SkyLights

At APEX in Boston, SkyLights announced their partnership with STELIA Aerospace for their premium inseat cinematic VR IFE solution. STELIA is one of the leaders in the field of Business and First class passenger seats The new product combines SkyLights’ Allosky headset, STELIA’s new Opal business class seat and InSeat Solutions’ interactive massage system. The combination of these products provides an unparalleled 4D experience and simplifies the logistics of SkyLights’ entertainment. We tried the Allosky headset and were blown away by the Full HD virtual experience. The audio system is linked into the seat so the massage system, which is equipped with an audio vibration mode, delivers content-synchronized vibrations for a truly immersive interactive experience. As well as upgrading the passenger experience, the inseat solution reduces the logistical complexity and cost of VR IFE for airlines. The devices do not need to be loaded/off-loaded when an aircraft is at its base and can be cleaned onboard by the same crew that cleans the aircraft. SkyLights stated that the new in-seat solution is planned as a line-fit product for airlines that are seeking to upgrade and differentiate their upper-class passenger experience. Airlines looking to implement the benefits in a shorter term, the SkyLights entertainment can be integrated into existing seats certified on a fleet-by-fleet basis.

Alaska Airlines will be the first airline in North America to implement the Allosky VR headset. The inflight experience has 2-D and 3-D screens and forward-facing 360-degree films will be available in the airlines’ first-class service on the Seattle-Boston and Boston-San Diego routes.

FTS

FTS had several significant announcements that were unveiled in Boston. First, FTS and Global Onboard Partners announced their agreement to collaborate to promote, design, and offer a seamless inflight entertainment and ancillary revenue service for airlines around the globe. FTS is a provider of wireless IFEC solutions and Global Onboard Partners is a provider of inflight advertising products. The two will combine their patented onboard technologies, hardware and products in an effort to provide airlines with a comprehensive revenue generating IFE solution.

Additionally, FTS announced their partnership with Qingdao Airlines of China, a private company, to equip its fleet of 14 A320 aircraft with XStream-SAT Broadband Connectivity system. This arrangement is achievable with the Civil Aviation Authority of China’s relaxation of regulations in early 2018, allowing passengers to use smartphones during flight.

Another landmark agreement announced during APEX was Donghai Airlines plan to equip its fleet with XStream-Sat Next Generation Inflight Broadband system from FTS. The significance of this deal is that it will be for the first fully ‘Connected Aircraft’ implementation in China to integrate both flight deck and passenger cabin application over inflight broadband connectivity service. Rich Salter, Chief Technology Officer of FTS added, “The seamless integration of the aircraft data network with the airline’s IT infrastructure enables the aircraft to become more intelligent and data-centric. Airlines can provide precise support to flights through analysis of real time data transmitted via the air-ground broadband network.  By remote monitoring of flight systems’ performance and leveraging AI deep learning, airlines can even preemptively predict defects, recommend preventive measures and thereby greatly improve flight reliability.”

Viasat

One of the primary topics of discussion from Viasat during APEX was the selection of Aeromexico of the ViaSat Ka-band satcom solution for 18 of their B787 MAX, 16 B737 MAX aircraft are new. The first line-fit installations have already begun and there are options to extend the agreement to 60 other jetliners in the Aeromexico fleet. According to ViaSat the airline evaluated the Viasat inflight internet service and selected them based on its proven, scalable network platform. Furthermore, the ability for them to tap into the ViaSat-2 satellite and future satellites, like Viasat-3, provides the airline with greater inflight Wi-Fi reliability, faster onboard internet speeds, better internet performance, and a futureproofed approach to inflight Wi-Fi. As the Viasat technology is both forward and backward compatible across all of Viasat’s spacecraft, ensuring that the Aeromexico’s jetliners can stay connected.

La Compagnie Business-Class Airline partnered with Viasat to offer inflight connectivity to the boutique airline’s twice daily flights between New York and Paris. The airline’s A321neo aircraft will be installed with high-speed Wi-Fi Capabilities and will enter into revenue service in April 2019. The satellite design and its ability to meet the connectivity demands in high-density areas like major airport hubs and congested air corridors appealed to the boutique carrier.

SITAONAIR

SITAONAIR forged an agreement with Etisalat, a mobile network operator, to transform how inflight cellular services are offered to airline passengers. Etisalat is based in the United Arab Emirates and allows subscribers of their business roaming packs to use their data and minutes inflight as part of their bundle with no additional fee. This new roaming agreement provides their travelers with a seamless mobile connectivity experience whether they be on the ground or in the air.

New Caledonia-based airline, Aircalin, also chose SITAONAIR for their in-flight connectivity solution. The airline will install their A330-900s and A320neos over the next 3 years.


IFEC NEWS:

Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has appointed Donny Cheah, as Regional Vice President, China. This strategic hire will bolster Panasonic’s presence in China which is the fastest-growing region in the world for air travel. To date, Panasonic has sold more than 2,000 inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions to airlines based in this region. Donny will also serve as the president of Panasonic Avionics (China) Co., Ltd. (PACN) which will be newly established in Shanghai, China this year. In his business management role, Donny will oversee account management, customer support, repairs & maintenance, media & creative services, along with the service functions of quality, human resources, IT, and customs compliance in the China region.

Astronics

Astronics announced that it has joined the Seamless Air Alliance as an “Adopter Member. ” The Seamless Air Alliance is a consortium of companies dedicated to the development and promotion of aircraft connectivity standards to facilitate a simple, delightful experience for passengers. The goal of the organization is to create standards that ensure continuous connectivity from gate-to-gate anywhere in the world with the additional potential benefit of reducing the hurdles associated with the acquisition, installation and operation of inflight connectivity systems.

Astronics FliteStream: The company also announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics AeroSat, is introducing its next generation FliteStream T-310 SATCOM connectivity solution for business aircraft. Astronics is offering the FliteStream T-310 solution to the business aircraft market in partnership with Satcom Direct (SD), the launch customer, as part of its SD Xperience end-to-end solution. The T-310 is fully qualified and approved to operate on the Intelsat FlexExec business aviation network. The FliteStream T-310 SATCOM connectivity solution includes the next generation iDirect CX780 modem, providing compatibility with both Ku-band wide beam and high throughput spot beam satellite (HTS) networks.

Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation has surpassed 5,000 systems activated across the AVANCE platform and its other ATG (air-to-ground) systems. Presently, Gogo has nearly 450 Gogo AVANCE systems flying on business aircraft, including AVANCE L5 and L3, which is the fastest adoption of connectivity systems across the broadest range of business aircraft models in the history of business aviation. AVANCE L5, Gogo’s solution that can provide bandwidth-intensive activity such as streaming video, has been in the market for a little more than a year. To date, Gogo has more than 350 L5 systems installed and activated, with an additional 300 that have been shipped. AVANCE L3, which began shipping earlier this year, continues to gain momentum and is expected to reach 100 installations by mid-November, less than one year after launch. Since the start of the year, the AVANCE L5 system has been in use on more than 28,000 flights, delivering a 4G experience that allows heavy-bandwidth activities such as streaming video, video conferencing, email with large attachments, and fast web browsing.

Gogo DASH

Connectivity is often the biggest influencer on passenger satisfaction today. Passengers on business aircraft expect reliable, seamless connectivity, but they also want visibility into the performance of the connectivity systems on board their aircraft. To help provide greater insight and better diagnostic tools, Gogo Business Aviation is introducing Gogo DASH, a powerful new toolkit that gives operators and pilots visibility into the Gogo network and the connectivity systems they have installed on their aircraft.  Gogo DASH is comprised of the DASH mobile app and DASH portal and provides information for a single aircraft or an entire fleet.

SITA

Moscow Domodedovo Airport and S7 Airlines have implemented SITA’s Scan&Fly self-bag drop technology, providing passengers with a faster, more efficient process to check-in their own bags. The process takes less than a minute. The technology was developed by SITA, the world leader in IT and telecommunications solutions for the air transport industry. The self-bag drop solution was tested on S7 check-in counters since early September and positive feedback was received from more than 1,000 passengers that used the service. By the end of the year, 24 check-in counters at Domodedovo will be equipped with the self-bag drop technology, allowing other airlines to use the service. Scan&Fly will accelerate and simplify the check-in process for passengers. Equipped with a document scanner and a hand-held infrared barcode reader, it takes only three simple steps for passengers to check-in a bag. First, the boarding pass barcode (printed or digital) is scanned, a bag tag is printed and then the passenger attaches the tag to their bag before depositing it for processing.

ATPCO and SITA announced that British Airways, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the airlines of the LATAM Group, and Finnair will participate in NDC Exchange, a platform that enables content interoperability across the airline distribution ecosystem and is a trusted bridge between IATA’s NDC (New Distribution Capability) and traditional distribution methods. “By connecting to NDC Exchange we have access to these first movers, as well as other airlines as they join. By building a single connection to NDC Exchange, we are being more efficient with our development resources, letting us focus on customer experience rather than content acquisition. We’re excited about the momentum this is getting and can’t wait for the next airline,” said Rich Miller of Serko, an industry-leading corporate booking tool. NDC Exchange is a community platform that enables API connectivity between airlines and sellers (GDSs, travel agents, aggregators, OTAs, and TMCs) so that they can exchange messages easily and cost effectively. NDC Exchange supports shopping, booking, and servicing workflows and enables the cross-selling of ancillary services between airlines, and among airlines and sellers. Using a common data model, it normalizes messages regardless of version or format, creating interoperability across the distribution ecosystem. Travel sellers can access multiple airlines via NDC Exchange, hence lowering the cost of their implementation.

As world leaders gather in Bali for the IMF-World Bank Group meetings, PT Angkasa Pura I Persero (AP1), which operates 13 airports across Central and Eastern Indonesia, announced that it will be leveraging world-class technology, from air transport IT provider SITA, to manage the country’s rising passenger numbers. The commitment to leverage world-class technology was reiterated through a partnership signing event, between SITA and PT Angkasa Pura Supports (APS), AP1’s subsidiary company, held at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport today. Indonesia is the biggest aviation market in South East Asia with more than 110 million passengers in 2017 and it is growing rapidly. By 2036, Indonesia is expected to be one of the top four markets globally with a forecasted 355 million passengers. The economic and social benefits of aviation are well recognized and SITA’s proven airport technology will support AP1’s vision to run world-class operations providing a great passenger experience during this period of rapid growth. Since 2014, SITA has provided AirportConnect Open to AP1. This common-use platform enables carriers to operate smoothly at AP1’s 13 airports, including at two of Indonesia’s busiest and award-winning airports Denpasar (Bali) and Surabaya. This platform also enables the future introduction of SITA’s self-service check-in kiosks, bag-drop and boarding gates; and SITA ControlBridge, which seamlessly integrates the command and control capability of an airport to deliver efficient operations.


OTHER NEWS

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

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

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

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


LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image: New BoradConnect Portable Case


LATECOERE

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

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

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


GORE

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

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


FLAME DISTRIBUTION

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

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


AIRFREE

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


AIRBUS

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

BOEING

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

Ted Neck’s Passing

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


Other News

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

IFPL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SITA

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

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

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

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


SITAONAIR

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


AIRBUS

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

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


OTHER NEWS

Perhaps, one of the more interesting presentation at last week’s APEX TC Meeting in Los Angeles was the VT Miltope/RazorSecure discussion on IFEC Security. Why? Because airplane connectivity hacking is an issue we all are concerned about, especially if you travel. But more importantly, hacking an airplane is a very big deal! When we heard about the RazorSecure pitch, we contacted Jeff Drader, Director of Business Development at VT Miltope about the presentation, and after seeing it, we had a few questions for Jeff.

Everyone we talk to about aviation security is happy to address airport security, but issues pertaining to hackers in the plane (or on the ground affecting a plane) highlight the importance of the technical problems involved, the issues that can be discussed (security) and the eventual connectivity implications and solutions required.

Firstly, we asked Jeff about the TC itself and he noted: “The APEX Tech forum was this past week, and was good as usual. I’d say it has become more professional – with a broader scope. Not too long ago, the WAEA/APEX Tech committee was focused on the techie aspects of IFE, such as developing audio and video specifications related to the IFE industry. Now, it strikes a broader note, including how to provide/promote advertising to passengers …” When we asked about the technical focus of the VT Miltope/RazorSecure presentation, he told IFExpress: “RazorSecure is focused on embedded cybersecurity in the area of transportation, with initial deployments on trains. RazorSecure has been successfully detecting and diffusing on-board attacks and breaches as well as system installation issues.” He went on: “By year end, RazorSecure and VT Miltope plan to offer RazorSecure cybersecurity intrusion detection software as a part of VT Miltope’s nMAP2 airborne wireless access point.  In addition, VT Miltope’s next generation MAP3, with 802.11ac WAVE 2, will also incorporate RazorSecure cybersecurity software.  Since passengers now connect through these wireless access points to the cabin systems, this will be the first line of defense. The RazorSecure intrusion software, in conjunction with enhanced Cognitive Hotspot™ Technology software, provide formidable cybersecurity protection at a potentially vulnerable gateway to the cabin network. As Alex Cowan described this past week at the APEX Tech forum in Los Angeles, passive cyber detection, such as virus filters and firewalls, are no longer sufficient.  Active cybersecurity intrusion detection is necessary to keep ahead of quickly adapting attacks.  RazorSecure’s approach includes the detection of malicious software such as:

  • DOS Attack
  • Physical Attacks
  • Remote Shell Access
  • Critical Configuration Changes
  • Authentication and Misconfiguration
  • And, many more …”

We think you get the picture but, no doubt, IFEC security will get much bigger in the coming years and we cant wait to see who and when drives WPA3 to the aviation front. We also note, Alex Cowan mentions in his presentation that this year has seen increasing attacks against network equipment and you can bet that this is just the beginning!  Here are the RazorSecure presentation charts


Panasonic/AeroMobile

AeroMobile, a Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, and leading UAE telecommunications operator Etisalat have partnered to simplify and reduce the cost of mobile phone use inflightinflight. AeroMobile’s inflight mobile phone service is now available in Etisalat’s mainstream roaming packages, allowing their subscribers to stay online, make and receive calls, listen to voicemail on AeroMobile equipped aircraft at no extra cost. AeroMobile inflight mobile services are available on more than 20 airlines worldwide including Emirates and Etihad in the UAE. Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile, says: “Etisalat is renowned for being at the leading edge of the customer experience and this new market-leading offer shows their continued commitment to providing the very best service to their subscribers, whilst also endorsing the importance and relevance of in-flight mobile services to the traveling public.”


Airbus

Greece’s biggest airline, AEGEAN Airlines, has firmed up an order for the purchase of 30 A320neo Family aircraft at a ceremony in Athens, witnessed by Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras.  The purchase agreement, comprising 10 A321neos and 20 A320neos, was signed by AEGEAN Chairman Eftichios Vassilakis and Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. It follows an earlier Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2018. Currently, AEGEAN operates a fleet of 49 Airbus aircraft (37 A320s, 11 A321s and 1 A319).

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. With nearly 6,100 orders received from 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family and seats between 185 and 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, the A321neo can fly up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometres) non-stop – further than any other single-aisle airliner.


Boeing

Bamboo Airways

Boeing and Bamboo Airways announced a commitment for 20 787-9 Dreamliners in deal that would be worth $5.6B at current list prices, when finalized. The announcement was made during a signing ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce office, witnessed by Voung Dinh Hue, deputy prime minister of Vietnam, and Nazak Nikakhtar, Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

As part of the agreement, Bamboo Airways completed the deposit requirement in mid-June to reserve the 20 airplanes, which are tentatively schedule to deliver from April 2020 through 2021.

“We are excited to introduce these new 787 Dreamliners into our fleet as we prepare to launch long-haul operations to international markets,” said Mr Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group, 100% owner of Bamboo Airways. “Our long-term vision is to connect Vietnam to key markets within Asia, Europe and North America and the capabilities of these new state-of-the-art Dreamliners will help us achieve our goals. The 787’s superior economics and efficiency, as well as the passenger pleasing interior of the Dreamliner will allow us to successfully grow our business while enabling us to better serve our customers.”

Bamboo Airways is a startup airline that plans to begin commercial operations in 2019 out of the capital city of Hanoi. The carrier plans to offer flights within Vietnam before expanding into other Northeast Asian markets such as China, Korea and Japan. “We are delighted to welcome Bamboo Airways to the Boeing family and we look forward to Bamboo joining the growing group of global airlines that fly the 787 Dreamliner,” said Mr Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are confident that the 787 will help launch Bamboo’s long-haul operations and serve as the foundation of their success for many years to come.”

The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new, super-efficient family of commercial airplanes. Since 2011, more than 690 Dreamliners have been delivered to operators, flying over 255 million people on more than 680 unique routes around the world, saving an estimated 25 billion pounds of fuel.

At 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 extends the family in capacity and range, flying more passengers and more cargo farther. The airplane can fly 290 passengers, in a typical two-class configuration, up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km).

Bamboo Airways is wholly-owned by the FLC Group, a Vietnamese multi-industry company, focusing on aviation, real estate, resorts, farming, and golf.

Boeing & FedEx

In another story, BOEING and FedEx Express announced a new order for 12 767 Freighters and 12 777 Freighters as the world’s largest air cargo carrier continues to invest in the industry’s most capable freighters to better serve its customers. The new airplanes, valued at $6.6 billion at list prices, will appear on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries webpage once contingencies have been met.This order comes as the air cargo industry continues to gather strength. A year after demand grew by nearly 10 percent, global air freight is on track to increase by another four to five percent in 2018.

Air cargo carriers are adding capacity to keep up with demand, either by converting passenger airplanes into freighters or ordering new production cargo jets. With the latest order from FedEx Express, Boeing has sold more than 50 widebody freighters so far in 2018. FedEx Express and Boeing have a long-standing partnership. The express carrier is a major operator of the Boeing 757 Freighter and the largest operator of the 767 Freighter and 777 Freighter. FedEx is also a customer of Boeing’s Global Services business.

The 767 Freighter, based on the 767-300ER (extended range) passenger jet, can carry approximately 58 tons (52.7 tonnes) of revenue cargo with intercontinental range, making it a flexible platform for serving long-haul, regional or feeder markets.

The 777 Freighter is the world’s longest range twin-engine freighter. The jet can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). With the 777 Freighter, FedEx has been able to connect Asia with its hub in Memphis, Tenn. non-stop and reduce transit times by up to three hours. This has enabled FedEx to accept packages later in the day and still deliver them on time. The 777 Freighter also uses 18 percent less fuel compared to the airplanes it replaces, and provides quieter takeoffs and landings that meet airport noise standards.

And yes, here is their hypersonic passenger design concept –

Boeing Unveils Hypersonic Airliner Concept | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week


Other News

  • Need a quick trip to the airport – cheap too? How to Find Cheap Transportation to and From Major Airports
  • Predictive Maintenance is coming of age – and EasyJet Airlines is one of the first users of some 50 predictive algorithms used on their A319’s. The following link is the Avionics story on the Rockwell Collins/Airbus/Plantir Tech solution:EasyJet Talks Evolving Predictive Maintenance Operations at AEE – Avionics
  • Tim Clark, Emirates CEO desires airplanes for passengers without cabin windows. He argues that such a plane would be 50% lighter – and we assume he doesn’t mean that there will be half of the passengers choosing the viewless travel. After all, at night or when the crew closes the shades, it is quite a similar experience!
  • Remember the actor – Michael Rapaport? He is now a hero! Michael Rapaport Stopped A Man Opening An Emergency Exit On A Plane
  • Bob Bogash sent this note about aviation pioneer Kelly Johnson: “As many of you know, Kelly is a personal hero, and I have written a lot about him.  I have also given quite a few talks about his life as an aircraft designer and project manager.  I’ve bragged I could probably teach a semester course on his life, and actually, it’s not much of an exaggeration. This is the 75th Anniversary of his founding of the Skunk Works, and there’s been quite a bit of press – some of it chest-pounding on the part of Lockheed.  Well, that’s understandable, I reckon, even though they were pretty glad to see him retired, at the time.” Check out these links on the subject: 1) http://www.rbogash.com/U-2/U-2.html 2) http://www.rbogash.com/kellyairplanes.html

APEX 2017 is over, and as usual, there was a lot to see and talk about. This first post-show issue of IFExpress is not the place to cover all we saw, so over the next few weeks we will get into the details. However, this week we will give our readers a Summary, talk a bit about a few of the Big Deals we saw, give our readers some Trend/Forecast data based on the show, and provide a People Update on some of the “interesting” folks we saw cruising the aisles or working in different booths. Lastly, please understand this summary may not include “your” booth as we have limited space, but never fear, if your story has depth, we will cover it – at least for those booths we had time to visit.

First, we need to be sure we are in a business that will support the forthcoming technology – and we are certain we are. With well over 26,000 commercial aircraft in service today served by over 1,400 airlines, this industry will be around for a while. Further, with passenger traffic predictions indicating that volumes will double in the next fifteen years, growth is assuredly on the horizon. But here is the catch – what passengers want/need in the way of IFEC is changing and vendors (and airlines) need to be aware of these changes if the businesses are to succeed. In fact, we think you might want to be thinking in terms of C+IFE instead of IFEC.

Also, let us say that the IFEC world is changing, and in many cases, it is because many of the people influencing and using it, have changed, at least their technology has changed. Also, readers should note that because many companies and products are evolving, the communication of changes will occur later than this show. In other words, never fear, more will come in the future, and if what we saw is an indication, there will be a lot to write about then. Also, please note, industry competition success will be determined by passenger approval in most cases, and based on it, don’t bet on the obvious – keep an open mind till you try it out. A perfect example for us was Uber. When we got more information about the driver, their car and their present location – all with better service and lower cost, we changed from taxi’s!

IFEC is the area of driving change we mentioned earlier and the ability to use one’s own devices are a plus in many cases. Inflight Wi-Fi is the technology changing the experience, but you knew that. The ability of an airline (or content service provider) to “use” a preloaded app is a good idea for a couple reasons – it provides a link to the passengers’ phone or tablet and it allows more “involvement” with the user and their devices. Airlines like this solution as well as others and many have an app that allows inflight content personalization, in the air and on the ground. After all, a companion app is an airline sales pitch in the long run – and if you don’t see the value in this solution, perhaps you should try maintenance!?

Having said all that, here are some of the product capabilities we saw and feel will be a “big deal” downstream, and since this issue of IFExpress is a quick summary, we wanted to be sure that you have a good list to follow-up on. So here it goes!

Some Big Deals

FlightPath 3D – When IFExpress sat down with the FlightPath 3D team during last week’s APEX, we were blown away! The company is trying to evolve the inflight experience to be more ‘passenger centric’. The journey should not be just about when the passenger arrives at their destination but a more immersive experience. FlightPath 3D is achieving this target through brilliantly crafted 3D content with full street maps with places to visit and things to do as well as gameification. The company has a 3-pillar model: 1) explore the passenger destination & plan your travel 2) provide an immersive experience and pre-experience the destination 3) drive ancillary revenue for the airline. As we mentioned, IFExpress was really impressed with the quality of the maps, the ease of use, and the scope of FlightPath 3D’s vision. Expect more on this product in a future issue of IFExpress.


Netflix– One of the exciting “show stoppers” was presented by Netflix who propose free or low price inflight movie watching. In 2018, Netflix plans on deploying new, more efficient mobile encodes for use in flight. By providing the airplane available IP ranges, an airline will be able to provide video streaming inflight – content for users! The new solution on board will provide up to 75% bandwidth savings. Video streaming will be the answer for airlines that work with Netflix. For passengers with an existing Netflix account, the Netflix content will be free. If you are not a Netflix customer, you will be able to sign-up for a 30-day free trial – passengers win, the airlines win (if they have satcom hardware), and Netflix wins by giving free content to potential future customers. Overall, one could say it is a win-win-win!


Gogo Vision Touch – During the show, Gogo announced a new seatback product that facilitates wireless streaming of IFE content. The product will be launched on Delta’s Bombardier CS100 aircraft. The aircraft will utilize 2Ku connectivity technology as well as Gogo Vision Touch. The system will leverage the 2Ku in cabin network technology (server, modem and WAPS). Gogo stated during our interview that the system has Early Windows Content approval. And the seatback unit is manufactured by another company and will be installed by the seat provider. Expect more on this in the future.


Rockwell Collins Ku/Ka Band Antenna- The new flat plane antenna from Rockwell Collins features a transmit and receive flat surface approximately 3/4 of a meter each. One dual dish will do Ku and another will do Ka band. Interestingly, Rockwell Collins notes that only 3 electronics boxes are used in providing interface to the aircraft. We understand the technology for this antenna comes from the RC antenna experts on the military side of the house. Furthermore, each system can talk to two satellites. Amazingly, the MTBF is purported to be around 50K hours, which means no moving parts. The company is in the process of testing and certifying this unit, so stay tuned!


Inmarsat (EAN)- “EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless W-iFi 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. Deutsche Telekom uses 300 cell phone towers that cover the entire footprint of the EAN (pointing up of course). The Inmarsat S-band satellite, a state-of the-art platform, will provide multi-beam pan-European coverage. The satellite is custom-designed to offer innovative MSS services to commercial and business airlines flying over the dense European routes, exploiting Inmarsat’s 30MHz (2 x 15MHz) S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 EU member states. More importantly, the service operates over one S-band satellite whose footprint is tailored around the countries involved in the service.”


VT Miltope –  VT Miltope brought on RazorSecure to help improve inflight Wi-Fi security while preventing hacker attacks on the IFEC system. Their approach is completely different as they focus on the attack analysis and then relate to the hardware/software that is being protected. We will not cover too much in this issue of IFExpress, but understand, that their approach to secure inflight connectivity is going to change the way that the IFEC industry looks at wireless security. IFExpress will have a more in-depth story in coming issues.


Trends/Forecasts

  • The passenger expectations and the PEDs they carry onboard the aircraft are changing: devices are smaller, have more memory, are longer playing; thus they are having a significant impact on cabin entertainment, especially on single-aisle aircraft.
  • Hardware is changing – The platforms are becoming expandable/modular and the software is more ‘App-like’. The result: flexibility – it is easier to modify hardware and software for different aircraft and airline requirements. Thus, it will be cheaper and easier to, design, build, certify, and install.
  • Connectivity is changing – Firstly, satellite availability and bandwidth are increasing, and thus, there is more available connectivity to the aircraft. Secondly, there are more satellites and coverage available globally. The result: connectivity is becoming the driver for seat solutions. Having said this, we must also note that IFE is anything but dead. It is our opinion that embedded IFE will always be installed on long-haul twin-aisle aircraft, as well as, some of the new, longer-range single-aisle aircraft coming down the pike.
  • Keep your eye on China! Future aircraft sales look to be strong in this Asian country and no doubt, they will prefer IFEC selections from companies that have Chinese manufacturing/distribution.
  • CyberSecurity is in its infancy in IFEC. This is a growing market and when the next hacking incident occurs in the back of the plane, it will get more exposure than any of us can image. On the ground, a recent hacker situation placed a Wi-Fi related virus that was spread by users moving to new ground-based networks. If this were to get on an IFEC system, passenger concern would be extreme since they might not be aware of the separation between the IFEC systems and the aircraft.
  • Consolidation is a big deal – We don’t know how long many of you have been in the IFE game, but if you harken back to the 1994 & 1995 timeframe, there were 7 large IFE vendors in the arena. The industry size did not bear that many players – simply put, there were far too many and the market scaled the number back to 3 or 4 big suppliers. Today, we are facing a similar issue with connectivity and satcom service providers. Yes, our industry has grown, and yes, there are large number of future aircraft deliveries forecast, as well as, a high number of potential retrofits, but the simple fact is there maybe too many players in the satcom/connectivity marketplace to make a successful business model for all. Therefore, we see mergers, buyouts, consolidation, and some departures, as well as, new technology changing the future for all of us.

People Update:

Here are a few people that IFExpress saw during last week’s exhibition that had either retired, changed companies, are consulting, or had left and then returned to the industry. Either way, it was great to see you all!

Brinder Bhatia – Retired

Lori Salazar – Independent business consultant

Paul Margis – Independent business consultant

Greg Fialcowitz – Independent business

John Guidon – Unknown

Lou Sharkey – Independent business consultant

Glen Latta – Now with GEE

Mike Moeller – Now with GEE

Earle Olson – Now with Airborne Wireless Network


Summary

We wanted to say a few words of thanks to our readers, advertising clients and the folks who make this business what it is – Thank you for taking the time to talk to IFExpress and share your stories. We would not be where we are without you. And a special thanks to the APEX team as organizing this kind of show is really work intensive – we feel your pain! Also, last week saw a deluge of press releases – far too many for a single issue of IFExpress; therefore, we will be releasing them over the next three editions. However, if you just can’t wait they are available on our website: www.airfax.com/blog. And lastly, we look forward to the next 25 years – Patricia Wiseman | Editor & Co-Founder, IFExpress & AIRFAX.com/blog

Black Swan and partner IAG took home award for Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation

London, UK | September 26, 2017– Black Swan Dataone of Europe’s leading data science technology companies, last night won the Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation award at The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) annual awards in Long Beach, California. The accolade was received for Black Swan and IAG’s ground-breaking and innovative in-flight portal for the 2017 launch of LEVEL, IAG’s new long-haul, low cost airline brand.

 

Passengers can customise and manage their in-flight experience by connecting to LEVEL’s entertainment platform through a combination of a fully integrated seatback portal and an app on their personal device.  The technology allows customers to seamlessly browse and purchase items whilst on-board, including the latest film, TV and music releases, as well as buying food & drink, duty-free goods and Wi-Fi packages. Through the use of advanced cryptology, secure payments can even be made whilst the aircraft is offline, enabling normal operation to continue if internet connectivity is not available. This innovative Pair and Pay functionality is unique to LEVEL, and the first in the airline industry.

 

In addition to offering passengers greater flexibility in how they spend their time in the air, it provides the carrier with an end-to-end view of passenger usage and behaviour through automated reports providing insights and metrics not possible before now. Over time this will be integrated with other data sources to further enhance the customers’ travel experience.

 

“We are absolutely delighted to have won this award with IAG,” said Steve King, CEO, Black Swan Data. “Data-driven technologies are impacting almost every single industry and avionics is now on the cusp of transforming its interaction with passengers through connectivity. By offering a truly integrated experience from door to door, airlines can expand not only their relationships with customers, but also with commercial partners.”

 

APEX is the only non-profit membership trade association dedicated to improving the entire airline passenger experience. This year’s APEX Awards, held on 25th September, recognised airlines and vendor partners in passenger experience who have successfully implemented new programmes and services in the last 12 months.

APEX EXPO Long Beach, California | September 25, 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

IFExpress found a few data points on industry folks who will be at APEX. Check them out!

FTS Technologies Inc.
Booth: 665
Contact: Ben Fuller, Director of Sales for Americas.  Darrel Chua, General Manager of FTS (and Sales for Asia) – darrel@fts-aero.com

APEX Highlights: We will be demonstrating our latest Xstream Lite wireless streaming system, with new revenue-generating opportunities.  Will also be showing our FlightButler(tm) app for flight attendant’s smartwatch, and our Modman for Satellite Connectivity.

Come and have some fun with the FTS Superhero team at booth 665 !  (and get your own Superhero giveaway).

Latitude Aero
Booth: 411
Contact: Kelvin Boyette:, +1 336-676-3183.

Latitude Aero will be exhibiting in AIX Booth 2351, but will have seats on display on the APEX side in DDC’s (Pascall) booth, 411.

APEX Highlights: Latitude Aero is a FAA Part 145 Repair Station, specializing in aircraft seating refurbishment, upgrades, modifications, and repairs.  We look forward to meeting customer at both events.  Please stop by our booth at AIX, and definitely stop by Pascall’s booth to see our newest project, a prototype USB power system that will debut in our refurbished seats on their stand.  Latitude will have staff on both stands for the duration of the show.

Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems
Booth: 441
Contact: Dennis Markert (dennis.markert@astronics.com)

APEX Highlights: Astronics AES is looking forward to meeting with you at APEX Expo 2017.  We have several new, innovative products that we are excited to unveil.  Here is a preview of products and solutions that will be on display.

SIE
Booth: 902
Contact: John Courtright: +1-206-618-3128

APEX Highlights: SIE is a U.S. and European based engineering firm with AS9100C and ISO 9001 accreditation for Design, Engineering, Certification, Program Management, and Procurement of Aircraft Systems and Structures. Our specialty is the design, engineering, systems integration, certification (STC), and parts kitting for major IFEC installation programs for commercial, military, and VIP aircraft. Projects include  installation and certification for Ka/Ku-Band Satcom Systems and Cabin IFE and Interior Re-configurations on 737NG, 757, 777, MD-10, and A320 aircraft.  Customers include:  Southwest Airlines, Norwegian, IcelandAir, United Airlines, Honeywell, Global Eagle, Panasonic, and others.

VTMiltope
Booth:1211
Contact: Jeff.Drader@Miltope.com

APEX Highlights: VT Miltope is proud to be an APEX member exhibiting in Long Beach this year.  We are highlighting our upcoming Multi-Function Access Point 3 (MAP3) featuring:  faster WAVE 2, Enhanced CHT, an Embedded Server, and Cyber Security.  Please stop by VT Miltope booth 1211 to say hello and learn more about the remarkable MAP3.

Flightpath Labs
Booth: 949
Contact – Jackie Frimer <jackie@flightpath3d.com>

APEX Highlights: The Latest from our Flightpath Labs, FlightPath360 where passengers can take a virtual flight over a destination with panorama technology making you feel as if you are in the sky over major cities and destination. Jjoin us at our booth to see this full 360-degree immersive view of cities and destinations from the sky. It allows airlines to give passengers control of the viewing direction with stunning panoramic views to zoom, rotate or hover over wonders of the world. Book your appointment now for Booth #949 to see for yourself how we have transformed a simple inflight map into a powerful tool for passengers and airlines

And lastly, here is some show info that might help, APEX, IFSA, and AIX – Schedule | APEX EXPO

Gogo
Booth: 502
Contact: Meredith Payette <mpayette@gogoair.com>

Gogo is the Inflight Internet Company. We are the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation. We design and source innovative network solutions that connect aircraft to the Internet, and develop software and platforms that enable customizable solutions for and by our aviation partners. Once connected, we provide industry leading reliability around the world. Our mission is to help aviation go farther by making planes fly smarter, so our aviation partners perform better and their passengers travel happier. You can find Gogo’s products and services including Gogo 2Ku, our global satellite connectivity solution at Booth 502.

 


More News:

Lufthansa Systems
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 from September 26 to 28 at APEX at stand #453.

Thales
Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) announces today the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire the US company Guavus, a pioneer in real-time Big Data analytics.The acquisition of Guavus follows several acquisitions in the fields of connectivity, mobility and cyber security, and strengthens Thales’s positioning in one of the key technologies at the heart of digital transformation, the processing and predictive analysis of “big data”, an increasingly critical factor in real-time decision-making.Airlines, satellite, air traffic control, metro or train operators, armed forces or security officials of large urban or energy infrastructures rely on Thales’s high technology solutions to take the best decisions in real time. In a world facing exponential growth in the volume of data coming from increasingly connected sensors, Guavus’s acquisition opens broad opportunities for Thales in areas including predictive maintenance, cyber security, monitoring of critical infrastructures, network and telecommunication systems optimization. Guavus, a leader in real-time big data processing and analytics, is perfectly suited to the growing needs of an increasingly connected global ecosystem. The company has built a recognized industrial “big data” platform particularly suited to real-time analytics, designed to be easily implemented across any number of new markets. In addition, by bringing the expertise of its 160 strong R&D engineering workforce, Guavus will significantly enrich Thales’s expertise in this field.

Gogo
Gogo Business Aviation (NASDAQ: GOGO), long recognized as the leading provider of broadband connectivity products and services for business aviation in North America, is expanding its reach to become a global provider with the announcement of a high throughput satellite service for business aviation. The new service will utilize Gogo’s existing Ku-band satellite network, the same trusted high capacity satellite network that is currently providing bandwidth for more than 550 commercial aviation aircraft across 10 airlines globally. Gogo is currently bringing additional HTS (high throughput satellite) capacity online as part of its global satellite network, which will boost the performance of both its new business aviation Ku solution and its commercial aviation network solutions. Service is expected to be available in the second half of 2018.

INMARSAT/Rockwell Collins
Inmarsat has signed a strategic agreement with Rockwell Collins, a leading provider of aviation and high-integrity solutions, for the global distribution of its next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) flightdeck connectivity solution. The agreement builds on a successful long-term strategic relationship between the two companies and will bring new levels of safety and operational efficiency to the aviation industry.

SITA
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.

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.

Black Swan
Today, Black Swan Data, one of Europe’s leading data science technology companies, has announced the appointment of Patrick Prefontaine as Chief Commercial Officer at Black Swan Avionics (BSA).

Patrick’s appointment is part of the ongoing growth of BSA and its innovative work, including delivering inflight solutions for the 2017 launch of LEVEL, the International Airlines Group’s (IAG) new long-haul, low cost airline brand. Working in partnership with IAG, Panasonic, VISA, Cybersource and First Data, on the launch of LEVEL, and in collaboration with visual design agency MASSIVE, BSA has delivered in-seat interactive technology, portal and app development, crew applications, data resource management in a fully holistic solution. The innovative Pair & Pay functionality is unique to LEVEL and the first in the airline industry. Patrick will be at APEX EXPO 2017 in Long Beach, CA, from 24th-28th September and is available for interviews and meetings.


OTHER

Isle of Wight | August 30, 2017–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 its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A. Along with its baseline USB-C outlet, IFPL are currently developing a range of USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD) peripherals and solutions. Visitors to stand #134 can see their USB-C and discuss the adoption of this technology with IFPL’s highly knowledgeable personnel.

IFPL’s new USB-A and USB-C combination outlet ensures 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 has included clever reversible USB-A option that delivers up to ten times the reliability of normal aviation standard USB-A outlet.

IFPL has designed the Rapid Fit USB-C outlet to allow easy on-wing maintenance through its patent pending design. The USB-C Rapid Fit is a simple replacement cassette that houses the USB-C connector, whilst the expensive electronics are kept at the rear. This allows a quick and low-cost replacement in the event of failure or Customer Induced Damage (CID). The removable cassette is replaced by simply undoing one ‘hex’ screw, eliminating the need to remove the whole module from the seat. This ensures that the replacement cassette can be changed during the aircraft turn-around, allowing the next passenger access to their power or In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds.

IFPL has also 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.

In addition, IFPL has enhanced the capability of its existing power 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.

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.

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.


MORE

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

April 6, 2017– Reed Exhibitions, the organisers of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) have signed a long-term strategic co-location agreement for their fall expo event in coordination with the International Flight Services Association (IFSA).

This year’s co-located event will take place at the Long Beach Convention Centre from 26-28 September with APEX, IFSA, and AIX all together in the same location at the same time. As the largest passenger experience event in the United States, the event enables the entire supply chain and all airlines to experience the full spectrum of products and services a passenger experiences in one journey.

Focal areas for APEX EXPO include in-flight entertainment and connectivity , IFSA Expo covers the catering and services industry whilst companies specialising in areas such as aircraft seating and cabin lighting are set to exhibit at AIX Long Beach

Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibitor Director at Reed Exhibitions says: “We have long believed that there is a natural synergy between APEX, IFSA and AIX as a leading aerospace industry association and a leading organiser of aerospace exhibitions.

“The powerful and wide-ranging combination of exhibiting companies we attract will continue to build the reputation of our co-located event as the leading fall showcase for the passenger experience industry.

“We look forward to a longstanding partnership with APEX through which we can jointly deliver an event which serves as a strong platform for the aerospace sector.”

“Last fall with AIX, APEX hit a total of 3,500 attendees across our combined EXPO as we conducted three incredible shows into one major event. Now it will be even larger as APEX and AIX stand alongside IFSA returning to the United States,” Joe Leader, Chief Executive Officer of APEX / IFSA, said. “With this long-term agreement, we will combine the best of airline passenger experience, in-flight services, and aircraft interiors into the must-attend annual airline event here in the United States. Three shows in one incredible event means three times the passenger experience, airlines, business, and value for all who attend.”

A wide range of companies have already committed to a presence at this year’s AIX Long Beach and APEX EXPO including Acro Aircraft Seating, Avio Interiors, Diehl, Isovolta. APEX EXPO’s largest exhibitors include Airbus, Astronics, Boeing, GEE, Gogo, Inmarsat, Linstol, Panasonic Avionics, Rockwell Collins, Thales, and Zodiac

Following last year’s successful co-location, the access rules for the shows will remain the same to welcome airlines across the three shows without restriction.

AIX Long Beach exhibitors will have access to APEX EXPO and IFSA EXPO all three days. In addition, AIX non-airline visitors will have complimentary last day access to APEX EXPO and IFSA EXPO.

The APEX, IFSA and AIX co-located shows will take place 26-28 September, 2017 in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 25-27 September 2018 in Boston, and 17-19 September 2019 in Los Angeles.

Trade media veteran will provide editorial leadership to award-winning team; Caroline Ku promoted to Managing Editor

London, UK and Orange County, CA | April 3, 2017– Spafax, publisher of Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Media, is pleased to announce that Maryann Simson has been named as Director, APEX Media. In her role, Maryann will oversee the award-winning editorial team responsible for APEX Experience Magazine and its multi-channel platform.

Most recently, Maryann served as Director of Commercial Partnerships at noted industry outlet Runway Girl Network, where she created several highly visible integrated media campaigns. Prior to Runway Girl, Maryann was the Managing Editor at PAX International in Toronto. In addition, Maryann has worked as an expert freelance journalist in the Passenger Experience industry.

Spafax SVP and APEX Media Publisher, Al St. Germain said, “I have known Maryann for almost a decade, and I am thrilled that she will be leading this dynamic and creative team. Her expertise and industry relationships will be vital assets as we expand APEX’s information network.”

APEX CEO Joe Leader added, “Maryann is highly respected in the world of passenger experience with a level of depth incredibly beneficial to the expansion of both APEX and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA). I look forward to working with her as we continue to work on behalf of our member airlines and vendors around the globe.”

Maryann will be based in Spafax’s London Office, starting April 24, 2017. Caroline Ku, who most recently served as Acting Editor, has been promoted to Managing Editor and will provide additional leadership for the APEX Media team in Montreal.

March 24, 2017 —APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), a four-decade old international airline trade association, called for immediate government-approved security solutions for the airline electronics ban announced this week by the United States and United Kingdom. IATA calculations indicate 393 flights per week impacted by the electronics ban.  By APEX load-factor calculations, this translates into more than three million affected airline passengers per year. With airline and government coordination, APEX believes that solutions may be rapidly implemented by airlines to further increase security and allow personal electronics on-board.

“The U.S. and U.K. this week pointed to a problem in airline security by banning electronics on certain flights.  When we take away personal electronic devices from passengers, we are bowing to a potential threat rather than providing an acceptable security solution.” APEX CEO Joe Leader stated. “Chemical detection machines utilized worldwide can detect illicit items in electronics. Turning on electronics checks functionality and non-functioning electronics could be banned from flights. The expense of hand-searching every carry-on for the personal electronics ban could instead be directed to a long-term solution that serves airline passengers and safety.”

APEX believes that without viable solutions provided to airlines, the electronics ban may spread well beyond the intended scope. Since the existing security scope includes individuals with travel privileges to the U.S. and U.K., these same individuals could connect via other airports where on-board personal electronics are not banned.

“Every threat placed against global air carriers has been met with viable solutions,” said Leader. “We now globally screen every checked bag, carefully scan all carry-ons, restrict liquids, conduct body-scans, and regularly conduct chemical analysis checks on items. When passengers connect internationally, they are frequently scanned again. Placing items into the cargo hold does not fully address the issue with a passenger-centric solution.”

In APEX’s global survey released last year, airline passengers frequently bring their personal electronics devices on-board aircraft for use in-flight:
 43% of worldwide airline passengers bring a tablet device on-board with 70% of these passengers using their tablet device in-flight;
 38% of worldwide airline passengers bring a laptop computer on-board with 42% of these passengers using their laptop in-flight; and
 22% of worldwide airline passengers bring e-Readers on-board with 77% of these passengers using their e-Reader in-flight.

APEX has directly engaged key U.S. and U.K. government officials on a solutions-oriented approach to make aircraft more secure and prevent the spread of the electronics ban. Until an aligned security solution has been developed by the U.S. and U.K. governments, APEX encourages full compliance of the ban by airlines, airports, and passengers.

APEX/IFSA
The other day, we got a note from Robin Applebaum, APEX Marketing Communication Director we thought you might like to see: “I wanted to reach out to you today with some exciting news from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA). This morning, APEX and IFSA announced a more tightly aligned relationship to better serve the global airline industry. This step will help to further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience; and will help IFSA to grow globally as the pivotal airline association of the catering and in-flight services market. While both APEX and IFSA will remain fully independent, this alliance triggers additional collaboration in the planning of association co-locations and events, joint working groups, reciprocal guest board member attendance at board meetings, as well as now having a common Chief Executive Officer serving both associations.”

When we asked for more background info, she responded: “As I am sure you are aware, APEX and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA), have had a long established ‘sister-association relationship.’ Last week’s announcement only serves to further align the two groups. As part of this strategic relationship, APEX will be leveraging IFSA to represent the foundation of the association’s catering and services sector. “This will not only help the association to grow its footprint, but will also further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience. For IFSA, aligning with APEX will help them to expand its reach globally, build additional strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, and establish itself as the industry’s global representative of the growing catering and in-flight/onboard hospitality market.”

“Additionally, the inclusion of more catering and service elements at APEX events will attract greater numbers of senior airline decision makers who oversee this sector as well as IFE by offering a greater diversification of products, services and information. As demonstrated at APEX EXPO in Singapore, this type of approach yields an increase in potential customers for event exhibitors and other vendor participants. Finally, it will help to better position APEX events against the backdrop of assertive for-profit show competition.”


Gogo
“To celebrate the fleet-wide upgrade to their new JAL SKY NEXT product, the airline will start offering free Wi-Fi on all equipped domestic flights from February 1, 2017 till August 31st 2017. Connectivity is provided through Gogo using our satellite Internet technology. You’ll find the SKY NEXT product on select 777 -300, 777-200, 767-300 and 737-800 aircraft. JAL was our first international customer, and we’ve been honored to partner with them since 2014 on connectivity and entertainment for their domestic passengers.

This promotion from JAL is just one of the latest to offer Gogo products and services free to their passengers. Last year, we partnered with T-Mobile to provide free Wi-Fi to their subscribers, and most recently, Alaska Airlines rolled out their Free ChatTM product which lets passengers access popular chat apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on their smartphone.

In addition to connectivity promotions, we also provide the technology allowing airlines to offer free wireless entertainment to their customers. The product, called Gogo Vision, streams movies and TV shows from our airborne server to most mobile devices, laptops and tablets. Movies and TV shows from Gogo Vision can now be found on more than 2800 aircaft on some the largest airlines in the world. Today, many of Gogo’s airline partners are offering all or some of the content free to passengers.”


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers.

Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.

“We think this is an exciting time for the Satcom market. With more and more operators and executives finding it essential to conduct business and stay in sync with the home office while traveling, we hope reducing airtime charges will encourage more aircraft owners to invest in installing Satcom systems in their aircraft,” says Kremsreiter. Satcom systems work everywhere (except at the poles) so in addition to increasing productivity, Satcom hardware increases the aircraft’s value and worldwide marketability when it comes time to sell.


SITA
Airlines and airports are investing in technologies to help predict and prepare for future events. This is according to The Future is Predictable, a report published today by air transport IT provider, SITA. It outlines how efforts are being made to tackle the estimated US$25 billion[1] cost of flight disruptions to the air transport industry by harnessing artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, predictive analytics and other progressive technical capabilities.

SITA’s analysis reveals that predictive tools using artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are likely to be adopted by half of airlines and airports over the coming five to 10 years. However, a few front runners are already trialing predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining. These efforts are mainly focused on initiatives that will provide passengers with more relevant information about their journey to create more seamless and personal experiences.

During 2017, SITA Lab will be validating delay predictions with airlines and airports and expects to complete up to five trials with its industry partners. The next stage will be to incorporate its delay prediction algorithm and disruption warning feeds into SITA’s services to the air transport industry. In the report, leading airports and airlines share their experiences including Gatwick Airport where a seamless passenger experience from curb to gate is the goal. Here several different areas of airport activity are tracked to measure performance and move towards predicting it.

As artificial intelligence develops the importance of maintaining the human touch is not lost on the airlines and airports. Indeed, the combination of people and artificial intelligence is described as transforming the travel experience. The science of artificial intelligence is developing quickly and airlines and airports are turning to the academic community to help them with predictive tools to tackle disruptions. SITA’s report discusses research that is being carried out with scientists from Binghamton University, State University of New York; University of Nottingham as part the European Union-funded consortium PASSME; Carnegie Mellon University; Oxford University’s Data Science Laboratory in the Mathematical Institute and University College London School of Management.

The Future is Predictable combines SITA’s global industry experience and studies with commentary and case studies from airports and airlines that are investing in the latest research and technologies.

Check out the full press release here.
For further details download SITA’s full report – The Future is Predictable


Phitek
New Zealand-based audio equipment and technology developer Phitek Systems has been sold to New York-listed Amphenol Corp, providing an exit for a number of domestic VC investors. Phitek’s previous backers include Direct Capital-managed TMT Ventures and Stephen Tindal’s K1W1 investment vehicle. TMT, which has been invested since 2005, has a direct 27 per cent and a 14 per cent holding shared with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. Meanwhile, K1W1 owns 39 per cent. Phitek designs and supplies aircraft in-flight entertainment interconnect products for the commercial aerospace industry. You can read more here.


Lufthansa Technik
Luftahansa Technik has announced a two-in-one solution (TIOS) antenna radome for the Boeing 737-700 and -800. The antenna, installed on the vertical stabilizer to reduce drag and positively affect the aircraft’s center of gravity, will make it possible to install Ka-band antennas to provide high-speed internet, TV connections and a high-definition camera. The radome is up to 200 lb. (100 kg) lighter than the original and is FAA validated and has an EASA Supplemental Type Certification. You can find satellite communication options, products, services and companies in MRO Links, MRO-Network.com’s searchable directory.

TIOS – Two antennas under one radome – YouTube


Notes

  • Rich Salter told IFExpress: “Re: data transmission via light (LiFi), I just signed on to Moderate a session at AIX’ Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on April 3 in Hamburg. It is the Tech Horizons session (last one of the day) in the Connected Journey track, and one of the presenters is Prof Harald Haas of Edinburgh who is founder of PureLiFi  – and he coined the term “LiFi” too.”
  • Richie Sugimoto reports that Aircraft Cabin Systems has just received Certification of ISO9001 and AS9100 – Congratulations!

More Stuff

This issue of IFExpress always always raises a few feathers so let’s get started with some IFExpress predictions, then we will present the inputs from folks who were willing to provide their names, and finally, those who wish to remain anonymous will contribute as well. We should probably note that not all predictions landed in the IFEC category and thus it looks to be an interesting year – and things just might change anywhere!

IFExpress 2017 Predictions

  1. Narrower aircraft seats are coming in 2017, especially in newer low class offerings where only certain sized carry-on baggage will be permitted – smaller and surely less comfortable as well. We already know United Airlines has a new low cost Basic Economy package that will be copied by others. The rub will be what limitations will be placed on passengers who do not have the airline reward travel card! Hey, many folks can travel short flights and put up with almost anything. It is all a function of what they have to take with them. And yes, it will be in the back of the plane.
  2. More colored cabin environments will be here in 2017, but also as a result of new LED lighting in the plane – probably more blue! [We note: A recent Boeing study concluded that passengers will perceive that the airplane is cleaner, more comfortable, newer, and with better air and more room, all with the correct lighting. Even one German university test proved while flying with light that contains increased red, (not blue) light components, is more calming and cause less passenger stress.]
  3. We cannot say this enough but Data will be the big deal in 2017, whether it is an airline examining their routes with a goal for less fuel, to using social media to communicate directly with passengers or even potential travelers, to connection with the aircraft for more inflight system information for operation or security. OK, this is not much of a surprise!
  4. Some folks predict that light will be used to deliver connectivity. However, with all the issues involved with outside solar, safety lighting, and other sources of interference (Hasn’t this been tried earlier?), we think otherwise. Anyway, Bluetooth as a connectivity radio frequency has slipped under the radar and since most connectivity devices have the capability and the corporate jet world has adopted it, we expect an inflight commercial airline installation this year. With Bluetooth 5.0 alive there may be even more interest in a Bt connectivity solution. Hey, 4X range, 2X speed, and 8X capacity, and no power increase, what’s not to like?”
  5. Watch for an airline to test ground-based, high bandwidth 2.4 GHz, directed connectivity service like those proposed for SmartSky and Gogo. This is more of a 2017 sure thing than a prediction.
  6. We fear aviation manufacturing layoffs, let’s see what happens there but don’t look for that job just yet. The layoff scenario has already started at Boeing, who is downsizing to the tune of some 8,000 employees, and could reach 10% there. Airbus is next after production continues for a bit.
  7. Maintenance of aircraft will see more outsourcing, new technology products like AI and voice technology used in maintenance products, and more consolidation in the MRO world (Maintenance Repair Overhaul).
  8. While we hope it does not happen, but be very concerned that a hacker doesn’t get aboard a plane this year, transmit a fake Wi-Fi service and install a lot of ransomware (like doxware) on folks trying to get Wi-Fi service. In 2017 it is a possibility and be sure you know how to get online when onboard!
  9. What’s next for future SATCOM? How about Q/V bands: 33 – 75 GHz?  If the FCC auctions get it together, perhaps even 14 GHz has a chance?
  10. We shy away from talking about aircraft control hacking, but have you thought about hackers using a DDoS attach or ransomware on an airline reservation system – might happen?
  11. The Boeing 787 will finally get the proper acclaim that it is the only commercial jet airplane where cabin/crew air is taken directly from the atmosphere with electrically powered compressors and not from engine ‘bleed air’! The health guru’s will help.
  12. Cybercrime damages will continue to grow (costing the world $6 trillion annually by 2021), up from $3 trillion last year; ransomware will be the fastest growing threat in terms of new attacks and costs. Global spending on cybersecurity products and services will exceed $1 trillion cumulatively over the next 5 years from 2017 to 2021. Easy procurement of cheap IoT devices or Wi-Fi enabled products introduces a serious level of risk — of which many people are unaware. As one expert noted: “Transportation systems may be immobilized.” Or, as another one said: “My second prediction for 2017 is that cyber personnel will become a rare commodity like we have never seen before. Organizations have received the message, and are staffing and investing, but that demand generates a supply that is not available.” Don’t you think there will be plenty of openings in aviation security in 2017? We do!
  13. Lastly, as strange as it seems, “a self-driving” aircraft concept for passenger planes will be talked about this year – perhaps just for parcel delivery but projects like ALIAS are just the beginning.

Named 2017 Reader Predictions

Here are our reader IFEC predictions and we start of with those from APEX CEO, Joe Leader:

  1. Connectivity announcements and deployment will hit a new high for the industry.
  2. In-flight entertainment continues its expansion with more global IFE system installations and upgrades.
  3. Airline passenger experience will become less siloed inside of airlines as carriers look for greater market differentiation.
  4. On flights without built-in IFE or connectivity, “Near-FI” solutions offering, entertainment will become much more common. This will escalate in particular on low-cost carriers looking to differentiate their products.
  5. In-flight advertising will see the beginning of a new age of renaissance.
  6. The Internet of Things (IoT) will broaden from case-studies on aircraft to first tangible implementations.
  7. With the Bluetooth 5.0 specification released, we will see first announcements about Bluetooth connectivity to IFE in future products.
  8. Long-haul business class will enter a new era just as British Airways introduced the first lie-flat for business class in 1999.  We could call it the suite era or the privacy era.  This period will begin this year marked by increasing level of suite-like privacy on long-haul business class products.  It will be initiated by visionary airlines in different manners and progress to a new bar for long-haul business class passenger experience over the next two decades.

Next, from Henry Chen Weinstein at Cockpit Innovations we have:

“I think 2017 in Tech will be about the upcoming implications of new technology on our current way of work. The [changing] place of startups in our space as more players understand the value of innovation on a global scale. Establishing new ways to take our aviation business forward.”

Here is the prediction note from John Courtright at SIE:

“I predict that the Modular Cabin Concept will generate a lot more attention from airline operators.  The ability to transform a commercial aircraft from a “domestic” (2-Class) configuration to an “international” configuration (3-Class) on an overnight or less using palletized modules to swap out interiors will generate great interest from operators.  Aside from the aircraft utilization flexibility, the Modular Cabin Concept will generate increased operational revenue (ROI) from a given aircraft asset by allowing the operator to customize their service level to different markets at a relatively low cost.”

Rich Salter, now with FTS chimed in with:

“All the talk about the death (or not) of seatback IFE is not the relevant question: the real interesting question is where will displays be located next – on the wrist, on entire seatbacks, baggage bins, sidewall of fuselage, VR or immersive glasses, etc., not to mention non-cabin locations like cockpit, baggage, lounges, etc.  They could be thin as paper, and could be foldable/rollable (as are OLEDs).  They will consume extremely low power and be fed data via wireless (WiFi). Smartwatches are only the beginning. In summary, advances in wireless streaming and display tech will lead to some fascinating implementations of IFE displays in unconventional places!”

Todd Hamblin at Global (GADC) told IFExpress in 2017:

  1. The Wireless IFE market will continue to grow, with Portable Wireless IFE being a subset for those ultra-low cost carriers.
  2. Companies based in China will become a larger part of the IFE and Connectivity landscape.
  3. An airline will attempt to install a Portable Wireless IFE system on their aircraft without permission from the FAA or EASA even though the server contains Lithium Ion batteries and might interfere with existing aircraft systems.
  4. The FAA will be impacted and safety compromised by the changing political climate.
Next, we asked Ron Chapman, President/Founder ASI, and he told IFExpress:

“I predict that the first elastic virtual servers will creep into the cabin on airliners and it just might be Bluetooth that drives it. Elastic devices are the latest generation of server that expands and contracts based on demand. It’s a floating platform that can replicate itself in virtual space.”

Kelvin Boyette CEO of Latitude Aero observes:

  1.  Mergers will dominate 2017, allowing the larger multi-national companies to offer a menu of turnkey services to both airlines and aircraft OEMs.
  2. 2017 will be the year that seat refurbishment emerges from its “niche” status. New products, such as IFE and ISPS, are emerging faster than new seat OEMs can get them into the seat, so the refurbishment centers are where the airlines will turn to offer the most up to date, modern, passenger experience to their clientele.
  3. Both BYOD and embedded IFE will flourish. I do not believe only one will succeed. Both will explode this year.

Michael Reilly, VP Entertainment Services, Arconics – A ViaSat Company notes:

  1. My key prediction for the year is that those airlines who don’t take the step into connectivity in 2017 will certainly take steps on the ‘path to connectivity’ – and there’s a couple of different ways to define that… I think a lot of airlines apart from the obvious cost barrier to entry to connectivity are waiting for other developments – competitive and even marketplace ie: changes to the vendor side of the industry – be that product, pricing etc.
  2. Naturally as we get more airlines closer to connectivity, security is becoming a hot topic, as is bigger and better use of data.
  3. Another prediction is that effective use of data will help break down the traditional siloing that has always gone on in the airline business and that’s exciting.
  4. I’d sum up my prediction by saying that 2017 is ‘finally’ the year where. Connectivity, Wireless and Mobile finally made the strides forward that moved the needle on the bottom line for airlines.

Craig Foster of Valour Consultancy said:

  1. We will see one of the in-flight connectivity service providers acquired by a much larger company. Additionally, we’ll also see at least one wireless in-flight entertainment vendor snapped up by someone with much more clout.
  2. The number of aircraft with in-flight connectivity systems installed and activated will surpass 7,000 by the end of the year. Regions aside from North America will continue to witness strong growth and we will likely see another carrier based in Latin America announce connectivity plans before long (in addition to Avianca Brasil and GOL).
  3. More and more airlines will announce plans to deploy IFE systems that allow passengers to pay their personal electronic devices to the main screen in an effort to match expectations around second screening and to better personalise the experience.

Unnamed 2017 Reader Predictions

We start off with predictions from a “Cabin Solution Provider”:

  1. The exponential growth of cabin Wi-Fi usage within the confines of the same aircraft will lead to more congestion in the cabin. One prediction says that passenger data to and from aircraft will more than quadruple in 2017. We knew that something like this was coming. However, what’s new is the speed at which this is happening.
  2. In 2017 the speed of the PED-pull in terms of passenger experience, apps etc. will increase even further. It certainly will be very much faster than the gentle ambling in which many of the aircraft hardware-push industry players are used to operate.

Another few from another Unnamed Predictor:

  1. Low cost carrier mergers and acquisitions will accelerate globally.
  2. With airline capacity surpassing global market demand, this will be a year including news of airline deferments and reductions.  The exception to this rule will be in next-generation aircraft connecting previously unconnected city pairs.  For the industry, this will be a relatively landing.
  3. Airlines in a more challenging global environment that raise their passenger experience will outperform carriers that focus on reducing passenger experience to reduce costs.

And lastly, still another Unnamed Predictor told IFExpress:

  1. Hacking the Baggage Systems at major hubs will occur to misdirect luggage?
  2. Hacking will occur to shut down refueling facilities at major airports.
  3. Hackers will find a way to infect the IFE system to download passenger data and airline sales information direct from the aircraft, putting at liability Airlines and IFE suppliers.  Class Action suit to follow.  Revenue streams will be jeopardized for both airlines, IFE suppliers and product/service providers accordingly.
  4. All economy seats on American / Domestic airlines will follow the pay as you go scheme:  everything short of the toilets will be ‘pay to play’:  boarding sequence; stowable baggage; check-in bags; food; drink; entertainment; EVERYTHING.
  5. Donald Trump’s administration will make significant progress to privatize government agencies and systems – a la Russian Model – Air Traffic Control will be privatized and sold off; FAA will be privatized; and the Space Programs under NASA will also be spun off.  If not in this coming year, the effort may take at least part of his first term. (Editor’s Note: IFExpress apologizes to this predictor as we just did not have the space (nerve?) to post all the input – Sorry!).

Thank you to everybody who contributed and we close with the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

As the weeks pass after a show like the recent APEX in Singapore, it is easy to start thinking about the next one; however, IFExpress will try to continue to cover some of the more important show participants and their new products, accomplishments, and sales. Importantly, a post show head cold and a recent election has caused focus issues in the past few weeks, but we are now in better control and we will start off with one show item that keeps coming back to haunt us – the concept of aircraft and Big Data. While IFEC is not the whole story, it is part of the issue, and over the last few weeks we have been doing our homework a bit on the subject. The folks at companies like Panasonic, SITA, Thales and many others have been chanting the “data” subject into our ears at each meeting – we really have been trying to understand the problems and potential solutions – and believe us, it is no easy subject, with few easy answers. A number of years back, Mark Thompson of Thompson Aerospace warned us of the impending data monster we were about to see but we had little idea at the time of its value and challenges. This data thing is not new but it is getting bigger!

Looking back to the late eighties, we saw a document developed about the importance of airplane data, in general, and how McDonnell Douglas was looking at the future of its importance in tying an airline together by connecting the “movable asset” back to the airline itself with the one connectivity-based solution available at the time – live, real-time data. Back in the day, the connectivity links were minimal but the requirement was still there.

Today, it is a cry that still is the important connecting piece of the airline business, but it is getting louder. However, we note, now it entails better connectivity, more information, passenger involvement, better worldwide connections, and generally more need for planning and action throughout the airline and passenger environment. Perhaps a computer programmer said it better than we could: “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” – Daniel Keys Moran, an American computer programmer. Further, when you have 30 $250 million dollar assets buzzing around the world, data is the only way to see at any point in time, how your assets are delivering profits or losses. Further, it is a way to see what your customers are needing, in real-time.

We understand that we will not cover the issue in one IFExpress, and to that end, we have a few future interviews planned with IFEC companies and you will have the opportunity to see a bigger picture from them in the coming months. And speaking of ‘seeing the data’ issue, we really owe the folks at SITA a pat on the back for they have been trying to educate us on the value and need of standardized data.

Furthermore, not only satcom companies are part of the data solutions, as an example, the folks at SmartSky are developing a ground-to-air solution that may deliver the cheapest, and possibly the fastest over tera firma, data solution when it is up and running in the US. The point here is that data will be the driving factor when an airline executive or inflight passenger, or flight crew person, or a box on the plane needs to connect to a listener or data taker from the ground, and thus, it will be one of the next big things in our industry. Check out this Next Gen aviation connected electronic flight bag story;

With the growth of passenger data needs, the subject of data will become even a more important technology as time goes on. In SITAONAIR’s white paper published during the show, they noted that passenger connectivity is still the key motivating factor with airlines for adopting the service. Some 48% of their list of airlines in their study see it as the main passenger experience benefit. However, now some 20% of the airlines involved saw connectivity as a pilot and cabin crew enhancement driver, with some 15% seeing value in maintenance and ops monitoring. While a low number of planes today are outfitted with connectivity solutions, SITA expects three quarters will have some connectivity by 2017, and the big solution will happen by 2020 and some 12,500 planes will be so modified.

One big issue, notes SITA, is the lack of commonality or common standards in the aircraft data itself. Why is this important? We see it as a way to allow more entrants in the IFEC industry, more participants in the data business, more uses of the data itself, and a solution that becomes a standard where and when more people use it. Lest we forget, big data probably also means big bucks! If you want to see an example the application of common airport standards you might want to check out SITA’s AirportConnect Open.

Another area is the type of data from the various sources and its utility and application. The folks at Panasonic can see the data future and they call it “Big Data”. They envision the application of ground and inflight data as well as a lot more data applications from many sources – but we will have more on this subject in the future. We should also note that Thales has their version of big data and they are using their InFlyt Cloud for similar data solution for airplane data, metadata and big analytics. However, the message to folks in this business is perhaps, just perhaps, that the IFEC world might just be a smaller part of a bigger aviation world that uses data. It is a solution for bigger problems and future analysis – all way beyond IFE companies just selling hardware. Just possibly it may be the next generation of understanding about airplanes and passengers and the world of flying assets that are moving thousands of miles away from the home offices with hundreds of passengers all going to different places for many different reasons. Big Data has a future value that we don’t even understand today!

To make our point about where this is all heading, here is a very recent news release from Panasonic Avionics about their next generation of data connectivity solutions and it points out the widening of the acquisition of data sources sets the wider data picture being viewed by IFEC vendors. Said the release: ”The technology will enable the next generation of connectivity services to the aviation industry and multiple other markets.” The release went on: “Panasonic Avionics will implement Ericsson’s 5G-ready core solution through its subsidiary AeroMobile, a global inflight connectivity provider and registered mobile network operator. The contract is the first step of a long-term strategic collaboration between the two companies, which will focus on areas like 5G and the Internet of Things.” It went on: ”Panasonic Avionics can apply the 5G-ready core across a wide and ever-expanding range of markets, enabling connectivity for users not only onboard aircraft and ships, but also for the huge Internet of Things communication.” IFExpress notes the 5G is touted as the next generation of mobile technology because it “has the capability to radically lessen latency, accelerate download and upload speeds, enhance network reliability and spectral efficiency.” With this data, they also have the potential to support IoT development, by considerably escalating the number of devices that can connect to the network simultaneously.” Get the data picture? Stay Tuned on this one, soon we will talk more about data standardization and future data applications.


digEcor & IFPL

We like it when two companies in our industry combine their thoughts to develop a better product offering. We saw this during APEX Singapore this year when digEcor, in conjunction with partner IFPL, unveiled their GLIDE inseat power solution on AirAsia’s A320neos. The development effort was a collaborative one between digEcor, IFPL and Miras Aircraft Seating. The deal with AirAsia totals 55K seats and because AirAsia is a low-cost carrier they required a low-cost solution. This makes sense since inseat power is more and more significant as passengers are bringing their own devices onboard and the system is Wi-Fi driven by the onboard inflight connectivity. In fact, many LCCs are now looking to Wi-Fi for their IFE solution. From a hardware perspective, IFPL’s USB outlet is backlit and we understand that when power is available the unit is lit, making it easier for the passenger to find on the seat arm. If you are interested, we’ve attached images of the seat arm with the IFPL USB outlet and digEcor’s SEB!


NEWS

ViaSat/Arconics
Qatar Airways has implemented AeroDocs software from Arconics, a ViaSat company, to provide a single centralized repository to revise and track all operational and non-operational company manuals and documentation for operational readiness. The ability to create, author, edit and mark all changes in a visible manner over the web enables team members to easily keep abreast of, and be alerted to, relevant procedural modifications as and when they happen.

Boeing
The Seattle Times wrote: “In a surprise move, Boeing announced Monday that Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner will step down from that position and be replaced by General Electric senior executive Kevin McAllister. In 2015, the Boeing board granted Conner a special award of 50,000 shares ‘to encourage him to forgo an opportunity to retire in the near future.’ With that award vesting on Dec. 1, 2017 provided he stayed at Boeing, it was expected that he would retire about then. Those shares are worth $7.35 million.” (Editor’s Note: Not a bad deal – $7 million & change for staying at Boeing for 2 years!)

Media Box
Heard about Media Box? The Media Box, which Media Carrier offers as an exclusive service to tourism companies in particular, operates as a web-based service and can be easily and conveniently used with any web-enabled device. To download their preferred business magazine or their usual morning paper, guests connect to the Media Box of the airline or hotel and gain access to their own personal reading material. Newspapers and magazines are presented unabridged and in the same layout used in the print versions, and can be browsed through easily and intuitively – check out this image. Even after downloading, the downloaded publications remain available to the reader for an unlimited time.  Established in 2011, the company is a subsidiary of the Munich-based MELO Group, whose central divisions are built on the two pillars: media and logistics. Media Carrier specializes in marketing and distributing digital content. It supplies the travel industry with e-papers through the Media Box. The digital media library is now successfully deployed with e.g. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings as well as in more than 1,000 luxury and five-star hotels worldwide.

Museum of Flight at Boeing Field:

I recently had a meeting at the Seattle Museum of Flight on Boeing Field. While my visit was business… I left the meeting… and lost my sense of time and history – because once you see an old aircraft that fought in a war, or provided the transportation for a historical event, or was the first of it’s kind, you just get lost… lost in time, and possibly lost in space. Interestingly, you become part of the event that the person, plane or spacecraft was famous for… or you become immersed in the art background and signage describing the history and achievement of the craft. One visitor told us that he and his kids were fascinated by the description and experiences of the museum’s individual plane tour guides, who in many cases had flown that aircraft. It is also easy to get wrapped-up in the in mood lighting surrounding the planes in the halls, especially in the periods like those in the WW1 Hall and WW2 Halls. While it has been a long time, as a child, I would have given anything to see what I saw last week at the Museum of Flight. One suggestion, however, don’t let your children say the same thing.

OK, if you want a fast tour of the Museum here it goes: Museum Galleries, Airpark, Great Gallery, Lear Gallery, Personal Courage Wing, Red Barn, & Space Gallery. That’s 7 galleries, many halls, 29 exhibits + a museum store, 140 real aircraft, 12 spacecraft, pre-1900s to 2010s types, from 73 manufacturers… and some 40 of 140 shown planes in the air and on the ground in the Great Gallery. Founded in 1965, the Museum of flight has been growing since it’s inception, but we think the real hero was T. Wilson… he made “The” museum building on Boeing Field happen.

As a bit of museum background, here is what the website says:
“Museum of Flight is devoted to the preservation and sharing of aviation and aerospace history and technology.
Founded as the Pacific Northwest Aviation Historical Foundation in 1965 by a group of local Boeing engineers and aviation enthusiasts, the Museum’s collection was established out of a desire by the group to preserve artifacts and materials representing the entire evolution of flight and to prevent them from being lost, destroyed and forgotten with time. Since 1965, The Museum of Flight’s collection has come to be regarded as one of the best air and space museum collections in the world. The Museum’s collection contains over 150 aircraft, over 25,000 small objects (classified as anything smaller than an aircraft), over 90,000 books and periodicals, over 15,000 aircraft manuals and technical reports and nearly 5,000 cubic feet of archival materials including an estimated four million images. As a Smithsonian Affiliate institution and an accredited American Alliance of Museums institution, we continuously endeavor to meet their standards and best practices in all aspects of our operations, especially in regards to caring for and preserving our collection.”

The Pavilion (across the street form the main Museum building) is incredibly large and hosts an many big planes in a covered outdoor building. One writer said it is larger than two football fields! The new “hanger” effectively doubles the museum foot print, in fact it adds 3 acres of aviation history floor space! It is home for some 19 iconic planes like the world’s first Boeing 747 Jumbo, the 787 Dreamliner, the British Airways Concorde (SST – the last to fly in revenue service), B-17, B29, and B-47 bombers. The site has a convenient “air” bridge to get you there. This inclined walkway is defiantly a better way to reach the Pavilion, not to mention, listening to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” playing on the loudspeakers there topped the experience. As with all airplanes, pictures never do them justice but here are a few shots we took that should give you a better idea of the flight scene there are here.

You can fly in on your own plane or in a commercial airline to Boeing Field or Sea-Tac, and if you have a child that likes aviation, you MUST take her or him to see the real planes. You might ask why is this trip worth the effort? The answer is simple: because they can climb in and touch and feel what aviation is all about… and it is about more than planes. It is about flying, it’s about education, and it’s about history… but it is also about fun!


Panasonic:

OmniAccess, a leading supplier of integrated communications solutions to super yachts and cruise-ships, and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), today unveiled a tailored XTS “extremely high throughput” satellite network for multiple mobility markets. Details on this new communications service are available to key customers that visit the OmniAccess booth at the Monaco Yacht Show. OmniAccess and Panasonic began collaborating on XTS high-throughput satellite designs in September 2015 in order to bring unprecedented levels of capacity and performance to OmniAcess’ existing Super yacht and cruise customers. Through this agreement OmniAccess has secured access to Panasonic’s existing HTS capacity, currently contracted capacity and the future XTS satellite network, bringing industry-leading capacity and performance to its yachting and cruise ship markets. Leveraging Panasonic’s existing global high-speed satellite network, OmniAccess is already providing industry-leading connection speeds of over 200 Mbps to select individual customers.

Paul Margis, CEO of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We announced our partnership with OmniAccess at the Monaco Yacht Show last year, and since then, we’ve been able to develop solutions that have improved our operational efficiencies and also delivered higher performance and better service to OmniAccess’ super yacht customers. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with OmniAccess to establish a new standard in high-bandwidth services for the mobility market.”

(Editor’s Note: Normally we wouldn’t place a news release that predominately refers to maritime in our publication. However, in this instance we believe it to have relevance as the relationship between Panasonic Avionics and OmniAccess refers to “multiple mobility markets”,  “XTS high-throughput satellite” and “Leveraging Panasonic’s existing global high-speed satellite network”. After all, a revenue stream is a revenue stream whether it is initiated from an ocean or the air! And we wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these relationships in our industry.)


IFPL:

APEX 2016 will see the very latest in connectivity, payment and power solutions from IFEC specialists IFPL, on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.

IFPL leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless payment systems NFC (Near Field Communication) on-board aircraft, with global OEM’s and airlines using this technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalization. APEX 2016 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 thus increasing ancillary revenues.

With portable and wearable tech now widespread, visitors to APEX can also see IFPL’s USB- C and USB-A units, both providing hi-speed data and power.

As always, innovation from IFPL will be on display with the company demonstrating its new integrated seat arm concept. This will reflect its ability to customize peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFE and seat integration.

IFPL will be demonstrating their ‘Charge-2-Charge’ solution for both inductive and USB charging – this will enable airlines to generate additional revenue from passengers wishing to charge their portable devices during flights. Demonstrations will also be available for their popular 110V A/C power outlet and its combination 110V and USB-A & C.

Solving the problem of broken headphone sockets are IFPL’s MagSignal Audio units. Cost neutral when compared with traditional sockets, MagSignal Technology allows the headset cable to be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment; reducing customer induced damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft.

As always IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2016 in Singapore may have.


Gogo Partnering:

Gogo recently announced that it will partner with Air France-KLM to connect its existing long-haul fleet representing 124 aircraft, with an airline option to install the technology on additional aircraft in the future. The fleet of aircraft receiving Gogo’s 2Ku technology will include numerous aircraft types, including the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330s. “We are delighted to bring Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology to one of the largest airlines in the world and two of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku delivers a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today, including the ability to stream video. One of the many benefits of 2Ku is that it’s built on an open architecture and can leverage new technology advancements in the future, which means the technology will get even better over time and will provide passengers with a superior connectivity experience now and in the future.” The first aircraft is expected to be in service end of next year, with the bulk of the installations taking place during 2018-2019.

Gogo Next-Gen:
The company also announced that it is developing its next generation ground-based technology to better serve the connectivity needs of business and commercial aviation in North America. This technology will offer a ground-like performance, including the ability to stream videos, for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select narrow-body aircraft operating within the United States and Canada. The new network will use unlicensed spectrum, a proprietary modem and a new beam-forming antenna to produce peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps. This next generation ground-based network for the aero market will utilize LTE technology and leverage Gogo’s existing first generation North American network and infrastructure of more than 250 towers.

“Leveraging our first generation network is key to making this next generation network highly reliable and economical to deploy,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s CTO. “Gogo’s next generation network will also be backward-compatible with Gogo’s first generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to seamlessly switch between Gogo’s fthe two networks networks similar to how a cell phone on the ground connects to the fastest available network.”

The benefits of this new network for commercial aircraft operating within the United States and Canada include: low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation, and low drag on the aircraft due to the small size of the antennas. It also has big advantages in terms of latency compared to satellite solutions.

Aircraft outfitted with one of Gogo’s earlier generation air-to-ground technologies will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.

The service is expected to be available in 2018. Great article this morning. Separately, we have got big news this morning from Gogo as we announce our next generation ground network to support IFC in North America. We now have upgrade paths to more than 100 Mbps for both our North American ground-based and our global satellite networks. This will enable passengers to do everything they can do on the ground, in-flight. The network will use unlicensed spectrum and will require minimal updates for an aircraft.

(Editor’s Note: You should probably read this as well.)


SmartSky:

SmartSky Networks’ patented SmartSky 4G radio system completed the major milestone of receiving FCC certification, clearing the way for deployment of the ultra-fast SmartSky 4G air-to-ground network later this year, with nationwide service launching in mid-2017. Haynes Griffin, SmartSky Chairman and CEO, stated, “After investing tens of millions of dollars and over five years of research and development effort, SmartSky’s now certified technology has unlocked enough spectrum to be able to offer, for the first time, the reliable use of a sophisticated, custom-designed 4G system that can deliver an office-like internet experience in the air for both business aviation and commercial aviation customers.”FCC certification is the culmination of work to develop and patent protect the multiple bodies of technology that uniquely enable SmartSky to make use of the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum band, all without causing harmful interference to or receiving interference from the operation of the same band on the ground. Despite the widespread assertion that aviation-related spectrum reuse in the unlicensed band would not be feasible, SmartSky has successfully solved the challenge by implementing new technical methods that are broadly covered by its robust and growing portfolio of 20 granted patents. Additional patents are pending.

Reed Hundt, SmartSky’s Vice Chairman of the Board and former Chairman of the FCC, remarked, “Long ago, the FCC authorized the allocation of large blocks of unlicensed spectrum to foster innovation and encourage competition. Today, we see the amazing results of that prescient regulation, which has resulted in ubiquitous Wi-Fi on the ground. By application of novel technologies using 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum, SmartSky’s breakthrough will finally give the aviation industry the superior connectivity now taken for granted terrestrially.”

Roberson and Associates, a highly regarded independent wireless industry consulting firm, investigated the ability of SmartSky’s radio technology to seamlessly coexist with terrestrial Wi-Fi. CEO Dennis Roberson, who is also Chairman of the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council, commented, “SmartSky’s technology solution is transparent to Wi-Fi users on the ground, enabling the air-to-ground sharing of the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band.”

SmartSky’s technology and patent portfolio is not limited to the unlicensed band. Most of the patents apply to any frequency and any waveform in any high speed air-to-ground network. Because these are broad patents, SmartSky enables underlying technical advances to be incorporated into its conceptual solution. “Over time, this will allow SmartSky to keep pace with the latest advances in computing, antennas, radios and networking while still being protected by our foundational patents,” said Griffin.


Rockwell Collins:

Continuing a relationship that has lasted over 70 years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has renewed its Aeronautical Mobile Communications Service (AMCS) agreement with Rockwell Collins. Under the agreement, the company will continue to provide Air Traffic Control (ATC) communications, including position reports, aircraft requests and ATC clearances, between the FAA and aircraft flying in U.S. oceanic airspace.


Uber Transportation in Singapore!

Lastly, here is a Singapore treat from the nice folks at Uber, the transportation app company. It’s easy to use: In the app, choose your ride and set your location. Once you get matched, you’ll see your driver’s picture and vehicle details, at the same time, you can easily track their estimated time of arrival on the map. No phone calls to make, no pick-ups to schedule. With 24/7 availability, request a ride any time of day. Here is how you can get started: Download the Uber app and register for an account. You’ll have the option to input your credit card or opt for cash payment. To enjoy a $15 FREE ride, simply enter the code IFEXPRESS into the Promotions tab! Hurry – the code is valid until 31 October 2016.

  • Robinson to expand deployment of Bluebox’s market-leading IFE systems to airlines across the EMEA region


Dunfermline, UK | October 4, 2016–
As part of its growth and expansion plans, innovative inflight entertainment (IFE) systems provider, Bluebox Avionics, has appointed Neil Robinson as Director of Sales, for the European, Middle East and African (EMEA) markets.
With over twenty years of aviation experience, Robinson has a strong background in technology sales and business development, and specifically in the IFE systems market through his previous position at Lumexis Corporation of Irvine, California.

“The technology developed by the team at Bluebox is shaking up the IFE market. My focus is quite simply to help more customers take advantage of all the benefits of Bluebox’s technology,” Robinson said. “Of course that means driving more sales for Bluebox, but it also means giving airlines an innovative improvement over the status quo of costly and difficult-to-upgrade in-built systems, and options for service recovery, accessibility and ancillary revenue.”
David Brown, Bluebox’s Joint Managing Director, said: “Neil’s knowledge and experience in business development is exactly what we need to drive our ambitious growth plans across EMEA. But more than just the right skill set, his enthusiasm for how our solutions are disrupting the traditional IFE market will help us build momentum in this rapidly evolving industry.”

“Bluebox has a great team, innovative technology, solid industry partnerships, and already has an impressive global client list,” Robinson added. “I’m looking forward to helping even more airlines deliver an enhanced passenger experience with Bluebox IFE technology.”

Robinson will be based in the UK and can be reached at neil.robinson@blueboxavionics.com. Currently visiting customers across the EMEA region, he will also be joining the Bluebox team at APEX Expo (24-27 October, Singapore), a key event in the airline industry calendar.

  • Improving passenger experience and ancillary revenues for airlines

Isle of Wight, UK | September 2016–
APEX 2016 will see the very latest in connectivity, payment and power solutions from IFEC specialists IFPL, on Booth 1745 at the Singapore based show.

IFPL lead the way when it comes to deploying contactless payment systems NFC (Near Field Communication) on-board aircraft, with global OEM’s and airlines using this technology for seat back in-flight retail and customer personalisation. APEX 2016 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 thus increasing ancillary revenues.

With portable and wearable tech now widespread, visitors to APEX can also see IFPL’s USB- C and USB-A units, both providing hi-speed data and power.

As always, innovation from IFPL will be on display with the company demonstrating its new integrated seat arm concept. This will reflect its ability to customise peripherals to support the design language, aesthetics and ergonomics required for true IFE and seat integration.

IFPL will be demonstrating their ‘Charge-2-Charge’ solution for both inductive and USB charging – this will enable airlines to generate additional revenue from passengers wishing to charge their portable devices during flights. Demonstrations will also be available for their popular 110V A/C power outlet and its combination 110V and USB-A & C.

Solving the problem of broken headphone sockets are IFPL’s MagSignal Audio units. Cost neutral when compared with traditional sockets, MagSignal Technology allows the headset cable to be pulled and detached from any angle without detriment; reducing customer induced damage (CID) and maintenance disruption to aircraft.

As always IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to APEX 2016 in Singapore may have.

We first heard about meshed aviation networks a few years ago but not much has happened in the build and test phase until now. In the past, and as far back as 2008, mesh networks have found use on the ground and in the air with the military. However, in the last couple of years, mesh networks have found a proposed place, specifically in aviation papers like this one. Interestingly, Wikipedia notes; “The 66-satellite Iridium constellation operates as a mesh network, with wireless links between adjacent satellites. Calls between two satellite phones are routed through the mesh, from one satellite to another across the constellation, without having to go through an earth station. This makes for a smaller travel distance for the signal, reducing latency, and also allows for the constellation to operate with far fewer earth stations than would be required for 66 traditional communications satellites.”
Now, the Airborne Wireless Network folks are targeting the communication to and from the ground, through moving aircraft paths… that is, the planes have antennas that talk to each other, as well as, to ground stations – look at it as a flexible, moving wireless network that does not use satellites, but rather, uses the airplane(s) as the communication nodes to ground stations. As the reported requirements for off-plane data increases, as well as the development failure prediction capability based on more data, communicating black box testing, and passengers and crew data usage goes up – another method to send it might be useful! The concept in our first story is the result of a lot of new technology brought about by new data handling capabilities, advanced antenna processing, flexible spectrum management and frequency-agile transmissions and importantly, software defined networking. While Airborne Wireless Network has kept a low profile about their operation, you are going to hear a lot about the technology, and a lot about their product in the future. Stay Tuned!

Airborne Wireless Network:
Airborne Wireless Network (the company) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding with Kansas City-based Jet Midwest Group (Jet Midwest). It states that both parties have agreed to enter into a definitive agreement by September 30, 2016. The memorandum further states that Jet Midwest Group would be providing up to three Boeing 757-223 Jetliners to Airborne Wireless Network for its ‘proof of network concept’ and FAA certification testing. Two of these Boeing 757-223’s have tentatively been designated for the company’s use.
Once the aircraft have been fitted with Airborne Wireless’ equipment and ground-testing has been completed, the company plans to fly these commercial jets from Roswell, New Mexico to Kansas City, Missouri. According to the FAA, this will be a historic “first ever” flight of a meshed commercial airliner-based network. Their plan is for global service of real-time data performance developing a virtual airborne “worldwide web”. One of the advantages of an airplane-based is, of course, no space junk which is a big deal. The only hang-up is you have to get a lot of folks in the game with all their aircraft before enough coverage is available as a reliable connection service. If there are enough players, the advantages, however, result in multiple signal paths, a true “meshed network”, and no single point of failure. We are sure you can see the issues, especially since we are in the heyday of potential signal hacking but being some 30,000 feet above ‘bad guy’ signal sources may have value, not to mention the removal of ground-to-air and air-to-ground weather-related signal and distance losses. This is worth watching.


GOODBYE JOE:
Last week, Boeing’s Father of the B747, Joe Sutter, passed away at 95. Mr. Sutter was involved with many planes that Boeing built like the B377, the “Dash 80”, B707, B720, B727, B737, and famously as the Father of the B747. He was a nice man and always had the time to say hello… goodbye Joe.


AIN PRODUCT SURVEY CONGRATS!
AIN reports in aircraft cabin electronics this year that, Aircraft Cabin Systems came in second in their Product Report Survey. Gogo Business/Satcom Direct tied for first place. Additionally, Satcom Direct won for overall product reliability. Check the survey results out here.


AIRBUS:
AIRBUS announced orders from VIETJET for 10 A321ceos and 10 A321neos and JETSTAR PACIFIC for 10 A320ceos; and MOU from VIETNAM AIRLINES for 10 more A350s. We also note that AIRBUS delivered 61 airliners (47 A320 Family, seven A330s, six A350s, and two A380) in August versus 44 (32 A320s, 10 A330s, two A380s) in August 2015. It has now delivered 400 some aircraft in 2016.


THE DELTA MESS:
Delta has reported a $100 million loss from those 2300 lost flights last month, which was blamed on a bad router and data backup capability. Wow, that’s an expensive router! Check out the full story.


AIX ASIA:
From the folks at Aircraft Interiors Expo Asia we get this bit of info about the show – “AIX Asia will welcome more than 50 exhibitors across seating, onboard retail, passenger comfort and more, including Geven, ZIM and Mirus Aircraft Seating. We are co-located with the Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO and the APEX EXPO, bringing together over 150 exhibitors to Singapore this year and creating the airline industry’s biggest fall event for the passenger experience industry.” IFExpress will be there October 24 – 27, 2016 and we hope you will too. We should also note that while the Zika virus has now infected 151 individuals in Singapore, the first locally-transmitted Zika infection was reported this past Saturday but most cases reported are from foreigners. “We have been tracking Zika for a while now, and knew it was only a matter of time before it reached Singapore,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted on his Facebook page. “Our best defense is to eradicate mosquitoes and destroy breeding habitats, all over Singapore.” Singapore is the only Asian country with active transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. We are bringing our Sawyer Picardin (Consumer Reports highest rated insect repellent – look it up.


VARIOUS LINKS WORTH YOUR TIME:
1. How to Keep Your Mac or iPhone Secure When Traveling Overseas | The Mac Security Blog
2. FAA Tightens Safeguards on Lithium Batteries on Airplanes – WSJ
3. Why You Should Drink Milk Before A Road Trip
4. Long TSA Delays Force Airports To Hire Private Security Contractors – Slashdot
5. ViaSat (VSAT), Eutelsat Receive New Contract in Europe
6. The Ultimate Guide to Travel Plugs
7. Travel hacks to avoid fees for Wi-Fi, extra legroom


auf Wiedersehen AXEL!
“As of today I will go on a sabbatical leave! Still unbelievable for me, but after a very long time at TriaGnoSys and Zii, I will give up work responsibility, and enjoy various other activities, family and friends, which I gave too low focus in the past.  So I am leaving with a smile in one eye and a tear in the other.  Looking forward to seeing you soon again, take care, Axel”

Aircraft Interiors (AIX and PEC) is now the biggest show in IFEC each year. It got that way because there was a need for a centralized European and Middle East source of information, communication, demonstration and celebration of the IFEC experience, as well as, being located at the same venue for over ten years. With over 530 exhibitors this year, there was a wealth of innovative products and services on display last week in Hamburg Germany. IFExpress was told that over 16,000 visitors attended the event (Entrance is free – good idea.), and of course, we covered as many booths that we thought our readers might find both interesting and useful, and that caught our fancy. Obviously, it will take a few weeks to get the story of our visits out so stay tuned on that front. Pictures will be on the website soon so keep watch there as well.

In case you did not go, there are a couple things about the show you should know. First, the expo consists of two parts – the first day (Monday) is comprised of a Passenger Experience Conference. It is a one-day inflight data extravaganza and covers almost every facet of the inflight experience with lectures, small meeting/discussion forums, and culminates in a useful food and beverage entertainment party. The next 3 days are dedicated to the exhibition show with over 530 exhibitors.

Second, there are the Crystal Cabin Awards, below are a few of the winners:
Cabin Systems class – B/E Aerospace
Electronic Systems – Lufthansa Systems
Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment – Boeing
Visionary Concepts – Zodiac Aerospace … and more. You can find the complete winners list here

Like last year, there was an IFEC Zone comprised of three of the total AIX zones and an App to help sort it out. The IFE Zone had 102 exhibitors and grew by 31% over 2015. The App is designed to enhance your experience before, during and after the show, by putting the following features and information at your fingertips:
3D Floor plan with routeplanner features information about walking distances between the halls
Find exhibitors by category to view profiles and to add to your list of favorites
• View the exhibitor’s products
• View the full four-day event program and speaker listings
• Take a look at the features that are at the exhibition including Wi-Fi areas
General and venue information to help plan your journey
My Event – perfect for storing your favorite exhibitors and sessions
Guide to Hamburg to help see what Hamburg has to offer including hotels, restaurants and in case you have time local attractions
• And yes, you could take a selfie with their personalized background

In summary then, the AIX folks note the following show statistics and info: “16,000 industry executives are estimated to have attended Passenger Experience Week, from 5th – 7th April, whilst the number of VIP airline attendees rose by 14% – many of whom were senior executives from more than 180 airlines located in 26 markets across the globe. There were more than 530 exhibitors at this year’s AIX –– with 145 companies exhibiting for the first time. AIX was preceded by the Passenger Experience Conference, which saw more than 50 speakers from across the passenger experience industry sharing insights with some 400 delegates from airlines, suppliers, designers and the media.”


PASSENGER EXPERIENCE CONFERENCE:

The folks at AIX note: Defining the future of the passenger experience industry, the Passenger Experience Conference is the leading global conference and networking forum delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Check out the program and speakers here

One of the best part of the flying future is the potential for onboard purchases, as many speakers at the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) meeting on Monday stated. One presenter noted that the folks at GuestLogix pegged onboard sales in 2014 around $1.8B worldwide. Beverages were 58% of the total, food was 38.2%, while “Passenger Comfort” was given at 3.8%. The interesting part was the growth – 11% per year! Part of this is attributable to the airlines reduction of free items; however, this kind of growth is indicative of a couple things. First, passengers have money to purchase items, that is proof of the growth rate, but further, as an area of purchasing potential, the cabin is ripe. Thus, there is a growing market for providing a way to purchase more on the plane is an obvious potential. We should also mention that Visa and MasterCard also exhibited 10 and 13.6 % growth, respectively, in the same period. Further, off-line limits are in the $100 to $200 range, while on-line sales via the credit card world has no limits. The authentication process is delivering real-time proof-of-ownership status with the bank that issues the card (and a real-time Lost/Stolen card status as well). Obviously, connectivity and credit card sales onboard have a future on aircraft and folks like IFPL are prepping the technology for that eventuality.


APEX & GOOGLE ANNOUNCEMENT:

One of the early show surprises was the involvement of Google with IFEC and we can thank Joe Leader of APEX for their inclusion. By using their world class data aggregation and knowledge data base capability, the folks at Google see a connection to this business in the pre-flight, in-flight, and the post-flight regimes by helping to extend the engagement window and shortening the rebooking cycle. In flight, they see the capacity of helping the connected passenger to experience a better, personalized experience, and finally, enabling ancillary revenue growth for products and post flight services. Google has a part in the future of air travel… they think so and so does APEX.

On the same note, Joe Leader of APEX, see’s a world of data assisted passenger experiences and kicked off their announcement of an Official Airline Rating program. Beginning with seats and product catalogs, the APEX view talks about high effectiveness and high airline control over the eventual personalization of the travel experience and the resulting “differentiated” airline in the evolution process. Of course, the issue is data and while passengers (74% on average) are comfortable using technology when they travel, there is a plethora of apps available, fewer are really used. He noted that an average of 80 are device installed, only 25% are seemingly used for the travel process. While the numbers may be higher than you or I use, the issue is one of data obfuscation – too many apps, and a better way to use them is needed. In the next few years as Joe noted, there will need to be an interoperability between apps, Facebook, and Google. There also needs to be a friendlier branding eco-structure in the ticket process… and thus there needs to be a neutral party to pull the process together. In essence, he sees a future airline rating system that can know and confirm validity for all airlines (Tall order!). Next, it has to be useful to passengers beyond travel and since there are over 10 million active users, this tool has value. Further, the tool that Joe is proposing has to correctly use feedback and exhibit some neutral bias such as a non-profit position because it has to provide non-conflicting results to the airlines. Thus, he proposed OfficialAirlineRatings (TM) (patent pending), which will be validated flight ratings for worldwide airlines by the passengers… this is a global project.  He expects the data service to begin this summer and time will tell if airlines will get in bed with this passenger response driven system.

From a data point of view, APEX plans to analyze subjective data from passengers, use objective data captured from actual sources like seat measurements and IFE capability and availability. We expect APEX to calibrate and review the data and sources by flying the airline noted routes (hopefully announced), and provide raw data and awards as the final output for the effort. Make no mistake, this is no easy challenge because the airline involvement is key and we will wait to see if APEX can corral the airlines into this program – lofty goal, hard to do in practice. IFExpress wishes APEX the best on this program because it establishes a common goal for measurement but historically, this has been hard to achieve.


AIX NEWS HEADLINES:

  • AIRBUS’ launch customer for the Airspace by Airbus cabin is TAP Portugal’s 14 A330-900neos. The new Airspace by Airbus has a LED mood lighting system, larger overhead bins, new lavatories, a new welcome area and the latest innovations in IFE and connectivity.
  • SINGAPORE AIRLINES selected STELIA AEROSPACE, to design and manufacture their new business class seats.
  • ROCKWELL COLLINS and THALES  were selected by Airbus to supply high-bandwidth connectivity (HBC) solution for A320s, A330s and A380s; companies will collaborate with Airbus to develop and deploy line-fit and retrofit systems.
  • Hainan Airlines selected THALES to supply Android-based AVANT IFE for its new A330s. Deliveries start in the second half of 2017.
  • PANASONIC AVIONICS eXO overhead IFE system was selected by Saudi Arabian Airlines for 30 A320s currently on order.
  • STG AEROSPACE launched new saf-Tglo blu photoluminescent floor path system that uses a cool blue glow instead of the traditional green glow, and liTeMood LED a newplug-and-play replacement for incandescent reading lights on the 737NGs. They also secured Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from EASA.  Additionally, STG Aerospace expands its emergency and informational cabin signage product range with Malaysia Airlines. Lastly, Eastern Airlines improves passenger experience by installing STG Aerospace’s LED mood lighting system.
    Summit selected TELEFONIX PDT to secure STC for its IFEC hardware for 737-700/800/900ER.
  • HAMBURG AVIATION presented 2016 Crystal Cabin Awards to B/E AEROSPACE (Cabin Systems), BOEING (Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment), ETIHAD(Cabin Concepts),  LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS (Electronic Systems),  REBEL.AERO (Passenger Comfort Hardware), SEKISUI SPI (Material and Components), TU DELFT (University) and ZODIAC(Visionary Concepts).
  • AFI KLM E&M received an EASA STC to install ROCKWELL COLLINS PAVES PSS on A330.
  • ROCKWELL COLLINS announced a new virtual training simulator for maintenance and operation of its seat-centric PAVES and overhead IFE systems. Rockwell Collins was also selected by AIR ASTANA to provide onboard broadband connectivity
  • GORE unveiled HDMI 2.0 cables to provide higher video resolution for IFE systems.
  • GOGO released: From the Ground Up: How the Internet of Things will Give Rise to Connected Aviation, which was created to spark an industry wide conversation about how the Internet of Things will reshape aviation. Free Also, GOGO partnered with Airbus Corporate Jet Centre to install 2Ku technology on new A350 aircraft. Delta Air Lines will take delivery of 2Ku-equipped A350s in 2017.
  • FOKKER SERVICES displayed iShade dimmable technology integrated into its new panoramic window at AIX.
  • INMARSAT to enhance airline passenger broadband offering with roadmap for aviation capacity growth. Global Xpress will serve as the foundation of an integrated global network that can be shaped to fit any airline route system and built upon to meet future demand.
  • INFLIGHT DUBLIN strikes worldwide IFE agreement with Sony Music.
  • DMD (Dawson Media Direct) welcomes digital media expert Andrew Wiltshire to head Digiredoo their digital newspaper and magazine delivery service to airlines independent airport lounges and major rail operators across the world.
  • MEZZOGLOBAL launched low cost wireless In-Flight Passenger Entertainment App for Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD).
  • PANASONIC AVIONICS is first to offer NFC Technology with multiple aircraft OEMs.
  • ASTRONICS CORPORATION awarded Emergency Lighting and Passenger Service Unites (PSU) contract for the Embraer E2 program.
  • SITA released that Australia Border Exit Checks are now powered by SITA’s advanced technology. Automatic advance security checks now being run on all passengers exiting Australia.

Lastly, we apologize to those folks we missed at AIX. We tried but it has finally come down to time versus the number of IFEC displays and presentations. If you have something you want to say, send it to us and we will get your message out… we hope!

  • The Co-Location of The 2016 Global Connected Aircraft Summit and The Airline Passenger Experience Association’s Technology and Educational Conference Will Provide Maximum Value to Event Attendees

Rockville, MD | January 27, 2016– The Global Connected Aircraft Summit and The Airline Passenger Experience Association Technology Educational Conference (APEX TEC) will co-locate events this June in Los Angeles, California. The Global Connected Aircraft Summit will take place June 6-8, while the APEX TEC Conference will take place June 8-9.

The co-location of Global Connected Aircraft Summit and APEX TEC will provide attendees the opportunity to maximize value of their participation over the four days. Registrants will have expanded opportunities to meet fellow industry members, airline executives, cyber security professionals, technologists, and subject matter experts. Attendees will be able to hear from both groups’ knowledgeable speakers and leaders about the future of aerospace industry connectivity and evolving passenger needs.

The Global Connected Aircraft Summit, launched in 2014, provides an in-person forum for the discussion of connectivity as it pertains to aerospace, aviation, satellite and beyond. Connecting airlines with the organizations that support them, the Global Connected Aircraft Summit covers new and emerging technologies, communications advances, solutions in the cockpit, and beyond as they relate to airline operations as well as the passenger experience. Now in its third year, the organizers of the growing event are excited for the opportunity to partner with APEX, one of the top associations serving the aviation community. Those attending APEX TEC will have the opportunity to register for the Global Connected Aircraft Summit at a discounted rate in order to meet with attendees and hear the top-tier content that the Summit has a reputation for providing.

“By co-locating Global Connected Aircraft Summit with APEX TEC, we are able to offer an even greater value to our attendees by creating an event that takes a comprehensive, in-depth look at the industry,” said Tish Drake, Vice President of the Global Connected Aircraft Summit . “APEX TEC will focus on all technologies touching the passenger experience, including connectivity, entertainment, and on board payment, which nicely compliments the Global Connected Aircraft Summit business, technology and operations coverage, bringing the event full circle.”

For nearly 40 years, APEX has served as the international airline association for the passenger experience industry. APEX created APEX TEC to provide the industry and its members with information, guidance, analysis, and trend reporting on technology issues critical to the aviation industry. APEX TEC provides a crucial forum for technical experts to review and discuss ongoing special projects of the APEX Technology Committee setting specifications and standards for the airline industry focused upon applying new technologies to the passenger experience. Attendees at APEX TEC will hear thought-leading presentations from within and outside the airline industry on cutting-edge technologies. Contributions made by delegates to APEX TEC shape airline travel technology more than any other industry event.

“APEX TEC sets the standard for airline passenger technology and 2016 will set on a unique new trajectory focused beyond individualization,” said Joe Leader, APEX CEO. “By co-locating APEX TEC with Global Connected Aircraft Summit, we will be able to bring our distinctive offerings to a broader airline audience than ever before, while continuing to advance technological standards for our industry.”

To learn more about Global Connected Aircraft Summit visit gcasummit.com. For more information on the Airline Passenger Experience Association visit apex.aero.

It’s that time again when the the boss wants to know what show(s) you and your team need to attend in 2016, and it is a daunting job. I know, because when in the IFEC corporate world I had to do it. Usually, the boss wants to know, what show(s) to visit and why, what show(s) need to have a booth, who should go to which shows, and finally, a budget needs to be developed for doing the aforementioned. So, to help out the poor folks who have to sort it out here is a list of shows that might be worth your while and we call them IFEC SHOWS YOU SHOULD VISIT. We do so because we have visited most of them and found value, and we think you will as well. We have also listed IFEC SHOWS YOU MIGHT WANT TO VISIT because they look very interesting and educational but we have not visited all of them. And lastly, we list some ANCILLARY SHOWS that look valuable, but you have to be the judge.

YOU SHOULD VISIT THESE:

Aircraft Interiors EXPO, April 5 – 7, 2016, Hamburg Messe, Germany
This quote from their website says it all: “Take your business to new heights with the leading aircraft interiors event, with over 1,000 airline buyers, 530+ leading aircraft interiors suppliers, and 14,000 approx. attendees all in one place.” Which pretty much says it all. Easily the biggest IFEC since it began, and because it exists in Europe, they have a large, natural aviation audience and a lot of close national and international airlines. Although, it doesn’t hurt to have free walk-around admission to the exhibition. You can find out more here. We should note that the conference covers a lot of diverse cabin interior products there is a dedicated IFEC zone which usually is approximately half of the show and almost too much to cover from a reporter perspective. Here is what they say about the ZONE: “With IFEC at the forefront of the aviation commercial industry, the IFEC zone at Aircraft Interiors Expo has increased in size by 31%. Covering halls B2 to B4, the IFEC Zone is dedicated to Content Service providers, TV/ Short Subject Content Sellers, Games Suppliers, GUI Creators and App Developers, IFE Hardware, and Inflight Communications & Connectivity.” Believe us, all the IFEC folks will be there and companies like Panasonic, Thales, and many others will be there. We also note that on Monday, April 4 (one day before the AIX Exhibition), is the Passenger Experience. Here is their story: “Learn from industry visionaries, exchange knowledge and engage in lively debate exploring the future trends of the passenger experience industry. Featuring in-depth breakout sessions focusing on cabin interiors and passenger comfort; passenger entertainment and connectivity; hospitality, service and retail. Encompassing case studies, presentations, panel discussions, networking and more, to set the agenda for the passenger experience industry and drive your business forward. This one day conference and Industry Networking Party opens the Passenger Experience Week, ahead of Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo.” Their website tells it al.

(Editor’s Note: If you check out this link for AIX you might note an interesting lead advertiser – you got it, “APEX”. No doubt, the world of IFEC Shows is seeing a lot of visitor duress because of the number of offerings. We think there is an effort afoot to consolidate and merge the Shows… and that just makes sense. We suspect Mr. Leader and others are at work on this but we have no data to prove it. If you have been confused as to “who is showing with whom” this year, don’t feel alone. This is a transition year and we expect a lot of changes in IFEC Shows in the coming years. Co-location of IFEC shows is a necessary ritual today and we all probably have many parties to thank for it… mostly because it makes financial sense. More surprises ahead, we reckon – Stay tuned!)

APEX EXPO 2016, October 24 – 27, Singapore; Aircraft Interiors EXPO ASIA, October 25 – 27; FTE ASIA EXPO, October 25 – 26, Singapore.

The trifecta event will take place in Singapore from 24 thru 27 October 2016 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands. The decision to co-locate the IFEC show triumvirate represents a closer collaboration to the benefit of the industry as a whole. The Reed Exhibitions folks go on to say: “Both APEX and Reed Exhibitions have a history of incredibly successful events, so this collaboration will be a win-win for our industry as a whole.” Further, Joe Leader, APEX CEO noted: “We are enthused that APEX will gain more members through our collaboration efforts to advance the passenger experience.” Also, at the co-located event, AIX Asia will feature the latest innovations in aircraft seating, cabin interior design, management systems, soft furnishings, leather, textiles, galley equipment, and lighting services. APEX EXPO will feature the world of airline passenger experience including its red-carpet exclusive World of Content, electronics, airline passenger content, passenger engagement technology, and cutting-edge IFE technology. 

(Stay Tuned for any event changes at the Singapore show since it now includes all three big IFEC show sponsors; and because they are looking after your money, be patient.)

YOU MIGHT WANT TO ALSO VISIT THESE:

AIME – Aircraft Interiors Middle East 2016, 3 – 4 Feb., Dubai World Trade Center, UAE
From their website: “AIME is a two-day exhibition and conference providing the ideal platform for interiors suppliers, providers and buyers to network and establish new relationships in the Middle East. Co-located with MRO Middle East, AIME is a must-attend event delivering the latest innovations in aircraft interiors. AIME 2016 is held at Dubai World Trade Centre on 03-04 February 2016. As the Middle East’s only aircraft interiors event, AIME 2016 will feature over 275 exhibitors, 4,500 attendees from over 100 countries, as well as more than 90 airlines represented from around the world.”

IPC APEX EXPO 2016 Conference & Exhibition, March 15 – 17, Las Vegas Convention Center Las Vegas, NV, USA
From the website: “IPC APEX EXPO 2016 delivers a critical combination of progressive education and tomorrow’s technology. Join us and be part of the year’s best opportunity to learn and experience applied technology with real-world applications for tomorrow’s needs. This is Forward Thinking for Tomorrow’s Technology. and we offer the latest technical research, Industry best practices, access to the solutions and subject-matter experts you need to solve challenges in a fraction of the time it takes on the job the largest electronics industry collection of top suppliers, live demos, and extreme innovation, connections in educational sessions on the show floor and during networking events.“

FTE – Future Travel Experience Europe, April 25 – 26, Amsterdam, NL
FTE notes on their website: “The organizers say FTE Europe 2016 will deliver a memorable learning and networking experience to the expected 450+ senior travel sector executives from Europe and beyond, who will enjoy a unique event program consisting of influential keynote speakers, ‘On the Ground’ and ‘Up in the Air’ conference streams, an extensive exhibition, collaboration forums and unique social events. “The ‘Up in the Air’ conference stream was introduced at FTE Europe 2015 to great acclaim and completes our focus on the “end-to-end” travel experience. It is now firmly established as the industry’s leading conference where airlines, OEMs, cabin designers and suppliers share their latest onboard innovations and define which direction the in-flight passenger experience will take in the future.” Check out their website (the best).

Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity & IFE Conference 2016, April 27 – 28, London, England
Here is what the folks at Get Connected wrote about it: “Make a diary note for Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th April 2016. That’s when the Aircraft eEnablement Connectivity & IFE Conference (AEEC 2016) is taking place at the Park Inn Hotel, London Heathrow, UK. Launched in 2013, this was the world’s first event of its kind to cover all aspects of aircraft connectivity and IFE (on the ground, in the cockpit and the passenger cabin). The aim of this conference is to help all airlines to better manage the operational benefits and revenue opportunities available with connected airplanes. In addition to flight deck and cabin IFE connectivity topics the are planning to include an airline eEnablement panel discussion for 2016, plus topics on big data, wearable tech and MRO connectivity applications.” You can download the brochure here.

GLOBAL CONNECTED AIRCRAFT 2016 Summit, June 6 – 8, Los Angeles, CA, USA
They say this about the show: “The Global Connected Aircraft Summit provides airlines, operators, integrators, and technology vendors complete connected solutions – from ground to air and from nose to tail. The second annual event connects business, technology, and industry perspectives and goes beyond just in-flight entertainment, to include operations, communications and technologies that impacts the aircraft. The annual Global Connected Aircraft Summit brings together an audience focused on the aircraft of the future across the satellite and aviation industries. This educational event starts where the others stop – delivering more than average solutions and providing real-world examples and results that will positively impact your bottom line. Discover how connectivity is expanding beyond providing passengers with state-of-the-art entertainment to increase efficiency and offer cutting edge services.This highly-anticipated event will take place at the Loews Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA June 6-8, 2016. This three-day educational summit will feature keynote speakers in both the satellite and aviation industries, multiple networking opportunities on and off site, and a chance to truly understand the concept of global connectivity beyond the passenger experience in order to increase efficiency and offer cutting edge services.”

NBAA’s – Business Aircraft Convention & Exhibition (NBAA – BACE), Nov. 1 – 3, 2016, Orlando Fla., USA
“Join 26,000 industry professionals for the most important three days of business aviation. Ranked as the sixth largest trade show in the United States, the Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) will be held Nov. 1–3, 2016, in Orlando, Florida, bringing together current and prospective aircraft owners, manufacturers and customers into one meeting place to get critical work accomplished.” Note: This show seems to have a limited IFEC display content but still companies like ASI, Panasonic, and Astronics were in attendance along with many connectivity folks like Gogo and and on.)

And lastly, we found some ADDITIONAL SHOWS that you might also want to attend:

1. SATELLITE 2016, March 7 – 10, 2016, Gaylord Convention Center, National Harbor, MD, USA
2. Airline & Aerospace MRO Operations IT Conference – Americas, March 8 – 9, Miami, Florida, USA
3. Women In Aviation, March 10 – 12, Nashville, TN, USA
4. Evolving Connectivity 2016, April 27, Birmingham, England
5. Aviation Electronics Europe, April 20, 21, Munich Germany
6. Airshow China 2016, Nov. 1 – 6, Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

NOTE: Attached is a link to many of the shows above and it was provided to us in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet. We know you need something to show your boss and we asked John Courtright (SIE) to provided his worksheet which he uses for industry event planning. You can start there and add your shows preferences. He told IFExpress: “SIE needs to have a strong presence at various Aerospace Industry events. So, in marketing our Major Mod, Engineering Design and STC services to Operators and OEMs worldwide we use this 2016 planning tool to ensure we are available, accessible, and responsive to our MRO and IFE & Connectivity customers at these important Industry events.” Thank You John & SIE!


YOURSpace:  Last week we introduce YOURSpace with a discussion about Fiber Optic advancements from Lumexis. If you didn’t get an opportunity to read last week’s submission, check out the hyperlink under the ‘YOURSpace’ header at the bottom of IFExpress. Next week YOURSpace will feature digEcor.  Do you have a story to tell? That’s why we developed YOURSpace… contact Patricia Wiseman for more information.

  • October 2016 Event Creates Airline Industry’s Biggest Autumn Event for Airline Passenger Experience

New York, USA | December 8, 2015– The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and Reed Exhibitions have today announced the co-location of APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Asia (AIX Asia), creating the biggest airline passenger experience trade show in Asia. The event will take place in Singapore from 24-27 October, 2016 at the iconic Marina Bay Sands.

The decision to co-locate APEX and AIX Asia represents a closer collaboration to the benefit of the industry as a whole. Reed Exhibitions will be moving their AIX Americas event to Singapore for October 2016 under the title AIX Asia. Both APEX EXPO and AIX Americas will return to the USA in 2017.

“Both APEX and Reed Exhibitions have a history of incredibly successful events, so this collaboration will be a win-win for our industry as a whole. We are enthused that APEX will gain more members through our collaboration efforts to advance the passenger experience,” said Joe Leader, APEX CEO.

Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “Following feedback from our exhibitors and airline attendees, we are delighted to be co-locating AIX Asia next autumn alongside APEX EXPO. This provides a great opportunity to bring the industry together and we are looking forward to a fantastic show in Singapore.”

At the co-located event, AIX Asia will feature the latest innovations in aircraft seating, cabin interior design, management systems, soft furnishings, leather, textiles, galley equipment, and lighting services. APEX EXPO will feature the world of airline passenger experience including its red-carpet exclusive World of Content, electronics, airline passenger content, passenger engagement technology, and cutting-edge IFE technology. APEX will also lead the coordination of educational and networking events across the passenger experience industry.

To learn more about the Airline Passenger Experience Association visit apex.aero For more information on AIX Asia visit www.aircraftinteriorsexpoasia.com


We are still covering the press meetings with APEX Show vendors and will do so for the next few weeks to let our readers get a better feel for our discussions there – our goal is the help everybody understand their products and promotions…

Lumexis:
The Lumexis press release said it all best about their announced deal in Portland: Lumexis Corporation today announce that their Fiber-To-The-Screen (FTTS) In-Flight Entertainment system has been selected by Caribbean Airlines for installation on their fleet of B737 aircraft. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Caribbean Airlines as our latest airline customer,” said Jon Norris, Lumexis Vice President Sales. “In addition to continuing the in-service success of the FTTS system, Caribbean Airlines are the launch customer for FTTS Second ScreenTM which enables passengers to use their own tablets and smartphones simultaneously at their seat without interrupting the entertainment running in the FTTS HD monitors.” IFExpress understands that eight of their B737 will be initially involved. In case you don’t know the airline, Caribbean Airlines operates more than 600 weekly flights to 19 destinations in the Caribbean, North and South America and the United Kingdom. The airline’s fleet of 21 is comprised of Boeing 737-800, Boeing 767-300ER and ATR72-600 aircraft. Headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago, and with an operational base in Jamaica, Caribbean Airlines employs more than 1600 people. The airline is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Lou Sharkey, President and Chief Operating officer notes, “We are delighted to partner with Caribbean Airlines to bring to their passengers our award winning Inflight Entertainment system”. “Partner” is a good word here and we note, the key concept is to increase customer entertainment choice over their many worldwide routes. We understand the first install will occur in June of 2016.

The folks at Lumexis also stated that they have now developed their 4th generation FTTS system which, we note, features the Android Lollipop Operating System… the first IFE we know that does. This means, as one writer noted, “With Android Lollipop Google is making connectivity a big focus.” Improved connectivity is a big deal with the engineering folks and we see the second screen concept they are so proud of as a real passenger pleaser. However, as they also point out, the majority of airlines want seat back entertainment, but portable IFE is very well accepted as short haul solutions. And speaking of screens, the Lumexis team has developed full HD screens in their IFE offering with multi-touch pinch and zoom. Jon Norris notes that “… we’re talking to over 50 airlines at the moment who are interested in our FTTS line-it offering and considering the product… airlines are solidly considering Lumexis as the fourth IFE option on the B737.”


APEX has just announced that vendor attendees at the APEX TEC conferences will now be charged a fee to participate. As this changes a long-established tradition of TECs being a benefit of membership, IFExpress asked APEX Technology Committee chair and APEX Board Member Michael Childers to explain the reasons.

IFExpress: After years of offering technology committee meetings as a member benefit, why are you now charging?

Childers: There are several reasons. One is that these meetings have, over time, evolved from simply working meetings of various TC Working Groups, to educational conferences attended by people who are not members of the Working Groups, and who are attending for information and educational benefits.

As attendance has regularly increased due to this kind of attendee, the costs of these activities have also risen. It is difficult to distinguish between today’s TECs and the Educational Meetings that we have around the world, and it seemed reasonable to begin to try to achieve parity between the TECs and the Educational Conferences by charging vendor attendees who come for information which is of value.

IFExpress: Are you saying that membership dues no longer cover the costs of these events?

Childers: They do not. Nor does the combination of membership fees and the sponsorships for the TECs cover all of the expenses. Plus, as a direct expense of providing technology leadership, APEX now employs a part-time Technical Director, Bryan Rusenko, who spends a lot of his time helping to plan and execute TECs.

In addition, APEX has now hired a full-time CEO, Joe Leader, and more of Joe’s time than you might imagine actually goes into industry technology and how that is communicated via the TECs. Financial management is a big part of Joe’s leadership responsibility, and he does not believe in association activities that do not pay for themselves. The Board has agreed to look at everything we do as an association and consider how such activities can pay for themselves.

But Joe also believes in delivering value and he has committed to us that he will leverage his extensive contacts to give us access to even better speakers and panelists at future TECsFor example, Joe is directly responsible for landing a major technology company for our TEC program next month. (Come see!)

IFExpress: Haven’t a lot of the TC’s activities in the past depended on volunteerism rather than paid staff?

Childers: They have, but technology has become such a large part of our industry that the increase in volunteers doesn’t cover it. In addition, we are facing the fact that IFEC technologies do not exist in a vacuum—we benefit from and are dependent upon open standard technologies that originate elsewhere.

Content management technologies originating in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) such as the Interoperable Master Format (IMF); Movielabs, such as IMSC1-2 for closed captions; and the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) and its Common Format, are all examples.

But we now have to look beyond just Content Management and consider such questions as how would open data exchange standards impact the passenger experience. APEX cannot create those standards, but we must be sure that we align our own specifications with them and have a seat at the table when they are developed.

IFEpress: What are the registration fees that APEX is seeking for the TECs?

Childers: $350 for vendor members, and $450 for approved non-members. Airlines  and invited press get in free. Speakers, sponsors, and some active Working Group members are free or discounted.


More News:

  • A recent interesting announcement from Panasonic and Teledyne controls is one of the new data related options being put together for airlines but go beyond IFE. “The companies will combine Teledyne’s Wireless GroundLinkComm+ product suite with Panasonic’s Global Communications Service to provide cost effective connectivity during flight or at the gate. This enhanced offering will leverage both Ku-band service and GSM cellular, enabling aircraft operators to break free from the bandwidth limitations and high transmission costs associated with traditional data communications systems. When combined with Panasonic’s Weather Solutions application and Teledyne’s GroundLink AID+ solution, real time weather can be delivered to the flight deck, resulting in enhanced safety and increased flight efficiency. Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “With this agreement, Panasonic and Teledyne will create a unique service that uses real-time data transmission to create operational efficiencies and reduced costs for our customers.”
  • Think 40GBASE-T puts an end of the “copper twisted-pair party”? Nope, think lower. Here is a quote from the Tektronix folks: “But in November 2014, IEEE 802.3 put out a call for interest on 25GBASE-T, driven by the likes of Cisco, Microsoft and Intel who recognized 25 Gb/s as a more efficient, cost-effective option for switch-to-server speeds in cloud-based data centers. Hence the 25GBASE-T IEEE study group was formed.” You can read more here.
  • Don’t forget Aircraft Interior North America Exhibition in Seattle, WA. November 4 & 5. We are going there to see the Schott In-Seat Illumination products that use LED’s and fiber optics… not to mention the Star Ceiling interior paneling. See you there. You can register here
  • Be careful on a plane using your iPhone/Android phone and headphones because hackers have been able to use radio waves to control your smartphone via the “antenna” the earphone leads provide… and they can do it up to 16 feet away! Check it out
  • If you are into streaming media, this 2 day event in Huntington Beach is for you: The Streaming Media West expo offers attendees a firsthand look at the leading software, hardware, and network solutions and services in the streaming media industry. Streaming Media West 2015 Registration | Online Video Conference and Expo

Ron Chapman sent IFExpress a message and it said there will be a “GRRRILLA Gala” at NBAA! Stay Tuned, we will be there!