First flight of the 777X scheduled for 2019; delivery in 2020

Everett, Washington | November 20, 2018– Boeing [NYSE: BA] has brought together the major fuselage sections to form the first 777X airplane that will take to the skies in 2019.

In a major production milestone called ‘final body join,’ Boeing teams connected the airplane’s nose, mid and aft sections in the company’s factory in Everett, Wash. The jet now measures 252 feet long (77 meters) from nose to tail, making it the longest passenger jet the manufacturer has ever produced.

“The 777X is a new airplane and a new production system,” said Josh Binder, vice president and general manager of the 777X. “With the 777X, the production system was integrated into the development program sooner than any other airplane, and the team is doing a great job of hitting our milestones as expected.”

The 777X builds on the market-leading 777 and the 787 Dreamliner to offer airlines the largest and most-efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The airplane provides 12 percent lower fuel consumption and 10 percent lower operating costs than competing airplanes.

The 777X achieves the unprecedented performance through the introduction of the latest technologies such as the most fuel-efficient commercial engine ever, the GE9X, and a fourth-generation all-new composite wing design that provides lift and efficiency. With the extension of a set of folding, raked wingtips, the airplane’s wing spans 235 feet (72 meters).

By adding folding wingtips, the 777X’s wingspan has been increased to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing, reducing engine thrust and fuel use. Additionally, the folding wingtips allow the 777X to maintain airport compatibility with the existing 777 family, adding value for customers.

The first 777X introduced will be the 777-9 model, which can seat 400 to 425 passengers in a standard configuration and offer a range of 7,600 nautical miles (14,075 km). Boeing is building on the passenger-preferred interior of today’s 777 and building on 787 interior innovations to create a passenger experience like no other. Passengers will enjoy windows that are larger and located higher on the fuselage than the current 777, along with a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture.

The first 777X test airplane for static ground testing was completed in September 2018. Three additional flight test airplanes will be built after flight test #1.

The 777X first flight is scheduled for 2019. First delivery is slated for 2020.

Hamburg | November 19, 2018–The first ACJ320neo successfully completed a two hour and 40 minute first flight from Hamburg on 16th November, getting its short test-programme off to a good start.

Derived from the popular A320neo airliner family, some 500 of which are in airline service, the corporate jet version includes features such as extra fuel-tanks in the cargo-hold that will deliver even more intercontinental range, plus greater cabin-pressure for better passenger comfort.

These features are being tested before delivery of the aircraft to Acropolis Aviation in the coming months. The aircraft will then undergo cabin outfitting by AMAC in Basle, Switzerland, and be repainted in customer colours.

“The ACJ320neo first flight heralds a new Airbus corporate jet era, delivering a range improvement thatenables nonstop travel between even more cities, in what is widely recognised as the best cabin of any business jet,” said ACJ President Benoit Defforge. “The ACJ320neo Family’s improved fuel-efficiency also means that it compares even more favourably in operating costs with traditional business-jets,” he added.

Continuous improvements mean that the ACJ320 Family now comprises the ACJ319neo, flying eight passengers 6,750 nm/12,500 km or more than 15 hours, and the ACJ320neo, flying 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or more than 13 hours.

Both aircraft feature fuel-saving new-generation engines and Sharklets, and deliver more comfort and space than traditional business jets with similar operating costs.

Airbus also offers a complete family of VIP widebodies that can carry even more passengers nonstop to the world – including the new ACJ330neo and ACJ350 XWB.

Today, the customers of more than 190 ACJs benefit from the robust reliability and worldwide support that comes from their airliner heritage, plus services tailored to corporate jet needs.

There was a lot of interesting news this week, but lets start out with our rectangle story on SITAONAIR and their FlightTracker.

SITAONAIR

ICAO recommendations calling for airlines to report flight positions every 15 minutes became official on Thursday 8 November 2018  – and SITAONAIR is helping multiple airlines around the world meet them, thanks to its cutting-edge AIRCOM FlightTracker.

Major airlines including Avianca BrasilAzulNorwegian Air ShuttleSingapore Airlines and Vistara, already use AIRCOM FlightTracker, across more than 250,000 flights a month. In delivering flight precision, enhanced awareness and reinforced safety, FlightTracker enables airlines to unlock greater operational effectiveness in an increasingly congested airspace, to minimize costs and support passenger satisfaction. The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) recommendations compel airlines to commit to minimum standards of aircraft tracking, with the aim of improving safety, detection of aircraft in distress, and efficient and effective search and rescue. The ICAO urges operators to report aircraft positions at least once every 15 minutes as of Thursday 8 November 2018, and additional aircraft distress processes will be added from 2021.

SITAONAIR has led the way in preparing airlines for this major milestone in aviation safety. Its ground-based, easy-to-implement AIRCOM FlightTracker software system guarantees regular flight position updates, without requiring any new avionics or modifications to aircraft.

Gathering data from multiple global sources – including FlightAware’s Firehose data feed – it bridges gaps between air navigation services provider tracking, to offer 100% global flight tracking with position updates at least once-per-minute. The FlightAware feed delivers live aircraft position data from its terrestrial network of ADS-B receivers, as well as from Aireon’s space-based ADS-B network, which, hosted on the Iridium NEXT constellation, is now providing live flight tracking.

In incorporating this space-based ADS-B data, SITAONAIR’s enhanced FlightTracker gives airlines the tools to receive the precise position, speed and altitude of their airborne fleet anywhere in the world – even over oceans and polar regions. They are also able to exceed the ICAO 15-minute recommendation, in readiness for 2021’s anticipated one-minute recommendation.

Discover SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM FlightTracker by exploring our whitepaper, webinar and videos online.


ZODIAC

Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii) appointed Benjamin Asmar as VP IFE Products and Strategy.  In this role, Asmar will lead Zii’s product group to further develop and deploy innovative products and services for its RAVE inflight entertainment system. Ben joins Zii from Virgin Australia Airlines where he held positions leading the product development and customer experience for the airline. Most recently he led a team of 20 product and project  professionals whose job it was to imagine and implement the ‘next big thing’ to blow customers’ minds, challenge the status quo and push the limits to develop truly unique Virgin experiences through the best products in the industry.We are looking forward to Ben bringing his airline perspective to our team, helping Zii to continue the RAVE tradition of bringing unprecedented product innovations to our market, says Larry Girard, Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer. Ben exclaimed I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Zii team.  RAVE is a fantastic product and the team at Zii have really thought about what makes airline operations difficult and frustrates passengers when it comes to Infight entertainment and have gone about removing these pain points to give passengers a world class IFE experience whilst reducing operational overheads. I’m looking forward to working with the team to continue to drive innovation in Passenger Experience.


SITA

SITA, a specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, announced the acquisition of private company MEXIA Interactive (“MEXIA”), a global provider of curb-to-gate passenger analytics for the air transport industry. The company, founded in 2011, is based in Winnipeg, Canada. The acquisition will enhance SITA’s existing airport operations and passenger flow management solutions. Customers will benefit from a comprehensive and predictive view of passenger flow information that will result in greater operational efficiencies and improved services. MEXIA’s technology identifies and predicts bottlenecks in various queues such as check-in, security and taxi lines while monitoring the amount of time passengers spend in airports. The company also helps airports find non-aeronautical revenue potential by providing shopper numbers, conversion rates, and trends through insights on passengers dwelling in the airport. MEXIA currently works with some of the largest and most influential airports around the world.


digEcor

The digEcor and Jamco Aero Design and Engineering (JADE) partnership was announced at the FTE Asia Expo in Singapore. JADE’s structural, electrical and systems engineering design expertise will play a major role in retrofitting aircraft with digEcor’s Cabin Technology products in the Asia Pacific region. digEcor Chief Executive, David Withers, said that he was pleased to have modification expert JADE on board as a key partner. “JADE is a strong player in the Asia Pacific region and has years of Airbus and Boeing aircraft cabin modification and engineering services experience.”


SPAFAX

Spafax, a leading provider of media, entertainment and content marketing services to the airline industry, announced that it has been selected by Air China to exclusively license and curate its Hollywood movie selection, as well as working together on all other video content. The parties formalized this partnership by signing the letter of intent at the inaugural China International Import Expo held in Shanghai. Spafax also announced the opening of a new office and team in Beijing that will serve in support of Air China. The WPP Group through its Tenthavenue and Kinetic subsidiaries have built up a strong multi-year working relationship with Air China, and have been invaluable in assisting Spafax to quickly establish a local presence.


SATCOM DIRECT

Following on from the SD Xperience launch at NBAA, Satcom Direct is taking its Gulfstream GIV on a circumnavigation of the globe to showcase the power of the new connectivity offering to the international business aviation community. A team of SD executives, including Chief Operating Officer Chris Moore, will spend just under ten days flying the aircraft into leading business aviation destinations to demonstrate the full SD Xperience in-situ, in-cabin.Long term SD customers will be invited to witness the power of SD Xperience first hand. The fully-synchronized, end-to-end connectivity solution combines the full suite of SD cabin and cockpit communications services, aircraft connectivity hardware, and flight operations software to deliver consistent connectivity around the world. Adding extra power to the portfolio is the newly introduced FlexExec broadband service, for which SD is the Master Distributor, delivered in partnership with Intelsat (NYSE: I) and Astronics AeroSat. Business aviation’s first dedicated connectivity service will join existing service providers in the SD portfolio to ensure SD customers benefit from customized, seamless, synchronized,  consistent on-demand global connectivity. SD Xperience customers also benefit from SD ground infrastructure as the SD Data Center enables the application of existing compliance and security protocols for aircraft networks to mitigate cyber-attack and maintain data integrity.


GOGO

Gogo Business Aviation’s latest connectivity solution for light jets – Gogo AVANCE L3 – has been selected by Airshare for installation across its entire fleet of Embraer Phenom 100 aircraft. Airshare operates 11 Phenom 100 aircraft in its fleet, and is recognized as one of the most cost-effective fractional aircraft providers in private aviation for business and leisure travelers. The company also features Embraer Phenom 300s within its fleet, many of which are equipped with Gogo’s connectivity systems onboard. Airshare has also committed to installing AVANCE L5 on all new Phenom 300 aircraft it adds to the fleet in the future.


OTHER NEWS

Africa´s fastest growing airline relies on proven flight planning solution

Raunheim | September 10, 2018– Lufthansa Systems and Ethiopian Airlines Group today announced the introduction of Lufthansa Systems’ Lido/Flight 4D solution in Ethiopian’s flight planning system. This new generation of the proven flight planning solution from Lufthansa Systems offers extensive automation and optimization functions for flight planning and control processes. Ethiopian Airlines will be using Lido/Flight 4D for the next five years.

“We are pleased to further cement our collaboration with Lufthansa Systems by upgrading our flight planning system to Lido/Flight 4D, having used the Lido Flight Planning Service Lido/FPLS for the last five years. Lido/Flight 4D is one of the most effective flight planning solutions worldwide and has been rewarding in augmenting our efforts to optimize flight planning and control endeavors in our expanding service and latest technology acquisition. With the introduction of Lido/Flight 4D, we are aiming to further optimize our routings and flight planning processes, thereby reaping benefits in terms of reduced flying time and fuel consumption,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, Group Chief Executive Officer at Ethiopian Airlines.

The core features of Lido/Flight 4D are its integrated and continually updated aeronautical database and the so-called optimizer. Lido/Flight 4D calculates the most suitable route for each flight based on all flight-related data, weather conditions and the current airspace situation including any restrictions.

Around 120 airlines with a total of more than 6,000 aircraft are currently using Lufthansa Systems’ flight planning solution, which has been successful in the market for more than 17 years. The most recent releases covered certain basic components for migrating to current technologies as well as functional innovations and improvements for takeoff and landing weight optimization, crew briefing and route optimization. In various comparative analyses based on thousands of flight plans, Lido/Flight was able to reduce fuel costs by an average of 2 percent, cut flying times by 1.9 percent and save 1.6 percent of air traffic control fees compared to its competitors.

“The contract with Ethiopian Airlines is strategically important to us,” said Marco Cesa, Senior Vice President Regional Management EMEA at Lufthansa Systems. “The deal will be noticed throughout Africa and strengthens our position in the local market. The reliability and flexibility of our product won over Ethiopian Airlines and will provide considerable support to the carrier going forward.”

Lufthansa Systems delivers relevant flight data for calculating Santa Claus’ optimum route around the world

Raunheim | December 19, 2017–To make sure the man with the white beard and red suit can deliver all his gifts on time again this year, a team of experts from Lufthansa Systems worked with representatives from the MATHEON Research Center and Konrad Zuse Institute Berlin to calculate the shortest round trip around the globe. The project was launched by the German “Wissenschaft im Dialog” research initiative at the end of 2016.

The team discovered that Santa Claus needs approximately 406 hours, or almost 17 days, to reach every single child in the world. In doing so, he would travel 365,174 kilometers, equivalent to more than nine times the circumference of the Earth. The optimal flight route takes him from the North Pole via Europe and the Middle East to Russia, and then on to Asia and back to Africa. After that, the sleigh travels on to North and South America, stopping off in Hawaii before heading for Papua New Guinea and Australia. Santa’s return journey includes one or two more stops in Asia, on the Arabian peninsula and in Europe before he can final enjoy a well-deserved rest back at the North Pole. As the route leads from west to east across the International Date Line, he even loses a day along the way. Nevertheless, Santa’s ability to stop time led the team to conclude that this will be no problem and that all children will once again wake up to a Christmas surprise or two again this year.

Flight planning solutions always calculate the shortest flight connection between two waypoints, while taking into account factors such as flight time, aircraft type, fuel consumption and weather. The calculation for this project was based on the following simplified assumptions: The route begins at the North Pole and includes 1,305 destinations around the world. To save time, Santa Claus does not land en route. Instead, he throws presents from his sleigh and lets his regional elves distribute them. He flies at a constant speed (900 km/h) and altitude (10 km). His ground speed (speed relative to the surface of the Earth) takes the wind into account. It increases with a tailwind and decreases with a headwind, and Santa also compensates for crosswinds. Santa has to stop time to complete the long journey, which means weather conditions also remain constant – the assumption uses the conditions at 23:00 UTC on Christmas Day 2015. As he carries a bottomless sack of presents, the weight of gifts for two billion children is not included in the calculation. Similarly, overflight fees are not taken into account in this case. Under these conditions, a connection with minimal fuel consumption (or reindeer food) also has the shortest flight time.

Crossovers, loops and apparent detours on the route are not mistakes. A longer flight route can be faster and save more fuel than what appears to be the best direct connection in a large arc. In addition, Santa Claus’ status as a role model for children everywhere means he must remain on the network of airways. This global network has around 300,000 routes at each of approximately 30 permitted altitudes.

Aviation IT specialist Lufthansa Systems contributed the relevant airways network data for this project together with additional weather and aircraft performance information. Flight planning experts are thoroughly familiar with these criteria, as around 120 airlines with a total of more than 6,000 aircraft worldwide use Lufthansa Systems’ Lido/Flight 4D flight planning solution, which has been successful in the market for just over 20 years and has a market share of 45 percent in Europe alone. If Santa Claus adds connectivity to his sleigh in future, it will even be possible to incorporate live weather data from Lido/Navigation into the calculation.

Anyone wanting to follow Santa’s route can download the appropriate KML file at www.wissenschaft-im-dialog.de. Direct link: https://tinyurl.com/yatfma89
Google Earth must be installed in order to view the file.

Argentinian airline to continue using Lido/Flight 4D and NetLine/Load

Raunheim | November 23, 2017–Lufthansa Systems today announced that Argentinian carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas will continue to use Lufthansa Systems’ Lido/Flight 4D flight planning system and the NetLine/Load weight and balance application for the next five years. Both companies signed the contract renewal in August. Aerolíneas Argentinas has been using both products successfully since 2013.

“Our collaboration with Lufthansa Systems enables us to continue improving our service,” said Mario Dell’Acqua, President of Grupo Aerolíneas. “Our company is focused on growth, optimization and progress. The Lido/Flight 4D and NetLine/Load solutions enable us to equip our team with the right tools to ensure excellence in our flight operations. And our passengers will also continue to benefit from high-quality service.”

The core features of the Lido/Flight 4D flight planning solution are the integrated and continually updated aeronautical database and the so-called optimizer. Lido/Flight 4D calculates the most suitable route for each flight based on all flight-related data, weather conditions and the current airspace situation including any restrictions. Lido/Flight 4D is an enhanced and updated version of Lido/Flight, which has performed successfully in the market for over 20 years.

NetLine/Load weight supports airlines in the perfect distribution of baggage and cargo on board an aircraft. It covers all relevant load control parameters and calculates the optimal trim, load distribution and maximal weights for each flight – in an entirely automatic and individually configurable way. This significantly increases the productivity of load controllers and helps save fuel.

“Lido/Flight 4D and NetLine/Load are a perfect combination,” said Alexandre Santos, Senior Director Latin America South at Lufthansa Systems. “The automatic and continual exchange of what are known as estimate zero fuel weights (the estimated weight of the loaded aircraft without fuel) and fuel amounts enhances the efficiency of flight preparations. This also prevents the inaccuracies that arise from manual entry and, most importantly, helps airlines make fuel savings.”

October 9, 2017–Avianca Brasil (OceanAir) is “proud” to have activated industry best-practice flight-tracking with SITAONAIR, as the airline prepares to expand its operations.

SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker is now airline-operational on the domestic carrier’s current fleet of 49 A320 and four A330 aircraft. This puts Avianca Brazil well ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 2018 safety mandate, compelling operators to state their aircraft flight positions at least once every 15 minutes.

The airline has also deployed SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightMessenger on its fleet, helping improve efficiency by translating operational data into a format that seamlessly integrates into the airline’s IT infrastructure.

Frederico Pedreira, Chief Executive Officer of Avianca Brasil, said: “Deploying this industry benchmark flight-tracker has been a priority for us, and we are very happy with the results. Having the proper technology from SITAONAIR to track our fleet, comply with the ICAO’s recommendation, and further our commitment to passenger safety, is an achievement we are proud of.

“As we begin the exciting path to expanding beyond domestic routes to offer international flights across the Americas, we do so equipped with an impressive technology that will seamlessly support the management of our growing airborne fleet.”

Carlos Vianna, SITAONAIR’s Head of Business Development, Latin America, said: “Avianca Brasil joins a select group of airlines in South America today to have activated flight-tracking technologies, reinforcing their passenger safety commitments.

“SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker comes straight from aviation’s digital experts, providing automated alerting and gathering data from multiple global sources, filling in any gaps between air navigation services provider tracking. Our FlightTracker will ensure that Avianca Brasil has the intelligent innovation it needs to effortlessly support the comprehensive management of the fleet as the airline continues to expand.”

Discover SITAONAIR’s FlightTracker online at www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form online.

EASA-certified navigation data can also be used for drones and training

Raunheim, Germany | October 5, 2017– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it is expanding its portfolio of navigation solutions with Lido/SkyData. This solution consists of ARINC 424 data and includes navigation information such as airports, heliports, taxiways and runways, waypoints, navaids, airspaces and airways, and flight procedures. The data is updated every 28 days and is available both as a one-time purchase or by subscription. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified the data production standards for Lido/SkyData with a Type 1 Letter of Acceptance (LoA).

“Lido/SkyData is a new data service for diverse aviation applications which goes beyond the conventional navigation solutions for airlines,” said Igor Dimnik, Director Strategy and Market Development Lido/Navigation at Lufthansa Systems. “After launching Lido/SurfaceData for avionics manufacturers – the winner of the German Mobility Award – we continue to pursue a strategy of expanding our navigation portfolio with an eye to the future and taking unmanned aircraft into account as well. This enables us to address new customer groups.”

Lido/SkyData contains all ARINC 424 data in an open format so that it can be used for a wide variety of applications, including software solutions for creating simulation environments in-flight simulators or navigation solutions for drones. The data can also be used with flight planning systems from any manufacturer. The open format ensures data compatibility, enabling the data to be tailored individually to the customer’s IT system and applications.

Lido/Navigation solutions are being used by more than 200 airlines and customers of all sizes and business models, including low-cost, network, cargo and charter airlines. Based on regular exchange with customers, Lufthansa Systems continuously optimizes its solutions and works on innovative products that expand its portfolio.

Real-time Connected Aircraft data streams now available for business intelligence and analysis

  • Accesses the most accurate, timely and granular flight data through satellite links
  • Merges aircraft-generated position data with flight status, ground surveillance and weather
  • Platform analyzes fused data for schedule planning & operations management
  • Fully integrated with GEE’s Airview suite of applications

Los Angeles, CA | July 28, 2016– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: ENT) (“GEE”), a worldwide provider of end-to-end connectivity and media to the airline, maritime and remote mobility markets, today announced the real-time integration of Connected Aircraft data streams with GEE’s masFlight airline operations data platform, which now features real-time flight tracking and satellite-transmitted surveillance data for accurate, complete and informative operational analytics.

Since its 2011 introduction, GEE’s masFlight has utilized ground-based radar and ADS-B surveillance systems to track and analyze airline performance, employing data from hundreds of commercial, government, and primary data sources. Information including flight schedules, flight status, radar and ADS-B surveillance, surface and atmospheric weather conditions, and airport surface operations is analyzed. Global airlines employ GEE to monitor operations, improve flight scheduling, benchmark against competition and power enterprise-wide business intelligence platforms.

With the integration of real-time data from the Connected Aircraft, GEE now provides airline executives and operations managers with the most current and complete views of flight performance. GEE can access information from it’s navAero aircraft interface devices, proprietary Airconnect Global in-flight connectivity systems, or third-party communications links. Flight profiles, including three-dimensional flight tracks, can be updated every second with full data encryption and segregation for security. Based on airline requirements, GEE can now also utilize real-time maintenance, in-flight entertainment and environmental data to supply business intelligence and improve operations workflow.

The cloud-based platform is accessible on a subscription basis with an available library of dashboards and visualization tools highlighting key performance metrics. masFlight integrates with third-party business intelligence systems including Tableau, SiSense and Oracle, and has a robust programming API for local system integration.

“More than 300 airlines worldwide operate fleets with over 20 aircraft and each faces the same challenges in collecting, fusing and analyzing the information they collect from their aircraft,” said Bernard Asare, Vice President of Connected Aircraft Systems. “masFlight leverages petabyte-scale cloud data processing and analytics capabilities to fuse real-time Connected Aircraft data with ground-based surveillance and flight status systems for the most accurate, timely and actionable operational visibility.”