PANASONIC AVIONICS Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has selected BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, a leading Japanese multinational videogame publisher and developer, to strengthen its in-flight entertainment gaming portfolio. Panasonic Avionics has incorporated BANDAI NAMCO’s ever-popular, flagship games and will begin rolling them out to airlines and their passengers across the globe on its immersive in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution. Retro games are seeing a resurgence and BANDAI NAMCO has developed some of the most recognized games in pop culture... [Read more]

SMARTSKY SmartSky Networks announced that it has closed on more than $32 million in additional equity and debt funding as it prepares for the launch of its next-generation aviation Wi-Fi connectivity service later this year. “In a display of confidence in the future of SmartSky’s groundbreaking technology and services, we received new funds from our institutional investors,” said SmartSky CEO David Helfgott. SmartSky’s office-grade inflight Wi-Fi service for business and commercial aviation uses the pioneering company’s uniquely scalable, single-beam-per-aircraft... [Read more]

IdeaNova Technologies The team at IdeaNova Technologies is working hard on new features and functionality that will enhance the travel experience while improving passenger and crew safety. Last year, airlines saw changes to the travel industry ranging from new technology that ensures a clean cabin to an overhaul of boarding protocols. Travel might look a little different these days, but the importance of providing comfort in the cabin is just the same. Passengers can now watch their inflight entertainment with their friends and family on a flight, while respecting safety... [Read more]

PANASONIC AVIONICS Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has today announced a major evolution in its in-flight connectivity offering as its first extreme high throughput satellite (XTS) enters service over the Asia-Pacific region. The APSTAR-6D satellite is Panasonic Avionics’ latest investment in in-flight connectivity for passengers on commercial aircraft. It is an integral part of its third-generation communications (Gen-3) network of high speed, high bandwidth Ku-band satellites, placing capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of... [Read more]

Thales Qatar Airways is upgrading its Boeing B787-8 fleet with Thales’s AVANT IFE. The IFE system features an innovative, New Generation user experience unique to Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing and highly acclaimed airlines in the world, consistently earning a 5-Star rating by Skytrax. With a fleet of the latest-generation aircraft and an unrivaled level of service, Qatar Airways has a steadfast vision to provide the best in-flight experience to its passengers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline remained unwavering in its commitment... [Read more]

Inmarsat Inmarsat announced its participation in a ground-breaking new initiative funded by the UK Government to develop the country’s first automated, zero carbon regional air transportation network. Project HEART (Hydrogen Electric and Automated Regional Transportation) will develop hydrogen powered, automated and remote piloting solutions for small aircraft carrying between 9 and 19 passengers, traveling ‘short hops’ of fewer than 500 nautical miles. In addition to its environmental credentials, the convenient zero-carbon travel option aims to enable scalability... [Read more]

Inmarsat & Deutsche Telekom Milestone highlights the accelerated rollout of Europe’s leading airline connectivity solution with launch customer International Airlines Group (IAG) The European Aviation Network (EAN), Europe’s fastest inflight Wi-Fi service, can now be accessed by passengers on more than 250 aircraft across the continent, highlighting its accelerated rollout since entering commercial service. The award-winning connectivity solution has been available to over 20 million passengers to date, traveling on more than 200,000 flights throughout Europe,... [Read more]

Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications provider, has been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ for the fourth year in a row at the World Travel Awards 2020. The prestigious accolade was announced following a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands, with the latest edition of the World Travel Awards attracting a record number of votes from across the world by industry professionals and members of the public. Inmarsat once again retained its title in recognition of its market-leading GX... [Read more]

Happy New Year and Goodbye 2020!! Phew, 2020 is over and what a year it was, but unfortunately, not in a good way for the majority of humanity. As 2021 becomes commences, the aviation transportation industry is experiencing a myriad of changes. Terms like ‘recovery’ or ‘reset’ will be popular; however, the phrase ‘industry redesign’ could easily be the biggest deal. The world of public transportation may have to add the words like ‘caution’, ‘immunity’ and ‘contact-less’ to their title as COVID- 19... [Read more]

Season’s Greetings For most of us 2020 has been a tumultuous and turbulent year both professionally and personally. In an effort to contain and control the spread of COVID-19 we’ve all had to adapt the way we perform and deliver our services and live our day-to-day lives. The result has been physical distancing but in a way this common, shared experience has brought us all closer. The IFExpress team thanks our readers for your continued support and we look forward to a time when our industry can once again gather together to discuss new concepts and product developments... [Read more]

AIR ASTANA Air Astana has received a prestigious Five Star Major Airline award from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX). This is the third time that Air Astana has received a Five Star award from APEX. The awards were presented at the end of a highly successful virtual FTE (Future Travel Experience) APEX event during December 8 and 9th attended by 200 airlines and 200 airports all over the world. (Editor’s Note: Air Astana, the national carrier of Kazakhstan, operates domestic and international flights from hubs in Nur-Sultan and Almaty. The company... [Read more]

FTE & APEX Virtual Expo The FTE & APEX Virtual Expo is under way and it is the first time the industry has been able to gather together to see the latest technological innovations and discuss how COVID-19 is being tackled. So far Biometrics and touchless solutions are hot topics. In the coming issues of IFExpress we will be delving into the virtual booth demonstrations and product reviews, as well as, highlight some of the APEX Tech Committee sessions and presentations from the 2 day conference. In today’s issue, we will focus on the Opening Keynote interview... [Read more]

LATITUDE AERO Latitude Aero, a Greensboro-based aerospace company, is growing and expanding into a new location, doubling size and capacity of production. The new facility expects to become fully operational, adding EASA certification, mid-December 2020. The new 100,000 sf (9,290 sm) facility is located in the same industrial park as the company’s current headquarters at Air Park North, adjacent to PTI Airport. The increased storage and manufacturing space is climate controlled, and will make room for some additions, including a machine shop for OEM fabrication, and... [Read more]

Panasonic Avionics Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) announced the appointment of Hernan Abbes as Vice President, Global Sales. In his new role, Hernan will play a pivotal leadership role in driving business growth and nurturing strong relationships with new and existing airline customers. He will report directly to CEO, Ken Sain, and have worldwide responsibility for developing and implementing strategic sales initiatives across Panasonic Avionics’ range of products, services and solutions. Hernan will oversee efforts to strengthen customer relationships,... [Read more]

FlightPlan: Aviation Leaders Debate Solutions to Rebuild Passenger Confidence in Industry’s Largest Live Broadcast Event Leaders from across the global aviation industry came together for a live broadcast on November 11th, which explored strategies to accelerate recovery and future growth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. FlightPlan: Strategies for Recovery, hosted by Inmarsat Aviation and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), saw over 50 industry voices exchange views on the present and future of aviation. Six months on from the hugely successful... [Read more]

INMARSAT The ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’ is the world’s largest survey of airline passengers since the pandemic began. It reflects the views and attitudes of 9,500 respondents from 12 countries across the globe about the future of flying. While the majority of passengers (60%) feel satisfied with the aviation industry’s response to the challenges of COVID-19, the survey reveals areas of opportunity for airlines to encourage passengers back to the skies. Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “With safety and reputation becoming even more important... [Read more]

INMARSAT Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, unveiled details of a next-generation terminal for its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution, which has been developed in collaboration with GDC Technics, an industry leader in engineering & technical services, modifications and electronic systems. The innovative light weight, low drag terminal is available to airlines across the world today and has been designed to ensure that the connectivity needs of data-hungry passengers are met for generations to come, allowing them to stream... [Read more]

Thales, Nokia and SkyFive Following successful rollout across Europe, Thales in the UK, Nokia and SkyFive are launching a new 4G LTE Air to Ground (A2G) solution to a global market. Delivering a fibre like connectivity experience, A2G significantly improves the inflight access to web, streaming and on-line games to passengers. In addition to improved passenger experiences, aircraft operators will benefit from significantly shortened installation times, minimizing the time aircraft are out of operation. Improved connectivity, enhanced experience Offering seamless connectivity... [Read more]

INMARSAT AND HUGHES BRING UNRIVALED INFLIGHT CONNECTIVITY TO NORTH AMERICAN AIRLINES AND PASSENGERS 
 GX+ North America will seamlessly combine the Hughes JUPITER satellite fleet, which has the largest Ka-band satellite capacity over the US, with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, the widest, most resilient global network, to offer faster, more reliable inflight Wi-Fi. Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, unveiled a major strategic collaboration... [Read more]

ZIPAIR Selects Panasonic Avionics Connectivity ZIPAIR, the new Japanese middle-long haul carrier, has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to provide inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions for its Boeing 787-8 aircraft. ZIPAIR’s B787s will be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service. Panasonic’s next generation connectivity enables a host of connectivity benefits, from fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available. The announcement marks the beginning... [Read more]

This week there has been a lot of news about the aviation market forecast. Boeing Forecasts Challenging Near-Term Aerospace Market with Resilience in Long Term Near-term industry challenges impact demand for commercial airplanes and services Over 10 years, Boeing Market Outlook shows resilient $8.5 trillion total market Boeing (10/6/20) released its annual forecast for the commercial and defense aerospace market, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Boeing’s view of near-, medium- and long-term market dynamics. The 2020 Boeing Market Outlook (BMO)... [Read more]

Airline Forum 2020:Virtual exchange accelerates the transformation to the “New Normal” of aviation One of the largest airline IT conferences gathers representatives of 70 airlines | Despite the challenges faced by the airline industry, Lufthansa Systems presents cutting-edge innovations and welcomes new customers. Around 500 users will come together today at the 13th edition of the Airline Forum, the airline IT user conference organized by Lufthansa Systems. The Airline Forum unites around 70 airlines from all over the world who successfully use the ground operations... [Read more]

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SmartSky Beats Gogo’s Patent Challenge SmartSky Networks announces that it has summarily defeated industry incumbent Gogo’s challenge brought before the US Patent & Trademark Office (‘USPTO’) nearly six months ago, proving SmartSky’s longstanding position that its ‘947 patent, which covers some of the most essential features of a 5G air-to-ground (‘ATG’) network, like beamforming and seamless cell tower handoffs, was and shall remain valid. “Gogo has been proven unequivocally wrong in its challenge. We continue to believe they will have great difficulty... [Read more]

We are roughly six months into the COVID-19 global pandemic and in that time-frame our industry, and many others, have witnessed some radical and dynamic shifts. As we know, the leisure and family holidays have almost been eradicated with COVID. The air travel industry prior to the pandemic hummed along with business travel accounting for approximately 60% – 70% of all airline revenue, but perhaps the greater worry is the shift to webinars, ZOOM, Skype and many other forms of internet meetings, which may turn out to be the bigger sucker-punch, resulting in the cancellation... [Read more]