While IFEC is our focus in this issue, we need to first cover a huge sale between Airbus and Emirates and this is a big deal!

Airbus/Emirates

Emirates firms up order for up to 36 additional A380 – the airlines aircraft of choice – to continue the airline’s successful growth. They signed a contract on Sunday to buy as many as 36 Airbus (AIR.PA) A380 aircraft worth as much as $16 billion at list prices, firming up an order that is crucial to the future of the world’s biggest passenger jet. The order, for 20 of the double-decker planes with an option for 16 more, was originally announced on a provisional basis in mid-January. Deliveries are to start as soon as in 2020, the Dubai-based carrier said. Airbus had previously said it would have to end production of the A380 if it failed to secure the huge Emirates deal.

Alongside the contract signing, visiting French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum discussed the expansion of air services between France and the United Arab Emirates, the airline said without elaborating. The latest order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, it said, adding that it was evaluating engine options for the new planes.

Airbus noted: The A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable air traffic growth, alleviating congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with fewer flights. The aircraft is the best way to capture growing world air traffic, which doubles every 15 years. The flagship airliner can accommodate 575 passengers in 4 classes and offers a range of 8,200 nautical miles (15,200 kilometres). The double-decker has become the passenger’s favorite resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies. The A380 is the world’s roomiest aircraft, offering the widest seats, wide aisles and more floor space. The A380 has the unique capability to generate revenue, stimulate traffic and attract passengers, who can now specifically select the A380 when booking a flight via the innovative iflyA380.com web site and the new IOS app.

To date more than 200 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique comfort of flying on board an A380. Every two minutes an A380 either takes off or lands at some of the 240 airports around the world, ready to welcome this magnificent aircraft. To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 Airlines.


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation’s innovative new inflight connectivity system – Gogo AVANCETM L3 – has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA. The latest connectivity solution from Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) lets users customize their inflight experience based on their unique needs and can be installed on business aircraft of all types, sizes and ages, but is an ideal solution for smaller aircraft including turboprops and light jets. Gogo is actively fulfilling orders that have already been booked and installations are underway via Gogo’s dealer network.

AVANCE L3 delivers the benefits of the Gogo AVANCE platform to passengers and flight departments in a small, lightweight form factor, with the most affordable pricing options in business aviation. The AVANCE platform integrates a full range of Smart Cabin features, allowing passengers to simply and reliably access and use all available data, voice, maps, entertainment and cabin management system (CMS) services.

By leveraging the AVANCE platform, the L3 delivers an unparalleled level of flexibility so users can adjust their system’s capabilities up or down without anyone needing to board the aircraft. Once installed, if a customer’s needs change and they want more or fewer capabilities, Gogo can make the adjustments to the system remotely.

“AVANCE L3 delivers the ultimate in flexibility,” said Mike Syverson, senior vice president of development for Gogo Business Aviation. “The AVANCE software-centric platform gives us capabilities that are transformative to business aviation. Users are no longer constrained by the hardware itself and there’s no need for downtime in a hangar if business needs evolve and require different service levels.”

The new system provides a level of flexibility not seen before in business aviation that allows operators to tailor their passengers’ experience and control and manage the number of devices they allow to connect.

And here is the “big deal”: With AVANCE L3, anyone onboard the aircraft can stay connected to email; send text messages and make voice calls with Gogo Text & Talk (service plan required); access their favorite flight apps such as moving maps, weather and flight information; or watch movies and TV shows using Gogo Vision (service plan required). For customers looking for full internet connectivity, AVANCE L3 can be enabled to connect to the Gogo Biz data network delivering a 3G experience. It’s the ultimate in scalability and flexibility.

Look at it this way:

1. For customers primarily interested in email, voice and light internet browsing capabilities, Core enables up to five devices. Hourly and monthly service plans available.

2. For customers looking for full internet connectivity in addition to email, Plus enables up to seven devices. Monthly service plans available.

3. Delivers similar capabilities that Plus does, but Max enables up to 25 devices. Monthly service plans available.

Gogo’s dealers and OEM partners are actively pursuing multiple STCs that will certify the Gogo AVANCE L3 system for installation across a variety of business aircraft models. Most other business aircraft models will also be available for Gogo AVANCE L3 system installation utilizing existing STCs.


Thales

Thales is making a comeback into Malaysia’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) scene as it works jointly with Novatis Resources to upgrade Kota Kinabalu’s Flight Information Region’s (FIR) Air Traffic Control (ATC) system and more.

To improve air traffic services for safer and smother travel within Malaysia’s airspace, Kota Kinabalu’s FIR, one of the two in the country will be receiving this series of upgrades including a new air traffic control system, radars, ground station, surveillance systems and distance measurement equipment in the next three years.

Together with local contractor, Novatis Resources, Thales will be bringing to the table its state-of-the-art ICAO’s ASBU-ready TopSky-ATC system, its new negation new generation primary and secondary co-mounted radars, ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) ground stations and latest DVOR-DME.

Notably, over 40% of the world’s airspace and more than 70 % of Asia Pacific airspace are controlled by Thales’s TopSky-ATC. Amongst Asia Pacific countries that employ the system are Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam.

The last major Thales ATM project in Malaysia was contracted over 15 years ago. The ubiquity of the TopSky ATC in the region will give Malaysia’s DCA the advantage of interoperability with its neighboring countries.

Next, Cebu Pacific Air, a leading airline in the Philippines currently operates a fleet of 56 aircraft comprised of A319, A320, A330 and ATR 72-500. The airline also has a further 50 aircraft on order which will be delivered between 2016 and 2021. With this anticipated expansion, the airline has decided to invest in pilot operations, to ensure that flight crew day to day operations, and their mission management are at the cutting edge. As a result they have selected the Aviobook Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution to digitize all their current flight dispatch documentation.

Cebu Pacific Air will equip their flight crew with Thales Aviobook
Full implementation of EFB solutions enables increased situational awareness and optimized flight collaboration with airline operation centers. This contract has further broadened Thales’s expertise in avionics and airborne connectivity.


SITA/SITAONAIR

They are providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly. In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR, SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft,  has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

SITA has also won the respected Aviation Technology Achievement at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards. The award was given for SITA’s work with JetBlue and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deliver a new secure, paperless and device-less self-boarding process, using biometric technology. This was the world’s first biometric boarding system using just a facial scan to board passengers while also completing the US customs and border exit checks. Working with JetBlue and the CBP, at Boston’s Logan International Airport, SITA demonstrated that biometric technology can reduce friction points in the airport experience including at boarding, where integrating checks with government systems is one of the hardest challenges to solve. The technology eliminates any boarding pass scanning and passport checks. Passengers just need to simply look into the camera for a quick photo and they are on their way. The integration of the airline and government systems by SITA showed how passengers can enjoy a seamless experience, while demonstrating how airlines and government border agencies can work together to enhance security.


Other Stuff

  • You might want to check out Gogo’s newsletter here.
  • Last week as we were going to press, Rob Mitchell, Communications Specialist at The Bookmark told us of a really interesting and descriptive web page on Wi-Fi that the folks at Verizon Internet have put together: “Because the topic of Wi-Fi is so complex, our experts recently created an animated guide as a follow-up to that article explaining how Wi-Fi works. It’s animations do a better job than most blog posts showing how routers send and receive Wi-Fi signals. I thought you would like to add a link to The Bookmark’s new guide as an additional resource for your viewers since they will have an easier time understanding how wifi works using our animated guide. Thank you keep up the great work on airfax.com/blog!” Check it out, it’s really interesting. And if you have something that might help understanding in this business, let us know.
  • PDT (Astronics) came out today with their incredible 2018 CES Trend Report – and it is a winner. You can check it out here. While it is not IFEC, it is very good.
  • The International Federation of Robotics just made an interesting observation. Considering global robot average density is 74 per 10,000 workers and Europe has 99/10,000, the US has some 84/10,000, but the winner is Republic of Korea with an astounding 631/10,000!
  • Interested in Asian aviation growth? Hear what Airbus has to say: “While air traffic is doubling every 15 years in the world, the Asia-Pacific fleet is set to almost triple by 2036. For services, this translates into more than a third of the global MRO business coming from this region by 2036. This represents more than $660 billion – the sum total of the accumulated spending during the next two decades, and encompasses the following segments: Components; Line maintenance and Airframe base maintenance and Engine maintenance.”
  • We got a note from Galgus (Wi-Fi folks) and they noted they are on tour: next stage Mobile World Congress! From February the 26th till March the 1st, Barcelona will hold the Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC18) and Galgus will be there with its own booth for the second year in a row. The Galcus booth will be located in the Spanish Pavilion (Congress Square CS30) and you will be able to find them on booth #23.
  • Airbus has been testing (and using) the SLS (Satellite Landing System) and you aviation tekkies need to get up to speed on this one. They note that the final approach segment is equivalent to a ground-based ILS beam! Here is a great slide presentation of the technology and Airbus deserves a pat on the back on this one!

Editor’s Note: Last week we mentioned that we had a lot of Airbus and Boeing sales info data – Here it is.

Wireless connectivity at the gate will allow the aircraft to connect to vital aircraft, airline systems

Port Louis | February 8, 2018– SITA is providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly.

In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR – SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft – has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

Donald Li Ying, Vice President – Information Systems at Air Mauritius, said: “As Air Mauritius begins to introduce a new-generation of connected aircraft such as the Airbus A350, it is vital that we have a partner that can support the transfer of data both in the air and on the ground. This is vital to leverage the full benefit that connected aircraft can bring to the airline and our passengers.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “The continued growth in connected aircraft such at the Airbus A350 is opening new possibilities to enhance the passenger experience on board as well drive new efficiencies in how these aircraft are managed.”

“These new aircraft have become flying data centers which rely on world-class connectivity in order to exchange information on everything from engine data, passenger requirements to updates at the destination. This requires reliable, fast connectivity no matter where the aircraft finds itself. At SITA we are working with airlines globally to support that connectivity and ensure that the full benefits of connected aircraft can be unlocked.”

A total of 30% of airlines are already operating connected aircraft within their fleet and 73% of airlines will either operate or have taken delivery of connected aircraft in the next three years, according to SITA Air Transport IT Insights 2017.

This past week has presented the industry with a lot of news, especially with the Singapore Air Show underway. In fact, there is too much data to cover in one issue. As a result, next week IFExpress will sum up some of the Airbus and Boeing news (and there is a lot). Here are some of the highlights for this week:


Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Kenya Airways have today announced an agreement to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) services and passenger technical solutions for 24 of the carrier’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The agreement includes ten Embraer 190 aircraft line-fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eFX IFE system, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with eX1 and nine Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with eX3.

Kenya Airways is a leading African airline flying to 53 destinations worldwide, 42 of which are in Africa. It carries over three million passengers annually. Kenya Airways continues to modernize its fleet with its 36 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa, including its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. From the IFE perspective, eFX delivers entertainment and productivity tools including music, movies, games, TV series, destination presentations and a moving map in a single-aisle package. eX1 is Panasonic’s most advanced linefit IFE system for single-aisle aircraft. Its high-definition display technologies and surround sound audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience. Further, the eX3 system is capable of delivering more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. It offers excellent picture quality with enhanced color and contrast features.

Panasonic Technical Services will provide materials support solutions with technical advisory support to all aircraft. The aforementioned solutions have been customized in consultation with Kenya Airways to deliver optimal IFE spares operations coupled with onsite IFE support for maintenance operations. Sean Gavin, Vice President of Panasonic Technical Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Having worked very closely with Kenya Airways to develop a customized package to fit their needs for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, we are delighted to welcome them as a Panasonic customer. Our world-class IFE systems will offer the airline and its passengers an unrivaled and memorable entertainment experience.”

Panasonic Avionics told IFExpress that it offers a comprehensive solution to meet every airline’s needs for seatback, wireless, linefit and retrofit systems. For passengers, Panasonic solutions deliver an amazing home theater entertainment experience that includes HD content, games, applications, communications, and much more. For airlines, the inflight system is the foundation of a business platform that amplifies their brand.


SmartSky

SmartSky’s best-in-class, future-ready airborne network got a boost from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Avidyne Corporation, SmartSky’s avionics manufacturing partner, was awarded the first supplemental type certificate (STC) that provides for the installation and operation of a SmartSky 4G LTE system, in this case, on a Cessna Citation Excel. Avidyne CEO Dan Schwinn stated, “With this pioneering first STC in hand, we expect to receive Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA shortly. PMA is the catalyst for SmartSky’s partners to complete their STC commitments on many other popular business aircraft, and that then enables customers to install and use the system.” SmartSky expects these follow-on STCs to begin to be available this summer. That timing aligns well with the planned completion of the majority of the network coverage expansion effort currently underway across the continental United States.

Here’s the reason we are watching SmartSky – their patented beamforming technology delivers multi-gigabyte per hour data throughput at the industry’s lowest latency, both to and from an aircraft, setting a new airborne performance standard, all at the lowest cost per bit. “The recent FAA approval of the SmartSky 4G LTE-based network equipment is a clear indication of the fast pace in which the in-flight connectivity market is evolving,” says Nate Klenke, Modifications Sales Manager for Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, Nebraska. “We are excited to offer the SmartSky solution to our clients as one of their options for in-flight connectivity.”

SmartSky’s 4G LTE-based network has been live since 2017 and coverage expansion remains on track to support launching service nationwide in 2018. The long lead-time steps of onsite viability testing, permitting and backhaul-connection have all been completed at over 96% of the planned nationwide ground sites. More than 40% of those sites are already in their final stages of deployment or are already on air.


Thales

Passengers of Garuda Indonesia, the country’s flag carrier, can look forward to an all new and enhanced passenger experience with Thales AVANT IFE System on board the carrier’s A330neo aircraft. Garuda’s choice of Thales’ IFE system will help drive the airline’s strategic positioning to attract more passengers as Indonesia expects to see a double-digit increase in passenger growth this year.

  • Garuda Indonesia equips 14 A330neo aircraft with Thales AVANT IFE.
  • Thales and Garuda announce their partnership at the Singapore Airshow. The agreement is a first for both industry leaders.
  • AVANT IFE features a powerful full high definition monitors for business and economy class passengers. Business class travelers will also enjoy the Avii touchscreen handsets.

Next we note that, Airbus sees the Asia Pacific region as the most crucial in the world. In its 2017-2036 Global Market Forecast they predict demand will range from 6,100 aircraft by 2026 to 14,200 by 2036, with 41% of these fulfilled by new deliveries. Building and delivering new aircraft is however only one piece of the puzzle for an OEM like Airbus. A whole host of ancillary operations have to be put in place to ensure this fleet expansion is operationally viable for the long term. Chief of which is the complex interplay of MRO needed to keep this massive fleet flying. This requires not only on the ground expertise but a network of partnerships with trusted suppliers who can deliver on time and on budget MRO wherever an Airbus jet flies. Readers should note the following:

  • Thales will be Airbus’ subcontractor for MRO across Asia-Pacific for repair of all avionics components on Airbus’ single-aisle, long-range and A350 aircraft for seven years.
  • Repairs will be carried out from the Thales regional MRO hub in Singapore, the largest of the group’s three repair HUBs which services over 40k components per annum.
  • The Asia Pacific region is recognized by Airbus as a strategic nerve center for growth in the next 15 years with demand for new aircraft more than doubling by 2036.

Airbus

Airbus’ first A321LR (Long Range), MSN7877, has accomplished its maiden flight following a mission lasting 2 hours and 36 minutes. The aircraft powered by CFM Leap-1A engines is now set to undergo a nearly 100 hour flight test program, including trans-Atlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018. During the flight, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight controls, engines and main systems including flight envelope protections, both at high and low speed.  Klaus Roewe, Head of A320 Program stated: “Thanks to its outstanding performance and unbeatable efficiency, the A321LR will allow our customers to perform flights of up to 4,000nm, allowing them to open new routes – for example transatlantic – and conquer new markets.”

The A321LR features a new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky. The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivaled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4000nm (7400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new market opportunities. The A321LR’s new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky. The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivaled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4,000nm (7,400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new long range market opportunities.

Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 20 percent by 2020. With more than 1900 orders received from over than 50 customers, to date the A321neo has captured a solid 80 percent market share, making it the true aircraft of choice in the Middle of the Market.

The aircraft is now set to undergo a nearly 100 hour flight test program, including transatlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018.

On another note, Airbus has been testing and using the SLS (Satellite Landing System) and you aviation tekkies need to get up to speed on this one. We note that the final approach segment is equivalent to a ground-based ILS beam! Here is a great slide presentation of the technology and Airbus deserves a pat on the back on this one!


Boeing

Boeing Reports Record 2017 Results and Provides 2018 Guidance

Fourth-Quarter 2017

  • Record operating earnings of $3.0 billion with operating cash flow of $2.9 billion on strong performance
  • GAAP EPS of $5.18 and core EPS (non-GAAP)* of $4.80 on strong deliveries, performance and tax reform

Full-Year 2017

  • Record operating cash flow of $13.3 billion; repurchased 46.1 million shares for $9.2 billion
  • Revenue of $93.4 billion reflecting a record 763 commercial deliveries
  • Backlog remains robust at $488 billion, including a record 5,864 commercial aircraft
  • Cash and marketable securities of $10.0 billion provide strong liquidity

Outlook for 2018

  • Operating cash flow expected to increase to approximately $15.0 billion
  • Revenue guidance of between $96.0 and $98.0 billion reflects commercial deliveries of between 810 and 815
  • 2018 GAAP EPS of between $15.90 and $16.10; core EPS (non-GAAP)* of between $13.80 and $14.00

Next, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and Travel Service, the largest carrier in the Czech Republic, celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 737 MAX airplane.Travel Service is leasing the airplane – a more fuel-efficient, quieter, and longer-range version of the 737 jet – from GECAS, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric.


**** NEXT WEEK AIR SHOW & AIRFRAMERS UPDATE ****


Other Stuff

Starting off with our BUZZ this week, we wanted to acquaint you with Duncan Jackson, FlightPath 3D President and tell you that we have always been impressed with the company’s advanced view of internet mapping for aviation and the team’s designed-in product advantages. We urge you to visit their site and be sure to stop by their booth at upcoming airshows to discover what an advanced digital mapping company is all about. While you are there, be sure to see where the world of inflight mapping is headed. This week, airplane news took the center stage, so here we go …


Airbus

The A350-1000, the newest member of Airbus’ leading Widebody family, has embarked on a three-week Demonstration Tour to the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific region.The tour follows the completion of a successful flight test campaign, which lasted less than one year and culminated in joint EASA and FAA type certification, demonstrating the aircraft’s excellent design, performance and maturity. The A350-1000 tour comes ahead of the first customer delivery to Qatar Airways in the coming weeks. During the tour, the A350-1000 flight test aircraft (MSN065) will visit 12 destinations to demonstrate the aircraft’s exclusive features to airlines. The itinerary will see it travel over 30,000 nautical miles. The aircraft will stop for several days in Singapore, where it will be on static display from 6 to 8 February at the Singapore Airshow 2018. (see below).

MSN065 is one of the three Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft and is equipped with a fully functional cabin (40 business class, 36 economy plus class and 219 comfort economy class seats).

The A350-1000 is the latest member of the A350 XWB family, showing high level of commonality with the A350-900 with 95% common systems part numbers and Same Type Rating. As well as having a longer fuselage to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900 (in a typical 3-class configuration), the A350-1000 also features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. To date 11 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 169 A350-1000s. You can follow the A350-1000 tour live on twitter: @airbus and #A350XWBtour if you are into that stuff.

Next, Airbus has launched a new iflyA380 iOS app that takes advantage of Apple’s latest technology, to open the doors of its iconic A380 aircraft to more passengers worldwide. The new app enhances Airbus’ existing iflyA380.com booking assistant with more choices, features and content and new possibilities to interact with the A380 (including taking a sneak peek at the cockpit). Customers today increasingly expect to design their own experiences and the app gives them the power to do so. Booking flights and staying updated with real-time notifications is just the beginning. Travelers will also enjoy a wide range of exclusive innovative services linked to the A380, including the option to explore destinations based on geolocation and personal interests and cabin discovery in Virtual Reality. You might also enjoy a connected and immersive in-flight experience based on an Augmented Reality feature. “Response to the iflyA380.com website has been fantastic.” says Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “The iflyA380 app is a new step for Airbus towards offering digital services that directly benefit consumers and allow them to design their own experiences.” With the new app, Airbus set out to make the passengers’ favorite flying experience even more memorable, from travel inspiration to their final destination.

Singapore Airshow 2018 – Airbus will be the largest international exhibitor at the upcoming Singapore Airshow, showcasing a selection of its latest products, services and innovations in the commercial aircraft, defense, space and helicopter markets. The show takes place at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, 6-11 February. The highlight at the static display will be the new long-range A350-1000 widebody aircraft, which will stop at the show as part of a three-week demonstration tour around the Asia-Pacific region. Set to enter commercial service in the coming weeks, the A350-1000 is the larger version of the A350 XWB Family, which has been especially successful with airlines in Asia


Boeing

Boeing announced its investment in Berkeley, Calif.-based Cuberg, Inc., a startup founded by former Stanford University researchers developing next-generation battery technology for potential aerospace and industrial applications. Cuberg developed an advanced battery cell that is designed to be a drop-in solution to existing large-scale battery manufacturing processes. It combines a lithium metal anode, proprietary electrolyte and high-voltage cathode to achieve high energy density and thermal durability. “Cuberg’s battery technology has some of the highest energy density we’ve seen in the marketplace, and its unique chemistries could prove to be a safe, stable solution for future electric air transportation,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX. Since it was established in April 2015, Cuberg has grown with several rounds of financing and grant funding, and signed a multimillion-dollar joint development agreement with an industrial battery manufacturer. Cuberg CEO Richard Wang is currently a member of the Cyclotron Road entrepreneurial research fellowship program located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Cuberg previously participated in the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy’s Innovation Transfer Program at Stanford University and was named one of the top seven startups in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2016 National Cleantech University Prize competition.

“We are excited to partner with the world’s largest aerospace company to extend Cuberg’s battery capabilities to help power the aerospace platforms of the future,” said Wang. “With funding from Boeing, we will expand both our team and our research and development facilities to help customers integrate our batteries into their products, while also scaling up our technology to fully automated production.” Boeing HorizonX Ventures led this second seed investment round, which included a follow-on investment by HPC Energy Services, a Canadian integrated oil and gas product and service company. This is Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ first investment in an energy storage company since the fund was established in April 2017.

Editor’s note: We should mention that the US International Trade Commission gave four thumbs down to Boeing’s complaint about the Canadian CS100 hurting their sales – Delta said: “Delta is pleased by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ruling rejecting Boeing’s anticompetitive attempt to deny U.S. airlines and the U.S. traveling public access to the state-of-the-art 110-seat CS100 aircraft when Boeing offers no viable alternative. The airline looks forward to introducing the innovative CS100 to its fleet for the benefit of Delta’s employees, customers and share owners.”


Inmarsat

Inmarsat has been crowned a winner at the Inflight Middle East Awards in Dubai for its ground-breaking inflight broadband service, GX Aviation. Inmarsat received the highest votes from an independent panel of judges in the ‘Connectivity Enablement’ category, taking the lead over other competitors in the market.Offering state-of-the-art, uninterrupted, global inflight connectivity, GX Aviation enables airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.The service currently boasts a constellation of four satellites, flying in a geostationary orbit, providing global coverage across commercial airline routes. The Inflight Middle East award is also reflective of Inmarsat’s continued investment in the network to ensure passengers are provided with the quality Wi-Fi they have come to expect at 35,000 feet. A new, very high-throughput satellite will launch next year to provide even more capacity across the Middle East, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Inmarsat’s new inflight internet solution has more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts. GX Aviation is already commercially available with launch customers Lufthansa Group and Air Astana, while additional mandates have also been won from other leading airlines such as AirAsia Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Avianca and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labor and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.


HappyOrNot

Yes, that is their company name and we found an interesting story about them in the New Yorker, Feb. 5 issue. You can read it here Customer Satisfaction at the Push of a Button | The New Yorker

The company installs simple terminals that you advise your feelings about a place or a thing (mostly). Here is a tiny part of the push button product story you should read: “HappyOrNot’s international breakthrough came at Heathrow Airport. Passengers had been complaining that security workers there were rude and incompetent, and, as the 2012 Summer Olympics approached, the airport’s executives worried about the imminent influx of international visitors. They positioned HappyOrNot terminals so that passengers could use them as they cleared security. The executives were now able to identify problem locations in real time, and security workers in low-rated areas could see when they were viewed as more annoying than colleagues in other parts of the airport. Very quickly, Theisen told me, Heathrow security’s over-all passenger-satisfaction scores rose by more than half.” Here is the point – It is often difficult to get customer views if they have to fill out a big form or even talk to a reviewer. IFExpress firmly believes that this is the future of customer reviews.  The only real issue we see is that people are most likely to take the time to participate in a review if they have had a bad experience vs. a good one – its just human nature to express themselves more when annoyed vs. taking the time to point out a positive experience. Upset; however, and you want to do something!


More Stuff

How about an inside view the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital –
A Look Inside The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital | MRO Network

We understand Global Eagle has a deal with SES for increased Ku-Band inflight entertainment capacity above the US and Hawaii. Just in case you don’t know, SES provides reliable and secure satellite and ground communications solutions and push for breakthroughs in connectivity for people worldwide. Read more 

The 29th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference is, March 22-44, 2018, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada. Homepage | Women in Aviation International

France | January 5, 2018– New evolution with longer range and higher capacity

Airbus has completed assembly of the first A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) at its facilities in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, will undergo ground tests prior to its scheduled first flight in the coming weeks. First delivery of an A321neo ACF to a customer is scheduled for mid-2018.

The A321neo ACF is the latest addition to the successful A320 Family. By applying modifications to the fuselage, the ACF enables more flexible cabin configurations for up to 240 passengers. Compared to the previous A321 variant, the most visible modifications are a new rear section and a modified passenger door configuration, where the door located forward of the wing is removed and new overwing emergency exits in the centre section are introduced. The A321neo ACF is an option today and will become standard for all A321neos around 2020.

The A321neo ACF is the base for a longer range variant known as the A321LR. The A321LR has an increased MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight) of 97 tonnes and a third underfloor fuel tank allowing airlines to increase its range to 4,000 nautical miles for intercontinental flights. The first delivery of an A321LR is targeted for the fourth quarter of 2018.

The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family, seating up to 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a reduction in fuel consumption of at least 15 percent per seat from day one and 20 percent by 2020.


Dubai Airshow

The big news over the past few weeks was the Dubai Airshow (Nov. 12 – 16) and a lot of airplane purchase surprises were part of the big story from the event. Last week IFExpress told our readers that this week we would cover a few (hah) plane sales as the show wasn’t over until November 16th:

Firstly, the show was the biggest and had the biggest sales – ever! To quote the show promoters: “The penultimate day of the Dubai Airshow saw two enormous aircraft purchase orders for both Airbus and Boeing, in one of the most exciting days in recent aviation business history. Airbus revealed its largest single announcement ever this morning – a US$49.5 billion deal with Indigo Partners commitments to purchase 430 aircraft in its A320neo family, described as Airbus’ largest ever single announcement. Meanwhile Boeing inked a US$27 billion deal with carrier flydubai for 225 aircraft in its 737 MAX family, the largest-ever single-aisle jet order – by number of airplanes and total value – from a Middle East carrier.”

We should also note that the airplane sales numbers are a little adjusted in some cases from earlier purchase decisions. For example: To give you a better idea about the total of announced 684 commercial aircraft ordered (as of day 4) there – here is a bit more data. The total sales value (estimated because nobody pays retail price) is at least $75 Billion which obviously makes this the biggest Dubai Airshow value ever. One should also note that some of these are “commitments” and here is a quote from the Royal Aeronautical Society on that subject: “As in previous air shows, despite the mind-boggling figures and the last-minute theatrics, it is wise to retain a certain amount of cool assessment when dealing with commitments and MoUs and the like.” We should also note that we show the aircraft manufacturer total airplane sales announcements – and yes, we have not included all in our listing. Further, we should point out that the distribution of aircraft is a better mix for Boeing, comprising both wide-body and single-aisle planes, while the Airbus sales are predominately focused on single-aisle jetliners.

Airbus

Total sales – Airbus announced that they totaled 502 plane sales
and below are a few sales highlights:

72 A320neos and 74 A321neos for Wizz Air

100 A320neos and 34 A321neos for Frontier Airlines

56 A320neos and 14 A321neos) for JetSMART

46 A320neos and 34 A321neos for Volaris

(The above 4 airlines sales from the Indigo Partners account for a single order for 430 aircraft – $49.5 Billion – Biggest Commercial  Jet order ever.)

2 A330neos for Air Senegal

25 A320neo family for Wataniya Airways

Boeing

Total sales – We note that the company announced the they sold 296 planes. Here are some of the sales highlights for Boeing during the show:

40 787-10 for Emirates

5 787s for Azerbaijan Airlines

2 777F for Ethiopian Airlines

175 737 MAXs plus 50 purchase rights for flydubai

5 737 MAX 8s for SCAT Airlines

1. We should also mention that some of the above for both manufacturers sales may be the addition to a previous orders. Sales from previous agreements and commitments (and usually announced earlier) are not shown. 

2. Also, we should additionally mention that Boeing and China announced airplane sales during the Presidential Trade Mission which occurred Nov. 9 (just before the Dubai show) and is an agreement that covers 300 airplanes valued at more than $37 billion) but not mentioned in the show totals.

Lastly, here are a few of the Connectivity/IFEC highlights from the Dubai Airshow: a few of the big IFEC sales involved Inmarsat, Panasonic, and Thales. Emirates chose to install Inmarsat GX Aviation inflight broadband for its new coming fleet of 150 Boeing 777X’s on order. Thales announced the Inmarsat order and also announced their IFEC system sale for the 150 airplanes which will begin delivery in 2020. Further, Panasonic Avionics was selected by Saudia to supply X Series IFE for 35 aircraft.


MORE AVIATION

Future Aircraft Demand

We should mention here that Boeing see’s a big future for MidEast Aviation plane markets in the years coming – the company forecasts that airlines in the Middle East will need 3,350 new airplanes over the next 20 years, valued at an estimated $730 billion. Further, Boeing presented its 2017 Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the region during the Dubai Airshow.

“Traffic growth in the Middle East is expected to grow at 5.6 percent annually during the next 20 years,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The fact that 85 percent of the world’s population lives within an eight-hour flight of the Arabian Gulf, coupled with robust business models and investment in infrastructure, allows carriers in the Middle East to channel traffic through their hubs and offer one-stop service between many cities.”

Twin-aisle airplanes are expected to make up nearly 50 percent of the new airplanes in the Middle East, and more than 70 percent of the value at $520 billion. Both percentages are significantly higher than the global average. The strong long-term demand for widebody airplanes was reinforced at the show as Emirates Airline announced a commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners in a deal valued at $15.1 billion at current list prices.

More than half of the total deliveries in the Middle East will be single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 MAX. Operators in the region will need 1,770 single-aisle airplanes valued at $190 billion, driven by the growth of low-cost carriers.


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation today introduced a major advance in inflight connectivity with the entry into service of its first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity over the Pacific Ocean. The EUTELSAT 172B satellite, which launched in June, is operated by Eutelsat Communications. Leveraging its unique design, Panasonic will deliver greatly enhanced inflight broadband connectivity, live television and mobile phone services to aircraft flying high traffic routes across the Asia Pacific region spanning the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia and the Pacific islands.

High Throughput Satellites use a combination of spot beams and high-level frequency re-use to provide much improved economics, more bandwidth and faster data speeds as passengers browse the internet and benefit from other online services, and airlines increasingly utilize connectivity for operational purposes. They also use a broad overlay beam, which is used to economically deliver up to nine channels of live television to passengers in flight. Panasonic is layering HTS capacity over key air traffic areas across its global satellite network, ensuring it can meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. It will continue to introduce high throughput satellites in every region of the world.

In addition to this support for airlines and their passengers, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, which leverages the Panasonic broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers, will also benefit from the new satellite’s significant HTS advancements and enhanced coverage provided through multiple widebeam footprints.

EUTELSAT 172B is the first HTS to use a multi-port amplifier, which allows power to be dynamically moved among the HTS beams to meet demand.  This ability for the HTS beams to “follow” aircraft and other mobile users enabling Panasonic to better meet customer demand and cost-effectively ensure consistently high levels of service in a way that other service providers cannot match. The entry into service of EUTELSAT 172B coincides with the introduction of Panasonic’s new BC-03 modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, which also caters for future demand by supporting speeds of up to 250 Mbps to aircraft. This includes three demodulators for seamless beam switching and simultaneous data and video reception.


Gogo

Gogo broadband connectivity product provider, announced today that it has been selected by the Cathay Pacific Group to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its wide-body fleet. The carrier will install 2Ku on its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft across Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleets, which are both part of the Cathay Pacific Group. 2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what passengers have on the ground.

Ku will give Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s guests a seamless experience across their existing fleet of wide-body aircraft.  The service is expected to go live by mid-2018.


ViaSat

ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, today announced it expanded its relationship with JetBlue, and will serve as the direct in-flight internet service provider to the airline. JetBlue aircraft will be upgraded to the latest ViaSat hardware, and will have access to the additional coverage and capacity offered by ViaSat’s next-generation ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms JetBlue first offered the ViaSat in-flight internet service, branded Fly-Fi®, in December 2013. Four years later, the airline continues to be recognized as having the industry’s “Best Wi-Fi” in the sky – most recently accepting an award for its Fly-Fi service at the September 2017 Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) show. JetBlue is the only U.S. carrier that has deployed a fast and free in-flight Wi-Fi service for all devices – across its entire fleet – encouraging passengers to stream, web browse and use the internet as they would expect to at home or at work. JetBlue’s commitment enables the airline to access ViaSat’s advanced high-capacity Ka-band satellite system, which includes the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms. These capacity-rich satellite platforms, enable ViaSat to deliver the fastest, highest quality in-flight internet service to each connected device on a plane. “JetBlue and ViaSat have a similar strategic vision for in-flight internet service: make it fast, make it high-quality, make it affordable,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility, ViaSat. “Since the beginning of our partnership, we have focused on delivering the best service, with the best economics to enable JetBlue to offer the gold standard in in-flight Wi-Fi. This latest deal solidifies this vision and our partnership for years to come.”

To tap into the satellites, ViaSat’s latest in-flight internet system will be installed onto JetBlue aircraft beginning in fall of 2018. The equipment offers forward and backward satellite platform compatibility, allowing JetBlue to meet the growing broadband demands of the fully connected aircraft. This future-proofing feature ensures JetBlue can cost-effectively deploy the ViaSat equipment today, and take full advantage of the more than 3.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of total expected future global capacity ViaSat will be bringing to market through its next generation of satellite platform


SITA – Flight Chain

This research project was initially established by SITA Lab with Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (HAL) and International Airlines Group (IAG) with Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport participating. Called FlightChain, it was devised to investigate a single source of truth for flight data. The “flight data problem” is a well-known issue in the industry – namely, there is no single source of the truth and the data that does exist, is not easily accessed by all parties.While there are many cases of airlines and airports collaborating to share flight data, this data still resides in separate silos. When there are flight delays, this results in differences between passenger apps, airport FIDS, airline agents. FlightChain ensures all stakeholders have the same information. FlightChain was established as a private permissioned blockchain (implemented on both Ethereum and Hyperledger-Fabric) that stores flight information on the blockchain, using a smart contract to arbitrate potentially conflicting data. British Airways, Geneva Airport, Heathrow and Miami International Airport provide flight data that is merged and stored on the blockchain. During this project more than two million flight changes were processed by the smart contract and stored on FlightChain. The research paper published today details key lessons learned regarding governance, smart contracts, system security and system performance, scalability and reliability. Along with a view on the use of public versus private blockchain networks for the air transport industry. (Watch This!)

FlightChain: ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data? | SITA


MORE NEWS OF NOTE

 

Panasonic:

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and Emirates have today unveiled a range of industry firsts that will be introduced on the airline’s newest Boeing 777-300ER on display at the Dubai Airshow this month. The developments are the culmination of a more than 20-year partnership between Emirates and Panasonic to deliver an unmatched inflight entertainment experience. Throughout the partnership Panasonic and Emirates have remained at the forefront of passenger experience innovation, introducing a wide range of solutions including line-fit Wi-Fi connectivity along with a cutting-edge inflight entertainment system that is 12 percent lighter overall than previous versions. Emirates’ passengers will first experience the benefits of these solutions across all classes on the airline’s newest Boeing 777-300ER fleet. These cabins will feature a refreshed look complemented with the very latest in IFEC technology.

Advancements in IFEC technology, such as faster processing power, enables Emirates passengers to experience unrivaled seat back display with stunning clarity and picture quality.  Passenger engagement levels are increased due to a more responsive IFEC system allowing passengers to immerse themselves further into the ice platform, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.  In addition, passenger convenience is enhanced by the capability of fast charging of passenger electronics devices at the seat and the innovative First Class Room Service feature which allows passengers to experience the award winning Emirates cabin experience via the Mode Controller.

The true success of these advances is measured in Panasonic and Emirates commitment to the ecofriendly skies vision.  Reduced IFEC system weight, which cuts fuel burn and emissions, and the desire to continue to push the IFEC experience forward with continuous innovation and industry firsts will challenge airlines to join Emirates as the world’s leading smart airline.

In First Class, there will be a range of new Panasonic technologies that complement Emirates’ own cabin innovations. These include:

· A next generation mode controller – developed in the form of a slim tablet, acts as a second screen for seat and cabin environment control and to navigate ice. It features a larger, slim form13-inch capacitive touch screen offering Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a high definition camera, microphone and a speaker.

· Wireless Handset Control – inspired by a pebble with smooth curves, this elegant, new wireless handset fits naturally in the palm of a passenger’s hand. It provides untethered control of the ice entertainment system with a comfortable feeling of “Home TV Experience.” The handset offers a full set of buttons like interactive navigation, channel, volume, flight attendant call, light, TV on/off, menu and sleep. The sleep button is unique and makes it convenient for passengers to press a single button to go to sleep mode and a second press to restore full functionality to the suite.

· Room Service Video Call – this new feature enables passengers to communicate in real time with the cabin crew using video chat functionality from the next-generation mode controller. Passengers will be able to place requests at their convenience via voice and video, and will also enjoy complete privacy with the device’s Do Not Disturb mode settings.

In Business Class, a number of enhancements are being introduced including:

· New 23” Smart Monitor – a new Full HD Smart Monitor with high-performance and crisp image quality offers the business class passengers a rich and entertaining experience. This is the largest monitor size in business class across Emirates fleet. It includes HDMI ports and capacitive touch screen capabilities.

In both First Class and Business Class, following enhancements are also included:

–  New High Power single USB Type-C Charging Jack – another first is the introduction of the High Power USB Type-C jack, the new standard for phone charging designed to provide passengers with access to high power charging as well as data. This is in addition to the existing high charge USB Type-A charging.

· New HD-Premium Seat Box – this performance upgrade from the existing seat technology also supports two high power charging remote jack units and noise cancelling audio jacks. These premium HD seat boxes have an almost 20 percent higher graphic performance compared to other IFE system types.

· New Slim Seat Power Module – this unique solution provides high power DC voltage for USB charging with reduced weight and a thinner profile.

In Economy Class, a series of new innovations offer Emirates a 35 percent reduction in weight while offering passengers the following technologies:

· New ‘Super Eco’ Economy Monitors – the elegantly designed super Eco Monitor, complete with high-end, integrated physical control buttons, provides a luxury feel in the Economy class seat. With ultra-wide viewing angles, a capacitive touch screen, LED backlight and Full HD display, it delivers a superior, clear, crisp image quality. These new smart monitors will include high-power USB Type A and Type C, Bluetooth technology, a high-resolution camera, 3D multiplayer gaming and integrated audio connector. All of this new technology has been integrated into a slimmer, smaller monitor that features a 35 percent lighter design.

· New Dual High Power Charging Ports – the Dual USB High Power jacks are designed to cater for the present and the new standard for phone charging designed to provide passengers with access to quick data and high power charging via USB Type-C (with both Type-A and Type-C) charging ports.

· New Slim Seat Electronic Boxes – these slim, lightweight devices  are designed to provide maximum performance and passenger device power yet have zero impact on passenger living space, and reduce weight by 22 percent.

· New Slim Seat Power Module – this power source is intended to provide power for up to four seats of in-seat IFEC equipment and peripherals, with a lightweight and thinner profile unit that reduces weight. A new, proprietary power distribution solution provides, for the first time, a high charge USB charge port at every seat for passenger devices eliminating the need to share power with their neighbors.


Galgus:

IFExpress got an interesting note in from Jose Gonzalez, CEO of Galgus in Seville Spain. In case you don’t know what they do, here is their answer: “At Galgus, we have developed CHT, a SW that improves WiFi performance by up to 5x by adding intelligence to WiFi APs. The extra performances allows you to reduce the number of APs needed, saving costs (not just HW costs, but installation, cabling, maintenance, etc). What if you could reduce the number of onboard APs by 2x while still guaranteeing double throughput for all your passengers?” Jose also noted in our conversation: “This technology is available on Miltope’s latest nMAP2 product”. Now, what is that technology he is talking about?

Watch the following video to see how CHT can help you and your business.

www.galgus.net or +34 618 381 889

(Editor’s Note: You really should watch the video to see what technology is doing for in-cabin WiFi, you will learn something!)


Thales:

Yesterday, Thales announced that Oman Air will equip all their B737 MAX fleet beginning in January, 2018 with AVANT IFE. Boeing announced in the near past that it booked 20 firm orders for its 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft from Oman Air,  an order that nearly doubles the airline’s 737 fleet. Oman Air’s order includes conversions of 6 B737 NG plane orders to 737 MAX jets, for a net gain of 14 in Boeing’s order book. Oman Air currently operates 21 B737 aircraft


SITAONAIR:

SITAONAIR and Emirates have extended their partnership to deliver passenger connectivity solutions across its fleet of A380 and B777 aircraft for a further four years. The news follows the recent rollout of personalized inflight connectivity for members of the airline’s loyalty program, Emirates Skywards, through SITAONAIR’s onboard Wi-Fi hub, Internet ONAIR. The project was recently awarded the Best Personalization Innovation award at the 2017 APEX EXPO in September. The extended deal, covering 279 aircraft, underlines Emirates’ continued focus on passenger connectivity excellence by providing harmonized and seamless inflight Internet access to passengers around the globe. The new contract covers Mobile ONAIR and Internet ONAIR on all A380 aircraft, and Internet ONAIR on the B777 fleet.

SITA Lab, the research team of the air transport industry’s IT provider SITA, today revealed the learnings from research it carried out with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport into ‘smart contracts’ residing on a blockchain.

Blockchain has been heralded as a transformational technology for many industries. While several use cases have been identified for the air transport industry, the opportunity of using ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data by airlines and airports is one which promises real benefits. SITA Lab today issued FlightChain, a paper outlining the findings of its research conducted with its airline and airport partners.

The air transport industry is highly-connected and there is a need for ‘single source of truth’ for various data used by different stakeholders. Control of shared data is a key concern for all. Blockchain offers potential to share data in a controlled way. SITA recognizes, however, that there is a need for research so the industry can take the right approach, to ensure governance, standards, compliance, security and more.

While there are many cases of airlines and airports collaborating to share flight data, this data still resides in separate silos. When there are flight delays, this results in differences between passenger apps, airport FIDS, airline agents. FlightChain ensures all stakeholders have the same information. We note that the blockchain solution is better described in the link below.

FlightChain: ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data? | SITA


ViaSat:

ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, today announced it expanded its relationship with JetBlue, and will serve as the direct in-flight internet service provider to the airline. JetBlue aircraft will be upgraded to the latest ViaSat hardware, and will have access to the additional coverage and capacity offered by ViaSat’s next-generation ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms. JetBlue’s commitment enables the airline to access ViaSat’s advanced high-capacity Ka-band satellite system, which includes the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms. These capacity-rich satellite platforms, enable ViaSat to deliver the fastest, highest quality in-flight internet service to each connected device on a plane.

To tap into the satellites, ViaSat’s latest in-flight internet system will be installed onto JetBlue aircraft beginning in fall of 2018. The equipment offers forward and backward satellite platform compatibility, allowing JetBlue to meet the growing broadband demands of the fully connected aircraft. This future-proofing feature ensures JetBlue can cost-effectively deploy the ViaSat equipment today, and take full advantage of the more than 3.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of total expected future global capacity ViaSat will be bringing to market through its next generation of satellite platforms.


Rockwell:

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has selected Rockwell Collins to provide its global, high-speed broadband in-flight connectivity, overhead in-flight entertainment (IFE) and a full suite of advanced avionics—including Rockwell Collins’ MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar—for 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of this year.

Cabin connectivity services will be provided by Rockwell Collins’ CabinConnect wireless in-flight connectivity and entertainment solution using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network. The system will be linefit on the aircraft.

“The new connectivity service will enable AZAL passengers to surf the internet, use various instant messenger applications, social networks, listen to audio and check emails via personal computers, tablets and smartphones,” said Mike DiGeorge, vice president, Commercial Aviation and Network Services for Rockwell Collins. “And for the flight deck, the high-speed connectivity will open up possibilities for pilots to access information such as synoptic weather through a secure server router to supplement their flight operations.”


The Dubai Airshow, which runs through November 16, has had a lot of new airplane sale announcements – so far mostly for Boeing, but we will cover that topic in next week’s issue of IFExpress. Stay tuned – it should be interesting!
  • Airbus to acquire majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership
  • Partnership brings together two complementary product lines, with 100-150 seat market segment expected to represent more than 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years
  • Combination of Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest aircraft family to create significant value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders
  • Significant C Series production costs savings anticipated by leveraging Airbus’ supply chain expertise
  • Commitment to Québec: C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership headquarters and primary assembly to remain in Québec, with the support of both companies’ global supply chains
  • Airbus’ global industrial footprint expands with the C Series Final Assembly Line in Canada, resulting in a positive impact on operations in Québec and across the country
  • Growing market for C Series results in second Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama, serving U.S. customers

Amsterdam and Montreal | October 16, 2017– Airbus SE (EPA: AIR) and Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD.B) are to become partners on the C Series aircraft programme. A corresponding agreement was signed today.  The agreement brings together Airbus’ global reach and scale with Bombardier’s newest, state-of-the-art jet aircraft family, positioning both partners to fully unlock the value of the C Series platform and create significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees and shareholders.

Under the agreement, Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise to the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP), the entity that manufactures and sells the C Series. At closing, Airbus will acquire a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Bombardier and Investissement Québec (IQ) will own approximately 31% and 19% respectively.

CSALP’s headquarters and primary assembly line and related functions will remain in Québec, with the support of Airbus’ global reach and scale. Airbus’ global industrial footprint will expand with the Final Assembly Line in Canada and additional C Series production at Airbus’ manufacturing site in Alabama, U.S. This strengthening of the programme and global cooperation will have positive effects on Québec and Canadian aerospace operations.

The single aisle market is a key growth driver, representing 70% of the expected global future demand for aircraft. Ranging from 100 to 150 seats, the C Series is highly complementary to Airbus’ existing single aisle aircraft portfolio, which focuses on the higher end of the single-aisle business (150-240 seats). The world class sales, marketing and support networks that Airbus brings into the venture are expected to strengthen and accelerate the C Series’ commercial momentum.  Additionally, Airbus’ supply chain expertise is expected to generate significant C Series production cost savings.

Airbus is strongly committed to Canada and its aerospace sector with Canadian suppliers extending their access to Airbus’ global supply chain. This new C Series partnership is set to secure jobs in Canada for many years to come.

“This is a win-win for everybody! The C Series, with its state-of-the-art design and great economics, is a great fit with our existing single-aisle aircraft family and rapidly extends our product offering into a fast growing market sector. I have no doubt that our partnership with Bombardier will boost sales and the value of this programme tremendously,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “Not only will this partnership secure the C Series and its industrial operations in Canada, the U.K. and China, but we also bring new jobs to the U.S. Airbus will benefit from strengthening its product portfolio in the high-volume single-aisle market, offering superior value to our airline customers worldwide.”

“We are very pleased to welcome Airbus to the C Series programme,” said Alain Bellemare, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bombardier Inc.  “Airbus is the perfect partner for us, Québec and Canada. Their global scale, strong customer relationships and operational expertise are key ingredients for unleashing the full value of the C Series. This partnership should more than double the value of the C Series programme and ensures our remarkable game-changing aircraft realizes its full potential.”

“The arrival of Airbus as a strategic partner today will ensure the sustainability and growth of the C Series programme, as well as consolidating the entire Québec aerospace cluster. In the current context, the partnership with Airbus is, for us, the best solution to ensure the maintenance and creation of jobs in this strategic sector of the Québec economy,” said Québec’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for Digital Strategy, Dominique Anglade.

Ownership Structure and Agreement Highlights

The C Series programme is operated by CSALP in respect of which Bombardier and IQ respectively hold approximately a 62% and a 38% interest.  The Investment Agreement contemplates Airbus acquiring a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Airbus will enter into commercial agreements relating to (i) sales and marketing support services for the C Series, (ii) management of procurement, which will include leading negotiations to improve CSALP level supplier agreements, and (iii) customer support. At closing, there will be no cash contribution by any of the partners, nor will CSALP assume any financial debt. It also contemplates that Bombardier will continue with its current funding plan of CSALP and will fund, if required, the cash shortfalls of CSALP during the first year following the closing up to a maximum amount of US$350 million, and during the second and third years following the closing up to a maximum aggregate amount of US$350 million over both years, in consideration for non-voting participating shares of CSALP with cumulative annual dividends of 2%, with any excess shortfall during such periods to be shared proportionately amongst Class A shareholders.

Airbus will benefit from call rights in respect of all of Bombardier’s interest in CSALP at fair market value, with the amount for non-voting participating shares used by Bombardier capped at the invested amount plus accrued but unpaid dividends, including a call right exercisable no earlier than 7.5 years following the closing, except in the event of certain changes in the control of Bombardier, in which case the right is accelerated. Bombardier will benefit from a corresponding put right whereby it could require that Airbus acquire its interest at fair market value after the expiry of the same period. IQ’s interest is redeemable at fair market value by CSALP, under certain conditions, starting in 2023. IQ will also benefit from tag along rights in connection with a sale by Bombardier of its interest in the partnership.

The Board of Directors of CSALP will initially consist of seven directors, four of whom will be proposed by Airbus, two of whom will be proposed by Bombardier, and one of whom will be proposed by IQ.  Airbus will be entitled to name the Chairman of CSALP.

Subject to obtaining the required approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange, the transaction also provides for the issuance to Airbus, upon closing, of warrants exercisable to acquire up to 100,000,000 Class B Shares (subordinate voting) of Bombardier (representing approximately 5% of the aggregate issued and outstanding Class A Shares (multiple voting) and Class B Shares of Bombardier on a fully-diluted basis, and approximately 5% of the aggregate issued and outstanding Class A Shares and Class B Shares on a non-diluted basis), at an exercise price per share equal to the US$ equivalent of C$2.29, which represents the volume-weighted average price of the Class B Shares over the five trading days ending Friday, 13 October 2017. The warrants will have a five-year term from the date of issue, will not be listed and will provide for market standard adjustment provisions, including in the event of corporate changes, stock splits, non-cash dividends, distributions of rights, options or warrants to all or substantially all shareholders or consolidations.

The issuance of the warrants and their terms were negotiated between Bombardier and Airbus at arm’s length and will not materially affect control of Bombardier. Security holder approval will be required under Toronto Stock Exchange rules due to the fact that the warrants will be issued later than 45 days from the date upon which the exercise price was established. Such approval is expected to be obtained by way of written consent of shareholders holding more than 50% of the voting rights attached to all of Bombardier’s issued and outstanding shares.

The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Airbus and Bombardier, as well as the Cabinet of the Government of Québec. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals, as well as other conditions usual in this type of transaction. There are no guarantees that the transaction will be completed and that the conditions to which it is subject would be met. Completion of the transaction is currently expected for the second half of 2018.

New telecommunications satellite has completed first electric orbit raising for a high capacity satellite injust four months since launch in June

Paris, Toulouse | October 11, 2017–The EUTELSAT 172B spacecraft, built by Airbus for Eutelsat, one of the world’s leading satellite operators, has now reached geostationary orbit, breaking the record for the fastest satellite electric orbit raising (EOR).

EUTELSAT 172B was launched by Ariane 5 from Kourou, in French Guiana, on 1 June. The Airbus spacecraft control centre in Toulouse took control for early operations, initialisation, deployment of the solar array and electric propulsion arms, and completed initial testing prior to starting the Electric Orbit Raising phase on 8 June. During this four-month phase, electric thrusters smoothly and efficiently propelled the satellite to the targeted orbit, consuming almost six times less propellant mass than for a satellite with chemical propulsion.

Following completion of the payload in-orbit tests and drift to its operational location led by the Eutelsat team, EUTELSAT 172B is scheduled to enter commercial service in November to provide enhanced telecommunications, in-flight broadband and broadcast services for the Asia-Pacific region. Its life span is expected to exceed 15 years thanks to electric propulsion for in-orbit raising and station-keeping.

“We are the first company to demonstrate full electric propulsion for satellites of this size and capacity, enabling their launch in the most cost-efficient manner. Furthermore, with our system design, operation strategy and the plasma thruster technology we implement, we have completed the fastest electric orbit raising ever from transfer to geostationary orbit, which will allow Eutelsat to put their electric satellite in service in a record time,” said Nicolas Chamussy, Head of Space Systems at Airbus.

Yohann Leroy, Eutelsat’s Chief Technical Officer, added: “EUTELSAT 172B confirms the relevance of Eutelsat’s early adoption of electric propulsion technology to optimise capex. In combining electric propulsion, High Throughput capacity, robotic arms and 3D printing techniques, our new satellite also reflects Europe’s capability to push the envelope of innovation in order to increase the competitiveness of our business. We look forward to bringing EUTELSAT 172B into service next month for our clients in the Asia-Pacific region.”

EUTELSAT 172B combines 13 kW of payload power with a launch mass of only 3,550 kg, thanks to the latest EOR version of Airbus’ highly reliable Eurostar E3000 platform.

EOR success and record was made possible by two Airbus innovations:

  • A pair of deployable robotic arms which orientate the satellite’s electric propulsion thrusters, and control thrust direction and attitude during different phases of the mission.
  • The WALIS (Wide Angle Localisation Integrated System) network of ground stations around the world, developed by Airbus, which has enabled engineers to control orbit raising operations until the satellite reached geostationary orbit.

The development of Airbus’ Eurostar all-electric satellites has been supported by ESA and space agencies of European countries, in particular in France by the CNES in the framework of the PIA programme (Plan d’Investissements d’Avenir) and in the UK by the UK Space Agency.

  • First wide-body centre outside Europe, first European and Chinese made A330 delivered 

Tianjin, China and APEX Long Beach, USA | September 20, 2017– Airbus has inaugurated its A330 Completion and Delivery Centre (C&DC) in Tianjin, China, taking additional steps in the expansion of its global footprint and strategic partnership with China. At the same time, the first A330 to be delivered from the C&DC was handed over to Tianjin Airlines.

Located at the same site as the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line and the Airbus Tianjin Delivery Centre, the A330 C&DC covers the aircraft completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and production flight test, as well as customer flight acceptance and aircraft delivery. Some 150 Chinese staff members of the C&DC were trained by Airbus experts in Toulouse.

The new plant is composed of paint shop, weighing hangar and one main hangar with three aircraft positions covering an area of 16,800m2.The A330 C&DC in Tianjin will employ more than 250 people and is ready to deliver two aircraft per month by early 2019.

“The inauguration of our A330 C&DC in Tianjin, together with the first of many deliveries, marks a new milestone for Airbus’ international footprint and underlines the strong spirit of cooperation with our Chinese partners,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President of Commercial Aircraft. “Wide-body aircraft completed in China is an Airbus and an industry first which demonstrates our mutual commitment to a strong and growing Chinese aviation sector.”

To celebrate C&DC inauguration, a first A330 aircraft was delivered to Tianjin Airlines. The aircraft which was assembled and equipped in Toulouse with Chinese and European staff is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines and is configured in two classes with 260 seats.

By the end of August 2017, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese carrier included 1,484 aircraft, 1,282 A320 Family and 202 A330 Family. The A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft in China operated by nine airlines.

The A330 is one of the world’s most efficient and versatile widebody aircraft with best in class operating economics. To date the A330 Family has attracted nearly 1,700 orders and over 1,300 A330 Family aircraft are currently flying with more than 110 operators worldwide. With an operational reliability of 99.5 percent and various product enhancements the A330 Family is the most cost-efficient and capable widebody aircraft to date.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2016 it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

Ried/Toulouse | 4 September 2017 — Airbus once again relies on high tech from FACC for its new “Airspace“ cabin in the A320 family: FACC AG has concluded a contract with Airbus for the delivery of the overhead stowage compartments and ceiling panels. The contract provides for a supply volume of more than 500 mill. euros. Thus, it successfully continues the decades of cooperation for the delivery of cabin interiors with the European aircraft manufacturer.

“In addition to a high level of comfort and sufficient space, the most important aspects of a passenger cabin are low weight, convenient handling, low operating costs and high reliability”, said Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC AG. “We strive to meet these requirements through consistent research work and by developing innovative and lightweight solutions creating more space in the cabin. With the new ‘Airspace’ cabin, Airbus offers its passengers an exceptional feel-good ambience. We are particularly happy that the Austrian high-tech enterprise FACC gets the chance to support this level of comfort by contributing technological advances for the A320 family.”

Apart from its unique aesthetics, the “Airspace” cabin concept launched by Airbus in the course of the Paris Airshow 2017 offers passengers a maximum of comfort and more space. The “Airspace” core elements “Ambience”, “Comfort”, “Services” and “Design” are part of Airbus’s passenger-friendly cabin development. Wider seats and aisles, atmospheric LED lighting, spacious entrance areas and lavatories featuring modern design, as well as bigger overhead stowage compartments make traveling on board of the Airbus aircraft more comfortable. According to the present contract FACC will develop, in close cooperation with Airbus, the so-called “Airspace XL Bins”, the biggest overhead stowage compartments in the category of short and medium-haul aircraft. Series production will start in 2018. The newly designed overhead stowage compartments will offer space for eight instead of previously five items of baggage. Furthermore, the luggage pieces may be up to 61 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm in size and thus significantly larger than before. In addition, FACC will deliver the ceiling panels, which, apart from their common function as paneling, will also provide for uniform illumination in the cabin. The task of FACC in the course of interior development is to implement the new Airbus cabin concept as best as possible and to ensure maximum luggage volume through new innovations. In this regard, Airbus can rely on FACC as a proven and reliable partner, who has been an interior supplier of Airbus since 2001 and who has co-designed the fourth generation of a new cabin layout for the A320 family, this time the “Airspace” cabin. FACC innovations such as the new and improved combination of different materials and manufacturing technologies enable FACC to offer, together with Airbus, a product with significantly increased stowage as well as improved component weight.

FACC is currently working on the detail development of the individual components. According to the contract, the first deliveries for the “Airspace” cabin will be supplied to Airbus in late 2018. From the beginning of 2019 onward, Airbus will offer the new “Airspace XL Bins”, for the A320 aircraft to the airlines as an alternative interior to the current versions, which are also manufactured by FACC. Owing to the great demand, the present order level of the A320 family – in its class, the A320 family is the most successful aircraft on the market – is more than 5,000 aircraft. Moreover, the airlines may order the new “Airspace” cabin also to be upgraded in existing aircraft, of which currently more than 7,300 are operated by airlines. “The success of the A320 family also substantially benefits FACC”, said Robert Machtlinger. “The high sales figures give reason to expect a high demand of new as well as upgrade cabins and thus additional contract volume for FACC. The utilization of the FACC Interiors division is thus ensured far beyond the year 2019, and FACC will more than fulfill its role as a job motor in Austria.”

Airbus’ leading single- and twin-aisle aircraft meet the diverse needs of Chinese customers

Berlin | July 5, 2017– China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) has signed with Airbus a General Terms Agreement (GTA) for the purchase of a total of 140 aircraft. The agreement comprises of 100 A320 Family aircraft and 40 A350 XWB Family aircraft, reflecting the strong demand of Chinese airlines in all market segments including domestic, low cost, regional and international long haul.

The GTA was signed in Berlin by Tom Enders, Airbus CEO, and Sun Bo, Executive Vice President of CAS, in the presence of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“This big order is a great endorsement for our leading products in both single aisle and wide body segments”, said Tom Enders. “China is today one of the world’s most important markets for aviation, and we are honoured to support the development and rapid growth of China’s civil aviation with our competitive product portfolio.”

The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is forecast to grow at 4.4 percent per year. Emerging markets such as China continue to be an engine for growth, with domestic traffic to become the world’s largest market, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

By the end of May 2017, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators totaled some 1,440 aircraft, of which nearly 1,230 are A320 Family planes. The A350 XWB has received valuable endorsements from several Chinese customers. The unrivalled operational performance and cabin comfort of the A350 XWB will give Chinese airlines a competitive edge to attract more passengers on international routes.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line. To date, the Family has won over 13,000 orders and more than 7,600 aircraft have been delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide. With one aircraft in four sizes (A318, A319, A320 and A321), the A320 Family seats from 100 to 240 passengers. The Family features the widest cabin in the single aisle market with 18” wide seats in Economy as standard.

The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design and materials, including its carbon-fibre fuselage and wings. It is powered by new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. Together, these advanced technological features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions in addition to significantly lower maintenance costs.

France | July 4, 2017– Thales was ranked third best amongst 41 suppliers in the annual Airbus Supplier Support Rating 2016. The rating is based on a direct survey conducted by Airbus of more than 150 customer airlines worldwide.

 This result confirms the proven and constant reliability of the customer support organisation that Thales can bring to bear globally. The Group has been within the Top 10 performers for Airbus over the past 11 years. Thales also reached an unprecedented 1st position in Airbus’s own evaluation of its suppliers. All Airbus customer services departments recognised the excellent support provided by Thales.

A Airframers and airlines nowadays operate in an ever more complex, competitive and global marketplace. As such the ability to maintain fleet operations at maximum capacity at all times is essential to their success. In a market more and more saturated with MROs offering average service levels, having Thales’s technical, operational and relational excellence makes us the ideal choice for the more demanding customers. We always strive for more and will continue our efforts to make airline operations ever smoother and more efficient

Eric Huber, Thales Vice President, Avionics Services Worldwide activities.

At a recent IFEC show IFExpress was standing in front of an incredible 65” inch  display, watching camera footage of a verdant forest scene. While standing there we commented to a person next to us on how incredibly real in color and depth the video was – we even noted that one could see the live insects. Without missing a beat, the fellow watching too said, “Yes, but I will tell you, I would rather watch the bugs, than be there with them!”

The 4k video display we were watching was a new product from Aircraft Cabin Systems who appear to be on the cutting edge of display density. When we asked Richie Sugimoto, President, he noted: “The design concept is a first in the IFE industry and offers customized, input / output modules allowing for functionality with a variety of IFE systems.  ACS can provide the customer the monitor size they want, complete with the video inputs needed without building a special unit.” Two things we did not realize – ACS offers 9 sizes of Ultra High Definition (UHD) 4K displays (27”, 32”, 40”, 43”, 50”, 55”, 58”, 65”, 75”) and they have “customizable input/output modules allowing for functionality with a wide variety of IFE systems.” Here is why the displays are so flexible and applicable to aircraft: “It Integrates with your existing HD IFE system for a UHD viewing experience, Supports up-scaling: From standard 1080p HD to 4K UHD,  Various sizes from 27” – 75” monitors, Standard modular input-modules include: HDMI / SDI (6G) / Component – Composite, Customizable video / control ports also available, Supports Variable Wide Frequency power input, Monitor orientation: Mount from top or bottom, Designed for bulkhead or credenza mounting, Quiet, convection cooled system.”

Next, we asked the ACS Team about the new product and they told IFExpress: “ACS is currently developing the market’s first 4K UHD Modular Monitor which will offer customized, modular video inputs & control ports. The modular design concept is unique. The design allows customers to integrate to their existing HD IFE system for a UHD viewing experience. The design also supports upscaling, from the 1080P Full HD to 4K Ultra HD. The process is easy. The customer selects the 4K monitor size they require. There are 9 sizes to select from. While the 40” or larger sizes will ostensibly be the most popular, the sizes range from 27” up to a grand 75”. The customer will then select the input(s) required.  Input selections include: HDMI, SDI (6G) or Composite/Component. Depending on the monitor size, each monitor can support 2 or 3 internal modules. Both the HDMI & SDI (6G) modules include two inputs and one output each. The Composite/Component module includes one Composite input and one Component input only. As customer requirements often mandate multiple and unique inputs, this modular approach will allow ACS to assemble a qualified monitor meeting the customer-required requirements in short order.  All monitors will be provided with qualification test documentation meeting the testing standards of DO-160G & DO-313.”

ACS also noted:Most interest has been from the VVIP market place as they are looking for the latest, most advanced picture quality they can have in their aircraft. The product is still in the test phase while ACS finishes the qualification testing.” They went on to say: “The design concept is a first in the IFE industry and offers customized, input / output modules allowing for functionality with a variety of IFE systems. ACS can provide the customer the monitor size they want, complete with the video inputs needed without building a special unit.”

Further, we asked about the modular inputs and ACS noted: “While the inputs are fixed, the modular design allows the customer to select their inputs of choice allowing ACS to then assemble a monitor meeting their unique requirements. Note: The modular design is available in a variety of sizes. The standard modular input-modules include: HDMI / SDI (6G) / Component -Composite.” They went on: “The 75” 4k UHD monitor is the world’s largest inflight monitor. Even given this large size, there is great interest in the marketplace. All monitors will be provided with a C of C, complete with DO-160 testing documentation. When possible, ACS will work with customers and their STC program to help secure PMA certification as needed.”

Lastly, they told IFExpress: Be sure to see ACS and their new Modular Monitor at the upcoming NBAA show, booth # N1517. The show will be in Las Vegas this year, from October 10th – 12th.”

Checkout their 4K Brochure

(Editor’s Note: In case you wondered, UHD 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) has twice the vertical and horizontal resolution of full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). Given the number of pixels in 4K, it is hard to describe the depth and clarity of the ACS displays. Be sure at the next show you attend that you check out anything 4k!)


Other News

  • It looks like Boeing came away from the 2017 Paris Air Show the winner over Airbus with 147 (net) orders and commitments for 571 aircraft ($74 Billion) thanks to the B737MAX (147 new orders for the B737MAX 10 and the B787 Dreamliner (214 conversions to the MAX 10 from other models). Airbus snagged 326 orders worth some $40 Billion. Further in the wide-body world, they snagged orders worth $3.6 Billion (with MOU’s for an additional $2.3 Billion). Noted John Leahy, COO: “Our commercial success this week at Paris extends our already diversified order backlog to a new industry record of over 6,800 aircraft, with 326 orders worth $40 billion.”
  • Also, if you think the future is full of giant 4 engine jets, you might think again. Boeing, for example has dropped the 4 engine aircraft from it’s annual forecast. Obviously the efficient twin engine jets like B787 and the future B777X are the twins of future flights. And when the next B797 (or whatever it is called) comes along in the 2020-2025 time frame, Boeing and Airbus just may be heading out of the commercial 4 engine planes. Interestingly, Airbus hasn’t scored any new orders for an A380 in more than a year. Further, Boeing has warned that the B747-8 may be on the way out. Both Boeing and Airbus have been watching the demand drop for the big ones as smaller planes gain range and increased capacity. Bigger may not be better!
  • Want to read a good article on connectivity payment modeling: GCA Link June 2017 – Business Models Evolve with New IFEC Technology | Avionics Digital Edition
  • If you think airplane air is bad for you, there may be one low oxygen condition that helps you adjust to a time zone change. We know, we all believed that just the opposite was the case, but we all may be wrong! Here is the test information results from a study as reported in Science Magazine (website): “Abramovich et al observed daily cycles in the concentration of oxygen in blood and tissues of mice kept on a normal light-dark cycle. These variations were sufficient to alter the abundance of the transcription factor HIF1α (hypoxia-inducible factor 1α). In cultured cells, changes in oxygen concentration could entrain the circadian clock only if HIF1α was present. When animals were subjected to a 6-hour change in the light cycle (like traveling eastward on a jet), animals kept in a low concentration of oxygen adapted more quickly.” We thought that airplanes had a reduced oxygen content inflight, so why don’t we feel better? Perhaps we need less oxygen – sure!

Service bulletins and modification kit developed for advanced inflight broadband service, allowing installation on all Airbus A320 family aircraft

United Kingdom | June 21, 2017– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced a strategic partnership for its new European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband service with leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

As part of a collaborative agreement signed at the Paris Air Show, Airbus will offer airlines a specialist retrofit solution to deploy EAN on the entire A320 family of aircraft, including A319s, A320s and A321s, which form the backbone of many leading airline fleets in Europe.

The agreement marks a further milestone in the development of EAN; the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to combine space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. It follows a separate announcement earlier this year that International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, will be the launch customer for EAN. IAG has begun equipping its aircraft with the ground-breaking service and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

EAN is based on a unique infrastructure, which brings together a dedicated S-band satellite and complementary ground network, to offer a fully integrated and seamless network that delivers the service quality and performance assurance not offered by satellite only providers. Because of its unique design, EAN can also be scaled more easily and cost-effectively to match demand.

The network, which is on course to commence commercial services in the second half of 2017, also delivers world-leadership in passenger WiFi technology to Europe. The satellite component, built by France’s Thales Alenia Space, is in French Guiana being prepared for its launch by Arianespace on 28th June. Inmarsat’s strategic partner Deutsche Telekom continues to make good progress on the construction of the complementary ground network.

EAN allows European passengers to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance. EAN’s robust and ultra-compact technology makes it uniquely qualified for the European airspace, where aircraft size, flight density and frequent aircraft manoeuvring are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems.

Airbus Retrofit Solution
The Airbus retrofit solution consists of modification kits with all cabin network equipment required for EAN deployment. It also includes service bulletins (SBs) that detail the tasks and materials needed for installation and also certify the airworthiness of related modification work.

Airlines can procure the new solution directly through Airbus or Inmarsat, with both partners forecasting that more than 750 aircraft could be retrofitted with EAN over the next three years.

The partnership with Airbus marks a further key achievement for EAN. In addition to its function as an inflight broadband solution, the agreement also contains provisions for airlines to utilise EAN for advanced aircraft maintenance and operations management, leading to increased efficiencies and important cost reductions.

Leo Mondale, Inmarsat Aviation President, said: “Our partnership with Airbus will offer clear advantages to airlines operating the popular A320 family aircraft. They will gain access to the new gold standard in passenger inflight broadband with a retrofit solution that comes from the aircraft manufacturer itself and has been specifically designed for ease-of-use. In addition to EAN’s function as a high-speed inflight broadband service, our collaborative agreement with Airbus also opens the doors to streaming data on the aircraft maintenance and operations side.

“Building on the selection of Inmarsat at the European level and the authorisations already given by European national regulators for the deployment of an innovative satellite and ground network, we are now close to delivering a unique connectivity service for Europe’s airlines and passengers; one that is superior to any other offering in the market.”

Passengers flying over Europe will be able to access EAN using their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance. EAN’s robust and ultra-compact technology makes it uniquely qualified for European airspace, where aircraft size, flight density and frequent aircraft manoeuvring are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems.

The Paris Air Show has passed the second day and airplane orders are flooding in. Single-aisle seems to be the Hot Topic; however, as the Middle of the Market demand grows, we expect changes to be seen. This week IFExpress wanted to show our readers a summary of the orders as a heads-up to whatever IFEC is available (and possibly newly planned) for longer range needs of the single-aisle market. Further, we wanted to get out an order summary as of 6/20/17 and you might want to start counting them. Its looking to be a good year so it is worth perusing this issue til the end. So lets get started, first with an interesting IFE news release we just received:

IFEC

PXCom launches world-first 360° external video on IFE Platform. In partnership with IrisAero, a French provider of 360° 4K cameras for the airline industry, PXCom has developed PXVision, a 360° player dedicated to the InFlight Entertainment ecosystem, that also includes Interactive Augmented Reality experience. This new feature has been integrated in a tablet-based IFE demo specifically produced by PXCom for the French-Italian airframer, ATR, to support their aircraft showcase at Paris Air Show, with a customer friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI). Thanks to XPlore by PXCom, the entire GUI and its related contents can be dynamically managed by the airlines. This demonstrator also includes all the contents that can be found on a legacy IFE platform: movies, games, music, PXCom’s destination guides, digital press – and more. (See the full release here.)

AIRBUS

Airbus has announced an upgraded version of the world’s biggest passenger jet, the A380. They note that the “A380Plus” would provide airlines up to 80 more pax seats and deliver greater fuel efficiency. Airbus says the A380Plus has a new wing design which can save up to 4 percent in fuel burn. Airbus also says the new A380 provides  seat count to increases from 497 to 575. Airbus says The A380Plus will have an increased maximum take-off weight of 578 tonnes, allowing airlines to either carry more passengers over the maximum range of 8,200 nautical miles or increase the range by 300 miles.

Air Lease Corporation, the Los Angeles based aircraft leasing company has signed a firm order for 12 additional A321neo aircraft at the 52nd Paris International Airshow. The incremental order takes the number of aircraft which ALC has taken delivery of or ordered from Airbus to 279, of which 70 are widebodies and 209 single-aisles.

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric has signed a firm order for 100 A320neo Family aircraft at the 52nd International Paris Air Show. GECAS has selected CFM’s LEAP-X engine for all 100 A320neo Family aircraft. This new order brings the total number of Airbus aircraft ordered by GECAS to almost 600 aircraft. Of these 220 are A320neo Family aircraft. Airbus said since the launch of the A320 in 2010 the plane has received more than 5000 orders and has captured 60 percent of market share in its size class.

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest airline in Africa, has placed an order for 10 additional Airbus A350-900 aircraft, enabling further development of its fast expanding long-haul route network. Last June, Ethiopian Airlines became the first African carrier to operate the A350 when it took delivery of the first of 12 aircraft in order. Today the carrier operates a fleet of four A350s, two of which are on lease. Today’s order tops-up the Addis Ababa-based carrier’s fleet, enabling it to pursue its growth strategy and objectives over the coming years. Ethiopian Airlines’ A350-900s are configured in a two class layout seating 30 passengers in Business Class and 313 in Economy Class. The spacious, quiet interior and mood lighting in the cabin contribute to superior levels of passenger comfort and well-being. The A350 features the latest aerodynamic design and materials, including its carbon-fibre fuselage and wings. It is powered by new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.  Together, these advanced technological features translate into unrivalled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions in addition to significantly lower maintenance costs.

After announcing orders for 30 incremental Airbus A321ceo aircraft just last month, Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.)-based Delta Air Lines has placed an order for 10 more of the aircraft. The agreement was announced today at the Paris Air Show. Like previous Delta orders for the A321, the 10 aircraft announced today are for the Current Engine Option version of the largest Airbus A320 Family member. The airline took delivery of its first A321 in March of last year. Delta now has ordered a total of 122 A321s, each powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International. All of Delta’s A321s feature fuel-saving Sharklets – lightweight composite wingtip devices that offer up to 4 percent fuel-burn savings. This environmental benefit gives airlines the option of extending their range up to 100 nautical miles/185 kilometres or increasing payload capacity by some 1000 pounds/450 kilograms. Many of Delta’s A321s are being delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. The airline received its first U.S.-manufactured A321 last year.  By the end of 2017, the Airbus facility in Mobile is expected to produce four aircraft per month, most going to Airbus’ U.S. customers. As of the end of May, Delta was flying a fleet of 188 Airbus aircraft, including 146 A320 Family members and 42 A330 wide-bodies.  Later this year, Delta will become the first U.S. airline to operate the new Airbus A350 XWB, or eXtra Wide Body aircraft.  Delivery of Delta’s first A350 is slated for this summer.

Airbus has launched a new aviation data platform in collaboration with Palantir Technologies – pioneers in big-data integration and advanced analytics. Skywise aims to become the single platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve their operational performance and business results and to support their own digital transformation. Skywise is already improving industrial operations performance throughout Airbus’ industrial footprint and allows now to deliver enhanced aircraft and equipment designs, better service and support offerings based on deeper in-service data insights. Skywise will provide all users with one single access point to their enriched data by bringing together to aviation data from multiple sources across the industry into one secure cloud-based platform. These airline sources include: work orders; spares consumption; components data; aircraft / fleet configuration; on-board sensor data; and flight schedules. Additional data sources which are traditionally shared with Airbus and hosted only on isolated servers will also be integrated into the platform to help operators conduct their own analyses and make decisions based on the full scope of their available data. These shared sources include: operational interruption history; parts replacements; post-flight reports; pilot reports; aircraft condition monitoring reports; complete on-board aircraft data; technical documentation; technical requests; and service bulletins (SBs).

Viva Air, the Latin America low cost carrier group owned by Irelandia Aviation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for 50 A320 Family aircraft, comprising 35 A320neo and 15 A320ceo. The agreement paves the way for the group’s airlines VivaColombia and Viva Air Peru to base its fleet renewal and network growth on the A320 Family.

Dublin based CDB Aviation Lease Finance DAC (CDB Aviation) has become Airbus’ latest customer for the A320neo signs a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 45 aircraft, consisting of 30 A320neos and 15 A321neos. Cabin configuration and engine choice will be made at a later date. In addition, 15 A320neo positions from CDB Aviation’s previous order will be converted to A321neo aircraft. CDB Aviation is on a fast track to becoming one of the world’s premier Chinese-owned aviation leasing companies.

(Editor’s Note: Interestingly, the 737 MAX 10 and A321neoLR, which will be capable of flying around 206 passengers in a two-class layout on routes of up to 4,000nm, are essentially giving airlines a “widebody light” option in which long-haul routes, previously only viable with a widebody plane. It will be able to be flown with a narrowbody, now at less risk from a capacity standpoint. Further, even when equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank, the MAX 10 has a range of 3,700 miles, which might be a challenge to match the extended-range A321neo LR’s with a 4,600-mile range, as we understand. However as the New Middle Airplane requirements begin to be seen, a 5,500 mile wide body may pressure single aisle MoM sales.)

BOEING

Boeing launched the 230-pax 737 MAX 10 with >240 orders/commitments from 10 customers. The 737 MAX 10 continues the MAX family’s range advantage over competing models and will deliver five percent lower trip costs and five percent lower seat-mile costs. Design changes for the 737 MAX 10 include a fuselage stretch of 66 inches compared to the 737 MAX 9 and levered main landing gear. The airplane has the capacity to carry up to 230 passengers.Other changes include a variable exit limit rating mid-exit door, a lighter flat aft pressure bulkhead and a modified wing for low speed drag reduction.

Boeing and the Lion Air Group announced a commitment for 50 737 MAX 10 airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The announcement is valued at approximately $6.24 billion at list prices. The Lion Air Group is one of the world’s largest Next-Generation 737 operators and previously ordered 201 MAXs. The airline is also the launch customer of the 737 MAX 9 and its subsidiary, Malaysia-based Malindo Air was the first airline to take delivery and operate the 737 MAX 8 in commercial service.

Boeing and Monarch Airlines that the UK carrier has selected Boeing’s Global Fleet Care — formerly known as GoldCare — for its entire 737 MAX fleet. Through Global Fleet Care’s Integrated Fleet Solution, Boeing will deliver maintenance, engineering and parts required to run Monarch’s MAX operations following the delivery of its first airplane in 2018. Boeing and Monarch also announced an order for 15 additional 737 MAX 8s. Valued at $1.7 billion at current list prices, the order will grow Monarch’s 737 MAX fleet from 30 to 45 airplanes. The order was previously attributed to unidentified customers on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. Monarch has confirmed the 15 options and has agreed with a lessor for them to take 13 aircraft for lease back to Monarch.

Boeing and Norwegian announced at the 2017 Paris Air Show that the carrier has selected Boeing to provide all its flight training needs. Last year at the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow, Norwegian committed to Global Fleet Care (formerly known as GoldCare) coverage for its 737 MAX fleet and expanded coverage for the airline’s entire 787 fleet. These services agreements represented the largest commercial services order in Boeing history.Today’s announcement extends this further to now include all its flight training requirements across its Boeing fleet. In July, the work conducted under this contract will reside in Boeing Global Services, a new dedicated services business focused on the needs of global defense, space and commercial customers. Boeing and Norwegian also announced an order for two additional 737 MAX 8s at the 2017 Paris Air Show. Valued at $225 million at current list prices, Norwegian now has 110 unfilled orders for 737 MAX 8s.

Boeing and Kuwait-based ALAFCO Aviation Lease and Finance Company (ALAFCO) announced a commitment for 20 737 MAX 8s at the 2017 Paris Airshow, valued at $2.2 billion at current list prices. ALAFCO, a global provider of commercial aircraft leasing products, already has unfilled orders for 20 737 MAX airplanes and was also one of the first Middle East customers for the 787 Dreamliner. The new commitment when finalized, will boost the lessor’s order to 40 737 MAXs.

Boeing and AerCap announced an order for 30 787-9 Dreamliners at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The agreement, valued at $8.1 billion at list prices, makes AerCap the largest customer for the 787 Dreamliner. AerCap has taken delivery of 55 787s, and now after this order will have a further 67 787s on backlog, including sale leasebacks.

Boeing and SpiceJet signed a memorandum of understanding for 40 737 MAX airplanes. The agreement, valued at $4.7 billion at current list prices, is split evenly between 20 new orders for the 737 MAX 10 and conversions of 20 of the low-cost carrier’s 737 MAX 8 airplanes from its existing order to 737 MAX 10s. SpiceJet operates a fleet of 35 Next-Generation 737s and 20 Bombardier Q400s. The carrier plans to grow its operational fleet to 200 airplanes by the end of the decade and looks to expand regionally with the new 737 MAX family of airplanes. SpiceJet will take delivery of its first 737 MAX in 2018.

Boeing and Tibet Financial Leasing signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 20 737 MAX airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The airplanes, including 737 MAX 10 and 737 MAX 8 airplanes, are valued at approximately $2.5 billion at current list prices. Our intention to purchase the 737 MAX reflects the strong customer feedback we have received,” said Wang Yanjun, President of Tibet Financial Leasing. “It is natural to start our aviation leasing business with the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history. We are confident that our customers will be satisfied with the efficiency, economics, flexibility and passenger comfort that the 737 MAX promises to deliver.” Tibet Financial Leasing was established as the first financial leasing company in Tibet Autonomous Region in 2015, with approval from China Banking Regulatory Commission. Tibet Financial Leasing is registered in Lhasa Economic and Technological Development Zone. The existing registered equity capital of Tibet Financial Leasing is RMB 3 billion.

Boeing and UPS announced an order at the 2017 Paris Air Show to convert three 767 passenger airplanes into Boeing Converted Freighters. UPS and Boeing have collaborated on airlift since 1981, when UPS purchased its first 727s to begin its Next Day Air operation, and the transportation giant was Boeing’s launch customer for the 767 freighter in 1995. Through its freighter conversion program, Boeing transitions passenger airplanes into freighters, extending the economic life of the airplane. UPS operates 184 Boeing aircraft. In October, 2016 UPS announced the purchase of 14 747-8 Freighters, with options to purchase 14 additional aircraft. (Boeing’s current market outlook forecasts a need for 400 widebody conversions over the next two decades, with strong demand for 767 freighter conversions due to a rise in e-commerce and the express market.)

Boeing and TUI Group, the world’s number one tourism business, announced its selection of 18 737 MAX 10s at the 2017 Paris Air Show. TUI Group already had 70 unfilled orders for the 737 MAX and will convert 18 of these existing orders to the 737 MAX 10. The leisure group is the first European operator to select the latest member of the 737 MAX family of airplanes. TUI Group aims to operate Europe’s most carbon efficient airlines and has committed to reduce the carbon intensity of its operations by a further 10 percent by 2020.  The 737 MAX 10 is the largest member of the 737 airplane family. Along with the 737 MAX, TUI Group has unfilled orders for four 787-9 Dreamliners. The Group also has 50 options for the 737 MAX and has converted 10 of these to the 737 MAX 10.  The Group will take delivery of its first 737 MAX aircraft in January 2018.

Boeing and CDB Aviation Lease Finance (CDB Aviation) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 42 737 MAX 8s, 10 737 MAX 10s and eight 787-9 Dreamliners at the 2017 Paris Air Show.With this commitment, valued at $7.4 billion at list prices, CDB Aviation will become one of the launch customers for the 737 MAX 10, the newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family. Included in this agreement is the conversion of six 737 MAX 8 orders to the new 737 MAX 10s by the lessor from a previous order. Based in Dublin, Ireland, CDB Aviation operates as a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., LTD (CDB Leasing). With a committed fleet of over 300 aircraft, CDB Aviation has over 10 years’ experience in the business and is one of the largest and most influential Chinese-owned aviation leasing companies.

Boeing and GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric announced an order for 20 737 MAX 10s at the Paris Air Show, converting 20 of its current MAX orders to the larger MAX 10. GECAS has 170 737 MAX airplanes on order, the largest of any aircraft leasing company.

Boeing and BOC Aviation Limited announced a memorandum of understanding for 10 737 MAX 10 airplanes, subject to internal approvals, today at the 2017 Paris Air Show. BOC Aviation is one of the first aircraft operating leasing companies to order the newest member of the 737 MAX family. The company has committed to more than 300 Boeing aircraft since establishment, it took delivery of its 200thBoeing airplane in March 2017 and has an additional 74 737 MAXs on order.

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines announced a commitment to purchase two 777 Freighters at the 2017 Paris Air Show, valued at $651.4 million at list prices. The airline also announced an order for 10 additional 737 MAX 8 airplanes, exercising options from their 2014 order, which was the largest for the 737 MAX in Africa. Ethiopian now has firm orders for 30 737 MAX 8s. The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website. The 777 Freighter, the world’s longest-range twin-engine freighter, is based on the technologically advanced 777-200LR (Longer Range) passenger airplane and can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

Boeing and Tokyo-based Japan Investment Adviser Co., Ltd., (JIA) announced at the Paris Air Show a commitment to purchase 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8s. The commitment, valued at $1.12 billion at current list prices, will become JIA’s first direct purchase of new airplanes. JIA is an innovative Financial Solutions Provider, who is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Its Group activities include operating a lease business that manages a fleet of around 60 aircraft worldwide through its operating lease arm, JP Lease Products & Services (JLPS). The current managed fleet includes Next Generation Boeing 737s as well as Boeing 777s.

Boeing and United Airlines today announced an agreement at the 2017 Paris Air Show to convert 100 of its current 737 MAX orders into 737 MAX 10s, becoming the largest single 737 MAX 10 customer in the world. United also announced an order for four additional 777-300ER aircraft. United expects to begin taking delivery of the 737 MAX 10 in late 2020. United has flown nearly every version of the 737 that Boeing has produced. The new 737 MAX 10 will add to that legacy, providing United with another in a long line of highly successful aircraft. United has now ordered a total of 18 777-300ERs and began taking delivery of the aircraft last year. The 777-300ERs feature the airline’s all-new United Polaris business class, featuring custom-designed, exclusive-to-United seats, an elevated dining experience, new custom bedding from Saks Fifth Avenue and new amenity kits.

Boeing and China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) announced an order for 50 737 MAX airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The agreement includes an order for 15 of the new 737 MAX 10, which was launched Monday at the show. This order is CALC’s first direct purchase from Boeing, with a value of $5.8 billion at list prices. CALC currently owns a fleet of 89 aircraft. With this new order, its outstanding order book now consists of 139 aircraft, putting the company on track to deliver a total of no less than 230 aircraft by 2023. CALC has explored a variety of financing channels to ensure flexibility for its global expansion. In addition to its long-standing relationship with Chinese and international banks, CALC has been an active player in the bond market, having issued three batches of senior unsecured bonds in the aggregate amount of US$1.1 billion over the past 18 months. The Group has also made disposal of finance lease receivables a recurrent business, enabling it to efficiently utilize equity and debt financing arrangement.

Boeing and Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) announced a commitment for four 787-8 Dreamliners at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The announcement is valued at $918 million at list prices. Azerbaijan Airlines is a major air carrier and one of the leaders of the aviation community of the CIS countries. Total route network of the airline is 40 destinations in 25 countries. In 2016, Azerbaijan Airlines carried over two million passengers. Azerbajjan Airlines currently operates two Boeing 787 Dreamliners as well as a fleet of Boeing 757 and 767 airplanes.

Boeing and Ryanair finalized an order for 10 additional 737 MAXs at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The order is valued at more than $1.1 billion at current list prices. The Irish low-cost carrier now has 110 unfilled orders with 100 options for the higher capacity 737 MAX 8, as well as 65 Next-Generation 737-800s. Ryanair is an all-Boeing operator and launched the higher capacity 737 MAX 8 in late 2014 with an order for 100 airplanes. The airplane will provide Ryanair with 197 seats, increasing revenue potential and providing airlines like Ryanair with up to 16 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes. Ryanair carried 120 million passengers last year with 1,800 daily flights to more than 200 destinations. The Dublin based carrier is the largest 737-800 customer in the world and the largest Boeing operator in Europe. In March this year Ryanair took delivery of its 450th Next-Generation 737-800 and with today’s announcement has ordered a total of more than 640 airplanes from Boeing.

Boeing and Blue Air announced an order for six 737 MAX airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show.The order was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. The Romanian carrier will also lease a further six 737 MAXs and six Next-Generation 737-800s from Air Lease Corporation. As Romania’s leading airline company, Blue Air was founded in Bucharest in 2004 and developed throughout the years to become a pan-European Smart Flying operator with bases in Romania, Italy, the United Kingdom and Cyprus. Since 2016, it has become the largest Romanian by scheduled passengers flown, operating flights to more than 100 destinations in 16 countries. The Smart Flying model provides superior passenger satisfaction through proven safe operations, reliable wide network schedule and customer-centric approach offering guests an affordable and friendly experience.

Boeing and Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for 75 737 MAX 8s at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The commitment, valued at $8.4 billion at list prices, will bolster Avolon’s single-aisle portfolio to meet growing customer demand in that market segment. The MOU also includes purchase rights for an additional 50 737 MAX 8s. Based in Dublin, Ireland, Avolon is one of the leading aircraft leasing firms in the world. With an aircraft portfolio that number more than 850 airplanes in service and on order, Avolon manages one of the largest, as well as the youngest fleets in the world.

Boeing and Okay Airways announced an order for 15 737 MAX airplanes, valued at $1.8 billion at current list prices. The order consists of eight 737 MAX 10s and seven 737 MAX 8s. Okay Airways becomes one of the launch customers of the 737 MAX 10, the newest member of the MAX family. The airline also signed a memorandum of understanding for five 787-9 Dreamliners as part of its long-term fleet strategy and expansion. Okay Airways is headquartered in Beijing with its main hub at Tianjin Binhai International Airport. Its all-Boeing jetliner fleet includes 17 Boeing 737-800s, four Boeing 737-900ERs and one Boeing 737-300 Freighter, which serves more than 50 domestic and regional destinations.

Boeing and Aviation Capital Group (ACG) announced an order for 20 737 MAX 10 airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The order, valued at $2.49 billion at list prices, adds ACG to the growing launch group of the newest, largest member of the 737 MAX family. ACG is already a part of the 737 MAX family with 60 current orders, including a mix of MAX 8s and MAX 9s. The addition of the 737 MAX 10 will provide ACG’s customers with more capacity and the lowest costs per-seat of any single-aisle airplane.

As you probably know, the Paris Air Show begins next week and there will be a few IFEC folks in the crowd. We have heard from Latitude Aero, Astronics, Thales, and Panasonic just to name a few. We shall see what IFEC news comes about but we thought that there are a number of other issues that deserve watching, and because it is an air show, we will start with a few notes on what to watch from Boeing and Airbus:

  • We anticipate Boeing will launch the Boeing 737-10 MAX at the show. While not the anticipated MoM plane, it carries up to 232 passengers and has a max range of 3,800 nautical miles (N M). We also expect to see the Boeing 737-9 (now under flight tests) there for viewing.
  • The big question is: Will Boeing Launch the New Middle Airplane, the Boeing 797 – and we think the answer is yes. Between the Boeing 737 MAX and the Boeing 787, the range and passenger requirements for the new middle aircraft market is coming alive in the near future and this plane will carry some 220 to 270 passengers and cover 4,800 – 5,000 nautical miles.
  • You should expect to see the Boeing 787-10 at this year’s show as it was introduced in the 2013 Paris Air Show. With 330 passengers in a two-class configuration, the aircraft will fly some 6,300 N M. And, yes, it is a twin-aisle aircraft.
  • While not announced as a product yet, expect to see more on the Airbus 350-2000. This aircraft is a potential competitor to the Boeing 777-9X. While Airbus has questioned the market for a bigger (400+ seat market), IFExpress doesn’t expect to see much more than a stretch with range reduction of the -1000.
  • The Airbus A330neo will probably not be at the Paris Airshow as the first flight has been moved to late summer.
  • The Airbus A320neo should be there and while it has been in service for some 18 months now, it does have some Pratt & Whitney engine issues. This airplane has 3,616 orders so we expect it to be front-and-center.
  • The A380 should make a showing, and while orders have slowed, the production line is only some 12 planes per year with a backlog of 107 aircraft.
  • While not expected in “person”, we anticipate plenty of information on the Chinese COMAC C919, which just had a first flight last month. It serves 158 passengers 4075 km in standard configuration and 5,555 in the extended version.
  • The Russian MC-21, which had its first flight this past month, probably will not be at Paris because of the huge testing requirements ahead, but you never know! (Editor’s Note: This would be a good place to note that COMAC (China) and UAC (Russia) have formed a joint venture to develop a new MoM aircraft (Shanghai assembly) for delivery in 2027 – 280 seats / 7,500 nm).

The aviation industry has other new developments that you may see at the show as well. New products/services based on market evolution and technological changes may bring some surprising technology to Paris. While aircraft order levels are down; production levels are up (1490 per year – 2017 est.), as order backlog hits some 14,000+ planes. But today’s flat market order changes will have some unknown impact. Further, with the “book-to-build-ratio” now below 1.0 (problem) and airlines are flying over 80% full (beneficial), who knows what will happen.

The aircraft market is expected to double in 15 years so manufacturing impact will be the other thing to watch at the air show – especially robotic production. Further, a lot of data (or Big Data) and related data changes will affect the airplane markets thus suppliers of data solutions, data services, data related hardware and big data experts will be there.

As digital transformations affect airlines and plane makers alike, a need to innovate for new aircraft and to improve performance may be a big deal – as we said, data applications will start to grow and thus data players are bound to be in Paris as well. For example, applications of “the cloud” and the challenge of securing them will no doubt bring a whole new set of aviation specialists, which will undoubtedly include Cybersecurity specialists as well. We expect to also see 3D printing and robotic manufacturing folks as the technology begins to invade the airplane (and airline) markets. With “big data” changes coming and with improved connectivity available, airplane maintenance and flight performance analysis will be a focal point, no doubt, and the solutions for using it will be there as well. Finally, Boeing, and possibly Airbus, (and independents) will be there for service analysis  (with aftermarket revenues) and especially since parts and humans increase costs. It ought to be a good and technology diversified show!

(Editor’s Note:”In fact, following the seven big mega trends will probably give you as good idea of what will be new at the show –  Remember CAMBRIC, which stands for Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Mobility, Big Data, Robotics, Internet of Things, Cybersecurity.” )


More News:

For a few years now, Boeing and Airbus like to duke it out over “rulings” and “subsidies”, as well as, some recent WTO announcements led to their two PR releases:

First from Airbus:
“ WTO condemns Boeing’s non-compliance and new subsidies
• WTO: U.S. failed to comply with rulings on massive illegal subsidies provided to Boeing
• Today’s WTO compliance panel report finds Boeing subsidies causing Airbus to lose hundreds of aircraft sales with an estimated value of US$ 15-20 billion
• Illegal subsidies to Boeing have, over time, resulted in over US$100 billion in total lost sales for Airbus
• Harm to Airbus will only increase if dispute is pushed out further, in case of likely U.S. appeal”

Next, from Boeing:
“Today, the EU and Airbus suffered yet another resounding defeat in this decade-long dispute. It is finally time for them to comply with their global trade obligations and eliminate and remedy the $22 billion of launch aid and other illegal subsidies that are harming U.S. aerospace companies and American workers,” said Boeing General Counsel J. Michael Luttig.”

You be the judge.

  • WTO: U.S. failed to comply with rulings on massive illegal subsidies provided to Boeing
  • Today’s WTO compliance panel report finds Boeing subsidies causing Airbus to lose hundreds of aircraft sales with an estimated value of US$ 15-20 billion
  • Illegal subsidies to Boeing have, over time, resulted in over US$100 billion in total lost sales for Airbus
  • Harm to Airbus will only increase if dispute is pushed out further, in case of likely U.S. appeal

Toulouse, France | June 9, 2017– The United States has failed to comply with WTO rulings in the more than decade-long ongoing transatlantic battle over commercial aircraft subsidies. This was reported today by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Compliance Panel in the DS353 dispute (EU vs U.S.), which relates to billions of dollars in subsidies granted to The Boeing Company.

In March 2012, the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body ruled that a number of subsides provided by the U.S. to Boeing were illegal, and were to be withdrawn within six months, or alternatively that their adverse effects were to be removed. In September 2012, the U.S. claimed that it had taken all necessary steps to achieve compliance. Today, the EU prevailed in demonstrating the continuing existence of a number of illegal subsidies, including R&D support provided by NASA and the Department of Defense (DoD), and the multi-billion dollar tax breaks from Washington State. The EU has also prevailed in demonstrating continuing adverse effects caused by some of those subsidies.
For a further five years, and by failing to comply with the WTO rulings, the U.S. has continued to provide tremendous benefits to Boeing in the form of unfair and anti-competitive subsidies, resulting in an additional loss of sales of at least 300 aircraft, with an estimated value of US$ 15-20 billion.

In total, combining this with the WTO’s ruling at the end of 2016 in the DS487 dispute, addressing the illegal subsidies for the 777X, as well as prior rulings in DS353, the total impact of the subsidies is estimated to add up to US$ 100 billion in lost sales to Airbus.
Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus, stated: “The amount of money involved completely distorts trade. There is absolutely no place for these unfair and anti-competitive practices in today’s modern and dynamic global marketplace, and the WTO should make it clear that no government or company can escape from their international responsibilities”.

Enders added: “I salute the EU for what again is a great victory for fair trade in commercial aviation. The clarity provided by the WTO in continuous rulings over a decade is impressive and far reaching: First, the WTO stated that the US subsidy system provides largely for illegal grants while the European reimbursable launch investment system based on loans is principally compliant with international trade law. Today, the WTO panel has demonstrated how Boeing continues to seek the benefits from this extensive illegal support, at the great expense of a level playing field in the worldwide aviation industry.”

After the original ruling was published in 2012, the U.S. further increased their subsidies to Boeing, with measures such as the provision of incentives for the production of the 787 in South Carolina, U.S. Federal Aviation Administration funded R&D programmes, increased tax reductions from Washington State, and the award of additional NASA and DOD R&D funding and support. Today, the Panel agreed with the EU that it was correct for these additional measures to be included within the scope of the proceedings.

The Panel found that the non-withdrawn subsidies continue to cause adverse effects in the form of significant lost sales for Airbus. In particular, the Panel found that the B&O tax reductions from Washington State caused Airbus to lose at least US$ 16 billion worth of sales to Boeing. This finding could ultimately lead to the imposition of billions of dollars worth of trade sanctions against the U.S.

It is expected that today’s ruling will be appealed. However, there is no indication that U.S. arguments will be any different from the ones advanced before, despite the clear position of the WTO. With the additional time the U.S. will be buying with any such appeal, the harm to Airbus caused by subsidies will only continue to increase.
Fabrice Bregier, COO of Airbus, commented: “Over the course of this seemingly never-ending dispute with Boeing, it has become very clear that Boeing is using these cases for PR and Lobbying purposes rather than enabling a serious discussion on a level playing field in the commercial aircraft sector. That is not only regrettable but will soon be seen as a shot in their own foot in light of the current and future competitive environment in our industry.”
The first half of 2017 has seen the large commercial aircraft market move into unchartered territory. While we saw the first flights of new market entrants C919 and MC-21 took place, Boeing filed a local trade remedies petition at the US International Trade Commission against Bombardier, with the intention to exclude the C Series from the U.S. market.

“It seems to be clear that Boeing is doing all it can to maintain the status-quo from which it has illegally profited for all these years. Airbus looks forward to the day that this ridiculous dispute can be put to bed and we can focus our full attention on investing in further innovation and engaging in healthy competition,” Bregier added.

Airbus would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the European Commission and the governments of France, Germany, the UK, and Spain for their continued success at the WTO. Airbus is extremely grateful for the inordinate number of man-hours and immense effort which have been invested in this dispute so far.

Additional need for 530,000 pilots and 550,000 technicians with services set to grow

Toulouse, France | June 9, 2017–The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 percent per year, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.

Over this period, increasing numbers of first time flyers, rising disposable income spent on air travel, expanding tourism, industry liberalisation, new routes and evolving airline business models are driving a need for 34,170 passenger and 730 freighter aircraft worth a combined total of US$5.3 trillion. Over 70 percent of new units are single aisle with 60 percent for growth and 40 percent for replacement of less fuel efficient aircraft.

A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years sees a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers, and provides Airbus’ global services business a catalyst to grow. Airbus has expanded its global network of training locations from five to 16 in the space of three years

Air traffic growth is highest in emerging markets such as China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America and almost double the 3.2 percent per year growth forecast in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe. Emerging markets currently home to 6.4 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion population will account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s private consumption by 2036.

“Air travel is remarkably resilient to external shocks and doubles every 15 years,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “Asia Pacific continues to be an engine for growth, with domestic China to become the world’s largest market. Disposable incomes are growing and in emerging economies the number of people taking a flight will nearly triple between now and 2036.”

Over the next 20 years Asia Pacific is set to take 41 percent of new deliveries, followed by Europe with 20 percent and North America at 16 percent. Middle class numbers will almost double to nearly five billion as wealth creation makes aviation even more accessible particularly in emerging economies where spending on air travel services is set to double.

In the twin aisle segment, such as the A330 Family, A350 XWB Family and the A380, Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 10,100 aircraft valued at US$2.9 trillion.

In the single aisle segment, such at the A320neo Family, Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 24,810 aircraft valued at US$2.4 trillion. Airlines adding capacity by upsizing to the largest single aisle, the A321, will find even more business opportunities with the A321neo thanks to its range up to 4,000nm and unbeatable fuel efficiency. In 2016, the A321 represented over 40 percent of single aisle deliveries and over 60 percent of single aisle orders.

France | June 9, 2017– Launched last Friday by an Ariane 5 rocket, the EUTELSAT 172B satellite entered a new phase of its journey in space at 2pm today with the initiation of the ascent to geostationary orbit. The first European high power electric satellite, built by Airbus, will take approximately four months to complete the climb to 172° East, monitored by Eutelsat and Airbus from Toulouse using a dedicated network of stations located around the planet. Eutelsat’s new satellite is scheduled to enter into service in the fourth quarter of this year.

Since launch, EUTELSAT 172B has undergone a series of critical manoeuvres that include positioning of electric propulsion motors attached to robotic arms in preparation for orbit-raising, and the full deployment of solar panels to generate power during this phase.

EUTELSAT 172B will deliver increased capacity for fast-growing applications that include in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video and government services. It will be located at 172° East, a key neighbourhood providing exceptional Asia-Pacific reach over land and sea, from Alaska to Australia. Designed to replace EUTELSAT 172A, it will provide increased capacity, more power and improved coverage via C and Ku-band payloads connected to a range of service areas. Following the transfer of traffic to the new satellite EUTELSAT 172A will continue commercial service at another orbital position.

Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “A week since launch, EUTELSAT 172B has passed the critical stages of its deployment before embarking on the ascent to geo. This complex process reflects meticulous preparation by Eutelsat and Airbus teams who have worked hand in hand on a ground-breaking satellite programme customised for Asia-Pacific markets.”

Seven A321ceo to meet growth on domestic and regional services

Toulouse, France | June 7, 2017– Cebu Pacific of the Philippines has placed an order with Airbus for seven A321ceo to meet ongoing strong growth on its domestic and regional network. The latest contract comes on top of an existing order for 32 A321neo. The aircraft will start joining the carrier’s fleet next year.

“We are very excited about adding the A321 to our fleet,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and CEO. “The aircraft will enable us to increase capacity on popular routes, while at the same time benefiting from the lowest operating costs in this size category. This will mean more low fares for more customers flying across our domestic and regional network.”

“We are pleased to sign this additional order with one of the most successful airlines in the Asian region,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “With the A321 Cebu Pacific will be able to respond to growing demand with the highest levels of efficiency. Carrying more passengers further, and at lower cost, the A321 is the perfect solution to meet the requirements of airlines worldwide in the middle of the market segment.”

Manila-based Cebu Pacific is one of Asia’s leading low cost carriers. Operating domestic, regional and long haul services, the carrier flies to over 60 destinations in Asia, Australia, the Middle East and the USA. The carrier’s in-service Airbus fleet currently comprises 36 A320s and four A319s flying on domestic and regional services, plus eight widebody A330-300s operating on high capacity regional and long haul routes.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle product line. To date, the Family has won over 13,000 orders and more than 7,500 aircraft have been delivered to some 400 customers and operators worldwide. With one aircraft in four sizes (A318, A319, A320 and A321), the A320 Family seats from 100 to 240 passengers. The Family features the widest cabin in the single aisle market with 18” wide seats in Economy as standard.

Memorandum of Understanding signals new chapter in partnership
Berlin, Germany | June 1, 2017– Airbus and China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on aviation and aerospace, further enhancing a spirit of cooperation. The MoU was signed in Berlin by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President of Commercial Aircraft, and He Lifeng, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China.

The MoU strengthens and deepens mutually beneficial collaboration between Airbus and Chinese aviation industry in various fields. Based on an already established solid foundation, Airbus and China will support the development of engineering skills and technology innovation in China and also promote the integration of Chinese suppliers into Airbus’ global supply chain.

“The success of the industrial cooperation between Airbus and China makes itself a model of high-tech and win-win partnership between China and Europe”, said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President of Commercial Aircraft. “Together with our Chinese partners, we are confident in meeting the new challenges and opportunities and look forward to an even deeper and broader partnership.”

Co-operation between Airbus and China is already extensive. The Tianjin A330 Family Aircraft Completion and Delivery Centre will deliver its first aircraft in September 2017 and the A320 Family Aircraft Final Assembly Line Asia will start assembly work of A320neo by the end of 2017.

Both sides will continue the development of air transportation activities and to address China’s rapid aviation growth, tackling global issues such as environment and ATM, and broadening the partnership to include sectors like helicopters.

15 A350 XWB deliveries already dispatched to Cathay Pacific all with jet fuel blend

Toulouse, France | June 1, 2017– Showing its strong commitment towards eco-efficiency, Airbus becomes the first aircraft manufacturer to offer its customers the option of delivering new jets using a blend of sustainable jet fuel.

The 15th A350-900 for Cathay Pacific departed Toulouse on June 1st, bound for Hong Kong, with a 10 percent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. Since the first delivery in May 2016, all of Cathay Pacific’s A350s have been delivered in this configuration.

The biofuel delivery flight concept, originally devised by Cathay Pacific in 2015 is now in full operation and this latest delivery flight confirms that the supply chain set up a year ago by Airbus and Total is functioning correctly, from the fuel production, through an integrated management at its Saint-Martin Toulouse site and to the customer delivery.

“This is a major step for Airbus and a first for the regular delivery of new production aircraft. It enables us to demonstrate that aviation biofuels are today a reality. We now target to expand this initiative to all our delivery sites, close to our customers,” said Frederic Eychenne, Head of New Energies at Airbus.

The first delivery flights from Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US, using this type of biofuel are planned as of 2018. Since 2016, Airbus has offered this option for its delivery flights from Toulouse.

The aim is to continue reducing the carbon footprint of each flight starting with the aircraft delivery. Eychenne said: “Right from the first day of operation, an airline can clearly demonstrate its aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, thus helping to meet the commitments of the international civil aviation community.”

Through its brand new design with the latest cutting-edge technologies, the A350 XWB has a lower fuel burn and therefore lower CO2 emissions than the aeroplane it replaces, so when sustainable jet fuels are included as part of the operation, the net CO2 emissions reduction factor becomes even greater.

As part of its environmental strategy, Airbus intends to continue its efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the biofuels sector. “Through this partnership with Cathay Pacific and Total, we have demonstrated that it is possible to set up supply chains for fuels with a low carbon footprint,” Eychenne added. “This initiative confirms Airbus’ commitment to environmental efficiency and its support toward international aviation’s emission reduction targets.”

In this week’s edition of IFExpress we have Gogo, APEX, Boeing and a few other bits of information – so let’s get started!

Gogo
Gogo is announcing K5-Aviation as its first 2Ku business aviation customer in Europe, marking a significant milestone for the company. The first airframe in business aviation that will fly with Gogo’s 2Ku technology is an Airbus ACJ319 operated by K5-Aviation, a leading operator of ACJ aircraft, based in Germany. Fokker Services B.V. managed the 2Ku installation design and system integration including the EASA STC. Installation was performed at its facilities in Hoogerheide, The Netherlands.
“This is a great day for K5-Aviation because it brings Gogo’s newest technology to our cabin which means our passengers can stay connected almost anywhere we fly around the globe,” said Luca Madone of K5-Aviation. “Productivity during flight will increase with 2Ku, which will allow our passengers to drive their business forward even when traveling. They will also have the ability to live stream news, entertainment and sporting events.”

Gogo’s 2Ku technology delivers industry-leading performance globally, which means passengers can do the same things they do on the ground. For business aviation, that means live video conferencing, fast Internet browsing and streaming video. 2Ku is designed to take advantage of innovations happening in space and is compatible with newer high-throughput and low-earth orbit satellites when they become available. This means the technology will get better in time without having to touch an aircraft. This flexibility means Gogo’s customers can be confident the system is future ready and ahead of the curve from a technology perspective.

2Ku is a unique dual antenna system developed by Gogo to bring global streaming-capable Internet to large aircraft. The technology benefits from global coverage and the redundancy of more than 180 satellites in the Ku-band. With more than 170 systems installed today across eight airlines on five continents, and more than 1600 total aircraft awarded to 2Ku across 14 of the largest airlines around the globe, 2Ku is one of the most successful in-flight connectivity products ever developed.

We further note that Gogo discovered that nearly 50 percent of millennial travelers expect their connected experience in the air to be the same as on the ground. This key finding from Gogo’s Global Traveler study The Travelers of Tomorrow shows that connectivity anywhere and everywhere is no longer a hope, it’s an expectation. This study uncovers in-flight connectivity trends from “future travelers” between the ages of 18 and 35, because their preferences will ultimately shape the future of travel. “Passengers simply expect more from inflight connectivity today — no longer is there a distinction between enjoying movies at home, sending emails from a café or binge watching at 35,000 feet,” said Alyssa Hayes, Director of Insights at Gogo. “As our research suggests, younger travelers are most comfortable with headphones on, laptop open and smartphone in hand. As the leader in inflight connectivity, we can help airlines keep pace with passenger expectations now and in the future with Gogo 2Ku high speed connectivity.”

Not only are these passengers expressing hopes for the future, but they also are making travel decisions today based on connectivity:
While 90 percent of future travelers have a preferred airline, 48 percent said they would choose another airline if Wi-Fi was not available on their preferred flight.

Future travelers are more likely to multi-task on their devices during flights with 46 percent of the 18 to 35 age bracket using Wi-Fi and watching a movie or show on their device compared to just 33 percent of travelers older than 35 doing so.

Ninety-two percent of future travelers are interested in using their own device in flight, and 48 percent said they prefer to stream their own content to their own device.

Sixty-three percent of future travelers think more flights should offer Wi-Fi, and 56 percent of them use their smartphone on the plane compared to just 27 percent of older travelers.

Gogo’s 2Ku technology allows passengers to have the same experience in the air as on their couch at home. The new technology enables streaming video, fast browsing and multi-device viewing. 2Ku can be found today on more than 170 aircraft across several global airlines. More than 1,600 total aircraft are slated to receive the technology representing 13 global airlines.

The Travelers of Tomorrow study is the first of the 2017 Gogo Global Traveler Research Series, Gogo’s global study that examines travelers’ inflight habits, behaviors and preferences. It covers 15 countries across six regions around the world and includes data collected from more than 4,500 travelers who flew within the last year. To learn more, visit gogoair.com/globaltraveler

We should also note the following: Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. announced that its in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution demonstrated unprecedented end-user throughput of over 100Mbps in Gogo’s live airborne media and investor event. Gilat’s airborne modem powers Gogo’s 2Ku service and will be installed in over 1600 aircraft across more than 13 airlines, commencing this year. On May 9th 2017, Gogo hosted a major, high visibility industry event on their Boeing 737 test plane, the “Jimmy Ray.” Analysts and media applauded Gogo’s 2Ku system and Gilat’s modem, which demonstrated over 100Mbps performance. This is acknowledged to be the highest performance ever achieved onboard a commercial aircraft, as well as demonstrating continuous service with excellent user experience. The test flight not only confirmed its noteworthy throughput and user experience, but also successfully demonstrated interoperability capabilities of Gilat’s aero modem with the aircraft’s Communication (IFEC) avionic system. As previously announced, Gogo selected Gilat to provide the onboard VSAT modem and satellite baseband infrastructure for its next generation IFC solution. The recent flights were done upon completion of Supplement Type Certifications (STC) for this system for Boeing and Airbus aircrafts.


A Possible InFlight Electronics Ban
While the US Government has neither confirmed or denied the possibility of an “All Europe” inflight laptop ban into the US, it is expected this month, although some experts question whether it will be as extensive as all inclusive as the one from 10 Middle East airports today. Also unknown if the rumored laptop exclusions will be surrendered at the gate or relinquished to the baggage hold during check-in at the ticket counters – not to mention flights that progress through European airports. We want to point out that banned  PED (iPads, tablets, laptops) types are an unknown at the time of this writing. But if you think about it, getting your data on a phone and learning to love IFE again, might be a good idea. We do know that London’s Heathrow has begun the process of early screening, but like everybody else – they are waiting for the US to demand the change.


APEX And The Electronics Ban
APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), a four-decade old international airline trade association, called for a hold on the electronics band expansion to Europe as (they) hosted a biometrics workshop with major airlines and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS) Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP).

Speaking at the Aviation Festival Americas with more than 60 airlines, APEX CEO, Joe Leader, pushed suggested “green listing” passengers as cleared to carry electronics on restricted routes through the biometric facial recognition initiative being put forward by the U.S. DHS CBP in place of the electronics ban.

“Having the electronics ban spread to the European Union for flights to the United States would damage the personal freedoms integral to international air travel. We must stand together with government solutions for personal electronics that enable both security and accessibility for our airline passengers worldwide,” said Leader. “Biometric identification of passengers that are pre-cleared to travel with electronics would enable a viable potential solution with the U.S. DHS CBP ready to provide immediate technological facilitation.”

APEX sounded the alarm in March when the airline electronics ban started as we warned that it could easily spread as reported today. In the United States alone, carriers in less than 30 days have removed more than one million annual passenger long-haul seats  from the airports affected by the United States electronics ban alone.

“As the leading international airline association focused on passenger experience, APEX has actively and repeatedly expressed that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.K Department of Transport should institute government approved solutions for electronics rather than the existing airline electronics ban.” Leader stated. “Fighting potential threats means finding government solutions that do not take the laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, and large phones out of the hands of the millions of law-abiding passengers that use them every day. We owe our air travelers worldwide the best options to make their flights enjoyable and productive.”

Results from APEX’s Global Passenger Survey released last year, show airline passengers frequently bring their personal electronics devices on-board aircraft for use in-flight:

  • 43% of worldwide airline passengers bring a tablet device on-board with 70% of these passengers using their tablet device in-flight;
  • 38% of worldwide airline passengers bring a laptop computer on-board with 42% of these passengers using their laptop in-flight; and
  • 22% of worldwide airline passengers bring e-Readers on-board with 77% of these passengers using their e-Reader in-flight.””

You might also want to read this ExtremeTech piece on the subject as they point out that a cabin full of laptops placed in cargo containers just might put another problem in a place (in the baggage hold) where fire control may have limited capability to affect a potential disaster. US Considering Banning All Laptops on Flights From Europe – ExtremeTech


Boeing
The fourth Boeing [NYSE: BA] Inmarsat-5 satellite, which was launched yesterday, will noticeably expand the high-speed broadband service available through Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network after the satellite becomes fully operational later this year.

The Inmarsat-5 satellites are uniquely able to provide seamless communications coverage through fixed and steerable beams that can be adjusted in real time to accommodate demand surges. “Inmarsat-5 F4 joins our existing Global Xpress constellation, which is already being adopted as the new standard in global mobile broadband connectivity by companies, governments and communities around the world,” said Michele Franci, CTO, Inmarsat. “Boeing has been an outstanding partner in our journey to make Global Xpress a reality.”

This is the fourth Inmarsat-5 satellite Boeing has built for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. After reaching its final orbit, the satellite will undergo testing and checkout before being declared operational. “Our partnership with Inmarsat has enabled the creation of the world’s only commercial global, mobile Ka-band network,” said Mark Spiwak, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International. “This unique achievement is an example of Boeing’s continuing commitment to deliver reliable, affordable and innovative solutions for our customers.”

Boeing has a strategic marketing partnership with Inmarsat and currently provides both military Ka-band and commercial Global Xpress services to U.S. government customers.

For more information on Defense, Space & Security, visit www.boeing.com.

Boeing and Primera Air today announced an order for eight 737 MAX 9 airplanes, valued at more than $950 million at list prices. The agreement also includes purchase rights for four additional 737 MAX 9s and a lease agreement for eight more airplanes from Air Lease Corporation.

The 737 MAX 9 will form the backbone of the low-cost airline’s future as it seeks to commence flights between Europe and North America. Primera Air plans to use the MAX 9’s auxiliary fuel tanks to lower trip costs and maximize the range to accommodate flights connecting Europe to the east coast of the U.S.

“The 737 MAX 9 will allow Primera Air to open up nonstop, long-haul routes from Europe to the U.S. with unmatched economics,” said Andri M. Ingolfsson, President, Primera Air. “This aircraft has a lower per-seat cost than the current wide body aircraft servicing the transatlantic and the capabilities of this aircraft type will change the economics of the industry. This will open up fantastic possibilities for growth for Primera Air in the future.”

Scandinavia’s Primera Air is an all-Boeing carrier currently operating a fleet of nine Next-Generation 737-700s and 737-800s with flights to more than 70 airports in Europe. Primera Air is part of the Primera Travel Group that operates travel agencies and tour operating companies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and Estonia.

The MAX 8 and 9 will be followed in 2019 by the smaller MAX 7 and higher capacity MAX 200, while studies and customer discussions continue on further growing the family. The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX has accumulated more than 3,700 orders from 87 customers worldwide.


Delta orders 30 additional A321s
Delta Air Lines has placed an incremental order for 30 firm A321ceo aircraft. This order follows three previous Delta orders for the Current Engine Option version of the largest Airbus A320 Family member. The airline took delivery of its first A321 in March of last year. Delta now has ordered a total of 112 A321s, each powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International.

All of Delta’s A321s will feature fuel-saving Sharklets – lightweight composite wingtip devices that offer up to 4 percent fuel-burn savings. This environmental benefit gives airlines the option of extending their range up to 100 nautical miles/185 kilometres or increasing payload capacity by some 1000 pounds/450 kilograms.

Many of Delta’s A321s are being delivered from the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. The airline received its first U.S.-manufactured A321 last year. By the end of 2017, the Airbus facility in Mobile is expected to produce four aircraft per month, most going to Airbus’ U.S. customers.

As of the end of April, Delta was flying a fleet of 187 Airbus aircraft, including 145 A320 Family members and 42 A330 widebodies.


Rumors
A rumor monger told us that this past Thursday was a bad day for a large IFEC outfit and that 45+ folks on the West Coast were let go, as well as, at least 25 on the East Coast. We won’t mention names as our request for more information was ignored.

Airbus test aircraft performed Early Long Flight in typical airline operating conditions.
France | May 12, 2017– The A350-1000completed successfully its first and unique “Early Long Flight” with 310 passengers on board, including 10 Airbus Flight Test crew members and 13 Virgin Atlantic cabin crew. Test aircraft MSN065 took off from and landed in Toulouse on May 11th after a 12 hours flight.

During the long-haul flight the passengers, comprising Airbus employees and cabin crew personnel from Virgin Atlantic Airways – one of the 12 A350-1000 customers – were first to experience the Xtra wide comfort of the A350-1000. The early passengers were invited to try out and test the cabin systems, including air conditioning, lighting, acoustics, in-flight entertainment (IFE), galleys, electrics, washrooms and water waste systems.

Though not part of the technical certification programme, the Early Long Flight allows Airbus to assess cabin environment and systems in-flight and optimise cabin procedures to ensure full maturity at Entry Into Service for its customers.

The intensive A350-1000 certification testing is progressing well and on track to reach Type Certification followed by Entry Into Service in second half of 2017.

The A350-1000 is the latest member of the Airbus leading widebody family, showing high level of commonality with the A350-900 with 95% common systems part numbers and Same Type Rating. As well as having a longer fuselage to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900, the A350-1000 also features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. The A350-1000 embodies all of the fuel efficiency and ‘Airspace’ cabin comfort of the original A350-900 – but with extra size perfectly tailored for our customers on some of their busiest long-haul routes. To date 12 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 211 A350-1000s.