Argentina | November 21, 2017–Aerolineas Argentinas (AR) has become Latin America’s first airline to digitally empower its cabin crews to take the inflight passenger service to the next level with SITAONAIR’s CrewTab.

CrewTab digitally transforms cabin crews’ pre-, in-, and post-flight activities and workflows by providing crew members with a complete, user-friendly mobile and tablet application interface.

Through this, they can access key passenger profile details, spanning everything from special meal requests, to connecting flights.

By replacing paper-based processes with SITAONAIR’s interactive CrewTab dashboard, AR international crews can also access and update the airline’s integrated back-end processes and information.

In addition, CrewTab acts as a platform enabling AR flight pursers and cabin crew to streamline advisory, documenting and reporting processes.

Now armed with this data at the touch of a button, AR crews can deliver a more personalized, proactive and responsive service for airline customers on flights to Latin America, the US, Spain and Italy.

Argentina’s flag carrier joins Virgin Australia and Philippine Airlines, among others, in harnessing this intuitive solution to advance their passenger experience offer.

Ricardo Lehmacher, Airport Manager of Aerolineas Argentinas, says: “SITAONAIR’s CrewTab delivers real-time information to our cabin crews’ fingertips, empowering us to advance our pre-flight preparations, onboard operations, and post-flight debrief reporting.

“With this rich, connected information, our cabin crews can perform at the highest level to deliver on our passengers’ expectations.”

Carlos Vianna, SITAONAIR’s Head of Business Development, Latin America, says: “We are very proud to count Aerolineas Argentinas among our most recent adopters of SITAONAIR’s intuitive CrewTab solution, and our first in the region.

“This invaluable application supports cabin crews to deliver their best connected service in more ways than one. That’s everything from CrewTab’s capacity to integrate within airlines’ existing IT systems and Customer Relationship Management (CRM), to linking cabin crews with passenger’s latest onboard preferences, such as duty-free shopping, snacking, and service style. CrewTab digitizes cabin crews to set themselves apart from the competition by delivering the more streamlined and personalized service that passengers crave.”

For more information about CrewTab and to discover the full SITAONAIR product and service range, visit www.sitaonair.aero.

United Arab Emirates | November 14, 2017–

SITAONAIR and Emirates have extended their partnership to deliver passenger connectivity solutions across its fleet of A380 and B777 aircraft for a further four years.

The news follows the recent rollout of personalized inflight connectivity for members of the airline’s loyalty program, Emirates Skywards, through SITAONAIR’s onboard Wi-Fi hub, Internet ONAIR. The project was recently awarded the Best Personalization Innovation award at the 2017 APEX EXPO in September.

The extended deal, covering 279 aircraft, underlines Emirates’ continued focus on passenger connectivity excellence by providing harmonized and seamless inflight Internet access to passengers around the globe. The new contract covers Mobile ONAIR and Internet ONAIR on all A380 aircraft, and Internet ONAIR on the B777 fleet.

SITAONAIR’s open platforms approach – launched through its hot topic white paper at last year’s APEX EXPO – delivers a consistent user experience across the various satellite connections and pre-existing onboard technologies present across the Emirates fleet, unconstrained by hardware suppliers’ refresh cycles.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, said: “We are extremely proud to expand the relationship with our long-standing airline customer, Emirates. We have worked closely with Emirates over the years to achieve their connected aircraft vision, and look forward to continually driving cabin connectivity innovation for the benefit of Emirates passengers.”

Emirates is the world’s largest A380 operator, with 100 A380 aircraft in its fleet all equipped with SITAONAIR cabin connectivity.

To find out more about SITAONAIR’s full inflight connectivity portfolio and open platforms vision, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form.

November 14, 2017–

International carrier Malindo Air, CAPA 2016 Asia Pacific Regional Airline of the Year, is the latest airline taking strides to digitally transform its cockpit with SITAONAIR.

The partnership will see Malindo Air benefit from SITAONAIR’s position as a leading pilot and flight operations digital transformation specialist and solution integrator, helping enable digitized cockpit operations.

Pilots across Malindo Air’s full fleet of 737s will be equipped with SITAONAIR’s complete Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution by the end of 2017, replacing their existing paper-based processes. The addition of the EFB solution will compliment the AIRCOM® FlightPlanner and Datalink Services already equipped across the Malindo Air fleet.

SITAONAIR’s bespoke EFB solution for the airline’s full fleet of 32 aircraft, involves activating the leading iPad-based Aviobook EFB within SITAONAIR’s secure ATI Cloud-hosted ground server, automatically distributing operational data to the pilots’ tablet. To date, all 32 aircraft cockpits are on track to activate the new EFB solution by year end, a timely delivery that will smoothly introduce new ways of working for pilots, particularly in their interactions with dispatchers.

Chandran Rama Muthy, CEO of Malindo Air, says: “Digitizing our work flows and processes to enhance our flight operations is a core part of our airline’s vision. We embraced technology to keep up with our fast growing business. This solution will help our pilots with better efficiency and accuracy. We, and our pilots, are very pleased with how the implementation of EFB by SITAONAIR is taking shape.”

Katrina Korzenowski, Vice President for Asia-Pacific at SITAONAIR, says: “SITAONAIR is proud to support Malindo Air in realizing its ambitions for the digital advancement of the cockpit. Embracing our complete, digitally-integrated EFB solution, supported by the ground-based SITAONAIR AIRCOM® ServerPlatform, means pilots no longer have to grapple with excessive loads of paper documents, binders and forms.”

“Being able to access all the vital information they need for a smooth flight, in digitized formats available at their fingertips, is a real advancement for pilots, enabling them to focus on the flight, confident they have the latest, connected information from a wealth of integrated modules including OFP, Weather and NOTAMs from SITAONAIR’s FlightPlanner System.”

To find out more about SITAONAIR’s connected aircraft solutions portfolio for the cockpit and airline operations, visit www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact or submit an enquiry form.

October 9, 2017–Avianca Brasil (OceanAir) is “proud” to have activated industry best-practice flight-tracking with SITAONAIR, as the airline prepares to expand its operations.

SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker is now airline-operational on the domestic carrier’s current fleet of 49 A320 and four A330 aircraft. This puts Avianca Brazil well ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 2018 safety mandate, compelling operators to state their aircraft flight positions at least once every 15 minutes.

The airline has also deployed SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightMessenger on its fleet, helping improve efficiency by translating operational data into a format that seamlessly integrates into the airline’s IT infrastructure.

Frederico Pedreira, Chief Executive Officer of Avianca Brasil, said: “Deploying this industry benchmark flight-tracker has been a priority for us, and we are very happy with the results. Having the proper technology from SITAONAIR to track our fleet, comply with the ICAO’s recommendation, and further our commitment to passenger safety, is an achievement we are proud of.

“As we begin the exciting path to expanding beyond domestic routes to offer international flights across the Americas, we do so equipped with an impressive technology that will seamlessly support the management of our growing airborne fleet.”

Carlos Vianna, SITAONAIR’s Head of Business Development, Latin America, said: “Avianca Brasil joins a select group of airlines in South America today to have activated flight-tracking technologies, reinforcing their passenger safety commitments.

“SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker comes straight from aviation’s digital experts, providing automated alerting and gathering data from multiple global sources, filling in any gaps between air navigation services provider tracking. Our FlightTracker will ensure that Avianca Brasil has the intelligent innovation it needs to effortlessly support the comprehensive management of the fleet as the airline continues to expand.”

Discover SITAONAIR’s FlightTracker online at www.sitaonair.aero, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or submit an enquiry form online.

Wednesday 20 September 2017 – Saudia and SITAONAIR are taking the inflight Wi-Fi experience for passengers to new heights by activating fresh functionalities for personalizing the onboard digital journey.

SITAONAIR has deployed its enhanced Internet ONAIR – an inflight Wi-Fi hub providing seamless inflight internet connectivity to airline passengers – aboard 76 Saudia aircraft flying to 34 destinations worldwide. It features a new, ‘world-first’ e-ticket solution, designed by SITAONAIR and Saudia, giving First and Business Class passengers access to free inflight Wi-Fi, simply by entering their e-ticket code into the portal.

Thanks to SITAONAIR’s expert integration of its Internet ONAIR service within Saudia’s customer relationship management (CRM) systems, the airline has been given full control and flexibility over creating special inflight connectivity offers for certain passenger demographics, such as frequent fliers, and for specific routes. It also means no codes need to be handled by Saudia or sent to passengers to receive their inflight Wi-Fi treat.

Saudia’s enhanced Internet ONAIR passenger experience also benefits from:
•    An augmented ‘look and feel’ for mobile users, with over 90% of all Wi-Fi sessions used on mobile devices
•    A new, ergonomic website design, with improved navigation and user interface
•    Faster speeds for registering, validating credit cards and starting Wi-Fi sessions
•    A powerful in-built ad server tool that harmonizes various advertising formats without spoiling the passenger experience.

As part of their commitment to continue providing a world-class passenger experience and pushing the boundaries of innovation, Saudia has also introduced the ability for passengers travelling on their IFC-enabled fleet to purchase Wi-Fi sessions during the initial booking phase through their passenger service system (PSS). SITAONAIR has worked in partnership with the airline and Amadeus on an Application Programming Interface (API) integration project to give passengers greater control over their inflight connectivity experience.

Director General Of Saudia, Engr. Saleh Al Jasser, says: “As an airline we recognize our passengers’ desire for seamless connectivity that speaks to them as an individual – it is at the core of our digital transformation vision. SITAONAIR’s flexible approach and digital harmonization mastery has enabled us to offer a more bespoke, enhanced Internet ONAIR experience, in full support of our innovative IFC strategy. This total enhancement has enabled us to reconfigure our Wi-Fi price plans for all our passengers, enabling us to offer the service for a lower cost.”

Dominique El Bez, VP of Strategy, SITAONAIR, says: “It has been a privilege to work with our customer Saudia to support their evolving connected aircraft reality and passenger experience goals. Our latest Internet ONAIR enhancements are delivering a next-level IFC experience for passengers through greater personalization and flexibility of service to both airlines and their passengers. Every SITAONAIR Internet ONAIR-activated airline can now benefit from our more ergonomic, mobile-friendly design and augmented user experience, and take that next step to achieving the brand-defining, individualized IFC experience passengers value.”

Internet ONAIR’s new integrated capabilities tap directly into demand from airline passengers for greater personalization in their onboard digital experience, as highlighted by SITA’s 2017 Passenger IT Trends Survey.

To discover SITAONAIR’s complete connected aircraft portfolio, and enquire about our solutions, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact or explore www.sitaonair.aero

Global distribution agreement provides airlines with access to next generation connectivity service for enhanced safety and operational efficiency

September 14, 2017– SITAONAIR, an industry owned consortium of integrated airline communications services and operational applications, has added Inmarsat’s next generation flightdeck connectivity solution SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) to its portfolio, as part of a renewed and expanded strategic agreement between the two companies.

SB-S is the first secure communications system for the flightdeck and meets stringent aviation requirements for safety and operational data exchange with the ground. Its global coverage is Future Air Navigation System (FANS) 1/A compliant and delivers Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and safety and operational services over a robust, secured IP data link as well as multiple voice channels. SB-S hardware is smaller, lighter and has a lower cost of ownership than other market alternatives, saving space and weight, reducing fuel burn and making it suitable for all single-aisle and wide-bodied aircraft.

Building upon its successful long-term partnership with Inmarsat, this agreement will allow SITAONAIR to supply commercial airlines and business aviation operators with SB-S, including migration options for existing customers to install the new platform. The agreement carries forward critical existing services, while, at the same time, enabling airlines to benefit from a new set of secure, broadband IP services, that enable connectivity for applications and services. These include Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) for real-time in-flight updates, Graphical Weather for real-time enhanced situational awareness and meeting new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS) mandates, and enabling real-time diagnostics and performance monitoring.

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM® at SITAONAIR, said: “We’re delighted to extend our relationship with Inmarsat and be able to add SwiftBroadband-Safety to our portfolio of integrated aircraft communications services. SB-S will prove critical in connecting existing cockpit applications and unleash potential as the industry is able to develop new applications and services around a dedicated secure IP connection to the cockpit.
At SITAONAIR we’re already integrating SB-S integral position reporting to enhance our AIRCOM® FlightTracker application, further supporting GADSS.”

SITAONAIR provides communications services to more than 16,000 aircraft worldwide and currently integrates Inmarsat’s Classic Aero and SwiftBroadband satellite communications solutions into its offering. The two services have been providing world-leading cockpit services to more than 90% of the world’s transoceanic wide-body aircraft fleet for more than 25 years.

Captain Mary McMillan, Vice President of Aviation Safety and Operational Services at Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We have worked closely with SITAONAIR over the past 25 years to offer world-leading safety and operational efficiency satcom solutions to airlines. We are delighted to be moving this important partnership with SITAONAIR forward with the distribution of SB-S. This will drive the adoption of digital flight deck technology and deliver unsurpassed operational efficiencies and enhanced safety throughout the global aviation industry.”

Inmarsat is transforming the global aviation industry by bringing complete connectivity to every aircraft and flight path in the world. As the only aviation broadband provider capable of connecting the complete aircraft from cabin to cockpit, Inmarsat’s SB-S brings ‘always on, always secure’ high-speed broadband into the cockpit, transforming aviation safety and optimising flight operations to save airlines both time and money. SB-S is currently in flight in evaluations with Hawaiian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and United Airlines. It has been selected by Airbus as a Light Cockpit Satcom solution on its popular A320 and A330 families.

Satellite communications are estimated to have saved airlines US$3 billion over the past 15 years through improved operational communications and the ability to fit more aircraft in a given airspace through reduced oceanic separation, according to a study released by Inmarsat and Helios earlier this year.

July 7, 2017– For many holiday-goers jetting off to their dream destinations this summer, their vacation begins when they catch their flight.

A colorful new infographic from connected aircraft technology specialists SITAONAIR showcases 10 top ways that airlines can ensure the passenger experience is truly top flight for those heading off on hard-earned holidays.

“In the hyper-competitive business of air travel, passenger satisfaction ratings are king,” says Dominique El Bez, Vice President of Strategy, SITAONAIR. “Airlines across the world have to work harder than ever to give passengers the best-possible inflight experience, and to win – and keep – their customers’ loyalty.

“SITAONAIR works with hundreds of airlines around the globe, innovating bespoke services and solutions to improve airline passenger comfort and engagement.

“There are many different ways today’s airlines can enhance their inflight experience offer to passengers. More and more airlines are investing to deliver high-speed onboard internet services for connected passengers; develop exclusive airline internet apps for customers to surf the web, chat and stream inflight; and equip pilots with cutting-edge weather avoidance technologies to fly the smoothest course.

“Passengers can be rewarded with special inflight shopping treats, sent straight to their devices; aircraft can be retrofitted with 3G/4G voice-calling telephony, so passengers can stay connected in the clouds; and cabin crews can ‘go digital’, to deliver a more personalized and efficient customer service.

“Whatever an airline’s ambitions, SITAONAIR’s unrivalled industry heritage and expertise means we can support airlines to deliver their passenger experience goals.”

France | June 26, 2017–SITAONAIR has hailed the successful launch of Iridium’s second set of Iridium NEXT constellation satellites as another step closer to achieving minute-by-minute, 100% global aircraft flight-tracking.

In partnership with Aireon and FlightAware, SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker will deliver enhanced capabilities to airline customers from 2018. Aireon’s space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast data (ADS-B) will then fill any gaps in current flight-tracking coverage globally – and is expected to be transmitted through the complete Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, via FlightAware.

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM®, at SITAONAIR, says: “This is an exciting moment for SITAONAIR as the second set of satellites start their journey to enabling us to deliver 100% global, real-time flight-tracking to the air transport industry. We are looking forward to seeing the project progress and being able to demonstrate its value to airlines.

“The beauty of adding space-based ADS-B data to our current AIRCOM® FlightTracker is that it will integrate seamlessly into the existing interface, while increasing tracking coverage up to 100%. In short, the airlines who adopt our space-based flight-tracking will have the tools to see the precise position, speed and altitude of all airborne fleet  any time, anywhere  and be immediately alerted if any aircraft veers from its flight plan, even if that route is over ocean or the Poles.

“With real-time alerts generated at least once a minute, airlines with enhanced FlightTracker will be way ahead of the ICAO’s best practice one-minute mandate – truly consolidating their commitment to safe travel.”

What is AIRCOM® FlightTracker?

FlightTracker’s capabilities include:

  • Providing airline operations teams with an application that aggregates the best available inflight position data from multiple sources on a single aircraft position display
  • Issuing alerts to flight operations of any route deviation. Staff can also clearly see if it has been agreed between an aircraft and ATC
  • Automated alerting for large fleets, so if an aircraft doesn’t report its position, deviates from the flight plan or enters a defined geographic area, FlightTracker will create an alert and automatically start a sequence of actions where needed
  • Being aircraft agnostic, whether a fleet has either ACARS or ADS-B OUT capabilities
  • Allowing operations teams to view the flight track of each flight with frequent and accurate positions from our fused data feed
  • Having the capability to be set up to deliver forecast weather data with flight plans, to improve decision-making.

Paul continues: “The SITAONAIR Montreal Development Team has already determined how the new space-based ADS-B data should be integrated and presented within FlightTracker. The display uses specific color-coding to identify different data sources, and, for us, it is a case of drawing in this data and giving space-based ADS-B its own distinct place in this set.”

The second payload of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites, hosting Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system, launched from SpaceX’s California-based launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base on a Falcon 9 rocket. The first batch of 10 satellites, hosting the space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system, was launched by SpaceX on 14 January 2017.

For more information and to discover the full SITAONAIR connected aircraft portfolio, visit www.sitaonair.aero

France and California | June 19, 2017–SITAONAIR and Teledyne Controls are joining forces to deliver the aviation industry’s first-ever airline-integrated ACARS datalink terrestrial cellular service.

This new partnership – announced today between SITAONAIR, the airline datalink communications world-leaders, and avionics manufacturer Teledyne Controls – represents an important evolution in airline and aircraft communications.

Datalink services are chiefly provided using VHF/VDL radio frequencies and satellites to transmit data messages, communicating vital real-time aircraft status, health and position updates between an aircraft and its airline’s flight operations.

By using Teledyne Controls’ GroundLink® Comm+ system, SITAONAIR is able to integrate terrestrial cellular services into its core datalink network, giving airlines the flexibility of another transmission channel for aircraft communications, bringing multiple benefits.

This is the first-ever option of its kind in the aircraft communications market and benefits to airlines of enabling the datalink service over 3G/4G include:

  • Providing increased capacity for message transmission with levels of service, support and proactive monitoring that airlines have come to expect
  • Relieving traditional datalink networks in congested airports
  • Delivering the service through consistent interfaces and integrating the datalink infrastructure for seamless service delivery across networks
  • Supplementing VHF datalink ground coverage in sparse areas.

Dominique El Bez, SITAONAIR’s Vice President of Strategy, says: “We are very pleased to formalize our relationship with Teledyne Controls to deliver our unique-to-market, datalink-over-cellular solution to the air transport industry.

“SITAONAIR is focused on leading the industry in evolving aircraft communications services, and this is the first step of several we are taking to bring new IP networks to aircraft for operational communications. Our vision is to deeply integrate available technology to ensure seamless interoperability between new and current networks. Fundamentally, our industry needs to know that these services, which provide critical communications, do the job, and this is the guarantee SITAONAIR delivers as a dedicated airline partner.

“The unique capabilities of our organizations, and willingness to drive innovation in the aircraft communications sphere, will bring significant benefits to both SITAONAIR and Teledyne customers and the broader aviation community.”

Marshall Dormire, Vice President of Business Development & Strategy of Teledyne Controls, adds: “We are thrilled to join forces with SITAONAIR to deliver this new datalink service. Customers have been very interested to extend datalink functionality to Teledyne’s versatile GroundLink® Comm+ system. It is now easy to quickly and securely transfer datalink data over 3G/4G wireless cellular networks worldwide.

“The GroundLink® Comm+ system automates the wireless distribution of navigation databases and Software Parts, provides data interfaces for cockpit Electronic Flight Bags, and now provides datalink over terrestrial cellular IP, all while systematically collecting recorded flight data from the airline’s fleet and delivering it to the airline.”

France | Wednesday May 24, 2017– Air France (AF) and SITAONAIR today announce a new deal to deliver seamless aircraft data to AF’s top-flight operations and maintenance optimization programs.

Under the partnership, SITAONAIR’s new e-Aircraft® DataCapture solution will capture, dissect and deliver high-quality, immediate aircraft data, significantly bolstering performance monitoring across Air France Airbus aircraft. SITAONAIR’s deployment of DataCapture across AF’s Airbus fleet began in January 2017.

The e-Aircraft® DataCapture system works by collecting, compressing and encrypting an aircraft’s Quick Access Recorder (QAR) or Digital ACMS Recorder (DAR) data, and ensures it is automatically and immediately transmitted after landing, using 3G, to a ground server provided by SITAONAIR. The complete data is then sent to Air France’s data analysis system for instant analysis and response.

Many airlines manually collect aircraft post-flight and health data as part of an overnight maintenance regime, meaning a delay of hours after a flight has landed before data is retrieved.

Replacing manual collection with SITAONAIR’s automatic e-Aircraft® DataCapture equips airlines with instant detailed insight into their fleets, from how aircraft are operating, to investigating incidents and performing maintenance diagnostics.

This cost- and time-efficient solution also helps airlines optimize staffing resources and supports seamless transitions, which help reduce the time aircraft spend on the ground.

David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, says: “SITAONAIR has an excellent working relationship with Air France, with whom we have collaborated closely since 2014 on e-Aircraft® DataCapture. This is yet another example of how SITAONAIR’s 100%-aviation communications expertise is resolving the challenges faced by the modern airline industry head-on. With our intelligent new-generation data solutions, airlines have the tools to advance their critical flight operations and maintenance operation programs, and really deliver.”

Pierre-Yves Benain, Head of Portfolio and Strategy, e-Aircraft at SITAONAIR, says: “Our intelligent e-Aircraft® DataCapture solution is already making aircraft data easier for airlines to access; reducing data retrieval time from days to minutes, without mobilizing maintenance resources. Thanks to DataCapture, airlines can get an immediate detailed picture of all parameters recorded inflight by a QAR or DAR recorder. With our Cloud-based solution, our intention is to provide an end-to-end, expert data management service at business continuity level, freeing up airlines to focus on their core operations and engineering priorities.”

Air France’s e-Aircraft® DataCapture project leader added: “We are really pleased to be taking SITAONAIR’s e-Aircraft® DataCapture system onboard. It will enable us to complete the deployment of automated QAR/DAR data collection across our Airbus fleet for our Flight and Maintenance Operational Quality Assurance programs. SITAONAIR has been instrumental in the integration of the solution into our existing on-board hardware and ground systems.”

To find out more about e-Aircraft® DataCapture and our other aircraft data management solutions, speak to your local SITAONAIR contact, or visit www.sitaonair.aero/products/on-board-device-applications-and-services/e-aircraft-datacapture/

April 19, 2017– Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) and trusted connected aircraft service expert SITAONAIR are co-developing a state-of-the-art CrewTab designed to enhance inflight service delivery.

PAL information will be delivered and stored in tablets provided to flight pursuers, enabling them to digitally view operational data, from general passenger profiles and company service bulletins, to the latest products and service offerings.

The airline considers SITAONAIR’s CrewTab its solution of choice, as it empowers inflight frontliners to deliver a more personalized and efficient passenger experience through timely reporting of passenger feedback for improved service recovery.

PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime Bautista, said: “As we work towards achieving our vision of becoming a full-service five star carrier, PAL is highly focused on the benefits that new and emerging technologies can bring. We are very pleased to be working towards expanding our connected aircraft relationship with SITAONAIR. With our customized CrewTab, we will definitely take our inflight customer service to the highest standards.”

SITAONAIR’s CrewTab, a complete, user-friendly solution, is also a platform that enables flight pursuers and cabin crew to streamline advisory, documenting and reporting processes.

The system will digitally transform cabin crew’s pre-flight, inflight and post-flight activities and workflows.

It achieves this by providing them with a user-friendly mobile and tablet application interface through which they can access and update airlines’ integrated back-end processes and information.

Katrina Korzenowski, SITAONAIR Vice President for Asia-Pacific, said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen by long-standing customer PAL, to bring on their cabin crew’s digital transformation.

“At a time where 60% of airlines still use paper-based cabin crew processes, CrewTab is an obvious companion for Philippine Airlines’ SITAONAIR-enabled connected aircraft environment. With our tailored PAL CrewTab, the airline’s crew will be empowered to respond to the demands of the individual travelling passenger, and optimize productivity.”

By reducing the time spent on paper-based administrative tasks, this innovation will allow the airline team to focus on delivering an enhanced individualized service to passengers.

SITAONAIR’s PAL CrewTab will be customized to integrate functions that are specific to PAL, including crew scheduling department control systems and passenger loyalty programs.

This will allow the end users to access and update passenger information as they go, including travel experience and onboard shopping requests. Coupled with its intuitive user interface, the CrewTab solution will further boost the airline’s operational efficiency.

For more information about CrewTab and to discover the full SITAONAIR product and service range, visit www.sitaonair.aero

Hamburg, DE | April 5, 2017– SITAONAIR is to pioneer inflight mobile services using high-speed broadband connectivity in an aviation industry first, the company has announced.

The world-leading inflight mobile service provider will deploy cutting-edge inflight 3.5G mobile network services over the high-speed broadband satellite connectivity of GX Aviation. Enhanced 3.5G capabilities will be available to all airlines through SITAONAIR’s popular Mobile ONAIR application by the end of 2017.

There is an insatiable hunger for inflight cellular connectivity, with 19 million passengers opting to connect to SITAONAIR’s inflight mobile services last year. This new technology will provide passengers and crew with high-speed, seamless connectivity, similar to the home experience.

In addition, SITAONAIR has established a wide-ranging deal with worldwide mobile operators to give passengers stress-free data bundles, simplifying billing through unlimited data usage and capped costs. It will also provide a potential opportunity for airlines to boost ancillary revenues through providing access to different revenue streams by monetizing the cellular service.

Francois-Xavier Mateo, SITAONAIR’s Head of Cabin, said: “SITAONAIR is the very first in the industry to be introducing future-proof inflight cellular technologies over GX Aviation. This announcement is a significant and exciting development for inflight mobile services.

“In 2016, an impressive 19 million airline passengers chose to connect to SITAONAIR’s inflight cellular network. By December this year, Mobile ONAIR will be delivering its enhanced broadband-based mobile experience for airline passengers.”

The future of mobile communications will continue to evolve with the rise of the Internet of Things market. By 2020 it is thought between 50-100 billion devices, including cellular based devices, will be connected to the internet. SITAONAIR, with its technology partners, is anticipating the coming revolution of the Internet of Things with its live 4G and 5G-ready mobile core network.

SITAONAIR would like to thank its chosen partners for their role in developing its solution:

  • MonacoTelecom for providing a 2G, 3.5G, 4G and 5G-ready mobile core network
  • Zodiac In-Flight Innovations, who will provide the next-generation airborne system
  • Aricent and ip.Access, suppliers of the radio access network elements
  • Axiros, who will provide, manage and troubleshoot inflight connectivity base stations using its AXESS.ACS platform.

Martin Peronnet, Monaco Telecom’s CEO, said: “Monaco Telecom is proud to contribute to SITAONAIR’s strategy helping it to build on its position as the undisputed world-leading inflight mobile service provider. Over the years we have made tremendous progress together to deliver world-class quality inflight telecommunications. The launch of SITAONAIR 3.5G mobile service using our future-proof core network infrastructure is a new major milestone in our partnership.“

Matt Smith, CEO of Zodiac In-Flight Innovations, added: “We are pleased to be partnering with SITAONAIR and providing them our proven hardware and software products including wireless streaming, GSM and now broadband (KA) as well as 3.5G connectivity systems. We look forward to a continued relationship and the first Ka-band and 3.5G installations later this year.”

For more information about Mobile ONAIR, and to discover the full SITAONAIR product and service range, visit www.sitaonair.aero

Airline is first to adopt joint solution for real-time, space-based alerting system for flight tracking
April 18, 2017– SITAONAIR, Aireon and FlightAware today announce that Malaysia Airlines will be the first SITAONAIR airline customer to benefit from a revolutionary flight tracking partnership.

Under the agreement, all Malaysia Airlines aircraft will have access to minute-by-minute, 100% global, flight tracking data, delivered by SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker.

This solution will enhance the existing SITAONAIR AIRCOM® FlightTracker by adding Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) data to the existing data available from FlightAware’s multiple global sources, complementing active Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Future Air Navigation System (FANS) activity data.

By incorporating this data, Malaysia Airlines’ aircraft operations center will receive real-time position updates of its airborne fleet globally. Aireon’s space-based ADS-B data will also resolve any existing data feed coverage gaps that remain, particularly over oceanic and remote airspace, where there is currently no surveillance.

No new avionics or modifications are needed for aircraft to take advantage of this new service.

“Real-time global aircraft tracking has long been a goal of the aviation community,” said Captain Izham Ismail, Chief Operating Officer, Malaysia Airlines. “We are proud to be the first airline to adopt this solution using space-based ADS-B data as part of SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker.”

Paul Gibson, Portfolio Director, AIRCOM®, at SITAONAIR, said: “With the addition of the Aireon SM data, via FlightAware, to SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker, combined with our active monitoring and automated alerting capabilities, Malaysia Airlines will be at the cutting-edge of real-time flight tracking technology. With access to up-to-the-minute reporting, Malaysia Airlines will know the location, heading, speed and altitude of all aircraft in its fleet, at all times, and be alerted to any exceptions.”

In November 2016, Aireon, FlightAware and SITAONAIR announced a new partnership to deliver Aireon data via FlightAware to SITAONAIR customers. FlightAware provides a combination of global air traffic control data, aircraft datalink information and terrestrial ADS-B data through a secure streaming data feed.

Once the Aireon system is operational, expected in 2018, airlines already using SITAONAIR’s AIRCOM® FlightTracker will automatically begin seeing the new Aireon data appear in their systems without the need for costly modifications.

“In addition to not requiring any new avionics or modifications to their aircraft, Malaysia Airlines will seamlessly gain real-time flight tracking ability of its fleet, even in areas where regional Air Navigation Service Providers do not have full surveillance,” said FlightAware Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Baker. “The result will be that Malaysia Airlines will have greater visibility of their aircraft’s exact location.”

Aireon Chief Executive Officer, Don Thoma added: “Malaysia Airlines has taken a lead role in the industry since the tragic events of 2014. Real-time, global flight tracking, anywhere on the planet will further their safety goals, by allowing Malaysia Airlines to track their aircraft anytime, anywhere.”

Aireon’s space-based ADS-B system will offer a global solution that works for all ADS-B Out equipped aircraft everywhere. ADS-B Out mandates have been passed by ANSPs and industry governing bodies around the world, resulting in operators automatically knowing that their aircraft are properly equipped.

The Aireon service will be operational in 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. On January 14, 2017, the first 10 Iridium NEXT satellites carrying the Aireon ADS-B hosted payload were successfully launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. In total, the constellation will consist of 66 operational low-earth-orbit satellites providing global coverage. The service will also provide Air Navigation Service Providers with global aircraft surveillance capability, and is expected to help reduce fuel costs, increase safety and enable more efficient flight paths.

Hamburg, DE | April 4, 2017– Air Caraïbes and its sister French Blue, France’s first-ever low-cost, long-haul airline, have appointed SITAONAIR to make next-gen inflight connectivity a reality across their fleets.

Trusted connected aircraft service expert, SITAONAIR, has been selected to deliver a nose-to-tail inflight connectivity solution to the Groupe Dubreuil airlines over GX Aviation’s high-speed broadband network – SITAONAIR’s first European customers to adopt it. It will enable pioneering Air Caraïbes and French Blue to advance digitally transformative cabin connectivity services with SITAONAIR’s key cabin solution, Internet ONAIR.

SITAONAIR will ensure global coverage, as well as a consistent and reliable service on the airlines’ long-haul flights between Paris, the French Caribbean and La Réunion. In doing so, it will enable the airlines to establish future-proof end-to-end connectivity services that meet growing passenger and operational data demands.

With Internet ONAIR, the airlines will be empowered to give passengers a personalized, interactive internet connection, akin to a public hotspot on the ground. Its advertising platform also supports a top priority for French Blue – of enriching customer relationships with tailored offers to passengers, as with its current live SKYDeals online shopping promotion, and generating revenue through advertising.

With its iZivision portal, supported by the high speed broadband connectivity over GX Aviation, Air Caraïbes will offer passengers free innovative services like post cards and selfies to share with their friends and family, as well as position-sharing during the flight.

Marc Rochet, President and CEO of Air Caraïbes and French Blue, says: “By launching French Blue, our vision is to provide a modern, effective, low-cost, long-range airline, with top-quality inflight connectivity, to satisfy passengers’ needs and wants, particularly of the millennial traveller, which will further enhance what we can offer them.

“Choosing SITAONAIR to deliver this, with its ONAIR applications, was natural to us. We are excited about the opportunities digital transformation presents, and have already enjoyed success with a trial of Internet ONAIR on our flights. SITAONAIR brings a respected level of service and expertise to the table, and we look forward to reaping the benefits of this partnership.”

David Lavorel, SITAONAIR CEO, explains: “It is an honour for SITAONAIR to be chosen by Air Caraïbes and French Blue to finally deliver the reality of high speed inflight broadband connectivity on their A330 and A350 aircraft.

“Of course, we know that enabling GX Aviation on these airlines will be a huge step in itself. Establishing our key Internet ONAIR service on board will take this even further. With us, Groupe Dubreuil will be equipped to harness the true value of inflight connectivity to meet the demands of the modern connected traveller and boost passenger and crew experience, operational efficiencies, and even ancillary revenues.”

For more information and to discover the full SITAONAIR connected aircraft product and service range, visit www.sitaonair.aero

Geneva | March 2, 2017– The Czech Republic’s air navigation service provider has appointed SITAONAIR to deliver a “communication gateway” to its capital’s airport.

SITAONAIR will support air-to-ground data link applications to Prague Airport through its Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) network. The ambition is to extend this capability out to other Czech airports in the future.

SITAONAIR’s communication gateway will provide a channel for Air Navigation Service of the Czech Republic (ANS CR) to send Digital Automatic Terminal Information Service (D-ATIS) and data link departure clearance (DCL) messages to aircraft.

This will be equally beneficial to pilots and Air Traffic Control (ATC), replacing routine messages on congested voice frequencies with digital messages, to minimize the risk of misunderstanding. It will also reduce air traffic controllers’ and pilots’ workloads by ensuring ATC messages in the cockpit are displayed on screen, or printed in-cockpit. This will ensure that pilots won’t have to rely on interpreting bad quality voice messages.

François Bardin, Head of Air Traffic Service Solutions at SITAONAIR, said: “It is a source of pride to us that we have been chosen to deliver this project for the Czech Republic’s air navigation service provider.

“Establishing this new communications gateway for ground-to-air data link applications, using our data link network, will not only greatly enhance our existing service for ANS CR, and the consistency and safety of controller-pilot communications, but offer complete end-to-end support.”

Ivo Priplata, ATM/CNS expert, COM domain of Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic, ANS CR, added: “SITAONAIR was an easy choice for us to deliver what will be a very important enhancement to our ground-to-air data link communications capabilities.

“Nearly 800,000 aircraft movements in Czech airspace, including some 200,000 arrivals and departures, were handled by us in 2015 alone. The addition of SITAONAIR’s data link communications infrastructure will therefore be a very important evolution in reinforcing the flows of efficient, reliable and safe communications in Czech airspace.”

To discover our Air Traffic Control solutions, click here, or for cockpit solutions, click here. You can find out more about SITAONAIR by visiting www.sitaonair.aero.

This week, IFExpress has a lot of new product/services probably announced as Aircraft Interiors, Hamburg, 4 – 6 April, 2017 approaches. This ‘Big Deal IFEC’ show is the culmination of Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg 3 – 6 April. We will have more on the expo later but let’s return to the topics of this weeks IFExpress:


INMARSAT
Inmarsat has announced a key infrastructure milestone for its European Aviation Network (EAN), following the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station (SAS). As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers traveling throughout Europe. The SAS is located in the Greek town of Nemea and operated under an agreement with OTE, the largest telecommunications provider in Greece and member of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Engineers undertook rigorous performance and stability tests to verify the SAS’s capabilities to serve as a reliable and robust gateway between Inmarsat’s S-band satellite and the internet. The SAS consists of a 13-meter antenna that provides feeder links to the satellite, a radio frequency sub-system and a radio access network provided by Inmarsat partner Cobham SATCOM. And if you want to see a video that does a good job of explaining the program, check out the video on  youTube


IFPL
Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) specialists IFPL will be showcasing their latest power solutions at AIX 2017 in Hamburg. 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 is currently developing a range of USB–C 3.1 peripherals and solutions. Visitors to stand 2C10, we are told, can see their USB-C outlet and discuss industry adoption of this technology.

In previous shows IFPL demonstrated their high power and data USB-A 2.0 and we covered it IFExpress. These are now in-service along with IFPL’s clever reversible option. Recently, IFPL has worked closely with GORE to develop the new USB-A 3.0 module, that combined IFPL USB 3.0 with GORE Aerospace USB 3.0 cables and provides the ideal solution for delivering high power (2A, 5V DC) and data transfer (up to 5Gbps) as per USB 3.0 requirements. This gives passengers the ability to maximize the benefits of both charging their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) and interfacing with the Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system.

IFPL has also enhanced the capability of its existing 1225 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. In addition, IFPL has been working with key industry partners to develop a new range of power solutions that focus on ensure ergonomic and aesthetic seat integration. The combined approach delivered a system that maximizes the use of the physical space of the seat and seamlessly design the USB outlet into the actual seat arm. The result is an attractive installation of a fully integrated system that has no impact on passenger legroom. 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 AIX 2017 may have.

Editor’s Note: IFPL is based on the Isle of Wight, just off the South Coast of England. Founded 20 years ago by CEO Geoff Underwood, IFPL today enjoys one of the largest portfolio of proven IFEC products and services in its sector.


SITAONAIR
Airline passengers flying to and from the Ivory Coast can now expect a connected experience, as national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire (VRE), signs up for inflight passenger connectivity services from world-leading provider SITAONAIR. The new deal will deliver connectivity solutions to VRE’s brand new A320s, in the form of SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR products. With Internet ONAIR onboard, airlines can offer passengers seamless inflight internet access, connecting their personal devices by opening a browser – just as they would with a public Wi-Fi hotspot. Airlines can use Internet ONAIR to personalize their passenger relationships by developing a portal that can offer an interactive and engaging experience for the passenger. It also offers opportunities for airlines to grow their ancillary revenues. Mobile ONAIR, meanwhile, offers passengers an airborne mobile phone service that enables them to make phone calls, send texts and use their mobile phone data inflight, through an extensive number of roaming partners in Africa and across the world. In June 2017, SITAONAIR’s teams will begin activating Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR on five new Air Côte d’Ivoire A320s equipped with Airbus’ Airline Network Architecture (ALNA) server platform. The services will make use of SwiftBroadband, an IP-based data service from Inmarsat that SITAONAIR, as distributor, will operate as service provider.


AirSatOne
Aviation Satcom provider, AirSatOne, announces lower rates for its SwiftBroadband connectivity. Taking care of customers is a top priority at AirSatOne and one reason why the company maintains a 99% customer retention rate. So when Inmarsat, the leader in global satellite communications, lowered its prices AirSatOne was quick to pass the savings on to its customers. Customers using AirSatOne as their service provider have access to its custom global network for the same price as the generic network used by the competition. AirSatOne’s custom network includes worldwide teleports and IP PoP (Internet Point of Presence) with advanced network security and our globally deployed Flightstream SA which provides web filtering, compression, consumption tracking and firewall customized for mobile communications.


AIRBUS
When Lufthansa’s new long-haul Airbus A350-900 enters service this coming Friday, passengers will experience a cabin lighting concept tailored to the human biorhythm for the first time – 24 different lighting scenarios on board ensure that passengers reach their destination well-rested and with less jetlag than is typical for a long-haul flight. The scientific concept for the new lighting technique originates with the “jetlite” startup, anchored in the aviation cluster, and was brought to market-readiness assisted by the six-month Airbus BizLab accelerator program.


PANASONIC AVIONICS
Effective immediately, Hideo Nakano will serve as CEO of Panasonic Avionics, succeeding Paul Margis, who has left the company. Mr. Nakano is an avionics industry veteran and was most recently the Deputy CEO of Panasonic Avionics. His previous experience at Panasonic includes serving as CFO of Panasonic’s Automotive & Industrial Systems Company, the largest of Panasonic Corp.’s four internal companies, as well as CFO of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Panasonic Avionics has also appointed Mark Jennings to serve in the new position of Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Mr. Jennings will be responsible for duties related to operations, engineering, sales and marketing. Mr. Jennings joined Panasonic Avionics in 1998 as Regional Director based in Dubai and most recently served as Vice President of Operations. Additionally, Seigo Tada has been named Chief Financial Officer of PAC. He succeeds Paul Bottiaux, who has left the company. Mr. Tada will maintain his position as VP of Finance and Controller of Panasonic Corporation of North America. Mr. Tada joined Panasonic in 1985 and has held roles of increasing responsibility within the finance function throughout his time with the company, including ten years in the United States. You can read more here.


LUFTHANSA TECHNIC
LT just completed Ka Band connectivity on it’s first VIP A330 and installing similar technology on some 32 Lufthansa A320 planes PER MONTH!


GLOBAL CONNECTED AIRCRAFT SUMMIT
Here is the agenda. The summit happens Wednesday, June 7, through Friday, June 9. this year.


MORE

Geneva | February 6, 2017– Airline passengers flying to and from the Ivory Coast can now expect a connected experience, as national airline, Air Cote d’Ivoire (VRE), signs up for inflight passenger connectivity services from world-leading provider SITAONAIR.

The new deal will deliver connectivity solutions to VRE’s brand new A320s, in the form of SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR products.

With Internet ONAIR onboard, airlines can offer passengers seamless inflight internet access, connecting their personal devices by opening a browser – just as they would with a public Wi-Fi hotspot.

Airlines can use Internet ONAIR to personalize their passenger relationships by developing a portal that can offer an interactive and engaging experience for the passenger. It also offers opportunities for airlines to grow their ancillary revenues.

Mobile ONAIR, meanwhile, offers passengers an airborne mobile phone service that enables them to make phone calls, send texts and use their mobile phone data inflight, through an extensive number of roaming partners in Africa and across the world.

In June 2017, SITAONAIR’s teams will begin activating Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR on five new Air Côte d’Ivoire A320s equipped with Airbus’ Airline Network Architecture (ALNA) server platform. The services will make use of SwiftBroadband, an IP-based data service from Inmarsat that SITAONAIR, as distributor, will operate as service provider.

The project is set for completion in 2019, when Air Côte d’Ivoire (VRE) will take delivery of the last of the five new A320s.

Stephan Egli, Commercial Regional VP for the Middle East and Africa, SITAONAIR, said: “We are very proud to be helping Air Cote d’Ivoire to deliver a brand-new fleet of A320s with the quality inflight connectivity services passengers increasingly demand.

“With the first five of Africa’s airlines to achieve inflight connectivity in the continent using SITAONAIR as their service provider of choice, VRE is part of an inflight connectivity revolution gaining momentum across Africa, as the airlines in the region look to offer the same quality of product for passengers as other regions like their Middle East neighbours.”

René Decurey, CEO of Air Côte d’Ivoire, said: “As the Ivory Coast’s national airline, we are very much at the frontline of passenger demand as it takes shape. Passengers are telling us they want access to internet connectivity from ground-to-air, to enable them to sustain their online lives, wherever they fly. With SITAONAIR’s trusted expertise and industry standing, and with Internet ONAIR and Mobile ONAIR on board, we will be able to give our passengers what they want.”

For more information about the above products, and to discover the full SITAONAIR product and service range, visit www.sitaonair.aero

As the weeks pass after a show like the recent APEX in Singapore, it is easy to start thinking about the next one; however, IFExpress will try to continue to cover some of the more important show participants and their new products, accomplishments, and sales. Importantly, a post show head cold and a recent election has caused focus issues in the past few weeks, but we are now in better control and we will start off with one show item that keeps coming back to haunt us – the concept of aircraft and Big Data. While IFEC is not the whole story, it is part of the issue, and over the last few weeks we have been doing our homework a bit on the subject. The folks at companies like Panasonic, SITA, Thales and many others have been chanting the “data” subject into our ears at each meeting – we really have been trying to understand the problems and potential solutions – and believe us, it is no easy subject, with few easy answers. A number of years back, Mark Thompson of Thompson Aerospace warned us of the impending data monster we were about to see but we had little idea at the time of its value and challenges. This data thing is not new but it is getting bigger!

Looking back to the late eighties, we saw a document developed about the importance of airplane data, in general, and how McDonnell Douglas was looking at the future of its importance in tying an airline together by connecting the “movable asset” back to the airline itself with the one connectivity-based solution available at the time – live, real-time data. Back in the day, the connectivity links were minimal but the requirement was still there.

Today, it is a cry that still is the important connecting piece of the airline business, but it is getting louder. However, we note, now it entails better connectivity, more information, passenger involvement, better worldwide connections, and generally more need for planning and action throughout the airline and passenger environment. Perhaps a computer programmer said it better than we could: “You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.” – Daniel Keys Moran, an American computer programmer. Further, when you have 30 $250 million dollar assets buzzing around the world, data is the only way to see at any point in time, how your assets are delivering profits or losses. Further, it is a way to see what your customers are needing, in real-time.

We understand that we will not cover the issue in one IFExpress, and to that end, we have a few future interviews planned with IFEC companies and you will have the opportunity to see a bigger picture from them in the coming months. And speaking of ‘seeing the data’ issue, we really owe the folks at SITA a pat on the back for they have been trying to educate us on the value and need of standardized data.

Furthermore, not only satcom companies are part of the data solutions, as an example, the folks at SmartSky are developing a ground-to-air solution that may deliver the cheapest, and possibly the fastest over tera firma, data solution when it is up and running in the US. The point here is that data will be the driving factor when an airline executive or inflight passenger, or flight crew person, or a box on the plane needs to connect to a listener or data taker from the ground, and thus, it will be one of the next big things in our industry. Check out this Next Gen aviation connected electronic flight bag story;

With the growth of passenger data needs, the subject of data will become even a more important technology as time goes on. In SITAONAIR’s white paper published during the show, they noted that passenger connectivity is still the key motivating factor with airlines for adopting the service. Some 48% of their list of airlines in their study see it as the main passenger experience benefit. However, now some 20% of the airlines involved saw connectivity as a pilot and cabin crew enhancement driver, with some 15% seeing value in maintenance and ops monitoring. While a low number of planes today are outfitted with connectivity solutions, SITA expects three quarters will have some connectivity by 2017, and the big solution will happen by 2020 and some 12,500 planes will be so modified.

One big issue, notes SITA, is the lack of commonality or common standards in the aircraft data itself. Why is this important? We see it as a way to allow more entrants in the IFEC industry, more participants in the data business, more uses of the data itself, and a solution that becomes a standard where and when more people use it. Lest we forget, big data probably also means big bucks! If you want to see an example the application of common airport standards you might want to check out SITA’s AirportConnect Open.

Another area is the type of data from the various sources and its utility and application. The folks at Panasonic can see the data future and they call it “Big Data”. They envision the application of ground and inflight data as well as a lot more data applications from many sources – but we will have more on this subject in the future. We should also note that Thales has their version of big data and they are using their InFlyt Cloud for similar data solution for airplane data, metadata and big analytics. However, the message to folks in this business is perhaps, just perhaps, that the IFEC world might just be a smaller part of a bigger aviation world that uses data. It is a solution for bigger problems and future analysis – all way beyond IFE companies just selling hardware. Just possibly it may be the next generation of understanding about airplanes and passengers and the world of flying assets that are moving thousands of miles away from the home offices with hundreds of passengers all going to different places for many different reasons. Big Data has a future value that we don’t even understand today!

To make our point about where this is all heading, here is a very recent news release from Panasonic Avionics about their next generation of data connectivity solutions and it points out the widening of the acquisition of data sources sets the wider data picture being viewed by IFEC vendors. Said the release: ”The technology will enable the next generation of connectivity services to the aviation industry and multiple other markets.” The release went on: “Panasonic Avionics will implement Ericsson’s 5G-ready core solution through its subsidiary AeroMobile, a global inflight connectivity provider and registered mobile network operator. The contract is the first step of a long-term strategic collaboration between the two companies, which will focus on areas like 5G and the Internet of Things.” It went on: ”Panasonic Avionics can apply the 5G-ready core across a wide and ever-expanding range of markets, enabling connectivity for users not only onboard aircraft and ships, but also for the huge Internet of Things communication.” IFExpress notes the 5G is touted as the next generation of mobile technology because it “has the capability to radically lessen latency, accelerate download and upload speeds, enhance network reliability and spectral efficiency.” With this data, they also have the potential to support IoT development, by considerably escalating the number of devices that can connect to the network simultaneously.” Get the data picture? Stay Tuned on this one, soon we will talk more about data standardization and future data applications.


digEcor & IFPL

We like it when two companies in our industry combine their thoughts to develop a better product offering. We saw this during APEX Singapore this year when digEcor, in conjunction with partner IFPL, unveiled their GLIDE inseat power solution on AirAsia’s A320neos. The development effort was a collaborative one between digEcor, IFPL and Miras Aircraft Seating. The deal with AirAsia totals 55K seats and because AirAsia is a low-cost carrier they required a low-cost solution. This makes sense since inseat power is more and more significant as passengers are bringing their own devices onboard and the system is Wi-Fi driven by the onboard inflight connectivity. In fact, many LCCs are now looking to Wi-Fi for their IFE solution. From a hardware perspective, IFPL’s USB outlet is backlit and we understand that when power is available the unit is lit, making it easier for the passenger to find on the seat arm. If you are interested, we’ve attached images of the seat arm with the IFPL USB outlet and digEcor’s SEB!


NEWS

ViaSat/Arconics
Qatar Airways has implemented AeroDocs software from Arconics, a ViaSat company, to provide a single centralized repository to revise and track all operational and non-operational company manuals and documentation for operational readiness. The ability to create, author, edit and mark all changes in a visible manner over the web enables team members to easily keep abreast of, and be alerted to, relevant procedural modifications as and when they happen.

Boeing
The Seattle Times wrote: “In a surprise move, Boeing announced Monday that Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner will step down from that position and be replaced by General Electric senior executive Kevin McAllister. In 2015, the Boeing board granted Conner a special award of 50,000 shares ‘to encourage him to forgo an opportunity to retire in the near future.’ With that award vesting on Dec. 1, 2017 provided he stayed at Boeing, it was expected that he would retire about then. Those shares are worth $7.35 million.” (Editor’s Note: Not a bad deal – $7 million & change for staying at Boeing for 2 years!)

Media Box
Heard about Media Box? The Media Box, which Media Carrier offers as an exclusive service to tourism companies in particular, operates as a web-based service and can be easily and conveniently used with any web-enabled device. To download their preferred business magazine or their usual morning paper, guests connect to the Media Box of the airline or hotel and gain access to their own personal reading material. Newspapers and magazines are presented unabridged and in the same layout used in the print versions, and can be browsed through easily and intuitively – check out this image. Even after downloading, the downloaded publications remain available to the reader for an unlimited time.  Established in 2011, the company is a subsidiary of the Munich-based MELO Group, whose central divisions are built on the two pillars: media and logistics. Media Carrier specializes in marketing and distributing digital content. It supplies the travel industry with e-papers through the Media Box. The digital media library is now successfully deployed with e.g. Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings as well as in more than 1,000 luxury and five-star hotels worldwide.

While we did not necessarily expect large changes in IFEC at a show the size of APEX Singapore, we were wrong – there is a lot going on in the way of change pertaining to the world of cabin experiences. The big driver of course is what passengers bring on the airplane and their expectations of how air travel will be a continuation of their ground experiences and lifestyle. This would explain the need for better connectivity on the aircraft and the increase in demand for connectivity based solutions. Another area that appears to be growing is demand for engaging the passenger throughout the travel experience – from the initial ticket purchase all the way to arrival at their destination. The goal is to engage the passenger in an end-to-end experience. This is being facilitated by the airline apps now available, as well as, the various connectivity solutions that are permeating both the airport and the aircraft. With the availability of real-time data analytics the airlines can finally interact with their travelers seamlessly throughout the entire journey. The message here is data, and a lot of it. This expansion is creating new products, services, new jobs, and a new way to capture the aviation business. Consequently, the passenger, the airplane, and the airline are all operating as if the aircraft were ‘tethered to a gatelink on the ground’ – the next industry growth phase will include more data about the passenger, more data about their travel experience, more data about the aircraft, and we can thank connectivity for bring about these changes.

Trends:

1) Airlines are looking more and more to connectivity and Wi-Fi for their single-aisle solutions, as well as, their twin-aisle aircraft. Wi-Fi and connectivity are critical for both the connected aircraft and engaging the passenger throughout all aspects of the trip.
2) With the proliferation of handheld, semi-embedded and Pax PED devices we saw an increase in agile, brandable software/GUI.
3) With the advent of true broadband coming into service we saw IFE vendors embracing the availability of a large pipe by offering aircraft operations evaluation real-time, as well as, passenger services.
4) New methods of power delivery as well as capability with the latest upgrade in USB based power. In fact, Inseat USB power is now the expectation – and USB C is here now too! Obviously, this demand is to support the connectivity/PEDs brought onboard the aircraft by the passengers, among others.
5) There is a growing market for a lower cost connectivity solution for smaller amounts of data or chat style connectivity. At the show we saw 2 new ground based connectivity solutions being developed and another that was based on Bluetooth.


Gogo:

Gogo celebrated 25 years in business (1991 – 2016)! Congratulations may the next 25 be even more momentous. One of the technology surprises was the newly announced network that will use unlicensed spectrum, a proprietary modem and a new beam-forming antenna to produce peak network speeds of more than 100 Mbps. This next generation ground-based network for the aero market will utilize LTE technology and leverage Gogo’s existing first generation North American network and infrastructure of more than 250 towers. “Gogo’s next generation network will also be backward-compatible with Gogo’s first generation network, which means an aircraft will be able to seamlessly switch between Gogo’s two networks similar to how a cell phone on the ground connects to the fastest available network,” said Anand Chari, CTO of Gogo. The benefits of the network for commercial aircraft operating within the United States and Canada include: low equipment cost and weight, overnight installation, and low drag on the aircraft due to the small size of the antennas. It also has big advantages in terms of latency compared to satellite solutions. It should be noted, that this system is using the same frequency as 802.11 – the 2.4 GHz band but the solution is not Wi-Fi as such. Gogo did not go into any description of the modulation technique used. We point out that the press release that was distributed in late September on this subject came out on the same day as SmartSky released theirs – interesting!


FTS:

FTS is probably the newest full system IFEC provider in the industry today. At the show they announced that their Wi-Fi IFE system is already flying on China Southern’s 737 for a trial, and will be flying on another airline in Asia and a North America-based carrier in the near term. While the company is in the midst of a market re-branding and product renaming, their young engineering team impressed us with their understanding of an inflight connectivity solution and some potential new products that we have yet to see on an aircraft. The company is focusing on the B737 family and A320 family aircraft and are targeting small airlines and LCC’s to get their product off the ground. Basically, the company is in the start-up phase and moving very rapidly into the IFEC realm. They have brought on some industry notables to help facilitate this goal: Darrel Chua (GM, Singapore FTS); Rich Salter, CTO; Ben Fuller, Director of Marketing for the Americas; and Jack Sunabe, Director of Program Management. Here is an image of the team in their booth at APEX.

Their next generation Wi-Fi entertainment and information system is fully FAA/EASA compliant and supports 802.11 ac standards. The system is ultra-light weight, which greatly reduces fuel burn when compared to legacy IFE systems. The system requires one or two Cabin Wireless Access Points (CWAPs) to cover the entire cabin. This interacts with their General Network Server which uses high-capacity SSD drives to support HD media streaming, as well as the latest applications. Their Terminal Wireless Cellular Unit (TWCU) is for multi-band 3G/4G cellular data communication, activated when the aircraft is on the ground, and can be used for content update and usage data offload. Also, we should mention they exhibited a nifty smartwatch for flight attendants that served as the CMT.

Wi-Fi, while not sexy unto itself, controls the cost and manufacturing requirements and quality of the system that a new entrant can handle. More importantly, since all their LRUs are manufactured by FTS’ parent company (FeiTian), they do not have to integrate with anyone else. Also, they don’t have to outsource their software – it is all controlled in house. By operating in this mode they do not have to rely on suppliers; however, we do note that they want to create partnerships from a marketing perspective in order to enhance ancillary revenue generation. Furthermore, products like customized games can be easily added.

In closing, we note that the parent company (FeiTian) has been around for 11 years with a backbone built on bullet trains in China. Additionally, it should be mentioned that by year’s end their will be four FTS company (aviation-focused) offices: China, Singapore, Newport Beach, and a location in Europe – so the company is very interested in aggressive expansion. In our interview they mentioned that they will have four airlines in their first full year of operation – WOW!


SITA OnAir:

SITA OnAir demonstrated how the passenger experience is being transformed by their e-Aircraft concept. The e-Aircraft presents significant opportunities for airlines to streamline operations and improve efficiencies. It also presents the major challenge of what to do when confronted by terabytes of data produced during each flight. Some of it will be stored for downloading on the ground. But increasingly, the demand is for real-time interaction, for the aircraft to be connected nose-to-tail throughout the flight for both passengers and the airline. They discussed the key developments based on the advent of the global high through-put satellite link, GX Aviation from Inmarsat. In fact, they showed how the increased connectivity affected 6 key ‘audiences’ (aircraft included) for the improved data rates: 1) Passengers benefit from a richer, more interactive infotainment experience. At the Expo they launched their latest inflight portal for passengers, 2) Cabin Crew can now personalize passenger interaction with real-time information available at their fingertips. Also, they demonstrated their latest CrewTablet developments, 3) Cockpit Crew can also deliver a safer, more comfortable journey to passengers thanks to live weather updates sent directly to EFBs, 4) Flight Operations can enhance passenger safety by tracking aircraft wherever they are in the world using AIRCOM FlightTracker – and a number of airlines have already signed up, 5) Aircraft transmits maintenance requirement data, ensuring teams are waiting at the gate to keep turnaround time to a minimum, 6) And finally, Air Traffic Control enhances both safety and efficiency by streamlining communications between pilots and air traffic managers. SITA likes to call these ‘nose-to-tail’ solutions.


2016 APEX Awards:

This year’s APEX Awards were expanded from previous years. In fact, there were eight categories in the new format. Competition was particularly high especially in the areas of “Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation” and “Best Original Video” – I think many of the judges wished they could handout co-winner awards!
Award winners are as follows:

  • Best Video Curation – Air Canada enRoute Programming
  • Best Original Video  – Etihad Airways Virtual Reality Film
  • Best Original Audio – American Airlines Exclusive Content
  • Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation – Finnair Nordic Sky Wi-Fi
  • Best Passenger Comfort Innovation –  Singapore Airlines A350 Business Class
  • Best Personalization Innovation  – Air New Zealand Airpoints
  • Best Cabin Innovation – STG Aerospace Green Floor Path Lighting
  • Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation – Air New Zealand Innovations

Additional Awards:

  • Newcomer Award – SkyLights and ImmFly
  • CEO Lifetime Achievement – Goh Choon Phong, Singapore

Show Buzz!

Did you get to the APEX sponsored networking event in Singapore on Wednesday evening? If not you missed a fantastic band called Full Circle that played class rock’n roll. We were so impressed we want to extend a ‘thank you’ to Ande Rowe | Manager, Meetings & Expositions for APEX who booked them. Full Circle really made the event one to remember!! Their facebook page can be found here.

  • Why the industry should embrace open systems development and unlock digital service innovation for airlines

October 2016– The first inflight connectivity revolution is already well advanced. Airlines are investing heavily in the latest satellite broadband and connectivity technologies in order to meet growing passenger expectations for fast, reliable and consistent Wi-Fi digital services on any aircraft, anywhere in the world.

But how will this develop? SITAONAIR, the world-leader in developing inflight connectivity solutions, has unique experience and perspective.

Going forward, we believe services should be provided consistently on every frequency band with an open architecture – ushering in the second inflight connectivity revolution.

Read More Here

  • MOU recognises SwiftBroadband-Safety’s market leading position and potential to increase airline profitability, capacity and safety through digital cockpit solutions

United Kingdom | October 19, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to appoint SITAONAIR as a distribution partner for its next generation SwiftBroadband-Safety aviation service.

A pre-agreement between the two companies has outlined the intention for SITAONAIR to supply commercial airlines and business aviation operators with SwiftBroadband-Safety, an advanced new service from Inmarsat that will transform cockpit and aircraft operations.

SwiftBroadband-Safety represents a paradigm shift in the advancement of aviation safety services by utilising secure IP-based broadband connectivity that far exceeds the capabilities of other alternatives in the market. The ‘always on and always secure’ solution enables a range of breakthrough aviation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.

It also enables air traffic management modernisation programmes throughout the world and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including flight tracking, by offering reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS).

SwiftBroadband-Safety hardware is available for initial retrofit installation on existing aircraft today and is scheduled to become a standard option on new aircraft deliveries from 2018. The service builds on Inmarsat’s reputation as a provider of high-quality voice and data service to 95% of the world’s trans-oceanic aircraft fleet.

Inmarsat’s MoU with SITAONAIR marks the latest expansion of a successful partnership between both companies. SITAONAIR is currently a major distributor of Inmarsat’s Classic Aero satellite communications service and will now be able to provide migration options for existing customers to SwiftBroadband-Safety. It also provides the global aviation industry with access to Inmarsat’s current in-flight broadband service, SwiftBroadband, and its next generation offering for commercial airlines (GX Aviation) and business aviation (JetConneX).

SwiftBroadband-Safety has received a lot of industry support that has reinforced its status as the flightdeck communications platform for the future, including its recent selection by Airbus for its A320 and A330 aircraft families, and successful ongoing trials by Hawaiian Airlines.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “SITAONAIR has been a trusted partner of Inmarsat for over 25 years. Together we have been providing benefits for the wider airline industry, such as enhancing trans-oceanic flights, optimising routes and reducing fuel consumption. We plan to continue this progress in the future as the benefits of secure broadband are brought into the cockpit.

“The aircraft is now a fully connected node of the airline’s IT network. Inmarsat is the only global provider to offer both reliable, secure cockpit communications as well as the most advanced passenger connectivity, allowing our airline customers to customise data solutions.”
David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR, said: “SwiftBroadband-Safety is a transformational step for the industry and we are proud to include it in our service portfolio as a powerful enabler of SITAONAIR’s nose-to-tail connectivity solutions. Through our engagement with the airlines, SITAONAIR believes the industry is ready to embrace SwiftBroadband-Safety’s secure IP-based services to the cockpit. We are developing services and applications that will leverage this secure IP-based communications services platform to enhance both safety and operational efficiency.

“We aim to offer simple service packages that include generous data allowances to ensure that managing crew communication costs becomes much simpler and enable airlines to fully unleash the potential of next generation cockpit and air traffic control technology. These packages will also power global worldwide flight tracking at no additional connectivity cost. We are pleased to extend and expand our work with Inmarsat in delivering this new capability.”

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.

 

  • AeroMod begins equipping Philippine Airlines A321 aircraft;
    returns newly wireless IFE-equipped aircraft every day

Melbourne, Florida and Geneva, Switzerland | August 18, 2016– 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.

“This agreement with a worldwide aircraft connectivity leader such as SITAONAIR capitalizes on our growth to provide operational support to customers around the world,” says AeroMod President Gary Girard.

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.

Improving the customer experience is a key driver for commercial airlines, and wireless IFE systems allow a wide range of content to be made available directly to passengers’ personal devices. SITAONAIR’s system delivers reliability and cost savings as well as easy installation and maintenance. Now with AeroMod rapid installations, these products can be rolled out across an entire airline’s fleet in a matter of weeks. All combine to make an especially appealing fit for airlines.

“86% of passengers take a smartphone onto a plane and they would prefer to also use them to access IFE,” says David Lavorel, CEO of SITAONAIR. “These networks therefore need to be highly robust in order to deliver HD quality video to all passengers. 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.”

AeroMod relocated its corporate headquarters to Orlando Melbourne International Airport in April 2016. Its new 114,000-square-foot site takes advantage of Melbourne’s position as the fastest growing aviation and aerospace manufacturing center in the United States.

“Our new facility was designed to offer connectivity and IFE installations significantly faster than other MROs,” says Girard. “To prevent fleet-planning disruption, we can also adapt to customers’ needs and send a qualified team to the customer’s chosen location, anywhere in the world, as we have been doing for Philippines Airlines.”

Philippine Airlines is the national carrier of the Philippines, operating in over 40 international and over 30 domestic destinations. Its key focus areas are flight route network expansion, fleet modernization and service innovation. PAL aims to achieve five-star rating in five years by implementing key initiatives anchored on the branding philosophy Heart of the Filipino.

  • 2016 Air Transport News Awards recognize SITA’s leadership and innovation

Geneva | March 29, 2016– For the second year in a row, the Air Transport News (ATN) Awards have recognized air transport IT specialist, SITA, as the ‘IT Company of the Year’. The 2016 award was based on SITA’s significant leadership and innovation in developing solutions that transform air travel through technology.

Francesco Violante, CEO of SITA said: “Winning this award two years in a row is a significant achievement and a strong validation of our unwavering collaboration and contribution to the air transport community. SITA works with nearly every airline and airport in the world, so for them to select us as the IT leader in air transport is really a testament to the value we bring to the community.”

SITA provides the broadest portfolio of solutions for the air transport industry all around the world. The fast pace of technology has driven substantial changes to both the passenger experience and industry operations in recent years with SITA leading the way. This includes solutions such as SITA’s iBorders Border Management that helps governments modernize border security and facilitate the travel experience. By integrating biometrics into existing airport common-use infrastructure and airline and government systems, SITA is making the passenger journey simple, fast and secure.

In addition, SITA’s API platform, Developer.aero, is now widely recognized as the provider of the industry’s key APIs enabling game-changing innovations for passenger experience, airport management, flight operations, and the connected aircraft.

SITA’s commitment to the industry and ongoing innovation is also reflected in its investment in the SITA Lab, its strategic technology research arm. Working with airlines and airports, the Lab explores emerging technology on behalf of the air transport community in areas including artificial intelligence, big data, wearable tech and the ‘Internet of Things’. While SITAONAIR is working with airlines to realize the full potential of the connected aircraft, including setting the benchmark for true nose-to-tail connected aircraft solutions for both airlines and passengers.

ATN has a strong subscription base of more than 42,000. Award winners were selected by the website’s readers based on two months of online voting and validated by a jury of industry leaders. SITA also won the ATN IT Company of the Year award in 2013.

The award was presented to SITA on 26 March at an Air Transport News event held in Salzburg, Austria.

  • New partnership to empower airlines with cutting-edge operational and safety communication solutions

Oslo and Paris | March 21, 2016– Marlink, the global business critical communication solutions specialist previously operating as Airbus Defence and Space, and SITAONAIR, have signed a partnership agreement designed to enable the aviation industry even better access to reliable, secure and cost effective ICT (Information & Communication Technology) solutions. As a result, Marlink will extend its aviation satcom services portfolio to offer both established and new solutions that address the needs of a wide range of aircraft.

Starting this year Marlink will make Global Datalink Plus available to its customers worldwide. The flexible and globally managed service seamlessly integrates connectivity services from Inmarsat and Iridium with the world’s largest VHF/VDL network.

Global DataLink Plus is aimed at facilitating safe, efficient and reliable aircraft operations through redundant, always available data and voice communications. Global Datalink Plus meets mandatory requirements for FANS (Future Air Navigation System) and PreFANS services whilst addressing the needs of pilots and crew in supporting flight operations and ensuring safety for Next Generation Air Traffic Management Systems.

“Over the years together with SITAONAIR we have been pioneering aircraft communications and bringing service innovation to the aviation industry. The aim of this new partnership is to enable more aviation customers to improve their flight operation services and grow their business further by adopting innovative and smart aircraft ICT solutions, whether this is based on VHF, VDL or satcom connectivity services,” said Mario Incerti, Director, Aeronautical Services, Marlink.

“Marlink’s satcom service expertise, 24/7 worldwide customer care and global distribution and sales network will enable us to increase our market reach and allow more aviation customers to get the most out of our solutions. We will be able to deliver more efficient aircraft operations and improved aviation safety, in addition to streamlining the supply chain and introducing lifetime cost efficiencies for SITAONAIR and Marlink customers,” said Damien McCormack, VP Commercial at SITAONAIR.