Perhaps you noted that your ticket over to Hamburg was more expensive than last year’s, some writers have noted that the increase in all airline costs have grown over that last 5 or 6 years and that has boded well for the airlines. This may seem counterintuitive, but the doubling of fuel costs from approximately $1.50 per gallon to over $3.00 per gallon has actually helped the airlines. The airlines have adjusted to the new reality and dropped inefficient routes, gotten rid of older fuel guzzlers, added more (new) aircraft seats and IFE, and raised prices. They themselves have gotten more efficient, and in the process, have given the economic thumbs down to startups that, in the past, have beaten them at their own game and basically made it unprofitable to compete with the “new” efficiency. In a recent Associated Press article, writer Jeff Mayerowitz said; “ Virgin America was the last major new US carrier. But since it started flying in August 2007, The San Francisco-based airline has lost hundreds of million dollars. It didn’t post its first annual profit until last year and that was only after it stopped its rapid expansion.”

While the costs of airline fuel, and just about everything else airline, has gone up, so have the ticket prices. This means that the newer oil prices have actually helped our industry, and while the resultant ticket prices might be unpleasant for travelers, the increase has helped our industry. Logically then, AIX is growing because the airlines are again growing… as demonstrated by airline stock growth. When they are doing well, our industry follows. To give you a better idea of the success of ticket price increases and the growth of ancillary revenue lets look at rise in airline stock prices (value). Note that these are the number increases NYSE traders are assigning to next year US airline stock valuations.


Delta                                      16 %                                                    $25 (up +49%)

Southwest                             22 %                                                   $53 (up +27%)

United                                    11 %                                                    $44 (up +30%)

American                               34 %                                                   $42 (up +32%)

* Data as of April 2, 2014 – Fuel Price increase as a result of any Ukraine actions not taken into account. (Data – CNBC)

The message here is: the last two years have been positive for airlines and with the normal financial impact lag, 2014 should be a good year for IFEC.


Now for the show and this week we will tell you about some of the newer stuff we saw but you must remember that there are hundreds of interesting vendors and we could only visit a little over 20+  as time would permit.

Aircraft Cabin SystemsYukio Sugimoto came to AIX and we got him to pose in front of his New Technology retractable video display patent approval but we even more were excited about their teaming with TEAC. The IFE products company was brought back to life by Yoshi (Randy) Fuyama and his team. While we wont take you through the organizational ordeal, we note that with the SD Memory Card Video Reproducer and the ACS retractable displays, an airline can build a remarkably inexpensive IFE system that is virtually trouble free and lightweight.

Next, we should tell you about a couple of the newcomers, Solid State Inflight and Lock’N’Charge. First, Solid State is iPad/Content Solution Provider proved that iPads are becoming the “go-to” personal entertainment device… and now an airline can get a turnkey iPad model from one company, complete with locking/charge storage unit that rolls onboard from another company. Solid State will customize the tablet content (looks great), provide early window content, and deliver and set up the ground handling, as noted by Mark O’Brien. The UK-based company is a believer in helping vision impaired to get their IFE and PrivatAir is their first customer. While the storage and charging unite were demonstrated next door by Kevin Pillay whose ‘lock’n’charge’ devices were some of the best we have seen Solid State & LocknCharge is run by a very nice man named Cyril Jean. The company is a content provider and has a beautiful multimedia solution that was one of the best we have seen at AIX.Supported by UBIFRANCE, The company’s unique approach has enabled it to produce a range of products which access multimedia applications without the need of an onboard Internet connection. Cyril notes, “For our principal service which provides destination information, we will be unveiling our partnerships with major travel guides and travel entertainment for destinations. During the trade show, we will also be pleased to reveal strategic partnerships offering airlines new opportunities for their loyalty programs (FFP & Loyalty)”. announced a series of strategic partnerships during the show and you can visit and brush up on your French.

You remember Brian Mooney, right? Cabin attendant turned Mr. Arinc, turned Mr. Allegiant, he showed IFExpress an iPad solution that really was first class, and we note, the iPad software product now has coverage in the cockpit, as well as the cabin as a report and manual device, a “Buy-on-Board” tablet, an ePIL (electronic passenger list) device, as well as a messaging unit. Check out the screen and you can contact Brian for further information.

Here are a few job changes you might want to note:

Michael Reilly is now with Arconics.

Pete Chilson is now representing JANA (Technical Publications).

Kerry Farrish is with Panasonic.

Lastly, we wanted to say to ‘hello’ to all our new (and old) friends and advertisers we saw at AIX. You don’t know how good it is to meet someone that subscribes to IFExpress, and from more than one, we heard, “I read your newsletter every week and it is good to finally meet you.” That makes it all worthwhile!