LUFTHANSA SELECTS PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has been selected by Lufthansa to provide its NEXT in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and enhanced connectivity solutions for the carrier’s flagship Boeing 747-8 fleet.

Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT IFE system will be retrofitted on Lufthansa’s 19 Boeing 747-8s, with the first due to be rolled out in summer 2024.

This higher performance system will provide Lufthansa’s passengers with a superior, immersive cinematic experience using the latest 4K screen technology, with faster network speeds and higher storage capacity.

Business Class passengers will enjoy an enhanced IFE experience with up to 24-inch 4K screens, a large 10-inch additional control unit, high power USB–A / USB-C, AC power and wireless charging capabilities. Premium Economy Class passengers will experience an upgraded 16-inch 4K screen, with a 13-inch 4K screen for Economy Class passengers, both with high power USB-A and USB-C charging.

The companies also announced the renewal of connectivity services offered by Panasonic Avionics. Broadband connectivity, which is already installed on Lufthansa widebody aircraft, uses Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites to live up to the connectivity expectations of Lufthansa’s passengers. Mobile phone connectivity will also be upgraded to 4G speeds on Lufthansa’s 747-8 aircraft.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “We are delighted to be partnering once again with Lufthansa with this upgrade of the passenger experience on their flagship long-haul fleet. Introducing our NEXT Series and latest generation connectivity on board this world-class airline will help drive greater passenger loyalty and add value to their brand.”

Paul Estoppey, Head of Product Management Cabin at Lufthansa Group, said: “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Panasonic Avionics again. Our Boeing 747-8s are an integral part of our long-haul fleet, and we’re confident that this investment in Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight entertainment will be popular with our passengers.”


TURKISH AIRLINES SELECTS ANUVU

Anuvu, a provider of high-speed connectivity and entertainment solutions for worldwide mobility markets, with its in-country partner Profen, announces the launch of commercial passenger inflight connectivity (IFC) service on Turkish Airlines’ Airbus A321 and Boeing B737NG narrow-body aircraft.  

Anuvu’s Airconnect Global Connectivity system for Turkish Airlines incorporates Turkish Technic servers and wireless access points, and Profen’s Turkiye-based terrestrial infrastructure to provide Turkish Airlines’ passengers a world-class uninterrupted (gate-to-gate) inflight connectivity experience. As part of the installation program, Anuvu obtained European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for three internally developed Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for the installation of its Airconnect Global Ku IFC system onboard Airbus A321, Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-900ER aircraft. As of May 16, the system has been implemented on 13 aircraft and it is planned to complete installations on 103 aircraft by Q2 2023.  

Prof. Ahmet Bolat, Turkish Airlines’ Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee, said “Our successful partnership with Anuvu, Profen and Turkish Technic has culminated in bringing our passengers the fastest and most reliable connectivity in the market. Accomplishing this great milestone through the challenges of COVID-19 is something of which the entire team is very proud. This launch of the commercial entry into service reaffirms our commitment to the partnership.”  

Mike Pigott, Anuvu’s Executive Vice President Connectivity said, “The joint effort between Anuvu, Profen, and our partners at Turkish Airlines and Turkish Technic is a testament to how high-performing teams can succeed and overcome obstacles. Through collaboration and partnership, we were able to bring together all necessary components—from network to infrastructure to hardware—to provide Turkish Airlines’ passengers with high-speed Wi-Fi.”  

Pigott continued, “We look forward to our continued work with Turkish Airlines, a leading airline in customer service maximizing passenger satisfaction, and Profen, a well-respected company who delivers innovative and high technology solutions to customers worldwide.” 

Onder Havuzlu, Profen’s Chief Executive Officer said, “Combining our national engineering experience with  Anuvu’s IFC expertise and Turkish Technic’s superior maintenance capabilities enables us to provide secure, high-quality data connectivity solutions for Turkish Airlines and the Turkish commercial aviation market. Our investment in local teleport facilities and terrestrial network infrastructure made the internet connectivity secure and reliable, while respecting the local regulations. We are excited to be the part of inflight connectivity service on Turkish Airlines’ narrow-body aircraft with Anuvu.”  

Anuvu’s Airconnect Global Ku solution is an affordable high-speed Internet connectivity product used by the most innovative airlines and installed on over 1,000 aircraft worldwide. The satellite-based solution enables an extensive entertainment experience for Turkish Airlines to enhance the passenger experience. For more information, visit www.anuvu.com.     

Profen teleports and internet hosting facilities provide full redundancy and optimal systems with active services based on Ka, Ku, C, S and X band. Profen customers can co-locate their equipment, avoiding large capital expenditures and benefiting from 24-hour monitoring and security, uninterrupted power, and maintaining full control of their network and remotes through dedicated and authorized access people.


INMARSAT & HONEYWELL LAUNCH L-BAND IFEC SERVICE

Inmarsat and Honeywell are setting a new benchmark in satellite communications with the launch of SwiftJet, their latest inflight connectivity service for the business aviation industry. It will enter commercial service in the first half of 2023 and deliver the fastest ever speeds over L-band.

As one of the first new services to be introduced on Inmarsat’s ELERA satellite network, SwiftJet will offer seamless global coverage across flight routes with maximum speeds of 2.6Mbps, up to six times faster than Inmarsat’s existing business aviation connectivity solution over L-band. This will allow passengers to create a secure ‘office in the sky’ with enhanced capabilities for video calls, web browsing, email, texting, cloud-syncing and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. Social media and video applications such as TikTok and YouTube, which were previously challenging over L-band, will also be enabled.

As the latest addition to Inmarsat’s market-leading portfolio of business aviation inflight connectivity services, SwiftJet will be available alongside Jet ConneX (JX) and SwiftBroadband (SBB), which have been activated on thousands of jets worldwide. JX is the most popular and widely-adopted premium, high-speed solution available today, powered by a global constellation of Ka-band satellites. Additionally, SBB offers speeds of 432Kbps over L-band using smaller antennas that are suitable as a secondary system to JX or as primary connectivity for smaller or older aircraft.

SwiftJet uses advanced hardware from Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell, which can be equipped on a broad range of aircraft and also supports cockpit and safety services. Existing customers of Inmarsat’s SBB service will benefit from a natural upgrade path without needing to replace any externally-mounted aircraft equipment, while new customers will experience the same ease of installation as with any Inmarsat L-band terminal. The service also creates new opportunities in the smaller jet market, which have previously been restricted to basic voice or text connectivity that fails to meet the needs of modern day travelers. It is available to pre-order through Honeywell, with additional incentives in an early adopter campaign.

Inmarsat is launching the ground-breaking service at a critical time for the business aviation industry. Following a period of turbulence over the past two years due to the global pandemic, a recent survey by Inmarsat and Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) found that almost 80% of respondents around the world believe more frequent business aviation flights will be taken in the next year. Furthermore, a staggering 90% feel that online activities will dominate the principals’ time in the air, split between business and leisure.

Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said: “Inmarsat prides itself on delivering services that meet the unique and fast-evolving requirements of our customers. As the market leader in business aviation connectivity, Inmarsat developed SwiftJet in response to customer and partner feedback for a faster, more advanced L-band offering. They essentially asked us to amplify L-band capabilities without losing its trademark characteristics of resilience, reliability and availability.

“I am proud to say that SwiftJet delivers all of this and more, unlocking exciting new capabilities in the aircraft cabin and allowing users to connect more devices, and enjoy faster connectivity speeds, whenever and wherever they fly. It comes at a time when business aviation travel is not only returning to pre-pandemic levels, but also experiencing unprecedented demand for inflight connectivity.”

Adam Sheppard, Honeywell Aerospace’s Director of Aircraft Connectivity, said: “SwiftJet represents the latest leap forward for inflight connectivity, combining Inmarsat’s commercial satellite capabilities and Honeywell’s connected aircraft expertise to provide scalable, high-speed satellite communications to passengers at 40,000 feet. With Inmarsat we have created a straightforward upgrade path for SwiftBroadband customers, giving them easy access to unprecedented internet speeds over L-band without having to change wiring or antenna hardware.”

Inmarsat’s ELERA global satellite network delivers the world’s most reliable and flexible global connectivity, with full redundancy and unique resilience in all conditions. ELERA capabilities are being further enhanced with the addition of two Inmarsat-6 satellites, the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, both of which are scheduled to enter service next year and will support SwiftJet through the 2030s, reinforcing the service’s long-term value. The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will be substantially greater than Inmarsat’s 4th generation spacecraft, delivering 50% more capacity per beam in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility.

The I-6 series of satellites will also play a crucial role in the ongoing growth of Inmarsat’s unique ORCHESTRA dynamic mesh network, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering.


ONEWEB PARTNERS WITH GOGO BUSINESS AVIATION

OneWeb, a global space-based communications company, has agreed a long-term distribution partnership agreement with Gogo Business Aviation, whereby the in-flight connectivity solutions provider will market and sell OneWeb’s high-speed, low latency inflight broadband services to business aviation users globally.

The agreement, OneWeb’s first announced Distribution Partner for the business aviation market, was signed at EBACE between Ben Griffin, Vice President Mobility at OneWeb and, Jim MacDougall Vice President, Product Management for Gogo. The partnership underlines the commitment OneWeb is making to bring high-speed, global connectivity to the entire aviation eco-system which includes business aviation users.

“We’re committed to developing and deploying a high-speed, consistent and global low-latency connectivity solution for the business aviation industry, that has been developed by the business aviation community. Leveraging the experience and expertise of world class partners such as Gogo is consistent with this approach,” said Griffin.

Through the milestone agreement, Gogo will help unleash the power of OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation which will deliver a true ‘office in the sky’ broadband experience to business aviation operators and passengers.

OneWeb selected Gogo owing to its reputation, maturity in the market and deep business aviation heritage. Gogo Business Aviation has more than 4,500 narrowband satcom systems installed and flying worldwide, and is a factory option at every major business aircraft manufacturer.

“For more than 30 years, Gogo Business Aviation has been a driving force behind the technological innovations that have connected the skies,” MacDougall commented. “This agreement with OneWeb enables Gogo to continue to disrupt and innovate to bring our customers superior connectivity solutions while expanding our service to a global audience.”

With performance comparable with terrestrial broadband services, and game-changing latency of less than 100ms – up to 10 times faster than geostationary satellites (GEOs) – OneWeb plans to open a wealth of inflight connectivity (IFC) applications beyond onboard internet delivering an in-flight connectivity experience which like business – is always open.

Aiming to launch aviation services for business aviation in 2024, OneWeb will further enrich global connectivity, capable of delivering high-quality consistent user experiences, including Polar Region coverage, at a time when cabin connectivity is a top ranked priority for private jet buyers and commercial operators.

Passengers will be able to fully participate in necessary business operations such as multiple simultaneous uninterrupted live video conferences and the ability to access cloud solutions such as Office365. It also allows access to premium entertainment including Live TV, content-streaming applications such as Netflix and Amazon Video, as well as keeping in touch with family using FaceTime, WhatsApp, and other similar services.


BAMBOO AIRWAYS SELECTS PANASONIC IFEC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics)  announced an agreement with Bamboo Airways to provide its industry-leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems (IFEC) for the Vietnamese airline’s widebody fleet.

Panasonic Avionics is installing its award-winning eX3 in-flight entertainment system on the airline’s Boeing 787-9 fleet, with the aircraft entering service on its intercontinental routes to Europe and Australia in recent weeks.

Passengers throughout each aircraft will enjoy an immersive, cinematic experience with HD screens at each seat, complete with capacitive touch displays and handsets, and USB and laptop charging facilities. Business Class passengers will enjoy 18-inch HD screens, with generous 13-inch and 12-inch screens in Premium Economy and Economy Class respectively.

Bamboo Airways has also selected global in-flight connectivity services from Panasonic Avionics which can deliver average speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to the aircraft. The airline’s in-flight connectivity experience, powered by Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites will deliver a host of next-generation connectivity benefits, including fast internet and in-flight mobile phone services.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said: “We are honored to be partnering with Bamboo Airways’ as they launch intercontinental services. We are confident that our proven in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems will enhance their passenger experience, and help them quickly build customer loyalty on these major new routes.”

Mr. Dang Tat Thang, chairman cum CEO of Bamboo Airways, said: “The diverse and viable Bamboo Sky entertainment system is one of advanced technology solutions that Bamboo Airways has actively installed on the wide-body fleet. With the cooperation with our trusted partner Panasonic Avionics, we expect to bring the most fulfilling flight experience to our passengers on every journey in the future.”


THALES SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH SONAE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT

  • S21sec and Excellium are two major players in cybersecurity consulting, integration and managed services in Europe
  • With this acquisition, Thales accelerates its cybersecurity development roadmap and expands its footprint in Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg and Belgium
  • S21sec and Excellium employ 546 people and generated sales of 59 million euros in 2021.

Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) announced the signature of a definitive agreement with Sonae Investment Management to acquire two of European leading cybersecurity companies, S21sec and Excellium, gathered under the holding company Maxive Cybersecurity.

This acquisition will complement Thales’ cybersecurity portfolio, strengthening its incident detection and response services (Security Operations Centre – SOC) as well as consulting, audit and integration services.

It will bring an extensive industrial expertise and a solid, diversified customer base of industrial companies and critical infrastructure providers, including in the financial services, government and public services, which accounted for more than 50% of its revenue in 2021.

With 75% of staff at 9 sites in Spain and Portugal, and 25% in Luxembourg and Belgium, it will also materially expand Thales’s European cybersecurity footprint, building on the companies’ strong history of innovation and leadership in cybersecurity.

With 546 employeesS21sec and Excellium businesses together generated 59 million euros in sales in 2021.

The acquisition, for an enterprise value of 120 million euros, is an important step forward for Thales in the highly dynamic market for cybersecurity consulting and managed services, which anticipates significant growth between 2020 and 2025.

As a global leader in cybersecurity, Thales is involved at every level of the cyber value chain, offering solutions ranging from risk assessment to protection of critical infrastructure, supported by comprehensive threat detection and response capabilities. Its offer is built around three families of products and services, which generated more than €1bn in sales in 2021:

  • Cybels solutions portfolio, a complete suite of cybersecurity services including risk assessment, training and simulation, and cyberattack detection and response
  • Sovereign products including encryptors and sensors to protect critical information systems
  • The CipherTrust Data Security Platform, the SafeNet Trusted Access Identity & Access Management as a service solution, and the broader cloud protection & licensing offerings

In 2022, Thales plans to hire 11,000 people worldwide, including 1,000 in cybersecurity.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed during the second half of 2022.

“After the successful acquisitions of Vormetric in 2016 and Gemalto in 2019 that represented a step change in Thales’ data security and encryption expertise, the acquisition of S21sec and Excellium consolidates our leadership in cybersecurity consulting and managed services. We are delighted to welcome the S21sec and Excellium expert teams as part of our fast-growing cybersecurity teams. Together, we will be able to provide solutions that deliver ever higher performance to our customers”. Marc Darmon, EVP Thales, Secure Communications & Information Systems

“As the majority shareholder of the company, we’ve helped Maxive Cybersecurity more than triple its yearly revenues, building on its history of innovation and specialization and helping it become one of Europe’s leading MSSP companies. The acquisition by Thales is the recognition of this exceptional work done by the entire team and the logical next step in Maxive’s journey. We are confident it will be a great opportunity to further grow Maxive’s business and people.” Carlos Alberto Silva, Managing Partner at Sonae Investment Management.


CARLISLE INTERCONNECT TECHNOLOGIES’ LAUNCHES NEW OCTAX® PRODUCT

New series of high-performance, multi-port connectors ideal for defense, commercial aviation and industrial applications

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT), a division of Carlisle Companies (CSL), launched the newest in its signature line of Octax® high-speed data connectors: the Octax® Hybrid. Ideal for use in the defense, commercial aviation and industrial markets, this new series of high-performance, multi-port connectors combines 10 Gb data with additional discretes in a single 38999 shell. It is available in six standard key configurations to prevent mis-mating with adjacent connectors and multiple finishes to suit every application.

“This connector series combines multiple signal needs in a single package and maintains the data port shields through the connector to ensure excellent noise rejection on multiple data ports. It is high density data and signal in a compact footprint,” said Jeff Behlendorf, director of product management, Integrated Products at CarlisleIT. “Built with top quality materials and designed for easy installation and maintenance, this product truly embodies the CarlisleIT vision of ‘Performance with Purpose.’”

Features and benefits include:

  • High Density: up to 8 Octax® in a size 25 shell
  • Six key configurations in 11, 15, and 25 shell sizes
  • Standard M39029 crimp contacts, enabling re-termination and field repair without the expense of single-use connector solutions
  • Compatible with CarlisleIT 26 & 24 AWG Gigabit Series Ethernet cables
  • Multiple finishes for commercial aviation, industrial, or defense applications
  • Configurable to customer needs

OTHER NEWS

FINNAIR SELECTS PANASONIC AVIONICS FOR WIDEBODY IFE UPGRADE

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

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

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

The first upgraded aircraft entered service in February 2022.

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

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

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

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


AIRCRAFT INTERIORS EXPO HAMBURG 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


OTHER NEWS

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

MEDIA CARRIER & EVA AIR

Just in time for the beginning of the Chinese “Year of the Tiger”, Media
Carrier is pleased to announce a new airline customer from Asia: After Singapore Airlines, the Taiwan-based airline and Star Alliance member EVA Air has adopted the company’s first-class, digital infotainment offer as well as its customer-specific add-on IT solutions. The Munich-based
digital media expert provides a customized collection of around 520 digital, predominantly Asian premium titles from its digital media library Media Box, which comprises a total of 1,600 titles. Depending on their status, EVA Air passengers can download a corresponding number of media titles free of charge from the airline’s digital library and enjoy their in-flight reading before, during and after the flight with PDFs in the customary newspaper and magazine layout. The number of downloads can be extended indefinitely by making additional purchases. On top, all EVA Air passengers can download other renowned daily newspapers free of charge.

According to a study by the German Association for Quality (DGQ, 2020), Germans see a company’s digital service offerings as a quality criterion, be it customer portals, online banking or
infotainment offers such as Media Carrier’s digital Media Box library. Today, digital services are a must for innovative companies and a key aspect for customers when choosing a provider. This also applies to companies in the travel industry, which Media Carrier primarily addresses with its Media Box. If they want to keep up with the times, they need to work with digital service offers, not least because customers increasingly expect this. For two thirds (66 percent) of Germans, digital service offers are a sign that a company is innovative overall. For 56 percent, they are even a must for companies today and a key criterion when choosing a provider.


BOEING

  • Aircraft commitments include firm order, options and lease agreements for up to 40 jets.
  • Carrier launches in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to operate all-737 MAX fleet.

Boeing and Arajet announced the new Caribbean airline has ordered 20 737 MAX airplanes, specifically the high-capacity 737-8-200 model, to deliver low operating costs and expand affordable travel options in the Americas. Arajet also has options to purchase 15 additional 737 MAX jets which, along with existing lease agreements, could take the airline’s new fuel-efficient fleet to 40 airplanes. The aircraft order was finalized in January and is currently attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.

“The efficient Boeing 737 MAX, together with financial and operational support from our partners at Griffin and Bain Capital, gives us the solid foundation necessary to provide flights at affordable prices to travelers in the region,” said Victor Pacheco Mendez, founder and executive officer of Arajet. “These partners believe in our vision and see the same bright future for this market and beyond. The entire team was elated to see our first aircraft arrive in Santo Domingo a few days ago, and we are eager to expand our fleet with more of these amazing jets in the months ahead.”

The airline hosted a launch event at its new hub in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Positioned between North and South America, this location in the Caribbean will leverage the range of the 737 MAX to efficiently serve a large number of traditional and under-served markets in the continental United States, Brazil, Colombia and beyond. The 737 MAX can fly further and uses 20% less fuel than prior generation aircraft. Other key benefits of Arajet’s new fleet include better environmental performance with a 40% reduction in community noise and lower emissions.

Arajet’s first jet, a 737-8 leased from Griffin Global Asset Management, was delivered in early March. The jet was toured by Dominican President Luis Abinader, who attended the launch event, along with industry, government and tourism officials. As travel and tourism recovers globally, Arajet will bring approximately 4,000 new jobs and significant new economic development to the island nation. Tourism makes up 8.4% of the Dominican Republic’s GDP.


OTHER NEWS

SAFRAN

Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) Launches New IFE Software Platform

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

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

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

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


ASTRONICS

Fourth Quarter Financial Results

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

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

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


INMARSAT &  CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CARLISLE IT

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

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

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

Features and benefits include:

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

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


THALES

Thales reports its 2021 full-year results

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

2022 objectives:

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

BOEING

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

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

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

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

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

MORE BOEING

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

BOEING/ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

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

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

BOEING & JEPPESEN FLITEDECK

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

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

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

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

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


OTHER NEWS

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

AVALON

Avalon and AirAsia partner to create a transformational ride sharing platform in Southeast Asia

  • AirAsia Aviation Group orders 100 VX4 eVTOL aircraft
  • 90% of Avolon’s VX4 order book now placed

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announces that one of the world’s leading airline groups, AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (‘AirAsia’), has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to lease a minimum of 100 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon. These eVTOL aircraft will allow AirAsia to further revolutionise air travel by providing advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers, transforming how we all connect more efficiently in our everyday lives.

In addition to the eVTOL aircraft, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, will partner with AirAsia to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft and develop an industry leading urban air mobility (‘UAM’) platform in Southeast Asia. Avolon and AirAsia will form a working group to pursue local certification, research potential market opportunities and infrastructure requirements for UAM. AirAsia will also leverage its successful travel and lifestyle mobile app, the AirAsia Super App, to help support and build an eVTOL ride sharing platform with Avolon.


INMARSAT

An advanced new terminal for Inmarsat’s market-leading business aviation inflight broadband solution Jet ConneX, developed by Satcom Direct (SD), has moved a step closer to commercial service after successfully communicating over the air with an Inmarsat satellite. A complete prototype unit of the ground-breaking Plane Simple Ka-band Antenna System is scheduled for completion later this year, followed by design verification, testing, certification and its commercial service introduction in 2023.

Designed specifically to meet current and long-term connectivity needs in the business aviation market, the new Plane Simple Ka-band Antenna System optimises inflight Wi-Fi, particularly for super-mid to large-size jets, using Inmarsat’s current and upcoming Ka-band satellites. It offers a unique alternative to existing terminals used on private jets, with key features including a modern lightweight design with only two line-replaceable units and simplified wiring to enable quicker and easier installation and maintenance.

The tail-mounted terminal will utilise the vast combined experience and expertise of Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and SD, the aviation solutions provider, in business aviation connectivity. Both companies worked closely throughout the development process, from designing the concept to producing a simple, cost-effective and future proof solution.

Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said: “Since its commercial launch five years ago, Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX has established itself as business aviation’s gold standard inflight connectivity service. Satcom Direct has played a key role in that journey and through the development of this advanced new terminal, we are building on our partnership to ensure customers can utilise the world-class infrastructure we have in place today and the game-changing new capabilities we will introduce in the coming years. This includes the launch of six further satellites, consisting of four in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, enabling the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic.”


ANUVU

Anuvu ,a leading provider of high-speed connectivity and entertainment solutions for demanding worldwide mobility markets, announced it has obtained the exclusive worldwide inflight distribution rights (outside of mainland China) for Hong Kong’s award-winning film Zero to Hero. The film is available for booking now, for passenger viewing in May 2022.

The inspiring true story of Hong Kong’s six-time Paralympic gold medalist sprinter, presented by One Cool Pictures, is directed and written by Jimmy Wan. It stars producer and Hong Kong Film Award and Golden Horse-winning actress Sandra Ng, who plays the athlete’s tenacious and loving mother. Zero to Hero has grossed over $3.6 million domestically, making it Hong Kong’s second-highest-grossing Chinese film of 2021.

Zero to Hero joins recent exclusive films Hi, Mom, Minari and First Cow in Anuvu’s series of unique and global media options, part of the company’s mission to help airlines deliver entertainment that is as diverse as their passengers and destinations.


IMMFLY

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, today announces that one of the world’s leading airline groups, AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (‘AirAsia’), has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to lease a minimum of 100 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon. These eVTOL aircraft will allow AirAsia to further revolutionise air travel by providing advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers, transforming how we all connect more efficiently in our everyday lives.

In addition to the eVTOL aircraft, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, will partner with AirAsia to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft and develop an industry leading urban air mobility (‘UAM’) platform in Southeast Asia. Avolon and AirAsia will form a working group to pursue local certification, research potential market opportunities and infrastructure requirements for UAM. AirAsia will also leverage its successful travel and lifestyle mobile app, the AirAsia Super App, to help support and build an eVTOL ride sharing platform with Avolon.

Avolon VX4 Order book

In June 2021, Avolon ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace (NYSE: EVTL) (‘Vertical’), valued at US $2 billion. Since announcing that order, Avolon placed 250 VX4 aircraft with Gol and Grupo Comporte in Brazil, up to 100 aircraft with Japan Airlines in Japan, and a minimum of 100 aircraft with AirAsia. As a result, Avolon has now placed up to 90% of its initial orderbook, underlining the demand for VX4 aircraft from the world’s leading airlines.


TURKISH TECHNIC

Turkish Technic, a leading MRO company certified around the world as Part 145 and Part 21 J&G organization, and leading Swiss-based aviation and aerospace advisor, AMROS Global, have recently announced the signing of a commemorative certificate for the C-Check and lease-out operations of two Airbus A330. The maintenance will commence on the 1st Quarter of 2022.

Turkish Technic has been a trusted partner for airlines, OEMs, and lessors for decades, supporting many local and international customers around the globe. This brand-new cooperation between Turkish Technic and AMROS Global further strengthens the MRO’s leading position in the maintenance, repair, and overhaul market.

On the signing of the commemorative certificate, CEO of Turkish Technic, Mikail Akbulut stated: ‘‘We are pleased by the confidence AMROS Global has placed in our services and determined to meet that trust with our diligent efforts. As a well-positioned MRO company with a wide range of aircraft and component capabilities under our belt, we look forward to turning this new collaboration into a long-standing partnership in the years ahead.”

 

Commenting on the new agreement, CEO of AMROS Global, Eros Tavani said; “The AMROS team is pleased to announce the collaboration with an additional highly qualified MRO Turkish Technic. AMROS’ aim is to provide our airline and lessor customers with professional transition MRO activities with high quality in a trusted environment, where timelines are a critical success factor. We are looking forward to a long-lasting and fruitful collaboration.”

Operating as a one-stop MRO company with high-quality service, competitive turnaround times, comprehensive in-house capabilities at its state-of-the-art hangars, Turkish Technic provides maintenance, repair, overhaul, engineering, modification, tailor-made PBH and reconfiguration services to many domestic and international customers at five locations.


AIRBUS

  • 611 commercial aircraft delivered in 2021
  • Financials reflect strong operational performance group-wide
  • Revenues € 52.1 billion; EBIT Adjusted € 4.9 billion; EBIT (reported) € 5.3 billion
  • Free cash flow before M&A and customer financing € 3.5 billion; Net cash € 7.6 billion
  • Record net income of € 4.2 billion; EPS (reported) € 5.36
  • Dividend proposal: € 1.50 per share
  • 2022 guidance issued

Airbus SE (stock exchange symbol: AIR) reported consolidated Full-Year (FY) 2021 financial results and provided guidance for 2022.

“2021 was a year of transition, where our attention shifted from navigating the pandemic towards recovery and growth. Thanks to the resilience and efforts of our teams, customers and suppliers, we delivered remarkable full-year results,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “The strong financials reflect the higher number of commercial aircraft deliveries, the good performance of our Helicopters and Defence and Space businesses as well as our efforts on cost containment and competitiveness. Record net income and our efforts to strengthen the net cash position underpin our proposal to reintroduce dividend payments going forward. At the same time, we continue to invest in our strategic priorities and in the transformation of our company.”

Gross commercial aircraft orders totalled 771 (2020: 383 aircraft) with net orders of 507 aircraft after cancellations (2020: 268 aircraft). Included were the first A350 freighter orders, confirming customer demand for this new programme. The order backlog was 7,082 commercial aircraft on 31 December 2021 (end 2020: 7,184 aircraft). Airbus Helicopters booked 414 net orders (2020: 268 units), achieving a book-to-bill ratio well above 1 both in terms of units and in value. These included 52 H160s of which 30 were the first batch of H160M military versions for France’s Joint Light Helicopter programme. Airbus Defence and Space’s order intake by value increased to € 13.7 billion (2020: € 11.9 billion), representing a book-to-bill ratio of around 1.3. Included were key orders in the Military Aircraft business such as the in-service support of the German and Spanish Eurofighter fleets as well as good export momentum for the C295, A330 MRTT and A400M airlifter.

Consolidated order intake by value increased to € 62.0 billion (2020: € 33.3 billion) with the consolidated order book valued at € 398 billion on 31 December 2021 (year-end 2020: € 373 billion). The increase in the backlog value mainly reflected the strengthening US dollar.


BOEING

  • ANA Extends Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox for Entire Fleet
  • Japanese carrier: Digital maintenance information greatly reduces complexity of managing multiple airplane types, increases efficiency
  • Nearly 350 customers rely on Maintenance Performance Toolbox to support their engineering and maintenance operations

Boeing announced at the Singapore Airshow that All Nippon Airways (ANA) has signed an extension for Boeing’s Maintenance Performance Toolbox for another five years. The Japanese carrier has used the Boeing digital solution the past eight years to manage maintenance information for its entire fleet of aircraft and engines.

Maintenance Performance Toolbox allows operators to simplify their maintenance operations by enabling them to manage, distribute, process and view intelligent maintenance documentation in a uniform digital format through a single interface, regardless of aircraft manufacturer or engine type.

“The adoption of Maintenance Performance Toolbox is one example of how we have streamlined our maintenance processes through digital tools,” said Hajime Kaneko, Vice President of the Digital Transformation Portfolio Management Department at ANA. “It has greatly reduced the complexity of managing maintenance information for multiple airplane types across our entire fleet. We’ve seen efficiency improvements in our maintenance operations, and we’ll continue to use Maintenance Performance Toolbox to take advantage of those benefits.”

Nearly 350 airplane operators and their MRO providers rely on Maintenance Performance Toolbox to support their engineering and maintenance operations. ANA and other airlines have deployed its full-fleet capabilities on maintaining their Boeing and non-Boeing aircraft.

“ANA was a development partner for Maintenance Performance Toolbox and was the first customer to go live with the platform’s full-fleet capability in 2013,” said Duane Wehking, Vice President of Digital Aviation Solutions for Boeing Global Services. “We look forward to continuing to grow and improve Maintenance Performance Toolbox through our collaboration with ANA in support of streamlining their maintenance operations.”

Boeing is also partnering with AIRDO, an affiliate of ANA, to provide cabin modification services for 767 airplanes in its fleet. As part of the agreement, Boeing will execute the design engineering, certification and supply of parts required for completion.

For more information on Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox, visit Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox | Boeing Services

Also From Boeing:

Western Global Airlines Purchases Two Boeing 777 Freighters

  • Global cargo carrier expands all-Boeing fleet with first order of new-production freighters
  • Adding capacity to meet growing e-commerce and express cargo demand

Boeing and Western Global Airlines today announced a firm order for two 777 Freighters, the first new-production freighters for the all-Boeing cargo operator based in Estero, Fla. The order was finalized in January 2022 and is currently listed as unidentified in Boeing’s order backlog. The agreement also includes an additional purchase option.

Boeing’s market-leading 777 Freighter is the world’s largest, longest-range and most capable twin-engine freighter currently flying, with the lowest trip cost and highest reliability of any large freighter. With a range of 4,970 nautical miles (9,200 kilometers), the 777 Freighter can carry a maximum structural payload of 107 metric tons (235,900 pounds), while reducing fuel use and CO2 emissions compared to prior airplanes. This capability and exceptional efficiency translate into significant savings for cargo operators, with fewer stops and associated landing fees.

Boeing has forecast that the global freighter fleet will grow by 70% in the next 20 years, with freight carriers such as Western Global supporting a rapidly expanding global e-commerce business and evolving supply chains.

Having flown to over 400 airports in 135 countries on six continents, Western Global Airlines currently owns and operates a fleet of 21 747-400 and MD-11 Freighters, providing contracted turn-key transport services around the globe for a variety of blue-chip logistics companies, e-commerce platforms, and US Department of Defense


OTHER NEWS

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Have a nice day on,
2/22/22

AGEAN

AEGEAN, the airline that knows Greece best, proudly announced that its onboard experience will accelerate further with the introduction of high-speed inflight broadband, powered by the European Aviation Network (EAN). The award-winning connectivity solution, provided by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, will be installed on all existing and new AEGEAN Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft by 2025, with the first seven entering service as of today.

AEGEAN passengers have access to three different Wi-Fi packages, including a free 10-minute “try before you buy” service to browse the internet, send and receive emails, and access messaging and social media applications. This can be extended by selecting either the “text and surf” package or upgrading to the “streaming” option, which adds the capability to watch videos or listen to audio online. As Europe’s fastest inflight broadband solution, EAN offers incomparable speeds, uninterrupted coverage across Europe and significantly lower latency than any other aviation connectivity service on the market.

Under this agreement, AEGEAN has also partnered with Display Interactive to create a customized digital portal, allowing passengers to access Wi‑Fi packages and a rich entertainment platform using their personal devices. This enables the passengers to explore multiple entertainment options (music, series, documentaries, cartoons, games, daily news, etc.), receive real time travel information and sign up to AEGEAN’s Miles+Bonus frequent flyer programme. Display Interactive, which is also a partner for Inmarsat’s OneFi passenger experience platform, has developed the portal for AEGEAN to enhance its passenger experience and enable its inflight connectivity offering.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, Chief Executive Officer at AEGEAN, said: “We are very happy to offer Europe’s most advanced inflight broadband to our passengers. This exciting milestone is part of our continued efforts to develop the AEGEAN service offering for passengers and strengthen our competitive position, which is particularly important as the aviation industry continues to recover from the global pandemic’s impact. We enjoy working with Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom and Display Interactive to roll out the European Aviation Network on all our A320 and A32 fleet.”

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Our European Aviation Network inflight broadband solution experienced record demand from passengers last year, with take-up rates substantially higher than before the pandemic. We are delighted that it will be available on AEGEAN flights, as part of the airline’s impressive efforts to offer a truly world-class passenger experience. Inmarsat has worked closely with our partner Deutsche Telekom and the AEGEAN team to expedite the rollout and ensure the airline’s passengers can now start enjoying Europe’s fastest inflight broadband.”

“This agreement strengthens our market leadership in Europe’s inflight connectivity market and also represents an important milestone in our long-held relationship with Greece, home to some of our most critical ground infrastructure, including EAN’s Satellite Access Station.”

Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President of Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, added: “EAN is perfectly adapted to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and a true game-changer for inflight connectivity. For Aegean’s passengers, it offers an unparalleled connectivity experience while flying above the European continent. And for the carrier, it provides a highly compelling business case due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment. Thanks to its scalability, EAN will not only provide unbeatable connectivity to Aegean passengers today, but for many years to come.”

EAN has been designed specifically to meet the needs of European aviation, delivering consistent inflight broadband across Europe, one of the world’s most congested airspaces. Developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and Eclipse Technics, it also offers the fastest ever installation time for a connectivity solution, requiring only seven hours per aircraft, meaning significantly less downtime. Combined with the system’s low weight, low drag and low maintenance, this results in lower overall operation costs.

AEGEAN’s selection of EAN comes to support its ongoing efforts to enhance customer experience and is aligned with demand for inflight connectivity, which has continued to soar since the global pandemic.


BOEING

  • EPIC Fuels to supply fuel blend with SAF component made from inedible agricultural waste for production, test, Dreamlifter and delivery flights
  • Largest SAF purchase to date demonstrates Boeing commitment to SAF as most immediate way to decarbonize aviation

Boeing announced a supply agreement for two million gallons (7.5 million liters) of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with EPIC Fuels to power its Commercial Airplanes operations in Washington state and South Carolina through 2022. The agreement is the largest announced SAF procurement by an airframer and further demonstrates Boeing’s commitment to decarbonizing aviation.

Sustainably produced jet fuel, which reduces CO2 emissions by as much as 80% over the fuel’s life cycle with the potential to reach 100% in the future, is widely recognized as offering the most immediate and greatest potential to decarbonize aviation over the next 20 to 30 years. Made from several feedstocks, sustainable aviation fuel is certified for commercial use and can be blended with traditional jet fuel without modifications to airplanes, engines or fueling infrastructure. Approximately a year ago, Boeing committed to deliver its commercial airplanes capable and certified to fly on 100% SAF by 2030.

The purchase agreement with EPIC Fuels includes a SAF product made from inedible agricultural waste, blending 30% neat SAF with 70% conventional jet fuel. The purchase will enable broader use of SAF for Boeing commercial production, test, ferry, Dreamlifter and customer flights at facilities in Everett, Renton and Seattle in Washington state and North Charleston, South Carolina. EPIC Fuels will also continue to supply customized blends from 50/50% up to 100% SAF for the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program, which accelerates innovation by taking promising technologies out of the lab and testing them in the air to solve real-world challenges for airlines and passengers. SAF is currently approved for a 50/50 blend with conventional jet fuel for commercial flights.

The purchase builds on Boeing’s long-term industry leadership and investment to develop SAF around the world, partnering with airlines, fuel companies, governments and research institutions to expand SAF supply and reduce its cost. Boeing began SAF test flights in 2008, helped gain approval for commercial use in 2011 and enabled airplane delivery flights with SAF starting in 2012. The 2018 Boeing ecoDemonstrator conducted the industry’s first 100 percent SAF commercial airplane test flight on a 777 Freighter in partnership with FedEx. In 2019, Boeing began offering customers the option to power commercial delivery flights with SAF to demonstrate commitment to reducing CO2 and further spur the use of cleaner fuels.


OTHER NEWS

THALES

  • AVIOBOOK strengthens its position as leader of the Electronic Flight Folder market with a record breaking 3 contracts signed in fall 2021.
  • AVIOBOOK has passed a huge milestone in its growth and development, reaching over 2600 tails using AVIOBOOK’s suite of applications.

Despite difficult economic conditions in the aviation industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, AVIOBOOK has proved that its robust and reliable suite of applications can bring concrete business benefits to airlines around the world. The company is thus positioning itself as the practical solution for EFB software that will support airlines in the post-pandemic recovery.

The broad portfolio of new customers demonstrates the appeal of AVIOBOOK’s solutions. In India, low-cost carrier IndiGo has chosen AVIOBOOK for its fleet of over 270 aircraft to support its operations as the largest airline in the country by market share. And two members of the Indigo Partners Group, JetSMART in South America and Lynx Air in Canada, saw in AVIOBOOK a strong partner to help accompany their rapid growth plans.

Built on a decade of experience, AVIOBOOK is a proven solution that differentiates itself through its deep back-office integration and extensive user-driven functionalities. AVIOBOOK’s experience in the development of adaptable and flexible solutions, with previous implementations at 60+ airlines around the world, has been key to ensuring the success of these projects.

AVIOBOOK is proud to welcome IndiGo, JetSMART and Lynx Air to the AVIOBOOK community.

MORE THALES NEWS:

  • Thales to create highest ever Wi-Fi hotspot as it joins forces with Airbus Perlan Mission II stratospheric glider project

Thales announced its partnership with Airbus Perlan Mission II, an internationally celebrated and world record setting climate and aerospace research project, aiming to fly Thales’ latest mobile Satellite communications system, FlytLink, in a zero-emission glider to more than twice the altitude of a commercial airline flight. Through this collaboration, the world will get a live, front row view of the stratosphere and hear from glider pilots as they soar to the edge of space via FlytLink. The Nevada-based Airbus Perlan Mission II team is planning for a possible return to flight this year in the U.S. and El Calafate, Argentina.

Airbus Perlan Mission II is an initiative of The Perlan Project, a non-profit, international team of scientists, engineers, and aviators. The group has already set aviation world altitude records in the experimental Perlan 2 glider, which was designed, built and deployed to fly to 90,000 feet without an engine. Originally launched in 2015, the Perlan 2 achieved its highest record-setting flight of above 76,000 feet in 2018. The organization’s mission is to conduct climate, atmospheric and aeronautical research at extreme high altitudes. Applications of their research include informing more accurate climate-change models, innovating fuel-efficient or zero-emission aviation, and even demonstrating the feasibility of using energy-efficient winged aircraft on Mars.

Soaring too high to use ground-based communications, the Perlan 2 glider will be fitted with the FlytLink Thales Iridium Certus based satellite communications (satcom) system. This means that for the first time it will be possible to make a live feed available to STEM students, researchers and aviation enthusiasts around the world while the aircraft is in flight, enabling access to real-time data downloads. FlytLink is the latest generation of Iridium-based satellite communications systems for cockpit and crew operations. Anywhere in the world, whether flying over the poles, the ocean or land, FlytLink offers coverage and connectivity for critical operations. Its resilience, high dependability and low size, weight and power make it adaptable to any aircraft, including gliders such as Perlan.

“We look forward to Perlan 2 carrying the Thales logo as well as one of the company’s most cutting-edge communication solutions to even greater heights,” said Ed Warnock, CEO of The Perlan Project. “By exploring the stratosphere in an airborne research vehicle that creates zero pollution, we hope to unlock discoveries never possible before. Through this exciting partnership with Thales, we also look forward to inspiring new generations of scientists, engineers and pilots in environmentally conscious aviation.”

“We are delighted to support Airbus Perlan Mission II because we believe the project aligns with Thales’ own strategies for future, greener aviation and the environment,” said Marc Duval Destin, Vice-President Strategy, Product Policy and Innovation for Thales’ Flight Avionics activities. ”We hope that the live stream will encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in aerospace, science and engineering.”

When Perlan 2 reaches its next record-breaking target altitude of over 90,000 feet, it will be the highest a winged aircraft has ever flown in level flight. Equipped with cutting edge aviation technology and using spacecraft engineering, its glider wings can fly in less than 3% of normal air density at temperatures of minus 70 degrees Celsius approximating the atmospheric conditions on Mars.

“Our equipment will be in an unpressurised environment,” added Duval Destin. “So, this is a great opportunity for us to validate the design and performance of our solution in such extremely non-benign conditions.”

Designed to support a wide range of use cases in maritime, land mobile and aviation markets, Thales Iridium Certus based satcom solutions are already used widely among vessels and land/mobile applications to keep critical communications when it is needed at all times, anywhere on the planet.


BOEING

Last year the airframer delivered 340 aircraft, broken down as follows:

2021

  • 245 MAXs
  • 18 737NGs
  • 7  747s
  • 32 767s
  • 24 777s
  • 14 787s

2020 Deliveries Totaled 157 aircraft

  • 27 MAXs
  • 16 737NGs
  • five 747s
  • 30 767s
  • 26 777s
  • 53 787s

In 2021 Boeing booked 909 orders (535 net) vs 184 (-471) in 2020, and ended the year with backlog of 5,136 vs 4,997.


QATAR AIRWAYS

Munich Airport welcomes a further increase in so-called cargo-only services. As of today, Qatar Airways is operating regular flights to and from Munich with a cargo version of its Boeing 777. The routing starts on Mondays in Bangalore, India, and leads via Qatar’s capital Doha to Munich and then on to Chicago. On the return flight, in exactly the opposite rotation, the freighter reaches Munich every Tuesday.  Qatar Airways operates this service on behalf of the international logistics provider DB Schenker. Munich’s cargo network will thus be expanded by more significant destinations. This new freight service proves once again that, even in times of pandemic, Munich Airport plays an important role as a reliable part of the infrastructure and a key component of global supply chains.


OTHER NEWS

 The IFExpress Team wishes you a happy and healthy holiday. And we wanted to take the opportunity to thank you, our readers and advertisers, for your continued support during the past year –  Patricia Wiseman


INMARSAT

Inmarsat ORCHESTRA, the future network for global mobility and government communications, achieved its first milestone in space with the successful activation of a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite payload.

The LEO satellite is testing new concepts and system configurations for ORCHESTRA’s proposed LEO constellation, which will seamlessly integrate with geosynchronous orbit (GEO) and highly elliptical orbit (HEO) satellites, and a terrestrial 5G network, to deliver a uniquely powerful global communications solution for mobility and government customers.

ORCHESTRA is the first global network of its kind; creating a global, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network that will redefine connectivity at scale with the highest capacity for mobility worldwide and at hot spots across the world. It will deliver the fastest average speeds and the lowest average latency of any network, planned or in existence.

While details of the in-orbit testing remain confidential, Inmarsat has confirmed that the LEO demonstration satellite payload is testing concepts for LEO-to-ground and LEO-to-GEO communications, which are key steps in delivering the unique capabilities proposed for ORCHESTRA. As the LEO satellite features a reprogrammable payload, additional concepts will be tested over the coming months.

Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “Customers have expressed great excitement about Inmarsat’s ORCHESTRA network and we are making fast progress to bring that network to reality. Development of the terrestrial network is proceeding well and we are now moving forward with live tests of ORCHESTRA’s LEO layer.

“Our vision for ORCHESTRA is a network that uses the right technology for the right purpose. We are not beholden to a single approach and believe that the best way to meet customer needs is a multidimensional approach that includes GEO, LEO and terrestrial 5G in a dynamic mesh that brings capacity to where it is needed in the most efficient way possible. Today’s announcement is yet another testament to the fact that Inmarsat is a company with commercial momentum and technology leadership.”

Yasrine Ibnyahya, Inmarsat’s Senior Director, Advanced Concepts and Technologies, said: “Our demonstration LEO satellite payload is designed to create new technologies and services that will transform the use of satellite communications by our mobility and government customers worldwide. Using software defined radio payloads in LEO, we are able to test, refine, retest and validate as many concepts as we need. It is a quick, agile and highly economic approach that enables us to meet our ambitious targets for rolling out key components for Inmarsat ORCHESTRA.”

More Inmarsat News:

Inmarsat has been crowned ‘World’s Best Inflight internet Service Provider’ for the fifth consecutive year at the World Travel Tech Awards in recognition of the company’s market-leading GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN).

The prestigious accolade from the sister event of the World Travel Awards was announced yesterday following an extensive year-long search for the world’s top travel technology brands, which attracted a record number of votes by industry professionals and members of the public from across the globe.

Inmarsat triumphed after experiencing its best ever year for passenger usage of its next-generation inflight broadband solutions in comparison to before the pandemic. The trend aligns with the results of Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, which found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimize their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence. In addition, 41% of the 10,000 respondents believed the ability to browse the internet, shop online, stream videos, enjoy social media and more during flights had increased even further in importance after the pandemic.

GX Aviation, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, has been activated on more than 550 aircraft to date, with approximately 1,000 additional aircraft in the order book. It has been selected by more than 35 airlines worldwide, including Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and most recently, SAUDIA. EAN has also recorded a milestone year after crossing 270 aircraft activations, with more than 40 million passengers enjoying access to the service since it launched with British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, all part of the International Airlines Group (IAG).

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Global aviation has faced many unprecedented challenges over the past two years. As one of the industry’s leading suppliers, Inmarsat has been working closer than ever with our airline customers as they navigate towards a profitable and sustainable recovery. We are proud that our best-in-class solutions are empowering many airlines to enhance their onboard experience and differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market, especially at a time when passenger expectations around inflight connectivity are continuing to evolve and amplify.

“The fact that we have received this accolade five years in a row following a vote by passengers, airlines and others from the travel industry is especially gratifying. It reinforces our position as a trusted market leader and is a testament to the exemplary work of our employees and partners during the last year.”

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


OTHER NEWS

Retired Publisher’s Note: We needed support for a Fluke device and after the company helped us out we wanted to mention to our readers what great support they have, and what a great product the temp/humidity Fluke 971 measurement device is. We also wanted to personally thank Robert Pokomy and Steven Clark for their engineering support. Here is the message: If you need test and measurement electronics, their company products are really incredible…and as an electrical engineer, I know! – Terry Wiseman

Royal Brunei Airlines Selects Anuvu as IFE Content Service Provider

Anuvu announces its partnership with Royal Brunei Airlines, serving as the company’s Content Service Provider (CSP) starting February 2022.

Passengers traveling with Royal Brunei Airlines, a boutique airline based out of Brunei, Asia and operating flights between Australia, England, Japan and China, can now watch a wide range of inflight entertainment (IFE) provided by Anuvu’s Iris platform, a cost-effective and convenient IFE subscription service for airlines. The partnership will offer a wide variety of premium entertainment, including bespoke customer solutions, to fit airline budgets and boost passenger experiences, meeting travelers’ high expectations for onboard entertainment.

“2022 promises to usher in a whole new set of challenges and opportunities for our industry. I am glad that we have chosen Anuvu as our new IFE partner,” said Sabirin Hj Abdul Hamid, acting CEO, Royal Brunei Airlines. “We selected Anuvu to enhance our passenger experience through an innovative IFE presentation and extensive library as we look forward to relaunch our scheduled network after almost two years of minimum operations due to the COVID19 travel restrictions. Behind the scenes, our team will appreciate the ease and flexibility of Iris.”

“We are delighted to begin servicing such a prestigious airline as Royal Brunei, which has been recognized time and time again for its impeccable service and passenger experience,” said Estibaliz Asiain, Anuvu SVP, Commercial Media & Content. “We look forward to supporting the team in continuing to take their inflight experience to new heights through innovative technology and media and content solutions.”

Iris is a monthly service for aviation clients to select best-in-class content for passengers. It is an efficient and flexible solution that enables airlines to have a clear fixed pricing structure, inclusive to airlines of all sizes. Passengers have access to Hollywood and international movies, award-winning TV and next-generation featured content.

More News From Anuvu: 

  • Anuvu Modernizes Inflight Entertainment Selection with Explore
  •  Innovative online media and content library disrupts legacy practices to enable airlines to deliver a superior passenger experience with ease.

Anuvu launches Explore, a user-friendly and comprehensive online library that simplifies choosing inflight entertainment content. The innovative solution delivers to airlines a modern and efficient alternative to the industry’s legacy approach to content and media selection.

For decades, inflight entertainment selection has been a complex and time-intensive process centered around manually searching lengthy PDF attachments, PowerPoints and Excel spreadsheets to find and select the right content mix. With Explore, Anuvu elevates content selection into the digital age with an easy-to-use, cloud-based website.

“We are thrilled to offer a simple, informative and technology-driven solution for airlines when it comes to viewing available titles,” said Anuvu’s Terri Davies, SVP Content & Media Services. “Choosing content should not be a time-consuming and tedious process, and with Explore, airlines will be able to easily provide their passengers the very best media and content.”

Explore offers airlines full visibility into their content options via an online platform, accessible 24/7, to discover and easily filter through recommended and available titles. Through the intuitive dashboard, airlines can view essential details and metadata for each title, including trailers, synopses, cast and crew, available languages, and IMDB scores.

Explore pairs with Anuvu’s innovative subscription service Iris, which offers airlines a tailored and pre-curated variety of content. Together, Explore and Iris modernize inflight entertainment in a way that eases the selection burden for airlines, builds content based on an airline’s specific needs, maximizes return-on investment, and delivers to passengers a memorable inflight entertainment experience.


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has appointed Chris VandenBerg as Chief Engineer (Software).

In this role, Chris will be responsible for delivering the company’s highly complex, end-to-end software that redefines how airlines interact with their passengers onboard the aircraft. He will report to CTO, Joe Bentley, and will lead a multi-disciplined and talented team of highly skilled individuals across Panasonic Avionics’ global footprint. Chris will also act as the company’s primary technical contact with its customers.

Bentley said, “Our customers are always looking for new ways to deliver an enhanced passenger experience, generate revenue, increase passenger engagement and improve operational efficiencies. Robust and reliable software will be the foundation for the kinds of products and solutions that help them achieve their organizational goals. Chris has a wealth of experience in software design and development and is highly knowledgeable in delivering a final production product from its concept phase. I am delighted to welcome him back to Panasonic Avionics where he will again be a major asset to our team.”

Chris has over 25 years of experience in software programming, hardware design, and system architecture. He re-joins Panasonic Avionics from Safran Passenger Innovations, where he was Technical Fellow – Head of Software Architecture from 2019, managing a team of software architectures and developers.

Chris brings 14 years of experience at Panasonic Avionics, having joined as Principal Software Engineer in 2004 and progressed to become CTO, Global Communications in 2016. During this time, he managed engineering teams in the company’s satellite communications division and designed the company’s Global IPTV system, including its first generation of IP back-haul and up-link distributions.

Chris VandenBerg said, “As an award-winning provider of in-flight entertainment and connectivity, Panasonic Avionics is a company I am very proud to be a part of, and I look forward to working with my fellow colleagues to enhance the standards of software engineering excellence that we deliver to our airline customers.”

Panasonic Avionics has led the industry in providing new ways to increase passenger engagement through its growing portfolio of digital solutions. Its immersive ArcTM 3D map product has been adopted by over 20 airlines since its debut at Aircraft Interiors in 2019. Its Marketplace solution, launched with Singapore airlines earlier this year, enables airlines to create turn-key eCommerce experiences by expanding their storefront retail and duty-free offerings onboard, with the ability to present dynamic inventory and initiate promotions throughout the customer journey.


THALES

  • American Airlines’ new A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 fleets will be equipped with Thales’ latest AVANT solution.
  • American Airlines will be the first customer to fly with Thales’ new line of high-performance Optiq displays, the industry’s first 4K high dynamic range (HDR) seatback screens enhanced with Samsung QLED proprietary technology.
  • The airline’s A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft are anticipated to enter service in 2023.

American Airlines has selected Thales’ latest AVANT inflight entertainment (IFE) solution to equip its new A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft for transcontinental and international travel.

American’s aircraft will be the launch customer flying with Thales’ new line of Optiq displays, the industry’s first 4K high dynamic range (HDR) seatback screens enhanced with Samsung QLED proprietary technology. Optiq provides passengers with the best monitor experience in the air, with an unrivaled picture quality featuring more than 1 billion colors.

The system is capable of Bluetooth connection at each seat, which allows passengers to pair their wireless headphones to the system.

Premium Class seats will enjoy 17-inch displays accompanied with a 5-inch touchscreen handset offering a true second-screen experience. Premium Economy and Economy Class will feature 13.3-inch displays and 11.6-inch displays, respectively.

AVANT will be integrated with American’s high-speed connectivity system to provide digital services and real-time health monitoring & reporting.

American has also selected Thales’ high-power charging solutions, which will give passengers access to both USB type C 60-watt and AC outlets at each seat in all classes. This solution is designed to meet the specific power needs of passengers, now and in the future.

“American Airlines has trusted Thales as an inflight entertainment supplier for more than a decade and now to equip its new A321XLR and Boeing 787-9 aircraft with the latest AVANT IFE solution. As air travel begins to recover, Thales continues to invest in digital innovations that create value for our customers. We’re truly excited to provide these solutions to American and its customers.” Yannick Assouad, Executive Vice-President Avionics, Thales

Also From Thales:

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


PEGASUS AIRLINE

Pegasus Airlines has set its 2030 interim target for carbon emissions; the airline aims to reduce flight-related carbon (CO2) emissions per unit passenger kilometre (RPK) by 20% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels.


OTHER NEWS

Women in Aviation has selected the 2022 inductees for its International Pioneer Hall of Fame. These women will be honored during the 33rd Annual International Women in Aviation Conference, held March 17-19, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee. The 2022 Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees are: Cornelia Clark Fort, Capt. Rosemary Bryant Mariner, U.S. Navy, and Col. Peggy A. Phillips, (retired) of the U.S. Air Force.
Congrats Ladies!

SMARTSKY

Flying Colours Corp. the international maintenance, repair, overhaul, and completions company, signed an agreement with North Carolina-based SmartSky Networks to act as a sales and installation facility for SmartSky’s air-to-ground connectivity equipment.

Sales and installation of the advanced antennas and aircraft base radio will be available through Flying Colours Corp.’ Peterborough, ON. and St. Louis, MO. locations. The continued strengthening of the business aviation sector is driving greater use of connected services for avionics, aircraft health monitoring, and cabin WiFi. This is increasing the demand for inflight connectivity that is dependable, immediate, and secure, and necessitating a wider variety of options for owners and operators.

“Every time we talk to a customer about refurbishment, or completions, we have the connectivity conversation. We already have extensive experience upgrading and installing connectivity equipment, and regularly advise on the most suitable options for a customer’s mission profile. Adding the SmartSky equipment to our roster brings yet another dimension to our offering as it expands the choice for those seeking an unparalleled connectivity experience that supports both the cabin, and the aircraft, in North America,” says Kevin Kliethermes, director of sales, Flying Colours Corp.

The SmartSky Networks’ flagship equipment consists of two sleek antennas and a small aircraft base radio (ABR). The antenna and radio design has been optimized for business aviation use by providing high throughput to and from the aircraft – a key requirement for today’s cloud-native applications and services. Flying Colours Corp. will be providing the entire shipset through SmartSky’s latest Early Arrival promotion, and already has equipment available for immediate installation on many STC’d aircraft types.

“We are pleased to add Flying Colours Corp. to our community of partners and share in their commitment to delivering the highest quality and performance for business aviation’s connectivity needs. Their track record of delivering exceptional aftermarket services, developing STC’s, and installing innovative systems has established Flying Colours Corp. as a sought-after provider for business aviation.”


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has been named the winner of the 2021 Popular Science Best of What’s New Award in its Aerospace category.

Panasonic Avionics won the award for its eX1 in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution for narrowbody aircraft, featuring Bluetooth audio technology which enables easy connections between wireless headphones and seatback IFE screens. This solution was launched earlier this year on United Airlines’ new Boeing 737 MAX fleet and has also debuted with Cathay Pacific Airways.

Panasonic Avionics’ eX1 IFE Bluetooth solution is available at every seat, across both premium and economy cabins. The company’s unique approach optimizes emitted Bluetooth signal levels to each passenger’s personal living space, significantly reducing the chance of interference or cross-connections between seats. With this new product enhancements, customers can use their personal Bluetooth headphones which has become an increasingly popular trend in the consumer space.

Bluetooth audio is an integral part of Panasonic Avionics’ X Series and NEXT Series IFE systems. Incorporating the latest advancements in antenna design and radio wave forming, Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT Series IFE employs a patented industry leading solution to deliver an augmented cinematic experience in every cabin class.

Popular Science’s Best of What’s New is a definitive list of up to 100 of the most incredible and innovative technologies and products from the past year, with this year being its 34th edition. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category.

To pick the winners, Popular Science’s editors vet thousands of candidates – ranging from feats of engineering to hyper-intelligent software, with an entry process designed to ensure that they learn about the maximum number of technologies and products.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “For over thirty years, these prestigious awards from Popular Science have captured some of the greatest steps forward in innovation and development. Panasonic Avionics is honored to join this select group.”


INMARSAT

Inmarsat celebrated the fifth anniversary of GX Aviation, its most successful passenger inflight broadband service to date. Since entering commercial service in 2016, the award-winning solution has been selected by more than 35 airlines and activated on over 550 aircraft, with approximately 1,000 additional aircraft in the order book.

Powered by Global Xpress (GX), GX Aviation has transformed the airline passenger experience, offering reliable, consistent and high-speed infight connectivity on par with mobile Wi-Fi on the ground. It unlocks a host of new ancillary revenue streams for airlines and ensures they meet rising expectations from passengers to stay connected, browse the internet, stream video and audio, enjoy social media, shop online and more while on a flight.

Millions of passengers have enjoyed access to GX Aviation over the years, with major airline customers including Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, AirAsia, Eurowings, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, Philippine Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. This impressive list continues to grow, with installations underway or planned with existing and new customers, including SAUDIA, as announced at the Dubai Airshow last month.

This latest milestone for GX Aviation comes at a critical time for the aviation industry, with the pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences. Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimize their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence. In addition, out of the 10,000 respondents, 41% believed inflight Wi-Fi had further increased in importance after the pandemic.

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation has transformed the global inflight broadband market, offering unprecedented performance that has been truly embraced by airlines and their passengers. We celebrate its fifth anniversary with our world-class partner ecosystem, including industry-leading distributors such as Safran, SITA, Thales, Collins Aerospace and Honeywell.”

“Each of these companies has a relentless focus on providing the best possible onboard experience, so airlines can meet evolving passenger needs and maximize the vast commercial possibilities of inflight connectivity. Together, we have established GX Aviation as our most successful passenger broadband service and Inmarsat is investing more than ever to cement its leadership for decades to come.”

The GX network currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and Inmarsat’s technology roadmap will offer a number of major enhancements. Seven further satellites are set to launch by 2024, starting with the first Inmarsat-6, I-6 F1, in December 2021. This is the most sophisticated commercial communications satellite ever built and will be followed by four additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, enabling the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic.

However, GX is more than just a global satellite network, it is a complete end-to-end solution and Inmarsat has been equally ambitious in developing its ground stations, hardware, software and cybersecurity framework. This includes a next-generation terminal developed with GDC Advanced Technology, featuring GDC’s dual modem manager (MODMAN), with components by Kontron, together with a proven, reliable and high-performance flat panel antenna by ThinKom. Following a range of technology assessments and test flights, the powerful new terminal has demonstrated its ability to deliver the highest levels of connectivity, even over the world’s busiest airspaces.

And More …

Inmarsat, announced that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved and certified an advanced, next-generation terminal that will optimize further the performance of its market-leading GX Aviation inflight broadband solution.

The recently-awarded Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) authorizes the powerful new Falcon 300 terminal to be installed on Boeing 737 aircraft, marking a significant milestone for the lightweight, low-drag solution. Developed with GDC Advanced Technology, a leader in engineering and technical services, modifications and electronic systems, the terminal includes GDC’s dual modem manager (MODMAN), with components by Kontron, together with a proven, reliable flat panel antenna by ThinKom.

The certification was obtained under GDC’s Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) program from its facility in Fort Worth, Texas. STCs for additional aircraft types are now underway, in addition to linefit plans for Boeing and Airbus airframes, reinforcing Falcon 300’s suitability for a wide range of fleets.

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

To meet evolving passenger demands, airlines around the world can benefit from the ultra-high performance capabilities of the new terminal. Available today, it was selected recently by SAUDIA, the national airline of Saudi Arabia, as part of an agreement for GX Aviation to be installed and activated onboard its upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft.

In addition, the terminal is also available as part of Inmarsat’s transformational new GX+ North America connectivity solution, which seamlessly integrates the extensive worldwide coverage and resilience of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network with the unrivalled capacity of Hughes’ JUPITER™ HTS constellation across North America. This brings unprecedented capacity, speed and reliability to North American airlines and their passengers, who will enjoy unconstrained bandwidth activities on flights, even when flying at full capacity over the busiest airport hubs.

And More News:

Inmarsat mobile satellite communications, and SAUDIA, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, reinforced their new inflight connectivity partnership at the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) EXPO 2021 in Long Beach, California. A celebration and gift exchange was hosted at Inmarsat Aviation’s stand, where its President Philippe Carette welcomed a senior delegation from SAUDIA, including the airline’s CEO Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy.

It follows the recent selection of Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution and OneFi passenger experience platform for SAUDIA’s upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and A321XLR aircraft, marking the Middle East’s first major airline connectivity agreement since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The combination of GX Aviation and OneFi will enable SAUDIA to provide a world-class digital experience for passengers onboard the aircraft, with the first installation expected in late 2022.

More Inmarsat News:

Inmarsat is working on a UK Space Agency-funded test project with the European Space Agency, alongside British partners Goonhilly Earth Station Limited and GMVNSL Limited, to deliver the first UK-generated satellite navigation (satnav) signal. The project provides a potential platform for the UK to enhance its capabilities in the Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) domain post-Brexit.

Repurposing a transponder from the Inmarsat-3 F5 (I-3 F5) satellite, the test project – UK Space Based Augmentation System or UKSBAS – will provide an overlay signal to augment the United States Global Positioning System (US GPS) satellite navigation system. This can refine the precision of the signal from a few meters to a few centimeters in accuracy.

UKSBAS will provide a basis to assess its future development into an operational capability to support safety-critical applications such as aircraft approaching and landing at airports or navigating ships through narrow channels, especially at night and in poor weather conditions. Goonhilly will provide the uplink for the system from Cornwall and software from GMVNSL, based in Nottingham, will generate the ground-based navigation signal. This is a similar system to that already in use in Australia and New Zealand, supported by Inmarsat. UKSBAS will be the first UK-generated national satnav signal.

This project could be crucial for UK users who need accurate, high-integrity navigation capabilities to enable their operations, initially covering aviation and maritime operations but with potential extension into rail and other land vehicle applications. For example, UKSBAS will be International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards-compliant.

SAUDIA will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia, with the service allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, shop online and more during flights using their own personal devices. In addition, the OneFi platform will serve as a catalyst for SAUDIA to monetize its inflight connectivity by bringing a host of real-time onboard services together within a single portal interface, such as ordering food, beverages and duty free items, enjoying e-books, newspapers and magazines, receiving flight updates, and signing into SAUDIA’s AlFursan frequent flyer program.

The UK no longer has access to the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) Safety of Life services since leaving the European Union (EU) and is not involved in the EU’s Galileo program for similar reasons. Therefore, this new national capability supported by current and future Inmarsat satellites could offer a new option for high-integrity, precision navigation across the country, in its airspace and within surrounding waters.

I-3F5 is in geosynchronous orbit at 54° west, ensuring that its signal covers the UK as part of its Atlantic Ocean region service overlay. This makes it an ideal candidate to participate in this test. The satellite was manufactured by Inmarsat’s Athena partner Lockheed Martin and launched in 1998.


THALES

Thales has acquired the Moog ground-based navigation aids business located in Salt Lake City, Utah, enabling it to provide a more comprehensive navigation aid offering to its customers worldwide.

The acquisition was completed after Thales received the required regulatory approvals in October 2021.


BOEING

777 Partners Orders 30 Additional 737 MAX Airplanes

  • Investment firm has ordered a total of 68 737 MAXs in 2021, including 737-8 and 737-8-200 models
  • 777 Partners leveraging the 737 to expand cost-effective, fuel-efficient operations for its affiliated low-cost carriers

Boeing and 777 Partners announced the Miami-based investment firm will nearly double its 737 MAX order book with the purchase of 30 additional jets. The new order expands 777 Partners’ commercial aircraft portfolio to a total of 68 737 MAXs, in its fourth order this year for the fuel-efficient, single-aisle jets. Valued at $3.7 billion at list prices, the order will enable 777 Partners to expand 737 MAX operations across the fleet of its affiliated global low-cost carriers.

The 737 MAX family reduces fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes it replaces, reducing operating costs as well as the environmental footprint for 777 Partners’ affiliated airlines. Every 737 MAX features a passenger-pleasing Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.


CRYSTAL CABIN AWARDS

For the 15th time, the Crystal Cabin Award Association is preparing to recognize and honor the best ideas for the aircraft cabin in the coming year. There are once again eight categories for the upcoming edition of the award, although some of the categories have been refined. Gathering at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (14 – 16 June 2022), the expert jury will, for example, be choosing a winner for the best innovation in the “Sustainable Cabin” category for the first time. The award, launched in Hamburg, provides an indicator of what we can expect to see on board when we fly in the near future. Winners in 2020 included Safran, winning in multiple categories, as well as Airbus and Eviation. Submissions for the Crystal Cabin Award 2022 can be lodged at www.crystal-cabin-award.com until 6 February 2022.

(Editor’s Note: Here are the 8 categories:Cabin Concepts, Cabin Systems, Health & Safety, IFEC & Digital Services, Material & Components, Passenger Comfort, Sustainable Cabin, and University!)


OTHER NEWS

This week at APEX in California, we thought we would give our readers a peak at a product that would make their group experiences safer. And so, we contacted Web Barth, a long-time industry expert and asked him if we could provide a bit more information about a product that will make a trade show much safer – a face mask with some unique characteristics. The product that Web features is presently being used by flight crews and flight attendants  on Jordanian, and other Middle Eastern airlines.We were curious to know more and asked Web to tell us a little bit about the patented masks he will introduce to our industry this week during APEX. Since we knew little about his product,  Fine Guard Masks, we asked why his product has been developed for aviation: “Our particular brand the BreatheEasy Mask™ combines a very thin 99,9% protective material designed for athletes with the comfort of their conventional and popular ear loop design. This product is fully and patented with an international patent by a company called LIVINGUARD® of Switzerland, and as you might guess, I hunted for a product that would help anybody who flies on a plane!” We next had to ask how his masks differ from others available in today’s marketplace and he told IFExpress: “The reason being, the patented technology of the mask is a coating on the fibers of the fabric, which causes it to maintain a positive charge. Interestingly, this solution protects from any kind of airborne virus Covid, SARS, the flu, HIV, Delts Variant, Ebola, etc.

IFExpress asked Web what different technology was featured in the BreathEasy and he told us: “Interestingly, this product is fully and patented on international patent by a company called LIVINGUARD® of Switzerland. My client has an exclusive manufacturing license with LILVINGUARD. We at VirExit have exclusive marketing and sales representation for all airlines and airports in the world. You can find Fine Guard masks available on Amazon today. They have sold about 10  million masks in 100 different countries.”

IFExpress was also curious about the life of the BreathEasy Mask and Web said: “It can be washed 50 times and has a life of about a year. The reason being, the patented technology of the mask is a coating on the fibers of the fabric, which causes it to maintain a positive charge. This minute positive charge is enough to attract the negative charge of viruses in the atmosphere. When the virus attaches or runs into the mask fabric it basically shorts it out, destroying the virus.

IFExpress thinks a  popular airline model might be to give the mask complementary to First and Business-Class and sell it in coach. Lastly, we inquired if children could use his product, and he told us: “Yes, it is available in children’s sizes.”

After discussing this impressive COVID-19 safety product, we believe showing the product at APEX is a good idea, especially with the latest mutation, omicron, recently surfacing. Web mentioned that there could well be a mask for this week’s APEX attendees. Web can be found at APEX in Booth 526!

Editor’s Note: Web has over 35 years’ experience in developing 20+ new products and new companies. Some might remember Web from APEX 2004-2007 when as COO he developed the portable, in flight (DigEplayer). DigEcor sold 28 airlines worldwide, was chosen the “Best In Flight Entertainment System for 2004” and selected “Entrepreneurial Company of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan Research. Web holds a BS in Marketing and two master’s degrees (MS Marketing Management and an MBA).

Mask-wearing cuts new COVID-19 cases


SMARTSKY

SmartSky Networks, the next-generation air-to-ground connectivity provider, announced the launch of business operations for commercial regional airlines across the Continental United States (CONUS). Supported by SmartSky’s broad and growing network availability, publicly demonstrated high-performance service, and FAA certifications for a growing range of regional jet aircraft models, this launch signals an inflection point for domestic regional airline connectivity.

“We are ready to introduce our superior connectivity solution to regional airlines and provide best-in-class inflight connectivity for passengers,” says David Helfgott, CEO of SmartSky Networks. “The need for consistent, secure access to data and applications is constant, especially for regional passengers who are often traveling during the busy work week. As domestic travel returns to pre-Covid-19 levels, those who fly are increasingly frustrated by poor connectivity that is slow, unreliable and not secure.”

In the past year, SmartSky has achieved many technical and business milestones on-time, to-spec, and on-budget. SmartSky continues to deploy its ATG network – now covering over 65% of CONUS flight hours, has received FCC and FAA approvals, confirmation of Honeywell and Avionica as authorized Value-Added-Resellers, and has raised over $100M in funding from committed investors.

SmartSky continues to expand its network footprint and will complete 2021 with coverage activated for roughly 80% of CONUS flight routes on its way to FULL CONUS in the first half of 2022. With supplemental type certificates (STCs) covering more than 4,000 aircraft already in hand, including the popular ERJ 135/145 series, and performance over 10x better than currently available legacy ATG services, SmartSky is challenging the status quo for inflight connectivity and ready to deliver superior value to regional airlines looking to upgrade.

“All SmartSky products, systems and solutions have been built with technical integrity and excellence, working closely with the industry to provide the best combination of features and functionality. We are ready to bring these advancements to regional air travelers,” adds Helfgott.

SmartSky delivers a superior air-to-ground connectivity experience for regional airlines, with its patented beamforming technology and network architecture. The result is a very low-latency, high-bandwidth, and symmetrical data communications service capable of providing responsive Internet/data access for cloud-based business applications, secure encrypted communications, and support for the aviation community’s operational data and real-time telematics needs.

SmartSky’s products and services are available through a growing network of Value-Added-Reseller (VAR) and installation partners and includes three interrelated offerings: i) the best-in-class, next-generation Air-to-Ground network, ii) advanced shipset hardware for aircraft communications, and iii) a transformational digital platform and application-layer, Skytelligence®.

Visit SmartSky Networks at APEX EXPO booth #919.


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced an agreement with Singapore Airlines that will provide a seamless and harmonized in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) experience across the airline’s widebody and narrowbody fleets.

Singapore Airlines has selected Panasonic Avionics’ eX1 IFE solution for its new fleet of 37 Boeing 737-8 aircraft. The system features full-HD seatback monitors in both the Business Class and Economy Class, complete with capacitive touch screen displays and USB charging ports. Each Business Class seat’s IFE comes with an additional handset and in-seat power outlets.

Singapore Airlines has also selected global in-flight connectivity services from Panasonic Avionics which can deliver average speeds up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) to the aircraft, with peak speeds reaching 200 Mbps and higher. The airline’s in-flight connectivity experience, powered by Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites will deliver a host of next-generation connectivity benefits, including fast internet and in-flight mobile phone services. This will enable the airline to meet the growing connectivity demand of travelers today and into the future.

The passenger experience made possible by these IFEC solutions also includes the company’s immersive 3D in-flight map platform, ArcTM. This visually stunning, in-flight map experience brings a wide range of innovations to the traditional map application, helping to increase overall customer engagement and loyalty made possible through a fully integrated IFE and connectivity system. The agreement with Singapore Airlines represents the first launch of Panasonic Avionics’ ArcTM map platform on the 737-8 platform.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “Our eX1 solution, connectivity and Arc map capabilities brings the full power and potential of in-flight entertainment and connectivity into the narrowbody cabin, and will ensure that Singapore Airlines can offer an amazing and consistent passenger experience across its fleet.”

This agreement with Singapore Airlines is the latest milestone in a 26-year partnership that has seen the carrier select Panasonic Avionics’ IFEC solutions for its widebody fleet. Earlier this year, the airline became the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ new Marketplace digital eCommerce platform.


OTHER NEWS

Here are some good links on daily commercial flight data from the Flight Aware folks:

INMARSAT

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

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

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

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

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

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


FTS & SHANDONG AIRLINES

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

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

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

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


AIRBUS, THALES, and DIEHL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) announced an agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) to provide its latest 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment (IFE) innovations on its 35 new Airbus A321neo family aircraft.

Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT IFE system will be installed on 20 new Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321neoXLR aircraft. The company’s NEXT system, which delivers one of the industry’s most advanced cabin experiences, has been configured to evolve with the future business objectives of the airline. It leverages a large and evolving suite of digital services from Panasonic Avionics aimed at improving loyalty, revenue generation and passenger engagement.

In addition to the full cabin advanced HD experience, Saudia will also feature Bluetooth audio streaming, allowing Saudi’s guests to unlock a library of premium entertainment options safely, using their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Business Class passengers will be able to experience the full 4K experience on 16-inch screens and use wireless charging to seamlessly connect with friends, family and colleagues as soon as they reach their destination. In Economy Class, Saudia has selected 12-inch 4K screens, and high power USB charging at every seat.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “We are delighted to extend our strategic partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines by taking their passenger experience to the next level with our 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment technology. We are very excited to broaden our relationship with Saudia to this new fleet of aircraft and deliver the hardware and digital services that help ensure passengers expectations are exceeded by the best-in-class services available today and into the future.”

Panasonic Avionics is already the IFE provider for Saudia’s fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft – with 45 aircraft utilizing its technology.

More News From Panasonic:

Panasonic has been selected by Iraqi Airways to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for its new fleet of 21 narrowbody and 10 widebody aircraft.

These aircraft, which includes 5 A220, 16 B737MAX and 10 B787 aircraft types, will be line-fitted with Panasonic’s X Series IFE solutions and are expected to enter service in October 2022.

Panasonic Avionics’ X Series offers elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with capacitive touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface. Passengers will have access to USB and laptop charging power points at every seat as well. The X Series portfolio also includes eXW, which delivers a premium passenger experience to passengers’ personal devices. Each of these systems are designed to help drive ancillary revenue, foster higher levels of passenger loyalty, and increase passenger engagement.

The airline’s Boeing 737 MAX fleet, which will feature the company’s eX1 narrowbody IFE solution, also offers Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight Wi-Fi service. Its next-generation connectivity enables a host of connectivity benefits, from fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

Panasonic Avionics’ IFEC solutions are also being fitted to Iraqi Airways’ new fleet of five Airbus A220 aircraft, the first of which entered service last month. To meet the airline’s requirement of offering state-of-the-art wireless IFE streaming on its A220 fleet, Panasonic Avionics is installing its eXW solution, which delivers a wide range of content to passengers’ personal electronic devices, along with its in-flight Wi-Fi service.

For Iraqi Airways’ Boeing 787 aircraft, Panasonic Avionics is providing its industry-leading eX3 in-flight system and global high-speed connectivity services.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to have been chosen as Iraqi Airways’ partner for its new narrowbody and widebody fleet. Our proven blend of in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions will enhance the passenger experience on their flights across the Middle East and beyond.”

Farazdaq Al-Qazaz, Configuration and EIS Program Manager, said, “Iraqi Airways celebrates its partnership with Panasonic Avionics on its new fleet, as it will provide passengers with entertainment services as well as add unique internet services, and it will be an enjoyable experience for passengers during their flights with Iraqi Airways.”

Panasonic & Emirates:

Panasonic Avionics has been selected by Emirates to deliver a suite of in-flight entertainment (IFE) solutions for its Premium Economy cabin being rolled out across its fleet.

Panasonic Avionics’ IFE systems are being integrated into the Premium Economy cabin being introduced on 105 of Emirates’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, with the first due to enter service in the summer of 2022.

This follows the unveiling of Emirates’ Premium Economy cabin in December 2020, and its initial rollout to widespread acclaim on several of its newest A380 aircraft.

Emirates’ new Premium Economy cabins will feature a range of the latest IFE innovations from Panasonic Avionics. Elegantly designed 13-inch HD screens will be fitted at each seat, with integrated control buttons, ultra-wide viewing angles, LED backlighting and capacitive touch all creating a luxury feel for passengers when choosing from over 4,500 channels of entertainment on Emirates’ ice system powered by Panasonic Avionics.

Passengers can connect their own headphones to the IFE system via Bluetooth, experience its 3D gaming options, use the screen’s high-power USB type A and C chargers, and use AC sockets at each seat to power their laptops.

At the Dubai Air Show, Emirates announced that its new Premium Economy cabin would be fitted on 52 A380s, and 53 Boeing 777s in its fleet.


INMARSAT & SAUDI ARABIA

Inmarsat has announced that the national airline of Saudia Arabia, SAUDIA, has selected Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation connectivity solution and OneFi passenger experience platform for its upcoming fleet.

GX Aviation and OneFi will be available on SAUDIA’s upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft, with the aircraft connected to the advanced connectivity service using a new ultra-high performance terminal by GDC Technics. The first installation of GX Aviation is expected in late 2022.

This selection marks a significant number of firsts for aviation, including:

  • The launch of GX Aviation in Saudi Arabia
  • The first major inflight connectivity agreement in the Middle East since the Covid-19 pandemic
  • SAUDIA has become the first in the Middle East to select Inmarsat’s revolutionary new OneFi customer experience platform (CXP)
  • SAUDIA is the first in the world to select the next-generation terminal for GX Aviation, developed with GDC Technics.

It comes at a critical time for airlines, with the global pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences. In fact, Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, found that 41% of air passengers worldwide believed inflight Wi-Fi had further increased in importance after the pandemic.


BLUEBOX & GLOBAL ONBOARD PARTNERS

As announced to passengers last week, Jambojet has launched an innovative travel platform in conjunction with Global Onboard Partners to provide unique destination experiences in the air and on the ground, as the digital passenger experience takes flight in Kenya.
Customized for Jambojet, Global Onboard Partners’ destination platform Global Destination Explorer provides Jambojet passengers with the opportunity to explore exciting destinations across their route network. Branded Jambojet Destination Explorer, it provides information and the best travel tips across the customer journey, before, during and after the flight with helpful real-time notifications in each destination.
On board, Jambojet Destination Explorer is the highlight of the new JamboPlay IFE service which can be accessed via a browser on passengers’ own devices over a wireless network provided by Bluebox Aviation Systems’ award-winning portable wireless IFE platform, Bluebox Wow. Bluebox Wow provides a captive wireless network on board and integrates Global Onboard Partners’ Global Destination Explorer service into the bespoke Jambojet digital experience that passengers see.
With exclusive offers, rewards and dynamic maps to help passengers find the best places to stay, food to eat and attractions to visit, passengers can use Jambojet Destination Explorer to make the most out of their travel experience and see the best of each incredible destination in Jambojet’s network.
“We are excited to welcome Jambojet as our latest airline partner,” said Kirk Adams, CEO, Global Onboard Partners. “Our innovative platform has been designed to provide a win-win for everyone through the delivery of the best destination experiences and special offers to passengers through important new revenue streams to airlines and at the same time, providing greater access to tourism and hospitality partners to participate at affordable prices and receive direct contact with passengers.”
“With the deployment of Jambojet Destination Explorer on Bluebox Wow, we’re demonstrating yet another new application for IFE – tourism and destination promotion. Our digital platform is being used to excite passengers about their destination ahead – engaging them via their own devices and establishing a foothold from which Jambojet itself can explore adding further revenue-generating features to the service as it evolves,” said Paul Rayson, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “Whether more traditional movies and TV, onboard retail, or this kind of unique destination-focused engagement, Bluebox Wow offers so much scope for creativity and innovation, enabling our airline customers an opportunity to explore how best to enhance their own unique passenger experience on board.”
Bluebox Wow is a discrete, lunchbox-sized unit, typically stowed securely in overhead bins. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and other digital content, such as Global Destination Explorer.

BOEING

Boeing to Open Three New Freighter Conversion Lines; Takes Order for Eleven 737-800BCF

  • New conversion lines to open at KF Aerospace in Canada and at Boeing’s London Gatwick MRO in the United Kingdom
  • Icelease orders eleven 737-800BCF; will be launch customer for new conversion line at London Gatwick MRO facility
  • 737-800BCF now has more than 200 orders and commitments from 19 customers

As global demand for freighters continues to soar, Boeing  announced plans to add three conversion lines for the market-leading 737-800BCF across North America and Europe. The company also signed a firm order with Icelease for eleven of the freighters as the launch customer for one of the new conversion lines.

In 2022, the company will open one conversion line at Boeing’s London Gatwick Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility, its state-of-the-art hangar in the United Kingdom; and two conversion lines in 2023 at KF Aerospace MRO in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

For Icelease, which recently expanded its cooperation with Corrum Capital through a joint venture called Carolus Cargo Leasing, the order for eleven 737-800BCF will be their first converted freighter order with Boeing. The lessor will be the launch customer for conversions at Boeing’s London Gatwick MRO facility.

Earlier this year, Boeing announced it would create additional 737-800BCF conversion capacity at several sites, including a third conversion line at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO), and two conversion lines in 2022 with a new supplier, Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica. Once the new lines become active, Boeing will have conversion sites in North America, Asia and Europe.

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years to meet demand. Of those, 1,200 will be standard-body conversions, with nearly 20% of that demand coming from European carriers, and 30% coming from North America and Latin America.

DHL

  • DHL places its largest Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) order for nine 767-300BCF
  • The expanded 767-300BCF fleet will strengthen DHL’s response to the continued growing demand for express cargo driven by e-commerce

DHL Express (DHL) and Boeing announced that the logistics company placed a firm order for nine more 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF). Representing their largest single 767-300BCF order to date, the additional freighters will help expand DHL’s long-haul intercontinental fleet in response to increased global demand for cargo capacity. DHL has taken delivery of seven of a batch of eight 767-300BCF, that have been leased to DHL partner airlines in the Middle East and Latin America to support its expanding regional networks.The 767-300BCF is the world’s most efficient medium widebody converted freighter and can carry up to 51.6 tonnes (113,900 pounds) up to 6,190 kilometers (3,345 nautical miles). 767 Freighters provide the lowest operating costs per trip with excellent payload and range capability. The 767-300BCF has more than 100 orders and commitments to date

VSMPO-AVISMA

Boeing and Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirming that VSMPO-AVISMA will remain the largest titanium supplier for current and future Boeing commercial airplanes. Under the MOU signed by company leaders at the Dubai Airshow, Boeing and VSMPO-AVISMA will work together to:

  • Increase utilization of their Russia-based Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM) joint venture;
  • Increase R&D investment and continue to develop new titanium alloys and technologies;
  • Explore new opportunities to expand VSMPO-AVISMA’s role producing titanium parts and components beyond raw material or forging, for current and future Boeing commercial airplanes.

EMIRATES

Boeing and Emirates announced an order for two 777 Freighters at the 2021 Dubai Airshow, expanding the future capability of one of the world’s largest cargo airlines at a time of significant global demand for air freight. The freighters will be operated by Emirates SkyCargo, which currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 10 777 Freighters and also carries cargo on Emirates’ 134 777 passenger airplanes. Valued at more than $704 million at list prices, the orders were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.

Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook forecasts increased demand for dedicated freighters, including new and converted models. By 2040, the global freighter fleet will be 70% larger compared with the pre-pandemic fleet, with the Middle East freighter fleet growing by 87%.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS

  • Industry-first strategic partnership focused on Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner fleet
  • Building on collaboration to improve sustainability through navigation, flight operations and airframe technologies

Boeing and Etihad Airways announced they will expand the companies’ deep collaboration towards environmental goals. Centered on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) furthers Boeing and Etihad’s mutual commitment – initially set through a 2019 sustainability partnership – to develop sustainable flight operations across Etihad’s global network.

The new agreement will focus on enhancing the efficiency of navigation and flight operations, airframe technologies and sustainable practices to reduce Etihad’s fuel use and emissions. In addition, company leaders said their partnership provides an opportunity to validate concepts that could be scaled up to benefit the broader aviation industry.

 SAUDIA

  • SAUDIA selected Boeing’s advanced digital analytics tools to improve maintenance operations and on-time performance of their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets
  • Boeing will also provide interior modification services for SAUDIA’s 777 fleet

SAUDIA selected Boeing for a suite of services to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets’ operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

 AIR TANZANIA

  • Order for 787 Dreamliner, 767 Freighter and two 737 MAX airplanes
  • Passenger and freighter models will boost airline’s capability in Africa and beyond.

Boeing and the United Republic of Tanzania announced an order for a 787-8 Dreamliner, a 767-300 Freighter and two 737 MAX jets at the 2021 Dubai Airshow. The order, valued at more than $726 million at list prices, was previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website.

Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook forecasts that, by 2040, Africa’s airlines will require 1,030 new airplanes valued at $160 billion and aftermarket services such as manufacturing and repair worth $235 billion, supporting growth in air travel and economies across the continent.

AKASA AIRLINES

Akasa Air Orders 72 Fuel-Efficient 737 MAX Airplanes to Launch Service in Fast-Growing Indian Market

  • New Indian carrier’s order valued at nearly $9 billion, includes 737-8 and high-capacity 737-8-200

Boeing and Akasa Air, a brand of SNV Aviation, announced the new Indian carrier has ordered (72) 737 MAX airplanes to build its fleet. Valued at nearly $9 billion at list prices, the order is a key endorsement of the 737 family’s capability to serve the rapidly growing Indian market.

Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200. Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 MAX will ensure Akasa Air has a competitive edge in its dynamic home market.


THALES

Thales announces that it will supply flight control computers for the newest Gulfstream business jet aircraft, the Gulfstream G400 and Gulfstream G800. All Gulfstream’s large cabin business jet aircraft are equipped with Thales Fly-By-Wire solutions. Thales pioneered the development and certification of Fly-by-Wire (FBW) technology on modern commercial aircraft in 1983. Today, it remains at the forefront of FBW technology, supplying the most advanced flight control electronics in over 10,000 aircraft worldwide.


ACROPOLIS AVIATION

Acropolis Aviation was the launch customer for Airbus’ new ACJneo single-aisle family in May 2015, during EBACE in Geneva. This week’s 2021 Dubai Air Show will see G-KELT make its first public appearance on the static at the Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport venue – for Airbus Corporate Jets.

The aircraft entered service in March 2020, sporting a distinctive, luxurious cabin design by Yves Pickardt from Alberto Pinto and installed by leading completion specialist AMAC Aerospace at its Basel Airport facilities in Switzerland. “We are absolutely delighted Airbus Corporate Jets is showcasing our aircraft at the Dubai Air Show”, commented Acropolis’ CEO Jonathan Bousfield. “We are very much looking forward to presenting the aircraft to our Middle Eastern clientele for the first time.”

G-KELT can accommodate up to 19 passengers, sleeping 17 on fully lie-flat beds, with luggage space for over 100 pieces of baggage and the support of a crew of six. The aircraft is also certified for extended-range flights of up to 12 hours and low visibility ‘CAT 3A’ landing minima in severe weather conditions. Flight entertainment and onboard connectivity is via Collins Aerospace and Satcom Direct.


WOMEN IN AVIATION

Women in Aviation International (WAI) is proud to announce the awarding of a $1 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to strengthen the organization’s initiatives encouraging youth to pursue STEM futures through media platforms, industry partner coalitions, and cultivation of female aviation champions.


OTHER NEWS

Today’s Image: The 777-9 flight test airplane makes its international debut, flying non-stop from Seattle to the United Arab Emirates. It will be on display at the Dubai Airshow starting November 14. The 777-9 has seating for 426 passengers and a range of over 7,285 nmi (13,500 km). The 777X program was proposed in the early 2010’s.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) announce that the launch of Inmarsat’s first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 fleet (I-6 F1) by MHI’s H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (HIIA F45), will be as follows:

  • Launch Date: December 21st, 2021
  • Window: 14:33:52 p.m. through 16:33:26 p.m., Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) 23:33:52 p.m. through 01:33:26 a.m. (the next day), Japan Standard Time (JST)
  • Location: Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

Inmarsat’s sixth-generation (I-6) fleet will be its first to feature dual-payload satellites. The I-6s will support L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) services as part of the company’s unique, global, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network ORCHESTRA.

MHI Launch Services enjoys an extremely high success rate of 98.1% and has provided 47 successful consecutive launches, delivered on-time and to the customer’s satisfaction. MHI provides a dedicated launch service for the I-6 F1 launch with the H-IIA Launch Vehicle, configured as H2A204/4S, with 4 Solid Rocket boosters (SRB-As) and 4m diameter payload fairing. The core stages of the H2A launch vehicle are undergoing final checks at MHI’s factory in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, ahead of their shipment to the launch site on Tanegashima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, which is located in the southwest of Japan.

“Our first Inmarsat 6 satellite, I-6F1, is the largest and most advanced commercial communications satellite ever launched and we look forward to the event in Japan with our trusted partner, MHI,” said Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO. “The I-6s are Inmarsat’s first ever hybrid L- and Ka-band satellites, incorporating increased capacity and new technological advances for ELERA’s transformational L-band services alongside additional Global Xpress high-speed broadband capacity. They demonstrate Inmarsat’s ongoing investment and commitment as a global leader for the benefit of mobility customers worldwide, delivering an enhanced platform for world-changing technologies that ELERA enables, including the Industrial Internet of Things, by providing dramatically increased network capacity and resilience. I-6 F1 also plays an integral role in the reliable geostationary earth orbit infrastructure that underpins Inmarsat ORCHESTRA – the world’s first network that will combine geostationary, low earth orbit and terrestrial 5G into one harmonious solution.”

”We are honored to have been selected by Inmarsat, a leader in the global mobile satellite communication industry, to provide launch services for their first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 series,” said Tomoe Nishigaya, Vice President & Senior General Manager for Space Systems in MHI. “We strongly believe and expect that Inmarsat’s L-band services, ELERA, and Global Xpress high-speed broadband capacity delivered by their I-6 fleet of satellites will trigger further growth of demands in the global mobile satellite communication market. Again, we are excited and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an innovative mission as a launch services provider. We are committed to providing highly reliable launch services for this 45th mission of H-IIA, following the success of previous missions. We intend to support Inmarsat and its partners with best efforts and great teamwork through the final preparation for the successful launch.”


ASTRONICS

  • Sales for the quarter were $111.8 million, up 5% over
    prior-year period
  • Net loss of $7.2 million continues sequential improvement through 2021
  • Adjusted EBITDA* was $2.8 million; measurably improved over prior-year period loss and trailing second quarter
  • Bookings up 88% over prior-year period and up 22% over trailing second quarter to $153.5 million; Achieved book-to-bill ratio of 1.37
  • Aerospace segment book-to-bill was 1.49 for the quarter
  • Backlog increased 13% sequentially to $354.4 million

BOEING

ATSG Selects Boeing for Next Converted Freighter Order

  • Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) placed its first order with Boeing to convert four of their 767-300 aircraft into freighters
  • 767-300BCF now has more than 100 orders and commitments

Air Transport Services Group, Inc., the world’s largest lessor of 767-300 converted freighters, has contracted with Boeing for the conversion of four aircraft to 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF).

“Our continued confidence in the 767-300 platform, now coupled with the services and support of the OEM, reinforces our commitment to deliver best-in-class reliable services to our customers,” said Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “We’re proud to partner with Boeing as we expand our fleet to meet growing demand and look forward to future growth together.”

The 767-300BCF now has more than 100 orders and commitments from customers around the globe, providing widebody converted freighter capability to meet growing market demand, and building on a record year for customer orders of Boeing’s family of freighters.

“We are honored that ATSG has decided to make the 767-300BCF an integral part of their fleet expansion strategy, supporting customers looking to capitalize on strong e-commerce demand,” said Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing Converted Freighters. “As the OEM, Boeing has the original design data, robust supply chains, and dependable delivery schedules that benefit BCF customers such as ATSG. With that OEM advantage, we stand ready to meet ATSG’s needs by bringing forward market-leading 767-300BCFs into its fleet.”

ATSG is a global leader in cargo leasing, operating a fleet of 106 Boeing aircraft, including more than ninety 767 converted freighters.

And More News:

Boeing to Debut 777X, Spotlight Defense and Global Services and Highlight Sustainability, Technology and Partnerships at 2021 Dubai Airshow.

  • Boeing ecoDemonstrator 737-9, Etihad Airways 787-10 Dreamliner and flydubai 737 MAX 9 on display at global aerospace event.
  • Boeing defense platforms include KC-46A Pegasus, P-8 Poseidon and MV-22 Osprey.

Boeing will showcase its market-leading portfolio of commercial, defense and services products at the 2021 Dubai Airshow this month, including the international debut of its newest fuel-efficient widebody jet, the 777X, along with the company’s growing autonomous capabilities such as the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.

“Boeing is excited to participate fully in the Dubai Airshow, the first global airshow in almost two years, and to be able to engage directly with customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region and beyond,” said Kuljit Ghata-Aura, president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “The show is a perfect opportunity to come together and remind the world of the importance of our industry and discuss technology and innovations that are critical to advance a more sustainable aerospace industry over the long term.”

During the event, a Boeing 777-9 flight-test airplane will soar in the airshow’s flying program and appear in the static display. Building on the best of the industry-leading 777 and 787 families, the 777-9 will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, delivering 10% better fuel use, emissions and operating costs than the competition.

The company’s static display will also feature the 2021 Boeing ecoDemonstrator, an Alaska Airlines 737-9 that is flight testing about 20 technologies to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise and further improve safety.

In addition, Etihad Airways will display a 787-10 Dreamliner that showcases the airline’s collaboration with Boeing to advance sustainable aviation. Etihad’s program researches and tests innovative technologies, products and practices on its fleet of 787s and within its operations to further reduce carbon emissions. Also on display, flydubai – the region’s largest 737 operator – will feature a 737 MAX 9 that reduces fuel use and CO2 by 14% compared to its predecessors.

Boeing’s exhibit in Dubai will highlight defense products including the F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet and T-7A Advanced Pilot Training System, as well as its Autonomous Systems portfolio, including the Boeing Airpower Teaming System and the Insitu Integrator ER and ScanEagle unmanned systems.

Global defense customers are expected to display several operational Boeing aircraft, including the MV-22 Osprey, KC-46A Pegasus, P-8A Poseidon, C-17 Globemaster III, AH-64 Apache and CH-47F Chinook.

Boeing also will discuss its parts, modifications, digital, sustainment and training solutions, including an expansive global supply chain, maintenance and logistics network. Government services will feature in-country partnerships with on-the-ground support for its installed base of defense platforms. Commercial services highlights will include Boeing Converted Freighters, expanded support to regional customers and near-term sales opportunities.

More News From Boeing:

Boeing Projects Asia Pacific Commercial Aviation Market Valued at $6.8 Trillion by 2040

  • Forecast anticipates need for more than 17,600 new commercial airplanes with a focus on efficiency and sustainability
  • By 2040, Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of global air traffic; cargo fleet to more than triple

Boeing estimates that air travel within Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of global air traffic by 2040, driving 20-year demand for 17,645 new airplanes valued at $3.1 trillion. To support its commercial aviation industry, Asia-Pacific countries also will require aftermarket services valued at $3.7 trillion. Boeing provided the data in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

The Asia Pacific region has diverse air travel markets, including mature economies in Northeast Asia and Oceania as well as rapidly growing aviation markets in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia. With the travel recovery enabled by rising COVID-19 vaccination, Asia Pacific carriers are well-positioned to capitalize on recovering business and leisure travel as well as air cargo transportation, according to Boeing.

“We have seen strong resilience in Asia Pacific traffic when restrictions are lifted and passengers feel confident about travel,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of Commercial Marketing. “Carriers with efficient and versatile fleets will be positioned to meet passenger needs and air freight demand with airplanes that reduce fuel use, emissions and operating costs.”

Boeing’s CMO analysis addresses 20-year demand for the five regions within Asia Pacific:

  • Southeast Asian countries seeing rapid economic growth will also see fleet growth and passenger traffic well above global averages. Low-cost carriers are forecast to expand intra-regional networks with single-aisle jets, while open skies and trade agreements will enable carriers to invest in fuel-efficient widebodies to serve long-haul routes. Southeast Asia is forecast to need 4,465 new airplanes valued at $765 billion and commercial aviation services valued at $790 billion by 2040.
  • In Northeast Asia, mature economies will continue to support a balanced air travel market across domestic, regional and long-haul travel segments. Fleet replacement will account for nearly 75% of new deliveries as airlines look to improve sustainability and fleet versatility. The region is expected to need 1,385 new airplanes valued at $310 billion as well as services valued at $555 billion in the next 20 years.
  • In Oceania, commercial aviation serves as critical transportation infrastructure across long distances and island nations. Domestic and regional travel accounting for 80% of passenger traffic will drive single-aisle demand, while versatile widebody jets such as the 787 Dreamliner will support long-haul and international network development. Oceania is projected to need 785 new jets valued at $135 billion and services valued at $165 billion by the end of the forecast period.
  • Boeing previously released its China CMO forecast. The South Asia forecast will be highlighted in coming months.

The 2021 CMO includes these projections for Asia Pacific through 2040:

  • Single-aisle jets will account for nearly 13,500 deliveries, about three-quarters of demand in terms of units. Widebody jets including passenger and cargo models will total nearly 3,800 airplanes.
  • The cargo fleet will more than triple to 1,160 airplanes, including new and converted models, to support diversifying global supply chains and meet e-commerce demand. The Asia Pacific cargo fleet is expected to roughly equal North America’s cargo fleet by 2040.
  • Tied to economic and fleet growth, demand for maintenance, repair, overhaul and modifications account for a majority of projected commercial aviation services demand. Digital solutions, analytics and training services also will support the Asia Pacific fleet.
  • Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook (PTO) forecasts that the region will require nearly 820,000 new aviation personnel, including more than 230,000 pilots and nearly 250,000 technicians and 340,000 cabin crew members. The global PTO is available here.

OTHER NEWS

COLLINS AEROSPACE

  • Customized Club Suite offers passengers luxury, privacy and all-aisle access
  • Creates a consistent passenger experience across the British Airways fleet
  • Completion expected by the end of 2022

British Airways has selected Collins Aerospace to upgrade its fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft to the Club World experience for business class passengers.

The agreement includes installation of the popular Club Suite business class seat, the Club Kitchen and a new cabin configuration. Collins will also perform full-cabin integration work – including engineering design, test and approval – along with program management and third-party supplier approvals. Some of the modified aircraft are already flying with the upgrades expected to be complete by the end of 2022. The retrofitted Boeing 777 aircraft will be operating from London Heathrow.

“When we launched our Club Suite product, it was a huge hit with our customers who loved the privacy the new seat offers,” said Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product for British Airways. “We are focused on the roll out of this product and other cabin enhancements to ensure we deliver on our commitment to provide the very best British quality, style and comfort for our customers.”

The Club Suite is a customized version of Collins Aerospace’s industry-leading Super Diamond business class seat, providing British Airways international passengers with privacy doors, a spacious seat that converts to a fully flat bed and an upgraded inflight entertainment system. Similar to the upgraded cabin on British Airways’ new Airbus A350 fleet, the suites are laid out in a 1-2-1 pattern, allowing all-aisle access for every passenger. This proven design can be tailored to fit different airframes, helping maintain a consistent passenger experience.

The Club Kitchen is an area consisting of galley inserts, chillers and built-in storage for snacks, drinks and other refreshments, allowing passengers the ability to collect self-service snacks and refreshments at their leisure.

“The upgraded Club World cabin raises British Airways’ already high standards and provides commonality across their fleet of aircraft,” said Trevor Skelly, general manager of Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace. “Our Integration Engineering team has worked closely with British Airways designers for several years to bring the latest in business class comfort, style and privacy from concept to reality.”

Through its Integration and Engineering group, Collins Aerospace has an Organization Designation Authority from the FAA to oversee the certification and Supplemental Type Certificate for the upgrade. Manufacturing of the new suite seats is being completed at the company’s facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, while the new Club Kitchen was designed at the company’s facility in Everett, Washington.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has announced a new partnership network for its ground-breaking Velaris connectivity solution and confirmed the first member is set to be Altitude Angel, the world’s leading Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) technology provider.

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week, the two companies will explore opportunities to further integrate Inmarsat’s recently-launched Velaris connectivity solution for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with Altitude Angel’s market-leading UTM technology. Together, they will offer secure communications for commercial UAVs – commonly known as drones – to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) on long distance flights and access applications, including real-time monitoring, to ensure safe integration with aircraft in commercial airspace.

The new agreement will strengthen the existing partnership between Inmarsat and Altitude Angel, which has initially focused on the development of a Pop-Up UTM platform that delivers advanced flight tracking and management capability for UAVs. The solution has already been successfully demonstrated on a number of flights, offering full situational awareness to the operator team and preventing any potential conflicts with commercial aircraft. In addition, the Pop-Up UTM was crowned winner of Air Traffic Management Magazine’s UTM Service Supplier Award earlier this year and has been shortlisted in the prestigious Maverick Awards innovation category at World ATM Congress 2021, taking place this week.

Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and UTM, said: “Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network (VPN) allows us to develop an unparalleled array of end-to-end UAV solutions and capabilities, working alongside a world-class ecosystem of leading players from across the industry. We are delighted that Altitude Angel has been announced as the first member and look forward to expanding the network further, with the additional of both new and well-established companies expected in the near future.”

Phil Binks, Altitude Angel’s Head of UTM, said: “Our Pop-Up UTM platform has received an outstanding response from the UAV industry, showing the immense potential for unmanned traffic management to enable safe, highly-automated UAV flights in both urban and rural environments. As the inaugural member of Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network, we will build on this momentum together by developing cutting-edge new innovations for this fast growing market that combine our unique individual strengths.”

The announcement comes a day after Inmarsat and Cranfield University published a new report, titled ‘UAVs: Unlocking positive transformation in the world’, which examines the wealth of new possibilities and applications unlocked by commercial UAVs. A key finding was the potential of UAVs to almost half the CO2 emissions of urban freight transport compared to small light commercial vehicles (LCVs), providing an unprecedented opportunity to reduce the logistics industry’s environmental impact.

The report, which analyses both new and existing research, also identifies the many other commercial advantages provided by UAVs to organizations that embrace the technology and adopt new operational methods, with cost and time savings leading to enhanced supply chain and business efficiencies. In addition, it explores the considerable benefits that extend beyond those driven by commercial gain, such as delivering humanitarian and medical aid to remote communities and conflict zones, surveillance to protect endangered animals from poachers, and monitoring for illegal deforestation or mining operations.

Velaris is powered by Inmarsat’s ELERA global satellite network, which delivers the world’s most reliable and flexible global connectivity, with full global redundancy and unique resilience in all conditions. ELERA capabilities will be enhanced further with the upcoming addition of Inmarsat-6 satellites, the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, the first of which (I-6F1) is scheduled to launch before the end of the year. The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will be substantially greater than Inmarsat’s 4th generation spacecraft and, among other enhancements, delivers 50% more capacity per beam in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility.

More News:

Inmarsat, announced that Philippe Carette will be joining the company as President of its Aviation Business Unit on 22 November 2021.

Philippe joins Inmarsat from Thales, where he held several roles since joining the company in 2013. This includes the position of CEO of Thales’ InFlyt Experience Business Line (IFE), where he led a digital transformation of the business, leveraging cloud based disruptive applications and achieving a significant increase in customer satisfaction. Philippe has over 30 years’ experience in the technology & aerospace industries, which in addition to his tenure at Thales includes 14 years with the Safran Group, a major French aerospace engineering company.

Philip Balaam, currently business unit President for aviation, is moving into a new strategy role at Inmarsat, where he will be working with Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Fredrik Gustavsson to reinforce the company’s growing, broad-based commercial momentum.

“I am very pleased to welcome Philippe Carette as president of our aviation business at the start of a new era of growth across our aviation business lines, and throughout the company as a whole”, said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat. “He brings a wealth of experience and I look forward to working with him as a member of Inmarsat’s executive team as we extend our technology leadership and significantly enhance the services we offer to our partners and customers through new initiatives such as ORCHESTRA and ELERA. His 30 plus years of experience in aviation, technology and aerospace will be invaluable.

“I wish to thank Philip Balaam for the pivotal role he played in establishing Inmarsat as a leader in the IFC sector and for his many other contributions to the growth of our aviation business. In his new strategy role at Inmarsat, he will play a crucial role in enhancing the future strategic framework for the whole business.”


SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has inked a preferred supplier agreement with Slovenia-headquartered aviation services company Elit’Avia. Voice, data, connectivity, and flight deck communication functionality, along with customer support and training, is now enabling Elit’Avia to optimize the full range of SD connectivity services for its mixed fleet. Demonstrating the value of the SD Xperience portfolio, which enables customization of bundled packages, the deal realizes the opportunity for Elit’Avia to tailor SD services to meet individual aircraft requirements.

The Elit’Avia flight department already uses the digital flight operations system SD Pro® to synchronize flight operations, access the SD Cyber Security Threat Monitoring module, and to track and monitor flights. The three-year arrangement strengthens and extends the existing commercial relationship between the two companies


THALES

Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) renews their trust in Thales with a turnkey modernization of their nationwide Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. The new ATM system will improve capacity and safety thanks to a complete nationwide surveillance coverage using the latest ATC and air surveillance technologies compliant with ICAO standards. An iconic new Air Traffic Management Centre and Control Tower as well as new radar building will be constructed at the Hazrat Shajalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka.


BOEING

Boeing Projects Demand for 1,540 New Airplanes in the Russia, Ukraine and CIS Aviation Market Through 2040.

  • 20-year commercial airplane market valued at $520 billion, including jets and services
  • Forecast anticipates that Russia, leading all regions in domestic air travel recovery, will see additional growth in leisure and business travel

Boeing said that airlines in Russia, Ukraine and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will require 1,540 new airplanes valued at $200 billion over the next 20 years, driven mainly by growth in the single-aisle market. The region also will need aftermarket aviation services such as passenger-to-freighter conversions, maintenance and repair, and digital services worth $320 billion, according to the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), Boeing’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Global and regional air travel markets are recovering largely as Boeing projected last year. Following a strong economic rebound and large pent-up demand, Russia has led all regions in domestic air traffic recovery, with growth expected to continue, according to Boeing.

“Boeing is ready to support carriers in Russia, Ukraine and CIS as they transform their business models and take advantage of opportunities for further growth,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for Russia, Ukraine and CIS. “Aviation is vitally important for enabling robust domestic tourism growth and a rebound in long-haul leisure travel while also supporting trade and cargo links across a huge geographic region.”

The 2021 CMO for Russia, Ukraine and CIS includes these projections through 2040:

Air traffic is projected to grow by 2.9% annually, tied to economic growth of 2.1% per year.

More than half of deliveries to the region will be for growth. The overall fleet is expected to total more than 2,000 airplanes, with demand for more fuel-efficient models.
Single-aisle airplanes will represent 75% of deliveries, with demand for 1,150 airplanes. Demand will be driven by growth in the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment, including opportunities for new and expanding low-cost airlines.

Demand for 160 new widebody passenger and freighter airplanes to serve regional leisure markets as well as long-haul passenger and cargo markets.

The region will require 83,000 new aviation personnel, including 25,000 pilots, 25,000 technicians and 33,000 cabin crews. For Boeing’s global demand forecast, go to the Pilot and Technician Outlook website.

For Boeing’s global and regional forecasts, including data and analysis, go to the Commercial Market Outlook website.

More News:

A.P. Moller – Maersk Orders Two Boeing 777 Freighters

  • Global logistics and shipping company places first order for 777 Freighter
  • 777 Freighters to be operated by Maersk’s air freight operator Star Air

Boeing and A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) announced the global provider of end-to-end container logistics has placed an order for two 777 Freighters. The freighters will be operated by Star Air, Maersk’s in-house aircraft operator and is the company’s first 777 order. Star Air currently operates an all-Boeing 767 Freighter fleet.

More News:

Boeing contribution – Boeing Contributes Nearly $2 Million for Indigenous Communities in the U.S. – Nov 1, 2021


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


INMARSAT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also From Inmarsat:

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


AVALON

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

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


BOEING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2021 Africa CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

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

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

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


OTHER NEWS

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


PANASONIC AVIONICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Panasonic News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


INMARSAT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BURRANA

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

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

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


ASTRONICS

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

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

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


BOEING

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


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC AVIONICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SATCOM DIRECT

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

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

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

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

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

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


THALES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


IATA

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


OTHER NEWS

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

PANASONIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


NetForecast

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

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

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

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


SATCOM DIRECT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BOEING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also From Boeing:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


OTHER NEWS

Boeing to Add 767-300BCF Conversion Lines at GAMECO to Meet Strong Market Demand

  • Boeing will open two new 767-300BCF conversion lines next year at GAMECO in Guangzhou, China
  •  GAMECO will be the first MRO to convert both the 737-800BCF and 767-300BCF

Boeing and Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) announced plans to create additional capacity for the 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) to help meet continued strong market demand.

The agreement, revealed by the two companies during a signing ceremony at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, will expand freighter conversion capacity at GAMECO, opening two new 767-300BCF conversion lines next year.

“It was mutually beneficial to continue building our relationship with GAMECO to provide additional conversion capacity for the 767-300BCF while supporting growth in the region,” said Peter Gao, vice president, Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing for China. “GAMECO has demonstrated excellent execution on the 737-800BCF program. We know it will bring the same expertise and proven capability to help deliver our medium widebody freighter conversions to our global customers.”

GAMECO will be the first MRO in China to convert the 767-300BCF and the only MRO converting both the 767-300BCF and the 737-800BCF. Earlier this year, GAMECO announced plans to open a third 737-800BCF conversion line.

“GAMECO is very proud to extend its relationship with Boeing and their converted freighter program to include another aircraft type,” said Norbert Marx, general manager, GAMECO. “The introduction of the 767-300BCF program further grows GAMECO’s regional presence and enhances our strategic focus around meeting the strong customer demand. We will open the 767-300BCF conversion lines in our new hangar.”

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years. Of those, 520 will be widebody conversions with Asia carriers accounting for more than 40 percent of that demand. The 767-300BCF has more than 95 orders and commitments.

Learn more about the Boeing Converted Freighters and the complete Boeing freighter family here.

GAMECO, established in October 1989 at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, is a joint venture between China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa (China) Ltd. from Hong Kong that specializes in aircraft and airborne component maintenance, repair and overhaul. GAMECO provides comprehensive, high-quality and highly efficient services to customers, covering line maintenance, base maintenance, component repair and overhaul, aircraft engineering, and training and technical service of ground-support equipment.

Boeing Charitable Trust:

Boeing is committing $1 million from the Boeing Charitable Trust to assist with disaster recovery and relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, the company announced. This includes a $500,000 donation to the American Red Cross that will help to bring shelter, food, water, relief supplies and other assistance to hard hit areas across the South, including Louisiana, and the Northeast United States.

The remaining $500,000 will fund additional local organizations to help communities with short and longer-term needs such as clean up, repairs and rebuilding, including:

  • $100,000 to Greater New Orleans Foundation to support cleanup and recovery efforts in and around the city of New Orleans
  • $100,000 to Bayou Recovery Fund to support cleanup and recovery efforts along the Louisiana Gulf Coast
    $100,000 to World Central Kitchen to provide nourishing meals for communities in need
  • $75,000 to Food Bank of South Jersey to provide emergency food resources to those in need
  • $75,000 to Community Food Bank of New Jersey to support food distribution across the state
  • $50,000 to Combined Arms to support military veterans and their families who have been impacted by Hurricane Ida

Boeing Forecasts China’s 20-year Commercial Airplane Market Valued at Nearly $1.5 trillion:

Boeing forecasts that China’s airlines will require 8,700 new airplanes by 2040, valued at $1.47 trillion, to meet expanding commercial air travel demand. The 20-year forecast reflects the China market’s rebound and further evolution of its airline business models. Boeing shared the China forecast as part of the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

China’s economic fundamentals lay the foundation for healthy air traffic increases, including 4.4% annual economic growth and a middle-income demographic that will double by 2040, according to the CMO. By 2030, China’s domestic passenger market will exceed intra-European traffic; by 2040, China’s domestic traffic is expected to also exceed air travel within North America.

The CMO also forecasts that China’s civil aviation industry will require more than 400,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including pilots, technicians and cabin crew. Boeing’s commitment to China involves investing in people who will power the future of aviation, such as training nearly 100,000 Chinese aviation professionals and employing more than 2,500 Boeing employees. Across its businesses, training, supply chain and other activities, Boeing’s presence and partnerships in China contribute more than $1.5 billion annually to the economy.

“The rapid recovery of Chinese domestic traffic during the pandemic speaks to the market’s underlying strength and resilience,” said Richard Wynne, managing director, China Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “In addition, there are promising opportunities to significantly expand international long-haul routes and air freight capacity. Longer term, there is the potential for low-cost carrier growth to further build on single-aisle demand.”

The 2021 China CMO includes these projections through 2040:

  • Annual passenger traffic growth of 5.4%, similar to the 2020 forecast.
  • Two-thirds of deliveries supporting China’s aviation industry growth and one-third of deliveries for fleet replacement, which will move airlines toward more sustainable, fuel-efficient airplane models.
  • Single-aisle jets account for nearly 6,500 deliveries; widebody deliveries, including passenger and cargo models, will total 1,850, accounting for 44% of demand by value. According to the CMO, a nearly $1.8 trillion commercial aviation services market opportunity exists in the region.

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense and other mission critical industries, announced it was awarded a $19 million order from Collins Aerospace (“Collins”) for business jet connectivity equipment to be delivered in 2022. The order is a follow-on to the approximately $11 million order announced in February 2021.

The growing fleet employing Collins’ system is building customer recognition and confirming that LuxStream provides unparalleled high-speed world-wide connectivity that delivers a broad variety of remote conferencing services and streaming entertainment.


VISION SYSTEMS

Solar protection systems expert Vision Systems presented its latest innovations dedicated to first- and business-class passengers during the 2021 Virtual AIX.

SPD dimmable windows with distinctive characteristics adapted to each class were showcased. These solutions eliminate shades that block the view and require regular maintenance while protecting passengers from unwanted daylight or glare, and include innovative features such as complete privacy, multi-zoning, mood- lighting, transparent touch control and integrated information display.

Vision Systems will also showcased a smart glass partition showing videos such as traveling information or advertising.

When nothing is displayed, this divider can remain transparent, or opaque to offer privacy between classes.

Depending on the chosen ambiance or specific moment of the journey, Vision Systems’ ambiance management system generates the right atmosphere to offer each passenger a unique experience. Through a tablet or control panel, the traveler can select a “mood”, such as reading, sleeping or waking up, leading to the automatic synchronization of the shade, the dimmable windows and the lighting to create the perfect adequacy between the selected mood and the lighting atmosphere.

Each of Vision Systems shading systems can be controlled individually directly at the window with a transparent touch panel or simultaneously through the ambiance management system.

Developed in-house based on Vision Systems know-how in cabin management systems, other elements of the cabin could be managed by the application (temperature, image, sound) with individual or crew control.


SAFRAN

The first Air France A320 retrofitted with Safran Cabin ECOS Shelf Bins and installed by Air France Industries in July 2021, returns to service with success.

The ECOS “Efficient Cabin Open Space” shelf bins offer up to 60% more storage capacity. The new luggage compartments are equipped with easy to reach doors that do not encroach into the cabin aisle and provide a lower shelf height for ease of loading and visibility. They provide an easier and smoother boarding experience, greatly reducing the time spent searching for luggage space or the need to put certain bags in the cargo hold. Aircraft turnaround times also reduce to improve efficiency and on-time performance.

The ECOS Interior is robust, lightweight, and easy to maintain. The installation of the ECOS system was extremely efficient with certification of the interior facilitated by means of FAA and EASA Supplemental Type Certification. The modification also included the installation of Movable Class Dividers supplied by Safran Cabin.

Air France is the first company to choose Safran Cabin’s ECOS “Efficient Cabin Open Space” shelf bins and they will equip in total 24 Air France Airbus A320s.


OTHER NEWS

  • You need to see this because: “FLYR Labs has developed a deep learning platform called “Revenue Operating System” that ingests a whole host of data provided by the airline — bookings, accounting data, searches, capacity — as well as information like weather or promotions to predict demand, revenue and, most importantly, to set the price of the airline ticket that the consumer ultimately sees.” WestCap and Peter Thiel-backed FLYR Labs closes $150M Series C | TechCrunch This is going to be big because their deep learning platform will replace humans in aviation and many other businesses!
  • Curious about the mobile apps used? Here is a great graphic with the answer – The World’s Most Used Apps, by Downstream Traffic

CRYSTAL CABIN

As part of the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2021, the Crystal Cabin Awards in the special categories “Clean and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award” have been presented for the first time. French cabin interiors specialist Safran won over the international expert jury in both categories. The two special categories were developed by a task force of jury members in response to the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on aviation worldwide. 2022 is expected to see the leading international industry prize take place in person again as part of the key global trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, drawing the who’s who of the commercial aviation industry to Hamburg as it regularly does.

“Clean & Safe Air Travel” is targeted at innovations for aircraft in the areas of health, hygiene, safety, and cleanliness. The “Judges’ Choice Award” has been designed for entries that would otherwise have been submitted in one of the eight regular categories, including Cabin Systems and In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity. These two special categories were developed by a task force of the Crystal Cabin Award Association, which is led by Hamburg Aviation, in collaboration with members of the expert jury, spread over four continents. For the first time, five finalists were shortlisted per category, rather than three. The awards ceremony for the eight main categories of this globally recognized prize for cabin innovations and on-board products was also broadcast in TV format in March 2021. For the virtual presentation of awards in the two new special categories, the digital Aircraft Interiors Expo on 15 September represented the ideal setting.

Hygiene concepts for the aircraft cabin competed neck-and-neck in the “Clean and Safe Air Travel” category. In the end, Safran Cabin took the honors with its “Beacon Clean Lavatory”. This innovative bathroom concept represented the company’s response to increased passenger hygiene expectations, combining antibacterial surfaces with hands-free features. Speaking from Hamburg’s ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research, Carsten Laufs, Vice President Product and Innovation Management of Crystal Cabin partner Diehl Aviation congratulated the winners.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications,  announced the launch of its innovative new OneFi customer experience platform for airlines. The first-of-its-kind solution will serve as a catalyst to monetize inflight connectivity by bringing a host of onboard services together within a single portal interface, which passengers can easily access using their own personal devices.

OneFi delivers a rich airline-branded digital platform to enhance the passenger experience onboard flights. It allows passengers to order food and beverages, purchase seat upgrades, receive the latest flight and destination information, and sign-up to the airline’s frequent flyer programs, all in real-time from the comfort of their seat. In addition, passengers can browse the internet, stream videos and audio, shop online and enjoy other e-commerce offerings, using high-speed inflight broadband that airlines could choose to offer free-of-charge, funded through OneFi’s sponsorship and advertising features.

The launch of OneFi comes at a critical time for airlines, with the global pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences. Inmarsat’s recent 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimize their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence. In addition, out of the 10,000 respondents worldwide, 41% believed inflight Wi-Fi had increased in importance after the pandemic.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “For many years, Inmarsat has advocated the vast commercial opportunities of inflight connectivity. However, until now, airlines have struggled to realize the full potential of the business model. OneFi is a step change for those looking to monetize their Wi-Fi services and ensure they keep pace with evolving passenger needs. It will empower a digital transformation in the cabin, which is especially important at this critical time for the aviation industry.

“OneFi allows airlines to improve their brand experience and secure passenger loyalty, with the flexibility to incorporate their own services and use existing and new partners, such as content providers, advertisers and retailers. We are in advanced discussions with leading airlines about adopting this innovative new platform and expect to see a rollout with our first OneFi customer by the end of this year.”

In recent years, airlines have continued to increase their focus on unlocking new revenue streams through broadband-enabled ancillary services. The market for digital inflight advertising alone is forecast to grow from $266 million today to $3.3 billion by 2030, representing a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.9% between 2020 and 2030, according to Valour Consulting. The launch of OneFi is a significant step in turning that untapped commercial opportunity into a reality.

What truly sets OneFi apart is its industry grade targeting features, media inventory and calls-to-action that are made available to the airline and its partners. These ensure that content is contextual and relevant to the individual passenger. It also enables partners to engage in more meaningful ways with passengers and boost sales lead generation rates. The platform’s intuitive, user-friendly interface will enable airlines to boost passenger take-up rates and create a frictionless funnel to purchase.

In addition, OneFi is network agnostic and uses open architecture, meaning it can integrate with any technology infrastructure and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) used by airlines, ensuring a uniform experience across mixed aircraft fleets. The platform is also scalable, giving airline customers the flexibility to add new third-party services over time and helping to future proof their onboard offering.

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


LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS

Lufthansa Systems will welcome around 500 participants to the 14th edition of the Airline Forum, one of the industry’s leading airline IT user community conferences. The airline IT provider is bringing together about 80 airlines from across the globe who use its Ground Operations and Commercial Solutions. During this year’s edition of the Airline Forum, entitled “Back in the sky,” the user community will continue its dialogue in a fully virtual environment in which attendees will learn about forward-looking solutions and pioneering technologies for managing dynamic market situations.

Olivier Krueger and Dr. Thomas Wittmann, both CEOs of Lufthansa Systems, will kick off the event with their opening remarks, welcoming speakers from Air Canada, Avianca Holdings, Cathay Pacific Airways, Eurowings, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Lufthansa and Trans States Holdings. Participants will be able to put together their own individual programs by choosing from a range of 48 presentations and workshops spread over the two days of the event.

“The world is changing, and the aviation industry is constantly facing new challenges. Thanks to our close partnership with our customers, we understand how this dynamic environment affects their business,” said Olivier Krueger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “We greatly value this mutual exchange with and within the community and consider it vital to the successful recovery and sustainable future of our industry.”

Latest developments unveiled for Lufthansa Systems’ NetLine and Commercial Solutions

The Airline Forum will break new ground by showcasing Lufthansa Systems’ latest developments covering ground operations and commercial management processes.

In keeping with the NetLine vision of “together we connect to make the best decision ahead of time,” Lufthansa Systems is pointing the way to a future of connected, cloud-native software. From network and schedule planning, through codeshare, crew and load management, to operations control, NetLine improves productivity and speeds up decision-making, rollout and execution, increasing revenue and reducing costs.

The NetLine/HubDesigner was developed in response to the current market situation, where demand and the competitive landscape are subject to dynamic and sweeping change. The solution uses AI to create the best (multi-)hub network at an unmatched speed. Changed schedules also mean changed codeshare connections. SchedConnect helps airlines manage their codeshare operations by automating connection building and schedule exchange. Another critical bottleneck in ramping up and down networks is crews and their qualifications. Lufthansa Systems has developed a new Qualification and Training Management module for NetLine/Crew to always have up-to-date information on the certification state of cockpit and cabin crews and plan qualification and re-qualification in due time.

Lufthansa Systems has also designed sophisticated solutions that perfectly support revenue management and pricing processes, the cornerstones of an airline’s commercial strategy. The ProfitLine/Price fare management solution helps airlines keep fares profitable and competitive, while the Revenue Integrity software keeps the inventory up to date.

“Lufthansa Systems has 25 years of experience in building forward-looking IT solutions and is committed to helping airlines move forward,” said Dr. Thomas Wittmann, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “Airlines benefit from our scalable solutions that enable our customers to better cope with volatile demand through automation, optimization, and data-driven decision-making.”


MORGAN-STANLEY

The White House aims to advance the future of sustainable fuels in American aviation. Last week, the Biden Administration published a factsheet on the future of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), targeting carbon neutrality in the aviation sector by 2050. The new initiative aims to produce 3 bn gallons of sustainable fuel, reduce aviation emissions by 20% by 2030, and grow good-paying union jobs. Today, aviation (including all non-military flights within and departing from the U.S.) represents ~11% of United States transportation-related emissions. Due to this, and the increased focus on sustainability throughout the industry, several airlines have already made commitments to ramp up the use of SAF and advance sustainability across their operations: United (UAL) announced a new goal to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 50% compared to 2019 by 2035 and also committed to purchasing 1.5bn gallons of SAF over the next 20 years from Alder Fuels, Delta (DAL) committed to replacing 10% of its current jet fuel use with SAFs from 3 producers (Neste, Gevo, and Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels), American (AAL) plans to procure 10 million gallons of SAF from Prometheus Fuels by 2025, Alaska (ALK) offers the purchase of SAF to offset corporate travel on key routes, Southwest (LUV) is partnering with the National Renewable Energy Lab, and JetBlue (JBLU) is committed to electric and hydrogen aircraft development. We generally see the industry as broad beneficiaries from both increased fuel efficiencies as well as more commercially viable solutions for fuel.


BOEING

The Boeing Company named Ziad S. Ojakli as the company’s executive vice president of government operations effective October 1, 2021.

In this role, Ojakli will lead Boeing’s public policy efforts, serve as chief lobbyist for the global enterprise, and oversee Boeing Global Engagement, the company’s global philanthropic organization. He will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on the company’s Executive Council. In this role, Ojakli succeeds Marc Allen, Boeing’s Chief Strategy Officer, who has served as interim executive vice president of Government Operations since this past June.

“Ziad is a proven executive with an impressive track record of leading public policy and government relations operations for global companies,” said Calhoun. “His broad experience serving in executive roles in government and the private sector will contribute to our engagement with our stakeholders as we continue our focus on safety, quality and transparency, and transforming our company for the future. I also want to thank Marc Allen for his impactful leadership of our Government Operations organization in recent months as it has continued to advance our company’s policy priorities.”

Ojakli joins Boeing following a successful and diverse career in senior global government relations roles in the automotive and finance industries in addition to serving within the White House administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Most recently, Ojakli served as the managing partner and senior vice president of Softbank from 2018-20, where he created and led the investment company’s first global government affairs operation in support of all legislative, regulatory and political matters for the company. Prior to joining Softbank, Ojakli spent 14 years at Ford Motor Company as group vice president, where he led a global team that amplified the company’s core business objectives and managed interactions with governments in 110 markets around the world. In that role, he also directed Ford’s philanthropic arm devoted to supporting global causes.

Previously, Ojakli served in the White House as Principal Deputy for Legislative Affairs for President George W. Bush from 2001-04. Earlier, Ojakli was Chief of Staff and Policy Director for U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell and he began his career in the office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats.

Ojakli currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. and he is a board member of The Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Ojakli holds a bachelor’s degree in American Government from Georgetown University.


AVOLON

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announces a partnership with Gol, Brazil’s largest airline and Grupo Comporte, Brazil’s leading transport operator, to commercialize an eVTOL ride sharing platform in Brazil.

Avolon, Gol and Grupo Comporte will collaborate to identify and target local partners, infrastructure and certification requirements across a range of commercial models, launching one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses. As part of the agreement, Gol and Grupo Comporte has committed to purchase or lease up to 250 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft.

The VA-X4, manufactured by Vertical Aerospace, will be the most advanced and safest eVTOL in the market on its introduction in 2024. Avolon is a launch customer for the aircraft which can transport four passengers and one pilot distances of 100 miles at up to 200 miles per hour. eVTOLs are central to the future of transport. They introduce the ultra-short-haul aircraft category to commercial aviation and will revolutionize air travel with VA-X4 zero emissions aircraft.

This announcement means Avolon already has commitments for over half of its order for 500 VA-X4 aircraft which was announced in June 2021.


OTHER NEWS


PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has  announced an agreement with Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, to provide upgraded in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for its entire fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft.

The agreement will see Aeroflot’s fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft retrofitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eX3 IFE system and satellite-based IFC system, creating an enhanced cabin experience for Aeroflot’s passengers.

This upgrade will allow Aeroflot’s Boeing 777 aircraft to deliver the same IFEC experience that is available on its Panasonic Avionics-equipped Airbus A350-900 fleet, which has been in service since March 2020.

Panasonic Avionics’ eX3 system features the industry’s largest selection of integrated entertainment options including full 1080p HD monitors, in-seat power, and HD video handsets with capacitive touch. It can deliver more than 700 hours of on-demand entertainment, offering 1080p content with enhanced video color support.

Aeroflot’s customers flying on its Boeing 777-300ERs will also be able to enjoy upgraded connectivity from Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites. The system delivers faster internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, mobile services, and dedicated bandwidth for crew applications.

The first of Aeroflot’s Boeing 777-300ERs to be retrofitted with Panasonic Avionics’ upgraded IFE and IFC systems flew in the middle of August.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to deepen our longstanding relationship with Aeroflot. Our advanced eX3 in-flight entertainment system combined with our global, high-speed connectivity will enable Aeroflot to deliver an industry-leading passenger experience.”

This latest commitment from Aeroflot marks a further milestone in its longstanding partnership with Panasonic Avionics, which first commenced in 2008. Aeroflot’s fleet of Airbus A320neos and A321neos are also both fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ latest in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a world leader in global mobile satellite communications, announced the launch of its advanced new Velaris connectivity solution, which is uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst for the safe and rapid growth of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) industry.

Powered by the Inmarsat ELERA global satellite network, Velaris will provide secure communications for commercial UAVs – commonly known as drones – to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) and seamlessly integrate with aircraft in commercial airspace. Backed by military grade cybersecurity, it allows operators to send their UAVs on long distance flights and access various applications, such as real-time monitoring, to ensure safe integration with other air traffic. In addition, Velaris allows a single pilot to remotely operate multiple UAVs at scale, making operations more commercially viable.

Over the next seven years, the commercial UAV market is projected to increase from $2.32 billion in 2021 to $11.29 billion in 2028, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.39% during this period1. This will have a far-reaching impact on various aspects of business and society, ranging from cargo delivery, urban transport and surveillance to emergency services and disaster relief, including the supply of critical items such as medicine, test kits and food for remote communities.

To support this fast-paced growth, Velaris will unlock unprecedented new digital automation capabilities within the UAV industry, leading to significant advances in safety, productivity, customer service, location access and accuracy, while also reducing the overall cost of operations. Importantly, it will also support the transport of people and goods in an environmentally friendly manner.

Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and Unmanned Traffic Management, said: “Commercial UAVs have the potential to revolutionize a vast array of different industries throughout the world. However, to truly unlock their potential on a commercial scale, it is imperative that autonomous vehicles and unmanned aviation are safely and securely integrated into managed commercial airspace. That’s exactly what Velaris, as Inmarsat’s first global UAV connectivity solution, will deliver.

“Inmarsat’s unparalleled experience in air traffic management and aviation safety, combined with our established track record in civil and military UAV communications, ensures that we can support global regulators, air navigation service providers and UAV operators with seamless airspace integration. In addition, thanks to our ambitious and fully-funded technology roadmap, including our brand new ORCHESTRA communications network of the future, Velaris will continue to develop and evolve alongside the UAV industry, remaining its gold standard connectivity solution for decades to come.”

Inmarsat was recently crowned winner at the prestigious Air Traffic Management (ATM) Magazine Awards for its Pop-Up Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Platform, developed with Altitude Angel. Furthermore, Inmarsat is well-integrated in the air traffic management industry as a consortium member of Cranfield University’s recently opened Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC). The company participates in several projects that aim to revolutionise the future of flight, including the UK Government funded Project HEART (Hydrogen Electric and Automated Regional Transportation) – which is developing the country’s first automated, zero carbon regional air transportation network – and Airspace of the Future (AoF) – which focuses on integrating UAV services with the wider UK transport ecosystem.

“We work with our global partner ecosystem to develop UAV terminals that deliver smaller, more cost effective multi datalink solutions,” added Spouncer. “These are optimized for a wide range of use cases so that our customers can always have the highest possible standard of connectivity. I’m pleased to launch Velaris today. Coming soon after the launch of Inmarsat ORCHESTRA and ELERA, this truly emphasizes Inmarsat’s long-term commitment to the commercial UAV market.”


COLLINS AEROSPACE

Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business, unveiled Lilac-UV, an ultraviolet (UV) lighting solution to sanitize aircraft interiors nearly anywhere a light is installed inside an aircraft.

Lilac-UV emits a slight violet light that disinfects surfaces in seconds to minutes, depending on lamp configuration and specific pathogen. Lilac-UV can be applied in lavatories, galleys, flight decks, cargo bays and throughout the cabin, and can be set for scheduled cleanings or manual applications during or between flights. The sanitizing light, combined with other hygienic measures taken onboard aircraft, gives added peace of mind and protection to passengers while also reducing aircraft downtime for manual cleaning.

Lilac-UV uses technology developed by The Boeing Company  as part of a licensing agreement granting Collins the ability to build on Boeing’s UV technology for in-flight operation.

“At the heart of this project is the desire to continue to build the public’s trust and confidence in air travel as passengers return to the skies,” said Cynthia Muklevicz, vice president of business development for Collins Aerospace. “Collins and Boeing share the common goal to redefine air travel, a commitment to collaboration and the technical research and development expertise to bring this game-changing, hygienic technology to market for the benefit of air-travelers around the world.”

The new Collins-developed sanitizing lighting system operates with an intelligent dosage controller – for scheduled cleanings and manual treatments – and an occupancy detector for enclosed spaces, like an airplane lavatory.

“Our design allows for installation anywhere in the cabin with minimal or no hardware design changes, enabling users to switch to a higher power lamp or change the number of lamps based on application,” said Bridget Sheriff, vice president of engineering at Collins Aerospace. “The intelligent controller automatically adjusts to manage power consumption and offers scientifically proven disinfection of spaces during and between flights.”

A finalist for the 2021 Crystal Cabin Award in the “Clean & Safe Air Travel” category, the Lilac-UV sanitizing system will be available for new cabins or retrofittable to existing interior spaces.


THALES

Thales and AJW Group have signed an avionics maintenance services agreement including Repair By The Hour (RBTH) covering Airbus A320CEO, A320NEO and A330 fleets of major European airlines.

With Thales, AJW has a trusted Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partner for repairs securing reliable worldwide support. The main repair shop serving AJW is located in Châtellerault, France.


BOEING

You might find the Boeing Market Outlook (2021-2040) interesting! Boeing: Aerospace Commercial, Defense, & Crew Market Outlook

Boeing forecasts $9 trillion aerospace market opportunities in commercial, defense and services over next decade.

  • Boeing Market Outlook forecasts continued path to long-term growth, with signs of industry recovery
  • Over 10 years, the 2021 BMO shows $9 trillion addressable market, up from $8.5 trillion in 2020
  • Increased demand for dedicated freighters, including new and converted models

Boeing released its annual forecast for the commercial, defense and space aerospace market, reflecting signs of the industry’s recovery following the impacts of COVID-19. The 2021 Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) – Boeing’s analysis of long-term market dynamics – states that commercial airplanes and services are showing signs of recovery, while the global defense, space and government services markets have remained stable.

The BMO projects a $9 trillion market over the next decade for aerospace products and services that Boeing addresses. The forecast is up from $8.5 trillion a year ago, and up from $8.7 trillion in the pre-pandemic 2019 forecast, reflecting the market’s continued recovery progress.

“As our industry recovers and continues to adapt to meet new global needs, we remain confident in long-term growth for aerospace,” said Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen. “We are encouraged by the fact that scientists have delivered vaccines more rapidly than imaginable and that passengers are demonstrating strong confidence in airplane travel.”

Commercial Market Outlook

The new Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) reflects that the global market is recovering largely as Boeing projected in 2020. Demand for domestic air travel is leading the recovery, with intra-regional markets expected to follow as health and travel restrictions ease, followed by long-haul travel’s return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 to 2024.

Within the Boeing Market Outlook, the CMO projects 10-year global demand for 19,000 commercial airplanes valued at $3.2 trillion. Boeing’s 20-year commercial forecast through 2040 projects demand for more than 43,500 new airplanes valued at $7.2 trillion, an increase of about 500 planes over last year’s forecast.

In a significant area of growth, projected demand has increased for dedicated freighters, including new and converted models. With sustained demand for air cargo tied to expanding e-commerce and air freight’s speed and reliability, the CMO projects the global freighter fleet in 2040 will be 70% larger than the pre-pandemic fleet.

“The aerospace industry has made important progress in the recovery, and Boeing’s 2021 forecast reflects our confidence in the resilience of the market,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “While we remain realistic about ongoing challenges, the past year has shown that passenger traffic rebounds swiftly when the flying public and governments have confidence in health and safety during air travel. Our industry continues to serve an essential role of bringing people together and transporting critical supplies.”
Highlights of the new 20-year CMO forecast include:

  • The availability and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be critical factors in the near-term recovery of passenger air travel. Countries with more widespread vaccination distribution have shown rapid air travel recovery, as governments ease domestic restrictions and open borders to international travel.
  • Passenger traffic growth is projected to increase by an average of 4% per year, unchanged from last year’s forecast.
  • The global commercial fleet will surpass 49,000 airplanes by 2040, with China, Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific countries each accounting for about 20% of new airplane deliveries, and the remaining 20% going to other emerging markets.
  • Demand for more than 32,500 new single-aisle planes is about equal to the pre-pandemic outlook. These models continue to command 75% of deliveries in the 20-year forecast.
  • Carriers will need more than 7,500 new widebody airplanes by 2040 to support fleet renewal and long-term passenger and air cargo demand growth in longer-haul markets. These projections are up slightly compared to 2020 but remain down 8% from 2019.

OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC & THINKOM

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics)announced the launch of a new, next-generation Ku-band antenna, which will be developed in partnership with ThinKom Solutions, Inc.

The newly designed ThinAir® builds upon ThinKom’s flight proven, VICTS (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) technology. It will be offered by Panasonic Avionics to its airline customers for both line-fit and retrofit installations, with first deliveries occurring in 2023.

The antenna will connect aircraft with Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network of high-speed, high-bandwidth Ku-band satellites, which place capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers.

The new highly efficient and low-profile antenna offers airlines a wide range of advantages. These include support for both LEO (low earth orbit) and GEO (geostationary orbit) satellite networks, higher speed throughput, greater aerodynamic efficiency, gate-to-gate operations, and reduced operating costs.

Jeff Sare, Vice President of In-Flight Connectivity Solutions at Panasonic Avionics, said, “Panasonic is committed to delivering seamless, scalable, and future-proofed in-flight connectivity to our airline customers and their passengers. Our new antenna offering with ThinKom is an integral part of our network and will allow airlines to access both current and future satellite constellations.”
Panasonic Avionics offers global high-speed connectivity service everywhere commercial aircraft fly and has over 210 regulatory approvals across the globe. Its network consists of high-throughput (HTS) and extreme throughput (XTSTM) satellite technologies that provide the best end-user experience possible.

“This agreement with Panasonic Avionics is an important validation of our VICTS phased array antennas, which are designed to seamlessly roam on both LEO and GEO networks, delivering unparalleled flexibility and resiliency to ensure the highest level of bandwidth services and availability to airline customers,” stated Mark Silk, President of ThinKom Solutions, Inc.

“The combination of our VICTS technology and Panasonic Avionics’ experience and commitment to in-flight entertainment and connectivity provides an extremely compelling value proposition to commercial airlines, both today and in the future.”

Over 2,300 aircraft are now connected to Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network, which supports improved airline and passenger experiences including faster internet, video streaming and greater bandwidth for crew applications. Over 3,750 aircraft from various airline customers are currently committed to Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services.


BLUEBOX WOW & QANTAS

Bluebox Wow wireless IFE to be deployed on all jet aircraft in QantasLink fleet

Travelers flying the network of cities and regional destinations across Australia served by QantasLink, the regional airline for the Qantas Group, can soon enjoy free wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) on board.
Bluebox Aviation Systems has been selected by QantasLink to deploy its Bluebox Wow W-IFE system on QantasLink’s fleet, initially on Airbus A320 aircraft, then expanding to its Fokker F100, Boeing 717, and Alliance Airlines’ Embraer E190 aircraft. The Bluebox Wow system will enhance the regional airline’s service on board, providing entertainment content directly to passenger devices over a captive wireless network.
Bluebox Aviation Systems has been selected by QantasLink to deploy its Bluebox Wow W-IFE system on QantasLink’s fleet, initially on Airbus A320 aircraft, then expanding to its Fokker F100, Boeing 717, and Alliance Airlines’ Embraer E190 aircraft. The Bluebox Wow system will enhance the regional airline’s service on board, providing entertainment content directly to passenger devices over a captive wireless network.
The IFE content will include movies, TV, audio books and podcasts. Access to the Bluebox Wow system will be integrated with the Qantas Entertainment app to help facilitate a seamless flight-to-flight IFE experience, but will also be available app-free with simple browser access for anyone who does not have the Qantas Entertainment app loaded on their device.
The Bluebox Wow aircraft-powered option will be deployed, which will also have fully-automated PA Pause functionality. This is provided and fitted via an EASA STC, recently awarded for the A320 Family aircraft and which will be modified for use on the other aircraft in QantasLink’s fleet.
“Recently receiving our STC on the Airbus A320 Family for our aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Wow system, and now being able to announce Qantas’ selection of Bluebox Wow for its QantasLink network, are two exciting and very positive milestones for us to mark as our industry begins to emerge from the global pandemic,” said David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “It’s not insignificant either that we’re demonstrating that our W-IFE systems can replicate offerings of traditional aircraft avionics-based installed systems and proving the value of low-cost W-IFE systems across larger fleets. Just as Bluebox Wow expanded the market for IFE in its original battery-operated form, we’ll now see it capture more of the W-IFE market, given its lower cost of deployment and digital platform scope for everything from entertainment to touch-free retail and to even more as digital in-flight services develop.”
Bluebox Wow is a discrete, lunchbox-sized unit, typically stowed securely in overhead bins. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and other digital content. These services can be offered to passengers on a complimentary basis or paid for via payment card or voucher access with no cabin crew interaction required. Bluebox also offers onboard retail services, including the ability to order and pay for products and services via passenger devices with full inventory synchronization, in parallel to traditional sales from galley carts via cabin crew point-of-sale devices. In addition to onboard touch-free sales, Bluebox’s retail solutions also enable pre-paid (booking path) purchases.
With battery- and aircraft-powered versions of Bluebox Wow, the linefit option for Bluebox’s W-IFE platform available on Airbus OSP and retrofit on traditional avionics grade hardware, Bluebox’s range of hardware options for its digital in-flight platform ensures the greatest choice and flexibility are available to customers, especially those with different aircraft types and fleets of any size. This also means that Bluebox can deploy a consistent customer experience across a fleet – whether that be to provide more traditional entertainment content, offer food & beverage or retail sales on board or through the passenger journey, or deliver other innovative services designed to engage passengers and build customer loyalty as well as increase ancillary revenue.

BOEING

  • Aircraft Lessor Griffin Global Asset Management Orders Five Boeing 737-8 Jets
  • The Los Angeles- and Dublin-based aircraft leasing company places its first direct order with Boeing
  • With the Griffin order, customers have placed 529 gross orders for the 737 MAX family in 2021

Boeing and Griffin Global Asset Management announced the aircraft lessor is expanding its commercial aircraft portfolio with five new 737-8 jets. The purchase is Griffin’s first direct order with Boeing as it sees strategic opportunities to place the airplanes during the market recovery.

“As market conditions rebound, we are finding opportunities to serve our airline customers in innovative ways. An important component of this strategy is providing balanced capacity that meets returning passenger demand. The 737-8 is well-positioned to support this objective, and this order lays a strong foundation for more to come with Boeing and Griffin on future opportunities,” said Ryan McKenna, founder and CEO of Griffin.

Designed and built in Renton, Washington, the 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes they replace. The 737-8 seats up to 189 passengers and can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers. Every 737 MAX features the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.

“Griffin Global Asset Management is building a first-class aircraft leasing business, and we are delighted that they have selected the 737-8 for their single-aisle portfolio. As Griffin places its first direct order with Boeing, we welcome them to the 737 family and look forward to working with the team in the future,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at www.boeing.com .
Backed by Bain Capital Credit, Griffin provides commercial aircraft leasing and alternative asset management with offices in Dublin and Los Angeles. The team is staffed by experienced aviation professionals who work closely with airlines, aircraft manufacturers and investors to provide custom fleet solutions and innovative financing products to airlines around the world.

More Boeing News:

Boeing named Matt Welch as vice president of Investor Relations. Welch will succeed Maurita Sutedja, who has accepted an opportunity outside of Boeing following more than a decade of leadership within several finance roles at Boeing. Welch’s appointment is effective immediately.

Welch will lead Boeing’s interactions with the investment community, providing shareholders and financial analysts timely, accurate and transparent information on the company’s market environment, business, performance and outlook.

Welch is a seasoned leader with more than 20 years of deep financial experience across Boeing’s operations. Currently serving as vice president of Revenue Management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Welch has held several roles of increasing responsibility, including in Investor Relations; Financial Planning and Analysis; and program finance


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


BOEING

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


OTHER NEWS

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