There is a lot of news to cover this week, so lets get going:

IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2018 in Hamburg, Germany. With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C, either with or without USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD). IFPL will be demonstrating its Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that will allows airlines to support their passengers through the transition period from USB-Type A to USB Type C. IFPL has developed two combination variants, firstly a variant which has its existing high power reversible USB-Type A combined with a USB-Type C designed to work with the existing on-board power architecture, providing airlines a simple and low-cost upgrade path. Secondly, IFPL has developed a Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that supports USB-Type C, with USB Power Delivery supporting Power Delivery Rules 1 to 4 delivering providing up to 60 watts of power to power laptops, as well as the regular Portable Electronic Device (PED) power.

IFPL will also demonstrate how and why it has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet. This allows for much easier seat integration and heat dissipation, plus allows airlines to take advantage of existing in-service DC power supplies, whilst future proofing the outlet. This will allow airlines to take advantage of the next generation DC in- seat power supplies that have USB-Power Delivery built in as a standard, allowing commonality of outlets across the fleets.

USB Power Delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability.

Visitors to stand 4B20 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology. In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet and they have extended this range to include the new 2020 USB-A outlet. This unit has been designed to allow seamless integration into the seat delivering an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets enhancing the passenger’s experience. The modular design ensures easy on wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allow for an easy upgrade path to USB-C in the future. To demonstrate this IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The modular approach has delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the outlets into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system to enhance the passenger experience.

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging. IFPL has been working with a number of seat vendors who will be displaying at AIX and they will be demonstrating how they have successfully integrated IFPL’s inductive charge unit into their seat. Further, they enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

IFPL is a world-leader in audio jack technology – enhancing the customer experience and providing a total cost of ownership advantage to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology and products that differentiates their audio solutions in the market. These include:

Long Life Range
IFPL Long Life technology delivers a highly robust and reliable audio jack that minimize the effects of CID. The high quality materials and design ensures that these jacks are robust and have been tested to over 100,000 insertions. IFPL use this Long Life technology for single, double and triple jacks. Additionally, IFPL’s design ensures that each pin socket can work as single pins ensuring additional redundancy in the dual and triple pin solutions.

Rapid Fit Range
IFPL’s Rapid Fit technology delivers a solution to allow rapid on wing maintenance. The unit has been designed with a replaceable cassette, which house the jacks whilst keeping the expensive electronics in the main housing. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds allowing for rapid on wing replacement whilst keeping maintenance costs at a minimum.

INCAM Range
IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with the simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

Breakaway MagSignal Range
IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration. MagSignal has been tested to over 250,000 attachments/detachments, demonstrating the robust capability of this technology.

IFPL also leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) for payment systems and personalization with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology inflight.

AIX 2018 will see IFPL demonstrate NFC allowing airlines to provide easy seat back payment items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams. As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.


Gogo

Gogo announced that Aeromexico will install 2Ku on an additional 9 Boeing 737-800NG’s, bringing the total to 29 aircraft.  Today, 20 of Aeromexico’s 737-800NG aircraft are flying with Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity technology. “Aeromexico was one of the first airlines to commit and deploy 2Ku and we are excited to extend our partnership and bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their passengers,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s SVP and regional president for the Americas. The new aircraft are expected to be installed in 2018.

Gogo also announced recently that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15.  These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity. SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer.  “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.” Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

 


PEC/PEW

The Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the industry-leading global conference and networking forum that defines the future of the passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe to kick-off Passenger Experience Week (PEW) on Monday 9th April 2018. This year’s event will feature a raft of leading speakers from across the passenger experience industry and beyond. With the first iterations of driverless cars, hyperloops, optionally-piloted air-taxis and electric planes all set to be realized in the next decade, this year’s PEC plenary session will address the many new frontiers for transport and the passenger experience.

Moderated by leading industry executive, Boeing’s Director Differentiation Strategy, Blake Emery, the session will start with a focus on disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry, led by Richard Chung, Adient’s Vice President, Innovation and Design.

Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, will then launch delegates on a journey through the company’s development, with a stellar exploration on creating the world’s first spaceline. The plenary session will conclude with a look at Future Horizons, with a director of leading design consultancy PriestmanGoode looking at the impact of new forms of high speed transport such as Hyperloop, and the opportunities presented by autonomous vehicles and passenger drones.

The PEC delegation will then split into three streams; Convergence and Mobility, Personalizing the Journey and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking. Each of these streams is designed to offer delegates a deep-dive into the most pressing topics facing the passenger experience industry. Convergence and Mobility: From seamless urban mobility to the on-demand economy, this stream will explore how the cross-pollination of ideas across travel modes can enrich today’s passenger experiences and create new business opportunities. The keynote for this stream will be given by Kaj Pyyhtia, Co-Founder of the world’s first mobility service, with other leading speakers from AirlineTrends, Almadesign, Diehl Aerosystems, Embraer, Joon, KLM, LSG Group, N+P Industrial Design, Norwegian and TAP Air Portugal. Personalizing the Journey: Airlines and rail companies are increasingly offering personalized experiences to each and every customer, with connectivity and data-driven technologies being key to success. This stream will explore how operators can get close enough to their customers to truly understand what they want from the onboard experience and to build deeper and lasting relationships. Speakers for this stream will include leading executives from Black Swan, Cathay Pacific, eGate Solutions, Golfdale Consulting, Guestlogix, Panasonic Avionics, Spafax and the Valour Consultancy.Flexible and Sustainable Thinking: Examining how flexibility can be designed into products to afford more options for airlines and rail operators, this stream asks the question about what role sustainability plays in this equation. The keynote for this stream will be given by Christina Fagin from leading Hamburg-based circular economy consultancy, Gruner Hering, with other leading speakers from Airbus, Air New Zealand, Napaway Coach, Paperclip Design, the National Research Council of Canada, Recaro Aircraft Seating, Thomas Cook Group Airlines and Zodiac Aerospace. The day will conclude with the Industry Networking Party which takes place from 6:00pm – 9:30pm in the PEC venue at the Hamburg Messe. The party has become a popular networking event with the wide-range of food, drink and live music on offer making it the perfect place to enjoy meeting new people and building business connections.

The PEC is the launch event for Passenger Experience Week – which comprises four leading events in one destination: the Passenger Experience Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions.

The new Passenger Technology Solutions event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience.

With all Passenger Experience Week events being staged under one roof, the Hamburg Messe is the destination to discover the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and retail offerings to create the ultimate passenger experience.

For more information about Passenger Experience Conference


Other Stuff

Looks like Google is heading for hotel bookings (Google now allows hotel bookings through search results | Hotel Management) … whats next?

SES Networks and Gogo collaborate to ensure that HTS connectivity is seamlessly deployed to more than 200 Gogo Aircraft within the first operational month of SES-15

Luxembourg | February 14, 2018– Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology which are now utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15. These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity.

SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.”

“Deploying HTS connectivity requires a coordinated and collaborative approach because of the spot beam design,” said Elias Zaccack, Executive Vice President Global Sales at SES Networks. “We are proud of our strong working relationship with the entire Gogo team.”

Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

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

Airbus/Emirates

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

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

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

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


Gogo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Look at it this way:

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

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

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

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


Thales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SITA/SITAONAIR

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

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

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

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

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


Other Stuff

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

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

AVANCE L3 Has Small, Lightweight Form Factor and Affordable Pricing Options

Broomfield, CO | February 7, 2018– Gogo Business Aviation’s innovative new inflight connectivity system – Gogo AVANCETM L3 – has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA.

The latest connectivity solution from Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) lets users customize their inflight experience based on their unique needs and can be installed on business aircraft of all types, sizes and ages, but is an ideal solution for smaller aircraft including turboprops and light jets. Gogo is actively fulfilling orders that have already been booked and installations are underway via Gogo’s dealer network.

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

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

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

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

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

Three service offerings are available:

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

February 7, 2018– Cebu Pacific Air, a leading airline in the Philippines currently operates a fleet of 56 aircraft comprised of A319, A320, A330 and ATR 72-500. The airline also has a further 50 aircraft on order which will be delivered between 2016 and 2021. With this anticipated expansion, the airline has decided to invest in pilot operations, to ensure that flight crew day to day operations, and their mission management are at the cutting edge. As a result they have selected the Aviobook Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution to digitise all their current flight dispatch documentation.

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

Lake Forest | February 6, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and Kenya Airways have today announced an agreement to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) services and passenger technical solutions for 24 of the carrier’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft.

The agreement includes ten Embraer 190 aircraft line-fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eFX IFE system, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with eX1 and nine Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with eX3.

Kenya Airways is a leading African airline flying to 53 destinations worldwide, 42 of which are in Africa. It carries over three million passengers annually. Kenya Airways continues to modernize its fleet with its 36 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa, including its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

eFX delivers entertainment and productivity tools including music, movies, games, TV series, destination presentations and a moving map in a single-aisle package.

eX1 is Panasonic’s most advanced linefit IFE system for single-aisle aircraft. Its high-definition display technologies and surround sound audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience.

The eX3 system is capable of delivering more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. It offers excellent picture quality with enhanced color and contrast features.

Panasonic Technical Services will provide materials support solutions with technical advisory support to all aircraft. The aforementioned solutions have been customized in consultation with Kenya Airways to deliver optimal IFE spares operations coupled with onsite IFE support for maintenance operations.

Sean Gavin, Vice President of Panasonic Technical Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Having worked very closely with Kenya Airways to develop a customized package to fit their needs for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, we are delighted to welcome them as a Panasonic customer. Our world-class IFE systems will offer the airline and its passengers an unrivalled and memorable entertainment experience.”

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

Turkey | February 5, 2018– Turkish Technic and Atlasglobal have signed an agreement for the repair and supply of components for Atlasglobal’s Airbus A320 aircraft fleet. The agreement will be effective till 2023.

The contract comprises component repair and supply on ATA Chapter basis. Access to components will be available from Turkish Technic Istanbul main base and worldwide pooling stations. Repair work of the components will be carried out at Turkish Technic Sabiha Gokcen facilities.

Being the continuation of the latest agreement settled in 2013 between Turkish Technic and Atlasglobal, this agreement will thus be further contributing to the development of the Turkish aviation industry.

Turkish Technic CEO Ahmet Karaman declared: “I would like to thank Atlasglobal for expressing their trust and confidence to Turkish Technic with regard to component repair and supply services for their A320 fleet. The renewal of the agreement for another 5 years, is a clear indicator of the quality of the service we deliver along with customer satisfaction. Turkish Technic is an important trademark providing MRO services to more than a hundred airlines.”

Atlasglobal CEO Sermed Temizkan added: “We trust in the quality of Turkish Technic’s services. We are pleased to be provided with the services of Turkish Technic, one of the top 10 leading MRO centers in the world. On behalf of Atlasglobal, I would like to thank Turkish Technic for their continued technical support to our Airbus A320 operation and our expanding network.”

First Europe-wide integrated LTE network created with 300 base stations

European Aviation Network satellite launched, tested and ready for service

Fast broadband access in the sky for passengers and airlines

British Airways, part of IAG Group, first commercial customer

Bonn | February 5, 2018– Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have, together with their technology partner Nokia, completed the key technological step in the development of the European Aviation Network (EAN), the world’s first integrated S-band satellite and complementary LTE-based terrestrial network built for Europe.

With the set-up of around 300 base stations across all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway, the ground network component of EAN has become the first ever Europe-wide integrated LTE network. The completion of the network follows Inmarsat’s successful launch of its EAN satellite last summer, which has since been extensively tested in orbit and has been fully operational since September 2017.Unmatched Connectivity for Passengers

Serving the aviation industry and its passengers, the European Aviation Network is a pioneering technological achievement and a truly innovative European project. It provides seamless connectivity over land and water, and offers a high bandwidth service to passengers – currently over 75 Mbit/s connection speed to the aircraft – as airlines using the service do not share network capacity with any non-aviation customers. Passengers will be able to use social media, share pictures and stream high-bandwidth content at speeds they are used to experience at home.

EAN is also designed to fulfill not only current but also future passenger demand for inflight connectivity as the integrated LTE ground network is fully scalable to meet increasing connectivity needs in the coming years.Game-changer for Airline Industry

The European Aviation Network will be available for airlines to offer commercially from H1 2018, serving as a game-changer for airlines and their customers. The service has been trialed during several flights to test the integrated satellite and complementary LTE ground network. The test flights have confirmed that EAN meets its design performance in practice, providing an unmatched low-latency performance of less than 100 ms.

Airlines will be able to install the small and light-weight EAN equipment quickly and easily, typically during overnight breaks for individual aircraft and turnaround times for entire fleets of just a few months.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service and has already commenced installations of EAN equipment on aircraft.

“With the completion of the first ever integrated pan-European LTE ground network component we are now able to fully support EAN’s satellite connectivity and maximize the performance of the EAN system,” said Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President, International Wholesale Business at Deutsche Telekom. “The network is specifically designed to meet future capacity demands for connectivity in the European airspace, with passenger volumes expected to double in the next 15 years.”

“EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution which effectively combines space and ground-based components, overcoming the traditional limitations of inflight internet,” said Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President at Inmarsat Aviation. “Bringing connectivity to the skies is a complex effort and we could only realize this through strategic collaboration with our European partners.”

“EAN’s ground network had to meet technical prerequisites that are quite different from ‘normal’ LTE networks: it needs to work at speeds of up to 1,200 km/h, at heights of 10 km and requires large cells of up to 150 km,” said Thorsten Robrecht, Vice President Vertical Network Slices at Nokia. “Our joint endeavor breaks the technological boundaries between ground and air on connectivity”

For more information on the European Aviation Network, please visit www.europeanaviationnetwork.com      

Cyprus’ award-winning flag carrier Cobalt Air selects Bluebox Wow to provide wireless IFE

Dunfermline, UK | January 31, 2018 — Cobalt Air has signed a 3-year agreement with Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. for the deployment of Bluebox’s portable wireless IFE platform – Bluebox Wow – across the airline’s fleet of Airbus A319-100s and A320-200s.
“As we make the rapid transition from low-cost to full-service carrier, we recognise the role that delivering a high-quality inflight entertainment experience has to play,” said Andrew Madar, Chief Executive Officer, Cobalt Air. “Bluebox Wow enables us to do this quickly and cost-effectively, and with virtually no disruption to our service, which would have happened if we’d attempted to implement a fitted system. The power and capabilities of Bluebox Wow are very impressive.”
“As an award-winning start-up airline, Cobalt’s commitment to delivering service innovation is already well recognised,” said Kevin Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. “We’re delighted – not only to welcome Cobalt to our growing customer list – but that our own award-winning Bluebox Wow was selected to be part of their on-going innovation, delivering an exceptional IFE experience for passengers across Cobalt’s rapidly expanding route network.”

Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including up to 1.6 terabytes of film, TV, audio, games and other digital content, accessed through any web browser. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed in overhead lockers, each box’s single, swappable rechargeable battery offers the equivalent of delivering 15 hours of streamed video content to 50 passengers simultaneously.

London, UK | January 23, 2018– An array of exciting start-ups and tech pioneers are confirmed to exhibit at Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) – a brand new, global event that takes place in Hamburg from 10-12 April 2018

The event, which is the latest to be added to the annual Passenger Experience Week portfolio, will explore the potential of technology to join the dots across the passenger journey to deliver a more seamless and integrated experience. 

A selection of names have been confirmed, including Toronto-based company Guestlogix, chat-bot developer Aviget, systems integrator KIU System Solutions and French Duty Free disruptor airfree.

These exhibitors will join other technology suppliers to showcase their products and services to travel operators from around the world, each looking to offer their passengers a more connected and personalised journey. 

The products and services due to be demonstrated include airfree – the first digital marketplace dedicated to inflight shopping – and Guestlogix’s cutting-edge airline commerce platform that uses data analytics to enhance passenger experience and generate ancillary revenue for airlines.

Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, commented: “We launched Passenger Technology Solutions to inspire companies across the entire travel ecosystem to take a look at the bigger picture. Technological advances have transformed every aspect of the industry beyond recognition, and now an exciting challenge lies ahead: how to combine these travel innovations to create the ultimate overall passenger experience. 

“We are excited to reveal just a few of the start-ups and game-changers that will be joining us in Hamburg in April, and look forward to announcing further exhibitors and speakers in the coming weeks.” 

Alongside the exhibition, PTS will offer three days of educational sessions and networking to explore the future of travel. The event will not only cover aviation, but also rail – putting the entire end-to-end passenger journey in the frame. 

PTS will take place during Passenger Experience week, which attracts over 18,400 visitors and more than 1,000 airline attendees. The new event will be co-located at the Hamburg Messe with Aircraft Interiors Expo, the Passenger Experience Conference and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo.

For more information about Passenger Technology Solutions please visit: www.passengertechnologysolutions.com

Time spent on a plane is no more synonymous of boredom.

Passengers onboard easyJet,Iberia Express, Volotea and XL Airways can now better enjoy the moment

of flying by reading about what to do and where to go to their final destination. Immfly’s onboard digital services platform provides downloadable travel guides, from hundred cities covered by the airline’s routes, available in several languages and formats.

Barcelona, Spain | January 23, 2018– Immfly’s onboard digital services platform is 100% dedicated to guaranteeing the passenger can get the most of its experience while flying. The onboard travel guides are a useful feature to anticipate plans and close decisions before landing. At the same time, it is a powerful place for cities increase its visibility and to raise awareness of the endless activities available to be there discovered and explored.

Destination Overview
City Lifestyle

Immfly gives the passengers the opportunity to get to know the city before touching the ground. The history and background of the city, the lifestyle of its citizens, the local culture and customs, the typical and traditional gastronomy of the region, the must-see and visited places, the unmissable secret spot overlooking the heart of the city or the sunset near the ocean, all of these information is now available for consult. The destination guide’s access is not restricted to the onboard experience. Instead of that, Immfly’ guides accompany and travel along the entire passenger’s trip, from the flight and while on the ground, by being downloaded in pdf files and stored in passengers own smart devices.

Tips
Nightlife, food & drinks and much more

Travel means discover the unknown and experience new and unforgettable places. Immfly’s travel guides suggest million of possible activities for any type of trip and traveller’s profile.
Tips for the ones who love to go out and have fun in a bustling city, the most famous places to eat and drink, the historical museums, the ideal place to go shopping, a walking tour by the city, are just some examples of what these travel guides are capable of.

Weather on destination

As part of planning, knowing the weather conditions on the final destination could be very useful. Immfly provides information on local weather conditions and forecasts which helps to
better organize the plans according to it.

Shopping online

Immfly’s digital services offer the best activities and transfer services in all destinations managed and in contact with different partners. Besides being informed, passengers can actually buy activities such as museums entrances, a touristic bus trip, a football game, while flying. Additionally to that, Iberia Express has developed a microsite where passengers can even purchase before and after the moment of flying, by simply accessing the Iberia Express activities website. The time spent on a plane, seated, is no more synonymous with wasting time. Now it is possible to plan in advance and avoid lines in the most searched places.

SITA infrastructure supports more than 11-million customer interactions every year

Frankfurt, Germany | January 15, 2018– Lufthansa InTouch, responsible for managing customer service across the Lufthansa Group, has again selected SITA to manage its service center communication network and key infrastructure elements, ensuring that more than 11-million customers are connected to service agents every year.

SITA, a long-standing partner to Lufthansa InTouch, will continue to manage and maintain its service center communication network and key infrastructure to meet the airline group’s constantly evolving needs. SITA supports more than 500 local numbers in more than 90 markets, efficiently delivering traffic via a global IP network across seven service centers managed by a team of 2,230 staff speaking more than 30 languages.

The service provided by SITA has transformed how customer calls to Lufthansa Group airlines are handled. A close integration between SITA’s global voice network and Lufthansa InTouch’s Genesys contact center platform, ensures a caller – regardless of their location – is automatically and directly routed to a consultant best equipped to meet their specific requirements. These calls are allocated according to the routing policies defined by Lufthansa InTouch on their Genesys platform.

Through this optimization, Lufthansa InTouch has benefited from savings in transmission costs of up to 20% as well as significantly improved call quality, notably by eliminating forwarding of calls between sites.

SITA’s Unified Communications portfolio has allowed Lufthansa InTouch to consolidate voice, data and audio into one platform while effectively connecting the airline to its far-flung destinations.

Erik Mosch, CEO of Lufthansa InTouch, said: “Our customer service consultants at Lufthansa InTouch are the main point of contact for all our passengers across Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian airlines. They represent the airline and are there to assist passengers 24 hours a day – whether by phone, email, chat or social media. Supporting this fast-moving organization requires a partner we can rely on. SITA is such a partner, ensuring that our customers are quickly connected to an agent that can assist them in their own language in every market we fly to.”

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “We have leveraged our global experience and footprint to provide a service that is able to meet the evolving needs of Lufthansa InTouch. We understand that technologies change, new destinations are added and passengers shift the way they communicate. Our strength is to meet those changes with the most efficient communication infrastructure that supports an effective interaction with each of their customers.”

  • Expects 2018 revenue of $745 million to $815 million
  • Expects to record non-cash impairment charge of approximately $16 million in fourth quarter of 2017

East Aurora, NY | January 11, 2018– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today updated expectations for 2017 year-end results and revenue guidance for 2018.

Astronics announced that bookings for the 2017 fourth quarter were approximately $229 million. The Company’s Aerospace segment contributed $171 million in orders, which included $17 million in orders related to the December 1, 2017 acquisition of Telefonix PDT. The Test segment had $58 million in bookings, which included $56 million for semiconductor test equipment.

The Company updated its 2018 consolidated revenue guidance to $745 million to $815 million. The Aerospace segment is expected to have a revenue range of $630 million to $680 million including Telefonix PDT. The Test segment is expected to have revenue of $115 million to $135 million.

The Company also announced that it expects to record a non-cash goodwill impairment charge against the goodwill associated with Armstrong Aerospace of approximately $16 million in the 2017 fourth quarter.

Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics Corporation, commented, “We are disappointed with the goodwill situation at Armstrong, but we believe the combination of that business with Telefonix will perform well in the future. At the same time, we believe we have very strong momentum as we enter 2018. Our strong bookings in the second half of 2017 sets the stage for a very exciting year.”

The Company expects to release its fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results in late February 2018.

This week in IFExpress, we have two interesting stories, one on Guestlogix and their view of onboard sales/selling, and the other on one of the two hideous computer hardware vulnerabilities, Spectre and Meltdown. Lets get started with the IFEC focused one.

GUESTLOGIX

For starters, we should start by telling our readers that a few years back, we wrote an article on Guestlogix’s approach to onboard retailing and the use of special technology in the cabin. Quite a bit has changed at the company since then, and a recent note from one of their strategy folks caught our eye: “Guestlogix has undergone quite a few changes – new management team, new product roadmap, new vision for the airline industry.” Whoa, that’s a lot of “new”! We thought we had better take a look into the changes and Guestlogix’s new approach to selling merchandise onboard a commercial aircraft.

First, to set the stage, we should mention that Guestlogix is a global company that develops (and provides) airline commerce technology and solutions that help carriers generate ancillary revenue.

Recently, Guestlogix published a report that makes the connection between passenger experience and the psychological phenomenon of “learned helplessness.” What is learned helplessness? It’s a behavior pattern where passengers experience a lack of control from check-in to landing. This feeling leads to frustration (with the airline) and general apathy toward air travel. And this experience makes passengers less inclined to spend and more inclined to view air travel negatively.

For airlines, the first step to satisfying passengers and increasing revenue is to make them feel in control by empowering them to use their mobile devices at every touchpoint. The question is how will empowered passengers improve the airline’s bottom line?

Ever since the airline industry was deregulated, airlines have been “unbundling” fares and charging for ancillary services, which has helped drive down the cost of air travel. Passengers want low fares, but they don’t like the resultant trade-off where they are forced to sacrifice quality of service in exchange for low fares. They have accepted the trade-off – begrudgingly – but the result has been a long deterioration of passenger experience as passengers come to see air travel as an experience to be endured rather than enjoyed.

After decades of learned helplessness, passengers have reached their breaking point and are demanding change from airlines – and they are taking to social media to voice their frustration. Consequently, airlines have been forced to make changes. Guestlogix notes in its report that 20% of consumers are more likely to switch brands after just one negative experience, and 25% are more likely to complain about the company. The opposite is also true – just one memorable customer experience leads to a significant increase in purchases and recommendations. With airlines depending more than ever on ancillary revenue (which has increased some three-fold over the last few years), the problem of “learned helplessness” has to be solved if airlines hope to reduce the financial impact of negative passenger experience, and maximize ancillary revenue opportunities.

The important message here is that Guestlogix has identified and solved the connection between negative passenger experience and airline revenue, and have developed a technology platform that solves both problems at the same time, which will help the airline industry finally realize the unfulfilled promise of deregulation for better air travel. The report is available and free to download here at the Guestlogix website.

We spoke with Guestlogix about their new airline commerce platform, but before we go into more detail, here is a brief summary of the solution: “The new airline commerce platform from Guestlogix is built on the rails of the best on-the-ground e-commerce technologies which include passenger analytics and product mix optimization, data-driven sales and marketing tools and comprehensive payment functionality. Guestlogix delivers more opportunities for onboard ancillary revenues than any other alternative, while improving today’s typical passenger experience. For passengers, that means having control, comfort and choice.”

Here are some more detail: “The data-driven platform connects selling with passenger psychology – making customers feel like the airline knows them and can anticipate their needs and desires. Airlines that can execute on a personalized, ‘consumerized’ and mobile passenger experience will have tremendous advantage over competitors who can’t – or won’t – deviate from entrenched, legacy approaches.”

Furthermore: “The airline commerce platform is built around the combined power of a flight attendant POS and a consumer-facing passenger app. The passenger mobile app serves as a personal concierge allowing the user to browse the onboard catalog, make completely friction-less payments with multiple methods and currencies and take control of their comfort with personalized, relevant merchandise. Flight attendants can access the platform through the POS app on the airline’s device of choice, open and close ordering with a single touch, quickly review passenger orders (including pre-orders) and monitor inventory.”

So, we see that Guestlogix has developed a software solution (actually an entire full-suite platform) to improve passenger experience and onboard selling. You can get more detail (and pictures of the solution) at their website: www.guestlogix.com. For now, let’s dig a little deeper without getting too technical. The Guestlogix platform has three main components: Management Console, Flight Attendant POS, Passenger Experience App.

Management Console

The management console makes it easy for flight crews and sales and marketing teams to monitor sales performance across flights and run personalized, data-driven campaigns based on predictive analytics – giving them deep business intelligence on what individual passengers want or may need. From the management console, airlines can add any kind of ancillary merchandise, both physical goods (such as food and beverage) as well as non-physical merchandise (upgrades, media, destination activities). The management console also streamlines inventory management and uses data analytics to help airlines stock inventory more intelligently and reduce waste. The strength of the management console is its ability to synthesize multiple data streams and provide actionable business intelligence for improving onboard selling and significantly increasing revenue, while providing passengers with the quality of personalized retail they have come to expect from brands such as Starbucks and Uber. “Insights” is the tool group within the management console that enables airlines to manage their operations and build campaigns all in one platform, including reports, snapshots, performance, and forecasting (for example, to compare high-performing and low-performing routes). Above all, the software is easy to use and intuitive, making data analytics quick and easy.

Flight Attendant POS

The flight attendant POS is key to connecting operations and revenue management at the passenger (purchases) level, including the ability to make payments in multiple forms and currencies (including cash + loyalty points, cross-border payments), and the ability to up-sell and cross-sell with personalized, data-driven campaigns targeted to each individual passenger. The platform works on Apple or Android devices. With the flight attendant app, crews can open and close orders easily, keep track of sales, process payments and much more. The flight attendant app is tightly integrated with the passenger app for easy communication and order fulfillment that makes onboard selling easier and faster.

Passenger Experience App

The passenger experience app serves as a “digital concierge” that makes it easy for passengers to browse inventory, place orders and make payments. By creating a seamless, friction-less and personalized retail experience, the airline not only ensures higher revenue but increases satisfaction and builds loyalty. Airlines can add any kind of inventory to the catalog (not just food and beverage) and passengers can make purchases before, during or after the flight (seat upgrades, “jump the line” privileges, destination activities). Order tracking makes it easy for passengers and flight attendants to view, edit or cancel an order. The passenger app can also store a customer’s preferred payment method as well as mileage/loyalty points, making it easy for airlines to integrate loyalty programs with ancillary merchandising. Overall, the passenger app creates a personalized passenger experience where the passenger is in control and can take direct action when they feel frustrated, stressed or just feel like spending.

Currently, onboard sales and service are still largely dependent on legacy POS devices that were built to process orders and payments, but largely disconnected from any passenger systems. This is backward and inconvenient for both passengers and flight attendants increasingly accustomed to doing everything – from hailing an Uber to ordering pizza – on a mobile app or voice-controlled device. Guestlogix’s platform was built to make service faster and easier for flight attendants, improve passenger experience (and break the cycle of learned helplessness), and use powerful data analytics for more personalized, targeted selling and significantly higher revenue.

Check out the Guestlogix website and see how they have solved the “big picture” problem of improving passenger experience while increasing revenue at the same time. Good Stuff!


* Editor’s Note: The BUZZ backgrounder!

If you don’t know Max Lingua (G.U.E. Tech – CEO), well, you should. Why? Because, as a gaming genius, he always has something to say about virtually everything. We asked for a short BUZZ, and what he said (Play. Life is a game) is short and to the point – but what he sent was the BUZZ and More – a description and meaning of the short phrase. We thought you might like to read it!

“Most players are currently indulging in casual and RPG on the ground, with a ratio movie-watcher to game players of 2:1 in the sky, when we compare top-watched with top-played. We have scenarios where the top-played game is getting as many eyes as a blockbuster that has been flying for few weeks. Games generally age better, you can keep playing them, but you hardly watch the same movie twice (unless you have a very short memory span…) when you catch the next flight. When IFE is done right, travel is a continuation of your ludic [ you can see I studied Latin 🙂 ] experience, a homey comfort above the clouds. We all do. Play, I mean. We wear a suit or shorts. On our own or in a group. For fun or serious business. We adjust our role as we go. We win and we lose. A promotion, a lost love, a new car. What we play on a computer screen is just one of the many games and roles we play every day, an escape or a reflection. No wonder casual games (an evasion) and role-play games (an identity) are so popular. That’s all we do. Play. Life is a game of games.”

 

London, UK | January 9, 2018–Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event that showcases innovations in aircraft passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe from 10th – 12th April 2018, for the 19th annual AIX.

The leading event will host 500+ exhibiting companies, more than 1,200 airline buyers from 268 unique airlines and lessors and almost 14,000 visitors.

Over 30 new exhibiting companies including 3D Systems, General Aerospace GmbH and Vanema will join longstanding exhibitors such as Acro, Boeing, Gogo, Haeco, Inmarsat, Molon Labe, Panasonic Avionics and Thales.

The week will commence with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on Monday 9 April and is set to examine the impact of futuristic travel trends on the air and rail industries. Visitors to the event will hear from speakers including Rosalyn Gough, Cabin Quality Product Manager at Thomas Cook Group Airlines, José Rui Marcelino Chief Executive Officer of Almadesign and Raymond Kollau Founder or AirlineTrends. The event will also feature breakout sessions exploring Convergence and Mobility, Sustainability and Flexibility and Personalising the passenger journey, followed by the popular Industry Networking Party.

2018 will not only see AIX span a larger floor space, but introduce new and improved networking opportunities to ensure that attendees can easily initiate business discussions and maximise their time spent at the event.

Both visitors and exhibitors can enhance their show experience by using My Event on their mobile or desktop to build their own itinerary. The tool enables all attending AIX to create a personal list of must-see contacts and book meetings before and during the show, as well as tagging key products and CabinSpace Live sessions of interest.

Visitors to this year’s show will also have the opportunity to hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on the aircraft cabin, consolidation and the interiors supply chain and the future of IFE, in the Cabin Space LIVE Seminar theatre.

Polly Magraw, Event Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo comments: “As AIX approaches its milestone 20th anniversary in 2019, the 2018 show illustrates how the event has evolved to become a platform for companies right across the passenger experience sector, and the world’s largest event dedicated to aircraft interiors.

“For the thousands of influential airline buyers who attend the show each year, AIX covers the full spectrum of aircraft interiors from cabin design innovations to in-flight entertainment and connectivity. This enables our exhibitors to generate highly-targeted business leads and network with the who’s who of the aircraft interiors industry. For visitors, AIX is the perfect place to connect with the entire supply.”

AIX returns to join the Passenger Experience Week line up, comprising four leading events in one destination – the Passenger Experience Conference, AIX, World Travel Catering and On Board Services Expo (WTCE) and new to 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions. The new event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience.

With all Passenger Experience Week events being staged under one roof, the Hamburg Messe is the destination to discover the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and retail offerings to create the ultimate passenger experience.

For more information about Aircraft Interiors Expo please visit: http://www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

Thales will equip the subsidiary airlines of HNA Group with its latest In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of 42 wide-body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft.

  • Thales selected by HNA Group to equip new 42 A330 and 17 A350 XWB fleet with the latest IFE innovations.
  • AVANT IFE and Ka-band connectivity will be fully integrated on the A330 and A350 to provide a premium passenger experience.

California | January 9, 2018– Thales will equip the subsidiary airlines of HNA Group with its latest In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of 42 wide- body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft. The first AVANT A330 aircraft has entered into service in late 2017 and the first AVANT A350 aircraft is expected to enter into service in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.

HNA group manages several subsidiary airlines, including Hainan airlines, Capital Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Lucky Air and West Air. In 2017, Hainan Airlines was honored as Top 10 Airlines by SKYTRAX, a global research firm and provider of professional aviation evaluation services with a focus on airline and airport services. The subsidiary airlines of HNA group already have a combined fleet of over 50 A330 aircraft flying with Thales IFE systems. HNA Group’s selection of Thales is a further demonstration of the carriers trust in Thales’s commitment to making the travel experience more enjoyable for their passengers.

As part of this commitment, Thales is investing resources in the region to further enhance the integration of software and media capabilities that will enrich passenger experience and satisfy local market demands.

AVANT, Thales’s state-of-the-art Android IFE solution, will provide HNA Group Airlines’ passengers a highly customizable experience with a robust selection of features and applications. The new fleet will be equipped with the latest AVANT full high-definition monitors, the most lightweight ever deployed, featuring the Avii Touch Passenger Media Unit. Avii provides intuitive navigation, full android smartphone look and feel, and acts as a second entertainment screen. Integration of Ka-band connectivity to the AVANT IFE system will provide a fully connected premium passenger experience.

Thales FlytCARE, the nose-to-tail- maintenance of in-flight technology ensuring the highest levels of performance, already provided on current HNA Group Airline fleet, will be expanded to these new aircraft. The dedicated Aircraft Technical Services team, will support system reliability for the enhancement of passenger experience.

Substantially increased bandwidth, greater reliability, enhanced network management and new operational tools

Las Vegas | January 8, 2018–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has today introduced a major evolution of its satellite connectivity service with the introduction of its third generation communications network.

Panasonic’s third generation network is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. Throughout the first quarter of 2018, aircraft from a number of airlines will be transitioned to Panasonic’s new network. In addition, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, will leverage Panasonic’s new broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Our new satellite communications network is more than just greater bandwidth – it represents a major evolution in our approach to partnering with customers to deliver the highest standards of service and to ensure that their passengers enjoy an unmatched, connected experience inflight.”

The new communications network is built on Panasonic’s high throughput satellite service, which today covers all dense mobility traffic areas around the globe with high throughput spot beams and wide overlay beams that support Panasonic’s global inflight television service. When combined with the rollout of the company’s new satellite modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, Panasonic now offers bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available. This supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and a broader channel choice, the capability to offer 3G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.

The network is backed by a range of new measures Panasonic has launched to provide higher levels of support to its customers. These initiatives are channelled through Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives enhanced network performance, reduced outage times, and faster response and resolution times for all customer inquiries.

The Customer Performance Center offers a range of value-added services including traffic shaping tools, live monitoring and management of the user experience, and Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service, which enables real-time content loading, validation and management.

Additionally, Panasonic is offering new business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, over 1,800 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

Welcome back to IFEC in 2018, and thank you for following us throughout 2017. Having said that, this coming New Year ought to be one of the most interesting years for our technology, and almost everything else for that matter. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we wanted to pass along a short 2018 New Year message from Joe Leader, CEO of APEX and IFSA: “As we launch into 2018, APEX celebrates its 40th year of serving the passenger experience industry with every major airline in the world. The year ahead will see ancillary revenue tying into more facets of new products. In addition, we expect that this is the year that in-flight Wi-Fi surpasses 50% of available seat miles worldwide. It’s going to be an incredible year with major advancements.” We have a feeling he is right on track for this industry and he said it – the IFEC future will be a big deal in 2018, and we certainly agree – with inflight Wi-Fi becoming the passenger necessity. Furthermore, we agree with Mr. Leader’s comment that over 50% of available seat miles will have access to inflight Wi-Fi this new year, with the result being  new innovations that will generate both passenger and flight revenue. Thanks Joe!

Next, we thought it be interesting to delve into some specifics for 2018, as we do almost every year with some reported IFExpress efforts from last January 2017. One prediction that stood out was from an “un-named” provider who said: “The exponential growth of cabin Wi-Fi usage within the confines of the same aircraft will lead to more congestion in the cabin – passenger data to-and-from aircraft will more than quadruple in 2017.” Along the same lines last year, Joe Leader of APEX sent similar predictions: “Connectivity announcements and deployment will hit a new high for the industry and In-flight entertainment continues its expansion with more global IFE system installations and upgrades.” We knew that something like this was coming as well, but what’s new (or what’s news) is the speed at which this is happening. Perhaps, data quadrupling 2017 from 2016 may be a push; however, lets look at what the folks at Inmarsat say today: “Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionizing passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience. That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat …Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60% of all passengers say that inflight Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. The majority (61%) of global passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline.” The report went on: Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.””

Last year in IFExpress we wrote about the value of messages and that connectivity was the solution for doing so – what we said then is even more relevant today: “While 2016 may have a few techno-changes from 2015 and summary numbers differ, we are riding the same messaging train! Since technology and media have grown so much (at least in the US) folks are spending more time on it than sleep or work (Business Insider), there appears to be plenty of opportunity time for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) but messaging will be even bigger. If you don’t believe it, just watch the ‘head down time’ at a public function where time is spent on devices – it’s less invasive and non-interruptive. Why is this a boom time for messaging, you might ask? The answer must lie in new, portable communication technology for one. If, as some writers predict, we spend over half of our waking day with media and technology, and because the devices and connectivity mediums are there, plain and simple, we will text. From a broader perspective, time on major digital activities will increase, and has done so for each year, for the last 5 years.” Needless to say, we do not expect the demand to diminish as far as passengers expectations for messaging real-time inflight, in fact, we anticipate the demand to grow exponentially.

Another couple areas of predictive interest last January were Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. We noted in our IFExpress predictions: “Maintenance of aircraft will see more outsourcing, new technology products like AI and voice technology used in maintenance products, and more consolidation in the MRO world (Maintenance Repair Overhaul).” A recent IATA meeting in November 2017 featured speakers on both subjects – Finnair’s Rogier van Enk talked about using “Artificial Intelligence to assist customer service agents in managing the increasing volume of interactions with customers over social media channels,” while SITA’s Wayne Matrose shared knowledge of predicting disruptions with the use of “Neural Networks, to try and better predict the likelihood of a disruption to an airline’s scheduled movements. What data was used and how it was sourced? The importance of data quality and cleansing to make it both usable and useful. What can be predicted and what are the current limitations found with this technology (e.g. Black Swan events) – Ultimately, what changes are required to maximize the operational value of accurate predictions”

Another area we covered was seating and while we were on target for smaller seating, there was on area we missed. Here is what we said in early 2017: “Narrower aircraft seats are coming in 2017, especially in newer low class offerings where only certain sized carry-on baggage will be permitted – smaller and surely less comfortable as well. We already know United Airlines has a new low cost Basic Economy package that will be copied by others. The rub will be what limitations will be placed on passengers who do not have the airline reward travel card! Hey, many folks can travel short flights and put up with almost anything. It is all a function of what they have to take with them. And yes, cheaper seats will be located in the back of the plane.”

What we missed for 2017 was the new “beyond” Basic Economy package rolled out this past year with these extreme lack of features : even lower cost seats, seat selection and upgrades are not available, group and family seating is not available, full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted, one personal item is allowed, flight changes and refunds are not allowed, certain MileagePlus and Premier member benefits are not available, and they are the last boarding group. However, United notes: Basic Economy fares provide most of the same inflight services and amenities that are available with standard Economy — such as food and beverages, United Wi-FiSM and inflight entertainment.

One area where IFExpress fell short in our forecast for 2017 was company employees. We predicted the following for 2017: We fear aviation manufacturing layoffs”…While employee data is a little shaky because of the multitude of companies within a large corporation; we predicted a decline in employees from 2016 to 2017. When we looked in 2016, Boeing had 150K+ workers – today, it is around 174K. Airbus is also up.

We should also note that there are a lot of industry changes (not aviation) that will affect IFEC in the coming year. Video on Demand/LiveTV will surely eventually affect inflight entertainment and connectivity. Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain may as well. In 2018 blockchain will move beyond standard banking applications to money transfer, insurance, digital identification and even insurance, it will be on the aviation near horizon. Similarly, edge computing (near the source of data to reduce transmitted data) could be at the heart of aviation control, monitoring and data communication. With the airplane a trove of unanalyzed data and passengers desire to send and receive more data, connectivity, IFE, and TV, data will be the new connection from the air to the ground and vise-versa – not to mention smart bag issues, power-at-a-distance charging systems; as well as, increased satellite payloads ($11B – 2017 to $18B – 2022) and service providers.

Anyway, another year has passed and IFExpress is now in its 26th year and we still love the craziness of this entertainment and connectivity based aircraft show, albeit, it is getting harder to stay current with all the ups (and downs) of technology, connectivity, seat shrinkage, increased baggage payments, super long haul travel, passenger biometrics, security, and political impacts on the rights and preferences of travelers. There are even bigger changes coming: Net Neutrality and it’s effect on aviation and connectivity neutrality, higher prices coming, airport and possible airplane biometrics, Wi-Fi vs embedded IFE, prospective “splitter” customers, younger airline customers, and even Amazon in the business! However, because each year we are surprised, entertained and enlightened by the creativity and brilliance of many of the industry engineers, marketeers and developers, we again will close with the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Enjoy the MAGIC!

Editor’s Note: Just in case you feel like quitting this year, watch this — and NEVER GIVE UP!

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced that it has formed the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC) group by combining the recently acquired Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace. The new group will serve the needs of aerospace connectivity providers with a complete set of hardware, integration engineering, installation design, and certification services to enable aircraft in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC).

“We serve the world’s leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity providers, and this transition represents further commitment to offer our customers the most complete set of connectivity hardware, installation design, and certification services available from a single supplier,” said Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics Corporation. “Astronics CSC combines the best of both worlds – offering a suite of connectivity solutions that can be delivered a la carte or as a complete solution set, according to customer needs. With all of this capability in-house, we anticipate shortening a customer’s time to market for new, certified IFEC systems.”

Astronics CSC will continue to offer the products and services formerly offered by Armstrong Aerospace, working both within Astronics and with its industry partners to certify and install new IFEC, power, and other systems on commercial and business aircraft.

Astronics CSC will also continue to offer the products previously marketed by Telefonix PDT, including its cord reels and in-flight connectivity hardware such as wireless access points, servers, and control components. Product Development Technologies (PDT), a product design and development consultancy, will operate independently within the Astronics CSC structure.

The new Astronics CSC group will complement the connectivity and data solutions from other Astronics subsidiaries, including Astronics AeroSat, manufacturer of SATCOM antennas, and Astronics Ballard Technology, manufacturer of cockpit connectivity components.

Astronics CSC will continue to operate from its existing office locations in the greater Chicago area with current personnel. Michael Kuehn, formerly the president of Telefonix, will serve as the president of Astronics CSC. For details on the new group, please visit Astronics.com.


ROCKWELL COLLINS

Rockwell Collins has been named America’s Most JUST Company in the Aerospace & Defense industry, according to Forbes and JUST Capital, a nonprofit that ranks the largest publicly traded corporations in the United States on the issues Americans care about most. The second annual JUST 100 ranking compares America’s companies head-to-head, based on the priorities of the American people.

The rankings are based on one of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on public attitudes toward corporate behavior, involving 10,000 American respondents in 2017 and more than 72,000 over the past three years. For the complete 2017 JUST 100 list, visit www.forbes.com/just100.

Rockwell Collins is recognized for outperforming its peers on the criteria deemed to be most important, including worker pay and treatment, job creation, healthy products and communities, environmental impact, and more.


SITAONAIR

The company is celebrating a decade since the first ever inflight cellular data transmission and the birth of Mobile ONAIR.

Since that initial transmission was made onboard an Airbus A318 flight on 17 December 2007, it has been installed in more than 550 aircraft, serving the changing needs of commercial, VIP and governmental flights alike. Over the past decade, and with support from SITAONAIR’s industry partners, the service has been made available across all aircraft types, from single-aisle to long-range – with more than 20 million passengers connecting for voice, SMS and data transmission in 2017 alone.

SITAONAIR and satellite communications provider Inmarsat worked in partnership on that milestone flight ten years ago, and since these exciting early days, the service has continued to evolve, with developments such as the recent deployment of cutting-edge inflight 3.5G mobile network services over the high-speed broadband satellite connectivity of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation. This aviation industry first sees passengers and crew benefit from high-speed and seamless connectivity, which is comparable to the home experience.

Mobile ONAIR also enables passengers to utilize simple, secure and reliable connections that contribute to 43% of frequent fliers citing cellular connectivity as their primary choice. This is complemented by the continued evolution of pricing models, from the comparatively expensive price-per-use model that dominated until 2013, to the unlimited mobile data bundles commonly seen today, and the ‘Roam Like at Home’ model, which is set to become the norm across Europe.

Thanks to SITAONAIR’s work in obtaining regulatory approval and securing mobile operator partnerships, the Mobile ONAIR service is truly global. It is easy to forget a time, not so long ago, when passengers turned off mobile phones onboard an aircraft. SITAONAIR, together with partners and customers, has helped secure the regulatory approval, at state and industry level, to make the dream of inflight mobile connectivity a reality for the whole industry.

Passenger experience

SITAONAIR’s latest infographic highlights how cellular data is a crucial ingredient for a first class passenger experience, cementing Mobile ONAIR’s relevance in the connected airspace.

Gregory Ouillon, Chief Technology Officer at SITAONAIR, says: “It’s remarkable to think that it was just ten years ago that SITAONAIR launched the world’s first inflight mobile service onboard an international flight. “Ten years is a long time in aviation, however, and the solution now has evolved to become an essential component of the full cabin connectivity experience, allowing passengers to use their mobile phones as they would on the ground. “One major shift has been the trend towards the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, which delivers the best of both worlds. Passenger expectations can be met by offering a hybrid experience that can leverage the advantages of both a Wi-Fi and a cellular connection. Importantly, SITAONAIR is one of the few industry players with the knowledge, assets and skills base to make this convergence happen.” This convergence is essential to meet the demands of the modern passenger. With 50-100 billion Internet connected devices expected to be in circulation by 2020, ranging from fitness trackers to thermostats, mobile network operators will play a central role in connecting these devices, both on the ground and in the air.

Moving towards the future

From supporting this burgeoning IoT movement, to the introduction of wider cellular trends like ‘Roam Like at Home’ to the air, our new infographic examines the future of Mobile ONAIR and inflight passenger communication, as SITAONAIR and its partners see it.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President says: “Passenger expectations around inflight connectivity have dramatically evolved over the past decade. Inmarsat worked shoulder-to-shoulder with SITAONAIR ten years ago to pioneer the first ever inflight mobile phone call and data connectivity on an international flight. “Today, we are together introducing unprecedented new capacities with GX Aviation, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.”

Editor’s Note: We really were impressed with this graphic and to download it in full, click here.


AIRBUS

AIRBUS named Guillaume Faury as next President-Commercial Aircraft to replace Fabrice Brégier, who is stepping down in February 2018; CEO Tom Enders also advised that he does not wish to seek another term beyond his mandate ending April 2019.


MORE NEWS

  • Boeing’s 737-MAX10 was also believed to be under consideration. But, a recent trade dispute triggered by a complaint filed by Boeing concerning Delta’s order for 75 Bombardier C Series jets has soured the relationship between airline and airplane maker may have soured the deal.
  • AI: What’s Working, What’s Not – Andreessen Horowitz  This video of a technical presentation at a meeting you probably missed – Great Stuff for those who want more in AI!
  • The IEEE is developing an Ethically Aligned Document for prioritizing human well-being of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems and seeks input for  basically a document that supports the public discussion on how machines and man (women too) work together – and they are seeking human input: standards.ieee.org/develop/indconn/ec/ead_v2.pdf
  • Need some current cryptocurrencies technical research over the holidays? How about Blockchain Technologies? What is Blockchain Technology?
  • We loved this press release from Lufthansa Systems: “To make sure the man with the white beard and red suit can deliver all his gifts on time again this year, a team of experts from Lufthansa Systems worked with representatives from the MATHEON Research Center and Konrad Zuse Institute Berlin to calculate the shortest round trip around the globe. The project was launched by the German “Wissenschaft im Dialog” research initiative at the end of 2016.” Here is the link to the whole story (in English) and we suggest you read it to that young pilot or flight attendant in your household! Where does Santa’s sleigh actually fly? | Lufthansa Systems

Before we forget it, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone, and thank you for your support for the past 24 years!

This week we have a new technology update on a product that we knew was coming – well because our personal devices use it – wireless charging technology. We were both quite excited and impressed when we heard it was heading for the plane. Naturally, we were interested in the issues of wireless interior interference and issues around the solution to wireless signal suppression. Why? Face it, the the US FAA and FCC want to know about and be involved in any additional wireless sources on aircraft – especially to power devices. However, with devices like iPhones using wireless charging technology as the latest prime source of power, somebody had to do it!

In case you don’t know what wireless charging is, we note that it is the power transfer from an external source to a device, with no wires attached. A power charging pad is the source and is usually supplied with alternating current – while your device has a receiver built in if it supports the technology. Sometimes the “receiver” is built into the device case and sometimes it is built into the electronic circuitry. Either way, the technology is based on the concept of inductive charging, much like a radio, but the difference is in the frequency, power used and transmitted, while the technology of the “receiver’ in the device.

The next issue is the distance the receiver (in your device) is placed from the transmitter (in the power sending coil). It is very close so that the power sent over the magnetic field is “wirelessly connected” to your device. Of course, your device uses direct current (battery – not alternating current) – but hey, that is what rectifier diodes are for in your phone, or whatever, and they convert AC to DC Power!

Lastly, there are a couple of present day technologies for charging personal devices but Qi (pronounced “Chee”) and Powermat are the big dogs – and since Qi is a standard that has been developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) for inductive charging over distances of up to 40mm, it pretty much wins the standardization and vendor choice to build (and now to be) on planes. We should mention that Qi has three separate power specifications, starting with low power (up to 5 watts delivered) for watches and other devices but the WPC is approving the 15 Watt unit used for in-aircraft usage. Here are some of the device manufacturers that are Qi users: Apple (in their new phone), Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, Motorola, Blackberry, and Nokia employ Qi-based designs. Off the record, we know of about 30 phones today that are Qi supported. So much for the technology, here is the company developing the technology, Astronics – and IFExpress talked with Dennis Markert, Business Developer about their inductive power product offering:

Astronics

Q. Mr. Markert could you give some basic operations information about RFI charging that Astronics is developing?

Dennis: We’ve designed our Wireless Charging Module (WCM) to provide up to 15 Watts of power. We’ve done this to “future proof” the product and be compliant with fast charger requirements.

Q. What charging system is used in the application – Qi or Powermat? 

Dennis: We’ve designed our WCM to be compliant with Qi standard. Qi has emerged as the standard for the latest consumer products including the recent announcements that the iPhone 8 is Qi compatible.

Q.What devices will it charge (generally)?

Dennis: Any Qi enabled device.

Q. Please tell our readers the impact (RF wise) of a full plane of transmitting devices?

Dennis: Arbitration occurs between the device to be charged and the WCM. Meaning that you have to place a valid device on the charger, an arbitration occurs determining if this is a valid device and what charging level to provide. One could use the analogy of our 110VAC outlet units. The units do not have usable 110VAC at the outlet until a valid device is plugged in, and at that time, 110VAC is enabled and available.

Q. Any RFI issues?

Dennis: We have designed a proprietary EMI shield which is embedded in the WCM.

Q. Has Astronics tested a Qi device on a plane?

Dennis: WCM Qualification testing is scheduled and expected for completion by the end of Q1 2018.

Q. How many seats can be installed on a plane? All?

Dennis: Sure, every seat could have a charger and the Qi network will behave just like our existing EmPower system. Using our head end (AMCU) we will power manage the available service on the aircraft.

Q. Are these devices installed in a tray table?

Dennis: Yes, we have integrated and demonstrated this at AIX Hamburg and APEX as concept pieces. We envision integration into first and business class furniture, seat pockets, tray tables etc.

Q: Any customers?

Dennis: We have two very large airlines customers  very interested and working with the OEM’s (airbus and Boeing) to have our product installed on their line fit aircraft

Q. Any comments from Boeing or Airbus?

Dennis: We’ve introduced a number of technologies for line fit installation so this is a very familiar process for us. Our TSA and NOE have been submitted to Boeing and Airbus. As expected, this is a new technology and system so we are working closely with them to develop the necessary specification and requirements in order to obtain line fit offerability.

Readers, Stay Tuned on this technology – why? Wireless charging is the future of many portable devices and the longer the flight, the more battery juice you need. Enough Said!


Gogo

Gogo provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it now has more than 500 aircraft flying with its 2Ku technology with more than 400 of those installations taking place in 2017. The company has also shortened install times to around 30 hours, which is less than half the time that it typically takes to install a broadband satellite connectivity solution.

“We are setting a new industry standard in terms of technology deployments in aviation.  We continue to set the bar higher in terms of speed of installation and will finish the year within the install range we set for 2017,” said John Wade, Gogo’s executive vice president and COO.  “We know that when passengers experience the 2Ku difference they travel happier which, in turn, makes our airline partners happy.  So, we are investing in finding ways to get 2Ku aircraft online as fast as we can.” Total awards for 2Ku inflight connectivity solution have now surpassed 2,000 aircraft. Gogo has added more than 550 aircraft awards in 2017 alone.


SITAONAIR

More than 90% of airlines are set to ramp up investment in advancing wireless services for cabin crew and pilots over the three years to 2020 – an 18% increase since SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends survey. This is according to award-winning connected aircraft services expert SITAONAIR, as it presents SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights into the connected aircraft. Over a third (34%) of airlines expect to receive connected aircraft deliveries within the next three years, compared with more than a fifth (21%) in SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends Survey. SITA’s 2017 Insights also found 69% of carriers committing to a major program (40%) or R&D/trial (29%) to establish full satellite broadband connectivity to aircraft. Enhancing the passenger experience is far and away the connected aircraft’s biggest encountered and perceived benefit, according to 43% of airlines. A combined 31% meanwhile, cited operational benefits across maintenance and aircraft health monitoring, cockpit and cabin, as the chief advantages of a connected aircraft. In testament to this, 78% of surveyed carriers reported automatic aircraft data management as an investment priority – 33% through major programs, 45% in R&D programs – by 2020. Enhancing the passenger experience is far and away the connected aircraft’s biggest encountered and perceived benefit, according to 43% of airlines. A combined 31% meanwhile, cited operational benefits across maintenance and aircraft health monitoring, cockpit and cabin, as the chief advantages of a connected aircraft. In testament to this, 78% of surveyed carriers reported automatic aircraft data management as an investment priority – 33% through major programs, 45% in R&D programs – by 2020. When asked for their investment focuses up to 2020, 94% of airlines surveyed as part of SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights study cited wireless services for cabin crew or pilots (64% in major programs; 30% in R&D or trials). This was closely followed by 91% of carriers targeting investment in wireless inflight services for passengers (54% in major programs; 37% in R&D or trials). SITA’s connected aircraft Insights data also reveals airline ambitions to boost Wi-Fi data bandwidth in the years to come, with 60% of airlines surveyed planning to, or having already implemented, high-speed Wi-Fi by 2020.

Assessing airlines’ most-coveted inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) services, the insights found that providing a destination services app was the technological advancement that carriers are most enthusiastic to establish by 2020 (72% – up from 46% in 2016). This was closely followed by a Duty Free shopping app (61%, a rise from 48% last year). Passengers’ preference for enjoying inflight entertainment (IFE) via BYOD – e.g. with a ‘second screen’ of their own – was reinforced for a second consecutive year, with 24% having invested in Wireless IFE to passengers’-own devices and 46% planning to do so by the end of 2020. Providing infotainment to personal devices or apps – namely, news, magazines and books – and inflight communication services, proved similarly high in the airline IFEC shopping list, at an additional 47% and 43% each against the airlines that have already implemented. On the hot topic of pricing for delivering onboard Wi-Fi passenger services, roughly the same proportion of ‘tails’ expressed ambitions to provide free (an additional 43%) and paid-for Wi-Fi sessions (an additional 42%) by 2020 – with many airlines already exploring business models.

A significant proportion of operators revealed a desire to invest further in mobile technologies for passengers and crew, reflecting the “always available” trend on the ground, and with potentially transformational benefits for crew and passenger engagement and service on-board.  A stark 87% of surveyed carriers in 2017 (compared to 75% in 2016) have implemented or plan to implement mobile services to enhance customer relationship management in the next three years. 75% of surveyed carriers expressed ambitions to invest in major programs around apps for passenger mobile services. Around half (47%) of carriers are focusing investment on major programs for social media-hosted passenger services; and a total 44% plan on major programs or R&D/pilot programs for wearable technologies for staff.

Reflecting on the findings, SITAONAIR’s Vice President of Strategy, Dominique El Bez, said: “Our industry’s connected aircraft vision, with its complete, connected inflight experience, is irrefutably here to stay. Airlines are increasingly aware of the value-added benefits presented by in-flight connectivity options that we at SITAONAIR are experts in delivering, to advance their RoI. On the cabin connectivity side, these benefits span everything from enhancing airlines’ brand perception in the eyes of passengers, by enabling them to stay connected to their digital lives when they fly via Wi-Fi or cellular, to digitizing cabin crews to personalize the passenger experience with intelligent, CRM-integrated applications. From supporting airlines to monetize inflight connectivity services with clever onboard sponsorship partnerships; or supporting passengers’ choice to enjoy wireless inflight entertainment; to empowering passenger autonomy through delivering connected mobile applications and services to keep them informed and entertained on the move.

“For the cockpit, airline flight operations, management, and safety, connected solutions bring a significant lift to efficiencies and safety procedures. How? From deploying digital solutions that deliver the latest flight context information into the hands of pilots; ever-evolving our flight tracking and flight planning solutions to ensure airlines meet ICAO recommendations to frequently report fleet positions; to providing secure multilink communications to support every stage of flight. We also see accelerating industry interest in managing and harnessing the power of aircraft data. Such innovation advances flight and MRO operations with predictive and enriched aircraft operations. Amongst the emerging technologies reported by airlines, 67% plan to invest into initiatives around the Internet-of-Things, 52% around Artificial Intelligence and 44% on wearable technology for staff. All present amazing potential for enhancing airlines’ operations inflight and on the ground.”

Mr El Bez continued: “We at SITAONAIR want to see more airlines able to achieve their connected aircraft aims, however. We truly believe the air transport industry needs to work harder to empower the world’s airlines to get connected, by embracing our open platforms approach to inflight connectivity innovation. Our pioneering ‘open cabin’ attitude is already creating harmony across airline fleets and avionics, and data-rich customer relationship management systems, helping deliver airlines’ unique passenger experiences without expensively overhauling their fleets.”

(Editor’s Note: To checkout the great SITAONAIR 2020 vision infographic click here)


Inmarsat

Inmarsat  was recently crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’, marking the end of another breakthrough year with its next generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) wifi solutions for airline passengers. The prestigious accolade was announced at the World Travel Awards 2017 in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. It follows a comprehensive online voting process, with participation from thousands of travel and tourism executives across the world, in addition to specialist consumer travel buyers.

Inmarsat’s game-changing new inflight internet solutions have the fastest uptake in the market, with more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN. Both of these solutions are introducing a new gold standard in global and regional inflight wifi, allowing airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

Early adopters of GX Aviation and EAN include world-leading airlines such as Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, IAG, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, Norwegian, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Avianca.

 


More Stuff

Several Lido/Navigation solutions being used successfully

Rauheim | December 12, 2017–Lufthansa Systems today announced that Congo Airways is using several of its products, specifically the paper-based Lido/eRouteManual maps, the paperless Lido/mPilot navigation solution, Lido/FMS data for flight management systems and the Lido/FPLS flight planning service.

Congo Airways was established in 2014, with flight operations commencing in 2015. “We were looking for products that would deliver added value from day one. We were quickly impressed by the solutions from Lufthansa Systems. Thanks to their high quality and short delivery times, we were able to meet our internal schedule and successfully and swiftly establish us in the market,” said Désiré Balazire Bantu, Chief Executive Officer & Accountable Manager at Congo Airways.

Congo Airways is benefiting from several solutions: The paper-based Lido/RouteManual maps and the mobile Lido/mPilot solution help pilots with the processes involved in flight preparation and operation. The maps feature true-to-scale topographical information and meet the highest standards of precision and quality. Layout, colors and symbols are identical in the maps’ paper and electronic versions. These maps are generated directly from the Lido/FMS navigation database. The FMS database contains all important route information such as altitude data, airways and airport data for optimizing navigation and supporting autopilots on board modern aircraft.

The navigation data, which is based on global aeronautical information, are updated every 28 days according to the AIRAC cycle. The Lido/FPLS flight planning service automatically calculates reliable routes for flight operations, taking into account factors such as cost, flight time and fuel consumption.

“We are pleased to be able to support Congo Airways in growing its business. This example shows that not only large but also smaller airlines benefit from Lufthansa Systems’ solutions. This is true even if they are forced to map or build flight operations under difficult circumstances while emphasizing high levels of quality and safety,” said Marco Cesa, Senior Vice President Regional Management EMEA at Lufthansa Systems.

Congo Airways commenced flight operations in 2015. The company is based at N’djili Airport, Kinshasa, and has a fleet of five aircraft; two more have been ordered. While the carrier has mainly served cities within the Democratic Republic of the Congo up to now, this year’s schedule also includes international destinations in Africa.

a new event for 2018 showcasing and exploring the latest technology trends that are transforming the passenger journey

London | December 6, 2017–

Reed Exhibitions today announces the launch of Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), a global must-attend event that showcases and explores the technology that is transforming the passenger journey.

PTS will take place during Passenger Experience Week, running from 10th-12th April, 2018, and will be co-located at the Hamburg Messe alongside the Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo.

With competition for passenger loyalty fiercer than ever, the provision of technologies that enable a more seamless inter-connected journey to passengers are key to ensuring transport operators have a competitive edge. Passenger Technology Solutions is designed to provide bespoke technology suppliers with the perfect platform for showcasing their products and services to airline and rail operators from around the globe.

In addition to the many industry-leading companies set to exhibit at Passenger Technology Solutions, visitors will hear inspiring keynotes around hot topics such as “Is the CXO (Customer Experience Officer) the new CEO?” and participate in debates on whether to be a trend setter or a trend spotter. This fully interactive event will set the agenda for travel in 2018 and beyond.

Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director of Passenger Technology Solutions, comments:

“The launch of Passenger Technology Solutions comes at a transformative time for the passenger experience industry. Today’s passengers not only expect the same level of connectivity and seamless communication throughout their journey as they have at home or in the office, they now demand it.

“For the thousands of airlines and rail operators who visit Passenger Experience Week each year, PTS will be the destination to source innovative, tech-enabled solutions and hear from industry-leaders who will join the dots of the passenger technology ecosystem.”

Passenger Technology Solutions will take place during Passenger Experience Week 2018 which takes place in Hamburg, Germany, from 9th to 12th April. In recent years, the event has grown to consist of a conference, a networking party and 3 expos. Each year, Passenger Experience Week attracts over 18,000 visitors from across the world, along with over 2,000 VIP airline attendees and more than 180 unique airline and lessors.

For more information about Passenger Technology Solutions please visit:

www.passengertechnologysolutions.com

December 5, 2017–Further enhancing aviation safety and efficiency in Brazil’s airspace, air navigation service provider, the Department of Airspace Control (DECEA), is working with SITAONAIR to expand ATS datalink services for main airports in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Following previous successful datalink installations, DECEA is expanding ATS datalink services for departure clearance (DCL) and digital ATIS (d-ATIS) for control towers at both Santos Dumont and Campinas airports.

The announcement marks an important step in the country’s role as the regional datalink pioneer, and will play a central role in the wider transformation and modernization program currently taking place across Brazilian airspace and airport infrastructure.

The latest upgrade program follows SITAONAIR’s successful introduction of datalink technology across 23 Brazilian airports in preparation for the World Cup and the Rio Olympics. Since then, Brazilian airlines such as TAM, GOL and Azul are leading the way, representing nearly 91% of total generated traffic. In total, more than 3.5 million d-ATIS and DCL messages are transmitted every year.

Brig. Luis Ricardo Nascimento, Head of Operations at DECEA says: “Following the major success of our existing airport datalink services, we are pleased to be working with SITAONAIR again to further expand services to important regional and international aviation hubs at Santos Dumont and Campinas airports.

“Our relationship with SITA, and now SITAONAIR, stretches back to the deployment of an ACARS VHF system in 1985, and we are very happy to continue making use of SITAONAIR’s vast aviation experience today.

“The latest expansion of ATS datalink services with SITAONAIR underlines both the strength of our relationship and our commitment to make flying in Brazil even safer, more reliable and more efficient.”

François Bardin, Director Air Traffic Solutions at SITAONAIR, added: “SITAONAIR is delighted to work with DECEA as it continues its transformation program, and we hope that this will encourage other ANSPs in the region to adopt a similar strategy.

“As well as the benefits to DECEA itself, the latest announcement marks another important step in the region’s connected aircraft revolution, allowing airlines and passengers in Brazil an even greater level of safety and efficiency.

“By improving the accuracy of their communications and allowing information to be transmitted at any stage of the flight, workloads for both air traffic controllers and pilots will be reduced – ultimately delivering an improved service for the ever-increasing volume of passengers in the region.”

To find out about SITAONAIR’s connected aircraft portfolio, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact or submit an enquiry form online.

Lets’ get started and this week we feature a new product from the Bluebox folks with a link to the spec sheet at the end.

Bluebox

Solaseed Air Inc., a leading Japanese regional carrier, has deployed Bluebox Aviation Systems’ portable wireless IFE system – Bluebox Wow – across its fleet of Boeing 737-800s. “We’re honored that Solaseed Air has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems as a partner in the development of their new IFE service,” said Kevin Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. “IFE is evolving rapidly – no longer is it just a service to entertain passengers, but a channel for revenue generation, an important factor for any regional or low-cost carriers, which has not traditionally offered IFE.” Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, offering up to 1.6TB of content including film, TV, audio, games and other digital media. The system is designed to support advertising, inflight shopping, and payment processing options, which make it an ideal platform for generating ancillary revenue, whether the IFE service itself is offered as a free or charged service. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed in overhead lockers, each box’s single swappable and rechargeable battery offers 15 hours of streamed content to 50 passengers. Operating from Tokyo’s Haneda airport and across Japan, Solaseed Air operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-800s, all of which are flying with Bluebox Wow. Here is the link to the Bluebox Wow specs


Astronics

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, announced that it completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies, LLC, (together as “Telefonix PDT”) for approximately $104 million in cash on December 1, 2017. The acquisition was financed with Astronics’ line of credit. Astronics previously announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Telefonix PDT on October 27, 2017.


Gogo

Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that airline industry veteran Mark Schwab has joined Gogo as senior advisor of international sales for the company’s commercial aviation division.

Schwab will provide guidance on strategic business development initiatives and assist Gogo’s international sales team in its efforts to win new airline customers around the world.  He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Star Alliance Services GmbH, the global airline alliance.  Prior to leading Star Alliance, Schwab held numerous senior positions at United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines, spanning over 42 years in commercial aviation all around the globe. He has spent most of his career outside his home country, the United States.

“Mark’s knowledge and experience in the commercial aviation is second to none, particularly in the international space where as the head of Star Alliance, he was overseeing a global aviation network that connected the entire world,” said Niels Steenstrup, Gogo’s senior vice president of international sales.  “We are delighted to have Mark join the Gogo team and support our international sales efforts.”

In addition to his advisor role at Gogo, Schwab is currently a member of the board of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) in Toronto, Canada.


Airbus

The A330-800 complements the A330-900, the largest member of the A330neo Family. With its 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) as base variant, the A330-800 can operate routes of up to 7,500nm and with the recently launched 251-tonne MTOW variant the aircraft can operate ultra-long-range routes of up to 8,150nm. Together, the A330neo variants are part of the world’s most comprehensive twin-aisle, twin-engine aircraft family from 260 to over 360 seats which includes the A350 XWB Family. Building on the success of the A330-200 with over 600 aircraft in operation, the A330-800 brings new generation economics and comfort in addition to unprecedented range to the 250-seater aircraft market. Together with the larger 300-seater A330-900 they share 99%  commonality, having the same airframe, engines and cross crew commonality. This gives operators great flexibility to use either aircraft in their fleet according to network needs in size and range.  Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, zero-splice nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and new Airspace by Airbus Cabin. The most visible new features of the A330neo wings are the specially developed curved wingtip Sharklets – which draw on A350 XWB technology, extending the wingspan to 64m, providing state of the art aerodynamic characteristics.

Airlines will benefit from 25% less fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation competitors, reduced maintenance costs and the A330’s market-leading 99.5% operational reliability. Passengers will enjoy the award-winning all new Airspace cabin inspired by the A350 XWB. On top of latest generation In-flight entertainment and connectivity, passengers can look forward to a new welcoming entrance area, spacious overhead bins, mood lighting and exceptionally quiet flights.

With close to 1,700 orders, the A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, having flown nearly 1,000,000 annual flights. Today, over 1,300 aircraft have been delivered to 117 customers worldwide on a wide range of routes, from domestic and regional flights to long range intercontinental services. Offering the lowest operating costs in its category, and thanks to continuous investments in latest innovations, the new generation A330neo will be the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its size category.

In another Airbus story, China Airlines of Taiwan has become the second airline to join a programme to use a blend of traditional and sustainable biofuels to power aircraft for delivery flights from Airbus. The aircraft involved is the tenth A350-900 for China Airlines, which left the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Toulouse today for its new home in Taipei with a 10 percent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. The sustainable fuel option for delivery flights has been developed by Airbus in association with Air Total, the aviation subsidiary of the global energy operator. In order to stock the eco-friendly product, Air Total has installed the first ever biofuel station adjacent to the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse. A total of 21 aircraft have so far been delivered by Airbus since the facility was inaugurated in May 2016.

In addition to Toulouse, Airbus is now working towards introducing the option for the use of biofuels for delivery flights from its facilities in Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US. First deliveries from these sites are set to begin in 2018. The option will also subsequently become available from the company’s facility in Tianjin, China.

Reflecting its strong commitment towards eco-efficiency, Airbus was the first manufacturer to offer its customers the option of delivering new aircraft with a blend of sustainable fuel. As part of its wider environmental strategy, the company Airbus intends to continue its efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the biofuels sector.


Boeing

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Aerolíneas Argentinas today celebrated the delivery and commercial debut of the first 737 MAX airplane for the airline and for Latin America.

Aerolíneas took delivery of the airplane, a MAX 8, in late November and flew the first commercial flight about a week later from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, becoming the first in the region to operate the new and improved 737 airplane. “Adding the 737 MAX to our fleet is yet one more example of the growth we are envisioning for our company,” said Mario Dell´ Acqua, President of Aerolíneas Argentinas. “We feel both proud and responsible to continue working to deliver enhanced connectivity and an elevated experience to our passengers.”

Aerolíneas Argentinas is experiencing strong growth, with a 15 percent increase in passenger traffic in the past year, and a 22 percent increase since 2015. To support that growth, the airline plans to take delivery of 12 MAX airplanes and use them on flights regionally and, later in 2018, to the Caribbean. “The 737 MAX 8 is a significant addition to Aerolíneas’ fleet. The MAX will enable the airline to continue to grow and win market-share in the competitive single-aisle marketplace,” said Ricardo Cavero, vice president, Latin America sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is a tremendous honor that Aerolíneas Argentinas will be the first Latin American carrier to fly the 737 MAX, and we’re confident the airplane’s efficiency and reliability will help meet their goals.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history, surpassing 4,000 total orders to date. The MAX family incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The Aerolíneas Argentinas MAX 8 is configured for 170 passengers and fly 3,515 nautical miles (6,510 kilometers).

(Editor’s Note: Boeing stock shares have skyrocketed this year and at last check was almost $280 per share.)


More News

In case you have not heard, the US Senate dropped a tax provision designed for foreign airlines that could have generated some $200million over the next decade  – obviously designed to supposedly protect US airline workers. We note that the description of airlines described fit some 14 countries and the Mideast carriers stood out. As it stands, airlines do pay taxes in their home countries but the so-called Isakson provision would have removed the “tax” if the airline in question’s home country receive fewer than two arrivals and departures from the US per week. The airlines argued the tax was a focus on Middle Eastern carries that receive some $50 billion over 10 decades subsidies from foreign from governments. An advance group representing other airlines and support “Open Skies” said the “tax” would also hurt a lot of smaller airlines.


Other News

A new on-board entertainment platform becomes available to passengers flying with their mobile phones on the UK’s largest airline.

The platform developed by a Barcelona company offers users the opportunity to access content, offers and digital services in five languages for free via high speed streaming.

Barcelona | November 30, 2017–The innovative onboard entertainment and services platform “Air Time” takes off today on board the first five easyJet aircraft to be equipped with the service developed by Immfly, in line with the agreement announced in September between the two companies. In the initial phase, the platform will be available on select services covering over 90 destinations, including international capitals such as London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Rome and Madrid and many others, with Geneva and Basel as the main hubs.

The digital platform created by the Barcelona company, Immfly, one of the most pioneering in the industry, provides passengers of Europe’s leading airline with the opportunity to access a unique entertainment and services experience during their flight. Passengers will be able to enjoy personalised options on their own smart devices (smartphones, tablets and laptops), in a way which does away with the need for the older model of seat back screens.

The high-performance digital platform “Air Time”, available in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian and German), offers great flexibility thanks to its dynamic and wide-ranging digital functionalities and content designed to engage customers inflight.

Rakuten, a global leader in Internet services with more than one billion members worldwide and an ecosystem of more than 70 services, will be the official sponsor of the easyJet onboard entertainment platform integrated by Immfly.

Films, series, books, kids programmes, games, newspapers, magazines, practical information, language courses, destination guides and more

In its collaboration with easyJet, Immfly is helping deliver another step in the path to total connectivity as part of its pioneering strategy focused on enabling a 360º relationship with customers connected for interaction during their entire journey.

“Air Time” opens new and exciting opportunities in the European flight market. Customers can enjoy premium content provided by the official entertainment sponsor, Rakuten, who are also the global innovation and entertainment partner of FC Barcelona.

The high-quality content is curated from top-tier brands, including FOX Non Theatrical, Euronews and other media companies that are favourites among the British and European public.

Some of the titles available on “Air Time” in the Entertainment section include critically acclaimed television content, such as the series Legion and the comedy show Modern Family, as well as hit films like The Revenant, popular children’s programmes and a wide range of press publications including; Financial Times, Bloomberg, Le Figaro, Euronews, The Times, and other daily international newspapers, plus lifestyle publications such as; Elle, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Traveller and many more.

“Air Time” also offers a pioneering inflight service with on-board language lessons available on the platform and developed in partnership with uTalk. This makes it possible for customers to learn and practice more than 80 languages during their flight.

Passengers can also choose from a wide selection of best-selling e-books and audio books, destination guides, games and much more. The platform also includes a digital catalogue “Bistro & Boutique” that features meals, snacks and refreshments customers can enjoy during the flight while it also showcases the selection of on-board shopping products available inflight from fragrances and cosmetics to gadgets and toys.

“Air Time” also provides practical information about the flight and an interactive 3D map of the route in the “Flight Info” section, as well as information on local weather conditions and forecasts provided by the “The Weather Network”, and information about easyjet’s UNICEF campaign.

Personalised entertainment and services at 10,000 feet

The vast majority of passengers travel with at least a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop which is why Immfly’s paltform is relevant to anyone wishing to enjoy all this entertainment content from their personal, portable electronic devices inflight.

Access is possible through Wi-Fi points installed on the airplanes which allow all passengers to access the content at very high speed. No reliance on external connections enables a faster connection speed than what is currently available in most people’s homes.

Immfly, easyJet’s inflight entertainment and digital services launch partner

Immfly is leading the development of on-board digital platforms in Europe as a tool to boost the revenues of airlines by proposing to increase their “Net Promoter Score”, generating greater customer loyalty and creating additional sources of ancillary income with on board digital services, commerce and sponsorship. Immfly also provides services enabling passengers to purchase leisure products and services available at their destination before landing and to purchase entertainment packs whilst booking their flights online.

We specialize in maximizing revenue and engagement opportunities through wireless on-board connectivity, increasingly supported by success stories that are relevant to the airlines we collaborate with,” explained Jimmy Martínez von Korff, co-founder of the company. “Today we allow easyJet to provide a complete on-board digital services platform based on exciting content and online shopping possibilities, offering a fully integrated platform with leading brands and their services.”

Andrew Middleton, easyJet’s Ancillary Revenue Director commented: “‘Air Time’ will allow us for the first time to offer customers in-flight entertainment in a way that replicates how they consume their media at home. We are delighted to be collaborating with other innovative partners, such as Rakuten who will help us curate engaging content, and Immfly who are providing the unique easyJet portal with a dedicated customer support team, ensuring that easyJet crew are able to continue conducting an excellent standard of safety-focused service and on-board hospitality.”.

Arjen Van de Vall, President Rakuten Europe commented: “We are confident Rakuten can bring strong value and create a high quality showcase of its services through the on-board Immfly platform offering a best in class user experience” .

Immfly, a leading provider of online sales and communications services in Europe, expects to reach 100 million connected passengers in 2018 after its agreements with airlines including Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet.