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

Well, this year we will skip the predictions (a subject we have addressed in the past) because there is so much changing, it is hard to keep up. If you need some future predictions, here is a YouTube video that is extensive for future changes around us  and while aviation is not mentioned much (manufacturing only), the security issues confounding your daily work and home life will undoubtedly affect aviation – more on that subject later in this issue. Either way, it will be wise to “keep on your toes”… and yes, that is what triggered the above graphic.

Next, since IFExpress is very involved with the interior of your favorite airplane, we were somewhat amazed by a British Airways announcement that would install non-reclining seats on their A320’s and A321’s.  When we dug into the application, we wondered just how long a flight could be made with this “challenging” seat design on these so called “short haul” aircraft. Here are our findings: the A320neo can travel up to 3,500 nautical miles and the A321neo 3,697 nautical miles. In the US, traveling from JFK to LAX would be about 2,700 flight miles, fully within the capability of these planes. This translates to roughly 5 hours 21 minutes of flight time, given head/tail winds. That’s a long time in the air without a reclining seat. However, there is a trend with experienced, frequent flyers where they opt not to recline their seats out of consideration for their fellow passengers over their own personal comfort on “short haul” flights; thus, negating the concern for fixed seatback units for some passengers. If passengers accept fixed seatbacks, this trend could easily carry over to other airlines. Stay tuned on this one.

Enough of this chatter, lets get on with the news:


AIX – Crystal Cabin

It is one of the most coveted awards in the international aviation industry. Year after year, suppliers, major aircraft manufacturers, universities, news publishers, and airlines alike join the fray in the hope of holding aloft one of the snow-white Crystal Cabin Award trophies. In 2018, the most prestigious prize for aircraft cabins and passenger comfort will be presented for the 12th time, with a record number of entries for the fifth year in a row. 91 innovative concepts from 18 countries have made it onto the shortlist this time round. The spectrum ranges from individual lightweight components to a long-haul VIP aircraft with on-board cinema, from a practical economy-class module to a first-class suite. In the industry, a victory in the Crystal Cabin Award is the equivalent of a knighthood, and the global media resonance is significant too. The decisions of the 28 expert jury members on this year’s pioneering aviation concepts will be finalized on 10 April, 2018, during the industry’s leading trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 — 12 April, 2018).

The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”.


AAR

AAR (Wood Dale, Illinois), a leading integrator of aviation supply chain solutions, announced it will provide in-flight connectivity logistics, repair and aftermarket management services to Viasat, a global communications company. Through this partnership, AAR’s OEM Aftermarket Solutions group will manage the aftermarket inventory pool of Viasat components including modems, antennas, radomes, wireless access points (WAPs) and power supply units (PSUs). These components will be deployed on a forward-exchange basis to support Viasat’s current and future airline customers.

“AAR’s scalable solution allows Viasat to leverage our aviation aftermarket expertise through our comprehensive logistics and repair processes,” said Carl Glover, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Parts Supply, Americas, AAR. “This global program supports Viasat’s current and future airline customers to ensure maximum system component availability.”

AAR began in 1951 as a vision and a venture, a small entrepreneurial enterprise providing equipment for the newly emerging commercial aviation industry. Today, AAR is a global provider of aviation services to commercial and government customers worldwide. The company was incorporated in 1955 as Allen Aircraft Radio in 1955 and changed its name in 1969 to AAR Corp. The Midwest US company was voted the Top Airframe MRO Provider Worldwide by the industry in 2016.


SECURITY- RazorSecure

As you might know, the main vulnerabilities of WPA2 are set to be nullified by an incoming Wi-Fi standard called, understandably, WPA3. See link.

Further, and discovered last year, an exploit known as KRACK permits attackers to view users data traffic, passwords, email and so on. With higher encryption (192 – bit security) data safeguards will be increased.

Last week IFExpress noted a security question to a number of industry security tekkies on this subject and this week, we feature a response from Lewis Oaten, Chief Technology Officer at RazorSecure of Great Britian who is in the IFEC security business. If you remember, we asked about the new WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard and it’s application to IFE and he wrote IFExpress: “In contrast to the KRACK announcement, this is of far more interest. I remember Samual Miller, Thales’ Product Security Officer, pointing out: “passengers are not vulnerable [to KRACK] when connecting to onboard Wi-Fi because those networks typically do not use WPA2” (see link). But, we have to remember that KRACK is a way of defeating the encryption on a wireless network and if the network is open, then there is no encryption to defeat in the first place. Any connected user can steal passengers’ data if those passengers are not using HTTPS or a personal VPN.

This is where WPA3 will have the most positive impact as it introduces a method for encrypting network traffic on open networks, such as those used for passengers in aviation. This is becoming especially important with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May this year. An operator of IFE where users to send Personally Identifiable Information across an open, unencrypted and insecure WiFi network, may not be putting in place appropriate controls to protect such information. Of course, any mitigation must be considered in light of the cost and state of the art, but once WPA3 is released it will become an essential control measure to mitigate this elephant-in-the-room type security risk.

More broadly, WPA3 introduces 4 new security measures:

  1. Improving the security against dictionary attacks – which is    especially problematic when users choose simple passwords.
  2. Authenticating devices which do not have a graphical interface.
  3. 192-bit security suite, designed to better secure industrial, government and defense networks.
  4. Introduction of individualized data encryption which means that connections are encrypted, even if the user does not need to type in a password, such as those on open networks.

On the subject of compatibility, this will become clearer once more technical details are forthcoming during 2018. There may be additional load on hardware, but assuming the manufacturer has left some headroom and can firmware update the device then it may well be possible to upgrade older hardware. Kind regards, Lewis.”

Editor’s Note: Boeing, interestingly, has patented some cyberattack simulation technology for pilot training.Two British experts back in 2012 discovered “backdoors” in B787 computer chips and now with Spectre and Meltdown intrusion into Intel, AMD, and other chips, this might be a big deal for aviation. Here is more on the Spectre and Meltdown: The impromptu Slack war room where ‘Net companies unite to fight Spectre-Meltdown | Ars Technica We should point out that there has been little information about aviation hacking, but it is coming …


LUFTHANSA

Lufthansa InTouch, responsible for managing customer service across the Lufthansa Group, has again selected SITA to manage its service center communication network and key infrastructure elements, ensuring that more than 11-million customers are connected to service agents every year.

The service provided by SITA has transformed how customer calls to Lufthansa Group airlines are handled. A close integration between SITA’s global voice network and Lufthansa InTouch’s Genesys contact center platform, ensures a caller – regardless of their location – is automatically and directly routed to a consultant best equipped to meet their specific requirements. These calls are allocated according to the routing policies defined by Lufthansa InTouch on their Genesys platform. SITA’s Unified Communications portfolio has allowed Lufthansa InTouch to consolidate voice, data and audio into one platform while effectively connecting the airline to its far-flung destinations.


BOEING & AIRBUS

BOEING delivered 763 aircraft (455 737NGs; 74 737 MAXs; 14 747s; 10 767s; 74 777s; 136 787s) in 2017 vs 748 (490 737NGs; 9 747s; 13 767s; 99 777s; 137 787s) in 2016. It booked 1,053 (912 net) orders vs 848 (668). The company has backlog of 5,864 aircraft.  Boeing Co. landed 912 jetliner orders last year worth some $134.8 billion, as surging sales of its highly profitable B737’s and B787’s that changed sales reporting direction … which ultimately resulted in a share price of $336.13 (today)! Also we should note that the B787-10 (third B787 variant with 171 currently on order) has secured FAA certification. Watch for delivery to Singapore Airlines in the near future – it is an 18 ft stretch from the B787-9.

AIRBUS delivered 718 aircraft (377 A320ceos; 181 A320neos; 67 A330s; 78 A350s; 15 A380s) in 2017 vs 688 (477 A320ceos; 68 A320neos; 66 A330s; 49 A350s; 28 A380s) in 2016. It booked 1,229 (1,109 net) orders vs 949 (731) with a current backlog of 7,265 aircraft. They noted that total deliveries reached 718 – four percent higher than the previous record and there were 1,109 total net orders from 44 customers; book-to-bill ratio of 1.5. Interestingly, the company said  it is on track to deliver 60 A320s per month by mid-2019 and 10 A350s per month by end of 2018. Lastly, Emirates signed an agreement for up to 36 additional A380’s with a commitment to grow its flagship A380 fleet.

This week in IFExpress, we have two interesting stories, one on Guestlogix and their view of onboard sales/selling, and the other on one of the two hideous computer hardware vulnerabilities, Spectre and Meltdown. Lets get started with the IFEC focused one.

GUESTLOGIX

For starters, we should start by telling our readers that a few years back, we wrote an article on Guestlogix’s approach to onboard retailing and the use of special technology in the cabin. Quite a bit has changed at the company since then, and a recent note from one of their strategy folks caught our eye: “Guestlogix has undergone quite a few changes – new management team, new product roadmap, new vision for the airline industry.” Whoa, that’s a lot of “new”! We thought we had better take a look into the changes and Guestlogix’s new approach to selling merchandise onboard a commercial aircraft.

First, to set the stage, we should mention that Guestlogix is a global company that develops (and provides) airline commerce technology and solutions that help carriers generate ancillary revenue.

Recently, Guestlogix published a report that makes the connection between passenger experience and the psychological phenomenon of “learned helplessness.” What is learned helplessness? It’s a behavior pattern where passengers experience a lack of control from check-in to landing. This feeling leads to frustration (with the airline) and general apathy toward air travel. And this experience makes passengers less inclined to spend and more inclined to view air travel negatively.

For airlines, the first step to satisfying passengers and increasing revenue is to make them feel in control by empowering them to use their mobile devices at every touchpoint. The question is how will empowered passengers improve the airline’s bottom line?

Ever since the airline industry was deregulated, airlines have been “unbundling” fares and charging for ancillary services, which has helped drive down the cost of air travel. Passengers want low fares, but they don’t like the resultant trade-off where they are forced to sacrifice quality of service in exchange for low fares. They have accepted the trade-off – begrudgingly – but the result has been a long deterioration of passenger experience as passengers come to see air travel as an experience to be endured rather than enjoyed.

After decades of learned helplessness, passengers have reached their breaking point and are demanding change from airlines – and they are taking to social media to voice their frustration. Consequently, airlines have been forced to make changes. Guestlogix notes in its report that 20% of consumers are more likely to switch brands after just one negative experience, and 25% are more likely to complain about the company. The opposite is also true – just one memorable customer experience leads to a significant increase in purchases and recommendations. With airlines depending more than ever on ancillary revenue (which has increased some three-fold over the last few years), the problem of “learned helplessness” has to be solved if airlines hope to reduce the financial impact of negative passenger experience, and maximize ancillary revenue opportunities.

The important message here is that Guestlogix has identified and solved the connection between negative passenger experience and airline revenue, and have developed a technology platform that solves both problems at the same time, which will help the airline industry finally realize the unfulfilled promise of deregulation for better air travel. The report is available and free to download here at the Guestlogix website.

We spoke with Guestlogix about their new airline commerce platform, but before we go into more detail, here is a brief summary of the solution: “The new airline commerce platform from Guestlogix is built on the rails of the best on-the-ground e-commerce technologies which include passenger analytics and product mix optimization, data-driven sales and marketing tools and comprehensive payment functionality. Guestlogix delivers more opportunities for onboard ancillary revenues than any other alternative, while improving today’s typical passenger experience. For passengers, that means having control, comfort and choice.”

Here are some more detail: “The data-driven platform connects selling with passenger psychology – making customers feel like the airline knows them and can anticipate their needs and desires. Airlines that can execute on a personalized, ‘consumerized’ and mobile passenger experience will have tremendous advantage over competitors who can’t – or won’t – deviate from entrenched, legacy approaches.”

Furthermore: “The airline commerce platform is built around the combined power of a flight attendant POS and a consumer-facing passenger app. The passenger mobile app serves as a personal concierge allowing the user to browse the onboard catalog, make completely friction-less payments with multiple methods and currencies and take control of their comfort with personalized, relevant merchandise. Flight attendants can access the platform through the POS app on the airline’s device of choice, open and close ordering with a single touch, quickly review passenger orders (including pre-orders) and monitor inventory.”

So, we see that Guestlogix has developed a software solution (actually an entire full-suite platform) to improve passenger experience and onboard selling. You can get more detail (and pictures of the solution) at their website: www.guestlogix.com. For now, let’s dig a little deeper without getting too technical. The Guestlogix platform has three main components: Management Console, Flight Attendant POS, Passenger Experience App.

Management Console

The management console makes it easy for flight crews and sales and marketing teams to monitor sales performance across flights and run personalized, data-driven campaigns based on predictive analytics – giving them deep business intelligence on what individual passengers want or may need. From the management console, airlines can add any kind of ancillary merchandise, both physical goods (such as food and beverage) as well as non-physical merchandise (upgrades, media, destination activities). The management console also streamlines inventory management and uses data analytics to help airlines stock inventory more intelligently and reduce waste. The strength of the management console is its ability to synthesize multiple data streams and provide actionable business intelligence for improving onboard selling and significantly increasing revenue, while providing passengers with the quality of personalized retail they have come to expect from brands such as Starbucks and Uber. “Insights” is the tool group within the management console that enables airlines to manage their operations and build campaigns all in one platform, including reports, snapshots, performance, and forecasting (for example, to compare high-performing and low-performing routes). Above all, the software is easy to use and intuitive, making data analytics quick and easy.

Flight Attendant POS

The flight attendant POS is key to connecting operations and revenue management at the passenger (purchases) level, including the ability to make payments in multiple forms and currencies (including cash + loyalty points, cross-border payments), and the ability to up-sell and cross-sell with personalized, data-driven campaigns targeted to each individual passenger. The platform works on Apple or Android devices. With the flight attendant app, crews can open and close orders easily, keep track of sales, process payments and much more. The flight attendant app is tightly integrated with the passenger app for easy communication and order fulfillment that makes onboard selling easier and faster.

Passenger Experience App

The passenger experience app serves as a “digital concierge” that makes it easy for passengers to browse inventory, place orders and make payments. By creating a seamless, friction-less and personalized retail experience, the airline not only ensures higher revenue but increases satisfaction and builds loyalty. Airlines can add any kind of inventory to the catalog (not just food and beverage) and passengers can make purchases before, during or after the flight (seat upgrades, “jump the line” privileges, destination activities). Order tracking makes it easy for passengers and flight attendants to view, edit or cancel an order. The passenger app can also store a customer’s preferred payment method as well as mileage/loyalty points, making it easy for airlines to integrate loyalty programs with ancillary merchandising. Overall, the passenger app creates a personalized passenger experience where the passenger is in control and can take direct action when they feel frustrated, stressed or just feel like spending.

Currently, onboard sales and service are still largely dependent on legacy POS devices that were built to process orders and payments, but largely disconnected from any passenger systems. This is backward and inconvenient for both passengers and flight attendants increasingly accustomed to doing everything – from hailing an Uber to ordering pizza – on a mobile app or voice-controlled device. Guestlogix’s platform was built to make service faster and easier for flight attendants, improve passenger experience (and break the cycle of learned helplessness), and use powerful data analytics for more personalized, targeted selling and significantly higher revenue.

Check out the Guestlogix website and see how they have solved the “big picture” problem of improving passenger experience while increasing revenue at the same time. Good Stuff!


* Editor’s Note: The BUZZ backgrounder!

If you don’t know Max Lingua (G.U.E. Tech – CEO), well, you should. Why? Because, as a gaming genius, he always has something to say about virtually everything. We asked for a short BUZZ, and what he said (Play. Life is a game) is short and to the point – but what he sent was the BUZZ and More – a description and meaning of the short phrase. We thought you might like to read it!

“Most players are currently indulging in casual and RPG on the ground, with a ratio movie-watcher to game players of 2:1 in the sky, when we compare top-watched with top-played. We have scenarios where the top-played game is getting as many eyes as a blockbuster that has been flying for few weeks. Games generally age better, you can keep playing them, but you hardly watch the same movie twice (unless you have a very short memory span…) when you catch the next flight. When IFE is done right, travel is a continuation of your ludic [ you can see I studied Latin 🙂 ] experience, a homey comfort above the clouds. We all do. Play, I mean. We wear a suit or shorts. On our own or in a group. For fun or serious business. We adjust our role as we go. We win and we lose. A promotion, a lost love, a new car. What we play on a computer screen is just one of the many games and roles we play every day, an escape or a reflection. No wonder casual games (an evasion) and role-play games (an identity) are so popular. That’s all we do. Play. Life is a game of games.”

 

London, UK | January 9, 2018–Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event that showcases innovations in aircraft passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe from 10th – 12th April 2018, for the 19th annual AIX.

The leading event will host 500+ exhibiting companies, more than 1,200 airline buyers from 268 unique airlines and lessors and almost 14,000 visitors.

Over 30 new exhibiting companies including 3D Systems, General Aerospace GmbH and Vanema will join longstanding exhibitors such as Acro, Boeing, Gogo, Haeco, Inmarsat, Molon Labe, Panasonic Avionics and Thales.

The week will commence with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on Monday 9 April and is set to examine the impact of futuristic travel trends on the air and rail industries. Visitors to the event will hear from speakers including Rosalyn Gough, Cabin Quality Product Manager at Thomas Cook Group Airlines, José Rui Marcelino Chief Executive Officer of Almadesign and Raymond Kollau Founder or AirlineTrends. The event will also feature breakout sessions exploring Convergence and Mobility, Sustainability and Flexibility and Personalising the passenger journey, followed by the popular Industry Networking Party.

2018 will not only see AIX span a larger floor space, but introduce new and improved networking opportunities to ensure that attendees can easily initiate business discussions and maximise their time spent at the event.

Both visitors and exhibitors can enhance their show experience by using My Event on their mobile or desktop to build their own itinerary. The tool enables all attending AIX to create a personal list of must-see contacts and book meetings before and during the show, as well as tagging key products and CabinSpace Live sessions of interest.

Visitors to this year’s show will also have the opportunity to hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on the aircraft cabin, consolidation and the interiors supply chain and the future of IFE, in the Cabin Space LIVE Seminar theatre.

Polly Magraw, Event Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo comments: “As AIX approaches its milestone 20th anniversary in 2019, the 2018 show illustrates how the event has evolved to become a platform for companies right across the passenger experience sector, and the world’s largest event dedicated to aircraft interiors.

“For the thousands of influential airline buyers who attend the show each year, AIX covers the full spectrum of aircraft interiors from cabin design innovations to in-flight entertainment and connectivity. This enables our exhibitors to generate highly-targeted business leads and network with the who’s who of the aircraft interiors industry. For visitors, AIX is the perfect place to connect with the entire supply.”

AIX returns to join the Passenger Experience Week line up, comprising four leading events in one destination – the Passenger Experience Conference, AIX, World Travel Catering and On Board Services Expo (WTCE) and new to 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions. The new 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 Aircraft Interiors Expo please visit: http://www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ASTRONICS

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

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

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

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

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

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


ROCKWELL COLLINS

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

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

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


SITAONAIR

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

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

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

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

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

Passenger experience

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

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

Moving towards the future

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

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

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


AIRBUS

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


MORE NEWS

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

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

New group comprised of Telefonix PDT acquisition and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace

East Aurora, NY | December 18, 2017–Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, today announced that it has formed the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC) group by combining the recently acquired Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace. The new group will serve the needs of aerospace connectivity providers with a complete set of hardware, integration engineering, installation design, and certification services to enable aircraft in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC).

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

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

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

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

Astronics CSC will continue to operate from its existing office locations in the greater Chicago area with current personnel. Michael Kuehn, formerly the president of Telefonix, will serve as the president of Astronics CSC.

For details on the new group, please visit Astronics.com.

December 18, 2017– SITAONAIR is celebrating a decade since the first ever inflight cellular data transmission and the birth of Mobile ONAIR.

Since that initial transmission was made onboard an Airbus A318 flight on 17 December 2007, it has been installed in more than 550 aircraft, serving the changing needs of commercial, VIP and governmental flights alike.

Over the past decade, and with support from SITAONAIR’s industry partners, the service has been made available across all aircraft types, from single-aisle to long-range – with more than 20 million passengers connecting for voice, SMS and data transmission in 2017 alone.

Reflecting on that first flight, Veronique Blanc, CTO at SITAONAIR (then OnAir) in 2007, says: “The launch of Mobile ONAIR and the first cellular data transmission was very exciting for everyone involved. Back then, even before the widespread use of smartphones, we knew that what we were doing was hugely innovative, and paving the way for the future of inflight connectivity.”

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

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

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

Passenger experience 

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

Gregory Ouillon, Chief Technology Officer at SITAONAIR, says: “It’s remarkable to think that it was just ten years ago that SITAONAIR launched the world’s first inflight mobile service onboard an international flight. 

“Ten years is a long time in aviation, however, and the solution now has evolved to become an essential component of the full cabin connectivity experience, allowing passengers to use their mobile phones as they would on the ground. 

“One major shift has been the trend towards the convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies, which delivers the best of both worlds. Passenger expectations can be met by offering a hybrid experience that can leverage the advantages of both a Wi-Fi and a cellular connection. Importantly, SITAONAIR is one of the few industry players with the knowledge, assets and skills base to make this convergence happen.” 

This convergence is essential to meet the demands of the modern passenger. With 50-100 billion Internet connected devices expected to be in circulation by 2020, ranging from fitness trackers to thermostats, mobile network operators will play a central role in connecting these devices, both on the ground and in the air.

Moving towards the future 

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

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation Senior Vice President says: “Passenger expectations around inflight connectivity have dramatically evolved over the past decade. Inmarsat worked shoulder-to-shoulder with SITAONAIR ten years ago to pioneer the first ever inflight mobile phone call and data connectivity on an international flight. 

“Today, we are together introducing unprecedented new capacities with GX Aviation, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.” 

This week we have a new technology update on a product that we knew was coming – well because our personal devices use it – wireless charging technology. We were both quite excited and impressed when we heard it was heading for the plane. Naturally, we were interested in the issues of wireless interior interference and issues around the solution to wireless signal suppression. Why? Face it, the the US FAA and FCC want to know about and be involved in any additional wireless sources on aircraft – especially to power devices. However, with devices like iPhones using wireless charging technology as the latest prime source of power, somebody had to do it!

In case you don’t know what wireless charging is, we note that it is the power transfer from an external source to a device, with no wires attached. A power charging pad is the source and is usually supplied with alternating current – while your device has a receiver built in if it supports the technology. Sometimes the “receiver” is built into the device case and sometimes it is built into the electronic circuitry. Either way, the technology is based on the concept of inductive charging, much like a radio, but the difference is in the frequency, power used and transmitted, while the technology of the “receiver’ in the device.

The next issue is the distance the receiver (in your device) is placed from the transmitter (in the power sending coil). It is very close so that the power sent over the magnetic field is “wirelessly connected” to your device. Of course, your device uses direct current (battery – not alternating current) – but hey, that is what rectifier diodes are for in your phone, or whatever, and they convert AC to DC Power!

Lastly, there are a couple of present day technologies for charging personal devices but Qi (pronounced “Chee”) and Powermat are the big dogs – and since Qi is a standard that has been developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) for inductive charging over distances of up to 40mm, it pretty much wins the standardization and vendor choice to build (and now to be) on planes. We should mention that Qi has three separate power specifications, starting with low power (up to 5 watts delivered) for watches and other devices but the WPC is approving the 15 Watt unit used for in-aircraft usage. Here are some of the device manufacturers that are Qi users: Apple (in their new phone), Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, Motorola, Blackberry, and Nokia employ Qi-based designs. Off the record, we know of about 30 phones today that are Qi supported. So much for the technology, here is the company developing the technology, Astronics – and IFExpress talked with Dennis Markert, Business Developer about their inductive power product offering:

Astronics

Q. Mr. Markert could you give some basic operations information about RFI charging that Astronics is developing?

Dennis: We’ve designed our Wireless Charging Module (WCM) to provide up to 15 Watts of power. We’ve done this to “future proof” the product and be compliant with fast charger requirements.

Q. What charging system is used in the application – Qi or Powermat? 

Dennis: We’ve designed our WCM to be compliant with Qi standard. Qi has emerged as the standard for the latest consumer products including the recent announcements that the iPhone 8 is Qi compatible.

Q.What devices will it charge (generally)?

Dennis: Any Qi enabled device.

Q. Please tell our readers the impact (RF wise) of a full plane of transmitting devices?

Dennis: Arbitration occurs between the device to be charged and the WCM. Meaning that you have to place a valid device on the charger, an arbitration occurs determining if this is a valid device and what charging level to provide. One could use the analogy of our 110VAC outlet units. The units do not have usable 110VAC at the outlet until a valid device is plugged in, and at that time, 110VAC is enabled and available.

Q. Any RFI issues?

Dennis: We have designed a proprietary EMI shield which is embedded in the WCM.

Q. Has Astronics tested a Qi device on a plane?

Dennis: WCM Qualification testing is scheduled and expected for completion by the end of Q1 2018.

Q. How many seats can be installed on a plane? All?

Dennis: Sure, every seat could have a charger and the Qi network will behave just like our existing EmPower system. Using our head end (AMCU) we will power manage the available service on the aircraft.

Q. Are these devices installed in a tray table?

Dennis: Yes, we have integrated and demonstrated this at AIX Hamburg and APEX as concept pieces. We envision integration into first and business class furniture, seat pockets, tray tables etc.

Q: Any customers?

Dennis: We have two very large airlines customers  very interested and working with the OEM’s (airbus and Boeing) to have our product installed on their line fit aircraft

Q. Any comments from Boeing or Airbus?

Dennis: We’ve introduced a number of technologies for line fit installation so this is a very familiar process for us. Our TSA and NOE have been submitted to Boeing and Airbus. As expected, this is a new technology and system so we are working closely with them to develop the necessary specification and requirements in order to obtain line fit offerability.

Readers, Stay Tuned on this technology – why? Wireless charging is the future of many portable devices and the longer the flight, the more battery juice you need. Enough Said!


Gogo

Gogo provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it now has more than 500 aircraft flying with its 2Ku technology with more than 400 of those installations taking place in 2017. The company has also shortened install times to around 30 hours, which is less than half the time that it typically takes to install a broadband satellite connectivity solution.

“We are setting a new industry standard in terms of technology deployments in aviation.  We continue to set the bar higher in terms of speed of installation and will finish the year within the install range we set for 2017,” said John Wade, Gogo’s executive vice president and COO.  “We know that when passengers experience the 2Ku difference they travel happier which, in turn, makes our airline partners happy.  So, we are investing in finding ways to get 2Ku aircraft online as fast as we can.” Total awards for 2Ku inflight connectivity solution have now surpassed 2,000 aircraft. Gogo has added more than 550 aircraft awards in 2017 alone.


SITAONAIR

More than 90% of airlines are set to ramp up investment in advancing wireless services for cabin crew and pilots over the three years to 2020 – an 18% increase since SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends survey. This is according to award-winning connected aircraft services expert SITAONAIR, as it presents SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights into the connected aircraft. Over a third (34%) of airlines expect to receive connected aircraft deliveries within the next three years, compared with more than a fifth (21%) in SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends Survey. SITA’s 2017 Insights also found 69% of carriers committing to a major program (40%) or R&D/trial (29%) to establish full satellite broadband connectivity to aircraft. Enhancing the passenger experience is far and away the connected aircraft’s biggest encountered and perceived benefit, according to 43% of airlines. A combined 31% meanwhile, cited operational benefits across maintenance and aircraft health monitoring, cockpit and cabin, as the chief advantages of a connected aircraft. In testament to this, 78% of surveyed carriers reported automatic aircraft data management as an investment priority – 33% through major programs, 45% in R&D programs – by 2020. Enhancing the passenger experience is far and away the connected aircraft’s biggest encountered and perceived benefit, according to 43% of airlines. A combined 31% meanwhile, cited operational benefits across maintenance and aircraft health monitoring, cockpit and cabin, as the chief advantages of a connected aircraft. In testament to this, 78% of surveyed carriers reported automatic aircraft data management as an investment priority – 33% through major programs, 45% in R&D programs – by 2020. When asked for their investment focuses up to 2020, 94% of airlines surveyed as part of SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights study cited wireless services for cabin crew or pilots (64% in major programs; 30% in R&D or trials). This was closely followed by 91% of carriers targeting investment in wireless inflight services for passengers (54% in major programs; 37% in R&D or trials). SITA’s connected aircraft Insights data also reveals airline ambitions to boost Wi-Fi data bandwidth in the years to come, with 60% of airlines surveyed planning to, or having already implemented, high-speed Wi-Fi by 2020.

Assessing airlines’ most-coveted inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) services, the insights found that providing a destination services app was the technological advancement that carriers are most enthusiastic to establish by 2020 (72% – up from 46% in 2016). This was closely followed by a Duty Free shopping app (61%, a rise from 48% last year). Passengers’ preference for enjoying inflight entertainment (IFE) via BYOD – e.g. with a ‘second screen’ of their own – was reinforced for a second consecutive year, with 24% having invested in Wireless IFE to passengers’-own devices and 46% planning to do so by the end of 2020. Providing infotainment to personal devices or apps – namely, news, magazines and books – and inflight communication services, proved similarly high in the airline IFEC shopping list, at an additional 47% and 43% each against the airlines that have already implemented. On the hot topic of pricing for delivering onboard Wi-Fi passenger services, roughly the same proportion of ‘tails’ expressed ambitions to provide free (an additional 43%) and paid-for Wi-Fi sessions (an additional 42%) by 2020 – with many airlines already exploring business models.

A significant proportion of operators revealed a desire to invest further in mobile technologies for passengers and crew, reflecting the “always available” trend on the ground, and with potentially transformational benefits for crew and passenger engagement and service on-board.  A stark 87% of surveyed carriers in 2017 (compared to 75% in 2016) have implemented or plan to implement mobile services to enhance customer relationship management in the next three years. 75% of surveyed carriers expressed ambitions to invest in major programs around apps for passenger mobile services. Around half (47%) of carriers are focusing investment on major programs for social media-hosted passenger services; and a total 44% plan on major programs or R&D/pilot programs for wearable technologies for staff.

Reflecting on the findings, SITAONAIR’s Vice President of Strategy, Dominique El Bez, said: “Our industry’s connected aircraft vision, with its complete, connected inflight experience, is irrefutably here to stay. Airlines are increasingly aware of the value-added benefits presented by in-flight connectivity options that we at SITAONAIR are experts in delivering, to advance their RoI. On the cabin connectivity side, these benefits span everything from enhancing airlines’ brand perception in the eyes of passengers, by enabling them to stay connected to their digital lives when they fly via Wi-Fi or cellular, to digitizing cabin crews to personalize the passenger experience with intelligent, CRM-integrated applications. From supporting airlines to monetize inflight connectivity services with clever onboard sponsorship partnerships; or supporting passengers’ choice to enjoy wireless inflight entertainment; to empowering passenger autonomy through delivering connected mobile applications and services to keep them informed and entertained on the move.

“For the cockpit, airline flight operations, management, and safety, connected solutions bring a significant lift to efficiencies and safety procedures. How? From deploying digital solutions that deliver the latest flight context information into the hands of pilots; ever-evolving our flight tracking and flight planning solutions to ensure airlines meet ICAO recommendations to frequently report fleet positions; to providing secure multilink communications to support every stage of flight. We also see accelerating industry interest in managing and harnessing the power of aircraft data. Such innovation advances flight and MRO operations with predictive and enriched aircraft operations. Amongst the emerging technologies reported by airlines, 67% plan to invest into initiatives around the Internet-of-Things, 52% around Artificial Intelligence and 44% on wearable technology for staff. All present amazing potential for enhancing airlines’ operations inflight and on the ground.”

Mr El Bez continued: “We at SITAONAIR want to see more airlines able to achieve their connected aircraft aims, however. We truly believe the air transport industry needs to work harder to empower the world’s airlines to get connected, by embracing our open platforms approach to inflight connectivity innovation. Our pioneering ‘open cabin’ attitude is already creating harmony across airline fleets and avionics, and data-rich customer relationship management systems, helping deliver airlines’ unique passenger experiences without expensively overhauling their fleets.”

(Editor’s Note: To checkout the great SITAONAIR 2020 vision infographic click here)


Inmarsat

Inmarsat  was recently crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’, marking the end of another breakthrough year with its next generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) wifi solutions for airline passengers. The prestigious accolade was announced at the World Travel Awards 2017 in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. It follows a comprehensive online voting process, with participation from thousands of travel and tourism executives across the world, in addition to specialist consumer travel buyers.

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

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

 


More Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Innovative “Air Time” Service is launched on first five easyJet aircraft

San Diego, CA | December 6, 2017–Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded computing inflight entertainment and connectivity equipment, today announced that its integrated In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFE&C) platforms have been selected by easyJet, the leading European low-cost airline, for its new wireless in-flight entertainment service.  Kontron and long-time in-flight digital solutions partner, Immfly, are collaborating to support the launch of the easyJet “Air Time” service onboard five easyJet aircraft. Kontron is supplying the complete set of hardware products necessary to implement the Wi-Fi network onboard the aircraft to support Immfly’s uniquely flexible content application software. “Air Time” gives passengers the ability to access personalized services and content through their own smart devices, making seat-back or other built-in aircraft monitors obsolete.

Kontron was selected after an extensive industry review, assessment and testing of available hardware solutions available in the IFE market. The hardware solution for easyJet consists of Kontron’s ACE Flight™ 4600 Airborne Server, Removable Storage Devices (RSSDs), and its Cab-n-Connect™  A100 Cabin Wireless Access Point (CWAP).  Kontron has built a strong reputation for providing breakthrough IFE&C platforms that help accelerate development for quick time-to-market at the lowest cost of deployment. There are currently more than 4000 commercial aircraft operating worldwide with Kontron equipment on board.

“A deciding factor in our selection of Kontron is their long history of providing proven IFE&C solutions,” said Andrew Middleton, Ancillary Revenue Director at easyJet.  “The powerful combination of Kontron and Immfly lets us ensure our customers have the broadest and most reliable in-flight entertainment experience that replicates their consumer smart device capabilities on the ground.”

“Immfly continues to partner with Kontron for its highly reliable and open architecture platforms that are fully qualified to D0-160G with PMA and optimized for a full range of flight services,” said Jimmy Martínez von Korff, co-founder of Immfly. “Using Kontron platforms allows us to focus on designing the most compelling in-flight entertainment services that include engaging new content and other capabilities that are in high demand by today’s airline passengers.”

“Part of our ongoing strategy in supporting partners such as Immfly is to provide the critical system components that lay the enabling foundation for continued IFE innovation based on the most advanced features and highest broadband connectivity possible,” said Andy Mason, VP Technology at Kontron America. “We anticipate the success of the “Air Time” launch due to the unique aspects of the service and close collaboration of easyJet and its partners.”

For more information on its avionics product portfolio, please visit:https://www.kontron.com/industries/avionics

Lets’ get started and this week we feature a new product from the Bluebox folks with a link to the spec sheet at the end.

Bluebox

Solaseed Air Inc., a leading Japanese regional carrier, has deployed Bluebox Aviation Systems’ portable wireless IFE system – Bluebox Wow – across its fleet of Boeing 737-800s. “We’re honored that Solaseed Air has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems as a partner in the development of their new IFE service,” said Kevin Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. “IFE is evolving rapidly – no longer is it just a service to entertain passengers, but a channel for revenue generation, an important factor for any regional or low-cost carriers, which has not traditionally offered IFE.” Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, offering up to 1.6TB of content including film, TV, audio, games and other digital media. The system is designed to support advertising, inflight shopping, and payment processing options, which make it an ideal platform for generating ancillary revenue, whether the IFE service itself is offered as a free or charged service. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed in overhead lockers, each box’s single swappable and rechargeable battery offers 15 hours of streamed content to 50 passengers. Operating from Tokyo’s Haneda airport and across Japan, Solaseed Air operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-800s, all of which are flying with Bluebox Wow. Here is the link to the Bluebox Wow specs


Astronics

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, announced that it completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies, LLC, (together as “Telefonix PDT”) for approximately $104 million in cash on December 1, 2017. The acquisition was financed with Astronics’ line of credit. Astronics previously announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Telefonix PDT on October 27, 2017.


Gogo

Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that airline industry veteran Mark Schwab has joined Gogo as senior advisor of international sales for the company’s commercial aviation division.

Schwab will provide guidance on strategic business development initiatives and assist Gogo’s international sales team in its efforts to win new airline customers around the world.  He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Star Alliance Services GmbH, the global airline alliance.  Prior to leading Star Alliance, Schwab held numerous senior positions at United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines, spanning over 42 years in commercial aviation all around the globe. He has spent most of his career outside his home country, the United States.

“Mark’s knowledge and experience in the commercial aviation is second to none, particularly in the international space where as the head of Star Alliance, he was overseeing a global aviation network that connected the entire world,” said Niels Steenstrup, Gogo’s senior vice president of international sales.  “We are delighted to have Mark join the Gogo team and support our international sales efforts.”

In addition to his advisor role at Gogo, Schwab is currently a member of the board of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) in Toronto, Canada.


Airbus

The A330-800 complements the A330-900, the largest member of the A330neo Family. With its 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) as base variant, the A330-800 can operate routes of up to 7,500nm and with the recently launched 251-tonne MTOW variant the aircraft can operate ultra-long-range routes of up to 8,150nm. Together, the A330neo variants are part of the world’s most comprehensive twin-aisle, twin-engine aircraft family from 260 to over 360 seats which includes the A350 XWB Family. Building on the success of the A330-200 with over 600 aircraft in operation, the A330-800 brings new generation economics and comfort in addition to unprecedented range to the 250-seater aircraft market. Together with the larger 300-seater A330-900 they share 99%  commonality, having the same airframe, engines and cross crew commonality. This gives operators great flexibility to use either aircraft in their fleet according to network needs in size and range.  Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, zero-splice nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and new Airspace by Airbus Cabin. The most visible new features of the A330neo wings are the specially developed curved wingtip Sharklets – which draw on A350 XWB technology, extending the wingspan to 64m, providing state of the art aerodynamic characteristics.

Airlines will benefit from 25% less fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation competitors, reduced maintenance costs and the A330’s market-leading 99.5% operational reliability. Passengers will enjoy the award-winning all new Airspace cabin inspired by the A350 XWB. On top of latest generation In-flight entertainment and connectivity, passengers can look forward to a new welcoming entrance area, spacious overhead bins, mood lighting and exceptionally quiet flights.

With close to 1,700 orders, the A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, having flown nearly 1,000,000 annual flights. Today, over 1,300 aircraft have been delivered to 117 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 will be the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its size category.

In another Airbus story, China Airlines of Taiwan has become the second airline to join a programme to use a blend of traditional and sustainable biofuels to power aircraft for delivery flights from Airbus. The aircraft involved is the tenth A350-900 for China Airlines, which left the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Toulouse today for its new home in Taipei with a 10 percent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. The sustainable fuel option for delivery flights has been developed by Airbus in association with Air Total, the aviation subsidiary of the global energy operator. In order to stock the eco-friendly product, Air Total has installed the first ever biofuel station adjacent to the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse. A total of 21 aircraft have so far been delivered by Airbus since the facility was inaugurated in May 2016.

In addition to Toulouse, Airbus is now working towards introducing the option for the use of biofuels for delivery flights from its facilities in Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US. First deliveries from these sites are set to begin in 2018. The option will also subsequently become available from the company’s facility in Tianjin, China.

Reflecting its strong commitment towards eco-efficiency, Airbus was the first manufacturer to offer its customers the option of delivering new aircraft with a blend of sustainable fuel. As part of its wider environmental strategy, the company Airbus intends to continue its efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the biofuels sector.


Boeing

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Aerolíneas Argentinas today celebrated the delivery and commercial debut of the first 737 MAX airplane for the airline and for Latin America.

Aerolíneas took delivery of the airplane, a MAX 8, in late November and flew the first commercial flight about a week later from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, becoming the first in the region to operate the new and improved 737 airplane. “Adding the 737 MAX to our fleet is yet one more example of the growth we are envisioning for our company,” said Mario Dell´ Acqua, President of Aerolíneas Argentinas. “We feel both proud and responsible to continue working to deliver enhanced connectivity and an elevated experience to our passengers.”

Aerolíneas Argentinas is experiencing strong growth, with a 15 percent increase in passenger traffic in the past year, and a 22 percent increase since 2015. To support that growth, the airline plans to take delivery of 12 MAX airplanes and use them on flights regionally and, later in 2018, to the Caribbean. “The 737 MAX 8 is a significant addition to Aerolíneas’ fleet. The MAX will enable the airline to continue to grow and win market-share in the competitive single-aisle marketplace,” said Ricardo Cavero, vice president, Latin America sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is a tremendous honor that Aerolíneas Argentinas will be the first Latin American carrier to fly the 737 MAX, and we’re confident the airplane’s efficiency and reliability will help meet their goals.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history, surpassing 4,000 total orders to date. The MAX family incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The Aerolíneas Argentinas MAX 8 is configured for 170 passengers and fly 3,515 nautical miles (6,510 kilometers).

(Editor’s Note: Boeing stock shares have skyrocketed this year and at last check was almost $280 per share.)


More News

In case you have not heard, the US Senate dropped a tax provision designed for foreign airlines that could have generated some $200million over the next decade  – obviously designed to supposedly protect US airline workers. We note that the description of airlines described fit some 14 countries and the Mideast carriers stood out. As it stands, airlines do pay taxes in their home countries but the so-called Isakson provision would have removed the “tax” if the airline in question’s home country receive fewer than two arrivals and departures from the US per week. The airlines argued the tax was a focus on Middle Eastern carries that receive some $50 billion over 10 decades subsidies from foreign from governments. An advance group representing other airlines and support “Open Skies” said the “tax” would also hurt a lot of smaller airlines.


Other News

A new on-board entertainment platform becomes available to passengers flying with their mobile phones on the UK’s largest airline.

The platform developed by a Barcelona company offers users the opportunity to access content, offers and digital services in five languages for free via high speed streaming.

Barcelona | November 30, 2017–The innovative onboard entertainment and services platform “Air Time” takes off today on board the first five easyJet aircraft to be equipped with the service developed by Immfly, in line with the agreement announced in September between the two companies. In the initial phase, the platform will be available on select services covering over 90 destinations, including international capitals such as London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Rome and Madrid and many others, with Geneva and Basel as the main hubs.

The digital platform created by the Barcelona company, Immfly, one of the most pioneering in the industry, provides passengers of Europe’s leading airline with the opportunity to access a unique entertainment and services experience during their flight. Passengers will be able to enjoy personalised options on their own smart devices (smartphones, tablets and laptops), in a way which does away with the need for the older model of seat back screens.

The high-performance digital platform “Air Time”, available in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian and German), offers great flexibility thanks to its dynamic and wide-ranging digital functionalities and content designed to engage customers inflight.

Rakuten, a global leader in Internet services with more than one billion members worldwide and an ecosystem of more than 70 services, will be the official sponsor of the easyJet onboard entertainment platform integrated by Immfly.

Films, series, books, kids programmes, games, newspapers, magazines, practical information, language courses, destination guides and more

In its collaboration with easyJet, Immfly is helping deliver another step in the path to total connectivity as part of its pioneering strategy focused on enabling a 360º relationship with customers connected for interaction during their entire journey.

“Air Time” opens new and exciting opportunities in the European flight market. Customers can enjoy premium content provided by the official entertainment sponsor, Rakuten, who are also the global innovation and entertainment partner of FC Barcelona.

The high-quality content is curated from top-tier brands, including FOX Non Theatrical, Euronews and other media companies that are favourites among the British and European public.

Some of the titles available on “Air Time” in the Entertainment section include critically acclaimed television content, such as the series Legion and the comedy show Modern Family, as well as hit films like The Revenant, popular children’s programmes and a wide range of press publications including; Financial Times, Bloomberg, Le Figaro, Euronews, The Times, and other daily international newspapers, plus lifestyle publications such as; Elle, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Traveller and many more.

“Air Time” also offers a pioneering inflight service with on-board language lessons available on the platform and developed in partnership with uTalk. This makes it possible for customers to learn and practice more than 80 languages during their flight.

Passengers can also choose from a wide selection of best-selling e-books and audio books, destination guides, games and much more. The platform also includes a digital catalogue “Bistro & Boutique” that features meals, snacks and refreshments customers can enjoy during the flight while it also showcases the selection of on-board shopping products available inflight from fragrances and cosmetics to gadgets and toys.

“Air Time” also provides practical information about the flight and an interactive 3D map of the route in the “Flight Info” section, as well as information on local weather conditions and forecasts provided by the “The Weather Network”, and information about easyjet’s UNICEF campaign.

Personalised entertainment and services at 10,000 feet

The vast majority of passengers travel with at least a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop which is why Immfly’s paltform is relevant to anyone wishing to enjoy all this entertainment content from their personal, portable electronic devices inflight.

Access is possible through Wi-Fi points installed on the airplanes which allow all passengers to access the content at very high speed. No reliance on external connections enables a faster connection speed than what is currently available in most people’s homes.

Immfly, easyJet’s inflight entertainment and digital services launch partner

Immfly is leading the development of on-board digital platforms in Europe as a tool to boost the revenues of airlines by proposing to increase their “Net Promoter Score”, generating greater customer loyalty and creating additional sources of ancillary income with on board digital services, commerce and sponsorship. Immfly also provides services enabling passengers to purchase leisure products and services available at their destination before landing and to purchase entertainment packs whilst booking their flights online.

We specialize in maximizing revenue and engagement opportunities through wireless on-board connectivity, increasingly supported by success stories that are relevant to the airlines we collaborate with,” explained Jimmy Martínez von Korff, co-founder of the company. “Today we allow easyJet to provide a complete on-board digital services platform based on exciting content and online shopping possibilities, offering a fully integrated platform with leading brands and their services.”

Andrew Middleton, easyJet’s Ancillary Revenue Director commented: “‘Air Time’ will allow us for the first time to offer customers in-flight entertainment in a way that replicates how they consume their media at home. We are delighted to be collaborating with other innovative partners, such as Rakuten who will help us curate engaging content, and Immfly who are providing the unique easyJet portal with a dedicated customer support team, ensuring that easyJet crew are able to continue conducting an excellent standard of safety-focused service and on-board hospitality.”.

Arjen Van de Vall, President Rakuten Europe commented: “We are confident Rakuten can bring strong value and create a high quality showcase of its services through the on-board Immfly platform offering a best in class user experience” .

Immfly, a leading provider of online sales and communications services in Europe, expects to reach 100 million connected passengers in 2018 after its agreements with airlines including Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet.

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

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

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

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

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


Dubai Airshow

The big news over the past few weeks was the Dubai Airshow (Nov. 12 – 16) and a lot of airplane purchase surprises were part of the big story from the event. Last week IFExpress told our readers that this week we would cover a few (hah) plane sales as the show wasn’t over until November 16th:

Firstly, the show was the biggest and had the biggest sales – ever! To quote the show promoters: “The penultimate day of the Dubai Airshow saw two enormous aircraft purchase orders for both Airbus and Boeing, in one of the most exciting days in recent aviation business history. Airbus revealed its largest single announcement ever this morning – a US$49.5 billion deal with Indigo Partners commitments to purchase 430 aircraft in its A320neo family, described as Airbus’ largest ever single announcement. Meanwhile Boeing inked a US$27 billion deal with carrier flydubai for 225 aircraft in its 737 MAX family, the largest-ever single-aisle jet order – by number of airplanes and total value – from a Middle East carrier.”

We should also note that the airplane sales numbers are a little adjusted in some cases from earlier purchase decisions. For example: To give you a better idea about the total of announced 684 commercial aircraft ordered (as of day 4) there – here is a bit more data. The total sales value (estimated because nobody pays retail price) is at least $75 Billion which obviously makes this the biggest Dubai Airshow value ever. One should also note that some of these are “commitments” and here is a quote from the Royal Aeronautical Society on that subject: “As in previous air shows, despite the mind-boggling figures and the last-minute theatrics, it is wise to retain a certain amount of cool assessment when dealing with commitments and MoUs and the like.” We should also note that we show the aircraft manufacturer total airplane sales announcements – and yes, we have not included all in our listing. Further, we should point out that the distribution of aircraft is a better mix for Boeing, comprising both wide-body and single-aisle planes, while the Airbus sales are predominately focused on single-aisle jetliners.

Airbus

Total sales – Airbus announced that they totaled 502 plane sales
and below are a few sales highlights:

72 A320neos and 74 A321neos for Wizz Air

100 A320neos and 34 A321neos for Frontier Airlines

56 A320neos and 14 A321neos) for JetSMART

46 A320neos and 34 A321neos for Volaris

(The above 4 airlines sales from the Indigo Partners account for a single order for 430 aircraft – $49.5 Billion – Biggest Commercial  Jet order ever.)

2 A330neos for Air Senegal

25 A320neo family for Wataniya Airways

Boeing

Total sales – We note that the company announced the they sold 296 planes. Here are some of the sales highlights for Boeing during the show:

40 787-10 for Emirates

5 787s for Azerbaijan Airlines

2 777F for Ethiopian Airlines

175 737 MAXs plus 50 purchase rights for flydubai

5 737 MAX 8s for SCAT Airlines

1. We should also mention that some of the above for both manufacturers sales may be the addition to a previous orders. Sales from previous agreements and commitments (and usually announced earlier) are not shown. 

2. Also, we should additionally mention that Boeing and China announced airplane sales during the Presidential Trade Mission which occurred Nov. 9 (just before the Dubai show) and is an agreement that covers 300 airplanes valued at more than $37 billion) but not mentioned in the show totals.

Lastly, here are a few of the Connectivity/IFEC highlights from the Dubai Airshow: a few of the big IFEC sales involved Inmarsat, Panasonic, and Thales. Emirates chose to install Inmarsat GX Aviation inflight broadband for its new coming fleet of 150 Boeing 777X’s on order. Thales announced the Inmarsat order and also announced their IFEC system sale for the 150 airplanes which will begin delivery in 2020. Further, Panasonic Avionics was selected by Saudia to supply X Series IFE for 35 aircraft.


MORE AVIATION

Future Aircraft Demand

We should mention here that Boeing see’s a big future for MidEast Aviation plane markets in the years coming – the company forecasts that airlines in the Middle East will need 3,350 new airplanes over the next 20 years, valued at an estimated $730 billion. Further, Boeing presented its 2017 Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the region during the Dubai Airshow.

“Traffic growth in the Middle East is expected to grow at 5.6 percent annually during the next 20 years,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The fact that 85 percent of the world’s population lives within an eight-hour flight of the Arabian Gulf, coupled with robust business models and investment in infrastructure, allows carriers in the Middle East to channel traffic through their hubs and offer one-stop service between many cities.”

Twin-aisle airplanes are expected to make up nearly 50 percent of the new airplanes in the Middle East, and more than 70 percent of the value at $520 billion. Both percentages are significantly higher than the global average. The strong long-term demand for widebody airplanes was reinforced at the show as Emirates Airline announced a commitment to purchase 40 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners in a deal valued at $15.1 billion at current list prices.

More than half of the total deliveries in the Middle East will be single-aisle airplanes such as the 737 MAX. Operators in the region will need 1,770 single-aisle airplanes valued at $190 billion, driven by the growth of low-cost carriers.


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation today introduced a major advance in inflight connectivity with the entry into service of its first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity over the Pacific Ocean. The EUTELSAT 172B satellite, which launched in June, is operated by Eutelsat Communications. Leveraging its unique design, Panasonic will deliver greatly enhanced inflight broadband connectivity, live television and mobile phone services to aircraft flying high traffic routes across the Asia Pacific region spanning the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia and the Pacific islands.

High Throughput Satellites use a combination of spot beams and high-level frequency re-use to provide much improved economics, more bandwidth and faster data speeds as passengers browse the internet and benefit from other online services, and airlines increasingly utilize connectivity for operational purposes. They also use a broad overlay beam, which is used to economically deliver up to nine channels of live television to passengers in flight. Panasonic is layering HTS capacity over key air traffic areas across its global satellite network, ensuring it can meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. It will continue to introduce high throughput satellites in every region of the world.

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

EUTELSAT 172B is the first HTS to use a multi-port amplifier, which allows power to be dynamically moved among the HTS beams to meet demand.  This ability for the HTS beams to “follow” aircraft and other mobile users enabling Panasonic to better meet customer demand and cost-effectively ensure consistently high levels of service in a way that other service providers cannot match. The entry into service of EUTELSAT 172B coincides with the introduction of Panasonic’s new BC-03 modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, which also caters for future demand by supporting speeds of up to 250 Mbps to aircraft. This includes three demodulators for seamless beam switching and simultaneous data and video reception.


Gogo

Gogo broadband connectivity product provider, announced today that it has been selected by the Cathay Pacific Group to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its wide-body fleet. The carrier will install 2Ku on its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft across Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleets, which are both part of the Cathay Pacific Group. 2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what passengers have on the ground.

Ku will give Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s guests a seamless experience across their existing fleet of wide-body aircraft.  The service is expected to go live by mid-2018.


ViaSat

ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, today announced it expanded its relationship with JetBlue, and will serve as the direct in-flight internet service provider to the airline. JetBlue aircraft will be upgraded to the latest ViaSat hardware, and will have access to the additional coverage and capacity offered by ViaSat’s next-generation ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms JetBlue first offered the ViaSat in-flight internet service, branded Fly-Fi®, in December 2013. Four years later, the airline continues to be recognized as having the industry’s “Best Wi-Fi” in the sky – most recently accepting an award for its Fly-Fi service at the September 2017 Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) show. JetBlue is the only U.S. carrier that has deployed a fast and free in-flight Wi-Fi service for all devices – across its entire fleet – encouraging passengers to stream, web browse and use the internet as they would expect to at home or at work. JetBlue’s commitment enables the airline to access ViaSat’s advanced high-capacity Ka-band satellite system, which includes the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms. These capacity-rich satellite platforms, enable ViaSat to deliver the fastest, highest quality in-flight internet service to each connected device on a plane. “JetBlue and ViaSat have a similar strategic vision for in-flight internet service: make it fast, make it high-quality, make it affordable,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility, ViaSat. “Since the beginning of our partnership, we have focused on delivering the best service, with the best economics to enable JetBlue to offer the gold standard in in-flight Wi-Fi. This latest deal solidifies this vision and our partnership for years to come.”

To tap into the satellites, ViaSat’s latest in-flight internet system will be installed onto JetBlue aircraft beginning in fall of 2018. The equipment offers forward and backward satellite platform compatibility, allowing JetBlue to meet the growing broadband demands of the fully connected aircraft. This future-proofing feature ensures JetBlue can cost-effectively deploy the ViaSat equipment today, and take full advantage of the more than 3.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of total expected future global capacity ViaSat will be bringing to market through its next generation of satellite platform


SITA – Flight Chain

This research project was initially established by SITA Lab with Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited (HAL) and International Airlines Group (IAG) with Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport participating. Called FlightChain, it was devised to investigate a single source of truth for flight data. The “flight data problem” is a well-known issue in the industry – namely, there is no single source of the truth and the data that does exist, is not easily accessed by all parties.While there are many cases of airlines and airports collaborating to share flight data, this data still resides in separate silos. When there are flight delays, this results in differences between passenger apps, airport FIDS, airline agents. FlightChain ensures all stakeholders have the same information. FlightChain was established as a private permissioned blockchain (implemented on both Ethereum and Hyperledger-Fabric) that stores flight information on the blockchain, using a smart contract to arbitrate potentially conflicting data. British Airways, Geneva Airport, Heathrow and Miami International Airport provide flight data that is merged and stored on the blockchain. During this project more than two million flight changes were processed by the smart contract and stored on FlightChain. The research paper published today details key lessons learned regarding governance, smart contracts, system security and system performance, scalability and reliability. Along with a view on the use of public versus private blockchain networks for the air transport industry. (Watch This!)

FlightChain: ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data? | SITA


MORE NEWS OF NOTE

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Argentina | November 21, 2017–Aerolineas Argentinas (AR) has become Latin America’s first airline to digitally empower its cabin crews to take the inflight passenger service to the next level with SITAONAIR’s CrewTab.

CrewTab digitally transforms cabin crews’ pre-, in-, and post-flight activities and workflows by providing crew members with a complete, user-friendly mobile and tablet application interface.

Through this, they can access key passenger profile details, spanning everything from special meal requests, to connecting flights.

By replacing paper-based processes with SITAONAIR’s interactive CrewTab dashboard, AR international crews can also access and update the airline’s integrated back-end processes and information.

In addition, CrewTab acts as a platform enabling AR flight pursers and cabin crew to streamline advisory, documenting and reporting processes.

Now armed with this data at the touch of a button, AR crews can deliver a more personalized, proactive and responsive service for airline customers on flights to Latin America, the US, Spain and Italy.

Argentina’s flag carrier joins Virgin Australia and Philippine Airlines, among others, in harnessing this intuitive solution to advance their passenger experience offer.

Ricardo Lehmacher, Airport Manager of Aerolineas Argentinas, says: “SITAONAIR’s CrewTab delivers real-time information to our cabin crews’ fingertips, empowering us to advance our pre-flight preparations, onboard operations, and post-flight debrief reporting.

“With this rich, connected information, our cabin crews can perform at the highest level to deliver on our passengers’ expectations.”

Carlos Vianna, SITAONAIR’s Head of Business Development, Latin America, says: “We are very proud to count Aerolineas Argentinas among our most recent adopters of SITAONAIR’s intuitive CrewTab solution, and our first in the region.

“This invaluable application supports cabin crews to deliver their best connected service in more ways than one. That’s everything from CrewTab’s capacity to integrate within airlines’ existing IT systems and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to linking cabin crews with passenger’s latest onboard preferences, such as duty-free shopping, snacking, and service style. CrewTab digitizes cabin crews to set themselves apart from the competition by delivering the more streamlined and personalized service that passengers crave.”

For more information about CrewTab and to discover the full SITAONAIR product and service range, visit www.sitaonair.aero.

Airline’s first Boeing 767 aircraft equipped with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D and SB-Safety

Denmark and London, UK | November 16, 2017– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and Cobham SATCOM, the leading manufacturer of satellite communications solutions, today announced that SB-Safety (SB-S) has entered service evaluation on the first United Airlines Boeing B767 aircraft.

The important milestone was achieved as part of a technology evaluation of Inmarsat’s next generation SB-S flight deck communications platform, which has been installed on United Airlines’ Boeing 767 aircraft with Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom system. SB-S offers global, high-speed, secure connectivity for the flight deck, enabling powerful and flexible communications in real-time, enhancing airline safety, asset utilisation, security, and operations.

During the evaluation, United Airlines will deploy its aircraft equipped with SB-S in the highly congested North Atlantic airspace. It will use the new platform for communications and surveillance with Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contract (ADS-C) messaging. United Airlines’ evaluation of SB-S is part of the carrier’s ongoing commitment to best-in-class operations, safety and service.

In addition to capabilities of today’s cockpit satcom, SB-S introduces new, always on, always secure applications, which are available for United Airlines’ use. These include continual positional awareness for flight tracking, flight data streaming (Black Box in the Cloud) and real-time electronic flight bag applications, such as networked graphical weather. Other benefits of the service include operational efficiency, in the form of more fuel-efficient routes and the ability to transmit vital aircraft performance and positioning data in real time.

The AVIATOR 300D systems, which include Cobham’s compact and lightweight IGA-5001 Intermediate Gain Antenna to ensure a low profile on the fuselage, provide fast and reliable connectivity on the Inmarsat satellite network. As one of the latest additions to Cobham SATCOM’s established, innovative AVIATOR portfolio, further advantages include recurrent maintenance savings due to the integral high reliability of the underlying technology platform and weight savings (approximately 50 to 150 lbs) over traditional aviation satcom systems.

Chuck Stewart, United Airlines Chief Technical Pilot for Communications, said: “United is excited to have this powerful new capability in flight today. We look forward to seeing improved operational efficiencies with a fully connected flight deck, using the platform for improved communications and real-time updates that previously had to be done on the ground.”

Brian Anderson, Americas Air Transport Sales Manager for Cobham SATCOM, said: “We are delighted to have United Airlines utilising Cobham’s AVIATOR 300D satcom in support of SB-Safety in the North Atlantic Airspace. This marks an important milestone for the entire aviation industry. It has been a pleasure working with United Airlines as they bring the benefits of new technologies into the cockpit to improve both their communications and operations.”

Captain Mary McMillan, Inmarsat Aviation Vice President of Safety and Operational Services, said: “We are thrilled that United Airlines is taking advantage of the many benefits of Inmarsat’s SB-Safety. As an industry leader, United sees the value of next generation IP broadband in the cockpit and how it delivers operational savings and enhanced safety. This moves satcom from a safety utility to a true, strategic asset for aviation.”

Cathay Pacific Becomes First Large Global Fleet in Asia to Select Gogo’s 2Ku Inflight Connectivity Solution

Chicago, IL | November 16, 2017– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has been selected by the Cathay Pacific Group to install Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution on its wide-body fleet.
The carrier will install 2Ku on its Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft across Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon fleets, which are both part of the Cathay Pacific Group.

2Ku is the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution and delivers an internet experience comparable to what passengers have on the ground.
“We are excited to partner with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “As a premier global airline group, and Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, Cathay passengers expect a premium experience, which 2Ku is delivering today with superior bandwidth, coverage and availability.”
With more than 2,000 aircraft awards, 2Ku is the most rapidly adopted satellite-based broadband connectivity technology in aviation. The technology has been adopted by leading airlines in North America, South America, Europe and now Asia.

“Our goal is to allow our customers to be connected anytime and anywhere – and this agreement with Gogo is a huge step in enabling us to deliver this,” said Paul Loo, Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer.”

2Ku will give Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon’s guests a seamless experience across their existing fleet of wide-body aircraft. The service is expected to go live by mid-2018.

Dubai | November 15, 2017–Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC), have announced a new 35-aircraft commitment for inflight entertainment across the carrier’s short haul fleet. The carrier has selected Panasonic’s X Series entertainment solutions, specifically, the company’s eXO and eX1 systems, for installation on its various fleets.

Panasonic’s X Series inflight entertainment solutions feature the industry’s largest selection of options including HD monitors, capacitive touch handsets, in-seat power, and ensures a premium experience in every cabin class.

Saudia has also selected Panasonic’s eXO overhead entertainment system to be line-fit installed across 20 Airbus A320neos and 15 A321neos that the airline has on order. This builds on the carrier’s previous commitment in April 2016 when it selected eXO for 30 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

This news follows an earlier order from SAUDIA in which Panasonic will install its eX1 IFE system across the airline’s existing fleet of 7 A320 aircraft.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corp., said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with SAUDIA with this exciting, new commitment across their short haul fleet. With our proven track record in delivering innovative inflight entertainment solutions, we will help Saudi Arabian Airlines optimize their investment in next-generation aircraft with an unmatched experience for all their passengers.”

The Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said: “SAUDIA’s fleet is undergoing a complete revitalization program, which includes an upgrade to the existing fleet in terms of the inflight entertainment offering and overall onboard experience,

“Once the new entertainment solutions by Panasonic are retrofitted on the existing A320 fleet, and new A320 aircraft are delivered, our guests onboard will be able to maximize their time in the sky with a wide range of entertainment solutions to make their onboard journeys even more enjoyable.”

The SAUDIA fleet with A320-NEO/A321-NEO is expected to deliver in Q3 of 2019 and A320 aircraft with eX1 IFE System retrofit is expected to deliver in Q2 of 2018.

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

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

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

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