  • Segment profit increased to $24.2 million from $7 million in Q2 2018, due primarily to stronger service revenue and lower operations costs.
  • Take rates increased to 12.7% in Q2 2019, up from 11.2% in the prior-year period, an improvement of more than 13%.

Commercial Aviation – Rest of World (CA-ROW)

  • Service revenue increased to $22.6 million, up 49% from Q2 2018, driven by an increase in aircraft online.
  • Aircraft online increased to 691, up more than 50% from 459 as of June 30, 2018.
  • Equipment revenue decreased to $14.1 million, down from $18.5 million in Q2 2018. While there were more total Q2 2019 installations in CA-ROW than in Q2 2018, fewer installations under the airline-directed model resulted in lower equipment revenue.
  • Total revenue increased to $36.7 million, up 9% from Q2 2018.
  • Segment loss of $17.3 million improved 29% compared with Q2 2018, as we benefited from continuing improvement in satcom utilization.
  • Take rates increased to 13.4% in Q2 2019, up from 13.2% in the prior-year period.
  • Net annualized ARPA of $135,000 in Q2 2019 was essentially flat from Q1 2019 and declined 8% from $147,000 in Q2 2018, reflecting dilution from the significant growth in new aircraft fleets online, which typically generate initially lower net annualized ARPA.

Business Aviation (BA)          

  • Service revenue increased to $54.8 million, up 14% from Q2 2018, driven primarily by an 11% increase in ATG units online to 5,462.
  • Equipment revenue decreased to $16.5 million, down 37% from Q2 2018, largely attributable to timing delays in the aftermarket channel due to the FAA-mandated December 31, 2019 deadline for installation of ADS-B safety systems.
  • Total revenue decreased to $71.2 million, down 4% from Q2 2018, due to lower ATG equipment shipments.
  • Segment profit decreased to $31.3 million, down 15% from Q2 2018, due to the decline in equipment shipments, increased network costs resulting from higher bandwidth usage, and investments in the development of Gogo 5G and other new products and services.

Business Outlook

The Company reaffirms or updates its 2019 financial guidance as follows:

  • Total consolidated revenue of $800 million to $850 million (no change from prior guidance).
    • CA-NA revenue at the high-end of the previously-guided range of $355 million to $380 million with approximately 5% from equipment revenue (no change in guidance for the percentage of revenue from equipment).
    • CA-ROW revenue at the high end of the previously-guided range of $135 million to $150 million with approximately 40% from equipment revenue (versus prior guidance of approximately 30%).
    • BA revenue of $290 to $300 million versus prior guidance of $310 to $320 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of $105 million to $115 million, representing 55% year-over-year growth at the mid-point of guidance (increased from prior guidance of $90 million to $105 million).
  • Free Cash Flow improvement of at least $100 million versus 2018 (no change from prior guidance).
  • Increase of 400 to 475 in 2Ku aircraft online (no change from prior guidance).
  • JetBlue currently the only airline with fleet-wide free in-flight Wi-Fi service, including free streaming
  • Viasat’s satellite roadmap aligned to serve JetBlue’s current and future flight routes, including inter-continental expansion

Carlsbad, CA | August 7, 2019–Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, announced today JetBlue(NASDAQ:JBLU) selected the Viasat in-flight connectivity (IFC) system for the airline’s new fleet of 70 Airbus A220-300 aircraft – for delivery beginning in 2020, with the option for 50 additional aircraft.

JetBlue and Viasat have maintained a long-lasting partnership, first launching the Viasat-powered Fly-Fi in-flight Wi-Fi service in December 2013. Since the initial introduction, the two companies have received numerous accolades for bringing free, high-speed, high-quality in-flight Wi-Fi to every seat onboard, with JetBlue being further recognized as the only airline to offer free, fast and full in-flight Wi-Fi capabilities—from streaming, web browsing and more—across the airline’s entire fleet.

“Since launching Fly-Fi, JetBlue has set the pace for how airlines should offer in-flight entertainment and internet services to customers,” said Mariya Stoyanova, director, product development, JetBlue. “We’re creating powerful, engaging onboard experiences with our Viasat-powered Fly-Fi service. Our new agreement with Viasat is a strong endorsement to their ongoing commitment to technology advancement, which we believe will help us continue to deliver great experiences to our customers—no matter where they fly with us.”

JetBlue’s new Airbus A220-300 aircraft will be outfitted with Viasat’s latest Ka-band IFC kit, and is compatible with Viasat’s complete fleet of satellites, including Viasat’s first-generation spacecraft – ViaSat-1, WildBlue-1 and Anik F2, its jointly-owned European satellite, KA-SAT; its second-generation spacecraft ViaSat-2, and the forthcoming ViaSat-3 class of satellites, which is expected to offer near global coverage and nearly eight times more capacity than Viasat’s current fleet—which means even more enhanced connectivity and streaming services across JetBlue’s flight routes.

“We’re incredibly proud to equip JetBlue’s entire new Airbus fleet with our ViaSat-3 capable IFC solution—which we expect will deliver even higher quality entertainment and connectivity services,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. “What’s exciting about our partnership, is that throughout the years we have maintained a shared goal: to keep the end-customer front and center by delivering a state-of-the-art connectivity system that would offer a home-like internet experience in the air. With our current and future satellite fleet, we are ready to serve JetBlue as they broaden their plans within the Americas and across to Europe.”

JetBlue was recently named the number one U.S. domestic airline in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2019. As part of this acknowledgment, JetBlue was recognized for its continued investment and coverage expansion of the free Fly-Fi connectivity service.

August 13, 2019– Step onto an aircraft and the chances are good that BAE Systems developed the electronics that enabled its flight. From controlling the aircraft to keeping its engine running at peak performance, BAE Systems moves the world by serving more than two million passengers each day. In fact, every second of everyday a plane safely takes off and lands because of our products. BAE Systems introduced fly-by-wire technology to military aircraft over four decades ago. In fact, both the F-16 and the F-18 flew in 1976 with our systems. Just five years later, we introduced fly-by-wire on a commercial aircraft, the A310. These systems receive inputs from the pilot and command the actuators to move the surfaces accordingly.

Our active inceptors – ‘active sticks’ – provide intuitive tactile feedback that helps pilots control the aircraft and maintain a stable flight. While our innovation started with military aircraft more than 25 years ago, we recently became the first to integrate the same technology on a commercial aircraft with Gulfstream’s G500. These sticks are the world’s first certified commercial active inceptors and earned us, along with Gulfstream, the 2017 Aviation Week Technology Laureate Award.

To further assist pilots, we’ve created flight deck systems with intuitive, streamlined cockpit interfaces that optimize the performance of aircraft. These systems are on more than 12,000 aircraft around the world and serve as the conduit between pilots and their aircraft. The idea behind our systems is to simplify actions for pilots based on the challenges that they face.

We also keep passengers on the move with full authority digital engine controls (FADEC) that power more than 30,000 aircraft around the world. Our FADECs have logged over 1 billion flight hours on military and commercial aircraft. Engine controls receive command from the pilot’s thrust control levers, as well as a multitude of sensors to control the injection of fuel in the combustors. To maximize fuel, the FADECs control the stationary airfoils inside the engine’s fan. The airfoils, also known as stators or vanes, help the aircraft to be most efficient by managing its bypass on the engine.

Venture outside the cockpit to the cabin aisle and you’ll find that our systems create a better flight experience for passengers and crews. To create that experience we give crews the tools to manage power, lighting, climate, and communication systems on more than 2,000 aircraft.

For nearly a half century we’ve solved some of the toughest challenges in aviation, while bringing forth innovative solutions that changed the flight experience for pilots, passengers and crews. Over time a lot has changed, but our desire to push the limits of what is possible remains a constant.

We are building on our past to set the pace for the future of aviation as we embrace autonomous and hybrid-electric systems on aircraft. In the years ahead, we will remain steadfast in providing the controls and avionics that have helped keep our customers flying. Our eyes are on the future and we are focused on writing the next great chapter of aviation history.