FTS & Global Onboard Partners sign agreement to provide industry-transforming ancillary revenue services to airlines.

Boston, USA | September 25, 2018– FTS and Global Onboard Partners are proud to announce at the APEX EXPO Boston 2018 their agreement to work together to promote, design, and offer a seamless inflight entertainment and ancillary revenue service for airlines around the globe. FTS, a global provider of wireless inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions, and Global Onboard Partners, a provider of unique inflight advertising products, will combine their patented onboard technology, hardware and products to offer airlines the most comprehensive, revenue generating IFE solution in the industry.

“Global Onboard Partners maintains a network of sales partners and advertising brands that can reach more than 350 Million passengers a year across the global network,” said Global Onboard Partners CEO Kirk Adams, “Integrating our extensive network and our unique products into the FTS XStream hardware and software makes perfect sense and is allowing us to eliminate the costly barrier to entry for an embedded IFE system. We can now offer a full-service, certified IFE system, including all hardware, software, and ancillary support, with no costs up front. We provide the full system for a low, flat monthly fee comparable to a portable system which gives both FTS and Global Onboard Partners the opportunity to expand our footprints in the industry and grow moving forward.”

FTS SVP Darrel Chua added, “We are very excited to work with Global Onboard Partners and their talented team. Our fully integrated XStream IFE solution will not only be a market leader for its hardware and software but will be capable of tapping into new and unique proven ancillary revenue opportunities for airlines.”

Another APEX has gone by and there were some interesting changes and new technologies at the Boston Experience. Specifically, here are a few of the event “big deals” we saw. And you should note, some of the technologies and business deals will be with us for years and impact the industry for some time. Here are just a few of the deals and trends to watch, and note, in the forthcoming weeks, we will do future stories on many more vendors and many more products beyond the quick look presented here:

  • Panasonic and Inmarsat announced a strategic partnership to expand their relationship of inflight connectivity at Ku and Ka bands. This collaboration has the potential to offer a better inflight connectivity solution worldwide because of the existing fixed satcom installations at some 22,300 feet. Watch this relationship as it unfolds.We understand that the deal will be finalized by the end of October.
  • Another “big deal” is the clever acquisition of Rockwell Collins Paves IFE hardware, software, manufacturing, and manpower solution by digEcor. While the official announcement will be made later, almost everyone we saw had the story. The acquisition is a brilliant growth path for digEcor. Interestingly, Paul Margis and Gene Connelly were in the picture and no doubt were fans of a wider product base offerings. With some 1400 (est.) planes installed with Paves, digEcor is off and running with a full range of IFE, not to mention some items of which are line fit offerable at both Boeing and Airbus!
  • Astronics displayed a wide range of products including their IFE solutions. Included was an overhead bin sensor that will advise if passengers (or crew) left an object behind. This product can detect the bin environment including temperature, humidity, chemicals, as well as carry-ons left behind. Another potential product that we really liked was a light connectivity (LiFi) cabin solution displayed by Mark Schwartz of PDT. Their test displayed a video (high res) with no wired connection. More on this in future articles.

You will be able to see a lot more of the show on our website in the form of images in the coming weeks, as well as, finer tuned and more detailed articles on the expo.

In general, the expo this year told us the following:

1. In general, the IFE industry is developing smaller, lighter weight modular systems. A perfect example of this is the Panasonic NEXT System which is planned for the B777X in 2020. They cleverly built a room wall with the hardware laid out with connection paths so that the system and its options were easily understood – great communication concept.

2. One of the big aviation travel features is connectivity and passengers continue to demand contact with the ground. Further, since so many of today’s PEDs have entertainment capability, inflight bandwidth demand is escalating!

3. Analytics of everything on the plane is increasing and data requirements are growing to help improve plane/ground connectivity.

4. Panasonic is breaking some new ground in the application of improved passenger flight experience and wellness. This will be a big deal in future travel, especially in upper classes. To give you an idea of one of the areas impacted, entertainment hearing improvement was demonstrated with the software on an iPad that adjusted frequency response based on a traveler’s entered age. It was amazing!

6.The connectivity industry is now in a waiting pattern to see if LEO satcom technology will come on line as purported. Obviously, bandwidth requirements are growing and since the satcom density is greater with LEO’s, the ability of more bandwidth is there. Watch this one!

7. People are returning to the IFE industry and a good example, is Mythopoeia. The company is making a new IFE solution and it’s leader is Terrence Bonar!

8. Artificial Intelligence has landed in inflight entertainment and many airlines now use companies like Black Swan Data to better connect passengers from flight-to-flight and use algorithms to load products and prices.

9. No doubt you have heard, but people changes seem to be a big part of the industry this year. Stay Tuned on this one.

10. KID Systems has the slickest seatback USB plug – It just slides/snaps in and has no external power wires! We will have pix for you soon.

And yes, there was much more to see, which we will cover in future editions of IFExpress!


APEX OPENING SESSION SUMMARY

As usual APEX started of the week-long event with a Welcome & Introduction seminar, what was unique about this year’s opening was there were 6 C Level airline executives present that addressed their airline’s focus for the next 12 months. Their topics ranged from how to utilize personalization, the implementation of bio-metrics, and improving connectivity.  Below are the highlights from each airline representatives’ presentation.

The first to speak was American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, who focused on the airline’s transformation since the acquisition of US Airways in 2013. Mr. Parker stated that they have invested over $26 billion in the process of which $19 billion has gone to the acquisition of 500 new jetliners. He stated there is a night to day difference in their onboard offering over the past 5 years. An example is they no longer have an inseat IFE offering onboard their 737 MAX. Instead, they feature 12 channels of live television, as well as, paid for Wi-Fi streaming to PEDs. He also stated that premium economy will soon be available on all of American Airlines international fleet and that it has been well received and is in high demand on those aircraft that it has been installed on.

Stephen Kavanagh, CEO & executive director of Aer Lingus was the next to address the APEX throng. He stated that starting in 2019 the airline was going to refresh their brand. This will encompass free 20 MB of free Wi-Fi for economy class service. A new livery and new flight crew uniforms are included in the package. The refresh will be included on 12 new A321neo long-range jets. The updated image will reflect Aer Lingus’ modern outlook, as well as, their desire to be the leading value carrier across the Atlantic. The airline is also focusing on making changes based on Net Promoter Score (NPS) and are targeting to be in the 40 – 50 point range across all business categories. Examples of areas that have greatly improved their NPS yield are improved quality in their audio headsets and investing in better IFE screens – improvements that transformed their onboard passenger experience, bumping their NPS up significantly.

Passenger service improvements were the focus of Aeromexico’s CEO Andres Conesa. Mr. Conesa stated that it was irrelevant if you offered great inflight service, IFEC, or wonderful seats unless your flight departed on time. He stated that the most important thing is consistency and the way that Aeromexico is aiming to achieve this is through branded fares that allow the passenger to tailor their ticket to exactly what they want, as well as, standardizing their fleet from 7 different aircraft models down to 3 has also facilitated their plan. Presently, whether it is an international short, medium or long-haul flight passengers will have access to connectivity, IFE, free food and drink.

LATAM Airlines Group also considered NPS. Their NPS indicated that passengers were most concerned about the cabin experience. Consequently, the airline plans to invest $400 million over the next 3 years to retrofit the cabins on 67% of their fleet. Claudia Sender, CEO of LATAM Brasil and VP of Customers for LATAM Airlines Group said that the program will commence in January of 2019. The airline will be revamping the passenger experience in an effort to provide a more relaxing space. Simultaneously, LATAM will be expanding its route network through their joint venture with the IAG Group and American Airlines.

Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO of Air Canada, addressed the rebrand that Air Canada is currently undergoing. Having recently launched Rouge, the airline’s leisure brand, they wanted to make certain that Air Canada was distinguished as their mainline brand maintained its role as a leading brand globally. The first step towards maintaining this clarification between product offerings was the launch of a new livery for Air Canada – a black tail with the return of the red maple leaf. New food and beverage offerings, new uniforms and the rebranding of their premium product are part of the program as well. All of this sounds fairly normal until Mr. Rovinescu started discussing the 5-star restaurant and BMW limousine service for their full-fare international business class passengers at Air Canada’s Toronto hub! Mr. Rovinescu was also the recipient of the APEX Life Time Achievement Award.

Spirit Airlines CEO, Robert Fornaro spoke during one of the educational tracks dubbed Invest in The Guest: Utilization of Technology to Enhance PaxEx. During the breakout session Mr. Fornaro looked back to the early days of the leisure carrier, stating that what they had to offer the traveler was low prices and that was about it. When Fornaro took the helm he airline wanted to “invest in the guest” but didn’t want to select any connectivity offering, he wanted a solution that would fit Spirit’s business model. This led Spirit to be the launch customer for Thales’ FlytLIVE high throughput Ka-band satellite service. The system not only provides streaming capabilities, but the platform allows access to a large amount of analytics which facilitate ancillary revenue generation, understand the passenger, develop their value proposition, and truly fine tune their passengers experience.

Company says offer of award-winning IFE solution for visually impaired passengers is “the right thing to do”
APEX EXPO, Boston USA | September 24, 2018– At APEX EXPO, Bluebox Aviation Systems has announced that all existing and new customers of Bluebox’s iPad-based IFE platforms will benefit from the company’s development of Bluebox aIFE, an app for visually impaired passengers that won a Crystal Cabin Award earlier this year. For all Bluebox iPad devices currently in service, Bluebox offers to provide the upgrade free of charge, in line with device update cycles. The combined build platform will also be offered to any new customers of iPad-based IFE deployments at no extra cost. The combined build enables cabin crew to switch between the standard IFE mode (Bluebox Ai or Bluebox Hybrid, a Wi-Fi enabled version of Bluebox Ai) and accessibility mode (Bluebox aIFE) depending on a passenger’s needs.

“Since launching Bluebox aIFE with Virgin Atlantic, we developed a way of combining the standard and accessible versions on the same device,” said Kevin Clark, CEO, Bluebox. “Recognising how simple it is to update Virgin Atlantic’s iPads, we thought we would be just extend the same capability to all of our customers. Having worked with a group of visually impaired people in the system’s development, and hearing the feedback from Virgin Atlantic passengers about what it means to be able to use the system, we felt it was the right thing to do, and could be our contribution to directly improving the passenger experience of visually impaired passengers around the world.”
Bluebox worked closely with Virgin Atlantic and a group of visually impaired people from the UK charity Guide Dogs in the development of the original Bluebox aIFE platform, which has been entertaining passengers with visual impairments aboard Virgin Atlantic flights serving destinations across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, China, India and the Middle East.
The combined build offers airlines providing IFE a two-in-one solution for ensuring IFE is available to all passengers throughout their flight – at a tap of an on-screen button, a cabin crew member selects the accessible version for someone who is visually impaired, or the standard IFE mode. When the devices are offered for rent during a flight, it means visually impaired passenger can take up the offer just like anyone else. Or, where the devices are used for service recovery on an aircraft with seatback IFE, it means the same device can be used as the primary screen for a visually impaired passenger or as a backup if any other passenger’s seatback screen malfunctions.
Bluebox will upgrade devices in line with the deployment cycles of existing customers taking up the offer, working with them closely to ensure they understand how the new functionality works. For any new customer of Bluebox Ai or Bluebox Hybrid, the combined build with Bluebox aIFE can be included in the initial deployment.

At this year’s APEX we thought it would be interesting to watch out for the following as examples of potential show announcements: consolidations; large companies seeking smaller companies and ancillary products; and even passenger apps that help expand business, save money and allow for personalized customer experiences. And without saying, there will be more industry changes to write about in the coming weeks. True to form, this week’s Hot Topic primarily pertains Astronics, a big player that is getting even bigger. With recent acquisitions, Astronics is expanding and diversifying within the aviation realm. We were fortunate enough to have some questions answered by Executive Vice President, Mark Peabody and several other company Division Presidents.

1. Mark, could you please provide us with a broad statement on company updates: number of subsidiaries, number of employees, locations, and a broad product focus to set the stage?

Astronics serves the world’s aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries with innovative power, lighting, connectivity, interiors, structures, and service solutions. Comprised of 11 subsidiaries, the Company employs nearly 3,000 team members in locations around the globe.

2. How many of the Astronics’ subsidiaries deal with data and connectivity for the aviation industry and who are they?

Five of Astronics subsidiaries provide connectivity and data solutions for the aviation industry, as outlined below:

  • Astronics Ballard Technology – Aircraft data systems
  • Astronics AeroSat – Connectivity solutions including IFC antennas and radome systems
  • Astronics Connectivity Systems & Certification (formerly Telefonix and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace) – Inflight entertainment hardware systems, including installation design, kitting, and certification
  •  Astronics Custom Control Concepts – VIP IFE and CMS systems
  • Astronics PGA – VIP IFE and CMS systems

Astronics CCC and PGA often cooperate on providing solutions together for the VIP/BizAv markets. For the purposes of this article, we will include information from Astronics Ballard Technology, Astronics AeroSat, and Astronics CSC, where their product lines serve the needs of commercial transport.

3. What specific products/systems (antennas, WAPs, servers, data storage, etc.) does Astronics currently manufacture via their subsidiaries?

For commercial aircraft, Astronics offers a broad system of hardware and software components to help customers create complete system solutions. These include:

Aircraft Data Systems – New smart sensing systems, aircraft interface devices, avionics I/O computers, avionics test & simulation interfaces, and other data and connectivity related products.

Inflight Entertainment Hardware Systems – Cabin wireless access points, IFE content loaders and servers, modem managers, custom IFEC LRUs, corded and cordless control units, and systems certification services.

IFC Antennas and Radome Systems – Complete connectivity system solutions including Aircraft SATCOM Ku-band antenna systems, aircraft radomes, adapter plates, and other necessary system components.

Here is a link that outlines our offerings.

Power to Support IFE. In addition, we support inflight entertainment and connectivity for the airlines with integrated IFE seatback power systems. We also support the passengers in a BYOD environment by providing in-seat power systems to keep their devices charged while consuming content.

4.What features and benefits do the data and connectivity products from Astronics have over the competition?

  • Collaborative partner with product development, engineering, integration, and certification services for program success
  • Proven experience in the ecosystem – serve all major IFE ad IFEC providers with the most pertinent technology to provide a solution
  • Customer-centric solutions ranging from a simple LRU to an entire system
  • Breadth of product line, single supplier advantage
  • System agnostic hardware components, supports most IFE suppliers
  • Open architecture systems, putting the customer in control of their data
  • Vertically integrated engineering for fast solution deployment
  • Systems installation design, kitting, and certification, in house

5. Broadly speaking, how many aircraft have this type of your equipment installed today?

We have some systems with large installed bases, and some that are new to the market. Some of our product lines are on a few hundred aircraft, and in other connectivity product lines, we estimate that we supply about 85% of long haul aircraft. The numbers of installations, and the numbers of systems per aircraft, are not always reported back to us. In general, we estimate that Astronics connectivity and data solutions are in service on thousands of commercial aircraft worldwide.

6. We asked Mark what types of data and connectivity are provided. Specifically, is Astronics providing any other types of data connectivity besides passenger related – if any? Flight data, computational analysis, AI? And how is it used: on the aircraft, on the ground, both?

Here are the inputs from three of our various Division Presidents.

From Jon Neal, President of Astronics Ballard Technology: Astronics Ballard Technology provides connectivity from aircraft data systems to pilot and crew devices. Through our aircraft interface device products including the webFB and webCS, we host applications that can process that aircraft data and provide useful information in real-time to pilots and crew as well as off the aircraft (with a connectivity system). We work with third party software developers that create helpful applications such as en-route optimizations, fuel savings, weather avoidance, electronic logbooks, data processing/analytics on the aircraft, storage of operational manuals/procedures, and many more. We also provide a Quick Access Recorder application that allows for collection of aircraft data to be downloaded off the aircraft later for analysis.”

From Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC): “Astronics CSC’s Summit Line of connectivity products serve up passenger connectivity on board the aircraft. Our offerings include servers, content loaders, cabin wireless access points, and other related equipment for the industry’s inflight entertainment providers. We estimate that over time, we have enabled the internet of flight with 16,000 LRUs plus 20 million IFEC cradle and cord reel assemblies in both linefit and retrofit installations.”

And from Matt Harrah, President of Astronics AeroSat: “Equipment from Astronics AeroSat bridges the connectivity on and off the plane to deliver passenger connectivity via Ku-band satellite networks (both traditional wide-beam and next generation HTS spot-beam satellites). Passengers use our bandwidth for internet streaming (emails, text, videos, movies, etc). Our FliteStream Series antennas come in both tail-mount and fuselage-mount versions and serve as today’s highest performing antenna technology, with a bandwidth/spectrum RF efficiency that provides the least impact to satellite network operators while providing cost benefits for aircraft operators. Astronics’ IFC system incorporates an open architecture, with the ability to work across satellite networks and minimize connectivity costs. Finally, our new AeroShield Radom System delivers the lowest drag to reduce fuel burn costs for aircraft operators with connectivity.”

7. Let us now continue with Mark: As a result of these company acquisitions that can deliver complete IFE systems, has this caused Astronics to rethink what and how you sell? In other words, some of the newer subsidiary acquisitions never sold directly to the airline, instead they were suppliers to other IFEC vendors. Is there a new strategy now? Along the same lines, historically when we have visited the Astronics booth at a trade show we would see various ‘boxes’ that help comprise an IFE system. Can we now expect to see an “Astronics IFE System(s)” in the near future?

Astronics intends to remain system agnostic and primarily support our partners in creating complete IFE systems. Our solutions enable global airlines, inflight connectivity providers, systems integrators, and airframe manufacturers to create seamless connectivity experiences.

8. Was there a future company strategy involved in the acquisition of companies involved in data, data analysis, data transmission/acquisition or did acquisitions happen more based on dollars and/or complimentary diversification to the existing business model?

Astronics looks opportunistically at companies that are available to acquire and certainly considers long-term strategy as part of our decision to move forward.

9. In the past, Astronics has been a data communicator. Do you see a future whereby Astronics is going to be a data analyzer? In other words, historically Astronics data efforts have been directed more toward passenger data. Do you see Astronics adding more data sources and considering data analysis? Furthermore, since around 1990, aviation has seen an increasing value of, and usage of data, to-and-from the aircraft. As technologies like Artificial Intelligence and massive data analysis have provided better analytical information of things like engines and onboard computers, the use of data both to-and-from the airplane is helping things like maintenance, failure prediction and longer operational usage. Thus, data is becoming a very new and important part of aircraft operations, fault isolation and monitoring. Add this to an increase of passenger usage of data to-and-from the plane will be another part of data growth. The only question is will the airplane use one or multiple data systems and connectivity to deliver the data to the ground? While passenger data has been primarily (we guess) Astronics connectivity reason, we were wondering if this new data avenue is part of your future data goals?

Astronics understands the importance of data and analytics. Our goal is to enable our airline and airframe customers to access their data, and use this data to run their operations more efficiently. We provide the hardware, firmware, and software to make this happen. Let’s hear from Jon Neal, President of Astronics Ballard Technology on this subject as well: “The choices of what networks to use on the aircraft along with the number and types of off-aircraft connectivity systems to implement are challenging issues that our customers face. Given our breadth of experience in aircraft data systems and the integration of various hardware systems to all work together, we believe that we are a great partner to our customers when navigating these choices.”

10. One or more of your recent subsidiary acquisitions have established manufacturing business relationships with China and Astronics has successfully marketed the EmPower product line to Chinese airlines over the years. As an industry leader with this much experience in the PRC, how do you see the recent trade disagreements between the USA and Chine affecting the IFEC industry as a whole?

Business climates can suddenly change. Trade disagreements can affect our industry, and we focus on ensuring our business offers a balanced global reach so that we can absorb the ebb and flow of these issues.

11. What will Astronics be showing at APEX in Boston?

At this year’s APEX Expo, Astronics will display a variety of power and connectivity solutions that improve passenger experiences and aircraft operational efficiencies. For seamless passenger and crew connectivity, Astronics will demonstrate a newly certified FliteStream inflight connectivity system hardware plus their Summit Line inflight entertainment system hardware. In power solutions, Astronics will present a breadth of new EmPower in-cabin products for use by passengers and crew, including a new wireless charging module and a new USB Type-C passenger power system. The Astronics SmartTray passenger PED holder will round out the offerings.

During the show, booth visitors who tweet a photo from the Astronics booth with the tag @AstronicsCorp and the hashtag #APEXexpo will be entered to win an iPad with an Apple store gift card to enjoy IFE content on the way home. View all of these solutions and enter to win in the Astronics booth, #343.

For additional information on Astronics power and connectivity solutions, visit Astronics.com.

Astronics also plans to demonstrate some brand new technologies, including an intelligent bin sensing solution, which provides bin capacity and other bin data to crews for increased safety, faster passenger boarding times, and improved operational efficiencies. The other new technology Astronics will feature is an exploration of Li-Fi, and ideas for harnessing it for use on aircraft. Li-Fi leverages light to send information, in contrast to Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves. Proven capable of transferring unprecedented data at several Gigabits per second, Li-Fi could eventually empower passengers to download an HD video in just a few seconds, for example.


INMARSAT & PANASONIC

Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) have agreed a strategic collaboration, for an initial ten-year period, that enables them to combine their highly complementary market leading services to offer broadband in-flight connectivity (“IFC”) paired with high-value solutions and services to customers in the commercial aviation industry worldwide.

This collaboration will enable airlines, aircraft manufacturers and passengers to benefit from the combined expertise of two companies that have been at the forefront of technology and innovation for nearly four decades.

Under the terms of the agreement, Inmarsat will become Panasonic’s exclusive provider of Ka-band IFC for commercial aviation. Panasonic will now be able to offer Inmarsat’s high-speed, broadband connectivity service, GX Aviation, powered by Global Xpress, the world’s first global Ka-band satellite network, owned and managed by a single operator. Panasonic will continue to invest in its own network and, with GX Aviation as a primary offering for new business, will be perfectly positioned to serve both its current and future customers.

In addition, Inmarsat will now be able to offer Panasonic’s market-leading portfolio of services and NEXT solutions to Inmarsat’s commercial aviation customers. This includes customer support services available from Panasonic’s Customer Performance Center and Technical Services teams.

The collaboration, which is already being deployed with a mutual customer, presents a unique opportunity to leverage Inmarsat’s proven track record of high-quality and innovative global mobile connectivity, and Panasonic’s market-leading in-flight entertainment, digital services and connectivity solutions.

Looking forward, Inmarsat and Panasonic will also collaborate on the development of a next generation GX Aviation terminal, as well as new connectivity-enabled services, data analytics and technology to improve overall end-to-end performance.
By delivering this step-change in aviation services capability, airlines will have access to new and better solutions that address widely recognized industry challenges of capacity, coverage and compatibility. This will give greater quality, consistency of experience and more choice to airlines and their passengers in the IFC market, which by some estimates could exceed $100 billion by 2035[1].

FliteStream SATCOM connectivity and AeroShield radome solutions certified on

East Aurora, NY | September 19, 2018 – Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics AeroSat, recently received the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Validation of Supplemental Type Certification (VSTC) of its satellite communications (SATCOM) connectivity system. Specifically, the VSTC validates Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream F-310 connectivity system and its new ARINC 791-style AeroShield radome and adapter plate system. Complete data for this inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFE&C) solution is available in CAAC VSTC0870.

According to Matthew Harrah, President of Astronics AeroSat, “We are excited to announce the completion of our CAAC VSTC covering our inflight internet connectivity systems on Boeing 737-800/900/900ER aircraft for China installations. This enables Astronics to offer our Chinese customer base a proven & reliable IFE&C solution for next-gen Ku-Band high-throughput satellite (HTS) networks, which includes installation and all structural, antenna, and radome system components. The customer can pair the FliteStream IFC with either the Astronics CSC’s SummitTM line of in-cabin IFE equipment for an integrated, scalable, high-performance solution or with their own IFE equipment supplier of choice.”

With industry-leading technical performance, Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream fuselage-mounted antenna systems are ready to improve the Chinese airline passenger connectivity experience.

“This CAAC VSTC, along with the in-process European EASA STC, and the near term A320-family STC, will provide global opportunities for airline operators and passengers to experience the benefits of our FliteStream & AeroShield connectivity solutions,” Harrah continued.

About the FliteStream F-310 Satellite Connectivity System

Astronics AeroSat’s FliteStream solutions are the only products available with patented lens-horn technology, which creates the most efficient, reliable and highest-performing SATCOM antenna system available. The FliteStream F-310 integrates next-generation satellite modem technology and is the only system in production today that is compatible with next generation Ku-band high throughput satellites and iDirect Velocity networks, which provides maximum internet and data speeds in a single antenna.

Key features include:

  • Seamless connectivity for passengers to browse the internet, send and receive emails, make calls using Voice-Over-IP (VoIP), access virtual private network (VPN) services,
    conduct video conferences, and enjoy favorite
    work or entertainment applications
  • Most efficient Ku-band SATCOM antenna system, critical for maintaining low angle satellite coverage while flying at higher latitudes, where most flights occur
  • A three-piece LRU system: antenna, antenna controller & modem, and high power transceiver
  • Compliance with RTCA DO-160 and RTCA DO-178

About the AeroShield ARINC 791-Style Radome & Adapter Plate System

Astronics AeroSat’s AeroShield radome and adapter plate solution is the only next-generation ARINC 791- style solution that provides optimal Ku-band performance combined with the lowest drag design, while meeting all FAA & EASA bird strike safety requirements.

Key features include:

  • Aerodynamic shape to reduce drag and increase fuel savings
  • FAA & EASA bird strike compliance for large radome installations, to reduce certification time and cost
  • Sealing robustness against fluid intrusion from water, ice, deicing fluids and other environmental conditions
  • Advanced aluminum adapter plate design to minimize total IFC system weight
  • Connectivity systems commonality & interchangeability across entire fleetsAstronics AeroSat keeps people connected no matter where they fly. For over a decade, Astronics AeroSat has provided fuselage- and tail-mounted SATCOM solutions for general aviation, business aviation, commercial transport, VVIP, and military aircraft around the world. Learn more at Astronics.com.

If you have just decided to attend APEX/AIX Boston and are looking for hotels near the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) checkout the Seaport District. We note that three of the hotels located near the BCEC are full for the dates of the show but there are at least seven large ones nearby and many more a taxi ride away, so open the map on the following link for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center and nearby hotels: Seaport District Hotels

Here is a visitors guide that might help during your visit to Boston. The guide has 19 pages of restaurants alone and tons of hotels: 2018 OVG (148 pages your computer). This is all you need to locate just about anything you will need while visiting the city. And yes, it has a map and bus routes! Lastly, here is the latest floor plan for exhibitors to see who is where.

Also, do not forget the Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX, Boston) will be there as well, as it is the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, organized by Reed Exhibitions, it is the sister event to AIX Hamburg. The co-location with APEX EXPO and IFSA EXPO enables the entire supply chain and airlines to experience the full spectrum of aircraft interior products and passenger services in one city.

So now, lets get down to this week’s news:


LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS

More robust, more powerful: BoardConnect Portable enables high-quality streaming for up to 100 users from a single device. Lufthansa Systems will present this new generation of its award-winning solution at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX) in Boston (September 25 to 27). The brand-new prototype will be displayed at booth no. 753. Lufthansa Technik will present its Lconnect hardware and service package at the same stand.

“With BoardConnect, we are currently one of the fastest-growing providers for wireless in- flight entertainment (IFE) in the aviation industry, and we are among the top five in the market with our multi-award-winning solution and wide product range,” said Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “The demand for IFE and IFEC solutions continues to grow. Our close cooperation with Lufthansa Technik and other partners gives us a decisive competitive advantage here.”

The new generation of BoardConnect Portable is even more flexible, powerful and robust, with an impressive modular concept. The new Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) corresponds to a real server platform including all necessary access points. It can supply twice as many users with high-quality IFE streaming as the first generation. This means that in future one MSU will still be powerful enough to support one single-aisle aircraft, even if the airline expects higher usage rates. Thanks to its modularity, the new BoardConnect Portable can be individually tailored to the needs of the airline.

BoardConnect Portable can also be supplemented with Iridium NEXT technology upon request. This product, known as BoardConnect Portable/Link, has a low bandwidth and enables services such as messaging and online payment. The required antenna can be installed in a suitable position in the cabin without the need for an STC. The smart STC-free service is part of the Lconnect product family from Lufthansa Technik and only requires a minor modification. Lconnect comprises all relevant services to equip an aircraft with IFE and IFEC. In addition to the physical installation, this includes all required aeronautical and regulatory work, conversion planning and materials supply, the manufacture of diverse high- end components such as the WLAN access point, the supply of materials in regular flight operations, and the repair of defective components.

Another highlight from Lufthansa Systems will take place even before the trade fair opens this year. For the first time in the history of the APEX EXPO, the event will start above the clouds with an exclusive pre-conference on board an Airbus A350. The Lufthansa #FlyingLab APEX EXPO on September 22nd on Flight LH424 from Munich to Boston is being organized by Lufthansa in cooperation with Lufthansa Systems and APEX. Videos of the live presentations will be streamed via WLAN so passengers can follow them on their own smartphones, tablets or laptops. The WLAN on board is based on BoardConnect. This is one more example of the variety of potential uses of the digital platform. “We are delighted to present the Lufthansa #FlyingLab for the APEX EXPO this year together with Lufthansa and APEX. This exceptional event at an altitude of 10,000 meters will vividly show how innovative technologies and smart ideas can contribute to a new dimension of the passenger experience,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes four hardware versions: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portable version as well as the BoardConnect Plus (broadband) and BoardConnect Portable/Link (messaging) connectivity solutions. The digital BoardConnect 5.0 platform runs on all versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables additional digital services from partners to be integrated quickly and easily. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with its BoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination. The different versions make it possible to scale the use of the products as needed.

Image: New BoradConnect Portable Case


LATECOERE

Latécoère, through its Interconnection Systems branch – No. 2 worldwide in onboard wiring and No. 1 worldwide in embedded video systems- has been selected for its “Direct View” cabin video system by Lufthansa Technik as part of its redesigned A320 cabin offering.This equipment was specially designed to allow the flight crew to maintain a watch for passenger safety issues during critical flight phases and responds perfectly to the priority issues for on-board security.

The Latécoère “Direct View” system is a high-tech solution providing a direct view of passenger seating and aisles throughout all flight phases. Developed in close co-operation with Lufthansa Technik and EASA representatives, over 130 shipsets of aircraft parts are already scheduled for delivery.

Latécoère remains confident in its ability to extend its offering to other customers with Lufthansa Technik, one of the leading providers of maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification services for civil aircraft.


GORE

W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. (Gore) will exhibit an extensive collection of GORE Aerospace Cables and Materials for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) at the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) Expo in Boston, MA, on September 24-27, Booth 801. For decades, Gore has provided the aerospace industry with new and trusted solutions that deliver failure-free performance in challenging conditions. Gore’s high-performance solutions in durable, compact, flexible and routable designs meet today’s and tomorrow’s requirements for reliable high-speed data transfer and high-bandwidth signals on digital networks. Passengers and flight crews can take off and stay connected on devices and critical systems while traveling, and installers will find them easier and faster to route in narrow aircraft configurations.

Solutions that will be on display at the expo include GORE Microwave/RF Assemblies that deliver precise radio frequency for Ka, Ku and L Band satellite applications, as well as GORE Leaky Feeder Antennas that deliver constant connectivity to a variety of wireless networks. Also featured will be GORE Aerospace High Speed Data Cables that support the latest open-source architectures and standardized protocols such as HDMI, USB, Ethernet, and more. Finally, Gore will be showing their revolutionary cable jacket systems that are proven to meet stricter industry requirements for more durability and protection in difficult aircraft environments.


FLAME DISTRIBUTION

Flame Distribution will be launching over 400 hours of new content this autumn and will be attending this year’s APEX Expo to offer its latest acquisitions to Inflight buyers worldwide.

Thomas Gould, VP Content Sales, Worldwide Transport & Digital at Flame Distribution, who is attending APEX Expo, commented: “Inflight sales are an important focus for Flame. I am really looking forward to meeting clients old and new and continuing to forge strong relationships with buyers at this year’s market.”


AIRFREE

Airfree, the marketplace of the sky that reinvents the inflight shopping experience onboard connected aircraft, will exhibit during the APEX show in Boston next week.They are announcing this week our selection in Starburst Accelerator program – the startups incubator specializing in aerospace – to accelerate our international development. You can discover more on their introduction video here


AIRBUS

  • AIRBUS appointed Christian Scherer as Chief Commercial Officer, replacing Eric Schulz, who resigned. The company is expected to name Scherer’s replacement as CEO in the coming days. Scherer will start his new assignment with immediate effect. He will report to Airbus Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tom Enders. Christian Scherer, CEO of ATR since October 2016, held many senior management positions within the Group. At Airbus, where he started his career in 1984, Christian was Head of Contracts, Leasing Markets and Deputy Head of Sales as well as Head of Strategy and Future Programmes. At Airbus Defence and Space, he headed Marketing & Sales. Born in Duisburg, Germany, and raised in Toulouse, France, Christian Scherer holds an MBA Degree from the University of Ottawa in international marketing and graduated from the Paris Business School (ESCP).
  • The first A380 for All Nippon Airways (ANA) took to the skies, completing a maiden flight from the Final Assembly Line (FAL) in Toulouse, France to the Airbus site in Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft is now being prepared for cabin installation and painting in the airline’s special A380 livery. ANA HOLDINGS INC. placed a firm order for three A380s in 2016, becoming the first customer for the superjumbo in Japan.  The first delivery is scheduled early 2019, and the A380 will initially be operated on the popular Tokyo-Honolulu route. To date, Airbus has delivered 229 A380s, with the aircraft now in services with 14 airlines worldwide.
  • AIRBUS booked 274 orders (219 net) in 2018, through August 31.

BOEING

  • Boeing awarded a $3 million grant to the George W. Bush Institute’s Global Leadership Impact Center. The grant, part of a previously announced $10 million donation to the Institute, will support women’s empowerment and global leadership programs aimed at promoting education, healthcare and economic opportunity for women around the world.
  • Boeing and Air Peace of Nigeria today announced a new order for ten 737 MAX 8 airplanes during a signing ceremony in Lagos. Air Peace already operates Boeing 737s between major cities in Central and West Africa. The airline, which recently added Boeing 777s to its fleet, is looking to soon launch its international flight operations.
  • The Boeing Company announced that Phil Musser, senior vice president of Communications, will depart the company in early November due to personal and family considerations. Anne Toulouse, current Boeing vice president of Global Brand Management, will replace Musser on an interim basis until a permanent successor is named.
  • A Boeing B787 completed a SFO – Zurich flight powered by a blend of biojet fuel (30%) derived from Carinata, an oilseed crop that can be grown like food crops. Agrisoma Biosciences (Canada) partnered with United and World Energy to complete the test.
  • BOEING booked 738 orders (581 net) in 2018.

Ted Neck’s Passing

Ted Neck, who was the long time representative for Panasonic and responsible for many of the trade show exhibits that graced the WAEA and APEX. Ted died unexpectedly on Thursday, 9/13 from a heart attack. Services are pending. They will be held in LA/Playa Vista area of California – where Ted and his wife, Rachel, reside – but time and place not fixed as of this writing. The family would be interested in Ted’s friends and co-workers sharing any stories they may have about working/partying with Ted. “If anyone wants to attend the services and speak, please let them contact me at  ken_lew@ieee.org I have taken the responsibility to filter the inputs and present them to the family to see if there is time and space at the service for many speakers from Ted’s working life.”


Other News

Per usual, the next few weeks will be filled with news about the upcoming EXPOS and the companies exhibiting in Boston, so lets tackle this week’s news.

PXCom

PXCom is excited to announce that it has partnered with Charlotte Dodson TV and SkyLights to deliver more innovative content solutions: PXCom’s flagship end-to-end solution, XPLore by PXCom, now enables airlines and their partners to onboard-upload any kind of content material. PXCom natively- integrates editorial content, sponsored content, and even call to actions (offered to passengers throughout the entire journey: pre-, in- and post-flight) in a consistent way via various channels (mobile, web, and of course IFE/C).

TRAVELWELL is a personal lifestyle and wellness channel, supporting passengers throughout the entire journey. A comprehensive library of exercises, nutrition, destination knowledge and meditation experiences are available for viewing in video, audio, digital and VR formats. TRAVELWELL offers the latest innovation and tech advances that will provide clients with a one-stop shop for accessing a world of wellness, wherever they go. Shop for the latest well-being products; relax before the flight through anti-stress tips; use guided routines to stretch during your travels in order to arrive refreshed; simply explore the destinations inflight – rejuvenating spas, organic health spots, the fascinating local cultures soon to be encountered – thanks to a full digital experience on the mobile app, on IFE and on SkyLights’ latest VR headset (AlloSky – see rectangle above). Travel far and wide, confident in the knowledge that TRAVELWELL has your wellness covered – to ‘feel good’ on the go.

Charlotte is your wellness journey companion, guiding you ‘along the way’. Discover a vast range of sensationally-delivered information and inspiration – from the depths of tropical forest exploration, to relaxing on stunning beach sands – as Charlotte guides you through simple yet visually-rich (and easy-to-navigate) content that will serve to both rejuvenate and refresh yourself along the journey. No matter the itinerary, Charlotte is there with you every step of the way.

Join in and travel well. Visit us at APEX Boston | 24-27 September BOOTH 750. More about PXCom on www.pxcom.aero 


IFPL

IFPL will be demonstrating their latest audio products in Boston at APEX  in addition to a broad range of products that are currently flying on many aircraft around the world. IFPL has supplied more than 2.5m units in a 22 year history.


THALES

  • In November 2016, Thales was chosen by Hong Kong Airlines to equip their new A350 and A330 aircraft with AVANT IFE and connectivity solutions and FlytCare services.
  • AVANT, Thales’s state-of-the-art Android IFE solution, will provide Hong Kong Airlines’ passengers a customizable experience with a robust selection of features and applications.
  • Hong Kong Airlines A350 will fly with Ka-band connectivity offering fastest airborne internet speeds to their passenger. Entry into service is set for September 2018.ck up your components from the right side.

VISION-BOX

Vision-Box and Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) — operators of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) in south India – signed today an agreement to launch paperless biometric self-boarding technology, aimed at transforming the passenger experience and creating future-ready Airport.

The goal of the program is to simplify the journey by making it paperless from registration to boarding. Biometric technology will identify passengers by their face as they move across the Airport, avoiding stops and the repeated presentation of boarding passes, passports or other physical identity documents.

With the implementation of the biometric technology, BLR Airport will become the first Airport in India to have an end-to-end solution for paperless air travel.


AIRBUS: AUGUST 2018

Airbus booked orders for five A320 Family jetliners in August while delivering a total of 54 aircraft from its A220/A320 single-aisle product lines and widebody A330/A350 XWBs.The new business involved three A320ceo (Current Engine Option) aircraft for Lufthansa and two A321neo (New Engine Option) versions for Air New Zealand. Both airlines currently operate large fleets of A320 Family jetliners.

These transactions bring net orders during the first eight months of 2018 to 219 aircraft. In the single-aisle series, the total was composed of 11 A319/A320/A321 jetliners in CEO configurations and 145 A319/A320/A321s in NEO versions. Widebody net orders during the January-August timeframe were for four A330ceo and four A330neo aircraft, along with 36 A350 XWBs and 14 A380s.

Airbus deliveries in August were made to 32 customers, with single-aisle jetliner handovers involving three A220s and 42 A320 Family jetliners (including 31 in the A320neo/A321neo versions). In the widebody category, four A330-200/A330-300s and five A350-900/A350-1000s were delivered during the month. Milestone handovers in August included the initial A350 XWB for Air China and the first to Sichuan Airlines (via AerCap), along with Gulf Air first-delivered A320neo. With the months order and delivery activity taken into account, Airbus overall backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 7,415 aircraft at 31 August, representing approximately nine years at current production rates.

With over 2,000 already registered, students can now access to the purpose-built digital competition platform in order to upload their idea in Round 1 of the competition. Airbus launched the sixth Fly Your Ideas competition in June 2018 and the next generation of innovators can now submit their proposals tackling one of the six challenges set out by Airbus (Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality). Students need to fill an online questionnaire about their idea, highlighting the technology behind it, market analysis, originality, added value and potential obstacles. In order to visualize the idea, the teams must also submit a simple sketch. The Round 1 submission phase ends on 16 November 2018 and is followed by an online assessment where a team of Airbus specialists recruited from across the business will review and evaluate all submitted ideas. The live final of Fly Your Ideas will be held in 2019, where students will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas to an audience of industry experts. Fly Your Ideas is a global competition for universities and students from all over the world to innovate for the future of aerospace, including Commercial, Defence & Space and Helicopters. Airbus is seeking ideas that could change aerospace in the decades to come and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world. The competition is an opportunity for students to build valuable employment skills including teamwork, project management and presentation skills and to apply their classroom learning to real-world challenges. As well as joining Airbus on site to further develop their ideas, up to six finalist teams will compete to share a prize fund of € 45,000 and the chance to take their idea forward within the industry.

Since the competition launched in 2008, over 20,000 students from more than 650 universities in over 100 countries have been involved. Since 2012, the competition has been supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO underlines the value of this partnership. “Fly Your Ideas is an inspirational endeavor for students around the world and UNESCO is proud to be a part of this initiative. The new challenges will allow students to think outside the box and come up with sustainable solutions for global problems beyond aerospace – exactly what the world needs from our future generations!”


OTHER NEWS

The partnership will provide a regional component service and repair center to support inflight connectivity products for Asia Pacific airline customers

East Aurora, NY | September 4, 2018–Astronics Corporation (Nasdaq: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification has entered into a long-term agreement with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO Group). Under the agreement, the two companies will establish a service center to provide Astronics and its airline customers with Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) services in China and Asia Pacific.

In accordance with the agreement, HAECO Group
subsidiary HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen)
Ltd. will establish a fulfilment center to provide specialized engineering and component services, including test, maintenance and repair of Astronics CSC’s SummitTM inflight connectivity LRUs. HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen) offers extensive experience as the authorized repair center for a wide range of component OEMs, with a proven track record of serving component repair needs of airlines in the region.

Astronics CSC selected HAECO Group for this partnership because of the company’s comprehensive aircraft engineering and maintenance operations in the Asia Pacific region. “As our Summit line of IFEC products experiences increasing demand in the Asia Pacific and China markets, we sought a partnership to enable a regional component service and repair center to deliver localized support for these customers,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “We’re happy to announce the appointment of HAECO and look forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship.”

Clement Au, General Manager of HAECO Component Overhaul (Xiamen), said, “We are excited to begin a business partnership with Astronics CSC. With our combined technical expertise and vast experience, we are confident that the Component Services Centre will provide reliable, high quality in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) product maintenance services to airlines in the Asia Pacific region.”

Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification serves as the experienced, global market leader for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for aircraft. The Company specializes in connectivity hardware, integration engineering, and certification services. Together with other Astronics subsidiaries, Astronics CSC offers the most complete set of IFEC hardware solutions available from a single vendor.

Rockwell Collins’ industry-leading MiQ seating platform has been chosen by Turkish Airlines for the business class cabin of its new fleet of medium-haul, single-aisle aircraft. Initial deliveries of 92 shipsets for Airbus A321neo aircraft and deliveries of 77 shipsets for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are now underway.

The MiQ platform was selected for the superior passenger experience it delivers to business class travelers with a comfortable, ergonomic reclining position, including a four-way adjustable headrest and leg rest. The seat also provides a large console for passenger storage. Aisle seats feature level access in which the aisle-side armrest retracts downwards to allow passengers extra width in the seat, as well as enabling them to swing their knees into the aisle so window-seat passengers may move in and out of the row.

“We are very excited to introduce our latest business class seats in our new generation 167 narrow body aircraft. As we continue to take firm steps to increase our passengers’ comfort to an even higher level, we now place those state-of-the-art seats, having special features such as seat back inflight entertainment screens, retractable privacy panels, accessible personal stowage and power outlets, in our new medium-haul fleet. With keeping a close eye into customer expectations, we will continue to present the highest standards with our cabin and seat designs in the future,” said Ahmet Olmuştur, Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer.

“The modular design elements of the MiQ seating platform allowed us to work closely with Turkish Airlines to provide a customized configuration that includes a new privacy feature to ensure that business class passengers enjoy an optimal flight experience,” said Mark Vaughan, vice president and general manager for Interior Systems at Rockwell Collins. “In addition, we designed custom leather dress covers to fully reflect the airline’s brand.”

MiQ’s award-winning design is available for business class and premium economy seating for both narrow- and wide-body aircraft.


ASTRONICS

Astronics is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary! Happy Anniversary from IFExpress! and, oh yes, Astronics PGA Solutions was selected by AMAC Aerospace for a VIP jet completion program – A Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental VIP jet will incorporate Astronics PGA inflight entertainment and cabin management systems.


SITA

GOL, Brazil’s largest airline, is introducing new self-service bag-drop technology to speed up the airport experience. Passengers of the carrier, can now use SITA’s Scan&Fly to check in their bags when flying domestically from Rio de Janeiro International Airport and will soon be able to do so at São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport as well. This self-service option halves the time it takes to check in a bag and gives passengers more control over their journey. Each year, GOL flies around 32 million passengers. Providing significant reductions in the time it takes to check in is a major bonus for passengers, as well as helping GOL reach the targets set as part of the IATA Fast Travel program.

Sergio Quito, Vice President of GOL Operations, said: “GOL has always pioneered the use of innovative processes. Self-service is important for us because it improves the customer experience and helps streamline our operations. SITA’s self bag-drop technology provides what we look for – it is fast, reliable and easy to use.”SITA is retro-fitting Scan&Fly units at each airport. Using them, passengers will be able to check in their baggage in just 40 seconds. As well as the units themselves, SITA also provided consultancy to develop the optimized processes in both airports, integrating the solution into the airlines’ and airports’ infrastructures. Elbson Quadros, SITA Vice President, Latin America, said: “Our goal is to use technology to improve the passenger experience and to make airline and airport operations more efficient. Our self bag-drop solution does exactly that. We are proud to have GOL as the first airline to adopt this technology in Latin America.”

SITA is providing 24/7 support both on the ground and through the SITA Command Centers, which proactively detect issues to avoid any passenger disruption. That monitoring ranges from tracking surges in internet usage which might have an impact on the airport, to alerting the team on the ground that bag tag paper supplies are running low.


AIRBORNE WIRELESS NETWORK

Airborne Wireless Network announced that they are implementing a 30,000-to-1 reverse stock split. every 30,000 shares of the Company’s common stock outstanding will be automatically combined into one new share of common stock without any action on the part of Airborne Wireless Network stockholders.  As a result of the reverse stock split, there will be approximately 296,000 shares of common stock outstanding (subject to adjustment due to the effect of rounding fractional shares into whole shares).


AIRBUS

Airbus Perlan Mission II, the world’s first initiative to pilot an engineless aircraft to the edge of space, made history again yesterday in El Calafate, Argentina, by soaring in the stratosphere to a pressure altitude of over 62,000 feet (60,669 feet GPS altitude). This set a new gliding altitude world record, pending official validation.

The pressurized Perlan 2 glider, which is designed to soar up to 90,000 feet, passed the Armstrong Line, the point in the atmosphere above which an unprotected human’s blood will boil if an aircraft loses pressurization. This marks a second glider altitude world record for Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock, the same two Perlan Project pilots who soared the Perlan 2 to 52,221 feet GPS altitude on Sept. 3, 2017, in the same remote region of Argentine Patagonia. The 2017 record broke a previous record that was set in 2006, in the unpressurized Perlan 1, by Perlan Project founder Einar Enevoldson and Steve Fossett.

“This is a tremendous moment for all the volunteers and sponsors of Airbus Perlan Mission II who have been so dedicated to making our nonprofit aerospace initiative a reality,” said Ed Warnock, CEO of The Perlan Project. “Our victory today, and whatever other milestones we achieve this year, are a testament to a pioneering spirit of exploration that runs through everyone on the project and through the organizations that support us.”

“Innovation is a buzzword in aerospace today, but Perlan truly embodies the kind of bold thinking and creativity that are core Airbus values,” said Tom Enders, Airbus CEO. “Perlan Project is achieving the seemingly impossible, and our support for this endeavor sends a message to our employees, suppliers and competitors that we will not settle for being anything less than extraordinary.”

Another first-of-its kind achievement this year for the Perlan Project was the use of a special high-altitude tow plane rather than a conventional glider tow plane. During yesterday’s flight, Perlan 2 was towed to the base of the stratosphere by a Grob Egrett G520 turboprop, a high-altitude reconnaissance plane that was modified for the task earlier this summer. Operated by AV Experts, LLC, and flown by chief pilot Arne Vasenden, the Egrett released Perlan 2 at around 42,000 feet, the approximate service ceiling of an Airbus A380.


BOEING

Boeing reports that the Asia Pacific region will have the greatest global demand for new civil aviation personnel over the next 20 years. The region is projected to account for 33 percent of the global need for pilots, 34 percent for technicians and 36 percent for cabin crew.

The 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook is an industry forecast of new aviation personnel demand. It is closely tied to projections for new airplane deliveries around the globe. As with personnel demand, the Asia Pacific region leads demand for new commercial airplane deliveries over the next 20 years. Forty percent of all new passenger airplane deliveries in the next 20 years will be delivered to airlines in the Asia Pacific region.

According to the outlook:

  • The 20-year demand for new commercial sector pilots in the region remains strong at 240,000. While demand decreased five percent, this was driven by regional trends that indicate a peak in pilot retirements in the first decade of the forecast and a softening of replacement demand in the later years, due to a younger generation entering the pilot ranks long before reaching mandatory retirement age.
  • New commercial technician demand decreased five percent to 242,000. This is due to advancements in product development on the 737 MAX, which have resulted in increased maintenance efficiencies. Overall, maintenance hours required over the life of the airplane will be reduced.
  • New commercial cabin crew demand increased three percent to 317,000 due to anticipated fleet mix, cabin configuration and regulatory requirements.

For the first time, the outlook included the helicopter and business aviation markets. The inclusion of these sectors increases the region’s demand to 261,000 pilots, 257,000 technicians and 321,000 cabin crew.

Leading the region in projected demand for new pilots, technicians and cabin crew:

  • China: 128,500 pilots; 126,750 technicians; 147,250 cabin crew
  • Southeast Asia: 48,500 pilots; 54,000 technicians; 76,250 cabin crew
  • South Asia: 42,750 pilots; 35,000 technicians; 43,250 cabin crew

“Strong demand for pilots in the region continues, and we expect that this will continue for the next several years,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services for Boeing Global Services. “Through our pilot training solutions, including the Pilot Development Program, we are helping to ensure a pipeline of pilots is ready to meet the industry’s demand.”

Boeing’s Pilot Development program is an accelerated training program intended to guide pilots from early stage ab-initio training through type rating as a first officer.


OTHER NEWS

Since APEX/AIX are within the next 30 days, we thought it was a good time to feature some of the IFEC products you will see there! Let’s get started.

IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at APEX 2018 in Boston, USA, with a full range of innovative products on display at the show.

IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily anticipate the power connectivity requirements of their passengers with a clever combination of a Reversible USB-A and USB-C. This combination offers 10W and 15W with a Power Delivery option that can provide up to 60W from the USB-C outlet. IFPL has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet.

Working with key industry partners, IFPL has delivered the innovative 2020 USB-A outlet which allows seamless integration into the seat. This system delivers an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets. The modular design ensures easy on-wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allows for an easy upgrade path to USB-C. The result is an elegant installation of a fully integrated system that enhances the passenger experience whilst removing weight and complexity.

At APEX IFPL will show the latest design concept for a seatback PED (Portable Electronic Device) holder that provides USB and inductive charging. This bolsters the recent announcement of an inductive charge unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat, also designed to be seamlessly integrated.

IFPL will demonstrate how to turn USB power into ancillary revenue with its Patent Pending ‘Charge To Charge’ solution. This innovative solution allows airlines to be able to charge a passenger to turn on their USB power outlet and/or launch adverts or promotions when the passengers plug in their device, providing multiple ancillary revenue streams. This process is managed using only the airlines App and IFPL’s USB outlet providing an easy upgrade to current or planned installations by replacing the existing outlet for an IFPL Charge to Charge unit.

Another IFPL innovation is an integrated audio and Bluetooth jack. This is an upgrade to existing IFE systems to allow passengers to easily connect their own headphones, thereby further enhancing the customer experience. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction.

For over 20 years IFPL has delivered a range of Long Life, Rapid Fit, INCAM and Breakaway MagSignal products and solutions. An expert team will be on hand to discuss your requirements on booth #707 at APEX 2018.


SITA

Xiamen Airlines, which is experiencing major growth across its domestic and international network, is using sophisticated software from SITA to set its fares competitively in all markets. The airline, which handled 32.7 million passengers in 2017, is highly profitable. It has achieved profits 31 years in a row and is now using SITA Airfare Insight to optimize its fares-related decision making. More than 180 million fares are published worldwide at any one time, and typically full-service airlines will update fares throughout their distribution network of GDSs, travel agencies and websites, several times a day.

By using SITA’s Airfare Insight Xiamen Airlines can stay ahead of the competition. It can set its fares based on a clear view of what its competitors are doing in markets across the world. Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall commercial strategy. Chen Rong, Committee Secretary, Passenger Marketing & Sales, Xiamen Airlines, said: “Filing fares at the right price and at the right time can have a significant impact on profit margins.

SITA’s technology enables our commercial team at Xiamen Airlines to have the right fares distributed to the right customers. It also gives us the capability to analyze all our fares and manage them across multiple locations and time zones, which is vital as we expand our route network.” Today, Xiamen Airlines serves nearly 400 domestic and international routes covering China, Southeast and Northeast Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. With 1,074 destinations in 177 countries making sure the right fares are published in the right markets is challenging.

SITA Airfare Insight automatically identifies the relevant fare changes in the marketplace. It then immediately ensures appropriate prices are in place to support the airline’s overall revenue management and sales strategy.May Zhou, SITA Vice President & General Manager, East Asia, said: “Xiamen Airlines is one of China’s great successes with decades of profitability. Industry studies indicate that correct pricing can contribute 3-10% to overall revenues and SITA’s technology allows the airline to distribute all fares to customers at the ideal price point with head-office knowledge and approval. Airfare Insight also simplifies the end-to-end fares management process while putting competitive fares in key markets. A winning formula for this growing airline.” By achieving profits for 31 years in a row Xiamen Airlines has been an airline that has remained profitable for the longest period in China’s civil aviation industry. It enjoys the highest international financial rating among the Chinese airlines.


SITAONAIR

In an important next step for its innovation development program, Rossiya Airlines has implemented SITAONAIR’s CrewTab to advance its cabin crew operations.

Rossiya Airlines has worked closely with SITA and SITAONAIR – the SITA Group’s subsidiary and air travel industry’s connected aircraft service expert – to deliver its tailored CrewTab solution. Designed to optimize cabin crew work processes and activity, the device has been fully integrated with Rossiya Airlines’ information systems, enabling 450 Rossiya Airlines crew members to access all necessary flight information inflight via their iPad 4th Gen® tablet devices.

Currently, airlines typically provide such information in paper formats. By contrast, a key benefit of CrewTab is its ability to digitize workflows, streamline reporting, eliminate operational duplication and provide a complete flight information picture, quickly and efficiently. Rossiya’s CrewTab solution is available on regular and seasonal flights, as well as flights-to-order.

By enabling remote Internet access to airline information resources and systems, SITAONAIR CrewTab helps Rossiya to improve performance at key points in the onboard service experience. It does this by helping to streamline the interaction between the airline’s internal organizational units, supporting a more efficient document flow system, enhancing staff processes and reducing costs.

Cabin crews spend more time talking to passengers than anyone else in an airline, and are, therefore, central to the passenger experience. Deploying a tactile, responsive and information-rich technology, such as CrewTab, presents Rossiya with immediate benefits and advances to both the quality and efficiency of its cabin experience.


SkyLights
Today, SkyLights announces the launch of Skykids, its Immersive VR entertainment created especially to entertain children aged 6 to 12 on long-haul flights. The service, which lets children watch curated 2D, 3D and forward-facing 360° films in their own wearable cinema, was deployed fleet-wide on July 1st with SkyLights’ long-standing client XL Airways. Having seen significant success since day one,  SkyLights will continue the service beyond its initial holiday season scheduling.

According to a study commissioned by Emirates in 2017, children under 12 get bored 50 minutes into long-haul flights. With entertaining children identified as parents’ biggest concern when flying, and unruly kids voted the second most annoying type of passenger in Expedia’s 2017 passenger study, Skylights saw an opportunity to upgrade the customer experience of all passengers onboard. As a result, Skykids was developed, combining a fun and engaging VR headset design with a premium catalog curated especially for kids in partnership with 20th Century Fox. Going forward, SkyLights will offer airlines the new service alongside its flagship Allosky business class amenity solution. With this addition, the company aims to consolidate its position as the leading provider of VR entertainment for airlines.

SkyLights is an American-French company that leverages Cinematic VR as premium passenger entertainment. It has a signature immersive-IFE solution that transports passengers to their own, private, in-flight movie theater where they can enjoy 3D, 2D and VR content on a wide-angle cinema screen. On average, passengers use the device for 4 hours with a 90% recommendation rate.


AIRBUS

The first ACJ320neo[i] has been assembled on programme, fitted with CFM International LEAP-1A engines and painted in ACJ house-colours, in preparation for a first flight in the coming weeks.

After delivery to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter of this year, the aircraft will enter outfitting at AMAC in Basle, Switzerland, where an Alberto Pinto-designed cabin will be installed, and be repainted in the customer’s colors. Like the airliner versions from which it is derived, the ACJ320neo Family features new-generation engines and Sharklets, saving around 15 per cent in fuel and delivering a leap forward in inter-continental range. The resulting ACJ320neo can fly 25 passengers 6,000 nm/11,100 km or 13 hours – enabling routes such as London to Beijing or Cape Town and Moscow to Los Angeles – while the ACJ319neo can fly eight passengers 6,700 nm/12,500 km or 15 hours. Featuring the widest and tallest cabins of any large business-jet, the ACJ320neo Family delivers similar operating costs and better residual value, while being about the same size. Orders for the ACJ320neo Family stand at nine aircraft, comprising three ACJ319neo and six ACJ320neo aircraft.


OTHER NEWS

Dublin | August 2018– The “In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) Market by End User (OEM, Aftermarket), Aircraft Type (NBA, WBA, VLA, Business Jets), Product (IFE Hardware, IFE Connectivity, IFE Content), and Region – Global Forecast to 2023” report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC) market is projected to grow from USD 5.03 billion in 2018 to USD 7.65 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.72% from 2018 to 2023.

This research report categorizes the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market on the basis of aircraft type (narrow-body aircraft, wide-body aircraft, very large aircraft, and business jets), end user (OEM and aftermarket), and product (IFE hardware, IFE connectivity, and IFE content). These segments and subsegments are further mapped across major regions.

The need to enhance the passenger experience, technological developments, and an increase in aircraft deliveries are factors expected to drive the market. However, the regulatory framework & certification and increase in the overall weight of aircraft are expected to restrain the growth of this market.

By aircraft type, the narrow-body aircraft segment is estimated to lead the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market in 2018. The growth of the narrow-body aircraft segment can be attributed to an increase in narrow-body aircraft deliveries worldwide.

Major companies profiled in the report include Panasonic Avionics (US), Thales Group (France), Rockwell Collins, Inc. (US), Gogo LLC (US), Honeywell International, Inc. (US), Zodiac Aerospace (France), and Global Eagle Entertainment (US), among others.

Market Dynamics

Drivers

  • Need to Enhance Passenger Experience
  • Technological Developments
  • IFEC Becoming A Major Source of Ancillary Revenue for Airlines
  • Increase in Aircraft Deliveries

Restraints

  • Regulatory Frameworks & Certification
  • Increase in the Overall Weight of Aircraft

Opportunities

  • Increase in Long-Haul Flights and Passenger Traffic
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity

Challenges

  • High Installation Cost
  • Need to Upgrade IFE Systems and Ensure Content Management
  • Cyber Threats

Key Topics Covered:

1 Introduction

2 Research Methodology

3 Executive Summary

4 Premium Insights

5 Market Overview

6 Industry Trends

7 In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market, By Product

8 In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market, By Aircraft Type

9 In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market, By End User

10 Regional Analysis

11 Competitive Landscape

12 Company Profiles

  • Boeing
  • Bombardier
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Bell Helicopter
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Panasonic Avionics Corporation
  • Thales Group
  • Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc.
  • Gogo LLC
  • Rockwell Collins, Inc.
  • Viasat, Inc.
  • Sitaonair
  • Digecor, Inc.
  • Zodiac Aerospace
  • Honeywell International
  • Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. Kg

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/zssb5r/inflight?w=4


This week we have plenty of news from some regular contributors and others as well. So let’s get started!

IMMFLY

The new onboard entertainment and digital services platform “Wamos On Air”, designed and developed by Immfly, is now available and passengers will be pleased with a broad range of entertainment possibilities easily accessible via their own personal devices (phones, tablets, and laptops). The major goal of both companies is to exceed travelers aspirations and improve their customer journey while providing a digital transformation through entertainment and content marketing. The airline that has 1.000.000 annual passengers, counts now with an in-flight digital platform “ Wamos On Air ”, that is available in Boeing 747-400, also called as “Jumbo” aircraft. Passengers can easily access the onboard service by activating the airplane mode on the mobile, tablet or laptop; selecting the Wi-Fi network and typing www.wamos-onair.com at the browser.

Several movies, but also TV-shows, Press, Magazines, Kids section are now at passenger’s fingertips disposal. Recent examples such as “The Shape of Water”, “The Revenant”, “The Greatest Showman”, “X-Men”, “Birdman” and many others, make the Wamos’s aircraft space a cinema on air, with an atmosphere that breathes digital experiences. As the airline’s audience is considerably diverse, Wamos Air and Immfly focused on providing different content modules for every type of passenger (distinct ages and languages). There is Kids section dedicated to the youngest, Music in documentary format, multiple games, all of that available both in English and Spanish languages.

Headquartered in Barcelona, Immfly was founded in 2013 by Pablo Linz and Jimmy Martínez von Korff, with the support of more than 50 influential multinational partners. The company is leading the development of internet connectivity, ready on-board digital platforms worldwide with focus in Europe,


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, reported financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2018. Results for the quarter and the first six months of 2018 include the results of Telefonix PDT, which was acquired on December 1, 2017 and Custom Control Concepts (“CCC”), which was acquired on April 3, 2017.

Click here to view the entire release, including financial statements.


BLUEBOX

This August, pending final regulatory approvals, Bluebox will bring wireless IFE to the skies of India across Vistara’s current fleet of 21 Airbus A320 aircraft, with more A320 aircraft on the way. As part of a new fare families announcement yesterday, Vistara announced the introduction of ‘Vistara World’, its free in-flight entertainment system with more than 70 hours of video and audio content streamed wirelessly onto personal handheld devices and laptops. Today, Bluebox is thrilled to confirm that Bluebox Wowhas been selected as the technology solution to deliver ‘Vistara World’ to passengers on board Vistara flights.

‘Vistara World’ is expected to be rolled out fleet-wide in August 2018, subject to regulatory approvals. It will offer a content-rich multimedia library that includes music in genres like Pop, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Electronica, English Retro and Indian, Bollywood and Hollywood movies of various categories such as Drama, Romance, Comedy, Thriller, Action, Adventure, etc., Indian and International short programs as well as a variety of reading material including Vistara’s in-flight magazine.

Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, elaborated, “With the introduction of wireless streaming of in-flight entertainment content, we will deliver on a product that our customers said they desired, enhancing overall customer satisfaction and experience with an efficient and cost-effective IFE solution.”

“We’re eagerly awaiting the final approvals required so that we can deliver wireless IFE to the Indian skies aboard Vistara,” said David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “Bluebox Wow is a powerful and convenient solution that suits Vistara’s current needs, and flexible enough to support the airline’s future growth as well, ensuring ‘Vistara World’ keeps passengers engaged on Vistara’s expanding route network.”

Bluebox’s portable wireless streaming platform provides content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, providing the capability of storing up to 1.6 Terabytes of film, TV, audio, games and other digital content. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed securely in overhead bins, each box’s single, swappable rechargeable battery delivers up to 15 hours of simultaneously streamed video content.


INMARSAT

Inflight Wi-Fi is a key driver in forming customer loyalty and satisfaction among today’s airline passengers, according to the industry’s largest poll of passenger attitudes. The fourth annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey is published today by Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, in association with market research company Populus[1]. Wi-Fi is already an essential part of everyday life on the ground with more than three quarters of those surveyed (78%) believing that it is “fundamental” to daily life. With more than half of passengers (55%) describing inflight Wi-Fi as crucial, meeting the demand for Wi-Fi in the skies is key to improving passenger experience and driving loyalty. Wi-Fi is now so critical to passengers that two thirds (67%) would be more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality Wi-Fi was on offer. Globally, passengers ranked inflight Wi-Fi as the fourth most important factor that they consider when choosing an airline, behind airline reputation, free checked baggage and extra leg room.

The impact of inflight Wi-Fi on loyalty and satisfaction is particularly significant for passenger groups most keen to remain connected in the air. High-value customers, parents and young passengers are among those most likely to use inflight Wi-Fi services: nine in ten business travellers (90%), parents travelling with children (90%) and 18-30 year olds (91%) plan to use the service if it’s offered when they next fly.

Onboard Wi-Fi could also lead to more productive business trips, as almost nine in ten business travelers (87%) would use inflight Wi-Fi to continue working on the plane. Access to Wi-Fi is also an important driver of choice for nervous flyers, as more than half (51%) said that they would use the technology to remain in contact with family and friends on the ground.

The majority of today’s airline passengers are so keen to get online that they will sacrifice other inflight amenities for internet access. Inmarsat’s 2016 Inflight Connectivity Survey revealed that more than half of passengers (54%) would choose Wi-Fi over an inflight meal. Today, passengers are adding alcohol to the list of inflight amenities they would sacrifice to get online, with more than half (53%) suggesting they are even prepared to give up their inflight alcoholic drink in exchange for access to Wi-Fi.

As demand for inflight Wi-Fi soars, uptake is similarly high as two thirds (65%) of passengers that had access to the service in the past year chose to use it. However, the demand for quality onboard Wi-Fi is significantly outstripping supply on the fleets of airlines across the globe, as less than half of passengers globally (45%) traveled on flights where it was offered.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Wi-Fi is essential to daily life on the ground, and airline passengers see no reason why their time on a flight should be restricted or spent any differently. Whether it’s used for sending that important work email, entertaining the children or even connecting with fellow passengers, staying online is becoming a crucial part of the inflight experience for today’s airline passengers.” He continued: “As the only provider to offer a complete global satellite network, Inmarsat is making high-speed inflight Wi-Fi a reality for passengers on leading airlines across the globe. As demand for quality services continues to soar, we are delighted to be able to bring these services to life for passengers and allow them to stay connected to their daily lives on the ground.”

Global survey highlights

  • 81% of passengers would use inflight Wi-Fi if it was available on their next flight, rising to 91% of 18-30 year olds, 90% of business travelers and 90% of passengers traveling with children
  • 65% of passengers that have had access to inflight Wi-Fi in the last year used it
  • 70% of passengers would be likely to recommend inflight Wi-Fi having tried it previously
  • 74% of business travelers feel that inflight Wi-Fi is crucial, with almost nine in ten (87%) stating that if inflight Wi-Fi was available they would be likely to work and be productive on a plane
  • Quality is key: for more than half of passengers (54%), no Wi-Fi at all is better than a poor quality service
  • Over two thirds of passengers (67%) would be more likely to re-book with an airline if high-quality inflight Wi-Fi were available
    • This likelihood to re-book rises to 81% of passengers traveling with children, and 83% of business travelers
  • More than half (53%) would be willing to give up their inflight alcoholic drink to get online. (Boy, this one is hard to believe-Editor)

Other News

Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has appointed Gaston Sandoval, as Global Head of Marketing and Product Management. In this role, Gaston will lead Panasonic’s marketing and product strategy as the company evolves into a digital platform and services company and delivers the next generation of passenger experiences.

As Global Head of Marketing and Product Management, Gaston will oversee Panasonic’s branding, market insights, product marketing, performance marketing, content marketing, creative, communications, as well as product management.

Before Panasonic, Gaston enjoyed a lengthy, successful career at IBM. As Chief Operating Officer of IBM Digital, he led the deployment and market expansion of IBM’s Marketplace. Under his leadership, IBM Marketplace’s portfolio grew to include over 1,000 digital offerings, creating a new business unit with more than $1 billion USD in annual sales.

For two years, he served as CMO of the Watson and Software Group in Tokyo. In that role, he led IBM Watson’s launch in Japan in partnership with Softbank Group, and established the market for artificial intelligence and cognitive solutions in the region.

He also launched IBM IoT, PaaS and SaaS portfolios, helping make Japan IBM’s best performing region globally. As Head of Product Management for IBM datacenter provisioning and endpoint management products in Austin, Texas, he helped drive the foundational capabilities for IBM cloud.

Most recently, Gaston served as SVP, Global Marketing at Openlink Financial, a leading fintech enterprise software company, where he led its marketing transformation to a digital-first, outcome-based organization, repositioning the company that resulted in its accelerated successful acquisition by the ION Group.

Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Gaston brings with him a wealth of experience that makes him the ideal person to lead Panasonic Avionics’ repositioning into a digital platform and services company.”

Gaston added: “Panasonic Avionics is world renowned for the innovation it continually delivers in the passenger experience. As it evolves into a digital platform and services company, I look forward to the challenge of spearheading a marketing and product strategy which enable a next-generation passenger experience.

Gaston brings extensive global experience having lived and led teams in Japan, China, Latin America and North America. He also holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.S. in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from the National Polytechnic School in Ecuador.

He is passionate about sustainable development and runs an NGO in Ecuador focused on supporting families and children in need


Thales

Thales has appointed Philippe Carette as Chief Executive Officer to lead the InFlyt Experience business. The business is a leading provider of cutting-edge technologies that entertain, connect and inspire more than 1 million passengers airline across 70 airlines each day around the globe.

Mr. Carette will drive the company’s strategic corporate transformation initiatives within the business to spur greater competitiveness and long-term market leadership. He will also steer the digitalization of the connectivity and entertainment systems portfolio to deliver unique value to airline customers in a rapidly evolving cabin environment. This includes the recently introduced InFlyt360 digital platform, which allows airlines to continuously improve the passenger experience with features such as personalization, monetization, fresh and dynamic content and optimized engagement.

Mr. Carette replaces Dominique Giannoni who managed the successful growth of Thales InFlyt Experience during the past 5 years and now takes on a new leadership role within Thales.

Mr. Carette has spent more than 30 years in the aviation industry and previously held several leadership positions within Thales, to include the head of the Electrical Systems business and vice president and managing director of the Commercial Avionics unit. Prior to joining Thales, he was president of German aerospace connectivity systems provider, Deutsch Aerospace & Transportation – TE Connectivity; managing director at European engineering consultancy leader ALTEN; president and managing director at Sogeti High Tech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini; and managing director at Safran Group for Engineering Services and Electrical Systems. He holds a degree in engineering from the Institut polytechnique de Grenoble in France.

“Philippe is a leader in the aerospace industry and a proven leader in shaping strong businesses. His expertise in innovative advanced technologies will be instrumental to accompany our client’s big digital ambitions and our long-term growth strategy.”

Gil Michielin,Thales Avionics Executive Vice-President

“Philippe’s focus on customer success makes him an indispensable partner for airline customers. He brings a global perspective and unwavering commitment to excellence in execution and customer service.”

Alan Pellegrini Thales Chief Executive in the USA


Astronics

Astronics Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics PGA, was awarded a contract to provide its next-generation seat motion and lighting systems for Jamco’s new Venture seat program. Astronics PGA also entered into a long-term contract for potential future seat projects.


AIX

The event, which is co-located with APEX and IFSA, is the world’s largest fall event dedicated to the passengers experience, and it is the place to see all of the innovations that passengers can expect to see on their future flights under one roof. Each year the event attracts thousands of visitors and almost 300 buyers from the world’s leading airlines who attend to source the interiors for their new or existing aircraft – from first and business class seating, to Inflight Entertainment and airline food – the event is a one-stop shop. Exhibiting companies include Acro Aircraft Seating, Boeing, Diehl Aviation, E Leather, gategroup, Panasonic Avionics, STS Aviation Group, San Diego Aircraft interiors, and Tapis Corporation. See you there!


SITA

Scoot, Singapore Airlines’ low cost carrier, has renewed its long-term communication network services with SITA as the airline continues to expand to new locations worldwide. SITA AirportHub is simplifying the way Scoot connects its central IT systems to the airports in its rapidly-growing route network. The IT infrastructure is typically in place within three weeks, enabling Scoot to be flexible and agile as it adds new destinations throughout Asia, Europe, Africa and America. Jason Chin, Vice President, IT, Scoot, said: “Scoot currently has an extensive network of 66 destinations across 18 countries and territories, and plans for aggressive growth are in place. It is vital that our IT infrastructure is connected among our partners and efficient enough to support our expansion. SITA is a reliable partner in efficiently getting airports connected. With SITA’s global footprint, speed and flexibility, we can focus on expansion and adding new routes to our network.”

AirportHub is unique shared infrastructure that allows airlines to connect all their applications and IT systems at an airport quickly and easily. It removes the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers and adds flexibility and agility to route management. SITA’s system is currently operational at more than 440 airports and provides 7,000 customer connections around the world. SITA’s network services will connect Scoot destinations worldwide to its reservation system, Departure Control Services and disaster recovery site. Scoot is voted Best Low Cost Airline (Asia/Pacific) by AirlineRatings.com in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and ranked in the Top 10 of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airlines by Skytrax

Also from SITA

Brisbane Airport, the premier gateway to Queensland and the third busiest airport in Australia, has again selected SITA as its technology partner as the airport continues its growth and transformation plans. The new agreement will see SITA develop and extend the technology it provides for passenger, baggage and airport services to support Brisbane Airport’s commitment to service. The five-year agreement continues the airport’s close partnership with SITA which has successfully been in place for more than 20 years. Today, Brisbane Airport operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and SITA provides world-class technology with round-the-clock service support. This includes SITA AirportConnect® Open, its common-use platform and self-service bag drop and check-in, which ensure that Brisbane Airport runs smoothly for the 32 airlines that use the airport to fly to 81 domestic and international destinations.


Airbus

The first Ultra Long Range Airbus A350 XWB to be delivered to launch customer Singapore Airlines has rolled out of the paint shop in the carrier’s distinctive livery. Now at an advanced stage of production, the aircraft will undergo further testing before being delivered to the airline in the coming months.

Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, and all of them are in various stages of assembly. The first aircraft to have flown has successfully completed its flight test program, which focused on the redesigned fuel system. It is now being fitted with its cabin.

The airline will operate the aircraft on non-stop services from Singapore to the US. This includes flights between Singapore and New York, which will be the world’s longest commercial service, as well as on routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The Ultra Long Range A350-900 is the latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family, and will have an extended range of up to 9,700 nautical miles. This has been achieved by a modified fuel system, which increases the aircraft’s fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters without the need for additional fuel tanks.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the Ultra Long Range A350 is capable of flying over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs.


Valour

Almost four in ten commercial aircraft, globally, will be equipped to provide passengers with in-flight Wi-Fi by the end of 2018, that’s according to the market intelligence company’s latest analysis of the in-flight connectivity (IFC) market.

The number of airlines rolling out IFC has continued to rise, with Valour´s quarterly tracker indicating there are 90 carriers offering passenger Wi-Fi at the end of March 2018. There is little to suggest a slowdown is on the horizon, with service providers boasting sizeable backlogs and notable announcements expected from airlines in China and India going into 2019. Valour Consultancy anticipates the number of aircraft with IFC will reach almost 21,000 by the end of 2026, up from approximately 7,500 today.

Valour Consultancy is a provider of high-quality market intelligence. Its latest report “The Future of In-Flight Connectivity” is now in its third edition and is widely-regarded as the most comprehensive resource on this subject, underpinned by the depth of its firmly-established quarterly IFC tracker database. The report features 150 tables and charts accompanied by extensive commentary on the latest market issues, technology trends and the competitive environment. Check here for a full table of contents and report scope.


Other News

The new Airbus BelugaXL’s first flight was a few days ago and the airplane’s “face” was just too good not to make it the rectangle for this week’s IFExpress. Following the first flight, the BelugaXL will undergo some 600 hours of flight test over 10 months to achieve Type Certification and entry into service later in 2019. The BelugaXL program was launched in November 2014 to address Airbus’ transport capacity requirements in view of the A350 XWB ramp-up and Single-Aisle production rate increases. Five aircraft will be built between 2019 and 2023 to gradually replace the five BelugaST. The aircraft will operate from 11 destinations as Airbus’ method of transporting large aircraft components they say. Based on an A330-200 Freighter, the BelugaXL is powered by Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines and can haul an incredible 50 tons of load with a total take-off weight of 230 tons! It will haul some 30% more than it’s predecessor. It is longer by 20 feet as well. The lowered cockpit, the cargo bay structure and the rear-end and tail were newly developed jointly with suppliers, giving the aircraft its distinctive look. Congratulations Airbus, the BelugaXL is a “whale” of a good looking airplane!

And speaking of airplanes, last week’s Farnborough Airshow generated over $192 Billion is plane sales/commitments with Boeing claiming over 100 airplane orders, while Airbus claimed some 60% of the single aisle business. We should note that while Airbus snagged some 70 orders from China, Boeing got none. (Hmm, wonder why?) Anyway, here are some summaries:

(Editor’s Note: The amount of airplane sales and total value of them varied at almost every report we researched. We did our best to give our readers summary numbers.)

Interestingly, the names of some 400 airplane purchases were withheld probably because of competitive reasons. Further, keep in mind, planemakers use shows to “announce” deals that were in work for months – obviously looking better at the show, and as Reuters noted: “The two companies have so far signed deals worth more than $100 billion at current list prices. However, this is a gross number. Several of the deals firm up provisional ones, disclose previously unidentified buyers, or change existing orders, making it hard to gauge the level of new business.”

We also noticed that Boeing and Airbus were selling their smaller and newest single aisle planes: Airbus A220 – 60 sales, and Embraer – 300 plane sales, as this small aircraft market also took off.

So, in summary, this year’s sales saw some 1,432 deals in aircraft, engines, and related equipment. As one writer noted: “The biannual air industry gathering recorded more than 1,400 commercial aircraft orders, valued at US$154 billion, alongside at least 1,432 deals for engines worth US$21.96 billion.”


AIRBUS

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Airbus have renewed their framework agreement on research and technology (R&T) cooperation. This new five-year agreement builds on a long-standing relationship between the two organizations to cooperate on R&T development which spans more than 30 years. The NRC-Airbus agreement will cover a wide range of technical subjects and technologies. Recently, Airbus identified Canada as its “fifth country” for research and technology developments in the areas of drones and urban mobility.


BOEING

Boeing released its 2018 Pilot & Technician Outlook, projecting demand for 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years. This represents double the current workforce and the most significant demand in the outlook’s nine-year history.

The demand is being driven by an anticipated doubling of the global commercial airplane fleet — as reported in Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook — as well as record-high air travel demand and a tightening labor supply. This year’s outlook also includes data from the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors for the first time.

“Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labor supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near-term,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services, Boeing Global Services. “An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this. With a network of training campuses and relationships with flight schools around the globe, Boeing partners with customers, governments and educational institutions to help ensure the market is ready to meet this significant pilot demand.”

Boeing offers the Pilot Development Program – an accelerated training program that guides future pilots from early stage ab-initio training through type rating as a first officer – to help operators meet their growing pilot needs. Boeing also helps operators improve crew efficiency with tools that optimize resources and minimize disruption.

Despite the commercial pilot demand forecast holding nearly steady, maintenance technician demand decreased slightly from 648,000 to 622,000, primarily due to longer maintenance intervals for new aircraft. Collectively, the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors will demand an additional 155,000 pilots and 132,000 technicians.

Demand for commercial cabin crew increased slightly from 839,000 to 858,000, due to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer more personalized service. In addition, 32,000 new cabin crew will be required to support business aviation.


ROCKWELL COLLINS

Iridium Communications Inc. and Rockwell Collins signed an agreement to make Rockwell Collins the newest service provider for Iridium Certus satellite solutions over the Iridium NEXT network. Rockwell Collins will be adding the service to its comprehensive suite of aircraft connectivity applications for commercial, government and ARINCDirectSM business customers.

In addition to being a service provider, Rockwell Collins is also a value added manufacturer (VAM) for the design and production of Iridium Certus service terminals. As a VAM and a service provider, Rockwell Collins will play a critical role in delivering the next-generation L-band broadband solution to commercial, business and government aviation customers around the world.

“Adding Rockwell Collins as an Iridium Certus service provider is a major milestone for the program,” said Michael Hooper, director and general manager of Iridium’s Aviation Line of Business. “Given the FAA’s recent movement toward adopting SATCOM as a primary means of onboard communications, we believe Iridium Certus will be that much more of a shake up to the status quo within the aviation industry, bringing new capabilities, smaller hardware, faster speeds and competitive price packages. Like the services Rockwell Collins offers, Iridium Certus supports all areas of aircraft connectivity, from the flight deck to the cabin, regardless of location.”

Initial flight trials will take place later this year, with Iridium Certus commercial service introduction for aviation users expected in mid-2019. Commercial service introduction for other verticals, such as maritime and land-mobile, is planned for 2018. Iridium Certus is powered by Iridium NEXT, the Company’s next-generation satellite constellation, currently being deployed. To date, there have been six successful Iridium NEXT launches, deploying 55 new satellites to orbit. Two more launches are planned for 2018, each carrying 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, for a total of 75 launched, with 66 in the operational constellation and nine serving as on-orbit spares. The seventh launch is currently targeted for July 25, 2018 out of SpaceX’s west coast launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

“Iridium Certus will be an important new service addition to meet the connectivity needs of commercial, business and government aircraft,” said Michael DiGeorge, vice president of Commercial Aviation Services for Rockwell Collins. “For our ARINCDirect business aviation operators, Iridium Certus offers small form factor antennas and terminals which are ideal for operators of smaller aircraft requiring internet connectivity. For our airline and government customers, the Iridium Certus service enables a variety of capabilities for cockpit safety, enhanced aircraft reporting, graphical weather, EFBs and other operational aircraft services.

The new agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between Rockwell Collins and Iridium, which spans more than a decade and began with the advent of Iridium aviation service offerings.


GOGO

North America-based Flying Colours Corp. is installing Gogo AVANCE L3 air-to-ground connectivity systems in two Bombardier Challenger aircraft, a CL604 and CL605. The installation of the small form, fully integrated AVANCE L3 inflight connectivity and entertainment solution represents a first for Flying Colours which has already installed several of the AVANCE L5 systems. Once installed the Gogo AVANCE L3 system will provide passengers with access to the Gogo Biz Broadband network and will support, dependent on package, access to voice, email, web browsing, moving maps, and a selection of movies and TV programs.


OTHER STUFF

Circuit miniaturization has a new size reducing potential with kinetic inductance (reduced inductor size) – this is a big deal! The Last Barrier To Ultra-Miniaturized Electronics Is Broken, Thanks To A New Type Of Inductor

Thales has appointed Philippe Carette as Chief Executive Officer to lead the InFlyt Experience business. The business is a leading provider of cutting-edge technologies that entertain, connect and inspire more than 1 million airline passengers each day around the globe.

He replaces Dominique Giannoni, who managed the successful growth of Thales InFlyt Experience during the past 5 years and now takes on a new leadership role within Thales.

Mr. Carette will drive the company’s strategic corporate transformation initiatives within the business to spur greater competitiveness and long-term market leadership. He will also steer the digitalization of the connectivity and entertainment systems portfolio to deliver unique value to airline customers in a rapidly evolving cabin environment. This includes the recently introduced InFlyt360 digital platform, which allows airlines to continuously improve the passenger experience with features such as personalization, monetization, fresh and dynamic content and optimized engagement.

“Philippe is a proven leader in the aerospace industry shaping strong businesses,” said Thales Avionics Executive Vice-President Gil Michielin. “His expertise in innovative advanced technologies will also help drive our continued digital transformation and long-term growth strategy.”

“Philippe’s focus on customer success makes him an indispensable partner for airline customers,” said Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales USA. “He brings a global perspective and unwavering commitment to excellence in execution and customer service.”

Mr. Carette has spent more than 30 years in the aviation industry and previously held several leadership positions within Thales, to include the head of the Electrical Systems business and vice president and managing director of the Commercial Avionics unit. Prior to joining Thales, he was president of Deutsch Aerospace & Transportation – TE Connectivity; managing director at ALTEN; president and managing director at Sogeti High Tech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini; and managing director at Safran Group for Engineering Services and Electrical Systems. He holds a degree in engineering from the Institut polytechnique de Grenoble in France.

As you all know, this week is Farnbourgh Air Show in the UK. Needless to say, there is a ton of new aircraft sales being reported daily from Boeing, Airbus et al. Next week’s issue of IFExpress will have a synopsis for you – so stay tuned for a convenient snap shot! We should note that some $44 Billion dollars worth of aviation goods were sold the first day and a lot of aircraft large orders went to “non-disclosed” purchasers.

GOGO

Gogo Inc., the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced that it has completed a comprehensive analysis of its business and is implementing an Integrated Business Plan (“IBP”) designed to improve the Company’s operational and financial performance. The IBP, branded as “Gogo 2020”, transforms Gogo’s business model and is intended to significantly reduce its cost structure, improve quality, drive revenue, streamline business processes and prudently strengthen its balance sheet. Oakleigh Thorne, President and CEO of Gogo, said, “The initiatives we are executing under our Integrated Business Plan demonstrate our commitment to taking aggressive action to position Gogo for sustainable value creation. Gogo 2020 represents a new era for Gogo with a significantly reduced cost structure, much lower capital expenditures, and a streamlined and standardized approach to meeting the needs of our customers with improved quality and service. As we prioritize resources to strengthen the resiliency of our model, we remain focused on accomplishing our objectives without sacrificing our long-term growth opportunities and will continue to evaluate strategic options to drive revenue, monetize assets and realize the significant value of our business.”

Gogo 2020 resulted in the following:

  • Targeting Free Cash Flow break-even for the full year 2020;
  • Targeting significant annual EBITDA growth each year in our plan, reaching over $200 million in 2022;
  • Continuing to build on the significant improvement in 2Ku performance metrics, including availability of over 97% in June, by enhancing product and service quality;
  • Maintain cash capex reduction in 2018 with further material reductions in 2019;
  • Materially reducing upfront equipment subsidies for airline contracts;
  • Reducing total operating spend in Gogo’s Commercial Aviation “CA” business (excluding satellite costs) by nearly 20% by the end of 2020;
  • Reducing total cash burn in 2019 by over $100 million from expected 2018 cash burn and by a further $100 million in 2020;
  • Reviewing multiple options to address our outstanding convertible debt before it becomes current in March of 2019;
  • Renewing focus on third-party payer revenue streams to better monetize existing connected aircraft;
  • Focusing on improving the range of user experiences;
  • Reviewing a range of attractive strategic alternatives, including opportunities suggested by various strategic and financial parties, with the goal of maximizing shareholder value.

The Company provides 2018 guidance as follows:

  • Total revenue of $865 million to $935 million, in line with prior guidance;
  • 2Ku incremental aircraft on-line to be at the low end of the prior guidance range of 550 to 650;
  • Gross capex of $150 million to $170 million and cash capex of $110 million to $130 million, in line with prior guidance;
  • Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $35-45 million.

Editor’s Note: This news release opens the door for future changes that may include sale, business restructuring, and a lot more. Keep your eye on the company in the next year or so.


SITAONAIR

SITAONAIR’s trademark ‘open platforms’ approach is turning the aircraft Internet of Things (IoT) concept into a reality, in a key development for the air transport industry.

By applying its open platforms approach to delivering bespoke IoT capabilities onboard, SITAONAIR will securely integrate diverse aircraft avionics – encompassing sensors, connectivity, hardware, applications and more – heightening the potential of the connected aircraft.

For this aircraft IoT project, SITAONAIR is joining forces with two pioneering cargo carriersAirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) and CargoLogicAir (CLA) at the 2018 Farnborough Air Show. They will demonstrate how SITAONAIR’s IoT platform enables two strategic partners, ABC and CLA, to monitor, in real-time, the journey of sensitive pharmaceutical cargo inflight.

SITAONAIR’s specific IoT solution for AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir works by collecting IoT data provided by OnAsset Intelligence, its demo partner and cargo-monitoring specialist, during the course of a flight. This OnAsset Intelligence data is then fed through SITAONAIR’s onboard IoT edge gateway. The data can then be sent, securely, to its ground data management and dispatch platform, built to monitor the inflight status of carriers’ goods.

Currently, there are no other solutions on the market that provide inflight cargo sensing and freight condition visibility, as perishable and temperature-sensitive goods can only be monitored on the ground. SITAONAIR’s collaboration with AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir therefore represents a shift in technological intelligence, enabling actions or decisions to be made inflight to help optimize performance.

Sergey Lazarev, General Director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, says: “As one of the world’s leading cargo airlines, digital pharma is a priority innovation focus for us. With genuine Internet of Things capabilities, enabled for us onboard by SITAONAIR, our digital pharma service is born, ensuring we can provide the best transportation conditions inflight for customers’ invaluable cargo.”

David Kerr, CEO of CargoLogicAir, highlights: “Customers in the air cargo industry are aiming at getting a better digital experience. With SITAONAIR we will be able to move towards the establishment of a holistic digital environment for our customers”.

Dominique El Bez, SITAONAIR VP of Product & Strategy, says: “We are proud to work with AirBridgeCargo and CargoLogicAir to further improve inflight aircraft and transported assets monitoring, bringing additional value to the airline.

“With over two-thirds (67%) of commercial airlines surveyed by the SITA Group aiming to invest in Internet of Things initiatives in the years ahead, the IoT arena is truly set to take off. As the true experts in delivering the promises of the connected aircraft, through our wealth of inflight connectivity, aircraft data management and aircraft communications solutions, we are naturally positioned to bring game-changing innovation to the aircraft Internet of Things space.

“Our vision is for SITAONAIR to become the enabler of IoT ecosystems onboard aircraft, with an open platform that will be aircraft safety compliant and cost effective. Developed in collaboration with the wider aviation industry, our experts and engineers are enthusiastically exploring aircraft IoT functionalities, and with our rate of development, we aim to bring a sweep of aircraft IoT portfolio products to market from 2019.”

For more information and to discover the full SITAONAIR connected aircraft portfolio, visit www.sitaonair.aero


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, and the European Space Agency (ESA), have successfully completed the first test flight using the world’s most advanced aviation satellite technology for their Iris programme in support of European air traffic modernisation.  The evaluation is a significant step forward in realising more precise flight surveillance and more efficient air traffic management.

The Iris programme is a public-private partnership, sponsored by ESA and led by Inmarsat to enable secure, high bandwidth datalink communications over Europe.  The three-hour test flight, which departed from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, was supported by the Iris technology partners Honeywell, CGI and SITAONAIR using Inmarsat’s SB-S L-band service. Using a Cessna Citation II aircraft provided by Dutch company NLR, a number of real-time communication exchanges were completed between the cockpit and flight control facility over continental and oceanic airspace.

The evaluation moves the Iris programme a step closer to enabling SESAR’s concept of pinpointing aircraft in four dimensions (4D) – latitude, longitude, altitude and time – which results in more precise flight tracking and more efficient air traffic management. This allows pilots and controllers to calculate the shortest available routes, cruise at optimum altitudes, and use continuous climb and descent paths, saving fuel and lessening environmental impact.

The Iris programme will enhance airspace utilisation and aviation safety, while reducing flight times, delays and CO2 emissions, all in support of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan.  It will also heighten aircraft communications security through the use of security gateways, which provide a VPN (Virtual Private Network) barrier that securely connects flight management systems onboard the aircraft to corresponding systems used by air traffic controllers on the ground.

Powered by Inmarsat’s new SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) platform, the enhanced IP-based capabilities will relieve pressure on crowded VHF (Very High Frequency) channels, which are near capacity, by moving pilot-controller communications from voice communications to high-speed data link (text messages).


Turkish Technic

Turkish Technic and Havelsan will carry out the production of in-flight entertainment systems. This Joint Venture Company will perform activities in the field of in-flight entertainment and internet service provider systems and other softwares used in civil aviation including design, production, maintenance, repair, marketing, sales and after-sales services in land, sea, rail systems and air platforms. The Company is aiming to provide linefit in-flight entertainment systems as approved supplier for both Turkish Airlines’ new generation aircraft to be delivered between 2022-2023 and other domestic and international airlines’ aircrafts. In-flight entertainment systems which play very important role especially for long haul flights and foster customer satisfaction, are planning to be produced by this Company with high technology and competitive prices. At the first stage, the Company, to be operational at Turkish Technics’ Sabiha Gökçen International Airport facilities in 2018, is planning to commercialize its products for domestic airline operators and other operators within its close region.

 


OTHER NEWS

  • Alaska Air: The Seattle-based carrier converted its 15 737-8 orders to the larger variant, bringing its firm commitments for the Max 9 to 32, during the first quarter, a financial filing shows. It also has 11 737-900ER orders. Alaska will take its first Max in 2019 with deliveries continuing through 2023. – FlightGlobal
  • Want to know more about software API’s? It’s an application program interface and, yes, it is the part of the software/hardware that receives requests and sends responses – Check out this descriptive article
  • On Tuesday, an Air China flight from Hong Kong to Dalian dropped 25,000 feet in just a few minutes, causing the oxygen masks to deploy. The cause? One of the pilots was vaping and tried to hide the smell, as The South China Morning Post explains: CAAC, which seized the aircrafts flight data and voice recorders and interviewed crew members, said preliminary investigations found that the co-pilot had, without telling the pilot, attempted to turn off a circulation fan to prevent e-cigarette smoke from reaching the cabin. “[But the co-pilot] mistakenly switched off the air-conditioning unit that was next to it, resulting in insufficient oxygen in the cabin and an altitude warning.,” said Qiao Yibin, of the authority’s safety office, at a press briefing on Friday, according to state-run Xinhua news agency. OOPS!!
  • Perhaps probiotics can help jet-lag? Take a look at this article.

Spain | July 17, 2018– After the strong partnerships with renowned airlines such as EasyJet, Iberia Express, Volotea, among others and more recently, with Pegasus and SunExpress airlines, Immfly is highly oriented to design, develop and manage new in-flight digital products and services to provide the state-of-the-art in technology and to please the passengers’ experience.

Cardenal’s know-how and expertise go beyond the conventional entertainment products due to the vast experience she brings with her career – the understanding of both airlines needs and travelers expectations. Immfly and Maria Cardenal are currently working on the most outstanding digital services solutions, positioning the technology company at the industry’s frontline.

Barcelona, 17th July 2018 . Maria Cardenal has joined Immfly, a leading provider of in-flight digital services and entertainment in Europe and most recently, also in the Middle East, to lead the company’s product and innovation department. The technology company founded in Barcelona finds itself in a period of international growth and is consolidating its position through the unique in-flight experience that provides, with personalized capabilities that passengers can access and enjoy through their own smart devices.

During the course of hers 11 years experience working within the airline industry, Maria Cardenal has held senior positions in companies such as Vueling Airlines and Clickair.

At an academic level, Maria holds a Master in Business Administration from ESADE and a Bachelor in Business Administration from Carlos III University.

Maria’s last job position was as Head of Innovation at Vueling airlines, where she instituted Vueling Innovation Lab and participated on the IAG’s startup acceleration program Hangar 51, on its 2017-18 Spanish edition.

Maria has also been Head of Product Development and Ancillary Revenues at Vueling Airlines for 9 years leading the area responsible for the development of innovative products and services that add value to Vueling customers and help the company to differentiate itself from the competition, and, was at the same time accountable for the ancillary revenue generated by those products and services.

Prior to that, Maria was part of the management team that started Clickair, the fastest growing airline in Europe, as Head of Ancillary Revenue from 2007 to July 2009 when it merged with Vueling. Before joining the airline industry, Maria spent seven years dedicated to helping enterprises to enter e-commerce, as Head of new business development at Logista, from October 2000 to July 2007.

This current month, Maria Cardenal accepted a new professional and career challenge when decidedtoincorporateImmfly. “Immflyisanamazingcompany.Itisagileandinnovativeasno other competitor on its field and has already demonstrated that it has the right approach to addressing the needs of both airlines and travelers around the world. I’m so happy to join this company and I hope that I can contribute to making Immfly fly higher.”, explains Maria Cardenal, current Product Director at Immfly.

Jimmy Martinez Von Korff and Pablo Linz, co-founders of Immfly, welcome the appointment:

“María Cardenal brings a unique airline DNA to our company. We know each other for a long time and we share the same vision on where we want to expand our cabin digital services. Maria was has been driving innovation and ancillary in Vueling in the key years of the airline’s digitalization. We are excited about her user-centric approach and we are sure we will continue building extraordinary technologies and services for the cabin space that will meet airlines digital aspirations.”

The Crystal Cabin Award is expanding with the new “Best Customer Journey Experience” category. Submissions can be made online until the end of July.

Hamburg | July 9, 2018– With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at https://connect.apex.aero/page/apexawards until the end of July.

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

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

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

The Crystal Cabin Award 2018 is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, AIME 2019 – Aircraft Interiors Middle East, ALTRAN S.A.S. Co. KG, Ameco Beijing, APEX, ATR, Boltaron Inc. – A SIMONA Company, DIEHL Aviation, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, FIT AG – Additive Manufacturing Group, Flightchic, Flightglobal, Future Travel Experience, Global Eagle, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Panasonic, Rockwell Collins, Runway Girl Network, SEKISUI SPI and Thales.

 

RAVE ULTRA is the Third Generation RAVE System

During AIX we sat down with Zii and discussed RAVE and the next evolution of their full-up AVOD product dubbed ULTRA. Below is the fruit of that interview and several telecons since then! While at their booth, we were shown (and amazed) at the size, and we mean thinness, of the screen. You can see it in the accompanying image at the beginning of the story – iPhone thickness is not out of the question as one can see. The point here is the display, its accompanying storage, control and communication hardware electronics will not create seatback installation issues!

Next, let’s ask ourselves what problems airlines are facing today when it comes to their IFE and the burgeoning passenger expectations? On the passenger side, they want large quantities of (up to 4K) quality, varied entertainment. The airlines want to be able to provide content without a cumbersome system architecture that is laden with a multitude of boxes (which do not facilitate an easy and affordable upgrade path) that will not involve expensive certification and software development. Since the inception of RAVE by Zii, they have been dedicated to solving this problem as part of their design objectives. In fact, RAVE is an acronym that stands for: Reliable – inherently simple in its design; Affordable – committed to making IFE affordable for every airline; Very – modular, scalable, versatile; and Easy – to install, operate and maintain. In other words, RAVE!

RAVE ULTRA is Seat-Centric, not Server-Centric

Their third-generation, brand new smart system and display line, RAVE ULTRA, continues Zii’s commitment to Seat-Centric IFE and their dedication to everything RAVE has stood for from its inception. In fact, Seat-Centric, according to Zii, is the key to their dedication to ‘stress free IFE’ for their airline customers and is the third generation of that design. You may ask: Seat-Centric? How does that differ from a Server-Centric system? When Zii, formerly IMS, first addressed the issue of providing IFE to airlines they approached the problem from a different perspective than most traditional IFE hardware solutions – they elected to design a seat-centric solution, as opposed to a server-centric solution. A traditional IFE system has a head-end (consisting of several file and media servers) and multiple distribution boxes between it and the passenger display unit. “The larger (HD/UHD quality and increased quantity) content demands and logistics problems that the IFE industry is facing are amplified in the IFE Server Centric Systems, but not so with a Seat-Centric System,” said Harry Gray Zii’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Seat-Centric IFE provides an elegant answer to onboard entertainment that is enhanced by its simplicity: A System Control Unit in the electronics bay connected via a Gigabit Ethernet backbone to each Smart Display at each seat – that’s it.” The bi-directional loop system architecture provides network stability and redundancy, so if there is a network break on one side of the data connection, the data communication is automatically routed through the other.  Additionally, since the entertainment content is stored at the seat, even if there was a total network failure, the passenger would have full access to all the content stored locally on the display.

RAVE ULTRA Delivers More for Passengers Because of the Cloud

In addition to locally stored content at the seat, the SCU also stores additional entertainment content enhancing the overall capacity of titles offered to the passenger.  RAVE cloud is flying today and Zii is further enhancing cloud capabilities by utilizing content file sharing between the seats thus multiplying the content capacity available to each passenger.  Because of the Cloud-based data gain, 10 Terabytes of capacity is dynamically available for content making it, perhaps, the IFE system with more data for each passenger than any system today. More data means more content and that means more happy users – it’s that simple!  It’s important to note that the content file is “transferred” (not “streamed”) to the passenger so there are no inherent network latency issues as compared to server-centric systems when streaming simultaneously to 300 passengers.   With the combination of locally stored and cloud content – passengers can enjoy HD/UHD entertainment and the airlines can more easily manage content loading without the long ground time.

RAVE System Features Two Main Boxes – SCU and Seat Display 

From a network and hardware perspective, operation via the use of Linux fast hardware is aided by Android developed apps that can be installed and played on each seat system and viewed on the RAVE ULTRA display. Content loading is fast, perhaps the fastest within the industry, via the SD card load-and-go process. Further, the SCU has 4 SD slots, so all it takes is replacing the SD cards with fresh content and the new content is loaded during normal operating times.  Content loading is accomplished in a matter of seconds (not hours).

However, the step change in the third-generation product is in the ULTRA Display itself. The smart display is virtually all viewable screen and is roughly 0.3” thick, resulting in a product that weighs a third of the current generation inflight displays. It is ruggedized with a poly carbonate lens cover and resides in a docking station inserted into the seat – it is not a portable and does not have an internal battery. ULTRA utilizes In-Cell touchscreen capability that supports multi-touch gestures, similar to smartphone devices today making it intuitive for most airline customers. Initially, there are four seatback display sizes – 27”, 17.3”, 15.6”, and 13.3”.

Integrated Bluetooth Audio is another feature built-in to RAVE ULTRA that supports wireless Bluetooth headsets at each aircraft seat; as well as, an integrated camera (another feature) that facilitates QR code scanning and payment options. Oh, and USB-A and a USB-C port all also feature options available.

RAVE Supports H.265 HVEC Compression Standards

The dockable display unit has a Solid State Drive with up to 1 TB of local content and its own IP address that provides passengers with access to 10 TBs of available content via the internal cloud. Further, the display itself is 4K and supports H.265 HEVC to facilitate the latest compression standards. “Seat content sharing is the next generation of IFE and it is being accomplished through cloud sharing,” said Harry Gray. Cloud content can be stored either in the SCU(s) or at another seat display. This provides passengers with access not only to their locally stored data but the benefit of a substantial amount of cloud-based storage. The evolution to this cloud-centric system for content truly allows Zii to keep RAVE content current with the latest storage and content demands. Check out the table below to see both where and how much content storage and access is available in the new RAVE ULTRA based on: Local data storage in memory, Cloud-based memory storage using the SCU, and finally with display memory plus the SCU memory and plus the neighboring seat data storage!

When a passenger requests content that is not resident in their seat display, there is a slight delay of not more than 3 seconds prior to viewing the content.  While the passenger is watching the movie the rest of the content is rapidly transferred (in typically less than 36 seconds) to their seatback and locally stored for the duration of that viewing. This floating cloud data solution is what makes RAVE a real winner for stored data entertainment that passengers will want, and while they may stay involved and engrossed with the airline entertainment solution, everybody wins!

RAVE ULTRA is THE Airline 4K Viewing Solution

The size of the display, the compression method and the number of languages all influence the amount of storage required for any given piece of content. High Efficiency Video Coding (H.265) is the video compression method used by RAVE. The following graph explains the amount of storage required on the RAVE system by a 2-hour feature length movie with 4 stereo language tracks:

RAVE ULTRA will be in BOSTON

RAVE ULTRA is in its finalizing phase and has garnered two committed customers.  It is in the midst of meeting head-strike requirements and in the certification process with a target of launch in 2019. “ULTRA is a revolution in product capability,” said Harry “And Zii is excited to continue facilitating airlines in enhancing their passengers entertainment experience.” The IFExpress team is looking forward to watching this product come to market and look for the next installation on the progress of ULTRA and Zii after APEX in Boston!

Consistent with RAVE philosophy, the ULTRA displays are backward compatible with the current generation of RAVE.  Airlines can mix and match displays on the common RAVE backbone.


OTHER NEWS

Dunfermline, UK | June 28, 2018– On 1 August 2018, Caribbean Airlines (CAL) will deploy Bluebox Aviation Systems’ portable wireless streaming platform, Bluebox Wow, on its Boeing B737-800 fleet for routes across the Caribbean and North and South America. Bluebox Wow will enhance Caribbean Airlines’ in-flight service by delivering ‘Caribbean View’ – a free in-flight entertainment service streamed to passengers’ own devices. Content will include blockbuster movies, television programmes, games, magazines and other Caribbean content.

“Caribbean Airlines is focused on enhancing the customer experience, and we are excited to introduce ‘Caribbean View’ as part of our in-flight entertainment package,” said Garvin Medera, Chief Executive Officer, Caribbean Airlines. “The wireless service will be free to all Caribbean Airlines passengers and the Bluebox Wow platform gives us the quality we want to deliver, in a flexible solution that fits our service upgrade plans.”

“We’re extremely pleased that Caribbean Airlines has selected Bluebox Wow for engaging its passengers,” said Kevin Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Bluebox. “Bluebox Wow offers a powerful and flexible proposition that will ensure Caribbean Airlines can deliver a fresh and vibrant service that is extremely easy for passengers to access, two things we know are important to an engaging IFE service.”

Bluebox Wow will be deployed across the Caribbean Airlines fleet of 12 Boeing B737-800 aircraft, on flights over 2 hours and above 10,000 feet.

Bluebox’s portable wireless streaming platform provides content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, providing the capability of storing up to 1.6 terabytes of film, TV, audio, games and other digital content. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed securely in overhead bins, each box’s single, swappable rechargeable battery delivers up to 15 hours of simultaneously streamed video content.

Perhaps, one of the more interesting presentation at last week’s APEX TC Meeting in Los Angeles was the VT Miltope/RazorSecure discussion on IFEC Security. Why? Because airplane connectivity hacking is an issue we all are concerned about, especially if you travel. But more importantly, hacking an airplane is a very big deal! When we heard about the RazorSecure pitch, we contacted Jeff Drader, Director of Business Development at VT Miltope about the presentation, and after seeing it, we had a few questions for Jeff.

Everyone we talk to about aviation security is happy to address airport security, but issues pertaining to hackers in the plane (or on the ground affecting a plane) highlight the importance of the technical problems involved, the issues that can be discussed (security) and the eventual connectivity implications and solutions required.

Firstly, we asked Jeff about the TC itself and he noted: “The APEX Tech forum was this past week, and was good as usual. I’d say it has become more professional – with a broader scope. Not too long ago, the WAEA/APEX Tech committee was focused on the techie aspects of IFE, such as developing audio and video specifications related to the IFE industry. Now, it strikes a broader note, including how to provide/promote advertising to passengers …” When we asked about the technical focus of the VT Miltope/RazorSecure presentation, he told IFExpress: “RazorSecure is focused on embedded cybersecurity in the area of transportation, with initial deployments on trains. RazorSecure has been successfully detecting and diffusing on-board attacks and breaches as well as system installation issues.” He went on: “By year end, RazorSecure and VT Miltope plan to offer RazorSecure cybersecurity intrusion detection software as a part of VT Miltope’s nMAP2 airborne wireless access point.  In addition, VT Miltope’s next generation MAP3, with 802.11ac WAVE 2, will also incorporate RazorSecure cybersecurity software.  Since passengers now connect through these wireless access points to the cabin systems, this will be the first line of defense. The RazorSecure intrusion software, in conjunction with enhanced Cognitive Hotspot™ Technology software, provide formidable cybersecurity protection at a potentially vulnerable gateway to the cabin network. As Alex Cowan described this past week at the APEX Tech forum in Los Angeles, passive cyber detection, such as virus filters and firewalls, are no longer sufficient.  Active cybersecurity intrusion detection is necessary to keep ahead of quickly adapting attacks.  RazorSecure’s approach includes the detection of malicious software such as:

  • DOS Attack
  • Physical Attacks
  • Remote Shell Access
  • Critical Configuration Changes
  • Authentication and Misconfiguration
  • And, many more …”

We think you get the picture but, no doubt, IFEC security will get much bigger in the coming years and we cant wait to see who and when drives WPA3 to the aviation front. We also note, Alex Cowan mentions in his presentation that this year has seen increasing attacks against network equipment and you can bet that this is just the beginning!  Here are the RazorSecure presentation charts


Panasonic/AeroMobile

AeroMobile, a Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, and leading UAE telecommunications operator Etisalat have partnered to simplify and reduce the cost of mobile phone use inflightinflight. AeroMobile’s inflight mobile phone service is now available in Etisalat’s mainstream roaming packages, allowing their subscribers to stay online, make and receive calls, listen to voicemail on AeroMobile equipped aircraft at no extra cost. AeroMobile inflight mobile services are available on more than 20 airlines worldwide including Emirates and Etihad in the UAE. Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile, says: “Etisalat is renowned for being at the leading edge of the customer experience and this new market-leading offer shows their continued commitment to providing the very best service to their subscribers, whilst also endorsing the importance and relevance of in-flight mobile services to the traveling public.”


Airbus

Greece’s biggest airline, AEGEAN Airlines, has firmed up an order for the purchase of 30 A320neo Family aircraft at a ceremony in Athens, witnessed by Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras.  The purchase agreement, comprising 10 A321neos and 20 A320neos, was signed by AEGEAN Chairman Eftichios Vassilakis and Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders. It follows an earlier Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2018. Currently, AEGEAN operates a fleet of 49 Airbus aircraft (37 A320s, 11 A321s and 1 A319).

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 nearly 6,100 orders received from 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market. The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family and seats between 185 and 240 passengers, depending on cabin configuration. Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances and cabin innovations, the A321neo can fly up to 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 kilometres) non-stop – further than any other single-aisle airliner.


Boeing

Bamboo Airways

Boeing and Bamboo Airways announced a commitment for 20 787-9 Dreamliners in deal that would be worth $5.6B at current list prices, when finalized. The announcement was made during a signing ceremony at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce office, witnessed by Voung Dinh Hue, deputy prime minister of Vietnam, and Nazak Nikakhtar, Assistant Secretary for Industry and Analysis, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.

As part of the agreement, Bamboo Airways completed the deposit requirement in mid-June to reserve the 20 airplanes, which are tentatively schedule to deliver from April 2020 through 2021.

“We are excited to introduce these new 787 Dreamliners into our fleet as we prepare to launch long-haul operations to international markets,” said Mr Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group, 100% owner of Bamboo Airways. “Our long-term vision is to connect Vietnam to key markets within Asia, Europe and North America and the capabilities of these new state-of-the-art Dreamliners will help us achieve our goals. The 787’s superior economics and efficiency, as well as the passenger pleasing interior of the Dreamliner will allow us to successfully grow our business while enabling us to better serve our customers.”

Bamboo Airways is a startup airline that plans to begin commercial operations in 2019 out of the capital city of Hanoi. The carrier plans to offer flights within Vietnam before expanding into other Northeast Asian markets such as China, Korea and Japan. “We are delighted to welcome Bamboo Airways to the Boeing family and we look forward to Bamboo joining the growing group of global airlines that fly the 787 Dreamliner,” said Mr Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president of Asia Pacific and India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are confident that the 787 will help launch Bamboo’s long-haul operations and serve as the foundation of their success for many years to come.”

The 787 Dreamliner is an all-new, super-efficient family of commercial airplanes. Since 2011, more than 690 Dreamliners have been delivered to operators, flying over 255 million people on more than 680 unique routes around the world, saving an estimated 25 billion pounds of fuel.

At 20 feet (6 meters) longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 extends the family in capacity and range, flying more passengers and more cargo farther. The airplane can fly 290 passengers, in a typical two-class configuration, up to 7,635 nautical miles (14,140 km).

Bamboo Airways is wholly-owned by the FLC Group, a Vietnamese multi-industry company, focusing on aviation, real estate, resorts, farming, and golf.

Boeing & FedEx

In another story, BOEING and FedEx Express announced a new order for 12 767 Freighters and 12 777 Freighters as the world’s largest air cargo carrier continues to invest in the industry’s most capable freighters to better serve its customers. The new airplanes, valued at $6.6 billion at list prices, will appear on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries webpage once contingencies have been met.This order comes as the air cargo industry continues to gather strength. A year after demand grew by nearly 10 percent, global air freight is on track to increase by another four to five percent in 2018.

Air cargo carriers are adding capacity to keep up with demand, either by converting passenger airplanes into freighters or ordering new production cargo jets. With the latest order from FedEx Express, Boeing has sold more than 50 widebody freighters so far in 2018. FedEx Express and Boeing have a long-standing partnership. The express carrier is a major operator of the Boeing 757 Freighter and the largest operator of the 767 Freighter and 777 Freighter. FedEx is also a customer of Boeing’s Global Services business.

The 767 Freighter, based on the 767-300ER (extended range) passenger jet, can carry approximately 58 tons (52.7 tonnes) of revenue cargo with intercontinental range, making it a flexible platform for serving long-haul, regional or feeder markets.

The 777 Freighter is the world’s longest range twin-engine freighter. The jet can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 112 tons (102 metric tonnes or 102,000 kg). With the 777 Freighter, FedEx has been able to connect Asia with its hub in Memphis, Tenn. non-stop and reduce transit times by up to three hours. This has enabled FedEx to accept packages later in the day and still deliver them on time. The 777 Freighter also uses 18 percent less fuel compared to the airplanes it replaces, and provides quieter takeoffs and landings that meet airport noise standards.

And yes, here is their hypersonic passenger design concept –

Boeing Unveils Hypersonic Airliner Concept | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week


Other News

  • Need a quick trip to the airport – cheap too? How to Find Cheap Transportation to and From Major Airports
  • Predictive Maintenance is coming of age – and EasyJet Airlines is one of the first users of some 50 predictive algorithms used on their A319’s. The following link is the Avionics story on the Rockwell Collins/Airbus/Plantir Tech solution:EasyJet Talks Evolving Predictive Maintenance Operations at AEE – Avionics
  • Tim Clark, Emirates CEO desires airplanes for passengers without cabin windows. He argues that such a plane would be 50% lighter – and we assume he doesn’t mean that there will be half of the passengers choosing the viewless travel. After all, at night or when the crew closes the shades, it is quite a similar experience!
  • Remember the actor – Michael Rapaport? He is now a hero! Michael Rapaport Stopped A Man Opening An Emergency Exit On A Plane
  • Bob Bogash sent this note about aviation pioneer Kelly Johnson: “As many of you know, Kelly is a personal hero, and I have written a lot about him.  I have also given quite a few talks about his life as an aircraft designer and project manager.  I’ve bragged I could probably teach a semester course on his life, and actually, it’s not much of an exaggeration. This is the 75th Anniversary of his founding of the Skunk Works, and there’s been quite a bit of press – some of it chest-pounding on the part of Lockheed.  Well, that’s understandable, I reckon, even though they were pretty glad to see him retired, at the time.” Check out these links on the subject: 1) http://www.rbogash.com/U-2/U-2.html 2) http://www.rbogash.com/kellyairplanes.html

Below is an update on the latest news since last week’s edition of IFExpress.

ROCKWELL COLLINS
Rockwell Collins has unveiled a new aviation resource management system to help airlines manage aircraft, fuel and cabin crew expenses and enable non-stop global operations.

The aviation resource management system is a turnkey, cloud-based platform comprised of modules that cover every aspect of an airline’s operations as well as a unified database. It enables operational data to flow seamlessly, accurately and in real time between airline functions, allowing the most cost-optimized use of resources as possible.

“Our aviation resource management system eliminates the need for airlines to connect disparate applications that were never designed to work together in the first place and replaces them with an integrated solution,” said Heament Kurian, head of Value Added Applications & Solutions and Strategic Partnership, Information Management Services for Rockwell Collins. “This means that if something like a flight delay occurs, data is automatically distributed to the impacted systems, improving airline personnel’s near-term scheduling and long-term planning abilities.”

The Rockwell Collins solution features a full suite of software-based applications that use prescriptive analytics to automatically recommend the best aircraft and cabin crew usage and greatly simplify the handling of disruptions.

The aviation resource management system complements the company’s ARINC Paxlink, a passenger service system that creates more efficient operations and enhances passenger satisfaction. “These solutions can be used independently or combined to simplify and cost-effectively connect operations from the back office all the way through to passenger-related activities, helping airlines of any size better manage their resources and expenses,” said Kurian.

The Rockwell Collins aviation resource management system is a collaboration with Laminaar Aviation Infotech, which designs and produces innovative solutions for the global aviation and airline markets.


THALES

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. recently acknowledged Thales’ performance in engineering, quality, reliability and product support as one of the company’s top performing suppliers. Thales was presented with this award at a ceremony held on June 3, in Savannah, Georgia. Fewer than one percent of Gulfstream suppliers were commended with a Supplier of the Year Award.

Thales began its relationship with Gulfstream in 2007 when it was selected to supply Fly-by-Wire Flight Control Electronics (FCE) for Gulfstream’s flagship aircraft, the Gulfstream G650. Thales’ advanced FCE solutions are also on the Gulfstream G500 and G600. The FCE ensures a smooth ride, superior performance and uncompromising attention to safety whilst reducing weight and optimizing volume. It consists of field-tested quad-dual digital flight control computers and one back-up flight control unit.


INMARSAT

Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, and Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, have been awarded the prestigious German Innovation Award for their highly successful joint venture, the European Aviation Network (EAN). It is the world’s first inflight broadband solution that combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based ground network, was announced as the winner in the Aviation and Maritime Technologies category, during a ceremony in Berlin.The German Innovation Award was founded by the esteemed German Design Council and launched by German Parliament. Entries undergo a comprehensive evaluation that considers factors such as user benefits, economic feasibility, sustainability, technical quality and durability. Winners are therefore considered to be ‘best-of-the-best’ in their categories.Judged by a panel of high profile experts from various German industries, EAN was commended for its exceptional performance and the potential of the network to positively influence the future of air travel. The win follows EAN also recently being named ‘Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation’ by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).

EAN is available to both commercial airlines and business aviation aircraft across all 28 EU States, in addition to Norway and Switzerland. With the solution, passengers will experience high quality broadband in the skies and the increasingly congested European aviation industry can meet the accelerating demand of new data hungry generations. David Fox, Deutsche Telekom’s Vice President Inflight Services and Connectivity, said: “It is truly an honour for our network to be designated an ‘innovation made in Germany’, and being so named by the German Design Council is proof of the extraordinary value of EAN.”


SITA

SITA announced that it has been chosen by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) as the technology partner for biometric exit at Orlando International Airport. Orlando International is the first U.S. airport to fully deploy the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Biometric Entry and Exit Program. Over the coming months, SITA will integrate Smart Path, its sophisticated biometric technology, at the airport’s 30 international boarding gates.

Earlier this year, SITA worked with GOAA, British Airways and CBP to incorporate the U.S. biometric departure check for British Airways’ customers. The trial’s success has prompted airport-wide implementation of the technology. The system makes passenger boarding quicker and easier, while it also incorporates the new secure biometric exit checks. British Airways is boarding flights of almost 240 customers in around 15 minutes. With Smart Path, passengers just need to look at the camera, without having to present boarding passes or passports.

John Newsome, Chief Information Officer, GOAA, said: “Our decision to implement biometric exit checks across the whole airport follows a hugely successful live trial. The innovative boarding process we tested is really popular with passengers. They simply look at the camera and within seconds the gate opens and they can board the flight. It is easy, fast and most importantly, secure. The solution works on common-use boarding gates and can be easily used by the many international airlines that we serve at MCO.”

Diana Einterz, SITA President, Americas, said: “GOAA’s implementation of SITA Smart Path for the U.S. CBP biometric exit checks will deliver a simpler travel process for the airport’s six million annual international passengers. SITA is a world-leader in biometrics and we are committed to delivering secure seamless journeys for airline passengers globally. It is great to be GOAA’s technology partner as it becomes the first airport to fully implement biometrics for international flights from the U.S.”

Passengers can expect to enjoy 100% biometric boarding for international flights at Orlando International Airport by October. Over the next four months, SITA will integrate Smart Path at 64 boarding lanes, at 30 boarding gates across the airport. As part of the agreement, SITA will provide the technology solution, professional services, hardware and maintenance. This will be backed by SITA’s global service management, which supports the operational needs of the world’s top airports and airlines through 24/7 worldwide availability and proactive monitoring.


AIRBUS

AIRBUS finalized deal to acquire majority stake in C SERIES AIRCRAFT LIMITED PARTNERSHIP on July 1 (ahead of schedule) from Bombardier and Investissement Québec; head office, primary assembly line and related functions will remain in Québec and a second line is to open Mobile, AL

  • Airbus to acquire majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, effective July 1, 2018
  • All regulatory approvals required for the closing of the transaction have been obtained
  • Partnership head office, leadership team and primary final assembly line located in Mirabel, Québec (representing some 2,200 employees and subcontractors), with the support of the C Series global supply chain
  • Partnership brings together two complementary product lines, with 100-150 seat market segment projected to represent 6,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years
  • Addition of Airbus’ global reach to create significant value for C Series’ customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and communities
  • Significant C Series production efficiencies anticipated by leveraging Airbus’ production ramp-up expertise
  • Growing market for C Series to support second Final Assembly Line in Alabama, serving U.S. customers

Having received all required regulatory approvals, Airbus SE (EPA: AIR), Bombardier Inc. (TSX: BBD.B) and Investissement Québec (IQ) have agreed to close the C Series transaction effective on July 1, 2018. The transaction by which Airbus will acquire a majority stake in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) was initially announced in October 2017. The Mirabel-based partnership, which was originally established between Bombardier and IQ, will benefit from Airbus’ global reach, scale, procurement organization and expertise in selling, marketing and producing the C Series – a state-of-the-art jet aircraft family in the 100-150 seat market. Airbus will work with its partners Bombardier and IQ to fully unlock the C Series’ potential and create significant new value for customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and the communities in which the partnership operates. The partnership’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions will be based in Mirabel, Québec.

As previously announced, Bombardier will continue with its current funding plan of CSALP. Due to the early closing of the partnership, the terms of this plan are updated according to the following schedule: Bombardier will fund the cash shortfalls of CSALP, if required, during the second half of 2018, up to a maximum of US$225 million; during 2019, up to a maximum of US$350 million; and up to a maximum aggregate amount of US$350 million over the following two years, in consideration for non-voting participating shares of CSALP with cumulative annual dividends of 2%. Any excess shortfall during such periods will be shared proportionately amongst CSALP’s Class A shareholders. Airbus will consolidate CSALP effective from July 1, 2018 onwards. Further financial information on the transaction will be provided later this year.

The C Series program continues to ramp up. Having delivered 17 aircraft in 2017, it is gearing up to double its deliveries in 2018. With the C Series’ demonstrated in-service performance and the finalization of this partnership, the parties expect increased demand to support a second C Series Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama, dedicated to supplying U.S.-based customers. The C Series is positioned to capture a large percentage of the estimated 6,000 aircraft needed in this market segment over the next 20 years.

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders said: “This partnership extends our commitment to Québec and to all of Canadian aerospace, and we are very glad to welcome so many C Series teammates into the extended Team Airbus. The strength of the entire Airbus organization will be behind the C Series. Not only will that enable this outstanding aircraft to fulfill its market potential, but we are convinced the addition of the C Series to our overall aircraft product offering brings significant value to Airbus, our customers and shareholders.”


OTHER NEWS

  • One of the best information articles – Ever – 19 Incredibly Useful Websites You’ll Wish You Knew Earlier
  • “We know a lot of you love your BOSE headphones because we have seen you use them on flights. But did you know you can use a plug in device on them to turn them into Bluetooth wireless listening devices? Just type in “AirMod” into Amazon and get the converter…and thank BOSE for using a plug-in wire for the source connection…”
  • We had never seen a good summary of the new action roles of management consultants till we read this article – Information, Expertise, Insight, and Execution: Killing Strategy: The Disruption Of Management Consulting
  • Skift’s Sean O’Neil just published what we consider as one of the best future looks at traveling with some 20 startups to watch in 20i8. Dont miss this article for the future hotshots of travel. As they note “No scooter startups or flying taxis. No blockchain-based dreams. And nothing from Silicon Valley — which hogs the spotlight enough as it is.” Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch 2018 – Skift
  • Here are 32 reasons (out of 10,000) why we love Japan: 32 Times the Japanese Were Light Years Ahead of the Game
  • Watch your phone videos privately on the plane with $20 googles! Check it out here

Leisure carrier partners with tech company for introduction of brand new inflight entertainment system

Dublin, Ireland | June 6, 2018–“SunExpress Entertainment” with Immfly Digital Services: The airline, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, introduces its partnership with Immfly for its new inflight entertainment system.“SunExpress Entertainment” will be rolled out across the fleet of Boeing 737-800NG and MAX and will be personalized for every passenger with an on-demand function via everyone’s individual mobile device. Since Immfly is leading the development of inflight digital platforms in Europe as a tool for boosting airline revenues by analyzing customer loyalty and by adding revenue streams with digital inflight sponsorship services, the platform “SunExpress Entertainment” was designed with clear marketing and revenue optimization objectives.

A unique personalization of content in terms of route, time, airline and language

Immfly can customize its digital services to meet the best conditions and offer the best passenger experience. A broad range of entertainment modules such as TV-shows, movies, music, games, press and magazines as well as kids’ content, will be available on board of the SunExpress aircrafts. To access them, passengers have to use their own personal electronic devices (mobile phone, tablet, laptop), enter the Immfly WIFI network on board and enjoy the wide variety of content.

International and local content

As Immfly’s digital platform will be present in two distinct markets – each one of them very rich in CSPs – it will count on international providers such as 20t h Century FOX as well as local content – from Turkey and from Germany respectively.

“In addition to only offering entertainment and flight information, Immfly works closely with SunExpress to perfectly fit their digitalization strategy and enable SunExpress passengers to enjoy a digital seamless travel journey including the onboard experience,” explains Vincent Tomasoni,Chief C ustomerandContentOfficeratImmfly.

Digital services
Plan your trip while flying

“Your Destination” is fully dedicated to provide guidance and valuable tips for passengers about places to go, discover the most secret spots of the city and the various activities to do right after landing. The section offers information regarding transfer services, tours, where and what to buy, and all of this information in a guide format that covers the airline’s routes, available in several languages.

“SunExpress Entertainment” also provides practical information about the flight and an interactive 3D map of the route in the “Flight Info” section, that shows a real-time flight tracker to checkpoints of interest, the airline ́s destination, the actual time at the destination, outside temperature, the aircraft’s altitude and speed as well as the arrival time. Provided by “The Weather Network” passengers will always be informed about local weatherconditionsandforecastsattheirfinal d estination.

E-commerce services

Additionally, SunExpress’ catering and duty-free menus SunCafe and SunShop will be available on the “SunExpress Entertainment” digital platform. SunExpress plans to even enhance this new channel by allowing the passenger to select and pay goods from the platform in a “self-service” way, and also, choose to receive the order at the seat or at the galley.

“We are happy to work together with Immfly on our inflight entertainment system in the future”, says Peter Glade, Commercial Director of SunExpress. “ Our guests’ experience is of paramount meaning to us, which is why we need a strong partner as Immfly by our side in order to offer a diverse entertainment program in line with additional services.”

A scalable service in the air

Immfly’s digital services platform is highly reliable, flexible and scalable into new features that can be upgraded at any time, depending exclusively on the airline’s criteria and need. It is Immfly’s intention to continuously add new digital services, and in this way, Immfly and SunExpress are boosting the passenger experience and enhancing SunExpress’ value and position in the aviation industry.

SkyLights today released a report for airline customer experience managers addressing the current opportunities and obstacles Virtual Reality In-Flight Entertainment (VR IFE) presents to airlines.

Paris, France | June 6, 2018–SkyLights today released a special report for airline customer experience managers entitled “Virtual Reality IFE : Opportunities & Obstacles Addressed”. The paper, which has been published to coincide with IATA’s first ‘Aviation Virtual & Augmented Reality Summit’ in Geneva, aims to further the industry’s understanding of VR IFE as it stands today by exploring the opportunities it offers, as well as the obstacles and respective solutions for implementation.

72% of passengers are willing to adopt VR IFE over other IFE systems, according to an independent survey referenced in the paper. This figure is particularly pronounced among millennials and frequent flyers, at 75% and 80% respectively. With this in mind, the report argues VR IFE can enable airlines to ‘stand out from the crowd and secure a sustainable competitive advantage in the midst of increased competition and increasingly empowered consumers’.

“Leveraging VR as IFE makes a lot of sense on long-haul flights. It offers a remarkable customer experience that makes time fly and creates a feeling of space and privacy onboard.”, said Laurence Fornari, SkyLights’ Head of Sales and Marketing.

In exploring the obstacles of VR IFE highlighted in Gogo’s 2015 white paper ‘Head Mounted Displays for In-Flight Entertainment’, SkyLights’ study explains the solutions that are currently in place and the fast-paced progress that has been made in the field. It concludes that, thanks to advancements made in VR technology and content over the last three years, VR is now ready to deploy in-flight.

“There are two common objections to VR IFE. The first is VR sickness, which is resolved by offering a fixed-screen, cinematic experience, or carefully curating the increasingly abundant VR films that are suitable to view in-flight. At SkyLights, we do both. The second obstacle is passenger safety, which can be circumvented by enabling the cabin crew to pause VR headsets to make an announcement.”, said Rateb Zaouk, SkyLights’ Head of Operations.

While, in the short term, it is unlikely VR IFE will replace seatback screens on long-haul flights, the report explains the advantages of offering VR as an additional service to add value and differentiate the customer journey. Similarly, it suggests VR IFE and W-IFE can be combined for a low cost/high value entertainment offering.

Topics covered in the white paper include:

  • VR within the IFE ecosystem
  • Airline use cases
  • VR IFE content types
  • Opportunities for airlines
  • Obstacles to bringing VR IFE onboard

The report can be downloaded for free at;

http://www.skylights.aero/white-paper-vr-inflight-entertainment/


Rockwell Collins

Switzerland-based AMAC Aerospace has selected a full suite of Rockwell Collins’ cabin products for the world’s first Airbus ACJ320neo VIP aircraft, which is due for delivery to Acropolis Aviation, the UK VIP charter operator, in the fourth quarter of 2019. AMAC is scheduled to begin outfitting the aircraft at its Basel, Switzerland, facilities before the end of 2018. AMAC and Acropolis selected Rockwell Collins’ market-leading Venue HD cabin management and entertainment system to provide their passengers with an engaging in-flight experience. Venue is now installed on more than 1,100 aircraft ranging from turboprops to long-range business jets and VIP aircraft. Also included in the product suite is the Stage on demand wireless streaming solution, Airshow Moving Map and the company’s innovative Viu LED interior lighting system. Acropolis Aviation will benefit from Venue’s fault-tolerant, rugged fibre optic backbone, which ensures maximum system availability while providing necessary bandwidth to integrate the latest consumer technologies. It also features intuitive cabin controls for its passengers to easily manage their ride environment, both from on-board interfaces and personal devices.

Stage on demand, recently introduced on Acropolis Aviation’s ACJ319, G-NOAH, features a total content delivery solution from Rockwell Collins that will allow all its 19 VIP passengers to stream media, including Hollywood digital rights management (DRM)-protected movies and TV shows, to their personal devices from an easy-to-refresh, robust onboard server through wireless access points. Content is selected by flight departments from a frequently updated cloud-based media catalogue. The selected content can then be loaded on the aircraft server in a variety of ways, including both physical and wireless.

Rounding off the cabin offering is Viu LED lighting, which includes a series of innovative products customizable to fit different brands via a full range of easy to integrate high intensity color options for any type of aircraft, new or retrofit. Viu is integrated with the Venue CMS to allow for control functions.


SmartSky

Duncan Aviation is pleased to announce its partnership with SmartSky Networks, as the latter company launches its new 4G LTE-based inflight connectivity network. The air-to-ground (ATG) network delivers a true office-in-the-sky environment with unprecedented speed, reliability, and security. With low latency and high bandwidth, passengers will enjoy the same connectivity capabilities they do on the ground: streaming video, chatting, texting, playing games and video conferencing. Working with SmartSky Networks, Duncan Aviation’s Engineering & Certification department helped develop the first Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for a Cessna Citation Excel.

“It is an honor to partner with Duncan Aviation, a company that has a well-deserved reputation for outstanding customer service,” said Bryan Rapp, Account Manager with SmartSky Networks. “We believe this partnership confirms SmartSky’s commitment to deliver the very best in resources for our customers as well.” The SmartSky 4G LTE system received FAA approval for the Citation Excel STC in January and aircraft Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) in March. Duncan Aviation representatives should be contacted to schedule installation on aircraft.


Satcom Direct

Satcom Direct, the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider, has strengthened its European presence with the opening of its fourth European office. Situated at EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, one of Switzerland’s busiest executive aviation centers, the office is located in close proximity to a number of Europe’s leading completion, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centers where upgrades and completions of large-, narrow- and wide-body cabins form a significant part of the MRO business.

It positions SD at the heart of Europe’s satcom installation business and supports the increased demand for the installation of Jet ConneX, the ultra-high-speed data transfer service, for large-cabin, long-range jets. Powered by SD hardware and software applications Jet ConneX delivers the fastest connectivity in the skies. SD was one of the first companies to prove the Ka-band technology for business aviation, and now supplies over 70% of activated tails using the service worldwide. To maximize this experience SD has developed industry-first Service Level Agreements (SLA), which include onsite support, proactive monitoring, outage notifications and guaranteed email and phone call response times. The Basel team will support the SLAs and provide configuration, installation and educational support to SD customers in the region. To mark the office opening, members of the SD team partnered with business colleagues from Inmarsat, Gulfstream and Viasat to deliver Europe’s first SD CwC (Connecting with Customers) event.  The one-day meeting reflected the ethos of the annual U.S. experience which welcomes more than 300 SD customers and partners to a three-day forum covering every aspect of business aviation connectivity. More than 50 industry experts attended the inaugural event which heralds the launch of CwC internationally.


Southwest Airlines/iHeartRadio

Southwest Airlines announced a new collaboration with iHeartRadio to bring iHeartMedia’s free all-in-one digital music and live streaming radio service to Customers as the exclusive music offering within the onboard entertainment portal on Southwest flights. Through the onboard entertainment portal integration with iHeartRadio, Customers can enjoy all their favorite musical genres including alternative rock, country, hip hop, R&B, Top 40 hit music, and more. From these genres, passengers can choose their favorite live radio station or pick from hundreds of artists to launch their very own custom artist radio station featuring music from that artist and those similar. In addition, iHeartRadio will also bring Customers expertly-curated station themes perfect for inflight listening like Pass the Time and Kids Zone.

“Our Customers and Employees are passionate about music,” said Ryan Green, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Southwest Airlines. “And for Southwest, music is a part of a larger story—it’s an ongoing investment in enhancing our Customers’ travel experiences. Through this partnership with iHeartRadio, we will create the soundtrack to our Customers’ journeys as we connect them to what is important in their lives.”

“We continue to expand iHeartRadio’s massive distribution platform to ensure that we are available everywhere our listeners are with the products and services they use most,” said Michele Laven, President of Strategic Partnerships for iHeartMedia. “We are proud to team up with Southwest Airlines to bring the music, radio stations, and on-air personalities people love inflight, continuing to entertain our listeners and Southwest passengers as they travel to their destinations.”

Customers can access iHeartRadio free of charge through the onboard entertainment portal on their personal devices to begin their listening experience. Once activated, the music will continue play as long as the entertainment portal is open in a tab, allowing Customers to browse the rest of the portal, check the flight tracker or utilize the web if they have purchased WiFi access.

Customers who already have the iHeartRadio app installed on their devices will be able to play their personalized music and favorite podcasts directly from the app while onboard Southwest flights. Those passengers who already subscribe to iHeartRadio’s All Access on demand subscription service will also have access to their entire music library and saved playlists as well as enjoy millions of songs and albums instantly. The free service is available on the more than 690 WiFi-equipped aircraft serviced by Global Eagle. Due to licensing restrictions, iHeartRadio may not be available onboard WiFi-enabled international flights. The iHeart Radio product is available only on WiFi-enabled aircraft. For more information please visit southwest.com/wifi.


Airbus

Airbus and the European member States France, Germany, Spain and the UK have agreed on some amendments to A380 and A350XWB Reimbursable Launch Investment (RLI) loans.

This allowed the European Union to notify the WTO of an additional set of compliance measures, responding to Tuesday’spublication of the WTO Appellate Body report. In its report, the WTO had clarified that the European Union and Airbus have achieved compliance in respect of the vast majority of the support at issue but considered that some remaining obligations required minor adjustments. Those have now been addressed by the EU. The terms of these amendments – like the terms of the original RLI contracts themselves – remain confidential but they are aligned with current market conditions.

Airbus Corporate Jets (ACJ) has created a new cabin design concept, called Harmony, which combines the comfort and space of a widebody cabin with the practicality to suit the longest of flights. Harmony seamlessly combines the benefits of Airbus Corporate Jets’ VIP widebodies – such as comfort, space and quietness – to produce a consistently harmonious customer experience. It builds on the Airspace cabin brand from the Airbus airliner family. Initially proposed for the new ACJ330neo Family[1], which features new-generation engines and Sharklets, Harmony can also suit other Airbus widebodies, such as the ACJ350 XWB

Lufthansa Group has firmed-up a previous option for six further Airbus A320neo, following a decision by the company’s supervisory board at the beginning of May. The latest agreement brings Lufthansa Group’s total order for the A320neo to 122 (77 A320neo and 45 A321neo). In addition, the airline signed an order for three more A320ceo, bringing the Group’s A320ceo orders to 273. With a total of 395 A320 Family aircraft on order, the Lufthansa Group is also Airbus’ biggest A320 operator with nearly 400 A320 Family aircraft in service. Lufthansa was the launch operator of the A320neo. Manufacture of the first ACJ320neo[1] has begun, with elements taking shape across Europe and final assembly due to begin in June, followed by the first delivery of the “green” aircraft to Acropolis Aviation of the UK in the last quarter of this year.  A second ACJ320neo will follow by year-end.

Deliveries of the first ACJ319neo, for K5 Aviation, will begin in the second quarter of 2019, marking a further step in the creation of the new corporate jet family. Orders for the ACJ320 Family now total nine aircraft, comprising three ACJ319neo and six ACJ320neo aircraft.


Boeing

Boeing Co.-backed startup Zunum Aero plans to deliver its first hybrid-electric plane in 2022 to JetSuite Inc., setting the stage for a new era in regional flying. JetSuite, a small charter airline with plans to expand a commercial operation nationally, eventually will receive as many as 100 aircraft that seat up to 12 passengers each, Zunum co-founder Matt Knapp said in a statement Monday. JetBlue Airways Corp. has invested in Zunum and JetSuite. The charter operator is also backed by Qatar Airways. The new aircraft will eliminate the roar of combustion-based engines, powered instead by twin propulsors attached to the rear of its frame. The ducted, or covered, fans will be driven by electric motors. A conventional fuel-powered motor will serve as a back-up system at the outset.


Other News