SES Networks and Gogo collaborate to ensure that HTS connectivity is seamlessly deployed to more than 200 Gogo Aircraft within the first operational month of SES-15

Luxembourg | February 14, 2018– Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology which are now utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15. These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity.

SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.”

“Deploying HTS connectivity requires a coordinated and collaborative approach because of the spot beam design,” said Elias Zaccack, Executive Vice President Global Sales at SES Networks. “We are proud of our strong working relationship with the entire Gogo team.”

Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

Starting off with our BUZZ this week, we wanted to acquaint you with Duncan Jackson, FlightPath 3D President and tell you that we have always been impressed with the company’s advanced view of internet mapping for aviation and the team’s designed-in product advantages. We urge you to visit their site and be sure to stop by their booth at upcoming airshows to discover what an advanced digital mapping company is all about. While you are there, be sure to see where the world of inflight mapping is headed. This week, airplane news took the center stage, so here we go …


Airbus

The A350-1000, the newest member of Airbus’ leading Widebody family, has embarked on a three-week Demonstration Tour to the Middle-East and Asia-Pacific region.The tour follows the completion of a successful flight test campaign, which lasted less than one year and culminated in joint EASA and FAA type certification, demonstrating the aircraft’s excellent design, performance and maturity. The A350-1000 tour comes ahead of the first customer delivery to Qatar Airways in the coming weeks. During the tour, the A350-1000 flight test aircraft (MSN065) will visit 12 destinations to demonstrate the aircraft’s exclusive features to airlines. The itinerary will see it travel over 30,000 nautical miles. The aircraft will stop for several days in Singapore, where it will be on static display from 6 to 8 February at the Singapore Airshow 2018. (see below).

MSN065 is one of the three Airbus A350-1000 test aircraft and is equipped with a fully functional cabin (40 business class, 36 economy plus class and 219 comfort economy class seats).

The A350-1000 is the latest member of the A350 XWB family, showing high level of commonality with the A350-900 with 95% common systems part numbers and Same Type Rating. As well as having a longer fuselage to accommodate 40 more passengers than the A350-900 (in a typical 3-class configuration), the A350-1000 also features a modified wing trailing-edge, new six-wheel main landing gears and more powerful Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines. To date 11 customers from five continents have placed orders for a total of 169 A350-1000s. You can follow the A350-1000 tour live on twitter: @airbus and #A350XWBtour if you are into that stuff.

Next, Airbus has launched a new iflyA380 iOS app that takes advantage of Apple’s latest technology, to open the doors of its iconic A380 aircraft to more passengers worldwide. The new app enhances Airbus’ existing iflyA380.com booking assistant with more choices, features and content and new possibilities to interact with the A380 (including taking a sneak peek at the cockpit). Customers today increasingly expect to design their own experiences and the app gives them the power to do so. Booking flights and staying updated with real-time notifications is just the beginning. Travelers will also enjoy a wide range of exclusive innovative services linked to the A380, including the option to explore destinations based on geolocation and personal interests and cabin discovery in Virtual Reality. You might also enjoy a connected and immersive in-flight experience based on an Augmented Reality feature. “Response to the iflyA380.com website has been fantastic.” says Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “The iflyA380 app is a new step for Airbus towards offering digital services that directly benefit consumers and allow them to design their own experiences.” With the new app, Airbus set out to make the passengers’ favorite flying experience even more memorable, from travel inspiration to their final destination.

Singapore Airshow 2018 – Airbus will be the largest international exhibitor at the upcoming Singapore Airshow, showcasing a selection of its latest products, services and innovations in the commercial aircraft, defense, space and helicopter markets. The show takes place at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, 6-11 February. The highlight at the static display will be the new long-range A350-1000 widebody aircraft, which will stop at the show as part of a three-week demonstration tour around the Asia-Pacific region. Set to enter commercial service in the coming weeks, the A350-1000 is the larger version of the A350 XWB Family, which has been especially successful with airlines in Asia


Boeing

Boeing announced its investment in Berkeley, Calif.-based Cuberg, Inc., a startup founded by former Stanford University researchers developing next-generation battery technology for potential aerospace and industrial applications. Cuberg developed an advanced battery cell that is designed to be a drop-in solution to existing large-scale battery manufacturing processes. It combines a lithium metal anode, proprietary electrolyte and high-voltage cathode to achieve high energy density and thermal durability. “Cuberg’s battery technology has some of the highest energy density we’ve seen in the marketplace, and its unique chemistries could prove to be a safe, stable solution for future electric air transportation,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX. Since it was established in April 2015, Cuberg has grown with several rounds of financing and grant funding, and signed a multimillion-dollar joint development agreement with an industrial battery manufacturer. Cuberg CEO Richard Wang is currently a member of the Cyclotron Road entrepreneurial research fellowship program located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Cuberg previously participated in the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy’s Innovation Transfer Program at Stanford University and was named one of the top seven startups in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2016 National Cleantech University Prize competition.

“We are excited to partner with the world’s largest aerospace company to extend Cuberg’s battery capabilities to help power the aerospace platforms of the future,” said Wang. “With funding from Boeing, we will expand both our team and our research and development facilities to help customers integrate our batteries into their products, while also scaling up our technology to fully automated production.” Boeing HorizonX Ventures led this second seed investment round, which included a follow-on investment by HPC Energy Services, a Canadian integrated oil and gas product and service company. This is Boeing HorizonX Ventures’ first investment in an energy storage company since the fund was established in April 2017.

Editor’s note: We should mention that the US International Trade Commission gave four thumbs down to Boeing’s complaint about the Canadian CS100 hurting their sales – Delta said: “Delta is pleased by the U.S. International Trade Commission’s ruling rejecting Boeing’s anticompetitive attempt to deny U.S. airlines and the U.S. traveling public access to the state-of-the-art 110-seat CS100 aircraft when Boeing offers no viable alternative. The airline looks forward to introducing the innovative CS100 to its fleet for the benefit of Delta’s employees, customers and share owners.”


Inmarsat

Inmarsat has been crowned a winner at the Inflight Middle East Awards in Dubai for its ground-breaking inflight broadband service, GX Aviation. Inmarsat received the highest votes from an independent panel of judges in the ‘Connectivity Enablement’ category, taking the lead over other competitors in the market.Offering state-of-the-art, uninterrupted, global inflight connectivity, GX Aviation enables airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.The service currently boasts a constellation of four satellites, flying in a geostationary orbit, providing global coverage across commercial airline routes. The Inflight Middle East award is also reflective of Inmarsat’s continued investment in the network to ensure passengers are provided with the quality Wi-Fi they have come to expect at 35,000 feet. A new, very high-throughput satellite will launch next year to provide even more capacity across the Middle East, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent. Inmarsat’s new inflight internet solution has more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts. GX Aviation is already commercially available with launch customers Lufthansa Group and Air Astana, while additional mandates have also been won from other leading airlines such as AirAsia Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Avianca and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labor and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.


HappyOrNot

Yes, that is their company name and we found an interesting story about them in the New Yorker, Feb. 5 issue. You can read it here Customer Satisfaction at the Push of a Button | The New Yorker

The company installs simple terminals that you advise your feelings about a place or a thing (mostly). Here is a tiny part of the push button product story you should read: “HappyOrNot’s international breakthrough came at Heathrow Airport. Passengers had been complaining that security workers there were rude and incompetent, and, as the 2012 Summer Olympics approached, the airport’s executives worried about the imminent influx of international visitors. They positioned HappyOrNot terminals so that passengers could use them as they cleared security. The executives were now able to identify problem locations in real time, and security workers in low-rated areas could see when they were viewed as more annoying than colleagues in other parts of the airport. Very quickly, Theisen told me, Heathrow security’s over-all passenger-satisfaction scores rose by more than half.” Here is the point – It is often difficult to get customer views if they have to fill out a big form or even talk to a reviewer. IFExpress firmly believes that this is the future of customer reviews.  The only real issue we see is that people are most likely to take the time to participate in a review if they have had a bad experience vs. a good one – its just human nature to express themselves more when annoyed vs. taking the time to point out a positive experience. Upset; however, and you want to do something!


More Stuff

How about an inside view the ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital –
A Look Inside The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital | MRO Network

We understand Global Eagle has a deal with SES for increased Ku-Band inflight entertainment capacity above the US and Hawaii. Just in case you don’t know, SES provides reliable and secure satellite and ground communications solutions and push for breakthroughs in connectivity for people worldwide. Read more 

The 29th Annual International Women in Aviation Conference is, March 22-44, 2018, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada. Homepage | Women in Aviation International

London, UK | January 25, 2018– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has been crowned a winner at the Inflight Middle East Awards in Dubai for its ground-breaking inflight broadband service, GX Aviation. Inmarsat received the highest votes from an independent panel of judges in the ‘Connectivity Enablement’ category, taking the lead over other competitors in the market.

Offering state-of-the-art, uninterrupted, global inflight connectivity, GX Aviation enables airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

GX Aviation currently boasts a constellation of four satellites, flying in a geostationary orbit, providing global coverage across commercial airline routes. The Inflight Middle East award is also reflective of Inmarsat’s continued investment in the network to ensure passengers are provided with the quality Wi-Fi they have come to expect at 35,000 feet. A new, very high-throughput satellite will launch next year to provide even more capacity across the Middle East, Europe, and the Indian subcontinent.

The latest accolade from Inflight Middle East adds to a growing number of awards for Inmarsat’s inflight Wi-Fi services, including ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ at the World Travel Awards. It comes hot on the heels of news that Qatar Airways will provide GX Aviation onboard more than 130 aircraft, consisting of Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s, and Emirates intends to install the service on its Boeing 777X aircraft fleet.

Ben Griffin, Vice President, Middle East, Africa and South Asia at Inmarsat Aviation said: “Consistent, reliable high-speed connectivity opens a new world of service innovation and personalisation to today’s airlines. This latest industry recognition attests to our commitment to provide the best inflight connectivity to passengers within the Middle East and we’re looking forward to seeing more and more passengers experiencing our award-winning broadband in the sky.”

Inmarsat’s game-changing new inflight internet solutions has more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts. GX Aviation is already commercially available with launch customers Lufthansa Group and Air Astana, while additional mandates have also been won from other leading airlines such as AirAsia Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Avianca and Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry with a vision of bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s world-leading passenger solutions are complemented by its best-in-class safety and operations services.

Thales will equip the subsidiary airlines of HNA Group with its latest In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of 42 wide-body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft.

  • Thales selected by HNA Group to equip new 42 A330 and 17 A350 XWB fleet with the latest IFE innovations.
  • AVANT IFE and Ka-band connectivity will be fully integrated on the A330 and A350 to provide a premium passenger experience.

California | January 9, 2018– Thales will equip the subsidiary airlines of HNA Group with its latest In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of 42 wide- body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft. The first AVANT A330 aircraft has entered into service in late 2017 and the first AVANT A350 aircraft is expected to enter into service in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.

HNA group manages several subsidiary airlines, including Hainan airlines, Capital Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Lucky Air and West Air. In 2017, Hainan Airlines was honored as Top 10 Airlines by SKYTRAX, a global research firm and provider of professional aviation evaluation services with a focus on airline and airport services. The subsidiary airlines of HNA group already have a combined fleet of over 50 A330 aircraft flying with Thales IFE systems. HNA Group’s selection of Thales is a further demonstration of the carriers trust in Thales’s commitment to making the travel experience more enjoyable for their passengers.

As part of this commitment, Thales is investing resources in the region to further enhance the integration of software and media capabilities that will enrich passenger experience and satisfy local market demands.

AVANT, Thales’s state-of-the-art Android IFE solution, will provide HNA Group Airlines’ passengers a highly customizable experience with a robust selection of features and applications. The new fleet will be equipped with the latest AVANT full high-definition monitors, the most lightweight ever deployed, featuring the Avii Touch Passenger Media Unit. Avii provides intuitive navigation, full android smartphone look and feel, and acts as a second entertainment screen. Integration of Ka-band connectivity to the AVANT IFE system will provide a fully connected premium passenger experience.

Thales FlytCARE, the nose-to-tail- maintenance of in-flight technology ensuring the highest levels of performance, already provided on current HNA Group Airline fleet, will be expanded to these new aircraft. The dedicated Aircraft Technical Services team, will support system reliability for the enhancement of passenger experience.

Substantially increased bandwidth, greater reliability, enhanced network management and new operational tools

Las Vegas | January 8, 2018–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has today introduced a major evolution of its satellite connectivity service with the introduction of its third generation communications network.

Panasonic’s third generation network is built to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. Throughout the first quarter of 2018, aircraft from a number of airlines will be transitioned to Panasonic’s new network. In addition, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, will leverage Panasonic’s new broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Our new satellite communications network is more than just greater bandwidth – it represents a major evolution in our approach to partnering with customers to deliver the highest standards of service and to ensure that their passengers enjoy an unmatched, connected experience inflight.”

The new communications network is built on Panasonic’s high throughput satellite service, which today covers all dense mobility traffic areas around the globe with high throughput spot beams and wide overlay beams that support Panasonic’s global inflight television service. When combined with the rollout of the company’s new satellite modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, Panasonic now offers bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available. This supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and a broader channel choice, the capability to offer 3G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.

The network is backed by a range of new measures Panasonic has launched to provide higher levels of support to its customers. These initiatives are channelled through Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives enhanced network performance, reduced outage times, and faster response and resolution times for all customer inquiries.

The Customer Performance Center offers a range of value-added services including traffic shaping tools, live monitoring and management of the user experience, and Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service, which enables real-time content loading, validation and management.

Additionally, Panasonic is offering new business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, over 1,800 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

Welcome back to IFEC in 2018, and thank you for following us throughout 2017. Having said that, this coming New Year ought to be one of the most interesting years for our technology, and almost everything else for that matter. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we wanted to pass along a short 2018 New Year message from Joe Leader, CEO of APEX and IFSA: “As we launch into 2018, APEX celebrates its 40th year of serving the passenger experience industry with every major airline in the world. The year ahead will see ancillary revenue tying into more facets of new products. In addition, we expect that this is the year that in-flight Wi-Fi surpasses 50% of available seat miles worldwide. It’s going to be an incredible year with major advancements.” We have a feeling he is right on track for this industry and he said it – the IFEC future will be a big deal in 2018, and we certainly agree – with inflight Wi-Fi becoming the passenger necessity. Furthermore, we agree with Mr. Leader’s comment that over 50% of available seat miles will have access to inflight Wi-Fi this new year, with the result being  new innovations that will generate both passenger and flight revenue. Thanks Joe!

Next, we thought it be interesting to delve into some specifics for 2018, as we do almost every year with some reported IFExpress efforts from last January 2017. One prediction that stood out was from an “un-named” provider who said: “The exponential growth of cabin Wi-Fi usage within the confines of the same aircraft will lead to more congestion in the cabin – passenger data to-and-from aircraft will more than quadruple in 2017.” Along the same lines last year, Joe Leader of APEX sent similar predictions: “Connectivity announcements and deployment will hit a new high for the industry and In-flight entertainment continues its expansion with more global IFE system installations and upgrades.” We knew that something like this was coming as well, but what’s new (or what’s news) is the speed at which this is happening. Perhaps, data quadrupling 2017 from 2016 may be a push; however, lets look at what the folks at Inmarsat say today: “Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionizing passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience. That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat …Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60% of all passengers say that inflight Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. The majority (61%) of global passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline.” The report went on: Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.””

Last year in IFExpress we wrote about the value of messages and that connectivity was the solution for doing so – what we said then is even more relevant today: “While 2016 may have a few techno-changes from 2015 and summary numbers differ, we are riding the same messaging train! Since technology and media have grown so much (at least in the US) folks are spending more time on it than sleep or work (Business Insider), there appears to be plenty of opportunity time for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) but messaging will be even bigger. If you don’t believe it, just watch the ‘head down time’ at a public function where time is spent on devices – it’s less invasive and non-interruptive. Why is this a boom time for messaging, you might ask? The answer must lie in new, portable communication technology for one. If, as some writers predict, we spend over half of our waking day with media and technology, and because the devices and connectivity mediums are there, plain and simple, we will text. From a broader perspective, time on major digital activities will increase, and has done so for each year, for the last 5 years.” Needless to say, we do not expect the demand to diminish as far as passengers expectations for messaging real-time inflight, in fact, we anticipate the demand to grow exponentially.

Another couple areas of predictive interest last January were Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. We noted in our IFExpress predictions: “Maintenance of aircraft will see more outsourcing, new technology products like AI and voice technology used in maintenance products, and more consolidation in the MRO world (Maintenance Repair Overhaul).” A recent IATA meeting in November 2017 featured speakers on both subjects – Finnair’s Rogier van Enk talked about using “Artificial Intelligence to assist customer service agents in managing the increasing volume of interactions with customers over social media channels,” while SITA’s Wayne Matrose shared knowledge of predicting disruptions with the use of “Neural Networks, to try and better predict the likelihood of a disruption to an airline’s scheduled movements. What data was used and how it was sourced? The importance of data quality and cleansing to make it both usable and useful. What can be predicted and what are the current limitations found with this technology (e.g. Black Swan events) – Ultimately, what changes are required to maximize the operational value of accurate predictions”

Another area we covered was seating and while we were on target for smaller seating, there was on area we missed. Here is what we said in early 2017: “Narrower aircraft seats are coming in 2017, especially in newer low class offerings where only certain sized carry-on baggage will be permitted – smaller and surely less comfortable as well. We already know United Airlines has a new low cost Basic Economy package that will be copied by others. The rub will be what limitations will be placed on passengers who do not have the airline reward travel card! Hey, many folks can travel short flights and put up with almost anything. It is all a function of what they have to take with them. And yes, cheaper seats will be located in the back of the plane.”

What we missed for 2017 was the new “beyond” Basic Economy package rolled out this past year with these extreme lack of features : even lower cost seats, seat selection and upgrades are not available, group and family seating is not available, full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted, one personal item is allowed, flight changes and refunds are not allowed, certain MileagePlus and Premier member benefits are not available, and they are the last boarding group. However, United notes: Basic Economy fares provide most of the same inflight services and amenities that are available with standard Economy — such as food and beverages, United Wi-FiSM and inflight entertainment.

One area where IFExpress fell short in our forecast for 2017 was company employees. We predicted the following for 2017: We fear aviation manufacturing layoffs”…While employee data is a little shaky because of the multitude of companies within a large corporation; we predicted a decline in employees from 2016 to 2017. When we looked in 2016, Boeing had 150K+ workers – today, it is around 174K. Airbus is also up.

We should also note that there are a lot of industry changes (not aviation) that will affect IFEC in the coming year. Video on Demand/LiveTV will surely eventually affect inflight entertainment and connectivity. Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain may as well. In 2018 blockchain will move beyond standard banking applications to money transfer, insurance, digital identification and even insurance, it will be on the aviation near horizon. Similarly, edge computing (near the source of data to reduce transmitted data) could be at the heart of aviation control, monitoring and data communication. With the airplane a trove of unanalyzed data and passengers desire to send and receive more data, connectivity, IFE, and TV, data will be the new connection from the air to the ground and vise-versa – not to mention smart bag issues, power-at-a-distance charging systems; as well as, increased satellite payloads ($11B – 2017 to $18B – 2022) and service providers.

Anyway, another year has passed and IFExpress is now in its 26th year and we still love the craziness of this entertainment and connectivity based aircraft show, albeit, it is getting harder to stay current with all the ups (and downs) of technology, connectivity, seat shrinkage, increased baggage payments, super long haul travel, passenger biometrics, security, and political impacts on the rights and preferences of travelers. There are even bigger changes coming: Net Neutrality and it’s effect on aviation and connectivity neutrality, higher prices coming, airport and possible airplane biometrics, Wi-Fi vs embedded IFE, prospective “splitter” customers, younger airline customers, and even Amazon in the business! However, because each year we are surprised, entertained and enlightened by the creativity and brilliance of many of the industry engineers, marketeers and developers, we again will close with the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Enjoy the MAGIC!

Editor’s Note: Just in case you feel like quitting this year, watch this — and NEVER GIVE UP!

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced that it has formed the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC) group by combining the recently acquired Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace. The new group will serve the needs of aerospace connectivity providers with a complete set of hardware, integration engineering, installation design, and certification services to enable aircraft in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC).

“We serve the world’s leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity providers, and this transition represents further commitment to offer our customers the most complete set of connectivity hardware, installation design, and certification services available from a single supplier,” said Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics Corporation. “Astronics CSC combines the best of both worlds – offering a suite of connectivity solutions that can be delivered a la carte or as a complete solution set, according to customer needs. With all of this capability in-house, we anticipate shortening a customer’s time to market for new, certified IFEC systems.”

Astronics CSC will continue to offer the products and services formerly offered by Armstrong Aerospace, working both within Astronics and with its industry partners to certify and install new IFEC, power, and other systems on commercial and business aircraft.

Astronics CSC will also continue to offer the products previously marketed by Telefonix PDT, including its cord reels and in-flight connectivity hardware such as wireless access points, servers, and control components. Product Development Technologies (PDT), a product design and development consultancy, will operate independently within the Astronics CSC structure.

The new Astronics CSC group will complement the connectivity and data solutions from other Astronics subsidiaries, including Astronics AeroSat, manufacturer of SATCOM antennas, and Astronics Ballard Technology, manufacturer of cockpit connectivity components.

Astronics CSC will continue to operate from its existing office locations in the greater Chicago area with current personnel. Michael Kuehn, formerly the president of Telefonix, will serve as the president of Astronics CSC. For details on the new group, please visit Astronics.com.


ROCKWELL COLLINS

Rockwell Collins has been named America’s Most JUST Company in the Aerospace & Defense industry, according to Forbes and JUST Capital, a nonprofit that ranks the largest publicly traded corporations in the United States on the issues Americans care about most. The second annual JUST 100 ranking compares America’s companies head-to-head, based on the priorities of the American people.

The rankings are based on one of the most comprehensive surveys ever conducted on public attitudes toward corporate behavior, involving 10,000 American respondents in 2017 and more than 72,000 over the past three years. For the complete 2017 JUST 100 list, visit www.forbes.com/just100.

Rockwell Collins is recognized for outperforming its peers on the criteria deemed to be most important, including worker pay and treatment, job creation, healthy products and communities, environmental impact, and more.


SITAONAIR

The company is celebrating a decade since the first ever inflight cellular data transmission and the birth of Mobile ONAIR.

Since that initial transmission was made onboard an Airbus A318 flight on 17 December 2007, it has been installed in more than 550 aircraft, serving the changing needs of commercial, VIP and governmental flights alike. Over the past decade, and with support from SITAONAIR’s industry partners, the service has been made available across all aircraft types, from single-aisle to long-range – with more than 20 million passengers connecting for voice, SMS and data transmission in 2017 alone.

SITAONAIR and satellite communications provider Inmarsat worked in partnership on that milestone flight ten years ago, and since these exciting early days, the service has continued to evolve, with developments such as the recent deployment of cutting-edge inflight 3.5G mobile network services over the high-speed broadband satellite connectivity of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation. This aviation industry first sees passengers and crew benefit from high-speed and seamless connectivity, which is comparable to the home experience.

Mobile ONAIR also enables passengers to utilize simple, secure and reliable connections that contribute to 43% of frequent fliers citing cellular connectivity as their primary choice. This is complemented by the continued evolution of pricing models, from the comparatively expensive price-per-use model that dominated until 2013, to the unlimited mobile data bundles commonly seen today, and the ‘Roam Like at Home’ model, which is set to become the norm across Europe.

Thanks to SITAONAIR’s work in obtaining regulatory approval and securing mobile operator partnerships, the Mobile ONAIR service is truly global. It is easy to forget a time, not so long ago, when passengers turned off mobile phones onboard an aircraft. SITAONAIR, together with partners and customers, has helped secure the regulatory approval, at state and industry level, to make the dream of inflight mobile connectivity a reality for the whole industry.

Passenger experience

SITAONAIR’s latest infographic highlights how cellular data is a crucial ingredient for a first class passenger experience, cementing Mobile ONAIR’s relevance in the connected airspace.

Gregory Ouillon, Chief Technology Officer at SITAONAIR, says: “It’s remarkable to think that it was just ten years ago that SITAONAIR launched the world’s first inflight mobile service onboard an international flight. “Ten years is a long time in aviation, however, and the solution now has evolved to become an essential component of the full cabin connectivity experience, allowing passengers to use their mobile phones as they would on the ground. “One major shift has been the trend towards the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, which delivers the best of both worlds. Passenger expectations can be met by offering a hybrid experience that can leverage the advantages of both a Wi-Fi and a cellular connection. Importantly, SITAONAIR is one of the few industry players with the knowledge, assets and skills base to make this convergence happen.” This convergence is essential to meet the demands of the modern passenger. With 50-100 billion Internet connected devices expected to be in circulation by 2020, ranging from fitness trackers to thermostats, mobile network operators will play a central role in connecting these devices, both on the ground and in the air.

Moving towards the future

From supporting this burgeoning IoT movement, to the introduction of wider cellular trends like ‘Roam Like at Home’ to the air, our new infographic examines the future of Mobile ONAIR and inflight passenger communication, as SITAONAIR and its partners see it.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President says: “Passenger expectations around inflight connectivity have dramatically evolved over the past decade. Inmarsat worked shoulder-to-shoulder with SITAONAIR ten years ago to pioneer the first ever inflight mobile phone call and data connectivity on an international flight. “Today, we are together introducing unprecedented new capacities with GX Aviation, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.”

Editor’s Note: We really were impressed with this graphic and to download it in full, click here.


AIRBUS

AIRBUS named Guillaume Faury as next President-Commercial Aircraft to replace Fabrice Brégier, who is stepping down in February 2018; CEO Tom Enders also advised that he does not wish to seek another term beyond his mandate ending April 2019.


MORE NEWS

  • Boeing’s 737-MAX10 was also believed to be under consideration. But, a recent trade dispute triggered by a complaint filed by Boeing concerning Delta’s order for 75 Bombardier C Series jets has soured the relationship between airline and airplane maker may have soured the deal.
  • AI: What’s Working, What’s Not – Andreessen Horowitz  This video of a technical presentation at a meeting you probably missed – Great Stuff for those who want more in AI!
  • The IEEE is developing an Ethically Aligned Document for prioritizing human well-being of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems and seeks input for  basically a document that supports the public discussion on how machines and man (women too) work together – and they are seeking human input: standards.ieee.org/develop/indconn/ec/ead_v2.pdf
  • Need some current cryptocurrencies technical research over the holidays? How about Blockchain Technologies? What is Blockchain Technology?
  • We loved this press release from Lufthansa Systems: “To make sure the man with the white beard and red suit can deliver all his gifts on time again this year, a team of experts from Lufthansa Systems worked with representatives from the MATHEON Research Center and Konrad Zuse Institute Berlin to calculate the shortest round trip around the globe. The project was launched by the German “Wissenschaft im Dialog” research initiative at the end of 2016.” Here is the link to the whole story (in English) and we suggest you read it to that young pilot or flight attendant in your household! Where does Santa’s sleigh actually fly? | Lufthansa Systems

Before we forget it, HAPPY HOLIDAYS everyone, and thank you for your support for the past 24 years!

Latest accolade for GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN), voted by thousands of travel and tourism executives from across the world

London | December 11, 2017– Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, was last night crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’, marking the end of another breakthrough year with its next generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) wifi solutions for airline passengers.

The prestigious accolade was announced at the World Travel Awards 2017 in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. It follows a comprehensive online voting process, with participation from thousands of travel and tourism executives across the world, in addition to specialist consumer travel buyers. 

Inmarsat’s game-changing new inflight internet solutions have the fastest uptake in the market, with more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN. Both of these solutions are introducing a new gold standard in global and regional inflight wifi, allowing airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

Early adopters of GX Aviation and EAN include world-leading airlines such as Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, IAG, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, Norwegian, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Avianca.

Phil Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Receiving the World Travel Award, one of the most prestigious accolades in travel and tourism, is the latest industry recognition attesting the quality of our inflight connectivity offering. Passengers clearly want a step up from unreliable and expensive inflight wifi. With our global GX Aviation service already in commercial service, and our Pan European offering, the European Aviation Network, starting the final phase of operational launch by the end of 2017, our progress in the market shows no sign of slowing. As more and more airlines go live with our connectivity services, we’re looking forward to seeing passengers experiencing Inmarsat’s award-winning broadband in the sky.”

Graham E Cooke, Founder and President of the World Travel Awards, said: “A well-deserved congratulations to Inmarsat on their success at the World Travel Awards Grand Final 2017. ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ is a prestigious international award that places Inmarsat firmly at the top of the travel and tourism industry. I hope their recognition, both by their peers and members of the public, will inspire them to aim ever higher in the pursuit of excellence.”

The World Travel Award adds to a growing number of international accolades for Inmarsat’s inflight Wi-Fi services this year. These include the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) ‘Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation Award’ for EAN, the Inflight Magazine Asia Pacific ‘Connectivity Enablement Award’ for GX Aviation, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) ‘Product Innovation Award’ for GX Aviation. In addition, Inmarsat Aviation won ‘Best B2B Marketing’ at the DMA Awards, ‘Best Live Event Marketing’ at the B2B Marketing Awards, and ‘Best Use of Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality’ at the DMA International ECHO Awards.

Chicago | November 28, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that Air Canada is now the first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers.

Each year, Air Canada recognizes its most frequent flyers with Altitude status and offers them the ability to choose select privileges to personalize their travel experience. Beginning later this year, the airline will offer Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members the opportunity to select complimentary 6- and 12-month unlimited use passes, respectively, for inflight connectivity on board Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights.

“We are delighted to partner with Air Canada to bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their loyal customers for free,” said John Happ, Gogo’s Regional President, Americas.  “Gogo is finding new ways to leverage connectivity to enable unique experiences for our airline partners that fit their individual needs.  Free Gogo for Air Canada’s most frequent customers is a great example of how we are delivering on this for our airline partners.”

“Earlier this year, Air Canada announced plans to launch an all new, digital-first loyalty program in June 2020. While we design the future program, we’re committed to adding new options and benefits for Altitude members today and over the next two years,” said Mark Nasr, Vice President Loyalty & eCommerce. “In-flight Wi-Fi is a critical amenity for business and leisure travelers alike, so we’re excited to become the first North American airline to offer the choice of unlimited Wi-Fi plans to our most frequent Altitude members.”

Members will be able to choose this Select Privilege as part of the 2018 Altitude benefit year. The passes will also be eligible for use on Gogo’s 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.

– Step change with introduction of first High Throughput Satellite over Asia –
– Satellite and new modem support speeds of 250 Mpbs –
– Panasonic forecasts 10,000 aircraft commitment by 2025 –

Lake Forest, California | November 21, 2017– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC), today introduced a major advance in inflight connectivity with the entry into service of its first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity over the Pacific Ocean.

The EUTELSAT 172B satellite, which launched in June, is operated by Eutelsat Communications. Leveraging its unique design, Panasonic will deliver greatly enhanced inflight broadband connectivity, live television and mobile phone services to aircraft flying high traffic routes across the Asia Pacific region spanning the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia and the Pacific islands.

High Throughput Satellites use a combination of spot beams and high-level frequency re-use to provide much improved economics, more bandwidth and faster data speeds as passengers browse the internet and benefit from other online services, and airlines increasingly utilize connectivity for operational purposes. They also use a broad overlay beam, which is used to economically deliver up to nine channels of live television to passengers in flight.

Panasonic is layering HTS capacity over key air traffic areas across its global satellite network, ensuring it can meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. It will continue to introduce high throughput satellites in every region of the world.

In addition to this support for airlines and their passengers, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, which leverages the Panasonic broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers, will also benefit from the new satellite’s significant HTS advancements and enhanced coverage provided through multiple widebeam footprints.

Maritime operators will now have improved coverage and availability across key Asia Pacific shipping routes using the powerful EUTELSAT 172B, with the faster data speeds enabling Asia’s continued growth in the global maritime sector. Oil and gas exploration customers across the region will also benefit from the new cost-effective HTS service for secure broadband networking to deliver more efficient operations and enhanced crew welfare solutions.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corp., said: “Today is a milestone event for Panasonic Avionics and our customers as we introduce a paradigm shift in inflight connectivity.

“Our service to the mobility market in Asia continues to grow exponentially. For the first time ever, airlines and passengers will reap the benefits of Ku-band HTS technology as they fly across the Pacific as well as up and down the coast of Asia into areas across Oceania. We are very excited to add this significant improvement to our global network and look forward to unveiling the new passenger experience and operational efficiency capabilities that are only possible with this truly unique satellite.”

Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO, added: “EUTELSAT 172B’s entry into service is a milestone in the journey we’ve travelled with Panasonic since they shared with us their roadmap of connectivity requirements in Asia-Pacific. We’re proud to see our all-electric satellite get to work for a major client, delivering uniquely-designed capacity for in-flight and maritime connectivity and also ready to serve corporate network, cellular backhaul, video and government markets. From its strategic location at 172° East, EUTELSAT 172B is now open for business over land and sea from Alaska to Australia.”

EUTELSAT 172B is the first HTS to use a multi-port amplifier, which allows power to be dynamically moved among the HTS beams to meet demand. This ability for the HTS beams to “follow” aircraft and other mobile users enabling Panasonic to better meet customer demand and cost-effectively ensure consistently high levels of service in a way that other service providers cannot match.

The entry into service of EUTELSAT 172B coincides with the introduction of Panasonic’s new BC-03 modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, which also caters for future demand by supporting speeds of up to 250 Mbps to aircraft. This includes three demodulators for seamless beam switching and simultaneous data and video reception.

Today, over 1,800 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft expected to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

Dubai Airshow | November 15, 2017– Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, is pleased to note an announcement made by its partner Thales today, confirming that Emirates intends to install Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed inflight broadband service on its Boeing 777X aircraft fleet.

The new agreement is part of Emirates and Thales’ plans to develop state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) on the airline’s new Boeing 777X fleet. Emirates has 150 Boeing 777X aircraft on firm order, with deliveries currently scheduled from 2020.

GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

Further details on the agreement between Thales and Emirates for GX Aviation can be found here.

Dubai Airshow | November 15, 2017– Emirates and Thales signed an agreement to equip their newest Boeing 777X fleet with the latest generation broadband inflight connectivity using Inmarsat GX Global Network.

Over the years, Emirates has significantly invested to equip its aircraft with connectivity. Demand for Wi-Fi on board has been steadily increasing and today over 800,000 passengers per month connect while inflight. The partnership with Thales and Inmarsat will give Emirates customers best in class connectivity on its Boeing 777X aircraft due for delivery starting in 2020.

Emirates and Thales have recently contracted to fit Emirates’ Boeing 777X fleet with the latest generation Thales AVANT inflight entertainment system.

The new agreement is part of the Emirates and Thales’s plans to develop a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) for the 777X fleet and boost Emirates’ award-winning inflight passenger experience.

New applications to expand safety and operations benefits to airlines worldwide

United Kingdom | November 8, 2017–Inmarsat (ISAT:L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today launched the Certified Application Provider Programme to certify third party commercial applications for use on its SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) platform.

The new programme is open to established application providers and developers. It involves a two-step certification process to test and optimise applications compatible with SB-S, Inmarsat’s next generation communications platform for the aircraft flight deck.

SB-S is the first satcom platform designed to meet the needs of the modern flight deck by providing global, high-speed and secure IP broadband connectivity to the cockpits of the world’s airlines, with a growing range of applications that improve safety and operational efficiency.

These include real-time graphical weather updates, flight optimisation and crew workload reduction applications. Providers of applications certified by the programme will benefit from an expanded eco-system of expertise, while also gaining access to new revenue streams and joint business opportunities. Inmarsat will also provide test environments and software development kits for optimised data transmission. Certified applications will, in turn, be promoted in Inmarsat’s ‘solutions labs’, increasing awareness of the solutions amongst its customers.

Mary McMillan, Vice President of Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “SwiftBroadband-Safety sets a new standard for flight deck communications, ensuring the aviation industry can take full advantage of IP connectivity in the air, today and in the future. Our new aviation CAP Programme not only opens up a wealth of opportunity for existing applications providers and developers to further their innovative solutions, it means we can offer the heightened safety and streamlined operations applications airlines demand.”

Currently in service with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines, SB-S has been selected by Airbus for its popular A320 and A330 fleets. The CAP Programme gives SB-S customers access to the latest applications and cutting-edge technologies and is part of a wider Inmarsat initiative to bring third party applications across its network.

Gogo Conducts First Successful Test Flight on its Next Generation ATG Network

Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced it has conducted its first successful test flight and has begun the nationwide rollout of its new regional Air-to-Ground (ATG) inflight network.

The next generation ATG network combined with Gogo’s proprietary aero antenna, in-cabin network and software platform will bring up to 30 times more bandwidth to an aircraft than our original ATG solution.  Once the network upgrades are complete, Gogo will have a North American ATG solution that will deliver performance on the aircraft that is comparable to Gogo’s 2Ku global satellite solution.

Gogo’s next generation ATG network will have peak network capacity of more than 100 Gbps.  When combined with Gogo’s global satellite network, Gogo will have the highest capacity network ever built that’s dedicated to serving aviation.

“Our networks and inflight connectivity solutions are dedicated to serving aviation and today we are delivering more bandwidth to deliver a better passenger experience and support our aviation partners’ operations,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.

Our next generation ATG network utilizes unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz spectrum band as well as the licensed spectrum from Gogo’s original ATG network to provide greater bandwidth and reliability.  It also leverages Gogo’s existing ATG network backhaul and infrastructure of more than 250 cell towers.  On the aircraft, Gogo has developed a proprietary new antenna and modem that will produce peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps per aircraft.

The solution will be ideal for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select mainline aircraft operating in the U.S. For business aviation aircraft, this service will be available as an upgrade to aircraft already equipped with Gogo’s Avance L5 connectivity solution.  For commercial aviation, any aircraft outfitted with equipment designed to leverage Gogo’s first generation ATG network will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.  The network will be available in 2018.


Panasonic News from APEX:

During APEX in September Panasonic (PAC) announced a multi aircraft deal with Interjet for IFEC; a partnership with Tascent to co-develop biometric solutions in airports and on planes; a 15-channel TV lineup for US routes; and a new Vice President of Operations: Adri Ruiter. On top of these announcements the company for the first time ever, announced a review/forecast of their financial performance for 2017: $2.5 billion. They stated that they have over three years of backlog and that their business is healthy and tracking in line with the IFEC industry in general. David Bruner during the press briefing stated that since the April 2017 AIX press review they have  achieved the following:  IFE – 626 (397 linefit); IFC – 185 (85 linefit); PTS – 50+ active customers with 65% on a total care package. David Bruner continued by saying that eX3 and eX1 represent 60% of their total IFE sales, and that roughly 70+% of connected aircraft are forecast to include television. “The number of linefit aircraft is important,” said David Bruner. “Panasonic is on every single aircraft program, on every OEM.” Panasonic’s objective is to build a long term sustainable business, and linefit is of paramount importance to this goal.  They have a focus on the IFC market space and firmly believe that, at the time of the presentation, they are the only IFEC company with global regulatory approval. In conjunction with their global business scale, a commitment to growing their order book, and a focus on symbiotic relationships that are beneficial to both the airline and PAC, Panasonic states that they are in a position to, not only sustain, but grow their business.  They also presented their industry fleet forecast through 2025 and they are predicting: 11,218 narrow body aircraft from Boeing and Airbus; 2,959 wide bodies from Boeing and Airbus, and 2,154  from Bombardier and Embraer. Interestingly, PAC is forecasting that by 2023 90% of all wide bodies will be equipped withh IFC; as will 65% of narrow bodies. They also stated that PAC anticipates 10,000 aircraft to be committed to Panasonic by 2025! Why so confident? Perhaps a good portion of their confidence comes from their plans and dedication to network upgrades, as well as, the flexible/scale-able approach of the nEXT IFEC system. “There will always be a frequency shortage and we will be adaptive,” said Bruner. The company is growing their capacity to 8Ghz in 2018, with availability on 99.8% of airline routes. They are deploying XTS to meet airline needs and growth; as well as, rolling out new modem technology to dramatically improve performance. The new modem will be rolled out in North America in 2017, featuring 3 teleports, 4 satellites, and 12 transponders. Globally, the target roll out date is January 1, 2018 with 12 teleports and 16 satellites. PAC will be adding a large amount of High Throughput Satellites in March/April of 2018 – both over the Pacific and North America.  These factors, in conjunction with their dedication to improve their network and support infrastructure may well keep Panasonic in the cat-bird seat moving forward.


Astronics Acquires Telefonix Inc.

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace and defense industries, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies, LLC, (together as “Telefonix PDT”) for approximately $104 million in cash, funded with Astronics’ senior revolving credit facility. The acquisition is expected to close by year end, and is subject to typical closing conditions, including a review under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Telefonix PDT, located in Waukegan and Lake Zurich, Illinois, designs and manufactures advanced in-flight entertainment and connectivity equipment, as well as providing industry leading design consultancy services for the global aerospace industry. The company’s products include wireless access points, file servers, content loaders, passenger control units and cord reels, as well as engineering services for its customers.


Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom demonstrate European Aviation Network satellite and ground integration in flight 

 Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Deutsche Telekom, the leading integrated telecommunications company, have successfully completed the first flight trials to test both the satellite and complementary ground network for their European Aviation Network (EAN) service.

EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation solution to combine space and ground based components to deliver robust, ultra-lightweight, high-speed inflight broadband to airlines. The recent flights demonstrated that EAN meets its design performance in practice; a significant milestone for the project consortium, as well as European airlines and their passengers.

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom conducted the evaluation with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR. The aircraft was flown across Germany, Belgium, France and Spain, covering approximately 5,000 km of European airspace, to test integration of the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and Complementary Ground Component (CGC) terminals. Further flight trials are scheduled over the coming weeks.

Inmarsat’s EAN satellite, which completed its in-orbit tests last month after being launched by Arianespace, works seamlessly with a complementary network of around 300 LTE-based ground stations, operated by Deutsche Telekom, using an Advanced Integrated Services Manager (AISM) platform. International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes world-renowned airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service.


First A320neo assembled in Tianjin delivered to Air Asia

AirAsia has taken delivery of the first A320neo assembled at the Airbus Final Assembly Line Asia (FALA) at a dedicated ceremony in Tianjin, China. The aircraft, powered by CFM LEAP-1A engines, seats comfortably 186 passengers and is equipped with the innovative Space-Flex cabin.

AirAsia is the largest airline customer of the A320 Family with orders for 578 aircraft. These include 404 A320neo Family aircraft.

Aireen Omar, AirAsia Berhad Chief Executive Officer said: “We are very proud to receive the first Airbus A320neo fully assembled in Tianjin, China and we would like to congratulate Airbus for achieving yet another milestone. This is also a milestone for us at AirAsia; we connect 19 cities with 59 routes into Greater China and have flown over 40 million passengers in and out of China since April 2005, making us China’s largest foreign airline by capacity. We are certainly proud to have this historic aircraft as part of our fleet. “

The FALA in Tianjin, inaugurated in 2008 became the third single-aisle aircraft final assembly line location of Airbus worldwide, following Toulouse and Hamburg. It was also the first Airbus Final Assembly Line outside Europe. Today, some 340 aircraft have been assembled and delivered from Tianjin, China.

The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. With more than 5,200 orders received from 95 customers since its launch in 2010, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.


Boeing Reports Third-Quarter Results; Raises Cash Flow and EPS Guidance

  • Revenue of $24.3 billion, including a record 202 commercial aircraft deliveries
  • GAAP EPS of $3.06 and core EPS (non-GAAP)* of $2.72 on solid execution
  • Strong operating cash flow of $3.4 billion; repurchased 11 million shares for $2.5 billion
  • Backlog remains robust at $474 billion, including nearly 5,700 aircraft in commercial airplane orders
  • Cash flow and EPS guidance raised; segment guidance updated

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the carrier’s first Boeing 787-9. Ethiopian is leasing the Dreamliner through an agreement with AerCap.

Ethiopian’s newest 787 touched down in Addis Ababa following a non-stop 8,354 mile (13,444 km) delivery flight from Boeing’s Everett, Wash., facility. Ethiopian becomes the first carrier in Africa to operate the 787-9 and extends a tradition of setting aviation milestones. Ethiopian became Africa’s first carrier to fly the 787-8 in 2012, and similarly introduced the 777-200LR (Longer Ran


More:

Chicago | October 31, 2017–Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced it has conducted its first successful test flight and has begun the nationwide rollout of its new regional Air-to-Ground (ATG) inflight network.

The next generation ATG network combined with Gogo’s proprietary aero antenna, in-cabin network and software platform will bring up to 30 times more bandwidth to an aircraft than our original ATG solution.  Once the network upgrades are complete, Gogo will have a North American ATG solution that will deliver performance on the aircraft that is comparable to Gogo’s 2Ku global satellite solution.

Gogo’s next generation ATG network will have peak network capacity of more than 100 Gbps.  When combined with Gogo’s global satellite network, Gogo will have the highest capacity network ever built that’s dedicated to serving aviation.

“Our networks and inflight connectivity solutions are dedicated to serving aviation and today we are delivering more bandwidth to deliver a better passenger experience and support our aviation partners’ operations,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.

Our next generation ATG network utilizes unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz spectrum band as well as the licensed spectrum from Gogo’s original ATG network to provide greater bandwidth and reliability.  It also leverages Gogo’s existing ATG network backhaul and infrastructure of more than 250 cell towers.  On the aircraft, Gogo has developed a proprietary new antenna and modem that will produce peak speeds of more than 100 Mbps per aircraft.

The solution will be ideal for business aviation aircraft, commercial regional jets and select mainline aircraft operating in the U.S. For business aviation aircraft, this service will be available as an upgrade to aircraft already equipped with Gogo’s Avance L5 connectivity solution.  For commercial aviation, any aircraft outfitted with equipment designed to leverage Gogo’s first generation ATG network will simply need to be outfitted with a new modem and blade antenna to take advantage of the new service.  The network will be available in 2018.

VT Miltope

One thing IFEC shows are really good for – surprises, especially in technology. Case in point, the recent APEX EXPO in Long Beach. The surprise was router security and the folks at VT Miltope certainly caught us unaware – they were well along in the developmental relationship with a cybersecurity expert (RazorSecure) and have a clear view of the issues with hacking and the potential types of attacks that routers might face on flights that provide inflight internet connectivity. While IFExpress has been following the deluge of attacks on the ground, we have been watching Wi-Fi capable planes for over a year now and it is a  fact that the folks who make routers for IFEC are too. In fact, cybersecurity is becoming a “big deal” for aviation. As proof of this conjecture, check out this Cybersat17 Conference coming in November – Cyber Sat Summit, but this year is just a beginning of a bigger focus on cabin data technology and cabin hacking security efforts.

Getting back to the APEX show, the IFExpress graphic rectangle is a portion of an actual page from VT Miltope’s “Cabin Wireless Network: The Next Frontier” presentation and it opened our eyes! The VT Miltope team has been on track with understanding and protecting IFEC wireless hacking issues and is in the process of working with a partner – RazorSecure Software who will assist in the development of more cabin hacking issues.

As a quick visit recap, we took the opportunity during the expo to receive an overview of VT Miltope’s planned MAP3, with the following key enhancements over the nMAP2, 802.11ac WAVE 2, Enhanced CHT, Embedded Server Storage (2 TB) (Optional), RazorSecure Software (Optional). We should also mention that we have a link for the preliminary data sheet for the MAP3 product with future product details which should be available this year. It should be noted that the proposed product will be a takeoff from the successful nMAP2 and by adding WAVE 2 (IEEE 802.11ac hardware and software for upgrading speed and data throughput), CHT (Enhanced Cognitive Hotspot Technology (Optimizing wireless cabin wireless data communication), optional  2 TB of Data Storage, and RazorSecure (Optional) advanced cyber security intrusion detection – protecting data communications). We won’t go into all the new features but from a technology point if view, this router is going to be a big deal! Add the security additions from RazorSecure, and this will be a formable product! It’s security developments will protect against DOS Attacks, Physical Attacks, Remote Shell Access, Critical Configuration Changes, Authentication and Misconfiguration Issues – and more than we can cover here. Here is a link to some of the Wi-Fi security issues facing connectivity –  US Warns Of Security Flaw Which Can Compromise Wi-Fi Connections (Update)  Here is our message: If you have wireless cabin data communication hacking concerns, you had better call VT Miltope! (We should mention the Galgus team as another contributor to the included technology of the VT Miltope product!)


Gogo

Gogo has made Fortune’s “Future 50” list of companies best positioned for strong future growth. Fortune worked together with the Boston Consulting Group to create the list. To identify the Future 50, Boston Consulting Group examined 2,300 publicly traded U.S. companies and reviewed 15 years of financial results through year-end 2016. They divided the companies into two different groups—those above $20 billion in market value at the time of the screening and those below.

“We are very proud to have been selected to the inaugural Future 50 list as it validates our leadership and innovation as the Inflight Internet company,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.  “We are connecting aircraft and leveraging that connectivity to develop cutting edge products and services that engage passengers and help our aviation partners run a safer and more efficient operation. Our latest technology innovations like 2Ku have us well positioned to fuel future growth.”

Gogo announced that it has been selected by LATAM Airlines Brazil to introduce inflight connectivity using Gogo’s 2Ku technology to 100 of its A320 aircraft, which operate flights in Brazil as well as to other countries in Latin America. Gogo’s inflight connectivity service will begin in the first half of 2018 and the roll-out of the technology is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019. “We have selected the most modern and innovative in-flight internet technology available in order to offer an unrivaled and diverse onboard experience to our passengers in Brazil.  The new service will complement LATAM Entertainment, our wireless entertainment system, and will provide our passengers with the freedom to choose how they want to enjoy their journeys,” said Jerome Cadier, CEO of LATAM Airlines Brazil.

Gogo’s 2Ku technology is installed on more than 350 aircraft today and delivers proven performance of more than 15 Mbps to each passenger device, covering more than 98 percent of all flight hours around the world with 98 percent system availability. With an open architecture that leverages current and future Ku satellites, 2Ku offers unrivaled adaptability to keep airlines connected now and in the future. The equipment installed on LATAM’s aircraft will include Gogo’s new, performance boosting modem. The proprietary features of the new modem significantly increase throughput and reliability to and from the aircraft.


BOEING

Boeing just signed a big deal with Singapore Airlines for 20 777-9s and 19 787-10s and 6 options of each…in the Oval Office. The deal is worth $13.8 B at list prices.

SIA, Boeing firm 777-9, 787-10 order at White House ceremony | Airframes content from ATWOnline

Also, it looks like the all Airbus Hong Kong Airlines is seeking to speed up growth to take on Cathay Pacific and will most likely get some Boeing 787’s. Last week, Reuters also predicted China Southern would buy 38 more Boeing planes worth $5.6 Billion at retail prices.

The company is investigating plans to double the B767 Everett production and apparently have an order which depends on a certain production rate of the planes. And, we understand that Boeing is looking at passenger version of the aircraft. The company has declined comment on the the airline but United Continental has been mentioned in the press. They have 51 B767’s that are quite old and some 77 B757’s that are around 20 years old.

On another front, There have also been rumors of a sale of 100 Boeing 767 freighters to Amazon’s growing Prime Air cargo fleet.


AIRBUS

The first A330neo took off August 19 at Blagnac in Toulouse, France at 09.57 hrs local time, for its maiden flight taking place over south-western France. The aircraft, MSN1795, is a A330-900 and the first of three certification flight-test aircraft to fly, powered by the latest technology Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 turbofans. The A330neo’s certification development program itself will last around 1,400 flight-test hours. This will comprise 1,100 flight hours for the A330-900 campaign – to achieve its respective EASA and FAA Type Certification around the middle of 2018; plus 300 flight hours for A330-800 version – which will be certified in 2019. Overall, the full A330neo Family flight-test campaign will be performed by three certification flight-test aircraft, plus the first production aircraft (the latter to validate the Airspace cabin prior to EIS).

Launched in July 2014, the latest generation of Airbus’ widebody family, the A330neo builds on the A330’s proven economics, versatility and reliability while reducing fuel consumption by a further 14 per cent per seat. The NEO’s two versions – the A330-800 and A330-900 – will accommodate 257 and 287 passengers respectively in a three-class seating layout, are powered by the latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, accommodate up to 10 more seats, offer new “Airspace” cabin amenities, and feature a new larger span wing with Sharklet wingtip devices.


SITA

The air transport industry has cybersecurity as a top priority with 95% of airlines and 96% of airports investing resources into major cybersecurity programs or pilots over the next three years. Yet research released  from global IT provider SITA shows there is still room for improvement with only one third of boards at airlines, and a fifth at airports, having fully integrated cybersecurity into their business plans.

Speaking today at a gathering of European air transport industry leaders, Barbara Dalibard, CEO of SITA, highlighted that while cybersecurity is the number one priority for almost all airlines and airports, it demands more attention and must be higher on industry board agendas.

Dalibard said: “Recent global cyber attacks demonstrate the risks and the need for a proactive approach. The air transport industry is highly connected and reliant on partners. We must work as a community to fight the global threat to cybersecurity. While we are pleased to see a 46% increase in the number of airlines prepared to deal with major cyber threats over the past year, there is still more to be done. The industry should move from dealing with common cyber threats to being prepared for major ones. As the technology provider owned by industry members, SITA is committed to invest in, and lead, the community effort to maximize cybersecurity. Together we can ramp up the industry’s defenses and ensure we remain one step ahead of any threat.”

SITA has conducted in depth research into the level of cybersecurity maturity at airlines and airports in the fight against this global threat. The results show that there are very high levels of security awareness among staff at airlines (82%) and airports (85%). This year, beyond cybersecurity protection, the industry is focusing on threat detection and response management. Already CIOs at 69% of airlines and 47% of airports are implementing security events and correlation monitoring, while security incident response management is being put in place at 77% of airlines and 60% airports.

Dalibard added: “Airlines and airports are building their critical defenses and preparing to deal with common threats but we must all bring it to the highest level and integrate cybersecurity at executive and board level. Together we must identify, detect and react to cyber threats and protect the industry’s assets from attack.”

Having identified the challenge, SITA earlier this year partnered with Airbus to address the air transport industry’s distinct concerns and created a unique CyberSecurity Aviation Security Operations Center (SOC). It acts like a cyber control tower with an integrated combination of processes, people and technology to detect, analyze, respond to, and report on cybersecurity incidents.

Markus Braendle, Head, Airbus Cybersecurity, said: “The air transport industry has unique cybersecurity challenges because of the varied and increasing use of smart end points across a largely distributed infrastructure. Digital transformation is enabling the air transport industry to deliver better services to its customers, but raising its threat exposure. Together SITA and Airbus CyberSecurity bring expertise and solutions to help airlines and airports monitor their digital assets to detect and respond to incidents.”

The SOC is part of a broader portfolio of SITA products and services that help airlines and airports identify threats and protect against, detect and respond to cyber attacks.

SITA also operates the Community Cyber Threat Center, a security information sharing service run on behalf of SITA’s more than 400 air transport industry members. It enables actionable information on cyber threats to be shared in a timely manner among key industry stakeholders.

These initiatives are part of SITA’s commitment to lead the air transport community fight against cyber threats and to improve the integration of cybersecurity into business plans at board level at airlines and airports.

SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights are available here. Over the coming months, further insight into the results will be made available.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat is pleased to announce it has recently joined the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (A-ISAC), the trusted international membership association for sharing cybersecurity information targeted at the aviation sector. As part of the A-ISAC, Inmarsat joins a global contingent of aviation industry companies working collaboratively to develop and share timely and actionable information related to best practices, protective measures, threats and vulnerabilities. A-ISAC members are located on five continents and are leaders in the airline, airport, platform, satellite, and equipment manufacturing segments of the industry.


SECURITY

The US government is getting very concerned about the potential misidentification of bad devices in laptops and US passengers and planes might come under a security ban for the larger devices in the aircraft baggage holds…and in some cases, in the cabin. The US FAA is suggesting a worldwide ban on laptops in checked bags for obvious reasons. The issue in the checked bags is related to lithium-ion batteries and related potential issues with fire and explosions. There is also concern that nothing larger than an iPhone will be permitted in the cabin. If the cabin becomes out of bounds for laptops, you had better get a reliable source of small, secure data storage and a lot of carry-on print matter. Perhaps iPads that have more capability will become common, but we think they have a way to go to get laptop-like usage. We will see!

That laptop ban could be about to get a whole lot worse for plane passengers


MORE STUFF

  • In case you didn’t know, FTE Asia is Nov.7- 8, 2017 in Singapore and the folks at IFPL will be there as well. They told IFExpress: “We will be showcasing their latest USB-A and USB-C power solutions and how they are delivering seamless seat integration to truly enhance the ergonomics and aesthetics of the seat. Further, in line with passenger demand for consumer technology on-board, IFPL will be demonstrating their latest range of USB-A and USB-C outlets, AC power outlets, inductive charge and their traditional audio jackpassenger control units and seat back payment terminal solutions. We invite you to visit stand A33.”
  • Lastly, we have a freebie for you! While looking for a recap of the the Delta-CS100-Boeing-Airbus story, we came across Jason Cottrell’s excellent weekly airline publication (Airline Weekly) and his Fleet Sheet story on page 3 is a great summary. We asked for Jason’s permission to share it with you, so here it is:‎ airlineweekly.com/102317.pdf We also suggest you consider a subscription if you are airline data oriented. You can find out how by contacting him at jcottrell@airlineweekly.com – a really great airline publication.

New, multi-year agreement adds third France 24 channel to highly-penetrated Intelsat 21 video neighborhood in North and Latin America 

Luxembourg | October 12, 2017–Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network and leader in integrated satellite communications, recently announced that Globecast,  a global solutions provider for media, will continue distribution of two France 24 channels and also broadcast a brand new Spanish speaking high-definition (HD) channel via Intelsat 21.

Under the new, multi-year expanded agreement, Globecast will distribute three channels – English, French and Spanish-speaking – to cable operators across North America, Latin America and Canada. Globecast will leverage satellite services on Intelsat 21 – a premier video neighborhood in the Latin America region – including fiber backhaul and the IntelsatOne Multi Channel per Carrier (MCPC) platform to support content distribution and global expansion. The MCPC platform is fully integrated with IntelsatOne fiber and teleport services for quick and cost-effective development of global networks for new channel distribution.

“To increase our global footprint and reach new viewers with a higher quality of content, we need a reliable, expansive distribution network that can effectively tap into different regions of the world,” said Philippe Bernard, Globecast Group’s Chief Executive Officer. “Continuing our partnership with Intelsat and leveraging the highly penetrated Intelsat 21 video neighborhood will enable us to deliver France 24 optimal coverage and access to more viewers in the Americas and Canada.”

“Our experience and expertise in cultivating highly-penetrated video neighborhoods in Latin America and other regions of the world enable our customers to cost-effectively reach new audiences in broader regions and increase revenue,” said Rhys Morgan, Intelsat’s Managing Director, Europe Sales. “Globecast’s decision to expand services on Intelsat 21, validates the strength of the video neighborhood. Our robust managed service offering provides Globecast with access to a world-class network of IntelsatOne fiber and teleport services to efficiently and reliably distribute media content to France 24 viewers.”

Located at 302° East, Intelsat 21 delivers premier-pan regional program distribution for the region. Intelsat currently delivers 77 of the 100 most watched channels in Latin America. Intelsat’s leading cable distribution neighborhood in Latin America is comprised of three, high-performance, fully penetrated satellites – Intelsat 11, Intelsat 21 and Intelsat 34 – carrying premium programming from around the world. Intelsat 14 is the newest satellite in the Latin America video neighborhood and is expanding the company’s media distribution leadership position in the region by delivering HD content to broadcasters.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for installation of Honeywell JetWave™ system will provide access to next generation Wi-Fi service on popular business jet

October 12, 2017–Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its Jet ConneX business aviation inflight Wi-Fi service has received a Supplement Type Certificate (STC) for the popular Gulfstream G550 aircraft.

The certificate, awarded by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), approves Gulfstream G550 business jets to be equipped with the exclusive JetWave™ antenna and terminal, produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell. The system enables seamless access to Jet ConneX high-speed Wi-Fi across major flight routes and islands off the beaten path, allowing passengers to browse the web, stream live television, video conference and more.

Following more than a year of investment in development and testing, initial installations on G550 aircraft are now underway. Gulfstream, in cooperation with Inmarsat and Honeywell, is currently conducting in-service evaluation and final terminal Type Approval activities. 

Kurt Weidemeyer, Vice President of Business Aviation at Inmarsat, said: “The Gulfstream G550 community has been eagerly awaiting this Jet ConneX installation approvaland has told us about their desire to have a powerful global high-speed Wi-Fi solution for their principals. Many are heavy users of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband solution and are happy with the service reliability but are now looking to upgrade to a next-generation network that is fast enough to handle the demands of today’s applications.”

Honeywell is the exclusive provider of JetWave™ hardware and played an integral role in supporting the Gulfstream G550 STC.

Warren Nechtman, Vice President of Connected Aircraft Systems at Honeywell, commented: “Honeywell worked closely with Gulfstream to successfully integrate the JetWave™ hardware into the existing G550 architecture. However the real credit goes to the Gulfstream team who worked expeditiously to bring Jet ConneX to their customers. They did it in record time.”

Jet ConneX is the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for business jets today. It offers the same fast and reliable on-board connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage, providing a differentiator to do business whenever and wherever.

Expansion of popular programme allows Dassault Aviation customers to use their existing radomes to connect to Jet ConneX

October 11, 2017–Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that additional data plans are now available for its Jet ConneX inflight Wi-Fi solution on Dassault business jets. The expanded offering gives Dassault customers five tiered data plans to choose from using their existing non-Ka-band radomes. The highest data plan offers speeds up to 11Mbps.

Business aviation customers are normally required to install the Honeywell JetWave hardware for Jet ConneX with a fully approved Ka-band optimised radome. However, that requirement has been waived while Dassault Aviation finishes development of a fully approved Ka-band radome, which is expected next year.

With the installation of an approved Ka-band radome, Dassault customers will become eligible for the entire Jet ConneX data plan catalogue, which currently offers tiered plans up to 15Mbps.

Kurt Weidemeyer, Vice President of Business and General Aviation at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Jet ConneX has received an extremely positive response from Dassault customers and we decided to expand this programme with more data plans as Inmarsat has more than enough capability and capacity to support even non-Ka-band radomes. In fact, keep an eye out for even higher data plans for all our customers.”

Jet ConneX is the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for Dassault aircraft today. It offers the same fast and reliable on-board connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground, with business jets connecting to the service using exclusive JetWave hardware produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell. Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers consistent global coverage across 100 percent of major airline routes and islands off the beaten path for business aviation customers.

With more than 100 installations, Supplemental Type Certifications (STCs) with all major aircraft manufactures and a rising number of aftermarket installers, across 15 of the most popular type models, Jet ConneX has become the most installed inflight Wi-Fi solution of 2017. The total number of business jet installations for the service is expected to double in the next year alone.

Non-Ka radome programme data plan speeds and pricing can be obtained from the Jet ConneX global network of Service Providers; Arinc Direct, Honeywell Go Direct, Satcom Direct (SD) or SitaOnAir, who offer tailored service plans on a monthly subscription basis, as well as 24/7 technical support, billing and value-added services to help customers manage usage and optimise bandwidth..

APEX 2017 is over, and as usual, there was a lot to see and talk about. This first post-show issue of IFExpress is not the place to cover all we saw, so over the next few weeks we will get into the details. However, this week we will give our readers a Summary, talk a bit about a few of the Big Deals we saw, give our readers some Trend/Forecast data based on the show, and provide a People Update on some of the “interesting” folks we saw cruising the aisles or working in different booths. Lastly, please understand this summary may not include “your” booth as we have limited space, but never fear, if your story has depth, we will cover it – at least for those booths we had time to visit.

First, we need to be sure we are in a business that will support the forthcoming technology – and we are certain we are. With well over 26,000 commercial aircraft in service today served by over 1,400 airlines, this industry will be around for a while. Further, with passenger traffic predictions indicating that volumes will double in the next fifteen years, growth is assuredly on the horizon. But here is the catch – what passengers want/need in the way of IFEC is changing and vendors (and airlines) need to be aware of these changes if the businesses are to succeed. In fact, we think you might want to be thinking in terms of C+IFE instead of IFEC.

Also, let us say that the IFEC world is changing, and in many cases, it is because many of the people influencing and using it, have changed, at least their technology has changed. Also, readers should note that because many companies and products are evolving, the communication of changes will occur later than this show. In other words, never fear, more will come in the future, and if what we saw is an indication, there will be a lot to write about then. Also, please note, industry competition success will be determined by passenger approval in most cases, and based on it, don’t bet on the obvious – keep an open mind till you try it out. A perfect example for us was Uber. When we got more information about the driver, their car and their present location – all with better service and lower cost, we changed from taxi’s!

IFEC is the area of driving change we mentioned earlier and the ability to use one’s own devices are a plus in many cases. Inflight Wi-Fi is the technology changing the experience, but you knew that. The ability of an airline (or content service provider) to “use” a preloaded app is a good idea for a couple reasons – it provides a link to the passengers’ phone or tablet and it allows more “involvement” with the user and their devices. Airlines like this solution as well as others and many have an app that allows inflight content personalization, in the air and on the ground. After all, a companion app is an airline sales pitch in the long run – and if you don’t see the value in this solution, perhaps you should try maintenance!?

Having said all that, here are some of the product capabilities we saw and feel will be a “big deal” downstream, and since this issue of IFExpress is a quick summary, we wanted to be sure that you have a good list to follow-up on. So here it goes!

Some Big Deals

FlightPath 3D – When IFExpress sat down with the FlightPath 3D team during last week’s APEX, we were blown away! The company is trying to evolve the inflight experience to be more ‘passenger centric’. The journey should not be just about when the passenger arrives at their destination but a more immersive experience. FlightPath 3D is achieving this target through brilliantly crafted 3D content with full street maps with places to visit and things to do as well as gameification. The company has a 3-pillar model: 1) explore the passenger destination & plan your travel 2) provide an immersive experience and pre-experience the destination 3) drive ancillary revenue for the airline. As we mentioned, IFExpress was really impressed with the quality of the maps, the ease of use, and the scope of FlightPath 3D’s vision. Expect more on this product in a future issue of IFExpress.


Netflix– One of the exciting “show stoppers” was presented by Netflix who propose free or low price inflight movie watching. In 2018, Netflix plans on deploying new, more efficient mobile encodes for use in flight. By providing the airplane available IP ranges, an airline will be able to provide video streaming inflight – content for users! The new solution on board will provide up to 75% bandwidth savings. Video streaming will be the answer for airlines that work with Netflix. For passengers with an existing Netflix account, the Netflix content will be free. If you are not a Netflix customer, you will be able to sign-up for a 30-day free trial – passengers win, the airlines win (if they have satcom hardware), and Netflix wins by giving free content to potential future customers. Overall, one could say it is a win-win-win!


Gogo Vision Touch – During the show, Gogo announced a new seatback product that facilitates wireless streaming of IFE content. The product will be launched on Delta’s Bombardier CS100 aircraft. The aircraft will utilize 2Ku connectivity technology as well as Gogo Vision Touch. The system will leverage the 2Ku in cabin network technology (server, modem and WAPS). Gogo stated during our interview that the system has Early Windows Content approval. And the seatback unit is manufactured by another company and will be installed by the seat provider. Expect more on this in the future.


Rockwell Collins Ku/Ka Band Antenna- The new flat plane antenna from Rockwell Collins features a transmit and receive flat surface approximately 3/4 of a meter each. One dual dish will do Ku and another will do Ka band. Interestingly, Rockwell Collins notes that only 3 electronics boxes are used in providing interface to the aircraft. We understand the technology for this antenna comes from the RC antenna experts on the military side of the house. Furthermore, each system can talk to two satellites. Amazingly, the MTBF is purported to be around 50K hours, which means no moving parts. The company is in the process of testing and certifying this unit, so stay tuned!


Inmarsat (EAN)- “EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless W-iFi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe. Inmarsat’s strategic partner, Deutsche Telekom, is well advanced in the construction of the complementary ground network, which will be fully integrated with the S-band satellite to deliver a truly seamless service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers. Deutsche Telekom uses 300 cell phone towers that cover the entire footprint of the EAN (pointing up of course). The Inmarsat S-band satellite, a state-of the-art platform, will provide multi-beam pan-European coverage. The satellite is custom-designed to offer innovative MSS services to commercial and business airlines flying over the dense European routes, exploiting Inmarsat’s 30MHz (2 x 15MHz) S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 EU member states. More importantly, the service operates over one S-band satellite whose footprint is tailored around the countries involved in the service.”


VT Miltope –  VT Miltope brought on RazorSecure to help improve inflight Wi-Fi security while preventing hacker attacks on the IFEC system. Their approach is completely different as they focus on the attack analysis and then relate to the hardware/software that is being protected. We will not cover too much in this issue of IFExpress, but understand, that their approach to secure inflight connectivity is going to change the way that the IFEC industry looks at wireless security. IFExpress will have a more in-depth story in coming issues.


Trends/Forecasts

  • The passenger expectations and the PEDs they carry onboard the aircraft are changing: devices are smaller, have more memory, are longer playing; thus they are having a significant impact on cabin entertainment, especially on single-aisle aircraft.
  • Hardware is changing – The platforms are becoming expandable/modular and the software is more ‘App-like’. The result: flexibility – it is easier to modify hardware and software for different aircraft and airline requirements. Thus, it will be cheaper and easier to, design, build, certify, and install.
  • Connectivity is changing – Firstly, satellite availability and bandwidth are increasing, and thus, there is more available connectivity to the aircraft. Secondly, there are more satellites and coverage available globally. The result: connectivity is becoming the driver for seat solutions. Having said this, we must also note that IFE is anything but dead. It is our opinion that embedded IFE will always be installed on long-haul twin-aisle aircraft, as well as, some of the new, longer-range single-aisle aircraft coming down the pike.
  • Keep your eye on China! Future aircraft sales look to be strong in this Asian country and no doubt, they will prefer IFEC selections from companies that have Chinese manufacturing/distribution.
  • CyberSecurity is in its infancy in IFEC. This is a growing market and when the next hacking incident occurs in the back of the plane, it will get more exposure than any of us can image. On the ground, a recent hacker situation placed a Wi-Fi related virus that was spread by users moving to new ground-based networks. If this were to get on an IFEC system, passenger concern would be extreme since they might not be aware of the separation between the IFEC systems and the aircraft.
  • Consolidation is a big deal – We don’t know how long many of you have been in the IFE game, but if you harken back to the 1994 & 1995 timeframe, there were 7 large IFE vendors in the arena. The industry size did not bear that many players – simply put, there were far too many and the market scaled the number back to 3 or 4 big suppliers. Today, we are facing a similar issue with connectivity and satcom service providers. Yes, our industry has grown, and yes, there are large number of future aircraft deliveries forecast, as well as, a high number of potential retrofits, but the simple fact is there maybe too many players in the satcom/connectivity marketplace to make a successful business model for all. Therefore, we see mergers, buyouts, consolidation, and some departures, as well as, new technology changing the future for all of us.

People Update:

Here are a few people that IFExpress saw during last week’s exhibition that had either retired, changed companies, are consulting, or had left and then returned to the industry. Either way, it was great to see you all!

Brinder Bhatia – Retired

Lori Salazar – Independent business consultant

Paul Margis – Independent business consultant

Greg Fialcowitz – Independent business

John Guidon – Unknown

Lou Sharkey – Independent business consultant

Glen Latta – Now with GEE

Mike Moeller – Now with GEE

Earle Olson – Now with Airborne Wireless Network


Summary

We wanted to say a few words of thanks to our readers, advertising clients and the folks who make this business what it is – Thank you for taking the time to talk to IFExpress and share your stories. We would not be where we are without you. And a special thanks to the APEX team as organizing this kind of show is really work intensive – we feel your pain! Also, last week saw a deluge of press releases – far too many for a single issue of IFExpress; therefore, we will be releasing them over the next three editions. However, if you just can’t wait they are available on our website: www.airfax.com/blog. And lastly, we look forward to the next 25 years – Patricia Wiseman | Editor & Co-Founder, IFExpress & AIRFAX.com/blog

BoardConnect Media Services already in use on more than 100 commercial aircraft

Raunheim Germany and Long Beach, California | September 26, 2017 – A completely new approach to content services provisioning characterizes the BoardConnect Media Services offered by Lufthansa Systems in collaboration with Touch Inflight Solutions Inc. (Touch). Since the two companies began cooperating closely just over a year ago, their product has been successfully installed on more than 100 aircraft of commercial airlines – including Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Azul Linhas Aereas.

Although demand for an Internet connection is rising when it comes to onboard entertainment, current bandwidth is not yet sufficient to enable all passengers to stream content simultaneously. “While we expect connectivity to increase further and prices to drop in the next three to five years, bandwidth in the air will not be comparable to normal bandwidth on the ground even then,” said Michael Childers, Chief Consultant Content and Media Services at Lufthansa Systems. “That’s why providing airlines with a content offering stored on local servers on board the aircraft and streamed via a local WiFi network is a reliable and sustainable option that can also be combined with future Internet services. Our wireless BoardConnect in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution enables us to offer our customers exactly that.”

Integrated approach
Unlike some other IFE providers, Lufthansa Systems and Touch have adopted an integrated approach to in-flight entertainment. Rather than seeing the content and system-based components as separate entities, they directly consider the technological possibilities of the IFEC system when determining which content the product should include. The infrastructure, design and selection of content maximizes the system’s performance. What’s more, new content should be available even faster than ever. By using cloud technology and eDelivery, it makes it possible to place new content on the platform extremely fast, quickly taking Lufthansa Systems and Touch from the industry’s 90 days window to a mere fraction of this period.

“When we design the infrastructure components for the content, we have to be aware of the technical capabilities of the passengers’ current smartphones and tablets. Only then can we do everything we can to offer them a passenger experience that gets the best out of their devices,” said Joe Carreira, Managing Director of Touch Inflight Solutions. “We are working closely with Lufthansa Systems in this context. Our aim is to create solutions customized to fit the individual requirements of airlines and their passengers.”

The individual content on offer ranges from global and regional films and TV series, branded and web content, music, magazines as well as airport guides and destination content. When it comes to offering Hollywood movies, Lufthansa Systems and Touch Inflight Solutions have a direct, close and long-term working relationship with the film studios.

Content services for business jets and VIP fleets
In addition to its core target group of commercial airlines, Lufthansa Systems and Touch are also aiming their product at business jets and VIP fleets, and are working closely with Group subsidiary Lufthansa Technik and their joint venture IDAIR in this area, with first successful deliveries already having been made.

BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes three hardware versions: the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, the flexible BoardConnect Portable version and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination. BoardConnect is already running on a total of nearly 400 aircraft, and another 300 will follow in the next twelve months.

APEX EXPO Long Beach, California | September 25, 2017–SITAONAIR has activated Asia’s first GX Aviation-enabled commercial aircraft, becoming the first Inmarsat valued-added reseller (VAR) to achieve it.

GX Aviation’s high-speed broadband connectivity is now available on one of Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, making SITAONAIR’s complete, nose-to-tail, high-speed connectivity experience over GX Aviation available to passengers.

SITAONAIR has equipped SIA with its full suite of high-speed connectivity-enabled services for cabin. These span everything from its custom-made high-speed inflight Wi-Fi hub Internet ONAIR and mobile data services (Mobile ONAIR), to digitized devices for cabin crew, to enhance the passenger experience and operational efficiencies.

The upgrade of SIA’s SBB-enabled aircraft is the continuation of a journey started five years ago between Singapore Airlines and SITAONAIR, demonstrating how long-term partnerships help airlines derive the best value out of the connected aircraft for their passengers, crews and operations.

Yann Cabaret, VP Customer programs of SITAONAIR, says: “Our Singapore Airlines’ aircraft upgrade program has been an extremely challenging project. It required SITAONAIR’s long-lasting expertise in the management of complex industrial consortiums, operating in constrained environments, to deliver the project on time, and synchronized with the planned grounding period for the aircraft.

“I would like to commend our strong working partnership with SIA, as well as with key partners such as Aeroconseil, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Honeywell, Inmarsat, KID-Systeme GmbH, SIA Engineering Company, and Zodiac Inflight Innovations, for helping make SIA’s end-to-end integrated solution a reality.”

Discover how SITAONAIR can deliver your unique, complete, connected aircraft reality – visit sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact or submit an enquiry form.

  • London School of Economics and Political Science predicts airlines will generate an additional $30 billion in incremental revenue
  • Airlines to benefit from significant revenue growth in broadband enabled e-commerce, advertising and premium content

London School of Economics | September 26, 2017–

Inflight broadband has the potential to create a $130 billion global market within the next 20 years, resulting in $30 billion of additional revenue for airlines by 2035. This is the conclusion of a first-of-its-kind research study, ‘Sky High Economics: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry’, carried out by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in association with Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global, mobile satellite communications.

Market potential

Based on current IATA data and industry sources, Sky High Economics has developed an independent forecasting model. It predicts broadband enabled ancillary revenues for airlines will come from four main revenue streams:

  • Broadband access charges – providing connectivity to passengers inflight
  • E-commerce and destination shopping – making purchases on-board aircraft with expanded product ranges and real-time offers
  • Advertising – pay-per-click, impressions, sponsorship deals with advertisers
  • Premium content – providing live content, on demand video and bundled W-IFEC access

At present, only some 53 out of an estimated 5,000 airlines worldwide offer inflight broadband connectivity.[i] On the back of strong passenger demand, inflight internet will be ubiquitous on commercial aircraft by 2035. Currently, airlines receive an additional $17 per passenger from ‘traditional’ ancillary services such as duty free purchases and inflight retail, food and drink sales. Broadband enabled connected ancillary revenues will add an extra $4 by 2035.

Drivers for growth

Full service carriers look set to claim the lion’s share of airline revenues (63%), generating $19 billion by 2035. Capitalising on longer flight times, additional revenue will come from the ability to maximise e-commerce platforms and striking deals with content providers to offer premium packages. The Sky High Economics study predicts low cost carriers will generate $11 billion by 2035, the bulk of which will come from selling connectivity to passengers.

Regional differences

The research also identified that regionally, the greatest opportunity for broadband-enabled ancillary services is in Asia Pacific. Driven by passenger growth and availability of services, airlines in Asia Pacific will benefit from $10.3 billion of ancillary revenues by 2035, followed by Europe ($8.2 billion) and North America ($7.6 billion).

Dr Alexander Grous (B. Ec, MBA, M.Com, MA, PhD.), Department of Media and Communications, LSE and author of Sky High Economics said: “The opportunity available to airlines is enormous. The Sky High Economics study predicts the creation of a $130 billion market within the next two decades. Globally, if airlines can provide a reliable broadband connection, it will be the catalyst for rolling out more creative advertising, content and e-commerce packages. We will see innovative deals struck, partnerships formed and business models fundamentally changed for new players to lay claim to the $100 billion opportunity away from airlines. Broadband-enabled ancillary revenue has the potential to shape a whole new market and it’s something airlines need to be planning for right now.”

Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President Strategy & Business Development, Inmarsat Aviation, commented: “As airlines start to act more like retailers, they will realize the benefits of closing the inflight connectivity gap. Doing so will lead to unlocking $15 billion per year in additional ancillary revenues within the next decade, one of the biggest sources of growth. The key to this potential and getting to the eventual $30 billion revenues, is fast, high quality inflight internet that can be relied upon without drop-outs.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first and only provider with a complete next-generation High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit. Inmarsat’s world-leading passenger solutions are complemented by its industry-standard certified safety and operations services. GX Aviation is the world’s first global, high-speed inflight broadband service from a single operator. It allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an on-board connectivity experience on par with mobile broadband services available on the ground.

 

APEX 0415: Onboard Advertising

First up, at APEX 2017 in Long Beach, California.  On Monday, there is an educational session that you should attend in the afternoon for sure. It is an inflight advertising initiative and Michael Childers, the Inflight Ad Guru, will talk about the constraining technical and organizational issues surrounding the challenge of inflight advertising. Why are there issues on this subject? We asked Michael Childers about it and he told IFExpress about the need for this seminar. “This is a heads-up regarding an important initiative that we’re launching in the Technology Committee  that will establish the necessary specifications and guidelines that will enable IFE to become part of a global, cross-platform digital advertising ecosystem that opens IFE to ad buys from the major Madison Avenue buyers and agencies.” We pressed Michael for more information on what his presentation will be about and he said: “For ages, airlines have dreamed of advertising revenues paying for all of the costs of IFE, but that was never realistic. However, there is definitely an opportunity today for airlines to greatly improve the revenue potential of advertising on their IFE systems. How? By making IFE a part of the emerging global, cross-platform advertising ecosystem that integrates traditional broadcast advertising and cable and satellite advertising with Internet advertising, OTT (Amazon, Hulu, Netflix), and particularly the growing ‘out-of-home’ and ‘digital place-based’ advertising sectors.” 

If you are like many of our readers (or us for that matter), you probably thought that either the IFE advertising world was pretty well sorted out, or that like standard print media, you chose your space and you paid for the content – no big deal. But that would be wrong, noted Childers: “Traditional IFE content delivery doesn’t support dynamic ad placement, nor does it leverage the highly desirable demographics of airline passengers and their specific location and environment to personalize ads. But with APEX 0415 laying the groundwork, IFE now has a big opportunity to re-invent IFE ad delivery and significantly impact IFE ad revenues over the next few years. We will discuss this during the Content Track B3, “Content Delivery Ecosystem” on 25 September at EXPO, and again at APEX TECH on 23-24 January 2018 at the Sheraton. So, if you plan advertising, or you want to see the inflight advertising world you might not have pictured, this should be on your Monday agenda.” Michael has a few program plans and discussion answers that you should probably see and comment/contribute to. See you on Monday!


Some Booth Highlights

Thales
Booth: 213

Contact: Adam.KOSTECKI@us.thalesgroup.com

This year at APEX Expo, Thales is focused on the essential passenger engagement technologies – integrated connectivity and IFE.

Thales’ InFlyt 360 vision of passenger engagement takes the concepts of paired connectivity and IFE to a new level by combining those enablers with leading digital expertise. Together, these technologies create passenger profiles and tailored content for a more personalized passenger experience.

With its state-of-the-art AVANT IFE system this experience comes to life. Enabled by an open architecture platform for its evolving operating system, software environment, state of the art security and the capability to enable data-driven decisions, Thales’ best-in-class HD and 4K resolution displays bring a new brilliance to the passenger experience.

Bookended by connectivity, Thales’ offerings for seamless global and regional coverage provide the most for passengers with Global Xpress and FlytLIVETM – the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution in the Americas region.

Lufthansa Systems
Booth: 453
Contactansgar.luebbehusen@lhsystems.com

Lufthansa Systems and group subsidiary Lufthansa Technik are sharing a stand for the first time. The two Lufthansa Group companies, who collaborate closely in providing on-board Internet and entertainment, are both presenting their own connectivity solutions. Lufthansa Systems will demonstrate the multi-award-winning BoardConnect wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) platform and its different hardware versions, while Lufthansa Technik will showcase its LConnect hardware and service package. The airline IT provider is also presenting its new mCabin/Messenger app, one of the apps of the mCabin Product Line.

Panasonic
Booth: 955

This year part of our focus will be on the “Internet of Me”

Similar to the “Internet of Things” concept, the “Internet of Me” takes all of the things that people care about and brings them together to deliver hyper-personalized and contextual experiences. We are the sum of all our things and the relationships in between.

Targeted advertisements based on browsing history, the “login with Facebook” capability on all of our favorite websites, and location-based services are just a few examples of digital experiences on the ground that are uniquely yours because of the “Internet of Me”.

We’ll also be looking at ways to automate Operations with services like ZeroTouch and our automated analytics services.

AXINOM
Booth: 135

You’re invited to visit Axinom at APEX in Long Beach at booth #135 to discover company’s latest technology advancements, enjoy product showcases and get their experts’ advice on any topic of your interest.

If you’re interested to learn more about how Axinom CDS enables a new digital flight experience and how you can benefit,  read this short article
and this  letter from AXINOM re their product offering

Rockwell Collins
Booth: 711

Rockwell Collins will be showcasing its suite of aircraft cabin and connectivity solutions at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo in Long Beach, Calif., Sept. 25-28. The company will have two separate exhibits, booth 419 and booth 711, that will feature demonstrations of its wireless connectivity and interior cabin products that are helping reimagine the air travel experience for both passengers and crew.

This marks the first APEX that Rockwell Collins will feature both cabin connectivity and interior systems products since the company acquired B/E Aerospace in April 2017.

“Our goal at APEX is to help airlines see the innovative options available to them that deliver a better passenger experience while improving cabin crew productivity,” said Alexis Hickox, head of business development, Commercial Aircraft Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins.  LINK TO FULL RELEASE

SkyLights
Booth: 566

On 26th September SkyLights will reveal its 2nd generation immersive-IFE solution at the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo in Long Beach. Be sure to stop by our booth and visit us!

SPAFAX
Booth: 619

  • Education Day:
    • Catch our own Andrea Whyte, Director of Commercial Content Strategy on the Content Track panel from 15:05-15:55 as she weighs in on how to make the most of your IFE investment.
    • Mary Rae Esposito, our Media Sales Director based in New York, leads a discussion on how to effectively monetize the passenger journey.
  • Where to find us:
    • Booth 619 – come say hello!
    • Join us for Happy Hour at our booth on Tuesday from 4 PM and Wednesday from 5 PM.
  • Education Day:
    • Catch our own Andrea Whyte, Director of Commercial Content Strategy on the Content Track panel from 15:05-15:55 as she weighs in on how to make the most of your IFE investment.
    • Mary Rae Esposito, our Media Sales Director based in New York, leads a discussion on how to effectively monetize the passenger journey.
  • Where to find us:
    • Booth 619 – come say hello!
    • Join us for Happy Hour at our booth on Tuesday from 4 PM and Wednesday from 5 PM. 

Note from the IFExpress Team: We expect this week’s APEX EXPO to be an innovative one with many new technological advances and product iterations. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the coming days. Be certain to send us your press releases so we can cover your show highlights and we wish you all a successful and fun filled time in Long Beach.

Next generation service enhances flightdeck safety, security and operational efficiency

September 14, 2017–
Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a strategic agreement with Rockwell Collins, a leading provider of aviation and high-integrity solutions, for the global distribution of its next-generation SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) flightdeck connectivity solution. The agreement builds on a successful long-term strategic relationship between the two companies and will bring new levels of safety and operational efficiency to the aviation industry.

SB-S is the first secure communications system for the flightdeck and meets stringent aviation requirements for safety and operational data exchange with the ground. Its global coverage is Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A compliant and delivers Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and safety and operational services over a robust, secured IP data link as well as multiple voice channels. SB-S hardware is smaller, lighter and has a lower cost of ownership than other market alternatives, saving space and weight, reducing fuel burn and making it suitable for all single-aisle and wide-bodied aircraft.

This new connection between the flightdeck, aircraft systems and the ground provides a range of benefits to airlines, including enhanced situational awareness across their entire operation, more informed real-time decision making, enhanced real-time performance monitoring, high resolution weather updates, and other data critical to modernising the safety and efficiency of airline and air traffic control (ATC) flight operations.

Rockwell Collins has provided and managed Inmarsat’s high-quality legacy cockpit services to a majority of the world’s transoceanic widebody and business aircraft fleet. Under the new agreement, it will collaborate with airlines to implement the new digital SB-S technology on future and existing fleets, along with additional value added applications and services.

“The advent of the next generation ‘connected cockpit’ brings with it a new set of requirements in terms of service reliability, availability and security for aviation communications,” said Michael DiGeorge, Vice President of Commercial Aviation and Network Services at Rockwell Collins.
“Rockwell Collins’ investment in meeting these stringent requirements and understanding the unique needs of the aviation industry is critical to enabling airlines to reap the benefits of SB-S for safe, secure and effective communications with key industry stakeholders, including ATC, flight dispatch centres and value added resellers. As the airline’s data and voice service provider and Inmarsat distribution partner, we have enabled many breakthrough firsts with industry leading airlines. This agreement reinforces our leadership position and commitment to the enhancement of aviation communications technology and to our airline partners’ success.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat, said: “This new distribution agreement with our valued strategic reseller Rockwell Collins marks a huge milestone in our strategy to bring the digital revolution to the flightdeck. According to our recent study with Helios, aeronautical satellite communications are estimated to have saved the world’s airlines US$3 billion over the past 15 years, through reduced oceanic separation and critical operational communications. We look forward to working with Rockwell Collins on this important paradigm shift, together helping the global air transport industry to integrate digital technology in the cockpit. This 21st century concept of operations will be powered by the high-speed, cost effective capabilities of SB-S and the new applications and services it enables.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s SB-S brings ‘always on, always secure’ high-speed broadband into the cockpit, transforming aviation safety and optimising flight operations to save airlines both time and money. SB-S is currently in flight in evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines. It has also been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom solution on its popular A320 and A330 families.