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ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation is launching a new family of flexible, compact, 64-bit avionics I/O computing platforms for problem-solving and tech insertion in areas such as mission computing, distributed control and avionics data conversion.


VIASAT

EL AL Israel Airlines and Viasat Inc. announced they expanded their successful relationship, adding the Boeing 777 widebody fleet to the mix of EL AL aircraft with Viasat’s equipment for high-speed in-flight connectivity (IFC). In addition to the Boeing 777 fleet, Viasat equipment currently powers the connectivity experience across EL AL’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 737-900 and part of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. EL AL plans to have all widebody aircraft equipped with Viasat’s latest generation IFC solution and all narrow-body fleet equipped with Viasat’s in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) offering. EL AL expects to have the majority of its fleet connected with the Viasat service by the end of 2020. “EL AL takes great pride in being an innovative airline, and they continue to push the in-flight connectivity boundaries,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, Viasat. “EL AL was first to launch Viasat’s fast IFC service in Europe and the Middle East; first to deploy high-speed internet on transatlantic flights using the advanced ViaSat-2 satellite; and are now the first airline to bring IFC to the Boeing 777 aircraft for global routes before the launch of our ViaSat-3 satellite constellation. Enabling high-speed, high-quality internet to their full fleet confirms their dedication to bring customers and crew fast, reliable connectivity service—no matter where they fly.” The Viasat in-flight Wi-Fi service offers an at-home or office experience in the sky, keeping flight crews connected for enhanced passenger service and enabling passengers using smartphones, tablets or laptop computers the ability to browse websites, connect to email and instant messaging, use apps and social networks and to stream music and/or films when in-flight. Today, EL AL offers three in-flight Wi-Fi packages—Basic, Social and Business—which can be purchased during the flight through the EL AL Wi-Fi portal via credit card or EL AL Matmid Club points.


AIRBUS

Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 was unveiled this week when it rolled out of the painting hangar at the A220 final assembly line in Mirabel. In December, Air Canada will be the first Canadian airline to take delivery of this Canadian-designed and developed aircraft when it receives the first of its 45 A220s on order. The A220 features an innovative cabin design, as well as significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint. The A220-300 for Air Canada will provide passengers with superior comfort in a 137-seat dual-class cabin layout. Air Canada’s brand new A220-300s will replace the flag carrier’s existing mainline fleet of smaller, older narrow-body aircraft and support the airline’s hub and network growth, creating one of the world’s youngest and most fuel efficient fleets. Now that the aircraft is decked out in Air Canada’s livery, it has moved to pre-flight activities in the A220 flight line hangar in Mirabel, before taking off for its first flight later this fall. Currently, there are 94 A220 aircraft flying with six operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member. The A220 has an order book of 530 aircraft as of the end of October 2019.

Airbus and China are strengthening their long-standing partnership as both sides commit to a further deepening and broadening of cooperation in the aviation industry. A Memorandum of Understanding on the Further Development of Industrial Cooperation was signed in Beijing by He Lifeng, Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China and Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron. According to the MoU, both sides have agreed to take practical and effective measures for new initiatives regarding both Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft. As part of Airbus’ objective to reach a global A320 Family production rate of 63 aircraft per month in 2021, the Airbus Tianjin A320 Family Final Assembly Line (FAL Asia) remains on track to ramp up its production to six aircraft per month by the end of 2019, which is a 50% increase compared to its original design. A350 XWB capabilities will be extended into the Airbus Tianjin wide-body Completion and Delivery Center (C&DC) from the second half of 2020. The C&DC is scheduled to deliver its first A350 aircraft by 2021 from Tianjin. The potential of China’s aviation market is huge: While China domestic is set to become the world’s largest market, international traffic to and from China has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. According to the Airbus Global Market Forecast, China is expected to require some 7,560 new aircraft over the next 20 years. In both Airbus’ single-aisle and widebody aircraft programs, cooperation is well established. In single-aisle, the FAL Asia has been successfully operating for over a decade since its inauguration in September 2008. To date, 450 A320 Family aircraft have been delivered from Tianjin to Airbus’ Chinese and Asian customers since. In twin-aisle aircraft, the first Airbus’ widebody center outside Europe, the C&DC – inaugurated in September 2017 – has successfully performed A330 aircraft completion activities including cabin installation, aircraft painting and production flight test, as well as customer acceptance and aircraft delivery. The A350 XWB has garnered 913 firm orders from 51 customers worldwide.

October was a landmark month for Airbus in terms of new business, with orders logged for 415 new commercial jetliners. This includes one of the company’s largest-ever transactions with a single airline operator, and overall bookings that significantly strengthened the extra-long-range A321XLR’s market positioning – while the 77 deliveries brought the total number of A320neo/A321neo jetliners delivered to customers/operators above the 1,000 mark. Leading October orders was Indian carrier IndiGo’s for 300 additional A320neo Family aircraft, taking its overall order for the type to 730. Other bookings in October for the A321XLR included 30 for Malaysia’s AirAsia X, 20 for Hungarian-based Wizz Air, 12 for JetSMART of Chile, and two for an unidentified customer. Another unidentified customer ordered 13 A321XLRs in a transaction that also included 12 A330-900 highly efficient wide-bodies. Completing the A320 Family orders during the month was China Airlines’ contract for 11 A321neos; seven A320neos for Taiwan’s Tigerair; and an agreement by the U.S. based lessor Aviation Capital Group for three A320neos. Overall, the A320neo Family reached a new milestone of over 7,000 orders from 113 customers with a backlog of more than 6,000. New transactions were also booked in October for the latest member of Airbus’ single-aisle product line: the A220. France’s Réunion Island-based airline, Air Austral, signed a firm order for three A220s, becoming the first A220 customer in the Indian Ocean region; while Air Tanzania, the A220’s initial African-based operator, extended its fleet of A220-300s with two additional aircraft. The 77 deliveries during the month were made to 45 customers and led by the A320 Family with 59 deliveries (56 NEOs and three CEOs). Since the A320neo Family entry into service in 2016, October marked Airbus’ 1,000th A320neo Family delivery, an aircraft which was received by IndiGo. Among the other notable deliveries in October were the first A321neo for Taiwan’s STARLUX Airlines (through lessor GECAS). Completing the October deliveries were four A220s, along with 14 Airbus wide-body aircraft: eight A350-900s and six A330s (four NEOs and two CEOs). During the first 10 months of 2019, Airbus made 648 deliveries overall to 92 customers, compared with 584 aircraft over the same period of 2018 – equivalent to 64 more deliveries. Taking the latest orders and deliveries into account, Airbus’ aircraft backlog as of 31 October stood at 7,471 aircraft including 6,107 A320 Family, 436 A220 Family, 593 A350 XWBs, 284 A330s and 51 A380s.


BOEING

Boeing will showcase its broad portfolio of commercial and defense products, services and technologies at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, which runs November 17-21 at Dubai World Central. The company’s presence and activities at the show will focus on safety, innovation and industry partnerships in the growing Middle East market. At Boeing’s exhibit, visitors can immerse themselves in a 360-degree theater and learn more about the company’s capabilities throughout the product life cycle. An interactive display will highlight Boeing’s latest family of aircraft and services, as well as the company’s vision for the future of mobility. A seating mock-up and virtual reality experience will offer visitors a closer look at the 777X. The exhibit will be located near the main entrance of the exhibit hall (1110). On the airfield, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will demonstrate the breakthrough capabilities and innovations that have made it a favorite of both operators and customers. This unique 787 sports a full-body decal celebrating the Employees Community Fund of Boeing, the company’s employee-managed charitable fund. An Etihad 787-9, Emirates 777-300ER and a Boeing Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV) will be on static display. The U.S. Department of Defense also will display several Boeing platforms at the show, including an F-15E fighter, an MV-22 tiltrotor and a KC-46A tanker. The UAE will showcase a CH-47F Chinook helicopter. Boeing’s market outlook values the Middle East commercial airplane and services market at more than $1.5 trillion over the next 20 years. Boeing also anticipates 40% of defense and space opportunities in the next decade will originate outside the U.S., with strong platform and services growth opportunities in the Middle East.

In observance of Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, Boeing announced a $10.4 million charitable grants package to support 102 veterans nonprofit organizations worldwide. The package will fund programs through 2020 and beyond. This latest investment builds on Boeing’s three-year, $25 million commitment to increase veterans giving. Since 2017, Boeing has donated $27.4 million in support of veterans programs. Boeing’s investment includes a $500,000 grant to the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network (MSCCN) and its sister nonprofit, Corporate America Supports You (CASY). Funds will support the direct placement of 1,500 military spouses and 2,000 unemployed and underemployed National Guard, reservists and veterans over a three-year period.


OTHER NEWS

Shanghai | April 23, 2019–

China In-Flight Connectivity Technology Conference: ICT 2019 — Viasat Inc.(NASDAQ: VSAT), a global communications company, and China Satellite Communications Co., Ltd. (China Satcom), today announced an agreement for a strategic partnership to jointly provide in-flight connectivity (IFC) services within China for domestic and international airlines.

Viasat and China Satcom will work in partnership to enable Viasat’s global airline customers to have roaming connectivity when flying over China; provide IFC service to domestic flights within China; and enable Chinese airlines to roam onto Viasat’s global network. China Satcom is a licensed telecommunications service provider in China and also owns and operates the most capable and extensive Ka-band spotbeam satellite system in China, which is the only Ka-band system currently available for IFC service in the country.

A key international destination for leading global airlines, China is the second largest aviation market in the world according to research from the International Air Transport Association. As one of the fastest growing flying populations globally, and one of the most mobile and digitally-enabled, there is tremendous national interest in high-speed, high-quality IFC on flights in country. Yet today only about four percent of flights within Chinaare connected.

“Our agreement with China Satcom is a significant step towards realizing a seamless global community of high performance IFC. China Satcom is now the only satellite operator and licensed service provider in China with the bandwidth resources to deliver the in-flight experience our airline customers have come to expect and depend on,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, Viasat. “Our partnership is a natural way to extend state-of-the-art services specific to China Satcom’s fleet and the China domestic market, and create a global roaming alliance for our existing and new domestic and international customers and the rapidly growing Chinese global commercial airline fleet. We are honored to work with China Satcom in China to make IFC-at-scale a reality.”

Viasat and China Satcom will jointly develop and share in future China-based IFC business.

  • Viasat will deliver and support its award-winning IFC equipment to airlines tailored for use on the China Satcom network. Today approximately 2,000 global aircraft are already served by, or planned for use on Viasat’s ViaSat-1 and KA-SAT satellites, as well as compatible satellites operating in AustraliaBrazil, and other cooperating regional and global markets.
  • China Satcom will leverage its telecommunications service provider business license, operating expertise, and existing ground infrastructure to lead delivery of advanced IFC services to the airlines. China Satcom’s growing Ka-band fleet includes the already operational ChinaSat-16 satellite as well as ChinaSat-18, planned for launch later in 2019.

Per the terms of the agreement, each company will maintain its own intellectual property and will operate its equipment using a multi-layered approach to network services. This agreement specifically covers commercial aviation IFC, but could extend into the development of new connectivity applications for other ancillary markets in China. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 11, 2018– Turkish Technic and HAVELSAN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Inmarsat on development of integrated inflight connectivity and entertainment solutions.

As part of the collaboration, the three companies will offer a joint solution for emerging markets, which integrates Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution with the Turkish Technic-HAVELSAN inflight entertainment system.

Ahmet Karaman, CEO of Turkish Technic, said: “The Turkish aviation market is the centre of growth in this region. We continue to make major strides in fulfilling the product and maintenance requirements of operators with high-end solutions. Our inflight entertainment system developed with HAVELSAN, provides a seamless travel experience and will become even more desirable to operators with the addition of Inmarsat inflight connectivity.”

Ahmet Hamdi Atalay, CEO of HAVELSAN, said: ”Turkish Technic and HAVELSAN’s inflight entertainment system will gain increased synergy and power through our collaboration with Inmarsat. From serving the fastest growing aviation market of the world, in Turkey, the system is now a global product.”

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “This region is home to one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and offers significant opportunities for inflight connectivity and entertainment providers. We look forward to joining hands with two of Turkey’s leading companies in this field, Turkish Technic and HAVELSAN, to provide airlines with a truly world-class integrated offering that combines our key strengths.”

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 12, 2018– SITAONAIR has been appointed as connected aircraft service consultant and technology supplier to Taqnia Space, leveraging its significant inflight connectivity (IFC) expertize, to enable the Saudi company to bring its UON offer to airlines.

In this new role and way of working, SITAONAIR is supporting the development of Taqnia Space’s-own unique UON solutions line, by drawing on SITAONAIR’s leading inflight internet and mobile connectivity technologies. Going forward, SITAONAIR will be responsible for supporting the ongoing management of services and infrastructure involved in the delivery of Taqnia Space’s UON solutions. Taqnia Space will deploy its UON services across both Ku- and Ka-band High-throughput Satellite connectivity.

As consultant – and the world’s primary provider of inflight mobile connectivity – a key aspect of SITAONAIR’s appointment is guiding the development of Taqnia Space’s 3.5G inflight mobile service for passengers. SITAONAIR recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of its Mobile ONAIR service, and Taqnia Space is harnessing SITAONAIR’s proven, pioneering approach in this field. For Taqnia Space’s internet solution, meanwhile, SITAONAIR will expertly integrate live TV as a specific UON portal feature.

David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR, says: “We are thrilled to have been selected by Taqnia Space for our considerable connected aircraft expertize, advising this new company to develop its defined UON inflight connectivity solutions for airlines. With us, Taqnia Space has been able to advance its innovations in the most efficient and effective way possible.

“This project reinforces SITAONAIR’s openness to new technologies and consortiums that advance airline industry choice, and our sheer versatility, skill and expertize in being able to deliver new, bespoke services across different platforms and hardware, and operate them on behalf of a partner. I am proud that our company is adding yet another string to its bow as a recognized connected aircraft expert. It complements SITAONAIR’s own and branded, best-in-class, Internet ONAIR, Mobile ONAIR, Link ONAIR and CrewTab inflight connectivity services for passengers and crew, with which our prestigious airline customers are already leading the charge for a modern, world-class passenger experience.”

To discover SITAONAIR’s end-to-end connected aircraft proposition, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact,submit an enquiry form or explore www.sitaonair.aero.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Panasonic News from APEX:

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


Astronics Acquires Telefonix Inc.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


First A320neo assembled in Tianjin delivered to Air Asia

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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