FlightPlan: Aviation Leaders Debate Solutions to Rebuild Passenger Confidence in Industry’s Largest Live Broadcast Event

Leaders from across the global aviation industry came together for a live broadcast on November 11th, which explored strategies to accelerate recovery and future growth in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. FlightPlan: Strategies for Recovery, hosted by Inmarsat Aviation and the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), saw over 50 industry voices exchange views on the present and future of aviation.

Six months on from the hugely successful first FlightPlan broadcast event in April, with aviation still in the depths of one of its most extreme crises to date, the industry’s largest-ever virtual assembly returned to connect leaders on the digital stage once again. More than 3,500 viewers tuned in from almost 90 countries worldwide for a series of live debates, interviews and analysis.

Summarizing the day’s events, Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, commented: “FlightPlan is a unique platform that brings together the aviation industry during this difficult time to share views, exchange best practice and strategize for the future. Yesterday’s edition attracted record audience numbers in comparison to our inaugural FlightPlan broadcast in April and we are delighted that so many leading voices participated. Together, we reflected on the challenges faced in 2020, the progress made to date, and of crucial importance, the trends that will guide the next phase of recovery.

“A wide range of initiatives have already been executed to make flying viable and safe – from an overhaul of cleaning protocols to greater social distancing across the passenger journey. Under different circumstances, many of these changes could have taken years to introduce. The next phase will delve even further into the passenger mindset, ensuring that consistent policies, measures and technologies are implemented to restore confidence in airline travel. While many hurdles still lie ahead, the single most overwhelming sentiment expressed during FlightPlan was one of optimism.”

A particular highlight of the day was the launch of Inmarsat’s ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’, the world’s largest survey of airline passengers since the pandemic began. Reflecting the views and attitudes of almost 10,000 respondents from 12 countries, it revealed that 83 per cent of air passengers expect their travel habits to change in the long-term as a result of COVID-19.

Reflecting on what the industry can take from the study in order to rebuild confidence, Niels Steenstrup, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Business, told viewers: “The fundamental message is about consistency. Passengers want to be able to board a plane anywhere and be confident that the same hygiene practices are being followed. They want a consistent set of safety standards around the world, and more consistency on quarantine rules.

He continued: “Worries about flying are all too often a result of inconsistencies and lack of assurance about what they will be met with at the airport, on the plane or at the destination. Co-operation between nations will undoubtedly help restore passenger confidence.”

Agreeing with Steenstrup, Peter Harbison, Chairman of CAPA Centre for Aviation, added that “a harmonious and standardized way for looking after passengers” is needed. “The biggest problem is the unilateralism we have seen develop,” he said.

Another key theme of the day was the growing relevancy of trust and reputation. Robert Carey, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer at easyJet, said: “In an economic downturn, customers want value and a brand they can trust.” This is supported by data from the ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’, which finds 44 per cent of passengers believe reputation is now a more significant factor when choosing an airline than it was pre-pandemic.

“Trust is super critical for any brand, but certainly for those that have a safety component like airlines,” agreed Anton Vidgen, APEX President and Air Canada Head of Brand Experience. “It was important before the pandemic and it’s especially important during the pandemic.”

There was a clear focus throughout FlightPlan on the importance of digital solutions as a short-term solution to boost confidence and safety, through reducing touchpoints and interactions throughout the journey experience.

Gustavo Nader, Thales’ Head of Strategy, IFE and Connectivity, noted a growing trend for traveler autonomy, enabled by digitization. “Travelers are increasingly reliant on self-directed resources to get information about their travel experience,” he said. “Airports and airlines will be required to accelerate their digital transformation in a way that increases the independence of the traveler and reduces their reliance on touchpoints and interactions.”

Airline leaders echoed this, arguing that the pandemic has accelerated their digital transformation plans. Vidgen noted that Air Canada has already adopted touchless bag check and is exploring innovative technologies from biometrics to automatic gate boarding. Implementing touchless technologies throughout the journey, he believes, will ensure “that customers feel confident and can serve themselves as much as possible”.

Matt Klein, CCO of Spirit, noted another shift in passenger habits: the uptake of ancillary services. “The Spirit business model, with optionality of services, is working. There is a lot of value for guests with that and our ancillary revenue generation numbers are back where they were last year,” he stated. Research from the Passenger Confidence Tracker supports Klein’s comments, with value added services – such as extra legroom and free baggage – becoming increasingly important to passengers in 2020.

Despite the deep challenges facing aviation as a result of the pandemic, FlightPlan speakers expressed positivity in how the industry has adapted at speed, and shared optimism for the recovery phase. Perry Cantarutti, SVP Alliances, Delta Air Lines, commented that “we’re learning to realize that we can’t let it [COVID-19] conquer our ability to live our lives and run our businesses, but we have to be able to do that in a safe way”. He noted that growing travel confidence in the US domestic market in particular is an “encouraging” sign.

According to Andrés Castañeda, CMO and CXO, AeroMexico, the pandemic has led the airline – and the wider industry – to identify ways to be more agile in the future. “We can change our processes and policies faster than we ever thought we could,” he said. “With COVID, we need to reimagine how we operate to bring trust back to customers. That has been a silver lining of the past eight months.”

Ben Smith, CEO of AirFrance KLM reiterated this, stating: “The crisis has forced us to be more agile. It’s forced us to really try and be a step ahead of our competitors”. He ended with a note of optimism for the industry: “People have family and friends around the world. People like holidays. People have businesses. That’s not disappearing. If borders are open, they will come back.”

While acknowledging that passenger habits will have changed, easyJet’s Carey shared the sentiment that the appetite for travel will not dissipate. Reflecting on the passenger of the future, he said: “Are they going to interact with us [airlines] differently? Absolutely. But the brands set up to win are going to have a really bright future.”

All interviews and content aired at FlightPlan are available to view on-demand via https://flightplan.wavecast.io/

The ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’ report is available to download free-of-charge here.


Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) announced the appointment of Hernan Abbes as Vice President, Global Sales.

In his new role, Hernan will play a pivotal leadership role in driving business growth and nurturing strong relationships with new and existing airline customers. He will report directly to CEO, Ken Sain, and have worldwide responsibility for developing and implementing strategic sales initiatives across Panasonic Avionics’ range of products, services and solutions.

Hernan will oversee efforts to strengthen customer relationships, listen to and understand customer needs, propose innovative solutions and share the voice of the customer feedback within Panasonic. As a member of Panasonic’s senior leadership team, he will also participate in strategy formulation and key decisions across the business.
Hernan assumes his role with a deep knowledge of Panasonic, its people and its customers, having joined the business in 2011 as an Account Manager for the Americas region. He progressed quickly upwards through a series of sales roles, and was appointed Regional Vice President for the Americas and Oceania in 2019.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Hernan is a valuable addition to Panasonic’s senior leadership team, and a skilled and proven executive who is passionate about customers, meeting their needs and exceeding expectations. Under his leadership, I have no doubt that our company will elevate our responsiveness and customers will benefit from his expertise and dedication.” Hernan Abbes, Vice President, Global Sales of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “I am truly excited about my new role, and look forward to leading Panasonic’s team of incredibly talented sales executives. Our industry is facing challenging times but with the skill of our people and the strength and innovation of our services and solutions, I am confident that Panasonic will continue to grow as the provider of choice for airlines across the globe.”

Hernan Abbes’ started his career at Boeing, and then at Raytheon, as an electrical engineer developing wiring diagrams and cable assemblies, before he took a role at Thales Avionics as an installation engineer. He later transitioned into a Senior Account Manager role for Thales’ Latin America region selling In-Flight Entertainment and avionics. He has also held roles as a consultant to Gogo and a strategic account manager at Carlisle Interconnect Technologies.

Also from Panasonic:

Panasonic announced Qatar Airways as the launch customer for its new EcoFW 10” inflight entertainment (IFE) upgrade program. The seatback IFE monitors on the airline’s fleet of 37 Boeing 777 aircraft will be updated with Panasonic’s new EcoFW 10” monitor upgrade – creating a next-generation HD passenger experience while extending the life of the fleet’s IFE system, and reducing operational costs.

Panasonic’s IFE upgrade program, which can be achieved on an aircraft during routine overnight maintenance, includes the installation of a new passenger entertainment server. This provides passengers with a wider range of content and helps to modernize the airline’s offering and keep up-to-date with the demands of changing consumer preferences. This also enables the airline to achieve faster media loading times – all without any increase in weight, and with dramatically improved reliability levels.

The first aircraft from Qatar Airways’ 777 fleet has completed its IFE upgrade this week. This commitment from Qatar Airways marks the latest milestone in a longstanding partnership with Panasonic, which first started in 2000. A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by Skytrax. Headquartered in Doha, the airline was launched in 1997 and is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. Qatar Airways Oryx One in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options, from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games. and much more.


IATA

Here is an article from the folks at IATA with an evolution of the distribution impacts: “The potential size of the delivery is enormous. Just providing a single dose to 7.8 billion people would fill 8,000 747 cargo aircraft. Land transport will help, especially in developed economies with local manufacturing capacity. But vaccines cannot be delivered globally without the significant use air cargo.”

IATA – The Time to Prepare for COVID-19 Vaccine Transport is Now


Boeing

Boeing and Allen University announced today a new $1.5 million partnership to establish the Boeing Institute on Civility at Allen University. The Boeing Institute will be a national hub for teaching and provide programming aimed at advancing civil discourse in America and across the globe.
“The Institute on Civility will become a powerful catalyst for helping to promote thoughtful, civil discourse,” said Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun. “Empowering students and the broader community to debate public issues with civility and respect is an important step on the journey to developing lasting societal solutions.”

“The reach of The Boeing Company is particularly compatible with the university’s aspiration to demonstrate that service to the greater good does not stop in one’s own community, but has the obligation to be expansive,” said Allen University President Ernest McNealey. “While the Institute is the centerpiece of the Waverly Project, all aspects of it will confidently pursue a better future and honor those who did so in the past.”

“I want to thank Dr. McNealey, Mr. Calhoun and Bishop Green for their support of this Institute on Civility. We are at an inflection point in this great country and we must learn to share our lives together,” said Congressman Jim Clyburn (S.C.-6). “This Institute means a whole lot to me, this institution, this state and this nation.”

Boeing funding will support the renovation of the historic Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital, which will house the Institute once construction is complete. The Institute will include a memorial to honor the nine victims of the 2015 Mother Emanuel AME Church tragedy in Charleston, S.C., and be the home to the South Carolina African American Hall of Fame.

Today’s investment builds on Boeing’s commitment to advancing racial equity and compliments the company’s recent $10 million investment in similar causes. Over the last five years, Boeing has invested more than $17 million in organizations to expand access and address inequities for communities of color across South Carolina.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We expect the FAA to formally unground the Boeing 737 MAX this week, most likely middle to end of the week after voting by the house say some sources. We note that the plane won’t start flying right away: Airline storage is one issue, there will be new training effort, and, of course, updating each aircraft with new software in the flight control system. Good Luck Boeing!


Other News

INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, unveiled details of a next-generation terminal for its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution, which has been developed in collaboration with GDC Technics, an industry leader in engineering & technical services, modifications and electronic systems.

The innovative light weight, low drag terminal is available to airlines across the world today and has been designed to ensure that the connectivity needs of data-hungry passengers are met for generations to come, allowing them to stream high definition videos, enjoy online video games, download documents and more using their personal devices.

Following a range of technology assessments and test flights over the past 12 months, the powerful new terminal has demonstrated its ability to consistently deliver the highest levels of connectivity on board aircraft, even over the world’s busiest airspaces. In addition, upcoming enhancements to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network will further bolster the terminal’s performance in the near future.

The next-generation terminal includes a robust flat panel antenna developed by Thinkom, which has millions of flight hours behind it. In addition, it has been integrated with smart dual aero modem technology that supports Inmarsat’s ground-breaking new GX+ North America service, announced with Hughes Network Systems last week.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation is well established as the gold standard in inflight broadband and we have a fully-funded technology roadmap to ensure it remains the unrivaled choice for aviation connectivity. This includes the addition of seven more satellites into our global GX network over the next four years, as well as cutting-edge hardware innovation such as this new terminal.”

“As a result, our existing and future customers are perfectly positioned to meet increasing passenger expectations for consistent, reliable, high-speed connectivity wherever they fly. There is already interest and excitement for this solution – especially around the terminal’s enhanced performance and its simple integration with both legacy systems and existing partners. GDC, as an experienced and credible aerospace company, has proved an exceptional partner on this project.”

Brad Foreman, Chief Executive Officer of GDC Technics, said: “The global inflight connectivity market is fast evolving and we have enjoyed working with Inmarsat to develop this next-generation terminal for GX Aviation, which is not only lightweight and low drag, but also boasts one of the lowest engineering failure rates in the market. We are hugely excited about the partnership and look forward to working with Inmarsat and its partners to bring this new terminal to airlines across the world.”

The new GDC Technics terminal has been certified and is now flying on Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Additional retrofit and linefit certifications are currently in progress and expected to be available by the end of this year, including retrofit options for the Airbus A320/330 family, and the Boeing B787 and B777 aircraft. Customers can either select a ‘low profile’ configuration for the terminal, which drives exceptional operational efficiency, or an option with standard tri-band radomes for the retrofit market. Both options, coupled with a very high reliability antenna, ensures a reduced cost of ownership.


THALES

Thales launches its Identity Verification Suite, a secure biometric solution for customer onboarding:

  • Thales’s Gemalto Identity Verification Suite (IDV) minimizes ID fraud risks by verifying document authenticity so that service providers can digitally check identities of new customers.
  • IDV is designed to onboard more users in a secure remote environment, offering a smooth user experience.
  • The 100% automated solution leveraging Thales Artificial Intelligence, guarantees user privacy, high-level security and deployment flexibility.

Thales, a leader in digital security, has launched its Identity Verification Suite, in response to the rising need of remote client onboarding. With privacy and user experience as its heart, the IDV Suite enables a secure and 100%-AI identity verification service. It integrates the latest facial recognition technology, document security features recognition and machine learning engines. The solution addresses the Covid-19 environment with touchless interactions, allowing service providers to reach end users via their mobile handsets or the web.

Secure identity verification has become a crucial part of online security and digital onboarding, and constitutes a significant opportunity for businesses. In cases such as digital enrollment or KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations, ID verification is critical in order to efficiently detect fraud and therefore build user trust in the digital world.

The IDV Suite designed by Thales allows a secure and smooth user journey for markets from the travel industry (airlines and airport security, car rental companies, public and private transportation), telecom operators, banks, citizen services (International Driving Permit), and all types of online service providers looking to meet their KYC needs. To ease the deployment of the solution, Thales provides flexible onboarding options including a highly secure connection to Thales IDV server in SaaS (Solution as a service) mode.

The modular solution offers flexibility to deploy a single solution across all channels, whether through mobile applications, websites, or a network of dedicated document scanners, thus aligning with the security expectations of each industry. From checking the validity of the Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ) of an ID document to more advanced control under white light, infra-red and UV checks, the suite can also securely perform contactless NFC verification using the chip of e-documents.

Advanced facial biometric technology is also a key feature in the IDV Suite, integrating passive liveness detection to facilitate end-user experience. The customer is asked to take a selfie, and then the solution transparently analyzes the liveness of the selfie and securely matches it against the portrait on the ID document, allowing for quick and efficient identity biometric verification.


BOEING

In observance of National Native American Heritage Month in November, Boeing committed $1.3 million to support Indigenous communities across the United States.

The investment package includes $300,000 in grants for Southwest Tribal Nations to improve access to clean water, bridge the digital divide in education and provide better natural disaster response and preparation. The package also includes $140,000 in grants in the Pacific Northwest and a $60,000 grant in Oklahoma supporting STEM education programs for students. An additional $840,000 will fund future projects for Native American and Indigenous communities to be detailed at a later date.

“We recognize the toll on Native American and Indigenous communities from centuries of injustice, and we take seriously our role in supporting education and development in these communities,” said Marc Allen, Boeing’s chief strategy officer, senior vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development and enterprise executive sponsor of the Boeing Native American Network. “Today’s exciting announcement continues our longstanding efforts to lift up equity and opportunity in the communities where our employees live and work.”

The new investments build on the company’s previously announced multi-year commitment to combat racism and advance racial equity and social justice at all levels.

In the past two years, Boeing and its employees have invested close to $660,000 in organizations supporting Native American and other Indigenous communities – bringing the company’s global support for these populations to $2 million. In addition, the company’s employee-led Boeing Native American Network Business Resource Group promotes awareness for the richness and diversity of Native American and Indigenous cultures, encourages STEM careers for Native American youth and provides training opportunities for Native Americans and others to develop their professional and personal skills.

Nonprofits receiving immediate grant funding include:

  • Partnership with Native Americans: A $125,000 investment will support tribal self-sufficiency by providing training and equipment to Native American tribes that will help increase effectiveness in preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
  • DigDeep: A $100,000 investment will fund the “Navajo Water Project,” which provides residents on the Navajo Nation access to water, job training and equipment. This Indigenous-led, locally staffed program develops wells to pump, treat and store clean water, which is delivered by trucks to off-grid home water systems.
  • Puget Sound Educational Service District: A $75,000 investment will provide funding for the Red Road Project, a culturally infused STEM curriculum led by Native American educators that will reach 400 K-12 Native American students in four Pierce County, Washington, school districts. The Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes also support this program.
  • Oklahoma State University Foundation: A $60,000 investment will fund a paid summer internship program for high school juniors and seniors. The program will offer Native American students the opportunity to work alongside faculty and undergraduate engineering students at the university’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute.
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society: A $50,000 investment will support the Together Towards Tomorrow (T3) Fund, which provides one-time scholarships of $500 to 1,000 Indigenous students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Mentor Washington: A $45,000 investment will support the Native American Career Connect STEM program, a partnership with the Nisqually Tribe that increases Native American students’ engagement and success in school through group mentorship and career exploration.
  • Fort Apache Heritage Foundation: A $25,000 investment will provide immediate technology access to White Mountain Apache tribal students in Arizona currently learning from home without computers or internet access.
  • Washington MESA: In partnership with the Red Road project, this $20,000 investment will fund the Washington MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program, which delivers hands-on STEM exploration opportunities to 160 Native American middle school students in Pierce County, Washington.

Boeing plans to make additional announcements related to its racial equity and social justice investment strategy in the future.

Also From Boeing:

In the 3Q20 Boeing posted $466m net loss on $14.1b revenues vs $1.2b profit on $20b in 3Q19. By the end of 2021 the company also expects a workforce of approximately 130,000 employees (vs >161,000 on Jan 1, 2020); The commercial airplane division lost $1.4b (vs $40m in 2019) with 56% lower revenues.

And Lastly: A reader sent these articles to IFExpress and we found them rather interesting: Airbus stopped consuming cash in 3Q2020 – Leeham News and Analysis and Boeing Brings Bond Sale on Heels of Downgrade to Junk’s Edge.


OTHER NEWS

INMARSAT AND HUGHES BRING UNRIVALED INFLIGHT CONNECTIVITY TO NORTH AMERICAN AIRLINES AND PASSENGERS

GX+ North America will seamlessly combine the Hughes JUPITER satellite fleet, which has the largest Ka-band satellite capacity over the US, with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, the widest, most resilient global network, to offer faster, more reliable inflight Wi-Fi.

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, unveiled a major strategic collaboration that marks an important new step change for North American commercial airlines and their passengers.

The companies have joined forces to launch a transformational aviation connectivity solution, which has been specifically designed for North American commercial airlines and is available today. GX+ North America seamlessly integrates the unrivaled capacity of the Hughes JUPITER™ High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) constellation across North America with the extensive worldwide coverage and resilience of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) HTS satellite network, bringing a unique combination of unprecedented capacity, speed and reliability to the region, unavailable from any other satellite provider.

The ground-breaking new solution underscores the strategic vision of Inmarsat and Hughes as they look past the pandemic and into the future needs of commercial airline fleets in North America, whose passengers will require ubiquitous connectivity as they return to the skies.

The ultra-high capacity of GX+ North America will, for the first time, make it possible for North American airlines to meet increasing passenger demand, including the surge in traffic expected from free-of-charge inflight Wi-Fi. Today, satellite networks are trying to serve thousands of commercial aircraft in the world’s busiest airspace, and as they reach capacity, airlines will struggle to meet the demands of data-hungry passengers who want reliable, affordable, high-speed Wi-Fi while on board.

For too long, North American airline passengers have had to settle for constrained bandwidth activities such as email and limited messaging while on board flights. GX+ North America will give passengers the freedom to stream videos and audio, shop online, check and update social media, and catch up on work, all while in the air.

The superior capabilities of GX+ North America mean that North American airlines no longer need to compromise on speed, reliability, availability or coverage for inflight broadband, even when flying at full capacity over the busiest airport hubs. This also offers full flexibility for route planning, even on short notice, as the solution can cover any route worldwide through the GX global network — whether to Hawaii, Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, across the Gulf of Mexico, to Central and South America, across the Atlantic or even to the most extreme northern latitudes.

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “GX has firmly established itself as the reference inflight connectivity solution for today’s demanding passengers and is used by airlines worldwide. We are very confident that this game-changing collaboration with Hughes, combining their market-leading depth of capacity with Inmarsat’s award-winning passenger connectivity solution, delivers for the first time, inflight broadband that is consistently superior regardless of the number of passengers using the service or where they are traveling. It is truly a ‘no compromise’ solution for airlines that no other service provider can offer. We’ve also ensured the transition path for airlines upgrading from other connectivity providers is simple, quick and cost efficient.”

“This strategic collaboration is further evidence of Inmarsat’s strength, resilience and innovation despite these unprecedented times in our industry. As a number of connectivity providers in North America face financial challenges and airlines are forced to reconsider their choice of supplier, Inmarsat’s offer continues to go from strength to strength.”

Paul Gaske, Executive Vice President and General Manager, North America division at Hughes, said: “We are proud to partner with Inmarsat to launch GX+ North America. This unique strategic collaboration leverages the full power of the JUPITER System, including the depth of capacity of our Ka-band High-Throughput Satellite fleet, as well as our JUPITER gateways and modems. Combining the Hughes JUPITER System and Inmarsat’s leading inflight connectivity solution, GX+ North America marks a new era for inflight connectivity.”

The new solution will be provided and managed end-to-end by Inmarsat. Prototype flights are expected to start later this year with commercial availability scheduled for 2021.

GX+ North America utilizes a robust Ka-band flat panel antenna from Thinkom, with millions of flight hours behind it, together with smart dual aero modem technology powered by Inmarsat’s aviation solutions that intelligently chooses the optimal satellite path with no service interruption or delay for passengers.

Looking forward, as commercial aviation returns to growth and aircraft return to the skies, Inmarsat and Hughes will continue to anticipate and respond to the North American market’s evolving needs. Expanding the service over the next four years alone, the Hughes and Inmarsat combined constellation of seven GX and JUPITER satellites will more than double to a total of 15 spacecraft. These additional satellites include the Hughes ultra-high capacity JUPITER 3 satellite and Inmarsat’s seven advanced, fully-funded next generation GX satellite payloads (6A, 6B, 7, 8, 9, 10A & 10B), which will enhance capacity and coverage throughout the world, including the Arctic.

Be sure to check out this infographic.



FLIGHTPATH3D

FlightPath3D Now Comes With More Places Than You Can Imagine

FlightPath3D announces that Flying Over Places is now included as a new view in all 3D map products. A retrofit is available for all existing 3D map installs.

FlightPath3D President Duncan Jackson said, “Flying Over Places significantly expands our map feature set with the integration of over 50,000 points of interest (POIs) that auto-play as the flight progresses, providing historical information about landmarks, attractions, and places as they’re flown over en route.”

Jackson adds, “We want every airline to be able to inform their customer what they can see out the window, with each point displaying its distance and direction.”

“This, and our many other map features, help provide an innovative and consistent passenger experience across multiple aircraft types and IFE systems. So you can continue to elevate your brand and differentiate your inflight service”, says FlightPath3D CEO Boris Veksler.

Veksler continues, “We design and deploy apps that are available as an Android, iOS or Linux app, can be streamed as a web service or API, and as widgets that can be embedded in other applications.”

To conclude, Veksler says, “We have the largest team of map specialists and geospatial engineers in the industry, building software selected by all the leading IFE vendors, and we’ll continue to lead, innovate and elevate the passenger experience.”

NOTE: Video of Flying Over Places for embed/viewing here.


SMARTSKY

SmartSky Networks announced that mobile broadband communications technology executive David Helfgott has been named CEO, reflecting the company’s upcoming transition from the development and deployment stage to an operational aviation broadband communications services and products company.

“On behalf of both the SmartSky board and management, I am delighted to welcome David to our team, reflecting our longstanding company plan. His extensive technology and mobile communications experience will help us ensure that all of our operations reflect the high level of quality set by our transformational connectivity technology,” said Haynes Griffin, outgoing CEO who will remain as Executive Chairman.

“I am honored to be selected to lead SmartSky at this exciting inflection point,” said SmartSky CEO Helfgott. “When you look at SmartSky’s unique positioning and expansive patent portfolio, it highlights the company’s incredible potential and culture of sustained innovation. Since COVID-19 first began to impact the inflight communications industry, SmartSky has proven its resilience in many ways, having added more than 40 patents since January 2020, successfully defended its IP from a challenge brought by an industry incumbent, closed on funding of more than $50 million in additional equity and debt, and overhauled its radio technology supply chain on the way to completing the deployment and launch of its network next year.”

Helfgott most recently was President & CEO of phased-array antenna developer Phasor, which was recently acquired by Hanwha Systems. Prior to this, he held several senior executive roles including President & CEO of Inmarsat Government; President of Tactical Wireless Communications for Cobham; President & CEO of Datapath and President & CEO of SES Government.

Haynes Griffin, who has been SmartSky’s Chairman and CEO since 2013, also was the founding CEO of Vanguard Cellular and a past Chairman of CTIA, a major wireless industry trade association.

SmartSky is reinventing connectivity, building a next-generation inflight WiFi network from the ground up. The company also is developing pioneering aviation data products to improve safety and efficiency while providing the industry with novel ancillary revenue sources. SmartSky’s unique single-beam-per-aircraft inflight WiFi approach is backed by 190 patents and over 1,000 hours of flight testing.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat announced that it will provide engineering support, communications services and equipment to Cranfield University’s Digital Aviation Research and Technology Center (DARTeC) consortium, supported by Honeywell Aerospace.

Set to open at Cranfield University during the first quarter of 2021, DARTeC will spearhead UK research into digital aviation technology. The center will address the most pressing research challenges facing the aviation industry, including the integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles into civilian airspace, increasing the efficiency and reliability of airports and aircraft through technology, and creating a safe and secure shared airspace.

Inmarsat and Honeywell Aerospace will support the Center’s research by providing Aspire 400 satellite communications terminals, airtime and engineering expertise in the Saab 340B flying test-bed and test lab for evaluation and development of future applications and solutions. The Saab 340B will effectively serve as a ‘flying laboratory’ to evaluate multiple advanced radar systems and airborne digital communications.

John Broughton, Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety, Inmarsat Aviation said: “Advances in digital aviation are driving innovation opportunities in all aspects of the airline industry. Today’s commitment with Honeywell Aerospace to support DARTeC highlights the importance of creating a collaborative research environment in the aviation industry. We are looking forward to working closely with other members of the DARTeC community to reap the rewards of a digital aviation industry for many years to come.”

Mark Goodman, Director of Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Inmarsat to support the DARTeC consortium and bring the benefits of the digital revolution to the aviation industry. There is no time to waste in responding to the opportunities of digital transformation and ensuring that the industry is ready to serve the needs of our airlines today and tomorrow.”

Through the DARTeC consortium, members are able to create, develop and test next generation air traffic control (ATC) applications for manned and unmanned aviation that will utilize digital voice and data. Members will also have access to Inmarsat’s Iris program fully serviced aircraft for testing, evaluation and demonstrations as well as conducting live Iris test flights with specific air navigation service providers (ANSPs).


BOEING

The European Union has been authorized by the WTO to impose $3.99b in annual tariffs on US imported goods. This includes Boeing aircraft and has done so as a result of illegal subsidies to the company.


STELLAR

Stellar boarding music boosts Virgin Australia Brand. Passengers traveling on Virgin Australia and VARA (Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) will now hear customized boarding music as of September 2020, a first for the airline group. The original piece was written in-house at Stellar Entertainment and replaces the commercially available music playlists previously played onboard the airline for years.

Stellar Entertainment’s Creative Director, Brad Power, describes the composition:

“Our latest piece draws on deep house and Balearic beats to create a fresh, vibrant and modern sound that is upbeat without being too exuberant. Perfect for a contemporary airline looking to do something a little different.”

Bespoke boarding music offers airlines an opportunity to create their own unique brand identity and sound, one that passengers can always relate to their experience onboard that airline. This area of expertise is just one of many offerings from Stellar’s fully equipped, multi-studio facilities specializing in various audio solutions and services, such as original music composition and sound design.

Director of Licensing at Stellar, Sam Allen remarks, “A bespoke piece doesn’t stop at boarding music. It can be implemented across the airline via other platforms and applications such as advertising campaigns and promotional buzz reels, to optimize usage as part of an over-arching sonic strategy.”

Besides rolling out this new signature music across the fleet for boarding and disembarking, Virgin Australia and VARA have also implemented it as on-hold music for their phone lines. Working directly with Stellar Entertainment has given the airline group the ability to license the music as needed, allowing for greater flexibility in how and where they use the new sound. This also includes a financial benefit, with a direct license with Stellar saving the airline group royalty fees paid to local collection agencies.

This is the second composition from Stellar Entertainment to be used by an airline, following the bespoke piece used by Malaysia Airlines earlier this year.

To hear the new boarding music for Virgin Australia and VARA, click here.

To listen to a broader range of audio samples from our in-house composition team, click here.


OTHER NEWS

(Today’s image refers to a story in the Airbus section of IFExpress.)

United Airlines Orders 50 A321XLRs

United Airlines placed a firm order for 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft as it begins to phase out older models and launches an expansion of transatlantic routes from its key U.S. hubs in Newark/New York and Washington D.C. United plans to take delivery of the first A321XLR in 2024 and expects to begin international service with the aircraft in 2025.

“The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR opens potential new destinations to further develop our route network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe.”

“We are delighted to be re-United with our friends in Chicago and thank them for their trust. The selection of the A321XLR by the leadership of United Airlines is a ringing endorsement of the range, payload, and fuel efficiency that Airbus incorporated into this state-of-the-art aircraft,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The exceptional versatility and performance of the A321XLR enable new operational efficiencies that flow to the airline’s bottom line.”

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo/A321neo family of aircraft, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft, and creating more value for the airlines by enabling economically viable service on longer routes than any comparable aircraft model. It will allow service from the U.S. East Coast to a much larger selection of European destinations.

The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets. It will have a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes, while takeoff, climb, and flight performance will change little from the A321neo.

The A321XLR will be operated by the same crew, powered by the same engines and have the same cabin as the A321neo, with more than 90 percent commonality. Combining the A321neo’s two rear center fuel tanks into one adds fuel capacity and reduces structural weight. Other significant changes include structural reinforcements and modified landing gears for the increased MTOW, increased braking capability, higher tire speed, and additional flap and slat configurations.

With the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, the A321XLR will accommodate a variety of seating classes and configurations suitable for longer flights.


SITA

Airlines and airports in China are moving to another level of passenger service. They are embracing artificial intelligence and automation to provide the hyper-personalized self-service experience their passengers are demanding. According to the SITA 2019 China IT Insights, China’s airlines and airports are using these technologies to expand mobile services and automating the journey with self-service every step of the way.

A key technology that is attracting investment is artificial intelligence (AI). SITA’s China IT Insights reveals that 88% of both airlines and airports are planning major programs, or R&D, with AI by 2022 and they are focusing on virtual agents and chatbots. This investment matches the demands from passengers; SITA’s research of passengers in China shows that 64% of them want a digital travel concierge. Already nearly half (43%) of airlines in China have AI-driven chatbot customer services and the planned investment should see the availability of them rising quickly over the coming years. For passengers of China’s airlines and airports, self-service has reached a strong level of maturity, but a step-change is coming as biometrics is being adopted. Today, 27% of airports have self-boarding gates using biometrics with travel documents but in just three years this will jump to 66%. And more than half of the airports have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touch points by 2022. Airlines too are committing to self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID, 60% are planning to use them driving a secure and seamless passenger experience right through the airport with the next three years. Mobile services are vital to meet China passengers’ demands and by 2022, all airlines and 93% of airports are planning investments in them. Services including flight discovery, airline offers, check-in and flight status notifications via mobile are already provided by all airlines. One fifth are also using mobiles to sell newspapers, magazines and movies/TV to passengers. Airports too are investing in mobile services to offer a more personalized experience for passengers. Services including, notifications about flight and airport status, and customer relationship management are well established and are offered by up to 81% of airports. Keeping the passenger informed and connected is not only what China’s airports are providing via mobile, they are also facilitating mobile payments. Close to three quarters enable passengers to buy airport services and allow cashless payments via mobile. This hyper-personalized service via mobile confirms it as a vital tool for China passengers. The report highlights that blockchain technology is another key area of investment for airlines, today only 24% have major programs, or R&D, planned but this is set to jump to 80% by 2022. This is in line with the recent trends and commitments to blockchain technology in the country.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) announced membership in the Independent Aircraft Modifiers Alliance (IAMA). CIT has a nearly 80-year history of providing the highest quality aircraft components and for over 30 years has been developing modification packages and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for airlines, avionics manufacturers, and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) partners.

IAMA is an alliance of leading companies in the aircraft retrofit and modification industry that are committed to common standards for documentation and quality of STCs. IAMA’s founding members include EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering, and Lufthansa Technik. By joining IAMA, CIT will contribute its decades of experience and expertise along with industry peers to improve the STC experience for its customers.

“We look forward to joining our industry colleagues in establishing standards for STC data packages and support,” said Jeff Behlendorf, director of product management, integrated products at CIT. “Our membership in IAMA builds on CIT’s longstanding tradition of providing the highest quality aircraft modifications, and our IAMA involvement will allow us to share experience and best practices with the entire industry.”

CIT holds more than 200 STCs for upgrade of Part 25 aircraft avionics, systems, and special mission equipment from regulators globally. CIT is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 21 Design Approval Holder, has European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Organization Approval (DOA), and maintains multiple Part 21 manufacturing locations and Part 145 repair facilities. This allows CIT customers the flexibility to certify in the US, Europe, or anywhere else in the world, leverage global manufacturing while coordinating with design and qualification activities, and enjoy robust support for the aircraft modifications on site.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat confirmed the successful launch of GX5, the fifth satellite in its Global Xpress (GX) network that delivers the award-winning GX Aviation and Jet ConneX (JX) inflight broadband services. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. It will bring additional, focused capacity over Europe and the Middle East to meet growing demand for high-speed passenger Wi-Fi in the airline and business aviation markets.

GX Aviation customers include leading airlines such as Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines, while JX has been activated on more than 600 business jets. GX5 was built by Thales Alenia Space and launched by Arianespace at 21:24 UK time on Tuesday 26 November 2019. Following satellite separation from the rocket at 21:58 UK time on 26 November, telemetry was successfully acquired shortly after separation and the mission is proceeding to plan. In less than four years, GX has established itself as the benchmark for reliable communications across the fastest growing sectors for mobile connectivity.

Additionally, Inmarsat has been named the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Service Provider’ for the third year in a row at the prestigious World Travel Awards, in recognition of the company’s pioneering GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) connectivity solutions for the airline industry. The prestigious accolade was announced at a gala ceremony in Muscat, Oman last night, following a vote by travel and tourism executives from across the world. Inmarsat was hailed for delivering a major step-change in inflight broadband capabilities with GX Aviation, powered by the world’s first and only globally available broadband network, and EAN, which offers unprecedented performance over Europe’s well-traveled skies. Both solutions enable airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with connectivity onboard at comparable speeds to land-based broadband. Almost 1,800 aircraft are currently under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN, with a new business pipeline of approximately 3,000 aircraft worldwide. Inmarsat is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has outlined an ambitious development roadmap for its Global Xpress (GX) network, which commenced this week with the launch of its fifth satellite, GX5, providing focused capacity for airlines and business aviation over Europe and the Middle East. Seven additional satellites are scheduled to launch in the coming four years, making GX the most agile and flexible constellation ever built.


AIRBUS

Scandinavian carrier SAS has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation, highly efficient widebody aircraft (see image above). The airline has a total of eight A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 68 aircraft (51 A320 Family, 17 A330 and A340 Family aircraft). In the coming years, as part of an extensive fleet modernization, SAS will take delivery of 54 additional A320neo Family aircraft and the remaining seven A350-900s through direct purchase and lease contracts. SAS’s A350-900 features a modern and highly comfortable three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats. On 28 January 2020, the airline will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other international destinations including North America and Asia.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions. The A350 XWB’s Airspace by Airbus cabin is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crews the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable flying experience. Moreover, SAS will benefit from Airbus’ unique aircraft commonality. The incoming A350s will seamlessly integrate into SAS’s current Airbus fleet today in service at the airline. At the end of October 2019, the A350 XWB Family had received 913 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

On another note, Air Corsica has taken delivery of its first of two Airbus A320neo aircraft on lease from ICBC Leasing. With this delivery, the airline becomes the first French A320neo operator. The highly fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft will help reduce Air Corsica’s operating costs. The airline’s A320neo is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and is configured in a single-class cabin layout, seating 186 passengers.Each passenger will benefit from a modern cabin that includes USB ports to charge electronic devices during flight. In addition, the aircraft’s lavatories are designed to facilitate access for passengers with reduced mobility. The two Air Corsica A320neo aircraft will replace the older aircraft in its fleet and will operate on the airline’s main domestic and European networks. Air Corsica is currently operating a fleet of six A320 aircraft. Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver 20 percent reduced fuel burn as well as 50 percent less noise compared to previous generation aircraft.

Airbus has also celebrated the 100th A220 aircraft produced for a customer during a ceremony at the aircraft program’s headquarters in Mirabel, Canada. The aircraft, an A220-300, destined for Riga, Latvia-based airBaltic, features a brand new and comfortable cabin layout with 149 seats plus a modernized livery.

The A220 Family is assembled at Airbus’ main Final Assembly Line in Mirabel and more recently, also at the program’s second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The world’s first A220 (formerly called the C Series) was delivered in June 2016 to A220-100 launch operator SWISS. airBaltic became the A220-300 launch operator when the Latvian airline received delivery of the first ever A220-300 three years ago, on 28 November, 2016. airBaltic has since then re-ordered A220-300 aircraft twice – bringing its firm order to 50 aircraft to become the current biggest European A220 customer. The airline now operates a fleet of 20 A220-300 aircraft to various European and Russian destinations as well as to the Middle East.

And lastly, A WTO panel assessing the measures the EU and Airbus have taken to comply with the WTO recommendations has issued its findings. As a result of the panel’s findings, the US should immediately reduce the USD 7.5 billion in tariffs that the WTO authorized to the US in October by around USD 2 billion. This is the direct result of the panel finding that the loans for the development of the A380 no longer have an impact on Boeing sales and that therefore the value of the lost sales no longer exists.

The panel also asserts that the amendments already made to the A350 loan agreements are not sufficient to fully align the loans with market conditions. Based on these findings, Airbus would support to appeal this report, as per WTO rules. In May 2018, the WTO Appellate Body clarified that the EU and Airbus have achieved compliance with respect to the vast majority of measures at issue, but considered that some adjustments were needed to the A380 and A350 loans, or to remedy their market effects. Measures have therefore been taken on both programs relating to the respective loans of Members States or on the market effects those loans had on Boeing.

Airbus remains committed to working with the EU and its member states to comply with the WTO recommendations. With the wide range of additional steps to comply with WTO findings since 2018, the EU and Airbus have demonstrated their willingness to ensure a fair trade environment respecting international trade agreements.


OTHER NEWS

  • No doubt, you just don’t see how AI will change your life. Hey, AI is just math – as it is applied to a lot of real, daily, and not so daily problems. This video on PBS Frontline is one of the best. Why? Because they take real problems and show the AI solutions. This is really a great beginning application story to AI so don’t miss it! In the Age of AI | Watch S2019 E5 | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site
    However, the two hour video may just scare the heck out of you! As an example, they note US (and worldwide, for that matter) productivity is increasing under robotics, while medium household income has not grown with the increase in productivity. And thus, while productivity has grown, job growth has not – at least not at the same rate. No doubt, your challenge will be to envision how AI will affect aviation! And if you can figure it out, you may well secure your job of the future!
    We will go one step further and tell you that the second hour of the show scared us.  It wasn’t just what AI technology can do but the real kicker is how it is applied and information extrapolated. As Kai Fu Lee says; “AI technology can be used for good or evil.” However, be sure to watch the video and come to your own conclusions.
    And speaking of AI issues: How AI Will Go Out Of Control According To 52 Experts – CB Insights Research
  • We found an interesting (and free) newsletter from Avionics International and it is very good and up to date. Called the Skyport, again, it’s free and you sign up here: The Skyport: Your Guide to the World of Urban Air Mobility – Avionics It comes out every 2 weeks.

Las Vegas, NV | October 21, 2019–

OneWeb, a global communications company with a mission to connect everyone everywhere, will bring high speed, low latency, reliable in-flight connectivity to business aviation users – creating a “fit for business” cabin in the sky for the first time. With global services beginning in 2021, OneWeb’s inflight service will connect unconnected routes such as the Arctic from the outset, and business jet fliers will be able to access all applications from their office in the air.

Working with key industry partners, OneWeb pledges to deliver an affordable line-fit solution to the lightest of bizjets, through to large cabin VVIP airliners and new supersonic offerings. OneWeb’s service will transform flight connectivity at a time when cabin connectivity is ranked a top priority for commercial operators and private jet buyers.

The business aviation team, led by Dylan Browne, Head of OneWeb’s Business Aviation, Government and Maritime sectors, will be at NBAA-BACE in Las Vegas, NV. (October 21-24) to explain the benefits of low latency, cloud-friendly services to OEMs and to prospective partners.

“Our vision for business aviation is fully customized, truly global, uninterrupted high-speed connectivity and we are building an eco-system for this sector,” said Dylan Browne.  “Business jet users want to make their time onboard count. They need to be able to access the same tools in the sky as on the ground. OneWeb will make it possible for all the software applications used in an office to be available in the sky. We are duly looking forward to our debut at the world’s biggest business aviation gathering, with a vast range of specialist companies represented under one roof, including resellers and antenna suppliers.”

When OneWeb goes live, passengers will be able to fully participate in necessary business operations such as multiple simultaneous uninterrupted live video conferences, access cloud solutions such as Office365, connect with Live TV, as well as content streaming Apps such as Netflix and Amazon Video, but also keep up to date with the family on FaceTime and WhatsApp.

Domination in LEO satellites

OneWeb’s solution comes from high performing, low latency, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites situated much closer to Earth – approximately 750 miles.

This means that business jet passengers connecting in-flight won’t have to compete for their coverage in the traditional, larger 35,000 ft GEO (Geostationary) space, where transmission regularly drops out. A typical GEO satellite signal round-trip of nearly 45,000 miles on average means a network time delay of two seconds. GEOs also cannot serve the polar regions, where OneWeb plans to offer polar track coverage from day one, which is good news for the business jet community, with aircraft flying longer and further than ever before.

OneWeb has been focused in the past months on growing its Business Aviation team and recently welcomed satellite mobility expert Carole Plessy, who brings 20 years of experience to OneWeb and previously headed product development at Inmarsat. Carol joins Ed Slater, who led airborne communication systems and planning for Air Force One during President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama’s terms, in the business aviation team.

OneWeb’s satellites are built in Florida by OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between OneWeb and Airbus. OneWeb will deploy more than 30 satellites on a monthly basis starting in December 2019, as it grows its constellation for full global coverage.

British Airways Trials AlloSky VR Headsets from SkyLights

British Airways customers will be transported to their own 3D cinema in the skies as the airline exclusively trials a new virtual reality headset in a UK first.

From now until the end of 2019, customers traveling on select flights in First from London Heathrow to New York JFK will be able to enjoy a selection of award-winning films, documentaries and travel programs in 2D, 3D or 360° formats.

The headsets from VR eyewear specialists, SkyLights, allow customers to fully immerse themselves in 3D view regardless of the position they are sat in. The experience even works when they are lying fully flat.

British Airways is the first UK airline to trial the technology and has worked with experts to select a range of therapeutic programs, including guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for customers who have a fear of flying.

Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, said: “We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers’ experience on the ground and in the air. Virtual reality has the power to revolutionize in-flight entertainment and we’re really excited to trial these new glasses as they should create a unique and memorable journey for our First customers”.

The AlloSky virtual reality headsets are designed by SkyLights, a former alumni of British Airways’ parent company IAG’s Hangar 51 start-up accelerator program.

Earlier this year, British Airways trialed the technology at Heathrow Terminal 5, giving customers a glimpse of the Club World cabin through virtual reality.

2019 is British Airways’ centenary year. The airline has launched BA 2119: Flight of the Future, a first-of-its-kind exhibition at Saatchi Gallery throughout August, British Airways’ birthday month. The exhibition, in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, is based on global research commissioned by British Airways to identify what aviation could look like in the future. It is also showcasing Fly, a virtual reality experience tracing humankind’s relationship to flying from the earliest imaginings of Leonardo da Vinci and his ornithopter, to the Wright Brothers’ success on Kitty Hawk and the first passenger flight to Paris. Users can also experience Concorde, the brand new A350 and the imagined flight of future.

British Airways is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline has introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access. British Airways is also hosting a range of activities and events throughout the year to explore the future of sustainable aviation fuels and the aviation careers of the future.


Inmarsat

Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications, announced that DSNA, France’s Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP), has signed an agreement to join a consortium of European ANSPs supporting the modernization of air traffic management (ATM) over Europe through the Iris program. DSNA is the latest partner to join the ground-breaking Iris program to improve air traffic management across Europe’s congested airspace.

In partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), Inmarsat is leading the Iris program to deliver significant benefits to airlines and ANSPs across Europe by enabling secure, high-bandwidth, satellite-based datalink communications.

The program reinforces Inmarsat’s position as a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications and aviation connectivity; leadership that is sustained through substantial on-going investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners.

The aim of Iris is to deploy digital controller-pilot communications to modernize air traffic management across Europe’s congested airspace and to relieve existing congested radio frequencies. ANSPs will be able to rely on Iris’ certified, efficient and reliable datalink to increase ATM efficiency, relieve air traffic controller workload and enhance flight safety.

Iris is also designed to enable ‘4D’ trajectories, pinpointing an aircraft in four dimensions: latitude, longitude, altitude and time, which is one of the major concepts defined in the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) modernization program. This will enable precise tracking of flights and more efficient management of traffic by allowing pilots and controllers to collaborate on flight trajectories and calculate the shortest available routes, cruise at optimum altitudes, and use continuous climb and descent pathways to reduce delays, save fuel and address environmental factors.

DSNA joins five major European ANSPs already involved with implementing Iris. This includes  DFS (Germany), ENAIRE (Spain), ENAV (Italy), EUROCONTROL MUAC (North-West Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) and NATS (UK). These ANSPs handle the majority of European air traffic and are participating in an Initial Operational Capability (IOC) pilot with Inmarsat and ESA.

As part of their involvement in the Iris program, DSNA will capture performance data from pilot flight demonstrations, which is critical as they operate in one of Europe’s the largest and busiest sections of airspace. In addition, their participation better prepares DSNA for the program’s continued rollout and commercial service introduction.

The latest agreement is a significant further milestone for the Iris program.  It follows the announcement in March that Iris had entered its commercial implementation phase after the successful conclusion of an extensive five-year research program. Full commercial service is scheduled to begin in the 2021-2022 time-frame.

Iris is powered by Inmarsat’s award-winning SB-S digital aircraft operations platform, using its world’s leading L-band satellite constellation, which has underpinned global safety services for 40 years. Inmarsat is scheduled to launch two new, advanced L-band payloads to join its award-winning fleet in 2020 and 2021, further cementing the company’s long-term commitment to the highly reliable services it offers over this spectrum.


Boeing

Boeing delivered the first of eight 787-10 Dreamliner airplanes to Vietnam Airlines via lease from Air Lease Corporation. The Vietnamese flag carrier plans to put the 787-10 – the most fuel-efficient twin-aisle airplane in the industry – on the busiest routes in its expanding network.

The new 787-10 will complement Vietnam Airlines’ existing fleet of 787-9 jets. Both feature the Dreamliner’s ultra-efficient technology and passenger-pleasing comforts. The 787-10 is longer than the 787-9, providing the space to carry 40 more passengers and more cargo and helping it offer the lowest operating costs per seat of any twin-aisle jet in service today. Vietnam Airlines is outfitting its 787-10 models with 367 seats (24 in business class and 343 in economy class). In addition to its size and fuel efficiency, the 787-10 can cover long distances. With a published range of 6,430 nautical miles (11,910 km), the 787-10 can fly more than 95 percent of the world’s twin-aisle routes.

With the delivery to Vietnam Airlines, the 787-10 continues to expand its global presence. More than 30 of this Dreamliner model have been delivered to six operators since the airplane entered commercial service last year. Airlines are deploying the 787-10 around the world, especially in Asia as it is home to more than half of all 787-10 destinations.

To optimize the performance of its 787 fleet, Vietnam Airlines uses Boeing Global Services solutions such as Airplane Health Management (AHM) to capture real-time flight data and enable predictive maintenance. AHM is powered by Boeing AnalytX, a collection of software and consulting services that transform raw data into greater efficiency during every phase of flight.

On another note, the FAA is adopting an airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Boeing Company Model 737-8 and 737-9 airplanes. This AD requires a maintenance records check to determine if any main slat track assembly has been removed, an inspection of the main slat track assemblies for a suspect lot number or a lot number that cannot be determined, and applicable on-condition actions. This AD was prompted by a report that certain main slat track assemblies were manufactured incorrectly and are affected by hydrogen embrittlement. The FAA is issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products.


Other News:

Airline and business aviation customers to reap benefits from latest GX Aviation and Jet ConneX enhancements, following new contract for extra coverage and capacity in the Arctic

London | July 3, 2019–Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, today announced a contract to introduce two new payloads for its Global Xpress (GX) network in partnership with Space Norway and its subsidiary Space Norway HEOSAT, supporting the continued fast-paced development of its award-winning GX Aviation and Jet ConneX inflight connectivity solutions.

The new payloads, GX10A & 10B, will provide Inmarsat’s airline and business aviation customers with even more capacity to meet rapidly growing demand for seamless, reliable, high-speed mobile inflight broadband. In addition, the satellites will be fully compatible with current and future terminals, ensuring that both existing and new customers will reap the benefits from this latest extension to the network.

Scheduled to launch in 2022, GX10A & 10B will be the first satellites in the GX network to be placed into Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO), showcasing Inmarsat’s highly innovative and flexible approach to providing customers with gold-standard connectivity.

The satellites are designed to deliver enhanced capacity for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic. They will be operated by Space Norway’s Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ABSM) team and seamlessly integrate into the GX network.

The contract announcement is another significant milestone in the continued evolution of GX and comes less than a month after Inmarsat’s decision to invest in three new transformational satellites (GX7, 8 & 9) to be built by Airbus Defence & Space. These will further increase network flexibility and efficiency through multi-beam, high-throughput capacity that can be directed to service areas of high demand, and fully dialed up and down depending on customer needs in the region.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Over the past 40 years, Inmarsat has pioneered the latest in cutting-edge satellite innovation, a tradition we are proud to continue with the long-term development of our GX network. In the past month alone, we have announced five significant new payloads, raising the bar for industry investment and marking an unprecedented step-change in inflight mobile broadband capabilities for airlines and business aviation.

“We have now committed to a total of eight more payloads that will join the GX network’s four existing satellites starting from later this year. However, GX is much more than just a satellite network, it’s a complete end-to-end solution and we have been equally ambitious in developing our ground stations, hardware, software and cybersecurity framework. This infrastructure, built specifically for robust and secure mobility, is unique to Inmarsat and will position us as an innovator putting our customer needs at the heart of our business decisions.”

The GX network powers Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation, which boasts world-leading airline customers such as Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia, Norwegian, Avianca, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Citilink, Garuda and Philippine Airlines. The network also powers Inmarsat’s highly successful Jet ConneX inflight broadband solution, which has already been installed on more than 500 business aviation aircraft across the world.

INMARSAT
Inmarsat announced that its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband service has been selected by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) for its brand new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft. SAS has ordered a number of new Airbus A350 aircraft as part of an extensive fleet renewal program, the first of which will be delivered from the Airbus factory in Toulouse at the end of this year with GX Aviation pre-installed. The aircraft has been named ‘Ingegerd Viking’ and will officially enter service on  January 28, 2020, serving long-haul routes to destinations such as Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. GX Aviation’s unique proposition of fast, seamless global coverage was a key factor in its selection by SAS. GX Aviation will be a key part of the world-class experience in the new aircraft’s economy, premium economy and business class cabins, allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream video and audio, check social media, instant message and more, with speeds on par with mobile broadband on the ground. The airline will also benefit from major upcoming enhancements to the GX network, with additional capacity being introduced by three new satellites launching in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Furthermore, Inmarsat recently signed an agreement with Airbus Defence & Space to develop a pioneering new generation of GX satellites, which  the company says will mark a transformative step-change in inflight broadband capabilities. The ground-breaking satellites, named GX7, 8 & 9, are optimized for real-time mobility and feature thousands of dynamically-formed beams that direct capacity with laser-like precision over high-demand areas.


MORGAN STANLEY RESEARCH
Entering the Paris Air Show, investor concerns included order activity, aftermarket trends, and Defense health amongst others. But, the event addressed these overhangs and eased the subdued A&D cycle sentiment, in MSR’s view. Here are Morgan Stanley Research’s 5 key global takeaways from the Paris Air Show: 1) Order flow was light, but better than expected; 2) Boeing is making progress on the MAX slowly but surely; 3) Airbus announced the XLR and noted a supportive outlook at its analyst event; 4) Supplier commentary showed a degree of confidence in the outlook, albeit with production risks lingering; and 5) A lack of panic on Defense trends, while Bizjets are not doing a whole lot.


SPAFAX
Global entertainment and media agency Spafax, a leading providers of media, entertainment and content marketing services to the airline industry, announced it has been selected by Japan Airlines (JAL) to license, curate and deliver its short-form content selection onboard all aircraft including TV shows, documentaries and compilations. Spafax’s entertainment efforts for JAL will be led out of its Hong Kong office and be supported by its entertainment teams in London and Southern California. Spafax’s first content cycle for JAL is due for delivery by August 2019.


AIRBUS

  • During the 2019 Paris Air Show, Airbus achieved new business for 363 commercial aircraft, comprising 149 firm orders and 214 commitments. In addition to these totals, airlines and lessors also converted 352 existing aircraft orders – mostly from the A320 single-aisle aircraft up to the larger A321neo and also to the new A321XLR, clearly reflecting Airbus successful strategy in offering customers longer-range aircraft in this segment. Moreover, Le Bourget saw successes for the A220 which won new business for 85 aircraft, and for the widebody A330neo for which Airbus received orders and commitments for 24 new aircraft. The star of the show was clearly the new A321XLR – the next evolutionary step from the A321LR. The XLR is world’s most efficient and longest-range single-aisle aircraft, which will enable operators in this segment to access markets requiring even more range and payload. Overall, this newest model won orders for 48 aircraft, commitments for a further 79 aircraft and 99 conversions from A321 to XLR. These came from a wide range of launch customers from around the world.
  • Airbus is saddened that one of its founding fathers, Roger Béteille, who not only shaped Airbus’ first commercial aircraft – the A300B – but also Airbus Industrie, passed away on 14 June at the age of 97.
    Born in Aveyron, France, in 1921, Roger Béteille studied at Supaéro in Toulouse before joining France’s SNCASE, which later became Sud Aviation, in 1943. He received his pilot’s licence in 1945, becoming thereafter flight test engineer in 1952. He was part of the flight test team on the Caravelle’s first flight. In July 1967, the idea to develop a 300-seater all new wide-body twinjet was progressing and Mr Béteille was appointed chief engineer for the A300 program at Sud Aviation. It soon became clear that launch customers Air France and Lufthansa wanted a smaller product. From the very start, Roger Béteille nurtured a dream: to found an aircraft family. “I was convinced that Airbus would never take off with a single aircraft,” he explained. “Potential customers would wonder if we’d still be around in ten or 20 years’ time.” His dream truly came to fruition towards the end of his career, when in March 1984 he managed the formal launch of the A320.
    Roger Béteille was instrumental in developing its fly-by-wire (FBW) controls, with increased flight safety and wider fuselage, all of which were key to its huge commercial success. Fly-by-wire also enabled the start of cockpit commonality and cross-crew qualification for pilots across Airbus aircraft.
  • China Southern Airlines took delivery of its first of 20 A350-900 becoming the newest operator of this latest generation and highly efficient twin-engine, long-range widebody aircraft. The Guangzhou-based carrier operates an Airbus fleet of 335 aircraft, including 282 A320 Family aircraft, 48 A330 Family aircraft and 5 A380 aircraft (figures at the end of May 2019). China Southern’s A350-900 aircraft features a modern and comfortable three-class cabin layout of 314 seats: 28 business, 24 premium economy and 262 economy. The airline will initially operate the new aircraft on its domestic routes from Guangzhou to Shanghai and Beijing, followed by flights to international destinations.

BOEING
Boeing launched its latest round of flight-testing to assess new technologies that could address real-world challenges for airplane operators and passengers — from enhancing safety and sustainability to improving the flying experience. The company is debuting a Boeing 777 that will serve as the 2019 flying test bed for 50 projects. “This is the latest addition to our ecoDemonstrator program, where we look at how crew and passengers can have a better experience and how technologies can make flying safer, more efficient and more enjoyable,” said Mike Sinnett, vice president of product strategy and future airplane development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Using the 777 flying test bed lets us learn faster and move forward on improvements much quicker and with greater fidelity in defining their value.” Among the technologies being tested on this year’s ecoDemonstrator program are:

  • Sharing digital information between air traffic control, the flight deck and an airline’s operations center to optimize routing efficiency and safety.
  • An electronic flight bag application that uses next-generation communications to automatically provide rerouting information to pilots when weather conditions warrant.
  • Connected cabin technologies that make galleys and lavatories smart, and monitor cabin conditions such as temperature and humidity to facilitate automatic adjustments.
  • Cameras to provide more passengers with a view outside the airplane.

Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator program first took to the skies in 2012. Five airplanes — a 737-800, 787-8 Dreamliner, 757, Embraer E170 and 777 Freighter — have tested 112 technologies through 2018. More than a third of the technologies have transitioned to implementation at Boeing or by program partners. Nearly half remain in further development while testing on the other projects was discontinued after learnings were accomplished. Among the technologies now in use are iPad apps that provide real-time information to pilots, enabling them to reduce fuel use and emissions; custom approach path information to reduce community noise; and a camera system on the 777X that will help pilots avoid ground obstacles. A key part of the ecoDemonstrator program is collaboration with industry partners to jointly test technologies and share learnings that advance aviation. More than a dozen partners are participating in the 2019 program, including an industry consortium developing a connectivity standard for networked cabins of the future known as iCabin. Flight tests will be conducted this fall. The flights will include a trip to Frankfurt Airport in Germany, where the ecoDemonstrator’s technology mission will be presented to government officials, industry representatives and STEM students to help inspire the next generation in aerospace leadership. A majority of the test flights will fly on sustainable aviation fuel to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and demonstrate the fuel’s viability.

Aviation connects our world by efficiently and rapidly moving people, opening new economic opportunities and transporting food and goods all over our planet. Aviation promotes global understanding, generating rich cultural exchanges and thereby contributing to peaceful co-existence. At the same time, climate change has become a clear concern for our society. Humanity’s impact on the climate requires action on many fronts. The aviation industry is already taking significant action to protect the planet and will continue to do so. Aviation contributes to two percent of human-made carbon dioxide emissions. The industry has challenged itself to reduce net CO2 emissions even while demand for air travel and transport grows significantly. Through the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), the aviation industry became the world’s first industrial sector to set an ambitious target: reduce CO2 emissions to half of year 2005 levels by 2050, and to limit the growth of net CO2 emissions by 2020. We are on track to meet those near-term commitments, including the 2019 implementation of the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) program as agreed upon by the nations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Chief Technology Officers of seven of the world’s leading aviation manufacturers are now each working at an unprecedented level to ensure the industry meets these aggressive and necessary commitments.

The Strategy
There are three major technological elements to sustainable aviation:

  1. Continuing to develop aircraft and engine design and technology in a relentless pursuit of improvements in fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.
  2. Supporting the commercialization of sustainable, alternate aviation fuels. Around 185,000 commercial flights have already proven that today’s aircraft are ready to use them.
  3. Developing radically new aircraft and propulsion technology and accelerating technologies that will enable the ‘third generation’ of aviation.

Aviation will continue to rely on liquid fuels as the fundamental energy source for larger and longer-range aircraft for the foreseeable future. Even under the most optimistic forecasts for electric-powered flight, regional and single-aisle commercial airplanes will remain operating in the global fleet with jet fuel for decades to come. Therefore, the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) which use recycled rather than fossil-based carbon and meet strong, credible sustainability standards is an essential component of a sustainable future. Five pathways for production of SAFs have already been approved for use, with commercial scale production of one of these pathways already in place. We believe that accelerating production scale-up of all commercially viable pathways, while simultaneously developing additional lower cost pathways, is the key to success. This work is already underway at research institutions and within companies in various industrial sectors. What is needed is an expansion of government support for technology development, production facility investment, and fuel production incentives around the world.
We are fully supportive of any fuel, which is sustainable, scalable, and compatible with existing fuels. We will work closely with fuel producers, operators, airports, environmental organizations and government agencies to bring these fuels into widespread aviation use well ahead of 2050. Other factors, such as efficient air traffic management and aircraft routing that minimizes fuel consumption also have a vital part to play. Our industry has demonstrated significant progress on reducing noise and other environmental impacts and will continue to do so.

Aviation is at the dawn of its third major era, building on the foundation laid by the Wright brothers and the innovators of the Jet Age in the 1950s. Aviation’s third era is enabled by advances in new architectures, advanced engine thermodynamic efficiencies, electric and hybrid-electric propulsion, digitization, artificial intelligence, materials and manufacturing. Larger aircraft will begin to benefit from novel designs that will further improve efficiency through management of aircraft drag and distributing propulsion in new ways. New materials will enable lighter aircraft, further improving efficiency. We are excited by this third generation of aviation and, even though all of the represented companies have different approaches, we are all driven by the certainty of its contribution to the role of aviation in a sustainable future. We believe aviation is entering its most exciting era since the dawn of the Jet Age. This third era promises a transformative positive impact on lives around the globe — and we stand ready to make it a reality.


OTHER NEWS

Latest expansion of strategic partnership is further endorsement of GX Aviation as the reference inflight connectivity solution for airlines across the world

United Kingdom | November 14, 2018–Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has expanded its global network of Value Added Resellers (VARs) for its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution with the addition of Honeywell Aerospace.

The agreement builds on Inmarsat’s long-standing partnership with Honeywell, who already manufactures the JetWave hardware for GX Aviation and sells Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX inflight wi-fi service for the business aviation market, through its GoDirect retail services business. In addition, it is further endorsement of Inmarsat’s commitment to operate the reference inflight connectivity network for airlines around the world.

GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight broadband service, delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of Global Xpress (GX) High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). This award-winning solution allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with onboard connectivity comparable to the mobile broadband services they receive on the ground.

As part of the agreement, Honeywell will now market GX Aviation to airlines worldwide through its rapidly growing GoDirect retail services business. This increases the company’s focus on end users, allowing it to tailor smart connectivity solutions directly to individual customers – whether in the airline or business aviation space. It addition, Honeywell will continue to manufacture and sell the JetWave hardware to airline and business aviation customers.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Inmarsat and Honeywell have an extremely successful track record of working together in the fast-growing inflight connectivity market. We are delighted to now extend this partnership. Honeywell’s unique depth of experience in this field and their close relationships with airlines make them a perfect fit as a value-added reseller of GX Aviation.

“This agreement also builds on our exceptional go-to-market strategy. It comes soon after a new strategic collaboration with Panasonic Avionics and our continued success with existing value-added resellers, which have done an outstanding job in selling GX Aviation to leading airlines across the world. Our distribution network is now truly the best of the best.”

Ben Driggs, President of Services and Connectivity, Honeywell Aerospace, said: “A shift is underway in the aviation industry, focused on higher margin opportunities in software, services and predictive data analytics. Today’s announcement gives us the ability to market our multitude of GoDirect Connected Aircraft services in addition to hardware directly to future airline customers.”

Major milestone reached as industry’s only global high-quality inflight Wi-Fi solution achieves rapid installation rate on world-leading business jet models

United Kingdom | October 17, 2018–Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its market-leading Jet ConneX (JX) business aviation inflight Wi-Fi solution has now been installed and activated on 400 business jets worldwide.

The speed of uptake for the high-speed inflight Wi-Fi service has been rapid, with 125 installations taking place in the past four months alone. Inmarsat’s suite of advanced connectivity services make today’s connected business aircraft a more productive and efficient way to fly, providing an onboard connectivity experience in the air that has previously only been available on the ground.

Kai Tang, Senior Vice President of Business and General Aviation at Inmarsat, said: “The fact that 400 aircraft have been installed with Jet ConneX in under two years of commercial service introduction demonstrates the exceptionally high quality JX delivers to the business aviation market. Inmarsat and our partners have worked hard to exceed expectations and that is reflected in this accelerating demand from both manufacturers and business jet owners, many from Fortune 500 companies.”

Jet ConneX is the preferred linefit option by all of the market-leading business jet manufacturers including Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault and Embraer. In addition, Inmarsat has experienced substantial adoption of the solution on a retrofit basis, with more than 40 type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals already secured, including for all Boeing and Airbus VVIP type models.

Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and delivers a reliable, consistent Wi-Fi experience that enables the business traveller to stream wherever and whenever.

Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, offered exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,800 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell.

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first and only provider with a complete High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit.

United Kingdom | October 16, 2018–Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced the appointment of Kai Tang as Senior Vice President of Business and General Aviation (BGA). Kai joins the Inmarsat Aviation business from Inmarsat Government, where he held the role of Chief Commercial Officer.

Kai is an experienced satellite communications professional with industry expertise ranging across government, maritime and aviation. During his seven years at Inmarsat, he has held the role of Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Operations for Inmarsat’s U.S. Government Business Unit, and also played a key role within the company’s Global Xpress development programme.

Kai will be responsible for Inmarsat’s ground-breaking portfolio of connectivity services for the business aviation industry, including its global, high-speed Jet ConneX inflight Wi-Fi solution, which delivers an in-the-air broadband experience comparable to on-the-ground connections. In addition, he will oversee next year’s business aviation launch of the European Aviation Network (EAN), the world’s first inflight broadband that combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based ground network.

Prior to joining Inmarsat, Kai was the Divisional Director for Navy Shipboard Satellite Communications, as well as airborne and expeditionary programmes, such as Navy VIP Aircraft Communications and the Joint Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) project for The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIEDDO), which is a combat support organization of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Philip Balaam, President, Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Kai has made a huge contribution to Inmarsat since he joined seven years ago. In particular, he was instrumental in the strategy and development of the Global Xpress network. Through his experience with the US Navy, and Inmarsat Government, and working closely with our channel partners, Kai brings a broad skill set and range of experience that I have no doubt will be of great value as we continue to build on the success of our BGA business.”

Commenting on his appointment, Kai Tang said: “BGA is an exciting area for Inmarsat and for the inflight connectivity industry as a whole, both now and looking forward. Inmarsat already has a well-established ecosystem of world class partners and OEMs delivering our market-leading solutions in this space and I’m very much looking forward to working with them.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. It is the first and only provider with a complete High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) network spanning the world. Inmarsat is also the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit.

Boston, USA | September 26, 2018–Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), an Indonesian wireless technology provider, today announced a partnership with GMF AeroAsia as part of a 10-year inflight connectivity contract with low-cost airline Citilink.

GMF AeroAsia, part of the Garuda Indonesia Group, will support the installation of Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband onboard 50 Citilink Airbus A320 aircraft, working alongside Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik.

Together, the partners will implement a world-class Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) connectivity offering for passengers across the Citilink fleet, supporting the airline’s continued work to provide an innovative onboard experience and enhance loyalty among its growing customer base.

Citilink, which is also part of the Garuda Indonesia Group, was named Asia’s Best LCC at the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards 2018 and has a four-star rating by Skytrax. Its installations of GX Aviation are expected to commence later this year.

GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight connectivity service delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). It allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.

Iwan Setiawan, Managing Director of PT Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), said: “We are working with leading companies in the inflight connectivity market to ensure the onboard wifi offered to Citilink passengers is gold-standard. In addition to Inmarsat, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik, we are delighted to welcome GMF AeroAsia to this important project. Their rich knowledge, expertise and world-class facilities will ensure the installation process is efficient and smooth. I believe this collaboration will benefit each party involved in the long run.”

Ben Griffin, Inmarsat Aviation Regional Vice President, said: “This is a fast-moving project, with Citilink only signing its fleet-wide contract for GX Aviation two months ago. We now welcome GMF AeroAsia to the project and look forward to commencing installation work in the coming months. This shows the impressive agility and determination of Citilink to quickly meet passenger demand for next-generation inflight broadband, together with its various project partners.”

Hong Kong | August 8, 2018–Satcom Direct, the business aviation connectivity, software and hardware provider, has confirmed its first Jet ConneX installation for Deer Jet subsidiary, Hongkong Jet. The ultra-high-speed Ka-band service, powered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation, is being supplied to a privately-owned Gulfstream G650ER, managed and maintained by Hongkong Jet.

Installed at Gulfstream’s Long Beach, CA. facility and activated by SD in early summer, the system delivers unrivalled cabin access to the highest data speeds available to business aircraft in the sky. “The principal runs a large, international Chinese conglomerate so the ability to use voice and text services, download and email documents, and surf the web, are fundamental to his business. His family often travels with him and they want to stream video, watch favorite TV series, and big sporting events. The need to deliver constant, reliable, secure connectivity is essential. With Jet ConneX installed the cabin is truly a home from home, as well as an office in the air,” says Mike Walsh, chief commercial officer, Hongkong Jet.

The Satcom Direct Router, SDR®, seamlessly delivers the high-speed connectivity throughout the G650ER cabin to all passenger devices. In addition, data integrity is maintained by the SD suite of cyber security software solutions which while managed by the SDR, are supplemented by certified SD experts, to proactively mitigate potential threats and block intrusion attempts in real-time.

“The data security offering, the standard of SD global customer service, and the ability to respond 24/7 to resolve potential issues, played a significant part in our decision to appoint them as the Ka-band provider. Our clients expect us to maintain the aircraft to the highest standards and we rely on SD to meet and exceed those expectations in terms of connectivity,” said Denzil White, chief executive officer, Hongkong Jet.

“We have supplied connectivity to the G650ER for some time and upgrading to the Jet ConneX offering was a natural next step to fulfil the owners growing connectivity needs. SD is the world’s largest reseller of Jet ConneX and we have exceptional experience in managing, monitoring and delivering the solution. This know-how adds significant value to our customers and ensures we are able to provide enhanced customer support levels, as well as pro-active data security,” said SD President, David Greenhill.

The latest Ka-band upgrade bolsters the existing relationship between SD and Hongkong Jet and is the first in a number of confirmed connectivity upgrades SD will supply to the management company fleet over the next twelve months.

Inmarsat partners with Mahata Aero Teknologi, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik to rollout award-winning connectivity service on 50 Airbus A320s

Indonesia | July 31, 2018– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a contract with Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), an Indonesian wireless technology provider, to deploy Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband solution on a fleet of 50 Airbus A320 aircraft for Indonesian low-cost airline Citilink.

Inmarsat will also partner with Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik to implement a world-class Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) connectivity offering for passengers across the Citilink fleet, supporting the airline’s continued work to provide an innovative onboard experience and enhance loyalty among its growing customer base. Installations onboard the first Citilink aircraft are expected to commence later this year.

GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight internet service delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). It allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.

The contract was finalised only a few months after Inmarsat, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MAT, the first Indonesian tech company to provide inflight wifi services, to meet the requirements of Citilink. The carrier, a subsidiary of Indonesian national airline Garuda, was named Asia’s Best LCC at the TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards 2018 and has a four-star rating by Skytrax.

Juliandra Nurtjahjo, President and CEO of Citilink, said: “As a modern, digitally-focused airline, it’s imperative that we offer our passengers a world-class inflight wifi service. We are confident that the combined strengths of Inmarsat, MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will ensure we deliver gold-standard broadband onboard all of our flights.”

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Together with our partners MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik, we look forward to delivering an outstanding connectivity service to Citilink and its passengers. Citilink’s adoption of GX Aviation, and signing of this contract mere months after the MoU, are testament to both the importance of inflight connectivity to passengers today and Citilink’s confidence in our solution. This partnership also represents a significant milestone for Inmarsat in one of our priority regional markets.”

Iwan Setiawan, Managing Director of PT Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), said: “The end-to-end inflight wifi solution we will provide with Inmarsat, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik is truly cutting-edge and the perfect fit for an innovative low-cost airline such as Citilink. Together with our strategic partners, MAT has become the first Indonesian tech company that is transforming idle passengers onboard flights into fully entertained, engaged and satisfied travellers for our airline customers.”

Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products and Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, said: “Our partnership with MAT, Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik will directly support Citilink’s long-term inflight wifi ambitions. In particular, our digital BoardConnect platform’s open architecture and use of modern docker technology will enable a range of e-commerce services, serving as a perfect base to monetise the airline’s inflight wifi.”

Nina Schulz, Head of Product Sales Aircraft Modification at Lufthansa Technik, said: “We feel very privileged signing the first agreement with an Indonesian provider. With 15 years of experience in state-of-the-art connectivity, we are able to tailor the equipment of even the largest fleets to our customer’s individual requirements in the shortest possible time. This contract is further proof of our successful cooperation with our partners Lufthansa Systems, Inmarsat and now MAT. Citilink Indonesia will truly benefit from our multiple expertise.”

Another Tuesday and another IFExpress. Be sure to check out the story about the B52 Midnight Express restoration (image above) at the end of this week’s Hot Topic.


Aircraft Interiors Exposition – Boston

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Boston (AIX, Boston), the fall’s only meeting place for the passenger experience industry, will this year take place at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre from 25 – 27 September. Organized by Reed Exhibitions, it is the sister event to AIX Hamburg.

The world-leading event is strategically co-located with Airlines Passenger Experience Expo (APEX EXPO) and International Flight Services Association Expo (IFSA EXPO), enabling airlines and companies from across the supply chain to meet and network.

New to AIX, Boston this year is CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre – the educational sessions which are a popular and firmly established part of its sister show in Hamburg each spring. Sessions will run throughout the first two days of AIX, Boston and provide attendees and exhibitors an arena to learn, network and seek inspiration on pressing industry issues.

More than 220 exhibiting companies are already confirmed to attend the co-located events in Boston in September, showcasing their products and innovations to an expected audience of 5,000 + visitors and 280 airline VIPs from 63 global airlines.

Amongst them are 12 first time exhibitors including Bose Corporation, Meggitt PLC, SynQor Inc and Tajima America Corp, who will join longstanding brands across all three events including Acro Aircraft Seating, Boeing, Diehl Aviation, E Leather, gategroup, Panasonic Avionics, STS Aviation Group, San Diego Aircraft interiors, and Tapis Corporation.

Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, comments: “Over the past nine years, AIX has firmly established itself as the leading fall event for the global aircraft interiors industry to gather and discuss the trends shaping the industry.

“This year we are delighted to be welcoming new exhibiting companies who will continue to showcase the evolving spectrum of aircraft interiors products that are shaping the passenger experience.

“Bringing this to life, and providing a forum for open discussion and innovation, we are sure that CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre will be a popular addition to the show and look forward to unveiling the speaker line-up in the coming weeks.”

Each fall, the location of AIX changes to refresh the industry’s perspective and reach an extensive audience of key industry decision makers from around the world. It showcases a wide range of cabin interiors products including; seating, galleys, lighting, lavatories, cabin management system, soft furnishings and passenger services.

Boston is the capital of the state of Massachusetts and its largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s also one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Today, the city is home to around 600,000 people and welcomes over 20 million visitors every year, drawn by attractions such as the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and neighboring Harvard.

AIX Americas is the sister event of the Aircraft Interiors Expo which takes place every April in Hamburg, Germany.

With a special category for integrated digital innovations in the field of air travel, the Crystal Cabin Award, the world’s leading prize for aircraft interiors and on-board products, is extending its scope. The new category “Best Customer Journey Experience” is aimed both at passenger-focused products such as smartphone apps relating to air travel, and at digital applications that improve product management for airlines. Entries can be lodged online at https://connect.apex.aero/page/apexawards until the end of July.

The new category is running outside the normal entry phase for the Crystal Cabin Award. It will be presented on 24 September together with the APEX Awards at the APEX EXPO and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas events in Boston, Massachusetts. The application phase for the other eight categories, traditionally awarded every April at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, will then begin.

“Best Customer Journey Experience” comprises all products that help to improve the customer experience journey (inspiration, planning, booking, purchase, pre-trip, departure, in-flight and post-trip) across airline travel categories. It includes technical end-to-end solutions across categories including applications, artificial intelligence, tools, devices, software, programs etc. The product should offer benefits for airlines, OEMs, and/or suppliers by offering new digital solutions and specific insights about passengers experience for the benefit of on-board technical utilization. The finalists and award winner will provide airlines and their suppliers an inspirational example on how to optimize the cabin for end-to-end travel solutions centered around personalized passenger experience.

This special category complements the existing eight categories awarded each year in Hamburg for the Crystal Cabin Awards: „Cabin Concepts“, „Cabin Systems“, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity”, “Material and Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University” and “Visionary Concepts”. Winners of the 2018 season included renowned industry players such as Airbus and Altran, Rockwell Collins, and PriestmanGoode with Qatar Airways.


INMARSAT

The potential bidding war for satellite company Inmarsat took an interesting turn. Eutelsat had initially thrown its hat into the ring as a suitor but made a rapid about-turn. Inmarsat’s stock spun, too, sinking by 12%.

What Does This Mean?

Inmarsat provides phone and wireless data services – like 4G – to people via satellites around the world. France’s Eutelsat does the same thing and is the third largest global operator of its kind.

The proverbial bidding war came about after American company Echostar said it had amassed a 3% stake in Inmarsat on Friday (its offer to buy the company earlier in June was rebuffed). Eutelsat then said it was considering an offer, too – but decided against it after pressure to make a firm decision from the UK’s takeover regulator.

Why Should I Care?

For markets: Inmarsat’s stock could be in for a bumpy ride.
Inmarsat’s shares soared with the news of Echostar’s initial bid – and the prospect of a counter bid – but they’re now in decline. The UK’s takeover laws mean this rollercoaster ride could last a bit longer, since Eutelsat now can’t put in a bid for Inmarsat of any kind unless a formal offer is made by someone else. Echostar has to submit a final bid within a month or it’ll be tapped out by regulators.

The bigger picture: Land grabbing and cost “synergies” make M&A likely.
In an industry with slowing growth opportunities, bundling revenues together – and streamlining costs that may have otherwise been duplicated (a.k.a. generating synergies) – is a tidy way for satellite companies to increase profits. Bidding wars among giants for the smaller companies could be an ongoing trend for the industry.


SITA

SITA invites airline industry stakeholders to join international Blockchain research project. SITA announced the launch of a major industry research project to explore the potential of blockchain. More than 100 top IT executives, attending SITA’s Customer Innovation Forum, were the first to be invited to join the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox.

SITA is investing in the infrastructure to accelerate industry-specific research into the viability of running multi-enterprise apps using distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain. The company is welcoming interested industry players to use the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox at no cost to them.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Today we are inviting air transport organizations to work together so that we can collectively see how blockchain could work across our industry. Blockchain holds many promises but exploring these in individual organizations is not the most productive. As the technology company owned by airlines, SITA is in a position to work neutrally with multiple stakeholders to explore and test multi-enterprise applications. Through this collaborative innovation we will accelerate the learning for all.”

The airline industry has a long history of sharing information across multiple stakeholders to increase efficiency. At times, however, it faces difficulties when proprietary business information needs to be extracted or multiple data sources conflict. One of the key benefits of blockchain technology is the ability to have multi-enterprise applications. These work across multiple organizations locking data immutably into the blockchain rather than having individual applications running separately and exchanging data on a case-by-case basis. This is how this technology can provide a ‘single source of truth’ to all stakeholders.

The Aviation Blockchain Sandbox will be led and managed by SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research team, and will develop in three stages. To start, SITA is opening the FlightChain project to airlines and airports in September. FlightChain was SITA’s blockchain trial, with British Airways, Heathrow, Geneva Airport and Miami International Airport, using smart contracts for shared control of data. It stored flight information on the blockchain to provide a single source of truth. Now SITA is making it easy for other airlines and airports to join this research and test FlightChain for their own use.

For the second stage of this collaborative innovation, SITA will work with organizations that wish to test smart contracts across a number of airline and airport operational use cases. During the third stage of the research, which is expected to start in late 2018, SITA will enable participants to run their own node. This will give the organizations the opportunity to become more involved and to participate in the running of the network, including becoming custodians. Throughout all stages the participating organizations can be assured that the data being used in the blockchain sandbox will be stored confidentially.

Dalibard concluded: “Since we published the results of the FlightChain research, many of our airline and airport customers have expressed an interest in exploring the opportunities of blockchain with us and some have already committed to the Aviation Blockchain Sandbox. We encourage airlines, airports, ground handlers, governments and other organizations with a role in the air transport industry to take advantage of this opportunity to innovate together.”


AIRBUS

The closing of the previously announced C Series transaction between Airbus SAS, Bombardier Inc. and Investissement Québec came into effect on July 1, 2018. Airbus now owns a 50.01% majority stake in C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership, while Bombardier and Investissement Québec own approximately 34% and 16% respectively. CSALP’s head office, primary assembly line and related functions are based in Mirabel, Québec.

Further, Airbus has announced orders for 10 A350-900 and 10 A330neo’s to undisclosed buyers.

The world’s passenger fleet will more than double to 48,000 aircraft in 20 years with traffic growing at a resilient 4.4% per year, driving a need for 37,390 new passenger and freighter aircraft according to Airbus’ new Global Market Forecast 2018-2037. Growth drivers include private consumption increasing 2.4 times in emerging economies, higher disposable incomes and a near doubling of the middle classes globally. Emerging countries will account for over 60% of economic growth, with trips per capita to multiply 2.5 times for these nations. Combined with evolving airline business models and continuing liberalization, the growing scale of air transportation will lead to an increasing resilience to regional slowdowns. Greater aircraft range and capacity through technological developments allow airlines the flexibility to explore new business opportunities whilst maintaining focus on cost reduction. Of the 37,390 new aircraft required, 26,540 are for growth and 10,850 will replace older generation less fuel efficient aircraft. The more than doubling in the world fleet to 48,000 aircraft results in a need for 540,000 new pilots. Airbus continues to evolve its service business to meet the needs of its growing customer base.


BOEING

Boeing & Ethiopian Airlines

Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines celebrated the delivery of the first of 30 737 MAX jets for Africa’s largest and fastest-growing commercial airline.

The flag carrier of Ethiopia has long operated the efficient and reliable Boeing 737 airplane. With the MAX, Ethiopian will be able to achieve a double-digit improvement in fuel efficiency and provide passengers with a more comfortable experience.

“We are glad to include the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the latest in Boeing’s single-aisle series, in our young and modern fleet of over 100 aircraft with an average age of less than five years,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam. “The Boeing 737 MAX 8 features the new Boeing sky interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhance the sense of spaciousness ultimately boosting our customers’ experience. Since it is more fuel efficient than the current 737-NG, it has less carbon emission to the environment. As a customer-centric airline with a high adaptability to emerging technologies, Ethiopian has been pioneering latest-technology aircraft into Africa throughout its 72-year history. In line with the airline’s growth targets under Vision 2025, we will keep on investing in further expansion of our fleet in acquiring the latest aircraft the industry has to offer.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,500 orders to date from 99 customers worldwide.

The 737 MAX families incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, the Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays, and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.

In Ethiopian’s configuration, its 737 MAX 8 will seat 160 passengers.

“Ethiopian Airlines continues to fly at the forefront of Africa’s commercial aviation industry by operating the most advanced airplanes,” said Marty Bentrott, Boeing Sales vice president for Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Central Asia & Africa. “We are honored by Ethiopian’s continuing confidence in Boeing airplanes and we look forward to growing our five-decade long partnership.”

With this delivery, Ethiopian’s fleet of Boeing airplanes grows to 73 jets, including the 787 Dreamliner, 777, 737 MAX, and the 757 and 767.

Boeing & Embraer

Boeing and Embraer announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership that positions both companies to accelerate growth in global aerospace markets.

The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake. The transaction values 100 percent of Embraer’s commercial aircraft operations at $4.75 billion, and contemplates a value of $3.8 billion for Boeing’s 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture. The proposed partnership is expected to be accretive to Boeing’s earnings per share beginning in 2020 and to generate estimated annual pre-tax cost synergies of approximately $150 million by year three.

The strategic partnership will bring together more than 150 years of combined leadership in aerospace and leverage the two companies’ highly complementary commercial product lines. The partnership is a natural evolution of a long-standing history of collaboration between Boeing and Embraer over more than 20 years.

On finalization, the commercial aviation joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a President and Chief Executive Officer. Boeing will have operational and management control of the new company, which will report directly to Muilenburg.

The joint venture will become one of Boeing’s centers of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing, and support of commercial passenger aircraft, and will be fully integrated into Boeing’s broader production and supply chain.

Boeing and the joint venture would be positioned to offer a comprehensive, highly complementary commercial airplane portfolio that ranges from 70 seats to more than 450 seats and freighters, offering best-in-class products and services to better serve the global customer base.

In addition, both companies will create another joint venture to promote and develop new markets and applications for defense products and services, especially the KC-390 multi-mission aircraft, based on jointly-identified opportunities. Finalization of the financial and operational details of the strategic partnership and negotiation of definitive transaction agreements are expected to continue in the coming months. Upon execution of these agreements, the transaction would then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, including approval from the Government of Brazil, as well as other customary closing conditions. Assuming the approvals are received in a timely manner, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019, 12-18 months after execution of the definitive agreements.


OTHER NEWS

KID-Systeme

Let’s face it, one of the most important amenities on an aircraft is the USB power. In fact, the longer the flight the more important USB power is. Why? Because personal device battery life is a function of time. As you may remember from an earlier issue of IFExpress, we touched on the Mirus Aircraft Seating integration project for AirAsia’s new Hawk slimline economy seating for their A320 fleet that includes the IFE peripheral experts, IFPL, who are supplying the USB interface port for USB consumer technologies. What you may not know is that KID-Systeme is the single source supplier for the USB power source via their SKYpower system. This initial A320 retrofit program, which was announced in 2016, is now up and flying and has been followed-up by a line fit order for the airline’s new Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft. During AIX we had the opportunity to talk with KID about the project and they indicated that the high-power USB outlet in conjunction with the In-Seat Power Supply unit minimize weight while limiting the intrusion into the passenger space, facilitating the passenger experience in Wi-Fi equipped cabins. “… we celebrate a striking success in Asia together with Mirus and we are pleased to announce our new relationship with Mirus and IFPL, offering an innovative, low cost, low weight & high-power USB solution. The system can be installed on Airbus line-fit aircraft as well as on all types of retrofit programs”, says Jens Markworth, VP Sales KID-Systeme GmbH. SKYpower is designed with high power efficiency and low standby power and is intended to guarantee passengers with sufficient power to use their electronic devices, whether they be laptops, smartphones, and/or tablets en route. We foresee more teaming efforts like this one in the industry’s future.


Rockwell Collins

Five Rockwell Collins engineers have been named to the fifth annual class of Rockwell Collins Fellows at a special ceremony yesterday with company leadership and members of the first four classes of Fellows.

Implemented in 2014, the Rockwell Collins Fellows program distinguishes exemplary engineers whose leadership, innovations and technical expertise — along with their dedication to mentoring others — advances Rockwell Collins and their respective fields.

The Class of 2018 Fellows are:

  • Joseph Graf, principal systems engineer in Airborne and Ground Communications Products for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Patrick Morrissey, senior security engineering manager for Commercial Systems Cyber Security Engineering in Cedar Rapids
  • Warren Prasuhn, principal systems engineer in Safety Programs and Process for Commercial Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Karl Shepherd, principal systems engineer in Airborne Solutions for Government Systems in Cedar Rapids
  • Joel Wichgers, principal systems engineer in Precision Positioning and Guidance for Engineering & Information Technology in Cedar Rapids

“Our Fellows are helping our company achieve industry-changing moments, historic wins and barrier-breaking technology that’s yet to come,” said Nan Mattai, senior vice president of Engineering & Information Technology. “I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments.”


Gogo

Gogo Business Aviation says its AVANCE L5 connectivity system was installed on the 200th aircraft; it expects 500 by the end of 2018.


Airbus:

The A320 Family Production Line

Airbus has inaugurated the fourth Hamburg A320 Family production line. Making use of digital technologies and a more flexible industrial set-up, the innovative state-of-the-art line is a key enabler for ramping up the single aisle program to 60 aircraft per month by mid-2019.

Frank Horch, Hamburg’s Senator of Economy, Transport and Innovation and Thomas Jarzombek, Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, witnessed the milestone together with Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft, and 500 distinguished guests at a special ceremony in Hamburg. “The inauguration of our latest, most modern A320 production line opens a new chapter in efficient, digital aircraft manufacturing,” said Guillaume Faury. “With these new technologies we are building our aircraft more efficiently, a key enabler for higher production rates. I would like to thank the teams, who pushed this newest Airbus production standard from concept to reality.”

With more than 14,000 A320ceo and A320neo Family aircraft ordered and over 8,100 delivered, the A320 is the world’s most successful single-aisle aircraft family. Incorporating the latest state-of-the-art technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, the A320neo Family provides 15 percent fuel savings at delivery and 20 percent by 2020. To date the A320neo Family has captured nearly a 60 percent market share with more than 6,000 orders from 100 customers.

The A320 Family aircraft are manufactured globally, at Airbus sites in Europe, China and the US. In addition to the new production line, Airbus also inaugurated a larger and modernized Hamburg A320 Family delivery center with more customer areas, more efficient delivery processes and increased hospitality services.

Airbus & the Côte d’Ivoire

Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a framework of collaboration to support the development of the country’s aerospace industry which has been identified as strategic for its economic development. Under the terms of the MoU, Airbus and the government of Côte d’Ivoire will explore channels of cooperation in developing the aerospace sector in Côte d’Ivoire in various areas.

“We are confident that this partnership with Airbus will contribute to Côte d’Ivoire’s economic growth as well as support us build a stronger framework for industrial development, creation of jobs and capacity building for our country,” said his Excellency Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. We are committed to deliver on our vision and make Côte d’Ivoire a hub for aerospace technology in Africa,” he added.

“Collaboration between the public and private sector is essential to facilitate economic and industrial growth. Through this MoU we will work closely with Côte d’Ivoire’s government, share expertise, discuss opportunities and support efforts in building a robust and sustainable aerospace sector. At Airbus, we are committed to supporting the sustainable socioeconomic development of Africa through partnerships such as this. ” said Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft.

Airbus A330neo

The A330neo, Airbus’ newest widebody aircraft, has embarked on a worldwide tour to demonstrate its readiness for airline operations. As final step in the aircraft certification phase these function & reliability tests, also known as route proving will include ETOPS missions, landing at diversion airports and testing airport handling services. After a fly past over Airbus’ European sites, the A330neo will head for 15 major airports worldwide over five continents, aiming at achieving 150 Flight Test Hours in three trips. The route proving tests are performed with the first A330-900 production aircraft, fully equipped with an Airspace by Airbus cabin and flying in launch operator’s Tap Air Portugal colors. The aircraft first flew on 15th May 2018 launching flight-tests to check cabin systems such as air conditioning. The route proving tests form part of the last trials required for aircraft Type Certification scheduled for summer 2018.

Launched in July 2014, the A330neo family is the new generation A330, comprising two versions: the A330-800 and A330-900 sharing 99% commonality. It builds on the proven economics, versatility and reliability of the A330 family, while reducing fuel consumption by about 25 percent per seat versus previous generation competitors and increasing range by up to 1,500nm compared to the majority of A330s in operation. The A330neo is powered by Rolls-Royce’s latest-generation Trent 7000 engines and features a new wing with increased span and new A350 XWB inspired Sharklets. The cabin provides the comfort of the new “Airspace” amenities.

Airbus & Cathay Pacific Airways

Cathay Pacific Airways has become the second airline to operate the A350-1000, the world’s newest long range widebody airliner. The airline took delivery of the aircraft at a special event in Toulouse, France. The aircraft is the first of 20 A350-1000s ordered by Cathay Pacific and will join the carrier’s growing fleet of A350 XWB aircraft, which already includes 22 A350-900s. Both aircraft are complementary and provide for maximum commonality with unmatched operating efficiencies, while offering passengers the highest levels of comfort in all classes. Travelers will benefit from absolute well-being in the cabin, with more personal space, optimized cabin altitude, more fresh air, controlled temperature & humidity, integrated connectivity and the latest generation of in-flight entertainment system. With its true long-range capability, the A350-1000 will form an important part of Cathay Pacific long-haul operations. The aircraft will be deployed on the airline’s new non-stop route from Hong-Kong to Washington DC, representing the longest flight – approximately 17 hours – performed by any airline out of Hong Kong.


SITA

Global air transport IT provider SITA has announced that its technology, BagJourney, is managing baggage for an increasing number of the world’s airlines. In the first six months of this year alone, more than 20 airlines have chosen the solution. SITA BagJourney is one of the key technologies helping the industry meet the IATA Resolution 753 requirement to track every stage of every bag’s journey.To meet the conditions of Resolution 753, airlines must track every item of baggage at four key points in the journey: at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival. The biggest challenge airlines and airports face doing this is scanning at the point of transfer and on arrival. Typically, these were not areas of the airport where scanning was done so they require attention and new infrastructure. With a growing number of customers, SITA’s baggage management technology is firmly established as the solution of choice for the air transport industry. Together, SITA’s BagJourney customers handle hundreds of millions of bags each year and these airlines are enjoying as much as 30% reduction in the rates of mishandling. SITA has been the recognized leader in bag tracking and tracing for more than 25 years with its systems in every major airport in the world. SITA BagJourney is the world’s first community-based baggage tracking system that provides an end-to-end view of the baggage journey using data from multiple sources. Today, SITA is leading the baggage community by providing technology and professional services to help airlines track baggage and unlock the value of the vast amounts of tracking data that will be produced.


Inmarsat

The London School of Economics, in association with Inmarsat Aviation, has revealed the findings of Sky High Economics: Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Connected Airline Operations. The report finds that consolidating the advantages of connected aircraft could deliver substantial economic benefits for the global airline industry, as well as significant environmental benefits, including a reduction in the industry’s annual global fuel use and a net reduction in CO2 output.

Highlights of the findings include:

Major savings for airlines

  • The potential for multiple savings, efficiencies and safety opportunities could equate to a 0.75% – 1.00% reduction in the IATA consolidated US$764 billion annual global airline costs of operation.
  • Savings could reach $15billion per year and a reduction of 21.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2035

Reduced delays for passengers

  • Weather is responsible for 70% of all flight delays and is a contributing factor in 23% of aviation accidents. Connectivity, which allows airlines to improve navigation and avoid adverse weather conditions could deliver annual cost savings of $1.3billion
  • Connectivity could deliver a 66% reduction in crew-related scheduling delays – adding up to $2.4 billion in annual savings

Revolutionizing air traffic management

  • IP-enabled real time data exchange between aircraft and air traffic control services is allowing airspace to accommodate increasing passenger numbers. By 2035, this could create a $3billion annual saving for the airline industry – while helping to safely meet growth expectations

This is the second chapter in the Sky High Economics series, a first of its kind research report evaluating the economic value of connected aircraft from now until 2035. The first chapter, on the economic value generated by passenger connectivity, was released in September 2017.


Hainan Airlines

On 15th June, the all-new DreamWorks Theater of Universal Studio Hollywood was opened in L.A.. Hainan Airlines has organized an inflight activity themed ‘DreamWorks Theater’ with Universal Studio on their HU469 from Chengdu to Los Angeles and they have also launched four KungFu Panda liveried aircraft. The DreamWorks Theater flight served by the third KungFu Panda liveried aircraft, in which all the flight attendants wore the new uniform to introduce the opening of DreamWorks Theater, as well as, sharing with dedicated Po fans Universal Studio brochures, and a Universal Studio ticket worth $129 to every passenger! In addition, the entertainment project was revealed on this flight which was the new film Kung Fu Panda: The Emperor’s Quest, which recounts Po’s perilous mission to deliver the rare and precious Liquid of Limitless Power to the Palace. With Po’s new dream on the Kung Fu Panda liveried aircraft, Hainan Airlines graciously invites passengers to participate in the opening of the DreamWorks Theater. We note that this year remarks the 10th anniversary of Hainan Airlines entering North American market. Hainan Airlines has enjoyed rapid development on North American route network over the past decade. Since the launching of Chengdu-Los Angeles route on March 15, 2017, Hainan Airlines has now opened twelve routes from domestic key first- and second-tier cities to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, San Jose, Chicago, Boston and New York.


Lufthansa

Watch this one: Lufthansa has had preliminary take-over talks with Norwegian!


Other News

  • London School of Economics predicts move towards connected aircraft will transform
    aviation airline operations and safety into a strategic asset
  • Connected aircraft could lead to 2.5% reduction in fuel burn per flight, equating to 21.3 million tonnes of CO2 annually
  • Connectivity has the power to save airlines $11 billion each year by reducing the impact and likelihood of delays, cancellations and diversions

London | June 19, 2018– The connected aircraft, enabled by satellite communications, has the potential to save airlines $15 billion annually in operational efficiencies and 21.3 million tonnes of COemissions by 2035, according to first-of-its-kind research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in association with Inmarsat (LSE: ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global, mobile satellite communications.

Analysing current IATA data and primary research including industry interviews with airlines, regulatory agencies, developers and suppliers of aircraft equipment and software solutions, Sky High Economics: Evaluating the Economic Benefits of Connected Airline Operations examines a wide range of efficiencies enabled by the connected aircraft, and their associated benefits.

These efficiencies include fuel savings, a reduction in delays, innovations in maintenance processes, air traffic management enhancements, safety improvements and others. Based on current connected aircraft numbers, the research finds that together these efficiencies can generate up to a 1% reduction in the $764 billion spent by airlines each year in operating costs worldwide[1]. This equates to 20% of the forecast global aviation industry net profit in 2018 ($38.4 billion).[2] As the adoption of connected aircraft is set to rise exponentially, this cost saving is expected to double, saving airlines up to $15 billion globally by 2035.

Fuel savings and reducing environmental impact

Today, the airline industry is experiencing a period of exceptional growth, but the forecast doubling of air traffic by 2035[3] will require a more efficient use of assets to reduce fuel and CO2 emissions, and increase airspace capacity while assuring safety. Optimising flight routes in real time, through IP-enabled communications that provide better weather information to the cockpit, yields an estimated 1% fuel reduction per flight. This equates to 3.39 billion litres of fuel, 8.3 million tonnes of COand $1.3 billion in fuel costs annually[4]. Adding savings accruing in other areas, enabled by enhanced communication to and from the cockpit, fuel efficiencies of 2.5% could be achieved: an annual reduction of 8.5 billion litres and 21.3 million less tonnes of CO2. To put this into context, the current IATA global target for reducing COemissions is an improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year.

Predictive maintenance reduces turnaround times

Reducing turnaround times and preventing aircraft on ground (AOG) through predictive maintenance is a key priority for airlines; unplanned maintenance is responsible for approximately half of flight delays. Globally, airlines spent $62.1 billion in maintenance, repair and operations costs in 2016, a figure set to reach $90 billion by 2024[5]. The connected aircraft utilises real time data to create a live electronic tech log, in which flight performance data is digitally integrated with maintenance suppliers, allowing airlines and advanced algorithms to identify any maintenance required before the aircraft arrives at its destination. This research forecasts that if such technology halved maintenance costs, it could deliver annual cost savings of $5.6 billion.

Cutting flight delays

Global flight delays are estimated to cost the industry $123 billion each year[6], with weather responsible for nearly 70% of all delays[7]. Through improved navigation capabilities, the connected aircraft’s ability to avoid adverse weather and hazardous conditions could deliver annual cost savings of US$1.3 billion[8]. In addition, crew scheduling is currently responsible for 3% of delays[9]; a 66% reduction in such delays through enhanced connectivity could generate an additional $2.4 billion in annual savings. Where connectivity is fully utilised in disruption management to reduce the impact of delays, cancellations and diversions and enhance predictive maintenance, annual savings have potential to reach $11 billion.

Revolutionising air traffic management

As a result of enhanced satellite connectivity, significant change is underway in air traffic control (ATC) services. IP-enabled, secure real-time data exchange between aircraft and ATC is improving surveillance capabilities and reducing separation minima, allowing airspace to accommodate increasing passenger numbers and an increasing variety of aircraft. The benefits of migrating current radar-based systems to satellite-based navigation, automating aircraft position reporting and providing digital datalink communication between pilots and air traffic controllers could revolutionise air traffic management and save an estimated $3 billion annually.[10]

Dr Alexander Grous (B. Ec, MBA, M.Com, MA, PhD.), Department of Media and Communications, LSE and author of Sky High Economics said: “The forecast doubling of aircraft in the skies by 2035 will create both challenges and opportunities for the global aviation industry. IP-enabled aircraft are an essential step in facilitating growing demand for air travel, while meeting vital safety requirements. The study’s findings highlight not only the powerful commercial efficiencies for airline operations, but crucially, the resulting advantages for safety and environmental impact.”

Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President, Market and Business Development, Inmarsat Aviation, commented: “This report demonstrates that the connected aircraft is a shrewd commercial decision; unrivalled access to real-time data is reducing airlines’ bottom-line operating costs while reducing emissions and improving safety. Not only that, enhanced connectivity is becoming an operational necessity as our skies become busier. With finite airspace available to accommodate increasing passenger numbers, airlines need to act now and consider the technology and infrastructure they need to future-proof their operations.”

Inmarsat is playing a key part in the digitisation of the aviation industry. Earlier this year, Inmarsat’s SB-S entered commercial service as the first and only global aviation broadband solution for operations and safety communications. SB-S allows airlines to utilise rich, real-time data to drive decision-making, improve operational efficiency and assure the highest levels of safety in the skies. SB-S delivers revolutionary new capabilities to the flight deck through the Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), from real-time weather reports to inflight aircraft health and performance monitoring.

Award-winning solution developed with Deutsche Telekom will offer unprecedented connectivity to business jets, with commercial service expected by early 2019

London | May 29, 2018–Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight wifi solution will be available for the business aviation market by January 2019.

EAN is the world’s first inflight wifi solution that integrates connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and an LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, covering all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway.

The unique combination of a satellite and 4G LTE-based ground network offers lightning fast, low-latency performance over land and water. It can therefore meet highly demanding internet use, such as working with remote business desktops, streaming high-definition videos, enjoying online gaming and sharing images, with service levels that compare to mobile broadband on the ground.

Aircraft connect with the network using award-winning small, ultra-lightweight, low drag hardware that is cost-effective to install and operate, making EAN ideal for small to mid-sized business jets, in addition to larger sized jets.

The business aviation rollout follows EAN’s successful introduction in the commercial airline market, with major launch customers already announced and installing the service on aircraft, plus ongoing discussions with other interested carriers across the continent.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “EAN is a game-changer for the business aviation market, offering gold standard inflight wifi to a broad spectrum of aircraft, from small turboprops to larger platforms such as the Citations, Learjets and Phenoms. It really is ideal for any business jet whose mission keeps them predominantly in Europe.

“Our projections show that the European business aviation fleet will grow beyond 5,000 aircraft in the coming years. We expect a strong uptake for EAN by offering a variety of data plans to meet every budget. Work has already commenced with a large business aviation launch customer for the service and planning for our first STC is underway.”

EAN’s integrated satellite and ground network is fully operational, with a number of flight trials successfully completed across Europe, demonstrating that the next-generation service meets its design performance in practice. The evaluations were conducted with partners Cobham, Thales and Nokia using a CESSNA 550 Citation II provided by Dutch company NLR.

Designed to meet the needs of European’s congested skies, EAN recently won the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Award for ‘Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation’.

Impressive milestone reached after next-generation service is selected by the world’s leading business jet manufacturers as a preferred linefit option

London | May 30, 2018–Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its market-leading Jet ConneX business aviation inflight wifi service has been installed and activated on 275 business jets worldwide.

The impressive milestone was reached less than 18 months since Jet ConneX entered commercial service, highlighting its rapid uptake across the world. As the only global, high-speed inflight Wi-Fi option for business jets today, it offers the same fast and reliable connectivity in the air that has previously only been available on the ground.

Michael Rack, Senior Vice President of Core Business, Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The fact that 275 aircraft have been installed with Jet ConneX in such a short space of time is a major endorsement of the service from customers. In the business aviation market, it’s clear that manufacturers, owners and passengers all compete to have the very best products and services, so positive word-of-mouth about standout offerings travels fast.

“Early adopters of Jet ConneX from Fortune 500 flight departments have put the solution through their own rigorous testing and commended its merits after experiencing the results first-hand. Without their endorsement we would not be reaching this milestone so quickly.”

Market-leading business jet manufacturers Gulfstream, Bombardier, Dassault and Embraer have all selected Jet ConneX as a preferred line-fit option. In addition, Inmarsat has experienced substantial adoption of the solution on a retrofit basis, with more than 40 type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals already secured, including for all Boeing and Airbus VVIP type models.

“We are delighted that manufacturers, maintenance professionals and owners all recognise the unparalleled quality and potential of this solution,” added Michael Rack. “Since entering commercial service, Jet ConneX adoption has made ground-breaking progress globally and we see no signs of it slowing down. Demand continues to be incredibly strong among executive travellers, particularly amongst Fortune 500 companies, and we look forward to even more activations in the coming months.”

Using Inmarsat’s advanced Ka-band satellite network, Jet ConneX offers data plans up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage across all airline routes enabling the business traveller to do business wherever and whenever.

Aircraft connect to the service using Jet Wave hardware, which is manufactured exclusively by Honeywell Aerospace. To date, more than 1,000 of these JetWave systems have already been delivered by Honeywell to business aviation and commercial airline customers.

Airline offering ‘super wifi’ on Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 fleet, marking an industry first for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region

United Kingdom | April 30, 2018– Inmarsat (LON: ISAT), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that its new GX Aviation inflight broadband service is currently being rolled out on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft.

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

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

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

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “In another first for the MENA region, Qatar Airways passengers can now enjoy high-speed broadband connectivity, providing rich content without restriction, whether using the internet for work or relaxation during their journey. Business travellers in particular will be able to maximise their ‘office in the sky’ with seamless continuity.”

Airlines connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

The rollout of GX Aviation follows a separate announcement that Qatar Airways has activated an advanced new space-based system, supplied by Inmarsat, to track all of its flights across the world. Inmarsat worked exclusively with Qatar Airways to develop this cutting-edge solution, which utilises Inmarsat’s market-leading satellite technology to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in latitude and longitude.

Official agreement will provide Chinese airlines with a comprehensive package that integrates Classic Aero and next generation SB-S flight deck connectivity

Beijing, China | April 24, 2018– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a contract with China Transport Telecommunication Information Group Company Limited (CTTIC) to build a local SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) satellite communication operation platform in China. In addition, Inmarsat, CTTIC and Aviation Data Communication Corporation (ADCC) will jointly provide the advanced SB-S aviation safety service to the fast-growing Chinese aviation industry.

Under the partnership, Chinese airlines will now have access to a comprehensive package that integrates Inmarsat’s Classic Aero and next-generation IP-based SB-S services. This will enable them, for the first time, to process all their data in China and fulfil the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC)’s Airline Operations Centre (AOC) voice mandate and flight tracking requirements.

The collaboration will leverage the unique capabilities of CTTIC’s Beijing satellite access station, ADCC’s experience in providing flight datalink services in China and Inmarsat’s proven expertise in providing market-leading satellite communications services to the aviation industry.

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat, said: “We are proud to be part of this partnership, which represents a major step into the future for the aviation industry in China. Our Classic Aero and SB-S platforms will enable CTTIC and ADCC to provide the most advanced satellite communications services wherever Chinese aircraft are flying, whether over the ocean or land.”

Song Zhen, Vice President of CTTIC, said: “This is a milestone agreement, as CTTIC, ADCC and Inmarsat are strong leaders in their respective markets. This partnership combines our individual strengths to provide China’s aviation industry with market-leading connectivity services for optimised aircraft operations.”

Zhu Yanbo, Vice President of ADCC, said: “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Inmarsat, supporting the growth of safety and efficiency of China’s aviation industry. We are also excited about the future possibilities that these services deliver.”  

Inmarsat’s Classic Aero service is used by more than 90% of the world’s oceanic aircraft for communication, navigation and surveillance. The company’s next-generation SB-S platform, which was recently introduced into commercial service, is the first and only global, secure broadband platform for operations and safety communications. It offers airlines unprecedented visibility into their operations to improve operational efficiency and profitability.

The commercial service introduction follows a successful in-flight evaluation on Hawaiian Airlines’ Boeing 767-300 aircraft and installations on the airline’s entire Airbus A321neo fleet. SB-S is also in flight evaluations with Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines, and has been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom (LCS) solution on its A320 and A330 families. It has undergone successful evaluation by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s Performance-Based Aviation Rulemaking Committee (PARC) as a platform to provide direct data link communication between pilots and air traffic control (ATC). It received the prestigious 2018 Jane’s ATC Award in the Technology category.

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing connectivity to every aircraft and flight route in the world. Inmarsat is the first and only satellite communications provider, which using its own network, capable of bringing high-speed IP connectivity to the cabin and the cockpit.

Aircraft Interiors Expo, Hamburg | April 11, 2018– Turkish Technic and HAVELSAN have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Inmarsat on development of integrated inflight connectivity and entertainment solutions.

As part of the collaboration, the three companies will offer a joint solution for emerging markets, which integrates Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution with the Turkish Technic-HAVELSAN inflight entertainment system.

Ahmet Karaman, CEO of Turkish Technic, said: “The Turkish aviation market is the centre of growth in this region. We continue to make major strides in fulfilling the product and maintenance requirements of operators with high-end solutions. Our inflight entertainment system developed with HAVELSAN, provides a seamless travel experience and will become even more desirable to operators with the addition of Inmarsat inflight connectivity.”

Ahmet Hamdi Atalay, CEO of HAVELSAN, said: ”Turkish Technic and HAVELSAN’s inflight entertainment system will gain increased synergy and power through our collaboration with Inmarsat. From serving the fastest growing aviation market of the world, in Turkey, the system is now a global product.”

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “This region is home to one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world and offers significant opportunities for inflight connectivity and entertainment providers. We look forward to joining hands with two of Turkey’s leading companies in this field, Turkish Technic and HAVELSAN, to provide airlines with a truly world-class integrated offering that combines our key strengths.”

Austin, Texas | February 21, 2018– Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation connectivity provider, is celebrating 10 years of partnership with global mobile satellite communications business Inmarsat.  The milestone anniversary, which acknowledges SD’s support of the SwiftBroadband service, was announced to delegates attending SD’s annual Connecting with Customers, CwC, client and partner event, being held in Austin, Texas.  To mark the significance of the relationship, Inmarsat’s Rupert Pearce, CEO, presented SD President David Greenhill, with a framed version of the original license at the CwC event.

Inmarsat confirmed SD as an aerospace distribution license partner in 2008, which enabled the business to begin reselling Inmarsat’s IP-based data service, SwiftBroadband, to the aviation sector.  Since then, SD has maintained its position as Inmarsat’s largest aeronautical service provider and has been recognized as a significant enabler for the growth of the SwiftBroadband service.

Looking forward, SD will continue to support SwiftBroadband services for the international business aviation sector, in addition to expanding its provision of the ultra-high speed broadband JetConneX service delivered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite constellation. Both SwiftBroadband and JetConneX systems are supported by the SD router family, which optimize in-flight connectivity efficiency, as well as delivering a growing portfolio of SD applications.

“We are delighted to mark a decade of working with Inmarsat to provide high-speed data services to aviation. When we first received our license the concept of a digitized, connected, business aviation network was still very new. Today it is a fundamental part of aircraft operations and is a part of the business that we are committed to supporting, developing and evolving. Strong, long-term relationships with our partners are essential to our mutual success, but more importantly, enable us to provide our clients with the connectivity they expect. We look forward to our next decade supplying these services,” said Greenhill.

“Satcom Direct has been an Inmarsat partner for more than 20 years now and its continued support of our SwiftBroadband service over the past decade has directly influenced our success in this business, making the aero-market one of our most successful divisions,” said Pearce. “We are always striving to improve the customer experience and improve our products but can only do that by building close relationships with our partners to identify and deliver exactly what the market needs.”

Wireless connectivity at the gate will allow the aircraft to connect to vital aircraft, airline systems

February 8, 2018– SITA is providing wireless connectivity on the ground to Air Mauritius’ new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft, keeping the new-generation aircraft connected to the vital back-end systems no matter where they fly.

In October 2017, Air Mauritius introduced the first two new-generation Airbus A350 aircraft with a further four expected to join the fleet over the next few years. The Airbus A350 is one of the most advanced aircraft flying today. It brings with it a unique complexity with large data exchange in its own unique protocol – Media Independent Aircraft Messaging (MIAM). This is designed to exchange large amounts of data between the aircraft and ground systems using multiple communication channels.

SITAONAIR – SITA’s sister company focused on connected aircraft – has developed a solution to understand this complex MIAM communication and simplify integration into airline systems and processes. Additionally, Air Mauritius wanted this exchange over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB). This required SITAONAIR to work closely with all stakeholders, including Airbus and IBM, to ensure the successful launch of A350 operations and in the process, hosting the entire service in the SITA ATI Cloud.

At the gate, SITA’s wireless connectivity allows the airline to quickly and securely exchange vital aircraft information generated during flight with both the airline’s own systems as well as with Airbus and IBM. At the same time key information ahead of the next flight can be uploaded, including passenger and flight information.

This connectivity allows for rapid exchange of aircraft information which will help Air Mauritius speed up aircraft turnaround times while ensuring seamless management of the aircraft’s systems by ensuring complete connectivity globally.

Donald Li Ying, Vice President – Information Systems at Air Mauritius, said: “As Air Mauritius begins to introduce a new-generation of connected aircraft such as the Airbus A350, it is vital that we have a partner that can support the transfer of data both in the air and on the ground. This is vital to leverage the full benefit that connected aircraft can bring to the airline and our passengers.”

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “The continued growth in connected aircraft such at the Airbus A350 is opening new possibilities to enhance the passenger experience on board as well drive new efficiencies in how these aircraft are managed.”

“These new aircraft have become flying data centers which rely on world-class connectivity in order to exchange information on everything from engine data, passenger requirements to updates at the destination. This requires reliable, fast connectivity no matter where the aircraft finds itself. At SITA we are working with airlines globally to support that connectivity and ensure that the full benefits of connected aircraft can be unlocked.”

A total of 30% of airlines are already operating connected aircraft within their fleet and 73% of airlines will either operate or have taken delivery of connected aircraft in the next three years, according to SITA Air Transport IT Insights 2017.

First Europe-wide integrated LTE network created with 300 base stations

European Aviation Network satellite launched, tested and ready for service

Fast broadband access in the sky for passengers and airlines

British Airways, part of IAG Group, first commercial customer

Bonn | February 5, 2018– Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have, together with their technology partner Nokia, completed the key technological step in the development of the European Aviation Network (EAN), the world’s first integrated S-band satellite and complementary LTE-based terrestrial network built for Europe.

With the set-up of around 300 base stations across all 28 member states of the European Union, as well as Switzerland and Norway, the ground network component of EAN has become the first ever Europe-wide integrated LTE network. The completion of the network follows Inmarsat’s successful launch of its EAN satellite last summer, which has since been extensively tested in orbit and has been fully operational since September 2017.Unmatched Connectivity for Passengers

Serving the aviation industry and its passengers, the European Aviation Network is a pioneering technological achievement and a truly innovative European project. It provides seamless connectivity over land and water, and offers a high bandwidth service to passengers – currently over 75 Mbit/s connection speed to the aircraft – as airlines using the service do not share network capacity with any non-aviation customers. Passengers will be able to use social media, share pictures and stream high-bandwidth content at speeds they are used to experience at home.

EAN is also designed to fulfill not only current but also future passenger demand for inflight connectivity as the integrated LTE ground network is fully scalable to meet increasing connectivity needs in the coming years.Game-changer for Airline Industry

The European Aviation Network will be available for airlines to offer commercially from H1 2018, serving as a game-changer for airlines and their customers. The service has been trialed during several flights to test the integrated satellite and complementary LTE ground network. The test flights have confirmed that EAN meets its design performance in practice, providing an unmatched low-latency performance of less than 100 ms.

Airlines will be able to install the small and light-weight EAN equipment quickly and easily, typically during overnight breaks for individual aircraft and turnaround times for entire fleets of just a few months.

International Airlines Group (IAG), which includes airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, is the launch customer for the new service and has already commenced installations of EAN equipment on aircraft.

“With the completion of the first ever integrated pan-European LTE ground network component we are now able to fully support EAN’s satellite connectivity and maximize the performance of the EAN system,” said Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President, International Wholesale Business at Deutsche Telekom. “The network is specifically designed to meet future capacity demands for connectivity in the European airspace, with passenger volumes expected to double in the next 15 years.”

“EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution which effectively combines space and ground-based components, overcoming the traditional limitations of inflight internet,” said Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President at Inmarsat Aviation. “Bringing connectivity to the skies is a complex effort and we could only realize this through strategic collaboration with our European partners.”

“EAN’s ground network had to meet technical prerequisites that are quite different from ‘normal’ LTE networks: it needs to work at speeds of up to 1,200 km/h, at heights of 10 km and requires large cells of up to 150 km,” said Thorsten Robrecht, Vice President Vertical Network Slices at Nokia. “Our joint endeavor breaks the technological boundaries between ground and air on connectivity”

For more information on the European Aviation Network, please visit www.europeanaviationnetwork.com