This issue of IFExpress continues on the Digital Trends journey from the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) in Hamburg, Germany. We will wrap up the coverage up by navigating our readers through the final two sessions.

TAKING THE PAIN OUT OF THE DIGITAL JOURNEY

This was the first new stream in the afternoon and it focused on how the latest technology can both help and support new innovations that engage the passenger. And how there are multiple digital/mobile tools from different companies that are on offer to the passenger that can help, but also make the experience complex and disconnected. It also addressed the challenges our industry faces in sharing customer data and what issues specifically need to be tackled on an industry level.

This session was run a little differently from the previous streams. Questions were posed by the moderator, then each panelist addressed the question.

The panelists were: Dennis Baur – Head of Conichiwa; Steven Bailey – Chief Sales Officer of AOE; and Konsta Hansson – Managing Director of Reaktor Aero.

  • Where do we start taking out the pain?

Dennis Baur of Conichiwa: Conichiwa works with many different companies in our industry from airlines, to airports, and hotels. “There are currently so many independent apps available to the traveler of today.  Many, if not most, of these apps are not connected (to each other) and the data points aren’t being shared. The result is clearly a disjointed passenger journey.” The industry needs to leverage the data and work towards a more connected experience for the traveler by sharing the information. Dennis used the term ‘super apps’ to achieve this concept.

Steven Bailey of AOE, is a long-time expert in the digitalization of international companies, as well as, their business and IT vision. We focus on helping clients with their digital transformation and multi-channel e-commerce strategies. “When we undertake a journey, 80% of it is planed ahead, but 20% is an impulse driven purchase. However, there are cultural drivers that differ with both travelers and airlines. For example, Asians want to pre-plan the journey, have planned purchases, etc. Sharing customer data is a really crucial point. Our industry needs to look at becoming customer centricpeople plan in advance and are using their devices to leverage their journey.”

Konsta Hansson of Reaktor. In case you are not familiar with Reaktor, they are a digital design consulting firm that works across multiple industries. “We as an industry, need to focus on what the passenger wants and needs to get done throughout their journey.” Konsta went on to discuss the concept of the importance of customer centric product development. “Because we work across multiple industries, we can see what different clients/users do across those different settings. The key is to understand what the people are trying to get then providing them with something that addresses those needs that truly works to get things done.”

  • How do we help the industry overcome that fear?

Konsta: “By maybe trying the smaller things first. As an industry, we have fear about what will happen when the passenger is provided with the right type of information that they need. For example, that their bag didn’t make the flight. “

Dennis: Suggested using sensing technologies and beacons, which provide data that the airline can leverage. “Start with implementing digital technology along the customer journey – beacons are an example. Everyone wants this, but no one is speaking to each other and no one is actually addressing the need. Design it in a user centric way.”

Steven:Retail and services in airports are like a different part of the airport and don’t really share data with the other portions of an airport, like parking, and services (disabled, etc). Treating it like a fraternity not a trinity. Sharing data is paramount for success. Finding a solution is paramount. Look at customer journey and make it customer centric. Sharing the data, no matter what the source. Data falls into 2 buckets: GDPR (VERY Personal stuff) and Common Data. Is there a possibility that GDPR could overcome this by having the traveler signing up for some basic information being shared about you?”

Konsta:Data can be very generic but still be very useful. When you are using general data there are no issues about privacy. It is quite common to merge different data sources in other industries, which is quite beneficial.”

Steven: “Minor steps are significant. For example: a passenger hasn’t boarded plane, so unload their luggage and let the passenger know that there is a hotel right around the corner and that they can buy pajamas, or whatever they need for the unexpected stay.”

Dennis: “The current infrastructure is very fragmented. How quickly can your company deploy and move? In this industry, we tend to be so behind. – it is the nature of the aviation industry; whereas, the passenger journey itself is quite agile.”

Konsta:It is about being nimble and fast. Not about products really. It is about what addresses the customers’ problem. This must be in the forefront of the airline’s/airport/s mind. A lot of this stuff isn’t about IoT, it is empowering the people to do something. Sometimes the problem is much simpler than building or opening another application. Block chain will be the next thing coming up, especially with the loyalty programs and payment. At the moment this is API based. It is going to take some time, so now we need to take time and make small steps first. Always look at the customer. We are in the time where people have to have the guts to go into OPEX (a type of software for automation that provides tremendous speed to IT). There are algorithms that have been developed in other industries, could they be used after the fact to prove that the system/product could be used? This may be a way to get the industry to embrace something, by proving after the fact, that the process/analysis works. Must leave it up to the customer about when and where they want to engage.” He went on to say that when it comes time to test/trial, “You have to use actual passengers and users, in order for you to know whether it will be used.“ He also had advice on how to start this process, “How do we begin? Start with something small first. Select one small project somewhere and start doing something in a new way. This is how you start to change a mindset. Often, digitization is put on the sidelines and is laughed at. We need to ask where we want to be in 5 -10 years and how much funding are we going to put at it and it needs to be additional revenue, not filtered off another area. Have a strategy to go forward over the next 12 months and when do you plan to go live with it. This is a type of barrier that we see all the time. The C levels want it but it the mid-level managers are pushing back. Based on fear that their jobs will be lost. Konsta finished with this: “Do something that will break your own business model and try to identify what other companies will try to do in your sector. Look at additional revenues and your customers. Take the pain out build something that works. Quality is important if you want to take the pain out. Start small.”

ENHANCING YOUR REALITY

Panelists for this session: David Dicko – CEO Skylights; Fachrul Iman Alghozali – Product Development Analyst for GMF AeroAsia; Claire Nurcombe – Head of Marketing, Stelia Aerospace; Fabian Birgfeld – Founder & Managing Direction of W12, A TCS Interactive digital Design Studio; and Greg Caterer – CEO of Neutral Digital

The first to address the attendees was David Dicko from SkyLights. For those of you who aren’t familiar with SkyLights, they are a company that is deploying cinematic VR inflight. David said, “VR inflight is a technology that is able to overcome the special constraints of the cabin and ‘transport’ the passenger away from the cabin environment. SkyLights offers full HD, 3D AND 2D experiences.” He went on to say that over the past three (3) years they have done 7,000+ flights and have been commercially deployed on Garuda Indonesia, Alaska Airlines, and Air France. “The average usage time is 3 hours with a 94% passenger satisfaction rate,” said David. “Airlines that have offered the product have shown an improved NPS, a differentiated experience, and increased their brand awareness.” He went on, “Some of the obstacles have been headset comfort, nausea, and the passenger announcements (PA). One of the biggest issues is passenger comfort over the long haul. And comfort is key. Nausea can be solved by not doing VR when we don’t need to, and when we do show 360-degree content we must be careful how that content is made and reproduced. Passengers need to follow 10k feet rules, passenger announcements. Either address via Wi-Fi or through the audio.” David went on to say that airlines who have selected and/or trialed the SkyLights product have done extensive internal analysis on their passenger experience; need a differentiator for the passenger experience and feel that the cabin experience is a key precondition to stay competitive.”

Fachrul Iman Alghozali was the next presenter and gave an update on their VR trial with SkyLights which commenced after APEX in Boston 2018. He said the trail looked at comfort, entertainment and anxiety. Some of the challenges to flying with VR that they experienced were: Safety & Authorities’ Regulation; Operational Habit Change; Passenger Feedback; MRO & Ground Support Perspective; Supply Chain; System Integration; and Maintain Reliability. Fachrul said as far as the PA integration, they came up with a single cable integration and the PA was connected to the Wi-Fi server.

Here are two charts from the presentation: Evaluation on the Garuda Deployment and What We Know.

Claire Nurcombe of Neutral Digital (ND) was the next panelist. “ND has been working with SkyLights for a little over year to look at the integration opportunities. We have been looking at the following issues: How do we integrate it into seat and what are the certification issues? What do we need to overcome to achieve that? What is the real value of integrating VR headsets into the seat? We can do 4D cinema where the seat vibrates/moves to mimic what is going on in the screen (explosions, etc.) There is an Opal seat on SkyLights booth at the Expo. We worked together to create a massage/wellness environment and it can create a much more convincing environment for the passenger”.

Claire went on to say, “On the subject of VR, we are just starting out as a seat manufacturer. Reducing our cycles and can quickly check assumptions and validations. Can be done prior to building the mock-up. From a pragmatic point of view, it is how we are using it. VR is just starting its journey. It has left the gadget/gimmick stage. “

She closed with, “If we as a seat manufacturer can get rid of the inseat screen we can radically change how the seat fits into the aircraft and what it can be like. “ 

The Core Applications of VR in the Aviation Sector was the title of Greg Caterer of Neutral Digital’s presentation. Greg told the audience, “ND came up with the idea of a storyfied version of an in-cabin experience for Air Canada. We discovered that there are both cost and memorability benefits to putting the passenger experience at the center and trying to improve it via VR.  Cabin crew and ground operations training modules (interactive VR training) we critical. There was also seat visualization collaboration between Pearsonlloyd (the seat designer) and Neutral Digital. We established three (3) pillars for success: marketing, training and design. All of the 3 pillars have the passenger experience improving at their core.”

Take a look at this chart from Greg’s presentation that discusses the Key Benefits of Using VR.

The final speaker of the afternoon was Fabian Birgfeld, founder & Managing Direction W12.

Fabian started his presentation by discussion the following lessons learned, focusing on the audience: 1) obviously the importance of customer journey 2) with delocalization of the customer. Ask yourself, how do you craft freedom and fold it into the experience?

He went on to make the following statements/questions:

  • People don’t want to be locked in.
  • How do you use technology to enhance the customer experience?
  • Why is customer experience so incredibly important?
  • Compare the living room experience with everything else is out there.
  • Look at customer service & experience.
  • How do you leverage technology to influence tomorrow?
  • Everything is connected. Customers expect a seamless experience(s).
  • It is all about the data.
  • The customers expect tailored experiences. The data exists and we should use the information to tailor the experience.
  • Voice changes everything. Customers expect conversational experiences. Remote is a huge constraint compared to voice and gestures.
  • The artificial turns natural. Our reality is changing fast. That is a broad spectrum of reality and the customer is going to choose what is their choice.

“The customer journey starts the moment you conceive the journey through your return home. It is important that it is seamless and that is key. It is a reality that Netflix, Amazon Prime are what the consumer is used to, and it is what they expect moving forward.” Said Greg, “Never look at these things as a singular experience but together: brand, offer, tech – this is what comprises the experience framework.”

Greg continued, “Brand is so important. If you solve the brand issue you have solved 90% of the problem that is out there. You can future proof your offering. Digital changes extremely fast once you get hooked into the cloud.”

“Technology: We must create platform agnostic experiences. Work across all platforms to provide a consistent experience. Right now, the lowest hanging fruit is in the AR (augmented reality) space because you can cover the entire journey. Think of the opportunities/concepts: Airportal – the destination at the gate and bring the destination forward; Peek and book – see before you buy; and Travel tag – leaving your mark.”

Editor’s Note: This wraps up the Passenger Experience Conference Digital Trends Stream. Next week we will move on to some of the hardware and concepts we saw during the Aircraft Interiors Expo itself. So stay tuned!


GOGO

Gogo Inc. announced that it has determined that the consummation of the offering and sale of $905 million aggregate principal amount of 9.875% senior secured notes due 2024 by Gogo Intermediate Holdings LLC (“Holdings LLC”), the Company’s direct wholly owned subsidiary, and Gogo Finance Co. Inc., a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Holdings LLC and the Company’s indirect wholly owned subsidiary, satisfies the financing condition to its previously announced cash tender offer for any and all of its outstanding 3.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020.


THALES

Thales announces that Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, chose Thales’ Ka-band connectivity solution for their B787-9 and A321Neo-E (LR) aircraft. The airline is renowned for its traditional hospitality and its commitment to being an industry leader by developing products and services that reflect the evolving needs and aspirations of their passengers for a modern travel experience.

  • Gulf Air selects Thales’ Ka-band connectivity solution for its B787-9 and A321Neo-E (LR) fleet.
  • Thales will provide a robust, modular and full-featured connectivity platform for a best in class experience onboard leveraging Global Xpress Ka-band satellite network.
  • In 2016, Gulf Air selected Thales’ AVANT IFE system for their complete fleet renewal program.

OTHER NEWS


From IFExpress’ perspective, this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) in Germany was worth the battle with Monday morning jetlag! As we all know, not all conference content is created equal, and many times, the opening remarks/panels are a bit mundane; however, the 2019 PEC provided us with some salient questions and concepts that kept our attention.

Insights from Industry Leaders  was the title of  the opening session and the panel was comprised of Jóhanna Bergi, CEO of Atlantic Airways; Dr. Christian Langer, Chief Digital Officer of the Lufthansa Group & Managing Director Lufthansa Innovation Hub; Jeremy Drury, Director Digital & E-Services Star Alliance; Juha Jarvinen, Executive Vice President of Commercial, Virgin Atlantic; and moderated by Dr. Joe Leader, CEO of APEX & IFSA.

Joe Leader started the session by saying that he is seeing a stronger focus on the inflight experience and personalization to the passenger experience with more ancillary revenue attached to the end-to-end service. His example: Etihad is offering some business class touches in their economy service. And he went on to say that, “No matter the size of your airline or the scope of your mission, it is the attention to details that matter.”

The first panel member to address the crowd was Ms. Johanna A. Bergi – CEO Atlantic Airways; who stated that Atlantic Airways was established 31 years ago and is the carrier of the Faroe Islands. Ms. Bergi discussed the uniqueness of the Faroe Islands, how they have been connected politically to Denmark since the 14th century but are geographically located near the coast of Scotland, and how travel and tourism is important to their community. “We want to promote our country in a modern way.” Sustainability is key to their airline and the Faroe Island community as a whole. “We are going full speed into sustainability, we have purchased new aircraft for their fuel saving and we are also using sustainable packing with a pre-order system for catering in an effort to minimize waste.” They offer the AirFi IFE system to their passengers. Content is upload when the aircraft is on the ground, but gives the passengers a feel of being connected, even though they are not connected real-time.

Next to address the conference was Dr. Christian Langer – Chief Digital Officer & Managing Director Lufthansa Innovation Hub who told us that the Lufthansa Group has changed how they look at digital information. He asked the question, “How do we drive innovation?” He said that within their organization they rely on the people within it to provide the innovative concepts, not a single group or the board itself. Dr. Langer stated that they also give monetary awards for concepts that are successful. He asked which other industries may be converging with ours? And said that we are often influenced by the auto industry and he could see a time when cabin interiors might be manufactured by the auto industry, as they have the same problems to solve. However, the innovation cycle of the auto industry is far quicker– every 15 – 24 months, compared to that of the aviation industry . He said, “Our industry takes years and years. I think we, as an industry, need to speed up this cycle given passenger expectations.” He went on to say, “What is the impact that digital industries will have on the passengers? How can we understand what they are doing and how can we influence it? How can we speed up internal processes to be on par with these start-ups?  How can we adopt the new technologies/services, your IT needs to be able to adopt? If you don’t have the API ready, how can you adopt? Speed is of the essence and we as an industry need to speed up the process.” In closing, Dr. Langer said, “Keep your basics straight. Improve your basics and it will have a big influence. Airlines, ask yourself: How on time? How clean are the cabins? What is your ecological footprint? What is the technological footprint? We think these things are very important.  Fix your basics, have them be brilliant and you will be successful.”

The next speaker was Mr. Jeremy Drury – Director Digital & E-Services Star Alliance. Mr. Drury said that his focus is to make the customer journey better. One of the primary ways to achieve this is make certain that the airline has access to quality data on each customer and that the hand-off of that information from carrier-to-carrier within the alliance is better in order to facilitate the passenger journey“The customer is king,” said Drury, “Which ever channel the customer elects, it is important that the customer can stay within that channel throughout their journey to get everything they need. So, you don’t need to download a billion apps.” Seat selection on a multi-segment, multi-carrier trip was used as an example: You have downloaded the United app onto your phone as they are your carrier of choice. You are traveling on them for the first leg of your journey, then connecting onto a Singapore Airlines operated flight. You should be able to select/change your seat, etc. on the Singapore operated flight using the United Airlines app.

Drury went on to say, Biometrics are a big deal. What principals as an alliance do you maintain between services and privacy? It is difficult, biometrics services need to be tracked and transferred throughout the journey. We are working out ways to solve the problems in order to deliver but with explicit consent, because the customer owns themselves.” He went on to say that airlines have to ask themselves the following: what services will be available through the various airlines’ applications? Baggage tracking, directions through the airport (guidance options within the airport), easier informational items (lounge is an example). And how can airline/alliance speed up rate of approval? In terms of loyalty propositions: What is the future of loyalty? How would/could blockchain be used? How close are we to having that as part of the world? The need for redemption opportunities. In order to do this, we need to build up a series of people and products that can be leveraged in that eco system. Block chain is the perfect airline alliance product. It is an ideal technology. “We have a way to go before it reaches fruition, but the Star Alliance is starting to look at this, “said Drury.

The last to present was Juha Jarvinen – Executive VP of Commercial, Virgin Atlantic. Juha said that Virgin has always been an iconic airline that historically has been a bit bolder, a bit braver and has embraced a certain look and feel. A key part of their identity is to “be yourself” and diversity is very important to their airline culture. He went onto say the airline has a 3-year strategy program: 1) We need technology but must focus on the people because it is the people that make a difference 2) Need to start growing. It is important to expand and be in a growth mode 3) How do we expand our global network with our partnerships? Established a relationship with AirFrance/KLM (31%) and Delta Air Lines (49%) and have acquired Flybe (will focus on short haul segments) – these relationships will dramatically change and strengthen Virgin Atlantic.

What is Virgin Atlantic’s vision: DNA is to be different, bolder but they are now adding more airlines to the joint Atlantic family, which gives them a global network in an entirely different way. Mr. Jarvinen stated that they now have a substantial business not just a leisure airline. Juha went on to say they are creating a new loyalty program for the UK market – It is all about the customer data: how do we customize and personalize the offering? They have been asking themselves: “What slows down adoption for an airline? When looking at airline alliances, the members adapt and change at different rates. So, we work with a few airlines that are more agile and then roll out the product/service/strategy after it has been tested and trialed with the other airlines.

Another area that Mr. Jarvinen talk about was passenger data. “Do airlines have the capacity to protect the passenger’s data? Do people trust airlines to protect their data? This is a crucially important area. We have had examples of data breaches with airlines around the world. All passenger data and loyalty data must be protected. This is on the top of the agenda. This is a topic where airlines must work together.”

Juha rounded up his discussion by stating: Whoever is closest to the customer wins the customer. Google announced the gamification of gaming (basically puts it in the cloud) a few weeks ago, this provides an opportunity for the airlines when it comes to gaming and/or IFE.

Loyalty programs could truly benefit from gamification. Also, what is the next stage of the journey?  Example: asking Siri where your gate is, is the plane on time, etc. So, whoever gets there first wins.”

Next week IFExpress will focus on the Digital Trends Break Out Sessions, so stay tuned!


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications,  announced that its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution will be available to passengers onboard Virgin Atlantic’s brand new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft. Virgin Atlantic is scheduled to receive 12 Airbus A350-1000s over the next three years, with GX Aviation pre-installed upon delivery. The service will be available once the first of these aircraft takes to the skies from late summer 2019, allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, check social media, instant message and more, with speeds on par with mobile broadband on the ground. GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight connectivity service delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of high-throughput satellites. It was revealed as part of Virgin Atlantic’s new onboard offering on the A350-1000 earlier this week, with other key features of the aircraft including an entirely new Upper Class cabin with brand new suite and social space. More than 1,600 aircraft are currently expected under signed contracts for Inmarsat’s next-generation inflight broadband solutions for airlines, with a new business pipeline of approximately 3,000 aircraft worldwide. To meet growing demand, Inmarsat has a fully-funded development roadmap, including three further Ka-band payloads. A fifth GX satellite will be launched later this year and two sixth-generation satellites are scheduled to launch in 2020 and 2021. In addition, planning is underway for the next generation of GX satellites.


VISION BOX

New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport Terminal One Group and Vision-Box have signed a cooperation agreement to modernize passenger processing and roll out one of the largest biometric boarding airport platforms in the USA. A seamless biometric-based passenger management platform will be implemented, allowing for passengers to board without needing to show their passports or boarding passes. Lufthansa will be the first carrier to offer the technology at JFK Terminal One, their largest USA operation, with Air France, Japan Airlines, and many others expected to follow suit, as the terminal is home to a total of 26 international carriers.


INFLIGHT VR

In an effort to appeal to their young and increasingly technology hungry customer demographic, innovative Korean low- cost carrier Jin Air has partnered with Inflight VR to offer Virtual Reality (VR) inflight entertainment to its passengers. Jin Air will trial 10 devices on daily flights between Seoul, South Korea and Da Nang, Vietnam to get additional passenger insight on usage preferences and the adequate rental price before deploying it to their whole fleet.


AIRBUS

  • Airbus has launched first operations of a new Skywise service – Skywise Health Monitoring (SHM) – with Allegiant Air on its A320s. Dynamically coupled with Skywise Reliability Services (SRS) and Skywise Predictive Maintenance (SPM), SHM is hosted on Skywise, gathering live diagnostic feeds from the aircraft through its *ACARS link to the airline’s information system. Using the power of the Skywise aviation data platform, SHM collates and centralises the alerts, flight-deck effects, maintenance messages etc., prioritizes them, correlates any faults with the relevant troubleshooting procedures, highlights operational impacts, provides the maintenance history of the system (from the logbook and **MIS information collected through Skywise Core and stored in the data lake), allowing effective tracking of the alerts. When fully deployed, and following the in-service feedback from Allegiant Air and other ‘early adopters’, SHM will support airlines’ Maintenance Control Centers, Line Maintenance and Engineering departments in identifying, prioritizing, analyzing and handling in-service events, enabling quicker decision-making and preparation of the optimal solution to ensure aircraft on-time dispatch and minimizing AOG risks. Overall, SHM saves airlines time and decreases the cost of unscheduled maintenance. Natively interfaced with SPM and SRS to provide an integrated user-experience, and also ready to harness the new on-board Flight Operations and Maintenance Exchanger (“FOMAX”) data router which can capture over 20,000 real-time aircraft parameters, SHM enables end-to-end unscheduled event management/fixes for example by anticipating tools and parts’ availability closest to the aircraft. More early adopters will join in the months to come to pilot SHM for other Airbus aircraft, including A330, A350 and A380. *ACARS = Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System **MIS = Maintenance Information System
  • Airbus appointed Julie Kitcher as Executive Vice-President Communications and Corporate Affairs, effective immediately. In this role, she joins the Airbus Executive Committee leading all external and internal communication activities, reporting to Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
  • Airbus SE appointed a new Executive Committee led by Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury, following approval from the Board of Directors. The changes are effective immediately. The Executive Committee supports the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in his duty of managing the day-to-day operations of Airbus’ business and is the Company’s top executive body. It comprises the Heads of Divisions and major Functions.
    Dominik Asam, Chief Financial Officer; Thierry Baril, Chief Human Resources Officer; Jean-Brice Dumont, Executive Vice-President Engineering, Bruno Even, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Helicopters; John Harrison, General Counsel; Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space; Julie Kitcher, Executive Vice-President Communications & Corporate Affairs; Philippe Mhun, Executive Vice-President Programmes & Services; Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer; Michael Schöllhorn, Chief Operations Officer; Grazia Vittadini, Chief Technology Officer

OTHER NEWS

April 15, 2019–The organisers of Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), which returned to the Hamburg Messe 2-4 April 2019 during Passenger Experience Week, have today announced CloudLounge and BudJet as winners of its inaugural PAX TECH HACK, which saw around 50 international developers and innovators battle it out for their share of the €10,000 prize pool.

The PAX TECH HACK, backed by supporting organisation IATA, asked participating developers to respond to one of two challenges: the Inflight Passenger Community Challenge or Boost Airport Retail Challenge. After a short welcome and introduction to Passenger Experience Week, 12 teams were formed with developers uniting to combine ideas before undertaking 48-hours of non-stop coding on the PTS show floor.

Winners of the Inflight Passenger Community Challenge, CloudLounge, included first-time hackathon participants Tugberk Duman, Minja Silvennoinen and Tatjana Förster. Together they created an easy-to-use personal networking experience that enables passengers to use an IFE camera or QR code to join the virtual lounge of a fellow traveller.

Speaking about the win, Tugberk Duman said: “It’s a great feeling to win, especially as a team of three when we’re competing against larger teams of developers and designers. We had a good focus throughout the challenge and clicked as a team. We believe the world is moving forward and instead of creating more Apps for our personal devices, we can make use of the industry’s existing infrastructure.”

Team BudJet, which included developers Evgeny Becker, Peter Martischka, Simon Hanke, Lukas Antesberger and Natalie Moschner were chosen as winners of the Boost Airport Retail Challenge for their solution which matches passengers with products available at an airport based on a designated budget. The App helps passengers navigate through an airport passing by shops of interest, helping maximum their time at the terminal, while driving revenue opportunities for retailers.

Speaking about the winners, expert panellist Sylvain Guilbon, Head of Customer Program Management, SITAONAIR, said: “As judges, what impressed us the most was the level of professionalism and quality brought to the final project presentations, after 48 hours of non-stop work. The presentations were not only polished and thorough, but took into consideration prototype functionality and clearly identified the pain points that the projects would address, as well as the potential business models to bring these ideas to market.

“Both teams addressed specific use cases in the passenger journey with an innovative approach and clear, concise, yet out-of-the-box, thinking. Being focussed on safety, first and foremost, the aviation industry tends to move at its own pace. It’s fantastic to see game-changing ideas like these that can enable air transport to be, not only safer, but faster and more enjoyable.”

Guilbon was joined by fellow expert panellists Pierre Charbonneau, Director, Passenger Experience & Facilitation, International Air Transport Association (IATA); Dr Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder & President, branding.aero and Noesis Analysis Labs; and Katie Murphy, Portfolio Director, Passenger Experience Week.

Speaking about the PAX TECH HACK, Pierre Charbonneau said: “I believe this industry has a unique edge over many others in the fact that most people travel for business or pleasure, and everyone has their own view of what could be improved. The next generation of aviation professionals are increasingly immersed in technology, and by working with digital suppliers and software developers, the pool for which new ideas can be facilitated is unlimited. Initiatives like the PAX TECH HACK are crucial in helping to stimulate innovation for the industry.”

Archana Sharma, Exhibitor Director, Passenger Technology Solutions, added: “All of our PAX TECH HACK developers deserve a huge round of applause for their hard work and determination. The solutions presented provided a unique insight into the opportunities offered by technology and a glimpse into the future of the passenger journey and what we can expect to see onboard.”

Passenger Technology Solutions returns as part of Passenger Experience Week 2020 from 31 March – 2 April to provide a platform that enables those responsible for cabin design, in-flight entertainment, connectivity, technology, passenger comfort, travel catering and onboard retail to deliver on the demands of the 21st century passenger.

For more information visit: https://www.passengertechnologysolutions.com.

Frankfurt am Main | April 2, 2019–Dive into a whole new world of on-board entertainment: SunExpress once again drives innovation and will be offering inflight entertainment via virtual reality headsets in several aircraft during summer season. The innovative concept was implemented together with the start-up Inflight VR and will be offered successively from the end of May onwards on flights departing from Antalya.

The virtual reality headsets will be available on board of the aircraft. For a fee of eight Euro they offer passengers a whole new 360-degree entertainment experience: From exciting blockbusters with private cinema feeling to entertaining destination clips and meditative relaxation videos. The complete entertainment contents are stored in the headsets so passengers just strap the glasses over their heads and lean back.

“With the introduction of VR entertainment, we write the next chapter in our innovation story” says Peter Glade, Chief Commercial Officer at SunExpress. “Our collaboration with Inflight VR gives us a flexible, cost effective and logistically sound solution. We are proud to be offering our passengers this possibility on selected flights departing from Antalya.”

SunExpress has a long-standing track record of driving innovation in the airline industry and working with start-ups. For instance, SunExpress is the world’s first airline to offer its customers the option of booking flights by voice command via Amazon Alexa. Besides that, the carrier just recently launched a cooperation with food delivery start-up Foodora to offer a unique choice of modern on-board menus on selected routes.

“We believe in the tremendous potential of VR to change the way passengers experience media, explore places and spaces, as well as in the added value and opportunities it creates for companies like SunExpress to interact with the customers in new ways and generate additional revenue streams”, says Raphael Baumann, Chief Commercial Officer of Inflight VR.

Bringing Virtual Reality on board of an aircraft requires a high level of technology integration application efforts: Providing flexible integration options while always taking into account cabin safety measures. Addressing concerns detrimental to the VR user experience. Protecting content. Generating revenue. These topics were tackled successfully by Inflight VR’s unique business and technology expertise.

It’s all about making Virtual Reality a business reality.

New design exhibition stand for the first time at AIX in Hamburg | Responsible marketing with sustainable materials and ecological advertising media

Raunheim, Germany | April 1, 2019– Lufthansa Systems employs IT and aviation experts who are passionate about their products and customers – real insiders. This is what the new image campaign of the airline IT specialist conveys: “We’re into IT”. The new slogan is also an invitation to customers and partners to take a closer look. Wherever digitalization and aviation come together, Lufthansa Systems and its solutions are also involved.

This basic idea, which Lufthansa Systems published at the end of January at the same time as a new design, is also reflected in the new booth concept for trade shows. This stand will be used for the first time at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. The key visual shows people who literally merge with the matter in the background. In an extraordinary way, digital, analogue and living components are combined at the stand of the airline IT specialist.

“Our concept is consciously very futuristic and modern. At first glance, it should convey the fact that we at Lufthansa Systems are flexible in all directions and can adapt to the requirements of the respective project. We are open to cooperation with partners and want to revolutionize the airline world together with them and our many customers,” says Ansgar Lübbehusen, Head of Marketing & Communications at Lufthansa Systems.

The award-winning BoardConnect platform will be presented with a new service for partners under the name BoardConnect Dock. (More on this in the press release of April 1.)

Likewise, a new range of advertising materials, which are always in high demand, was developed. Lufthansa Systems attached particular importance to sustainability in the newly selected articles. “The debate about plastic waste and sustainability does not stop at IT and marketing either. We are proud to be able to make a contribution to greater sustainability with our environmentally friendly gift articles,” adds Lübbehusen. Plastic ducks and articles that do not create any real added value are now a thing of the past. In contrast, Lufthansa Systems invites customers and partners to its stand for a cup of coffee in a portable and recyclable mug. Not only during AIX a useful utensil.

 

 

 

Vitoria-Gasteiz (Alava), Spain – Aernnova has recently completed the acquisition of Structural Integrity Engineering (SIE), an aircraft engineering company headquartered in Chatsworth (California) with regional offices in Seattle (Washington) and Madrid (Spain).

With this acquisition, Aernnova reinforces its growth strategy in North America and adds engineering and certification expertise that complements its aeronautical engineering division and DOA services.

Mr. Iñaki López Gandásegui, Chairman & CEO of Aernnova, said “We are proud to announce SIE as the newest member of the Aernnova family of aerospace firms. SIE’s reputation for the highest quality FAA certification expertise, structural design & engineering, analysis, and systems integration skills will fit well in our North American growth plans. “

Dr. Matt Creager, who will continue as SIE’s President, said “We are honored to have secured the confidence of Aernnova’s management based on SIE’s strong reputation for engineering in structures and systems integration and our track record in delivering quality for our customers. We look forward to working as part of Aernnova’s international engineering and manufacturing team to deliver high quality solutions for our customers.”

Before we get started on IdeaNova’s new content security solution for aircraft entertainment data we should tell our readers that as inflight entertainment content is getting to be higher quality, as you might guess, movie providers are getting more concerned about hacking and content copying because they have a lot invested in it. Thus, the value of secured DRM is a bigger deal, and security solutions are what will provide travelers with newly released content. So, along came IdeaNova and their solutions.

The above IFExpress rectangle is the graphic that accompanies IdeaNova’s press release (IdeaNova Technologies, Inc) for their new hardware secured server platform. We thought our readers might be interested in seeing a bit more about the company as you will see and hear more about them in the coming months. We asked their industry advisor, Rich Salter (who many of you know), and he helped us with understanding the next generation of software-based entertainment security. First, we wanted a bit more information for our readers and the company told us: “With new requirements put in place by studios for onboard DRM license servers, IdeaNova, a leader in Inflight Entertainment (IFE) and secure streaming, announced it is the first to implement these procedures with the launch of its Hardware Secured Server Platform. The new Secure DRM Server, which expands the integrity for all high-quality streaming security needs, can generate DRM licenses for video on demand or live streaming content.”

When we set out to explain this new ‘system security feature’ we contacted IdeaNova and asked a few questions. Rich Salter told IFExpress: “Those of you who have been at recent APEX TECH conferences may recall that Juraj Siska (IdeaNova’s CEO) and Phil Watson (Panasonic) have been reporting on their efforts to update our APEX document 0415 to add security provisions for premium content (e.g., HD and early window). IdeaNova is one of the very few companies in our IFE space that really understands the inner-workings of cloud content preparation (encoding/encryption/packaging content in the cloud), DRM license servers and onboard servers to stream the encrypted content to passengers, and secure video players (to decrypt the content and display it at the seat). The few companies that really understand this are key to all of us continuing to get HD and early window content at the seat. I originally met Juraj (IdeaNova) a couple years ago at a TECH conference. Then, I was referred to him again when I called a major DRM provider to get a referral to a consultant to help my previous company out of a DRM player jam (he fixed our DRM SW problem in about a week!)” Rich went on: “IdeaNova is HQ’d in Naperville, Illinois (just west of the windy city of Chicago), and they have employees around the world doing SW development. CEO Juraj Siska, (a recent IFEC BUZZ speaker) and CTO Janne Pelkonen and their SW team are experts at processing content for IFE in the cloud and providing onboard servers and players to keep early window content secure (i.e., keeping the studios happy and airlines happy in streaming content to passengers’ devices).”

We asked a few more questions and the company responded:

1. Why was the security software developed?

IdeaNova: “The new server is more secure. It provides security that studios are asking for. This is especially the case for content that falls into the category of ‘early window content’ or ‘higher quality content’.”

2. How it was developed?

IdeaNova: “It was developed internally by our engineers by redesigning our Inplay License Servers from scratch. When we learned that these new requirements were requested by studios and likely to be approved by APEX, we started with the development. The process was not simple, as we were learning new technology and had to deploy our software on platforms we were not familiar with up to that point.”

3. How about a little history of the company and its founder for our readers?

IdeaNova: “The company has a decade of history of building secure streaming systems (IFE) for aviation. Both Juraj Siska and Janne Pelkonen have several decades of experience in IT consulting.“

4. Well then, can you tell our readers what the content industry is saying about the design?

IdeaNova: “We are reviewing this solution with the studios and IFE vendors. Some of the IFE vendors are excited about this implementation and complemented us on the speed of deployment (we are the first in the industry) and ability to migrate it easily from the prior versions of our software.”

Juraj added: “Hardware secured” server means that DRM cryptographic operations and certain security functions are executed in special hardware, which is separate from the main processing unit, making it harder to compromise and almost impossible to replicate for malicious purposes. This is unlike traditional software implementations where software is much easier to copy.”

We then asked Rich what pieces of hardware and software IdeaNova provided, and he told IFExpress: “One clarification: the hardware chip on the motherboard is not IdeaNova’s chip; rather, it is an industry standardized chip. IdeaNova is the first to implement the chip’s use in the IFE market, as the studios are specifying that it be used for their latest HD and even higher quality content.

You can find more info on this here.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM, also known as ISO/IEC 11889) is an international standard for a secure cryptoprocessor, a dedicated microcontroller designed to secure hardware through integrated cryptographic keys. Stay Tuned on this one!


MORE NEWS

IFPL will be demonstrating their latest audio products that utilize Bluetooth technology at AIX Hamburg. A leader in passenger audio jack technology, IFPL deliver high quality sound and exceptional unit reliability giving an enhanced customer experience. The addition of Bluetooth technology to their ever-growing suite of products is an exciting development for the UK-based company.

IFPL’s Dave Phillips comments, “The growth of the range of products is in response to the growing demand from global airlines that rely on IFPL for innovative, design-led products. The key focus has been to reduce Customer Induced Damage (CID), therefore keeping the total cost of ownership low over the lifetime of the product.”

Phillips adds, “AIX 2019 is a fantastic opportunity to see the broad range of products that are now flying on many aircraft around the world and we look forward to showcasing our new Bluetooth technology Long Life audio jack.”
The following products will be available to view:

  • Bluetooth technology is now available in the highly reliable Long Life audio jack. This allows passengers to connect to a wireless or wired headset through the Bluetooth integrated unit.
  • Long Life is IFPL’s original audio jack range. Available in single, double and triple variants, the highly reliable audio jacks are designed to minimize CID. These jacks are incredibly robust and have been rigorously tested to over 100,000 insertions.
  • Rapid Fit audio jacks enable fast maintenance turn-arounds, achieved in less than 30 seconds with a cost-effective replacement cassette. This low-cost cassette contains the jack, allowing the key electronics to be protected in the main housing.
  • Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) cancels noise in the jack rather than the headset. This keeps the headset cost low and passengers can still enjoy the benefit of noise cancelling technology.
  • MagSignal innovative technology virtually eliminates CID thanks to the magnetic plug. A headset can be pulled from any angle without damaging the jack or the headset, significantly prolonging the life of both components.
    MARCH 2019
  • Push Through Pins causing audio failure are a thing of the past. Broken pins are simply pushed through to a collector at the back of the unit.

Visit AIX 2019 to experience the latest integrated Bluetooth audio products and innovative solutions at Booth 4B20.


THALES
Thales to lead EU project on drone geofencing technologies to secure future U-space Paving the way for future drone traffic increase, SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) is supporting the European Commission U-space initiative by researching and developing new services for safe, efficient and secure access to airspace of a large number of drones. The Geosafe project is part of the founding services for the development of drones operation. Engaged in the creation of solutions that will make tomorrow’s mobility possible, Thales will manage the project, supported by the competences of Aeromapper, AirMap, Atechsys and SPH Engineering.


AIRBUS
Airbus and China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) signed a General Terms Agreement (GTA) covering the purchase by Chinese airlines of a total of 300 Airbus aircraft. The GTA was signed in Paris, France by Guillaume Faury, President of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO, and Jia Baojun, Chairman of CAS, in the presence of visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron. The GTA comprises of 290 A320 Family aircraft and 10 A350 XWB Family aircraft, reflecting the strong demand in all market segments including domestic, low cost, regional and international long haul from Chinese carriers. According to Airbus’ latest China Market Forecast 2018 to 2037, China will need some 7,400 new passenger and freighters aircraft in the next 20 years. It represents more than 19 percent of the world total demand for over 37,400 new aircraft.
By the end of January 2019, the in-service Airbus fleet with Chinese operators totaled some 1,730 aircraft, of which 1,455 are A320 Family, and 17 are A350 XWB Family planes.
(Editor’s Note: This is interesting timing.)

Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) has taken delivery of its first A380 at a special ceremony in Toulouse, becoming the 15th operator of the world’s largest passenger aircraft. The delivery ceremony was attended by ANA HOLDINGS President and CEO Shinya Katanozaka and hosted by Airbus CEO Tom Enders. ANA has ordered three A380s and will operate the aircraft on the popular route between Tokyo Narita and Honolulu from May 24. Each ANA A380 will feature a special livery depicting the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, also known as the Honu. The livery on the first aircraft is painted in blue, while the second will be green and the third orange.
ANA’s A380 is configured in a premium layout seating 520 passengers. The upper deck features eight suites in First Class, 56 Business Class seats that convert to fully flat beds and 73 Premium Economy seats. Economy Class is located on the main deck, where ANA offers a spacious layout seating 383 passengers, including 60 Couch Seats. The aircraft features ANA’s very latest in-flight entertainment systems, as well as full connectivity in all classes. Following today’s delivery to ANA, there are currently 232 A380s in service with 15 airlines worldwide, flying on 120 routes across the globe.


OTHER NEWS

The 2nd ZAL Innovation Days in Hamburg on 27 and 28 February are all about robotics and automation: how advanced technologies are revolutionizing work processes.

Hamburg, Germany | February 28, 2019– What does a factory of the future look like? What role will people play and what will be done by machines? The ZAL Innovation Days will address such questions on February 27th and 28th in Hamburg. Following the successful premiere in 2017, this high-level international innovation conference will take place for the second time in Hamburg’s ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research. The patron for this event is the German Aerospace Coordinator Thomas Jarzombek. In addition to a series of high-profile lectures on the topic from the perspective of science and industry, the practical application of new technologies will be dealt with in workshops and in the exhibition space. Among other things, a table-top football robot, a new inkjet-based aircraft coating system and a robot butler for the manufacturing hangar will be on display.

One thing is for sure: nobody needs to fear a horror scenario in which robots cause unemployment in the long term. On the contrary, the ever stronger link between work performed by people, and that done by machines is creating true teamwork in production. Concrete examples can also be observed at our venue, the ZAL TechCenter, in which more than 30 partners from industry and science conduct research together.

A case in point, Airbus and Helmut Schmidt University are testing the use of so-called exoskeletons in aircraft production; assistance systems that aid production workers in the lifting of heavy loads, for example in cabin upgrades. The start-up Synergeticon has programmed a collaborative robot in the ZAL TechCentre that relieves workers of physically demanding work on the factory floor, such as the riveting of the roof fuselage segments. Thanks to finely calibrated sensors, the robots cannot get in anyone’s way.

Presenters at the ZAL Innovation Days 2019 include Peter Haas of the Brown University Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative, Prof. Dr. med. Wolfgang Wahlster from the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and representatives of leading companies such as Bosch, NVIDIA and KUKA. A dozen professional workshops, several practical demonstrations in the exhibition area and an exclusive evening event on the Elbe will round off the event.

In his political keynote, the Federal Government’s aerospace coordinator, Thomas Jarzombek, emphasized the importance of digital innovation for aviation:

“New digital technologies open up completely new possibilities for optimizing production processes, thus increasing efficiency. Keywords such as intelligent and automated production, robotics and artificial intelligence are becoming tangible and understandable for the aviation industry – particularly here in the ZAL.”Jarzombek also reported on the latest independent evaluation of the BMWi aviation research program LuFo: “With LuFo, we created approx. 23,500 additional jobs with compulsory social insurance contributions between 2012 and 2017. A € 100 research grant led directly to additional production of € 200.”

The smart integration of robotics and automation into production process is one of the central issues in the aviation industry worldwide and is also one of the core topics of our research activities here in the ZAL. That’s why we deliberately chose this theme for the ZAL Innovation Days 2019 here in Hamburg – to discuss nation and industry-wide strategies,” says Roland Gerhards, CEO ZAL Center for Applied Aerospace Research.

Research Triangle, North Carolina | February 5, 2019– The aviation industry’s transformative inflight internet provider, SmartSky Networks, announces the closing of a total of $104M in funding, including $75 million in debt commitments from funds managed by the Global Credit team at BlackRock and equity investments by private equity firms Tiger Infrastructure, WP Global, Platform Partners, and Meritage Investors. The funds will be used in the on-going rollout of SmartSky’s nationwide air-to-ground network. With this new round of financing, SmartSky has raised almost $350M in funding to date. The company is advised by Allen & Company LLC.

“This investment represents an expression of confidence in SmartSky by these sophisticated investors, including some of the most highly regarded institutions in the world,” said SmartSky CEO Haynes Griffin, “and comes only a few days after the announcement of our first commercial aviation customer. Both of these milestones were preceded by firsthand flight trials which demonstrated conclusively to these partners the ability of SmartSky’s blazing-fast, affordable two-way internet connectivity to fundamentally transform aviation.”

Last week, CEO Alex Wilcox of JetSuiteX, a rapidly growing regional air carrier, stated, “After a rigorous selection process including my personal inflight evaluation, we chose SmartSky’s state-of-the-art, high-speed technology because it delivers the most compelling user experience.”  

SmartSky’s first-of-its-kind, real-time system provides over ten times the speed of legacy airborne connections and is the most secure and affordable inflight internet solution available. The ground-based components of the system are being deployed throughout the contiguous United States using a mix of 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies, similar to some of the recent improvements in terrestrial cellular networks. The inflight connectivity network will be commercially available later this year.

This week there is a lot of news but we thought you might like to start off with something we might do more of in coming issues.

TechTips

Readers: Sometimes we like to use IFExpress to start many of our friends thinking about the IFEC business and this week we found something that many of you may use in the future for your business research and writing because it uses AI and speedy searches to look up subject matter — in places you might have never thought to search. What is it? Well it is called “Talk to Books” and while you may not find exactly what you are looking for online, this may be one solution and a good place to start. Lets begin by testing this Google AI-based data development. And, please try it out for yourself and see if it can help you. Here we go:

  • First, go to this Google invented website: Talk to Books.
  • Next, in the sentence box, type in your book-based search need. We tried “What is inflight entertainment?”
  • Next, click the “dashed ground sign” to filter your searches, and we used “Current Events”; and then hit “GO”.

We won’t list what we found but we strongly suggest you try it out. There seemed to be no end the IFEC the book references we found; and if you can’t use it for just about anything you are researching, well, at least you know about it. Further, your kids and friends in school just might be able to do better information search retrievals looking for their data! Cool!


Next, Bob Bogash sent this Boeing story/info  “Nobody picks up on this, but note that G-OSRA, shown in the article, was line number 1832 and hence the last 727 built. It seems to have many years ahead. See my webpage here and some nice pix here. If you notice at the end of the page, the aircraft was converted to a an oil dispersant sprayer – here is the story!


And now, on with the latest aviation news.

THALES
CENTECH and Thales launch AI@CENTECH to boost start-ups to success in Artificial Intelligence. To support the development of start-ups working in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Thales has teamed with CENTECH, Québec’s largest start-up incubator, created by the École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal. This strategic partnership will provide start-ups with access to the Thales Group’s technological expertise, business insights and digital capabilities that will take their concepts and prototypes to the next level of maturity. Thales has invested close to 7 billion euros in digital technologies since 2014, including the planned acquisition of Gemalto.

The explosion of digital technologies is an essential ingredient to boost innovation, accelerating the creative process to develop new solutions for a world that is increasingly data-driven, connected, immersive and reliant on autonomous systems. Thales has an important role to play in accelerating the digital transformation of its partners around the world. Working with CENTECH, Thales will support projects created by start-ups in the field of Artificial Intelligence, which is one of Thales’ four key digital technologies, alongside connectivity, big data and cybersecurity. CENTECH has been recognised by the University Business Network (UBI) as one of the most effective accelerators in the world.

Also from Thales:

The Air Navigation Service Provider for Papua New Guinea, PNG Air Services Limited, has completed a transition to the TopSky-ATC system provided by Thales. This transition represents a jump from a 30 year old paper strip system to a state-of-the-art electronic system, helping to reduce air traffic controller workload and increase safety throughout the airspace. PNGASL are responsible for the safe movement of more than 50,000 flights per year through their airspace, which includes many high level overflights. The deployment by Thales includes a main operational system and combined backup & training system. The TopSky-ATC system provides the controllers with modernized flight data processing, multi sensor surveillance processing and advanced alerting functions. Seamless coordination between neighboring states allows safe transition of flights to and from Papua New Guinea.


AIRBUS
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has approved the A330-900 for ETOPS (Extended-range Twin engine aircraft Operations) “beyond 180 minutes” diversion time. This significant achievement means that operators of the A330neo, which is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, will benefit from the most efficient, reliable and direct long-range routings. The approval, which includes ETOPS 180 min. capability in the aircraft’s basic specification, now also includes the option for “ETOPS 285 min.” This extends the potential air diversion distance to around 2,000nm. The U.S. FAA’s respective ETOPS certification is expected soon.

A330neo operators which choose the ETOPS 285 min. option will be able to serve new direct ‘non-limiting’ routings. Meanwhile, operators flying on existing routes (currently flown with up to 180-minute diversion time) will be able to traverse a straighter, quicker and more fuel efficient path, and also have access to more – and possibly better equipped – en-route diversion airports if needed.

Airbus has launched a global competition in quantum computing, inviting experts to propose and develop solutions, for complex optimization and modelisation across the full aircraft life-cycle, using newly available computing capabilities. The Airbus Quantum Computing Challenge (AQCC) aims to take science out of the lab and into industry, by applying newly-available computing capabilities to real-life industrial cases. With traditional computers approaching their limits, the quantum computer promises to deliver a new level of computational power. As an active user of High Performance Computing (HPC), Airbus is already extending current capacity by integrating and leveraging quantum technologies in fields such as route optimisation and satellite imagery. Through the challenge Airbus is looking to further explore solutions that quantum technologies can bring through the sharing of in-house and external knowledge, data and expertise. Five distinct challenges have been identified in the flight physics domain that have an impact on all aspects of Airbus’ business, from design and operations, to airline revenue streams. With varying degrees of complexity, the statements range from the simple optimization of aircraft climb to the more complex optimization of wing-box design. Open to post-graduate students, PhDs, academics, researchers, start-ups and professionals in the field of quantum computing, individuals or teams will compete for hardware access and for the opportunity to mature their ideas for industrialisation, working collaboratively with Airbus industry experts. The AQCC will run throughout 2019.
The granting of this ETOPS capability is a testimony to the aircraft’s design and systems maturity, which has been demonstrated to be as good as its predecessor – the versatile and extremely reliable A330-200/A330-300 family, proven over many millions of flights. In 2009, the Airbus A330-200/-300 became the first airliner family to gain an ETOPS ‘Beyond 180min’ certification, which was granted by EASA. Airbus twin-engine airliners have accumulated over 20 million ETOPS flight hours, most of which have been accumulated by the A330 Family. (Editor’s Note: “ETOPS” is a set of rules initially introduced by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the mid-1980s to allow commercial operations with twin-engine aircraft on routes beyond 60min flying time from the nearest airport and which were previously operated only by aircraft with more than two engines. These rules, which are now named “EDTO” (Extended Diversion Time Operations) by ICAO have been progressively revised to allow operations beyond 180min diversion time.)


BOEING
Boeing last week successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia. Boeing NeXt, which leads the company’s urban air mobility efforts, utilized Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and will continue testing to advance the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transportation. The PAV prototype completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes. This transition phase is typically the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft.

Powered by an electric propulsion system, the PAV prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing, with a range of up to 50 miles (80.47 kilometers). Measuring 30 feet (9.14 meters) long and 28 feet (8.53 meters) wide, its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight. The test flight represents the latest milestone for Boeing NeXt. The division works with regulatory agencies and industry partners to lead the responsible introduction of a new mobility ecosystem and ensure a future where autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely coexist. In addition to the PAV, the Boeing NeXt portfolio includes an unmanned fully electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) designed to transport up to 500 pounds (226.80 kilograms) and other urban, regional and global mobility platforms. The CAV completed its first indoor flight last year and will transition to outdoor flight testing in 2019.

And, here is the flight of the PAV in Manassas, Va.
Boeing: Boeing Autonomous Passenger Air Vehicle Completes First Flight


OTHER NEWS

Self-flying aircraft an overlooked opportunity in autonomous transport – Axios It’s coming?

As promised, this week we have some predictions about this crazy industry, as well as, news and reported airplane deliveries for 2018. Included in the predictions section are a few that were submitted by several of our readers and we want to thank them for their contribution. Patricia Wiseman | Editor, Publisher & Co-Founder

2019 Predictions

1. If the US government shutdown continues for a marked length of time, the 2019 airplane travel growth in the USA could be poorer than anticipated with reduced profits. Obviously. travel will be more difficult, as well, while governmental security folks struggle to stay at work and somehow make a living. Here is a related quote from SKIFT on the anticipated passenger revenue prior to the shutdown: “We expect U.S. passenger revenue to reach $171.4 billion in 2019, up 2.6 percent from 2018.”

2. Climate changes driven by humans will no doubt increase the costs of flying due to worsening weather in various locations, greater weather change (both hot and cold), and reduced weather prediction accuracy/capability. Extreme weather just may finally effect flying and possibly travel costs will rise. In either case, extreme weather events are on the way! And yes, we probably can’t blame anyone but ourselves.

3. “The commercial aviation market will continue to see an increase in adoption of PED power for both line-fit and retrofit aircraft.  Airlines will personalize their offering between 110 Volt AC, USB Type A, USB Type C, and wireless charging.  Many airlines will install combinations of multiple charging options for the convenience of their customers.  With recent technological advancements, the PED Power systems are weighing less, taking less space, and lowering the total cost of ownership.” – Mike Hettich, VP, Cabin Electronics, Astronics AES

4. A massive incident of data fraud or theft will potentially cause an aviation incident, which will drive big changes in aviation security. And yes, Artificial Intelligence just might play a role in the solution. (What!? You don’t know what AI is? – What is AI? Everything you need to know about Artificial Intelligence | ZDNet)

5. With worldwide spying getting out of hand, the sale of “second use, plain” phones (aka “burner phones”) will take off for travelers. It may eventually apply to laptops as well.

6. “Enabled by the basic utilities of wireless data transmissions and easy power solutions, the aircraft cabin is becoming a huge playground for solutions we are not even thinking about yet.” – Unattributed

7. Watch for airlines to reduce meat offerings in food service as vegan and non-meat lifestyles affect offerings. And, it will save the airlines money too.

8.  “What this industry needs is a standard way for airlines to measure their passengers’ experience with the connectivity onboard – and this year our APEX Connectivity Working Group (CWG) will come through with that standard method.” – Rich Salter, IFEC Consultant, The Salter Group

9. Unfortunately rogue drones will continue to present a greater risk to aviation in troublesome flight areas. Watch for some new rules if/when these incidents continue to occur.

10. Quantum computing will be a big deal in aircraft design this year and in the future because of its ability to present and analyze more data on airflow issues.

11. “PED’s are making passengers more insular. Unless the airline is on there early and with several different touch points, any flight will be just a minor event on the huge network of the passenger’s connected lives.” – Unattributed

12. Fuel costs look to be more stable this year, hopefully helping airlines to retain profits. Of course, this assumes the the world remains sane about fuel and peace solutions.

13. Large scale cyber attacks to passengers are a huge potential. Watch out, a big change is coming and it may well be driven by an airline security breach of major proportions.

14. A big political change and disruption will cause troubles in the US that may affect many areas including aviation.

15. Lastly, the AVIATION SAFETY NETWORK reports there were 15 fatal airliner accidents (556 fatalities), or one fatal accident per 2,540,000 flights, in 2018 vs 10 (44 fatalities) in 2017, which was safest year ever.


NEWS

digEcor
On 18 January 2019, digEcor officially acquired the commercial In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) business from Collins Aerospace. The deal originated with Rockwell Collins, which was acquired by United Technologies in 2018.

The closing of this transaction, and digEcor’s integration with this significant business, marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for digEcor— now rebranded as Burrana.
“Burrana is an indigenous Australian word, meaning “to fly”, which aligns to our purpose of helping airlines create extraordinary passenger experiences,” said David Withers, Burrana CEO. “It is the history of innovation that is the common thread that binds these two organizations together as Burrana, and the main driver for the acquisition.” Withers continued. “This thread stretches back over 50 years to the Hughes Avicom and Sony Transcom days, when IFE was in its infancy, and the passenger experience came into focus for airlines. Then came the days of Microair Avionics radios and digEcor’s portable players, through today when the market demands innovative cabin technologies for their passengers – and this is where Burrana will deliver.”

The acquisition brings together the former Rockwell Collins’ PAVES family of seat back and overhead solutions, as well as PAVES On-demand, Total Entertainment System (TES), Enhanced Total Entertainment System (ETES) and content services, with digEcor’s GLIDE, Engage, Power, PSS and Lighting products. The combination will enable Burrana to now offer best-of-breed solutions for airlines seeking to deliver an extraordinary passenger experience.

Withers went on to say, “Burrana’s global employee base will deliver innovative cabin technologies reliably and affordably to the market, serving an installed base of more than 1,400 planes and 300 customers, positioning us as the #3 player in the IFE market – and we are not stopping there. We will achieve our vision of taking the passenger experience to the next level by collectively bringing the right new technology to market and leveraging our engineering expertise and proven ability to rapidly develop and certify new products. We pride ourselves on listening to our customers, understanding their vision and requirements and developing new solutions to deliver on these needs.”

JW Hill Capital, a Newport Beach, California-based private equity firm, supported digEcor in this transaction.


Thales
Thales invests 20% of its annual revenues in R&D. After the first Thales Media Days dedicated to cybersecurity, which is an essential component of the digital transformation, Thales is now demonstrating specific examples of the impact of Artificial Intelligence in decisive moments. The event isn’t being held in Montreal, Canada and simultaneously in France, the UK, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the Middle East.

Since 2014, Thales has invested nearly 7 billion euros in digital technologies, particularly in the areas of connectivity, Big Data, cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Artificial Intelligence and its opportunities in the aerospace, space, ground transportation, defense and security sectors will be the theme of the second Thales Media Day event in Montreal.

Professor Yoshua Bengio, Founder and Scientific Director of MILA (Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms), and Patrice Caine, Chairman & CEO of Thales, will speak at this global event, which will be broadcasted live on the Group’s YouTube channel.


Inmarsat
Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications, announced that its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution is now available to passengers onboard Indonesian low-cost airline Citilink’s first aircraft. The milestone was achieved only six months after Inmarsat signed a contract with Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), an Indonesia wireless technology provider, to deploy GX Aviation across Citilink’s fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, in partnership with Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and GMF AeroAsia. GX Aviation is the world’s only global, high-speed inflight internet service, allowing Citilink passengers to browse the internet, stream content, check social media and more during flights free-of-charge using personal devices. Citilink will continue to rollout the service on their aircraft during 2019.

The fast-paced introduction of onboard connectivity is part of the airline’s efforts to offer passengers a modern, world-class onboard experience. Citilink, a subsidiary of Indonesian national airline Garuda, was named Asia’s Best LCC at the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards 2018 and has a four-star rating by Skytrax.


Airbus
Acropolis Aviation of the UK has taken delivery of the first ACJ320neo, which features new-generation engines and Sharklets to deliver a leap forward in range and economy.
The aircraft will now undergo cabin-outfitting by AMAC in Basle, Switzerland, receiving a VVIP cabin designed by Alberto Pinto. Its current ACJ livery will also be replaced by Acropolis Aviation colors.

SMBC – Leading aircraft lessor SMBC Aviation Capital has boosted its total order book for the A320neo Family to 181 aircraft after signing a firm order for an additional 65 A320neo Family aircraft (15 A321neo and 50 A320neo). The order was finalized in 2018 and included in the year-end order figures. In addition the agreement includes an upsizing of 15 A320neo from a pre-existing order to 15 of the largest member of the single aisle, the A321neos, taking SMBC Aviation Capital’s total for the type to 30. With its unbeatable seat mile cost, longer range and wider cabin, the A321neo offers airlines the flexibility to expand their networks using wide-body cabin products on new longer haul routes which were not previously possible with a single aisle.

Here’s an Airbus/Facebook story you might want to read:
Facebook and Airbus hold secretive drone tests in the Australian bush – netzpolitik.org


Boeing
Boeing delivered the first of ten 787 Dreamliners to WestJet, marking the start of the airline’s global expansion. Having long operated a fleet of Boeing single-aisle jets, WestJet will use the super-efficient, long-range 787-9 Dreamliner to profitably serve new international routes. This spring, WestJet will use the 787-9 – the longest-range Dreamliner that can fly 7,635 nautical miles (14,140km) – to offer the first-ever flight connecting Calgary and Dublin. The airline will also offer non-stop Dreamliner service between Calgary and London Gatwick and Calgary and Paris. WestJet’s 787-9 will accommodate 320 passengers in a three-class configuration. The Dreamliner’s passenger-pleasing interior, which includes large windows, lower-cabin altitude and smooth-ride technology, complements WestJet’s all-new business cabin featuring the carrier’s first lie-flat seats.

In preparation for its new Dreamliners, WestJet recently added digital solutions powered by Boeing AnalytX, to optimize its operations. These include Airplane Health Management, which provides predictive analytics to optimize WestJet’s 787 fleet operations, as well as Toolbox, which delivers real-time information for technicians to quickly resolve maintenance issues and keep airlines on schedule.


Others News

  • Airline security breach big deal! Over 140 International Airlines Affected by Major Security Breach
  • Interested in the economy of airline seat sales? The Economics of Airline Class – YouTube And, here is the low cost airline story, How Budget Airlines Work – YouTube
  • Hey! Drones might now inspect your aircraft! Can Drones Be Good?
  • Sadly, Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch terminated its rocket engines and launcher programs. One story reader (marklincoln1@aol.com) in Aviation Week noted: “Paul Allen had a dream and money. He was willing to risk exploring that dream — The acquisition was a matter of profit and loss. Which viewpoint is correct? Perhaps neither. Or perhaps both.” That just about says it all.

Our cover this week is a great shot of the new Boeing 777X which has a wingspan of 235 feet! However, the wing tips fold up on the 777X when landed to allow better access to existing airport ramps. And yes, some 2,000 orders and greater cabin width seating of the B777 series explains why many IFEC manufacturers are interested in the interior entertainment. Here is more on the plane: Sales flurry takes Boeing 777 past 2,000 orders

Next, we wondered about the presentation that Michael Childers made at CES last week, so we asked him and he told us a bit more about it. One of the key themes of this year’s CES in Las Vegas (January 8-11, 2019) was “Shaping the Future with Deep Data.” As you probably know, APEX Board Member and Technology Chair, Michael Childers, was a member of a panel on Wednesday, January 9, that dealt with the subject of data-driven technology and he told us: “As more and more elements of the travel experience are becoming automated, and biometrics even reduce personal engagement during boarding, airlines are faced with how to personalize the passenger experience with less personal engagement. The future of IFEC is in data-driven passenger engagement,” Childers told the assemblage. “Inflight entertainment selections are being increasingly driven by data analytics,” he said, “and the future of targeted advertising and e-commerce rely on the same databases. The difficulty is that that the needed data is captured incrementally over seven, eight or nine touch-points and are retained in silos that are not interconnected. So the challenge is to break down the silos and use the data to drive the experiences while respecting the GDPR rules that govern the use of personal data,” he said. Childers, who is Chief Consultant, Content & Media Strategy at Lufthansa Systems will be a keynote speaker on the same topic at the EyeforTravel Conference in San Francisco on March 14.

Editor’s Note: If you don’t know about “silos” you are in the same boat as us – so we asked him, and here is what Michael told IFExpress: “Silos” are simply data repositories. Data collected during ticketing, for example, is retained in a “Ticketing” database, but isn’t available for use elsewhere on the journey. I strongly believe that IFEC no longer stands alone but represents the passenger-facing component of a broader program of digital passenger engagement. We are moving toward an “engagement economy” supported by “engagement currencies.” As fewer airline employees are passenger-facing, the engagement with pax becomes digital, and the portal for that digital engagement is the IFEC system. Therefore, the challenge becomes one of increasing that engagement with personalization as one of the means. That personalization comes from data that we get from passengers through permissions management. Don’t be surprised if an airline comes up with its own Alexa or Siri, but one that communicates in text.”

On another note; if you noticed the IFEC BUZZ this week, Rich Salter is now a consultant (with a ton of industry experience, we might add) and if you need his help, send him a note at rsalter23@gmail.com.

Now, lets get to work!


PANASONIC
Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has appointed Kimberly Chainey as its General Counsel.
Ms. Chainey is a legal leader and corporate generalist with over 15 years experience advising senior executives of Fortune 500 companies, venture businesses and government entities. As chief legal officer and a member of the executive team, Chainey will advise Panasonic Avionics’ leadership on the company’s strategic direction.


GOGO
Gogo Inc., a global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced that as of December 31st, 2018, modifications to protect against de-icing fluid contamination on its 2Ku North American aircraft have achieved positive results. As a result of the success of the de-icing modifications, Gogo did not incur certain forecasted costs associated with further de-icing efforts in Q4 2018, and is raising its Adjusted EBITDA guidance to the high end of its previously announced range of $45 million to $60 million for the year 2018. As of December 31, 2018, Gogo had experienced no incidents of 2Ku system degradation on aircraft with Gogo’s recent de-icing modifications. Based on Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data listing airports that have experienced de-icing activity, Gogo estimates that in 2018, aircraft with Gogo de-icing modifications flew more than 5,000 flights that had been de-iced. As of December 31, 2018, Gogo’s de-icing modifications had been installed on more than 675 aircraft, representing almost 97% of the installed North American fleet. While the vast majority of global de-icing activities occur in North America, Gogo will modify existing 2Ku installations on international aircraft as part of each airline’s maintenance program. All newly equipped 2Ku aircraft globally will include the de-icing modifications at the time of installation if requested by the airline. Availability across the entire Gogo 2Ku fleet was approximately 98% for the month of December, which compares to approximately 90% for the same period last winter. “On December 11, 2018, we announced zero incidents of 2Ku degradation on aircraft installed with Gogo’s recent de-icing modifications and we are pleased to announce that this success extended through the end of 2018,” said John Wade, president of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation division.


SITAONAIR
Rolls-Royce is the launch customer for SITAONAIR’s game-changing e-Aircraft DataHub – a new, state-of-the-art neutral aircraft data management service designed to bring significant, distinct benefits to airlines and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Today, harnessing aviation data represents the key to unlocking the untapped potential of modern aircraft. It is crucial to everything from minimizing airline maintenance costs and maximizing aircraft availability, to empowering manufacturers and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) teams to be at their most effective. However, several hurdles have hampered progress – including airlines’ reluctance to permit OEMs access to sensitive data, and the complexity of achieving timely and tailored secure data transfer and distribution to relevant parties.

SITAONAIR’s e-Aircraft DataHub overcomes these hurdles. As a secure, cloud-based aircraft data-brokering service, it enables airlines to share selected aircraft data from diverse fleets, aircraft models and formats with their chosen OEM, at no cost to the airline.


THALES
Marking the successful final launch to deploy the Iridium NEXT constellation, which occurred Friday, January 11, 2019, Thales announces it has signed Marlink and Speedcast to expand its official network of resellers for ThalesLINK satellite communications (satcom) solutions. These solutions enable connectivity for people anytime, anywhere with Iridium CertusSM. This visible commitment to Iridium Certus was also recently recognized by Iridium who dedicated satellite SV-125 to Thales for its role as a value added manufacturer in aviation, land and maritime markets.

  • Thales adds resellers to connect people at any moment, anywhere with Iridium CertusSM.
  • Marlink and Speedcast sign as certified resellers of ThalesLINK offering land and maritime mobile connectivity capabilities.
  • Iridium dedicates a satellite to Thales for its role as a value added manufacturer.

COLLINS AEROSPACE was selected by Norwegian to supply CabinConnect inflight connectivity solution for 787-9s and 737MAXs used for long-haul services; >50% of fleet is expected to be equipped by 2020 and Wi-Fi on MAX will begin in mid-January.


AIRBUS
Delta Air Lines has ordered 15 additional A220 aircraft, bringing to 90 the total of the new generation, highly fuel-efficient jetliners the world’s second-largest airline has on order. The additional orders are the airline’s first for the -300 model. Delta also converted earlier A220 orders to the larger -300, bringing to 50 the number of A220-300s on order.
Delta placed its initial order for 75 aircraft in 2016. Airbus will produce the A220-300s at a new U.S. assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. Construction of the plant, to be located adjacent to the existing Airbus A320 assembly facility, will begin later in January. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market; it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single-aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5920 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft. With an order book of more than 500 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market estimated to represent at least 7,000 aircraft over the next 20 years.

A220 – The newest addition to the Airbus family of commercial aircraft, the A220, has received 180-minute extended operations (ETOPS*) approval from the Canadian civil aviation authority, Transport Canada. This achievement paves the way for A220 customers to start new direct non-limiting routings over water, remote or underserved regions.
The A220 is the first commercial airliner to obtain domestic ETOPS certification from Transport Canada. This capability is available as an option for A220-100 and A220-300 operators, enabling them to fly for up to 180-minutes from the nearest diversion airport.


BOEING
Embraer and Boeing have welcomed approval by the Government of Brazil of the strategic partnership that will position both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets. The government’s approval comes after the two companies last month approved terms for the joint venture that will be made up of the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer. Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the new company and Embraer will hold the remaining 20 percent. The companies have also agreed to the terms of another joint venture to promote and develop new markets for the multi-mission medium airlift KC-390. Under the terms of this proposed partnership, Embraer will own a 51 percent stake in the joint venture, with Boeing owning the remaining 49 percent. Once Embraer’s Board of Directors ratifies its prior approval, the two companies will then execute definitive transaction documents. The closing of the transaction will be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Assuming the approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is intended to close by the end of 2019.


OTHER NEWS

We recently rang in the New Year and are now embarking on adventures in technology in the IFEC realm. 2019 promises to be an interesting one, technologically speaking, for our industry with more aircraft installations of high quality Wi-Fi, satcom and broadband further enabling the passengers and the airlines expectations of the connected journey. With each installation airlines are changing the way their passengers perceive the flying experience and how they use their time en route. We live in exciting times and it will be interesting to see what 2019 has in store for us!

Next week, we will be focusing on some predictions related to our industry and the technologies influencing it, as well as, what we may expect from it in the coming 12 months. As always, we want to thank you, our loyal readers, for continuing to endorse IFExpress – we couldn’t do it without you!

Lastly, the news doesn’t stop during the Holiday Season, so we have included some hyperlinks to some highlights that happened over the past few weeks for  your perusal!

Releases:

Other News:

United Kingdom | December 2018 — STG Aerospace Gains FAA certification for the Airbus liTeMood. STG Aerospace announced this morning that it had received FAA certification for the Airbus liTeMood LED lighting solution for the A320 family. This follows on from the successful EASA certification received in August 2018.  The Airbus lighting solution received its certification from the FAA on 16 October 2018 for Airbus A318, A319, A320 and A321 models.

Sean O’Kell, DOA Head of Design, STG Aerospace said: “It has been an incredible achievement for our team to get our liTeMood solution to this point,” The project has been supported by our engineering, supply chain, programme and certification teams, as well as EASA and the FAA, so a huge thank you to everyone involved.”

STG Aerospace Airbus liTeMood  is a dynamic and configurable full colour, plug-and-play, programmable retrofit lighting solution. It’s available for retrofit on single and twin aisle Airbus aircraft. The affordable plug-and-play system works with both classic and enhanced CIDS, installed in under 6 hours (A320) and requires no changes to aircraft wiring or control systems.

For a full list of certifications please navigate to our Certifications page.

There is a lot of airplane news but let’s start off with news highlights from Inmarsat this week:

INMARSAT

Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, announced that its GX Aviation inflight broadband service is now being offered by leading Latin American airline Avianca as part of a free trial period on selected aircraft.

The trial period will last two months, providing passengers with the freedom to browse the internet, check social media and catch-up on emails, all from the comfort of their aircraft seat, with onboard connectivity comparable to mobile broadband services available on the ground. The initiative marks the Latin America debut of GX Aviation, the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight broadband service, delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of Global Xpress high-throughput satellites. The award-winning inflight broadband service, which will be rolled out gradually on selected Airbus A320s, Airbus A330s and Boeing 787s within the airline’s fleet, is currently available on its first two aircraft. Installations on additional aircraft are continuing to progress in Avianca’s MRO facilities in Colombia.


AIRBUS

TAP
TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of the world’s first new-generation widebody A330neo and, as the launch airline, will be the first to benefit from the aircraft’s unbeatable operating economics, increased range, and Airbus’ new Airspace cabin offering passengers the best in class comfort. The Portuguese carrier will take delivery of a further 20 A330-900s in the coming years.

TAP Air Portugal’s first A330-900 is leased from Avolon. It features 298 seats in a comfortable three-class lay-out with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats. The Airspace by Airbus cabin offers more personal space, larger overhead storage bins, advanced cabin lighting and the latest-generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.

China Eastern
The airline has taken delivery of its first A350-900 in Toulouse, becoming the latest operator of this efficient twin-engine widebody aircraft. The Shanghai-based carrier now operates an Airbus fleet of 356 aircraft, including 306 A320 Family aircraft and 50 A330 Family aircraft (figures at the end of October 2018). China Eastern is the largest Airbus operator in Asia and second largest in the world. China Eastern’s A350-900 aircraft features a modern and comfortable four-class cabin layout of 288 seats: four first, 36 business, 32 premium economy and 216 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes, followed by flights to international destinations. Bringing new levels of efficiency and comfort to the long-range market, the A350 XWB Family is particularly well suited to the needs of Asia-Pacific airlines. To date, A350 XWB firm orders from carriers in the region represent over a third of total sales for the type.


BOEING
Boeing delivered its 2,000th airplane to a Chinese operator, a 737 MAX for Xiamen Airlines. The milestone and the pace at which it was reached reflect the accelerating growth in the world’s largest commercial aviation market.

Boeing delivered its first 1,000 airplanes to Chinese airlines over four decades. The next 1,000 Boeing jets have now been delivered over the past five years. The rapid pace continues as one in four Boeing-made commercial jet goes to a Chinese operator, either through direct purchase or lease.The new 737 MAX delivered today sports a special logo commemorating the milestone. It is the eighth MAX airplane to join fast-growing Xiamen Airlines, which operates the largest all-Boeing fleet in China with more than 200 jets. The carrier also uses Boeing Global Services to improve the efficiency of its network and operations. Xiamen is the first Chinese airline to use Optimized Maintenance Program, which leverages Boeing AnalytX to recommend customized airplane maintenance plans.

Xiamen Airlines is one of Boeing’s more than 30 commercial customers in China. In all, Boeing-made jets comprise more than half of the greater than 3,000 jetliners flying in the country.

China’s commercial fleet is expected to more than double over the next 20 years. Boeing forecasts that China will need 7,690 new airplanes, valued at $1.2 trillion, by 2038. Boeing also forecasts China will experience strong growth in the commercial services market with demand growing $1.5 trillion over the next 20 years, accounting for 17 percent of world demand.

China also plays a major role in building the world’s jetliners. The Chinese aerospace manufacturing industry supplies parts for every Boeing jet, including the 737 MAX, 777, and 787 Dreamliner. In December, Boeing and the Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) are set to deliver the first 737 MAX airplane from a completion and delivery center in Zhoushan, China. The facility will handle interior work and exterior painting of 737 MAXs for the Chinese market. Final assembly work will continue to be done at Boeing’s factory in Renton, Washington.

Boeing activity in China is valued at more than $1 billion in economy activity in China. This includes procurement from Boeing’s extensive supply base, joint venture revenues, operations, training, and research and development investment.

Fiji Airways
Boeing delivered the first 737 MAX for Fiji Airways, which plans to use the fuel-efficient, longer-range version of the popular 737 jet to expand and modernize its single-aisle fleet. Fiji Airways plans to take delivery of five MAX 8 airplanes, which will build on the success of its fleet of Next-Generations 737s.

The MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements to improve performance and reduce operating costs. Compared to the previous 737 model, the MAX 8 can fly 600 nautical miles farther, while providing 14 percent better fuel efficiency. The MAX 8 can seat up to 178 passengers in a standard two-class configuration and fly 3,550 nautical miles (6,570 kilometers).

Based at Nadi International Airport, Fiji Airways serves 13 countries and 31 destinations/cities including Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands (Oceania), the United States, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. It also has an extended network of 108 international destinations through its codeshare partners. In addition to modernizing its fleet, Fiji Airways will use Boeing Global Services to enhance its operations. These services include Airplane Health Management, which generates real-time, predictive service alerts, and Software Distribution Tools, which empowers airlines to securely manage digital ground-based data and efficiently manage software parts.

Air New Zealand
The airline completed an Auckland/Chicago flight with their B787-9 – It is 15 hours one way (North) and 16 the other!


MORGAN STANLEY
“Last week, the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC), in consultation with US authorities, issued its preliminary findings relating to the fatal Lion Air 737 MAX crash on October 29. The report was factual in nature and highlighted a number of factors contributing to the accident, including the equipment and maintenance practices. We view the outcome as supportive for Boeing shares since it did not lead to immediate disruptive actions for production and the in-service fleet. Going forward, we will continue to monitor any such potential, though our expectation is that more routine software adjustments may be pursued.”


OTHER NEWS

November 30, 2018– Women in Aviation International (WAI) has selected the 2019 inductees for its International Pioneer Hall of Fame. These women will be honored at the 30th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference during an induction ceremony and celebration dinner at the Long Beach Convention Center on Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. Please note this year’s evening events will be business casual dress.

The 2019 Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees are:

Leanne Caret is executive vice president of The Boeing Company and serves as president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security unit. She is a member of the Boeing Executive Council. Throughout her career, Leanne has engaged with industry, government and academic leaders on a wide range of topics and issues related to national defense. She has devoted considerable attention to STEM education and support for veterans and their families; and leadership excellence. She is executive champion for the Boeing Women in Leadership organization.

Mary Golda Ross was the first known Native American female engineer and the first female engineer in the history of Lockheed. She was one of the 40 founding engineers of the renowned and highly secretive Skunk Works project at Lockheed Corporation. She worked at Lockheed from 1942 until her retirement in 1973, where she was best remembered for her work on aerospace design – including the Agena Rocket program – as well as numerous design concepts for interplanetary space travel, manned and unmanned earth-orbiting flights, and the earliest studies of orbiting satellites for both defense and civilian purposes.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s First Women Aviators and Aviation-Related Enlisted Women is a group of three officers and six enlisted women who proved women had a place in military aviation and who opened the door for future generations of women to pursue their military aviation dreams. On January 1, 1976, the Coast Guard opened all aviation ratings to women, thus making aviation service possible for these nine women and others that would follow them. They include officers Colleen Cain, Vivien Crea, and Janna Lambine and enlisted personnel Erminia Chillon, Andrea Gardner, Dior Lowen Hubbel, Kelly Mogk Larson Robyn Rogers Norwell, and Elizabeth Uhrig. (This portrait of a Coast Guard heroine – the first female Coast Guard aviator killed in the line of duty. Lt. Colleen Cain’s helicopter crashed during a rescue mission off Hawaii, 1982. By Leonora Rae Smith)

“This year’s inductees reflect the diversity of careers enjoyed by our members,” says WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “Our International Pioneer Hall of Fame honors not merely women of great accomplishment, but women who have paved the way for generations to follow.”

The Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame was established in 1992 to honor women who have made significant contributions as record setters, pioneers, or innovators. Special consideration is given to individuals or groups who have helped other women be successful in aviation or opened doors of opportunity for other women. Each year, the organization solicits nominations from throughout the aviation industry for the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame. For more information on the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame, visit pioneers.

New Airbus Appointments:

AIRBUS has appointed Michael Schöllhorn as its next Chief Operating Officer (effective February 2019) and Dominik Asam as its next Chief Financial Officer (effective April 2019). Here is a little more on the two appointments, first the new CEO, Michael Schöllhorn: Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has appointed Michael Schöllhorn, 53, as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Airbus Commercial Aircraft, effective 1 February 2019. Schöllhorn, currently COO for BSH Home Appliances GmbH in Munich, will succeed Tom Williams, 66, who retires 31 December 2018 after 50 successful years in the aerospace industry, 19 of which were in top Airbus management positions. Michael Schöllhorn will report to Guillaume Faury who will succeed Tom Enders as Airbus CEO following the shareholders Annual General Meeting on 10 April 2019. He will also become a Member of the Airbus Executive Committee.

Michael Schöllhorn’s wealth of diverse manufacturing and production expertise was gained from 1999 at the Bosch Group. Most notably, between 2012 to 2014 he was Executive Vice President Manufacturing and Quality, additionally heading the Global Business unit for chassis and safety sensors. Prior to this, he held several international management positions in the US and Czech Republic. From 2004 to 2008 he was Vice President of Quality Management and from 2012 to 2014, Executive Vice President Manufacturing and Quality. In 2015, Michael was appointed COO and Member of the Management Board for BSH Home Appliances GmbH (100 percent subsidiary of the Robert Bosch GmbH), one of the world’s leading home appliance manufacturers. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Control Engineering from the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. He served in the German Armed Forces as a helicopter pilot and officer from 1984 to 1994.

And Airbus also selected a new CFO. In the context of the ongoing management transition process led by its Board of Directors, Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) has appointed Dominik Asam, 49, to succeed Harald Wilhelm, 52, as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in April 2019. Asam, currently CFO of Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG, will join Airbus on 1 April 2019 ensuring a smooth handover with Harald Wilhelm, who remains in charge in his current role until the Annual General Meeting on 10 April 2019. As CFO, Dominik Asam will report to future CEO Guillaume Faury and become a Member of the Airbus Executive Committee. A 1994 graduate in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Munich, Dominik Asam began his professional career in 1996 in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs Inc. with postings in Frankfurt, London and New York. Further to his studies in his hometown of Munich, Asam holds a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD as well as a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Ecole Centrale Paris.

More from Airbus:

TAP Air Portugal has taken delivery of the world’s first new generation widebody A330neo and, as the launch airline, will be the first to benefit from the aircraft’s unbeatable operating economics, increased range, and Airbus’ new Airspace cabin offering passengers the best in class comfort. The Portuguese carrier will take delivery of a further 20 A330-900s in the coming years.

TAP Air Portugal’s first A330-900 is leased from Avolon. It features 298 seats in a comfortable three-class lay-out with 34 full-flat business class, 96 economy plus and 168 economy class seats. The Airspace by Airbus cabin offers more personal space, larger overhead storage bins, advanced cabin lighting and the latest generation in-flight entertainment system and connectivity. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Portugal to the Americas and Africa.

The A330neo is a true new generation aircraft building on the A330’s success and leveraging on A350 XWB technology. It incorporates the highly efficient new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and a new higher span 3D optimized wing with new sharklets fully optimized for the best aerodynamic performance. Together these advances bring a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 25 percent compared with older generation competitor aircraft of a similar size. Moreover, new composite nacelles, a fully faired titanium pylon and zero-splice air inlet technology provide the A330-900 with state-of-the-art aerodynamics and acoustics.
Today, TAP Air Portugal operates an Airbus fleet of 72 aircraft (18 A330s, 4 A340s, and 50 A320 Family aircraft). The single-aisle fleet includes 22 A319ceo, 21 A320ceo and four A321ceo, one A320neo and two recently delivered A321neo.The A330 is one of the most popular widebody families ever, having received over 1,700 orders from 120 customers. More than 1,380 A330s are flying with over 128 operators worldwide. The new A330neo is the latest addition to the leading Airbus widebody family, which also includes the A350 XWB and the A380, all featuring unmatched space and comfort combined with unprecedented efficiency levels and unrivaled range capability.


Boeing:

Caribbean Airlines
Boeing and Caribbean Airlines announced the airline has chosen to enhance and renew its single-aisle fleet with the 737 MAX 8. The carrier, which has long operated the Next-Generation 737, will take delivery of 12 MAX airplanes in the coming years.

The airline commemorated the selection of the MAX during a ceremony featuring national dignitaries, including the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honorable Keith Rowley, and Caribbean Airlines Chief Executive Officer, Garvin Medera. The 737 MAX 8 – part of a fuel-efficient family of airplanes – will seat up to 160 passengers in Caribbean Airlines’ three-class configuration featuring the “Caribbean Plus” Cabin, and provide more than 500 nautical miles more range than the existing aircraft. In addition to flying Boeing airplanes, Caribbean Airlines also uses Boeing’s services to optimize its operations. The carrier participates in the Fuel Dashboard Program, for example, which allows operators to look across their fleet and identify fuel savings. Caribbean also uses Boeing’s consumable and expendable material services to ensure it has the parts it needs when it needs it

Turkish Airlines
Boeing and Turkish Airlines announced an order for three 777 Freighters as the flag carrier of Turkey continues to soar on record financial results and double-digit passenger and cargo growth. The order adds more of the long-range freighter to Turkish’s fleet as the airline pursues its goal of becoming the world’s largest cargo carrier.

Based on the 777-200LR (Longer Range), the 777 Freighter can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a full payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). The long range means fewer stops and associated landing fees, less congestion at transfer hubs, lower cargo handling costs and shorter delivery times.

The new order comes days after Turkish Airlines posted record profits for the first nine months of 2018 on strong passenger and cargo demand. The carrier’s air freight business saw a 25-percent tonnage increase and a 29-percent revenue increase compared to the same period a year ago. The results extend the airline’s success in recent years as Turkey has become one of the largest and fastest-growing aviation markets.

In line with the rapid growth, Turkish Airlines has steadily expanded its current and future fleet. Last January, the carrier announced the order of three 777 Freighters. Two months later, Turkish finalized an order for 25 787-9 Dreamliners and five options to prepare for growing demand at Istanbul’s third airport, named “Istanbul Airport” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during its official opening last month. Over the past few months, Turkish has begun taking delivery of new 737 MAX airplanes to refresh its single-aisle jets. In all, the airline’s fleet of Boeing jetliners has grown to more than 160, with nearly 100 additional jets on order.

With more than 30 777s in its fleet, Turkish Airlines is among the top 10 operators of the wide-body jet in Europe and the Middle East.

To support the long-term growth of the Turkish aerospace industry and strengthen Boeing’s presence in the country, Boeing launched a strategic partnership program in Turkey last year, called the National Aerospace Initiative. Aligned with the targets of Turkey’s Vision 2023 that set for the 100th anniversary of Turkish Republic’s foundation, the initiative lays out a strategic collaboration framework in four key areas: industrial development, technology acceleration, services collaboration and advanced-skill training.

In line with these goals, Boeing is planning to open an engineering center in Istanbul that would specialize in research and support Turkey’s growing aerospace capability. The company also recently expanded its collaboration with Turkish Technic, the maintenance arm of Turkish Airlines. Under the agreement, Turkish Technic becomes a strategic supplier for Boeing’s Global Fleet Care program, providing operators with line maintenance, heavy maintenance, component service and repair for multiple aircraft models. Additionally, Boeing and Turkish Technic will partner to train and certify aircraft technicians.


Other News:

  • Some UTC/Collins News for you from the UTC news release: “Collins Aerospace – UTC’s acquisition of Rockwell Collins is one of the largest in aerospace history. It brings together Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems to create Collins Aerospace Systems, an industry leader with a global presence of 70,000 employees in 300 sites and $23 billion in annual sales on a 2017 pro forma basis.”
  • The first solid state flight of an heavier than air vehicle: Ion drive: The first flight – YouTube
  • The four worst hacks (so far) in 2018: These four data leaks were among the worst this year – Business Insider

Melbourne, Florida | November 20, 2018–SD has been appointed a Level 1 Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX service, the seamless in-flight connectivity solution. The Level 1 VAR status means that SD can now provide the ultra-high-speed data service directly to the business aviation community. This latest progression of the long-term SD and Inmarsat relationship benefits customers by enhancing the support and solutions available to them.

The new Jet ConneX Level 1 VAR status brings even more flexibility to the newly-launched SD Xperience which simplifies and improves business aviation connectivity and operations. SD Xperience is the new fully-synchronized, end-to-end solution that combines cabin and cockpit communications services, aircraft connectivity hardware, and flight operations software. SD Xperience delivers purpose-built technology to satisfy the unique, evolving requirements of business aviation, allowing SD to deliver tailored, customer-driven solutions to the global business aviation marketplace. As a Level 1 VAR, SD customers now have more direct airtime provider choices through the SD Xperience.

“SD was the first business aviation communications provider to provision its services and transmit data over Inmarsat’s first two Global Xpress satellites. We’re delighted that our successful partnership continues to grow, and we’ve become the leading supplier of Jet ConneX to the global business aviation sector,” said David Greenhill, President, SD. “Additionally, SD proprietary solutions enhance and optimize the Jet ConneX service to deliver unmatched performance in the air. These exclusive SD services allow operators to manage and maximize bandwidth, improve voice call quality, prioritize passenger data and more – bringing them a better Jet ConneX experience.”

“Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX global inflight wi-fi has experienced unprecedented demand in the business aviation market, with more than 400 activations to date across the world,” said Philip Balaam, President, Inmarsat Aviation. “Our successful, long-standing partnership with SD has been a key part of this success. We are confident that now, as a Level 1 VAR, SD will build on that momentum by placing JX as a cornerstone of their new SD Xperience. We are proud to be one of their premium network providers.”

Latest expansion of strategic partnership is further endorsement of GX Aviation as the reference inflight connectivity solution for airlines across the world

United Kingdom | November 14, 2018–Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has expanded its global network of Value Added Resellers (VARs) for its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution with the addition of Honeywell Aerospace.

The agreement builds on Inmarsat’s long-standing partnership with Honeywell, who already manufactures the JetWave hardware for GX Aviation and sells Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX inflight wi-fi service for the business aviation market, through its GoDirect retail services business. In addition, it is further endorsement of Inmarsat’s commitment to operate the reference inflight connectivity network for airlines around the world.

GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight broadband service, delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of Global Xpress (GX) High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). This award-winning solution allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with onboard connectivity comparable to the mobile broadband services they receive on the ground.

As part of the agreement, Honeywell will now market GX Aviation to airlines worldwide through its rapidly growing GoDirect retail services business. This increases the company’s focus on end users, allowing it to tailor smart connectivity solutions directly to individual customers – whether in the airline or business aviation space. It addition, Honeywell will continue to manufacture and sell the JetWave hardware to airline and business aviation customers.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Inmarsat and Honeywell have an extremely successful track record of working together in the fast-growing inflight connectivity market. We are delighted to now extend this partnership. Honeywell’s unique depth of experience in this field and their close relationships with airlines make them a perfect fit as a value-added reseller of GX Aviation.

“This agreement also builds on our exceptional go-to-market strategy. It comes soon after a new strategic collaboration with Panasonic Avionics and our continued success with existing value-added resellers, which have done an outstanding job in selling GX Aviation to leading airlines across the world. Our distribution network is now truly the best of the best.”

Ben Driggs, President of Services and Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace, said: “A shift is underway in the aviation industry, focused on higher margin opportunities in software, services and predictive data analytics. Today’s announcement gives us the ability to market our multitude of GoDirect Connected Aircraft services in addition to hardware directly to future airline customers.”

Food For Thought:

We don’t think anyone in our industry will dispute the fact that connectivity is here to stay. Passenger expectations are driving that demand, and airline operations are too. However, have any of you IFEC aficionados noticed that the rate of connectivity installations is slowing down? This may seem a bit surprising given all the hype over connectivity, point in fact, over the past five- or six-years connectivity has been the primary focus of every trade show this publication has attended: AIX, APEX, FTE, etc. Think about the buzz phrases: gate-to-gate, end-to-end passenger experience, the connected aircraft – they all focus on the use of connectivity to improve the airlines’ ability to touch the traveler throughout their journey and tailor their experience to meet expectations. So why the slow down? One factor we believe is that operators are grappling with decisions regarding Ka- vs. Ku-band. A connectivity decision is a costly venture and is typically a hardware commitment for their fleet for the next 7 – 10 years. The airlines are faced with sifting through all the pros and cons of each solution to determine which is the most viable and reliable option to fit their model. Now throw in the possibility of the LEOs and things became a lot more complicated. Also, antenna installations are not a penny a dozen – they are expensive and complex. Add to that the recent statements released by the FAA regarding antenna/radome installations and the Airworthiness Directive issued by EASA and airlines are likely to pause over making a quick decision. Given these issues, we also expect it to be more challenging for some connectivity suppliers to generate near-term investment capital.

Needless to say, connectivity suppliers and hardware vendors have made a large commitment and there are many players in the field – maybe too many. As we mentioned in an earlier issue of IFExpress, we expect continued consolidation within our industry. Along those lines, we have heard that one of the majors in the IFE arena is making a play for the commercial division of a major connectivity company, as well as, the connectivity portion of second significant industry vendor – despite one or both of the potential acquisition companies having issues with significant debt. We are hearing DIP (debtor-in-possession) financing is being discussed. The company making the acquisition overtures evidently sees the potential is greater than the risk involved. And interestingly, they will also become a Ku-band operator, as well as, a GX Aviation (Ka-band) reseller.  If the stars align, these acquisitions will launch them into the first-tier position in the Big Three – at least as far as connectivity is concerned. We live in interesting times.


SmartSky:

During APEX we had the opportunity to sit down with Nancy Walker, the new CCO, and Ryan Stone, president of SmartSky Networks, to discuss the status of their 4G LTE air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity service roll-out. Nancy joins SmartSky with 30+ years of experience in the aviation industry having worked for NASA, Harris, LiveTV and Thales.

We were told that SmartSky is in the process of standing their ground towers, and at the time of the interview 77% of them were in the final stages of installation/completion. Currently, the company is focusing their ground-based installation activity on very specific channels: New York to Chicago and Chicago to Florida. The team said they are well on the way to launching their first business aviation customer and that they are in an active demonstration phase. Nancy told us that they have 1,000 of ours of flight test time logged on three different aircraft models and that they had just received their 96th patent!

What SmartSky offers using their 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum and patented 4G LTE beamforming technology is a path to get data off the aircraft very quickly. In fact, they claim their high bandwidth capability off the aircraft is unique to their service offering. The SmartSky ‘pipe’ is designed to provide 4 GB/hour to the aircraft and 3 GB/hour off the aircraft. What this translates to is a low latency network that allows users to receive large attachments in their email, and easily stream video on their Wi-Fi enabled PEDs. Ryan Stone went on to say that SmartSky is using a highly patented technology that helps make the system more secure. Not only do they use encryption technology, but the system utilizes a very narrow and specific beam, requiring a low power level to transmit to the ground; therefore, security is innately enhanced.

Since our interview in Boston, Penstastar Aviation developed an Approved Model List (AML) Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that permits SmartSky installations on the Gulfstream GIV-X models and GV-SP as well, and the first customer installation has occurred in the business aviation market.  The company is looking to enter the commercial realm but firmly believes that more general aviation operators will be utilizing the system before airlines enter the mix.  It wouldn’t surprise us if a North American carrier were to add the SmartSky Network onto their aircraft in conjunction with an already installed connectivity system. After all, that is a current airline trend: multiple suppliers for connectivity. This is one to watch!


AIRBUS

A330 – 800
The first A330-800 development aircraft to fly, MSN1888, landed at Toulouse-Blagnac, France at 2:35pm local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and four minutes. The aircraft, the second member of the A330neo Family, is powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans. “Today’s first flight of the A330-800 is the latest addition to our efficient Widebody family,” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft. “The A330-800 is an exceptionally versatile ‘route-opener’, offering unbeatable economics for airlines – encompassing everything from short to very-long haul widebody missions.” He added: “We look forward to the successful flight-test campaign, leading to certification next year.”

The A330-800’s development program will include around 300 flight-test hours, paving the way for certification in 2019. Its sibling, the larger A330-900 family member, recently completed its development testing and certification program which validated the A330neo Family’s common engines, systems, cabin and flight & ground operations.

The A330neo comprises two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900. Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and offer an exclusive ‘Airspace by Airbus’ passenger experience. The larger A330-900 will accommodate up to 287 seats in a typical three-class layout, while the A330-800 typically will seat 257 passengers in three classes. At the end of September 2018, Airbus’ order book includes 13 customers who have placed orders for a total of 224 A330neos, with more to be added soon.

Airbus will fly an airBaltic A220-300 new generation single aisle aircraft, to five cities in four countries as part of a world demonstration tour.  The A220 demonstration tour is a great opportunity for Airbus to showcase its newest family member in front of airlines and media and to offer a close up view of the aircraft`s outstanding characteristics, comfort, and performance, that benefit both operators and passengers alike. airBaltic’s A220-300 features a comfortable cabin arrangement able to accommodate 145 passengers in true widebody comfort. The Latvian airline already operates 13 A220-300s out of a total of 50 ordered. The A220 is the only aircraft purpose built for the 100-150 seat market, it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and true widebody comfort in a single aisle aircraft. The A220 brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines to offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation aircraft. With a range of up to 3,200 nm (5020 km), the A220 offers the performance of larger single aisle aircraft.With an order book of over 400 aircraft to date, the A220 has all the credentials to win the lion’s share of the 100- to 150-seat aircraft market.

A220 – 300 TOUR

The A220-300 will first attend the Zhuhai airshow (China) from November 5th until November 8th before flying to Chengdu on November 9th. The aircraft will continue on its journey with a stopover in Koh Samui (Thailand) on November 10th  before flying to Kathmandu (Nepal) on November 11th. After that the airBaltic A220 will go to Istanbul (Turkey) on November 12thbefore returning to its home base in Riga (Latvia) on November 14th.


IATA

The  group forecasts an annual increase in global traffic growth over the next 20 year-end to double emplacements (8.2 Billion) by 2037. Interestingly (and expectantly), China will become the world’s greatest aviation market (to, from, within) the country supposedly by mid – 2020’s. Look for India to become third!


ICELANDAIR & WOW AIR

It looks like Iceland Air just bought out Wow Air and they will still operate separately out of the Icelandic aviation market. With less than 4% of the transatlantic market, both airlines have “challenging” profit issues and this may be a start to reduce that stress. While Wow had been working on a public offering before this announcement, the airlines appear to have seen value in the joining before that event occurrence. The naming of the final organization might be interesting.


GOGO

Gogo Announces Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results as follows:

  • Consolidated revenue of $217.3 million, up 26% from Q3 2017
  • Net loss of $37.7 million, an improvement of 17% from Q3 2017
  • Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased to $21.1 million, up 63% from $13 million in Q3 2017
  • BA segment profit increased to $35.2 million, an increase of 65% from Q3 2017
  • 898 2Ku aircraft online on 14 global airlines, with 113 aircraft coming online in Q3 2018

OTHER NEWS

  • Perhaps it’s time for women to be more involved with the aviation industry because it sure seems so in some other areas? Here’s a quote from an interesting article in Business Insider: “In what may well have been a first in any country’s history, Iceland’s government actually studied whether macho posturing led to its economic meltdown. Its conclusion can be summed up in one word: yes.” Iceland ranks high for gender equality – Business Insider
  • Looking for work? Read this!! Here’s What Hiring Managers Actually Care About

EAST AURORA, USA | November 5, 2018 – Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, today reported financial results for the three and nine months ended September 29, 2018. Results for the quarter and the first nine months of 2018 include the results of Telefonix PDT, which was acquired on December 1, 2017 and Custom Control Concepts (“CCC”), which was acquired on April 3, 2017. Earnings per share for all periods are adjusted for the 3 for 20 (15%) distribution of Class B Stock for shareholders of record on October 12, 2018.

Read the full release here.

With the Emirates service between Hamburg and Dubai becoming an Airbus A380 route, the super-jumbo is now coming back to its “birthplace” every day

Hamburg, Germany | October 29, 2018–

Hamburg joins London as the world’s only locations with two airports where the Airbus A380 can be seen regularly. With one of the two daily Emirates flights between Helmut Schmidt Airport in Hamburg and Dubai becoming an A380 service, the world’s largest airliner is now regularly coming “back home”. A large share of the global A380 fleet, including all 105 that have been delivered to Emirates so far, have been delivered to customers from the Air- bus site in Finkenwerder, Hamburg. The company’s decision in 2000 to make the city an A380 production site is seen as a significant milestone, boosting and an- nouncing Hamburg’s ascent to the ranks of the world’s leading aviation locations.

With a maximal possible configuration of 853 seats, the Airbus A380 is the largest pro- duction airliner in the history of flight. For its daily A380 service between Hamburg and Dubai, Ermirates is using a three-class configuration with 516 seats, including 14 First Class suites and 76 Business Class flatbed seats. The cabin was completely installed at the Airbus factory in Finkenwerder, Hamburg, and before handover the aircraft was sub- ject to a functional test lasting several hours in the skies over northern Germany.

Hamburg, the A380 site: Overview at www.hamburg-aviation.com

Large sections of the fuselage are produced at the Airbus site in Finkenwerder, and the paintwork and cabin fitting for all Airbus A380 aircraft is carried out here. The vertical stabiliser for the A380 is produced at the Airbus factory in nearby Stade. Numerous suppliers from the Hamburg Metropolitan Region are also involved in the construction of the super-jumbo, including Diehl Aviation, providing equipment such as the internation- ally acclaimed shower cabin for the Emirates A380 First Class, VINCORION, providing an elevator for cabin trolleys, and Innovint, providing baby bassinets, magazine racks and other items.

Hamburg becomes the world’s 61st A380 destination

Hamburg is the 61st city worldwide to be served with a scheduled A380 service. The most important A380 destinations include Dubai, London and Los Angeles. In order to handle the huge Airbus on a daily basis, Hamburg’s Helmut Schmidt Airport made a long-term investment in its ground handling infrastructure, including 750,000 euros for a third jet bridge to provide a direct link to the A380 upper deck.

“Hamburg is the third-largest city worldwide in the civil aviation sector. Over 300 com- panies with a total of more than 40,000 employees are active in this industry in Hamburg

The German Aerospace Center DLR and the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research give the city a leading role in Europe in the development of innovative aero- space technology. As an international commercial center and ‘Gateway to the World’, we place great importance on efficient, effective and reliable air transport,” says Ham- burg’s First Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher. “The Airbus factory in Finkenwerder is in- volved in the final assembly of the A380. And now this largest Airbus airliner is taking off and landing at Hamburg Airport Helmut Schmidt every day.”

“For Hamburg, the A380 program represented the beginning of a new age. The choice of our region set the stage for many subsequent milestones in the development of this aviation center, such as becoming the largest production site for the Airbus A320 series and the construction of the ZAL Center of Applied Aeronautical Research,” says Dr Franz Josef Kirschfink, Managing Director of the Hamburg Aviation cluster. “We are thrilled that the A380 is now “coming home” on a daily basis, flying to Hamburg Airport, another key stakeholder here.”

More than 15,000 new aviation jobs in Hamburg since launch of A380 programme

The number of jobs in the aviation industry within the metropolitan region has climbed from 26,000 to more than 40,000 since the A380 programme was launched in the year 2000. Today, Hamburg is one of the three largest sites in the global civilian aviation in- dustry. Whilst the A380 as flagship continues to be the “poster child” for the Airbus site, the greatest economic significance now lies with the A320 range. Final assembly takes place here on the banks of the Elbe for 50% of worldwide deliveries of this global- ly popular short and medium-haul airliner. The latest addition to the range is the A321LR, targeted at low-frequency long-haul routes. The region’s focus is on aircraft manufacturing, aircraft cabin development and the maintenance, overhaul and modification business.

Major milestone reached as industry’s only global high-quality inflight Wi-Fi solution achieves rapid installation rate on world-leading business jet models

United Kingdom | October 17, 2018–Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its market-leading Jet ConneX (JX) business aviation inflight Wi-Fi solution has now been installed and activated on 400 business jets worldwide.

The speed of uptake for the high-speed inflight Wi-Fi service has been rapid, with 125 installations taking place in the past four months alone. Inmarsat’s suite of advanced connectivity services make today’s connected business aircraft a more productive and efficient way to fly, providing an onboard connectivity experience in the air that has previously only been available on the ground.

Kai Tang, Senior Vice President of Business and General Aviation at Inmarsat, said: “The fact that 400 aircraft have been installed with Jet ConneX in under two years of commercial service introduction demonstrates the exceptionally high quality JX delivers to the business aviation market. Inmarsat and our partners have worked hard to exceed expectations and that is reflected in this accelerating demand from both manufacturers and business jet owners, many from Fortune 500 companies.”

Jet ConneX is the preferred linefit option by all of the market-leading business jet manufacturers including Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault and Embraer. In addition, Inmarsat has experienced substantial adoption of the solution on a retrofit basis, with more than 40 type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals already secured, including for all Boeing and Airbus VVIP type models.

Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and delivers a reliable, consistent Wi-Fi experience that enables the business traveller to stream wherever and whenever.

Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, offered exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,800 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell.

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first and only provider with a complete High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit.

FliteStream F-310 and T-310 SATCOM Products First to Become Qualified for Intelsat Business Aviation Service

East Aurora, USA | October 16, 2018–Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics AeroSat, had its FliteStream connectivity solutions tested, qualified, and approved to operate across Intelsat’s FlexExec business aviation service.

Astronics Aerosat’s FliteStream connectivity solutions are the first inflight terminals to obtain approval to operate over Intelsat’s FlexExec service. FliteStream is a widely deployed satellite broadband data solution of fuselage- and tail-mount SATCOM products designed for government, commercial, business and VVIP aviation operators and passengers.

FlexExec is a managed end-to-end service that is accessible via Intelsat’s
global, high-performing, multi-layered Ku-band satellite fleet.
Specifically designed to cover high-traffic business jet routes, FlexExec integrates layers of high-throughput satellite (HTS) coverage from the company’s proven Intelsat EpicNG fleet with the company’s wide-beam Ku-band satellites to deliver added resiliency and redundancy.

FlexExec also aggregates Intelsat’s space segment and the IntelsatOne ground infrastructure into a simplified, streamlined ecosystem. By having one cohesive network, service providers will immediately gain operational efficiencies and be in a stronger position to simplify the in-flight experience for flight departments. In addition, the flexibility of the FlexExec platform enables Intelsat’s service providers to define their offerings for customers on an individual basis rather than on a one-size-fits-all model.

About FliteStream Satellite Connectivity Systems

Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream solutions include its patented lens-horn technology, which creates the most efficient, reliable and highest-performing SATCOM antenna systems available.

The FliteStream solutions integrate next-generation satellite modem technology and are the only systems in production today that is compatible with next generation Ku-band high throughput satellites and iDirect Velocity networks, which provides maximum internet and data speeds in a single antenna.

Key features include:

  • Seamless connectivity for passengers to browse the internet, send and receive emails, make calls using Voice-Over-IP (VoIP), access virtual private network (VPN) services, conduct video conferences, and enjoy favorite work or entertainment applications
  • Most efficient Ku-band SATCOM antenna systems, critical for maintaining low angle satellite coverage while flying at higher latitudes, where most flights occur
  • Compliance with RTCA DO-160 and RTCA DO-178

Astronics AeroSat keeps people connected no matter where they fly. For over twenty years, Astronics AeroSat has provided fuselage- and tail-mounted SATCOM solutions for general aviation, business aviation,
commercial transport, VVIP, and military aircraft around the world. Learn more at Astronics.com.

United Kingdom | October 16, 2018–Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced the appointment of Kai Tang as Senior Vice President of Business and General Aviation (BGA). Kai joins the Inmarsat Aviation business from Inmarsat Government, where he held the role of Chief Commercial Officer.

Kai is an experienced satellite communications professional with industry expertise ranging across government, maritime and aviation. During his seven years at Inmarsat, he has held the role of Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Operations for Inmarsat’s U.S. Government Business Unit, and also played a key role within the company’s Global Xpress development programme.

Kai will be responsible for Inmarsat’s ground-breaking portfolio of connectivity services for the business aviation industry, including its global, high-speed Jet ConneX inflight Wi-Fi solution, which delivers an in-the-air broadband experience comparable to on-the-ground connections. In addition, he will oversee next year’s business aviation launch of the European Aviation Network (EAN), the world’s first inflight broadband that combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based ground network.

Prior to joining Inmarsat, Kai was the Divisional Director for Navy Shipboard Satellite Communications, as well as airborne and expeditionary programmes, such as Navy VIP Aircraft Communications and the Joint Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) project for The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), which is a combat support organization of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Philip Balaam, President, Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Kai has made a huge contribution to Inmarsat since he joined seven years ago. In particular, he was instrumental in the strategy and development of the Global Xpress network. Through his experience with the US Navy, and Inmarsat Government, and working closely with our channel partners, Kai brings a broad skill set and range of experience that I have no doubt will be of great value as we continue to build on the success of our BGA business.”

Commenting on his appointment, Kai Tang said: “BGA is an exciting area for Inmarsat and for the inflight connectivity industry as a whole, both now and looking forward. Inmarsat already has a well-established ecosystem of world class partners and OEMs delivering our market-leading solutions in this space and I’m very much looking forward to working with them.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first and only provider with a complete High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit.