Zii: 

This week’s Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii) rectangle should give you an idea of the relative growth of RAVE AVOD customers over the past year or so. RAVE’s sales and marketing Guru, Harry Gray told IFExpress at APEX: “It has been a good year. In the last ninety days, we have acquired six new RAVE customers.” It should be noted, that RAVE has over 250 aircraft flying with inseat systems and almost 300 with RAVE wireless systems. Some of the new customers are prominent and market leading airlines. A recent press release from Singapore noted: “ – four new A350 customers, 150 committed B737Max aircraft, their first A380 customer as well as over 200 Global Express Connectivity equipped aircraft committed with the first installation scheduled early in 2017. Zodiac Inflight Innovations is quietly becoming a force in the world of IFEC. Zii first hit the IFE scene with their revolutionary new Seat Centric IFE system in 2011 and just five years later they are growing with over 45 airline customers, over 550 aircraft in service, and over 650 aircraft in committed backlog.” Noted Harry, “RAVE is: Reliable, Affordable, and Very Easy (to install, operate and maintain) – that is why it has been a success.” He also noted that the retrofit market has been very stable, and as of late, line fit is definitely growing. “Our RAVE systems are much easier to maintain than traditional IFE systems which allows airlines to maintain their own aircraft without the added expense of paying a traditional IFE provider for support” says Matt Smith, CEO for Zodiac Inflight Innovations. “Zii is a company that is different by design; our focus is always on putting our customers first. We want to be a company that Airlines want to work with; customer focused and innovation driven, we relentlessly pursue our core value of RAVE – Reliable, Affordable and Very Easy. It’s more than a name, it’s who we are.”

This year Zii has added an aftermarket support package to round out their portfolio of products. With RAVE Care, an airline can tailor a support package to its specific needs for a fixed price per month per aircraft. RAVE Care can include everything that an airline needs to maintain and operate their IFE systems, including spares, repairs, customer abuse and even content integration. Included in RAVE Care is a software guarantee that means airlines never have to worry about the cost of updating their Passenger User Interface and features over the lifetime of the system.

Kontron:

Kontron’s latest equipment developments include their ACE Flight 4608 8 core onboard server, which has the capability to do a lot more than inflight entertainment. For example, Kontron’s early systems featured solid state drives which were in the 100 GB but today their servers will feature 7 TB drives that are all solid state. The important point to note is that communication/connectivity enhancements are a real future capability. The Kontron team told us that Kontron specializes in cabin systems as well as security and safety certifications. Furthermore, the 4608 server excels at data processing onboard, the benefit to the airline is that they don’t have to wait to get the information off the aircraft when it is on the ground – once again proving that the big data technology is becoming an expectation and a reality. They also received FAA PMA for their Cab-n-Connect A100 wireless access point (PIX).  It should be noted that it delivers next-generation HD video and is certified on Boeing, Airbus, and Embrear aircraft. (Editor’s Note: Since 2005 Kontron has added new IFE and connectivity equipment every year. This year seven new products and iterations were unveiled: the ACE Flight 4780 MODMAN, ACE Flight Server 4608, the ACE Flight Server 4600, the ACE Flight Server 2600, and the ACE Flight Server 1600, the ACE Flight Server 904 and the Cab-n-Connect A100.)

PXCom:

This year APEX introduced a ‘Cool Award’ that was selected by industry peers. PXCom was the recipient of this award, probably because of the recognition of many of the companies’ innovations such as seat back wireless IFE compatible destination guides and destination information. IFExpress has had the pleasure of knowing Cyril Jean of PXCom for several years now and we have reported on their many innovative IFE communication developments and we were thrilled that their IFE peers acknowledged their creativity. Congratulations PXCom!

GEE:
We had the opportunity to meet GEE’s new Director of Marketing, Nancy Harvey during APEX. She was happy to discuss their recent content agreement with Qatar Airways, which was announced during the expo. The deal is a new one for GEE that expands on their longstanding relationship with the airline and covers several years where they will provide movies, music, audio, and TV for on 164 aircraft, as well as, 8 charter jets and 12 business jets. (Editor’s Note: In our November 15th issue of IFExpress we discussed GEE’s recent JV with Shareco of HNA Group. Joint venture would exclusively provide inflight connectivity hardware and entertainment services on HNA airlines, comprising over 320 aircraft today with the potential to grow to over 500 planes. Shareco plans to invest up to $416 million in GEE stock at $11 per share through a combination of primary and secondary share purchases. Under terms of the contemplated transactions, GEE and Shareco would form a JV to provide IFEC and passenger monetization services to HNA airlines.)


AIRBUS

The first of three A350-1000 development aircraft to fly – MSN059 – landed at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport France at 15.00hrs local time after successfully completing its first flight which lasted four hours and 18 minutes. Powered by Rolls-Royce’s new Trent XWB-97 engines, the aircraft traversed south-western France, during which the crew explored the aircraft’s handling and flight envelope. (See the full press release in “News Releases” below.)

On another front, Airbus plans to increase delivery rate of their A350 next to some 80 aircraft next year.


BOEING

New Hire
Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Monday named Kevin G. McAllister president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, succeeding company Vice Chairman Ray Conner in that role. Muilenburg also appointed Stanley A. Deal president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, a new business unit to be formed from the customer services groups within the company’s existing commercial airplanes and defense, space and security business units. McAllister joins Boeing from GE Aviation. Deal is a veteran Boeing executive. Conner, 61, will continue to serve as Boeing vice chairman through 2017. He will work closely with McAllister in the months ahead on a purposeful hand-off of customer, supplier, and community and government relationships, and to ensure continuity of operations and customer support. Conner also will provide strategic oversight and guidance for the company’s transition to a single integrated services business and remain involved in ongoing product development strategy at Commercial Airplanes. Deal will begin immediately finalizing and executing detailed and deliberate plans to structure and organize the new business while ensuring all near-term customer commitments are met and value is maximized over the long term. Deal and McAllister join Caret as business unit leaders reporting directly to Muilenburg. They also become members of the company’s Executive Council. The appointments are effective Nov. 21, 2016.

World Trade Organization Ruling
The World Trade Organization (WTO) today rejected virtually all of the European Union’s challenges to the Washington state tax incentives. The EU challenged seven different state tax incentives.  The WTO rejected entirely the EU’s challenge to six of the seven incentives and rejected most of the challenge to the seventh.  The WTO held only and narrowly that a reduction in Washington state’s Business and Occupancy (B&O) tax rate for future 777X revenues is inconsistent with the WTO agreements.  The WTO threw out all of the EU’s other challenges to various incentive programs and left untouched even the B&O tax rate as it applies to revenue from the other Boeing models produced in Washington state–the 737, 747, 767, 777 (current model) and 787. In total, the EU claimed that Boeing had received $8.7 billion in subsidies.  This claim was rejected by the WTO, which found future incentives totaling no more than $50 million a year to be impermissible.  The WTO found that to date Boeing has received no benefit from the 777X rate incentive, and will not until 2020, because the first airplane will not be delivered until then. In light of today’s decision and the massive liability that the WTO has found against the EU and Airbus, we expect the EU and Airbus to appeal the decision.

Singapore, APEX EXPO | October 25, 2016–
PXCom officially launches its Digital Inflight Ad-Serving solution called AirSAS at APEX EXPO 2016, and unveils the first KPIs
AirSAS enables brands to roll out their digital campaign throughout the IFE, without any required connectivity or bandwidth consumption, disrupting in- flight legacy advertising.

Until now, brands who wanted to reach the traveller during their flight had only the choice between paper inflight mag, global pre-roll videos, stickers… Whilst traditional advertising budgets are continuously tightening, digital budgets remain on a fast growing trend.
PXCom and its media sales partner, IMM International, decided to bring to the air industry an effective tool enabling airlines to tap into this growing gold mine, creating AirSAS.

The ultimate inflight digital ad-serving solution
Designed for both seatback screens and w-IFE, AirSAS is formed of several software modules: a back-office cloud suite, a dedicated IFE ad-server, and a reporting module.

The back-office encompasses campaigns management for both brands (from creation to reports edition), and airlines (enabling advertisers selection as well as self-promotion). Once created, the digital campaigns are either sent to PXCom’s IFE ad-serving module or to other connected IFE ad-servers developed by the IFE manufacturers themselves. The upload operation is conducted when the aircraft are on the ground. During the flight the ad-server rolls out the campaigns according to their management rules, and the gathered data are offloaded once the aircraft are back on the ground. Then the reporting module aggregates all the gathered data in order to update the campaigns.

“AirSAS offers the state-of-the-art features that can be found on the most accurate web/mobile ad-servers, enabling full targeting and rules management capabilities”, says Cyril JEAN, PXCom’s CEO. “However, some IFE systems already offer some digital advertising opportunities, even if they are not comprehensive. Since we are platform agnostic, in such case, we recommend to proceed step by step, and connect our back office as a good starting point. Then, on a second step, we can schedule a full integration of AirSAS into the IFE. Our ultimate goal is to enable brands to target passengers and no longer airlines. This involves a great shift of mind from the industry!”

First results and live update
Prior to launch AirSAS officially, PXCom has conducted some tests within its interactive destination guides for IFEC, measuring all the relevant KPIs, among them:

  • An average of 23% of w-IFE users go to Destination Guides section
  • 89% spend more than 11 minutes on a destination guide
  • 16 minutes of average browsing time for a 2-hour flight / 28 minutes for a 4-hour flight.
  • Top 3 sections are: Do&See (37%), Bars & Nightlife (14%), Restaurants (13%)
    (Full results will be available online during the expo).

Full AirSAS solution is currently onboarding on its first airlines, with operational live report which updates the results between every 3 and 24 hours according to the considered airline and flight length. Stay tuned!

“The loop is now seamless and fully operational”, comments Cyril JEAN. “With a growing number of advertisers, the next step for AirSAS is the yield management feature, enabling automatic selection of the most profitable campaigns. With such a qualified audience, airline industry can easily avoid the digital pitfalls that has been digged by the real time biding (RTB) on the web & mobile.”

PXCom exhibits on #1120 at APEX Expo 2016.

PXCom:

This week we have a lot of stories that will interest you and we thought we would start our offering with a light interview we recently had with a really nice guy, Cyril Jean of PXCom, located in France. Some three years ago, we met Cyril at an APEX luncheon where he joined our table with an introduction, a business card, and a conversation loaded both with future hope and enthusiasm. Whats not to like? So, after the few years of starting an inflight entertainment company we asked via email how it was going and he wrote the following answers. We thought you, our readers, might find them interesting:

1. Cyril, how many airplanes do you have service on today?

Answer: “We have 71 for Eurowings and 20 for Iberia Express.”

2. OK, what airlines can you mention that you are providing service to?

Answer: “For the moment Eurowings & Iberia. I think that within one month we will be able to operate on 3 new airlines.”

3. Please tell our readers how long have you been in the IFE business?

Answer: “PXCom was created 3 years ago, and yet we have been working in the IFE business for 10+ years.”

4. Cyril, could you please name you products/services for our readers.

Answer: “Our destination guides (see the image above) do not have a specific name. Also, the advertisers pay for a PXPage (interactive page integrated directly in the guide) or for a PXApp (microsite that can be accessed directly from the guide).”

5. Perhaps you could tell our readers where are you located and if this affects whom you service?

Answer: “We are located in Bordeaux (FRANCE), but our first customers (advertisers) are within Europe. With the upcoming additional airlines we intend to develop in Asia, Middle East and Americas.”

6. Please more completely identify your “products” or services for our readers as we know you are developing some interesting IFE solutions?

Answer: “We supply destination related services: from informative content (destination guides) to destination services (taxi booking, hotel pre-checking) – when we have the opportunity to supply onboard aircraft equipped with connectivity. We have also a second activity, soon live on the first airlines, which is Digital Inflight Advertising. Please note that this latter mentioned product will be subject to a specific PR release when it becomes live.”

7. Can you now give our readers an updated airline/product picture?

Answer: “For the moment it’s Eurowings our launch airline for the interactive guides, and we also provide Iberia Express with destination related advertising offerings. We have currently 7 other airlines in process for product integration, among which, 3 of them will be unveiled before end of September.”

Thanks Cyril! IFExpress will stay tuned to your growth… and you can reach him at cyril.jean@pxcom.aero and we are sure he would be happy to show you his IFE offerings! Or check out www.pxcom.aero


IFPL:

IFPL celebrated a major milestone this year supplying their two-millionth industry part to a key Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Now in their 20th year of trading, IFPL reached their two-millionth unit, just four years after the first million, demonstrating their continued sustainable growth in leading the way in IFEC peripherals. Chief Operating Officer, Tim Young, proudly accepted the two-millionth unit from the company’s Head of Production, Marcus Baker. Tim says, “It is a testament to the whole IFPL team, that the two-millionth part followed so soon after reaching our first million. IFPL investments in quality systems, manufacturing and product development capability combined with the development and introduction of new NFC, USB, audio jacks and passenger control units, means that we aim to reach our three-millionth unit even sooner.” The innovative IFPL two-millionth unit is IFPL’s Noise Cancelling Audio Jack (p/n 1155). IFPL’s Integrated Noise Cancelling Audio Module (INCAM) technology is designed to minimize cabin background noise – ensuring that aircraft passengers enjoy a more relaxed and restful journey, while also benefiting from clarity of sound via the passenger Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system. Passengers may still use their own noise-cancelling headphones, however IFPL’s INCAM enables the airline to provide noise cancelling to all its passengers by simply relocating the costly and complex headset electronics into the jack module. Therefore noise-cancelling headsets are not required, only the addition of inexpensive microphones in the ear cups that are used to pick up the ambient noise. This improved technology enables all aircraft passengers to benefit from a more enjoyable and enhanced in-flight experience. The 1155 Noise Cancelling Audio Jack is part of an extensive range of IFPL products and IFEC solutions, which includes the new reversible USB power and data module, Dual-pin MagSignal audio and the latest in NFC contactless payment technology.


HONEYWELL:

Honeywell has achieved final certification from Inmarsat for JetWave, the company’s package of exclusive hardware that will allow pilots, passengers, operators and maintenance personnel to connect to GX Aviation, the revolutionary new in-flight broadband service from Inmarsat. Users can consistently and more quickly surf the internet, check emails, stream music and videos, and shop online without drop-off throughout their flight, even when flying over oceans. The final type approval certificate confirms that the system functions as designed and completes the process to bring GX Aviation to the aerospace market. The certification centers on operation in all environmental conditions with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which comprises three satellites already launched and functioning. This ensures that passengers, pilots and other airline personnel have access to high-speed, consistent and reliable broadband service by GX Aviation on flights worldwide, with speeds similar to those experienced at home or in the office.


FTE:

The Future Travel Experience Global show is “Vegas” on Sept 7 – 9 and you can get all the info here.  Noted Daniel Coleman: “It has taken a lot of work, but I am very proud and excited by the plans for FTE Global 2016, with our valued event partners making great contributions to bringing the event to life: McCarran International Airport, APEX, ACC, AAAE and Airport Terminal of the Future.”


SITA:

AeroMod International and SITAONAIR today jointly announce a partnership to install SITAONAIR wireless inflight entertainment (IFE) services on Philippine Airlines. The rapid installation program will see AeroMod International deploy a consistent cabin experience across Philippine Airlines fleet and implement the systems in record time. This industry leader in avionics and airplane structural modification and repair services commenced installation of the SITAONAIR wireless IFE system on Philippine Airlines’ Airbus A321 fleet in July. Under the program, Philippine Airlines will have one wireless IFE-installed aircraft returned to service every day. Market analysis by AeroMod reveals that only 13 percent of non-U.S. airlines have wireless IFE fully deployed. Despite this, a recent SITA survey of passengers worldwide showed IFE is now more commonly consumed via Wi-Fi on a personal device, rather than on the aircraft’s seat-back screen (46% vs 44%, with 10% using both). Additionally, two thirds (65%) of passengers would choose to access it via their own devices if wireless IFE was available. “86 percent of passengers take a smartphone onto a plane and they would prefer to also use them to access IFE. These networks therefore need to be highly robust in order to deliver HD quality video to all passengers,” said David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR. “AeroMod has an enviable track record for installations that are both of exceptional quality and are turned around quickly, getting the planes back in the air as soon as possible.”


Satcom Info:

We wanted to point out one writer who weekly features the present and future of satcom usage and his name is Tim Farrar… a writer, speaker, and aficionado of that venue of connectivity. We thought you might find one chart that he has posted and since it talks about “who has what” in the satcom universe, you might find it interesting… a little bit of research on his site might also be useful… especially the SES chart he has included on the above mentioned link. But, there is a lot more there.


GEE:

Global Eagle Entertainment has entered into a global distribution agreement between GEE’s Entertainment in Motion and The QYOU, a leading provider of curated and hosted online short-form content for the Video Everywhere age. The broad-based deal gives GEE and its affiliated companies access to The QYOU catalog and new production targeting distinct passengers with peppy morning, family afternoon and late-night styled content. The video segments will cover various categories including extreme sports, artist spotlights, dance, beauty, and comedy. Content will be accessible on airline seatback portals and personal entertainment devices enabled by airlines and cruise liners. The agreement grants exclusive and worldwide airline and maritime distribution rights, and non-exclusive distributions rights in other U.S. and Canada non-theatrical markets.

On another GEE front, Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today launched a new interactive data dashboard designed to provide the traveling public with access to aggregated flight operations information for U.S. airlines and airports across the country. The dashboard, displayed at airlines.org, was produced in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (GEE) and will provide the current operation status for the top 30 U.S. airports by passenger volume.
A4A partnered with GEE to develop this dashboard as a resource for industry partners and others who have a need for aggregated on-time performance data at the airport level or based on current weather patterns. The dashboard, tapping into GEE’s unsurpassed aviation data analytics capabilities, is complete with scroll-over maps, real-time flight departures, completions, cancellations, on-time performance and weather conditions at the national and local airport level. This new resource also provides a detailed, rolling 30-day analysis of completed and canceled flights. GEE’s solution will enhance this offering by adding current analysis tools of all U.S. flight operations.

 

Paris, France | March 13, 2014–

French start-up PXCom, supported by UBIFRANCE, will be at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, as it showcases its latest interactive innovations in InFlight Entertainment. Also during the trade show, PXCom will unveil new partnerships with well- known travel guide resources, as well as strategic partnerships for airlines FFP & Loyalty Programs. Finally, PXCom is pleased to announce that Patrick Baudry, specialist in inhabited space flights and former test pilot, has joined its team and will be present during the trade show to discuss InFlight Entertainment and its future evolutions.

Already an active market, Inflight Entertainment is now beginning to give a glimpse of the value of certain fresh applications. With the advent of new economic models, businesses are exploring new frontiers in Passenger Experience. Thanks to technological advances, advertising marketing directors are finally able to approach these new horizons.

“PXCom is positioning its solutions in this new dynamic,” says Cyril Jean, PXCom CEO, “We are focusing especially on the InFlight publicity sector because we have successfully developed a method for passengers to interact with advertising brands during their flights. Our solutions access publicity multimedia applications without the need for an onboard Internet connection. For example, airlines will be able to assist passengers seeking to make plans at their destination before they arrive. Imagine yourself on board a long-haul flight to New York. In the section “Destination Information” on your IFE, you can find activities and local tour partners to help you make your trip something special. In this model, the protagonist wins out: airlines benefit from new advertising revenue and advertisers benefit from a captive and interested audience. As for passengers, they find all the information they need for their trip, without spending a single cent!”

Concerning their new partnerships, Cyril Jean explains, “For our principal service which provides destination information, we will be unveiling our partnerships with major travel guides and travel entertainment for destinations. During the trade show, we will also be pleased to reveal strategic partnerships offering airlines new opportunities for their loyalty programs (FFP & Loyalty)”.

Presenting at the FRANCE Booth (6D51), PXCom will also be joined by its newest team member Patrick Baudry. Former spaceman and test pilot for Aerospatiale and Airbus Industrie,

Patrick has integrated the start-up’s advisory board. “PXCom is a French company that adds significant value,” indicated Patrick Baudry, “and I wished to accompany them by being present at their side during the Hamburg trade show, which makes up one of the largest gatherings in the world for the Aeronautic Passenger Experience sector.”