France | June 9, 2017– Launched last Friday by an Ariane 5 rocket, the EUTELSAT 172B satellite entered a new phase of its journey in space at 2pm today with the initiation of the ascent to geostationary orbit. The first European high power electric satellite, built by Airbus, will take approximately four months to complete the climb to 172° East, monitored by Eutelsat and Airbus from Toulouse using a dedicated network of stations located around the planet. Eutelsat’s new satellite is scheduled to enter into service in the fourth quarter of this year.

Since launch, EUTELSAT 172B has undergone a series of critical manoeuvres that include positioning of electric propulsion motors attached to robotic arms in preparation for orbit-raising, and the full deployment of solar panels to generate power during this phase.

EUTELSAT 172B will deliver increased capacity for fast-growing applications that include in-flight and maritime connectivity, cellular backhaul, corporate networks, video and government services. It will be located at 172° East, a key neighbourhood providing exceptional Asia-Pacific reach over land and sea, from Alaska to Australia. Designed to replace EUTELSAT 172A, it will provide increased capacity, more power and improved coverage via C and Ku-band payloads connected to a range of service areas. Following the transfer of traffic to the new satellite EUTELSAT 172A will continue commercial service at another orbital position.

Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, said: “A week since launch, EUTELSAT 172B has passed the critical stages of its deployment before embarking on the ascent to geo. This complex process reflects meticulous preparation by Eutelsat and Airbus teams who have worked hand in hand on a ground-breaking satellite programme customised for Asia-Pacific markets.”

  • New survey conducted by Inmarsat and GfK shows that 92% of passengers would like to access onboard connectivity and 54% would prefer it over in-flight meals
  • Airlines need to offer a reliable, high-quality broadband service to boost passenger uptake, according to extensive survey of over 9,000 people from 27 countries

United Kingdom | May 24, 2016– One of the most comprehensive surveys of airline customers worldwide reveals that passengers now not only expect broadband services to be offered as standard during flights, but more than half would prefer in-flight connectivity to in-flight meals.

The In-Flight Connectivity Survey was conducted by Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and market research company GfK between August 2015 and March 2016. Responses were gathered from more than 9,000 passengers in Europe, Asia, Australasia, and Central and South America who had taken a short, medium or long haul flight in the past year and carried at least one personal device onboard the aircraft.

Passenger reliance on remaining online using their smartphones, tablets and other devices now means that most travellers (83%) will select an airline based on whether they can remain logged into social networks, video streaming sites, apps and emails throughout their journeys. In addition, passengers are willing to pay to receive the best possible service.

The survey also found that most passengers would prefer to connect their smartphones, tablets or laptops to the internet during their journey as opposed to eating a meal, accessing in-flight entertainment or experiencing duty free shopping.

In terms of deciding whether to connect to broadband onboard an aircraft, of upmost concern to passengers is reliability, as identified by 75% of respondents, over speed which was a priority for just 19%. Among those who have had the opportunity to use in-flight broadband, one in ten were unable to connect their devices to the aircraft’s network.

Quality is therefore the essential factor for passengers in determining whether to use in-flight broadband. 60% of passengers are less inclined to connect if the service is poor, but a reliable service that does not disconnect at regular intervals can expect to be well used.

Survey Highlights
· 83% of passengers prefer to choose an airline that offers in-flight broadband;

· 78% of passengers expect to see onboard connectivity replace in-flight entertainment systems within the next five to ten years;

· 34% of passengers bring three mobile devices onboard a flight and are willing to pay to connect their phone, tablet or laptop computer to in-flight broadband;

· In terms of willingness to pay for broadband services on a flight of any length:

o In Europe – 69% of passengers are prepared to pay;

o In Asia Pacific – 67% of passengers are prepared to pay; and

o In Latin America – 64% of passengers are prepared to pay.

Surging demand
The proliferation of electronic portable devices means that passengers expect in-flight broadband to replicate the same levels of connectivity they experience when browsing on the ground. Furthermore, demand for onboard connectivity is not just restricted to long-haul travel, passengers are equally willing to pay to log-in whether they are flying short distances (64%), medium haul (68%) or long haul (69%).

Regional breakdowns
Passengers across the world have different needs when it comes to in-flight broadband, with those in Latin America primarily looking to connect in order to stream video as a priority. They are also most likely to think in-flight connectivity will usurp in-flight entertainment.

Asia Pacific passengers mainly seek access to travel websites and apps. European travellers, who are used to onboard connectivity everywhere they go, want to be able to keep up-to-date and in constant contact with friends and family whenever they travel on flights.

Turning point
The Inmarsat In-Flight Connectivity Survey highlights airline passengers’ increasing reliance on connectivity wherever and whenever they fly and there is clear indication that this level of demand is set to continue in the future.

Additional information on the survey, including white papers, infographics and regional break-downs for Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America, are available on Inmarsat’s website.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Demand for broadband in the sky has reached such unprecedented levels around the world that airlines, as well as those in the business aviation and aircraft lessor markets, need to meet passenger expectations or risk losing out to their competitors.

“Our survey clearly demonstrates that passengers demand a highly reliable service. Quality is the essential ingredient that determines whether or not passengers choose to go online during flights. Airlines are therefore under pressure to select the right partner to support them in delivering a reliable and cost effective service. Inmarsat has the infrastructure, commitment and investment power to deliver the best capacity, now and in the future.”

Inmarsat recently unveiled an aviation broadband roadmap to ensure that rising demand for fast, reliable and global in-flight connectivity is met for the next five years and beyond. The launch of its Global Xpress (GX) Aviation service this year creates the world’s first high-speed passenger broadband solution with seamless, end-to-end global coverage, delivered through a single operator. Engineered to meet the needs of complex and evolving airline route systems, initial customers include Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Jazeera Airways.

The GX network, which entered commercial service with three powerful Ka-band satellites in December 2015, will provide the international bandwidth capacity needed to meet existing and near-term demand from airlines. It also serves as a global coverage underlay that will be built upon as part of the aviation broadband roadmap to meet future demand.

Inmarsat is scheduled to launch its fourth GX satellite, produced by Boeing, later this year and has awarded Airbus Defence and Space a contract to build two additional satellites (Inmarsat-6 F1 and F2) with a Ka-band payload to add depth to its global GX coverage. The first Inmarsat-6 satellite is scheduled for delivery by the close of the decade.

Another vital component in the roadmap is Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network, which will be the first aviation passenger connectivity solution across European airspace to integrate an advanced satellite network and LTE-based ground network; the latter will be operated by Deutsche Telekom. The first commercial EAN trials are expected in mid-2017.

Infographic

Blue Bell, PA | April 28, 2016– MEN Micro Inc. now offers a robust ARINC 600 compliant high speed network server for inflight communications. Pre-integrated and pre-qualified to DO-160G up to the operating system, the versatile MP70S enables aircrafts to achieve new levels of inflight connectivity for wireless data transmission, entertainment, and system maintenance applications.

  • CompactPCI Serial based in-flight network server
  • ARINC 600, 4MCU housing with status display
  • Intel Core i7, quad-core 64-bit processor
  • 16-port managed Gigabit Ethernet Switch
  • Two rugged hot-plug HDD/SSD shuttles with locking support
  • Two antenna interfaces for WiFi and/or 3G/4G cellular interfaces

Application-ready, CPCI Serial-based system for high speed data handling

Using the latest Intel Core i7, quad-core 64-bit processor, the MP70S easily handles the high performance computing and networking requirements of modern avionics applications.

A carrier-grade, managed 16-port Ethernet switch ensures high availability, providing six ports internally and 10 via the ARINC 600 connector.  The new airborne server can simultaneously act as a passenger-accessible wireless access point, while providing a cellular 3G/4G connection for data loading.

Based on CompactPCI Serial, the MP70S is a scalable system offering flexible I/O configuration and long-term availability. Exceptional reliability is ensured through the extremely robust, conduction cooled housing and firmly soldered components as well as the elimination of any maintenance-intensive cables.

The application-ready, general purpose platform is ideal for a variety of inflight applications such as wireless content servers, web or flight maintenance servers, as well as in-flight entertainment systems.

An ARINC 600, 4 MCU housing features a multipurpose OLED display that enables easy viewing of system status, operating instructions, and user-defined data points.

Servicing and maintenance are easily handled through a convenient front panel, which also provides access to two USB 3.0 interfaces for fast, efficient data uploads and internal disk updates. Two hot-pluggable 2.5″ SATA HDD/SSD shuttles, supporting a total storage capacity of 1.8 TB, and two SIM card slots are also accessible via the front panel.

The robust system provides interfaces for ARINC 429 and ARINC 717 as well as discrete I/O for connectivity to legacy aircraft equipment.

Los Angeles, CA | April 26, 2016– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., (Nasdaq:ENT) (“GEE”) a worldwide provider of media content, connectivity systems and operations solutions to the travel industry, and Dubai-based flydubai today announced the launch of inflight connectivity and entertainment on flydubai Boeing 737 aircraft, utilizing GEE’s Airconnect Ku IFE&C system.

Deployment of the Airconnect system on flydubai’s fleet is underway, providing high-speed connectivity and live television to passenger’s personal devices inflight. In addition to connectivity and broadcast television, GEE provides flydubai with media content for viewing on the airline’s seatback inflight entertainment system, as well as electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions to support airline operations.

“This launch marks a major milestone in delivering high-speed satellite connectivity aboard our flights and brings technical capabilities that will continue to differentiate the airline from its peers,” said Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai. “GEE’s total end-to-end solution allows us to enhance our award-winning IFE&C strategy and bring a new level of service to our passengers.”

“GEE has enabled flydubai to take control of the total inflight passenger experience like never before, starting with integrated inflight entertainment, connectivity, digital media solutions and rounding it out with real-time data operations solutions,” said Dave Davis, Chief Executive Officer, GEE. “We’re looking forward to tailoring additional solutions that will continue to enhance the flydubai passenger experience in the months and years ahead.”

Hamburg, Germany | April 5, 2016– Thales has been selected by Airbus as Lead Supplier for HBC solutions to be deployed on A320, A330 and A380 aircrafts in linefit and retrofit mode.

Thales’ High Bandwidth Connectivity solutions will provide passengers the bandwidth they need to enrich their travel experience and airlines with the connectivity solution that satisfies their operational requirements.

This selection is an important milestone in the long-standing relationship between Airbus and Thales. In addition to the already selectable GX Connectivity solution for A350s, this agreement enables Thales to become linefit offerable for connectivity products and related VAR services on all legacy Airbus platforms, today and in the future.

HBC solutions are designed to operate standalone or connected to an IFE system.

Thales’ inflight entertainment and connectivity portfolio combines innovative technologies, a global support network, with a complete ecosystem that provides airlines valuable services to improve operational efficiencies and increase passenger engagement.

In this safety-critical and technology-rich environment Thales has a pedigree and global presence no other provider can match, across aviation, avionics, satellite networks, connected skies, cyber security and passenger entertainment.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa | April 5, 2016– Air Astana passengers will soon become among the first in the world to experience broadband in-flight connectivity following an agreement recently signed with air transport IT provider, Rockwell Collins.

Internet access will be available using personal computers, tablets and smartphones.

Air Astana will install the associated Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) high speed connectivity system on its fleet of Boeing 767 airliners commencing in September 2016. This will make Air Astana one of the world’s first airlines in the world to go operational with the GX system.

“As a customer oriented airline, Air Astana is always looking to improve the passenger experience on the ground and in the air. We’re very excited about the new in-flight connectivity opportunities that GX reliably provides to Air Astana passengers,” said Andrey Gulev, Commercial Engineer Manager at Air Astana. “After carefully reviewing a number of competing offers, Air Astana’s decision came down to Rockwell Collins’ ability to provide a cost-effective solution that was tailored to meet all our needs.”

“This GX Aviation service opens up new possibilities for Air Astana and its customers,” said Jeff Standerski, senior vice president, Information Management Services (IMS) for Rockwell Collins. “Air Astana’s passengers will soon experience what only a handful of others around the world will—the fastest and most reliable inflight connectivity available. For Air Astana, this service offers the opportunity to develop new offerings that go far beyond what’s possible today.”

The new service will be available to Business and Economy class passengers on all three of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s. Using their own devices passengers will be able to surf the internet, use various instant messenger applications and check e-mails. First aircraft installation will commence in September 2016 and will be followed by system installation on the other two aircraft in March and September 2017.

  • Portable IFE solution for short- and medium-haul flights and innovative mCabin crew app

Raunheim/Hamburg, Germany | April 4, 2016– Lufthansa Systems today announced that it will present its multi-award-winning BoardConnect wireless infotainment platform – both the classic version and the all-in-one BoardConnect Portable – at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. The IFE platform now offers shop functionalities which enable airlines to place offers from partner companies in order to generate additional revenues. Visitors to AIX can also find out about the innovative mCabin crew app, which is now available for Windows 10 as well.

In order to keep pace with current developments in the industry, airlines are looking for low-cost solutions which give their passengers an individualized and contemporary travel experience. Lufthansa Systems has addressed these needs by developing BoardConnect Portable. “Our all-in-one solution allows airlines to offer their passengers a cutting-edge IFE system without having to invest in expensive hardware,” said Norbert Müller, Senior Vice President BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems.

BoardConnect Portable is even easier to use and more flexible than the conventional BoardConnect solution. Its advantage is that all of the technical components needed for an IFE system – such as a server and access points – are combined in a single device, the Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU). An MSU is about the size of a conventional tablet, weight less than 1.5 kg and can supply up to 50 passengers with top-quality streamed content. Since MSUs qualify as non-permanently installed equipment, airlines don’t incur high installation and certification costs.

As with the conventional BoardConnect systems, passengers can use an app to stream content to their own tablets or smartphones during a flight – including video and audio on demand, games, a shop and a moving map with points of interest (POI) relating to various topics.The open platform architecture allows for an easy integration of services that generate additional revenue for the airlines and their partners, such as hotel bookings, tickets for events or places of interest at the destination and additional advertising.

BoardConnect Portable is already proving popular: Lufthansa’s subsidiary Eurowings will use the product in the future so that it can offer its customers on-board entertainment even on short- and medium-haul flights. The portable solution from Lufthansa Systems is also one of the finalists in this year’s Crystal Cabin Award in the “Electronic Systems” category. This renowned industry award is traditionally presented during AIX.

Visitors to the trade fair can also find out about the innovative mCabin crew app, which has recently become available for Windows 10. Lufthansa Systems further developed this software solution so that it can be used on Microsoft’s new universal Windows platform (UWP), which enables crews to access all of the software’s functions through a comfortable, intuitive user interface regardless of the device.

mCabin provides the cabin team with all of the passenger service information they need, including a passenger manifest complete with information about the passengers’ seats, status, food preferences and special requirements. mCabin’s features include interactive duty rosters as well as an option for adding notes to documents such as crew briefings and synchronizing them via an existing Internet connection. Thanks to its powerful reporting capabilities, incidents on board can be immediately processed digitally. And to bring mobility to IFE, the BoardConnect crew front-end is being integrated into mCabin.

  • More than 50 percent of global passengers say in-flight Wi-Fi availability plays an integral role in their airline choice when booking a flight.

Chicago, IL | April 4, 2016– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the global leader in providing broadband connectivity solutions and wireless entertainment to the aviation industry, recently conducted a global study on in-flight connectivity and entertainment and found that the demand for in-flight connectivity services continues to soar and drive passenger behavior.

Gogo’s global study reveals that when choosing a flight, more than half of global travelers factor Wi-Fi into their choice of airline.

The U.S. market has become saturated with in-flight Wi-Fi and wireless in-flight entertainment. But, the interest in these services is even greater for travelers in the rest of the world, where the proliferation of in-flight connectivity is still in its early stages. Outside the U.S. and Canada, 86 percent of travelers say they are interested in using in-flight connectivity vs. 75 percent within the U.S. and Canada. When it comes to wireless in-flight entertainment, 76 percent of global travelers show interest vs. 67 percent of U.S. and Canadian travelers.

The percentage of passengers boarding a flight with at least one Wi-Fi enabled device also continues to climb. Today, 90 percent of global passengers brought at least one Wi-Fi enabled device on-board their last flight. When it comes to smartphones and tablets, Android is the operating system of choice among global travelers. There are more than twice as many Android powered smartphones as iPhones being carried onboard the world’s commercial aircraft.

“The need for ubiquitous connectivity is no secret. There are very few places on earth today that people can’t connect and the plane is really the last frontier,” said says Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “What’s surprising to us is that the demand is actually higher outside of the U.S. and Canada, where we are just scratching the surface in terms of connecting planes. The growing demand of in-flight services outside of the U.S. and Canada creates a significant opportunity for airlines servicing these regions around the world.”

Gogo has created an infographic that details some of these findings, which can be found here. This data was compiled from Gogo’s global traveler research study and represents participants across 19 countries and 5 continents. All participants had taken a round-trip flight in the past twelve months.

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the first scheduled, full-service airline to announce AirFi portable IFE box tests
  • Two daily flights between AMS-MAD-AMS and AMS-IST-AMS are part of the 4 month trial
  • No modification made to aircraft interior, boxes brought on/off aircraft each day

Amsterdam | March 2016– Since the beginning of March, Dutch flagship carrier KLM has been actively trialling the AirFi box portable inflight entertainment (IFE) solution onboard Boeing B737 passenger aircraft serving the carrier’s daily flights between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Madrid, and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Istanbul.

Through to early summer, passengers flying these selected KLM flights can use their personal mobile devices to connect to a free onboard Wi-Fi network created by AirFi boxes and positioned throughout the cabin in overhead bins. Once connected, passengers enter a 100% KLM-branded environment called ‘KLM in the Cloud’. There, they are free to enjoy newspapers, get destination information, browse a retail selection, chat seat-to-seat, join the KLM frequent flyer program or visit the Kid’s Place – with short videos featuring KLM’s popular jumbo-jet personality, Bluey.

“The KLM-AirFi pilot brings content on board, without the need to make aircraft modifications. The feedback from the first weeks, both from our crew and responses to our survey, shows the interest of our customers. The ‘KLM in the Cloud’ platform functioned from day one and was welcomed by our passengers, and AirFi continues to make adjustments to the setup and usability,” commented Joost Blom, Project Manager – Product Innovation Inflight at KLM.

“At the moment we have no embedded IFE on our single isle fleet, so adding a form of entertainment would expand our offer on our European routes. BYOD [bring your own device] is something our customers are doing regardless of our offer: people bring their devices loaded with entertainment and consume that during the flight,” he added.

During the four-month trial period, KLM will evaluate the content delivery capabilities, data collection opportunities, passenger uptake and operational feasibility of the AirFi portable IFE devices.

“The light and portable AirFi closed-network IFE streaming concept isn’t just for low-cost or holiday carriers,” says Job Heimerikx, CEO of AirFi. “Every airline can benefit from better digital services, more entertainment options and a means by which to stay connected to the traveller throughout his or her journey. It doesn’t have to be a drawn out affair. We can get an airline up and running with its own branded, closed-network streaming entertainment solution in mere weeks.”

Chicago, IL | March 21, 2016– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), the global leader in providing broadband connectivity solutions and wireless in-flight entertainment to the aviation industry, announced today that it has expanded its connectivity partnership with Air Canada to include its international fleet, including the Boeing 787.

Air Canada is the only Canadian carrier offering customers in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity across its entire fleet of narrow-body aircraft in North America. Under the new agreement, Gogo’s 2Ku connectivity technology will be installed on Air Canada’s wide-body international aircraft, starting with the Boeing 777 this fall.

“We are excited about extending our relationship with Air Canada to bring our 2Ku technology to its international fleet,” said Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small. “The performance of Gogo’s 2Ku technology is unmatched in global aviation today and is built on the concept of an open system with the ability to leverage dozens of Ku-band satellites in orbit. We’ve also built it to leverage any of the new Ku-band LEO satellite constellations coming on line in the future. This system design will enable Air Canada to continue to deliver industry leading connectivity to its passengers for the foreseeable future.

“Air Canada is pleased to announce it will offer customers the ability to stay connected whenever and wherever they fly by extending in-flight, North American connectivity to its wide-body aircraft flying overseas using satellite technology,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “While business travelers will welcome satellite Wi-Fi service as a productivity tool, it will have widespread appeal for all travelers by allowing them to stay in touch, access the internet and enjoy additional entertainment options throughout their entire journey.”

This message just about says it all for the upcoming IFEC event in Germany from the AIX website: Aircraft Interiors Expo – April 5 – 7, 2016… 1000+ airline attendees, 530+suppliers and approximately 16,000 attendees at the Hamburg Messe. The show is a culmination of a wide variety of product factors and the size is expressed by the Markets and Markets folks: “The in-flight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) market is expected to reach USD 5.80 Billion by 2020 from an estimated USD 2.85 Billion in 2015.”

Check out what show Manager, Polly McGraw told IFExpress: “AIX is now firmly established as the global event dedicated to the passenger experience industry, and over 16,000 visitors, including executives from more than 180 airlines, are expected to attend this year. Over 530 exhibitors, 60 of them present for the first time, will be showcasing the latest product innovations in areas including aircraft seating, inflight entertainment and connectivity, and lighting, with over 100 companies in the dedicated IFEC zone.

We should also mention the Passenger Experience Conference that happens April 4 (the day before the EXPO) is very worthwhile if you want an update on the insides and technical heartbeat of the industry. Said Ms Mcgraw: “AIX is part of Passenger Experience Week, which kicks off with the Passenger Experience Conference where delegates can learn about the future of the global passenger experience industry from executives at companies including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Global Eagle, Inmarsat, Lumexis and Panasonic. The following day sees the opening not only of AIX but also the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo with which it is co-located. These three events create the platform that sets the agenda for our industry. From addressing the ever-increasing demand to be connected and entertained, to offering a unique and unexpected experience, the journey to a seamless future passenger experience begins here.”

So, we thought it would be easier to swallow an outline of the AIX Best Stuff so you can memorize it when you ask your boss for the money to go!

1. THE SHOW

  • 530 exhibitors, including 60 first time exhibitors, but also including the following “regulars” like Boeing, Recaro, BEAerospace, Zodiac Aerospace, Panasonic Avionics, Airbus, and more!
  • The IFEC zone of AIX show has grown by 31% in 2015, reflecting the increasing spend on IFEC by airlines, which is set to grow to nearly $6 billion by 2020*
  • 25% of the 60 new exhibitors will be displaying products at the IFEC dedicated zone.
  • Industry speakers at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) show include companies such as Global Eagle, Immfly, Lumexis, Inmarsat, Panasonic, Gogo and GOL Airlines.

2. EVENTS

  • 2016: AIX (see above),Passenger Experience Conference, Crystal Cabin Awards, Cabinspace LIVE
  • PEC – the main theme for this year’s agenda is collaborating on the connected journey. The PEC is split into three categories of sessions:
    • CABIN INTERIORS
    • IFEC AND HOSPITALITY
    • RETAIL AND SERVICE
  • One of the primary themes is how these three elements come together in flight. Note that the speakers and breakout sessions will include the discussion about how to create an end-to-end passenger experience in a digital age. It will also discuss how innovative technology, connectivity and service combine to create comfortable and personal experiences from home to gate to cabin and to destination.
    • One of the primary themes is how these three elements come together in flight. Some of the discussion speakers are:
      • Juan Carlos Iglesias from Immfly – discussing e-commerce onboard in the IFEC session
      • Chris van Rÿswÿck from Pragma Consulting – exploring the game changing ancillary to create a seamless digital experience
      • Vassilios Georgakopoulos, Director Product Marketing and Michael Wahl, Vice President Product Marketing – discussing hospitality, service and retail opportunities
      • Michael Wahl, Vice President Product Marketing and Innovation of LSG Sky Chefs – discussing the evolution of industry and passenger needs
  • CCA (Crystal Cabin Awards) will be hosting their 10th anniversary in 2016, a record number 78 new ideas and innovations for aircraft cabins have made it onto the shortlist this year. The awards include the following categories:
    • Cabin concepts
    • Cabin systems
    • Electronic systems
    • Greener cabin, health, safety and environment
    • Material & components
    • Passenger comfort hardware
    • University
    • Visionary concepts – This is a new category introduced this year, relating to concepts that have not yet been implemented. The aim is to give an impression of aircraft cabins of the future. (By the way, don’t forget the Crystal Cabin Awards and here is a downloadable file with the contestants identified – HMG Seafile Server)
  • Cabinspace LIVE – in Hall B1 Upper is a face-to-face dedicated platform for the exchange of information with direct access to airlines, operators, buyers and specifiers from the industry. This space will host a dedicated IFEC workshop session on:
  • The future of in-flight entertainment, can passengers entertain themselves? This session will be led by Jan-Peter Gaense, Director Project & Certification, Lufthansa Systems. The workshop will cover a discussion on Personal Electronic Devices vs embedded IFE systems, the pros and cons of Inflight Wi-Fi and the willingness of passengers to pay for connectivity and inflight entertainment changing.
  • Other sessions include how the increase of aircraft production affects the industry (led by Emirates Engineering Technical Services) and how to make the most of cabin space (hosted by consultants from Ascend Flightglobal and Michael Lischke Consulting)

3. NEW EXHIBITORS

  • Skylights – developed the SkyTheater, specially designed portable glasses, allow 2D/3D movie-viewing on a wide angle screen with a black background, high definition image, large depth of field, visual and auditory isolation from the cabin.
  • ATR – presenting a “Smart Galley” concept, a modular solution in terms of on-board service to passengers.
    Inflight Vr Software – a company that is bringing virtual reality entertainment into the aircraft.
  • Mirus Aircraft Seating – launching a new lightweight economy aircraft seat.

Some more new entrants this year: SmartSky Networks, the folks who talk of 4G wireless connectivity. Also, the publisher, distributor and integrator Adaptive Channel will be there, as well as, new aircraft seat manufacturer ComFly, and finally the Global One Media people who say; “We make your passenger experience is… One of a kind.” Not to mention just about everyone who is anyone in the inflight arena will be there too. After all, this is the Big One, and again this year they have an IFEC Zone

(Editor’s Note: We want to thank the folks at AIX and Bell Pottinger who supplied these two show floor images – print them out!)

Messe Infographic


NEWS:
Rockwell Collins has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, as a 2016 World’s Most Ethical Company®.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of Ethisphere and the World’s Most Ethical Companies designation which recognizes those companies who align principle with action, work tirelessly to make trust part of their corporate DNA, and in doing so, shape future industry standards by introducing tomorrow’s best practices today. Congratulations, Rockwell!

Gogo announced today it is partnering with Intelsat (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, to leverage the first shared GEO/LEO satellite network for in-flight connectivity. Under a long-term agreement, Gogo’s next generation in-flight connectivity technology will be powered by an innovative high performance shared network featuring reliable, multi-layered Ku-band capacity on the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput geosynchronous (GEO) satellites combined with OneWeb’s planned low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation. The Gogo 2Ku airborne terminal is designed to be compatible with multiple networks, including both the Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb satellite constellations. This flexibility ensures a long-term technology solution that provides immediate benefits as well as a path to future network evolutions well into the next decade. Beginning in 2016, Gogo will expand its use of the Intelsat Globalized Network by purchasing additional capacity on Intelsat’s Ku-band infrastructure, a contiguous, resilient network within Intelsat’s 50 satellite system which covers 99 percent of the world’s populated regions. Gogo’s Intelsat network infrastructure will initially include use of traditional wide beam services and the next generation high throughput satellite (HTS) Intelsat EpicNG platform, which is expected to enter service in 2016. Coverage will include HTS for the North Atlantic, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Ocean provided by Intelsat 32e, Intelsat 33e and Horizons 3e. In 2019, Gogo’s 2KU system will begin to access the world’s first GEO/LEO shared network, an evolving service architecture that will incorporate the best features of Intelsat GEO and OneWeb LEO HTS capacity as the complete Intelsat EpicNG and OneWeb systems deploy. When the network is fully deployed, Gogo’s 2Ku systems will be able to dynamically route traffic across the fully global 10 Tbps shared network based on coverage, latency, throughput and other performance criteria. Gogo’s customers will benefit from the continuous planned upgrades of the shared network, including up to 250 Mbps per plane on the Intelsat EpicNG fleet. OneWeb’s Low Earth Orbit satellites are expected to be the first satellites to enable high performance services at high latitudes and on polar flights. (Editor’s Note – We wonder what antenna they are using?)


OTHER

  • If you are lucky enough to have an Apple Watch and you travel, TripCase might be the app you need: Apple Watch Travel App – TripCase Smartwatch Travel App
  • At AIX, be careful about what “free” Wi-Fi you use. We tell you this because the folks in eWEEK noted: “It’s very stupid to have a completely unencrypted network,” Yolanda Smith, product manager at Pwnie Express, explained to eWEEK. “Anyone can attach themselves to it and from there could run a man-in-the-middle attack … they can execute mobile malware.”
  • We are trying to figure out how the airline would treat you if you wore one of these? Adjustable Travel Pillow by Grand Trunk

Lake Forest, CA | February 23, 2016– Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), the national airline of Switzerland, is renewing its focus on passenger experience in partnership with Panasonic Avionics by introducing inflight connectivity and a new user interface design.

The first of nine SWISS Boeing 777-300s has entered into service providing global inflight Wi-Fi and 3G phone services from Panasonic’s Global Communications Services. All are being line-fit at the OEM with the state-of-the-art system. Serving 104 destinations in 48 countries worldwide, SWISS is leveraging Panasonic’s unique broadband offering, which will allow passengers to email, surf the Internet, use social networks and even make calls.

SWISS also has introduced Panasonic’s eXcite2 software to its inflight entertainment (IFE) systems, which dramatically increases functionality and modernizes design, benefitting both the passenger and the airline. It introduces enhanced touch-screen performance for passengers with faster navigation and response, 3D effects and animation, as well as more dynamic graphics and richer content. eXcite2 allows airlines to dramatically reduce the time required to redesign their user experience and it makes frequent updates easier than ever before. It also allows SWISS to easily brand its own content, which can be used to create uniformity across both in-seat monitors and synchronized passengers’ own personal devices.

Paul Margis, CEO and President of Panasonic Avionics, said: “With such a significant global network, Panasonic is the natural choice for SWISS as it looks to offer its passengers a fully connected journey. Our provision of eXcite2 for the airline will also help transform not only the passenger experience, but also the ability of SWISS to open up revenue opportunities and enhance its brand through its entertainment systems.”

“The recently deployed inflight connectivity will allow our passengers to enjoy a new dimension of air travel experience,” says Markus Binkert Chief Commercial Officer and Member of the Executive Board of SWISS.

Chicago, IL | February 22, 2016– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the global leader in providing broadband connectivity solutions and wireless entertainment to the aviation industry, announced today that American Airlines has dismissed the declaratory judgment action it filed against Gogo on February 12, 2016.

Lake Forest, CA | February 1, 2016– Panasonic Avionics today confirmed that over 1,000 commercial aircraft are operating on its Global Communications Services network. Panasonic’s worldwide Ku-band satellite network today delivers broadband communications services and global live television over 99.6 percent of all commercial aviation routes.

The 1,000th aircraft was a B777-300 that was line fit at the OEM and delivered in mid-December to China Eastern Airlines. Since then, Panasonic has equipped an additional 25 aircraft, bringing the total number to 1025.

Over 50 percent of all airlines with connected aircraft have chosen Panasonic Avionics. The company has approximately 70 airlines and 3,000 aircraft committed to its global broadband connectivity service. It expects to add an additional 12,000 to its network by 2025.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics said, “Our connectivity solutions combine operation benefits with an elevated passenger experience. Reaching the benchmark of 1,000 connected aircraft shows that our customers realize Panasonic’s compelling business proposition. Over the next 12 months our focus will be on helping customers better utilize our network to improve efficiency and the way they can engage with their passengers.”

In 2016, the company projects to add another 600 aircraft to its network, and 34 percent of these installations will take place at the OEM during production. Today, Panasonic is the only inflight connectivity provider that is line fit offerable at the major aircraft manufacturers.

David Bruner, Vice President, Global Communications Services for Panasonic Avionics said, “This year, we will introduce several new enhancements to our network, the passenger experience, and the ability of our customers to monitor their aircraft in real time.”

Bruner continued, “In April, we will introduce high throughput satellite (HTS) service over North America and the Atlantic. Europe and the Middle East will follow later that year, and by mid-2017, we will complete our HTS network, offering over 200 megabits per second in regions that cover 80 percent of all traffic routes.”

“Leveraging our unique HTS design, we’ll be able to tailor the inflight experience to match passenger expectations for bandwidth and give them even more access to the services that they use every day on the ground. We will also be able to expand the number of channels available in our global live television service, which continues to become increasingly important to our customers and their guests,” added Bruner.

In conclusion, Bruner also stated that 2016 will be an exciting year for airlines that wish to leverage connectivity for operational efficiencies. “We are actively working with our customers on several key operational initiatives. Whether it’s highly accurate, real-time weather and EFB applications that help pilots make better informed inflight decisions, global flight tracking, real time remote monitoring and data analysis or even telemedicine, we are committed to helping our customers realize the real value of the connected aircraft.”

Lake Forest, CA | January 29, 2016– Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic), the world leader in inflight entertainment and communications, and All Nippon Airways CO., LTD (ANA) today announced a partnership to launch ANA SKY Live TV and broadband Internet services on domestic aircraft that fly routes across Japan.

ANA Sky Live TV includes three unique channels of Japanese news, sports and other popular programming from JSAT Corporation’s Sky PerfecTV! platform. Passengers will be able to watch general sports programming with Nittele G+, catch the latest news updates from Nippon TV News 24 and follow live football programming on Sukasaka!.

In addition to exclusive live television, ANA’s new experience also offers high-speed connectivity, which allows guests to stay connected and productive while they fly. Passengers will be able to use their own personal devices to access email; stay in touch with family, friends, and social media networks; and browse the Internet. This service will be further enhanced with music, television shows and other content that can be wirelessly streamed to mobile devices.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “Today’s launch is the direct result of our long-standing, close relationship with ANA. From the beginning, our goal was to deliver an integrated and connected experience that keeps passengers immersed and engaged in ANA’s inflight experience. The broadband Wi-Fi and unique live television content is a first for Japan, and we are proud and honoured to partner with ANA on this exciting, new passenger amenity.”

Koji OKA, Vice President, Products & Services, All Nippon Airways said, “We wanted to push the envelope to ensure the best inflight experience for our customers. With a line-up of exciting television programming, enhanced with Internet access and other communications services, we’ve created a truly unique experience for our customers. We look forward to working with Panasonic on future technologies that even further improve the experience we offer to our guests.”

About the Service
The ANA WiFi Service and ANA SKY LIVE TV will utilize Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s eXConnect and eXTV services via satellite owned and operated by SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation.

One company that seems to be a bit quieter about their connectivity solutions is Honeywell but that’s about to change. Last week, they sent out a release about their recent certification from the FAA for their inflight product, JetWave and their STC on a Boeing B757. Significant is their exclusive connectivity hardware for Inmarsat Global Express, high speed, Ka-Band inflight connectivity service.

At higher frequencies like Ka Band (26.5 – 40 GHz), operators can generally obtain more user bandwidth but a lot depends on antenna size & efficiency, users in the space, horizon height, weather, and more. But we digress.

Part of the attraction of JetWave is bandwidth as we just mentioned, but global coverage is another feature and we asked about that feature as well. Finally, we do believe, that the price per downloaded bit will be cheaper than those of lower transmit/receive frequencies… but that remains to be announced by Honeywell or airlines. Stay tuned on this one. If JetBlue’s solution with Thales & ViaSat is any indication, it ought to get interesting and potentially cheaper per bit.

Next, we had a few more questions and Honeywell provided answers for some as follows:

1. IFExpress: How long has this product been in development (antenna) and what new antenna technologies are included?

ANS: “Honeywell and Inmarsat signed a partnership in 2012 for Honeywell to be the exclusive hardware provider for Global Xpress Ka-band network. Honeywell also signed a master services distribution agreement for business aviation with Inmarsat. Since 2012, Honeywell has successfully developed the fuselage antenna for air transport aircraft and tail-mount antenna for business aviation aircraft to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band services.”

2. IFExpress: We know you make the antenna, but our readers would be interested in understanding if the Ka Band Amplifier/transmitter/receiver is part of the product line too and is it new?

ANS: “Honeywell is the exclusive hardware provider for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. The JetWave system includes the fuselage antenna for commercial airlines, tail-mount antenna for business aviation aircraft, the Modman (modem and terminal), KRFU (frequency converter and amplifier) and KANDU (antenna control and networking unit) hardware.”

3. IFExpress: What is the expected average user data rate (X Mbps)?

ANS: “JetWave and Global Xpress services can provide up to 33Mbps to business aviation aircraft and up to 50Mbps to air transport aircraft.”

4. IFExpress: Besides the test plane, is the unit installed on any other aircraft?

ANS: “There are over 15 different aircraft models/types working on installing JetWave to access the Global Xpress network across commercial, business aviation and government end markets including:

· Honeywell’s Dassault Falcon 900 test aircraft has installed JetWave for flight testing.

· JetWave hardware has been delivered to support the first A350 GX Aviation installation

· Bombardier is currently working on certifying JetWave on their Global Express aircraft”

5. IFExpress: Is Honeywell willing to talk price?

ANS:Service packages will be defined and managed by Inmarsat and our Value-Added-Resellers (VARs), who bring years of experience in developing and introducing tailored and cost effective connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

6. IFExpress: As you might know, Gogo had a very successful Press demo of their Ku Band system, are you folks going to do the same?

ANS: “Yes definitely, we plan to demonstrate the system to customers and media in 2016.”

7. Can you talk a bit about the potentially lower data rate costs to consumers?

ANS: “Service packages will be defined and managed by Inmarsat our Value-Added-Resellers (VARs), who bring years of experience in developing and introducing tailored and cost effective connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

8. IFExpress: We assume the coverage is worldwide?

ANS: “Inmarsat Global Xpress is the first high-speed broadband network to span the world.”

9. IFExpress: Have you tested the Ka system in weather and what did you find?

ANS: “The certification of Honeywell’s JetWave hardware was achieved following more than 180 flight hours and multiple rigorous tests aboard Honeywell’s Boeing 757 test aircraft, which showed that the system would stay connected to Inmarsat’s GX network at various altitudes, angles and speeds, through several different types of weather, and over land and water.”

10. Is the Ka service available over the US today?

ANS: “Inmarsat’s I-5 F2 satellite was launched on 1 February 2015 to deliver regional GX services for the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region.

11. IFExpress: Any customers bought/interested/US and/or overseas?

ANS: “See below:

  • Singapore Airlines has selected JetWave and GX Aviation system for their B777-300ER aircraft, followed by its A380-800s.
  • Lufthansa announced that GX Aviation has been selected for its short and medium-haul flights – the first Lufthansa aircraft will be fitted with the new technology in early summer 2016
  • Qatar Airways has committed to equipping their fleet with GX Aviation through the Thales A350 in-flight entertainment/connectivity program
  • Vietnam Airlines selected GX Aviation for its A350 fleet through Inmarsat and Honeywell partners, Thales and Gogo
  •  Air China will test GX Aviation on its A330 aircraft
  • Airbus is far along in the engineering and certification work to make GX and JetWave hardware option for new aircraft in production across its entire catalog, and numerous certification processes are engaged to ensure GX and JetWave hardware availability for retrofit applications
  • Honeywell continues to work with Boeing on its technical services agreement to confirm offerability for Boeing platforms including the 787, 777, and 737NG
  • For the business aviation segment, Bombardier has selected GX Ka-band business aviation service for the Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000 platforms
  • Haitec Aircraft Maintenance signed an agreement to jointly develop an A319 STC for the corporate jet market

Honeywell is continuing to work with airlines around the globe and aircraft manufacturers to bring JetWave and Global Xpress services to passengers and operators.”

12. IFExpress: What is the biggest market you see for the products?

ANS: “In the coming years the de facto standard for in-flight comfort will be giving passengers the freedom to keep connected even while flying at 35,000 feet and we see this demand around the globe. JetWave and Global Xpress will provide truly global and consistent high-speed connectivity that will be demanded around the world – we see strong opportunities around the globe.”

13. IFExpress: What are some good weblinks for our readers to get more on your products?

ANS: “To learn more about Honeywell’s JetWave hardware, please visit

To learn more about Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, please visit:

Finally, Honeywell noted: The important thing to remember about JetWave and Global Xpress is that:

1. Global Xpress is the only global Ka-band network designed around the requirements of mobile assets, including aircraft. It has the ability to keep aircraft connected over land and water and throughout all phases of flight.

2. Inmarsat Global Xpress is the first high-speed broadband network to span the world.

3. It delivers seamless, globally available, high-speed broadband connectivity on land, at sea, and in the air – provided by a single operator.”


NEWS

A) The folks at RouteHappy developed a great infographic on inflight Wi-Fi: Global State of In-Flight Wi-Fi | Routehappy

B) iPass Inc., a leading provider of global mobile connectivity, announced an agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to bring inflight Internet access to iPass customers on 23 international airlines. Under terms of the agreement, iPass, which provides convenient, secure, always-on Wi-Fi connectivity on any mobile device, will be available on more than 747 Panasonic-equipped aircraft that fly more than 32,000 routes monthly.

iPass, which has agreements with several inflight connectivity providers, now offers service onboard more than 2,700 aircraft. With this partnership, the company extends its service to passengers on airlines around the world, including Air Berlin, All Nippon Airways, and WestJet.

“Inflight Wi-Fi is critical for our business customers, and our partnership with Panasonic extends iPass’ inflight footprint to many of the world’s leading international carriers,” said Patricia Hume, the chief commercial officer of iPass. “Moreover, the partnership supports our strategy to offer iPass everywhere, so that iPass customers can move from airport to airplane to airport and beyond, with one, seamless, Wi-Fi first, Internet experience.”

“We are dedicated to giving our customers a frictionless Internet experience,” said David Bruner, Vice President of Global Communications Services at Panasonic Avionics. “Our partnership with iPass brings convenient access to Wi-Fi connectivity to our customers through a single service, helping them stay connected.

C) Check out the FedEx blog about ORBIS, the sight saving flying hospital service. Remember that ORBIS is APEX’s official charity. We also mention, SIE, was the engineering firm and system integrator for the entire program. The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital should be going on its first medical/humanitarian mission in the next 8 weeks or so

D) Also, a good friend, Bob Bogash, has a wonderful website featuring the rebuilding of a an old Boeing B727 with great images – 727 Prototype

E) Lastly, congratulations to Thomas Lee of Zodiac Aerospace who is now Vice President – Product Marketing – Zodiac Cabin.

London, United Kingdom | November 24, 2015– While in-flight Wi-Fi deployments continue to grab the headlines, the closely related market for wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) rapidly gathers speed. According to Valour Consultancy’s latest research, the number of aircraft equipped with solutions that enable wireless delivery of IFE content will exceed 4,000 by the end of this year, and hit 17,000 by 2024.

W-IFE is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. One is that it is a relatively simple process to add content streaming to existing in-flight connectivity (IFC) networks. However, it is on aircraft that might not otherwise have installed IFE where the real potential lies. Report author and Valour Consultancy’s Senior Consultant, Craig Foster, explains “The single-aisle market is a huge untapped opportunity. With many of these aircraft rolling off production lines without any form of IFE on board, it is a market ripe for lightweight, inexpensive and easy-to-install solutions that have the added potential benefit of being able to generate ancillary revenues.”

Currently, ancillary revenues related to W-IFE are low but Foster believes there is plenty of reason to believe W-IFE can be turned into a profit centre. “Airlines have a known demographic with high levels of disposable income captive for several hours at a time and this alone is attractive to advertisers. When you employ analytical tools, it is possible to segment passengers, show content and ads tailored to their preferences and ensure they are offered products most relevant to them”.

The report also reveals that the emergence of portable solutions from the likes of Media inMotion, AirFi and Lufthansa Systems that do not require an STC are driving interest in W-IFE across the market. Wide-body operators are keen to deploy W-IFE too. But to complement embedded systems and not, as many predict, to replace them. “Second screening is a going to become as big a trend in the air as it is on the ground and carriers are only too aware of this” Foster concluded.

Valour Consultancy is a provider of high quality market intelligence. Its latest report “The Future of Wireless In-Flight Entertainment” offers a comprehensive analysis of the current and future provision of this technology. For a table of contents and report scope, visit: http://www.valourconsultancy.com/what-we-do/wireless-ife

  • Wireless Entertainment Platform for Private and Business Jets

Alpharetta, Georgia | November 16, 2015– Flight Display Systems, a leader in In flight Entertainment and Cabin Management Systems is thrilled to announce the do CAPSULE™. The do CAPSULE is the core of the do EXPERIENCE™, a full spectrum of In-flight Entertainment options including DRM compliant movies, music, photos, business productivity, moving map, and more. Connected to a Wi-Fi router, the do CAPSULE streams content to VIP passengers in-flight. The do CAPSULE has PMA and is ready to ship in early December.

Because content is stored on the do CAPSULE (mounted within the aircraft and attached to a Wi-Fi router), an internet connection is not necessary, making this a robust, reliable, and cost-effective way to serve entertainment wirelessly. Content is stored on two 1TB removable solid-state drives. The first drive is included and can be loaded with personal content. An optional second drive can be added to accommodate a brand new content subscription service, with fully licensed content delivered to your door.

Users can stream to tablets, laptops, and smart phones – any device with iOS, Android, or Windows operating systems. As many as eight passengers can each enjoy discrete streaming content, including video, audio, images, and productivity files. In addition, the Worldwide Moving Map and video content can be played back to a bulkhead monitor.

The user experience is further optimized with the Media Organizer software. Using a Windows computer, the Media Organizer aggregates video and audio files from a user’s personal library. Media Organizer attaches meta data to video and music files before transferring the files to the 1TB removable solid-state drive. Passengers have the convenience of searching for content based on title, description, running time, ratings, and reviews.

The do CAPSULE also has the ability to interface with Smart Cabin, FDS’ Cabin Management System, enabling users to control cabin amenities, video, audio, and other features through the wireless interface for convenience and redundant operation.

  • ForeFlight Mobile application coming to Gogo’s ATG 1000 customers

Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading provider of wireless in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions to the global aero market, and ForeFlight, maker of the most widely used flight planning and electronic flight bag app for Apple iPad and iPhone, have partnered to make the ForeFlight Mobile application available to customers using Gogo’s ATG 1000 in-flight connectivity system beginning in December 2015.

Via the Gogo Biz network service, Gogo’s ATG 1000 enables voice, high-performance e-mail with attachments, and calling and texting with passengers’ own smartphones and mobile numbers. The ATG 1000 also supports select cockpit and operational applications like ForeFlight Mobile. The solution is particularly well-suited for light jets, turboprops and owner-flown aircraft.

ForeFlight Mobile users on aircraft equipped with the ATG 1000’s internet connectivity can take advantage of the app’s full range of real-time information inflight, including up to the minute weather information, real-time Flight Notifications, NOTAMs and TFRs, as well as Cockpit Sharing – a feature pilots can use to wirelessly share route information with one another and with passengers’ iPads and iPhones.

“Internet connectivity with the ATG 1000 is yet another example of our commitment to give our customers every possibility to enhance their in-flight experience with ForeFlight Mobile,” said Tyson Weihs, co-founder and CEO of ForeFlight. “In addition, many business passengers are also pilots or they may have an active interest in aviation. ForeFlight Mobile allows them to see the weather and route information that the pilots up front are seeing.”

John Wade, Gogo Business Aviation’s executive vice president and general manager, said, “Using the ForeFlight Mobile app in conjunction with Gogo’s ATG 1000 connectivity system gives aircraft operators a complete solution for passengers and pilots alike. We’re proud to partner with ForeFlight on this important initiative that will bring increased utility to our customers’ in-flight connectivity investment.”

To take advantage of this new partnership, Gogo’s ATG 1000 customers simply use their existing ForeFlight Mobile subscription. New customers can download the ForeFlight Mobile app from the Apple App Store on the ground and purchase a subscription. Ongoing in-flight data usage for the ForeFlight app is covered by the customer’s Gogo Biz data plan. No additional Gogo setup fees or subscriptions are required.

For a limited time, Gogo is offering ATG 1000 customers the first 3 months of data service for a flat monthly rate of $395, with no overage fees. After the introductory period, ATG 1000 customers can select from a variety of monthly Gogo Biz data plans to meet their ongoing needs.

Gogo Business Aviation will showcase a complete range of global and U.S. domestic in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions at the annual NBAA convention, November 17-19 in Las Vegas. ForeFlight will also be demonstrating all the latest app features at NBAA in booth #C10021.

  • Gogo Biz 4G will provide fast, reliable and proven performance to the business aviation market

Broomfield, CO | October 14, 2015– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading provider of in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions to the global aero market, announces a new 4G connectivity solution for the business aviation market.
Available at the beginning of 2017, Gogo Biz 4G represents a significant increase in capability when compared to existing solutions. It will give business aircraft passengers “the speed they need” to power their digital lifestyles in flight – without skipping a beat.
Gogo Biz 4G – Key Capabilities

  • Reliable 4G performance
  • Streaming video and audio
  • E-mail with attachments
  • Web browsing
  • Voice
  • VPN support
  • Service coverage in the continental U.S. and portions of Alaska and Canada
  • Utilizes advanced air-to-ground technology operating on licensed spectrum
  • Loyalty programs with significant trade-in incentives available to current Gogo customers wishing to upgrade to Gogo Biz 4G

John Wade, Gogo Business Aviation’s executive vice president and general manager, said, “We cracked the code on in-flight connectivity many years ago, and we’re excited to continue offering more and more performance to customers. Gogo Biz 4G is a solution business aircraft operators can count on. It leverages Gogo’s proven air-to-ground network and technology that has already flown hundreds of thousands of hours aboard thousands of business and commercial aircraft.”

Created specifically for the business aviation market, Gogo Biz 4G is a specially-designed application of Gogo’s latest air-to-ground technology. The Gogo Biz 4G equipment package will incorporate dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi service and a host of other features – all from a single, lightweight box.

From an installed customer base of more than 9,000 aircraft worldwide, Gogo serves more than 80,000 passengers every day. With over 1,000 employees and nearly $1 billion of in-flight technology investment to date, Gogo’s track record of delivering high-performance in-flight connectivity solutions is unmatched in the market.

The company’s existing range of Gogo Biz solutions will remain available after Gogo Biz 4G shipments begin. “Whether it’s a turboprop that wants a simple e-mail and cockpit app solution or a large jet looking for the fastest and most robust connectivity experience available, Gogo has proven solutions to meet virtually every need,” added Wade.

Gogo Business Aviation will showcase a complete range of global and U.S. domestic in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions – including the new Gogo Biz 4G system – at the annual NBAA convention, November 17-19 in Las Vegas.

This week we continue to review the Portland Parade of IFEC that we introduced last time to cover some folks we didn’t mention previously. Over the next few weeks we will try to cover all we talked with and give our readers a brief review. If you had not heard, El Al won the Best Achievement in Passenger Experience Award at APEX this year for “Cockpit”, and high Tech innovation hub – a way for the airline to help fund and develop new technology products and services that will contribute eventually to revenues. It works like this: “Today reality in the aviation world challenged El Al to create additional sources of revenue apart from flight tickets – by developing new businesses on the existing platform from the realization that innovation is to the aviation world like breathing is to life.” By finding and supporting new innovations from the world of ideas and making them successful businesses is an interesting idea for airline revenue enhancement. Congratulations to Rinat Cohen and his team! And speaking of APEX, we got a bit confused about all the planned APEX events till we saw their Forthcoming Events display – It might help you as well!

AirFi
AirFi are the ‘portable’ Wi-Fi folks from the Netherlands and we talked with Martjin Moret and Job Heimrikx about their Wi-Fi product and they told us that their “little white server/router box” has been flying since January of this year, have 100 in service and 245 by the end of the year… all in more than 100 airplanes soon. The “portable’ white box streams to 50 passengers for 15 hours with 50 users. We understand is on a B787 delivering second screen entertainment. Also, expect a new version to be shown at AIX that will deliver stronger signals, faster data rates, and serve more people with more movies. We anticipate a new moving map display and customizable points of interest. Martijn told IFExpress that there is no STC involved so the units are usually stored in a bin and they have patents pending on the device.

Rockwell Collins
Rockwell showcased a portfolio of cabin solutions in Portland featuring in-flight entertainment, connectivity and content services – all aimed at demonstrating technologies that will engage, entertain and empower airline passengers. “We’re investing heavily in flexible IFEC solutions and applications that, when coupled with our Ka-band global connectivity offering, bring a very compelling value proposition to airlines,” noted Craig Elliott, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Air Transport Cabin Solutions for Rockwell Collins. “Airlines will be able to personalize the experience for their passengers, resulting in increased brand loyalty and additional revenue.” We noted Inflight Internet and satcom services using Global Xpress that featured crew connectivity, real-time credit card authorization and wireless IFE, On-Demand seat centric IFE using a cool and intuitive touchscreen seatback interface, Broadcast entertainment, and an Airshow App – very nice. Rockwell Paves On-Demand in-flight entertainment (IFE) system is now offered for the 737 MAX. The seat-centric IFE solution has been added to the 737 MAX catalog. With the PAVES On-demand seat-centric design, each in-seat system is independent, so if one unit has an issue, no other in-seat systems are affected. Additionally, PAVES On-demand is equipped with a quick-release mechanism to quickly remove and replace in-seat displays. Security-wise. Also we note that Rockwell Collins has been selected by Boeing to provide the Avionics Gateway secure server on new 777X airplanes. The Avionics Gateway will feature the newest generation of Rockwell Collins’ Secure Server Router (SSR) that enables the safe transfer of data between the flight-deck, cabin crew and airline operations on the ground. Next-generation aircraft will offer incredible on-board networking capabilities and aircraft makers like Boeing are investing in sophisticated, secure solutions to ensure the networks are protected from malicious threats. Stay Tuned, or should we say, Watch Out! 

KID-SYSTEME
KID rolled out their cabin and cargo surveillance system and you can check out the easy-to-understand presentation here.  The system comprises a myriad of aircraft applications including, Cockpit Door Surveillance, Cabin Video Monitoring and Cargo Surveillance in one common system. It is designed to be aircraft program / manufacturer independent to enable a fleet-wide deployment of a common video surveillance solution for airline customers. Click on the Video Surveillance link in the above website to get an excellent slide presentation of the system. We note that it is capable of monitoring some 20 cameras in the cabin and cargo areas and the system has a modular architecture that adds video recording, watermarking, connectivity and more (link). This system is one of the most flexible and least obtrusive in the cabin. Interestingly, the 5 megapixel cameras only consume 2.8 watts and look more like small access panels. Further, the watermarked live video streams enables video recording as evidence.

Latitude Aero
We had an unscheduled meeting with nice guy, Kelvin Boyette, President and CEO, from Latitude Aero, a newer entrant in the seat refurbishment business. In the Rockwell Collins booth, Latitude had an example of their work. Noted Mr. Boyette: “The overall goal was to provide a proof of concept of turning an older, mid-90’s first class seat into a newer slimline seat with in seat video as opposed to in-arm. The Sicma seats were manufactured in 1996 and modified again in 2001. Other than that they remained untouched until we acquired them in August. In addition, we were also able to introduce their new 12” monitor into the seats as well.” He also noted, “We were able to complete the seats in 22 days, also proving our R&D and conceptual abilities that will allow the IFE/ISPS providers and seat OEMs the ability to use us for their outsourced R&D prototyping. Typical proof of concept seats have taken as long as 7-8 weeks at other facilities to go from design to shipment. I have uploaded quite a few pics from the show onto our Facebook page.”  Check them out as they look very capable.

“Overall for the airline,” noted Kelvin, “getting a ‘new look’ seat with modern amenities and current generation IFE for around half the price of a new seat is quite a deal.” We agree.


For AIX followers, for the tenth time now, the Crystal Cabin Award Association is calling for submissions their international prize in aircraft interiors. The search is on for the most innovative ideas and products related to traveling above the clouds. Entries will be accepted at www.crystal-cabin-award.com until 4 November, and the winners will be announced, as always, as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (5 – 7 April, 2016) in Hamburg. The talented few who manage to win the hearts and minds of the 24 members of the expert jury will join the elite ranks of an impressive gallery of winners. This year alone saw such big names as B/E Aerospace, ViaSat, Embraer, and Etihad Airways taking home the trophies. And to make the Award even more attractive in its jubilee year, an eighth category has been added: “Cabin Concepts”. Meanwhile, the “Cabin Systems”, “Electronic Systems”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, and “Visionary Concepts” categories have been refined to further sharpen the focus in these fields.


The folks at BAE Systems just published a bit about their in-seat power system development.


CIT Aerospace notes that the top four US airlines account for 83% of US traffic; in Europe, it takes 40 airlines to account for 83% there – just thought you wanted to know.


Rumor has it that the new ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital (FEH) had two recent successful flight tests. Check it out here.


And lastly, Ron Chapman is back… and he told IFExpress that we “might go Ape” over his new connectivity solution.

Lake Forest, CA | August 5, 2015– Panasonic Avionics has delivered its 800th aircraft equipped with its market leading, global broadband connectivity service, eXConnect. The company expects to deliver its 1,000th connected aircraft by the end of 2015.

The system, which was installed on a B757-200 aircraft, was delivered mid-July to United Airlines. In addition to being the 800th aircraft equipped with eXConnect, the B757-200 was also the 332th connected aircraft that Panasonic has delivered to United.

Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics said, “We committed to the connected aircraft vision a decade ago and now, it’s a reality. Our goal remains the same – use connectivity to deliver business value to airlines and increase their bottom line, while delighting passengers. The numbers confirm the majority of airlines trust us to do that.”

Since 2008, over 50 percent of all commercial airlines have chosen eXConnect for inflight connectivity. Last year alone, Panasonic increased its backlog to over 2,300 aircraft, and is expected to have over 12,000 connected aircraft connected the global network within the next 10 years.

David Bruner, Vice President, Global Communications Services for Panasonic Avionics added, “The demand for connectivity onboard commercial aircraft has grown exponentially. In the past 90 days alone, we have delivered more than 1.2 terabytes of traffic over our network each day. Today’s passengers today are consuming from 1.3 to 20 gigabytes of data per flight using eXConnect.”

Bruner continued, “We’ve also seen incredible uptake of our global television service, eXTV. Last year, 1.4 million passengers watched the World Cup on Panasonic-equipped aircraft. We saw similar high volume traffic as passengers tuned in to the Woman’s World Cup and Wimbledon. Our eXPhone service, offered in conjunction with Aeromobile, has also seen higher volume usage year over year. Over the last 12 months, we have seen a 40 percent increase in passengers using the service, 41 percent more calls, a 35 percent increase in voice call minutes, almost 40 percent more SMS being sent and a 232 percent increase in data traffic for email, web browsing, and other applications.”

Bruner added, “As more and more passenger and airline applications continue to consume data, our customers can rest assured that Panasonic has the financial stability to create sustainable business models that work. We continue to invest in coverage and capacity that ensures the highest bandwidth for the lowest price per bit.”

This week, entertainment and connectivity news looked like a shotgun blast of scattered stories, and we had a hard time picking a lead story! So instead of picking one to feature as our Hot Topic we thought it might be better, or at least different, to grasp the whole mess laid out by subject area. You choose what to read!


Meetings

APEX
The future of technology is up in the air, literally. APEX EXPO is 35,000 feet above all other industry trade shows when it comes to bringing you the latest in inflight technology and connectivity! Join the industry Sept. 28-Oct. 1 in Portland Oregon for the passenger experience industry’s most comprehensive trade show, including a day of world-class speakers and sessions devoted to technological issues and the future of the passenger experience, among other exciting topics!

  • Leo Mondale, President, Aviation for Inmarsat, will delve into business models built around “future-proof” technologies that won’t be obsolete in a few years
  • Craig Proud, SVP Platform for GuestLogix, will discuss onboard payment technologies – Apple Pay, MasterCard Paypass, Visa PayWave and more – that are seamless and satisfying for passengers
  • Jim Costello, Chief Technology Officer for Telefonix, Inc. will cover the challenges and potential solutions for developing IFEC that stays relevant in a rapidly evolving market

IATA
The 138th Slot Conference of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global trade association for the airline industry, will be held in Hamburg from 21 to 23 June 2016. Following the World Passenger Symposium in 2015, this will be the second event of this renowned umbrella organisation to be hosted in Hamburg – thereby confirming Hamburg’s important role in the international aviation industry. Around 600 experts from the aviation industry are expected to attend the biggest of the IATA events, which will take place at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg.


Aviation


Airline


IFE Specific

Connectivity:


Wi-Fi Specific

Beacons:

Wi-Fi Aware:

 Satcom:


FlightDeck

  • BOSE develops new features for A20 Aviation Headsets Among other them; the A20’s can now stream warnings and advisories thru apps via Bluetooth connectivity.

Cabin


Airframe Manufacturers

Airbus:

Boeing:


Security

  • Looks like Kontron is focusing on secure connectivity inflight
  • You are going to hear a lot more about the Hacking Team (company) in the future, but for now, Wi-Fi Hacking Drones are the subject here. Coming your way soon.
  • It’s about time!
  • And finally, in case you wondering if this last link has anything to do with IFEC —  it does not. Would you like to guess how many recorded Internet security attacks there were yesterday? Eleven? One hundred and eleven? Eleven thousand… how about 11,059,744! Numbers like this really put the scale of potential aviation hack worries into perspective. You can see a threat intelligence map in realtime here.

Editor’s Note: This week’s rectangle has very little to do with IFE – we just wanted you to see the terrific Boeing Paint job!

  • 78 per cent of tourists use their phone abroad

United Kingdom | July 14, 2015– A survey by leading inflight connectivity provider, AeroMobile, has revealed that 78 per cent of tourists use their phone abroad.*

The survey, carried out by OnePoll, shows SMS to be the most popular phone service used at home and abroad. Of the respondents, 41 per cent used SMS on a daily basis at home, and 26 per cent while on holiday.
Accessing social media is also popular with almost one in three (29 per cent) active users at home, compared to almost one in five (17 per cent) tweeting, Facebooking or Instagramming whilst away. It’s a similar story with instant messaging with almost one in three (28 per cent) using it on a daily basis at home, compared with 21 per cent while abroad.

Almost one in five (17 per cent) people use their phone to send work emails while at home; more than half of these (10 per cent) continue to do so abroad. Similarly, 19 per cent of travellers use their mobiles to surf the web abroad, compared to 35 per cent at home.

Aeromobile_72015 2

Voice is the only service that falls drastically with 36 per cent of respondents making calls on a daily basis at home, compared to just 16 per cent when travelling. The use of voice is noticeably replaced by instant messenger when travellers are abroad.

The results show people want to be connected wherever they are, at all times. This is also true inflight – AeroMobile figures show a 50 per cent uplift in the number of passengers using their inflight network in Q1 2015, when compared to the same period in 2014.**

“It’s interesting to see how connected holidaymakers are and these statistics reflect what we’re seeing in the air. People still want to use their phones to keep in touch with what’s going on at home, even at 30,000ft. Inflight connectivity is used for all sorts, from a quick WhatsApp message to sending important work emails or listening to voicemail”, said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.

AeroMobile provides technology that allows the safe use of passengers’ own mobile phones onboard aircraft. The service is available on airlines including Emirates, Etihad, Aer Lingus, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic. The company has roaming agreements with more than 310 network operators across 140 countries worldwide.

The service is simple to use; passengers simply turn on their mobile device to connect to the network and are billed directly by their mobile operator at international roaming rates.

Notes to editors
*Survey commissioned by AeroMobile and undertaken by OnePoll between 25 March 2015 and 07 April 2015. The survey questioned 4,250 adults in the UK, Germany and UAE. All figures quoted refer to the number of people using the service at least once per day.
Please see below for data referred to:

Service Percentage of people who use this at least once a day at home Percentage of people who use this at least once a day abroad
Text (SMS) 41 26
Instant Message 28 21
Call 36 16
Check voicemail 17 9
Send work emails 17 10
Send personal emails 23 13
Surf the internet 35 19
Update / check social media sites 29 17
Play games 20 12
Shopping 12 5
Stream video/TV 14 7
Stream music 13 7

** AeroMobile data, June 2015

Itasca, Ill. | June 1, 2015– Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider, announced today that it has been named 12th on this year’s Crain’s Chicago Business Fast Fifty list, which is a compilation of the fastest growing companies in Chicago. Gogo moved up seven spots from last year’s ranking.

Gogo was recognized by Crain’s after delivering a five year revenue growth of 1009 percent.

“This recognition comes at a very pivotal point for Gogo, as we move our corporate headquarters to Chicago’s west loop,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s President and CEO. “Gogo’s rapid growth has put us at the epicenter of Chicago’s technology hub and we look forward to increasing our contributions to Chicago’s technology scene as well as continuous growth as a company.”

You can view the full list of companies that made Crain’s Fast Fifty List here.