November 6, 2019–Through AlphaWise, we conducted a global survey of 200+ corporate travel managers responsible for airline negotiations. Overall, 2020 budget and demand growth are expected to step-up moderately.

We highlight the following key takeaways:

  1. Global Corporate Volumes and Pricing are Decelerating for Air Travel. Respondents in our survey anticipate ~3.4% global passenger volume growth (response-weighted), which is below last year’s ~5.1%. And on the airline pricing side of the equation, it is seeing a similar step-down with growth of ~1.3% versus the previous year at ~1.8% (both response-weighted).
  2. Travel Budgets Should Grow Slower Into 2020. Over the past year, corporate travel revenues have remained steady despite the volatile backdrop. That said, growth in budget expectations for air and hotel are set to be lower with respondents expecting ~4.0% growth into 2020 compared to last year’s forecast of ~5.7%.
  3. North America Domestic Remains the Leading Region. Global volume and pricing expectations vary quite a bit across the relevant regional exposures for US airlines. Specifically, North America Domestic is the strongest region again this year given its volume and pricing expectations at ~2.3% and ~1.9%, respectively, followed by LatAm, Transatlantic, then Asia Pacific.
  4. Premium Policies are Becoming More Stringent, But with Discounts Steady. Along with lower budget expectations, premium travel policies are becoming more conservative with a ~2x increase in managers pointing to more stringent policies in 2020. And on discounts, they remain steady and within the historical range of 10-15%.
  5. Delta is Still Best-in-Class. DAL has consistently screened as the preferred airline amongst corporate travel managers and again held this position based on performance across all polled categories. As such, we expect the airline to hold off any material share shift in the near-term, though note that UAL has made some gains in its relative positioning.
  6. Declining LCC Corporate Share Reversed. This year found corporate travel managers reversing the trend of decreasing LCC use with an up-tick YoY. Specifically, the travel budget allocated for low cost carriers increased to ~12% from the prior year’s ~9%. Overall, we view this trend as a potential disrupter for the Legacies over the long-term.

Read more here.

Amsterdam | November 6, 2019–

TripActions, the fastest-growing business travel platform trusted by the world’s most innovative companies, announced it’s adding the best of inventory from Lufthansa Group airlines to its New Distribution Capability (NDC) enabled marketplace for its 3,000+ enterprise customers and their travellers. Its new direct connection with Lufthansa Group airlines gives travellers the ability to book the best available inventory directly within the TripActions platform. Business travellers may now access inventory from the airlines in the Lufthansa Group including: Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Brussels Airlines.

“In all that we do, we look to drive a win-win-win in the marketplace: A win for business travellers, travel managers, finance leaders and their organisations, and our partners and suppliers”

With TripActions connected directly to Lufthansa Group airlines’ Direct NDC API, the benefits to business travellers will include the most competitive fares, bundles, and access to exclusive ancillary services. Content will be displayed as enabled by the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) NDC standard.

“TripActions joining Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC Partner Program is an important step forward for corporate customers to benefit from modern airline retailing. With our combined technology, the Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC Smart Offer and TripActions’ global reach, we strongly believe in the strength of our partnership and ability to enhance the traveler shopping experience across Europe, Asia, and North America,” said Heike Birlenbach, Senior Vice President Sales Lufthansa Hub Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) Hub Frankfurt.

“As a mission-driven company and culture focused on the user, we’re thrilled to expand our global inventory in partnership with Lufthansa Group airlines to continue delivering the best experience in business travel,” said Danny Finkel, VP of Booking Experience and Supplier Strategy at TripActions. “Enabling direct relationships with suppliers to bring expanded global inventory choice to travellers has been a top priority for TripActions––including leading NDC-enabled business travel first with United Airlines in June and launching a direct connection with Southwest Airlines in October. Following massive traction and positive traveller and travel manager response, we’re thrilled to expand our NDC deployment with the Lufthansa Group airlines.

“In all that we do, we look to drive a win-win-win in the marketplace: A win for business travellers, travel managers, finance leaders and their organisations, and our partners and suppliers,” added Finkel. “With this expanded inventory, business travellers win with increased choice. Travel managers, finance leaders, and their organisations win with increased cost savings, spend visibility, and the ability to fulfill duty of care. Finally, partners and suppliers win as they bring more of their content into our platform with increased personalisation opportunities.”

Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC Smart Offer is expected to be launched in the TripActions platform over the upcoming weeks. For more information, visit the TripActions blog.

GOGO

Gogo together with Eutelsat Communications announced a new satellite capacity agreement for high-speed inflight connectivity services. As part of the new multi-year agreement, Gogo has leased HTS bandwidth on EUTELSAT 10B satellite, to be leveraged over Europe and the Middle East. The new satellite is set to launch in 2022. “We are advancing capacity capabilities given the growing demand for high-speed inflight connectivity services,” said Oakleigh Thorne, president and CEO of Gogo. “Through our partnership with Eutelsat, Gogo 2Ku will continue to enable the best passenger experience for global airlines.” Noted Eutelsat, “We are thrilled about our ongoing relationship with Gogo, a long-standing partner and a leading provider for inflight connectivity,” said Philippe Oliva, Chief Commercial Officer. “This agreement highlights the relevance of our newly ordered EUTELSAT 10B for inflight connectivity and we look forward to supporting Gogo as they increase capacity in Europe and the Middle East to provide the best services to their airline partners.”

On another note, Gogo was recognized at the fourth annual CIO & CDO Summit in Shanghai, China, in late September for an award with the Best Digital Solution for excellence in digital and intelligent airline solutions. “This is a proud moment for Gogo and being recognized with this award further demonstrates how Gogo is delivering the best products and services to our global airline partners and their customers,” said Oakleigh Thorne, CEO of Gogo. “We are excited for the potential we have to bring Gogo 2Ku to the Chinese market, as well as other markets in the Asia Pacific region.”The award criteria included creating major innovation breakthroughs; overcoming substantial technology challenges and bottlenecks; offering an industrial-leading product with high availability, stability and sustainability; operational excellence; and being a well-known brand with a good reputation.


AIRBUS

India’s IndiGo placed a firm order for 300 A320neo Family aircraft. This marks one of Airbus’ largest aircraft orders ever with a single airline operator. This latest IndiGo order comprises a mix of A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR aircraft. This will take IndiGo’s total number of A320neo Family aircraft orders to 730. IndiGo is among the fastest growing carriers in the world. Since its first A320neo aircraft was delivered in March 2016, its fleet of A320neo Family aircraft has grown into the world’s largest with 97 A320neo aircraft, operating along side 128 A320ceos. The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step from the A321LR which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. The aircraft will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm – with 30 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor jets. At the end of September 2019, the A320neo Family had received more than 6,650 firm orders from nearly 110 customers worldwide.

Also from Airbus, Vietnamese carrier Vietjet announced that it will add the A321XLR to its fleet, with a firm order for 15 aircraft and the conversion of five A321neo aircraft from its existing backlog. The announcement was made during a visit to Airbus headquarters in Toulouse by Vietjet President & CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, hosted by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury. During the visit, the airline also signed a new training agreement with Airbus Services. This will see Airbus position two new A320 Family full flight simulators at the carrier’s training center in Ho Chi Minh City. Airbus will also provide a range of training services to the airline and its instructors. Vietjet will be among the first airlines to receive the A321XLR. The addition of the aircraft to its fleet will allow Vietjet to expand further its network, flying longer routes across Asia, as well as to destinations as far afield as Australia and Russia.

And more Airbus news: Cebu Pacific (CEB), a carrier based in the Philippines, has signed a firm order with Airbus for 16 long-range A330neo aircraft. The order firms up the wide-body portion of a previously announced Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which also includes commitments for 10 A321XLR and five A320neo single-aisle aircraft. The A330neo ordered by Cebu Pacific is a higher-capacity version of the A330-900, with up to 460 seats in a single-class configuration. Cebu Pacific plans to operate the aircraft on trunk routes within the Philippines and the rest of Asia, as well as on longer range services to Australia and the Middle East. The A330neo cabin provides the comfort of Airspace by Airbus amenities, including state-of-the-art passenger inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi connectivity systems.

Also, Wizz Air Holdings Plc, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced that, as part of the Indigo Partners deal, it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Airbus S.A.S. (“Airbus”) relating to exercising a part of its existing options for the purchase of 20 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. The present order will be delivered over the course of three years starting in 2023. The A321XLR variant will be operated with 239 seats, the same as the A321neo to ensure full fleet commonality with Wizz Air’s existing fleet. The XLR aircraft can also be utilized on Wizz Air’s existing network with the same efficiency. Completion of the order remains subject to approval by Wizz Air shareholders, as appropriate.

And lastly, Airbus selected twenty-two new start-ups to join its BizLab for the launch of the fifth accelerator program, providing a platform to develop previously untapped technologies and ways of working in the aerospace sector. During the six-month acceleration program, the start-ups will receive support from an international team of experts from various fields and have access to dedicated coaching staff, networking opportunities and co-working spaces. Hailing from nine countries around the world, the twenty-two new start-ups were selected out of 704 applications from 59 countries. One of the main criteria used in the selection process were the synergies between the start-up projects and Airbus’ sustainability, environment and innovation strategy in the fields of reduction of emissions and alternative propulsion technology, additive manufacturing, data analytics, robotics, smart protection and testing systems and artificial intelligence. The selected start-ups will join a unique consolidated global network and be based on one of Airbus’ four BizLab campuses; Toulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany), Bangalore (India) and Madrid (Spain). Airbus BizLab is a global aerospace business accelerator where start-ups and Airbus intrapreneurs speed-up the transformation of innovative ideas into valuable businesses. Since starting in 2015, Airbus BizLab has used this “hybrid” concept to accelerate 72 start-ups and 54 internal projects, which have raised a combined €23.5 million.


BOEING

Boeing and Air Premia announced the Korean startup airline plans to buy five 787-9 Dreamliner airplanes, following an agreement to lease three 787-9 jets from Air Lease Corporation earlier this year. Air Premia, which plans to launch operations in 2020 is poised to become South Korea’s second Dreamliner operator. The commitment, valued at $1.4 billion at list prices, will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website when it is finalized. The 787-9 is a super-efficient widebody airplane that can fly 296 passengers in a standard configuration with a published range of 7,530 nautical miles (13,950 km). The Dreamliner model, powered by a revolutionary design and advanced engines, enables airlines to reduce fuel use and emissions by 20 to 25 percent compared to previous airplanes. The combination of unrivaled fuel efficiency and long range capabilities of the 787-9 has helped airlines save more than 40 billion pounds of fuel and open more than 235 non-stop routes. With its base at Seoul Incheon International Airport, Air Premia announced its plan to launch operations in September 2020. The carrier will initially operate regionally in Asia before expanding its network to Los Angeles and San Jose by 2021.”


FORECAST

J.P. MORGAN is forecasting delivery of:
379 Boeing/881 Airbus/40 Embraer aircraft in 2019;
1,000 Boeing/930 Airbus/63 Embraer aircraft in 2020;
1,057 Boeing/967 Airbus/64 Embraer aircraft in 2021;
and 936 Boeing/1,035 Airbus/57 Embraer aircraft in 2022.


OTHER NEWS

 

ASTRONICS

Astronics Advanced Electronics Systems (AES) introduces an onboard, innovative, aircraft cabin inductive Wireless Charging Module (WCM) that provides airlines and passengers with a convenient way to charge their wireless-enabled devices such as smartphones, MP3 players, cameras, and tablets. Astronics’ WCM provides wireless charging capability for passenger smart phones and other devices, and is ideal for both forward fit and aftermarket retrofit. Presently, we understand this product is slated for installation on business aircraft but we thought our readers would be interested in a technology application that could eventually migrate to the commercial marketplace. Wireless Charging Module | Astronics


PANASONIC

  • Cathay Pacific is bringing the latest live sporting events to inflight entertainment, starting with the 2019 Rugby World Cup, following an announced agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic). Cathay Pacific, which already offers three channels of live news inflight through Panasonic’s live television service, is enhancing this offering with the immediate addition of Sport 24 – a 24/7 live sports channel for airlines operated and owned by IMG – a global leader in sports, events and media – offered exclusively by Panasonic. With Panasonic’s live television platform and IMG’s exclusive sports programming, Cathay Pacific’s passengers will be able to watch live action from the 2019 Rugby World Cup, along with a host of the world’s most popular sporting events over the coming months including the English Premier League, Bundesliga, The Masters, Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, The Open Championship, Ryder Cup, Roland Garros, The Australian Open and Wimbledon.
    This exciting new addition to Cathay Pacific’s inflight entertainment offering is already live on the newest aircraft to enter its fleet – the technologically advanced Airbus A350, which offers unrivaled passenger comfort on the many routes it operates from Hong Kong including Auckland, Barcelona, Brussels, Cape Town, Christchurch, London Gatwick, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Melbourne, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Tokyo and Vancouver. In addition to its live television service, Panasonic is the principal provider of inflight entertainment systems for Cathay Pacific’s fleet of over 130 aircraft.
  • LCS and Academy are finalizing a memorandum of understanding with Panasonic Avionics that will remove the pain of boarding a flight just as your team is gearing up to hit the LCS stage, or hours in the air without any action from the Rift to keep you company. Panasonic is set to become the exclusive in-flight partner of the LCS and Academy. This will enable aircraft equipped with Panasonic’s IFE systems to have access to LCS and Academy games as part of their expanding premium content offering, so fans never need miss out on League esports action again. The plan is for LCS and Academy games to be available from launch in a near live format.
  • Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, AeroMobile, and leading telecommunications operator TrueMove Thailand, a subsidiary of True Corporation Plc, partnered to launch an inflight data roaming bundle for their customers. The inflight bundle, which commercially launched in September 2019, will place inflight mobility at the heart of TrueMove Thailand’s roaming packages. As the first operator in the country to launch an inflight roaming bundle, this agreement further cements TrueMove Thailand‘s position as a market innovator and respected service provider, with a highly competitive offering that brings more value and a greater experience for their 28 Million+ customer-base.  Customers who subscribe to the inflight service will be able to use their mobile phones to browse the internet, send and receive emails, texts and calls and stay in touch with friends on social networks, whilst traveling on AeroMobile equipped aircraft. The service is currently available to post-paid customers that purchase the inflight bundle and will enable TrueMove Thailand’s customers to enjoy more value and convenience when traveling. AeroMobile provides technology and global coverage that allows the safe use of passengers’ own mobile phones onboard aircraft.

LUFTHANSA TECHNIK

Lufthansa Technik welcomed Chinese service provider Air Esurfing Information Technology Co., Ltd., which it will help in providing aircraft with the first ever inflight connectivity solution for the Chinese market. Further contract partners include Honeywell (antenna hardware provider) and China Satcom (satellite provider).

According to a new 5-year agreement, Lufthansa Technik will design and certify Ka-band-based connectivity retrofit packages for both the Airbus A320ceo and A320neo aircraft families as well as the Boeing 737NG and 737MAX. The company will also work with Air Esurfing Information Technology Co., Ltd. to provide the respective CAAC validated EASA Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) to support Chinese airlines. Moreover, Lufthansa Technik will take care of material supply and material handling services for the installation of the packages, that can be tailored to each of Air Esurfing’s airline customers and their specific requirements.
ARE, in full name Beijing Air Esurfing Information Technology Co., Ltd. , was founded in 2013, and is wholly owned by Yuehangyangguang Network Technology Co., Ltd.. Besides its headquarters in Beijing, ARE has also set up a technology research, development and testing center for its products in Shenyang. Conclusively, ARE has grown to be a one of a kind high-tech enterprise in China. Relying on its parent group’s advantages in traditional media & advertising operation in aviation, after years of hard working, ARE’s business evolved in many aspects of the aviation internet business chain. Thus, the company’s portfolio now comprises integrated IFEC solutions, the sale of aviation materials as a distributor, the integration of airborne Wi-Fi systems, the development and customization of onboard entertainment software, the offering of airworthiness modification solutions, and the distribution of advertising, film & television media rights in aviation. Moreover, ARE is engaged in various airborne internet business co-operations. Its three series products, the Star Joy, Star Wing and Star River service platforms developed by ARE, provide mature and customized aviation internet technology solutions and business operation solutions to airlines. Through its open, compatible and flexible business cooperation model, ARE has reached cooperation with many domestic airlines on the mutual construction and operation of an airborne aviation internet system.


SITA

Ghana Airports Company Limited extended its agreement with SITA to manage and support all airport passenger processing, baggage management, and airport operations systems across Kotoka International Airport’s newly commissioned Terminal 3 for the next five years. SITA’s technology will be vital in positioning the airport as the pre-eminent hub in West Africa, leading the way in passenger automation and operational efficiency. This follows SITA’s successful deployment of these systems to support the opening of the new terminal in October last year. These systems include common use check-in desks and self-service check-in kiosks, allowing the airport to maximize its capacity by enabling airlines to cost-effectively share the same infrastructure. The airport will also make use of SITA’s state of the art baggage management technology that will assist airlines in reconciling and tracking bags across the journey. On the operational side, SITA’s Airport Management Solution will simplify planning and real-time operational control by facilitating collaborative decision-making among stakeholders while optimizing the use of airport resources. It will also support revenue management with its billing and reporting functionality. Over the next five years, SITA will be responsible for the maintenance and operations of these key systems and integration with other airport systems


INFLIGHT VR

After weeks of thorough planning and development with the teams at SunExpress, LEGO, Pico Interactive and Lasker Cross-Media, Inflight VR’s branded, immersive #virtualreality passenger experience is now live on many XQ flights from #antalya – oh, and they are celebrating it with a uniquely painted Airbus A320. The company said they couldn’t be more excited and thankful on the day of their company’s five year anniversary.


AIRBUS

  • Airbus and Delta Air Lines are forming a digital alliance to develop new predictive maintenance and health-monitoring solutions for airline customers worldwide from 2020. To be accessed via a unified portal through the Skywise platform, the cross-fleet solutions will harness each member’s expertise in airframes, systems and engines. Delta Air Lines will be the first user of the enriched predictive maintenance solution. This partnership builds on an already successful platform of technical collaboration between Airbus and Delta: In October 2018, Delta entered into a multi-year contract with Airbus to apply Skywise Predictive Maintenance to its A320 and A330 fleets – covering around 400 aircraft. Moreover, in June this year, Airbus and Delta joined forces to offer A220 component repair and material services for Airbus’ A220 Flight Hour Services (FHS) program.
  • Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) launched the iflyACJ.com website, allowing VIP travelers to easily plan their World above the world travel with ACJ charter operators. The new website will appeal to VIP travelers because it groups together in a single place information about the Airbus corporate jet offerings of 12 operators – such as details of their spacious cabins, characteristics and tailored on-board services.

BOEING

Boeing announced the launch of ForeFlight Dispatch, a team flight planning component of its web application that delivers a next-generation, multi-user, schedule-to-mobile flight planning capability for flight operations of any size. With Dispatch, flight plans are created by pilots, dispatchers, or automatically via integrated scheduling systems to generate “cleared-as-filed” routes, briefings, and operational flight plans, which are then synchronized with the ForeFlight Mobile application on crew devices. Flight watchers or dispatchers can then monitor flights or make changes to flight plans, and all changes are automatically synced back to crew devices, resulting in a more productive flight operation. Customers across North America and Europe have already tested the new capabilities with live flight operations in an extensive beta program. The inaugural customer of ForeFlight Dispatch, Flexjet, is a preeminent operator committed to deploying the latest technology throughout the organization.

Boeing has inspected some 810 Boeing 737NG’s for cracking of the “pickle forks” in the wing fuselage mounts on The Boeing Company Model 737-600, -700, -700C, -800, -900, and -900ER series airplanes. It could adversely affect the structural integrity of the airplane. We understand they found issues on some 38 aircraft.

Boeing has made significant progress over the past several months in support of safely returning the 737 MAX to service as the company continues to work with the FAA and other global regulators on the process laid out for certifying the 737 MAX software and related training updates. The company has also made significant governance and operational changes to further sharpen its focus. MediaRoom – News Releases/Statements

Editor’s Note – This might be a big deal for Boeing – “A person briefed on the matter said Boeing failed to turn over the documents to the FAA for four months and that the Justice Department is also in possession of the messages” noted an article from Reuters.” Apparently Boeing knew of MCAS aggression in 2016 and misled FAA . However, it looks like some test pilots in Boeing knew about “issues” with MCAS and was only reported their words on Oct. 17 to the FAA. It may not be the best news for Mr. Muilenburg.


OTHER NEWS

Immfly

Airplane travel can often be a hectic experience. It is quite common for people who travel to feel stress, anxiety or to just worry about what comes next. In short, travel days are loaded with obligations. These obligations result in obstacles to thinking and living in the present.

For this reason, Immfly has partnered with Journey Meditation, the company on a mission to help all people lead happier, healthier lives. By integrating the meditation practice into the aircraft environment, the two companies aim to elevate the travel experience and improve flight journeys for a more peaceful passenger experience.

Journey Meditation was founded in 2015 when the company’s founder, Stephen Sokoler, identified the need to make meditation more approachable and accessible. The goal was simple but powerful: to help people live happier lives with greater clarity and peace of mind.

Journey is dedicated to giving people the opportunity to experience and embrace meditation principles in their daily routine. Through Journey LIVE, the company’s live group meditation app, users are able to participate in expertly led tutorials among a diverse and supportive community.

“We are thrilled to bring Journey LIVE into Immfly’s best-in-class flight experiences,” said Stephen Sokoler, Founder of Journey Meditation. “Travel can be particularly stressful and for some, quite nerve wracking. By bringing meditation aboard aircraft, we hope to improve the overall experience no matter where you are in your personal practice”.

Onboard Meditation Classes

Thanks to Immfly’s IFE & Digital Services, flying passengers can now enjoy 15-minute classes taught by Journey Meditation certified teachers worldwide. Travelers are guided by professionals who help bring mindfulness into everyday life.

Sessions on relieving stress and anxiety, improving performance, sleep and relationships and generally promoting happiness are provided in addition to guidance on the basic principles of learning how to meditate.

The partnership with Journey Meditation enables Immfly to deliver airline customers an even richer range of content with regularly updated videos which give passengers the privilege to watch content onboard which would normally be unavailable to the public at large. Following on their onboard experience, customers can choose to become subscribers to Journey Meditation’s app and continue benefiting from guidance in their daily lives.

Julia Maruny, Head of Content at Immfly adds “ The ability to pair our technology which enables dynamic delivery of fresh content onboard, with rich and relevant content that inspires well being, is something we are very proud of at Immfly. We are excited to be Journey Meditation’s first airline partner. Their mission to promote happiness and well being sits squarely with Immfly’s content strategy to enhance the onboard experience. ”

Unique Modules & SaaS Services
Recent: A digital well-being program for today’s society.

Wowing customers with premium content and unique modules is an essential pillar of Immfly’s proposition. Through constant innovation, the connected digital services company is constantly identifying new opportunities to create products and services that enable airlines deliver sustained differentiation and enhance passenger experience. With movies and TV shows, specialist content channels and incentives, activities in destination, audiobooks & e-books, 3D moving maps, interactive games, and now Journey Meditation’s well-being channel, Immfly’s content team is on a relentless mission to deliver fresh and enjoyable engagement onboard.

(Editor’s Note: I have not personally experienced the Journey Meditation app; however, I have used other meditation/relaxation apps and have found them to be very useful inflight in order to gain a few needed hours of sleep. They are also great when jet lag wakes you up at 2:00 a.m.!)


SITAONAIR
Vietnam Airlines (VN) is cementing its status as the country’s premier national carrier by becoming the first Vietnamese airline to offer inflight connectivity (IFC) – through a partnership with SITAONAIR and Inmarsat satellite telecommunications operator VISHIPEL. The collaboration will see the delivery of pioneering inflight internet services across its fleet, offering digitally-demanding passengers the onboard connectivity they want, and enabling them to stay connected with work and family. Partnering with long-standing Vietnamese satellite provider, VISHIPEL, has been integral to delivering this first-of-its-kind solution for the region. VISHIPEL has played an important role in Vietnam’s national development strategy for information and communication, and this regional expertise, together with SITAONAIR’s industry experience, has ensured that services are tailored for the Vietnamese market. Inflight Wi-Fi is now available aboard four of Vietnam Airlines’ A350 aircraft, making VN the first airline in the country to offer onboard Wi-Fi to meet high regional demand, enhancing the passenger experience and moving closer towards international 5-star quality standards, while digitally transforming its services. SITAONAIR’s best-in-class Internet ONAIR IFC portal will provide seamless Wi-Fi access to VN’s passengers, and enable exceptional levels of personalization and interactivity through customization, to reflect the airline’s own branding requirements.


Airbus
Airbus delivered the 1,000th A320neo Family aircraft. The aircraft, an A321neo produced in Hamburg, Germany, was delivered to Indian airline IndiGo. IndiGo is the world’s biggest customer for the A320neo Family with orders totaling 430 aircraft. Since its first NEO was delivered in March 2016, its fleet of A320neo Family has grown into the world’s largest with 96 aircraft operating alongside 129 A320s. In an extremely competitive aviation market, the fuel efficient A320 Family has been instrumental in IndiGo’s rise to become India’s largest airline by fleet size and passenger numbers. The A320neo Family is assembled at Airbus’ four global sites: Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany; Tianjin, China; and Mobile, USA. The world’s first A320neo was delivered in January 2016 and the program has achieved milestones every year since: the first A321neo in 2017; the first A321LR in 2018 and the launch of the A321XLR in 2019. The A320neo program was designed with fuel efficiency in mind. Building on the A320ceo’s popularity, the aircraft delivers 20% reduced fuel burn as well as 50% less noise compared to previous generation aircraft. Seating up to 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration, the A320neo Family features the widest single aisle cabin in the sky and incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets. At the end of September 2019, the A320neo Family had received more than 6,660 firm orders from close to 110 customers worldwide. Airbus delivered 71 aircraft (seven A220s; eight A320ceos; 40 A320neos; four A330s; 12 A350s and an A380) in September vs 69 in September 2018, and has so far delivered 571 of the 880-890 planned for 2019.

Thales and Airbus CyberSecurity, two European leaders in critical information systems and cybersecurity, join forces to support operators of vital importance against cyber attacks. Combining their sovereign products, Thales’s cyber attack detection system Cybels Sensor and the Airbus CyberSecurity’s Orion Malware solution will provide businesses and organizations with a qualified solution delivering unrivaled results. Solution offers unparalleled detection capacities and enables in-depth investigation, combining detection with incident response

Air Austral, France’s Réunion Island-based airline, signed a firm order for three A220 aircraft, Airbus’ newest family member. With this order Air Austral becomes the first A220 customer based in the Indian Ocean region. Benefiting from a 20% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, the A220s will enable Air Austral to reduce its costs and carbon footprint on international routes in the region. The design of the new clean sheet single-aisle aircraft allows for more seats, offering extra revenue potential to airlines, especially to those located in remote areas, and extra usable cargo volume capacity. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and widebody passenger comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least a 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft, along with significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint. The A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. The A220 had an order book of over 500 aircraft at the end of September 2019.


BOEING
Boeing announced that its Board of Directors  separated the roles of chairman and chief executive officer. Dennis  Muilenburg continues as CEO, president and a director. The board elected David L. Calhoun, current independent lead director, to serve as non-executive chairman. The board said splitting the chairman and CEO roles will enable Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 MAX safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing’s customers around the world, and implement changes to sharpen Boeing’s focus on product and services safety. This decision is the latest of several actions by the board of directors and Boeing senior leadership to strengthen the company’s governance and safety management processes. Calhoun said, “The board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labor will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role. The board also plans in the near term to name a new director with deep safety experience and expertise to serve on the board and its newly established Aerospace Safety Committee.” “I am fully supportive of the board’s action. Our entire team is laser-focused on returning the 737 MAX safely to service and delivering on the full breadth of our company’s commitments,” said Muilenburg.

The company delivered 26 aircraft (two 737NGs; 747-8F; four 767s; seven 777s; 12 787s) in September vs 87 in September 2018, and has to date delivered 302 aircraft in 2019 vs 568 a year ago.


Other News

Spirit airlines receive the most negative comments overall

October 14, 2019–Social media is bridging the gap between brands and customer experience, allowing consumers to voice their opinions in real-time for the whole world to see.

We all know poor reviews and negative comments can make or break a brand’s reputation. With 330 million active users, Twitter, in particular, has become an extensive platform for engaged customers to reveal both praise and complaints in equal measure.

With this in mind, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip analyzed over 96,000 tweets over a two-week period1 – using a unique sentiment analysis tool – to discover which of the nine largest US airlines receive the most positive and negative mentions.

Spirit Airlines has the highest proportion of poor reviews, with nearly 70 percent of its Twitter mentions containing a negative sentiment. Over a third of negative keywords in Spirit’s mentions were due to delays or cancellations.

This comes as no surprise, as Spirit recently found itself in hot water with its passengers over its alleged ‘hidden’ bag fees. Spirit even faces a lawsuit after its customers accused the company of knowing its online travel agents hid ‘gotcha’ bag fees customers are expected to pay at the airport.

Frontier Airlines followed closely with 64 percent negative mentions, receiving the highest number of complaints about ‘customer service’ (8.9%) compared to any other airline analyzed.

American Airlines was in the third position with 56 percent of negative tweets overall.

At the other end of the spectrum, Southwest Airlines tops the list with 70 percent of its Twitter mentions considered positive. When analyzing the sentiments, ‘customer service,’ ‘luggage,’ and ‘food’ were the words with the best scores.

These findings are also a testament to Southwest Airlines’ latest accolade as the sixth best airline in the world, announced earlier this year.

Interestingly, although it performed well overall, Southwest Airlines received the highest number of negative mentions for keywords regarding seating (15.7%), as passengers are not assigned seats. Instead, they’re given a boarding group, indicating where they should line up when they’re at the gate ready to board.

Allegiant Air and Alaska Airlines followed closely with 64 and 62 percent positive mentions, respectively. With both airlines receiving hardly any negative mentions for their ‘luggage,’ ‘money,’ ‘seats,’ and ‘food’ offerings.

‘Delay’ is the most commonly tweeted negative keyword overall for eight of the nine airlines, with United Airlines receiving the highest negative percentage for this keyword (23.6%). This is followed by ‘cancel’ – the most popular negative keyword for Spirit Airlines overall (18.5%) – and customer service takes third place.

Ronni Kenoian, Manager of Marketing and eCommerce at InsureMyTrip, commented:

“Social media is often where passengers turn to voice their opinions in real-time. And Twitter is one of the most powerful communication tools available.

It is interesting to see how positive and negative customer feedback stack up — and, in turn, how airlines respond in an effort to improve customer service.”

InsureMyTrip has put together a handy infographic looking at the findings in more detail, which can be viewed here.

Airbus at APEX Los Angeles

During APEX Expo in Los Angeles, Airbus discussed their in-flight trials of IoT connected cabin technologies on board an A350-900 Flight Lab aircraft. In doing so, Airbus becomes the first aircraft manufacturer to undertake such flight-testing of actual connected cabin innovations. The platform, known as the Airspace Connected Experience, was unveiled at the APEX Expo Boston in 2018. The airframer said this technology will usher in a new personalized experience for passengers and provide opportunities for improving airlines’ ancillary revenues and operational efficiencies.

The Flight Lab aircraft is one of the original A350-900 certification flight-test aircraft and is fitted with an Airspace cabin which now serves as the ideal platform to evaluate the new connected cabin technologies in flight. In conjunction with their best-in-class cabin partners, an initial set of working elements have been installed. These include prototypes of the Connected iSeat (Recaro), the Connected Galley (gategroup), a remote wireless cabin management control system, a large OLED display and importantly, the first step of Airbus’ new “IoT backbone” which includes an open software platform. These innovations are all now being tested in flight.

Airbus said that the connected cabin ecosystem will enable significant value-adding services for passengers, airlines and crews. Possible examples include:

  • Passengers will receive a more personalized travel experience specifically targeted to the individual needs and preferences, based on the available data. In particular this covers remote and pre-ordering of preferred meals, booking of private bin space, setting of individual seat positions as well as a tailor-made inflight IFE offer.
  • Airlines will be able to generate additional ancillary revenues through personalized retail and advertisement as well as new services, all enabled by the IoT approach. Furthermore, airlines will be able to improve their operational efficiency applying predictive maintenance, avoiding waste and making crew services more efficient. Other opportunities can easily be created and applied via apps.
  • Crews will find a better working environment and more efficient tools, digitally enabled by real-time data from the IoT platform throughout the cabin. A mobile smart device will allow crews to monitor and operate all components.

Customer-centric approach

The in-flight tests are part of their customer-centric approach, which began with workshops to create and prioritize innovative concepts, followed by an extensive phase of on-ground testing and customer evaluation of the connected elements. The subsequent testing of these innovations in an Airbus Flight Lab environment is key to bringing an integrated Connected Experience to fruition – being able to validate and refine them in a real airborne cabin. In particular, the tests allow the various elements to be operated and monitored during a normal flight cycle, especially with regard to the end-to-end data flow robustness within the systems and between them. The next steps will continue testing of the current setup, then close the feedback loop with airlines using Airbus’ Customer Experience Teams (CET) forum, by around year-end.

More Airbus News

  • Airbus SE notes the decision of the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the level of countermeasures it authorizes the United States to impose on products from the European Union (EU). If the United States Trade Representative (USTR) chooses to impose tariffs on the importation of aircraft and/or aircraft components, this will create insecurity and disruption not only to the aerospace industry, but also to the broader global economy. Yet it is still avoidable. In the coming months, the WTO will determine the amount of tariff countermeasures the EU can impose on US products – including imported Boeing aircraft – in the parallel counter case regarding illegal subsidies to Boeing. The WTO has already found that the US failed to address illegal subsidies causing harm to Airbus. This will provide the EU with grounds to claim countermeasures on US products at a level that could exceed US sanctions. If applied, these tariffs on both sides will severely impact US and EU industries, putting high costs on the acquisition of new aircraft for both US and EU airlines. Aviation is a global industry. Evidence of that is the fact that close to 40 percent of Airbus’ aircraft-related procurement comes from US aerospace suppliers. This US supply chain supports 275,000 American jobs in 40 states through spending that has totaled $50 billion in the last three years alone. If tariffs are applied, the entire global industry will be harmed. The only way to prevent the negative effects of these tariff would be for the US and EU to find a resolution to this long-running dispute through a negotiated settlement.
  • Airbus inaugurated its highly automated fuselage structure assembly line for A320 Family aircraft in Hamburg, showcasing an evolution in Airbus’ industrial production system. With a special focus on manufacturing longer sections for the A321LR, the new facility features 20 robots, a new logistics concept, automated positioning by laser measurement as well as a digital data acquisition system. These will further support Airbus’ drive to improve both quality and efficiency while bringing an enhanced level of digitization to its industrial production system. For the initial section assembly, Airbus is using a modular, lightweight automated system, called “Flextrack”, with eight robots drilling and counter-sinking 1,100 to 2,400 holes per longitudinal joint. In the next production step, 12 robots, each operating on seven axes, combine the center and aft fuselage sections with the tail to form one major component, drilling, counter-sinking, sealing and inserting 3,000 rivets per orbital joint. Besides the use of robots, Airbus is also implementing new methods and technologies in material and parts logistics to optimize production, improve ergonomics and shorten lead times. This includes the separation of logistics and production levels, demand-oriented material replenishment as well as the use of autonomous guided vehicles. The Hamburg structure assembly facility is responsible for joining single fuselage shells into sections, as well as final assembly of single sections to aircraft fuselages. Aircraft parts are equipped with electrical and mechanical systems before eventually being delivered to the final assembly lines in France, Germany, China and the US.

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) announced the award of a new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of satellite communications (SATCOM) provisions on Boeing B777-300 and B777-300ER series aircraft. This award helps ensure consumers have the high-quality, in-flight connectivity that they have come to expect each time they fly. 

The specified FAA STC allows for the installation of structural provisions and the outside aircraft equipment package for a cabin upgrade incorporating a dual-band (Ka/Ku) terminal. The dual-band terminal allows for in-flight network switching across Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks, providing more reliable in-flight entertainment and communication access to travelers. 

The certified installation design follows a previously issued FAA STC for Airbus A320 series aircraft. CIT provided all design, qualification, approvals, and certification resources associated with the installation. The aircraft equipment packages were manufactured and conformed at the company’s facility in Franklin, Wis.

CIT leads the market in aerospace SATCOM applications, with over 2,500 installations delivered worldwide. From component manufacturing to fully-integrated engineered solutions, CIT has the capability and flexibility to support various consumer needs. Contact CIT via email for additional information.


Inmarsat
Inmarsat signed a contract with the European Space Agency for phase two of the ground-breaking Iris air traffic modernization program, which will include important flight trials across Europe to assess the service in a real operational environment. Iris is being developed to deliver powerful benefits to European aviation by enabling high bandwidth, cost-effective satellite-based datalink communications over Europe. The program contributes to the delivery of the ‘Single European Sky’, which focuses on modernizing air traffic management and air navigation efficiency. Satellite communications reduces the pressure on ground-based frequencies, which third party reports have indicated will be under significant capacity stress in the next 5-10 years.
As part of the program’s second phase, flight trials will be conducted on approximately 20 aircraft flying commercially over a six-month period starting in 2020, allowing Iris to be assessed in a real operational environment. Selected airlines will take part in the demonstration, with the support of leading Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), to evaluate the Iris program for air traffic control (ATC) and airline operational communications (AOC) across continental Europe. Also in this phase, Inmarsat will work with ESA to prepare for pan-European certification of the Iris service provider and define a distribution agreement. In addition, Inmarsat and its partners, such as Thales Alenia Space, will prepare for future air traffic control requirements through research & development and prototyping. This will include transitioning to the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network/Internet Protocol Suite (ATN/IPS) standard, which will make the service truly global. Iris was initiated in 2014, when ESA selected Inmarsat to lead a consortium of European technology companies to develop the program, including Airbus, Boeing, Honeywell and Thales, in addition to leading ANSPs across the continent, such as DFS (Germany), DSNA (France), ENAIRE (Spain), ENAV (Italy), EUROCONTROL MUAC (North-West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) and NATS (UK). Iris is powered by Inmarsat’s award-winning SB-S digital aircraft operations platform operating on its L-band network that has underpinned global safety services for 40 years. Inmarsat is scheduled to launch two new, advanced L-band payloads to join its existing fleet in 2020 and 2021, further cementing the company’s long-term commitment to the highly reliable safety communications services it offers to the aviation community over this spectrum.


Boeing
Boeing is funding the creation of a state-of-the-art laboratory facility dedicated to the research and testing of autonomous aerial vehicles within Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The Boeing Flight & Autonomy Laboratory features a control room and maker area, the newest motion-capture cameras and sensor networks, and a public observation area. The lab is the latest support by Boeing in Stanford’s Aero/Astro department. In addition to the $2.5 million contribution to fund the Boeing Flight & Autonomy Laboratory, located in the Durand Building, Boeing is a founding member of the Stanford Aero/Astro Launch Fund for a new undergraduate program in aeronautics and astronautics. The inaugural class in that program will graduate in 2020.


Other News

True Blue Power unveils ultra-fast, 60-watt, USB-PD charging ports

Wichita, Kansas | October 8, 2019– True Blue Power, a leading provider of certified USB power products for the aerospace industry, today announced the company’s newest ultra-fast charger, the TA360 Series USB-PD Charging Port. Designed to power new and future electronic devices, the high-speed charging ports use USB Power Delivery (PD) technology to provide 60 watts of power per port.

“True Blue Power is at the forefront of USB product development. Adding this advanced USB-PD technology to our product line ensures pilots, passengers and crew have access to cutting-edge, in-flight USB power now and well into the future,” said Erik Ritzman, True Blue Power Director. “The TA360 series future-proofs aircraft for years to come.”

Ultra-fast charging / Maximum power
USB Power Delivery (PD) is the fastest charging technology available. It provides 4 times more power than traditional USB-A and USB-C chargers. USB-PD charging ports offer intelligent voltage output, allowing each specific device to receive the maximum level of power possible. While PD-compatible electronics benefit most from this new technology, the TA360 Series also supports traditional USB-A and USB-C devices.

60 watts of True Blue Power per port   
The latest PD-compatible smartphones, tablets, electronic flight bags (EFB) and laptop computers benefit from the TA360 Series’ variable power output. The ultra-fast charger delivers 5–20 volts at 3 amps, providing up to 60 watts of power per PD port and is available in three primary configurations.

Installation / Protection
The TSO-certified TA360 Series offers easy in-seat, cabin, cockpit and galley installation, and protects itself and the electronic device from short circuit, power surges, overload and over temperature. True Blue Power USB-PD chargers are a drop-in replacement for the company’s TA102 and TA202 Series chargers. All True Blue Power USB Charging Ports offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

The TA360 Series USB-PD Charging Port will be on display in booth C8717 throughout the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention and Exhibition at the Las Vegas Convention Center October 22 – 24. For more information, contact Erik Ritzman, True Blue Power Director, at 316-630-0101 or visit truebluepowerusa.com.

  • Inflight mobile connectivity will enable subscribers to use their phones in 86 different countries

September 26, 2019–Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, AeroMobile, and leading integrated UAE telecommunications operator du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company(EITC), have partnered in an agreement that will enable du’s subscribers to enjoy inflightmobile connectivity at a better price.

Recognising a desire for its customers to stay connected when they travel, the newpartnership will expand on du’spopular international roaming plans– ‘Roaming data bundleon preferred networks’ –which currently enable subscribers to use their phones in 86 different countries for the same price as being at home.

“At du, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to transform the connected experience for our valued customer bases,” says Fahad Al Hassawi, Deputy CEO–Telco Services, EITC.“This partnership has literally taken our services and telco experience to new heights, andwe are thrilled to be expanding our connected offerings to enrich our subscribers journeysabroad.”

The international roaming bundleswill now include AeroMobile’s inflight mobile services,which will enhance the experience of travelling even further. Subscribers will be able to browse the internet and stay connected, send and receive texts, listen to voicemail, and make and receive calls on AeroMobile equipped aircraft at no extra cost, provided customers have the eligible roaming data package active.

As well as empowering du subscribers on their journeys, business customers can also benefit from always-on connectivity with Inflight roaming on their travels.

This service is available to post-paid customers and will enable du subscribers to enjoy more value, simplicity and convenience when travelling abroad than ever before.

Speaking of the agreement, Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile, Panasonic Avionicssays: “Weare proud to be working with du to bring this inflight mobile services to its customers. Theagreement demonstrates du’s ongoing commitment to offering innovative and convenientcommunication services to its customers, wherever they may be.”

AeroMobile provides technology and global coverage that allows the safe use of passengers’ own mobile phones onboard aircraft.


Biometrics are Key in Today’s Airline Strategies

The Opening Sessions of APEX had several ‘C’ level airline representatives discuss their perspectives on what has made their airlines successful. Delta Air Lines CEO, Ed Bastian, stated that Delta, “-could never compete on price alone, so we needed to find a way to distinguish ourselves from the competition.” The airline has looked to improve their passenger experience through the use of biometrics. Delta passengers can enroll in CLEAR, allowing them to use biometric iris and fingerprint recognition instead of ID documents. He also said that 50% of the airline’s revenue comes from the Main Cabin, so the economy class customer is “just as important” as those who travel in the Delta One Suites! In keeping with that philosophy, as of November 1, 2019 all international economy travelers flights longer than 6 hours will receive a welcome cocktail, hot towel service during the flight and mix-and-match meal options.

Biometrics are also playing a significant part in JetBlue’s strategy. COO Joanna Geraghty’s presentation focused on how the airline is seeking to make travel less stressful by smoothing out the airport experience for their travelers. “If you could walk right through check-in to security and on to the gate – that could revolutionize the airport experience for the traveler!” Geraghty acknowledges there are challenges to face when it comes to passengers privacy, but so far the number of travelers who have participated in the biometric check-in options has been overwhelming. JetBlue’s focus has been to offer the biometric solution to the traveling public without a fee to participate in the program.

Virgin Atlantic’s CEO Shai Weiss said the company has long-term ambitions to double their size, becoming the second flag carrier of the UK. Virgin is currently in the first hear of their three-year strategy dubbed Velocity, and the carrier is currently focusing on transforming the traveling experience by focusing on that ‘warm and fuzzy feeling’. For Virgin it is all about customer satisfaction scores and Weiss said, “It’s all about heart and that is the thing that really differentiates Virgin – it’s our special touch.”

Alex Wilcox, Co-Founder and CEO of JSX was the next to address the audience. He said that JSX is the fastest growing airline in North America. In 2018 JSX flew 1,000 flights a month, in 2019 they are averaging 2,400 flights per month and they are forecasting 4,000 flights per month in 2020. The regional jet service that allows 30 passengers to enjoy a ‘private aircraft style’ experience was launched in 2016 as JetSuiteX and has a fleet of Embraer 135s. JSX is also the launch airline for SmartSky Networks’ high speed air-to-ground connectivity product.

The biometrics theme continued on through Jeffrey Goh CEO, Star Alliance’s presentation as well. Goh said that their mantra is quite simple: “We want to make sure the passenger connects, and in fact, connects quite well.” To facilitate this, the alliance is looking at the potential for passenger biometric data interchange between their airline members. As a result, the Star Alliance has partnered with NEC Corporation in an effort to develop a platform and a frequent flyer app to facilitate a seamless travel experience. Goh said that they recognize the critical importance that the biometric data remains with the passenger and that they will seek consent from passengers at specific biometric touchpoints (check-in and boarding) for use of their personal information.

In the next issues of IFExpress we will be covering data that we discovered at the APEX EXPO in Los Angeles and will try to keep our readers abreast of new trends and technology. Here are a few of the technologies we will be tracking: new IFEC developments like portable systems, new EFBs, and battery/aircraft powered IFE with Bluetooth and RF connectivity. We will also be addressing plastic free aviation cabin solutions, new power delivery, new digital platforms and inflight TV, lighting innovations and entertainment content developments. Of note are new studies on passenger entertainment requirements and changes, as well as, IEEE 802.11ac wireless features with cognitive hot spot technologies. We were also excited about future smaller aircraft IFE and and inflight experiences with 4K video. So there is a lot to look forward to over the next few weeks!


INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Apple AirPod fans will like the new development from AirFly (AirFly | Bluetooth transmitter for Apple AirPods, Wireless Headphones – Twelve South). Yep, it is a wireless earphone adapter that connects to the audio output on the airplane IFE. It is not the only device to adapt but the writers say it is the best. How to Use AirPods to Listen to In-Flight Movies and, here’s a video on the application.
Amazon.com: Twelve South Airfly Wireless Transmitter | Connect Airpods & Wireless Headphones to Headphone Jacks at Gyms, On Airplane Entertainment Systems, and with Nintendo Switch: Cell Phones & Accessories We were curious if other headphones we like would work, so, we asked Hratch Astarjian at BOSE and he said: “This seems to simply be a Bluetooth dongle. Based on the specs I saw on Amazon, our Bluetooth headphones will work just fine. Of course, the headphones will simply reproduce the audio quality that’s coming through the IFE system which, as we both know, can sometimes be mediocre. And there’s still the challenge of having a seat jack that’s not working properly – but that’s another problem altogether.”


SITAONAIR

Singapore Airlines is able to keep its customers connected through SITAONAIR’s high-speed, reliable and advanced inflight connectivity portal, Internet ONAIR, powered by Link ONAIR over Inmarsat’s GX Aviation satellite network. The live broadcast truly demonstrated how SITAONAIR supports the airline in providing ‘always-on’, reliable connectivity for passengers who need to keep in contact with work and loved ones.

As a long-standing SITAONAIR customer, Singapore Airlines is committed to providing best-in-class inflight connectivity. The airline adopted SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR services in 2017, which are designed to provide super-fast and uninterrupted connection over land or sea.


INMARSAT
Inmarsat announced that its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution has entered commercial service with leading low-cost airline AirAsia. The airline is currently offering GX Aviation to passengers onboard a number of initial aircraft through its RedBeat Ventures subsidiary, ROKKI, marking a significant upgrade to their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) experience. To celebrate the occasion, passengers are being offered a free trial on GX Aviation-equipped aircraft from today until 30 September 2019. The service integrates with the airline’s entertainment and e-commerce platform, allowing passengers to access a variety of free entertainment, music, games, news and shopping using their personal mobile devices. It will be rolled out across AirAsia’s Airbus A320 and A330 fleet over the next year. AirAsia is the latest airline to launch commercial service with GX Aviation, powered by the world’s first and only globally available broadband network. It will also benefit from major upcoming enhancements to Inmarsat’s GX network, with additional capacity being introduced by three new GX payloads, which are scheduled to launch in 2019, 2020 and 2021. In addition, Inmarsat recently signed landmark agreements to develop a pioneering new generation of GX satellites, which represent a transformative step-change in inflight broadband capabilities. These include the ground-breaking GX7, 8 & 9 satellites, which feature thousands of dynamically-formed beams that direct capacity over high-demand areas, and the innovative new GX10A & 10B Arctic payloads, which will be the only broadband satellite service dedicated to this region.


AIRBUS
The world’s passenger and freighter aircraft fleet is set to more than double from today’s nearly 23,000 to almost 48,000 by 2038 with traffic growing at 4.3% annually, also resulting in a need for 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians. By 2038, of the forecast 47,680 fleet, 39,210 are new and 8,470 remain from today. By updating fleets with latest generation fuel efficient aircraft such as the A220, A320neo Family, the A330neo and the A350, Airbus believes it will largely contribute to the progressive decarbonisation of the air transport industry and the objective of carbon neutral growth from 2020 while connecting more people globally.
Reflecting today’s evolving aircraft technology, Airbus has simplified its segmentation to consider capacity, range and mission type. For example, a short haul A321 is Small while the long-haul A321LR or XLR can be categorized as Medium. While the core market for the A330 is classified as Medium, it is likely a number will continue to be operated by airlines in a way that sits within the Large market segmentation along with the A350 XWB. The new segmentation gives rise to a need for 39,210 new passenger and freighter aircraft -29,720 Small, 5,370 Medium and 4,120 Large – according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2019-2038. Of these, 25,000 aircraft are for growth and 14,210 are to replace older models with newer ones offering superior efficiency. Resilient to economic shocks, air traffic has more than doubled since 2000. It is increasingly playing a key role in connecting large population centers, particularly in emerging markets where the propensity to travel is among the world’s highest as cost or geography make alternatives impossible. Today, about a quarter of the world’s urban population is responsible for more than a quarter of global GDP, and given both are key growth drivers, Aviation Mega Cities (AMCs) will continue to power the global aviation network. Developments in superior fuel efficiency are further driving demand to replace existing less fuel efficient aircraft. The Small segment includes the A220 Family and all variants of the A320 Family. The core Airbus products in the Medium  segment are the A330 and A330neo Family, and can also include the smaller A321LR and XLR versions used on long-haul missions. The largest segmentation Large, is represented by the A330neo Family together with the larger A350 XWB Family which also includes the Ultra Long Range version. This segmentation will continue to be served by the A380 at the upper end.


BOEING
Boeing and Safran announced a joint investment in Electric Power Systems (EPS), a company offering a suite of safe, certifiable and lightweight energy storage products that provide high-quality power for aerospace and other markets. The joint investment will help EPS develop a highly automated industrial base capable of producing aviation-grade energy storage systems at an unprecedented scale. The investment will also support the advancement of technologies to further reduce the costs of battery systems for electric airplanes. Boeing HorizonX Ventures and Safran Corporate Ventures jointly invested in EPS during this Series A funding round. EPS is the second advanced battery solutions company to join the Boeing HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio, following an investment in Cuberg, an advanced lithium metal battery technology company, in 2018. Safran Ventures also recently invested in OXIS Energy, a UK-based leader in lithium-sulfur cell technology for high energy density battery systems. Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defense markets. Safran has a global presence, with more than 92,000 employees and sales of 21 billion euros in 2018. Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes Research & Development programs to meet fast-changing market requirements, with total R&D expenditures of around 1.5 billion euros in 2018. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange, and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.


OTHER NEWS

IFExpress is back from a week in sunny Los Angeles, California where many new developments in the IFEC arena were on exhibit at APEX EXPO 2019. As we mentioned to many of you during the show, 2019 has predominately been a ‘step change’ year; however, there were a few exceptions, which we will cover in upcoming issues of IFExpress. But here are a few trends and highlights from last week’s exhibition.

One of the primary discussions during APEX was the need to assure the quality of service the passenger experiences while inflight. Much of this discussion focused around IFEC, especially, the quality of Wi-Fi and streaming content as well as data. The size of the pipe to/from the aircraft does not necessarily determine what the quality of the experience will be for the passenger. Think about your recent experience at a hotel. Many times the routers are bogged down with too many residents connecting to their nearest node, resulting in slow internet speeds. In fact, many times it is difficult to do simple email, not to mention streaming video and this is on the ground! This is where intelligent allocation comes in to play with the Wireless Access Points – an area that several IFEC hardware providers have tackled head on.

Having said that, another area of concern that has, and will continue to be, voiced was the issue of privacy and security around the individual traveler’s personal data. This translates to the need for an increasingly cybersecure system. Last week, we did see an increase in the number of companies addressing the issue of cybersecurity within the aviation sphere. At APEX there were several software security specialists working in conjunction with hardware manufacturers to layer security software within Wireless Access Points (WAPs). As an industry, both the airlines and the IFEC vendors are continuing to focus on the issues of hacking and maintaining the passengers’ faith and trust that their personal information is secure. This is an issue that is here to stay.

On another note, further developments were on display that included LiFi (a mobile wireless technology that uses light instead of radio frequencies to transmit data), which we had seen for the first time at APEX 2018 in Boston. Some companies are looking at using this innovative technology for streaming content to passenger devices, while others are exploring what opportunities this technology provides for uploading/downloading data to/from the aircraft on the ground. One thing is for certain, LiFi is here to stay and this is a technology that we will see implemented in our industry in the near term.

Some major advancements have been made in the area of satcom antennas since AIX 2019. We were very impressed with the new antenna development project from Safran Passenger Innovations (formerly Zii). IFExpress first caught a glimpse of the antenna in April at AIX 2019. Destined for delivery in 2021, this antenna will be approximately 35 kg – roughly 2/3 lighter than today’s antennas and will have a smaller foot print and lower profile! We will be covering more from the SPI booth in a later issue. But we foresee smaller, lighter, and more dynamic antennas as a much-needed industry trend.

in abundance at the show, were 4K displays but the real issue is 4K content – its availability and whether or not the movie houses will approve the onboard IFE systems to run them! More on this to come as well. Also, regarding content, Touch and Castlabs announced a joint-venture (ABOVE) to move the passenger entertainment supply chain to the cloud. This is an open, standards-based platform for the encoding, storage and distribution of encoded video and related metadata through cloud-based services. This JV has the potential to revolutionize content processing, approval and delivery workflows, while increasing efficiencies and functionality.

Another area that continues to gain traction within the industry is the concept of health and wellness. This is a definite growth area with airlines and vendors embracing it. The continued desire of the airlines to engage their passengers with technology and services that meet their expectations and ease the stress of the travel experience is here to stay. One IFEC supplier said, “Imagine getting off a long-haul flight and feeling better than you did when you boarded!” Lofty expectations and it remains to be seen whether or not this objective will be achievable. However, these applications will certainly help, not hinder, the travel experience.

None of the aforementioned would be possible without the new, massive solid-state drives that are embedded in today’s IFEC in conjunction with the proliferation of installed connectivity services, artificial intelligence and biometrics. As these four technologies evolve in the IFEC industry the amount of data that can be garnered about each individual traveler and their expectations will result in a tailored travel experience from the moment the ticket is booked, throughout the journey itself, until the passenger reaches his/her destination. The industry has long talked about touching the end-to-end passenger experience and how it will facilitate the airlines ability to meet, and possibly exceed, expectations of those utilizing their services whether it be for leisure or business travel. It is the belief of IFExpress that we are finally on the cusp of being able to deliver on that promise.

Over the next few weeks, our publication will review what we had the opportunity to see and experience during APEX EXPO. We will start with some highlights from the Thoughts and Leadership Conference on Monday September 9, as well as, some of the afternoon’s information tracks. During the following weeks we will do a deeper dive into the interviewed companies and their technologies. As always, thanks for subscribing and reading IFExpress!


APEX/IFSA AWARD WINNERS

Members of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) honored their peers as they celebrated the top innovators from airlines and vendor partners around the globe during the inaugural APEX/IFSA Award Ceremony. Winners were announced Monday evening (9/9/19) during the ceremony at APEX EXPO. “APEX is proud to highlight the most innovative approaches to business in passenger experience from our member airlines and vendors. We honor these organizations who have shown exemplary dedication and innovation to advancing the passenger experience,” says Maura Chacko, co-chair of the APEX Awards Committee.

Winners were determined by industry and media judging panels.

APEX Award Winners are:

  • Fiji Airways  Best Lounge Innovation: Fully Qualified Nannies at Fiji Airways Premier Lounge
  • SriLankan Airlines – Best Marketing Innovation: Spirit of SriLankan Airlines & The Magic of Vesak
  • VT Miltope  Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation: Securing Wireless Cabin Networks for the Future
  • American Airlines  Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation: Calm on American Airlines

Newcomer of the Year Award Winner is:

  • Flight Center Instituto de Aviación – Flight Attendant VR Training Program

IFSA Award Winners are:

  • American Airlines – Best Inflight Food or Beverage: Zoës Kitchen Partnership
  • Clip Limited – Best Onboard Amenity: JetBlue Mint Kits

New this year is the APEX/IFSA Awards for Best Cabin Innovation and Best Product or Service. These awards recognize outstanding achievements in creating a thoughtful new cabin environment and innovations in passenger comfort, including seats, design, lighting, temperature control, air quality and more. 

APEX/IFSA Award Winners are:

  • Astronics – Best Cabin Innovation: Intelligent Bin Solution/Smart Aircraft System
  • Air New Zealand – Best Product or Service: Skycouch Improvements

2020 APEX + Crystal Cabin Award Winner is:

AIRBUS – Best Customer Journey Experience: Connected Experience

Life Time Achievement Award Winner is:

Brinder Bhatia (see photo in right hand column)


AIRBUS

Comlux placed a new order for an ACJ320neo, re-affirming its role as the largest single customer for the aircraft and taking its total orders for the type to four. The deal means that Comlux has now ordered a total of 20 Airbus corporate jets. Cabin outfitting will be done by Comlux Completion in Indianapolis. Corporate jet orders and commitments for A320neo Family-derived aircraft now total 15.


OTHER NEWS

Barcelona, Spain | September 17, 2019–This last summer, Red Bull and Immfly delivered an on-board product sampling and brand activation marketing action to flying passengers.

Global brands targeted by destination.

Immfly implemented a campaign for a newcomer product from Red Bull’s portfolio. Passengers flying to Balearic Islands were entertained with a free sample of the Red Bull Coconut Edition drink, a great start to a holiday with a cold, fresh energy boost before landing in a Balearic Paradise.

Sampling on Board: Red Bull really gives you wings!

The Austrian brand was the latest using a choice of sophisticated tools and unique onboard media formats (video streaming on customers’ personal devices, dedicated digital channels and onboard sampling) provided by Immfly’s specialist advertising unit. After defining a clear target audience paired to specific destinations, thousands of Red Bull Coconut Edition cans were distributed this summer on more than 80 flights to customers en route to Ibiza, Menorca, and Mallorca.

Digital content offered to a captive audience.

The Red Bull brand also chose to sponsor several channels of Immfly’s Inflight Entertainment System (IFE), which impacted a specific customer segment in a captive environment. This enabled cut-through to an audience in an uncluttered media environment with exclusive messaging, and resulting a tailormade digital campaign streamed on passengers’ own devices.

All campaigns are monitored and analyzed, allowing marketing managers to make better decisions on future actions. Ideal for new product launching, this data collected facilitates optimization campaigns in real-time to maximize ROI.

As Ramón Rodriguez, Advertising Manager at Immfly says “ More and more brands rely on us given our clear value proposition: a captive environment where brands can interact with their target audience while delivering a tangible benefit. ”

APEX & Los Angeles, California | September 11, 2019– All Nippon Airways (ANA) has begun equipping selected Boeing B777-300ER aircraft with SITAONAIR’s state-of-the-art Internet ONAIR Wi-Fi portal, powered by GX Aviation.

In partnership with JSAT MOBILE Communications Inc. (JSAT MOBILE), SITAONAIR has boosted ANA’s major upgrade for passengers, through the deployment of its Internet ONAIR Wi-Fi portal over Inmarsat’s ground-breaking Ka-band satellite network. The solution will provide ANA passengers with seamless, reliable and secure internet connectivity, anywhere in the world.

Passengers flying on corporate-heavy business routes will now be able to keep in touch with the office, even at 35,000 feet, as well as continuing to connect with their lives on the ground, from browsing and shopping to emailing and chatting with loved ones.

Working together with JSAT MOBILE – which is dedicated to providing the Japanese market with the latest mobile satellite services – has enabled SITAONAIR to establish and expand its relationship with ANA. This significantly enhances the airline’s offering to tech-savvy passengers.

JSAT MOBILE’s President & CEO Eiichi Yoda comments: “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to work with our partner SITAONAIR to support ANA in providing Wi-Fi services to its demanding base of connected passengers. JSAT MOBILE’s regulatory expertise and close customer coordination, together with SITAONAIR’s industry-connectivity solutions powered by Inmarsat’s reliable and expanding GX Aviation network, enables ANA to benefit from a seamless and future-proof solution.”

“SITAONAIR has taken huge strides to deliver a next-gen experience for passengers,” says SITAONAIR’s CEO David Lavorel. “Internet ONAIR draws upon our expertise as a provider of inflight technology, to provide an ‘always-on’, convenient Wi-Fi solution that is ahead of the game.”

“We are proud to partner with All Nippon Airways to deliver our award-winning inflight connectivity to its fleet.” SITAONAIR’s VP Customer Programs, Yann Cabaret adds: “With the installation of Internet ONAIR, ANA passengers will be guaranteed smooth and seamless connectivity, now and into the future.”

To find out more about SITAONAIR’s cabin services, visit www.sitaonair.aero

After successful proof-of-concept achieved in 2019, initial roll-out phase scheduled for spring 2020 on 100+ Boeing aircraft

APEX Expo and Los Angeles | September 9, 2019– Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), today announced that it has signed a contract to supply integrated In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFE&C) equipment to a major Europe airline specializing in leisure and charter travel. The initial phase of this fleet-wide deployment calls for systems to be installed on the airlines’ 100+ Boeing aircraft in time for the company’s busy 2020 spring and summer schedule.

Specifically, Kontron is providing flight hardware for open-architecture IFE and IFE&C systems, including the company’s ACE Flight™ 4608 high-performance avionics server, Cab-n-Connect™ A100 Cabin Wireless Access Point (CWAP) and ACE Flight™ Removable Storage Drives (RSSDs) following a successful proof-of-concept that took place in 2019. Kontron systems give the airline the platforms necessary to deliver wireless IFE and streaming video-on-demand, TV, games and additional entertainment choices with the ability to add additional services and applications to enhance the customer experience.

“Based on our history of successful deployments, Kontron has earned its position as the number one supplier of open-architecture systems and LRUs for the global IFE&C market,” said Andy Mason, General Manager of Global Avionics at Kontron America. “We anticipate fast growth for this leisure market segment across EMEA, which includes large aircraft fleets that are not yet WiFi or connectivity-enabled.”

“This new program could not have been accomplished without the close working relationship we’ve established with the airline. I commend the project teams’ success in ensuring the proof-of-concept installation, deployment and operation was trouble-free,” said Jon Moseley, Head of Avionics Business Development for EMEA at Kontron Europe. “As airline customers increasingly demand additional services such as wireless IFE and inflight connectivity, we are seeing more commercial carriers accelerate their roll-out plans.”

Kontron has built a strong reputation for providing groundbreaking IFE&C platforms that help accelerate development for quick time-to-market at the lowest cost of deployment. There are currently more than 4,500 commercial aircraft and business jets operating worldwide with Kontron equipment on board. Kontron and parent company, S&T, are both global companies. This corporate reach allows the Kontron Avionics team, mainly based in San Diego, California, to support airline and aviation customers throughout the world.

Kontron will showcase its entire line of rugged, open-architecture hardware platforms, software and services for IFE and IFE&C systems at the APEX Expo, September 9-12, 2019 in Los Angeles, booth #1647.

During AIX we sat down with the Zii team and discussed RAVE and the next evolution of their full-up AVOD product dubbed ULTRA. Below is the fruit of that interview and several emails since then! While at their booth, we were shown (and amazed) at the size, and we mean thinness, of the screen. The point here is the display, its accompanying storage, control and communication hardware electronics will not create seatback installation issues! Here is a quick overview of some of the features, advantages, and benefits of RAVE UlLTRA.

RAVE ULTRA is Seat-Centric, not Server-Centric

RAVE ULTRA, continues the company’s commitment to Seat-Centric IFE and their commitment to everything RAVE has stood for from its inception. In fact, Seat-Centric is the key to their dedication to ‘stress free IFE’ for their airline customers. You may ask: Seat-Centric? How does that differ from a Server-Centric system? When SPI 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. 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 Safran 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.

We asked Ben Asmar, VP IFE Products, about RAVE ULTRA and 4K Displays

Question 1 – We understand that RAVE ULTRA is now delivering 4K displays for aircraft entering service in 2020.  4K displays offer superior resolution, can you help our readers understanding the impact of offering this to their passengers?  Are there any considerations that should be understood for an existing system upgrade versus new installation?

Response: We know from our customers that IFE is a critical component to the overall inflight experience, having a significant impact on Customer Experience scores. As the market continues to grow more competitive, airlines are continuing to look for ways to differentiate from their competitors. We believe that having the latest in consumer technology such as 4K Ultra High Definition displays in every cabin class is a fantastic differentiator, and our customers agree.  Interest in our new range of RAVE ULTRA displays is unprecedented. When we designed RAVE ULTRA, we took a ground-up approach. We kept the features that make our customers love RAVE, such as our seat-centric architecture and dockable displays then married this with the latest in multimedia processors, cutting edge 4K LCD panels that are typically used in high end laptops, and we even introduced Bluetooth audio for every seat on the plane.

How is your system able to support 4K content for every passenger? 

Response: We get asked this question often, and the answer for us is easy.  Thanks to our seat-centric architecture, content is played locally at each seat display and not streamed over a network.  Even with every passenger watching 4K content, the RAVE system continues to operate seamlessly on a 1 gigabit Ethernet backbone, meaning we are very well positioned to support both the line fit and retrofit markets. There is no requirement for aircraft backbone upgrades for airlines to access the full benefits of RAVE ULTRA, unlike other IFE systems with many servers that stream content to the seats.

How can you store all that 4K content at every seat when it’s so much larger? 

Response: As I mentioned, when we designed RAVE ULTRA, we found the latest in Multimedia processors. This allowed us to take advantage of the advances in video compression technologies and video encoding standards such as H.265 to keep files smaller but not sacrifice video quality. As well, we have the RAVE Cloud that allows Airlines to store large multi-terabyte content sets in the on-board Cloud and makes content instantly available at the seat centric screens when that content is not stored locally.  It’s important to note, that we are still not streaming content with RAVE Cloud. When a passenger selects a Cloud title, the content is being copied as fast as possible across our network and stored locally. The video starts playing while the content continues to download in the background.

In reality, we know it will be quite some time before 4K content is commonplace for IFE, as our industry deals with the standards and security required to distribute 4K content. However, RAVE ULTRA is designed for today and the future. We have gone to great lengths to ensure the necessary security requirements are in place to support playback of Hollywood DRM protected 4K content. Even though the standards are not yet ratified, we are confident that the systems we have will meet the requirements. In the meantime, Airlines can benefit from RAVE ULTRA immediately, as our system will upscale content to the highest possible level based on the definition of the source file. What this means is all content looks better on a RAVE ULTRA display.

Question 2 – Can you tell our readers what airplane /airplane model will get the first 4K display, and are the airlines planning any special video for the application? 

Response: We are very excited to be bringing RAVE ULTRA to market in 2020 and have a number of airlines that have selected it for line fit and retrofit programs with both Airbus and Boeing. Our first installations are planned for both Boeing and Airbus single aisle aircraft followed by our first wide body installation on a Boeing B777X all delivering in 2020. Each of these customers will install RAVE ULTRA displays in every cabin class including Bluetooth audio for every seat on the plane.

RAVE ULTRA is a great fit for both narrow body and wide body aircraft, and we are certainly seeing strong demand across both aircraft types.  Our System with RAVE ULTRA is about 30% lighter than our previous generation systems.  This lower weight meets a critical requirement for airlines that are flying ultra-long haul sectors and is fully operational with only a handful of LRU’s (Line Replaceable Units) while still being able to scale to support the complex architectures of today’s modern wide body aircraft.

Question 3 – More consumers are using Bluetooth headsets/earbuds and want to utilize them in the aircraft for IFE.  Please describe how RAVE has implemented Bluetooth in the entire cabin supplied with audio and at the same time preventing interference to users with other Bluetooth applications?

Response: One of the key elements of RAVE ULTRA is to give all passengers access to the same technology they use on the ground, in the air and not just in the premium classes.  Research suggests that Bluetooth headsets now outsell wired headsets, so we think that people will just expect to be able to use these on a plane, and with RAVE ULTRA they can. Our engineers have spent a lot of time testing and refining our solution to ensure we can reliably offer Bluetooth audio to every passenger on a wide body aircraft. We are able to do this by adjusting the power output of the Bluetooth transmitter and minimizing the transmission radius of the signal, this allows us to re-use the Bluetooth signal many times over in the aircraft avoiding signal congestion and audio quality degradation.

Question 4 – Is VBR a technology that efficiently communicates with networks and displays and if so, can you give our readers what kinds of savings in data and communication technology are used and what kinds of communication savings perspective are involved (data rate savings, hardware choice and design, application improvement and equipment type and design)?

Response: VBR (variable bitrate) is a method used in media encoding that allows for the bitrate to vary with the goal to maintain quality on complex scenes and save space on simple ones. This is a method supported by our current and future generation of products. This technology allows our content to maintain a high level of quality without the need for high levels of storage.  With CBR (constant bitrate), the platform suffers in quality and has high storage requirements.  This results in higher cost storage and limits the number of titles a platform can support.  The reduction in size with VBR also helps the transport of media being loaded on the platform reducing the load times due to the smaller file sizes .  In the on-wing platform, network backbone bitrates are reduced which eliminates the need for RAVE to build out oversize network paths (i.e. aircraft backbone upgrades) reducing the overall hardware costs.

Question 5 – Please tell our readers how giant video quality changes and weight savings can be achieved at the same time reducing size and weight?

Response: Airlines are telling us that weight is critically important as ultra-long haul point-to-point flights are gaining popularity, and passengers’ expectations around technology are increasing significantly. We knew, when designing RAVE ULTRA, we had to achieve both goals that were seemingly at odds with each other. So how did we do it? We completely changed our design philosophy and repackaged our displays into a ‘tablet-like’ design that significantly reduced form factor and weight. RAVE ULTRA 4K panels are lighter and have smaller borders than their predecessors.  We partnered with LG Electronics on this project as they are a market leader in consumer electronics and brought their skill in packaging consumer electronics to RAVE.  We are taking advantage of the laptop market’s use of lightweight, low power and low profile display panels and incorporating them in our new RAVE ULTRA 4K displays.

Be sure to stop by the Safran booth #2142 during APEX to experience RAVE ULTRA.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) will exhibit its industry-leading installation solution for Electronically Steered Antenna (ESA) technology at this week’s APEX EXPO trade show in Los Angeles. CIT will showcase its integration of thermal management design in packages suitable for business and regional aircraft in the South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, Booth No. 1933.

CIT’s extended capabilities into the integration of an installation solution compatible with ESA technology addresses even the toughest of In-Flight Entertainment, Connectivity & Interiors (IFECI) challenges. The aerodynamic design allows for a simplified, standardized, and universal SATCOM installation, resulting in lower maintenance, reduced cost of ownership, and improved speed-to-market for customers.

CIT has long provided airlines and manufacturers with high-performance wire and cable, including optical fiber, for the most advanced interconnect solutions and market-leading products. At APEX, they will showcase expanded capabilities for IFECI equipment with its installation solution for ESA technology into the aerodynamic and structural package design of business and regional aircraft. Using the ARINC 781 footprint for SATCOM on business and regional aircraft, CIT takes advantage of existing OEM provisions to improve airlines’ speed-to-market. Aerodynamic design models establish a low drag shape that advances in-flight cooling and efficiently moves heat load from antenna chips to radiator zones. This efficient transportation of heat maintains uniform temperatures over large areas to optimize antenna operating conditions.

During APEX, CIT is offering a variety of opportunities to learn about the integration of installation solutions for ESA technology and interact with industry experts, users, and partners. The following may be explored at the CIT booth 1933:

  • Light weight backshells
  • Fiber optic harnesses
  • Octax 10GB connections – Solo, 38999, ARINC 600, and more
  • Aerospace wire, coaxial, and cable for high-speed data, custom constructions, and harsh environments
  • Antenna blind mate connection solutions
  • Seal3D fuselage feed-thru connectors
  • Lightweight avionics trays and hold downs
  • Single aisle bagbin video control center

CIT presentations and features at the conference include:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 10, and Wednesday, Sept. 11, beginning at 1 p.m.: Ice cream social with the Carlisle team to see the new installation solution features for ESA technology
  • Video illustrating the antenna selections and flow simulation for drag optimization
  • Additional image, graphic and video assets available for instructional use and informational needs

Please contact Kris Samuelson via email at Kris.samuelson@carlisleit.com or via phone at 253-318-0768 to schedule an appointment during APEX.


OTHER NEWS

 

  • OneWeb will provide the world’s first global LEO satellite broadband coverage for aircraft and passengers that will deliver high-speed, low latency service seamlessly over all air routes, including the Arctic region.
  • OneWeb’s global aviation connectivity service will be available for customer demos in 2020 – with full service launching in 2021.

September 9, 2019–OneWeb, a global communications company with a mission to connect everyone, everywhere, is set to revolutionize in-flight connectivity by delivering a seamless, global fiber-like broadband service to any air route, short or long-haul flights, and over the polar region.

Working with carefully selected distribution partners, OneWeb’s communications network is designed to allow airlines to offer passengers and crew a significantly faster and more reliable experience in accessing data and internet services in-flight. This game-changing service will be available over airline routes previously not possible to connect, such as Arctic routes. It will also allow airlines to meaningfully fulfil their digitization programs across the whole passenger journey – from booking to inflight, landing and onward journeys.

With OneWeb’s high-speed, low latency capabilities, passengers will feel the difference and improvement wherever they travel. Live TV, content streaming services such as Netflix, real-time gaming, accessing cloud applications, as well as web browsing, email and social media, all of which have become part of passengers’ daily lives, will now become a much richer experience.

OneWeb’s inflight services will be available in a variety of packages to suit the needs of all types of airlines, with fit for purpose onboard equipment to match each airline’s requirements.

“The airline community is restricted by the throughput and latency constraints of today’s in-flight connectivity services. There is an acknowledged need for a step change and our global airline services will democratize the connectivity experience, enabling everyone to enjoy high-speed, low latency connectivity, even on 500-passenger aircraft,” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb’s VP Commercial Aviation.

“Our vision for aviation is fully customized, truly global passenger broadband. We are excited to launch OneWeb to the aviation industry and look forward to working with distribution partners to bring our service to life,” he added.

Participating for the first time at the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo in Los Angeles, CA (September 9th to 12th), OneWeb will be highlighting its global aviation connectivity services, including plans for complete polar coverage across the northern tracks and live service within two years.

The global Wireless In-Flight Entertainment & Digital Services vendor incorporates UGOsmart to its technology suite. This new addition aims at empowering airlines teams with real-time data to monitor IFEC systems and adjust service offering

Paris, France | September 3, 2019– Display Interactive announces the launch of UGOsmart, its latest solution designed for airlines to better collect, centralise and analyze in-flight generated data. Designed for IFEC and ancillary airlines teams and updated in real time, UGOsmart feeds a smooth decision-making process. Combined with the flexibility and scalability of UGO IFEC solution, it ensures maximal IFEC operational efficiency.

With the launch of UGOsmart, the French company wants to provide airlines with a solution to address the main data analytics and visualization issues that the industry faces on a regular basis: overwhelming of information, inflexible analytics, and blurry visibility on IFEC ROI.
‘UGOsmart is not just a data analytics tool, but a seamless data visualization solution that presents animated data and tells business stories. We believe that this is the best way to transform data into insights, and most importantly, into tactical and strategic decisions. The power of UGOsmart resides also in its transversality, as it gathers diverse data for all airline’s members involved into a IFEC program.’ explains Tarek El Mitwalli, Display Interactive CEO.
With this seamless technology powered by Display Interactive, airlines can now:
  • Better control onboard ancillary revenues and connectivity usage in real time, and compare it to previous periods and trends,
  • Get instant insights of passengers’ behaviours and IFE preferences,
  • Improve operational efficiency by closely monitoring the performance of their systems and implementing fast changes.
Delivering a 360° value with powerful technologies and ongoing services
Display Interactive launches UGOsmart after years of deployment of its wireless IFE system, named UGO, in well-known airlines. The new DataViz solution is the final piece for the IFEC provider to cover the full cycle of an IFEC program: from design and implementation of UGO entertainment & digital services platform, to its day-to day operations, and now the analysis and evaluation of results thanks to UGOsmart.
In addition to its technology suite, the French organisation accompanies all its airline customers with UGOlife, an all-inclusive ongoing full service support that guarantees operational efficiency as well as optimal durability and success. “Designing UGO and complementing it with UGOlife and UGOsmart was crucial for us, because airlines operate IFEC on a daily basis, and most legacy systems don’t provide any support to focus on the road ahead. Our philosophy has always been to empower airline’s teams and to keep the hassle of operational issues out of their minds. While UGOsmart allows our customers to make the right decisions, we can guarantee with UGOlife that these will result in immediate changes on the in-flight servers and therefore, in the passenger experience”. adds El Mitwalli.

Isle of Wight | September 4, 2019–Leading Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) provider, IFPL, celebrated a major milestone this month, supplying their three millionth industry part.

The three-millionth part was delivered to a world leading Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), just three years after the two-millionth, demonstrating continued sustainable growth.

IFPL Chief Operating Officer, Neil McGregor commented; “It is a testament to the whole IFPL team, that we have reached this new milestone so soon after reaching two million units, and is a testament to the investment we have made in our quality systems, and our manufacturing and product development capability. This combined with the development and introduction of new products, means that we aim to reach our four-millionth unit even sooner.”

The innovative three millionth unit is a twin USB-A product. The power outlet contains two reversible USB-A outlets with lightguides for easy location. The bi-directional insertion means that whichever way round the passenger tries to insert their USB connector they will always get it right.

This USB port is part of an extensive range of products which includes our latest USB power and data technology. See these products at the Airline Passenger Experience in Los Angeles this September.

At the upcoming APEX Expo in Los Angeles, California IFPL will demonstrate their latest innovative in-seat power and integrated peripheral solutions at booth #1229. The Isle of Wight company has an impressive range of passenger interface solutions. In addition to the existing peripherals, the new USB-Power Delivery and integrated AdPower technology will be on display. Here are some of the product offerings not to miss during next week’s Expo:

USB Power Delivery

USB Power Delivery is a new standard for charging consumer electronics. This enables airline passengers to power larger portable devices such as laptops and more demanding tablets. As these devices become more common, IFPL’s products provide a low-cost solution for all airlines.

USB-A or USB-C

The line fit USB-A unit delivers in-seat integration and is a cost-effective solution. However, consumer devices are adopting USB-C as standard. Airlines are increasingly asking themselves, what is the best solution for their passengers?

During APEX IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB-A to USB-C. The Reversible USB-A and USB-C Rapid Fit combination outlet will allow airlines to support all of their passengers. These solutions incorporate IFPL Intellectual Property and will seamlessly integrate within the seat, delivering high reliability.

AdPower

Incorporating design and technology innovation, AdPower is the latest solution to monetize USB power. Dave Phillips, Head of Business Development says, “a short passenger advert enables the airline to gain access to ancillary revenue in partnership with their media agency.” This is an innovative way to provide passengers with in-seat USB power that can be monetized by airlines. Be sure to see the AdPower product in action at their booth.

Inductive Charging

By working with leading seat vendors, IFPL will demonstrate the successful integration of inductive charging solutions within the seat. This enclosed unit has high reliability designed-in, resulting in significantly lower Customer Induced Damage (CID).

Bluetooth Audio Jack

To address the growing trend of Bluetooth headsets, IFPL has designed the latest 3.5 mm Long Life audio jack to include Bluetooth connectivity allowing passengers to pair wirelessly or use a wired headset. This enables the airline and the passenger to select their choice of headset. Airlines can choose to sell Bluetooth headsets on-board and gain additional ancillary revenue. It is also an easy upgrade for existing IFE systems.

A prime benefit of Bluetooth Audio is that it reduces CID while providing a more modern audio experience. There are two pairing options: 1) a capacitive touch button with LED indicator confirms pairing, or 2) a software upgrade to the seat-back monitor will confirm a successful pairing.

As there are no moving parts, the life of the audio jack is extended so the risk of CID is reduced. This solves accidental damage of the audio jack when the customer stands up with the headphones on. This unit is in service through leading Business Jet Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)’s. IFPL has optimized the Bluetooth signal strength for superior performance.

Within this Bluetooth product, the patented Long Life audio jack has been added so that passengers can use their wired headsets should they choose.

The Bluetooth Audio Jack is a 2019 APEX/IFSA Award Finalist. Be sure to stop by booth #1229 for a demonstration of this latest innovation.


AIX Los Angeles

In just one week, Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) will land in Los Angeles for the fall’s global meeting place for the passenger experience industry. Celebrating the best of aircraft cabin innovation and design, the event is set to welcome leading seating manufacturers, suppliers of flooring, galley equipment, fasteners, air conditioning systems and lighting/LED equipment – each showcasing their latest products and services to industry professionals.

Here are the top reasons why you shouldn’t miss this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) Los Angeles.

Expert speaker seminar program
The return of the popular CabinSpace Live seminar program will offer attendees valuable insight into the latest trends, challenges and opportunities facing the industry. More than 20 expert speakers will take to the stage to create an interactive forum for discussions on the future of aircraft interiors, with topics including cabin accessibility, innovation for comfort, premium accommodation and air quality.

State-of-the-art products on show
AIX LA comes with the promise of the best cabin technology awaiting the eager eyes of industry experts, suppliers and buyers.

Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, more than 50 of the industry’s leading companies will be present with Diab, Improvage Precision and Jamco Corporation, showcasing the latest, most innovative materials for cockpit doors, while those looking for new lavatory and waste equipment will be able to engage with Certified Thermoplastics Co Inc, SIMONA Boltaron and REGENT AEROSPACE.

Setting the standard for high-density aircraft seating for both wide and narrow-body cabins, Aviointeriors S.p.A will unveil its new concept business class seat that mirrors ‘Ying Yang’ configuration – the ADAGIO range. Currently, narrow-body fuselage aircraft are being trialed as the new way to travel long-haul, but with a better economic and environmental footprint. For example, Airbus recently unveiled the A321XLR – responding to industry needs for improved range. The new model offers value for airlines by bringing 30% lower fuel burn per seat, with an unprecedented range of up to 4,700m – 15% more than the A321LR.

Unrivaled networking opportunities
New to AIX Los Angeles, leading OEMs, airlines and tier 1 suppliers will be taking part in the event’s newly launched meetings program, AIX Connect. Designed to help representatives from key airlines connect with exhibitors during the show, it will enable the interiors community to build business connections and discuss new projects.

Against the backdrop of the city of Angels
Whether meeting some of the most recognizable industry professionals in aviation or reflecting on the latest ground-breaking cabin ideas, Los Angeles is set to provide a suitable backdrop for new and exciting business opportunities for all attendees this fall. And, amid plenty of exciting new developments to see inside the convention centre and networking events to keep attendees busy, visitors can also take advantage of one of the world’s most popular destinations in the world– Los Angeles.

Three events in one location
Aircraft Interiors Expo will be co-located with APEX EXPO and IFSA EXPO, enabling attendees to experience the full spectrum of aircraft interiors products and passenger services in one location, bringing together more than 3,500 qualified industry professionals.

For more information and to register to attend AIX LA this September, please visit this site.


BLUEBOX and VISTARA

Bluebox Aviation Systems and Vistara are marking the 1st anniversary of the launch of “Vistara World” by going app-free. Vistara World is the airline’s free wireless streaming in-flight entertainment (IFE) service which streams content from the Bluebox Wow portable wireless IFE platform to passenger devices.

Since launching last year, Vistara World has been progressively rolled out to Vistara’s entire fleet of 31 aircraft, including Airbus A320 and the recently inducted Boeing 737-800NG aircraft.

As well as enabling passengers to stream IFE via the Vistara World app, Bluebox and Vistara will now provide passengers with an app-free solution. From September 1, 2019 passengers are able to watch Vistara’s DRM-protected content from their personal device browser*, without downloading the app. Previously only DRM-less content could be viewed without the app.

Vistara’s evolving content library includes a flight moving map, movies, TV shows and music in varying genres. In addition, one of the most popular elements of Vistara World is the membership enrollment page for “Club Vistara”, the airline’s loyalty program.

“At Vistara we continue to invest in enhancing our service offerings to stay ahead of the curve. In the last year we have flown over 5 million customers who have consumed a variety of engaging content on ‘Vistara World’ and enjoyed the Vistara experience even more. The Bluebox platform’s convenience, robust capabilities and flexibility will now take this experience a notch higher,” said Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara.

“As well as providing secure, revenue-generating, feature-rich, and cost-effective wireless IFE platforms, we aim to make these as friction-less as possible for both our airline customers and their passengers,” said David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “With device software now available to enable us to provide app-free DRM content, we are able to make it easier for passengers to access the platform. That, in turn, means more of the benefits to Vistara of deploying the system can be realized – both in terms of positive passenger experience and the ancillary revenue generated by the system.”

* Technical requirements app-free DRM content viewing: 

  • Smartphones: iOS 11.2+ with Safari and Android v5+ with Chrome v75+
  • Laptops: Chrome V69+ and Safari V11

AIRBUS News

AirAsia X finalized a firm order with Airbus for an additional 12 A330-900 and 30 A321XLR aircraft. AirAsia X currently operates a fleet of 36 A330-300s on services to points within the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East. In addition, in August the first A330neo joined the fleet of AirAsia’s Bangkok-based long haul affiliate, AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft is the first of two leased A330neos joining the airline’s Thai affiliate by the end of the year.

The new contract increases the number of A330neo aircraft ordered by AirAsia X to 78, reaffirming the carrier’s status as the largest airline customer for the type. Meanwhile, the A321XLR order sees the wider AirAsia Group strengthen its position as the world’s largest airline customer for the A320 Family, having now ordered a total of 622 aircraft.


BOEING News

During the Moscow Air Show, Boeing and Aeroflot announced a contract to modify passenger cabins on 18 of the Russian flagship carrier’s 777-300ERs. Boeing will perform engineering work and supply component kits for the planned cabin interior reconfiguration. Aeroflot is a member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance and serves 159 destinations in 54 countries. Aeroflot’s 249-strong fleet is the youngest of any airline worldwide that operates more than 100 aircraft.

Also, Boeing and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced that the carrier has ordered two more 777-300ERs. The order, valued at $751 million at current list prices, was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website.

The 777-300ER can seat up to 396 passengers in a two-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,370 nautical miles (13,650 km). The airplane is the world’s most reliable twin aisle with a schedule reliability of 99.5 percent. Operating out of its home base in Amsterdam, the KLM Group serves a global network of 92 European cities and 70 intercontinental destinations with a fleet of 209 aircraft. The carrier operates 29 777s, including 14 777-300ERs. It also flies 747s and the 787 Dreamliner family.


OTHER NEWS

  • First presentation of new gaming add-on to BoardConnect at APEX EXPO in Los Angeles | Exclusive pre-conference in the Lufthansa #FlyingLab above the Atlantic

Raunheim/Los Angeles | August 29, 2019– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it will be showcasing the new inflight gaming component on its BoardConnect open IT platform at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX EXPO) in Los Angeles from September 9-12. The company has digitally adapted the fantasy card game Galaxy Duel and integrated it into the platform in partnership with gaming provider Gladi8torGalaxy Duel offers features such as an eSports league, leaderboards and live streaming. The brand-new prototype of the inflight game will be on show at stand 1901, where it can be tested with an exclusive invitation.

Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect technology enables airlines to use the onboard IT platform for their specific applications, with possibilities extending far beyond mere entertainment. By integrating onboard gaming into BoardConnect, airline IT specialist provider Lufthansa Systems is responding to the ever-expanding gaming market, where it sees an opportunity for airlines to adapt their inflight entertainment to their passengers’ different needs and stand out from their competitors by offering an enhanced passenger experience.

“With 17 airlines having already opted for BoardConnect, our platform is being used on almost 900 aircraft,” said Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “By developing the open BoardConnect Dock platform, we have enabled our customers to expand the inflight entertainment solution to include a wide range of applications and thus offer their passengers a personalized service. The possibilities are endless. Inflight gaming is just one of many conceivable enhancements.”

Exclusive kick-off event: Lufthansa #FlyingLab en route to APEX EXPO

Before the official launch of APEX EXPO 2019, Lufthansa Systems is organizing a pre-conference on flight LH 452 from Munich to Los Angeles on September 7 in partnership with Lufthansa and APEX. The largest passenger aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet A380 will serve as a flying innovation platform as it crosses the Atlantic, setting the stage for “powering the next generation of passenger experience” and giving industry leaders an opportunity to showcase the latest trends and developments in the passenger experience space. The co-initiator and host of this FlyingLab flight is Lufthansa Systems CEO Olivier Krüger, who will kick off the event by welcoming interesting people taking part in the discussions.

All of the passengers on board can follow the expert presentations live, try out innovative new products and enjoy music performed live in the cabin. The speakers and their presentations can be streamed live to any WiFi-enabled device on board. The event will be broadcast onboard via the BoardConnect solution, illustrating one of the many different possible applications for Lufthansa Systems’ digital platform.

For the first time, a FlyingLab flight will include a design sprint session in which selected passengers can participate and develop new ideas for an enhanced passenger experience with the help of industry experts. The results of this workshop will be presented to the other passengers on board and the most promising suggestion will then be implemented.

BoardConnect Dock

With its new BoardConnect Dock solution, Lufthansa Systems is providing technology, content and financing partners with a BoardConnect framework for creating their own onboard program. Depending on the partner, this might include a connectivity portal, classic IFE content or a platform with booking options and targeted advertising to generate additional revenue.

BoardConnect

BoardConnect is Lufthansa Systems’ complete solution for the digital passenger experience that continues to address airlines of all sizes with different business models. In addition to traditional IFE features such as moving maps, movies, music, games and destination information, customers can choose the content they want from a wide range of services available through Lufthansa Systems’ strong partner network. This content can also be provided simply and easily from the cloud if desired.

Toulouse, France | September 3, 2019– Hi Fly, the privately owned Portuguese wet lease specialist operating an exclusive all-Airbus fleet, has taken delivery of a new A330neo on lease from Air Lease Corporation (NYSE: AL). The aircraft is configured with 371 seats in a two class layout, with 18 high comfort lie flat business class seats and 353 economy seats. All seats are equipped with the latest generation in-flight entertainment system, and mood lighting is available throughout the aircraft

The A330 will be deployed to further expand Hi Fly’s long haul wet lease and charter operations worldwide. Hi Fly operates an all Airbus fleet of 20 aircraft including four A320 Family aircraft, 15 A330 / A340 Family aircraft and one A380.

As a wet lease specialist Hi Fly provides aircraft on lease for short notice airline operations, with crew, maintenance and third-party insurance provided in a service-ready package.

The A330neo Family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. The A330neo Family aircraft shares 95 percent commonality with the previous A330. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 Family, while reducing fuel consumption by 25% per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation.

The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB-inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new Airspace amenities including state-of-the-art passenger inflight entertainment and Wifi connectivity systems.

Astronics plans to introduce new power and connectivity technologies at next month’s APEX in California. The company told IFExpress that the new technologies bring together a set of power, connectivity, and data solutions that help airlines and airframe manufacturers improve the passenger flight experience while providing cost and operational efficiencies.

New Product Offerings:

One innovation to be featured is the Edge Cabin Network Platform (think cabin Wi-Fi) to support IFE customers with a smarter, scalable hardware solution. The Edge is intended for wide bodies, narrow bodies and regional jets. “We’re taking inflight connectivity hardware to ‘the edge’ of innovation with this new IFE platform introduction,” said Michael C. Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “Our new Edge Cabin Network Platform employs the power of a distributed computing system architecture to eliminate weighty servers while improving the passenger Wi-Fi experience. With this new strategy of a distributed architecture, IFE providers can provide a scalable, secure system, offering airlines the option to deploy only as many as they may need to create the optimal, cost- and performance-effective configuration.”

To make future retrofits even easier, Astronics is introducing its EmPower Xpress product, an on-seat USB outlet housing solution for its EmPower in-seat power product line. EmPower Xpress easily adjusts to the seat rail, either forward or rear-mounted, for maximum flexibility. Attaching to the seat without affecting the seat structure means the installation can occur quickly and without the need for seat service bulletins. “With this new retrofit solution for in-seat power, the airlines now have a faster, easier, more configurable retrofit method than ever before,” explained Aaron Clarke, Vice President of Cabin Electronics for Astronics AES. “For very little extra effort, airlines can now offer the inflight charging services that today’s passengers expect on every flight.”

The latest version of its webFB Aircraft Interface Device (AID), which includes an extended Wi-Fi range to wirelessly connect to cabin IFEC systems, enabling real-time data collection and transfer to the ground will also be on display in their booth. Ultra compact and easy to install, this smart AID acts as a server and a router to provide a cost-effective AID solution without the need for aircraft mods.

Update: Future Technology Explorations

You can always count on Astronics to bring some innovative technology up for discussion any time you stop by their booth. This year, the explorations will continue in the Li-Fi arena plus feature alternate gesture control technology applications for use on aircraft. “We’re planning to show gig speed Li-Fi capabilities for potential cabin Li-Fi applications,” explained Mark Schwartz, Vice President of PDT, an Astronics company. “We’ll also feature alternate gesture control, which uses electric currents from your brain to move objects. And finally, we’ll show some Li-Fi gate data link applications, and how it can populate the CWAP with content according to your seat number.”

They will also be featuring their innovative, patented Smart Aircraft System is Internet of Things (IoT) network technology that autonomously collects and aggregates data from a wide range of sensors installed in the aircraft cabin. The system, demonstrated by Astronics throughout APEX, collects nearly any type of sensor data and wirelessly transmits this data to locations and applications where the crew can improve airline operational efficiency. For example, the system can sense seat occupancy and position, depletion of consumables like paper towels, and the status of safety equipment such as flashlights and lifejackets.

A primary application of this technology, the Intelligent Bin Solution, will be on display. This leading edge, patent-pending system is able to detect and report—in real-time—information about the status of overhead bins such as the percentage of fullness, which speeds aircraft boarding processes and reduces passenger stress. In addition, the system reports the temperature, humidity, pressure, and air quality within the bin, which helps detect outgassing events such as those that precede a lithium-ion battery fire. This early warning can increase safety and avoid costly aircraft diversions.

“Our new Smart Aircraft System integrates hundreds of advanced sensors with our webCS wireless communication server to collect and present meaningful data to crew members on their portable electronic devices,” explains Jon Neal, President of Astronics Ballard Technology. “There are a multitude of uses for this new system, which brings new data and insights into the hands of the crew to increase efficiency, improve safety, and lower operating costs.”

The Intelligent Bin Solution is an APEX/IFSA Award Finalist, and they are expected to start airline trials later this year.

Tech Talks:

Throughout APEX, Astronics will feature Tech Talks in the booth. Topics include:

  • A Look Ahead at What’s Next for the Internet of Flight
  • Scalable Concepts for Integrating Portable IFE
  • Considerations When Selecting a Wireless Charging Solution for Commercial Aviation Applications
  • Securing, Deploying, and Managing the Next Generation Aircraft Interface Devices
  • Improving Cabin Efficiencies using Smart Aircraft Sensor Data

Visit Astronics at APEX Booth #1429.


CRYSTAL CABIN AWARDS

The finalists have been named for the Crystal Cabin Award special category, “Best Customer Journey Experience”. Nominees for the trophy, to be presented during the APEX Expo in Los Angeles, honoring the best integrated solution for passengers, are: the “Connected Experience” application from Airbus, a voice-controlled lavatory from Diehl, and light-based data transfer for Air France with “LiFi Power” from Latécoère.

A life without apps is barely conceivable, from controlling the lighting in our living rooms to cashless payment for pizza delivery. The “Connected Experience” from Airbus brings this comfort to the aircraft cabin. “Pasta or chicken” – passengers can order either, direct from their smartphones. And the app can also confirm whether or not the cabin baggage will fit in the overhead locker, avoiding unnecessary suitcase stress. Thanks to the networked cabin, the crew can regulate temperature and lighting as well as communicate with passengers.

“Please turn on the water faucet”: The “Voice-controlled Lavatory” from Diehl makes it possible to use the aircraft toilet without touching it, an attractive option both for passengers with restricted mobility and for the hygiene-conscious. From flushing the WC to operating the trash can, all essential aspects of the lavatory can be controlled by voice commands in several languages. And thanks to the modular system, this innovation from Hamburg, Germany can easily be retrofitted.

As light as light: Latécoère already presented “LiFi Power”, transmitting data using light, at this year’s Paris Air Show. Crew communication could soon be wireless, and data transmission speeds up to one hundred times conventional wiring will bring a whole new dimension to passenger entertainment and connectivity. Air France has already integrated this innovation in one of its cabins.

This category in the Hamburg Crystal Cabin Awards operates outside the regular entry phase, and will be presented on 9 September as part of the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas trade fairs in Los Angeles. The award ceremony in LA also ushers in the new submission phase for the eight main categories of the Crystal Cabin Awards, to be presented in Hamburg on 31 March 2020. Amongst the winners in 2019 were such renowned industry representatives as Airbus, Collins Aerospace, Recaro and United Airlines.

A complete overview of the finalists with contact details and images is available for download here.


AIRBUS

The first A220-300 for EgyptAir successfully completed its inaugural test flight from the Mirabel assembly line. The first of 12 aircraft EgyptAir has on order is due to be delivered to the Cairo-based airline in the coming weeks. The A220 for EgyptAir will provide passengers with superior comfort, its innovative cabin design featuring the widest economy seats of any single-aisle aircraft and panoramic windows for more natural light. The aircraft which is outfitted with a brand new cabin layout of 134 seats, will now enter its final phase of completion before delivery. The A220 delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true wide-body comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20% lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,400 nm (6,300 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. nMore than 80 A220 aircraft are flying with 5 operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest addition.


BOEING

  • BOEING is increasing 767 production from 2.5 to three per month.
  • BOEING is planning to hire a few hundred temporary employees at Moses Lake, Washington to help prepare new 737 MAXs for delivery by installing new MCAS software and performing required maintenance and other updaters.

OTHER NEWS

AIRBUS
Airbus logged orders for 33 commercial jetliners in July – paced by the wide-body A350 XWB and A330neo, while making 69 deliveries during the month from across its product line of A220, A320 Family, A330, A350 XWB and A380 single-aisle and wide-body aircraft – which included numerous “firsts.”

The wide-body new business was led by Air China’s acquisition of 20 A350 XWBs in the A350-900 version. This Chinese carrier already is a major Airbus customer, currently operating A350-900s, along with A330s, A319s, A320s and A321s.

Also logged in July was Virgin Atlantic’s booking for eight A330-900s to support the UK carrier’s fleet renewal and expansion; this agreement originally was announced at the 2019 Paris Air Show. Completing the month’s wide-body bookings was Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s acquisition of two A350-900s.

Single-aisle orders in July involved two A320neo jetliners for Spain’s Iberia and one ACJ319 Airbus Corporate Jetliner for a private customer.

The month’s deliveries were made to 41 customers overall, with the activity led by 52 jetliners provided from the single-aisle A320 Family. Notable deliveries included the first A321neo for South Korea’s Asiana Airlines, and the initial A321LR long-range version delivered to Aer Lingus of Ireland. Two A220 jetliners – the newest addition to Airbus’ single-aisle aircraft line-up – were delivered during July as well.

Wide-body aircraft provided to customers involved seven A330s in both the NEO and CEO versions, seven A350 XWBs in the A350-900 and A350-1000 configurations, along with one A380. Delivery “firsts” in July included the no. 1 A350-1000 for British Airways and the first A330-900s delivered to Air Calin of New Caledonia and Indonesia’s Lion Air.

Taking the latest orders, deliveries and cancellations into account, Airbus’ backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered as of 31 July stood at 7,198 aircraft. The single-aisle total was composed of 5,822 A320 Family jetliners and 431 A220s; while the wide-body tally involved 618 A350 XWBs, 276 A330s and 51 A380s.

AirAsia has taken delivery of its first A330neo aircraft, to be operated by its long-haul affiliate AirAsia X Thailand. The aircraft was delivered via lessor Avolon and is the first of two A330neos set to join the airline’s fleet by the end of the year. With its enhanced economics the A330neo will bring a step-change in fuel efficiency for AirAsia’s long haul operations. The new generation A330neo will be based at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, supporting the airline’s growth and network expansion plans to key markets such as Australia, Japan and South Korea. The AirAsia X Thailand A330-900 features 377 seats in a two-class configuration, comprising 12 Premium Flatbeds and 365 economy class seats.


SmartSky Networks

SmartSky has partnered with Mosaic ATM to further enhance SmartSky’s Skytelligence open marketplace and framework infrastructure to connect aviation applications and services developers. The expanded Skytelligence allows for the development of new data and services products to improve the efficiency of aviation operations.

SmartSky’s open interface and integration environment now includes more ways to optimize and improve the flight experience for every aviation-related company, from airlines and aircraft owners to data managers and developers.

“SmartSky’s patented system for five-dimensional trajectory optimization with continuous re-planning is an industry breakthrough, and accessing this capability via a software as a service model is a game-changer. This feature allows developers to take advantage of the combination of several data sources and services, including weather and traffic constraints, to quickly and cost-effectively build enhanced services,” said Chris Brinton, Mosaic ATM CEO.

Mosaic has provided SmartSky with expertise to expand upon and refine the Skytelligence concept, including unique insights for data processing, transformation and fusion techniques to increase Skytelligence’s data offering. SmartSky and Mosaic will continue to collaborate to develop applications and services related to airport data, convective weather data, navigation aids and more.

Using Skytelligence reduces development investment and accelerates outcomes. Application developers and service providers now can realize new revenue while enhancing passenger and flight deck experiences and optimizing operations.


BOEING
A Boeing-built 702 digital satellite called Amos-17 will provide affordable internet access and other communications services to undeserved parts of Africa as well as Europe and the Middle East. The satellite launched today from Cape Canaveral, Florida at about 7:00 p.m. It will enter service in a few months after on-orbit tests and moving to its final position over Africa.

Built on Boeing’s 702 satellite platform, AMOS-17 will deliver television, internet and data services to a potential market comprising hundreds of millions of people in its coverage regions. With both fixed and steerable beams, the multi-band AMOS-17 satellite can provide continual service to long-term customers while moving bandwidth to accommodate short-term demand for high capacity throughput, for example, during special events or natural disasters. “AMOS-17 is packed with innovations so that it can support many challenging missions,” said Chris Johnson, president, Boeing Satellite Systems International, Inc. “We are proud to support Spacecom in their use of satellite technology to bring services, promote economic development and foster a greater sense of connection to people around the world.”


OTHER NEWS

  • Perhaps one of the best applications of self-driving autos is on the airport, or at least, an application analysis of auto usage for airplane/airport applications? Under the hood of Waymo’s self-driving fleet project
  • While reading about the satcom applications of inflight communication, we came across a PR release that the folks at Gogo will introduce 5G systems for usage on aircraft in 2021. What got us interested was the 5G phone usage on aircraft in the future. In case you missed it, here is the release – Gogo to launch 5G network in 2021 – May 29, 2019
  • Optics are not our expertise, however, most aviation folks use binoculars to watch take-offs and landings. This lead-in gives us an amazing solution to a standard problem we found that most of us are aware of: “It’s a problem that plagues even the priciest of lenses, manufactured to the most exacting specifications: the center of the frame might be razor-sharp, but the corners and edges always look a little soft.” Here is the solution by a Mexican physicist that you just have to read. And, oh yes, check out the solution formula! A Mexican Physicist Solved a 2,000-Year Old Problem That Will Lead to Cheaper, Sharper Lenses.
  • If you plan to storm US Area 51 on September 20 this year, we don’t recommend it, in fact, we warn the planned raiders, it might be a life threatening event. Legal expert Devin Stone really put the story and resultant warnings together expertly. While fines and jail time are minimal results, your life might be the “big one”. What Would Happen To You If You Were Caught ‘Invading’ Area 51? – Digg
  • Ever heard of “Intellectual Debt”, a subject by Harvard Professor Jonathon Zittrain? Here is a good article on the new subject discussion. We found the technical version specifically interesting in the article he wrote: “Two crashes of Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 jets resulted in the worldwide grounding of its MAX fleet. Analysis so far points to problem of technical debt: the company raced to offer a more efficient jet by substituting in more powerful engines, while avoiding a comprehensive redesign in order to fit the MAX into the original 737 genus.” The subject is related to the dangers of AI and problems we don’t totally understand because systems will produce data that we don’t understand and pass it along to other AI systems: while machine learning systems can surpass humans at pattern recognition and predictions, they generally cannot explain their answers in human-comprehensible terms.” So here is the article – you decide it’s validity: Intellectual Debt: With Great Power Comes Great Ignorance
  • Need to learn more about AI, check out the AI presentation and high level overview of the chip landscape by James Wang, AI Research Lead at ARK Invest. Good Stuff, includes AI hardware innovation (GPU chips), Light and Quantum Computers, AI chip market, 3 unique markets and market size, and more! This Is A Very Good Presentation!! The AI Chip Landscape in 2019: Competition is Heating Up
  • Here is another AI discussion with a Tech entrepreneur who said: “In 10 years, AI will significantly shorten capacity and route planning cycles in air travel”. However he mentions a company called Assaia who makes an AI solution that improves airport turnarounds (Watch their video). Tech entrepreneur Stephan Uhrenbacher: In 10 years, AI will significantly shorten capacity and route planning cycles in air travel

We have been promising a retired Boeing engineer and a classic airplane restoration buff a story as soon as we had space, and while it is not about InFlight Entertainment, it is Old Flight Entertainment – sorta. Anyway, we thought this aviation story was too good not to be published. More importantly, this tale is about his work rebuilding and saving one of the most important American airplanes, the Lockheed Constellation. It was designed and produced for public aviation transportation from 1943 to 1958 and flew till the 1990’s with 856 being built. And yes, we have flown in one.

Bob sent us the story a couple of weeks ago and as much as we love aviation history and aircraft restoration images, we wondered just how much the IFEC folks would respond to a bit of aviation history. After waiting for a news story that was late, we decided that history was better than nothing – so here we go! Oh, and be sure too check out the many photos of the project here.

“People ask what I do in my retirement. I tell them I run an Animal Sanctuary for Airplanes. A Sanctuary with a ‘No Kill’ policy. About 25 Saves into this unforeseen new life after Boeing, I currently have about 8 more in various stages of ‘Salvation’. Like down at the dog pound, many have had very bleak prospects for surviving, but somehow we have muddled through with mostly good outcomes (but not all.).”

“And so, we come to this forlorn Connie – one of six I have worked on (being especially partial to this beautiful aircraft.). She really was the very last mutt at the end of the long row of cages and seemed completely unadoptable, by even the softest hearts, when – 3-4 years ago – I got this call from a hotel guy in New York. “They were building a new hotel at JFK airport in NYC, and did I know –” Well, as they show on some of those dog shows on TV, sometimes even the mangiest mutt turns out to be a Star. And the rest, as they say, is history.”

“As I’m very fond of saying: To Scrap a Connie is to Commit a Mortal Sin!”

Be sure to check out Bob’s website:  Trains, Planes, etc. One look at it and it is clear that he is a pilot, aviation lover, airplane historian, a former Boeing Director, and so much more.


Last Week’s Hot Topic: By the way, last week we ran a story on the Galgus and this week we got a team picture.


AIRBUS

New business announced in June provided a significant mid-year boost as Airbus logged orders in June for 145 single-aisle jetliners from its A320 and A220 families, while delivering 76 aircraft from the company’s A220, A320, A330, A350 XWB and A380 product lines. With Airbus’ Paris Air Show launch of the A321XLR – which will become the longest-range single-aisle airliner – bookings now stand at 44 aircraft. Joining the list of initial customers for this “Xtra Long Range” version of the A321neo were: U.S.-based American Airlines, ordering 20; Qantas of Australia, acquiring 10; Spain’s Iberia, with eight aircraft; and Aer Lingus for six (making the Irish carrier a new customer for the A320neo Family).

The A321XLR represents the A320neo jetliner series’ next evolutionary step, responding to market needs for even more range. It brings 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft while delivering an unprecedented range capability of up to 4,700 nautical miles. Service entry of the A321XLR is targeted for 2023.

Also in June’s new business, Airbus registered bookings for 86 other jetliners from the A320neo Family, composed of: 23 A320neo and 13 A321neo aircraft for an unidentified customer; 30 A320neo versions for Saudi Arabian Airlines; 18 A320neo aircraft for Japan’s All Nippon Airways; and two A320neo jetliners for Atlantic Airways of the Faroe Islands (becoming a new A320neo customer).

Airbus’ order book for the A220 Family also increased during the month, with acquisitions of the A220-300 longer-fuselage variant by two U.S.-based carriers: JetBlue Airways, ordering 10; and five for Delta Air Lines. Both airlines are repeat customers for the A220 Family.

Leading the single-aisle aircraft deliveries in June was the A320 Family, with 54 provided in both the NEO and CEO versions (including the first A321neo for JetBlue), along with six A220s.

Wide-body deliveries during the month were led by the A350 XWB, with a total of 10 aircraft provided in both the A350-900 and A350-1000 versions. Notable handovers involved the initial A350 XWBs for China Southern Airlines and Japan Airlines – both receiving A350-900s. Completing the wide-body activity in June were deliveries of five A330neo aircraft and one A380.

Taking the latest orders and deliveries into account, Airbus’ backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 7,276 aircraft as of 30 June. The single-aisle tally was composed of 5,871 A320 Family jetliners and 473 A220s; while the wide-body backlog was comprised of 605 A350 XWBs, 275 A330s and 52 A380s.

Atlantic Airways, the Faroe Islands flag carrier, has taken delivery of its first A320neo, MSN8918. Leased from Air Lease Corporation, this aircraft is powered by CFMI LEAP-1A engines and is configured in an all-economy cabin layout. With its new Airbus fleet member Atlantic Airways will further develop its European network. The airline, an Airbus customer since 2008, already operates an all-Airbus fleet of three A320 Family aircraft (currently two A319ceos and one A320ceo). In addition, the airline also recently placed a firm order for two additional A320neos.

Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the efficient A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver more than 20 percent fuel and CO2 savings as well as a 50 percent noise reduction. With more than 6,500 orders received from over 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent of the market.


BOEING

The Boeing Company announced deliveries across its commercial and defense operations for the second quarter of 2019. Boeing delivered 239 aircraft in first half of 2019 vs 378 in the first half of 2018. Heres the breakdown:

Model 2nd Quarter Year-to-Date
737 24 113
747 2 4
767 10 22
777 12 22
787 42 78
TOTAL 90 239

And lastly, congratulations to GE for their recent world record for thrust –  developing the most powerful commercial aircraft jet engine after reaching 134,300 pounds (test performance). This achievement breaks the record held by GE’s GE90-11B engine of 127,900 pounds set in 2002.


OTHER NEWS

The folks at Galgus sent us a note: “Yesterday, was a special day for Galgus as we launched release # 9 of our Wi-Fi optimization software. This version comes with lots of new features, some of them never seen before. Our team has put a lot of enthusiasm and expertise made of listening, detecting and building WiFi solutions for the market.” So, to find out the new software features, we checked out the “secret” Galgus site and here are a few of the features of their new software to be announced in a couple days:

  •  Advanced Mesh with Self-Healing, Dynamic Re-Routing, QoS and Power Control
  • Unveiling of Hidden MAC Addresses
  • New Modular Licenses and an Auto-Download Licensing System to Easy License Upgrades to Access New Features
  • High Density Scenarios
  • Support of Multi-thread Operation
  • WPA Enterprise with Radius Support + Dynamic VLANs (802.1x)
  • Location of Connected Clients with Real or Randomized MAC Addresses
  • Zero-Touch Provisioning
  • Discovery of IEEE 802.11 Amendments Supported by User Devices
  • Better Algorithms, Bug Fix Binaries, Cloud Manager…and More!

So with all the new features of the Wi-Fi software, we asked the Galgus team a few questions that we all could understand.

1. Please describe how big, and where the Galgus software (CHT Wi-Fi Optimization) is used.
Presently, 800+ airplanes worldwide are flying with our SW inside. Besides that, CHT is also deployed in Hotels & Resorts, covering 400,000 sqf. outdoor areas; also a Convention Center with a capacity of 3,000 people served with 18 access points, there, 100+ events are celebrated every year. In the railway industry the whole fleet of a British operator (45+ trains) are equipped with our technology. Also is important two mention that we have presence in two cruise ships in the Mediterranean Sea, +400 buses worldwide and even in a 55,000 people stadium of the Spanish soccer first division!

2. Does the CHT software effect data speeds on aircraft Wi-Fi?
Yes it affects: it improves the speed even for the weakest of the devices with respect to the case without CHT. In case it refers to whether our protocol occupies a lot of bandwidth: no, it is not noticeable.

3. What hardware vendors and airlines are customers of this software?
In the airline industry, we work with VT Miltope, they are our main customer. Regarding which airlines our software is deployed, due to confidentiality agreements we can’t unveil which ones are they.

4. Also, please describe what the software does that is different and why.
The new software comes with a nice set of new and improved features. Among them, we would like to underline the location of connected clients with real or randomized MAC addresses. Using only the WiFi network, without diminishing its performance, CHT is able to locate connected devices whether they randomize their MAC address or not. This is all achieved without the user having to install anything additional or modify their device. The network owner can access this information and compare it to quality of service metrics in our dashboard Cloud Manager.

Also, as a second mail innovation, with our new release we ensure network security and customer privacy by dynamically assigning an individual VLAN to each customer. This feature allows the accomplishment of enterprise grade projects where security and privacy is a must But, there are much more new features included and the July 10 webinar will cover the new content.

5. Will this software and features be displayed at any future airshow?
Yes absolutely. Jointly with VT Miltope, we regularly attend the main events in the industry, such as the AIX in Germany or APEX in the USA. At both them or at any other that we finally attend, we will introduce all new and improved features that our new release brings with them. And yes, they have a book available on Amazon


INMARSAT
Inmarsat announced a contract to introduce two new payloads for its Global Xpress (GX) network in partnership with Space Norway and its subsidiary Space Norway HEOSAT, supporting the continued fast-paced development of its award-winning GX Aviation and Jet ConneX inflight connectivity solutions.
The new payloads, GX10A & 10B, will provide Inmarsat’s airline and business aviation customers with even more capacity to meet rapidly growing demand for seamless, reliable, high-speed mobile inflight broadband. In addition, the satellites will be fully compatible with current and future terminals, ensuring that both existing and new customers will reap the benefits from this latest extension to the network. Scheduled to launch in 2022, GX10A & 10B will be the first satellites in the GX network to be placed into Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), showcasing Inmarsat’s highly innovative and flexible approach to providing customers with gold-standard connectivity.

The satellites are designed to deliver enhanced capacity for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic. They will be operated by Space Norway’s Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ABSM) team and seamlessly integrate into the GX network.


AIRBUS
Azores Airlines, the Azores archipelago-based carrier, has taken delivery of its first of three A321LRs to be leased from Air Lease Corporation “ALC” becoming the latest operator of the long-range single-aisle aircraft. Powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, the Azores Airlines’ A321LR comprises 190 seats in a two-class configuration (16 Business class seats and 174 seats in Economy) offering premium wide-body comfort in a single-aisle aircraft cabin and with single-aisle operating costs. With this new A321LR, the Portuguese operator will continue its strategy of growth and network expansion to European destinations as well as transatlantic routes between the Azores and North America.


BOEING
Ahead of Independence Day in the U.S., Boeing announced $100 million in funds to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragic accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years. “We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.” Boeing will release additional information in the near future. Consistent with Boeing’s regular process for employee charitable donations, company employees will also have the opportunity to make donations in support of the families and communities impacted by the accidents. Boeing will match these employee donations through December 31, 2019.

BOEING announced it is providing $100m in funds to address family and community needs of those affected by the 737 MAX accidents of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years.


OTHER NEWS

  • Folks under the age of 35 have a lot of innovations says the MIT folks – and, half are women -it’s a good sign!
  • What is biohacking? The new “science” of optimizing your brain and body. – Vox
  • Do you wonder how supersonic planes can fly with glass windshields? Well, you have a point and here is an answer on how it might be done. NASA’s New Supersonic Jet Will Be Missing a Front Window
  • Applied Science, that’s what the over 200 short videos are on technology are about on YouTube. Here’s the description and they are technically right on and very good: “See interesting applications of science and technology. You’ll see how an electron microscope was built in a home shop, how an X-ray backscatter system works, how to make aerogel, and many other hi-tech projects. Topics usually include electromechanical systems, chemistry, and electronics. Hosted by Ben Krasnow.” 109) Applied Science – YouTube
  • Boeing’s 777-x has similar characteristics to 747, however it does so with only 2 engines Boeing: 777X and Boeing: 777X Reveal
  • A lot of times when you are flying from or to a small airport on one airline, there is little information on where the others who fly there have connections to. It can be frustrating because most airlines want you to fly them and reasonably dont show you who else flies there. If you need a better list of what airlines fly to an airport here is a site called FlightsFrom that does that. Here is a website that covers that problem – Worldwide routes and flights from all airports – FlightsFrom.com
  • So, if you are afraid of new cars with potentially incorrect self-driving systems, had you ever considered self flying(landing) planes? Watch a plane land itself truly autonomously for the first time | TechCrunch
  • Having been fans of Leo Laporte for technical reporting in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, he now has a show called The Tech Guy. Leo is now 62 and hosts a show that covers technology and if you remember shows like Call For Help and Screen Savers, well, he is back and has a weekly show/newsletter on TWiT.tv and iOS Today as a podcast. Hey, it must be popular as then show this week is Episode 726! and a weekly newsletter that you can get them here Subscribe or iOS Today – Hey it’s free!