Galgus, new member of the WiFi Alliance

The WiFi Alliance is a global organization in which the main players related to this wireless technology participate, whether they are operators, hardware manufacturers, or software developers.

It is also the benchmark certifier for WiFi technology, having completed more than 50,000 certifications since 2000. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates those products capable of offering a user experience according to their expectations of WiFi connectivity.

For Galgus, this membership is a recognition of its technology – patented in Europe and the USA -, that is used daily by more than a million people around the world and, in addition, it’s an endorsement for its WiFi4EU projects: the European Commission’s plan to provide WiFi connectivity to municipalities throughout Europe. A project in which Galgus has already deployed its technology in around twenty locations.

WiFi is the main option to connect to the Internet. Thus, more than half of the Internet traffic is done using this wireless connection technology. A technology that, in these times of pandemic and a new normal, is playing a fundamental role, offering users the possibility of working, studying, and enjoying themselves remotely.

Since last July 1, Galgus is a member of the main international organization for WiFi technology, being one of the few Spanish companies that have achieved it to date.

The WiFi Alliance (www.wi-fi.org) is responsible for leading, developing, and adopting the standards agreed by the WiFi industry. To do this, it fosters collaboration between member companies, thus promoting innovation in this field.

WiFi Alliance importance is appreciable when reviewing its list of member companies. Thus, global giants such as Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Nokia, or Samsung; telecommunications operators such as Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, or Orange or manufacturers such as Acer, Logitec or Motorola, are part of this organization.

Galgus CEO and Co-Founder, Jose González, points out that “for our company, having been admitted as members of the WiFi Alliance is a recognition of the development in WiFi technology that we have been making for more than six years. This achievement is comparable to the patents that our products have obtained in the US and Europe”, adding: “This is something that gives not just added value for our brand but also for our clients and society”.

This membership represents a reinforcement in Galgus’s commitment to its consolidation as a reference provider in the European Commission’s WiFi4EU (WiFi for Europe) program. A project, with which the European Union wants to promote WiFi connectivity for citizens in public spaces such as parks, squares, official buildings, libraries, health centers, museums, etc. To achieve this, it has provided a budget of 120 million euros between 2018 and 2020 that will be allocated to the deployment of state-of-the-art WiFi equipment in public life centers.

To date, and within the framework of this pan-European project, Galgus has deployed its WiFi solution in around twenty locations throughout Spain. “It’s great to feel that we are helping to bridge the digital divide in so many places. With digitization, the business, development, and growth opportunities for these towns will undoubtedly grow exponentially”, Gonzalez stressed.


British Airways

British Airways’ award-winning on board magazine, High Life, is moving online to ba.com and will offer access to content for customers before, during and after a flight.

Created with publishing house, Cedar, the magazine will also include a new section for Business Life which will replace the current on-board paper versions of both publications.

Each issue will include monthly audio stories, photo experiences and live panels so customers can experience the magic of travel on the go wherever they are in the world. The magazine will continue to feature first person stories from travel experts and carefully curated guides for exploring cities across the world.

As well as trusted travel content, High Life digital will keep customers updated with any changes to the airline’s customer experience and route network. The new digital format also means that the airline can update content in real-time with any developments in this Covid-19 era.

The magazine will be emailed to five million Executive Club customers every month and customers can download the magazine on board, using the airline’s in-flight WIFI for free.

High Life will also continue to offer British Airways’ partners and advertisers new opportunities to reach the airline’s customers with products and offers, through BA media*

Hamish McVey, British Airways’ Head of Brand and Marketing said: “Our High Life magazine has been a source for travel inspiration for our customers for nearly half a century. When we trialled moving High Life online at the beginning of this year, it was a great success.

“We know our customers value technology and a contactless journey, especially in the current climate, so we are delighted to now be able to provide over five million customers a month with digital High Life.  We hope this new digital magazine will help customers plan their holidays with our expert holiday guides, as well as provide the latest information as we make important changes to our customer experience.”

Clare Broadbent, Cedar’s CEO said, “High Life online is now here: online, on email, and on board through your personal device, bringing wonderful and trusted travel inspiration to bigger audiences than ever before. With High Life’s mix of expert writers, photographers and audio-visual storytellers sharing the latest travel ideas from around the world, we can’t wait to help travellers to dream, plan and take off in 2020 and beyond.”

The airline’s on-board magazine, first took to the skies 47 years ago in 1973 and has provided British Airways’ customers with inspiration ever since. The magazine has document significant milestones in the airline’s history including the launch of Concorde and the A380, as well as featuring cover stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Tracey Emin, Idris Elba and HRH The Prince of Wales.

Click here to visit High Life


Satcom Direct

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has achieved a significant milestone for its FlightDeck Freedom® datalink service by activating its 2,000th aircraft. The head-of-state customer signed for the service to take advantage of its unique configuration options, ability to integrate third-party flight planning services, evolving compliance support, and the streamlining of flight crew and ground operations workflow.

Specifically designed for business and military aviation, FlightDeck Freedom® features an open architecture design to support every type of avionics and datalink-capable airframe and can be customized to meet each customer and/or aircraft platform’s mission needs.  On launch in 2007 it was the first datalink service to give customers the freedom – hence the name –  to select, upload from, and communicate with preferred third-party trip planning services and today is still the only datalink service provider with a comprehensive offering of flight planning options.  FDF also continues to be the only service that supports flight deck and cabin communications enabling crew to monitor connectivity and troubleshoot issues in real time to better manage passenger expectations.

In addition, FDF enhances operational safety through direct delivery of automated notifications including hazardous weather, route and security alerts, and supports real time aircraft and fleet tracking worldwide, which can be monitored from the ground and in the air. The unique GeoNotification feature details when aircraft are approaching a defined geographic area which may affect connectivity or be defined as sensitive airspace.

Integrated with SD Pro®, the digital flight operations management system, data shared through FDF synchronizes flight crew with ground operations keeping team members informed about aircraft performance in real time to support improved flight operations, budgeting and maintenance scheduling.  FDF also supports fleet compliancy with FANS, ADS-C and CPDLC to meet evolving Air Traffic Control safety requirements and the changing landscape of business aviation operations.

“Our focus is to always enable our customers to manage their flights and operations using the services, products and systems that best suit their needs. FDF was one of our first services built using open architecture to allow integration of third-party services. Reaching this milestone demonstrates the market’s hunger for integrated services that streamline the workflow. As the digitization of aviation continues to evolve, we will continue adapting and modifying our products to meet the changing requirements of flight crew, ground operations and the business aviation infrastructure,” says President of Satcom Direct Business Aviation, Chris Moore.


ASM

Aircraft Systems and Manufacturing, Inc. (ASM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of JANA, Inc., announced it has achieved FAA Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) after completing the extensive application and preparatory effort coordinated through the FAA’s Delegation Systems Certification Office. This appointment allows ASM’s ODA unit to conduct an array of aircraft design certification functions and approvals typically provided by the FAA.

This designation enables ASM to directly provide certification approvals for avionics and aircraft system integration solutions for Part 25 aircraft, functions which are typically conducted by the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service. This provides aerospace companies with a much shorter path to certification as it bypasses the lengthy wait times often associated with submitting documents to the FAA for review and approval.

“This is a big step forward for us as an organization,” says ASM President Edward A. (Ean) Niland. “It not only shows the faith that the FAA has in our people and our processes, but it allows us to streamline the STC certification process for the airlines, MRO’s and equipment OEM’s that we work with, which is as important in this current business climate as it ever has been.”

Pete Chilsen, ASM’s Vice President of Sales, believes that the company’s new designation will provide much needed relief to certification project timelines for companies throughout the aviation industry. “Our designation as an ODA allows us to offer our customers a much higher level of service than we ever could have before. It gives aircraft owners, operators and integrators a new path toward expedited certification, which has been a serious issue for many of them in the past few years. The sheer volume of new and supplemental aircraft type design certification programs continues to increase, and we are proud to be able to offer our services to supplement the diligent efforts of the FAA.”


Airbus: August In Review

Airbus’ 2020 gross orders by August 31st totaled 370 aircraft with net orders of 303,  after the year’s cancellations. The company registered 1 new order for an ACJ320neo and no cancellations in August.

In August, Airbus delivered a total of 39 aircraft spread out between  35 A320 Family aircraft including the first A321neo to Gulf Air, two A330 including the first A330-900 to Portuguese carrier Orbest and two A350.

Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of August 31st stood at 7,501 comprising  524 A220s, 6,091 A320 Family aircraft (including 6,034 A320neo Family), 319 A330s (including 285 A330neo Family), 558 A350 XWBs and nine A380s.


China Eastern Airlines Uses Big Data From ‘Clear Your Plate’ Initiative

“Wow! You finished all your food. Well done, little handsome,” a stewardess said to a little boy on flight MU5427 of China Eastern Airlines (China Eastern) on August 18. The praise aroused a round of warm applause from other passengers.

The occasion described above was actually a common scene on flights of China Eastern since the company actively joined the nationwide “Clear Your Plate” initiative 2.0 against food waste in China with actual practice.

China Eastern has asked flight attendants to verbally remind passengers to not waste food and take only what they need, and added labels with the words “‘Clear Your Plate’ initiative” onto the packages of in-flight meals.

Besides in-flight friendly reminders of the initiative, China Eastern has also put up eye-catching signboards bearing slogans such as “Take as much as you need, and say ‘no’ to food wastage”, as well as “Strictly practice thrift and oppose waste” in its VIP rooms at airports across the country.

Moreover, the company has taken advantage of big data in in-flight meal preparation and established an effective food preparation scheme as part of the efforts to curb food wastage.

According to relevant statistics, the system can save about 100 kg to 150 kg of food materials on a daily basis for the in-flight meal processing workshop of China Eastern in Shanghai alone.

In order to make sure the amount of food prepared for each flight is reasonable, China Eastern’s catering staff now pay real-time attention to flight information and changes in passengers’ seats through the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system of the company, and adjust the amount of food for flights timely before delivery.

Recently, China Eastern launched an innovative “souvenir-like” snack for long-haul flights which are not during breakfast or dinner time, substituting home-made exquisite cakes, bread, fruit and desserts kept in lunch boxes or bags for the previous airline snacks, so that passengers can take the snacks away if they could not finish them on the plane.


OTHER NEWS

First, we wanted to tell our readers that we had a difficult time starting this product review. Why? Because we were so blown away with the quality at any sound level we were challenged to find descriptive words that would adequately describe the BOSE 500’s amazing performance. But it’s small size (smaller than a box of cereal) kept us trying to figure out how the BOSE folks did it!

However, before we tell you about the performance, here are some features that BOSE claims:

  • It is a single speaker box that does not require another for excellent stereo – speaker layout in it does the trick!
  • Superior voice pickup.
  •  Six preset volume adjustment buttons.
  • A BOSE Music App (for phone/tablet) that is an excellent music source using Google or Apple music.
  • Built in voice assistant.
  • Control via voice, touch, or via the App.
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth source connectivity (and an AUX input that works great!).
  • Apple AirPlay2

And if you want more details and specifications, here is the product website link: Bose Home Speaker 500 | Bose which will provide a lot more information on this amazing product.

To get our readers started, we asked the tekkie geniuses at BOSE who designed this amazing sound product a few questions that kept cropping up in our electrical engineering mindset as we were reviewing the ‘500’:

Q: We have a lot of BOSE speakers but never had anything like the “500”! What amazes us is the frequency response, clear sound at all power levels, and the small size. How is this done?

A: “Official answer from our head of acoustics for speakers: “Magic. (plus years of experience designing transducers, systems, and state-of-the-art electronics.)”

Q: OK, we get that but what most people may not realize is the “500” speaker is an amplifier and speaker that simulates a stereo audio solution. We add more input signal from our sources and the output can go well over anything we ever listen to – clearly! We assume there is good amplification inside the small box, but is there some other stuff that we don’t know about in the technology?

A: “Achieving the performance of the Home Speaker 500 is a combination of good “bones” – the design of the transducer (the driver that moves the air), the enclosure, and the amplifier – with a lot of massaging of performance through modern DSP (digital signal processing). DSP lets us really maximize performance of a compact system – it allows for fine-tuning of frequency response for the best, most balanced and natural sound. And then within that DSP we apply sophisticated limiters of our own design which let the system play surprisingly loud, even at low frequencies, without ever getting into audible distortion.”

Q: And speaking of the small box, how the heck does something that small sound so well? We have built and used many speakers in our lives but we have never heard anything so good that was such a small size. We assume solid state power is the basic amp and some signal characteristics are modified to drive the special speakers correctly but what is different? And speaking of speakers, what the heck kind of speakers this small can deliver sound at this level and quality and we assume there is more there than in other speaker solutions?

A:”That’s the ‘good bones’ we’re referring to. We have a lot of experience designing transducers with low distortion and high output. With the Home Speaker 500 we also employed a ported design for the enclosure, and we have some patented strategies that let us get more bass output from that port without air noise or whistling. Good design pushes the output limits up past what was previously possible, and smart DSP lets us work right up to those limits without exceeding them.”

Q: We have been using the auxiliary input because we want to play stuff from our 20,000+ songs on Apple Music and we assume, today, folks are happy with Google or Alexa; however, we consider the AUX stereo input as important as the connected sound sources. Our question is: ‘Is there a frequency performance difference between the AUX input and the “connected” sources? I have compared the two and see no difference – in fact, the Bluetooth source is remarkable!

A: “Thanks! The signal path is the same once the signal gets into the system, so there should be no noticeable difference.”

Q: We assume the “voice pickup” is only for the “connected” source and control of operations for the sources – not the AUX input?

A: “That’s correct, with one slight exception. There’s no way to send control commands over an AUX cable like there is with connected sources like Bluetooth or built-in music services – so you can’t use “Alexa, pause” or “Hey Google, next track” with AUX. But if you ask it to Pause, it will mute the input for you.”

Q: And, we are still working on: “Control doesn’t stop at just voice. You can tap the top controls to play, pause or skip tracks, or manage it all from the BOSE Music app. And you can set up to six different presets for playlists, Internet radio stations and more, so your favorites are just a tap away.” Any additional information on this would be useful.

A: “Sure. The idea here is that we don’t want to prescribe how you should use the speaker – we want you to be able to use whatever control method is most natural for you, or most convenient given the context of the moment you find yourself in. So if you’re an app person, you can control everything from our app. Or if you want a quick connection to whatever is playing on your phone or another device, you can use Bluetooth – once you’ve set it up once in your phone’s settings, just tap the Bluetooth button to reconnect (this is good for visiting friends too – it allows them to quickly connect). And then there’s the easiest method of all: no phone involved, just use the buttons on the product. You can set the 6 numbered buttons to your six favorite stations, like presets in a car – say, #1 could be your favorite local radio station, #2 could be your spouse’s favorite Spotify playlist, etc. And then all you have to do to get music playing is tap one of those buttons. Plus, you can control volume, play/pause, or next/previous (double- or triple-tap the play/pause button) on the top of the speaker too.”

Q: We are still wondering what the other model – the “300” – is all about. Does it work with the “500” to add a stereo speaker? Personally, to us, the “500” is very acceptable stereo.

A: “The Home Speaker 300 is the Home Speaker 500’s younger brother. They work together – not for stereo mode, since the Home Speaker 500 is already stereo (more on that in a second!) – but in multi-room groups so you can connect them together all around your home and have them play in sync.
If you like one, you’ll probably like the other – they have similar sound profiles, but of course there are a few key differences. The Home Speaker 500 is more powerful, and has two transducers firing outward, straight left and straight right – a unique acoustic architecture that projects a wide stereo sound image from a compact size (try listening to a song like ‘Elsie’ by Nickel Creek or ‘Money’ by Pink Floyd with your eyes closed to get a sense of that wide stereo sound bouncing off your walls, giving the impression of a much larger speaker than your eyes would suggest).”
“Meanwhile the Home Speaker 300 uses a single down-firing transducer, aimed at a specially designed reflector, to bounce sound outwards in an even 360-degree pattern for true omnidirectionality. This provides a great listening experience for everyone, and also allows wall reflections to produce a nice wide mono soundstage.”

Before we get too focused on entertainment, we should also mention that the BOSE 500 has a lot of audio source choices: Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn, Deezer, iHeart Radio and SirusXM (and anything from your phone or tablet) all work with the BOSE 500. Conveniently, the Bose Home Speaker 500 can play music directly from streaming music services over Wi-Fi®, controlled either by Amazon Alexa (where available) or using the BOSE Music app. The BOSE Home Speaker 500 also has Bluetooth® and Apple AirPlay 2 capabilities and a standard 3.5 mm auxiliary line-in jack. Basically, the ‘500’ is the next generation entertainment device and we can’t say enough about its performance!

What we found really amazing about the BOSE Home Speaker 500 was it’s clarity and volume – as loud as we could play the device from a digital source (our computer using iTunes as the music source) there was no distortion, and frequency response did not drop off as the volume increased to maximum. We don’t remember any audio device we have previously owned that maintained the same frequency response at maximum volume, and such an incredibly small size too boot. None!

Frequency response also really caught our ears as everything we played on the unit kept the sound quality as the volume was increased. Further, The 5 pound solid state single box has a very good stereo effect and we suppose that the right and left facing internal speakers alter the sound output to provide an actual right and left stereo sound that imitates 2 separate speakers.

We found ourselves turning up the volume on tunes that have a particular base or instrument sound. Why? Because we wanted to see if the increased volume would cause either speaker or amplifier loss, sound dropout, or noise increase. We must say that never happened, no matter how high we pumped up the volume! How do they do that in an audio system unit that is 8” high, 6.5” wide, and 4.25 inches deep?

Also, we thought using recorded functions to replay through the AUX input might not get as good quality playback because of how the music was recorded, stored, or originally played. In all our tests, the playback through Amazon or Google were the most consistent quality output and frankly, since we were able to play what we wanted, we were pretty happy! However, we should point out that we don’t have streaming audio services like Pandora, Spotify or XM Radio but we are certain the BOSE 500 would do their audio content justice as well.

While the sound is the main feature of the ‘500’, the Bt approach is clearly the ‘new connectivity’ game in entertainment. Obviously, it plays off your devices and, if you need to run it from your PC or other audio device output, using the AUX input to connect your media source works just fine. In other words, it is designed to work with today’s content delivery options (portable devices via Bluetooth); however, it still works with other input sources via the wired input (AUX).

Another feature you can just turn on or off is built-in Voice Control. “Play”, “Pause”, “Shuffle” and even “Skip” works by just turning on the microphone function on top of the speaker. With Google Assistant or Alexa built in as part of the control, if you want something – just ask! We discovered this is a great feature if you are listening and typing! And, we understand future software updates will add new features as well.

While we tested and listened to the ‘500’ at loud levels, we know most listeners will be using this kind of audio device at normal or lower levels to just enjoy background sound, while working or entertaining. Because of the wide audio bandwidth capability of the ‘500’, music at lower levels still had great bass performance and high frequency clarity. While we suspect BOSE slightly boosts both ends of the audio spectrum at low volume levels, the result sounds just plain clear and enjoyable. We did not ask BOSE if this was designed in but we suspect that this is part of the performance design – and it really works well! In fact, after we completed testing the ‘500’ at high volume we left the unit on with a reduced volume while we were working because it was so enjoyable. What we noticed was that the clarity of the ‘500’, even at low volume, was an improvement over other audio entertainment devices we have experienced – we could clearly hear the vocals and understand them even when the song was greatly reduced in volume. From our perspective, this is another advantage of high quality speaker performance – with a well designed internal amplifier. And yes, it was a lot better than listening to audio music that can be ‘mushy’ in devices that keep the frequency performance the same at all levels. The ‘500’ never seemed to deliver the wrong sound, regardless of volume level. What a treat!

Lastly, we really want to give BOSE and the impressive engineering team a gold star for this product. Before we experienced the audio quality of the ‘500’, our initial impression, looking at its’ small size and casing, made it hard to believe the unit could deliver such quality and beautiful loudness. And speaking of the its appearance, BOSE told IFExpress the ‘500’ is actually sheathed in a single seamless piece of aluminum using a new process BOSE developed! We want to tell our readers that they just have to listen to them to believe their performance. In fact, as we write this we are sitting at our computer and the ‘500’ is next to us working – with the audio level well over what we should be listening to! We are hooked, and your team deserves an award for this product!

From an IFE perspective, someday we could possibly see the ‘500’ being installed in the First Class Suites of airliners, such as, Etihad, Emirates, Singapore and others. To IFExpress, the BOSE 500 exemplifies the prestige, quality, performance and the type of service these airlines seek to offer their top tier customers.

Editor’s Note: If you ever get the chance to listen to the BOSE Home Speaker 500 we urge our readers to do so. We were blown away and, no doubt, you will be too!


Other News

  • The terrible Boeing plane production reductions have hurt a couple industries we know – Safran Cabin and Carlisle Interconnect! Carlisle Interconnect Facility Closure AND Multinational Boeing supplier furloughs hundreds without pay during coronavirus shutdown | The Seattle Times
  • This release is from Gogo who is selling their commercial inflight telephony service, most probably as a result of the Covid -19 flight reductions by travelers. We have heard that because of 55% lower revenues it has begun talks to sell commercial aviation business to a buyer. Here is why from a press release they have published:
    • Consolidated revenue of $96.6 million; Net loss of $86.0 million; Adjusted EBITDA(1) of negative $15.9 million.
    • Combined engineering, design and development, sales and marketing and general and administrative expenses declined 27% from Q1 2020 and 35% from Q2 2019 reflecting aggressive cost control measures.
    • BA Reportable Segment Profit of $27.2 million with nearly 50% segment profit margin.
    • Cash and cash equivalents were $156.3 million as of June 30, 2020. This reflects $53 million of interest payments made in the second quarter and compares with total cash and cash equivalents of $214.2 million as of March 31, 2020.
    • The Company achieved break-even unlevered Free Cash Flow for the quarter.
    • The Company has retained investment bankers and is in a process to sell its CA division.
  • We have been big fans of Visual Capitalist (not political) and the recent data on COVID – 19 is just plain interesting – especially the testing done on a per case basis per country! Global COVID Containment: Confirmed Cases, Updated Daily And yes, you can use your cursor to see the testing per day, per country data in the last 160 days, or so! No, this is not IFE news, but hey, if we didn’t have the disease we would have a lot more flying to report on!

Gogo’s new 3,000ft service altitude is giving AVANCE customers 20 more minutes of inflight Wi-Fi time: Here are 6 productive ways to spend it. Ask any busy professional, and they’ll all agree that time is their greatest, and most limited, asset. That’s why Gogo worked tirelessly to lower its network service altitude from 10,000ft AGL to just 3,000ft. It’s a big change that will give Gogo AVANCE customers, on average, an extra 20 minutes of inflight connectivity. Plus, for the first time ever, smaller aircraft that don’t typically fly above 10,000 feet will now have the opportunity to enjoy seamless inflight connectivity for the majority of their flight.

Why is 20 more minutes of Wi-Fi a big deal? Here’s a list of 6 productive things you could do to make valuable use of your flight time:

1. Join a Zoom or Teams group meeting – Connect live with your colleagues sooner, and for longer during your flight.

2. Download The Pomodoro Technique on Audible – Learn how to use this legendary time management strategy. The Pomodoro Technique (Audiobook) by Francesco Cirillo | Audible.com

3. Check and reply to your email – On average, professionals check their email 15 times per day, or every 37 minutes.

4. Watch Simon Sinek’s: How Great Leaders Inspire Action – This TED talk is 18 minutes and hugely popular. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk

5. Binge on the news – On the Gogo network, the most popular sites with business travelers are Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, the New York Times and ESPN.

6. Schedule a ride and find a great place to eat

According to Gogo bizav customers, Yelp and Uber are 2 highly valuable personal apps.
There’s so much more you can do to maximize 20 extra minutes. And connecting at lower altitudes is yet another example of why AVANCE is connectivity’s smartest platform: allowing Gogo to quickly and easily deploy new innovations for our customers.


PANASONIC

Air Tanzania has selected Panasonic Avionics’ (Panasonic) inflight entertainment (IFE) and connectivity systems to enhance the passenger experience onboard its Airbus A220 aircraft. The airline has equipped two of its A220s with Panasonic’s eX1 IFE solution which is specifically designed for narrowbody aircraft. Each seat will feature elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface. Passengers will have access to USB and laptop charging power points at every seat.

Air Tanzania’s A220s will also be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service. Panasonic’s next generation connectivity enables fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

The announcement marks the extension of Panasonic’s relationship with Air Tanzania following the airline’s selection of its inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions for two of its Boeing 787 aircraft and two Airbus A220s in 2018. “By selecting Panasonic’s inflight entertainment and connectivity systems, Air Tanzania can deliver personalized, immersive entertainment to every passenger, no matter where in the cabin they are seated,” said Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “These inflight experiences will help Air Tanzania encourage brand loyalty, keeping their valued customers coming back time and time again.”

The flag carrier of Tanzania was the first African airline to take delivery of the A220 in November 2018 and January 2019. It operates a fleet consisting of the Dash 8-Q400, Airbus A220 and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. “Operating our new A220 equipped with Panasonic’s IFE and Wi-Fi service brings together the right culture, values, and expertise to fulfil our goal of satisfying our customers—which is part of our vision.” said Eng. Ladislaus Matindi, CEO & Managing Director of Air Tanzania. “The installation of Panasonic’s systems allow ATCL operations to adjust to the new market realities. With highly-standardized facilities, Air Tanzania will expand its geographic reach by merging with other partners—especially foreign ones. This will also further strengthen our operations through more innovative strategies and allow us to remain competitive in today’s emerging markets.”

Also from PAC: Panasonic Avionics Corporation has announced the appointment of Joe Bentley as Chief Technology Officer.

Bentley, who joins Panasonic, will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s software and systems engineering teams, cloud, hardware, and IT/security. He will serve as a key member of Panasonic’s executive team and be directly responsible for an organization of over 800 employees spread across Panasonic’s Lake Forest, California headquarters, as well as the Bay Area office and other global locations.

Bentley was previously Senior Vice President, Engineering at Hulu where he led its 700-person engineering, program, and research organizations across three international offices. During his tenure, Hulu doubled subscribers to over 30 million while becoming the largest digital multichannel video programming distributor (DMVPD) in the US. Prior to joining Hulu in 2018, Bentley was Vice President, Software Engineering at GoPro, leading the company’s overall software research and development and launching its award-winning mobile apps to over 150 million devices worldwide and bringing its spherical Fusion camera to market. From 2012-2015, he was Director, Digital Products at Amazon, where he launched the market-leading Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick and led the development of the first-of-its-kind feature, the award-winning Voice Search through Alexa. Fire TV Stick was the fastest-selling product in Amazon’s history.


BOEING

Boeing and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have finalized agreements for several supply chain solutions. These agreements strengthen Etihad’s commitment to ensuring the on-time performance and availability of its aircraft. The solutions included in the minimum 10-year agreements will help the airline simplify asset and maintenance management, reduce spare parts costs and improve parts availability. The new contracts include Boeing’s Component Services Program, Landing Gear Exchange program and Quick Engine Change kit purchases.

The agreements continue the strategic partnership between Boeing and Etihad Airways announced during the Dubai Air Show in 2019.

Etihad Airways joins the growing list of customers that trust Boeing solutions to enable and support the future growth of their 787 Dreamliner fleet, pushing the Boeing share of the 787 fleet’s component services market to almost 30 percent. This includes a 50 percent share of the 787-10 variant, covering both in-service fleet and orders on backlog.

Also from Boeing: FAA says when it issues NPRM for AD affecting the 737 MAX, it will keep commitment to transparency and provide 45 days for public comment on proposed design changes and crew procedures, which would most likely mean the aircraft will not return to service until 4Q20 at earliest. (SpeedNews)

And more Boeing News: DHL Express and Boeing announced that it will add four 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) as part of the logistics company’s efforts to continue modernizing and growing its fleet with cost-efficient and reliable freighters. This step is part of DHL’s effort to modernize its long-haul intercontinental fleet in order to fly more eco-friendly and cost-efficiently. The aircraft are converted from passenger to freighter configuration by Boeing to fit the needs of DHL Express and meet the rising global demand for express services.
The world’s most efficient medium wide-body twin-engine freighter, the Boeing 767 freighter family boasts the lowest direct operating costs, best payload-to-weight ratio and allows airlines to develop new opportunities in the long-haul, regional and feeder markets. The 767-300BCF has virtually the same cargo capability as the 767-300F production freighter with approximately 50 tonnes structural payload at a range of approximately 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 kilometers) and 412,000 pounds (186,880 kilograms) maximum takeoff weight.

 


OTHER NEWS

On Monday June 22, 2020 via a webinar (the foreseeable trend of the future), Burrana unveiled RISE, its latest, flexible and modular IFE platform, which they had planned to debut during AIX Germany this past April.

The presentation was primarily run by David Pook – Vice President of Marketing and Sales Support, who joined Burrana in September 2019 after spending the past 15 years at the Thales InFlyt Experience. “RISE was created to solve airlines’ most challenging issues regarding in-flight entertainment, while providing passengers with an experience unlike any other”, said Pook.

The RISE platform consists of hardware, software, apps, and services which can be scaled up or down depending on aircraft type and business need.

Enabled by shared hardware and a common 48VDC power backbone, the RISE platform can be configured to include seatback, wireless, or overhead entertainment, as well as in-seat power – or any desired combination of these. Modularity, flexibility and scalability are the key to this offering and all of these services can be ‘mixed & matched’ to each airline’s preference depending on route and aircraft type within their fleet.

Approximately 18 months ago, Burrana completed their acquisition of Rockwell Collins IFE division, which had a large installation base of PAVES. With RISE, existing PAVES Broadcast customers can upgrade their systems to provide passengers with a RISE entertainment experience for roughly 50% less than a new system. And given that there are roughly 1,300 older PAVES systems currently flying today this is clearly a good target market for RISE.

All the displays within the RISE platform are 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) resolution and feature High Dynamic Range (HDR), large amounts of local storage, and robust processing power, packaged in a very thin and modern design. Each seatback display also supports integrated single-pin audio, Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC), and the airline’s choice between USB-C or the industry’s highest power USB-A offering.

RISE leverages crowd-sourced data and intelligent algorithms to deliver a dynamic entertainment experience that adapts to the passenger as they use it. RISE offers Targeted advertisements that allow the airline to maximize ad revenue using an intelligent, media-independent advertising ecosystem. The ad tool allows for easy campaign creation where the airlines can create and manage their campaigns based on budget, impressions or expiration date using a simple web-based portal. Ads can be loaded, stored and served independently to entertainment media, breaking the 45-90-day media cycle. RISE also has a powerful and dynamic recommendation engine, and comprehensive accessibility settings will provide passengers an intuitive IFE experience that is uniquely theirs.

Airlines’ IFE management teams will also benefit. “We’ve been really clever about how we’ve architected our software, apps and services”, says Pook. “RISE has completely eliminated the need for time-consuming and expensive change requests, ATPs, and FSATs. Airlines will be able to add or remove apps from aircraft via a simple, web-based tool and make changes to their GUI by themselves, without the need for formal acceptance testing”, says Pook.

RISE also features numerous ultra-high-speed content loading options, including USB 3.0, removable SSD, Gigabit Ethernet, cell modem, and wireless. New content is added via an intelligent ‘delta’ load, so titles are immediately available. Also, content is loaded in the background and can be done on the ground or inflight, assisting aircraft to depart on time.

Additionally, RISE also offers easier maintenance and is roughly 30% lighter than competitive solutions. Burrana states their seatback IFE solution offers $16-45K in fuel savings per aircraft per year. They support this statement by offering: 1) Intelligent power sharing that uses a proprietary load shed management that enables them to deliver power to the entire aircraft with fewer, lighter LRUs, 2) Ultra-thin, lightweight seatback displays that are 10mm thin, 3) 4K overhead displays that are lighter, with higher resolution that translates to the need for fewer installed displays within the cabin, resulting in weight reduction and 4) A single capable server that supports seatback, wireless and overhead, all from a single 4MCU box.

Due to the pandemic, Burrana has adjusted their time-to-market and taken a scaled approach to the launch of the various RISE offerings. RISE Power will be available for retrofit on single and twin aisle aircraft starting in Q1 2021 and available for linefit installations in 2022. The RISE 4K Overhead product will be available for retrofit in 2021 and linefit on Airbus in 2022. RISE Wireless retrofit installations will commence in 2021 with linefit in 2022. And the RISE Seatback product will be available for retrofit installations in 2022 with 2023 the target for linefit.


Bluebox & Retail inMotion

Yesterday, Retail inMotion, a provider of retail, logistics, and crew management solutions, announced its latest partnership in support of In-flight Entertainment Systems (IFE) integration. Retail inMotion is partnering with Bluebox Aviation Systems to offer an enhanced touch-free retail proposition for airlines worldwide.

Through this partnership, airlines will benefit from a deeply integrated, end-to-end solution in establishing new and innovative sales channels in the post-COVID-19 world.

“Airlines today face an increasingly challenging and evolving environment in meeting the levels of service passengers have come to expect over the last number of years,” said John Vaughan, Head of Product Management at Retail inMotion. “By combining the expertise of Retail inMotion and Bluebox, we can help airlines address these challenges both now and in the future while increasing ancillary revenues.”

“Airlines wish to get back to delivering in-flight experiences that delight passengers without compromising the safety protocols that are being implemented to protect both passengers and cabin crew,” states David Brown, Director of Business Development at Bluebox. “In partnership with Retail inMotion we’re offering a touch-less shopping experience for food, beverages and other goods on our battery or aircraft-powered wireless IFE platform, Bluebox Wow. Virtualizing the trolley and facilitating touch-less payments, we’re enabling passengers and crew to maintain as much social distance as possible, while keeping open an important revenue stream for the airline.”

Bluebox Wow already supports the hygienic provision of seatback information such as in-flight magazines and safety cards. However, the current environment expedited the need to deliver a touch-less payment option that integrated smoothly with the inventory management systems on board,” added Brown. “Working with Retail inMotion, we’re now able to bring that virtual trolley experience to market.”


COLLINS

Collins Aerospace Systems has developed and implemented a multi-tiered solution that converts passenger aircraft into a cargo configuration, allowing airlines fleet flexibility to transport critical medical materials, goods and other freight in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The quick-turn conversion, available for any passenger aircraft model, can be completed in as few as seven days and involves removing seats to allow a substantially higher volume of cargo carriage on the main deck floor. The aircraft can easily be converted back to a passenger configuration when the airline desires.

Through its Integration Engineering facility in Everett, Washington, Collins Aerospace has an extensive history in aircraft modifications and is able to offer Engineering Order (EO) solutions for rapid conversion as well as Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for cabin modifications to carry greater weight and various cargo types for longer-term flexibility. Cabin reconfiguration solutions may be implemented with the FAA or EASA approvals.

“The current situation has increased the need for airlines to deliver critical medical goods to locations around the globe,” said Trevor Skelly, general manager, Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace. “Collins Aerospace is committed to using our cabin conversion expertise to assist our customers and ensure the important work of aiding the world in the fight against this pandemic continues.”


OTHER NEWS

June 23, 2020–

Our global air transport industry is grappling with one of the single biggest challenges it has ever faced: how to recover from an historic decline in air travel, caused by COVID-19.

While we’re seeing travel restrictions starting to ease, and the ATI beginning to remobilize, no-one knows exactly what the next few months will bring.

What is clear, however, is that the industry will need to be able to adapt to a new – and changeable – operating environment; one that requires operators to keep passengers feeling safe and reassured, keep flights to time, and meet sustainability targets – all on a tightened budget.

Digitalization is vital here. Airlines and other businesses are going to need the flexibility, adaptability and automation offered by digital transformation to ride out the pandemic’s fall-out, adjust their business models and succeed into the future. To help them do it, they’ll need the right mix of solutions and expertise on their side.

Digitalizing to adapt to the needs of the future

Many airlines are facing restart with a scaled back and more scattered workforce. They are also weighing up a lot of big unknowns: which routes should be reopened and when, depending on country restrictions? How many passengers will return, and how quickly? Which aircraft should fly or be grounded? And what size flight and cabin crew will they need to serve them?

Airlines are facing all these questions, while knowing the rules could change from one day to the next.

Digitalizing technologies and innovations enable enhanced air/ground connectivity, communications and operational efficacy, and pool the latest real-time information, to support informed and timely decision-making. These prime resources help airlines flex and adapt to changing needs. While ideally being fast and simple to deploy, and intuitive to use, digital tools can also streamline routine tasks through automation to minimize workload.

Such solutions are very much the remit of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, SITA’s connected aircraft domain of expertise.

Digitalizing to work smarter and leaner

We have developed a suite of connected applications and services, and technological capabilities that help airlines work in this more flexible, adaptive, automated and collaborative way.

They help bring enhanced operational- and cost-effectiveness, while giving greater visibility over the ‘live’ nose-to-tail operation – whether that’s around situational weather events or restrictions, identifying the least cost-routing channels available for ACARS messaging, the status of passenger, cargo and aircraft health, or fueling requirements.

With our crew applications, airlines can ensure passenger safety and satisfaction onboard, while alleviating paper-based processes to make flights more sustainable.

Our cabin connectivity solutions, meanwhile, give passengers the low-touch autonomy they desire, enabling them to use their own devices to surf, stream, and pay and verify, contact-free.

And, for all our solutions and services, we strive to work closely with customers to develop flexible business models that can readily adapt to reflect needs as they change.

We’re here to help you through

In my new role heading SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, I am proud to play a part in advancing the flexible, agile solutions that can support our customers through this challenging time. We’re 100% dedicated to this industry and its success – and are here to help it navigate the right path to recovery.

Find out more by exploring sita.aero/aircraft

Geneva, Switzerland | June 9, 2020–The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its financial outlook for the global air transport industry showing that airlines are expected to lose $84.3 billion in 2020 for a net profit margin of -20.1%. Revenues will fall 50% to $419 billion from $838 billion in 2019. In 2021, losses are expected to be cut to $15.8 billion as revenues rise to $598 billion.

“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of $84.3 billion. It means that—based on an estimate of 2.2 billion passengers this year—airlines will lose $37.54 per passenger. That’s why government financial relief was and remains crucial as airlines burn through cash,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“Provided there is not a second and more damaging wave of COVID-19, the worst of the collapse in traffic is likely behind us. A key to the recovery is universal implementation of the re-start measures agreed through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to keep passengers and crew safe. And, with the help of effective contact tracing, these measures should give governments the confidence to open borders without quarantine measures. That’s an important part of the economic recovery because about 10% of the world’s GDP is from tourism and much of that depends on air travel. Getting people safely flying again will be a powerful economic boost,” said de Juniac.

2020 Main Forecast Drivers:

Passenger demand evaporated as international borders closed and countries locked down to prevent the spread of the virus. This is the biggest driver of industry losses. At the low point in April, global air travel was roughly 95% below 2019 levels. There are indications that traffic is slowly improving. Nonetheless, traffic levels (in Revenue Passenger Kilometer) for 2020 are expected to fall by 54.7% compared to 2019. Passenger numbers will roughly halve to 2.25 billion, approximately equal to 2006 levels. Capacity, however, cannot be adjusted quickly enough with a 40.4% decline expected for the year.

Passenger revenues are expected to fall to $241 billion (down from $612 billion in 2019). This is greater than the fall in demand, reflecting an expected 18% fall in passenger yields as airlines try to encourage people to fly again through price stimulation. Load factors are expected to average 62.7% for 2020, some 20 percentage points below the record high of 82.5% achieved in 2019.

Costs are not falling as fast as demandTotal expenses of $517 billion are 34.9% below 2019 levels but revenues will see a 50% drop. Non-fuel unit costs will rise sharply by 14.1%, as fixed costs are spread over fewer passengers. Lower utilization of aircraft and seats as a result of restrictions will also add to rising costs.

Fuel prices offer some relief. In 2019 jet fuel averaged $77/barrel whereas the forecast average for 2020 is $36.8. Fuel is expected to account for 15% of overall costs (compared to 23.7% in 2019).

Cargo is the one bright spot. Compared to 2019, overall freight tonnes carried are expected to drop by 10.3 million tonnes to 51 million tonnes. However, a severe shortage in cargo capacity due to the unavailability of belly cargo on (grounded) passenger aircraft is expected to push rates up by some 30% for the year. Cargo revenues will reach a near-record $110.8 billion in 2020 (up from $102.4 billion in 2019). As a portion of industry revenues, cargo will contribute approximately 26%–up from 12% in 2019.

2020 Regional Performance

All regions will post losses in 2020. The crisis has taken on a similar dimension in all parts of the world with capacity cuts lagging about 10-15 percentage points or more behind the over-50% fall in demand.







Reduced Losses in 2021

With open borders and rising demand in 2021, the industry is expected to cut its losses to $15.8 billion for a net profit margin of -2.6%. Airlines will be in recovery mode but still well below pre-crisis levels (2019) on many performance measures:

  • Total passenger numbers are expected to rebound to 3.38 billion (roughly 2014 levels when there were 3.33 billion travelers), which is well below the 4.54 billion travelers in 2019.
  • Overall revenues are expected to be $598 billion which would be a 42% improvement in 2020, but still 29% below 2019’s $838 billion.
  • Unit costs are expected to fall as fixed costs are spread across more passengers than in 2020. But the continued virus control measures will limit the gains by reducing aircraft utilization rates.
  • Cargo’s enlarged footprint in the air transport industry will remain. Cargo revenues will reach a record $138 billion (a 25% increase on 2020). That is about 23% of total industry revenues, roughly double its historical share. Air cargo demand is expected to be strong as businesses restock at the start of the economic upturn, while a slow return of the passenger fleet will limit the growth of cargo capacity, and keep cargo yields steady at 2020 levels.
  • Jet fuel prices are expected to rise to an average of $51.8 per barrel for the year, as global economic activity and oil demand rises. While that will add some cost pressure on airlines, the price per barrel is similar to 2016 ($52.1) and will still be the lowest since 2004 ($49.7).

“Airlines will still be financially fragile in 2021. Passenger revenues will be more than one-third smaller than in 2019. And airlines are expected to lose about $5 for every passenger carried. The cut in losses will come from re-opened borders leading to increased volumes of travelers. Strong cargo operations and comparatively low fuel prices will also give the industry a boost. Competition among airlines will no doubt be even more intense. That will translate into strong incentives for travelers to take to the skies again. The challenge for 2022 will be turning reduced losses of 2021 into the profits that airlines will need to pay off their debts from this terrible crisis,” said de Juniac.

A Challenging Recovery

Although losses will be significantly reduced in 2021 from 2020 levels, the industry’s recovery is expected to be long and challenging. Some factors include:

  • Debt Levels: Airlines entered 2020 in relatively good financial shape. After a decade of profits, debt levels were relatively low ($430 billion, roughly half annual revenues). Vital financial relief measures by governments have kept airlines from going bankrupt but have ballooned debt by $120 billion to $550 billion which is about 92% of expected revenues in 2021. Further relief measures should be focused on helping airlines to generate more working capital and stimulating demand rather than further expanding debt.
  • Operational efficiencies: The global measures agreed for the industry re-start, for the period that they are implemented, will significantly change operational parameters. For example, physical distancing during embarkation/disembarking, more deep cleaning, and increased cabin check will all add time to operations which will decrease overall aircraft utilization.
  • Recession: The depth and duration of the recession to come will significantly impact business and consumer confidence. Pent-up demand is likely to drive an initial uptick in travel numbers but sustaining that is likely to require price stimulus and that will put pressure on profits.
  • Confidence: Travel patterns are likely to shift. The gradual opening up of air travel is likely to be progressive, starting with domestic markets, followed by regional and, lastly, international. Research suggests that some 60% of travelers will be eager to recommence travel within a few months of the pandemic coming under control. The same research also indicates that an even greater percentage of potential travelers until their personal financial situation stabilizes (69%) or if quarantine measures are in place (over 80%).

“People will want to fly again, provided they have confidence in their personal financial situation and the measures taken to keep travelers safe. There is no tried and true playbook for a recovery from COVID-19 but the ICAO Takeoff re-start plan outlines globally harmonized measures agreed by health and industry experts. It is important that the industry and governments follow it so that travelers will have the maximum reassurance about their safety. That will be a good start. And depending on how the pandemic evolves, knowledge of the virus deepens, or science improves, industry and governments will be better prepared for a globally coordinated response. That includes the potential removal of measures when it is safe. That will give airlines some breathing room to rebuild demand and repair damaged balance sheets,” said de Juniac.

Roanoke, TX | April 6, 2020–Despite the current uncertainty surrounding the economy, JSfirm.com is still reporting a 32% increase in overall website traffic compared to this time last year.

JSfirm.com has been a pillar in aviation job advertisement for over 20 years. We remain committed to our users by working daily to provide the best resources for aviation companies and job seekers alike.

Abbey Hutter, Executive Director for JSfirm.com, said, “Now, more than ever, it’s important the industry understands we are a free resource to job seekers, and we always have been.” She added, “We have numerous, unique features to help research potential employers in the industry – we are not just an application portal.” Hutter went on to list the free features that JSfirm.com offers their members:

  • Job alerts
  • Interactive job and company map
  • Resume review
  • Resume storage
  • Quick apply
  • Track applications
  • Export favorites to Excel
  • Save jobs and follow companies
  • Message companies who aren’t hiring
  • And more!

Jeff Richards, Operations Manager for JSfirm.com said, “Today, it doesn’t matter if a company is actively hiring or not. Our proprietary system allows job seekers to map every aerospace company in your backyard (or desired location) and export it to a manageable list that you can use when they are hiring.” He added, “Best yet, this is also free to job seekers.”

Job seekers are encouraged to view the free benefits JSfirm.com offers at: jsfirm.com/aviation

Today’s Image: the new Airbus A330-200 MRTT air-bridge flight between Europe and China delivering additional face mask supplies to support the COVID-19 crisis.


ECLIPSE GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY & DISPLAY INTERACTIVE

Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive have signed a strategic agreement to provide end-to-end Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity solutions to airlines and business aviation operators worldwide. The agreement, which came into effect on March 15, 2020, sees Eclipse Global Connectivity taking an equity position in Display Interactive (DI) and becoming their first industry-based shareholder.

“This agreement brings our relationship to a new level,” said Marc Pinault, CEO Eclipse Global Connectivity. “We have a long-standing relationship with Display Interactive and we are con – dent that our respective partners and customers will see an immediate benefit from this partnership. We are combining the quality and flexibility of DI’s proven wireless solution for air- lines with the technical, design and security expertise of our own connectivity systems, plus our long-time engineering and certification know-how. As a result, we can o er a comprehensive IFE solution to our customers.”

Highlighting the value that the partnership will bring to airline operators, Display Interactive’s CEO, Tarek El Mitwalli says, “Over the past 18 months, Display Interactive has invested heavily in the transformation of its wireless entertainment solution into an engagement and ancillary plat- form—focused on revenue generation. Adding connectivity will multiply revenue opportunities and open new business models for airlines.”

Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive are creating a one-stop shop for airlines, to streamline the implementation process, roll-out and service operation. Airlines, including Qatar Airways, Corsair International, and the former Joon / Air France, rely on DI’s solutions. British Airways, Philippine Airlines, and Ethiopian airlines, among others, y with Eclipse Technics, the aircraft modification arm of Eclipse Global Connectivity, solutions on board. Leveraging this expertise in technical design, kit manufacturing, STCs and engineering studies, both companies will o er an end-to-end inflight entertainment and connectivity solution under a single point of contact and a unique SLA (Service Level Agreement), reducing costs and delays.

Intending to demonstrate immediate benefits, Eclipse Global Connectivity and DI are launching a new entity based in Shanghai, China, which will be jointly operated under a new name. The company will commence operations in mid-2020, the schedule slightly impacted by the CO- VID-19 pandemic.

The new company will provide a customized, localized version of the complete Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive IFEC solution, fully integrated into the Chinese aero and digital ecosystems.

“Our main goal is to serve Chinese airlines directly in-country,” observed Thierry Carmes, COO at DI. “This means customizing our solution to fully meet airline- and business-partner-specific requirements, as well as supporting their programs and operations locally on a day-to-day basis. We are keen to demonstrate that our IFEC model will work in China—with the same benefits and performance as elsewhere. This is an invigorating challenge, and a deep motivation for our local teams, particularly since many connectivity programs have not yet delivered expected results.”

“Airline demand for airborne connectivity in China is growing, but not satisfied yet,” explained Marc Pinault. “Our strategy is to bring solutions that are already in common use in Europe or the Middle East, and deliver them with the Chinese operator and passenger specifically in mind. Our shared intention is to adapt and to become an integral part of the Chinese IFEC ecosystem.”

Display Interactive and Eclipse Global Connectivity are looking forward to providing cost-effective, innovative IFEC solutions that generate ancillary revenues, and being ready for when the aviation industry ramps-up service again in a few months. Their overriding aim is to offer a complete off-the-shelf solution from nose-to-tail, that ts all kinds of aircraft and delivers a visionary passenger experience and benefits for operators.


Editorial Courtesy of VT Miltope: Software Defined Cabin Wireless Networks

For two decades, cabin wireless functionality has been driven by aviation standards such as ARINC 763 and ARINC 628 Part 1. The industry has evolved through IEEE 802.11a to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). Each time the “standards upgrade” resulted in a higher functionality, often simply related to higher data throughput rates.

Unfortunately, these evolving standards resulted each time in changing radio equipment; subsequently, driving new access point hardware designs. At that time the technological race between the various vendors was determined by who was able to adapt the previous “box” to the new standard faster.

Meanwhile the factors that drive the evolution of the value and services generated by, and with, the cabin Wi-Fi networks for passengers and airlines are no longer just determined by the latest transmission standard. They are driven by various other functionalities of the Wi-Fi network that can be implemented through software solutions and do not necessarily need a change in hardware. The system complexity shifts from designing new hardware towards establishing a hardware infrastructure that can handle continuous functionality or performance improvements via software changes.  Software becomes the leading design entity creating value and flexibility, with hardware providing the processing platform.

Two examples for such software based added-value solutions are Hotspot 2.0 -allowing for seamless Wi-Fi roaming between different providers, systems and modes of transportation – and the embedding of Cyber Security applications to incorporate continuous network monitoring and anomaly detection as essential functionalities of the systems operation.

Miltope Corporation’s next generation cabin wireless solution, the xMAP, is driven by this evolved design philosophy. It enables the xMAP to be an adaptable foundational component to any wireless network in the aircraft.


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced actions the Company has taken to address the impact the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is having on the aerospace industry and its business. Peter Gundermann, Astronics Chairman and CEO, noted, “This is an unprecedented situation in our industry and we have to take measurable actions. First and foremost is the safety of our team members. We have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols, increased spacing of workstations, work-from-home wherever possible, minimization of visitors, meetings and travel as well as emphasizing the importance of personal hygiene and responsibility.”


AIRBUS

Airbus has deployed a new air-bridge flight between Europe and China to deliver additional face mask supplies to France, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom health systems in support of the COVID-19 crisis efforts (today’s rectangle). The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 undergoing conversion as Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), took off on 26 March at 19.15 local time (CET) from Airbus’ Getafe site near Madrid. (Spain) reaching the Airbus site in Tianjin (China) on 27 March. The aircraft, operated by an Airbus crew, returned to Spain on 28 March at 04.05 local time (CET) with a cargo of more than 4 million face masks. In recent days, Airbus had already organized flights from Europe and China with A330-800 and A400M aircraft to donate thousands of face masks to hospitals and public services around Europe.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury provides an update on the Company’s action to support the fight against Covid-19.
 Airbus CEO statement on Covid-19 – YouTube

The Spanish Government announced new measures on 29 March in the fight against COVID-19. These measures are taking effect between Monday 30 March and Thursday 9 April inclusive and restrict all non-essential activities across the country. Some key activities in Commercial Aircraft, Helicopters and Defence and Space remain essential. Minimum activity in these areas for necessary support functions such as Security, IT, Engineering, will remain under the stringent health and safety measures implemented by Airbus to protect its employees against the COVID-19 pandemic. All other activities in Commercial Aircraft, Defense and Space as well as Helicopters in Spain will be paused until 9 April, the date when it is foreseen that restrictions will be lifted. Airbus will closely work with its social partners to apply the social measures applicable under the latest restrictions. Airbus employees in Spain whose jobs are not linked to production and assembly activities and can work from home will continue to support Airbus business continuity in these difficult times. As a leading company, Airbus needs to retain its ability to support the global crisis efforts, support customers, suppliers and continue to bring its essential contribution to society.


BOEING

Boeing announced a temporary suspension of production operations at its Puget Sound area facilities in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company’s continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region. These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers. Boeing plans to begin reducing production activity and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area. The suspension of production operations will last 14 days, during which Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations. During this time, we will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.

Editor’s Note: Boeing said they will be using 3D printing to develop and build face shields for medical personnel. They intend to transport the mask cargo on a Dreamliner – all this with their advanced technology and engineering personnel.


COVID-19


OTHER NEWS

Ottawa, Ontario | March 27, 2020–Thousands of airline workers, including thousands of CUPE members, have already been laid off due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. CUPE National President Mark Hancock, along with the leaders of the Canadian Labour Congress and other unions representing 50,000 airline workers nationwide, wrote to the federal finance and transport ministers on Tuesday to demand that any federal relief for the industry must focus first and foremost on workers.

As the federal government begins to target relief to industries that need help to stay afloat in coming months, when it comes to the airline industry, CUPE and Canada’s unions are clear: the government must consult with unions, and put workers at the front of the line to receive support.

“Any proposed relief package from the federal government must be developed in consultation with, and have the consent of, the bargaining agents representing airline workers,” says the letter. “It must maintain and return employees to payroll, protect collective bargaining rights, and come with legal guarantees that financial support from the government will go first to support workers’ wages, salaries, and benefits.”

The letter also notes that, notwithstanding the exceptional and temporary situation facing the airline industry, it is set to expand in the medium term. CUPE and our allies in the labour movement are clear that this should not be a handout with no-strings-attached, and we expect that any public investment into the industry should result in a public stake in the company or companies involved.

“We expect that the federal government will receive an equity stake in exchange for any investment it makes in an airline company.”

CUPE is Canada’s flight attendant union, representing 15,000 workers at nine different airlines across Canada.

Today’s Rectangle: AirFly Pro


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Times are tough! Depression just may be around the corner. Read this: Deutsche Bank Economists forecast “severe recession” due to Covid-19 – Newsroom And as of Saturday, 3/21/20, the US numbers jumped up. Confirmed Coronavirus Cases Are Growing Faster In The United States Than Any Other Country In The World  I guess the message here is: As this virus grows, airline and travel news will dwindle, so IFEC news just might be a bit reduced!

The Farnborough Airshow – this year’s largest aerospace expo and a showcase for tens of billions of dollars of business deals – has become the latest major event to be canceled because of the coronavirus crisis, organizers said last week.

Editor’s Note: To give you an idea of how exposed the airline industry is to the impact of Coronavirus, the folks at Moodys Investor Service categorized it a 100% – the biggest exposure to financial risk!


AIRFLY

Despite the current state of air travel, we thought it might be  time to present an article about wireless earphone solutions for travel. The product for review is from the folks at AirFly – a Bluetooth wireless transmitter/receiver for your wireless entertainment earphones, in the case of the Pro version, a device that will receive Bt audio entertainment from an iPod/iPhone/or most Bt enabled devices and send it to a receiver/amplifier in your car, train, plane, or whatever mode of transport you choose.

This is an incredible product that amazed us with quality, small size (57 mm x 25.5 mm x 11 mm & weighs 15.5 grams – about the size of a pack of chewing gum), long life battery and a lot of functionality. Our product review should not only give you an idea about the value of the AirFly Pro, but IFExress feels this is the missing link between wireless headphones and wired headphone jacks because it it creates the wireless Bluetooth link between the audio source and your wireless earbuds or headphones on airplanes. We note, that there are Bt audio jacks being supplied in the industry (IFPL’s is a great product), but not all aircraft have it installed, especially the older jetliners that have not been recently refurbished.

AirFly offers four product variations:  AirFly Classic (one headphone), AirFly Duo (2 headphones & USB-C), AirFly USB-C (2 headphones & charges via USB-C with pass through power), and AirFly Pro (connects 2 headphones & has a receive mode that provides audio input to a device like a car radio). We tested the Pro and it delivered audio to two Bluetooth headsets – like it would do in an airplane; you and your seat mate could hear the same audio. Check out their website if you have questions or want to see more data on this clever product – AirFly Pro | Bluetooth transmitter connects wireless headphones to wired audio jacks – Twelve South Here’s how works:

  1. Be sure to charge the AirFly Pro module before you leave on a trip via a USB charge jack in the back. The company says you will be able to get some 16 hours of use out of it so virtually all of your flights will be supported.
  2. Setting up the device with your earphones or headphones is easy. We plugged in the AirFly jack to our signal source (iPod) and when we figured out how to put our Bose earphones in the “connect” mode the earphones and the AirFly paired immediately with a fixed light on each when connected. You will be surprised at the quality – it sounds as good as your earphones can deliver.
  3. So, when the movie begins on your next long flight, plug AirFly Pro into your seat’s headphone jack to listen to the movie with whichever premium noise cancelling wireless headphones you employ.

The company lists some of the usable headphones on their website (and there are a lot) but it worked with every Bt stereo headphone we tested. We need to also say the audio was really unbelievable and now we can take that hike with the iPod, without the wires – smooth! We also tried sending a Bt signal from our iPod with music on it through the device when it was plugged into the car radio input port – and it was great. Also, the unit can operate while charging if plugged into the USB power connection.

Lastly, we contacted AirFly and we asked their Marketing Director, Marlee Luttrell if the device was universal, and she said: “Absolutely! AirFly can pair any device with a 3.5m audio jack to almost any Bluetooth-enabled headphones (even hearing aids!). There are so many uses for AirFly beyond in-flight entertainment. A few of my favorites:- plugging into an amp or record player audio jack to listen to your guitar or records wirelessly- pairing Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids with your TV- Listen to your Nintendo Switch with your wireless headphones”

Beyond the auto or airline application this great little invention can be used in the gym, used in gaming, or on your boat. We even tried a wireless remote speaker and the sound was great!

Editor’s Note: Here is what might be happening to Bluetooth Audio – Bluetooth’s LE Audio allows better audio quality, hearing aid support – CNET


AIRBUS

Airbus SE announced that it expects production and assembly work to partially resume in France and Spain on Monday, 23 March following health and safety checks after the implementation of stringent measures. In addition, the Company is supporting efforts globally to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

Airbus has carried out extensive work in coordination with its social partners to ensure the health and safety of its employees, while securing business continuity. The implementation of these measures required a temporary pause in production and assembly activities at the French and Spanish sites for a period of four days. Work stations will only re-open if they comply with the new health and safety measures in terms of hygiene, cleaning and self-distancing while improving the efficiency of operations under new working conditions.

The same measures are being deployed across all other sites without full interruption.

For other non-production activities globally, Airbus continues to support home-working where possible. Some employees will be asked to return to support business continuity following the implementation of these new measures. In February, the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Tianjin, China, reopened following a temporary production stoppage related to the coronavirus outbreak and is now operating efficiently.
Airbus is supporting those in the health, emergency and public services that rely on its aircraft, helicopters, satellites and services to accomplish their critical missions. In addition, in the past days, the Company has donated thousands of face masks to hospitals and public services around Europe and has started to use its test aircraft to obtain larger quantities from suppliers in China. A first flight with a test A330-800 aircraft has this weekend transported approximately 2 million masks from Tianjin back to Europe, of which the large majority will be donated to the Spanish and French authorities. Additional flights are planned to take place in the coming days.

  • “Health and safety is our number one priority at Airbus so the work stations at our sites in France and Spain will only re-open if they meet the required standards. I’d like to salute the strong commitment from our employees to ensure business continuity in close cooperation with our social partners and other stakeholders. At the same time we are doing all we can to support those on the frontline to fight the coronavirus and limit its spread. We try to live up to our values, humbled by the complexity of the situation, and contribute as much as we can to society in these very difficult times,” said Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury.

Airbus is committed to ensuring the health and safety of its people while maintaining delivery capability for its products and services to its customers

Also, Airbus SE announced measures to bolster its liquidity and balance sheet in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as it continues to assess the ongoing situation and the impact on its business, customers, suppliers and the industry as a whole.

Reflecting the Company’s prudent balance sheet policy and to ensure financial flexibility, Airbus’ management has received approval from the Board of Directors to: secure a new credit facility amounting to 15 billion Euro in addition to the existing 3 billion euro revolving credit facility; withdraw the 2019 dividend proposal of  1.80 euro per share with an overall cash value of approximately 1.4 billion euro; and suspend the voluntary top up in pension funding. Given the limited visibility due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, the 2020 guidance is withdrawn. Operational scenarios, including measures to minimize cash requirements, have been identified and will be activated depending on the further development of the pandemic.

With these decisions, the Company has significant liquidity available to cope with additional cash requirements related to the coronavirus. Liquidity resources previously standing at approximately 20 billion euro, comprising around 12 billion euro in financial assets at hand and around 8 billion euro in undrawn credit lines, were further bolstered by converting an existing 5 billion euro credit line into a new facility amounting to 15 billion euro. Available liquidity now amounts to approximately 30 billion euro.

By maintaining production, managing its resilient backlog, supporting its customers and securing financial flexibility for its operations, Airbus intends to secure business continuity for itself even in a protracted crisis. Safe and efficient air travel is a key backbone of global economic development and cultural exchange. Airbus therefore highly welcomes governmental efforts around the globe to stabilize this industry by supporting the financial health of its airline customers and its suppliers. Airbus continues to monitor the overall health of the industry.

Airbus has convened its 2020 Annual General Meeting in Amsterdam on 16 April. Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, Airbus discourages physical attendance and strongly encourages shareholders to vote by proxy in line with public health and safety measures.


BOEING

Boeing announced several decisions to support the company as it navigates through the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring the company is positioned for the industry’s recovery. Decisions include:

  • CEO Dave Calhoun and Board Chairman Larry Kellner will forgo all pay until the end of the year.
  • The company will suspend its dividend until further notice.
  • Boeing will extend its pause of any share repurchasing until further notice. The company previously suspended its stock buyback program in April of 2019.
  • Boeing is drawing on all of its resources to sustain operations, support its workforce and customers, and maintain supply chain continuity through the COVID-19 crisis and for the long term.

Boeing announced a temporary suspension of production operations at its Puget Sound area facilities in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company’s continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region. These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers. Boeing plans to begin reducing production activity today and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area. The suspension of production operations will last 14 days, during which Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations. During this time, we will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.
“This necessary step protects our employees and the communities where they work and live,” said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. “We continue to work closely with public health officials, and we’re in contact with our customers, suppliers and other stakeholders who are affected by this temporary suspension. We regret the difficulty this will cause them, as well as our employees, but it’s vital to maintain health and safety for all those who support our products and services, and to assist in the national effort to combat the spread of COVID-19,” Calhoun added.

Production employees should continue to report for their assigned shifts today and will receive guidance on their role in the suspension shutdown process. Puget Sound area-based employees who can work from home will continue to do so. Those who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for the initial 10 working days of the suspension – double the company policy – which will provide coverage for the 14 calendar day suspension period.

“We will keep our employees, customers and supply chain top of mind as we continue to assess the evolving situation,” Calhoun said. “This is an unprecedented time for organizations and communities across the globe.”
When the suspension is lifted, Boeing will take an orderly approach to restarting production with a focus on safety, quality and meeting customer commitments. This will be a key step to enabling the aerospace sector to bridge to recovery. Boeing is working to minimize this suspension’s impact on the company’s ability to deliver and support its defense and space programs, and ensure the readiness of our defense customers to perform their vital missions. Boeing will work closely with those customers in the coming days to develop plans that ensure customers are supported throughout this period. Critical distribution operations in support of airline, government, and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) customers will continue.


OTHER NEWS

Roanoake, TX | March 23, 2020– JSfirm.com is continuing to monitor the pulse of the aviation industry, to see the impact COVID-19 will have. As we communicate with our customers, some are in a holding pattern for hiring. We have developed a new feature to accommodate these customers.

While many aviation companies are adjusting, we all must understand this situation doesn’t negate the fact that there is a serious shortage of aviation professionals world-wide through 2038, according to Boeing.

JSfirm.com has created a Passive Job Feature that allows job seekers to “Leave Their Resume” for a company that may not be currently hiring now, but will be soon. This will ultimately allow companies to hit the ground running with hiring once the dust settles.  Abbey Hutter, Executive Director for JSfirm.com said, “It takes a few months to land a great person anyway – it’s a bad decision to stop recruiting great people, particularly when they are available and especially during this time.”

Jeff Richards, Operations Manager for JSfirm.com said, “For a lot of our companies to date, it’s business as usual. However, we do have a number of clients who are experiencing a hiring freeze.” He added, “Freezing your hiring is separate from stopping your advertising and brand awareness.” He concluded, “Now is the best time for companies to be present, let the aviation industry (and professionals!) know you will be hiring soon.”

To gain access to this new feature & see new resumes give us a call at 724-547-6203. We are here to help you!

The IADA Foundation, a tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) public charitable organization, has awarded $32,000 in individual scholarships to eight college students seeking further education leading to professions within business aviation.
The foundation of the International Aircraft Dealers Association (IADA) administers the organization’s Business Aviation Scholarship Program which aids students in completing academic goals in preparation for careers in business aviation. Six of the scholarship students attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical, and two of the scholarship students attend Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Tech.
The most-recent recipients of individual $4,000 IADA business aviation scholarships are:
  • Talina Gulati (Senior – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) 
  • Wendylie Alix (Postgraduate- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) 
  • John Esquivel (Postgraduate- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)
  • Yvy Von Helde (Junior – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) 
  • Bowie Tam (Senior – Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology)
  • Gary Wegener, Jr. (Sophomore – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) 
  • Jesus Cendejas (Sophomore – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) 
  • Jenelle Samuel (Sophomore – Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology) 
Promoting the Future of Business Aviation
“IADA’s commitment to the future of our industry is demonstrated in our organization’s support for these deserving students,” said IADA Executive Director Wayne Starling. “They are the best and brightest of our future business aviation leaders, who will be joining the ranks of business aviation professionals. Thank you to IADA members and others who supported this rewarding and worthwhile program, and we extend our very best wishes to these students.”
IADA Foundation by-laws prescribe that the organization can provide business aviation scholarships, education, learning, and leadership opportunities. The scholarship program was established for university students seeking a career in Business Aviation, specifically, within corporate aircraft sales, marketing, finance, legal, and insurance.The organization also can work through other organizations, including the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), University of Virginia Darden School of Business, and Georgia State University, in addition to funding speakers at IADA annual meetings.
The IADA Business Aviation Scholarship program winners are chosen from applicants that are full-time graduate and undergraduate students majoring in corporate aviation management, aerodynamics, aircraft systems, aviation safety, finance, business marketing, economics, and studies that relate to aviation business and management.
IADA is a professional trade association formed more than 25 years ago, promoting the growth and public understanding of the aircraft resale industry. IADA now offers the world’s only accreditation program for dealer organizations and the only certification program for individual brokers. The process delivers high standards of ethical business and transparency regarding aircraft transactions, leading to a more efficient and reliable marketplace. For more info about IADA go to www.IADA.aero.

By no means could anyone refer to me as an alarmist; however, the potential impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the global economic marketplace could be significant and it has the potential to dramatically impact how we live our day-to-day lives, as well as, the aviation industry in general.

One can argue that COVID-19 is not anymore dangerous than the common flu – but this is irrelevant if people perceive it to be more contagious and deadly. It all boils down to fear, especially fear of the unknown, and the potential for overreacting, and travelers are especially susceptible. A state of panic can quickly be reached, and if that happens, we can say goodbye to rational thought.

The airline industry is perhaps more vulnerable than many other businesses as the majority of people don’t need to fly but they still need groceries, household items, etc. In other words, travel tends to be discretionary. As many of us may remember, we have seen this before with 9/11 and then, to some degree, with SARS a year or two later. Many people opted not to fly because they were scared of circumstances that were beyond their control. And it took a while for the airline industry to rebound.

Our industry is facing a huge problem, as COVID-19 is moving towards a global pandemic. Some sources have compared it to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 that infected an estimated 500 million people and killed roughly 20-50 million. In fact, Bill Gates refers to COVID-19 as a “once-in-a-century” pandemic . If COVID-19 was restricted to a single region (let’s say Asia) most airlines have the capacity to cope with a region that is underperforming; however, with COVID-19 taking hold in Europe, many of that regions carriers are restricting flights and the ‘alarm bells’ are beginning to ring in regards to the decrease in demand and its affiliated affect on the bottom line. And now it has a foothold in North America as well. If we look at the current problems the Asian carriers are facing, we can see how bad this could get. In fact IATA is forecasting that the Asia-Pacific airlines could lose roughly $28 billion in revenue during 2020 as a result of the virus.

How might the airline industry react? To address the traveler concerns, airlines may begin to clean the domestic/short-haul aircraft more thoroughly, implementing similar procedures like they do now for long-haul flights – disinfecting after each flight. Alterations to the inflight service by reducing the amount of interaction between the flight attendants and passengers could also been seen on some carriers. Also, the airlines may dramatically discount fares in an effort to increase demand and fill seats. And to further align supply/demand, we could easily see airlines park some of their jets, especially older and less fuel-efficient models.

On another front there is a broiling dispute between airlines and the CDC. In the USA there is increasing pressure from the CDC on airlines to assist with the efforts on controlling the spread of COVID-19 by providing more complete passenger data about international travelers. Airlines have responded that collecting this information is the responsibility of the federal government. It is reported that airline executives are to meet with Vice President Pence tomorrow on the subject of the coronavirus. It will be interesting to watch how this unfolds and to see the long-term impact this sort of information gathering will have. Like so many things, once these types of procedures are in place, they rarely are removed.

However, the results of the COVID-19 might help Boeing. With a decrease in the number of people traveling and a reduction in the number of routes being flown, one could argue that the airlines that have been hindered by the grounding of the MAX may be happy its return to service is delayed.

As with any crisis, there is a trickle down effect to other industries and IFEC will most probably be impacted by delayed deliveries and/or order cancelations. Much depends on how long the rate of infection continues to climb. It is too early to truly understand what the basic reproduction number (R0 = the number of individuals statistically to catch the disease from 1 individual) of the coronavirus but as of mid-February it appears to be similar to flu.

The questions we face are: How to move forward? How do we adjust to weather the storm that is COVID-19? What changes do we make in order to not only survive, but possibly, thrive?

One IFE company in Ireland has already filed for bankruptcy sighting COVID-19 as the culprit and they may well not be the last.

Below are some hyperlinks that are both interesting and informative. If you only have time to read one, I highly recommend, “Coronavirus On The Latin Bridge”.

 

Using Big Data to Fight the COVID-19 Epidemic in China

Just How Contagious is COVID-19? This Chart Puts It In Perspective

Global Cases of COVID-19: John Hopkins CSSE

Recession Fears Are Rising Globally


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation Reported their 2019 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results. Below are the highlights:

Fourth quarter sales of $198.4 million; full year sales of $772.7 million
• Consolidated orders for the quarter were $156 million
• Fourth quarter net loss of $34.1 million includes restructuring and impairment charges and legal reserves totaling $51.7 million
Backlog at the end of the year was $360 million


AXINOM

Continuing with its initiative of standardization in digital aerospace, Axinom has become the first digital solutions provider in the industry to provide a production common media application format (CMAF) with cipher block chaining encryption (CBCS). The technology eliminates the need for a native app and multiple file-formats to deliver the video content to mobile devices that can utilize browsers and DRM protection for playback.

The first successful adoption by a notable industry-leading integrator came in the form of a streaming solution that utilizes Axinom VIP (Video Ingest and Processing) to encode and package video assets in the CMAF file format. “The CMAF format paired with the common encryption scheme makes the assets interoperable across device platforms while maintaining industry-grade security,” says Ralph Wagner, CEO, Axinom. “This is a crucial step in our initiative to bring standardization in the digital vertical of the aerospace industry.”

Advancement in on-board entertainment delivery:

Smart and portable devices have become a crucial part of consumer experience and adopting this trend to aerospace not only enhances the value but also makes digital operations more efficient. A multi-screen IFEC offering with modern technological solutions allows passengers to use whatever devices (bring your device scenario) on-board to consume entertainment or connectivity.

Today, Axinom’s product-stack is enabling companies across aerospace industries to leverage the multi-screen trend. Advancement brings forth the following capabilities:

  • Axinom VIP encapsulates the video assets into a single format that is compatible with both HLS and MPEG-DASH streaming
  • Axinom VIP with CBCS mode common key encrypts video assets, described in either an m3u8 (HLS) or MPD (MPEG-DASH) playlist
  • Axinom DRM (Digital Rights Management) delivers licenses to on-board devices for content protection and playback

Providers are also realizing cost benefits as the new solution eliminates the need for an app, multiple file-formats, and vast amounts of space for the storage and playback of videos. Moreover, the comprehensive solution extends to a large number of commonly used devices and platforms, making it extremely practical.


AIRBUS

Aeroflot, the Russian flag carrier and member of the SkyTeam alliance, has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the launch operator of the latest generation widebody aircraft in Eastern Europe and CIS. Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a distinctive new livery embracing its almost 100 year heritage. Aeroflot has a total of 22 A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 126 aircraft (107 A320 Family and 19 A330 Family aircraft). Aeroflot’s A350-900 features a brand new elegant cabin design, offering a spacious three-class cabin layout with 316 seats: 28 private Business Class suites with full-flat seats, 24 Comfort Class with extra legroom and 264 Economy Class. In addition the latest generation Panasonic eX3 in-flight entertainment system, HD screens and Wi-Fi connectivity will ensure enhanced experience for all passengers on long-haul flights. Aeroflot will operate its A350-900 from Moscow to a number of destinations including London, Dubai, New York, Miami, Osaka and Beijing.


BOEING

Boeing  named Susan Doniz as the company’s chief information officer and senior vice president of Information Technology & Data Analytics, effective in May. She will succeed Vishwa Uddanwadiker, who has served in an interim capacity since October 2019. In this role, Doniz, 50, will oversee all aspects of information technology, information security, data and analytics for the world’s largest aerospace company. She also will support the growth of Boeing’s business through IT- and analytics-related revenue generating programs. She will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun, serve on the company’s Executive Council and be based in Chicago. Doniz joins Boeing from Qantas Group, where she has served as Group chief information officer since January 2017. In that role, she oversaw technology innovation, development and integration, digital capabilities and cybersecurity across the Group’s companies, including Qantas Airlines, QantasLink, Qantas Loyalty and Jetstar. Doniz has more than 25 years of global technology leadership experience, including strategic roles at SAP, Aimia and Procter & Gamble. She holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science and engineering from the University of Toronto, and serves as vice chair of the Digital Transformation Advisory Council of the International Air Transport Association.


OTHER NEWS

Fundraising, Strategic Planning, & Workforce Development Are Priorities

February 10, 2020– The WAI Board of Directors is pleased to announce Allison McKay will join Women in Aviation International as CEO on February 18, 2020, and is responsible for the future strategic vision of the 14,500-member strong organization while overseeing the board of directors, professional staff, and daily operations. She previously served as vice president of the Helicopter Association International Foundation since 2015 commissioning the first academic study of staffing projections for the rotorcraft industry as well as creating a workforce development initiative. Allison will draw from more than 20 years of experience in the development and implementation of highly strategic initiatives with other aviation companies including Safran USA and B/E Aerospace.

“The WAI board of directors formed an executive search committee to conduct an extensive search for a new leader to continue our organization’s critical role in encouraging more women to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace,” Marci Veronie, board chair, said. “Allison’s substantial experience in corporate philanthropy, event management, and government relations, plus her strategic thinking and long-term relationships with key industry stakeholders established Allison as the best candidate to lead WAI into a strong future while inspiring the next generation as they enter our industry,” she added.

“I am thrilled to work for this great organization, to meet many members at our conference next month, and to move WAI in a direction that will construct programs and initiatives to propel women of all ages and backgrounds to follow their own personal aviation dreams,” Allison McKay said. “Thanks to Dr. Peggy Chabrian’s dedication to this industry and her vision to create the annual conference and the organization, I am honored to carry on this work and direct the future of this organization.”

Dr. Peggy Chabrian, WAI founder and former president/CEO, announced her retirement from the organization last fall and plans to attend the 31st Annual International Women in Aviation Conference. “It’s been my pleasure and honor to serve as WAI president for the last 25 years since the organization was founded. I wish Allison all the best for continued growth and new opportunities for WAI in the next 25 years,” Peggy said.

  • Unaudited revenue of approximately $198 million for fourth quarter 2019 exceeded guidance
  • 2020 revenue guidance withdrawn due to uncertainty related to 737 MAX
  • New VVIP IFE platform “Avenir” successfully launched
  • Expects restructuring charges related to antenna business of $29 million to $35 million in fourth quarter 2019
  • Estimating intellectual property damages of an additional $18 million in fourth quarter; Company has filed appeal and is vigorously defending position
  • Temporarily pausing stock buyback initiatives

East Aurora, NY | February 3, 2020- Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, today provided an update on various projects and events impacting 2019 results and expectations for 2020.

Fourth Quarter Revenue and 2020 Guidance

The Company ended 2019 with unaudited preliminary revenue of approximately $198 million in the fourth quarter, slightly exceeding the high end of guidance that was issued on November 5, 2019. Preliminary bookings were
$156 million in the fourth quarter and preliminary backlog at year-end was $359 million. Bookings were negatively impacted by uncertainty in the market, which the Company believes is related to the ongoing 737 MAX grounding. In addition, the Company cancelled orders of approximately $7 million related to the restructuring and refocusing of its antenna business. Unaudited preliminary revenue for the full year totaled approximately $773 million.

Given the uncertain 2020 production schedule for the 737 MAX and timing of its return to service, along with the related impact on aftermarket spending by commercial airlines, the Company is rescinding its initial 2020 revenue guidance issued in November 2019. Astronics expects to issue revised revenue guidance as the outlook becomes clearer.

Peter Gundermann, Astronics Chairman and CEO, said, “The ongoing 737 MAX grounding affects our business both because of the production pause and because it leaves many of our airline customers short of capacity. This makes them reluctant to take planes out of service to install the types of products they buy from us. The situation is likely to persist until the 737 MAX returns to service. We will publish revenue expectations when we have more insight on the situation. In the meantime, we have taken actions to align our cost structure, anticipating a lower level of production and an extended disruption in the market.”

Astronics has line fit content of approximately $95 thousand on each 737 MAX as well as buyer furnished equipment, such as passenger power and connectivity hardware, that varies depending on aircraft configuration.

Completed Development of Avenir VVIP Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Solution (“IFEC”)

Late in the fourth quarter, the Company delivered a functional Avenir shipset to its launch customer, completing the design and development phase of the Avenir platform for the VVIP inflight entertainment and connectivity (“IFEC”) market. This effort has required significant financial investment by the Company’s Custom Control Concepts (“CCC”) operating unit for the last two years. While the program will require limited additional refinement during launch, the substantial levels of investment are completed. The Company expects that CCC will be profitable in the second half of 2020 and substantially breakeven for the year.

The best-in-class Avenir solution provides significant increases in bandwidth and speed for IFEC applications both on and off the aircraft. Astronics is now actively promoting the Avenir system and recently secured an additional undisclosed customer.

Restructuring and Refocusing the Antenna Operation

Astronics has made significant progress with the restructuring of its antenna business. The plan narrows the initiatives for the business to focus primarily on near-term opportunities pertaining to business jet connectivity. As a result of the narrowed focus, the Company anticipates total restructuring charges of approximately $29 million to $35 million that will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. Approximately $29 million of the charge will be non- cash, including the write-down of goodwill, intangible assets, fixed assets, inventory and other assets associated with the refocusing of the business activity. The emerging plan has a downsized manufacturing operation remaining in New Hampshire, with significantly reduced personnel and operating expenses. After restructuring, breakeven for the business will be approximately $10 million in revenue.

Mr. Gundermann commented, “We are putting an end to the high level of losses we have incurred in our antenna business the last few years. Simplifying the business and focusing more narrowly on the business jet market gives us the best chance of success. There remains some level of risk with our plan, but we have begun to lower annual fixed cost by about $11 million by reducing operating and R&D costs, while leaving the business positioned to pursue our best near-term opportunity.”

Intellectual Property Dispute

Late in the fourth quarter, the Company received an unfavorable ruling from a German court regarding the scope and calculation of damages in its long-running patent infringement suit. As a result, the Company estimates that an additional $18 million in damages will be recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. The ruling pertains to shipments of in-seat power systems the Company directly or indirectly made into Germany between 2007 and 2014. Astronics believes the court’s ruling in this matter is deficient and has initiated an appeal that will likely extend resolution into late 2021.

The dispute was previously argued and resolved in the Company’s favor in the United States. Cases are now beginning in the United Kingdom and France. Astronics does not expect these cases to be resolved during 2020.

Pause in Stock Buyback Program

To conserve cash, the Company is cancelling its 10b5-1 trading plan for its share buyback program and is temporarily postponing initiatives related to stock buybacks until market conditions are clearer, especially the circumstances surrounding the 737 MAX. The Board authorized a $50 million share buyback program in September 2019, which remains in place. Under the plan, Astronics has repurchased approximately 310 thousand shares through Friday, January 31, 2020 at an average price of $27.47

Mr. Gundermann concluded, “While external factors are providing new challenges for 2020, we believe we have taken the steps to improve the operating performance of the business by addressing the losses incurred by our challenged operating units. We expect to face challenging market conditions until the 737 MAX situation improves, but we will continue to work on promising innovation and growth prospects in the meantime, maximizing our performance in the near term while pursuing growth and stronger earnings in the long term.”

 

Camberley, Surrey | February 3, 2020- The disabled flying charity, Aerobility has gratefully accepted a generous donation of six SH40-10 Carbon Fibre Passive Headsets from UK-based SEHT Aviation Headsets.

Aerobility uses the magic and challenge of flight to help disabled people of all ages to feel less isolated, more confident and independent.  The 300g SH40-10 headsets are carbon fibre, incredibly robust and lightweight, which makes them ideal for use by this unique charity.

Stuart Miller recently awarded his PPL through Aerobility says, “Many of our flyers are hoisted into our aircraft and the equipment we use needs to be tough and durable, as well as really comfortable for people with a variety of disabilities.  The feedback we’ve had from our flyers has been very positive, as for many, it’s their first flight and there’s lots to get used to.”

“It’s a privilege to support Aerobility and see our products being used to benefit others.  It’s been great to see how the features of our headsets offer such suitability for the needs of Aerobility’s flyers.”  Simon Humphries, Managing Director, SEHT.

“We are grateful to have the support of manufacturers such as SEHT to help make a difference to the lives of disabled people.  We have some wonderful partners and sponsors in aviation and continue to work together through our passion for flying” Aerobility CEO, Mike Miller-Smith.

For more about Aerobility visit www.aerobility.com.

B777X First Flight

We are going to start this IFExpress by looking into the Boeing 777 Series and then delve into the B777X and it’s first flight. First a little history. The Widebody Boeing 777 family, commonly referred to as the ‘Triple Seven’ aircraft began life and launched in the Fall of 1990, rolled out in June of 1994, first flew on June 12, 1994, then went into commercial service approximately one year later in 1995. In 2004, a longer range version was rolled out. The Boeing 777 is reportedly the largest twin engine aircraft being manufactured today and the original jetliner had a capacity of 300 to 368 passengers. It should also be note that the 777 series competes with the Airbus A350 family that was launched in 2004, which carries some 300 to 350 passengers and now includes A350 XWB. Here is a comparison video that came out in June of 2018 – (109) Boeing 777x vs A350-1000 .! Which one is your favorite – YouTube

Now let’s get back to the Boeing 777X, the world’s largest twin-engine airplane. The B777 family currently includes B777-200ER and B777-300ER aircraft that are 209 and 242 feet long, respectively, with a 200/212 foot wingtip-to-wingtip difference, per plane model. The dash 200ER and 300ER are the original basis of the B777 models; however, in November of 2013, Boeing announced the B777X. The B777X has 2 variants: the dash 8 (384 pax and 8,690 nmi) and the dash 9 (426 pax and 7,525 nmi) and is a major update to the 777 family. The B777X is the testing and certification baseline for the aircraft with the first successful test flight on Saturday January 25, 2020. This plane is 251 feet long and has a range of some 7,525 nmi. It will typically seat approximately 414 passengers and cost a reported (although airlines will not pay this much) some $442 million with a wing span of 235 feet, decreasing to 212 ft. when the tips are folded. This means that the wings have a fold-up tip that is approximately 11.5 feet long – a big industry first for a jet of this magnitude. Watching the video of the first landing of the B777X really showed a difference in this iteration’s size compared to its predecessors. When looked at head-on the extreme wing span is evident, despite being folded upon touch down (we assume to avoid taxi collisions) and the vertical stabilizer is incredible – the top of reaches 64 feet 7 inches high off the ground!!

Boeing also migrated some of the technologies found in the 787 Dreamliner onto the B777X. The size and function of the passenger cabin’s windows and the appearance of the flight deck are just of a few of the adapted features.

We should also be mention the new GE90, dual rotor, axial flow, high bypass turbofan engine that is, in a word, amazing. It is derived from the General Electric GE90 with a larger fan, advanced materials like CMCs, higher bypass ratio (10 to 1) and compression ratios, it proposes improved fuel efficiency by 10% over its predecessor and is rated for 105,000 foot pounds of engine thrust and weighs almost 20,000 pounds!

Finally, here are some of the many B777X videos for your enjoyment!


Gogo

Gogo announced the upcoming launch of a new digital rights management (DRM) service that enables playback of video-on-demand content in the most popular browsers without additional plug-ins or app downloads. Developed in partnership with castLabs, the new solution allows each title to be packaged for browsers like Safari and Chrome on all operating systems with a single file using the latest file format – Common Media Application Format or CMAF – in the industry. The single encrypted file format allows for Gogo’s inflight entertainment (IFE) service, Gogo Vision, to maximize the airlines library size and store 50% more content than other solutions.  The roll-out of this new technology will be complete in the first half of 2020.

“Gogo is the first in the industry to launch a streaming solution that uses a single encrypted file format to play video across the most popular browsers,” said Blane Boynton, SVP of Product for Gogo. “castLabs is our technology enabler, and a well-known and trusted DRM vendor in the industry. By removing the need for an app or plug-in, Gogo provides a seamless experience to our airline partners and their passengers.”

“Gogo is leveraging our updated PRESTOplay and DRMtoday solutions that utilize the latest advances in streaming technology to deliver a single version of content to all modern browsers, agnostic to the various DRM systems they support,” said Michael Stattmann, Founder of castLabs. “Gogo is indeed the first to use the latest CMAF file format with ‘cbcs’ encryption to enable an app-free inflight entertainment experience on mobile devices. We look forward to a strong partnership with Gogo as we support more streamlined ways to offer content to their customers.”


Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The airline IT specialist is looking back proudly at the many milestones in its history of shaping the digitalization (the act or process of converting from analog to digital) of the airline industry. In 1995, Lufthansa outsourced its IT department to its newly founded subsidiary, which has experienced a remarkable development in recent years. “We now employ around 2,400 people at our locations in 16 countries and, together with our start-up company zeroG, have established ourselves as one of the leading IT providers in the airline industry,” said Olivier Krueger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “Today, we offer our more than 350 customers worldwide a comprehensive range of IT solutions, many of which are market-leading.”

Although digitalization was still in its infancy and the internet was still uncharted territory in the year the company was founded, Lufthansa Systems lived by its slogan “We’re into IT” from the very beginning. Thanks to its many years of experience within the Lufthansa Group, the company was able to keep its finger on the pulse of Europe’s most successful airline and acquire extensive technical expertise. This gave rise to an impressive product portfolio that covers many of an airline’s processes on the flight deck, in the cabin and on the ground. Lufthansa’s pioneering role soon enabled Lufthansa Systems to establish modern and efficiency-enhancing IT solutions across the entire aviation industry. LOT Polish Airlines was the first customer that saw Lufthansa Systems  break into the external airline market. With many other airlines following suit, Lufthansa Systems’ innovative solutions gradually became established on the worldwide market. Before long, the IT specialist was able to support customers of all sizes and business with its solutions.

Offering groundbreaking innovations such as FlyNet, the first flying hotspot, which first got off the ground with Lufthansa in 2003, or accounting tools such as SIRAX, which significantly enhanced the efficiency of revenue accounting, Lufthansa Systems became an industry pioneer at an early stage. The development of the paperless flight deck was another game changer, as paper maps were gradually replaced by digital programs and modern apps that display weather, airspace and traffic information in real time. Meanwhile, a new era of inflight entertainment began with the first wireless solution, BoardConnect, which enabled passengers to access onboard entertainment on their own devices for the first time.

Lufthansa Systems is also one of the market’s leading providers in network planning, route optimization and flight navigation. The NetLine suite, for example, covers the entire process from network planning, flight planning and code shares to crew management until the day of operations and provides the ideal basis for decision-making by connecting data in a smart way. Lido Flight 4D is a  Lufthansa Systems  solution that helps customers to optimize their flight routes and thus reduce flight times and fuel consumption. This in turn makes an important contribution to airlines’ environmental efficiency, as less fuel consumption means fewer carbon emissions. Airlines can also reduce their environmental footprint by eliminating all paper-based maps and documentation for navigation.

“Based on these developments and the experience it has gained along the way, Lufthansa Systems today is an important and reliable partner when it comes to digitalization and aviation expertise. Leveraging our strong portfolio of innovative initiatives, we will continue our tradition of shaping the future of digital aviation,” said Dr. Thomas Wittmann, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

In 2015, the former Lufthansa Systems AG was realigned and the infrastructure part of the business was sold to IBM. By focusing on the airline sector and implementing an agile set-up, the company is in a position to quickly and profitably apply its IT expertise for the benefit of its customers. With this in mind, Lufthansa Systems established the Aviation Campus and thus created an environment enabling digital innovation that promotes the exchange of ideas and the exploitation of synergies. Current projects and developments include migrating products to a cloud-based platform and supporting airlines in harmonizing their IT systems in operations. Applying the Total Mission Optimization (TMO) approach,  Lufthansa Systems is further optimizing its market-leading Lido solutions for dispatchers and flight deck crews. This achieves a strong integration of functionality and data, which enables the airline operation center and the flight crew to collaborate in an even more effective way.

The smart use of data is one of the key success factors in the future of aviation. Using artificial intelligence, Lufthansa Systems and the start-up company zeroG are jointly working on projects to avoid delays in ground processes and are investigating ways to make the work of ops controllers easier.

In recent years, Lufthansa Systems has evolved into an important integration partner and consultant both within and outside the Lufthansa Group. The aim of the company’s growing consulting unit is to optimize everyday flight operations processes and design them in a way that makes them more profitable.

On Another Note:
Lufthansa Systems announced that the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda is now using the NetLine/Sched and ProfitLine/Price solutions. These products will optimize RwandAir’s complex flight scheduling and efficiently determine the best ticket prices based on the current market situation as well as supply and demand. RwandAir and its passengers will both benefit from these important control tools, which will simplify scheduling and support the airline’s expansion of its route network and available flights.
NetLine/Sched, the schedule management system from Lufthansa Systems, helps airlines to make quick and well-founded decisions when creating and optimizing their flight schedules while taking operational and economic aspects into account. Using NetLine/Sched, airlines can take measures quickly and effectively to optimize their schedules.
ProfitLine/Price is a comprehensive pricing system which considers the current competitive situation, price trends and underlying fare structures. It covers all core processes in both reactive and proactive pricing for published and market fares. In addition to enabling airlines to react swiftly to market changes, the system provides powerful analysis tools for developing effective pricing strategies. Its integrated pricing simulation model goes one step further by forecasting revenue changes based on fare modifications.


AIRBUS

In the context of the investigations by the French Parquet National Financier (PNF), the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the U.S. authorities, Airbus has reached agreement in principle with the authorities.The investigations by the above authorities relate to allegations of bribery and corruption and to inaccuracies in filings made with the U.S. authorities pursuant to the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The agreement with the SFO was the subject of a preliminary court ruling today and will require final judicial approval in a U.K. court. Furthermore, agreements with the PNF and the U.S. authorities also remain subject to approval by French court and U.S. court and regulator, respectively. The court hearings in France, the U.K. and the U.S. are expected to take place on 31 January 2020. If approved by the courts, the agreements will result in Airbus taking a provision of € 3.6 billion for the payment of potential penalties to the French, U.K., and U.S. authorities, which will be booked in Airbus’ 2019 accounts. Further details will be provided once the agreements have been finalized. (Editor’s Note: This article on the subject is worth a read!)


OTHER NEWS

  • From Bob Bogash, aviation historian, this past week:
    “ALL EYES ON A DIFFERENT BOEING JET: The first test flight of Boeing’s new jetliner, the 777X, is tentatively scheduled for later this week. Given the situation with the MAX, the new plane will likely be scrutinized by the public as it moves toward being delivered to airlines next year. One of the 777X’s key new features, folding wing tips, has been specifically called out by House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). DeFazio has repeatedly cited the 777X wings as an example of the kind of change to a plane that he thinks needs more oversight. 50 years ago last week (Jan 22), the first revenue trip of a 747 left JFK for LHR – Pan Am. The scheduled departed time was on Jan 21, but the flight departed 7 hours late – thus, actually at 0150 hrs on Jan 22.) The airplane, with 336 passengers, had problems with a faulty door closing mechanism, the cargo loading, and ultimately, one of its engines – Number 4. The Clipper Young America, N747PA, was the aircraft that was supposed to have inaugurated the world’s first 747 service on Pan Am’s blue ribbon JFK – LHR route. It had a BTB (Block Turn Back) due to engine surge and overheat and returned to the gate. Due to the engine situation it suffered, the honor went to Clipper Victor, N736PA. Clipper Victor is also the aircraft that collided with the KLM 747 at Tenerife, Norte in 1977. Bob B.”
  • Having a problem with logging on at airports? There is a way to do so, but WARNING, there is no security like SSL. So, only use it when the other data links are busy or don’t work! NeverSSL – helping you get online. Further, Zapier has some public Wi-Fi suggestions.
  • WARNING: Do not go to Wuhan: China Travel Advisory and things are getting worse China’s Xi warns virus is ‘accelerating’, country facing ‘grave situation’ – CNA

As we kick off the next decade we thought our readers might want to read what others see about our society and the impacts on the forthcoming future events. Here are a few of the articles that excited, confused, enriched, and generally caught us off guard. Good Luck!

Here is a grand view of the distribution of the worlds wealth to start off: All the World’s Wealth in One Visual

The future of weather prediction is going to just be much better and we can thank Google for it. Google AI Blog: Using Machine Learning to “Nowcast” Precipitation in High Resolution

This next generation paper by the World Economic Forum is not an easy read – rather, it is very detailed. Without considering any military issues in the next 10 years, Ms’s Gawel and Herweijer put a detailed paper together about the future that is – well, the next decade of Innovation vs Goals. It is worth a read, but and is very good because they cover prominent fourth Industrial Revolution stuff! ‎

It also looks like “leaders for life is becoming a new craze in the next 10 years. Vladimir Putin seeks to join the world’s leaders for life – Axios

Finally, artificial life can be designed as programable computers – Artificial lifeforms designed by supercomputers are fully programmable

While looking through some predicted generational changes from 2020 to 2030 we found this link from an Oxford professor – different stuff! The five tech breakthroughs set to define the 2020s | Sifted

And lastly, here is a great article on what’s happening in the space industry – How startups aim to monetize the space industry – Travel & Mobility Tech and Space startup investments continued to rise in 2018 – SpaceNews.com

Stay Tuned in the next 10 years, and as a treat, here is the History Guy showing you about the first commercial airplane flight around the world! – The IFExpress Team!


SITAONAIR

SITAONAIR announces the acquisition of GTD Air Services – the aviation branch of Spanish software provider GTD System & Software Engineering – in an exciting expansion of its application ambition and vision. Having successfully partnered with GTD Air Services to develop the eWAS portfolio – the market-leading electronic weather situational awareness mobile applications currently in use by 50,000 pilots worldwide – GTD Air Services will join SITAONAIR under the next phase of its application portfolio strategy. The acquisition will enrich SITAONAIR’s existing Digital Day of Operations application portfolio, and reflect its belief that embracing a digital shift will help reinvent the operation of aircraft, flights and the passenger experience, making flying safer, more efficient, enjoyable and sustainable. SITAONAIR is pleased to welcome the versatile and innovative team from GTD Air Services, who have a proven record for successfully developing state-of-the-art weather and mobile applications for airline professionals, as well as a strong start-up culture of agility and co-innovation. The GTD Air Services team will continue to be based in Barcelona, Spain, and operate under a separate entity, in order to preserve its creativity and product development dynamic. It will also enhance, through its growth, the Digital Day of Operations application development capacity for SITAONAIR and be integrated within the wider SITA group ecosystem. The deal comes at a time when the number of flights is increasing, and the global fleet is set to double in size within the next 15 years. Increased congestion in the skies brings a host of challenges for airlines, and growing demand for enhanced operations. Among the challenges is a rise in severe weather conditions, which risk the safety of pilots, crews, and passengers, along with potential delays and aircraft damages. Airlines also face pressure to lessen their environmental impact, by reducing unnecessary fuel consumption and limiting turn-around times.


GOGO

Gogo and Spanish satellite operator, Hispasat, announced a capacity agreement on Amazonas Nexus satellite to meet the growing global demand for high-speed inflight connectivity services. Gogo has leased multi-gigahertz of Ku-band capacity onboard Hispasat’s new satellite, set to launch in the second half of 2022, to provide service to its customers in the Americas and the Atlantic region. Hispasat and Gogo worked closely to optimize the satellite design to provide superior performance and capacity for inflight connectivity.

Amazonas Nexus is a High Throughput Satellite (HTS) with an innovative architecture that will replace the Amazonas 2 in the 61º West position. The new satellite will have a payload specifically dedicated to aero connectivity and will offer additional capacities oriented to vertical segments like mobile connectivity, corporate communications and cellular network deployment. It will feature an advanced Digital Transparent Processor (DTP), a technological breakthrough that will substantially increase satellite flexibility when dealing with changes in demand.


BOEING

Boeing released the following statement today (1/21/20): As we have emphasized, the FAA and other global regulators will determine when the 737 MAX returns to service. However, in order to help our customers and suppliers plan their operations, we periodically provide them with our best estimate of when regulators will begin to authorize the un-grounding of the 737 MAX.

We are informing our customers and suppliers that we are currently estimating that the un-grounding of the 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020. This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process. It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process. It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 MAX’s flight control system and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board process which determines pilot training requirements.
Returning the MAX safely to service is our number one priority, and we are confident that will happen. We acknowledge and regret the continued difficulties that the grounding of the 737 MAX has presented to our customers, our regulators, our suppliers, and the flying public. We will provide additional information about our efforts to safely return the 737 MAX to service in connection with our quarterly financial disclosures next week.

AIRBUS

  • Airbus successfully performed the first fully automatic vision-based take-off using an Airbus Family test aircraft at Toulouse-Blagnac airport. The test crew comprising of two pilots, two flight test engineers and a test flight engineer took off initially at around 10h15 on 18 December and conducted a total of 8 take-offs over a period of four and a half hours. “The aircraft performed as expected during these milestone tests. While completing alignment on the runway, waiting for clearance from air traffic control, we engaged the auto-pilot,” said Airbus Test Pilot Captain Yann Beaufils. “We moved the throttle levers to the take-off setting and we monitored the aircraft. It started to move and accelerate automatically maintaining the runway centre line, at the exact rotation speed as entered in the system. The nose of the aircraft began to lift up automatically to take the expected take-off pitch value and a few seconds later we were airborne.” Rather than relying on an Instrument Landing System (ILS), the existing ground equipment technology currently used by in-service passenger aircraft in airports around the world where the technology is present, this automatic take-off was enabled by image recognition technology installed directly on the aircraft. Automatic take-off is an important milestone in Airbus’ Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off & Landing (ATTOL) project. Launched in June 2018, ATTOL is one of the technological flight demonstrators being tested by Airbus in order to understand the impact of autonomy on aircraft. The next steps in the project will see automatic vision-based taxi and landing sequences taking place by mid-2020. Airbus’ mission is not to move ahead with autonomy as a target in itself, but instead to explore autonomous technologies alongside other innovations in areas such as materials, electrification and connectivity. By doing so, Airbus is able to analyze the potential of these technologies in addressing the key industrial challenges of tomorrow, including improving air traffic management, addressing pilot shortages and enhancing future operations. At the same time Airbus is leveraging these opportunities to further improve aircraft safety while ensuring today’s unprecedented levels are maintained. For autonomous technologies to improve flight operations and overall aircraft performance, pilots will remain at the heart of operations. Autonomous technologies are paramount to supporting pilots, enabling them to focus less on aircraft operation and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.
  • Following its strategy to keep its overall production system at the leading edge of technology and to increase industrial capacity and flexibility, Airbus has decided to create new A321 production capabilities at its site in Toulouse. By mid-2022 the current A380 Lagardère facility in Toulouse will accommodate a digitally-enabled A321 line as a step to modernize the A320 production system in Toulouse. The new facilities will provide more flexibility for A321 production, while keeping the overall single aisle industrial capacity in Toulouse flat. Currently, the only European Final Assembly Line to assemble A321s is at Airbus’ Hamburg site. In addition, the A321 is also being assembled and delivered from Mobile, Alabama, USA. Toulouse was selected for several reasons such as: overall competitiveness, time to market, investment cost, available floor space and resources. The decision has been communicated to Airbus’ social partners. The A320neo Family is the world’s best-selling single aisle with over 7 100 aircraft sold to over 110 customers. Within this Family, the A321XLR is the latest evolutionary step which responds to market needs for even more range and payload, creating more value for the airlines. From 2023, it will deliver an unprecedented Xtra Long Range of up to 4,700nm and a 30% lower fuel burn per seat compared with previous generation competitor aircraft. For passengers, the A321XLR’s new Airspace cabin will provide the best travel experience, while offering seats in all classes with the same high-comfort as on a long-haul wide-body, with the low costs of a single-aisle aircraft.

AIRCRAFT DELIVERIES/ORDERS

2019 Aircraft Totals: Airbus – Deliveries 863, Orders 1131; Boeing – Deliveries 380, Orders 246 (Note: The orders here are not counting cancellations) Boeing posts negative commercial airplane orders for first time in decades


OTHER NEWS

Dublin | January 19, 2020–Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, issued its 2020 outlook paper titled ‘Navigating Through Turbulence’. The paper, written by Avolon’s Jim Morrison and Steve Mason, reviews key aviation industry trends in 2019 and offers fearless forecasts for 2020.

The full paper is available at: https://www.avolon.aero/newsroom-and-thoughts

2020 ‘Fearless Forecasts’

  1. The 737 is Here to Stay: Boeing’s 737 MAX will safely return to revenue service in 2020. Airlines and passengers will turn up to fly. Trading markets will re-open and values will be supported by strong demand for Boeing’s most popular product. The world needs more Boeing aircraft to support growing demand for air travel.
  2. No New Major Commercial Aircraft Programs will be Launched: Manufacturers will return to their knitting: on-time deliveries. The A321XLR will compete uncontested as Boeing will not launch the NMA in 2020. Talk of single-aisle replacement aircraft will be quieted as regulators verify the strengths of the current offerings.
  3. Manufacturers to Prioritise Deliveries in 2020: The mid-life space may cool as manufacturers get back on-track with deliveries and passenger traffic remains near the long-term trend. Airlines may find themselves flying fewer hours per aircraft or pushing older metal out as new A320s and 737s are injected to the operating fleet.
  4. Access to Capital: Despite economic headwinds and increasing geopolitical unrest, capital markets will remain open to established players, confirming the benefit of an investment grade rating. The ABS market will see strong demand for issuances in 2020, continuing its 2019 pace.
  5. Environment as a Higher Purpose: Aviation gets serious about the environment with an increasing number of concrete proposals from a variety of players to meet the 2050 industry goal of a reduction in net aviation carbon emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. In 2020, urban mobility solutions will demonstrate electrification of air travel is feasible, if at first only on short sectors.

Jim Morrison, Vice President – Aircraft Evaluation commented: “The end of the decade marks a period of remarkable achievement for the aviation industry with a full decade of airline profitability. However, 2019 will be remembered as much for the lows as the highs.”

“The year was headlined by aircraft manufacturers. The aviation industry grappled with the repercussions of the tragic B737 MAX accidents while Airbus struggled with aircraft delivery delays. During 2019, we saw more than 20 carriers fail but, despite this, global airlines’ net profit remained robust at an estimated US$26 billion. These failures underpinned our previous years’ assertion that, despite high load factors, there were too many cheap seats available. These airline failures resulted in a record number of aircraft being released to the market. Lessors were able to successfully re-market and re-deploy many of their aircraft, reflecting strong market appetite for aircraft transitions and air travel demand.”

Steve Mason, Senior Vice President – Commercial added: “Looking ahead to 2020, geopolitical uncertainty and international trade tensions will define the year. Through this turbulence will emerge opportunity. While improved airline profitability is forecasted, many sizeable carriers remain on life support. The still-buoyant global economy and the expanding middle class will continue to drive long-term passenger demand, supporting airline capacity growth. For lessors, investment grade rated players with global platforms are best positioned to seize any opportunities that may be presented. While efficiency improvements have long been a hallmark of aviation, 2020 is set to be the baseline year for the sector’s carbon emission offsetting and reduction scheme which will transition air travel to carbon neutral growth.”

Six cables available to support F-35 ramp rate to full production.

Shelburne, VT | January 21, 2020– Harbour Industries LLC (Harbour), a Marmon | Berkshire Hathaway company announced today it is an approved manufacturer for a number of low-loss coax and high-speed data cables used on Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lighting II 5th generation fighter aircraft.

Robert Canny, President said,  “We look forward to supporting the 2020 F-35 Sustainment Contract just released by the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin. Harbour has a long reputation of providing timely products to our business partners to support their ramp to full production.” Declared “combat ready” by the commander of the US Air Combat Command, this next generation aircraft provides capabilities needed on the modern battlefield. The F-35 provides air superiority, interdiction, suppression of enemy air defenses and close air support with unprecedented situational awareness of the battle space that will be more extensive than any single-seat platform in existence.

Harbour’s data and coaxial cables were chosen based on the use of a composite fluoropolymer insulation ensuring light- weight and high-speed transmission. Harbour is known as a supplier that has product and process engineering expertise that ensures the highest quality cables will be manufactured in exact accordance with Lockheed’s demanding physical and electrical requirements.

As the F-35 moves toward full rate production, Harbour is ready for the challenge to supply increased volume on-time with unmatched quality.

BOEING

Roughly 10 months after the 737 MAX was grounded, David Calhoun has started as Boeing’s new CEO. In an email to employees Calhoun said “Many of our stakeholders are rightly disappointed in us, and it’s our job to repair these vital relationships. We’ll do so through a re-commitment to transparency and by meeting and exceeding their expectations.” But despite a ‘fresh start’ Congress will have Boeing under a microscope. Apparently, an SEC filing “an additional long-term incentive award valued at approximately $7 million which will be earned only upon continued employment and the achievement of several key business milestones, including full safe return to service of the 737 MAX.” and three Democratic senators (Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)) have apparently sent a letter to the Boeing board asking them to remove this incentive payment for Calhoun saying the award “represents an inappropriate incentive for Mr. Calhoun to pressure regulators and attempt to rush the 737 MAX back into the sky before its safety is guaranteed.”


MOMENT (FLYMINGO) & SURINAM AIRWAYS

Moment, the French technology company specialized in entertainment and passenger solutions for the aviation industry, has been selected by Surinam Airways (SLM) to integrate the Flymingo Box solution aboard the airline’s fleet to give passengers access to an in-flight entertainment platform.

Based in Suriname, in the city of Paramaribo, Surinam Airways operates as the country’s national carrier, and has flights to international destinations such as the Netherlands, the Caribbean, Netherlands Antilles, United States, Guyana and Brazil. Surinam Airways was looking to offer its passengers a unique service in terms of entertainment and to optimize the traveling experience, and chose the French company Moment, after evaluating several solutions, to equip its fleet.

Flymingo Box is a Wireless In-Flight Entertainment solution based on a patented portable server with the capacity to broadcast a catalog of 10,000 hours of content and which can offer IFE streaming to 100 passengers simultaneously. Characterized by its power and ultra-compact size, it enables passengers to access a smooth streaming service from any type of device, without the need for an application. Thanks to Moment app-free technology, passengers will be able to enjoy Surinam Airways’ DRM-protected content directly from their personal device browser.

Moment will also be responsible for the acquisition of content for Surinam Airways’ wireless IFE and Panasonic seat-back screens.  As a result, passengers will access on board a varied catalog of premium content including recent movies and series, documentaries, cartoons, games and music playlists.

“We are very pleased to be part of Surinam Airways journey, who has chosen our Flymingo Box solution to enhance and personalize the onboard traveler experience. This partnership highlights the quality of our solutions and their ability to enrich the flying experience,” says Michael Serres, COO and co-founder of Moment. “Thanks to its innovative, simple and flexible solution, Moment will make a significant contribution to improving passenger service.”

Radjesh Radjkoemar CEO at Surinam Airways states: “As an international airline, it was essential for us to differentiate our service by offering passengers an enjoyable entertainment solution that responds to their needs. Moment was the right partner since their solution Flymingo Box met all of our criteria in terms of reliability, installation, choice of content and price. ”

Rachel Kolf-Deira, Surinam Airways CFO adds “Moment technology is unique in its ability to reduce costs for our airline, deliver higher operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction. We are delighted to start this partnership and bring a truly innovative and cost-effective solution onboard.”


SITAONAIR

Wizz Air has become the first carrier on the continent to deploy SITAONAIR’s pioneering, airline-integrated ACARS over IP service, using terrestrial cellular networks. This development comes as the airline extends its longstanding relationship with SITAONAIR for its AIRCOM Cockpit Services.

The ACARS over IP service, using terrestrial cellular, is delivered in partnership with Teledyne Controls and will be deployed across Wizz Air’s entire existing and future fleet. The enablement of automatic ACARS-based reporting brings huge benefits for the airline, resulting in improved aircraft movement control and more efficient turnaround at any airport.

This deployment will complement SITAONAIR’s existing Very High Frequency (VHF) ACARS radio network coverage and extend coverage to Wizz Air’s entire operation. The service also brings enhanced resilience through the interoperable use of cellular and ACARS networks.

Additional benefits of ACARS over IP include increased network capacity, as well as faster and more cost-effective transmission of data.

Konstantin Milarov, M.Sc., Technical Services Manager, Wizz Air, comments: “The ability to extend our datalink coverage and implement automatic ACARS-based reporting and processes is a huge benefit for Wizz Air. We are pleased to be continuing our relationship with SITAONAIR and are delighted to pioneer this with ACARS over IP services together. We will be able to move forward with better and more efficient aircraft timing reporting and conduct data transmissions across our entire network.”

SITAONAIR is able to deliver the solution by integrating terrestrial cellular services into its core AIRCOM datalink network, using Teledyne Controls’ GroundLink Comm+ system.

Murry Skelton, Senior Director of Aircraft Solution Strategy, Teledyne Controls, says: “Our partnership with SITAONAIR offers airline customers like Wizz Air a quick, easy upgrade option to enable secure ACARS transfer while the aircraft is on the ground. We believe this can bring huge benefit to airlines, as is being demonstrated by Wizz Air as a true innovator in the area of aircraft communications.”

As part of the renewal, Wizz Air will further manage its air-to-ground communications with AIRCOM FlightMessenger. The SITAONAIR solution integrates and translates data into a format that can seamlessly feed in to any IT infrastructure, helping to improve efficiency and effectiveness. With AIRCOM FlightMessenger, Wizz Air will be able to easily extract key data from ACARS messages, and add data from other sources, into an easy-to-understand format for distribution by email or SMS.

SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM Product Manager, Euan Mitchell, adds: “We at SITAONAIR are thrilled to be developing our longstanding relationship with Wizz Air and enabling the airline to become the first in Europe to adopt our pioneering ACARS over IP service, using terrestrial cellular. We look forward to the continued close partnership with Wizz Air and helping support them in their operational efficiency and long term growth.”

To find out more about SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM services, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.


AEEC

Here is a note from the AEEC folks: “On behalf of the AEEC Executive Committee and American Airlines, I’m pleased to extend this invitation to attend the upcoming AEEC General Session to be held May 11-14, 2020 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. Subject matter experts from industry will speak in four technical Symposiums:

  • Big Data
  • Topics Trending in Aviation
  • Value of Standards for Airline Operating Efficiency
  • Aircraft Connectivity

Like previous years, the Avionics Maintenance Conference (AMC) will meet in parallel. The event is billed “AEEC/AMC 2020” and we are expecting about 700 people.”


AIRBUS

BOC Aviation Limited (“BOC Aviation” or the “Company”) has ordered 20 new Airbus A320neo aircraft. A minimum of ten and up to 12 of these A320neo aircraft have been committed for lease to Avianca S.A. (“Avianca”) based in Bogota, Colombia.

Avianca is the commercial brand for the collection of passenger airlines and cargo airlines under the umbrella company Avianca Holdings S.A. Avianca has been flying uninterrupted for 100 years. With a fleet of 175 aircraft, Avianca serves 76 destinations in 27 countries within the Americas and Europe. With more than 21,000 employees, Avianca earned US$4.8 billion in 2018 and transported 30.5 million passengers.

BOC Aviation is a leading global aircraft operating leasing company with a fleet of 509 aircraft owned, managed and on order. Its owned and managed fleet was leased to 92 airlines worldwide in 40 countries and regions as at 30 September 2019. BOC Aviation is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx code: 2588) and has its headquarters in Singapore with offices in Dublin, London, New York and Tianjin. For more information, visit www.bocaviation.com.

Also from Airbus: Airbus delivers strong 2019 commercial aircraft performance 863 aircraft deliveries, 8 percent higher than in 2018 1,131 new aircraft orders, 768 net orders, backlog stands at 7,482 aircraft.

In 2019, deliveries comprised:

  • A220 Family: 48 v 20 in 2018 (since the A220 became part of the Airbus Family: 1 July 2018)
  • A320 Family: 642 v 626 in 2018. Of these, 551 were NEO Family v 386 in 2018
  • A330 Family: 53 v 49 in 2018. Of these, 41 were NEO Family v 3 in 2018
  • A350 Family: 112 v 93 in 2018. Of these, 25 were A350-1000 v 14 in 2018
  • A380: 8 v 12 in 2018

The BelugaXL has entered into service, providing Airbus with 30% extra transport capacity in order to support the on-going production ramp-up of commercial aircraft programs. The aircraft, which is an integral part of Airbus’ industrial system, made its first operational flight on the 9 January. This is the first of six BelugaXL to begin work alongside the BelugaST predecessors, with the additional aircraft being introduced between 2020 and 2023. Launched just over 5 years ago, in November 2014, the entry into service milestone marks yet another successful achievement for the internal aircraft program which was awarded Type Certification by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in November 2019, following an intensive flight test campaign that saw the BelugaXL complete more than 200 flight tests, clocking over 700 flight hours.

At 63 meters long and 8 meters wide, the BelugaXL has the largest cargo bay cross-section of all existing cargo aircraft worldwide. The BelugaXL can carry two A350 XWB wings compared to the BelugaST, which can only carry one. With a maximum payload of 51 tonnes, the BelugaXL has a range of 4,000km (2200nm).

The BelugaXL is based on an A330-200 Freighter, enabling the re-use of existing components and equipment and is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines. The lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail were newly developed jointly with partners, giving the aircraft its distinctive look. The BelugaXL is the latest addition to Airbus’ transportation portfolio. While air transport remains the primary method for transporting large aircraft components, Airbus also uses road, rail and sea transport to move parts between its production sites. Like the BelugaST, the aircraft will operate from 11 destinations in Europe, continuing to strengthen industrial capabilities and enabling Airbus to deliver on its commitments.


MORE BOEING NEWS

  • American Airlines and Aeromexico agreed on financial compensation from Boeing on the Boeing 737 MAX grounding requirements.
  • Congratulations, Boeing! Boeing announced an AU$1 million donation from the Boeing Charitable Trust for recovery and relief efforts associated with the ongoing Australian bushfires. “Boeing’s global team, including our 3,800 employees across Australia, are deeply saddened by the tragic impact of the Australian bushfires,” said Boeing President and Chief Executive Officer (Interim) Greg Smith. “Through our partnership with the Australian Red Cross, we are working quickly to bring recovery and relief efforts to those residents most impacted by these devastating fires.” The contributions will be directed through the Australian Red Cross and designated for Australian bush fires. Disaster relief efforts in the region align with Boeing’s ongoing commitment to the communities where the company has a presence. Australia is the company’s largest footprint outside the US. Boeing is active and engaged in Australian communities, contributing more than AU$800,000 in charitable contributions in 2019. Consistent with existing Boeing employee gift match programs, the company will also match qualifying employee contributions made to eligible nonprofits for Australian bush fire relief efforts.

OTHER NEWS

Well, Happy New Year everybody! It’s the beginning of 2020 and IFExpress is back with a lot of aviation news for you. Thanks for joining us and Stay Tuned!

2020 PREDICTIONS

  • “Fiber and free-space optical networks are coming to the cabin in 2020 – for higher bandwidth, weight reduction, and future-proofing.” – Rich Salter: Industry Consultant
  • “One more Management Change in Boeing because the 737 Max will not be settle this year.” – Anonymous
  • “Due to war in the Middle East, oil will go up 50% in spite of US oil production increases (as will gasoline prices.) Trump/Current Administration will further pull back Environmental Regulations in order to support the war and increase ‘contributor’s’ profits on the false presumption it is necessary to support war efforts.” – Anonymous
  • “China will surpass the USA in both technology and military development, esp. in area of hypersonic missile development.” – Anonymous
  • “Major hack of Defense Companies that will be covered up by the DoD.” – Anonymous
  • Bold and Outrageous Predictions for the Travel Industry in 2020 – Skift

SMARTSKY

SmartSky Networks has received an additional $25 million from funds managed by the Global Credit Opportunities team at BlackRock, after surpassing an important network deployment milestone on its way towards beginning commercial operations during the second quarter of 2020.

Funds managed by the Global Credit Opportunities platform at BlackRock previously committed to a $75 million credit facility, with $50 million drawn initially. The final $25 million was contingent upon the company making substantial progress on the nationwide network rollout, which it achieved in November. “SmartSky has consistently been able to attract capital from top companies because there is strong support for our technology in aviation connectivity,” said Haynes Griffin, SmartSky Chairman and CEO. “We appreciate the continued confidence from a respected and sophisticated firm such as BlackRock.” SmartSky is reinventing connectivity, building a new-generation network from the ground up with a novel single-beam-per-aircraft approach using both proven 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies. After eight years of development backed by more than 140 patents and over 1,000 hours of flight testing, including by aircraft owners, airlines, fleet managers and journalists, SmartSky’s network is frequently called the best performing WiFi network in aviation as it progresses towards launch in 2020.

“Customers have a huge pent-up demand for a fully capable airborne network that provides a phenomenal 10x better experience in the sky while also opening significant possibilities for advancing aviation in maintenance, environmental, operational, financial, and other areas,” said Ryan Stone, SmartSky President.
SmartSky is maximizing the benefits of high-performance connectivity through its digital solutions platform, Skytelligence, which enables advanced applications and services. For example, SmartSky recently announced that Skytelligence services support its collaboration with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) crowdsourced effort to mitigate and avoid turbulence in real time across the skies. The results are expected to lower turbulence related injuries, provide smoother flights, and save costly aircraft repairs for both business and commercial aviation.

SmartSky Networks is based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle and was formed in 2011 by senior telecommunications and aviation executives seeking to transform aviation through disruptive communications technologies and related tools. SmartSky is rolling out its innovative air-to-ground network in 2020. The network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse, advanced beamforming technologies and 60 MHz of spectrum for significantly enhanced connectivity. SmartSky’s network uniquely enables a productive experience in the air similar to on the ground, including unmatched capacity for data transmissions both to and from the aircraft. This real-time, low latency, bidirectional data link makes SmartSky the best in-flight user experience, and a key enabler for the new and enhanced apps, services, and hardware.


AIRBUS

Airbus delivered 863 aircraft in 2019, according to unconfirmed reports; it had been projecting around 860.

U.S.-based Spirit Airlines has finalized a purchase agreement with Airbus for 100 A320neo Family aircraft. In October, the two parties had signed and announced a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purchase of up to 100 of the aircraft – a mix of A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo – to meet the airline’s future fleet requirements. Spirit is based in South Florida and is the fastest-growing airline in the United States, with flights throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline will announce an engine selection at a later date. Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the best-selling A320neo Family, comprising the A319neo, A320neo, and A321neo, will deliver a fuel-burn reduction of approximately 20% as well as 50% less noise compared to previous-generation aircraft, thanks to incorporating the very latest technologies including new-generation engines and Sharklets. Firm orders worldwide for the A320neo Family now have surpassed 7,300 from more than 110 global customers.


BOEING

Boeing announced that J. Michael Luttig, 65, valued Counselor and Senior Advisor to the Boeing Board of Directors, has informed the Board of his long-considered retirement at year end. Luttig, who served as Boeing’s General Counsel from 2006 until assuming his current responsibilities in May 2019, has been managing legal matters associated with the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents, and advising the Board on strategic matters.

On December 23, 2019 Boeing announced that its Board of Directors named current Chairman, David L. Calhoun, as Chief Executive Officer and President, effective January 13, 2020. Mr. Calhoun will remain a member of the Board. In addition, Board member Lawrence W. Kellner will become non-executive Chairman of the Board effective immediately. The Company also announced that Dennis A. Muilenburg has resigned from his positions as Chief Executive Officer and Board director effective immediately. Boeing Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the brief transition period, while Mr. Calhoun exits his non-Boeing commitments. The Board of Directors decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the Company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders. Under the Company’s new leadership, Boeing will operate with a renewed commitment to full transparency, including effective and proactive communication with the FAA, other global regulators and its customers. “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture,” Mr. Kellner said. He added, “Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership, and he recognizes the challenges we must confront. The Board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”
Mr. Calhoun said, “I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 MAX. I am honored to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation.”


OTHER NEWS

We realize these following links are not aviation/IFEC related. However, the wild fires in Australia are a global concern. We have contacted our friends down-under and they are okay; however, they all need help down there – please get involved! Here are some noteworthy links on the subject:

Lastly, here is your free song (and video) to help ring in the New Year – hope you like Dwight Yoakam and his Long White Cadillac! Dwight Yoakam – Long White Cadillac official video – YouTube

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation has signed a multi-year agreement for Ku-band capacity on two multi-beam payloads on the EUTELSAT 10B satellite, due to be launched in 2022. This contract with Eutelsat Communications will enable Panasonic to provide multiple gigahertz of new extreme throughput (XTS Ku-band connectivity) to airlines and their passengers flying over a wide area across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Panasonic will continue to optimize its worldwide network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure it can deliver very high performance everywhere its customers fly. This satellite also provides high performance over lower density area such as Africa. EUTELSAT 10B will be the second XTS satellite to join Panasonic’s connectivity network which has been developed to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers and is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand. Panasonic’s connectivity network supports the provision of services such as high-speed internet, live television, video streaming, VoIP applications, 4G mobile services scalable to 5G, and greater bandwidth for crew applications. The network is backed by Panasonic’s Customer Performance Center, which proactively monitors network performance and upcoming maintenance needs 24/7/365 to support airline operational efficiencies. Currently, approximately 2,200 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service.


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation introduced the ATS-3100 Vector Signal Transceiver-based Radio Solution (VRS), a turnkey, consolidated radio test platform for field testing of military tactical, land mobile and avionics radios.

The ATS-3100 VRS is the fifth-generation of radio
test solutions from Astronics, now capable of
testing emerging software-defined radio (SDR)
waveforms, modern multi-band radios and
legacy radios (e.g. SINCGARS) from any original
equipment manufacturer (OEM). Leveraging the PXI Vector Signal Transceiver (VST) from National Instruments (NI), the platform delivers the fastest test times and widest bandwidth (up to 1GHz) in a radio test solution, enabling high throughput, reduced mean time to repair (MTTR) and maximum uptime of critical radios in the field.

“As radio technology continues to evolve, we are dedicated to providing our customers with support for their most critical assets in the field, from legacy radios to future waveforms,” commented Jim Mulato, President of Astronics Test Systems. “We’re excited to partner with NI on this next-gen solution to deliver superior performance, wider instantaneous bandwidth, and user- programmable capability to our customers that include the military, police, firefighters and other first responders, as well as commercial pilots.”

“By combining Astronics’ deep industry knowledge and test program set (TPS) development expertise with NI’s instrumentation platform and technology, our partnership is accelerating the deployment of advanced tactical radio technologies to deliver the future of radio test now,” said Christer Ljungdahl, Principal Strategist, Aerospace and Defense at NI.

Built on the ATS-3100 PXI Integration Platform, the ATS-3100 VRS joins Astronics’ radio test family that includes the ATS-3100 RTS and the portable CTS-6010. These share a common software framework and test executive, delivering synergy from depot to field in a holistic solution. The modular architecture of the platform facilitates an upgrade path for future technology insertions, extending the life of the platform and allowing flexibility as maintenance needs change.

Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine recently recognized the ATS-3100 VRS with an Innovators Award. Receiving gold level honors this year, this is Astronics’ third Innovators Award from the publication, where the ATS-6100 Wire Fault Tester (WFT) and the CTS-6010 Tactical Radio Test Set both received platinum honors in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

For complete product details, to view the solution sheet, or to request a quote, please visit Astronics.com.


AIRBUS

The Month In Review: November 2019

Airbus marked another month of high-volume bookings with new orders logged for 222 commercial aircraft in November, covering the A320neo Family, A330neo and A350 XWB members of its product line – bringing the overall number of orders booked by the company to more than 20,000. During November, a total of 77 single-aisle and widebody aircraft were delivered to customers.
The new business was paced by announcements during the 2019 Dubai Airshow, including Air Arabia’s firm order for 120 single-aisle A320 Family aircraft, comprising 73 A320neo, 27 A321neo and 20 A321XLR extra-long-range versions. Also in the spotlight at Dubai was Emirates Airline’s purchase agreement for 50 widebody A350-900s; along with a firm order from flynas, Saudi Arabia’s first low-cost airline, for 10 A321XLRs.
Other widebody order bookings during November involved 16 A330-900 versions of the A330neo for Cebu Pacific, 10 A330-900s for CIT Leasing, and four A330neo aircraft in the A330-800 configuration for an unidentified customer. Completing the month’s new business was easyJet’s order for 12 additional A320neo aircraft. Commercial activity in November raised the total number of aircraft orders won by Airbus since its creation to 20,058.
Deliveries in November were composed of 56 A320 Family (55 NEO versions and one CEO aircraft), 11 A350 XWBs in both the A350-900 and A350-1000 configurations, five A330s (four NEOs and one CEO), four A220s and one A380.
Among the month’s notable deliveries were the first A350-900s received by Fiji Airways (through DAE Capital) and Scandinavian carrier SAS; along with the first A320neo to Air Corsica (leased from ICBC Leasing) and an A321neo to Air Asia.
Taking the latest orders, deliveries and cancellations into account, Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of 30 November stood at 7,570. This total was comprised of 6,193 A320 Family aircraft, 628 A350 XWBs, 432 A220s, 306 A330s, and 11 A380s.

SKY, a Chilean-based ultra-low-cost carrier, has signed a Purchase Agreement with Airbus for 10 A321XLRs. The airline will expand its international route network with the new aircraft. The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo/A321neo Family, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft. The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30 percent lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets, allowing airlines to expand networks by making new longer routes economically viable. According to the latest Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF), Latin America will need 2,700 new aircraft in the next 20 years, more than double today’s fleet. Passenger traffic in Latin America has doubled since 2002 and is expected to continue growing over the next two decades. Specifically in Chile, traffic is expected to increase from 0.89 trips per capita to 2.26 trips in 2038. SKY has been an Airbus customer since 2010 and became an all-Airbus operator in 2013. The airline’s fleet of 23 A320 Family aircraft serves national and international routes connecting Chile to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Uruguay.


BOEING

Boeing to Give $48 Million in Grants to More Than 400 Global Charitable Organizations

  • Total corporate giving is on track to surpass $230 million in 2019
  • Funding includes an $8 million investment to build the aviation t
  • Employees will donate nearly $40 million to charitable causes in 2019

OTHER NEWS

  • The folks at NextDraft have compiled 7 collections of the most incredible pictures of 2019 and we are convinced that you will be as blown away as we were – Oh Caption, My Caption And, you can get a free subscription to NextDraft – just check out the bottom of the link page.
  • Don’t think transportation is changing? Check this out – The New Transportation Leaderboard – Travel & Mobility Tech And click on the New Transportation Leaderboard to full-screen it.
  • You had better learn about Quantum Computing -”It’s gonna crush Moore’s Law,” so say the folks at CB Insights. “Moore’s Law is significant because it means that computers and computing power both get smaller and faster over time. However, Moore’s law is slowing down (some say to a halt), and consequently, classical computers are not improving at the same rate they used to.” Check out the story but if you need a bit more info; “Quantum computers differ from classical computers in that improvement for the latter mainly relies on advancement in the materials that make up transistors and microchips. Quantum computers do not use transistors (or classical bits). Instead, they use qubits. Qubits are the basic units for processing information in a quantum computer.” What Is Quantum Computing?
  • Well, Popular Science has a great online article with some of the best images we have ever seen in a promo piece. It is called The 100 Greatest Innovations of 2019. Now, why did we mention it? Well if you check the Entertainment Section: “Noise-canceling tech typically does an A-plus job muffling babbling co-workers or rumbling commuter trains, but it can cause collateral damage: The army of mics and processors murders call quality. Bose’s newest headphones balance your voice and the din of the room. Two outward-facing microphones on the earcups listen to the outside world, while another pair focuses on capturing your voice. Four more inside the cans monitor sound near your ears to keep everything in balance. The array creates the strongest noise-canceling headphones available and the clearest calls around.” We asked Hatch Astrarjian about the new product and he said: ”Although I have not used the NC-700 headphones, I’m told the focus was not only on providing excellent noise reduction, but also on providing superior performance in communications, even when the user is in a noisy environment. Our customers have acknowledged the effectiveness, and benefit, of our technology.” 100 greatest innovations of 2019: Best of What’s New | Popular Science We will test them when we get our hands on them for a flight! Stay Tuned!
  • You have to check out Talk to Transformer the folks at Recomendo say. Here is the intro; “See how a modern neural network completes your text.” So, we thought IFE might be a good test and we typed: “Inflight entertainment will be changing.” And here is what we got back from the AI tekkie talker system – “Just when you thought there weren’t enough airlines to fly around, the number of seats will soon get higher, in part because the travel industry’s biggest carriers will start taking over some commercial flights in the next few years. Aer Lingus and Air France-KLM currently own about 70% of all commercial flights in Europe, while it’s not yet clear if British Airways or Emirates will be able to take over any commercial airline flights in the coming years. Air France-KLM Chairman Anthony D’Arrigo”. So here’s the value: If you cant think of anything to fill out a newsletter (like this one), just type in your thoughts and see what happens! Talk to Transformer

London | December 4, 2019–Technavio has been monitoring the global connected aircraft solutions market and the market is poised to grow by USD 3.16 billion during 2019-2023 at a CAGR of almost 15% during the forecast period. Request Free Sample Pages

The market is driven by the growing focus on improving the overall passenger inflight experience. In addition, real-time monitoring of connected aircraft using ground connectivity is anticipated to further boost the growth of the connected aircraft solutions market.

Customer satisfaction has emerged as a top priority among aircraft operators. This is driving the aircraft operators to take measures to prevent aircraft delays, leverage connectivity in aircraft, and install more inflight entertainment options to improve the overall passenger inflight experience. Inflight connectivity not only includes wireless inflight entertainment but also consistent global coverage for inflight mobile phone and Wi-Fi services. Thus, the growing focus on improving the overall passenger inflight experience is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.

Buy 1 Technavio report and get the second for 50% off. Buy 2 Technavio reports and get the third for free.

View market snapshot before purchasing

Major Five Connected Aircraft Solutions Market Companies:

GOGO LLC.

GOGO LLC. is headquartered in the US and operates the business under various segments such as Commercial Aviation North America, Commercial Aviation Rest of World, and Business Aviation. The company offers Connected aircraft solutions including Gogo FLEX Inflight System, Gogo 2Ku, Gogo Portal, Gogo Vision, and others.

Honeywell International Inc.

Honeywell International Inc. is headquartered in the US and offers products through the following business units: Aerospace, Honeywell Building Technologies, Performance Materials and Technologies, and Safety and Productivity Solutions. The company offers solutions such as GoDirect Cabin Connectivity, GoDirect Flight Preview, Aircraft Data Gateway, and others.

Inmarsat plc.

Inmarsat plc. is headquartered in the UK and operates under various business segments, namely Maritime, Government, Aviation, Enterprise, and Central Services. The company offers Connected aircraft solutions including Jet ConneX, Swift 64, European Aviation Network, GX Aviation SB-S, and Classic Aero.

Panasonic Corporation

Panasonic Corporation is headquartered in Japan and offers products through the following business segments: Appliances, Eco Solutions, Connected Solutions, Automotive and Industrial Systems, and Other. The company offers solutions such as High-Throughput Satellite, Extreme Throughput Satellite, eXPhone, Electronic Flight Bag, eXConnect, eXTV, and others.

Thales Group

Thales Group is headquartered in France and offers products through the following business segments: Aerospace, Transport, and Defence and Security. The company offers Connected aircraft solutions including Aviovision, Guavus, Avii, iTPCU-sk, FlytLINK, AVANT, GEN 4, and others.

Register for a free trial today and gain instant access to 17,000+ market research reports.
Technavio’s SUBSCRIPTION platform

Connected Aircraft Solutions End-users Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2019 – 2023)

  • Civil aviation
  • Military aviation

Connected Aircraft Solutions Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2019 – 2023)

  • APAC
  • Europe
  • MEA
  • North America
  • South America

Technavio’s sample reports are free of charge and contain multiple sections of the report, such as the market size and forecast, drivers, challenges, trends, and more. Request a free sample report

Related Reports on Industrials include:

Commercial Aircraft Doors Market – Global Commercial Aircraft Doors Market by type (passenger doors, cargo doors, and others) and geography (APAC, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America).

Aircraft Braking Systems Market – Global Aircraft Braking Systems Market by application (commercial aviation, military aviation, and general aviation) and geography (APAC, Europe, MEA, North America, and South America).

(Today’s image refers to a story in the Airbus section of IFExpress.)

United Airlines Orders 50 A321XLRs

United Airlines placed a firm order for 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft as it begins to phase out older models and launches an expansion of transatlantic routes from its key U.S. hubs in Newark/New York and Washington D.C. United plans to take delivery of the first A321XLR in 2024 and expects to begin international service with the aircraft in 2025.

“The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR opens potential new destinations to further develop our route network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe.”

“We are delighted to be re-United with our friends in Chicago and thank them for their trust. The selection of the A321XLR by the leadership of United Airlines is a ringing endorsement of the range, payload, and fuel efficiency that Airbus incorporated into this state-of-the-art aircraft,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The exceptional versatility and performance of the A321XLR enable new operational efficiencies that flow to the airline’s bottom line.”

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo/A321neo family of aircraft, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft, and creating more value for the airlines by enabling economically viable service on longer routes than any comparable aircraft model. It will allow service from the U.S. East Coast to a much larger selection of European destinations.

The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets. It will have a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes, while takeoff, climb, and flight performance will change little from the A321neo.

The A321XLR will be operated by the same crew, powered by the same engines and have the same cabin as the A321neo, with more than 90 percent commonality. Combining the A321neo’s two rear center fuel tanks into one adds fuel capacity and reduces structural weight. Other significant changes include structural reinforcements and modified landing gears for the increased MTOW, increased braking capability, higher tire speed, and additional flap and slat configurations.

With the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, the A321XLR will accommodate a variety of seating classes and configurations suitable for longer flights.


SITA

Airlines and airports in China are moving to another level of passenger service. They are embracing artificial intelligence and automation to provide the hyper-personalized self-service experience their passengers are demanding. According to the SITA 2019 China IT Insights, China’s airlines and airports are using these technologies to expand mobile services and automating the journey with self-service every step of the way.

A key technology that is attracting investment is artificial intelligence (AI). SITA’s China IT Insights reveals that 88% of both airlines and airports are planning major programs, or R&D, with AI by 2022 and they are focusing on virtual agents and chatbots. This investment matches the demands from passengers; SITA’s research of passengers in China shows that 64% of them want a digital travel concierge. Already nearly half (43%) of airlines in China have AI-driven chatbot customer services and the planned investment should see the availability of them rising quickly over the coming years. For passengers of China’s airlines and airports, self-service has reached a strong level of maturity, but a step-change is coming as biometrics is being adopted. Today, 27% of airports have self-boarding gates using biometrics with travel documents but in just three years this will jump to 66%. And more than half of the airports have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touch points by 2022. Airlines too are committing to self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID, 60% are planning to use them driving a secure and seamless passenger experience right through the airport with the next three years. Mobile services are vital to meet China passengers’ demands and by 2022, all airlines and 93% of airports are planning investments in them. Services including flight discovery, airline offers, check-in and flight status notifications via mobile are already provided by all airlines. One fifth are also using mobiles to sell newspapers, magazines and movies/TV to passengers. Airports too are investing in mobile services to offer a more personalized experience for passengers. Services including, notifications about flight and airport status, and customer relationship management are well established and are offered by up to 81% of airports. Keeping the passenger informed and connected is not only what China’s airports are providing via mobile, they are also facilitating mobile payments. Close to three quarters enable passengers to buy airport services and allow cashless payments via mobile. This hyper-personalized service via mobile confirms it as a vital tool for China passengers. The report highlights that blockchain technology is another key area of investment for airlines, today only 24% have major programs, or R&D, planned but this is set to jump to 80% by 2022. This is in line with the recent trends and commitments to blockchain technology in the country.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) announced membership in the Independent Aircraft Modifiers Alliance (IAMA). CIT has a nearly 80-year history of providing the highest quality aircraft components and for over 30 years has been developing modification packages and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for airlines, avionics manufacturers, and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) partners.

IAMA is an alliance of leading companies in the aircraft retrofit and modification industry that are committed to common standards for documentation and quality of STCs. IAMA’s founding members include EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering, and Lufthansa Technik. By joining IAMA, CIT will contribute its decades of experience and expertise along with industry peers to improve the STC experience for its customers.

“We look forward to joining our industry colleagues in establishing standards for STC data packages and support,” said Jeff Behlendorf, director of product management, integrated products at CIT. “Our membership in IAMA builds on CIT’s longstanding tradition of providing the highest quality aircraft modifications, and our IAMA involvement will allow us to share experience and best practices with the entire industry.”

CIT holds more than 200 STCs for upgrade of Part 25 aircraft avionics, systems, and special mission equipment from regulators globally. CIT is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 21 Design Approval Holder, has European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Organization Approval (DOA), and maintains multiple Part 21 manufacturing locations and Part 145 repair facilities. This allows CIT customers the flexibility to certify in the US, Europe, or anywhere else in the world, leverage global manufacturing while coordinating with design and qualification activities, and enjoy robust support for the aircraft modifications on site.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat confirmed the successful launch of GX5, the fifth satellite in its Global Xpress (GX) network that delivers the award-winning GX Aviation and Jet ConneX (JX) inflight broadband services. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. It will bring additional, focused capacity over Europe and the Middle East to meet growing demand for high-speed passenger Wi-Fi in the airline and business aviation markets.

GX Aviation customers include leading airlines such as Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines, while JX has been activated on more than 600 business jets. GX5 was built by Thales Alenia Space and launched by Arianespace at 21:24 UK time on Tuesday 26 November 2019. Following satellite separation from the rocket at 21:58 UK time on 26 November, telemetry was successfully acquired shortly after separation and the mission is proceeding to plan. In less than four years, GX has established itself as the benchmark for reliable communications across the fastest growing sectors for mobile connectivity.

Additionally, Inmarsat has been named the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Service Provider’ for the third year in a row at the prestigious World Travel Awards, in recognition of the company’s pioneering GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) connectivity solutions for the airline industry. The prestigious accolade was announced at a gala ceremony in Muscat, Oman last night, following a vote by travel and tourism executives from across the world. Inmarsat was hailed for delivering a major step-change in inflight broadband capabilities with GX Aviation, powered by the world’s first and only globally available broadband network, and EAN, which offers unprecedented performance over Europe’s well-traveled skies. Both solutions enable airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with connectivity onboard at comparable speeds to land-based broadband. Almost 1,800 aircraft are currently under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN, with a new business pipeline of approximately 3,000 aircraft worldwide. Inmarsat is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has outlined an ambitious development roadmap for its Global Xpress (GX) network, which commenced this week with the launch of its fifth satellite, GX5, providing focused capacity for airlines and business aviation over Europe and the Middle East. Seven additional satellites are scheduled to launch in the coming four years, making GX the most agile and flexible constellation ever built.


AIRBUS

Scandinavian carrier SAS has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation, highly efficient widebody aircraft (see image above). The airline has a total of eight A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 68 aircraft (51 A320 Family, 17 A330 and A340 Family aircraft). In the coming years, as part of an extensive fleet modernization, SAS will take delivery of 54 additional A320neo Family aircraft and the remaining seven A350-900s through direct purchase and lease contracts. SAS’s A350-900 features a modern and highly comfortable three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats. On 28 January 2020, the airline will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other international destinations including North America and Asia.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions. The A350 XWB’s Airspace by Airbus cabin is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crews the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable flying experience. Moreover, SAS will benefit from Airbus’ unique aircraft commonality. The incoming A350s will seamlessly integrate into SAS’s current Airbus fleet today in service at the airline. At the end of October 2019, the A350 XWB Family had received 913 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

On another note, Air Corsica has taken delivery of its first of two Airbus A320neo aircraft on lease from ICBC Leasing. With this delivery, the airline becomes the first French A320neo operator. The highly fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft will help reduce Air Corsica’s operating costs. The airline’s A320neo is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and is configured in a single-class cabin layout, seating 186 passengers.Each passenger will benefit from a modern cabin that includes USB ports to charge electronic devices during flight. In addition, the aircraft’s lavatories are designed to facilitate access for passengers with reduced mobility. The two Air Corsica A320neo aircraft will replace the older aircraft in its fleet and will operate on the airline’s main domestic and European networks. Air Corsica is currently operating a fleet of six A320 aircraft. Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver 20 percent reduced fuel burn as well as 50 percent less noise compared to previous generation aircraft.

Airbus has also celebrated the 100th A220 aircraft produced for a customer during a ceremony at the aircraft program’s headquarters in Mirabel, Canada. The aircraft, an A220-300, destined for Riga, Latvia-based airBaltic, features a brand new and comfortable cabin layout with 149 seats plus a modernized livery.

The A220 Family is assembled at Airbus’ main Final Assembly Line in Mirabel and more recently, also at the program’s second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The world’s first A220 (formerly called the C Series) was delivered in June 2016 to A220-100 launch operator SWISS. airBaltic became the A220-300 launch operator when the Latvian airline received delivery of the first ever A220-300 three years ago, on 28 November, 2016. airBaltic has since then re-ordered A220-300 aircraft twice – bringing its firm order to 50 aircraft to become the current biggest European A220 customer. The airline now operates a fleet of 20 A220-300 aircraft to various European and Russian destinations as well as to the Middle East.

And lastly, A WTO panel assessing the measures the EU and Airbus have taken to comply with the WTO recommendations has issued its findings. As a result of the panel’s findings, the US should immediately reduce the USD 7.5 billion in tariffs that the WTO authorized to the US in October by around USD 2 billion. This is the direct result of the panel finding that the loans for the development of the A380 no longer have an impact on Boeing sales and that therefore the value of the lost sales no longer exists.

The panel also asserts that the amendments already made to the A350 loan agreements are not sufficient to fully align the loans with market conditions. Based on these findings, Airbus would support to appeal this report, as per WTO rules. In May 2018, the WTO Appellate Body clarified that the EU and Airbus have achieved compliance with respect to the vast majority of measures at issue, but considered that some adjustments were needed to the A380 and A350 loans, or to remedy their market effects. Measures have therefore been taken on both programs relating to the respective loans of Members States or on the market effects those loans had on Boeing.

Airbus remains committed to working with the EU and its member states to comply with the WTO recommendations. With the wide range of additional steps to comply with WTO findings since 2018, the EU and Airbus have demonstrated their willingness to ensure a fair trade environment respecting international trade agreements.


OTHER NEWS

  • No doubt, you just don’t see how AI will change your life. Hey, AI is just math – as it is applied to a lot of real, daily, and not so daily problems. This video on PBS Frontline is one of the best. Why? Because they take real problems and show the AI solutions. This is really a great beginning application story to AI so don’t miss it! In the Age of AI | Watch S2019 E5 | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site
    However, the two hour video may just scare the heck out of you! As an example, they note US (and worldwide, for that matter) productivity is increasing under robotics, while medium household income has not grown with the increase in productivity. And thus, while productivity has grown, job growth has not – at least not at the same rate. No doubt, your challenge will be to envision how AI will affect aviation! And if you can figure it out, you may well secure your job of the future!
    We will go one step further and tell you that the second hour of the show scared us.  It wasn’t just what AI technology can do but the real kicker is how it is applied and information extrapolated. As Kai Fu Lee says; “AI technology can be used for good or evil.” However, be sure to watch the video and come to your own conclusions.
    And speaking of AI issues: How AI Will Go Out Of Control According To 52 Experts – CB Insights Research
  • We found an interesting (and free) newsletter from Avionics International and it is very good and up to date. Called the Skyport, again, it’s free and you sign up here: The Skyport: Your Guide to the World of Urban Air Mobility – Avionics It comes out every 2 weeks.