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.

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

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

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

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

Panasonic:

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and Emirates have today unveiled a range of industry firsts that will be introduced on the airline’s newest Boeing 777-300ER on display at the Dubai Airshow this month. The developments are the culmination of a more than 20-year partnership between Emirates and Panasonic to deliver an unmatched inflight entertainment experience. Throughout the partnership Panasonic and Emirates have remained at the forefront of passenger experience innovation, introducing a wide range of solutions including line-fit Wi-Fi connectivity along with a cutting-edge inflight entertainment system that is 12 percent lighter overall than previous versions. Emirates’ passengers will first experience the benefits of these solutions across all classes on the airline’s newest Boeing 777-300ER fleet. These cabins will feature a refreshed look complemented with the very latest in IFEC technology.

Advancements in IFEC technology, such as faster processing power, enables Emirates passengers to experience unrivaled seat back display with stunning clarity and picture quality.  Passenger engagement levels are increased due to a more responsive IFEC system allowing passengers to immerse themselves further into the ice platform, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system.  In addition, passenger convenience is enhanced by the capability of fast charging of passenger electronics devices at the seat and the innovative First Class Room Service feature which allows passengers to experience the award winning Emirates cabin experience via the Mode Controller.

The true success of these advances is measured in Panasonic and Emirates commitment to the ecofriendly skies vision.  Reduced IFEC system weight, which cuts fuel burn and emissions, and the desire to continue to push the IFEC experience forward with continuous innovation and industry firsts will challenge airlines to join Emirates as the world’s leading smart airline.

In First Class, there will be a range of new Panasonic technologies that complement Emirates’ own cabin innovations. These include:

· A next generation mode controller – developed in the form of a slim tablet, acts as a second screen for seat and cabin environment control and to navigate ice. It features a larger, slim form13-inch capacitive touch screen offering Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a high definition camera, microphone and a speaker.

· Wireless Handset Control – inspired by a pebble with smooth curves, this elegant, new wireless handset fits naturally in the palm of a passenger’s hand. It provides untethered control of the ice entertainment system with a comfortable feeling of “Home TV Experience.” The handset offers a full set of buttons like interactive navigation, channel, volume, flight attendant call, light, TV on/off, menu and sleep. The sleep button is unique and makes it convenient for passengers to press a single button to go to sleep mode and a second press to restore full functionality to the suite.

· Room Service Video Call – this new feature enables passengers to communicate in real time with the cabin crew using video chat functionality from the next-generation mode controller. Passengers will be able to place requests at their convenience via voice and video, and will also enjoy complete privacy with the device’s Do Not Disturb mode settings.

In Business Class, a number of enhancements are being introduced including:

· New 23” Smart Monitor – a new Full HD Smart Monitor with high-performance and crisp image quality offers the business class passengers a rich and entertaining experience. This is the largest monitor size in business class across Emirates fleet. It includes HDMI ports and capacitive touch screen capabilities.

In both First Class and Business Class, following enhancements are also included:

–  New High Power single USB Type-C Charging Jack – another first is the introduction of the High Power USB Type-C jack, the new standard for phone charging designed to provide passengers with access to high power charging as well as data. This is in addition to the existing high charge USB Type-A charging.

· New HD-Premium Seat Box – this performance upgrade from the existing seat technology also supports two high power charging remote jack units and noise cancelling audio jacks. These premium HD seat boxes have an almost 20 percent higher graphic performance compared to other IFE system types.

· New Slim Seat Power Module – this unique solution provides high power DC voltage for USB charging with reduced weight and a thinner profile.

In Economy Class, a series of new innovations offer Emirates a 35 percent reduction in weight while offering passengers the following technologies:

· New ‘Super Eco’ Economy Monitors – the elegantly designed super Eco Monitor, complete with high-end, integrated physical control buttons, provides a luxury feel in the Economy class seat. With ultra-wide viewing angles, a capacitive touch screen, LED backlight and Full HD display, it delivers a superior, clear, crisp image quality. These new smart monitors will include high-power USB Type A and Type C, Bluetooth technology, a high-resolution camera, 3D multiplayer gaming and integrated audio connector. All of this new technology has been integrated into a slimmer, smaller monitor that features a 35 percent lighter design.

· New Dual High Power Charging Ports – the Dual USB High Power jacks are designed to cater for the present and the new standard for phone charging designed to provide passengers with access to quick data and high power charging via USB Type-C (with both Type-A and Type-C) charging ports.

· New Slim Seat Electronic Boxes – these slim, lightweight devices  are designed to provide maximum performance and passenger device power yet have zero impact on passenger living space, and reduce weight by 22 percent.

· New Slim Seat Power Module – this power source is intended to provide power for up to four seats of in-seat IFEC equipment and peripherals, with a lightweight and thinner profile unit that reduces weight. A new, proprietary power distribution solution provides, for the first time, a high charge USB charge port at every seat for passenger devices eliminating the need to share power with their neighbors.


Galgus:

IFExpress got an interesting note in from Jose Gonzalez, CEO of Galgus in Seville Spain. In case you don’t know what they do, here is their answer: “At Galgus, we have developed CHT, a SW that improves WiFi performance by up to 5x by adding intelligence to WiFi APs. The extra performances allows you to reduce the number of APs needed, saving costs (not just HW costs, but installation, cabling, maintenance, etc). What if you could reduce the number of onboard APs by 2x while still guaranteeing double throughput for all your passengers?” Jose also noted in our conversation: “This technology is available on Miltope’s latest nMAP2 product”. Now, what is that technology he is talking about?

Watch the following video to see how CHT can help you and your business.

www.galgus.net or +34 618 381 889

(Editor’s Note: You really should watch the video to see what technology is doing for in-cabin WiFi, you will learn something!)


Thales:

Yesterday, Thales announced that Oman Air will equip all their B737 MAX fleet beginning in January, 2018 with AVANT IFE. Boeing announced in the near past that it booked 20 firm orders for its 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft from Oman Air,  an order that nearly doubles the airline’s 737 fleet. Oman Air’s order includes conversions of 6 B737 NG plane orders to 737 MAX jets, for a net gain of 14 in Boeing’s order book. Oman Air currently operates 21 B737 aircraft


SITAONAIR:

SITAONAIR and Emirates have extended their partnership to deliver passenger connectivity solutions across its fleet of A380 and B777 aircraft for a further four years. The news follows the recent rollout of personalized inflight connectivity for members of the airline’s loyalty program, Emirates Skywards, through SITAONAIR’s onboard Wi-Fi hub, Internet ONAIR. The project was recently awarded the Best Personalization Innovation award at the 2017 APEX EXPO in September. The extended deal, covering 279 aircraft, underlines Emirates’ continued focus on passenger connectivity excellence by providing harmonized and seamless inflight Internet access to passengers around the globe. The new contract covers Mobile ONAIR and Internet ONAIR on all A380 aircraft, and Internet ONAIR on the B777 fleet.

SITA Lab, the research team of the air transport industry’s IT provider SITA, today revealed the learnings from research it carried out with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport into ‘smart contracts’ residing on a blockchain.

Blockchain has been heralded as a transformational technology for many industries. While several use cases have been identified for the air transport industry, the opportunity of using ‘smart contracts’ for shared control of data by airlines and airports is one which promises real benefits. SITA Lab today issued FlightChain, a paper outlining the findings of its research conducted with its airline and airport partners.

The air transport industry is highly-connected and there is a need for ‘single source of truth’ for various data used by different stakeholders. Control of shared data is a key concern for all. Blockchain offers potential to share data in a controlled way. SITA recognizes, however, that there is a need for research so the industry can take the right approach, to ensure governance, standards, compliance, security and more.

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. We note that the blockchain solution is better described in the link below.

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


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’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.

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 platforms.


Rockwell:

Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) has selected Rockwell Collins to provide its global, high-speed broadband in-flight connectivity, overhead in-flight entertainment (IFE) and a full suite of advanced avionics—including Rockwell Collins’ MultiScan ThreatTrack weather radar—for 10 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. Deliveries are expected to begin by the end of this year.

Cabin connectivity services will be provided by Rockwell Collins’ CabinConnect wireless in-flight connectivity and entertainment solution using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network. The system will be linefit on the aircraft.

“The new connectivity service will enable AZAL passengers to surf the internet, use various instant messenger applications, social networks, listen to audio and check emails via personal computers, tablets and smartphones,” said Mike DiGeorge, vice president, Commercial Aviation and Network Services for Rockwell Collins. “And for the flight deck, the high-speed connectivity will open up possibilities for pilots to access information such as synoptic weather through a secure server router to supplement their flight operations.”


The Dubai Airshow, which runs through November 16, has had a lot of new airplane sale announcements – so far mostly for Boeing, but we will cover that topic in next week’s issue of IFExpress. Stay tuned – it should be interesting!

United Arab Emirates | November 14, 2017–

SITAONAIR and Emirates have extended their partnership to deliver passenger connectivity solutions across its fleet of A380 and B777 aircraft for a further four years.

The news follows the recent rollout of personalized inflight connectivity for members of the airline’s loyalty program, Emirates Skywards, through SITAONAIR’s onboard Wi-Fi hub, Internet ONAIR. The project was recently awarded the Best Personalization Innovation award at the 2017 APEX EXPO in September.

The extended deal, covering 279 aircraft, underlines Emirates’ continued focus on passenger connectivity excellence by providing harmonized and seamless inflight Internet access to passengers around the globe. The new contract covers Mobile ONAIR and Internet ONAIR on all A380 aircraft, and Internet ONAIR on the B777 fleet.

SITAONAIR’s open platforms approach – launched through its hot topic white paper at last year’s APEX EXPO – delivers a consistent user experience across the various satellite connections and pre-existing onboard technologies present across the Emirates fleet, unconstrained by hardware suppliers’ refresh cycles.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, said: “We are extremely proud to expand the relationship with our long-standing airline customer, Emirates. We have worked closely with Emirates over the years to achieve their connected aircraft vision, and look forward to continually driving cabin connectivity innovation for the benefit of Emirates passengers.”

Emirates is the world’s largest A380 operator, with 100 A380 aircraft in its fleet all equipped with SITAONAIR cabin connectivity.

To find out more about SITAONAIR’s full inflight connectivity portfolio and open platforms vision, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.

New applications to expand safety and operations benefits to airlines worldwide

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

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

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

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

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

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


Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation a world leader in Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC), and Singapore Airlines, today introduced a series of eight new innovations in personalization with the launch of myKrisWorld – the airline’s newest inflight entertainment offering. Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corp., said, “Panasonic Avionics and Singapore Airlines have always been at the forefront of IFEC innovation.  Whether it’s the shift to in-seat audio/video to video on demand, or the introduction of high-speed connectivity services to passengers, both companies have embraced technologies and services that have defined premium air travel. Today, we are proud to partner with Singapore Airlines to introduce the latest tectonic shift in our industry — personalization.”

Nakano continued, “Last year, we helped Singapore Airlines introduce their award-winning companion app. Today, we’re taking that personalized experience to even greater heights with a series of innovative features that include passenger log-in at their seat; playlist, bookmark, language preference storage and wallpaper customization between flights; customized and personalized entertainment spotlights; popular, trending and recommended content; and exclusive content based on frequent flier tier.”

myKrisWorld embraces Panasonic’s vision for IFEC, which centers around the concept of “the Internet of Me,” taking all of the things that people care about and bringing them together to deliver personalized and contextualized experiences.  Each of these features is made possible by Panasonic’s ability to deliver actionable analytics, where data is used to improve the quality of the passenger experience. With myKrisWorld, the experience starts before passengers board their flight. Passengers can use Singapore Airlines’ app or website to preview content and set up their customized playlist. Once onboard, they can either synchronize their mobile device or log in at their seat to access their pre-selected content.

Crowd-sourced data will offer up alternative titles that are popular. It can ask passengers if they want to finish the movie that they started on the previous flights. It can also make recommendations based on a passenger’s individual habits and what content is trending inflight at that moment in time. Nakano concluded, “What is truly exciting is that we were able to leverage Singapore Airlines’ previous investment in our eX3 system and introduce this new suite of personalized experiences. “By embracing the culture of mobile, we can increase the rate of evolution in the passenger experience, transforming what was once a passive entertainment system into another digital channel that airlines can leverage to better serve their customers.”


SmartSky

In conjunction with the rollout of its 4G LTE-based network, SmartSky Networks recently enabled multiple subject matter experts to experience, firsthand, the unmatched power of its patented inflight connectivity during flights on its Cessna Citation Excel in the skies above Las Vegas. A number of OEMs, MROs, potential partners and Early Bird customers attending the National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) attempted to push the system to its limits, and in the process, learned that SmartSky 4G LTE is the only system capable of delivering multi-Gigabyte per hour data rates inflight, bi-directionally and with low latency, effectively redefining what it means to be able to stream, chat and text in real-time onboard a business jet. A comprehensive analysis of the data operations during the demonstration flights confirmed SmartSky 4G LTE’s unrivaled speed and capacity. Over three days, passengers on 12 flights experienced:

•    Multi-GB per hour actual data throughput consistently on each flight.

•    Actual peak speeds well in excess of 10 Mbps, with individually run speed tests showing high multi-Mbps bidirectional data rates, as well.

•    Average return link traffic representing nearly 25 percent of the data, with one flight pushing 46 percent of its data off the plane. No other inflight connectivity network supports these crucially needed ratios to run the popular applications customers expect to use. Without SmartSky 4G LTE’s return link and low latency, customers are limited to the few applications other networks support.

•    Average of more than 50 seamless beam handovers per flight, proving the most difficult engineering aspect of the system works, and demonstrating the system’s inherent scalability.

SmartSky demonstrated capabilities previously difficult or impossible to consistently achieve on either the incumbent’s ATG network or new satellite systems, such as conducting a live WebEx, or quickly sending large PowerPoint files, all while other onboard passengers were doing multiple streaming sessions. The innovative beamforming power of the network enables bi-directional live communications, at speeds that match Wi-Fi on the ground.

SmartSky’s 4G LTE nationwide network deployment involves many steps on the way to a transformative air-to-ground connectivity solution, including secure datacenters strategically located in California, Colorado and Virginia that are already operational. SmartSky is currently in manufacturing with its proprietary antennas and ground stations, deploying them nationwide on existing cell towers as the equipment rolls off the production lines. The company estimates initial nationwide coverage will be available in mid-2018, with Satcom Direct (SD) serving as its exclusive business aviation service provider.


Thales

Thales has supported an aviation cybersecurity effort with the Atlantic Council and here is what Alan Pellegrini note about the free report: “The launch of this report by the Atlantic Council marks an important step in creating awareness because it will help drive needed public dialogue on cybersecurity in aviation. Starting this dialogue to strengthen the community’s resilience in the face of new cyber realities is the reason Thales chose to underwrite this report which promises to create a foundation for how the community can come together to protect the traveling public. Anticipating, identifying, and mitigating cyberspace vulnerabilities in the aviation community is a significant challenge and one that must be confronted by every stakeholder—not just the largest or most visible.” ‎


digEcor

IFExpress got this news release in from digEcor: digEcor is very pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Margis as Non-Executive Chairman of digEcor’s Board of Directors. Paul is an industry heavyweight with a track record of spearheading the Airline Inflight Entertainment and Communications Industry. With over 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry including 15 patents relating to innovation across Inflight Entertainment hardware, software, communications and telecommunications pertaining to the commercial aircraft environment and other vehicles. This follows the recent appointment of Richard Denny as a Director in October. Mr. Margis’ career began at Hughes Aircraft and he subsequently joined Matsushita Avionics (now Panasonic Avionics Corporation) in 1992. He quickly rose to the top of Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s executive team in various roles, including: Field Applications Engineer, Director, General Manager and eventually, Vice President of Advanced Systems Engineering where he led the development of AVOD and the popular X Series systems. In 2000, Mr. Margis was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer and in 2005, he took the helm as President and CEO. David Withers, Chief Executive comments “We are very excited to have Paul join digEcor. He is one of the founders of our industry and his experience and vision will be invaluable to us as we grow” Margis commented “I am excited and honored to be a part of digEcor. I look forward to working with David and the team as they develop innovative products to create a brilliant Passenger experience”. Editors Note: Richard Denny, communications guru has also joined the digEcor board – See the press release here.


Lufthansa Systems

Cockpit Innovation, the high-tech investment arm of EL AL Israel Airlines, and Lufthansa Systems announced the formation of a unique strategic partnership in the realm of aviation and travel entrepreneurship. Under the new partnership, Lufthansa Systems will support with identifying and cultivating breakthrough startup technologies. Furthermore the company will play a major role in the process of locating and selecting startups to cooperate with Cockpit, by sending experts from the company to work with the startups on relevant developments.

Lufthansa Systems’ goal is to partner with promising startups in the aviation and travel industry through the Cockpit Fund activities and then connect the entrepreneurs and their innovative technologies with the industry’s leading airlines. Cockpit has invested so far in seven companies from a variety of fields such as AI, Big Data, communications and fintech (financial technology) that create new, high-quality value for customers and enhance the efficiency of airlines and other sectors in the industry. Among the portfolio are 30secondstofly, Routier and Bidflyer.  Cockpit is the first industry venture fund with the mission to seek out, support and invest in entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies in digital travel, aviation and aerospace. As a global player, Cockpit Innovation serves as a bridge between the startup community and leading players of the air-travel industry, all over the world. As part of the EL AL Group, Cockpit is committed to ventures re-inventing air travel through innovation. By creating unique international channels for entrepreneurs, Cockpit startups get a first class opportunity to pilot ideas, and a chance to introduce products to Cockpit’s stakeholders and partners around the world. Cockpit’s portfolio companies receive a real opportunity for a first enterprise client, resources and strong international network, supporting startups all the way toward global deployment of their innovative ventures.


IMMFLY

As a setup, please note that Immfly is an inflight entertainment and services platform that passengers can access on board via their PEDs. The service enhances the onboard digital experience through a wireless network and offers airlines the fastest and most efficient content syncro in Europe  – there, that was not difficult! They say in their latest new release: Immfly welcomes major brands such as Rakuten, U-talk, American Express, Mondelez and Vodafone to sponsor its In-flight Entertainment System (IFE) onboard. The digital platform enables passengers to use their own devices (phones, tablets and PCS) to access entertainment, travel guides and to book activities while flying. The campaigns can be either online or offline, thereby ranging from channel sponsorship, branded content, to more sophisticated branding actions such as sampling or onboard events. IFE Wireless Solutions are flourishing, and so is Immfly’s advertising inventory.

Immfly, already a leading provider of in-flight sales and communications services in Europe,expects to reach 200 million connected passengers by 2019 following its partnerships with airlines which include carriers such as Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet.

They note: The leading European low-cost airline has chosen Immfly as a strategic partner to launch their new innovative wireless in-flight entertainment service, “Air Time”. This is a unique opportunity for brands to exhibit its value and promote themselves with Immfly at 30.000 feet.Here is more: Immfly’s digital platform is present in 114 destinations, with 370.000 annual routes, and currently, reach 11 million passengers.

Singapore’s myKrisWorld Sets a New Standard in Personalization for Airline Passengers

Lake Forest, California | November 2, 2017–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC), and Singapore Airlines, today introduced a series of eight new innovations in personalization with the launch of myKrisWorld – the airline’s newest inflight entertainment offering.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corp., said, “Panasonic Avionics and Singapore Airlines have always been at the forefront of IFEC innovation.  Whether it’s the shift to in-seat audio/video to video on demand, or the introduction of high-speed connectivity services to passengers, both companies have embraced technologies and services that have defined premium air travel. Today, we are proud to partner with Singapore Airlines to introduce the latest tectonic shift in our industry — personalization.”

Nakano continued, “Last year, we helped Singapore Airlines introduce their award-winning companion app. Today, we’re taking that personalized experience to even greater heights with a series of innovative features that include passenger log-in at their seat; playlist, bookmark, language preference storage and wallpaper customization between flights; customized and personalized entertainment spotlights; popular, trending and recommended content; and exclusive content based on frequent flier tier.”

myKrisWorld embraces Panasonic’s vision for IFEC, which centers around the concept of “the Internet of Me,” taking all of the things that people care about and bringing them together to deliver personalized and contextualized experiences.  Each of these features is made possible by Panasonic’s ability to deliver actionable analytics, where data is used to improve the quality of the passenger experience.

With myKrisWorld, the experience starts before passengers board their flight. Passengers can use Singapore Airlines’ app or website to preview content and set up their customized playlist. Once onboard, they can either synchronise their mobile device or log in at their seat to access their pre-selected content.

Crowd-sourced data will offer up alternative titles that are popular. It can ask passengers if they want to finish the movie that they started on the previous flights. It can also make recommendations based on a passenger’s individual habits and what content is trending inflight at that moment in time.

Nakano concluded, “What is truly exciting is that we were able to leverage Singapore Airlines’ previous investment in our eX3 system and introduce this new suite of personalized experiences.

“By embracing the culture of mobile, we can increase the rate of evolution in the passenger experience, transforming what was once a passive entertainment system into another digital channel that airlines can leverage to better serve their customers.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Panasonic News from APEX:

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


Astronics Acquires Telefonix Inc.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


First A320neo assembled in Tianjin delivered to Air Asia

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


More:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Firstly, IFExpress has our APEX show images on line and you will find them here.

Next, we talked to Rich Salter at the APEX show and he told IFExpress that FTS had hosted a Chinese IFEC Summit and had conducted a successful live Ka-Band HTS Satcom connectivity demo in Beijing and we asked for more information for our readers and here is what he sent:

“On September 14th, 2017, FTS hosted an IFEC Summit and conducted a live demo of their Ka-Band HTS Satcom Connectivity solution to multiple Chinese airlines, government officials, and technology partners in Beijing, China. Taking place at the ultra-modern Zpark Technology and Conference Center, more than 150 attendees listened to speakers who shared insights on broad topics like regulations, market development and technology trends.  This is indicative of the recent surge in interest and accelerated pace of rolling out inflight connectivity in China.

For the live Ka-Band Satcom Connectivity demo, FTS leveraged on ChinaSat-16 Ka-Band satellite, connected to full FTS Xstream-Sat hardware, including Satellite Antenna, Modman, General Network Server and Cabin Wireless Access Points.  FTS was able to demonstrate downlink speed in excess of 70Mbps in what was the debut of the first China Ka-Band satellite for IFC.  All attendees were connected to internet via satellite on their mobile devices as if they were on a flight. Each attendee was assigned a virtual seat number and could stream videos, surf websites, order food and beverages as well as indulge in some onboard shopping on the FTS Xstream inflight software platform throughout the demo. Flight attendants serviced the attendee requests and orders in real time and the demo was a great success.

With the recent announcement of the Chinese government to allow the use of PEDs and cellphones inflight, the timing of the event could not have been more advantageous. “We are very pleased with the number of airlines and industry partners that attended the event and with the successful demo of our IFC solution, we look forward to growing our footprint in China in tandem with our great partners,” said Rich Salter, CTO of FTS.  This issue’s rectangle picture is from the FTS demonstration.


IFEC Breaking News (Sorta!) – Follow the Money!

Ok, see if you can follow this:

1. Bombardier developed a CSeries (CS 100), single-aisle, 100 to 150 passenger aircraft in Quebec, Canada.

2. Delta ordered 75 of the CSeries planes ( with 50 more as an option) in April of this year as part of their fleet upgrade ($4 to $5 Billion) with the hopes of a 2018 introduction.

3. In May, Boeing claimed the US aerospace industry was at risk if the planes are sold and stated that Bombardier should be fined for price dumping. Boeing proceeded to file a complaint with the ITC and the US Department of Commerce charging that selling the planes at $19.6 million each should be considered a “dumping” price. A 218 page transcript was reviewed that noted that the CSeries selling at that price would kill the Boeing B737-700 and the MAX 7. While Delta did buy some Boeing planes, they were going to loose the “100 seat market the plane need” and since there was a financial bailout of Bombardier by the Canadian Government, the CSeries should receive a US Government tariff. Initial US Commerce Department rulings recommended that US Airlines should pay as much as 300% in import duties.

4. Delta CEO Ed Bastian was not going to buy the planes at the new price!

5. On October 16, Airbus and Bombardier formed a partnership (Airbus – 50.01%, Bombardier 31%, Quebec – 19%) and announced the plane will be built in two countries (Quebec and Mobile, Alabama in the US where their A321’s are made), and guess where the Delta planes will be built? In about one month, Airbus put the deal together and since they see 6,000 of the CS types in the  small-plane market (most in the US), it worked for both companies. We note, airplanes built in the US are not subject to US duties – at least not today.

And lastly, why are you reading about it here? Because this is the plane that Delta will launch the new Gogo Vision Touch, the wireless seatback solution for connected IFEC, on in 2018. Check out this link for more details on Gogo Vision Touch!


NEWS:

Astronics
Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), was recently selected by six major North American airlines to install industry-leading EMPOWER in-seat power systems on up to 1,400 narrow- body and regional jet aircraft.

Astronics AES will equip the airplanes with 110VAC and high output USB power for every passenger from “nose to tail,” including the cabin crew stations. Line-fit and retrofit installations will occur from early 2018 through 2023.

Peter J. Gundermann, President of Astronics Corporation, noted, “Being selected for these significant fleet upgrades further solidifies our leading global market position for passenger power on commercial aircraft and is a strong indication of the increasing trend for airlines to provide power for their passengers on narrow-body and regional aircraft. Carriers worldwide are responding to passenger requests for power at the seat so they can use their personal electronic devices to fully enjoy the streamed in-flight entertainment and upgraded connectivity systems provided by the airlines, while remaining fully charged when they land.”

Statistics show that 97% of passengers travel with personal electronic devices, and a large percentage carry more than one. For over 20 years, Astronics AES has supplied intelligent power management systems for airline passengers’ benefits. The EMPOWER system is currently in service with over 230 airline and OEM customers with over one million power outlets installed.

Zodiac
Here is part of a recent news release we received: “Today we are announcing the consolidation of all Zodiac Seats California (ZSC) operations from Rancho Cucamonga, California to our Gainesville and Chihuahua facilities. We anticipate this consolidation will take six to nine months to fully complete. This consolidation of operations is in line with Zodiac Aerospace’s focus on optimizing the global industrial footprint of the Group.”

Airbus
Airbus’ A340 laminar-flow “BLADE” test demonstrator aircraft (A340-300 MSN001) has made its successful maiden flight for the EU-sponsored Clean Sky “Blade” project. The aircraft, dubbed “Flight Lab”, took off from the Tarbes aerodrome in southern France at local time 11:00, and after a series of successful tests it landed at Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse Blagnac. The overall flight time was 3hrs/38mins.

The BLADE project – which stands for “Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe” – is tasked with assessing the feasibility of introducing the technology for commercial aviation. It aims to improve aviation’s ecological footprint, bringing with it a 50% reduction of wing friction and up to five percent lower CO2 emission. Airbus’ A340 Flight Lab is the first test aircraft in the world to combine a transonic laminar wing profile with a true internal primary structure.

On the outside the aircraft is fitted with two representative transonic laminar outer-wings, while inside the cabin a highly complex specialist flight-test-instrumentation (FTI) station has been installed. The extensive modifications to the A340-300 test-bed aircraft took place during the course of a 16-month working party in Tarbes, with the support of numerous industrial partners across Europe. Today’s first-flight marks the kick-off of the Blade flight-test campaign to explore the wing’s characteristics in flight. A key goal of Blade is to be able to measure the tolerances and imperfections which can be present and still sustain laminarity. To this end, Airbus will simulate every type of imperfection in a controlled manner, so that at the end of the campaign the tolerances for building a laminar wing will be fully known. The flight Lab will perform around 150 flight hours in the coming months.

Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), an MRO centre based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, partially owned by Airbus since 2011, has become a fully owned Airbus subsidiary, following the acquisition by Airbus of its remaining shares.With this acquisition, SAE becomes an integral part of the Airbus Customer Services network and is set to represent a key element of Services by Airbus’ growth strategy in the dynamic Asia Pacific market.

JetBlue
JetBlue will become the first airline to introduce Airspace by Airbus on the A320 Family, the agreement was introduced at APEX Expo. JetBlue customers will experience this newest A320 Family cabin aboard JetBlue aircraft starting in late 2020. Highlights of the new Airspace cabin in the A320 Family include: a unique welcome experience. In particular, a customizable welcome effect is extended throughout the cabin by a central lighting strip which is visible even with open bin doors during boarding. The A320 Family cabin with Airspace features the industry’s largest overhead bins, whose conformal exterior profile facilitates smooth boarding. Throughout the cabin passengers will appreciate the increased interior width, the soothing ambience of the latest full-color LED lighting, and a contemporary lavatory design with new comfort features.

Inmarsat
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced that AirAsia Group has selected its next-generation GX Aviation inflight broadband solution for more than 120 Airbus aircraft. This contract supports Inmarsat’s strategy of providing airlines with tailored scalable capacity by designing, owning and operating a global network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). 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.

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

SITAONAIR
International carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has selected SITAONAIR to make its global high-speed connected passenger experience ambitions a reality over GX Aviation. SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing B777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave SATCOM terminal, together with line-fitting PAL’s new Airbus A350s and A321s. Once complete, SITAONAIR will activate its rich nose-to-tail package of bespoke inflight connectivity (IFC) services, achieving a significantly enhanced and consistent connected experience for passengers and cabin crews. SITAONAIR’s award-winning, intuitive Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content, satisfying digitally-demanding passengers over GX connectivity by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers. In addition, PAL customers will benefit from SITAONAIR’s mobile connectivity over GX via SITAONAIR’s Mobile ONAIRONAIR Plug’s secure online channel for inflight card transactions and crew and passenger interactions; plus integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The close partnership between SITAONAIR and Zodiac Inflight Innovations with PAL plays an important part in the program’s success.

Immfly
Immfly, based in Barcelona, was selected by easyJet to launch its IFE product on the basis of the high-performance digital platform it provides. It offers the flexibility to dynamically deliver a broad range of digital content and innovative tools to effectively engage customers. Immfly’s product is at the forefront of the industry providing passengers with the ability to access a unique in-flight entertainment experience with personalized capabilities through their own smart devices, rendering old built-in monitors obsolete. Immfly, already a leading provider of in-flight sales and communications services in Europe, expects to reach 100 million connected passengers by 2018 following its partnerships with airlines which include carriers such as Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet. Rakuten, a global leader in internet services with over 1 billion members worldwide and an ecosystem of more than 70 services, will be the Official Entertainment Sponsor of easyJet’s in-flight entertainment service integrated by Immfly.


More Stuff:

 

  • Rockwell Collins’ largest nose-to-tail connectivity contract to date
  • Passengers will have access to fastest in-flight internet speeds available
  • Airline crew and operations will benefit from enhanced efficiency and increased access to information, including global flight tracking

Long Beach, California | September 26, 2017– A large Asia Pacific-based airline has selected Rockwell Collins as its provider of nose-to-tail connectivity services for its fleet of 100 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Cabin connectivity services will be provided by Rockwell Collins’ CabinConnectTM wireless in-flight connectivity and entertainment solution using Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network. The system will be linefit on the aircraft.

“The ability to stay connected while flying is critically important to airline passengers today, especially in the growing Asia Pac region,” said David Nieuwsma, senior vice president, Information Management Services at Rockwell Collins. “These passengers want to stream video and chat with family, and also enjoy the benefit of flying with a highly efficient airline. That’s exactly what this solution provides.”

With the installation of the new service, passengers will enjoy an improved travel experience, with the ability to surf the internet, use social networks and various instant messenger applications, as well as check emails via smartphones, tablets and personal computers. Passengers will also be able to stream onboard entertainment content using their personal devices.

In the flight deck, the airline will also implement Rockwell Collins’ ARINC GLOBALink services, including a unique multimedia ACARS communications package with Very High Frequency (VHF), High Frequency (HF) and SwiftBroadband-Safety Services (SB-S). The ARINC GLOBALink service securely and reliably delivers voice and data communications between the aircraft and ground operations over a private aviation network that features 99.999 percent availability. For back office operations, the airline will utilize ARINC OpCenterSM, the company’s cloud-based ACARS host processor and will be able to monitor its aircraft fleet anywhere in the world using the Rockwell Collins ARINC MultiLinkSM flight tracking solution.

Last issue we began the EXPO updates for our IFExpress content, and we continue with it this week. However, it may take longer to cover APEX as we plan to keep covering the latest news in our weekly coverage as well. So, lets get started with Lufthansa Systems and Telefonix:

1) Lufthansa Systems

Norbert Müller, previously Head of BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems, has taken on a new role as Head of the Americas region at Lufthansa Systems as of October 1, 2017. The LS folks said that he is pleased to hand over the baton to his successor Jan-Peter Gänse, who has so far been responsible for certifications and strategically important projects in the area of BoardConnect.

“I am pleased to be able to take on this task from a highly esteemed colleague and industry expert who has accompanied me over the past few years in my previous area of responsibility. My goal is to further expand the already established and successful path with our product line BoardConnect. With currently 12 customers, we are on the right track.” And while in Long Beach, we met the affable Jan-Peter and we really enjoyed visiting with him – and we are certain you will too!

From a hardware/services perspective, the company announced the following relationship during APEX. A completely new approach to content services provisioning characterizes the BoardConnect Media Services offered by Lufthansa Systems in collaboration with Touch Inflight Solutions Inc. (Touch). Since the two companies began cooperating closely just over a year ago, their product has been successfully installed on more than 100 aircraft of commercial airlines – including Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Azul Linhas Aereas.

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

Integrated approach

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

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

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

2) Telefonix

During APEX EXPO Telefonix PDT was selected by Gogo to develop the next generation Air-to-Ground Modem Controller Unit. Here is some additional information from Telefonix PDT on the product. The AMCU product is an evolution of the currently fielded Airborne Controller Processor Unit 2 (ACPU2), which allows seamless enablement of Gogo’s next generation ATG service while maintaining installed electronics footprint. Gogo’s next generation ATG network is slated for North American availability in 2018. The AMCU incorporates a proprietary modem that utilizes LTE technology in the unlicensed 2.4GHz band. This system is designed to provide peak speeds of more than 100Mbps. The AMCU is a continuation of the work the Telefonix PDT team has been doing during its long-standing development partnership with Gogo. The AMCU is the latest product to be developed by Telefonix PDT and has grown out of the insights and technological advancements from partnerships such as Gogo. The AMCU features a modular design for its key components, enhancing the serviceability of the LRU, while also providing a future pathway for upgrading those components.

To fully enable Gogo’s new network, the AMCU is designed to deliver advanced processing capabilities, with a modern quad core Intel Xeon processor. The AMCU supports both ARINC 429 and ARINC 717 data bus interfaces, a managed multi-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, avionic discretes, an 802.11g/a/n/ac Wi-Fi client, 4G/LTE Terrestrial modem, and an extended onboard multi-Terabyte SSD storage capability, all packaged in an ARINC 600, 6 MCU chassis. The cornerstone of the AMCU is Gogo’s innovative ATG modem; the AMCU chassis will manage and provide for the modem’s unique mechanical, electrical and thermal requirements.

Pat Walsh, Sr. Vice President of Engineering at Gogo noted, “The AMCU will be an integral component of Gogo’s evolving connectivity solution, and we couldn’t be happier to once again be working with the Telefonix PDT team to ensure an optimized product for our customers.”

Gogo’s awarding of the AMCU program underlines the faith Gogo has placed in the Telefonix PDT team to continue innovating the next generation of ATG services. “The Telefonix PDT team values its long-standing relationship with Gogo and is proud to have been selected for the AMCU program,” says Michael Kuehn, President of Telefonix, Inc. “Our team is committed to working side by side with the Gogo development team in delivering a best-in-class modem solution for Gogo’s ATG network and meeting the expectations of Gogo’s customers going forward.” The Telefonix PDT development team is on schedule to meet Gogo’s development and installation schedule, with planning underway for DO-160G qualification, with a final delivery expected in Q2 in 2018.


NEWS

  • PANASONIC AVIONICS-Mexico City-based Interjet has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) innovative inflight entertainment (IFE) system and Wi-Fi connectivity service for its fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The initial aircraft will be delivered from Airbus in November 2017, and this A321 NEO aircraft will be the first Panasonic-equipped aircraft to be line fit with connectivity by the OEM. Headquartered in Mexico City, Interjet serves over 11 million passengers each year with routes in Mexico as well as the United States, Canada and Central and South America providing air service to 54 destinations in eight countries. It operates a fleet of 76 aircraft and has revenue of more than 1 billion dollars per year.  With Panasonic, Interjet will be able to offer a premium, connected entertainment experience across international markets and one of the most extensive domestic route structures available from Airlines in the region. Panasonic’s connectivity service will let passengers surf the web, send email, and use their favorite social media apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and more over inflight broadband Wi-Fi. eXO is one of the industry’s most innovative overhead solutions. It features Panasonic’s new large-format 12-inch 1080p retractable overhead monitors, and gives Interjet a path to deliver wireless streaming to passenger devices in the future. It creates a theater like experience allowing passengers to view high definition video content on large-format overhead screens.
  • Gogo announced it completed 110 installations of its industry leading 2Ku inflight connectivity solution in the third quarter of 2017. The company had a total of 340 2Ku installed aircraft as of Sept. 30, 2017. “Our rapid deployment of 2Ku is transforming global aviation. Based on our pace of installs since Labor Day, we are well positioned to nearly double the number of 2Ku installations in the fourth quarter as compared to the third quarter,” said John Wade, Gogo’s executive vice president and COO.   “We are delivering the most bandwidth, the broadest global coverage and highest system availability for aviation.” Gogo will have approximately 600 total 2Ku aircraft online across 10 airlines by the end of this year.  The company has shortened installation times to less than two days, which is less than half the time that it typically takes to install a broadband satellite connectivity solution.
  • Astronics, a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Astronics Max-Viz, announced  that more than 2,500 of its Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) have now been installed in rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. 
  • Airbus logged 56 jetliner sales last month (single aisle & wide body) while delivering 55 aircraft for September (versus 62 in September 2016). Airbus’ overall net orders for the first nine months of 2017 totaled 271 jets (462 in 2017 versus 462 one year ago) . As one source notes: “Airbus’ overall backlog of jetliners as of 30 September stood at 6,691– the equivalent of approximately nine years of production at current rates.”
  • BOEING delivered 78 aircraft in September vs 72 in Sept 2016. It has delivered 554 aircraft over first three quarters of 2017 vs 563 a year ago.
  • And if you were wondering why the US came down so hard on Canadian Bombardier’s C Series aircraft dumping, you really must read the Danny Lam article in Aviation Week – China is the issue!

Lastly, if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend APEX in Long Beach or you were simply too busy to walk the expo floor be certain to check out our flickr link in the upper right hand column!

SITA’s local presence, combined with reliable global service, provides the airline with flexibility

Montreal, Canada | October 4, 2017–Air Transat, Canada’s number one holiday travel airline, has turned to SITA to support its route development in airports across the Caribbean, South and Central America. A fast time to market is key to the airline’s success and SITA delivers communications network services at new destinations quickly.

Air Transat faces challenges to uniformly connect and equip its staff across all destinations. Regardless of where it flies, it must have reliable network connectivity to access its applications. Over the next three years, SITA will provide Air Transat with network connectivity in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico and Panama.

Many smaller and low-cost airports do not have common-use equipment and hardware has to be provided by the airline. However, it is not easy to transport computers in and out of countries quickly or have support staff available immediately to service the equipment; it’s also costly to store equipment in the off-season when not needed. SITA will provide end-user computing services to manage this challenge, allowing Air Transat to add new seasonal destinations quickly and smoothly.

Martin Lachance, Director, IT Solutions, Air Transat, said: “SITA has delivered a solution tailored exactly to our business needs. This is a combination of SITA’s network connectivity with global presence and local support, simplified billing, and fast streamlined implementation across our ever-changing seasonal network. SITA’s uniform global service—driven by a comprehensive service level agreement with standardized equipment and processes—controls costs and simplifies billing, giving us the flexibility we demand in our business.”

SITA has solved both problems of equipping staff and providing connectivity wherever Air Transat flies. Its global presence at airports and relationships with local governments enabled SITA to provide a turnkey solution. This included everything from customs clearance of laptops; deployment of the equipment once on-site; remotely supporting the equipment; maintenance and repair; spares provision; decommissioning; storage in the off-season if needed; and Internet/network connectivity. SITA’s global team of engineers have specific air transport industry and end-user computing experience and knowledge that allows them to efficiently support the Air Transat team in every location.

Randy Pizzi, SITA President, Americas, said: “SITA is excited to partner with Air Transat to deliver services that support the flexibility this dynamic business requires. The combination of our end-user computing services and reliable network availability allows Air Transat to save time and control costs while ensuring high levels of service and site management.”

Air Transat is a Canadian leisure airline based in Montreal, Quebec, operating scheduled and charter flights that serve about 60 destinations in 26 countries. In 2016, Air Transat was named Best North American Leisure Airline for the fifth consecutive year by Skytrax. In 2017, the airline is celebrating its 30th anniversary in business and its 30th year as a SITA member.

Long Beach, California | September 26, 2017–International carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has selected SITAONAIR to make its global high-speed connected passenger experience ambitions a reality over GX Aviation.

SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing B777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave SATCOM terminal, together with line-fitting PAL’s new Airbus A350s and A321s. Once complete, SITAONAIR will activate its rich nose-to-tail package of bespoke inflight connectivity (IFC) services, achieving a significantly enhanced and consistent connected experience for passengers and cabin crews.

SITAONAIR’s award-winning, intuitive Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content, satisfying digitally-demanding passengers over GX connectivity by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers.

In addition, PAL customers will benefit from SITAONAIR’s mobile connectivity over GX via SITAONAIR’sMobile ONAIRONAIR Plug’s secure online channel for inflight card transactions and crew and passenger interactions; plus integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The close partnership between SITAONAIR and Zodiac Inflight Innovations with PAL plays an important part in the program’s success.

In April PAL announced their selection of SITAONAIR’s state-of-the-art CrewTab solution to digitize cabin crews’ operations. Coupled with GX connectivity, this solution’s capabilities will further optimize the customer service experience and efficiencies CrewTab-equipped cabin crews can deliver in flight.

PAL President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista, says: “We are extremely proud to be realizing our complete, connected aircraft ambitions with SITAONAIR, our long-standing, trusted partner. Philippine Airlines is absolutely focused on delivering the best-possible passenger experience, driving towards our goal of becoming a full-service five-star carrier. PAL is at the forefront of the connected aircraft revolution, and we are excited about the future. Service innovations, together with flight route network expansion and fleet modernization, remains a top priority.”

David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, says: “A quality inflight connectivity experience is now a ‘must-have’ for airline passengers – SITA’s 2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey found onboard satisfaction higher among tech-using passengers than non-tech users. With SITAONAIR, our long-standing airline customers Philippine Airlines are advancing their ambitions for digital innovation and transformation over the latest high-speed broadband technologies, and we are honored to be playing a central role in their story.”

He continued: “Our integral partnership with Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Honeywell, Inmarsat and Zodiac Inflight Innovations in delivering a fully certified and integrated end-to-end connectivity solution and service will continue to be instrumental in the overall success of the project.”

Find out how SITAONAIR can help you create your connected aircraft reality today – visit sitaonair.aero, speak to your nearest SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.

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

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

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

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

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

Some Big Deals

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


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


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


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


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


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


Trends/Forecasts

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

People Update:

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

Brinder Bhatia – Retired

Lori Salazar – Independent business consultant

Paul Margis – Independent business consultant

Greg Fialcowitz – Independent business

John Guidon – Unknown

Lou Sharkey – Independent business consultant

Glen Latta – Now with GEE

Mike Moeller – Now with GEE

Earle Olson – Now with Airborne Wireless Network


Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

London School of Economics | September 26, 2017–

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

Market potential

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

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

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

Drivers for growth

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

Regional differences

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

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

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

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

 

APEX 0415: Onboard Advertising

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

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


Some Booth Highlights

Thales
Booth: 213

Contact: Adam.KOSTECKI@us.thalesgroup.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Panasonic
Booth: 955

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

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

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

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

AXINOM
Booth: 135

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

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

Rockwell Collins
Booth: 711

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

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

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

SkyLights
Booth: 566

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

SPAFAX
Booth: 619

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

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