Accurascan is participating in the Apex Expo with an aim to showcase its Passport and ID Card OCR scanning solution at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, USA.

September 13, 2018– Accurascan, a leading R&D company today announced its participation in the upcoming Apex Expo at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (BCEC) at booth #104 from September 24 – 27, 2018. According to company CEO – Mr Yasin Patel, “We are participating in the event to offer our incredible Passport & ID Card OCR scanning solution for faster web and mobile check-in for airlines.” Highly useful for Border Security, faster Immigration Process and enhancing Customers Experience.

Organized by the Airline Passenger Experience Association, the event is likely to attract thousands of industry professionals and companies from all over the world and will prove to be a brilliant platform for the company to create business opportunities too.

The skilled developers and designers of Accura Technolabs have developed a robust OCR scanning engine that runs on mobile devices and web platform. Offering Android, iOS, Web SDK & API to customize or integrate the same with any existing application to further extend its potential in facilitating fast scanning of Passport and ID cards for KYC, Quick User On boarding, Web & Mobile Check-in.

The company is also offering a Web API (application program interface) to meet the scanning needs of various industry verticals in an inexpensive way.

Forget the plane mode, it is time to switch to “Shopping mode”

Paris, France | September 21, 2018–The French start-up SKYdeals will present the first solution of inflight “Shoppertainment” at APEX EXPO in Boston from 24th to 27th of September 2018 at booth 154. This gathering is the industry’s largest PaxEx event exclusive to experts and decision-makers committed to elevating the level of the worldwide airline passenger experience.

SKYdeals offers a new shopping experience to onboard passengers

SKYdeals aims at becoming the leader of e-commerce for travelers.

Providing the best targeted deals on products and destination services to passengers during their time of travel and entertaining them with its innovative inflight shoppertainment features.

SKYdeals developed the first marketplace allowing brands and destination services to lively promote targeted deals and last-minute offers to all connected passengers while in the air. Depending on the vendor, delivery mode can be home delivered or collect at the gate of arrival.

This technology can be implemented in only two weeks and without any investment thanks to its “Plug & Play” catalogs.

Based on a revenue sharing model, SKYdeals also offers to airlines a new source of revenues from inflight connectivity. During this event, SKYdeals will present their technology and revenues simulations which show all the potential of inflight e-commerce.

Soon in the air

Further to a first test in 2017 on Paris-Punta Cana line from French Bee, SKYdeals will soon deployed on long and short-haul flights from major Asian and European airlines.

After Apex Expo event, SKYdeals will fly away back to France to expose to the TFWA Digital Village in Cannes (September 30th– October 5th), the Duty Free and Travel Retail Global Summit.

Gains 250 Watts of AC Outlet Power for Cockpit Electronics and Electronic Flight Bags 

Witchita, Kansas | September 20, 2018–True Blue Power, a leading provider of advanced power solutions for the global aviation industry, announced today that a major U.S. airline has selected the company’s TI250 Series DC-to-AC Inverter to provide AC power to cockpit electronics and electronic flight bags (EFBs) on board the airline’s fleet of Airbus, Boeing, and McDonnell Douglas passenger aircraft. The airline joins more than 50 commercial partners, worldwide, equipped with True Blue Power inverters, voltage converters and USB charging ports.

“Commercial airlines are asking for certified, economical DC-to-AC power solutions,” said Tom Genovese, Director of Commercial Airline Sales for True Blue Power. “Our TI250 inverter is FAA/EASA TSO certified, which allows installation through engineering order (EO). The cost savings of the unit and the efficiencies gained during installation made the True Blue Power inverter the clear choice. To date, we have delivered 650 inverters for this particular airline’s fleet.”

The True Blue Power TI250 Inverter provides 250 watts of wall outlet power from the aircraft’s 28 VDC input. Engineered to run cooler and featuring a fanless design, it is highly efficient, saves energy and reduces weight. True Blue Power inverters are lighter, smaller and more economical than competing units. The company’s line of certified power products offer unique benefits and are an ideal fit for commercial aircraft in need of crew and passenger power. The inverter’s exceptionally low price point is less than a quarter the price of Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEMs) alternatives.

True Blue Power’s line of advanced power solutions is on display in exhibit #504 throughout APEX EXPO, September 24–27, at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. For more information, contact Tom Genovese, Director of Commercial Airline Sales, at 316-634-4520 or visit truebluepowerusa.com.

If you have just decided to attend APEX/AIX Boston and are looking for hotels near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) checkout the Seaport District. We note that three of the hotels located near the BCEC are full for the dates of the show but there are at least seven large ones nearby and many more a taxi ride away, so open the map on the following link for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and nearby hotels: Seaport District Hotels

Here is a visitors guide that might help during your visit to Boston. The guide has 19 pages of restaurants alone and tons of hotels: 2018 OVG (148 pages your computer). This is all you need to locate just about anything you will need while visiting the city. And yes, it has a map and bus routes! Lastly, here is the latest floor plan for exhibitors to see who is where.

Also, do not forget the Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX, Boston) will be there as well, as it is the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, organized by Reed Exhibitions, it is the sister event to AIX Hamburg. The co-location with APEX EXPO and IFSA EXPO enables the entire supply chain and airlines to experience the full spectrum of aircraft interior products and passenger services in one city.

So now, lets get down to this week’s news:


LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS

More robust, more powerful: BoardConnect Portable enables high-quality streaming for up to 100 users from a single device. Lufthansa Systems will present this new generation of its award-winning solution at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX) in Boston (September 25 to 27). The brand-new prototype will be displayed at booth no. 753. Lufthansa Technik will present its Lconnect hardware and service package at the same stand.

“With BoardConnect, we are currently one of the fastest-growing providers for wireless in- flight entertainment (IFE) in the aviation industry, and we are among the top five in the market with our multi-award-winning solution and wide product range,” said Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “The demand for IFE and IFEC solutions continues to grow. Our close cooperation with Lufthansa Technik and other partners gives us a decisive competitive advantage here.”

The new generation of BoardConnect Portable is even more flexible, powerful and robust, with an impressive modular concept. The new Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) corresponds to a real server platform including all necessary access points. It can supply twice as many users with high-quality IFE streaming as the first generation. This means that in future one MSU will still be powerful enough to support one single-aisle aircraft, even if the airline expects higher usage rates. Thanks to its modularity, the new BoardConnect Portable can be individually tailored to the needs of the airline.

BoardConnect Portable can also be supplemented with Iridium NEXT technology upon request. This product, known as BoardConnect Portable/Link, has a low bandwidth and enables services such as messaging and online payment. The required antenna can be installed in a suitable position in the cabin without the need for an STC. The smart STC-free service is part of the Lconnect product family from Lufthansa Technik and only requires a minor modification. Lconnect comprises all relevant services to equip an aircraft with IFE and IFEC. In addition to the physical installation, this includes all required aeronautical and regulatory work, conversion planning and materials supply, the manufacture of diverse high- end components such as the WLAN access point, the supply of materials in regular flight operations, and the repair of defective components.

Another highlight from Lufthansa Systems will take place even before the trade fair opens this year. For the first time in the history of the APEX EXPO, the event will start above the clouds with an exclusive pre-conference on board an Airbus A350. The Lufthansa #FlyingLab APEX EXPO on September 22nd on Flight LH424 from Munich to Boston is being organized by Lufthansa in cooperation with Lufthansa Systems and APEX. Videos of the live presentations will be streamed via WLAN so passengers can follow them on their own smartphones, tablets or laptops. The WLAN on board is based on BoardConnect. This is one more example of the variety of potential uses of the digital platform. “We are delighted to present the Lufthansa #FlyingLab for the APEX EXPO this year together with Lufthansa and APEX. This exceptional event at an altitude of 10,000 meters will vividly show how innovative technologies and smart ideas can contribute to a new dimension of the passenger experience,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes four hardware versions: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portable version as well as the BoardConnect Plus (broadband) and BoardConnect Portable/Link (messaging) connectivity solutions. The digital BoardConnect 5.0 platform runs on all versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables additional digital services from partners to be integrated quickly and easily. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with its BoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination. The different versions make it possible to scale the use of the products as needed.

Image: New BoradConnect Portable Case


LATECOERE

Latécoère, through its Interconnection Systems branch – No. 2 worldwide in onboard wiring and No. 1 worldwide in embedded video systems- has been selected for its “Direct View” cabin video system by Lufthansa Technik as part of its redesigned A320 cabin offering.This equipment was specially designed to allow the flight crew to maintain a watch for passenger safety issues during critical flight phases and responds perfectly to the priority issues for on-board security.

The Latécoère “Direct View” system is a high-tech solution providing a direct view of passenger seating and aisles throughout all flight phases. Developed in close co-operation with Lufthansa Technik and EASA representatives, over 130 shipsets of aircraft parts are already scheduled for delivery.

Latécoère remains confident in its ability to extend its offering to other customers with Lufthansa Technik, one of the leading providers of maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification services for civil aircraft.


GORE

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) will exhibit an extensive collection of GORE Aerospace Cables and Materials for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) at the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) Expo in Boston, MA, on September 24-27, Booth 801. For decades, Gore has provided the aerospace industry with new and trusted solutions that deliver failure-free performance in challenging conditions. Gore’s high-performance solutions in durable, compact, flexible and routable designs meet today’s and tomorrow’s requirements for reliable high-speed data transfer and high-bandwidth signals on digital networks. Passengers and flight crews can take off and stay connected on devices and critical systems while traveling, and installers will find them easier and faster to route in narrow aircraft configurations.

Solutions that will be on display at the expo include GORE Microwave/RF Assemblies that deliver precise radio frequency for Ka, Ku and L Band satellite applications, as well as GORE Leaky Feeder Antennas that deliver constant connectivity to a variety of wireless networks. Also featured will be GORE Aerospace High Speed Data Cables that support the latest open-source architectures and standardized protocols such as HDMI, USB, Ethernet, and more. Finally, Gore will be showing their revolutionary cable jacket systems that are proven to meet stricter industry requirements for more durability and protection in difficult aircraft environments.


FLAME DISTRIBUTION

Flame Distribution will be launching over 400 hours of new content this autumn and will be attending this year’s APEX Expo to offer its latest acquisitions to Inflight buyers worldwide.

Thomas Gould, VP Content Sales, Worldwide Transport & Digital at Flame Distribution, who is attending APEX Expo, commented: “Inflight sales are an important focus for Flame. I am really looking forward to meeting clients old and new and continuing to forge strong relationships with buyers at this year’s market.”


AIRFREE

Airfree, the marketplace of the sky that reinvents the inflight shopping experience onboard connected aircraft, will exhibit during the APEX show in Boston next week.They are announcing this week our selection in Starburst Accelerator program – the startups incubator specializing in aerospace – to accelerate our international development. You can discover more on their introduction video here


AIRBUS

  • AIRBUS appointed Christian Scherer as Chief Commercial Officer, replacing Eric Schulz, who resigned. The company is expected to name Scherer’s replacement as CEO in the coming days. Scherer will start his new assignment with immediate effect. He will report to Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Enders. Christian Scherer, CEO of ATR since October 2016, held many senior management positions within the Group. At Airbus, where he started his career in 1984, Christian was Head of Contracts, Leasing Markets and Deputy Head of Sales as well as Head of Strategy and Future Programmes. At Airbus Defence and Space, he headed Marketing & Sales. Born in Duisburg, Germany, and raised in Toulouse, France, Christian Scherer holds an MBA Degree from the University of Ottawa in international marketing and graduated from the Paris Business School (ESCP).
  • The first A380 for All Nippon Airways (ANA) took to the skies, completing a maiden flight from the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France to the Airbus site in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft is now being prepared for cabin installation and painting in the airline’s special A380 livery. ANA HOLDINGS INC. placed a firm order for three A380s in 2016, becoming the first customer for the superjumbo in Japan.  The first delivery is scheduled early 2019, and the A380 will initially be operated on the popular Tokyo-Honolulu route. To date, Airbus has delivered 229 A380s, with the aircraft now in services with 14 airlines worldwide.
  • AIRBUS booked 274 orders (219 net) in 2018, through August 31.

BOEING

  • Boeing awarded a $3 million grant to the George W. Bush Institute’s Global Leadership Impact Center. The grant, part of a previously announced $10 million donation to the Institute, will support women’s empowerment and global leadership programs aimed at promoting education, healthcare and economic opportunity for women around the world.
  • Boeing and Air Peace of Nigeria today announced a new order for ten 737 MAX 8 airplanes during a signing ceremony in Lagos. Air Peace already operates Boeing 737s between major cities in Central and West Africa. The airline, which recently added Boeing 777s to its fleet, is looking to soon launch its international flight operations.
  • The Boeing Company announced that Phil Musser, senior vice president of Communications, will depart the company in early November due to personal and family considerations. Anne Toulouse, current Boeing vice president of Global Brand Management, will replace Musser on an interim basis until a permanent successor is named.
  • A Boeing B787 completed a SFO – Zurich flight powered by a blend of biojet fuel (30%) derived from Carinata, an oilseed crop that can be grown like food crops. Agrisoma Biosciences (Canada) partnered with United and World Energy to complete the test.
  • BOEING booked 738 orders (581 net) in 2018.

Ted Neck’s Passing

Ted Neck, who was the long time representative for Panasonic and responsible for many of the trade show exhibits that graced the WAEA and APEX. Ted died unexpectedly on Thursday, 9/13 from a heart attack. Services are pending. They will be held in LA/Playa Vista area of California – where Ted and his wife, Rachel, reside – but time and place not fixed as of this writing. The family would be interested in Ted’s friends and co-workers sharing any stories they may have about working/partying with Ted. “If anyone wants to attend the services and speak, please let them contact me at  ken_lew@ieee.org I have taken the responsibility to filter the inputs and present them to the family to see if there is time and space at the service for many speakers from Ted’s working life.”


Other News

Technologies will explore new ideas for how connectivity can enhance future passenger experiences and airline operations

East Aurora, NY | September 17, 2018– Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, will demonstrate two new technologies intended to improve an aircraft’s passenger experience and operational efficiency at the upcoming APEX Expo in Boston, in booth #343, from September 25-27.

Introducing the Astronics Smart Aircraft System

Throughout the three-day event, Astronics will demonstrate its
pioneering Smart Aircraft System technology, which includes
the new Intelligent Bin Solution. This patent pending system
uses Internet of Things (IoT) connection technologies to
detect and report in real time the status of overhead stowage
bins, which speeds aircraft boarding processes and reduces
passenger stress. The company will preview software
applications that provide a visual indication of remaining bin
space, even if the bin is closed, to enable cabin and gate crews to quickly direct passengers to available bin locations and know when to start checking bags.

In addition to providing a more efficient boarding process that can reduce costly delays, the bin sensors deliver cabin safety benefits during the flight by detecting outgassing events from hazardous devices, such as lithium-ion batteries, minutes before smoke or fire occurs. With this early detection, a notification is sent instantly to crewmembers who can proactively take action and contain in-flight battery events before they cause passenger alarm and lead to costly aircraft diversions.

“We started researching and investing in wireless sensing technology several years ago in anticipation of airline customer needs,” explained Jon Neal, President of Astronics Ballard Technology. “This research has expanded into a comprehensive IoT sensing and wireless mesh system that will help airlines gain valuable insight to drive operational savings in all aspects of flight. We are excited to be previewing it at APEX Expo.”

Astronics was recently granted several U.S. patents on the innovative technology with others pending. The latest generation Intelligent Bin System prototype is currently in laboratory testing with a major airline in anticipation of in-service trials in an operational environment.

Previewing Li-Fi Applications for Aircraft

In a second technology demonstration, PDT, an Astronics Company, will demonstrate some new potential applications for the emerging technology of Li-Fi, in a collaboration with pureLiFi. Li-Fi leverages light to send information, in contrast to Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves. Proven capable of transferring data at an unprecedented several Gigabits per second, Li-Fi could eventually empower passengers to download an HD video in just a few seconds, for example.

“This is a brand new technology and we are exploring ways in which it can improve the passenger, and even crew, experience on an aircraft in terms of connectivity,” said Mark Schwartz, Vice President of PDT. ”Li-Fi may be a future passenger experience delighter and we are excited to explore and discuss these possibilities with it.”

Powered Solutions

Keeping passengers’ electronic devices (PEDs) powered is increasingly important on the connected aircraft as more airlines incorporate a “bring your own device” business model for enjoying inflight entertainment. In support of this, Astronics will demonstrate a myriad of innovations including the recently introduced wireless charging module as well as the new EmPower® USB Type-C outlets and companion in-seat power supply system.

Astronics brings a long history of innovation and successfully introducing new technologies and products to market, including the EmPower passenger in-seat power technology that has had a profound impact on the passenger experience. The new technology explorations plus proven power solutions can provide a foundation for future aircraft manufacturers, airlines, IFE providers and other industry participants to improve experiences for passengers while also improving cost and time efficiencies for aircraft operators.

Astronics will give demonstrations of these and other technologies on-demand throughout the three days of the exhibit. Appointments can also be made by emailing events@astronics.com.

Per usual, the next few weeks will be filled with news about the upcoming EXPOS and the companies exhibiting in Boston, so lets tackle this week’s news.

PXCom

PXCom is excited to announce that it has partnered with Charlotte Dodson TV and SkyLights to deliver more innovative content solutions: PXCom’s flagship end-to-end solution, XPLore by PXCom, now enables airlines and their partners to onboard-upload any kind of content material. PXCom natively- integrates editorial content, sponsored content, and even call to actions (offered to passengers throughout the entire journey: pre-, in- and post-flight) in a consistent way via various channels (mobile, web, and of course IFE/C).

TRAVELWELL is a personal lifestyle and wellness channel, supporting passengers throughout the entire journey. A comprehensive library of exercises, nutrition, destination knowledge and meditation experiences are available for viewing in video, audio, digital and VR formats. TRAVELWELL offers the latest innovation and tech advances that will provide clients with a one-stop shop for accessing a world of wellness, wherever they go. Shop for the latest well-being products; relax before the flight through anti-stress tips; use guided routines to stretch during your travels in order to arrive refreshed; simply explore the destinations inflight – rejuvenating spas, organic health spots, the fascinating local cultures soon to be encountered – thanks to a full digital experience on the mobile app, on IFE and on SkyLights’ latest VR headset (AlloSky – see rectangle above). Travel far and wide, confident in the knowledge that TRAVELWELL has your wellness covered – to ‘feel good’ on the go.

Charlotte is your wellness journey companion, guiding you ‘along the way’. Discover a vast range of sensationally-delivered information and inspiration – from the depths of tropical forest exploration, to relaxing on stunning beach sands – as Charlotte guides you through simple yet visually-rich (and easy-to-navigate) content that will serve to both rejuvenate and refresh yourself along the journey. No matter the itinerary, Charlotte is there with you every step of the way.

Join in and travel well. Visit us at APEX Boston | 24-27 September BOOTH 750. More about PXCom on www.pxcom.aero 


IFPL

IFPL will be demonstrating their latest audio products in Boston at APEX  in addition to a broad range of products that are currently flying on many aircraft around the world. IFPL has supplied more than 2.5m units in a 22 year history.


THALES

  • In November 2016, Thales was chosen by Hong Kong Airlines to equip their new A350 and A330 aircraft with AVANT IFE and connectivity solutions and FlytCare services.
  • AVANT, Thales’s state-of-the-art Android IFE solution, will provide Hong Kong Airlines’ passengers a customizable experience with a robust selection of features and applications.
  • Hong Kong Airlines A350 will fly with Ka-band connectivity offering fastest airborne internet speeds to their passenger. Entry into service is set for September 2018.ck up your components from the right side.

VISION-BOX

Vision-Box and Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) — operators of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) in south India – signed today an agreement to launch paperless biometric self-boarding technology, aimed at transforming the passenger experience and creating future-ready Airport.

The goal of the program is to simplify the journey by making it paperless from registration to boarding. Biometric technology will identify passengers by their face as they move across the Airport, avoiding stops and the repeated presentation of boarding passes, passports or other physical identity documents.

With the implementation of the biometric technology, BLR Airport will become the first Airport in India to have an end-to-end solution for paperless air travel.


AIRBUS: AUGUST 2018

Airbus booked orders for five A320 Family jetliners in August while delivering a total of 54 aircraft from its A220/A320 single-aisle product lines and widebody A330/A350 XWBs.The new business involved three A320ceo (Current Engine Option) aircraft for Lufthansa and two A321neo (New Engine Option) versions for Air New Zealand. Both airlines currently operate large fleets of A320 Family jetliners.

These transactions bring net orders during the first eight months of 2018 to 219 aircraft. In the single-aisle series, the total was composed of 11 A319/A320/A321 jetliners in CEO configurations and 145 A319/A320/A321s in NEO versions. Widebody net orders during the January-August timeframe were for four A330ceo and four A330neo aircraft, along with 36 A350 XWBs and 14 A380s.

Airbus deliveries in August were made to 32 customers, with single-aisle jetliner handovers involving three A220s and 42 A320 Family jetliners (including 31 in the A320neo/A321neo versions). In the widebody category, four A330-200/A330-300s and five A350-900/A350-1000s were delivered during the month. Milestone handovers in August included the initial A350 XWB for Air China and the first to Sichuan Airlines (via AerCap), along with Gulf Air first-delivered A320neo. With the months order and delivery activity taken into account, Airbus overall backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 7,415 aircraft at 31 August, representing approximately nine years at current production rates.

With over 2,000 already registered, students can now access to the purpose-built digital competition platform in order to upload their idea in Round 1 of the competition. Airbus launched the sixth Fly Your Ideas competition in June 2018 and the next generation of innovators can now submit their proposals tackling one of the six challenges set out by Airbus (Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality). Students need to fill an online questionnaire about their idea, highlighting the technology behind it, market analysis, originality, added value and potential obstacles. In order to visualize the idea, the teams must also submit a simple sketch. The Round 1 submission phase ends on 16 November 2018 and is followed by an online assessment where a team of Airbus specialists recruited from across the business will review and evaluate all submitted ideas. The live final of Fly Your Ideas will be held in 2019, where students will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas to an audience of industry experts. Fly Your Ideas is a global competition for universities and students from all over the world to innovate for the future of aerospace, including Commercial, Defence & Space and Helicopters. Airbus is seeking ideas that could change aerospace in the decades to come and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world. The competition is an opportunity for students to build valuable employment skills including teamwork, project management and presentation skills and to apply their classroom learning to real-world challenges. As well as joining Airbus on site to further develop their ideas, up to six finalist teams will compete to share a prize fund of € 45,000 and the chance to take their idea forward within the industry.

Since the competition launched in 2008, over 20,000 students from more than 650 universities in over 100 countries have been involved. Since 2012, the competition has been supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO underlines the value of this partnership. “Fly Your Ideas is an inspirational endeavor for students around the world and UNESCO is proud to be a part of this initiative. The new challenges will allow students to think outside the box and come up with sustainable solutions for global problems beyond aerospace – exactly what the world needs from our future generations!”


OTHER NEWS

Africa´s fastest growing airline relies on proven flight planning solution

Raunheim | September 10, 2018– Lufthansa Systems and Ethiopian Airlines Group today announced the introduction of Lufthansa Systems’ Lido/Flight 4D solution in Ethiopian’s flight planning system. This new generation of the proven flight planning solution from Lufthansa Systems offers extensive automation and optimization functions for flight planning and control processes. Ethiopian Airlines will be using Lido/Flight 4D for the next five years.

“We are pleased to further cement our collaboration with Lufthansa Systems by upgrading our flight planning system to Lido/Flight 4D, having used the Lido Flight Planning Service Lido/FPLS for the last five years. Lido/Flight 4D is one of the most effective flight planning solutions worldwide and has been rewarding in augmenting our efforts to optimize flight planning and control endeavors in our expanding service and latest technology acquisition. With the introduction of Lido/Flight 4D, we are aiming to further optimize our routings and flight planning processes, thereby reaping benefits in terms of reduced flying time and fuel consumption,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer at Ethiopian Airlines.

The core features of Lido/Flight 4D are its integrated and continually updated aeronautical database and the so-called optimizer. Lido/Flight 4D calculates the most suitable route for each flight based on all flight-related data, weather conditions and the current airspace situation including any restrictions.

Around 120 airlines with a total of more than 6,000 aircraft are currently using Lufthansa Systems’ flight planning solution, which has been successful in the market for more than 17 years. The most recent releases covered certain basic components for migrating to current technologies as well as functional innovations and improvements for takeoff and landing weight optimization, crew briefing and route optimization. In various comparative analyses based on thousands of flight plans, Lido/Flight was able to reduce fuel costs by an average of 2 percent, cut flying times by 1.9 percent and save 1.6 percent of air traffic control fees compared to its competitors.

“The contract with Ethiopian Airlines is strategically important to us,” said Marco Cesa, Senior Vice President Regional Management EMEA at Lufthansa Systems. “The deal will be noticed throughout Africa and strengthens our position in the local market. The reliability and flexibility of our product won over Ethiopian Airlines and will provide considerable support to the carrier going forward.”

APEX is coming, September 23 through 27, in Boston, Massachusetts. We will have more on the upcoming event in the next few weeks. You should know that Boston is the largest city in that state and home to some 660,000 folks. It was founded in 1630 and is home of Boston Commons, Freedom Trail, and of course, Harvard.

Let’s get started with a new augmented reality app developed by SITA and Virgin Atlantic. Over the past decade, SITA and Virgin Atlantic have often worked together to drive innovation in technology. In 2013, the two companies partnered to develop award-winning Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology enabling Virgin Atlantic concierge staff in the airline’s Upper Class Wing to deliver the industry’s most high tech and personalized customer service. SITA is the communications and IT solution provider that transforms air travel through technology for airlines, at airports and on aircraft. The company’s portfolio covers everything from managed global communications and infrastructure services, to eAircraft, passenger management, baggage, self-service, airport and border management solutions. Owned 100% by more than 400 air transport industry members, SITA has a unique understanding of its needs and places a strong emphasis on technology innovation. We should also note that Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson 34 years ago with innovation and customer service at its core. Today Virgin Atlantic carries 5.5 million customers annually.

SITA/VIRGIN ATLANTIC

Virgin Atlantic is introducing innovative training technology – as part of an innovation collaboration with SITA, the leading global IT provider – that allows the airline’s cabin crew to use augmented reality to familiarize themselves with new aircraft. Using an iOS app, cabin crew use augmented reality to walk through and acquaint themselves with the layout of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft without even visiting the airport or getting onto the plane. To complement the existing classroom-based training, this app allows crew members to see the cabin projected as a portal in front of them and are able ‘walk into’ the cabin. The AR app simulates the full-size view of the interior cabin, giving crew a feel for their new working environment, including accurate spatial awareness. This allows the airline to train crew on new aircraft in a fun and engaging way from the airline’s headquarters in Crawley, London.Augmented reality presents several interesting use cases in the air transport industry, ranging from sales, training, operations and improvement to the passenger experience. SITA Lab, SITA’s strategic technology research arm, and Virgin Atlantic have teamed up to identify and test some of the more promising use cases, starting with the crew training app. Over the past decade, SITA and Virgin Atlantic have often worked together to drive innovation in technology. In 2013, the two companies partnered to develop award-winning Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology enabling Virgin Atlantic concierge staff in the airline’s Upper Class Wing to deliver the industry’s most high tech and personalized customer service.


THALES

Thales has appointed Jean-Paul Ebanga, as Vice-President of Flight Avionics activities. Flight Avionics provides secured, natively connected systems and services that are in operation on two out of every three aircraft flying around the world every day. He reports to Gil Michielin, Executive Vice-President for Avionics.

Jean-Paul will accelerate business model renewal and digital transformation of our flight avionics activities to the benefit of long term growth” declared Gil Michielin, “his sound experience in the aerospace domain and his track record of commercial and industrial successes worldwide will be key assets.” After starting his career at Philips, Jean-Paul Ebanga joined Snecma in 1988, then Safran, where he held several leadership positions in electronics, systems and aircraft engine. In 2001, Jean-Paul Ebanga was appointed Vice President and General Manager of Snecma Control Systems. He was subsequently appointed Vice President of Snecma’s Commercial Engine Division. From 2007, he served as chairman & CEO of PowerJet, a joint company between Snecma and Saturn (Russia). In 2011, he became President & CEO of CFM international, a joint company between Safran and GE (USA) until February 2017 when he joined Safran head office as SVP Corporate Strategy

Mr. Ebanga is graduated from the ENSEM Engineering School.


IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be demonstrating how easy it will be for airlines to make the transition from USB-A to USB-C at APEX 2018 in Boston, USA. IFPL’s latest USB development enables airlines to easily transition from USB Type A to Type C using their existing USB-A onboard power architecture or supporting the newer USB-Power Delivery architectures that can provide up to 60W of power whilst designing their outlets to enable seamless seat integration.  IFPL will be demonstrating the Patent Pending USB Charge To Charge technology offers a clever way for airlines to charge their passengers to turn on the USB power and also launch adverts and promotions when the passenger plugs in their device.As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display. An expert team will be on hand to discuss your requirements on booth #707 at APEX 2018.


STATESIDE CABINSPACE LIVE/APEX

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX) the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, has today announced the agenda for the stateside CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre.

Taking place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre, the action-packed agenda will see visitors treated to expert insight on implementing innovation in the cabin interior.

Encouraging candid debate on the topic, the audience will be invited to share experiences relating to product developments, methodologies and materials to accomplish the best onboard interior solutions. Amongst the varied topics up for discussion, trends to be explored include:

Certification & Compliance: Designing for Regulations 

Delving into best practice design, this session looks at the product journey from the drawing board, through to development and finally placement on the aircraft. Looking at the place of compliance and regulation in the process, the audience will hear from experts about how to overcome challenges associated with regulation in the most time and cost-effective ways. To bring the topic to life and in order to learn from the experience of others, Senior Program Managers from AAR will share their experiences designing for regulation.

Session takes place on Tuesday 25thSeptember from 11:00 am – 11:45am

New Manufacturing Technologies – Capitalising on 3D Printing Capabilities

Keeping costs low whilst exploring new technologies has long been an issue for the aviation industry. This session will explore how manufacturing capabilities such as 3D printing are enabling innovative aircraft interiors products and parts without, increasing costs. From differentiating your business in a crowded market, to after-life use of printed parts, this session explores how to maximize the benefits of investing in 3D printing.

Session takes place on Tuesday 25thSeptember from 15:15pm – 16:00pm

Spatial Dynamics

Bringing together a panel of industry-leading experts, this keynote discussion on spatial dynamics looks at how to maximize cabin space and make it work for passengers, operational staff and crew alike. From balancing overhead bin space with headroom and ensuring innovative technology meets passengers’ ergonomic needs, spokespeople from airlines, OEMs and seating companies discuss space and its use inflight.

Session takes place on Wednesday 26thSeptember from 14:00pm – 15:00pm

To view the full agenda for CabinSpace LIVE, please click here.


AIRBUS
For the third time in a week, Airbus Perlan Mission II has set a new world altitude record for a glider, this time soaring the engineless Perlan 2 to 76,124 feet, in the process collecting vital data on flight performance, weather and the atmosphere. Yesterday’s flight by pilots Jim Payne and Tim Gardner surpasses even the maximum recorded altitude in level flight of the U.S. Air Force’s famous U-2 Dragon Lady reconnaissance aircraft: 73,737 feet, flown by pilot Jerry Hoyt on Apr. 17, 1989. The U-2 is powered by an engine that generates 17,000 lbs. of thrust. By contrast, the Perlan 2 is engineless, weighs just 1,500 pounds, and soars to its record altitudes on rare stratospheric air currents formed by mountain winds combining with the Polar Vortex.

In a single week, Perlan has set and then surpassed a world altitude record three times:

  • Aug. 26, 2018: Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock soar to 63,100 feet, besting the record of 54,000 feet set by Airbus Perlan Mission II on Sept. 3, 2017
  • Aug. 28, 2018: Jim Payne and Miguel Iturmendi reach 65,600 feet
  • Sept. 2, 2018: Jim Payne and Tim Gardner climb to 76,124 feet

The overall altitude record for level flight of a manned airplane is held by the SR-71 Blackbird at 85,069 feet. The pressurized Perlan 2 glider is designed to fly to 90,000 feet, conditions permitting.Airbus Perlan Mission II will continue its 2018 flying season through mid-September, when the season for stratospheric mountain waves in the southern hemisphere begins to die down, and the all-volunteer Perlan Project team will return from Patagonia to homes in the U.S. and around the world. The number of flights remaining will be determined by weather conditions.


BOEING/VIRGIN AUSTRALIA

Boeing and the Virgin Australia Group announced the airline is adding the largest and most efficient member of the 737 MAX family to its growing single-aisle fleet. The carrier has converted ten orders for the 737 MAX 8 for the larger MAX 10 variant.

The airline, which has a number of 737 MAX 8s on order, said it saw the value of adding the MAX 10 to the mix as the aircraft will provide additional capacity and flexibility. With its headquarters in Brisbane, Australia, the Virgin Australia Group is the country’s second-largest airline with a fleet of more than 130 aircraft. The Next-Generation 737 has formed the backbone of the Group’s fleet with more than 80 currently in operation and the 737 MAX is expected to bolster the Group’s fleet. The MAX 10 is the largest member of the 737 MAX aircraft family. The airplane will offer operators the lowest cost per seat mile of any commercial aircraft[1] and fly 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) farther than today’s Next-Generation 737s. This extended range means that the 737 MAX 10 will be able to cover 99 percent of single-aisle routes around the world.

Virgin Australia joins more than 20 customers who have placed over 500 orders and commitments for the MAX 10. In all, the 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane family in Boeing history, having attracted more than 100 customers and nearly 4,700 orders. For more information and feature content, visit www.boeing.com/commercial/737max.


OTHER NEWS

The partnership will provide a regional component service and repair center to support inflight connectivity products for Asia Pacific airline customers

East Aurora, NY | September 4, 2018–Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification has entered into a long-term agreement with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO Group). Under the agreement, the two companies will establish a service center to provide Astronics and its airline customers with Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) services in China and Asia Pacific.

In accordance with the agreement, HAECO Group
subsidiary HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen)
Ltd. will establish a fulfilment center to provide specialized engineering and component services, including test, maintenance and repair of Astronics CSC’s SummitTM inflight connectivity LRUs. HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) offers extensive experience as the authorized repair center for a wide range of component OEMs, with a proven track record of serving component repair needs of airlines in the region.

Astronics CSC selected HAECO Group for this partnership because of the company’s comprehensive aircraft engineering and maintenance operations in the Asia Pacific region. “As our Summit line of IFEC products experiences increasing demand in the Asia Pacific and China markets, we sought a partnership to enable a regional component service and repair center to deliver localized support for these customers,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “We’re happy to announce the appointment of HAECO and look forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship.”

Clement Au, General Manager of HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen), said, “We are excited to begin a business partnership with Astronics CSC. With our combined technical expertise and vast experience, we are confident that the Component Services Centre will provide reliable, high quality in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) product maintenance services to airlines in the Asia Pacific region.”

Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification serves as the experienced, global market leader for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for aircraft. The Company specializes in connectivity hardware, integration engineering, and certification services. Together with other Astronics subsidiaries, Astronics CSC offers the most complete set of IFEC hardware solutions available from a single vendor.

Reaffirms Gogo’s Third-Party Revenue Strategy with Airline Partners

Chicago | September 4, 2018– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today a partnership with Brazilian mobile provider TIM, to offer discounted Wi-Fi to their PRA MIM Elite Black customers on Brazilian carrier, GOL Linhas Aéreas.

TIM PRA MIM, TIM’s loyalty program, gives elite members of their post-paid mobile plan benefits from partner companies. This benefit will be live starting September 3 and runs through Oct. 3and offers TIM’s most loyal customers a 30 percent discount on Wi-Fi passes on the airline. GOL will offer this promotion on all Gogo 2Ku equipped aircraft.

“Airline passengers comprise a captive audience for global brands. They are highly sought after by third-party brand partners like TIM, who want to engage with them,” says John Wade, Gogo’s president of commercial aviation. “Driving passenger satisfaction through free or discounted Gogo inflight connectivity is a win/win for our airline partners and for Gogo.”

Rockwell Collins’ industry-leading MiQ seating platform has been chosen by Turkish Airlines for the business class cabin of its new fleet of medium-haul, single-aisle aircraft. Initial deliveries of 92 shipsets for Airbus A321neo aircraft and deliveries of 77 shipsets for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are now underway.

The MiQ platform was selected for the superior passenger experience it delivers to business class travelers with a comfortable, ergonomic reclining position, including a four-way adjustable headrest and leg rest. The seat also provides a large console for passenger storage. Aisle seats feature level access in which the aisle-side armrest retracts downwards to allow passengers extra width in the seat, as well as enabling them to swing their knees into the aisle so window-seat passengers may move in and out of the row.

“We are very excited to introduce our latest business class seats in our new generation 167 narrow body aircraft. As we continue to take firm steps to increase our passengers’ comfort to an even higher level, we now place those state-of-the-art seats, having special features such as seat back inflight entertainment screens, retractable privacy panels, accessible personal stowage and power outlets, in our new medium-haul fleet. With keeping a close eye into customer expectations, we will continue to present the highest standards with our cabin and seat designs in the future,” said Ahmet Olmuştur, Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer.

“The modular design elements of the MiQ seating platform allowed us to work closely with Turkish Airlines to provide a customized configuration that includes a new privacy feature to ensure that business class passengers enjoy an optimal flight experience,” said Mark Vaughan, vice president and general manager for Interior Systems at Rockwell Collins. “In addition, we designed custom leather dress covers to fully reflect the airline’s brand.”

MiQ’s award-winning design is available for business class and premium economy seating for both narrow- and wide-body aircraft.


ASTRONICS

Astronics is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary! Happy Anniversary from IFExpress! and, oh yes, Astronics PGA Solutions was selected by AMAC Aerospace for a VIP jet completion program – A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental VIP jet will incorporate Astronics PGA inflight entertainment and cabin management systems.


SITA

GOL, Brazil’s largest airline, is introducing new self-service bag-drop technology to speed up the airport experience. Passengers of the carrier, can now use SITA’s Scan&Fly to check in their bags when flying domestically from Rio de Janeiro International Airport and will soon be able to do so at São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport as well. This self-service option halves the time it takes to check in a bag and gives passengers more control over their journey. Each year, GOL flies around 32 million passengers. Providing significant reductions in the time it takes to check in is a major bonus for passengers, as well as helping GOL reach the targets set as part of the IATA Fast Travel program.

Sergio Quito, Vice President of GOL Operations, said: “GOL has always pioneered the use of innovative processes. Self-service is important for us because it improves the customer experience and helps streamline our operations. SITA’s self bag-drop technology provides what we look for – it is fast, reliable and easy to use.”SITA is retro-fitting Scan&Fly units at each airport. Using them, passengers will be able to check in their baggage in just 40 seconds. As well as the units themselves, SITA also provided consultancy to develop the optimized processes in both airports, integrating the solution into the airlines’ and airports’ infrastructures. Elbson Quadros, SITA Vice President, Latin America, said: “Our goal is to use technology to improve the passenger experience and to make airline and airport operations more efficient. Our self bag-drop solution does exactly that. We are proud to have GOL as the first airline to adopt this technology in Latin America.”

SITA is providing 24/7 support both on the ground and through the SITA Command Centers, which proactively detect issues to avoid any passenger disruption. That monitoring ranges from tracking surges in internet usage which might have an impact on the airport, to alerting the team on the ground that bag tag paper supplies are running low.


AIRBORNE WIRELESS NETWORK

Airborne Wireless Network announced that they are implementing a 30,000-to-1 reverse stock split. every 30,000 shares of the Company’s common stock outstanding will be automatically combined into one new share of common stock without any action on the part of Airborne Wireless Network stockholders.  As a result of the reverse stock split, there will be approximately 296,000 shares of common stock outstanding (subject to adjustment due to the effect of rounding fractional shares into whole shares).


AIRBUS

Airbus Perlan Mission II, the world’s first initiative to pilot an engineless aircraft to the edge of space, made history again yesterday in El Calafate, Argentina, by soaring in the stratosphere to a pressure altitude of over 62,000 feet (60,669 feet GPS altitude). This set a new gliding altitude world record, pending official validation.

The pressurized Perlan 2 glider, which is designed to soar up to 90,000 feet, passed the Armstrong Line, the point in the atmosphere above which an unprotected human’s blood will boil if an aircraft loses pressurization. This marks a second glider altitude world record for Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock, the same two Perlan Project pilots who soared the Perlan 2 to 52,221 feet GPS altitude on Sept. 3, 2017, in the same remote region of Argentine Patagonia. The 2017 record broke a previous record that was set in 2006, in the unpressurized Perlan 1, by Perlan Project founder Einar Enevoldson and Steve Fossett.

“This is a tremendous moment for all the volunteers and sponsors of Airbus Perlan Mission II who have been so dedicated to making our nonprofit aerospace initiative a reality,” said Ed Warnock, CEO of The Perlan Project. “Our victory today, and whatever other milestones we achieve this year, are a testament to a pioneering spirit of exploration that runs through everyone on the project and through the organizations that support us.”

“Innovation is a buzzword in aerospace today, but Perlan truly embodies the kind of bold thinking and creativity that are core Airbus values,” said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. “Perlan Project is achieving the seemingly impossible, and our support for this endeavor sends a message to our employees, suppliers and competitors that we will not settle for being anything less than extraordinary.”

Another first-of-its kind achievement this year for the Perlan Project was the use of a special high-altitude tow plane rather than a conventional glider tow plane. During yesterday’s flight, Perlan 2 was towed to the base of the stratosphere by a Grob Egrett G520 turboprop, a high-altitude reconnaissance plane that was modified for the task earlier this summer. Operated by AV Experts, LLC, and flown by chief pilot Arne Vasenden, the Egrett released Perlan 2 at around 42,000 feet, the approximate service ceiling of an Airbus A380.


BOEING

Boeing reports that the Asia Pacific region will have the greatest global demand for new civil aviation personnel over the next 20 years. The region is projected to account for 33 percent of the global need for pilots, 34 percent for technicians and 36 percent for cabin crew.

The 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook is an industry forecast of new aviation personnel demand. It is closely tied to projections for new airplane deliveries around the globe. As with personnel demand, the Asia Pacific region leads demand for new commercial airplane deliveries over the next 20 years. Forty percent of all new passenger airplane deliveries in the next 20 years will be delivered to airlines in the Asia Pacific region.

According to the outlook:

  • The 20-year demand for new commercial sector pilots in the region remains strong at 240,000. While demand decreased five percent, this was driven by regional trends that indicate a peak in pilot retirements in the first decade of the forecast and a softening of replacement demand in the later years, due to a younger generation entering the pilot ranks long before reaching mandatory retirement age.
  • New commercial technician demand decreased five percent to 242,000. This is due to advancements in product development on the 737 MAX, which have resulted in increased maintenance efficiencies. Overall, maintenance hours required over the life of the airplane will be reduced.
  • New commercial cabin crew demand increased three percent to 317,000 due to anticipated fleet mix, cabin configuration and regulatory requirements.

For the first time, the outlook included the helicopter and business aviation markets. The inclusion of these sectors increases the region’s demand to 261,000 pilots, 257,000 technicians and 321,000 cabin crew.

Leading the region in projected demand for new pilots, technicians and cabin crew:

  • China: 128,500 pilots; 126,750 technicians; 147,250 cabin crew
  • Southeast Asia: 48,500 pilots; 54,000 technicians; 76,250 cabin crew
  • South Asia: 42,750 pilots; 35,000 technicians; 43,250 cabin crew

“Strong demand for pilots in the region continues, and we expect that this will continue for the next several years,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services for Boeing Global Services. “Through our pilot training solutions, including the Pilot Development Program, we are helping to ensure a pipeline of pilots is ready to meet the industry’s demand.”

Boeing’s Pilot Development program is an accelerated training program intended to guide pilots from early stage ab-initio training through type rating as a first officer.


OTHER NEWS

Since APEX/AIX are within the next 30 days, we thought it was a good time to feature some of the IFEC products you will see there! Let’s get started.

IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at APEX 2018 in Boston, USA, with a full range of innovative products on display at the show.

IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily anticipate the power connectivity requirements of their passengers with a clever combination of a Reversible USB-A and USB-C. This combination offers 10W and 15W with a Power Delivery option that can provide up to 60W from the USB-C outlet. IFPL has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet.

Working with key industry partners, IFPL has delivered the innovative 2020 USB-A outlet which allows seamless integration into the seat. This system delivers an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets. The modular design ensures easy on-wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allows for an easy upgrade path to USB-C. The result is an elegant installation of a fully integrated system that enhances the passenger experience whilst removing weight and complexity.

At APEX IFPL will show the latest design concept for a seatback PED (Portable Electronic Device) holder that provides USB and inductive charging. This bolsters the recent announcement of an inductive charge unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat, also designed to be seamlessly integrated.

IFPL will demonstrate how to turn USB power into ancillary revenue with its Patent Pending ‘Charge To Charge’ solution. This innovative solution allows airlines to be able to charge a passenger to turn on their USB power outlet and/or launch adverts or promotions when the passengers plug in their device, providing multiple ancillary revenue streams. This process is managed using only the airlines App and IFPL’s USB outlet providing an easy upgrade to current or planned installations by replacing the existing outlet for an IFPL Charge to Charge unit.

Another IFPL innovation is an integrated audio and Bluetooth jack. This is an upgrade to existing IFE systems to allow passengers to easily connect their own headphones, thereby further enhancing the customer experience. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction.

For over 20 years IFPL has delivered a range of Long Life, Rapid Fit, INCAM and Breakaway MagSignal products and solutions. An expert team will be on hand to discuss your requirements on booth #707 at APEX 2018.


SITA

Xiamen Airlines, which is experiencing major growth across its domestic and international network, is using sophisticated software from SITA to set its fares competitively in all markets. The airline, which handled 32.7 million passengers in 2017, is highly profitable. It has achieved profits 31 years in a row and is now using SITA Airfare Insight to optimize its fares-related decision making. More than 180 million fares are published worldwide at any one time, and typically full-service airlines will update fares throughout their distribution network of GDSs, travel agencies and websites, several times a day.

By using SITA’s Airfare Insight Xiamen Airlines can stay ahead of the competition. It can set its fares based on a clear view of what its competitors are doing in markets across the world. Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall commercial strategy. Chen Rong, Committee Secretary, Passenger Marketing & Sales, Xiamen Airlines, said: “Filing fares at the right price and at the right time can have a significant impact on profit margins.

SITA’s technology enables our commercial team at Xiamen Airlines to have the right fares distributed to the right customers. It also gives us the capability to analyze all our fares and manage them across multiple locations and time zones, which is vital as we expand our route network.” Today, Xiamen Airlines serves nearly 400 domestic and international routes covering China, Southeast and Northeast Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. With 1,074 destinations in 177 countries making sure the right fares are published in the right markets is challenging.

SITA Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall revenue management and sales strategy.May Zhou, SITA Vice President & General Manager, East Asia, said: “Xiamen Airlines is one of China’s great successes with decades of profitability. Industry studies indicate that correct pricing can contribute 3-10% to overall revenues and SITA’s technology allows the airline to distribute all fares to customers at the ideal price point with head-office knowledge and approval. Airfare Insight also simplifies the end-to-end fares management process while putting competitive fares in key markets. A winning formula for this growing airline.” By achieving profits for 31 years in a row Xiamen Airlines has been an airline that has remained profitable for the longest period in China’s civil aviation industry. It enjoys the highest international financial rating among the Chinese airlines.


SITAONAIR

In an important next step for its innovation development program, Rossiya Airlines has implemented SITAONAIR’s CrewTab to advance its cabin crew operations.

Rossiya Airlines has worked closely with SITA and SITAONAIR – the SITA Group’s subsidiary and air travel industry’s connected aircraft service expert – to deliver its tailored CrewTab solution. Designed to optimize cabin crew work processes and activity, the device has been fully integrated with Rossiya Airlines’ information systems, enabling 450 Rossiya Airlines crew members to access all necessary flight information inflight via their iPad 4th Gen® tablet devices.

Currently, airlines typically provide such information in paper formats. By contrast, a key benefit of CrewTab is its ability to digitize workflows, streamline reporting, eliminate operational duplication and provide a complete flight information picture, quickly and efficiently. Rossiya’s CrewTab solution is available on regular and seasonal flights, as well as flights-to-order.

By enabling remote Internet access to airline information resources and systems, SITAONAIR CrewTab helps Rossiya to improve performance at key points in the onboard service experience. It does this by helping to streamline the interaction between the airline’s internal organizational units, supporting a more efficient document flow system, enhancing staff processes and reducing costs.

Cabin crews spend more time talking to passengers than anyone else in an airline, and are, therefore, central to the passenger experience. Deploying a tactile, responsive and information-rich technology, such as CrewTab, presents Rossiya with immediate benefits and advances to both the quality and efficiency of its cabin experience.


SkyLights
Today, SkyLights announces the launch of Skykids, its Immersive VR entertainment created especially to entertain children aged 6 to 12 on long-haul flights. The service, which lets children watch curated 2D, 3D and forward-facing 360° films in their own wearable cinema, was deployed fleet-wide on July 1st with SkyLights’ long-standing client XL Airways. Having seen significant success since day one,  SkyLights will continue the service beyond its initial holiday season scheduling.

According to a study commissioned by Emirates in 2017, children under 12 get bored 50 minutes into long-haul flights. With entertaining children identified as parents’ biggest concern when flying, and unruly kids voted the second most annoying type of passenger in Expedia’s 2017 passenger study, Skylights saw an opportunity to upgrade the customer experience of all passengers onboard. As a result, Skykids was developed, combining a fun and engaging VR headset design with a premium catalog curated especially for kids in partnership with 20th Century Fox. Going forward, SkyLights will offer airlines the new service alongside its flagship Allosky business class amenity solution. With this addition, the company aims to consolidate its position as the leading provider of VR entertainment for airlines.

SkyLights is an American-French company that leverages Cinematic VR as premium passenger entertainment. It has a signature immersive-IFE solution that transports passengers to their own, private, in-flight movie theater where they can enjoy 3D, 2D and VR content on a wide-angle cinema screen. On average, passengers use the device for 4 hours with a 90% recommendation rate.


AIRBUS

The first ACJ320neo[i] has been assembled on programme, fitted with CFM International LEAP-1A engines and painted in ACJ house-colours, in preparation for a first flight in the coming weeks.

After delivery to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter of this year, the aircraft will enter outfitting at AMAC in Basle, Switzerland, where an Alberto Pinto-designed cabin will be installed, and be repainted in the customer’s colors. Like the airliner versions from which it is derived, the ACJ320neo Family features new-generation engines and Sharklets, saving around 15 per cent in fuel and delivering a leap forward in inter-continental range. The resulting ACJ320neo can fly 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or 13 hours – enabling routes such as London to Beijing or Cape Town and Moscow to Los Angeles – while the ACJ319neo can fly eight passengers 6,700 nm/12,500 km or 15 hours. Featuring the widest and tallest cabins of any large business-jet, the ACJ320neo Family delivers similar operating costs and better residual value, while being about the same size. Orders for the ACJ320neo Family stand at nine aircraft, comprising three ACJ319neo and six ACJ320neo aircraft.


OTHER NEWS

Survey reveals younger travellers want virtual reality tours, AR board games, high tech viewing and booking for tourist attractions, VR boxing matches, hologram clothes shopping and robotic medical help – before they even get on the plane. Older travellers are not so keen.

London | August 21, 2018–

An online YouGov poll commissioned by leading inflight entertainment and passenger engagement company Spafax published today reveals that younger travellers want airports to use technology to enhance their airport experience – but older travellers are more wary*:

The poll, of 2,110 respondents (gen UK adult population of 18+), asked about their wishlist for ‘an airport lounge of the future’ revealed:

  • 37% of people aged 18 to 34 would play augmented reality (AR) board games with other passengers but only 9% of of 55 and overs would
  • 17% of 18-24-year-olds would like to try on hologram clothes at an airport, while only 6% of 55 and overs would.
  • 36% of women would choose, when in an airport lounge, a virtual reality (VR) preview of tourist attractions at their destination, along with the opportunity to pre-book tickets once they’d browsed

Similarly, a second GB survey**, which asked respondents to envisage an upcoming long haul flight from London to New York  showed that 38% wanted artificial intelligence to help with speeding up the airport process and 35% wanted it to give information on news in their destination whilst on-board the flight.

Regional differences

A YouGov survey* regarding choices for the airport lounge showed a sharp difference in both ages and regions – given the option of taking a virtual reality ‘Great Wall of China’ experience in an airport lounge where the passenger would walk on a treadmill and in real-time experience the sights of the Great Wall of China – people from Wales were the most enthusiastic, with 31% saying that they would, while people from the North East of England were the least enthusiastic (16%).

Passengers from the South East were most likely to choose to test-drive the latest luxury sports cars using virtual reality headsets and sitting in real car seats at an airport (25%), while people in the North East were less enthusiastic at 16%.

Eleven per cent of people in the South West would like a VR experience that recreated their own sitting rooms in the airport lounge, the highest in the UK.

The second survey, where respondents were asked to think specifically about a hypothetical upcoming trip from London to New York, went on to confirm these regional differences**:

People in the South West (45%) were most likely to want technology to help them speed up the journey through the airport.

People in the South East (42%) and Scotland (39%) were the most likely to want AI to give them information on the latest news in the area they were going to.

Sharp difference in what the young and old want from airport experience

A recent survey* proved that retired passengers were possibly the most relaxed passengers, with only 2% of them saying they’d like to take part in a virtual reality boxing match to let off steam before the flight, while 17% of full-time students chose this option.

When comparing the working status of these groups, we can see that a full 44% of full-time studentssaid that they would choose to do the full China Wall experience while only 23% of retired peoplewould.

Nearly a half (48%) of retired people did not want any sort of personalized experience at an airport compared with a quarter (25%) of full time students.

Similarly, a second YouGov survey** confirmed these age differences in relation to AI for a hypothetical upcoming flight from London to New York:

Twenty-seven per cent of all respondents would not like artificial intelligence to assist them with anything for their trip with over 55s most resistant to AI in airports at 33% saying they would not like it to assist them, while only 17% of 18-24-year-olds didn’t want help from AI.

Students were most likely to want to use AI to teach them a new language or skill with 38% choosing this option.

Difference between men and women

One survey* suggested that women seem to be keener on a real-world sensory experience, involving direct human interaction – for the question “You will be served an array of small luxury handmade chocolates and a pink cider. The staff serving you will explain how each is made” it was a thumbs up from 21% of men while 30% of women chose the option.

Twenty-seven per cent of men would test drive a new luxury car in VR, while only 17% of women would.

A second survey**, about a potential future London to New York trip, similarly proved that women were significantly more likely at 33% to want a personalized guide to their destination than men (25%). Menwere more likely to want to AI to teach them a new skill or language (21%) than women (16%).

Most passengers are open to help and guidance from AI, but not with medical issues**

People in the East of England (14%) and full-time students (18%) are most likely to welcome on-board medical help driven by artificial intelligence, while those in the North East (4%) are less keen.

Charles Vine, Head of Brand Alliances at Spafax said:

“We commissioned this research to find out what the British public actually wants out of their airport and airport lounge experiences. Airport lounges in particular are evolving from faceless waiting rooms with chairs and a coffee machine to being providers of an experience in their own right. The results send a clear message to us that people want the introduction of technology, but only in a way that enhances their trip, entertains or is enjoyable.

“27% were against being helped by AI for a hypothetical upcoming trip, whereas a resounding 68% of the British public did want artificial intelligence AI to help them get the most out of their time at the airport – whether that be assistance navigating the airport terminals or speeding up the check in process. ”

Dublin | August 2018– The “In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) Market by End User (OEM, Aftermarket), Aircraft Type (NBA, WBA, VLA, Business Jets), Product (IFE Hardware, IFE Connectivity, IFE Content), and Region – Global Forecast to 2023” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) market is projected to grow from USD 5.03 billion in 2018 to USD 7.65 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.72% from 2018 to 2023.

This research report categorizes the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market on the basis of aircraft type (narrow-body aircraft, wide-body aircraft, very large aircraft, and business jets), end user (OEM and aftermarket), and product (IFE hardware, IFE connectivity, and IFE content). These segments and subsegments are further mapped across major regions.

The need to enhance the passenger experience, technological developments, and an increase in aircraft deliveries are factors expected to drive the market. However, the regulatory framework & certification and increase in the overall weight of aircraft are expected to restrain the growth of this market.

By aircraft type, the narrow-body aircraft segment is estimated to lead the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market in 2018. The growth of the narrow-body aircraft segment can be attributed to an increase in narrow-body aircraft deliveries worldwide.

Major companies profiled in the report include Panasonic Avionics (US), Thales Group (France), Rockwell Collins, Inc. (US), Gogo LLC (US), Honeywell International, Inc. (US), Zodiac Aerospace (France), and Global Eagle Entertainment (US), among others.

Market Dynamics

Drivers

  • Need to Enhance Passenger Experience
  • Technological Developments
  • IFEC Becoming A Major Source of Ancillary Revenue for Airlines
  • Increase in Aircraft Deliveries

Restraints

  • Regulatory Frameworks & Certification
  • Increase in the Overall Weight of Aircraft

Opportunities

  • Increase in Long-Haul Flights and Passenger Traffic
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity

Challenges

  • High Installation Cost
  • Need to Upgrade IFE Systems and Ensure Content Management
  • Cyber Threats

Key Topics Covered:

1 Introduction

2 Research Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Premium Insights

5 Market Overview

6 Industry Trends

7 In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market, By Product

8 In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market, By Aircraft Type

9 In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market, By End User

10 Regional Analysis

11 Competitive Landscape

12 Company Profiles

  • Boeing
  • Bombardier
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Bell Helicopter
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Panasonic Avionics Corporation
  • Thales Group
  • Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc.
  • Gogo LLC
  • Rockwell Collins, Inc.
  • Viasat, Inc.
  • Sitaonair
  • Digecor, Inc.
  • Zodiac Aerospace
  • Honeywell International
  • Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. Kg

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/zssb5r/inflight?w=4

Beijing | August 16, 2018–Xiamen Airlines, which is experiencing major growth across its domestic and international network, is using sophisticated software from SITA to set its fares competitively in all markets. The airline, which handled 32.7 million passengers in 2017, is highly profitable. It has achieved profits 31 years in a row and is now using SITA Airfare Insight to optimize its fares-related decision making.

More than 180 million fares are published worldwide at any one time, and typically full-service airlines will update fares throughout their distribution network of GDSs, travel agencies and websites, several times a day.  By using SITA’s Airfare Insight Xiamen Airlines can stay ahead of the competition. It can set its fares based on a clear view of what its competitors are doing in markets across the world. Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall commercial strategy.

Chen Rong, Committee Secretary, Passenger Marketing & Sales, Xiamen Airlines, said: “Filing fares at the right price and at the right time can have a significant impact on profit margins. SITA’s technology enables our commercial team at Xiamen Airlines to have the right fares distributed to the right customers. It also gives us the capability to analyze all our fares and manage them across multiple locations and time zones,which is vital as we expand our route network.”

Today, Xiamen Airlines serves nearly 400 domestic and international routes covering China, Southeast and Northeast Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. With 1,074 destinations in 177 countries making sure the right fares are published in the right markets is challenging. SITA Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall revenue management and sales strategy.

May Zhou, SITA Vice President & General Manager, East Asia, said: “Xiamen Airlines is one of China’s great successes with decades of profitability. Industry studies indicate that correct pricing can contribute 3-10% to overall revenues and SITA’s technology allows the airline to distribute all fares to customers at the ideal price point with head-office knowledge and approval. Airfare Insight also simplifies the end-to-end fares management process while putting competitive fares in key markets. A winning formula for this growing airline.”

By achieving profits for 31 years in a row Xiamen Airlines has been an airline that has remained profitable for the longest period in China’s civil aviation industry. It enjoys the highest international financial rating among the Chinese airlines.

Raunheim | August 15, 2018–Lufthansa Systems supports airlines worldwide in all their processes with digital solutions – from network and route planning to booking and revenue management systems to on-board navigation and entertainment solutions. The digitalization of the aviation industry is proceeding rapidly, resulting in a continued growth of the demand for expertise in this field. The Lufthansa subsidiary based in Raunheim near Frankfurt am Main is therefore seeking reinforcements: aviation heroes with IT superpowers.

“Working at Lufthansa Systems means actively shaping the future of aviation with smart IT solutions. As I see it, it has become relatively easy to develop something like an app. The challenge lies in integrating innovative new solutions into existing system landscapes and structures. Some airline processes are very complex. Thanks to our years of experience, we have an extreme competitive advantage here. And this benefits not just the Lufthansa Group, but also our more than 350 airline customers worldwide,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

Lufthansa Systems is looking for specialists in a variety of areas, from newcomers to experienced professionals, from software architects, data scientists and DevOps specialists to scrum masters and product owners. But along with IT specialists, the company is also seeking consultants and aeronauts as well as mathematicians and physicists. “With us, anyone can develop their full potential as an aviation hero,” Krüger says.

Reinforcements are needed at the headquarters in Raunheim and at the other two German offices in Berlin and Hamburg. Close cooperation with sites in 16 other countries and customers all over the world ensure an international environment and exciting, varied projects.

Agile methods such as scrum and design thinking, flat hierarchies and flexible working hours are the hallmarks of the working world at Lufthansa Systems. The company’s new headquarters at Airport Garden in Raunheim, one of the most cutting-edge buildings in the Lufthansa Group, is the perfect setting for implementing this modern work concept in an open atmosphere and for promoting communication and teamwork.

A variety of services for employees, an internal innovation management system and the benefits of the Lufthansa Group complete the package.

Tanja Altmann, Head of Human Resources, presents Lufthansa Systems and the tasks for Aviation Heroes in a video, which can be found online together with further information on vacancies in IT at Lufthansa Systems: aviationheroes.lhsystems.com


This week we have plenty of news from some regular contributors and others as well. So let’s get started!

IMMFLY

The new onboard entertainment and digital services platform “Wamos On Air”, designed and developed by Immfly, is now available and passengers will be pleased with a broad range of entertainment possibilities easily accessible via their own personal devices (phones, tablets, and laptops). The major goal of both companies is to exceed travelers aspirations and improve their customer journey while providing a digital transformation through entertainment and content marketing. The airline that has 1.000.000 annual passengers, counts now with an in-flight digital platform “ Wamos On Air ”, that is available in Boeing 747-400, also called as “Jumbo” aircraft. Passengers can easily access the onboard service by activating the airplane mode on the mobile, tablet or laptop; selecting the Wi-Fi network and typing www.wamos-onair.com at the browser.

Several movies, but also TV-shows, Press, Magazines, Kids section are now at passenger’s fingertips disposal. Recent examples such as “The Shape of Water”, “The Revenant”, “The Greatest Showman”, “X-Men”, “Birdman” and many others, make the Wamos’s aircraft space a cinema on air, with an atmosphere that breathes digital experiences. As the airline’s audience is considerably diverse, Wamos Air and Immfly focused on providing different content modules for every type of passenger (distinct ages and languages). There is Kids section dedicated to the youngest, Music in documentary format, multiple games, all of that available both in English and Spanish languages.

Headquartered in Barcelona, Immfly was founded in 2013 by Pablo Linz and Jimmy Martínez von Korff, with the support of more than 50 influential multinational partners. The company is leading the development of internet connectivity, ready on-board digital platforms worldwide with focus in Europe,


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, reported financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018. Results for the quarter and the first six months of 2018 include the results of Telefonix PDT, which was acquired on December 1, 2017 and Custom Control Concepts (“CCC”), which was acquired on April 3, 2017.

Click here to view the entire release, including financial statements.


BLUEBOX

This August, pending final regulatory approvals, Bluebox will bring wireless IFE to the skies of India across Vistara’s current fleet of 21 Airbus A320 aircraft, with more A320 aircraft on the way. As part of a new fare families announcement yesterday, Vistara announced the introduction of ‘Vistara World’, its free in-flight entertainment system with more than 70 hours of video and audio content streamed wirelessly onto personal handheld devices and laptops. Today, Bluebox is thrilled to confirm that Bluebox Wowhas been selected as the technology solution to deliver ‘Vistara World’ to passengers on board Vistara flights.

‘Vistara World’ is expected to be rolled out fleet-wide in August 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. It will offer a content-rich multimedia library that includes music in genres like Pop, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Electronica, English Retro and Indian, Bollywood and Hollywood movies of various categories such as Drama, Romance, Comedy, Thriller, Action, Adventure, etc., Indian and International short programs as well as a variety of reading material including Vistara’s in-flight magazine.

Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, elaborated, “With the introduction of wireless streaming of in-flight entertainment content, we will deliver on a product that our customers said they desired, enhancing overall customer satisfaction and experience with an efficient and cost-effective IFE solution.”

“We’re eagerly awaiting the final approvals required so that we can deliver wireless IFE to the Indian skies aboard Vistara,” said David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “Bluebox Wow is a powerful and convenient solution that suits Vistara’s current needs, and flexible enough to support the airline’s future growth as well, ensuring ‘Vistara World’ keeps passengers engaged on Vistara’s expanding route network.”

Bluebox’s portable wireless streaming platform provides content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, providing the capability of storing up to 1.6 Terabytes of film, TV, audio, games and other digital content. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed securely in overhead bins, each box’s single, swappable rechargeable battery delivers up to 15 hours of simultaneously streamed video content.


INMARSAT

Inflight Wi-Fi is a key driver in forming customer loyalty and satisfaction among today’s airline passengers, according to the industry’s largest poll of passenger attitudes. The fourth annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey is published today by Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company Populus[1]. Wi-Fi is already an essential part of everyday life on the ground with more than three quarters of those surveyed (78%) believing that it is “fundamental” to daily life. With more than half of passengers (55%) describing inflight Wi-Fi as crucial, meeting the demand for Wi-Fi in the skies is key to improving passenger experience and driving loyalty. Wi-Fi is now so critical to passengers that two thirds (67%) would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality Wi-Fi was on offer. Globally, passengers ranked inflight Wi-Fi as the fourth most important factor that they consider when choosing an airline, behind airline reputation, free checked baggage and extra leg room.

The impact of inflight Wi-Fi on loyalty and satisfaction is particularly significant for passenger groups most keen to remain connected in the air. High-value customers, parents and young passengers are among those most likely to use inflight Wi-Fi services: nine in ten business travellers (90%), parents travelling with children (90%) and 18-30 year olds (91%) plan to use the service if it’s offered when they next fly.

Onboard Wi-Fi could also lead to more productive business trips, as almost nine in ten business travelers (87%) would use inflight Wi-Fi to continue working on the plane. Access to Wi-Fi is also an important driver of choice for nervous flyers, as more than half (51%) said that they would use the technology to remain in contact with family and friends on the ground.

The majority of today’s airline passengers are so keen to get online that they will sacrifice other inflight amenities for internet access. Inmarsat’s 2016 Inflight Connectivity Survey revealed that more than half of passengers (54%) would choose Wi-Fi over an inflight meal. Today, passengers are adding alcohol to the list of inflight amenities they would sacrifice to get online, with more than half (53%) suggesting they are even prepared to give up their inflight alcoholic drink in exchange for access to Wi-Fi.

As demand for inflight Wi-Fi soars, uptake is similarly high as two thirds (65%) of passengers that had access to the service in the past year chose to use it. However, the demand for quality onboard Wi-Fi is significantly outstripping supply on the fleets of airlines across the globe, as less than half of passengers globally (45%) traveled on flights where it was offered.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Wi-Fi is essential to daily life on the ground, and airline passengers see no reason why their time on a flight should be restricted or spent any differently. Whether it’s used for sending that important work email, entertaining the children or even connecting with fellow passengers, staying online is becoming a crucial part of the inflight experience for today’s airline passengers.” He continued: “As the only provider to offer a complete global satellite network, Inmarsat is making high-speed inflight Wi-Fi a reality for passengers on leading airlines across the globe. As demand for quality services continues to soar, we are delighted to be able to bring these services to life for passengers and allow them to stay connected to their daily lives on the ground.”

Global survey highlights

  • 81% of passengers would use inflight Wi-Fi if it was available on their next flight, rising to 91% of 18-30 year olds, 90% of business travelers and 90% of passengers traveling with children
  • 65% of passengers that have had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the last year used it
  • 70% of passengers would be likely to recommend inflight Wi-Fi having tried it previously
  • 74% of business travelers feel that inflight Wi-Fi is crucial, with almost nine in ten (87%) stating that if inflight Wi-Fi was available they would be likely to work and be productive on a plane
  • Quality is key: for more than half of passengers (54%), no Wi-Fi at all is better than a poor quality service
  • Over two thirds of passengers (67%) would be more likely to re-book with an airline if high-quality inflight Wi-Fi were available
    • This likelihood to re-book rises to 81% of passengers traveling with children, and 83% of business travelers
  • More than half (53%) would be willing to give up their inflight alcoholic drink to get online. (Boy, this one is hard to believe-Editor)

Other News

Turkish Technic and TAROM have signed an agreement for the repair and supply of components for TAROM’s Airbus A318 aircraft fleet. The agreement will be effective till 2023.

Turkey | August 1, 2018–The contract comprises component supply and repair on Part Number basis. The repair work and services will be supplied from Turkish Technic’s Istanbul main base and supply stations throughout the world.

Turkish Technic CEO Ahmet Karaman said “We thank TAROM for choosing Turkish Technic for the component repair work and supply services. We reached a fleet size of more than 750 pool aircraft and our footprints are now all around the world.”

The TAROM CEO Wolff Wilhelm-Werner, expressed TAROM’s trust in quality and timing of services. Mr. Wilhelm-Werner also added “The Turkish Technic component pool services will be a leverage to our Airbus A318 technical operations. We welcome this partnership, and trust in a fair and mutually beneficial contract between TAROM and Turkish Technic”.

Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has appointed Gaston Sandoval, as Global Head of Marketing and Product Management. In this role, Gaston will lead Panasonic’s marketing and product strategy as the company evolves into a digital platform and services company and delivers the next generation of passenger experiences.

As Global Head of Marketing and Product Management, Gaston will oversee Panasonic’s branding, market insights, product marketing, performance marketing, content marketing, creative, communications, as well as product management.

Before Panasonic, Gaston enjoyed a lengthy, successful career at IBM. As Chief Operating Officer of IBM Digital, he led the deployment and market expansion of IBM’s Marketplace. Under his leadership, IBM Marketplace’s portfolio grew to include over 1,000 digital offerings, creating a new business unit with more than $1 billion USD in annual sales.

For two years, he served as CMO of the Watson and Software Group in Tokyo. In that role, he led IBM Watson’s launch in Japan in partnership with Softbank Group, and established the market for artificial intelligence and cognitive solutions in the region.

He also launched IBM IoT, PaaS and SaaS portfolios, helping make Japan IBM’s best performing region globally. As Head of Product Management for IBM datacenter provisioning and endpoint management products in Austin, Texas, he helped drive the foundational capabilities for IBM cloud.

Most recently, Gaston served as SVP, Global Marketing at Openlink Financial, a leading fintech enterprise software company, where he led its marketing transformation to a digital-first, outcome-based organization, repositioning the company that resulted in its accelerated successful acquisition by the ION Group.

Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Gaston brings with him a wealth of experience that makes him the ideal person to lead Panasonic Avionics’ repositioning into a digital platform and services company.”

Gaston added: “Panasonic Avionics is world renowned for the innovation it continually delivers in the passenger experience. As it evolves into a digital platform and services company, I look forward to the challenge of spearheading a marketing and product strategy which enable a next-generation passenger experience.

Gaston brings extensive global experience having lived and led teams in Japan, China, Latin America and North America. He also holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.S. in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from the National Polytechnic School in Ecuador.

He is passionate about sustainable development and runs an NGO in Ecuador focused on supporting families and children in need


Thales

Thales has appointed Philippe Carette as Chief Executive Officer to lead the InFlyt Experience business. The business is a leading provider of cutting-edge technologies that entertain, connect and inspire more than 1 million passengers airline across 70 airlines each day around the globe.

Mr. Carette will drive the company’s strategic corporate transformation initiatives within the business to spur greater competitiveness and long-term market leadership. He will also steer the digitalization of the connectivity and entertainment systems portfolio to deliver unique value to airline customers in a rapidly evolving cabin environment. This includes the recently introduced InFlyt360 digital platform, which allows airlines to continuously improve the passenger experience with features such as personalization, monetization, fresh and dynamic content and optimized engagement.

Mr. Carette replaces Dominique Giannoni who managed the successful growth of Thales InFlyt Experience during the past 5 years and now takes on a new leadership role within Thales.

Mr. Carette has spent more than 30 years in the aviation industry and previously held several leadership positions within Thales, to include the head of the Electrical Systems business and vice president and managing director of the Commercial Avionics unit. Prior to joining Thales, he was president of German aerospace connectivity systems provider, Deutsch Aerospace & Transportation – TE Connectivity; managing director at European engineering consultancy leader ALTEN; president and managing director at Sogeti High Tech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini; and managing director at Safran Group for Engineering Services and Electrical Systems. He holds a degree in engineering from the Institut polytechnique de Grenoble in France.

“Philippe is a leader in the aerospace industry and a proven leader in shaping strong businesses. His expertise in innovative advanced technologies will be instrumental to accompany our client’s big digital ambitions and our long-term growth strategy.”

Gil Michielin,Thales Avionics Executive Vice-President

“Philippe’s focus on customer success makes him an indispensable partner for airline customers. He brings a global perspective and unwavering commitment to excellence in execution and customer service.”

Alan Pellegrini Thales Chief Executive in the USA


Astronics

Astronics Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics PGA, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation seat motion and lighting systems for Jamco’s new Venture seat program. Astronics PGA also entered into a long-term contract for potential future seat projects.


AIX

The event, which is co-located with APEX and IFSA, is the world’s largest fall event dedicated to the passengers experience, and it is the place to see all of the innovations that passengers can expect to see on their future flights under one roof. Each year the event attracts thousands of visitors and almost 300 buyers from the world’s leading airlines who attend to source the interiors for their new or existing aircraft – from first and business class seating, to Inflight Entertainment and airline food – the event is a one-stop shop. Exhibiting companies include Acro Aircraft Seating, Boeing, Diehl Aviation, E Leather, gategroup, Panasonic Avionics, STS Aviation Group, San Diego Aircraft interiors, and Tapis Corporation. See you there!


SITA

Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low cost carrier, has renewed its long-term communication network services with SITA as the airline continues to expand to new locations worldwide. SITA AirportHub is simplifying the way Scoot connects its central IT systems to the airports in its rapidly-growing route network. The IT infrastructure is typically in place within three weeks, enabling Scoot to be flexible and agile as it adds new destinations throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and America. Jason Chin, Vice President, IT, Scoot, said: “Scoot currently has an extensive network of 66 destinations across 18 countries and territories, and plans for aggressive growth are in place. It is vital that our IT infrastructure is connected among our partners and efficient enough to support our expansion. SITA is a reliable partner in efficiently getting airports connected. With SITA’s global footprint, speed and flexibility, we can focus on expansion and adding new routes to our network.”

AirportHub is unique shared infrastructure that allows airlines to connect all their applications and IT systems at an airport quickly and easily. It removes the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers and adds flexibility and agility to route management. SITA’s system is currently operational at more than 440 airports and provides 7,000 customer connections around the world. SITA’s network services will connect Scoot destinations worldwide to its reservation system, Departure Control Services and disaster recovery site. Scoot is voted Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific) by AirlineRatings.com in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and ranked in the Top 10 of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines by Skytrax

Also from SITA

Brisbane Airport, the premier gateway to Queensland and the third busiest airport in Australia, has again selected SITA as its technology partner as the airport continues its growth and transformation plans. The new agreement will see SITA develop and extend the technology it provides for passenger, baggage and airport services to support Brisbane Airport’s commitment to service. The five-year agreement continues the airport’s close partnership with SITA which has successfully been in place for more than 20 years. Today, Brisbane Airport operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and SITA provides world-class technology with round-the-clock service support. This includes SITA AirportConnect® Open, its common-use platform and self-service bag drop and check-in, which ensure that Brisbane Airport runs smoothly for the 32 airlines that use the airport to fly to 81 domestic and international destinations.


Airbus

The first Ultra Long Range Airbus A350 XWB to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines has rolled out of the paint shop in the carrier’s distinctive livery. Now at an advanced stage of production, the aircraft will undergo further testing before being delivered to the airline in the coming months.

Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, and all of them are in various stages of assembly. The first aircraft to have flown has successfully completed its flight test program, which focused on the redesigned fuel system. It is now being fitted with its cabin.

The airline will operate the aircraft on non-stop services from Singapore to the US. This includes flights between Singapore and New York, which will be the world’s longest commercial service, as well as on routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Ultra Long Range A350-900 is the latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family, and will have an extended range of up to 9,700 nautical miles. This has been achieved by a modified fuel system, which increases the aircraft’s fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters without the need for additional fuel tanks.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.


Valour

Almost four in ten commercial aircraft, globally, will be equipped to provide passengers with in-flight Wi-Fi by the end of 2018, that’s according to the market intelligence company’s latest analysis of the in-flight connectivity (IFC) market.

The number of airlines rolling out IFC has continued to rise, with Valour´s quarterly tracker indicating there are 90 carriers offering passenger Wi-Fi at the end of March 2018. There is little to suggest a slowdown is on the horizon, with service providers boasting sizeable backlogs and notable announcements expected from airlines in China and India going into 2019. Valour Consultancy anticipates the number of aircraft with IFC will reach almost 21,000 by the end of 2026, up from approximately 7,500 today.

Valour Consultancy is a provider of high-quality market intelligence. Its latest report “The Future of In-Flight Connectivity” is now in its third edition and is widely-regarded as the most comprehensive resource on this subject, underpinned by the depth of its firmly-established quarterly IFC tracker database. The report features 150 tables and charts accompanied by extensive commentary on the latest market issues, technology trends and the competitive environment. Check here for a full table of contents and report scope.


Other News

Starting Sept. 5, all Main Cabin customers will have the same carry-on allowance: one personal item and one carry-on bag

USA | July 26, 2018–

American Airlines announced that beginning Sept. 5, Basic Economy fares will include both a personal item and a carry-on bag like other Main Cabin fares.

Why are we making this change?

Basic Economy is working well in the markets where we offer it today. Customers benefit from our lowest fares that are competitive with no-frills carriers while experiencing American’s unparalleled network, better product and great customer service. Removing the carry-on bag restriction will make our short-haul Basic Economy fares more competitive with airlines that include a carry-on bag in their lowest fares.

Until Sept. 5, current Basic Economy fare rules will continue to apply, including the allowance for only one personal item and the gate service fee when a Basic Economy customer checks a carry-on bag at the gate.

As you all know, this week is Farnbourgh Air Show in the UK. Needless to say, there is a ton of new aircraft sales being reported daily from Boeing, Airbus et al. Next week’s issue of IFExpress will have a synopsis for you – so stay tuned for a convenient snap shot! We should note that some $44 Billion dollars worth of aviation goods were sold the first day and a lot of aircraft large orders went to “non-disclosed” purchasers.

GOGO

Gogo Inc., the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced that it has completed a comprehensive analysis of its business and is implementing an Integrated Business Plan (“IBP”) designed to improve the Company’s operational and financial performance. The IBP, branded as “Gogo 2020”, transforms Gogo’s business model and is intended to significantly reduce its cost structure, improve quality, drive revenue, streamline business processes and prudently strengthen its balance sheet. Oakleigh Thorne, President and CEO of Gogo, said, “The initiatives we are executing under our Integrated Business Plan demonstrate our commitment to taking aggressive action to position Gogo for sustainable value creation. Gogo 2020 represents a new era for Gogo with a significantly reduced cost structure, much lower capital expenditures, and a streamlined and standardized approach to meeting the needs of our customers with improved quality and service. As we prioritize resources to strengthen the resiliency of our model, we remain focused on accomplishing our objectives without sacrificing our long-term growth opportunities and will continue to evaluate strategic options to drive revenue, monetize assets and realize the significant value of our business.”

Gogo 2020 resulted in the following:

  • Targeting Free Cash Flow break-even for the full year 2020;
  • Targeting significant annual EBITDA growth each year in our plan, reaching over $200 million in 2022;
  • Continuing to build on the significant improvement in 2Ku performance metrics, including availability of over 97% in June, by enhancing product and service quality;
  • Maintain cash capex reduction in 2018 with further material reductions in 2019;
  • Materially reducing upfront equipment subsidies for airline contracts;
  • Reducing total operating spend in Gogo’s Commercial Aviation “CA” business (excluding satellite costs) by nearly 20% by the end of 2020;
  • Reducing total cash burn in 2019 by over $100 million from expected 2018 cash burn and by a further $100 million in 2020;
  • Reviewing multiple options to address our outstanding convertible debt before it becomes current in March of 2019;
  • Renewing focus on third-party payer revenue streams to better monetize existing connected aircraft;
  • Focusing on improving the range of user experiences;
  • Reviewing a range of attractive strategic alternatives, including opportunities suggested by various strategic and financial parties, with the goal of maximizing shareholder value.

The Company provides 2018 guidance as follows:

  • Total revenue of $865 million to $935 million, in line with prior guidance;
  • 2Ku incremental aircraft on-line to be at the low end of the prior guidance range of 550 to 650;
  • Gross capex of $150 million to $170 million and cash capex of $110 million to $130 million, in line with prior guidance;
  • Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $35-45 million.

Editor’s Note: This news release opens the door for future changes that may include sale, business restructuring, and a lot more. Keep your eye on the company in the next year or so.


SITAONAIR

SITAONAIR’s trademark ‘open platforms’ approach is turning the aircraft Internet of Things (IoT) concept into a reality, in a key development for the air transport industry.

By applying its open platforms approach to delivering bespoke IoT capabilities onboard, SITAONAIR will securely integrate diverse aircraft avionics – encompassing sensors, connectivity, hardware, applications and more – heightening the potential of the connected aircraft.

For this aircraft IoT project, SITAONAIR is joining forces with two pioneering cargo carriersAirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) and CargoLogicAir (CLA) at the 2018 Farnborough Air Show. They will demonstrate how SITAONAIR’s IoT platform enables two strategic partners, ABC and CLA, to monitor, in real-time, the journey of sensitive pharmaceutical cargo inflight.

SITAONAIR’s specific IoT solution for AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir works by collecting IoT data provided by OnAsset Intelligence, its demo partner and cargo-monitoring specialist, during the course of a flight. This OnAsset Intelligence data is then fed through SITAONAIR’s onboard IoT edge gateway. The data can then be sent, securely, to its ground data management and dispatch platform, built to monitor the inflight status of carriers’ goods.

Currently, there are no other solutions on the market that provide inflight cargo sensing and freight condition visibility, as perishable and temperature-sensitive goods can only be monitored on the ground. SITAONAIR’s collaboration with AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir therefore represents a shift in technological intelligence, enabling actions or decisions to be made inflight to help optimize performance.

Sergey Lazarev, General Director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, says: “As one of the world’s leading cargo airlines, digital pharma is a priority innovation focus for us. With genuine Internet of Things capabilities, enabled for us onboard by SITAONAIR, our digital pharma service is born, ensuring we can provide the best transportation conditions inflight for customers’ invaluable cargo.”

David Kerr, CEO of CargoLogicAir, highlights: “Customers in the air cargo industry are aiming at getting a better digital experience. With SITAONAIR we will be able to move towards the establishment of a holistic digital environment for our customers”.

Dominique El Bez, SITAONAIR VP of Product & Strategy, says: “We are proud to work with AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir to further improve inflight aircraft and transported assets monitoring, bringing additional value to the airline.

“With over two-thirds (67%) of commercial airlines surveyed by the SITA Group aiming to invest in Internet of Things initiatives in the years ahead, the IoT arena is truly set to take off. As the true experts in delivering the promises of the connected aircraft, through our wealth of inflight connectivity, aircraft data management and aircraft communications solutions, we are naturally positioned to bring game-changing innovation to the aircraft Internet of Things space.

“Our vision is for SITAONAIR to become the enabler of IoT ecosystems onboard aircraft, with an open platform that will be aircraft safety compliant and cost effective. Developed in collaboration with the wider aviation industry, our experts and engineers are enthusiastically exploring aircraft IoT functionalities, and with our rate of development, we aim to bring a sweep of aircraft IoT portfolio products to market from 2019.”

For more information and to discover the full SITAONAIR connected aircraft portfolio, visit www.sitaonair.aero


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and the European Space Agency (ESA), have successfully completed the first test flight using the world’s most advanced aviation satellite technology for their Iris programme in support of European air traffic modernisation.  The evaluation is a significant step forward in realising more precise flight surveillance and more efficient air traffic management.

The Iris programme is a public-private partnership, sponsored by ESA and led by Inmarsat to enable secure, high bandwidth datalink communications over Europe.  The three-hour test flight, which departed from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, was supported by the Iris technology partners Honeywell, CGI and SITAONAIR using Inmarsat’s SB-S L-band service. Using a Cessna Citation II aircraft provided by Dutch company NLR, a number of real-time communication exchanges were completed between the cockpit and flight control facility over continental and oceanic airspace.

The evaluation moves the Iris programme a step closer to enabling SESAR’s concept of pinpointing aircraft in four dimensions (4D) – latitude, longitude, altitude and time – which results in more precise flight tracking and more efficient air traffic management. This allows pilots and controllers to calculate the shortest available routes, cruise at optimum altitudes, and use continuous climb and descent paths, saving fuel and lessening environmental impact.

The Iris programme will enhance airspace utilisation and aviation safety, while reducing flight times, delays and CO2 emissions, all in support of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan.  It will also heighten aircraft communications security through the use of security gateways, which provide a VPN (Virtual Private Network) barrier that securely connects flight management systems onboard the aircraft to corresponding systems used by air traffic controllers on the ground.

Powered by Inmarsat’s new SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) platform, the enhanced IP-based capabilities will relieve pressure on crowded VHF (Very High Frequency) channels, which are near capacity, by moving pilot-controller communications from voice communications to high-speed data link (text messages).


Turkish Technic

Turkish Technic and Havelsan will carry out the production of in-flight entertainment systems. This Joint Venture Company will perform activities in the field of in-flight entertainment and internet service provider systems and other softwares used in civil aviation including design, production, maintenance, repair, marketing, sales and after-sales services in land, sea, rail systems and air platforms. The Company is aiming to provide linefit in-flight entertainment systems as approved supplier for both Turkish Airlines’ new generation aircraft to be delivered between 2022-2023 and other domestic and international airlines’ aircrafts. In-flight entertainment systems which play very important role especially for long haul flights and foster customer satisfaction, are planning to be produced by this Company with high technology and competitive prices. At the first stage, the Company, to be operational at Turkish Technics’ Sabiha Gökçen International Airport facilities in 2018, is planning to commercialize its products for domestic airline operators and other operators within its close region.

 


OTHER NEWS

  • Alaska Air: The Seattle-based carrier converted its 15 737-8 orders to the larger variant, bringing its firm commitments for the Max 9 to 32, during the first quarter, a financial filing shows. It also has 11 737-900ER orders. Alaska will take its first Max in 2019 with deliveries continuing through 2023. – FlightGlobal
  • Want to know more about software API’s? It’s an application program interface and, yes, it is the part of the software/hardware that receives requests and sends responses – Check out this descriptive article
  • On Tuesday, an Air China flight from Hong Kong to Dalian dropped 25,000 feet in just a few minutes, causing the oxygen masks to deploy. The cause? One of the pilots was vaping and tried to hide the smell, as The South China Morning Post explains: CAAC, which seized the aircrafts flight data and voice recorders and interviewed crew members, said preliminary investigations found that the co-pilot had, without telling the pilot, attempted to turn off a circulation fan to prevent e-cigarette smoke from reaching the cabin. “[But the co-pilot] mistakenly switched off the air-conditioning unit that was next to it, resulting in insufficient oxygen in the cabin and an altitude warning.,” said Qiao Yibin, of the authority’s safety office, at a press briefing on Friday, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. OOPS!!
  • Perhaps probiotics can help jet-lag? Take a look at this article.

The Crystal Cabin Award is expanding with the new “Best Customer Journey Experience” category. Submissions can be made online until the end of July.

Hamburg | July 9, 2018– 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 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.

The Crystal Cabin Award 2018 is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, AIME 2019 – Aircraft Interiors Middle East, ALTRAN S.A.S. Co. KG, Ameco Beijing, APEX, ATR, Boltaron Inc. – A SIMONA Company, DIEHL Aviation, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, FIT AG – Additive Manufacturing Group, Flightchic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Global Eagle, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Runway Girl Network, SEKISUI SPI and Thales.

 

RAVE ULTRA is the Third Generation RAVE System

During AIX we sat down with Zii and discussed RAVE and the next evolution of their full-up AVOD product dubbed ULTRA. Below is the fruit of that interview and several telecons since then! While at their booth, we were shown (and amazed) at the size, and we mean thinness, of the screen. You can see it in the accompanying image at the beginning of the story – iPhone thickness is not out of the question as one can see. The point here is the display, its accompanying storage, control and communication hardware electronics will not create seatback installation issues!

Next, let’s ask ourselves what problems airlines are facing today when it comes to their IFE and the burgeoning passenger expectations? On the passenger side, they want large quantities of (up to 4K) quality, varied entertainment. The airlines want to be able to provide content without a cumbersome system architecture that is laden with a multitude of boxes (which do not facilitate an easy and affordable upgrade path) that will not involve expensive certification and software development. Since the inception of RAVE by Zii, they have been dedicated to solving this problem as part of their design objectives. In fact, RAVE is an acronym that stands for: Reliable – inherently simple in its design; Affordable – committed to making IFE affordable for every airline; Very – modular, scalable, versatile; and Easy – to install, operate and maintain. In other words, RAVE!

RAVE ULTRA is Seat-Centric, not Server-Centric

Their third-generation, brand new smart system and display line, RAVE ULTRA, continues Zii’s commitment to Seat-Centric IFE and their dedication to everything RAVE has stood for from its inception. In fact, Seat-Centric, according to Zii, is the key to their dedication to ‘stress free IFE’ for their airline customers and is the third generation of that design. You may ask: Seat-Centric? How does that differ from a Server-Centric system? When Zii, formerly IMS, first addressed the issue of providing IFE to airlines they approached the problem from a different perspective than most traditional IFE hardware solutions – they elected to design a seat-centric solution, as opposed to a server-centric solution. A traditional IFE system has a head-end (consisting of several file and media servers) and multiple distribution boxes between it and the passenger display unit. “The larger (HD/UHD quality and increased quantity) content demands and logistics problems that the IFE industry is facing are amplified in the IFE Server Centric Systems, but not so with a Seat-Centric System,” said Harry Gray Zii’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Seat-Centric IFE provides an elegant answer to onboard entertainment that is enhanced by its simplicity: A System Control Unit in the electronics bay connected via a Gigabit Ethernet backbone to each Smart Display at each seat – that’s it.” The bi-directional loop system architecture provides network stability and redundancy, so if there is a network break on one side of the data connection, the data communication is automatically routed through the other.  Additionally, since the entertainment content is stored at the seat, even if there was a total network failure, the passenger would have full access to all the content stored locally on the display.

RAVE ULTRA Delivers More for Passengers Because of the Cloud

In addition to locally stored content at the seat, the SCU also stores additional entertainment content enhancing the overall capacity of titles offered to the passenger.  RAVE cloud is flying today and Zii is further enhancing cloud capabilities by utilizing content file sharing between the seats thus multiplying the content capacity available to each passenger.  Because of the Cloud-based data gain, 10 Terabytes of capacity is dynamically available for content making it, perhaps, the IFE system with more data for each passenger than any system today. More data means more content and that means more happy users – it’s that simple!  It’s important to note that the content file is “transferred” (not “streamed”) to the passenger so there are no inherent network latency issues as compared to server-centric systems when streaming simultaneously to 300 passengers.   With the combination of locally stored and cloud content – passengers can enjoy HD/UHD entertainment and the airlines can more easily manage content loading without the long ground time.

RAVE System Features Two Main Boxes – SCU and Seat Display 

From a network and hardware perspective, operation via the use of Linux fast hardware is aided by Android developed apps that can be installed and played on each seat system and viewed on the RAVE ULTRA display. Content loading is fast, perhaps the fastest within the industry, via the SD card load-and-go process. Further, the SCU has 4 SD slots, so all it takes is replacing the SD cards with fresh content and the new content is loaded during normal operating times.  Content loading is accomplished in a matter of seconds (not hours).

However, the step change in the third-generation product is in the ULTRA Display itself. The smart display is virtually all viewable screen and is roughly 0.3” thick, resulting in a product that weighs a third of the current generation inflight displays. It is ruggedized with a poly carbonate lens cover and resides in a docking station inserted into the seat – it is not a portable and does not have an internal battery. ULTRA utilizes In-Cell touchscreen capability that supports multi-touch gestures, similar to smartphone devices today making it intuitive for most airline customers. Initially, there are four seatback display sizes – 27”, 17.3”, 15.6”, and 13.3”.

Integrated Bluetooth Audio is another feature built-in to RAVE ULTRA that supports wireless Bluetooth headsets at each aircraft seat; as well as, an integrated camera (another feature) that facilitates QR code scanning and payment options. Oh, and USB-A and a USB-C port all also feature options available.

RAVE Supports H.265 HVEC Compression Standards

The dockable display unit has a Solid State Drive with up to 1 TB of local content and its own IP address that provides passengers with access to 10 TBs of available content via the internal cloud. Further, the display itself is 4K and supports H.265 HEVC to facilitate the latest compression standards. “Seat content sharing is the next generation of IFE and it is being accomplished through cloud sharing,” said Harry Gray. Cloud content can be stored either in the SCU(s) or at another seat display. This provides passengers with access not only to their locally stored data but the benefit of a substantial amount of cloud-based storage. The evolution to this cloud-centric system for content truly allows Zii to keep RAVE content current with the latest storage and content demands. Check out the table below to see both where and how much content storage and access is available in the new RAVE ULTRA based on: Local data storage in memory, Cloud-based memory storage using the SCU, and finally with display memory plus the SCU memory and plus the neighboring seat data storage!

When a passenger requests content that is not resident in their seat display, there is a slight delay of not more than 3 seconds prior to viewing the content.  While the passenger is watching the movie the rest of the content is rapidly transferred (in typically less than 36 seconds) to their seatback and locally stored for the duration of that viewing. This floating cloud data solution is what makes RAVE a real winner for stored data entertainment that passengers will want, and while they may stay involved and engrossed with the airline entertainment solution, everybody wins!

RAVE ULTRA is THE Airline 4K Viewing Solution

The size of the display, the compression method and the number of languages all influence the amount of storage required for any given piece of content. High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) is the video compression method used by RAVE. The following graph explains the amount of storage required on the RAVE system by a 2-hour feature length movie with 4 stereo language tracks:

RAVE ULTRA will be in BOSTON

RAVE ULTRA is in its finalizing phase and has garnered two committed customers.  It is in the midst of meeting head-strike requirements and in the certification process with a target of launch in 2019. “ULTRA is a revolution in product capability,” said Harry “And Zii is excited to continue facilitating airlines in enhancing their passengers entertainment experience.” The IFExpress team is looking forward to watching this product come to market and look for the next installation on the progress of ULTRA and Zii after APEX in Boston!

Consistent with RAVE philosophy, the ULTRA displays are backward compatible with the current generation of RAVE.  Airlines can mix and match displays on the common RAVE backbone.


OTHER NEWS

Global Analysis and Forecasts by Type (Hardware & Service) & Technology (Air to Ground Technology & Satellite Technology) – ResearchAndMarkets.com

Dublin | June 20, 2018–The “In-Flight Wi-Fi Market to 2025 – Global Analysis and Forecasts by Type (Hardware & Service); Aircraft Type (Narrow Body Aircraft, Wide Body Aircraft, Very Large Aircraft & Business Jet); & Technology (Air to Ground Technology & Satellite Technology)” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

In-Flight Wi-Fi market is estimated to reach US$ 7.30 Bn by 2025

The companies are trying to bring better service with a faster speed of Wi-Fi owing to the increase in the number of air travelers and rise in passenger’s expectations. Moreover, airlines are also increasingly switching towards the better Wi-Fi services, mainly satellite-based broadband services which deliver high internet speed. Airlines are now increasingly replacing their existing systems with better Wi-Fi system, in order to meet with changing passenger’s demands, and there are different types of Wi-Fi systems available depends upon the types of aircraft.

Key trend which is expected to have predominantly effect the market in coming year in In-Flight Wi-Fi market is growth in number of air travelers and Wi-Fi connectivity preferences. In-Flight Wi-Fi allows air passengers to get online, do basic browsing, to get connected using cell phones via voice calls, emails, and SMS or MMS. Currently, there is an increase in the number of business and general air travelers.

Thus, airline operators are more focused towards offering passengers with the benefit of using mobile phones for data connectivity, as well as for voice calls in domestic and international flights. In-Flight Wi-Fi increases the productivity of business travelers by enabling them to communicate while flying. With the increase in the number of flights offering Wi-Fi connectivity, passengers are more inclined towards boarding a flight which offers Wi-Fi connectivity. Another factor acting as a propellant for the market is implementation of new systems and technologies with better operational benefits.

Airlines are increasingly switching towards the better Wi-Fi services, mainly satellite-based broadband services which deliver high internet speed. Airlines are now increasingly replacing their existing systems with better Wi-Fi system, in order to meet with changing passenger’s demands, and there are different types of Wi-Fi systems available depends upon the types of aircraft. In 2017, various airlines have upgraded their existing Wi-Fi systems for better speed and connectivity.

Key Topics Covered:

1. Introduction

2. Key Takeaways

3. In – Flight Wi-Fi Market Landscape

4. In-Flight Wifi Market – Key Industry Dynamics

5. In-Flight Wifi – Global Market Analysis

6. In-Flight Wi-Fi Market Revenue And Forecasts To 2025 – Types

7. In-Flight Wi-Fi Market Revenue And Forecasts To 2025 – Aircraft Types

8. In-Flight Wi-Fi Market Revenue And Forecasts To 2025 – Technology

9. In-Flight Wi-Fi Market Revenue And Forecasts To 2025 – Geographical Analysis

10. Industry Landscape

11. Competitive Landscape

12. Global In-Flight Wi-Fi Market – Key Company Profiles

  • Echostar Corporation
  • Global Eagle Entertainment Inc
  • GOGO Llc
  • Honeywell International Inc
  • Panasonic Avionics Corporation
  • Viasat Inc
  • Sitaonair
  • Thales Group
  • Thinkom Solutions Inc
  • Kymeta Corporation

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/dspgmh/inflight_wifi?w=4

20 airlines sign up to use SITA’s technology in just six months

Geneva | June 19, 2018– 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.

Peter Drummond, Director, Baggage Solutions, SITA, said: “IATA’s resolution has brought a sharp focus on the potential for further improvements in baggage management. We at SITA have taken up the challenge and are helping airlines and airports quickly and effectively meet the new tracking requirements.  Working with our industry partners, we have developed new economical infrastructure enhancements for BagJourney.

“These offer the choice of handheld devices for scanning or scanning arches that are quick to install. Each airline and airport has different needs so we have ensured that the various hardware options are easily integrated into our BagJourney solution for fast implementation.”

John Fowler, Senior Director with responsibility for Customer Service, BahamasAir, said: “SITA gave us several options for improving our baggage tracking. Within just seven days we moved from manual ‘bingo card’ tallies to using handheld devices to track all bags at our two busiest baggage destinations, Nassau and Miami. After six months of tracking bags on our busiest route, we observed a 60% drop in the amount of claims due to baggage mishandling.

“We now plan to implement the new technology at all our stations using a phased approach. We will have it in place at the majority of destinations we fly to and hope to reach 100% Resolution 753 compliance by the end of the year. The ease of integration of the hardware and the sophisticated BagJourney solution is the key to success.”

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.

SITA is hosting ‘Tracking Bags – A Turning Point in 2018’ today, June 19th. This webinar features speakers from American Airlines and IATA, who together will discuss the latest trends and industry IT practices in baggage tracking. Places are limited, register now.