PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced a new venture with Air Belgium to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new Airbus A330neo aircraft.

The agreement will see Air Belgium’s A330neo aircraft equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ renowned connectivity and mobile services, enhancing the onboard passenger experience.

The airline’s two new A330neos, the first of which entered into service this weekend, will be fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ full HD seatback monitors, complete with handsets, touch displays, and personalized interfaces.

Air Belgium’s passengers will also experience in-flight connectivity, powered by Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites, delivering a host of next-generation connectivity benefits such as fast internet and in-flight mobile phone services. The system will also feature ArcTM, Panasonic Avionics 3D in-flight moving map platform.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “We are delighted to be working with Air Belgium to enhance the passenger experience on their new fleet. By tailoring the way we offer our award-winning solutions to meet the individual needs of carriers, we are able to create a product portfolio that can fit every airline’s business model.”

“Our in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions will help Air Belgium strengthen their long-haul operations and drive customer satisfaction as they look to grow in the years ahead.”

By adopting Panasonic Avionics’ industry-leading IFEC solutions, airlines can offer a powerful onboard experience to increase brand loyalty, while delivering fresh, personalized content to passengers across the world.

Niky Terzakis, Chief Executive Officer at Air Belgium, said, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Panasonic Avionics to continue to enrich and elevate our onboard experience. Their flexibility and innovative approach in delivering IFE and connectivity perfectly complements our internal resources and strategy.”

More Panasonic News:

Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA) has started a two-month trial of Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight Live Television service.

The service was rolled out on MEA’s fleet of nine Airbus A321neoLR aircraft on the 1st of October 2021, helping passengers to Never Miss A Moment™ with a wide range of premium news and live sporting events.

Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service connects passengers to unmissable on-the-ground entertainment from the comfort of their seats. The integrated service enables passengers to watch news channels including the BBC World and CNN International, along with live sporting action in partnership with Sport 24.

Sport 24 is provided exclusively by Panasonic Avionics and is the world’s first and only live in-flight sports platform. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting airline passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content from over 30 different global sports leagues each day.

MEA’s customers will be able to enjoy all the live action from the world’s top sporting events, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, all four Tennis Grand Slams, all four Golf Majors, the NRL, the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Bundesliga, and more.

The Live Television service onboard MEA’s aircraft will be powered by Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services, and broadcast through its eX1 in-flight entertainment platform, both of which were launched on the airline’s A321neoLR fleet in 2020.

eX1 is designed specifically for narrowbody aircraft and offers elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President of Digital Solutions for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Middle East Airlines and to enhance the in-flight experience they provide by bringing live news and the world’s best sporting action to their passengers.”

Houssam Moghrabi, Head of In-flight Services at MEA, said, “Panasonic Avionics is a proven partner for MEA. The trial of their Live Television service is a natural next step following the installation of their state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems last year, which has been well received by our passengers.”


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, celebrated the 1,000th installation and activation of its market-leading Jet ConneX inflight connectivity solution, cementing the company’s leadership in the business aviation market.

The milestone was celebrated with Inmarsat’s partners at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, USA and also coincides with the fifth anniversary of Jet ConneX. Since entering commercial service in November 2016, Jet ConneX has quickly developed into the business aviation industry’s gold standard inflight connectivity service, offering the same level of reliable, consistent and high-speed broadband in the air that was previously only available on the ground.

Powered by Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network Global Xpress, Jet ConneX is the preferred linefit option of all major business jet manufacturers, including Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault, and uses JetWave hardware by Honeywell Aerospace. Inmarsat has received type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals for the service from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) across all popular platforms, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket maintenance repair and overhaul service providers (MROs).

The 1,000th activation comes at an important time for the business aviation industry. Following a period of turbulence over the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey commissioned by Inmarsat and Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) found that almost 80% of respondents around the world believe more frequent business aviation flights will be taken in the next year. A staggering 90% also feel online activities will dominate principals’ time in the air, almost evenly split between business and leisure.

Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said: “The business world has evolved considerably since the onset of COVID-19 and during times of unprecedented turbulence and instability, business leaders cannot afford to be disconnected. As a result, we have experienced a rapid surge in demand for the fast, reliable and consistent inflight Wi-Fi that only Jet ConneX can deliver, wherever and whenever they fly. We believe this is a long-term trend that won’t level off as we come out of this COVID era.

“Therefore, the outlook is bright and we look forward to working with our partners to build on the momentum of the past five years, with 1,000 activations now achieved and many more to come. As part of these efforts, we are investing more than ever in several upcoming next-generation satellites, plus significant enhancements to our ground stations, hardware and software, all backed by world-class cybersecurity. This will amplify Jet ConneX capabilities even further and also result in unprecedented new L-band offerings to cement our long-term leadership in business aviation connectivity.”

Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA boosts capacity in high-density areas such as at airports, eliminating congested network ‘hot spots’ and ensuring the connectivity needs of business aviation customers continue to be met well into the future, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


BURRANA

Burrana, a leader in the inflight entertainment (IFE) and cabin technology industry, announced the appointment of Graham Macdonald as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Graham brings 30 years of aerospace experience with 15 years in the IFE industry — including Rockwell Collins from which the commercial IFE business was acquired in early 2019 to form Burrana. Mr. Macdonald’s extensive experience managing multi-site, multi-national operations and background integrating acquisitions provide a strong foundation for leading Burrana through the industry recovery and eventual return to normalcy.

For the past 18 months, Neal Nordstrom, Operating Partner for JW Hill Capital, led the business through the challenges created by the global pandemic. He will now transition back to his board role where he will continue to support Mr. Macdonald. Mr. Macdonald came on board as acting Chief of Staff two months ago to begin his onboarding process. A seamless transition of responsibilities will take place over the next few weeks.

Mr. Macdonald said, “I am excited to have been chosen by the board for this role and look forward to embracing the challenges ahead. I am inheriting from Neal a strong team and competitive product range. Our immediate focus is of course continuing to navigate COVID-19’s impact on the industry and coming out of these challenging times strong and ready to compete.”


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense and other mission critical industries, announced that it has closed on the sale of its facility in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for total consideration of $9.1 million. Net proceeds were approximately $8.7 million in cash. The Company expects to record a gain in the fourth quarter of 2021 of approximately $5.0 million. The sale was a result of the consolidation of the DME lighting and safety operations into its East Aurora, NY operations.

The Company also confirmed that it entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program, or AMJP, for a grant of up to $14.7 million. Astronics received the first installment of $7.3 million under the grant in September. The Company expects to receive a second installment in the range of $5 million to $6 million during the fourth quarter of 2021 and a final installment in the second or third quarter of 2022 upon final confirmation of meeting its grant commitments.

Astronics was required to make several commitments to qualify for the program, including a commitment not to furlough or lay off a defined group of employees during the period of performance. The grant benefit will be recognized ratably over a six-month performance period as an offset to cost of goods sold. The contribution to gross profit by quarter is expected to be $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2021, $7.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 and $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2022.


BOEING

Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The award, the highest honor in the long-running program, recognizes a public or private sector leader who has navigated business challenges and expanded opportunities for African-Americans in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Colbert leads Boeing’s aerospace services development and delivery model for commercial, government and aviation industry customers worldwide, focused on global supply chain and parts distribution, aircraft modifications and maintenance, digital solutions, aftermarket engineering, analytics and training.


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