SAFRAN

Safran Passenger Innovations, ThinKom Solutions, Inc. (ThinKom) and Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certifications (Astronics), today announced agreements to provide next-generation Ka-band aero satellite terminals. Safran Passenger Innovations is embarking down a path of providing the next evolution in Inflight Connectivity (IFC) terminal solution to the market, one that allows airlines to have flexibility when it comes to choosing a service provider.

Under the agreements, ThinKom will supply its ThinAir® Ka2517 phased-array aero satellite antennas for Safran Passenger Innovations’ Ka-band commercial IFC terminal in both retrofit and linefit installations. Safran Passenger Innovations is an authorized terminal integrator for the next generation of aero broadband services across multiple providers and a key supplier for connectivity solutions to Airbus. The ThinKom antenna will be packaged with a newly designed adapter plate, installation kit and in-cabin connectivity solution.

Astronics has been selected to deliver its new Dual-modem Modem Manager (Modman) and a new Outside Aircraft Equipment (OAE) support structure. The Modman integrates multiple third-party aero modem cards in a 4MCU enclosure. The launch version of the Modman will include the iDirect iQ800 modem with multiple additional configurations available to provide flexibility for Safran Passenger Innovations and Airbus customers. The OAE installation kit is comprised of a radome, adapter plate, skirt and associated wiring to complement ThinKom’s antenna with a simplified installation design and novel use of quick disconnect fittings to improve serviceability.

Safran Passenger Innovations selected the ThinKom Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub (VICTS) antennas based on their unmatched record of reliability and performance. VICTS antennas have over 28 million accrued operational hours of service on more than 1,600 commercial aircraft. ThinKom’s phased-array antennas provide industry-leading spectral efficiency that is two to eight times higher than other competing designs. The VICTS antennas also offer the beam agility needed to switch seamlessly between geostationary (GEO) and non-geostationary (NGSO) satellite constellations. The low-profile design minimizes drag and maximizes fuel economy, and the low power consumption results in very little heat generation inside the radome, enabling uninterrupted gate-to-gate operation even with full solar loading in hot climates.

“Our partnership with ThinKom and Astronics strongly supports SPI’s connectivity vision and supports our continued growth in the IFC market. The Ka2517 antenna solution, along with a MODMAN that supports multiple modem providers, are key pieces in supporting our customers and providing them with the best systems available today, and for the future” said John Andrews, Safran’s VP, Connectivity.

More From Safran

Safran is a major supplier for ITA Airways’ new cabins. ITA Airways, the new Italian flag carrier, has kicked off a vast program to revamp the interiors of its fleet, comprising Airbus A220, A319ceo, A320neo/ceo, A321neo and A330neo jetliners.

Safran Seats will provide all economy and premium economy class seats for this new fleet. The company worked intensively to give these seats a premium look, especially by using Italian fabrics and leather.

Safran Cabin is also a fleet supplier, especially the exceptionally comfortable cargo bay rest areas for flight crews.

Safran Cabin also offers galleys, cooking equipment and food and beverage carts to ensure top-flight service quality.

Safran Passenger Innovations was also selected by ITA Airways to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems: RAVE wireless for a dozen Airbus A320neo twinjets, and RAVE Centric for nine Airbus A321neo and 17 Airbus A330neo jetliners.

“Safran is very proud of its selection to outfit ITA Airways’ new interiors with a wide range of seats and galley equipment, which enhance the interior design, comfort and service quality,” said Olivier Andriès, Chief Executive Officer of Safran. “Our aircraft interior staff have developed an integrated cabin and seat solution, reflecting the excellence of this new airline.”


Airbus

Airbus has launched Airspace Link HBCplus, its new flexible satellite connectivity solution that will be offered as an SFE line-fit catalogue option and also for retrofit on all Airbus programs. HBCplus, which initially encompasses Ka-band services, will enable airlines to connect to a choice of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) via a new certified terminal and radome built as part of the aircraft. In the future it is planned to extend HBCplus to include MSPs which offer Ku-band services.

Andreì Schneider, Airbus VP Cabin & Cargo Program said: “We are excited to offer airlines a new connectivity service solution that will provide improved speed and reliability for passenger experience and more flexibility. Together with our leading industry partners we are pleased to enable future connectivity business opportunities in the context of the Airspace Link open ecosystem.”

To this end Airbus has selected connectivity satcom leader Inmarsat as the first MSP, contributing its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution which offers reliable and seamless passenger experience with global coverage and capacity for future growth. Additional MSPs will join the HBCplus offering in due course.

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We are honored that Airbus has chosen Inmarsat as the first Managed Service Provider for this transformative connectivity catalogue solution and is putting its trust in our award-winning GX Aviation service across all of its aircraft programs. Inmarsat looks forward to working closely with our partners Airbus and SPI to deliver continuous innovation for airlines and their passengers worldwide.”

Meanwhile Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) has been selected as the terminal provider and hardware integrator of ThinKom’s proven antenna technology – targeted for Ka-band services which delivers high data throughput and reliability combined with aircraft fuel savings thanks to the antenna’s lower drag radome.

Matt Smith, CEO, Safran Passenger Innovations, said: “Safran Passenger Innovations is delighted to be selected as the equipment supplier for Airbus’ Airspace Link connectivity solution. We are excited to be a part of the next evolution in the IFC industry by providing the technology for airlines to select the connectivity services most suited to their needs. We look forward to working with Airbus and our partners on this industry-changing endeavor.”

Airspace Link HBCplus thus provides satcom based off-board connectivity for the Airspace Link open ecosystem representing an end-to-end Airbus offer. This solution, which enables the exchange of data as one seamlessly integrated aircraft system, is ideally positioned to unlock future digital services capacity and demand growth, allowing airlines to deliver a best-in-class passenger connectivity experience, in an exponentially growing market.


SITA

Skyports, a best-in-class owner and operator of vertiport infrastructure for the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry, and SITA, an IT provider for the air transport industry, today announced a partnership that will see SITA provide its digital solutions at Skyports vertiport locations.

SITA technology will first be implemented at the Skyports Cergy-Pontoise vertiport testbed in Paris, planned for completion in September 2022 to demonstrate the full passenger journey, from arrival at the vertiport terminal to eVTOL aircraft departure. The partnership aims to highlight the ease with which passengers will be able to navigate the AAM ecosystem.

SITA will apply its expertise in airport technology to the emerging AAM industry to develop bespoke biometric and vertiport technology in line with Skyports’ vision for the passenger experience. The technology being developed through the partnership will be a fundamental component of the future passenger journey through a vertiport. It will demonstrate for the first time how customers will interact with the ecosystem.

Passenger autonomy, ease, and convenience are central to the success of the industry and the widespread adoption of AAM. Through the integration of SITA’s biometric solution Smart Path, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft passengers traveling with Skyports will experience a seamless, technology-driven experience at all stages throughout the journey.

Passengers will be able to book and reserve flights on eVTOL aircraft via a mobile app powered by SITA’s biometric capabilities. Upon arrival at the Skyports vertiport, SITA face pods will be used to identify and verify passengers.

Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “Advanced Air Mobility has presented an opportunity to reimagine the entire travel experience, from the vehicles we use and energy sources we rely on, right down to the way passengers book and check-in to flights. We are partnering with SITA to move into this next crucial stage in the planning and development of the AAM industry – defining the experience for end-users. Everything we do at Skyports is underpinned by the belief that there is a faster, smarter, more streamlined way to travel. Our work with SITA will demonstrate how that translates to the passenger journey.”

AAM aircraft will provide a cost-effective and quicker alternative to traditional rail or land transport links. Walker added: “However, to make AAM work, there needs to be a demonstrable benefit to the end-user. Hence the passenger experience is fundamental to our success.”

Much of the magic in streamlining the passenger journey occurs behind the scenes. SITA will provide an automated scheduling solution to support Skyports’ airside operations. So, once a passenger requests a booking, a flight slot will automatically be secured at both departure and destination, ensuring the aircraft is operationally ready and waiting when the passenger arrives. It will also ensure that all the resources needed to support that flight are in place to ensure an on-time departure.

Sergio Colella, President of Europe at SITA, said: “With Skyports, we have the potential to use existing airport technology to totally redesign the passenger journey, with a light-touch process using just your mobile or facial biometric to complete the various steps in the journey. Together we will also work with existing airports to support Advanced Air Mobility solutions in the future.”

Skyports will, in the coming months, begin passenger experience trials at its Cergy-Pontoise vertiport testbed facility, Europe’s first operational testing site for AAM, which is being developed in partnership with Groupe ADP. The implementation of SITA’s innovative technology will be a focal point of the testing.


Anuvu

Anuvu, the leading provider of high-speed connectivity and entertainment solutions for demanding worldwide mobility markets, has won a Crystal Cabin Award for its newly-launched connectivity solution, Dedicated Space™ in the IFEC and Digital Services category. The industry-leading innovation addresses today’s connectivity challenges and meets rapidly evolving consumer demand for more consistent and stable inflight internet experiences, maximizing the bandwidth performance of existing connectivity networks.

Designed by Anuvu exclusively for mobility customers, Dedicated Space merges state-of-art modem technology with an AI-driven dynamic Network Management System (NMS) to optimize network performance. The benefits include reduced satellite handover times to under one second, significantly faster than any existing connectivity satellite provider today, as well as increased upload performance up to five-fold and reduced latency overall.

The technology is already operating today on certain Southwest Airlines flights, enabling the airline to provide, for the first time, a truly uninterrupted connectivity experience for passengers and eliminate critical overhead costs associated with the provision of inflight satellite internet.

“The way we use the internet has changed. Passengers demand more stable, higher-performing internet service when traveling. While we are on the cusp of a future of new networks, Dedicated Space is available today to solve for what passengers want right now,” said Mike Pigott, EVP Connectivity at Anuvu. “We are thrilled to win the prestigious Crystal Cabin Award in partnership with Southwest Airlines and remain committed to creating innovative solutions that bring a modern approach to inflight connectivity.”

Through Dedicated Space, Anuvu delivers the best GEO network performance available today by designing technology that addresses airlines’ critical pain points. The modems and ground equipment are easily upgraded and customized to eliminate unnecessary costs and streamline business for airlines. Anuvu’s innovative technology is beneficial to all airlines, is band and orbit agnostic, and requires the simple replacement of modem hardware. For passengers, it means fewer internet outages, more reliable Wi-FI, and high-performing upload and download speeds

The Crystal Cabin Awards, an initiative of the Hamburg Aviation cluster, is presented in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts,” “Cabin Systems,” “Health & Safety,” “IFEC & Digital Services,” “Material & Components,” “Passenger Comfort,” “Sustainable Cabin,” and “University.” For each category, the 28 expert members of the jury select three finalists, who are invited to pitch their concepts to the jury in person at Aircraft Interiors Expo.


OneWeb

OneWeb, a global space-based communications company, together with commercial aviation terminal partner Stellar Blu Solutions achieved a significant milestone on May 28, when it successfully delivered high-speed, low-latency inflight LEO satellite connectivity to a commercial airliner.  Stellar Blu, has partnered with antenna technology provider Ball Aerospace to incorporate its electronically steered arrays (ESA) into the terminal solution. This collaboration realized breakthrough performance on OneWeb’s low earth orbit (LEO) network.  The new Stellar Blu platform, known as “Sidewinder”, will continue flight testing through the remainder of 2022, with a target for certification and availability in mid-2023.

This first test flight was conducted aboard a Boeing B777-200LR and took off from Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW), in Texas on May 27th at 15:20 UTC and flew for just over one hour delivering the game-changing connectivity experience.

This test flight validates not only the installation and integration of the aircraft terminal, but underscores the performance of the antenna technology, and verifies the reliability of the connectivity during taxi, take-off, landing and typical aircraft flight maneuvers. As with any test flight, the assessment of performance reviewed expected parameters against vendor specifications, while also instrumenting and verifying on-aircraft impact and operating characteristics.

The Test Flight Crew simultaneously demonstrated the ability to connect Teams calls, 4K YouTube streaming, Netflix, online VR gaming and Nintendo Switch gaming, among other structured performance tests. Maximum speeds of 260Mbps download/80 upload and file transfer scenarios of 5GB demonstrated in approximately 20 seconds. All while operating at well under 100ms of network latency.

Commenting on the successful test flight, Ben Griffin, vice president Mobility said: “This test flight represents a fantastic milestone for OneWeb. Broadband in-flight connectivity, delivered to a commercial aircraft via low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and an electrically steered antenna (ESA) is now – finally – a reality. Together with our partners Stellar Blu and technology from Ball Aerospace, we are now well and truly on our way to delivering consistently reliable, game-changing, affordable inflight connectivity to commercial aviation users everywhere.

“This successful flight test demonstrates the power, not only of the OneWeb network, but our industry focused and partnership-led approach to the design, development, and deployment of ground-breaking technologies to connect commercial aviation. A solution designed for the aviation industry, by the aviation industry”

This maiden flight represented the culmination of several months’ collaboration between Stellar Blu, OneWeb and Ball Aerospace including ground trials and flight tests.  Their goal is to achieve certification in mid- 2023.

The Sidewinder terminal is ARINC 791 compliant to ease integration on commercial aircraft, with a smaller form factor option for installation on regional jets and single-aisle airliners.

Tracy Trent, Stellar Blu CEO, highlighting the achievement commented: “This initial testing is more about the integration of the components and accomplishing a safe installation on the aircraft, versus proving the connectivity functionality. That said, we are delighted by the performance of the terminal during the test flight. OneWeb is changing the reality of inflight connectivity now and for the future. Our antenna will harness the power of OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit constellation to deliver high-speed, low latency, globally consistent and reliable connectivity for every passenger, without conflict or compromise. We are very confident the Sidewinder terminal will present operators with a purpose-built aviation solution, delivering new breakthroughs for passenger experience, and redefining aircraft operating expectations for reliability and maintainability.”

Based on the electronically steered antenna technology developed by Ball Aerospace, the terminal is significantly, lower profile, lighter and smaller than existing aviation antennas.  It will enable airlines to connect their aircraft, passengers, and crew over OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication network.  OneWeb expects this to be a key differentiator as airlines initially embrace and become confident in the benefits and performance of its new LEO technologies.


OTHER NEWS

ASIP Tech Selected by Wizz Air for Free Inflight Connectivity

AS-IP Tech announced it has signed an agreement with Wizz Air (LSE: WIZZ) to provide connectivity on its fleet of A320 and A321 UK based aircraft.

In a world first, Wizz Air will integrate AS-IP Tech’s fflya Bluetooth platform into its mobile app and provide free messaging (SMS, Email and WhatsApp) to its passengers. It will be marketed as TEXT&FLY BY WIZZ.

ASIP Tech President Ron Chapman said “Following months of successful flight testing, we are delighted to be selected by Wizz Air pioneering our new generation of inflight connectivity.  We look forward to working with WIZZ and building on our unique messaging technology that provides the foundation for enhanced services including, inflight live payment, real-time telemetry and E Commerce.”

Marion Geoffroy, Managing Director at Wizz Air UK, said “At Wizz Air, we are always looking to enhance the customer experience, which is why we are delighted to now offer our customers free connectivity for messaging onboard our UK flights. TEXT&FLY BY WIZZ underlines our commitment to enhancing our digital offering and putting customer satisfaction first.”


China Airlines Continues To Deploy FlightPath3D Fleet-Wide With New Second Screen 3D Technology

FlightPath3D, the global leader in moving map innovation and technology, announces that China airlines has deployed the first, full, 3D second screen on its A321neo inflight entertainment (IFE) system powered by Safran, using FlightPath3D’s ‘any device, any platform’ technology.

China Airlines is working towards integrating a single map experience across all its platforms.

China Airlines joins Air France, ANA, and Kuwait by offering passengers a consistent experience on its A321neo, A330-300 and B737-800 IFE with FlightPath3D’s technology.

In addition to the interactive moving map experience, FlightPath3D also offers a range of apps to create a seamless passenger experience. One of the most engaging is the whimsical kids map that lets children discover animals, oceans, countries, and other landmarks around their destination. The moving map and kids map are available in 3D, and can be added to an airline’s suite of IFE offerings to give travelers a totally immersive experience.

“China Airlines recognizes the second-screen experience is essential to captivate passengers and keep them engaged throughout their travel experience. Having a full, 3D map in your hand while watching a movie on your seatback is a game-changer for the passenger, and opens the doorway for innovative opportunities for the airline to reach its customers,” says FlightPath3D President Duncan Jackson.

“We’re excited to have the most advanced 3D map available on our seatback and mobile devices simultaneously on our A321neo,” says China Airlines VP, Corporate Development Office, Jeremy Chang. “FlightPath3D’s engaging moving map technology on our second screen, plus the flexibility to add the kids app on our IFE, shows FlightPath3D’s ability to work with us to drive our initiatives of providing the best inflight experience for all passengers.”

“Our ‘any device’ approach makes it possible to track and search flights, plan things to do, and drive revenue on any or all IFE platforms,” says Jackson.


Astronics Announces Strategic Partnership with LG Display for OLED Technology in Aviation 

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, today announced a strategic partnership with LG Display to bring their industry leading OLED display technologies to the aviation marketplace. This relationship provides Astronics access to LG Display’s broad family of industry leading OLED displays as well as technical support for development and integration from LG Display engineering resources.

“Astronics and LG Display have successfully collaborated to develop and deliver over 100 aviation qualified 4k OLED products. Given our early success, we are advancing our partnership with LG Display, and expect to continue to leverage our combined capabilities to develop and launch new products for the aviation industry,” commented Taylor Prosba, Vice President & General Manager of Astronics Custom Control Concepts.

Patrick Park, LG Display Team Leader/US Large Display Sales Team, commented, “We are very excited to work with the Astronics team and continue to provide innovative OLED technologies to the avionics industry.”

Representatives from Astronics will be at Stand B41 during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) from May 23-25, 2022. Featured will be a full product demonstration including the new 77 inch 4K OLED, the largest aircraft certified smart display on the market.


Philippine Airlines Extends Support Contract for 777 and A320 Engines

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has signed an extension to its flight hour support contract with Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance for the GE90 engines powering its Boeing 777 fleet, as well for the CFM56-5B engines fitted on its Airbus A320 aircraft.

Following a successful restructuring process in 2021, the Philippine flag carrier has established a new fleet plan. AFI KLM E&M will support PAL with GE90 shop visits for as long as the 777 serves on the airline’s fleet. Cooperation is also extended on the CFM56-5B engines for PAL’s A320s serving domestic and regional routes.

Adaptiveness, in all weathers

It is during storms that you know how to recognize your real partners, those who understand you best. As an Airline-MRO, AFI KLM E&M knows perfectly what are the operator’s constraints and did its utmost to support Philippine Airlines. Throughout the pandemic, Philippine Airlines could rely on the Adaptiveness® mindset of AFI KLM E&M.  During PAL’s restructuring phase, AFI KLM E&M remained available and attentive as a service partner, in order to build the best response to the needs of the Philippine carrier. The signing of this engine contract extension builds on that positive relationship.

Alvin Limqueco, SVP-Supply Chain Management at Philippine Airlines said: “We value the partnership we have with the AFI KLM E&M teams, who have been a loyal ally throughout the uncertainty of the last two years.  PAL and AFI KLM E&M have kept strong communication lines during the pandemic, and we look forward to continuing our robust ties as they continue to support our fleet requirements in the future through this extended agreement”.

Pierre Teboul, SVP Commercial AFI KLM E&M, added: “We are pleased and proud to have found a long-term partner in PAL. Since the beginning of our cooperation on the GE90 engine, we have put all our expertise at their disposal and ensured continuity of service. We have come out of this period stronger and our relationship of trust has been consolidated”.


Airbus Extends Satellite Based Landing System (SLS) Capability to A320 Family

Airbus has delivered the first Airbus A320neo equipped with the latest Satellite Based Landing System (SLS) technology to long standing customer easyJet. SLS enables pilots to perform ‘straight-in’ approaches using satellite precision when coming into land at airports, without the need for additional ground-based systems such as *ILS, even in low-visibility conditions, while saving fuel and reducing emissions.

SLS first entered service in Europe with the A350 in 2015 after Airbus had successfully pioneered its development and introduction for *CAT1 approaches with support of the EU Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA) – formerly known as the GSA – and the European Commission. An SLS function is also available on A220 and A330 aircraft families and in progress for the A380.

“By using SLS, airlines benefit from improved operational capabilities and operational efficiency,” says Philippe Mhun, Airbus Head of Programs and Services. “We are very pleased to offer this new Air Traffic Management capability now on the A320 Family, which demonstrates how Airbus is keeping its aircraft at the cutting-edge of technology.” He adds: “The introduction of satellite-based technologies highlights the benefit of Airbus’ cross-divisional collaboration. With Airbus Defense and Space being one of the world leaders in satellite technology, we take advantage of this expertise and apply it to commercial aviation. We are grateful for the excellent support provided by the EUSPA and the European Commission.”

Airbus is also developing the new generation of EGNOS, the European Satellite Based Augmentation System. “Airbus is engaged and committed to the delivery of the next version of the program by 2027,” stated François Gaullier, Head of Telecom and Navigation at Airbus Defense and Space. “SLS users will seamlessly benefit from the increase in performance as the service becomes available at additional European destinations.”

David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations, easyJet, said: “We are excited about this latest technological development as it represents another step towards further improvement of the efficiency of our operations while helping us to reduce fuel usage and therefore tackle our carbon emissions.  “We believe that modernizing the aviation sector is a crucial goal requiring the joint and coordinated effort of the entire industry. We are committed to support the development of new technologies, together with our partners across the industry, allowing us to operate in the most efficient and technologically-advanced way possible for the safety of our customers and the protection of our planet.”

The A320neo Family incorporates new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 20 percent fuel and CO2 savings, as well as a 50 percent noise footprint reduction. At the end of April 2022 the A320neo Family had received more than 8,000 orders from around 130 customers. Since its entry into service six years ago, Airbus has delivered over 2,200 A320neo Family aircraft contributing to 15 million tons of CO2 saving versus the previous generation aircraft which they replace.

 

 

(Today’s image is from China Airlines’ boarding video)

STELLAR ENTERTAINMENT

IFE content specialists Stellar Entertainment recently collaborated with China Airlines to produce a customized boarding video to warmly welcome passengers onboard in a unique way. The video, which rolled out across the fleet in the first quarter of 2022, conveys the airline’s brand, values and message via soothing music and alluring visuals that resonate the beauty of Taiwan.

In addition to decades of experience curating, acquiring and delivering a broad range of IFE content for airline clients, Stellar Entertainment also has a reputation for creating engaging bespoke content, especially original boarding music. Through its studio production arm, the creative team worked closely with China Airlines to deliver a captivating boarding video encompassing five thematic segments.

Stellar’s Creative Director Brad Power shares, “One of the challenges during this project relates to the video duration. At approximately 14 minutes, both the visual content and music had to take the passenger on a journey. The ebb and flow, and musical dynamics must all contribute to the outcome and leave the viewer with the desired mood and mindset.”

The process began by briefing Stellar’s in-house composer who came up with a musical direction that would guide the work of Stellar’s graphic designer and video editor. One of the unique aspects of the China Airlines boarding video is the usage of Stellar’s very own original music composition, tailored to align perfectly with the visuals and with the airline’s requirements.

Meanwhile, the images used throughout the video were sourced from stock libraries, but primarily licensed work from a freelance photographer specialising in time lapse footage of picturesque Taiwanese scenes. Great care and much time were invested to meticulously select over 80 images along with subsequent graphic text accompanying the visuals. “It certainly helps that in visually showcasing the beauty of Taiwan, we had a wonderful palette of images to choose from, ranging from natural landscapes, cityscapes, famous Taiwanese attractions, wildlife and more,” remarks Power. By using these existing high-quality images, Stellar was able to save on expenses and time spent shooting the footage on-location.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat unveiled initial details of a major upgrade program that will increase the inflight broadband speeds offered by its Jet ConneX(JX) business aviation solution. Information about the ground-breaking program, titled JX Evolution, were announced for the first time at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Switzerland.

JX Evolution will set an unprecedented new standard for business aviation inflight connectivity by leveraging Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network, including enhanced capabilities from its highly advanced upcoming satellites, in addition to the latest terminal technology from partners.

Initial testing for the upcoming program has already demonstrated speeds in excess of 130 megabits per second (Mbps) using Inmarsat’s existing satellites. This will enable users to simultaneously connect even more devices and enjoy even the most data-hungry applications, such as high definition video, without interruption. As an example, it would take 23 seconds to download a high definition movie.

Speeds will further increase as a result of Inmarsat’s fully-funded technology roadmap, with seven satellite payloads being introduced to its Ka-band constellation, increasing the total number to 12. This includes two Inmarsat-6s, the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, which enter service next year. They will be followed by two payloads in highly elliptical orbit, enabling the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for business jets flying in higher latitudes and across the Arctic, then three more satellites in geostationary orbit – adding further speed, capacity and resilience.

JX Evolution will also leverage the latest terminal advancements from Inmarsat’s partners, which are compatible with a wide range of business jets, using cutting-edge technology and lightweight designs to optimize performance, reduce costs and simplify the installation and maintenance processes.

Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said “Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX is regarded as the gold standard of business aviation connectivity and its market leadership has only been reinforced following the pandemic, with soaring demand for inflight broadband that is fast, reliable and consistent across all flight routes. Inmarsat’s JX Evolution follows our ethos of building ahead of demand and the new service plans that will launch as part of this program will redefine the concept of premium connectivity.

“Speeds in excess of 130Mbps are exciting and customers can expect even higher numbers as we launch more advanced satellites in the coming years. Our fully funded technology roadmap will offer more than enough capacity to meet the needs of existing and future customers through to 2030 and beyond. We are especially excited about the second generation terminals that our partners are building to join the very successful JetWave terminal currently used for JX.”

JX Evolution will lead to a new range of service plans for JX, which first entered commercial service in November 2016 and has been activated on more than 1,150 aircraft to date. As the business aviation market’s leading inflight connectivity service, it offers the same level of reliable, consistent and high-speed broadband that was previously only available on the ground, supporting a wide range of online activities, such as video streaming, live television, video calls, large file transfers and VPN.

JX is the preferred linefit option of all major business jet manufacturers, including Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault. Type certificates and supplemental type certificates (STCs) for the service have been received from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) across all popular platforms, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket maintenance repair and overhaul service providers (MROs).


SEAMLESS AIR ALLIANCE

The Seamless Air Alliance, which continues to lead the development and implementation of Global Standards for Inflight Connectivity, today launched an Inflight Connectivity (IFC) Analysis Toolkit to help airlines adopt vetted, trusted metrics for measuring and comparing IFC Service Quality in RFPs and performance management conversations.

The IFC Analysis Toolkit provides a clear set of features and measurements to recognize and manage IFC Service Quality. Included in the toolkit are a suite of easy-to-use documents and a comprehensive Compliance Criteria Matrix that can be used by an airline to simplify the process of assembling an RFP, comparing responses, and opening discussions with both current and prospective suppliers.

Gordon Shelhon, Senior Technology Manager at American Airlines said, “The industry as a whole is making a huge leap forward by adopting the compliance criteria metrics defined in the Seamless Air Alliance IFC Analysis Toolkit. As a network engineer with decades of experience in wireless technology, I remember when connectivity at 500+ MPH was first introduced. At the time, connectivity was a new concept and airlines deployed these systems with little insight into the customer experience. SLA’s were limited to measurements for availability that only required a simple ping, which didn’t give the airline or supplier any insight into the customer experience. With the introduction of the Seamless Air Alliance IFC Analysis Toolkit, airlines adopting these standards will be better positioned to develop meaningful SLA’s with a focus on customer experience and metrics that truly reflect that experience.”

Commenting on the launch, Jack Mandala, Seamless Air Alliance Chief Executive Officer said that “Airlines looking for a new connectivity system can use the IFC Analysis Toolkit as a basis for building RFP criteria and comparing suppliers during the process. Airlines with existing providers, can use the toolkit to better understand the experience that passengers are having with their inflight connectivity system by ensuring they are tracking the right metrics. In both scenarios the winner is the airline passenger.”

The standardized measurements provided in the IFC Analysis Toolkit were built from the ground up based on years of knowledge and experience from airlines and experts across the industry. The Seamless Air Alliance believes that tracking these measures helps provide a true picture of the passengers’ experience that is otherwise lost in aggregate metrics.

The IFC Analysis Toolkit is available for no-charge to current Seamless Air Alliance Members and is available for purchase to non-members. Airlines that are not currently Seamless Air Alliance Members can join for free and gain access to the IFC Toolkit.


DEUTSCHE TELEKOM & INMARSAT

Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have boosted the capacity of their award-winning European Aviation Network(EAN) inflight broadband solution by collaborating with Tampnet, a global leader in providing high capacity, low latency and reliable connectivity to offshore installations, mobile rigs and vessels.

The additional coverage follows the installation and maintenance of five EAN antenna sites on offshore production platforms in the North Sea. Two additional antenna sites are being placed in offshore wind farms within the coastal waters of Germany and the Netherlands (exclusive economic zones) and one more is already operational onshore in Norway. The new sites are located strategically to further enhance EAN’s high-speed passenger connectivity on flights in Northern Europe, including high-density flight routes between the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. They complement the 300 LTE-based ground network antenna sites already set up across Europe and will further strengthen EAN’s combined satellite and air-to-ground network performance.

The five sea-based antenna sites are co-located on the top of existing communication infrastructure on offshore production platforms and therefore benefit from Tampnet’s extensive fibre network in the area. The necessary equipment elements were brought in via helicopter in often challenging weather conditions and installed according to stringent security requirements on the offshore production platforms. All engineering and installation activities were conducted in close cooperation with the platform owners and operators.

Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President of Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, said “With the installation of eight more antenna sites in and around the North Sea, we are proud to bring additional network capacity to an already exceptional connectivity service. The European Aviation Network gives European aviation a global advantage: Airlines get high speed and scalable connectivity with low operating costs and pan-European coverage. Passengers get a seamless service that is as good as a broadband connection on the ground.”

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said “The European Aviation Network is well established as the continent’s fastest inflight broadband solution, available to millions of passengers on short and medium haul flights with British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and AEGEAN. For airlines, it has played an important role in enhancing the onboard experience, unlocking new revenue opportunities and instilling greater confidence in air travel. This latest enhancement coincides with the third anniversary of the service being offered to passengers by our airline customers, with passenger usage at record highs following the pandemic.”

Elie Hanna, CEO of Tampnet said: “Tampnet is very proud to partner with Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat on such an innovative project. Our extensive offshore network was the perfect fit for the EAN project. Installing and maintaining an LTE network offshore is very challenging and we were honoured to have the opportunity to extend our expertise and engage in such an innovative and significant project for Europe and the aviation industry. Going forward, Tampnet will support the project by delivering fibre backhaul and maintenance to the base stations providing additional coverage to the airspace above the North Sea. The fact that the network is fully supported by our subsea network ensures its scalability for future capacity needs.”

The network enhancement marks an exciting new development for EAN, which is the world’s first inflight broadband solution that combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based ground network. Offering incomparable speeds, uninterrupted coverage and significantly lower latency than any other inflight Wi-Fi network in the continent, it allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, enjoy real-time interactive applications such as gaming, and more.

Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom recently celebrated the third anniversary of EAN being offered commercially by airline customers. To date, more than 55 million passengers have enjoyed access to the advanced, high-speed connectivity solution on over 440,000 flights across the continent. Its popularity reached new heights last year, with record usage as passengers returned to the skies. This aligns with Inmarsat’s latest Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest global survey of its kind, which found that 41% of the 10,000 respondents believed inflight Wi-Fi had further increased in importance post pandemic.

Specifically designed to meet the needs of European aviation, EAN delivers the fastest speeds over one of the world’s most congested airspaces, plus the quickest installation times and easy scalability to meet growing future demand. It has now been activated on over 270 aircraft, including the entire British Airways short-haul fleet. These numbers will continue to grow in the coming years, as final roll-out progresses with Iberia and Vueling – both members of the International Airlines Group (IAG) alongside British Airways – in addition to all of Greek carrier AEGEAN’s existing and new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.


SITA

The global mishandled baggage rate has spiked by 24% to 4.35 bags per thousand passengers in 2021 as the industry recovers from the pandemic, according to the SITA Baggage IT Insights 2022.

The report shows passenger traffic has evolved since 2020, with most of the 2021 recovery being driven by domestic travel, but the resumption of international and long-haul flights is contributing to an increase in mishandling.

Transfer bags continue to account for most mishandled bags. An increase in long-haul flights with connections in 2021 has pushed up the bags delayed at transfer to 41%, which is 4 points increase from 2020. The mishandling rate at the global level on international routes is 8.7, yet only 1.85 for domestic routes. Put differently, at a global level, the likelihood of mishandling a bag is about 4.7 times higher on international routes compared to domestic routes.

Delayed bags accounted for 71% of all mishandled bags in 2021 – a 2 points increase from 2020. At the same time, the number of lost and stolen bags increased slightly to 6%, while those damaged and pilfered decreased to 23%.

Airlines, ground handlers, and airports have downsized to maintain viability during the pandemic, which has impacted resources and expertise dedicated to baggage management. Unaddressed, this challenge may see the mishandling rate continue to creep up and become much higher than it was pre-pandemic.

David Lavorel, CEO, SITA, said: “The industry now needs to do more with less. As we emerge from the pandemic, our customers’ focus remains on safely managing the end-to-end transport of passengers’ baggage, but now they must also reduce the total cost and training required. There is significant pressure to increase operational efficiency, which is accelerating digitalization.”

In 2021 investment in self-service initiatives continued to increase. A large majority of airports and almost all airlines are prioritizing touchless bag tagging options that rely on kiosks and passengers’ mobile devices. Implementation of unassisted bag drop is increasing, with 90% of airlines and three-quarters of airports planning to make touchless unassisted self-bag drop available by 2024.

Digitalization also ensures that the recovery progresses efficiently, saving resources and ensuring operations can quickly adapt to fluctuating passenger numbers. There is no better way to ensure efficiency in baggage operations than to avoid mishandling in the first place, preventing the additional costs and resources required to repatriate bags to their owners.

“SITA has worked to refine its baggage portfolio to do just that, with the introduction of innovative solutions such as SITA WorldTracer Lost and Found Property, an artificial intelligence-enabled solution that solves a million-dollar headache for the air transport industry: how to quickly return items left behind on aircraft or in airports to their owners. Using cutting-edge technology such as computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing, WorldTracer Lost and Found Property searches a global database of images and descriptions to match the found item to a missing item report.

“We will continue to collaborate and support the industry to reduce mishandled baggage rates while driving operational efficiencies and sustainable solutions when needed the most,” said Lavorel.

Download the SITA Baggage IT Insights 2022 report here.


OTHER NEWS

  • We want to point you toward Akins Laws of Spacecraft Design for some interesting philosophical views of reality decision making. Here is an example, number 12: “There is never a single right solution. There are always multiple wrong ones, though.” And yes, there are 45 more here : Akin’s Laws of Spacecraft Design

Global Policy Will Remove Headaches From International Travel

Led by Saudi Arabia, the Harmonizing Air Travel policy will transform the traveler experience by creating a single, trusted source of information on entry requirements for international travelers 

  • The global aviation policy has been developed in cooperation with the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • The Harmonizing Air Travel policy seeks to boost the recovery of the global aviation sector
  • The policy framework was unveiled at the Kingdom’s inaugural Future Aviation Forum and will be formally presented at the 41st ICAO General Assembly later in 2022

Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced the Harmonising Air Travel policy, a framework that will make international travel simpler, easier and more enjoyable by removing the confusion over travel requirements currently discouraging millions of people from booking flights.

Designed in cooperation with the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the proposed framework will eradicate international travel confusion for passengers, carriers and governments by creating a single, clear, up-to-date online resource setting out requirements for entry to all participating countries.

The policy will be submitted to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) General Assembly with the objective of receiving approval from Member States in October of this year.

GACA President HE Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Duailej said: “The pandemic exposed how disconnected the world really is. Our research shows that many people chose not to travel in 2021 – and will not travel in 2022 – because of confusing health requirements to get from country to country.  We are delighted to launch the Harmonizing Air Travel policy, a proposed framework that will unify and strengthen our industry by enabling it to navigate future health crises.

“Aviation is the lifeblood of the global economy, and it is crucial to safeguard it from future disruption. The Harmonizing Air Travel policy framework demonstrates the leadership role Saudi Arabia is taking to ensure that the sector thrives in the years to come.”

According to recent YouGov research, currently 32 percent of Americans, 47 percent of people in the Gulf, 40 percent of people in Italy and 40 percent of people in the UK say confusion over health requirements will prevent them from traveling in 2022.

The policy will create a harmonized international reporting mechanism for health crises using purpose-built digital communications tools, world-class governance and coordination processes, and a system that will facilitate universal compliance, such as a globally-recognized Digital Health certificate.

As a result, travelers will have access to clear guidelines and requirements needed to get from origin to arrival. The universal platform will be able to integrate all existing international aviation and government-to-government health crises communication systems.   

The Harmonizing Air Travel policy white paper was launched at the inaugural Future Aviation Forum in Riyadh. Hosted by GACA, global leaders, aviation heads and regulators convened to find solutions to the sector’s greatest challenges – including passenger experience, sustainability and business recovery post-COVID.  

Saudi Arabia aims to become the Middle East’s pre-eminent aviation hub. Its’ transport and logistics sector, a major pillar of the Vision 2030 economic transformation plan, is undergoing rapid development. The Kingdom aims to generate 356 billion SAR – or just under $100 billion USD – in investment into its aviation sector by 2030.


Anuvu Named A Finalist In The Crystal Cabin Awards 2022

Anuvu, a provider of high-speed connectivity and entertainment solutions for demanding worldwide mobility markets, announced that it has been named a Crystal Cabin Awards finalist in the category IFEC & Digital Services in partnership with Southwest Airlines for its new, ground-breaking connectivity solution enabling airlines to deliver the high-speed in-flight internet passengers’ demand.

“It’s an honor to be named a finalist in the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards and highlighted among leading industry solutions that elevate the passenger experience as showcased in the free Wi-Fi trial currently underway with Southwest Airlines,” said Mike Pigott, Executive Vice President of Connectivity at Anuvu. “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Southwest Airlines for over a decade.”

“This recognition represents Anuvu’s commitment to innovation and marks their newest technology solution that will enhance the inflight connectivity experience for our passengers.” said Tony Roach, VP of Customer Experience and Customer Relations at Southwest Airlines..

The Crystal Cabin Awards, an initiative of cluster Hamburg Aviation, is presented in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “Health & Safety”, “IFEC & Digital Services”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort”, “Sustainable Cabin”, and “University”. For each category, the 28 expert members of the jury select three finalists, who are invited to pitch their concepts to the jury in person at Aircraft Interiors Expo. The winners of the 2022 Crystal Cabin Award will be announced at a gala dinner in Hamburg on the evening of June 14.


Gogo Announces Record First Quarter Results and Updates 2022 Guidance

  • First Quarter Revenue of $92.8 million, up 26% Year-over-Year, Net Income from Continuing Operations of $22.2 million, and Adjusted EBITDA(1)of $42.8 million also up 26% Year-over-Year
  • Gogo 5G on Track for Commercial Launch in the Second Half of 2022
Q1 2022 Highlights
  • Record total revenue of $92.8 million increased 26% compared to Q1 2021 fueled by strong growth in both service and equipment revenue.
    • Record service revenue of $70.7 million increased 19% compared to Q1 2021 and 2% compared to Q4 2021.
    • Equipment revenue of $22.1 million increased 52% compared to Q1 2021 and decreased 4% compared to Q4 2021.
  • Total ATG aircraft online (“AOL”) reached 6,526, an increase of 11% compared to Q1 2021 and 2% compared to Q4 2021.
    • Total AVANCE units online grew to 2,699, an increase of 42% compared to Q1 2021 and 8% compared to Q4 2021. AVANCE units comprised more than 41% of total AOL as of March 31, 2022, up from 32% as of March 31, 2021.
  • Average Monthly Revenue per ATG aircraft online (“ARPU”) of $3,321 increased 8% compared to Q1 2021 and 1% compared to Q4 2021.
  • Net income from continuing operations increased to $22.2 million from a net loss of $5.9 million in Q1 2021, primarily due to lower interest expense and higher operating income compared to the prior year period, as well as a loss on settlement of convertible notes of $4.4 million recognized in Q1 2021.
    • Basic earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.20. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.18.
  • Record Adjusted EBITDA(1) of $42.8 million increased 26% compared to Q1 2021 and 8% compared to Q4 2021.
  • Cash provided by operating activities from continuing operations of $17.9 million in Q1 2022 decreased from $24.6 million in the prior year period primarily due to the timing of interest payments.
    • Free Cash Flow(1) was $8.8 million compared to $23.9 million in the prior year period due to the timing of interest payments and an increase in capital expenditures primarily tied to Gogo 5G.
    • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $152.8 million as of March 31, 2022 compared to $145.9 million as of December 31, 2021.

“Given the continued unprecedented demand for connectivity in business aviation coupled with the strong performance of our supply chain management team, we have increased our projection for ATG equipment unit shipments to 1,300 in 2022, up nearly 50% year over year versus prior expectations for 25% growth,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Chairman and CEO of Gogo.  “We remain on track for commercial deployment of our 5G ATG network in the second half of 2022.”

“Strong first quarter results and our increased 2022 guidance provide a solid foundation for generating significant Free Cash Flow growth in 2023 and beyond,” said Barry Rowan, Gogo’s Executive Vice President and CFO.  “Our financial performance and continued de-leveraging also create the flexibility for strategic investments to further enhance our growth and return of capital to shareholders over time.”


Boeing Names Northern Virginia Office Its Global Headquarters; Establishes Research & Technology Hub

  • DC-area location is close to Boeing’s global customers and stakeholders
  • Boeing will develop a research & technology hub in Virginia to harness and attract engineering talent; hub to join the company’s global engineering network

Boeing announced that its Arlington, Virginia campus just outside Washington, D.C. will serve as the company’s global headquarters. The aerospace and defense firm’s employees in the region support various corporate functions and specialize in advanced airplane development and autonomous systems. In addition to designating Northern Virginia as its new headquarters, Boeing plans to develop a research & technology hub in the area to harness and attract engineering and technical capabilities.

Also from Boeing:

Lufthansa Group Selects New 777-8 Freighter, Orders Additional 787s

  • Lufthansa Group becomes first European customer for the 777-8 Freighter
  • Orders additional 787s and 777 Freighters
  • Industry’s most capable and fuel-efficient twin-engine airplanes will help Group reach its target of halving CO2 emissions across its network by 2030

Boeing and the Lufthansa Group announced the airline group will continue its strategic decision to strengthen Lufthansa Cargo with an order for seven 777-8 Freighters, the industry’s newest and most fuel-efficient twin-engine freighter.

The Group has also placed a new order for two 777 Freighters to add to its cargo fleet, providing extra cargo capacity in the near-term until the delivery of its first 777-8 Freighter.

In addition, the Lufthansa Group continues to accelerate the modernization of its long-haul passenger fleet with a new purchase of seven 787-9s. The order for more 787s brings Lufthansa Group’s total order book for the 787 Dreamliner to 32 firm orders. The Group also is a launch customer for the 777X passenger airplane, with 20 firm orders.

“The continuous modernization of Lufthansa Group’s long-haul fleet is one of our top priorities. Therefore, we are very pleased to further invest into the newest generation of Boeing aircraft. The purchase will complement our existing orders and further reduce our operating costs, enhance fuel efficiency and provide state-of-the-art customer experiences. Moreover, the purchase highlights our commitment towards enhancing sustainable aviation,” said Dr. Detlef Kayser, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Boeing launched the new 777-8 Freighter in January and has already booked 34 firm orders for the model. With advanced technology from the new 777X family and proven performance of the market-leading 777 Freighter, the 777-8 Freighter offers the highest payload and the lowest fuel use, emissions and operating cost per tonne of any large freighter.

“With the selection of our newest freighter, Lufthansa continues its long history of firsts with Boeing airplane programs, becoming the first European customer for the 777-8 Freighter,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “With the investment in the 777 and 787 fleet, the Lufthansa Group will operate the most advanced, fuel-efficient twin-engine airplanes in the industry. Each of these airplanes reduces emissions by 15 to 25% compared to previous models with a noise footprint up to 50% smaller than their predecessors, helping to advance the Lufthansa Group’s sustainability objectives.”

The 777-8 Freighter is ideally suited for operators creating a more sustainable and profitable future. With nearly identical payload and range capabilities, 30% better fuel efficiency and emissions and 25% better operating costs per tonne, the 777-8 Freighter will be the ideal choice as operators replace aging freighters later this decade.

The 2021 Boeing Commercial Market Outlook projects a 70% increase in the global freighter fleet by 2040, including approximately 450 new large widebody freighters such as the new 777-8 Freighter and 777 Freighter. First delivery of the 777-8 freighter is anticipated in 2027.

Built with lightweight composite materials and powered by advanced engines and a suite of environmentally progressive technologies, the 787 family has an airport-noise footprint that is 60% smaller than the previous generation of airplanes, making it ideal for Lufthansa Group airport communities.


OneWeb Expands Mobility Team With Senior Aviation and Land Appointments

  • New business aviation role for Jason Sperry
  • Drew Brandy leads Land mobility
  • Mobility Marketing role for Nick Maynard

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has strengthened its Mobility team under VP Mobility Services Ben Griffin with a trio of experienced professionals – in the UK and USA. OneWeb is ramping up its work to deliver high-speed, unparalleled low latency, reliable connectivity across all mobility platforms, including commercial and business aviation, land and marine.

OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation of over 600 satellites will connect people everywhere, on land, at sea and in the air. Its ambition is to facilitate “a connectivity experience that is limited only by the users’ imagination, not the available bandwidth.”

“I’m very pleased to be adding to my team with these three stellar professionals,” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb VP Mobility Services. “Together, we are working on some exciting strategies and partnerships that will disrupt the mobility connectivity market for years to come. We are focused on driving these forward and sharing our news over the next few months.”

Jason Sperry appointed Director – Business aviation

Jason Sperry joins OneWeb as Director, Business Aviation, based out of Melbourne, Florida.  Sperry brings a wealth of experience from the IFC service provision perspective, including significant satellite provider insight spanning both GEO and LEO technologies.

At OneWeb, Jason is responsible for delivering fibre-like connectivity solutions to business jet owners, operators, and end users – passengers and crew alike.

He joins from SD (Satcom Direct), where for the past six years he was Director, Strategy and Business, having joined the business in 2016 as director of product management (hardware).

Graduating from the Florida Institute of Technology with a degree in engineering, his career initially centered on engineering and avionics hardware. At OneWeb, Jason will combine his technical experience with strong commercial aptitude to understand the needs of OneWeb’s partners, delivering solutions which are commercially and technically innovative.

Drew Brandy – Director, Land Mobility

Drew Brandy joins OneWeb as Director, Land Mobility after 13 plus years with Inmarsat, latterly as Senior VP Maritime, progressing from VP Strategy and Development.

Based out of London, Drew will be responsible for setting and executing OneWeb’s land mobility portfolio strategy, working closely with the mobility team members.  He brings considerable experience having worked with several large telecom operators in business and corporate strategy in both North America and Europe.  Brandy holds an Honors Degree in Sociology and Communications from York University, Canada and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Nick Maynard – Marketing Director, Mobility

Stepping up from an initial consultancy role over the past 14 months, Nick Maynard becomes full-time Marketing Director (Mobility), based out of the UK.  Maynard brings over 25 years’ relevant experience in marketing and communications working out of the UK and UAE, supporting several blue-chip aviation companies – inhouse and with agencies OglivyOne and Carlson.

Most recently, he served nearly 10 years with Honeywell Aerospace in marketing and comms, latterly as Channel Partner Marketing Manager, building relationships for Honeywell’s valued suppliers around the world.

“What OneWeb is doing is transformational and game changing.  I am pleased to be able to help play a part in our goal to connect business aviation.  Inflight connectivity has become ever more important in business aviation, a sector which is sophisticated, technologically advanced, personalized, secure – bringing family, friends and colleagues together in the most efficient way.” – Jason Sperry.

“Everyone is talking about OneWeb and the significant change its solutions will bring.  I’m looking forward to leading the land mobility team and working closely with mobility colleagues to innovate connectivity and bring improved safety and sustainability through connectivity to trains, buses, trucks and so many other use-cases.” – Drew Brandy.

“Joining OneWeb, I am working alongside a motivated and talented team committed to realizing the mission of connecting people everywhere, on land, at sea and in the air. This matters because OneWeb’s global spaced-based communications network has the power to connect the most remote businesses and communities on Earth. We’re bridging the digital divide, providing the opportunity for people everywhere to realize their full potential” – Nick Maynard

Spafax’s Future Screen Podcast

Are you interested in the latest IFE licensing trends? Do you want to discover the hot new shows? Tune into Spafax’s Future Screen which is available on Spotify. Future Screen is hosted by Spafax’s Andrea Whyte. This issue features interviews with Vince Cruz, Vice President Non-Theatrical Sales at Paramount, Meera Sharma, Non-Theatrical Sales Manager at Paramount Global and Mark Horton, Head of Worldwide Sales at Cinesky. Listen to Future Screen here.


Boeing
The Boeing Company announced major program deliveries across its commercial and defense operations for the first quarter of 2022.

The company will provide detailed first quarter financial results on April 27. Major program deliveries during the first quarter were as follows:


Airbus & Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM has finalised its order with Airbus for four new generation A350F freighters, following the earlier commitment announced in December 2021. The freighters are destined to  increase Air France’s cargo capacity with the most efficient and sustainable cargo aircraft available in the market.

The A350F is based on the world’s most modern long range leader, the A350. The aircraft will feature a large main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimised for cargo operations. Over 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials resulting in a 30 tonnes lighter take-off weight, which together with efficient Rolls-Royce engines generate an advantage of at least 20% lower fuel burn and CO2 over its current closest competitor. With a 109 tonnes payload capability (+3t payload / 11% more volume than its competition), the A350F serves all cargo markets (Express, general cargo, special cargo…) and is in the large freighter category the only new generation freighter aircraft ready for the enhanced ICAO CO₂ emissions standards.

“Airlines now have a choice, and we salute Air France joining those going for the A350F’s step change in efficiency and sustainability for the cargo operations of the future. We are gratified by the wave of early adopters who, like Air France, see the economics and environmental signature of the A350s as standing out versus alternatives, past, existing and future. Merci Air France.” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

Launched in 2021, the A350F recorded 29 orders and commitments from five customers.

Also from Airbus:

Airbus has completed wind-tunnel testing of its eXtra Performance Wing demonstrator in its quest to quickly test and accelerate new technologies that will decarbonise the aviation industry.

The eXtra Performance Wing project, launched last September, takes inspiration from nature to improve wing aerodynamics and performance that is intended to be compatible with any future aircraft configuration and propulsion system to reduce CO₂ emissions.

“The scaled demonstrator will integrate and fly breakthrough wing technologies using a remote-controlled Cessna Citation VII business jet platform in representative flight conditions,” explained Oliver Family, Head of eXtra Performance Wing UK.

“The partly 3D-printed wind-tunnel model – expertly built by the aerodynamics team at Airbus’ low-speed, wind-tunnel facility in Bristol – is a scaled-down version of the Cessna jet, incorporating the lightweight, long-span design of the eXtra Performance Wing that will provide the emissions benefits we are striving for.”

Initially introduced at a smaller scale through another Airbus project, AlbatrossONE, which tested semi-aeroelastic hinged wings that – like the seabird – unlocked during flight when experiencing wind gusts or turbulence, the eXtra Performance Wing will also examine onboard technologies, like gust sensors, pop-up spoilers and multifunctional trailing edges, to enable the active control of the wing.

“Airbus’ state-of-the-art low-speed wind-tunnel is a fantastic way to validate our concepts before flight tests,” added Oliver Family. “Our computational aerodynamic analysis capability is world class, and the wind tunnel provides another valuable way to measure the performance and capabilities of the aircraft before flight testing. The technologies we have tested in the Filton wind tunnel – many inspired by biomimicry – will now be rapidly integrated for flight testing.”

The Airbus low-speed wind tunnel at Filton, near Bristol, replicates conditions similar to aircraft take-off and landing wind speeds but is also used by external organisations testing F1 cars, ship radar systems, Urban Air Mobility vehicles as well as more conventional aircraft.

The eXtra Performance Wing demonstrator is hosted within Airbus UpNext, a wholly-owned Airbus subsidiary, created to give future technologies a development fast-track by building demonstrators at speed and scale in order to evaluate, mature and validate potential new products and services that encompass radical technological breakthroughs.


Other News

 

FINNAIR SELECTS PANASONIC AVIONICS FOR WIDEBODY IFE UPGRADE

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has been selected by Finnair to upgrade the in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems across the airline’s widebody long-haul fleet.

The IFE upgrade is an integral part of the Nordic cabin enhancements being introduced by Finnair across its long-haul fleet, including the introduction of a brand new Premium Economy cabin.

Panasonic Avionics is installing its latest eX3 system in all cabins on Finnair’s eight Airbus A330-300 aircraft – upgrading them from its eX2 system. Finnair’s 19 A350-900 aircraft, which already carry eX3, will also see their premium cabins upgraded to the latest version of the system.

The first upgraded aircraft entered service in February 2022.

With the upgrade, Finnair’s customers will experience Panasonic Avionics’ award-winning eX3 system in every cabin of its long-haul fleet, including HD screens at each seat, complete with capacitive touch displays and handsets, and USB and laptop charging facilities.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “Finnair’s innovative and eye-catching widebody cabin enhancements take their passenger experience to a new level. Panasonic Avionics is honored to be contributing to this upgrade with our latest in-flight entertainment solutions, marking the latest chapter in our relationship with this industry-leading carrier.”

Harri Valkama, Digital Channel Lead at Finnair, says: “This upgrade for Finnair reflects our commitment to deliver a premium experience in every cabin on our aircraft. Having the latest technology on board will allow our customers to stay entertained as they travel long-haul. We chose Panasonic Avionics for its innovative solutions and ability to support Finnair developed digital inflight eco-system. We can rest assured that our customers will experience high-quality, state-of-the-art systems.”

Finnair’s in-flight connectivity services are also provided by Panasonic Avionics, and the airline recently became the European launch customer for its ArcTM  map platform.


AIRCRAFT INTERIORS EXPO HAMBURG 2022

After a 2+ year hiatus, AIX Hamburg is slated for 14-16 June 2022. Here are some of the reasons why this event is one you shouldn’t miss:

  • With more than 600+ leading cabin interiors suppliers showcasing their latest products, such as Safran, Lufthansa Technik and Diehl Aviation. Including 100+ new exhibitors to AIX: Invest Northern Ireland, AED Cluster Portugal, AD Aerospace, Hilitech and many more! AIX will efficiently help you find solutions and create your future cabin, as the definitive marketplace for airlines to source new products and services.
  • Visit the IFEC Zone: Test the latest IFEC products to market from more than 50 exhibitors including Inmarsat, Panasonic Avionics, Global Eagle, ViaSat and many more! Dedicated to Inflight Entertainment and connectivity products, the IFEC zone focuses on companies that deliver business solutions that positively impact an airline’s brand, fleet, operational requirements, and business.

Also, on Monday 13 June the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) will be held.

  • This long-awaited one-day event brings together experts and visionaries from OEMs, airlines, suppliers, airframers, and design organizations to discuss the future of onboard environments, services, and passenger experience. Simply upgrade your ticket when registering for Aircraft Interiors Expo to attend.
  • Industry Networking Party: Free to attend for conference delegates, the Industry Networking Party starts at 18.00, straight after PEC, this unmissable networking event, gives you the opportunity to strengthen relationships with old friends and new as you reconnect with industry colleagues in a relaxed setting, after three years!

NEW CANADIAN CHARTER AIRLINE AEROFLYER TO OFFER CUSTOMERS WIRELESS IN-FLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT FROM BLUEBOX

Aeroflyer, a new charter airline based out of Kelowna, British Columbia, and providing passenger charter services across North America, has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems to provide wireless streaming services across its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

Initially, Aeroflyer will deploy Bluebox’s digital platform on its first two aircraft using Bluebox’s battery-powered Bluebox Wow hardware. The airline will then migrate to the aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Wow as they expand their fleet.

“Launching a new airline on the back of the most challenging times our sector has endured, meant we had to come away from the gate with the most compelling offering available. With more passengers today expecting some kind of digital service on board, it was a case of W-IFE being a ‘must have’,” said Brad Schroeder, Manager, Engineering. “Just as we work with our airline and corporate charter customers to deliver excellence, we know how important it is to have partners who excel in what they do, are flexible and supportive. Throughout the pandemic Bluebox has helped us to configure a digital platform on a hardware configuration that will suit our needs as a charter airline as it grows, with the variety of purpose required for an IFE system offering today.”

The Bluebox system will offer movies, TV programs, and a moving map to Aeroflyer’s charter customers – workers flying to Canadian oil fields, sports teams, and other corporate clients; and can be adapted to align with airline customers chartering Aeroflyer aircraft to supplement their fleet.

Speaking about securing another Canadian airline customer, Bluebox CEO Kevin Clark said: “These are exciting times as we come out of the pandemic with our existing customers returning to and enhancing their Bluebox deployments, and new airlines like Aeroflyer entrusting us in introducing a flexible and powerful digital platform to deliver a rich inflight experience from service launch.”

Bluebox’s digital engagement platform provides digital services and content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin. These include revenue generating services such as onboard retail – including touch-free payments, advertising, and more traditional in-flight entertainment, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and reading material. Bluebox Wow is a discrete, lunchbox-sized unit, typically stowed securely in overhead bins, which creates the captive Wi-Fi network on board and delivers the digital services directly to passenger phones, tablets, and laptops.


JetBlue SUBMITS SUPERIOR PROPOSAL TO ACQUIRE SPIRIT, POSITIONING AMERICA’S MUCH-LOVED AIRLINE AS THE MOST COMPELLING NATIONAL LOW-FARE CHALLENGER TO THE ‘BIG FOUR’ AIRLINES

  • All-Cash Offer of $33 Per Share Represents a 52% Premium to Spirit’s Undisturbed Share Price on February 4, 2022, and a 50% Premium to Spirit’s Closing Price on April 4, 2022

  • Travelers Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between a Low Fare and a Great Experience; Accelerated JetBlue Growth Would Allow Combined Airline to Offer Both to More Customers in More Places

  • ‘JetBlue Effect’ Is More Effective Than Ultra-Low-Cost Carriers in Introducing Competition and Bringing Down Legacy Carrier Fares

  • Combination Would Provide Job Growth and Opportunities for Crewmembers, a Strengthened Commitment to New York and Florida, and Expanded Reach of JetBlue’s Sustainability Efforts

  • Shareholders Would Benefit From JetBlue’s Enhanced Financial Strength, Accelerating Revenue Growth and Profitability; Expected to Deliver Run-Rate Operational Synergies of $600-700 Million and to be Accretive to EPS in Year One

  • Strong Confidence in Ability to Close in a Timely Manner; No JetBlue Shareholder Vote Required; Financing Certainty


AIR LEASE CORPORATION ADDS 32 BOEING 737 MAX JETS TO ITS ORDERBOOK

Boeing and Air Lease Corp. (ALC) announced the aircraft lessor is expanding its airplane portfolio with an order for 32 additional 737-8 and 737-9 jets. As the travel market recovers, ALC is increasing its 737 MAX family offering to meet airline demand for modern, fuel-efficient and sustainable operations.

“Following our memorandum of understanding with Boeing in February for these 32 737 MAX aircraft, we are pleased to announce the signing of this definitive purchase agreement. We believe that the economic and operating advantages of the 737 MAX will serve our airline customers well as they favor modern, fuel efficient aircraft,” said John L. Plueger, Chief Executive Officer and President of Air Lease Corporation.

ALC continues to grow its investment in the 737 MAX family. In February the lessor added 18 737 MAXs to its portfolio. With the new order, ALC has 130 737 MAXs in its backlog.

With commonality and improved fuel efficiency, the 737 MAX family enables airlines to optimize their fleets across a broad range of missions while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 20% compared to the airplanes they replace. With the 737 MAX, ALC customers can choose airplanes that are optimized to suit multiple markets based on range and size while offering commonality for pilots and crew. The versatility of the 737 MAX family allows airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers and makes these airplanes highly popular among leasing and airline customers around the world.

“The 737 MAX family has already proved its value within ALC’s narrowbody portfolio, providing operators with excellent fuel efficiency and flexibility across different networks,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing. “The addition of more 737 MAXs, including 737-8s and 737-9s, will enable ALC to respond to accelerating market demand as air travel continues to recover.”


OTHER NEWS

  • Everyone has heard of Amelia Earhart, but have you every heard of Harriet Quimby? In 1911, she became the first licensed female pilot forging a path for those women aviators who followed. Read more about this flamboyant aviatrix here!

SAFRAN

Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) Launches New IFE Software Platform

SPI is excited to announce the launch of Safran’s latest software platform, RAVE OS, with All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, STARLUX on A330 and A321, and Virgin Atlantic on A350 amongst other airlines.

RAVE OS offers a modern user interface with features such as pinch to zoom, picture in picture, and multi-tasking capabilities creating a passenger experience comparable to that of the latest consumer technology products. RAVE OS also features the ability to run 3rd party applications, play 4K content and provides an immersive experience with full cabin Bluetooth audio. Keeping with the essence of RAVE DNA (Reliable, Affordable and Very Easy), RAVE OS maintains its common core and a configurable and brandable UI, ease of maintenance and lowest Total Cost of Ownership.

RAVE OS is paired with SPI’s latest ULTRA displays featuring RAVE’s game changing docking station with display sizes ranging from 13.3” to 43” and high-power USB-C (60 watts) in every seat.

Matt Smith, CEO of Safran Passenger Innovation, states “We are thrilled to deliver a product that encapsulates the key innovations we have been developing over the last 3 years, driven by customer and passenger needs. As we continue to grow and innovate, we will prioritize investment in products that make a difference to our customers”.


ASTRONICS

Fourth Quarter Financial Results

  • Fourth quarter sales of $116.1 million; full year sales of $444.9 million
  • Fourth quarter bookings increased 53% over prior-year period to $177.3 million; full year bookings were up 35% to $577.2 million
  • Achieved record backlog at year-end of $415.7 million
  • Fourth quarter pre-tax loss of $0.2 million and net income of $1.6 million
  •  Initial 2022 revenue guidance is $550 million to $600 million

Astronics Corporation (“Astronics”), a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and other mission critical industries, reported financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2021.

Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We achieved sales of $116 million in the fourth quarter, which was within our expected range despite continuing supply chain struggles and labor shortages. There were a number of puts and takes in the quarter that impacted results, but we believe that the most significant takeaway was the continued growth in demand from our markets. Bookings jumped to 153% of sales for the quarter, resulting in a year-end backlog of $416 million, an all-time high for Astronics.”


INMARSAT &  CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

With a rebound in air travel now underway, a new report published by Cranfield University and Inmarsat highlights the critical role that digital connectivity will play in accelerating aviation’s long-term recovery. Titled ‘Why the future of aviation starts with connectivity’, the study offers insights and direction for key aviation stakeholders and governments as they reconsider their priorities for the industry’s future. This will be fueled largely by a monumental shift in passenger behavior and expectations following the pandemic, as well as increased consumer awareness of their impact on the climate.

The report highlights a number of transformative changes ahead for the aviation industry and examines how airlines can take advantage of the enormous opportunities created as a result.

As part of their research, experts from Cranfield University have developed a Digital Connectivity Timeline, which outlines when 21 of the industry’s most critical technological innovations can be expected to reach adoption. It focuses on three distinct time-frames: five years (technologies at advanced stages of development and in some cases are being piloted by organizations ahead of market adoption), between five to ten years (technologies under early development with potential to be trialed in some sectors), and beyond the next decade (concepts under consideration for product or service offering development).

These technologies will enable a range of innovative concepts to make their way onto aircraft and airspace, helping to define the future of aviation while leading to important step changes in passenger experience and sustainability efforts. Amongst the concepts explored are:

  • How the ‘Conscious Aircraft’ uses sensing and communication technologies to create an integrated aircraft health, maintenance, and performance management system that is capable of a fully aware state, with the ability to either take or suggest appropriate action. For example, it can accurately predict the health of aircraft components and automatically reconfigure them to optimize their lifecycle. In addition, it can sense changes in the external environment, like weather or a volcanic ash cloud. With the reduced need for planned maintenance, as well as anticipating the potential for component failures, maintenance costs would be cut by an estimated 30%.
  • How the ‘Connected Journey’ will enhance a passenger’s experience with more efficient and personalized way-finding through airports, more intelligent and response baggage tracking, real-time updates on flight disruptions, and seamless high-speed inflight connectivity.
  • How Trajectory Based Operations are a critical step towards the future management of air traffic, allowing more efficient traffic sequencing and routine deployment of so-called fuel efficient ‘green descents’ to airport terminal areas.
  • How Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital trust technologies have enormous potential to be applied across all aviation sectors. AI can provide intelligent advice on aircraft management issues and make informed decisions under pressure – when there is the need to make a diversion, for example – with camera-based traffic detection, or helping crew to anticipate and prevent critical situations. Machine Learning (ML) can improve accuracy of any application involving optimisation, from sensor calibration to fuel tank checks to icing detection.

The report also examines how the complexity and interoperability of future ecosystems are significant challenges for technology providers, regulators and airlines alike.

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Our new report with Cranfield University has considered how the role of digital connectivity, in all its forms, can enable and accelerate meeting the rapidly changing needs of air travelers and of the aviation sector itself. It has identified specific challenges and opportunities that, if addressed, will have a direct beneficial effect on the sector’s resilience, its
contribution to reducing climate change, and to new customer service offerings that will enhance passengers’ willingness to travel in the post-pandemic world.

“Harnessing the technological innovations explored in this report will be nothing short of revolutionary for our industry, and at Inmarsat, we can’t wait to play our part in bringing them to life through our global connectivity and world-leading ORCHESTRA network of networks.”

The full report, executive summary and Digital Connectivity Timeline are available here: Digital Now: Why the future of aviation starts with connectivity – Inmarsat

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, recently unveiled plans for
ORCHESTRA: ORCHESTRA – Inmarsat will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA allows capacity to be boosted in high-density areas such as at airports, eliminating congested network ‘hot spots’ and ensuring the connectivity needs of aviation customers continue to be met well into the future, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) launched the Adjustable Keeper with Mounting Block as an upgrade to its NAS1637 Adjustable Keeper. The new version of the product includes upgraded materials and finishes and other additional features that exceed the performance and user experience of built-to-spec NAS1637 keepers.

The design includes a mounting block that allows for installation on standard ARINC 404 trays while maximizing the adjustment range of the keeper.

“When we looked at the existing keepers in the market, we knew that the quality and consistency weren’t up to our expectations and wouldn’t support our customers’ needs for retaining Line Replaceable Units in ARINC 404-style trays. That is why we are excited to launch this new NAS1637 Adjustable Keeper, which exceeds the NAS1637 specification and improves our customer’s experience,” said Todd Canavan, product line manager at CarlisleIT. “Built with better materials and designed for easy and accurate installation and adjustment, this product truly embodies the CarlisleIT vision of ‘Performance with Purpose.’”

Features and benefits include:

  • Structural anodized aluminum construction, providing minimal concerns for galvanic corrosion compared to the to-spec design.
  • Lockwire holes, which allow for use of .032″ diameter lock wire to prevent rotation of assembly when LRU is not installed.
  • Free-running screw thread inserts for greatly improved user experience when adjusting length of product in the field.
  • O-ring to prevent accidental disassembly of product before it is installed.
  • An adjustable length that allows for a larger adjustment range than the to-spec NAS1637 adjustable keeper (1.55″ – 1.925”).

To learn more about CarlisleIT’s variety of tray accessories, follow this link .


THALES

Thales reports its 2021 full-year results

  • Order intake(1) : €19.9 billion, up 18% (+18% on an organic basis(2) – Sales: €16.2 billion, up 5.3% (+5.3% on an organic basis)
  •  EBIT(3) : €1,649 million, up 32.1% (+31.9% on an organic basis) – Adjusted net income, Group share(3) : €1,361 million, up 45%
  • Consolidated net income, Group share: €1,089 million, up 125%
  • Free operating cash flow(3) : €2,515 million, 185% of adjusted net income, Group share
  • Dividend(4) of €2.56, up 45%

2022 objectives:

  •  Book-to-bill(5) above 1, supporting sales growth acceleration in 2023
  • Sales between €16.6 and €17.2 billion, corresponding to organic growth between +2% and +6%
  • EBIT margin

BOEING

Emergency assistance package will be directed to organizations working to bring food, water, clothing and shelter to displaced Ukrainians

Boeing announced a US$2 million emergency assistance package to support humanitarian response efforts in Ukraine. The assistance package will be directed to organizations working to bring food, water, clothing, medicine and shelter to displaced Ukrainians – including those seeking refuge in neighboring countries. In addition, Boeing will match all qualifying employee contributions made in support of Ukrainian humanitarian relief through the company’s charitable matching program.

“The conflict unfolding in Ukraine is leading to a significant humanitarian emergency, and Boeing will take action to support the Ukrainian people,” said Dave Calhoun, Boeing president and CEO. “Our thoughts are with all those who have been thrust into the midst of this crisis. While we work to ensure the safety of Boeing employees in the region, our hope is that this assistance package will help deliver some much-needed support to those who are displaced and suffering.”

Funding from the Boeing Charitable Trust will support the following organizations:

$1,000,000 to CARE to assist with food, water and hygiene kit distribution as well as monetary assistance and psychosocial support for affected Ukrainians, with a focus on women, children and the elderly.
$500,000 to American Red Cross to support the global Red Cross movement providing critical humanitarian relief to people affected by the Ukraine crisis.
$250,000 to Americares to help with the distribution of medicine and medical supplies as well as support critical medical care for families displaced by the crisis, including mental health services.
$250,000 to organizations working to support vulnerable, displaced populations in Ukraine and neighboring countries.

MORE BOEING

We understand Boeing has suspended major operations in Moscow. We also understand they temporarily closed their office in Kyiv, and has suspended parts, maintenance & technical support services for Russian airlines.

BOEING/ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

Boeing and its longstanding customer Ethiopian Airlines announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the intent to purchase five 777-8 Freighters, the industry’s newest, most capable and most fuel-efficient twin-engine freighter.

The MoU to order the 777-8 Freighter will enable Ethiopian Airlines to meet expanding global cargo demand from its hub in Addis Ababa and position the carrier for long-term sustainable growth.

BOEING & JEPPESEN FLITEDECK

Boeing has been selected to provide Etihad Airways with the Jeppesen FliteDeck Advisor digital solution for the carrier’s 787 Dreamliner fleet to optimize operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.

Etihad has already found benefits from the use of FliteDeck Advisor. During a trial on several of its 787 Dreamliners, the airline found that the digital solution delivered cruise fuel savings of 1.4%, saving an average of 350 kilograms of fuel and 1,100 kilograms of CO2 per flight.

Since 2019, Boeing and Etihad have collaborated on sustainability efforts centered on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, including on Etihad’s participation in Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program, where the FliteDeck Advisor solution was initially trialed. In 2021, the two companies renewed and expanded their sustainability alliance to focus on enhancing the efficiency of navigation and flight operations, airframe technologies and sustainable practices to reduce emissions.

Jeppesen FliteDeck Advisor analyzes airplane-specific performance metrics for all Boeing aircraft, including changes over time with aircraft age and maintenance action. The tool enables flight crews to make small, real-time adjustments to their course, altitude, and speed to optimize fuel use and minimize the carbon footprint of each flight.

Boeing provides several other digital solutions and services to Etihad’s 787 fleet including Jeppesen FliteDeck Pro, Jeppesen Crew Rostering and Boeing Wind Updates, which provide crew scheduling, charting, navigation, and flight efficiency capabilities.


OTHER NEWS

  • Curious about 5G and air[port avionics communication? Here is a bit more video – Is 5G dangerous for the aviation industry?
  • We understand the folks at Farnborough International have suspended Russian involvement with the 2022 Farnborough Airshow.

GOGO

Gogo Business Aviation has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA for its 5G aircraft antenna.

“Receiving STC and PMA for the 5G antenna marks the next important milestone in the development of Gogo 5G,” said Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation. “Our team has been hard at work to bring Gogo 5G to life and we remain on track and on budget to launch service in the second half of 2022.”

The STC for the multiband belly-mounted 5G antenna was completed by Duncan Aviation on its company-owned Citation 560XLS. In November, Gogo also announced that Duncan Aviation is working to complete the first-article STC for the onboard 5G system.

Gogo’s authorized dealers and OEM partners are actively pursuing multiple STCs that will certify the Gogo 5G system for installation on more than 30 business aircraft models.

Gogo 5G is expected to deliver ~25 Mbps on average with peak speeds in the 75-80 Mbps range and has been designed to deliver high throughput with very low latency to address the increasing demand for data-heavy interactive services like video conferencing.


SPACEX/INMARSAT

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the second in the Inmarsat-6 series of satellites, I-6 F2, from Cape Canaveral, Florida in Q1 2023. Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries launched the first of the series, I-6 F1, in December 2021 and its fully electric propulsion system is now raising it to a geostationary orbital slot, 36,000km (22,000 miles) over the Indian Ocean. I-6 F1 will enter service in early 2023, following testing later this year, with I-6 F2 scheduled to follow into operation over the Atlantic later in 2023.

I-6 F1 and F2 are identical, with the payloads designed and manufactured in the UK at Airbus’s facilities in Stevenage and Portsmouth, prior to final assembly in Toulouse, France. The most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, they are each almost as large as a London double-decker bus and, when their solar arrays are opened to their full 47m (154 feet) width, they have a ‘wingspan’ similar to a Boeing 767.

The I-6s are Inmarsat’s first dual band satellites, carrying both ELERA (L-band) and Global Xpress (GX – Ka-band) payloads. The Inmarsat 6 series of satellites will play a crucial role in the ongoing growth of the company’s unique ORCHESTRA dynamic mesh network.

This revolutionary layered approach is designed to meet the accelerating bandwidth requirements of more diverse, demanding and ever more widely adopted applications in the commercial and government mobility markets. By drawing on the unique capabilities of each component, it will deliver high performance connectivity everywhere, while eliminating the longstanding industry-wide challenge of congestion at high demand hot spots, like busy ports, airports, sea canals and flight corridors, for good.

ORCHESTRA’s unprecedented combination of global coverage, unparalleled capacity and resilience will provide customers with a low-risk transition to next generation service capabilities, enabling new business models and use cases well into the future. For example:

Urban Air Mobility: Complete command and control and secure air traffic management capabilities for the safe operation of autonomous flying taxis and personal air transport.
Industrial IoT: Secure, device-neutral, private networks for large scale IoT deployments that can integrate, manage and monitor disparate sensors and devices via a single cloud environment.
Smart Cruise Ships: High speed, low latency passenger, crew and operational connectivity solutions for ferries and cruise ships, enabled through global satcom and on-board 5G networks.
Tactical Private Networks: Bespoke, high-speed, local area, temporary ‘sovereign’ networks to connect international aid, forces or government agencies in the field while securely relaying critical data home for analysis.

Details on the precise date for the launch will be provided once confirmed by Inmarsat and SpaceX.


PANASONIC

Finnair has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic Avionics) ArcTM map platform to enhance the passenger experience onboard its long-haul fleet.

This captivating and immersive map solution will be available through Panasonic Avionics’ eX3 in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. It will be further enhanced by Panasonic Avionics’ high-speed connectivity services, which are also installed across Finnair’s long haul fleet. With the unveiling of its new long-haul cabins, Finnair is the launch customer for Arc in Europe.

Arc will be installed on the airline’s 19 Airbus A350-900 and eight A330-300 aircraft, with the first having entered service on February 10th. It brings a wide range of innovations to the traditional in-flight map application, while expanding the concept into a fully integrated experience within the IFE and connectivity system – which is already provided by Panasonic Avionics.

Arc will be available to all passengers, in all cabin classes using Panasonic Avionics eX3 product and visible on overhead monitors and seatback screens.

Using Arc, passengers will now be able to choose from over 20 distinct map views in full HD for various phases of flight, incorporating everything from stunning 3D satellite imagery, local and global views, down to a personalized feature that enables passengers to see the aircraft’s relative position to their selected map location throughout their flight.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President of Digital Solutions for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “The moving map is an integral part of the passenger experience and Arc takes this to a whole new dimension. As the European launch customer, Finnair, with its well-deserved reputation for innovation, will be setting the standard for the in-flight map experience across this important region.”

Arc is inspired by the latest design thinking of contemporary digital and gaming experiences and enables airlines to leverage the high viewership of in-flight moving maps.

Arc is designed so that new content can soon be efficiently pushed to individual aircraft via its own global connectivity services, ensuring a unique, fresh passenger experience that also maximizes operational efficiency and passenger engagement.

Harri Valkama, Digital Channel Lead at Finnair, says: “Finnair is striving to create a unique, differentiated IFE user experience and we are excited to take the 3D map experience to the next level with Panasonic Avionics, going beyond offering a traditional third party off-the-shelf app. We found it very valuable to actively participate and influence the development of the Panasonic Arc map based on the feedback received from our customers. The map will be an integral part of the Finnair IFE user interface and we see big potential in the possibilities enabled by open APIs. In the future, Arc Studio will enable us to easily make changes to the Arc map and influence how the map is shown to our customers. “

Since its debut, Arc has experienced one of the highest adoption rates of any Panasonic Avionics service, with confirmed orders from over 20 airlines on over 300 aircraft, highlighting the success of Panasonic Avionics’ commitment to leading the digital evolution of the passenger experience.


OTHER NEWS

Today’s Image : JetBlue Firms Up Order For 60 Airbus A220-300 Aircraft


ANUVU

Anuvu Secures Major Capacity Deal with Telesat

  • New agreement provides Anuvu with 10 Gigabits of Ka-band capacity, the largest acquisition so far in Anuvu’s Bridge to LEO strategy

Anuvu (formerly GlobalEagle) and Telesat announced the largest yet in a series of satellite capacity deals, providing Anuvu and its customers with new Ka-band connectivity over the Southeastern US, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and Central America.

Under the agreement, Anuvu will add approximately ten gigabits of Ka-band capacity, from Telesat starting next month. This adds to Anuvu’s existing global multi-band capacity on 54 satellites from 11 satellite operators around the world.

“This is an important step in our long-term plan that will culminate with our current GEO Ka-band, Ku-band and C-band global network being supplemented with the Anuvu Constellation of microGEO satellites and setting the stage for LEO connectivity with Telesat Lightspeed,” said Mike Pigott, Anuvu EVP Connectivity.

This deal is part of Anuvu’s Bridge to LEO, allowing Anuvu customers to begin using terminals and capacity now, which are forward-compatible with the Telesat Lightspeed LEO network. “We are revolutionizing mobile connectivity with an open-architecture, hybrid network model that will seamlessly integrate LEO and GEO satellite capability using the Anuvu Constellation Operating System (ACOS). Anuvu’s partnership model delivers our customers an integrated, flexible and cutting-edge solution to meet ever-increasing end user demand. It is a simple bridge from the best satellite technology today, to the best of the future,” said Pigott.

“The Telesat Lightspeed LEO constellation, with its flexible capacity and 100% global coverage, was designed for mobility from the start. And Anuvu’s Bridge to LEO network ensures their passengers an early and smooth upgrade path to the highest-capacity, lowest-latency, fiber-like passenger experience on Telesat Lightspeed,” said Glenn Katz, Chief Commercial Officer at Telesat. “Telesat provided Anuvu’s first satellite capacity over a decade ago and we are proudly further-cementing our relationship with this important agreement.”


ONEWEB

  • OneWeb confirms successful launch and contact with 34 satellites, bringing total in-orbit constellation to 428 satellites
  • OneWeb has now launched two thirds of LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity
  • OneWeb starts the year with ten launches completed since December 2020, and several partnerships and agreements signed

OneWeb, the low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, confirmed the successful deployment of 34 satellites by Arianespace from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. This launch, the Company’s first in 2022 and 13th overall, brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 428 satellites. It represents 66 percent of OneWeb’s planned 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

This launch kicks off a successful start to 2022 as demand for OneWeb’s broadband connectivity services has continued to grow across telecommunications providers, aviation and maritime markets, ISPs, and governments worldwide. Most recently, the Company has signed new distribution partnership agreements with several companies in the last month – including Hughes Network Systems, Marlink, and Field Solutions Holdings – to help ensure connectivity is delivered to the most hard-to-reach places globally.

Liftoff of the latest launch occurred on Thursday, 10th of February 2022. OneWeb’s satellites separated from the rocket and were dispensed in nine batches over a period of 3 hours 33 minutes with signal acquisition on all 34 satellites confirmed.


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation congratulates Textron Aviation Inc., on the first flight of its new high-performance single-engine turboprop Beechcraft Denali.

The Beechcraft Denali is equipped with several of Astronics’ products, including:

  • Aircraft power systems: CorePower® Induction Starter Generator System, CorePower® Electronic Circuit Breaker Units, and the 28-Volt DC EmPower® In-Seat Power Supply from Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems
  • Aircraft exterior lighting and cockpit panels from Astronics Luminescent Systems
  • The Max-Viz 1400 Enhanced Vision System (EVS) from Astronics PECO

“Astronics is proud to be a part of the Beechcraft Denali program,” said Mark Peabody, President of Astronics Aerospace Segment. “The technology and innovation being applied to the Beechcraft Denali program is often found in larger aircraft. We believe the addition of these systems will enable a significant increase in features and performance for smaller business and general aviation aircraft.”


BOEING

Boeing Reaches Record $2 Billion in E-Commerce Sales

  • Boeing Global Services online sales portal simplifies customer transactions with new tools
  • Record online orders reflect continued recovery from COVID-19 impacts

Boeing achieved an annual record for e-commerce parts sales last year with more than $2 billion in online orders. Fueled by investment in digital tools, Boeing Distribution Inc. (formerly Aviall) sold nearly 70,000 parts products through its e-commerce site to commercial and government customers, eclipsing pre-pandemic levels. Commercial orders accounted for $1.5 billion in sales, reflecting the continued recovery in the airline industry

“Our $2 billion closeout to 2021 was a great capstone as the market heads to a more stable recovery,” said Ted Colbert, president and chief executive officer, Boeing Global Services, at the Singapore Airshow today. “Our e-commerce capabilities are a great example of the digital solutions we provide to enable industry recovery and growth. Our focus as always is on bringing value through our products and services, and we will continue to partner with our customers as they navigate this dynamic environment.”

Boeing Distribution Inc.’s online revenue last year was 15 percent higher compared to pre-pandemic levels, while orders were 20 percent higher. The stronger sales came as the company rolled out new tools to improve the customer experience, including a new homepage, a live chat feature, and an online knowledge center.

The refreshed e-commerce parts website, which features over 500,000 products, saw five million visits from 50 countries last year.

“Boeing is improving e-commerce with our customers in mind,” said William Ampofo, vice president of Parts, Distribution Services, and Supply Chain, Boeing Global Services. “In addition to launching new digital tools, we are creating a more streamlined process for our customers by realigning strategy, program, and product line management with supply chain and customer support. We will continue to focus on digital and performance improvements, along with simplifying how we engage with our customers.”


OTHER NEWS

  • You might want to check out how AirAsia is changing their name and why – “The name change reflects the Group’s new core business strategy as an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses, which have rapidly transformed the AirAsia brand into much more than just an airline.”
    AirAsia Group is now Capital A — airasia newsroom

INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications,  announced that its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution is now available to passengers traveling with new Spanish airline World2Fly, in partnership with SITA as the service provider.

The long-haul carrier, founded by Spanish hotel group Iberostar, provides advanced, high-speed GX Aviation connectivity onboard its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Passengers can access the service thanks to SITA’s Internet ONAIR solution, allowing them to browse the internet, stream video and audio, shop online, or keep in touch with friends and loved ones. The seamless experience offers passengers the same broadband reliability and consistency in the air as they are used to on the ground.

World2fly’s A350-900s feature a modern and comfortable single-class cabin layout with 432 seats. The Mallorca-based airline will expand its fleet and operate flights from Madrid to leisure destinations such as Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and Cancún (Mexico).

Demand for inflight connectivity has soared as passengers start returning to the skies after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Inmarsat’s recently released 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, 41% of respondents believe that having Wi-Fi on their flights is even more important now than pre-COVID. Wi-Fi allows them to stay connected with friends and family and supports a touch-free environment.

Inmarsat owns and operates the a diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks that power the best postpaid sim only plans, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.

SITA is the air transport industry’s IT provider, delivering solutions for airlines, airports, aircraft and governments. Our technology powers more seamless, safe and sustainable air travel.


FTS & SHANDONG AIRLINES

On November 18th 2021, Shandong Airlines and FTS signed a cooperation agreement to formally launch the first domestic Digital Aircraft pilot project for this Boeing only airline fleet. This is the pilot deployment of FTS with full hardware and software solutions to digitalization of Shandong Airlines Boeing 737 fleet, including multiple stages of aircraft modification, airworthiness certification, applications verification and final flight testing.  The first aircraft is expected to be modified and enter into service in the middle of 2022.

As part of this collaboration, the two parties will jointly build a “Digital Aircraft Innovation Lab”, with goals of incubating digital aircraft innovations, training of talent, and continue to explore new scenarios and operational models. The project is leveraging on China’s own High Throughput satellites for air-to-ground high-speed data transmission.  The Lab is planned to function as a resource integrator for various ecosystem players – local tech startups, system integrators and even global partners to co-create solutions for digital aviation, from idea generation to testing to commercialization.

More and more airlines are now embracing the concept of Digital Aircraft. This refers to enabling high speed air to ground broadband connectivity in both the flight deck and passenger cabin, providing seamless data transmission services and collaboration between the Digital Aircraft and ground operations networks.  Airlines can harness real-time data to produce insights that can enhance flight safety and efficiency, reduce operational disruptions, improve passenger experiences, and make real-time decisions regarding fleet health.

As one of the world’s major civil aviation hubs, China sees digital transformation as the necessary way to lay down the infrastructure foundation for sustaining growth in aviation.  The Chinese authorities and regulators have convened and proposed a national framework of Digital Aircraft solutions to guide and oversee the accelerated deployment of digital transformation of its domestic airlines to improve operational safety, optimize costs and improved passenger experiences.


AIRBUS, THALES, and DIEHL

Airbus, Diehl and Thales open a new chapter in safe and sustainable air mobility:

  • Airbus has selected Thales and Diehl to supply the electrical flight controls for its future CityAirbus NextGen air taxi, providing a safe and secure response to tomorrow’s air mobility needs.
  • The new-generation flight control computer meets the size and weight requirements of an eVTOL (electrically powered vertical take-off and landing) aircraft and is particularly well suited to the emerging urban and regional air mobility markets.
  • Thales has more than 40 years of experience in electrical flight controls, having supplied the systems for the first ever fly-by-wire commercial airliner, the Airbus A310.

By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. This sustained growth in urban populations is expected to drive demand for innovative mobility solutions as ground transportation systems become increasingly congested. One way forward could be to offer a safe, sustainable and efficient alternative that makes optimum use of urban airspace.

Flight control systems are critical to flight safety, calculating and adjusting the position of the aircraft’s control surfaces and managing engine thrust. Electrical flight control systems are progressively replacing conventional mechanical systems and offer significant advantages in terms of safety, performance and reliability, as well as reducing aircraft weight and improving passenger comfort.

The system selected by Airbus will combine Thales primary flight computers with secondary flight computers from Diehl. The choice of different flight computers will help improve flight safety and guarantee system integrity to comply with the new EASA regulation for eVTOL.

The streamlined architecture of the flight control computers will make certification simpler while retaining the capacity to accommodate further developments and host multiple functions such as navigation, guidance and pilot assistance.

Drawing on its long-standing experience of electrical flight controls, which dates back to the 1980s with the pioneering fly-by-wire systems for the Airbus A310, and with a total of 12,000 aircraft equipped to date, Thales is joining Airbus and Diehl to write the next chapter in the future of air mobility.The fully electric CityAirbus NextGen is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero emissions flight in multiple applications. CityAirbus is being developed to fly with a 80 km range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions. It is optimized for hover and cruise efficiency, while not requiring moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition. Designed with simplicity in mind, CityAirbus NextGen will offer best-in-class economic performance in operations and support. Its first flight of a prototype is planned for 2023.


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has announced the appointment of Kim Creaven as Director of Advertising Sales.

Kim will serve as the organizational lead for all Panasonic Avionics’ market-driven, advertising-related solutions. She will be responsible for the development and oversight of the business to include product, sales, and marketing solutions that maximize opportunities for the monetization of passenger engagement through in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems.

In her role, Kim will report to Andrew Mohr, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President, Digital Solutions. She will be working with customers, stakeholders, and third-party vendors to help develop and execute product and marketing strategies for its advertising services across the company’s business verticals.

Andrew Mohr said, “There is incredible room for growth in the in-flight advertising space, and Kim’s expertise and in-depth industry knowledge will contribute greatly to unlocking that potential through Panasonic Avionics’ IFE and Connectivity.”

Kim has more than 26 years of experience in advertising and sales roles with airlines, media, and IFEC providers. She previously held roles at Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Gogo and joins Panasonic Avionics from ANUVU (formally Global Eagle Entertainment), where she was Vice President of Sales, Strategy and Partner Marketing from 2014 – 2020.

Kim Creaven said, “Panasonic Avionics is a proven leader in digital aviation products and services, and I am delighted to be joining their talented team at such an exciting time for our sector.”

“As Panasonic Avionics continues its advances in digital ancillary revenue innovation, we will be taking today’s in-cabin entertainment experience to the next level of engagement with our industry-leading advertising services.”

“I will use my experience and passion for our industry to help Panasonic Avionics become the lead in onboard advertising and ancillary revenue standards and to deliver innovative customer partnerships across the globe.”

Since 2017, Kim has also been Chairwoman of the APEX (The Airline Passenger Experience Association) Advertising & Ancillary Revenue Committee – the first within APEX to elevate airline ancillary revenue related to advertising, sponsorships, and loyalty partnerships. In this role, Kim has led the creation of industry best practices and the first glossary of terms for creative airline advertising.

Kim attended the University of Kentucky, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree within the School of Business and Journalism.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, today confirmed that its strategic partner BSNL has received the necessary licenses to deliver Inmarsat’s world-leading Global Xpress (GX) mobile broadband services in India.

Under BSNL’s Inflight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) license from the Department of Telecommunications, GX will be available to Indian customers across government, aviation and maritime.

The announcement means that India’s airlines will be able to deploy GX for in-flight connectivity within India and throughout the world, while India’s commercial maritime companies will be able to enhance significantly the digitalization of their vessels for more effective ship operations and crew welfare services. BSNL’s license will also see the award-winning GX service offered to government and other users. There will be a phased introduction of services for customers and partners.

Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, said: “Today is a significant day for Inmarsat and our valued, long-term partnership with India, which was a signatory to the founding treaty establishing Inmarsat in 1979. Inmarsat is delighted to make the world’s only global high-speed mobile broadband Ka-band network available to the Government and businesses in India through our partner BSNL. We are committed to India and the company has been a trusted partner for the Indian government for four decades. Today’s announcement, which we share proudly with our friends at BSNL, will help to underpin the further economic growth that we all wish to see in India.”

GX, operating in the Ka-band, is the first and only high-speed broadband network designed for mobility and government customers to seamlessly span the world. This market-leading service delivers the high bandwidth, reliability and security that commercial and government-grade mobility customers demand. GX is continually evolving to offer even more capacity, capabilities and operational agility for Inmarsat customers now and well into the future. The company is launching a further seven GX satellites, including its next generation GX satellites, over the coming three years, each of which will add more capacity into a single region than the first four satellites combined. The GX gateway for India is located in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, Mr P.K. Purwar said: “BSNL and Inmarsat are delighted to share this key milestone with our partners and customers in India. Global Xpress is recognized as the world’s best high-speed satellite communications service for government and mobility business customers and we are very pleased to make these capabilities available to users in India. All of us at BSNL appreciate the commitment to excellence shown by the Indian Government as we have worked on approvals to deliver this service to the country. Equally, we thank our partner Inmarsat for their spirit of collaboration in reaching today’s milestone to help power forward economic development in India through higher quality connectivity for our customers.”

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Ltd, said: “We are delighted that Global Xpress, the world-leading passenger inflight connectivity service, is now coming to India. We are looking forward to offering this ground-breaking connectivity service to our passengers later this year, when we introduce our new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. It will enable our customers to remain connected in the air as they do on the ground.”

Gautam Sharma, Inmarsat India Managing Director, said: “Inmarsat is well-positioned to partner with the Indian government to address the ever-growing demand for reliable, mobile satellite communication services across a broad range of commercial and public sectors. Following the successful introduction of Inmarsat’s voice and broadband data communication services across India in the past, today we are announcing that Inmarsat’s award-winning Global Xpress services has now secured the necessary licenses through our valued partner BSNL. Global Xpress is the gold standard of high-speed satellite mobile broadband communications. It will enable Indian domestic airlines and international airlines flying over India to provide the world’s fastest inflight connectivity. It will also speed up the digitalization of Indian-flagged maritime vessels and give an edge to the Indian Government, including its defense forces. We are proud to be led by Rajeev Suri, an Indian-born global leader as we unlock the next phase of commitment to the Indian government and Indian market.”

Also From Inmarsat:

Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring the company’s existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellite networks [GX and Inmarsat ELERA operating in the L-band] together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA allows capacity to be boosted in high-density areas such as at airports and maritime ports, eliminating network ‘hot spot’ congestion forever and ensuring that the connectivity needs of mobility and government customers continue to be met for decades to come, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


AVALON

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, and Japan Airlines (‘JAL’), announce a partnership to commercialize zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft in Japan.

Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, has formed a strategic partnership with JAL to identify and target local partners and customers, infrastructure requirements, certification, and a range of commercial models to introduce one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses in Japan. Through this partnership, JAL will have a right to purchase or lease up to 50 Vertical VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, with the option to purchase or lease up to 50 additional units.


BOEING

Boeing Forecasts 20-year Middle East Commercial Jet and Services Market Valued at more than $1.4 Trillion

  • Commercial fleet expected to more than double to serve passenger and cargo demand
  • Projected widebody deliveries will be the highest proportion of any region at 44%
  • Aftermarket commercial services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion

Boeing said that airlines in the Middle East will require 3,000 new airplanes valued at $700 billion and aftermarket services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion, with the region positioned to capitalize on the recovery of regional and international travel and cargo demand. Boeing provided the estimate in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a forecast of 20-year demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Middle East passenger traffic and the region’s commercial fleet are projected to more than double over the 20-year forecast period, according to the CMO. More than two-thirds of airplane deliveries to the Middle East will accommodate growth, while one-third of deliveries will replace older airplanes with more fuel-efficient models such as the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X.

“The Middle East region’s role as a global connecting hub continues to be important for developing markets to and from Southeast Asia, China and Africa,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for the Middle East. “The region has been a leader in restoring confident passenger travel through multi-faceted initiatives that aid international travel recovery.”

Air freight represents an ongoing area of opportunity for Middle East airlines, with the freighter fleet projected to nearly double from 80 airplanes in 2019 to 150 by 2040. Notably, air cargo traffic flown by Middle East carriers has increased since 2020 by nearly 20%, with two of the world’s top-five cargo carriers based in the region.

The 2021 Middle East CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

To accommodate increased passenger and cargo traffic, airlines are predicted to grow their fleets to 3,530 jets.
The region will continue to see robust widebody demand, with 1,570 deliveries supporting a growing network of international routes.

The current single-aisle fleet of 660 airplanes is forecast to nearly triple to 1,750 jets.

Commercial services opportunities include fleet renewal, maintenance, repair and parts supply, and operations optimization.

Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook forecasts that the region is estimated to require 223,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including 54,000 pilots, 51,000 technicians and 91,000 cabin crew members. The complete PTO is available here. The complete CMO forecast is available here.

Boeing Forecasts Africa’s 20-year Commercial Aviation Market Opportunity Valued at Nearly $400 Billion.

  • Africa’s commercial airplane fleet projected to grow to 1,560 over the next 20 years
  • 80% of new deliveries are for African carrier growth as intra-continent traffic rises

Boeing forecasts that Africa’s airlines will require 1,030 new airplanes by 2040 valued at $160 billion and aftermarket services such as manufacturing and repair worth $235 billion, enabling growth for air travel and economies across the continent. Boeing shared the projection as part of the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term assessment of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Africa’s strong, long-term growth prospects for commercial aviation are closely tied to the continent’s projected 3% annual economic growth over the next 20 years. Initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area and Single African Air Transport Market are expected to stimulate trade, air travel and economic cooperation. Additionally, the region’s middle class and working population is projected to double by the end of the forecast period, driving increased demand for air travel, according to Boeing.

“Africa has healthy opportunities to expand travel and tourism, coinciding with increasing urbanization and rising incomes,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for Middle East and Africa. “African carriers are well-positioned to support inter-regional traffic growth and capture market share by offering services that efficiently connect passengers and enable commerce within the continent.”

The 2021 Africa CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

  • Airlines in Africa will grow their fleets by 3.6% per year to accommodate passenger traffic growth of 5.4% annually, the third-highest growth rate in the world.
  • Single-aisle jets are expected to account for more than 70% of commercial deliveries, with 740 new planes mainly supporting domestic and inter-regional demand. In addition, African carriers are estimated to need 250 new widebodies, including passenger and cargo models, to support long-haul routes and air freight growth.
  • 80% of African jet deliveries are expected to serve fleet growth with more sustainable, fuel-efficient models such as the 737, 777X and 787 Dreamliner, with 20% of deliveries replacing older airplanes.

Estimated demand for aviation personnel will rise to 63,000 new professionals, including 19,000 pilots, 20,000 technicians and 24,000 cabin crew members.

Commercial services opportunities such as supply chain, manufacturing, repair and overhaul are valued at $235 billion.


OTHER NEWS

  • MORGAN STANLEY
    – The White House is adopting a new air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccinations to advance the resumption of international air travel to the U.S. beginning in November.
    – Southwest Airlines walks back its plan to place unvaccinated staff seeking medical and/or religious exemptions on unpaid leave after the December federal deadline.
    – Southwest also announced a 10-year environmental sustainability plan in support of the airline’s overall goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  • This is unbelievable:”Apple disclosed the M1 Pro transistor count to be at 33.7 billion, while the M1 Max bloats that up to 57 billion transistors.” Apple Announces M1 Pro & M1 Max: Giant New Arm SoCs with All-Out Performance
  • What is AI? Morning Brew OK, now, what is 5G? Morning Brew
  • Want to see how Airbus retrofits aircraft wings for installation of Sharklets? Airbus’ Sharklets: Ready for retrofit – YouTube Oh, you don’t know about how winglets work and what they do? Understanding Winglets; Drag; & How the Winglets Improve the Aerodynamic Efficiency on an Aircraft! – YouTube


PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced a new venture with Air Belgium to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new Airbus A330neo aircraft.

The agreement will see Air Belgium’s A330neo aircraft equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ renowned connectivity and mobile services, enhancing the onboard passenger experience.

The airline’s two new A330neos, the first of which entered into service this weekend, will be fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ full HD seatback monitors, complete with handsets, touch displays, and personalized interfaces.

Air Belgium’s passengers will also experience in-flight connectivity, powered by Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites, delivering a host of next-generation connectivity benefits such as fast internet and in-flight mobile phone services. The system will also feature ArcTM, Panasonic Avionics 3D in-flight moving map platform.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “We are delighted to be working with Air Belgium to enhance the passenger experience on their new fleet. By tailoring the way we offer our award-winning solutions to meet the individual needs of carriers, we are able to create a product portfolio that can fit every airline’s business model.”

“Our in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions will help Air Belgium strengthen their long-haul operations and drive customer satisfaction as they look to grow in the years ahead.”

By adopting Panasonic Avionics’ industry-leading IFEC solutions, airlines can offer a powerful onboard experience to increase brand loyalty, while delivering fresh, personalized content to passengers across the world.

Niky Terzakis, Chief Executive Officer at Air Belgium, said, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Panasonic Avionics to continue to enrich and elevate our onboard experience. Their flexibility and innovative approach in delivering IFE and connectivity perfectly complements our internal resources and strategy.”

More Panasonic News:

Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA) has started a two-month trial of Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight Live Television service.

The service was rolled out on MEA’s fleet of nine Airbus A321neoLR aircraft on the 1st of October 2021, helping passengers to Never Miss A Moment™ with a wide range of premium news and live sporting events.

Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service connects passengers to unmissable on-the-ground entertainment from the comfort of their seats. The integrated service enables passengers to watch news channels including the BBC World and CNN International, along with live sporting action in partnership with Sport 24.

Sport 24 is provided exclusively by Panasonic Avionics and is the world’s first and only live in-flight sports platform. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting airline passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content from over 30 different global sports leagues each day.

MEA’s customers will be able to enjoy all the live action from the world’s top sporting events, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, all four Tennis Grand Slams, all four Golf Majors, the NRL, the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Bundesliga, and more.

The Live Television service onboard MEA’s aircraft will be powered by Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services, and broadcast through its eX1 in-flight entertainment platform, both of which were launched on the airline’s A321neoLR fleet in 2020.

eX1 is designed specifically for narrowbody aircraft and offers elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President of Digital Solutions for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Middle East Airlines and to enhance the in-flight experience they provide by bringing live news and the world’s best sporting action to their passengers.”

Houssam Moghrabi, Head of In-flight Services at MEA, said, “Panasonic Avionics is a proven partner for MEA. The trial of their Live Television service is a natural next step following the installation of their state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems last year, which has been well received by our passengers.”


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, celebrated the 1,000th installation and activation of its market-leading Jet ConneX inflight connectivity solution, cementing the company’s leadership in the business aviation market.

The milestone was celebrated with Inmarsat’s partners at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, USA and also coincides with the fifth anniversary of Jet ConneX. Since entering commercial service in November 2016, Jet ConneX has quickly developed into the business aviation industry’s gold standard inflight connectivity service, offering the same level of reliable, consistent and high-speed broadband in the air that was previously only available on the ground.

Powered by Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network Global Xpress, Jet ConneX is the preferred linefit option of all major business jet manufacturers, including Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault, and uses JetWave hardware by Honeywell Aerospace. Inmarsat has received type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals for the service from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) across all popular platforms, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket maintenance repair and overhaul service providers (MROs).

The 1,000th activation comes at an important time for the business aviation industry. Following a period of turbulence over the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey commissioned by Inmarsat and Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) found that almost 80% of respondents around the world believe more frequent business aviation flights will be taken in the next year. A staggering 90% also feel online activities will dominate principals’ time in the air, almost evenly split between business and leisure.

Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said: “The business world has evolved considerably since the onset of COVID-19 and during times of unprecedented turbulence and instability, business leaders cannot afford to be disconnected. As a result, we have experienced a rapid surge in demand for the fast, reliable and consistent inflight Wi-Fi that only Jet ConneX can deliver, wherever and whenever they fly. We believe this is a long-term trend that won’t level off as we come out of this COVID era.

“Therefore, the outlook is bright and we look forward to working with our partners to build on the momentum of the past five years, with 1,000 activations now achieved and many more to come. As part of these efforts, we are investing more than ever in several upcoming next-generation satellites, plus significant enhancements to our ground stations, hardware and software, all backed by world-class cybersecurity. This will amplify Jet ConneX capabilities even further and also result in unprecedented new L-band offerings to cement our long-term leadership in business aviation connectivity.”

Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA boosts capacity in high-density areas such as at airports, eliminating congested network ‘hot spots’ and ensuring the connectivity needs of business aviation customers continue to be met well into the future, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


BURRANA

Burrana, a leader in the inflight entertainment (IFE) and cabin technology industry, announced the appointment of Graham Macdonald as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Graham brings 30 years of aerospace experience with 15 years in the IFE industry — including Rockwell Collins from which the commercial IFE business was acquired in early 2019 to form Burrana. Mr. Macdonald’s extensive experience managing multi-site, multi-national operations and background integrating acquisitions provide a strong foundation for leading Burrana through the industry recovery and eventual return to normalcy.

For the past 18 months, Neal Nordstrom, Operating Partner for JW Hill Capital, led the business through the challenges created by the global pandemic. He will now transition back to his board role where he will continue to support Mr. Macdonald. Mr. Macdonald came on board as acting Chief of Staff two months ago to begin his onboarding process. A seamless transition of responsibilities will take place over the next few weeks.

Mr. Macdonald said, “I am excited to have been chosen by the board for this role and look forward to embracing the challenges ahead. I am inheriting from Neal a strong team and competitive product range. Our immediate focus is of course continuing to navigate COVID-19’s impact on the industry and coming out of these challenging times strong and ready to compete.”


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense and other mission critical industries, announced that it has closed on the sale of its facility in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for total consideration of $9.1 million. Net proceeds were approximately $8.7 million in cash. The Company expects to record a gain in the fourth quarter of 2021 of approximately $5.0 million. The sale was a result of the consolidation of the DME lighting and safety operations into its East Aurora, NY operations.

The Company also confirmed that it entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program, or AMJP, for a grant of up to $14.7 million. Astronics received the first installment of $7.3 million under the grant in September. The Company expects to receive a second installment in the range of $5 million to $6 million during the fourth quarter of 2021 and a final installment in the second or third quarter of 2022 upon final confirmation of meeting its grant commitments.

Astronics was required to make several commitments to qualify for the program, including a commitment not to furlough or lay off a defined group of employees during the period of performance. The grant benefit will be recognized ratably over a six-month performance period as an offset to cost of goods sold. The contribution to gross profit by quarter is expected to be $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2021, $7.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 and $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2022.


BOEING

Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The award, the highest honor in the long-running program, recognizes a public or private sector leader who has navigated business challenges and expanded opportunities for African-Americans in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Colbert leads Boeing’s aerospace services development and delivery model for commercial, government and aviation industry customers worldwide, focused on global supply chain and parts distribution, aircraft modifications and maintenance, digital solutions, aftermarket engineering, analytics and training.


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics is enhancing its in-flight Live Television sports offering with the addition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

AFC’s competitions are being added to IMG’s Sport 24, the world’s first and only live in-flight sports platform, which is offered exclusively in-flight by Panasonic Avionics. These include all the major football championships in the Asia-Pacific region, including qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

It will join a wealth of other content on Sport 24 including NFL, NBA, NHL, tennis’ Grand Slams, golf’s Majors, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League, European and Asian World Cup Qualifiers, and more.

Sport 24 broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting airline passengers to more than 16 hours of premium live content from over 30 different global sports leagues each day. It creates a unique viewing experience for passengers – from the casual to the avid sports fan – which results in a dwell time almost three times higher than the most popular US sports channel.

Dominic Green, Senior Director, Digital Product Management of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to be enhancing the live sports we offer airlines across the globe with the addition of top-flight football from the Asia-Pacific region. Football is one of the most popular live sports we offer in-flight and we are confident that AFC tournaments will prove a hit with passengers from the outset.”

Richard Wise, Senior Vice President, Content and Channels, IMG’s media business, said, “We are delighted to bring Asia’s top national team and club competitions to our audiences and bolster our portfolio. Our long-standing relationship with Panasonic Avionics enables us to broadcast live sports coverage to passengers all over the world.”

The AFC is the governing body of Asian football and one of the six Confederations making up FIFA. Established in 1954 in Manila, the AFC is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and comprises 47 Member Associations.

Almost 1,000 aircraft across the globe are installed with Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service, of which Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra are an integral part.


SATCOM DIRECT

  • SD adding SKYTRAC Iridium Certus products to SD Xperience portfolio
  •  Deal enhances connectivity configuration options for SD customers globally
  • SKYTRAC addition expands current broadband offering to satisfy increased demand

Satcom Direct, has signed a deal with SKYTRAC, a Canada-based provider of intelligent connectivity solutions for aviation, to become an exclusive reseller for the business aviation sector. The newly ratified agreement positions SD as a global reseller of SKYTRAC Iridium Certus® hardware and data services directly to business aviation jet owners, operators, and business aircraft manufacturers.

Aligning with the SD strategy, which offers customizable, robust connectivity solutions for aircraft of all sizes, the agreement immediately adds an impressive range of Iridium Certus products to the SD Xperience portfolio. A full suite of robust connectivity options, powered by the Iridium LEO Certus constellation are available to satisfy the increased demand for connectivity from all sizes of business aviation aircraft. The SKYTRAC offering meets both cabin and flight-deck communication requirements for a range of business aviation platforms through its compelling broadband solutions.

“What sets us apart within the industry is our consultancy service that streamlines connectivity acquisition and ensures a seamless service that’s easier to manage. The addition of the SKYTRAC component enables a greater variety of options for owners and operators of business jets of all sizes, to receive consistent, secure, reliable connectivity, now. It also boosts our mixed fleet offering which, as we add more and more fleets worldwide to our roster, adds real value for the customer. We are proud to have partnered with one of the industry’s most respected Iridium Certus suppliers,” says Chris Moore, President, Satcom Direct Business Aviation.

The SKYTRAC products and services bring even more flexibility to the SD Xperience portfolio to support internet browsing, email, voice, and text services in the cabin, even on smaller aircraft. Flight-deck tools include improved situational awareness through flight tracking, weather alerts, and FANS capabilities. The additional products augment the SD commitment to provide cabin and flight-deck communications services, aircraft connectivity hardware, data management, and flight operations software, from a single resource. The SD Xperience portfolio delivers purpose-built technology to satisfy the unique, evolving requirements of business aviation, and gives SD the capabilities to create tailored, customer-driven solutions. In addition, all SD SKYTRAC customers will benefit from the award-winning SD 24/7/365 customer support.

“SD has gained impressive global market share of the business aviation sector and is dedicated to empowering owners by harnessing the full potential of data connectivity. This new relationship immediately broadens our potential customer base,” said Jan van der Heul, Vice President Sales of SKYTRAC. “The SD market penetration, combined with the expansion of the SD Xperience portfolio with the SKYTRAC products, adds up to a powerful connectivity offering for the international business aviation market. We’re excited to work with SD to bring our products to a much wider audience.”


THALES

Vantis and Thales Partner to Build Nation’s First Statewide BVLOS Network

Vantis, North Dakota’s Statewide Unmanned Aircraft Systems Network, has selected a long-term systems integrator to build out this groundbreaking UAS, or drone, infrastructure across the state. Thales, a global technology leader, was one of three aviation giants providing engineering and integration services being evaluated to enable BVLOS UAS flights on Vantis. A state selection committee made up of members from the North Dakota Department of Commerce and Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), which administers Vantis, selected Thales as the long-term systems integrator for Vantis design, operations and maintenance.

“We’re excited for the next phase of our partnership with Thales,” said James Cieplak, program manager of Vantis. “They were chosen not only because of their outstanding technical performance and innovative approach to building this system, but because they provide the best long-term value to the state. Thales shares our vision for what a partnership of this magnitude could achieve, and for Vantis as the future of the UAS industry.”

One of the major barriers to commercial UAS flights – package deliveries, infrastructure inspections, search and rescue efforts – is that UAS currently must remain within visual line of sight of the pilot. Vantis is a State of North Dakota-funded technology infrastructure that uses radar, radios, and other communications equipment on towers distributed throughout the state to provide command, control, and situational awareness to UAS pilots flying aircraft within the network’s coverage area. With Vantis, UAS pilots can see and avoid obstacles and fly safely at a distance – which means commercial UAS flights that are economically feasible and scalable to the size of business.

“North Dakota continues to be the nation’s proving ground for the testing, training and commercialization of unmanned aircraft systems, and this partnership with Thales to build out the first-of-its-kind Vantis statewide network will help cement our state’s reputation as a UAS leader,” said North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who chairs the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority. “Our state’s nearly $50 million investment in this groundbreaking technology is attracting companies, jobs and entrepreneurs and diversifying our economy for the benefit of all North Dakotans.”

As the systems integration partner for Vantis, Thales will deploy new communications and surveillance infrastructure in phases across the state. This infrastructure will be supported by a Mission and Network Operations Center (MNOC) that uses the State of North Dakota’s fiber optic telecommunications network along with robust digital services deployed on cloud-based infrastructure to support operational resilience.

Vantis infrastructure has been installed at key sites in western North Dakota, where testing is currently underway. Testing standards were developed in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure they are rigorous, do not interfere with existing manned aviation operations, and to prove the safety and reliability of Vantis moving forward. Currently, approvals to fly BVLOS must be obtained directly from the FAA on an individual basis. Working with the FAA as the Vantis network is built out and proven will enable any operator who flies on the network to receive the appropriate approvals to facilitate true BVLOS flights – something that does not exist at this scale anywhere in the country.

“BVLOS operations are the greatest economic driver for sustained commercial UAS use-cases and, until now, there hasn’t been any common, or shared-use, infrastructure to support routine BVLOS operations,” said Todd Donovan, Vice President, Airspace Mobility Solutions, Americas, Thales. “Ultimately, the approach for unmanned systems with Vantis in North Dakota will likely shape how we approach UAS integration more broadly.”

As the system matures, Vantis will continue its expansion across the state. The expansion strategy targets areas with existing use cases where commercial interests and capable UAS operators intersect, such as the initial stage in North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields. The second stage of implementation will include the Red River Valley, priming Vantis to support businesses in two of the state’s largest metropolitan areas as well as one of the major agricultural regions in the state. Then, Vantis will begin connecting these major economic powerhouse areas across North Dakota.

“BVLOS flights are the future of UAS. They are how we achieve repeatable, scalable, economically viable commercial UAS services,” said Trevor Woods, interim executive director of NPUASTS. “Vantis, through our partnership with Thales USA, is making that future a reality. We’re building the blueprint for commercial BVLOS flights across the country.”


IATA

Mehmet T. Nane, CEO of Pegasus Airlines, has been appointed Chair of the IATA Board of Governors at The International Air Transport Association’s 77th Annual General Assembly, to commence his term in June 2022. Mehmet T. Nane, who will serve as the first Turkish Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, will commence his term at the 78th Annual General Assembly to be held in Shanghai on 19-21 June 2022, succeeding the current Chair of the Board of Governors Robin Hayes. Mehmet T. Nane will serve until the conclusion of the 79th Annual General Assembly in 2023. With this appointment, Mehmet T. Nane will also become a Member of the IATA’s Chair Committee and this Chair Committee Membership will last three terms as an elected, active and former Chair of the Board of Governors.


OTHER NEWS

Stay up on this airplane –  Widebody Challenger: The CRAIC CR929 Is Now Under Production – YouTube Russia and China are building it!

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has named Kent D. Craver to lead the company’s marketing activities, effective today.

As Senior Director, Kent will shape the company’s marketing efforts with responsibility for Panasonic Avionics’ global brand, and digital marketing transformation, with the goal of becoming the world’s leading brand for delivering an extraordinary passenger in-flight experience.

He will lead a global, multi-disciplinary team including the Brand, Marketing, Digital Marketing and Market Analysis groups. Kent will report to Andy Masson, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President of Product and Portfolio Management.

Andy Masson, Vice President of Product Management, said, “Kent has a proven track record in delivering results in customer engagement, brand management and passenger experience. I am confident he will be a valuable addition to Panasonic Avionics and I am delighted to welcome him to our team.”

Kent has over 25 years of experience in the aviation industry. For 12 years, he was Regional Director – Cabin Experience and Revenue Analysis at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. His responsibilities included identifying passenger preferences and airline requirements, using that information to guide product development and helping carriers configure their aircraft to maximize profitability.

He joined Boeing in 2007 from Continental Airlines, where he managed Onboard Product Marketing and Research, with the responsibility for developing and maintaining the branding and customer experience aspects of the carrier’s onboard products.

Kent Craver said, “Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity provider. I’m excited to be leading the marketing team as we evolve the company’s brand to reflect the way it is transforming the passenger experience.”

An active participant and speaker in various industry forums, Kent also served two separate terms as president of the World Airline Entertainment Association (now APEX). He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


NetForecast

NetForecast, a leading provider of Internet performance measurement services, has named Mary Rogozinksi Director of Aviation Business DevelopmentMary has been a leader in the inflight entertainment and communications industry for over 30 years. In her new role, Mary is responsible for strategy, marketing, sales, and account managementworking with airlines, inflight connectivity providers, business aviation partners, and other transportationrelated companies to improve the passenger WiFi experience. NetForecast recently unveiled its QMap® Inflight Internet Experience Monitoring service, which continuously measures the passenger WiFi experience from personal electronic devices, and reports on endtoend network experience quality in near realtime.

As current Chair of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Connectivity Working Group (CWG)Mary leads the effort to document metrics for measuring the inflight connectivity passenger experience. Through her work at United, SmartSky, and Gogo, she was instrumental in introducing inflight connectivity to airlines, and helped launch the service on American, Alaska, and AirTran Airways. Mary has been actively involved in the inflight entertainment and connectivity industry throughout her careerShe served as Director on the APEX Boardis a member of the Leadership Team for the APEX Technology Committee, and is a longstanding member and formeChair of the APEX Thought Leadership Committee. She has also served as President of APEX.

According to Rebecca Wetzel, NetForecastPresident: NetForecast is delighted to welcome Mary Rogozinski to our team. Her deep understanding of the aviation industry and her longstanding commitment to improving the passenger experience make her the perfect fit for our mission to improve the Internet experience for aircraft passengers.

NetForecast is a privately held company headquartered in Charlottesville VA. Its customers provide Internet service to over 62 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet subscribers.


SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD) has confirmed successful functioning of the Plane Simple™ Antenna System during a series of transatlantic and European validation flights. In more than sixteen hours of testing amassed during a three-day mission, the tail-mounted, Ku-band Plane Simple Antenna System demonstrated its compatibility with the Intelsat FlexExec satellite network. Seamless data transmission was supported by the SD ecosystem of hardware, software, and terrestrial infrastructure, as it delivered consistent data streaming across multiple devices.

The SD Gulfstream G350 flight, confirmed the reliability of the new hardware, which has been developed specifically for business aviation. Constant data transmission verified the terminal’s functionality across the Intelsat FlexExec network, stressed the system, and proved its capabilities across a range of aerial dynamics. The flight transitioned between three satellites on the Intelsat network as the aircraft flew along the east coast of the USA, across the North Atlantic, and on to Ireland, before returning back to base in Melbourne, FL.

The beam transmission was flawless as more than 29 GB of data was transmitted during the flight trials across Intelsat’s multi-layered, redundant, high-throughput satellite network. The SDR® Gateway router supported Wi-Fi distribution to numerous personal electronic devices in the cabin, enabling multiple streaming applications, video conferencing calls, and Live-TV, to be simultaneously active.

“This heralds a new era for business aviation as it confirms SD has successfully developed a powerful hardware system that supports unparalleled connectivity services from a single source supplier. Contacting just one company for all connectivity needs streamlines the ownership experience, enhances customer support, and demystifies the complexity of aviation connectivity,” says President of Satcom Direct Business Aviation, Chris Moore. “The results prove that SD can support high-definition data streams for numerous on-board users concurrently and demonstrates that we remain committed to optimizing the possibilities delivered by the digitization of aviation.”

The Plane Simple Antenna System delivers a number of firsts to the business aviation sector. It consists of only two LRUs, an antenna and a modem, both of which are easy to access, enabling seamless upgrade paths and maintenance. The modem is positioned in the unpressurized part of the aircraft which also returns valuable stowage space to the passenger and crew.

SD is now working on generating commercial Supplemental Type Certificates to support Plane Simple installations. It is anticipated the first will be for Falcon 2000 owners, with others to follow by the end of the year to support business, military, and government aviation customers.

The tail-mounted Plane Simple Ku-band antenna is the first in a series being developed by SD in partnership with Germany-based QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme GmbH, a worldwide market leader in innovative aeronautical antennas. Once activated it will support the Intelsat FlexExec Ku-band service, which has been designed as the only airtime service dedicated exclusively for business aviation.


BOEING

The Boeing Company announced the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), excluding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, effective Sept. 30.

Ghata-Aura, who is returning to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, will be based in Dubai. He will be responsible for leading all company-wide activities and developing and implementing strategies for a region that is home to some of Boeing’s largest commercial, defense and services customers.

Ghata-Aura, who previously served as the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, will oversee the company’s new business and industrial partnership opportunities, safety and sustainability efforts, government affairs and corporate citizenship. He also will oversee Boeing’s efforts to expand its presence and strengthen its relationships with customers and other stakeholders in the region.

Ghata-Aura succeeds Bernie Dunn, who is leaving Boeing after more than nine years with the company in the region.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Kuljit brings a wealth of experience to the role from many of Boeing’s most important markets and businesses, including the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, where he has spent considerable time. I look forward to working with Kuljit to drive further growth in the region,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president, Boeing International. “We thank Bernie for his great contribution to the growth of Boeing’s presence in the META region over the last seven years and wish him well for the future.”

Boeing’s presence in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa goes back several decades. Boeing has offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company also has several industrial and academic partnerships in the region. Today, the region is one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial airplane markets, and its defense needs are rapidly expanding.

“I am delighted to return to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region in this significant leadership role and rejoin my colleagues as we continue to focus on partnering with all stakeholders in one of the fastest-growing and important markets for the company in META. Boeing has a strong presence in the region and there continues to be unique opportunities. We are, and continue to be, committed to working closely with the civil aviation and defense authorities and our customers to help achieve the region’s aerospace ambitions and objectives,” said Ghata-Aura.

Ghata-Aura joined Boeing in 2010 and has held several leadership roles for the company in Europe, Russia, Israel, India and the META region. In addition to being the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, Ghata-Aura also held the role of director of market development for UAE from 2015-16. Prior to joining Boeing, Ghata-Aura was a partner at a large international firm practicing cross border mergers and acquisitions. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

Also From Boeing:

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., Boeing  announced a $1 million donation to organizations supporting Hispanic and Latinx communities. The investment package will fund 28 organizations working to strengthen appreciation for Hispanic and Latinx history and culture, increase STEM education curriculum in underserved schools, advance Latinx-focused leadership and workforce development programs and diversify the aerospace talent pipeline.

“We celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans every year from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, but partnering in a practical way to support these communities every day can be life-changing,” said Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer, senior vice president of Information Technology & Data Analytics and executive sponsor of Boeing Familia, the company’s Hispanic and Latinx business resource group. “This grant will empower students, artists and families to tap into their creativity and turn possibility into reality, which not only has the power to transform communities, but also industries – and the world.”

The funding package includes support for the following organizations with a national focus:

  • $300K: Hispanic Heritage Foundation – funding to develop a new program called Engineering on the Fast Track to introduce aerospace engineering concepts to underrepresented students across the country, based on its popular Coding as a Second Language program; and sponsorship of a new STEM category for the Hispanic Heritage Awards to honor the Latina NASA scientists working on the Mars Rover Mission
  • $100K: Great Minds in STEM – funding will support the Viva Technology program which engages K-12 Latinx students, teachers and parents in STEM challenges
  • $50K: National Association of Latino Arts and Culture – funding will support artists, projects, and organizations working to address challenges in urban and rural Latinx communities across the U.S.
  • $25K: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – funding to support the Pre-College and Community College Conference to provide parents and community college student members with the knowledge, resources and network they need to successfully transfer to four year universities
  • Boeing’s contribution will also fund an additional 24 organizations providing support across 11 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington.

A full list of partners receiving grants can be found here.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is energized to partner with The Boeing Company, not only to recognize amazing Latina engineers like Christina Hernandez, Clara O’Farrell and Diana Trujillo, but also to inspire many more engineers through our new STEM initiative, Engineering on the Fast Track for Latino youth across the country,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

“In addition, Boeing will be the exclusive sponsor of this year’s STEM Category at the Hispanic Heritage Awards where we will highlight three incredible and talented Latinas who are currently working on the MARS Rover Mission and demonstrating that anything is truly possible, whether here on earth or on another planet. Christina Hernandez, Clara O’Farrell and Diana Trujillo truly exemplify leadership in every way by proving that dreams can come true.”


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics), China Eastern Airlines, APT Mobile SatCom Limited (“APSATCOM”), and China Telecom Satellite Communications (“CTSat”) achieved a new performance milestone for in-flight connectivity service over China, using Panasonic Avionics’ new Extreme Throughput Satellite (XTS) service on the APStar 6D communications satellite.

On a recent China Eastern Airlines’ flight MU5105, passengers saw average speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to the aircraft, with peak speeds reaching 200 Mbps. As a result, passengers were able to enjoy services like streaming video, video conferencing, downloading large files, and high-speed web browsing, on multiple devices, all at the same time.

These new performance benchmarks were made possible by the APStar 6D satellite technology jointly designed by Panasonic Avionics and APSATCOM. The aircraft used had previously been equipped with in-flight connectivity hardware from Panasonic Avionics and no changes or upgrades to the existing antenna, wireless access points, satellite modem, or other critical component were required.

Ron Ho, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific of Panasonic Avionics, said, “This is indeed an exciting achievement for Panasonic Avionics. The data that we saw from flight MU5105 underscores our commitment to being the leader in connectivity to airlines in China, across the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, and around the world.”

“As the largest provider of satellite-based in-flight connectivity to airlines around the world, Panasonic knows that the demand for reliable, high-speed in-flight connectivity remains a top customer priority, especially in strategic markets across Asia Pacific like China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and others. With our significant investment in APStar 6D, Panasonic Avionics is uniquely positioned to exceed customer expectations for in-flight connectivity, not only today, but for the future. All aircraft equipped by Panasonic for connectivity will automatically utilize APStar 6D as they transit through the region.”

Jason Li, CEO of APSATCOM also commented, “APStar 6D is the world’s first extreme throughput communication satellite based for mobile service optimization. Beams of different sizes, capacity and bandwidth, dynamic adjustment capability and full view coverage are unique designs for the characteristics of satellite in-flight mobile service. We believe that APStar 6D is the most ideal solution for Panasonic Avionics to realize in-flight connectivity service in China and even the whole APAC region. In the future, APSTCOM will maintain close cooperation with Panasonic Avionics to optimize operating costs for airlines, and enable more passengers to enjoy high-quality, diversified network services.”

Panasonic Avionics’ global satellite network covers over 99% of all flight routes, and places capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers. It supports the provision of services such as high-speed internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, HD video, live television, phone services, and even dedicated bandwidth for crew applications.

Panasonic Avionics has delivered over 2,300 in-flight connectivity solutions worldwide. It continues to innovate and deliver market leading passenger experiences for today’s in-flight connectivity market while delivering a network to meet the ever-growing demands of the future.

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics), a world leader in in-flight entertainment and connectivity services, has announced a series of Connectivity Bundles designed to help airlines maximize their investment in in-flight connectivity.

The new Connectivity Bundles by Panasonic Avionics are available to airlines looking to onboard an in-flight connectivity service for a fixed monthly fee. The bundles provide cost certainty, remove data limitations, and help airlines increase revenue generation.

Hernan Abbes, Vice President, Global Sales at Panasonic Avionics, said, “These new bundles give airlines the flexibility to build an in-flight connectivity offering to drive impact on passenger experience, customer loyalty, and operations with Panasonic Avionics’ enterprise-wide solutions. It’s the latest way that we are leveraging our market experience and expertise to help airlines differentiate themselves from their competitors and help drive Net Promoter Score (NPS).”

Airlines looking to maximize revenue generation will benefit from a robust passenger payment platform that offers choice and simplifies payment options with Apple Pay and Alipay, mobile services and a team that can monitor and measure performance to further optimize the solution. For airlines focused on the passenger experience, the offering provides live sports and news content through Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra, BBC, CNN, CNBC and more incremental bandwidth packages for dynamic web browsing, high-speed streaming, and more. Finally, to improve airline operations, Panasonic Avionics’ passenger portal provides access to the internet, its ZeroTouchTM capabilities enable remote software and operational updates from the cloud, and a suite of solutions such as analytics to improve forecasting, monitor usage, and business intelligence to optimize the airline’s connectivity service even further.

Each bundle comes with promotional recommendations and templates to support the airline’s on-board and off-board marketing efforts.

Abbes added, “Each of the bundles is based on airline feedback and from our experience in delivering in-flight entertainment and connectivity services to more than 300 airlines. More importantly, they offer the flexibility to airline customers who want to further enhance their offering with additional solutions including Panasonic Avionics’ Advertising, Marketplace, Destination Services, our ArcTM 3D in-flight moving map, and our Panasonic Technical Services global support team.”

The new Connectivity Bundles are powered by Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high speed, high bandwidth satellites. Over 2,300 aircraft are now connected to the network, which supports improved airline and passenger experiences including faster internet, video streaming and greater bandwidth for crew applications. Over 3,750 total aircraft from various airline customers are currently committed to Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services.


BOEING

The Boeing Company board of directors announced that David L. Joyce has been elected to the board, effective immediately. He will serve on the Aerospace Safety and Compensation committees. The Boeing board also announced that Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr. has informed the company that he will retire from the board at the end of 2021. An accomplished aerospace executive, Joyce, 64, retired from General Electric (GE) as vice chair in 2020, where he also served as president and CEO of GE Aviation from 2008 to 2020. During his 12-year leadership of GE’s largest division, Joyce also led customer and product support for more than 19,000 global engines and 500 airlines customers and oversaw the implementation of an industry-leading safety management system across GE Aviation.


OTHER NEWS

  • Curious about Chinese characters and how “predictive text” works? How China Conquered the Keyboard News And yes, you should watch this one!
  • Italy’s national airline is ceasing operations on October 15 this year. Battling bankruptcy since 2017, the virus complications and travel reductions made recovery difficult. Italy will launch a new airline and they will takeover some 52 of the newest planes and we understand that by 2025 they will have 105 aircraft in service. ‘Buona Fortuna’ Italia!

INMARSAT

Inmarsat has announced its participation in this year’s Boeing ecoDemonstrator program (today’s Hot Topic Image). The global initiative, which aims to enhance the sustainability and safety of air travel by testing the world’s most promising technologies, has commenced the first flight trials for important new components of Inmarsat’s Iris air traffic modernization solution.

Powered by the Inmarsat ELERA global satellite network, Iris enables real-time collaboration between pilots, air traffic controllers and an airline’s operation center using cost-effective, secure and highly resilient datalink communications. As a result, they can calculate the shortest available routes, determine flight trajectories and cruise at optimum altitudes, while also receiving the latest digital information, such as weather updates. This not only improves airspace usage to accommodate future growth, but also allows airlines to minimize delays, save fuel and reduce the environment impact of their operations.

Iris capabilities have been enhanced recently with the introduction of next-generation ATN/IPS (Aeronautical Telecommunication Network using Internet Protocol Suite) satellite communications, which are currently being finalized as the global standard for air traffic control communications to and from the aircraft. This technology is being trialed for the first time as part of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flights, marking an important step forward in Iris’ global rollout and unlocking significant benefits in service scalability, bandwidth and throughput for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) and airspace users.

John Broughton, Inmarsat’s Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety Services, said: “Inmarsat’s Iris program is a great example of the vast benefits a digitized aviation industry will offer. By modernizing air traffic management, there is significant potential to drive environmental efficiencies and cut aviation’s carbon emissions. We’re proud to be involved in this future-facing research and look forward to working closely with other members of the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program to enable a more sustainable future of flying.”

Iris is currently being assessed for air traffic control and operational communications on flights across America operated on Boeing’s 2021 ecoDemonstrator 737-9 aircraft, in partnership with Alaska Airlines. The flights utilize equipment, terminals and routers from Iris partners including Honeywell and Cobham.

Rae Lutters, ecoDemonstrator Program Manager at Boeing, said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Inmarsat in our ecoDemonstrator program this year. We selected the Iris solution for testing, as it is closely aligned to our own commitment to reduce the environmental impact of modern aircraft. We are looking forward to evaluating Iris in a live flying environment and exploring the real-life impact such innovative technology could have when implemented on a global scale.”

The Iris program, which has been developed by Inmarsat in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), is expected to rollout in Europe by 2023 and then on a global basis over the next decade.

Elodie Viau, ESA Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications, said: “The Iris program is enabling aviation to become fully digital while reducing its carbon emissions. Passengers will be able to travel faster through less congested airports due to improved scheduling. We are excited to see Iris in action, proving that investment in space benefits the aviation industry and passengers.”


MORGAN STANLY RESEARCH

  • Southwest is stepping up recruiting efforts by offering an employee incentive program in order to boost applicants. The Southwest Airlines Gratitude (SWAG) Program consists of an internal rewards program which allows employees to collect points and redeem them for air miles, flight guest passes, concert tickets, and more. If the referral accepts the job and works for Southwest for at least 6 months, the referrer can receive 20,000 SWAG points – a value estimated to be ~$300. At the beginning of the pandemic, many airlines encouraged employees to take early retirements or partial paid time off in order to cut expenses. Today, airlines are looking to hire and/or retrain employees to keep up with the surge in travel demand that materialized faster than most expected. The labor shortage issue is affecting the entire airline industry, not just Southwest, and has caused industry wide disruptions such as delays/cancellations of flights, technical difficulties and more (see our thoughts here and here). That being said, management believes that a competitive advantage for LUV in the current labor environment is that they did not furlough employees during the pandemic, which should allow them to bring employees back more easily.
  • Southwest also reached a tentative agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) to reward more than 5,000 customer service employees.
  • Low cost carrier Breeze Airways raised $200mn in new funding less than three months after launching its inaugural flight. Last week, Salt Lake City-based Breeze Airways announced it closed a $200mn Series B funding round, bringing its total funding to ~$300mn. Breeze Airways is a low cost carrier focused on nonstop routes between 16 underserved destinations in the U.S. (Hartford, CT, Louisville, KY, Tulsa, OK, Providence, RI, and more). The airline was founded by David Neeleman, who previously co-founded Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue, and Azul Linhas Aereas, and has already had more than 100,000 passengers since launching operations in May 2021. Breeze Airways currently operates 13 Embraer regional jets and is expected to take delivery of 60 new Airbus A220s in October, which will be delivered at a rate of ~one per month over the next five years (see here). Breeze and Avelo are two of the new entrants in the regional ULCC space, which together with the aggressive growth plans of incumbent ULCCs should see ULCC share of the industry push higher (coming from both growth as well as share gains).
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended its travel mask mandate through January 18 to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation. Last week, TSA announced it will be extending the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the U.S., including airports, onboard commercial aircraft, and commuter bus and rail systems. TSA began requiring face masks early on in the pandemic, with the initial face mask requirement set to expire on May 11, but later being extended through September 13, 2021. Mask mandates have faced some resistance throughout the pandemic, leading to encounters between passengers who do not want to wear a mask and flight attendants that have to enforce the federal rule. Last week, the FAA reported 3,889 incidents involving unruly passengers this year, and 2,867 of them (or 74%) involved refusing to wear a mask. According to U.S. Travel Association Executive VP of Public Affairs and Policy, Tori Emerson Barnes, extending the federal mask mandate for travel makes sense in the current health environment and has the travel industry’s full support. While this is less than ideal news for the airline sector that was hoping for a removal of the mask mandate to get passengers more comfortable, improve service, and reduce incidents on board, it is no doubt an understandable step in the near-term to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

SECURITY & SAFETY

And yes, Flight Attendant security is becoming a big deal!
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt on Twitter: “Inside a flight attendant self-defense training as bad passenger behavior surges — @TomCostelloNBC reports. https://t.co/RlfYL8NCe7” / Twitter


OTHER NEWS

  • If you are a fan of author Daniel Silva, you just might find the Author’s Note section in his latest book, The Cellist, interesting – especially the last thoughts on national security!
  • If your travel experiences seem to require you to sleep in airports, here is a website that has a lot of information on many travel solutions – The Guide to Sleeping in Airports
  • ATTENTION CODERS! Here is an Open AI Codex Live Demo – (641) OpenAI Codex Live Demo – YouTube Noted one viewer: “This is amazing. Making coding more accessible is going to be a huge leap forward. I can’t wait to see this get more advanced.”
  • With Coronavirus taking over, you might need some music to calm your concerns, and we have found a solution – BOSE Home Speaker 500. Could clean audio kill a virus? No, but it really kills time well!
  • Here are some amazing pix from the EAA AirVenture in 2021 – EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 | Flickr … and we mean A LOT OF PIX!

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced Singapore Airlines (SIA) as the launch customer for its new Marketplace digital eCommerce platform.

This latest digital solution from Panasonic Avionics enables airlines to introduce a turn-key eCommerce experience onboard. It facilitates in-flight food and beverage ordering, expands storefront retail and duty-free offerings with the ability to present dynamic inventory, and initiates promotions throughout the customer journey, in both connected and non-connected environments.
Marketplace will enable Singapore Airlines’ passengers to experience an omni-channel shopping experience, offered in partnership with the carrier and its KrisShop retail platform, that will be branded eShopping. By using Marketplace, the airline can customize its current retail offering and add future stores to deliver real-time inventory updates to KrisShop.

Panasonic Avionics’ eCommerce platform will enhance the shopping experience for Singapore Airlines’ passengers by enabling them to shop in-flight and browse a hugely expanded choice of around 4,000 products. They will have the choice of delivery directly to their homes or on their next flight.

As an integrated solution, Marketplace enables retail catalogs to be pre-loaded on to the airline’s in-flight entertainment content server. This allows passengers to continually browse regardless of the connectivity status at the time.

Singapore Airlines will roll out the platform across its fleet installed with Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight entertainment solutions and is the latest chapter in their longstanding partnership which first commenced in 1995.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President, Digital Solutions at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are thrilled to launch our new Marketplace platform with our longstanding partner Singapore Airlines, whose dedication to pioneering the passenger experience reflects our own.”

“Marketplace marks our latest commitment to revolutionizing and revitalizing the in-flight experience with our growing portfolio of digital solutions, and is an integral part of our efforts to welcome passengers back to the skies.”

Panasonic Avionics has designed Marketplace to enable airlines to customize the passenger experience by route, cabin and destination. For example, different retailer catalogs can be assigned to specific routes and cabins to align the experience to the passenger demographic.

Marketplace incorporates a range of eCommerce analytics tools that enable airlines to continually measure and refine its performance to ensure it meets their passengers’ needs.

Mr. Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Singapore Airlines, said: “E-commerce is the future of shopping, and integrating this feature into our in-flight entertainment system is yet another industry first for SIA. This allows KrisWorld to go beyond movies, television shows, music, and games, and offer customers more of what they want while flying with us. This is part of our unwavering commitment to continuously innovate and enhance our product and service offerings, and augment the travel experience for our customers.”

More News From Panasonic:

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has launched the world’s first full cabin 4K ultra-high-definition in-flight entertainment (IFE) with Cathay Pacific Airways (Cathay Pacific).

Its market-leading 4K screens are taking to the skies on the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft, incorporating on-demand services with one of the largest movie and TV libraries available on a regional single-aisle aircraft.

The rollout of Panasonic Avionics’ screens will also include Bluetooth audio streaming, enabling Cathay Pacific’s passengers to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters in 4K using their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Panasonic Avionics’ integrated technology delivers the highest quality pixel density of any IFE screen in the skies today, enabling Cathay Pacific’s passengers to enjoy the latest films and box sets in stunning resolution, color depth and contrast.

The new IFE experience will be featured in all cabins on Cathay Pacific’s A321neo fleet. The airline’s economy class seats will feature 11.6-inch personal screens, while business class will feature 15.6-inch personal screens.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics said, “Cathay Pacific has been a strategic and highly valued airline customer of Panasonic Avionics for many years. We are thrilled to help them take their passenger experience to the next level with the introduction of 4K content using our NEXT IFE system.”

“We continue to work tirelessly to develop the highest quality resolution for our seatback screens, and the launch of 4K is the latest milestone in our 40-year long commitment to delivering the world’s best in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

The introduction of 4K IFE marks the latest chapter in Cathay Pacific’s longstanding partnership with Panasonic Avionics, which first commenced in 2007. In addition to introducing its Live Television service in 2016, Panasonic Avionics is the principal provider of in-flight entertainment systems for Cathay Pacific’s fleet of over 130 aircraft.

“We are excited with the launch of the most advanced in-flight entertainment system with our long-term partner, Panasonic Avionics, on our A321neo aircraft,” said Vivian Lo, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Customer Experience and Design. “We’ve always aimed to provide our passengers a comparable entertainment experience as what they would find at home. With the large screens and 4K ultra-high-definition viewing experience, passengers may enjoy our curated premium 4K content with their personal Bluetooth wireless headphones. We are determined to continuously elevate our passengers’ travel experience, and today, we are marking a milestone with our new A321neo fleet.”

The new 4K screens are an integral part of Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT IFE Series, the industry’s most powerful in-flight entertainment system. Incorporating the latest advancements in aircraft architecture, NEXT delivers an augmented cinematic experience and simplified seat integration for every cabin class.

And More News:

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced China Eastern Airlines (China Eastern) as the launch customer in China for its in-flight Live Television service.

The service will be rolled out across its entire widebody fleet of Airbus A330, A350 and Boeing B777 and B787 aircraft in the future, initially providing their passengers with unmissable live coverage from major local broadcasters, such as CCTV and CGTN.

Live Television is enabled by Panasonic Avionics’ third-generation (Gen-3) communications network of high speed, high bandwidth Ku-band satellites. The network covers over 99% of all routes, and places capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers.

The most recent addition to the Gen-3 network is APSTAR 6D, Panasonic Avionics’ first extreme high throughput satellite, which has significantly boosted satellite capacity over China through teleports which have just gone live in Beijing. This will enable China Eastern, and other airlines based in China and flying over it, to benefit from this enhanced capacity and a range of other in-flight connectivity services.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “China is a strategically important market for Panasonic Avionics, and we are delighted to welcome China Eastern as the first airline in this market to launch our Live Television service. Their passengers can now stay up to date with global news and sporting events in-flight, taking advantage of the additional satellite capacity we have just invested in over China.”

Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service offers premium live sports and news events as they unfold, connecting passengers to unmissable on-the-ground entertainment from the comfort of their seats. The integrated service enables passengers to watch their favorite national news channels. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content each day. Over 30 different global sports leagues, federations and unique events will be shown in 2021, including the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 and UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.


ASTRONICS

  • Sales for the quarter were $111.2 million
  • Net loss was $8.1 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA* was $0.4 million
  • Bookings for the quarter continued sequential improvement to $126.3 million; Achieved book-to-bill ratio of 1.14
  • Aerospace segment book-to-bill of 1.32 for the quarter
  • Backlog increased 5% sequentially to $312.7 million

Peter J. Gundermann, the Company’s President and CEO, commented, “Our second quarter was one of slow but steady progress. Our core aerospace markets strengthened as vaccinations took hold and passenger traffic accelerated. We are encouraged by our bookings trend, especially in our Aerospace segment, where we achieved a book-to-bill ratio of 1.32 for the quarter. We expect these bookings will drive higher sales in the second half of 2021.”


THALES

  • Thales Partners with DAS in Fully Supporting Hong Kong International Airport’s Three-Runway System Expansion Project
  • Thales partners with DAS to provide an advanced Instrument Landing System (ILS) solution in fully supporting the Three-runway System (3RS) expansion project at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) helping to further improve the capacity and efficiency of aircraft landing while maintaining the highest standard of flight safety.
  • As one of the most trusted partners, Thales has been providing various critical air navigation service equipment to the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for over 20 years.
  • Thales state-of-the-art ILS solution has already been implemented in various major international airports worldwide.

BOEING

Boeing announced a $500,000 (equivalent to IDR 7.2 billion) donation from the Boeing Charitable Trust to CARE in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in Indonesia. Funds will be used to increase capacity of local health centers, provide inflatable negative pressure tents and beds to accommodate COVID-19 patients, as well as personal protective equipment kits and food supplements for health care workers.

“Boeing stands by the people of Indonesia as the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread across the country, leaving families and communities in desperate need of assistance,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing International. “We are in this fight against COVID-19 together, and Boeing is committed to helping communities respond to this most recent surge in cases. This donation will help save lives and support those impacted the most.”

“As the COVID-19 crisis grows in densely populated areas in Indonesia, CARE’s support to treatment facilities and isolation centers is more critical than ever,” said Bonaria Siahaan, CEO Yayasan CARE Peduli (CARE Indonesia). “We are grateful to our partners at Boeing for joining this enormous effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities.”

Only slightly more than 11% of the Indonesian population has been fully vaccinated against the virus. CARE is currently mobilizing response efforts that include converting health centers into treatment facilities and isolation centers; supporting communities with water and sanitation facilities; and providing nutritional support for vulnerable children under the age of 5. CARE is also ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region.

As part of the Boeing Gift Match program, the company will match dollar for dollar monetary donations made by Boeing employees to charitable organizations supporting COVID-19 relief in Indonesia. This will extend the reach of assistance being provided to the Indonesian people.

COVID-19 relief efforts in Indonesia align with Boeing’s ongoing commitment to the communities where Boeing employees live and work. Boeing’s presence in Indonesia spans more than 70 years. Over the past decade, Boeing has contributed more than $2.8 million in charitable giving in the country.


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has completed the latest phase in its continuing investment in in-flight connectivity with the activation of extreme high throughput (XTS) satellite coverage over China and the Asia Pacific region.

The beam over Asia Pacific from APSTAR 6D, Panasonic Avionics’ first XTS satellite, has gone live through teleports in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Perth. This will enable airlines based in the region and others flying over it to benefit from its greatly enhanced satellite capacity.

APSTAR 6D went into its first stages of operation in early 2021 and is now providing airlines flying across Asia Pacific with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China, including high-density air traffic routes across East Asia using XTS spot beams. APSTAR delivers 90 beams across the whole region, and 50 Gbps in capacity.

The satellite is an integral part of Panasonic Avionics’ third-generation communications (Gen-3) network of high speed, high bandwidth Ku-band satellites. The network, covering over 99% of all routes, places capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers.

Panasonic Avionics’ Gen-3 network supports improved airline and passenger experiences including faster internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.

Jeff Sare, Vice President of In-Flight Connectivity Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “China and the Asia Pacific region is a strategically important market for Panasonic Avionics and a key priority in our roadmap for introducing increased satellite capacity. Chinese airlines can now enhance their in-flight experience and brand value by enabling their passengers to enjoy our industry-leading connectivity in the skies.”

Panasonic Avionics is planning a range of further investments in in-flight connectivity in the next two years. These include the increase in satellite coverage over Russia this month with SES NSS-12 satellite and further capacity over the Middle East this autumn with the addition of the SES12 HTS satellite capacity.

The next XTS satellite to join Panasonic Avionics’ Gen-3 network, Eutelsat 10B, is due to launch next year, entering into service in 2023. It will provide enhanced connectivity to airlines and their passengers flying over Europe and the Middle East.

These developments are all integral to Panasonic Avionics’ strategy of utilizing the right satellite from the right partner to meet the evolving market demand and provide superior connectivity services and coverage across the globe.

Over 2,500 aircraft are now connected to the Gen-3 network, with a total of over 3,750 aircraft from around 100 airlines committed to Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity service. These include over 800 aircraft from 21 Asian carriers, including China Eastern, Air China, China Southern, and Xiamen Airlines.


SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has signed a preferred supplier agreement with Luxaviation Group, one of the world’s largest business aircraft and helicopter operators. The new three-year arrangement begins with immediate effect and provides best-in-class technical connectivity solutions, superior value, and award-winning customer service to the global Luxaviation fleet.

All Luxaviation customers may now benefit from SD’s advanced technology, tailored service packages and global 24/7/365 customer support, to receive an unparalleled connectivity experience supporting streamlined functionality. The scalable offering meets the specific connectivity needs, missions, and budget requirements of each individual Luxaviation aircraft.

The agreement provides access to high-speed data to support a plethora of inflight requirements including voice, message, email, and internet services, video conferencing, multiple streaming, and high-data demand applications. In addition, SD FlightDeck Freedom® brings datalink functionality, improving situational awareness and flight deck communications for the crew. Supporting the arrangement Inmarsat’s Jet Connex and SwiftBroadband services enhance passenger productivity, or relaxation, through high-speed cabin WiFi capabilities, as well as bolstering crew operations.

SD is also working with Luxaviation to optimize the expanding suite of SD Cybersecurity solutions, accessed through SD Pro®, the digital flight operations dashboard. “Finalizing this agreement with Luxaviation highlights that our approach of creating tailored solutions, blended with genuinely expert customer service is extremely important to the end clients. We recognize value is not simply budget related, and the ability to package services to effectively support the differing requirements of an international mixed fleet, demonstrates the many advantages of the SD eco-system,” says Michael Skou Christensen, Senior Vice President, SD International. “SD puts customers first in terms of productivity, entertainment, and flight efficiency, and Luxaviation recognizes the significance of this to their successful operations. It is a tribute to our global team, their hard work, and dedication, that this deal has been ratified, and I’m extremely proud of them. I know that the team is as excited as I am to build upon this relationship and begin the next chapter with Luxaviation.”


THALES

Thales with its Partner, Airfree, Transform the Onboard e-Shopping Experience on Singapore Airlines A350 fleet.

  • Through the Thales and Airfree partnership, Singapore Airlines is the first airline to offer live e-shopping onboard via KrisShop.
  • Singapore Airlines customers now have access to the world’s largest seatback shopping experience at 30,000ft.
  • Passengers can shop from the comfort of their seat with multiple delivery options – to home or on their connecting or returning flight.

The eShopping platform is seamlessly integrated with KrisShop offerings into one marketplace available on Singapore Airlines connected seatback inflight entertainment provided by Thales. Passengers can browse and purchase items from a single place with real time payment, wide range of offerings and attractive promotions. Passengers can shop from the comfort of their seat with multiple delivery options – to home or on their connecting or returning flight.

The digital onboard shopping marketplace eliminates the logistics, weight, and resources required to support traditional onboard shopping, while tremendously increasing passenger choice. With proprietary bandwidth optimization technology, the Airfree onboard hosted eShopping platform drastically reduces satellite data consumption compared to traditional platforms.

This seatback shopping solution entered into service on June 28, 2021 and will be progressively rolled out on selected Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 aircraft.

“Thales is excited to continue the growth of its partnership with Singapore Airlines and KrisShop through innovations that extend the benefits of the open AVANT in-flight entertainment platform by connecting with a robust network of digital partners such as Airfree – unlocking significant value from their IFE investment. Our airline partners and their passengers expect more from their inflight entertainment system and Thales is working diligently to deliver on these expectations, and more.” Cedric Rhoads, Vice President, Product Policy, Thales InFlyt Experience

Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority has awarded Thales a contract to support the modernization of the Greek civil aviation Navigation Aids infrastructure. This turnkey contract includes the supply of 10 Doppler VHF Omnidirectional Range (DVOR), 13 Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) and 6 Instrument Landing systems (ILS). It also comprises of the installation of the instruments on 18 different sites across the country, from remote mountain peaks, to major hubs such as the Athens International Airport.


SMARTSKY

We understand that the FCC has given approval to the the SmartSky ground-based remote radiohead for their next-gen, low latency air-to-ground network. The system will launched later this year.


AIRBUS

AIRBUS delivered 297 aircraft (21 A220s; 237 A320 Family; seven A330s; 30 A350s; two A380s) in the first half of 2021 versus 196 in the first half of 2020, and 389 in the first half of 2019.


BOEING

BOEING delivered 156 aircraft (113 737s; two 747s; 13 767s; 14 777s; 14 787s) in the first half of 2021 versus 70 in first half of 2020, and 239 in the first half of 2019.

Boeing and BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM) announced that the lessor is expanding its 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter fleet with 12 additional firm orders. The agreement brings BBAM’s 737-800BCF orders and commitments to 31 as e-commerce and express cargo markets continue to drive strong customer demand for freighters. BBAM will be the first customer to have a 737-800BCF converted at Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA), a Costa Rica-based maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider. In May, Boeing announced it would open two conversion lines at COOPESA in 2022.

In a separate deal announced in January, BBAM placed six firm orders and six options for the 737-800BCF.


OTHER NEWS

Morgan Stanley Research: United Airlines

UAL’s analyst day outlined the company’s plan to catch up to peers on fleet age and gauge by placing the largest aircraft order in its history. 2026 financial targets look constructive but they may seem a long way off to airline investors right now and supply concerns may start brewing.

UAL is preparing for a post-pandemic airline industry by placing the largest aircraft order in its history. The order for 270 planes (200 Boeing 737 MAX 10 and 70 Airbus A321 neo) will join the fleet between 2023 and 2026. They will largely replace the company’s small, inefficient 50-seater regional aircraft that has been a drag on profitability at its US Domestic coastal and mid-continent hubs. The net result of the replacement will be a ~30% increase in gauge (or number of seats per aircraft) on those routes. Mgmt. also issued LT (2026) financial guidance including ASM growth of 4-6% CAGR, TRASM 1% below 2019, CASMxF 8% lower than 2019, EBITDA margin of ~16.0% in 2023 and ~20.0% in 2026 (vs. 15.7% in 2019), adjusted pre-tax margin ~9.0% in 2023 and ~14.0% in 2026 (vs. 9.4% in 2019) as well as 2026 net debt slightly below 2019 levels.

Morgan Stanley believes UAL is doing absolutely the right thing…but that does not mean that the path is not going to be tricky/painful. This is a bold move from UAL – a little over a year removed from sliding into the chair, CEO Scott Kirby made the second decisive offensive move of his tenure (the first being permanently eliminating change fees in Aug 2020). While there is likely never going to be a “good” time for an airline to spend ~$40 bn on capex to buy 270 planes (20% of total current fleet) over a 5 year period, MS believes now is probably the best time to do it. Near-term macro risk appears relatively low, there is a lot of pent up demand with a strong consumer, the balance sheet is still carrying excess (gross) liquidity, the fleet renewal will drive operating cost savings (esp. if fuel continues to rise), new planes are cheap (and so is money) and the new capacity could help drive share gains (or at least defend vs. peers). MS believes it may have been too late to start catching up to peers on the aging fleet if UAL waited until the balance sheet was normalized 3-4 years from now. The biggest question on investors’ minds is likely to be – this is a big capacity increase…what happens if it doesn’t go according to plan? In the event of a macro recession or new black swan event, mgmt. has a Plan B. “Only” 84 of the 270 plane order is committed by 2023, with the rest coming 2024-26. Mgmt. believes that it has plenty of flexibility with the 2024+ orders to avoid putting pressure on capacity/TRASM and has the option to accelerate retirements as well.

MS remains EW. Morgan Stanley (MS) continues to remain bullish on the pace of the traffic recovery in US Domestic and they believe Corporate and International will catch up and normalize by late 2021/early as well. This rising tide will lift all boats including the Legacies/UAL esp. as International and Corporate comes back. Add in structural cost savings, a manageable fuel price environment, potential for deleveraging and investor sentiment that still appears to be subdued/out-of-favor and we think the setup at UAL is quite favorable. There is no doubt that with this past week’s announcement the company is clearly all-in betting on a recovery – particularly in corporate – which MS agrees with and think is the right move but the market may remain skeptical for some time and continue to gravitate toward LCC/ULCC stories that do not have as much corporate/international and balance sheet risk for now.

What does this mean for the industry? The announcement likely has something for both the bulls and the bears. Bulls will like the bold decision that shows that the airlines are coming out of the shadow of the pandemic and see blue skies ahead. The decision also makes financial sense in that UAL could not have put off this decision for much longer and will likely see operating cost, efficiency and market share gains from this. Investors should also be glad that a Legacy is going up toward a premium product instead of initiating an industry race to the bottom on price. Bears, on the other hand, will point out the ~30% increase in capacity which together with all the other capacity increases we have seen from the LCCs/ULCCs so far is likely to drive a lot more capacity in the 2023-24 timeframe, which will bring inevitable pressure on pricing. For now, we believe the bull arguments are more tangible and measurable than the bear arguments, but will keep a close eye on developments.

Model and PT. UAL’s 2023 and 2026 guidance comes in mostly consistent with MSe on TRASM, CASMxF and margins but is approx. 10% higher than us on ASMs. This is a bit of a surprise given MS’s bullish views (and numbers) on a traffic rebound vs. the street. MS updated FY22/23 EPS goes to $5.57/$10.72 from $4.18/$9.82 prior largely driven by the higher ASMs. However, our PT remains unchanged at $70 as the higher capex is a drag on our DCF. Our PT is ~33% above the current stock price – this is good upside but about mid-pack within the Airlines coverage and we see risk-reward as balanced, which keeps us EW.

What does this mean for the industry? The announcement likely has something for both the bulls and the bears. Bulls will like the bold decision that shows that the airlines are coming out of the shadow of the pandemic and see blue skies ahead. The decision also makes financial sense in that UAL could not have put off this decision for much longer and will likely see operating cost, efficiency and market share gains from this. Investors should also be glad that a Legacy is going up toward a premium product instead of initiating an industry race to the bottom on price. Bears, on the other hand, will point out the ~30% increase in capacity which together with all the other capacity increases MS has seen from the LCCs/ULCCs so far is likely to drive a lot more capacity in the 2023-24 timeframe, which will bring inevitable pressure on pricing. For now, MS believes the bull arguments are more tangible and measurable than the bear arguments, but will keep a close eye on developments.


MEGACONSTELLATIONS & SATELLITE FALLOUT

One of our readers sent us some stories on what he called an “eye opener” batch on plans to launch an unimaginable number of satellites potentially causing a real headache for everybody…including flying aircraft. Here are a few comments from the first article we thought painted a picture of the issue: “The problem is that there are now plans to launch about 55,000 satellites,” Boley said. “Starlink second generation could consist of up to 30,000 satellites, then you have Starnet, which is China’s response to Starlink, Amazon’s Kuiper, OneWeb. That could lead to unprecedented changes to the Earth’s upper atmosphere.” Further, “Megaconstellation operators, inspired by the consumer technology model, expect fast development of new satellites and frequent replacement, thus the high amount of satellites expected to be burning in the atmosphere on a daily basis.” Not everybody, especially astronomers and folks in the space community were too happy: “However, earlier this year, the International Astronomical Union asked a specialized United Nations’ committee to protect the pristine night sky against light pollution from megaconstellations.” We included below some of the articles/links about issues, but note, the rapid and multiple satellite fallouts will no doubt affect the sky visibility…not to mention aircraft flights. See if you agree.


BOEING

The Boeing Company named Brian West as the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer effective August 27, 2021. In this role, West will lead all aspects of Boeing’s financial strategy, performance, reporting and long-range business planning, as well as investor relations, treasury, controller, and audit operations. West will also oversee the company’s business transformation efforts and will have executive responsibility for the company’s global financing arm, Boeing Capital Corporation. He will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on the company’s Executive Council. “Brian is the ideal executive to serve as Boeing’s next CFO given his significant financial management and long-term strategic planning experience in complex global organizations across the aerospace, manufacturing and services industries,” said Calhoun. “I have had the pleasure of working with Brian previously, and he is an exceptional leader whose broad operational expertise and commitment to transparency with stakeholders will advance our efforts as we continue our focus on safety and quality, improving our performance and transforming our company for the future.”

West joins Boeing following a successful and diverse career in senior financial and operational roles spanning several industries, including aerospace, manufacturing, infrastructure, healthcare, global information services, financial and risk management. He has served as the chief financial officer of Refinitiv since 2018, and was previously CFO and executive vice president of Operations for Oscar Health Insurance and CFO and COO of Nielsen. Prior to Nielsen, West spent 16 years at General Electric, where he served as CFO of GE Aviation and CFO of GE Engine Services. His additional finance leadership positions in GE businesses encompassed plastics, transportation and energy.

West is a founding board member of a Connecticut-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to prepare the next generation of diverse female leaders with the skills, community and connections to thrive in the world. He previously was a board member of Future 5, an organization that helps under-resourced students in Stamford, CT reach their full potential. West holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Siena College and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Columbia Business School.

West succeeds Greg Smith, who previously announced his plans to retire, effective in early July. The company has named Dave Dohnalek, currently Boeing’s senior vice president and Treasurer, to the role of interim CFO until West joins the company in late August.

Also, Boeing names Stayce Harris, former U.S. Air Force inspector general and longtime United Airlines pilot, to its board.


OTHER NEWS

THALES

  • New line of Thales displays (4K high dynamic range HDR) enhanced with Samsung QLED technology to provide unrivaled picture quality plus a 50% increase in reliability and a 30% decrease in weight.
  • Smart power supply solutions designed with the passenger in mind, allocating power where they need it all while reducing weight and total cost of ownership.
  • New digital technologies to drive operational efficiency and to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and revenue.
  • More than 30 leading airlines worldwide are equipped with the AVANT IFE system.
  • Optiq – 4K QLED HDR Displays

Developed in partnership with HARMAN, a Samsung Company, Optiq by Thales is the industry’s first line of intelligent 4K high dynamic range (HDR) displays enhanced with Samsung QLED proprietary technology. The new in-seat and cabin displays have a sleek passenger centric design focused on ergonomics and fits seamlessly into the modern cabin environment. Optiq provides passengers with the best experience in the air, with an unrivaled picture quality featuring more than one billion colors. Two Bluetooth connections and built-in Wi-Fi allows passengers to pair multiple devices simultaneously to the system. Airlines benefit from a significantly reduced total cost of ownership, thanks to a lower acquisition cost, 30% weight reduction, 50% increase in reliability, and improved durability and serviceability.

Pulse – Smart Power Management

Thales’ Pulse power solutions are designed to meet the specific power needs of passengers, now and in the future, as PED devices increasingly migrate to the USB Power Delivery standard. Pulse is a modular system built with smart power management that dynamically allocates power where the passengers need it. Pulse is highly efficient while being compact in size, providing a 30% weight reduction, lower heat dissipation and the ability to install Pulse between the seat beams. With more power, improved seat integration, and reduced acquisition and operational cost, Pulse provides substantial benefits to the passenger and the airline.

Digital Services – Unlocking the True Potential of IFE
AVANT’s open platform allows Thales to work with an extensive network of partners to develop and deploy new applications for airlines, offering passengers the latest features and a broad range of interactive entertainment options. Thales’s digital product portfolio features e-commerce capabilities with Airfree’s shopping platform, a multifaceted approach for delivering personalization, and an industry leading advertising platform.

Their Ready to Fly digital portfolio is designed to help airline customers restore passenger confidence in air travel in a post-pandemic world. Such as Thales’s “touchless” solutions, allowing passengers to safely control the inflight entertainment system with their mobile phones for a full IFE experience. Thales digital technologies provide airlines fresh opportunities to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and revenue.

In another news story, Thales to acquire Moog navigation aids business.

  • Moog navigation aid offerings complement Thales’ family of navigation aids.
  • Upon acquisition closing, in addition to fixed navigation aids, Thales will gain “man-portable” technology, further supporting contingency air operations as well as evolving military mobility needs.
  • The post-acquisition integration will augment Thales U.S.-based engineering, industrial and technology capabilities.
  • Thales has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Moog ground-based navigation aids business located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

MOMENT

Moment announces a partnership with Air Cairo, amongst the largest hybrid and scheduled operation carriers in Egypt. The airline’s fleet will be equipped with the Flymingo box, Moment’s Wireless In-Flight Entertainment system, to elevate passenger experience and contribute to enhanced comfort in the cabin.

Established in 2003 and based in Cairo, the airline operates 7 aircrafts (Airbus A320-200 aircraft and Airbus A320-ceo & neo aircraft) and already contracted to add 3 more aircraft by the end of the year 2021 and are planning to reach 19 aircraft by the end of 2024, schedules flights to the Middle East and Europe, and serves 30 destinations. Affiliated with EGYPTAIR, the national carrier and second largest airline on the continent, Air Cairo is experiencing a new dynamic of expansion. The airline’s growth strategy includes the opening of new routes to West Africa, East Europe, Middle east, and Europe.

The airline has selected Moment to support its ambition with a cutting-edge digital entertainment service designed to enhance the customer experience while providing new opportunities to generate ancillary revenues in-flight. For Air Cairo, it was essential to offer a personalized digital traveler experience as an increasing number of passengers bring their smartphones or tablets aboard. The capacity to provide a global IFE service was a determining factor for Air Cairo. “We were on the lookout for a full-service IFE company that could support us in all aspects from provisioning the hardware, to creating an engaging IFE portal and sourcing a variety of content.” said Mr. Hussein Sherif, Chairman & CEO at Air Cairo.

As the most powerful W-IFE server on the market, with a capacity of 100 simultaneous streaming sessions, Moment’s Flymingo Box met Air Cairo expectations as the company was searching for both a powerful and compact W-IFE device. The seamless, multi-DRM and browser-based platform gives passengers the opportunity to choose entertainment programs from an international and Arabic catalogue of films, documentaries or podcasts.


GOGO

Gogo has installed the first two 5G antennas on a tower. With the antennas now installed, the company will conduct prototype testing of system performance. Gogo completed development of its 5G air card prototypes and recently completed coast-to-coast flight testing of its 5G belly-mounted antennas to validate their performance. Additionally, Gogo conducted a flight test and successfully established a connection between the 5G antennas on the aircraft and the 5G antennas on the ground tower. Gogo has also successfully performed an end-to-end call using a 5G SIM card, from the onboard equipment to the cell site, through the data center to the internet, and back. The Gogo 5G network is being designed for aircraft operating within the contiguous United States. Gogo, which has 349 patents in its portfolio, expects the nationwide 5G network to be available in the second half of 2022.


SMARTSKY

The folks at SmartSky Networks have selected Honeywell as an authorized reseller of its air-to-ground connectivity services for North American business aviation operators. Since 2019, Honeywell has had the commercial aviation market there as well.


AIRBUS

United Airlines placed an order for 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft, positioning the airline to grow its presence in the single-aisle market in alignment with its “United Next” initiative. The new order complements existing orders from United for 50 A321XLR aircraft, bringing the total commitment from the airline to 120 A321 aircraft.
“Such a significant order from a great airline like United underscores that the A321neo offers unmatched capabilities, operating economics, and passenger friendliness,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “No other aircraft can do what the A321neo can do, and the Airbus team is most gratified by United’s strong affirmation of its premium status. The A321neo will complement United’s future A321XLR aircraft, together creating a privileged segment on its own.”

Another reason the A321neo is in such high demand globally is that the aircraft provides superior environmental performance with the lowest CO₂ emissions per seat in its class. The A321neo’s lower carbon footprint will support United along its journey to reduce the airline’s CO₂ emissions 100% by 2050.

United’s A321neo aircraft will feature Airbus’ Airspace cabin design, which brings the following passenger-pleasing enhancements: unique welcome and customizable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surfaces.

A significant number of the newly-ordered aircraft will be produced at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. Globally, as of the end of May 2021, the A320neo Family had achieved 7,400 firm orders from 121 customers.


BOEING

Boeing and United Airlines announced the carrier will expand its 737 order book by purchasing an additional 200 737 MAX jets, including 150 for the largest member of the family, the 737-10, and 50 for the airplane that serves the heart of the single-aisle market, the 737-8. The new purchase positions United’s fleet for growth and accelerating demand for air travel.

The purchase increases United’s order book for the fuel-efficient, single-aisle family to 380 airplanes, including 30 that have been delivered. As the launch customer for the 737-10, United placed its first order in 2017 by converting 100 737-9 orders to the larger 737-10 variant. Today’s agreement also includes the purchase of Boeing 737 MAX training simulator data packages to support United’s pilot training programs.

Designed and built in Renton, Washington, the 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes it replaces. The 737-8 seats up to 189 passengers and can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers.

The largest model in the family, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles. The fuel-efficient jet can cover 99% of single-aisle routes, including routes served by 757s.

“We are truly humbled by United Airlines’ confidence in the people of Boeing and the airplanes we design and build every day. Our strong partnership, dating back to United’s founding, has helped us grow and weather challenges through the decades. As we look forward to the recovery ahead, we are honored that United has once again chosen the 737 family’s performance, efficiency and flexibility to power their growing network. The Boeing team is excited to be building hundreds of these new jets for United and delivering on a landmark agreement that solidifies our future together for the next decades,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.


VISION-BOX

Vision-Box, a world leader in biometrics seamless travel, automated border control and digital identity solutions has announced the launch of a Frontex awarded trial to implement an innovative pilot project at two land borders in Bulgaria, in the context of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES). The EES is a landmark framework set to replace traditional border controls of Third-Country Nationals with interoperable digital data processing and automated biometric data collection in 2022. The Frontex pilot, which went live in June 2021 in Bulgaria in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and the Border Police will be for coaches, cars and pedestrians at entry of Kapitan Andreevo BCP from Turkey for phase 1, and exit at Kalotina BCP to Serbia for phase 2.

The implementation of the EES will influence the flow of travelers and the technology deployed at the border to collect the required data, in order to cope with the variety of sites and related complexities. This effect will possibly be more important at the EU land border crossings, which are more constrained environments as compared with airports and ports, as many travelers arrive in their vehicles. Therefore, the introduction of EES will have a significant impact on travelers’ flow at those border crossing points (BCP).

The purpose of the pilot project is to deliver a Self-Service Enrolment System to enable travelers to perform a self-service collection of travel document data, biometric data and other information (e.g., questionnaire on entry conditions). It also executes real-time intensive queries into the Bulgarian national border control systems, in combination with an EU EES backend simulator. After the Enrolment, travelers are invited to go to an open corridor and be identified On-the-Move to directly cross the Border, or to be redirected to the manual control booth to be verified by a border guard with last generation Coppernic handheld technology. The secured linkage and encrypted communications with the national and EU border control systems, performing border checks on all travellers and EES registration/verification on third country nationals, is jointly performed by Vision-Box and the respective border agencies.

The EES Frontex pilot applies to short stay visa and visa-exempt third country nationals as well as EU citizens entering or leaving the European Union.

The pilot ecosystem (enrolment kiosks, biometric corridor, handheld tablets) is powered by Vision-Box’s award-winning Orchestra™ Identity & Border Management Platform. Orchestra™ removes the time-consuming task of manual data collection and verification, meaning that travelers do not need to physically interact with touchpoints or manually exchange travel documents and biometrics at counters. The whole process leverages identity and biometrics’ tokenization to digitize the operation in a touchless manner. This also reduces long queuing at checkpoints and curtails crowding at clearance hotspots, allowing travellers to navigate the border a lot quicker and safely with biometric recognition technology. Facial recognition biometrics offers the highest level of convenience for traveller identity proofing, in compliance with the EU regulations, combined with touchless fingerprint sensors for combined verification against the EU EES biometric backend systems. The solution drives significant improvements over traditional manual and touch-based identification procedures in terms of hygiene, accuracy, and privacy protections.

The powerful Orchestra™ Service Platform is compliant with EU GDPR regulations through its unique Privacy-by-Design certification. It operates under user-centric business rules and is the kernel of the advanced management of Identity proofing and Flow Monitoring of traveler processes at the border. The platform’s powerful capability allows it to process the full extent of national border passenger volume, thanks to its future-proof scalable design and resilient architecture.

For this pilot delivery, Vision-Box has hired the services of PwC Luxembourg, in order to help sustain the definition of the use cases, their testing, and overall pilot reporting. In addition, Bulgarian system integrator – Global Sat, is supporting Vision-Box in the deployment of the solution on the ground and its maintenance during the overall 6 months’ operation of the two pilot phases at the two different land borders.

With the industry expected to resume travel as restrictions begin to ease, Vision-Box’s technology is proving crucial in guaranteeing a safe and efficient travel processes. Over the past months, Vision-Box has also inaugurated Automated Border Control eGates at Malta International Airport in collaboration with the Malta Police Force, implemented an integrated Biometric experience for Emirates Airline at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, and secured a regional strategic partnership with AirAsia Group, to implement industry leading, identity management technology across its network of 152 airports.


OTHER NEWS

FLIGHTPATH3D

FlightPath3D announced that during Q1/2021, their install base has surpassed 3,000 aircraft and that they’re looking forward to continued and accelerated growth throughout 2021. Duncan Jackson, FlightPath3D President, says, “We’re seeing absolute signs of recovery in flights and see good growth going forward through 2021. We’re optimistic about the market and expect to surpass 4,000 aircraft within a year.” There is a sustained increase in air travel and aircraft returning to service. Geographic markets, domestic and international services, commercial and business sectors are all recovering, albeit at a different pace. Jackson adds, We are seeing some of our customers in Asia and Oceania flying close to their 2019 passenger numbers for domestic flights. In addition, our North American airline customers seem to be on the verge of a rapid increase in travel demand. Boris Veksler, FlightPath3D CEO “We’re pleased to see 737 MAX deployments once again as they make their way back into revenue service. Our optimism is further amplified by the news around forward bookings from our airline customers and the growth we’re experiencing in the business aviation sector.” In light of the pending rebound in travel demand, with people beginning to plan trips in numbers not seen for more than a year, FlightPath3D has been busy creating new applications that help passengers find flights, routes, and destinations based on personal profiles and experience desires. Veksler says, “We’re excited to help airlines with their recovery with new apps to facilitate passenger interests to be matched to destinations, and flights or activities matched with traveler motivations. Our engineers are levering data science and large data sets to solve this.”

For additional information, please visit the FlightPath3D website or email them at crew@flightpath3d.com


BOEING

Boeing and Southwest Airlines announced the carrier will continue to build its business around the 737 MAX family with a new order for 100 airplanes and 155 options across two models. The deal comes after a multi-year fleet evaluation by Southwest and means that Boeing and its suppliers could build more than 600 new 737 MAX jets for the airline through 2031. Southwest had been exploring options to modernize the largest component of its fleet: the 737-700 that serves the airline’s needs for a 140-150 seat airplane. With the new agreement, the airline reaffirmed the 737-7 as its preferred replacement and growth airplane. The jet will complement the 737-8, which serves Southwest’s needs for a 175-seat model. Both 737 MAX family members will reduce fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes they replace, helping to improve operating costs and environmental performance. Southwest said the solution allows it to maintain the operational efficiencies of an all-Boeing 737 fleet to support its low-cost, point-to-point route network. “Southwest Airlines has been operating the Boeing 737 series for nearly 50 years, and the aircraft has made significant contributions to our unparalleled success. Today’s commitment to the 737 MAX solidifies our continued appreciation for the aircraft and confirms our plans to offer the Boeing 737 series of aircraft to our Employees and Customers for years to come,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chairman and CEO. “We are proud to continue our tradition of being the world’s largest operator of an all-Boeing fleet.” “In addition to supporting our efforts to operate sustainably and efficiently, the 737 MAX offers Employees and Customers travel comforts such as a quieter cabin, larger overhead bin spaces, seating with adjustable headrests, and more galley space for onboard service,” said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest’s chief operating officer.

The new purchase agreement takes Southwest’s order book to 200 737-7s and 180 737-8s, more than 30 of which have already been delivered. Southwest will also have 270 options for either of the two models, taking the carrier’s direct-buy commitment to more than 600 airplanes. The airline also plans additional 737 MAX jets through third-party lessors. “Southwest Airlines has long been a leader and bellwether for the airline industry and this order is a big vote of confidence for commercial air travel. As vaccine distribution continues to pick-up, people are returning to the skies and fueling hopes for a full recovery and renewed growth across our industry,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are deeply honored by Southwest’s continuing trust in Boeing and the 737. Their fleet decision today brings more stability for our biggest commercial program and will ensure that our entire 737 family will be building new airplanes for Southwest for years to come.”

As part of the agreement, Southwest will also expand its use of Boeing’s digital solutions to support its 737 MAX fleet, including Airplane Health Management, Maintenance Performance Toolbox and digital navigation charting tools. Boeing will also provide system software upgrades and new wireless communications-enabling equipment to support Southwest’s operations.

About the 737 MAX Family
Designed and built in Renton, Washington, the 737 MAX family delivers efficiency, flexibility and reliability for the single-aisle airplane market. The 737-7 can fly 3,850 nautical miles, the longest range in the MAX family and 1,000 nautical miles farther than its predecessor. This derivative seats a maximum of 172 passengers, compared to the 737-8’s 210 maximum seats. The 737-8 can fly 3,550 nautical miles. This additional capability allows airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers. Every 737 MAX features the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins. Other technical specifications can be found here.


MORGON STANLEY REPORT (MS)

Airlines: Corporate Travel Survey 2021: Slow Recovery

Travel managers see a slower recovery for travel versus prior surveys, with a return to pre-Covid levels after 2023. Travel budgets are expected, on average, to be 15% below 2019 by 2022. The shift to virtual continues to increase, with one quarter of 2022 travel volumes expected to shift to virtual. MS conducted an online survey of ~200 corporate travel managers between March 3-15, who represent cUS$7B of typical annual travel spend. This survey is the third wave since the Covid pandemic started, which the company finds interesting to track changes in trends as we return to normal. Overall, recovery expectations have been deteriorating, likely due to extended travel restrictions, with a return to pre-Covid levels of business travel just likely post 2023.

Travel budgets still expected to be below 2019 levels by 2022.

MS thinks the increase in travel restrictions globally has had a negative effect on the return of business travel. In their prior survey (October 2020), respondents expected travel budgets in 2021 to fall on average 54% vs 2019; for 2H21, the expectation is for budgets to be down 44.7% vs 2H19, showing a slight improvement against 1H21. For 2022, respondents now expect a reduction of 15.5% on travel budgets vs 2019. While this implies a strong recovery expected in 2022 vs 2019, at this point respondents are not yet expecting a return to normal levels by next year: 67% of respondents expect 2022 travel budgets to still be below 2019 levels. Yields are expected to go down in 2021 (-2.6% vs 2019), likely due to subdued demand, with some recovery expected in 2022 (yields up 2% vs 2019).

Shift to virtual should reduce travel volumes by over ¼ by 2022.

The trend of some shift of travel volumes into virtual keeps increasing: on average, respondents expect that 27% of meetings will shift into virtual by 2022, an increase from 22% in October 2020 and 19% in July 2020. Only 7% of respondents expect minimal impact (<10%) on travel volume by virtual meetings in 2021, and 15% in 2022.

Mass vaccination continues to be the key catalyst for the return to travel. Widespread availability and administration of vaccination is the biggest catalyst to increase business travel in H2 2021, at 79%, followed by business requirement at 58%. This is largely unchanged versus the past surveys and could be a trigger for a faster recovery, if global programs are successful.

Conclusions for Europe: The results of the survey confirm the slow recovery in business travel. MS thinks the expected reduction in passenger volume of c40% for 2021 is in line with the market view for 2021 capacity, though MS sees some downside risk to this figure, given the continued delay in corporate travel and the replacement of travel by virtual meetings, unless mass vaccination programs progress faster than anticipated. All in all, weaker demand and 27% convergence of travel into virtual events should negatively affect legacy carriers (Lufthansa, IAG and Air France-KLM, in that order) more than low cost carriers (easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz). MS continues to prefer Ryanair and Wizz (OW), over Lufthansa and AF-KLM.

Conclusions for US Airlines: From a US perspective, the survey results are a reminder that despite the widespread optimism (that MS shares) on the pace and trajectory of re-opening related pent up demand, there remains uncertainty and choppiness around the recovery. It is also a reminder that much remains up in the air, especially with respect to corporate/international travel and timing of vaccination. MS notes that the airlines recently shared some of their own surveys/views around a corporate travel recovery, which echoed some of these findings – perhaps with a more bullish tone even. MS continues to remain bullish on the pace of recovery and expects a return to 2019 levels of traffic by late 2021/early 2022, though MS expects US Domestic Leisure/VFR travel to return first and International and Corporate to return “last” by early 2022. This drives our preference for LCC and ULCC carriers over Legacy carriers, which are more exposed to International /Corporate travel and on average have had more cap structure damage during the pandemic. LUV, JBLU, ALGT and DAL are our top picks in the space.


OTHER NEWS

  • BuzzFeed has this great trick: 3. “On an airplane, if my seat-mate is hogging the armrest or being too chatty, I grab the barf bag. Works every time.” People Are Sharing Effective Psychological Tricks They Use In Everyday Life, And I’m Blown Away By Some!
  • And speaking of the virus (we assume), if you have AstraZeneca questions, read this: How good is the AstraZeneca vaccine – and is it really safe? 5 questions answered
  • Electric & Hybrid Aerospace Technology virtual conference looks very good so check it out – Conference Programme | Electric & Hybrid Aerospace Technology Virtual ‘Live’
  • If you travel a lot (after the pandemic) and you wear glasses, you will no doubt notice that your glasses are smudged all the time. Here is a great solution for easy, NO CLOTH wiping! It’s a little plastic cleaner that fits in your pocket and works better than anything else we have ever used – PEEPS! Yep, that is the name of the product … and no … they didn’t pay us, it is just a great product and we thought we would share it with you

Today’s Rectangle: IFPL’s Bluetooth Technology Embedded in a Seat Arm Cap.


Hi, it’s Tricia! The IFExpress team just wanted to reach out to the IFEC community and our readers during this crazy time that we all are going through. If there is any news or coverage we can give your company, products and/or services don’t hesitate to contact us – we are here to help get your message out. Direct all inquiries to my attention at plwiseman@gmail.com. Through team work our industry will weather this storm. Stay healthy and stay safe.


IFPL

Even in these challenging times, IFPL never fails to amaze us with their innovative approaches. This time, the peripherals experts have given us a ‘virtual product tour’ of what we would have seen at their booth this past week if AIX Hamburg 2020 had not been canceled. Let’s delve into their virtual tour:

Virtual AIX 2020 Day 1:

Ad Power – this product is an innovative way to provide passengers with in-seat USB power that can be monetized by the airlines.

When a PED (personal electronic device) is connected to the seat USB, the solution activates pop-up advertising if the passenger hasn’t purchased power prior to boarding. This is an opportunity for additional ancillary revenue for the airline. Battery anxiety is a recognized growing area of potential stress for travelers and onboard USB power offers passengers a solution to this issue.

Virtual AIX 2020 Day 2:

Day 2 of the virtual tour focused on integration innovations. IFPL is continually looking for new areas to implement passenger connectivity as airline seats continue to get smaller and lighter. The company has introduced its own Bluetooth technology into the top of the seat arm cap (super cool and it is today’s cover image)! Another innovation is placing two reversible USB-A connectors into the rear of the seat arm. One of the primary advantages of having USB ports in this location is that power can be provided without having to worry about the depth available within the seat back. And the USB ports can still be accessed even if the arm is lifted!

Virtual AIX 2020 Day 3:

IFPL understands that modifying a seat is not always an option. With this in mind they have developed under seat solutions which can be attached to the spar with no modifications required!

This is a simple and elegant solution for implementing power under the seat. In fact, the seat spar carrier can be adapted for different power outlets but still maintain a standardized design language. Here is an example of a low profile rapid fit unit that can easily be removed while leaving the carrier in place.

Thanks IFPL! We can’t wait to experience these innovations in person and look forward to seeing the Isle of Wight Team at the next IFEC Expo.

If you want to learn more about IFPL’s product innovations before the next conference contact them via email at innovate@ifpl.com


GOGO CHALLENGES SMARTSKY PATENT

The business division of Gogo has submitted a petitionto the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office requesting an inter partes review of U.S. Patent No. 9,312,947 (“the ‘947 patent”) granted to SmartSky Networks, LLC.

An inter partes review re-examines the caims in a patent to determine whether or not they are valid.

“We strongly believe that the ‘947 patent granted to SmartSky is not valid,” said Sergio Aguirre, president Gogo Business Aviation. “We have submitted evidence of published materials clearly showing that well before SmartSky asserts to have invented the concepts in the ‘947 patent, others had conceived of the claimed subject matter. Further, we believe there are many of SmartSky’s patents that are not valid. This is only one of many patents we could have challenged in a patent review.”


AIRBUS

Airbus continues to purchase and supply millions of face masks from China, the large majority of which will be donated to governments of the Airbus home countries, namely France, Germany, Spain and the UK. An Airbus flight test crew has just completed its latest mission with an A350-1000 test aircraft. This is the third of such missions between Europe and China. The aircraft returned to France with a cargo of 4 million face masks on Sunday 5 April. The A350-1000 left Toulouse, France, on Friday 3 April, reaching the Airbus site in Tianjin, China on 4 April and returning to Hamburg the same day. Since mid-March, the previous two missions were performed by and A330-800, and A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT). Airbus also deployed an A400M and its Beluga fleet to transport shipments of masks between its European sites, in France, Germany, the UK and Spain. Airbus will continue to support the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic wherever possible. “I would like to pay tribute to all the Airbus teams, globally, supporting the fight against COVID-19. They’re living our values in assisting those who are saving lives every day”, said Guillaume Faury, Airbus CEO. ” Airbus is focused on the health and safety of its employees and supporting its customers and the industry eco-system with business continuity. At the same time Airbus is contributing to many vital public and private services and working with partners who rely on aircraft, helicopters, space and security solutions to carry out life-saving missions in support of the global pandemic. Airbus is deploying its employees, their expertise and know-how and leveraging technology in this fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, for example in designing and manufacturing ventilators and 3D printed visors which are critical resources for hospitals. The Company is partnering with other organizations in unprecedented ways to achieve this goal as fast as possible

Airbus SE is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation worldwide and is in constant dialogue with its customers, suppliers and institutional partners. Airbus is in the process of assessing the implications of the pandemic on its operations and the potential mitigation measures that could be implemented. The Company will not provide further comment at this stage.

Skytra:

Skytra, the new Airbus’ venture for airline risk management, and Exactpro Systems, a specialist independent software quality assurance firm, sign a Master Services Agreement.

  • The software testing collaboration between Skytra and Exactpro will provide the stakeholders with additional confidence in the quality of Skytra’s derivatives trading platform prior to go-live in a transparent, regulated and secure environment.
  • Skytra Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Airbus based in London. It was established in 2019 to produce new air travel indices and to launch and operate a regulated trading venue. Skytra works in close partnership with air travel and financial market experts to develop new risk management instruments for the benefit of the entire air travel industry.

BOEING

Boeing will temporarily suspend all 787 operations at Boeing South Carolina (BSC) until further notice, starting at the end of second shift on Wednesday, April 8. This impacts the Airport Campus, Emergent Operations, Interiors Responsibility Center South Carolina and Propulsion South Carolina. “It is our commitment to focus on the health and safety of our teammates while assessing the spread of the virus across the state, its impact on the reliability of our global supply chain and that ripple effect on the 787 program,” said Brad Zaback, vice president and general manager of the 787 Program and BSC site leader. “We are working in alignment with state and local government officials and public health officials to take actions that best protect our people.” BSC teammates who can work remotely will continue to do so. Those who cannot work remotely will receive paid leave for 10 working days of the suspension, which is double the company policy. After 10 days, teammates will have the option to use a combination of available paid time off benefits or file for emergency state unemployment benefits. All benefits will continue as normal during the suspension of operations, regardless of how teammates choose to record their time. Pay practice details have been made available to all teammates. During this time of suspension on the 787 program, Boeing will continue to conduct enhanced cleaning activities at the site and monitor the global supply chain as the situation evolves. When the suspension is lifted, the 787 program will take an orderly approach to restarting production with a focus on safety, quality, integrity and meeting customer commitments.

Boeing is extending the temporary suspension of production operations at all Puget Sound area and Moses Lake sites until further notice. These actions are being taken in light of the company’s continuing focus on the health and safety of employees, current assessment of the spread of COVID-19 in Washington state, the reliability of the supply chain and additional recommendations from government health authorities. During the suspension, the company will continue to implement additional health and safety measures at its facilities to protect employees. These measures include new visual cues to encourage physical distancing, more frequent and thorough cleaning of work and common areas and staggering shift times to reduce the flow of employees arriving and departing work, among many other improvements. “The health and safety of our employees, their families and our communities is our shared priority,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. “We will take this time to continue to listen to our incredible team and assess applicable government direction, the spread of the coronavirus in the community and the reliability of our suppliers to ensure we are ready for a safe and orderly return to operations.” The volunteers who have been supporting essential site and services work should continue to report to their assigned shifts. Puget Sound area and Moses Lake employees who can work from home should continue to do so. As the suspension of operations continues, Boeing will monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and associated impact on all company operations. Boeing sites that remain open are being monitored and assessed on a daily basis.


OTHER NEWS

COVID-19

Astronics

Astronics announced that it has received the 2019 GOOD DESIGN Award in the transportation category for the design excellence of its portable inflight entertainment (IFE) product, Sierra.

The GOOD DESIGN Awards are presented by the Chicago Athanaeum Museum of Architecture and Design plus the Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd. Founded in Chicago in 1950, the program remains the oldest and world’s most recognized authority for design excellence worldwide. Astronics’ Sierra was selected for this award from a record number of submissions from the world’s leading manufacturers and design firms, representing the most important influential corporations in the design industry.

“We’re excited to announce that Sierra has been recognized by the Chicago Athenaeum for the 2019 GOOD DESIGN Award,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC). “Receiving this award acknowledges Sierra as the leader in bringing smart design paired with technology innovation to portable IFE.”

Astronics’ Sierra is an affordable, scalable IFE solution that delivers IFE as a standalone unit from a single battery or, when installed and powered, can employ multiple units merged into a single network to cover a larger aircraft cabin. Sierra enables passengers to enjoy hundreds of hours of streaming audio, video, digital magazine content, and more. Sierra stands up to the rigors of flight in the overhead bin while delivering streaming content that matches the experience of installed IFE without the need for a supplemental type certificate (STC).


Inmarsat

Inmarsat announced that its award-winning GX Aviation solution has powered more than one million free inflight broadband sessions for Air New Zealand passengers. The impressive milestone was achieved approximately one year after Air New Zealand switched to a free-of-charge model for its inflight broadband service. GX Aviation is currently available on almost 25 aircraft within the Air New Zealand fleet, operating on Trans-Tasman, Pacific Island, US and London routes. This includes a combination of Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 aircraft, in addition to Airbus A320 and A321 neos. In addition to reaching the one million milestone, last December was Air New Zealand’s biggest month ever for free inflight Wi-Fi sessions, with more than 122,000 customers connecting. This beats the airline’s previous record of 103,000 sessions in July 2019. This surge in uptake for free inflight Wi-Fi from Air New Zealand passengers chimes with recent findings from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), as part of the final installment of their “Sky High Economics” report with Inmarsat Aviation. The research found that there is an immediate $33 billion market share shift available for airlines developing the digital inflight experience. The report also revealed that Gen Z (born between 1997-2012) will become the largest group of airline flyers by the end of the next decade, bringing with them new expectations of technology and travel.


Immfly

The global in-flight digital services and entertainment (IFE) company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain announced it secured strategic investment from Boeing HorizonX in 2019. Immfly’s advanced digital solution enables airlines to efficiently and remotely manage onboard digital products and services on all aircraft types, including in-flight entertainment content, flight information, advertising and onboard sales. 

“This investment will help further establish Immfly as the industry’s leading partner for pioneering cabin digitalization and reinforce our ability to provide global services,” said Immfly Executive Chairman Jimmy Martinez von Korff. “Boeing and Immfly share a common vision to continue growing the digital capabilities provided to airlines to enhance their onboard experience and develop new revenue streams.”

“Boeing’s strategic investment in Immfly drives innovation across the entire passenger journey.” said Brian Schettler, senior managing director for Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “Immfly’s digital cabin solution is fundamentally changing how airlines around the world are engaging with their passengers during flight.” 

Immfly is one of just four companies outside the United States to join the Boeing HorizonX portfolio. The company will showcase its digital services in the HorizonX “What’s Next” booth at the Singapore Airshow this month with other members of the HorizonX portfolio.

Immfly is an award-winning provider of Connected Digital Services and Best in Class In-flight Entertainment. Immfly S.L. is headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, with global offices serving full service, low cost and regional airlines worldwide. Immfly’s digital services reach millions of passengers across hundreds of destinations in Europe, Africa, Asia and North and South America.


OneWeb

OneWeb, a global communications company with a mission to bring connectivity to everyone everywhere, confirms its upcoming launch of 34 satellites has been scheduled for Thursday 6 February at 2142 (GMT) / Friday 7 February 0242 (local time) from the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. This marks the start of a regular launch campaign during 2020 that will rapidly grow OneWeb’s first phase constellation of 648 satellites and represents one of the largest civilian satellite launch campaigns in history. Each satellite forms an integral part of the high-speed global satellite broadband network and together will activate OneWeb’s first customer demos by the end of 2020 to provide full commercial global services for sectors such as maritime, aviation, government and enterprise in 2021.


Airbus

Airbus has reached final agreements with the French Parquet National Financier (PNF), the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) resolving the authorities’ investigations into allegations of bribery and corruption, as well as with the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the DoJ to resolve their investigations into inaccurate and misleading filings made with the DoS pursuant to the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Airbus has agreed to pay penalties of 3,598 million Euro plus interest and costs to the French, U.K. and U.S. authorities. The settlements with each authority are as follows: PNF 2,083 million Euro, the SFO 984 million Euro, the DoJ 526 million Euro and the DoS 9 million Euro of which 4.50 million Euro may be used for approved remedial compliance measures. Airbus received credit from the authorities for having reported and for its consistently strong cooperation during the investigations.
Convention Judiciaire d’Intérêt Public with the PNF

Airbus has agreed to enter into a Convention Judiciaire d’Intérêt Public with the PNF. This agreement does not amount to an admission of liability. Under this agreement, the PNF has agreed to suspend prosecution of Airbus for a duration of three years. Prosecution will be discontinued if Airbus complies with the terms of the agreement throughout this period, which it is committed to doing. The agreement also contains an obligation for Airbus to submit its compliance program to targeted audits carried out by the Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA) over a period of three years.

Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the SFO

Airbus has agreed to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the SFO. This agreement does not amount to an admission of liability. Under this agreement, the SFO has agreed to suspend prosecution of Airbus for a duration of three years. Prosecution will be discontinued if Airbus complies with the terms of the agreement throughout this period, which it is committed to doing. In light of the continuing monitorship to be conducted by the French Anti-Corruption body, the AFA, no independent compliance monitor will be imposed on Airbus under the agreement with the SFO.

Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DoJ

Airbus has agreed to enter into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the DoJ. Under this agreement, the DoJ has agreed to suspend prosecution of Airbus for a duration of three years. Prosecution will be discontinued if Airbus complies with the terms of the agreement during this period, which it is committed to doing. No independent compliance monitor will be imposed on Airbus under the agreement with the DoJ.

Consent Agreement with the DoS

Finally, Airbus has agreed to enter into a Consent Agreement with the DoS. Under this agreement, the DoS has agreed to settle all civil violations of the ITAR outlined in Airbus’ voluntary disclosures identified in the Consent Agreement, and Airbus has agreed to retain an independent export control compliance officer, who will monitor the effectiveness of Airbus’ export control systems and their compliance with the ITAR.

For legal reasons, Airbus cannot make any comment on the agreed Statements of Facts published by the investigating authorities. Airbus has taken significant steps to reform itself and to ensure that this conduct will not reoccur. Airbus has significantly enhanced its compliance system under the supervision of an Independent Compliance Review Panel. The Company is committed to conducting business with integrity.Airbus will continue to cooperate with the authorities in the future, pursuant to the agreements, and to install a strong Ethics & Compliance culture within the Company


Boeing

Boeing  announced a donation of 250,000 medical-grade respiratory masks to address medical supply shortages in China. The masks will be provided to local health officials battling the spread of the coronavirus in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, and Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province. “Our thoughts continue to be with all those in China dealing with the health impacts related to the coronavirus,” said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. “Through our donation, it is our hope that we can help limit the spread of this virus and ease the burden on local aid workers and medical personnel.” The health and well-being of Boeing employees and their families remains a top priority for the company. Boeing continues to monitor the situation closely and has advised employees to heed all local public health warnings. To date, the company has provided 25,000 medical-grade respiratory masks for employees working in the region.

Check out the 4th Quarter here – Boeing Reports Fourth-Quarter Results – Jan 29, 2020


Other News

B777X First Flight

We are going to start this IFExpress by looking into the Boeing 777 Series and then delve into the B777X and it’s first flight. First a little history. The Widebody Boeing 777 family, commonly referred to as the ‘Triple Seven’ aircraft began life and launched in the Fall of 1990, rolled out in June of 1994, first flew on June 12, 1994, then went into commercial service approximately one year later in 1995. In 2004, a longer range version was rolled out. The Boeing 777 is reportedly the largest twin engine aircraft being manufactured today and the original jetliner had a capacity of 300 to 368 passengers. It should also be note that the 777 series competes with the Airbus A350 family that was launched in 2004, which carries some 300 to 350 passengers and now includes A350 XWB. Here is a comparison video that came out in June of 2018 – (109) Boeing 777x vs A350-1000 .! Which one is your favorite – YouTube

Now let’s get back to the Boeing 777X, the world’s largest twin-engine airplane. The B777 family currently includes B777-200ER and B777-300ER aircraft that are 209 and 242 feet long, respectively, with a 200/212 foot wingtip-to-wingtip difference, per plane model. The dash 200ER and 300ER are the original basis of the B777 models; however, in November of 2013, Boeing announced the B777X. The B777X has 2 variants: the dash 8 (384 pax and 8,690 nmi) and the dash 9 (426 pax and 7,525 nmi) and is a major update to the 777 family. The B777X is the testing and certification baseline for the aircraft with the first successful test flight on Saturday January 25, 2020. This plane is 251 feet long and has a range of some 7,525 nmi. It will typically seat approximately 414 passengers and cost a reported (although airlines will not pay this much) some $442 million with a wing span of 235 feet, decreasing to 212 ft. when the tips are folded. This means that the wings have a fold-up tip that is approximately 11.5 feet long – a big industry first for a jet of this magnitude. Watching the video of the first landing of the B777X really showed a difference in this iteration’s size compared to its predecessors. When looked at head-on the extreme wing span is evident, despite being folded upon touch down (we assume to avoid taxi collisions) and the vertical stabilizer is incredible – the top of reaches 64 feet 7 inches high off the ground!!

Boeing also migrated some of the technologies found in the 787 Dreamliner onto the B777X. The size and function of the passenger cabin’s windows and the appearance of the flight deck are just of a few of the adapted features.

We should also be mention the new GE90, dual rotor, axial flow, high bypass turbofan engine that is, in a word, amazing. It is derived from the General Electric GE90 with a larger fan, advanced materials like CMCs, higher bypass ratio (10 to 1) and compression ratios, it proposes improved fuel efficiency by 10% over its predecessor and is rated for 105,000 foot pounds of engine thrust and weighs almost 20,000 pounds!

Finally, here are some of the many B777X videos for your enjoyment!


Gogo

Gogo announced the upcoming launch of a new digital rights management (DRM) service that enables playback of video-on-demand content in the most popular browsers without additional plug-ins or app downloads. Developed in partnership with castLabs, the new solution allows each title to be packaged for browsers like Safari and Chrome on all operating systems with a single file using the latest file format – Common Media Application Format or CMAF – in the industry. The single encrypted file format allows for Gogo’s inflight entertainment (IFE) service, Gogo Vision, to maximize the airlines library size and store 50% more content than other solutions.  The roll-out of this new technology will be complete in the first half of 2020.

“Gogo is the first in the industry to launch a streaming solution that uses a single encrypted file format to play video across the most popular browsers,” said Blane Boynton, SVP of Product for Gogo. “castLabs is our technology enabler, and a well-known and trusted DRM vendor in the industry. By removing the need for an app or plug-in, Gogo provides a seamless experience to our airline partners and their passengers.”

“Gogo is leveraging our updated PRESTOplay and DRMtoday solutions that utilize the latest advances in streaming technology to deliver a single version of content to all modern browsers, agnostic to the various DRM systems they support,” said Michael Stattmann, Founder of castLabs. “Gogo is indeed the first to use the latest CMAF file format with ‘cbcs’ encryption to enable an app-free inflight entertainment experience on mobile devices. We look forward to a strong partnership with Gogo as we support more streamlined ways to offer content to their customers.”


Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The airline IT specialist is looking back proudly at the many milestones in its history of shaping the digitalization (the act or process of converting from analog to digital) of the airline industry. In 1995, Lufthansa outsourced its IT department to its newly founded subsidiary, which has experienced a remarkable development in recent years. “We now employ around 2,400 people at our locations in 16 countries and, together with our start-up company zeroG, have established ourselves as one of the leading IT providers in the airline industry,” said Olivier Krueger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “Today, we offer our more than 350 customers worldwide a comprehensive range of IT solutions, many of which are market-leading.”

Although digitalization was still in its infancy and the internet was still uncharted territory in the year the company was founded, Lufthansa Systems lived by its slogan “We’re into IT” from the very beginning. Thanks to its many years of experience within the Lufthansa Group, the company was able to keep its finger on the pulse of Europe’s most successful airline and acquire extensive technical expertise. This gave rise to an impressive product portfolio that covers many of an airline’s processes on the flight deck, in the cabin and on the ground. Lufthansa’s pioneering role soon enabled Lufthansa Systems to establish modern and efficiency-enhancing IT solutions across the entire aviation industry. LOT Polish Airlines was the first customer that saw Lufthansa Systems  break into the external airline market. With many other airlines following suit, Lufthansa Systems’ innovative solutions gradually became established on the worldwide market. Before long, the IT specialist was able to support customers of all sizes and business with its solutions.

Offering groundbreaking innovations such as FlyNet, the first flying hotspot, which first got off the ground with Lufthansa in 2003, or accounting tools such as SIRAX, which significantly enhanced the efficiency of revenue accounting, Lufthansa Systems became an industry pioneer at an early stage. The development of the paperless flight deck was another game changer, as paper maps were gradually replaced by digital programs and modern apps that display weather, airspace and traffic information in real time. Meanwhile, a new era of inflight entertainment began with the first wireless solution, BoardConnect, which enabled passengers to access onboard entertainment on their own devices for the first time.

Lufthansa Systems is also one of the market’s leading providers in network planning, route optimization and flight navigation. The NetLine suite, for example, covers the entire process from network planning, flight planning and code shares to crew management until the day of operations and provides the ideal basis for decision-making by connecting data in a smart way. Lido Flight 4D is a  Lufthansa Systems  solution that helps customers to optimize their flight routes and thus reduce flight times and fuel consumption. This in turn makes an important contribution to airlines’ environmental efficiency, as less fuel consumption means fewer carbon emissions. Airlines can also reduce their environmental footprint by eliminating all paper-based maps and documentation for navigation.

“Based on these developments and the experience it has gained along the way, Lufthansa Systems today is an important and reliable partner when it comes to digitalization and aviation expertise. Leveraging our strong portfolio of innovative initiatives, we will continue our tradition of shaping the future of digital aviation,” said Dr. Thomas Wittmann, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

In 2015, the former Lufthansa Systems AG was realigned and the infrastructure part of the business was sold to IBM. By focusing on the airline sector and implementing an agile set-up, the company is in a position to quickly and profitably apply its IT expertise for the benefit of its customers. With this in mind, Lufthansa Systems established the Aviation Campus and thus created an environment enabling digital innovation that promotes the exchange of ideas and the exploitation of synergies. Current projects and developments include migrating products to a cloud-based platform and supporting airlines in harmonizing their IT systems in operations. Applying the Total Mission Optimization (TMO) approach,  Lufthansa Systems is further optimizing its market-leading Lido solutions for dispatchers and flight deck crews. This achieves a strong integration of functionality and data, which enables the airline operation center and the flight crew to collaborate in an even more effective way.

The smart use of data is one of the key success factors in the future of aviation. Using artificial intelligence, Lufthansa Systems and the start-up company zeroG are jointly working on projects to avoid delays in ground processes and are investigating ways to make the work of ops controllers easier.

In recent years, Lufthansa Systems has evolved into an important integration partner and consultant both within and outside the Lufthansa Group. The aim of the company’s growing consulting unit is to optimize everyday flight operations processes and design them in a way that makes them more profitable.

On Another Note:
Lufthansa Systems announced that the national carrier of the Republic of Rwanda is now using the NetLine/Sched and ProfitLine/Price solutions. These products will optimize RwandAir’s complex flight scheduling and efficiently determine the best ticket prices based on the current market situation as well as supply and demand. RwandAir and its passengers will both benefit from these important control tools, which will simplify scheduling and support the airline’s expansion of its route network and available flights.
NetLine/Sched, the schedule management system from Lufthansa Systems, helps airlines to make quick and well-founded decisions when creating and optimizing their flight schedules while taking operational and economic aspects into account. Using NetLine/Sched, airlines can take measures quickly and effectively to optimize their schedules.
ProfitLine/Price is a comprehensive pricing system which considers the current competitive situation, price trends and underlying fare structures. It covers all core processes in both reactive and proactive pricing for published and market fares. In addition to enabling airlines to react swiftly to market changes, the system provides powerful analysis tools for developing effective pricing strategies. Its integrated pricing simulation model goes one step further by forecasting revenue changes based on fare modifications.


AIRBUS

In the context of the investigations by the French Parquet National Financier (PNF), the U.K. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the U.S. authorities, Airbus has reached agreement in principle with the authorities.The investigations by the above authorities relate to allegations of bribery and corruption and to inaccuracies in filings made with the U.S. authorities pursuant to the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). The agreement with the SFO was the subject of a preliminary court ruling today and will require final judicial approval in a U.K. court. Furthermore, agreements with the PNF and the U.S. authorities also remain subject to approval by French court and U.S. court and regulator, respectively. The court hearings in France, the U.K. and the U.S. are expected to take place on 31 January 2020. If approved by the courts, the agreements will result in Airbus taking a provision of € 3.6 billion for the payment of potential penalties to the French, U.K., and U.S. authorities, which will be booked in Airbus’ 2019 accounts. Further details will be provided once the agreements have been finalized. (Editor’s Note: This article on the subject is worth a read!)


OTHER NEWS

  • From Bob Bogash, aviation historian, this past week:
    “ALL EYES ON A DIFFERENT BOEING JET: The first test flight of Boeing’s new jetliner, the 777X, is tentatively scheduled for later this week. Given the situation with the MAX, the new plane will likely be scrutinized by the public as it moves toward being delivered to airlines next year. One of the 777X’s key new features, folding wing tips, has been specifically called out by House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.). DeFazio has repeatedly cited the 777X wings as an example of the kind of change to a plane that he thinks needs more oversight. 50 years ago last week (Jan 22), the first revenue trip of a 747 left JFK for LHR – Pan Am. The scheduled departed time was on Jan 21, but the flight departed 7 hours late – thus, actually at 0150 hrs on Jan 22.) The airplane, with 336 passengers, had problems with a faulty door closing mechanism, the cargo loading, and ultimately, one of its engines – Number 4. The Clipper Young America, N747PA, was the aircraft that was supposed to have inaugurated the world’s first 747 service on Pan Am’s blue ribbon JFK – LHR route. It had a BTB (Block Turn Back) due to engine surge and overheat and returned to the gate. Due to the engine situation it suffered, the honor went to Clipper Victor, N736PA. Clipper Victor is also the aircraft that collided with the KLM 747 at Tenerife, Norte in 1977. Bob B.”
  • Having a problem with logging on at airports? There is a way to do so, but WARNING, there is no security like SSL. So, only use it when the other data links are busy or don’t work! NeverSSL – helping you get online. Further, Zapier has some public Wi-Fi suggestions.
  • WARNING: Do not go to Wuhan: China Travel Advisory and things are getting worse China’s Xi warns virus is ‘accelerating’, country facing ‘grave situation’ – CNA

Astronics Corporation announced a new cooperation with China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC). The collaboration between Astronics and CMC will create a channel for Astronics to provide Chinese airlines, OEMs and service providers with state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) hardware and certification services for compliance in China and the United States. On November 6, Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC), and Ruan Guang, Chairman of CMC, signed the cooperation agreement at the Second China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai, China. Top executives from Astronics and China Genertec, the shareholder of CMC, witnessed the signing ceremony.

“This agreement enables Astronics to serve Chinese aircraft enterprises with the world’s most advanced IFEC hardware technology and certification services, and strongly positions us in the fastest growing aerospace market in the world,” says Michael Kuehn.

(Editor’s Note: If you would like more information on the Astronics Inflight Entertainment System hardware: Inflight Entertainment System Hardware)


DUBAI

Last week the 2019 Dubai Airshow resulted in over $54 Billion in total sales (industry estimates) of all airplanes. Airbus and Boeing each snagged multi-billion dollar orders, and this week, we thought you might like to review some of the commercial sales listings and deals. Airlines are also reconsidering their fleets based on the economy, future aircraft development, and a myriad of ‘wait-and-see’ challenges facing manufacturers and airlines alike. There were some 60,692 trade show attendees. Here are some of the stories of sales and deals at the show.

Airbus:

Boeing:


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, announced that its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution can now be accessed by passengers traveling on Air France’s brand new Airbus A350 aircraft. Air France’s first Airbus A350, named ‘Toulouse’, was delivered with GX Aviation installed. The aircraft entered commercial service in October with an inaugural flight to Toronto, which it will serve daily throughout the winter season. The aircraft will eventually operate to six destinations on four continents from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. GX Aviation is a key part of Air France’s Airbus A350 onboard experience in all three cabins – economy, premium economy and business class. The airline offers three different Wi-Fi packages: a free ‘Message’ pass to send and receive messages throughout the flight; a ‘Surf’ pass costing to surf the internet, read and send emails; and a ‘Stream’ pass to enjoy high-speed internet, streaming and downloads, with the ‘Message’ and ‘Surf’ passes included.

Air France is the latest airline to launch commercial service with GX Aviation, powered by the world’s first and only globally available broadband network. It will also benefit from major upcoming enhancements to Inmarsat’s GX network, with additional capacity being introduced by eight new GX payloads scheduled to launch in the coming four years, starting with GX5, which launched on 22 November. This pioneering new generation of GX satellites represents a transformative step-change in inflight broadband capabilities. These include the ground-breaking GX7, 8 & 9 satellites, which feature thousands of dynamically-formed beams that direct capacity over high-demand areas, and the innovative new GX10A & 10B Arctic payloads, which will be the only broadband satellite service dedicated to this region.


AIR ASTANA

Air Astana has been awarded the best in Central Asia for “Food, Drink and On-Board Entertainment Systems” from APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) at a ceremony held in Singapore on 13th November 2019. The APEX rating is based on online reviews of passengers and verified by an independent external audit company. In total, more than a million flights by more than 600 airlines around the world were rated on a 5-point scale on: seat comfort, on-board service, food and drink, entertainment systems and wi-fi service. APEX is a European rating agency, which evaluates the levels of passenger service worldwide and is considered one of the most prestigious and reputable ratings organizations in the airline industry.

In September 2019, Air Astana received an APEX 5-star rating among major carriers for the second time.


BOEING

Boeing marked a key milestone as thousands of employees gathered for the debut of the first 737 MAX 10 at the company’s Renton, Washington factory. During a ceremony, Boeing leaders highlighted the team’s accomplishments and recognized their efforts in completing production of the newest member of the 737 MAX family. “Today is not just about a new airplane. It’s about the people who design, build and support it,” said Mark Jenks, vice president and general manager of the 737 program. “This team’s relentless focus on safety and quality shows the commitment we have to our airline customers and every person who flies on a Boeing airplane.” The 737 MAX 10, the largest variant of the MAX family, can seat up to 230 passengers and offers the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle airplane ever produced. The airplane will now undergo system checks and engine runs prior to first flight next year. “I’m honored to take this airplane on its first flight and show the world what you’ve put your heart and soul into,” 737 Chief Pilot Jennifer Henderson told the employee crowd. The 737 MAX 10 currently has more than 550 orders and commitments from more than 20 customers around the globe.

(Editor’s Note: This airplane has over 500 Boeing orders!)


OTHER NEWS