This week IFExpress discovered more non-IFEC related stories, and less topics covering our newsletter focus – less than usual, so for this issue we will pinpoint in on: aviation, planes, data, and whatever else our team thought you might catch your interest. With Aircraft Interiors Hamburg on the horizon you will soon get more IFEC news than you can use.

Let’s start off with Boeing’s newest jet roll-out: the B787-10 Dreamliner which is our rectangle image. Notes Boeing in their press release: The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, the third member of the 787 Dreamliner family, made its debut today at Boeing South Carolina. Thousands of employees at the North Charleston, S.C. site celebrated the event, along with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “What’s happening here at Boeing South Carolina is a true American success story,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “In just a few short years, our team has transformed a greenfield site into a modern aerospace production facility that is delivering 787s to airlines all over the world and supporting thousands of U.S. jobs in the process.”

The 787-10, built exclusively at Boeing South Carolina, will now be prepared for its first flight in the coming weeks. “This airplane, the most efficient in its class, is the result of years of hard work and dedication from our Boeing teammates, suppliers and community partners in South Carolina and across the globe,” said Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. “We know our customers, including launch customer Singapore Airlines, are going to love what the 787-10 will do for their fleets, and we can’t wait to see them fly it.” Boeing will deliver the 787-10 to airlines in 2018. The airplane has won 149 orders from nine customers across the globe. The 787-10, the longest model of the Dreamliner family, will grow the nonstop routes opened by the 787-8 and 787-9 with unprecedented efficiency. As an 18-foot (5.5-m) stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 will deliver the 787 family’s preferred passenger experience and long range with up to 10 percent better fuel use and emissions than the competition.

Around the same time, Boeing won their employee battle with unions, as notes the Seattle Times: “After a bitter campaign, workers at Boeing’s South Carolina facility voted against joining the Machinists union, with 74 percent against. We also note that aviation analysts say the great boom in the aerospace industry is over, and predict that Boeing will have to cut jet production more.”

What part of aviation going digital don’t you understand? Well, the folks at Lufthansa Systems have a vary good answer and you might read it to see what the they view the future to hold: Everyone is talking about digitalization. Many companies are wondering how to future-proof themselves in the digital world. Lufthansa Systems turned this vision into reality a long time ago. For years, the aviation IT specialist has been advising and supporting airlines in their digital transformation, demonstrating what sustainable airline processes can look like and helping customers implement concrete projects.

“The core of our company strategy is to put airlines in a perfect position for the digital future. For example, we have spent over 15 years helping airlines work toward a paperless flight deck,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “We are offering new solutions and expanding our consulting unit in response to growing demand in the market. In keeping with this, we are continually enhancing our digital expertise so we can develop innovative solutions for the entire cosmos of an airline and its passengers – with data analytics, personalization, mobility and new developments such as eye tracking and dynamic navigation maps.”

The spectrum includes solutions and consulting services for improving the efficiency and differentiation of all aspects of an airline as well as for optimizing the entire travel chain for passengers.

Personalized Air Travel Services: Personalized solutions aim to enhance the passenger travel experience. New digital and individual services and apps, which can be used before, during and after a flight, ensure that passengers are addressed directly and personally. BoardConnect is one example. This digital platform enables passengers to access wireless inflight entertainment on their own smartphones and tablets, while offering additional functionalities for flight deck and cabin crews – with or without an Internet connection. The new inTime app is another example. It calculates how much time passengers will need to reach their gate punctually from their current location. Both the traffic situation outside the airport and the waiting times at check-in and security are taken into account here. The timings are based on (anonymized) data from real passengers, so the app gets more intelligent over time.

Dynamic Distribution Management: Dynamic distribution management makes it possible for airlines to increase their revenues by offering ticket and service packages directly to travelers. The New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is promoting this development and significantly affecting the distribution structures of airlines. Together with partners, Lufthansa Systems provides solutions for the entire NDC process, including offer and order management, dynamic pricing, and billing with the Sirax/RA revenue accounting solution. Airlines benefit from improved customer loyalty through more individualized offers, with lower distribution costs and higher revenues.

Safe & Efficient Flight Operations: Optimization and efficiency in all aspects of flight operations are the crucial aspects here. Simplified processes, improved routes, reduced fuel consumption and shorter handling times (including for crews and maintenance work) not only generate considerable savings potential, they also increase flight safety. For example, the digital navigation maps of the Lido/Navigation product line are becoming more and more dynamic. In the near future, they will be able to seamlessly display all flight processes from gate to gate. With an on-board Internet connection, additional smart functions in the maps can show information that is relevant to specific situations during a flight. This increases the pilots’ situational awareness.

Reliable Air Travel Experience: New developments in the field of flight operations revolve around passengers and their positive travel experience. If disruptions or delays do occur, these solutions aim to minimize the negative effects on passengers and communicate changes in a transparent way. This is essential to an airline’s success. The successful NetLine/Ops ++ operations control solution helps here with its innovative eye-tracking feature. Employees in an operations control center sometimes have to monitor six screens showing current flights and information about potential disturbances. Analyzing the eye movements of operations controllers with the help of eye-tracking technology ensures that no important warnings or disruption notifications are overlooked.

“In light of the growing importance of digital solutions in the aviation industry – including in the areas of data sharing, analytics and prediction – we founded a company last year called zeroG,” said Lufthansa Systems CEO Stefan Auerbach. “zeroG is a consulting firm with the character of a start-up which can respond quickly and flexibly to changes in the market. With their expertise in IT and aviation, our zeroG consultants support digitalization projects inside and outside of the Lufthansa Group.” The attached infographic provides an overview of current digitalization projects and innovative solutions at LHS.

Moving on to satcom, Tim Farrar of TMF Associates put out an interesting IFE comment in his latest Blog: “But the biggest news appears to be a pull back on SES’s part from the long rumored global Ka-band GEO system that I noted last summer. SES announced only a single satellite (SES-17) for the Americas in partnership with Thales last September, but had plans for two additional satellites, and it seemed increasingly likely that a partnership with EchoStar would be announced soon to fund this development. Now it seems that effort is on hold, leaving EchoStar without an obvious way forward to achieving global coverage (as it seems EchoStar considered but rejected the idea of buying Inmarsat last fall).” There is more here

And speaking of satcom, we wondered about the ongoing effect of cosmic rays on inside electronics – especially at 20,000 feet where the ray density is higher than on the earth, and planes fly, and you use your phones and other electronics – Computerworld notes: “Cosmic rays — or rather the electrically charged particles they generate — may be your real foe.” Researchers have discovered that a specific type of cosmic ray call a single-event upset (SEU) can jolt and alter individual bits of data on computer chips. (Quick note: SEUs are harmless to organic life.) “An SEU was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003,” Computerworld says. “A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible.” Bharat Bhuva, a member of Vanderbilt University’s Radiation Effects Research Group, says it’s “a really big problem, but- mostly invisible to the public.” The Radiation Effects Research Group was founded in 1987 to study what effect radiation could have on electronic devices. While the body of researchers “initially focused on military and space applications,” it has expanded its research into consumer devices in the past decade. “Despite some serious examples, SEUs are still fairly rare events. But as the number of transistors being used in new electronic systems increases, so does the probability of an SEU failure on the device level.”

Glance Prongay & Murray LLP announces an investigation on behalf of Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (“Global Eagle” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ENT) investors concerning the Company and its officers’ possible violations of federal securities laws. The Company further disclosed that it would be unable to timely file its 2016 annual report, and that it would need to withdraw its guidance for 2016 financial performance. Global Eagle (stock) has fallen over 29% per share during intraday trading on February 21, 2017.

Additionally, GEE announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Jeff Leddy as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Leddy has served on the Company’s Board of Directors since January 2013 and will continue as a Director. GEE further stated that Dave Davis, the Company’s CEO, and Tom Severson, the Company’s CFO, had both resigned effective immediately.

  • Dynamic navigation maps enable seamless navigation from gate to gate

Raunheim, Germany | November 28, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it is developing dynamic navigation maps for its Lido/Navigation product line. A fully dynamic map solution is expected to be completed by 2019. With this development, the aviation IT specialist is responding to increasing digitalization and connectivity on the flight deck.

“Dynamic navigation maps are the future. They enable seamless navigation from gate to gate, without limits. Furthermore, connected systems can provide updates in real time and supply smart information that is only shown to pilots when they need it. This gives pilots a better overview, reduces their head-down time and helps them make decisions. It will also improve the display of integrated solutions for weather or other air traffic, for example,” said Stefan Auerbach, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

Lufthansa Systems is a pioneer when it comes to navigation solutions for airlines. More than 100 airlines worldwide use charts from the Lido/Navigation solution. The paper-based Lido/RouteManual charts were released in 2002, and in 2005 Lufthansa Systems began offering digital charts, initially for integrated flight deck systems, and now in the form of apps for Windows (Lido/eRouteManual) and iOS (Lido/mPilot). All of the charts are in color, directly display minimum safe altitudes on the approach and departure charts and include true-to-scale topographical information which meets the highest standards of precision and quality.

Unlike the route maps, the digital airport charts are largely static, and there is a separation between the terminal charts and the enroute module. In practice, this means that pilots use the terminal charts during takeoff and landing and then have to manually switch to the enroute module for the flight. The Lido/AMM Airport Moving Map, which is used to navigate between the runway and the gate, is already fully dynamic in itself, but it is still separate from the other charts. This dynamic approach is now gradually being expanded.

When all of the maps – terminal, enroute and airport – are dynamic, there will no longer be any separation between the maps for various phases of a flight. Pilots will be able to zoom directly from the enroute display into the Airport Moving Map, or move straight into the flight phase after takeoff. The advantage of this is that all flight processes from gate to gate can be seamlessly displayed in a single view. “Dynamic navigation maps are the basis for smart additional functions that will be available in the future thanks to connectivity. Through its connectivity with the aircraft, the system will be able to display the precise information that is important in a specific flight situation, thus increasing the pilots’ situational awareness,” Auerbach said.

This vision of dynamic maps and new developments for Lido/Navigation and the Lido/Flight flight planning solution will be presented this week by Lufthansa Systems at the 10th Annual Flight Operations Conference in London (November 29 to 30).

  • 2016 Air Transport News Awards recognize SITA’s leadership and innovation

Geneva | March 29, 2016– For the second year in a row, the Air Transport News (ATN) Awards have recognized air transport IT specialist, SITA, as the ‘IT Company of the Year’. The 2016 award was based on SITA’s significant leadership and innovation in developing solutions that transform air travel through technology.

Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA said: “Winning this award two years in a row is a significant achievement and a strong validation of our unwavering collaboration and contribution to the air transport community. SITA works with nearly every airline and airport in the world, so for them to select us as the IT leader in air transport is really a testament to the value we bring to the community.”

SITA provides the broadest portfolio of solutions for the air transport industry all around the world. The fast pace of technology has driven substantial changes to both the passenger experience and industry operations in recent years with SITA leading the way. This includes solutions such as SITA’s iBorders Border Management that helps governments modernize border security and facilitate the travel experience. By integrating biometrics into existing airport common-use infrastructure and airline and government systems, SITA is making the passenger journey simple, fast and secure.

In addition, SITA’s API platform,, is now widely recognized as the provider of the industry’s key APIs enabling game-changing innovations for passenger experience, airport management, flight operations, and the connected aircraft.

SITA’s commitment to the industry and ongoing innovation is also reflected in its investment in the SITA Lab, its strategic technology research arm. Working with airlines and airports, the Lab explores emerging technology on behalf of the air transport community in areas including artificial intelligence, big data, wearable tech and the ‘Internet of Things’. While SITAONAIR is working with airlines to realize the full potential of the connected aircraft, including setting the benchmark for true nose-to-tail connected aircraft solutions for both airlines and passengers.

ATN has a strong subscription base of more than 42,000. Award winners were selected by the website’s readers based on two months of online voting and validated by a jury of industry leaders. SITA also won the ATN IT Company of the Year award in 2013.

The award was presented to SITA on 26 March at an Air Transport News event held in Salzburg, Austria.

  • Allowing passengers to use a single biometric token from entry to exit

Cologne, Germany | March 15, 2016– Today at Passenger Terminal EXPO, the world’s largest airport exhibition, global IT provider SITA revealed Smart Path™. This new technology allows passengers to move through the airport and board the aircraft simply by presenting themselves for a biometric check. Once verified there is no need for the passenger to present a boarding pass, a passport or travel documents again.

With SITA Smart Path, the passenger’s biometric details are captured through a facial scan at the first touch point in the journey. The record is checked against the passenger’s travel documents, typically the passport, and a secure single token is created. Then, at each step of the journey – from check-in, to aircraft boarding or border control – passengers gain access simply with a facial scan and without having to show their passport or boarding pass.

SITA Smart Path puts a fast, secure and seamless walkthrough experience within reach of passengers today. Unlike other offerings, SITA’s can be easily integrated into existing airport infrastructure and airline systems. This includes standard common-use, self-service equipment already in use across the industry such as check-in kiosks, bag drop units, gates for secure access, boarding and automated border control, making rapid deployment easy and cost-effective. Smart Path also integrates with government systems and databases, allowing integrated immigration and border checks.

Matthys Serfontein, Vice President, Airport Solutions, said: “SITA has a strong record of introducing new self-service solutions across the entire passenger journey for both airlines and airports. But we also provide sophisticated border management systems to Governments. Everyday hundreds of airlines use SITA technology to connect with Government identity management and risk assessment systems in countries around the world.

“We have built on this unique expertise to create SITA Smart Path – a single, secure, self-service process using existing common-use infrastructure which works seamlessly with multiple airline and Government systems. Smart Path simplifies secure, passenger processing for everyone – airlines, airports and border authorities.”

SITA is currently working with a number of major airlines and airports to integrate biometrics into the passenger journey and expects that by 2020 passengers using biometrics will be the norm at airports across the world.

Serfontein, added: “The key to single token travel is gathering and verifying data as early in the process as possible in order to establish a robust token. This includes both biometric and biographic information. And then if necessary to update it with more detailed information from airline, airport or government systems at various steps in the journey. That is exactly how we have designed SITA Smart Path.”

SITA, provides self-service solutions at every step of the passenger journey from check-in to boarding. Its passenger processing applications are used by more than 165 airlines globally and its common-use systems board more than 100 million passengers per year. Today it provides border management solutions to more than 30 Governments and has in excess of 1,000 self-boarding lanes across the globe which can be used to introduce this new biometric system.

  • Mobile and social media services for airline passengers at ‘Smart Airports’ in China

Beijing, China | March 10, 2016– Despite recent economic challenges, China’s population continues to travel and passengers are demanding more from airlines and airports. Analysis published today by SITA, the global provider of IT to the air transport industry, shows that China’s airports and airlines are responding with higher levels of investment in innovation than found globally. The “Smart Airport” is coming to China.

Nearly three quarters of airports in mainland China (72%) are investing in new technology compared to 58% globally. While airlines in China are spending 38% of their IT budget on innovation compared to a global average of 32%.

China has the world’s fastest-growing domestic flight market and international travel is also soaring. Passenger numbers are expected to rise to 1.3 billion in 2034 – a remarkable 856 million more than 2014[1] – putting pressure on the existing airport infrastructure. However 93% of passengers have smartphones and are keen to use them and other personal technology for their journey. This presents opportunities to airlines and airports to offer services in a different way.

SITA’s analysis shows that passengers’ desire to use their own technology will lead to a major shift to “off-airport” check-in. Passengers want less face-to-face contact at this stage of the journey. In fact, only 28% of passengers indicated a preference to use an airport counter for check-in. More than half of passengers (59%) said they would prefer to use their own technology to check-in for their next flight. In addition, 67% want to use their smartphones for identification purposes and access, including boarding the aircraft and entering airport lounges.

May Zhou, SITA Vice President and General Manager, China, said: “Our global IT surveys cover trends from the perspective of passengers, airlines and airports. We combine this with SITA’s on-the-ground industry experience to provide a unique 360 degree view of technology investment and usage within air travel. We work with airlines and airports across China to identify opportunities, work together and invest in innovative technology that can meet and exceed the expectations of travelers. This is particularly challenging and rewarding during these times of fast-rising passenger numbers.”

As the aspirations of Chinese consumers increase, so does their expectation for a better travel experience. The willingness of passengers to use self-service gives the industry the opportunity to rethink the airport layout and how it manages passengers.

Zhou added: “Change does not happen overnight, it is going to take time for the industry to deploy the infrastructure and services in a way that enables mass adoption by passengers. But change is coming, one area we see this happening is of the development of “Smart Airports” where new technology such as sensors, beacons and business intelligence are used to deliver efficiencies. Investments are now being made. Over the next couple of years, 85% of airports are planning projects in sensor technologies while 82% plan to have business intelligence initiatives for passenger flow in place.”

Airports are also using social media to improve customer service when there are delays and 62% already provide real-time information and notifications via social media.

The report highlights how passengers want to keep track of their baggage. They want to know where and how long before they can pick up their bag when they arrive – 72% want more details, such as carousel and wait time, for bag collection. The industry is responding: currently, only a few airlines and airports provide this information, but in the next few years 86% of airlines will provide baggage tracking notifications and 57% baggage collection information to passengers.

Further insights into how airlines and airports in China can manage the future rapid growth of passenger numbers with smarter customer service and smarter operations are outlined in SITA’s report, which is available in Chinese and English.

  • SchedConnect adds another Star Alliance member to its user base

Raunheim, Germany | March 8, 2016– Lufthansa Systems announced today that global carrier United Airlines will use its SchedConnect IT solution for codeshare management. The two companies recently signed a long-term agreement to this effect. This solution will enable United Airlines to optimize its codeshare management, lower costs and increase revenues.

“We handle nearly 5,000 flights worldwide every day. To help ensure we are able to continue to provide reliable service to our customers, we need dependable software that meets our demands. Lufthansa Systems impressed us with the broad functionality and high quality of SchedConnect,” said Sam Patel, United’s managing director flight profitability and schedule analysis.

SchedConnect is currently the most technologically advanced system of its kind. The solution ensures a high degree of automation by processing schedule data from around 25 customers and their codeshare partners to calculate the optimal codeshare connections for the customers’ current schedules on a daily basis. If a minimum connecting time is violated due to a schedule change or if a partner flight is canceled, SchedConnect assigns the marketing flight number to another suitable connecting flight operated by the partner. Changes are sent through the reservation systems to travel agents and customers as well as to the operations and passenger-related systems of the airlines involved.

“We are delighted to have signed United Airlines as a new customer to join the growing SchedConnect community. Now all of the airlines in our clients’ trans-Atlantic joint venture (Lufthansa – together with Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines – Air Canada and United Airlines) are using our codeshare management solution, which further optimizes the management of codeshare flights between all of these members,” said Alexander Ottes, Director Sales and Account Management North America at Lufthansa Systems.

To arrange codeshare connections, SchedConnect uses a database which currently holds around 39 million flights for 140 different airlines. In January 2016 alone, 34 million schedule changes were managed with the help of SchedConnect.

  • ‘Internet of Things’ coming to airlines and airports worldwide

Geneva, Switzerland | March 8, 2016– Over the next three years passengers will be enjoying seamless self-service with airlines and at airports as the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) comes to travel. This is according to The Future is Connected, the latest industry report from SITA, the leading global IT provider to the air transport industry.

Today, 83% of passengers carry a smartphone and this is now the unifying technology in transport that will provide a connected end-to-end experience. SITA’s report shows that smartphones are reshaping travel behavior and with growth rates of around 80% or more at the check-in and boarding pass stages it is clear passengers are keen to use their own technology.

The groundwork by the air transport industry to establishing the infrastructure and processes that enable more seamless travel experiences is well under way and gathering further momentum. Over the next three years the vast majority of airlines and airports are planning to invest in mobile services for passengers and most airports will also be financing self-service processes.

SITA’s analysis shows that during the same period the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Fast Travel Program will reach a critical threshold. IATA’s target is to achieve a self-service experience for 80% of global passengers by 2020. This covers six key stages in the journey: check-in, bags-ready-to-go, document scanning, self-boarding, flight rebooking and bag recovery. Last year the initiative reached 29% of passengers with the goal of 40% this year. In the report SITA presents a detailed analysis of the readiness of airlines and airports at each stage of the journey and the expectation of adoption by 2018 on the way to reach this vision.

Nigel Pickford, Director Market Insight, SITA, said: “The air transport industry has already embraced self-service and now it is turning to the ‘Internet of Things’ to deliver a more connected experience to travelers. Half of airlines expect to have IoT initiatives up and running over the next three years meanwhile airports are building out the infrastructure to support IoT. Together these will deliver improved operations and will lead to a step change in the passenger experience.”

The Future is Connected combines SITA’s global research with commentary and cases studies from airports and airlines that are moving to fully-connected travel. Those featured include Changi Airport Group, Mumbai International Airport, Air New Zealand, Miami International Airport, along with industry perspectives from Airports Council International (ACI).

For further details download SITA’s full report – The Future is Connected.

  • Airline IT specialist strengthens its position in the Latin American airline group with several renewed contracts

Raunheim, Germany | March 1, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it is expanding its successful cooperation with Avianca Holdings. Avianca Colombia and the TACA Group, two Latin American airlines belonging to Avianca Holdings, recently renewed numerous contracts for commercial and operations solutions products from Lufthansa Systems.

“We have worked with Lufthansa Systems for a long time. For us as a holding company, it’s a great advantage that the IT solutions are perfectly coordinated with one another and can be used as a platform by our airlines. Our subsidiaries can manage their processes across all airlines – but individually – in order to optimize their joint flight operations,” said Álvaro Jaramillo, CEO at Avianca Holdings.

The renewed contracts cover the following products, all of which run in the data centers of Lufthansa Systems’ partners following the ASP (application service provider) model: the NetLine/Ops operations control solution, the NetLine/Crew crew planning tool, NetLine/Sched for optimizing flight schedules, Lido/Flight for flight planning, the SchedConnect codeshare management solution, and ProfitLine/Price for optimal pricing. In the course of these contract renewals, a few solutions which are already being used by TACA will be extended to Avianca Colombia. The platform and the team responsible for the solutions will be expanded as well. The aviation IT specialist also ensures that the programs are integrated into its customer’s existing IT landscape via ISB (integrated service bus). Since all NetLine products are compatible with one another, any change in one program is automatically synchronized with the other programs in real time.

This interaction is especially useful for a company like Avianca Holdings because the NetLine solutions give all integrated airlines the ability to use each other’s crews, aircraft and slots. At the same time, each airline can plan its own flights and crews in isolation. This optimizes and harmonizes business processes in the holding company while also ensuring the optimal use of resources – in terms of aircraft as well as ground, maintenance and on-board personnel.

“Avianca Colombia and the TACA Group have been customers of ours for more than 15 years. We are delighted that they continue to rely on our products and can benefit from numerous synergies and the resulting savings potential delivered by the group-wide, long-term use of solutions such as SchedConnect,” said Greg Cork, Senior Vice President Regional Management Americas.

Based in Panama, Avianca Holdings is the parent group of Avianca Colombia and the TACA Group, which in turn includes regional carriers Lacsa – Costa Rica, TACA International – El Salvador, Aviateca – Guatemala, TACA de Honduras and TACA Peru. Other group airlines include Aerogal – Ecuador and Avianca Cargo. The Avianca Holdings airlines specialize in air cargo and passenger transport and operate a combined fleet of 155 aircraft. Overall, the subsidiary airlines serve 100 direct destinations in 26 countries in North, Central and South America. Avianca Holdings is a Star Alliance member, which enables it to offer its passengers connections to more than 1,300 airports in 192 countries worldwide.

  • Corendon Airlines will manage flight operations with NetLine/Ops ++ from Lufthansa Systems and plan deployment of its cockpit and cabin crews with NetLine/Crew

Raunheim, Germany | February 24, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that Corendon Airlines has opted for its NetLine/Ops ++ operations control solution. With this innovative IT solution, the Turkish airline will be able to make its flight operations more efficient and reduce its costs. It will also use NetLine/Crew for crew management, thus benefiting from the integration of the two solutions. The two companies recently signed a five-year agreement to this effect.

“We are an airline always looking for new ways to improve the quality of our flight operations and believe that NetLine/Ops ++ is the perfect solution for us. And we can also optimize our crew planning with NetLine/Crew,” said Arslan Akyürek, OCC Manager at Corendon Airlines. “The fact that the two solutions are integrated also simplifies processes for our operations control center.”

Corendon Airlines is one of four new customers who opted for NetLine/Ops ++ in 2015. The operations control solution from Lufthansa Systems is now being used by 69 airlines around the world, 31 of which have already deployed the new-generation solution, NetLine/Ops ++. This creates full transparency around current flights and potential disruptions for operations controllers, allowing airlines to handle schedule changes – both planned and unplanned – in a way that minimizes their effect on passengers.

NetLine/Ops ++ will enable Corendon Airlines to avoid disruptions such as delays and cancellations and significantly reduce potential costs arising from positioning flights or hotel rooms for passengers, for example. The IT solution offers unique features for Management by Exception. This means that while other solutions display all of an airline’s flights, NetLine/Ops ++ only shows ones that have encountered organizational problems and need a decision to be made.

The solution’s functionalities facilitate information management and enable a higher degree of automation. As a result, the airline will be warned early in case of potential disruptions that might occur due to weather or longer maintenance periods. The operations controller can then make decisions avoiding delays proactively. This can improve airlines’ on-time performance. Many airlines which according to a current OAG (Official Airline Guide) report have the best on-time performance worldwide are using NetLine/Ops or NetLine/Ops ++ and NetLine/Crew.

NetLine/Crew quickly generates cost-efficient and fair duty rosters. Its functions cover crew pairing, rostering and tracking as well as evaluation and documentation. NetLine/Crew generates rosters for pilots and flight attendants which take all legal and contractual regulations into account while also ensuring that available personnel is assigned in a way that makes the most economic sense. The two solutions are integrated and can be used on a platform so that any changes to flight operations are immediately taken into account in crew planning and vice versa.

“Turkey is an important growth market for the airline industry, and it is of strategic significance to us because of its proximity to the Middle East. Corendon Airlines is an important new customer for our Operations Solutions business, which will enable us to expand our position in this region,” said Marco Cesa, Senior Vice President Regional Management EMEA at Lufthansa Systems. “We are delighted about the start of this long-term cooperation.”

Corendon Airlines has its headquarters in Antalya and is a subsidiary of the Corendon Tourism Group, to which its Dutch sister airline Corendon Dutch Airlines also belongs. Corendon Airlines currently has a fleet of 14 aircraft and offers connections between central and northern Europe and Turkey.

  • cGroup IT Solutions Simplify the Management of CUTE Systems

Kelsterbach, Germany | September 7, 2015– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it will unveil its new cGroup product line at the Future Travel Experience (FTE) Global 2015 in Las Vegas. At its booth at the show, the aviation IT specialist will demonstrate three new IT solutions which aim to support airlines working with CUTE systems. Over 650 trade visitors and experts from all over the world will attend the FTE Global between September 9 and 11 to find out about and discuss the latest developments in the field of passenger and baggage processes.

CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment. This software solution for airport operators enables airlines to make common use of existing airport IT infrastructures. In other words, they can all use the same hardware to handle passenger and flight processing via their own servers. There are currently dozens of versions of CUTE systems in use for passenger and baggage check-in all over the world. This diversity makes it difficult for airlines to use interfaces efficiently.

Lufthansa Systems has for many years offered airlines a service covering all aspects of CUTE – including setting up applications or carrying out updates and maintenance. With cGroup, this service has now been enhanced with the addition of three IT solutions. “Most airlines use CUTE systems for their ground handling. When these processes are disrupted, however, it can result in air traffic delays, and these can prove very costly. This is precisely where our cGroup products come in, helping airlines to deploy their CUTE systems more efficiently and monitor them reliably worldwide,” says Björn Steinbrecher, Head of CUTE Integration & Access Products at Lufthansa Systems.

cGroup comprises three products: cFront, cTraffic and cChart. cFront acts as an adapter between the various airport-based CUTE systems and the airline’s own applications.

The software offers easy, standardized access to an airline’s IT systems and supports all leading CUTE platforms as well as the new CUPPS (Common Use Passenger Processing Systems) standards.

cFront is supplemented by two monitoring tools: cTraffic is an integrated platform that monitors all of an airline’s business processes at all of its airports. This overview of all common-use airport platforms helps to optimize passenger handling and reduce downtime. The cChart monitoring tool is aimed at senior management. It conveys at a glance the current status of all CUTE platforms and provides immediate warning of any cancellations or disruptions.

Each year, numerous executives from the travel industry – from airlines and airport operators to ground handling specialists and government bodies – get together at FTE Global. In addition to the trade fair, which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, there are interactive forums on topics such as cooperation, connectivity and mobile and portable technology.

You are welcome to visit Lufthansa Systems’ booth E1 at FTE Global, where our experts will be on hand to tell you more about our new cGroup product line.

Beacons first step to improve check-in, bag drop and collection
Brussels | June 18, 2015– A major revolution in the passenger experience is set to emerge over the next three years as airlines invest in the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT). According to the SITA 2015 Airline IT Trends Survey, the vast majority of airlines (86%) expect that the IoT will deliver clear benefits in the next three years and already more than one third (37%) have allocated budget to it. The results of the survey released today, show that IoT investments will be focused in the areas of check-in, bag drop and bag collection.

The ‘Internet of Things’ is when physical objects are connected to the internet, which enables tracking, data collection, analysis and control. As part of this revolution, more things in the airport are being connected up including buildings, equipment, bags, trolleys, tugs – basically all the ‘things’ that could emit a status. In reality, however, because today the vast majority (83%) of passengers carry smartphones, passengers and staff are connected and can be part of the IoT too.

SITA’s survey carried out among the world’s top 200 airlines shows that airlines are already considering the benefits of IoT and over the next three years more than half plan investments in this area. By 2018, 16% plan major programs and a further 41% plan to invest in research and development.

Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA, said: “Our whole world is becoming more and more connected and airlines recognize that investment will be needed to harness the benefits of IoT efficiently. This year airlines are beefing up their investments in both business intelligence and data centers, which are key foundations required for the IoT. SITA is already working across the community, with airlines, airports and other stakeholders, to see how to make the IoT effective across every point of the business and passenger journey.”

All these things – objects, passengers and staff – that are being connected will create immense amounts of data and both business intelligence (BI) and data centers are vital to extract the data’s value. This year’s survey shows that airlines are heavily investing in these areas. Already 94% of airlines are investing in BI with 74% planning major investment programs by 2018. While 68% have a major investment program planned for data centres in the next three years, with a further 14% investing in R&D or a pilot program.

Beacons for baggage

One of the first manifestations of the IoT in the air transport industry is the use of beacons. This will be the first area that airlines will see the benefits of sensors and the ability to match location with other information. Today just 9% of airlines are using or trialing beacons but this is set to rise rapidly to 44% by 2018. Bag services are the steps of the journey where beacons will be most used by then – 44% of airlines are planning to use them at bag drop and 43% at bag claim. These are the key pain points in the passenger journey over which the airlines have direct control and it is encouraging for passengers to see the airlines investing in new technologies at these steps.

Location, location, location

Another area of progress identified in SITA’s survey is how communications are set to develop rapidly from the first wave of notification services, which are now established, to the point where interactive mobile communication becomes the standard for the majority of airlines. The focus of these new services over the next three years will be to use location-based information, in many cases from beacons, to solve baggage-related issues and help passengers board on time with notifications based on their location, even before they reach the airport. Today, close to 60% of airlines offer flight notification services to passengers via smartphone apps and by 2018 the numbers are expected to be over 96%. This is already the number one service for which airlines are using beacons and in three years, 57% will use beacons to inform way-finding apps.

Peters added: “It is early days for the IoT but it is becoming a reality and this will be a game-changing and real-time revolution in the way we do things – not only in the air transport industry but across all aspects of our lives. Together airlines and airports can use beacons as a gateway to the IoT, creating intelligent airports and fully exploiting business intelligence and analytics to deliver a better passenger experience.”

Brussels | June 17, 2015– Today at the Air Transport IT Summit, SITA, the global IT provider to airlines and airports, demonstrated how the connected traveler is at the heart of Horizon, its next generation passenger system. SITA Horizon enables airlines to track passengers’ preferences and determine each customer’s overall value so that they can personalize their service and make relevant offerings. Its new passenger ancillary sales portal allows relevant ancillary services to be offered consistently across any sales channel – mobile, online, agency or call center.

Speaking at the event, Allison O’Neill, VP Passenger Services, SITA, said: “Passengers expect a tailored and personalized buying experience similar to their online experience with major retailers. To give passengers what they really want, airlines need to know their preferences and to measure each customer’s value. SITA Horizon Customer Profile allows airlines to do this across all touch points used by today’s connected traveler. Passengers can now get tailored and personalized service whether they use an agent, online website or a mobile device.”

Tailoring offers to individual customers is a business priority for airlines. According to the 2015 SITA Airline IT Trends Survey, 82% of them are investing in solutions to improve personalization. The first step in personalization is to get to know the customer. SITA Horizon Customer Value algorithm, which is part of the Customer Profile, calculates a single figure that indicates a customer’s value and is used to drive airline system processes. It is based on the customer’s loyalty tier, booking history and other attributes such as VIP status. Secondly, passengers’ personal preferences regarding meals, seat selection – even what name they prefer to be called – are stored in the profile and used at service touch points throughout the journey.

Using this information, SITA’s new passenger ancillary sales portal then ensures that passengers are offered appropriate services based on their individual preferences and loyalty program entitlements. For example, passengers can view a priced seat map and purchase their preferred seat, additional bags and other ancillary services such as lounge access and meals using their mobile, tablet or PC. It lets passengers tailor their journey with the services they require, however and whenever they want.

O’Neill added: “For those airlines that have adapted existing passenger systems to modern day requirements, the end result is disparate data sources and middleware solutions. So, we have designed Horizon to address this issue. Our data models support the golden principle of single source and holistic data shared across all systems and users that need it. By applying this principle to how Horizon uses customer data, the 90 airlines that use SITA Horizon Reservations can have a holistic view of their customer and provide appropriate services across the whole journey.”

Horizon supports a multi-channel approach by allowing airlines to tailor offerings on both self-service and agent-assisted channels. The single source approach ensures that personalized offers are centrally managed and are presented consistently on every channel.

Passengers can use the ancillary sales portal across the whole journey and recommendations and offers can be made at various points including before and during booking, and after purchase (either directly or via a third party). It supports mobile and tablet bookings allowing airlines to serve the increasing numbers of passengers booking this way which is rising from 27% now to 37% by 2016.

  • Survey shows that technology is helping put enjoyment back into flying

Geneva | May 28, 2015– Happy passengers are the ultimate goal of airlines and airports and new research from global IT provider SITA proves that technology can help. In a ground-breaking survey, SITA investigated the connection between a passenger’s use of technology and their emotions to discover how passengers around the world feel at every point of the journey. The results reveal that airline passengers are happiest and most excited when using technology for travel tasks. It is now clear that technology is helping make flying more enjoyable.

The 10th annual SITA/ATW Passenger IT Trends Survey was conducted in the first months of 2015 across 17 countries, representing 76% of the world’s passenger traffic and forms a guide on overall levels of passenger satisfaction. It indicates that for the vast majority of passengers most steps of the journey were a positive experience and passengers were happiest using self-service.

Nigel Pickford, Director Market Insight, SITA, said: “As passengers become more connected and airports more crowded the move to providing additional self-service continues. However, at SITA we wanted to get a better understanding of the connection between a passenger’s emotions at different stages of their journey and the technologies that have been used. Our survey shows that not only are passengers willing to use technology throughout their journey, but they have a clear preference to use their own technology when they have the choice.”

Participants were asked to review each stage of their journey and identify their range of emotions with an emotion scale tool adapted from Plutchik.The intensity of four emotions – happiness, excitement, anger and anxiety – at each of nine stages of the journey from booking to bag collection were recorded.

Booking the flight is one of the best parts of the travel experience in fact, 91% of respondents experienced positive emotions at this stage. During the journey when they are able to relax, such as dwell time before boarding and onboard the aircraft, were the other times that passengers felt the most happy and excited. An impressive 95% of passengers experienced positive emotions during dwell time and 91% while onboard.

SITA’s survey shows that technology is playing an increasing role in the passenger journey. This year the proportion of passengers carrying smartphones has nudged up to 83% from 81% last year, while 15% travel with three mobile devices (mobile phone, tablet and laptop). And these ‘connected travelers’ are happiest when using their own devices throughout their journey.

When booking their flight the technology that makes passengers the most happy and excited is an app on their smartphone – 94% experienced these positive emotions using the app compared to 90% booking at a travel agent or an airline office.

Looking at check-in it is clear that technology is also making the experience more enjoyable. Overall, check-in is rated positively by the vast majority of passenger (86%) but more passengers had a positive experience when they used self-service check-in. In fact, 97% of passengers who used web check-in experienced excitement and happiness compared to 83% using the airport desk.

Not surprisingly, the least popular stages of the journey were at security, and to a lesser extent bag collection. The majority however, still felt positive at these stages; 64% at security when the negative emotions were mainly driven by anxiety, and 69% at baggage collection.

Pickford added: “Armed with the knowledge that technology helps passengers to experience positive emotions while traveling, airlines and airports now have the opportunity to look at security and baggage collection to see how technology can further improve the passenger experience. For example, increasing the use of automated border control kiosks and gates may reduce the anxiety passengers feel at this stage of the journey.”

SITA’s survey also showed some interesting trends for the use of technology at different points of the journey with significant changes expected over the next year:

  • Booking flights – Though booking flights on a PC remains popular with 62% of passengers doing this, it is expected to fall to 53% over the next 12 months. At the same time there is a move to using tablets and smartphones with the proportion of passengers booking flights on these devices rising from 27% now to 37% by 2016.
  • Check in – Passengers are increasingly using a combination of self-service on phones and computers to check in rather than at a desk in the airport. The biggest change over the next year will be an increase in the use of mobile apps for check-in – currently 8% of passengers use them and this expected to double to 16% by 2016.
  • Baggage – Self-service has made traveling with carry-on bags the quick and easier way to fly and SITA’s survey indicates nearly one in five passengers now travel this way. In addition, passengers are moving away from staffed check-in counters and happy to use dedicated bag drops and self-service areas. Within a year, 31% of passengers will do this, up from today’s 20%.
  • On Board – Passengers are keen to make better use of their time during the flight with a preference to use their own devices. Two-thirds of passengers (67%) said they would “definitely” want access to their own devices for entertainment compared to 56% for airline-provided content. Passengers also want to stay connected so that they can send and receive text/emails (60%), as well as stream live content (56%).
  • Boarding Passes – Passengers are making the move to printing their own boarding passes or having them on their mobile phone – the trend is a rise from today’s 30% up to 42% by 2016.

More details on the results of the 2015 SITA/ATW Passenger IT Trends Survey are available here, including an outline of the methodology, regional and demographic coverage and information on the emotional scale tool.

Geneva | May 19, 2015– Satcom Direct will be launching its new AeroIT certification and preparatory course to international clients at this year’s EBACE on stand D051. Launched in the USA in March 2015, it is the world’s first information technology certification for aviation and equips aircraft technicians with vital knowledge of today’s sophisticated airborne communications systems.

The Satcom Direct Training Programme, launched at EBACE 2014, currently offers training classes and technology seminars in Farnborough, Geneva, Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Dubai. The programmes in each location are being expanded to include the AeroIT certification which was created by Satcom Direct in cooperation with CompTIA’s Examplify subsidiary. The existing courses cover all technical networks in aviation communications and are a suggested prerequisite for the AeroIT training that provides advanced knowledge and certification testing. A study guide is also available for self-guided preparation. The subsequent AeroIT certification proctored exam will be offered at any Pearson VUE testing center, worldwide. The certification is valid for three years and must then be renewed. Attendees will have the opportunity to register for the AeroIT prep course at the event.

“AeroIT expands upon the existing base of knowledge and focuses on the IT aspects of avionics systems. It’s a great way for technical team members to add value to their flight department and enhance their own professional development,” said Head of Training Sanaa Saadani.

Aircraft technicians need to be IT experts to efficiently serve owners’ and operators’ communications needs. Satcom Direct has developed AeroIT in response to this demand. It builds on the existing Training Programme, which includes a foundation course focusing on troubleshooting and SATCOM schematics. A course about Inmarsat aviation provides training on legacy and next generation Inmarsat systems, whilst an IP and voice course focuses on introducing maintenance and operational professionals to troubleshooting IP networks, which are vital to today’s aircraft.

“Satcom Direct is committed to investing in improving the knowledge base within the aviation industry to increase the effectiveness of corporate Flight Departments,” said Jim Jensen, Satcom Direct founder and CEO. “We recognize that the onboard IT systems are developing rapidly, and we want to be sure customers are confident and capable of supporting the technology. Offering this to our international client base is the next step in setting a standard for the industry, worldwide.”

All members of the Satcom Direct support staff are required to obtain AeroIT certification along with Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and CompTIA Network+ credentials.

  • SITA to provide integrated end-to-end passenger and airport management solutions

Abu Dhabi | May 12, 2015– SITA’s advanced technology will set the foundation for Abu Dhabi International Airport’s new Midfield Terminal, which will serve an estimated 30 million passengers annually from July 2017. In a five-year deal announced today, the air transport IT specialist will provide a full range of integrated airport solutions. This includes SITA’s next generation airport management system, common-use passenger processing platform, automated boarding gates, flight information display systems and baggage management services.

SITA will also manage technology integration at the new terminal for IT and telecommunications technology, as well as other special airport systems. The SITA team will help the airport operator, Abu Dhabi Airport Company, meet any challenges presented during construction of the new terminal and ensure the technology meets the airport’s operational goals.

Eng. Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are building the Midfield Terminal to exceed global standards for connectivity and high-tech integration. We will ensure that the very latest in every system is installed. From baggage tracking and handling to flight display systems, passengers will benefit from a highly sophisticated IT support system to ease and speed their journey through the airport.”

Hani El-Assaad, President, Middle East, India and Africa, SITA, said: “In today’s complex airport environment, it’s important to have integrated solutions that help enhance collaboration among all stakeholders. We look forward to working with the airport and its partners to deploy a connected infrastructure platform that will help streamline operations, make the airport more efficient, and create a seamless passenger experience.”

SITA’s Airport Management Solution will help the airport simplify its operations, while improving profitability. An integral part of this solution is SITA’s AirportCentral, the airport operational database, which will allow the airport to centralize all its data into a single repository of operational information. The airport can use this database to set up real-time dashboards covering the most critical aspects of its operations, as well as for flight management, billing and reporting. The airport management solution also includes SITA’s AirportVision® flight information display system to keep passengers up-to-date on flight information and SITA AirportResource Manager, which will help the airport coordinate the planning and real-time management of its fixed resources including aircraft stands, gates and check-in counters.

The airport will also benefit from SITA’s AirportConnect® Open passenger processing platform and its baggage operations management service, BagManager. To maximize flexibility and convenience, AirportConnect Open will enable all airlines using the terminal to access their respective IT applications in real-time on shared equipment and use any airport desk or gate for passenger check-in and boarding. SITA’s BagManager will provide the airport with comprehensive baggage management, delivering real-time information on baggage status and helping resolve baggage issues quickly and efficiently.

Construction of the Midfield Terminal, which is scheduled to open on 17 July, 2017, is well underway. Once complete, it will provide a home base for the United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, Etihad Airways.

  • Increased speed and security to help manage continuing passenger growth

Abu Dhabi | May 10, 2015– Abu Dhabi Airports announced it will deploy a new traveler document authentication system using boarding pass validation technology from air transport IT specialist, SITA. Airport iValidate will enhance security, accelerate passenger processing and reduce waiting times for passengers by automatically verifying all types of boarding passes, including mobile boarding passes and home-printed passes. The use of iValidate at Abu Dhabi International Airport will be the first deployment of the product in the Middle East.

The airport’s Traveler Document Authentication System using SITA’s Airport iValidate ensures passengers are at the correct terminal and security checkpoint, and enables them to present their barcode boarding passes either on paper or on their mobile phones. The data is automatically validated, checked for duplicates and cross-referenced against the Airport Operational Database and the airline’s Departure Control System. The information is then displayed to the security agent on an intuitive graphical user interface in a matter of seconds.

Ahmad Al Haddabi, Chief Operations Officer at Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “Deploying such an advanced technology is a further demonstration of Abu Dhabi Airports’ determination to use the very best the market has to offer. Effectively managing the balance between continuous passenger flow and stringent security measures is a fundamental part of our operations, and the task is even more important in view of our continued growth.

“With this new technology verifying passenger documentation will be done quickly and efficiently, while at the same time improving the passenger experience. This is all part of our ongoing programme to deliver a smooth flowing airport that affords passengers sufficient comfort and time to enjoy all the facilities on offer.”

Hani El-Assaad, President, Middle East, India and Africa, SITA, said: “It’s always a challenge to maintain the right balance between speed, efficiency and security. We also know that airports typically make around one-third of their revenue from retail, and there is a very clear correlation between moving passengers quickly through airport security and retail spend. SITA’s Airport iValidate is designed to work hand in hand with security at Abu Dhabi International to help them enhance the passenger experience.”

The Airport iValidate system, which will be in place by June 2015, will include four security lanes with automatic gates, four mobile/paper boarding pass scanners and four hand-held wireless boarding pass scanners.

The system will initially be deployed in Terminal 3 economy, followed by the Terminal 3 business area. It will also be implemented in both economy and business in Terminal 1. SITA on-site staff will support and maintain the Airport iValidate system, with the same stringent Service Level Agreements the company provides for other systems in the airport.

  • Comprehensive solution will simplify airline operations and enhance passenger journey

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | March 18, 2015– flynas, a leading hybrid carrier from Saudi Arabia, has chosen air transport IT specialist, SITA, to provide a range of passenger check-in services. The five-year, multi-million dollar agreement includes an end-to-end check-in solution incorporating SITA’s Departure Control Services (DCS), SITA’s private IP VPN telecommunications infrastructure, Type B Messaging Service and Service Management.

Paul Byrne, CEO of flynas, said: “flynas has successfully managed rapid growth of over 30% in 2014, and we aim to set a new standard of efficiency for hybrid and budget travel in the region. By having SITA provide all of our check-in services and manage them centrally, we have generated immediate cost savings and can deliver on our promise to provide the lowest fares, on-time flights and friendly service. This new all-in-one model also facilitates more accurate budget planning and easier financial forecasting for new stations as we continue to grow.”

SITA DCS will provide all current and future flynas destinations with fast and efficient automated passenger check-in, boarding pass distribution and bag tag printing, covering both check-in counters and self-service, and the required connectivity and infrastructure solutions. The backbone of this service is SITA’s private IP VPN network and SITA’s Airport Hub, a network that connects the majority of airports around the world in a secure and optimized design.

SITA’s Type B Messaging Service sits at the core of air transport industry communications and serves as the standard for many aviation protocols. This service will enable flynas to directly connect to more than 2,400 members of the air transport community. And SITA’s Service Management team, including dedicated aviation IT specialists and engineers, will help ensure business continuity and manage all operational aspects based on best-in-class standards.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “SITA’s check-in services will enable flynas to process passengers more quickly, facilitating a more seamless journey. At the same time, they will simplify the airline’s operations, enabling flynas to focus on its growing business.”

SITA is a major provider of IT and telecommunications solutions for the air transport industry in the Middle East. The company supplies CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) at all Saudi Arabian airports, as well as to the majority of the airports in the region.

Launched in 2007, flynas has successfully operated over 209,000 flights carrying more than 15 million passengers, a number that has steadily grown over the years. In 2014, flynas carried 4.5 million passengers, a significant increase on its 3.3 million passengers in 2013. The airline has a young fleet of 24 aircraft, operating nearly 950 weekly flights to 25 destinations both within and outside Saudi Arabia.