This week is the beginning of the Paris Air Show and IFExpress is covering the events, so get ready for lots of aviation news!

THALES

Thales is constantly at the forefront of innovations and technology development. Thales introduced a new state-of-the-art security and encoding technologies for its 4K inflight entertainment (IFE) systems to enable streaming of premium Ultra High Definition (UHD) content.

Thales will be the first IFE supplier to deliver 4K screens to the full cabin and its latest technologies guarantee the best 4K inflight entertainment experience on the market. As the launch customer, Emirates’ passengers traveling on their future 777X fleet starting in 2020; will enjoy an immersive 4K viewing experience.

Powered by unmatched processing capability, Thales’s new 4K passenger GUI brings an impressive cinematic intensity on every screen.

Thales’s solution complies with the Studios highest security level standards using professional grade Digital Rights Management (DRM) and hardware level encryption within each screen. This technology combines software and hardware components representing a true forward-looking investment and opening the gateway to access premium UHD content in the cabin.

Thales has worked with Hollywood movie studios to define and implement the optimum bit rates to display 4K content in an IFE environment. The solution uses Variable Bit Rates (VBR) encoding technology with bit rates up to 40+ Megabits per second (Mbps) providing exceptional video quality that is 10 times better than traditional IFE systems and streaming platforms.

Also from Thales:

The future of the secured aerospace supply chain starts now thanks to Thales technologies. Thales is launching IVEN, the first digital marketplace that connects aerospace and defense companies with suppliers of parts and spare parts. IVEN acts as a trusted third party to guarantee end-to-end transaction security and data confidentiality. The new digital marketplace simplifies purchasing and ensures complete transparency from sourcing to delivery with full traceability. To help companies operate more competitively and to streamline and optimize purchasing processes, Thales is launching IVEN, the first digital marketplace dedicated to the sale of spare parts for aerospace and defense industries. Built around Thales’s advanced security technologies, IVEN guarantees the integrity and confidentiality of data and communications.


AIRBUS

A321XLR
Airbus launches longest range single-aisle airliner: the A321XLR

  • The latest evolution of the A321neo with 4,700nm range
  • Bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation aircraft
  • Combining single-aisle economics with long-haul widebody cabin comfort

AIR LEASE CORP.
Air Lease Corporation (ALC) signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for 100 Airbus aircraft, including for the first time 50 A220-300s and 27 A321XLRs. The agreement also includes an incremental order for an additional 23 A321neos. Founded in 2010, this latest order takes ALC’s cumulative orders to 387 Airbus aircraft, making it Airbus’ third largest lessor customer.

VIRGIN ATLANTIC
Virgin Atlantic selected 14 A330-900s to replace its A330ceos from 2021, with options to further expand its fleet of highly efficient wide-body aircraft. The firm order for eight aircraft and six additional on lease from Air Lease Corporation (ALC), was signed at the Paris Air Show by Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO and Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. The A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation.

MIDDLE EAST AIRLINES
Middle East Airlines (MEA), signed a firm order for four A321XLRs, making it the launch airline customer of Airbus latest evolution of the winning A321neo family.

The agreement takes Middle East Airlines’ cumulative single aisle orders with Airbus to 15 A321neo family aircraft, including 11 A321neos and 4 A321XLRs with deliveries starting in 2020. MEA will use the A321XLR to strengthen its network in Africa and Asia.

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – 15% more than the A321LR and with 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft.

FIRST A330neo FOR AIRASIA
Airbus and AirAsia unveiled the first A330neo for the AirAsia Group at the Paris Air Show. The aircraft will be delivered via lessor Avolon in the coming weeks for operation by AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. With capability to reach Europe non-stop from South-East Asia, the A330neo’s increased range and enhanced economics will bring a step-change in fuel efficiency for AirAsia’s long haul operations. The A330-900 is the larger of the two A330neo variants. The A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality.

SKYWISE
Airbus Services launched the development of a new enhanced Flight Hour Service offering: “FHS Powered by Skywise”. The new service will progressively introduce applications to simplify and accelerate decision-making from identification to delivery and installation of the required parts. This will bring value to airline operations especially by improving aircraft availability while optimizing resources utilization and components’ inventory.

AVIATION SUSTAINABILITY
The Chief Technology Officers of seven of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers released today a joint statement to demonstrate how they are collaborating and sharing approaches to drive the sustainability of aviation and reach the industry-wide ATAG targets.

CEBU PACIFIC
Cebu Pacific (CEB), a Low Cost Carrier based in the Philippines, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 31 Airbus aircraft, comprising 16 A330neo, 10 A321XLR and 5 A320neo.

Cebu Pacific’s A330neo aircraft will be a higher capacity version of the A330-900, with 460 seats in single class configuration. The airline also becomes one of the launch airlines for the A321XLR, which will be able to fly nonstop from the Philippines to destinations as far afield as India and Australia. The A320neo aircraft announced today will be the first of the type to feature 194 seats in a single class layout. This latest agreement supports CEB’s ongoing fleet renewal program, which aims to have only new generation, environmentally efficient aircraft by 2024. The fast-growing carrier’s decision also strengthens its all-Airbus fleet status in the jet category.

AIRBUS, GROUPE ADP, and RATP GROUP
Airbus, Groupe ADP and the RATP Group, along with the Paris Ile-de-France region and the French civil aviation authority (DGAC), have announced the launch of a feasibility study to demonstrate an urban system of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. This collaboration, encompassing all components of land and air mobility, marks the creation of a team of recognized experts to develop not only French technology, but also a model for urban mobility, associated services and export potential. The goal is to integrate the entire value chain: design and production; maintenance; flight operations; low-altitude air traffic management; urban integration and planning; infrastructure, both physical and digital; and passenger interfaces.

SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES
Saudi Arabian Airlines, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has decided to expand its existing A320neo Family order from 35 to as many as 100 NEO aircraft including 35 options. The additional firm order takes SAUDIA’s order of A320neo Family aircraft to 65 of which 15 are A321XLRs. SAUDIA is the biggest Airbus operator in the Kingdom and currently operates a portfolio of 100 Airbus aircraft comprising A320ceo Family and A330ceo. This latest purchase is in line with the Group’s Transformation Program, which includes the establishment and growth of a dual-brand strategy of operating airlines catering to the different customer segments in the Kingdom, the region and beyond.

AIRASIA UPSIZING
AirAsia will up-size its future Airbus single aisle fleet, converting 253 orders for the A320neo to the larger A321neo version. The change will enable the airline to offer higher capacity in response to ongoing strong demand across its network. AirAsia becomes the world’s largest customer for the A321neo. In total, AirAsia has placed orders for 592 A320 Family aircraft. Following the up-sizing, AirAsia’s backlog with Airbus includes 353 A321neo. To date, the airline has taken delivery of 224 A320 Family aircraft, flying out of its bases in Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand.

AIRBUS AIRSEAS, KAWASAKI KAISHA, LTD
Airseas, an Airbus’ spin-off, announces a 20-year agreement with the giant shipowner Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (“K” Line) to install and service one ship with a Seawing, an automated kite based on parafoil technology. The Seawing will be used to tow commercial ships and reduce CO2 emissions by 20% through wind propulsion. Following an initial test on one vessel, “K” Line will acquire up to 50 Seawings. Airseas launched the development of Seawing in 2016, tested its prototype at sea at the end of 2017 and will deliver its 500 square metre Seawing by the end of 2020 onto Airbus’ 150 metre long ro-ro ship operating between Saint-Nazaire, France, and Mobile, Alabama, US. Thanks to “K” Line, Airseas extends its reach even further into the merchant marine sector. The Japanese shipowner will install the first new 1,000 sqm Seawing in 2021, and this will kick-start the Airbus spin-off’s industrial ramp-up, with the final goal of reaching hundreds of deliveries per year from 2025.

IAG
International Airlines Group (IAG) selected the A321XLR to expand its fleet of highly efficient single aisles with a firm order for 14 aircraft. Of these, eight are destined for Iberia and six for Aer Lingus. IAG, the parent company of leading airlines also including British Airways, Level and Vueling, is one of Airbus’s largest customers and this agreement will take the overall order from the group to 530 aircraft. IAG airlines combined operate one of the world’s largest Airbus fleets with over 400 aircraft. The aircraft will enable Aer Lingus to launch new routes beyond the US East Coast and Canada. For Iberia, this is a new aircraft type that will enable it to operate new transatlantic destinations and increase frequencies in key markets.

DELTA AIR LINES
Delta Air Lines ordered five additional A220-100 aircraft, bringing to 95 the total number of orders placed, including both the A220-100s and A220-300s. The airline is the first to select the new increased maximum takeoff weight option for its entire fleet from 2020. Airbus announced in May that it would increase the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) for the A220 by 2,268 kg (2.3 metric tonnes). The new MTOW will increase the respective maximum range capabilities by 450nm to 3,400 nm for the A220-100 and 3,350nm for the A220-300.

ATLANTIC AIRWAYS
Atlantic Airways, the Faroe Islands flag carrier, signed a Purchase Agreement with Airbus for two A320neo aircraft, becoming the latest A320neo customer. The engine selection will be made at a later date. With this new order, Atlantic Airways intends to further develop its European network. The airline, an Airbus customer since 2008, already operates a fleet of three A320 Family aircraft.


BOEING

IAG
One of the world’s largest airline groups announced it plans to build its future fleet with the Boeing 737 MAX with an intention to purchase 200 MAX jets. International Airlines Group (IAG) and Boeing said the two companies have been in discussions regarding the opportunity and signed a letter of intent at the Paris Air Show in a deal that would be valued at more than $24 billion, per list prices. IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL that fly more than 113 million passengers a year combined. The group has been a long-time operator of Boeing twin-aisle airplanes. Earlier this year, IAG group committed to and finalized a major order for Boeing’s newest long-haul model, the 777X, to complement its fleet of current-generation 777s and new 787 Dreamliners. In the single-aisle segment, IAG and its affiliates used to operate Classic 737 aircraft. Today, its fleet is almost exclusively Airbus A320 family aircraft. IAG CEO Willie Walsh has said the group would consider the 737 MAX as part of diversifying its future fleet to spur competition.

GECAS
GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) signed an agreement with Boeing at the Paris Air Show exercising 10 purchase rights to firm orders and adding 15 more purchase rights for the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF). The 737-800BCF, which is making its air show debut at Le Bourget this week, is Boeing’s newest freighter product. The company converts Next-Generation 737 passenger airplanes into cargo jets that are capable of carrying more payload – up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 lbs) – and flying farther – 2,000 nautical miles (3,750 km) – than previous standard-body freighters.

IAG
Boeing and International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups, signed two agreements at the Paris Air Show that will provide key services for IAG’s British Airways, including parts for the airline’s Airbus A320 family and its Boeing 777 fleet. With the first agreement, Boeing will furnish British Airways with its Component Services Program where Boeing and its partners will own, manage, and maintain a global exchange inventory of parts for the airline’s A320 and A320neo aircraft. This agreement – the first of its kind for Boeing – will open convenient access to parts for British Airways, which operates an extensive route network. British Airways has also signed an agreement for three Landing Gear Exchanges for its 777 fleet. Through the program, operators receive an overhauled and certified landing gear from an exchange pool maintained by Boeing, with stocked components and supporting parts shipping within 24 hours.

KOREAN AIR
Korean Air and Air Lease Corporation announced at the Paris Air Show the airline plans to add 30 new 787 Dreamliner airplanes to its fleet, with a commitment to purchase 10 new 787-10s and 10 additional 787-9 airplanes valued at $6.3 billion at current list prices. As part of this agreement, Korean Air will also lease 10 787-10s from ALC. The airline, one of the largest transpacific carriers in Asia with 16 non-stop routes to North America, will introduce the larger 787-10 to complement its long-haul fleet of 787-9 and 777 airplanes. This order will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once it is finalized. With this order, Korea’s flag carrier will quadruple its 787 fleet to 40 airplanes as it looks to strengthen its long-haul fleet.

AIR LEASE CORP.
Boeing and Air Lease Corporation, a leading aircraft leasing company, announced a commitment during the Paris Air Show to purchase five 787-9 Dreamliners, valued at $1.5 billion at list prices.

“Demand for reliable, versatile, and fuel-efficient airplanes is at an all-time high,” said Steven Udvar-Házy, Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation. “These five Boeing 787-9 aircraft are required by our airline customers to satisfy strong ALC lease placements of the 787.” The 787-9, a stretch of the 787-8, can fly 296 passengers 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km) in addition to carrying more cargo and allowing airlines to profitably grow routes first opened by the 787-8. The combination of unrivaled fuel efficiency and long range has helped airlines flying the 787 family of airplanes save more than 36 billion pounds (16 billion kilograms) of fuel and open more than 235 non-stop routes.

AVIATION FORECAST
A strong commercial aviation industry, stable defense spending and the need to service all platforms throughout their life-cycle are driving a growing aerospace and defense market, according to the Boeing Market Outlook. Released  at the Paris Air Show, the outlook values the aerospace and defense market at $8.7 trillion over the next decade, up from $8.1 trillion a year ago. The Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) includes a $3.1 trillion projected demand for commercial airplanes through 2028 as operators replace older jets with more capable and fuel-efficient models, and expand their fleets to accommodate the steady rise in air travel across emerging and established markets. 20-year commercial outlook projects $16 trillion market, powered by rising requirement for 44,040 new jets and related services.

Service Agreements
Boeing and International Airlines Group (IAG) signed two agreements at the Paris Air Show that will provide key services for IAG’s British Airways, including parts for the airline’s Airbus A320 family and its Boeing 777 fleet. With the first agreement, Boeing will furnish British Airways with its Component Services Program where Boeing and its partners will own, manage, and maintain a global exchange inventory of parts for the airline’s A320 and A320neo aircraft. This agreement – the first of its kind for Boeing – will open convenient access to parts for British Airways, which operates an extensive route network.

Paris Air Show | June 18, 2019–

  • Thales’s latest 4K displays include the highest security level solutions enabling streaming of premium UHD content from Hollywood Studios to passenger screens.
  • Thales’s solution uses Variable Bit Rates (VBR) technology with bit rates up to 40+Mbps, providing video quality 10 times better than traditional IFE systems.
  •  Emirates’ passengers traveling on their future 777X fleet will be first to enjoy this immersive 4K viewing experience.

Thales will be the first IFE supplier to deliver 4K screens to the full cabin and its latest technologies guarantee the best 4K inflight entertainment experience on the market. As the launch customer, Emirates’ passengers traveling on their future 777X fleet starting in 2020; will enjoy an immersive 4K viewing experience.
Powered by unmatched processing capability, Thales’s new 4K passenger GUI brings an impressive cinematic intensity on every screen.
Thales’s solution complies with the Studios highest security level standards using professional grade Digital Rights Management (DRM) and hardware level encryption within each screen. This technology combines software and hardware components representing a true forward-looking investment and opening the gateway to access premium UHD content in the cabin.
Thales has worked with Hollywood movie studios to define and implement the optimum bit rates to display 4K content in an IFE environment. The solution uses Variable Bit Rates (VBR) encoding technology with bit rates up to 40+ Megabits per second (Mbps) providing exceptional video quality that is 10 times better than traditional IFE systems and streaming platforms. With the pairing of global Ka-band connectivity and latest IFE technologies, Thales will provide a transformational experience for passengers wherever they fly.


Two Digital Trends Breakout Sessions – 2019 Passenger Experience Conference

In last week’s issue of IFExpress we reviewed the opening session from the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) held in Hamburg, Germany earlier this month. This week, we will focus on the conference’s Digital: The New Reality Breakout Sessions. We found these panel discussions to be informative and pertinent to the current trends in our industry.

From an important perspective, The Digital: The New Reality stream looked at how digital tools are surpassing the current mobile apps and will eventually be integrated across the entire journey, creating a seamless digital user space.

The keynote address for this stream was Practical applications of digital in the passenger experience. The cabin is a 3-dimensional object but the 4th dimension is time, and was presented by Anaïs Marzo da Costa, Head of Aircraft Interiors Marketing, Airbus. Anaïs discussed the current digital trends that Airbus has been looking at.  She said that Airbus has been working at connecting the airplane and they are now focusing on trying to connect the cabin. She stated that studies indicated there were 3 billion smartphone users in 2018 and that number is estimated to double to 6.1 billion by 2020.  Anaïs continued by stating that Airbus anticipates 23,100 aircraft to be equipped with connectivity by the year 2025. Looking back, there were zero airlines connected in 2007, and ten years later, in 2017 there were 106 aircraft connected. Needless to say, the forecasted rate of implementation over the next nine to ten years is impressive and enhances the fact that the integration of digitalization is growing rapidly.

How is connectivity coming onboard? Smartphones are used by travelers for booking and check-in – smartphones are the #1 travel companion. What does this information translate to onboard the aircraft? Passengers want choice! Airbus stated that the 2017 SITA IT Trends Survey & the Gogo Global Traveler 2018 Survey foresee more multi-screen environments in the future – both BYOD & inseat screens. This degree of digitalization provides an opportunity for a more tailored/targeted service and airlines are in the process of developing personalized offers that are enabled by: mobile connectivity, data analytics, and the passenger’s willingness to share personal data (right now that is roughly 27% of consumers).

Airbus has been actively pursuing the future of the connected cabin (the wireless network that links everything in cabin: galleys, overhead bag bins, flight attendants, passengers, cargo bays, lavatories, etc.), creating a cabin ecosystem for seamless connectivity of the various cabin elements, enabling additional value for both the airlines and the passengers. “The idea is to have every commodity in the cabin talking to each other, creating value for the airline and the passenger.”

Anaïs said, “There are three (3) pillars of the connected experience: 1) Operational Efficiency, 2) Ancillary Revenue, & 3) Passenger Experience.” Examples are:  Operational Efficiency – predictive maintenance, cabin crew operations and turnaround times; Ancillary Revenues – personalized inflight retail, tailored advertising, and news services; and the Passenger Experience – personalized catering, individual comfort settings, personalized services and the amount of bag bin space available. All the aforementioned will be achieved by using an IoT platform.

“At the moment we (Airbus) are doing predictive maintenance with the aircraft data but we want to be able to map that over to the cabin as well. Airbus is working with other aircraft manufacturers and suppliers in order to facilitate this in the near future. We, as an industry, are working on a common and secure language because this will benefit both the airline and the passenger”. In closing, Anaïs said, “I’ve recently asked Fritz Urban (Airbus’ cochair of the ARINC CSS committee) if CSS is going to write a standard for this network. As of today, there has been no response.”

The First Panel Discussion on Digital Trends pertained to Creating the Complete Digital and Physical Journey. This stream focused on how biometric technologies are providing an opportunity to reach the passenger on their journey through the airport and onto the aircraft.

Russell Holmes, Strategy Director & Partner of ico Design, was the first to address attendees. Mr. Holmes has been working with the London Luton Airport team over the past 5 years and has been instrumental in developing their brand.  His message evolved around the concept of looking at best practices. He said, “Everything should be underpinned by something that is not working as individual silos.” He went on to say, “The airport identity needs to work not only in a physical space but also in a digital space.” The airport identity should be completely flexible. One cannot look at the airport as static space. The question then is: How do you create something as a brand that can live in both the physical and digital space?

The next panelist was David Bartlett, CTO of Panasonic Avionics. David spoke to the assembly about the concept of competitive differentiation and the concept of the 4th Dimension/Place. He explained that for people the First Place is Home, the Second Place is Work and the Third Place (as defined by Ray Oldenburg in 1989 who stated it was critical to modern society, democracy) is a place that you go that you opt in (think coffee shop or a café). A prime example of a company that has really leveraged the concept of the Third Place is Starbucks. Mr. Bartlett sated, “We at Panasonic Avionics are proposing that Travel is the Fourth Place. Why is travel the logical fourth place?  We believe the travel experience is the co-mingling of the first 3 places. When you travel you socialize, work, sleep, eat.”

The concept of the 4th place is it must be a place that people look forward to being in. This is achieved by removing a lot of the friction points. How do we do this? How do we make the journey more of a place that people want to be in? How do we do this an industry? People want an experience that is seamless and gives them an immersive experience. How do we, as an industry, provide them with one connected experience starting from the home, throughout the journey, then back to the home? In other words, how do we provide a more personally curated experience? Panasonic cannot do this alone. It is an action call to the industry to leverage the entire ecosystem to work together in a new and more open way to achieve this.

The third panelist was Simon Krasowski, SVP Digital Transformation, Diehl Aviation; who discussed Digital Aviation Transformation. Simon said, “The world is shifting and becoming more complex. We are moving from complicated to more complex systems. How do we solve the problems and tackle them? It is more about testing different options. So, we need to change the way we work, take risks and allow failures.” He went on to say that we must make certain that we, as an industry, have seamless processes through the value chain. Right now, competitive priced products may be an answer, but in the future, it will be more about customer concentricity and speed of innovation – in other words, design thinking. “We must work closer within our work ecosystem and work with partners in order to achieve better and faster results. In other words, the key for success is collaboration within ecosystem. This calls for a balance between traditional working methods and agile working methods.”

The fourth panelist was Anne de Hauw of IN Air Travel Experience. Ms. De Hauw started her presentation stating that traditionally, airlines focused on safety and the passenger focused on the experience. Today, the question is should the focus be on the customer or technology? “At IN Air, we believe that time is your customer’s most valuable resource.  Airlines are going from creating technologies to services. They will do this by using technology as an enabler (AI, block chain). Technology (AI) will be crucial in customer service and convenience will be the new loyalty.”

Anne went on to discuss the 5 Key Pillars that will be needed, and they are: 1) Data-Driven: data gathering, machine learning and rapid analysis. This will lead to predicting behavior > intelligent offers > higher revenues. 2) Connectivity: onboard connectivity is transforming the travel experience to an open & connected world. Passengers behave like usual digital consumers. 3) Customer-Centricity: Reinvented offerings to evolve into hyper-personalized, immersive and emotional experiences. 4) Personalization: Faster and more efficient personalized services. 5) Collaborative Eco-System: Stakeholder interaction, passenger engagement and data sharing to create a positive and competitive experience.

She went on to discuss the New Brand Hierarchy, where, companies like Apple, Google and Amazon hold the top tier. Airlines are located on the second tier. She asked the question of how to play on that level? IN Air believes the answer is in providing ultimate convenience to the passenger. It has to be fast, easy and fun (FEF). This is achieved by being a combination of both digital and human interface. The best of the digital conveniences would be comprised of: seamless and single token, AI and Service Bot, Data analytics, connectivity. The best of human interface would be comprised of: hospitality, culture, emotional experiences, service. The best of both: Personalization/CURATION, Loyalty/COMMUNITY, engagement/CREATION and convenience/CONNECTIVITY. Anne wrapped up her presentation with the following, “The human interface will become the new premium service. The human interface is comprised of empathy, passion and creativity, with emotion at the core.” “The airline must care,” said Anne. She used an example of economy food service. What the food looks like, how it is presented, etc. and stated that this is an example of how the human interface currently needs to be improved in today’s market. She asked, “Why can’t the food look appealing and be presented in a more appetizing fashion? This is not helping the cause. There are technologies that are disrupting airline catering. New initiatives are on the cusp for utilizing the digital advancements to get this going. This is what we as an industry need to strive for!

The last speaker from this session of the Digital Trends stream was Elizabeth “Bess” Chapman, Operating Principal of JetBlue Technologies (JBT). She works with portfolio companies to create compelling value propositions for JetBlue, source new technology and identify emerging trends. She stated that innovation is a big part of JetBlue’s airline identify but she has found it has become more challenging to become more innovative. “We want to find the next Uber in aviation,” said Bess.

How does JetBlue Technologies work? They scan the global ecosystem for start-ups. Once they find one that is appealing JBT partners with them. They help them get going then bring them back into JetBlue. “We work with startups both via investment but with time as well,” said Bess. Over time, they have invested in 22 companies.

“Brand is an identity former. Look at Apple. They have incredibly strong brand identity. If they were to launch an airline, who wouldn’t fly it?! Virgin has a very strong brand identity, but many others do not,” she said. “People and their interaction and empathy are very significant. Again, look at an Apple store vs. an airline counter at an airport.”

One challenge now is to test and take risks and see what really works, but also, the industrialization to make certain you have the best product for your customer.

Disruptions in a business like an airline is very different from an electronics giant like Apple. Whether it is a delay, etc. How do you get that irate passenger to come around and change their position from being annoyed to appreciative? Is it offering them free Wi-Fi, a glass of champagne? You really have to know the individual’s wants/needs. This is another advantage in digital technology – it is not only cutting cost but being able to deliver. And reliability is very important.

Value Perspective: What is the next big value disruption? With regards to AI, a lot has been done with biometrics via facial technology for within the airport that allows passengers to board using biometrics, so there is no need for a boarding pass, because facial recognition is so secure. With this digital information, there is then the opportunity to target those people with sales/shopping en route to the gate. JBT also believes that the insights from the data will be absolutely game changing for our industry.

Another area that JBT finds significant is the airlines that want to boost their customer service and personal interaction are the airlines who are looking at the concept of virtual assistants, so it really is a better balance, it isn’t actually trying to depersonalize the experience. How people interact with a virtual assistant may be key. You tend to talk with them in a neutral way vs. the way you may interact with a person or your partner. This may be a way that the technology understands who I am, how quickly I need to get through the airport, etc. All reducing the stress of the journey.

Next week the IFExpress team will wrap-up the Digital Trends Stream with “Taking the Pain Out of the Digital Journey” and the final session “Enhancing Your Reality”.


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced that it will supply inflight entertainment system hardware for a next-generation inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system being developed by one of the largest airlines in the United States. Under the agreement, Astronics’ products will equip nearly 50 of the airlines’ new widebody aircraft. Provided by Astronics CSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astronics Corporation, Astronics is now delivering production units that are a combination of new and existing products, both standard off-the-shelf and custom designs.


GOGO

Gogo Inc. announced the pricing of the previously announced private offering of $905 million aggregate principal amount of 9.875% senior secured notes due 2024 (the “Notes”) to be issued by its direct wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Intermediate Holdings LLC (“Holdings LLC”), and its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Finance Co. Inc. (the “Co-Issuer” and, together with Holdings LLC, the “Issuers”).  The offering is expected to close on April 25, 2019, subject to certain closing conditions.


EDITOR’S NOTE

While IFExpress’ primary focus is IFEC, we have been flooded with news about the 737 MAX. We recommend this April 18, 2019 article from the IEEE Spectrum. It is both descriptive and technical and represents the observations and operating conditions of the aircraft by an author who is both a pilot and software developer.  How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer – IEEE Spectrum


OTHER NEWS

  • L-Band is being tested in Germany for the future of aviation communication and one of the reason is data rate – 2.6 Megabits/sec versus a few kilobits. Notes Avionics International: “First, it is an alternative link that pilots and controllers can use to digitally exchange much of the same information they communicate today verbally. Secondly, it can serve as an alternative positioning, navigation and timing signal for correcting aircraft navigation accuracy when global navigation satellite system links such as Galileo or EGNOS in Europe are interrupted or unavailable.” Flight Tests of LDACS Prototype Under Way in Germany – Avionics International
  • If you are into antennas, or you want to learn more about antennas, check out this site. The Antenna Theory Website As they (and Einstein) say: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

 

 

 

IFExpress is home from a week in Germany where many new developments in the IFEC arena were on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg 2019. As we mentioned to many of you during the show, predominately 2019 was a ‘step change’ year verses a new product/hardware unveiling – however, there were one or two major exceptions, which we will address in upcoming issues of IFExpress.

As many of you know, this is a huge show and we never managed to get outside of the IFEC Zone but we did see some noteworthy concepts. For example, this spring there were three different companies exhibiting LiFi technology (a mobile wireless technology that uses light instead of radio frequencies to transmit data) for IFEC applications; whether it was streaming movies to an inseat screen or using LiFi to upload content to the aircraft when it was parked at the gate. All pretty amazing, and we were impressed with the rate of proliferation of the technology from APEX 2018 to now. Needless to say, we think LiFi is here to stay and anticipate the Tech Committee to establish a working group on the technology in the near term if they haven’t done so already.

An area that did have some major advancements that we were wowed by was satcom antennas. We saw an amazing new development antenna project that we are still in awe of and cannot wait to see how it will impact the industry once it is certified and flying. Having said that, there were several other companies that were also exhibiting new antennas that were much more aerodynamic and provided more performance. More on these developments in a later issue.

Another area that was addressed in many booths was the concept of Health/Wellness applications. This is a definite growth area for our industry and the IFEC venders appear to be embracing the concept. Health/Wellness is a circumstance where the aircraft is mimicking the trends on the ground and, as we know, airlines are always looking to engage their passengers with technology and services that meet their expectations and ease the stress of the travel experience. Expect to be hearing more and more on this area over the coming months.

None of the aforementioned would be possible without the new, massive solid-state drives that are embedded in today’s IFEC in conjunction with the proliferation of installed connectivity services, artificial intelligence and biometrics. As these four technologies evolve in the IFEC industry the amount of data that can be garnered about each individual traveler and their expectations will result in a tailored travel experience from the moment the ticket is booked, throughout the journey itself, until the passenger reaches his/her destination. The industry has long talked about touching the end-to-end passenger experience and how it will facilitate the airlines ability to meet, and possibly exceed, expectations of those utilizing their services whether it be for leisure or business travel. It is the belief of IFExpress that we are finally on the cusp of being able to deliver on that promise. Having said that, one of the primary areas of concern that has, and will continue to be, voiced was the issue of privacy and security around the individual traveler’s personal data. This translates to the need for an increasingly cybersecure system. As an industry, both the airlines and the IFEC vendors will be continuing to focus on the issues of hacking and maintaining the passengers’ faith and trust that their personal information is secure. This is an issue that is here to stay.

Another major announcement that was discussed last week was the news that Future Travel Experience (FTE) and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) reached an agreement to fully integrate the FTE into APEX. This decision to integrate FTE into the APEX family will create an end-to-end passenger experience and innovation powerhouse that will benefit the entire air transport industry, including airports, airlines, vendors and all other stakeholders who play an important role in enhancing the customer experience and optimizing operational efficiency on the ground and in-flight. Said Daniel Coleman, Founder of FTE. FTE will continue to operate with autonomy but both organizations believe that by teaming they can strengthen and amplify their respective propositions, which provide an opportunity to consolidate yet build large-scale interactive events together. Time will tell.

Over the next few weeks, our publication will review what we had the opportunity to see and experience during AIX. We will start with the Passenger Experience Conference and the Digital Trends breakout session from April 1st. During the following weeks we will do a deeper dive into the interviewed companies and their technologies. As always, thanks for subscribing and reading IFExpress!

Editor’s Note: “With all the press and industry concern over the recent B737 MAX incidents, we have created a section lower down in IFExpress on Boeing because this subject is very important, and it is news with a great impact – safety will always be a BIG DEAL.” – Patricia Wiseman


AIRBUS
American Airlines is starting scheduled flights with the first of its 100 new Airbus A321neo aircraft on order. These aircraft come equipped with an all-new cabin interior designed for enhanced passenger comfort and convenience, including larger Airspace XL overhead luggage bins that increase carry-on bag capacity. American is the launch customer for the Airspace XL bins, which provide approximately 40 percent more overhead storage space for passengers on board the 196-seat aircraft. In addition to equipping its new A321neos with the XL bins, American also plans to retrofit its entire in-service fleet of earlier A321 models – more than 200 aircraft – with the cabin features included on the new A321neos.

Airbus has extended its Airspace Customer Definition Centre (CDC) at its Airbus site in Hamburg, Germany for cross-program cabin customization by now including the A320 and A330 programs – to complement the existing A350 XWB customization areas. From now on operators of all these programs can experience the well-established approach for a fast, easy and state-of-the-art cabin definition which Airbus has been offering for A350 XWB customers since the original CDC first opened in 2014. Furthermore, the CDC now fully adopts the ‘Airspace’ Cabin Brand, which was first launched with the A330neo, and sets new cabin standards of comfort, ambience, service and design for airlines and their passengers. Consequently, the CDC was renamed to Airspace Customer Definition Centre.

Following the launch of this extension in April 2017, construction began to enlarge the existing CDC premises by redeveloping and equipping a large adjacent aircraft hangar into a state-of-the-art and cooperative working environment. Recently completed, the new facility adds approximately 4,500 m² of new space over two floors dedicated for A320 and A330 customers, and will foster the realization of their integrated cabin solutions. The CDC extension features new customer-specific mock-up areas as well as highly flexible presentation and conference rooms on two levels with the ambience of an industrial loft.In the CDC customers follow a unique definition process through a purposely designed array of highly dedicated zones. In line with Airbus’ track record of cabin innovation, the extension brings several new technologies and services which are now available across the different aircraft types. A key highlight is a new Airbus invented floor projection system which displays the full-scale real cabin layout on the floor. Combined with original cabin elements, customers can perform ‘live’ tests of alternative layouts and scenarios. In addition to this innovation, some configuration mock-ups have been expanded to include a cargo area to discuss solutions for the use of the space in the lower-deck. Furthermore, meeting rooms are updated with the latest VR-technologies.The combination of functional play rooms for cabin equipment testing, exhibition areas for typical airline product staging, design studios for material and mood light definitions, virtual and augmented reality technology complemented by customer-specific mock-up areas, make the Airspace CDC a unique and attractive one-stop-shop for customers.

Air Portugal – Lisbon based TAP Air Portugal received its first of twelve A321LR’s on order, becoming the first airline to operate a combined A330neo and A321LR fleet. The A321LR is the world’s most flexible and capable large single aisle aircraft. Powered by CFM engines, TAP’s A321LR is configured with 171 seats (16 full flat Business, 48 Eco Premium and 107 Ecomomy seats). The combination of the A321LR and the A330neo within a single fleet provides operators a powerful lever to cover the needs of the medium to long haul market. With both newest generation single aisle (20% fuel burn reduction) and widebody aircraft (25% fuel burn reduction) airlines benefit from an unrivaled commonality for operations whilst passengers experience a higher and harmonized comfort standards.


ASTRONICS
Astronics Corporation, a provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission-critical industries, announced that Astronics and HAECO Cabin Solutions have collaborated to jointly integrate SmartTray passenger electronic device (PED) holder technology for inclusion on HAECO’s Vector economy seats’ in-arm tray tables.

Astronics also announced an expanded line of CorePower power conversion products for use on commercial aircraft, business jets, and rotorcraft applications. These new power converters are available off-the-shelf and certified to provide an easy path for modernizing aircraft power systems.


BOEING
FAA was urged by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer to remove Boeing from Aviation Rule-making Advisory Committee (ARAC) until the formal investigation into MAX crashes has ended. He also demanded that FAA make public who else sits on the committee.


OTHER NEWS

AIX Hamburg, Germany | April 2, 2019–This year we will be exhibiting with a new booth at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg and are hoping to inspire you once more with our exceptional and innovative aircraft interior solutions.

To stay ahead of current market trends, our recent efforts have been focused on the next generation galley. Digital communication between on-board personnel, more efficient and cost-effective processes as well as transparency during daily work on-board are some of the many advantages Bucher is currently designing. Among other things, food waste can be reduced by providing accurate meal consumption figures through data analysis. This in turn leads to cost savings for the airline.

In order to promote the on-board sales of duty-free articles, we are presenting a completely new exhibition opportunity for on-board assortments in the form of a galley shopping window. In addition to the duty-free brochure, this platform will enhance the purchasing process and in turn increase the sales of exhibited products. Furthermore, our inventory management system will reliably record the entrances and exits of all sales items using a sophisticated EPS system. At the push of a button, sales and inventory reports can be evaluated in real time.

As a pioneer in lightweight construction, Bucher is also breaking new ground. Bucher has developed an ultra-light bionic partition, which supports the cabin crew in their tasks and provides extra protection in an emergency situation. The multifunctional partition is the first of four types to pass through the rigorous qualification and certification program and in the future will be installed by Airbus in the rear of A320 aircraft.

This year we were able to hand over the 1’000th airline stretcher to one of our satisfied customers. To celebrate this milestone, our specialists will be conducting live demonstrations of stretcher assembly and disassembly: the stretcher can be installed in 8 – 10 minutes without the need for tools. The height can be adjusted to fit neatly and safely in a wide range of aircraft seating and pitch dimensions. In its most common configuration, the installation of the stretcher requires the blocking of only three rows of seats.

At one of most interactive AIX exhibits, Bucher visitors will be able to appreciate our expertise in designing and building high-end cabin and seat mechanisms such as Tray Table Deployment Systems or Tablet Holder Solutions. The half-size ARCTICart, a thermally insulated ATLAS inflight service cart able to maintain food safely chilled for more than 20 hours without dry-ice or air chillers, will be presented to the public for the first time.

These are just a few of the many new products which we have in store for you. We listen to your wishes and challenges and respond with answers.  Drop in and see for yourself all of these exciting innovations and new products at our booth. The entire team at the Bucher Group looks forward to welcoming you to AIX 2019!

Deadline to Apply is May 31, 2019

March 29, 2019– Through a donor who wishes to be anonymous, Women in Aviation International offers five training scholarships available for application now through May 31, 2019. These scholarships include:

WAI Instrument or CFII Rating Scholarship: WAI will award a $5,000 scholarship to an individual pursuing an instrument rating or a CFI wanting to add their instrument qualification. Applicants must hold at least a private pilot certificate.

WAI Multi-Engine Rating or CFI Multi-Engine Endorsement Scholarship: WAI will award a $3,000 scholarship to an individual pursuing a multiengine rating or to add a multiengine endorsement to a CFI certificate.

WAI CFI Certificate Scholarship: WAI will award a $3,000 scholarship to an individual pursuing a CFI certificate. Applicants must hold a current commercial/instrument certificate.

WAI Private Pilot Scholarship: WAI will award a $5,000 scholarship geared toward an individual who would like to earn ta private pilot certificate.

WAI Aircraft Maintenance Technician Scholarship: WAI will award one $5,000 scholarship to a student currently enrolled in an Aviation Maintenance Technician Program (A&P) or a degree in Aviation Maintenance Technology.

For all five scholarships, if the applicant is a full-time student enrolled in high school, an accredited flight program, or an accredited college or university, she/he must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). Funds will be paid directly to your flight school and training is to be completed within one year.

In order to apply for any of these five scholarships, the applicant must be a current member of Women in Aviation International. For instructions on how to apply, please visit wai.org/scholarships.

Finalists for the Crystal Cabin Awards 2019 include airlines, manufacturers, suppliers and universities from all over the world

Hamburg, Germany | February 26, 2019– The Crystal Cabin Award is one of the most coveted seals of quality in the global aviation industry. The finalists have now been decided for each of the eight categories. Competition was never tougher for the 24 places in the finals. The international expert jury viewed and evaluated some 94 shortlisted entries. Airlines, manufacturers, suppliers and universities from all around the world have made it to the last round. Just who will be taking one of the precious trophies home will be decided in Hamburg on 2 April at a celebrity gala dinner for the industry during the leading global trade show, Aircraft Interiors Expo.

An overview of the finalists: 8 categories, 24 innovations

Three well-known heavyweights of the aviation industry are going head-to-head in the “Cabin Concepts” category. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has come up with a new use for the space underneath the passenger cabin with its Lower Deck Pax Experience Modules. Today, the space is used for, amongst other things, cargo containers. In the future, though, it could contain lounge areas or quiet zones for Economy class passengers to make ultra-long haul routes more pleasant. Travel with First Class, on the other hand, and you can already experience such luxuries on the newer aircraft in the Emirates fleet. The Boeing 777 First Class Fully Enclosed Suites have the atmosphere of a private jet. There are also numerous high-tech components such as video calls from the passenger to the crew and virtual windows for suites located in the centre of the plane. This means that every seat has a guaranteed window view. Rather than opulence, Safran Essential Business Class is focused on efficiency and sustainability. Doing away entirely with heavy mechanical components, the concept relies instead on innovative cushion structures. The result: 25 percent less weight and almost 20 percent more space for the passenger.

One of the central questions shaping the “Cabin Systems” category is how to most efficiently use the space within an aircraft. Collins Aerospace provides a great example with its Flex Duet self-service counter for snacks and drinks. During cruise flight, it can just be opened up like a closet door, folding in front of the aircraft door to give a purpose to otherwise unused space. The X-Tend Seat from Airbus increases efficiency in individual seating rows by partially folding down the seat cushion when the passenger stands up. This provides the passenger with more freedom of movement within the row, whilst the airline can compress the seating pitch in emergency exit rows. Diehl Aviation, meanwhile, offers greater seat pitch independence with its Flexible Passenger Service Unit system. The modules, containing for example air vents and reading lamps, are not fixed in place above the seats; instead, they can be repositioned for optimal passenger convenience.

And if perfectly positioned air vents aren’t enough to keep everything smelling of roses, one finalist’s concept for the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category may have the solution: the nanoe air filtration system by Panasonic extracts pungent smells from the cabin, for example after meals, improving the air quality. Sadly, the concept is currently only available for Business Class. For some years already, the Skycouch from Air New Zealand has led the way in creating a genuine luxury upgrade for Economy Class passengers, converting an entire row of seats to a bed on demand. And now, this practical concept is available in a family edition, with new belts and safety guards ensuring that even babies and infants can be safely put to bed here. The jury showed its appreciation of this enhancement with a place in the finals. Diehl Aviation provides the third candidate in this category, too, with an innovation equally advantageous for old and young. The UV-LED Water Disinfection Unit is a retrofit antibacterial filter for the toilet area. For the first time, tap water is reliably drinkable on board.

A different type of passenger wellbeing, meanwhile, is at the heart of the “In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity” category. One entry here has won over not just the jury but also the Emirates airline. The virtual windows from Collins Aerospace are already in use in the airline’s concept that has made the finals in another category. Global Eagle has a product that benefits not just First Class passengers: the Low-Earth Orbit Satellite, LEO. Floating in space at a relatively low altitude, it provides extra-fast broadband internet for airborne clients, even in regions currently subject to poor connectivity, such as polar regions. United Airlines, on the other hand, is here with connectivity between the passenger and the in-flight entertainment system. “Entertainment for All” provides passengers with diverse, semantically valid settings to personalise the multimedia experience on board.

Another Collins Aerospace concept is in the spotlight — in the truest sense of the word — in this year’s “Material & Components” category. The μLED Reading Light replaces existing cabin reading lamps with ingenious LED technology. With precisely targeted light cones, a single lamp can illuminate several seats. The Lumina concept from KYDEX is all about pleasant lighting, too. The US company has developed a thermal plastic that can conduct light and provides mood lighting via plastic panels in the cabin. If privacy is what you need for a sense of wellbeing, the Flexible Door from supplier Safran may be your thing. The thinly coated element is integrated in the side wall of the Business Class seating berth and can be drawn across between the seat and the aisle, almost like a blind, when needed. For passengers, it means more privacy; for airlines, the ultralight weight makes it attractive.

The “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category is home to physically larger amenities. This includes the Active Noise Control technology for Business Class seats from Panasonic. Noise- cancelling headphones will be a thing of the past with this seat, which filters the cabin and engine background noise by itself at the press of a button. Calming music or bird noises can be added if required, accompanied by the appropriate lighting. It brings sleeping in the skies close to cloud nine. And in Economy Class? Here, too, attention has been paid to long-haul sleeping comfort. Seat manufacturer RECARO has enhanced its long-haul route seat with a number of comfort elements that make it a little more like an armchair at home. This includes a flexibly adjustable head and neck support as well as movable back and leg upholstery. French design studio Style & Design has taken an even more radical approach to long-haul seating. The Moments concept significantly extends the seating space in Business Class, offering a range of sofa-like positions for sitting, lying and tuning, without costing the airline in terms of precious space.

Radical new travel ideas are traditionally the domain of the “University” category for the Crystal Cabin Award, with students from all over the world bringing their competing plans for the future to the arena. Sahngseok Lee from Hongik University in Korea, for example, has designed the 1 For All concept in collaboration with seating manufacturer Adient. It interweaves the various seat classes to achieve the maximum possible use of space. Premium and Economy passengers may find themselves next to one another or even above or below one another — alone or within compartments. Clément Heinen of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has undertaken a redesign of Business Class, in collaboration with Safran. The innovative “Stratus” seat can not only be ergonomically tilted, it can also be turned into a standing desk for completing office work. Joseph Lane from the University of Cincinnati, meanwhile, has developed an innovative approach to on-board catering. With the SkyDining app, passengers will not just have the choice of “chicken or pasta”; instead, they can order a meal from a restaurant at the departure airport in advance, using their smartphones. The meal is delivered to the airport at the gate and served hot during the flight — in an environmentally friendly cardboard box, of course.

Creative ideas from outside the academy find their place at the Crystal Cabin Award, too, in the “Visionary Concepts” category. Flexibility is the order of the day here again this year, as seen in the Ultraflex Zone from AIM Altitude that has made it to the final round. Passengers of all classes can use the snack bar, relax in lounge chairs, work on a presentation at a laptop workstation or do something for their physical comfort in the yoga zone. The Peacock Suite from Paperclip Design in Hong Kong offers more space for airlines to vary their First Class products, with flexible partitions and seating arrangements allowing for individual products to be put together on a flight-by-flight basis as required, ranging from family compartments to three-room luxury suites. Boeing, meanwhile, has approached visionary cabin redesign from a different perspective. The Smart Cabin transforms the aircraft interior into an “Internet of Things” for crew members. Similar to a Smart Home infrastructure, it allows for all components to be digitally managed and controlled with voice commands, from lighting to seating and even lavatories.

The innovations of the year — showdown on 2 April

The Crystal Cabin Award, an initiative of the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is presented in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”.

To win one of the coveted snow-white 3D printed trophies, the 24 finalists now have to present their ideas in person to the 27 members of the international expert jury. Winners will be announced at a prestigious Gala Dinner taking place in the trading floor hall of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce on 2 April, as always as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (2 – 4 April in Hamburg). Guests of honour will include Hamburg’s Governing Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher, along with the Federal German Government’s Coordinator of Aerospace Policy, Thomas Jarzombek. All winners will then present their concepts once again at the Hamburg show in the Cabin Space LIVE Auditorium, near the official Crystal Cabin Award Gallery on the first floor in Hall B4, at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 3 April. Information on all finalists will be available there throughout the entire Expo. This year, for the first time, trade fair visitors can also take part in a popular vote.

Respected industry award — respected industry support

The following sponsors and media partners support the Crystal Cabin Award: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, AIME 2020 – Aircraft Interiors Middle East, Ameco Beijing, APEX, The Boeing Company, Bluebox Aviation Systems LTD., Boltaron Inc. – A SIMONA Company, BURRANA, Collins Aerospace, DIEHL Aviation, Emirates, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, FIT AG – Additive Manufacturing Group, Flightchic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, jetlite, Lufthansa T echnik AG, NORDAM, Panasonic, RECARO, Runway Girl Network, SEKISUI SPI, tesa SE and Vartan Aviation Group.

You too can join the list of sponsors and supporters of the Crystal Cabin Award. Information on sponsoring opportunities and packages is available from Carmen Krause: carmen.krause@crystal-cabin-award.com

First flight of the 777X scheduled for 2019; delivery in 2020

Everett, Washington | November 20, 2018– Boeing [NYSE: BA] has brought together the major fuselage sections to form the first 777X airplane that will take to the skies in 2019.

In a major production milestone called ‘final body join,’ Boeing teams connected the airplane’s nose, mid and aft sections in the company’s factory in Everett, Wash. The jet now measures 252 feet long (77 meters) from nose to tail, making it the longest passenger jet the manufacturer has ever produced.

“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X. “With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development program sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”

The 777X builds on the market-leading 777 and the 787 Dreamliner to offer airlines the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The airplane provides 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than competing airplanes.

The 777X achieves the unprecedented performance through the introduction of the latest technologies such as the most fuel-efficient commercial engine ever, the GE9X, and a fourth-generation all-new composite wing design that provides lift and efficiency. With the extension of a set of folding, raked wingtips, the airplane’s wing spans 235 feet (72 meters).

By adding folding wingtips, the 777X’s wingspan has been increased to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing, reducing engine thrust and fuel use. Additionally, the folding wingtips allow the 777X to maintain airport compatibility with the existing 777 family, adding value for customers.

The first 777X introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration and offer a range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075 km). Boeing is building on the passenger-preferred interior of today’s 777 and building on 787 interior innovations to create a passenger experience like no other. Passengers will enjoy windows that are larger and located higher on the fuselage than the current 777, along with a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture.

The first 777X test airplane for static ground testing was completed in September 2018. Three additional flight test airplanes will be built after flight test #1.

The 777X first flight is scheduled for 2019. First delivery is slated for 2020.

Expects 2019 Aerospace revenue of $710 million to $745 million

East Aurora, NY | November 14, 2018– Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, today provided initial 2019 revenue guidance for its Aerospace segment and affirmed recent Aerospace 2018 revenue guidance.

“In our third quarter press release, we revised our Aerospace segment revenue guidance for 2018 to $670 to $675 million, which we are affirming today. The midpoint of this range would show 26% growth over 2017,” commented Peter J. Gundermann, President and CEO.

He continued, “We are also issuing initial Aerospace segment revenue guidance for 2019 of $710 to $745 million, which suggests organic growth next year of approximately 6% to 11%. We are encouraged by our strong booking performance of $617 million in the first nine months of 2018, and the continued strength of our aerospace markets.”

The Company also announced today the sale of assets related to its Semiconductor Test business, which is subject to usual closing conditions including a Hart-Scott-Rodino review.

Mr. Gundermann stated, “We are not issuing 2019 guidance today for our Test segment, given the pending sale and other developments in the business. We anticipate doing so by the end of the year. We have a backlog of $72 million, most of which is Aerospace and Defense, and are in negotiations for a large program expected to be worth $30 to $50 million, as previously announced. We expect the next 45 days will bring clarity about our Test segment in 2019.”

The Company also affirmed its Test segment revenue guidance of $120 million to $125 million for 2018. The Company expects to release its fourth quarter and full year 2018 financial results in late February 2019.