IFPL

As always, IFPL showed their flair for innovation in the peripherals marketspace during AIX. As many of you may remember, they announced a working relationship with Mirus Aircraft Seating at the 2016 APEX in Singapore for their USB A outlet. Not such big news you might say; however, this deal for AirAsia’s new Hawk slimline economy seating in their A320 fleet is now up and flying. This initial retrofit program is being followed-up by a line fit order for AirAsia’s new Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft. The new line fit order will also feature integrated high power 2A USB from IFPL. IFPL has been very excited to work alongside Mirus on this project as the company takes a different approach and really wants to ergonomically integrate technology into their seats. “How to make a seamless integration that was also ergonomical, was an exciting challenge for us,” said David Thomas of IFPL.  “IFPL’s aim has been to provide world leading seamless seat integration, while maintaining a consistent design language and aesthetic. Our focus also ensures the ergonomics deliver a truly enhanced passenger experience. This has enabled us to reduce the complexity, weight and cost, therefore delivering a competitive advantage to the airline,” continued David. The USB-A product has been integrated into the Mirus seat arms while leveraging the KID Systeme’s power supply. IFPL also demonstrated their latest audio products: Long Life Audio jack with testing on 100,000+ insertions; their Rapid Fit technology for quick on-wing maintenance; an Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module; as well as their patented MagSignal technology that virtually eliminates Customer Induced Damage (CID). IFExpress always enjoys seeing the ingenious products that IFPL brings to the industry and this year’s AIX was no different. We are looking forward to seeing what they unveil at APEX in September. (Editor’s Note: IFPL also offers USB-C to the industry.)


AIRBUS
The first A330neo for launch operator TAP Air Portugal – MSN1819 – completed its 4:32 hours maiden flight. The aircraft now joins the fleet of two A330-900 test aircraft already performing flight tests since 19 October 2017. MSN1819 is the first aircraft fitted with the Airspace cabin by Airbus. It is equipped with light Flight Test Instrumentation during its test phase to check cabin systems such as air conditioning, crew rest etc.

With over 1,700 orders, the A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, performing nearly 1,000,000 flights every year. Today, more than 1,400 aircraft have been delivered to almost 120 customers worldwide on a wide range of routes, from domestic and regional flights to long range intercontinental services.

Offering the lowest operating costs in its category, and thanks to continuous investments in latest innovations, the new generation A330neo is the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its size category according to Airbus. The A330neo first delivery is planned in summer 2018. The A330neos will usher the brand-new Airspace by Airbus cabin concept, a consumer-centric cabin developed with passengers at heart and airlines in mind around the four pillars: Comfort, Ambience, Service and Design. These cabin options will ensure that the A330neos will set the benchmark in passenger experience and airline value, alongside its widebody partner, the A350 XWB.


WATCH: AFTERMARKET CONNECTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES
As we all know, the IFEC industry is duly focused on connectivity and how it will enable both the passenger and the airline to stay more connected throughout the journey. In fact, some are predicting that connectivity will double by 2019! But have we really looked at what that statement truly means for our industry and the customers served, whether that be airlines, the traveler, or both? The short answer is yes. Airframers, such as Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer certainly have ‘Aftermarket Visions’. The concept here is that historically within the aviation sector the supply chain has been vertically aligned and fragmented. In order to achieve cost efficiencies, the OEMs are bundling maintenance, flight ops, parts, engineering, modifications, training and various other packaged solutions in an effort to establish agile capabilities that can respond rapidly to their customer demands. In years past, many of these services were strictly after market and often performed by third party companies. Now the OEMs are leveraging their service capabilities to increase the value of the aftermarket – for their customers and themselves. Much of this is being accomplished via Big Data, working across the various value streams and utilizing data analytics to improve efficiencies and costs, thus benefiting their customers – the airline.

All of this is being facilitated by the rapid acceptance and installation of global aircraft connectivity. In a recent SITA IT Survey 37% of airlines who participated indicated they operate connected aircraft. While 45% are either operating or taking delivery of aircraft that have connectivity. Significantly, the survey established the importance of connecting aircraft to the ground in flight, with 71% stating they are investing in EFBs, this is an important indicator that airline managers are seeking to improve maintenance and operational efficiencies. The survey indicated that the percentage is slightly lower for providing Wi-Fi to passengers, while 49% of those participating indicated they are allocating funds to provide wireless services for crew – both cabin and flight deck. Perhaps this is fairly intuitive, if you have been around the IFEC industry over the last 4 or 5 years. However, what might not be so obvious is the move from ‘siloed’ industry alliances to alliances with important other synergies that enable increased efficiency.

A prime example is the Seamless Air Alliance that was announced on February 26, 2018. This is an alliance between Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, Airtel and Gogo. “By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user-experience. The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.” Other companies have diversified their portfolio through acquisitions to achieve the same outcome. IFExpress firmly believes that we will see more of these types of alliances and acquisitions in the coming months. If you wish to read more here are some additional links of interest:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/airbus-delta-oneweb-sprint-airtel-announce-the-formation-of-seamless-air-alliance-enabling-airlines-to-empower-passengers-with-seamless-in-cabin-connectivity-experience-675121143.html

http://www.mro-network.com/airlines/airline-connectivity-will-double-end-2019?NL=AW-022&Issue=AW-022_20180514_AW-022_193&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000000418196&utm_campaign=14815&utm_medium=email&elq2=c7d9f37b95e6447cba0df4b853915cfa

http://www.mro-network.com/airframe/insight-airbus-boeing-embraer-s-aftermarket-visions


YOU FIGURE IT OUT…

Both Airbus and Boeing commented on the latest WTC rulings and

they upheld that AIRBUS subsidies from the EU for the A350 and A 380 development programs were improper while those for the A320 and A330 were in full compliance. This will allow US to impose tariffs on imports from the EU to recoup (total unknown). Later this year, they will rule on Boeing. See if that’s what you get from their press releases:

AIRBUS
WTO confirmed: no prohibited subsidies at Airbus, minor elements of actionable subsidies to be addressed.

  •  “Repayable launch investment” confirmed as legal financing mechanism for aircraft development.
  •  WTO confirms compliance fully achieved on A320 and A330, remaining tweaks on A380 and A350 only minor.
  •  94 percent of all US / Boeing’s original claims now dismissed by WTO
  •  Any potential US sanctions, now likely to be minor compared to what we expect on the European case against Boeing, would be counter-productive, ill-timed and ultimately harmful to the airlines and passengers
  •  Report is only “half the story.”  Much more interesting part – on Boeing’s more egregious and competition-damaging subsidies – to come later this year.
  •  Only real solution to 15-year-long dispute remains a negotiated deal

BOEING
The World Trade Organization (WTO) today in its final decision found that the European Union (EU) has failed to honor multiple previous rulings and has provided more than $22 billion of illegal subsidies to European aircraft maker Airbus. After examining this case for more than a decade, the WTO has determined the EU must end its unfair business practices and remedy the ongoing harm caused by the illegal subsidies.

This landmark ruling by the WTO Appellate Body is the final decision in this case, which was initiated in 2006. Today’s decision ends the dispute and clears the way for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to seek remedies in the form of tariffs against European imports to the United States.

The authorized tariffs are likely to total billions in duties per year, unless and until Airbus addresses the illegal subsidies it received from European governments for its most recently launched airplanes. It is anticipated that U.S. tariffs will be authorized up to the amount of annual harm this market-distorting tactic is causing. Tariffs could be scheduled as early as 2019. This is expected to be the largest-ever WTO authorization of retaliatory tariffs.

“Today’s final ruling sends a clear message: disregard for the rules and illegal subsidies is not tolerated. The commercial success of products and services should be driven by their merits and not by market-distorting actions,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “Now that the WTO has issued its final ruling, it is incumbent upon all parties to fully comply as such actions will ultimately produce the best outcomes for our customers and the mutual health of our industry. We appreciate the tireless efforts of the U.S. Trade Representative over the 14 years of this investigation to strengthen the global aerospace industry by ending illegal subsidies.”

The U.S. government, with Boeing’s full support, has complied with WTO rulings stemming from the two cases the EU brought against the United States. One case has already ended in favor of the United States, and in the other, the vast majority of the allegations the EU made against the United States and Boeing were dismissed. Where there were narrow rulings against U.S. practices, they have been fully addressed to the WTO’s satisfaction.

Just one finding against the United States now remains before the WTO, which concerns a Washington state tax measure. It is under appeal and should be decided later this year or in early 2019. Boeing believes that ruling will be reversed, but if not, Boeing has pledged to do whatever necessary to come into full compliance in the interest of upholding rules-based trade, which is essential to fairness and the future prosperity of the global aerospace industry.


OTHER NEWS

Thales at AIX

The past few months have been busy ones for Thales. During Aircraft Interiors Hamburg the company announced the expansion of their IFEC portfolio with the introduction of CORE and PRESTIGE inflight entertainment. The two products offer differing degrees of experience for airline passengers, depending on the airline’s objectives for providing inflight entertainment. As the name suggests, CORE is an IFE solution designed to provide the airline with value and competitive cost of ownership in conjunction with Thales support services and is configured on existing architecture that has been qualified and tested. CORE is PCI compliant and enables ancillary revenue opportunities for the airline operator. The system has upgrade options and is capable of providing connectivity if so desired by the airline. One of the major benefits of CORE is the accelerated delivery process, while still providing a streamlined configuration and effective solution to onboard entertainment. The user interface is designed with latest UX technology and has been dubbed “Select” by Thales. Select interface enables the airline to provide their customers with mixed content and integrated advertising that can include promotions, targeted offers and destination content. CORE is line fit offerable on all Boeing and Airbus platforms and cybersecured by Thales.

Whereas, PRESTIGE is a multi-dimensional and personalized experience for the passenger that is tailored to enhance the airline brand with a unique user interface. This product is specifically targeted for the airline that is looking to provide their customers with an exclusive experience in flight.  The system is designed to enable passengers to connect, engage and experience their flight with the latest PEDs and unique connected apps. The company states that PRESTIGE will feature ultra HD (4K) displays. Thales told IFExpress that the system is lightweight, has low power draw and is very reliable. The objective of PRESTIGE is to enhance the passenger engagement, personalization and monetization by building a more intimate relationship with the traveler throughout their journey. They also stated that this is achieved through a robust co-innovation process and diverse industry partnerships via their Thales Digital Factories and location innovation centers. The user interface for the product will be unique for each customer and developed by a dedicated UX Center of Excellence and best-in-class agency partners. The UI will be commissioned by the airline and crafted to elevate their brand. PRESTIGE is targeted for the airline who wants to provide their passengers with an exclusive experience that extends beyond the IFE system.

Both CORE and PRESTIGE systems are powered by Thales’ InFlyt360 digital platform, which incorporate the latest Big Data technologies – think machine learning and matching algorithms – that continuously optimize the inflight experience for both the passenger and the airline.  InFlyt360 continuously optimizes the passenger experience providing airlines a complete IFE ecosystem customizable to their business goals. There are four (4) key features to InFlyt360 Personalization, Monetization, Fresh & Dynamic Content and Optimization. Thales firmly believes that the InFlyt360 platform will open new possibilities for brand differentiation, passenger engagement, increased exposure and the ability to provide new revenue generation opportunities for the airlines.


Spirit/Thales

Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.
Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.
Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests ”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”


Gogo

“We’re happy to announce that we have received approval for installation of our 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi system on the Airbus A321neo. This approval, also referred to as an STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) is what we need to make modifications to an aircraft beyond what was originally done by the manufacturer. Approval for the A321neo is the latest in a long line of STC’s we’ve received that cover 2Ku installations on a wide variety of aircraft, from the smallest single aisle planes, all the way up to the massive Airbus A380. Gaining the STC for the A321neo is a major milestone for Gogo, especially since several of our airline partners already have this aircraft in their fleet, or are awaiting delivery.”


Aftermarket Aviation Business Growth

If there is one connectivity related subject you should watch it is the aftermarket service and support organizations Boeing and Airbus (and other plane vendors) have started to work with. They are leveraging outside manufacturers and others to increase customer involvement, build future marketing efforts, and increase the expansion of their businesses … its the future of the connectivity part of the model. We won’t tell the whole story here because it is just now being written and IFEC companies better stay aware. This is “THE” big collaboration and integration deal so watch for the future of many of aviation businesses, outside industry companies, and others in the IFE/connectivity aftermarket: … by “eliminating the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data-access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification,” – Inside MRO broke the aftermarket business cooperation code. The interesting part in all this for our readers is to see the resulting impact on IFEC companies and how they will respond. These technologies include cybersecurity, AI, Big Data, and analytics – just to name a few. Probably, business acquisition and new business strategies will be the future outcome. If collaboration is the new “name of the connectivity game,” then truly, that will result in reduced future costs and better use of the increased data. Watch this one and be sure to check out next week’s IFExpress for more.


Other News

  • The AEEC Meeting Agenda (April 23-25, 2018, in Dallas, Texas) is here – AEEC General Session | SAE ITC Checkout it out. A number of subjects caught our eye – “Big Data – An Introduction”, “Long-Range Communication”, “Aircraft Connectivity”- just to add a few!
  • As part of the future of aviation connectivity you should watch GE Aviation as they have acquired part of Avionica in a joint ventured effort to provide wireless data collection/processing for aircraft with connectivity to the ground.
  • Declare your food folks if you are US bound! Lifehacker
  • US/UAE have signed an agreement to remove competition challenges and issues – U.S. and UAE sign pact to resolve airline competition claims | Reuters
  • Spirit Airlines is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity solution, providing an exceptional guest and airline experience. Spirit will be the only Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) in the Americas with Connectivity.
  • Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution providing unmatched performance and ultra-high speeds to their aircraft.
  • With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Paris | May 11, 2018– Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.

Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests.”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”

This week’s first story is from our friends at Lufthansa Systems and so we feature a Lufthansa rectangle (our ride home from Germany) and we liked the picture! We also had a great visit with Lufthansa Systems and the new management is really focusing the directions of their products and services.


Lufthansa Systems

You may well be familiar with Lufthansa Systems (LS) and their four (4) primary product offerings: 1. BoardConnect , which offers a modular,  scalable design to the airlines and their passengers; 2. BoardConnect Plus has all the features of BoardConnect with the added benefit of enabling passengers to enter the web via a unique passenger portal through a partnership with Inmarsat GX Aviation;  3. BoardConnect Portable – a  simpler, more flexible, all-in-one solution that is ideal for low-cost operators; 4. and BoardConnect Portable/Link –  the latest addition to the BoardConnect platform, and as the name indicates, is a portable IFE product with a connectivity solution that utilizes Iridium NEXT. Iridium Next is a worldwide service that has several small satellites with sufficient bandwidth for all messaging and payment services. Lufthansa Systems told us that BoardConnect Portable is the only portable system without the need for disruptive battery handling and does not require extensive retrofitting of the aircraft.

During AIX 2018, we had the opportunity to meet with Jan-Peter Ganse of Lufthansa Systems and Lukas Bucher of Lufthansa Technik to hear about the companies latest undertakings since APEX ’17. Lufthansa Systems and their partner optile announced the launch of a pilot program targeted to optimize the payment processes with the open aircraft IT platform BoardConnect. The project focuses on enabling passengers to make convenient in-app payments for digital content and shopping services. The prototype of the solution was introduced at AIX. The concept is to facilitate ease of payment for the passengers. Users only need to enter their payment data one when booking via the airline app. Further payments can be made use the previously chosen payment method, considerably simplifying the process, while increasing security. The benefit to the airline? A simplified payment process for passengers enables the carrier to maximize their ancillary revenue potential. The new technology has already been proven in an innovative project run by Eurowings, Retail inMotion, Lufthansa Technik (who provided the wireless access points), optile and Lufthansa Systems. “Partnering with optile allows us to offer our airline customers an open and flexible payment solution, enabling payment with a single click and supporting multiple payment methods (e.g. AliPay, PayPal, etc.),” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Passengers will love the seamless payment process which makes is really easy to buy products and services. This will help airlines to keep the passenger in their ecosystem throughout the entire journey.”

Lufthansa Systems also announced that Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, one of the first customers for BoardConnect Portable, has been using the product on their sixteen aircraft flying routes from Western Australia. Virgin Australia Airlines was one of the first BoardConnect customers back in 2013 and has the system available on more than 100 aircraft flying today. In a collaborative effort with Gogo (satellite provider), Virgin Australia is rolling out inflight Wi-Fi based on the BoardConnect Plus product. This variant of the BoardConnect product suite enables the integration of any connectivity solution selected by the airline customer. The airline will also be migrating to BoardConnect 5.0 by year’s end. This latest software version features a fresh design with a new user interface and an open platform architecture based on HTML5 compared to the native app approach of earlier versions.


Turkish Technic

Turkish Technic and Havelsan will carry out the production of in-flight entertainment systems. This Joint Venture Company will perform activities in the field of in-flight entertainment and internet service provider systems and other software used in civil aviation including design, production, maintenance, repair, marketing, sales and after-sales services in land, sea, rail systems and air platforms. The Company is aiming to provide line-fit in-flight entertainment systems as approved supplier for both Turkish Airlines’ new generation aircraft to be delivered between 2022-2023 and other domestic and international airlines’ aircraft. In-flight entertainment systems which play a very important role especially for long haul flights and foster customer satisfaction, are planning to be produced by this company with high technology and competitive prices. At the first stage, the company, to be operational at Turkish Technics’ Sabiha Gökçen International Airport facilities in 2018, is planning to commercialize its products for domestic airline operators and other operators within its close region.


AIRBUS

A320ceo: Germany’s Lufthansa ordered some 16 new planes worth 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion), including some six Airbus A320ceos to make up for delivery shortcomings in a newer version of the jet (and four Boeing  B777 long haul jets.)

A350 XWB: The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216,  has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018. The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 XWB is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s

Rolls Royce: Airbus and Rolls-Royce have signed a collaboration agreement for the integration of Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan demonstrator for flight testing. The integration solutions demonstration will be co-funded by Clean Sky 2, the European Union research program focused on developing technology to reduce emissions. UltraFan is a scalable jet engine design suitable for widebody or single-aisle aircraft and offers a 25 percent fuel efficiency improvement over the first-generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engine. Airbus’ integration solutions will play an important part in achieving the overall fuel efficiency improvement of higher bypass ratio engines such as UltraFan, through innovative architecture and associated technologies. UltraFan features a new engine core architecture and lean-burn combustion system which will contribute to improved fuel burn efficiency and lower emissions, along with a carbon titanium fan blade system and composite casing which reduce weight. The engine also introduces a geared design to deliver efficient power at high-bypass ratios. For Airbus, the project will enable it to fully integrate the overall powerplant system – composed of engine, pylon and nacelle – onto future long-range aircraft products, as well as facilitating scalability for future short-range aircraft. It will also build on Airbus’ expertise in advanced manufacturing technologies, such as high-deposition-rate additive manufacture, welded assembly and high production rate thermoplastics.


BOEING

Lufthansa Group: Boeing and the Lufthansa Group completed an order for four more 777 airplanes, valued at $1.4 billion at list prices. The purchase is part of the aviation company’s plans to modernize its fleet with newer widebody airplanes.

“The order for the new long-haul aircraft highlights the strategy of Lufthansa Group to predominantly allocate the growth within its multi-hub system where cost and quality offer the best conditions for profitable investments,” said the Lufthansa Group in a company statement.

The order provides two more Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes for Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national carrier of Switzerland and a member of the Lufthansa Group.

SWISS currently operates 10 777-300ERs, one of the most efficient, capable and reliable twin-aisle passenger airplanes in aviation. The airline says the 777-300ER has served as the backbone of their long-haul fleet and the additional airplanes will allow them to further expand their network.

The order also provides two more 777 Freighters for Lufthansa Cargo, one of the world’s leading air freight carriers that serves nearly 300 destinations. The 777-300ER can seat up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km). The 777 Freighter, the industry’s largest and longest range twin-engine cargo jet, can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 102 metric tonnes (102,000 kg).

Ryanair: Boeing and European low-cost carrier Ryanair announced on recently that they finalized an order for 25 additional high-capacity 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The $3 billion order, at current list prices, was previously listed as unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website. Ryanair launched the high-capacity 737 MAX 8 in late 2014 with an order for 100 airplanes, followed by an additional order for 10 airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The airplane will provide Ryanair with 197 seats, increasing revenue potential and delivering up to 14 percent lower fuel consumption than today’s Next-Generation 737s.

Europe’s leading low-cost carrier will be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, which will provide carriers with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8.

The Dublin-based carrier is the largest 737-800 customer in the world and the largest Boeing operator in Europe. Last month, Ryanair took delivery of its 500th Next-Generation 737-800 and has now ordered more than 650 Boeing airplanes.

Gulf Air: Boeing and Gulf Air celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The airplane also debuts the carrier’s new livery. Gulf Air is set to take delivery of four more Dreamliners this year. The airline plans to introduce the 787 on its twice-daily service between Bahrain and London Heathrow before deploying the long-range efficient jet on other routes.

Boeing has delivered more than 670 787s since deliveries began in 2011. The 787 fleet has flown more than 240 million passengers while saving over 23 billion pounds of fuel and enabling airlines to open more than 180 new nonstop routes around the world.

The first Gulf Air 787 – painted in the airline’s new livery – recently flew a special mission to the airline’s home base to perform a fly pass over the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. Formula 1 race fans were treated to a dramatic aerial display prior to the start of the championship race.

Alaska Air: The airline converted its 15 737-8 orders to the larger model, bringing its firm orders for the Max 9 to 32, during the first quarter. It also has 11 737-900ER orders. Alaska will take its first Max in 2019 with deliveries continuing through 2023.  (source: FlightGlobal)


OTHER NEWS

  • Want to know more about software API’s? It’s an application program interface and, yes, it is the part of the software/hardware that receives requests and sends responses – Check out this descriptive article
  • Perhaps probiotics can help jet-lag? Want to know more? Read this article.

Here are some shortcuts to cybersecurity:

 

  • JetBlue Reveals First Complete Restyle of A320 Aircraft Interior Since Airline Launched in 2000, Bringing a Living Room-Comfort to the Sky
  • JetBlue Goes All-In on In-Seat Connectivity and Customer Comfort With Larger Seatback TVs, More Channels, Streaming Entertainment, Free Gate-to-Gate High-Speed Internet, The Most Legroom in Coach®, and the Widest, Most Comfortable A320 Seats

New York | May 2, 2018–JetBlue (NASDAQ: JBLU) today formally unveiled its first Airbus A320 to undergo the airline’s fleet restyling, which is bringing an all-new interior to its A320 aircraft. The aircraft – tail N646JB named “Bravo Lima Uniform Echo” – operated its first scheduled flight today between Boston Logan international Airport (BOS) and Bermuda’s L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA). True to its founding mission to bring humanity back to air travel, JetBlue’s restyled interiors boast the very best in customer comfort, connectivity and entertainment – creating an environment that feels more like lounging in your living room than flying at 35,000-feet.

“JetBlue’s A320 restyling is about making the best even better,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “JetBlue has built its innovative reputation on offering our customers the very best products and a level of service they won’t find on another U.S. airline and this update ensures we remain the go-to choice for flyers who expect nothing but the best.”

JetBlue’s A320 cabin restyling marks the first major overhaul the customer-friendly airline’s original fleet since launching in 2000. The industry-disrupting airline that first revolutionized flying with a refreshing reputation for its customer-focused approach, free snacks and signature live TV at every seat is creating a modernized experience based on customer preferences. For most of the airlines 101 destinations the A320 restyling will bring the first upgraded JetBlue product to their city in nearly 20 years.

A major focus of the restyling is keeping customers connected throughout their flight, including a new inflight entertainment system, high-definition seatback televisions, in-seat power outlets with USB ports and continued free gate-to-gate Fly-Fi high-speed internet.

“We are excited to partner with JetBlue on their plan to further enhance the customer experience,” said Jeff Knittel, Chairman & CEO, Airbus Americas, Inc. “JetBlue’s decision to upgrade to state of the art wireless connectivity and IFE will truly be a highlight to their customers. The A320 remains a market leader with JetBlue’s focus on customer comfort and innovative technologies. Airbus is proud to be a part of JetBlue’s success!”

Phased Restyling Schedule
The restyling will include two iterations of the design, with the 2018 model introducing features from the popular A321 interior and the 2019 and beyond model featuring an innovative seat design and inflight entertainment system unlike anything offered by U.S. airlines today.

For roughly the next nine months, JetBlue’s A320s will be restyled with the Rockwell Collins Pinnacle seat and LiveTV 4 entertainment options currently enjoyed by customers on the airline’s A321 aircraft.

In early 2019, JetBlue will transition to the restyling featuring the Rockwell Collins Meridian seat and Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 products.

Introducing A Sleek and Smart Seat
In 2019, JetBlue will outfit its A320 aircraft with the Rockwell Collins Meridian seat, customized for the airline’s needs and featuring a number of design elements with customer comfort in mind:

  • Expanded seat width offers more than 18 inches, the widest available for the A320.
  • The most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (a).
  • Enhanced cushion comfort.
  • Adjustable headrests, a new feature for JetBlue’s A320.
  • Contoured seatback design at knee level creates additional living space for every customer.
  • Redesigned seatback stowage options, including an innovative elastic grid to accommodate a variety of customer items.
  • At least two easily-accessible and repositioned power connections at every seat.

Exceptional Entertainment Options
Also in 2019, JetBlue will build on its reputation as an industry leader in inflight entertainment options with Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 connectivity. With this system, JetBlue will offer customers aboard its restyled A320s expanded entertainment choices in nearly every region the airline flies.

  • 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screen at every seat.
  • More than 100 channels of live television.
  • Expanded collection of on demand movies, TV shows and video content, plus new gaming features.
  • Destination-specific content allowing customers to enhance their travel experience.
  • Picture-in-picture function.
  • Enhanced, 3D flight map offering multiple ways to track time to destination.
  • NFC paining turning personal handheld devices into remotes or gaming controllers.
  • Expanded Fly-Fi connectivity, providing coverage to nearly the entire JetBlue network.

All About In-Air Ambiance
JetBlue’s A320 restyling also allows the airline to refresh the overall feel of the aircraft interior. New LED lighting will enhance the look and tone of the in-cabin ambiance and allow for a variety of lighting settings to increase customer comfort. New sidewalls and overhead bins will also be installed, as well as a variety of newly incorporated design elements throughout that will capture JetBlue’s unique style and personality.

Restyling Schedule
JetBlue expects to complete approximately a dozen A320 restyles by the end of 2018, with the ability to complete multiple aircraft each month by 2019. JetBlue’s so-called A320 classics will be restyled first. JetBlue’s overall A320 restyling is set to take approximately three years.

Often Copied, Never Duplicated
As JetBlue refreshes its A320 fleet the airline is also enhancing an additional element that cannot be matched anywhere else in the sky: the airline’s crewmembers.

JetBlue’s philosophy has always been to hire those who are passionate about providing great service. In 2017 the airline grew to include more than 5,000 inflight crewmembers. At the same time JetBlue made a commitment to provide every one of them with enhanced tools and training for more meaningful interactions with customers every day.

Building on the success of JetBlue’s specially trained Mint inflight crewmembers, the airline expanded its unique ‘JetBlue Promises’ training standards across the board, with every inflight crewmember on track to compete the program in 2018. JetBlue is committed to offering world-class hospitality experiences across the entire airline, on every flight and at every seat.

Multimedia
Please visit JetBlue’s Media Room to download and view additional images and video.

Well after seeing a great IFEC show in Hamburg we still wonder how the next journey will be improved, enhanced, and possibly changed for better. While, in the last couple years the IFExpress team has found two big game changers and they involve money and hearing. While its no travel breakthrough, upper classes make the experience much more acceptable because of crowd reduction, less noise (further forward), better seating, better food, and generally more comfort and reduced anxiety. The second item is sound. Yep, sound … when you cannot hear the noise and can enjoy a movie or music, the audible experience goes up 100% – and why not? Because you can sleep, you don’t have to talk to others, your music choice is better, and the movies audio is improved greatly. What else is left? One is in Other News this week. Check it out below. Now, here are some of the news highlights for the past week:


Gogo

Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution has been chosen by Air Canada for its Bombardier CS300 aircraft.  The technology will be installed as a line-fit option at Bombardier. “Air Canada was the first in Canada to deploy the service on their entire mainline fleet of aircraft. They have been at the forefront of technology adoption and we are excited to deploy 2Ku on additional aircraft,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s president and CEO.  “We also are excited to work with Bombardier to have this technology installed at the factory.” Air Canada has 45 CS300 aircraft on order with an option for an additional 30 aircraft.  Air Canada now has over 170 narrow and widebody aircraft committed to the technology. More than 2,000 aircraft are slated to be installed with Gogo’s 2Ku technology representing 16 of the world’s leading airlines.

Today, more than 650 aircraft are flying with the 2Ku technology. But the AIX story about Gogo is bigger than that – previously, Gogo has been discussing 2Ku and the technology in line for airline customer connectivity and entertainment. At the show, the company was talking about an interesting development they call their FLEX system. The Gogo FLEX Inflight System comprises all of the onboard hardware and software required to deliver and manage inflight connectivity for the aircraft.  This includes a component they call FLEX Developer, which will allow airlines to use Gogo APIs and SDKs to bring development in-house, or turn to third-party providers for total flexibility in designing the passenger experience.

But, the FLEX System is also enabling a series of products and services specifically for airline operations so the airline can extract value from the aircraft presently installed with Gogo’s hardware and software. Obviously, crew applications for connectivity and communication are already in play.  The FLEX system is also a way to deliver data to and from the aircraft, for the aircraft, and about the aircraft … and Mr. TJ Horsager, Director Connected Aircraft Services told IFExpress.: “FLEX Developer is an open architecture solution that gives airlines more access to the technology.” We should note that the Gogo 2Ku solution is a global service solution (unlike the US ATG service) which started out as a passenger touch point, but now can use more bits to-and-from the aircraft, for aircraft data, allowing the airlines to use data to optimize their operations. . With some 20 airlines, 600+ aircraft flying, and some 2000 airplanes in backlog, it just made sense!

The Gogo FLEX System is a “new” way to think about Gogo. We might add that there is also “…a lot of interest from airline software teams”, so noted Gogo, and we expect there to be plenty of airline support from them using the above mentioned API’s and other tools and now with a large enough install base for connected aircraft services to be a business that operates on solutions developed by operational data-like performance, measurement, and even inflight “repair”.

Steve Nolan told IFExpress: “Today, we support some 65,000 pilots and flight attendants with their PEDs for things like Electronic Flight Bags and Point of Sale devices. Gogo’s is now also providing data management solutions to support countless operational activities – from flight optimization to turbulence avoidance. Gogo has been supporting the communication ecosystem by providing an aircraft (or airline) operations private network. FLEX Inflight System powers passenger services and now allows airlines to connect their operations and the aircraft itself.”


PANASONIC

With a renewed focus on broader consultative engagements with its customers, Panasonic’s new Innovation Studios will serve as hubs for innovation, ideation, and solution-building. They will provide a socially collaborative environment where the company and its customers can leverage its skilled workforce and regionally relevant partners to ideate, prototype, showcase and evaluate product concepts, digital solutions and user experience paradigms.

Panasonic plans to set up five Innovation Studios across the globe, each in close proximity to major destinations, leading universities and centers with an established innovation and start-up culture.

The first Panasonic innovation studio will open in the Silicon Valley by the end of 2018. The Studios will also serve as primary locations for airline workshops conducted by Panasonic’s digital design consultancy, Tactel.  Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel has played an instrumental role in helping Panasonic customers get the maximum value from their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) investments.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Innovation has always been at the heart of Panasonic Avionics and our customers have rightly come to expect it as standard. Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration, strengthening our partner eco-system and with it, the range of value-added services we can offer our airline customers. The Studios will ensure we can deliver greater customer-facing innovation by rapidly developing new concepts that will enhance the business and pleasure of flying.”

Each Panasonic Innovation Studio will have a Collaboration Area for ideation, design and strategy workshops, training sessions, customer and partner meetings, and other interactive innovation-related sessions, and a Demonstration Area for displaying emerging products and technologies, functional prototypes as well as work in progress concepts.


ROCKWELL COLLINS
The company’s new Aspire widebody economy seat has entered service on a United Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 aircraft, the first in a 55 shipset retrofit program that begins delivery this spring. “We are excited to offer customers traveling on our 777-200 fleet a new Economy seat featuring updated design, with more living space and under-seat stowage,” said Mark Krolick, vice president of Marketing for United Airlines. Aspire offers an improved, patented comfort system with an advanced kinematic mechanism that cradles the passenger during recline while preserving maximum living space for each passenger.

Aspire also incorporates increased under-seat stowage and greater passenger living space due to the proprietary seat frame and leg structure. Passenger amenities combine the latest generation Panasonic high-definition monitor for in-flight entertainment, a mid-level literature pocket combined with a full-width single piece food tray, aft-facing PC power on all seat assemblies and adjustable ergonomic headrests. This version of the seat brings to life United’s latest brand themes and styling developed by PriestmanGoode.

Following the launch on the 777, the new Aspire seat will continue its success on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner with United and then onto the Airbus A350 XWB and other 787 aircraft with other undisclosed customers that more than doubles the initial 777 program deliveries.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat announced that its new GX Aviation inflight broadband service is currently being rolled out on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft. Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to offer GX Aviation, the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. In total, the service will be equipped on more than 130 of the airline’s Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

The roll-out follows a highly successful inflight test campaign across Qatar Airways’ global flight routes. As part of the service offering, passengers will now be offered one-hour of free access to GX Aviation, after which full-flight access can be affordably purchased.

Mr. Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Qatar Airways is renowned as one of the greatest innovators in global aviation with passengers being at the centre of everything they do. We are delighted that they are now pioneering our game-changing GX Aviation inflight broadband across the globe. This unprecedented service adds to the airline’s award-winning, five star onboard experience by allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.”

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. The rollout of GX Aviation follows a separate announcement that Qatar Airways has activated an advanced new space-based system, supplied by Inmarsat, to track all of its flights across the world. Inmarsat worked exclusively with Qatar Airways to develop this cutting-edge solution, which utilizes Inmarsat’s market-leading satellite technology to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in latitude and longitude.


SITA

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected SITA to support its strategic expansion plans by introducing modern, world-class IT infrastructure across 200 of the airline’s offices located in 100 cities and airports in 60 countries. The solution will support the airline’s global IT infrastructure which connects all SAUDIA outstations with its headquarters and various data centers worldwide.

SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, will introduce its unique ATI Cloud solution, which will allow SAUDIA to manage and distribute its business applications, information and business services on-demand, anywhere in the world. The agreement also includes infrastructure, IT support and round-the-clock service through a dedicated service center. SAUDIA’s incremental growth and global expansion has seen the airline open new offices in key cities and in turn, has developed new IT requirements to support the demand for the carrier’s continued growth in passenger numbers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Airlines are increasingly looking for specialized content and service providers to meet their requirements. SITA, with its global presence and expertise, was identified as a trusted partner to implement a solution that would drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented: “As the national carrier moves forward with expansion plans across the entire organization and operations, it is crucial that we continue investing in leading-edge, modern technology. SAUDIA has a critical role to play in the nation’s Vision 2030, and continues to grow both in the Kingdom and beyond.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With the rapid progress of hosted applications and cloud-based environments, it is the right time for SAUDIA to adopt cloud solutions across its network. From a commercial perspective, quick responses to IT services requests are essential for running a successful operation and ensuring happy passengers. We are delighted to continue working with the airline as it embarks on its new phase of growth.”


OTHER NEWS

  • You might remember a few months back when we gave a link to the regularly updated Boeing B-52 disassembly, well now, updates 4 and 5 are online now and if you have never seen a big airplane disassembled, this is your chance. Wings are next.
  • Face it, sometimes flying is just not as fun as it should, or used to, be. Why? Full planes, increasingly bad weather, longer flights, and worse seating, just to name a few. Now, here is what Apple’s Yim Cook said about AR/VR – “AR has the ability to amplify human performance instead of isolating humans,” he said on the same call. “So I am a huge, huge believer in AR. We put a lot of energy on AR. We’re moving very fast.” Further, the TechRadar folks said: “But despite it’s heavy focus thus far on AR, it seems Apple is keen to give users a choice in what they experience; either AR for an enhanced experience that keeps them present in the real world, or VR for those times users want to be transported somewhere else entirely.” Just one more thing…What if there were cameras on a plane that choosers could hook up to their Apple VR/AR glasses? Check out this link for more on the subject.

Gogo

Late last week, Gogo announced some adjustments to their leadership roles within the commercial aviation division, as well as, the business aviation sector. John Wade, who has more than 30 years of aviation and IFEC industry experience, joined Gogo back in 2008 after a stint as CTO of ONAIR, has been named as the first President of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation Division. If you remember, in 2016 John was moved from General Manager of the Business Aviation Division to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Commercial.  He was responsible for Gogo’s operations, quality control, commercial airline account management and commercial sales. In this new role as Gogo President he will have end-to-end responsibility for managing all aspects of the Commercial Aviation business, including product development, technology, sales, account management, quality, marketing and all aspects of product delivery.

Also, Sergio Aguirre, formerly senior vice president and general manager, will now serve as President of Gogo’s Business Aviation Division. Aguirre will continue to be responsible for managing the Business Aviation (BA) division and will now report directly to the CEO, Oakleigh Thorne. Aguirre joined Gogo in 2002. Aguirre is also an aviation industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience.

Anand Chari, who has served as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2011, will move into a new role as Strategic Technology Advisor. Chari has been with Gogo since 2003 and has been instrumental in the design and development of the company’s ground-breaking ATG (air-to-ground) and 2Ku (satellite) products.

Jon Cobin, who joined Gogo in 2010, will now serve as Chief Strategy Office and Executive Vice President Corporate Development. This is a newly created role and Cobin will be responsible for leading company wide business, strategic planning and corporate development efforts as Gogo seeks to leverage the Commercial and Business Aviation product portfolios to drive growth and share value.

All of the above appointments are effective as of May 1, 2018.


Next, we thought you might like to see just some of the AIX highlights we noted. But be advised, there are plenty more.

  1. Virtual Reality in IFE applications is becoming more available and better; however, it is not replacing IFE – some goggle developers, like SkyLights, are really doing a bang-up job.
  2. New potential revenue generation via “paying for inflight power” is on the horizon – think low cost carriers here.
  3. Improving flight operational efficiency was hight-lighted by Gogo’s Flex Developer. Keep your eye on this one!
  4. Inflight content downloading of entertainment is new, and one time viewing on (and off ) the plane is a reality says GEE.
  5. One tekkie vendor has developed a code based solution for installations in IFE systems that “reduces” the bandwidth required for streamed movies and the system prevents delays when all are watching movies. The German start-up Cadami is one to watch.
  6. Smaller removable streaming Wi-Fi servers now have onboard battery installations so they do not need removal and recharging as often, noted Lufthansa Systems and AirFi.
  7. The folks at Zii have developed the next generation of IFE with a seatback system display that has the thickness of a couple stacked coins. It was super cool!!
  8. The “cloud” is now available in IFEC from Panasonic and others.
  9. Seat power boxes are getting smaller, just ask Astronics.
  10. Onboard retail sales support and software is even more available because of real-time connectivity.

Round-Up: AIX – Day 2 & 3

Here is an outline last two days of the show reported by the AIX TEAM!

Day 2 of AIX saw yet more exhibitors choosing the show to announce their latest deals and newest offerings.

April 11, 2018 announcements included:

  • Ensinger Plastics announced their new flame-retardant materials, TECAMID 6 (PA 6) FRT, TECAMID 66 GF15 FRT and TECANYL (PPE) VH2, which can replace metals to achieve significant weight reduction in aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Inmarsat has signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced an agreement to provide fuel saving solutions for Air Austral’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The first step will implement Safety Line’s OptiClimb solution on all aircraft in the fleet, helping the carrier save fuel with optimized climb profiles for pilots.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Sekisui Specialty Polymer Innovations has launched the new, back-lit, Lumina version of its KYDEX plastic panels, which are available in any color, printable with infused images for durability and thermoformable to almost any shape.

For the second and final day of the AIX educational program, the FlightGlobal forecast sessions in Cabin Space Live Seminar Theater took a theme of social responsibility:

  • Making IFE accessible for everyone: Over 200 million people worldwide are registered as visually impaired. In the next few years airlines flying to the US will be required to offer an IFE solution for visually and hearing-impaired passengers. FlightGlobal Data, Lufthansa Solutions and Crystal Cabin Award winner Bluebox Aviation discussed what current and future solutions can offer to passengers.
  • End of Life Cabin Equipment: The discussion between Turkish Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Professor Dieter Scholz, from Hamburg University of Applied Science, looked at the life-cycle of cabin equipment and its impact on the environment in both operation and disposal. The panel also discussed solutions, such as manufacturers buying back components from the airlines to recycle them, and whether regulation is needed to tackle environmental impact.
  • Predicted maintenance and the connected aircraft: Panellists from Lufthansa Technik, Gogo and Air Transat discussed how OEMs and MROs could use aircraft connectivity to transmit raw aircraft health data in real time, and the question of who should have control over and access to the data increased aircraft connectivity provides.

AIX’s Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments: “Day two has been as busy as ever as our visitors explore the 11 halls we have here at AIX and the breath-taking exhibits on display.

“We started the day with a First Time Exhibitor speed networking event, where they had the chance to meet some of the attending media. We love hosting this event each year as it gives them a platform to share the truly innovative products and services they have on display at AIX.

“In 2018, we have also launched the Ideation Hub. These sessions give delegates the opportunity to take advantage of AIX, as an unrivaled industry gathering, by coming together to generate ideas for the future of aircraft interior design and the integrated passenger experience.”

AIX Day 3 – Over 14,000 attendees, 600 exhibiting companies and 1200 VIPs from more than 260 global airlines descended on the Hamburg Messe for the world’s largest Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany this week. With the Expo capturing the attention of the world’s media and with almost 200 journalists in attendance, exhibiting companies showcased revolutionary products and concepts that demonstrated how the future of air travel is set to change for passengers. This year, more exhibiting companies than ever before used the show as a platform to make announcements. These included:

  •  Acro is to supply its Series 3 ST seat to Viva Air for the airline’s 50 Airbus A320 aircraft on order.
  • Airbus announced the development of a new option for A380 aircraft, ‘A380 Cabin-Flex’. The enhancement, which consists of a new cabin door area arrangement on the upper-deck, is available for line-fit and retrofit, and will be installed on Qantas’ current A380 fleet from mid 2019.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Global Eagle Entertainment launched the Airconnect Go video-on-demand system portable IFE system for regional aircraft, which streams content to passengers’ own devices through Global Eagle’s Airtime portal.
  • Gogo announced that Air Canada has extended its agreement to install the provider’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity service on its Bombardier CSeries CS300 fleet, with the system to be line-fit during assembly.
  • Inmarsat signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced the debut of their new airline on-board loyalty platform, called NEXT Loyalty, with Singapore Airlines as launch customer, as well as a partnership with gategroup on their new retail platform NEXT Marketplace, and an IFEC commitment from Turkish Airlines for 50 wide-bodied aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Thales announced the expansion of its inflight entertainment portfolio with CORE and PRESTIGE, offering a full spectrum of solutions and services to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and airline revenue.

AIX also showcased the winners of this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards with the award-winning technologies changing the future of the cabin. Amongst the winners were the Qatar Airways QSuite picked up with Cabin Concepts award, Rockwell Collins ‘Silhouette MOVE’ won the Cabin Systems category and Bluebox Aviation’s Accessible IFE for passengers with visual impairment cleaned up in the IFEC category.

With the latest innovations in connectivity, in-flight entertainment and passenger comfort hardware on display, alongside an educational program looking at the areas of focus for the industry, many trends were highlighted at the Expo.

  • Inflight Entertainment – Passengers increasingly want to replicate the mutli-screen environment they enjoy today on the ground, in the air. Using a mixture of seatback screens with their own devices to both enjoy inflight entertainment and use a second screen to stay connected with friends and family via email and social.
  • Passenger Comfort – Over the past year, with the introduction of more and more double beds and family suites – flying really does feel like a hotel stay. However, seat manufacturers are also improving passenger comfort in Economy by enabling the enhancement of all cabins onboard to retain customer loyalty in an ever increasingly competitive market.
  • Extension of flight experience –  companies are looking increasingly at entire travel experience and now including the time before boarding, such as individual seat selection via a virtual walk through the cabin, and the ability to select films and music in advance through customizable apps

A daily program of education sessions were hosted at the FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theater, with participants from across the industry discussing issues including accessible IFE, end-of-life equipment and the burden on the environment, and management of data and the increasing demand for connectivity.

Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments:

“Every year we see more and more demand from passengers for seamless connectivity and greater expectations placed on all the players that make up the travel experience. As a result, we have seen some truly ground-breaking innovations at AIX this week.

“I’d like to thank all of our exhibiting companies, VIP airline attendees and visitors for helping to continue to make AIX the world-renowned event for the aircraft interiors sector. With the aircraft interiors industry innovating rapidly, we look forward to bringing you all of the latest updates at the 20th AIX next year.”

Aircraft Interiors Expo will return to the Hamburg Messe from 2nd – 4th April 2019 where it will be co-located with World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). Along with the Passenger Experience Conference the three expos make up Passenger Experience Week.

For more information about Aircraft Interiors Expo please visit: www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

Wan Chai, Hong Kong | 16 April 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider,celebrated the opening of its new Asia Pacific office on 10th April, accompanied by dancing dragons, traditional Hong Kong fare, and an elite gathering of Asian business jet operators. Situated in the heart of bustling Wan Chai, the expanded Hong Kong home of SD gives the growing customer base easier access to the business as it moves from its Hong Kong airport airside location, to the core of the city’s commercial district.

The state-of-the art premises incorporates high-tech offices, meeting rooms, and a spacious workspace to demonstrate the ever-expanding range of SD services. The contemporary space reflects the innovative nature of the SD culture, and doubles-up as a venue for holding company events and customer training.

The relocation to larger office space is a response to SD’s significant growth in the region which is being driven by the development of the Asia Pacific business aviation market, and in particular the growth of the Chinese business aviation sector.  SD’s diverse customer base includes business jet management companies, operators, government, private owners, and corporate flight departments maximising the reliable, customized connectivity services SD designs and delivers.

The new location brings the SD APAC team closer to its customers, facilitating enhanced customer support. “We know clients in Asia embrace the latest technology which is why we wanted to establish an even stronger base to deliver the superior customer support for which we are recognised,” says Chris Moore, CCO, SD.

This includes support for the increasing number of customers in the region installing Jet ConneX, the ultra-high-speed data transfer service. “We were one of the first companies to prove the Ka-band technology for business aviation, and now supply the highest percentage of tails using the service worldwide. We’ve used this experience to create industry-first dedicated Service Level Agreements (SLA), to support our customers’ experience,” adds Moore. The SLAs include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times.

The office is manned by the existing seven-strong SD team, but it is anticipated the team will more than double over the next three years as new sales, technical and support roles are filled. “We are genuinely committed to this region and deem our presence essential to maintain customer service levels, manage efficient operations and keep our competitive edge,” says Moore.

The success of SD’s existing customer support in the region was underscored when the business won Best Operational Support Award at the AsBAA Icons of Aviation Awards for 2017. “The award is testament to the team’s diligence here in the region, and our new office provides great foundations for them to continue to excel,” concludes Moore.The SD team will be meeting and greeting new, and existing customers, at ABACE 2018, 17-19 AprilBooth H1214.

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 12, 2018– SITAONAIR has been appointed as connected aircraft service consultant and technology supplier to Taqnia Space, leveraging its significant inflight connectivity (IFC) expertize, to enable the Saudi company to bring its UON offer to airlines.

In this new role and way of working, SITAONAIR is supporting the development of Taqnia Space’s-own unique UON solutions line, by drawing on SITAONAIR’s leading inflight internet and mobile connectivity technologies. Going forward, SITAONAIR will be responsible for supporting the ongoing management of services and infrastructure involved in the delivery of Taqnia Space’s UON solutions. Taqnia Space will deploy its UON services across both Ku- and Ka-band High-throughput Satellite connectivity.

As consultant – and the world’s primary provider of inflight mobile connectivity – a key aspect of SITAONAIR’s appointment is guiding the development of Taqnia Space’s 3.5G inflight mobile service for passengers. SITAONAIR recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Mobile ONAIR service, and Taqnia Space is harnessing SITAONAIR’s proven, pioneering approach in this field. For Taqnia Space’s internet solution, meanwhile, SITAONAIR will expertly integrate live TV as a specific UON portal feature.

David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR, says: “We are thrilled to have been selected by Taqnia Space for our considerable connected aircraft expertize, advising this new company to develop its defined UON inflight connectivity solutions for airlines. With us, Taqnia Space has been able to advance its innovations in the most efficient and effective way possible.

“This project reinforces SITAONAIR’s openness to new technologies and consortiums that advance airline industry choice, and our sheer versatility, skill and expertize in being able to deliver new, bespoke services across different platforms and hardware, and operate them on behalf of a partner. I am proud that our company is adding yet another string to its bow as a recognized connected aircraft expert. It complements SITAONAIR’s own and branded, best-in-class, Internet ONAIR, Mobile ONAIR, Link ONAIR and CrewTab inflight connectivity services for passengers and crew, with which our prestigious airline customers are already leading the charge for a modern, world-class passenger experience.”

To discover SITAONAIR’s end-to-end connected aircraft proposition, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact,submit an enquiry form or explore www.sitaonair.aero.

Now offering a “One Stop Shop” for cabin WiFi systems, installation kits and STCs

Hamburg, Germany | April 11, 2018–Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded computing inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFE&C) equipment, today announced a strategic partnership with Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) to provide turnkey Cabin WiFi system hardware solutions, aircraft installation kits and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs)  to the rapidly growing IFE&C market.

Kontron and CarlisleIT have been collaborating for some time, and the partnership agreement that has now been signed enables the two companies to work together more closely to offer a unified solution to global customers. This “One Stop Shop” approach makes it easy for a variety of customer profiles to launch and deploy inflight systems for wireless IFE, connectivity, retail, aircraft operations and other applications. Target customers include not only airlines, but also system integrators, connectivity service providers and software media companies.

Kontron and CarlisleIT already have an approved STC for cabin WiFi system installation on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and STC approval for Boeing 737 is anticipated by mid-2018. The Kontron/CarlisleIT business model is to offer use of the cabin WiFi installation design and STC to customers at no charge, minimizing both time to deployment and up-front investment costs.

The integrated WiFi system solution consists of industry-leading Kontron ACE Flight™ server and several Cab-n-Connect™ wireless access points. Kontron provides an application-ready solution with an integrated software package, including the Linux OS, drivers, libraries and APIs needed to control and operate the system. Test software is provided with the system to validate all functions once installed on the aircraft. Kontron also optionally offers its AirDefense® WiFi security software and extended service contracts.

CarlisleIT provides the aircraft installation design, engineering/certification services and is the manufacturer of aircraft installation kits for the A320 and B737. CarlisleIT is also experienced in SATCOM connectivity installation designs.

“The Kontron/CarlisleIT partnership is already well established and is gaining significant traction in the IFE&C market, especially in Europe and Asia,” said Andy Mason, Vice President Technology at Kontron America. “CarlisleIT is an excellent partner for Kontron and brings an ideal set of complementary capabilities to the table.”

“Our partnership with Kontron is very important as it strengthens our ability in providing turn-key solutions to a market that is demanding quality and reliability in a compressed timeframe,” said Gordon Smart, Director of Sales, IFE & Connectivity for CarlisleIT.  “Kontron is an established industry leader for cabin WiFi systems that we are proud to be aligned with.” Visit CarlisleIT at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, in booth #C40, Hall 2.

Kontron will showcase the new ACE Flight 1600 Gateway Router and company’s complete product line for the commercial aviation market at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, April 10-12, in Kontron’s booth #E24, Hall 2.

Well, AIX 2018 is finally upon us and the next 4 days promise to be an innovative rich and technology filled environment. Lets get started with a few pre-show news highlights.


Astronics

Astronics Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), has been selected by multiple Asia-Pacific airlines to install the EmPower in-seat power and flight deck power systems. Several major airlines in Asia will install the EmPower systems from 2018 to 2025, including two Chinese low-cost carriers. These recent awards will place in-seat power within 500 additional narrow-body aircraft serving the Asia-Pacific region. The installations are scheduled on both Boeing and Airbus aircraft.


Panasonic Avionics

Interested in the latest technological developments from Panasonic at this year’s AIX Hamburg? You can find out about Panasonic’s show offering here


Rockwell Collins

The Crystal Cabin Award recognizes excellence in aircraft interior innovation—the only international award of its kind. It’s a unique honor and this year, Rockwell Collins is a finalist in four categories: Visionary Concepts, Cabin Systems, Material & Components and Passenger Comfort Hardware. The category winners will be announced on Apr. 10, 2018, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. The following aircraft interior solutions from Rockwell Collins are finalists:

Universal Passenger Seat interface (UPSi)

The cost to certify seats with differing advanced actuation and data sensing can be in the tens of millions of dollars in many sectors of transportation. The UPSi is a solution for autonomous transportation that transcends industries and provides a universal, standard seat interface applicable to aircraft, vehicles and trains. This Visionary Concept finalist aims to slash development costs and create synergies across the autonomous transportation industry.

Silhouette MOVE: A revolutionary cabin divider for all aircraft platforms, this Cabin Systems category finalist takes advantage of unused space between the divider and the seat in front of it. Bulkhead seated passengers get an additional one cubic foot of space, giving them more space to stretch their legs and place carry-on items.

Secant Luminous Panel: A finalist in the Materials & Components category, this micro LED lighting display is incorporated into the interior body and ceiling panels of the aircraft using flexible printed circuit boards. This solution enables airlines to adjust the lighting to improve sleep and the cabin’s appearance, and it provides the opportunity for airlines to uniquely brand their aircraft.

Valkyrie Bed:This is a new solution to an old problem—how to make a seat into a comfortable place to sleep. A Passenger Comfort Hardware finalist, business-class passengers get a more luxurious experience with a comfortable seat to work, eat and lounge. And when it is time to sleep, the seat folds away and a full-size mattress emerges from the console.

For more information about this year’s Crystal Cabin Award finalists, visit this site


SkyLights/Emirates

The airline is providing an immersive cinematic experience in its lounges in Dubai International Airport by providing Skylights theater headsets (See above) to customers. The headsets are being trialed in the Business Class lounge in Concourse B for the month of April and in the First Class lounge in concourse B in May. The introduction of these innovative new headsets is part of Emirates’ continued commitment to improve the customer experience both on the ground and in flight. Offering a fixed-screen with a wide-angle field of view for 3D and 2D content, each Skylight theater headset weighs only 120g and offers a Full HD viewing experience. Its in-built sound and video allow customers to fully immerse themselves in what they are watching. The service is complimentary and Emirates plans to roll out the experience across all its lounges in Dubai if the trial is well received.

Dubai International Airport is home to seven Emirates lounges spread over three concourses – A, B and C. In each of the concourses there is a dedicated Emirates First Class and Business Class lounge. Entry is complimentary for those traveling in Business or First Class as well as Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members. Emirates Skywards Blue members can visit the lounge for a fee. Emirates has the largest network of airport lounges worldwide. In addition to the seven in Dubai, there are 34 other dedicated Emirates Lounges in major airports across the globe.

SkyLights/Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has started trialing SkyLights Aero Virtual Reality (VR) entertainment technology at its flagship First Class Lounge and Spa and Business Class Premium Lounge, at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3. The aim of the month-long trial is to gather customer feedback to determine the airline’s future lounge entertainment offering at Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art Midfield Terminal. The SkyLights ALLOSKY VR headsets deliver an immersive, HD resolution, cinematic experience in 2D and 3D, featuring intuitive technology for ease of use and noise cancelling headphones. Each set has a battery life of over six hours which allows for uninterrupted enjoyment from a catalogue of recent blockbuster movies, selected 360° short films, TV series, documentaries and children’s programming. Throughout the trial, Etihad staff will assist interested guests at dedicated areas within both lounges. Each session will end with a short manual questionnaire.


PXCom

With the rapid growth of w-IFE solutions, the IFE/C industry has rapidly moved to the digital era. Now, even the seatback screens provide personal-device-like experience and beyond the legacy video & audio sections, all the other IFE sections can be significantly revamped to deliver a full digital experience, including engagement, personalization, and many other exciting features.

Meals Menus, Corporate Content & Destination Section – These are the three pillars – the initial use cases of PXCom’s end-to-end solution. “All the digital sections that we create intend to elevate the onboard experience by providing passengers with compelling content and to generate additional revenues for our airlines customers”, says Cyril JEAN, PXCom’s CEO. “For example, the interactive meals menu section can display the right content according to the seat class and route and encompass buy-on-board snacking options, as well as the ‘click and deliver’ features. As an example, an airline that intends to treat its premium passengers with a hand-picked wines & champagnes selection can offer to have their guests’ selection delivered directly to their home.” Since PXCom is a French company filled with wine and foodie lovers, they have absolutely no choice but to provide only THE VERY BEST of food and beverage highlights!

XPlore by PXCom, the sponsored inflight microsite factory –  PXCom’s technical wizards have extended XPlore by PXCom’s capabilities to enable brands and their media agencies to create their inflight microsites in full autonomy. As a result, they can deliver a customized digital inflight experience regardless of the type of IFE/C platform available onboard. Thanks to PXCom’s partnerships with most of IFE manufacturers (both seatback, w- IFE and IFC) those microsites are automatically uploaded during the airline’s media content update slot and are seamlessly integrated into the GUI. “We have been setting up XPlore’s sponsored inflight microsites on behalf of various customers now. The creation of the microsite is self-explanatory and very easy, thanks to the PXCom solution.”, states Christian SZABO, CEO of LASKER a major Cross Media Agency in Europe. “The integration of the microsite within the destination guide section offers advertisers the possibility for destination targeting in the IFE. By adding transaction-related elements, like downloadable voucher codes, advertisers are able 

LATECOERE, the world leading provider of Airborne Entertainment Cameras has selected PXCom to enrich its live external camera which streams high quality video from the aircraft exterior to passengers’ seatback screens using landscape camera technology. This move ensures a truly innovative way to boost the live camera experience!

Live contextual movement information in-flight  – Thanks to PXCom’s technology, passengers can now enjoy a multitude of points of interest related to places they pass by in the air. In real time, a short description that includes HD pictures and text is added to the live video stream that comes from LATECOERE’s landscape cameras. The new generation cameras provide 360° video streaming which is enhanced with software applications such as augmented reality prove to be really exciting for airline passengers.

Ancillary generator –  It goes without saying – as it’s the case with all PXCom’s solutions – airlines will be able to integrate advertising spaces which will be automatically filled with partners’ brands advertising material. Airlines’ media sales agencies can access PXCom’s back office to upload their campaigns and have them rolled out during the flight. LATECOERE’s vision is to maximize the added value provided to all Airborne Video Systems users and to boost ancillary revenue generation for its airline clients. The rational is to bring further investment into passengers’ inflight experience.

Live demonstration at the LATECOERE’s stand  – This exciting new inflight entertainment feature can be tested by all interested parties during AIX Hamburg 2018 at the LATECOERE’s stand #2E30. For further information on PXCom’s range of IFE solutions, we invite you to visit #3C30A during AIX Hamburg 2018.


Other Stuff

  • We asked Geoff Underwood, CEO at IFPL to tell us a little bit about what they will be showing at AIX and he told IFExpress: “As your IFExpress readers know, IFPL leads the way when it comes to designing power outlets.  With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C. As always, IFPL’s established range of audio and IFEC solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that your readers or visitors to AIX 2018 may have”.  Thanks Geoff!
  • On Friday Boeing posted on their website that American Airlines has ordered 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options to purchase 28 more of the long-haul jets. However, over the weekend Boeing has removed the news  from their site. Check out this article for the full story.
  • We love it when someone gets ahead of the crowd – and this time it is Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief, PAX International – and he did it by putting out the Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg issue, before the show. Its a winner and here it is – PAX International AIX March/April 2018 by Global Marketing Company Ltd – Issuu
  • Want to know if you have been hacked? Read through this story on the global future of Blockchain markets – Global blockchain market size is expected to reach $13.96 billion by 2022 | Technology Startups News | Tech News

New computing platforms offer increased graphics and processing performance

Augsburg, Germany | April 4, 2018–Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), announces new boards, modules and embedded systems featuring the 8th Gen Intel Core/Xeon processors (former codename Coffee Lake). Through the update to the COM Express Computer-on-Modules (COMs), embedded motherboards, CompactPCI platforms, Kontron KBox family of box PCs, as well as the company’s rackmount systems, customers benefit from a marked increase in graphics- and processing performance. First products featuring the new processor generation will be available on the COM Express basic form factor starting June 2018.

With the new boards and modules, customers will benefit from the enhanced functionality and significant performance increase of the latest 8th Gen Intel Core(TM) / Xeon processors at the same power consumption as the previous generation. Available with dual-, quad-, or hexacore CPUs, they double the DDR4 storage as before, with up to 64 GB. They support the fast Intel Optane memory, as well as the fastest available storage technology NVMe SSD for system acceleration in a very compact design. USB 3.1. support with up to 10 Gbps and USB Type C support offer twice the bandwidth as compared to USB 3.0 for fast data transfer. Four 4K displays can be controlled, three of them separately. UHD streaming supports high quality video applications.

With these innovations, the new platforms are an ideal basis for applications in communication, digital signage, professional gaming and entertainment, medical imaging, surveillance, and security. They are also well suited for the control of industrial systems, machines and robots on the shop floor level as well as from the control room.

Peter Müller, Director Product Line Boards & Modules at Kontron: “To enable our customers to fully leverage the new performance benefits of the latest Intel processor generation, we are promptly upgrading our product families with the latest technology. At the same time, we guarantee to our customers product life cycles of no less than ten years to make sure their investments pay off in the long run as well.”

The new platforms are more secure through SGX 1.0 hardware-enhanced multifactor authentication. In addition, all Kontron products support the TPM 2.0 security chip as well as the Kontron APPROTECT Security Solution. Based on an integrated Wibu-Systems security chip and in tandem with a specifically developed software framework, it provides IP and copy/reverse engineering protection. Kontron APPROTECT Licensing also enables new business models such as “pay per use”, demo versions for limited time periods, or activation/deactivation functions.

IFExpress is looking forward to seeing you at AIX in Hamburg  next week. If you need to reach us please send a text directed to our Editor, Patricia Wiseman at +1 206 229 7899. We anticipate many new product developments and innovations! Lets get started:


AIX

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event that showcases the leading innovations in the passenger experience, is creating a platform for further innovation at this year’s show with the launch of an Ideation Hub. The Hub, will allow attendees from across the supply chain to synthesize future innovative ideas and collaborate on key issues relating to passenger experience. This is just one of the new features at this year’s show, which returns to the Hamburg Messe from 10th – 12th April 2018. The sessions will take inspiration from ‘related worlds’, along with trends and technology from other industries, to generate ideas that will seek to provide the customers of tomorrow with a more seamless passenger experience. Polly Magraw, Exhibition Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “The Aircraft Interiors Expo has become known as the global showcase for innovation in the passenger experience. The Ideation Hub we are introducing this year will take this to the next dimension as we work with attendees including engineers, designers and innovators to foster collaboration within the industry at AIX.

Innovations on display

Many exhibitors will be showcasing product innovations at this year’s show, including:

  •  Bucher: Displaying a new space-saving galley and front-row monument combination –  a lightweight galley that has been optimized for maximum storage space.
  • Inflight Canada: Displaying the new FAST USB power system being installed on British Airways’ A320 family fleet.
  • Juki: The first digital sewing system for heavy-duty seating.
  • Mirus: New developments of its Hawk economy seating platform including IFE and power systems, as well as storage and comfort options.
  • Molon Labe: Unveiling its S1: Space Seat, which is a non-sliding version of its Side-Slip Seat and targets the short-range market with several unique features.
  • Soisa: The Glowing Experience in seat lighting which integrates ambient lighting into the seat cover.
  • Vision Systems: The second generation electronically dimmable window, based on a new industrial process for enhanced optical quality and lower cost.
  • WiFi Technologies: Officially releasing its Aviator WiFi private sitcom network that enables cockpit and cabin crew to use their own tablets as full mobile satcom terminals during flight.

CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre and Crystal Cabin Awards showcase

Other enhancements for AIX 2018 include an expanded FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE programme, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on major industry topics on 10th and 11th April 2018. These include ‘consolidation and the interiors supply chain’, ‘the future of inflight entertainment’, and‘predictive maintenance and the connected aircraft’, with speakers from leading companies including Lufthansa Technik, Delta Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Bluebox Aviation, along with a market outlook briefing from FlightGlobal’s Ascend consultancy.On 12th April at 11am, attendees will be able to see for themselves the innovations showcased at this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards in the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre, Hall B3 Upper, as the eight winners will present their winning concepts. Both events will take place in the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre in Hall B3 Upper.

Passenger Experience Conference

 The show-starter for AIX is the Passenger Experience Conference on 9th April, which brings together senior strategists from airlines, rail companies and from across the industry supply chain to holistically explore the latest passenger experience thinking with their peers. Visitors to the event will hear from leading speakers including Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, Paul Priestman, Director & Chairman of PriestmanGoode, Célia Geslin, Head of Product & Customer Experience at Joon, David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer of SITAONAIR, David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer at Panasonic Avionics, Steve King, Chief Executive Officer of Black Swan Data, and Scott Savian, Executive Vice President ZEO at Zodiac Aerospace.

In addition to keynotes on the topics of ‘New frontiers for transport and passenger experience’, ‘Disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry’, ‘Creating the world’s first spaceline’, and ‘Future Horizons’, the PEC will feature focused breakout sessions exploring ’Convergence and Mobility’,’ Flexible & Sustainable Thinking  and ’Personalizing the passenger journey’.

Passenger Experience Week

AIX is co-located alongside the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), a new event for 2018 showcasing and exploring the latest technology trends that are transforming the passenger journey. Together the three events, along with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on 9th April, form Passenger Experience Week. Each year, Passenger Experience Week attracts more than 18,000 attendees from across the world, along with over 2,000+ VIP airline attendees from 260 unique airlines and lessors.

 


Astronics

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), received its first line-fit certification of the new EmPower® UltraLite in-seat passenger power system on a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for TUI Airlines.


Lufthansa Group

The Lufthansa Group is in an excellent position to be successful in in-flight entertainment (IFE) and aircraft digitalization: Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion are collaborating closely to drive the digital transformation above the clouds and enable passengers to have a modern and positive travel experience. The companies present their solutions for in-flight entertainment, connectivity, shopping and other digital on-board offerings at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg from April 10 to 12. According to the motto “One World of IFEC services”, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will be at booth #4B11 and booth #6B80.

Supporting an IFE product for an airline with a significant fleet takes a professional support organization and adequate resources – like the one offered by the Lufthansa Group. It is something most of the smaller companies with IFE solutions cannot deliver. “I have witnessed a trend toward professionalization in the industry, and I am sure that over the next two to three years we will see a huge consolidation in the market for wireless IFE solutions with only a handful of providers surviving”, says Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Together with our Group partners we are in an excellent position to serve our customers.”

One highlight at this year’s trade fair will be the new Power-&-Safe solution for BoardConnect Portable. This solution was developed by Lufthansa Technik in close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. In Hamburg, both companies show for the first time using a life-size model how the BoardConnect Portable Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) can be stowed in a safe inside the overhead storage compartment. Placing an additional power supply has eliminated the need for battery replacement. The solution is currently being installed at Air Europa.

Collaboration with Retail inMotion

Most passengers want personalized services on board an aircraft – easy to use and with relevant content. With that in mind, Lufthansa Systems and Retail inMotion will, for the first time, demonstrate the integration of the BoardConnect open aircraft IT platform with Retail inMotion’s e-commerce solution at this year’s AIX. One of the platform’s features allows passengers to create a personal profile, which the software uses to suggest personalized content. The longer the profile is used, the more the algorithm learns and the better the content recommendations become. The Retail inMotion platform is powered by Vector, its proprietary on-board retail management software. Vector is a comprehensive solution for on-board retail that includes a suite of modules for onboard payment processing and various back-office functionalities.

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: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portable version and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. The BoardConnect 5.0 open aircraft IT platform runs on all three versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables digital services from partners to be integrated easily and quickly. A demo at the booth shows how easy and fast new applications can be integrated using Docker technology. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with its BoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination.

Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, will take part in a panel discussion on „Making IFE accessible for everyone“ (Wednesday, April 11, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm). Free online registration is required at https://www.flightglobal.com/events/aircraft-interiors-expo/forecast-sessions-2018/.


Airbus

Aegean ‎Airlines, the biggest airline in Greece, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to purchase 30 A320neo Family aircraft comprising of 20 A320neos and 10 A321neos. The airline will also acquire a significant number of new A320neo family aircraft from leasing companies.  Aegean currently operated a fleet of 46 Airbus aircraft (37 A320s, 8 A321s and 1 A319). 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 some 6,000 orders received from nearly 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.

AIX 2018: Entertainment, connectivity, shopping and safety – Lufthansa Systems presents new solutions to ensure the best passenger experience and aircraft digitalization together with Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion

Raunheim/Hamburg | March 28, 2018– The Lufthansa Group is in an excellent position to be successful in in-flight entertainment (IFE) and aircraft digitalization: Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion are collaborating closely to drive the digital transformation above the clouds and enable passengers to have a modern and positive travel experience. The companies present their solutions for in-flight entertainment, connectivity, shopping and other digital on-board offerings at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg from April 10 to 12. According to the motto “One World of IFEC services”, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will be at booth #4B11and booth #6B80.

Supporting an IFE product for an airline with a significant fleet takes a professional support organization and adequate resources – like the one offered by the Lufthansa Group. It is something most of the smaller companies with IFE solutions cannot deliver. “I have witnessed a trend toward professionalization in the industry, and I am sure that over the next two to three years we will see a huge consolidation in the market for wireless IFE solutions with only a handful of providers surviving”, says Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Together with our Group partners we are in an excellent position to serve our customers.”

Collaboration with Lufthansa Technik

Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik have been engaged in a close partnership since 2015 to offer airlines inside and outside of the Lufthansa GroupBoardConnect, a modern, multi-functional on-board IT platform with broadband Internet access. Thanks to its state-of-the-art docker technology, BoardConnect can also serve as the basis for an Internet portal.

Lufthansa Technik – with its many years of experience in the field of aircraft modification –handles the equipment of entire fleets from a variety of manufacturers. Lconnect comprises all relevant products and services required to equip an aircraft: In addition to the physical installation, this includes all required aeronautical and regulatory work, conversion planning and materials supply, the manufacture of diverse high-end components such as the WLAN access point, the supply of materials in regular flight operation, and the repair of defective components. “The efficient conversion of large fleets and the reliable return of every single newly equipped aircraft to airline operations are the basis for generating new ancillary revenues,” says Lukas Bucher, Head of Product Connectivity at Lufthansa Technik.

One highlight at this year’s trade fair will be the new Power-&-Safe solution forBoardConnect Portable. This solution was developed by Lufthansa Technik in close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. In Hamburg, both companies show for the first time using a life-size model how the BoardConnect Portable Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) can be stowed in a safe inside the overhead storage compartment. Placing an additional power supply has eliminated the need for battery replacement. The solution is currently being installed at Air Europa.

Collaboration with Retail inMotion

Most passengers want personalized services on board an aircraft – easy to use and with relevant content. With that in mind, Lufthansa Systems and Retail inMotion will, for the first time, demonstrate the integration of the BoardConnect open aircraft IT platform with Retail inMotion’s e-commerce solution at this year’s AIX. One of the platform’s features allows passengers to create a personal profile, which the software uses to suggest personalized content. The longer the profile is used, the more the algorithm learns and the better the content recommendations become. The Retail inMotion platform is powered by Vector, its proprietary on-board retail management software. Vector is a comprehensive solution for on-board retail that includes a suite of modules for onboard payment processing and various back-office functionalities.

“The interest in IFE and additional digital on-board offerings has always been very high. After a phase of mostly gathering information and evaluating, we now see more airlines ready to select a specific solution. Depending on the focus of the airline, they either opt for a short-term commitment with a portable solution or move straight to IFEC. Lufthansa Systems is one of the few providers who can deliver customized solutions based on the BoardConnect platform and in cooperation with partners to cover all variations and fleet types along the entire value chain,” emphasized Gaense.

The BoardConnect product suite

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: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portableversion and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. The BoardConnect 5.0 open aircraft IT platform runs on all three versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables digital services from partners to be integrated easily and quickly. A demo at the booth shows how easy and fast new applications can be integrated using Docker technology. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with itsBoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination.

Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, will take part in a panel discussion on „Making IFE accessible for everyone“ (Wednesday, April 11, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm). Free online registration is required at https://www.flightglobal.com/events/aircraft-interiors-expo/forecast-sessions-2018/.

ABWN

IFExpress talked with Earle Olsen about Airborne Wireless Network (ABWN) announcement on March 12, 2018 and that they have arranged for light Aircraft for their Second Flight Test. On March 6th they entered into an agreement with Sough Bay Aviation of Torrance California for two Cessna aircraft with “the primary intent of this testing to utilize the inherent unstable platform of light general aviation aircraft to establish and maintain a robust self-healing Optical / RF link between two airborne aircraft.” ABWN added that this second test will expand on its initial RF proof of concept test, from May of 2017 with two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and a mobile mast that emulated a ground station. They intend to conduct the test by modifying the two aircraft with their Infinitus Super Highway Technology that will incorporate the RF controlled Free Space Optics underlying its patent application they filed on July 25th 2017. The Company intends to create a high-speed broadband airborne wireless network by linking commercial aircraft in flight. It is projected that each aircraft participating in the network will act as an airborne repeater or router, sending and receiving broadband signals from one aircraft to the next and creating a digital information superhighway in the sky. The Company intends the network to be a high-speed broadband internet pipeline to improve coverage and connectivity. The Company does not intend to provide retail customer coverage to end users but, instead, act as a wholesale carrier with target customers, such as internet service providers and telephone companies. Currently, the world’s connectivity is achieved by use of undersea cables, ground-based fiber and satellites. They believe that the Company’s airborne digital highway may be a solution to fill the world’s connectivity void. Their network, once developed, should provide low cost, high-speed connectivity to rural areas, island nations, ships at sea, oil platforms, in addition to connectivity to commercial and private aircraft in flight, they told IFExpress. For further information see: www.airbornewirelessnetwork.com


Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems, with its wireless BoardConnect IFE solution, and partner castLabs will soon enable browser-based playback of DRM-protected movies on iOS devices. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and regulates the copy protection of digital movie files. This new technology means that passengers will no longer need to pre-install an app to enjoy movies and TV series on their own iOS devices while on board a flight.

The latest version of iOS from Apple, 11.2, allows protected video content to be played on smartphones and tablets in the Safari browser. Previously, this was only possible with the help of a separate player app. “If passengers can simply enjoy our entertainment offering on their own devices as they wish instead of having to install an app before departure, we believe this will increase the number of users,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “This not only improves the passenger experience but also creates a larger potential target audience for the airline’s advertising activities and ancillary revenue opportunities. Airlines also benefit from greater usability, as they no longer need to offer a separate app for their entertainment offerings.”

Different operating systems and device suppliers currently use different encryption formats for video file copy protection. This means that the same content has to be stored in several different formats for all passengers to be able to access it regardless of which device they are using. The new DRMtoday Onboard solution from castLabs changes all that. castLabs uses the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), which has a secure encryption converter. This means that airlines will only need to store a single encrypted video file on the aircraft for each movie or TV series that can then be safely used on any device.

“We are delivering technology that makes DRM-protected movie files playable on all devices, and in BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems has a proven and comprehensive IFEC solution with which to provide its entertainment offering – a perfect combination,” said Michael Stattmann, CEO of castLabs.

Both companies are currently working on integrating DRM today’s new functionality into BoardConnect to give passengers app-free access to onboard entertainment in the future. Passengers simply connect their own devices to the aircraft’s WiFi and are automatically taken to the airline’s entertainment homepage. From there, they can watch all content through their browser, regardless of their device’s model and operating system.


Boeing

Boeing’s new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight on March 16, 2018 (See rectangle image above). The airplane remains on schedule and now begins a comprehensive flight test program leading to certification and delivery in 2019. “Everything we saw during today’s flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “I know our airline customers are going to enjoy the capabilities this airplane will bring to their fleets.”

Piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka, the airplane completed a successful 3 hour, 5-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Wash., at 10:17 a.m. Pacific, and landing at 1:22 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field. The airplane was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.

The airplane is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to be produced, with a maximum capacity of 172 passengers. The MAX 7 has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX family airplane. It is designed for exceptional performance for airline customers flying out of airports at high altitudes and hot climates. “The MAX 7 will provide airlines an efficient product for opening and flying thinner markets and accessing challenging airports, while enjoying all the benefits of being part of the 737 MAX family,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The MAX 7 also carries 12 more passengers 400 nautical miles farther than the A319neo, on 7 percent lower fuel costs. The 737 MAX family incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other features to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide. For more information and feature content, visit

Here are some specs:

  • Seats:138 – 153
  • Max Seats: 172
  • Range: 3,850 mi (7,130 km)
  • Length: 116 ft. 8 in (35.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 117 ft, 10 in (35.9 m)
  • Engines: (2) LEAP-1B, CFM intl

www.boeing.com/commercial/737max.


Panasonic

In order to provide coverage to their Asian markets, Panasonic has reached a capacity agreement with APSATCOM’s new APSTAR-6D satellites with the goal to deliver Extreme Throughput via satcom to the Asian mobility markets.


Global Eagle Entertainment

We understand that they secured $150m investment from Searchlight Capital Partners which will be used to repay a $78m debt and the rest to fund growth.


Astronics Ballard Technology

The company was selected by SITAONAIR to provide webCS wireless aircraft communications server in an integration with its e-enabled application software. The goal is to deliver a connected aircraft ‘smart core’ for better airline operations.


US – Stay Alert

“A disruption of the airline and private-aircraft systems could have enormous economic and psychological effects. In recent years, several airlines have had to halt operations and suffered millions of dollars of lost revenue when their computer reservation systems crashed, for example. Terrorists have long targeted aviation because of its out-sized impact on society. Russian hackers attempted to penetrate the U.S. civilian aviation industry early in 2017 as part of the broad assault on the nation’s sensitive infrastructure. The attack had limited impact and the industry has taken steps to prevent a repeat of the intrusion, Jeff Troy, executive director of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said Friday. Troy wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the breach and declined to identify specific companies or the work that was involved.”

Alan Levin March 16, Bloomberg


Other News

Lake Forest, California | March 8, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and APT Mobile Satcom Limited(APSATCOM) today announced a major evolution in connectivity for mobility markets – Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service. APSATCOM is an affiliate of APT Satellite Company Limited (APT), the operator of the APSTAR satellite constellation.  With this new satellite, the companies are building on a long-standing and successful capacity relationship.

The new satellite, APSTAR-6D, gives Panasonic the capacity to meet the needs of its customers and to position itself for sustained growth in the region. In addition, Panasonic will continue to optimize its global network and add more state-of-the-art satellite capacity in high-density regions to ensure industry-leading performance everywhere its customers fly.

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic to best serve Panasonic’s connectivity customers. It is tailored to put capacity where it is most needed, rather than spread evenly over the Earth. APT has provided technical support in design and project management, and will provide satellite operation after launch. This XTS satellite will provide Panasonic customers with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides HTS coverage over the full field of view of the satellite including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica.  This includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite. Tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput.

One of the markets to benefit the most from XTS service is air transport. Today, 21 Asian carriers, representing over 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic for connectivity service, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such asAir China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines. In addition, other leading airlines around the world that are Panasonic connectivity customers will use this advanced satellite capacity as their aircraft fly routes to and over Asia.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, noted: “Today is a milestone moment as Panasonic leads the industry with plans for the next evolution in inflight connectivity. Targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity ensures that Panasonic can meet the needs of our airline customers for cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

Andy Fellows, Vice President of the Asia, Japan and China Regions for Panasonic Avionics, said: “This is a truly exciting milestone for connectivity customers across Asia, especially China. From the very beginning, we knew China was the fastest growing market for inflight connectivity, and we worked tirelessly with partners to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals to expand service in this key region. With APSTAR-6D, we now have the future capacity we need to best serve customers in China and across Asia with an unmatched global connectivity service.”

Jason Li, CEO of APSATCOM, commented: “Since 2009, APT has provided Panasonic Avionics with key satellite capacity that serves the Asia region. APSATCOM is pleased to continue this relationship with APSTAR-6D, the latest milestone in improving satellite communications services for the Chinese and Asian mobility markets. This new satellite is an ideal solution for Panasonic’s roadmap for inflight connectivity services both in China and throughout Asia. We believe that its unique design will help Panasonic deliver unmatched satellite communications services for many years to come.”

This XTS satellite will be integrated into Panasonic’s recently launched third generation communications network, which isbuilt to meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers.  This flexible network is designed to place capacity where it’s most needed across the globe to meet demand.

Panasonic’s third generation communications network supports the provision of services such as fast internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.  The network is backed by Panasonic’s new Customer Performance Center, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.

Today, approximately 2,000 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.

OK, Aviation Emoji’s are not the biggest news … probably not news at all, but we thought it would make a nice IFExpress rectangle so  here is where you can find them if your iMessages need them, and be sure to type “airplane” in search.

Next, we should mention that when we last reported on the forthcoming WPA3 Wi-Fi standard we received another input, this one  from Joe Winston, Senior VP Engineering at Zodiac Inflight Innovations and he told IFExpress: “Yes, we will see this on inflight Wi-Fi. The most important reason is that most inflight WiFi systems wish to be open so that any passenger can connect without having to know a password. Under WPA2, that means your data is also in the clear (typically, there are exceptions), and even if your data happens to be encrypted (like if you are browsing a web site with HTTPS), the URL that you are visiting was in the clear. Any passenger also connected to the WiFi is able to observe your traffic in the clear. With WPA3, this is fixed by using “individualized data encryption”. Even if you don’t use a password to connect, all of your traffic will be encrypted. Now other passengers can’t snoop on your Internet traffic.” Stay tuned on this one!


Now we will move onto the news.

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that it was recently selected by Air Esurfing (ARE) to provide supplemental type certificates (STCs) plus associated products and services for aircraft connectivity systems on a variety of aircraft for Chinese airlines. The work will be performed by the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification group. Astronics will provide certification services to generate the antenna STC and the cabin distribution system Validation STC (VSTC) in partnership with ARE and Lufthansa Technik AG, the connectivity service provider for this project. As part of the award, Astronics will also provide adapter plates and installation kits for the aircraft. The initial award is for non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs and trial kits. Once the system is tested and approved, Astronics will support the installation of connectivity systems on up to 300 Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft from its operations center in Toulouse, France. “We continue to serve as the industry’s global, go-to partner for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) certification services and hardware,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “This represents yet another opportunity for Astronics to provide a menu of aircraft connectivity solutions to this growing and evolving market, especially in Asia.”

Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (formerly Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace) provides IFEC hardware and certification services for aircraft. Astronics CSC has worked on over 100 projects for industry partners to upgrade and certify commercial and business aircraft with new passenger power systems, IFEC, navigation, communication and flight safety systems. Additionally, Astronics CSC offers proven IFEC hardware systems, flexible design platforms, high customer satisfaction, and long-term relationships with industry leaders to help make the connected aircraft a reality. For additional information on services provided by Astronics CSC, visit Astronics.com. (Air Esurfing is a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media Group.)

On a further note, the wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), is expanding its CorePower® system product line with a new 28VDC Electronic Circuit Breaker Unit (ECBU). As the newest addition to its successful line of ECBUs, the new unit provides 24 channels of 28VDC power in a lightweight, compact design that simplifies electrical system complexity while improving power system flexibility. The new ECBU incorporates Astronics’ latest solid-state electronic circuit breaker (ECB) technology and offers programmable ECB outputs that can be custom configured to each mission or aircraft.


GOGO

Gogo Announced Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Financial Results and here a a few highlights:

  • Record quarterly revenue of $188 million, up 18% from prior year
  • Record full-year revenue of $699 million exceeds guidance
  • 2Ku was installed on more than 470 aircraft in 2017 and is now flying on 620 aircraft
  • LATAM Airlines and Cathay Pacific Group selected 2Ku for satellite inflight connectivity

THALES

Australia occupies a unique global position in the air traffic management (ATM) domain. The country’s Air Navigation Service Provider, Airservices Australia, manages the largest airspace in the world, totaling over 11% of the globe. Their ambition is to ensure the seamless integration of all civil and military air traffic over an area totaling 53 million square kilometers, approximately equal to the combined surface of North America, Central America, South America and China.

  • Australia announces they will partner with Thales on the OneSKY program to modernize and integrate the Australian airspace.
  • The program will deploy Thales’s four key digital technologies: connectivity, big data, AI and cybersecurity, to manage 11% of the world’s airspace an area totaling 53 million square kilometers.
  • OneSKY is designed to provide quantifiable reductions in travel times, delays and achieve CO2 emission reductions and fuel burn reductions whilst maintaining Australian air sovereignty, thus protecting its citizens, delivering clear economic, environmental and security.

AIRBUS

Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announce the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance – which will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes. By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user-experience.

The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.

“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “With the launch of our first production satellites set for later this year, we’re one step closer to bridging the global Digital Divide on land and in the air.”

“Easy-to-use, high-speed connectivity is part of the next revolution in aerospace,” said Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “We’re excited to create this seamless experience for our airline customers and their passengers. As we showed with our Skywise aviation data platform, Airbus is committed to innovation that creates value across the aviation industry.”

“We know that Delta customers have an expectation that their internet connection just works – no matter where they are in their travel journey” said Gil West, SEVP & COO. “Delta is constantly looking at innovative ways to improve the customer experience. We are excited to be collaborating with other visionary companies, and that our existing partner Gogo will be joining the alliance as Delta develops a system that not only benefits Delta customers, but the entire airline industry.

“With our 5G network rolling out next year we’re investing heavily to make sure our customers have the best mobile Internet experience possible,” said Dow Draper, Chief Commercial Officer, Sprint. “As an initial member of the Seamless Alliance, we’re looking forward to enabling customers to experience Sprint’s high-speed connectivity in the air, hassle-free.”

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “We are delighted to be an initial member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense. Over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel’s global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high speed data services even while they are in-flight. We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes LIVE at the earliest.” Airtel is the third largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.

Michael Small, CEO of Gogo added:  “As the  market-leader in inflight connectivity, Gogo is excited to join the Seamless Alliance. We look forward to working with the Alliance to develop future generations of inflight connectivity, which will provide airline passengers worldwide with simple, fast and reliable connectivity”

Editor’s Note: If you are wondering why this arrangement is proceeding you should note that it’s formation has a goal to make it easy to deal with installation, certification, maintenance, and customer billing. Watch for others to join this effort! Here is the link


SKYLIGHTS

It has just been announced Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) offered SkyLights’ Cinematic VR Entertainment to a delegation of VIP guests traveling between Japan, India and Sri Lanka from 21 to 27 January. JAL selected SkyLights’ solution to demonstrate its innovative spirit and gauge the potential of virtual reality as inflight entertainment. SkyLights is a high-tech immersive entertainment provider, leveraging virtual reality headsets to create cinema quality entertainment inflight. With SkyLights headsets, the 50 VIP passengers were given the opportunity to enjoy a selection of over 30 titles, including 180°/360° VR videos, 3D and 2D feature films and documentaries.


OTHER STUFF

  • Bet you never tied together US airlines, jet fuel prices, and the National Rifle Association! Here is what AXIOS said: “Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R) on Monday tweeted that he will block any legislation seeking to provide tax benefits for Delta Airlines, after the Atlanta-based company ended its discount program for NRA members. Delta is seeking to restore a sales tax exemption on jet fuel that expired in 2015, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution.”
  • You are probably not going to believe this but drones are now in fashion design! Check it out

Austin, Texas | February 21, 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity provider, is celebrating 10 years of partnership with global mobile satellite communications business Inmarsat.  The milestone anniversary, which acknowledges SD’s support of the SwiftBroadband service, was announced to delegates attending SD’s annual Connecting with Customers, CwC, client and partner event, being held in Austin, Texas.  To mark the significance of the relationship, Inmarsat’s Rupert Pearce, CEO, presented SD President David Greenhill, with a framed version of the original license at the CwC event.

Inmarsat confirmed SD as an aerospace distribution license partner in 2008, which enabled the business to begin reselling Inmarsat’s IP-based data service, SwiftBroadband, to the aviation sector.  Since then, SD has maintained its position as Inmarsat’s largest aeronautical service provider and has been recognized as a significant enabler for the growth of the SwiftBroadband service.

Looking forward, SD will continue to support SwiftBroadband services for the international business aviation sector, in addition to expanding its provision of the ultra-high speed broadband JetConneX service delivered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation. Both SwiftBroadband and JetConneX systems are supported by the SD router family, which optimize in-flight connectivity efficiency, as well as delivering a growing portfolio of SD applications.

“We are delighted to mark a decade of working with Inmarsat to provide high-speed data services to aviation. When we first received our license the concept of a digitized, connected, business aviation network was still very new. Today it is a fundamental part of aircraft operations and is a part of the business that we are committed to supporting, developing and evolving. Strong, long-term relationships with our partners are essential to our mutual success, but more importantly, enable us to provide our clients with the connectivity they expect. We look forward to our next decade supplying these services,” said Greenhill.

“Satcom Direct has been an Inmarsat partner for more than 20 years now and its continued support of our SwiftBroadband service over the past decade has directly influenced our success in this business, making the aero-market one of our most successful divisions,” said Pearce. “We are always striving to improve the customer experience and improve our products but can only do that by building close relationships with our partners to identify and deliver exactly what the market needs.”

There is a lot of news to cover this week, so lets get going:

IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2018 in Hamburg, Germany. With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C, either with or without USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD). IFPL will be demonstrating its Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that will allows airlines to support their passengers through the transition period from USB-Type A to USB Type C. IFPL has developed two combination variants, firstly a variant which has its existing high power reversible USB-Type A combined with a USB-Type C designed to work with the existing on-board power architecture, providing airlines a simple and low-cost upgrade path. Secondly, IFPL has developed a Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that supports USB-Type C, with USB Power Delivery supporting Power Delivery Rules 1 to 4 delivering providing up to 60 watts of power to power laptops, as well as the regular Portable Electronic Device (PED) power.

IFPL will also demonstrate how and why it has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet. This allows for much easier seat integration and heat dissipation, plus allows airlines to take advantage of existing in-service DC power supplies, whilst future proofing the outlet. This will allow airlines to take advantage of the next generation DC in- seat power supplies that have USB-Power Delivery built in as a standard, allowing commonality of outlets across the fleets.

USB Power Delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability.

Visitors to stand 4B20 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology. In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet and they have extended this range to include the new 2020 USB-A outlet. This unit has been designed to allow seamless integration into the seat delivering an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets enhancing the passenger’s experience. The modular design ensures easy on wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allow for an easy upgrade path to USB-C in the future. To demonstrate this IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The modular approach has delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the outlets into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system to enhance the passenger experience.

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging. IFPL has been working with a number of seat vendors who will be displaying at AIX and they will be demonstrating how they have successfully integrated IFPL’s inductive charge unit into their seat. Further, they enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

IFPL is a world-leader in audio jack technology – enhancing the customer experience and providing a total cost of ownership advantage to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology and products that differentiates their audio solutions in the market. These include:

Long Life Range
IFPL Long Life technology delivers a highly robust and reliable audio jack that minimize the effects of CID. The high quality materials and design ensures that these jacks are robust and have been tested to over 100,000 insertions. IFPL use this Long Life technology for single, double and triple jacks. Additionally, IFPL’s design ensures that each pin socket can work as single pins ensuring additional redundancy in the dual and triple pin solutions.

Rapid Fit Range
IFPL’s Rapid Fit technology delivers a solution to allow rapid on wing maintenance. The unit has been designed with a replaceable cassette, which house the jacks whilst keeping the expensive electronics in the main housing. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds allowing for rapid on wing replacement whilst keeping maintenance costs at a minimum.

INCAM Range
IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with the simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

Breakaway MagSignal Range
IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration. MagSignal has been tested to over 250,000 attachments/detachments, demonstrating the robust capability of this technology.

IFPL also leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) for payment systems and personalization with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology inflight.

AIX 2018 will see IFPL demonstrate NFC allowing airlines to provide easy seat back payment items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams. As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.


Gogo

Gogo announced that Aeromexico will install 2Ku on an additional 9 Boeing 737-800NG’s, bringing the total to 29 aircraft.  Today, 20 of Aeromexico’s 737-800NG aircraft are flying with Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity technology. “Aeromexico was one of the first airlines to commit and deploy 2Ku and we are excited to extend our partnership and bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their passengers,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s SVP and regional president for the Americas. The new aircraft are expected to be installed in 2018.

Gogo also announced recently that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology 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.” 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.

 


PEC/PEW

The Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the industry-leading global conference and networking forum that defines the future of the passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe to kick-off Passenger Experience Week (PEW) on Monday 9th April 2018. This year’s event will feature a raft of leading speakers from across the passenger experience industry and beyond. With the first iterations of driverless cars, hyperloops, optionally-piloted air-taxis and electric planes all set to be realized in the next decade, this year’s PEC plenary session will address the many new frontiers for transport and the passenger experience.

Moderated by leading industry executive, Boeing’s Director Differentiation Strategy, Blake Emery, the session will start with a focus on disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry, led by Richard Chung, Adient’s Vice President, Innovation and Design.

Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, will then launch delegates on a journey through the company’s development, with a stellar exploration on creating the world’s first spaceline. The plenary session will conclude with a look at Future Horizons, with a director of leading design consultancy PriestmanGoode looking at the impact of new forms of high speed transport such as Hyperloop, and the opportunities presented by autonomous vehicles and passenger drones.

The PEC delegation will then split into three streams; Convergence and Mobility, Personalizing the Journey and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking. Each of these streams is designed to offer delegates a deep-dive into the most pressing topics facing the passenger experience industry. Convergence and Mobility: From seamless urban mobility to the on-demand economy, this stream will explore how the cross-pollination of ideas across travel modes can enrich today’s passenger experiences and create new business opportunities. The keynote for this stream will be given by Kaj Pyyhtia, Co-Founder of the world’s first mobility service, with other leading speakers from AirlineTrends, Almadesign, Diehl Aerosystems, Embraer, Joon, KLM, LSG Group, N+P Industrial Design, Norwegian and TAP Air Portugal. Personalizing the Journey: Airlines and rail companies are increasingly offering personalized experiences to each and every customer, with connectivity and data-driven technologies being key to success. This stream will explore how operators can get close enough to their customers to truly understand what they want from the onboard experience and to build deeper and lasting relationships. Speakers for this stream will include leading executives from Black Swan, Cathay Pacific, eGate Solutions, Golfdale Consulting, Guestlogix, Panasonic Avionics, Spafax and the Valour Consultancy.Flexible and Sustainable Thinking: Examining how flexibility can be designed into products to afford more options for airlines and rail operators, this stream asks the question about what role sustainability plays in this equation. The keynote for this stream will be given by Christina Fagin from leading Hamburg-based circular economy consultancy, Gruner Hering, with other leading speakers from Airbus, Air New Zealand, Napaway Coach, Paperclip Design, the National Research Council of Canada, Recaro Aircraft Seating, Thomas Cook Group Airlines and Zodiac Aerospace. The day will conclude with the Industry Networking Party which takes place from 6:00pm – 9:30pm in the PEC venue at the Hamburg Messe. The party has become a popular networking event with the wide-range of food, drink and live music on offer making it the perfect place to enjoy meeting new people and building business connections.

The PEC is the launch event for Passenger Experience Week – which comprises four leading events in one destination: the Passenger Experience Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions.

The new Passenger Technology Solutions event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience.

With all Passenger Experience Week events being staged under one roof, the Hamburg Messe is the destination to discover the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and retail offerings to create the ultimate passenger experience.

For more information about Passenger Experience Conference


Other Stuff

Looks like Google is heading for hotel bookings (Google now allows hotel bookings through search results | Hotel Management) … whats next?

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.

While IFEC is our focus in this issue, we need to first cover a huge sale between Airbus and Emirates and this is a big deal!

Airbus/Emirates

Emirates firms up order for up to 36 additional A380 – the airlines aircraft of choice – to continue the airline’s successful growth. They signed a contract on Sunday to buy as many as 36 Airbus (AIR.PA) A380 aircraft worth as much as $16 billion at list prices, firming up an order that is crucial to the future of the world’s biggest passenger jet. The order, for 20 of the double-decker planes with an option for 16 more, was originally announced on a provisional basis in mid-January. Deliveries are to start as soon as in 2020, the Dubai-based carrier said. Airbus had previously said it would have to end production of the A380 if it failed to secure the huge Emirates deal.

Alongside the contract signing, visiting French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum discussed the expansion of air services between France and the United Arab Emirates, the airline said without elaborating. The latest order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 program to 178 aircraft, it said, adding that it was evaluating engine options for the new planes.

Airbus noted: The A380 is an essential part of the solution to sustainable air traffic growth, alleviating congestion at busy airports by transporting more passengers with fewer flights. The aircraft is the best way to capture growing world air traffic, which doubles every 15 years. The flagship airliner can accommodate 575 passengers in 4 classes and offers a range of 8,200 nautical miles (15,200 kilometres). The double-decker has become the passenger’s favorite resulting in higher load factors wherever it flies. The A380 is the world’s roomiest aircraft, offering the widest seats, wide aisles and more floor space. The A380 has the unique capability to generate revenue, stimulate traffic and attract passengers, who can now specifically select the A380 when booking a flight via the innovative iflyA380.com web site and the new IOS app.

To date more than 200 million passengers have already enjoyed the unique comfort of flying on board an A380. Every two minutes an A380 either takes off or lands at some of the 240 airports around the world, ready to welcome this magnificent aircraft. To date, 222 A380s have been delivered to 13 Airlines.


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation’s innovative new inflight connectivity system – Gogo AVANCETM L3 – has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA. The latest connectivity solution from Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) lets users customize their inflight experience based on their unique needs and can be installed on business aircraft of all types, sizes and ages, but is an ideal solution for smaller aircraft including turboprops and light jets. Gogo is actively fulfilling orders that have already been booked and installations are underway via Gogo’s dealer network.

AVANCE L3 delivers the benefits of the Gogo AVANCE platform to passengers and flight departments in a small, lightweight form factor, with the most affordable pricing options in business aviation. The AVANCE platform integrates a full range of Smart Cabin features, allowing passengers to simply and reliably access and use all available data, voice, maps, entertainment and cabin management system (CMS) services.

By leveraging the AVANCE platform, the L3 delivers an unparalleled level of flexibility so users can adjust their system’s capabilities up or down without anyone needing to board the aircraft. Once installed, if a customer’s needs change and they want more or fewer capabilities, Gogo can make the adjustments to the system remotely.

“AVANCE L3 delivers the ultimate in flexibility,” said Mike Syverson, senior vice president of development for Gogo Business Aviation. “The AVANCE software-centric platform gives us capabilities that are transformative to business aviation. Users are no longer constrained by the hardware itself and there’s no need for downtime in a hangar if business needs evolve and require different service levels.”

The new system provides a level of flexibility not seen before in business aviation that allows operators to tailor their passengers’ experience and control and manage the number of devices they allow to connect.

And here is the “big deal”: With AVANCE L3, anyone onboard the aircraft can stay connected to email; send text messages and make voice calls with Gogo Text & Talk (service plan required); access their favorite flight apps such as moving maps, weather and flight information; or watch movies and TV shows using Gogo Vision (service plan required). For customers looking for full internet connectivity, AVANCE L3 can be enabled to connect to the Gogo Biz data network delivering a 3G experience. It’s the ultimate in scalability and flexibility.

Look at it this way:

1. For customers primarily interested in email, voice and light internet browsing capabilities, Core enables up to five devices. Hourly and monthly service plans available.

2. For customers looking for full internet connectivity in addition to email, Plus enables up to seven devices. Monthly service plans available.

3. Delivers similar capabilities that Plus does, but Max enables up to 25 devices. Monthly service plans available.

Gogo’s dealers and OEM partners are actively pursuing multiple STCs that will certify the Gogo AVANCE L3 system for installation across a variety of business aircraft models. Most other business aircraft models will also be available for Gogo AVANCE L3 system installation utilizing existing STCs.


Thales

Thales is making a comeback into Malaysia’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) scene as it works jointly with Novatis Resources to upgrade Kota Kinabalu’s Flight Information Region’s (FIR) Air Traffic Control (ATC) system and more.

To improve air traffic services for safer and smother travel within Malaysia’s airspace, Kota Kinabalu’s FIR, one of the two in the country will be receiving this series of upgrades including a new air traffic control system, radars, ground station, surveillance systems and distance measurement equipment in the next three years.

Together with local contractor, Novatis Resources, Thales will be bringing to the table its state-of-the-art ICAO’s ASBU-ready TopSky-ATC system, its new negation new generation primary and secondary co-mounted radars, ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) ground stations and latest DVOR-DME.

Notably, over 40% of the world’s airspace and more than 70 % of Asia Pacific airspace are controlled by Thales’s TopSky-ATC. Amongst Asia Pacific countries that employ the system are Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam.

The last major Thales ATM project in Malaysia was contracted over 15 years ago. The ubiquity of the TopSky ATC in the region will give Malaysia’s DCA the advantage of interoperability with its neighboring countries.

Next, Cebu Pacific Air, a leading airline in the Philippines currently operates a fleet of 56 aircraft comprised of A319, A320, A330 and ATR 72-500. The airline also has a further 50 aircraft on order which will be delivered between 2016 and 2021. With this anticipated expansion, the airline has decided to invest in pilot operations, to ensure that flight crew day to day operations, and their mission management are at the cutting edge. As a result they have selected the Aviobook Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution to digitize all their current flight dispatch documentation.

Cebu Pacific Air will equip their flight crew with Thales Aviobook
Full implementation of EFB solutions enables increased situational awareness and optimized flight collaboration with airline operation centers. This contract has further broadened Thales’s expertise in avionics and airborne connectivity.


SITA/SITAONAIR

They are providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly. In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR, SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft,  has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

SITA has also won the respected Aviation Technology Achievement at Air Transport World’s 2018 Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards. The award was given for SITA’s work with JetBlue and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to deliver a new secure, paperless and device-less self-boarding process, using biometric technology. This was the world’s first biometric boarding system using just a facial scan to board passengers while also completing the US customs and border exit checks. Working with JetBlue and the CBP, at Boston’s Logan International Airport, SITA demonstrated that biometric technology can reduce friction points in the airport experience including at boarding, where integrating checks with government systems is one of the hardest challenges to solve. The technology eliminates any boarding pass scanning and passport checks. Passengers just need to simply look into the camera for a quick photo and they are on their way. The integration of the airline and government systems by SITA showed how passengers can enjoy a seamless experience, while demonstrating how airlines and government border agencies can work together to enhance security.


Other Stuff

  • You might want to check out Gogo’s newsletter here.
  • Last week as we were going to press, Rob Mitchell, Communications Specialist at The Bookmark told us of a really interesting and descriptive web page on Wi-Fi that the folks at Verizon Internet have put together: “Because the topic of Wi-Fi is so complex, our experts recently created an animated guide as a follow-up to that article explaining how Wi-Fi works. It’s animations do a better job than most blog posts showing how routers send and receive Wi-Fi signals. I thought you would like to add a link to The Bookmark’s new guide as an additional resource for your viewers since they will have an easier time understanding how wifi works using our animated guide. Thank you keep up the great work on airfax.com/blog!” Check it out, it’s really interesting. And if you have something that might help understanding in this business, let us know.
  • PDT (Astronics) came out today with their incredible 2018 CES Trend Report – and it is a winner. You can check it out here. While it is not IFEC, it is very good.
  • The International Federation of Robotics just made an interesting observation. Considering global robot average density is 74 per 10,000 workers and Europe has 99/10,000, the US has some 84/10,000, but the winner is Republic of Korea with an astounding 631/10,000!
  • Interested in Asian aviation growth? Hear what Airbus has to say: “While air traffic is doubling every 15 years in the world, the Asia-Pacific fleet is set to almost triple by 2036. For services, this translates into more than a third of the global MRO business coming from this region by 2036. This represents more than $660 billion – the sum total of the accumulated spending during the next two decades, and encompasses the following segments: Components; Line maintenance and Airframe base maintenance and Engine maintenance.”
  • We got a note from Galgus (Wi-Fi folks) and they noted they are on tour: next stage Mobile World Congress! From February the 26th till March the 1st, Barcelona will hold the Mobile World Congress 2018 (MWC18) and Galgus will be there with its own booth for the second year in a row. The Galcus booth will be located in the Spanish Pavilion (Congress Square CS30) and you will be able to find them on booth #23.
  • Airbus has been testing (and using) the SLS (Satellite Landing System) and you aviation tekkies need to get up to speed on this one. They note that the final approach segment is equivalent to a ground-based ILS beam! Here is a great slide presentation of the technology and Airbus deserves a pat on the back on this one!

Editor’s Note: Last week we mentioned that we had a lot of Airbus and Boeing sales info data – Here it is.

Wireless connectivity at the gate will allow the aircraft to connect to vital aircraft, airline systems

Port Louis | February 8, 2018– SITA is providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly.

In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR – SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft – has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

Donald Li Ying, Vice President – Information Systems at Air Mauritius, said: “As Air Mauritius begins to introduce a new-generation of connected aircraft such as the Airbus A350, it is vital that we have a partner that can support the transfer of data both in the air and on the ground. This is vital to leverage the full benefit that connected aircraft can bring to the airline and our passengers.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “The continued growth in connected aircraft such at the Airbus A350 is opening new possibilities to enhance the passenger experience on board as well drive new efficiencies in how these aircraft are managed.”

“These new aircraft have become flying data centers which rely on world-class connectivity in order to exchange information on everything from engine data, passenger requirements to updates at the destination. This requires reliable, fast connectivity no matter where the aircraft finds itself. At SITA we are working with airlines globally to support that connectivity and ensure that the full benefits of connected aircraft can be unlocked.”

A total of 30% of airlines are already operating connected aircraft within their fleet and 73% of airlines will either operate or have taken delivery of connected aircraft in the next three years, according to SITA Air Transport IT Insights 2017.

This past week has presented the industry with a lot of news, especially with the Singapore Air Show underway. In fact, there is too much data to cover in one issue. As a result, next week IFExpress will sum up some of the Airbus and Boeing news (and there is a lot). Here are some of the highlights for this week:


Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Kenya Airways have today announced an agreement to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) services and passenger technical solutions for 24 of the carrier’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The agreement includes ten Embraer 190 aircraft line-fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eFX IFE system, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with eX1 and nine Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with eX3.

Kenya Airways is a leading African airline flying to 53 destinations worldwide, 42 of which are in Africa. It carries over three million passengers annually. Kenya Airways continues to modernize its fleet with its 36 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa, including its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. From the IFE perspective, eFX delivers entertainment and productivity tools including music, movies, games, TV series, destination presentations and a moving map in a single-aisle package. eX1 is Panasonic’s most advanced linefit IFE system for single-aisle aircraft. Its high-definition display technologies and surround sound audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience. Further, the eX3 system is capable of delivering more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. It offers excellent picture quality with enhanced color and contrast features.

Panasonic Technical Services will provide materials support solutions with technical advisory support to all aircraft. The aforementioned solutions have been customized in consultation with Kenya Airways to deliver optimal IFE spares operations coupled with onsite IFE support for maintenance operations. Sean Gavin, Vice President of Panasonic Technical Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Having worked very closely with Kenya Airways to develop a customized package to fit their needs for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, we are delighted to welcome them as a Panasonic customer. Our world-class IFE systems will offer the airline and its passengers an unrivaled and memorable entertainment experience.”

Panasonic Avionics told IFExpress that it offers a comprehensive solution to meet every airline’s needs for seatback, wireless, linefit and retrofit systems. For passengers, Panasonic solutions deliver an amazing home theater entertainment experience that includes HD content, games, applications, communications, and much more. For airlines, the inflight system is the foundation of a business platform that amplifies their brand.


SmartSky

SmartSky’s best-in-class, future-ready airborne network got a boost from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Avidyne Corporation, SmartSky’s avionics manufacturing partner, was awarded the first supplemental type certificate (STC) that provides for the installation and operation of a SmartSky 4G LTE system, in this case, on a Cessna Citation Excel. Avidyne CEO Dan Schwinn stated, “With this pioneering first STC in hand, we expect to receive Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA shortly. PMA is the catalyst for SmartSky’s partners to complete their STC commitments on many other popular business aircraft, and that then enables customers to install and use the system.” SmartSky expects these follow-on STCs to begin to be available this summer. That timing aligns well with the planned completion of the majority of the network coverage expansion effort currently underway across the continental United States.

Here’s the reason we are watching SmartSky – their patented beamforming technology delivers multi-gigabyte per hour data throughput at the industry’s lowest latency, both to and from an aircraft, setting a new airborne performance standard, all at the lowest cost per bit. “The recent FAA approval of the SmartSky 4G LTE-based network equipment is a clear indication of the fast pace in which the in-flight connectivity market is evolving,” says Nate Klenke, Modifications Sales Manager for Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, Nebraska. “We are excited to offer the SmartSky solution to our clients as one of their options for in-flight connectivity.”

SmartSky’s 4G LTE-based network has been live since 2017 and coverage expansion remains on track to support launching service nationwide in 2018. The long lead-time steps of onsite viability testing, permitting and backhaul-connection have all been completed at over 96% of the planned nationwide ground sites. More than 40% of those sites are already in their final stages of deployment or are already on air.


Thales

Passengers of Garuda Indonesia, the country’s flag carrier, can look forward to an all new and enhanced passenger experience with Thales AVANT IFE System on board the carrier’s A330neo aircraft. Garuda’s choice of Thales’ IFE system will help drive the airline’s strategic positioning to attract more passengers as Indonesia expects to see a double-digit increase in passenger growth this year.

  • Garuda Indonesia equips 14 A330neo aircraft with Thales AVANT IFE.
  • Thales and Garuda announce their partnership at the Singapore Airshow. The agreement is a first for both industry leaders.
  • AVANT IFE features a powerful full high definition monitors for business and economy class passengers. Business class travelers will also enjoy the Avii touchscreen handsets.

Next we note that, Airbus sees the Asia Pacific region as the most crucial in the world. In its 2017-2036 Global Market Forecast they predict demand will range from 6,100 aircraft by 2026 to 14,200 by 2036, with 41% of these fulfilled by new deliveries. Building and delivering new aircraft is however only one piece of the puzzle for an OEM like Airbus. A whole host of ancillary operations have to be put in place to ensure this fleet expansion is operationally viable for the long term. Chief of which is the complex interplay of MRO needed to keep this massive fleet flying. This requires not only on the ground expertise but a network of partnerships with trusted suppliers who can deliver on time and on budget MRO wherever an Airbus jet flies. Readers should note the following:

  • Thales will be Airbus’ subcontractor for MRO across Asia-Pacific for repair of all avionics components on Airbus’ single-aisle, long-range and A350 aircraft for seven years.
  • Repairs will be carried out from the Thales regional MRO hub in Singapore, the largest of the group’s three repair HUBs which services over 40k components per annum.
  • The Asia Pacific region is recognized by Airbus as a strategic nerve center for growth in the next 15 years with demand for new aircraft more than doubling by 2036.

Airbus

Airbus’ first A321LR (Long Range), MSN7877, has accomplished its maiden flight following a mission lasting 2 hours and 36 minutes. The aircraft powered by CFM Leap-1A engines is now set to undergo a nearly 100 hour flight test program, including trans-Atlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018. During the flight, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight controls, engines and main systems including flight envelope protections, both at high and low speed.  Klaus Roewe, Head of A320 Program stated: “Thanks to its outstanding performance and unbeatable efficiency, the A321LR will allow our customers to perform flights of up to 4,000nm, allowing them to open new routes – for example transatlantic – and conquer new markets.”

The A321LR features a new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky. The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivaled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4000nm (7400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new market opportunities. The A321LR’s new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky. The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivaled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4,000nm (7,400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new long range market opportunities.

Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 20 percent by 2020. With more than 1900 orders received from over than 50 customers, to date the A321neo has captured a solid 80 percent market share, making it the true aircraft of choice in the Middle of the Market.

The aircraft is now set to undergo a nearly 100 hour flight test program, including transatlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018.

On another note, Airbus has been testing and using the SLS (Satellite Landing System) and you aviation tekkies need to get up to speed on this one. We note that the final approach segment is equivalent to a ground-based ILS beam! Here is a great slide presentation of the technology and Airbus deserves a pat on the back on this one!


Boeing

Boeing Reports Record 2017 Results and Provides 2018 Guidance

Fourth-Quarter 2017

  • Record operating earnings of $3.0 billion with operating cash flow of $2.9 billion on strong performance
  • GAAP EPS of $5.18 and core EPS (non-GAAP)* of $4.80 on strong deliveries, performance and tax reform

Full-Year 2017

  • Record operating cash flow of $13.3 billion; repurchased 46.1 million shares for $9.2 billion
  • Revenue of $93.4 billion reflecting a record 763 commercial deliveries
  • Backlog remains robust at $488 billion, including a record 5,864 commercial aircraft
  • Cash and marketable securities of $10.0 billion provide strong liquidity

Outlook for 2018

  • Operating cash flow expected to increase to approximately $15.0 billion
  • Revenue guidance of between $96.0 and $98.0 billion reflects commercial deliveries of between 810 and 815
  • 2018 GAAP EPS of between $15.90 and $16.10; core EPS (non-GAAP)* of between $13.80 and $14.00

Next, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and Travel Service, the largest carrier in the Czech Republic, celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 737 MAX airplane.Travel Service is leasing the airplane – a more fuel-efficient, quieter, and longer-range version of the 737 jet – from GECAS, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric.


**** NEXT WEEK AIR SHOW & AIRFRAMERS UPDATE ****


Other Stuff

First Europe-wide integrated LTE network created with 300 base stations

European Aviation Network satellite launched, tested and ready for service

Fast broadband access in the sky for passengers and airlines

British Airways, part of IAG Group, first commercial customer

Bonn | February 5, 2018– Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have, together with their technology partner Nokia, completed the key technological step in the development of the European Aviation Network (EAN), the world’s first integrated S-band satellite and complementary LTE-based terrestrial network built for Europe.

With the set-up of around 300 base stations across all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway, the ground network component of EAN has become the first ever Europe-wide integrated LTE network. The completion of the network follows Inmarsat’s successful launch of its EAN satellite last summer, which has since been extensively tested in orbit and has been fully operational since September 2017.Unmatched Connectivity for Passengers

Serving the aviation industry and its passengers, the European Aviation Network is a pioneering technological achievement and a truly innovative European project. It provides seamless connectivity over land and water, and offers a high bandwidth service to passengers – currently over 75 Mbit/s connection speed to the aircraft – as airlines using the service do not share network capacity with any non-aviation customers. Passengers will be able to use social media, share pictures and stream high-bandwidth content at speeds they are used to experience at home.

EAN is also designed to fulfill not only current but also future passenger demand for inflight connectivity as the integrated LTE ground network is fully scalable to meet increasing connectivity needs in the coming years.Game-changer for Airline Industry

The European Aviation Network will be available for airlines to offer commercially from H1 2018, serving as a game-changer for airlines and their customers. The service has been trialed during several flights to test the integrated satellite and complementary LTE ground network. The test flights have confirmed that EAN meets its design performance in practice, providing an unmatched low-latency performance of less than 100 ms.

Airlines will be able to install the small and light-weight EAN equipment quickly and easily, typically during overnight breaks for individual aircraft and turnaround times for entire fleets of just a few months.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service and has already commenced installations of EAN equipment on aircraft.

“With the completion of the first ever integrated pan-European LTE ground network component we are now able to fully support EAN’s satellite connectivity and maximize the performance of the EAN system,” said Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President, International Wholesale Business at Deutsche Telekom. “The network is specifically designed to meet future capacity demands for connectivity in the European airspace, with passenger volumes expected to double in the next 15 years.”

“EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution which effectively combines space and ground-based components, overcoming the traditional limitations of inflight internet,” said Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President at Inmarsat Aviation. “Bringing connectivity to the skies is a complex effort and we could only realize this through strategic collaboration with our European partners.”

“EAN’s ground network had to meet technical prerequisites that are quite different from ‘normal’ LTE networks: it needs to work at speeds of up to 1,200 km/h, at heights of 10 km and requires large cells of up to 150 km,” said Thorsten Robrecht, Vice President Vertical Network Slices at Nokia. “Our joint endeavor breaks the technological boundaries between ground and air on connectivity”

For more information on the European Aviation Network, please visit www.europeanaviationnetwork.com      

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