IFPL

As always, IFPL showed their flair for innovation in the peripherals marketspace during AIX. As many of you may remember, they announced a working relationship with Mirus Aircraft Seating at the 2016 APEX in Singapore for their USB A outlet. Not such big news you might say; however, this deal for AirAsia’s new Hawk slimline economy seating in their A320 fleet is now up and flying. This initial retrofit program is being followed-up by a line fit order for AirAsia’s new Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft. The new line fit order will also feature integrated high power 2A USB from IFPL. IFPL has been very excited to work alongside Mirus on this project as the company takes a different approach and really wants to ergonomically integrate technology into their seats. “How to make a seamless integration that was also ergonomical, was an exciting challenge for us,” said David Thomas of IFPL.  “IFPL’s aim has been to provide world leading seamless seat integration, while maintaining a consistent design language and aesthetic. Our focus also ensures the ergonomics deliver a truly enhanced passenger experience. This has enabled us to reduce the complexity, weight and cost, therefore delivering a competitive advantage to the airline,” continued David. The USB-A product has been integrated into the Mirus seat arms while leveraging the KID Systeme’s power supply. IFPL also demonstrated their latest audio products: Long Life Audio jack with testing on 100,000+ insertions; their Rapid Fit technology for quick on-wing maintenance; an Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module; as well as their patented MagSignal technology that virtually eliminates Customer Induced Damage (CID). IFExpress always enjoys seeing the ingenious products that IFPL brings to the industry and this year’s AIX was no different. We are looking forward to seeing what they unveil at APEX in September. (Editor’s Note: IFPL also offers USB-C to the industry.)


AIRBUS
The first A330neo for launch operator TAP Air Portugal – MSN1819 – completed its 4:32 hours maiden flight. The aircraft now joins the fleet of two A330-900 test aircraft already performing flight tests since 19 October 2017. MSN1819 is the first aircraft fitted with the Airspace cabin by Airbus. It is equipped with light Flight Test Instrumentation during its test phase to check cabin systems such as air conditioning, crew rest etc.

With over 1,700 orders, the A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, performing nearly 1,000,000 flights every year. Today, more than 1,400 aircraft have been delivered to almost 120 customers worldwide on a wide range of routes, from domestic and regional flights to long range intercontinental services.

Offering the lowest operating costs in its category, and thanks to continuous investments in latest innovations, the new generation A330neo is the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its size category according to Airbus. The A330neo first delivery is planned in summer 2018. The A330neos will usher the brand-new Airspace by Airbus cabin concept, a consumer-centric cabin developed with passengers at heart and airlines in mind around the four pillars: Comfort, Ambience, Service and Design. These cabin options will ensure that the A330neos will set the benchmark in passenger experience and airline value, alongside its widebody partner, the A350 XWB.


WATCH: AFTERMARKET CONNECTIVITY OPPORTUNITIES
As we all know, the IFEC industry is duly focused on connectivity and how it will enable both the passenger and the airline to stay more connected throughout the journey. In fact, some are predicting that connectivity will double by 2019! But have we really looked at what that statement truly means for our industry and the customers served, whether that be airlines, the traveler, or both? The short answer is yes. Airframers, such as Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer certainly have ‘Aftermarket Visions’. The concept here is that historically within the aviation sector the supply chain has been vertically aligned and fragmented. In order to achieve cost efficiencies, the OEMs are bundling maintenance, flight ops, parts, engineering, modifications, training and various other packaged solutions in an effort to establish agile capabilities that can respond rapidly to their customer demands. In years past, many of these services were strictly after market and often performed by third party companies. Now the OEMs are leveraging their service capabilities to increase the value of the aftermarket – for their customers and themselves. Much of this is being accomplished via Big Data, working across the various value streams and utilizing data analytics to improve efficiencies and costs, thus benefiting their customers – the airline.

All of this is being facilitated by the rapid acceptance and installation of global aircraft connectivity. In a recent SITA IT Survey 37% of airlines who participated indicated they operate connected aircraft. While 45% are either operating or taking delivery of aircraft that have connectivity. Significantly, the survey established the importance of connecting aircraft to the ground in flight, with 71% stating they are investing in EFBs, this is an important indicator that airline managers are seeking to improve maintenance and operational efficiencies. The survey indicated that the percentage is slightly lower for providing Wi-Fi to passengers, while 49% of those participating indicated they are allocating funds to provide wireless services for crew – both cabin and flight deck. Perhaps this is fairly intuitive, if you have been around the IFEC industry over the last 4 or 5 years. However, what might not be so obvious is the move from ‘siloed’ industry alliances to alliances with important other synergies that enable increased efficiency.

A prime example is the Seamless Air Alliance that was announced on February 26, 2018. This is an alliance between Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, Airtel and Gogo. “By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user-experience. The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.” Other companies have diversified their portfolio through acquisitions to achieve the same outcome. IFExpress firmly believes that we will see more of these types of alliances and acquisitions in the coming months. If you wish to read more here are some additional links of interest:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/airbus-delta-oneweb-sprint-airtel-announce-the-formation-of-seamless-air-alliance-enabling-airlines-to-empower-passengers-with-seamless-in-cabin-connectivity-experience-675121143.html

http://www.mro-network.com/airlines/airline-connectivity-will-double-end-2019?NL=AW-022&Issue=AW-022_20180514_AW-022_193&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000000418196&utm_campaign=14815&utm_medium=email&elq2=c7d9f37b95e6447cba0df4b853915cfa

http://www.mro-network.com/airframe/insight-airbus-boeing-embraer-s-aftermarket-visions


YOU FIGURE IT OUT…

Both Airbus and Boeing commented on the latest WTC rulings and

they upheld that AIRBUS subsidies from the EU for the A350 and A 380 development programs were improper while those for the A320 and A330 were in full compliance. This will allow US to impose tariffs on imports from the EU to recoup (total unknown). Later this year, they will rule on Boeing. See if that’s what you get from their press releases:

AIRBUS
WTO confirmed: no prohibited subsidies at Airbus, minor elements of actionable subsidies to be addressed.

  •  “Repayable launch investment” confirmed as legal financing mechanism for aircraft development.
  •  WTO confirms compliance fully achieved on A320 and A330, remaining tweaks on A380 and A350 only minor.
  •  94 percent of all US / Boeing’s original claims now dismissed by WTO
  •  Any potential US sanctions, now likely to be minor compared to what we expect on the European case against Boeing, would be counter-productive, ill-timed and ultimately harmful to the airlines and passengers
  •  Report is only “half the story.”  Much more interesting part – on Boeing’s more egregious and competition-damaging subsidies – to come later this year.
  •  Only real solution to 15-year-long dispute remains a negotiated deal

BOEING
The World Trade Organization (WTO) today in its final decision found that the European Union (EU) has failed to honor multiple previous rulings and has provided more than $22 billion of illegal subsidies to European aircraft maker Airbus. After examining this case for more than a decade, the WTO has determined the EU must end its unfair business practices and remedy the ongoing harm caused by the illegal subsidies.

This landmark ruling by the WTO Appellate Body is the final decision in this case, which was initiated in 2006. Today’s decision ends the dispute and clears the way for the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to seek remedies in the form of tariffs against European imports to the United States.

The authorized tariffs are likely to total billions in duties per year, unless and until Airbus addresses the illegal subsidies it received from European governments for its most recently launched airplanes. It is anticipated that U.S. tariffs will be authorized up to the amount of annual harm this market-distorting tactic is causing. Tariffs could be scheduled as early as 2019. This is expected to be the largest-ever WTO authorization of retaliatory tariffs.

“Today’s final ruling sends a clear message: disregard for the rules and illegal subsidies is not tolerated. The commercial success of products and services should be driven by their merits and not by market-distorting actions,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO. “Now that the WTO has issued its final ruling, it is incumbent upon all parties to fully comply as such actions will ultimately produce the best outcomes for our customers and the mutual health of our industry. We appreciate the tireless efforts of the U.S. Trade Representative over the 14 years of this investigation to strengthen the global aerospace industry by ending illegal subsidies.”

The U.S. government, with Boeing’s full support, has complied with WTO rulings stemming from the two cases the EU brought against the United States. One case has already ended in favor of the United States, and in the other, the vast majority of the allegations the EU made against the United States and Boeing were dismissed. Where there were narrow rulings against U.S. practices, they have been fully addressed to the WTO’s satisfaction.

Just one finding against the United States now remains before the WTO, which concerns a Washington state tax measure. It is under appeal and should be decided later this year or in early 2019. Boeing believes that ruling will be reversed, but if not, Boeing has pledged to do whatever necessary to come into full compliance in the interest of upholding rules-based trade, which is essential to fairness and the future prosperity of the global aerospace industry.


OTHER NEWS

Thales at AIX

The past few months have been busy ones for Thales. During Aircraft Interiors Hamburg the company announced the expansion of their IFEC portfolio with the introduction of CORE and PRESTIGE inflight entertainment. The two products offer differing degrees of experience for airline passengers, depending on the airline’s objectives for providing inflight entertainment. As the name suggests, CORE is an IFE solution designed to provide the airline with value and competitive cost of ownership in conjunction with Thales support services and is configured on existing architecture that has been qualified and tested. CORE is PCI compliant and enables ancillary revenue opportunities for the airline operator. The system has upgrade options and is capable of providing connectivity if so desired by the airline. One of the major benefits of CORE is the accelerated delivery process, while still providing a streamlined configuration and effective solution to onboard entertainment. The user interface is designed with latest UX technology and has been dubbed “Select” by Thales. Select interface enables the airline to provide their customers with mixed content and integrated advertising that can include promotions, targeted offers and destination content. CORE is line fit offerable on all Boeing and Airbus platforms and cybersecured by Thales.

Whereas, PRESTIGE is a multi-dimensional and personalized experience for the passenger that is tailored to enhance the airline brand with a unique user interface. This product is specifically targeted for the airline that is looking to provide their customers with an exclusive experience in flight.  The system is designed to enable passengers to connect, engage and experience their flight with the latest PEDs and unique connected apps. The company states that PRESTIGE will feature ultra HD (4K) displays. Thales told IFExpress that the system is lightweight, has low power draw and is very reliable. The objective of PRESTIGE is to enhance the passenger engagement, personalization and monetization by building a more intimate relationship with the traveler throughout their journey. They also stated that this is achieved through a robust co-innovation process and diverse industry partnerships via their Thales Digital Factories and location innovation centers. The user interface for the product will be unique for each customer and developed by a dedicated UX Center of Excellence and best-in-class agency partners. The UI will be commissioned by the airline and crafted to elevate their brand. PRESTIGE is targeted for the airline who wants to provide their passengers with an exclusive experience that extends beyond the IFE system.

Both CORE and PRESTIGE systems are powered by Thales’ InFlyt360 digital platform, which incorporate the latest Big Data technologies – think machine learning and matching algorithms – that continuously optimize the inflight experience for both the passenger and the airline.  InFlyt360 continuously optimizes the passenger experience providing airlines a complete IFE ecosystem customizable to their business goals. There are four (4) key features to InFlyt360 Personalization, Monetization, Fresh & Dynamic Content and Optimization. Thales firmly believes that the InFlyt360 platform will open new possibilities for brand differentiation, passenger engagement, increased exposure and the ability to provide new revenue generation opportunities for the airlines.


Spirit/Thales

Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.
Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.
Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests ”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”


Gogo

“We’re happy to announce that we have received approval for installation of our 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi system on the Airbus A321neo. This approval, also referred to as an STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) is what we need to make modifications to an aircraft beyond what was originally done by the manufacturer. Approval for the A321neo is the latest in a long line of STC’s we’ve received that cover 2Ku installations on a wide variety of aircraft, from the smallest single aisle planes, all the way up to the massive Airbus A380. Gaining the STC for the A321neo is a major milestone for Gogo, especially since several of our airline partners already have this aircraft in their fleet, or are awaiting delivery.”


Aftermarket Aviation Business Growth

If there is one connectivity related subject you should watch it is the aftermarket service and support organizations Boeing and Airbus (and other plane vendors) have started to work with. They are leveraging outside manufacturers and others to increase customer involvement, build future marketing efforts, and increase the expansion of their businesses … its the future of the connectivity part of the model. We won’t tell the whole story here because it is just now being written and IFEC companies better stay aware. This is “THE” big collaboration and integration deal so watch for the future of many of aviation businesses, outside industry companies, and others in the IFE/connectivity aftermarket: … by “eliminating the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data-access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification,” – Inside MRO broke the aftermarket business cooperation code. The interesting part in all this for our readers is to see the resulting impact on IFEC companies and how they will respond. These technologies include cybersecurity, AI, Big Data, and analytics – just to name a few. Probably, business acquisition and new business strategies will be the future outcome. If collaboration is the new “name of the connectivity game,” then truly, that will result in reduced future costs and better use of the increased data. Watch this one and be sure to check out next week’s IFExpress for more.


Other News

  • The AEEC Meeting Agenda (April 23-25, 2018, in Dallas, Texas) is here – AEEC General Session | SAE ITC Checkout it out. A number of subjects caught our eye – “Big Data – An Introduction”, “Long-Range Communication”, “Aircraft Connectivity”- just to add a few!
  • As part of the future of aviation connectivity you should watch GE Aviation as they have acquired part of Avionica in a joint ventured effort to provide wireless data collection/processing for aircraft with connectivity to the ground.
  • Declare your food folks if you are US bound! Lifehacker
  • US/UAE have signed an agreement to remove competition challenges and issues – U.S. and UAE sign pact to resolve airline competition claims | Reuters
  • Spirit Airlines is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity solution, providing an exceptional guest and airline experience. Spirit will be the only Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) in the Americas with Connectivity.
  • Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution providing unmatched performance and ultra-high speeds to their aircraft.
  • With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Paris | May 11, 2018– Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.

Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests.”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”

This week’s first story is from our friends at Lufthansa Systems and so we feature a Lufthansa rectangle (our ride home from Germany) and we liked the picture! We also had a great visit with Lufthansa Systems and the new management is really focusing the directions of their products and services.


Lufthansa Systems

You may well be familiar with Lufthansa Systems (LS) and their four (4) primary product offerings: 1. BoardConnect , which offers a modular,  scalable design to the airlines and their passengers; 2. BoardConnect Plus has all the features of BoardConnect with the added benefit of enabling passengers to enter the web via a unique passenger portal through a partnership with Inmarsat GX Aviation;  3. BoardConnect Portable – a  simpler, more flexible, all-in-one solution that is ideal for low-cost operators; 4. and BoardConnect Portable/Link –  the latest addition to the BoardConnect platform, and as the name indicates, is a portable IFE product with a connectivity solution that utilizes Iridium NEXT. Iridium Next is a worldwide service that has several small satellites with sufficient bandwidth for all messaging and payment services. Lufthansa Systems told us that BoardConnect Portable is the only portable system without the need for disruptive battery handling and does not require extensive retrofitting of the aircraft.

During AIX 2018, we had the opportunity to meet with Jan-Peter Ganse of Lufthansa Systems and Lukas Bucher of Lufthansa Technik to hear about the companies latest undertakings since APEX ’17. Lufthansa Systems and their partner optile announced the launch of a pilot program targeted to optimize the payment processes with the open aircraft IT platform BoardConnect. The project focuses on enabling passengers to make convenient in-app payments for digital content and shopping services. The prototype of the solution was introduced at AIX. The concept is to facilitate ease of payment for the passengers. Users only need to enter their payment data one when booking via the airline app. Further payments can be made use the previously chosen payment method, considerably simplifying the process, while increasing security. The benefit to the airline? A simplified payment process for passengers enables the carrier to maximize their ancillary revenue potential. The new technology has already been proven in an innovative project run by Eurowings, Retail inMotion, Lufthansa Technik (who provided the wireless access points), optile and Lufthansa Systems. “Partnering with optile allows us to offer our airline customers an open and flexible payment solution, enabling payment with a single click and supporting multiple payment methods (e.g. AliPay, PayPal, etc.),” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Passengers will love the seamless payment process which makes is really easy to buy products and services. This will help airlines to keep the passenger in their ecosystem throughout the entire journey.”

Lufthansa Systems also announced that Virgin Australia Regional Airlines, one of the first customers for BoardConnect Portable, has been using the product on their sixteen aircraft flying routes from Western Australia. Virgin Australia Airlines was one of the first BoardConnect customers back in 2013 and has the system available on more than 100 aircraft flying today. In a collaborative effort with Gogo (satellite provider), Virgin Australia is rolling out inflight Wi-Fi based on the BoardConnect Plus product. This variant of the BoardConnect product suite enables the integration of any connectivity solution selected by the airline customer. The airline will also be migrating to BoardConnect 5.0 by year’s end. This latest software version features a fresh design with a new user interface and an open platform architecture based on HTML5 compared to the native app approach of earlier versions.


Turkish Technic

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


AIRBUS

A320ceo: Germany’s Lufthansa ordered some 16 new planes worth 2.1 billion euros ($2.5 billion), including some six Airbus A320ceos to make up for delivery shortcomings in a newer version of the jet (and four Boeing  B777 long haul jets.)

A350 XWB: The Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB, MSN 216,  has successfully completed its first flight. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines in second half 2018. The aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines has embarked on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will extend its range capability to 9,700 nautical miles. These changes include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 liters, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

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

Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

At the end of March 2018, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s

Rolls Royce: Airbus and Rolls-Royce have signed a collaboration agreement for the integration of Rolls-Royce’s UltraFan demonstrator for flight testing. The integration solutions demonstration will be co-funded by Clean Sky 2, the European Union research program focused on developing technology to reduce emissions. UltraFan is a scalable jet engine design suitable for widebody or single-aisle aircraft and offers a 25 percent fuel efficiency improvement over the first-generation of Rolls-Royce Trent engine. Airbus’ integration solutions will play an important part in achieving the overall fuel efficiency improvement of higher bypass ratio engines such as UltraFan, through innovative architecture and associated technologies. UltraFan features a new engine core architecture and lean-burn combustion system which will contribute to improved fuel burn efficiency and lower emissions, along with a carbon titanium fan blade system and composite casing which reduce weight. The engine also introduces a geared design to deliver efficient power at high-bypass ratios. For Airbus, the project will enable it to fully integrate the overall powerplant system – composed of engine, pylon and nacelle – onto future long-range aircraft products, as well as facilitating scalability for future short-range aircraft. It will also build on Airbus’ expertise in advanced manufacturing technologies, such as high-deposition-rate additive manufacture, welded assembly and high production rate thermoplastics.


BOEING

Lufthansa Group: Boeing and the Lufthansa Group completed an order for four more 777 airplanes, valued at $1.4 billion at list prices. The purchase is part of the aviation company’s plans to modernize its fleet with newer widebody airplanes.

“The order for the new long-haul aircraft highlights the strategy of Lufthansa Group to predominantly allocate the growth within its multi-hub system where cost and quality offer the best conditions for profitable investments,” said the Lufthansa Group in a company statement.

The order provides two more Boeing 777-300ER (Extended Range) airplanes for Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national carrier of Switzerland and a member of the Lufthansa Group.

SWISS currently operates 10 777-300ERs, one of the most efficient, capable and reliable twin-aisle passenger airplanes in aviation. The airline says the 777-300ER has served as the backbone of their long-haul fleet and the additional airplanes will allow them to further expand their network.

The order also provides two more 777 Freighters for Lufthansa Cargo, one of the world’s leading air freight carriers that serves nearly 300 destinations. The 777-300ER can seat up to 386 passengers in a three-class configuration and has a maximum range of 7,930 nautical miles (14,685 km). The 777 Freighter, the industry’s largest and longest range twin-engine cargo jet, can fly 4,900 nautical miles (9,070 kilometers) with a payload of 102 metric tonnes (102,000 kg).

Ryanair: Boeing and European low-cost carrier Ryanair announced on recently that they finalized an order for 25 additional high-capacity 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The $3 billion order, at current list prices, was previously listed as unidentified on Boeing’s Orders & Deliveries website. Ryanair launched the high-capacity 737 MAX 8 in late 2014 with an order for 100 airplanes, followed by an additional order for 10 airplanes at the 2017 Paris Air Show. The airplane will provide Ryanair with 197 seats, increasing revenue potential and delivering up to 14 percent lower fuel consumption than today’s Next-Generation 737s.

Europe’s leading low-cost carrier will be the first airline to operate the 737 MAX 200, a variant based on the successful 737 MAX 8 that can accommodate up to 200 seats, which will provide carriers with up to 11 more seats of potential revenue and up to 5 percent lower operating costs than the 737 MAX 8.

The Dublin-based carrier is the largest 737-800 customer in the world and the largest Boeing operator in Europe. Last month, Ryanair took delivery of its 500th Next-Generation 737-800 and has now ordered more than 650 Boeing airplanes.

Gulf Air: Boeing and Gulf Air celebrated the delivery of the first 787 Dreamliner for the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The airplane also debuts the carrier’s new livery. Gulf Air is set to take delivery of four more Dreamliners this year. The airline plans to introduce the 787 on its twice-daily service between Bahrain and London Heathrow before deploying the long-range efficient jet on other routes.

Boeing has delivered more than 670 787s since deliveries began in 2011. The 787 fleet has flown more than 240 million passengers while saving over 23 billion pounds of fuel and enabling airlines to open more than 180 new nonstop routes around the world.

The first Gulf Air 787 – painted in the airline’s new livery – recently flew a special mission to the airline’s home base to perform a fly pass over the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix. Formula 1 race fans were treated to a dramatic aerial display prior to the start of the championship race.

Alaska Air: The airline converted its 15 737-8 orders to the larger model, bringing its firm orders for the Max 9 to 32, during the first quarter. It also has 11 737-900ER orders. Alaska will take its first Max in 2019 with deliveries continuing through 2023.  (source: FlightGlobal)


OTHER NEWS

  • Want to know more about software API’s? It’s an application program interface and, yes, it is the part of the software/hardware that receives requests and sends responses – Check out this descriptive article
  • Perhaps probiotics can help jet-lag? Want to know more? Read this article.

Here are some shortcuts to cybersecurity:

 

Well after seeing a great IFEC show in Hamburg we still wonder how the next journey will be improved, enhanced, and possibly changed for better. While, in the last couple years the IFExpress team has found two big game changers and they involve money and hearing. While its no travel breakthrough, upper classes make the experience much more acceptable because of crowd reduction, less noise (further forward), better seating, better food, and generally more comfort and reduced anxiety. The second item is sound. Yep, sound … when you cannot hear the noise and can enjoy a movie or music, the audible experience goes up 100% – and why not? Because you can sleep, you don’t have to talk to others, your music choice is better, and the movies audio is improved greatly. What else is left? One is in Other News this week. Check it out below. Now, here are some of the news highlights for the past week:


Gogo

Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity solution has been chosen by Air Canada for its Bombardier CS300 aircraft.  The technology will be installed as a line-fit option at Bombardier. “Air Canada was the first in Canada to deploy the service on their entire mainline fleet of aircraft. They have been at the forefront of technology adoption and we are excited to deploy 2Ku on additional aircraft,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s president and CEO.  “We also are excited to work with Bombardier to have this technology installed at the factory.” Air Canada has 45 CS300 aircraft on order with an option for an additional 30 aircraft.  Air Canada now has over 170 narrow and widebody aircraft committed to the technology. More than 2,000 aircraft are slated to be installed with Gogo’s 2Ku technology representing 16 of the world’s leading airlines.

Today, more than 650 aircraft are flying with the 2Ku technology. But the AIX story about Gogo is bigger than that – previously, Gogo has been discussing 2Ku and the technology in line for airline customer connectivity and entertainment. At the show, the company was talking about an interesting development they call their FLEX system. The Gogo FLEX Inflight System comprises all of the onboard hardware and software required to deliver and manage inflight connectivity for the aircraft.  This includes a component they call FLEX Developer, which will allow airlines to use Gogo APIs and SDKs to bring development in-house, or turn to third-party providers for total flexibility in designing the passenger experience.

But, the FLEX System is also enabling a series of products and services specifically for airline operations so the airline can extract value from the aircraft presently installed with Gogo’s hardware and software. Obviously, crew applications for connectivity and communication are already in play.  The FLEX system is also a way to deliver data to and from the aircraft, for the aircraft, and about the aircraft … and Mr. TJ Horsager, Director Connected Aircraft Services told IFExpress.: “FLEX Developer is an open architecture solution that gives airlines more access to the technology.” We should note that the Gogo 2Ku solution is a global service solution (unlike the US ATG service) which started out as a passenger touch point, but now can use more bits to-and-from the aircraft, for aircraft data, allowing the airlines to use data to optimize their operations. . With some 20 airlines, 600+ aircraft flying, and some 2000 airplanes in backlog, it just made sense!

The Gogo FLEX System is a “new” way to think about Gogo. We might add that there is also “…a lot of interest from airline software teams”, so noted Gogo, and we expect there to be plenty of airline support from them using the above mentioned API’s and other tools and now with a large enough install base for connected aircraft services to be a business that operates on solutions developed by operational data-like performance, measurement, and even inflight “repair”.

Steve Nolan told IFExpress: “Today, we support some 65,000 pilots and flight attendants with their PEDs for things like Electronic Flight Bags and Point of Sale devices. Gogo’s is now also providing data management solutions to support countless operational activities – from flight optimization to turbulence avoidance. Gogo has been supporting the communication ecosystem by providing an aircraft (or airline) operations private network. FLEX Inflight System powers passenger services and now allows airlines to connect their operations and the aircraft itself.”


PANASONIC

With a renewed focus on broader consultative engagements with its customers, Panasonic’s new Innovation Studios will serve as hubs for innovation, ideation, and solution-building. They will provide a socially collaborative environment where the company and its customers can leverage its skilled workforce and regionally relevant partners to ideate, prototype, showcase and evaluate product concepts, digital solutions and user experience paradigms.

Panasonic plans to set up five Innovation Studios across the globe, each in close proximity to major destinations, leading universities and centers with an established innovation and start-up culture.

The first Panasonic innovation studio will open in the Silicon Valley by the end of 2018. The Studios will also serve as primary locations for airline workshops conducted by Panasonic’s digital design consultancy, Tactel.  Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel has played an instrumental role in helping Panasonic customers get the maximum value from their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) investments.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Innovation has always been at the heart of Panasonic Avionics and our customers have rightly come to expect it as standard. Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration, strengthening our partner eco-system and with it, the range of value-added services we can offer our airline customers. The Studios will ensure we can deliver greater customer-facing innovation by rapidly developing new concepts that will enhance the business and pleasure of flying.”

Each Panasonic Innovation Studio will have a Collaboration Area for ideation, design and strategy workshops, training sessions, customer and partner meetings, and other interactive innovation-related sessions, and a Demonstration Area for displaying emerging products and technologies, functional prototypes as well as work in progress concepts.


ROCKWELL COLLINS
The company’s new Aspire widebody economy seat has entered service on a United Airlines’ Boeing 777-200 aircraft, the first in a 55 shipset retrofit program that begins delivery this spring. “We are excited to offer customers traveling on our 777-200 fleet a new Economy seat featuring updated design, with more living space and under-seat stowage,” said Mark Krolick, vice president of Marketing for United Airlines. Aspire offers an improved, patented comfort system with an advanced kinematic mechanism that cradles the passenger during recline while preserving maximum living space for each passenger.

Aspire also incorporates increased under-seat stowage and greater passenger living space due to the proprietary seat frame and leg structure. Passenger amenities combine the latest generation Panasonic high-definition monitor for in-flight entertainment, a mid-level literature pocket combined with a full-width single piece food tray, aft-facing PC power on all seat assemblies and adjustable ergonomic headrests. This version of the seat brings to life United’s latest brand themes and styling developed by PriestmanGoode.

Following the launch on the 777, the new Aspire seat will continue its success on the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner with United and then onto the Airbus A350 XWB and other 787 aircraft with other undisclosed customers that more than doubles the initial 777 program deliveries.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat announced that its new GX Aviation inflight broadband service is currently being rolled out on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft. Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to offer GX Aviation, the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. In total, the service will be equipped on more than 130 of the airline’s Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

The roll-out follows a highly successful inflight test campaign across Qatar Airways’ global flight routes. As part of the service offering, passengers will now be offered one-hour of free access to GX Aviation, after which full-flight access can be affordably purchased.

Mr. Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Qatar Airways is renowned as one of the greatest innovators in global aviation with passengers being at the centre of everything they do. We are delighted that they are now pioneering our game-changing GX Aviation inflight broadband across the globe. This unprecedented service adds to the airline’s award-winning, five star onboard experience by allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.”

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars. The rollout of GX Aviation follows a separate announcement that Qatar Airways has activated an advanced new space-based system, supplied by Inmarsat, to track all of its flights across the world. Inmarsat worked exclusively with Qatar Airways to develop this cutting-edge solution, which utilizes Inmarsat’s market-leading satellite technology to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in latitude and longitude.


SITA

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has selected SITA to support its strategic expansion plans by introducing modern, world-class IT infrastructure across 200 of the airline’s offices located in 100 cities and airports in 60 countries. The solution will support the airline’s global IT infrastructure which connects all SAUDIA outstations with its headquarters and various data centers worldwide.

SITA, the IT provider to the air transport industry, will introduce its unique ATI Cloud solution, which will allow SAUDIA to manage and distribute its business applications, information and business services on-demand, anywhere in the world. The agreement also includes infrastructure, IT support and round-the-clock service through a dedicated service center. SAUDIA’s incremental growth and global expansion has seen the airline open new offices in key cities and in turn, has developed new IT requirements to support the demand for the carrier’s continued growth in passenger numbers in the Kingdom and beyond.

Airlines are increasingly looking for specialized content and service providers to meet their requirements. SITA, with its global presence and expertise, was identified as a trusted partner to implement a solution that would drive greater efficiency and productivity.

Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser commented: “As the national carrier moves forward with expansion plans across the entire organization and operations, it is crucial that we continue investing in leading-edge, modern technology. SAUDIA has a critical role to play in the nation’s Vision 2030, and continues to grow both in the Kingdom and beyond.

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President Middle East, India and Africa, said: “With the rapid progress of hosted applications and cloud-based environments, it is the right time for SAUDIA to adopt cloud solutions across its network. From a commercial perspective, quick responses to IT services requests are essential for running a successful operation and ensuring happy passengers. We are delighted to continue working with the airline as it embarks on its new phase of growth.”


OTHER NEWS

  • You might remember a few months back when we gave a link to the regularly updated Boeing B-52 disassembly, well now, updates 4 and 5 are online now and if you have never seen a big airplane disassembled, this is your chance. Wings are next.
  • Face it, sometimes flying is just not as fun as it should, or used to, be. Why? Full planes, increasingly bad weather, longer flights, and worse seating, just to name a few. Now, here is what Apple’s Yim Cook said about AR/VR – “AR has the ability to amplify human performance instead of isolating humans,” he said on the same call. “So I am a huge, huge believer in AR. We put a lot of energy on AR. We’re moving very fast.” Further, the TechRadar folks said: “But despite it’s heavy focus thus far on AR, it seems Apple is keen to give users a choice in what they experience; either AR for an enhanced experience that keeps them present in the real world, or VR for those times users want to be transported somewhere else entirely.” Just one more thing…What if there were cameras on a plane that choosers could hook up to their Apple VR/AR glasses? Check out this link for more on the subject.

Gogo

Late last week, Gogo announced some adjustments to their leadership roles within the commercial aviation division, as well as, the business aviation sector. John Wade, who has more than 30 years of aviation and IFEC industry experience, joined Gogo back in 2008 after a stint as CTO of ONAIR, has been named as the first President of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation Division. If you remember, in 2016 John was moved from General Manager of the Business Aviation Division to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Commercial.  He was responsible for Gogo’s operations, quality control, commercial airline account management and commercial sales. In this new role as Gogo President he will have end-to-end responsibility for managing all aspects of the Commercial Aviation business, including product development, technology, sales, account management, quality, marketing and all aspects of product delivery.

Also, Sergio Aguirre, formerly senior vice president and general manager, will now serve as President of Gogo’s Business Aviation Division. Aguirre will continue to be responsible for managing the Business Aviation (BA) division and will now report directly to the CEO, Oakleigh Thorne. Aguirre joined Gogo in 2002. Aguirre is also an aviation industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience.

Anand Chari, who has served as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2011, will move into a new role as Strategic Technology Advisor. Chari has been with Gogo since 2003 and has been instrumental in the design and development of the company’s ground-breaking ATG (air-to-ground) and 2Ku (satellite) products.

Jon Cobin, who joined Gogo in 2010, will now serve as Chief Strategy Office and Executive Vice President Corporate Development. This is a newly created role and Cobin will be responsible for leading company wide business, strategic planning and corporate development efforts as Gogo seeks to leverage the Commercial and Business Aviation product portfolios to drive growth and share value.

All of the above appointments are effective as of May 1, 2018.


Next, we thought you might like to see just some of the AIX highlights we noted. But be advised, there are plenty more.

  1. Virtual Reality in IFE applications is becoming more available and better; however, it is not replacing IFE – some goggle developers, like SkyLights, are really doing a bang-up job.
  2. New potential revenue generation via “paying for inflight power” is on the horizon – think low cost carriers here.
  3. Improving flight operational efficiency was hight-lighted by Gogo’s Flex Developer. Keep your eye on this one!
  4. Inflight content downloading of entertainment is new, and one time viewing on (and off ) the plane is a reality says GEE.
  5. One tekkie vendor has developed a code based solution for installations in IFE systems that “reduces” the bandwidth required for streamed movies and the system prevents delays when all are watching movies. The German start-up Cadami is one to watch.
  6. Smaller removable streaming Wi-Fi servers now have onboard battery installations so they do not need removal and recharging as often, noted Lufthansa Systems and AirFi.
  7. The folks at Zii have developed the next generation of IFE with a seatback system display that has the thickness of a couple stacked coins. It was super cool!!
  8. The “cloud” is now available in IFEC from Panasonic and others.
  9. Seat power boxes are getting smaller, just ask Astronics.
  10. Onboard retail sales support and software is even more available because of real-time connectivity.

Round-Up: AIX – Day 2 & 3

Here is an outline last two days of the show reported by the AIX TEAM!

Day 2 of AIX saw yet more exhibitors choosing the show to announce their latest deals and newest offerings.

April 11, 2018 announcements included:

  • Ensinger Plastics announced their new flame-retardant materials, TECAMID 6 (PA 6) FRT, TECAMID 66 GF15 FRT and TECANYL (PPE) VH2, which can replace metals to achieve significant weight reduction in aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Inmarsat has signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced an agreement to provide fuel saving solutions for Air Austral’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The first step will implement Safety Line’s OptiClimb solution on all aircraft in the fleet, helping the carrier save fuel with optimized climb profiles for pilots.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Sekisui Specialty Polymer Innovations has launched the new, back-lit, Lumina version of its KYDEX plastic panels, which are available in any color, printable with infused images for durability and thermoformable to almost any shape.

For the second and final day of the AIX educational program, the FlightGlobal forecast sessions in Cabin Space Live Seminar Theater took a theme of social responsibility:

  • Making IFE accessible for everyone: Over 200 million people worldwide are registered as visually impaired. In the next few years airlines flying to the US will be required to offer an IFE solution for visually and hearing-impaired passengers. FlightGlobal Data, Lufthansa Solutions and Crystal Cabin Award winner Bluebox Aviation discussed what current and future solutions can offer to passengers.
  • End of Life Cabin Equipment: The discussion between Turkish Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Professor Dieter Scholz, from Hamburg University of Applied Science, looked at the life-cycle of cabin equipment and its impact on the environment in both operation and disposal. The panel also discussed solutions, such as manufacturers buying back components from the airlines to recycle them, and whether regulation is needed to tackle environmental impact.
  • Predicted maintenance and the connected aircraft: Panellists from Lufthansa Technik, Gogo and Air Transat discussed how OEMs and MROs could use aircraft connectivity to transmit raw aircraft health data in real time, and the question of who should have control over and access to the data increased aircraft connectivity provides.

AIX’s Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments: “Day two has been as busy as ever as our visitors explore the 11 halls we have here at AIX and the breath-taking exhibits on display.

“We started the day with a First Time Exhibitor speed networking event, where they had the chance to meet some of the attending media. We love hosting this event each year as it gives them a platform to share the truly innovative products and services they have on display at AIX.

“In 2018, we have also launched the Ideation Hub. These sessions give delegates the opportunity to take advantage of AIX, as an unrivaled industry gathering, by coming together to generate ideas for the future of aircraft interior design and the integrated passenger experience.”

AIX Day 3 – Over 14,000 attendees, 600 exhibiting companies and 1200 VIPs from more than 260 global airlines descended on the Hamburg Messe for the world’s largest Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany this week. With the Expo capturing the attention of the world’s media and with almost 200 journalists in attendance, exhibiting companies showcased revolutionary products and concepts that demonstrated how the future of air travel is set to change for passengers. This year, more exhibiting companies than ever before used the show as a platform to make announcements. These included:

  •  Acro is to supply its Series 3 ST seat to Viva Air for the airline’s 50 Airbus A320 aircraft on order.
  • Airbus announced the development of a new option for A380 aircraft, ‘A380 Cabin-Flex’. The enhancement, which consists of a new cabin door area arrangement on the upper-deck, is available for line-fit and retrofit, and will be installed on Qantas’ current A380 fleet from mid 2019.
  • Geven announced the Essenza economy-class seat has been ordered by Lufthansa for its Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and SWISS A320 and A321neo fleet. Deliveries will take place from Q4 of this year until 2022.
  • Global Eagle Entertainment launched the Airconnect Go video-on-demand system portable IFE system for regional aircraft, which streams content to passengers’ own devices through Global Eagle’s Airtime portal.
  • Gogo announced that Air Canada has extended its agreement to install the provider’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity service on its Bombardier CSeries CS300 fleet, with the system to be line-fit during assembly.
  • Inmarsat signed a deal with low-cost Indonesian airline Citilink. The deal has been signed in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi and will see a retrofit of 50 of Citilink’s Airbus A320s with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service.
  • GKN Fokker has partnered with cosmetics brand Rituals to launch a cabin scenting system which aims to create a more pleasant in-flight experience and influence the mood of passengers.
  • Panasonic Avionics announced the debut of their new airline on-board loyalty platform, called NEXT Loyalty, with Singapore Airlines as launch customer, as well as a partnership with gategroup on their new retail platform NEXT Marketplace, and an IFEC commitment from Turkish Airlines for 50 wide-bodied aircraft.
  • Recaro announced it will supply its CL4400 business class seats to WOW, the Icelandic budget carrier. A total of 15 aircraft will be completed by year-end.
  • Thales announced the expansion of its inflight entertainment portfolio with CORE and PRESTIGE, offering a full spectrum of solutions and services to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and airline revenue.

AIX also showcased the winners of this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards with the award-winning technologies changing the future of the cabin. Amongst the winners were the Qatar Airways QSuite picked up with Cabin Concepts award, Rockwell Collins ‘Silhouette MOVE’ won the Cabin Systems category and Bluebox Aviation’s Accessible IFE for passengers with visual impairment cleaned up in the IFEC category.

With the latest innovations in connectivity, in-flight entertainment and passenger comfort hardware on display, alongside an educational program looking at the areas of focus for the industry, many trends were highlighted at the Expo.

  • Inflight Entertainment – Passengers increasingly want to replicate the mutli-screen environment they enjoy today on the ground, in the air. Using a mixture of seatback screens with their own devices to both enjoy inflight entertainment and use a second screen to stay connected with friends and family via email and social.
  • Passenger Comfort – Over the past year, with the introduction of more and more double beds and family suites – flying really does feel like a hotel stay. However, seat manufacturers are also improving passenger comfort in Economy by enabling the enhancement of all cabins onboard to retain customer loyalty in an ever increasingly competitive market.
  • Extension of flight experience –  companies are looking increasingly at entire travel experience and now including the time before boarding, such as individual seat selection via a virtual walk through the cabin, and the ability to select films and music in advance through customizable apps

A daily program of education sessions were hosted at the FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theater, with participants from across the industry discussing issues including accessible IFE, end-of-life equipment and the burden on the environment, and management of data and the increasing demand for connectivity.

Exhibition Director, Polly Magraw, comments:

“Every year we see more and more demand from passengers for seamless connectivity and greater expectations placed on all the players that make up the travel experience. As a result, we have seen some truly ground-breaking innovations at AIX this week.

“I’d like to thank all of our exhibiting companies, VIP airline attendees and visitors for helping to continue to make AIX the world-renowned event for the aircraft interiors sector. With the aircraft interiors industry innovating rapidly, we look forward to bringing you all of the latest updates at the 20th AIX next year.”

Aircraft Interiors Expo will return to the Hamburg Messe from 2nd – 4th April 2019 where it will be co-located with World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS). Along with the Passenger Experience Conference the three expos make up Passenger Experience Week.

For more information about Aircraft Interiors Expo please visit: www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com

The Spafax IQ Data Analytics Platform provides airlines with one view of their passenger engagement across all IFEC systems – an industry first.

London, UK | April 9, 2018– Global entertainment and media agency Spafax today announced the launch of Spafax IQ, a service designed to help airlines optimize their investment in entertainment across the passenger journey.

As aircraft connectivity rises and advertisers expect quality metrics for targeted campaigns, airlines are grappling with how to leverage the multitude of inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) data they have access to. Spafax is launching Spafax IQ to help solve this challenge for airlines.

The new data service provides insights in the following areas including but not limited to: IFEC content performance, passenger engagement with IFEC product, cost per engagement metrics and audience profiling.

Spafax Chief Executive Officer, Niall McBain said: “Spafax IQ is built to provide our airline clients with the insights they need to drive future IFEC product strategy and development. We use the latest research methodologies to build a detailed view of passenger behavior with entertainment while travelling and their expectations for richer, more valuable content experiences across every stage of the journey.”

Making its debut at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this month, the Spafax IQ Data Analytics Platform is the first product to give airlines one view of their passenger engagement across all IFEC systems. Additionally, the platform helps airlines enhance the passenger experience through predictive analysis and increase revenue from advertising and brand partnerships.

Spafax Vice President of Entertainment, Henry Gummer said: “We’re always looking for ways to help our clients get the most of their entertainment investment. Our Spafax IQ Data Analytics Platform is designed to improve ROI for entertainment and provides an easy-to-use-tool that allows our clients to run reports and generate insights for evidence-driven content strategies.”

Spafax IQ also provide insights on content performance against airline competitors. The service includes regular analysis and support from a Spafax team of data experts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kontron’s latest Airborne Server used to support Connectivity and Wireless IFE applications

Hamburg, Germany | April 11, 2018–Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded computing inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFE&C) equipment, today announced the selection of the company’s ACE Flight™ 4608 server by Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT).  Starting in 2018, Global Eagle will deploy the ACE Flight 4608 as a key component of its next-generation Airconnect™ system, which provides high-speed KU Band connectivity services to airline customers throughout the world. Airconnect supports delivery of Internet connectivity, IPTV and wireless IFE services to passengers and crew, while the ACE Flight 4608 acts as the Server Management Unit (SMU) in the Global Eagle system.

The ACE Flight 4608 Server is the latest airborne server product offering from Kontron. Its 8-core Intel® Xeon® processor D-1539 with 32GB RAM delivers data center-grade performance. Other server features include L3 managed Gigabit Ethernet switching, dual 4G modems with worldwide coverage, and an advanced cooling design that maximizes reliability. The ACE Flight 4608 was launched in 2017 and has already been installed on more than 100 aircraft.”

“Kontron has been a key supplier of Global Eagle for many years, and we recently achieved Line Fit approval with them for several Kontron products onboard the Boeing 737 MAX,” said Andy Mason, Vice President Technology at Kontron America. “Our line airborne servers form the backbone of Global Eagle’s existing deployed connectivity solutions currently flying on over 700 narrow body aircraft.”

“Our collaboration with Kontron adds best-in-class inflight connectivity and helps to remove the worry of aircraft downtime and revenue loss for retrofit installations,” said Per Norén, Global Eagle Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

Kontron will showcase the ACE Flight 1600 and company’s complete line of ultra-rugged computing platforms designed for the commercial aviation market at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, April 10-12, in Kontron’s booth #E245, Hall 2.

Now offering a “One Stop Shop” for cabin WiFi systems, installation kits and STCs

Hamburg, Germany | April 11, 2018–Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded computing inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFE&C) equipment, today announced a strategic partnership with Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CarlisleIT) to provide turnkey Cabin WiFi system hardware solutions, aircraft installation kits and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs)  to the rapidly growing IFE&C market.

Kontron and CarlisleIT have been collaborating for some time, and the partnership agreement that has now been signed enables the two companies to work together more closely to offer a unified solution to global customers. This “One Stop Shop” approach makes it easy for a variety of customer profiles to launch and deploy inflight systems for wireless IFE, connectivity, retail, aircraft operations and other applications. Target customers include not only airlines, but also system integrators, connectivity service providers and software media companies.

Kontron and CarlisleIT already have an approved STC for cabin WiFi system installation on the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, and STC approval for Boeing 737 is anticipated by mid-2018. The Kontron/CarlisleIT business model is to offer use of the cabin WiFi installation design and STC to customers at no charge, minimizing both time to deployment and up-front investment costs.

The integrated WiFi system solution consists of industry-leading Kontron ACE Flight™ server and several Cab-n-Connect™ wireless access points. Kontron provides an application-ready solution with an integrated software package, including the Linux OS, drivers, libraries and APIs needed to control and operate the system. Test software is provided with the system to validate all functions once installed on the aircraft. Kontron also optionally offers its AirDefense® WiFi security software and extended service contracts.

CarlisleIT provides the aircraft installation design, engineering/certification services and is the manufacturer of aircraft installation kits for the A320 and B737. CarlisleIT is also experienced in SATCOM connectivity installation designs.

“The Kontron/CarlisleIT partnership is already well established and is gaining significant traction in the IFE&C market, especially in Europe and Asia,” said Andy Mason, Vice President Technology at Kontron America. “CarlisleIT is an excellent partner for Kontron and brings an ideal set of complementary capabilities to the table.”

“Our partnership with Kontron is very important as it strengthens our ability in providing turn-key solutions to a market that is demanding quality and reliability in a compressed timeframe,” said Gordon Smart, Director of Sales, IFE & Connectivity for CarlisleIT.  “Kontron is an established industry leader for cabin WiFi systems that we are proud to be aligned with.” Visit CarlisleIT at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, in booth #C40, Hall 2.

Kontron will showcase the new ACE Flight 1600 Gateway Router and company’s complete product line for the commercial aviation market at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, April 10-12, in Kontron’s booth #E24, Hall 2.

Well, AIX 2018 is finally upon us and the next 4 days promise to be an innovative rich and technology filled environment. Lets get started with a few pre-show news highlights.


Astronics

Astronics Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), has been selected by multiple Asia-Pacific airlines to install the EmPower in-seat power and flight deck power systems. Several major airlines in Asia will install the EmPower systems from 2018 to 2025, including two Chinese low-cost carriers. These recent awards will place in-seat power within 500 additional narrow-body aircraft serving the Asia-Pacific region. The installations are scheduled on both Boeing and Airbus aircraft.


Panasonic Avionics

Interested in the latest technological developments from Panasonic at this year’s AIX Hamburg? You can find out about Panasonic’s show offering here


Rockwell Collins

The Crystal Cabin Award recognizes excellence in aircraft interior innovation—the only international award of its kind. It’s a unique honor and this year, Rockwell Collins is a finalist in four categories: Visionary Concepts, Cabin Systems, Material & Components and Passenger Comfort Hardware. The category winners will be announced on Apr. 10, 2018, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany. The following aircraft interior solutions from Rockwell Collins are finalists:

Universal Passenger Seat interface (UPSi)

The cost to certify seats with differing advanced actuation and data sensing can be in the tens of millions of dollars in many sectors of transportation. The UPSi is a solution for autonomous transportation that transcends industries and provides a universal, standard seat interface applicable to aircraft, vehicles and trains. This Visionary Concept finalist aims to slash development costs and create synergies across the autonomous transportation industry.

Silhouette MOVE: A revolutionary cabin divider for all aircraft platforms, this Cabin Systems category finalist takes advantage of unused space between the divider and the seat in front of it. Bulkhead seated passengers get an additional one cubic foot of space, giving them more space to stretch their legs and place carry-on items.

Secant Luminous Panel: A finalist in the Materials & Components category, this micro LED lighting display is incorporated into the interior body and ceiling panels of the aircraft using flexible printed circuit boards. This solution enables airlines to adjust the lighting to improve sleep and the cabin’s appearance, and it provides the opportunity for airlines to uniquely brand their aircraft.

Valkyrie Bed:This is a new solution to an old problem—how to make a seat into a comfortable place to sleep. A Passenger Comfort Hardware finalist, business-class passengers get a more luxurious experience with a comfortable seat to work, eat and lounge. And when it is time to sleep, the seat folds away and a full-size mattress emerges from the console.

For more information about this year’s Crystal Cabin Award finalists, visit this site


SkyLights/Emirates

The airline is providing an immersive cinematic experience in its lounges in Dubai International Airport by providing Skylights theater headsets (See above) to customers. The headsets are being trialed in the Business Class lounge in Concourse B for the month of April and in the First Class lounge in concourse B in May. The introduction of these innovative new headsets is part of Emirates’ continued commitment to improve the customer experience both on the ground and in flight. Offering a fixed-screen with a wide-angle field of view for 3D and 2D content, each Skylight theater headset weighs only 120g and offers a Full HD viewing experience. Its in-built sound and video allow customers to fully immerse themselves in what they are watching. The service is complimentary and Emirates plans to roll out the experience across all its lounges in Dubai if the trial is well received.

Dubai International Airport is home to seven Emirates lounges spread over three concourses – A, B and C. In each of the concourses there is a dedicated Emirates First Class and Business Class lounge. Entry is complimentary for those traveling in Business or First Class as well as Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members. Emirates Skywards Blue members can visit the lounge for a fee. Emirates has the largest network of airport lounges worldwide. In addition to the seven in Dubai, there are 34 other dedicated Emirates Lounges in major airports across the globe.

SkyLights/Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways has started trialing SkyLights Aero Virtual Reality (VR) entertainment technology at its flagship First Class Lounge and Spa and Business Class Premium Lounge, at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3. The aim of the month-long trial is to gather customer feedback to determine the airline’s future lounge entertainment offering at Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art Midfield Terminal. The SkyLights ALLOSKY VR headsets deliver an immersive, HD resolution, cinematic experience in 2D and 3D, featuring intuitive technology for ease of use and noise cancelling headphones. Each set has a battery life of over six hours which allows for uninterrupted enjoyment from a catalogue of recent blockbuster movies, selected 360° short films, TV series, documentaries and children’s programming. Throughout the trial, Etihad staff will assist interested guests at dedicated areas within both lounges. Each session will end with a short manual questionnaire.


PXCom

With the rapid growth of w-IFE solutions, the IFE/C industry has rapidly moved to the digital era. Now, even the seatback screens provide personal-device-like experience and beyond the legacy video & audio sections, all the other IFE sections can be significantly revamped to deliver a full digital experience, including engagement, personalization, and many other exciting features.

Meals Menus, Corporate Content & Destination Section – These are the three pillars – the initial use cases of PXCom’s end-to-end solution. “All the digital sections that we create intend to elevate the onboard experience by providing passengers with compelling content and to generate additional revenues for our airlines customers”, says Cyril JEAN, PXCom’s CEO. “For example, the interactive meals menu section can display the right content according to the seat class and route and encompass buy-on-board snacking options, as well as the ‘click and deliver’ features. As an example, an airline that intends to treat its premium passengers with a hand-picked wines & champagnes selection can offer to have their guests’ selection delivered directly to their home.” Since PXCom is a French company filled with wine and foodie lovers, they have absolutely no choice but to provide only THE VERY BEST of food and beverage highlights!

XPlore by PXCom, the sponsored inflight microsite factory –  PXCom’s technical wizards have extended XPlore by PXCom’s capabilities to enable brands and their media agencies to create their inflight microsites in full autonomy. As a result, they can deliver a customized digital inflight experience regardless of the type of IFE/C platform available onboard. Thanks to PXCom’s partnerships with most of IFE manufacturers (both seatback, w- IFE and IFC) those microsites are automatically uploaded during the airline’s media content update slot and are seamlessly integrated into the GUI. “We have been setting up XPlore’s sponsored inflight microsites on behalf of various customers now. The creation of the microsite is self-explanatory and very easy, thanks to the PXCom solution.”, states Christian SZABO, CEO of LASKER a major Cross Media Agency in Europe. “The integration of the microsite within the destination guide section offers advertisers the possibility for destination targeting in the IFE. By adding transaction-related elements, like downloadable voucher codes, advertisers are able 

LATECOERE, the world leading provider of Airborne Entertainment Cameras has selected PXCom to enrich its live external camera which streams high quality video from the aircraft exterior to passengers’ seatback screens using landscape camera technology. This move ensures a truly innovative way to boost the live camera experience!

Live contextual movement information in-flight  – Thanks to PXCom’s technology, passengers can now enjoy a multitude of points of interest related to places they pass by in the air. In real time, a short description that includes HD pictures and text is added to the live video stream that comes from LATECOERE’s landscape cameras. The new generation cameras provide 360° video streaming which is enhanced with software applications such as augmented reality prove to be really exciting for airline passengers.

Ancillary generator –  It goes without saying – as it’s the case with all PXCom’s solutions – airlines will be able to integrate advertising spaces which will be automatically filled with partners’ brands advertising material. Airlines’ media sales agencies can access PXCom’s back office to upload their campaigns and have them rolled out during the flight. LATECOERE’s vision is to maximize the added value provided to all Airborne Video Systems users and to boost ancillary revenue generation for its airline clients. The rational is to bring further investment into passengers’ inflight experience.

Live demonstration at the LATECOERE’s stand  – This exciting new inflight entertainment feature can be tested by all interested parties during AIX Hamburg 2018 at the LATECOERE’s stand #2E30. For further information on PXCom’s range of IFE solutions, we invite you to visit #3C30A during AIX Hamburg 2018.


Other Stuff

  • We asked Geoff Underwood, CEO at IFPL to tell us a little bit about what they will be showing at AIX and he told IFExpress: “As your IFExpress readers know, IFPL leads the way when it comes to designing power outlets.  With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C. As always, IFPL’s established range of audio and IFEC solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that your readers or visitors to AIX 2018 may have”.  Thanks Geoff!
  • On Friday Boeing posted on their website that American Airlines has ordered 47 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options to purchase 28 more of the long-haul jets. However, over the weekend Boeing has removed the news  from their site. Check out this article for the full story.
  • We love it when someone gets ahead of the crowd – and this time it is Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief, PAX International – and he did it by putting out the Aircraft Interiors Expo Hamburg issue, before the show. Its a winner and here it is – PAX International AIX March/April 2018 by Global Marketing Company Ltd – Issuu
  • Want to know if you have been hacked? Read through this story on the global future of Blockchain markets – Global blockchain market size is expected to reach $13.96 billion by 2022 | Technology Startups News | Tech News

AIX, Hamburg | April 2018– At the world’s leading trade show for aircraft cabins and passenger experience, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April, Hamburg Messe, organised by Reed Exhibitions), global industry-leaders and regionally rooted suppliers alike will present new concepts and products — and it may not be long before passengers are encountering these concepts and products on board. The order books, especially for short and medium-haul airliners, are full, so there is sure to be a large contingent of airline customers at this key Hamburg trade fair. New models like the Airbus A321 LR, making new long-haul routes accessible for single-aisle aircraft, add to the current dynamics of the segment.

Whether the flight is short or long, more and more passengers expect to be able to stay online while airborne. The increased demand here is reflected by the floor plan, where the space allocated to in-flight entertainment and connectivity has grown yet strongly again. In fact, the whole aircraft interiors segment is booming. This year, according to the show organisers Reed Exhibitions, the Aircraft Interiors Expo has expanded to a new record in size, with the number of exhibitors having grown significantly once again as well. The spectrum of products on show ranges from seating rails to fully equipped First Class cabins.

Adding to the programme: Conference, sub-expos and a special flight

Once again, the Aircraft Interiors Expo is the main component in the “Passenger Experience Week”, starting with the Passenger Experience Conference on Monday, 9 April. The main expo is then flanked by the World Travel & Catering Expo (WTCE — leading trade show for in-flight catering) and, for the first time, Passenger Technology Solutions (trade show focusing on aviation-related IT services). All these events are taking place at at the Hamburg Messe convention site, and are organised by Reed Exhibitions.

The growing international importance of the show is also increasingly seen in the programme around the show itself: the airline Emirates is flying a Boeing 777 equipped with its new First Class cabin to Hamburg on Wednesday, 11 April in order to present the on-board product to selected partners in person.

Showdown of the aviation industry: the Crystal Cabin Awards

Also traditionally presented as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo are the Crystal Cabin Awards. This industry prize, initiated by the Hamburg Aviation cluster and closely followed by the industry and media around the world, will be presented on the evening of 10 April in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. In eight categories, the award honours the leading innovations of the year for aircraft operators and passengers. Amongst this year’s finalists are famous major players like Airbus as well as airline products from Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. Information on the finalists is available at the Expo at a special exhibition in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery (Hall B3 Upper). And at 11am on Thurs., 12 April, all the winners will present their innovations in person one more time — after which they are available for questions and interviews.

Aircraft Interiors Expo a “home game” for Hamburg

The scale of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region’s presence at the “local” trade show is appropriate for the most important location worldwide in the field of aircraft cabins. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus, for example, has concentrated its global development activities for aircraft cabins in Hamburg, and the company has a strong presence in Hall B5. With four finalists, Airbus is also looking at a very successful Crystal Cabin Award season this year – e.g. with the new “Airspace” cabin for the A320 range of aircraft.

For Lufthansa Technik, located in Hall B6, the show is an important event, too — and not only because of the activities in the exclusive VIP segment. The Hamburg company now supports every fifth commercial aircraft worldwide, and it is particularly expanding its activities in the so-called “retrofit” market. Every five or six years, an aircraft cabin has to be completely refurbished. With innovative business models such as aircraft seat leasing, the company is responding to a growing market.

Another heavyweight in the aircraft cabin segment is the family-run Diehl company. The third-largest industrial employer in Hamburg’s aviation industry produces galleys and toilets as well as complex cabin trims with baggage lockers. Diehl, too, is focusing on the high-demand “single-aisle” segment with its presence in Hall B7, and the company has a walk-through cabin model that shows just how much potential remains untapped in a single-aisle airliner.

Alongside the major international companies, SMEs have also always been well-represented at the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Dozens of small and medium-sized enterprises are active in the segment in the Hamburg region alone. They are particularly concentrated on the Hanse Pavilion, operated by the Hanse-Aerospace association in Hall B6, with more than 2,000 square metres of space and almost 100 exhibitors. As well as conventional suppliers, the site is also home to test laboratories and engineering service providers such as Altran. The French-headquartered company has massively expanded its Hamburg operations in recent years, turning the city into its global head office for aircraft cabin activities.

The Hanse Pavilion is also home to the Hamburg Aviation stand (6B90), a central point of contact for the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. The aviation cluster is providing updates on Hamburg-related news from and during the trade show via TwitterWhatsApp and the live ticker on the Hamburg Aviation Website.

New computing platforms offer increased graphics and processing performance

Augsburg, Germany | April 4, 2018–Kontron, a leading global provider of IoT/Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), announces new boards, modules and embedded systems featuring the 8th Gen Intel Core/Xeon processors (former codename Coffee Lake). Through the update to the COM Express Computer-on-Modules (COMs), embedded motherboards, CompactPCI platforms, Kontron KBox family of box PCs, as well as the company’s rackmount systems, customers benefit from a marked increase in graphics- and processing performance. First products featuring the new processor generation will be available on the COM Express basic form factor starting June 2018.

With the new boards and modules, customers will benefit from the enhanced functionality and significant performance increase of the latest 8th Gen Intel Core(TM) / Xeon processors at the same power consumption as the previous generation. Available with dual-, quad-, or hexacore CPUs, they double the DDR4 storage as before, with up to 64 GB. They support the fast Intel Optane memory, as well as the fastest available storage technology NVMe SSD for system acceleration in a very compact design. USB 3.1. support with up to 10 Gbps and USB Type C support offer twice the bandwidth as compared to USB 3.0 for fast data transfer. Four 4K displays can be controlled, three of them separately. UHD streaming supports high quality video applications.

With these innovations, the new platforms are an ideal basis for applications in communication, digital signage, professional gaming and entertainment, medical imaging, surveillance, and security. They are also well suited for the control of industrial systems, machines and robots on the shop floor level as well as from the control room.

Peter Müller, Director Product Line Boards & Modules at Kontron: “To enable our customers to fully leverage the new performance benefits of the latest Intel processor generation, we are promptly upgrading our product families with the latest technology. At the same time, we guarantee to our customers product life cycles of no less than ten years to make sure their investments pay off in the long run as well.”

The new platforms are more secure through SGX 1.0 hardware-enhanced multifactor authentication. In addition, all Kontron products support the TPM 2.0 security chip as well as the Kontron APPROTECT Security Solution. Based on an integrated Wibu-Systems security chip and in tandem with a specifically developed software framework, it provides IP and copy/reverse engineering protection. Kontron APPROTECT Licensing also enables new business models such as “pay per use”, demo versions for limited time periods, or activation/deactivation functions.

Paris, France | April 4, 2018–The start-up SKYdeals will attend the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from 10th – 12th April 2018 on booth #3C30.

SKYdeals will showcase the first solution of inflight “Shoppertainment” in the world.

On this occasion, the two founders, also members of the APEX* association, will have the opportunity to showcase to main airlines representatives, their concept and its advantages as a new source of additional revenues and as an innovative passenger experience.

Every day, 8 million people around the world travel by plane and thanks to Inflight broadband, it’s now possible to reach these passengers in real time, and to interact with them.

SKYdeals is the first platform dedicated to this population, a marketplace where brands and service providers can offer, directly to passengers, highly targeted event-driven sales and private sales.

This e-commerce platform gives a double benefit for airlines:

  • Quickly access to an innovative, entertaining and connected digital service for passengers: Thanks to its “Plug & Play” catalogs, SKYdeals can be implemented in only two weeks and without any major investment from airlines.
  • A new source of revenues from inflight connectivity based on a revenue sharing model. SKYdeals will present during the event some revenues simulations, which clearly show all the potential of inflight e-commerce.

With the development of onboard Wi-Fi, SKYdeals relies on a fast-growing market. Indeed, the market of inflight broadband will reach $130 billion, resulting in $30 billion of additional revenue for airlines by 2035, compared to $1 billion in 2018**. Half of these revenues will be dedicated to e-commerce, advertising and premium content.

London | April 4, 2018–Passenger Experience Week that comprises of: Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo and Passenger Technology Solutions which takes place from 9th-12th April in Hamburg, Germany has today announced eye health organisation Orbis, which operates the unique Flying Eye Hospital, as its charity partner.

The international charity provides communities across Africa, Asia and Latin America with access to high-quality eye care, fighting avoidable blindness and restoring vision for those who need it most. This is undertaken through the support of their Flying Eye Hospital, the world’s only accredited ophthalmic hospital onboard an M.D.-10 aircraft.

The aircraft, which features a classroom at the front of the plane, also has an operating theatre, pre and post-op spaces and a laser eye suite. Flying Eye Hospital programmes take place in partnership with local hospitals, transferring skills into the facilities so that eye-care teams can help more people struggling with avoidable vision loss within their communities.

The partnership with Passenger Experience Week will provide Orbis with a platform to fundraise and promote its inspiring work to the thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibiting companies that are present at the show each year.

To learn more about Orbis and its work, attendees can visit their stand located in hall B2U03 in AIX. On the stand, Orbis staff will offer attendees a virtual tour of their M.D.-10 aircraft.

Rebecca Cronin, CEO of Orbis UK comments: “We are immensely grateful to Passenger Experience Week for choosing Orbis to as its charity partner. The event presents an amazing opportunity to engage with attendees at the show and to share the story of how the aviation and medical world has come together to make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Thanks to the support of partners such as Passenger Experience Week, we can provide vital operations to children suffering with cataract, train local medical staff so that they can help more people within their community, and continue to work hard across the globe to ensure that no one experiences blindness unnecessarily.”

Commenting on the partnership, Exhibition Director of Aircraft Interiors Expo, Polly Magraw comments: “We have long been looking for the perfect charity partner for Aircraft Interiors Expo, and we are delighted that we have been able to partner with such an inspiring charity as Orbis.

“By giving a platform to Orbis at Passenger Experience Week, the full spectrum of companies across the aircraft interiors sector can learn how aviation is giving people around the world access to quality eye-care, no matter where they live.”

There are 253 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired yet 75% suffer from conditions that are avoidable. What’s more 89% of people struggling with vision loss live within low and middle-income countries, where access to eye-care is limited.

IFExpress is looking forward to seeing you at AIX in Hamburg  next week. If you need to reach us please send a text directed to our Editor, Patricia Wiseman at +1 206 229 7899. We anticipate many new product developments and innovations! Lets get started:


AIX

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the global event that showcases the leading innovations in the passenger experience, is creating a platform for further innovation at this year’s show with the launch of an Ideation Hub. The Hub, will allow attendees from across the supply chain to synthesize future innovative ideas and collaborate on key issues relating to passenger experience. This is just one of the new features at this year’s show, which returns to the Hamburg Messe from 10th – 12th April 2018. The sessions will take inspiration from ‘related worlds’, along with trends and technology from other industries, to generate ideas that will seek to provide the customers of tomorrow with a more seamless passenger experience. Polly Magraw, Exhibition Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, says: “The Aircraft Interiors Expo has become known as the global showcase for innovation in the passenger experience. The Ideation Hub we are introducing this year will take this to the next dimension as we work with attendees including engineers, designers and innovators to foster collaboration within the industry at AIX.

Innovations on display

Many exhibitors will be showcasing product innovations at this year’s show, including:

  •  Bucher: Displaying a new space-saving galley and front-row monument combination –  a lightweight galley that has been optimized for maximum storage space.
  • Inflight Canada: Displaying the new FAST USB power system being installed on British Airways’ A320 family fleet.
  • Juki: The first digital sewing system for heavy-duty seating.
  • Mirus: New developments of its Hawk economy seating platform including IFE and power systems, as well as storage and comfort options.
  • Molon Labe: Unveiling its S1: Space Seat, which is a non-sliding version of its Side-Slip Seat and targets the short-range market with several unique features.
  • Soisa: The Glowing Experience in seat lighting which integrates ambient lighting into the seat cover.
  • Vision Systems: The second generation electronically dimmable window, based on a new industrial process for enhanced optical quality and lower cost.
  • WiFi Technologies: Officially releasing its Aviator WiFi private sitcom network that enables cockpit and cabin crew to use their own tablets as full mobile satcom terminals during flight.

CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre and Crystal Cabin Awards showcase

Other enhancements for AIX 2018 include an expanded FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE programme, where attendees will have the opportunity to hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on major industry topics on 10th and 11th April 2018. These include ‘consolidation and the interiors supply chain’, ‘the future of inflight entertainment’, and‘predictive maintenance and the connected aircraft’, with speakers from leading companies including Lufthansa Technik, Delta Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Bluebox Aviation, along with a market outlook briefing from FlightGlobal’s Ascend consultancy.On 12th April at 11am, attendees will be able to see for themselves the innovations showcased at this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards in the CabinSpace Live Seminar Theatre, Hall B3 Upper, as the eight winners will present their winning concepts. Both events will take place in the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre in Hall B3 Upper.

Passenger Experience Conference

 The show-starter for AIX is the Passenger Experience Conference on 9th April, which brings together senior strategists from airlines, rail companies and from across the industry supply chain to holistically explore the latest passenger experience thinking with their peers. Visitors to the event will hear from leading speakers including Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, Paul Priestman, Director & Chairman of PriestmanGoode, Célia Geslin, Head of Product & Customer Experience at Joon, David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer of SITAONAIR, David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer at Panasonic Avionics, Steve King, Chief Executive Officer of Black Swan Data, and Scott Savian, Executive Vice President ZEO at Zodiac Aerospace.

In addition to keynotes on the topics of ‘New frontiers for transport and passenger experience’, ‘Disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry’, ‘Creating the world’s first spaceline’, and ‘Future Horizons’, the PEC will feature focused breakout sessions exploring ’Convergence and Mobility’,’ Flexible & Sustainable Thinking  and ’Personalizing the passenger journey’.

Passenger Experience Week

AIX is co-located alongside the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), a new event for 2018 showcasing and exploring the latest technology trends that are transforming the passenger journey. Together the three events, along with the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on 9th April, form Passenger Experience Week. Each year, Passenger Experience Week attracts more than 18,000 attendees from across the world, along with over 2,000+ VIP airline attendees from 260 unique airlines and lessors.

 


Astronics

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), received its first line-fit certification of the new EmPower® UltraLite in-seat passenger power system on a Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft for TUI Airlines.


Lufthansa Group

The Lufthansa Group is in an excellent position to be successful in in-flight entertainment (IFE) and aircraft digitalization: Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion are collaborating closely to drive the digital transformation above the clouds and enable passengers to have a modern and positive travel experience. The companies present their solutions for in-flight entertainment, connectivity, shopping and other digital on-board offerings at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg from April 10 to 12. According to the motto “One World of IFEC services”, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will be at booth #4B11 and booth #6B80.

Supporting an IFE product for an airline with a significant fleet takes a professional support organization and adequate resources – like the one offered by the Lufthansa Group. It is something most of the smaller companies with IFE solutions cannot deliver. “I have witnessed a trend toward professionalization in the industry, and I am sure that over the next two to three years we will see a huge consolidation in the market for wireless IFE solutions with only a handful of providers surviving”, says Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Together with our Group partners we are in an excellent position to serve our customers.”

One highlight at this year’s trade fair will be the new Power-&-Safe solution for BoardConnect Portable. This solution was developed by Lufthansa Technik in close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. In Hamburg, both companies show for the first time using a life-size model how the BoardConnect Portable Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) can be stowed in a safe inside the overhead storage compartment. Placing an additional power supply has eliminated the need for battery replacement. The solution is currently being installed at Air Europa.

Collaboration with Retail inMotion

Most passengers want personalized services on board an aircraft – easy to use and with relevant content. With that in mind, Lufthansa Systems and Retail inMotion will, for the first time, demonstrate the integration of the BoardConnect open aircraft IT platform with Retail inMotion’s e-commerce solution at this year’s AIX. One of the platform’s features allows passengers to create a personal profile, which the software uses to suggest personalized content. The longer the profile is used, the more the algorithm learns and the better the content recommendations become. The Retail inMotion platform is powered by Vector, its proprietary on-board retail management software. Vector is a comprehensive solution for on-board retail that includes a suite of modules for onboard payment processing and various back-office functionalities.

BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes three hardware versions: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portable version and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. The BoardConnect 5.0 open aircraft IT platform runs on all three versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables digital services from partners to be integrated easily and quickly. A demo at the booth shows how easy and fast new applications can be integrated using Docker technology. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with its BoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination.

Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, will take part in a panel discussion on „Making IFE accessible for everyone“ (Wednesday, April 11, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm). Free online registration is required at https://www.flightglobal.com/events/aircraft-interiors-expo/forecast-sessions-2018/.


Airbus

Aegean ‎Airlines, the biggest airline in Greece, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Airbus to purchase 30 A320neo Family aircraft comprising of 20 A320neos and 10 A321neos. The airline will also acquire a significant number of new A320neo family aircraft from leasing companies.  Aegean currently operated a fleet of 46 Airbus aircraft (37 A320s, 8 A321s and 1 A319). The A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver at least 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. With some 6,000 orders received from nearly 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent share of the market.

Martillac France | March 26, 2018– With the rapid growth of w-IFE solutions, the IFE/C industry has rapidly moved to the digital era.

Now, even the seatback screens provide personal-device-like experience and beyond the legacy video & audio sections, all the other IFE sections can be significantly revamped to deliver a full digital experience, including engagement, personalization, and many other exciting features.

Meals Menus, Corporate Content & Destination Section

These are the three pillars – the initial use cases of PXCom’s end-to-end solution.

“All the digital sections that we create intend to elevate the onboard experience by providing passengers with compelling content and to generate additional revenues for our airlines customers”, says Cyril JEAN, PXCom’s CEO. “For example, the interactive meals menu section can display the right content according to the seat class and route and encompass buy-on-board snacking options, as well as the ‘click and deliver’ features. As an example, an airline that intends to treat its premium passengers with a hand-picked wines & champagnes selection can offer to have their guests’ selection delivered directly to their home.”

Since PXCom is a French company filled with wine and foodie lovers, they have absolutely no choice but to provide only THE VERY BEST of food and beverage highlights!

XPlore by PXCom, the sponsored inflight microsite factory

PXCom’s technical wizards have extended XPlore by PXCom’s capabilities to enable brands and their media agencies to create their inflight microsites in full autonomy. As a result, they can deliver a customized digital inflight experience regardless of the type of IFE/C platform available onboard.
Thanks to PXCom’s partnerships with most of IFE manufacturers (both seatback, w- IFE and IFC) those microsites are automatically uploaded during the airline’s media content update slot and are seamlessly integrated into the GUI.

“We have been setting up XPlore’s sponsored inflight microsites on behalf of various customers now. The creation of the microsite is self-explanatory and very easy, thanks to the PXCom solution.”, states Christian SZABO, CEO of LASKER a major Cross Media Agency in Europe. “The integration of the microsite within the destination guide section offers advertisers the possibility for destination targeting in the IFE. By adding transaction-related elements, like downloadable voucher codes, advertisers are able to generate leads directly from the aircraft. Also, the reporting backend is swift and easy and provides all relevant KPIs that the advertising industry asks for”.

The digital inflight swiss knife

PXCom’s technology use case is absolutely limitless. Our latest activity is an airline wishing to promote its Freight/Cargo operations! The process is truly simple as some section templates have been specifically designed. By relying on them, the airline creates its microsite in a couple of clicks and the Cargo section is ready to be integrated on the IFE in the next content update slot.

We welcome you to visit #3C30A at AIX 2018

More about PXCom on www.pxcom.aero

AIX 2018: Entertainment, connectivity, shopping and safety – Lufthansa Systems presents new solutions to ensure the best passenger experience and aircraft digitalization together with Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion

Raunheim/Hamburg | March 28, 2018– The Lufthansa Group is in an excellent position to be successful in in-flight entertainment (IFE) and aircraft digitalization: Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Retail inMotion are collaborating closely to drive the digital transformation above the clouds and enable passengers to have a modern and positive travel experience. The companies present their solutions for in-flight entertainment, connectivity, shopping and other digital on-board offerings at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg from April 10 to 12. According to the motto “One World of IFEC services”, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will be at booth #4B11and booth #6B80.

Supporting an IFE product for an airline with a significant fleet takes a professional support organization and adequate resources – like the one offered by the Lufthansa Group. It is something most of the smaller companies with IFE solutions cannot deliver. “I have witnessed a trend toward professionalization in the industry, and I am sure that over the next two to three years we will see a huge consolidation in the market for wireless IFE solutions with only a handful of providers surviving”, says Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “Together with our Group partners we are in an excellent position to serve our customers.”

Collaboration with Lufthansa Technik

Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik have been engaged in a close partnership since 2015 to offer airlines inside and outside of the Lufthansa GroupBoardConnect, a modern, multi-functional on-board IT platform with broadband Internet access. Thanks to its state-of-the-art docker technology, BoardConnect can also serve as the basis for an Internet portal.

Lufthansa Technik – with its many years of experience in the field of aircraft modification –handles the equipment of entire fleets from a variety of manufacturers. Lconnect comprises all relevant products and services required to equip an aircraft: In addition to the physical installation, this includes all required aeronautical and regulatory work, conversion planning and materials supply, the manufacture of diverse high-end components such as the WLAN access point, the supply of materials in regular flight operation, and the repair of defective components. “The efficient conversion of large fleets and the reliable return of every single newly equipped aircraft to airline operations are the basis for generating new ancillary revenues,” says Lukas Bucher, Head of Product Connectivity at Lufthansa Technik.

One highlight at this year’s trade fair will be the new Power-&-Safe solution forBoardConnect Portable. This solution was developed by Lufthansa Technik in close cooperation with Lufthansa Systems. In Hamburg, both companies show for the first time using a life-size model how the BoardConnect Portable Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) can be stowed in a safe inside the overhead storage compartment. Placing an additional power supply has eliminated the need for battery replacement. The solution is currently being installed at Air Europa.

Collaboration with Retail inMotion

Most passengers want personalized services on board an aircraft – easy to use and with relevant content. With that in mind, Lufthansa Systems and Retail inMotion will, for the first time, demonstrate the integration of the BoardConnect open aircraft IT platform with Retail inMotion’s e-commerce solution at this year’s AIX. One of the platform’s features allows passengers to create a personal profile, which the software uses to suggest personalized content. The longer the profile is used, the more the algorithm learns and the better the content recommendations become. The Retail inMotion platform is powered by Vector, its proprietary on-board retail management software. Vector is a comprehensive solution for on-board retail that includes a suite of modules for onboard payment processing and various back-office functionalities.

“The interest in IFE and additional digital on-board offerings has always been very high. After a phase of mostly gathering information and evaluating, we now see more airlines ready to select a specific solution. Depending on the focus of the airline, they either opt for a short-term commitment with a portable solution or move straight to IFEC. Lufthansa Systems is one of the few providers who can deliver customized solutions based on the BoardConnect platform and in cooperation with partners to cover all variations and fleet types along the entire value chain,” emphasized Gaense.

The BoardConnect product suite

BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes three hardware versions: In addition to the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, there is the flexible BoardConnect Portableversion and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. The BoardConnect 5.0 open aircraft IT platform runs on all three versions. Thanks to its modern docker technology, the software enables digital services from partners to be integrated easily and quickly. A demo at the booth shows how easy and fast new applications can be integrated using Docker technology. Lufthansa Systems is also providing content such as movies, TV series, music and magazines with itsBoardConnect Media Services. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination.

Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, will take part in a panel discussion on „Making IFE accessible for everyone“ (Wednesday, April 11, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm). Free online registration is required at https://www.flightglobal.com/events/aircraft-interiors-expo/forecast-sessions-2018/.

Isle of Wight | March 27, 2018– IFPL will be demonstrating their latest audio products at AIX Hamburg in addition to their broad range of products that are now flying on the majority of aircraft around the world.

IFPL are a world leader in audio jack technology, enhancing the customer experience and providing a competitive total cost of ownership to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component in the IFE system, so delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and designing the unit to mitigate Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology that differentiates their audio products in the market. These include:

IFPL’s original Long Life Audio product line delivers a highly robust and reliable audio jack designed to minimise CID. The design, high quality materials used, testing to over 100,000 insertions ensure that these jacks are robust. IFPL use this Long Life technology for single, double and triple jacks. Additionally, IFPL’s design ensures that some dual and triple pin socket can also work as single pins, ensuring additional redundancy in the dual and triple pin solutions.

Rapid Fit technology delivers a solution for rapid on-wing maintenance. Rapid Fit has been designed with a replaceable cassette that house the jacks, whilst keeping the high-cost electronics in the main housing. This enables the lower cost part of the cassette to be simply swapped out on-wing in typically less than 30 seconds.

Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with a simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration. This technology has been tested to over 250,000 attachments and detachments.

Push Through Pin ensures the jack does not have to be replaced if a pin gets broken in the jack. The pin can simply be pushed through and collected in a reservoir at the back of the jack. This reservoir has been known to hold as many as 12 broken pins.

IFPL’s established range of audio products and solutions will be on display and the team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirement that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.

Visit IFPL at Booth 4B20.

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ABWN

IFExpress talked with Earle Olsen about Airborne Wireless Network (ABWN) announcement on March 12, 2018 and that they have arranged for light Aircraft for their Second Flight Test. On March 6th they entered into an agreement with Sough Bay Aviation of Torrance California for two Cessna aircraft with “the primary intent of this testing to utilize the inherent unstable platform of light general aviation aircraft to establish and maintain a robust self-healing Optical / RF link between two airborne aircraft.” ABWN added that this second test will expand on its initial RF proof of concept test, from May of 2017 with two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft and a mobile mast that emulated a ground station. They intend to conduct the test by modifying the two aircraft with their Infinitus Super Highway Technology that will incorporate the RF controlled Free Space Optics underlying its patent application they filed on July 25th 2017. The Company intends to create a high-speed broadband airborne wireless network by linking commercial aircraft in flight. It is projected that each aircraft participating in the network will act as an airborne repeater or router, sending and receiving broadband signals from one aircraft to the next and creating a digital information superhighway in the sky. The Company intends the network to be a high-speed broadband internet pipeline to improve coverage and connectivity. The Company does not intend to provide retail customer coverage to end users but, instead, act as a wholesale carrier with target customers, such as internet service providers and telephone companies. Currently, the world’s connectivity is achieved by use of undersea cables, ground-based fiber and satellites. They believe that the Company’s airborne digital highway may be a solution to fill the world’s connectivity void. Their network, once developed, should provide low cost, high-speed connectivity to rural areas, island nations, ships at sea, oil platforms, in addition to connectivity to commercial and private aircraft in flight, they told IFExpress. For further information see: www.airbornewirelessnetwork.com


Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems, with its wireless BoardConnect IFE solution, and partner castLabs will soon enable browser-based playback of DRM-protected movies on iOS devices. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and regulates the copy protection of digital movie files. This new technology means that passengers will no longer need to pre-install an app to enjoy movies and TV series on their own iOS devices while on board a flight.

The latest version of iOS from Apple, 11.2, allows protected video content to be played on smartphones and tablets in the Safari browser. Previously, this was only possible with the help of a separate player app. “If passengers can simply enjoy our entertainment offering on their own devices as they wish instead of having to install an app before departure, we believe this will increase the number of users,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products & Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “This not only improves the passenger experience but also creates a larger potential target audience for the airline’s advertising activities and ancillary revenue opportunities. Airlines also benefit from greater usability, as they no longer need to offer a separate app for their entertainment offerings.”

Different operating systems and device suppliers currently use different encryption formats for video file copy protection. This means that the same content has to be stored in several different formats for all passengers to be able to access it regardless of which device they are using. The new DRMtoday Onboard solution from castLabs changes all that. castLabs uses the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), which has a secure encryption converter. This means that airlines will only need to store a single encrypted video file on the aircraft for each movie or TV series that can then be safely used on any device.

“We are delivering technology that makes DRM-protected movie files playable on all devices, and in BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems has a proven and comprehensive IFEC solution with which to provide its entertainment offering – a perfect combination,” said Michael Stattmann, CEO of castLabs.

Both companies are currently working on integrating DRM today’s new functionality into BoardConnect to give passengers app-free access to onboard entertainment in the future. Passengers simply connect their own devices to the aircraft’s WiFi and are automatically taken to the airline’s entertainment homepage. From there, they can watch all content through their browser, regardless of their device’s model and operating system.


Boeing

Boeing’s new 737 MAX 7 successfully completed its first flight on March 16, 2018 (See rectangle image above). The airplane remains on schedule and now begins a comprehensive flight test program leading to certification and delivery in 2019. “Everything we saw during today’s flight shows that the MAX 7 is performing exactly as designed,” said Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager of the 737 MAX program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “I know our airline customers are going to enjoy the capabilities this airplane will bring to their fleets.”

Piloted by Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Jim Webb and Keith Otsuka, the airplane completed a successful 3 hour, 5-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, Wash., at 10:17 a.m. Pacific, and landing at 1:22 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field. The airplane was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.

The airplane is the third and newest member of Boeing’s 737 MAX family to be produced, with a maximum capacity of 172 passengers. The MAX 7 has a range of 3,850 nautical miles, the longest of any MAX family airplane. It is designed for exceptional performance for airline customers flying out of airports at high altitudes and hot climates. “The MAX 7 will provide airlines an efficient product for opening and flying thinner markets and accessing challenging airports, while enjoying all the benefits of being part of the 737 MAX family,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

The MAX 7 also carries 12 more passengers 400 nautical miles farther than the A319neo, on 7 percent lower fuel costs. The 737 MAX family incorporates the latest CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays and other features to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide. For more information and feature content, visit

Here are some specs:

www.boeing.com/commercial/737max.


Panasonic

In order to provide coverage to their Asian markets, Panasonic has reached a capacity agreement with APSATCOM’s new APSTAR-6D satellites with the goal to deliver Extreme Throughput via satcom to the Asian mobility markets.


Global Eagle Entertainment

We understand that they secured $150m investment from Searchlight Capital Partners which will be used to repay a $78m debt and the rest to fund growth.


Astronics Ballard Technology

The company was selected by SITAONAIR to provide webCS wireless aircraft communications server in an integration with its e-enabled application software. The goal is to deliver a connected aircraft ‘smart core’ for better airline operations.


US – Stay Alert

“A disruption of the airline and private-aircraft systems could have enormous economic and psychological effects. In recent years, several airlines have had to halt operations and suffered millions of dollars of lost revenue when their computer reservation systems crashed, for example. Terrorists have long targeted aviation because of its out-sized impact on society. Russian hackers attempted to penetrate the U.S. civilian aviation industry early in 2017 as part of the broad assault on the nation’s sensitive infrastructure. The attack had limited impact and the industry has taken steps to prevent a repeat of the intrusion, Jeff Troy, executive director of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center, said Friday. Troy wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the breach and declined to identify specific companies or the work that was involved.”

Alan Levin March 16, Bloomberg


Other News

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Wow! there is a lot going on in the business and we start off with a new Gogo President, Oakleigh Thorne, a big stockholder who has a history of 30 years of leadership experience – here is the release:

Gogo

Gogo announced that Oakleigh Thorne has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Thorne’s appointment follows the mutual decision by Michael J. Small and the Gogo Board of Directors for Mr. Small to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of the Company. Mr. Thorne, a director of the Company since 2003, has approximately 30 years of leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise. He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Thorndale Farm LLC, the family office of the Thorne family, which is the largest Gogo shareholder, owning approximately 30 percent of the Company’s outstanding common stock. Mr. Thorne has served in numerous senior management positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of two public companies.

From May 2000 until July 2007, Mr. Thorne served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eCollege.com.  Under Mr. Thorne’s leadership, he drove a five-fold increase in equity value which culminated in the sale of the company for more than $500 million. Earlier in his career, Mr. Thorne served as Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Clearing House (CCH) and led a significant operational transformation that culminated in CCH’s $1.9 billion sale to Wolters Kluwer in 1996.

“I am excited to work with the Gogo team as we move forward with urgency to execute on four strategic priorities: driving quality for airlines and passengers, sharpening our operational focus, achieving profitability with the money we have in the bank and driving shareholder value,” said Mr. Thorne. “We are highly confident in our ability to achieve our strategic and financial objectives as we improve execution and realize our significant growth opportunities.”

Ronald T. LeMay, Chairman of the Gogo Board of Directors, said, “With our best-in-class technology and capabilities, the Board believes that Gogo has a clear path to achieving our objectives and that now is the right time to transition leadership. After a comprehensive search process, the Board determined that Oak is the best person to help Gogo achieve our next phase of growth. Oak is a seasoned executive with a strong track record and his interests are aligned with all shareholders. Oak has made significant contributions to Gogo as a member of our Board and has a deep understanding of our business, strategy and operations. On behalf of the Board, we also thank Michael for building Gogo into a global leader and we wish him the best.”

(Editor’s Note: 2Ku has had success both in North America and internationally as well with some significant carriers selecting their 2Ku satellite offering: Delta, American, British Airways, Air France and Cathay Pacific – to name a few. As many of us in the industry are aware, Gogo has experienced some difficulties with the 2Ku antenna -oscillation along with a few other technical issues as well, which we hear the company is addressing. It is IFExpress’ speculation that stockholders are concerned with their investment given the aforementioned issues and the fact that Gogo has not seen a profitable quarter since their IPO in 2011. If we were an investor, we would also be worried about the new telecommunications coming down the pipe within the next few years – possibly 5G, and what that will mean for Gogo, as well as, other legacy connectivity providers in the IFEC realm. As a result, we wouldn’t be surprised to find Gogo courting a major telecom to help solve some of these problems in the very near future.)


ViaSat

Today, communications company Viasat debuted the fastest satellite internet available in the US — up to 100 megabits per second. It’s thanks to the Via-Sat 2 satellite system, which serves North America, Central America, the Caribbean and a small part of northern South America. Viasat is now also offering tiered unlimited data plans, from 12 to 30 megabits per second. The plans top out at $100 per month.

One of the goals of satellite internet is to provide a high-speed internet connection to homes located in areas that don’t have the ground infrastructure to support it. “The innovations we’re making across our satellite system allow us to do extraordinary things, from moving the satellite industry up-market by delivering premium services, speeds and plans that give consumers new choices in their internet service provider, to helping bridge the digital divide in the U.S. today,” said Mark Dankberg, Viasat’s chairman and CEO, in a statement. In addition to home internet, Viasat is also planning on using its Via-Sat 2 satellite to provide faster and more reliable domestic in-flight internet.

Satellite internet is becoming a bigger market, as the cost of access to space is lowered thanks to companies like SpaceX. Indeed, SpaceX itself is dipping its toes into the arena with the recent launch of two prototype satellites in its planned constellation.

Via-Sat 2 may have just launched in June of 2017, but the company is already working on the three-satellite Via-Sat 3 constellation. The new system is designed to blanket the world in high-speed internet access, with data speeds of up to 1 terabyte per second. It’s scheduled to launch in 2020 for America’s satellite, with the two covering the rest of the world to follow.

(Editor’s Note: We asked nice-guy, Don Buchman, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Aviation to give our readers a bit more on the growing ViaSat inflight connectivity solution, and he told IFExpress: “We know our airline customers and their passengers expect a great Wi-Fi experience, gate-to-gate. We invested in ViaSat-2, our next-generation satellite and ground network technology, to further extend our lead in offering airlines the most capacity available in the sky with even better economics. These factors enable us to give more airlines, their passengers and their crew faster speeds and higher-quality connectivity at the best in-flight connectivity cost.

It’s our job to ensure our in-flight internet service matches our customers’ high standards and expectations. Our ViaSat-2 satellite system nearly double the capacity of ViaSat-1, which means we can deliver even faster speeds; serve higher streaming demands—even in highly-congested air corridors and hubs; and enable optimal video streaming capabilities for the best in-flight viewing experiences onboard. Additionally, ViaSat-2 offers seven times more coverage as compared to ViaSat-1, which means we can now provide the highest-quality internet service to more locations, including: across the continental U.S., to the Caribbean and across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. And finally, ViaSat-2 essentially doubles the bandwidth economics over our prior generation satellite system, which enables us to offer in-flight internet service at the best cost to the airline.

Our technology takes a substantial leap forward—compared to any other in-flight internet service—which allows us to connect more passengers today, while accommodating the broadband demands of tomorrow.”)


Crystal Cabin Awards

In 2018 there are now 24 pioneering finalists for on-board innovations, the winners to be announced as every year, as part of the leading global trade fair for aircraft cabins, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April in Hamburg), at a gala dinner to be held at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the evening of Monday, 10 April. The winners will then present their concepts once more at the Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery, Hall B3, 1st floor, on Thursday 12 April, at 11 AM. Information on all finalists will be available there throughout the entire Expo.2018 finalists: 24 pioneering on-board innovations for airliners | CRYSTAL CABIN AWARD


Big Data/AI

It looks like Boeing and Microsoft are partnering for a efforts in the Big Data and AI and you can learn more here:Boeing and Microsoft: Taking the next step together in digital aviation – Transform  and here Your next Boeing flight may be getting a cloud and AI upgrade, courtesy of Microsoft – TechRepublic We do understand the deal will focus on Big Data to improve fuel consumption and improve maintenance. Further, you can be sure these two technologies will make their way into aviation and travel to improve the flight experience more and more in the next few years.


Airbus

The first Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB has rolled out of the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines later this year. Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York.

Following completion of the airframe assembly, the first aircraft has now moved to an outdoor station where it will undergo extensive ground tests, prior to installation of its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

The aircraft will then embark on a short flight test program to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will bring the additional range capability. These include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 L or 6340 Gal., without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance derived from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the A350 XWB Ultra Long Range is capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles or over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

The A350 XWB is an all new family of widebody long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems.

To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever. Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.


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The finalists for the Crystal Cabin Award 2018 have been decided. Aviation giants from around the world battle it out in eight categories for the coveted trophies.

Hamburg, Germany | March 1, 2018– There is hardly any other prize watched as closely by the aviation industry from year to year as the Crystal Cabin Award. The jury of international experts has now announced the finalists for this year’s 12th annual award. A total of 24 products and concepts are facing off in the final round in eight categories. Finalists this year include the new A380 First Class from Singapore Airlines, printed electrical wiring and an environmentally friendly water tap from British students. With 91 submissions reaching the shortlist, the competition this year was tougher than ever before. In 2018, for the first time, the white trophies will be produced using 3D printing technology. Just who gets to take them home will be decided on the evening of 10 April, 2018, during the leading global trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo.

New this year is the “IFEC” category, short for “In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity”. And this is not just a matter of technology, as finalist Bluebox Aviation Systems shows: the “Bluebox Accessible IFE” platform provides barrier-free access to in-flight entertainment for visually impaired passengers on long-haul routes. In partnership with Virgin Atlantic the product is already in use. Barriers are being broken down in other ways, too, with products such as the new “European Aviation Network” from finalist Inmarsat. More than 300 Deutsche Telekom ground stations will provide passengers with LTE network access above the clouds throughout Europe this year. Even more visionary, from a technological persepctive, is the in-flight entertainment concept from United Screens. This German company is offering the first on- board 3D television. Passengers don’t even need to use 3D glasses.

Three leading industry representatives have made the final in the “Cabin Concepts” category this year. From Airbus comes the “Airspace” cabin for the A320 range of aircraft, with an improved flight experience for passengers regardless of what class they are flying. Extra-large overhead lockers, light and airy panels and atmospheric lighting scenarios will make flying more pleasant even on short and medium-haul routes. PriestmanGoode has made it to the final with a long-haul Business-Class product. The design agency has brought its customer, Qatar Airways, into the last three with the new “Qsuite”. Up to four seats can be arranged together in the “Qsuite” to create a private area for the whole family. And Singapore Airlines is one class higher with its new A380 First Class suites. The secret is that the partition between neighbouring suites can be stowed away to allow for a genuine double bed, turning the flight almost into a hotel stay!

Everyday life on short-haul routes is generally not so comfortable — and not just for the passengers. The airlines have little time on the ground to get their aircraft ready for the next flight. The PASSME Consortium, based in Portugal, offers relief. The PASSME Innovative Aircraft Seat, a finalist in the “Cabin Systems” category, makes it possible to push the seats of an Economy row together during boarding, creating more space in the aisle. The result: less

congestion and quicker boarding. Finalist Rockwell Collins is looking at a different sort of separation with its “Silhouette MOVE”. The flexible partition between Business and Economy Class is curved in such a way that the Economy passengers sitting behind it can still stretch their legs or stow heavy cabin baggage. Zodiac Aerospace has turned its attention to one particular passenger need that crosses class boundaries with “Durinal”, an aircraft urinal cabin. The innovation will benefit female passengers, too, at least indirectly: when the men have their own urinal facility, the queue for the rest of the cabin will be reduced — and things may be a little cleaner, too.

On the subject of clean toilets: US manufacturer Boeing is looking at the hygiene factor this year, too, with its “Boeing Cabin Dry Floor” that has made the final of the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category. What makes this so special is that the innovative floor is almost sponge-like in its absorption of moisture, leaving a dry, germ-free surface. Austrian company Villinger, too, is looking at cabin floors with its allegedly indestructible heated floor panel. The photographic evidence of the product being attacked with a pickaxe obviously proved the company’s point: welcome to the final. And the third finalist here is VT Miltope with security software for wireless cabin networks, so that mobile devices in the sky can be as virus- free as the lavatory floor.

One finalist in the “Material & Components” category is bringing something reminiscent of science fiction to the cabin — behind the scenes. If Airbus and Altran have their way, the heavy, space-consuming cable harnesses behind the cabin wall panels will soon be a thing of the past. In the future, wiring — for lighted signs, for example — will be produced by a direct “Printed Electrics” process. The wow-effect that got Rockwell Collins into the final in this category, on the other hand, was visual in nature. The US company’s “Secant Luminous Panel” lights up the complete cabin ceiling with high-resolution images. Weigele Aerospace from the German Southwest, meanwhile, has its eyes clearly on creature comforts, reaching the final with its “Airborne Cooking Robot”. This new energy-saving oven for the galley allows for cold and warm food to be prepared on one plate at the same time so the crew can serve “to perfection”.

The “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category is all about individual components to increase passenger comfort. The focus extends to the back rows of the aircraft cabin: Californian company LIFT by EnCore, in collaboration with Boeing, has developed a comfortable approach to long-haul seating even in tourist class for the 787, soaring into the final for this category. The segment’s major players, Rockwell Collins and Zodiac Aerospace, are here too. The former developed the “Valkyrie Bed”, a form of roll-up mattress for Business Class, which can be drawn out of the side panel, across the seat, for a more comfortable sleep. Zodiac’s “Eco Zlounge”, meanwhile, enables Economy Class passengers to make use of an empty seat in front of them to stretch their legs onto the seat surface in front.

The Crystal Cabin Award isn’t just about the big names in the aviation industry, though, offering the next generation of stars the opportunity to position themselves with creative ideas. Universities from around the world are represented again this year in the “University” category. Britain’s Cranfield University made it into the final with “E-tom Smart”, a water tap that atomises water to achieve on-board water savings of up to 90 percent without impacting the cleaning effect for the passengers’ hands. The University of Edinburgh made it to the final round, too, with its pioneering “Li-Fi” technology, using visible light to transmit data much like wifi. “Li-Fi” is also extremely practical from a security perspective, too, as the transfer network only exists as long as the human eye can see the light source. America’s University of Cincinnati, the third finalist, is also pointing the way to the digital future. Together with Boeing, students have developed a hologram surface that turns the aircraft cabin into a virtual extended space.

The “Visionary Concepts” category, meanwhile, looks even further into the future. Included here this year is the “Day and Night” concept from Airbus, dividing premium cabins into a living/working zone and a separate sleeping zone. Finalist Renacen of Spain provides a virtual view of the cabin. Reminiscent of Google Street View, the 3D Seat Map VR allows passengers to pass through the cabin from home to choose their preferred seat for their next flight. Finalist Rockwell Collins, meanwhile, has gone significantly further with its “Universal Passenger Seat Interface” concept: an electronic system for seating that can be deployed everywhere from aircraft to private cars, creating completely new synergies throughout the transport sector.

Who will win the Crystal Cabin Awards 2018? Information on the awards ceremony and trophies

The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”.

To win, the 24 finalists now have to present their ideas in person to the 28 international experts of the jury. The winners will be announced, as every year, as part of the leading global trade fair for aircraft cabins, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 – 12 April in Hamburg), at a gala dinner to be held at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski on the evening of Monday, 10 April. The winners will then present their concepts once more at the Expo in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery, Hall B3, 1st floor, on Thursday 12 April, at 11 AM. Information on all finalists will be available there throughout the entire Expo.

The characteristic Crystal Cabin Award trophies are moving with the times, too. This year, for the first time, the trophies are being additively manufactured from aluminum using a honeycomb structure, under the auspices of FIT AG, a Platinum Sponsor of the Crystal Cabin Award.

Acclaimed industry award – acclaimed industry support

The Crystal Cabin Award stands for the idea of an independent platform for the industry to promote and honour innovation in aviation worldwide.

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A variety of entertainment modules and useful digital services will be soon enjoyable by every passenger onboard Air Nostrum planes. Multiple contents will be at passenger’s fingertips, easily accessed through their own smart devices (phones, tablets and PCs).

Barcelona, Spain | February 28, 2018– Air Nostrum full fleet will soon count on Immfly’s digital services. The first CRJ aircraft equipped with Immfly’s service will take off this April. The airline based in Valencia is the first Spanish airline to install a plugged portable solution, ideal for its aircraft’s size and flight duration.

Immfly is 100% focus on providing airlines with the opportunity to digitally revolutionize the passenger in-flight experience, by designing, developing and managing the onboard digital services platform, always adapted to each airline’s needs and specifications.

Immfly identified the need for short-haul and low-budget airlines on having an economical and functional embedded onboard digital services. According to Air Nostrum aircraft’s dimensions, the portable plugged technology is a powerful solution and ideal to its airline profile. Avoids time-consuming installation ́s processes, that usually comes with fixed solutions due to the exigency of having the major Supplemental Type of Certification (STC), allows operating savings of not having to charge and swap batteries every day and involves fewer costs of installation. For all of these, Air Nostrum decided to adopt the embedded portable solution SkyCube.

With the plugged portable solution, Immfly together with Air Nostrum present “Air Nostrum Play”, the onboard digital services platform that will be available as a freemium model to its passengers. Through a set of access points installed inside the planes, passengers will be able to connect to “Air Nostrum Play” and enjoy multiple entertainment modules among other airline services.

“Air Nostrum is a highly important client for us, it will prove a new technology and with a new business model perfectly suited for regional carries. The airline performs predominantly short-flights and therefore the services will be more oriented to TV shows, series, press & news, due to the flight duration. Bringing this services to regional carriers is a before and after in the IFE industry”, explains Vincent Tomasoni, Chief Customer and Content officer at Immfly.

“We are very proud to announce this partnership with Immfly, which will allow our passengers to enjoy media contents during their flights, therefore enhancing their onboard experience. We feel especially satisfied for having developed, together with Immfly and Sirium, an innovative technological solution, hat endows our regional full fleet with the ideal technology to bring a variety of media content onboard our aircraft”, mentioned Juan Corral, the Commercial Director of Air Nostrum.

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OK, Aviation Emoji’s are not the biggest news … probably not news at all, but we thought it would make a nice IFExpress rectangle so  here is where you can find them if your iMessages need them, and be sure to type “airplane” in search.

Next, we should mention that when we last reported on the forthcoming WPA3 Wi-Fi standard we received another input, this one  from Joe Winston, Senior VP Engineering at Zodiac Inflight Innovations and he told IFExpress: “Yes, we will see this on inflight Wi-Fi. The most important reason is that most inflight WiFi systems wish to be open so that any passenger can connect without having to know a password. Under WPA2, that means your data is also in the clear (typically, there are exceptions), and even if your data happens to be encrypted (like if you are browsing a web site with HTTPS), the URL that you are visiting was in the clear. Any passenger also connected to the WiFi is able to observe your traffic in the clear. With WPA3, this is fixed by using “individualized data encryption”. Even if you don’t use a password to connect, all of your traffic will be encrypted. Now other passengers can’t snoop on your Internet traffic.” Stay tuned on this one!


Now we will move onto the news.

ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced that it was recently selected by Air Esurfing (ARE) to provide supplemental type certificates (STCs) plus associated products and services for aircraft connectivity systems on a variety of aircraft for Chinese airlines. The work will be performed by the Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification group. Astronics will provide certification services to generate the antenna STC and the cabin distribution system Validation STC (VSTC) in partnership with ARE and Lufthansa Technik AG, the connectivity service provider for this project. As part of the award, Astronics will also provide adapter plates and installation kits for the aircraft. The initial award is for non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs and trial kits. Once the system is tested and approved, Astronics will support the installation of connectivity systems on up to 300 Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft from its operations center in Toulouse, France. “We continue to serve as the industry’s global, go-to partner for in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) certification services and hardware,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics CSC. “This represents yet another opportunity for Astronics to provide a menu of aircraft connectivity solutions to this growing and evolving market, especially in Asia.”

Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (formerly Telefonix PDT and Astronics Armstrong Aerospace) provides IFEC hardware and certification services for aircraft. Astronics CSC has worked on over 100 projects for industry partners to upgrade and certify commercial and business aircraft with new passenger power systems, IFEC, navigation, communication and flight safety systems. Additionally, Astronics CSC offers proven IFEC hardware systems, flexible design platforms, high customer satisfaction, and long-term relationships with industry leaders to help make the connected aircraft a reality. For additional information on services provided by Astronics CSC, visit Astronics.com. (Air Esurfing is a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media Group.)

On a further note, the wholly owned subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), is expanding its CorePower® system product line with a new 28VDC Electronic Circuit Breaker Unit (ECBU). As the newest addition to its successful line of ECBUs, the new unit provides 24 channels of 28VDC power in a lightweight, compact design that simplifies electrical system complexity while improving power system flexibility. The new ECBU incorporates Astronics’ latest solid-state electronic circuit breaker (ECB) technology and offers programmable ECB outputs that can be custom configured to each mission or aircraft.


GOGO

Gogo Announced Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2017 Financial Results and here a a few highlights:


THALES

Australia occupies a unique global position in the air traffic management (ATM) domain. The country’s Air Navigation Service Provider, Airservices Australia, manages the largest airspace in the world, totaling over 11% of the globe. Their ambition is to ensure the seamless integration of all civil and military air traffic over an area totaling 53 million square kilometers, approximately equal to the combined surface of North America, Central America, South America and China.


AIRBUS

Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announce the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance – which will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes. By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers – via satellite technology – with the same high speed, low latency connectivity from ground, to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user-experience.

The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation, and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.

“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “With the launch of our first production satellites set for later this year, we’re one step closer to bridging the global Digital Divide on land and in the air.”

“Easy-to-use, high-speed connectivity is part of the next revolution in aerospace,” said Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “We’re excited to create this seamless experience for our airline customers and their passengers. As we showed with our Skywise aviation data platform, Airbus is committed to innovation that creates value across the aviation industry.”

“We know that Delta customers have an expectation that their internet connection just works – no matter where they are in their travel journey” said Gil West, SEVP & COO. “Delta is constantly looking at innovative ways to improve the customer experience. We are excited to be collaborating with other visionary companies, and that our existing partner Gogo will be joining the alliance as Delta develops a system that not only benefits Delta customers, but the entire airline industry.

“With our 5G network rolling out next year we’re investing heavily to make sure our customers have the best mobile Internet experience possible,” said Dow Draper, Chief Commercial Officer, Sprint. “As an initial member of the Seamless Alliance, we’re looking forward to enabling customers to experience Sprint’s high-speed connectivity in the air, hassle-free.”

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said: “We are delighted to be an initial member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense. Over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel’s global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high speed data services even while they are in-flight. We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes LIVE at the earliest.” Airtel is the third largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.

Michael Small, CEO of Gogo added:  “As the  market-leader in inflight connectivity, Gogo is excited to join the Seamless Alliance. We look forward to working with the Alliance to develop future generations of inflight connectivity, which will provide airline passengers worldwide with simple, fast and reliable connectivity”

Editor’s Note: If you are wondering why this arrangement is proceeding you should note that it’s formation has a goal to make it easy to deal with installation, certification, maintenance, and customer billing. Watch for others to join this effort! Here is the link


SKYLIGHTS

It has just been announced Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) offered SkyLights’ Cinematic VR Entertainment to a delegation of VIP guests traveling between Japan, India and Sri Lanka from 21 to 27 January. JAL selected SkyLights’ solution to demonstrate its innovative spirit and gauge the potential of virtual reality as inflight entertainment. SkyLights is a high-tech immersive entertainment provider, leveraging virtual reality headsets to create cinema quality entertainment inflight. With SkyLights headsets, the 50 VIP passengers were given the opportunity to enjoy a selection of over 30 titles, including 180°/360° VR videos, 3D and 2D feature films and documentaries.


OTHER STUFF

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There is a lot of news to cover this week, so lets get going:

IFPL

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2018 in Hamburg, Germany. With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL will demonstrate how airlines can easily transition from USB Type-A to USB Type-C, either with or without USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD). IFPL will be demonstrating its Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that will allows airlines to support their passengers through the transition period from USB-Type A to USB Type C. IFPL has developed two combination variants, firstly a variant which has its existing high power reversible USB-Type A combined with a USB-Type C designed to work with the existing on-board power architecture, providing airlines a simple and low-cost upgrade path. Secondly, IFPL has developed a Reversible USB-Type A and Type C combination outlet that supports USB-Type C, with USB Power Delivery supporting Power Delivery Rules 1 to 4 delivering providing up to 60 watts of power to power laptops, as well as the regular Portable Electronic Device (PED) power.

IFPL will also demonstrate how and why it has sensibly split the 28V to USB-Power Delivery converter from the outlet. This allows for much easier seat integration and heat dissipation, plus allows airlines to take advantage of existing in-service DC power supplies, whilst future proofing the outlet. This will allow airlines to take advantage of the next generation DC in- seat power supplies that have USB-Power Delivery built in as a standard, allowing commonality of outlets across the fleets.

USB Power Delivery is the new standard for consumer electronics providing up to 100 watts of DC power (limited to 60 watts on aircraft). This is more than enough to power a laptop, smartphone, games console or camera, whilst significantly reducing the requirement for airlines to provide the more expensive AC power solutions, especially in economy. This unit has been designed to seamlessly integrate into the seat and deliver high levels of reliability.

Visitors to stand 4B20 can see IFPL’s new USB power delivery and USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology. In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their in-service high power and data USB-A outlet and they have extended this range to include the new 2020 USB-A outlet. This unit has been designed to allow seamless integration into the seat delivering an ergonomic and aesthetic advantage over traditional outlets enhancing the passenger’s experience. The modular design ensures easy on wing replacement should the connector become damaged and allow for an easy upgrade path to USB-C in the future. To demonstrate this IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensuring ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The modular approach has delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly incorporates the outlets into the seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system to enhance the passenger experience.

IFPL has announced its inductive charging unit that delivers wireless charging at the seat and once again these units have been designed to enable seamless integration into the seat. IFPL will show supporting design concepts for seatback PED holders and trays that provide USB and/or inductive charging. IFPL has been working with a number of seat vendors who will be displaying at AIX and they will be demonstrating how they have successfully integrated IFPL’s inductive charge unit into their seat. Further, they enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

IFPL is a world-leader in audio jack technology – enhancing the customer experience and providing a total cost of ownership advantage to the airline. The audio jack is a critical component of any IFE system and IFPL believes that delivering high quality sound, with high unit reliability and minimizing the impact of Customer Induced Damage (CID) is vital in maintaining customer satisfaction. To this end, IFPL has developed proprietary technology and products that differentiates their audio solutions in the market. These include:

Long Life Range
IFPL Long Life technology delivers a highly robust and reliable audio jack that minimize the effects of CID. The high quality materials and design ensures that these jacks are robust and have been tested to over 100,000 insertions. IFPL use this Long Life technology for single, double and triple jacks. Additionally, IFPL’s design ensures that each pin socket can work as single pins ensuring additional redundancy in the dual and triple pin solutions.

Rapid Fit Range
IFPL’s Rapid Fit technology delivers a solution to allow rapid on wing maintenance. The unit has been designed with a replaceable cassette, which house the jacks whilst keeping the expensive electronics in the main housing. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds allowing for rapid on wing replacement whilst keeping maintenance costs at a minimum.

INCAM Range
IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology allows noise cancelling in the jack rather than the headset, allowing all passengers to enjoy noise cancelling technology with the simple addition of a low-cost microphone in the headset. This keeps the headset cost low whilst providing a significantly enhanced audio experience for the passenger.

Breakaway MagSignal Range
IFPL’s patented MagSignal technology virtually eliminates CID. The headset can be pulled from any angle and simply detaches from the magnetic plug without damaging the jack or the headset. This extends the life of the headset and the jack and avoids CID. The floating magnets ensure a signal is maintained at all times during turbulence and vibration. MagSignal has been tested to over 250,000 attachments/detachments, demonstrating the robust capability of this technology.

IFPL also leads the way when it comes to deploying contactless Near Field Communication (NFC) for payment systems and personalization with global OEMs and airlines now using IFPL’s technology inflight.

AIX 2018 will see IFPL demonstrate NFC allowing airlines to provide easy seat back payment items, therefore increasing ancillary revenues. This has the ability to change the dynamic of the IFE systems value proposition, as passengers now have a combined entertainment and retail platform allowing them to browse, order and pay at their own convenience. Combine this with connectivity, big data, passenger personalization and broader distribution channels to deliver to the gate or at home, and the airlines have the ability to develop significant new revenue streams. As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to AIX 2018 may have.


Gogo

Gogo announced that Aeromexico will install 2Ku on an additional 9 Boeing 737-800NG’s, bringing the total to 29 aircraft.  Today, 20 of Aeromexico’s 737-800NG aircraft are flying with Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity technology. “Aeromexico was one of the first airlines to commit and deploy 2Ku and we are excited to extend our partnership and bring the industry’s leading inflight connectivity solution to their passengers,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s SVP and regional president for the Americas. The new aircraft are expected to be installed in 2018.

Gogo also announced recently that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15.  These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity. SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.  Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s chief technology officer.  “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.” Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

 


PEC/PEW

The Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the industry-leading global conference and networking forum that defines the future of the passenger experience, will return to the Hamburg Messe to kick-off Passenger Experience Week (PEW) on Monday 9th April 2018. This year’s event will feature a raft of leading speakers from across the passenger experience industry and beyond. With the first iterations of driverless cars, hyperloops, optionally-piloted air-taxis and electric planes all set to be realized in the next decade, this year’s PEC plenary session will address the many new frontiers for transport and the passenger experience.

Moderated by leading industry executive, Boeing’s Director Differentiation Strategy, Blake Emery, the session will start with a focus on disruptive possibilities and their impact on the airline industry, led by Richard Chung, Adient’s Vice President, Innovation and Design.

Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, will then launch delegates on a journey through the company’s development, with a stellar exploration on creating the world’s first spaceline. The plenary session will conclude with a look at Future Horizons, with a director of leading design consultancy PriestmanGoode looking at the impact of new forms of high speed transport such as Hyperloop, and the opportunities presented by autonomous vehicles and passenger drones.

The PEC delegation will then split into three streams; Convergence and Mobility, Personalizing the Journey and Flexible and Sustainable Thinking. Each of these streams is designed to offer delegates a deep-dive into the most pressing topics facing the passenger experience industry. Convergence and Mobility: From seamless urban mobility to the on-demand economy, this stream will explore how the cross-pollination of ideas across travel modes can enrich today’s passenger experiences and create new business opportunities. The keynote for this stream will be given by Kaj Pyyhtia, Co-Founder of the world’s first mobility service, with other leading speakers from AirlineTrends, Almadesign, Diehl Aerosystems, Embraer, Joon, KLM, LSG Group, N+P Industrial Design, Norwegian and TAP Air Portugal. Personalizing the Journey: Airlines and rail companies are increasingly offering personalized experiences to each and every customer, with connectivity and data-driven technologies being key to success. This stream will explore how operators can get close enough to their customers to truly understand what they want from the onboard experience and to build deeper and lasting relationships. Speakers for this stream will include leading executives from Black Swan, Cathay Pacific, eGate Solutions, Golfdale Consulting, Guestlogix, Panasonic Avionics, Spafax and the Valour Consultancy.Flexible and Sustainable Thinking: Examining how flexibility can be designed into products to afford more options for airlines and rail operators, this stream asks the question about what role sustainability plays in this equation. The keynote for this stream will be given by Christina Fagin from leading Hamburg-based circular economy consultancy, Gruner Hering, with other leading speakers from Airbus, Air New Zealand, Napaway Coach, Paperclip Design, the National Research Council of Canada, Recaro Aircraft Seating, Thomas Cook Group Airlines and Zodiac Aerospace. The day will conclude with the Industry Networking Party which takes place from 6:00pm – 9:30pm in the PEC venue at the Hamburg Messe. The party has become a popular networking event with the wide-range of food, drink and live music on offer making it the perfect place to enjoy meeting new people and building business connections.

The PEC is the launch event for Passenger Experience Week – which comprises four leading events in one destination: the Passenger Experience Conference, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and, new for 2018, Passenger Technology Solutions.

The new Passenger Technology Solutions event will offer attendees a chance to discover and source the latest developments in passenger technologies from mobile initiatives, IT solutions, big data and analytics technology and payment technology suppliers – all enhancing the passenger experience.

With all Passenger Experience Week events being staged under one roof, the Hamburg Messe is the destination to discover the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and retail offerings to create the ultimate passenger experience.

For more information about Passenger Experience Conference


Other Stuff

Looks like Google is heading for hotel bookings (Google now allows hotel bookings through search results | Hotel Management) … whats next?

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