Plaisir | March 29, 2017– Zodiac Aerospace will present its latest innovations in Cabin, Seats and Systems at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from 4-6 April at its main stand 7B40, stand 4C20 in the IFEC zone, and at stand 4E10 at World Travel Catering Expo.

At the main stand 7B40 Zodiac Aerospace will present its two finalists for the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards: the ECOSTM baggage management system and the RevolutionTM toilet. Both products are integrated in a real size ECOSTM Cabin mockup that additionally features updated PaxPOD PSUs, DMS Lavatories, the Space-Flex v2 galley-lav aft complex, and Z300A and Z85 economy class seats with the latest RAVE IFEC products.

Other highlights at the main stand are the Zodiac Connected Aircraft Experience and the launch of three new seats: Optima, a unique business class offering the perfect balance of efficiency and comfort; Skylounge, that combines flexibility, customization and comfort, and Z400 which will sets new economy seat standards.

Get comfortably seated to view the extensive range of economy, premium economy and business class seats and the many innovations at the stand: Try the new LED lighting offer, look at the benefits of the Cabin Surveillance System or discover how the power of scent from our Five Fragrance diffuser can complete your flight experience and boost on board sales.

After your visit to the main stand, be welcomed at stand 4C20 in the IFE hall to take a look at the latest RAVE IFEC offer, and discover how you can get more control over your own flight experience with SeatNet Elite, the new Heliott Reading light and Whizper Noise control.

Finally at the World Travel Catering Expo, stand 4E10, Zodiac Aerospace will be proud to show you its latest addition to the Hybrite S trolley and container line: the smart Universal Waste Solution for trolleys. Additionally it will present the Smart Lock and Cool trolley.

Crystal Cabin Award finalist: ECOS Cabin Baggage Management System (stand 7B40)
Come and take a look at the new real size ECOS cabin mock up that includes the Crystal Cabin Award finalist ECOSTM Baggage Management System.

With checked luggage charged at a premium, more than 80% of today’s passengers try to bring theirs on board and almost half of those bags are larger than the aircraft was designed to carry. The result is a perfect storm of stress and anxiety at the boarding gate for passengers and crews alike.

ECOS is much more than a larger overhead luggage bin. It is a system which addresses cabin design and how both passengers and crews interact with it to make maximum use of limited overhead space.

Informed by extensive real-world luggage studies, proprietary passenger boarding simulations and over 35 tried and tested development prototypes, ECOS combines amazing space efficiency with unmatched ease of operation and a simple visual indicator which allows passengers to find precious space for their bags

With ECOS, a happy passenger is one who can bring what they want and depart on time. That also means stress free crews and efficient aircraft turn-around operations.

Crystal Cabin Award Finalist: The Revolution Toilet (Stand 7B40)
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest products including the Crystal Cabin Award Finalist – RevolutionTM Toilet. The RevolutionTM toilet is a modular toilet assembly that minimizes health hazards in the lavatory. It not only uses 33% less water per flush than the industry standard toilet, but also uses composite and recyclable materials for a light yet durable toilet.

One of the many improvements the RevolutionTM toilet exhibits incorporates air gaps into the toilet rinse ring. This allows the toilet shroud to seal directly to the toilet, creates more airflow for a cleaner flush, and helps prevents waste from building up under the toilet shroud reducing bacteria and odor in the lavatory. Combined with a new 360 degree spay pattern, the RevolutionTM toilet improves the overall health and safety of the passengers and crew in the lavatory.

Launching Optima, a Unique Business Class Offer, the perfect balance of
Efficiency and Comfort (Stand 7B40)

Officially launched at AIX17, Zodiac Seats latest product Optima is expected to set new standards in business class travel. Combining class leading passenger experience and improved cabin efficiency, through a unique cabin configuration that mixes in-line and angled seats, Optima can offer the uncompromised business class solution that the market was expecting.

An elevated business class experience comes from direct aisle access for every passenger, large surface areas, extensive stowage options and configurable privacy. Thanks to its seating arrangement and electrically actuated privacy screens, Optima offers an exclusively private environment for travelers wanting to relax and unwind, or passenger interaction for those travelling together. With bed lengths up to 83.5” and the option for a centerline double bed, Optima creates a sleeping experience for travelers that would typically only be associated with First Class Travel. However, Optima’s unique quality is that while it pays close attention to the needs of its passenger, it never forgets the requirements of airlines; to increase their profitability through increased passenger count. The unique cabin layout, originally designed by Acumen, allows airlines to maximize their revenue potential, offering 15% more seats in the cabin compared to standard business class products.

Optima can be tailored to the brand of the airline; thanks to its modular architecture. A variety of optional product features and customizable areas, allows each customer to embed its brand identity. This design ethos has been integrated into the product from its origination, building upon Zodiac Aerospace’s heritage and experience in manufacturing bespoke premium aircraft cabin solutions.

The perfect marriage of empathetic design and innovative engineering, Optima is the dawn of a new era in Business Class Travel.

Skylounge Core, the business class seat that combines flexibility, customization and comfort

Skylounge Core is a completely re-designed business class seat that focuses on offering class leading features and airline branding solutions while minimizing program costs. Its revolutionary product architecture enables airlines to offer the best possible experience to their passengers whilst also offering airlines customizable elements that reflect their branding and unique identity. This next generation platform offers a reliable and risk free solution with quality at its core.

A business class seat must represent the airline’s brand, but also needs to be easy to maintain. That’s why Zodiac Seats developed a modular architecture based upon the need to customize high value brand-able areas. With a few simple changes customers can make this seat their own. Zodiac Seats has created the PAX module which includes all the features dedicated to the business class passenger. Ideally located above the console it is entirely customizable from a fully open design to maximum stowage capacity option. The aisles’ privacy wings are also customizable to let airlines select between an open cabin feel or maximum privacy.

The seat is available at 42” or 44” of pitch and has been optimized for A330, B787 and A350 aircraft taking into account all the specificities of those platforms. The design integrates all the constraints of the different seat locations in the aircraft in order to reduce the number of parts. Developed with Zodiac Seats’ industrial processes in mind

Skylounge Core reduces maintenance cost and improves on time delivery performance.

Skylounge Core is a new member of the successful Skylounge family, offering a more flexible and easy to customize new offer.

New Z400 economy class seat sets new standards
Zodiac Aerospace launches a new long range economy class commercial airline seat at AIX17: Z400.

The Z400 series offers increased living space and greater weight optimization while establishing a new standard in comfort for seats in its class. In developping Z400, Zodiac Seats worked closely with ergonomics experts and the latest structural analyses software to create a design that is smooth, contemporary and completely optimized for weight with a beginning weight of 10 kg per PAX.

The sleek IFE system integrations have been designed to provide a seamless appearance accommodating up to a 13.3 inch monitor. The thinner design of the seat back, coupled with the articulating motion, provides industry leading shin clearance. The result is an ergonomically satisfying, comfortable, and enjoyable flight that will leave passengers with a fresh experience that positively reflects the airlines’ brand. Cherry on the pie is a revisited meal table design that hides a unique passenger module which is fully customizable.

Two different mock ups of the Z400 will be displayed at Zodiac Aerospace stand 7B40. This includes one with the latest IFE screen manufactured by Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The Z400 will be available on A330, A330NEO, A350, A380, 777, 777X and 787.

WhiZper Active Noise Control System (stand 4C20)
Noise is stressful. Noise is disturbing. Thanks to WhiZper, the passenger can now experience a quieter flying trip. The active noise control system protects the passenger from environmental sounds. The passenger can comfortably watch its favorite programs, listen to its own music or just read or sleep without disturbing or being annoyed by its neighbors. This headset-free technology keeps the passenger in a quiet environment and mood.

Heliott Smart Reading Light (stand 4C20)
If you have to adjust your reading light every time you change position, you quickly stop moving… and are uncomfortable! With the smart reading light, the passenger can now focus on what one’s reading, the light automatically adjusts to the passenger. Tracking the passenger’s support, Heliott always lights at the right place, at the right moment. The passenger can freely move around in its seat, comfortably enjoying his reading.

Completes funding for nationwide deployment of the patented
SmartSky 4G LTE air-to-ground network later this year

Charlotte, N.C. | March 28, 2017– SmartSky Networks, LLC (“SmartSky”) announces the closing of over $170 million in a multi-tranche Series B financing, completing the equity funding for the deployment of its nationwide network. With this financing, the Company has raised approximately a quarter of a billion dollars in equity capital. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as exclusive placement agent on the transaction.

SmartSky is deploying the nation’s first 4G LTE-based broadband high speed wireless air-to-ground data network dedicated to providing airborne internet connectivity. At aviation industry conferences and in private meetings, SmartSky has conducted inflight demonstrations allowing partners and flight departments to experience a level of connectivity fully comparable to the internet experience in their office or home – a first for the industry. The nationwide network rollout is underway, with the vast majority of sites expected to be operational this fall.

“We are pleased to have accomplished the threshold technical and business milestones needed to close on this major capital formation step,” said Chairman and CEO Haynes Griffin. “As a result, we are moving rapidly with the deployment of our coast-to-coast national network to bring users fast, seamless connectivity in the air.”

Griffin added, “A significant number of customers joined our Early Bird waiting list to secure their spot at the head of the line. SmartSky and its partners have already begun the process of obtaining a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) needed for installation on each aircraft model type. We expect Early Bird customer installs of our patented technology to commence next quarter, immediately following completion of the first few STCs.”

A veteran of the telecommunications industry and past president of the Cellular Telephone Industry Association, Griffin, who has built cellular networks in locations across the United States, commented “Cellular has built out everywhere. Now it’s time to build up.”

New technology allows airlines to make rapid and timely changes to its airfares
Cairo, Egypt | March 21, 2017– EGYPTAIR have selected SITA’s Airfare Insight to provide the airline better visibility

of its fares across all markets as well as the ability to deliver the most competitive fares to its passengers. EGYPTAIR is among 19 airlines globally that currently use Airfare Insight, leading the market with the most comprehensive fare management technology available today.

In an increasingly competitive environment, Airfare Insight, part of the Horizon® portfolio, allows the airline to make rapid adjustments to fares and rules in response to market conditions. Using Airfare Insight, EGYPTAIR can monitor, accurately analyze the competitor landscape and quickly react to changes in the market with the right fare at the right time.

Until now airlines have typically compared fares with competing carriers using base or “filed” fares that ended up bearing little resemblance to the price paid by customers. Airfare Insight’s unique “All in Fare” functionality provides EGYPTAIR with a true view of the market pricing with a comprehensive fare that includes the base price, taxes, fees and charges for each market. EGYPTAIR also benefits from Airfare Insights’ dedicated workflow, resulting in synchronized distribution, fewer errors and market prioritization.

The ability to manage its pricing globally is key to an airline such as EGYPTAIR, which has a strong network of routes throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia as well as New York and Toronto, serving 70 destinations in 48 countries.

EGYPTAIR Holding Company’s Chairman and CEO, Safwat Mosallam, said: “In today’s competitive marketplace, pricing can change dramatically in a matter of hours. For EGYPTAIR it is vital that we understand what is happening in the market so that we can respond with accurate and competitive fares. Airfare Insight allows us to do just that.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India and Africa said: “Our focus at SITA is to ensure that we make air travel easy at every step. With Airfare Insight, we deliver technology that meets this promise by simplifying how airlines manage airfares, optimizing their processes to improve their speed to market and delivering the most competitive fares available.”

Group to address today’s airport security threats and define roadmap for a safe and efficient end-to-end passenger experience
Atlanta, Georgia | March 16, 2017– SITA, the global provider of border security and IT solutions to governments, airlines and airports, today announced the formation of the Secure Journeys Working Group to address today’s airport security threats in the USA and to work towards creating a secure and efficient passenger experience throughout the airport.

The launch of the Secure Journeys initiative is in response to the current security climate and recent attacks on non-secure areas of the airport, including the Brussels airport bombing and Fort Lauderdale airport shooting. Members of the working group cite these incidents as examples that demonstrate the need to rethink the approach to getting passengers through the airport quickly and safely.

Brian Cobb, Vice President of Customer Services, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), said: “Because CVG is a mid-market airport, we have the unique ability to quickly test the effectiveness of emerging technology on security and efficiency. As a member of Secure Journeys, we can use our knowledge to help shape recommendations to the TSA and CBP based on real-world experience rather than untested concepts. We look forward to collaborating as a community to ensure the safety and convenience of the traveling public.”

Secure Journeys is an evolution and expansion of SITA’s Border Automation User Group which was formed in 2015 to facilitate implementation of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Automated Passport Control program.

The newly extended group will address growing challenges, including:

  • Moving passengers and baggage more rapidly through non-secure areas of the airport, such as check-in and baggage claim areas;
  • Reducing and effectively managing security wait times to reduce lines of people in non-secure areas;
  • Incorporating biometrics for passenger screening authentication;
  • Addressing ways in which identity management solutions can be used along with data analytics to reduce the growing concerns around the insider threat.

The value of Secure Journeys is its ability to bring together experts and representatives from across the air transport spectrum to provide input and recommendations based on their unique perspective and experience. Given the Administration’s focus on transportation security and commitment to large-scale investment for the nation’s infrastructure, the solutions and recommendations identified by Secure Journeys are vital to informing key decision makers.

David Menzel, Sales Director-Government Markets, SITA, Founding Member, Secure Journeys, said: “As the U.S. government looks for answers to a new set of threats passengers face, Secure Journeys will identify solutions to common ‘soft target’ challenges, passenger screening and insider threats and develop a set of recommended standards for U.S. airports to adopt. We look forward to continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security and our airline and airport partners to make America’s airports safer and improve the overall passenger experience from reservation to destination.”

Vision-Box, the worldwide leader in passenger experience and border control solutions announces new career opportunities in expansion of operations around the world

Lisbon, Portugal | March 14, 2017–
If you’re looking for a passionate, fast-growing company excited with amazing challenges and with a bright future ahead, don’t look any further. Vision-BoxTM is hiring!

Headquartered nearby fashionable Lisbon, Portugal, spreading with 8 offices around the world and operations in more than hundred countries in all 5 continents, the booming leader in biometric-based automated border control and identity management solutions, Vision-BoxTM, is the ideal place for career aspirations!

If you are wondering how you would fit in Vision-BoxTM, career opportunities emerge in various areas: there are plenty of open vacancies within the Software Development area, but also in the fields of Engineering, Sales, Marketing & Communication, Technical Support and Logistics. And not only in Portugal. The multi-awarded company has been growing at a fast pace in 8 offices around the world.

Requirements are different according to positions and geographies, but there are a few things all applicants need to know. Catarina Azevedo, Human Resources Director of
Vision-BoxTM, explains: “Our company is a truly worldwide team dedicated to a bold new vision. We look for energetic, ambitious and talented people that are willing and able to overcome obstacles, whilst developing their leadership. To shape our future, we need the best, most forward-looking and challenging talents in the job market.”

Why join Vision-BoxTM?

Vision-BoxTM is the happy result of the drive and skills of two visionaries with intensive experience in the science and technology fields, who in 2001 decided to take the results of their research to the ultimate test: the market. Today, Vision-BoxTM highly talented team accounts for many hundreds and has achieved the reputation of unquestioned market experts, closely working with and consulting Governments, Immigration Authorities, Airports, Airlines and other organizations challenged to improve identity management, by offering them superior, tailor-made Border Control, Identity Management and Surveillance solutions. Whatever the nature of the challenge, whether bringing unexpected innovation to the market, meeting the changing needs of our customers or the expectations of our shareholders, Vision-BoxTM has always reached for excellence and for a positive social change in the world.

Some of the vacancies are open in the headquarters in Lisbon, but there are also opportunities to strengthen the company’s activity abroad. The openings list can be consulted at Vision-BoxTM website and applications can be made through the contact: onlythebest@vision-box.com.

Vision-BoxTM is exhibiting this week at Passenger Terminal Expo in Amsterdam, so it will be an amazing opportunity for candidates who are as passionate about the industry as we are to know more about the company and liaise with some of its representatives. If you’re visiting Passenger Terminal Expo this week, don’t miss out on the opportunity to know everything about Vision-BoxTM and leave your business card!

• SES contracts Hughes for service on EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX HTS satellites, and combines them with its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network, to provide a four-satellite constellation for the launch of Thales FlytLIVE network
• The four-satellite network strengthens Thales’ FlytLIVE network as it enters initial operations in 2017 and in advance of the milestone launch of SES-17 Ka-band HTS satellite, planned for 2020
• SES to purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes and contract ground segment operations to Hughes to bring seamless connectivity to Thales FlytLIVE network
• Thales selects Hughes JUPITER System Aeronautical platform for its next-generation IFC solution

Arlington, VA, Luxembourg and Germantown, MD | March 8, 2017– Today, Thales, SES S.A. and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) announced a set of strategic agreements to enhance the delivery of FlytLIVETM – Thales’ connected inflight experience solution, offering the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution available in the Americas. Under the agreements, SES contracts capacity on Hughes EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX high throughput (HTS) Ka-band satellites to complement its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network giving FlytLIVE the only redundant coverage network in North America. SES will also purchase multiple JUPITERTM System gateways from Hughes to qualify Thales to deploy its FlytLIVE service on Hughes JUPITER Aeronautical platform. This will allow Thales to initiate its next- generation connected inflight experience offering in North America this year.

Furthermore, the system being deployed is forward compatible with SES-17, SES’ powerful Ka- band HTS satellite optimized for aviation connectivity and expected to launch in 2020, thus ensuring Thales’ airline clients have a clear and effective path for accommodating the ever- growing traffic demands of their passengers.

FlytLIVE by Thales provides an advanced, seamless inflight connectivity solution with unmatched performance and redundancy, giving passengers the full broadband Internet connectivity, including the ability to stream Internet services for video, games, social media and live television, creating an immersive and engaging experience in the air. In addition, this new service enables airlines to upload content, download operational data, and provide live television channels to their entire fleet through managed end-to-end solutions and network services.

In 2016, SES and Thales announced an agreement to procure and commercialize SES-17 and to leverage SES’ existing AMC-15 and AMC-16 satellites for FlytLIVE. This new set of strategic agreements between SES, Thales and Hughes provide Thales with an expanded scope of HTS Ka-band satellite capacity and the latest and most advanced aeronautical platform available today. The combination of Hughes EchoStar XVII and XIX Ka-band satellites with SES’ AMC-15 and AMC-16 network provide for expanded satellite capacity, coverage, and redundancy over North America. With these four satellites and the Hughes JUPITER System aeronautical platform, Thales will be positioned to offer the most comprehensive connectivity and content services for the full gamut of North American flight routes, including routes between the North East U.S. and Canada and the Caribbean, which to-date have been underserved as these flight routes are predominantly over open ocean. This combination of coverage, performance, redundancy, and network robustness will be unique to FlytLIVE.

At the center of the new service is Hughes high-performance JUPITER system that is already in operation for broadband enterprise and consumer services in other major markets globally and will be introduced for aeronautical use on the Thales FlytLIVE network. Unique features of the network include rapid beam-to-beam and satellite-to-satellite switching and DVB-S2x transmission. Thales has already begun service testing using its new Thales Ka-band aero antenna and the Hughes JUPITER technology.

SES will also purchase multiple Hughes JUPITER System gateways to support traffic carried over AMC-15 and AMC-16, as well as SES-17, when it enters service. FlyLIVE’s network will deliver industry leading speed and capacity for support of growing passenger service demands and will comfortably accommodate forecasted traffic increases through the launch of SES-17, which is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and configured with close to 200 spot beams and coverage tailored to aviation and mobility markets.

“Our experience and position as a global leader in satellites, avionics, cybersecurity and connected inflight entertainment means we are able to deliver the most capable solutions our customers expect. With these strategic agreements with SES and Hughes, Thales FlytLIVE service will be uniquely able to deliver airlines and their passengers with an unsurpassed, connected inflight entertainment experience.” • Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience

“This agreement confirms once again SES’s ability to provide scalable solutions tailored to match our customers’ specific requirements. Not only are we developing SES-17, a next- generation satellite that Thales will use to meet the future inflight connectivity demands of the next decade, but we are also providing a superior, tailor-made, multi-satellite and multi-beam solution today, in 2017, utilizing assets already in orbit. This is only possible thanks to the combination of our existing robust and flexible network with our long-standing relationship with Hughes and Thales.” • Elias Zaccack, Senior Vice President of SES’s Global

Mobility Team and the Americas region, SES S.A.
“Hughes is proud to join with Thales and SES to bring our advanced JUPITER System aeronautical platform, along with the enhanced satellite coverage and capacity of our EchoStar XVII and XIX satellites, to facilitate the launch and operation of FlytLIVE’ s North American service. Our JUPITER platform will enable SES and Thales to deliver an unmatched level of inflight connectivity customer experience, and the capacity brought through our satellites will ensure that Thales’ airline clients will be able to readily accommodate the ever-growing demands and performance expectations of their passengers.” • Paul Gaske, Executive Vice President, North America, Hughes

Cwmbran, United Kingdom | March 8, 2017– STG Aerospace, a research-driven pioneer in aircraft cabin lighting, held an Open Day on 7th March at its Innovation & Engineering Centre on the Llantarnam Industrial Park, Cwmbran.

Visitors, including customers and suppliers as well as academics engaged in joint research projects and other invited guests, were given a tour of the company’s facility where the company has already created 36 jobs since it was first opened in 2015.

The tour also included demonstrations of the latest product developments from STG Aerospace. These included the company’s new LED reading light, part of its liTeMood® range which, with its patented square light pattern, minimises the light spill onto neighbouring seats and helps give passengers a sense of control over their own environment. Also being demonstrated was saf-Tglo® blu, the world’s first ever blue-glowing photoluminescent emergency floorpath marking system which creates a more calming ambience and has already won a prestigious APEX Award for Best Cabin Innovation.

At the Open Day, there were speeches from Harriet Wollerton, Aerospace Operations & Business Development Manager at ADS, the trade body for the UK aerospace, defence, security and space industries, and from John Whalley, Chief Executive of Aerospace Wales, a trade association for all companies operating in the country.

Welcoming the news, Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “STG Aerospace is a recognised market leader in its field and has a quite remarkable global reach, exporting worldwide with its products acknowledged as industry standards. This is a considerable achievement and STG Aerospace is a very welcome addition to the dynamic aerospace sector we have in Wales.

“I am delighted Welsh Government support helped the company establish its new centre in Wales and that it has created significantly more jobs than was originally anticipated which is great news.

“Today marks an important date in STG Aerospace’s business calendar as it marks the completion of its first major strategic investment and enhanced capabilities and I wish the company every success in the future.”

The STG Aerospace Innovation & Engineering Centre is equipped with a goniophotometer, used for measuring the size, space and shape that lighting takes up, and an integrating sphere which is used to analyse colour. The Centre also has two sections of aircraft, a Boeing and an Airbus, used to visualise how new products will actually work when in service. In addition, there is a Chemistry Laboratory and a Flammability Laboratory.

“We were delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of our research and development facilities to so many important guests”, said Nigel Duncan, CEO at STG Aerospace. “Being at the cutting edge of research into how lighting affects people, physiologically and psychologically, is central to our product development philosophy.”

STG Aerospace’s success and rapid growth is reflected by a range of global patents and the number of major industry awards it has received, including winning the Queen’s Award for Enterprise on four separate occasions.

Its Innovation & Engineering Centre in Brecon House on Llantarnam Industrial Park has an extensive R&D facility that includes a state of the art lighting laboratories and simulations of 737 and A320 aircraft.

IAG the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling will be first to offer this game changing in-flight broadband solution, reinforcing the success of Inmarsat’s aviation strategy

United Kingdom | March 8, 2017–
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced International Airlines Group (IAG) as the launch customer for its European Aviation Network (EAN) high-speed in-flight broadband service, which Inmarsat will jointly operate with its partner Deutsche Telekom. This contract is a flagship achievement in Inmarsat’s strategy to revolutionise the onboard experience for airline passengers with purpose-built next-generation connectivity solutions.

EAN allows European passengers to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance. EAN’s robust and ultra compact technology makes it uniquely qualified for the European airspace, where aircraft size, flight density and frequent aircraft manoeuvring are challenging to broadband satellite-only systems.

EAN is the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a complementary LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom.

IAG plans to equip in excess of 300 aircraft with EAN and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The rollout of our European Aviation Network, which we are building together with our partner Deutsche Telekom, is progressing at full pace and today’s contract signing with IAG as our launch customer has reinforced once again how Inmarsat’s aviation strategy is coming together.

“Passenger demand for in-flight broadband has never been stronger and Inmarsat’s cutting-edge technology will remain the market’s gold standard for a long time to come. We look forward to rolling out this ground-breaking service with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, four of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation.”

It’s a neck-and-neck race for the industry’s big names in the 2017 final of the Crystal Cabin Awards. The award ceremony is on 4 April in Hamburg.

Hamburg | March 7, 2017– 21 products and ideas are in the finals of the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards, the world’s most renowned prize for innovation in aircraft interiors. From a parking guidance system for cabin baggage to a lavatory mirror that displays on-board video and information as if by magic, the finalists’ submissions include innovative ideas for pretty much every aspect of the cabin – revealing today how we will be flying in the world of tomorrow. In the field of “Cabin Concepts” in particular, the giants are lining up for a showdown: Bombardier, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are all hoping for a trophy in the same category. With 85 shortlist entrants from 21 nations, the 2017 Crystal Cabin Awards have been more popular and more international than ever before in their 11 years of history. The seven winners of the coveted Crystal Cabin Award trophies will be announced on the first evening of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (4 – 6 April, 2017) in Hamburg, Germany.

The final in the “Cabin Concepts” category this year might be more exciting than ever before: three international “heavyweights” are going head-to-head. Two of them are leading American airlines: Delta Air Lines is offering business class passengers enclosed cabin areas with privacy partitions in its “Delta One Suite” – a luxury which was until now reserved for first class passengers. The concept is initially being implemented in Delta’s A350s. The business passenger concept from United Airlines, “Polaris”, also promises a maximum of freedom. After enjoying the exclusive Polaris Lounge with dinner service and relaxation rooms, passengers experience a new cabin configuration with all-aisle access seats in a density neutral layout, not compromising space or comfort. Also in contention for the best cabin concept is Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier with the cabin for its C Series, the first completely new short and medium-haul airliner for 30 years.

Another completely new innovation in the market this year is the “K-Reflexion Mirror” from Krüger Aviation. This finalist in the “Material & Components” category is the first plastic mirror which, thanks to its semi-transparent structure, can display safety announcements, product information and tips for the destination – in the on-board lavatory. Studio Moderna Bologna concentrates its efforts primarily on long-haul aviation seating, and its innovative, elastic material units for the aircraft seat provide a solution for the optimal distribution of body weight – almost like cushioned on clouds, above the clouds. Flexibility is the order of the day for Diehl Aircabin, and the company is tackling the typical monotonous wall surfaces in the aircraft cabin: with the help of its direct printing method, individual colours and patterns can enliven the cabin wall without the troublesome effort of removing panels.

The innovations in the “Cabin Systems” category are more in the background, but no less relevant. The “Watchdog” from Airbus addresses a problem that at first sounds absurd but in fact generates enormous costs for the aviation industry every year: accidental activation of the emergency escape chutes on the ground when crew members open the aircraft doors. The Watchdog sensor warns whenever there is a movement near the door handle, which will enable it to reduce this expensive and dangerous source of error. Zodiac Aerospace has also come up with a sensor, but in an entirely different field: the first cabin baggage management system for overhead compartments. Similar to the green arrows in multi-storey car parks, lights above the overhead baggage lockers indicate free space for cabin baggage. The concept also includes larger space for cases, so that the finalist promises a reduction in “cabin baggage anxiety”. Diehl Aerospace, together with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, combines data and electricity cables with their newly developed “Power Line Communication”. This “free-loading” of data flows using existing power cabling on board results in an immense saving of materials and thereby weight.

Efficiency and sustainability are, as would be expected, also at the forefront in the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category. Amongst the finalists is “GermFalcon” from the US-based company of the same name. This cleaning device for cabins uses ultraviolet C light, which removes bacteria and viruses from seats and other surfaces without the use of chemical agents. The “Revolution Toilet” from Zodiac Aerospace also aims to fight bacteria. Not only does it consist of recycled composite fibre materials and save water, it is also merciless with germs on the toilet edge thanks to special vents. Airbus successfully pushed the ReTrolley all the way into the finals, a rubbish collection trolley allowing the crew to sort and compress waste while they pass through the cabin.

Bombardier is present at the Crystal Cabin Awards for the first time this year and already has a double entry in the finals. In the “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category, the Canadians present their concept of barrier-free toilets for their CRJ range of aircraft. They are facing off with Airbus, whose “Smart Cabin Reconfiguration” solution for moving aircraft seats on rails has also made it to the final. Past years have already seen ideas for efficient reconfiguration of seating depending on load. The Airbus approach now promises particularly minimal effort in both the initial installation and, most importantly, crew operation, so that the rail system may be operated without any prior mechanical knowledge. An idea creating a benefit with minimal effort for the crew is what brought Diehl Comfort Modules into the finals, too: the company’s bar module can be integrated into the gallery in just a few simple steps, magically transforming the grey and boring kitchenette into a bar or a duty-free sales counter within seconds.

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity stays a major field of growth: More and more airlines are installing wireless connectivity solutions for passengers. The “Electronic Systems” category has two finalists which showcase this development: Lufthansa Technik’s “niceview mobile” product is offering passengers a way to follow their journey with interactive maps on their personal mobile devices. Global Eagle Entertainment has submitted a complete entertainment portal, allowing passengers to surf the internet, watch films and read magazines on their smartphones. Airbus apparently found the right frequency in communicating to the Award’s 29 international jury members this year, making it to the finals in this category also (and thus being a finalist in four categories in total) with radio-based wireless communication (WAIC – Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications). Smoke detectors, lighting and temperature regulation can be controlled with a patented radio frequency – no cables are required and it is easy for the airlines to install.

It’s back again in 2017 with creative student concepts: the “University” category. Repeating its success from last year, the Delft University of Technology has more than one idea in the final: “myseat” is the equivalent of a parking guidance system for passengers, accompanying them all the way from check-in to their seat using Bluetooth technology. The idea is to achieve a structured boarding process. Meanwhile, “The Revitalisation System” turns the cabin seating upholstery into a game controller, with body movements whilst sitting controlling the on-board entertainment system. Lengthy periods in the seat become a workout. Finalist Hamburg University of Applied Sciences has given thought to the other end of the spectrum: Independent travel for wheelchair users faces many hurdles – especially when it comes to using the on-board toilet. Thanks to its specially designed seat, the “Smart Onboard Wheelchair” from can be rolled directly over the toilet.

The seven winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2017 will be announced during the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair at a gala event to be held on the evening of 4 April at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. First, all of the finalists have to personally answer the critical and probing questions of the 29 international experts on the judging panel – airline representatives, professors, aircraft manufacturer representatives, and journalists – and present their projects in an “elevator pitch”.

Next generation Cobham solution introduces significant reduction in total cost of ownership combined with industry leading high throughput, tracking accuracy and RF performance

Washington DC | March 6, 2017– Cobham has introduced a new disruptive technology platform for its expanded line of Sea Tel land-based tracking antennas. Designed as an enabler for the new breed of emerging high throughput LEO/MEO constellations that leverage cutting-edge CubeSat and SmallSat spacecraft, Cobham’s new tracking antennas lower the total cost of ownership by significantly reducing power consumption, in addition to delivering tangible savings on deployment and maintenance. Uniquely, Cobham’s next generation solution is delivered as a complete, integrated system including radome, antenna controller, feeds and customer specific RF (BUC and LNB) in addition to a built-in auto-tracking feature, improving link performance and contributing to higher throughput and availability of service for the end-user.

Currently available for L, S, C, X, Ku, Ka and E-band with antenna reflector sizes between 60 cm to 6 m, Cobham’s new Tracker range has re-written the land-based tracking antennas rulebook. Developed from the bottom up to merge over 20 years of Sea Tel land tracking antenna experience with Cobham’s cutting-edge maritime antenna stabilisation technology, the life-time cost savings facilitated by the new Tracker series supports established network operators and venture-funded start-ups to deliver even more competitive high-throughput satcom services for diverse users. Cobham has also addressed the traditional long lead time to delivery in the land-based tracking antenna segment, committing significant capacity to supporting mobility and growth in the LEO/MEO markets.

Headlining the unique new Sea Tel Tracker product line feature-set is Cobham’s new 3-Axis Zero Gravity technology for land antennas, which balances the entire system to deliver a step-change in power consumption for Cobham customers. The solution co-locates the antenna’s centre of gravity with its centre of rotation, resulting in an effortless track that requires almost no power. Regardless of size, all new Sea Tel Tracker antennas consume just 200 Watts, with further saving possible through the use of a 500-Watt back-up generator, compared to the >5KW back-up generator needed for competing antennas. A 90% reduction in capital outlay to provide power infrastructure can be achieved, while an 87%1 power consumption saving is typical.

The Cobham development team has considered all aspects of the total cost of ownership for the new Sea Tel Tracker range resulting in even more savings, including on the cost of site preparation and antenna deployment. Traditional land tracking antennas of over five meters in size require substantial foundations (up to 15ft) in order to ensure the antenna can operate and survive in high winds as well as negate shift in the base over time as the foundation settles. Due to the perfect balance of the system, Cobham’s new tracking antennas can operate in winds up to 155 mph, installed on just a 12 inch thick concrete grade pad with minimal rebar. They can even be installed temporarily on a bed of gravel while still maintaining a strong link to the network. This is achieved by automatic calibration routines which compensate for the movement of the base over time.

“The significant time and personnel commitment required to assemble antenna systems greatly contributes to the cost of system installation,” said Kirby Nell, Business Manager Large VSAT, Cobham SATCOM.“Traditional land tracking systems can take several months to build the foundation, pull power cables, install automatic power supplies and finally install the precision aligned and levelled antennas. It’s a complex, costly task, but Cobham has developed a better and simpler approach. Sea Tel Tracker antennas can be built by two skilled technicians in a matter of days. We have a heritage of being able to assemble systems quickly and easily for the maritime market, which informs our approach to deployment of the Tracker range.”

Further life-time cost savings for LEO/MEO network operators have been achieved by simplifying and reducing the requirements for on-site maintenance. Uniquely designed as a single unit, housing all components in the radome itself, the Sea Tel Tracker product line provides industry-leading Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF), so fewer engineer visits are required during the antenna’s lifecycle. Cobham’s sophisticated system design and intelligent component selection has simplified the overall system architecture, so many standard maintenance tasks take less than an hour, while many service issues can be handled remotely.

“By renewing our land tracking antenna technology platform, we can provide satellite network operators the ability to achieve a massive reduction in their operational overheads,” adds Pete Blaney, Chief Engineer, Cobham SATCOM. “Lowering the total cost of ownership across the network development and operational stages to such a level, our new Sea Tel Tracker range is set to become a catalyst for the industry to develop and implement more disruptive services that are not only possible at a new price-point for the network owner but will also help to bring costs down for end-users, while increasing performance and availability of service.”

Combination of increased flexibility, security and simplified network management is the winner

Mexico | March 3, 2017– Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, has selected SITA to provide network connectivity across more than 50 international locations. SITA’s world-class communications services will ensure Aeromexico will have full access to all its IT applications for back and front-office activities, including check-in and departure control, as the airline expands its routes across the world.

The three-year agreement includes the provision of SITA CorporateConnect services at 50 locations to transport mission-critical business internet traffic for Aeromexico’s daily operations. This service connects Aeromexico’s hubs and main sites to virtual private networks providing bandwidth at the highest availability (up to 99.95%).

In addition, 25 locations will have SITA CorporateConnect@Airports which will allow all of Aeromexico’s offices and devices at these airports to securely and cost effectively connect to its VPN via the airport LAN and AirportHub™, SITA’s shared infrastructure.

Benjamín Hernández, CIO, Aeromexico, said: “It is vital that Aeromexico has a world-class communications infrastructure that provides high availability service and access to our IT systems anywhere we operate. This ensures we can deliver a better travel experience to our passengers and minimizes any disruptions in our connected world.

“We were looking for the combination of a strong partner with an international footprint at airports, technical expertise and service quality. SITA delivers on all these counts and will now work together with us as we grow Aeromexico internationally.”

Elbson Quadros, SITA Vice President, Latin America, said: “Aeromexico has a tradition of providing high quality service to its passengers and needs a robust, cost-effective communications infrastructure to support it. SITA Connect will enable the airline to add new international destinations in a matter of weeks not months due to our continued investment in the AirportHub infrastructure, which is now at more than 300 airports across the world with more on the way. We are looking forward to providing Aeromexico with flexible, secure and simplified global network management as it grows internationally.”

SITA provides the largest worldwide communication network coverage to airlines and over the coming years Aeromexico expects to add more locations to the 50 already agreed. SITA enables reliable connectivity and with a footprint in over 220 countries and territories, and shared infrastructure at over 300 AirportHub equipped airports, it offers true global connectivity from a single supplier.

Aeromexico carried more than 19 million passengers in 2016 and is Mexico’s flag carrier with 86 destinations in more than 20 countries.

From personalizing the travel experience to big data, improved efficiency and new dynamic distribution standards – Lufthansa Systems supports airlines on every level of digital transformation

Raunheim, Germany | February 16, 2017– 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. Excerpts can be provided upon request. An animated version of the infographic for digital use can be found on YouTube. (Copyright: Lufthansa Systems)

More information about Lufthansa Systems’ digitalization expertise is available online: www.lhsystems.com or on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/LHsystems

Chesterfield, MO | February 1, 2017–

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.

“This is the second time AirSatOne has been able to reduce airtime prices for our customers, “said President Jo Kremsreiter.  AirSatOne’s worldwide SwiftBroadband price reduction is especially significant because airtime charges for the domestic US only Go-Go system are on the rise.

“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.

AirSatOne’s 2017 SwiftBroadband price guides are online and can be viewed or downloaded on the company’s website. AirSatOne is the only Aviation Satcom provider not afraid to publish our price guides on-line: https://airsatone.com/satcom-airtime-price-guides


News:

Lufthansa Systems

Brussels Airlines introduced a new passenger service system in 2016. To make its departure control and adjacent applications accessible from the respective CUTE systems at each of the airports in its network, the Belgian airline is using cFront/LAGUNA from Lufthansa Systems. CUTE stands for Common Use Terminal Equipment. This software enables airlines to make shared use of airport IT infrastructures. This means that different airlines can use the same hardware to access their own servers for passenger and flight handling. The cFront/LAGUNA adapter software helps standardize the different versions of the CUTE systems.

“We have more than 100 destination airports in our route network. As an airline, it isn’t possible for us to develop interfaces for every version of CUTE and acquire the necessary certifications. This is why we are relying on the expertise of Lufthansa Systems,” said Paul Rogiers, Delivery Manager Outstations/IT at Brussels Airlines.

For many years, Lufthansa Systems has offered airlines comprehensive CUTE services – from setting up the applications to carrying out updates and maintenance. cFront/LAGUNA was modified by the experts to meet the specific needs of the Lufthansa Group. The software is based on the CUTE solution known as cGroup. It accesses an airline’s IT systems in a smooth, standardized way and supports all leading CUTE platforms as well as the new standards for Common Use Passenger Processing Systems (CUPPS). In addition to Brussels Airlines, other airlines in the Lufthansa Group are also using cFront/LAGUNA. This means different airlines in the Group can benefit from a shared check-in system if necessary. Users can access the system from anywhere with a web app. cFront/LAGUNA also offers monitoring functions that provide an overview of the status at all CUTE and CUPPS airports and enables the responsible management team to intervene quickly in the event of a disruption.

“Thanks to the shared certification and provision of cFront/LAGUNA, the Group solution was already available at many of the airports in Brussels Airlines’ network. During the implementation, we simply had to add the information specific to Brussels Airlines. This saved money and ensured a fast launch,” said Bjoern Steinbrecher, Head of cGroup Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.

Established in 2002, Brussels Airlines from Belgium is part of the Lufthansa Group and a member of the Star Alliance. With a fleet of 49 aircraft, Brussels Airlines connects the European capital of Brussels with more than 100 destinations in Europe, Africa, India and North America.”

VISION-BOX

On a similar subject, Vision-Box also has automated airport passenger electronic control devices. We realize this is not IFEC, but  you are going to see a lot of this ground-based technology in the future. Since this technology free’s up a lot of people, border and airport automated technologies will increase for identifying passengers and visitors and a recent release about a Caribbean airport at St. Maarten caught our eye. “Juliana International Airport just upgraded to the new Vision-Box™ which is a self-service biometric Automated Border Control eGates intended to modernize the process, improve the security of the identification procedure, and expedite passenger flow at one more stage of the passenger journey across the airport!”  The news release went on: “vb i-match ™ ABC eGates have now recently announced a seamless passenger journey designed by Vision-Box ™, joining the existing vb i-match ™ security checkpoint gates installed in the first phase of the project. Together, these solutions are streamlining identification processes for departing passengers, when entering airside and clearing immigration.” We also understand that the arrival of biometric ABC technology at SMX (Juliana) Airport means that after successfully entering airport side by using vb i-match ™ security checkpoint eGates, passengers crossing the border will be able to complete the entire immigration process in a few seconds using customer-centric, self service touchpoint vb i-match ™ ABC”. Here is how it works: “Once at the eGate, the passenger will first scan their ePassport, where facial biometric information from the echip is scanned and matched with a live facial image capture of the passenger. Once all identification and safety checks have been successfully conducted, the passenger is allowed to clear immigration. At the forefront of modernizing the immigration clearance procedure is cutting-edge fraud detection and self-clearing biometric identification capabilities, using an advanced eGate security algorithm authenticating the passengers ePassport and identifying identity through multiple fraud and security operations, which just takes a few seconds.” We note that “Newly appointed airport ambassadors are there to greet and guide travelers in the use of the eGates, additionally to the support of a passenger-centered, expertly designed user Interface, oriented towards the success of the operation! Additionally, every passenger transaction is closely monitored by an immigration officer using vb inspector ™, a monitoring system giving the officers immediate information on each passenger’s identity and transaction status, detecting identity fraud, leveraging biometric and biographic information during real-time checks of intelligence and criminal databases, and instantly alerting border officers in case of an emergency.”

Editor’s Note: If you think there is not enough electronics in the airport departure and entry areas, you need to keep your eye on companies like Lufthansa Systems and Vision-Box.  www.vision-box.com. Here is another link about the coming technology.

APPS

We recently came across an interesting website about the use of Android apps for passenger devices.

While a bit old (2014 – 2015) we note their comments: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. And you guessed it – this app stuff is getting a lot more important to travelers.

Airlines aiming at increasing personalization are aware of the importance of mobile apps. However, a prerequisite to unleashing new streams of ancillary revenues through tailored offers is offering an outstanding digital user experience.” The app importance is noted in the link above, but tnooz said: “The average customer rating across Apple App Store and Google Play for the 12 major European airlines included in this study grew from 3.2 to 3.6 (on 1 to 5 scale) between January 2014 and October 2015. While the airline average was around 3.1 to 3.6 (or lower) a reader sent us LATAM’s score (a few months old) – 4.0 Google/4.0 Apple – Guess who designed it?  If you said Zii, you win!

ZODIAC

And speaking of Zodiac Aerospace, Safran will buy them and merge the two companies with lots of financial machinations if all the business offers are accepted. In the end, Safran landing gear, nacelle, power systems, actuators and avionics would be combined with the Zodiac seats, cabin interiors, power distribution, lighting, safety, and oxygen/fluid/safety equipment.

Here are the involved Zodiac companies: Heath Tecna, Contour Aerospace, IMS (Zii), NAT, TriaGnoSys, PPP, and Greenpoint Technologies.

One expert said that the message here is clear, Safran see’s the future of electrical and avionic involvement in in aircraft. We believe, because of their native product differences, that management selection will be very critical as the two companies are so different and almost opposite talents. It is worth noting that the combined company would have about 92,000 employees and we understand Safran purchase is estimated to be approximately  $9.5 Billion. Interestingly, Safran attempted this acquisition in 2010. FYI, if the deal goes through, Safran will be number three Tier 1 supplier behind GE and United Technologies. However, the purchase is still subject to shareholder approval and if so it will close at the end of 2017/ 1st Qtr. 2018. Stay Tuned.

GOGO

Gogo announced that it has promoted Jon Cobin to Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Gogo. Cobin has served in a leadership position at Gogo for six years, most recently as head of strategy and global sales for Gogo’s commercial aviation division.  In his new role, he will continue to manage strategy and sales, but will take on the added responsibilities of managing Gogo’s product and marketing teams. Under Jon’s leadership the company has experienced numerous successes, including adding more than 1,000 2Ku aircraft to the backlog in 2016. “Gogo is at the forefront of technology development and innovation and combining our strategy group with product, sales and marketing enables us to better align the organization around meeting the needs of our global airline partners,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “Jon’s proven leadership makes him the right person for this role.” Congratulations Jon!

 THALES

JetBlue announced the completion of its fleet-wide Fly-Fi installations and they said: “Fly-Fi is the revolutionary Wi-Fi service offered to JetBlue passengers for free across the carrier’s 227 aircraft, including Airbus A320s, A321s and Embraer 190s. This Wi-Fi offering was developed by Thales InFlyt Experience to meet JetBlue’s expectation to offer connectivity services for every seat, on every aircraft. This service allows passengers to connect and remain connected from gate-to-gate. With the completion of these installations, Thales has again enhanced the passenger experience for JetBlue by providing high-bandwidth connectivity services that complement existing stored and live in-flight entertainment products.” For additional details on this service, please refer to this JetBlue press release.

GLOBAL EAGLE

Global Eagle Entertainment, CA secured a $500m senior-secured term-loan facility and a new $85m senior-secured revolving credit facility.

LATE PREDICTION

This came into us after publishing last Tuesday. It is a prediction submission from FlightPath3D: “We predict 2017 as the year the industry finally recognizes the PAX audience as the most highly coveted demographic for advertisers and begins real & sustained efforts to bridge the gap between them.”

A RUMOR

An unnamed IFExpress reporter told us: “Yesterday, I spoke with a friend of mine at (US) FCC and he confirmed that there will be organizational structure changes within. The alleged purpose is to “streamline” the licensing process. We’ll see. I have my doubts with any Federal bureaucracy. However, it could make for an interesting scenario with the 14 GHz air-to-ground license auctions. I suspect the license costs will go higher. Notwithstanding the purported organization changes, with every presidential transition period, he told me, from Republican – to – Democrat, or vice versa, or has about a 3-4 month period when almost nothing happens.” We concur.

LASTLY

You gotta see this – it might work! The Worst Seat on a Plane Gets Better: New Middle Seats

 

 

Air Transport World (ATW) has honoured NAVBLUE with the Aviation Technology Achievement Award as part of their 2017 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards. The Award is one of the most coveted awards in the aviation industry.

Waterloo, ON | January 24, 2017– NAVBLUE has been nominated by a prestigious ATW editorial board of judges for its N-Flight Planning Solution. This award is given to a breakthrough system, technology or process that advances safety and efficiency in the global commercial airline industry.

NAVBLUE’S N-Flight Planning solution uniquely allows airlines, with its integration of a flight planning route optimization algorithm and Schneider Electric’s flight hazard forecast model, to operate more safely and efficiently – flight crews get advanced warning of areas to avoid that may contain turbulence, icing or storms – correspondingly offering greater customer and crew comfort along with a cost optimized route of flight.

Karen Walker, ATW Editor-in-Chief, noted that, “It is this type of innovation that “falls behind the scenes” but can make a huge difference in day-to-day operations for the airline, its crews and its customers. Passengers hate turbulence and flying through bad weather; here is a technology that airlines can use to mitigate the discomfort. Crews can make informed decisions in their route planning that can both help avoid “hazards” such as storms and save fuel. This is a technology that is a win for everyone.”

Shawn Mechelke, VP-N Software Services at NAVBLUE, is the author of the detailed nomination for the ATW Award and has also been involved in developing this technology and flight planning automation over the past six years. Mr. Mechelke commented that, “We are very excited to finally bring the vision of integrating NAVBLUE’s N-Flight Planning Solution with the industry’s leading aircraft specific turbulence, icing, and thunderstorm forecast model. Both Dispatchers and Flight Crews can now automatically plan routes of flight using very precise and accurate flight hazard forecasts that did not exist in the past. The days of looking at paper charts and manually adjusting routes of flight are now a practice of the past.”

The ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards recognize excellence across a broad range of airline operations and are widely considered as the most coveted in the aviation industry.

The awards will be presented at the 43nd annual ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards at a gala dinner on March 28 at the J.W. Marriott Essex House in New York.

London, UK | January 5, 2017– The connected aircraft represents a paradigm shift for airlines and many are now in the early stages of deploying various applications. Several have begun to embrace staged increases in electronic flight bag (EFB) capabilities often starting with one or two apps that they can later build upon, according to a new study from UK-based market intelligence firm, Valour Consultancy.

The report – “How the Connected Aircraft fits into the Internet of Things” – thoroughly details the raft of connected aircraft applications airlines are exploring in the hope of realising considerable cost savings and/or ancillary revenue gains. It finds that the benefits of eTechlog, eCabin Logbook and enhanced flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) programs using quick access recorder (QAR) data are becoming better understood, while aircraft health monitoring solutions are being enriched by the infusion of increased data flows from previously disparate sub-systems and other information sources on and off the aircraft.

Though certain airlines are further along in their connected aircraft strategy than others, there are many challenges to be overcome, says report author, Craig Foster. “Suppliers have invested millions in developing differentiated offerings and this lack of standards has resulted in concern and confusion about investing in the wrong technology. Second, there exists little in the way of tangible metrics that show how quickly a return on investment (ROI) may be achieved from connected aircraft applications. Third, there is a perception that the act of harnessing vast amounts of data results in magical value with some undoubtedly having overstated the reality of what is possible”. Foster added that there also needed to be a recognition that offloading data from aircraft in real-time may only be necessary if you can also act on that data in real-time.

Though airlines understand the potential benefits of turning their fleets into connected nodes within their operation, there is work to be done on building consensus on how to approach the connected aircraft. “Collaboration internally, as well as externally, is crucial to success of the connected aircraft across the industry and airlines need to find ways to reduce interdepartmental friction and look to share best practices with other carriers”, said Foster.

Valour Consultancy is a provider of high quality market intelligence. Its latest report “How the Connected Aircraft fits into the Internet of Things” builds upon the company’s highly-acclaimed research into the passenger in-flight connectivity and in-flight entertainment markets. For an information brochure containing a full table of contents visit: http://www.valourconsultancy.com/aviation-market-research/connected-aircraft-in-the-internet-of-things/

Well, well, another year has passed and IFExpress is now in it’s our 25th year and we still love the craziness of this entertainment and connectivity based aircraft business; albeit, it is getting harder to stay current with all the ups (and downs) of technology, personal preference, and airline profit-making. According to IATA, in 2015 U.S. airlines raked in a profit of $25.6 billion, a 241% increase from 2014. The drop in oil prices meant big savings for the industry. Airlines spent nearly $27 billion on fuel in 2015, 38% less than in 2014. The results from 2016 are yet to be compiled and it will be interesting to see how they have fluctuated.

This year (2017) looks interesting and potentially problematic for the following reasons: fuel price increases, growth of airline fees, and a large increase in delivered aircraft. In fact, IATA predicts a reduced profitability ($29 Billion) based on slower GDP and rising costs. The folks at Aviation Week are predicting a downturn as well: “After years of high profitability, the airline industry appears to be entering its next potential downturn. The International Air Transport Association is predicting much reduced profits for 2017 in most markets as airlines are no longer benefiting from lower oil prices and overcapacity increasingly becomes a problem in many segments.”

From the other side of the equation, the IATA predictions include a 5.1% increase in tourism (we have a hard time with this one because of all the political madness in the world) and the airlines will take delivery of approximately 1,700 new jetliners. New planes means new IFEC and this is good for our team. Furthermore, this obviously does not include IFEC retrofits which will increase as a result of data hungry passengers and crew. Although, focus shifts from entertainment to data connectivity demand may be in the offing. As noted almost everywhere, passengers carry-on devices, whether it is for entertainment and/or communication, is resulting in another competing growth area for IFEC, which may negatively effect some seatback entertainment growth as passenger device purchases technically outpace anything that an airline can provide. However, we do note that upper class big screens win out in the front of the plane since no one carries anything onboard with a screen over 15 inches, or so.We should also note that in-seat power is probably a related growth item and folks in this arena have seen, and will continue to see, a lot of action.

Now, lets look at what we predicted last year in the IFEC related world for 2016. We don’t want to blow our horn because a lot of our observations came from a ton of research time on the Internet –  we just did a good job of compiling the information:

A) Messaging

Last year we wrote: While 2016 may have a few techno-changes from 2015 and summary numbers differ, we are are riding the same messaging train! Since technology and media have grown so much (at least in the US) folks are spending more time on it than sleep or work (Business Insider), there appears to be plenty of opportunity time for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) but messaging will be even bigger. If you don’t believe it, just watch the ‘head down time’ at a public function where time is spent on devices – it’s less invasive and non interruptive. Why is this a boom time for messaging, you might ask? The answer must lie in new, portable communication technology for one. If, as some writers predict, we spend over half of our waking day with media and technology, and because the devices and connectivity mediums are there, plain and simple, we will text. From a broader perspective, time on major digital activities will increase and has done so for each year for the last 5 years. To a greater extent, these behaviors are clearly a dominating trend and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Further, as folks ‘cut’ their cable TV, products are rising up in the wireless world to support streaming TV via the Internet for portable devices. Check out this FierceCable article for more information on this subject.

On aircraft, we also expect to see this increase, after all some 97% of passengers (notes SITA) have devices with Facebook Messenger, What’s App, and WeChat. These devices (and apps) and limited connectivity channels are there, all we need are more lower price solutions (free or flat fee)… and yes, there are a few on the horizon and we will discuss them this year, but we digress for now. If anything will be a big deal in inflight lifestyle changes, it will be more messaging!”

We saw this one coming! Messaging just keeps growing and as the messaging options grow, so do the users. One of the best newer ones is SMS. Sending email to SMS is free for the sender, but the recipient is subject to the standard delivery charges. Only the first 160 characters of an email message can be delivered to a phone, and only 160 characters can be sent from a phone. Text-enabled fixed-line handsets are required to receive messages in text format.

Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software application which provides text and voice communication. Integrated with Facebook’s web-based Chat feature and built on the open MQTT protocol, Messenger lets Facebook users chat with friends both on mobile and on the main website. In Asia WeChat is the big one while Android has HelloSMS, TextraSMS, and on and on. Further, the phone companies have a batch of their own connectivity applications. Face it, we are text message junkies and there seems to be no end because of our devices and lifestyle.

B) Audio

We noted in January of 2016, From an audio perspective, our daily life is a good predictor of what we want, and will do, on airplanes. Streaming audio is not new on the ground, with some predictors noting 4 hours of each day in that pursuit. On planes it is usually a ‘canned’ experience because connectivity to the ground is not cheap. However, with the demand of services like google Play, Amazon, MP3, NPR, Apple Music, Spotify and many more, there may be a future for advertised, real-time, (audio) streaming… if for no other reason than news. Today it’s the ‘under 17’ crowd that spend the most streaming time but they do get older and will replace the ‘over 55’ who rely mostly on AM/FM – something to think about for your next IFE system.” 

For sure, this audio solution has been replaced by video streaming requirements on our personal devices. While we have no data but our own usage, we find that if we want audio (music) on a flight, we use our portable devices. A good example is taking place on phones – the latest iPhone we obtained with 128 Gigabytes, streamed, stored audio and video are no problem. Live information like news is another story. However, we should note that with the increase of Wi-Fi, and potentially Bluetooth (and possibly optical), things in 2017 will certainly get better. With more bandwidth for storage, and increased ground connectivity, programming will expand so that even with portable stored content, more video entertainment and news will be appealing. We should note that we have heard that some low cost airlines plan no seatback entertainment but rather are relying on customers to use their personal devices for airline streamed audio and video.

C) Bags/Baggage

Last January we wrote: Perhaps the past year has been better (data not out yet), but in the previous year (2014), the passenger count that lost a bag reached 24.1 million and, we note, the trend has been dropping (2007 – 18.9 lost bags per thousand pax, down 61.3% to 2014 – 7.3 lost bags per thousand pax). However with increasing load factors, increased seating and increasing traffic, it will be a real challenge for airlines to keep up.” 

As it turns out, the airlines have been doing much better. SITA states: “2015 saw total airline passengers rise 7% from 3.3 to 3.5 billion and mishandled bags drop from 24.1 to 23.1 million, a 10% improvement with the extra passengers taken into account, costing airlines a total of US$2.3 billion. Numbers for the last decade show a steady downward trend in mishandled bags after lost bags peaked in 2007 at 46.9 million, dropping by 50% over the last nine years and saving the airline industry close to $23 billion in the process.” While the data has not been available for 2016 it looks like the airlines are on a downward trend for lost bags. SITA says: “Numbers for the last decade show a steady downward trend in mishandled bags after lost bags peaked in 2007 at 46.9 million, dropping by 50% over the last nine years and saving the airline industry close to $23 billion in the process.” With the advent of electronic and passive tagging, things should only improve.

To be continued next week.

Publishers’ Note: We plan to publish your predictions on Jan. 17 so feel free to send us your IFEC predictions as well. Just tell us if you want IFExpress to attribute your words to you or not. PLW/TJW 

Turkey |December 27, 2016– (MENAFN Press) Turkish Airlines has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) advanced eX1 inflight entertainment and communications (IFEC) system and Global Communication Services for its new fleet of narrow body aircraft.

eX1 solution is an advanced narrowbody IFE system. Its uncompromising industrial design, high-definition display technologies and high fidelity audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience.

The system will include Panasonic’s unique Passenger Data Integration (PDI) service, which will allow Turkish Airlines to add higher levels of personalization to its inflight experience. PDI will also allow Turkish Airlines to seamlessly recognize the travel preferences of their guests and recommend content, services and specific amenities that will enhance their experience both in flight and in their destination city.
PDI will leverage a custom-designed Companion App that will enable passengers to securely pair their mobile device to the IFEC system and personalize and enhance their entertainment experience through capabilities that include custom playlists and a second screen environment.

The onboard experience will also include high-speed, global Wi-Fi and multiple channels of live television, enabled by Panasonic’s Global Communications Services. It is the only worldwide inflight connectivity service operating in every country in the world today. Turkish Airlines passengers will be able to use the service to remain connected to their friends, families, co-workers though high speed access to the Internet, social media platforms, corporate VPN networks and more. Passengers will also receive Live Text News customized for Turkish Airlines by Anadolu Agency (AA), a leading Turkish News Agency.

The television service, which is unique to Turkish Airlines will feature TRT World Turkish News Channel — a new channel from Turkey’s national public broadcaster, TRT, which broadcasts balanced, in-depth reporting with a focus on global responsibility. It will also offer eight additional global channels including Sport 24. Sport 24, which is owne and operated by IMG, offers live coverage of the world’s most popular sporting events. In 2016, the channel showed live action from the Rio 2016 Olympics Games, Premier League, NFL, UEFA Champions League, NBA, Tennis Grand Slams, Bundesliga, Golf Majors, MotoGP and the Ryder Cup. Panasonic Avionics is the only authorized distributor of Sport 24 to the air transport market.

Turkish Airlines’ new state-of-the-art inflight entertainment, global high-speed Wi-Fi and live television services will be available on 92 Airbus A321 NEOs-ACF, 65 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 10 Boeing 737 MAX 9s. As part of the contract, Turkish Airlines has the option to equip the last 45 aircraft with its own direct affiliate’s IFE system, pending line fit offer ability.
As part of the strategic partnership agreement, Panasonic will establish a Media Center and creative services team at Istanbul’s new airport until the first operation in this airport takes place, which will service Turkish Airlines exclusively. The facility is designed to fulfill the airline’s content and software needs with racks to support media, interactive development and applications.

M. lker Ayc, Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, said: “We needed a solution which is not only capable of providing a reliable system, but also able to truly immerse inflight experience to our passengers. With this additional support of Panasonic Avionics we will continue to offer the seamless flight experience to our valued passengers. The personalized interface designed for an optimal viewing experience combined with the industry’s largest library of games, audio, and video is what made eX1 a proper decision for our flag carrier in this regard.”

Paul Margis, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, added: “Our partnership with Turkish Airlines is a long term, strategic relationship. We are thrilled to extend our investment with both Turkish Airlines and the Turkish economy, and we look forward to having a close collaboration with them on the products and services that will help in supporting them achieve their 2023 objectives.”

Lake Forest, CA | December 20, 2016–
Panasonic Avionics Corporation statement

The allegations made to the press by IOActive regarding in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems manufactured by Panasonic Avionics Corporation (“Panasonic”) contain a number of inaccurate and misleading statements about Panasonic’s systems. These misstatements and inaccuracies call into question many of the assertions made by IOActive.

Most notably, IOActive has chosen to make highly misleading and inflammatory statements suggesting that hackers could “theoretically” gain access to flight controls by hacking into Panasonic’s IFE systems. Panasonic strenuously disagrees with any suggestion by IOActive that such an attack is possible, and calls upon IOActive to clarify that its research does not support any such inference.

Additional context
IOActive has presented no evidence that its examination of Panasonic’s systems would support any such suggestion, and its statement that its “research revealed it would also theoretically be possible that such a vulnerability could present an entry point to the wider network, including the aircraft controls domain” will only serve to falsely alarm the flying public.

Furthermore, IOActive employee Ruben Santamarta’s statement regarding credit card theft is simply not true. Mr. Santamarta makes incorrect assumptions about where credit card data is stored and encrypted within Panasonic’s systems.

It is important to note that, during the course of this unauthorized, in-service testing, the safety, security and comfort of passengers of the aircraft were never in danger or compromised due to the system segregation and robust security design of our inflight entertainment and communications (IFEC) product, and of all commercial aircraft as well. His exploit itself was limited to a single seat and information gathering; control override of the IFEC seat and system did not occur.

It is also very important to note that, in its communications to the press, IOActive made unfounded, unproven conclusions. The basis for many of these conclusions would first necessitate that an attacker gained a physical connection within the IFE network. During the unauthorized testing, network penetration, or even network connection to Pansonic’s product, did not occur.

The conclusions suggested by IOActive to the press are not based on any actual findings or facts. The implied potential impacts should be interpreted as theoretical at best, sensationalizing at worst, and absolutely not justified by any hypothetical vulnerability findings discovered by IOActive.

IOActive, in statements to the press, inappropriately mixed a discussion of hypothetical vulnerabilities inherent to all aircraft electronics systems with specific findings regarding Panasonic’s systems, creating a highly misleading impression that Panasonic’s systems have been found to be a source of insecurity to aircraft operation.

Like any responsible business, Panasonic continually tests the robustness of its systems, and reviewed all of the claims made by Mr. Santamarta. It subsequently engaged Attack Research (AR) to conduct validation testing in May 2015 and again in 2016 to ensure that the few minor concerns (in no way linked to the control of an aircraft) identified by Mr. Santamarta had been fully remediated, and this was confirmed in a written report to Panasonic.

Panasonic does not condone unauthorized security testing during aircraft operation in uncontrolled environments, such as those conducted by IOActive. Panasonic strongly supports legislation that should be enacted to make on-board electronic intrusion a criminal act.

Security professionals who wish to test our systems legitimately and safely can do so by participating in our Bug Bounty program (bugbounty@panasonic.aero) in which Panasonic provides unfettered access to our products to allow for in-depth security testing and analysis.

Panasonic IFE products have a robust security design that complies with, or exceeds, all requirements, and are routinely and regularly tested by third-party professional security firms, as well as by participants in our independent Bug Bounty program.

Panasonic also fully supports aircraft manufacturers and aviation regulatory agencies to ensure our IFE systems are designed to comply with all aircraft manufacturer and regulatory security requirements, and Panasonic routinely reviews our designs with said groups.

Additionally, Panasonic is a member of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (A-ISAC) for the express purpose of assuring that vulnerabilities are shared and assessed with a collective oversight so that the integrity of the systems can be maintained. Panasonic’s IFE software is certified at Level-E per DO-178B, with “No Effect” to aircraft safety.

Voorthuizen, The Netherlands | December 20, 2016– AviationGlass & Technology, a Dutch company specialized in the research, development and production of glass products for the aviation industry, today announced a new Distribution Agreement with Global Aviation to promote, market and sell AGT’s AeroGlass Mirrors to operators and MROs worldwide.

Global Aviation, an innovative and fast growing worldwide aerospace distribution company, will manage retrofit programs and maintain customer specific inventory at all its stocking locations, minimizing delivery times. Global Aviation will also actively work with several OEMs to promote AeroGlass Mirrors on new product development opportunities.

“We are very proud and excited that AGT has selected us as its partner”, says Herman Kooyman, President and COO of Global Aviation. “AviationGlass’ patented AeroGlass is the world’s only certified ultra-thin, lightweight glass for inside the cabin delivering superior optical quality via crystal-clear (99.9% transparent) panels and mirrors that are highly robust. This not only helps operators make substantial cost savings through reduced weight, supply chain costs and durability, but also dramatically improves the appearance of lavatories contributing to a positive image of the airline.”

John Rietveldt, CEO at AviationGlass & Technology, adds, “We have received an extremely positive response from the market with our range of AeroGlass products, particularly in the area of newly built aircrafts. The time is now ripe to extend our market outreach and we are delighted to have Global Aviation’s support in this as our new distribution partner. Global Aviation’s proven track record and extensive network with airlines as well as MROs, means we can further accelerate our market position in the retrofit market.

Telefonix PDT:

Telefonix PDT(TM) announced that they now have an STC for  Boeing 737NG – 700, 800 & 900 aircraft types for both the CabinPinnacle(TM) server and CabinACe(TM)wireless access point. The STC was just awarded prior to APEX in Singapore, and we understand that Kaiser Charter was the first installation completed in October. This STC represents the first phase of certifications and it is our understanding that phase 2 will include the CabinEdge(TM) content loader. The content loader works while the aircraft is in service and data is trickled, loading into shadow memory, and eventually ending up in the operational memory as the update is installed. Telefonix PDT is also working on garnering a similar STC for the A320 aircraft family. The STC/PMA was strategically planned to grow the company’s customer base for the 737 in the Asia region. The airlines have the data rights to use the system, with the hardware being sold, not leased. Lest you forget, Telefonix(TM) has had a long standing relationship with production in China; and, in 2017, the company has plans to establish a repair station in China, in addition to their current repair station in Waukegan, Illinois. One point that was stressed in our interview at APEX was that Telefonix PDT is not just an equipment provider, but a design and engineering services provider as well. (Editor’s Note: IFExpress has watched Telefonix PDT grow over the past 20+ years and we feel that they have developed excellent, low-cost IFE system components and the China relationships, as well as their involvement with many hardware manufactures within the industry, is proof of this. You should watch this company in the coming year – we think they are going to grow!)


Industry News:

  • Panasonic

Have you heard about the Panasonic Blog? We asked Panasonic how it came about and here is what a spokesperson said: “Matthias Walter and Estel Carbo worked very hard on this and have a plan that we thinks helps give more insights into the IFEC landscape.” Matthias Walther, Senior Manager of Integrated Marketing at Panasonic Avionics said, “Marketing these days has many facets. Hard sales has its place in marketing too but in an industry as relationship-driven as ours it’s essential to engage in a dialog that is more about education than promotion, more about solutions than product and more about value than price. Of course we will occasionally talk about us and what we bring to the table but only if we and what we write adds value to the daily lives of our customers will our blog be successful.”  Noted Panasonic: “One of the business principles of Panasonic’s founder Knosuke Matsushita describes customer focus always trumping sales concerns. In that spirit our blog intends to drive knowledge, our relationship with our customers and the quality of decision making in one direction, UP. Check it out here.

Panasonic Weather Solution

Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Safety Line unveiled a strategic partnership that will enable airlines to benefit from significant fuel savings. Panasonic Weather Solutions (PWS) provides Safety Line with enhanced global weather forecast through real-time weather data collection from its TAMDAR sensors and FlightLink Iridium system. TAMDAR data provides observations of wind, temperature, and moisture every five seconds as TAMDAR-equipped aircraft descend and ascend at nearly 300 airports across North America. It also collects about 3,500 profiles each day from several hundred additional airports located in East Asia, the Pacific, and Europe. This data is used by Panasonic’s Forecasting Center of Excellence (FCoE), which develops detailed station-based weather forecasting, as well as enhanced weather forecasting. The process is fully automated from the weather live feed to flight plan analysis and climb schedule issuance to the pilot. Airlines can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 percent during ascent thanks to OptiClimb’s unique patented solution, which uses a combination of machine learning performance models for each individual aircraft, and the computing of optimized climb profiles issued ahead of each flight.

Also check this link The Connected Aircraft (Part I) – Curating the Internet of Me – UP – Panasonic Avionics Blog if you want to know a bit more about the connected aircraft.

  • Inmarsat

We should note that Hawaiian Airlines has experienced the benefits of SwiftBroadband-Safety delivered through Cobham advanced AVIATOR avionics and has now chosen to expand its commitment to high speed broadband in the flight deck with its A321neo. But to see the features that are provided, you must check out this Inmarsat Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System feature download – this is the future of aviation safety and you need to check it out!

  • Boeing

The FAA issued a new rule that forces Boeing 787 operators to periodically shut down and restart airplane power that reboots onboard computers to overcome a glitch that shuts down flight control computers during flight! Finding and fixing this “inconsistency” will be very, very interesting. Stay Tuned!

  • Satellite 2017

Be a part of the world’s largest gathering of the international satellite community. Taking place in Washington, D.C. March 6-9, 2017 the SATELLITE 2017 Conference and Exhibition don’t miss this opportunity to hear from executive speakers from commercial airlines, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force!

  • THE ‘Donald’

Donald Trump says the new Air Force One contract should be cancelled! Perhaps Airbus will make a better offer? Then Boeing put this news release out – Boeing Statement on Air Force One – Dec 6, 2016 Or, you might want to read the following story from Gizmodo – beware there are x-rated words, so watch out!

  • Other

If you have been wondering where IoT and cloud computing are going, one answer is ‘physically portable data’. This is going to be one of the markets of the next generation cloud because of security and access as large (and now medium) data portability and cloud interaction become involved. We suspect that the airlines will see value in this if hacking gets any worse Amazon Cloud Gets A Bit More Hybrid  This just may be one futures of the medium and big data cloud storage and security.

In-Flight hook-ups now supported with AirDates “This is achieved using Multipeer WiFi between smartphones, eliminating the need to rely upon the Plane’s WiFi network or other connection.” Check it out here –  but you might need the Trusted Contacts app as well.


Quick Study: Millennials

While in Singapore, we heard one word over and over – millennial- so we thought after the show we would do the research on who they are and why they are so important to some industries. While this quick bit of data is just a speed read, we think the answers are telling and important to IFEC, especially C (Communications).

First what is a millennial? It is a person ‘reaching young adulthood around the year 2000’ the dictionary said.  Noted Goldman Sachs: “The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge. Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.They have been slower to marry and move out on their own, and have shown different attitudes to ownership that have helped spawn what’s being called a ‘sharing economy.’ They’re also the first generation of digital natives, and their affinity for technology helps shape how they shop. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews.” Further, a company called iGR interviewed and surveyed millennials to get their views on communication and technology and here is what they said: “As the largest and highly communication-tech-savy generation; they are at the epicenter of our curiosity to drive decision-making for the next wave of innovation in infrastructure. Take note! The most successful service providers over the next 5-10 years will be those who best understand the emerging generations communication behavior, accurately anticipate core service wants and needs, proactively adapt and adjust business strategies, and finally, provide the most relevant solutions and services.” That about says it all and explains why the word ‘millennial’ was so popular in Singapore, especially with those who dealt with communications, connectivity, and cost!

  • Largest-ever passenger jet window available on new BBJs, retrofit on existing BBJs

Dubai, UAE | December 6, 2016– Boeing [NYSE:BA] Business Jets announced today it will work with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business to develop, produce, offer and support the Skyview Panoramic Window, the largest window available on any passenger jet offered today.

The window will be available as a feature on the BBJ, BBJ 2, and all three members of the BBJ MAX family – including the new BBJ MAX 7 – with scheduled entry-into-service in 2018.

“We are thrilled to formally confirm our partnership with GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business for the development of this fantastic feature on the BBJ, the largest airplane window available in the market,” said Boeing Business Jets President David Longridge.

The Skyview Panoramic Window, measuring approximately 4.5 feet by 1.5 foot (1.4 x 0.5 m), is created by effectively joining three existing 737 windows together. Situated aft of the wing with multiple potential locations based on the airplane type, it offers customers an unparalleled perspective of the world.

“We are proud to announce the next step for the Skyview Panoramic window together with Boeing Business Jets,” said Peter Somers, President of GKN’s Fokker Services business. “The innovative technology applied in the largest window in the market, enhances passenger comfort and is now also available for BBJ MAX airplanes.”

The window will be available through GKN Aerospace’s Fokker business as a retrofit on existing BBJs, and through Boeing Business Jets as a priced feature. It will be delivered on BBJ MAX airplanes starting in 2018.

  • Customer contract follows AERO-SATCOM’s appointment as GX Government Aero VAR

United Kingdom | December 6, 2016– AERO-SATCOM, the joint venture (JV) between Eclipse and NSSLGlobal, today signed an agreement with Inmarsat’s Global Government business unit which sees the JV appointed as Global Xpress (GX) Value Added Reseller (VAR) for the Government Aero market*. With Swift Broadband and Swift 64 distribution agreements previously signed, this latest development allows AERO-SATCOM to work alongside local partners to offer Inmarsat’s high performance Ka-band services. AERO-SATCOM’s first provisioning of aeronautical GX services will be through a local government-focused Inmarsat Service Provider for a fleet of Europe-based head of state aircraft.

The head of state aircraft retrofit begins in December with the service expected to be fully operational from February 2017. AERO-SATCOM will add value to the core GX service by supporting the delivery of onboard solutions developed by Eclipse that provide on-board bandwidth management, bandwidth optimisation and credit card payments for passenger internet access.

Shaun Flanagan, Sales Director, AERO-SATCOM said: “By using its globally available high throughput end-to-end satellite network, Inmarsat’s aeronautical GX Ka-band service brings higher levels of connectivity to aircraft, enabling video conferencing, seamless web browsing, live video streaming and file downloads. However, the aero global government market rarely wants a ‘standard’ package and values the expertise of AERO-SATCOM to add value through custom technologies that help them get the most from their data. Our ability to access a satcom laboratory installation of the aeronautical satcom system that supports Global Xpress gives AERO-SATCOM a big advantage in terms of better supporting customer demonstrations and developing these kind of custom-specific applications.”

Andy Start, President, Inmarsat Global Government, said: “For head of state aviation customers, the aeronautical GX service transforms the in-flight experience by offering a global on-board connectivity service that is secure, reliable and high-speed. AERO-SATCOM, with its perfect blend of experience, expertise and resources, is a key Value Added Retailer for the Inmarsat Global Government team and plays an important role in helping us roll out GX to this highly-specialised market.”

AERO-SATCOM meets the market need for an all-round aeronautical satellite communications company that bridges the gap between two complex industries; the Governmental Aircraft industry and government sector Mobile Satellite Services (MSS). The AERO-SATCOM team has the specialist skills required to meet all the technical, regulatory and commercial aspects of projects when customer requirements develop where these two industries overlap. AERO-SATCOM’s business model is based on creating strong partnerships with companies that can leverage its technical and regulatory skills with exposure to their local government markets.

United Kingdom | December 5, 2016– Hawaiian Airlines (HAL) has selected Inmarsat’s next generation IP-based SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) platform for installation on its new Airbus A321neo (new engine option) fleet.

Inmarsat’s SB-S service will deliver secure broadband connectivity via the Cobham AVIATOR 350D system to the flight deck for all voice and data applications on HAL’s new single aisle aircraft being line fit by Airbus.

The new agreement expands the current partnership between HAL, Inmarsat, Cobham and Rockwell Collins, established during on-going in-flight evaluations of Inmarsat SB-S and Cobham’s purpose-built AVIATOR solution on-board HAL’s Boeing 767-300 aircraft, as part of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supervised technology evaluation.

Paradigm shift
SB-S is Inmarsat’s next generation communications platform offering global, high-speed, secure IP connectivity for the flight deck. It enhances airline safety and operations through more powerful and flexible communications and the availability of real-time, in-air information for pilots, crew and air traffic management.

It represents a paradigm shift in aviation safety services, delivering always on, always secure applications such as flight data streaming (“Black Box in the Cloud”) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) applications, including networked graphical weather.

Rockwell Collins provides the managed service between the Inmarsat ground stations that enable the aircraft to seamlessly communicate with HAL’s host systems, ground crews and regulatory agencies anywhere in the world without interruption.

Airline innovation
Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “Airlines with eyes on the big picture are seeking innovative ways to achieve efficiency gains and dynamically manage their fleets through the use of digital solutions.

“We are pleased that Hawaiian Airlines has experienced the benefits of SwiftBroadband-Safety and has now chosen to expand its commitment to high speed broadband in the flight deck with its A321neo’s. Clearly, the evaluation has been a great success.”

Brian Anderson, Air Transport Sales Manager, Americas, Cobham SATCOM, said: “The selection is a direct result of the team’s recent success with the Hawaiian B767 program for the FAA evaluations of SwiftBroadband-Safety service which is affirming the reliability and performance of the Cobham hardware and the Inmarsat’s satellite network.”

Industry support
Inmarsat’s SB-S has received a high level of industry support, including the recent selection by Airbus of the Inmarsat solution for its A320 and A330 aircraft families and the successful ongoing evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines.

Recently, Inmarsat, Cobham and Hawaiian Airlines announced that SwiftBroadband-Safety and Cobham avionics had enabled in-air Electronic Flight bag connectivity for the first time with Hawaiian Airlines.

Watch Hawaiian Airlines pilots and Flight Operations leadership talk about the benefits of IP broadband in the flight deck in this video

Whitepapers
Inmarsat’s whitepaper ‘SwiftBroadband-Safety: The Future Of Aircraft Communications’ can be downloaded online here.

Inmarsat’s whitepaper ‘Black Box in the Cloud Solutions’ can be downloaded online here.

  • Over 70 Airbus A320NEOs will be fitted with a full package of avionics components that include flight management system, T3CAS and Head-up Displays. Thales will also equip 110 Boeing 737 with the Low Range radio Altimeter.

California | November 2, 2016– China Eastern is one of the largest users of Thales/ACSS products in China. The Thales FMS system is the highest selling Flight Management System with over 90% market share in China. The T³CAS solution includes the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) with Class A Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS), and Mode S Transponder updated for DO-260B with full ADS-B IN/OUT capability.

The T³CAS provides operators with proven performance and reliability of TCAS, TAWS, Mode S and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) functions with the benefits of reduced weight, size, power consumption and costs that come from an integrated platform.

The NXT-800 NextGen Transponder is FAA and EASA compliant to meet the global Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) mandate for aircraft that are required to have ADS-B Out capability. ACSS NXT transponders, installed on thousands of aircraft worldwide, are optimized for flight in the next generation air traffic environment and contribute to reductions in flight delays and fuel consumption.