Another Tuesday and another IFExpress. Be sure to check out the story about the B52 Midnight Express restoration (image above) at the end of this week’s Hot Topic.


Aircraft Interiors Exposition – Boston

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX, Boston), the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, will this year take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25 – 27 September. Organized by Reed Exhibitions, it is the sister event to AIX Hamburg.

The world-leading event is strategically co-located with Airlines Passenger Experience Expo (APEX EXPO) and International Flight Services Association Expo (IFSA EXPO), enabling airlines and companies from across the supply chain to meet and network.

New to AIX, Boston this year is CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre – the educational sessions which are a popular and firmly established part of its sister show in Hamburg each spring. Sessions will run throughout the first two days of AIX, Boston and provide attendees and exhibitors an arena to learn, network and seek inspiration on pressing industry issues.

More than 220 exhibiting companies are already confirmed to attend the co-located events in Boston in September, showcasing their products and innovations to an expected audience of 5,000 + visitors and 280 airline VIPs from 63 global airlines.

Amongst them are 12 first time exhibitors including Bose Corporation, Meggitt PLC, SynQor Inc and Tajima America Corp, who will join longstanding brands across all three events including Acro Aircraft Seating, Boeing, Diehl Aviation, E Leather, gategroup, Panasonic Avionics, STS Aviation Group, San Diego Aircraft interiors, and Tapis Corporation.

Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, comments: “Over the past nine years, AIX has firmly established itself as the leading fall event for the global aircraft interiors industry to gather and discuss the trends shaping the industry.

“This year we are delighted to be welcoming new exhibiting companies who will continue to showcase the evolving spectrum of aircraft interiors products that are shaping the passenger experience.

“Bringing this to life, and providing a forum for open discussion and innovation, we are sure that CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre will be a popular addition to the show and look forward to unveiling the speaker line-up in the coming weeks.”

Each fall, the location of AIX changes to refresh the industry’s perspective and reach an extensive audience of key industry decision makers from around the world. It showcases a wide range of cabin interiors products including; seating, galleys, lighting, lavatories, cabin management system, soft furnishings and passenger services.

Boston is the capital of the state of Massachusetts and its largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s also one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Today, the city is home to around 600,000 people and welcomes over 20 million visitors every year, drawn by attractions such as the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and neighboring Harvard.

AIX Americas is the sister event of the Aircraft Interiors Expo which takes place every April in Hamburg, Germany.

With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category “Best Customer Journey Experience” is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at https://connect.apex.aero/page/apexawards until the end of July.

The new category is running outside the normal entry phase for the Crystal Cabin Award. It will be presented on 24 September together with the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas events in Boston, Massachusetts. The application phase for the other eight categories, traditionally awarded every April at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, will then begin.

“Best Customer Journey Experience” comprises all products that help to improve the customer experience journey (inspiration, planning, booking, purchase, pre-trip, departure, in-flight and post-trip) across airline travel categories. It includes technical end-to-end solutions across categories including applications, artificial intelligence, tools, devices, software, programs etc. The product should offer benefits for airlines, OEMs, and/or suppliers by offering new digital solutions and specific insights about passengers experience for the benefit of on-board technical utilization. The finalists and award winner will provide airlines and their suppliers an inspirational example on how to optimize the cabin for end-to-end travel solutions centered around personalized passenger experience.

This special category complements the existing eight categories awarded each year in Hamburg for the Crystal Cabin Awards: „Cabin Concepts“, „Cabin Systems“, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity”, “Material and Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University” and “Visionary Concepts”. Winners of the 2018 season included renowned industry players such as Airbus and Altran, Rockwell Collins, and PriestmanGoode with Qatar Airways.


INMARSAT

The potential bidding war for satellite company Inmarsat took an interesting turn. Eutelsat had initially thrown its hat into the ring as a suitor but made a rapid about-turn. Inmarsat’s stock spun, too, sinking by 12%.

What Does This Mean?

Inmarsat provides phone and wireless data services – like 4G – to people via satellites around the world. France’s Eutelsat does the same thing and is the third largest global operator of its kind.

The proverbial bidding war came about after American company Echostar said it had amassed a 3% stake in Inmarsat on Friday (its offer to buy the company earlier in June was rebuffed). Eutelsat then said it was considering an offer, too – but decided against it after pressure to make a firm decision from the UK’s takeover regulator.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Inmarsat’s stock could be in for a bumpy ride.
Inmarsat’s shares soared with the news of Echostar’s initial bid – and the prospect of a counter bid – but they’re now in decline. The UK’s takeover laws mean this rollercoaster ride could last a bit longer, since Eutelsat now can’t put in a bid for Inmarsat of any kind unless a formal offer is made by someone else. Echostar has to submit a final bid within a month or it’ll be tapped out by regulators.

The bigger picture: Land grabbing and cost “synergies” make M&A likely.
In an industry with slowing growth opportunities, bundling revenues together – and streamlining costs that may have otherwise been duplicated (a.k.a. generating synergies) – is a tidy way for satellite companies to increase profits. Bidding wars among giants for the smaller companies could be an ongoing trend for the industry.


SITA

SITA invites airline industry stakeholders to join international Blockchain research project. SITA announced the launch of a major industry research project to explore the potential of blockchain. More than 100 top IT executives, attending SITA’s Customer Innovation Forum, were the first to be invited to join the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox.

SITA is investing in the infrastructure to accelerate industry-specific research into the viability of running multi-enterprise apps using distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain. The company is welcoming interested industry players to use the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox at no cost to them.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Today we are inviting air transport organizations to work together so that we can collectively see how blockchain could work across our industry. Blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organizations is not the most productive. As the technology company owned by airlines, SITA is in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications. Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all.”

The airline industry has a long history of sharing information across multiple stakeholders to increase efficiency. At times, however, it faces difficulties when proprietary business information needs to be extracted or multiple data sources conflict. One of the key benefits of blockchain technology is the ability to have multi-enterprise applications. These work across multiple organizations locking data immutably into the blockchain rather than having individual applications running separately and exchanging data on a case-by-case basis. This is how this technology can provide a ‘single source of truth’ to all stakeholders.

The Aviation Blockchain Sandbox will be led and managed by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team, and will develop in three stages. To start, SITA is opening the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. FlightChain was SITA’s blockchain trial, with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport, using smart contracts for shared control of data. It stored flight information on the blockchain to provide a single source of truth. Now SITA is making it easy for other airlines and airports to join this research and test FlightChain for their own use.

For the second stage of this collaborative innovation, SITA will work with organizations that wish to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases. During the third stage of the research, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node. This will give the organizations the opportunity to become more involved and to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians. Throughout all stages the participating organizations can be assured that the data being used in the blockchain sandbox will be stored confidentially.

Dalibard concluded: “Since we published the results of the FlightChain research, many of our airline and airport customers have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities of blockchain with us and some have already committed to the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organizations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together.”


AIRBUS

The closing of the previously announced C Series transaction between Airbus SAS, Bombardier Inc. and Investissement Québec came into effect on July 1, 2018. Airbus now owns a 50.01% majority stake in C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, while Bombardier and Investissement Québec own approximately 34% and 16% respectively. CSALP’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec.

Further, Airbus has announced orders for 10 A350-900 and 10 A330neo’s to undisclosed buyers.

The world’s passenger fleet will more than double to 48,000 aircraft in 20 years with traffic growing at a resilient 4.4% per year, driving a need for 37,390 new passenger and freighter aircraft according to Airbus’ new Global Market Forecast 2018-2037. Growth drivers include private consumption increasing 2.4 times in emerging economies, higher disposable incomes and a near doubling of the middle classes globally. Emerging countries will account for over 60% of economic growth, with trips per capita to multiply 2.5 times for these nations. Combined with evolving airline business models and continuing liberalization, the growing scale of air transportation will lead to an increasing resilience to regional slowdowns. Greater aircraft range and capacity through technological developments allow airlines the flexibility to explore new business opportunities whilst maintaining focus on cost reduction. Of the 37,390 new aircraft required, 26,540 are for growth and 10,850 will replace older generation less fuel efficient aircraft. The more than doubling in the world fleet to 48,000 aircraft results in a need for 540,000 new pilots. Airbus continues to evolve its service business to meet the needs of its growing customer base.


BOEING

Boeing & Ethiopian Airlines

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first of 30 737 MAX jets for Africa’s largest and fastest-growing commercial airline.

The flag carrier of Ethiopia has long operated the efficient and reliable Boeing 737 airplane. With the MAX, Ethiopian will be able to achieve a double-digit improvement in fuel efficiency and provide passengers with a more comfortable experience.

“We are glad to include the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the latest in Boeing’s single-aisle series, in our young and modern fleet of over 100 aircraft with an average age of less than five years,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam. “The Boeing 737 MAX 8 features the new Boeing sky interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhance the sense of spaciousness ultimately boosting our customers’ experience. Since it is more fuel efficient than the current 737-NG, it has less carbon emission to the environment. As a customer-centric airline with a high adaptability to emerging technologies, Ethiopian has been pioneering latest-technology aircraft into Africa throughout its 72-year history. In line with the airline’s growth targets under Vision 2025, we will keep on investing in further expansion of our fleet in acquiring the latest aircraft the industry has to offer.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,500 orders to date from 99 customers worldwide.

The 737 MAX families incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, the Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays, and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

In Ethiopian’s configuration, its 737 MAX 8 will seat 160 passengers.

“Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly at the forefront of Africa’s commercial aviation industry by operating the most advanced airplanes,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Sales vice president for Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia & Africa. “We are honored by Ethiopian’s continuing confidence in Boeing airplanes and we look forward to growing our five-decade long partnership.”

With this delivery, Ethiopian’s fleet of Boeing airplanes grows to 73 jets, including the 787 Dreamliner, 777, 737 MAX, and the 757 and 767.

Boeing & Embraer

Boeing and Embraer announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership that positions both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets.

The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake. The transaction values 100 percent of Embraer’s commercial aircraft operations at $4.75 billion, and contemplates a value of $3.8 billion for Boeing’s 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. The proposed partnership is expected to be accretive to Boeing’s earnings per share beginning in 2020 and to generate estimated annual pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $150 million by year three.

The strategic partnership will bring together more than 150 years of combined leadership in aerospace and leverage the two companies’ highly complementary commercial product lines. The partnership is a natural evolution of a long-standing history of collaboration between Boeing and Embraer over more than 20 years.

On finalization, the commercial aviation joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a President and Chief Executive Officer. Boeing will have operational and management control of the new company, which will report directly to Muilenburg.

The joint venture will become one of Boeing’s centers of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing, and support of commercial passenger aircraft, and will be fully integrated into Boeing’s broader production and supply chain.

Boeing and the joint venture would be positioned to offer a comprehensive, highly complementary commercial airplane portfolio that ranges from 70 seats to more than 450 seats and freighters, offering best-in-class products and services to better serve the global customer base.

In addition, both companies will create another joint venture to promote and develop new markets and applications for defense products and services, especially the KC-390 multi-mission aircraft, based on jointly-identified opportunities. Finalization of the financial and operational details of the strategic partnership and negotiation of definitive transaction agreements are expected to continue in the coming months. Upon execution of these agreements, the transaction would then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, including approval from the Government of Brazil, as well as other customary closing conditions. Assuming the approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, 12-18 months after execution of the definitive agreements.


OTHER NEWS

• SES contracts Hughes for service on EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX HTS satellites, and combines them with its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network, to provide a four-satellite constellation for the launch of Thales FlytLIVE network
• The four-satellite network strengthens Thales’ FlytLIVE network as it enters initial operations in 2017 and in advance of the milestone launch of SES-17 Ka-band HTS satellite, planned for 2020
• SES to purchase multiple JUPITER System gateways from Hughes and contract ground segment operations to Hughes to bring seamless connectivity to Thales FlytLIVE network
• Thales selects Hughes JUPITER System Aeronautical platform for its next-generation IFC solution

Arlington, VA, Luxembourg and Germantown, MD | March 8, 2017– Today, Thales, SES S.A. and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) announced a set of strategic agreements to enhance the delivery of FlytLIVETM – Thales’ connected inflight experience solution, offering the most advanced and efficient aeronautical connectivity solution available in the Americas. Under the agreements, SES contracts capacity on Hughes EchoStar XVII and EchoStar XIX high throughput (HTS) Ka-band satellites to complement its AMC-15 and AMC-16 network giving FlytLIVE the only redundant coverage network in North America. SES will also purchase multiple JUPITERTM System gateways from Hughes to qualify Thales to deploy its FlytLIVE service on Hughes JUPITER Aeronautical platform. This will allow Thales to initiate its next- generation connected inflight experience offering in North America this year.

Furthermore, the system being deployed is forward compatible with SES-17, SES’ powerful Ka- band HTS satellite optimized for aviation connectivity and expected to launch in 2020, thus ensuring Thales’ airline clients have a clear and effective path for accommodating the ever- growing traffic demands of their passengers.

FlytLIVE by Thales provides an advanced, seamless inflight connectivity solution with unmatched performance and redundancy, giving passengers the full broadband Internet connectivity, including the ability to stream Internet services for video, games, social media and live television, creating an immersive and engaging experience in the air. In addition, this new service enables airlines to upload content, download operational data, and provide live television channels to their entire fleet through managed end-to-end solutions and network services.

In 2016, SES and Thales announced an agreement to procure and commercialize SES-17 and to leverage SES’ existing AMC-15 and AMC-16 satellites for FlytLIVE. This new set of strategic agreements between SES, Thales and Hughes provide Thales with an expanded scope of HTS Ka-band satellite capacity and the latest and most advanced aeronautical platform available today. The combination of Hughes EchoStar XVII and XIX Ka-band satellites with SES’ AMC-15 and AMC-16 network provide for expanded satellite capacity, coverage, and redundancy over North America. With these four satellites and the Hughes JUPITER System aeronautical platform, Thales will be positioned to offer the most comprehensive connectivity and content services for the full gamut of North American flight routes, including routes between the North East U.S. and Canada and the Caribbean, which to-date have been underserved as these flight routes are predominantly over open ocean. This combination of coverage, performance, redundancy, and network robustness will be unique to FlytLIVE.

At the center of the new service is Hughes high-performance JUPITER system that is already in operation for broadband enterprise and consumer services in other major markets globally and will be introduced for aeronautical use on the Thales FlytLIVE network. Unique features of the network include rapid beam-to-beam and satellite-to-satellite switching and DVB-S2x transmission. Thales has already begun service testing using its new Thales Ka-band aero antenna and the Hughes JUPITER technology.

SES will also purchase multiple Hughes JUPITER System gateways to support traffic carried over AMC-15 and AMC-16, as well as SES-17, when it enters service. FlyLIVE’s network will deliver industry leading speed and capacity for support of growing passenger service demands and will comfortably accommodate forecasted traffic increases through the launch of SES-17, which is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and configured with close to 200 spot beams and coverage tailored to aviation and mobility markets.

“Our experience and position as a global leader in satellites, avionics, cybersecurity and connected inflight entertainment means we are able to deliver the most capable solutions our customers expect. With these strategic agreements with SES and Hughes, Thales FlytLIVE service will be uniquely able to deliver airlines and their passengers with an unsurpassed, connected inflight entertainment experience.” • Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience

“This agreement confirms once again SES’s ability to provide scalable solutions tailored to match our customers’ specific requirements. Not only are we developing SES-17, a next- generation satellite that Thales will use to meet the future inflight connectivity demands of the next decade, but we are also providing a superior, tailor-made, multi-satellite and multi-beam solution today, in 2017, utilizing assets already in orbit. This is only possible thanks to the combination of our existing robust and flexible network with our long-standing relationship with Hughes and Thales.” • Elias Zaccack, Senior Vice President of SES’s Global

Mobility Team and the Americas region, SES S.A.
“Hughes is proud to join with Thales and SES to bring our advanced JUPITER System aeronautical platform, along with the enhanced satellite coverage and capacity of our EchoStar XVII and XIX satellites, to facilitate the launch and operation of FlytLIVE’ s North American service. Our JUPITER platform will enable SES and Thales to deliver an unmatched level of inflight connectivity customer experience, and the capacity brought through our satellites will ensure that Thales’ airline clients will be able to readily accommodate the ever-growing demands and performance expectations of their passengers.” • Paul Gaske, Executive Vice President, North America, Hughes

BOEING
This week IFExpress discovered more non-IFEC related stories, and less topics covering our newsletter focus – less than usual, so for this issue we will pinpoint in on: aviation, planes, data, and whatever else our team thought you might catch your interest. With Aircraft Interiors Hamburg on the horizon you will soon get more IFEC news than you can use.

Let’s start off with Boeing’s newest jet roll-out: the B787-10 Dreamliner which is our rectangle image. Notes Boeing in their press release: The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, the third member of the 787 Dreamliner family, made its debut today at Boeing South Carolina. Thousands of employees at the North Charleston, S.C. site celebrated the event, along with U.S. President Donald Trump and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “What’s happening here at Boeing South Carolina is a true American success story,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “In just a few short years, our team has transformed a greenfield site into a modern aerospace production facility that is delivering 787s to airlines all over the world and supporting thousands of U.S. jobs in the process.”

The 787-10, built exclusively at Boeing South Carolina, will now be prepared for its first flight in the coming weeks. “This airplane, the most efficient in its class, is the result of years of hard work and dedication from our Boeing teammates, suppliers and community partners in South Carolina and across the globe,” said Kevin McAllister, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO. “We know our customers, including launch customer Singapore Airlines, are going to love what the 787-10 will do for their fleets, and we can’t wait to see them fly it.” Boeing will deliver the 787-10 to airlines in 2018. The airplane has won 149 orders from nine customers across the globe. The 787-10, the longest model of the Dreamliner family, will grow the nonstop routes opened by the 787-8 and 787-9 with unprecedented efficiency. As an 18-foot (5.5-m) stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 will deliver the 787 family’s preferred passenger experience and long range with up to 10 percent better fuel use and emissions than the competition.

Around the same time, Boeing won their employee battle with unions, as notes the Seattle Times: “After a bitter campaign, workers at Boeing’s South Carolina facility voted against joining the Machinists union, with 74 percent against. We also note that aviation analysts say the great boom in the aerospace industry is over, and predict that Boeing will have to cut jet production more.”


LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS
What part of aviation going digital don’t you understand? Well, the folks at Lufthansa Systems have a vary good answer and you might read it to see what the they view the future to hold: Everyone is talking about digitalization. Many companies are wondering how to future-proof themselves in the digital world. Lufthansa Systems turned this vision into reality a long time ago. For years, the aviation IT specialist has been advising and supporting airlines in their digital transformation, demonstrating what sustainable airline processes can look like and helping customers implement concrete projects.

“The core of our company strategy is to put airlines in a perfect position for the digital future. For example, we have spent over 15 years helping airlines work toward a paperless flight deck,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “We are offering new solutions and expanding our consulting unit in response to growing demand in the market. In keeping with this, we are continually enhancing our digital expertise so we can develop innovative solutions for the entire cosmos of an airline and its passengers – with data analytics, personalization, mobility and new developments such as eye tracking and dynamic navigation maps.”

The spectrum includes solutions and consulting services for improving the efficiency and differentiation of all aspects of an airline as well as for optimizing the entire travel chain for passengers.

Personalized Air Travel Services: Personalized solutions aim to enhance the passenger travel experience. New digital and individual services and apps, which can be used before, during and after a flight, ensure that passengers are addressed directly and personally. BoardConnect is one example. This digital platform enables passengers to access wireless inflight entertainment on their own smartphones and tablets, while offering additional functionalities for flight deck and cabin crews – with or without an Internet connection. The new inTime app is another example. It calculates how much time passengers will need to reach their gate punctually from their current location. Both the traffic situation outside the airport and the waiting times at check-in and security are taken into account here. The timings are based on (anonymized) data from real passengers, so the app gets more intelligent over time.

Dynamic Distribution Management: Dynamic distribution management makes it possible for airlines to increase their revenues by offering ticket and service packages directly to travelers. The New Distribution Capability (NDC) standard of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is promoting this development and significantly affecting the distribution structures of airlines. Together with partners, Lufthansa Systems provides solutions for the entire NDC process, including offer and order management, dynamic pricing, and billing with the Sirax/RA revenue accounting solution. Airlines benefit from improved customer loyalty through more individualized offers, with lower distribution costs and higher revenues.

Safe & Efficient Flight Operations: Optimization and efficiency in all aspects of flight operations are the crucial aspects here. Simplified processes, improved routes, reduced fuel consumption and shorter handling times (including for crews and maintenance work) not only generate considerable savings potential, they also increase flight safety. For example, the digital navigation maps of the Lido/Navigation product line are becoming more and more dynamic. In the near future, they will be able to seamlessly display all flight processes from gate to gate. With an on-board Internet connection, additional smart functions in the maps can show information that is relevant to specific situations during a flight. This increases the pilots’ situational awareness.

Reliable Air Travel Experience: New developments in the field of flight operations revolve around passengers and their positive travel experience. If disruptions or delays do occur, these solutions aim to minimize the negative effects on passengers and communicate changes in a transparent way. This is essential to an airline’s success. The successful NetLine/Ops ++ operations control solution helps here with its innovative eye-tracking feature. Employees in an operations control center sometimes have to monitor six screens showing current flights and information about potential disturbances. Analyzing the eye movements of operations controllers with the help of eye-tracking technology ensures that no important warnings or disruption notifications are overlooked.

“In light of the growing importance of digital solutions in the aviation industry – including in the areas of data sharing, analytics and prediction – we founded a company last year called zeroG,” said Lufthansa Systems CEO Stefan Auerbach. “zeroG is a consulting firm with the character of a start-up which can respond quickly and flexibly to changes in the market. With their expertise in IT and aviation, our zeroG consultants support digitalization projects inside and outside of the Lufthansa Group.” The attached infographic provides an overview of current digitalization projects and innovative solutions at LHS.


SATCOM
Moving on to satcom, Tim Farrar of TMF Associates put out an interesting IFE comment in his latest Blog: “But the biggest news appears to be a pull back on SES’s part from the long rumored global Ka-band GEO system that I noted last summer. SES announced only a single satellite (SES-17) for the Americas in partnership with Thales last September, but had plans for two additional satellites, and it seemed increasingly likely that a partnership with EchoStar would be announced soon to fund this development. Now it seems that effort is on hold, leaving EchoStar without an obvious way forward to achieving global coverage (as it seems EchoStar considered but rejected the idea of buying Inmarsat last fall).” There is more here


COSMIC RAY
And speaking of satcom, we wondered about the ongoing effect of cosmic rays on inside electronics – especially at 20,000 feet where the ray density is higher than on the earth, and planes fly, and you use your phones and other electronics – Computerworld notes: “Cosmic rays — or rather the electrically charged particles they generate — may be your real foe.” Researchers have discovered that a specific type of cosmic ray call a single-event upset (SEU) can jolt and alter individual bits of data on computer chips. (Quick note: SEUs are harmless to organic life.) “An SEU was also blamed for an electronic voting error in Schaerbeekm, Belgium, back in 2003,” Computerworld says. “A bit flip in the electronic voting machine added 4,096 extra votes to one candidate. The issue was noticed only because the machine gave the candidate more votes than were possible.” Bharat Bhuva, a member of Vanderbilt University’s Radiation Effects Research Group, says it’s “a really big problem, but- mostly invisible to the public.” The Radiation Effects Research Group was founded in 1987 to study what effect radiation could have on electronic devices. While the body of researchers “initially focused on military and space applications,” it has expanded its research into consumer devices in the past decade. “Despite some serious examples, SEUs are still fairly rare events. But as the number of transistors being used in new electronic systems increases, so does the probability of an SEU failure on the device level.”


GEE
Glance Prongay & Murray LLP announces an investigation on behalf of Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (“Global Eagle” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: ENT) investors concerning the Company and its officers’ possible violations of federal securities laws. The Company further disclosed that it would be unable to timely file its 2016 annual report, and that it would need to withdraw its guidance for 2016 financial performance. Global Eagle (stock) has fallen over 29% per share during intraday trading on February 21, 2017.

Additionally, GEE announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Jeff Leddy as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Leddy has served on the Company’s Board of Directors since January 2013 and will continue as a Director. GEE further stated that Dave Davis, the Company’s CEO, and Tom Severson, the Company’s CFO, had both resigned effective immediately.