Paris, France | March 18, 2019– The French startup SKYdeals reinvents travel retail thanks to its solution of Inflight Shoppertainment. SKYdeals strengthens its ties with the group by partnering with Air France to launch a pilot of its technology on several lines of the medium and long-haul networks of the airline.

SKYdeals is now on AIR

Since January 2019, the e-commerce platform SKYdeals is available on long, medium and short-haul flights equipped with an Internet connection to travelers from all countries: North America, South America, Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Asia and Oceania.

Julien Sivan, CEO of SKYdeals, says: “We are pleased that Air France is giving SKYdeals the opportunity to deploy our new inflight shoppertainment services. From now on, we can experience a large number of preferred offers to passengers. It will be interesting to measure the evolution of buying behaviors on board, which is a world premiere. We would like to thank Air France for their trust and supportWith the arrival of Wi-Fi on the majority of the fleets worldwide, we hope to be able to reach an audience of more than 200 million passengers a year within five years.”

A major innovation for inflight entertainment 

Freely accessible from any device, SKYdeals is available to passengers from Air France Connect, the connectivity portal of Air France.

Considered as the future of travel retail, SKYdeals relies on two major innovations.

The first marketplace dedicated to travelers currently flying which allows brands to promote preferred offers to passengers available during the time of their flight.

The unique targeting capacity of SKYdeals allows to offer a unique shopping experience on board. SKYdeals has the ability to target offers based on the travelers’ profiles and destination. Premium brands or confidential brands, already present or not duty free, will have the opportunity to offer passengers a series of exclusive offers on the platform, up to 50% off. 

Inflight Shoppertainment features, consisting of a set of dynamic commercial offers, allow passengers to be entertain while enjoying advantageous offers:

  • Flyover offers: preferred offers triggered according to the area and the country overflown and are only available during the flyover time.
  • Group Buying offers: passengers on the same flight may grouped together to obtain more advantageous offers.
  • Flash sales:  these offers are valid for 15 minutes at specific times during the flight.
  • Flying Auctions: Real auctions lasting the time of the flight.

With these features available, each connection to SKYdeals promises to be both entertaining and advantageous.

The ambition of this first deployment is a live trial of all these new offers with travelers from all nationalities and on a large number of routes.

With much going on this week we would like to get started with our IFExpress BUZZ message and give you a little background on why it is in this week’s issue.

Firstly, we were contacted about the new secure content streaming technology implemented by IdeaNova, and we are certain you will hear a lot about them and their new technology in the future. We will delve in this further in a future issue this soon in IFExpress, but we wanted you to meet their CEO, Juraj Siska. In discussing the IdeaNova technology, Juraj told us that it used a new and special “Hardware Secured” server noted Juraj:” ‘Hardware secured’ server means that DRM cryptographic operations and certain security functions are executed in special hardware, which is separate from the main processing unit, making it harder to compromise and almost impossible to replicate for malicious purposes. This is unlike traditional software implementations where software is much easier to copy.”

We will have more on this content security technology in an upcoming issue; however, we should mention that Rich Salter is now an independent consultant and is advising IdeaNova. It is also worth noting that the APEX Technology Committee has a Working Group co-chaired by Phil Watson (Panasonic) and Juraj Siska (IdeaNova) that has created a draft of APEX 0415 version 2 that adds security provisions for premium content.

However, as we previously stated, we will cover more on this new content security in a forthcoming issue.

Now, let’s get on with the news from the past 7 days:


AEROMOBILE
Inflight mobile connectivity provider AeroMobile announced the addition of TAP Air Portugal to its connected fleet. TAP Air Portugal’s first connected Airbus A330-900neo entered into service in December 2018. This launch marks an exciting time for TAP Air Portugal, which is the first airline in the world to operate the next generation A330-900neo aircraft. The onboard AeroMobile service allows TAP Air Portugal passengers in all cabin classes to use their mobile devices to send and receive SMS, catch up with emails and browse the internet from 20,000 feet. Following the successful launch of its first aircraft with inflight mobile connectivity, TAP Air Portugal will add an additional 37 aircraft over the next year, reaching a total of 71 aircraft by 2025. The A330-900neo fleet with inflight mobile connectivity will be deployed on services to Sao Paulo, with four other Brazil destinations launching across 2019. And just in case you didn’t remember, AeroMobile is a subsidiary of Panasonic Avionics!


ASTRONICS
Astronics Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics PECO, was awarded a multi-year contract extension to provide custom manufactured interior and structural components to Boeing for multiple aircraft platforms.

Under the contract extension, Astronics PECO will continue to provide its innovative passenger service units (PSUs), fuel tank access doors and environmental control system components, among other parts. The products will serve on a variety of Boeing aircraft, including Boeing 737, 747, 767, 777 and KC-46 models.


THALES

  • Aireon and Thales, through this agreement, look at ways to improve aviation efficiency by globally leveraging the space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) service. Aireon and Thales will collaborate and utilize live space-based aircraft positioning data via the Thales TopSky-ATC system as well as the Thales aviation data platform, ECOSystem. Aieron will go live in weeks, providing global air traffic surveillance coverage via satellites. It is supported by the leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) around the world
  • Thales and Gemalto announced that they have received Regulatory Clearance for US antitrust approval, as the Stipulation and Order related to their agreement with the United States Department of Justice, which was announced on 1 March 2019, has been entered by the court.

SITAONAIR
SITAONAIR successfully expanded the operational capacity of air traffic service (ATS) datalink across Brazil’s airports, in a crucial step towards modernizing air traffic control operations in the country as air traffic continues to rise. The development of the service follows SITAONAIR’s instrumental work with Brazil’s Department of Airspace Control (DECEA), as part of the wider Brazilian Air Navigation Modernization SIRIUS program to advance ATS Datalink services. The deployment of services for The Commission for the Implementation of the Airspace Control System (CISCEA) to 24 control towers across Brazil began in June 2016, ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, the initiative, in partnership with SITAONAIR’s specialist air traffic control partners Saipher and ATC Systems has continued to evolve, increasing safety, sustainability and operational efficiency. As a result, DECEA has seen an increase in aircraft opting to access voice and datalink ATIS (D-ATIS) as well as DCL (Datalink Departure Clearance Service) information in a more digital, convenient and secure manner, with approximately 250 departure clearances issued a day and 20,000 D-ATIS requests a month from the country’s major airports. SITAONAIR’s most recent infrastructure development in 2018 includes establishing services at two additional airports, Rio de Janeiro’s Santos Dumont and São Paulo’s Campinas, bringing the total number of fully-equipped control towers to 26.


AIRBUS
Wizz Air, the largest Central and Eastern European low cost carrier, took delivery of its first of 184 A321neo aircraft on order at an event in Hamburg, with József Váradi, CEO Wizz Air and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. The new generation aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and features the widest single aisle cabin with 239 seats in a single class configuration and offers operators maximum flexibility, fuel efficiency and low operating costs. Wizz Air is an all Airbus operator, with more than 100 A320 Family aircraft operating all around Europe with 261 more to be delivered. With 184 of the larger A321neo aircraft on order, Wizz Air is the largest Airbus customer worldwide of the type.


BOEING

Boeing completed the acquisition of ForeFlight, a provider of innovative mobile and web-based aviation applications. ForeFlight partnered with Boeing over the past two years to bring aviators Jeppesen’s aeronautical data and charts through ForeFlight’s popular mobile platforms. Now, the teams will integrate talent and offerings to bring innovative, expanded digital solutions to all segments of the aviation industry. The acquisition of ForeFlight aligns with Boeing’s growth strategy of complementing organic investments with targeted, strategic investments that position the company for long-term growth. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ForeFlight has approximately 180 employees.

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the second recent B737 MAX-8, belonging to Ethiopian airlines, crash many passengers are getting nervous. While no connection to the issues with the first crash (Lion Air) have been proven, potential MAX 8 flyers are concerned. Since the US FAA notes that there are 387 B737 MAX jets flying (operated by 59 airlines) this could have a significant impact. The wonderful folks at the Seattle Times News Service have provided a number of good articles on the plane and you can read and link to them all here: Worried travelers seek answers about the 737 MAX 8. Here is what passengers should know. | The Seattle Times IFExpress notes that Boeing has developed a flight control enhancement: “For the past several months and in the aftermath of Lion Air Flight 610, Boeing has been developing a flight control software enhancement for the 737 MAX, designed to make an already safe aircraft even safer. This includes updates to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) flight control law, pilot displays, operation manuals and crew training. The enhanced flight control law incorporates angle of attack (AOA) inputs, limits stabilizer trim commands in response to an erroneous angle of attack reading, and provides a limit to the stabilizer command in order to retain elevator authority.” Further they state: “Boeing has been working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on development, planning and certification of the software enhancement, and it will be deployed across the 737 MAX fleet in the coming weeks. The update also incorporates feedback received from our customers.”


OTHER NEWS

Program encourages greater use of aviation biofuels, which cut emissions by up to 80 percent

Seattle, Washington | March 8, 2019– Boeing [NYSE:BA] will begin offering airlines and operators the option of powering their new commercial jet with biofuel for the flight home. The program is designed to further spur the use of sustainable aviation fuels – which cut emissions up to 80 percent – and support the industry’s drive to protect the environment.

The biofuel option will be available for customers accepting new airplanes at Boeing’s delivery centers in Seattle and Everett, Wash. The company also plans to use biofuel for certain flight tests at its Boeing Field facility, while working to offer the same option at its South Carolina Delivery Center.

“This is another step in our decade-long journey to encourage the adoption of sustainable fuels and help commercial aviation earn its license to keep growing,” said Sheila Remes, vice president of strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We have great customers such as Alaska Airlines that have made good progress in adopting the use of biofuels. We hope this new option will make it easier for them and others to demonstrate our industry’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.”

Alaska Airlines [NYSE:ALK], the first participant in the program, will use a blend of biofuel made by World Energy and traditional fuel when it takes delivery of three Boeing 737 MAX airplanes this year.

“Alaska takes seriously the responsibility to deliver for all those who depend on us—employees, guests, our communities and the environment around us—for the long term. That’s the definition of sustainability,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, vice president of external relations at Alaska Airlines. “We congratulate our partners at Boeing for operationalizing a drop-in sustainable aviation jet fuel option. We’re excited to not only take advantage of the first biofuel delivery, but to continue working together to advance and scale mainstream adoption of sustainable fuel and other practices to enhance the aviation industry’s ability to do good.”

World Energy produces the biofuel at its refinery in Paramount, Calif., the world’s first facility designed to commercially produce renewable jet fuel. Made from agriculture waste, the fuel is certified for commercial use and can be blended with traditional jet fuel without modifications to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure.

“World Energy is here to serve any organization committed to leading the shift toward a low-carbon future,” World Energy Chief Commercial Officer Bryan Sherbacow said. “Companies such as Boeing understand their obligation to the communities they serve and have taken meaningful action to transition to cleaner energy and reduce their carbon footprint. Our job is to manage the low-carbon fuel supply chain to provide the product these leaders need to efficiently operate and drive positive change.”

EPIC Fuels will ship the biofuel to Boeing’s delivery centers in Washington state. EPIC has supported Boeing’s evaluation of biofuels on its ecoDemonstrator flight-test program.

Boeing has been a leader in fostering the development of biofuels, including supporting the first commercial aviation test flight flown by Virgin Atlantic in 2008. The company’s extensive research, testing, and rigorous review – in collaboration with other airframe and engine manufacturers and aviation stakeholders – led to the approval of biofuel for commercial use in 2011.

A decade after the first test flight, airlines around the world have flown nearly 170,000 passenger flights on a blend of biofuel and petroleum fuel.

Boeing has worked with partners across the globe to develop sustainable biofuel supplies that can be scaled and priced competitively with traditional jet fuel. Projects have used feedstocks such as forestry and agriculture waste, Brazilian sugarcane, and plants irrigated by coastal seawater in the United Arab Emirates.

Senegal, Africa | March 8, 2019– Air Senegal has taken delivery of its first A330-900 from Airbus’ production line in Toulouse. The carrier is the first African airline to fly Airbus’ new generation widebody aircraft featuring latest technology engines, new wings with enhanced aerodynamics and a curved wingtip design, drawing best practices from the A350 XWB.

Fitted with a three-class cabin comprising 32 Business class, 21 Premium Plus and 237 Economy class seats, Air Senegal plans to operate its first A330neo on its Dakar-Paris route and to further develop its medium and long-haul network.

The A330neo is the true new generation aircraft building on the best-selling widebody A330’s features and leveraging on A350 XWB technology. Powered by the latest Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, the A330neo provides an unprecedented level of efficiency – with 25% lower fuel burn per seat than previous generation competitors. Equipped with the Airspace by Airbus cabin, the A330neo offers a unique passenger experience with more personal space and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity.

Hamburg, Germany | March 7, 2019– Wizz Air, the largest Central and Eastern European low-cost carrier, has taken delivery of its first of 184 A321neo aircraft on order at an event in Hamburg, with József Váradi, CEO Wizz Air and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer.

The new generation aircraft is powered by two Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and features the widest single-aisle cabin with 239 seats in a single class configuration and offers operators maximum flexibility, fuel efficiency and low operating costs.

Wizz Air is an all-Airbus operator, with more than 100 A320 Family aircraft operating all around Europe, with 261 more to be delivered. With 184 of the larger A321neo aircraft on order, Wizz Air is the largest Airbus customer worldwide of the type.

The A320neo and its derivative aircraft family members are the world’s best-selling single-aisle aircraft with over 6,500 orders from over 100 customers since its launch in 2010. It has pioneered and incorporated the latest technologies, including its new generation engines and the industry’s reference cabin design, delivering 20% fuel cost savings alone. The A320neo also offers significant environmental benefits with nearly a 50% reduction in noise footprint compared to previous generation aircraft.