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

Hamburg | July 9, 2018– With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at https://connect.apex.aero/page/apexawards until the end of July.

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

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

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

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

 

RAVE ULTRA is the Third Generation RAVE System

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

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

RAVE ULTRA is Seat-Centric, not Server-Centric

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

RAVE ULTRA Delivers More for Passengers Because of the Cloud

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

RAVE System Features Two Main Boxes – SCU and Seat Display 

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

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

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

RAVE Supports H.265 HVEC Compression Standards

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

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

RAVE ULTRA is THE Airline 4K Viewing Solution

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

RAVE ULTRA will be in BOSTON

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

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


OTHER NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Topics Covered:

1. Introduction

2. Key Takeaways

3. In – Flight Wi-Fi Market Landscape

4. In-Flight Wifi Market – Key Industry Dynamics

5. In-Flight Wifi – Global Market Analysis

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

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

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

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

10. Industry Landscape

11. Competitive Landscape

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

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

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

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

Geneva | June 19, 2018– Global air transport IT provider SITA has announced that its technology, BagJourney, is managing baggage for an increasing number of the world’s airlines. In the first six months of this year alone, more than 20 airlines have chosen the solution. SITA BagJourney is one of the key technologies helping the industry meet the IATA Resolution 753 requirement to track every stage of every bag’s journey.

To meet the conditions of Resolution 753, airlines must track every item of baggage at four key points in the journey: at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival. The biggest challenge airlines and airports face doing this is scanning at the point of transfer and on arrival. Typically, these were not areas of the airport where scanning was done so they require attention and new infrastructure.

With a growing number of customers, SITA’s baggage management technology is firmly established as the solution of choice for the air transport industry. Together, SITA’s BagJourney customers handle hundreds of millions of bags each year and these airlines are enjoying as much as 30% reduction in the rates of mishandling.

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

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

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

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

SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.

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

Leisure carrier partners with tech company for introduction of brand new inflight entertainment system

Dublin, Ireland | June 6, 2018–“SunExpress Entertainment” with Immfly Digital Services: The airline, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, introduces its partnership with Immfly for its new inflight entertainment system.“SunExpress Entertainment” will be rolled out across the fleet of Boeing 737-800NG and MAX and will be personalized for every passenger with an on-demand function via everyone’s individual mobile device. Since Immfly is leading the development of inflight digital platforms in Europe as a tool for boosting airline revenues by analyzing customer loyalty and by adding revenue streams with digital inflight sponsorship services, the platform “SunExpress Entertainment” was designed with clear marketing and revenue optimization objectives.

A unique personalization of content in terms of route, time, airline and language

Immfly can customize its digital services to meet the best conditions and offer the best passenger experience. A broad range of entertainment modules such as TV-shows, movies, music, games, press and magazines as well as kids’ content, will be available on board of the SunExpress aircrafts. To access them, passengers have to use their own personal electronic devices (mobile phone, tablet, laptop), enter the Immfly WIFI network on board and enjoy the wide variety of content.

International and local content

As Immfly’s digital platform will be present in two distinct markets – each one of them very rich in CSPs – it will count on international providers such as 20t h Century FOX as well as local content – from Turkey and from Germany respectively.

“In addition to only offering entertainment and flight information, Immfly works closely with SunExpress to perfectly fit their digitalization strategy and enable SunExpress passengers to enjoy a digital seamless travel journey including the onboard experience,” explains Vincent Tomasoni,Chief C ustomerandContentOfficeratImmfly.

Digital services
Plan your trip while flying

“Your Destination” is fully dedicated to provide guidance and valuable tips for passengers about places to go, discover the most secret spots of the city and the various activities to do right after landing. The section offers information regarding transfer services, tours, where and what to buy, and all of this information in a guide format that covers the airline’s routes, available in several languages.

“SunExpress Entertainment” also provides practical information about the flight and an interactive 3D map of the route in the “Flight Info” section, that shows a real-time flight tracker to checkpoints of interest, the airline ́s destination, the actual time at the destination, outside temperature, the aircraft’s altitude and speed as well as the arrival time. Provided by “The Weather Network” passengers will always be informed about local weatherconditionsandforecastsattheirfinal d estination.

E-commerce services

Additionally, SunExpress’ catering and duty-free menus SunCafe and SunShop will be available on the “SunExpress Entertainment” digital platform. SunExpress plans to even enhance this new channel by allowing the passenger to select and pay goods from the platform in a “self-service” way, and also, choose to receive the order at the seat or at the galley.

“We are happy to work together with Immfly on our inflight entertainment system in the future”, says Peter Glade, Commercial Director of SunExpress. “ Our guests’ experience is of paramount meaning to us, which is why we need a strong partner as Immfly by our side in order to offer a diverse entertainment program in line with additional services.”

A scalable service in the air

Immfly’s digital services platform is highly reliable, flexible and scalable into new features that can be upgraded at any time, depending exclusively on the airline’s criteria and need. It is Immfly’s intention to continuously add new digital services, and in this way, Immfly and SunExpress are boosting the passenger experience and enhancing SunExpress’ value and position in the aviation industry.

There is a lot of news this week and you might want to check out below what Mike Moeller told us at AIX:

GLOBAL EAGLE

During AIX in Germany, IFExpress had the opportunity to stop by the Global Eagle (GEE) stand to find out their latest news and developments. Mike Moeller gave us a run down on some of their product/service offering highlights. First, we got an over view of MASFLIGHT, their operation solutions platform that enables aviation big data solutions. MASFLIGHT’s platform offers a single source for operations data in real-time for decision making, as well as, historic data for predictive analytics. Gee uses cloud technology to collect, compile, validate and host information sets. They have also partnered with companies like the FAA, Google, Amazon and others in an effort to offer a ‘one stop’ solution for aviation information management and analysis.

Mike also addressed their product, NAVAERO, their EFB solution. NAVAERO is a tablet-based and aircraft-dedicated tool for airlines to increase their operational efficiency. “Airlines have the ability to improve their operating economics through real-time analysis that connectivity technology and the EFB allow.,” said Mike Moeller. “This system is a generic PMA’d technical installation solution that allows for aircraft deployment of virtually any commercially available COTS tablet device.” Adaptability, flexibility, and upgradeability of the system architecture and the design components while maintaining airworthiness compliance is one of the strengths of NAVAERO. Apparently upgrading the system is easy, since GEE has designed modularity into the tBagC2(2) – think memory, processor and storage here. This allows the internal CPU components to be upgraded without modifications to the unit’s structural form factor at a very affordable price point.

GEE’s Airtime product line was also touched upon. In case you don’t know Airtime is the central platform for passengers on an aircraft that is installed with GEE’s satellite-based service. Think of it as an entertainment gateway where airline brand loyalty can be built. Airtime can connect through any mobile device (iOS and/or Android). The customizable portal is adaptable, programmable and facilitates differentiation and personalization of the airline brand. Via the inflight Wi-Fi. Airtime allows the airline to address customized marketing programs for new product launches and brand awareness.  A bi-product of Airtime is AIRTIME Content-to-Go, which is designed to engage passengers throughout their journey. The low-cost IFE solution app, Airtime Content-to-Go, allows the passenger to create their own IFE experience. The aviation traveler can tailor their onboard entertainment by securely downloading digital content to their PED prior to take-off. “This is not your father’s GEE!” said Mike Moeller – and we have to agree with him.


GOGO

In a world where constant connectivity is the norm, and stress among travelers is high, staying connected in flight is having a calming effect on passengers. According to Gogo’s most recent Global Traveler Study, more than 75 percent of travelers say having inflight internet makes them feel less anxious because they can stay in contact with friends and family on the ground. Sixty-five percent say it makes them feel less anxious because they can stay connected to work. Not only do passengers want to be connected, their expectation is to be connected in the same way in flight as they are on the ground, which means multiple screens doing multiple activities.

“Today, we see a shift as inflight internet moves from being a luxury to an expectation for travelers around the world,” said Alyssa Hayes, Director of Insights at Gogo. “The importance of internet in the booking process has been increasing as now one-third of passengers are looking for inflight internet when they book their flights. The desire for people to stay connected and in contact with the ground is prevalent; passengers look to not just browse the internet but also engage with social media, read the news and check their email.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Mobile is king – in terms of devices brought on the plane, 90 percent of passengers bring a mobile device, 59 percent bring a laptop and 48 percent bring a tablet. However, laptops tend to stay in the bag as 62 percent of passengers use their mobile device in flight, 35 percent use a tablet and 34 percent use their laptop.
  • Online browsing dominates – a majority of passengers still say they want internet access for general browsing (75%) followed by social media (63%), checking email (60%) and reading news (60%). When it comes to streaming, 44 percent of passengers want to stream movies and TV shows in flight. YouTube, Netflix, and Spotify are the top desired sources for streaming content.
  •  Seatback Screens aren’t dead – Passengers still like seatback screens. Half (47%) of air travelers prefer seatback screens in flight versus 33 percent who prefer their own personal devices. Travelers preferring seatback screens like the ease of use (more than half like that they don’t have to worry about charging their device). Among those preferring their personal devices, 65 percent cite privacy as the primary reason.
  • Multitasking is the norm – Multitasking in flight is the expectation, just as it is at home or at work. People are comfortable watching a movie on the seatback while texting colleagues on their smartphone.

The Gogo Global Traveler Research Study explores the changing behaviors of airline passengers across the world as it pertains to inflight connectivity and entertainment. The study has been significantly expanded for 2018 and now includes data gathered from more than 9,000 air travelers in 18 countries. To learn more or to download the complete report, visit gogoair.com/globaltraveler.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, announced that its market-leading Jet ConneX business aviation inflight Wi-Fi service has been installed and activated on 275 business jets worldwide. The impressive milestone was reached less than 18 months since Jet ConneX entered commercial service, highlighting its rapid uptake across the world. As the only global, high-speed inflight Wi-Fi option for business jets today, it offers the same fast and reliable connectivity in the air that has previously only been available on the ground. Market-leading business jet manufacturers Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault and Embraer have all selected Jet ConneX as a preferred line-fit option. In addition, Inmarsat has experienced substantial adoption of the solution on a retrofit basis, with more than 40 type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals already secured, including for all Boeing and Airbus VVIP type models. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across all airline routes enabling the business traveler to do business wherever and whenever. Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, which is manufactured exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,000 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell to business aviation and commercial airline customers. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across all airline routes enabling the business traveler to do business wherever and whenever. Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, which is manufactured exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,000 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell to business aviation and commercial airline customers.

Inmarsat, also announced that its European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight Wi-Fi solution will be available for the business aviation market by January 2019. EAN is the world’s first inflight Wi-Fi solution that integrates connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and an LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, covering all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway. The unique combination of a satellite and 4G LTE-based ground network offers lightning fast, low-latency performance over land and water. It can therefore meet highly demanding internet use, such as working with remote business desktops, streaming high-definition videos, enjoying online gaming and sharing images, with service levels that compare to mobile broadband on the ground. Aircraft connect with the network using award-winning small, ultra-lightweight, low drag hardware that is cost-effective to install and operate, making EAN ideal for small to mid-sized business jets, in addition to larger sized jets. EAN’s integrated satellite and ground network is fully operational, with a number of flight trials successfully completed across Europe, demonstrating that the next-generation service meets its design performance in practice. The evaluations were conducted with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR. Designed to meet the needs of European’s congested skies, EAN recently won the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Award for ‘Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation.


SITA

Incheon International Airport has deployed SITA’s award-winning self-service bag drop technology at its new Terminal 2, effectively serving the influx of visitors to the recent Winter Olympics and in preparation for the 100 million passengers projected by 2030. Drop&Fly simplifies the bag drop process, cutting time for passengers and improving their experience. This technology also makes more efficient use of terminal capacity and ensures more accurate baggage handling.

Incheon International Airport has been named the World’s Best Airport for 12 consecutive years by the Airport Council International (ACI) and Drop&Fly has been in operation at the airport’s Terminal 1 since 2016. Today, 48 Drop&Fly units (14 at T1 and 34 at T2) are available to passengers with 30 more on the way.

Sang-il Kim, Executive Director of Smart Airport Group at Incheon International Airport said: “We want to give our passengers a fantastic experience when they travel through our airport and that means using the very best technology. Deploying SITA Drop&Fly is part of our extensive modernization program that will help ensure Incheon International remains on top of the list of the world’s best airports.”

Drop&Fly provides a safe and secure self-bag drop area. A sliding door and advanced sensors prevent tampering and the intrusion of unauthorized objects. It is fully customizable to the individual needs of the airport and is equipped with technology such as payment devices, baggage facing cameras and more. It can also provide live status and notifications on all bag drop units for ground agents, and real-time statistics to analyze trends and generate reports.

Drop&Fly won the prestigious 2017 iF Design Award: Public Product, in recognition of its state-of-the-art design and intuitive user interface.

Sumesh Patel, SITA President, Asia Pacific, said: “We know passengers want self-service options because they like having control over their journey and it saves time. Self-bag drop is a win for the airport because it makes very efficient use of the available space and makes the baggage process more accurate and efficient.”

Patel added: “With IATA projecting that routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 2.1 billion annual passengers by 2036, there is no doubt Incheon International Airport has exactly the right approach. As Incheon Airport consolidates its position as one of the best airports in the world, we hope to continue being a part of the airport’s success.”

Incheon International Airport had a record year in 2017, with over 60 million passengers using the airport. The introduction of Terminal 2 has increased capacity by a further 18 million passengers per year and the airport has ambitions to reach 100 million passengers by 2030.


OTHER NEWS

  • This is what you might need for your next flight noise cancellation
  • IFExpress has worried about this for some time; however, you see if any of this airplane hacking make sense to you: Aircraft Avionics Hacking: Is It Possible? | Connected Aerospace content from Aviation Week
  • Like wine? Heard of artificial Intelligence, AI? Well, they might be connected, especially since there are so many available. Wine preferences are the solution of selection and subjects of collateral filtering, content based recommendations, and a lot of computer analysis are parts of the sensory selection solution on a scientific platform. There is a tasting app, Wine Ring, and possibly, you can better decide your choice on a plane. In fact, the links below proves the connection between choice and selection using AI. https://recode.cmail20.com/t/d-l-bsdjld-atlydhdjy-p/  and Wine Ring.


Rockwell Collins

Switzerland-based AMAC Aerospace has selected a full suite of Rockwell Collins’ cabin products for the world’s first Airbus ACJ320neo VIP aircraft, which is due for delivery to Acropolis Aviation, the UK VIP charter operator, in the fourth quarter of 2019. AMAC is scheduled to begin outfitting the aircraft at its Basel, Switzerland, facilities before the end of 2018. AMAC and Acropolis selected Rockwell Collins’ market-leading Venue HD cabin management and entertainment system to provide their passengers with an engaging in-flight experience. Venue is now installed on more than 1,100 aircraft ranging from turboprops to long-range business jets and VIP aircraft. Also included in the product suite is the Stage on demand wireless streaming solution, Airshow Moving Map and the company’s innovative Viu LED interior lighting system. Acropolis Aviation will benefit from Venue’s fault-tolerant, rugged fibre optic backbone, which ensures maximum system availability while providing necessary bandwidth to integrate the latest consumer technologies. It also features intuitive cabin controls for its passengers to easily manage their ride environment, both from on-board interfaces and personal devices.

Stage on demand, recently introduced on Acropolis Aviation’s ACJ319, G-NOAH, features a total content delivery solution from Rockwell Collins that will allow all its 19 VIP passengers to stream media, including Hollywood digital rights management (DRM)-protected movies and TV shows, to their personal devices from an easy-to-refresh, robust onboard server through wireless access points. Content is selected by flight departments from a frequently updated cloud-based media catalogue. The selected content can then be loaded on the aircraft server in a variety of ways, including both physical and wireless.

Rounding off the cabin offering is Viu LED lighting, which includes a series of innovative products customizable to fit different brands via a full range of easy to integrate high intensity color options for any type of aircraft, new or retrofit. Viu is integrated with the Venue CMS to allow for control functions.


SmartSky

Duncan Aviation is pleased to announce its partnership with SmartSky Networks, as the latter company launches its new 4G LTE-based inflight connectivity network. The air-to-ground (ATG) network delivers a true office-in-the-sky environment with unprecedented speed, reliability, and security. With low latency and high bandwidth, passengers will enjoy the same connectivity capabilities they do on the ground: streaming video, chatting, texting, playing games and video conferencing. Working with SmartSky Networks, Duncan Aviation’s Engineering & Certification department helped develop the first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for a Cessna Citation Excel.

“It is an honor to partner with Duncan Aviation, a company that has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding customer service,” said Bryan Rapp, Account Manager with SmartSky Networks. “We believe this partnership confirms SmartSky’s commitment to deliver the very best in resources for our customers as well.” The SmartSky 4G LTE system received FAA approval for the Citation Excel STC in January and aircraft Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) in March. Duncan Aviation representatives should be contacted to schedule installation on aircraft.


Satcom Direct

Satcom Direct, the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider, has strengthened its European presence with the opening of its fourth European office. Situated at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, one of Switzerland’s busiest executive aviation centers, the office is located in close proximity to a number of Europe’s leading completion, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centers where upgrades and completions of large-, narrow- and wide-body cabins form a significant part of the MRO business.

It positions SD at the heart of Europe’s satcom installation business and supports the increased demand for the installation of Jet ConneX, the ultra-high-speed data transfer service, for large-cabin, long-range jets. Powered by SD hardware and software applications Jet ConneX delivers the fastest connectivity in the skies. SD was one of the first companies to prove the Ka-band technology for business aviation, and now supplies over 70% of activated tails using the service worldwide. To maximize this experience SD has developed industry-first Service Level Agreements (SLA), which include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times. The Basel team will support the SLAs and provide configuration, installation and educational support to SD customers in the region. To mark the office opening, members of the SD team partnered with business colleagues from Inmarsat, Gulfstream and Viasat to deliver Europe’s first SD CwC (Connecting with Customers) event.  The one-day meeting reflected the ethos of the annual U.S. experience which welcomes more than 300 SD customers and partners to a three-day forum covering every aspect of business aviation connectivity. More than 50 industry experts attended the inaugural event which heralds the launch of CwC internationally.


Southwest Airlines/iHeartRadio

Southwest Airlines announced a new collaboration with iHeartRadio to bring iHeartMedia’s free all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service to Customers as the exclusive music offering within the onboard entertainment portal on Southwest flights. Through the onboard entertainment portal integration with iHeartRadio, Customers can enjoy all their favorite musical genres including alternative rock, country, hip hop, R&B, Top 40 hit music, and more. From these genres, passengers can choose their favorite live radio station or pick from hundreds of artists to launch their very own custom artist radio station featuring music from that artist and those similar. In addition, iHeartRadio will also bring Customers expertly-curated station themes perfect for inflight listening like Pass the Time and Kids Zone.

“Our Customers and Employees are passionate about music,” said Ryan Green, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Southwest Airlines. “And for Southwest, music is a part of a larger story—it’s an ongoing investment in enhancing our Customers’ travel experiences. Through this partnership with iHeartRadio, we will create the soundtrack to our Customers’ journeys as we connect them to what is important in their lives.”

“We continue to expand iHeartRadio’s massive distribution platform to ensure that we are available everywhere our listeners are with the products and services they use most,” said Michele Laven, President of Strategic Partnerships for iHeartMedia. “We are proud to team up with Southwest Airlines to bring the music, radio stations, and on-air personalities people love inflight, continuing to entertain our listeners and Southwest passengers as they travel to their destinations.”

Customers can access iHeartRadio free of charge through the onboard entertainment portal on their personal devices to begin their listening experience. Once activated, the music will continue play as long as the entertainment portal is open in a tab, allowing Customers to browse the rest of the portal, check the flight tracker or utilize the web if they have purchased WiFi access.

Customers who already have the iHeartRadio app installed on their devices will be able to play their personalized music and favorite podcasts directly from the app while onboard Southwest flights. Those passengers who already subscribe to iHeartRadio’s All Access on demand subscription service will also have access to their entire music library and saved playlists as well as enjoy millions of songs and albums instantly. The free service is available on the more than 690 WiFi-equipped aircraft serviced by Global Eagle. Due to licensing restrictions, iHeartRadio may not be available onboard WiFi-enabled international flights. The iHeart Radio product is available only on WiFi-enabled aircraft. For more information please visit southwest.com/wifi.


Airbus

Airbus and the European member States France, Germany, Spain and the UK have agreed on some amendments to A380 and A350XWB Reimbursable Launch Investment (RLI) loans.

This allowed the European Union to notify the WTO of an additional set of compliance measures, responding to Tuesday’spublication of the WTO Appellate Body report. In its report, the WTO had clarified that the European Union and Airbus have achieved compliance in respect of the vast majority of the support at issue but considered that some remaining obligations required minor adjustments. Those have now been addressed by the EU. The terms of these amendments – like the terms of the original RLI contracts themselves – remain confidential but they are aligned with current market conditions.

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has created a new cabin design concept, called Harmony, which combines the comfort and space of a widebody cabin with the practicality to suit the longest of flights. Harmony seamlessly combines the benefits of Airbus Corporate Jets’ VIP widebodies – such as comfort, space and quietness – to produce a consistently harmonious customer experience. It builds on the Airspace cabin brand from the Airbus airliner family. Initially proposed for the new ACJ330neo Family[1], which features new-generation engines and Sharklets, Harmony can also suit other Airbus widebodies, such as the ACJ350 XWB

Lufthansa Group has firmed-up a previous option for six further Airbus A320neo, following a decision by the company’s supervisory board at the beginning of May. The latest agreement brings Lufthansa Group’s total order for the A320neo to 122 (77 A320neo and 45 A321neo). In addition, the airline signed an order for three more A320ceo, bringing the Group’s A320ceo orders to 273. With a total of 395 A320 Family aircraft on order, the Lufthansa Group is also Airbus’ biggest A320 operator with nearly 400 A320 Family aircraft in service. Lufthansa was the launch operator of the A320neo. Manufacture of the first ACJ320neo[1] has begun, with elements taking shape across Europe and final assembly due to begin in June, followed by the first delivery of the “green” aircraft to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter of this year.  A second ACJ320neo will follow by year-end.

Deliveries of the first ACJ319neo, for K5 Aviation, will begin in the second quarter of 2019, marking a further step in the creation of the new corporate jet family. Orders for the ACJ320 Family now total nine aircraft, comprising three ACJ319neo and six ACJ320neo aircraft.


Boeing

Boeing Co.-backed startup Zunum Aero plans to deliver its first hybrid-electric plane in 2022 to JetSuite Inc., setting the stage for a new era in regional flying. JetSuite, a small charter airline with plans to expand a commercial operation nationally, eventually will receive as many as 100 aircraft that seat up to 12 passengers each, Zunum co-founder Matt Knapp said in a statement Monday. JetBlue Airways Corp. has invested in Zunum and JetSuite. The charter operator is also backed by Qatar Airways. The new aircraft will eliminate the roar of combustion-based engines, powered instead by twin propulsors attached to the rear of its frame. The ducted, or covered, fans will be driven by electric motors. A conventional fuel-powered motor will serve as a back-up system at the outset.


Other News

 

Chicago, Illinois | May 16, 2018– Today we are announcing that we have opened a logistics hub based in Amsterdam. The Amsterdam warehouse will stock and ship Gogo 2Ku parts directly to Airline and OEM customers. This hub will offer the same capabilities as the existing Gogo facility located outside of Chicago.

The Amsterdam logistics hub is already in operation and is being managed in partnership with Kuehne and Nagel, one of the world’s leading global transport and logistics company based in Switzerland.

“We believe that expanding these capabilities closer to our airline customers as well as our OEM partners will provide them with the support and flexibility they need during the ramp-up of installing and operating the 2Ku inflight connectivity solution,” said John Wade, president of Gogo’s commercial aviation division. “Partnering with Kuehne + Nagel will strengthen our global supply chain to meet the needs of our customers as we continue to grow internationally.”

London | May 16, 2018–Virgin Atlantic Airlines has extended its long relationship with SITA, with the global IT company providing secured, high-speed connectivity between the airline’s London hub to 66 airport, sales and cargo locations in 19 countries around the world.

Don Langford, CIO of Virgin Atlantic, said: “Our IT network is central to the running of Virgin Atlantic, linking every office around the world in real-time to our team in London. SITA has been, and will continue to be, integral to supporting that connectivity. We have had a strong partnership with SITA since the airline launched operations in 1984, with SITA’s solution evolving to meet our changing business requirements.”

Through SITA Connect, Virgin Atlantic has access to secure, reliable connectivity no matter where it flies to in the UK, the US, Africa, the Middle East, Asia or the Caribbean. SITA’s solution provides increased security and reduced network congestion for remote offices while ensuring rapid setup for new destinations and capacity adjustments, providing the airline greater flexibility in managing its operations.

SITA will manage the local area network (LAN) and wireless network, and provide end-user support at these locations. It will also leverage SITA AirportHubTM infrastructure, an airport-wide shared connectivity platform that provides airlines, ground handlers and other airport tenants with secure and reliable bandwidth.

As part of the agreement, the airline has also extended its use of SITA’s Airfare Insight. This innovative, fares management solution provides competitive market intelligence and uses sophisticated algorithms to help Virgin Atlantic analyze fares and make more informed and accurate pricing decisions. This means the right fares are distributed at the right time, to the right customer.

While SITA continues to support Virgin Atlantic with its day-to-day operations, the airline and SITA have long worked together on some highly innovative projects and will continue to transform Virgin’s passenger experience at airports.

Sergio Colella, SITA President for Europe, said: “SITA continues to provide Virgin Atlantic with stable, resilient and secure global services that help the airline’s operations run smoothly so its passengers continue to enjoy the Virgin experience. We look forward to strengthening our partnership from this base to further innovations that are rapidly changing the landscape of aviation.”

Thales at AIX

The past few months have been busy ones for Thales. During Aircraft Interiors Hamburg the company announced the expansion of their IFEC portfolio with the introduction of CORE and PRESTIGE inflight entertainment. The two products offer differing degrees of experience for airline passengers, depending on the airline’s objectives for providing inflight entertainment. As the name suggests, CORE is an IFE solution designed to provide the airline with value and competitive cost of ownership in conjunction with Thales support services and is configured on existing architecture that has been qualified and tested. CORE is PCI compliant and enables ancillary revenue opportunities for the airline operator. The system has upgrade options and is capable of providing connectivity if so desired by the airline. One of the major benefits of CORE is the accelerated delivery process, while still providing a streamlined configuration and effective solution to onboard entertainment. The user interface is designed with latest UX technology and has been dubbed “Select” by Thales. Select interface enables the airline to provide their customers with mixed content and integrated advertising that can include promotions, targeted offers and destination content. CORE is line fit offerable on all Boeing and Airbus platforms and cybersecured by Thales.

Whereas, PRESTIGE is a multi-dimensional and personalized experience for the passenger that is tailored to enhance the airline brand with a unique user interface. This product is specifically targeted for the airline that is looking to provide their customers with an exclusive experience in flight.  The system is designed to enable passengers to connect, engage and experience their flight with the latest PEDs and unique connected apps. The company states that PRESTIGE will feature ultra HD (4K) displays. Thales told IFExpress that the system is lightweight, has low power draw and is very reliable. The objective of PRESTIGE is to enhance the passenger engagement, personalization and monetization by building a more intimate relationship with the traveler throughout their journey. They also stated that this is achieved through a robust co-innovation process and diverse industry partnerships via their Thales Digital Factories and location innovation centers. The user interface for the product will be unique for each customer and developed by a dedicated UX Center of Excellence and best-in-class agency partners. The UI will be commissioned by the airline and crafted to elevate their brand. PRESTIGE is targeted for the airline who wants to provide their passengers with an exclusive experience that extends beyond the IFE system.

Both CORE and PRESTIGE systems are powered by Thales’ InFlyt360 digital platform, which incorporate the latest Big Data technologies – think machine learning and matching algorithms – that continuously optimize the inflight experience for both the passenger and the airline.  InFlyt360 continuously optimizes the passenger experience providing airlines a complete IFE ecosystem customizable to their business goals. There are four (4) key features to InFlyt360 Personalization, Monetization, Fresh & Dynamic Content and Optimization. Thales firmly believes that the InFlyt360 platform will open new possibilities for brand differentiation, passenger engagement, increased exposure and the ability to provide new revenue generation opportunities for the airlines.


Spirit/Thales

Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.
Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.
Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests ”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”


Gogo

“We’re happy to announce that we have received approval for installation of our 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi system on the Airbus A321neo. This approval, also referred to as an STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) is what we need to make modifications to an aircraft beyond what was originally done by the manufacturer. Approval for the A321neo is the latest in a long line of STC’s we’ve received that cover 2Ku installations on a wide variety of aircraft, from the smallest single aisle planes, all the way up to the massive Airbus A380. Gaining the STC for the A321neo is a major milestone for Gogo, especially since several of our airline partners already have this aircraft in their fleet, or are awaiting delivery.”


Aftermarket Aviation Business Growth

If there is one connectivity related subject you should watch it is the aftermarket service and support organizations Boeing and Airbus (and other plane vendors) have started to work with. They are leveraging outside manufacturers and others to increase customer involvement, build future marketing efforts, and increase the expansion of their businesses … its the future of the connectivity part of the model. We won’t tell the whole story here because it is just now being written and IFEC companies better stay aware. This is “THE” big collaboration and integration deal so watch for the future of many of aviation businesses, outside industry companies, and others in the IFE/connectivity aftermarket: … by “eliminating the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data-access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification,” – Inside MRO broke the aftermarket business cooperation code. The interesting part in all this for our readers is to see the resulting impact on IFEC companies and how they will respond. These technologies include cybersecurity, AI, Big Data, and analytics – just to name a few. Probably, business acquisition and new business strategies will be the future outcome. If collaboration is the new “name of the connectivity game,” then truly, that will result in reduced future costs and better use of the increased data. Watch this one and be sure to check out next week’s IFExpress for more.


Other News

  • The AEEC Meeting Agenda (April 23-25, 2018, in Dallas, Texas) is here – AEEC General Session | SAE ITC Checkout it out. A number of subjects caught our eye – “Big Data – An Introduction”, “Long-Range Communication”, “Aircraft Connectivity”- just to add a few!
  • As part of the future of aviation connectivity you should watch GE Aviation as they have acquired part of Avionica in a joint ventured effort to provide wireless data collection/processing for aircraft with connectivity to the ground.
  • Declare your food folks if you are US bound! Lifehacker
  • US/UAE have signed an agreement to remove competition challenges and issues – U.S. and UAE sign pact to resolve airline competition claims | Reuters

Kirkland, WA | May 14, 2018– Innov8 Cabin Solutions (Innov8), a supplier of affordable and flexible cabin upgrade products, and Aero-Dienst, one of the leading full-service providers in European business aviation, announced today that they have entered into an Agreement naming Aero-Dienst as the launch Dealer in Europe for the debut of Innov8’s CABINFLEX (“CFLEX”) Products including its SIMPLICITY, COMMAND and CAST cabin control and entertainment product solutions.

Innov8’s CFLEX Products offer the business aviation sector robust, affordable cabin management and entertainment upgrade solutions that provide customers an exceptional experience in their current aircraft that exceeds current aircraft cabin systems. This is accomplished through adaptable products that address obsolescence issues with existing cabin entertainment and control systems while enabling the latest consumer electronic technologies through state of the art interface, control and communication solutions. Ultimately, these solutions provide an immediate and economical path to a “wireless” cabin entertainment and control for existing business aviation aircraft. All the CFLEX product lines can be installed independently, incrementally or as a full suite depending on the customer budget, timing and needs. The intelligent design of these solutions reduces woodwork, eases installation, and provides customers options to retain the functionality of their existing cabin products as they step their way through an upgrade path.

“Aero-Dienst was the ideal partner for our expansion into Europe given their technical capabilities, platform breadth and confidence to work with us on a much-needed solution for their customers. Our CFLEX products offers immediate and affordable upgrade options that can be accomplished in a way that truly differentiates these solutions versus traditional full cabin systems,’ said Jason Danforth, Business Development Leader for Innov8.

“In order to provide our customers with even better and innovative solutions and opportunities, we expanded our supplier network by gaining Innov8 as a new partner”, says André Ebach, Head of Maintenance at Aero-Dienst, Nuremberg.

EmPower Now Approved for Retrofit Installations in Multiple Boeing Aircraft Models

East Aurora, NY | May 15, 2018– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC), recently received Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for retrofit installations of Astronics’ EmPower® in the flight deck on multiple Boeing aircraft types. Astronics CSC completed the STCs in conjunction with retrofit projects for multiple airlines, in which more than 600 aircraft will provide the EmPower outlets for pilot use.

The STCs are for installations of 110VAC and USB outlet
combinations, plus power supplies and associated wiring kits,
on Boeing 737, 757, 767, and 777 aircraft. Astronics expects to receive additional STCs for more Boeing and Airbus aircraft later this year in conjunction with additional airline retrofit programs. Airlines can leverage these STCs for quick and simplified installations of EmPower flight deck power.

Pilots are increasingly using electronic flight bags (EFBs) and the number of real-time applications they are using on those devices is rising. Increased usage can drain power, and airlines are requiring easily accessible outlets integrated into the flight deck. Astronics’ EmPower products are already a standard linefit option on Boeing and Airbus, and these new STCs represent an additional retrofit opportunity for airlines to provide consistency within their fleets.

“We were honored to be selected by several airlines to create this retrofit solution for flight deck power,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “Our global experience in certification services is helping these airlines quickly provide a unified flight deck power experience across their entire fleets, which offers seamless convenience for their crews.”

Dublin, Ireland | May 11, 2018–The “Global Airport Baggage Handling Systems Market – Segmented By Airport Capacity And Geography – Growth, Trends, And Forecast (2018 – 2023)” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

Airport terminal extensions and new terminal development ventures globally, owing to increased air passenger traffic are driving the airport baggage handling systems market.

Recently developed and modernized air terminals have to be supplied with the interlinked baggage conveyor system, which is expected to drive the baggage handling systems market. With terrorist threats around the globe, airplane terminals have stepped up their luggage security. The security procedure is highly time-intensive and influences the general proficiency of baggage handling operations. The increasing number of air passengers coupled with existential security threats is expected to increase the demand for these systems.

Establishment of New Airports and the Expansion of Existing Projects is Expected to Drive the Market

The growth in middle-class population in the developing countries, such as China and India has increased the air passenger traffic, and this trend is expected to continue. To handle the growth in the air traffic, many airports in different parts of the world have been undergoing expansions creating demand for airport baggage handling systems. Airport expansion projects are underway across the world.

All the countries that are part of Gulf Cooperation Council are in the midst of expanding their airports, as the region has few of the world’s busiest airports the growth in the air traffic will necessitate expansion of capacity to provide seamless travel experience. India under its regional connectivity scheme has envisaged developing the underserved and unserved airports to boost domestic air travel. The Heathrow airport in London, the busiest in the European continent is undergoing expansion. The construction of both Greenfield and Brownfield airports is expected to drive the demand for such systems.

Recent Developments

  • March 2018: Vanderlande signs strategic baggage cooperative agreement with Vancouver Airport Authority for the design and execution of baggage handling projects in order to reach the capacity, redundancy and flexibility required for future growth

Companies Mentioned

  • Vanderlande Industries
  • Daifuku
  • Siemens
  • Pteris Global
  • Glidepath
  • Crisplant
  • G&S Airport Conveyor
  • Aversan Inc
  • Logpan
  • Babcock Airports Ltd

Key Topics Covered

1. Introduction

2. Research Methodology

3. Executive Summary

4. Market Overview and Trends

5. Market Dynamics

6. Global Airport Baggage Handling Systems Market Segmentation

7. Competitive Landscape

8. Company Profiles

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/s9xmd5/global_airport?w=4

  • Spirit Airlines is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity solution, providing an exceptional guest and airline experience. Spirit will be the only Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) in the Americas with Connectivity.
  • Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution providing unmatched performance and ultra-high speeds to their aircraft.
  • With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Paris | May 11, 2018– Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.

Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests.”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”

This week’s first story is from our friends at Lufthansa Systems and so we feature a Lufthansa rectangle (our ride home from Germany) and we liked the picture! We also had a great visit with Lufthansa Systems and the new management is really focusing the directions of their products and services.


Lufthansa Systems

You may well be familiar with Lufthansa Systems (LS) and their four (4) primary product offerings: 1. BoardConnect , which offers a modular,  scalable design to the airlines and their passengers; 2. BoardConnect Plus has all the features of BoardConnect with the added benefit of enabling passengers to enter the web via a unique passenger portal through a partnership with Inmarsat GX Aviation;  3. BoardConnect Portable – a  simpler, more flexible, all-in-one solution that is ideal for low-cost operators; 4. and BoardConnect Portable/Link –  the latest addition to the BoardConnect platform, and as the name indicates, is a portable IFE product with a connectivity solution that utilizes Iridium NEXT. Iridium Next is a worldwide service that has several small satellites with sufficient bandwidth for all messaging and payment services. Lufthansa Systems told us that BoardConnect Portable is the only portable system without the need for disruptive battery handling and does not require extensive retrofitting of the aircraft.

During AIX 2018, we had the opportunity to meet with Jan-Peter Ganse of Lufthansa Systems and Lukas Bucher of Lufthansa Technik to hear about the companies latest undertakings since APEX ’17. Lufthansa Systems and their partner optile announced the launch of a pilot program targeted to optimize the payment processes with the open aircraft IT platform BoardConnect. The project focuses on enabling passengers to make convenient in-app payments for digital content and shopping services. The prototype of the solution was introduced at AIX. The concept is to facilitate ease of payment for the passengers. Users only need to enter their payment data one when booking via the airline app. Further payments can be made use the previously chosen payment method, considerably simplifying the process, while increasing security. The benefit to the airline? A simplified payment process for passengers enables the carrier to maximize their ancillary revenue potential. The new technology has already been proven in an innovative project run by Eurowings, Retail inMotion, Lufthansa Technik (who provided the wireless access points), optile and Lufthansa Systems. “Partnering with optile allows us to offer our airline customers an open and flexible payment solution, enabling payment with a single click and supporting multiple payment methods (e.g. AliPay, PayPal, etc.),” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Passengers will love the seamless payment process which makes is really easy to buy products and services. This will help airlines to keep the passenger in their ecosystem throughout the entire journey.”

Lufthansa Systems also announced that Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, one of the first customers for BoardConnect Portable, has been using the product on their sixteen aircraft flying routes from Western Australia. Virgin Australia Airlines was one of the first BoardConnect customers back in 2013 and has the system available on more than 100 aircraft flying today. In a collaborative effort with Gogo (satellite provider), Virgin Australia is rolling out inflight Wi-Fi based on the BoardConnect Plus product. This variant of the BoardConnect product suite enables the integration of any connectivity solution selected by the airline customer. The airline will also be migrating to BoardConnect 5.0 by year’s end. This latest software version features a fresh design with a new user interface and an open platform architecture based on HTML5 compared to the native app approach of earlier versions.


Turkish Technic

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


AIRBUS

A320ceo: Germany’s Lufthansa ordered some 16 new planes worth 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion), including some six Airbus A320ceos to make up for delivery shortcomings in a newer version of the jet (and four Boeing  B777 long haul jets.)

A350 XWB: The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216,  has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018. The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

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

Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s

Rolls Royce: Airbus and Rolls-Royce have signed a collaboration agreement for the integration of Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan demonstrator for flight testing. The integration solutions demonstration will be co-funded by Clean Sky 2, the European Union research program focused on developing technology to reduce emissions. UltraFan is a scalable jet engine design suitable for widebody or single-aisle aircraft and offers a 25 percent fuel efficiency improvement over the first-generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engine. Airbus’ integration solutions will play an important part in achieving the overall fuel efficiency improvement of higher bypass ratio engines such as UltraFan, through innovative architecture and associated technologies. UltraFan features a new engine core architecture and lean-burn combustion system which will contribute to improved fuel burn efficiency and lower emissions, along with a carbon titanium fan blade system and composite casing which reduce weight. The engine also introduces a geared design to deliver efficient power at high-bypass ratios. For Airbus, the project will enable it to fully integrate the overall powerplant system – composed of engine, pylon and nacelle – onto future long-range aircraft products, as well as facilitating scalability for future short-range aircraft. It will also build on Airbus’ expertise in advanced manufacturing technologies, such as high-deposition-rate additive manufacture, welded assembly and high production rate thermoplastics.


BOEING

Lufthansa Group: Boeing and the Lufthansa Group completed an order for four more 777 airplanes, valued at $1.4 billion at list prices. The purchase is part of the aviation company’s plans to modernize its fleet with newer widebody airplanes.

“The order for the new long-haul aircraft highlights the strategy of Lufthansa Group to predominantly allocate the growth within its multi-hub system where cost and quality offer the best conditions for profitable investments,” said the Lufthansa Group in a company statement.

The order provides two more Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes for Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national carrier of Switzerland and a member of the Lufthansa Group.

SWISS currently operates 10 777-300ERs, one of the most efficient, capable and reliable twin-aisle passenger airplanes in aviation. The airline says the 777-300ER has served as the backbone of their long-haul fleet and the additional airplanes will allow them to further expand their network.

The order also provides two more 777 Freighters for Lufthansa Cargo, one of the world’s leading air freight carriers that serves nearly 300 destinations. The 777-300ER can seat up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km). The 777 Freighter, the industry’s largest and longest range twin-engine cargo jet, can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 102 metric tonnes (102,000 kg).

Ryanair: Boeing and European low-cost carrier Ryanair announced on recently that they finalized an order for 25 additional high-capacity 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The $3 billion order, at current list prices, was previously listed as unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website. Ryanair launched the high-capacity 737 MAX 8 in late 2014 with an order for 100 airplanes, followed by an additional order for 10 airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The airplane will provide Ryanair with 197 seats, increasing revenue potential and delivering up to 14 percent lower fuel consumption than today’s Next-Generation 737s.

Europe’s leading low-cost carrier will be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, which will provide carriers with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8.

The Dublin-based carrier is the largest 737-800 customer in the world and the largest Boeing operator in Europe. Last month, Ryanair took delivery of its 500th Next-Generation 737-800 and has now ordered more than 650 Boeing airplanes.

Gulf Air: Boeing and Gulf Air celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The airplane also debuts the carrier’s new livery. Gulf Air is set to take delivery of four more Dreamliners this year. The airline plans to introduce the 787 on its twice-daily service between Bahrain and London Heathrow before deploying the long-range efficient jet on other routes.

Boeing has delivered more than 670 787s since deliveries began in 2011. The 787 fleet has flown more than 240 million passengers while saving over 23 billion pounds of fuel and enabling airlines to open more than 180 new nonstop routes around the world.

The first Gulf Air 787 – painted in the airline’s new livery – recently flew a special mission to the airline’s home base to perform a fly pass over the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. Formula 1 race fans were treated to a dramatic aerial display prior to the start of the championship race.

Alaska Air: The airline converted its 15 737-8 orders to the larger model, bringing its firm orders for the Max 9 to 32, during the first quarter. It also has 11 737-900ER orders. Alaska will take its first Max in 2019 with deliveries continuing through 2023.  (source: FlightGlobal)


OTHER NEWS

  • Want to know more about software API’s? It’s an application program interface and, yes, it is the part of the software/hardware that receives requests and sends responses – Check out this descriptive article
  • Perhaps probiotics can help jet-lag? Want to know more? Read this article.

Here are some shortcuts to cybersecurity:

 

Almost 500 airline experts are meeting this week at one of the largest international airline IT user conferences. Lufthansa Systems will showcase the latest innovations in the digital world of aviation.

Raunheim | May 2, 2018– How do airlines plan their networks in the age of digitalization? What opportunities do artificial intelligence and machine learning offer for managing flight operations? And how will crews communicate with each other in the future? Lufthansa Systems will discuss these and other questions relating to the digital transformation of the aviation industry with its airline customers this week. The Airline Forum starts today at the Lufthansa Training & Conference Center in Seeheim under the slogan of “Transformation & YOU.” Almost 500 participants, among them representatives of around 80 airlines worldwide, will learn about the latest developments in the portfolio of the airline IT specialist. Lufthansa Systems advises and supports airlines in their digital transformation. The aviation IT experts show what sustainable airline processes can look like and provide hands-on support to customers in implementing their projects.

“The fourth industrial revolution – also known as Industry 4.0 – started long ago. An era of data communication, constant connectivity and a digital workforce. These new technologies massively influence an airline’s processes,” said Olivier Krueger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

The keynote on the topic of “Transforming business through data-driven personalization” will be held by Dr. Andreas Ribbrock, Principal Data Scientist at the Lufthansa Systems subsidiary zeroG, and Marcel Kling, head of the SMILE personalization program in the Lufthansa Group. Other customers will also have the opportunity to speak and report on successful projects, including Avianca Holdings and Pegasus Airlines. The next two and a half days will be devoted to some 80 lectures and workshops as well as personal conversations with product experts and other airlines. Attendees can put together their own individual program from a comprehensive range of topics.

The focus is on new product developments and innovations in the NetLine product family, which will be presented by experts from Lufthansa Systems and its industry partners. These include current research findings from the field of robust flight planning and the new Lufthansa Systems Analytical Platform. Consulting services relating to the new GDPR, among other things, are also on the agenda.

“At the Airline Forum, we want to show our customers how we are transforming our products and solutions using new technologies. And we want to talk about the challenges facing airlines in their digital transformation. We look forward to a lively conversation,” said Stefan Auerbach, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

There will be ample opportunity for discussion particularly in the Garden of Transformation. This is where Airline Forum participants can try out the product innovations for themselves with live demos and talk to experts right after the sessions. Their feedback is critical to the further optimization of products.

Well after seeing a great IFEC show in Hamburg we still wonder how the next journey will be improved, enhanced, and possibly changed for better. While, in the last couple years the IFExpress team has found two big game changers and they involve money and hearing. While its no travel breakthrough, upper classes make the experience much more acceptable because of crowd reduction, less noise (further forward), better seating, better food, and generally more comfort and reduced anxiety. The second item is sound. Yep, sound … when you cannot hear the noise and can enjoy a movie or music, the audible experience goes up 100% – and why not? Because you can sleep, you don’t have to talk to others, your music choice is better, and the movies audio is improved greatly. What else is left? One is in Other News this week. Check it out below. Now, here are some of the news highlights for the past week:


Gogo

Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution has been chosen by Air Canada for its Bombardier CS300 aircraft.  The technology will be installed as a line-fit option at Bombardier. “Air Canada was the first in Canada to deploy the service on their entire mainline fleet of aircraft. They have been at the forefront of technology adoption and we are excited to deploy 2Ku on additional aircraft,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s president and CEO.  “We also are excited to work with Bombardier to have this technology installed at the factory.” Air Canada has 45 CS300 aircraft on order with an option for an additional 30 aircraft.  Air Canada now has over 170 narrow and widebody aircraft committed to the technology. More than 2,000 aircraft are slated to be installed with Gogo’s 2Ku technology representing 16 of the world’s leading airlines.

Today, more than 650 aircraft are flying with the 2Ku technology. But the AIX story about Gogo is bigger than that – previously, Gogo has been discussing 2Ku and the technology in line for airline customer connectivity and entertainment. At the show, the company was talking about an interesting development they call their FLEX system. The Gogo FLEX Inflight System comprises all of the onboard hardware and software required to deliver and manage inflight connectivity for the aircraft.  This includes a component they call FLEX Developer, which will allow airlines to use Gogo APIs and SDKs to bring development in-house, or turn to third-party providers for total flexibility in designing the passenger experience.

But, the FLEX System is also enabling a series of products and services specifically for airline operations so the airline can extract value from the aircraft presently installed with Gogo’s hardware and software. Obviously, crew applications for connectivity and communication are already in play.  The FLEX system is also a way to deliver data to and from the aircraft, for the aircraft, and about the aircraft … and Mr. TJ Horsager, Director Connected Aircraft Services told IFExpress.: “FLEX Developer is an open architecture solution that gives airlines more access to the technology.” We should note that the Gogo 2Ku solution is a global service solution (unlike the US ATG service) which started out as a passenger touch point, but now can use more bits to-and-from the aircraft, for aircraft data, allowing the airlines to use data to optimize their operations. . With some 20 airlines, 600+ aircraft flying, and some 2000 airplanes in backlog, it just made sense!

The Gogo FLEX System is a “new” way to think about Gogo. We might add that there is also “…a lot of interest from airline software teams”, so noted Gogo, and we expect there to be plenty of airline support from them using the above mentioned API’s and other tools and now with a large enough install base for connected aircraft services to be a business that operates on solutions developed by operational data-like performance, measurement, and even inflight “repair”.

Steve Nolan told IFExpress: “Today, we support some 65,000 pilots and flight attendants with their PEDs for things like Electronic Flight Bags and Point of Sale devices. Gogo’s is now also providing data management solutions to support countless operational activities – from flight optimization to turbulence avoidance. Gogo has been supporting the communication ecosystem by providing an aircraft (or airline) operations private network. FLEX Inflight System powers passenger services and now allows airlines to connect their operations and the aircraft itself.”


PANASONIC

With a renewed focus on broader consultative engagements with its customers, Panasonic’s new Innovation Studios will serve as hubs for innovation, ideation, and solution-building. They will provide a socially collaborative environment where the company and its customers can leverage its skilled workforce and regionally relevant partners to ideate, prototype, showcase and evaluate product concepts, digital solutions and user experience paradigms.

Panasonic plans to set up five Innovation Studios across the globe, each in close proximity to major destinations, leading universities and centers with an established innovation and start-up culture.

The first Panasonic innovation studio will open in the Silicon Valley by the end of 2018. The Studios will also serve as primary locations for airline workshops conducted by Panasonic’s digital design consultancy, Tactel.  Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel has played an instrumental role in helping Panasonic customers get the maximum value from their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) investments.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Innovation has always been at the heart of Panasonic Avionics and our customers have rightly come to expect it as standard. Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration, strengthening our partner eco-system and with it, the range of value-added services we can offer our airline customers. The Studios will ensure we can deliver greater customer-facing innovation by rapidly developing new concepts that will enhance the business and pleasure of flying.”

Each Panasonic Innovation Studio will have a Collaboration Area for ideation, design and strategy workshops, training sessions, customer and partner meetings, and other interactive innovation-related sessions, and a Demonstration Area for displaying emerging products and technologies, functional prototypes as well as work in progress concepts.


ROCKWELL COLLINS
The company’s new Aspire widebody economy seat has entered service on a United Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 aircraft, the first in a 55 shipset retrofit program that begins delivery this spring. “We are excited to offer customers traveling on our 777-200 fleet a new Economy seat featuring updated design, with more living space and under-seat stowage,” said Mark Krolick, vice president of Marketing for United Airlines. Aspire offers an improved, patented comfort system with an advanced kinematic mechanism that cradles the passenger during recline while preserving maximum living space for each passenger.

Aspire also incorporates increased under-seat stowage and greater passenger living space due to the proprietary seat frame and leg structure. Passenger amenities combine the latest generation Panasonic high-definition monitor for in-flight entertainment, a mid-level literature pocket combined with a full-width single piece food tray, aft-facing PC power on all seat assemblies and adjustable ergonomic headrests. This version of the seat brings to life United’s latest brand themes and styling developed by PriestmanGoode.

Following the launch on the 777, the new Aspire seat will continue its success on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner with United and then onto the Airbus A350 XWB and other 787 aircraft with other undisclosed customers that more than doubles the initial 777 program deliveries.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat announced that its new GX Aviation inflight broadband service is currently being rolled out on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft. Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to offer GX Aviation, the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. In total, the service will be equipped on more than 130 of the airline’s Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

The roll-out follows a highly successful inflight test campaign across Qatar Airways’ global flight routes. As part of the service offering, passengers will now be offered one-hour of free access to GX Aviation, after which full-flight access can be affordably purchased.

Mr. Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Qatar Airways is renowned as one of the greatest innovators in global aviation with passengers being at the centre of everything they do. We are delighted that they are now pioneering our game-changing GX Aviation inflight broadband across the globe. This unprecedented service adds to the airline’s award-winning, five star onboard experience by allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.”

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars. The rollout of GX Aviation follows a separate announcement that Qatar Airways has activated an advanced new space-based system, supplied by Inmarsat, to track all of its flights across the world. Inmarsat worked exclusively with Qatar Airways to develop this cutting-edge solution, which utilizes Inmarsat’s market-leading satellite technology to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in latitude and longitude.


SITA

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected SITA to support its strategic expansion plans by introducing modern, world-class IT infrastructure across 200 of the airline’s offices located in 100 cities and airports in 60 countries. The solution will support the airline’s global IT infrastructure which connects all SAUDIA outstations with its headquarters and various data centers worldwide.

SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, will introduce its unique ATI Cloud solution, which will allow SAUDIA to manage and distribute its business applications, information and business services on-demand, anywhere in the world. The agreement also includes infrastructure, IT support and round-the-clock service through a dedicated service center. SAUDIA’s incremental growth and global expansion has seen the airline open new offices in key cities and in turn, has developed new IT requirements to support the demand for the carrier’s continued growth in passenger numbers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Airlines are increasingly looking for specialized content and service providers to meet their requirements. SITA, with its global presence and expertise, was identified as a trusted partner to implement a solution that would drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented: “As the national carrier moves forward with expansion plans across the entire organization and operations, it is crucial that we continue investing in leading-edge, modern technology. SAUDIA has a critical role to play in the nation’s Vision 2030, and continues to grow both in the Kingdom and beyond.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With the rapid progress of hosted applications and cloud-based environments, it is the right time for SAUDIA to adopt cloud solutions across its network. From a commercial perspective, quick responses to IT services requests are essential for running a successful operation and ensuring happy passengers. We are delighted to continue working with the airline as it embarks on its new phase of growth.”


OTHER NEWS

  • You might remember a few months back when we gave a link to the regularly updated Boeing B-52 disassembly, well now, updates 4 and 5 are online now and if you have never seen a big airplane disassembled, this is your chance. Wings are next.
  • Face it, sometimes flying is just not as fun as it should, or used to, be. Why? Full planes, increasingly bad weather, longer flights, and worse seating, just to name a few. Now, here is what Apple’s Yim Cook said about AR/VR – “AR has the ability to amplify human performance instead of isolating humans,” he said on the same call. “So I am a huge, huge believer in AR. We put a lot of energy on AR. We’re moving very fast.” Further, the TechRadar folks said: “But despite it’s heavy focus thus far on AR, it seems Apple is keen to give users a choice in what they experience; either AR for an enhanced experience that keeps them present in the real world, or VR for those times users want to be transported somewhere else entirely.” Just one more thing…What if there were cameras on a plane that choosers could hook up to their Apple VR/AR glasses? Check out this link for more on the subject.

Airline selects SITA for cloud support for its 200 offices worldwide across 60 countries

Jeddah | April 30, 2018–Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected SITA to support its strategic expansion plans by introducing modern, world-class IT infrastructure across 200 of the airline’s offices located in 100 cities and airports in 60 countries.

The solution will support the airline’s global IT infrastructure which connects all SAUDIA outstations with its headquarters and various data centers worldwide.

SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, will introduce its unique ATI Cloud solution, which will allow SAUDIA to manage and distribute its business applications, information and business services on-demand, anywhere in the world. The agreement also includes infrastructure, IT support and round-the-clock service through a dedicated service center.

SAUDIA’s incremental growth and global expansion has seen the airline open new offices in key cities and in turn, has developed new IT requirements to support the demand for the carrier’s continued growth in passenger numbers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Airlines are increasingly looking for specialized content and service providers to meet their requirements. SITA, with its global presence and expertize, was identified as a trusted partner to implement a solution that would drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented: “As the national carrier moves forward with expansion plans across the entire organization and operations, it is crucial that we continue investing in leading-edge, modern technology. SAUDIA has a critical role to play in the nation’s Vision 2030, and continues to grow both in the Kingdom and beyond.

“SITA has had a long working relationship with SAUDIA, and we believe this investment in new IT infrastructure will be vital in supporting our growing operations globally. SITA showcased very quick turn-around time and a future-proof solution that is adaptable to any site.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With the rapid progress of hosted applications and cloud-based environments, it is the right time for SAUDIA to adopt cloud solutions across its network. From a commercial perspective, quick responses to IT services requests are essential for running a successful operation and ensuring happy passengers. We are delighted to continue working with the airline as it embarks on its new phase of growth.”

  • In-flight entertainment server weighs 1.2 kg
  • Features moving map and geo-triggered entertainment

California | April 28, 2018– Aircraft owners looking for a moving map and in-flight entertainment solution will find it in a tiny, lightweight, inexpensive component introduced in Geneva in May: the GojiBox.

The paperback-sized server is easy to install: you place it in a cabinet or elsewhere on the aircraft, and hook it up to navigation data, power, and the cabin wireless system. Then, it emits entertainment:  passengers connect to the wi-fi and enjoy a variety of built-in content.

The moving map is the number-one most requested visual asset for passengers. Yet many aircraft do not have one because of the weight and size of the servers. This is where GojiBox comes in: it is the smallest IFE server in the industry. At a trim 12cm square x 5cm thick (5” square x 2” thick), it fits into the most compact cabins, and weighs just 1.2kg (2.6 lbs). Power consumption is also minimal, topping out at 50 watts.

The GojiBox delivers a big bang for a small box and includes the following:

  • Moving map: the Navigator 2D and 3D interactive moving maps, an industry-leading solution from Airborne Interactive.
  • GeoRadio, the only geo-triggered radio show on Earth: when passengers put on their headsets, they hear a show about the people and places they are passing.
  • GeoVideo. This geo-triggered 4K video fills cabin screens and passenger devices with gorgeous footage of the land below, and of their destination.
  • Goji Points-of-Interest, photos of every spot the plane flies, along with updated info on places to visit, dine, and shop. With 5,000 POIs worldwide, it is a geo-triggered pageant of photos for passengers’ devices, or on 4K screens in the cabin.
  • AVOD (Audio-video on demand). With a terabyte of storage, GojiBox holds hundreds of movies that can be loaded by thumb drive.

Goji Points-of-Interest have already been integrated into commercial and business aircraft for several years.  This is the first time the product will be hosted in its own hardware component.

Visitors can experience the magic of the GojiBox with a hands on demonstration of its content, at EBACE, May 29-31,2018 in Geneva, at the Gotham Studios booth W133 by the Gulfstream stand.

Gogo

Late last week, Gogo announced some adjustments to their leadership roles within the commercial aviation division, as well as, the business aviation sector. John Wade, who has more than 30 years of aviation and IFEC industry experience, joined Gogo back in 2008 after a stint as CTO of ONAIR, has been named as the first President of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation Division. If you remember, in 2016 John was moved from General Manager of the Business Aviation Division to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Commercial.  He was responsible for Gogo’s operations, quality control, commercial airline account management and commercial sales. In this new role as Gogo President he will have end-to-end responsibility for managing all aspects of the Commercial Aviation business, including product development, technology, sales, account management, quality, marketing and all aspects of product delivery.

Also, Sergio Aguirre, formerly senior vice president and general manager, will now serve as President of Gogo’s Business Aviation Division. Aguirre will continue to be responsible for managing the Business Aviation (BA) division and will now report directly to the CEO, Oakleigh Thorne. Aguirre joined Gogo in 2002. Aguirre is also an aviation industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience.

Anand Chari, who has served as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2011, will move into a new role as Strategic Technology Advisor. Chari has been with Gogo since 2003 and has been instrumental in the design and development of the company’s ground-breaking ATG (air-to-ground) and 2Ku (satellite) products.

Jon Cobin, who joined Gogo in 2010, will now serve as Chief Strategy Office and Executive Vice President Corporate Development. This is a newly created role and Cobin will be responsible for leading company wide business, strategic planning and corporate development efforts as Gogo seeks to leverage the Commercial and Business Aviation product portfolios to drive growth and share value.

All of the above appointments are effective as of May 1, 2018.


Next, we thought you might like to see just some of the AIX highlights we noted. But be advised, there are plenty more.

  1. Virtual Reality in IFE applications is becoming more available and better; however, it is not replacing IFE – some goggle developers, like SkyLights, are really doing a bang-up job.
  2. New potential revenue generation via “paying for inflight power” is on the horizon – think low cost carriers here.
  3. Improving flight operational efficiency was hight-lighted by Gogo’s Flex Developer. Keep your eye on this one!
  4. Inflight content downloading of entertainment is new, and one time viewing on (and off ) the plane is a reality says GEE.
  5. One tekkie vendor has developed a code based solution for installations in IFE systems that “reduces” the bandwidth required for streamed movies and the system prevents delays when all are watching movies. The German start-up Cadami is one to watch.
  6. Smaller removable streaming Wi-Fi servers now have onboard battery installations so they do not need removal and recharging as often, noted Lufthansa Systems and AirFi.
  7. The folks at Zii have developed the next generation of IFE with a seatback system display that has the thickness of a couple stacked coins. It was super cool!!
  8. The “cloud” is now available in IFEC from Panasonic and others.
  9. Seat power boxes are getting smaller, just ask Astronics.
  10. Onboard retail sales support and software is even more available because of real-time connectivity.

Round-Up: AIX – Day 2 & 3

Here is an outline last two days of the show reported by the AIX TEAM!

Day 2 of AIX saw yet more exhibitors choosing the show to announce their latest deals and newest offerings.

April 11, 2018 announcements included:

  • Ensinger Plastics announced their new flame-retardant materials, TECAMID 6 (PA 6) FRT, TECAMID 66 GF15 FRT and TECANYL (PPE) VH2, which can replace metals to achieve significant weight reduction in aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Inmarsat has signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced an agreement to provide fuel saving solutions for Air Austral’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The first step will implement Safety Line’s OptiClimb solution on all aircraft in the fleet, helping the carrier save fuel with optimized climb profiles for pilots.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Sekisui Specialty Polymer Innovations has launched the new, back-lit, Lumina version of its KYDEX plastic panels, which are available in any color, printable with infused images for durability and thermoformable to almost any shape.

For the second and final day of the AIX educational program, the FlightGlobal forecast sessions in Cabin Space Live Seminar Theater took a theme of social responsibility:

  • Making IFE accessible for everyone: Over 200 million people worldwide are registered as visually impaired. In the next few years airlines flying to the US will be required to offer an IFE solution for visually and hearing-impaired passengers. FlightGlobal Data, Lufthansa Solutions and Crystal Cabin Award winner Bluebox Aviation discussed what current and future solutions can offer to passengers.
  • End of Life Cabin Equipment: The discussion between Turkish Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Professor Dieter Scholz, from Hamburg University of Applied Science, looked at the life-cycle of cabin equipment and its impact on the environment in both operation and disposal. The panel also discussed solutions, such as manufacturers buying back components from the airlines to recycle them, and whether regulation is needed to tackle environmental impact.
  • Predicted maintenance and the connected aircraft: Panellists from Lufthansa Technik, Gogo and Air Transat discussed how OEMs and MROs could use aircraft connectivity to transmit raw aircraft health data in real time, and the question of who should have control over and access to the data increased aircraft connectivity provides.

AIX’s Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments: “Day two has been as busy as ever as our visitors explore the 11 halls we have here at AIX and the breath-taking exhibits on display.

“We started the day with a First Time Exhibitor speed networking event, where they had the chance to meet some of the attending media. We love hosting this event each year as it gives them a platform to share the truly innovative products and services they have on display at AIX.

“In 2018, we have also launched the Ideation Hub. These sessions give delegates the opportunity to take advantage of AIX, as an unrivaled industry gathering, by coming together to generate ideas for the future of aircraft interior design and the integrated passenger experience.”

AIX Day 3 – Over 14,000 attendees, 600 exhibiting companies and 1200 VIPs from more than 260 global airlines descended on the Hamburg Messe for the world’s largest Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany this week. With the Expo capturing the attention of the world’s media and with almost 200 journalists in attendance, exhibiting companies showcased revolutionary products and concepts that demonstrated how the future of air travel is set to change for passengers. This year, more exhibiting companies than ever before used the show as a platform to make announcements. These included:

  •  Acro is to supply its Series 3 ST seat to Viva Air for the airline’s 50 Airbus A320 aircraft on order.
  • Airbus announced the development of a new option for A380 aircraft, ‘A380 Cabin-Flex’. The enhancement, which consists of a new cabin door area arrangement on the upper-deck, is available for line-fit and retrofit, and will be installed on Qantas’ current A380 fleet from mid 2019.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Global Eagle Entertainment launched the Airconnect Go video-on-demand system portable IFE system for regional aircraft, which streams content to passengers’ own devices through Global Eagle’s Airtime portal.
  • Gogo announced that Air Canada has extended its agreement to install the provider’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity service on its Bombardier CSeries CS300 fleet, with the system to be line-fit during assembly.
  • Inmarsat signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced the debut of their new airline on-board loyalty platform, called NEXT Loyalty, with Singapore Airlines as launch customer, as well as a partnership with gategroup on their new retail platform NEXT Marketplace, and an IFEC commitment from Turkish Airlines for 50 wide-bodied aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Thales announced the expansion of its inflight entertainment portfolio with CORE and PRESTIGE, offering a full spectrum of solutions and services to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and airline revenue.

AIX also showcased the winners of this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards with the award-winning technologies changing the future of the cabin. Amongst the winners were the Qatar Airways QSuite picked up with Cabin Concepts award, Rockwell Collins ‘Silhouette MOVE’ won the Cabin Systems category and Bluebox Aviation’s Accessible IFE for passengers with visual impairment cleaned up in the IFEC category.

With the latest innovations in connectivity, in-flight entertainment and passenger comfort hardware on display, alongside an educational program looking at the areas of focus for the industry, many trends were highlighted at the Expo.

  • Inflight Entertainment – Passengers increasingly want to replicate the mutli-screen environment they enjoy today on the ground, in the air. Using a mixture of seatback screens with their own devices to both enjoy inflight entertainment and use a second screen to stay connected with friends and family via email and social.
  • Passenger Comfort – Over the past year, with the introduction of more and more double beds and family suites – flying really does feel like a hotel stay. However, seat manufacturers are also improving passenger comfort in Economy by enabling the enhancement of all cabins onboard to retain customer loyalty in an ever increasingly competitive market.
  • Extension of flight experience –  companies are looking increasingly at entire travel experience and now including the time before boarding, such as individual seat selection via a virtual walk through the cabin, and the ability to select films and music in advance through customizable apps

A daily program of education sessions were hosted at the FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theater, with participants from across the industry discussing issues including accessible IFE, end-of-life equipment and the burden on the environment, and management of data and the increasing demand for connectivity.

Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments:

“Every year we see more and more demand from passengers for seamless connectivity and greater expectations placed on all the players that make up the travel experience. As a result, we have seen some truly ground-breaking innovations at AIX this week.

“I’d like to thank all of our exhibiting companies, VIP airline attendees and visitors for helping to continue to make AIX the world-renowned event for the aircraft interiors sector. With the aircraft interiors industry innovating rapidly, we look forward to bringing you all of the latest updates at the 20th AIX next year.”

Aircraft Interiors Expo will return to the Hamburg Messe from 2nd – 4th April 2019 where it will be co-located with World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). Along with the Passenger Experience Conference the three expos make up Passenger Experience Week.

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

Geneva, Switzerland | April 19, 2018– Airlines around the world have once again improved the rate of baggage delivery, this is according to the SITA 2018 Baggage Report  published today. This continues the improvement trend of more than a decade which has seen baggage mishandling drop by 70% since 2007. This is the 14th year that SITA has issued its report and it marks 2018 as a turning point for the global air transport industry as airlines increasingly adopt baggage tracking technologies.

SITA’s report details how baggage management is changing globally and airline passengers can expect to see major differences over the next two years. Services like real-time notifications and fast self-service bag drop will be more commonplace and 2018 is the year that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect which will see the industry increase baggage tracking.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Over the last decade, we have seen significant improvements in bag management as airlines have taken advantage of technology. Now with IATA’s drive for 100% bag tracking, technology adoption will rise further. End-to-end tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in operational processes. While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry.”

The growth in passenger numbers globally puts considerable pressure on the industry’s baggage systems and processes. With the rise to more than 4 billion passengers in 2017, the airlines did well to reduce the rate of mishandled bags. In fact, at 5.57 per thousand passengers it was the lowest level ever recorded. Despite the improvement, mishandled bags cost the industry an estimated $2.3 billion in 2017 so there is considerable scope for cost savings from airline investments in end-to-end bag tracking.

SITA’s Baggage Report includes examples of how airlines, including Aeroflot, Alitalia, Bahamasair, Delta and Qatar, are using innovative and proven technologies to improve bag management and tracking. One case study outlines how the airline Bahamasair went from scanning bag tag labels on a “bingo” card to full Resolution 753 tracking in Miami and Nassau airports inside seven days. This included the full ability to share tracking data in real-time via SITA’s BagJourney service. This initiative will deliver benefits to the airline in the way of improved passenger service and cost savings.

SITA provides IT and communications to the air transport industry and is the only single-source vendor covering all areas of baggage management from data capture to management and sharing using the latest technology. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.

For further details, download SITA’s full report.

SITA CEO outlines the value of technology to manage the industry’s future

Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit, Singapore | April 18, 2018– The future of air transport will be driven by a digital transformation in the industry, according to Barbara Dalibard, CEO of global IT provider, SITA. Dalibard was speaking at the Asia Pacific Air Transport IT Summit which gathered C-level airline and airport executives from across the region to discuss the future in this dynamic growth region.

Asia Pacific is leading the tremendous growth in the air travel industry. By 2036, the region is expected to handle over 4.1 billion passengers – more than half of the world’s passenger traffic. With this growth comes challenges and stresses on infrastructure and processes. The industry also faces increased complexity and security regulation globally. Dalibard outlined how technology can provide real value and help the industry navigate the future.

Dalibard said: “Smart use of technology can help manage the challenges of rising passenger numbers, limited infrastructure and increased complexity. At SITA, we are looking at opportunities to harness technologies including biometrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and blockchain to transform the industry.

“Already biometrics is becoming more commonplace at airports around the world and is delivering secure seamless travel from check-in to boarding. Today we work with around 40 governments providing border management solutions. And we have biometric self-service solutions operating worldwide, including in Australia, USA, Mexico and the Middle East.”

SITA is owned by the air transport industry and so has a unique commitment to address community issues. It is investing in new technologies with its industry partners. For example, SITA worked with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva and Miami airports to explore the opportunity to use blockchain technology for the shared control of data.

Recently, SITA has also invested in research to help airlines and airports tackle the $25 billion annual cost of poor on-time performance. SITA’s technology harnesses advance machine learning and artificial intelligence to forecast aircraft arrival times as far out as 24 hours giving airports the opportunity to proactively manage and mitigate disruption.

Autonomous vehicles and the potential use of robotics is another field of development, with particular interest shown at the event in Kansai Airport’s trial of KATE, SITA’s autonomous check-in robot.

Dalibard added: “By embracing the Internet of Things and connecting everything across the industry we will produce more data which can be used with artificial intelligence to create valuable insights and expose new ways of working. Over the next 20 years, this use of digital technologies to improve service, operations and efficiency will have profound effects on the air transport industry.”

One example of where this is beginning to happen is baggage management. 2018 is the year the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Resolution 753 comes into effect, which will see the industry increase end-to-end baggage tracking. This tracking produces data which reveals where improvements can be made in baggage management processes.

Speaking on the topic, Dalibard commented: “While we won’t see a sudden change in 2018, it is a real turning point for the industry as airlines begin to unlock the value of the tracking data for the 4.65 billion bags they carry. Looking further ahead, combining data collected from bag tracking with data science and machine learning promises even more significant improvements in baggage handling operations. This in turn will reduce costs and improve the passenger experience, a transformation that will be welcomed by everyone.”

As anticipated, the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on April 9, and the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) on April 10 thru 12 were the IFEC big deals last week. Each year we attempt to give readers a bit of an oversight about this week dedicated to the aircraft cabin and all things IFEC. This year was not different and for this week and next week, IFExpress will cover the show summary put out by the folks who organize this incredible extravaganza in Hamburg Germany each year. In today’s issue, we cover PEC (April 9) and Day 1 of AIX (April 10)  – next week we will send out the summary of Day 2 and 3 of the Expo. Here we go! 


PASSENGER EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE

Monday April 9,  2018 – Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the industry-leading global conference and networking forum, returned to the Hamburg Messe, marking the start of the world-renowned Passenger Experience Week (PEW). Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw kicked-off the day with a welcome to delegates attending the Conference, which defines the passenger experience. Following this, Richard Chung, Vice President Innovation & Design at Adient  took to the stage to discuss the exponential changes that are emerging and converging to create new opportunities for the aviation industry (see image above).

One such change, is the future introduction of commercial space flight at Virgin Galactic’s facility in New Mexico. Adam Wells, Head of Design, talked delegates through every stage of the process of the journey of a spacecraft, including a video of a recent test flight where the spaceship reached 82,000 feet.

Closing the plenary sessions, Paul Priestman, Director and Chairman of Priestman Goode, discussed how convergence of existing technologies, including magnetic levitation, can facilitate new forms of transport such as the Hyperloop.

For the rest of the Conference, PEC delegates could choose sessions from three streams: Convergence and Mobility, Personalizing the Journey and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking.

Convergence and Mobility:

  • From seamless urban mobility to the on-demand economy, this stream explored how cross-pollination between transport modes can enrich the passenger experience and create business opportunities.
    • Arguing that millennials prioritize access over ownership, Jönna Pöllanen of MaaS Global introduced their new multi-modal transport planning and booking platform, ‘Whim’.
    • Sustainable materials were the focus of conversation between José Rui Marcelino of Almadesign, Joel Fragata of TAP Air Portugal and Luciana Ribeiro Monteiro of Embraer, while the Head of Partnerships & Advertising and Head of Product & Customer Experience at Joon told attendees about their new products and services being tested by Air France-KLM.

Personalizing the Journey:

  • This stream explored how connectivity and data-driven technologies can improve the passenger experience and enable deeper relationships between an airline and its service partners.
    • Nathaniel Giraitis of design company SmartDesign told attendees about Kite, a newly-conceived digital travel companion that could provide nervous flyers with personalized coping techniques.
    • Representatives from gategroup and Black Swan Data shared their insights on how artificial intelligence and data collection can revolutionize inflight food, while seamlessness and the harmonization of software and content were the focal points of discussions between speakers from Panasonic Avionics, Cathay Pacific, Gogo, Valour Consultancy and Spafax.

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 the role sustainability plays in this equation.
    • Christina Fagin, Industrial Designer and Circular Economy Expert at Grüner Hering, emphasized the importance of ensuring that products have a full life-cycle and that environmental disposal is considered in the design phase in her key-note speech.
    • Later speakers from Boeing, Recaro, Zodiac Aerospace were among those who discussed the ways in which modularity and open platforms can support a more flexible approach to cabin design and services.

Polly Magraw, Event Director of Passenger Experience Conference, comments: “This year’s agenda offered delegates an insight into the future of transport and the technologies that are driving change for passengers. Our fantastic plenary speakers transported the audience through space, supersonic and electric air travel – a range of possibilities that now feel closer than ever before.”

“The breakout format of the conference let delegates explore the issues that are driving change in their industry and revolutionizing the passenger experience. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who continues to make the Passenger Experience Conference the huge success it is today.”

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.


AIX DAY ONE – NEWS ROUND-UP

Tuesday, April 10 2018 – Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the world’s largest event dedicated to innovation in the in-flight passenger experience, kicked-off as world leaders in cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and passenger comfort gathered in Hamburg to showcase their latest products and developments.

Every year, exhibitors choose AIX to announce new products and deals, and 2018 got off to an impressive start with news from organizations including:

  • Airbus announced the development of a new option for A380 aircraft, ‘A380 Cabin-Flex’. The enhancement, which consists of a new cabin door area arrangement on the upper-deck, is available for line-fit and retrofit, and will be installed on Qantas’ current A380 fleet from mid 2019.
  • Thales announced the expansion of its inflight entertainment portfolio with CORE and PRESTIGE, offering a full spectrum of solutions and services to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and airline revenue.
  • Immfly announced a new partnership with Pegasus Air, to bring a dynamic in-flight digital services platform to the Turkish Market.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced the debut of their new airline on-board loyalty platform, called NEXT Loyalty, with Singapore Airlines as launch customer, as well as a partnership with gategroup on their new retail platform NEXT Marketplace, and an IFEC commitment from Turkish Airlines for 50 wide-bodied aircraft.
  • Gogo announced that Air Canada has extended its agreement to install the provider’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity service on its Bombardier CSeries CS300 fleet, with the system to be line-fit during assembly.
  • Global Eagle Entertainment has launched the Airconnect Go video-on-demand system portable IFE system for regional aircraft, which streams content to passengers’ own devices through Global Eagle’s Airtime portal.
  • Geven’s Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Wizz Air for the Airbus A321neos it will begin receiving in January 2019.
  • Acro is to supply its Series 3 ST seat to Viva Air for the airline’s 50 Airbus A320 aircraft on order.

Delegates to AIX were also able to enjoy the first day of a series of educational sessions in the Flight Global Cabin Space Live Seminar Theater.

Consolidation and the interiors supply chain: Panelists discussed how consolidation among the cabin supply chain could provide an opportunity for agile new suppliers to enter the market, as well as the demand on suppliers to boost production while reorganizing supply chains.

The future of IFE: The panel of airlines and technology providers discussed the need for airlines to have the flexibility to provide choice to the passenger, with platforms that adapt to meet the fast pace of technology development. The need for robust and stable connections for streaming in the air to meet passenger demand is critical, with embedded IFE, wireless IFE and connectivity all being part of the future mix.

Flight Ascend Market Outlook Briefing: This briefing assessed where the industry is in the demand cycle. It examined whether Airbus and Boeing are on track to hit their ambitious production-rate targets and what the prospects are for new market entrants such as the C-Series, C919 and MC-21, and new product studies such as the Boeing NMA.

AIX’s Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments: “AIX 2018 has launched with a busy and exciting day. It has been inspiring to see all the amazing innovations our exhibitors are showcasing and how they are bringing to life some of the key themes around the passenger experience we heard about in Monday’s Passenger Experience Conference.

Aircraft Interiors Expo is co-located with World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). Along with the Passenger Experience Conference the three expos make up Passenger Experience Week.

For further information please follow this link to Aircraft Interiors Expo

The Spafax IQ Data Analytics Platform provides airlines with one view of their passenger engagement across all IFEC systems – an industry first.

London, UK | April 9, 2018– Global entertainment and media agency Spafax today announced the launch of Spafax IQ, a service designed to help airlines optimize their investment in entertainment across the passenger journey.

As aircraft connectivity rises and advertisers expect quality metrics for targeted campaigns, airlines are grappling with how to leverage the multitude of inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) data they have access to. Spafax is launching Spafax IQ to help solve this challenge for airlines.

The new data service provides insights in the following areas including but not limited to: IFEC content performance, passenger engagement with IFEC product, cost per engagement metrics and audience profiling.

Spafax Chief Executive Officer, Niall McBain said: “Spafax IQ is built to provide our airline clients with the insights they need to drive future IFEC product strategy and development. We use the latest research methodologies to build a detailed view of passenger behavior with entertainment while travelling and their expectations for richer, more valuable content experiences across every stage of the journey.”

Making its debut at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this month, the Spafax IQ Data Analytics Platform is the first product to give airlines one view of their passenger engagement across all IFEC systems. Additionally, the platform helps airlines enhance the passenger experience through predictive analysis and increase revenue from advertising and brand partnerships.

Spafax Vice President of Entertainment, Henry Gummer said: “We’re always looking for ways to help our clients get the most of their entertainment investment. Our Spafax IQ Data Analytics Platform is designed to improve ROI for entertainment and provides an easy-to-use-tool that allows our clients to run reports and generate insights for evidence-driven content strategies.”

Spafax IQ also provide insights on content performance against airline competitors. The service includes regular analysis and support from a Spafax team of data experts.

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 12, 2018– SITAONAIR has been appointed as connected aircraft service consultant and technology supplier to Taqnia Space, leveraging its significant inflight connectivity (IFC) expertize, to enable the Saudi company to bring its UON offer to airlines.

In this new role and way of working, SITAONAIR is supporting the development of Taqnia Space’s-own unique UON solutions line, by drawing on SITAONAIR’s leading inflight internet and mobile connectivity technologies. Going forward, SITAONAIR will be responsible for supporting the ongoing management of services and infrastructure involved in the delivery of Taqnia Space’s UON solutions. Taqnia Space will deploy its UON services across both Ku- and Ka-band High-throughput Satellite connectivity.

As consultant – and the world’s primary provider of inflight mobile connectivity – a key aspect of SITAONAIR’s appointment is guiding the development of Taqnia Space’s 3.5G inflight mobile service for passengers. SITAONAIR recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Mobile ONAIR service, and Taqnia Space is harnessing SITAONAIR’s proven, pioneering approach in this field. For Taqnia Space’s internet solution, meanwhile, SITAONAIR will expertly integrate live TV as a specific UON portal feature.

David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR, says: “We are thrilled to have been selected by Taqnia Space for our considerable connected aircraft expertize, advising this new company to develop its defined UON inflight connectivity solutions for airlines. With us, Taqnia Space has been able to advance its innovations in the most efficient and effective way possible.

“This project reinforces SITAONAIR’s openness to new technologies and consortiums that advance airline industry choice, and our sheer versatility, skill and expertize in being able to deliver new, bespoke services across different platforms and hardware, and operate them on behalf of a partner. I am proud that our company is adding yet another string to its bow as a recognized connected aircraft expert. It complements SITAONAIR’s own and branded, best-in-class, Internet ONAIR, Mobile ONAIR, Link ONAIR and CrewTab inflight connectivity services for passengers and crew, with which our prestigious airline customers are already leading the charge for a modern, world-class passenger experience.”

To discover SITAONAIR’s end-to-end connected aircraft proposition, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact,submit an enquiry form or explore www.sitaonair.aero.