Toulouse, France | October 15, 2018– Kuwait Airways, the national carrier of the state of Kuwait, has signed a Purchase Agreement (PA) for eight A330-800 aircraft. The agreement was signed by Yousef Al-Jassim, Kuwait Airways Chairman and Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse.

Yousef Al-Jassim, Chairman Kuwait Airways said: “The A330-800 will seamlessly fit into our fleet expansion and growth plans. Its unbeatable operating economics and performance in addition to best in class passenger comfort make it a sound investment. We are confident that the A330-800 will support us to compete effectively on our expanding route network. Our relationship with Airbus extends beyond aircraft acquisitions and we look forward to further collaboration on technical fields.”

The announcement marks an important step in Kuwait Airways’ fleet renewal and expansion strategy. The national carrier of Kuwait also has A350 XWB and A320neo Family aircraft on order. The delivery of the new Airbus fleet will start in 2019.

“We are delighted that Kuwait Airways has chosen the A330neo as a cornerstone of its futurewidebody fleet.  The A330-800 with its unique efficiency and versatility will support the carrier’s ambition to develop its expanding long haul network,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The aircraft will seamlessly complement Kuwait Airways’  A320neos and A350 XWBs and deliver unbeatable operating economics, full operational commonality and unmatched passenger experience.”

Launched in July 2014, the A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99 percent commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500 nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB-inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new Airspace amenities.

The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers. More than 1,400 A330s are flying with over 120 operators worldwide. The A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A350 XWB and the A380, all featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivalled range capability.

As a recognized leader in innovation, Delta Air Lines partnered with Airbus to enhance Skywise

Through the agreement an additional 400 Delta aircraft will be connected to Skywise

Toulouse, France | October 15, 2018– Delta Air Lines has entered into a multi-year contract with Airbus to continue using the Skywise open-data platform and related predictive maintenance services. The airline will expand the use of the tool to its A320 and A330 fleets – comprising around 400 aircraft – to track and analyse their operations and performance data and assess failure probabilities in order to anticipate maintenance tasks.

Delta was one of the airlines involved in the development of Skywise Predictive Maintenance by co-designing, testing and making improvement recommendations about some of its key features.

“Skywise is the latest example of our great partnership with Airbus,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “Delta people are continuously focused on improving the experience for customers, and this new tool will enable them to provide an exceptional, reliable experience.”

“I’m extremely proud to see our long-time partner Delta Air Lines, one of the leading airlines of the world, join the Skywise platform,” said Tom Enders, Airbus’ CEO. “Skywise is propelling the aviation industry to new levels of productivity and efficiency, and it is truly becoming an industry flagship. I want to thank Delta for their trust and confidence.”

Skywise was developed to enable Airbus, airlines, equipment manufacturers and maintenance operators to tap into vast amounts of aircraft operational and performance data and identify areas of improvement. Skywise can gather and track many thousands of data parameters on aircraft in operation.

Use of the Skywise-based applications to analyse extensive aircraft data can enable airlines to identify efficiencies, cost savings and enhanced revenue opportunities. Key applications help airlines reduce operational interruptions, maximise aircraft utilisation and flight operations. In particular, Skywise Predictive Maintenance enables them to turn unscheduled maintenance into scheduled maintenance and thus optimise aircraft operations. Airbus rolled-out the Skywise platform at the Paris Air Show in 2017.

France | July 31, 2018– Airbus has released an Android version* of the iflyA380 app, already available for iOS users, bringing the experience of flying on the iconic A380 to even more passengers.

In recent years, new technological advances have transformed the expectations of always-connected travellers who demand super convenience, personalization and speed of use in every aspect of their travel booking. So far, travellers have been able to control every aspect of their trip, except for one of the most important elements – the plane they fly in.

The popular iflyA380.com booking assistant has changed this by offering travellers a unique platform to search and book flights on the A380, the passengers’ favourite jetliner. Building on the website’s success – millions of visitors since launch in 2016 – the iflyA380 app, launched in March 2018 for iOS users, brings more features and content to smartphone users who have downloaded the app over 40,000 times in less than 6 months.

A web platform and a mobile app that enhance the A380 experience

All destinations and prices are one click away and can be viewed on this useful map.

Travellers 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.
  •  Cabin discovery in Virtual Reality.
  •  A connected and immersive in-flight experience based on an Augmented Reality (AR) feature.

To try for yourself, head to the Play Store here. The app searches 30+ available airlines that fly the double-decker A380 and provides a booking service. With the AR feature, passengers can take a virtual tour of the cabin, get a sneak peek into the cockpit, and explore their destination airport.

 

Smart travellers choose the A380

What makes a flight special? Surely it’s feeling that your comfort matters, that your well-being matters. That you matter. A380 customers are smart travellers with the highest expectations. Rest assured, with the A380 no detail will be overlooked, whether you’re traveling first class, business class or economy. The very best airlines operate the A380, so every time you choose to fly our plane, you know they will take extra special care of you.

Airbus is empowering travellers to travel as smartly as possible. The Fly Smart hub contains tips, advice and information to make the most of your flight on one of the 228** A380 in service, whatever class of travel you choose, and whether you’re traveling for business or looking forward to your next leisure trip. So Choose. Fly. Love A380.

  • Commercial aircraft environment robust, backlog underpins ramp-up plans
  • H1 financials reflect mainly A350 XWB performance and delivery phasing
  • Revenues € 25 billion; EBIT Adjusted € 1.2 billion
  • EBIT (reported) € 1.1 billion; EPS (reported) € 0.64
  • 2018 guidance maintained

France | July 26, 2018–Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) reported Half-Year (H1) 2018 consolidated financial results and maintained its guidance for the full year.

“The first half financials reflect the back-loaded deliveries due to A320neo engine shortages, while on the positive side there was a strong improvement on the A350 programme,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. “A320neo aircraft deliveries picked up during the second quarter but challenges remain to meet our full year targets. Market demand remains strong for the expanded Airbus portfolio that now includes the A220 at the smaller end. The recent Farnborough Airshow underlined this, with new business for over 400 single-aisle and wide-body aircraft announced. Our operational focus in commercial aircraft remains squarely on securing the production ramp-up. On our largest military programme, the A400M, we are making progress operationally, on improving capabilities as well as in negotiations with governments for the necessary contract amendment.”

Net commercial aircraft orders increased to 206 (H1 2017: 203 aircraft) with gross orders of 261 aircraft including 50 A350 XWBs and 14 A330s. The order backlog by units totalled 7,168 commercial aircraft as of 30 June 2018.  During July’s Farnborough Airshow, Airbus announced orders and commitments for a total of 431 aircraft although these are not yet reflected in the order book. Net helicopter orders totalled 143 units (H1 2017: 151 units). Airbus Defence and Space saw good order momentum, particularly in Space Systems, while there are encouraging prospects for European military cooperation programmes in Military Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Systems.

Consolidated revenues were stable at € 25.0 billion (H1 2017: € 25.2 billion(1)), reflecting the commercial aircraft delivery mix and perimeter changes as well as the weakening of the US dollar. Deliveries totalled 303 commercial aircraft (H1 2017: 306 aircraft), comprising 239 A320 Family, 18 A330s, 40 A350 XWBs and six A380s. Airbus Helicopters delivered 141 units (H1 2017: 190 units) with revenues mainly reflecting the perimeter change from the sale of Vector Aerospace in late 2017. Revenues at Airbus Defence and Space reflected the stable core business and solid programme execution as well as the perimeter change mainly related to the divestment of Defence Electronics in February 2017 and Airbus DS Communications, Inc. in March 2018.

Consolidated EBIT Adjusted – an alternative performance measure and key indicator capturing the underlying business margin by excluding material charges or profits caused by movements in provisions related to programmes, restructuring or foreign exchange impacts as well as capital gains/losses from the disposal and acquisition of businesses – totalled
€ 1,162 million (H1 2017: € 553 million(1)).

Airbus’ EBIT Adjusted of € 867 million (H1 2017: € 257 million(1)), reflected mainly the strong improvement on the A350 programme and the A320neo ramp-up and transition.

A total of 110 A320neo aircraft were delivered (H1 2017: 59 aircraft) with more NEO (new engine option) versions delivered than CEO (current engine option) versions in the second quarter. The ramp-up is ongoing. Engine manufacturers are working to meet their commitments and resources and capabilities have been mobilised internally. A recovery plan is in place and the number of stored aircraft has started to decline from the end of May peak but risks remain to meet the 800 aircraft delivery target, which is challenging. On the A350 programme, the first A350-1000s were delivered to Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific in the half-year. Good progress was made on the recurring cost curve compared to a year earlier as the programme ramps up to the targeted monthly production rate of 10 aircraft by year-end. The A350’s industrial system is now reaching a mature level with the focus remaining on recurring cost convergence. Route proving flights have now been completed on the A330neo with more than 1,000 flight hours accumulated by the test aircraft fleet. The first delivery is expected end summer. In July, the BelugaXL transport aircraft completed its maiden flight.

Airbus Helicopters’ EBIT Adjusted increased to € 135 million (H1 2017: € 80 million(1)), reflecting solid underlying programme execution which compensated the lower deliveries.

Airbus Defence and Space’s EBIT Adjusted was € 309 million (H1 2017: € 298 million(1)), reflecting the stable core business and solid programme execution. On a comparable basis the Division’s EBIT Adjusted was broadly stable.

On the A400M programme, a total of eight aircraft were delivered compared to eight in the first half of 2017. A provision update of € 98 million during the first half of 2018 mainly reflected price escalation. Progress was made toward achieving military capabilities. Airbus continues to work with the Launch Customer Nations to finalise a contract amendment by year-end.

Consolidated self-financed R&D expenses totalled € 1,403 million (H1 2017: € 1,288 million).

Consolidated EBIT (reported) was stable at € 1,120 million (H1 2017: € 1,211 million(1)), including Adjustments totalling a net € -42 million. These comprised:

  •  The € 98 million A400M provision increase due to an update for escalation assumptions;
  • A negative € 21 million resulting from the first H160 helicopters;
  •  A negative impact of € 40 million from the dollar pre-delivery payment mismatch and balance sheet revaluation;
  • A total of € 40 million in other costs, including compliance and merger and acquisition costs;
  •  A net capital gain of € 157 million from divestments in Airbus Defence and Space.

Consolidated net income(2) of € 496 million (H1 2017: € 1,091 million(1)) and earnings per share of € 0.64 (H1 2017: € 1.41(1)) included a negative impact from the foreign exchange revaluation of financial instruments partly offset by the positive revaluation of certain equity instruments. The finance result was € -303 million (H1 2017: € +72 million(1)). Net income also reflects a higher effective tax rate from the reassessment of tax assets and liabilities.

Consolidated free cash flow before M&A and customer financing amounted to € -3,968 million (H1 2017: € -2,093 million), reflecting the continued ramp-up while deliveries reflect the engine situation. Consolidated free cash flow of € -3,797 million (H1 2017: € -1,956 million) included around € 0.3 billion of net proceeds from divestments at Airbus Defence and Space. Cash flow for aircraft financing was limited in the first half of 2018.

The consolidated net cash position on 30 June 2018 was € 8.1 billion (year-end 2017: € 13.4 billion) with a gross cash position of € 17.8 billion (year-end 2017: € 24.6 billion).

Outlook

As the basis for its 2018 guidance, the Company expects the world economy and air traffic to grow in line with prevailing independent forecasts, which assume no major disruptions.

The 2018 earnings and guidance are prepared under IFRS 15.

The 2018 earnings and Free Cash Flow guidance is before M&A. It now includes the A220(3) integration.

  • Airbus targets to deliver around 800 commercial aircraft, without the A220 Family.
  • On top, around 18 A220 deliveries are targeted for H2.
  • Before M&A, the Company expects EBIT Adjusted of approximately € 5.2 billion in 2018:
    • The A220(3) integration is expected to reduce EBIT Adjusted by an estimated              € -0.2 billion.
    • Therefore, including A220(3), the Company expects EBIT Adjusted to be approximately € 5.0 billion.
  • Compared to 2017 Free Cash Flow before M&A and Customer Financing of € 2.95 billion, the Company expects Free Cash Flow to be at a similar level in 2018 before the A220 integration.
    • The A220(3) integration is expected to reduce Free Cash Flow before M&A and Customer Financing by an estimated € -0.3 billion(3).
    • In 2018, the Company expects the net cash impact of the A220 integration to be largely covered by the funding arrangement as laid out in the terms of the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, meaning limited cash dilution.

The new Airbus BelugaXL’s first flight was a few days ago and the airplane’s “face” was just too good not to make it the rectangle for this week’s IFExpress. Following the first flight, the BelugaXL will undergo some 600 hours of flight test over 10 months to achieve Type Certification and entry into service later in 2019. The BelugaXL program was launched in November 2014 to address Airbus’ transport capacity requirements in view of the A350 XWB ramp-up and Single-Aisle production rate increases. Five aircraft will be built between 2019 and 2023 to gradually replace the five BelugaST. The aircraft will operate from 11 destinations as Airbus’ method of transporting large aircraft components they say. Based on an A330-200 Freighter, the BelugaXL is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines and can haul an incredible 50 tons of load with a total take-off weight of 230 tons! It will haul some 30% more than it’s predecessor. It is longer by 20 feet as well. The lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail were newly developed jointly with suppliers, giving the aircraft its distinctive look. Congratulations Airbus, the BelugaXL is a “whale” of a good looking airplane!

And speaking of airplanes, last week’s Farnborough Airshow generated over $192 Billion is plane sales/commitments with Boeing claiming over 100 airplane orders, while Airbus claimed some 60% of the single aisle business. We should note that while Airbus snagged some 70 orders from China, Boeing got none. (Hmm, wonder why?) Anyway, here are some summaries:

(Editor’s Note: The amount of airplane sales and total value of them varied at almost every report we researched. We did our best to give our readers summary numbers.)

Interestingly, the names of some 400 airplane purchases were withheld probably because of competitive reasons. Further, keep in mind, planemakers use shows to “announce” deals that were in work for months – obviously looking better at the show, and as Reuters noted: “The two companies have so far signed deals worth more than $100 billion at current list prices. However, this is a gross number. Several of the deals firm up provisional ones, disclose previously unidentified buyers, or change existing orders, making it hard to gauge the level of new business.”

We also noticed that Boeing and Airbus were selling their smaller and newest single aisle planes: Airbus A220 – 60 sales, and Embraer – 300 plane sales, as this small aircraft market also took off.

So, in summary, this year’s sales saw some 1,432 deals in aircraft, engines, and related equipment. As one writer noted: “The biannual air industry gathering recorded more than 1,400 commercial aircraft orders, valued at US$154 billion, alongside at least 1,432 deals for engines worth US$21.96 billion.”


AIRBUS

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Airbus have renewed their framework agreement on research and technology (R&T) cooperation. This new five-year agreement builds on a long-standing relationship between the two organizations to cooperate on R&T development which spans more than 30 years. The NRC-Airbus agreement will cover a wide range of technical subjects and technologies. Recently, Airbus identified Canada as its “fifth country” for research and technology developments in the areas of drones and urban mobility.


BOEING

Boeing released its 2018 Pilot & Technician Outlook, projecting demand for 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years. This represents double the current workforce and the most significant demand in the outlook’s nine-year history.

The demand is being driven by an anticipated doubling of the global commercial airplane fleet — as reported in Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook — as well as record-high air travel demand and a tightening labor supply. This year’s outlook also includes data from the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors for the first time.

“Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labor supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near-term,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services, Boeing Global Services. “An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this. With a network of training campuses and relationships with flight schools around the globe, Boeing partners with customers, governments and educational institutions to help ensure the market is ready to meet this significant pilot demand.”

Boeing offers the Pilot Development Program – an accelerated training program that guides future pilots from early stage ab-initio training through type rating as a first officer – to help operators meet their growing pilot needs. Boeing also helps operators improve crew efficiency with tools that optimize resources and minimize disruption.

Despite the commercial pilot demand forecast holding nearly steady, maintenance technician demand decreased slightly from 648,000 to 622,000, primarily due to longer maintenance intervals for new aircraft. Collectively, the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors will demand an additional 155,000 pilots and 132,000 technicians.

Demand for commercial cabin crew increased slightly from 839,000 to 858,000, due to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer more personalized service. In addition, 32,000 new cabin crew will be required to support business aviation.


ROCKWELL COLLINS

Iridium Communications Inc. and Rockwell Collins signed an agreement to make Rockwell Collins the newest service provider for Iridium Certus satellite solutions over the Iridium NEXT network. Rockwell Collins will be adding the service to its comprehensive suite of aircraft connectivity applications for commercial, government and ARINCDirectSM business customers.

In addition to being a service provider, Rockwell Collins is also a value added manufacturer (VAM) for the design and production of Iridium Certus service terminals. As a VAM and a service provider, Rockwell Collins will play a critical role in delivering the next-generation L-band broadband solution to commercial, business and government aviation customers around the world.

“Adding Rockwell Collins as an Iridium Certus service provider is a major milestone for the program,” said Michael Hooper, director and general manager of Iridium’s Aviation Line of Business. “Given the FAA’s recent movement toward adopting SATCOM as a primary means of onboard communications, we believe Iridium Certus will be that much more of a shake up to the status quo within the aviation industry, bringing new capabilities, smaller hardware, faster speeds and competitive price packages. Like the services Rockwell Collins offers, Iridium Certus supports all areas of aircraft connectivity, from the flight deck to the cabin, regardless of location.”

Initial flight trials will take place later this year, with Iridium Certus commercial service introduction for aviation users expected in mid-2019. Commercial service introduction for other verticals, such as maritime and land-mobile, is planned for 2018. Iridium Certus is powered by Iridium NEXT, the Company’s next-generation satellite constellation, currently being deployed. To date, there have been six successful Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 55 new satellites to orbit. Two more launches are planned for 2018, each carrying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, for a total of 75 launched, with 66 in the operational constellation and nine serving as on-orbit spares. The seventh launch is currently targeted for July 25, 2018 out of SpaceX’s west coast launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

“Iridium Certus will be an important new service addition to meet the connectivity needs of commercial, business and government aircraft,” said Michael DiGeorge, vice president of Commercial Aviation Services for Rockwell Collins. “For our ARINCDirect business aviation operators, Iridium Certus offers small form factor antennas and terminals which are ideal for operators of smaller aircraft requiring internet connectivity. For our airline and government customers, the Iridium Certus service enables a variety of capabilities for cockpit safety, enhanced aircraft reporting, graphical weather, EFBs and other operational aircraft services.

The new agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between Rockwell Collins and Iridium, which spans more than a decade and began with the advent of Iridium aviation service offerings.


GOGO

North America-based Flying Colours Corp. is installing Gogo AVANCE L3 air-to-ground connectivity systems in two Bombardier Challenger aircraft, a CL604 and CL605. The installation of the small form, fully integrated AVANCE L3 inflight connectivity and entertainment solution represents a first for Flying Colours which has already installed several of the AVANCE L5 systems. Once installed the Gogo AVANCE L3 system will provide passengers with access to the Gogo Biz Broadband network and will support, dependent on package, access to voice, email, web browsing, moving maps, and a selection of movies and TV programs.


OTHER STUFF

Circuit miniaturization has a new size reducing potential with kinetic inductance (reduced inductor size) – this is a big deal! The Last Barrier To Ultra-Miniaturized Electronics Is Broken, Thanks To A New Type Of Inductor

Airbus’ next-gen oversize cargo airlifter receives its colours ahead of a history-making first flight this summer

Toulouse | July 5, 2018–Airbus’ first BelugaXL is “all smiles” after rolling out from the paint shop in Toulouse, France, where this next-generation oversize cargo airlifter received its distinctive livery – which features beluga whale-inspired eyes and an enthusiastic grin.

With a bulging upper forward fuselage and enormous cargo area, Airbus’ BelugaXL already is highly recognisable. The addition of a cheerful face to the distinctly-shaped airframe will further reinforce it in the public’s mind. The unconventional paint scheme was selected by Airbus employees in a company-wide vote conducted last year.

The BelugaXL was launched in November 2014 to address the transport and ramp-up capacity requirements for Airbus beyond 2019. Derived from the freighter version of Airbus’ A330-200 jetliner, the BelugaXL is six metres longer, one metre wider and has a payload lifting capacity four-tonnes-greater than the current Beluga A300-600ST.

Preparing for service entry

To be operated by the Airbus Transport International (ATI) subsidiary, the fleet of five BelugaXLs will take over transporting complete sections of Airbus aircraft among the company’s production sites around Europe and to final assembly lines in France, Germany and Spain.

The paint shop rollout is another major milestone as Airbus’ first BelugaXL concludes a comprehensive ground testing phase – including a total of 72 specific evaluations required prior to the aircraft’s maiden flight. This included the heavy ground test phase, which focused on introducing loads into the highly modified airframe, followed by an eight-day ground vibration campaign that wrapped up earlier this month.

Scheduled for July, the BelugaXL’s upcoming maiden flight will kick off a 10-month flight test certification campaign leading to planned service entry in 2019.

Québec-born aircraft join the Airbus family 

Toulouse | July 10, 2018– Airbus has revealed the A220 at a ceremony held at its Henri-Ziegler Delivery Centre, near Toulouse. Witnessed by Airbus employees and members of the global news media, the A220-300 landed directly from the painting at 12:25 am CEST wearing its new Airbus name and colours.

The A220 family comprises two models, the A220-100 and A220-300, formerly Bombardier Inc.’s C Series (CS100 and CS300). The aircraft are fully optimized for the 100 to 150 seat market and perfectly complement Airbus’ existing best-selling A320neo family.

“Everyone at Airbus has been looking forward to this historic moment. Today, we are thrilled to welcome the A220 to the Airbus family and are honoured to see it wearing its new Airbus colours for the first time,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus President Commercial Aircraft. “I pay tribute to all the women and men at Bombardier and the supply chain who have strived over the past years to bring this fantastic aircraft to the world. The A220 now enters a new phase in its career with all Airbus’ ressources behind it to further its commercial success worldwide.”

Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer, added: “We are enthusiastic about incorporating the A220 in the Airbus Family. I have received positive feedback from customers, and this contributes to my optimism that within the Airbus network, we will make the A220 a great commercial success.”

 

More flexible cabin configurations for the largest member of the A320 Family

Hamburg | July 13, 2018– Turkish Airlines (THY) took delivery of the first A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration at the Airbus Facilities in Hamburg, Germany. This version is the latest addition to the successful A320 Family. By applying modifications to the fuselage, it enables flexible cabin configurations for up to 240 passengers. Turkish Airlines will operate the aircraft in a configuration with 20 seats in Business Class and 162 in Economy Class.

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 overwingemergency exits in the centre section are introduced. The A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration is an option today and will become standard for all A321neos around 2020.

The A321neo in Cabin Flex configuration is also 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.

With over 1,900 orders to date, the Airbus A321neo offers a reduction in fuel consumption of at least 15 percent per seat from day one and 20 percent by 2020.

Another Tuesday and another IFExpress. Be sure to check out the story about the B52 Midnight Express restoration (image above) at the end of this week’s Hot Topic.


Aircraft Interiors Exposition – Boston

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX, Boston), the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, will this year take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25 – 27 September. Organized by Reed Exhibitions, it is the sister event to AIX Hamburg.

The world-leading event is strategically co-located with Airlines Passenger Experience Expo (APEX EXPO) and International Flight Services Association Expo (IFSA EXPO), enabling airlines and companies from across the supply chain to meet and network.

New to AIX, Boston this year is CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre – the educational sessions which are a popular and firmly established part of its sister show in Hamburg each spring. Sessions will run throughout the first two days of AIX, Boston and provide attendees and exhibitors an arena to learn, network and seek inspiration on pressing industry issues.

More than 220 exhibiting companies are already confirmed to attend the co-located events in Boston in September, showcasing their products and innovations to an expected audience of 5,000 + visitors and 280 airline VIPs from 63 global airlines.

Amongst them are 12 first time exhibitors including Bose Corporation, Meggitt PLC, SynQor Inc and Tajima America Corp, who will join longstanding brands across all three events including Acro Aircraft Seating, Boeing, Diehl Aviation, E Leather, gategroup, Panasonic Avionics, STS Aviation Group, San Diego Aircraft interiors, and Tapis Corporation.

Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, comments: “Over the past nine years, AIX has firmly established itself as the leading fall event for the global aircraft interiors industry to gather and discuss the trends shaping the industry.

“This year we are delighted to be welcoming new exhibiting companies who will continue to showcase the evolving spectrum of aircraft interiors products that are shaping the passenger experience.

“Bringing this to life, and providing a forum for open discussion and innovation, we are sure that CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre will be a popular addition to the show and look forward to unveiling the speaker line-up in the coming weeks.”

Each fall, the location of AIX changes to refresh the industry’s perspective and reach an extensive audience of key industry decision makers from around the world. It showcases a wide range of cabin interiors products including; seating, galleys, lighting, lavatories, cabin management system, soft furnishings and passenger services.

Boston is the capital of the state of Massachusetts and its largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s also one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Today, the city is home to around 600,000 people and welcomes over 20 million visitors every year, drawn by attractions such as the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and neighboring Harvard.

AIX Americas is the sister event of the Aircraft Interiors Expo which takes place every April in Hamburg, Germany.

With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category “Best Customer Journey Experience” is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at https://connect.apex.aero/page/apexawards until the end of July.

The new category is running outside the normal entry phase for the Crystal Cabin Award. It will be presented on 24 September together with the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas events in Boston, Massachusetts. The application phase for the other eight categories, traditionally awarded every April at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, will then begin.

“Best Customer Journey Experience” comprises all products that help to improve the customer experience journey (inspiration, planning, booking, purchase, pre-trip, departure, in-flight and post-trip) across airline travel categories. It includes technical end-to-end solutions across categories including applications, artificial intelligence, tools, devices, software, programs etc. The product should offer benefits for airlines, OEMs, and/or suppliers by offering new digital solutions and specific insights about passengers experience for the benefit of on-board technical utilization. The finalists and award winner will provide airlines and their suppliers an inspirational example on how to optimize the cabin for end-to-end travel solutions centered around personalized passenger experience.

This special category complements the existing eight categories awarded each year in Hamburg for the Crystal Cabin Awards: „Cabin Concepts“, „Cabin Systems“, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity”, “Material and Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University” and “Visionary Concepts”. Winners of the 2018 season included renowned industry players such as Airbus and Altran, Rockwell Collins, and PriestmanGoode with Qatar Airways.


INMARSAT

The potential bidding war for satellite company Inmarsat took an interesting turn. Eutelsat had initially thrown its hat into the ring as a suitor but made a rapid about-turn. Inmarsat’s stock spun, too, sinking by 12%.

What Does This Mean?

Inmarsat provides phone and wireless data services – like 4G – to people via satellites around the world. France’s Eutelsat does the same thing and is the third largest global operator of its kind.

The proverbial bidding war came about after American company Echostar said it had amassed a 3% stake in Inmarsat on Friday (its offer to buy the company earlier in June was rebuffed). Eutelsat then said it was considering an offer, too – but decided against it after pressure to make a firm decision from the UK’s takeover regulator.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Inmarsat’s stock could be in for a bumpy ride.
Inmarsat’s shares soared with the news of Echostar’s initial bid – and the prospect of a counter bid – but they’re now in decline. The UK’s takeover laws mean this rollercoaster ride could last a bit longer, since Eutelsat now can’t put in a bid for Inmarsat of any kind unless a formal offer is made by someone else. Echostar has to submit a final bid within a month or it’ll be tapped out by regulators.

The bigger picture: Land grabbing and cost “synergies” make M&A likely.
In an industry with slowing growth opportunities, bundling revenues together – and streamlining costs that may have otherwise been duplicated (a.k.a. generating synergies) – is a tidy way for satellite companies to increase profits. Bidding wars among giants for the smaller companies could be an ongoing trend for the industry.


SITA

SITA invites airline industry stakeholders to join international Blockchain research project. SITA announced the launch of a major industry research project to explore the potential of blockchain. More than 100 top IT executives, attending SITA’s Customer Innovation Forum, were the first to be invited to join the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox.

SITA is investing in the infrastructure to accelerate industry-specific research into the viability of running multi-enterprise apps using distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain. The company is welcoming interested industry players to use the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox at no cost to them.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Today we are inviting air transport organizations to work together so that we can collectively see how blockchain could work across our industry. Blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organizations is not the most productive. As the technology company owned by airlines, SITA is in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications. Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all.”

The airline industry has a long history of sharing information across multiple stakeholders to increase efficiency. At times, however, it faces difficulties when proprietary business information needs to be extracted or multiple data sources conflict. One of the key benefits of blockchain technology is the ability to have multi-enterprise applications. These work across multiple organizations locking data immutably into the blockchain rather than having individual applications running separately and exchanging data on a case-by-case basis. This is how this technology can provide a ‘single source of truth’ to all stakeholders.

The Aviation Blockchain Sandbox will be led and managed by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team, and will develop in three stages. To start, SITA is opening the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. FlightChain was SITA’s blockchain trial, with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport, using smart contracts for shared control of data. It stored flight information on the blockchain to provide a single source of truth. Now SITA is making it easy for other airlines and airports to join this research and test FlightChain for their own use.

For the second stage of this collaborative innovation, SITA will work with organizations that wish to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases. During the third stage of the research, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node. This will give the organizations the opportunity to become more involved and to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians. Throughout all stages the participating organizations can be assured that the data being used in the blockchain sandbox will be stored confidentially.

Dalibard concluded: “Since we published the results of the FlightChain research, many of our airline and airport customers have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities of blockchain with us and some have already committed to the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organizations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together.”


AIRBUS

The closing of the previously announced C Series transaction between Airbus SAS, Bombardier Inc. and Investissement Québec came into effect on July 1, 2018. Airbus now owns a 50.01% majority stake in C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, while Bombardier and Investissement Québec own approximately 34% and 16% respectively. CSALP’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec.

Further, Airbus has announced orders for 10 A350-900 and 10 A330neo’s to undisclosed buyers.

The world’s passenger fleet will more than double to 48,000 aircraft in 20 years with traffic growing at a resilient 4.4% per year, driving a need for 37,390 new passenger and freighter aircraft according to Airbus’ new Global Market Forecast 2018-2037. Growth drivers include private consumption increasing 2.4 times in emerging economies, higher disposable incomes and a near doubling of the middle classes globally. Emerging countries will account for over 60% of economic growth, with trips per capita to multiply 2.5 times for these nations. Combined with evolving airline business models and continuing liberalization, the growing scale of air transportation will lead to an increasing resilience to regional slowdowns. Greater aircraft range and capacity through technological developments allow airlines the flexibility to explore new business opportunities whilst maintaining focus on cost reduction. Of the 37,390 new aircraft required, 26,540 are for growth and 10,850 will replace older generation less fuel efficient aircraft. The more than doubling in the world fleet to 48,000 aircraft results in a need for 540,000 new pilots. Airbus continues to evolve its service business to meet the needs of its growing customer base.


BOEING

Boeing & Ethiopian Airlines

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first of 30 737 MAX jets for Africa’s largest and fastest-growing commercial airline.

The flag carrier of Ethiopia has long operated the efficient and reliable Boeing 737 airplane. With the MAX, Ethiopian will be able to achieve a double-digit improvement in fuel efficiency and provide passengers with a more comfortable experience.

“We are glad to include the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the latest in Boeing’s single-aisle series, in our young and modern fleet of over 100 aircraft with an average age of less than five years,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam. “The Boeing 737 MAX 8 features the new Boeing sky interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhance the sense of spaciousness ultimately boosting our customers’ experience. Since it is more fuel efficient than the current 737-NG, it has less carbon emission to the environment. As a customer-centric airline with a high adaptability to emerging technologies, Ethiopian has been pioneering latest-technology aircraft into Africa throughout its 72-year history. In line with the airline’s growth targets under Vision 2025, we will keep on investing in further expansion of our fleet in acquiring the latest aircraft the industry has to offer.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,500 orders to date from 99 customers worldwide.

The 737 MAX families incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, the Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays, and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

In Ethiopian’s configuration, its 737 MAX 8 will seat 160 passengers.

“Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly at the forefront of Africa’s commercial aviation industry by operating the most advanced airplanes,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Sales vice president for Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia & Africa. “We are honored by Ethiopian’s continuing confidence in Boeing airplanes and we look forward to growing our five-decade long partnership.”

With this delivery, Ethiopian’s fleet of Boeing airplanes grows to 73 jets, including the 787 Dreamliner, 777, 737 MAX, and the 757 and 767.

Boeing & Embraer

Boeing and Embraer announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership that positions both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets.

The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake. The transaction values 100 percent of Embraer’s commercial aircraft operations at $4.75 billion, and contemplates a value of $3.8 billion for Boeing’s 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. The proposed partnership is expected to be accretive to Boeing’s earnings per share beginning in 2020 and to generate estimated annual pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $150 million by year three.

The strategic partnership will bring together more than 150 years of combined leadership in aerospace and leverage the two companies’ highly complementary commercial product lines. The partnership is a natural evolution of a long-standing history of collaboration between Boeing and Embraer over more than 20 years.

On finalization, the commercial aviation joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a President and Chief Executive Officer. Boeing will have operational and management control of the new company, which will report directly to Muilenburg.

The joint venture will become one of Boeing’s centers of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing, and support of commercial passenger aircraft, and will be fully integrated into Boeing’s broader production and supply chain.

Boeing and the joint venture would be positioned to offer a comprehensive, highly complementary commercial airplane portfolio that ranges from 70 seats to more than 450 seats and freighters, offering best-in-class products and services to better serve the global customer base.

In addition, both companies will create another joint venture to promote and develop new markets and applications for defense products and services, especially the KC-390 multi-mission aircraft, based on jointly-identified opportunities. Finalization of the financial and operational details of the strategic partnership and negotiation of definitive transaction agreements are expected to continue in the coming months. Upon execution of these agreements, the transaction would then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, including approval from the Government of Brazil, as well as other customary closing conditions. Assuming the approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, 12-18 months after execution of the definitive agreements.


OTHER NEWS

KID-Systeme

Let’s face it, one of the most important amenities on an aircraft is the USB power. In fact, the longer the flight the more important USB power is. Why? Because personal device battery life is a function of time. As you may remember from an earlier issue of IFExpress, we touched on the Mirus Aircraft Seating integration project for AirAsia’s new Hawk slimline economy seating for their A320 fleet that includes the IFE peripheral experts, IFPL, who are supplying the USB interface port for USB consumer technologies. What you may not know is that KID-Systeme is the single source supplier for the USB power source via their SKYpower system. This initial A320 retrofit program, which was announced in 2016, is now up and flying and has been followed-up by a line fit order for the airline’s new Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft. During AIX we had the opportunity to talk with KID about the project and they indicated that the high-power USB outlet in conjunction with the In-Seat Power Supply unit minimize weight while limiting the intrusion into the passenger space, facilitating the passenger experience in Wi-Fi equipped cabins. “… we celebrate a striking success in Asia together with Mirus and we are pleased to announce our new relationship with Mirus and IFPL, offering an innovative, low cost, low weight & high-power USB solution. The system can be installed on Airbus line-fit aircraft as well as on all types of retrofit programs”, says Jens Markworth, VP Sales KID-Systeme GmbH. SKYpower is designed with high power efficiency and low standby power and is intended to guarantee passengers with sufficient power to use their electronic devices, whether they be laptops, smartphones, and/or tablets en route. We foresee more teaming efforts like this one in the industry’s future.


Rockwell Collins

Five Rockwell Collins engineers have been named to the fifth annual class of Rockwell Collins Fellows at a special ceremony yesterday with company leadership and members of the first four classes of Fellows.

Implemented in 2014, the Rockwell Collins Fellows program distinguishes exemplary engineers whose leadership, innovations and technical expertise — along with their dedication to mentoring others — advances Rockwell Collins and their respective fields.

The Class of 2018 Fellows are:

  • Joseph Graf, principal systems engineer in Airborne and Ground Communications Products for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Patrick Morrissey, senior security engineering manager for Commercial Systems Cyber Security Engineering in Cedar Rapids
  • Warren Prasuhn, principal systems engineer in Safety Programs and Process for Commercial Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Karl Shepherd, principal systems engineer in Airborne Solutions for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Joel Wichgers, principal systems engineer in Precision Positioning and Guidance for Engineering & Information Technology in Cedar Rapids

“Our Fellows are helping our company achieve industry-changing moments, historic wins and barrier-breaking technology that’s yet to come,” said Nan Mattai, senior vice president of Engineering & Information Technology. “I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments.”


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation says its AVANCE L5 connectivity system was installed on the 200th aircraft; it expects 500 by the end of 2018.


Airbus:

The A320 Family Production Line

Airbus has inaugurated the fourth Hamburg A320 Family production line. Making use of digital technologies and a more flexible industrial set-up, the innovative state-of-the-art line is a key enabler for ramping up the single aisle program to 60 aircraft per month by mid-2019.

Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator of Economy, Transport and Innovation and Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, witnessed the milestone together with Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft, and 500 distinguished guests at a special ceremony in Hamburg. “The inauguration of our latest, most modern A320 production line opens a new chapter in efficient, digital aircraft manufacturing,” said Guillaume Faury. “With these new technologies we are building our aircraft more efficiently, a key enabler for higher production rates. I would like to thank the teams, who pushed this newest Airbus production standard from concept to reality.”

With more than 14,000 A320ceo and A320neo Family aircraft ordered and over 8,100 delivered, the A320 is the world’s most successful single-aisle aircraft family. Incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, the A320neo Family provides 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. To date the A320neo Family has captured nearly a 60 percent market share with more than 6,000 orders from 100 customers.

The A320 Family aircraft are manufactured globally, at Airbus sites in Europe, China and the US. In addition to the new production line, Airbus also inaugurated a larger and modernized Hamburg A320 Family delivery center with more customer areas, more efficient delivery processes and increased hospitality services.

Airbus & the Côte d’Ivoire

Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework of collaboration to support the development of the country’s aerospace industry which has been identified as strategic for its economic development. Under the terms of the MoU, Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire will explore channels of cooperation in developing the aerospace sector in Côte d’Ivoire in various areas.

“We are confident that this partnership with Airbus will contribute to Côte d’Ivoire’s economic growth as well as support us build a stronger framework for industrial development, creation of jobs and capacity building for our country,” said his Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. We are committed to deliver on our vision and make Côte d’Ivoire a hub for aerospace technology in Africa,” he added.

“Collaboration between the public and private sector is essential to facilitate economic and industrial growth. Through this MoU we will work closely with Côte d’Ivoire’s government, share expertise, discuss opportunities and support efforts in building a robust and sustainable aerospace sector. At Airbus, we are committed to supporting the sustainable socioeconomic development of Africa through partnerships such as this. ” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Airbus A330neo

The A330neo, Airbus’ newest widebody aircraft, has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations. As final step in the aircraft certification phase these function & reliability tests, also known as route proving will include ETOPS missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services. After a fly past over Airbus’ European sites, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 Flight Test Hours in three trips. The route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft, fully equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator’s Tap Air Portugal colors. The aircraft first flew on 15th May 2018 launching flight-tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning. The route proving tests form part of the last trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.

Launched in July 2014, the A330neo family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99% commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new “Airspace” amenities.

Airbus & Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways has become the second airline to operate the A350-1000, the world’s newest long range widebody airliner. The airline took delivery of the aircraft at a special event in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of 20 A350-1000s ordered by Cathay Pacific and will join the carrier’s growing fleet of A350 XWB aircraft, which already includes 22 A350-900s. Both aircraft are complementary and provide for maximum commonality with unmatched operating efficiencies, while offering passengers the highest levels of comfort in all classes. Travelers will benefit from absolute well-being in the cabin, with more personal space, optimized cabin altitude, more fresh air, controlled temperature & humidity, integrated connectivity and the latest generation of in-flight entertainment system. With its true long-range capability, the A350-1000 will form an important part of Cathay Pacific long-haul operations. The aircraft will be deployed on the airline’s new non-stop route from Hong-Kong to Washington DC, representing the longest flight – approximately 17 hours – performed by any airline out of Hong Kong.


SITA

Global air transport IT provider SITA has announced that its technology, BagJourney, is managing baggage for an increasing number of the world’s airlines. In the first six months of this year alone, more than 20 airlines have chosen the solution. SITA BagJourney is one of the key technologies helping the industry meet the IATA Resolution 753 requirement to track every stage of every bag’s journey.To meet the conditions of Resolution 753, airlines must track every item of baggage at four key points in the journey: at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival. The biggest challenge airlines and airports face doing this is scanning at the point of transfer and on arrival. Typically, these were not areas of the airport where scanning was done so they require attention and new infrastructure. With a growing number of customers, SITA’s baggage management technology is firmly established as the solution of choice for the air transport industry. Together, SITA’s BagJourney customers handle hundreds of millions of bags each year and these airlines are enjoying as much as 30% reduction in the rates of mishandling. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.


Inmarsat

The London School of Economics, in association with Inmarsat Aviation, has revealed the findings of Sky High Economics: Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Connected Airline Operations. The report finds that consolidating the advantages of connected aircraft could deliver substantial economic benefits for the global airline industry, as well as significant environmental benefits, including a reduction in the industry’s annual global fuel use and a net reduction in CO2 output.

Highlights of the findings include:

Major savings for airlines

  • The potential for multiple savings, efficiencies and safety opportunities could equate to a 0.75% – 1.00% reduction in the IATA consolidated US$764 billion annual global airline costs of operation.
  • Savings could reach $15billion per year and a reduction of 21.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2035

Reduced delays for passengers

  • Weather is responsible for 70% of all flight delays and is a contributing factor in 23% of aviation accidents. Connectivity, which allows airlines to improve navigation and avoid adverse weather conditions could deliver annual cost savings of $1.3billion
  • Connectivity could deliver a 66% reduction in crew-related scheduling delays – adding up to $2.4 billion in annual savings

Revolutionizing air traffic management

  • IP-enabled real time data exchange between aircraft and air traffic control services is allowing airspace to accommodate increasing passenger numbers. By 2035, this could create a $3billion annual saving for the airline industry – while helping to safely meet growth expectations

This is the second chapter in the Sky High Economics series, a first of its kind research report evaluating the economic value of connected aircraft from now until 2035. The first chapter, on the economic value generated by passenger connectivity, was released in September 2017.


Hainan Airlines

On 15th June, the all-new DreamWorks Theater of Universal Studio Hollywood was opened in L.A.. Hainan Airlines has organized an inflight activity themed ‘DreamWorks Theater’ with Universal Studio on their HU469 from Chengdu to Los Angeles and they have also launched four KungFu Panda liveried aircraft. The DreamWorks Theater flight served by the third KungFu Panda liveried aircraft, in which all the flight attendants wore the new uniform to introduce the opening of DreamWorks Theater, as well as, sharing with dedicated Po fans Universal Studio brochures, and a Universal Studio ticket worth $129 to every passenger! In addition, the entertainment project was revealed on this flight which was the new film Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, which recounts Po’s perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace. With Po’s new dream on the Kung Fu Panda liveried aircraft, Hainan Airlines graciously invites passengers to participate in the opening of the DreamWorks Theater. We note that this year remarks the 10th anniversary of Hainan Airlines entering North American market. Hainan Airlines has enjoyed rapid development on North American route network over the past decade. Since the launching of Chengdu-Los Angeles route on March 15, 2017, Hainan Airlines has now opened twelve routes from domestic key first- and second-tier cities to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago, Boston and New York.


Lufthansa

Watch this one: Lufthansa has had preliminary take-over talks with Norwegian!


Other News

Toulouse, France | May 29, 2018–Dipl.-Ing. Günter Scherer, renown for having been the German flight test engineer on board the A300’s first flight on 28th October 1972, passed away on 26th May 2018 in Toulouse. Günter Scherer was 85 years old.

A native from Duisburg, Germany, Günter Scherer had devoted his whole life to aviation and flight test. After graduating from RWTH Aachen with a degree in engineering he started his career in 1961 at what was VFW in Bremen at the time. In 1962, Günter Scherer was called onto the joint Franco-German military transport aircraft Transall. As such, he was one of the very first German flight test members to be graduated from the French flight test school EPNER (Ecole du Personnel Navigant d’Essais et de Réception) in 1961.

A convinced European, who believed in European cooperation as key for a successful aerospace industry in Europe, Günter Scherer joined the SNIAS French Aerospace Company, where he participated to the preliminary work for the Airbus aircraft flight tests. He was flight test engineer in the first ever Airbus flight on Oct 28, 1972 when the A300 took off.

In 1977, this allowed to establish the first integrated multinational flight test team, continuing the European integration which he strongly believed in. He was instrumental in the development and flight test of the A300, A310 and subsequently the first Fly by Wire controlled A320. He ended his career in February 1997.

During all his years at Airbus, Günter had been much appreciated by all his colleagues, who valued his human gentleness, directness and respect for others. Günter Scherer will be remembered by the Airbus community as a man of great integrity and a source of inspiration.

“Günter was a pioneer of Airbus, a strong advocate of Franco-German and European cooperation in our industry. He was thus a solid rock in the foundation of Airbus and will be long remembered,” said Tom Enders, CEO of Airbus.

One additional aircraft to increase efficiency with lower carbon footprint

Toulouse, France | April 12, 2018– SAS selected the A330-300 to further standardize its long-haul fleet. One new A330-300 equipped with RR Trent 772B engines will join the Scandinavian carrier’s network in the second Quarter 2019. SAS has been an Airbus customer since 1980 with an Airbus fleet of 57 aircraft (eight A340s, eight A330s and 41 A320 Family aircraft) to date.

“We are thankful that SAS has selected the Airbus Family for the second time this week. This further commitment by SAS to the A330 demonstrates the unmatched operating economics and operational versatility of this aircraft,” said Eric Schulz, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “We are delighted to be continuing our long-standing partnership with SAS.”

The A330 is one of the world’s most efficient and versatile widebody aircraft with best in class economics making it the benchmark for the growing low cost long-haul operations business model worldwide. To date the A330 Family has attracted over 1,700 orders, making it the world’s best-selling wide-body aircraft in its category. More than 1,350 A330 Family aircraft are currently flying today with more than 110 operators worldwide. With an operational reliability of 99.4 percent and various product enhancements, the A330 Family is the most cost-efficient and capable widebody aircraft to date.

Hamburg, Germany | April 16, 2018–Primera Air, a low-fare Nordic airline, has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo at an  event in Hamburg in presence of Andri Már Ingólfsson, CEO and President of Primera Travel Group and Kimon Sotiropoulos, Vice President Sales Northern and Central Europe  from Airbus. The aircraft which was assembled in Hamburg is the first of three A321neos to be leased from GECAS in 2018. PrimeraAir will also lease a further five A321neos from other lessors, including two A321LRs, growing its fleet to eight aircraft in 2018.

The aircraft, powered by CFM Leap-1A engines features a two class layout with 16 premium and 182 economy seats. The aircraft was selected by Primera Air for its outstanding operational efficiency, comfort and range. The aircraft will be deployed in the United Kingdom and France on transatlantic destinations to North- America.

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 per cent per seat from day one and 20 per cent by 2020.

Visit Airbus at Hall B5, Stand 5A20 – from Tuesday 10th to Thursday 12th April;

Media Briefing & stand tour: Tuesday April 10th from 09h25 to 10h30.

Largest ever Airbus stand at AIX – now combining: Airbus Commercial Aircraft and Services at one location

Toulouse, France | April 5, 2018–
Airbus showcases its new cabin innovations at this years’ Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany – the world’s largest event dedicated to the aircraft interiors industry, in-flight entertainment, connectivity and passenger services.

The stand this year (Hall B5, Stand 5A20) is Airbus’ largest ever at AIX – around 550m². Here the domains of Airbus Commercial Aircraft, Services by Airbus and Airbus Interiors Services (AIS) are integrated at one prominent location at the expo.

In terms of Airbus Commercial highlights, the centrepiece at this year’s event is our latest A320 Airspace cabin mockup. This will feature a welcome area with patterned lighting effects, full-flat seats, Airspace XL bins and a lavatory, and will give visitors a good appreciation of the high comfort which our new transatlantic-capable A321LR will enable passengers to experience when it enters service in the near future. A second large mockup at the Airbus stand demonstrates Airspace in a partial A330neo cabin section.

There are numerous visual displays at the Airbus stand and 3D-printed models of cabin enablers and galley arrangements plus other innovations. One can also explore all Airbus aircrafts’ Airspace cabins in full 3D virtual reality. Furthermore, visitors can try out our new “A320 Plane it yourself” digital cabin and systems configurator, as well as the innovative “I flyA380.com” kiosk.

Meanwhile, Services by Airbus, co-located at the Airbus stand, is displaying its A320 mock-up providing an overview on the latest solutions for in-service single-aisle fleet, as well as its latest A330 cabin enablers for retrofit. In addition, the “Day & Night” premium dual suite module from AIS is demonstrated for the first time in full-scale mockup form for A350 customers.

This year Airbus is proud to have been shortlisted four times in the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards for the following achievements: The A320 Family Airspace Interior; a new “Printed Electrics” / “Info-Panel” (in cooperation with Altran); Gigabit Wireless Networking in Aircraft Cabins via “Light-Fidelity” (LiFi) – with the University of Edinburgh; and the “Day and Night” new cabin premium class product (offered by our subsidiary AIS). The Crystal Cabin Awards ceremony is held on the evening of Tuesday 10th where the winners will be revealed.

As well as the opening Airbus cabin Media Briefing & exhibit tour on Tuesday morning, journalists are also invited to contact us to arrange one-to-one cabin mock-up / demo tours plus expert interviews throughout the three days of the show.

The image above is BCIA and it is the largest airport in China, with passenger volume that exceeded 90 million in 2016. It is positioned as the international hub airport in the overall design of the Jing-Jin-Ji airports group. To date it serves more than 28 domestic airlines, and 74 foreign airlines, with 132 international routes, and 147 domestic routes. It is also the home base airport for China’s flag carrier Air China. In the SITA story section below we have more on the latest SITA self-service technology it employs.


AIRBUS

Vietnam’s FLC Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Airbus for up to 24 A321neo aircraft for future operation by start-up carrier Bamboo Airways. The agreements were signed in Paris by Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group and Eric Schulz, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus during the official visit to France of Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. Bamboo Airways is set to begin operations in 2019 with aircraft on lease from third party lessors before taking delivery of the aircraft covered by today’s MOU with Airbus. The carrier will focus on linking international markets to Vietnamese leisure destinations, as well as on selected domestic routes.


BOEING/All Nippon Airways

Boeing and All Nippon Airways announced the Japanese carrier has placed a new order for two 777 Freighters valued at $678 million according to list prices. While ANA is a major operator of the 777 passenger jet, it has grown its cargo operation with the medium-sized 767 Freighter. In adding the 777 Freighter – the world’s largest and longest range twin-engine cargo jet – ANA is expanding its cargo capabilities just as the air freight market keeps growing at historically high rates.

Last year, the global air cargo market grew 9 percent, more than double the long-term projected growth rate of about 4.2 percent. In January, the above-trend growth continued with an 8 percent increase in demand. Industry experts say the strong performance reflects global economic trade, fueled in large part by expanding e-commerce.

ANA says it plans to fly its new 777 Freighters on international routes, particularly to Asia, China, and North America. With this order, ANA will become the first airline in Japan to operate 777 Freighters.

The 777 Freighter is capable of flying 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). The airplane’s long range translates into significant savings as fewer stops mean lower landing fees, less congestion, lower cargo handling costs and shorter delivery times.

Boeing is the air cargo market leader, providing over 90 percent of the dedicated freighter capacity around the world.

BOEING/Singapore Airlines

Boeing and Singapore Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first 787-10 airplane, the newest and largest member of the Dreamliner family and a jet that will set a new global standard for fuel efficiency. About 3,000 people marked the milestone at Boeing’s facility in North Charleston, South Carolina where the latest 787 model is manufactured.

Like the other 787 Dreamliners, the 787-10 is designed with strong, lightweight composites, the most advanced systems, and comfortable cabin features. The 787-10, though, features a longer fuselage which allows it to carry about 40 more passengers or a total of 330 seats in a standard two-class configuration.

With the additional capacity, the 787-10 provides airlines the lowest operating cost per seat of any widebody airplane in service today. Singapore Airlines plans to puts its 787-10s into scheduled service in May, with flights from Singapore to Osaka, Japan and Perth, Australia. Prior to the introduction of these services, the aircraft will be operated on selected flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes


SITA

Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), which handles more than 95 million passengers a year, has chosen air transport IT specialist, SITA, to provide technology to boost capacity. Asia’s busiest airport is using SITA’s self-service kiosks for passenger check-in services on all Air China domestic flights departing from Terminal 3. The new kiosks are designed to support the wide range of travel documents typically used by passengers on these flights. BCIA will use up to 70 SITA AirportConnect® Kiosks to help Air China process passengers faster, while freeing up airport and airline staff to focus on other aspects of the passenger experience. They feature boarding-pass and bag-tag printers; passport and Chinese ID card readers; and large user-friendly screens. Uniquely, they support a wide range of travel documents including those of Hong Kong/Macau and Taiwan residents traveling to mainland China, as well as ex-pats who reside in China permanently.

SITA/India

SITA continues to play a vital role in supporting the rapid growth of India’s air transport industry, providing key technology solutions to one of the country’s newest airports. The Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN) has turned to SITA to provide passenger processing solutions for check-in and boarding, as well as baggage tracking. Air passenger numbers in India have consistently seen double-digit growth over the past few years, significantly outperforming the global average. The country is on target to become the third-biggest aviation market by 2025. SITA has long supported the industry in India and MIHAN joins a vast footprint of airports and airlines across India using SITA technology.

As part of the new agreement, MIHAN is deploying SITA’s common-use technology, enabling airlines and their handling agents to access their IT applications in real-time on shared common-use equipment. SITA’s Common Use Terminal Equipment (CUTE) and Common Use Self Service (CUSS) allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in and bag drop.

The airport will also deploy SITA’s baggage tracking solution. Worldwide, bags get mishandled every day which causes disruption for passengers and costs the industry billions of dollars but by providing real-time information on baggage status, SITA BagManager will allow MIHAN to accurately track passengers’ bags and significantly reduce the likelihood of them being mishandled.

MIHAN is the biggest economic development project currently underway in India. The project aims to exploit the central location of Nagpur and convert the present airport into a major cargo hub with integrated road and rail connectivity. The airport is expected to accommodate up to 14 million passengers once completed in 2035.

SITA Passenger Services System

Jeju Air, South Korea’s first low cost carrier, has extended its partnership with SITA for Horizon® Passenger Services System (PSS) to support its business growth. The new multi-year deal, with global IT provider, SITA, includes key components, such as pricing, ancillary revenues, passenger preferences, e-commerce channels and local language services. The airline is also adding SITA’s Horizon® Business Intelligence which offers comprehensive data analysis to identify, evaluate and act on trends, challenges and opportunities.

Jeju Air began its operations in 2005 and SITA’s PSS has been an integral part of the airline’s operations from the start. Since then, Jeju Air has grown and continues to grow exponentially, and is using extensive PSS functionalities to support their sales and distribution strategies. SITA’s PSS is well positioned to serve Jeju Air’s passenger management services and operations and is future-proofed to support the airline for the coming years.

SITA Smart Path

With its leading Smart PathTM biometric solution for ID management now rolled out globally, air transport IT provider SITA is well poised to deliver a seamless, paperless travel experience for passengers across India. SITA has already shown the benefits of using biometric technology to automate passenger identity checks at airports across the world – from the USA to Australia – and is well positioned to help unlock the full benefits of seamless, biometric travel across India.

SITA is already successfully helping airports and airlines incorporate biometrics into their existing infrastructure and government systems. According to Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution, a SITA report published this week, airlines and airports are increasingly investing in various forms of biometric technology. Over the next three years, 63% of airports and 43% of airlines plan to invest in biometric ID management solutions.

In the USA, SITA is using facial biometrics to help passengers flying with British Airways from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to London Gatwick to quickly board where all that is needed is a photo – no passport, no boarding card. The system integrates the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) and airline’s IT systems to authorize boarding while completing necessary US exit checks in a single process. SITA is providing a similar solution to JetBlue at Boston’s Logan Airport.

At Australia’s Brisbane Airport, SITA has introduced its Smart Path™ technology which allows passengers to register their biometric details at a self-service kiosk at check-in and then, when ready to board, use an automated boarding gate to be verified using face recognition technology to access the aircraft. Aadhaar, India’s biometric identity system, has over one billion enrolled members. Indian passengers have shown greater willingness to use biometrics to speed up their journey through the airport. Research published in SITA’s 2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey showed that 70% of passengers in India said they would definitely use biometrics if given the option, removing the need to show a passport or boarding card at key points in the airport. This was well above the global average of 57%.

SITA BagManager

The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which manages 126 airports across India, has expanded SITA’s baggage management solution to 15 airports. SITA’s BagManager will provide the airports with real-time information on the status of passengers’ baggage, significantly reducing the chances of baggage mishandling. This follows the implementation of SITA’s BagManager at Kolkata and Chennai Airports in 2015 and is in line with the AAI’s vision of rolling out standard airport infrastructure across all their airports to drive greater efficiency across the airport network. The implementation of SITA’s baggage solution will also help AAI’s customer airlines progress towards complying with IATA Resolution 753 by tracking bags across key points in the journey.

The 15 airports are Trivandrum, Calicut, Mangalore, Tirupati, Chennai, Madurai, Kolkatta, Goa, Lucknow, Jaipur, Amritsar, Leh, Chandigarh, Trichy and Ahmedabad.

Service Provider of the Year

SITA has been named Service Provider of the Year in the prestigious annual Air Transport Awards held in Dubai. The winners are voted for by the readers of Air Transport News and a jury of international aviation experts, chaired by Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport at the European Commission. The Service Provider of the Year award was given to SITA in recognition of its role in providing IT and communication solutions globally to the air transport industry. SITA’s unique role as the community provider – being owned by the industry – means it has an unprecedented understanding of the industry’s requirements, combined with dedicated teams around the world which deliver services needed to keep people flying. Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA said: “Being named as Service Provider of the Year at the 2018 Air Transport Awards is a significant achievement and a strong validation of our unwavering collaboration and contribution to the air transport community. To be selected by our industry peers for this award is testament that our continued focus on delivering real value to the community is both justified and valued by the industry. In recent months, SITA has taken the lead in the development of biometric solutions. This has included innovation solutions for airlines and airports as well as looking to the future uses of biometrics as the technology develops. A key innovation is SITA’s Smart PathTM solution which allows passengers to use their biometric identity every step of the way.

The Air Transport Industry Awards were presented at a ceremony at the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai.


OTHER NEWS

  • Want to see how to move a B-52 jet bomber … on the ground (Part 1)?
  • Heard about DoNotPay? They call it “automatic flight and hotel protection.” Now, the service has been updated with the ability to help customers get on the cheapest flight to their destination. Once booked, the app will check prices across the Internet (we hear 17,000 times a day!) And yes, it is legal! They say: “Flight and hotel prices change all the time. DoNotPay finds travel confirmations from past bookings in your inbox. When the price drops, our robot lawyer will find a legal loophole to negotiate a cheaper price or rebook you.” Check it out: DoNotPay
  • Atlanta Airport Wi-Fi has been turned off (as of 3/26/18) because of the SamSam ransomware hack. Noted CSO: “As for human resources, applications for new employment had been suspended; the Department of Corrections was manually processing inmates; and public Wi-Fi via the Department of Aviation had been “disabled out of an abundance of caution.” In other words, even if people were not from Atlanta, they could have felt the sting of the attack, as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was noted as being the “world’s busiest airport.” Aviation related computer attacks, especially airports, are getting worse
  • Of course light can be used in connectivity, and it might not be a signal source of aircraft interference data – Technology – pureLiFi

ABWN

IFExpress talked with Earle Olsen about Airborne Wireless Network (ABWN) announcement on March 12, 2018 and that they have arranged for light Aircraft for their Second Flight Test. On March 6th they entered into an agreement with Sough Bay Aviation of Torrance California for two Cessna aircraft with “the primary intent of this testing to utilize the inherent unstable platform of light general aviation aircraft to establish and maintain a robust self-healing Optical / RF link between two airborne aircraft.” ABWN added that this second test will expand on its initial RF proof of concept test, from May of 2017 with two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and a mobile mast that emulated a ground station. They intend to conduct the test by modifying the two aircraft with their Infinitus Super Highway Technology that will incorporate the RF controlled Free Space Optics underlying its patent application they filed on July 25th 2017. The Company intends to create a high-speed broadband airborne wireless network by linking commercial aircraft in flight. It is projected that each aircraft participating in the network will act as an airborne repeater or router, sending and receiving broadband signals from one aircraft to the next and creating a digital information superhighway in the sky. The Company intends the network to be a high-speed broadband internet pipeline to improve coverage and connectivity. The Company does not intend to provide retail customer coverage to end users but, instead, act as a wholesale carrier with target customers, such as internet service providers and telephone companies. Currently, the world’s connectivity is achieved by use of undersea cables, ground-based fiber and satellites. They believe that the Company’s airborne digital highway may be a solution to fill the world’s connectivity void. Their network, once developed, should provide low cost, high-speed connectivity to rural areas, island nations, ships at sea, oil platforms, in addition to connectivity to commercial and private aircraft in flight, they told IFExpress. For further information see: www.airbornewirelessnetwork.com


Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems, with its wireless BoardConnect IFE solution, and partner castLabs will soon enable browser-based playback of DRM-protected movies on iOS devices. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and regulates the copy protection of digital movie files. This new technology means that passengers will no longer need to pre-install an app to enjoy movies and TV series on their own iOS devices while on board a flight.

The latest version of iOS from Apple, 11.2, allows protected video content to be played on smartphones and tablets in the Safari browser. Previously, this was only possible with the help of a separate player app. “If passengers can simply enjoy our entertainment offering on their own devices as they wish instead of having to install an app before departure, we believe this will increase the number of users,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “This not only improves the passenger experience but also creates a larger potential target audience for the airline’s advertising activities and ancillary revenue opportunities. Airlines also benefit from greater usability, as they no longer need to offer a separate app for their entertainment offerings.”

Different operating systems and device suppliers currently use different encryption formats for video file copy protection. This means that the same content has to be stored in several different formats for all passengers to be able to access it regardless of which device they are using. The new DRMtoday Onboard solution from castLabs changes all that. castLabs uses the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), which has a secure encryption converter. This means that airlines will only need to store a single encrypted video file on the aircraft for each movie or TV series that can then be safely used on any device.

“We are delivering technology that makes DRM-protected movie files playable on all devices, and in BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems has a proven and comprehensive IFEC solution with which to provide its entertainment offering – a perfect combination,” said Michael Stattmann, CEO of castLabs.

Both companies are currently working on integrating DRM today’s new functionality into BoardConnect to give passengers app-free access to onboard entertainment in the future. Passengers simply connect their own devices to the aircraft’s WiFi and are automatically taken to the airline’s entertainment homepage. From there, they can watch all content through their browser, regardless of their device’s model and operating system.


Boeing

Boeing’s new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight on March 16, 2018 (See rectangle image above). The airplane remains on schedule and now begins a comprehensive flight test program leading to certification and delivery in 2019. “Everything we saw during today’s flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “I know our airline customers are going to enjoy the capabilities this airplane will bring to their fleets.”

Piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka, the airplane completed a successful 3 hour, 5-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Wash., at 10:17 a.m. Pacific, and landing at 1:22 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field. The airplane was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.

The airplane is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to be produced, with a maximum capacity of 172 passengers. The MAX 7 has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX family airplane. It is designed for exceptional performance for airline customers flying out of airports at high altitudes and hot climates. “The MAX 7 will provide airlines an efficient product for opening and flying thinner markets and accessing challenging airports, while enjoying all the benefits of being part of the 737 MAX family,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The MAX 7 also carries 12 more passengers 400 nautical miles farther than the A319neo, on 7 percent lower fuel costs. The 737 MAX family incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other features to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide. For more information and feature content, visit

Here are some specs:

  • Seats:138 – 153
  • Max Seats: 172
  • Range: 3,850 mi (7,130 km)
  • Length: 116 ft. 8 in (35.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 117 ft, 10 in (35.9 m)
  • Engines: (2) LEAP-1B, CFM intl

www.boeing.com/commercial/737max.


Panasonic

In order to provide coverage to their Asian markets, Panasonic has reached a capacity agreement with APSATCOM’s new APSTAR-6D satellites with the goal to deliver Extreme Throughput via satcom to the Asian mobility markets.


Global Eagle Entertainment

We understand that they secured $150m investment from Searchlight Capital Partners which will be used to repay a $78m debt and the rest to fund growth.


Astronics Ballard Technology

The company was selected by SITAONAIR to provide webCS wireless aircraft communications server in an integration with its e-enabled application software. The goal is to deliver a connected aircraft ‘smart core’ for better airline operations.


US – Stay Alert

“A disruption of the airline and private-aircraft systems could have enormous economic and psychological effects. In recent years, several airlines have had to halt operations and suffered millions of dollars of lost revenue when their computer reservation systems crashed, for example. Terrorists have long targeted aviation because of its out-sized impact on society. Russian hackers attempted to penetrate the U.S. civilian aviation industry early in 2017 as part of the broad assault on the nation’s sensitive infrastructure. The attack had limited impact and the industry has taken steps to prevent a repeat of the intrusion, Jeff Troy, executive director of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said Friday. Troy wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the breach and declined to identify specific companies or the work that was involved.”

Alan Levin March 16, Bloomberg


Other News

Helisim, Joint Venture between Airbus and Thales and Europe’s premier training center for Helicopter pilots, is staking its first claim on North American soil by announcing the creation of a new facility in the US.

Paris, France | February 27, 2018– At an event hosted by Airbus Helicopters a the HAI Heliexpo show in Las Vegas today, Thales, Airbus and Helisim unveiled their strategic plans for the next chapter in their 18 year history.

Helisim will open a training centre within the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy, in Grand Prairie, near Dallas, Texas. The Helisim Training Centre will support training for AS350 and EC135/EC145. It will host two Thales Reality H, Level D Full Flight Simulators for the H145, and H175, and will propose simulation training for light, light twin and medium aircraft types.

Plans are already underway to bring the first H145T2 and H175 Level D simulator in North America to support the impressive demand from customers for the aircraft type. With the construction of a new welcome center and additional simulator facilities, Helisim is also positioning itself to support future H160 customer training needs.

The new facility will offer the full spectrum of helicopter training needs, from classroom and hands-on instruction to the two Thales Reality H Level D Full Flight Simulators for H145 and H175 helicopters. Reality H is the most advanced helicopter simulator on the market, perfectly suited to flight and mission training on these two Airbus Helicopters models, the newest, most high-tech civil helicopter models on the market, just entering into wide use over the Americas.

The initial investment for the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy is estimated to be about $40 million. Once the center enters into operation it is expected to train several thousand pilots per year both for introductory and recurrent training.

The carrier shapes the future of air travel with leading A350 XWB widebody fleet

France | February 20, 2018– Airbus has delivered the world’s first A350-1000 widebody airliner to launch customer Qatar Airways at a delivery event in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of 37 A350-1000s ordered by the carrier and is the first ever Airbus aircraft fitted with the revolutionary new Qsuite seats, offering the first ever double bed in Business class. Qatar Airways is the world’s largest A350 XWB family customer with 76 aircraft on order and the largest A350-1000 customer.

“Qatar Airways always demands the very best for its customers, so it is right that we are the first airline in the world to fly the Airbus A350-1000,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, “This remarkable state-of-the-art aircraft will become a firm part of Qatar Airways fleet and will keep us ahead of the curve, allowing us to continue to offer our passengers outstanding levels of comfort and service”.

The A350-1000 fits seamlessly alongside Qatar Airways’ growing fleet, including 20 A350-900s today. Both aircraft are complementary and provide for maximum commonality with unmatched operating efficiencies and the same unique passenger experience in their Airspace cabin. Flyers will benefit from absolute well-being in the cabin, with more personal space, optimised cabin altitude, more fresh air, controlled temperature & humidity, integrated connectivity and the latest generation of in-flight entertainment system.

Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce President – Civil Aerospace, stated “We are very proud to have worked with Qatar Airways and Airbus to deliver engines for this latest version of the A350 XWB family. This delivery marks another significant day in our partnership with the airline and the manufacturer as the new aircraft is powered by the most powerful engine ever developed for an Airbus aircraft, the Trent XWB-97.”

Fabrice Brégier, Airbus, said “It is a huge pride for us to deliver the very first A350-1000 to our launch customer Qatar Airways. Bringing major advantages in fuel and cost efficiency along with unmatched passenger comfort, the A350-1000 is the ideal aircraft to showcase Qatar Airways’ legendary customer service. With its greater capacity compared to the A350-900, the newest widebody will play a major role on the carrier’s busiest long-haul routes and will contribute to strengthen their position at the forefront of the aviation industry.”

The A350-1000 is Airbus’ latest and largest widebody in the twin-aisle category. With a 7-metre longer fuselage, the A350-1000 space for premium cabin products is 40% larger than its smaller sibling the A350-900. In Qatar Airways configuration the A350-1000 offers 44 additional seats. It is a truly long-range aircraft with a range of 8,000nm (14,800 km) at entry into service. The A350-1000 features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. As with the A350-900, the A350-1000 brings together the very latest in aerodynamics, design and advanced technologies for a 25 per cent step change in operating cost compared to previous generation competitor aircraft.

  • Watch the full Qatar Airways A350-1000 delivery press conference via YouTube.
  • The evening gala ceremony celebrating Airbus’ delivery of the first A350-1000 is highlighted in a YouTube video

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!