London, United Kingdom | January 22, 2016– At the Aircraft Interiors Expo this year Bluebox Avionics introduces an exciting new addition to its range of innovative portable and wifi IFE solutions.

Bluebox Walk-on wiFE is a simple and inexpensive first step to introducing superb wireless streamed content to passengers in any aircraft cabin.
Before we talk about all the positives Bluebox Wow delivers, let’s start with the negatives:
• No long lead time required
• No cabin installation costs
• No passenger app required
Despite its remarkably low cost of ownership and ease of deployment Bluebox Wow delivers a flexible wireless capability supporting streamed video and audio content, games, digital publications and our new Seat2Seat networked messaging application. All that in a discrete unit about the size of the average lunchbox.

Why Walk-on wiFE?
For ultimate flexibility, Wow is a lightweight, portable product that can be taken onboard fully loaded, fully charged and ready to go. It’s easy to switch between aircraft as needed, and scalable from the smallest business or regional aircraft to the largest cabin deployments by simply utilising multiple Bluebox Wow units.

Bluebox Wow supports free-to-seat and pay-for-access commercial models, and again it’s simple to switch between them.

Our tried and tested high quality battery typically lasts up to 15 hours supporting up to 50 devices simultaneously. For even greater flexibility the rechargeable battery is easy to replace in flight turnaround, ensuring service continuity for even the longest sectors.

But does it deliver Early Window Content?
For an enhanced entertainment option Bluebox Wow interfaces seamlessly with our Bluebox Hybrid (iPad) units, which are approved by Hollywood studios to host pre-loaded EWC movies and enable access to streamed content. So while Bluebox Wow reaches all personal devices, airlines can offer a superior service proposition to premium passengers or generate ancillary revenue from onboard iPad rental.
Stand-alone or Hybrid, Bluebox Walk-on wiFE delivers fantastic value, flexibility and a great way to quickly introduce IFE for the first time.

A part of your IFE Evolution
Following a typical six months’ successful deployment of Bluebox Wow, and a proven business case, we recommend you consider upgrading to the fully installed Bluebox wiFE streaming solution. The additional benefits of our fitted system include enhanced performance, a wider choice of content options and extra operational features.

General specification
Small form-factor wireless streaming system
Lightweight, portable hardware
Simple controls to power on and show running status
Battery powered
Mil-spec ruggedized battery unit tested to UL standards
Up to 15 hour battery life (verification pending)
Up to 50 users per unit (verification pending)
Simple installation (carry on and secure in overhead bins)
Simple update process via wifi connection
Intuitive GUI
Comprehensive reporting statistics:
• content items used
• system status
• system location (“last seen” data)

Key content features
Video content
Music & audiobook content
Newspapers & magazines updated daily
HTML5 games
Movie trailers & snackable content
Destination guides
Seat2Seat networked messaging
Resort excursion bookings
Inflight menu & meal ordering
Drinks ordering
Duty free catalogue

CMT options
Modular Cabin Application Host Platform architecture can be extended to support crew messaging, crew reporting, stock control, and other operational functions.

The complete Bluebox range
Bluebox is committed to delivering a suite of innovative IFE solutions that give airlines the scope to expand or develop their IFE offer as their requirements evolve:
Bluebox Ai
An iPad-based stand alone solution providing extremely rapid deployment, supporting a full range of content types including pre-loaded Early Window Content.
Bluebox Hybrid
An enhancement of Bluebox Ai, offering all its capabilities and content categories plus the ability to connect with Bluebox or third party streaming systems. Bluebox Hybrid is the elegant way to deliver EWC in the connected cabin.
Bluebox Wow
A portable wireless solution delivering a range of attractive IFE and cabin service capabilities, with no installation required; designed for those wanting service flexibility and as an easy route to wireless IFE evaluation.
Bluebox wiFE
A feature-rich wireless IFE system, delivering all the content types and capabilities of an installed wifi solution.

Bluebox offers proven experience and expertise in delivering the highest quality solutions with the best customer support and service in the industry.

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 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 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 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.

France | October 2015 — Airlines strive to keep on enriching their passenger experience in order to get the flights always looking shorter and more comfortable while generating more ancillary revenues. The ancillaries share soared beyond US$ 38b (source: The 2015 Cartrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue).

One of the key element which boosts new inflight services is the progressive digitalization of the Inflight Entertainment Systems. Whether seatback or wifi-based, passengers can nearly been catered with limitless offers. From skip-the line tickets for the latest exhibition at destination, to airport transfer organization, a new market place filled with a large range of services is raising onboard.

Do you want to order snacks from your IFE? It’s already live on some famous airlines. You’d like to enjoy duty free shopping onboard and have it delivered to your seat? Same. Already live and reducing the ”galley-ballet”. As embedded systems experts, including IFEs, PXCom launches a new solution, enabling passengers to shop groceries via their IFE and get delivered at their accommodation.

In order to achieve such a world first, PXCom is currently studying some partnership proposals with major retailers and big brands of fine delicacies in order to onboard the service in the early 2016. The competitive edge for these brands relies in PXCom solution’s portability from one IFE platform to another without any additional development.

“[It’s] so thrilling to see that our new service works in both ways, explains Cyril JEAN, PXCom CEO. First, imagine a business traveler who’s heading to Paris for a short stay. During the flight he orders a hand-picked selection of fine local specialties to treat himself when arrived, and gets delivered directly at his hotel. Now, imagine a family coming back from a several weeks holiday. Regardless of any connectivity, the IFE suggests this family a selection of refrigerated and store cupboard items in order to prepare the first meals, on a shared list! Each family member selects its own favorite items, from their own seat, and once over, one of the parents finalizes the order and delivery details. Thanks to our solution, our portfolio of services is quite limitless. Our priority is to connect passengers’ expectations with the IFE, as well as personalizing their inflight experience.”

APEX Expo, Portland, Oregon | September 29, 2015– Zodiac Inflight Innovations’ RAVE™ technology has now been installed on 300 aircraft.

“It is only just over a year ago since we celebrated our 100th installation so this news shows how rapidly we’re progressing,” said Matt Smith, CEO of Zodiac Inflight Innovations. “This is a very important milestone both for Zodiac Inflight Innovations and for the airline industry as a whole. The IFEC world has been dominated by two suppliers for too long, resulting in airlines not having the choice they deserve and limiting passengers’ access to the very best technology.”

RAVE™ has four elements, RAVE™ Centric, RAVE™ Wireless, RAVE™ Cellular and RAVE™ Broadband, which together make up the entire IFEC offering that any airline needs. It is modular, so each airline can select the elements that suit it best and airlines can even provide different elements for economy and premium cabins. All the products are available in one integrated package or as standalone products. Whatever the airline wants from its IFEC, Zodiac Inflight Innovations has a flexible solution to meet its needs.

“Everything Zodiac Inflight Innovations does is based around the principles of RAVE™: the technology is reliable, affordable and very easy,” continued Smith. “The RAVE concept applies as much to simplicity of use for the passenger as it does to the airline’s purchasing, marketing and maintenance teams.”

RAVE™ Centric IFE is the very best in-seat IFE.

RAVE™ Wireless uses wireless access points (WAP) to create an onboard wireless network for the distribution of films, TV, music and moving maps to passengers’ own PEDs, including smartphones, tablets and laptops.

RAVE™ Cellular is Zodiac Inflight Innovations’ inflight mobile phone product.

RAVE™ Broadband is inflight Wi-Fi and connectivity off the aircraft.

  • Latest SITA OnAir innovations on booth 1023 deploy the solution

APEX EXPO, Portland, Oregon | September 28, 2015– At this week’s APEX EXPO in Portland, SITA OnAir is demonstrating how it is helping airlines realize the full potential of the connected aircraft.

“With everything in our lives becoming digitized, there are a million and one opportunities to improve the passenger experience,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “We can use real-time decision-making, predictive analytics, create new programs, applications and content. We can make far better use of air space, improve turnaround times and remove passenger pain points, making the whole experience smoother.”

The e-Aircraft presents significant opportunities for airlines to streamline operations and improve efficiencies. It also presents the major challenge of what to do when confronted by terabytes of data produced during each flight. Some of it will be stored for downloading on the ground. But increasingly, the demand is for real-time interaction, for the aircraft to be connected nose-to-tail throughout the flight for both passengers and the airline.

“We need to be able to transmit data from the ground to the aircraft, and vice versa, rapidly and efficiently, making high throughput satellite networks are an essential piece of the jigsaw. Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, with its consistent global coverage, will provide exactly the connectivity we need for the connected aircraft,” continued Dawkins. “The key question, once airlines have access to the Big Data, is how to use it.

“One of the key areas of our focus is enabling the development of apps, both for passengers and airlines. Combined with the introduction of standards and solutions offered by SITA OnAir, the use of APIs to create apps is an area of enormous potential for thousands of innovators, start-ups and small technology companies worldwide – particularly by linking into the IT ecosystem of passengers, crew and pilots. From consumer-style shopping apps for passengers to service enhancement apps for cabin staff, the only limit is the extent of developers’ imagination.”

At this week’s APEX EXPO in Portland, SITA OnAir is demonstrating how it is helping airlines realize the full potential of the connected aircraft.

“With everything in our lives becoming digitized, there are a million and one opportunities to improve the passenger experience,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “We can use real-time decision-making, predictive analytics, create new programs, applications and content. We can make far better use of air space, improve turnaround times and remove passenger pain points, making the whole experience smoother.”

The e-Aircraft presents significant opportunities for airlines to streamline operations and improve efficiencies. It also presents the major challenge of what to do when confronted by terabytes of data produced during each flight. Some of it will be stored for downloading on the ground. But increasingly, the demand is for real-time interaction, for the aircraft to be connected nose-to-tail throughout the flight for both passengers and the airline.

“We need to be able to transmit data from the ground to the aircraft, and vice versa, rapidly and efficiently, making high throughput satellite networks are an essential piece of the jigsaw. Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, with its consistent global coverage, will provide exactly the connectivity we need for the connected aircraft,” continued Dawkins. “The key question, once airlines have access to the Big Data, is how to use it.

“One of the key areas of our focus is enabling the development of apps, both for passengers and airlines. Combined with the introduction of standards and solutions offered by SITA OnAir, the use of APIs to create apps is an area of enormous potential for thousands of innovators, start-ups and small technology companies worldwide – particularly by linking into the IT ecosystem of passengers, crew and pilots. From consumer-style shopping apps for passengers to service enhancement apps for cabin staff, the only limit is the extent of developers’ imagination.”

Read the full story

  • Arkefly Managing Director Hans van de Velde is pleased with the program’s success and suggests that other TUI Group carriers may soon follow suit by deploying ‘TUI Cloud’ as well.

Amsterdam | September 15, 2015– This week at Aviation Festival in London, Arkefly Managing Director Hans van de Velde gave a keynote outlining the success of the TUI Cloud streaming IFE pilot program (using passenger’s own devices) which was fully deployed across the Arkefly fleet in an astonishing 12 weeks.

At the conference he also hinted that the entire TUI family of 140 active aircraft (comprising the fleets of Thomson Airways, TUIfly, Arkefly TUI Nordics and Jetairfly) might also be on a fast track to implement TUI Cloud – supported by the AirFi battery-powered Wi-Fi box – as part of the “One Aviation” carrier consolidation project underway within TUI Group.

“It took us literally two minutes to convince our board last week, Wednesday, that this is a very quick and easy solution,” he told delegates.

In a special Q&A interview designed for press distribution, van de Velde speaks candidly about the rapid deployment schedule, program logistics, early passenger usage data, plans for monetization, impact on crew, improvements in onboard service, Phase Two of the roll-out, ongoing trials and how he thinks the AirFi box and TUI Cloud can create a harmonized passenger experience across Arkefly’s mixed fleet.

“We definitely want, within all TUI Group airlines, to harmonize the inflight experience as much as we can,” he reveals the attached Q&A. “The rest of the group is watching closely, because at the end of this year we need to have a group-wide strategy in place to harmonize the On-Board Customer Experience.”

Fact Sheet

  • Agreement Is the First Step to Make the Fastest In-Flight Connectivity Service Available to New Commercial Aircraft

Carlsbad, California | September 15, 2015– ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, today announced it entered into a new technical agreement with The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA). The agreement initiates the evaluation process for airlines to specify installation of the ViaSat in-flight Wi-Fi® connectivity system on Boeing Commercial airplanes.

ViaSat offers the fastest in-flight internet speeds – typically 8 to 10 times faster – than any other in-flight Wi-Fi system available today. Under the terms of this new agreement, ViaSat’s Ka-band airborne satellite terminal will be evaluated as a factory option for Boeing aircraft prior to delivery, enabling airplanes to come off the line with ViaSat connectivity ready for immediate service. This would allow airlines to avoid costly down-time involved with taking planes out of service for post-production retrofits and ensures that from day one, each passenger and flight crew member gets a best-in-class in-flight internet experience with the industry’s only service level agreement, regardless of how many devices are connected on the plane or how many planes are on the network.

“Our agreement with Boeing is an important milestone giving our airline customers the ability to get the best onboard Wi-Fi system delivered with their new aircraft,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility at ViaSat. “By selecting ViaSat in-flight communications for Boeing’s fleet, airlines now can differentiate their in-flight internet service with a flexible, sustainable business model that will continue to create value as more passengers use the service.”

John Craig, chief engineer of Cabin and Network Systems for Boeing Commercial Airplanes continued, “In initiating the evaluation process with long-time partner ViaSat, we now look to add ViaSat airborne terminals to our line-fit factory options. This will give Boeing’s commercial airline customers a new cost- and time-effective high-bandwidth connectivity choice for their airplanes.”

ViaSat’s in-flight internet service has won more industry awards in the past 12-months than any other system, including the Crystal Cabin Award, Excellence in Avionics Award, the Via Satellite Excellence Award and the APEX Avion Award. The service operates on nearly 500 aircraft with unmatched in-flight Wi-Fi quality, performance and scale, allowing airlines to provide a highly-differentiated in-flight experience that gives passengers and crew members access to high-speed web browsing, streaming media and productivity applications.

Expanded Partnership, Expanded Global Coverage
As announced in March 2015, ViaSat and Boeing also are working together to offer the ViaSat Flexible Broadband System. This system couples ViaSat’s high-capacity ViaSat-2 satellite payload design with Boeing’s 702SP (Small Platform) satellite bus to lower barriers of entry for regional satellite service providers to offer affordable, flexible satellite broadband anywhere in the world.

With the ViaSat Flexible Broadband System, service providers can focus capacity to match bandwidth demand and scale their infrastructure as expansion is needed. The vision of this smart global network would allow any ViaSat-enabled Boeing aircraft to stay connected across a much more diverse, global Ka-band satellite network.

  • 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

GOL also Becomes First to Commit to Gogo TV – Gogo’s new IPTV Product
Itasca, ILL | June 15, 2015– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider, announced today that it will bring its in-flight connectivity services to GOL, the largest low-cost and best-fare airline in Latin America. GOL will be the first Brazilian airline to offer broadband Internet access to its passengers.

As part of the agreement, Gogo will outfit GOL’s entire fleet of aircraft with Gogo’s next generation satellite service – 2Ku. In addition to providing in-flight Internet, all of GOL’s aircraft will also be outfitted with Gogo’s wireless in-flight entertainment system, Gogo Vision, and Gogo’s new IPTV solution – Gogo TV – on all of the aircraft.

Gogo TV enables airlines to deliver live television content to a passenger’s own Wi-Fi enabled device. The service will initially be available only to airlines that select Gogo’s 2Ku technology and will be delivered through the Wi-Fi system onboard the aircraft using Internet protocol. Gogo believes that 2Ku will be the best solution on the market for IPTV.

“This is a major win for Gogo and represents a number of firsts for Gogo. GOL is Gogo’s first airline partner in South America and the first airline to commit to Gogo’s television product. It also represents the largest aircraft commitment to our 2Ku technology outside of North America,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “We believe that 2Ku will be the best performing technology in the global aero market. This performance is expected to be even better near the equator, where a large percentage of GOL’s aircraft operate.”

“For fourteen years, GOL has been driving the Brazilian aviation market to develop, always presenting innovative and pioneering products, services and processes,” said Paulo Miranda, Product Director of GOL. “By partnering with Gogo, we are taking that spirit of innovation to a new level and we look forward to enabling our passengers to stay connected, informed and entertained while in flight.”

Gogo expects to begin offering connectivity services on GOL towards the middle of 2016. 2Ku, Gogo’s next generation satellite technology, is expected to deliver peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft, which is more than 20 times the bandwidth when compared to Gogo’s first generation Air to Ground solution in the U.S. More information about this technology can be found here.

STG Aerospace

There were a lot of new LED Cabin Interior suppliers at AIX and an interesting trend we observed was the simplification and down-colorizing of the solutions… white, blue and red were the primary solutions we found. Designed as a cabin lighting retrofit solution, LED’s provide light, reliability, and the promise of color while lowering weight and power requirements… not to mention cost. What’s not to like?

Now, let’s talk about one vendor we visited – STG Aerospace. In the past we visited STG Aerospace but never got the full story – this time we did, and boy what a thoughtful and precise pitch on the STG Aerospace solution it was… it is called liTeMood®. We can’t say enough about their CEO, Nigel Duncan. If you ever get the chance to hear STG Aerospace’s side of the LED argument, don’t miss it. Nigel had to be from Marketing because his idea of a presentation is exactly what airlines need to see. Features, Advantages, and Benefits – STG Aerospace’s point was simple… since 94% of air travelers are coach fliers – with slim profit margin fliers, do airlines need to spend up to $3 million for “sky-like” a complete interior retrofit when well-designed LED lighting solutions in limited colors can provide significant improvement to the passenger experience at 1/nth the cost?

Putting the costs in perspective, Mr. Duncan’s version of “Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Pyramid” said it all. Quoting Bubb’s Discomfort Pyramid (2008) and pointing out the relative location of “visual vs. biological needs”, he noted the order of least to most disruptive environments to humans from top to bottom goes: Ambience, Anthropological, Temperature, Acoustic, Vibration, Light, and at the bottom, Odor. Put simply, as long as there is no bad odor in the cabin, poor quality lighting is the next most important cause of passenger discomfort.

Yes, STG Aerospace notes, “as Light is way down the discomfort pyramid as one of the impactful to humans so why,” STG Aerospace asks, “It is good there is attention finally being paid to cabin lighting; but do airlines really need expensive and complex multi-colored lighting solutions to improve the economy cabin need to spend so much for it…good question? “To be a light solution most effective,” Nigel noted: “that the lighting needs to be uniform and aesthetically pleasing and has to work with the airline’s brand. Further, it needs to have visual impact but still manage the passenger’s well-being. Additionally, each area of the cabin lighting needs to be task optimized then combined with a holistic cabin view – it must look good.” Lest we forget he noted that it must also be in regulatory compliance with the photoluminescent floor-path charging regime.

The point here is to ask two basic lighting questions: What do passengers really need – and – How much should it cost? With some 10 sources and points of aircraft interior lighting perhaps the trick here is to “optimize but do not over-customize and avoid unnecessary color complexity which may not yield meaningful benefits to passengers or the airlines”.  Thus STG Aerospace struck out and built a blue-white system that is simple, cost effective, non-invasive, non-software driven – a light solution that has human factor benefits, is brand positive, is simple to install and operate, while still having future programmable capabilities. STG Aerospace’s Lighting System really impressed us.

We asked Nigel about future aircraft interior lighting issues and he had a few ideas that our readers might like to hear:

• Health concerns may drive hands-free control of lighting…think motion or voice activated.

• Data transmitted thru light sources – modulated LED sources

• Passenger centric lighting…not aircraft interior-centric.

• Cabin density increase and the effect on passenger interior lighting

• The change from in-seat IFE to BYOD and the lighting required.

• Unknown but stronger regulatory requirements.

Finally, Mr. Duncan pointed out that their liTeMood®. LED lighting product is true a plug-and play retrofit with no aircraft modification. It meets all regulatory requirements and offers a significant 40% weight improvement, not to mention 70% reduction in cabin lighting power, and last, but not least, a patented wireless program-ability function.


Of the more “interesting” sides of the reporting business, referral-based based stories are always interesting and this is one of them. At least two industry knowledgeable sources told IFExpress that we “had” to interview the avionics company we are about to disclose here. While their motives were most probably based on sales potential we felt there must be more – you be the judge. The company is called SKYFE and is a combination of people from two Turkish technical companiesHavelsan, who, we understand is the 32 year-old Turkish software/tech company (1200 employees) that has inroads into the Turkish military, and Turkish Technic which deals in new technology hardware.

Their prime new commercial product, as far as we can determine, is a wireless IFE portable device/system (outside IFE products) inflight entertainment solution that has been in development for 2 years. We note that they showed a server (WQAR – Wireless Quick Access Recorder, which looks quite impressive, by the way) that has cell connectivity antennas for ground connectivity updates. We were told that the IFE system is in the final rounds of EASA certification. SKYFE did not mention whose wireless router was involved (nor was it shown in their booth and the server was probably a variant of the one shown) but we assumed that they do not manufacturer the router and the “Kontron” name came up, we note. Their inroads with Turkish Airlines (Turk Hava Yollari) are assumed to be quite good and with 263 commercial aircraft under Turkish wings, SKYFE is assumed to have a high market potential there, at least for their first IFE attempt.

SKYFE also displayed a few rows of seats with seatback IFE in operation. They did note that the seatback demo was only a mockup of a system to be developed and rolled out later. The existing server unit we saw was part of a system development that included a ground 3G station used presently for aircraft data collection and management – IFE seemed a natural extension for that server. SKYFE mentioned that their prices were competitive, hardware fully customizable, and they have an in-house certification, installation, and maintenance capability

The first wireless unit install is, as we said, awaiting certification and SKYFE is looking for a first customer as well (unless you assume the first unit will be for Turkish). We suspect the Turkish Airline fleet is in their sights, but if their product line grows, they will be another IFE contender, especially in their corner of the world. Not only because they build equipment, but because they install it as well. One of their software management team was in our interview and we were quite impressed with his grasp of the IFE challenge. We also note that all the show business cards were from Havelsan employees but that their website is still in development, we assume. Further, the message here is these folks have an inside line on a lot of potential IFE and thus you vendors know exactly what to do. We also guess you will hear more about SKYFE so Stay Tuned.

Here is an inflight texting update and it is partially being driven by Gogo and TMobile because their customers can text free on over 2000 US aircraft today. While not commercially launched, the service is still running with free text and picture messaging and visual voicemail today. Saying “talking is becoming a thing of the past,” Gogo Inflight Connectivity CEO Michael Small told investment analysts and its Talk and Text product is generating “substantial” business on the business aviation side. “It’s on many aircraft,” he told reporters, “we actually are seeing some interesting things like a very high percentage of our BA customers have chosen to add it,” he said, in a Seeking Alpha transcript. He further noted, “The world has moved on from talking. It’s emailing and its texting. Talking is becoming a thing of the past.” Sure is… especially when the other is free. Our only complaint is that there is not enough info about the availability before or during the flight because it is not an “offerable product” yet. Expect to see this solution popular for even-more-expensive satcom calls.

Hamburg, Germany | April 14, 2015– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has reached a major milestone with the 700th aircraft installation of its eXConnect inflight Wi-Fi system.

Panasonic Avionics President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul Margis, said, “We believe that every aircraft should be connected, regardless of its mission. What was once viewed as a passenger amenity has quickly become a business imperative for our customers.”

Margis continued, “The connectivity discussion with our customers has moved beyond the size of the pipe. What matters most for our customers is how they can use connectivity to improve their business. Only Panasonic provides an ecosystem that uses connectivity for a wide array of services benefitting both the passenger and the airlines’ bottom line.”

No other provider has the ability to integrate state-of-the-art in-seat entertainment with broadband Wi-Fi, live television and 3G mobile phone services. Panasonic’s uniquely global Ku-band satellite network lets passengers surf the web at broadband speeds, send and receive email, watch live television and use 3G connectivity to make and receive phone calls, send and read SMS text messages or email, and browse online using mobility services from AeroMobile.

A connected inflight entertainment (IFE) system lets airlines offer passenger concierge services from its cabin crew and ground staff, and tailor on-board advertising with specific content aimed at individual passengers. With connectivity, real-time credit card validations help prevent fraud and let airlines offer higher value items through passenger devices and the seatback system. Live monitoring of the IFE systems and passenger behavior such as content usage statistics allow the airline to adjust their product strategy and serve their passengers better.

Connectivity is also transforming the way airlines can do business with real-time aircraft tracking around the globe, electronic flight bag services for cockpit operations and a real-time interface for flight and cabin crew with airline ground operations. A connected aircraft also enables proactive maintenance by continually streaming operational data including engine data to the ground, enabling quick analysis and the provision of fixes and solutions where necessary, and the quick mobilization of ground maintenance to ensure minimal operational disruption.

After solving birdstrike, Panasonic installed 250 aircraft with eXConnect in 2014. Over 300 are planned for installation this year to achieve the 1,000th aircraft in 1Q 2016. In total, 56 airlines, seven of which have committed in the last 8 weeks have committed over 2,200 aircraft with Panasonic’s eXConnect system.

The company will introduce massive capacity increases coming later this year, including 200mbps over CONUS (Continental U.S.), the Atlantic Ocean and into Europe with HTS (High Throughput Satellite), providing increased bandwidth. With future updates planned over Europe and Asia, HTS will cover all of the world’s high traffic areas by Q4 2017.

In addition Panasonic, the leading provider of inflight connectivity systems globally, has received 210 regulatory approvals including connected flights over China.

  • Sky Team member chooses global Wi-Fi system and state-of-the-art entertainment system

Hamburg, Germany | April 14, 2015– Xiamen Airlines has selected Panasonic Avionics (“Panasonic”) to equip its new fleet of Boeing Dreamliners with global connectivity and the world’s leading inflight entertainment systems.

Xiamen Airlines, a member of the Sky Team alliance that began international operations this year with a service between Xiamen and Amsterdam, will equip six of its Boeing 787-8s with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service as well as its eX3 entertainment system. The system will allow Xiamen Airlines to offer passengers hi-definition screens and more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. This can include up to 120 movies, 180 television programs, 350 audio selections and 30 games.

Panasonic through its partnership with China Telecom is the only provider of Wi-Fi authorized to offer inflight Wi-Fi on flights over mainland China.

Panasonic Avionics President and CEO Paul Margis said: “We’re proud that an airline as ambitious as Xiamen has chosen Panasonic to bring its passengers the very best the industry can offer. The powerful combination of broadband Wi-Fi with world-class entertainment will create a truly unique experience for Xiamen’s passengers.”

Itasca, IL | April 14, 2015– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider and the world leader in wireless in-flight entertainment, announces the launch of its revolutionary crew messaging service: Crew Connect for Airline Operational Services.

Crew Connect is a dynamic messaging platform that allows flight crews to communicate by voice or text messaging with each other and with ground crews while the aircraft is in flight. The service is an application-based service, available on Android, Apple and Microsoft devices that offers group messaging, event-based alerts, multi-media messaging and message tracking.

“Today, numerous airlines are issuing their flight attendants and pilots Wi-Fi enabled tablets and smartphones, which are capable of utilizing aircraft connectivity. Crew Connect leverages that trend,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “The only other way for cabin crew to communicate off the aircraft is through traditional flight deck voice or datalink (ACARS) systems, which have historically been difficult and expensive to utilize for in-flight cabin crew communication. This service will give airlines an inexpensive way to keep crew connected and informed while in the air, with the ultimate goal of helping airlines improve efficiency.”

The technology is based on leading IP messaging platform technology. The service will include features like: Dynamic call grouping, which allows the airline to send communications to an entire aircraft, fleet or region; status notifications like “message read” and “on aircraft”; and hot button calling to airline-designated sites such as dispatch, scheduling and maintenance.

“Although optimized for Gogo’s network, Crew Connect is also available to airlines with alternative connectivity suppliers,” indicated Andrew Kemmetmueller, Vice President of Airline Operational Services and Platforms. “The service is designed to maximize the communications value of any broadband link for the airline, bringing improved functions on any connected aircraft.”

“Crew Connect is another example of how Gogo is driving industry-leading innovation on its in-flight network to unlock the potential of the connected fleet,” added ElDifrawi. “We will continue to work with airline partners to create products and service that help them achieve their individual goals from an operational perspective.”

  • We want inflight Wi-Fi and we want it for free

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 14, 2015– Over 20 airlines around the world are providing free inflight Wi-Fi today and, according to the latest industry estimation from SITA OnAir, more than double will do it by 2020.

“Take-up rate increases by up to ten times when airlines provide free inflight Wi-Fi. Passengers want inflight connectivity but very few expect to pay for it,” said François Rodriguez, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer of SITA OnAir. “We are becoming digital omnivores and depending on the context, we want to connect our phones, tablets and laptops all the time. SITA OnAir is helping airlines keep up with this growing trend by providing the industry with the business model that meets the airline’s commercial strategy and brand positioning.”

SITA’s passenger research shows nearly every passenger has the potential to be connected:

  • 97% have a personal electronic device of some form
  • 81% carry a smartphone
  • 43% bring a tablet
  • 43% fly with a laptop
  • 18% have a phone, a tablet and a laptop

“People are addicted to being connected,” continued Rodriguez. “A study* in the US showed that 60% of people cannot go without Wi-Fi for more than a day. 39% would sacrifice coffee and would give up 43% chocolate in return for Wi-Fi access. Airlines need to think hard about inflight amenities. Newspapers and peanuts are traditionally used to keep passengers happy. But things have changed and the new generation of passengers clearly prefers to access social media instead.”

Different business models have been adopted to meet this demand:

Emirates provides free Wi-Fi for all its passengers, in every class, as a standard cabin service. Read Full Story

SAUDIA provides complimentary Internet to its premium passengers, through a dedicated phone and tablet app. Read Full Story

Singapore Airlines also provides free Wi-Fi for its premium passengers, sponsored by an external company. In this case it is Citibank, which has covered the implementation costs of the promotion.

Philippine Airlines provides free Wi-Fi to celebrate specific events throughout the year, such as the opening of a new route or calendar events like Christmas, with a dedicated promotion. Read Full Story

Primarily, people want to stay in touch during their entire journey. Looking at analysis of the traffic on SITA OnAir’s networks, once inflight, over half of the most used apps are for messaging, email or voice over IP. The most widespread ones are WhatsApp, iMessage, Snapshot, Gmail and FaceTime.

The next biggest group of apps is social media, which is also arguably about communication. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram come top. Search engines – Google and Yahoo – are also popular, as are YouTube, Spotify, Google Map and Apple Map.

“Inflight connectivity is now a must for the entire fleets,” continued Rodriguez. “Airlines are also recognising that it can provide significant operational benefits. The resulting savings and improvement in the passenger experience will give every airline the opportunity to also embrace the airline digital transformation. ”

Current operational uses of connectivity include crew tablets, which can provide real-time payment for duty free, live baggage tracking, value-added services at the destination, information about connecting flights and re-booking in the case of delays. The Wi-Fi network can be used to connect the cabin crew and passengers for inflight services, such as food and drink requests. Pilots also use connectivity, for example connected Electronic Flight Bags, to receive up to date weather maps, so they can avoid turbulence, making flights more comfortable for passengers, as well as reducing fuel burn.

“This is the start of the connected aircraft,” concluded Rodriguez. “Airlines are using the aircraft connectivity for more applications to help the cabin and cockpit crew. The deployment of operational applications, including maintenance reporting and aircraft health monitoring is also already happening.”

SITA OnAir is already a leading provider in the connected aircraft market with nearly 400 airline customers operating over 14,000 aircraft. Of those, 22 provide SITA OnAir’s Wi-Fi and mobile phone products, making SITA OnAir one of the industry most dominant inflight connectivity players.

Paris, France | April 13, 2015– At the Aircraft Interiors Expo, which will be held next week in Hamburg, the InFlight entertainment (IFE) industry will be revealing its latest innovations, ready to wow airline passengers.

PXCom is positioning itself as a pioneer in this industry as it announces its own major innovation. The new solution is for the first time fully integrated within the award winning BoardConnect wireless infotainment platform of Lufthansa Systems. PXCom has developed a reservation service that is fully operational and directly accessible from the passenger’s seat.

Imagine yourself on a medium or long-haul flight. Through the integrated in-flight entertainment system, PXCom’s multimedia travel guides have already helped you find activities at your destination to liven up your stay. Now, in just a few clicks, you can reserve a ticket for the exhibition that caught your eye; the 3-day pass that includes transportation and museums; theme parks that your kids are dying to visit… all that is possible even without an in-flight internet connection!

For airlines already offering IFC, onboard connectivity will enhance this new feature enlarging the scope of the bookings which can be processed, such as transportation mode at the arrival, live events tickets…

“Reserving and buying tickets while in flight has been long anticipated by both airline companies and tourism professionals,” points out Cyril JEAN, PXCom CEO. “For the former, it’s a question of offering a new ancillary-generator service. For the latter, it is about the crucial point of attracting tourists before they even arrive. Our service is very simple. Our multimedia travel guides are already in place to help inspire passengers. When they select an activity, we ask them to enter their contact information (email or telephone). As soon as the plane arrives at the airport, the data is offloaded and processed. PXCom is positioned to ensure the direct liaison between passengers and tourism professionals.” He adds, “Lufthansa Systems’ teams were incredible. We all share the same desire to innovate, and the same agility in offering airline companies turn-key solutions.”

This solution is now registered in the BoardConnect features catalog and can be tested at AIX.

First, we wanted to feature a Lumexis roll-out story about one coming big market change – ultra-low cost IFE for single-aisle aircraft. Rather than tell the story, here is the Press Release that does:


“Lumexis has taken another industry-leading step forward with the launch of its unprecedented new iPAX™ in-flight entertainment (IFE) product – a wireless-streaming in-seat system at the ultra-low price of $1,495 and weight of only 8.9 ounces per seat. And lets face it, delivering a wireless connectivity cloud solution to seatback IFE is a lot cheaper than running cable bundles of wires to each seat via routers and division multiplexers.

But, the really interesting story here is that Lumexis announced the price up front. We do not remember an IFE hardware provider ad that gave prices in our 22 years of publishing – so this is a first. Let’s read on “Some three-fourths of single-aisle aircraft fly on short-to-medium haul routes that could never before benefit from embedded IFEC,” said Lumexis CEO Doug Cline. “That paradigm is turned upside down with iPAX, truly the first cost-effective HD video tool for earning significant new ancillary revenue from offering a diversity of products and services.”

The question is: Why this product now? Obviously to Lumexis, product size, product weight, required power, Wi-Fi content distribution, price, and untapped market size are all pretty good answers. We asked Jon Norris, Lumexis VP Sales, about the Lumexis project and he told IFExpress: “Both the retrofit and linefit installation markets are firmly in our sights.”

Next, we wanted to see why this product is designed for the single-aisle market. Let’s look at market size first. Boeing’s Current Market Outlook gives a total single-aisle market size in 2013 of around 13,580 aircraft and that number is probably around 14,000 planes today for lack of a current market study. If we assume 86% of them either do not have IFE or have overhead IFE installed as Jon mentioned to IFExpress, that total market number is something like 12,040 single-aisle planes… not a bad single-aisle market solution!

And the future looks even better, First Quarter 2015 (adjusted), Boeing 110 Orders and 184 deliveries (of which, 121 were single-aisle). First Quarter 2015 results (adjusted), Airbus, 109 Orders, 134 Deliveries (of which, 126 were single-aisle).

Single-aisle deliveries for the first quarter 2014, Airbus 134 (approximately 44.6 per month), Boeing 121 single-aisle deliveries (approximately 40.3 per month)… for a grand total of 87 single-aisle planes delivered per month this year so far by both, and the rates are going up. Together Boeing and Airbus are going for a rough total of 100 single-aisle planes per month 2017. And it is, by the way, a record year for both plane-makers and if Lumexis has its’ way, it will be boom year for them too.

The press release went on to say: “The Lumexis team has established yet another benchmark in commercial aviation with this unique revenue-generating tool,” added Lou Sharkey, President and Chief Operating Officer. “Fully-installed, it costs less than a conventional overhead monitor system and weighs half as much, so the revenue it generates drops directly to the bottom line.”

We asked about the functionality of the system and Mr. Norris told IFExpress that iPAX is a wireless/seat-centric hybrid system blending local storage with wireless streaming to optimize available bandwidth and performance. The system even has built in capability to provide a passenger-to-crew ordering system. We also inquired about the wireless WAP efficiency and he told IFExpress that “between 40-50 passengers will be served by each WAP simultaneously which calls for approximately 3 to 4 per each single-aisle plane… obviously determined by the choice of WAP and type of content.” System price was another astounding feature of the iPAX seat display units and the inseat power (2.1A USB) is a Lumexis product that is available as an option. All in all, Lumexis has laid down a price gauntlet and we guess there will be a new trend at AIX – Low Cost IFE Solutions. Stay Tuned on this one.

Lastly, the news release said: “We invite you to visit Stand 4C50 during the Aircraft Interiors EXPO (14th-16th April 2015 at the Hamburg Messe) and allow us to demonstrate why Lumexis is The Future of IFE.

Aircraft Cabin Systems

Aircraft Cabin Systems is leading the IFE industry with AC and DC powered aircraft qualified HD LCD Monitors. We design, engineer, qualify and manufacture our HD LCD Monitors from the ground up to meet & exceed DO-160 testing requirements. ACS offers a wide range of sizes from 5.7” to our NEW 65” UHD (4K) LCD Monitor that meets Section 16 Current Harmonics/Variable Frequency Power testing requirements which supports the B787, A350 and A380 aircraft platforms. ACS is the first to offer our customers a true HD “Theater in the Sky” viewing experience displaying 1080p content interfacing with ALL the industry CMS/IFE system architectures.  ACS currently carries the most FAA PMA HD LCD Monitors in the industry; no other company comes close to our qualification/certification experience and customer support/responsiveness.

Contact: Ken Muse,, C: +1.425.785.7398

Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES)
Hall 2, Stand B30

Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), the world leader of in-seat power and intelligently managed power systems, does it again and is introducing their latest generation EmPower® system product line – the 1191-4X!  This new in-seat power system (ISPS) is designed to meet the ever increasing power needs of passengers and provides up to three 110VAC and three high-power USB outlets, allowing passengers the ability to simultaneously use and charge their tablets, smart phones, iPods, or other USB devices while in use!  The significance of this new design is that all of these features have been incorporated into the same form factor, mounting envelope and weight of the previous generation EmPower® ISPS systems.  Stop by the Astronics booth, 2B30, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo for a live demonstration of this revolutionary product.

Also new at Astronics are the family of passenger electronic device-friendly aircraft tray tables, by SmartTray. These revolutionary products facilitate hands-free use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) and smart phones, solving the BYOD and second screen challenge!  These unique tray tables offer air travelers and airlines superior ergonomics, tray space management, and improved comfort and convenience over conventional tray tables.  These amazingly simple, practical, and cost effective solutions make using and stowing PEDs inflight convenient and easier.  All of this convenience and minutes to install!  Visit the Astronics booth, 2B30, at Aircraft Interiors Expo to see these innovative tray tables.

Contact: Dennis Markert,, C: +1.425.442.8195

Astronics Armstrong Aerospace
Hall 2, Stand B30

Astronics Armstrong Aerospace is an innovative aviation engineering, design and manufacturing company that upgrades aircraft with new technologies. Armstrong has successfully installed and certified passenger power systems, WiFi Internet, 802.11n wireless access points, mobile phones, satellite TV, and inflight video as well as navigation, communication and flight safety upgrades on commercial and business aviation aircraft.

Armstrong’s customers and strategic partners can expect a passionate approach to problem solving, design, and certification lending to reduced cost, faster time to market, and FAA and foreign certification approvals.

Contact: Shawn Raybell,, C: +1.425.344.8787

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies
Hall B2, Stand 2D30

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of high-performance wire and cable, including fiber optics. Since the company’s creation, we have grown our product portfolio to include specialty and filtered connectors, contacts, cable assemblies, complex harnesses, racks, trays and installation kits. In addition to our vast product breadth, we provide our customers a higher level of support by offering engineering and certification services with DER, DAR and DMIAR personnel on staff.

For 75 years, CarlisleIT has been delivering highly reliable products to the aerospace market. Originally founded as the Tensolite Company in 1940, CarlisleIT has grown dramatically and now encompasses many recognized brands beyond Tensolite, including LHi Technology, Thermax, Raydex, ECS and Tri-Star Electronics International.

Contact: Mindy Brandt,, C: +1.904.342.5887

Hall B2, 2c30

digEcor is an established and highly regarded IFE industry innovator. It was the first to introduce portable Audio Video On Demand inflight entertainment and today has grown to offer a suite of inflight products and solutions to meet passengers’ wide-ranging needs. digEcor’s Integrated Flight Experience is a low-cost, flexible solution that enhances the passengers’ experience across all areas of inflight service from entertainment to power and lighting through to crew and passenger connectivity. Founded in 2000, digEcor is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia and has additional offices in the United States of America, Singapore and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

Contact: Sharelle Crease,, +(0) 417 000 548


IFPL is an award winning designer, innovator and manufacturer of passenger interface solutions to the global in-flight entertainment and connectivity industry (IFEC). We are unique in our ability to combine industry leading innovation with manufacturing excellence; through a comprehensive in-house capability that enables our clients to work closely with us in transforming ideas, from concept to prototype and then delivered as industrialized, certified and production ready solutions – within months, not years.

IFPL has been established for over 20 years with the largest portfolio of proven IFEC products and services in its sector.  We are rightly proud to supply the world’s leading inline manufacturers and airlines who have come to rely on us to provide inspiration to the enhancement of their passengers experience; delivered through our innovative product design and proven reputation for reliability.


Contact: David Thomas,, C: +44 (0) 785 474 7057

Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems is a leading airline IT provider. Based on long-term project experience, a deep understanding of complex business processes and strong technological know-how, the company provides consulting and IT services for the global aviation industry. Its portfolio covers innovative IT products and services which provide added value for its customers in terms of enhanced efficiency, reduced costs or increased profits.

Contact: Sebastian Stoll,


Lumexis invites you to the launch of the revolutionary new iPAX wireless seat-back IFE System. iPAX provides unprecedented IFE capability for single-aisle aircraft operators: 1) Ultra, ultra low cost 2) Ultra, ultra light weight 3) Optimized for LCCs seeking ancillary revenue 4) Focused on short and medium haul operations.

Contact: Jon Norris,, C: +1.949.436.1434


Panasonic Avionics

For more than 35 years, Panasonic Avionics Corporation has strengthened the connection between the world’s leading airlines and their passengers. In partnership with these airlines, Panasonic Avionics designs and implements breakthrough IFEC solutions that engage and delight passengers. The company’s solutions give airlines the power to amplify their brand, foster passenger loyalty, generate additional ancillary revenue, and reduce operating costs. Panasonic Avionics is recognized globally for its experience and leadership in innovation and system reliability. At AIX Hamburg Panasonic Avionics will feature the JAZZ seat, developed in a cooperative effort with BE Aerospace, Formation and Teague.

Contact: Matthias Walther


Rockwell Collins
Hall B4, 4C10

Experience Rockwell Collins’ next generation of in-flight entertainment and high-speed cabin connectivity at Aircraft Interiors Expo. With flexible, extensible IFE solutions—paired with the latest in Ka-band connectivity—we can help you deliver the flight experience your customer’s desire. Visit the company’s booth to see:

  • Rockwell Collins’ Cabin Connect suite of connectivity services, featuring Inmarsat’s GX Aviation for the most extensive coverage of airline routes and the fastest broadband in the skies, as well as applications for crew connectivity, real-time credit card authorization and wireless in-flight entertainment.
  • PAVES Wireless, bringing Wi-Fi accessible content aboard the flight
  • PAVES On-demand, delivering seat-centric IFE through an intuitive touchscreen HD seatback interface, as well as overhead broadcast
  • PAVES Broadcast, featuring a wider array of content options for passengers than previous systems
  • PAVES PSS is a lightweight, low-cost reading light and cabin crew call system with optional USB charging port. It is a direct replacement for existing systems that are less compatible with modern in-flight entertainment (IFE) system upgrades.

We’re onsite Tuesday, April 14, through Thursday, April 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We welcome the chance to schedule a time for a demonstration or to just talk about your needs and requirements. Email Colleen Hollowaty at to arrange a personal meeting and product demonstration. When requesting your meeting, please let Colleen know which products you would like to discuss.

Contact: Colleen Hollowaty,


Telefonix + Product Development Technologies (PDT), LLC
Hall B3, 3C38

Telefonix, Inc. is an AS9100 and ISO 14000-certified technology design and manufacturing company, and its partner, Product Development Technologies (PDT), is a global, full-service product design and development firm. Telefonix and PDT’s partnership is unique in that together the management teams have been at the forefront of the development of aerospace, mobile and connected technologies for a combined 45+ years.

The full extent of the Telefonix Summit line of state-of-the-art system components, which have been designed to enable unique and innovative in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions, will be unveiled at AIX. The product line is comprised of state-of-the-art system components, including: Cabin ACe™ Wireless Access Point (WAP), Cabin Pinnacle™ general purpose airborne server, Cabin Peak™ pico cell, and Cabin Vista™ attendant display. These IFEC solution building blocks can be added to enhance existing in-flight entertainment systems or combined to create a unique IFEC solution, reducing time-to-market and overall cost for system developers, integrators and airline operator alike.

Contact: Allison Burke,, C: +1.847.830.1934


VT Miltope

Miltopes network product family has the required functionality necessary to create custom airborne systems similar to how business office networks are created. Our products optimize a combination of interfaces and computing resources to meet operational, spatial, and functional requirements of the simplest to most complex airborne systems at minimum cost. We will be featuring nMAP2 with CHT (cabin access point) and cTWLU (cellular ground link) as our latest wireless products available in 2015.

Contact: Markus Gilges,, C: +44 (0) 7783 758755


Zodiac Inflight Innovations
Hall B4, Stand 4C20

RAVE Centric is our Crystal Cabin award winning embedded IFE system, which provides state of the art entertainment features as well as being exceedingly reliable with its dockable displays and simplistic system architecture. RAVE Centric is fully certified for retrofit aircraft and is currently undergoing line-fit offerability including our first A330 line fit aircraft delivery this summer. RAVE Wireless is a streaming IFE solution that allows passengers to enjoy entertainment streamed directly to their personal devices through a web portal or an application available on both iOS and Android.

RAVE Cellular and RAVE Broadband help keep passengers connected in the sky. RAVE Cellular allows passengers to access Voice, SMS, and Data services. RAVE Broadband is our connectivity solution offering a range of coverage options to suit each airlines’ needs. RAVE Services is our full service support of our entire product line. Ensuring that our airlines and their passengers receive top quality entertainment without disruption. With more than 27 customers and 173 aircraft in service RAVE’s reach has truly expanded throughout the skies. RAVE is our definition of entertainment.

RAVE Products Infographic

Contact: Harry Gray,, C: +1.714.683.3793

Los Angeles, CA | April 8, 2015– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (“GEE”) (Nasdaq: ENT), announced today that it has signed a partnership agreement with Waterfall, the leading cloud mobile marketing platform, to support advertisers running campaigns on GEE’s AIRTIME platform in executing mobile customer engagement strategies.

Waterfall’s cloud mobile marketing platform combines mobile engagement solutions and customer relationship management (CRM) technologies to help advertisers plan and execute mobile customer engagement strategies.

Through this partnership, GEE enables advertisers on its wireless inflight entertainment and connectivity solution, AIRTIME, to develop more targeted and data-driven campaigns. These, in turn, lead to a better experience for passengers viewing customized and segmented adverts on their mobile devices during their flight.
“We’re excited to launch our partnership with Waterfall, which is a market-first,” explained Robin Cole, VP of Marketing and Global Business Development at GEE. “Inflight advertising today is still a relatively untapped business opportunity for both airlines and advertisers. Through Waterfall’s platform, we’re able to support airlines with their ancillary revenue strategies, as well as advertisers looking to invest in the unique inflight environment through our wireless inflight entertainment solution.”

“Our partnership with GEE is a great opportunity to bring mobile engagement to the inflight advertising market,” added Michael Weaver, SVP of Business Development at Waterfall. “We look forward to working closely with GEE to support airlines and advertisers around the world, by providing a powerful mobile engagement and CRM tool, and a value-add to marketers to run more targeted mobile marketing campaigns.”

Now in its fourth year, the premier conference and networking forum to discuss the vital strategic issues surrounding cabin innovation, consumer expectations and strategies for profitability within the cabin returns to Hamburg, Germany on 13th April 2015, hosted by the Aircraft Interiors and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expos.

It’s no secret, Aircraft Interiors (AIX) is one of the best and biggest international IFEC & Catering shows in the world and we want to get a few updates to our readers who are not up to speed on it yet. We wanted to make this Hot Topic a “one stop update” for our readers and we note that most have already set in motion their trip. However, for the late-goers, we hope this issue will convince you to make the journey to Germany.

One word a reader used about AIX really stood out. “Un-missable,” she said, but you be the judge, at least based on the information we have included in this IFExpress. We also note that our own industry experiences at the AIX have caused us to call it “un-missable” too. From new product rollouts, to meeting new industry players, to the one-on-one meetings and get-togethers… it all adds up to the kind of show that IFEC is all about. In accordance with being be a bit biased, we asked a few readers to give IFExpress a short sentence or two on their view of AIX and we have included their thoughts in this Hot Topic as well.

“The AIX Hamburg Conference is a tremendous event as it is well attended from both visitor and exhibitor perspectives and is surrounded by other strong activities the day before such as the Passenger Experience Conference and the Crystal Cabin Awards.” Lori M. Krans

To get a better view, we talked to Katie Murphy, Senior Exhibition Director for Aircraft Interiors Expo and asked a few questions that might help readers decide to go. She told IFExpress: “Aircraft Interiors Expo has long been recognized as the premier forum for new ideas to meet the needs of this vibrant and dynamic industry. We are confident that visitors to our 2015 show will find a wealth of innovation in key areas such as IFE, seating and cabin design. The opening and closing plenary sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference will be a major highlight for delegates as it includes stimulating and thought-provoking discussion from Virgin Atlantic, Air Baltic and Seymourpowell. There is no doubt the lineup to-date is already impressive and will be an occasion not to be missed.”

Q. Why should our readers go to AIX in Hamburg (April 13 through 16) and what will they see?

A: This will be the 16th edition and it will be the largest passenger experience event as Aircraft Interiors Expo has now expanded from five halls to seven which means that the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo will be taking place in the A halls at the Hamburg Messe.

The Passenger Experience Conference, now in its fourth year, takes place on 13th April and will feature two new motivating plenary sessions, one from Richard Seymour, Founder of Seymourpowell and one from Reuben Arnold, Brand and Customer Engagement Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways. Richard Seymour’s “Blue Sky” presentation entitled ‘Clippers in the Clouds – Rediscovering Romance in the 21st Century,’ will investigate the theory of “Emotional Ergonomics” in the air and reflect on how much can actually be achieved within the technical confines of a modern airliner in the decades to come.

Of course IFE is key for many airlines when it comes to enhancing the passenger experience and Hamburg will be the place to be as the largest ever IFE Zone – some 25% larger – will showcase 71 exhibitors including 13 new companies. The latest and most innovative IFE technologies will be displayed by a range of companies such as Astronics, Blue Box Avionics, Lumexis, Molex, Panasonic Avionics, Thales, Turkish Technic, ViaSat and Zodiac – to name a few. 67% of visitors at last year’s event confirmed their interest in IFE-related products so there is no doubt that the IFE Zone will again be a significant attraction at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2015.

Q. What changes can regular visitors expect this year – what’s new?

A: There will be a new and exclusively designed US Pavilion in Hall B1 as well as a new feature called CabinSpace LIVE in Hall B6, a face-to-face platform with direct access to airlines, operators, buyers and specifiers from the industry – it will offer a dedicated area for the exchange of information and best practices and all sessions are free to attend. In co-operation with COMPOSITES EUROPE, we’re also delighted to introduce the Composites Zone located within Hall B1 this year where decision makers, buyers and designers from the most important application industries will find the very latest material solutions and technologies.

Q Besides IFE, what else is featured at AIX and a good reason to go?

A: To help visitors unwind during a busy day, the Relaxation Zone in Hall B1 will be offering free massages every day from 1100 to 1500 and you can ‘Meet at the Bar’ also in Hall B1 and have a seat and use the free WI-FI in the seating area in Hal B6.

Networking is an essential part of everyone’s time in Hamburg. The Industry Networking Party follows the Passenger Experience Conference and will be an opportunity to meet new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and meet peers and other industry professionals in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, all exhibitors and visitors are invited to attend the hospitality evenings in the exhibition halls on the 14th and 15th from 1700 to -1900. We would also encourage everyone to visit the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery in Hall B6, which is sponsored by Aircraft Interiors Expo. In its ninth year, the competition, initiated by Hamburg Aviation, received a record 68 entries from 18 countries that secured a place on the prestigious shortlist. Innovations across seven categories will be on display in the Gallery and the winners will be presented with their trophies on 15th April at 11am.

Q. Are there any deals you can or are able to mention about close/reasonable accommodations?

A: We suggest that anyone wanting to book hotels should contact our official house partner via the website – INTERPLAN AG Hamburg – as they can offer a special rate to attendees at Aircraft Interiors EXPO 2015.

Q. How many square feet of IFE space – how many vendors do you expect?

A: This year there will be 71 exhibiting companies in the IFE Zone covering Halls B2, B3 and B4 at a total growth of approx. 25%

Q. How about the Pax Experience Event (April, 13th) – any thoughts for our readers?

A: One particular session we’d like to highlight is the “IFEC Debate: The Future For Inflight Content” which will feature an impressive platform of panellists to include Don Buchman, Vice President, ViaSat; Robin Cole, Vice President Global Business Development, Global Eagle Entertainment; Al St. Germain, Senior Vice President USA, Spafax and Dimiter Zahariev, Development Manager, Passenger Department, International Air Transport Association. Here is a link to the PEX Schedule – download it and take it with you: PEX Schedule/attached

Q. What does it cost to attend as a visitor? Do they need to register ahead and how if needed?

A: We advise to register before the event to avoid queuing on the opening days

Free of Charge to attend the exhibition
14 – 16 April
Hamburg Messe

Passenger Experience Conference and Industry Networking Party the prices are:

Passenger Experience Conference
Book by 12 April: €449 + VAT
Book after 12 April: €600 inc VAT

Industry Networking Party
Book by 10 April: €99 inc VAT
Book after 10 April: €120 inc VAT

Book by 10 April: €85 inc VAT
Book after 10 April: €100 inc VAT

FREE to attend for Conference Delegates and Airline VIPs

Q. How can readers get more info?

A: Our website has a lot of useful information but if anyone wants to get in touch they can call our Customer Services Helpline at +44 (0) 208 271 2174.
The website also has a link to download a free app before, during and after the show, the app provides a full event schedule, personalized agenda, exhibitor listings, floor-plan maps, social networking, speaker listings and many other features.

Q. Is there a way for last minute vendors to get a booth?

A: Currently the show is 98% sold out so although we’ve very little room left, if anyone is interested in exhibiting we suggest they contact us as soon as possible and we’ll do our level best to see how we accommodate them as we’d love them to be with us in Hamburg!

View the list of worldwide sales managers that are here to help you.

“AIX is always one of the big shows for us each year. Hamburg is a great location, and a wonderful opportunity to meet all the movers and shakers from the whole Interiors industry.” Geoff Underwood – IFPL

Here are some links IFExpress found to make you AIX search a bit easier:
IFE Zone link
IFE Floor Zone link
Find Exhibitors link
Here is a link to the AIX app

“We are thrilled to showcase our latest destination-related contents at AIX, since this expo is one of the major yearly events in the industry. With so many PaxEx managers attending the expo, it is for us a mandatory milestone to open the path to long lasting relationships with airlines for both passengers’ and airline’s benefits.” Cyril Jean, PX Com

See you there… and you can contact IFExpress at the show via text message to: +1 206 229 7899 or email

“AIX is an opportunity to see the latest IFEC systems – to see and hear about new products being launched – including exciting news from Lumexis. AIX is opportune for both airline and vendor meetings – airline meetings are most important of course, but vendor–vendor meetings are a close second – it’s a chance to meet with IFEC and seats vendors from all over the world, all in one place.“ Rich Salter, Lumexis

  • Lightweight and portable, the IFE streaming solution developed by MI Airline has been implemented across Estonian’s entire fleet of CRJ900 NextGen and Embraer 170 aircraft.

Tallin and Amsterdam | March 23, 2015– To make the time spent onboard more meaningful, Estonian Air is now enabling customers to connect their Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices and notebook computers to a secure in-cabin network. Launched in January, this new system is successfully allowing passengers to read newspapers and magazines, view RSS-feeds, chat with others onboard, play games and much more.

According to CCO Indrek Randveer, Estonian Air aims deliver to passengers at 30,000 feet the same “e- lifestyle experience” common to every Estonian on the ground.

“In first phase of rollout, we want to offer our passengers an opportunity to use this onboard solution to read Estonian (and in the future also international) magazines, spend time playing entertaining games or chat with family members and friends who are also onboard,” says Randveer.

“In cooperation with the Dutch company MI Airline and with their ingenious AirFi system, the entire fleet of Estonian Air is now equipped with a fast and portable network which provides for us a solution that does not require any modification to the aircraft. This enables us to offer passengers a ‘connected experience’ using their own devices. Our system does not require passengers to install an app before the flight and the service is provided for free,” he adds.

When passengers connect to Estonian Air’s new onboard network, they will be greeted with a user- friendly portal where all information is provided in both English and Estonian. In addition to chatting, playing games and reading quality magazines and newspapers, travellers can also consult Estonian Air’s bespoke Destination Guide for ideas on how to spend time in various cities, or plan thier next Estonian Air getaway.

“We are very proud to have Estonian Air as one of the first airlines to implement the MI Airline system fleet-wide and look forward to developing additional onboard network opportunities together,” says Job Heimerikx CEO of AirFi about the launch. “With AirFi, Estonian Air has tapped into a wide realm of potential for ancillary offerings and entertainment”.

Watch the video here!

While preparing for our yearly sojourn to AIX in Hamburg, we began to think of what would be needed on the trip in the way of new apps for our portable devices that would be relevant and make the experience a bit easier. Let’s see, an app at the airports(s), an app or two in the plane for communication and possibly sleeping or game-play diversion and of course an app about Hamburg. We won’t go into the options here but this got us thinking as good little App Pupils: How big is this app ‘thing’ and why on earth are we thinking about device apps when an exciting trip is in the offing?

Rule Number One: If an app will get you through an airport and on or off an aircraft quicker or easier, it is probably a good idea. Further, and in general, if apps make the flight experience better we will try them. That may seem strange because we spend so much money and time on flying, but the flying experience is not really enjoyable anymore… at least not in economy! Perhaps we are willing to download and use device apps that have the potential to improve it… or at least, provide a diversion that keeps us from thinking about the “experience” while we are enduring it. At this juncture, we can’t help but think about dentistry’s Novocaine, but we digress. One can only guess that if the experience were better we would want it to last longer and would not look for apps to mask or improve the event.

Which brings us to the demand and usage of mobile connectivity. We read recently that “13 million passengers used Mobile OnAir last year – 65% used if for mobile data, which includes email, social media updates and surfing the Internet, 31% used it for text messaging, and 21% used it for phone calls, which includes listening to voicemail, we were told by a SITA/ONAir spokesperson, Charlie Pryor. He went on, “Basically, think of how people use their phones normally; with smartphones, the calling element is just another app. And people use their phones in the same way on a plane as they do on the ground.” Next, Mr. Pryor went on; “There are two OnAir products that provide passenger communication. Mobile OnAir is a mobile phone network. It works in exactly the same way as international roaming: you turn on your phone and start using it. The cost is included in your regular bill, as with roaming. So no, you don’t need any specific subscription – provided of course you have roaming enabled. You can use your phone for whatever you want – emails, social media, text messages, calls, reading the newspaper: the list is endless. Internet OnAir is Wi-Fi and to use that, you need to sign-up and pay with your credit card, just like any hotspot. Mostly: there is a growing trend for airlines to provide it free of charge. Again, you can use it for whatever you normally do on the Internet.”

Obviously, apps are well used and to prove a point, airline connectivity apps, developed in this case with SITA, are a big deal, and getting bigger. The company noted; “SITA OnAir is celebrating another successful year with 13 million people taking advantage of Mobile OnAir in 2014. The inflight mobile phone service, Mobile OnAir is now flying on 15 airlines worldwide. Over the year, 37% of passengers flying OnAir-equipped aircraft connected to the inflight network. They went on; “The demand for mobile connectivity has never been higher, with 80% of passengers carrying smartphones. In 2014, mobile data was the most popular service, used by 65% of the passengers who connected to OnAir’s onboard mobile network; mobile data includes email, social media updates and surfing the Internet. Text messaging accounted for 31% of usage and phone calls made up 21%. Many passengers use Mobile OnAir for all three activities, as people do on the ground. Over the coming years, mobile data usage will continue to grow, driven by smartphone penetration. Voice also remains an important service, especially for business passengers.”

The issue of flight connectivity brings us to one point we noticed while reading about apps and their use on personal devices – flying is becoming a “personal experience,” at least in the world of airline and airports – here is one document passage, again developed by the folks at SITA: “The ‘connected passenger’ has become a reality, with 97% of airline passengers carrying at least one personal electronic device. But global usage rates indicate passengers have been slow to adopt new airline and airport mobile services when traveling. Deeper analysis however, shows that some industry players are bucking the trend and achieving high levels of usage. This is according to The Future is Personal, the latest industry report from SITA, the leading global IT provider to the air transport industry. It combines SITA’s global research with commentary and cases studies from airports and airlines that have focused particularly on using mobile services to improve the passenger experience to great success. SITA’s industry insights are based on in-depth research directly with more than 6,000 passengers; carried out at 106 airports across the world that handled 2.35 billion passengers last year and with airlines that together carried more than half the world’s passenger traffic. The research shows airlines have made significant investments in mobile services over the past four years as smartphone adoption surged and the majority now enable passengers to buy tickets, check-in and access flight information via smartphone apps. Meanwhile half of the worlds’ airports also provide flight information via apps.”

Yes, apps are useful, but are they being used? SITA says; “Still global roll-out and adoption is proving to be slower and more complex than was anticipated. Half of passengers are keen to use their mobiles to find their way around the airport, access lounges or the aircraft, provide identification at checkpoints, or make payments. The reality is though, that despite these and other services, including mobile check-in and boarding passes provided by airlines, 24% of passengers have not yet used travel apps at all on their journey.

With the greater use of apps, we wondered a bit more about who develops them. In our discussions, Mr. Pryor noted: Apps are typically developed by airlines and airports; SITA provides developers with access to the relevant API data, through” He noted further that he had some interesting data on an airport app from Cork airport (Ireland) that we wanted to know a bit more about so he connected IFExpress with Kevin Cullinane and he answered the following airport app questions about which he had some interesting data on Cork Airport, Ireland:

Q. How many downloads of the Cork airport app to-date – Android… iOS?
A. There have been close to 10,000 downloads since its launch and the Cork Airport App currently has a 4* rating in the Google play store. It is also rated in iOS – the App is up to 29th place in the free iOS Apps in the Travel category in the Irish iTunes market. Nearly half the users are using iPhones to access the site.

Q. Why do passengers use it?
A. It is the essential guide to the full range of services at the Airport. It includes features such as live arrivals and departures information, car park booking, integrated maps and details of all of the retail and catering outlets within the terminal. The app also includes links to airport shopping services with all the latest offers from The Loop. It provides current weather details at Cork Airport, as well as live weather reports for all destinations. Cork Airport has also added bus and coach departure timetables to the App. The update makes it even easier for passengers to plan their journey to and from the airport.

Q. The App is called?
A. CORK Airport (Official) available to download for free on both iTunes and Google Play

Q. Why should travelers download the app?
A. The free Cork Airport app is the essential guide to the full range of services available at the airport. In addition to the new flight-tracking feature launched in January, the app features live bus and coach departure times, live arrivals and departures information, car park booking, integrated maps and details of all of the retail and catering outlets within the terminal. The app also includes links to airport shopping services with all the latest offers from The Loop. It provides current weather details at Cork Airport, as well as live weather reports for all destinations.

Finally we note, this business about apps and inflight connectivity got us thinking: Who is in the game? Noting that in the US, the government prohibits voice calls, we found an interesting study done at Stanford focusing on Gogo but talking about the worldwide competition, and, the study is worth a read. Here is what they say about inflight connectivity competition:

“Indeed, the main competitors on the market are OnAir, VIA SAT and Aeromobile. OnAir, a fully owned subsidiary of SITA, originally incorporated as a joint venture with Airbus is based in Switzerland and has operations internationally. OnAir is focused either on airlines but also on cruise ship since 2005. In 2014, they had equipped 22 airlines. They are offering to flyers an Internet connection of 56 Kbit/s and provide OnAir services with an integrated GSM. Recently they have equipped the innovative plane Solar Impulse.

Via Sat is an American company making 1 Billion Sales. They are specialized in global satellite services for government, commercial aircraft and cruises.

Aeromobile, part of Panasonic, is based in UK, since 2010 and generates 2 Million USD of revenues. Their technology is based on a component of Panasonic’s Global Communications services.

Honeywell Aerospace, the largest manufacturer of aircraft engines and avionics is based in the US, generating 31 Billion USD Revenue is acting in many segments of aviation. On a bigger scale, they have the objective to lead the market in a near future with an innovative Wi-Fi Satellite connection.

In conclusion, we are encouraged to note that Brazil is the leader in travel app usage (probably because of the dreadful telephone system), so noted a recent SITA release – “SAO PAULO – 5 March 2015 – More airline passengers in Brazil carry a smartphone than in other parts of the world. The SITA-ATW Passenger Survey reveals that 85% of passengers in Brazil carry smartphones compared to the global average of 81%. A significantly higher percentage of these passengers use apps from airlines, airports and travel agencies compared with passengers from Europe, Africa and the Middle East, making Brazil’s passengers among the most connected in the world.” The release went on to say: “When it comes to booking their flights, passengers in Brazil are also picking up their smartphones and tablets faster than their counterparts in other parts of the world. Some 43% of them regularly use their smartphone to book flights, this compares to the global average of 31%. In Brazil, 42% take advantage of the larger screen and regularly use tablets to book flights. This use of mobile technology is set to continue to rise – when asked which channels they would use more for tickets and services, if all equally available, 60% of passengers said smartphone apps and 53% tablets.”

Apps are here to stay and if the recent announcement of the Apple Watch has any influence and bearing on the situation, via GPS, one app on it will display your itinerary information when you near the airport. Make no mistake, wearable apps are next!

This Just In: IFExpress received a copy of the VT Miltope Press Release of their new nMAP2 – IEEE802.11ac Multifunction Access Point, featuring Cognitive Hotspot Technology. The company states that is is in the process of delivering its latest wireless product. And yes, it will be their “main focus” at AIX. More later…

Boulder, CO | February 25, 2015– VT Miltope has started delivering an IEEE 802.11ac Multifunction Access Point (nMAP2) as its latest wireless product. nMAP2 builds upon the success of VT Miltope’s wireless access point products. nMAP2 features Cognitive Hotspot Technology (CHT), an integrated MIMO antenna assembly and has a second radio to support legacy 802.11n client devices. Cognitive Hotspot Technology, exclusive to the nMAP2, is a state-of-the-art wireless network management solution, developed specifically to improve the performance of wireless systems in aircraft cabins. Aircraft cabins are becoming congested through increasing numbers of passengers, passenger devices and types of services available to enable passengers and crews.

With CHT, nMAP2’s provide proactive cabin network management to optimize the total network capacity, thus supporting a substantially better passenger experience. CHT features various dynamically and automatically adapting modules such as intelligent roaming, wireless power control, channel assignment, load balancing, and interference minimization. These modules are customized according to each airline’s service and content delivery requirements and priorities.

nMAP2 with CHT constitutes a paradigm shift in wireless cabin networks. Adding more access points, the option of the past, in a confined aircraft cabin only leads to more interference. CHT manages the entire cabin wireless traffic and its delivery points more effectively, thus increasing total capacity and optimizing your passenger experience.

Pioneering the introduction of wireless access point technology to aircraft cabins since 2001, VT Miltope has a proven history for delivering highly reliable wireless products. Improving on our current nMAP, nMAP2 incorporates the latest in wireless security, is more compact, weighs less further enhances reliability, and reduces overall ship set costs.

We are delighted to announce that our efforts to improve the passenger experience has also afforded us an award for “Innovations in commercial airline cabins” as part of the Inflight Magazine Awards, publicized during the recent Aircraft Interiors Middle East in Dubai.

  • 80 per cent increase in usage of Etihad Airways’ Wi-Fi network in 2014
  • Over 60 per cent increase in usage of Etihad Airways’ mobile network in 2014
  • More than 2.5 million devices connected to the airline’s onboard mobile network in 2014
  • An average of 50,000 hours of Live TV viewed every month

Abu Dhabi | February 4, 2015– Etihad Airways, which next month becomes one of the few airlines in the world to offer fleet-wide inflight connectivity services, has witnessed a dramatic surge in Internet and mobile phone usage in 2014.

Reflecting the broader trend for people to use their personal devices for work and entertainment when travelling, the growth was largely driven by people logging onto Etihad Airways’ Wi-Fi network, with usage rising by 80 per cent last year.

Increased demand for onboard mobile services also contributed to the surge in usage, with 2.6 million devices connecting to the airline’s onboard mobile network in 2014. Inflight texts and mobile phone calls increased by 62 per cent and 61 per cent respectively, compared to the same period in 2013.

iOS was the most popular operating system onboard, with 55 per cent of the airline’s guests connecting to the Internet with their iPads and iPhones, while 30 per cent used devices running on Android’s operating system.

Etihad Airways’ Live TV service is attracting strong interest and receiving great feedback from travellers, with an average of 50,000 hours of live news and major sporting events being viewed each month.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We continue to redefine our guests’ air travel experience with innovative products and services, the latest communication technology and entertainment systems that best fit their needs.

“When people travel, they want to stay connected with their work, their friends and their family. They also want to be kept up-to-date with 24 hour world news services. This is now possible for the entire journey on an Etihad Airways flight.”

The services comprising Wi-Fi, mobile connectivity and live television, combine the “Etihad Wi-Fly” solution, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite, and OnAir’s inflight connectivity solution.

The high-speed broadband services enable guests to access the Internet from laptops, tablets and smartphones over Wi-Fi, allowing them to send emails, log onto their favourite social media sites, upgrade seats, change travel plans and much more, all from the comfort of their seats at 35,000 feet.

The mobile connectivity service allows guests to use their mobile phones and smartphones to make and receive phone calls, send and read SMS text messages or email, use mobile data services to browse the web, and much more.

Now available on 43 wide-body aircraft, the Live TV service brings quality content from seven television channels including BBC World News, Sport 24 and CNN, the top three most viewed channels, and CNBC, euronews, Japan’s NHK World Premium, and Sky News Arabia.

The airline’s connected fleet comprises 92 passenger aircraft including 29 Airbus A319/320/321s, 26 A330s, 11 A340s, one A380, 24 Boeing 777 family aircraft and the first B787 Dreamliner, which serve routes across six continents. All future aircraft scheduled for delivery through 2015 will also be equipped with inflight connectivity.

Packages to access the Internet start at US$5 and can be purchased using credit cards, PayPal and a range of other convenient payment methods. Mobile telephone usage will be billed by the guest’s mobile service providers based on the international roaming rates levied by the service providers.

Notes: All Etihad Airways’ narrow-body aircraft offer a mix of Wi-Fi and mobile services, or mobile services only.

  • OnAir Wi-Fi is now even simpler to use

Aircraft Interiors Middle East, Dubai | February 2, 2015– SAUDIA has become the first airline to develop and provide passengers with a dedicated mobile phone application for free inflight Wi-Fi. Passengers simply scan their ticket’s bar code for free Wi-Fi access.

All of SAUDIA’s First class and Business passengers flying on the airline’s A330s and B777-300s on international routes receive a promotional code when they scan their Boarding Passes via the mobile application. They then use the code to access their free Wi-Fi on the OnAir portal.

“Our new app makes it as simple as possible for passengers to access the Internet by just using the Boarding Passes in their pocket,” said Mr. Abdulrahman H Alfahad, VP Marketing & Product Management at SAUDIA. “We know just how much passengers value being in touch on email and social media. We like to keep Saudi Arabia’s 7.8 million Facebook users connected when they fly.”

The mobile application is the easiest and most efficient distribution channel for free inflight Wi-Fi codes to date. Passengers download the app from Apple store and soon on Android devices.

Saudi Arabians are the most prolific users of the Internet via their smartphones in the Middle East. In 2014, 8.5 million people used the internet. Saudi Arabia’s smartphone penetration rate of 72.8% also places it in the world’s top three countries. In 2014, 35,000 SAUDIA passengers used the free Wi-Fi, a number which will certainly be enhanced by this mobile app.

“More and more airlines are providing free Wi-Fi as an integral part of the passenger experience and SAUDIA is the first to provide a specific app for inflight connectivity,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “This is the right response to passenger demand. Airlines are developing new and innovative ways to differentiate their connectivity, particularly since Wi-Fi and mobile phone services become commoditized in the air, as they already are on the ground.”

Itasca, IL | January 26, 2015– January 26, 2015 – Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading global aero communications service provider, announced today that it’s on track for record aircraft installs in 2015. The company now has a backlog of well more than 1,000 commercial aircraft, more than half of which are expected to be installed in 2015. With the large backlog in commercial aviation and the company’s current trends in business aviation, Gogo expects to install a record number of aircraft in 2015. Recently announced domestic regional jet installs and certain international fleet wins are expected to make up the bulk of the installs for 2015.

Gogo expects to bring 500 additional commercial aircraft online by the end of this year, which would bring the total number of commercial aircraft equipped with its connectivity service to more than 2600. Of the new installs, around 25 percent are expected to be international aircraft.

In addition to new installs, Gogo continues to upgrade previously-installed ATG systems to its next generation ATG-4 technology, which triples peak speeds to the aircraft and brings more capacity to the sky. More than a third of the aircraft on which ATG was installed have been upgraded to ATG-4. Gogo expects close to half the commercial fleet operating in the U.S., or more than 1,000 aircraft, to be upgraded to the newer technology by the end of 2015.

“Operationally, what the talented group at Gogo has accomplished and is set to accomplish in 2015 is unprecedented in this industry and continues to amaze me,” said Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small. “Between installing new service and upgrading our original ATG service to ATG-4, our installation team expects to touch 1,000 aircraft in various parts of the world in 2015. We are excited about where we are going in terms of bringing new aircraft online and adding significantly more capacity to the network.”

In addition to the ATG-4 roll-out, Gogo is on track to launch its global satellite solution – 2Ku – in the second half of 2015. 2Ku is expected to bring peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to an aircraft, a 20 fold increase when compared to Gogo’s original ATG technology.

“2Ku will bring significantly more bandwidth at what we estimate will be half the costs of competing solutions available in the market today,” added Small. “We believe this technology is transformative for global aviation in terms of Internet speeds, capacity, coverage, costs and reliability.”

Our lead story could not be better titled because we just found the news of Panasonic’s gift in the fight to wipe out one of the most devastating diseases that plagues Africa, and mankind for that matter, but especially today in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – Ebola.

Our story begins only about one year ago when a small boy was infected with the parasitic virus in a village in Guinea in West Africa – he died and so did his family and thus began the infection of Guinea. No vaccine yet exists for the disease and since then, some 200 medical workers have died along with 6300 citizens. The scary part is that each month the number of cases double. Today, it is unknown how many are infected with the parasitic virus but at last count some 18,100 were, and its natural carrier is still unknown. It is in this demonic environment that an IFE company and an airline saw fit to make a donation that might just be one of the causes that breaks the chain of misery; it aids in the transportation of health help, and facilitates the removal of the sick. We owe Panasonic and Lufthansa a debt of gratitude for their gift of transportation and communication that will aid in the fight to defeat this monster. To get a better story on the “what” and “why’s” of their gift after we found a short news release, we talked with David Bruner, Vice President, Global Communication Services, Panasonic Aviation Services, and here is what he told IFExpress.

Q: David, as with every news release, there is a much bigger story underneath, could you expand a bit?

A: Panasonic Avionics is providing critical communications on board a high-tech flying hospital used to transport Ebola patients from Africa to overseas care facilities. An Airbus A340-300 aircraft, which is chartered from Lufthansa by the German Foreign office, has been converted into a hospital aircraft with isolation chambers for patients diagnosed as suffering from the disease.

Q: We want to know what Panasonic is providing to help this aircraft in such an important and eleemosynary event? How much is Panasonic spending out of pocket to help this work? What exactly is Panasonic providing to the plane, the crew and the aid workers? When is it planned to be in service? What will the plane be used for?

A: I think that it’s really important to acknowledge Lufthansa and the German Foreign Office who were the main drivers behind this fantastic humanitarian effort. This aircraft, which is an Airbus A340 that had been scheduled for retirement, was one of the first Lufthansa aircraft to be equipped with our Global Communications Service. We’re just happy to be involved in it and help the world deal with this outbreak of the Ebola virus, but it’s really Lufthansa and the German Foreign Office that deserves credit for the creation of this flying hospital. This is one of those good news stories where its not about profit, its really about how this airline, the German Government and Panasonic are working together to use this great technology to improve people’s lives.

Q: What is the Panasonic solution going to provide… how, with what?

A: We’re providing the latest generation of our Global Communications Service for the A340. With eXConnect, the on-board crew and medical staff will be able to access Wi-Fi Internet and email service for air-to-ground communications during emergency flights. With eXPhone, the crew will also be able to perform in-flight calling and texting, if necessary.

Further, with these connectivity and mobile phone services, the crew will be able stay in constant contact with the ground-based personnel to provide updates on a patient’s condition and allow hospitals to be prepared as much as possible for the patient’s arrival.

Q: How about a little more… who bought the plane, who buys the gas, who controls the plane schedule? Is there a back-story or two here? Should we thank Lufthansa? Anybody else?

A: The aircraft will be operated by the German Foreign Office. They were the ones who worked in close cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute in Germany to replace a number of airlocks and add a hermetically sealed isolation tent, which allows caregivers to treat patients with a lower risk of infection.

Our role is strictly providing the communications services onboard the aircraft. As I said previously, the credit really goes to Lufthansa and the German Foreign Office.

Q: What are the implications of this effort, in your mind, on the greater commercial aircraft industry and connectivity?

A: The use of the system for this operation is just one example of how operators are starting to expand the use of aircraft connectivity.

Today, in-flight Wi-Fi is often seen as a passenger amenity, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg. We’re working with airlines on really leveraging the value of this service for services like this one, and to leverage their own IP systems while the aircraft is airborne. With that, we think the industry has something really valuable.

Ebola Link:
Germany unveils Ebola evacuation plane in Berlin | News | DW.DE | 27.11.2014

Next, in this pre-Holiday edition of IFExpress we thought it also prudent to get an update on one product we have been watching closely for the last six months – VT Miltope’s revolutionary nMAP2 wireless aircraft router. If you remember in our earlier announcement the device will change the way airlines think about serving wireless clients… basically a solution that increases the passenger bandwidth inside the airplane and does so via newly developed router “smarts’ called CHT – Cognitive Hotspot Technology. Built-in technology helps the router to actively determine the best wireless solution for each seated user on the plane. Nothing like this has ever been seen for aircraft, as far as we know, and that is why IFExpress is keeping tabs on this device. Look at it another way, how else are airlines going to keep up with passenger devices that are used to faster and faster wireless solutions on the ground? Don’t believe us? We asked the same question (and a number of others) to Bob Guidetti, VT Miltops’s VP of Commercial Products and he told IFExpress: Miltope developed nMAP2 to meet the ever increasing demands for wireless throughput and client associations in the cabin. As the highest performing wireless access point, nMAP2 will truly become the benchmark for the industry.”

Q: Is it too early to tell exactly how much better the nMAP2 product will be with CHT?

A: We are currently testing nMAP2 without CHT to establish baseline performance, but note that CHT testing verification is an ongoing effort. Once we have established baseline nMAP2 performance without CHT, we then plan to continue CHT baseline performance verification tests in January 2015. Your readers need to stay tuned for this one.

Q: We hear that there is a lot of interest in the nMAP2 by airlines who see the value in better performance in their wireless systems on board. Is that true?

A: Yes, and our goal is to double the number of client associations of existing wireless access points running at a minimum of 1 Mbps throughput.

Q: So far, how is the testing going?

A: With respect to performance, verification testing of nMAP2 has verified improved performance over nMAP without application of CHT. CHT will provide additional improvements to wireless performance as I mentioned before. After that, Qualification testing is to start 1st week of January and be completed by end of January. Qualification testing will be performed to RTCA DO160 G.

Q: Lastly, can you give our readers a sneak peek into what VT Miltope will be rolling out at the next industry show?

A: We are currently developing another wireless product called cTWLU that will provide cellular in addition to Wi-Fi wireless ground link for the aircraft. Both the cTWLU and nMAP2 will be on display at the 2015 Interiors in Hamburg.

On another note, we received a news release in about free inflight texting: “Applications in-flight: If passengers are on a Gogo equipped flight, there are applications they can take advantage of free of charge. All T-Mobile customers can take advantage of free in-flight texting and voice mail services on all Gogo equipped U.S. airline aircraft. To access, customers must activate Wi-Fi calling on the ground prior to the first use of the free service. Passengers do not need to purchase Internet connectivity to take advantage of unlimited texting and voice mail allowing passengers an additional outlet to stay connected in-flight.”

Further, they offered the following; Location sharing based application Glympse allows passengers to send their location at 30,000 feet via SMS, email or social media in-flight. Passengers traveling during the holidays can utilize Glympse to give loved ones an accurate arrival time, perfect in case you run into any last minute flight delays.” Readers, this is just the beginning of inflight data communication deals that we expect to come along and it looks like the US T-Mobile customers are the first to reap the benefit.