Boeing Reports Increased Stability and Growth for Aircraft Finance Sector

  • For second consecutive year, 100% of Boeing deliveries were financed by third parties with the top sources of delivery funding coming from cash, capital markets and sale leasebacks.
  • Capital markets continued to play a key role in shoring up liquidity for the sector, close to pre-pandemic levels for most issuers as spreads tightened throughout the year.

Boeing Capital Corporation released the 2022 Commercial Aircraft Financing Market Outlook (CAFMO) showing improving financing stability as the industry recovers from the impacts of the global pandemic.

“Financiers and investors remain committed to the long-term fundamentals that continue to make aircraft a valuable asset class,” said Tim Myers, president of Boeing Capital Corporation. “Despite the changing landscape since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry remains resilient and there continues to be sufficient liquidity in the market for our customers with increasing opportunities as traffic recovers.”

The 2022 CAFMO reflects Boeing’s near-term view of market dynamics and assesses financing sources for new commercial airplane deliveries.

“Industry fundamentals continue to show varying degrees of strength in different markets that reflect the regional trends of the global pandemic,” Myers said.

The 2022 CAFMO, an introductory video, regional highlight videos and regional financing data is available at www.boeing.com/CAFMO. Select highlights include:

  • For the second consecutive year, 100% of Boeing deliveries were financed by third parties with the top sources of delivery funding in cash, capital markets and sale leasebacks.
  • The capital markets continued to play a key role in shoring up liquidity for the sector, with the market close to pre-pandemic levels for most issuers as spreads tightened throughout the year.
  • Secured debt for lessors also made a return to pre-pandemic levels with the ABS market making a comeback with volumes at around $8.7 billion, as lessors took advantage of the favorable rate environment.
  • Although risk tolerance and activity levels were below pre-pandemic levels, pockets around the world are increasingly looking for business through bank debt.
  • Institutional investors and funds continued to seek aviation exposure, filling in where traditional sources of capital retrenched.
  • Export credit supported financing for Boeing aircraft contributed about 5% of total funding last year, primarily by the Export-Import Bank of the United States and with one deal supported by UK Export Finance.

The Boeing 2021 Commercial Market Outlook, a separate annual 20-year forecast addressing the market for commercial airplanes and services, projects that through 2040 there will be demand more than 43,500 new airplanes valued at $7.2 trillion.


Satcom Direct

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, is strengthening its Asia Pacific network with the opening of a Singapore office. The new location represents the base for Brian Roos, the recently appointed Asia Pacific, Regional Director, and newly named Regional Sales Manager, Kaviraj (Kavi) Nadarajah.

Reporting directly to Senior Vice President, SD International, Michael Skou Christensen,  Roos is responsible for establishing the SD presence in Singapore and executing SD’s ongoing strategic developments across the Asia Pacific region. This includes identifying new markets, adding to the customer portfolio, consolidating existing and new MRO relationships, building new partnerships, and introducing established and new SD products and services to the connectivity-hungry market as well as ensuring continued delivery of SD award winning customer support.

“Stretching from China to New Zealand, the Asia Pacific region has always been an important market for SD, and still holds great potential for us.  It is a buoyant area where the business aviation fleet continues to evolve, the number of high-net worth individuals is increasing, and the appetite for technology solutions to improve the user and owner experience is unparalleled globally. The appointment of Kavi enhances our support for regional operators and owners which are optimizing customized connectivity solutions to manage their data to meet their diverse mission needs. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bolster SD’s footprint here,” says Roos.

As business aviation continues its trajectory towards digitization, with more data generated and transmitted by business aircraft, Roos will also be responsible for advocating the benefits of the SD connectivity ecosystem of hardware, software and infrastructure, as well as the introduction of the series of SD Plane Simple™ Antenna Systems.

Following confirmation of FAA and EASA STCs in March 2022 for the Plane Simple Ku-band tail-mount antenna for specified Gulfstream and Bombardier airframes, and the anticipated confirmation of relevant STCs across Asia, top of Roos’ priority list will be to showcase the benefits of the first variant which is powered by the multi-layered Intelsat FlexExec service. Roos anticipates that the antenna, which simplifies high-speed data access for operators through ease of installation, competitive price plans and advanced antenna technology, will satisfy the region’s increased data demand.  The Plane Simple Ku-band variant is on track to enter commercial service in Q3 2022.

With some 20 years of experience in aviation, Roos has held various positions within the commercial and private sectors, including airport operations, customer service, flight operations, flight support, and charter management. Brian spent five years working with start-up operators and flight support companies in the Middle East and Africa region before joining Satcom Direct. Originally from Cape Town, Brian is also a licensed International Flight Dispatcher.

Kavi Nadarajah will work closely with Roos, overseeing the north and southeast Asian customer base. His previous experience includes roles for Hawker Pacific and Jet Aviation after beginning his 18-year aviation career as a dispatcher for commercial airlines. He is eager to bring his passion for customer service to the SD community. “I am extremely excited to be a part of the new Singapore office team. The sky is not the limit for our services and I look forward to engaging with our customers to help them make the most out of the SD product and service portfolio,” says Nadarajah.


Call To Strengthen Consumer Protections For Travelers

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairwoman Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to strengthen consumer protections for travelers who are eligible for airline ticket refunds. DOT previously stated that it would issue new consumer protections regarding airline refunds, in the wake of major disruptions for air travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a report to the White House Competition Council, DOT reported “[m]any airlines were also initially reluctant to provide the required refunds,” causing consumers to send the DOT “a flood of complaints” regarding airlines’ failures to compensate their customers for flight cancellations. In 2020, DOT received 29,687 refund complaints against U.S. airlines, a 4,634 percent increase from 2019.

“As part of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s ongoing oversight of the U.S. airline industry, we are writing to request that the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) take further action to make the process for obtaining refunds more transparent and efficient for U.S. airline passengers, in response to the increase in passenger refund complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday’s hearing in the Commerce Committee on the President’s budget priorities.

A copy of the Senators’ letter can be found HERE.

In their letter, the Senators urge the Transportation Department to take specific actions to protect air travel consumers, including clarifying and codifying policies requiring carriers and ticket agents to provide prompt refunds after a flight is cancelled or significantly delayed, as well as clarifying the rights for consumers who are unable to travel and cancel their own tickets due to government restrictions or the declaration of a public health emergency. The Senators also called on DOT to require airlines to conspicuously disclose and publicize to passengers that consumers have to submit a written request to trigger the refund requirement, to set up user-friendly and easy-to-find refund portals, and to report to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics the value of the refunds and vouchers provided to consumers each month.


Other News

MEDIA CARRIER & EVA AIR

Just in time for the beginning of the Chinese “Year of the Tiger”, Media
Carrier is pleased to announce a new airline customer from Asia: After Singapore Airlines, the Taiwan-based airline and Star Alliance member EVA Air has adopted the company’s first-class, digital infotainment offer as well as its customer-specific add-on IT solutions. The Munich-based
digital media expert provides a customized collection of around 520 digital, predominantly Asian premium titles from its digital media library Media Box, which comprises a total of 1,600 titles. Depending on their status, EVA Air passengers can download a corresponding number of media titles free of charge from the airline’s digital library and enjoy their in-flight reading before, during and after the flight with PDFs in the customary newspaper and magazine layout. The number of downloads can be extended indefinitely by making additional purchases. On top, all EVA Air passengers can download other renowned daily newspapers free of charge.

According to a study by the German Association for Quality (DGQ, 2020), Germans see a company’s digital service offerings as a quality criterion, be it customer portals, online banking or
infotainment offers such as Media Carrier’s digital Media Box library. Today, digital services are a must for innovative companies and a key aspect for customers when choosing a provider. This also applies to companies in the travel industry, which Media Carrier primarily addresses with its Media Box. If they want to keep up with the times, they need to work with digital service offers, not least because customers increasingly expect this. For two thirds (66 percent) of Germans, digital service offers are a sign that a company is innovative overall. For 56 percent, they are even a must for companies today and a key criterion when choosing a provider.


BOEING

  • Aircraft commitments include firm order, options and lease agreements for up to 40 jets.
  • Carrier launches in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to operate all-737 MAX fleet.

Boeing and Arajet announced the new Caribbean airline has ordered 20 737 MAX airplanes, specifically the high-capacity 737-8-200 model, to deliver low operating costs and expand affordable travel options in the Americas. Arajet also has options to purchase 15 additional 737 MAX jets which, along with existing lease agreements, could take the airline’s new fuel-efficient fleet to 40 airplanes. The aircraft order was finalized in January and is currently attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.

“The efficient Boeing 737 MAX, together with financial and operational support from our partners at Griffin and Bain Capital, gives us the solid foundation necessary to provide flights at affordable prices to travelers in the region,” said Victor Pacheco Mendez, founder and executive officer of Arajet. “These partners believe in our vision and see the same bright future for this market and beyond. The entire team was elated to see our first aircraft arrive in Santo Domingo a few days ago, and we are eager to expand our fleet with more of these amazing jets in the months ahead.”

The airline hosted a launch event at its new hub in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Positioned between North and South America, this location in the Caribbean will leverage the range of the 737 MAX to efficiently serve a large number of traditional and under-served markets in the continental United States, Brazil, Colombia and beyond. The 737 MAX can fly further and uses 20% less fuel than prior generation aircraft. Other key benefits of Arajet’s new fleet include better environmental performance with a 40% reduction in community noise and lower emissions.

Arajet’s first jet, a 737-8 leased from Griffin Global Asset Management, was delivered in early March. The jet was toured by Dominican President Luis Abinader, who attended the launch event, along with industry, government and tourism officials. As travel and tourism recovers globally, Arajet will bring approximately 4,000 new jobs and significant new economic development to the island nation. Tourism makes up 8.4% of the Dominican Republic’s GDP.


OTHER NEWS

AGEAN

AEGEAN, the airline that knows Greece best, proudly announced that its onboard experience will accelerate further with the introduction of high-speed inflight broadband, powered by the European Aviation Network (EAN). The award-winning connectivity solution, provided by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, will be installed on all existing and new AEGEAN Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft by 2025, with the first seven entering service as of today.

AEGEAN passengers have access to three different Wi-Fi packages, including a free 10-minute “try before you buy” service to browse the internet, send and receive emails, and access messaging and social media applications. This can be extended by selecting either the “text and surf” package or upgrading to the “streaming” option, which adds the capability to watch videos or listen to audio online. As Europe’s fastest inflight broadband solution, EAN offers incomparable speeds, uninterrupted coverage across Europe and significantly lower latency than any other aviation connectivity service on the market.

Under this agreement, AEGEAN has also partnered with Display Interactive to create a customized digital portal, allowing passengers to access Wi‑Fi packages and a rich entertainment platform using their personal devices. This enables the passengers to explore multiple entertainment options (music, series, documentaries, cartoons, games, daily news, etc.), receive real time travel information and sign up to AEGEAN’s Miles+Bonus frequent flyer programme. Display Interactive, which is also a partner for Inmarsat’s OneFi passenger experience platform, has developed the portal for AEGEAN to enhance its passenger experience and enable its inflight connectivity offering.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, Chief Executive Officer at AEGEAN, said: “We are very happy to offer Europe’s most advanced inflight broadband to our passengers. This exciting milestone is part of our continued efforts to develop the AEGEAN service offering for passengers and strengthen our competitive position, which is particularly important as the aviation industry continues to recover from the global pandemic’s impact. We enjoy working with Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom and Display Interactive to roll out the European Aviation Network on all our A320 and A32 fleet.”

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Our European Aviation Network inflight broadband solution experienced record demand from passengers last year, with take-up rates substantially higher than before the pandemic. We are delighted that it will be available on AEGEAN flights, as part of the airline’s impressive efforts to offer a truly world-class passenger experience. Inmarsat has worked closely with our partner Deutsche Telekom and the AEGEAN team to expedite the rollout and ensure the airline’s passengers can now start enjoying Europe’s fastest inflight broadband.”

“This agreement strengthens our market leadership in Europe’s inflight connectivity market and also represents an important milestone in our long-held relationship with Greece, home to some of our most critical ground infrastructure, including EAN’s Satellite Access Station.”

Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President of Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, added: “EAN is perfectly adapted to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and a true game-changer for inflight connectivity. For Aegean’s passengers, it offers an unparalleled connectivity experience while flying above the European continent. And for the carrier, it provides a highly compelling business case due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment. Thanks to its scalability, EAN will not only provide unbeatable connectivity to Aegean passengers today, but for many years to come.”

EAN has been designed specifically to meet the needs of European aviation, delivering consistent inflight broadband across Europe, one of the world’s most congested airspaces. Developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and Eclipse Technics, it also offers the fastest ever installation time for a connectivity solution, requiring only seven hours per aircraft, meaning significantly less downtime. Combined with the system’s low weight, low drag and low maintenance, this results in lower overall operation costs.

AEGEAN’s selection of EAN comes to support its ongoing efforts to enhance customer experience and is aligned with demand for inflight connectivity, which has continued to soar since the global pandemic.


BOEING

  • EPIC Fuels to supply fuel blend with SAF component made from inedible agricultural waste for production, test, Dreamlifter and delivery flights
  • Largest SAF purchase to date demonstrates Boeing commitment to SAF as most immediate way to decarbonize aviation

Boeing announced a supply agreement for two million gallons (7.5 million liters) of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with EPIC Fuels to power its Commercial Airplanes operations in Washington state and South Carolina through 2022. The agreement is the largest announced SAF procurement by an airframer and further demonstrates Boeing’s commitment to decarbonizing aviation.

Sustainably produced jet fuel, which reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 80% over the fuel’s life cycle with the potential to reach 100% in the future, is widely recognized as offering the most immediate and greatest potential to decarbonize aviation over the next 20 to 30 years. Made from several feedstocks, sustainable aviation fuel is certified for commercial use and can be blended with traditional jet fuel without modifications to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure. Approximately a year ago, Boeing committed to deliver its commercial airplanes capable and certified to fly on 100% SAF by 2030.

The purchase agreement with EPIC Fuels includes a SAF product made from inedible agricultural waste, blending 30% neat SAF with 70% conventional jet fuel. The purchase will enable broader use of SAF for Boeing commercial production, test, ferry, Dreamlifter and customer flights at facilities in Everett, Renton and Seattle in Washington state and North Charleston, South Carolina. EPIC Fuels will also continue to supply customized blends from 50/50% up to 100% SAF for the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program, which accelerates innovation by taking promising technologies out of the lab and testing them in the air to solve real-world challenges for airlines and passengers. SAF is currently approved for a 50/50 blend with conventional jet fuel for commercial flights.

The purchase builds on Boeing’s long-term industry leadership and investment to develop SAF around the world, partnering with airlines, fuel companies, governments and research institutions to expand SAF supply and reduce its cost. Boeing began SAF test flights in 2008, helped gain approval for commercial use in 2011 and enabled airplane delivery flights with SAF starting in 2012. The 2018 Boeing ecoDemonstrator conducted the industry’s first 100 percent SAF commercial airplane test flight on a 777 Freighter in partnership with FedEx. In 2019, Boeing began offering customers the option to power commercial delivery flights with SAF to demonstrate commitment to reducing CO2 and further spur the use of cleaner fuels.


OTHER NEWS

BOEING

Boeing Launches 777-8 Freighter to Serve Growing Demand for Cargo, Enhanced Environmental Performance

  • Qatar Airways, one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, orders up to 50 777-8 Freighters, expanding its commitment to the Boeing 777X family
  • 777-8 Freighter will be world’s largest twin-engine cargo jet with the most payload capacity and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs
  • U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and His Excellency, Ambassador Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad Al Thani, and Director of the White House National Economic Council Brian Deese witness the record order signing during White House ceremony
  • Boeing and Qatar Airways also sign Memorandum of Understanding for up to 50 737-10s, the largest 737 MAX jet

Boeing launched the new 777-8 Freighter and expanded its market-leading 777X and freighter families of jetliners with an order for up to 50 aircraft from one of the world’s largest cargo carriers, Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways will be the 777-8 Freighter launch customer with a firm order for 34 jets and options for 16 more, a total purchase that would be worth more than $20 billion at current list prices and the largest freighter commitment in Boeing history by value. The order also supports hundreds of U.S. suppliers from across 38 states, will sustain more than 35,000 U.S. jobs, and provide the American economy with an annual estimated economic impact of $2.6 billion during the contract’s delivery period.

Featuring advanced technology from the new 777X family and the proven performance of the market-leading 777 Freighter, the 777-8 Freighter will be the largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter in the industry. With payload capacity nearly identical to the 747-400 Freighter and a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, emissions and operating costs, the 777-8 Freighter will enable a more sustainable and profitable business for operators.

At the White House, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, His Excellency Ambassador Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad Al Thani, Director of the White House National Economic Council Brian Deese, and Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun joined the formal signing by Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, who reaffirmed the airline’s commitment to the 777X family with the record-breaking 777-8 Freighter deal. First delivery of the new freighter is anticipated in 2027.

Boeing is designing the 777-8 Freighter, the newest member of the 777X family, to maximize efficiency and environmental performance. The widebody family features engineering design improvements and innovative technologies, including a new carbon-fiber composite wing and new fuel-efficient engines. With a range of 4,410 nautical miles (8,167 km), the 777-8 Freighter has a maximum structural payload of 118 tonnes, allowing customers to make fewer stops and reduce landing fees on long-haul routes.

Boeing will build the 777-8 Freighter in its Everett, Wash., factory. The company has invested more than $1 billion into the Everett site to support 777X production and sustain thousands of local jobs for decades to come.

As part of the agreement, Qatar Airways will convert 20 of its 60 777X family orders to the 777-8 Freighter. Qatar Airways is also ordering two current 777 Freighters – Boeing’s best-selling freighter of all time – to capitalize on the buoyant air cargo market. Customers from around the world have ordered more than 300 777 Freighters since the program began in 2005.

Boeing and Qatar Airways also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a firm order of 25 737-10 aircraft and purchase rights for 25 additional airplanes. The total value of this 737-10 commitment is nearly $7 billion at current list prices. The largest model in the MAX family, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles. The fuel-efficient jet can cover 99% of single-aisle routes around the world.

Boeing Financial Summary:

Boeing recorded $4.3b net loss on $62b revenues in 2021 vs $11.9b loss on $58b in 2020; Commercial Airplanes took a $3.5b pre-tax non-cash charge on the 787 program, which is currently producing at a very low rate and expected to do so until deliveries resume, with an expected gradual return to five per month over time. Boeing is presently producing 26 737s per month.

More Boeing News:

Boeing and China Airlines  announced the Taiwan flag carrier has ordered four 777 Freighters, adding to its extensive fleet of Boeing airplanes. Valued at $1.4 billion at list prices, the order will enable the airline to capture new market opportunities as global air cargo demand continues to grow.

The 777 Freighter is the world’s largest, most capable twin-engine Freighter. It has a range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 km) with a maximum revenue payload of 102 tonnes (224,900 lbs), while contributing to a 17% reduction in fuel use and CO2 emissions per tonne compared to prior generation airplanes. In addition, the 777F will allow China Airlines to make fewer stops on long-haul routes, further reducing associated landing fees and resulting in the lowest trip cost of any large freighter.

In 2021, China Airlines’ air cargo revenue was up 186% above the pre-pandemic year of 2019, which nearly balanced out a 96% drop in passenger revenue. Last year China Airlines Cargo recorded the best year in its history – over TWD 100 billion (USD $3.6 billion) in revenue – by leveraging its existing all-Boeing fleet of (18) 747-400 Freighters and (3) 777 Freighters. With (3) 777 Freighters already on order, China Airlines’ 777 Freighter is the perfect complement to the airline’s existing 747-400 Freighter fleet, seamlessly accommodating the 3-meter (10-foot) tall pallets and maximizing flexibility for its air cargo operations.


OTHER NEWS

Royal Brunei Airlines Selects Anuvu as IFE Content Service Provider

Anuvu announces its partnership with Royal Brunei Airlines, serving as the company’s Content Service Provider (CSP) starting February 2022.

Passengers traveling with Royal Brunei Airlines, a boutique airline based out of Brunei, Asia and operating flights between Australia, England, Japan and China, can now watch a wide range of inflight entertainment (IFE) provided by Anuvu’s Iris platform, a cost-effective and convenient IFE subscription service for airlines. The partnership will offer a wide variety of premium entertainment, including bespoke customer solutions, to fit airline budgets and boost passenger experiences, meeting travelers’ high expectations for onboard entertainment.

“2022 promises to usher in a whole new set of challenges and opportunities for our industry. I am glad that we have chosen Anuvu as our new IFE partner,” said Sabirin Hj Abdul Hamid, acting CEO, Royal Brunei Airlines. “We selected Anuvu to enhance our passenger experience through an innovative IFE presentation and extensive library as we look forward to relaunch our scheduled network after almost two years of minimum operations due to the COVID19 travel restrictions. Behind the scenes, our team will appreciate the ease and flexibility of Iris.”

“We are delighted to begin servicing such a prestigious airline as Royal Brunei, which has been recognized time and time again for its impeccable service and passenger experience,” said Estibaliz Asiain, Anuvu SVP, Commercial Media & Content. “We look forward to supporting the team in continuing to take their inflight experience to new heights through innovative technology and media and content solutions.”

Iris is a monthly service for aviation clients to select best-in-class content for passengers. It is an efficient and flexible solution that enables airlines to have a clear fixed pricing structure, inclusive to airlines of all sizes. Passengers have access to Hollywood and international movies, award-winning TV and next-generation featured content.

More News From Anuvu: 

  • Anuvu Modernizes Inflight Entertainment Selection with Explore
  •  Innovative online media and content library disrupts legacy practices to enable airlines to deliver a superior passenger experience with ease.

Anuvu launches Explore, a user-friendly and comprehensive online library that simplifies choosing inflight entertainment content. The innovative solution delivers to airlines a modern and efficient alternative to the industry’s legacy approach to content and media selection.

For decades, inflight entertainment selection has been a complex and time-intensive process centered around manually searching lengthy PDF attachments, PowerPoints and Excel spreadsheets to find and select the right content mix. With Explore, Anuvu elevates content selection into the digital age with an easy-to-use, cloud-based website.

“We are thrilled to offer a simple, informative and technology-driven solution for airlines when it comes to viewing available titles,” said Anuvu’s Terri Davies, SVP Content & Media Services. “Choosing content should not be a time-consuming and tedious process, and with Explore, airlines will be able to easily provide their passengers the very best media and content.”

Explore offers airlines full visibility into their content options via an online platform, accessible 24/7, to discover and easily filter through recommended and available titles. Through the intuitive dashboard, airlines can view essential details and metadata for each title, including trailers, synopses, cast and crew, available languages, and IMDB scores.

Explore pairs with Anuvu’s innovative subscription service Iris, which offers airlines a tailored and pre-curated variety of content. Together, Explore and Iris modernize inflight entertainment in a way that eases the selection burden for airlines, builds content based on an airline’s specific needs, maximizes return-on investment, and delivers to passengers a memorable inflight entertainment experience.


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has appointed Chris VandenBerg as Chief Engineer (Software).

In this role, Chris will be responsible for delivering the company’s highly complex, end-to-end software that redefines how airlines interact with their passengers onboard the aircraft. He will report to CTO, Joe Bentley, and will lead a multi-disciplined and talented team of highly skilled individuals across Panasonic Avionics’ global footprint. Chris will also act as the company’s primary technical contact with its customers.

Bentley said, “Our customers are always looking for new ways to deliver an enhanced passenger experience, generate revenue, increase passenger engagement and improve operational efficiencies. Robust and reliable software will be the foundation for the kinds of products and solutions that help them achieve their organizational goals. Chris has a wealth of experience in software design and development and is highly knowledgeable in delivering a final production product from its concept phase. I am delighted to welcome him back to Panasonic Avionics where he will again be a major asset to our team.”

Chris has over 25 years of experience in software programming, hardware design, and system architecture. He re-joins Panasonic Avionics from Safran Passenger Innovations, where he was Technical Fellow – Head of Software Architecture from 2019, managing a team of software architectures and developers.

Chris brings 14 years of experience at Panasonic Avionics, having joined as Principal Software Engineer in 2004 and progressed to become CTO, Global Communications in 2016. During this time, he managed engineering teams in the company’s satellite communications division and designed the company’s Global IPTV system, including its first generation of IP back-haul and up-link distributions.

Chris VandenBerg said, “As an award-winning provider of in-flight entertainment and connectivity, Panasonic Avionics is a company I am very proud to be a part of, and I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues to enhance the standards of software engineering excellence that we deliver to our airline customers.”

Panasonic Avionics has led the industry in providing new ways to increase passenger engagement through its growing portfolio of digital solutions. Its immersive ArcTM 3D map product has been adopted by over 20 airlines since its debut at Aircraft Interiors in 2019. Its Marketplace solution, launched with Singapore airlines earlier this year, enables airlines to create turn-key eCommerce experiences by expanding their storefront retail and duty-free offerings onboard, with the ability to present dynamic inventory and initiate promotions throughout the customer journey.


THALES

  • American Airlines’ new A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 fleets will be equipped with Thales’ latest AVANT solution.
  • American Airlines will be the first customer to fly with Thales’ new line of high-performance Optiq displays, the industry’s first 4K high dynamic range (HDR) seatback screens enhanced with Samsung QLED proprietary technology.
  • The airline’s A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft are anticipated to enter service in 2023.

American Airlines has selected Thales’ latest AVANT inflight entertainment (IFE) solution to equip its new A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft for transcontinental and international travel.

American’s aircraft will be the launch customer flying with Thales’ new line of Optiq displays, the industry’s first 4K high dynamic range (HDR) seatback screens enhanced with Samsung QLED proprietary technology. Optiq provides passengers with the best monitor experience in the air, with an unrivaled picture quality featuring more than 1 billion colors.

The system is capable of Bluetooth connection at each seat, which allows passengers to pair their wireless headphones to the system.

Premium Class seats will enjoy 17-inch displays accompanied with a 5-inch touchscreen handset offering a true second-screen experience. Premium Economy and Economy Class will feature 13.3-inch displays and 11.6-inch displays, respectively.

AVANT will be integrated with American’s high-speed connectivity system to provide digital services and real-time health monitoring & reporting.

American has also selected Thales’ high-power charging solutions, which will give passengers access to both USB type C 60-watt and AC outlets at each seat in all classes. This solution is designed to meet the specific power needs of passengers, now and in the future.

“American Airlines has trusted Thales as an inflight entertainment supplier for more than a decade and now to equip its new A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft with the latest AVANT IFE solution. As air travel begins to recover, Thales continues to invest in digital innovations that create value for our customers. We’re truly excited to provide these solutions to American and its customers.” Yannick Assouad, Executive Vice-President Avionics, Thales

Also From Thales:

Thales has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Moog ground-based navigation aids business located in Salt Lake City, Utah. – Moog navigation aid offerings complement Thales’ family of navigation aids.Upon acquisition closing, in addition to fixed navigation aids, Thales will gain “man-portable” technology, further supporting contingency air operations as well as evolving military mobility needs. The post-acquisition integration will augment Thales U.S.-based engineering, industrial and technology capabilities.


PEGASUS AIRLINE

Pegasus Airlines has set its 2030 interim target for carbon emissions; the airline aims to reduce flight-related carbon (CO2) emissions per unit passenger kilometre (RPK) by 20% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.


OTHER NEWS

Women in Aviation has selected the 2022 inductees for its International Pioneer Hall of Fame. These women will be honored during the 33rd Annual International Women in Aviation Conference, held March 17-19, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2022 Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees are: Cornelia Clark Fort, Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner, U.S. Navy, and Col. Peggy A. Phillips, (retired) of the U.S. Air Force.
Congrats Ladies!

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has announced the appointment of Kim Creaven as Director of Advertising Sales.

Kim will serve as the organizational lead for all Panasonic Avionics’ market-driven, advertising-related solutions. She will be responsible for the development and oversight of the business to include product, sales, and marketing solutions that maximize opportunities for the monetization of passenger engagement through in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems.

In her role, Kim will report to Andrew Mohr, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President, Digital Solutions. She will be working with customers, stakeholders, and third-party vendors to help develop and execute product and marketing strategies for its advertising services across the company’s business verticals.

Andrew Mohr said, “There is incredible room for growth in the in-flight advertising space, and Kim’s expertise and in-depth industry knowledge will contribute greatly to unlocking that potential through Panasonic Avionics’ IFE and Connectivity.”

Kim has more than 26 years of experience in advertising and sales roles with airlines, media, and IFEC providers. She previously held roles at Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Gogo and joins Panasonic Avionics from ANUVU (formally Global Eagle Entertainment), where she was Vice President of Sales, Strategy and Partner Marketing from 2014 – 2020.

Kim Creaven said, “Panasonic Avionics is a proven leader in digital aviation products and services, and I am delighted to be joining their talented team at such an exciting time for our sector.”

“As Panasonic Avionics continues its advances in digital ancillary revenue innovation, we will be taking today’s in-cabin entertainment experience to the next level of engagement with our industry-leading advertising services.”

“I will use my experience and passion for our industry to help Panasonic Avionics become the lead in onboard advertising and ancillary revenue standards and to deliver innovative customer partnerships across the globe.”

Since 2017, Kim has also been Chairwoman of the APEX (The Airline Passenger Experience Association) Advertising & Ancillary Revenue Committee – the first within APEX to elevate airline ancillary revenue related to advertising, sponsorships, and loyalty partnerships. In this role, Kim has led the creation of industry best practices and the first glossary of terms for creative airline advertising.

Kim attended the University of Kentucky, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree within the School of Business and Journalism.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, today confirmed that its strategic partner BSNL has received the necessary licenses to deliver Inmarsat’s world-leading Global Xpress (GX) mobile broadband services in India.

Under BSNL’s Inflight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) license from the Department of Telecommunications, GX will be available to Indian customers across government, aviation and maritime.

The announcement means that India’s airlines will be able to deploy GX for in-flight connectivity within India and throughout the world, while India’s commercial maritime companies will be able to enhance significantly the digitalization of their vessels for more effective ship operations and crew welfare services. BSNL’s license will also see the award-winning GX service offered to government and other users. There will be a phased introduction of services for customers and partners.

Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, said: “Today is a significant day for Inmarsat and our valued, long-term partnership with India, which was a signatory to the founding treaty establishing Inmarsat in 1979. Inmarsat is delighted to make the world’s only global high-speed mobile broadband Ka-band network available to the Government and businesses in India through our partner BSNL. We are committed to India and the company has been a trusted partner for the Indian government for four decades. Today’s announcement, which we share proudly with our friends at BSNL, will help to underpin the further economic growth that we all wish to see in India.”

GX, operating in the Ka-band, is the first and only high-speed broadband network designed for mobility and government customers to seamlessly span the world. This market-leading service delivers the high bandwidth, reliability and security that commercial and government-grade mobility customers demand. GX is continually evolving to offer even more capacity, capabilities and operational agility for Inmarsat customers now and well into the future. The company is launching a further seven GX satellites, including its next generation GX satellites, over the coming three years, each of which will add more capacity into a single region than the first four satellites combined. The GX gateway for India is located in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, Mr P.K. Purwar said: “BSNL and Inmarsat are delighted to share this key milestone with our partners and customers in India. Global Xpress is recognized as the world’s best high-speed satellite communications service for government and mobility business customers and we are very pleased to make these capabilities available to users in India. All of us at BSNL appreciate the commitment to excellence shown by the Indian Government as we have worked on approvals to deliver this service to the country. Equally, we thank our partner Inmarsat for their spirit of collaboration in reaching today’s milestone to help power forward economic development in India through higher quality connectivity for our customers.”

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Ltd, said: “We are delighted that Global Xpress, the world-leading passenger inflight connectivity service, is now coming to India. We are looking forward to offering this ground-breaking connectivity service to our passengers later this year, when we introduce our new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. It will enable our customers to remain connected in the air as they do on the ground.”

Gautam Sharma, Inmarsat India Managing Director, said: “Inmarsat is well-positioned to partner with the Indian government to address the ever-growing demand for reliable, mobile satellite communication services across a broad range of commercial and public sectors. Following the successful introduction of Inmarsat’s voice and broadband data communication services across India in the past, today we are announcing that Inmarsat’s award-winning Global Xpress services has now secured the necessary licenses through our valued partner BSNL. Global Xpress is the gold standard of high-speed satellite mobile broadband communications. It will enable Indian domestic airlines and international airlines flying over India to provide the world’s fastest inflight connectivity. It will also speed up the digitalization of Indian-flagged maritime vessels and give an edge to the Indian Government, including its defense forces. We are proud to be led by Rajeev Suri, an Indian-born global leader as we unlock the next phase of commitment to the Indian government and Indian market.”

Also From Inmarsat:

Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring the company’s existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellite networks [GX and Inmarsat ELERA operating in the L-band] together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA allows capacity to be boosted in high-density areas such as at airports and maritime ports, eliminating network ‘hot spot’ congestion forever and ensuring that the connectivity needs of mobility and government customers continue to be met for decades to come, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


AVALON

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, and Japan Airlines (‘JAL’), announce a partnership to commercialize zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft in Japan.

Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, has formed a strategic partnership with JAL to identify and target local partners and customers, infrastructure requirements, certification, and a range of commercial models to introduce one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses in Japan. Through this partnership, JAL will have a right to purchase or lease up to 50 Vertical VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, with the option to purchase or lease up to 50 additional units.


BOEING

Boeing Forecasts 20-year Middle East Commercial Jet and Services Market Valued at more than $1.4 Trillion

  • Commercial fleet expected to more than double to serve passenger and cargo demand
  • Projected widebody deliveries will be the highest proportion of any region at 44%
  • Aftermarket commercial services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion

Boeing said that airlines in the Middle East will require 3,000 new airplanes valued at $700 billion and aftermarket services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion, with the region positioned to capitalize on the recovery of regional and international travel and cargo demand. Boeing provided the estimate in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a forecast of 20-year demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Middle East passenger traffic and the region’s commercial fleet are projected to more than double over the 20-year forecast period, according to the CMO. More than two-thirds of airplane deliveries to the Middle East will accommodate growth, while one-third of deliveries will replace older airplanes with more fuel-efficient models such as the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X.

“The Middle East region’s role as a global connecting hub continues to be important for developing markets to and from Southeast Asia, China and Africa,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for the Middle East. “The region has been a leader in restoring confident passenger travel through multi-faceted initiatives that aid international travel recovery.”

Air freight represents an ongoing area of opportunity for Middle East airlines, with the freighter fleet projected to nearly double from 80 airplanes in 2019 to 150 by 2040. Notably, air cargo traffic flown by Middle East carriers has increased since 2020 by nearly 20%, with two of the world’s top-five cargo carriers based in the region.

The 2021 Middle East CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

To accommodate increased passenger and cargo traffic, airlines are predicted to grow their fleets to 3,530 jets.
The region will continue to see robust widebody demand, with 1,570 deliveries supporting a growing network of international routes.

The current single-aisle fleet of 660 airplanes is forecast to nearly triple to 1,750 jets.

Commercial services opportunities include fleet renewal, maintenance, repair and parts supply, and operations optimization.

Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook forecasts that the region is estimated to require 223,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including 54,000 pilots, 51,000 technicians and 91,000 cabin crew members. The complete PTO is available here. The complete CMO forecast is available here.

Boeing Forecasts Africa’s 20-year Commercial Aviation Market Opportunity Valued at Nearly $400 Billion.

  • Africa’s commercial airplane fleet projected to grow to 1,560 over the next 20 years
  • 80% of new deliveries are for African carrier growth as intra-continent traffic rises

Boeing forecasts that Africa’s airlines will require 1,030 new airplanes by 2040 valued at $160 billion and aftermarket services such as manufacturing and repair worth $235 billion, enabling growth for air travel and economies across the continent. Boeing shared the projection as part of the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term assessment of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Africa’s strong, long-term growth prospects for commercial aviation are closely tied to the continent’s projected 3% annual economic growth over the next 20 years. Initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area and Single African Air Transport Market are expected to stimulate trade, air travel and economic cooperation. Additionally, the region’s middle class and working population is projected to double by the end of the forecast period, driving increased demand for air travel, according to Boeing.

“Africa has healthy opportunities to expand travel and tourism, coinciding with increasing urbanization and rising incomes,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for Middle East and Africa. “African carriers are well-positioned to support inter-regional traffic growth and capture market share by offering services that efficiently connect passengers and enable commerce within the continent.”

The 2021 Africa CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

  • Airlines in Africa will grow their fleets by 3.6% per year to accommodate passenger traffic growth of 5.4% annually, the third-highest growth rate in the world.
  • Single-aisle jets are expected to account for more than 70% of commercial deliveries, with 740 new planes mainly supporting domestic and inter-regional demand. In addition, African carriers are estimated to need 250 new widebodies, including passenger and cargo models, to support long-haul routes and air freight growth.
  • 80% of African jet deliveries are expected to serve fleet growth with more sustainable, fuel-efficient models such as the 737, 777X and 787 Dreamliner, with 20% of deliveries replacing older airplanes.

Estimated demand for aviation personnel will rise to 63,000 new professionals, including 19,000 pilots, 20,000 technicians and 24,000 cabin crew members.

Commercial services opportunities such as supply chain, manufacturing, repair and overhaul are valued at $235 billion.


OTHER NEWS

  • MORGAN STANLEY
    – The White House is adopting a new air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccinations to advance the resumption of international air travel to the U.S. beginning in November.
    – Southwest Airlines walks back its plan to place unvaccinated staff seeking medical and/or religious exemptions on unpaid leave after the December federal deadline.
    – Southwest also announced a 10-year environmental sustainability plan in support of the airline’s overall goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  • This is unbelievable:”Apple disclosed the M1 Pro transistor count to be at 33.7 billion, while the M1 Max bloats that up to 57 billion transistors.” Apple Announces M1 Pro & M1 Max: Giant New Arm SoCs with All-Out Performance
  • What is AI? Morning Brew OK, now, what is 5G? Morning Brew
  • Want to see how Airbus retrofits aircraft wings for installation of Sharklets? Airbus’ Sharklets: Ready for retrofit – YouTube Oh, you don’t know about how winglets work and what they do? Understanding Winglets; Drag; & How the Winglets Improve the Aerodynamic Efficiency on an Aircraft! – YouTube

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has named Kent D. Craver to lead the company’s marketing activities, effective today.

As Senior Director, Kent will shape the company’s marketing efforts with responsibility for Panasonic Avionics’ global brand, and digital marketing transformation, with the goal of becoming the world’s leading brand for delivering an extraordinary passenger in-flight experience.

He will lead a global, multi-disciplinary team including the Brand, Marketing, Digital Marketing and Market Analysis groups. Kent will report to Andy Masson, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President of Product and Portfolio Management.

Andy Masson, Vice President of Product Management, said, “Kent has a proven track record in delivering results in customer engagement, brand management and passenger experience. I am confident he will be a valuable addition to Panasonic Avionics and I am delighted to welcome him to our team.”

Kent has over 25 years of experience in the aviation industry. For 12 years, he was Regional Director – Cabin Experience and Revenue Analysis at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. His responsibilities included identifying passenger preferences and airline requirements, using that information to guide product development and helping carriers configure their aircraft to maximize profitability.

He joined Boeing in 2007 from Continental Airlines, where he managed Onboard Product Marketing and Research, with the responsibility for developing and maintaining the branding and customer experience aspects of the carrier’s onboard products.

Kent Craver said, “Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity provider. I’m excited to be leading the marketing team as we evolve the company’s brand to reflect the way it is transforming the passenger experience.”

An active participant and speaker in various industry forums, Kent also served two separate terms as president of the World Airline Entertainment Association (now APEX). He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


NetForecast

NetForecast, a leading provider of Internet performance measurement services, has named Mary Rogozinksi Director of Aviation Business DevelopmentMary has been a leader in the inflight entertainment and communications industry for over 30 years. In her new role, Mary is responsible for strategy, marketing, sales, and account managementworking with airlines, inflight connectivity providers, business aviation partners, and other transportationrelated companies to improve the passenger WiFi experience. NetForecast recently unveiled its QMap® Inflight Internet Experience Monitoring service, which continuously measures the passenger WiFi experience from personal electronic devices, and reports on endtoend network experience quality in near realtime.

As current Chair of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Connectivity Working Group (CWG)Mary leads the effort to document metrics for measuring the inflight connectivity passenger experience. Through her work at United, SmartSky, and Gogo, she was instrumental in introducing inflight connectivity to airlines, and helped launch the service on American, Alaska, and AirTran Airways. Mary has been actively involved in the inflight entertainment and connectivity industry throughout her careerShe served as Director on the APEX Boardis a member of the Leadership Team for the APEX Technology Committee, and is a longstanding member and formeChair of the APEX Thought Leadership Committee. She has also served as President of APEX.

According to Rebecca Wetzel, NetForecastPresident: NetForecast is delighted to welcome Mary Rogozinski to our team. Her deep understanding of the aviation industry and her longstanding commitment to improving the passenger experience make her the perfect fit for our mission to improve the Internet experience for aircraft passengers.

NetForecast is a privately held company headquartered in Charlottesville VA. Its customers provide Internet service to over 62 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet subscribers.


SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD) has confirmed successful functioning of the Plane Simple™ Antenna System during a series of transatlantic and European validation flights. In more than sixteen hours of testing amassed during a three-day mission, the tail-mounted, Ku-band Plane Simple Antenna System demonstrated its compatibility with the Intelsat FlexExec satellite network. Seamless data transmission was supported by the SD ecosystem of hardware, software, and terrestrial infrastructure, as it delivered consistent data streaming across multiple devices.

The SD Gulfstream G350 flight, confirmed the reliability of the new hardware, which has been developed specifically for business aviation. Constant data transmission verified the terminal’s functionality across the Intelsat FlexExec network, stressed the system, and proved its capabilities across a range of aerial dynamics. The flight transitioned between three satellites on the Intelsat network as the aircraft flew along the east coast of the USA, across the North Atlantic, and on to Ireland, before returning back to base in Melbourne, FL.

The beam transmission was flawless as more than 29 GB of data was transmitted during the flight trials across Intelsat’s multi-layered, redundant, high-throughput satellite network. The SDR® Gateway router supported Wi-Fi distribution to numerous personal electronic devices in the cabin, enabling multiple streaming applications, video conferencing calls, and Live-TV, to be simultaneously active.

“This heralds a new era for business aviation as it confirms SD has successfully developed a powerful hardware system that supports unparalleled connectivity services from a single source supplier. Contacting just one company for all connectivity needs streamlines the ownership experience, enhances customer support, and demystifies the complexity of aviation connectivity,” says President of Satcom Direct Business Aviation, Chris Moore. “The results prove that SD can support high-definition data streams for numerous on-board users concurrently and demonstrates that we remain committed to optimizing the possibilities delivered by the digitization of aviation.”

The Plane Simple Antenna System delivers a number of firsts to the business aviation sector. It consists of only two LRUs, an antenna and a modem, both of which are easy to access, enabling seamless upgrade paths and maintenance. The modem is positioned in the unpressurized part of the aircraft which also returns valuable stowage space to the passenger and crew.

SD is now working on generating commercial Supplemental Type Certificates to support Plane Simple installations. It is anticipated the first will be for Falcon 2000 owners, with others to follow by the end of the year to support business, military, and government aviation customers.

The tail-mounted Plane Simple Ku-band antenna is the first in a series being developed by SD in partnership with Germany-based QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme GmbH, a worldwide market leader in innovative aeronautical antennas. Once activated it will support the Intelsat FlexExec Ku-band service, which has been designed as the only airtime service dedicated exclusively for business aviation.


BOEING

The Boeing Company announced the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), excluding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, effective Sept. 30.

Ghata-Aura, who is returning to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, will be based in Dubai. He will be responsible for leading all company-wide activities and developing and implementing strategies for a region that is home to some of Boeing’s largest commercial, defense and services customers.

Ghata-Aura, who previously served as the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, will oversee the company’s new business and industrial partnership opportunities, safety and sustainability efforts, government affairs and corporate citizenship. He also will oversee Boeing’s efforts to expand its presence and strengthen its relationships with customers and other stakeholders in the region.

Ghata-Aura succeeds Bernie Dunn, who is leaving Boeing after more than nine years with the company in the region.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Kuljit brings a wealth of experience to the role from many of Boeing’s most important markets and businesses, including the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, where he has spent considerable time. I look forward to working with Kuljit to drive further growth in the region,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president, Boeing International. “We thank Bernie for his great contribution to the growth of Boeing’s presence in the META region over the last seven years and wish him well for the future.”

Boeing’s presence in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa goes back several decades. Boeing has offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company also has several industrial and academic partnerships in the region. Today, the region is one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial airplane markets, and its defense needs are rapidly expanding.

“I am delighted to return to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region in this significant leadership role and rejoin my colleagues as we continue to focus on partnering with all stakeholders in one of the fastest-growing and important markets for the company in META. Boeing has a strong presence in the region and there continues to be unique opportunities. We are, and continue to be, committed to working closely with the civil aviation and defense authorities and our customers to help achieve the region’s aerospace ambitions and objectives,” said Ghata-Aura.

Ghata-Aura joined Boeing in 2010 and has held several leadership roles for the company in Europe, Russia, Israel, India and the META region. In addition to being the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, Ghata-Aura also held the role of director of market development for UAE from 2015-16. Prior to joining Boeing, Ghata-Aura was a partner at a large international firm practicing cross border mergers and acquisitions. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

Also From Boeing:

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., Boeing  announced a $1 million donation to organizations supporting Hispanic and Latinx communities. The investment package will fund 28 organizations working to strengthen appreciation for Hispanic and Latinx history and culture, increase STEM education curriculum in underserved schools, advance Latinx-focused leadership and workforce development programs and diversify the aerospace talent pipeline.

“We celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans every year from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, but partnering in a practical way to support these communities every day can be life-changing,” said Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer, senior vice president of Information Technology & Data Analytics and executive sponsor of Boeing Familia, the company’s Hispanic and Latinx business resource group. “This grant will empower students, artists and families to tap into their creativity and turn possibility into reality, which not only has the power to transform communities, but also industries – and the world.”

The funding package includes support for the following organizations with a national focus:

  • $300K: Hispanic Heritage Foundation – funding to develop a new program called Engineering on the Fast Track to introduce aerospace engineering concepts to underrepresented students across the country, based on its popular Coding as a Second Language program; and sponsorship of a new STEM category for the Hispanic Heritage Awards to honor the Latina NASA scientists working on the Mars Rover Mission
  • $100K: Great Minds in STEM – funding will support the Viva Technology program which engages K-12 Latinx students, teachers and parents in STEM challenges
  • $50K: National Association of Latino Arts and Culture – funding will support artists, projects, and organizations working to address challenges in urban and rural Latinx communities across the U.S.
  • $25K: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – funding to support the Pre-College and Community College Conference to provide parents and community college student members with the knowledge, resources and network they need to successfully transfer to four year universities
  • Boeing’s contribution will also fund an additional 24 organizations providing support across 11 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington.

A full list of partners receiving grants can be found here.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is energized to partner with The Boeing Company, not only to recognize amazing Latina engineers like Christina Hernandez, Clara O’Farrell and Diana Trujillo, but also to inspire many more engineers through our new STEM initiative, Engineering on the Fast Track for Latino youth across the country,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

“In addition, Boeing will be the exclusive sponsor of this year’s STEM Category at the Hispanic Heritage Awards where we will highlight three incredible and talented Latinas who are currently working on the MARS Rover Mission and demonstrating that anything is truly possible, whether here on earth or on another planet. Christina Hernandez, Clara O’Farrell and Diana Trujillo truly exemplify leadership in every way by proving that dreams can come true.”


OTHER NEWS

Boeing to Add 767-300BCF Conversion Lines at GAMECO to Meet Strong Market Demand

  • Boeing will open two new 767-300BCF conversion lines next year at GAMECO in Guangzhou, China
  •  GAMECO will be the first MRO to convert both the 737-800BCF and 767-300BCF

Boeing and Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) announced plans to create additional capacity for the 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to help meet continued strong market demand.

The agreement, revealed by the two companies during a signing ceremony at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, will expand freighter conversion capacity at GAMECO, opening two new 767-300BCF conversion lines next year.

“It was mutually beneficial to continue building our relationship with GAMECO to provide additional conversion capacity for the 767-300BCF while supporting growth in the region,” said Peter Gao, vice president, Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing for China. “GAMECO has demonstrated excellent execution on the 737-800BCF program. We know it will bring the same expertise and proven capability to help deliver our medium widebody freighter conversions to our global customers.”

GAMECO will be the first MRO in China to convert the 767-300BCF and the only MRO converting both the 767-300BCF and the 737-800BCF. Earlier this year, GAMECO announced plans to open a third 737-800BCF conversion line.

“GAMECO is very proud to extend its relationship with Boeing and their converted freighter program to include another aircraft type,” said Norbert Marx, general manager, GAMECO. “The introduction of the 767-300BCF program further grows GAMECO’s regional presence and enhances our strategic focus around meeting the strong customer demand. We will open the 767-300BCF conversion lines in our new hangar.”

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. Of those, 520 will be widebody conversions with Asia carriers accounting for more than 40 percent of that demand. The 767-300BCF has more than 95 orders and commitments.

Learn more about the Boeing Converted Freighters and the complete Boeing freighter family here.

GAMECO, established in October 1989 at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, is a joint venture between China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa (China) Ltd. from Hong Kong that specializes in aircraft and airborne component maintenance, repair and overhaul. GAMECO provides comprehensive, high-quality and highly efficient services to customers, covering line maintenance, base maintenance, component repair and overhaul, aircraft engineering, and training and technical service of ground-support equipment.

Boeing Charitable Trust:

Boeing is committing $1 million from the Boeing Charitable Trust to assist with disaster recovery and relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the company announced. This includes a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross that will help to bring shelter, food, water, relief supplies and other assistance to hard hit areas across the South, including Louisiana, and the Northeast United States.

The remaining $500,000 will fund additional local organizations to help communities with short and longer-term needs such as clean up, repairs and rebuilding, including:

  • $100,000 to Greater New Orleans Foundation to support cleanup and recovery efforts in and around the city of New Orleans
  • $100,000 to Bayou Recovery Fund to support cleanup and recovery efforts along the Louisiana Gulf Coast
    $100,000 to World Central Kitchen to provide nourishing meals for communities in need
  • $75,000 to Food Bank of South Jersey to provide emergency food resources to those in need
  • $75,000 to Community Food Bank of New Jersey to support food distribution across the state
  • $50,000 to Combined Arms to support military veterans and their families who have been impacted by Hurricane Ida

Boeing Forecasts China’s 20-year Commercial Airplane Market Valued at Nearly $1.5 trillion:

Boeing forecasts that China’s airlines will require 8,700 new airplanes by 2040, valued at $1.47 trillion, to meet expanding commercial air travel demand. The 20-year forecast reflects the China market’s rebound and further evolution of its airline business models. Boeing shared the China forecast as part of the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

China’s economic fundamentals lay the foundation for healthy air traffic increases, including 4.4% annual economic growth and a middle-income demographic that will double by 2040, according to the CMO. By 2030, China’s domestic passenger market will exceed intra-European traffic; by 2040, China’s domestic traffic is expected to also exceed air travel within North America.

The CMO also forecasts that China’s civil aviation industry will require more than 400,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including pilots, technicians and cabin crew. Boeing’s commitment to China involves investing in people who will power the future of aviation, such as training nearly 100,000 Chinese aviation professionals and employing more than 2,500 Boeing employees. Across its businesses, training, supply chain and other activities, Boeing’s presence and partnerships in China contribute more than $1.5 billion annually to the economy.

“The rapid recovery of Chinese domestic traffic during the pandemic speaks to the market’s underlying strength and resilience,” said Richard Wynne, managing director, China Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “In addition, there are promising opportunities to significantly expand international long-haul routes and air freight capacity. Longer term, there is the potential for low-cost carrier growth to further build on single-aisle demand.”

The 2021 China CMO includes these projections through 2040:

  • Annual passenger traffic growth of 5.4%, similar to the 2020 forecast.
  • Two-thirds of deliveries supporting China’s aviation industry growth and one-third of deliveries for fleet replacement, which will move airlines toward more sustainable, fuel-efficient airplane models.
  • Single-aisle jets account for nearly 6,500 deliveries; widebody deliveries, including passenger and cargo models, will total 1,850, accounting for 44% of demand by value. According to the CMO, a nearly $1.8 trillion commercial aviation services market opportunity exists in the region.

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense and other mission critical industries, announced it was awarded a $19 million order from Collins Aerospace (“Collins”) for business jet connectivity equipment to be delivered in 2022. The order is a follow-on to the approximately $11 million order announced in February 2021.

The growing fleet employing Collins’ system is building customer recognition and confirming that LuxStream provides unparalleled high-speed world-wide connectivity that delivers a broad variety of remote conferencing services and streaming entertainment.


VISION SYSTEMS

Solar protection systems expert Vision Systems presented its latest innovations dedicated to first- and business-class passengers during the 2021 Virtual AIX.

SPD dimmable windows with distinctive characteristics adapted to each class were showcased. These solutions eliminate shades that block the view and require regular maintenance while protecting passengers from unwanted daylight or glare, and include innovative features such as complete privacy, multi-zoning, mood- lighting, transparent touch control and integrated information display.

Vision Systems will also showcased a smart glass partition showing videos such as traveling information or advertising.

When nothing is displayed, this divider can remain transparent, or opaque to offer privacy between classes.

Depending on the chosen ambiance or specific moment of the journey, Vision Systems’ ambiance management system generates the right atmosphere to offer each passenger a unique experience. Through a tablet or control panel, the traveler can select a “mood”, such as reading, sleeping or waking up, leading to the automatic synchronization of the shade, the dimmable windows and the lighting to create the perfect adequacy between the selected mood and the lighting atmosphere.

Each of Vision Systems shading systems can be controlled individually directly at the window with a transparent touch panel or simultaneously through the ambiance management system.

Developed in-house based on Vision Systems know-how in cabin management systems, other elements of the cabin could be managed by the application (temperature, image, sound) with individual or crew control.


SAFRAN

The first Air France A320 retrofitted with Safran Cabin ECOS Shelf Bins and installed by Air France Industries in July 2021, returns to service with success.

The ECOS “Efficient Cabin Open Space” shelf bins offer up to 60% more storage capacity. The new luggage compartments are equipped with easy to reach doors that do not encroach into the cabin aisle and provide a lower shelf height for ease of loading and visibility. They provide an easier and smoother boarding experience, greatly reducing the time spent searching for luggage space or the need to put certain bags in the cargo hold. Aircraft turnaround times also reduce to improve efficiency and on-time performance.

The ECOS Interior is robust, lightweight, and easy to maintain. The installation of the ECOS system was extremely efficient with certification of the interior facilitated by means of FAA and EASA Supplemental Type Certification. The modification also included the installation of Movable Class Dividers supplied by Safran Cabin.

Air France is the first company to choose Safran Cabin’s ECOS “Efficient Cabin Open Space” shelf bins and they will equip in total 24 Air France Airbus A320s.


OTHER NEWS

  • You need to see this because: “FLYR Labs has developed a deep learning platform called “Revenue Operating System” that ingests a whole host of data provided by the airline — bookings, accounting data, searches, capacity — as well as information like weather or promotions to predict demand, revenue and, most importantly, to set the price of the airline ticket that the consumer ultimately sees.” WestCap and Peter Thiel-backed FLYR Labs closes $150M Series C | TechCrunch This is going to be big because their deep learning platform will replace humans in aviation and many other businesses!
  • Curious about the mobile apps used? Here is a great graphic with the answer – The World’s Most Used Apps, by Downstream Traffic

INMARSAT

Inmarsat has announced its participation in this year’s Boeing ecoDemonstrator program (today’s Hot Topic Image). The global initiative, which aims to enhance the sustainability and safety of air travel by testing the world’s most promising technologies, has commenced the first flight trials for important new components of Inmarsat’s Iris air traffic modernization solution.

Powered by the Inmarsat ELERA global satellite network, Iris enables real-time collaboration between pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operation center using cost-effective, secure and highly resilient datalink communications. As a result, they can calculate the shortest available routes, determine flight trajectories and cruise at optimum altitudes, while also receiving the latest digital information, such as weather updates. This not only improves airspace usage to accommodate future growth, but also allows airlines to minimize delays, save fuel and reduce the environment impact of their operations.

Iris capabilities have been enhanced recently with the introduction of next-generation ATN/IPS (Aeronautical Telecommunication Network using Internet Protocol Suite) satellite communications, which are currently being finalized as the global standard for air traffic control communications to and from the aircraft. This technology is being trialed for the first time as part of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flights, marking an important step forward in Iris’ global rollout and unlocking significant benefits in service scalability, bandwidth and throughput for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and airspace users.

John Broughton, Inmarsat’s Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety Services, said: “Inmarsat’s Iris program is a great example of the vast benefits a digitized aviation industry will offer. By modernizing air traffic management, there is significant potential to drive environmental efficiencies and cut aviation’s carbon emissions. We’re proud to be involved in this future-facing research and look forward to working closely with other members of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program to enable a more sustainable future of flying.”

Iris is currently being assessed for air traffic control and operational communications on flights across America operated on Boeing’s 2021 ecoDemonstrator 737-9 aircraft, in partnership with Alaska Airlines. The flights utilize equipment, terminals and routers from Iris partners including Honeywell and Cobham.

Rae Lutters, ecoDemonstrator Program Manager at Boeing, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Inmarsat in our ecoDemonstrator program this year. We selected the Iris solution for testing, as it is closely aligned to our own commitment to reduce the environmental impact of modern aircraft. We are looking forward to evaluating Iris in a live flying environment and exploring the real-life impact such innovative technology could have when implemented on a global scale.”

The Iris program, which has been developed by Inmarsat in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), is expected to rollout in Europe by 2023 and then on a global basis over the next decade.

Elodie Viau, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, said: “The Iris program is enabling aviation to become fully digital while reducing its carbon emissions. Passengers will be able to travel faster through less congested airports due to improved scheduling. We are excited to see Iris in action, proving that investment in space benefits the aviation industry and passengers.”


MORGAN STANLY RESEARCH

  • Southwest is stepping up recruiting efforts by offering an employee incentive program in order to boost applicants. The Southwest Airlines Gratitude (SWAG) Program consists of an internal rewards program which allows employees to collect points and redeem them for air miles, flight guest passes, concert tickets, and more. If the referral accepts the job and works for Southwest for at least 6 months, the referrer can receive 20,000 SWAG points – a value estimated to be ~$300. At the beginning of the pandemic, many airlines encouraged employees to take early retirements or partial paid time off in order to cut expenses. Today, airlines are looking to hire and/or retrain employees to keep up with the surge in travel demand that materialized faster than most expected. The labor shortage issue is affecting the entire airline industry, not just Southwest, and has caused industry wide disruptions such as delays/cancellations of flights, technical difficulties and more (see our thoughts here and here). That being said, management believes that a competitive advantage for LUV in the current labor environment is that they did not furlough employees during the pandemic, which should allow them to bring employees back more easily.
  • Southwest also reached a tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to reward more than 5,000 customer service employees.
  • Low cost carrier Breeze Airways raised $200mn in new funding less than three months after launching its inaugural flight. Last week, Salt Lake City-based Breeze Airways announced it closed a $200mn Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to ~$300mn. Breeze Airways is a low cost carrier focused on nonstop routes between 16 underserved destinations in the U.S. (Hartford, CT, Louisville, KY, Tulsa, OK, Providence, RI, and more). The airline was founded by David Neeleman, who previously co-founded Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul Linhas Aereas, and has already had more than 100,000 passengers since launching operations in May 2021. Breeze Airways currently operates 13 Embraer regional jets and is expected to take delivery of 60 new Airbus A220s in October, which will be delivered at a rate of ~one per month over the next five years (see here). Breeze and Avelo are two of the new entrants in the regional ULCC space, which together with the aggressive growth plans of incumbent ULCCs should see ULCC share of the industry push higher (coming from both growth as well as share gains).
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended its travel mask mandate through January 18 to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation. Last week, TSA announced it will be extending the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the U.S., including airports, onboard commercial aircraft, and commuter bus and rail systems. TSA began requiring face masks early on in the pandemic, with the initial face mask requirement set to expire on May 11, but later being extended through September 13, 2021. Mask mandates have faced some resistance throughout the pandemic, leading to encounters between passengers who do not want to wear a mask and flight attendants that have to enforce the federal rule. Last week, the FAA reported 3,889 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, and 2,867 of them (or 74%) involved refusing to wear a mask. According to U.S. Travel Association Executive VP of Public Affairs and Policy, Tori Emerson Barnes, extending the federal mask mandate for travel makes sense in the current health environment and has the travel industry’s full support. While this is less than ideal news for the airline sector that was hoping for a removal of the mask mandate to get passengers more comfortable, improve service, and reduce incidents on board, it is no doubt an understandable step in the near-term to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

SECURITY & SAFETY

And yes, Flight Attendant security is becoming a big deal!
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on Twitter: “Inside a flight attendant self-defense training as bad passenger behavior surges — @TomCostelloNBC reports. https://t.co/RlfYL8NCe7” / Twitter


OTHER NEWS

  • If you are a fan of author Daniel Silva, you just might find the Author’s Note section in his latest book, The Cellist, interesting – especially the last thoughts on national security!
  • If your travel experiences seem to require you to sleep in airports, here is a website that has a lot of information on many travel solutions – The Guide to Sleeping in Airports
  • ATTENTION CODERS! Here is an Open AI Codex Live Demo – (641) OpenAI Codex Live Demo – YouTube Noted one viewer: “This is amazing. Making coding more accessible is going to be a huge leap forward. I can’t wait to see this get more advanced.”
  • With Coronavirus taking over, you might need some music to calm your concerns, and we have found a solution – BOSE Home Speaker 500. Could clean audio kill a virus? No, but it really kills time well!
  • Here are some amazing pix from the EAA AirVenture in 2021 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 | Flickr … and we mean A LOT OF PIX!

CHICAGO, July 28, 2021 —Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun shared the following message with employees today addressing the company’s second-quarter results:

With the onset of COVID-19 more than a year and a half ago, life and work as we knew it were turned upside down. As an industry, we faced it head on and worked together every step of the way. Our market, industry and team are resilient – and we are proving that every day.

Thank you for your hard work and commitment as we drive stability across our operations, improve performance and transform our company for the future. As we share our second quarter results today, you will see our efforts gaining traction and our recovery accelerating, as reflected in improved revenue, earnings and cash flow, as well as stabilizing workforce levels.

While we still have a ways to go before a full rebound, it is encouraging to see the commercial market improving, enabled by continued vaccine distribution and increasing travel demand, particularly in domestic markets. Going forward, we will closely monitor case rates, vaccine distribution, travel protocols and global trade as key indicators for recovery.

And across Boeing, we will stay focused on our own performance, meeting customer commitments and making Boeing a special place to build your career. As you know, we’re taking comprehensive actions to strengthen engineering excellence, enhance quality and drive stability and predictability throughout the business and in the supply chain. These efforts reflect our relentless focus on safety and quality, and are preparing us for healthy rate increases when market demand returns to pre-pandemic levels.

In Commercial Airplanes, we made significant progress on the 737 MAX with new orders, increased production and higher deliveries, while also diligently supporting the safe return to service of the growing operational fleet. Since the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) approval to return the 737 MAX to operations last year, we have delivered more than 130 737 MAX aircraft and 30 airlines have returned their fleets to service, safely flying nearly 95,000 revenue flights totaling more than 218,000 flight hours. We were also encouraged to see commercial customers make long-term investments and reinforce confidence in the 737 MAX, through more than 280 gross orders this quarter.

On the 787, we are conducting inspections and rework and continue to engage in detailed discussions with the FAA on verification methodology for the 787 prior to returning to deliveries. Again, while this has a near term impact, we are fully committed to driving first-time quality and stability in our operations. Safety and quality always take priority over production schedule – and we will continue to take the time needed, transparently engage with our regulators and customers, and create stability for our future.

In our Defense, Space & Security business, our team had a strong quarter with improved revenue and earnings. Operationally, the team delivered on several important customer milestones including the historic first MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueling of an F/A-18. BDS also successfully joined the T-7A Red Hawk front and aft sections in under 30 minutes with exceptional quality, leveraging our digital design principles. In the space business, the first Core Stage for NASA’s Space Launch System began stacking with other Artemis 1 elements, and our Starliner team is in the final phases of gearing up for the important Orbital Flight Test-2 launch later this week.

Our Global Services team showed important signs of recovery and progress, along with improving revenue and earnings – while delivering for our government and commercial customers. BGS signed an expanded parts agreement with Turkish Technic and established a partnership to expand capacity for 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters. Global Services was also selected to provide C-17 training to the U.K. Royal Air Force, awarded a modification for KC-46A interim contract support for the U.S. Air Force and secured a P-8A training and sustainment contract with the U.K. Royal Air Force.

Beyond program highlights, we took meaningful steps on our sustainability, innovation and technology efforts. In fact, earlier this month, we announced a new strategic partnership to advance the availability and use of sustainable aviation fuels, and we just published our first Sustainability Report. Sustainability touches every part of our company, and we all play a role. I encourage you to review the report and find ways you can support all of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) efforts. This follows the April launch of our 2021 Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Report, a key step in our equity action plan to be transparent about representation and measure our progress annually against our commitments to advance equity, diversity and inclusion within Boeing and beyond.

Workforce Stability

We’re now seeing more stability in our staffing levels, as the commercial market recovery accelerates, our defense and government services business targets growth opportunities and we increase investments to further strengthen engineering, and drive quality and stability in our production system.

Last fall, we planned to reduce the size of our workforce to about 130,000 employees by the end of this year. However, with encouraging recovery trends and our investments in our people, we’re now planning to keep our overall workforce size roughly consistent with where we are today, at about 140,000 employees. As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will also continue hiring in some parts of our business to fill critical skill positions and meet customer commitments. Going forward, the pace of the commercial market recovery, trade relations with China and our own performance will be key enablers to overall employment levels.

As many of our teammates who have been telecommuting through the pandemic return to Boeing facilities or begin hybrid work arrangements – we are focusing on strengthening our culture. We’re maintaining flexibility, prioritizing health and safety, and providing well-being resources to help our employees and communities navigate the post-pandemic recovery and related uncertainties that are developing in pockets around the world. We’re also continuing to incorporate our Seek, Speak & Listen (SS&L) habits, helping to empower our teams to connect across perspectives, learn from one another, share ideas, speak up and strengthen our culture of inclusion and integrity. And as a leadership team, we’re increasing travel to meet with our customers, suppliers and teams, to get as close as possible to our manufacturing and engineering work, while supporting all of you who are delivering for our customers.

Thank you for all you do. Boeing is 105 years strong, and every day we’re building a better Boeing not only through the products and services we deliver but also in how we operate, innovate and support each other. While risks and challenges remain, and we have more work to do, I am confident in our future and proud to be on your team.

Dave

AVIATION RECOVERY IMPACTED BY LACK OF GLOBAL SYNCHRONISATION, INDUSTRY LEADERS STATE DURING RECORD-BREAKING VIRTUAL BROADCAST

FlightPlan: C-Suite Week, hosted by Inmarsat and APEX, aired a series of ‘no holds barred’ discussions with the CEOs of Qatar Airways, AirAsia, United Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and IATA

Exclusive interviews were viewed by 6,500 viewers from 80 countries around the world, with thousands more expected to watch the videos on demand

26 JULY 2021: The biggest names in global aviation came together at FlightPlan: C-Suite Week for a series of exclusive ‘no holds barred’ interviews with leading BBC World News reporter Aaron Heslehurst, touching on the most immediate and pressing issues facing air travel in 2021.

The latest edition in the popular FlightPlan online broadcast, developed by Inmarsat Aviation and APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), attracted a record-breaking audience of 6,500 from 80 countries worldwide last week, with thousands more expected to watch the videos on demand.

FlightPlan: C-Suite Week aired interviews on five consecutive days with:

  • Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO, Qatar Airways.
  • Tony Fernandes, CEO and Founder, AirAsia Group.
  • Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines and APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Chair.
  • Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO, TAP Air Portugal.
  • Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA (and former CEO of IAG).

Several pertinent topics were debated during the daily ‘power hour’ broadcasts, including leadership lessons from the industry’s biggest ever crisis, how airline recovery has been stilted by a lack of global synchronization, and the importance of addressing sustainability challenges. The interviews also explored the ability of digitalization to accelerate profitable growth for airlines and meet evolving passenger needs.

Summarizing the event, Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “FlightPlan was launched by Inmarsat and APEX during the very onset of the global pandemic, bringing the global aviation industry together for much needed debates, discussions and direction at a time of great uncertainty.

“The response has been phenomenal, with a combined audience of approximately 17,000 for the first three editions, reinforcing its position as the industry’s biggest virtual broadcast. FlightPlan: C-Suite Week delivered insight into the difficult decisions faced by leaders over the past 18 months. It also uncovered many impressive future-facing initiatives underway – from sustainability to passenger experience – that will not only secure a strong recovery for airlines, but also ensure a bright future for the industry at large.”

Never waste a crisis

FlightPlan’s C-Suite line-up shared valuable leadership lessons from steering their aviation businesses through the COVID-19 travel crisis over the past 18 months. Al Baker shared his biggest learning for leaders: “there should always be a plan B and even sometimes a plan C of how to conduct your business in dire circumstances like the pandemic.”

For Kirby, a major learning has been the critical importance of customer experience. “Many of us in aviation have a new focus and commitment to change the customer experience. To use what we went through – the worst crisis in history – as a transformative moment to really make it better for customers,” he said. Kirby’s ambition is to turn flying into something passengers truly enjoy as part of the journey, “so that their vacation starts the moment they leave the house, instead of once they land at the other side”.

Unilateralism has stilted recovery

Across the board, the interviewees agreed that industry recovery has been stilted by unilateralism and a lack of global synchronization. For Fernandes, co-ordination between different governments “has been a failure… because every country has their own vaccine rules and entry requirements”. Lamenting the lack of standardised policies, he called for closer co-ordination between airlines and airports, noting: “we’re symbiotic; we need each other”.

Walsh echoed the challenges of a siloed international approach: “You would have expected the EU to have corralled everybody together and say, look, ‘we’ve got to demonstrate to everybody now that we are in this together’. That’s probably been the most disappointing thing for me. If we’ve struggled to see a political and a coordinated political response from the EU, I think we’ve no hope of expecting to see a coordinated political response globally.”

Sustainability in aviation

With climate change rapidly rising up the consumer, corporate and policy agenda, sustainability was highlighted as an urgent priority for the airline industry to ensure its right to operate in the future. As OurmieÌres-Widener told viewers: “Our contribution to the future of the climate is key.”

Walsh backed further political focus on environmental performance, noting: “The equipment that we have on aircraft today is so advanced and yet we’re still operating the way we were back in the 1960s. It’s a scandal on environmental grounds and is making our operations so much more inefficient than they could be.” He speculated, “Why isn’t it being done? Because there’s a lack of political will to address the issue.”

Kirby agreed that policies are needed to drive forward ambitious targets, but that “we have to be real about the art of the doable,” noting that Net Zero by 2035 would come at the expense of reliable power supplies. He shared insight on United’s efforts to invest in Boom aircraft that run on sustainable fuel – part of the airline’s commitment to reach Net Zero without carbon offsetting.

Qatar Airways is also underway with its sustainability drive, according to Al Baker, who said: “We are prepared to look after our environment, and this is why we are continuously investing in aeroplanes that are more fuel-efficient.” 

Readiness for digital transformation

OurmieÌres-Widener mused that while the crisis brought many challenges to the industry, it has also confirmed several trends – one being the huge opportunity for airlines that embrace digitiation. She said that the “full digital experience” is no longer just a buzzword, but a reality that airlines need to offer.

Digitization is well underway for AirAsia, too, with data sitting at the heart of Fernandes’ vision to make the brand more than just an airline. “We have much better customer data than Uber,” from credit card to loyalty information, Fernandes explained. His ambition is to make AirAsia “a travel company like Expedia,” encompassing services from currency to grocery delivery. “We’re trying to turn the AirAsia customer on the plane into a customer on the ground, keeping them with us before and after their flight,” he said.

To watch all interviews on demand, visit: flightplan.wavecast.io.


FLIGHTAWARE

FlightAware, the largest global provider of flight information and actionable aviation intelligence, announced the launch of Aviator, the ultimate flight tracking suite for piston airplane pilots and operators.

FlightAware’s Aviator is an inexpensive subscription-based software, accessible via the web and iOS. Any subscriber can register multiple aircraft, including rentals, and unlock indispensable features like Ready To Taxi™, Premium Weather and Map Layers, Surface Visualizations, FBO Scheduling, and ETAs automatically updated via FlightAware’s powerful machine predictive technology, Foresight™.

“Aviator was created by FlightAware pilots to share advanced flight tracking features with other piston airplane pilots. Over the years we’ve gone from flight tracking to becoming the central data hub for both the business and commercial aviation industries. With Aviator, we’re bringing a product with robust tools and processes developed for the most sophisticated flight departments and commercial airlines, right to the GA pilot.” said Daniel Baker, FlightAware CEO.

With Aviator family, friends, and FBOs can receive alerts from preflight and taxi out, through landing and taxi in.

Communications are coordinated as stakeholders stay informed. From surface visualizations displaying taxiing planes and surface movements to comprehensive airborne flight tracks, Aviator also provides monthly history reports for pilots and operators to review critical flight details.


MORGAN STANLEY

Airlines: Corporate Travel Survey 2H2021: US is leading the recovery

High number of Covid cases and slow lifting of travel bans have postponed the recovery of corporate travel budgets to post 2022. The shift of travel volume to virtual has stabilized at 27% by 2022 and is expected to be 19% by 2023. US travel is benefiting from a quicker corporate recovery vs EU and Asia.

We conducted an online survey of ~140 corporate travel managers between June 30-July 12, who represent over US$8B of typical annual travel spend. Around 67% are headquartered in the US, 19% in Europe, and 14% in Asia/Other, and their travel budgets are allocated relatively similarly. This survey is the fourth wave since the Covid pandemic started a stabilization, which we find interesting to track changes in trends as we return to normal.

Travel budgets recovery has slowed down, with the US leading the recovery. Travel budgets are expected to be down an average of 39.2% vs 2019 in 2H21 compared to the 57.3% drop seen in the 1H21. The pace of recovery will increase in 2022 with budgets expected to be down only 17.5% on average, which is 2pp worse than our previous survey in March. The US will lead the recovery as 17% of US based respondents replied that their 2H21 travel budgets would be increasing vs 2019, compared to 10% of Europeans and 0% of Asian/Other responders. In addition, while 62% of European responders expected cuts of greater than 50%, only 45% of US counterparts expected the same.

Passenger volumes continue to deteriorate, though expectations are for higher fare increases. Similar to travel budgets, our latest data suggests 2022 volumes vs 2019 will be down 21.1%, a 2.7pp decrease vs March. Once again Europe will be the laggard with 57% expecting a decline of 30-50% compared to just 25% of US respondents expecting the same. Expectations of air fares have improved, with 2.8% increases in 2022 (up 80bps vs March).

The shift to virtual meetings trend seems to be stabilizing. Despite some deterioration in corporate travel expectations for 2021/2022, the shift to virtual meetings in 2022 remains at 27% level, with 2023 expected to be 19%, on average.

Time and cost cited as key issues for switch to virtual, with environmental concerns higher in Europe. More efficient use of employee time and cost reductions were cited by 74% and 72% of respondents, respectively, as at least a top 3 reason for replacing travel with virtual options. Perhaps unsurprisingly, European companies considered environmental concerns as the most important reason to replace corporate travel. 25% of Europe based travel managers cited this as their number 1 reason compared to just 5% of US counterparts.

Conclusions for Europe: We think US based respondents’ more positive outlook for travel could be an indication of a faster recovery once restrictions ease. Nonetheless, we still do not anticipate corporate air travel in Europe to recover before 2023/2024, and higher environmental concerns on travel support our thesis. All in all, weaker demand and 27% convergence of travel into virtual events should negatively affect legacy carriers (Lufthansa, IAG and Air France-KLM, in that order) more than low cost carriers (easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz). We continue to prefer Ryanair and easyjet (OW), over Lufthansa and AF-KLM.

Conclusions for US Airlines: From a US perspective, it is encouraging to see the results lead the rest of the world given the higher pace of vaccinations and the growing momentum toward return to the office, which will likely lead corporate travel. We note that most airlines have already seen a notable pickup in corporate travel from -80% vs. 2019 in April to -60% in May and expected to be -40-45% in September.

Furtherrmore, the Airlines expect the momentum to continue to pick up in 3Q/4Q and their internal surveys show that permanent substitution of corporate travel will be as little as 5% (in DAL’s survey down from 8% a quarter ago) to zero (for UAL), vs. our ~20-25%. Perhaps all this tells us is that there is still significant uncertainty out there on how much the corporate tide will rise as we re-open and whether that will stop 20%, 10% or 0% below 2019 levels or even exceed 2019 levels. What is clear to us is that the initial rising tide (returning to 70-80% of normal corporate) is nowhere close to being priced into the US Airline stocks today (esp. Legacies like DAL and UAL) and none of this debate really impacts the investment decision on the LCC/ULCC stocks (JBLU, ALK, ALGT, ULCC, LUV) that have limited exposure to corporate. As a result, we continue to remain bullish on the US Airline stocks. We will closely watch the progression of the COVID variant but if we do not see incremental lockdowns or steps backward by Labor Day (Sept 7), we expect corporate travel to recover quickly after that.

“The U.S. will not lift international travel restrictions at this time due to the Covid-19 Delta variant. The U.S. announced earlier this week that it will not lift any existing travel restrictions “at this point” due to concerns over the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant and the rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases. According to a White House official, cases of Covid-19 are rising within the U.S., particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear “likely to continue to increase in the weeks ahead.” This comes a week after the Biden Administration said U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21st, despite Canada announcing it will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated Americans beginning on August 9th. In early June, the Biden Administration formed expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the U.K. to determine how to best reopen international borders safely; however, the White House official stated that any decision to lift restrictions “has to be a sustainable decision” going forward. Although international travel restrictions remain in place for now, many U.S. airlines stated that the Delta variant has not had much of an impact on domestic leisure bookings. During an earnings conference call, UAL’s management said the company hadn’t seen “any impact at all on bookings” due to the Covid-19 Delta variant, and ALK’s management noted that they have seen “no slowing signs of demand,” but that they are continuing to watch trends carefully.”


BOEING

Boeing released its first Sustainability Report. In the report, the company shares its vision for the future of sustainable aerospace, establishes broad sustainability goals and highlights environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress in alignment with global sustainability standards.

“In September 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Boeing formed a Sustainability organization dedicated to advancing our ESG efforts across the enterprise. As we continue on this journey, we are pleased to publish our first comprehensive report, focused on stakeholder responsiveness and data transparency,” said Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. “We know there’s still work to do and are committed to communicating our progress and holding ourselves accountable to ensure the aerospace industry is safe and sustainable for generations to come.”

Boeing’s sustainability efforts are organized around four key pillars: people, products and services, operations and communities. In 2020, highlights across these four pillars included:

Establishing six broad new sustainability goals in alignment with our key sustainability priorities and stakeholder interests.

Defining the company’s vision for the future of sustainable aerospace through fleet renewal, network operational efficiency, renewable energy and advanced technology.

Committing to deliver commercial airplanes capable of flying on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.

Partnering with Etihad Airways on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator program, which tested sustainable technologies on one of the airline’s new 787-10 Dreamliners.

Implementing digital engineering tools on the T-7A Red Hawk program, achieving a 75% increase in first-time engineering quality and an 80% reduction in assembly hours.

Advancing flight tests for Cora, an all-electric, self-flying air taxi developed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk joint venture Wisk.

Responding to COVID-19 by executing airlift missions to transport supplies, providing community vaccination sites and minimizing air travel health risks through the Confident Travel Initiative.

Establishing a 20-member Racial Equity Task Force to represent diverse viewpoints and amplify all voices at Boeing.

Setting 2030 environmental performance goals to reduce emissions, waste, water use and energy consumption.

Achieving net-zero carbon emissions at work sites, while reducing energy consumption by 12%, water use by 23%, solid waste by 44% and hazardous waste by 34%.

Attaining the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence every year since 2010.

Contributing $234 million in community giving, working with 13,400 community partners and volunteering 250,000 hours.

United Aviate Academy has selected Boeing to provide a comprehensive suite of training tools, materials and digital solutions to develop and provide early career training to United Airlines’ next generation of pilots. The companies commemorated the five-year training agreement with a ceremonial signing event at EAA AirVenture.

The comprehensive training package of courseware and multimedia materials spans Boeing’s portfolio of service offerings, including its Jeppesen and ForeFlight solutions, and provides United Aviate Academy with the tools to help cadets master key concepts and information needed to confidently and safely pilot aircraft.

“We are pleased to extend our long-term partnership with Boeing to help train the next generation of United pilots,” said Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations. “Boeing’s unique suite of tools and materials will help provide effective training for Aviate pilots who are working to meet future air travel demands and uphold United’s high standards of safety and excellence.”

The agreement includes:

  • Initial cadet assessment materials with accompanying online courses and e-books, supporting higher program completion rates through analytics of data-driven assessments
  • Jeppesen Academy courseware, textbooks and digital learning materials for private, instrument, commercial, multiengine and instructor training
  • The ForeFlight Mobile integrated flight app for pilots equipped with Jeppesen NavData®, electronic charts and Airway Manuals, a one-stop shop for flight tasks like routing flights, planning and filing flight plans, managing electronic charts and maps, and gathering destination and weather information
  • Pilot supplies including Bose headsets, computers, student flight bags, logbooks and more
  • GPS NavData for the United Aviate Academy fleet

“We are fully committed to providing United Aviate Academy—and all of our customers—with tailored, high-quality training solutions that enhance safety and meet the learning and development needs of pilots from all backgrounds,” said Chris Broom, vice president of Training Solutions, Boeing Global Services. “By leveraging our broad portfolio of solutions, we offer customers tremendous value in delivering efficient, effective training throughout the pilot training life cycle.”

Following the agreement signing, Boeing further demonstrated its support for the program and its commitment to diversity by presenting Delia Nina Nava with a scholarship to United Aviate Academy to join a future pilot training class. Nava is a Hispanic woman from Houston with a passion for aviation and aspirations of becoming an airline pilot. She is a graduate of Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation High School and a student at the University of Houston.

Boeing produced their first sustainability report this week and you can read it here: Boeing: 2021 Sustainability Report Interestingly, they want to deliver commercial planes flying on sustainable fuels by 2030. Here is another bit of data on the report: Boeing’s 1st Sustainability Report: Here’s What You Need To Know – Simple Flying


OTHER NEWS

  • A lot of folks have quotes but this one is really significant and important. Steve Jobs, a person we have forever respected, had a remark we think makes a lot of sense: “You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains!” (Editor’s Note: Also, we should probably mention that Robin Williams said something that means a lot to us as well: “Being a famous print journalist is like being the best-dressed woman on the radio.”)
  • If Boeing regressions have you wondering, you need to read this story because there are a number of downward changes that might be a clue to what is going on and what might happen! Boeing ($BA) News: Talent Loss to Amazon, SpaceX Hurts Turnaround Prospects – Bloomberg
  • Veteran commercial pilot flew 747s for United Airlines; type rated on other jetliners

Chicago, IL | June 30, 2021 —

The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) board of directors today announced that Lieutenant General Stayce D. Harris has been elected to the board. She will serve on the Aerospace Safety and Audit committees.

Harris, 62, is an experienced Boeing 747 pilot, with over 10,000 flight hours safely transporting passengers and cargo worldwide for United Airlines. She is type rated in Boeing 747-100/200/400, 757/767 and 777 aircraft, and was a United Airlines pilot for nearly 30 years before retiring from the company in 2020.

General Harris is a retired United States Air Force Reserve Lieutenant General who last served as the Inspector General of the Air Force. She previously served as the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff and Director, Air Staff, Headquarters United States Air Force. Harris made history becoming the first African American woman to command an Air Force operational flying squadron, wing and numbered Air Force and served as the first woman Inspector General of the Air Force.

“General Harris is a highly-accomplished leader who will provide insight and perspective based on her hands-on experience flying Boeing’s aircraft and her demonstrated commitment to safety, training and integrity,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “She brings nearly four decades of distinguished military service and expertise to Boeing and we look forward to welcoming her as our newest board member.”

Harris’s recognitions include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Award, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with three oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal with bronze star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass.

“Boeing will benefit greatly from General Harris’s deep experience in aviation and aerospace gained throughout her decades of service as a commercial airline pilot and her stellar military career,” said David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO, and member of the board of directors. “General Harris’s expertise and inspiring leadership will further strengthen our board.”

Harris holds a bachelor of science in industrial and systems engineering from the University of Southern California and a master of aviation management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She serves as independent director/trustee, BlackRock Fixed-Income Mutual Funds, as director, KULR Technology Group and is a member of the board of councilors for Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California, the board of directors for Direct Relief and a trustee of the Falcon Foundation, United States Air Force Academy.

“As a pilot of Boeing aircraft, and through my tenure in the Air Force, I have worked closely with Boeing’s commercial and military aircraft for more than three decades. I am pleased to join the board of Boeing, a company with a rich history in aviation that serves as a vital partner to the U.S. military and is a critical enabler of the global economy,” said General Harris.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at www.boeing.com.

SITA

Global air transport IT provider SITA has released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, which reveals that, despite the pandemic, the company remains set to become a certified carbon neutral organization by or before 2022. This achievement is well ahead of common airline industry milestones, such as 2030 and 2050, or those of the Paris Agreement.

SITA’s objective to reduce its contribution to climate change is being realized through the company’s Planet+ program. The program aims to define emissions, measure them working with independent environmental consultants RSK Group, and consistently reduce the environmental impacts of operations and business travel year-on-year while complementing those actions with offsetting initiatives.
Through Planet+, SITA reduced overall emissions by 48% in 2020, equaling some 11,423 CO2 tons. This has been achieved through several initiatives such as switching to renewable or partially renewable energy, opting for green energy providers, optimizing office floor footprint, reducing electricity consumption with more energy-efficient devices, and reducing business travel for internal meetings through the use of collaborative online tools.

In 2020, SITA also offset 100% of its emissions for the first time. SITA’s carbon offset program is managed through Natural Capital Partners, a leading global provider of sustainable environmental offset emission programs. The 2020 offset program was not applied purely to business travel emissions as in previous years but was extended to include all operational emissions reported and audited in Scope 1 (direct and controlled emissions), Scope 2 (electricity) and Scope 3 (upstream and downstream emissions, including those generated by SITA employees working from home). Dr. Edna Ayme-Yahil, VP Head of Communications, Brand & Sustainability, said: “As part of our overall commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the air transport industry, we were keen to lead by example by taking real, concrete steps to reduce our impact on the environment. This is paying off and SITA is well on track to meeting our goal of becoming a certified carbon neutral company by or before 2022.”

In 2019, SITA announced its commitment to becoming a certified Carbon Neutral Company by 2022, under the CarbonNeutral® Protocol. This protocol requires organizations to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by defining emissions related to operations, measuring them, reducing them, and then offsetting the remaining ones that have not been reduced or removed through verified carbon offset projects aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With around 2,500 customers, SITA’s solutions drive efficiencies at more than 1,000 airports, and facilitate secure and seamless border crossings for over 60 governments, while delivering the benefits of connected aircraft to customers of 18,000 aircraft globally.

As well as managing its own economic, environmental, and social impacts, SITA’s CSR report cites an immediate shift in early 2020 to support its air transport industry customers through the pandemic, ensuring business continuity and maintaining normal service levels.
SITA pivoted to meet urgent industry demands for a healthy, safe, and frictionless passenger experience – to reassure passengers and enable ‘COVID-compliant’ journeys. In addition, the company responded to requirements from airlines, airports, and governments for agility, resilience, efficiencies, and cost containment – modifying and adapting their solutions to areas vital to recovery and survival.
Soon to achieve its ambition to be carbon neutral, SITA continues to also drive the industry to be more sustainable with solutions that aim to reduce carbon emissions.

Since 2014, SITA has achieved and maintained ISO14001:2015 (Environmental Management Systems – EMS) certification – a milestone for organizations committed to sustainable operations – in seven of its main office locations


LATAM

The LATAM Group, through its subsidiaries in Chile and Peru, together with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have come together to carry out the pilot of the IATA Travel Pass digital application, allowing passengers to organize and manage travel requirements complying with what is required by the authorities on international flights more efficiently and expeditiously.

IATA Travel Pass works based on the biometric information of the passenger’s passport, the results of laboratories in agreement and the joint information of the governments.

“This is great news for our passengers who voluntarily want to join. Having more automated and contactless processes is a new reality for everyone, and this pilot with IATA Travel Pass supports this transformation for LATAM and for the entire industry,” declared the Vice President of Clients of LATAM Airlines Group, Paulo Miranda.
For his part, Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas, adds: “We are pleased that LATAM trusts the IATA Travel Pass. Tools of this type are essential to restart the airline industry and reconnect the world, which allows to reopen borders safely and smoothly, giving governments the guarantee that travelers have complied with health requirements, speeding up migration processes and simplifying the experience for passengers.”

The pilot phase, which is voluntary for the passenger, is expected to take place between June 14 and July 2 on the following routes:
● Lima-Miami
● Lima-Santiago de Chile
● Santiago de Chile-Lima
● Santiago de Chile-Miami


AIRBUS

AIRBUS confirmed plans to produce 45 A320 Family aircraft per month in 4Q21, increasing to 64 by 2Q23 and possibly 70 by 2024 and 75 by 2025; A220 production will rise from five to six per month in 1H22 and possibly to 14 by 2025. A350 will increase from five to six by 2H22; A330 will stay at two.


BOEING

Boeing’s 737MAX-10, the largest airplane in the 737 MAX family,  completed a successful first flight. The airplane took off from Renton Field in Renton, Washington, at 10:07 a.m. on June 18th and landed at 12:38 p.m. at Boeing Field in Seattle. “The airplane performed beautifully,” said 737 Chief Pilot Capt. Jennifer Henderson. “The profile we flew allowed us to test the airplane’s systems, flight controls and handling qualities, all of which checked out exactly as we expected.”

The flight was the start of a comprehensive test program for the 737-10. Boeing will work closely with regulators to certify the airplane prior to its scheduled entry into service in 2023. “The 737-10 is an important part of our customers’ fleet plans, giving them more capacity, greater fuel efficiency and the best per-seat economics of any single-aisle airplane,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Our team is committed to delivering an airplane with the highest quality and reliability.”

The 737-10 can carry up to 230 passengers. It also incorporates environmental improvements, cutting carbon emissions by 14 percent and reducing noise by 50 percent compared to today’s Next-Generation 737s.

(Editor’s Note: The Boeing 737-10 is the biggest Boeing 737 with some of the following features: Wingspan 117ft – 10 in., Length 143 feet – 8 in., Passengers, 230, new engines and landing gear, 66 in. longer fuselage, modified doors and wings.)


The US TRAVEL ASSOCIATION forecasts business travel will not recover until at least 2024.


OTHER NEWS

  • We were sad to learn that Chris Longridge, past Boeing executive and really nice guy, passed away on June 15th this past week. Chris was one of the smartest and nicest people to have ever worked in aviation!
  • Interestingly, reports The Seattle Times; “Tim Keating, Boeing’s executive vice president of government operations, the company’s chief lobbyist and political strategist in Washington, D.C., and a leading figure on the jet maker’s leadership council, is ‘no longer with the company’.” No data was given on the reason for his release…

COLLINS

Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., has been selected by Airbus to supply upgraded passenger service units (PSU) for the delivery of the new A320 Family Airspace cabin. The advanced architecture and sleek new design fits seamlessly within the new Airspace cabin, supporting a consistent passenger experience across the family of aircraft. The advanced composite materials of the Collins PSU provide the strength and durability needed to handle each passenger touchpoint, including reading lights, air outlet valves and call attendant lights. The modular design is easily adjustable for a variety of seat pitches, enabling simple installation and removal.

Collins has supplied PSUs for the A320 family of aircraft for more than two decades and is actively working with Airbus to explore future developments and to improve the already outstanding performance of the new passenger service units.


BOEING

Boeing and Alaska Airlines announced they are partnering on the latest Boeing ecoDemonstrator program and will flight test about 20 technologies on a new 737-9 to enhance the safety and sustainability of air travel. In flights beginning this summer, Boeing and Alaska will test a new halon-free fire-extinguishing agent that significantly reduces effects on the ozone layer, evaluate an engine nacelle designed to reduce noise and assess cabin sidewalls made from recycled material, among other projects.

“We have a long history of working with Boeing to advance aviation technology, safety and fuel efficiency,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ vice president, public affairs and sustainability. “Alaska Airlines flies to some of the most beautiful and geographically diverse regions in the world and we are committed to finding ways to reduce climate impacts across our network. This work with Boeing to accelerate innovation on the ecoDemonstrator program enables us to contribute to a more sustainable future for our global community.”

Since 2012, the ecoDemonstrator program has accelerated innovation by taking nearly 200 promising technologies out of the lab and testing them in the air to address challenges for the aviation industry and improve the passenger experience.

“Boeing is committed to continually improve air safety and the environmental performance of our products,” said Stan Deal, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. “We’re proud to collaborate with our hometown customer and other partners around the world this year to make flying more sustainable.”

In five months of ecoDemonstrator flight tests, Boeing and Alaska will work with nine other partners to test new technologies. After tests are complete, the airplane will be configured for passenger service and delivered to Alaska. The program’s technologies include:
Testing a new fire extinguishing agent for aircraft that significantly reduces effects on the ozone layer. This material is intended to replace Halon 1301, which is no longer being produced.

Collaborating with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to measure greenhouse-gas levels in the atmosphere to support the agency’s climate modeling and long-term forecasting.
Evaluating acoustic lining concepts within the engine nacelle that may reduce noise on current engines and will inform designs for next-generation models.

Recycling carbon composite material from Boeing 777X wing production into a cabin sidewall panel. This durable, light material would reduce fuel use and carbon emissions, and supports Boeing’s goals for sustainable manufacturing.

Boeing’s current and future airplanes leverage a number of technologies evaluated in previous ecoDemonstrator testing, including:

  • Advanced Technology winglets on the 737 MAX family that reduce fuel use and emissions.
  • iPad apps that provide real-time weather and other data to pilots, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. These apps complement digital analytics services Boeing offers to help airlines optimize fleet utilization.
  • A camera system on the new 777X that will enhance safety by helping pilots avoid obstacles on the ground.

“Boeing put additional emphasis on sustainability in 2020 to align with our stakeholder and business priorities as well as our values,” Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond said. “Through our collaboration with industry partners, the ecoDemonstrator program is a great example of our commitment to work together to make flying safer and more sustainable for current and future generations.”

ecoDemonstrator test flights are flown on a blend of petroleum-based and sustainable aviation fuel. SAF is in regular use today, reduces life-cycle CO2 emissions by up to 80%, and offers the most immediate and greatest potential to reduce emissions over the next 20 to 30 years in all commercial aviation markets.

In January this year, Boeing committed to make sure its commercial airplanes are capable and certified to fly on 100% SAF by 2030. The company also plans to work with regulatory authorities and across the industry to raise the current 50% blending limit for expanded use of SAF. Boeing’s 2018 ecoDemonstrator 777 Freighter made history as the world’s first commercial airliner to fly on 100% sustainable fuel.


VISION-BOX

For those of you unfamiliar with Vision-Box, the company offers a combination of solutions that enable airports, airlines, and governments to provide that seamless user experience for connected citizens and travelers by using Digital ID management, aviation and border control solutions.

Most recently, Vision-Box participated int the FTE APEX 2021 event. Here is an interesting link from the show: Vision-Box insights on Seamless & Safe Travel and how can Biometrics, Automation & Digital ID be the recipe for economic recovery.

Furthermore, they recently launched a Resources Hub.


MORGAN STANLEY RESEARCH/AIRLINES

Airlines: The Frequent Flyer: UAL and Boom Go Supersonic, Eve + Halo on eVTOLs, DAL Updates 2Q21 Guidance, and UK Updates Green List
Last week, Eve and Halo formed a partnership to develop UAM products and services in the US and UK, while UAL ordered aircraft from Boom Supersonic. DAL updated 2Q21 guidance and the UK removed a destination from its quarantine-free travel list.

In Section 2 of this report, you will find our recently launched unique interactive visualization tool to help you track the weekly evolution of the US Domestic air traffic rebound. This interactive tool allows readers to easily get a comprehensive snapshot of key air traffic datapoints for the past week – at an industry and airline level – and see how that has trended over the past two years. Screens include ASMs by carrier, ASM/Traffic by state, Route Markets flown by Airline, Route Additions by Carrier, Seat Additions/Mix and Equipment flown by Carrier. MS  (Morgan Stanley) believes this tool will be uniquely powerful in tracking the air traffic rebound in the US and more.

Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions, Inc. (Eve) announced Halo as a launch partner in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market with a non-binding order for 200 eVTOL aircraft. Eve, an independent company formed by Embraer S.A., and Halo, a helicopter travel provider in the US and UK, announced a partnership focused on developing UAM products and services in the United States and United Kingdom (see  more here). In addition to this initial aircraft order, Eve and Halo will partner on the continued development of Eve’s Urban Air Traffic Management system as well as its fleet operations and services product offerings. During Morgan Stanley’s inaugural eVTOL/UAM conference (see key takeaways here), Eve’s management was vocal about pursuing partnerships in order to develop products and services in the UAM space. As noted by the MS Latin American Transportation team, Eve has already invested in the UK market as the leader of a consortium that is solving the regulatory and operational issues to bring eVTOL operations to London. This collaboration is the first international eVTOL partnership of its kind, and is an important step for the eVTOL/UAM market. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2026. In addition to this partnership, Eve announced a partnership earlier this week with one of the largest helicopter operators in LatAm, Helisul, for the development of Urban Air Mobility products and services in Brazil (see more here). The partnership includes an initial order of up to 50 of Eve’s eVTOL aircraft, and deliveries are expected to start in 2026. According to Eve, the initial step of the partnership will be developing a proof of concept operation, utilizing helicopters in order to validate parameters that will apply to the future eVTOL operations. While there is plenty of wood to chop to get eVTOLs in the air in the next few years, we remain bullish about the multi-trillion dollar TAM that is potentially within reach – see MS’s recent eVTOL/UAM market update report here.

United Airlines will return supersonic travel to the skies with its agreement to buy aircraft from Boom Supersonic. Last week, United Airlines became the first US airline to sign a commercial agreement with Boom Supersonic, an aircraft OEM focused on supersonic commercial flight. Under the agreement, United will purchase 15 of Boom’s Overture airlines, with an option for an additional 35 aircraft. Each Overture aircraft can carry between 65 and 88 passengers, travel at the speed of Mach 1.7, and produce zero carbon emissions. To put this into context, Boom’s aircraft can travel twice the speed of today’s fastest airliners and fly passengers from San Francisco to Tokyo in 6 hours (compared to 10:30 hours). The aircraft is expected to be produced in 2025 and begin to carry passengers by 2029. Together with UAL’s partnership with Archer on eVTOLs, this shows UAL’s commitment to not just remain at the forefront of innovation when it comes to next generation aviation technology but also seek multiple routes to reduce its carbon footprint in the next decade. While many of these technologies/companies are many years away from commercialization and may not even come to fruition, we believe these early investments can give UAL an invaluable seat at the table to get an early glimpse into coming disruption (which is a question of when, not if, in our view), potentially influence the industry at an early stage and particularly lock in early-mover advantage with very little financial risk (though maybe small reputational risk). See the initial MS A&D team’s thoughts on this deal here.

DAL updated their 2Q21 guidance. In an 8-K released last week, DAL’s management provided an update on its 2Q total revenue guide, now expecting revenue between $6-6.2bn (vs. MSe at $6.12bn and cons. at $6.21bn). DAL now sees 2Q pre-tax loss of ($1bn)-($1.2bn) vs. MSe at ~($1.096bn) and cons. at ~($1.08bn). Management is forecasting CASM ex-fuel to be up ~9% vs. 2Q19 compared to its prior guidance of up ~6-9% and expects fuel prices to be $2.10-2.15/gallon. In addition, management is guiding adj. net debt to be <$19bn. We are MTM-ing our model accordingly. Our FY21/22/23 EPS moves to ($4.20)/$4.08/$7.84 vs. ($4.54)/$3.75/$7.54 prior and ($3.81)/$3.92/$6.35 cons. Our PT increases to $73 from $70 as a result.

The UK updated its “Green List” amid increasing worries of coronavirus variants. Last week, MS saw a small step back in the UK green list. Instead of adding a country (potentially the US), the UK removed Portugal from its “quarantine-free” list and downgraded the country to amber status. Travelers returning from amber list locations – which currently includes hotspots such as Spain, Croatia, and Greece – must quarantine at home for 10 days and take two post-arrival covid tests, while there is a complete travel ban to red list countries. While the return to international travel may be a bumpy road and decisions like this could sap traveler confidence in the short term, we continue to believe international travel will improve significantly by the end of the year given the current pace of vaccinations, unless a new coronavirus variant and/or strain increases travel restrictions.

In Section 3 of this report, you will find the latest insight from our AlphaWise Consumer Pulse Travel Survey.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) announced that it is now offering high-performing, low-cost cable assemblies, connectors and interconnect systems for 5G and Gen-Z systems used in Internet of Things (IoT), network infrastructure, automotive and autonomous driving, medical services, military and defense, and aerospace applications. CarlisleIT’s highly-engineered standard and custom interconnect solutions uniquely position the company to address the complex connectivity issues often associated with 5G applications.

“Technology is evolving at rapid pace, and new advancements in connectivity, machine learning, and the IoT are shaping industries across the globe,” said Marc Temple, Business Director for CarlisleIT. “With more than 80 years of experience in pioneering interconnect solutions, CarlisleIT the perfect partner to find innovative solutions for a customer’s long-term success in these industries.”

5G networks require high bandwidths, faster data speeds, and ultra-low latency to successfully deliver next-generation performance. CarlisleIT’s 5G processing capabilities offer scalability, interoperability, reliability, and flexibility as customers navigate new and emerging technology to meet their business goals. Leveraging its worldwide manufacturing footprint, CarlisleIT is also able to work with customers to design, build, test, and certify solutions in-house.

From existing RF connectors, cable assemblies, and adapters to highly-customizable interconnect solutions, CarlisleIT’s team of experts can help customers achieve enterprise success through 5G network and systems.


OTHER NEWS

FTE APEX Virtual Expo

Today was the first day of FTE APEX Virtual Expo. This is a major digital event for the air transport industry. With COVID-19,  Virtual Expo is a key building block in our ongoing efforts to support the industry, help drive much-needed transformation, and facilitate the new collaborations that we know all stakeholders need to achieve in order to bounce back stronger in the post-pandemic world.

Here are a few key statistics that are of interest: There are more than 140 confirmed speakers, 40 exhibitors and 1,250+ registered organizations– including 151 airlines and 138 airports – from every corner of the world.

Highlights include:

Airline and airport CEO keynotes – including leaders from the likes of Turkish Airlines, Etihad Aviation Group, Gatwick Airport, DFW Airport, Scoot, WestJet, Western Sydney Airport, LAWA, Oneworld and United Airlines addressing the theme “Relaunching Global Air Transport”.
140+ speakers – across the Auditorium Conference, OnDemand Speaker Zone, and Expo Conference & Engagement Zone.
A virtual exhibition hall – featuring 40 industry vendors, who will be showcasing their very latest products and services designed to help airports and airlines thrive in the post-pandemic world, ranging from the latest IFEC solutions to brand-new products for the airport environment.
Plus – the FTE APEX Women in Aviation Leadership Summit, Digital Health Passport Symposium, New Airlines C-Suite Summit (featuring the CEOs of Ava Airways, PLAY, Pop and EGO Airways), Phase 2 of the FTE APEX Business Model Transformation Think Tank, and the FTE APEX Biometrics Summit.

If you didn’t attend yesterday there is still one more day to take advantage of this virtual expo. It should be noted that the primary operating hours for the live show days are 07:00-19:00 BST. During this time, the Auditorium Conference sessions will take place and the exhibition stands will be manned to enable live engagement.

Lastly, the event platform will remain online for an additional 30 days after the live show days, offering unrestricted access to all recorded Auditorium Conference sessions, OnDemand Speaker Zone content and the exhibition hall.

Be sure to check out future editions of IFExpress that will cover some of the interesting and innovative  developments showcased during the EXPO.


BOEING

Boeing and SMBC Aviation Capital  announced the lessor is positioning its portfolio for air traffic recovery by ordering 14 additional 737-8 jets, growing its 737 MAX portfolio. The new order comes as airlines prepare for a robust return to air travel and modernize their narrowbody fleets to reduce fuel use and carbon emissions.

“We are pleased to have concluded an agreement with Boeing for the purchase of 14 low-cost carrier configured 737 MAX aircraft which is an aircraft we are seeing increased customer demand for following its successful return to service,” said Peter Barrett, CEO of SMBC Aviation Capital.

The new purchase builds SMBC Aviation Capital’s 737 MAX portfolio to 121 jets, expanding their investment in Boeing’s single-aisle family. SMBC Aviation Capital also continues to incorporate new 737 MAX airplanes into the global fleet. In the first quarter of 2021, the lessor delivered 13 737-8s to customers, including 11 planes to Southwest Airlines in the U.S. and two planes to TUI in Europe.

“SMBC has been actively managing its portfolio in a very dynamic market. With this new order for the fuel-efficient 737-8, the lessor is well positioned to help its customers capture domestic travel demand in several countries and regions,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “We are honored by SMBC’s trust in the 737 family, and we look forward to partnering with them to support airlines for the market recovery ahead.”
The SMBC Aviation Capital purchase follows recent orders and commitments from Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. The total number of gross orders and commitments for the 737 MAX this year now exceeds 250 airplanes.

A member of the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 is designed to offer more fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility in the single-aisle market. The 737-8 can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers. Compared to the airplanes it replaces, the 737-8 also delivers superior efficiency, reducing fuel use and CO2 emissions by 16% and also reducing operating costs.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity.

SMBC Aviation Capital is one of the world’s leading aircraft lessors, with 85 airline customers in 36 countries. At 31 March 2021, the company owns and manages 496 aircraft. Established in 2001, the company was acquired in 2012 by a consortium comprising of two of Japan’s biggest companies SMFG and Sumitomo Corporation.


OTHER NEWS

Sustainable Fuel

Air France-KLM, Total, Groupe ADP and Airbus Join Forces to Decarbonize Air Transportation and Carry Out The First Long-Haul Flight Powered By Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Produced in France.

At 3:40 p.m., Air France Flight 342 took off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport’s Terminal 2E for Montreal with its tanks filled for the first time with sustainable aviation fuel produced in Total’s French plants.

This flight is a tangible result of the four groups’ shared ambition to decarbonize air transportation and to develop a SAF supply chain in France, prerequisite to the generalization of their use in French airports.

No modifications to storage and distribution infrastructure, aircraft or engines are required to incorporate biofuels. Their gradual introduction worldwide should significantly reduce CO2 emissions from air transportation, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development
Goals.

The biofuel used for this flight was made from waste and residue sourced from the circular economy. Total produced the SAF from used cooking oil at its La Mède biorefinery in southern France and at its Oudalle factory near Le Havre, without using any virgin plant-based oil.

This first 100% French SAF received ISCC-EU certification from the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification System, an independent organization that guarantees sustainability. The 16% blend on this flight avoided the emission of 20 tons of CO2. By developing and supporting France’s first industrial SAF production, Air France-KLM, Total, ADP Group and Airbus are paving the way for France to drive innovation in the energy and environmental transition. French legislation calls for aircraft to use at least 1% SAF by 2022 for all flights originating in France, ahead of the European ambition scheduled to gradually ramp up to 2% by 2025 and 5% by 2030, as part of the European Green Deal. To meet these requirements, Total will also produce SAF at its Grandpuits zero-crude platform near Paris as from 2024.

The flight also illustrates the synergy of the different drivers for reducing aviation’s environmental footprint, i.e., sustainable aviation fuel, latest-generation aircraft and electrification of ground operations. The Airbus A350 used for the flight consumes 25% less fuel than its predecessor. What’s more, the aircraft was serviced by the first 100% all-electric refueling truck, developed in France with Total expertise, and all of the ground support equipment used by Air France was fully electric powered. Air France-KLM is a pioneer in testing sustainable aviation fuels. KLM made its first SAF-powered flight in 2009. Since then, the Group has multiplied the number of innovative programs. Between 2014 and 2016, for example, it carried out 78 Air France flights powered by a 10% SAF blend in collaboration with a Total affiliate. These tests showed that the use of SAF had no impact on the reliability of airline operations. Air France-KLM intends to strengthen its leadership in SAF in the years ahead, while contributing to research on future generations of aircraft. In addition to this flight, Airbus is conducting several series of tests to certify airliners to fly with 100% SAF in the coming decades. Airbus has also installed SAF refueling stations at its industrial facilities so it can be used in production operations, as well as for aircraft deliveries. These installations contribute to Airbus’s ambition to decarbonize all of its industrial operations.

(Editor’s Note: Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a blend of conventional aviation fuel (JET-A1) and biojet fuel made from waste and residue sourced from the circular economy (animal fat, used cooking oil, etc.). Biojet fuel has similar properties to JET-A1 and produces up to 90% fewer CO2 emissions over its lifecycle compared with the fossil equivalent.)


LATAM Group

LATAM Group (“LATAM”) announced the expansion of its freighter fleet growth under which it now plans to add 10 Boeing 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters over the next three years. This will bring the fleet size to up to 21 freighters by 2023. The first aircraft will be expected to begin operations in December 2021. The Group’s freighter fleet growth plan initially included four firm conversion orders with Boeing and another four conversion options. Two months after the initial announcement, LATAM has exercised the four options, eight planes, and the conversion of two additional Boeing 767-300ERs. This means that the freighter fleet will be comprised of up to 21 aircraft by the end of 2023. Upon completion of the plan the Group will have almost doubled its freighter capacity as well as reduced the average fleet age from 17 to 14 years. Growing from 11 to 21 freighter planes will enable the LATAM Group’s cargo subsidiaries to expand and reinforce their capacity to, from and within South America, and positioning the Group as the main freighter operator group in the region. The first eight airplanes have been allocated to markets that are critical for key customer segments.

LATAM also announced that it will use some of the 767-300ERs that are awaiting conversion under a hybrid format to benefit customers in the short term. The seats will be completely removed from three planes for this purpose in order to have a payload of up to 46 tons per flight. Two of these planes are already operational. The third one is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2021. Furthermore, LATAM is optimizing commonality across their fleet of 767-300 production and converted freighters to maximize capacity, including the ability to transport delicate goods.


FTS

Qingdao Airlines announced that it is fully committed to
expand and accelerate the deployment of high-speed in-flight satellite Internet on its aircraft fleet. This follows the successful evaluation of the first commercial high-speed Internet flight trial in China that was launched by Qingdao Airlines on July 2020. This marks a major milestone in this groundbreaking collaboration project whereby FTS is supplying the Xstream™ high-speed satellite inflight system while TD Link Technology is providing internet service operations.

The Xstream™ system suite developed by FTS comprises of XstreamSAT™ satellite communication, XstreamLITE™ cabin WiFi, and XstreamOP™ cloud management platform. It is the first China developed IFEC system to receive all three major international airworthiness STC certifications from FAA, EASA and CAAC. The system is integrated with China Satcom’s ChinaSat-16 Ka-HTS satellites and is capable of providing up to 150 Mbps bandwidth between aircraft and ground. Over the past 10 months, the trial aircraft has flown more than 1,200 flights flawlessly with impeccable service, delighting Qingdao Airlines passengers with unprecedented inflight connected experience equivalent to ground 4G performance, with services such as movies, social media, live video broadcast, maps and e-commerce (with mobile payment).

FTS XStreamOP™ ground-based cloud management platform which has been in service since beginning trial has proven to be critical in ensuring service delivery with real-time monitoring of airborne systems, connectivity status, as well as consolidating all inflight data for ground analytics. This open cloud architecture enables the airline and service providers to integrate with airline backend IT to provide an efficient and easy-to-use method of managing all the on-
board internet equipment and services.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has brought far-reaching and fundamental impact to aviation, the China domestic air travel is leading the industry in terms of recovery and even growing beyond pre-COVID period. A spokesperson at FTS commented they are seeing more confidence, optimism and interest from domestic airlines on making long term investment on Inflight connectivity as they believe this is a pivotal enabler to drive digital transformation of passenger service, airline operations and auxiliary revenue from which airlines could benefit to achieve recovery and long-term sustainability.

The decision from Qingdao Airlines is not taken lightly especially in the current challenging climate. It came after rigorous scrutiny of trial results concluded that FTS system performance, reliability and benefits far exceeded airline expectations. Qingdao Airlines’ innovative and pioneering spirit has attracted strong endorsement and support from local government, CAAC and industry bodies. After carefully
weighing all these factors and firmly believing in the benefits of connected aircraft, the airline stood firm in its decision to go full steam and accelerate the fleet-wide adoption of inflight
connectivity.

In preparation for the accelerated fleet wide deployment, FTS is ramping up its operations and capabilities. It announced that it has obtained CAAC PMA certification and Part 145 maintenance and repair overhaul approvals for its range of components.


Boeing

In observance of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in the United States, Boeing announced the company is donating $1.1 million to organizations working to combat anti-Asian hate and promote justice, advance appreciation for AAPI history and culture, and fund community service projects and leadership development programs in communities across the United States.

“At Boeing, we know that being a truly equitable, diverse and inclusive company requires a commitment to our team members here at the company and in the communities where our employees and partners live and work. These investments build on Boeing’s longstanding commitment to supporting those in underserved and marginalized communities and recognizes the challenging issues currently being faced by the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” said Tim Keating, Boeing’s executive vice president of Government Operations.

*Boeing’s contribution will support 17 national and local initiatives. Nonprofits receiving immediate grant funding include:

  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – $200,000
  • Asian American Heritage Council of Central Florida (FL) – $10,000
  • Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy – $10,000
  • Asian Counseling & Referral Services (WA) – $75,000
  • Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (OR) – $10,000
  • Asian Pacific Cultural Center (WA) – $10,000
  • Little Tokyo Service Center (CA) – $35,000
  • Asian American Youth Foundation (MO) – $15,000
  • Neighborhood House (WA) – $100,00
  • One America (WA) – $75,000
  • Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (CA) – $35,000
  • Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center – $250,000
  • Society of Asian Scientists & Engineers – $50,000
  • Stop AAPI Hate – $50,000
  • Tacoma Community House (WA) – $90,000
  • United Cambodian Community (CA) – $35,000

In 2020, Boeing invested more than $15.6 million to promote racial equity and social justice programs – including funding aimed at diversifying the aerospace pipeline.

(Editor’s Note: As Boeing hustles to evolve from the 21 month MAX crisis, quality problems and the management of the repair operations of the 787, 737 MAX, 767 Tanker, are to be reviewed by the government. Boeing (and the FAA as well) are to be reviewed by the US House Committee on Transportation. These reviews are probably based on the continuing issues we have all seen on these planes. Stay Tuned on this one because if issues continue, it will be quite an impact for both organizations and products … especially with any new management and their decisions!)


Other News

SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD), a business aviation solutions provider, is bolstering access to its Crewmember Network and Connectivity Training certificate program, aeroCNCT, through a new agreement with DaVinci Inflight Training Institute, a Florida-based flight crew training company. The SD aeroCNCT certified course is now being taught by an SD training professional at the DaVinci Institute on a quarterly basis. Theoretical and practical teaching leads to a professional credential upon successful completion of the course and examination.

The addition of aeroCNCT to the DaVinci curriculum aims to support the needs of an increasing amount of flight crew requiring comprehensive understanding of in-flight connectivity solution management. Designed to familiarize students with multifaceted connectivity concepts, the course includes modules on cabin network management, network applications and tools, and flight operation preparation. The resulting accreditation gives the flight professional the confidence to troubleshoot connectivity issues and serves to raise industry standards.

“We understand that connectivity is an essential element of the flight experience and that for flight crew it is a growing area of responsibility. DaVinci recognizes that providing reliable training enhances the opportunity for greater professional development, so it makes sense to team up to offer our dedicated course through the institute. The aeroCNCT course complements existing DaVinci modules, and we hope that by providing a wide selection of courses at a single location, attendees can optimize the full training potential available at the institute,” explains John Kummer, SD senior vice president strategy.

DaVinci offers a wide range of courses for flight attendants and crew, including culinary, cabin safety, and service training among others. “We believe that by adding tangible value to professional development with certified courses we are improving career prospects for our students and enhancing the business aviation sector. We are frequently asked for educational support relating to connectivity, so we are excited to add the SD connectivity module to our curriculum. We know it will appeal to many of our existing customers and be of great interest to new ones too,” says John Detloff, chief operating officer at DaVinci.

Since its launch three years ago, more than 200 crewmembers have successfully completed the aeroCNCT course and SD is now welcoming returning students for certification renewal.


BOEING

Boeing and private investment firm 777 Partners announced  an agreement to add 24 B737-8s to the firm’s diverse aviation portfolio, with purchase rights for an additional 60 airplanes. The Miami-based company will place the single-aisle airplanes with its growing portfolio of low-cost carrier investments around the world.

In addition to aircraft leasing, 777 Partners strategically invests in a host of aviation businesses, from operating carriers to technology-driven solutions. The firm’s travel sector strategy is largely focused on innovative solutions for interlining, passenger connectivity, and creating new commerce channels for its airline investments and customers.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Boeing on this transformative order for our growing aviation business. The 737-8 aircraft are a fantastic addition to our aviation portfolio and will enable our partners to leverage the jets’ superior economic performance to deliver low fares for their passengers while reducing their carbon footprint,” said Joshua Wander, founder and managing partner of 777 Partners. “The retrenchment of traditional carriers globally has created an unprecedented market opportunity for more agile and cost-efficient operators. These aircraft will enable our operators to accelerate the recovery in the destinations they serve. We are humbled to call one of America’s greatest manufacturers our partner in this endeavor.”

The B737-8 can fly 3,550 nautical miles, about 600 miles farther than its predecessor. This additional capability allows airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers. The 737-8 reduces fuel use and CO2 emissions by 16% compared to the airplanes it replaces, and that superior fuel efficiency means lower operating costs and a smaller environmental footprint. Every airplane features the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.

“777 Partners has gained a reputation for investing in high-growth markets and we are delighted to welcome them to the Boeing 737 family. This is a significant order that speaks to 777 Partners’ belief in the 737-8 and the market recovery ahead. We look forward to delivering these jets and supporting a safe and successful entry into service with 777 Partners’ affiliates,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. 777 Partners is a Miami-based private alternative investment firm that invests across a number of high growth attractive verticals. Founded in 2015, 777 Partners initially applied its expertise in underwriting and financing of esoteric assets to diversify across a broad spectrum of financial services businesses, asset originators and financial technology/service providers. In recent years, the firm has broadened its mandate and now invests across six different industries: insurance, consumer and commercial finance, litigation finance, direct lending, media and entertainment, and aviation.


FLIGHTAWARE

FlightAware, a global provider of real-time and historical flight tracking information and insights, announced that it has been awarded a General Services Administration (GSA) contract from the United States Government. As a GSA schedule contract awardee, FlightAware becomes a trusted vendor of aviation data and applications for all approved GSA buyers. FlightAware is an American-owned and operated small business that can quickly and reliably deliver the world’s most complete aviation data and insights to the GSA purchaser. The GSA approval extends FlightAware’s aviation intelligence platform seamlessly to the government sector with data provided both in out-of-the-box and fully customizable formats. FlightAware’s APIs, like Firehose and AeroAPI, allow users to integrate flight data into customer products, while FlightAware’s applications such as FlightAware Global allow sophisticated tail and fleet monitoring. GSA buyers looking to learn more about FlightAware’s data offerings can visit: industry.flightaware.com/usgovernment

Synoptic Data PBC, the leading weather data aggregation and distribution platform, and FlightAware, the largest global provider of flight information and insights, today announced a partnership to deliver real-time Mode-S derived aircraft weather data via Synoptic’s API services to weather-sensitive users in the public and private sector.

Synoptic is expanding its aircraft-based observations offering by leveraging FlightAware’s capability to deliver global derived temperature and wind data throughout the vertical extent of the atmosphere using FlightAware’s complete historical and predictive aviation information platform, Firehose. Utilizing Mode-S weather data from tens of thousands of flights daily across the globe, Synoptic will provide its customers with a rich source of vertical weather profile information to enhance and improve weather forecast accuracy, increasing the amount of available aircraft weather data by as much as 400% in some situations. In addition to direct use in aviation operations, weather data collected from aircraft is one of the most important inputs to both global and regional Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models. Being able to incorporate additional data like FlightAware’s Mode-S data, especially in data sparse regions, will increase weather model accuracy and allow customers the ability to deliver better forecasts, contributing to public safety, operational efficiencies, and effective planning.

“The drop in air travel due to COVID has dramatically reduced the volume of critical airborne observations worldwide, impacting NWP weather forecast accuracy by as much as 30 percent. This partnership provides an important additional source of vertical wind and temperature data that will have a direct impact on NWP performance, improving weather forecasts and by extension, improving operational efficiency for all weather-impacted businesses,” said Steve Woll, President of Synoptic Data PBC.


OTHER NEWS

  • Let’s face it, the future of trade shows is questionable because of the virus risks and we have been waiting for some solutions that might work to help present new products. Well, the folks at Asian Sky Group have come up with one option and if you think this might be a partial solution, check out this demo video of GatoR introduced by Jeffery Lowe – Jeffrey Lowe introduces GathR: the next-gen virtual communication / networking platform. Jeffrey Lowe introduces GathR: the next-gen virtual communication / networking platform – YouTube
  • If you are a mechanical engineer you will love this video – The Antikythera Cosmos. The story is amazing and so is the video! The mechanical display of the universe developed and built around gears and brass display parts is a wonderful story on Gizmodo – New Model of Ancient Astronomical Device Reveals a ‘Creation of Genius’ and is the result of a rusted discovery off the coast of Crete in 1901. The 2000 year old device is an amazing development in its time. The video on Vimeo is a very good development description of the device that has taken over 100 years to resolve – especially since only one third of the device was discovered under water. Vimeo said – “The UCL Antikythera Research Team struggle to solve the front of the Antikythera Mechanism—a fragmentary ancient Greek astronomical calculator—revealing a dazzling display of the ancient Greek Cosmos.” They are correct! The Antikythera Cosmos on Vimeo And if you are wondering why this old mechanical technology story is in IFExpress, it is because we think our readers might find the history of knowledge and technology older than we are taught. And, along the same lines, the question of earlier flight history just may be somewhere developed, tested and hidden so well that we have not heard about it yet!

SMARTSKY

SmartSky Networks announced that it has closed on more than $32 million in additional equity and debt funding as it prepares for the launch of its next-generation aviation Wi-Fi connectivity service later this year.

“In a display of confidence in the future of SmartSky’s groundbreaking technology and services, we received new funds from our institutional investors,” said SmartSky CEO David Helfgott.

SmartSky’s office-grade inflight Wi-Fi service for business and commercial aviation uses the pioneering company’s uniquely scalable, single-beam-per-aircraft approach, which is backed by a substantial patent portfolio and years of flight testing.  Building on this transformative capability, the company is enabling advanced new applications through Skytelligence®, its digital innovation platform, to improve safety and efficiency while providing the industry with new ancillary revenue sources.

 


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation Reports 2020 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results
* Fourth quarter sales of $114.8 million; full year sales of
$502.6 million
* Fourth quarter pre-tax loss of $7.5 million and net loss of $20.0 million due to the non-cash reserve of $14.1 million against deferred tax assets
* Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA* was $2.9 million
* Fourth quarter bookings were $116.0 million, demonstrating sequential improvement
Backlog at end of the year was $283.4 million


BOEING

Boeing Statement on United Airlines Flight 328:

“Boeing is actively monitoring recent events related to United Airlines Flight 328. While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol. “Boeing supports the decision yesterday by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, and the FAA’s action today to suspend operations of 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines. We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney. “Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.”

Also from Boeing:

The Boeing Company board of directors announced that directors Arthur D. Collins Jr. and Susan C. Schwab will retire from the board when their terms expire and will not stand for reelection at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The board also named chairs to its six board committees, to take effect following the yearly voting for the election of directors at Boeing’s annual shareholder meeting, which is scheduled to occur on April 20. “We are grateful for Art and Susan’s distinguished service on our board,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “Boeing has benefited enormously from their committed and dedicated service.” Collins joined the board in 2007 and most recently chaired the Compensation Committee and served as a member of the Governance, Organization and Nominating Committee. Schwab joined the board in 2010 and most recently served as a member of the Compensation Committee, and the Governance, Organization and Nominating Committee. “It has been a privilege to serve alongside Art and Susan,” said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun. “They made meaningful and lasting contributions to our company, and to the aerospace industry, which is foundational to the global economy.”
“In line with our thorough succession planning process, the board will continue to take steps to identify a pipeline of diverse candidates with appropriate expertise who bring qualified perspectives,” Kellner added.

In addition, the following directors were named committee chairs, effective upon their reelection to the board at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders:

  • Admiral Edmund Giambastiani Jr. will continue to chair the Aerospace Safety Committee
  • Akhil Johri was named chair of the Audit Committee
  • Lynn Good was named chair of the Compensation Committee
  • Robert Bradway was named chair of the Finance Committee
  • Ronald Williams was named chair of the Governance, Organization and Nominating Committee
  • Adm. John Richardson will continue to chair the Special Programs Committee.

 


OTHER NEWS

  • There are issues in aircraft manufacturing and you might want to read: Opinion: Will Boeing Become The Next McDonnell Douglas? | Aviation Week Network Be sure to read the reader comments …
  • AVIATION CYBERSECURITY – FAA Should Fully Implement Key Practices to Strengthen Its Oversight of Avionics Risks. Check it out here.
  • Do you read daily AXIOS Navigate? You might like it. Axios Navigate
  • If you don’t think aircraft noise is a concern, you might want to read this: How Noise Pollution Hurts the Heart – The Atlantic
  • George Denis Patrick Carlin (You know, George Carlin, the comedian) once said something very technical that is quite true: “Electricity is really just organized lightning.” (Editor’s Note: We are still trying to understand why we thought you needed to read this?)

Inmarsat

Inmarsat announced its participation in a ground-breaking new initiative funded by the UK Government to develop the country’s first automated, zero carbon regional air transportation network. Project HEART (Hydrogen Electric and Automated Regional Transportation) will develop hydrogen powered, automated and remote piloting solutions for small aircraft carrying between 9 and 19 passengers, traveling ‘short hops’ of fewer than 500 nautical miles. In addition to its environmental credentials, the convenient zero-carbon travel option aims to enable scalability and lead to reductions in operating costs, door-to-door travel times and ticket prices. Up to 100 licensed airfields throughout the UK will be made available as part of the initiative, which is expected to enter service in 2025.

Existing ‘short hop’ air travel is economically unsustainable and reliant on government subsidies to cover high maintenance and running costs. Current operations, which require two onboard pilots, depend upon expensive and polluting gas turbine powertrains.

Project HEART offers an affordable alternative that address these deficiencies with next generation technology and a ‘system-of-systems’ approach, bringing together a network of experts to re-develop the entire aviation ecosystem. As part of this approach, Inmarsat will help to power a hybrid connectivity solution that seamlessly combines its satellite communications with terrestrial networks, enabling remote ‘digital’ co-piloting and journey critical communication in the cockpit. This allows the human pilot and the digital co-pilot functions, designed by Blue Bear Systems Research, to work together effectively and operations to be managed remotely. The technology will be evaluated on Britten-Norman aircraft.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Project HEART represents a greener, smarter and more efficient future for aviation. We are proud to support this important project of the UK Government, utilizing our 30 years of experience in satellite communication, navigation and surveillance for both commercial and private aviation, as well as expertise in unmanned vehicle traffic management. Working alongside our extensive network of partners, including Honeywell Aerospace, we are particularly excited about enabling remote operations for aviation networks of the future.”

Project HEART is led by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Future Flight Challenge (FFC). The consortium comprises of leading UK technology companies that will contribute resources in the areas of technology, operations, infrastructure and think tank experience.

Other innovations in development for the project include hydrogen fuel cell powertrains for aircraft (led by ZeroAvia), hydrogen refueling solutions (led by Protium), and a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform, with integrated sub regional flight travel mode (led by Fleetondemand), with acceptance testing headed by The Transport Research Institute of Edinburgh Napier University. In addition, architects Weston Williamson + Partners will lead on new airport infrastructure design, while the airline Loganair and Highland and Island Airports Limited will lead on accommodation of automation and hydrogen fueled aircraft operations.


Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) and IMG have agreed to extend and expand their long-standing relationship to deliver live sports content to the world’s leading airlines.

The companies have signed an agreement giving Panasonic Avionics all international in-flight rights to Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra, the world’s only global live sports channels. Airlines that offer Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra will be able to connect their passengers to unmissable live sporting moments from around the world with live content available in real-time.

Per the terms of the agreement, Panasonic Avionics will exclusively provide IMG’s Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra channels, to any airline, regardless of the in-flight entertainment system or connectivity network they use. Sport 24 is the only truly global, live sports channel that is available to airlines, and it’s exclusively available from Panasonic Avionics. It includes exclusive in-flight coverage of the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, NFL, NBA, NHL, Tennis Grand Slams, Golf Majors and the Ryder Cup, the NRL, and much, much more live sporting action. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content each day. Over 30 different global sports leagues, federations and unique events will be shown in 2021, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and UEFA Euro. As part of the agreement, Panasonic Avionics and IMG intend to work together to develop new sports content offerings that could be made available under the Sport 24 umbrella.
Panasonic Avionics’ live television service creates an exciting entertainment experience by offering premium live sports and news as it unfolds. In this new golden era of television, this service gives passengers the ability to watch anything they want, when, and where they want. Airlines that include live television as part of the in-flight experience, have an opportunity to stand out as thought leaders in a crowded marketplace.

Almost 1,000 aircraft around the globe are connected with the company’s live television service, of which Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra are an integral part.


Boeing

Boeing and BBAM Limited Partnership announced the lessor is expanding its 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter fleet with six firm orders and six options. The agreement brings BBAM’s 737-800BCF orders and commitments to 15 and highlights the continued strength of the e-commerce and express cargo market.

“As we look ahead to expanding our cargo fleet, the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter provides the performance and efficiency our customers need,” said Steve Zissis, CEO of BBAM. “Adding these highly capable freighters to 276 Boeing airplanes in our managed fleet helps to further strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace.”

Based on the popular Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF is meeting customer demand for a newer-generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per trip compared to other standard body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 2,025 nautical miles (3,750 kilometers). Since entering service in 2018, the 737-800BCF has won more than 150 orders and commitments.

“BBAM is one of the industry’s leading full-service leasing companies and has built their reputation on smart investments. We are honored that BBAM has selected more 737-800BCFs, based on the success of our standard body freighters in their portfolio,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “The continued strong demand for the 737-800BCF demonstrates the critical role these converted freighters play in the growing express and e-commerce market.”

BBAM is the world’s largest dedicated manager of investments in leased commercial jet aircraft, providing over 200 airline customers in more than 50 countries with fleet and financing solutions over the last three decades. BBAM is the only manager in the aircraft leasing industry focused exclusively on generating investment returns for third-party investors. BBAM currently has more than $28 billion of assets under management and employs over 150 professionals at its headquarters in San Francisco and in additional offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, Dublin and Santiago. For more information about BBAM, please visit its website at www.bbam.com.

Also From Boeing:

Boeing is setting an ambitious target to advance the long-term sustainability of commercial aviation, committing that its commercial airplanes are capable and certified to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels by 2030. Boeing has previously conducted successful test flights replacing petroleum jet fuel with 100% sustainable fuels to address the urgent challenge of climate change.

According to the Air Transport Action Group, U.S. Department of Energy and several other scientific studies, sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle with the potential to reach 100% in the future. Today, sustainable aviation fuels are mixed directly with conventional jet fuel up to a 50/50 blend — the maximum allowed under current fuel specifications. In order to meet aviation’s commitment for reducing carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050, airplanes need the capability to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels well before 2050.

“Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. “We’re committed to working with regulators, engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels.”
Boeing’s commitment is to determine what changes are required for its current and future commercial airplanes to fly on 100% sustainable fuels, and to work with regulatory authorities and across the industry to raise the blending limit for expanded use.

“With a long history of innovation in sustainable aviation fuels, certifying our family of airplanes to fly on 100% sustainable fuels significantly advances Boeing’s deep commitment to innovate and operate to make the world better,” Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond said. “Sustainable aviation fuels are proven, used every day, and have the most immediate and greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions in the near and long term when we work together as an industry.”

Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality, partnering globally with airlines, industry, governments and research institutions to expand limited supplies and reduce the fuels’ cost. Boeing worked with airlines, engine manufacturers and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gain approval for sustainable fuels in 2011. In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test program made the world’s first commercial airplane flight using 100% sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter, in collaboration with FedEx Express.

Sustainable aviation fuels can be made from a wide variety of feedstocks, including non-edible plants, agricultural and forestry waste, non-recyclable household waste, industrial plant off-gassing and other sources. Sustainability of the fuels is assured through strong, credible sustainability certifications through third-party organizations such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.


Latecoere/Aircraft Cabin Systems

We note that we have received a note from the ACS folks with a change of address (.2 miles south of the previous location) to:
Latecoere Interconnection Systems US, Inc.
18047 NE 68th Street
Suite B130
Redmond, WA 98052
USA


Other News


Inmarsat & Deutsche Telekom

Milestone highlights the accelerated rollout of Europe’s leading airline connectivity solution with launch customer International Airlines Group (IAG)

The European Aviation Network (EAN), Europe’s fastest inflight Wi-Fi service, can now be accessed by passengers on more than 250 aircraft across the continent, highlighting its accelerated rollout since entering commercial service.

The award-winning connectivity solution has been available to over 20 million passengers to date, traveling on more than 200,000 flights throughout Europe, covering key destinations such as London, Madrid, Barcelona, Geneva and Rome. It is currently available with British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, which are all part of International Airlines Group (IAG).

EAN has been developed by Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Deutsche Telekom, in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and Eclipse Technics. It marks a paradigm shift in the airline passenger experience, with incomparable speeds, uninterrupted coverage and significantly lower latency than any other inflight Wi-Fi network in the continent.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “EAN has transformed the inflight broadband market in Europe, offering unprecedented performance that has been truly embraced by airlines and their passengers. Usage has consistently increased since it entered commercial service and EAN experienced record data traffic in the summer and autumn months last year, reflecting an even stronger desire to stay connected amongst passengers flying during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“An important factor in crossing more than 250 aircraft activations, including British Airways’ entire short-haul fleet, has been the record-breaking installation time we have achieved with EAN – less than nine hours per aircraft. This will ensure a smooth rollout on remaining IAG aircraft and we’re excited that even more passengers will soon have access to the industry’s best-in-class inflight connectivity, providing the same quality of broadband that people expect on the ground, from the comfort of their cabin.”

Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President at Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Global Business, said:EAN is perfectly adapted to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and a true game-changer in inflight connectivity. For passengers, it offers an unparalleled connectivity experience while in the air above the European continent. For carriers, it provides a highly compelling business case due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment.”

EAN has been designed from scratch specifically for the needs of European aviation, delivering consistent inflight broadband across Europe, one of the world’s most congested airspaces. EAN is highly advanced and its fully integrated system delivers consistent high-speed broadband on flights, enabling passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, enjoy real-time interactive applications such as gaming, and more.


Boeing

The Boeing Company  board of directors announced that Lynne Doughtie has been elected to the board, replacing Caroline Kennedy who has resigned following three years of dedicated service. Doughtie, 58, retired from KPMG in 2020, after serving as U.S. Chairman and CEO since 2015. One of the world’s leading professional services firms, KPMG operates in 147 countries and territories employing more than 219,000 people. She will serve on the Audit and Finance committees. “Lynne Doughtie is a highly-accomplished executive with a demonstrated track record of leading a world-class organization,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “She will provide perspective reflecting her global leadership roles and experience advising clients on complex matters as well as significant risk management expertise. We look forward to working with her.”

As the first woman to be elected U.S. Chairman and CEO of KPMG, Doughtie served as a member of KPMG’s Global Board and Executive Committee. Doughtie joined KPMG’s Audit practice in 1985, before serving as the lead partner for several strategic clients across industries and holding leadership roles including Vice Chair of the firm’s U.S. Advisory business. During her tenure, KPMG experienced strong growth and made significant investments in quality and advanced the firm’s culture and values. Doughtie has been recognized by Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Crain’s New York Business’ 50 Most Powerful Women in New York, Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People, the National Association of Corporate Directors’ 100 most influential people in the boardroom, and Glassdoor’s list of Top CEOs. “We welcome Lynne Doughtie’s impressive track record of advancing organizational goals through culture and innovation,” said David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO, and member of the board of directors. “Lynne’s values-based leadership will further strengthen our board.”

“Boeing is a remarkable American company serving a critical role in the global economy,” said Doughtie. “I look forward to joining this distinguished board.” Kennedy, who joined the board in 2017, served as a member of the Audit; Compensation; Finance; and Governance, Nominating and Organization committees. Previously, Kennedy served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017. “On behalf of Boeing and its board of directors, I want to express my gratitude to Ambassador Kennedy for her leadership and exemplary service,” Kellner said. “It’s been a privilege to serve alongside Ambassador Kennedy,” Calhoun said. “I’m grateful not only for her contributions to Boeing, but for her service on behalf of our country.”


Other News

 

  • Boeing elects Lynne Doughtie as new director
  • Caroline Kennedy resigns following three years of dedicated service

Chicago, IL | January 15, 2021–The Boeing Company  board of directors today announced that Lynne Doughtie has been elected to the board, replacing Caroline Kennedy who has resigned following three years of dedicated service.

Doughtie, 58, retired from KPMG in 2020, after serving as U.S. Chairman and CEO since 2015. One of the world’s leading professional services firms, KPMG operates in 147 countries and territories employing more than 219,000 people. She will serve on the Audit and Finance committees.

“Lynne Doughtie is a highly-accomplished executive with a demonstrated track record of leading a world-class organization,” said Boeing Chairman Larry Kellner. “She will provide perspective reflecting her global leadership roles and experience advising clients on complex matters as well as significant risk management expertise. We look forward to working with her.”

As the first woman to be elected U.S. Chairman and CEO of KPMG, Doughtie served as a member of KPMG’s Global Board and Executive Committee. Doughtie joined KPMG’s Audit practice in 1985, before serving as the lead partner for several strategic clients across industries and holding leadership roles including Vice Chair of the firm’s U.S. Advisory business. During her tenure, KPMG experienced strong growth and made significant investments in quality and advanced the firm’s culture and values.

Doughtie has been recognized by Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Crain’s New York Business’ 50 Most Powerful Women in New York, Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People, the National Association of Corporate Directors’ 100 most influential people in the boardroom, and Glassdoor’s list of Top CEOs.

“We welcome Lynne Doughtie’s impressive track record of advancing organizational goals through culture and innovation,” said David Calhoun, Boeing President and CEO, and member of the board of directors. “Lynne’s values-based leadership will further strengthen our board.”

“Boeing is a remarkable American company serving a critical role in the global economy,” said Doughtie. “I look forward to joining this distinguished board.”

Kennedy, who joined the board in 2017, served as a member of the Audit; Compensation; Finance; and Governance, Nominating and Organization committees. Previously, Kennedy served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan from 2013 to 2017.

“On behalf of Boeing and its board of directors, I want to express my gratitude to Ambassador Kennedy for her leadership and exemplary service,” Kellner said.

“It’s been a privilege to serve alongside Ambassador Kennedy,” Calhoun said. “I’m grateful not only for her contributions to Boeing, but for her service on behalf of our country.”

January 2021– Boeing and FedEx Express today announced a new order for 12 767 Freighters and 12 777 Freighters as the world’s largest air cargo carrier continues to invest in the industry’s most capable freighters to better serve its customers.

“We are taking another positive step in our fleet modernization program as we add more efficient, lower emission aircraft to our global fleet,” said David L. Cunningham, President and CEO of FedEx Express. “The Boeing 767 and 777 Freighters have brought greater efficiency and reliability to our air operations. The 777, with its tremendous range characteristics, has allowed us to provide faster transit times around the globe. We are excited to add more of these aircraft to our fleet.”

The new airplanes, valued at $6.6 billion at list prices, will appear on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries webpage once contingencies have been met.

This order comes as the air cargo industry continues to gather strength. A year after demand grew by nearly 10 percent, global air freight is on track to increase by another four to five percent in 2018.

Air cargo carriers are adding capacity to keep up with demand, either by converting passenger airplanes into freighters or ordering new production cargo jets. With the latest order from FedEx Express, Boeing has sold more than 50 widebody freighters in 2018.

“We are honored that FedEx has again placed its trust on the wings of the Boeing 767 and 777. This repeat order is a big vote of confidence in Boeing’s market-leading freighter family and the long-term outlook for air freight,” said Kevin McAllister, president and chief executive officer, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

FedEx Express and Boeing have a long-standing partnership. The express carrier is a major operator of the Boeing 757 Freighter and the largest operator of the 767 Freighter and 777 Freighter. FedEx is also a customer of Boeing’s Global Services business.

Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications provider, has been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ for the fourth year in a row at the World Travel Awards 2020.

The prestigious accolade was announced following a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands, with the latest edition of the World Travel Awards attracting a record number of votes from across the world by industry professionals and members of the public.

Inmarsat once again retained its title in recognition of its market-leading GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband solutions, which enable airline passengers to browse the internet, shop online, stream videos, enjoy social media and more seamlessly during their flights. Inmarsat airline customers include Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Iberia, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia and Virgin Atlantic.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Last year was particularly challenging for the aviation industry, which faced its biggest crisis to date as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we have been working closer than ever with our airline customers, both old and new, to support their evolving needs as they navigate through the storm and head towards a future recovery. It is uplifting, therefore, to receive an award where the industry itself helped to determine the winner. This accolade reinforces our position as the global market leader and is dedicated to our talented employees and partners for their continued hard work and dedication over the past year, even in the toughest of circumstances.”

Inmarsat crossed a number of important milestones last year as part of its extensive, fully-funded technology roadmap. This included the commercial service introduction of GX5, Inmarsat’s most powerful satellite to date, last month. Conceived, designed and procured principally to meet the needs of aviation customers, GX5 delivers approximately twice the capacity of the entire existing GX satellite fleet (GX1-GX4) combined. It is essential to support rapidly growing demand for airline and business aviation connectivity in Europe and the Middle East. 

Inmarsat’s technology roadmap will see seven further satellite launches by 2024: five in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, which will enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service in the commercially and strategically critical Arctic region.

Other highlights of 2020 included the development of an advanced new lightweight, low drag terminal for GX Aviation in partnership with GDC Technics and the launch of GX+ North America in collaboration with Hughes, bringing unrivalled inflight Wi-Fi to North American airlines and passengers.


NEW SST IN DEVELOPMENT

It is not surprising that IFEC news and information is pretty quiet during the pandemic. The equation is simple: less people; less flights; less travel; and aircraft delivery delays or cancellations all result in less demand for IFEC in the short term.

Having said that, it appears there is one aviation area that is experiencing a resurgence in development and/or exploration – supersonic flight. Companies like Boon Overture and Aerion are not sleeping, and you might ask, what has this to do with IFEC? Well, probably not much in the immediate future; however, as folks improve the speed of flying we would expect a future of more advanced, smaller, lighter, better performing IFEC.

We say “expect” because we have little or no information on this future subject, but we were wondering what we might see … and the word “might” is used here since weight and size on these eventual airplanes will be a big issue. To give you a better idea, lets first see what Wikipedia says about the SST subject:

Wikipedia – “A supersonic transport (SST) is a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. To date, the only SSTs to see regular service have been Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144. The last passenger flight of the Tu-144 was in June 1978 and it was last flown in 1999 by NASA. Concorde’s last commercial flight was in October 2003, with a November 26, 2003 ferry flight being its last airborne operation. Following the permanent cessation of flying by Concorde, there are no remaining SSTs in commercial service. Several companies have each proposed a supersonic business jet, which may bring supersonic transport back again.”

Further, Wikipedia notes: ”For all vehicles traveling through air, the force of drag is proportional to the coefficient of drag (Cd), to the square of the airspeed and to the air density. Since drag rises rapidly with speed, a key priority of supersonic aircraft design is to minimize this force by lowering the coefficient of drag. This gives rise to the highly streamlined shapes of SSTs. To some extent, supersonic aircraft also manage drag by flying at higher altitudes than subsonic aircraft, where the air density is lower.”

Next, we tried to find out more about the Concorde IFE hardware and the British Science Museum noted: “Brochure, ‘For your entertainment in flight : Supersonic Stereo : Five stereo programs specially produced for Concorde’. Part of collection of in-flight material gathered by Alastair Greenlees who flew on Concorde in January 1978 and with BOAC from Manchester Airport.” Admittedly, a multichannel IFE audio service was quite good since  flight time was reduced by roughly 50%. Concorde In-flight Entertainment Brochure | Science Museum Group Collection

Also we found a wonderful website that features the history and present news on the heritage Concorde here: Heritage Concorde
which features a great video about the plane that you can watch here: (3) UK Concorde first nose move – Heritage Concorde – Project Salute – YouTube. And yes, if yes, if you want more Concorde “stuff’, check out this Etsy site: Concorde Supersonice Transport Gray Travel Folder Inflight | Etsy

We should mention that the IFE we found on the Concorde was some 6 channels of audio entertainment, and having noted that, we expect the “future” products from the likes of Boom and Aerion will reflect the growing demand for real-time connectivity. And we firmly believe that satcom and Wi-Fi connectivity/streaming to PEDs will be a must. We’ve been asking ourselves what engineering and certification requirements there will be for a satcom radome aboard an SST – stay tuned on this one! There is one certainty, whichever IFEC offering is selected, it will be the ‘brightest and shiniest’ available! After all, why put old technology on such a technologically advanced aircraft?!

Articles have also noted that the earlier supersonic designs had to minimize weight and space because of increased drag and limited aircraft engine performance, newer technology will surely provide more and better personal space than its SST predecessor.

The passenger capacity of the new SST appears to be less than half of the Concorde’s. However, with the current trend toward smaller load factors this may end up being an advantage for future operators.

Here are some interesting links on the aviation future:


AIRBUS

The airframer delivered 566 commercial aircraft in 2020 vs 863 in 2019:

A220 Family: 38 vs 48 (2019)
A320ceo Family: 15 vs 91 (2019)
A320neo Family: 431 vs 551 (2019)
A330ceo: 6 vs 12 (2019)
A330neo: 13 vs 41 (2019)
A350: 59 vs 112 (2019)
A380: 4 vs 8 (2019)
A220: 64
A320 Family: 296
A330: 2
A350:

Airbus recorded 383 new orders (268 net):
A220: 64
A320 Family: 296
A330: 2
A350: 21

Aircraft Cancellations – 115 (2020), backlog stood at 7,184 aircraft on December 31.


BOEING

The company recorded 184 new orders in 2020 (-471 net of cancellations/conversions).

737 MAX: 112
737NG: 18
767: 11
777: 13
787: 29
747: 1

And they delivered 157 commercial aircraft in 2020 compared to 380 in 2019:

737 MAX: 27 vs 57
737NG: 16 vs 70
767: 30 vs 43
777: 26 vs 45
787: 53 vs 158
747: 5 vs 5


OTHER NEWS

This topic may be up your alley – What is Quantum Computing. If it’s not, but you are interested, below is a free 27 page report. As a quote from the article: “Soon, quantum computers could change the world. Quantum computing is the processing of information that’s represented by special quantum states. By tapping into quantum phenomena like “superposition” and “entanglement,” these machines handle information in a fundamentally different way to “classical” computers like smartphones, laptops, or even today’s most powerful supercomputers.” CBINSIGHTS has a real understanding of the subject … we think! What Is Quantum Computing?

  • Freighters to add additional capacity to meet growing e-commerce and express cargo demand
  • Order will complete production of the 747-8 in 2022

Seattle, WA | January 12, 2021– Boeing and Atlas Air Worldwide today announced an agreement to purchase four 747-8 Freighters. The order enables Atlas Air to leverage the operational advantages of the 747-8 Freighter to meet growing cargo demand around the globe.

“The 747-8F is the best and most versatile widebody freighter in the market, and we are excited to bolster our fleet with the acquisition of these four aircraft,” said John W. Dietrich, Atlas Air Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer. “This significant growth opportunity will enable us to capitalize on strong demand and deliver value for our existing and prospective customers. The efficiency and capability of the 747-8F further complements our longstanding focus on leading edge technology. Dedicated freighters – like those operated by our Atlas, Polar and Southern subsidiaries – will continue to be in demand as the global airfreight market, particularly the e-commerce and express sectors, continues to grow.”

With a maximum payload capacity of 137.7 metric tonnes (137,750 kg), the 747-8 Freighter allows customers to access 20% more payload capacity while using 16% less fuel compared to previous-generation 747s. The jet also features 30% quieter engines. The 747-8 airplanes in this agreement will be the final four aircraft to roll off the production line in Everett, Washington.

“The 747 will forever hold a special place in aviation history and we are honored by Atlas Air’s longstanding commitment to the airplane. Atlas Air began operations 28 years ago with a single 747 and it is fitting that they should receive the last 747 production airplanes, ensuring that the ‘Queen of the Skies’ plays a significant role in the global air cargo market for decades to come,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “With the global air cargo fleet expected to grow by more than 60% over the next 20 years, we look forward to delivering these airplanes and supporting Atlas Air’s Boeing fleet well into the future.”

Atlas Air has 53 747s in its current fleet, making it the largest 747 operator in the world. Its world-class fleet also includes 737s, 767s and 777s. The 747 and 777 models, in particular, are capable of carrying tall and outsized cargo loads on 3-meter-high (10-foot-tall) pallets. This common main-deck pallet height supports interchangeable pallets, adding to the versatility of both models.

Boeing, the market leader in air cargo aircraft, provides more than 90% of the dedicated freighter capacity around the world, including new production and converted freighters. The 747 program has produced 1,560 aircraft since launching the jumbo jet more than 50 years ago. In July 2020, Boeing announced its decision to complete production of the 747-8 in 2022.

Season’s Greetings

For most of us 2020 has been a tumultuous and turbulent year both professionally and personally. In an effort to contain and control the spread of COVID-19 we’ve all had to adapt the way we perform and deliver our services and live our day-to-day lives. The result has been physical distancing but in a way this common, shared experience has brought us all closer.

The IFExpress team thanks our readers for your continued support and we look forward to a time when our industry can once again gather together to discuss new concepts and product developments in person. In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season.

May 2021 bring you health and prosperity,

Patricia Wiseman, Editor & Founder of IFExpress


TURKISH TECHNIC

Turkish Technic has completed the design, production and certification process of its new server and wireless access point (WAP) products, the backbone of in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems. This also marks a new milestone of in-house production in aviation sector for Turkish Technic following the production of its aviation seats and galley. Turkish Technic’s new server and WAP surpass the competition with the features such as easy integration with various software applications and providing flexibility in determining equipment configuration according to current system requirements.

Providing the option of storing media (movies, videos, newspapers, magazines etc.), internet access and sharing the content with the passengers abroad the aircraft, servers act as a media source to transform air travel into a fun experience. Developed and produced by Turkish Technic, the products are customized according to the market needs and equipped with new features. Both the server and WAP are a step up from the IFE & Connectivity market competition. The new server provides 6 TB of data storage, which is 3 times bigger than its counterparts. The WAP has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual band radio.

On the launch of new connectivity products, General Manager of Turkish Technic Ahmet Karaman stated that: “During these challenging times that affect aviation and the whole world, our commitment to improve our software and hardware capabilities continues.

Being a leading MRO company in the world, we work to improve our service quality as well as the product range. With an aim to provide best connectivity products in the market, our team continues to bring their best efforts forward to achieve that goal. After developing and producing our aircraft galley and seats, we now add our servers and WAP products to the list. We would not be able to do all this without the passion and commitment of our people. I thank them for their tireless efforts and cooperation.”

Developed by the highly skilled and dedicated experts and engineers at Turkish Technic, the server and WAP are designed to meet all advanced communication needs of its customers. With their full function tests and trials in extreme conditions complete, the server and WAP are approved by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

 


MOMENT

Moment, French on-board digital solutions provider, is currently working on a trial with French aviation group Amelia (by Regourd Aviation) to implement Moment’s Flymingo box aboard its planes. 

Created in 1976, the Group is based in Paris and has strong French, European and African footprints. The Group is specialized in business, corporate and regional travels on 19 to 72-seat aircraft, operating 19 aircraft in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, offering charter, scheduled flights and ACMI services.

In 2019, Regourd Aviation created the brand Amelia, uniting its activities under one banner. The Group’s airline, Amelia International, conducts short-haul domestic flights between Paris and two cities in France: Rodez and Clermont Ferrand. In line with this recent accomplishment, Amelia decided to partner with Moment to provide its customers with an unparalleled digital journey aboard its fleet.

Therefore, Moment deployed its Flymingo box, a portable Wireless IFE solution, along with its digital platform allowing for a seamless digital passenger experience. This solution offers Amelia’s customers the chance to access a wide range of content, including entertainment, but also, to read the news and receive information related to their flight; a tailor-made experience for Amelia’s clientele which consists mainly of business passengers, and vacationers on the weekends.

Amelia originally being a private aviation company, the goal was to reach a premium target and to elevate the experience on board, by providing a digital platform that is user friendly and that the company could personalize according to its passengers’ different preferences.

The health crisis the world is facing today emphasizes the importance of the contactless in-flight experience, which is why Moment’s offer is optimal. The digital interface is accessible via passengers’ own devices, and grants them access to all the information they previously would have in paper aboard the plane.

“We are beyond excited to work on this trial with a leader in W-IFE solutions such as Moment. We wanted to partner with a company that could guarantee we would attain our vision for a one-of-a-kind digital experience for our customers; that is exactly what we found with Moment’s Flymingo box.” announced Alain Regourd, President of Amelia.

Tanguy Morel, CEO of Moment said: “We are thrilled to begin this trial with Amelia, and we hope it will be the beginning of a great working relationship as partners.” He adds: “We were involved in providing the company with a personalized experience to satisfy the needs of its passengers. With Flymingo box, Amelia will offer a reliable solution, ensuring access to entertainment like never before.”


Alaska Airlines Boosts 737 MAX Orders and Options to 120 Jets

Boeing nd Alaska Airlines announced that the carrier is buying 23 more 737-9 airplanes, building on its original order and an agreement last month to acquire new 737-9s through lease. The new deal brings Alaska Airlines’ total 737 MAX orders and options to 120 airplanes, which will give the fifth largest U.S. carrier the scale, efficiency and flexibility to expand as air travel recovers. Alaska Airlines, a longtime Boeing 737 operator, placed an order for 32 737-9 jets in 2012 as part of its fleet modernization program. The 737-9 is a member of the 737 MAX family that is designed to offer more fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility in the single-aisle airplane market. Last month, Alaska Airlines announced it is expanding its commitment to the 737 MAX program by leasing 13 new 737-9s while selling some A320 jets it had taken on through its acquisition of Virgin America.

The new agreement announced on 12/21/2020 will add 23 firm orders for the 737-9 and more options for future purchases. In all, Alaska will have 52 options which, if fully exercised, would take the carrier to as many as 120 737 MAX airplanes. The airline said the deal moves it toward a more efficient, all-Boeing mainline fleet that will “enhance the guest experience, improve operational performance and support the company’s growth.”

Alaska Airlines and Boeing leaders announced the agreement during a signing ceremony at Boeing’s delivery facility in Seattle, flanked by a new 737-9 that will be among the first such jets to be operated by Alaska Airlines. In observance of COVID-19 restrictions, both companies limited attendance at the event and addressed the pandemic that has severely affected air travel, expressing confidence in the fundamental strength of the industry and long-term passenger demand.

“Alaska Airlines has done a tremendous job of weathering the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and is well positioned to return to its growth trajectory and strengthen its standing as one of the top U.S. airlines. With Alaska’s industry-leading reputation for safety, sustainability and customer service, we are honored they have chosen to invest in their future with a significant purchase of additional Boeing 737 airplanes,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are grateful for Alaska’s trust and partnership. Our team is focused on delivering their first 737 MAX jets and helping ensure a safe and seamless entry into service.”

Alaska Airlines says the 737 – equipped with new, more fuel-efficient engines and improved aerodynamics – will use 20% less fuel and reduce emissions by 20% per seat compared to airplanes it replaces. The airline will configure the jet with 178 seats in a three-class configuration. The plane can fly 3,550 nautical miles, about 600 miles more than its predecessor. This additional capability will allow airlines to offer new and more direct routes to passengers. Every airplane will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.

Learn more about Alaska’s confidence in the safety and certification of the MAX at alaskaair.com/737MAX.

(Note: AEROMEXICO, who has 6 737 MAX aircraft on its books, is expected to reinstate 737 MAX operations out of Mexico City this week.)

Also from Boeing:

Boeing and the University of Arizona put an age-old technique, thermal disinfection, to use in the fight against COVID-19. Researchers validated that applying heat to surfaces, especially on hard-to-clean flight deck equipment, effectively eliminates SARS-CoV-2.

Results indicate that the virus can be destroyed by more than 99.99% after three hours exposure to temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) and will still effectively kill more than 99.9% of the virus at 40-degree Celsius temperatures (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

“Passenger and crew safety are our top priorities — that extends from the cabin to the flight deck,” said Michael Delaney, who leads Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) efforts. “Thermal disinfection could deliver another valuable tool to destroy COVID-19 on sensitive and difficult-to-reach components that protect pilots.”

Boeing completed the testing as part of its CTI effort to support customers and enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic. This testing was conducted in a protected laboratory environment at the university using flight deck parts and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, this fall.

“We’re basically cooking the virus,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona microbiologist and infectious disease expert. “Thermal disinfection is one of the oldest ways to kill disease-causing micro-organisms. It’s used by microbiologists in our laboratory every day.”

The flight deck is one of the most challenging areas to sanitize using traditional chemical disinfectants. In areas with sensitive electronic equipment, heat has the ability to disinfect without adverse effects from cleaners. The flight deck is designed to withstand temperatures up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (about 70 degrees Celsius), which makes thermal disinfection a safe, practical and effective sanitization method.

As air travel is fundamentally disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing and the University of Arizona continue to test recommended cleaning methods in a lab against SARS-CoV-2 and other similar viruses to further validate their efficacy.

And Lastly:

Boeing has entered into a 25-year lease agreement with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to grow its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations at its Cecil Field site, located at Cecil Airport. Under the agreement, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) will construct and lease to Boeing new facilities on approximately 30 acres located on the northeast side of Cecil Airport, near Boeing’s existing MRO site. The new construction will eventually house Boeing’s on-site operations and include nearly 270,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 100,000 square feet of office and support shop space. Construction work by JAA will begin in fall 2021 with a planned commencement of operations date in January 2024.

(Editor’s Note: If you are wondering about flying on a plane in the COVID time-frame, here is one article that touts masks – Risk of COVID-19 exposure on planes ‘virtually nonexistent’ when masked, study shows – ABC News and here is the TRANSCOM Study that supports mask testing on aircraft – you probably should read it.)


HIGHLIGHTS FROM INMARSAT’S CONFIDENCE TRACKER

American flying habits are set to drastically change for the long haul, with nine in ten Americans not expecting to return to their previous travel routines once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The survey reveals a number of fascinating insights, including:

  • 43 per cent of American passengers planning to travel less often by any means and a third (36%) expecting to fly less.
  • US passengers are the second most likely globally to have already flown during the COVID-19 pandemic, with half (50%) of those surveyed in the US having taken at least one flight.
  • 71% US passengers are satisfied with the aviation industry’s response to the crisis.”

OTHER NEWS

  • We at IFExpress want to thank the world of health professionals who risked their lives (and will continue to do so) to help with a solution to the COVID anti-virus problem … and especially to those who paid their lives for our health! And while we are on the subject, you might want to see what Bill Gates has done – The Gates Foundation, COVID-19, and the race for a vaccine
  • Stay tuned to the ultra secure, quantum internet-based communications China is developing from their 2016 satellite they launched. You see, the communication is non breach-able and this will be the future of secure communications … a quantum internet. China Reaches New Milestone in Space-Based Quantum Communications – Scientific American
  • Got Wi-Fi? Well, you can be hacked, say the folks at Ben-Gurion University! Here is the paper on it. “In this paper, we show that attackers can exfiltrate data from air-gapped computers via Wi-Fi signals. Malware in a compromised air-gapped computer can generate signals in the Wi-Fi frequency bands. The signals are generated through the memory buses – no special hardware is required”
  • Ugh-oh! Seattle Times report: “Democrats and Republicans in U.S. House and Senate committees reached agreement in down-to-the wire negotiations a week ago on a bill tailored to address the FAA’s oversight failures in its original certification of the MAX.” Stay Tuned.