APEX/IFSA
The other day, we got a note from Robin Applebaum, APEX Marketing Communication Director we thought you might like to see: “I wanted to reach out to you today with some exciting news from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA). This morning, APEX and IFSA announced a more tightly aligned relationship to better serve the global airline industry. This step will help to further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience; and will help IFSA to grow globally as the pivotal airline association of the catering and in-flight services market. While both APEX and IFSA will remain fully independent, this alliance triggers additional collaboration in the planning of association co-locations and events, joint working groups, reciprocal guest board member attendance at board meetings, as well as now having a common Chief Executive Officer serving both associations.”

When we asked for more background info, she responded: “As I am sure you are aware, APEX and the International Flight Service Association (IFSA), have had a long established ‘sister-association relationship.’ Last week’s announcement only serves to further align the two groups. As part of this strategic relationship, APEX will be leveraging IFSA to represent the foundation of the association’s catering and services sector. “This will not only help the association to grow its footprint, but will also further solidify APEX as the industry’s most influential member-based organization dedicated to elevating the entire passenger experience. For IFSA, aligning with APEX will help them to expand its reach globally, build additional strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations, and establish itself as the industry’s global representative of the growing catering and in-flight/onboard hospitality market.”

“Additionally, the inclusion of more catering and service elements at APEX events will attract greater numbers of senior airline decision makers who oversee this sector as well as IFE by offering a greater diversification of products, services and information. As demonstrated at APEX EXPO in Singapore, this type of approach yields an increase in potential customers for event exhibitors and other vendor participants. Finally, it will help to better position APEX events against the backdrop of assertive for-profit show competition.”


Gogo
“To celebrate the fleet-wide upgrade to their new JAL SKY NEXT product, the airline will start offering free Wi-Fi on all equipped domestic flights from February 1, 2017 till August 31st 2017. Connectivity is provided through Gogo using our satellite Internet technology. You’ll find the SKY NEXT product on select 777 -300, 777-200, 767-300 and 737-800 aircraft. JAL was our first international customer, and we’ve been honored to partner with them since 2014 on connectivity and entertainment for their domestic passengers.

This promotion from JAL is just one of the latest to offer Gogo products and services free to their passengers. Last year, we partnered with T-Mobile to provide free Wi-Fi to their subscribers, and most recently, Alaska Airlines rolled out their Free ChatTM product which lets passengers access popular chat apps like iMessage, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp on their smartphone.

In addition to connectivity promotions, we also provide the technology allowing airlines to offer free wireless entertainment to their customers. The product, called Gogo Vision, streams movies and TV shows from our airborne server to most mobile devices, laptops and tablets. Movies and TV shows from Gogo Vision can now be found on more than 2800 aircaft on some the largest airlines in the world. Today, many of Gogo’s airline partners are offering all or some of the content free to passengers.”


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers.

Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.

“We think this is an exciting time for the Satcom market. With more and more operators and executives finding it essential to conduct business and stay in sync with the home office while traveling, we hope reducing airtime charges will encourage more aircraft owners to invest in installing Satcom systems in their aircraft,” says Kremsreiter. Satcom systems work everywhere (except at the poles) so in addition to increasing productivity, Satcom hardware increases the aircraft’s value and worldwide marketability when it comes time to sell.


SITA
Airlines and airports are investing in technologies to help predict and prepare for future events. This is according to The Future is Predictable, a report published today by air transport IT provider, SITA. It outlines how efforts are being made to tackle the estimated US$25 billion[1] cost of flight disruptions to the air transport industry by harnessing artificial intelligence, cognitive computing, predictive analytics and other progressive technical capabilities.

SITA’s analysis reveals that predictive tools using artificial intelligence and cognitive computing are likely to be adopted by half of airlines and airports over the coming five to 10 years. However, a few front runners are already trialing predictive modeling, machine learning, and data mining. These efforts are mainly focused on initiatives that will provide passengers with more relevant information about their journey to create more seamless and personal experiences.

During 2017, SITA Lab will be validating delay predictions with airlines and airports and expects to complete up to five trials with its industry partners. The next stage will be to incorporate its delay prediction algorithm and disruption warning feeds into SITA’s services to the air transport industry. In the report, leading airports and airlines share their experiences including Gatwick Airport where a seamless passenger experience from curb to gate is the goal. Here several different areas of airport activity are tracked to measure performance and move towards predicting it.

As artificial intelligence develops the importance of maintaining the human touch is not lost on the airlines and airports. Indeed, the combination of people and artificial intelligence is described as transforming the travel experience. The science of artificial intelligence is developing quickly and airlines and airports are turning to the academic community to help them with predictive tools to tackle disruptions. SITA’s report discusses research that is being carried out with scientists from Binghamton University, State University of New York; University of Nottingham as part the European Union-funded consortium PASSME; Carnegie Mellon University; Oxford University’s Data Science Laboratory in the Mathematical Institute and University College London School of Management.

The Future is Predictable combines SITA’s global industry experience and studies with commentary and case studies from airports and airlines that are investing in the latest research and technologies.

Check out the full press release here.
For further details download SITA’s full report – The Future is Predictable


Phitek
New Zealand-based audio equipment and technology developer Phitek Systems has been sold to New York-listed Amphenol Corp, providing an exit for a number of domestic VC investors. Phitek’s previous backers include Direct Capital-managed TMT Ventures and Stephen Tindal’s K1W1 investment vehicle. TMT, which has been invested since 2005, has a direct 27 per cent and a 14 per cent holding shared with the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. Meanwhile, K1W1 owns 39 per cent. Phitek designs and supplies aircraft in-flight entertainment interconnect products for the commercial aerospace industry. You can read more here.


Lufthansa Technik
Luftahansa Technik has announced a two-in-one solution (TIOS) antenna radome for the Boeing 737-700 and -800. The antenna, installed on the vertical stabilizer to reduce drag and positively affect the aircraft’s center of gravity, will make it possible to install Ka-band antennas to provide high-speed internet, TV connections and a high-definition camera. The radome is up to 200 lb. (100 kg) lighter than the original and is FAA validated and has an EASA Supplemental Type Certification. You can find satellite communication options, products, services and companies in MRO Links, MRO-Network.com’s searchable directory.

TIOS – Two antennas under one radome – YouTube


Notes

  • Rich Salter told IFExpress: “Re: data transmission via light (LiFi), I just signed on to Moderate a session at AIX’ Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on April 3 in Hamburg. It is the Tech Horizons session (last one of the day) in the Connected Journey track, and one of the presenters is Prof Harald Haas of Edinburgh who is founder of PureLiFi  – and he coined the term “LiFi” too.”
  • Richie Sugimoto reports that Aircraft Cabin Systems has just received Certification of ISO9001 and AS9100 – Congratulations!

More Stuff

  • Tablet Device Revolutionizes Inflight Crewmembers’ Role and Their Ability to Offer Even More Personalized Customer Service
  • All Inflight Crewmembers Expected to Have a Personal Device by April 2015

New York | August 14, 2014– JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU), New York’s Hometown Airline™ announces today that it will provide each inflight crewmember with an iPad mini for use as a point of sale and document management device. Crewmembers who will be working Mint flights, JetBlue’s new premium service offering between New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) and soon San Francisco (SFO), will be among the first to use this new technology onboard, and by April 2015, every inflight crewmember will have a device for onboard use.

In addition to deploying tablets, the airline is also debuting the In-Flight Service Assistant (IfSA), a purpose-built application and crew portal through which crewmembers can access key business applications to help facilitate the delivery of exceptional customer service and enhance operational efficiency while onboard. JetBlue also plans on releasing other core business applications that will provide Crewmembers with easy access to any forms, manuals and other resources that will streamline its operation and enhance the airline’s award winning service.

“We’ve recently made a number of exciting and innovative onboard enhancements to enrich the customer experience, such as expanding inflight entertainment, introducing Fly-Fitm and being the first US carrier to allow customers to use portable electronic devices gate-to-gate,” said Joanna Geraghty, Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, JetBlue Airways. “It’s clear the connected cabin is the next big thing, and with the introduction of iPad minis, our inflight crewmembers will be able to know more about our customers onboard and will have a better sense of real time opportunities and challenges on the ground as we look for ways to enhance our customers’ experience with that information. With this new tool, the possibilities are endless.”

Currently, JetBlue’s inflight crewmembers can use the IfSA app on their iPads to access an electronic manifest that not only shows if there are customers with special needs onboard, but also identifies TrueBlue and Mosaic customers. The iPads also assist crewmembers in completing onboard purchases as a point of sale device and contains translation technology that can translate questions, comments or concerns from customers in any language.
“Our inflight crewmembers already deliver award-winning customer service. This tablet solution will allow them to deliver an even better JetBlue experience, ultimately enhancing convenience and efficiency for customers,” said Blair Koch, Vice President Commercial and Shared Development Services, JetBlue Airways. “I am honored to lead the team responsible for refreshing the JetBlue Experience.”

By December 2015, not only will inflight crewmembers be able to access their schedules, review their hotel and transportation information and acknowledge changes, but the airline can potentially provide them with limited access to customers’ JetBlue flight and onboard purchase history in an effort to personalize the onboard experience for better customer relationship management.

“We are very excited to provide our inflight crewmembers with the enhanced tools that they will need to continue delivering the award-winning JetBlue Experience,” said Rachel McCarthy, Vice President Inflight Experience, JetBlue Airways. “By giving our crewmembers tablets to use onboard, we can increase our product offerings and marketing capabilities. My hope is that our inflight crewmembers will also have their flight attendant manuals on the tablet which will allow them to have everything in one place. Additionally, with this new device, our inflight crewmembers could potentially video conference for medical emergencies or technical difficulties and become even more effective in their roles as safety professionals.”
Since the successful implementation of iPads for JetBlue’s pilots as electronic flight bags in November 2013, the iPad mini was subsequently deployed for the inflight crew. Now, both groups can conveniently work together in a connected environment and provide real-time responses to any number of situations that may arise. Additionally, inflight crewmembers will have the ability to preempt or proactively address service recovery issues while onboard.
JetBlue is progressively rolling out Fly-Fi satellite broadband internet service across its fleet. As of today, 61 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft were outfitted with this lightning fast service.

JetBlue is New York’s Hometown Airline, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 86 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 850 daily flights. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, an overnight stay is never required and the first checked bag is free (subject to weight and size limits and exceptions for itineraries including flights marketed or operated by other airlines). For more information please visit JetBlue.com.

– Enhanced Show, 9 – 12 September, puts focus on growing reach of Airline Passenger Experience industry

New York, NY | June 25, 2013– The APEX/IFSA EXPO is the only event of its kind: industry-driven and devoted to the entire passenger experience. And this year, the event will comprise an exhibitor list more representative of the entire industry than ever before, as the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) team up for an event packed with educational programming, a business-oriented EXPO floor, the third annual Passenger Choice Awards Ceremony and multiple opportunities to connect with industry decision-makers.

The APEX/IFSA EXPO will be 9-12 September in Anaheim, California USA.

“For anyone in the business of improving the passenger experience, this is the event to attend,” said Russell Lemieux, executive director for APEX. “We anticipate more than 500 representatives from 100 airlines from around the globe, as well as more than 250 supplier companies whose products and services are making air travel more comfortable, convenient and enjoyable than ever. And with registration numbers already on the rise in recent years, we expect to see more than 3,500 total attendees this year.”

In previous years, the event was two separate shows, made up of the APEX EXPO and the neighboring IFSA Annual Conference & Exhibition. This year, the shows will be fully integrated to encompass every aspect of the passenger experience – comfort, ambience, multimedia and services – and give airlines and service providers even more access to the companies that are crucial business partners in this industry.

The event itself has been entirely revamped to include a new focus on those sectors, with a new Comfort/Ambience section of the exhibit floor and educational panels devoted to related topics. And the closer collaboration between APEX and IFSA ensures more opportunities for all attendees, according to the organizers.

“The APEX/IFSA EXPO will offer attendees multiple opportunities to network with key decision makers in one convenient place,” said Jim Fowler, executive director for IFSA. “This show is a cost-effective way for airlines and partners to maximize their time and gain a competitive edge.”

Registration will be open for both groups by 1 July.