Well IFExpress readers, it’s that time again – Aircraft Interiors and here is the story: “This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2017, which takes place in Hamburg, Germany from 4th – 6th April, is the global stage to see the latest innovations and product launches from the world’s leading suppliers in aircraft cabin interiors and Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity. This year, AIX welcomes 55 new exhibiting companies, including Adient, Bombardier and airtango. They will join more than 500 companies at the event including longstanding exhibitors such as; Airbus, B/E Aerospace, Boeing, Inmarsat, Panasonic Avionics and Zodiac and newer entrants such as Acro, and Mirus Aircraft Seating. Across AIX as a whole, 125 companies are expanding their presence taking an additional 3,000 sq. meters between them.”

The show news release went on: “According to the IATA’s 2016 Global Passenger Survey, a key concern for passengers, particularly those under 24, is having the same connectivity in the air as on the ground, highlighting the need for continued airline investment to meet passenger needs. This is reflected in the continued growth of the IFEC Zone. It is now the world’s largest event dedicated to content and service providers. There are 18 new showcasing companies including Philotech, LiteAir Aviation Products and Otonomy Aviation, alongside 100 existing exhibitors in the Zone.”

Last year, over 16,000 folks visited the expo and this year we expect no less. In fact, see what the folks at AIX are saying; “AIX is part of the Passenger Experience Week, which also includes the World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo, co-located with AIX at the Hamburg Messe from 4th – 6th April.  Organized by Reed Exhibitions, some 20,000 visitors are expected to register to attend Passenger Experience Week. The first of the events taking place at the Hamburg Messe during Passenger Experience Week is the renowned Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) on 3rd April. The event is dedicated to the future of the passenger experience industry and incorporates a broad choice of presentations and panel discussions on the key themes of generating revenue, the connected journey and comfort and wellbeing. Leading speakers on these topics come from inside and outside the passenger experience industry including Dick Powell, the Chairman of design agency Seymourpowell, Paul Edwards, head of Industrial Design at Airbus and Blake Emery, Direction Differentiation Strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.”

AIX also mentioned: “New to the PEC this year is the Airline Breakfast Forum. This addition presents an opportunity for airline attendees to network, debate informally with their peers about issues relevant to improving the passenger experience in their businesses and to share best practice insights. Attendees at the Airline Breakfast Forum will also be invited to a keynote by Jeff James, vice president and general manager of the Disney Institute.”

Polly Magraw, Event Director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, noted: “2017 is set to be a landmark year for AIX, with record growth from both new and existing exhibitors, much of it in our burgeoning IFEC zone. With such a wealth of companies exhibiting at the show, and more than 1,000 airline executives expected to attend, it’s no surprise that AIX is becoming firmly established as the event that sets the agenda for the aircraft interiors sector.”

Additionally, we should note that CabinSpace LIVE, a theater style series of seminars where visitors can learn and be inspired on a variety of pressing issues within the IFEC, Interiors and MRO sectors, will also be taking place during AIX. And by the way, Passenger Experience Week also incorporates the 11th annual Crystal Cabin Awards, which takes place on the evening of Tuesday 4th April, with seven award categories that celebrate the most innovative ideas in cabin design and technology.

(Editor’s Note: This is the Big One and we hope our readers come to Hamburg – and for US visitors, we hope you can get back in the USA…”)


QANTAS & NETFLIX

Netflix has announced plans to offer in-flight on-demand entertainment from its app with every Qantas flight, allowing passengers to stream live sports, news and TV shows for three days without a subscription. Qantas passengers on Wi-Fi equipped flights will be able to binge-watch Netflix and stream songs from Spotify. The midair entertainment game-changer will be delivered over high-speed Wi-Fi, which Qantas claimed would be “10 times faster” than its rivals, and will be available on one Boeing 737 late this month, with the rest of the fleet following in June – and yes, you need an App. Also we note that under the scheme, Foxtel television will offer passengers three days of free streaming, while Netflix and Spotify offer 30-day free trials as long as passengers subscribe. By the way, there will be no seat back screens onboard so you will need your own device. Stay Tuned on this one, it could be a world wide game changer.


BIOMETRICS

A new biometrics-based seamless passenger-walkthrough in Schiphol Airport will modernize passenger journey experience in the scope of the ongoing Digital Airport Program. Schiphol Airport selected Vision-Box, the Passenger Experience leaders responsible for processing over 200 million passengers per year at borders worldwide, to take up the challenge. New technology will be tested from 2017 to offer passengers a seamless experience, increase throughput and eliminate bottlenecks, thus enhancing capacity within the existing footprint!


SINGAPORE

SINGAPORE AIRLINES signed LOI to order 19 more (now 49) Trent-powered 787-10s for delivery from FY20/21 and 20 GE9X- powered 777-9s for delivery from FY21/22, and option six 787-10s and six 777-9s. Noted Boeing: “The 787-10 is the third member of the super-efficient, passenger-pleasing 787 Dreamliner family. With its greater passenger and cargo capacity, high degree of commonality and passenger-pleasing features, the 787-10 will complement the family while setting a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and operating economics – 25 percent better fuel per seat and emissions than the airplanes than the competition it will replace. Since its introduction, the 787 Dreamliner has opened more than 130 new city pairs, connecting the world as never before.”


AIRBUS

AIRBUS plans to donate four of its flight test aircraft to the Museum of Air and Space in Paris-Le Bourget and Aeroscopia in Toulouse: A320 (001), A340-600 (360), A380 (002), and A380 (004), which as first of the four will arrive in Paris on Feb 14.


VTS

According to Web Barth: “The world’s largest selling digital player just got even better – VTS (Video Technology Services) today announced that it is introducing a new DVP digital player that will solve problems with videotape drives for entertainment and PRAMS while adding an optional Moving Map.

He went on: “VTS had maintained old videotape players and drives for many airlines around the world since the 1980s and has firsthand experience with the problems & expense of videotape including: Videotape shortages & tape replacement due to video/sound degradation, Videotape Logistics (collecting, accounting, sending/receiving), and the growing videotape player, drive maintenance expense

To solve these problems, VTS introduced the first “Plug and Play” digital drive replacements for all existing VHS Reproducers/Hi8 Players.

“VTS DVP was the first player to meet the ‘form, fit and function’ criteria: “Slide out VHS player, slide in DVP Digital Player, turn new system on. See for yourself, continued Web.

“The new VTS DVP digital player can improve cabin wide video and an audio performance to modern day expectations; eliminate maintenance expense and logistics problems associated with tape drive units. Further it can eliminate the problem of tape driven PRAMS combining the ease of digital audio as well as companion video to go along with the prerecorded announcement and music. They come with a moving map feature to bring the existing IFE to better than new.” VTS believes there is no more affordable or faster means of making an older IFE system better than new. You can contact VTS via webbarth@vts.global.com


INDUSTRY GROWTH

The Airline Monitor expects unprecedented 7-year run of >6% annual growth to soon come to an end; in effect, that above average traffic growth will continue independently, so when it doesn’t – deliveries will have to decline.

(Editor’s Note: IFExpress saw this coming and can you guess what might be the cause?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • SITA technology makes Schiphol first airport in Europe to future proof passenger processing with NFC

Amsterdam | January 22, 2014–

An organization of 80 airlines and ground handlers at   Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has chosen IT provider, SITA, for another five years. The Schiphol CUTE Local User Board (CLUB), which represents the airport’s common-use technology users, has signed a new contract for SITA’s AirportConnect Open passenger processing platform. Deployed in a virtual environment, AirportConnect Open helps provide an efficient journey for the airport’s 52 million annual passengers.

With SITA’s expertise in near field communications (NFC), Schiphol has also become the first airport in Europe to “future-proof” its passenger processing platform by connecting it with NFC technology. Using NFC-enabled smartphones, passengers will be able to quickly and easily pass through a special boarding gate at the airport with the simple tap of their phone. The gate will automatically read their boarding passes, even if their phones are turned off or out of battery. This same NFC equipment will also read the traditional two-dimensional boarding passes in use today.

Jan Bruns, Chair of the Schiphol CUTE Local User Board, said: “We’re currently celebrating more than 25 years of collaboration with SITA. During this time, we’ve worked together on many innovations to improve the passenger experience including common-use technology, self-service solutions and now NFC.

“As more smart phones incorporate NFC, more airlines will start asking for this technology. That’s why we have already equipped a gate with NFC and connected it to our common-use passenger processing system—and we’re inviting airlines to try it.”

Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe, said: “The Schiphol CLUB is always interested in collaborating on new innovations that improve airport operations and provide better service. AirportConnect Open helps improve operational efficiency and flexibility, while maximizing airport real estate. Combined with NFC, it will help the airport future proof its passenger processing technology and enable passengers to board more quickly.”

SITA’s AirportConnect Open enables airports, airlines and their handling agents to access their respective IT applications in real time on shared equipment. It also allows any airline to use any agent desk, gate position or self-service kiosk for passenger check-in, bag drop and boarding.

The Schiphol CLUB’s AirportConnect Open renewal with SITA covers some 700 positions at check-in desks, transfer and reclaim. It also includes 90 common-use, self-service kiosks, which passengers can use for check in.

With virtualization, the airport can run the latest technologies and incorporate upgrades to its system efficiently and cost-effectively. It also allows airlines to seamlessly operate at any desk, gate or work station throughout the airport, which improves the operational environment and enhances service.

More than 300 airlines use SITA’s AirportConnect Open to process millions of passengers every day in more than 400 airports around the world.

SITA is also the industry leader in NFC, which allows passengers with smartphones to move through airport checkpoints with a simple tap of their phone. In 2012, the company’s technology research team, SITA Lab, ran the world’s first live SIM-based NFC trial at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport in France.

Schiphol’s NFC gate marks the first deployment of SITA’s proposed industry standard for NFC. In 2013, SITA introduced the “Tap n’ Fly”TM industry standard for NFC, which builds on the GSMA’s vision of seamless, secure and reliable SIM-based NFC worldwide.  Tap n’ Fly combines a common-use applet to store passenger information and a standard boarding pass format to ensure interoperability, while also allowing airlines and airports some customization. It is also backward compatible with existing bar-coded boarded passes.

SITA worked with Access IS, specialists capturing and transferring information into electronic systems, to certify its NFC readers with the SITA Tap n’ Fly standard and AirportConnect Open.