PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has selected BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, a leading Japanese multinational videogame publisher and developer, to strengthen its in-flight entertainment gaming portfolio.

Panasonic Avionics has incorporated BANDAI NAMCO’s ever-popular, flagship games and will begin rolling them out to airlines and their passengers across the globe on its immersive in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution.

Retro games are seeing a resurgence and BANDAI NAMCO has developed some of the most recognized games in pop culture history such as DIG DUG, PAC-MAN, and GALAGA. PAC-MAN is to date, one of the most iconic brands in gaming, and passengers will soon be able to enjoy it and other globally-recognized games on aircraft equipped with Panasonic’s IFE.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “The gaming industry is one of the few that have seen significant growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This demonstrates the value global consumers place on games and their unique ability to take players on digital adventures and provide connections to different communities.”

Naoki Katashima, Managing Director of BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic that struck the world has greatly affected and changed our way of life. As the world comes together in overcoming the pandemic, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment has partnered with Panasonic Avionics to provide our universally acclaimed game content to be enjoyed in-flight, with hope of the day to come when travelers are free to enjoy the skies again.”


ENCORE INFLIGHT

Encore Inflight, a leading inflight content distributor which set up an office in Singpaore late last year, secured its first major client Cinewav, to provide specialty content that can be enjoyed across multiple venues without compromise to sound quality.

With more than a decade’s experience in providing content to more than 130 airlines, Encore will continue to leverage its network of global distributors to program, curate and rights manage all content for use via Cinewav.

Cinewav is a unique platform and mobile app that allows users to watch movies on big public spaces whilst using the complementary mobile app which allows users to listen to the audio seamlessly on their own phones. Replacing the need for huge speakers, this mobile app guarantees high quality immersive personal experience, eliminates noise pollution, scaling to as many users as possible, and encourages the use of novel event spaces.

Christian Lee, Co-founder of Cinewa said, “My Co-founder Jason Chan and I are really excited to appoint Encore as curators for the Cinewav platform. Jovita and her team have built the prestigious Encore brand by finding, acquiring and distributing the top International independent film gems that deserve to be watched by global audiences. The Cinewav solution came to us as filmmakers when we found that event screenings of our films always lacked great audio, despite attracting record crowds. Even in cinemas the audio would often need tweaking to match what we had meticulously mixed for audiences. That’s when we thought ‘what if we could deliver the perfect audio mix to every member of the audience regardless of location and size?’ We then embarked on a 2-year journey to achieve the synchronization of high quality audio on smartphone with visuals on a big screen. The effort paid off as we now have a world first, patent pending technology, that some are saying is more immersive than the traditional cinema experience.”

Jovita Toh, CEO of Encore Media said, “I have bee a fan of Cinewav founders Christian and Jason since I distributed their festival award winning movie Jimami Tofu more than 5 years ago. This dynamic duo’s passion for film continues to inspire me. Together, Cinewav and Encore hopes to bring back the magic and allure of outdoor movie screenings.”


 A BIT OF AVIATION HISTORY: The Last Flight of the Boeing 727 Prototype Airplane

5 years ago today on March 2, 2016 after 25 years of restoration the Boeing 727 protype airplane flew its last flight. It was restored at the Museum of Flight Restoration Center at Paine Field, Everett, Washington by a great group of volunteers, donors like United Airlines, FedEx and help from the Museum of Flight, Guy Amico, SOAR, FAA, and many others.

The United Airlines 727 flew a short flight to the Museum of Flight on Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington. Be sure to check out the video on YouTube


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has today announced a major evolution in its in-flight connectivity offering as its first extreme high throughput satellite (XTS) enters service over the Asia-Pacific region.

The APSTAR-6D satellite is Panasonic Avionics’ latest investment in in-flight connectivity for passengers on commercial aircraft. It is an integral part of its third-generation communications (Gen-3) network of high speed, high bandwidth Ku-band satellites, placing capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers.

Panasonic Avionics is set to complete the upgrade of the 2,544 aircraft installed with its connectivity service to its Gen-3 network within the next month. Over 1,000 commercial aircraft are committed to being installed with its connectivity services and linked to the Gen-3 network from the outset.

Connectivity is integral to the success of Panasonic Avionics and enables a wide range of services to airlines and their passengers. In addition to in-flight WI-FI, these include Live Television with the world’s only global live sports channels delivered in partnership with IMG, an integrated solution with OneMedia to deliver real-time ads, real-time transactions that open up a huge range of in-flight retail possibilities, and the ability to personalize the passenger experience through solutions such as Panasonic Avionics’ Companion App and much more.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “Today is a milestone moment for Panasonic Avionics as we go live with the newest generation of in-flight connectivity. Our third-generation communications network delivers the targeted, flexible use of extreme high throughput capacity, ensuring we can meet the needs of our airline customers with cost-effective and reliable high bandwidth services well into the future.”

APSTAR-6D was jointly designed by APSATCOM and Panasonic Avionics. It will provide airlines with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China and high-density routes around East Asia, including Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia using narrow XTS spot beams.

In addition, APSTAR-6D provides high throughput satellite (HTS) coverage over its full field of view including the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Australia and the Southern Oceans down to Antarctica, which includes areas not served by any other HTS satellite. Tailoring the capacity to areas of demand will provide Panasonic Avionics’ airline customers with better service, unprecedented coverage and the ability to dramatically increase throughput. This opens the doors for airlines to further customize their connectivity offerings to meet the evolving expectations of their passengers.

Panasonic Avionics is currently engaged in active and ongoing trials with airlines to demonstrate the high data rate capabilities of its Gen-3 network. The company expects that airline passengers flying in the region served by APSTAR-6D will also take advantage of the enhanced connectivity that XTS delivers to use high-bandwidth apps in flight.

21 Asian carriers, representing over 800 aircraft, have already selected Panasonic Avionics for in-flight connectivity, including many of the region’s leading airlines, such as Air China, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, EVA Air, Garuda Indonesia, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Xiamen Airlines.

Jeff Sare, Vice President, In-Flight Connectivity Solutions at Panasonic Avionics, says: “Panasonic Avionics is committed to long term investment in its high bandwidth, global Ku-band network, and the service entry of APSTAR-6D is the latest step in that journey.”

Sare continued: “We are planning further investment in our global network of Ku-band satellites for use by commercial airlines in the years ahead. For example, our second XTS, Eutelsat 10B, is due to launch next year and will provide enhanced connectivity over Europe and the Middle East. Additional capacity commitments are also planned.”

Panasonic’s third-generation communications network supports improved airline and passenger experiences including faster internet, video streaming, VoIP applications, improved live TV picture quality and broader channel choice, 4G phone services, and greater bandwidth for crew applications.

The network is backed by Panasonic’s Customer Performance Center, which drives improved network performance, greater reliability, and faster response and resolution times, along with business intelligence tools and reports that provide customers with the data and analytics to deliver and monitor targeted pricing and advertising campaigns.


VALOUR CONSULTANCY IFC REPORT

A new report from Valour Consultancy, an award-winning provider of market intelligence services, foresees the number of aircraft installed with in-flight connectivity (IFC) doubling from 9,026 at the end of 2020 to approximately 18,500 in 2029. These figures factor in the full impact of COVID-19, including the cancellation of retrofit projects and delayed deliveries of new aircraft.

The report, “The Future of In-Flight Connectivity – 2020 Edition,” predicts that over the next two years, the installed base will grow slowly, by around 800 aircraft, marking a 70% decrease in net new installs across the period compared to pre-COVID-19 estimates. The majority of these IFC systems will be linefit. “The pandemic has caused airlines to defer new wide-body deliveries, postpone IFC retrofit programs and to retire older aircraft in favour of smaller, more agile and fuel-efficient planes. Despite this, low level activity is still expected, with 70% of net new IFC installations between now and 2022 to take place on narrow-body jets,” explains its author, Daniel Welch.

The study looks beyond COVID-19 and provides detailed commentary on factors that will help to create a more sustainable IFC business model as the industry begins to recover. “IFC service providers are going to find new wins hard to come by over the next couple of years as airlines rein in their spending. But there is plenty to do in terms of delivering a better quality of service to existing customers,” says Welch. “The pandemic is driving change in the passenger experience and many airlines are using this period to revisit their digital strategies. It’s clear we’re going to see a greater emphasis placed on contactless interactions, customer reassurance and the seamlessly digital journey. IFC can, at the very least, enhance many applications linked to these areas and, as a result, will become more integral to airlines than before the pandemic hit.”

The “captive portal” is another subject explored in the report. It cites how the likes of American Airlines, Cathay Pacific and others are taking ownership of IFC services by introducing portals that harmonize what the passenger sees and embrace a holistic approach to loyalty and onboard retail services. Welch continues, “In the past, passengers flying with an airline that has multiple IFC services in use across its fleet have typically been exposed to the nuances of these deals, paying different rates based on the hardware/service onboard, be it from Gogo, Inmarsat, Panasonic or Viasat. Having a harmonized experience reduces friction during the login process, but also drives ancillary opportunities. Deploying an engaging portal is an achievable short-term win for carriers that already have IFC or wireless IFE that will continue to drive long-term growth.”

Valour Consultancy is a provider of high-quality market intelligence. Its latest report, “The Future of In-Flight Connectivity – 2020 Edition,” is the newest addition to the firm’s highly regarded aviation research portfolio. Developed with input from more than 30 companies across the value chain, the study includes more than 200 tables and charts along with extensive commentary on key market issues, technology trends and the competitive environment. For more information send an email to info@valourconsultancy.com


QUIVER TREE & AUDIBLE

Reaching New Heights: QuiverTree Media collaborates with Audible, an Amazon company

QuiverTree Media collaborates with Audible, an Amazon company, to bring the best in digital spoken-word entertainment onboard. One of the world’s largest sellers and producers of audiobooks and other spoken-word entertainment, will further boost visibility of its subscription channel across Europe accessing inflight audiences with QuiverTree Media. Passengers are able to enjoy captivating storytelling onboard their flight and choose from binge-worthy audiobooks, exclusive podcasts, bite-sized audio content, and genre-bending Audible Originals.

Stories that speak volumes

The QuiverTree Media and Audible collaboration has already started making the content available on the fleets of Iberia Express and Air Nostrum, following the successful launch of Audible’s service for Spanish listeners in October. The collaboration reinforces Audible’s offer for this territory, giving passengers a unique opportunity to discover exclusive audiobooks and podcasts in a captive inflight environment. Through this collaboration, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum count with content designed to appeal.

Through this collaboration, Iberia Express and Air Nostrum count with content designed to appeal to young and old audiences alike, bringing together acclaimed Audible Originals such as V is a Vis: la cara B , Pequeñas Revoluciones para Crecer and E l Móvil de Mendes to titles produced in collaboration with Guía Repsol and the ISDI Business School. The selection is complemented with a series of exclusive Audible children’s titles such as Peter Pan , The Little Mermaid and Aladdin.

In addition to offering Audible interactive digital branded assets on inflight entertainment platforms, QuiverTree is enabling the company to provide passengers that enjoy the service inflight tailored incentives, which include special promotional benefits if they subscribe to the service. “Our collaboration with Audible is a great example of the unique capabilities QuiverTree Media delivers as a CSP, pairing inflight experience enhancement for airlines with advertising and subscription benefits for OTTs.” says Julia Maruny, Media & Partnerships at QuiverTree Media. “The fact QuiverTree Media shares many customer-centric and technological innovation values with Audible, reinforces this collaboration with great potential to reach and inspire more customers together.”


OTHER NEWS

Inmarsat

Inmarsat announced its participation in a ground-breaking new initiative funded by the UK Government to develop the country’s first automated, zero carbon regional air transportation network. Project HEART (Hydrogen Electric and Automated Regional Transportation) will develop hydrogen powered, automated and remote piloting solutions for small aircraft carrying between 9 and 19 passengers, traveling ‘short hops’ of fewer than 500 nautical miles. In addition to its environmental credentials, the convenient zero-carbon travel option aims to enable scalability and lead to reductions in operating costs, door-to-door travel times and ticket prices. Up to 100 licensed airfields throughout the UK will be made available as part of the initiative, which is expected to enter service in 2025.

Existing ‘short hop’ air travel is economically unsustainable and reliant on government subsidies to cover high maintenance and running costs. Current operations, which require two onboard pilots, depend upon expensive and polluting gas turbine powertrains.

Project HEART offers an affordable alternative that address these deficiencies with next generation technology and a ‘system-of-systems’ approach, bringing together a network of experts to re-develop the entire aviation ecosystem. As part of this approach, Inmarsat will help to power a hybrid connectivity solution that seamlessly combines its satellite communications with terrestrial networks, enabling remote ‘digital’ co-piloting and journey critical communication in the cockpit. This allows the human pilot and the digital co-pilot functions, designed by Blue Bear Systems Research, to work together effectively and operations to be managed remotely. The technology will be evaluated on Britten-Norman aircraft.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Project HEART represents a greener, smarter and more efficient future for aviation. We are proud to support this important project of the UK Government, utilizing our 30 years of experience in satellite communication, navigation and surveillance for both commercial and private aviation, as well as expertise in unmanned vehicle traffic management. Working alongside our extensive network of partners, including Honeywell Aerospace, we are particularly excited about enabling remote operations for aviation networks of the future.”

Project HEART is led by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and is funded by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Future Flight Challenge (FFC). The consortium comprises of leading UK technology companies that will contribute resources in the areas of technology, operations, infrastructure and think tank experience.

Other innovations in development for the project include hydrogen fuel cell powertrains for aircraft (led by ZeroAvia), hydrogen refueling solutions (led by Protium), and a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform, with integrated sub regional flight travel mode (led by Fleetondemand), with acceptance testing headed by The Transport Research Institute of Edinburgh Napier University. In addition, architects Weston Williamson + Partners will lead on new airport infrastructure design, while the airline Loganair and Highland and Island Airports Limited will lead on accommodation of automation and hydrogen fueled aircraft operations.


Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) and IMG have agreed to extend and expand their long-standing relationship to deliver live sports content to the world’s leading airlines.

The companies have signed an agreement giving Panasonic Avionics all international in-flight rights to Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra, the world’s only global live sports channels. Airlines that offer Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra will be able to connect their passengers to unmissable live sporting moments from around the world with live content available in real-time.

Per the terms of the agreement, Panasonic Avionics will exclusively provide IMG’s Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra channels, to any airline, regardless of the in-flight entertainment system or connectivity network they use. Sport 24 is the only truly global, live sports channel that is available to airlines, and it’s exclusively available from Panasonic Avionics. It includes exclusive in-flight coverage of the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, NFL, NBA, NHL, Tennis Grand Slams, Golf Majors and the Ryder Cup, the NRL, and much, much more live sporting action. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content each day. Over 30 different global sports leagues, federations and unique events will be shown in 2021, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and UEFA Euro. As part of the agreement, Panasonic Avionics and IMG intend to work together to develop new sports content offerings that could be made available under the Sport 24 umbrella.
Panasonic Avionics’ live television service creates an exciting entertainment experience by offering premium live sports and news as it unfolds. In this new golden era of television, this service gives passengers the ability to watch anything they want, when, and where they want. Airlines that include live television as part of the in-flight experience, have an opportunity to stand out as thought leaders in a crowded marketplace.

Almost 1,000 aircraft around the globe are connected with the company’s live television service, of which Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra are an integral part.


Boeing

Boeing and BBAM Limited Partnership announced the lessor is expanding its 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter fleet with six firm orders and six options. The agreement brings BBAM’s 737-800BCF orders and commitments to 15 and highlights the continued strength of the e-commerce and express cargo market.

“As we look ahead to expanding our cargo fleet, the 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter provides the performance and efficiency our customers need,” said Steve Zissis, CEO of BBAM. “Adding these highly capable freighters to 276 Boeing airplanes in our managed fleet helps to further strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace.”

Based on the popular Next-Generation 737, the 737-800BCF is meeting customer demand for a newer-generation freighter that offers higher reliability and lower fuel consumption and operating costs per trip compared to other standard body freighters. Primarily used to carry express cargo on domestic or short-haul routes, the airplane is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tonnes (52,800 pounds) and flying up to 2,025 nautical miles (3,750 kilometers). Since entering service in 2018, the 737-800BCF has won more than 150 orders and commitments.

“BBAM is one of the industry’s leading full-service leasing companies and has built their reputation on smart investments. We are honored that BBAM has selected more 737-800BCFs, based on the success of our standard body freighters in their portfolio,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “The continued strong demand for the 737-800BCF demonstrates the critical role these converted freighters play in the growing express and e-commerce market.”

BBAM is the world’s largest dedicated manager of investments in leased commercial jet aircraft, providing over 200 airline customers in more than 50 countries with fleet and financing solutions over the last three decades. BBAM is the only manager in the aircraft leasing industry focused exclusively on generating investment returns for third-party investors. BBAM currently has more than $28 billion of assets under management and employs over 150 professionals at its headquarters in San Francisco and in additional offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Zurich, Dublin and Santiago. For more information about BBAM, please visit its website at www.bbam.com.

Also From Boeing:

Boeing is setting an ambitious target to advance the long-term sustainability of commercial aviation, committing that its commercial airplanes are capable and certified to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels by 2030. Boeing has previously conducted successful test flights replacing petroleum jet fuel with 100% sustainable fuels to address the urgent challenge of climate change.

According to the Air Transport Action Group, U.S. Department of Energy and several other scientific studies, sustainable aviation fuels reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle with the potential to reach 100% in the future. Today, sustainable aviation fuels are mixed directly with conventional jet fuel up to a 50/50 blend — the maximum allowed under current fuel specifications. In order to meet aviation’s commitment for reducing carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2050, airplanes need the capability to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels well before 2050.

“Our industry and customers are committed to addressing climate change, and sustainable aviation fuels are the safest and most measurable solution to reduce aviation carbon emissions in the coming decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Stan Deal. “We’re committed to working with regulators, engine companies and other key stakeholders to ensure our airplanes and eventually our industry can fly entirely on sustainable jet fuels.”
Boeing’s commitment is to determine what changes are required for its current and future commercial airplanes to fly on 100% sustainable fuels, and to work with regulatory authorities and across the industry to raise the blending limit for expanded use.

“With a long history of innovation in sustainable aviation fuels, certifying our family of airplanes to fly on 100% sustainable fuels significantly advances Boeing’s deep commitment to innovate and operate to make the world better,” Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond said. “Sustainable aviation fuels are proven, used every day, and have the most immediate and greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions in the near and long term when we work together as an industry.”

Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality, partnering globally with airlines, industry, governments and research institutions to expand limited supplies and reduce the fuels’ cost. Boeing worked with airlines, engine manufacturers and others to conduct biofuel test flights starting in 2008 and gain approval for sustainable fuels in 2011. In 2018, the Boeing ecoDemonstrator flight-test program made the world’s first commercial airplane flight using 100% sustainable fuels with a 777 Freighter, in collaboration with FedEx Express.

Sustainable aviation fuels can be made from a wide variety of feedstocks, including non-edible plants, agricultural and forestry waste, non-recyclable household waste, industrial plant off-gassing and other sources. Sustainability of the fuels is assured through strong, credible sustainability certifications through third-party organizations such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.


Latecoere/Aircraft Cabin Systems

We note that we have received a note from the ACS folks with a change of address (.2 miles south of the previous location) to:
Latecoere Interconnection Systems US, Inc.
18047 NE 68th Street
Suite B130
Redmond, WA 98052
USA


Other News

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.

Additionally, PAC also announced the appointment of Abby Bried as Vice President and General Counsel. Abby will advise on laws, regulations, public policy, ethics and risk that impact the company. She will oversee and lead Panasonic Avionics’ legal team in its delivery of legal services and other resources throughout the company to accomplish its corporate goals, strategies and priorities. She will also serve as a member of Panasonic Avionics’ senior leadership team, developing and leading its corporate legal strategy.

Abby will report directly to Jessica Hodkinson, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, with a dotted line reporting structure to Panasonic Avionics’ President and Chief Executive Officer, Ken Sain.

Ken Sain said, “We are delighted to welcome Abby to Panasonic Avionics. With her longstanding experience and proven track record as a legal counsel, and deep rooted knowledge of aviation, we know she will be a great asset to our business.”

Abby has over twenty-five years of experience in the aviation industry as a trusted legal advisor and business partner at three major US carriers – Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines, where she was Associate General Counsel from 2012 to 2017.

She joins Panasonic Avionics from the international law firm, Jenner & Block LLP, where she was a Washington DC-based partner, building a new aviation and aerospace practice group that focused on commercial aviation as well as emerging technologies in operational and manufacturing areas.

Abby said, “As aviation recovers from its biggest economic challenge, Panasonic Avionics will play a crucial role in transforming the customer experience and enhancing airline operations, and I am thrilled to be joining this innovative industry leader at this critical time.”

Abby is recognized as a global legal, compliance and diversity leader in the aviation industry, with key roles in trade associations including IATA (International Air Transport Association) and A4A (Airlines for America). She is also the past President of the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA).

She attended Southern Methodist University where she studied Political Science and Asian Studies, followed by a juris doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.


Burrana to attend FTE/APEX Virtual Expo

Burrana, a market leader in the inflight entertainment (IFE) and cabin technology industry has, like all companies in aviation been shocked by the devastation COVID-19 has had on airlines worldwide. We are optimistic that the FTE/APEX Virtual Expo will rejuvenate our industry and assure everyone that together we will rise.

We are delighted to participate as a platinum sponsor in this pioneering digital event where our team can reconnect with our customers and industry colleagues to share the benefits of new products and services designed to solve challenges that stand in the way of sustainable airline success.

The recently launched RISE platform delivers just this, with speed to market advantages for our customers as well as the flexibility to pivot if market pressures demand.

RISE is a flexible, scalable, and configurable IFE platform that consists of hardware, software, apps and services delivering seatback, wireless and overhead entertainment, as well as in-seat power, for narrow and wide body aircraft covering linefit and retrofit installations. The platform has been thoughtfully designed to grow with you as your business grows, ensuring longevity and relevance for your onboard product. Powered by a single software stack, shared hardware, and common power backbone, RISE can easily be scaled up or down depending on business need.

During the FTE/APEX Virtual Expo, just like an in-person event, we will present all our products and services within the context of booked one-on-one meetings.

We have something special to share with our current PAVES customers and airlines looking at replacing legacy overhead and PRAM solutions.

We will take airlines through the detail of the RISE platform itself – the “products” – Seatback, Wireless and Overhead Entertainment as well as In-Seat Power. We will also showcase our innovative solution to give airlines the unprecedented ability to change the User Experience themselves, without costly

ATPs or FSATs.

Airlines and industry colleagues can meet with and chat to our leaders across sales and marketing during the entirety of the expo according to time zones, covering Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

We very much look forward to seeing you there! Drop into our booth to view videos, book a meeting, have a chat, or visit the OnDemand Conference Session to learn How Burrana is Solving old IFE challenges in new ways. Join our LIVE session, hosted by Dave Pook at the Burrana booth, An Introduction to our RISE Platform.

Learn more at Burrana.aero


BBC to join FTE APEX Virtual EXPO

BBC World News and BBC Studios today announced their presence at the Virtual EXPO on 8-9 December, where they will be showcasing their world class programming, exhibiting on a virtual stand and taking part in a number of thought leadership sessions with some of the most high profile names in the industry.

BBC World News presenter Zeinab Badawi will moderate the opening keynote session on day two of the Virtual EXPO, “CEO Perspectives on the Global Industry Recovery”. This deep-dive with a panel of global industry figures will look at the methods by which air-transport can achieve the fastest possible recovery whilst innovating, and collaborating. Panellists will include Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance, Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA, as well as other well-known industry names. Aaron Heslehurst, presenter of “Talking Business” will hold in-depth interviews with CEOs from a number of global airlines to share their experiences and learnings from the last months.

Jon Farrar, Global VOD Director, BBC Studios, will take part in the Inflight Track panel discussion investigating how the industry can drive confidence in navigating on-board content disruption. With content creation and audience behaviour changes in content consumption being one of the most important changes brought on by the global pandemic, Jon and his fellow panellists will share their thoughts on what opportunities and threats these changes pose for airlines and suppliers and discuss which areas should they be investing in now when money is scarce.

As part of the EXPO, the BBC will have a virtual stand manned 24 hours a day where they will meet with customers, and where visitors will have the chance to learn about the upcoming slate of new titles the BBC has to offer.

The BBC Studios collection represents the best of bold, British storytelling from its in-house production arm, and high-quality UK independents. It includes uniquely ambitious dramas, such as Emily Mortimer’s The Pursuit of Love, with a stellar cast including Lily James, Andrew Scott and Dominic West; Small Axe, the first television project from award-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, which has achieved a world first with two films from the series selected for the Cannes Film Festival; The North Water starring Hollywood actors Colin Farrell and Jack O’Connell; and The Watch, inspired by characters created by Sir Terry Pratchett.

New titles being showcased at the Virtual EXPO will include This is Going to Hurt based on Adam Kay’s international best-seller, and starring Ben Whishaw, as well as A Perfect Planet, the latest landmark natural history series in the global hit Planet franchise.

Zina Neophytou, Vice President, Out Of Home, BBC Studios, says: “No one is under any illusion that the airline industry has had an easy year. As a long-standing partner, BBC Studios and BBC World News are helping to support the road to recovery at this event with access to some of the most high profile names in the industry, who can offer practical learnings the audience can apply to their own businesses. Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that every passenger has the best possible inflight experience and we can also help navigate this by providing the most creative and high quality programming on the planet.”


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


SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
Here is a letter from Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board and CEO
of Southwest Airlines about the return to service of the Boeing 737 MAX – 737 MAX News and Updates | Southwest Airlines


SOME INTERESTING AVIATION EVENTS
We understand that UNITED, AMERICAN and BRITISH AIRWAYS is offering free COVID-19 testing to travelers on transatlantic flights.

IFExpress has learned that DELTA AIR LINES will continue to block middle seats through end of March 2021.


OTHER NEWS


Editor’s Note: Last week the software gremlins wrecked havoc on our publishing process. Our apologies for the truncated Hot Topic. Needless to say, this week we have made certain last week’s omitted  content is included. Mea culpa!

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

ZIPAIR Selects Panasonic Avionics Connectivity

ZIPAIR, the new Japanese middle-long haul carrier, has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to provide inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions for its Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

ZIPAIR’s B787s will be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service. Panasonic’s next generation connectivity enables a host of connectivity benefits, from fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

The announcement marks the beginning of Panasonic’s relationship with ZIPAIR, the new Japanese low-cost carrier which is a 100% subsidiary of Japan Airlines.

Shingo Nishida, President of ZIPAIR, said: “By making the most of inflight Wi-Fi services provided by Panasonic Avionics, we hope to become an airline that gives customers the freedom to spend time on the plane in their own personal way and that makes flight time feel short.”

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with ZIPAIR to enhance their passenger experience with our world-class inflight connectivity. Our advanced inflight solutions will help ZIPAIR drive brand loyalty, encouraging their passengers to return time and again.”

ZIPAIR was established in 2018. It is a low-cost carrier and is due to operate medium to long-haul international flights. It currently operates a fleet consisting of two Boeing 787-8s, transferred from its parent’s fleet.


Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) Announce They Will Bring the Industry Together in Hamburg in September 2021

Reed Exhibitions, the organizer of the leading events for the global cabin interiors and inflight services industry, has today announced new dates for 2021. Both AIX and WTCE will return to the Hamburg Messe from 31 August to 2 September 2021, moving from the original April dates.

This early announcement allows time for businesses to adapt and plan to ensure that the events continue their critical role in bringing the global industry together again.

Speaking about the announcement, Polly Magraw, Exhibition Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, said: “After consulting with exhibitors and airlines, we recognise the industry needs more time to allow for the reopening of borders, lifting of travel restrictions and resuming of services. It is clear that the industry needs to meet in person later in 2021. Our priority is to deliver an engaging and COVID-secure face-to-face event in September that gives our exhibitors and visitors the additional time to adapt and continue on the path to recovery.

“We once again want to thank all of our exhibitors, visitors, and partners for their support.”

“Now, more than ever, there is a strong need to reunite, connect and do business. The importance of AIX and WTCE cannot be underestimated as the largest marketplace that brings together key stakeholders from the global supply chain. We are confident that this decision best supports the industry, and in September we will be ready to regroup and look ahead to the future.

“The majority of exhibitors have already confirmed their participation at the face-to-face events in 2021, and we continue to focus on keeping the industry connected during this time, fostering collaboration, promoting new innovative solutions and helping to nurture critical business contacts. We look forward to facilitating this through a further series of virtual events, set to take place in April, details of which will be announced soon.

“We once again want to thank all of our exhibitors, visitors, and partners for their support. We believe this extra time ahead of the 2021 events will offer exhibitors reassurance and more opportunity to prepare their fantastic showcases, and for our visitors to be ready to restart planning for the cabins of the future.”

For updates and further information, please visit the Aircraft Interiors Expo website or the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo website.


Crystal Cabin Award: Now Open for Submissions

Entry period for new Crystal Cabin Award special categories begins, open until 12 January 2021.

Innovations that make passengers feel safe and other ideas to make air travel attractive: the entry period for the two Crystal Cabin Award special categories, “Clean & Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award”, has begun. Manufacturers, suppliers, researchers, students, design agencies and airlines can submit their concepts directly at www.crystal-cabin-award.com until 12 January 2021. The winners in the two special categories will be announced in parallel with the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg next year.

“Clean & Safe Air Travel” is open to all on-board innovations focusing on hygiene and safety standards for passengers and crew. Entries must be implementable within two years, and the concepts should not be more than one year old. Concepts and products that have already been entered in a different CCA category in the past are excluded.

The “Judges’ Choice Award” is aimed at innovations for the cabin not explicity focused on health and safety, which could normally have been submitted in one of the eight main categories: Cabin Concepts, Cabin Systems, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Passenger Comfort Hardware, Material & Components, Greener Cabin, University, Visionary Concepts. Here, too, it must be possible to implement the innovations within two years. Up to three innovations may be submitted.

Both categories are also open for student submissions.

Entries for the two special categories may be lodged online now www.crystal-cabin-award.com.

These two categories are part of the independent Crystal Cabin Award Association’s response to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on the civil aviation industry. An international task force with representatives of the almost 30 experts on the award judging panel, selected from every sector in the aviation industry and every continent, developed the categories.

Entry fee for the first time — student entries exempt

For the first time in its history, the Crystal Cabin Award is levying an entry fee of 290 euros per submission for this entry phase. This brings the award in line with most international industry awards and is a response to the massive increase in project management expenditure, for example in the premium exposure given to candidates within specialist audience and media. The voluntary industry prize, launched by the Hamburg Aviation industry cluster, will continue to be funded by sponsorship. It’s worth getting in early this year, with an early bird fee of 200 euros until 20 October.

Student submissions are expressly exempt from the entry fee and can still be made free of charge.

Existing finalists from 2020 still in the race

In addition to the two special categories, the 24 finalists in the eight regular categories, selected at the start of the year, are still in the running. The current Crystal Cabin Award round was temporarily suspended in March this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2020 season will be crowned in the spring of 2021 after a personal final presentation to the international experts of the judging panel. The two special categories will be awarded in parallel with the world’s leading trade fair, the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg on 31 August 2021.

Want to submit your innovation? Please download the application information package folder in order to prepare your application.


Global Airport Smart Baggage Handling Solutions Market to 2024 with Profiles of Leading Players – ResearchAndMarkets.com

 The “Global Airport Smart Baggage Handling Solutions Market 2020-2024”  report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The airport smart baggage handling solutions market is poised to grow by $ 1.15 bn during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period.

The reports on airport smart baggage handling solutions market provides a holistic analysis, market size and forecast, trends, growth drivers, and challenges, as well as vendor analysis covering around 25 vendors.

The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current global market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The market is driven by the development of smart airports and expansion and growth in the number of airports. In addition, development of smart airports is anticipated to boost the growth of the market as well.

This study identifies increasing use of AI in SBH solutions as one of the prime reasons driving the airport smart baggage handling solutions market growth during the next few years.

The robust vendor analysis is designed to help clients improve their market position, and in line with this, this report provides a detailed analysis of several leading airport smart baggage handling solutions market vendors that include Babcock International Group Plc, BEUMER Group GmbH & Co. KG, CIMC Tianda Holdings Co. Ltd., Daifuku Co. Ltd., G&S Airport Conveyor, Leonardo Spa, Siemens AG, SITA, Vanderlande Industries BV, and WFS Global SAS.

Also, the airport smart baggage handling solutions market analysis report includes information on upcoming trends and challenges that will influence market growth. This is to help companies strategize and leverage on all forthcoming growth opportunities.

Key Topics Covered:

Executive Summary

  • Market Overview

Market Landscape

  • Market ecosystem
  • Value chain analysis

Market Sizing

  • Market definition
  • Market segment analysis
  • Market size 2019
  • Market outlook: Forecast for 2019 – 2024

Five Forces Analysis

  • Five forces summary
  • Bargaining power of buyers
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of new entrants
  • Threat of substitutes
  • Threat of rivalry
  • Market condition

Market Segmentation by Product

  • Market segments
  • Comparison by Product
  • Smart baggage and tracking devices – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Smart baggage screening devices – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Market opportunity by Product

Customer landscape

  • Overview

Geographic Landscape

  • Geographic segmentation
  • Geographic comparison
  • APAC – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • North America – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Europe – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • MEA – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • South America – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Key leading countries
  • Market opportunity by geography
  • Market drivers
  • Market challenges
  • Market trends

Vendor Landscape

  • Overview
  • Landscape disruption

Vendor Analysis

  • Vendors covered
  • Market positioning of vendors
  • Babcock International Group Plc
  • BEUMER Group GmbH & Co. KG
  • CIMC Tianda Holdings Co. Ltd.
  • Daifuku Co. Ltd.
  • G&S Airport Conveyor
  • Leonardo Spa
  • Siemens AG
  • SITA
  • Vanderlande Industries BV
  • WFS Global SAS

Appendix

Click on this link for more information about this report.


A Human Interest Story

As many of you know, our industry is full of creative and innovative individuals. But sometimes their brilliance reaches beyond our industry and touches upon events that vividly live in many of our memories. One such case pertains to the now retired but long-time IFE aficionado, Ken Lew. Ken spent many years working with companies such as Sony Trans Com and Thales before retiring. Prior to joining the IFEC industry, Ken worked for United Airlines and in the mid 1980’s he was tasked with designing something very unique that many of us across the globe experienced/witnessed to some small degree. Here is an interesting story, courtesy of Ken Lew and in his own words, which we thought our readers would enjoy.

“Some of you may recall the highlight of my aviation career when my United Airline boss assigned me the task of designing the Flame Carrier that transported the Olympic Torch Flame from Mt. Olympus to NY City to start off the 1984 Olympic Torch cross country run to LA. Recently, I returned to Irivine, CA from Presscott, AZ to deal with some issues upon the death of my ex-wife, Gerrie. Just before I closed up her house to return home, I did one last look in the garage and discovered a cabinet that I had overlooked and NOT cleared it out.  There were only 3 empty boxes that had previously been used to house the garage door opener replacement; an empty box for an old printer; and one other insignificant empty box.  The FOURTH box had an odd shape to it:  square ends and long, about 2.5 feet, with a handwritten “SFO” on one side (SFO are the call letters for San Francisco Airport.)   I brushed off the years of dust and open the box . . . . . and discovered an item that had completely vanished from my memory:  it was the actual 1984 Olympic Torch that I used to test my Flame Carrier on the San Francisco Airport/United Airlines’ tarmac; in the rain; in the fog; at night. This memory was squirreled away in the recesses of my mind as was the fact that the Olympic Committee had told me to keep this as a memento of my support efforts for the 1984 Games.  It is now safely stashed in my new home in Prescott, AZ.  I’ll think about getting a display case made for THAT, and the coal-mining lamp I used to test my engineering design.”  – KEN LEW


Other News

 

 

  • Inflight mobile connectivity will enable subscribers to use their phones in 86 different countries

September 26, 2019–Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, AeroMobile, and leading integrated UAE telecommunications operator du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company(EITC), have partnered in an agreement that will enable du’s subscribers to enjoy inflightmobile connectivity at a better price.

Recognising a desire for its customers to stay connected when they travel, the newpartnership will expand on du’spopular international roaming plans– ‘Roaming data bundleon preferred networks’ –which currently enable subscribers to use their phones in 86 different countries for the same price as being at home.

“At du, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to transform the connected experience for our valued customer bases,” says Fahad Al Hassawi, Deputy CEO–Telco Services, EITC.“This partnership has literally taken our services and telco experience to new heights, andwe are thrilled to be expanding our connected offerings to enrich our subscribers journeysabroad.”

The international roaming bundleswill now include AeroMobile’s inflight mobile services,which will enhance the experience of travelling even further. Subscribers will be able to browse the internet and stay connected, send and receive texts, listen to voicemail, and make and receive calls on AeroMobile equipped aircraft at no extra cost, provided customers have the eligible roaming data package active.

As well as empowering du subscribers on their journeys, business customers can also benefit from always-on connectivity with Inflight roaming on their travels.

This service is available to post-paid customers and will enable du subscribers to enjoy more value, simplicity and convenience when travelling abroad than ever before.

Speaking of the agreement, Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile, Panasonic Avionicssays: “Weare proud to be working with du to bring this inflight mobile services to its customers. Theagreement demonstrates du’s ongoing commitment to offering innovative and convenientcommunication services to its customers, wherever they may be.”

AeroMobile provides technology and global coverage that allows the safe use of passengers’ own mobile phones onboard aircraft.

Lake Forest, CA | May 7, 2019–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and TAP Air Portugal have announced an agreement to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new fleet of 14 A321neo LR aircraft.

Panasonic’s X Series inflight entertainment system, along with a suite of connectivity services, are being line-fit installed on the new aircraft.

TAP Air Portugal passengers will be able to enjoy a personalized and immersive home theatre entertainment experience with HD screens and surround sound audio and video entertainment available on demand. The system also comes equipped with in-seat power USB charging facilities at every seat.

All the new aircraft are being fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service, with a host of next generation connectivity benefits including fast internet, all powered by its new satellite modem which offers bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

The news follows the recent agreement between TAP Air Portugal and Panasonic to provide inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new fleet of A330-900neo aircraft. The carrier is the first airline in the world to operate Airbus’ next generation A330-900neo, and will operate 21 of the aircraft.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Panasonic Avionics is honored to partner with TAP Air Portugal as they launch their next generation A321neo LR fleet, and we are delighted to help them deliver an enhanced passenger experience with our entertainment and connectivity solutions.”

Lake Forest, California | March 26, 2019–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has today announced the appointments of senior executives to three key sales positions across its organization.

Panasonic Avionics today named Malcolm McKay Vice President of Sales. McKay will be responsible for accelerating and driving top-line annual growth for Panasonic Avionics and will develop and plan the company’s worldwide sales processes and methodologies.  He will oversee Sales Leaders over each product line including Digital Solutions, Software as a Service (SaaS), Panasonic Technical Services and Connectivity, Sales Operations & Enablement.

Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer at Panasonic Avionics said: “With his successful track record over many years at Panasonic Avionics, and given his wide knowledge of our customers and the overall air transport market, Malcolm is the ideal candidate to drive Customer Success across our broad portfolio of products and services. We are very excited to have him lead the cross-functional team responsible for identifying new opportunities for growth for our company.

McKay was previously Sales and Marketing Director, Europe for Panasonic, a position he had held since 2005.

In addition, Tom Eskola has been named Regional Vice President and General Manager for the Middle East, Central and Southern Asia and Africa (MECSAA) region, and Hernan Abbes has been named to the Regional Vice President and General Manager for the Americas and Oceania region.

Eskola and Abbes will play leading roles in accelerating and driving top-line annual growth, Customer Success and overall market share for the region in alignment with the overall business strategies. They will also be responsible for the regional P&L, managing all aspects of sales and marketing, customer service, field engineering, general management and corporate compliance in their regions.

Jennings added: “Throughout their careers here at Panasonic Avionics, Tom and Hernan have consistently provided thought leadership with an unwavering commitment to Customer Success and driving the company’s strategic initiatives. We believe that they will bring a track record of success to their positions, and that they will provide regional leadership to all employees and facilities in their organizations.”

Eskola was previously Head of Panasonic’s Customer Performance Center and joined the company in 2011.

Hernan was previously Senior Director for Americas & Oceania Regions and joined the company in 2011.

Jennings added: “We have long believed in recognizing and growing talent across our organization and are delighted to announce these promotions and the elevation of these skilled and proven executives to new leadership positions within Panasonic Avionics. Between them, we know that Tom, Hernan, and Malcolm will all play significant roles in the future growth and success of our Customers and our company.”

  • One of the world’s first Core Network as a Service solutions is now in live operation, supporting mobile connectivity across a global footprint of commercial airlines.
  • The 5G ready solution will deliver a richer connected experience for commercial aircraft passengers and airlines.

December 20, 2018– Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) have announced that Ericsson’s Core Network as a Service solution is now live, supporting connectivity services across multiple markets served by Panasonic. 

Ericsson’s Core Network as a Service solution will help Panasonic and its subsidiary AeroMobile, a global GSMA telecoms operator, provide data, voice and messaging services to the millions of airline passengers that use these services in flight. The collaboration between Ericsson, Panasonic and AeroMobile started in 2016 and is now fully operational and delivers services to Panasonic customers worldwide.

As part of Panasonic’s initiative to bring a superior connected experience onboard commercial aircraft, Panasonic and Ericsson have seamlessly migrated the existing service operating across a global fleet of aircraft onto the Core Network, delivered as a Service, while maintaining network performance and customer experience. 

Every passenger whose mobile service provider has a roaming agreement with AeroMobile can use the service, which is supported by mobile operators across the globe and delivered inflight on board more than 20 of Panasonic’s global commercial airline customers.

The geo-redundant solution is delivered through Ericsson’s ground-breaking Core Network as a Service and includes virtualized network applications such as packet core, unified data management, mediation, and mobile switching delivered on the Ericsson NFV Infrastructure. The Core Network solution is part of Ericsson’s as a Service offering to service providers globally, and is able to support 5G services to the passenger and airline. 

Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile, says: “Our partnership with Ericsson, and the technology provided, will allow us to better serve the communications needs of our passenger and airline customers. Furthermore, the solution enables us to grow our footprint and expand into other services offering a richer experience for the passenger and operational efficiencies for our airline customers. We are looking forward to continuing our exciting collaboration with Ericsson.”

Marielle Lindgren, Head of Customer Unit UK and Ireland at Ericsson, says: “Panasonic Avionics is the first customer on Ericsson’s newly introduced Core Network as a Service solution, which aims to bring Ericsson’s leadership and expertise to a wide range of service providers. We’re proud to have initially been chosen as Panasonic Avionics’ supplier for a 5G ready core network, and pleased that the project is now live.”

The two companies will explore other services to address further market segments and opportunities, while ensuring service continuity and the constant evolution of the live network, including exploring new 5G use cases.

Lake Forest, USA | October 10, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has appointed Donny Cheah, as Regional Vice President, China.

This strategic hire will bolster Panasonic’s presence in China which is the fastest-growing region in the world for air travel. To date, Panasonic has sold more than 2,000 inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions to airlines based in this region.

Donny will also serve as the president of Panasonic Avionics (China) Co., Ltd. (PACN) which will be newly established in Shanghai, China this year. In his business management role, Donny will oversee account management, customer support, repairs & maintenance, media & creative services, along with the service functions of quality, human resources, IT, and customs compliance in the China region.

Donny brings 25 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications industries with roles based across the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong and Singapore. Most recently, he was President & CEO at Sumitomo Drive Technologies, with P&L responsibility for China and Hong Kong.

Prior to this, Donny spent almost 15 years at Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, where he gained significant commercial experience, including: Managing Director of China, Senior Director of Global Accounts, and Regional Head of Australia, India, Middle East, and subsequently Europe and U.S.

Cate Gutowski, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Donny’s wealth of commercial knowledge, and business leadership expertise in the Asia Pacific market will be instrumental in leading our China team as we grow our presence in this exciting and dynamic region.”

Commenting on his appointment, Donny Cheah, Regional Vice President, China at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “The Asia Pacific region, and China in particular, is a rapidly growing aviation market – and one that is integral to Panasonic’s success in the region. To be joining the company at this exciting time as it evolves into a digital services and solutions business is a great honor.”

Donny holds a Masters in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and a Bachelor of Business, Marketing and Management from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. 

Lake Forest, California | April 26, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) is to establish new Innovation Studios at key centers across the globe.

With a renewed focus on broader consultative engagements with its customers, Panasonic’s new Innovation Studios will serve as hubs for innovation, ideation, and solution-building.

They will provide a socially collaborative environment where the company and its customers can leverage its skilled workforce and regionally relevant partners to ideate, prototype, showcase and evaluate product concepts, digital solutions and user experience paradigms.

Panasonic plans to set up five Innovation Studios across the globe, each in close proximity to major destinations, leading universities and centers with an established innovation and start-up culture.

The first Panasonic innovation studio will open in the Silicon Valley by the end of 2018.

The Studios will also serve as primary locations for airline workshops conducted by Panasonic’s digital design consultancy, Tactel.  Acquired by Panasonic in 2015, Tactel has played an instrumental role in helping Panasonic customers get the maximum value from their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) investments.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Innovation has always been at the heart of Panasonic Avionics and our customers have rightly come to expect it as standard.”

“Our new Innovation Studios will leverage our cloud-based infrastructure to foster an ethos of collaboration, strengthening our partner eco-system and with it, the range of value-added services we can offer our airline customers.”

“The Studios will ensure we can deliver greater customer-facing innovation by rapidly developing new concepts that will enhance the business and pleasure of flying.”

Each Panasonic Innovation Studio will have a Collaboration Area for ideation, design and strategy workshops, training sessions, customer and partner meetings, and other interactive innovation-related sessions, and a Demonstration Area for displaying emerging products and technologies, functional prototypes as well as work in progress concepts.

This past week has presented the industry with a lot of news, especially with the Singapore Air Show underway. In fact, there is too much data to cover in one issue. As a result, next week IFExpress will sum up some of the Airbus and Boeing news (and there is a lot). Here are some of the highlights for this week:


Panasonic

Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Kenya Airways have today announced an agreement to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) services and passenger technical solutions for 24 of the carrier’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft. The agreement includes ten Embraer 190 aircraft line-fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eFX IFE system, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with eX1 and nine Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with eX3.

Kenya Airways is a leading African airline flying to 53 destinations worldwide, 42 of which are in Africa. It carries over three million passengers annually. Kenya Airways continues to modernize its fleet with its 36 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa, including its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. From the IFE perspective, eFX delivers entertainment and productivity tools including music, movies, games, TV series, destination presentations and a moving map in a single-aisle package. eX1 is Panasonic’s most advanced linefit IFE system for single-aisle aircraft. Its high-definition display technologies and surround sound audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience. Further, the eX3 system is capable of delivering more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. It offers excellent picture quality with enhanced color and contrast features.

Panasonic Technical Services will provide materials support solutions with technical advisory support to all aircraft. The aforementioned solutions have been customized in consultation with Kenya Airways to deliver optimal IFE spares operations coupled with onsite IFE support for maintenance operations. Sean Gavin, Vice President of Panasonic Technical Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Having worked very closely with Kenya Airways to develop a customized package to fit their needs for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, we are delighted to welcome them as a Panasonic customer. Our world-class IFE systems will offer the airline and its passengers an unrivaled and memorable entertainment experience.”

Panasonic Avionics told IFExpress that it offers a comprehensive solution to meet every airline’s needs for seatback, wireless, linefit and retrofit systems. For passengers, Panasonic solutions deliver an amazing home theater entertainment experience that includes HD content, games, applications, communications, and much more. For airlines, the inflight system is the foundation of a business platform that amplifies their brand.


SmartSky

SmartSky’s best-in-class, future-ready airborne network got a boost from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Avidyne Corporation, SmartSky’s avionics manufacturing partner, was awarded the first supplemental type certificate (STC) that provides for the installation and operation of a SmartSky 4G LTE system, in this case, on a Cessna Citation Excel. Avidyne CEO Dan Schwinn stated, “With this pioneering first STC in hand, we expect to receive Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA shortly. PMA is the catalyst for SmartSky’s partners to complete their STC commitments on many other popular business aircraft, and that then enables customers to install and use the system.” SmartSky expects these follow-on STCs to begin to be available this summer. That timing aligns well with the planned completion of the majority of the network coverage expansion effort currently underway across the continental United States.

Here’s the reason we are watching SmartSky – their patented beamforming technology delivers multi-gigabyte per hour data throughput at the industry’s lowest latency, both to and from an aircraft, setting a new airborne performance standard, all at the lowest cost per bit. “The recent FAA approval of the SmartSky 4G LTE-based network equipment is a clear indication of the fast pace in which the in-flight connectivity market is evolving,” says Nate Klenke, Modifications Sales Manager for Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, Nebraska. “We are excited to offer the SmartSky solution to our clients as one of their options for in-flight connectivity.”

SmartSky’s 4G LTE-based network has been live since 2017 and coverage expansion remains on track to support launching service nationwide in 2018. The long lead-time steps of onsite viability testing, permitting and backhaul-connection have all been completed at over 96% of the planned nationwide ground sites. More than 40% of those sites are already in their final stages of deployment or are already on air.


Thales

Passengers of Garuda Indonesia, the country’s flag carrier, can look forward to an all new and enhanced passenger experience with Thales AVANT IFE System on board the carrier’s A330neo aircraft. Garuda’s choice of Thales’ IFE system will help drive the airline’s strategic positioning to attract more passengers as Indonesia expects to see a double-digit increase in passenger growth this year.

  • Garuda Indonesia equips 14 A330neo aircraft with Thales AVANT IFE.
  • Thales and Garuda announce their partnership at the Singapore Airshow. The agreement is a first for both industry leaders.
  • AVANT IFE features a powerful full high definition monitors for business and economy class passengers. Business class travelers will also enjoy the Avii touchscreen handsets.

Next we note that, Airbus sees the Asia Pacific region as the most crucial in the world. In its 2017-2036 Global Market Forecast they predict demand will range from 6,100 aircraft by 2026 to 14,200 by 2036, with 41% of these fulfilled by new deliveries. Building and delivering new aircraft is however only one piece of the puzzle for an OEM like Airbus. A whole host of ancillary operations have to be put in place to ensure this fleet expansion is operationally viable for the long term. Chief of which is the complex interplay of MRO needed to keep this massive fleet flying. This requires not only on the ground expertise but a network of partnerships with trusted suppliers who can deliver on time and on budget MRO wherever an Airbus jet flies. Readers should note the following:

  • Thales will be Airbus’ subcontractor for MRO across Asia-Pacific for repair of all avionics components on Airbus’ single-aisle, long-range and A350 aircraft for seven years.
  • Repairs will be carried out from the Thales regional MRO hub in Singapore, the largest of the group’s three repair HUBs which services over 40k components per annum.
  • The Asia Pacific region is recognized by Airbus as a strategic nerve center for growth in the next 15 years with demand for new aircraft more than doubling by 2036.

Airbus

Airbus’ first A321LR (Long Range), MSN7877, has accomplished its maiden flight following a mission lasting 2 hours and 36 minutes. The aircraft powered by CFM Leap-1A engines is now set to undergo a nearly 100 hour flight test program, including trans-Atlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018. During the flight, the crew tested the aircraft’s flight controls, engines and main systems including flight envelope protections, both at high and low speed.  Klaus Roewe, Head of A320 Program stated: “Thanks to its outstanding performance and unbeatable efficiency, the A321LR will allow our customers to perform flights of up to 4,000nm, allowing them to open new routes – for example transatlantic – and conquer new markets.”

The A321LR features a new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky. The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivaled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4000nm (7400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new market opportunities. The A321LR’s new door configuration, enabling its operators to accommodate up to 240 passengers in Airbus’ widest Single Aisle fuselage in the sky. The new Airspace by Airbus cabin available on the A320 Family additionally enhances the passengers’ unrivaled travel experience. With further options, combining an increased Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) of 97 tonnes and a third Additional Centre Fuel Tank (ACT), the aircraft’s range extends to 4,000nm (7,400 km), allowing airlines to tap into new long range market opportunities.

Incorporating the latest engines, aerodynamic advances, and cabin innovations, the A321neo offers a significant reduction in fuel consumption of 20 percent by 2020. With more than 1900 orders received from over than 50 customers, to date the A321neo has captured a solid 80 percent market share, making it the true aircraft of choice in the Middle of the Market.

The aircraft is now set to undergo a nearly 100 hour flight test program, including transatlantic missions, for EASA and FAA Type Certification in Q2 2018. Entry into service is targeted for Q4 2018.

On another note, Airbus has been testing and using the SLS (Satellite Landing System) and you aviation tekkies need to get up to speed on this one. We note that the final approach segment is equivalent to a ground-based ILS beam! Here is a great slide presentation of the technology and Airbus deserves a pat on the back on this one!


Boeing

Boeing Reports Record 2017 Results and Provides 2018 Guidance

Fourth-Quarter 2017

  • Record operating earnings of $3.0 billion with operating cash flow of $2.9 billion on strong performance
  • GAAP EPS of $5.18 and core EPS (non-GAAP)* of $4.80 on strong deliveries, performance and tax reform

Full-Year 2017

  • Record operating cash flow of $13.3 billion; repurchased 46.1 million shares for $9.2 billion
  • Revenue of $93.4 billion reflecting a record 763 commercial deliveries
  • Backlog remains robust at $488 billion, including a record 5,864 commercial aircraft
  • Cash and marketable securities of $10.0 billion provide strong liquidity

Outlook for 2018

  • Operating cash flow expected to increase to approximately $15.0 billion
  • Revenue guidance of between $96.0 and $98.0 billion reflects commercial deliveries of between 810 and 815
  • 2018 GAAP EPS of between $15.90 and $16.10; core EPS (non-GAAP)* of between $13.80 and $14.00

Next, GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) and Travel Service, the largest carrier in the Czech Republic, celebrated the delivery of the airline’s first 737 MAX airplane.Travel Service is leasing the airplane – a more fuel-efficient, quieter, and longer-range version of the 737 jet – from GECAS, the commercial aircraft leasing and financing arm of General Electric.


**** NEXT WEEK AIR SHOW & AIRFRAMERS UPDATE ****


Other Stuff

Lake Forest | February 6, 2018– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and Kenya Airways have today announced an agreement to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) services and passenger technical solutions for 24 of the carrier’s narrowbody and widebody aircraft.

The agreement includes ten Embraer 190 aircraft line-fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eFX IFE system, five Boeing 737-800 aircraft fitted with eX1 and nine Boeing 787-8 aircraft equipped with eX3.

Kenya Airways is a leading African airline flying to 53 destinations worldwide, 42 of which are in Africa. It carries over three million passengers annually. Kenya Airways continues to modernize its fleet with its 36 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa, including its flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

eFX delivers entertainment and productivity tools including music, movies, games, TV series, destination presentations and a moving map in a single-aisle package.

eX1 is Panasonic’s most advanced linefit IFE system for single-aisle aircraft. Its high-definition display technologies and surround sound audio create a home theater atmosphere that draws passengers into an immersive entertainment experience.

The eX3 system is capable of delivering more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. It offers excellent picture quality with enhanced color and contrast features.

Panasonic Technical Services will provide materials support solutions with technical advisory support to all aircraft. The aforementioned solutions have been customized in consultation with Kenya Airways to deliver optimal IFE spares operations coupled with onsite IFE support for maintenance operations.

Sean Gavin, Vice President of Panasonic Technical Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Having worked very closely with Kenya Airways to develop a customized package to fit their needs for both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, we are delighted to welcome them as a Panasonic customer. Our world-class IFE systems will offer the airline and its passengers an unrivalled and memorable entertainment experience.”

Panasonic Avionics offers a comprehensive solution to meet every airline’s needs for seatback, wireless, linefit and retrofit systems. For passengers, Panasonic solutions deliver an amazing home theater entertainment experience that includes HD content, games, applications, communications, and much more. For airlines, the inflight system is the foundation of a business platform that amplifies their brand.

– Step change with introduction of first High Throughput Satellite over Asia –
– Satellite and new modem support speeds of 250 Mpbs –
– Panasonic forecasts 10,000 aircraft commitment by 2025 –

Lake Forest, California | November 21, 2017– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC), today introduced a major advance in inflight connectivity with the entry into service of its first High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity over the Pacific Ocean.

The EUTELSAT 172B satellite, which launched in June, is operated by Eutelsat Communications. Leveraging its unique design, Panasonic will deliver greatly enhanced inflight broadband connectivity, live television and mobile phone services to aircraft flying high traffic routes across the Asia Pacific region spanning the West coast of North America to Asia, and down to Australia and the Pacific islands.

High Throughput Satellites use a combination of spot beams and high-level frequency re-use to provide much improved economics, more bandwidth and faster data speeds as passengers browse the internet and benefit from other online services, and airlines increasingly utilize connectivity for operational purposes. They also use a broad overlay beam, which is used to economically deliver up to nine channels of live television to passengers in flight.

Panasonic is layering HTS capacity over key air traffic areas across its global satellite network, ensuring it can meet the growing connectivity demands of airlines and their passengers. It will continue to introduce high throughput satellites in every region of the world.

In addition to this support for airlines and their passengers, Panasonic subsidiary, ITC Global, which leverages the Panasonic broadband network to deliver connectivity to its energy, maritime and enterprise customers, will also benefit from the new satellite’s significant HTS advancements and enhanced coverage provided through multiple widebeam footprints.

Maritime operators will now have improved coverage and availability across key Asia Pacific shipping routes using the powerful EUTELSAT 172B, with the faster data speeds enabling Asia’s continued growth in the global maritime sector. Oil and gas exploration customers across the region will also benefit from the new cost-effective HTS service for secure broadband networking to deliver more efficient operations and enhanced crew welfare solutions.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corp., said: “Today is a milestone event for Panasonic Avionics and our customers as we introduce a paradigm shift in inflight connectivity.

“Our service to the mobility market in Asia continues to grow exponentially. For the first time ever, airlines and passengers will reap the benefits of Ku-band HTS technology as they fly across the Pacific as well as up and down the coast of Asia into areas across Oceania. We are very excited to add this significant improvement to our global network and look forward to unveiling the new passenger experience and operational efficiency capabilities that are only possible with this truly unique satellite.”

Rodolphe Belmer, Eutelsat CEO, added: “EUTELSAT 172B’s entry into service is a milestone in the journey we’ve travelled with Panasonic since they shared with us their roadmap of connectivity requirements in Asia-Pacific. We’re proud to see our all-electric satellite get to work for a major client, delivering uniquely-designed capacity for in-flight and maritime connectivity and also ready to serve corporate network, cellular backhaul, video and government markets. From its strategic location at 172° East, EUTELSAT 172B is now open for business over land and sea from Alaska to Australia.”

EUTELSAT 172B is the first HTS to use a multi-port amplifier, which allows power to be dynamically moved among the HTS beams to meet demand. This ability for the HTS beams to “follow” aircraft and other mobile users enabling Panasonic to better meet customer demand and cost-effectively ensure consistently high levels of service in a way that other service providers cannot match.

The entry into service of EUTELSAT 172B coincides with the introduction of Panasonic’s new BC-03 modem, developed in conjunction with Newtec, which also caters for future demand by supporting speeds of up to 250 Mbps to aircraft. This includes three demodulators for seamless beam switching and simultaneous data and video reception.

Today, over 1,800 aircraft flying routes all around the world use Panasonic’s global high-speed inflight connectivity service. The company expects more than 10,000 aircraft expected to be connected to its world-class global high-speed communications network by 2025.

Dubai | November 15, 2017–Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC), have announced a new 35-aircraft commitment for inflight entertainment across the carrier’s short haul fleet. The carrier has selected Panasonic’s X Series entertainment solutions, specifically, the company’s eXO and eX1 systems, for installation on its various fleets.

Panasonic’s X Series inflight entertainment solutions feature the industry’s largest selection of options including HD monitors, capacitive touch handsets, in-seat power, and ensures a premium experience in every cabin class.

Saudia has also selected Panasonic’s eXO overhead entertainment system to be line-fit installed across 20 Airbus A320neos and 15 A321neos that the airline has on order. This builds on the carrier’s previous commitment in April 2016 when it selected eXO for 30 Airbus A320neo aircraft.

This news follows an earlier order from SAUDIA in which Panasonic will install its eX1 IFE system across the airline’s existing fleet of 7 A320 aircraft.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corp., said: “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with SAUDIA with this exciting, new commitment across their short haul fleet. With our proven track record in delivering innovative inflight entertainment solutions, we will help Saudi Arabian Airlines optimize their investment in next-generation aircraft with an unmatched experience for all their passengers.”

The Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser said: “SAUDIA’s fleet is undergoing a complete revitalization program, which includes an upgrade to the existing fleet in terms of the inflight entertainment offering and overall onboard experience,

“Once the new entertainment solutions by Panasonic are retrofitted on the existing A320 fleet, and new A320 aircraft are delivered, our guests onboard will be able to maximize their time in the sky with a wide range of entertainment solutions to make their onboard journeys even more enjoyable.”

The SAUDIA fleet with A320-NEO/A321-NEO is expected to deliver in Q3 of 2019 and A320 aircraft with eX1 IFE System retrofit is expected to deliver in Q2 of 2018.

Former Zodiac Aerospace executive to take leadership role in reliable and on-time execution of customer and OEM programs

Lake Forest, California | September 26, 2017– Panasonic Avionics today announces the appointment of Adri Ruiter as its new Vice President of Global Operations.

With almost 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, Adri will be responsible for key global operations activity, including operational strategy, program management, supplier management and global manufacturing to ensure the highest level of consistent customer delivery.

Ruiter previously held a number of positions at Zodiac Aerospace, including President and CEO of Zodiac Seats US, where he was instrumental to Project Fusion, a joint seat integration program between Zodiac (then Weber Aircraft LLC) and Panasonic. The design of the integrated seat ultimately led to the introduction of Panasonic Avionics’ industry-leading Eco Monitor family designed for the X Series IFE system.

Ruiter’s most recent role at Zodiac was as Director of Restore Margins, where he led group operational excellence workshops at Zodiac Aerospace sites across North America.

Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: We are delighted to welcome Adri to Panasonic Avionics. As the world leader in inflight entertainment and connectivity, we have over 300 airline customers around the world, each with their own sets of requirements for hardware, software, and system performance. Adri’s unique experience within the cabin industry will bring a greater focus to Panasonic, ensuring that we will always deliver the best product, on time, with the highest quality and backed by a support process that ensures the best long-term return on their investment.”

Adri Ruiter, Vice President of Operations, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “It is with great pleasure that I take up this important role at Panasonic and I’m excited to be part of an organization world-renowned for its inflight entertainment and connectivity technology. I look forward to working with the team to drive operational excellence within the business.”

Former GE Aviation and IBM executive to lead technological innovation.

Lake Forest, CA | August 23, 2017– Panasonic Avionics today announces the appointment of David Bartlett as its new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Bartlett will be responsible for the continued development of Panasonic Avionics’ technology roadmap, harnessing his extensive experience in software and the Internet of Things.

He previously served as CTO of GE Aviation and was most recently the CTO of Current by GE. GE Aviation is a leading provider of jet and turboprop engines, components and integrated systems. Current, powered by GE, blends LED lighting and solar solutions with networked sensors and software to make cities and buildings energy efficient and smart.

Mark Jennings, Chief Operating Officer, Panasonic Avionics Corporation said: “We are delighted to welcome David to our team. For over 30 years, Panasonic Avionics has been the leader in delivering new and innovative inflight entertainment and connectivity services to the world’s leading airlines. We believe that David’s background in IoT, mobility, and security will ensure that we maintain a leadership position as we deliver our next-generation digital cabin solutions to our airline customers.”

Over the course of his career, Bartlett also held several management positions at IBM including Director of IBM Europe Software Development Lab, and Vice President of Europe, Middle East and Africa Support and Services. He led IBM’s Autonomic Computing program strategy at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. As IBM’s Vice President of Smarter Physical Infrastructure, he led digital projects in transportation, smart grid, and smart buildings where he was named one of the ‘top 15 people in the world to watch’ in intelligent buildings.

David Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “I am thrilled to join this forward-thinking and innovative technology business in the aerospace sector. Panasonic’s technological solutions have been supporting airlines and delighting their passengers for many years. The road ahead is exciting and full of enormous opportunities to safely and securely deliver a premium experience.”

Bartlett earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry at New York State University and completed the Computer Science Masters Program at the University of Minnesota. He earned an Executive MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina and holds a PMP Master’s Degree from George Washington University.

Airline installing inflight entertainment and global connectivity systems on airline’s new A350 fleet
Lake Forest, CA | July 20, 2017– Asiana Airlines, one of Asia’s largest carriers, has begun revenue service with its first A350 aircraft using Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) industry-leading inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solution. This first aircraft, which was line fit with Panasonic solutions by Airbus, entered passenger service on May 15th having been delivered to the carrier on April 26th.

Panasonic’s eX3 system delivers a premium passenger experience through features including audio and video on demand, and a massive content library that can offer over 50 movies, 60 TV shows, games, music and more.

The aircraft will also offer Panasonic’s global connectivity service – the only broadband inflight connectivity service operating in every country in the world today – enabling passengers to access the internet via broadband inflight Wi-Fi, and to send and receive calls and text messages.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with Asiana Airlines. Our world-class systems provide their passengers with a globally available and premium inflight entertainment and connectivity experience.”

Advanced inflight entertainment system to be installed across its fleet of new Dreamliners

Lake Forest, CA | July 18, 2017– EL AL Israel Airlines today announced that it has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) industry-leading eX3 inflight entertainment (IFE) system for its new fleet of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Under terms of its agreement with Panasonic, EL AL will install eX3 across nine Boeing 787-9s and seven B787-8s, with the first aircraft being delivered in August 2017. The agreement also includes a 15-year contract for the provision of system maintenance by Panasonic Technical Services, including spares, repairs and logistics, at an optimized maintenance cost.

EL AL’s eX3 system features an elegant industrial design across all cabin classes. Passengers will be able to view 12, 13 and 16-inch high definition monitors that deliver superior viewing angles and capacitive touch. They also feature proprietary Panasonic technology that functions like the human eye, making dark scenes more visible by improving brightness in dark areas while simultaneously eliminating white saturation. The result is superior picture performance across all media formats including movies, TV shows, games, maps and more.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Our partnership with EL AL continues to go from one successful program to the next and now stretches over a quarter of a century. Our eX3 system will provide EL AL with an industry-leading entertainment experience, delivering a premium service to their passengers traveling across the world.

“Our renewed agreement is testament to the loyalty and opportunity that our continued relationship delivers and we look forward to this new and exciting chapter.”

EL AL Vice President Service Amir Rogovsky adds: “We are focused on delivering a premium inflight experience for our customers. Our long-term partnership with Panasonic continues to be extremely successful and we look forward to strengthening our relationship with Panasonic Avionics as one of the leaders in the IFE industry.

60 percent of Panasonic’s airline customers now offer 3.5G connectivity

Lake Forest, CA | July 6, 2017– Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic) subsidiary AeroMobile today announced that it has added 100th aircraft to its 3.5G mobile network. With 60 percent of airlines now offering 3.5G inflight connectivity, users of the AeroMobile service grew by 57 percent between 4Q16 and 1Q17.

The AeroMobile service allows passengers to use their own mobile devices to text, make calls, listen to voicemail and browse the internet while inflight. The service is easy to use with no onboard payment or registration; passengers simply turn on their mobile device to connect to the network and are billed directly by their mobile operator.

Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile comments: “The milestone of 100 3.5G connected aircraft is testament to the continued airline adoption of the service and strong passenger demand.

“We have seen rapid growth in the 3.5G service and already 60 percent of our airline partners are rolling it out. In 2017 alone, 3.5G connected aircraft have already flown to 127 destinations in 65 countries.”

The inflight 3.5G network is complementary to Panasonic’s global inflight connectivity service. It offers passengers a simple and elegant way to stay in touch with friends, family, co-workers and current events while in the air. It gives passengers the same connectivity options as they have on the ground, and when combined with inflight Wi-Fi, enables data speeds that are comparable to a terrestrial service.

AeroMobile’s phone service is already in use on over 500 aircraft across 21 airlines worldwide including Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Air France, Alitalia, Emirates, Etihad, EuroWings, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Malindo Air, Qatar Airways, SAS, Singapore Airlines, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, SWISS, Turkish Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

AeroMobile was the first to introduce mobile phone services in 2008 and now has over 350 roaming agreements in more than 150 countries.

When IFExpress heard about the recent promotion of David Bruner as the Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, we could not think of a better person to fill the roll. David is now responsible for sales, marketing and customer relations for all Panasonic Avionics products and services. His previous position within PAC was the Vice President of Global Communication Services. The Panasonic website goes on to say; “David has been with Panasonic for 13 years. Previously he served as Vice President of Global Communications Services where he led the company’s efforts to establish a global, high-speed satellite network. Under David’s direction, Panasonic became the first company to offer global connectivity, live television and mobile phone services across multiple mobility markets including air transport; oil, energy and mining; maritime; cruise lines; and mega yachts. David has also held executive positions for General Dynamics Airborne Electronic Systems, InflightOnline – a web Media Company focused on the inflight market and AT&T Aviation. In total, he has over 35 years in the software, communications and aerospace industries including 5 years at American Airline’s SABRE group.”

While the aforementioned is an apt summary of his years in the IFEC and airline industry, IFExpress reached out to other industry aficionados who have known David for a long time about the recent Panasonic promotion. John Courtright, Director of Sales and Marketing at SIE, and he told IFExpress: “I’ve known David for 20+ years and he is the consummate professional. Our careers have had similar tracks: we both were Senior Systems Analysts at major U.S. carriers, I was at United and David at American. I think that experience gave David the strong business and analytical skills he carried forward later in his career. David has always known the importance of Connectivity. As Senior VP at AT&T Wireless, Aviation Division, he drove the expansion of passenger connectivity and the emergence of making data available to the cabin and crew alike. In his new role as head of IFE and GCS Sales, I expect David to continue Panasonic’s strong presence in the IFEC industry.”

Mary Rogozinski, VP Airlines, SmartSky Networks  said: “I always like to tell the story about meeting David back when he was with Sabre and I was with UA (in the 90’s).  We were both at a 777 working together meeting at Boeing.  It was one of my very first industry meetings.  I had to leave early and planned to take a Boeing customer bus back to the airport.  I get on the van to find it filled with AA folks including David.  At first I felt very awkward (back in those days, airlines didn’t socialize much), but David and team made me feel right at home.  I then went on to work with David at just about every company he worked at subsequently.  I regrettably threw out all of those business cards, there must have been about 15.  A high or lowlight had to have been when we worked together on the 777 launch.  David was at Claircom and they had done a good job pitching their phone service for the UA widebody fleet.  We worked late one night on the deal and both ended the day thinking Claircom would be UA’s next phone service provider.  But we woke up to the information that UA’s management team had given the incumbent service one last chance to bid, winning the program.  David took it in stride, in his unique cheerful way (maybe with a few cocktails.)”

“Over the years, I truly look forward to seeing David and that kind of impish smile of his, and catching up on all the goings on with work, family and the industry.  He has always been a good and fair person to work with and I have always had the sense that he will take care of his customers.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I was ever one of them.  Sorry Dave.”

We at IFExpress have had the pleasure of working with David for over 30 years. Internally, we debated and discussed his recent promotion as a writing point and we unanimously noted that if we wanted to discuss just about any aspect of our industry, David Bruner was one of the first people we would ask. Why? Because, he  understands the question, usually knows the answer, and is gracious when he delivers his reply – even if our question was less than correct, or our information was incomplete.

Needless to say, IFExpress recently took the opportunity to talk with David about the IFEC industry:

1. Tell our readers about the IFE(C) market for new aircraft for the next 3 years or so, given that aircraft sales are falling?

A: Even though aircraft sales aren’t at the same all-time high levels as previous years, there are plenty of opportunities for companies like Panasonic that can deliver tailored solutions closely aligned to each airline’s business needs and the expectations of its passengers.

2.Do you see the IFEC market changing over the next 5 years based on what passengers are carrying? What does IFEC have to offer over carry-ons – today and in the future?

A: The IFEC market is perpetually changing. From embedded systems to PEDs to the ever increasing use of wearable technology, IFEC providers need to be able to provide platforms that allow airlines, passengers and crew to interact and stay connected easily and effectively.

That is one of the reasons why we have introduced our new NEXT IFEC platform. We have in essence re-written our rule book for how we engage with airlines – moving from a product-based sales approach to one where we build tailored solutions based on their business needs, using the flexibility of our platform coupled with the versatility of our integrated ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships.

3. What, in your opinion, will be the hardest bridge to cross in the next few years in IFEC?

A: The industry needs to focus on how to fully enable a truly dynamic, digitally connected business platform in flight. When you have a flexible platform backed by a global connectivity network and comprehensive ecosystem, you can radically change the industry.

For example when you combine our NEXT platform with services like ZeroTouch, you begin to liberate airlines from the accepted 30-day refresh media cycle. We’re opening up content on demand services, concierge services, real-time CRM, and much more.

This kind of dynamic content update gives airlines the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively personalize services for their passengers. This will fundamentally address some of the complaints about air travel from both airlines and passengers.

4. IFEC and new connectivity capability should usher in more cabin/system connections to the ground but Panasonic is an IFEC company. How will you folks get into the side of “data” that others have been focused on for years and can you give our readers a bit of why you will succeed?

A: Panasonic Avionics is already highly engaged in this area in a number of ways. Probably the biggest is ZeroTouch which we launched last October and has already received high levels of interest from airlines. ZeroTouch is a unique and innovative service that simultaneously gives airlines real-time visibility into performance, improves the efficiency of their maintenance operations and also enables data transfer of passenger-facing content to an aircraft to improve the passenger experience. The service will reduce an airline’s need to physically touch its aircraft because all interactions are managed through a virtual dashboard. By providing access to real-time passenger data, software, media and content updates can be data-driven, helping to deliver a relevant and personalized passenger experience.

With over 70 airline customers we are having success helping airlines to see that the “C” in IFEC is more than passenger WIFI. As a global network operator, we are helping airlines use broadband connectivity to deliver new solutions — solutions that make passengers happier through better crew service, accessibility to the airlines app for constant real-time communications, health monitoring of all systems inflight, passenger and cargo security and more. This application of connectivity, with the onboard computing platform, will have the same powerful impact on the market as the introduction of the CRS’s of the 1960’s and 70’s.

5. David, you have been around this game for around 30 years now, can you tell our readers about the changes you have seen in working with airlines and what advice would you give them with the new technology in IFEC?

A: IFEC has changed dramatically since I entered the industry however the objectives are still the same: an excellent audio and video experience, an ever-increasing choice of content, and more control over how and when content is viewed. Over the last 10 years, however, the rate of change in our industry has greatly accelerated with the advent of inflight connectivity.

The advice I would give to an airline is to treat IFEC like all key interaction points of the passenger experience. From our experience, it has tremendous potential to enhance an airline’s brand — and therefore value — significantly. As such, it is worth the investment but only if the IFEC offering is aligned with an airline’s commercial objectives and the needs of its passengers. So involve an IFEC provider at the start of the decision making process, help them understand your needs, treat them like a partner, not a supplier – and the results will undoubtedly be better.

6. How important is the capability to engage the passenger from the point of ticket purchase, then throughout the remainder of their journey? What unique capabilities does Panasonic bring to this process?

A: Enabling airlines to engage with their passengers throughout a longer process adds value to the passenger experience, and so has the potential to enhance the airline’s brand. We recognized this several years ago and developed the APIs that led to commercial deployment of Companion Apps – which are designed to span the passenger travel thread, enabling airlines to curate and integrate all aspects of the passenger experience. Singapore Airline was the first to take advantage of our program, and today its passengers can immerse themselves in their experience pre-flight, during flight and post-flight, bringing the benefits of the wide range of content and information to passengers for a much longer period of time.

7. Over the next 10 years, much of the hardware within the aircraft cabin will be able to report wirelessly – think galleys, lavs, lights, seats, etc. Besides providing the pipe and the satcom equipment, how does Panasonic foresee participating in this real-time operations arena?

A: Panasonic already participates in this arena in a wide range of areas, using connectivity to enable airlines to better manage their aircraft and communicate with both their passengers and crews. Just one example of this is the real-time fleet monitoring tool that is an integral part of ZeroTouch, a key element of Panasonic’s integrated ecosystem – which enables airlines to be more operationally robust and efficient, ultimately enhancing the passenger experience whilst helping to keep operating costs contained.

8. Does Panasonic see the technology driving the consumer market and the evolutions of IFEC hardware flattening out over the next 10 – 15 years? If so, will Panasonic be focusing more on new software iterations that improve performance and capabilities utilizing existing hardware technologies?

A: I don’t necessarily see a slow down in the advent of new consumer technologies and, as an IFEC solutions provider, we must continue to anticipate them, evolving to remain at the leading edge of making the step from the ground to the inflight experience a seamless one. We have a team that is solely dedicated to looking at new, emerging technologies and their potential impact to air travel. In fact, many of these technologies have been on display in our “Cool Room” at industry events. Some examples of recent demonstrations include 8K displays, smart surfaces, VR and AR. While not everything is applicable, we continue to bring innovation to the cabin. A great example of this is our NFC solution, which was the industry’s first.

This kind of flexibility is intrinsic with our new NEXT platform. We believe that this will help us adapt and evolve our offering more effectively than ever before.

9. Hacking has been getting bigger and we have seen Panasonic’s response to some issues. Can you give us an update to the focus from your company?

A: Panasonic continues to take a proactive approach to hacking. We not only continually test the robustness of our systems, but also regularly engage with security professionals who wish to test our systems legitimately through our Bug Bounty program. We recently concluded our second annual Inflight Security Conference. This customer event is a great example of our commitment to ensuring the security of all systems we design and deliver. We had 65 attendees from around the world who were treated to two days of in depth discussions with our security teams, trusted partners, and even Robert Herjavec, guest star of ABC’s TV shows “Shark Tank” and “Dancing with the Stars” and founder of the Herjavec Group, which is a global leader and service provider of security solutions for enterprise level organizations.

Editor’s Note: At the next trade show, if you have the opportunity to meet David we strongly encourage you to do so, or if you just want to say congratulations you can reach him at david.bruner@panasonic.aero

 


Other News:

· Panasonic’s NEXTTM IFEC platform developed specifically in response to current generation’s trends and challenges
· Enabled by the Panasonic ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships
· System powerfully combines hardware, software, and functionality to provide a tailored solution to airlines
Hamburg, DE | April 4, 2017– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) today announced its NEXTTM inflight entertainment and communications (IFEC) platform – the company’s newest and most powerful IFEC solution.

The NEXT platform is designed to help airlines overcome key challenges by transforming typically rigid entertainment systems into a flexible IFEC platform. Panasonic is introducing a scalable IFEC solution with the NEXT platform, which blends the latest in inflight entertainment technology, connectivity services, and consumer technologies to help airlines reach their business objectives. This approach helps airlines maximize their investment by dramatically extending the lifespan of the IFEC platform.

Because it is both modular and scalable, the NEXT platform creates an easy-to-use, tailored passenger environment that helps airlines meet their existing and future business objectives, maximize passenger engagement, enhance passenger and crew convenience, and ultimately increase efficiency.

A key differentiator with the NEXT platform is its ability to help airlines maximize their investment by keeping IFEC perpetually and contextually relevant. It blends the latest advances in consumer technology, including 4K screens, Light ID, Bluetooth, and much more, backed by an intuitive interface that is simple for all passengers to use.

The value of the NEXT platform is increased exponentially by Panasonic’s integrated ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships. This industry-leading ecosystem includes the company’s second generation global connectivity network which, when coupled with its new modem technology, provides up to 250 megabytes per second of connectivity to an aircraft.

The powerful combination of the NEXT platform and Panasonic’s global, integrated ecosystem will create an Internet of Me experience for passengers. It will seamlessly integrate with the company’s companion app technology and Panasonic’s ZeroTouch™ service to add higher levels of passenger personalization including previewing of content and other amenities on their flights, creation of playlists that will transfer from one aircraft to another, and even content on demand experiences.

The NEXT platform also incorporates Panasonic Integrated Marketing Services (PIMS) – an advanced global marketing platform and the largest inflight marketing solution in the industry. PIMS delivers only highly targeted, high value marketing services to passengers, which will keep passengers immersed and engaged in destination services, retail therapy and other onboard applications while delivering increased revenue opportunities to airlines and their partners.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Today isn’t the launch of a new IFEC product; it’s about a new way of doing business. The NEXT IFEC solution is a business platform that has been built to respond to the trends and challenges that airlines face. It is about innovating with purpose to create a bespoke offering that is aligned with our customers’ business models, increasing their efficiency and enhancing their inflight experience.”

Nakano continues: “The value of the NEXT platform is greater than the sum of its parts. Our global connectivity network, weather services, and maintenance organization are all key examples of how our services and products have evolved into an integrated ecosystem that will exponentially increase the value the NEXT platform delivers to airlines and their passengers.”

Panasonic’s NEXT platform will be available for all widebody and narrowbody airframes, including the Boeing 777X.

In the next few years, airplane passengers will be seeing a lot of changes to the process of flying from point A to point B. On the surface, they won’t notice a lot of difference in the mechanics of flight transportation, but it is what is going on behind the scenes, especially in the IFEC world that will have changed significantly.

Passengers will still use their personal devices on the ground to obtain a ticket, they will be using their devices to check-in and board planes, and they will still be using all sorts of portable devices while inflight. While recent rules of onboard laptop usage might be restricted for security reasons (APEX News Release), globally there is too strong a need to manage and organize one’s life with the aid of a portable phone or connected personal device, including laptops. Why? With the technological advancements of the modern portable device, be it smartphone or wearable, people everywhere are demanding more data in order to stay connected and informed. Face it, installed inflight telephony; think Claircom, Inflight Phone and GTE Airfone, in the 1990’s delivered scratchy voice connectivity when compared to flying with a smartphone today. Passengers utilizing the connectivity options available to them now; whether it be voice, data, or streaming entertainment to their PED, experience a quality of service that far exceeds those provided by their connectivity predecessors. However, there is room for improvement given the ever-increasing demand for a larger pipe and more information to flow both too and from the aircraft.

Panasonic’s NEXT ‘Platform’

The next step is what this article is about. The Panasonic development of the next generation system is the focus in this week’s IFExpress. While Panasonic entertainment and communication products have evolved with the data need, the solutions moved from analog to digital because the answer for more ‘everything’ is an electronic one that includes both hardware and software. Thus, the next generation IFEC system from Panasonic is coming to the front of technology and, naturally, it is called the Panasonic NEXT Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity System.

According to Panasonic, The NEXT IFEC platform was developed specifically in response to current generation’s trends and challenges. The system powerfully combines hardware, software, and functionality to provide a tailored solution to airlines. More importantly, it’s enabled by the Panasonic ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships. More on this later.

Panasonic’s vision with the NEXT platform was to help airlines overcome key challenges by transforming typically rigid entertainment systems into a flexible IFEC platform. With NEXT, Panasonic is introducing a scalable IFEC solution that blends the latest in inflight entertainment technology, connectivity services, and consumer technologies to help airlines reach their business objectives. This approach helps airlines maximize their investment by dramatically extending the lifespan of the IFEC platform.

A key differentiator with NEXT is its ability to help airlines maximize their investment by keeping IFEC perpetually and contextually relevant. It blends the latest advances in consumer technology, including 4K screens, Light ID, Bluetooth, and much more, backed by an intuitive interface that is simple for all passengers to use.

The value of the NEXT platform is increased exponentially by Panasonic’s integrated ecosystem of value-added services, tools, applications, and partnerships. This industry-leading ecosystem includes the company’s second-generation global connectivity network. More on this in a bit

To quote Panasonic; “By taking advantage of connectivity technology, today’s leading airlines are delivering experiences onboard unimaginable just ten years ago.” But note, improved connectivity to the plane is the first step in the process and Panasonic has been working this part of the solution for a number of years now. With the launch of numerous satellites with space/data allocated for Panasonic’s aviation use, the company claims worldwide connectivity coverage. Furthermore, they currently have over 1,600 aircraft with an installed base of satcom. It is also significant to note that the future of this connectivity service is not solely for passengers, especially in Panasonic’s eyes. Notes Panasonic: “Our connectivity service is configurable based on the airlines business objectives – the experience they want to offer their passengers and their operational data requirements … we will get back to the second part of this statement later. However, it is clear that both coming solutions will change the world of passenger and operational data.

The operational side of the equation includes: safety, operational performance, and real-time updates of hardware on much of the airplane that ordinarily would only be checked on the ground or during ground testing. This is a game changer for the airlines as well and Panasonic has planned services that will reshape the management of maintenance. Both airline and passengers will benefit from this real-time analysis. Hardware data analysis and tracking/reporting of onboard system monitoring and security analysis will improve airline operations and possibly ground operations, service times, turnaround and potentially inflight operations as well. Passengers get more data, ground and airborne interaction with the airline… not to mention more movies, more and better data services, which all add up to happier passengers and more profit potential for the airline. If this is not a big to deal to airlines now, it soon will be!

 

What is Changing?

We have mentioned what the passengers and crew get from a new technology and data driven system, so now let’s specifically look at the NEXT System or ‘platform  being developed by Panasonic. First, because the system is in development for the Boeing B777X (-X8 & -X9) and because this competitive solution is probably a tight competition, we cannot talk too much about the system capabilities. You can find out more about the Boeing 777 transport aircraft here. However, this might be a good time to note the Boeing future aircraft development possibilities. The Boeing B777-X8 is touted to be an approximately 350-passenger plane, while the B777-X9 is more like a 400+ passenger plane – and we understand that both are in the 2020+ development window. Obviously if the Panasonic NEXT ‘platform’ were to be for both aircraft models, a modular and scalable approach would be perfect for hardware, software, design, manufacturing, installation and even certification.

A good example of the integration of Panasonic technologies into the NEXT System is the ZeroTouch service, which was debuted at AIX Hamburg in 2016, and will definitely be integrated into the NEXT Service offering. Here is what Panasonic says about it: “The ZeroTouch Service Vision: Panasonic’s ZeroTouch service will reduce an airline’s need to physically touch the aircraft because all interactions are managed through a virtual dashboard. By providing access to real-time passenger data, software, media and content updates can be data-driven, helping to deliver a relevant and personalized passenger experience. Updates will be sent to an aircraft via three high-speed pipes – Wi-Fi at the gate, aircraft cell modem, or even in flight using Panasonic’s global broadband eXConnect service.” They went on to say: “When combined with dynamic content updates, the ZeroTouch service will offer an improvement from an airline’s traditional 30-day media update cycle by enabling live updates to data and files stored on a Panasonic inflight entertainment and communications system. Applications such as movies, games, advertising, live news, and more will be automatically loaded at any time, over any available communications pipe to an entire fleet. Strategic planning also will be made easier through the actionable insight solution provides. Airlines are presented with both a detailed picture of their aircraft and a broader overview of their fleet. This allows more informed decisions to be made in media consumption, system health monitoring, aircraft maintenance, and much more. The service automatically downloads critical operational data during flight meaning maintenance teams are notified of upcoming tasks and are able to prepare solutions prior to landing. Today Panasonic is in Phase One of its ZeroTouch service initiative, and is already delivering payloads of up to 700 Megabytes to aircraft over cell modem and its eXConnect service multiple times per day.”

 

What Is NEXT?

It is scalable, it is modular and NEXT is for widebody, narrow body, everybody!

Again, we should emphasize that the Panasonic NEXT System is considered to be a ‘platform’ by the company,  and this point was continually stressed throughout our discussions with them. There are several  reasons for this platform approach that make sense from a product and certification point of view: 

1. Because the new plane system will comprise multiple capabilities and offerings, different airlines will require different solutions; therefore, it has to be modular, and thus the ‘platform’ solution fits the general description of the Panasonic offering. By considering NEXT a ‘platform’ Panasonic can offer solutions with modular upgrades and/or product dash numbers that might include different software and/or hardware features. Here are a few that they specifically mentioned: aircraft and system monitoring, BITE, Maintenance centers and data communication, actionable analytics, passenger data integration software and solutions, and on and on. This ‘platform’ solution will keep potential certification issues at a minimum as they will not have Model/Box Numbers, but rather the ‘platform’ will only need the added box/software/card certs. This is only IFExpress’ speculation but if certification issues can be reduced, costs will be too.

2. The future of these airline/airplane required and selected capabilities, data storage, and management functions may make a ‘platformed’ system available as a design concept for other aircraft! A perfect example will probably be the Boeing 797 (the next, bigger-than-the-B737 plane) the potential Boeing midsize aircraft that is the required airplane series to address the ‘Middle Market’ – 4500 nm to 5500 nm sweet spot and carry somewhere between 180 to 280 passengers. The significant issue is that the NEXT platform will be scalable to address all different aircraft model types – single aisle, twin aisle, and the elusive middle market aircraft of the future. This will allow airlines to scale their systems depending on route, aircraft size, and demographics, while maintaining a ‘commonality’ across their fleet and it is NEXT’s modularity that allows this to happen.

Make no mistake, the NEXT platform will incorporate an improved modem for their new view of passenger and airline connectivity needs. Here is what Panasonic says: “The combination of our new modem results in the biggest improvement in connectivity Panasonic has made since the start of our service. It provides up to 250Mbps for passenger data, a 20x improvement in speed compared to our first-generation modem. Our connectivity service is configurable based on the airline’s business objectives – the experience they want to offer their passengers and their operational data  requirements!” Once again, it is the modular and scalable nature of NEXT that facilitates this choice by the airline.

To get a better idea of their improvement planning, here is their view of their IFEC product performance development:

Generation 1 (2009 – 2015)

Experience – email, social media, web browsing, 9 channels global TV, 2G mobile service, average 250Kbps speed/Up to 1 Mbps burst speed

Enablers – Global wide beam network, BC-01 (Up to 12 Mbps)

Generation 2 (2016 – 2018)

Experience – Rich web applications + light video streaming (i.e. YouTube) + 20 regional channels of regional live television + 3G mobile service + average 5 Mbps speed + up to 15Mbps burst speed (Editor’s Note: Be sure to make note of the plus signs!)

Enablers – Wide beam network + HTS, BC-03 (Up to 250 Mbps, 800GB SSD, 200 eXW SD Media Streams), cWAP (802.11ac), Dual panel or Single Panel Antenna

Generation 3 (NEXT)

Experience – Up to 250 SD media streams (i.e. Netflix, Hulu) ++

15 channels of HD live television ++ 4G Mobile service ++ Average 10 Mbps speed ++ Up to 250 Mbps burst speed (Editor – We assume the ++ means “plus and in excess of…”)

Enablers – Wide Beam Networks + HTS = XTS, BC-03 (Up to 250 Mbps, 800GB SSD, 200 eXW SD media streams), cWAP (802.112ac), Dual Panel or Flat Panel Antenna

Perhaps this is a good time to mention the industry activity surrounding the timing of the NEXT rollout in the future B777X program and a good place to start is ARINC and the ARINC CSS (Cabin Systems Subcommittee) workings. From their website and discussions with members, we see that ARINC has a lot of IFEC members hooking up with this subcommittee and their definition states clearly why: 

Goal: Passenger entertainment equipment is subject to frequent upgrades on the airplane. The goal of this AEEC activity is to develop cost effective equipment and valuable network infrastructure for the airlines to cope with the rapid and evolving electronics/entertainment industry that will exceed passenger expectations. This includes interface standards to allow airlines to implement preferred systems for their passengers. Cabin communications, connectivity, wireless distribution, cabin interface protocols, and connector standardization are all intricate components of this activity.

Scope: The scope of this project is to develop next generation standard cabin interfaces that will provide airlines with freedom of choice in the installation and expansion of cabin equipment. IFE, communications, interface protocols, seat integration issues, and connectors and cables standardization are also a part of this activity.

Benefit: Cabin systems provide entertainment and service improvements to the passenger. To keep up with passenger’s desire for better accommodations, systems are becoming more sophisticated and complex. Home entertainment and office type computing systems and peripherals are finding applications in the cabin to facilitate data handling and data link to the ground. The growing complexities and scope of cabin equipment has resulted in the expansion of ARINC 628. New series of specifications are added as new concepts and next generation systems and networks are developed. The benefits of the cabin standards are numerous. They provide the airlines freedom of choice, unit price reduction through increased volume, interchangeable spares, more upgradeable options, and creation of more sub- markets for integrators and software/hardware suppliers. These benefits are being realized on the new aircraft programs, possibly regional and business jets, and retrofit aircraft programs. The final message here is to keep your eye on this organization and its findings and reports as the next generation of IFEC is going to be outlined by this group!

Additionally, and because of the newer tremendous connectivity capability coming down the pike, IFExpress should mention cybersecurity and while Panasonic did not specifically mention the subject to any extent during our conversation, we know their engineers are very aware of the issues involved with improving passenger and plane connectivity.  We expect a big focus on keeping airplane data safe – both now and in the future. Some recent internet stories featured airplane hacking but Panasonic security people denied the reported ‘hacks’ and said: “The responsibility for security does not solely rest with an (in-flight entertainment) manufacturer, an aircraft manufacturer, or the fleet operator,” noted a company representative. “Each plays an important role in assuring a secure environment.” Further they called the news reports ‘misleading’ and ‘inflammatory’ and noted; “That one could use the exploit to steal credit card information is simply not true.” Further, Panasonic says it continually tests the robustness of its systems, and that it complies with or exceeds all regulatory requirements, which include regular third-party tests. After visiting their manufacturing and test labs, we believe they work to keep their systems hack free and we expect the new systems to move to the next level up the security chain.

While a few Boeing airplanes were mentioned, Airbus is the other solution that will no doubt seize the opportunity to take advantage of better passenger connectivity and improved inflight plane data but at this time we feel they are interpreting their market properly with the planes they have. Wait one year or two and this will probably change. For example, the Airbus A350 is a logical future prospect for ‘backbone improved’ data channeling and airline profit improvement based upon more and better connectivity and improved plane information updates.

And lastly, we should mention that other vendors are not asleep to this technology revolution and we feel based on interviews that they too see the value in building modular systems. Needless to say, we expect to see some of their developments at this week’s AIX. Readers might want to pay attention as the race for better, faster IFEC is going to eclipse everything currently in this industry in the next few years and note that the competition has moved into a new phase where both airlines and passengers will be the winner. Much of this will be achieved by the OEMs and IFEC companies working together to focus on the ever-developing ground-based technologies that have so far surpassed what traditional IFEC has been able to offer to airlines and passengers due to the lengthy certification process. With an ever-increasing installation base of satcom equipped aircraft and passengers bringing onboard data rich and powerful PEDs, such as the smartphone, a new window of opportunity has opened to our industry with the ability to be able to interact with those devices. We may finally see the ever-elusive connected travel experience become a reality. Stay Tuned!

 

FliteStream Tail Mount Connectivity System First to Provide Both Live Television and High-speed Internet on Business Jets from a Single Antenna

New Orleans, LA | March 13, 2017–
Satcom Direct (SD) today announced its agreement with Astronics AeroSat to sell the FliteStream T-Series tail mount connectivity system through SD’s global dealer network. The first of its kind in the business aviation market, the FlightStream T-Series solution employs the Panasonic Avionics global communications network to enable business jet passengers to watch live television and use the internet simultaneously through a single antenna.

“At SD, we have a holistic approach to the connected aircraft through innovation and targeted investment,” said Jim Jensen, Satcom Direct chairman. “Our industry-leading products and services address the increasingly complex needs of flight departments, aircraft owners and operators to keep the aircraft and passengers synched with ground operations and business commitments over secure networks. This agreement with Astronics AeroSat will help us advance our vision of delivering the most innovative and effective solutions to the business aviation marketplace.”

“Astronics AeroSat’s best-in-class hardware, partnered with our SD dealer network, allows for a rapid market deployment on a global scale,” says Chris Moore, chief commercial officer at SD. “By incorporating the Astronics AeroSat solution with our existing robust suite of products and services, we are creating a one-stop shop for hardware and value-added services. SD is in the unique position of offering genuinely complete solutions for the whole business jet ecosystem.”

“Early recognition of the pent-up demand for comprehensive inflight connectivity was the impetus behind our FliteStream T-Series tail mount solution,” notes Matt Harrah, Astronics AeroSat President. “Our collaboration with Satcom Direct expands our channel for providing FliteStream solutions to the global business aviation market. We’re pleased to enter into agreement with SD, a global leader in delivering smart connectivity solutions for business jets.”