Background: Now after almost two years and the brainpower of four unique and capable design/development/manufacturing organizations (BE Aerospace, Formation Design Group, Panasonic and, of course, Teague), the much anticipated JAZZ seat is about to hit the street… or should we say, “the rails”. If you look up the definition of the word “jazz,” you will find words like, “radically different” which sets up our sense of what the recent interview with Neil James, Executive Director of Corporate Sales and Product Management, Panasonic… was about.

“Well, we started with a clean sheet of paper,” began Neil, and then he went on to tell IFExpress how the Jazz seat/IFE design team set about some 18 months ago, with one goal – to design and build the next generation passenger seat and symbiotic IFEC solution for aircraft seating. During our interview, Neil proudly implied that they had achieved their goal… and then some. Perhaps better said, the goal is as follows: The corporate team worked with our partners to develop a superior, long-haul, economy class seat that would a) integrate the IFE into the seat structure, b) enhance the customer experience in an immersive and comfortable experience, c) reduce total weight, and d) reduce complexity. When IFExpress asked Mr. James why the design team elected to target economy class as their first initiative he said, “The biggest opportunity out there is in economy class. It is where the most people travel today. And we want to bring a touch of the premium experience to those traveling in economy.” He went on to say, “Panasonic has been pretty successful in the IFE industry today and we want to make sure the message is out there that we are not standing still. We are proactive. Panasonic is doing and funding these things without a current customer. We are investing in the industry and its future.

Before we describe the JAZZ seat/IFEC solution in specifics, we should address some of the issues that exist with the passenger experience on a jet plane today. Lets just say that in coach class, it could be better. Perhaps the biggest issue today is that there is not much room – legroom, knee room, and psychological room between you and your seat, and between you and the seat in front of you. Our interviewer referred to “the lack of vertical space.” While the new design provides more than just the illusion generated by the new black color, the mechanical features deliver more to the passenger in function and perception.

From the airline perspective, a new seat should be lighter, slimmer for more of the dedicated available space to be for flying guests. They should be less complex and more reliable… and if they do suffer a failure, they should be easy and straightforward to fix… after all, they are the part of the airline that is in contact with passengers longer that any other part of the service… and your trip.

Additionally, the entertainment screen could always be bigger and easier to see, there could be more adjustable lighting, there could be more and easier power availability, there could better storage for passengers devices. Issues like spillage and sliding (think: turbulence) and table size and storage are always at issue. Connectivity could always be better, and if your device, no matter who made it, could be charged without a special jack, that would help with the plug wiring nightmare. Tray tables could be more passenger-friendly and they could be better designed to secure cups with fluids. In other words, the airplane seat space needs be “adjustable” to fit your needs and the seats could always be better designed to fit “you”.

Basically, the team shrunk the seat while fitting it in the same dimensional footprint, and at the same time improved almost every feature and function of an aircraft seat… while keeping, or improving, seat safety and egress. We note that the weight savings are due to the integration and work between BE and Panasonic. The monitor and seat were designed with the attachment points built in. This eliminates additional brackets and weight from the system. In addition this modular design allows for fast removal of the monitor with a single screw. Here is a real-world definition of a “win-win”. While there is not enough room in an article like this to outline and describe each new feature of this industry changing development, here, in outline form, is a rundown of the feature list. Thus, you can see the advantages of this design above the competition, and at the same time, obviously note the improvements and benefits. Here is a quick look:

MECHANICAL

  • Two new internal seatback designs were developed for this project – called Sandbox and Beachfront. These offerings differ in mechanical features that give preference to the tray and/or storage. Both designs are mandrel free. An anthropomorphic study set the stage for a “new” back shape design. Another way to look at all this development is that the seat occupies less volume – virtually the same width and height, it is just “thinner”.
  • Redesigned cushion with new compression structure technology
  • An adjustable seat tray and cup holder – folding option
  • Peripheral station/storage in seatback – patented “Beachfront” option
  • Increased “knee room” mechanical design
  • There are two streamlined seatboxes: a SPM in the seat pan and a SIB on the leg.
  • An innovative seat cover
  • Lighter weight means less fuel burn – enough said!

ELECTRICAL/ELECTRONIC

  • New personal LED mood lighting control at the seat
  • A full screen touch remote display
  • New, 13.3, 1080p, LED display/touchscreen – integrated into an edge-to-edge glass seatback display monitor
  • Built-in attendant call, AC power, USB ports, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, and wireless device charging

PSYCHOLOGICAL

  • The design included the concept of “more vertical space”
  • A bigger video screen will better replicate the home experience
  • Simplified installation maintenance and upgrades will change the airline and passenger view of long haul seating
  • More feature control, storage, space will help reduce the high level of aircraft travel angst that exists today
  • There is psychological value in a clean new look

All this teamwork and disruptive design technology will virtually (and physically) improve the flight experience – what’s not to like about JAZZ?

Look at it this way, if you have the same number of aircraft seats in a row, each passenger now has more room than with older seats – it looks better, it feels better, and it performs better. Another way to look at it, if the seat legs are installed in the same place, the seat has “shrunk” in actual dimensions giving you more room – at the same time the IFE has improved, storage and user interface has improved, thus improving your physical interface to the plane.

One caution, a thinner seat does not always mean a more comfortable seat. The Panasonic folks tell us that the seat comfort is a result of extensive studies on the seat shape that have been optimized for comfort on the seatback as well as the seat pan, while the cushion material plays a part too. We can’t wait to try it out.

When the IFExpress team asked Panasonic about the nature of the relationship between the seat vendor and the IFE vendor, we were told that the relationship is not agnostic. Each company owns their own IP and can work with other vendors as airlines demand. In fact, they are looking at working on future projects with traditional vendors, as well as, new entrants. Additionally, IFExpress anticipates this design concept to spread to the premium classes in the near future.

As an aside, last year at the Passenger Experience Conference prior to AIX 2014 Devin Liddell of Teague gave a presentation on the power of partnerships and how they were the most powerful currency at our industry’s fingertips. In other words, the team-made product is bigger than the sum of its parts. At the time he stated in his presentation that the capacity to partner has a big impact on influencing the customer and that we, as an industry, need to think about co-making, not just co-marketing. In our opinion that is exactly what Panasonic and the rest of the team have done with JAZZ.

The new JAZZ seat will be at AIX in Hamburg as the early design has been entered in the Aircraft Interiors Crystal Cabin Awards – we expect they will do well. (Editor’s Note: While JAZZ was quietly debuted at AIX 2014 then rolled out at CES 2015, the first delivery seat group may very well be a variant of the unit at AIX 2015.)

  • SolderSleeve Shield-Grounding Terminators Provide an Environmentally-Sealed, Insulated and Encapsulated Solder Connection

Harrisburg, PA | March 3, 2015– E Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity, announces the retention of qualification on the Qualified Products List (QPL) for its 150 degrees Celsius-rated SolderSleeve shield-grounding terminators to SAE-AS-83519/1 and /2. These shield terminators, S01 and S02 part numbers, have been designed to attach a ground lead to a cable shield to bring electrical disturbances to ground, delivering an environmentally sealed and encapsulated solder connection.

“We’re pleased to confirm we have retained our qualification for our shield terminators. Re-qualification is essential in retaining the QPL, and our products continue to meet these stringent requirements,” said Mark Taylor, Product Manager, TE Connectivity, Global Aerospace, Defense & Marine. “Our shield terminators provide excellent and time-tested environmental resistance, long-term performance and reliability. They are easy to install and offer a lower installed cost for splicing and terminating wires using our solder and heat shrink technology.”

The prefluxed solder preform provides a controlled and repeatable soldering process, while the transparent tubing allows for efficient visual inspection. The shield terminators are also small in size and extremely light weight.

TE’s SolderSleeve shield-grounding terminators are ideal for military aerospace, commercial aerospace and military ground systems applications.

Itasca, Ill. | March 2, 2015– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO) announced today that it intends to offer $300 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2020 (the “notes”), subject to market and other conditions, in a private offering to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Gogo also expects to grant the initial purchasers of the notes a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional $45 million aggregate principal amount of the notes to cover over-allotments, if any.

The notes will be convertible prior to December 1, 2019 only under certain circumstances and thereafter at any time. Upon conversion, the notes will be settled in shares of Gogo’s common stock, or, if and when Gogo receives the approval of shareholders in accordance with applicable NASDAQ rules, at Gogo’s election in shares of Gogo’s common stock, cash or a combination of cash and shares of Gogo’s common stock.

In connection with the offering, Gogo intends to enter into one or more privately negotiated forward stock purchase transactions with one or more of the initial purchasers (or their respective affiliates) (the “forward counterparties”), pursuant to which Gogo will purchase a specified number of common shares for settlement on the last day of the 50 trading day period commencing on, and including, the 42nd scheduled trading day immediately preceding March 1, 2020, subject to the ability of each forward counterparty to elect to settle all or a portion of its forward stock purchase transaction early. The forward stock purchase transactions are generally expected to facilitate privately negotiated derivative transactions between the forward counterparties and holders of the notes, including swaps, relating to the common shares by which holders of the notes will establish short positions relating to the common shares and otherwise hedge their investments in the notes concurrently with, or shortly after, the pricing of the notes.

Gogo’s entry into the forward stock purchase transactions with the forward counterparties and the entry by the forward counterparties into derivative transactions in respect of shares of Gogo’s common stock with the purchasers of the notes could have the effect of increasing, or reducing the size of any decrease in, the price of Gogo’s common stock concurrently with, or shortly after, the pricing of the notes.

Gogo expects to use a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to fund the cost of repurchasing shares of its common stock pursuant to the forward stock purchase transactions, described above. Gogo expects to use the remaining net proceeds from the offering, as well as any proceeds from the sale of additional notes, if the initial purchasers exercise their option to purchase additional notes from Gogo, for working capital and other general corporate purposes, including costs associated with developing and launching its next-generation technology solutions and the acquisition of additional spectrum should it become available.

This press release is not an offer to sell or purchase, or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, the notes or the common shares issuable upon conversion of the notes, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

The notes and any common shares issuable upon conversion of the notes have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act, or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.

  • New voice and data service enabled by Iridium NEXT satellite constellation

Cedar Rapids, Iowa | February 27, 2015– Rockwell Collins has entered into an agreement with Iridium Communications Inc. to be a value-added manufacturer (VAM) for Iridium CertusSM broadband terminals. As a VAM, Rockwell Collins will design and manufacture the terminals, which will enable users to utilize Iridium Certus, the voice and data service enabled by the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation.

“Through this agreement with Iridium, we’ll be able to deliver high-speed flight deck connectivity to meet the growing connectivity needs of our customers,” said Steve Timm, vice president and general manager, Air Transport Systems for Rockwell Collins. “We also see the potential to offer services through our ARINC information management services, giving customers a single source for their Iridium NEXT connectivity needs.”

Rockwell Collins delivers flexible, highly reliable, cost-effective connectivity solutions for airlines and business aircraft around the globe. These solutions include safety services as well as value-added applications that optimize and expand capabilities for aircraft operators and passengers.

“Rockwell Collins is a true pioneer and leader in aviation communication solutions, continually pushing the envelope to provide innovative solutions for both aircraft operators and OEMs alike,” said Bryan Hartin, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, Iridium. “Additionally, their excellent global distribution channels support Iridium’s long-term strategy to offer best-in-class products and services while staying true to our wholesale distribution model.”

The first launch of Iridium NEXT satellites is scheduled in October 2015.

Canberra, Australia | March 2, 2015– Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications and safety services, today announced that it is partnering with Airservices Australia and other key aviation industry stakeholders to trial improved flight tracking services on commercial airline flights to and from Australia.

The announcement follows a resolution on 6 February by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to adopt a new 15-minute tracking standard for commercial aircraft. ICAO is the United Nations body tasked with developing international civil aviation standards and recommended practices.

Inmarsat is working with industry partners, Airservices Australia, Qantas and Virgin Australia in developing the operational concept for the trial, using Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C) satellite technology in Australia’s oceanic regions.

Airservices Australia is the first Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) to trial the ICAO standard, utilising Inmarsat’s global flight tracking ADS-C messaging service. ADS-C provides air traffic controllers with a constantly updated surveillance picture of their airspace, thereby allowing safe and efficient oceanic operations.

11,000 commercial passenger aircraft are already equipped with an Inmarsat satellite connection, representing over 90% of the world’s long haul commercial fleet. Airlines participating in the trial include Qantas and Virgin Australia.

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “This is an important step in improving international airline safety and we are very pleased to be working with Airservices Australia and our industry partners to implement this enhanced flight tracking service.

“We applaud ICAO’s decision to announce the new tracking standard and believe that we are well placed to help implement the standard given our existing global satellite coverage and the time-frame proposed. Inmarsat’s heritage is in safety and we stand ready to coordinate normal and abnormal flight tracking services with the airlines and the ANSPs.”

Lyngby, Denmark | February 26, 2015– Iridium Communications Inc. has selected Cobham SATCOM as an official Manufacturing Partner for Iridium Certus broadband, a new generation of satellite services based on the forthcoming Iridium NEXT constellation. Cobham SATCOM, a leading satellite and radio communication hardware manufacturer, plans to grow its well-established L-band portfolio with a new line of Iridium Certus terminals for users in the aeronautical and maritime sectors, ready for the launch of new global broadband services.

The Iridium NEXT constellation will consist of 66 low-Earth orbit inter-connected satellites. It introduces a number of new and expanded capabilities, including greater capacity, bandwidth and data speeds, while retaining the global (pole-to-pole) data services Iridium® supports today. Iridium Certus broadband services will be used for commercial, government, and safety communications; areas that Cobham SATCOM already serves with its existing portfolio of L, Ku, Ka and C-band satellite terminals. The new agreement enables Cobham SATCOM to expand its portfolio even further, with development of maritime (SAILOR) and aeronautical (AVIATOR) products for Iridium Certus broadband.

Cobham SATCOM is already a current generation maritime Iridium terminal and hardware manufacturer, and a clear market leader in maritime L-band MSS, in addition to being an established provider of L-band cabin and cockpit communication systems for aircraft. This experience provides a strong platform for Iridium Certus terminal development, giving aircraft, boats and ships high performance and reliability for Iridium’s next generation of services.

“We are delighted to become an official Iridium Certus manufacturing partner and look forward to being part of the massive opportunities that these new services will introduce for satcom users and service providers. The inherent advantages of the Iridium NEXT constellation and our expertise in L-band product development allow us to offer innovative communications solutions, providing our diverse customer base in the aeronautical and maritime markets access to the full suite of compelling Iridium Certus services,” says Paul Jona, SVP Cobham SATCOM.

“We are excited to be working with Cobham SATCOM, a recognized leader developing game-changing products in aeronautical and maritime markets, and look forward to supporting the next-generation of safety services that result from this partnership,” said Bryan Hartin, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Iridium. “Our selection of Cobham SATCOM demonstrates our long-term strategy to offer superior communications platforms while staying true to our wholesale model – working with our partners as the best way to address growing, diverse markets.”

  • Ground-to-Ground Satellite Communication Specialists to Enable Connectivity at Every Stop along the Solar Impulse Journey

Luxembourg and Yverdon | February 26, 2015 | Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world’s leading provider of satellite services, and ITC Global, the leading provider of satellite communications to remote and harsh environments, announced today that the companies will provide ground-to-ground satellite communication services to Solar Impulse during its first round-the-world solar flight.

The Round-the-World Mission Flights will take place over five months from the beginning of March to the end of July 2015. Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, has been named Host City of Solar Impulse for the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, and will be the departing and landing destination.

As Specialized Partners of the Solar Impulse project, Intelsat and ITC Global will enable the ground crew and support teams to communicate from anywhere to anyone in the world. Using a 1.8 meter, quick deploy antenna, the crew will leverage Intelsat’s global satellite network for broadcasts, webcasts, email, phone, data and video communications during its 35,000 km (22,000 mile) journey which is expected to take approximately 550 flight hours to complete. Intelsat and ITC Global will also provide 24×7 operations center support during the trip around the world.

“At Intelsat, we value the spirit of innovation that underlies the Solar Impulse adventure. We know what it means to push the limits of technology,” said Jean-Philippe Gillet, Vice President, Europe, Middle East & Africa Sales, “and are pleased to be able to help the Solar Impulse team share its remarkable journey with the world.”

“At ITC Global, we appreciate the commitment to renewable energy that underscores the Solar Impulse initiative,” said Roland Loos, COO and EVP. “With expertise in the energy markets, we are excited about the challenge of flying an airplane around the world with zero fuel on board, and proud to be a Specialized Partner to this pioneering feat.”

The Monday starter to AIX in Hamburg this year, as in the past, is called The Passenger Experience Conference and hosts an industry Networking Party in the evening following the seminars. Both will be held at the CCH-Congress Center Hamburg located near the SAS Radisson Hotel. We should mention that the CCH-Congress Center is a different venue but is walking distance from the exhibition halls where the Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo are held the following three days.

Registration is easy; check out the weblink and you can download the program too. Now in its fourth year, the premier aviation conference and networking forum is designed to discuss the vital strategic issues surrounding cabin innovation, consumer expectations and strategies for profitability within the cabin. We should also mention that the conference is hosted by the Aircraft Interiors and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expos.

This year, the AIX folks will, through schedule shifting, give attendees the ability to attend two of the three keynote sessions, and the option to attend one of the three concurrent breakout sessions (IFEC, Cabin or Hospitality topics) that run late morning and one of three (featuring new IFEC, Cabin or Hospitality topics) in the afternoon. We suspect that this schedule adjustment from previous years arose out of attendee requests. From our past experience there is always one good session in another focus group held at the same time we couldn’t afford to miss… at least this year, attendees have an additional option since there is a repeat in each of the groups. Check out Monday’s Schedule for more detailed information (13 page PDF) but print out this 1 page PDF Programme-At-A-Glance to take to with you.

Noted Katie Murphy, AIX Exhibition Senior Event Director: “This year, as in previous years, we will be running concurrent breakout sessions for IFEC, hospitality and cabin topics. A new departure for 2015 is that we will start these sessions mid-morning with a keynote presentation. After the lunch break we will repeat the keynotes again to give delegates a chance to experience two out of three of these presentations, before moving on to new breakout topics. For IFEC that will be a look at the future for in-flight content and the potential impact of virtual reality technologies on the passenger experience.”

As we noted in the above, the conference schedule covers topics and subjects in detail but we wanted to give our IFExpress readers a summary outline of the Monday meeting by looking at the three breakout session focus topics – IFE, Cabin, and Hospitality.

Passenger Experience Conference – 2015

Registration & Coffee 08.00 – 09.00
Welcome (Plenary) 09.00 – 09.10
Introduction (Plenary) 09.10 – 09.15
Blue Sky Talk (Plenary) 09.15 – 10.00 – Emotional Ergonomics in the Air
Debate: The Flexible Interior (Plenary) 10.10 – 10,50
– Coffee –
Keynotes: Disrupting the Status Quo, 11.20 – 11.55 & 14.00 – 14.35
Breakouts 12.00 – 12.55 7 14.40 – 16.05

BREAKOUT SESSIONS – IFE, CABIN, & HOSPITALITY

1)  IF YOU ARE INTO “IFE”
AM: 1. Desire In The Travel Zone, 11.20 – 11.55 (35 Min. Total)
LATE AM: 2.The Connected Aircraft, 12.00 – 12.55 (55 Min. Total)
– LUNCH –
PM: 1. Desire In The Travel Zone, 14.00 – 14.35 (35 Min. Total)
LATE PM: 3.The Future For In-flight Content, 14.40 – 16.05 (1H. 25 Min. Total)

2) IF YOU ARE INTO “CABIN”
AM: 1. Guest Centric Approach For Customizing The Cabin, 11.20 – 11.55 (35 Min. Total)
LATE AM: 2. Making A Difference To Passenger Experiences, 12.00 – 12.55 (55 Min. Total)
– LUNCH –
PM: 1. Guest Centric Approach For Customizing The Cabin, 14.00 – 14.35 (35. Min. Total)
LATE PM: 3. The Future For Seats And Galleys, 14.40 – 16.05 (1 Hr. 25 Min. Total)

3) IF YOU ARE INTO “HOSPITALITY”
AM: 1. Onboard Sustainability Strategies, 11.20 – 11.55 (35 Min. Total)
LATE AM: 2. Food And Service Trends, 12.00 – 12.55 (55 Min. Total)
– LUNCH –
PM: 1. Onboard Sustainability Strategies, 14.00 – 14.35 (35 Min. Total)
LATE PM: 3. The Future For Revenue And Retail, 14.40 – 16.05 (1 Hr. 25 Min. total)
– Coffee –

Leaders in Innovation (Plenary) 16.35 – 17.30
Industry Networking Party 17.30 – 21.00

Last year’s Passenger Experience Conference was the fourth edition of the Monday educational sessions prior to the opening of the AIX show floor. The 2014 PEC started with 2 plenary sessions then split into four areas of focus, which were run simultaneously and built on the subject matter of the 2013 event: 1) In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity: a voyage of discovery and opportunity 2) The Cabin: Getting smarter about space and comfort 3) Hospitality & Service – making the onboard experience memorable and 4) Protecting the Brand: cabin maintenance. IFExpress felt that one of the highlights from the sessions was Devin Liddell of Teague who discussed the power of “co-making” and how partnerships are our most powerful currency, with the capacity to partner having a big impact on influencing the passenger. The informative day finished with the AIX Networking Party that provided delegates, speakers, visitors and exhibitors an opportunity to strike up new professional relationships and fortify existing business partnerships in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend the Monday sessions in 2012, 2013 or 2014, IFExpress suggests you give this year’s conference a try – you won’t be disappointed!

Editors notes: “Plenary – (of a meeting) to be attended by all participants at a conference or assembly, who otherwise meet in smaller groups.” Yes, we didn’t remember it either… Also we wanted to let you know that there is a Lufthansa discounted travel deal

IFExpress will see you there!

  • TE Connectivity’s MIL-STD-1553B PCB Connectors Deliver Advanced Performance for Military and Commercial Platforms

Harrisburg, PA | February 24, 2015– E Connectivity (TE), a world leader in connectivity, announces its MIL-STD-1553B PCB connectors for aerospace applications that offer high-speed connectivity and reliable performance in extreme conditions and environments. The new press fit PCB connectors offer customers a robust electrical and mechanical connection between the connector and the PCB that is able to help withstand mechanical abuse such as shock and vibration.

“TE has a long history of manufacturing and supplying robust and reliable MIL-STD-1553B data bus systems, and our components and harnesses continue to be in demand worldwide,” said Janeann Avants, Product Manager, Global Aerospace, Defense & Marine, TE. “This new PCB connector will provide an easy and durable method for interfacing between the data bus and the PCB.”

MIL-STD-1553B data bus systems have met the demanding performance requirements of military aircraft platforms for more than 30 years and are still being specified in 21st century military aircraft, such as the F-35, because of the system’s ability to perform reliably under extreme conditions.

The new PCB connectors have a tin-plated PCB mount connector that withstands 500 hours of salt spray exposure. They are compatible and mateable with standard data bus cable plug connectors. With an operating temperature of minus 65 degrees Celsius to 125 degrees Celsius, they are also available with pin or socket contacts.

  • eXW IFE provides a vast selection of entertainment content to passengers using their smartphones, tablets and computers for viewing in flight


Lake Forest, CA and Sunnyvale, CA | February 24, 2015–
Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and Intertrust announced today that Panasonic’s wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, eXW, uses Intertrust’s ExpressPlay Marlin Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology to protect and manage in-flight content libraries.

“We selected Intertrust’s ExpressPlay technology for two reasons,” said Laurie da Silva, Senior Vice President of Engineering, Panasonic Avionics. “It is a proven technology used in consumer devices like TVs and consumer gaming consoles, and it meets all of our IFE specific requirements for eXW. With ExpressPlay, our customers can offer a premium wireless entertainment experience backed by robust security endorsed and approved by the leading content providers that serve our industry.”

Panasonic’s eXW is an advanced wireless IFE system that delivers on-board movies, music, news and in-cabin services to passengers’ personal electronic devices. It supports Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as laptop computers with Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers. DRM helps protect copyrighted material by ensuring secure delivery and distribution of content during flight. Marlin’s unique ability to provide offline DRM provisioning is especially important in aircraft that do not have a data connection to the ground. This advantage can eliminate the need for passengers to download an airline-specific app before boarding their flight.

“Panasonic and Intertrust have worked together for years on DRM and a variety of other projects in consumer electronics and content distribution,” said Gilles Boccon-Gibod, SVP and Chief Architect at Intertrust. “Working on building Marlin into their latest wireless IFE systems is a privilege as it puts all of the features of our Marlin technology through serious moves to build a brilliant and dynamic content distribution system for travelers”

United Kingdom | February 24, 2015– Leading aircraft cabin lighting company STG Aerospace is delighted to announce that Copa Airlines has become the latest airline to install its liTeMood®  retrofit LED lighting system representing the first airline in Latin America to complete a 737-800 liTeMood® installation.

With many of their 737NG fleet installed with Boeing Sky Interior, Copa looked for a cost effective solution to upgrade and harmonise the look and feel of cabin interiors of the older aircraft installed with fluorescent lighting.  The liTeMood® installation followed an on-wing demonstration in Panama during 2014. Founded in 1947, Copa Airlines serves as Panama’s flag carrier flying more than 11 million passengers a year to destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and Latin America and the Caribbean.

liTeMood® is a versatile, programmable, fully plug-and-play system which can be installed quickly and easily and offers a highly cost-effective upgrade for airlines seeking to improve passenger experience and increase yields.  It features significantly increased reliability over traditional lighting systems, thereby reducing ongoing maintenance and operational costs, and also delivers important environmental benefits. Not only is liTeMood® up to 40kg lighter than original-fit fluorescent lighting, it also consumes 70% less power, increasing both the aircraft’s fuel and electrical efficiency.

Despite the simplicity of its design, liTeMood® incorporates the latest research into the effects of ambient lighting on individual passenger comfort and wellbeing and, as a result of its versatility, can also be applied to achieve impactful brand differentiation.

  • Are passengers, airports and airlines aligned?

London | February 24, 2015– The ‘connected passenger’ has become a reality, with 97% of airline passengers carrying at least one personal electronic device. But global usage rates indicate passengers have been slow to adopt new airline and airport mobile services when traveling. Deeper analysis however, shows that some industry players are bucking the trend and achieving high levels of usage. This is according to The Future is Personal, the latest industry report from SITA, the leading global IT provider to the air transport industry.

SITA’s industry insights are based on in-depth research directly with more than 6,000 passengers; carried out at 106 airports across the world which handled 2.35 billion passengers last year and with airlines that together carried more than half the world’s passenger traffic. The research shows airlines have made significant investments in mobile services over the past four years as smartphone adoption surged and the majority now enable passengers to buy tickets, check-in and access flight information via smartphone apps. Meanwhile half of the worlds’ airports also provide flight information via apps.

Still global rollout and adoption is proving to be slower and more complex than was anticipated. Half of passengers are keen to use their mobiles to find their way around the airport, access lounges or the aircraft, provide identification at checkpoints, or make payments. The reality is though, that despite these and other services, including mobile check-in and boarding passes provided by airlines, 24% of passengers have not yet used travel apps at all on their journey.

Nigel Pickford, Director Market Insight, SITA, said: “At a glance, airlines and airports might be discouraged by the slower than expected global usage rates but this hides the huge success that some airlines and airports are experiencing. Our analysis has shown that the successful ’outliers’, be they airports or airlines, are focusing on providing excellent customer service experiences that their passengers want. They are harnessing new technologies to give personalized services at the right moment of the journey.”

SITA’s report details the desire for passengers to experience personalized services throughout their journey and explains how personalization is now expected both on the ground and in-flight. This era of continuous engagement means that passengers also expect to be kept informed during periods of disruption and given the ability to manage the changing circumstances of their journey.

The Future is Personal combines SITA’s global research with commentary and cases studies from airports and airlines that have focused particularly on using mobile services to improve the passenger experience to great success. Those featured include Alaska Airlines, easyJet, Emirates, JetBlue, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, SWISS, Cork Airport, Dubai Airports, Frankfurt Airport, Miami Airport, and Toronto Pearson International.

For further details download SITA’s full report – The Future is Personal.

  • Etihad Airways Airbus A380 flight installed with AeroMobile services

London | February 23, 2015– AeroMobile has celebrated the first Airbus A380 to be fully line-fitted with its inflight mobile phone network. The Etihad Airways A380-800 (A6-APA) aircraft’s inaugural flight with AeroMobile services was from Abu Dhabi to London Heathrow, touching down on Friday 13 February 2015. This successful maiden flight paves the way for future A380s to be fitted with AeroMobile services.

The newly-connected aircraft accommodates 498 guests in total – 417 in Economy Class, 70 in Business Class, 9 in First Class and two in The Residence cabin.

Etihad Airways now has AeroMobile connectivity on 59 aircraft serving worldwide destinations from the Middle East. The AeroMobile service is also fitted to Etihad Airways’ Airbus A330-200, A330-300, A340-500 and A340-600 aircraft.

AeroMobile, a mobile network operator, enables airline passengers to roam inflight. The company provides technology and services that allow the safe use of passengers’ own mobile phones onboard aircraft.

AeroMobile’s inflight mobile services have proved incredibly popular with passengers since the first flight in March 2008. In fact, since launch over 23.6 million passengers have successfully connected to the network and 2014 saw a strong increase in the uptake of AeroMobile services from airlines and passengers, which reflects the needs of the modern traveler; to always be connected.
AeroMobile has roaming agreements with more than 285 operators in over 130 countries, including UAE operators Etisalat and Du and O2, EE, Three and Vodafone in the UK.

“It’s very exciting to kick off 2015 with our first AeroMobile-connected A380. With demand for inflight connectivity increasing year-on-year, we’re looking forward to continued momentum in installed aircraft and passenger demand in 2015.” Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.