Our big story is a recent interview with a busy David Withers, the new owner and CEO of digEcor, the folks who developed the digEplayer. IFExpress had a short chat with him and from our perspective; the Utah-based IFE company is going to be very much a worldwide operation. Mr. Withers comes to the IFE business with an aviation pedigree that includes: Qantas, Boeing, and TAS Brisbane, his own avionics company based in Australia. By building teams in the Americas, SE Asia (Singapore – Australia), and Europe (coming soon), he plans to focus on customer satisfaction and product development… especially for the narrow-body market. Remarked Mr. Withers, “Since some 65% of the aircraft market out there is single-aisle, and under 20% are equipped with IFE, we see our role in this segment as the perfect blend for both portable and embedded entertainment hardware solutions. Acquiring the digEcor assets and team then combining it with our existing business base has us poised to grow this business, especially with our focus on CRM (Customer Relationship Management). By understanding our customers better, our plan is not only to retain the existing customer base, but we will win new ones – it’s in our DNA and our business plan as we will continue the development of organizational structure to provide products that will take single-aisle entertainment to the next level.” David told IFExpress to invite APEX show-goers to stop by the digEcor Booth 1626 and meet some of the new team members and check out their next phase of growth. Stay tuned on this one, and we hope to have a developing story on the new digEcor soon.

Editors note: Here are some related historical links we found on Mr. Withers and CRM.

We also wanted to give our readers one last rundown of the busy IFEC show season that is upon us. First and foremost is the big deal show for InFlight Entertainment and Connectivity here in the US. The show is sponsored by APEX and there are three reasons to go. The first is the IFE vendors, most of who are headquartered in California and close to Anaheim. This is their home turf and where they bring out their big guns in the form of people, products, and parties. The second is the fact that the movie houses are firmly planted in Hollywood, 35 miles from Anaheim… you got the picture. Lastly, IFSA (International Flight Services Association) is co-showing with APEX in Anaheim this year. We keep mentioning the delight of cruising the IFSA aisles and the wonderful food services job that vendors lay out to woo airlines. Take an hour or so to check out the latest food and delivery innovations… it’s almost as good as Wi-Fi.

Editors Note: We want to advise our readers who will be participating in the forthcoming APEX Conference that next IFExpress issue will feature show-who-is-where information such as booth number and product description. The September 9 – 12 IFEC event is one of the major IFEC events of theyear so let our readers know where you will be located. We are happy to publish the following for you: Company name, Contact Name (phone, email, etc.), Product(s)/Service(s) Description (brief please), and your Booth Number. See you there!

The next not-to-miss event takes place in Seattle on October 1 – 3: the Aircraft Interiors EXPO Americas. This show has a new feature that we really like, The Seating and IFE Integration Symposium that runs on Tuesday October 1. We talked to a few folks participating and we expect a lot of in-seat power and cabin Wi-Fi issues to be on the table along with passenger seating which seems to be undergoing a great transformation in design and functionality. We are told the relative new Americas show is growing each year and now has over 100 vendors involved. IFExpress went last year and we were pretty impressed at how little we knew about the cabin that was not IFEC related. We strongly recommend this free show. Also, the AIEA has now collocated with the Composites World Show and this may be quite interesting as interior vendors are being driven by the OEM’s to deliver lighter composite cabin interior solutions.

If you just have to go to Las Vegas, The Future Travel Experience Show will be found at Mandalay Bay September 4 – 6. FTE is an “Out-There” show that likes to headline some of the newest ideas in flying travel like the latest industry focus “On the Ground” and “Up in the Air” developments. Check out their website and don’t tell the boss it’s in Las Vegas.

In case you didn’t see the latest news from Lumexis and you can read it here. Be advised, there is soon going to be a new kid on the Boeing B737-800/900 offerability block. We reckon that there has been a lot of talk from airlines wanting to purchase the Lumexis FTTS system if it is installed on the airplane assembly line (not retrofit later) from customers that will be receiving their B737’s in the forthcoming years. It’s not inexpensive but the business prospects are probably daunting. Editors Note: Be prepared for a different OEM offerability deal with an IFE vendor, but this time with Airbus!