SES Networks and Gogo collaborate to ensure that HTS connectivity is seamlessly deployed to more than 200 Gogo Aircraft within the first operational month of SES-15

Luxembourg | February 14, 2018– Gogo, the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it has more than 200 aircraft equipped with its 2Ku inflight connectivity technology which are now utilizing the increased capacity delivered by SES-15. These aircraft came online in SES-15’s first operational month and are the first to benefit from the new high throughput satellite (HTS) capacity.

SES-15 entered service in January 2018 and is SES’s first hybrid satellite providing Ku-band wide beams and Ku-band spot-beam capacity over North America, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Due to SES-15’s high-powered HTS beams, all Gogo aircraft outfitted with its next generation modem will experience an even better customer experience with improved economics. All new 2Ku installations enter service with the upgraded modem, and all 2Ku equipped aircraft are expected to have the new modem by the end of this year.

“Gogo’s 2Ku technology is delivering industry leading performance today, but we designed the technology with an open architecture so it could take advantage of numerous enhancements over time,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “As we layer in more HTS capacity from satellites like SES-15, 2Ku’s performance will get even stronger without having to touch the aircraft.”

“Deploying HTS connectivity requires a coordinated and collaborative approach because of the spot beam design,” said Elias Zaccack, Executive Vice President Global Sales at SES Networks. “We are proud of our strong working relationship with the entire Gogo team.”

Gogo has signed capacity agreements across 11 SES satellites around the world, including agreements for HTS capacity onboard SES-15 and SES-14, which successfully launched in January 2018 and will provide additional HTS capacity over Latin America, the Caribbean, and across the North Atlantic.

AVANCE L3 Has Small, Lightweight Form Factor and Affordable Pricing Options

Broomfield, CO | February 7, 2018– Gogo Business Aviation’s innovative new inflight connectivity system – Gogo AVANCETM L3 – has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) and Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) from the FAA.

The latest connectivity solution from Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) lets users customize their inflight experience based on their unique needs and can be installed on business aircraft of all types, sizes and ages, but is an ideal solution for smaller aircraft including turboprops and light jets. Gogo is actively fulfilling orders that have already been booked and installations are underway via Gogo’s dealer network.

AVANCE L3 delivers the benefits of the Gogo AVANCE platform to passengers and flight departments in a small, lightweight form factor, with the most affordable pricing options in business aviation. The AVANCE platform integrates a full range of Smart Cabin features, allowing passengers to simply and reliably access and use all available data, voice, maps, entertainment and cabin management system (CMS) services.

By leveraging the AVANCE platform, the L3 delivers an unparalleled level of flexibility so users can adjust their system’s capabilities up or down without anyone needing to board the aircraft. Once installed, if a customer’s needs change and they want more or fewer capabilities, Gogo can make the adjustments to the system remotely.

“AVANCE L3 delivers the ultimate in flexibility,” said Mike Syverson, senior vice president of development for Gogo Business Aviation. “The AVANCE software-centric platform gives us capabilities that are transformative to business aviation. Users are no longer constrained by the hardware itself and there’s no need for downtime in a hangar if business needs evolve and require different service levels.”

The new system provides a level of flexibility not seen before in business aviation that allows operators to tailor their passengers’ experience and control and manage the number of devices they allow to connect.

Using AVANCE L3, anyone onboard the aircraft can stay connected to email; send text messages and make voice calls with Gogo Text & Talk (service plan required); access their favorite flight apps such as moving maps, weather and flight information; or watch movies and TV shows using Gogo Vision (service plan required). For customers looking for full internet connectivity, AVANCE L3 can be enabled to connect to the Gogo Biz data network delivering a 3G experience. It’s the ultimate in scalability and flexibility.

Three service offerings are available:

Gogo’s dealers and OEM partners are actively pursuing multiple STCs that will certify the Gogo AVANCE L3 system for installation across a variety of business aircraft models. Most other business aircraft models will also be available for Gogo AVANCE L3 system installation utilizing existing STCs.

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

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

European Aviation Network satellite launched, tested and ready for service

Fast broadband access in the sky for passengers and airlines

British Airways, part of IAG Group, first commercial customer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, this year we will skip the predictions (a subject we have addressed in the past) because there is so much changing, it is hard to keep up. If you need some future predictions, here is a YouTube video that is extensive for future changes around us  and while aviation is not mentioned much (manufacturing only), the security issues confounding your daily work and home life will undoubtedly affect aviation – more on that subject later in this issue. Either way, it will be wise to “keep on your toes”… and yes, that is what triggered the above graphic.

Next, since IFExpress is very involved with the interior of your favorite airplane, we were somewhat amazed by a British Airways announcement that would install non-reclining seats on their A320’s and A321’s.  When we dug into the application, we wondered just how long a flight could be made with this “challenging” seat design on these so called “short haul” aircraft. Here are our findings: the A320neo can travel up to 3,500 nautical miles and the A321neo 3,697 nautical miles. In the US, traveling from JFK to LAX would be about 2,700 flight miles, fully within the capability of these planes. This translates to roughly 5 hours 21 minutes of flight time, given head/tail winds. That’s a long time in the air without a reclining seat. However, there is a trend with experienced, frequent flyers where they opt not to recline their seats out of consideration for their fellow passengers over their own personal comfort on “short haul” flights; thus, negating the concern for fixed seatback units for some passengers. If passengers accept fixed seatbacks, this trend could easily carry over to other airlines. Stay tuned on this one.

Enough of this chatter, lets get on with the news:


AIX – Crystal Cabin

It is one of the most coveted awards in the international aviation industry. Year after year, suppliers, major aircraft manufacturers, universities, news publishers, and airlines alike join the fray in the hope of holding aloft one of the snow-white Crystal Cabin Award trophies. In 2018, the most prestigious prize for aircraft cabins and passenger comfort will be presented for the 12th time, with a record number of entries for the fifth year in a row. 91 innovative concepts from 18 countries have made it onto the shortlist this time round. The spectrum ranges from individual lightweight components to a long-haul VIP aircraft with on-board cinema, from a practical economy-class module to a first-class suite. In the industry, a victory in the Crystal Cabin Award is the equivalent of a knighthood, and the global media resonance is significant too. The decisions of the 28 expert jury members on this year’s pioneering aviation concepts will be finalized on 10 April, 2018, during the industry’s leading trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (10 — 12 April, 2018).

The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “IFEC”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”.


AAR

AAR (Wood Dale, Illinois), a leading integrator of aviation supply chain solutions, announced it will provide in-flight connectivity logistics, repair and aftermarket management services to Viasat, a global communications company. Through this partnership, AAR’s OEM Aftermarket Solutions group will manage the aftermarket inventory pool of Viasat components including modems, antennas, radomes, wireless access points (WAPs) and power supply units (PSUs). These components will be deployed on a forward-exchange basis to support Viasat’s current and future airline customers.

“AAR’s scalable solution allows Viasat to leverage our aviation aftermarket expertise through our comprehensive logistics and repair processes,” said Carl Glover, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Parts Supply, Americas, AAR. “This global program supports Viasat’s current and future airline customers to ensure maximum system component availability.”

AAR began in 1951 as a vision and a venture, a small entrepreneurial enterprise providing equipment for the newly emerging commercial aviation industry. Today, AAR is a global provider of aviation services to commercial and government customers worldwide. The company was incorporated in 1955 as Allen Aircraft Radio in 1955 and changed its name in 1969 to AAR Corp. The Midwest US company was voted the Top Airframe MRO Provider Worldwide by the industry in 2016.


SECURITY- RazorSecure

As you might know, the main vulnerabilities of WPA2 are set to be nullified by an incoming Wi-Fi standard called, understandably, WPA3. See link.

Further, and discovered last year, an exploit known as KRACK permits attackers to view users data traffic, passwords, email and so on. With higher encryption (192 – bit security) data safeguards will be increased.

Last week IFExpress noted a security question to a number of industry security tekkies on this subject and this week, we feature a response from Lewis Oaten, Chief Technology Officer at RazorSecure of Great Britian who is in the IFEC security business. If you remember, we asked about the new WPA3 Wi-Fi security standard and it’s application to IFE and he wrote IFExpress: “In contrast to the KRACK announcement, this is of far more interest. I remember Samual Miller, Thales’ Product Security Officer, pointing out: “passengers are not vulnerable [to KRACK] when connecting to onboard Wi-Fi because those networks typically do not use WPA2” (see link). But, we have to remember that KRACK is a way of defeating the encryption on a wireless network and if the network is open, then there is no encryption to defeat in the first place. Any connected user can steal passengers’ data if those passengers are not using HTTPS or a personal VPN.

This is where WPA3 will have the most positive impact as it introduces a method for encrypting network traffic on open networks, such as those used for passengers in aviation. This is becoming especially important with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May this year. An operator of IFE where users to send Personally Identifiable Information across an open, unencrypted and insecure WiFi network, may not be putting in place appropriate controls to protect such information. Of course, any mitigation must be considered in light of the cost and state of the art, but once WPA3 is released it will become an essential control measure to mitigate this elephant-in-the-room type security risk.

More broadly, WPA3 introduces 4 new security measures:

  1. Improving the security against dictionary attacks – which is    especially problematic when users choose simple passwords.
  2. Authenticating devices which do not have a graphical interface.
  3. 192-bit security suite, designed to better secure industrial, government and defense networks.
  4. Introduction of individualized data encryption which means that connections are encrypted, even if the user does not need to type in a password, such as those on open networks.

On the subject of compatibility, this will become clearer once more technical details are forthcoming during 2018. There may be additional load on hardware, but assuming the manufacturer has left some headroom and can firmware update the device then it may well be possible to upgrade older hardware. Kind regards, Lewis.”

Editor’s Note: Boeing, interestingly, has patented some cyberattack simulation technology for pilot training.Two British experts back in 2012 discovered “backdoors” in B787 computer chips and now with Spectre and Meltdown intrusion into Intel, AMD, and other chips, this might be a big deal for aviation. Here is more on the Spectre and Meltdown: The impromptu Slack war room where ‘Net companies unite to fight Spectre-Meltdown | Ars Technica We should point out that there has been little information about aviation hacking, but it is coming …


LUFTHANSA

Lufthansa InTouch, responsible for managing customer service across the Lufthansa Group, has again selected SITA to manage its service center communication network and key infrastructure elements, ensuring that more than 11-million customers are connected to service agents every year.

The service provided by SITA has transformed how customer calls to Lufthansa Group airlines are handled. A close integration between SITA’s global voice network and Lufthansa InTouch’s Genesys contact center platform, ensures a caller – regardless of their location – is automatically and directly routed to a consultant best equipped to meet their specific requirements. These calls are allocated according to the routing policies defined by Lufthansa InTouch on their Genesys platform. SITA’s Unified Communications portfolio has allowed Lufthansa InTouch to consolidate voice, data and audio into one platform while effectively connecting the airline to its far-flung destinations.


BOEING & AIRBUS

BOEING delivered 763 aircraft (455 737NGs; 74 737 MAXs; 14 747s; 10 767s; 74 777s; 136 787s) in 2017 vs 748 (490 737NGs; 9 747s; 13 767s; 99 777s; 137 787s) in 2016. It booked 1,053 (912 net) orders vs 848 (668). The company has backlog of 5,864 aircraft.  Boeing Co. landed 912 jetliner orders last year worth some $134.8 billion, as surging sales of its highly profitable B737’s and B787’s that changed sales reporting direction … which ultimately resulted in a share price of $336.13 (today)! Also we should note that the B787-10 (third B787 variant with 171 currently on order) has secured FAA certification. Watch for delivery to Singapore Airlines in the near future – it is an 18 ft stretch from the B787-9.

AIRBUS delivered 718 aircraft (377 A320ceos; 181 A320neos; 67 A330s; 78 A350s; 15 A380s) in 2017 vs 688 (477 A320ceos; 68 A320neos; 66 A330s; 49 A350s; 28 A380s) in 2016. It booked 1,229 (1,109 net) orders vs 949 (731) with a current backlog of 7,265 aircraft. They noted that total deliveries reached 718 – four percent higher than the previous record and there were 1,109 total net orders from 44 customers; book-to-bill ratio of 1.5. Interestingly, the company said  it is on track to deliver 60 A320s per month by mid-2019 and 10 A350s per month by end of 2018. Lastly, Emirates signed an agreement for up to 36 additional A380’s with a commitment to grow its flagship A380 fleet.

Time spent on a plane is no more synonymous of boredom.

Passengers onboard easyJet,Iberia Express, Volotea and XL Airways can now better enjoy the moment

of flying by reading about what to do and where to go to their final destination. Immfly’s onboard digital services platform provides downloadable travel guides, from hundred cities covered by the airline’s routes, available in several languages and formats.

Barcelona, Spain | January 23, 2018– Immfly’s onboard digital services platform is 100% dedicated to guaranteeing the passenger can get the most of its experience while flying. The onboard travel guides are a useful feature to anticipate plans and close decisions before landing. At the same time, it is a powerful place for cities increase its visibility and to raise awareness of the endless activities available to be there discovered and explored.

Destination Overview
City Lifestyle

Immfly gives the passengers the opportunity to get to know the city before touching the ground. The history and background of the city, the lifestyle of its citizens, the local culture and customs, the typical and traditional gastronomy of the region, the must-see and visited places, the unmissable secret spot overlooking the heart of the city or the sunset near the ocean, all of these information is now available for consult. The destination guide’s access is not restricted to the onboard experience. Instead of that, Immfly’ guides accompany and travel along the entire passenger’s trip, from the flight and while on the ground, by being downloaded in pdf files and stored in passengers own smart devices.

Tips
Nightlife, food & drinks and much more

Travel means discover the unknown and experience new and unforgettable places. Immfly’s travel guides suggest million of possible activities for any type of trip and traveller’s profile.
Tips for the ones who love to go out and have fun in a bustling city, the most famous places to eat and drink, the historical museums, the ideal place to go shopping, a walking tour by the city, are just some examples of what these travel guides are capable of.

Weather on destination

As part of planning, knowing the weather conditions on the final destination could be very useful. Immfly provides information on local weather conditions and forecasts which helps to
better organize the plans according to it.

Shopping online

Immfly’s digital services offer the best activities and transfer services in all destinations managed and in contact with different partners. Besides being informed, passengers can actually buy activities such as museums entrances, a touristic bus trip, a football game, while flying. Additionally to that, Iberia Express has developed a microsite where passengers can even purchase before and after the moment of flying, by simply accessing the Iberia Express activities website. The time spent on a plane, seated, is no more synonymous with wasting time. Now it is possible to plan in advance and avoid lines in the most searched places.

  • Expects 2018 revenue of $745 million to $815 million
  • Expects to record non-cash impairment charge of approximately $16 million in fourth quarter of 2017

East Aurora, NY | January 11, 2018– Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today updated expectations for 2017 year-end results and revenue guidance for 2018.

Astronics announced that bookings for the 2017 fourth quarter were approximately $229 million. The Company’s Aerospace segment contributed $171 million in orders, which included $17 million in orders related to the December 1, 2017 acquisition of Telefonix PDT. The Test segment had $58 million in bookings, which included $56 million for semiconductor test equipment.

The Company updated its 2018 consolidated revenue guidance to $745 million to $815 million. The Aerospace segment is expected to have a revenue range of $630 million to $680 million including Telefonix PDT. The Test segment is expected to have revenue of $115 million to $135 million.

The Company also announced that it expects to record a non-cash goodwill impairment charge against the goodwill associated with Armstrong Aerospace of approximately $16 million in the 2017 fourth quarter.

Peter J. Gundermann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Astronics Corporation, commented, “We are disappointed with the goodwill situation at Armstrong, but we believe the combination of that business with Telefonix will perform well in the future. At the same time, we believe we have very strong momentum as we enter 2018. Our strong bookings in the second half of 2017 sets the stage for a very exciting year.”

The Company expects to release its fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial results in late February 2018.

This week in IFExpress, we have two interesting stories, one on Guestlogix and their view of onboard sales/selling, and the other on one of the two hideous computer hardware vulnerabilities, Spectre and Meltdown. Lets get started with the IFEC focused one.

GUESTLOGIX

For starters, we should start by telling our readers that a few years back, we wrote an article on Guestlogix’s approach to onboard retailing and the use of special technology in the cabin. Quite a bit has changed at the company since then, and a recent note from one of their strategy folks caught our eye: “Guestlogix has undergone quite a few changes – new management team, new product roadmap, new vision for the airline industry.” Whoa, that’s a lot of “new”! We thought we had better take a look into the changes and Guestlogix’s new approach to selling merchandise onboard a commercial aircraft.

First, to set the stage, we should mention that Guestlogix is a global company that develops (and provides) airline commerce technology and solutions that help carriers generate ancillary revenue.

Recently, Guestlogix published a report that makes the connection between passenger experience and the psychological phenomenon of “learned helplessness.” What is learned helplessness? It’s a behavior pattern where passengers experience a lack of control from check-in to landing. This feeling leads to frustration (with the airline) and general apathy toward air travel. And this experience makes passengers less inclined to spend and more inclined to view air travel negatively.

For airlines, the first step to satisfying passengers and increasing revenue is to make them feel in control by empowering them to use their mobile devices at every touchpoint. The question is how will empowered passengers improve the airline’s bottom line?

Ever since the airline industry was deregulated, airlines have been “unbundling” fares and charging for ancillary services, which has helped drive down the cost of air travel. Passengers want low fares, but they don’t like the resultant trade-off where they are forced to sacrifice quality of service in exchange for low fares. They have accepted the trade-off – begrudgingly – but the result has been a long deterioration of passenger experience as passengers come to see air travel as an experience to be endured rather than enjoyed.

After decades of learned helplessness, passengers have reached their breaking point and are demanding change from airlines – and they are taking to social media to voice their frustration. Consequently, airlines have been forced to make changes. Guestlogix notes in its report that 20% of consumers are more likely to switch brands after just one negative experience, and 25% are more likely to complain about the company. The opposite is also true – just one memorable customer experience leads to a significant increase in purchases and recommendations. With airlines depending more than ever on ancillary revenue (which has increased some three-fold over the last few years), the problem of “learned helplessness” has to be solved if airlines hope to reduce the financial impact of negative passenger experience, and maximize ancillary revenue opportunities.

The important message here is that Guestlogix has identified and solved the connection between negative passenger experience and airline revenue, and have developed a technology platform that solves both problems at the same time, which will help the airline industry finally realize the unfulfilled promise of deregulation for better air travel. The report is available and free to download here at the Guestlogix website.

We spoke with Guestlogix about their new airline commerce platform, but before we go into more detail, here is a brief summary of the solution: “The new airline commerce platform from Guestlogix is built on the rails of the best on-the-ground e-commerce technologies which include passenger analytics and product mix optimization, data-driven sales and marketing tools and comprehensive payment functionality. Guestlogix delivers more opportunities for onboard ancillary revenues than any other alternative, while improving today’s typical passenger experience. For passengers, that means having control, comfort and choice.”

Here are some more detail: “The data-driven platform connects selling with passenger psychology – making customers feel like the airline knows them and can anticipate their needs and desires. Airlines that can execute on a personalized, ‘consumerized’ and mobile passenger experience will have tremendous advantage over competitors who can’t – or won’t – deviate from entrenched, legacy approaches.”

Furthermore: “The airline commerce platform is built around the combined power of a flight attendant POS and a consumer-facing passenger app. The passenger mobile app serves as a personal concierge allowing the user to browse the onboard catalog, make completely friction-less payments with multiple methods and currencies and take control of their comfort with personalized, relevant merchandise. Flight attendants can access the platform through the POS app on the airline’s device of choice, open and close ordering with a single touch, quickly review passenger orders (including pre-orders) and monitor inventory.”

So, we see that Guestlogix has developed a software solution (actually an entire full-suite platform) to improve passenger experience and onboard selling. You can get more detail (and pictures of the solution) at their website: www.guestlogix.com. For now, let’s dig a little deeper without getting too technical. The Guestlogix platform has three main components: Management Console, Flight Attendant POS, Passenger Experience App.

Management Console

The management console makes it easy for flight crews and sales and marketing teams to monitor sales performance across flights and run personalized, data-driven campaigns based on predictive analytics – giving them deep business intelligence on what individual passengers want or may need. From the management console, airlines can add any kind of ancillary merchandise, both physical goods (such as food and beverage) as well as non-physical merchandise (upgrades, media, destination activities). The management console also streamlines inventory management and uses data analytics to help airlines stock inventory more intelligently and reduce waste. The strength of the management console is its ability to synthesize multiple data streams and provide actionable business intelligence for improving onboard selling and significantly increasing revenue, while providing passengers with the quality of personalized retail they have come to expect from brands such as Starbucks and Uber. “Insights” is the tool group within the management console that enables airlines to manage their operations and build campaigns all in one platform, including reports, snapshots, performance, and forecasting (for example, to compare high-performing and low-performing routes). Above all, the software is easy to use and intuitive, making data analytics quick and easy.

Flight Attendant POS

The flight attendant POS is key to connecting operations and revenue management at the passenger (purchases) level, including the ability to make payments in multiple forms and currencies (including cash + loyalty points, cross-border payments), and the ability to up-sell and cross-sell with personalized, data-driven campaigns targeted to each individual passenger. The platform works on Apple or Android devices. With the flight attendant app, crews can open and close orders easily, keep track of sales, process payments and much more. The flight attendant app is tightly integrated with the passenger app for easy communication and order fulfillment that makes onboard selling easier and faster.

Passenger Experience App

The passenger experience app serves as a “digital concierge” that makes it easy for passengers to browse inventory, place orders and make payments. By creating a seamless, friction-less and personalized retail experience, the airline not only ensures higher revenue but increases satisfaction and builds loyalty. Airlines can add any kind of inventory to the catalog (not just food and beverage) and passengers can make purchases before, during or after the flight (seat upgrades, “jump the line” privileges, destination activities). Order tracking makes it easy for passengers and flight attendants to view, edit or cancel an order. The passenger app can also store a customer’s preferred payment method as well as mileage/loyalty points, making it easy for airlines to integrate loyalty programs with ancillary merchandising. Overall, the passenger app creates a personalized passenger experience where the passenger is in control and can take direct action when they feel frustrated, stressed or just feel like spending.

Currently, onboard sales and service are still largely dependent on legacy POS devices that were built to process orders and payments, but largely disconnected from any passenger systems. This is backward and inconvenient for both passengers and flight attendants increasingly accustomed to doing everything – from hailing an Uber to ordering pizza – on a mobile app or voice-controlled device. Guestlogix’s platform was built to make service faster and easier for flight attendants, improve passenger experience (and break the cycle of learned helplessness), and use powerful data analytics for more personalized, targeted selling and significantly higher revenue.

Check out the Guestlogix website and see how they have solved the “big picture” problem of improving passenger experience while increasing revenue at the same time. Good Stuff!


* Editor’s Note: The BUZZ backgrounder!

If you don’t know Max Lingua (G.U.E. Tech – CEO), well, you should. Why? Because, as a gaming genius, he always has something to say about virtually everything. We asked for a short BUZZ, and what he said (Play. Life is a game) is short and to the point – but what he sent was the BUZZ and More – a description and meaning of the short phrase. We thought you might like to read it!

“Most players are currently indulging in casual and RPG on the ground, with a ratio movie-watcher to game players of 2:1 in the sky, when we compare top-watched with top-played. We have scenarios where the top-played game is getting as many eyes as a blockbuster that has been flying for few weeks. Games generally age better, you can keep playing them, but you hardly watch the same movie twice (unless you have a very short memory span…) when you catch the next flight. When IFE is done right, travel is a continuation of your ludic [ you can see I studied Latin 🙂 ] experience, a homey comfort above the clouds. We all do. Play, I mean. We wear a suit or shorts. On our own or in a group. For fun or serious business. We adjust our role as we go. We win and we lose. A promotion, a lost love, a new car. What we play on a computer screen is just one of the many games and roles we play every day, an escape or a reflection. No wonder casual games (an evasion) and role-play games (an identity) are so popular. That’s all we do. Play. Life is a game of games.”

 

Welcome back to IFEC in 2018, and thank you for following us throughout 2017. Having said that, this coming New Year ought to be one of the most interesting years for our technology, and almost everything else for that matter. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we wanted to pass along a short 2018 New Year message from Joe Leader, CEO of APEX and IFSA: “As we launch into 2018, APEX celebrates its 40th year of serving the passenger experience industry with every major airline in the world. The year ahead will see ancillary revenue tying into more facets of new products. In addition, we expect that this is the year that in-flight Wi-Fi surpasses 50% of available seat miles worldwide. It’s going to be an incredible year with major advancements.” We have a feeling he is right on track for this industry and he said it – the IFEC future will be a big deal in 2018, and we certainly agree – with inflight Wi-Fi becoming the passenger necessity. Furthermore, we agree with Mr. Leader’s comment that over 50% of available seat miles will have access to inflight Wi-Fi this new year, with the result being  new innovations that will generate both passenger and flight revenue. Thanks Joe!

Next, we thought it be interesting to delve into some specifics for 2018, as we do almost every year with some reported IFExpress efforts from last January 2017. One prediction that stood out was from an “un-named” provider who said: “The exponential growth of cabin Wi-Fi usage within the confines of the same aircraft will lead to more congestion in the cabin – passenger data to-and-from aircraft will more than quadruple in 2017.” Along the same lines last year, Joe Leader of APEX sent similar predictions: “Connectivity announcements and deployment will hit a new high for the industry and In-flight entertainment continues its expansion with more global IFE system installations and upgrades.” We knew that something like this was coming as well, but what’s new (or what’s news) is the speed at which this is happening. Perhaps, data quadrupling 2017 from 2016 may be a push; however, lets look at what the folks at Inmarsat say today: “Inflight broadband is changing the airline industry and revolutionizing passengers’ expectations of the onboard experience. That is the conclusion from the third annual global Inflight Connectivity Survey, published today by Inmarsat …Overwhelmingly, passengers now expect the same levels of connectivity and access to online services whilst they are at 30,000 feet as they receive on the ground. As such, 60% of all passengers say that inflight Wi-Fi is now a necessity rather than a luxury. The majority (61%) of global passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline.” The report went on: Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air. Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.””

Last year in IFExpress we wrote about the value of messages and that connectivity was the solution for doing so – what we said then is even more relevant today: “While 2016 may have a few techno-changes from 2015 and summary numbers differ, we are riding the same messaging train! Since technology and media have grown so much (at least in the US) folks are spending more time on it than sleep or work (Business Insider), there appears to be plenty of opportunity time for messaging (Facebook, Twitter, and the like) but messaging will be even bigger. If you don’t believe it, just watch the ‘head down time’ at a public function where time is spent on devices – it’s less invasive and non-interruptive. Why is this a boom time for messaging, you might ask? The answer must lie in new, portable communication technology for one. If, as some writers predict, we spend over half of our waking day with media and technology, and because the devices and connectivity mediums are there, plain and simple, we will text. From a broader perspective, time on major digital activities will increase, and has done so for each year, for the last 5 years.” Needless to say, we do not expect the demand to diminish as far as passengers expectations for messaging real-time inflight, in fact, we anticipate the demand to grow exponentially.

Another couple areas of predictive interest last January were Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. We noted in our IFExpress predictions: “Maintenance of aircraft will see more outsourcing, new technology products like AI and voice technology used in maintenance products, and more consolidation in the MRO world (Maintenance Repair Overhaul).” A recent IATA meeting in November 2017 featured speakers on both subjects – Finnair’s Rogier van Enk talked about using “Artificial Intelligence to assist customer service agents in managing the increasing volume of interactions with customers over social media channels,” while SITA’s Wayne Matrose shared knowledge of predicting disruptions with the use of “Neural Networks, to try and better predict the likelihood of a disruption to an airline’s scheduled movements. What data was used and how it was sourced? The importance of data quality and cleansing to make it both usable and useful. What can be predicted and what are the current limitations found with this technology (e.g. Black Swan events) – Ultimately, what changes are required to maximize the operational value of accurate predictions”

Another area we covered was seating and while we were on target for smaller seating, there was on area we missed. Here is what we said in early 2017: “Narrower aircraft seats are coming in 2017, especially in newer low class offerings where only certain sized carry-on baggage will be permitted – smaller and surely less comfortable as well. We already know United Airlines has a new low cost Basic Economy package that will be copied by others. The rub will be what limitations will be placed on passengers who do not have the airline reward travel card! Hey, many folks can travel short flights and put up with almost anything. It is all a function of what they have to take with them. And yes, cheaper seats will be located in the back of the plane.”

What we missed for 2017 was the new “beyond” Basic Economy package rolled out this past year with these extreme lack of features : even lower cost seats, seat selection and upgrades are not available, group and family seating is not available, full-sized carry-on bags are not permitted, one personal item is allowed, flight changes and refunds are not allowed, certain MileagePlus and Premier member benefits are not available, and they are the last boarding group. However, United notes: Basic Economy fares provide most of the same inflight services and amenities that are available with standard Economy — such as food and beverages, United Wi-FiSM and inflight entertainment.

One area where IFExpress fell short in our forecast for 2017 was company employees. We predicted the following for 2017: We fear aviation manufacturing layoffs”…While employee data is a little shaky because of the multitude of companies within a large corporation; we predicted a decline in employees from 2016 to 2017. When we looked in 2016, Boeing had 150K+ workers – today, it is around 174K. Airbus is also up.

We should also note that there are a lot of industry changes (not aviation) that will affect IFEC in the coming year. Video on Demand/LiveTV will surely eventually affect inflight entertainment and connectivity. Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain may as well. In 2018 blockchain will move beyond standard banking applications to money transfer, insurance, digital identification and even insurance, it will be on the aviation near horizon. Similarly, edge computing (near the source of data to reduce transmitted data) could be at the heart of aviation control, monitoring and data communication. With the airplane a trove of unanalyzed data and passengers desire to send and receive more data, connectivity, IFE, and TV, data will be the new connection from the air to the ground and vise-versa – not to mention smart bag issues, power-at-a-distance charging systems; as well as, increased satellite payloads ($11B – 2017 to $18B – 2022) and service providers.

Anyway, another year has passed and IFExpress is now in its 26th year and we still love the craziness of this entertainment and connectivity based aircraft show, albeit, it is getting harder to stay current with all the ups (and downs) of technology, connectivity, seat shrinkage, increased baggage payments, super long haul travel, passenger biometrics, security, and political impacts on the rights and preferences of travelers. There are even bigger changes coming: Net Neutrality and it’s effect on aviation and connectivity neutrality, higher prices coming, airport and possible airplane biometrics, Wi-Fi vs embedded IFE, prospective “splitter” customers, younger airline customers, and even Amazon in the business! However, because each year we are surprised, entertained and enlightened by the creativity and brilliance of many of the industry engineers, marketeers and developers, we again will close with the words of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Enjoy the MAGIC!

Editor’s Note: Just in case you feel like quitting this year, watch this — and NEVER GIVE UP!

SITA’s BagJourney will provide accurate real-time information on each and every bag

Moscow, Russia | December 21, 2017– Aeroflot has become the first airline in Russia to provide real-time location information for all the baggage it handles, choosing  SITA, the global IT provider, to deliver an end-to-end baggage tracking solution using its BagJourney system.

BagJourney allows Aeroflot to accurately track passengers’ bags at key points along their journey, including at check-in, loading onto the aircraft, transfer and arrival at the destination airport. BagJourney provides a precise picture of a bag’s location. It uses baggage data from 400-plus airports and 500 airlines that passes through SITA’s global, fully-managed baggage message and distribution service, BagMessage.  This makes it possible for the airline to keep passengers informed about the status of their baggage or to quickly trace a bag if it does go missing. Aeroflot’s employees will also be able to provide customers with complete information on their baggage.

Kirill Bogdanov, Deputy CEO for IT at Aeroflot, said: “Baggage tracking is just the latest example of how Aeroflot is focusing on technology innovations that improve the customer experience. We recognize that baggage is such an important area for passengers, and through this solution we will be able to provide them with more certainty on where their bags are at every step of the journey.”

Dmitry Krasnov, SITA VP Russia and CIS, said: “Aeroflot has a great track record of embracing technology to enhance the passenger experience. With SITA’s BagJourney, the airline can permanently track bags, reducing the likelihood of a bag being mishandled in the first place. This will have a tremendously positive impact for passengers while making the airline’s baggage operation far more efficient and significantly reducing the number of mishandled bags.”

According to SITA’s 2017 Baggage Report, the rate of mishandled bags in 2016 was at a record-low of 5.73 bags per thousand passengers, down from a peak of 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007. This improvement has been directly attributed to the use of technology to more efficiently and accurately manage baggage. The rate is set to improve even further thanks to the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Resolution 753’s requirement for comprehensive baggage tracking which comes into effect in June 2018.

SITA’s BagJourney can become the core platform of a ready-to-go solution for airlines looking for a cost-effective way of providing the tracking data to their passengers or fulfilling IATA Resolution 753.

Vision-Box has just implemented a paperless biometric self-boarding
solution to expedite passenger flow and improve traveler experience


Princeton, NJ | December 20, 2017–
Los Angeles Airport is trialing an advanced biometric self-boarding solution by Vision-Box to clear travelers flying out of the USA in a contactless, quick and secure way.
The new passenger flow solution allows travelers to board their aircraft in just a few seconds simply by looking into a high-resolution face capture system at the traveler- friendly flow-control gateway. No need to present their travel document or boarding pass anymore. The system deployed by Vision-Box captures a live, high quality image of the traveler’s unique biometric facial traits, for US Customs and Border Protection to match it against the passenger’s file containing the digital facial token captured at the initial immigration process. This process permits as well to virtualize the process of sending the boarding-pass details to the Airline Departure Control System, using face as a token to reconcile the passenger and his flight. After assuring the identity and eligibility of the passenger on that specific flight, the gateway then opens and the traveler can swiftly board the aircraft.

The solution combines an effective human-factor centric design along with key security features, such as biometric data capture of superior quality in a complex environment in seconds. This combination consequently delivers high-performance reliable match against the authorities’ biometric database, pre-processed by Vision-Box anti-spoofing and liveness checks technology. In spite of the fact that the solution is ready to rely solely on biometrics, it accommodates other possible workflows that include boarding-pass scan, seat re-assignment or multiple additional verification modalities.

Security, safety, efficiency, and a unique, traveler-centric experience are the cornerstone of the project developed in the scope of a partnership between LAX and Vision-Box, supported by US Customs and Border Protection Agency under the umbrella of the US Biometric Exit trial program. British Airways was the first airline to begin expediting boarding procedures using the new contactless technology.

Justin Erbacci, chief innovation and technology officer at Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the airport oversight and operations department, said, “This industry-first deployment of innovative solutions from the US Customs and Border Protection and Vision-Box, shows the amazing potential of using biometrics to speed up the boarding process while maintaining safety and security. We have been very impressed with the results thus far, and love to see the passengers’ excitement at being some of the first in the world to use facial recognition”.

Miguel Leitmann, Chief Executive Officer and Founder at Vision-Box explained the reasons for success: “Vision-Box made use of state-of- the-art biometric technology, able to deliver high quality data that drastically enhance matching accuracy, sustained by in-house developed Deep Machine Learning engines for superior facial capture. The results present a solution that addresses current security, efficiency and flow-control challenges in a relevant, revolutionary way. We are very proud to have come up with an industry- changing solution that all stakeholders involved in the process rely on. In the end, it’s about collaboratively raising the security and efficiency standards while eliminating obstacles from the traveler’s way, offering frictionless interactions and the best experience to guests until they’re comfortably seating in the aircraft.

The new contactless platform has been installed on three stands of Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles Airport and will be tested by a number of other airlines after New Year’s Eve.

This week we have a new technology update on a product that we knew was coming – well because our personal devices use it – wireless charging technology. We were both quite excited and impressed when we heard it was heading for the plane. Naturally, we were interested in the issues of wireless interior interference and issues around the solution to wireless signal suppression. Why? Face it, the the US FAA and FCC want to know about and be involved in any additional wireless sources on aircraft – especially to power devices. However, with devices like iPhones using wireless charging technology as the latest prime source of power, somebody had to do it!

In case you don’t know what wireless charging is, we note that it is the power transfer from an external source to a device, with no wires attached. A power charging pad is the source and is usually supplied with alternating current – while your device has a receiver built in if it supports the technology. Sometimes the “receiver” is built into the device case and sometimes it is built into the electronic circuitry. Either way, the technology is based on the concept of inductive charging, much like a radio, but the difference is in the frequency, power used and transmitted, while the technology of the “receiver’ in the device.

The next issue is the distance the receiver (in your device) is placed from the transmitter (in the power sending coil). It is very close so that the power sent over the magnetic field is “wirelessly connected” to your device. Of course, your device uses direct current (battery – not alternating current) – but hey, that is what rectifier diodes are for in your phone, or whatever, and they convert AC to DC Power!

Lastly, there are a couple of present day technologies for charging personal devices but Qi (pronounced “Chee”) and Powermat are the big dogs – and since Qi is a standard that has been developed by the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC) for inductive charging over distances of up to 40mm, it pretty much wins the standardization and vendor choice to build (and now to be) on planes. We should mention that Qi has three separate power specifications, starting with low power (up to 5 watts delivered) for watches and other devices but the WPC is approving the 15 Watt unit used for in-aircraft usage. Here are some of the device manufacturers that are Qi users: Apple (in their new phone), Samsung, HTC, Huawei, Sony, Motorola, Blackberry, and Nokia employ Qi-based designs. Off the record, we know of about 30 phones today that are Qi supported. So much for the technology, here is the company developing the technology, Astronics – and IFExpress talked with Dennis Markert, Business Developer about their inductive power product offering:

Astronics

Q. Mr. Markert could you give some basic operations information about RFI charging that Astronics is developing?

Dennis: We’ve designed our Wireless Charging Module (WCM) to provide up to 15 Watts of power. We’ve done this to “future proof” the product and be compliant with fast charger requirements.

Q. What charging system is used in the application – Qi or Powermat? 

Dennis: We’ve designed our WCM to be compliant with Qi standard. Qi has emerged as the standard for the latest consumer products including the recent announcements that the iPhone 8 is Qi compatible.

Q.What devices will it charge (generally)?

Dennis: Any Qi enabled device.

Q. Please tell our readers the impact (RF wise) of a full plane of transmitting devices?

Dennis: Arbitration occurs between the device to be charged and the WCM. Meaning that you have to place a valid device on the charger, an arbitration occurs determining if this is a valid device and what charging level to provide. One could use the analogy of our 110VAC outlet units. The units do not have usable 110VAC at the outlet until a valid device is plugged in, and at that time, 110VAC is enabled and available.

Q. Any RFI issues?

Dennis: We have designed a proprietary EMI shield which is embedded in the WCM.

Q. Has Astronics tested a Qi device on a plane?

Dennis: WCM Qualification testing is scheduled and expected for completion by the end of Q1 2018.

Q. How many seats can be installed on a plane? All?

Dennis: Sure, every seat could have a charger and the Qi network will behave just like our existing EmPower system. Using our head end (AMCU) we will power manage the available service on the aircraft.

Q. Are these devices installed in a tray table?

Dennis: Yes, we have integrated and demonstrated this at AIX Hamburg and APEX as concept pieces. We envision integration into first and business class furniture, seat pockets, tray tables etc.

Q: Any customers?

Dennis: We have two very large airlines customers  very interested and working with the OEM’s (airbus and Boeing) to have our product installed on their line fit aircraft

Q. Any comments from Boeing or Airbus?

Dennis: We’ve introduced a number of technologies for line fit installation so this is a very familiar process for us. Our TSA and NOE have been submitted to Boeing and Airbus. As expected, this is a new technology and system so we are working closely with them to develop the necessary specification and requirements in order to obtain line fit offerability.

Readers, Stay Tuned on this technology – why? Wireless charging is the future of many portable devices and the longer the flight, the more battery juice you need. Enough Said!


Gogo

Gogo provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that it now has more than 500 aircraft flying with its 2Ku technology with more than 400 of those installations taking place in 2017. The company has also shortened install times to around 30 hours, which is less than half the time that it typically takes to install a broadband satellite connectivity solution.

“We are setting a new industry standard in terms of technology deployments in aviation.  We continue to set the bar higher in terms of speed of installation and will finish the year within the install range we set for 2017,” said John Wade, Gogo’s executive vice president and COO.  “We know that when passengers experience the 2Ku difference they travel happier which, in turn, makes our airline partners happy.  So, we are investing in finding ways to get 2Ku aircraft online as fast as we can.” Total awards for 2Ku inflight connectivity solution have now surpassed 2,000 aircraft. Gogo has added more than 550 aircraft awards in 2017 alone.


SITAONAIR

More than 90% of airlines are set to ramp up investment in advancing wireless services for cabin crew and pilots over the three years to 2020 – an 18% increase since SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends survey. This is according to award-winning connected aircraft services expert SITAONAIR, as it presents SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights into the connected aircraft. Over a third (34%) of airlines expect to receive connected aircraft deliveries within the next three years, compared with more than a fifth (21%) in SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends Survey. SITA’s 2017 Insights also found 69% of carriers committing to a major program (40%) or R&D/trial (29%) to establish full satellite broadband connectivity to aircraft. Enhancing the passenger experience is far and away the connected aircraft’s biggest encountered and perceived benefit, according to 43% of airlines. A combined 31% meanwhile, cited operational benefits across maintenance and aircraft health monitoring, cockpit and cabin, as the chief advantages of a connected aircraft. In testament to this, 78% of surveyed carriers reported automatic aircraft data management as an investment priority – 33% through major programs, 45% in R&D programs – by 2020. Enhancing the passenger experience is far and away the connected aircraft’s biggest encountered and perceived benefit, according to 43% of airlines. A combined 31% meanwhile, cited operational benefits across maintenance and aircraft health monitoring, cockpit and cabin, as the chief advantages of a connected aircraft. In testament to this, 78% of surveyed carriers reported automatic aircraft data management as an investment priority – 33% through major programs, 45% in R&D programs – by 2020. When asked for their investment focuses up to 2020, 94% of airlines surveyed as part of SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights study cited wireless services for cabin crew or pilots (64% in major programs; 30% in R&D or trials). This was closely followed by 91% of carriers targeting investment in wireless inflight services for passengers (54% in major programs; 37% in R&D or trials). SITA’s connected aircraft Insights data also reveals airline ambitions to boost Wi-Fi data bandwidth in the years to come, with 60% of airlines surveyed planning to, or having already implemented, high-speed Wi-Fi by 2020.

Assessing airlines’ most-coveted inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) services, the insights found that providing a destination services app was the technological advancement that carriers are most enthusiastic to establish by 2020 (72% – up from 46% in 2016). This was closely followed by a Duty Free shopping app (61%, a rise from 48% last year). Passengers’ preference for enjoying inflight entertainment (IFE) via BYOD – e.g. with a ‘second screen’ of their own – was reinforced for a second consecutive year, with 24% having invested in Wireless IFE to passengers’-own devices and 46% planning to do so by the end of 2020. Providing infotainment to personal devices or apps – namely, news, magazines and books – and inflight communication services, proved similarly high in the airline IFEC shopping list, at an additional 47% and 43% each against the airlines that have already implemented. On the hot topic of pricing for delivering onboard Wi-Fi passenger services, roughly the same proportion of ‘tails’ expressed ambitions to provide free (an additional 43%) and paid-for Wi-Fi sessions (an additional 42%) by 2020 – with many airlines already exploring business models.

A significant proportion of operators revealed a desire to invest further in mobile technologies for passengers and crew, reflecting the “always available” trend on the ground, and with potentially transformational benefits for crew and passenger engagement and service on-board.  A stark 87% of surveyed carriers in 2017 (compared to 75% in 2016) have implemented or plan to implement mobile services to enhance customer relationship management in the next three years. 75% of surveyed carriers expressed ambitions to invest in major programs around apps for passenger mobile services. Around half (47%) of carriers are focusing investment on major programs for social media-hosted passenger services; and a total 44% plan on major programs or R&D/pilot programs for wearable technologies for staff.

Reflecting on the findings, SITAONAIR’s Vice President of Strategy, Dominique El Bez, said: “Our industry’s connected aircraft vision, with its complete, connected inflight experience, is irrefutably here to stay. Airlines are increasingly aware of the value-added benefits presented by in-flight connectivity options that we at SITAONAIR are experts in delivering, to advance their RoI. On the cabin connectivity side, these benefits span everything from enhancing airlines’ brand perception in the eyes of passengers, by enabling them to stay connected to their digital lives when they fly via Wi-Fi or cellular, to digitizing cabin crews to personalize the passenger experience with intelligent, CRM-integrated applications. From supporting airlines to monetize inflight connectivity services with clever onboard sponsorship partnerships; or supporting passengers’ choice to enjoy wireless inflight entertainment; to empowering passenger autonomy through delivering connected mobile applications and services to keep them informed and entertained on the move.

“For the cockpit, airline flight operations, management, and safety, connected solutions bring a significant lift to efficiencies and safety procedures. How? From deploying digital solutions that deliver the latest flight context information into the hands of pilots; ever-evolving our flight tracking and flight planning solutions to ensure airlines meet ICAO recommendations to frequently report fleet positions; to providing secure multilink communications to support every stage of flight. We also see accelerating industry interest in managing and harnessing the power of aircraft data. Such innovation advances flight and MRO operations with predictive and enriched aircraft operations. Amongst the emerging technologies reported by airlines, 67% plan to invest into initiatives around the Internet-of-Things, 52% around Artificial Intelligence and 44% on wearable technology for staff. All present amazing potential for enhancing airlines’ operations inflight and on the ground.”

Mr El Bez continued: “We at SITAONAIR want to see more airlines able to achieve their connected aircraft aims, however. We truly believe the air transport industry needs to work harder to empower the world’s airlines to get connected, by embracing our open platforms approach to inflight connectivity innovation. Our pioneering ‘open cabin’ attitude is already creating harmony across airline fleets and avionics, and data-rich customer relationship management systems, helping deliver airlines’ unique passenger experiences without expensively overhauling their fleets.”

(Editor’s Note: To checkout the great SITAONAIR 2020 vision infographic click here)


Inmarsat

Inmarsat  was recently crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’, marking the end of another breakthrough year with its next generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) wifi solutions for airline passengers. The prestigious accolade was announced at the World Travel Awards 2017 in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. It follows a comprehensive online voting process, with participation from thousands of travel and tourism executives across the world, in addition to specialist consumer travel buyers.

Inmarsat’s game-changing new inflight internet solutions have the fastest uptake in the market, with more than 1,300 commercial aircraft expected under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN. Both of these solutions are introducing a new gold standard in global and regional inflight wifi, allowing airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience that is comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

Early adopters of GX Aviation and EAN include world-leading airlines such as Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, IAG, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, Norwegian, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Avianca.

 


More Stuff

a new event for 2018 showcasing and exploring the latest technology trends that are transforming the passenger journey

London | December 6, 2017–

Reed Exhibitions today announces the launch of Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS), a global must-attend event that showcases and explores the technology that is transforming the passenger journey.

PTS will take place during Passenger Experience Week, running from 10th-12th April, 2018, and will be co-located at the Hamburg Messe alongside the Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo.

With competition for passenger loyalty fiercer than ever, the provision of technologies that enable a more seamless inter-connected journey to passengers are key to ensuring transport operators have a competitive edge. Passenger Technology Solutions is designed to provide bespoke technology suppliers with the perfect platform for showcasing their products and services to airline and rail operators from around the globe.

In addition to the many industry-leading companies set to exhibit at Passenger Technology Solutions, visitors will hear inspiring keynotes around hot topics such as “Is the CXO (Customer Experience Officer) the new CEO?” and participate in debates on whether to be a trend setter or a trend spotter. This fully interactive event will set the agenda for travel in 2018 and beyond.

Archana Sharma, Exhibition Director of Passenger Technology Solutions, comments:

“The launch of Passenger Technology Solutions comes at a transformative time for the passenger experience industry. Today’s passengers not only expect the same level of connectivity and seamless communication throughout their journey as they have at home or in the office, they now demand it.

“For the thousands of airlines and rail operators who visit Passenger Experience Week each year, PTS will be the destination to source innovative, tech-enabled solutions and hear from industry-leaders who will join the dots of the passenger technology ecosystem.”

Passenger Technology Solutions will take place during Passenger Experience Week 2018 which takes place in Hamburg, Germany, from 9th to 12th April. In recent years, the event has grown to consist of a conference, a networking party and 3 expos. Each year, Passenger Experience Week attracts over 18,000 visitors from across the world, along with over 2,000 VIP airline attendees and more than 180 unique airline and lessors.

For more information about Passenger Technology Solutions please visit:

www.passengertechnologysolutions.com

Lets’ get started and this week we feature a new product from the Bluebox folks with a link to the spec sheet at the end.

Bluebox

Solaseed Air Inc., a leading Japanese regional carrier, has deployed Bluebox Aviation Systems’ portable wireless IFE system – Bluebox Wow – across its fleet of Boeing 737-800s. “We’re honored that Solaseed Air has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems as a partner in the development of their new IFE service,” said Kevin Clark, Chief Executive Officer, Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. “IFE is evolving rapidly – no longer is it just a service to entertain passengers, but a channel for revenue generation, an important factor for any regional or low-cost carriers, which has not traditionally offered IFE.” Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, offering up to 1.6TB of content including film, TV, audio, games and other digital media. The system is designed to support advertising, inflight shopping, and payment processing options, which make it an ideal platform for generating ancillary revenue, whether the IFE service itself is offered as a free or charged service. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit. Stowed in overhead lockers, each box’s single swappable and rechargeable battery offers 15 hours of streamed content to 50 passengers. Operating from Tokyo’s Haneda airport and across Japan, Solaseed Air operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 737-800s, all of which are flying with Bluebox Wow. Here is the link to the Bluebox Wow specs


Astronics

Astronics Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRO), a leading provider of advanced technologies for the global aerospace, defense, and semiconductor industries, announced that it completed the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies, LLC, (together as “Telefonix PDT”) for approximately $104 million in cash on December 1, 2017. The acquisition was financed with Astronics’ line of credit. Astronics previously announced that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Telefonix PDT on October 27, 2017.


Gogo

Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, announced today that airline industry veteran Mark Schwab has joined Gogo as senior advisor of international sales for the company’s commercial aviation division.

Schwab will provide guidance on strategic business development initiatives and assist Gogo’s international sales team in its efforts to win new airline customers around the world.  He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Star Alliance Services GmbH, the global airline alliance.  Prior to leading Star Alliance, Schwab held numerous senior positions at United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines, spanning over 42 years in commercial aviation all around the globe. He has spent most of his career outside his home country, the United States.

“Mark’s knowledge and experience in the commercial aviation is second to none, particularly in the international space where as the head of Star Alliance, he was overseeing a global aviation network that connected the entire world,” said Niels Steenstrup, Gogo’s senior vice president of international sales.  “We are delighted to have Mark join the Gogo team and support our international sales efforts.”

In addition to his advisor role at Gogo, Schwab is currently a member of the board of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) in Toronto, Canada.


Airbus

The A330-800 complements the A330-900, the largest member of the A330neo Family. With its 242-tonne Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) as base variant, the A330-800 can operate routes of up to 7,500nm and with the recently launched 251-tonne MTOW variant the aircraft can operate ultra-long-range routes of up to 8,150nm. Together, the A330neo variants are part of the world’s most comprehensive twin-aisle, twin-engine aircraft family from 260 to over 360 seats which includes the A350 XWB Family. Building on the success of the A330-200 with over 600 aircraft in operation, the A330-800 brings new generation economics and comfort in addition to unprecedented range to the 250-seater aircraft market. Together with the larger 300-seater A330-900 they share 99%  commonality, having the same airframe, engines and cross crew commonality. This gives operators great flexibility to use either aircraft in their fleet according to network needs in size and range.  Both of these widebody aircraft incorporate new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, zero-splice nacelle, titanium pylon, new wings and new Airspace by Airbus Cabin. The most visible new features of the A330neo wings are the specially developed curved wingtip Sharklets – which draw on A350 XWB technology, extending the wingspan to 64m, providing state of the art aerodynamic characteristics.

Airlines will benefit from 25% less fuel burn per seat compared to previous generation competitors, reduced maintenance costs and the A330’s market-leading 99.5% operational reliability. Passengers will enjoy the award-winning all new Airspace cabin inspired by the A350 XWB. On top of latest generation In-flight entertainment and connectivity, passengers can look forward to a new welcoming entrance area, spacious overhead bins, mood lighting and exceptionally quiet flights.

With close to 1,700 orders, the A330 is the most popular wide-body aircraft ever, having flown nearly 1,000,000 annual flights. Today, over 1,300 aircraft have been delivered to 117 customers worldwide on a wide range of routes, from domestic and regional flights to long range intercontinental services. Offering the lowest operating costs in its category, and thanks to continuous investments in latest innovations, the new generation A330neo will be the most profitable and best performing aircraft in its size category.

In another Airbus story, China Airlines of Taiwan has become the second airline to join a programme to use a blend of traditional and sustainable biofuels to power aircraft for delivery flights from Airbus. The aircraft involved is the tenth A350-900 for China Airlines, which left the manufacturer’s delivery centre in Toulouse today for its new home in Taipei with a 10 percent blend of sustainable jet fuel in its tanks. The sustainable fuel option for delivery flights has been developed by Airbus in association with Air Total, the aviation subsidiary of the global energy operator. In order to stock the eco-friendly product, Air Total has installed the first ever biofuel station adjacent to the Airbus delivery centre in Toulouse. A total of 21 aircraft have so far been delivered by Airbus since the facility was inaugurated in May 2016.

In addition to Toulouse, Airbus is now working towards introducing the option for the use of biofuels for delivery flights from its facilities in Hamburg, Germany and Mobile, US. First deliveries from these sites are set to begin in 2018. The option will also subsequently become available from the company’s facility in Tianjin, China.

Reflecting its strong commitment towards eco-efficiency, Airbus was the first manufacturer to offer its customers the option of delivering new aircraft with a blend of sustainable fuel. As part of its wider environmental strategy, the company Airbus intends to continue its efforts by collaborating with all stakeholders in the biofuels sector.


Boeing

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Aerolíneas Argentinas today celebrated the delivery and commercial debut of the first 737 MAX airplane for the airline and for Latin America.

Aerolíneas took delivery of the airplane, a MAX 8, in late November and flew the first commercial flight about a week later from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, becoming the first in the region to operate the new and improved 737 airplane. “Adding the 737 MAX to our fleet is yet one more example of the growth we are envisioning for our company,” said Mario Dell´ Acqua, President of Aerolíneas Argentinas. “We feel both proud and responsible to continue working to deliver enhanced connectivity and an elevated experience to our passengers.”

Aerolíneas Argentinas is experiencing strong growth, with a 15 percent increase in passenger traffic in the past year, and a 22 percent increase since 2015. To support that growth, the airline plans to take delivery of 12 MAX airplanes and use them on flights regionally and, later in 2018, to the Caribbean. “The 737 MAX 8 is a significant addition to Aerolíneas’ fleet. The MAX will enable the airline to continue to grow and win market-share in the competitive single-aisle marketplace,” said Ricardo Cavero, vice president, Latin America sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It is a tremendous honor that Aerolíneas Argentinas will be the first Latin American carrier to fly the 737 MAX, and we’re confident the airplane’s efficiency and reliability will help meet their goals.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest selling airplane in Boeing history, surpassing 4,000 total orders to date. The MAX family incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The Aerolíneas Argentinas MAX 8 is configured for 170 passengers and fly 3,515 nautical miles (6,510 kilometers).

(Editor’s Note: Boeing stock shares have skyrocketed this year and at last check was almost $280 per share.)


More News

In case you have not heard, the US Senate dropped a tax provision designed for foreign airlines that could have generated some $200million over the next decade  – obviously designed to supposedly protect US airline workers. We note that the description of airlines described fit some 14 countries and the Mideast carriers stood out. As it stands, airlines do pay taxes in their home countries but the so-called Isakson provision would have removed the “tax” if the airline in question’s home country receive fewer than two arrivals and departures from the US per week. The airlines argued the tax was a focus on Middle Eastern carries that receive some $50 billion over 10 decades subsidies from foreign from governments. An advance group representing other airlines and support “Open Skies” said the “tax” would also hurt a lot of smaller airlines.


Other News

A new on-board entertainment platform becomes available to passengers flying with their mobile phones on the UK’s largest airline.

The platform developed by a Barcelona company offers users the opportunity to access content, offers and digital services in five languages for free via high speed streaming.

Barcelona | November 30, 2017–The innovative onboard entertainment and services platform “Air Time” takes off today on board the first five easyJet aircraft to be equipped with the service developed by Immfly, in line with the agreement announced in September between the two companies. In the initial phase, the platform will be available on select services covering over 90 destinations, including international capitals such as London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Rome and Madrid and many others, with Geneva and Basel as the main hubs.

The digital platform created by the Barcelona company, Immfly, one of the most pioneering in the industry, provides passengers of Europe’s leading airline with the opportunity to access a unique entertainment and services experience during their flight. Passengers will be able to enjoy personalised options on their own smart devices (smartphones, tablets and laptops), in a way which does away with the need for the older model of seat back screens.

The high-performance digital platform “Air Time”, available in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian and German), offers great flexibility thanks to its dynamic and wide-ranging digital functionalities and content designed to engage customers inflight.

Rakuten, a global leader in Internet services with more than one billion members worldwide and an ecosystem of more than 70 services, will be the official sponsor of the easyJet onboard entertainment platform integrated by Immfly.

Films, series, books, kids programmes, games, newspapers, magazines, practical information, language courses, destination guides and more

In its collaboration with easyJet, Immfly is helping deliver another step in the path to total connectivity as part of its pioneering strategy focused on enabling a 360º relationship with customers connected for interaction during their entire journey.

“Air Time” opens new and exciting opportunities in the European flight market. Customers can enjoy premium content provided by the official entertainment sponsor, Rakuten, who are also the global innovation and entertainment partner of FC Barcelona.

The high-quality content is curated from top-tier brands, including FOX Non Theatrical, Euronews and other media companies that are favourites among the British and European public.

Some of the titles available on “Air Time” in the Entertainment section include critically acclaimed television content, such as the series Legion and the comedy show Modern Family, as well as hit films like The Revenant, popular children’s programmes and a wide range of press publications including; Financial Times, Bloomberg, Le Figaro, Euronews, The Times, and other daily international newspapers, plus lifestyle publications such as; Elle, Rolling Stone, National Geographic Traveller and many more.

“Air Time” also offers a pioneering inflight service with on-board language lessons available on the platform and developed in partnership with uTalk. This makes it possible for customers to learn and practice more than 80 languages during their flight.

Passengers can also choose from a wide selection of best-selling e-books and audio books, destination guides, games and much more. The platform also includes a digital catalogue “Bistro & Boutique” that features meals, snacks and refreshments customers can enjoy during the flight while it also showcases the selection of on-board shopping products available inflight from fragrances and cosmetics to gadgets and toys.

“Air Time” also provides practical information about the flight and an interactive 3D map of the route in the “Flight Info” section, as well as information on local weather conditions and forecasts provided by the “The Weather Network”, and information about easyjet’s UNICEF campaign.

Personalised entertainment and services at 10,000 feet

The vast majority of passengers travel with at least a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop which is why Immfly’s paltform is relevant to anyone wishing to enjoy all this entertainment content from their personal, portable electronic devices inflight.

Access is possible through Wi-Fi points installed on the airplanes which allow all passengers to access the content at very high speed. No reliance on external connections enables a faster connection speed than what is currently available in most people’s homes.

Immfly, easyJet’s inflight entertainment and digital services launch partner

Immfly is leading the development of on-board digital platforms in Europe as a tool to boost the revenues of airlines by proposing to increase their “Net Promoter Score”, generating greater customer loyalty and creating additional sources of ancillary income with on board digital services, commerce and sponsorship. Immfly also provides services enabling passengers to purchase leisure products and services available at their destination before landing and to purchase entertainment packs whilst booking their flights online.

We specialize in maximizing revenue and engagement opportunities through wireless on-board connectivity, increasingly supported by success stories that are relevant to the airlines we collaborate with,” explained Jimmy Martínez von Korff, co-founder of the company. “Today we allow easyJet to provide a complete on-board digital services platform based on exciting content and online shopping possibilities, offering a fully integrated platform with leading brands and their services.”

Andrew Middleton, easyJet’s Ancillary Revenue Director commented: “‘Air Time’ will allow us for the first time to offer customers in-flight entertainment in a way that replicates how they consume their media at home. We are delighted to be collaborating with other innovative partners, such as Rakuten who will help us curate engaging content, and Immfly who are providing the unique easyJet portal with a dedicated customer support team, ensuring that easyJet crew are able to continue conducting an excellent standard of safety-focused service and on-board hospitality.”.

Arjen Van de Vall, President Rakuten Europe commented: “We are confident Rakuten can bring strong value and create a high quality showcase of its services through the on-board Immfly platform offering a best in class user experience” .

Immfly, a leading provider of online sales and communications services in Europe, expects to reach 100 million connected passengers in 2018 after its agreements with airlines including Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet.

Gogo

Gogo announced today that Air Canada is now the first North American airline to offer the choice of complimentary Gogo Wi-Fi to their most frequent flyers. Each year, Air Canada recognizes its most frequent flyers with Altitude status and offers them the ability to choose select privileges to personalize their travel experience. Beginning later this year, the airline will offer Altitude Elite 75K and Super Elite 100K members the opportunity to select complimentary 6- and 12-month unlimited use passes, respectively, for inflight connectivity on board Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge operated flights. Members will be able to choose this Select Privilege as part of the 2018 Altitude benefit year. The passes will also be eligible for use on Gogo’s 2Ku service, a leading high-speed satellite Wi-Fi solution.


AIRBUS

Following an intensive flight test campaign performed in less than a year, the A350-1000 has received Type Certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The certified aircraft is powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engines.

The EASA A350-1000 Type Certification document was signed by EASA’s Certification Director, Trévor Woods, and the FAA A350-1000 Type Certification document was signed by FAA’s International Section Manager, Bob Breneman. Both certificates were handed over to Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, Charles Champion. “Receiving the A350-1000 Type Certification from EASA and FAA less than one year after its first flight is an incredible achievement for Airbus and for all our partners who have been instrumental in building and testing this superb widebody aircraft,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus COO and President Commercial Aircraft. “The A350-1000 benefits from the maturity of its successful brother, the A350-900, which has translated into excellent right-on-time performance. We now look forward to deliver the first aircraft to Qatar Airways by the end of the year.” The Type certification is a requirement for the aircraft to enter commercial service. This milestone comes after an intensive flight test trials that have taken its airframe and systems beyond their design limits to ensure the aircraft successfully meets all airworthiness criteria. The three A350-1000 flight test aircraft powered by Rolls-Royce engines successfully accumulated over 1,600 flight hours. Of these 150 flight test hours were completed with the same aircraft in an airline like operational environment to demonstrate its readiness for entry into service. Hi-resolution images of the A350-1000 are available at AirbusNewsroom .


Siemens-Airbus-Rolls Royce

Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens have formed a partnership which aims at developing a near-term flight demonstrator which will be a significant step forward in hybrid-electric propulsion for commercial aircraft. The three companies together announced the groundbreaking collaboration, bringing together some of the world’s foremost experts in electrical and propulsion technologies, at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. The E-Fan X hybrid-electric technology demonstrator is anticipated to fly in 2020 following a comprehensive ground test campaign, provisionally on a BAe 146 flying testbed, with one of the aircraft’s four gas turbine engines replaced by a two megawatt electric motor. Provisions will be made to replace a second gas turbine with an electric motor once system maturity has been proven.

“The E-Fan X is an important next step in our goal of making electric flight a reality in the foreseeable future. The lessons we learned from a long history of electric flight demonstrators, starting with the Cri-Cri, including the e-Genius, E-Star, and culminating most recently with the E-Fan 1.2, as well as the fruits of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration with Siemens, will pave the way to a hybrid single-aisle commercial aircraft that is safe, efficient, and cost-effective,” said Paul Eremenko, Airbus’ Chief Technology Officer. “We see hybrid-electric propulsion as a compelling technology for the future of aviation.”
The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid electric technology. The program also aims at establishing the requirements for future certification of electrically powered aircraft while training a new generation of designers and engineers to bring hybrid-electric commercial aircraft one step closer to reality. As part of the E-Fan X program, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, and Siemens will each contribute with their extensive experience and know-how in their respective fields of expertise:
– Airbus will be responsible for overall integration as well as the control architecture of the hybrid-electric propulsion system and batteries, and its integration with flight controls.
– Rolls-Royce will be responsible for the turbo-shaft engine, two megawatt generator, and power electronics. Along with Airbus, Rolls-Royce will also work on the fan adaptation to the existing nacelle and the Siemens electric motor.
– Siemens will deliver the two megawatt electric motors and their power electronic control unit, as well as the inverter, DC/DC converter, and power distribution system. This comes on top of the E-Aircraft Systems House collaboration between Airbus and Siemens, launched in 2016, which aims at development and maturation of various electric propulsion system components and their terrestrial demonstration across various power classes.

And lastly, Airbus has appointed Eric Schulz now ex-Rolls Royce
exec as Exec. VP – Chief of Sale, Marketing & Contracts for Commercial Aircraft (new John Leahy) in early 2018.


SITA

Flights are now operating at Terminal 4, Cancun International Airport, Mexico’s newest airport terminal. The airport’s operator, ASUR, has used innovative technologies from SITA, the global provider of IT to the world’s airports, to ensure a great experience for the more than 21 million passengers that pass through the airport each year.

Cancun International has experienced rapid growth over the last 10 years with passenger numbers doubling as the Caribbean resort’s popularity has risen. It is now Mexico’s busiest airport for international passengers. In a multi-year agreement, SITA is providing technology which enables ASUR to expand Cancun Airport’s capacity and to provide flexible services to meet the needs of the 47 airlines that use it.

The new terminal has 36 SITA AirportConnect® self-service check-in kiosks and a further 104 common-use workstations for check-in and boarding. The passenger systems will run on SITA AirportConnect Open, the common-use platform that allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk. This allows the airport to organize passenger processing most efficiently. SITA’s Airport Management solution is already used at Cancun and will now manage operations across all four terminals. This solution provides ASUR with real-time data to better anticipate, plan and control operations, assigning assets and resources more effectively.

SITA AirportVision, the dynamic media rich flight information display system will also be used in Terminal 4 to provide real-time updates to passengers throughout the check-in and boarding areas.

ASUR operates 10 airports across Mexico and the Caribbean that together serve close to 30 million passengers a year. Cancun International is the largest of the ASUR airports and in September was named ‘Mexico & Central America Leading Airport 2017’ at the World Travel Awards.

Air Senegal SA has become the latest airline in Africa to introduce SITA’s passenger services system (PSS) to manage every aspect of their operation – from reservations and pricing to ticketing and departure control. The airline is one of a growing number of carriers on the continent that have turned to SITA to provide technology solutions to better manage their passenger operations. Already 15 airlines and ground handlers in Africa use SITA’s Horizon® Passenger Management and Distribution solution while 100 airlines and ground handlers around the globe have used it to board more than 123 million passengers and check in 158 million travelers each year.Horizon offers the most comprehensive, integrated range of passenger management services available today. Its infrastructure is built on a flexible platform of core systems required by every airline, allowing each carrier to customize the system to meet their specific business requirements and to accommodate future growth. Air Senegal, the west African country’s new national airline, has turned to SITA to provide a full suite of services – including reservations, ticketing, airfare distribution and departure control – that will support the launch of the airline’s first flights later this year.


Rockwell Collins

The National Veteran-Owned Business Association (NaVOBA) and its Vetrepreneur magazine have named Rockwell Collins one of the top 25 United States-based companies dedicated to veterans — earning the distinction as a 2017 Military Friendly® Supplier Diversity Program. Rockwell Collins received the honor for its continued incorporation of veteran-owned businesses into its supplier diversity programs. NaVOBA stated that companies who are chosen to be awarded are companies who realize that doing business with veterans isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s simply a smart business decision.


More Aviation News

Aviation hacker do exist and here are three web locations for the stories from Milton Security that you might have missed:

Polish Airline Shut Down For a Few Hours by Hackers – Milton Security

Cyberhijacking an Airplane Is Impossible – Milton Security

Report Outlines How Airplanes Can Be Hacked From In-Flight WiFi – Milton Security

The US Department of Transportation puts out a monthly report on airlines flight delays, mishandled baggage, complaints, and incidents reports. Want to know the most reliable airline last month – here is the answer! Air Travel Consumer Reports for 2017 | US Department of Transportation

Need some chip sized speakers for those inflight devices? Here is one source…and yes, they have noise cancellation! MEMS Design Shrinks Speakers to Chip Scale | EE Times

The folks at Destination Tips have listed 12 things that you would think are permitted on a plane. Gel innersoles for shoes surprised us! 12 Surprising Things Not Allowed On Planes These Days – Destination Tips

Well, this is not necessarily aviation but it could be in any presentation. 5 Data Storytelling Tips for Creating More Persuasive Charts and Graphs

Travelers expect mobile services and biometrics to speed up their journey 

Mumbai | November 23, 2017–As passengers in India become more familiar with the use of technology – particularly mobile – they expect to use it more on their airline journey. This is according to the 2017 SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey, a global survey released by IT provider SITA and co-sponsored by Air Transport World.

While the use of technology among Indian airline passengers remains high at check-in (87%) and booking (52%), 2017 saw tremendous growth in usage at other points in the journey. The research showed while adoption remains low, self-bag drop usage climbed to 21% from 12% in 2016.

Passengers are also demanding new mobile services with 83% saying that they would definitely use flight updates on their mobile. And they would use their mobile for baggage services too: 82% would report mishandled bags and 79% would track their bags in real-time. This comes as no surprise with more than one billion Indians using at least one mobile device in 2016 of which 300 million are using a smart device[1].

Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “In India, travelers are increasingly demanding the use of self-service and mobile technology in the airport to speed up their journey. This expectation, in many cases, is running ahead of availability in Indian airports today.”

The research shows 54% of passengers would rather opt to use self-bag drop than go to an airline check-in counter, compared to 33% globally and well ahead of current usage.

Jaikrishna said: “This is good news for the industry as it provides airports and airlines the opportunity to fully benefit from technology to speed up the journey and drive operational efficiencies, helping them meet the demands of rapidly growing passenger numbers across the country.”

India is expected to see passenger numbers grow by 337 million over the next 20 years to 2036, more than tripling from the 141 million passengers in 2016.2

Another area that is gaining the attention of passengers is the use of biometrics. India’s national biometric identity system is the largest in the world with over one billion enrolled members and Indian passengers have shown greater willingness to use biometrics to speed up their journey through the airport. In 2017, 70% of passengers in India said they would definitely use biometrics if given the option, removing the need to show a passport or boarding card at key points in the airport. This was well above the global average of 57%.

India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation is working with the air transport industry to create a “digitally unified flying experience” where citizens’ national biometric identification cards and foreigner’s passports are optionally linked with the databases of airlines, airports and other stakeholders to deliver a seamless, paperless travel experience at every step in the journey.

Jaikrishna said: “Many travelers are comfortable with the use of biometrics and see the benefits of using them on their travels. This aligns perfectly with the need to find more efficient ways to manage rising passenger numbers with current resources. There is little doubt that technology is the key to resolving India’s constraints on airport infrastructure.”

The survey was conducted across seven Indian airports, representing 71% of passengers in the country.

Dubai Airshow | November 15, 2017– Emirates and Thales signed an agreement to equip their newest Boeing 777X fleet with the latest generation broadband inflight connectivity using Inmarsat GX Global Network.

Over the years, Emirates has significantly invested to equip its aircraft with connectivity. Demand for Wi-Fi on board has been steadily increasing and today over 800,000 passengers per month connect while inflight. The partnership with Thales and Inmarsat will give Emirates customers best in class connectivity on its Boeing 777X aircraft due for delivery starting in 2020.

Emirates and Thales have recently contracted to fit Emirates’ Boeing 777X fleet with the latest generation Thales AVANT inflight entertainment system.

The new agreement is part of the Emirates and Thales’s plans to develop a state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) for the 777X fleet and boost Emirates’ award-winning inflight passenger experience.

Air Senegal becomes the newest airline to use SITA’s Horizon

Kigali | November 13, 2017–Air Senegal SA has become the latest airline in Africa to introduce SITA’s passenger services system (PSS) to manage every aspect of their operation – from reservations and pricing to ticketing and departure control.
The airline is one of a growing number of carriers on the continent that have turned to SITA to provide technology solutions to better manage their passenger operations. Already 15 airlines and ground handlers in Africa use SITA’s Horizon® Passenger Management and Distribution solution while 100 airlines and ground handlers around the globe have used it to board more than 123 million passengers and check in 158 million travelers each year.

Horizon offers the most comprehensive, integrated range of passenger management services available today. Its infrastructure is built on a flexible platform of core systems required by every airline, allowing each carrier to customize the system to meet their specific business requirements and to accommodate future growth.

Air Senegal, the west African country’s new national airline, has turned to SITA to provide a full suite of services – including reservations, ticketing, airfare distribution and departure control – that will support the launch of the airline’s first flights later this year.

Philippe Bohn, CEO of Air Senegal, said: “We have an ambition to establish Air Senegal as a key carrier in West Africa and make our presence felt across the continent. In order to achieve this ambition, it is important that we have a passenger management system that takes care of every aspect of operating the airline and delivers a smooth experience for our passengers every step of the way. SITA is a key partner in providing this technology and we are in the process of implementing this solution ahead of our launch flights later this year.”

Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “The air transport industry in Africa is emerging as a major growth market in terms of passenger growth. Our presence and experience on the continent, together with the real business value offered by Horizon, has placed us in an ideal position to support both the continent’s emerging and established airlines, using a passenger management platform that can accommodate airlines of any size, fleet or operating model.”

Singapore’s myKrisWorld Sets a New Standard in Personalization for Airline Passengers

Lake Forest, California | November 2, 2017–Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic), a world leader in Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC), and Singapore Airlines, today introduced a series of eight new innovations in personalization with the launch of myKrisWorld – the airline’s newest inflight entertainment offering.

Hideo Nakano, Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corp., said, “Panasonic Avionics and Singapore Airlines have always been at the forefront of IFEC innovation.  Whether it’s the shift to in-seat audio/video to video on demand, or the introduction of high-speed connectivity services to passengers, both companies have embraced technologies and services that have defined premium air travel. Today, we are proud to partner with Singapore Airlines to introduce the latest tectonic shift in our industry — personalization.”

Nakano continued, “Last year, we helped Singapore Airlines introduce their award-winning companion app. Today, we’re taking that personalized experience to even greater heights with a series of innovative features that include passenger log-in at their seat; playlist, bookmark, language preference storage and wallpaper customization between flights; customized and personalized entertainment spotlights; popular, trending and recommended content; and exclusive content based on frequent flier tier.”

myKrisWorld embraces Panasonic’s vision for IFEC, which centers around the concept of “the Internet of Me,” taking all of the things that people care about and bringing them together to deliver personalized and contextualized experiences.  Each of these features is made possible by Panasonic’s ability to deliver actionable analytics, where data is used to improve the quality of the passenger experience.

With myKrisWorld, the experience starts before passengers board their flight. Passengers can use Singapore Airlines’ app or website to preview content and set up their customized playlist. Once onboard, they can either synchronise their mobile device or log in at their seat to access their pre-selected content.

Crowd-sourced data will offer up alternative titles that are popular. It can ask passengers if they want to finish the movie that they started on the previous flights. It can also make recommendations based on a passenger’s individual habits and what content is trending inflight at that moment in time.

Nakano concluded, “What is truly exciting is that we were able to leverage Singapore Airlines’ previous investment in our eX3 system and introduce this new suite of personalized experiences.

“By embracing the culture of mobile, we can increase the rate of evolution in the passenger experience, transforming what was once a passive entertainment system into another digital channel that airlines can leverage to better serve their customers.”

Singapore | October 25, 2017–

IFPL well known for IFE Audio Jacks, USB-A and USB-C outlets, seat back payment terminal and passenger control units are now leading the way with peripheral integration into the seat thanks to working with seat vendors and IFE OEMs. Visitors to stand A33 at FTE Singapore will have the opportunity to experience their ground-breaking developments and see the products demonstrated.

IFPL’s aim has been to provide seamless seat integration, whilst maintaining a consistent design language and aesthetic. There has also been a focus on ensuring the ergonomics deliver a truly enhanced passenger experience. This process has enabled IFPL to reduce the complexity, weight and cost, therefore delivering a competitive advantage to an airline.

IFPL has worked with Mirus Aircraft seating to provide in-seat USB power for its new Hawk lightweight seat. IFPL, a global leader in IFEC peripherals and leading industrial designer, has achieved this by working closely with the Mirus engineering team delivering a system that maximises the use of the physical space of the seat with the USB outlet seamlessly designed into the actual seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom.

IFPL has also worked with Aerofoam to integrate USB and inductive power into the seat back tray tables, including a stylish capacitive touch Passenger Control Unit (PCU) that provides the passenger service functions (call bell and reading light) into the tray. The unit has been designed to ensure the functions are ergonomically placed at the customers’ fingertips, to save passengers having to search for the functionality in awkward locations. As the unit has no moving parts, reliability has been extended over traditional units.

With new consumer devices adopting USB-C as standard, IFPL has actively engaged its customers on how this technology can be applied to IFEC and how to transition from USB-A.

Along with its baseline USB-C outlet, IFPL are currently developing a range of USB-Power Delivery (USB-PD) peripherals and solutions. Visitors can see their USB-C and discuss the adoption of this technology with IFPL’s highly knowledgeable personnel.

IFPL’s new USB-A and USB-C combination outlet ensures an easy transition with its reversible USB-A and USB-C connector delivering up to 2A 5V DC or 3A 5V DC respectively, and with a data variant available. IFPL has included clever reversible USB-A option that delivers up to ten times the reliability of normal aviation standard USB-A outlet.

IFPL has designed the Rapid Fit USB-C outlet to allow easy on-wing maintenance through its patent pending design. The USB-C Rapid Fit is a simple replacement cassette that houses the USB-C connector, whilst the expensive electronics are kept at the rear. This allows a quick and low-cost replacement in the event of failure or Customer Induced Damage (CID). The removable cassette is replaced by simply undoing one ‘hex’ screw, eliminating the need to remove the whole module from the seat. This ensures that the replacement cassette can be changed during the aircraft turn-around, allowing the next passenger access to their power or In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system. The cassette can typically be replaced in less than 30 seconds.

In addition, IFPL has enhanced the capability of its existing power unit, the 110V AC Universal Remote Power Outlet, with the addition of a high-power USB-A socket and will be demonstrating the new 2011 unit on the stand.

As always, IFPL’s established range of IFEC products and solutions will be on display and the expert team from IFPL will be on hand to discuss any requirements that visitors to FTE 2017 may have.

Firstly, IFExpress has our APEX show images on line and you will find them here.

Next, we talked to Rich Salter at the APEX show and he told IFExpress that FTS had hosted a Chinese IFEC Summit and had conducted a successful live Ka-Band HTS Satcom connectivity demo in Beijing and we asked for more information for our readers and here is what he sent:

“On September 14th, 2017, FTS hosted an IFEC Summit and conducted a live demo of their Ka-Band HTS Satcom Connectivity solution to multiple Chinese airlines, government officials, and technology partners in Beijing, China. Taking place at the ultra-modern Zpark Technology and Conference Center, more than 150 attendees listened to speakers who shared insights on broad topics like regulations, market development and technology trends.  This is indicative of the recent surge in interest and accelerated pace of rolling out inflight connectivity in China.

For the live Ka-Band Satcom Connectivity demo, FTS leveraged on ChinaSat-16 Ka-Band satellite, connected to full FTS Xstream-Sat hardware, including Satellite Antenna, Modman, General Network Server and Cabin Wireless Access Points.  FTS was able to demonstrate downlink speed in excess of 70Mbps in what was the debut of the first China Ka-Band satellite for IFC.  All attendees were connected to internet via satellite on their mobile devices as if they were on a flight. Each attendee was assigned a virtual seat number and could stream videos, surf websites, order food and beverages as well as indulge in some onboard shopping on the FTS Xstream inflight software platform throughout the demo. Flight attendants serviced the attendee requests and orders in real time and the demo was a great success.

With the recent announcement of the Chinese government to allow the use of PEDs and cellphones inflight, the timing of the event could not have been more advantageous. “We are very pleased with the number of airlines and industry partners that attended the event and with the successful demo of our IFC solution, we look forward to growing our footprint in China in tandem with our great partners,” said Rich Salter, CTO of FTS.  This issue’s rectangle picture is from the FTS demonstration.


IFEC Breaking News (Sorta!) – Follow the Money!

Ok, see if you can follow this:

1. Bombardier developed a CSeries (CS 100), single-aisle, 100 to 150 passenger aircraft in Quebec, Canada.

2. Delta ordered 75 of the CSeries planes ( with 50 more as an option) in April of this year as part of their fleet upgrade ($4 to $5 Billion) with the hopes of a 2018 introduction.

3. In May, Boeing claimed the US aerospace industry was at risk if the planes are sold and stated that Bombardier should be fined for price dumping. Boeing proceeded to file a complaint with the ITC and the US Department of Commerce charging that selling the planes at $19.6 million each should be considered a “dumping” price. A 218 page transcript was reviewed that noted that the CSeries selling at that price would kill the Boeing B737-700 and the MAX 7. While Delta did buy some Boeing planes, they were going to loose the “100 seat market the plane need” and since there was a financial bailout of Bombardier by the Canadian Government, the CSeries should receive a US Government tariff. Initial US Commerce Department rulings recommended that US Airlines should pay as much as 300% in import duties.

4. Delta CEO Ed Bastian was not going to buy the planes at the new price!

5. On October 16, Airbus and Bombardier formed a partnership (Airbus – 50.01%, Bombardier 31%, Quebec – 19%) and announced the plane will be built in two countries (Quebec and Mobile, Alabama in the US where their A321’s are made), and guess where the Delta planes will be built? In about one month, Airbus put the deal together and since they see 6,000 of the CS types in the  small-plane market (most in the US), it worked for both companies. We note, airplanes built in the US are not subject to US duties – at least not today.

And lastly, why are you reading about it here? Because this is the plane that Delta will launch the new Gogo Vision Touch, the wireless seatback solution for connected IFEC, on in 2018. Check out this link for more details on Gogo Vision Touch!


NEWS:

Astronics
Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), was recently selected by six major North American airlines to install industry-leading EMPOWER in-seat power systems on up to 1,400 narrow- body and regional jet aircraft.

Astronics AES will equip the airplanes with 110VAC and high output USB power for every passenger from “nose to tail,” including the cabin crew stations. Line-fit and retrofit installations will occur from early 2018 through 2023.

Peter J. Gundermann, President of Astronics Corporation, noted, “Being selected for these significant fleet upgrades further solidifies our leading global market position for passenger power on commercial aircraft and is a strong indication of the increasing trend for airlines to provide power for their passengers on narrow-body and regional aircraft. Carriers worldwide are responding to passenger requests for power at the seat so they can use their personal electronic devices to fully enjoy the streamed in-flight entertainment and upgraded connectivity systems provided by the airlines, while remaining fully charged when they land.”

Statistics show that 97% of passengers travel with personal electronic devices, and a large percentage carry more than one. For over 20 years, Astronics AES has supplied intelligent power management systems for airline passengers’ benefits. The EMPOWER system is currently in service with over 230 airline and OEM customers with over one million power outlets installed.

Zodiac
Here is part of a recent news release we received: “Today we are announcing the consolidation of all Zodiac Seats California (ZSC) operations from Rancho Cucamonga, California to our Gainesville and Chihuahua facilities. We anticipate this consolidation will take six to nine months to fully complete. This consolidation of operations is in line with Zodiac Aerospace’s focus on optimizing the global industrial footprint of the Group.”

Airbus
Airbus’ A340 laminar-flow “BLADE” test demonstrator aircraft (A340-300 MSN001) has made its successful maiden flight for the EU-sponsored Clean Sky “Blade” project. The aircraft, dubbed “Flight Lab”, took off from the Tarbes aerodrome in southern France at local time 11:00, and after a series of successful tests it landed at Airbus’ facilities in Toulouse Blagnac. The overall flight time was 3hrs/38mins.

The BLADE project – which stands for “Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe” – is tasked with assessing the feasibility of introducing the technology for commercial aviation. It aims to improve aviation’s ecological footprint, bringing with it a 50% reduction of wing friction and up to five percent lower CO2 emission. Airbus’ A340 Flight Lab is the first test aircraft in the world to combine a transonic laminar wing profile with a true internal primary structure.

On the outside the aircraft is fitted with two representative transonic laminar outer-wings, while inside the cabin a highly complex specialist flight-test-instrumentation (FTI) station has been installed. The extensive modifications to the A340-300 test-bed aircraft took place during the course of a 16-month working party in Tarbes, with the support of numerous industrial partners across Europe. Today’s first-flight marks the kick-off of the Blade flight-test campaign to explore the wing’s characteristics in flight. A key goal of Blade is to be able to measure the tolerances and imperfections which can be present and still sustain laminarity. To this end, Airbus will simulate every type of imperfection in a controlled manner, so that at the end of the campaign the tolerances for building a laminar wing will be fully known. The flight Lab will perform around 150 flight hours in the coming months.

Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), an MRO centre based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, partially owned by Airbus since 2011, has become a fully owned Airbus subsidiary, following the acquisition by Airbus of its remaining shares.With this acquisition, SAE becomes an integral part of the Airbus Customer Services network and is set to represent a key element of Services by Airbus’ growth strategy in the dynamic Asia Pacific market.

JetBlue
JetBlue will become the first airline to introduce Airspace by Airbus on the A320 Family, the agreement was introduced at APEX Expo. JetBlue customers will experience this newest A320 Family cabin aboard JetBlue aircraft starting in late 2020. Highlights of the new Airspace cabin in the A320 Family include: a unique welcome experience. In particular, a customizable welcome effect is extended throughout the cabin by a central lighting strip which is visible even with open bin doors during boarding. The A320 Family cabin with Airspace features the industry’s largest overhead bins, whose conformal exterior profile facilitates smooth boarding. Throughout the cabin passengers will appreciate the increased interior width, the soothing ambience of the latest full-color LED lighting, and a contemporary lavatory design with new comfort features.

Inmarsat
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced that AirAsia Group has selected its next-generation GX Aviation inflight broadband solution for more than 120 Airbus aircraft. This contract supports Inmarsat’s strategy of providing airlines with tailored scalable capacity by designing, owning and operating a global network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.

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

SITAONAIR
International carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has selected SITAONAIR to make its global high-speed connected passenger experience ambitions a reality over GX Aviation. SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing B777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave SATCOM terminal, together with line-fitting PAL’s new Airbus A350s and A321s. Once complete, SITAONAIR will activate its rich nose-to-tail package of bespoke inflight connectivity (IFC) services, achieving a significantly enhanced and consistent connected experience for passengers and cabin crews. SITAONAIR’s award-winning, intuitive Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content, satisfying digitally-demanding passengers over GX connectivity by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers. In addition, PAL customers will benefit from SITAONAIR’s mobile connectivity over GX via SITAONAIR’s Mobile ONAIRONAIR Plug’s secure online channel for inflight card transactions and crew and passenger interactions; plus integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The close partnership between SITAONAIR and Zodiac Inflight Innovations with PAL plays an important part in the program’s success.

Immfly
Immfly, based in Barcelona, was selected by easyJet to launch its IFE product on the basis of the high-performance digital platform it provides. It offers the flexibility to dynamically deliver a broad range of digital content and innovative tools to effectively engage customers. Immfly’s product is at the forefront of the industry providing passengers with the ability to access a unique in-flight entertainment experience with personalized capabilities through their own smart devices, rendering old built-in monitors obsolete. Immfly, already a leading provider of in-flight sales and communications services in Europe, expects to reach 100 million connected passengers by 2018 following its partnerships with airlines which include carriers such as Iberia Express, Volotea, XL Airways and now easyJet. Rakuten, a global leader in internet services with over 1 billion members worldwide and an ecosystem of more than 70 services, will be the Official Entertainment Sponsor of easyJet’s in-flight entertainment service integrated by Immfly.


More Stuff:

 

Last issue we began the EXPO updates for our IFExpress content, and we continue with it this week. However, it may take longer to cover APEX as we plan to keep covering the latest news in our weekly coverage as well. So, lets get started with Lufthansa Systems and Telefonix:

1) Lufthansa Systems

Norbert Müller, previously Head of BoardConnect at Lufthansa Systems, has taken on a new role as Head of the Americas region at Lufthansa Systems as of October 1, 2017. The LS folks said that he is pleased to hand over the baton to his successor Jan-Peter Gänse, who has so far been responsible for certifications and strategically important projects in the area of BoardConnect.

“I am pleased to be able to take on this task from a highly esteemed colleague and industry expert who has accompanied me over the past few years in my previous area of responsibility. My goal is to further expand the already established and successful path with our product line BoardConnect. With currently 12 customers, we are on the right track.” And while in Long Beach, we met the affable Jan-Peter and we really enjoyed visiting with him – and we are certain you will too!

From a hardware/services perspective, the company announced the following relationship during APEX. A completely new approach to content services provisioning characterizes the BoardConnect Media Services offered by Lufthansa Systems in collaboration with Touch Inflight Solutions Inc. (Touch). Since the two companies began cooperating closely just over a year ago, their product has been successfully installed on more than 100 aircraft of commercial airlines – including Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Azul Linhas Aereas.

Although demand for an Internet connection is rising when it comes to onboard entertainment, current bandwidth is not yet sufficient to enable all passengers to stream content simultaneously. “While we expect connectivity to increase further and prices to drop in the next three to five years, bandwidth in the air will not be comparable to normal bandwidth on the ground even then,” said Michael Childers, Chief Consultant Content and Media Services at Lufthansa Systems. “That’s why providing airlines with a content offering stored on local servers on board the aircraft and streamed via a local WiFi network is a reliable and sustainable option that can also be combined with future Internet services. Our wireless BoardConnect in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution enables us to offer our customers exactly that.”

Integrated approach

Unlike some other IFE providers, Lufthansa Systems and Touch have adopted an integrated approach to in-flight entertainment. Rather than seeing the content and system-based components as separate entities, they directly consider the technological possibilities of the IFEC system when determining which content the product should include. The infrastructure, design and selection of content maximizes the system’s performance. What’s more, new content should be available even faster than ever. By using cloud technology and eDelivery, it makes it possible to place new content on the platform extremely fast, quickly taking Lufthansa Systems and Touch from the industry’s 90 days window to a mere fraction of this period.

“When we design the infrastructure components for the content, we have to be aware of the technical capabilities of the passengers’ current smartphones and tablets. Only then can we do everything we can to offer them a passenger experience that gets the best out of their devices,” said Joe Carreira, Managing Director of Touch Inflight Solutions. “We are working closely with Lufthansa Systems in this context. Our aim is to create solutions customized to fit the individual requirements of airlines and their passengers.”

The individual content on offer ranges from global and regional films and TV series, branded and web content, music, magazines as well as airport guides and destination content. When it comes to offering Hollywood movies, Lufthansa Systems and Touch Inflight Solutions have a direct, close and long-term working relationship with the film studios.

2) Telefonix

During APEX EXPO Telefonix PDT was selected by Gogo to develop the next generation Air-to-Ground Modem Controller Unit. Here is some additional information from Telefonix PDT on the product. The AMCU product is an evolution of the currently fielded Airborne Controller Processor Unit 2 (ACPU2), which allows seamless enablement of Gogo’s next generation ATG service while maintaining installed electronics footprint. Gogo’s next generation ATG network is slated for North American availability in 2018. The AMCU incorporates a proprietary modem that utilizes LTE technology in the unlicensed 2.4GHz band. This system is designed to provide peak speeds of more than 100Mbps. The AMCU is a continuation of the work the Telefonix PDT team has been doing during its long-standing development partnership with Gogo. The AMCU is the latest product to be developed by Telefonix PDT and has grown out of the insights and technological advancements from partnerships such as Gogo. The AMCU features a modular design for its key components, enhancing the serviceability of the LRU, while also providing a future pathway for upgrading those components.

To fully enable Gogo’s new network, the AMCU is designed to deliver advanced processing capabilities, with a modern quad core Intel Xeon processor. The AMCU supports both ARINC 429 and ARINC 717 data bus interfaces, a managed multi-port Gigabit Ethernet switch, avionic discretes, an 802.11g/a/n/ac Wi-Fi client, 4G/LTE Terrestrial modem, and an extended onboard multi-Terabyte SSD storage capability, all packaged in an ARINC 600, 6 MCU chassis. The cornerstone of the AMCU is Gogo’s innovative ATG modem; the AMCU chassis will manage and provide for the modem’s unique mechanical, electrical and thermal requirements.

Pat Walsh, Sr. Vice President of Engineering at Gogo noted, “The AMCU will be an integral component of Gogo’s evolving connectivity solution, and we couldn’t be happier to once again be working with the Telefonix PDT team to ensure an optimized product for our customers.”

Gogo’s awarding of the AMCU program underlines the faith Gogo has placed in the Telefonix PDT team to continue innovating the next generation of ATG services. “The Telefonix PDT team values its long-standing relationship with Gogo and is proud to have been selected for the AMCU program,” says Michael Kuehn, President of Telefonix, Inc. “Our team is committed to working side by side with the Gogo development team in delivering a best-in-class modem solution for Gogo’s ATG network and meeting the expectations of Gogo’s customers going forward.” The Telefonix PDT development team is on schedule to meet Gogo’s development and installation schedule, with planning underway for DO-160G qualification, with a final delivery expected in Q2 in 2018.


NEWS

  • PANASONIC AVIONICS-Mexico City-based Interjet has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) innovative inflight entertainment (IFE) system and Wi-Fi connectivity service for its fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The initial aircraft will be delivered from Airbus in November 2017, and this A321 NEO aircraft will be the first Panasonic-equipped aircraft to be line fit with connectivity by the OEM. Headquartered in Mexico City, Interjet serves over 11 million passengers each year with routes in Mexico as well as the United States, Canada and Central and South America providing air service to 54 destinations in eight countries. It operates a fleet of 76 aircraft and has revenue of more than 1 billion dollars per year.  With Panasonic, Interjet will be able to offer a premium, connected entertainment experience across international markets and one of the most extensive domestic route structures available from Airlines in the region. Panasonic’s connectivity service will let passengers surf the web, send email, and use their favorite social media apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, and more over inflight broadband Wi-Fi. eXO is one of the industry’s most innovative overhead solutions. It features Panasonic’s new large-format 12-inch 1080p retractable overhead monitors, and gives Interjet a path to deliver wireless streaming to passenger devices in the future. It creates a theater like experience allowing passengers to view high definition video content on large-format overhead screens.
  • Gogo announced it completed 110 installations of its industry leading 2Ku inflight connectivity solution in the third quarter of 2017. The company had a total of 340 2Ku installed aircraft as of Sept. 30, 2017. “Our rapid deployment of 2Ku is transforming global aviation. Based on our pace of installs since Labor Day, we are well positioned to nearly double the number of 2Ku installations in the fourth quarter as compared to the third quarter,” said John Wade, Gogo’s executive vice president and COO.   “We are delivering the most bandwidth, the broadest global coverage and highest system availability for aviation.” Gogo will have approximately 600 total 2Ku aircraft online across 10 airlines by the end of this year.  The company has shortened installation times to less than two days, which is less than half the time that it typically takes to install a broadband satellite connectivity solution.
  • Astronics, a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Astronics Max-Viz, announced  that more than 2,500 of its Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) have now been installed in rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft. 
  • Airbus logged 56 jetliner sales last month (single aisle & wide body) while delivering 55 aircraft for September (versus 62 in September 2016). Airbus’ overall net orders for the first nine months of 2017 totaled 271 jets (462 in 2017 versus 462 one year ago) . As one source notes: “Airbus’ overall backlog of jetliners as of 30 September stood at 6,691– the equivalent of approximately nine years of production at current rates.”
  • BOEING delivered 78 aircraft in September vs 72 in Sept 2016. It has delivered 554 aircraft over first three quarters of 2017 vs 563 a year ago.
  • And if you were wondering why the US came down so hard on Canadian Bombardier’s C Series aircraft dumping, you really must read the Danny Lam article in Aviation Week – China is the issue!

Lastly, if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend APEX in Long Beach or you were simply too busy to walk the expo floor be certain to check out our flickr link in the upper right hand column!

Kontron to supply cabin Wi-Fi hardware and certification services

Long Beach, California | September 27, 2017–Kontron, a leading global provider of embedded computing inflight entertainment and connectivity equipment, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Air Esurfing, a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media online Group, to jointly explore China aviation Wi-Fi market.  The Air Esurfing system solution will integrate Kontron’s ACE Flight™ Server and Cab-N-Connect™ wireless access point for inflight connectivity applications that utilize China’s Ku-band and Ku/Ka-band HTS capacity. Kontron is also providing STC certification services to ensure that the new system is qualified to meet the safety and regulatory standards required for commercial aviation in China.

Kontron’s certified IFE&C open platforms were selected for their ability to help reduce the complexity and costs associated with developing next-generation “connected aircraft” systems including new Satcom applications. The new services from Air Esurfing are scheduled to be launched in early 2018 with pilot programs that will offer in-cabin video streaming and inflight Internet connectivity to passengers on China domestic flights.

“Kontron is very pleased to sign this cooperation agreement with Air Esurfing, who is a key player in the rapidly growing China IFE&C market, ” said Andy Mason, Vice President of Technology at Kontron America. “We can support this partnership with cabin and connectivity products already certified and flying with the Chinese airlines, plus the regional and global experience that enables fast time-to-market.”

“Kontron brings proven hardware solutions for inflight WiFi and connectivity,” said Mr. Zhou Hong, General Manager Air Esurfing. “These enabling platforms will enable us to offer the most state-of-the-art IFE&C services to the domestic Chinese market.”

Long Beach, California | September 26, 2017–International carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has selected SITAONAIR to make its global high-speed connected passenger experience ambitions a reality over GX Aviation.

SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing B777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave SATCOM terminal, together with line-fitting PAL’s new Airbus A350s and A321s. Once complete, SITAONAIR will activate its rich nose-to-tail package of bespoke inflight connectivity (IFC) services, achieving a significantly enhanced and consistent connected experience for passengers and cabin crews.

SITAONAIR’s award-winning, intuitive Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content, satisfying digitally-demanding passengers over GX connectivity by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers.

In addition, PAL customers will benefit from SITAONAIR’s mobile connectivity over GX via SITAONAIR’sMobile ONAIRONAIR Plug’s secure online channel for inflight card transactions and crew and passenger interactions; plus integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The close partnership between SITAONAIR and Zodiac Inflight Innovations with PAL plays an important part in the program’s success.

In April PAL announced their selection of SITAONAIR’s state-of-the-art CrewTab solution to digitize cabin crews’ operations. Coupled with GX connectivity, this solution’s capabilities will further optimize the customer service experience and efficiencies CrewTab-equipped cabin crews can deliver in flight.

PAL President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista, says: “We are extremely proud to be realizing our complete, connected aircraft ambitions with SITAONAIR, our long-standing, trusted partner. Philippine Airlines is absolutely focused on delivering the best-possible passenger experience, driving towards our goal of becoming a full-service five-star carrier. PAL is at the forefront of the connected aircraft revolution, and we are excited about the future. Service innovations, together with flight route network expansion and fleet modernization, remains a top priority.”

David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, says: “A quality inflight connectivity experience is now a ‘must-have’ for airline passengers – SITA’s 2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey found onboard satisfaction higher among tech-using passengers than non-tech users. With SITAONAIR, our long-standing airline customers Philippine Airlines are advancing their ambitions for digital innovation and transformation over the latest high-speed broadband technologies, and we are honored to be playing a central role in their story.”

He continued: “Our integral partnership with Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Honeywell, Inmarsat and Zodiac Inflight Innovations in delivering a fully certified and integrated end-to-end connectivity solution and service will continue to be instrumental in the overall success of the project.”

Find out how SITAONAIR can help you create your connected aircraft reality today – visit sitaonair.aero, speak to your nearest SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.