San Francisco, CA | September 25, 2017– On 26th September SkyLights will reveal its 2nd generation immersive-IFE solution at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in Long Beach. It combines the new, premium AlloSky headset, and freshly signed content partnerships with Warner Brothers, National Geographic, Lionsgate and BBC. Air France’s new airline Joon and the product and service provider gategroup are among the launch partners for the new solution, which is tailored towards upgrading and differentiating the business class experience.

The AlloSky headset is the latest addition to SkyLights’ portfolio, and was co-created through the company’s new partnership with immersive headset producer Allomind. AlloSky brings a host of new features, including full HD resolution (1080p each eye), a 60% weight reduction to its predecessor (the Bravo Theater), and dioptric correction to cater to the eyesight of all passengers. Furthermore, it can be connected in-seat; meaning reduced cost and logistical complexity for airlines.

In terms of content, the new partnerships compliment SkyLights’ longstanding supporters, 20th Century Fox and Dreamworks, to offer a strengthened selection of films, series and documentaries in 2D, 3D and carefully curated 180°.

“Our new solution is guided by our learning from thousands of flights commercially deployed with our first generation. We have identified what matters most and have kept this knowledge at the core of the 2nd generation solution. It’s more premium, more comfortable and has streamlined logistics. We believe this is a breakthrough, making the future of in-flight entertainment a reality today.” said David Dicko, SkyLights’ CEO.

SkyLights is running an early-access launch program as part of the solution’s inauguration. Among the participants are Air France and gategroup, with Air France set to deploy the solution early next year through its new, millennial-focused airline Joon. Other members of the program are to be announced in the near future.

To learn more at the APEX Expo, visit SkyLights on booth #566.

APEX 0415: Onboard Advertising

First up, at APEX 2017 in Long Beach, California.  On Monday, there is an educational session that you should attend in the afternoon for sure. It is an inflight advertising initiative and Michael Childers, the Inflight Ad Guru, will talk about the constraining technical and organizational issues surrounding the challenge of inflight advertising. Why are there issues on this subject? We asked Michael Childers about it and he told IFExpress about the need for this seminar. “This is a heads-up regarding an important initiative that we’re launching in the Technology Committee  that will establish the necessary specifications and guidelines that will enable IFE to become part of a global, cross-platform digital advertising ecosystem that opens IFE to ad buys from the major Madison Avenue buyers and agencies.” We pressed Michael for more information on what his presentation will be about and he said: “For ages, airlines have dreamed of advertising revenues paying for all of the costs of IFE, but that was never realistic. However, there is definitely an opportunity today for airlines to greatly improve the revenue potential of advertising on their IFE systems. How? By making IFE a part of the emerging global, cross-platform advertising ecosystem that integrates traditional broadcast advertising and cable and satellite advertising with Internet advertising, OTT (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix), and particularly the growing ‘out-of-home’ and ‘digital place-based’ advertising sectors.” 

If you are like many of our readers (or us for that matter), you probably thought that either the IFE advertising world was pretty well sorted out, or that like standard print media, you chose your space and you paid for the content – no big deal. But that would be wrong, noted Childers: “Traditional IFE content delivery doesn’t support dynamic ad placement, nor does it leverage the highly desirable demographics of airline passengers and their specific location and environment to personalize ads. But with APEX 0415 laying the groundwork, IFE now has a big opportunity to re-invent IFE ad delivery and significantly impact IFE ad revenues over the next few years. We will discuss this during the Content Track B3, “Content Delivery Ecosystem” on 25 September at EXPO, and again at APEX TECH on 23-24 January 2018 at the Sheraton. So, if you plan advertising, or you want to see the inflight advertising world you might not have pictured, this should be on your Monday agenda.” Michael has a few program plans and discussion answers that you should probably see and comment/contribute to. See you on Monday!


Some Booth Highlights

Thales
Booth: 213

Contact: Adam.KOSTECKI@us.thalesgroup.com

This year at APEX Expo, Thales is focused on the essential passenger engagement technologies – integrated connectivity and IFE.

Thales’ InFlyt 360 vision of passenger engagement takes the concepts of paired connectivity and IFE to a new level by combining those enablers with leading digital expertise. Together, these technologies create passenger profiles and tailored content for a more personalized passenger experience.

With its state-of-the-art AVANT IFE system this experience comes to life. Enabled by an open architecture platform for its evolving operating system, software environment, state of the art security and the capability to enable data-driven decisions, Thales’ best-in-class HD and 4K resolution displays bring a new brilliance to the passenger experience.

Bookended by connectivity, Thales’ offerings for seamless global and regional coverage provide the most for passengers with Global Xpress and FlytLIVETM – the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution in the Americas region.

Lufthansa Systems
Booth: 453
Contactansgar.luebbehusen@lhsystems.com

Lufthansa Systems and group subsidiary Lufthansa Technik are sharing a stand for the first time. The two Lufthansa Group companies, who collaborate closely in providing on-board Internet and entertainment, are both presenting their own connectivity solutions. Lufthansa Systems will demonstrate the multi-award-winning BoardConnect wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) platform and its different hardware versions, while Lufthansa Technik will showcase its LConnect hardware and service package. The airline IT provider is also presenting its new mCabin/Messenger app, one of the apps of the mCabin Product Line.

Panasonic
Booth: 955

This year part of our focus will be on the “Internet of Me”

Similar to the “Internet of Things” concept, the “Internet of Me” takes all of the things that people care about and brings them together to deliver hyper-personalized and contextual experiences. We are the sum of all our things and the relationships in between.

Targeted advertisements based on browsing history, the “login with Facebook” capability on all of our favorite websites, and location-based services are just a few examples of digital experiences on the ground that are uniquely yours because of the “Internet of Me”.

We’ll also be looking at ways to automate Operations with services like ZeroTouch and our automated analytics services.

AXINON
Booth: 135

You’re invited to visit Axinom at APEX in Long Beach at booth #135 to discover company’s latest technology advancements, enjoy product showcases and get their experts’ advice on any topic of your interest.

If you’re interested to learn more about how Axinom CDS enables a new digital flight experience and how you can benefit,  read this short article
and this  letter from AXINON re their product offering

Rockwell Collins
Booth: 711

Rockwell Collins will be showcasing its suite of aircraft cabin and connectivity solutions at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo in Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 25-28. The company will have two separate exhibits, booth 419 and booth 711, that will feature demonstrations of its wireless connectivity and interior cabin products that are helping reimagine the air travel experience for both passengers and crew.

This marks the first APEX that Rockwell Collins will feature both cabin connectivity and interior systems products since the company acquired B/E Aerospace in April 2017.

“Our goal at APEX is to help airlines see the innovative options available to them that deliver a better passenger experience while improving cabin crew productivity,” said Alexis Hickox, head of business development, Commercial Aircraft Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins.  LINK TO FULL RELEASE

SkyLights
Booth: 566

On 26th September SkyLights will reveal its 2nd generation immersive-IFE solution at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in Long Beach. Be sure to stop by our booth and visit us!

SPAFAX
Booth: 619

  • Education Day:
    • Catch our own Andrea Whyte, Director of Commercial Content Strategy on the Content Track panel from 15:05-15:55 as she weighs in on how to make the most of your IFE investment.
    • Mary Rae Esposito, our Media Sales Director based in New York, leads a discussion on how to effectively monetize the passenger journey.
  • Where to find us:
    • Booth 619 – come say hello!
    • Join us for Happy Hour at our booth on Tuesday from 4 PM and Wednesday from 5 PM.
  • Education Day:
    • Catch our own Andrea Whyte, Director of Commercial Content Strategy on the Content Track panel from 15:05-15:55 as she weighs in on how to make the most of your IFE investment.
    • Mary Rae Esposito, our Media Sales Director based in New York, leads a discussion on how to effectively monetize the passenger journey.
  • Where to find us:
    • Booth 619 – come say hello!
    • Join us for Happy Hour at our booth on Tuesday from 4 PM and Wednesday from 5 PM. 

Note from the IFExpress Team: We expect this week’s APEX EXPO to be an innovative one with many new technological advances and product iterations. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the coming days. Be certain to send us your press releases so we can cover your show highlights and we wish you all a successful and fun filled time in Long Beach.

  • 20-year outlook projects 4,210 new airplanes needed, valued at $650 billion

Singapore | September 21, 2017 Boeing [NYSE: BA] projects a demand for 4,210 new airplanes, valued at $650 billion, over the next 20 years in Southeast Asia.

The company presented its Southeast Asia Current Market Outlook (CMO) today during a briefing at Boeing’s regional headquarters in Singapore. The annual report forecasts the region will continue its strong annual traffic growth at 6.2 percent, outpacing the world’s average growth rate by 1.5 percent.

Southeast Asia continues to be one of fastest growing markets in the world – and a key focus area for Boeing – as the region accounts for more than 10 percent of the total global demand,” said Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

“Driven by fierce competition and growing passenger demand, airlines in Southeast Asia need the most capable, flexible, economical and passenger preferred airplanes available,” added Keskar. “With their new technologies, superior capabilities and advanced efficiencies, the continued orders for the 737 MAX, including the new 737 MAX 10, as well as the 787 Dreamliner, demonstrate the value Boeing’s airplanes are providing to airlines in region.”

Single-aisle airplanes, such as the 737 MAX family, will account for more than 70 percent of new deliveries. As in previous years, the low-cost business model continues to be a main driver of traffic growth in Southeast Asia, growing to more than 50 percent of the total Southeast Asian market by the end of the forecast period.

Boeing projects a worldwide demand for 41,030 new airplanes over the next 20 years. Boeing’s Current Market Outlook is the longest running jet forecast and regarded as the most comprehensive analysis of the aviation industry. The full report can be found at www.boeing.com/cmo.

  • German Aerospace Center uses NetLine/Plan and NetLine/Sched

Raunheim, September 21, 2017 – Lufthansa Systems is supporting the work of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). The IT provider is making its NetLine/Plan and NetLine/Sched flight planning solutions available to the researchers at the DLR. The scientists are using the software from Lufthansa Systems to develop new air transport concepts and explore ways of improving the efficiency of network and flight planning. Airlines will thus benefit from lower costs, and passengers will enjoy greater punctuality.

“We are very interested in practical research and are pleased to be able to use NetLine/Plan and NetLine/Sched, since the two solutions are already employed by more than 70 airlines,” said Klaus Luetjens, head of Air Transport Operations and Infrastructures in the department Air Transportation Systems at the DLR. Airlines use NetLine/Plan to create optimized flight plans as part of their network planning strategy. The software simulates new connections, generates forecasts for passenger streams based on market data, and calculates the effects on costs and revenues. NetLine/Sched helps airlines with flight schedule management. It supports the evaluation of what-if scenarios prior to flight operations and automatically calculates their cost-effectiveness.

At the beginning of the project, the experts from Lufthansa Systems prepared the data basis, installed the software on DLR computers this summer and then trained the scientists. Following the successful completion of the project, the DLR researchers can now use the two NetLine products to quickly simulate various air transport concepts. For example, they can analyze how the development of a faster aircraft would affect flight plans and the airline market in general. The project will run until 2020, and the results will be published and made available to the industry.

Lufthansa Systems and the DLR have cooperated since 2016. “We benefit from their scientific findings, as data science is becoming increasingly important in aviation. Thanks to our cooperation with the DLR, we can further develop our products in a targeted way and continue to be an innovation leader,” said Pascal Mougnon, Head of Network Planning Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.

The research portfolio of the DLR ranges from basic research to the development of products for tomorrow. Since 2016, Lufthansa Systems and the DLR have been collaborating on a project for developing more robust flight plans. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is supporting the project as part of its federal aviation research program. The scientific and technical knowledge they have acquired together will strengthen German industry and technology in general and the aviation sector in particular.

Long Beach, CA | September 19, 2017–

In just one weeks’ time, over 3,000 visitors, 300 executive VIPs and 90 exhibiting companies will descend on the Long Beach Convention Centre for the three-day Aircraft Interiors Expo Long Beach (AIX).

Earlier this year, this leading fall event for the aerospace industry announced a long-term strategic co-location agreement with the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) in co-ordination with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). Together, the co-located shows, which take place on one level in one location, will host over 500 exhibitors forming the largest passenger experience event in the fall and a must-attend event in the aviation industry calendar.

For the first time in 2017, AIX Long Beach will be a Smart Event. The innovative Smart Event technology, designed by Konduko, will enable AIX visitors to use their smart badge to easily collect information from exhibitor stands in one simple tap. At the end of each day, visitors will receive information from all the exhibitor stands they visited in one handy email, removing the need to carry paper brochures, catalogues and flyers. For exhibitors, the system acts as a virtual business card which drives lead generation and content distribution, enhancing the show experience and driving business value.

The innovations being showcased by exhibiting companies this year include the Avipeo social network for the aviation community, LIFT’s production-ready Tourist Class seat, Mirus’ next-generation economy class Hawk seating platform, Optimares’ brand-new premium lay-flat Maxima seat model and SkyPaxxx’s modular ready to install carpet Sky-Tiles.

AIX will feature the Airline Club Lounge (booth 2019) which is exclusively reserved for the 300 executives who will attend the show from 100 major carriers including American Airlines, British Airways, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines. The complimentary Airline Club Lounge will provide a space for these executives to relax, work or network away from the show floor.

Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, said: “AIX takes place against a backdrop of continued success for the aviation industry. The aircraft interiors market is set to be worth almost $30 billion by 2021, and is growing at 7% annually.

“Our co-location with APEX and IFSA is proving to be a great success, and we are confident that the show will be a fantastic experience for all our attendees, VIPs and exhibiting companies from around the world.” 

The Aircraft Interiors Expo Long Beach takes place from 26th – 28th September 2017. More information can be found here.

Atlanta | September 19, 2017– SITA, the technology company that provides JetBlue’s biometric exit checks at the boarding gate, today announced the success of its innovative technology used in the trial in Boston Logan International Airport and that it continues to work with the airline and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in this program.

The program, which started in June on flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport, has proven hugely popular with JetBlue customers. When given the option, the vast majority choose to “board in a snap” by simply stepping up to a camera without having to show a boarding pass, passport or any other papers.

SITA’s biometric scanning technology has proven to be very accurate with close to 100% match-rate contributing to an efficient, pleasant and seamless experience. With this improved boarding JetBlue customers enjoy a better overall customer experience.

Joanna Geraghty, Executive Vice President Customer Experience, JetBlue, said: “SITA’s role as our technology partner helped us bring this innovative approach to boarding from an idea to reality. SITA was able to quickly and effectively support both our requirements and the specification of CBP. We could not be happier with the results of this trial and hope to work with SITA in future iterations of our self-boarding program.”

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “SITA’s collaboration with JetBlue and CBP has resulted in this unique integrated biometric exit check and self-boarding solution. The results to date have been very positive with the vast majority of JetBlue customers choosing to use it. This acceptance is in line with our experience and the results of 2017 SITA Passenger IT Survey, which shows that not only do passengers prefer to use technology but when they do it boosts satisfaction rates.

“The accuracy and speed of the system shows how SITA’s technology can provide a new way for airlines to bring value to their customers. Over the coming months we will work with JetBlue and Government agencies to extend the use of this innovative and passenger-friendly technology. We look forward to continued progress together.”

John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said: “Working with industry partners like JetBlue allows us to explore the best use of technology to implement biometric exit checks while improving the passenger experience. The integrated and frictionless solution devised with the airline and SITA is proving a success for everyone – the airline, the passengers and CBP. We look forward to continued work with JetBlue and SITA.”

SITA provides self-service solutions at every step of the passenger journey from check-in to boarding at airports across the world. More than 165 airlines use its passenger processing applications and its common-use systems board more than 100 million passengers per year. Today SITA provides border management solutions to more than 40 Governments across the Americas, Asia, Europe, The Middle East and Africa.

Digitalization in the aircraft: Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik present collaborative connectivity solutions / New messenger app for mCabin

Raunheim/Long Beach | September 19, 2017–
Passengers now expect the same level of connectivity in the air that they enjoy on the ground. This is why Lufthansa Systems is focusing on connectivity at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX) in Long Beach, California. Group subsidiary Lufthansa Technik is sharing a stand for the first time. The two Lufthansa Group companies, who collaborate closely in providing on-board Internet and entertainment, are both presenting their own connectivity solutions. Lufthansa Systems will demonstrate the multi-award-winning BoardConnect wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) platform and its different hardware versions, while Lufthansa Technik will showcase its LConnect hardware and service package. The airline IT provider is also presenting its new mCabin/Messenger app, one of the apps of the mCabin Product Line. Visit Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik fromSeptember 26 to 28 at APEX at stand #453.

“Like every other aspect of our lives, aviation is becoming ever more digital. Our BoardConnect solutions help make the time spent during the flight part of the passenger’s digital travel experience. This is about much more than just pure IFE solutions. People want to be connected. On-board Internet offers countless possibilities for further improving and personalizing services,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Director Project & Certification BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems. “And to provide a reliable Internet connection to our customers, we count on our colleagues at Lufthansa Technik.”

Cooperation between Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik
Two years ago, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik entered into a long-term global partnership to offer airlines inside and outside of the Lufthansa Group a modern, multi-functional on-board IT platform (based on BoardConnect) with broadband Internet access. Lufthansa Systems is supplying BoardConnect Plus, the required technical infrastructure, such as the server and access points. If necessary, the digital BoardConnect platform with its open architecture can serve as the basis for an Internet portal. Lufthansa Technik – with its many years of experience in the field of aircraft modification – is handling the integration of all systems and components in the aircraft. The LConnect hardware and service package also covers all work required under aviation and certification regulations.

“Together we are in an ideal position to meet the growing demand for on-board Internet. The installation of LConnect takes a maximum of four days and can be carried out during a regular idle period. Parallel to this, our colleagues from Lufthansa Systems can install the BoardConnect systems in the cabin,” said Lukas Bucher, Head of Connectivity Programs at Lufthansa Technik. “We can therefore quickly provide fast broadband Internet access on fleets of any size.”

The primary partner for the satellite connection is Inmarsat, but the Lufthansa subsidiaries also work with other connectivity providers depending on the airline. The solution is currently being used successfully with three different satellite providers. BoardConnect is already running on a total of nearly 400 aircraft, and another 300 will follow in the next twelve months.

The BoardConnect product suite
BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes three hardware versions: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portable version and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. The digital BoardConnect 5.0 platform runs on all three versions. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with its BoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination.

New app in the mCabin product line
Lufthansa Systems is also presenting mCabin/Messenger – the messaging app for iOS, UWP and Android. Since this messaging service is role-based, users do not need to know the name and phone number of the message recipients, only their professional role and, if necessary, the flight number. The app is aimed at cabin crew and ground staff alike and enables fast, direct digital communication. It allows all airline employees to send important operational messages directly to the right person.

“Our mobile solutions for airline employees and cabin crew provide optimum support for airlines of all sizes with all business models as they digitalize their on-board processes. Airlines have expressed a lot of interest in this,” said Julie Ingleson, Product Manager Mobile Solutions/mCabin.

The modular mCabin crew app ensures smooth crew management and optimized processes during every phase of crew service. In addition to mCabin/Messenger, the product line includes two other apps: mCabin/Library+ document management application and mCabin/CityGuide travel guide platform.

Watch the new mCabin/Messenger video:https://www.lhsystems.com/solutions/mobile-solutions/mcabinmessenger

Watch the personal invite from Jan-Peter Gaense to visit Lufthansa Systems at APEX: https://youtu.be/0dJFB_LWyRI

Just in case you aren’t familiar with APEX EXPO, here is what they say: “The APEX EXPO is the industry’s largest PaxEx event exclusive to experts and decision-makers committed to elevating the level of the worldwide airline passenger experience. The four-day premier event features top-notch seminars led by industry experts, the latest and most comprehensive display of airline related technologies, products and services, and valuable networking opportunities. The EXPO will attract more than 3,000 industry professionals, including representatives from nearly 100 airlines and some 300 content providers, OEMs, systems manufacturers and other industry suppliers from around the globe. The EXPO will also be co-located with International Flight Services Association Conference & Expo and Aircraft Interiors Expo.

If you need a schedule, check it out here – Schedule | APEX EXPO. We should also mention that we talked to APEX CEO, Joe Leader, and he told us: ”EXPO in Long Beach this year should reach a record total of 4,000 leading airline industry attendees across APEX, IFSA, and AIX. We are thrilled to honor Emirates Sir Tim Clark with the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award, feature JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes as our opening speaker, and have the best leaders in our industry in attendance. In addition, we will unveil the APEX Official Airline Ratings Five Star and Four Star airlines alongside Passenger Choice Awards in a ceremony hosted by airline industry icon “The Points Guy” Brian Kelly.  The best will be the amazing days thereafter in Long Beach with the largest EXPO of its kind in the world covering every facet of airline passenger experience.” That about says it all except that IFExpress will see you there and you can reach our team during the show via email or by phone. Patricia 206 229-7899 | plwiseman@gmail.com or Terry 206 229-7890 | terry.wiseman@gmail.com. See You There!


INMARSAT

1) Inmarsat today announced that Philip Balaam, the company’s Chief Strategy Officer, has been appointed to lead the Aviation Business Unit (ABU), following the decision by Leo Mondale to retire after 13 years at Inmarsat. Leo will retire in early 2018 and Inmarsat has taken the decision to appoint Philip Balaam as President of ABU now in order to facilitate a smooth transition in this high growth business the company. Before joining Inmarsat, Phil was responsible for international sales, strategy and business development at AsiaSat in Hong Kong. Prior to this, he was with Arianespace for 13 years, including the role of sales director based out of Paris and subsequently as sales and marketing director for Asia Pacific based in Singapore.

2) Inmarsat today confirmed that the European Aviation satellite has successfully completed its in-orbit tests and now stands ready to support inflight internet services when the European Aviation Network (EAN) goes ‘live’ later this year. The satellite, built by France’s Thales Alenia Space, was launched by Arianespace in June this year.

EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless WiFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe.  Inmarsat’s strategic partner, Deutsche Telekom, is well advanced in the construction of the complementary ground network, which will be fully integrated with the S-band satellite to deliver a truly seamless service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes world renowned airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service.

The successful completion of spacecraft and payload testing of the S-band satellite further underlines the momentum that Inmarsat is building in the high-speed broadband inflight connectivity (IFC) market, which the company entered in October 2016 with the commercial introduction of GX Aviation, a worldwide service powered by its Ka-band, Global Xpress (Ka-band) satellite constellation.


Aircraft Cabin Systems

Aircraft Cabin Systems (ACS) announced they have received a major order for their 4K UHD Modular Monitor. The modular design concept is unique. The design allows customers to integrate to their existing HD IFE system for a UHD viewing experience through their monitor which offers customized, modular video inputs and control ports. The design also supports upscaling, from the 1080P Full HD to 4K Ultra HD. There are 9 sizes to select from, 27” up to 75”. Input selections include: HDMI, SDI (6G) or Composite/Component and the possibility of custom inputs. Depending on the monitor size, each monitor can support 2 or 3 internal modules. Both the HDMI and SDI (6G) modules include two inputs and one output each. The Composite/Component module includes one Composite input and one Component input only. As customer requirements often mandate multiple and unique inputs, this modular approach will allow ACS to assemble a qualified monitor meeting the customer requirements. All monitors will be provided with qualification test documentation meeting the testing standards of DO-160G & DO-313. Richie Sugimoto, President of ACS, stated “This modular design has become the solution that many companies have been looking for, as it offers them the customization they need”. ACS specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality flat panel displays to meet the market demand for larger, custom displays, utilized in today’s cabin environment. Customers need more than just a display and ACS provides that. ACS exceeds industry expectations with “quieter” lower emission power supplies, safer front surfaces, 16 G survivable mounting attachments, special sweep circuits and non-glare filmed coating (CrystalTint ®), making their LCD monitors the ideal addition to your IFE system.


 IFPL

APEX 2017 will see IFPL demonstrate it’s NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high-value off line transactions by removing the current low-value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high-value items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to completely change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, the airlines now have the opportunity to develop significant new revenue streams. Visitors to stand #134 will also see IFPL’s ‘Charge 2’ concept. IFPL designed the ‘Charge 2’ to leverage its NFC Payment Terminal to control the switching on of passenger services at the seat. The ‘Charge 2 Charge’ demonstration allows the passenger to pay to turn the power on to the USB port, enabling them to charge a personnel device or other USB device. In addition, due to its ability to transmit and read data, it can negotiate with data from an App on a PED or via an NFC loyalty card, enabling enhanced passenger personalization and allowing targeted promotions or alerting cabin attendants to the customer presence or specific requirements.


Air Astana

Passengers flying on Air Astana are now able to experience high-speed broadband in-flight connectivity, with the airline’s first Boeing 767 featuring the service. The award-winning Kazakh air carrier has installed the Rockwell Collins cabin system, which utilizes Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) Aviation capabilities to provide in-flight connectivity. The new service enables Air Astana passengers to surf the Internet, use various instant messenger applications, social networks, listen to audio and check emails via personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Broadband speed connectivity will be available to Business and Economy class passengers on all three of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s. Depending on their individual needs, Air Astana passengers will be able to choose from three connectivity packages: The Light option will cover 15 Mb, the Business option will cover 50 Mb, and the Super option will cover 100 Mb. All services are estimated to operate at an average speed of 2 to 5 Mbps.

Andrey Gulev, manager Commercial Engineering commented, “One of our core missions at Air Astana is to be on the cutting-edge of technology and constantly enhance our passengers’ experience whether it’s on board or on the ground. We proved this in 2016, when we became one of the first airlines to commit to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress high-speed in-flight connectivity system with Rockwell Collins. We’re delighted the service is now ready to launch and we are looking forward to hearing what our passengers think of being able to continue sending work emails throughout their flight or chatting to their friends on social media.”

“Air Astana is leading the way by adding broadband connectivity to its fleet, creating new attractive services for its passengers,” said David Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services at Rockwell Collins. “Passengers on Air Astana’s retrofitted fleet of Boeing 767s will have access to the latest technology in global in-flight connectivity that is highly reliable and offers great performance.”

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation senior vice president of Strategy and Business Development, said: “GX Aviation is the only solution in the market today that has been specifically designed for in-flight broadband, offering unprecedented speed, reliability and consistency. Air Astana is the first airline in the world to offer GX Aviation on wide-body aircraft, reinforcing their focus on technology innovation and passenger service excellence. We are delighted to celebrate this milestone with Air Astana and our partner Rockwell Collins.”

The new service will be available to passengers on the first of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s, with system installation on its second aircraft planned to be completed in October 2017.


United Airlines

United Airlines has increased the number of A350 XWB aircraft it will bring into its fleet, updating and expanding its previously existing order for 35 A350-1000 to 45 A350-900 widebody aircraft to replace older, less efficient aircraft, supporting future growth at the airline.

 The A350-900 is the cornerstone member of the A350XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family, which is shaping the future of air travel. The aircraft typically seats 325 passengers in a standard three-class configuration and features state-of-the-art comfort and amenities, offering an exclusive flight experience to passengers on board with the new Airspace by Airbus cabin. The A350-900’s unique combination of payload and true long-range range capabilities makes it an ideal aircraft for United Airlines’ international route system. These aircraft will be the first Airbus widebodies to join United’s global fleet.

“For the past year, United has done a complete review to ensure that we have the right long-term fleet strategy, and it was clear that the A350 aligns with our replacement needs and our network,” said Andrew Levy, Chief Financial Officer of United Airlines. “The combination of the range performance and efficiencies make the A350 an attractive aircraft for United.”

“This updated and expanded order is a strong reaffirmation of the A350 XWB Family,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer – Customers. “United and Airbus have had a long and strong partnership for many years, and we’ve worked together to ensure their requirements for the future are met, if not exceeded. The airline’s decision to grow its widebody fleet with, for the first time, a widebody model from Airbus, shows they know that the A350 will meet their financial and performance demands, while pleasing their customers who will enjoy the quietest and most comfortable cabin in its class.


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Isle of Wight | September 11, 2017– Visitors to APEX Long Beach 2017 will experience the latest in passenger interface, connectivity, personalisation and payment solutions thanks to In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL.

IFPL lead the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) payment systems on-board aircraft, with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalisation.
APEX 2017 will see IFPL demonstrate it’s NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high-value off line transactions by removing the current low-value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high-value items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to completely change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalisation and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, the airlines now have the opportunity to develop significant new revenue streams.

Visitors to stand #134 will also see IFPL’s ‘Charge 2’ concept. IFPL designed the ‘Charge 2’ to leverage its NFC Payment Terminal to control the switching on of passenger services at the seat. The ‘Charge 2 Charge’ demonstration allows the passenger to pay to turn the power on to the USB port, enabling them to charge a personnel device or other USB device.

In addition, due to its ability to transmit and read data, it can negotiate with data from an App on a PED or via an NFC loyalty card, enabling enhanced passenger personalisation and allowing targeted promotions or alerting cabin attendants to the customer presence or specific requirements.

IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2017 may have.

Visit IFPL at Booth #134

Kazakh carrier installs Rockwell Collins/Inmarsat GX Aviation system on Boeing 767 fleet

Kazakhstan | September 7, 2017– Passengers flying on Air Astana are now able to experience high-speed broadband In-Flight connectivity, with the airline’s first Boeing 767 featuring the service. The award-winning Kazakh air carrier has installed the Rockwell Collins cabin system, which utilises Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) Aviation capabilities to provide In-Flight connectivity.

The new service enables Air Astana passengers to surf the Internet, use various instant messenger applications, social networks, listen to audio and check e-mails via personal computers, tablets and smartphones. Broadband speed connectivity will be available to Business and Economy class passengers on all three of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s.

Depending on their individual needs, Air Astana passengers will be able to choose from three connectivity packages: The Light option will cover 15 Mb, the Business option will cover 50 Mb, and the Super option will cover 100 Mb. All services are estimated to operate at an average speed of 2 to 5 Mbps.

Andrey Gulev, manager Commercial Engineering commented, “One of our core missions at Air Astana is to be on the cutting-edge of technology and constantly enhance our passengers’ experience whether it’s on board or on the ground. We proved this in 2016, when we became one of the first airlines to commit to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress high-speed in-flight connectivity system with Rockwell Collins. We’re delighted the service is now ready to launch and we are looking forward to hearing what our passengers think of being able to continue sending work emails throughout their flight or chatting to their friends on social media.”

“Air Astana is leading the way by adding broadband connectivity to its fleet, creating new attractive services for its passengers,” said David Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services at Rockwell Collins. “Passengers on Air Astana’s retrofitted fleet of Boeing 767s will have access to the latest technology in global inflight connectivity that is highly reliable and offers great performance.”

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation senior vice president of Strategy and Business Development, said: “GX Aviation is the only solution in the market today that has been specifically designed for inflight broadband, offering unprecedented speed, reliability and consistency. Air Astana is the first airline in the world to offer GX Aviation on widebody aircraft, reinforcing their focus on technology innovation and passenger service excellence. We are delighted to celebrate this milestone with Air Astana and our partner Rockwell Collins.”

The new service is available to passengers on the first of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s, with system installation on its second aircraft planned be completed in October 2017.

Cyber security, cloud services and passenger self-service top three priorities for air transport industry

Geneva | September 5, 2017– Airlines and airports are estimated to spend nearly US$33 billion on IT this year, according to the SITA 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights released today. And they are focusing their technology investments on similar priorities. Top of the agenda for CIOs at both airlines and airports, are investments in cyber security and cloud services. In addition, they are prioritizing investments in passenger self-service.

SITA’s research of the world’s airlines and airports shows that IT spend remains strong. Airlines’ spend as a percentage of revenue will rise to an estimated 3.30% or US$24.3 billion[1] in 2017. For airports, the rise is to an expected 5.05% for this year or US$8.43 billion. Looking ahead to 2018 over 70% of airlines and 88% of airports are expecting IT spend to increase or remain at the same levels as today.

As IT spend increases, both airlines and airports agree that the number one priority for their investments is cyber security. Nearly all of them – 95% of airlines and 96% of airports – plan to invest in major programs or R&D on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. This shows alignment across the industry on the importance of investing in this area.

Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said: “The air transport industry is going through digital transformation and focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers; making it more efficient; and improving the passenger experience. Cyber-attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry so building solid defenses is essential. Cloud services provide important efficiencies which play a key role in keeping costs down. Investments in self-service improve passenger satisfaction as they welcome the independence and efficiencies it delivers.”

Gutlin continued: “When it comes to IT investment, airports and airlines are aligned to provide better, more secure service to customers. The interdependencies built into air transport systems mean investments and improvements in all these areas, by airlines and airports alike, will continue to contribute to a strong global industry.”

Antoine Rostworowski, Director, Airport Customer Experience and Technology, Airports Council International (ACI), said: “SITA’s research, which was co-sponsored by ACI, reveals valuable insights for our industry. It is encouraging to see the alignment of investment priorities among airports and airlines, which reflects the collaboration between ACI and IATA on best practices. ACI and IATA have joint initiatives such as Automated Border Control, end-to-end baggage tracking (Facilitation), Data Exchange, Common-Use (Airport IT) and Smart Security. Industry partners such as SITA and others are also involved in these initiatives to make airports more efficient and to improve the passenger experience.”

Cloud services are another top investment priority with 95% of airlines and 85% of airports planning to invest over the next three years, continuing an upward trend that SITA has recorded since 2015. The third key area of investment that was highlighted by both airlines and airports is to provide extra self-service options to passengers.

Airlines are focusing on providing mobile services. Today the vast majority of airlines provide check-in (73%), boarding (70%) and flight status notifications (68%) via mobile and by 2020 more than 97% plan to do so. A key area of growth will be providing real-time flight updates over social media which will jump from 31% of airlines doing so to 92% in the next three years.

Providing a seamless experience is key to the airlines. In total, 94% rate streamlining services into a single app as a priority, with 58% rating this as a high priority. Mobile app capabilities and usability are developing quickly and an increasing number of airlines plan to use mobile as a customer service tool, including at times of disruption.

At airports, self-service processes at check-in, bag drop and boarding are increasingly popular with passengers and 89% of airports are investing in these processes. Airports operators have a keen focus on improving the journey through the terminal and are looking to new technologies such as the Internet of Things, beacons and sensors, to support their goals. SITA’s insights show that 80% are investing, or planning to invest, in these technologies over the next three years. Nearly three quarters, 74%, are investing in way-finding solutions and 68% in solutions to improve personalization for the passenger.

SITA’s IT Trends are well established as the global benchmark research for the air transport industry. Senior IT executives at the top airlines and airports took part in the research earlier this year. The 2017 results once again provide a clear insight on the air transport industry’s IT strategic thinking and developments.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights were released today and are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.

THALES
Thales and Japan Airlines welcome the entry into service of the Boeing 787-9 newly configured aircraft equipped with AVANT In-Flight Entertainment system. The new JAL Sky Suite 787-9 cabin on the airline’s Tokyo Narita to Kuala Lumpur route debuted this summer. Japan Airlines is a long-term, valued Thales customer who is the first Asian airline to choose AVANT on the Boeing 787 series. AVANT offers a state-of-the-art Android-based IFE solution with customizable passenger experience and an extensive selection of features and applications. The Boeing 787-9 aircraft, equipped with AVANT, utilizes the latest Magic VI system which includes Audio and Video On Demand (AVOD), games and applications customized to JAL – On-Boarding Shopping, Meal Order and Sky Manga, eBook application. Magic VI offers in total 300 movies, videos and music programs for passengers to enjoy right at their fingertips. The newly configured aircraft has 52 business class, 35 premium economy class and 116 economy class seats. Japan Airlines’ decision to use AVANT on Boeing 787-9 line-fit fleet testifies the utmost satisfaction the system brings to their passengers. The airline also operates Thales IFE systems on their Boeing 767, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft, flying across domestic and international routes. Noted Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience: “Japan Airlines and Thales have developed a close partnership based on mutual respect and trust for one another. With the advanced technology of our IFE systems onboard the newly configured JAL B787-9 Dreamliner passengers will enjoy an engaging and memorable travel experience.”

Panasonic
Panasonic Avionics today announces the appointment of David Bartlett as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Bartlett will be responsible for the continued development of Panasonic Avionics’ technology roadmap, harnessing his extensive experience in software and the Internet of Things. He previously served as CTO of GE Aviation and was most recently the CTO of Current by GE. GE Aviation is a leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems. Current, powered by GE, blends LED lighting and solar solutions with networked sensors and software to make cities and buildings energy efficient and smart. Noted Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation said: “We are delighted to welcome David to our team. For over 30 years, Panasonic Avionics has been the leader in delivering new and innovative inflight entertainment and connectivity services to the world’s leading airlines. We believe that David’s background in IoT, mobility, and security will ensure that we maintain a leadership position as we deliver our next-generation digital cabin solutions to our airline customers.” Over the course of his career, Bartlett also held several management positions at IBM including Director of IBM Europe Software Development Lab, and Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa Support and Services. He led IBM’s Autonomic Computing program strategy at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. As IBM’s Vice President of Smarter Physical Infrastructure, he led digital projects in transportation, smart grid, and smart buildings where he was named one of the ‘top 15 people in the world to watch’ in intelligent buildings. David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “I am thrilled to join this forward-thinking and innovative technology business in the aerospace sector. Panasonic’s technological solutions have been supporting airlines and delighting their passengers for many years. The road ahead is exciting and full of enormous opportunities to safely and securely deliver a premium experience.”

Inmarsat
Inmarsat has obtained a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for GX Aviation retrofit installations on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 aircraft. The milestone follows an announcement in June that Qatar Airways will be the first Middle Eastern megacarrier to offer GX Aviation to passengers onboard more than 130 of its flagship aircraft. The STC confirms approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the GX Aviation terminal installation, wiring and placement of Wireless Access Points and servers on-board the aircraft. GX Aviation has already been equipped as linefit and is awaiting system activation on Qatar Airways’ latest Airbus A350s, and following the STC approval, installations have now begun on a retrofit basis across the airline’s Boeing 777 fleet. The retrofits will be undertaken by Qatar Airways maintenance teams during scheduled maintenance windows. GX Aviation is the world’s first global, high-throughput satellite (HTS) service from a single operator. Its unique architecture allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos and check social media uninterrupted, with an on-board connectivity experience on par with mobile broadband services available on the ground. The next-generation service is expected to go live on Qatar Airways aircraft later this year, following an inflight test campaign across Qatar Airways’ global flight routes. Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “This is the first STC to be attained and managed solely by our team at Inmarsat, and taking this momentous step with one of the world’s leading carriers has strengthened our position as a key player in the inflight connectivity market.” He continued: “With GX Aviation already equipped on Qatar Airways’ latest Airbus A350s, the first Boeing 777 retrofit installation already complete and several more underway, we are now gearing up to launch GX Aviation across the flagship fleet. We’re looking forward to seeing Qatar Airways’ passengers experience consistent, reliable and high-speed Wi-Fi in the sky when the service goes live later this year.” Several of Inmarsat’s industry partners will play key roles in the project with Qatar Airways. The fleet will use Inmarsat’s Advanced Integrated Services Manager (AISM); Honeywell Aerospace’s high-speed JetWave terminals will allow aircraft to connect to the GX Aviation network; and EAD Aerospace will provide their unique SUMS (SATCOM Universal Mounting System) installation solution and the associated engineering package.

SITA
SITA today announced that Jacques Demaël has joined the organization as SVP Strategy & Business Support. Reporting directly to CEO Barbara Dalibard, Demaël will be based in Geneva, Switzerland. Working together with the CEO and the Executive Team, Demaël will drive SITA’s overall strategy as well as several key strategic initiatives. He will be responsible for leading a transformation program to align the organization, processes and skills to support SITA’s ambitions and will help define the organization’s technology and innovation roadmap. Prior to this Jacques had a long career at France Telecom/Orange, holding various executive roles in both consumer and business markets, in London, Paris and Geneva.

GOGO
A new era in business aviation has begun. Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading provider of broadband connectivity products and services for business aviation, has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA for its new dual-directional antennas which will be used with the Gogo AVANCETM L5 system (formerly known as the Gogo Biz 4G LRU). Gogo AVANCE L5 connects to the Gogo Biz 4G network delivering faster speeds and enhanced network capacity enabling a more robust experience for activities such as live streaming video and audio, on-demand movies, personal smartphone use, real-time data for cockpit apps, and remote diagnostics and support while in flight. Gogo AVANCE is an innovative approach that combines Gogo’s advanced hardware and software technology to create a fully integrated, aviation-grade inflight connectivity and entertainment platform. The platform enables connected aviation technologies, services and applications like never before. Gogo AVANCE is the heart of the company’s new suite of platform-based products: beginning with its Smart Cabin systems – SCS Elite and SCE Media, which launched in July – followed by the Gogo AVANCE L5 hardware. Created specifically for the business aviation market, the Gogo Biz 4G network is built on Gogo’s existing ground network of more than 250 towers and fiber backhaul, which has provided connectivity for hundreds of thousands of flight hours aboard thousands of business and commercial aircraft. The AVANCE L5 equipment package will incorporate dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi service and a host of other features – all from a single box. Gogo AVANCE L5 is future-ready, providing an upgrade path to Gogo’s Next Gen network, scheduled to launch in 2018. The Next Gen network will use a proprietary modem, a new beam-forming antenna and unlicensed spectrum to produce speeds up to 100 Mbps. It will utilize LTE technology and leverage Gogo’s existing North American network and infrastructure.


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APEX Long Beach:

  • Astronics: Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace industry, offers system solutions, products and services designed to keep passengers productive and entertained. Click here for information about two products they will be highlighting at APEX. (Editor’s Note: Click on the link because there a couple of products we have not seen before!)
  • Spafax: Are you attending APEX EXPO in Long Beach? Spafax invites you to visit them at Booth 619 to learn more about their latest products and services.
  • Boeing (Thank You!): The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] is committing $1 million from the Boeing Charitable Trust to assist with disaster relief across Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the company announced today. The contributions will be directed through the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. “Our thoughts are with all our neighbors and teammates throughout Texas who are dealing with the unprecedented impact from Hurricane Harvey,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “The American Red Cross is the most effective organization to put this contribution to work as it quickly brings recovery and relief efforts to those residents hardest hit by this devastating storm.” Disaster relief efforts in the region align with Boeing’s ongoing commitment to the communities where the company has a presence. Boeing employs close to 4,000 people in Texas and supports an estimated 39,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state. Boeing is active and engaged in Texas communities, contributing more than $3.2 million in charitable contributions in 2016.
  • If there is to be a fee for picking up, and dropping off, passengers at airports, where is it going to end?
  • The next big US airport destinations might be in Iowa, and this is why.
  • Oh Boy: Qatar Airways CEO To Become Chairman Of IATA – One Mile at a Time
  • A big hurrah for Southwest Airlines as they flew stranded travelers out of Huston Texas (storm country) for Free! Everybody, fly Southwest Airlines as a thank you!!!  We note that the Huston Airport is now closed

Mobile navigation: Lufthansa Systems acquires multiple new customers

Raunheim, Germany | August 24, 2017– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it acquired multiple new customers for its Lido/Navigation mobile map solutions in the first half of 2017, including the airlines Sundair from Germany and Corendon Dutch from the Netherlands. The Turkish airline Freebird renewed its existing agreement and continues to use Lido/mPilot in its fleet.

“With our mobile navigation solutions, we help our customers in their transformation to a digital airline. This digitalization supports the work of pilots and makes processes less prone to error. Since the solutions were launched, more than 120 airlines have opted to use Lido/eRouteManual and Lido/mPilot, and that number continues to grow,” said Igor Dimnik, Director Strategy and Market Development Lido/Navigation at Lufthansa Systems. “Furthermore, with Lido/RouteManual Backup we are offering a new, browser-based backup solution which works entirely independently of our systems in the cloud. Now nothing stands in the way of a completely paperless flight deck.”

While Lido/mPilot brings navigation maps, documents and messages to iPads, Lido/eRouteManual brings this information to tablets running Windows. Both mobile solutions support pilots with the processes involved in flight preparation and operation. They comprise navigation maps for take-off and landing procedures as well as flight maps that include all important route information like altitude data, course of rivers and airport features. These maps are generated directly from the Lido/FMS navigation database, which includes worldwide aeronautical information.

Each year, around 570 million passengers fly on planes based on navigation charts from Lufthansa Systems. More than 200 airlines around the world have deployed Lido/Navigation solutions. The Windows-based Lido/eRouteManual app is already being used by more than 50 airlines worldwide, while around 70 airlines have opted for the Lido/mPilot iPad app since it was launched in early 2015. Based on regular exchange with customers, Lufthansa Systems continuously optimizes its solutions and works on innovative products that expand its portfolio.

Caption (Copyright: Lufthansa Systems): The mobile map solutions from Lufthansa Systems support pilots before, during and after a flight.

Former GE Aviation and IBM executive to lead technological innovation.

Lake Forest, CA | August 23, 2017– Panasonic Avionics today announces the appointment of David Bartlett as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Bartlett will be responsible for the continued development of Panasonic Avionics’ technology roadmap, harnessing his extensive experience in software and the Internet of Things.

He previously served as CTO of GE Aviation and was most recently the CTO of Current by GE. GE Aviation is a leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems. Current, powered by GE, blends LED lighting and solar solutions with networked sensors and software to make cities and buildings energy efficient and smart.

Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation said: “We are delighted to welcome David to our team. For over 30 years, Panasonic Avionics has been the leader in delivering new and innovative inflight entertainment and connectivity services to the world’s leading airlines. We believe that David’s background in IoT, mobility, and security will ensure that we maintain a leadership position as we deliver our next-generation digital cabin solutions to our airline customers.”

Over the course of his career, Bartlett also held several management positions at IBM including Director of IBM Europe Software Development Lab, and Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa Support and Services. He led IBM’s Autonomic Computing program strategy at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. As IBM’s Vice President of Smarter Physical Infrastructure, he led digital projects in transportation, smart grid, and smart buildings where he was named one of the ‘top 15 people in the world to watch’ in intelligent buildings.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “I am thrilled to join this forward-thinking and innovative technology business in the aerospace sector. Panasonic’s technological solutions have been supporting airlines and delighting their passengers for many years. The road ahead is exciting and full of enormous opportunities to safely and securely deliver a premium experience.”

Bartlett earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry at New York State University and completed the Computer Science Masters Program at the University of Minnesota. He earned an Executive MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina and holds a PMP Master’s Degree from George Washington University.

It’s getting show time so here is the first product promotions we received. If your products will be showcased at APEX in California, let us know!

IFPL
Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at APEX 2017 in Long Beach, California.

With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged with its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A to USB-C, either with or without USB- Power Delivery (USB-PD). Along with its baseline USB-C Rapid Fit USB outlet that delivers up to 3A 5V DC, IFPL has developed a new USB power delivery unit that enables an existing 28V DC power supply to provide USB power delivery, therefore providing airlines with a simple upgrade from USB-A.

USB power delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability. Visitors to stand #134 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet. IFPL recently announced its new USB-A and USB-C combination outlet ensuring an easy transition as USB-C becomes the new consumer standard. This unit provides a reversible USB-A and USB-C connector delivering up to 2A 5V DC or 3A 5V DC respectively, with a data variant available. IFPL’s clever reversible option delivers up to ten times the reliability of normal aviation standard USB-A outlets. USB-A&C Front & Rear Mount Combination USB-C Front & Rear Mount

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging.

We have enhanced the capability of our existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

In addition, we have been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The combined approach has delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the USB outlet into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom.

Latest audio jack technology

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

INCAM range

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

MagSignal

IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration.

IFPL’s Push Through Pin technology ensures the jack does not have to be replaced if a pin gets broken in the jack. The pin can simply be pushed through and collected in a reservoir at the back of the jack. This reservoir has been known to hold as many as 12 broken pins.

Self-Testing technology

IFPL has designed their Self-Testing technology to enable problem jacks to be identified and fixed rapidly, ensuring high availability. The clever design of the LED being powered by the audio makes this a suitable jack for retrofit, as no extra power is required. The maintenance staff simply need to send a high-frequency audio tone through the existing IFE system, then walk through the cabin and check the jacks at a glance. IFPL has deployed this technology in a wide variety of audio jack solutions and neatly demonstrates why IFPL are renowned for providing industry leading audio jacks.

IFPL’s Latest Seat Back Contactless Payment Solutions

IFPL leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) payment systems on-board aircraft, with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalization.

APEX 2017 will see IFPL demonstrate its new NFC ‘Pin-On-Screen’ solution that enables high- value off-line transactions by removing the current low-value payment barrier. This step change will allow airlines to expand and sell high-value items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to completely change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams.

We will be showcasing our innovative new high value NFC payment unit that is integrated into a leading seat as part of the IFE. This will reflect their ability to customize peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFEC and seat integration.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to APEX 2017 may have.


Alaska Airlines
The release notes: “Gogo announced that it has been selected by Alaska Airlines to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its entire Boeing and Airbus fleet. 2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what guests have on the ground, including the ability to stream video from the most popular streaming video services. 2Ku also has global coverage, which means guests onboard Alaska aircraft will have service from gate-to-gate nearly everywhere these aircraft fly, including while traveling over the ocean to popular destinations like Hawaii, Mexico, and Costa Rica.”

”We are excited to partner with Alaska to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku is the leading inflight internet solution on the market today in terms of bandwidth delivered to each guest’s device, coverage and reliability. We have market leading satellite capacity with the ability to continually add more to meet growing demand. We continue to innovate and improve the technology to make sure 2Ku will keep Alaska ahead of the technology curve.”

“We conducted an extensive review to find a satellite Wi-Fi solution that has a proven track record with commercial airlines and will meet our guest’s expectations for what they want to do in the air today, but will also continue to meet their needs in the future,” said Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “Our guests will soon be able to connect in the air, just as they do out and about on the ground helping make their travel time more relaxing and productive – whether that’s scrolling through Facebook, checking email, or watching what’s trending on YouTube.”

2Ku will give Alaska’s guests a seamless experience across their Boeing and Airbus fleet. Alaska will be disclosing pricing closer to service launch. Gogo’s 2Ku service will be installed on Alaska’s Boeing 737 aircraft beginning in the first half of 2018, with 40 to 50 planes expected to be completed by the end of the year. The remainder of Alaska and Virgin America’s mainline fleet will be fully satellite-equipped by early 2020.
In addition to installing 2Ku, Alaska also announced today that it will now offer free chat with Gogo Messaging Pass on flights operated by Virgin America – a benefit already available to guests flying on Alaska. With Free Chat, guests flying with Virgin America can now use iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger on their smartphones to send greetings from 35,000 feet – for free. Alaska was the first U.S. airline to offer a dedicated Free Chat service and, since its introduction, more than 1 million guests have used it to stayed connected on their Alaska flights.


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  • Good Luck Bob!
    In case he was not able to contact you directly, we have learned that Robert Guidetti has left VT Miltope (Miltope Corp). The good news is he has accepted a position as President of a Boulder Colorado company called Scientech. The unfortunate part of this news is that Robert has left the aviation business he loved and respected. Robert joined VT Miltope just prior to 9/11 and launched the development of one of the industry’s first wireless access points, most notably introduced with Connexion by Boeing. Robert told us that “after 16 years, I look at the success of wireless systems in the cabin and how they have become a necessity of IFE systems, and I feel that I had a positive impact on the aviation industry. I am proud of that accomplishment and the tireless efforts of my team.” In carrying on the wireless innovation, we understand that at APEX, VT Miltope will be introducing cyber security provisions with its latest wireless access point development that currently includes “Cognitive Hotspot Technology” that is designed to improve the passengers wireless experience. Robert’s phone number will remain +01 303 906 6949 and you can find him on LinkedIn. (Editor’s Note: Bob we will miss you and you will always have a place in IFEC if you ever want to come back!)
  • Eclipse
    So, if you live in the US and missed the eclipse, here are your future options if you MUST see it (Think 23, 24, and 25)

Santiago, Chile and California, USA | August 2017– UK based aircraft seating manufacturer Mirus has announced the opening of two American offices to assist with its ambitious expansion plans. The California (US) and Santiago (Chile) based operations allow Mirus to better serve the airline industry locally and are managed by Executive VP Cameron Allan and LAM Account Director Kai Kosicki respectively.

Phil Hall, Mirus founder and CEO, said, “I’m delighted by the amount of interest we’ve generated worldwide and it’s crucial that we support our future customers with strategic positioning of regional offices. America is a vital market for Mirus and we’re very much looking forward to proving how well our unique solutions work for both North and South American operators.”

To reinforce this commitment to the market, Mirus will be exhibiting its range of seating solutions at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Long Beach, California for the first time (September 26th – 28th 2017). Mirus will be showcasing the stylish Hawk economy seating platform. A modular product, the Hawk can be configured for a range of airline applications. On display at Long Beach will be two examples of the Hawk seat configuration – an entry-level fixed recline variant and a plush, USB equipped reclining seat. The Hawk redefines value for aircraft seating, providing an unrivalled blend of cost, weight, durability and quality, along with best in class living space proposition.

With vacations and pre-show quietness, our IFExpress search and discovery for news and industry input is lightweight this week; however there are some stories that we found so lets get started with a couple of news pieces from Rockwell Collins – and no, we have no more on a potential UTC buyout.

Rockwell Collins
The company will showcase business aviation solutions for the Latin American market, including flight deck, connectivity, cabin and service solutions at the 15th Annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Expo, from Aug. 15-17.

“This year we are showcasing even more of our business portfolio at LABACE to meet the needs of our customers in the region,” said Fernando DosSantos, director of sales and marketing, Americas for Rockwell Collins. “We are committed to increasing our footprint here in Brazil with broader avionics, cabin, service and connectivity offerings.”
At the company’s exhibit (booth #2016), experts from Rockwell Collins will be available to discuss the following key offerings:

  • Venue cabin management system: Our leading, most reliable and innovative cabin management system on the market, now equipped on more than 1,000 business aircraft cabins
  • Stage content service: Total content delivery solution that enables passengers to stream media, including digitally-protected movies and TV shows, to their personal devices from an easily refreshed, robust onboard server through wireless access points
  • CASP: Three levels of service, all delivering superior customer support, budget predictability and consistent aircraft availability for all the Rockwell Collins components on board your aircraft
  • ADS-B Out compliant solutions: Regulatory agencies across the globe are mandating implementation ADS-B Out, as well as other airspace mandates, as part of overall airspace modernization programs. ADS-B technology enables aircraft to continuously broadcast GPS derived aircraft position, heading and velocity information to ground stations connected to air traffic control

Next, TCS World Travel has installed Rockwell Collins’ CabinConnect wireless in-flight connectivity system on its custom-configured Boeing 757, operated by TAG Aviation. The fully operational system was launched on August 9, 2017 when 50 guests departed for a 23-day trip across Eurasia. “Our brand is about redefining luxury travel by providing highly personalized, enriching experiences for our guests from the comfort and convenience of our private jets,” said Shelley Cline, TCS World Travel president. “We chose Rockwell Collins for cabin connectivity because we needed a dependable solution that will keep our guests connected almost anywhere in the world.”

Through the new service, TCS World Travel guests can use an aircraft-provided iPad or their own devices to check email or browse the internet in flight, as well as access news, sports and weather information with a reliable connection that is similar to the quality and speed they experience when on the ground. The TCS World Travel system includes Rockwell Collins’ Airshow Mobile for Browsers, a 2D moving map system that keeps pace with guests wherever they fly. “Rockwell Collins was able to customize the system to interface with our onboard lecture system,” continued Cline. “This allows our guests to receive a live presentation from a travel expert about an upcoming destination that is broadcast to interested guests via the provided onboard iPads.”

“As a leading aircraft communications and service provider, we worked closely with TCS World Travel to understand their individual needs and requirements, and were able to outfit their aircraft with an operational system in just seven months,” said Alexis Hickox, head of Business Development, Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “Bringing together our aviation expertise with our knowledge of the Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) network has enabled us to provide TCS World Travel with a service that is very much in line with their mission of creating unforgettable travel experiences for their guests.”

Astronics
Astronics Corporation , a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Astronics PECO, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation fuel tank access doors (FTAD) for the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. In addition, Astronics PECO received a follow-on award for its FTAD product for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new 787 and 777X fuel tank access doors will utilize the latest in fuel tank door structural materials and designs for carbon fiber composite wing technologies. The doors will be manufactured by Astronics PECO in Clackamas, Oregon. These awards are in addition to a previous award in which Astronics PECO was selected to provide passenger service units (PSUs) for the 777X.

SITA
Lanseria International Airport is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines. Using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter. In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units. Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service. Using SITA’s Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, the airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey. The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

US MOBILE
A US wireless carriers going to launch unlimited access in aircraft from 120 countries and with some 20 airlines, so they say. We understand unlimited pricing of $10/ month for inflight Wi-Fi and with global coverage! The founder noted, ”Customers will also enjoy in-flight connectivity on all the major airlines at a more affordable price than what the airlines and other comparative services are offering. This Unlimited Wi-Fi plan is a game-changer when you travel abroad. Instead of paying for international roaming, which can be quite costly, you have a whole network of hotspots ready to be used anywhere in the world.” Stay Tuned!

Aircraft Interiors Expo – Long Beach CA.
In February, Reed Exhibitions and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) announced a long-term strategic co-location agreement for the fall expo event in co-ordination with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). This year’s event will take place from 26-28th September 2017 at the Long Beach Convention Centre, California, and is the only fall event dedicated to the Passenger Experience Industry. The events will welcome more than 300 exhibitors from a wide range of renowned companies exhibiting at AIX Long Beach and APEX, including Acro Aircraft Seating, Avio Interiors, Diehl, Gogo, Inmarsat, Isovalta, Panasonic, Geven, Thales to name just a few. Over 30 unique airlines such as; Etihad Airways, American Airlines, Singapore Airlines, British Airways and many more from across the world are already confirmed to attend with many more expected to register in the run up to the show. Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibitor Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “To have virtually all of the exhibition space already sold is testament to the growing popularity of the fall event dedicated to the passenger services industry. “AIX Long Beach brings together APEX, IFSA and AIX into a powerful partnership and to have generated so much interest already gives us great confidence that it is quickly becoming established as the must-attend event for the passenger experience industry in the fall.” The co-located passenger experience event is the largest in the fall, showcasing the latest innovation, technologies and products in the industry, such as galleys, lighting, cabin management systems, IFEC and passenger services.


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United Kingdom | August 10, 2017– Aircraft cabin lighting specialist, STG Aerospace is increasing its capability to meet future demand for its aircraft photoluminescent floor path marking, emergency and informational signage and LED mood lighting products. This is very much driven by the company’s commitment to R&D at its Innovation & Engineering Centre in Cwmbran – a part of Wales that is fast becoming a dynamic aerospace hub.

Nigel Duncan, CEO of STG Aerospace noted: “Our investment in R&D and Innovation has placed us at the forefront of research into the impact that lighting has on airline passengers, both physiologically and psychologically. It is central to our cabin lighting product development philosophy and key to the success of the company. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in the expertise of our team.”

Newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, Grant Bennett, who has overall responsibility not just for STG Aerospace’s Operations and Engineering functions, but also for the Supply Chain team, commented: “With my 20 years plus management experience and lean manufacturing expertise, I am looking forward to the imminent challenge of ensuring the seamless integration of all our operational functions as the company expands and develops.”

STG Aerospace continues to lead and light the way within the retrofit and upgrade market with its cabin lighting products on a third of the world’s airlines today. New Senior Marketing Manager, Caroline Easton, will be working on advancing the company’s global market position in LED and photoluminescent lighting. A lighting enthusiast at heart, Caroline previously worked in retail commercial LED lighting and is looking forward to applying her experience and expertise to LED cabin lighting: “I am passionate about the positive impacts light can have on people. Enhancing experiences, changing moods, creating theatre to performing essential functions. At STG Aerospace, I’m surrounded by likeminded professionals – and share a passion and desire to innovate with aviation in mind.”

STG Aerospace’s team culture pervades in every department and in the words of Nigel Howell, who recently joined as Head of Engineering, responsible for engineering capability, resource management and the design and development of all liTeMood® mood lighting products: “I joined STG Aerospace to make a difference and improve the capability to rapidly deliver new products to market. Ultimately to contribute to the success of the business.”

Mark Warren, Electronic Design Engineer, who is working as part of the team responsible for developing the LED software commented: “STG Aerospace struck me as a very forward-looking company and I was motivated by the fact it is obviously going places. I was excited by the commitment to develop new LED products. I am really enjoying working on products that airline passengers are actually going to benefit from.”

“The company’s vision and its global presence are the two reasons why I joined the team.” added Roger Tanner, Mechanical Design Engineer, who is primarily working on STG Aerospace’s innovative new LED cabin lighting product ranges.

Grant Bennett concluded: “STG Aerospace now has the right people in place in every department and I would say we have got the right team – an amazing innovative collective group to take the company forward to become a dominant world leader in aircraft cabin lighting solutions.”

This is HOTand unannounced!

We hear that United Technologies Corp has submitted an offer to acquire aircraft component maker Rockwell Collins Inc.. It is IFExpress’ understanding that Rockwell Collins is in the process of reviewing the offer, but we don’t know the outcome of said review. Bloomberg News reported earlier that United Technologies was “weighing” a potential acquisition of Rockwell Collins but said it was unclear whether the two companies were currently in talks. Clearly, this potential acquisition could have a major impact within the industry, but we wondered what is driving this impending marriage? If the deal does go through, the combination would meld together the largest aircraft parts manufacturer with the fourth-largest aircraft parts manufacturer; as well as, being among the largest deals in the industry as RC has a market cap of $19+ billion, while United Technologies has a market cap of $97 billion.  Neither company has commented on the potential of a deal being reached. We do know, in the past, UTC was looking at Honeywell, probably for similar product broadening reasons. Further, an issue could emerge from the likes of leading aircraft OEMs Airbus and Boeing, major customers of both companies. Likely, the attraction is related to their product lines which do not overlap. Industry folks are watching this possible hook-up because if it happens, others will follow. If you have Rockwell stock, you might want to look for increases. Stay Tuned!

Gogo

Gogo, provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2017and here they are:

Second Quarter 2017 Consolidated Financial Results

  • Revenue increased to $172.8 million, up 17% from Q2 2016. Service revenue increased to $154.1 million, up 21% from Q2 2016, on a 9% increase in commercial aircraft online to 3,109, a 17% increase in ATG business aircraft online to 4,453, and increased customer usage across all segments.
  • Net loss increased to $44.2 million, a 10% increase from Q2 2016, and Adjusted EBITDA(1) decreased to $9.9 million, down 31% from Q2 2016. Both net loss and Adjusted EBITDA in Q2 2017 included $14.0 million in increased costs related to the launch of 2Ku service for new and existing airline partners, OEM 2Ku programs, and costs associated with the development of Gogo’s next generation ATG solution.
  • Capital expenditures increased to $74.1 million from $47.6 million in Q2 2016. Cash CapEx(1)increased to $65.6 million from $39.8 million in Q2 2016 due to an increase in success-based airborne equipment purchases in advance of heavy 2Ku installations in the second half of 2017.

“We launched 2Ku service on five new airlines in the quarter and are on plan to meet our targeted increase in installations during the second half of the year,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s President and CEO. “While these installs require up-front investment, they will all produce positive returns in the future.” Further, “Our planned increase in investments in the second quarter lay the foundation for future growth in revenue and profitability,” said Barry Rowan, Gogo’s Executive Vice President and CFO. “We expect Adjusted EBITDA to increase substantially in the second half of 2017 and into 2018, and we are on track to generate positive free cash flow in 2019.”

Airbus

Airbus logged orders for four jetliners from its A330 and A350 XWB widebody families in July, while delivering 47 aircraft from across its current-production single-aisle and widebody product lines during the month. The new business in July involved three A330-200s for International Airlines Group, along with one A350-1000 for an undisclosed customer. Taking these transactions into account, along with conversions and cancellations, Airbus’ overall net orders for the first seven months of 2017 totalled 205 jetliners. July’s deliveries involved 36 A320 Family aircraft (including nine A320neo versions), four A330-300s, six A350-900s and one A380. As part of this activity, Airbus reached the 100th A350 XWB delivery milestone with its handover of an A350-900 version for China Airlines, while the first A350 XWB for Delta Air Lines (also an A350-900) was provided to this U.S.-based carrier.  During July, Russia’s S7 Airlines received its initial A320neo (on lease from BOC Aviation), while Air Côte d’Ivoire received its first A320

With the latest orders and deliveries activity, Airbus’ overall backlog of jetliners to be delivered stood at 6,726 as of July 31, representing approximately nine years of production at current rates.

Boeing

  • Boeing and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will flight-test Long-range Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology next year. This remote-sensing technology could help commercial airplane pilots better detect and avoid weather disturbances to improve flight safety. They have been collaborating on the integration of LIDAR technology into a commercial airplane platform since 2010. The JAXA LIDAR technology offers the potential to accurately measure winds as much as 17.5 kilometers in front of airplanes and provide pilots with sufficient time to take appropriate action to avoid wind shear and clear air turbulence, which does not have any visual cues such as clouds. Since 2012, the ecoDemonstrator program has used a series of flying test-beds to develop and test aviation technologies that enhance safety and environmental performance. The Boeing ecoDemonstrator program plays a key role in the company’s environmental strategy by using flight testing to accelerate new technologies that can reduce emissions and noise, improve airlines’ gate-to-gate efficiency and help meet other environmental goals.
  • Next, Boeing and and BOC Aviation Limited have finalized a deal for 10 737 MAX 10 airplanes. The announcement, first made at the 2017 Paris Air Show, is valued at approximately $1.25 billion at list prices. BOC Aviation joined 15 other companies for the launch of newest version of the 737 MAX family during the Paris Air Show. The Singapore-based lessor has committed to more than 300 Boeing aircraft since its establishment.
  • Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Air Lease Corporation (NYSE: AL) have finalized an order for 12 737 MAXs first announced at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The agreement also includes two new orders for the 787-9 Dreamliner. The deal includes five 737 MAX 7s and seven 737 MAX 8s, bringing ALC’s total MAX orders to 130. The leasing company has now ordered a total of 49 Dreamliners. The 787-9 will provide ALC’s airline customers with long-range performance capabilities and excellent operating economics.

Eclipse

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will darken the skies across the entire United States for about three minutes. The last time this occurred was in 1918! Now the folks at Southwest are offering inflight viewing, we guess? In a press statement, the airline company identified the flights that will have the best track for viewing the solar eclipse. Buy a ticket for a flight and receive special viewing glasses and themed Cosmic Cocktails. While we are not sure about the pricing –  Here are the flights:

  • Southwest 1375 from Seattle-Tacoma to St. Louis
  • Southwest 1368 from Portland to St. Louis
  • Southwest 1577 from Denver to St. Louis
  • Southwest 301 from Denver to Nashville
  • Southwest 1969 from Denver to Atlanta

We understand the Southwest team is making a “event” out of it and plan the best viewing, but if you are curious about seating and visibility, so are we?

Lufthansa Systems

Smooth flight operations are a top priority for airlines. Long delays or cancellations can result in high costs and damage to an airline’s image. Since pilots can not take off without navigation maps, backup solutions are essential to flight operations in case of a system failure. With its new cloud-based Lido/RouteManual Backup solution, Lufthansa Systems is offering a reliable and flexible online service as a digital backup for its electronic navigation maps. Despite the popular trend towards a paperless flight deck, many airlines are still using paper maps as backup copies. But this negates some of the advantages of digital solutions because the paper maps still have to be printed out, picked up and carried onto the aircraft.  Despite the popular trend towards a paperless flight deck, many airlines are still using paper maps as backup copies. But this negates some of the advantages of digital solutions because the paper maps still have to be printed out, picked up and carried onto the aircraft. The online platform includes the same worldwide data as the map solution, and customer-specific information can be integrated as well. The backup system runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud and is therefore independent of the infrastructure that Lufthansa Systems provides for its navigation apps. If there is a fault in the digital map solution or a server, the necessary data can still be accessed in a browser. “With Lido/RouteManual Backup, this administrative effort is a thing of the past. The new web-based solution enables fast, secure access to customized information – from anywhere, on any device,” said Igor Dimnik, Director Strategy and Market Development Lido/Navigation at Lufthansa Systems. “Pilots just need a functioning Internet connection to access the backup copy before a flight. They can view the maps in a browser or download them as PDF files. This forward-looking digital backup solution is Lufthansa Systems’ response to strong demand in the market.”

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  • If you are interested in this: “The long-prophesied threat of airlines bypassing the travel technology giants like Travelport was shot through with a bolt of electricity this summer thanks to American debuting a way for agents to connect directly with it.” Then, you will be interested in reading this.
  • The folks at AIN alerts noted: “SmartSky Networks, which is developing a new air-to-ground airborne connectivity network in the U.S., has delayed launch of its 4G LTE service until mid-2018, according to the company. Its earlier projections were to start service in 2016, but that was subsequently moved to late 2017.” (We also should mention that the Airborne Wireless Network folks have released a summary report on it’s proof of concept on two B767’s tested on May 31, 2017 confirming the mesh network technology. We have heard that they have also filed a patent on a “method of synchronizing laser-links between aircraft.”)
  • If you think Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are not for aviation, think again and from Boeing. Notes Boeing, “Our C360 investment is a powerful example of how HorizonX can access rapid advances in innovation outside aerospace and bring them to our Boeing customers,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president. “Putting additional capital to work and linking C360’s innovators with our Boeing teams allows us to accelerate new solutions, while providing new market access for C360. It’s a win-win — especially for our customers.”
  • Potential aerospace applications of C360’s innovative video technology include more capable autonomous systems and other advanced platforms. Boeing joins a group of investors led by BlueTree Capital making up C360’s $3.5 million oversubscribed series, a fundraising effort that also includes contributions from MI-12 and Pasadena Angels.”
  • You gotta see this!!!
  • Could this be politics???

STILL MORE

Awards validate the history of success on multiple Boeing aircraft platforms

East Aurora, NY | August 8, 2017–Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Astronics PECO, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation fuel tank access doors (FTAD) for the new family of long-range Boeing 777X aircraft. In addition, Astronics PECO received a follow-on award for its FTAD product for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The new 787 and 777X fuel tank access doors will utilize the latest in fuel tank door structural materials and designs for carbon fiber composite wing technologies. The doors will be manufactured by Astronics PECO in Clackamas, Oregon. These awards are in addition to a previous award in which Astronics PECO was selected to provide passenger service units (PSUs) for the 777X.

Read the full release here

Online service using Microsoft Azure cloud as a secure backup system for electronic navigation maps

Raunheim, Germany | August 3, 2017– Smooth flight operations are a top priority for airlines. Long delays or cancellations can result in high costs and damage to an airline’s image. Since pilots can not take off without navigation maps, backup solutions are essential to flight operations in case of a system failure. With its new cloud-based Lido/RouteManual Backup solution, Lufthansa Systems is offering a reliable and flexible online service as a digital backup for its electronic navigation maps.

Despite the popular trend towards a paperless flight deck, many airlines are still using paper maps as backup copies. But this negates some of the advantages of digital solutions because the paper maps still have to be printed out, picked up and carried onto the aircraft. “With Lido/RouteManual Backup, this administrative effort is a thing of the past. The new web-based solution enables fast, secure access to customized information – from anywhere, on any device,” said Igor Dimnik, Director Strategy and Market Development Lido/Navigation at Lufthansa Systems. “Pilots just need a functioning Internet connection to access the backup copy before a flight. They can view the maps in a browser or download them as PDF files. This forward-looking digital backup solution is Lufthansa Systems’ response to strong demand in the market.”

With digital solutions, there is always a certain risk of system failure. This is not due solely to the growing danger of cyberattacks. A minor software error, an operating system update that doesn’t support certain functions, a server outage or simply a malfunctioning device – there are many potential reasons for a temporary inability to access digital maps. For all of these cases, Lido/RouteManual Backup provides a reliable backup copy so that the aircraft can take off anyway.

Lido/eRouteManual complies with the rules of international aviation authorities. The online platform includes the same worldwide data as the map solution, and customer-specific information can be integrated as well. The backup system runs on Microsoft’s Azure cloud and is therefore independent of the infrastructure that Lufthansa Systems provides for its navigation apps. If there is a fault in the digital map solution or a server, the necessary data can still be accessed in a browser.

Airlines can choose between two different models of the Lido/RouteManual Backup solution. In single-user mode, there is one responsible administrator at the airline who has access to the online platform and can retrieve the required information if necessary and send it to the pilot. Alternatively, temporary access can be granted using a link and password. If an airline opts for multi-user mode, each pilot will have individual access to the solution. This gives the pilots control over their own updates and data, and they can access the platform quickly and directly if need be. In both cases, users can easily select the relevant destinations, view the maps in a browser or download them as interactive PDFs, store the data and even print it out if necessary.

East Aurora, NY | August 2, 2017– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, today reported financial results for the three and six months ended July 1, 2017. Earnings per share for prior periods are adjusted for the 3 for 20 (15%) distribution of Class B Stock for shareholders of record on October 11, 2016. Results include the acquisition of Custom Control Concepts (“CCC”) on April 3, 2017.

See full release and related tables

IFExpress has a lot of news to cover this week, so let’s get underway!

Thales

On July 7, 2017, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted Thales a blanket license authorization for operation of its airborne terminals communicating with geostationary satellites; EchoStar XVII, EchoStar XIX, AMC-15 and AMC-16.

In only three months – from initial application to approval – the FCC granted Thales this license to use its terminals on all U.S. and non-U.S. registered aircraft anywhere in the network’s coverage footprint for all four satellites in operation. This 15-year license is a significant milestone for the launch of Thales’ FlytLIVE™ network.

And, it allows Thales to begin extensive network testing this year as initially projected, leading to commercial service availability in late 2017. In addition to other notable achievements, Thales is paving the way to conclude registrations with other regulatory administrations throughout the Americas region.

“This is a necessary step to launch service this year on our new FlytLIVE Ka-band network for the Americas,” according to Dominique Giannoni, the CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “This terminal will operate with all four satellites we have deployed in our network. The satellites, terminal, and network technologies are all converging to meet our program objectives.”

This is the latest development to the announcements made by Thales and SES earlier this year for a set of strategic agreements with Hughes to enhance the delivery of FlytLIVE which will provide increased capacity, coverage and redundancy over the Americas. In 2016, Thales announced its initial two agreements with SES. With these agreements, Thales will offer airlines the most efficient inflight connectivity experience and will add to its network the new SES-17 satellite – uniquely designed for Aeronautical Connectivity – to be launched in 2020.

Gogo

The connectivity provider  announced recently that its next generation modem has been introduced into commercial airline service. The proprietary features of the new modem will significantly increase throughput from the satellite to end users on the aircraft. The modem is capable of delivering more than 16x the throughput of Gogo’s existing modem, which offers plenty of room to support the increased capacity of next generation high-throughput satellites as they come online. The new modem includes dual channels to simultaneously support internet traffic and broadcast IPTV. It also features faster and more sophisticated processing that enables much shorter hand-offs from one satellite to the next“We are always looking at new innovations in each component of our connectivity solutions,” said Anand Chari, chief technology officer“This new modem greatly improves the performance of our industry leading 2Ku solution, as well as our Ku solution, and is forward compatible with new HTS satellite constellations. This modem helps us future proof our in-flight connectivity solutions.” The new modem will be retrofitted on more than 450 aircraft on which Gogo’s 2Ku or Ku systems are installed through an easy plug and play installation process. In addition, the 2Ku system installed on Gogo’s backlog of more than 1400 aircraft will include the new modem.

Panasonic

The company was selected by Air China to supply eX3 IFEC system for 10 A350s. Air China, the flag carrierand one of the major airlines of the People’s Republic of China, has selected inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions from Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) for its fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft. Under the terms of the agreement, Panasonic will provide its industry-leading eX3 inflight entertainment for 10 Air China A350 aircraft. The first of these aircraft will be delivered in December 2017. By selecting eX3, Air China will offer a unique passenger experience that includes audio and video on demand, a content library that can offer up to 300 movies, 200 TV shows, games, music, a moving map, and much more.

These A350 aircraft will also offer global connectivity services, which will allow Air China passengers to keep in touch with friends, families, co-workers and current events everywhere these aircraft fly. Panasonic operates connectivity service in 210 countries, including China.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We are honored to partner with Air China on its A350 program. Because the airline’s route structure includes very long flights to all seven continents, it needed an IFEC solution that would help keep passengers entertained and offer new opportunities for it to generate revenue.

“With eX3, Air China will offer its passengers a memorable experience that lets them watch movies and television, listen to music or connect to their favorite social media applications like WeChat. The reliability, performance and flexibility of eX3 and our connectivity service makes it an ideal choice for these aircraft.”

Inmarsat

Inmarsat, provider of global mobile satellite communications, unveils the results of its third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey. The survey, which reflects the views of 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across the globe, reveals:

·  60% of passengers believe inflight connectivity is a necessity not a luxury

·  61% of passengers who have experienced good inflight Wi-Fi consider it more important than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline

·  44% of passengers would stop using their preferred airline in the next year if it offered poor quality inflight connectivity

·  61% agree that inflight Wi-Fi takes anxiety out of flying because they can stay in contact with people on the ground

· 66% of parents traveling with children said IFC is a “life saver”

Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionizing passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience. That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company GfK.

Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60% of all passengers say that inflight Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. The majority (61%) of global passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline. With airlines in every market racing to install or upgrade their Wi-Fi offering, passengers will have a choice to opt for an airline that offers high-quality broadband, and will soon turn their back on airlines not offering this. Nearly half of respondents (44%) said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it did not offer connectivity enabling them to stream or browse online without interruption. The ability to connect to personal devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets now sits within the top three considerations when choosing an airline, behind ticket price (53%) and flight slots (44%) for 40% of passengers who have experienced high-quality Wi-Fi. What’s more, the ability to remain online and work during a flight is greatly improving passenger experience, according to more than half (56%) of business travellers who have previously used inflight Wi-Fi.

The survey reflects the responses of 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America, and is the largest global passenger survey of its kind.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.”

He continued: “The annual Inflight Connectivity Survey has become a barometer for passenger sentiment. This year’s survey reveals that 60% of passengers believe that inflight Wi-Fi is a necessity and no longer a luxury. This will only increase as more people experience inflight connectivity. It is clear the opportunity that connectivity presents to airlines cannot be underestimated.”

Global survey highlights

·    Two thirds (66%) of parents travelling with children said inflight Wi-Fi is a “life saver” when helping to keep children occupied during flights

·   Of passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi: 61% say it is more important to them than onboard entertainment 45% would rather pay for Wi-Fi than use free onboard entertainment

·    56% of passengers say a lack of reliable inflight Wi-Fi is a major cause of frustration with plane journeys

·    61% agree that inflight Wi-Fi takes the anxiety out of flying because they can stay in contact with people on the ground

·    77% of passengers would pay for inflight connectivity on short haul leisure flights, an increase from 64% in 2016. Those happiest to pay are passengers aged 25-34, parents traveling with children and passengers traveling in Asia Pacific and the United States

·    89% of passengers are willing to pay for inflight connectivity on long haul leisure flights

·    Passengers have the highest expectations of connectivity in the Asia Pacific region, where 91% of passengers are willing to pay for Wi-Fi on a long haul flight

·    52% of passengers would take advantage of the ability to purchase items during a flight and collect them upon arrival at the airport, providing huge opportunities for inflight e-commerce

AIRBUS

Airbus has delivered its 100th A350 XWB, just some 30 months after the first delivery of the world’s most modern widebody aircraft in December 2014. The 100th aircraft delivered is an A350-900 for China Airlines.

“The 100th A350 XWB milestone comes as we reach our fastest widebody production ramp-up, on track to meet the target of 10 A350 deliveries per month by the end of 2018,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft. “We are especially proud to deliver today’s aircraft to our long-standing customer China Airlines. The A350 is setting new standards for long haul air travel in terms of efficiency and comfort, thus being the perfect aircraft for China Airlines to expand its long-haul network.” To date the A350 has been delivered to 14 airlines worldwide and is flying with an outstanding operational reliability rate of 99%*. “This is a remarkable statistic at this early stage of the programme,” Fabrice Bregier adds.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. As the founding member of “Airspace by Airbus” cabin brand, the A350 XWB cabin provides passengers and crews the best in comfort, well-being and technology.

The A350-1000 is the new member of the A350 XWB family and benefits from its high level of commonality with the A350-900. Scheduled for Type Certification and first Customer delivery in the fourth quarter of 2017, the A350-1000 is currently performing an intensive and successful flight test campaign.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 847 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.


MORE

  • Latitude Aero is pleased to announce Neil Robinson as the new Director of Global Sales. “With over 20 years of aviation experience, Robinson possesses impressive leadership skills and a deep understanding of customer centric sales,” said Kelvin Boyette, Latitude Aero’s CEO. “He is highly experienced at business development, innovation, marketing, and consultative based selling across multiple verticals with a specific focus on commercial aviation,” Boyette added. “The bottom line is I am excited about him joining.  He brings a vast amount of experience in international sales, and will lead our global sales efforts and will be tasked with the development of our network of globally based sales professionals,” concluded Boyette.
  • Luo Gang has been appointed CEO of Airbus’ new innovation centre to be set up in China. A location will be announced at a later date. With a degree in electrical engineering from Tianjin University and an MBA from the London Business School, Gang spent nearly three years establishing Uber China’s business before it was acquired by Didi Chuxing in 2016. His experience in London with UK start-up Rangespan taught him how quickly technology can transform traditional businesses.
  • One reader wrote us: Maybe an article about SMPTE might be of interest to your readers among whom I conclude are Content Providers or IFE Video providers, etc. Does this subject have an interest for you? If so, you may want to register for the 2017 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Hollywood, CA October 23-26, 2017. Register here!
  • John Courtright noted possible future seating issues:  The key here will be to watch the industry responses, from airlines, seat supplier, and flyer’s rights’ groups, during the “Comment Period.  Comment Periods are supposed to open for view and I suspect that comments should start within 30 days of the deadline the judge set! This will be interesting” .  Judge Orders Review Of Airline Seat Sizes, Legroom « WCCO | CBS Minnesota  also Passenger rights group wins court victory in fight to keep airline seats from shrinking – LA Times
  • It looks like Boeing has a new organization that will produce avionics and other electronics. As we understand, the company is planning in the next decade to compete with the likes of Rockwell Collins and others. The goal is drive down costs and provide avionics in the vertical manufacturing process. Stay Tuned!

Austrian Airlines is the second passenger airline of the Lufthansa Group to launch new interactive entertainment platform. 

London, Vienna | August 1, 2017– Austrian Airlines will be the latest international carrier to launch Profile, Spafax’s entertainment personalization platform. Using proprietary software developed by Spafax, Austrian Airlines’ passengers can access http://austrian-inflightentertainment.com to learn what entertainment will be available on their trip, as well as more in-depth information about each program all via a highly interactive web experience.

The new site features a full listing of all movies, television programs, music and games onboard. Profile’s responsive design allows visitors to navigate the site from any device, and its ease of navigation mirrors or exceeds what you would find on leading entertainment portals.

“In 2017, we committed to rolling out in-flight connectivity on our short- and medium-haul flights. As part of our digital transformation strategy, we are very pleased to partner with Spafax to take the way we present our entertainment program to our customers to the next level” noted Thomas Laxar, Director, In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity, Content & Portal Austrian Airlines.

Spafax CEO, Niall McBain added, “We are always trying to help our clients use both content and technology to improve their customer experience. We are excited to be able to provide Profile to Austrian Airlines as a natural extension of their digital entertainment program.”

Lake Forest, CA | July 26, 2017–  Air China, the flag carrier and one of the major airlines of the People’s Republic of China, has selected inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions from Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) for its fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft.

Under the terms of the agreement, Panasonic will provide its industry-leading eX3 inflight entertainment for 10 Air China A350 aircraft. The first of these aircraft will be delivered in December 2017.

By selecting eX3, Air China will offer a unique passenger experience that includes audio and video on demand, a content library that can offer up to 300 movies, 200 TV shows, games, music, a moving map, and much more.

These A350 aircraft will also offer global connectivity services, which will allow Air China passengers to keep in touch with friends, families, co-workers and current events everywhere these aircraft fly. Panasonic operates connectivity service in 210 countries, including China.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We are honored to partner with Air China on its A350 program. Because the airline’s route structure includes very long flights to all seven continents, it needed an IFEC solution that would help keep passengers entertained and offer new opportunities for it to generate revenue.”

“With eX3, Air China will offer its passengers a memorable experience that lets them watch movies and television, listen to music or connect to their favorite social media applications like WeChat. The reliability, performance and flexibility of eX3 and our connectivity service makes it an ideal choice for these aircraft.”