INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, unveiled details of a next-generation terminal for its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution, which has been developed in collaboration with GDC Technics, an industry leader in engineering & technical services, modifications and electronic systems.

The innovative light weight, low drag terminal is available to airlines across the world today and has been designed to ensure that the connectivity needs of data-hungry passengers are met for generations to come, allowing them to stream high definition videos, enjoy online video games, download documents and more using their personal devices.

Following a range of technology assessments and test flights over the past 12 months, the powerful new terminal has demonstrated its ability to consistently deliver the highest levels of connectivity on board aircraft, even over the world’s busiest airspaces. In addition, upcoming enhancements to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network will further bolster the terminal’s performance in the near future.

The next-generation terminal includes a robust flat panel antenna developed by Thinkom, which has millions of flight hours behind it. In addition, it has been integrated with smart dual aero modem technology that supports Inmarsat’s ground-breaking new GX+ North America service, announced with Hughes Network Systems last week.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation is well established as the gold standard in inflight broadband and we have a fully-funded technology roadmap to ensure it remains the unrivaled choice for aviation connectivity. This includes the addition of seven more satellites into our global GX network over the next four years, as well as cutting-edge hardware innovation such as this new terminal.”

“As a result, our existing and future customers are perfectly positioned to meet increasing passenger expectations for consistent, reliable, high-speed connectivity wherever they fly. There is already interest and excitement for this solution – especially around the terminal’s enhanced performance and its simple integration with both legacy systems and existing partners. GDC, as an experienced and credible aerospace company, has proved an exceptional partner on this project.”

Brad Foreman, Chief Executive Officer of GDC Technics, said: “The global inflight connectivity market is fast evolving and we have enjoyed working with Inmarsat to develop this next-generation terminal for GX Aviation, which is not only lightweight and low drag, but also boasts one of the lowest engineering failure rates in the market. We are hugely excited about the partnership and look forward to working with Inmarsat and its partners to bring this new terminal to airlines across the world.”

The new GDC Technics terminal has been certified and is now flying on Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Additional retrofit and linefit certifications are currently in progress and expected to be available by the end of this year, including retrofit options for the Airbus A320/330 family, and the Boeing B787 and B777 aircraft. Customers can either select a ‘low profile’ configuration for the terminal, which drives exceptional operational efficiency, or an option with standard tri-band radomes for the retrofit market. Both options, coupled with a very high reliability antenna, ensures a reduced cost of ownership.


THALES

Thales launches its Identity Verification Suite, a secure biometric solution for customer onboarding:

  • Thales’s Gemalto Identity Verification Suite (IDV) minimizes ID fraud risks by verifying document authenticity so that service providers can digitally check identities of new customers.
  • IDV is designed to onboard more users in a secure remote environment, offering a smooth user experience.
  • The 100% automated solution leveraging Thales Artificial Intelligence, guarantees user privacy, high-level security and deployment flexibility.

Thales, a leader in digital security, has launched its Identity Verification Suite, in response to the rising need of remote client onboarding. With privacy and user experience as its heart, the IDV Suite enables a secure and 100%-AI identity verification service. It integrates the latest facial recognition technology, document security features recognition and machine learning engines. The solution addresses the Covid-19 environment with touchless interactions, allowing service providers to reach end users via their mobile handsets or the web.

Secure identity verification has become a crucial part of online security and digital onboarding, and constitutes a significant opportunity for businesses. In cases such as digital enrollment or KYC (Know Your Customer) regulations, ID verification is critical in order to efficiently detect fraud and therefore build user trust in the digital world.

The IDV Suite designed by Thales allows a secure and smooth user journey for markets from the travel industry (airlines and airport security, car rental companies, public and private transportation), telecom operators, banks, citizen services (International Driving Permit), and all types of online service providers looking to meet their KYC needs. To ease the deployment of the solution, Thales provides flexible onboarding options including a highly secure connection to Thales IDV server in SaaS (Solution as a service) mode.

The modular solution offers flexibility to deploy a single solution across all channels, whether through mobile applications, websites, or a network of dedicated document scanners, thus aligning with the security expectations of each industry. From checking the validity of the Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ) of an ID document to more advanced control under white light, infra-red and UV checks, the suite can also securely perform contactless NFC verification using the chip of e-documents.

Advanced facial biometric technology is also a key feature in the IDV Suite, integrating passive liveness detection to facilitate end-user experience. The customer is asked to take a selfie, and then the solution transparently analyzes the liveness of the selfie and securely matches it against the portrait on the ID document, allowing for quick and efficient identity biometric verification.


BOEING

In observance of National Native American Heritage Month in November, Boeing committed $1.3 million to support Indigenous communities across the United States.

The investment package includes $300,000 in grants for Southwest Tribal Nations to improve access to clean water, bridge the digital divide in education and provide better natural disaster response and preparation. The package also includes $140,000 in grants in the Pacific Northwest and a $60,000 grant in Oklahoma supporting STEM education programs for students. An additional $840,000 will fund future projects for Native American and Indigenous communities to be detailed at a later date.

“We recognize the toll on Native American and Indigenous communities from centuries of injustice, and we take seriously our role in supporting education and development in these communities,” said Marc Allen, Boeing’s chief strategy officer, senior vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development and enterprise executive sponsor of the Boeing Native American Network. “Today’s exciting announcement continues our longstanding efforts to lift up equity and opportunity in the communities where our employees live and work.”

The new investments build on the company’s previously announced multi-year commitment to combat racism and advance racial equity and social justice at all levels.

In the past two years, Boeing and its employees have invested close to $660,000 in organizations supporting Native American and other Indigenous communities – bringing the company’s global support for these populations to $2 million. In addition, the company’s employee-led Boeing Native American Network Business Resource Group promotes awareness for the richness and diversity of Native American and Indigenous cultures, encourages STEM careers for Native American youth and provides training opportunities for Native Americans and others to develop their professional and personal skills.

Nonprofits receiving immediate grant funding include:

  • Partnership with Native Americans: A $125,000 investment will support tribal self-sufficiency by providing training and equipment to Native American tribes that will help increase effectiveness in preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
  • DigDeep: A $100,000 investment will fund the “Navajo Water Project,” which provides residents on the Navajo Nation access to water, job training and equipment. This Indigenous-led, locally staffed program develops wells to pump, treat and store clean water, which is delivered by trucks to off-grid home water systems.
  • Puget Sound Educational Service District: A $75,000 investment will provide funding for the Red Road Project, a culturally infused STEM curriculum led by Native American educators that will reach 400 K-12 Native American students in four Pierce County, Washington, school districts. The Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes also support this program.
  • Oklahoma State University Foundation: A $60,000 investment will fund a paid summer internship program for high school juniors and seniors. The program will offer Native American students the opportunity to work alongside faculty and undergraduate engineering students at the university’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute.
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society: A $50,000 investment will support the Together Towards Tomorrow (T3) Fund, which provides one-time scholarships of $500 to 1,000 Indigenous students enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Mentor Washington: A $45,000 investment will support the Native American Career Connect STEM program, a partnership with the Nisqually Tribe that increases Native American students’ engagement and success in school through group mentorship and career exploration.
  • Fort Apache Heritage Foundation: A $25,000 investment will provide immediate technology access to White Mountain Apache tribal students in Arizona currently learning from home without computers or internet access.
  • Washington MESA: In partnership with the Red Road project, this $20,000 investment will fund the Washington MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) program, which delivers hands-on STEM exploration opportunities to 160 Native American middle school students in Pierce County, Washington.

Boeing plans to make additional announcements related to its racial equity and social justice investment strategy in the future.

Also From Boeing:

In the 3Q20 Boeing posted $466m net loss on $14.1b revenues vs $1.2b profit on $20b in 3Q19. By the end of 2021 the company also expects a workforce of approximately 130,000 employees (vs >161,000 on Jan 1, 2020); The commercial airplane division lost $1.4b (vs $40m in 2019) with 56% lower revenues.

And Lastly: A reader sent these articles to IFExpress and we found them rather interesting: Airbus stopped consuming cash in 3Q2020 – Leeham News and Analysis and Boeing Brings Bond Sale on Heels of Downgrade to Junk’s Edge.


OTHER NEWS

Thales, Nokia and SkyFive

Following successful rollout across Europe, Thales in the UK, Nokia and SkyFive are launching a new 4G LTE Air to Ground (A2G) solution to a global market. Delivering a fibre like connectivity experience, A2G significantly improves the inflight access to web, streaming and on-line games to passengers. In addition to improved passenger experiences, aircraft operators will benefit from significantly shortened installation times, minimizing the time aircraft are out of operation.

Improved connectivity, enhanced experience

Offering seamless connectivity with speeds up to 100Mbps and latency of less than 50ms, this 4G LTE solution connects aircraft to high-speed Wi-Fi from the ground up. Utilizing existing 4G technology, A2G connects aircrafts with the nearest purpose-built on-ground towers, seamlessly handing over between masts mid-flight to create consistently fast 4G connectivity throughout journeys. The high speeds and reduced latency are achieved through the impressive 4G LTE performance, combined with the short distances between the aircraft and towers, which are densely grouped to prevent aircrafts sharing bandwidth. The network’s design also means A2G has greater capacity per km2 than current satellites.

Aboard A2G enabled aircraft, the experience for passengers will be comparable to using a 4G mobile phone service on the ground. The easy-to-access connection will make it possible for passengers to make uninterrupted video-conferencing calls, watch live TV or stream the latest series in HD from their own handset.

Easy installation, savings for airlines

As the aviation sector emerges from its biggest challenge yet, A2G presents an opportunity for carriers to make significant savings, improve customer experiences and increase ancillary revenues. Compared with SATCOM systems, the compact nature of the 4G antenna reduces CO2 emissions and cuts installation times down to just 12 hours, meaning aircraft spend less time out of operation while technology is installed.

Once installed, new 4G enabled in-flight capabilities will create an aircraft environment for an Internet of Things in which operational efficiencies such as engine offload data can be viewed in real time, customer experience can be measured and targeted advertising can be introduced. Better connectivity can also support the facilitation of new COVID-19 safety protocols as they are implemented.

Collaborating to create a safe, global network

The technology is being rolled out in regions around the world where domestic and international carriers will be able to use the 4G masts on land. It has been developed through a collaborative partnership with Thales providing the onboard terminal (modem+RF) and antenna; Nokia responsible for on-ground infrastructure and SkyFive’s patented software algorithms ensuring that aircraft can reliably connect at high speeds, high altitudes and across long ranges. With 30 years of experience in connecting airlines and proven European Aviation Network success, Thales has leveraged its expertise to ensure the benefits of the faster speeds do not come at the expense of a secure platform.

Andy Humphries, Managing Director, Flight Avionics at Thales in the UK, commented: “For airlines, passenger connectivity and operational efficiency have been strategic imperatives in the past and are even more pronounced in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. At Thales, we have used our expertise to deliver proven fast and reliable aircraft hardware and software solutions underpinned by a robust worldwide support network. Combined with SkyFive’s specialism in A2G services and Nokia’s mobile network infrastructure, the project will bring industry disrupting performance for passengers and airlines alike, with reliable Wi-Fi and low transmission latency delivered with low upfront investment and operational costs. We believe A2G will help to expedite the recovery of the sector by transforming the air travel experience while reducing costs as people start flying again.”


Air Travel Consumer Report: July 2020 Numbers

The U.S. Department of Transportation on October 23, 2020 released its September 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of July 2020.  The full consumer report and other aviation consumer matters of interest to the public can be found at http://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency has resulted in significant changes to airline schedules and operations, contributing to airlines’ on-time performance and cancellation statistics in July 2020.

The 10 marketing network carriers reported 370,859 scheduled domestic flights in July 2020 compared to 237,264 flights in June 2020 and 717,684 flights in July 2019. Of those 370,859 scheduled flights, 0.8%, 2,926 flights, were canceled. As a result of schedule reductions and cancellations, the carriers reported operating 367,933 flights in July 2020, compared to 236,234 flights in June 2020, the all-time monthly low of 180,151 flights in May 2020 and 194,390 flights in April 2020.

A flight is listed as canceled if it was listed in a carrier’s computer reservation system during the seven calendar days prior to scheduled departure but was not operated.  Canceled flights are included in calculations of on-time arrival performance.

July On-Time Performance

In July 2020, reporting marketing carriers posted an on-time arrival rate of 90.5%, down from the 92.7% on-time rate in June 2020 but up from the 76.9% rate in July 2019.  See July Data Spotlight for scheduled, canceled, and operated flights by marketing network by month.
Highest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates July 2020 (ATCR Table 1)

1.    Southwest Airlines – 94.5%
2.    Alaska Airlines Network – 92.5%
3.    Hawaiian Airlines Network – 91.7%

Lowest Marketing Carrier On-Time Arrival Rates July 2020 (ATCR Table 1)

1.    JetBlue Airways – 85.4%
2.    Allegiant Air – 85.5%
3.    Frontier Airlines – 87.0%

July Cancellations

In July 2020, reporting marketing carriers canceled 0.8% of their scheduled domestic flights, a higher rate than 0.4% in June 2020 but a lower rate than 2.1% in July 2019.

Lowest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights July 2020 (ATCR Table 6)

1.    Spirit Airlines – 0.1%
2.    American Airlines Network – 0.6%
3.    Southwest Airlines – 0.7%

Highest Marketing Carrier Rates of Canceled Flights July 2020 (ATCR Table 6)

1.    Hawaiian Airlines Network – 4.1%
2.    Frontier Airlines – 3.2%
3.    JetBlue Airways – 2.8%

Tarmac Delays

In July 2020, airlines reported 39 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in June 2020 and 58 tarmac delays reported in July 2019.  In July 2020, airlines reported no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights, compared to no tarmac delays reported in June 2020 and three tarmac delays in July 2019.  Extended tarmac delays are investigated by the Department.

July Domestic Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Three Hours (ATCR Table 8)

  1. American Airlines flight 4912 (operated by Piedmont Airlines) from Mobile, Ala. (MOB) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) 7/21/20 – delayed 4 hours and 51 minutes on the tarmac at Charlotte
  2. American Airlines flight 3862 (operated by Envoy Air) from Charlottesville, Va. (CHO) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) 7/21/20 – delayed 4 hours and 40 minutes on the tarmac at Charlotte
  3. American Airlines flight 5075 (operated by PSA Airlines) from Syracuse, N.Y. (SYR) to Charlotte, N.C. (CLT) 7/21/20 – delayed 4 hours and 36 minutes on the tarmac at Charlotte

July International Flights with Longest Tarmac Delays Exceeding Four Hours (ATCR Table 8A)

There were no tarmac delays of more than four hours on international flights in July.


This Is A Big Deal and a Great Article!

“Specifically, FAA has not assessed its oversight program to determine the priority of avionics cybersecurity risks, developed an avionics cybersecurity training program, issued guidance for independent cybersecurity testing, or included periodic testing as part of its monitoring process,” GAO said in the report.

Another key finding in the report is more guidance on independent testing to be integrated into the way the agency certifies new airplanes. GAO’s six recommendations include the following:
Here are the recommendations:

  • Identify the “relative priority of avionics cybersecurity risks compared to other safety concerns and develop a plan to address those risks.”
  • Implement new training for agency inspectors “specific to avionics cybersecurity.”
  • Include independent testing in new guidance for avionics cybersecurity testing of new airplane designs
  • Develop procedures for “safely conducting independent testing” of avionics cybersecurity controls in the deployed fleet
  • Coordinate a tracking mechanism for ensuring avionics cybersecurity issues are resolved among “internal stakeholders.”
  • Review oversight resources the agency has currently committed to avionics cybersecurity.

This is a good article: GAO Report Says Airlines Need New Cybersecurity Testing Policy for Avionics Systems – Aviation Today


Boeing

Check out this link for a very good ‘big picture’ of Boeing, especially the top executive and it also includes the recent additions.


Other News

  • The S$30 million lab will play a key role in developing advanced ATM capabilities

September 25, 2019– The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Thales have announced the establishment of a S$30 million Joint Aviation Innovation Research (AIR) Lab in Singapore to drive innovation in new air traffic management (ATM) technologies. The agreement to establish the AIR Lab was signed between Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS, and Mr Jean Ferré, Vice-President Air Traffic Management, Thales on the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Innovation Fair in Montreal.

The AIR Lab will focus on the development of an Open ATM System architecture minimum viable product as its immediate priority. This project will be a key enabler for CAAS’s next-generation ATM system. Through the AIR Lab, Thales will be increasing its level of investments into ATM-related research in Singapore by bringing in domain experts and hiring software engineers, system engineers and integrators. Supported by the Aviation Transformation Programme (ATP)[1], which seeks to develop innovative ATM solutions for Singapore, the AIR Lab will also provide a platform for multiple stakeholders, including Singapore enterprises with complementary capabilities, to collaborate on these new technologies and develop corresponding prototypes.

The AIR Lab builds on the deep partnership and collaboration between CAAS and Thales.  In February 2018, the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on developing new Concepts of Operations for ATM as well as the next generation of digital ATM technologies. In March this year, a follow-up agreement was signed at the World ATM Congress in Madrid to conduct research and development for an Open ATM System architecture .

Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS, said, “CAAS is constantly looking ahead and ensuring that we are future-ready. The solutions developed by the Lab will enable CAAS to manage the increasingly complex ATM operations in one of the busiest and most complex airspaces in the world. By bringing together key stakeholders in the ATM ecosystem and providing access through an open platform, the AIR Lab will also play a key role in deepening Singapore’s expertise in ATM.”

“The AIR Lab is the first of its kind for Thales in Asia and will allow us to pioneer new technologies with CAAS in the digital aviation field. It serves as a great tool for Thales to tap on and develop expertise to Singapore’s ATM and ANSP ecosystem, while working in close partnership with CAAS and other complementary partners to build capabilities for the future,” said Mr Jean Ferré, Vice-President, Air Traffic Management, Thales.

The AIR Lab is expected to be launched in early 2020 and established for an initial period of three years. The AIR Lab will be co-located with the Thales Digital Factory in Singapore to draw synergies between the two facilities.


1. The Aviation Transformation Programme builds up Singapore’s R&D capabilities to address challenges arising from increased air traffic and constraints in manpower, land and airspace.  Supported by the National Research Foundation Singapore, the programme facilitates collaboration between the industry and the research community in developing innovative solutions to solve challenges faced by the aviation sector.

2.An Open ATM System architecture is modular, scalable and supplier agnostic. It therefore enables greater flexibility and new ATM innovations to be integrated at an accelerated pace. An Open ATM System architecture will also benefit the ATM community and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) who can tap on the R&D knowledge and architecture to level up their ATM systems and innovate improvements.

  • Thales and its joint venture BEST provide TopSky-ATC to Beijing Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) Control Center. The system, along with the one deployed for Area Control Centers (ACC) and Towers, forms the largest scale Air Traffic Control (ATC) system in the world, covering Beijing Capital International Airport, the newly inaugurated Beijing Daxing International Airport and Tianjin Binhai International Airport, etc.
  • Beijing Terminal Maneuvering Area is the first in China to deploy both Thales MAESTRO AMAN and DMAN technology to optimize flight sequencing and airport efficiency.
  • Today, 60% of China’s air traffic is managed through Thales’ air traffic management solutions.

France | September 2019–Beijing Daxing International Airport becomes officially operational on September 25. Thales and Beijing EasySky Technology Ltd. (BEST), a joint venture between Thales and Civil Aviation Air Traffic Control Technology & Equipment Development Co. Ltd., are delighted to celebrate this important milestone. This mega-airport relies on Thales and BEST to improve safety support capabilities, expand capacity and enhance the operational efficiency of air traffic management.

The past decade has witnessed a tremendous growth of the aviation activity in China with the number of airline passengers nearly tripling. For Beijing, China’s capital as well as political, economic and cultural center, this trend has been even more challenging, with the existing Beijing Capital International Airport hitting full capacity in 2018. Located 46 km south of downtown Beijing, Beijing Daxing International Airport is designed to relieve the pressure on the existing airport and serves as the capital’s second international airport. It is the world’s largest single-terminal airport, covering an area of 700,000 square meters. With seven runways planned, the airport will ultimately handle more than 100 million passengers a year.

As a consortium, Thales and BEST were selected by North China ATMB (Air Traffic Management Bureau) in 2016 to modernize the Beijing Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) Control Center by providing an ATC (Air Traffic Control) automation system which will play a pivotal role in harmonizing the air traffic in this region. The whole project automates Beijing TMA, Beijing Area Control Center (ACC), ATC Towers in Beijing Capital International Airport, ATC Towers in the new Beijing Daxing International Airport, Tianjin Approach and ATC Tower in Tianjin Binhai International Airport. By enabling seamless synchronization with Beijing ACC ATC system, the overall ATC system will become the largest in the world, with a total of 290 controller working positions covering the northern China region.

To support Daxing airport, Thales and BEST delivered TopSky-ATC, the most advanced air traffic management system in the world, to help improve air traffic operation efficiency and improve safety. The system features advanced redundant capability including complete fallback flight data processing and flight plan synchronization, as well as multi-sensor processing and alerting to enable consistent operations.

The Beijing Terminal Maneuvering Area control center is the first in China to deploy Thales MAESTRO AMAN and DMAN technology at the same time to sequence and balance the traffic flow of the airport and airspace. This fully integrated arrival and departure management system helps to reduce flight delays and increase the air capacity. MAESTRO will provide seamless integration between area control, approach control and tower systems – so that all controllers share the same sequence information and can manage airport configuration changes collaboratively, including Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) regulation times. Additionally, it will support the integration of required arrival delay absorption into sector displays to enable efficient traffic sequencing and reduced airborne holding. Furthermore, advanced runway allocation processing will enable efficient airline operations and reduce taxi times.

Under a very tight schedule, experts and engineers from Thales and BEST worked day and night to support North China ATMB to complete the hardware installation, software integration and on-site acceptance tests for the newly-constructed airport. Leveraging Thales’ leading technology in Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, coupled with a quick response to customer requirements through the local presence of BEST, Thales has shown excellent project delivery capabilities in securing the smooth operation of the air traffic management for Daxing International Airport.

In addition to the ATC system, Thales also provided navaids and ATM radars to contribute to the safety surveillance and navigation service for airplane take-off and landing at Daxing International Airport.

“Thales congratulates Beijing Daxing International Airport on its official operation. The successful delivery of our ATM systems to North ATMB demonstrates the seamless cooperation between Thales, BEST and ATMB. Thales has been partnering with China aerospace industry on traffic management technology since the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China. The Group is proud of its history in the country and of having helped the growth of Sino-French cooperation in aerospace. Thales’s long-term engagement in China is once again reaffirmed. The Group is a committed, and key partner in China’s journey to becoming a more digitalized and innovative country.”

Jérôme Bendell, Vice President, North Asia and CEO of Thales in China

Ensuring the safety and efficiency of 60% of China’s air traffic, Thales has deployed 43 radars, 20 ATC automation systems (including 12 provided by BEST), more than 677 navaids, as well as one set of Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcasts (ADS-B) and two multilateration systems in the country. With its digital transformation, Thales commits to delivering more innovative and cyber-secured technologies to empower China’s civil aviation industry’s booming future development.

  • Order intake: €7.0 billion, up 10% (-1% on an organic basis )
  • Sales: €8.2 billion, up 9.9% (-0.5% on an organic basis)
  • EBIT : €820 million, up 8% (+4% on an organic basis)
  • Adjusted net income, Group share: €574 million, up 7%
  • Consolidated net income, Group share: €557 million, up 22%
  • Free operating cash flow: -€332 million
  • All 2019 financial objectives confirmed, with organic sales growth at the lower end of the previous guidance (3% to 4%)

France | September 3, 2019–Thales’s Board of Directors (Euronext Paris: HO) met on 3 September 2019 to review the financial statements for the first half of 2019.

“In the first half of 2019, Thales posted a solid performance, once again demonstrating the resilience of its business model. In spite of the slowdown in the commercial space market as well as a high basis of comparison in the Transport and Defence & Security segments, sales remained stable at constant scope and currency. The commercial momentum remained solid, with the booking of 7 large orders with a unit value of more than €100 million. Operating margin grew organically, led by a very good performance in the Defence & Security segment. The results achieved by Gemalto, consolidated since 1 April 2019, were in line with our expectations. This positive momentum allows us to confirm our 2019 financial objectives.
All Group teams remain focused on the implementation of the second phase of Ambition 10, our strategic plan, and on Gemalto’s integration.”
 Patrice Caine, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Paris Air Show | June 18, 2019–

  • Thales’s latest 4K displays include the highest security level solutions enabling streaming of premium UHD content from Hollywood Studios to passenger screens.
  • Thales’s solution uses Variable Bit Rates (VBR) technology with bit rates up to 40+Mbps, providing video quality 10 times better than traditional IFE systems.
  •  Emirates’ passengers traveling on their future 777X fleet will be first to enjoy this immersive 4K viewing experience.

Thales will be the first IFE supplier to deliver 4K screens to the full cabin and its latest technologies guarantee the best 4K inflight entertainment experience on the market. As the launch customer, Emirates’ passengers traveling on their future 777X fleet starting in 2020; will enjoy an immersive 4K viewing experience.
Powered by unmatched processing capability, Thales’s new 4K passenger GUI brings an impressive cinematic intensity on every screen.
Thales’s solution complies with the Studios highest security level standards using professional grade Digital Rights Management (DRM) and hardware level encryption within each screen. This technology combines software and hardware components representing a true forward-looking investment and opening the gateway to access premium UHD content in the cabin.
Thales has worked with Hollywood movie studios to define and implement the optimum bit rates to display 4K content in an IFE environment. The solution uses Variable Bit Rates (VBR) encoding technology with bit rates up to 40+ Megabits per second (Mbps) providing exceptional video quality that is 10 times better than traditional IFE systems and streaming platforms. With the pairing of global Ka-band connectivity and latest IFE technologies, Thales will provide a transformational experience for passengers wherever they fly.

France | April 23, 2019–Reference is made to the joint press release by Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) and Gemalto (Euronext Amsterdam and Paris: GTO) dated 16 April 2019 on the results of the Post-Closing Acceptance Period in relation to the recommended all-cash offer by Thales for all the issued and outstanding shares of Gemalto (the Offer).

Thales and Gemalto jointly announce today that, at their request, Euronext has confirmed that the ordinary shares in the capital of Gemalto will be delisted from Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Paris effective on 29 May 2019.

The last day that Gemalto shares can be traded on Euronext will therefore be 28 May 2019.

France | April 15, 2019– Reference is made to the joint press release by Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) and Gemalto (Euronext Amsterdam and Paris: GTO) dated 29 March 2019 on the results of the recommended all-cash offer by Thales for all the issued and outstanding shares of Gemalto (the Offer) in which the Offer was declared unconditional and the Post-Closing Acceptance Period was announced. Terms not defined in this press release will have the meaning as set forth in the Offer Document.

  • Following the Post-Closing Acceptance Period, which ended yesterday, approximately 97.02% of Gemalto shares have now been tendered to the Thales offer.
  • Settlement of Shares tendered during the Post-Closing Acceptance Period will take place on 18 April 2019.
  • Thales will initiate the statutory buy-out proceedings as soon as possible in order to obtain 100% of the Shares.
  • Thales and Gemalto will ask Euronext to delist the Gemalto Shares shortly after Gemalto’s 2019 annual general meeting, to be held on 28 May 2019.
  • Bell’s air taxi vehicle leverages Thales flight controls for their big ambitions
  • Thales is helping create new capabilities that enhance the passenger experience, optimize operations and improve safety
  • Thales will help enable the future VTOL capabilities as part of the Bell Nexus team

Las Vegas, Nevada | January 8, 2019–Today, the world of personal mobility has taken a giant leap forward as Bell revealed the full-scale configuration of its vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) air taxi vehicle at CES 2019. As part of the Bell Nexus team Thales is helping redefine the flying experience. Now, an experience where the passenger defines the flying journey and the aircraft has the power to potentially meet you at your front door is one step closer to reality.

Aircraft are quickly becoming smart, fully connected machines with new services that create new passenger experiences, optimize operations and improve safety. For Bell Nexus that meant designing the vehicle leveraging Thales flight control architecture, hardware and software capabilities, which was part of the teaming agreement announced between Thales and Bell in the fall of 2018 for VTOL and on-demand mobility (ODM) solutions.

“The skies above crowded city streets are quickly becoming the next frontier for on-demand mobility,” said Michel Grenier, vice president and general manager for the Thales avionics business in Canada. “As part of the Bell Nexus team, Thales will play a leading role in shaping urban air mobility services for the next generation of on-demand transportation.”

Thales’ advanced flight control capabilities help fly some of the world’s most iconic aircraft, including commercial airlines, business jets, and military aircraft. Thales will provide the Flight Control Computer, hardware and software and bring its best-in-class expertise in avionics and flight control architecture and technologies to support the critical safety and autonomy requirements for this air taxi vehicle. Bell and Thales’ collaboration will ensure an advanced, fully integrated fly-by-wire system, providing a safe, reliable, and affordable on-demand mobility solution.

Thales’ world-class aviation expertise will help Bell Nexus deliver a superior passenger experience, uncompromising performance and critical safety standards to its future urban air mobility vehicle. With Bell, and the other Nexus partners, Thales is helping make the future of autonomous urban air transportation possible.

See the full Bell Nexus air taxi passenger experience between Jan. 8 – 11 at CES and discover a new world of transportation (Bell Booth 5431 – Las Vegas Convention Center, North Hall). A panel discussion on autonomous air mobility will be held at the Bell booth on Jan. 8 at 2 p.m. PT.

California | October 17, 2018–TAP has signed a 5 year extension of its existing Repair By The Hour (RBTH) maintenance services agreement with Thales to cover its Airbus A320 and A330/40 fleet of 65 aircraft until mid-2023.

TAP and Thales have set up their collaboration 17 years ago, with a first contract signed in 2001. This new agreement, resulting from a complete competitive tender process, is the recognition of the value brought by Thales best-in-class support services.

In addition to the maintenance services agreement, TAP has also selected a package of avionics components on its 53 new A320NEO and A330 NEO aircraft. This includes the market leading Thales Flight Management System, the T3CAS and transponder. The fleet will also be equipped with Thales Emergency Location Transmitters (ELT) and Angle-Of-Attack sensors.

Thales has appointed Philippe Carette as Chief Executive Officer to lead the InFlyt Experience business. The business is a leading provider of cutting-edge technologies that entertain, connect and inspire more than 1 million airline passengers each day around the globe.

He replaces Dominique Giannoni, who managed the successful growth of Thales InFlyt Experience during the past 5 years and now takes on a new leadership role within Thales.

Mr. Carette will drive the company’s strategic corporate transformation initiatives within the business to spur greater competitiveness and long-term market leadership. He will also steer the digitalization of the connectivity and entertainment systems portfolio to deliver unique value to airline customers in a rapidly evolving cabin environment. This includes the recently introduced InFlyt360 digital platform, which allows airlines to continuously improve the passenger experience with features such as personalization, monetization, fresh and dynamic content and optimized engagement.

“Philippe is a proven leader in the aerospace industry shaping strong businesses,” said Thales Avionics Executive Vice-President Gil Michielin. “His expertise in innovative advanced technologies will also help drive our continued digital transformation and long-term growth strategy.”

“Philippe’s focus on customer success makes him an indispensable partner for airline customers,” said Alan Pellegrini, CEO of Thales USA. “He brings a global perspective and unwavering commitment to excellence in execution and customer service.”

Mr. Carette has spent more than 30 years in the aviation industry and previously held several leadership positions within Thales, to include the head of the Electrical Systems business and vice president and managing director of the Commercial Avionics unit. Prior to joining Thales, he was president of Deutsch Aerospace & Transportation – TE Connectivity; managing director at ALTEN; president and managing director at Sogeti High Tech, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cap Gemini; and managing director at Safran Group for Engineering Services and Electrical Systems. He holds a degree in engineering from the Institut polytechnique de Grenoble in France.

  • Spirit Airlines is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity solution, providing an exceptional guest and airline experience. Spirit will be the only Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) in the Americas with Connectivity.
  • Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution providing unmatched performance and ultra-high speeds to their aircraft.
  • With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Paris | May 11, 2018– Spirit Airlines, a leading carrier in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean with more than 550 daily flights to 65 destinations, has a clear strategic vision to transform the overall guest experience on the ground and in the air. To help achieve this big ambition, Spirit will rely on Thales to launch FlytLIVE, the next generation connectivity experience, supporting their mission of customer choice and operational excellence.

Through the signing of today’s agreement, Spirit and Thales are partnering every step of the way to bring the most advanced Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution optimized for commercial aviation to the aircraft. FlytLIVE services will use SES and Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology to provide the airline unmatched performance, ultra-high speeds and redundancy. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full Internet services including video streaming, games and social media for an engaging experience in the air.

Spirit is the first U.S. based airline to select FlytLIVE by Thales. The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft is the youngest fleet of any major U.S. airline. All aircraft will be equipped with FlytLIVE by Thales, a simple, seamless and secure connectivity solution providing an exceptional passenger and airline experience. The first aircraft are scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, with the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the inflight Guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s President. “By Summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our Guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our Guests.”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” said Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”

March 27, 2018 — Today, Thales announces that it has reached formal agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for a Space Act Agreement to support their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) traffic management (UTM) activity. With the ongoing support of federal, state and local government officials, and economic development organizations, Thales will be creating jobs in New York through this agreement.

  • Thales completes a Space Act Agreement (SAA) to facilitate coordination with NASA to support the development of UTM concepts.
  • This agreement will allow Thales to engage with NASA to refine the UTM concept architecture supporting drone integration into the U.S. NAS.
  • Thales is collaborating with other SAA parties to support NASA’s vision for UAS integration.

Commenting on this agreement, members of the United States Congress said:

“Attracting global companies like Thales to the Mohawk Valley was exactly what we envisioned when we sought and secured the FAA Test Site in Rome. NUAIR, Griffiss Airport and their private partners like Thales are national leaders in helping the federal government safely and efficiently integrate UAS into the national airspace. This agreement with help the Test Site continue its important work – and keep the Mohawk Valley at the forefront of the emerging UAS industry.”
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer

“It’s been a privilege to partner with NASA and Thales to secure an agreement that will bring high-tech jobs here to the Mohawk Valley,Thales’ presence in our area will further secure our standing as a vital player in developing defense technology and unmanned aerial capabilities. The Mohawk Valley has the talent and workforce ready to fill these positions. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Thales and NASA as they continue to innovate and lead in defense technology.”
Congresswoman Claudia Tenney

The space probe took the farthest pictures ever taken at 6.12bn km helped by Thales

Paris, France | March 19, 2018– Thales has been helping to document the final frontier ever since humanity first ventured into space. Thales technologies were there to record Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon, are there to help map out the furthest reaches of the cosmos, and will be there when machines once again roam the surface of Mars. Thales was also present a few months ago, when a spacecraft called New Horizons sent us amazing photographs from 6.12bn kilometers away, farther afield than ever before.

Launched by NASA in 2006, New Horizons is an interplanetary spacecraft whose primary mission was to reach Pluto and to study the Kuiper Belt.

In December 2017, New Horizons trained its digital eyes towards its final destination to take the first photos of the Kuiper Belt. What resulted was both a record breaking moment for space travel and a discovery that could prove ground-breaking in our understanding of the solar system.

New Horizons took several images from a distance of 6.12 billion kilometers from Planet Earth, making it the farthest ever spacecraft to successfully take images and beam them back to us. The images reveal a large object deep inside the Kuiper Belt that could potentially be a full- sized rocky planet.

The photographs taken during New Horizons’ routine calibration, surpass even those taken by the legendary Voyager 1 spacecraft, that sent us a now iconic image of Earth taken from 6.06 billion kilometers away.

Sending a picture of something this distant is only possible with Thales traveling wave tubes and amplifiers. The New Horizons LORRI CCD monochromatic camera (1024×1024 pixels) delivers a 12-bit digital signal. To be transmitted from a satellite to Earth, images like any other digital data (command and control of the satellite for example) are then transformed into a modulated baseband analog signal, which is carried by a microwave signal (X-band in this case). This X-band signal is amplified by the TWTA and then radiated toward Earth through a large antenna dish. Because of the huge satellite-Earth distance, the received signal on Earth is very weak, limiting the transmit data rate to approximately 1 kbit. X-band on-board amplifiers are using TWT (Traveling Wave Tubes) supplied by Thales, 15W each in a dual configuration (amplifiers are also redundant, to have a backup in case of problem). Thales has been the undisputed world leader in RF technologies since the dawn of the Space Age, and today it continues to have an impact on the discovery of the farthest reaches of the solar system.

But beyond the sheer scale of this record that Thales helped to achieve, is the potential for scientific discovery. Ever since Pluto was reclassified from a planet to a dwarf planet in 2006, the scientific community has been speculating on the composition of Kuiper Belt objects. Scientists are especially excited by the prospect of finding the so-called Planet 9, a hypothesized world beyond the plutonian orbit – about 75 times farther than Pluto’s distance from the Sun – deep inside the Kuiper Belt. The objects’ existence could shed more light on the formation and early composition of the Solar System and significantly advance our understanding of orbital mechanics and planetary formation. Could one of these objects be the 9th planet? Our brave little explorer New Horizons might just give us the answer soon, with a little help from Thales. The incredible keeps on coming.

Posted by on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 2:42 pm 
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GSA and Thales Launch the EDG2E Project to Further Optimize Aviation Navigation with Galileo

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France | March 8, 2018–The European Union’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) has officially launched the EDG2E project (Equipment for Dual frequency Galileo GPS and EGNOS) with a consortium led by Thales. This four-year project intends to develop a dual-frequency multi- constellation receiver, enabling enhanced navigation capabilities, support standardisation and certification preparation. The consortium includes Thales, Thales Alenia Space and ATR, as well as contributions from Dassault Aviation and the French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC).

The GNSS receiver is the cornerstone of aircraft navigation systems. The system processes signals from satellite constellations and the Space Based Augmentation System (SBAS) to accurately determine aircraft position, altitude and velocity. The prototype receiver developed under the auspices of the EDG2E project will use signals from US GPS and European Galileo positioning systems, as well as from SBAS multi-constellation EGNOS. The project aims to achieve a prototype demonstration by 2021. The prototype receiver performance will be evaluated during a flight test campaign performed by ATR using one of the company’s test aircraft.

Initiated by the European Commission’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA), the EDG2E project will support the launch of the Galileo satellite constellation.

Philippe Benquet VP R&T for Flight Avionics, Thales declared: “Leading the EDG2E project puts Thales at the forefront of the next generation receivers which will equip future aircraft by 2025, making navigation more precise and thus safer, unleashing the potential for increased air traffic”.

EGNOS has been certified for use in aviation since February 2011, and is a very effective system to complement the US GPS, in order to provide better levels of performance, consequently enhancing aircraft approach capabilities. The next generation of EGNOS, called EGNOS V3, will further enhance performance by complementing both the EU Galileo and the US GPS satellite navigation constellations.

“EGNOS v3 will provide aviation users with an increased quality of services, better accuracy and extended coverage area among other key performance indicators” said Jean-Marc Pieplu (GSA Head of EGNOS Services Programme). Fundamental Element Programme is a medium that supports development of terminals and antennae fostering use of E-GNSS in all domains. In this perspective, EDG2E is an important step for GSA as it will contribute to availability of high technology products on the aviation market, taking benefit of Dual Frequency Multi Constellation feature offered by EGNOS v3”.

At the end of the EDG2E project, a new standard for GPS Galileo and SBAS aviation receivers will be completed, and the first SBAS dual-frequency GPS Galileo receivers for aviation will be ready for final development and provide safer operations not only for the aviation sector but also for other safety-critical applications.

 

Posted by on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 3:48 pm 
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North American Airbus Helicopter Pilots Soon to Enjoy World Class Training Services with Thales

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Helisim, Joint Venture between Airbus and Thales and Europe’s premier training center for Helicopter pilots, is staking its first claim on North American soil by announcing the creation of a new facility in the US.

Paris, France | February 27, 2018– At an event hosted by Airbus Helicopters a the HAI Heliexpo show in Las Vegas today, Thales, Airbus and Helisim unveiled their strategic plans for the next chapter in their 18 year history.

Helisim will open a training centre within the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy, in Grand Prairie, near Dallas, Texas. The Helisim Training Centre will support training for AS350 and EC135/EC145. It will host two Thales Reality H, Level D Full Flight Simulators for the H145, and H175, and will propose simulation training for light, light twin and medium aircraft types.

Plans are already underway to bring the first H145T2 and H175 Level D simulator in North America to support the impressive demand from customers for the aircraft type. With the construction of a new welcome center and additional simulator facilities, Helisim is also positioning itself to support future H160 customer training needs.

The new facility will offer the full spectrum of helicopter training needs, from classroom and hands-on instruction to the two Thales Reality H Level D Full Flight Simulators for H145 and H175 helicopters. Reality H is the most advanced helicopter simulator on the market, perfectly suited to flight and mission training on these two Airbus Helicopters models, the newest, most high-tech civil helicopter models on the market, just entering into wide use over the Americas.

The initial investment for the Airbus Helicopters Training Academy is estimated to be about $40 million. Once the center enters into operation it is expected to train several thousand pilots per year both for introductory and recurrent training.

Posted by on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm 
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Australia and Thales to Deploy World’s Largest Air Traffic Control System Covering 11% of the Globe

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Paris | February 27, 2018– Australia occupies a unique global position in the air traffic management (ATM) domain. The country’s Air Navigation Service Provider, Airservices Australia, manages the largest airspace in the world, totaling over 11% of the globe. Their ambition is to ensure the seamless integration of all civil and military air traffic over an area totaling 53 million square kilometers, approximately equal to the combined surface of North America, Central America, South America and China.

Airservices Australia and the Australian Defence Force have chosen to rely on Thales to achieve this ambition by signing an AUS $1.2bn (€777m) contract for the delivery and deployment of the OneSKY programme. OneSKY is the world’s most advanced civil military airspace integration project and calls for the modernization of the Australian and associated oceanic airspace.

OneSKY’s objective is to bring benefits for passengers, airlines and the economy whilst maintaining Australian air sovereignty and safety to citizens, and is a critical part of the national infrastructure necessary to underpin the future economic prosperity of Australia.

The ambition of this programme is to enable Australia to safely manage and benefit from the rapid increase in air travel over the next 20 years at a time when airspace management is becoming significantly more complex. OneSKY will leverage Thales’s proven track record in Air Traffic Management systems, dual civil/military interoperability and use the latest digital technologies in the fields of connectivity, big data and AI to improve flight co-ordination, safely increase the use of airspace, optimise air traffic flow and improve the way planes approach the runway. Drawing on its cybersecurity expertise, Thales will ensure the integrity of the connectivity that will drive this interoperability.

For passengers the programme will reduce travel times and delays. For airlines, OneSKY seeks to maintain safety levels at increased volumes to enable them to increase their routes, whilst reducing fuel burn and CO2 emissions. The Australian Air Force will benefit from safer co-ordination with civilian air movements, thus helping them accomplish their mission of protecting Australia and its citizens more efficiently.

The development and delivery of OneSKY will support over 500 highly skilled, high-tech jobs, of which 450 are in Melbourne as well as a further 50 jobs in similar disciplines in France. To this approximately 200 more jobs will be supported across the entire supply chain in Australia It builds on the long term investment by Thales and comprehensive technology transfer that has brought world-leading R&D in ATM systems to Melbourne.

Posted by on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at 1:10 pm 
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Panasonic, SmartSky, Thales … and Much More!

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


Panasonic

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

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

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

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


SmartSky

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

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

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


Thales

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

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


Airbus

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

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

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

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

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


Boeing

Boeing Reports Record 2017 Results and Provides 2018 Guidance

Fourth-Quarter 2017

Full-Year 2017

Outlook for 2018

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


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


Other Stuff

Posted by on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 7:53 pm 
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Garuda Indonesia to Fly with Thales AVANT In-flight Entertainment Systems

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Singapore | February 6, 2018– Passengers of Garuda Indonesia, the country’s flag carrier, can look forward to an all new and enhanced passenger experience with Thales AVANT IFE System on board the carrier’s 14, A330neo aircraft. Garuda’s choice of Thales’s IFE system will help drive the
airline’s strategic positioning to attract more passengers as
Indonesia expects to see a double-digit increase in passenger
growth this year.

At a ceremony held today at the Singapore Airshow, Thales and Garuda announced their partnership to equip their new Airbus A330neo with the AVANT IFE system featuring powerful new lightweight High Definition (HD) monitors. Business class passengers will also enjoy the Avii touchscreen handsets, the most advanced android-based smartphonelike
controller in the sky. The agreement is a first for Thales and Garuda Indonesia and paves the way for both industry leaders to collaborate and deliver ground-breaking innovations to the aviation sector.

The new IFE system is based on an open Android platform, and will support multiple languages and host applications such as Interactive 3D Map, e-reader and more. The Avii handset, available for business class passengers, is a second-screen application platform that enables passengers to select, control and enhance their multimedia experience. Garuda Indonesia expects to take delivery of the A330neos in 2019.

Posted by on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 2:56 pm 
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Airbus Repair Operations in Asia Pacific to be performed by Thales

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France | February 6, 2018– The Asia Pacific region is becoming an increasingly strategic market for commercial aviation. In its 2017-2036 Global Market Forecast Airbus predicts demand will range from 6,100 aircraft by 2026 to 14,200 by 2036, with 41% of these fulfilled by new deliveries. In addition to manufacturing and delivering new aircraft , a whole host of ancillary operations and services have to be provided to accompany and support this fleet expansion in the long term. A key element of which is the complex interplay of MRO needed to keep this massive fleet flying. This requires not only on the ground expertise but a network of partnerships with trusted suppliers who can deliver on time and on budget MRO wherever an Airbus jet flies.

At the Singapore Air Show, Airbus has decided to rely on Thales as its subcontractor in the Asia-Pacific region (except mainland China) for the component repair of all avionics designed and manufactured by Airbus. This contract highlights the trust placed by Airbus in Thales, systematically ranked in the Top 10 of its suppliers for service quality during the last decade. The scope of the contract covers repairs of Airbus avionics components installed on all Airbus single aisle and long-range aircraft, as well as its A350 fleet, throughout Asia-Pacific, for the next seven years.

All repairs will be carried out from the Thales regional MRO hub in Singapore. This hub has long been the Asia Pacific nerve centre for Thales’s own MRO network of 3 repair hubs and 22 repair centres across the world, and was expanded in 2017 to accommodate for a huge increase in scope of work. This latest contract effectively makes Singapore the largest of the group’s three global repair hubs, with an estimated 40,000 pieces of equipment a year passing through its facility in Changi North Rise. Thales in Singapore has a strong history of industrial excellence in commercial avionics operations, dating back over forty years. In addition to strong repair capabilities, the hub in Singapore also produces key systems for the Airbus A320, A350 and Boeing 787 fleets. Since January 2017, Thales has also provided repair operations and supported a Customer Support Centre (CSC) for Diehl Aerospace’s Singaporean subsidiary, serving Diehl’s regional customers, underscoring the strategic location of Singapore as an aerospace hub for the region.

Posted by on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm 
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Thales Strengthens Its Partnership with HNA Group

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Thales will equip the subsidiary airlines of HNA Group with its latest In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of 42 wide-body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft.

California | January 9, 2018– Thales will equip the subsidiary airlines of HNA Group with its latest In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) system on its fleet of 42 wide- body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft. The first AVANT A330 aircraft has entered into service in late 2017 and the first AVANT A350 aircraft is expected to enter into service in the 3rd Quarter of 2018.

HNA group manages several subsidiary airlines, including Hainan airlines, Capital Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Lucky Air and West Air. In 2017, Hainan Airlines was honored as Top 10 Airlines by SKYTRAX, a global research firm and provider of professional aviation evaluation services with a focus on airline and airport services. The subsidiary airlines of HNA group already have a combined fleet of over 50 A330 aircraft flying with Thales IFE systems. HNA Group’s selection of Thales is a further demonstration of the carriers trust in Thales’s commitment to making the travel experience more enjoyable for their passengers.

As part of this commitment, Thales is investing resources in the region to further enhance the integration of software and media capabilities that will enrich passenger experience and satisfy local market demands.

AVANT, Thales’s state-of-the-art Android IFE solution, will provide HNA Group Airlines’ passengers a highly customizable experience with a robust selection of features and applications. The new fleet will be equipped with the latest AVANT full high-definition monitors, the most lightweight ever deployed, featuring the Avii Touch Passenger Media Unit. Avii provides intuitive navigation, full android smartphone look and feel, and acts as a second entertainment screen. Integration of Ka-band connectivity to the AVANT IFE system will provide a fully connected premium passenger experience.

Thales FlytCARE, the nose-to-tail- maintenance of in-flight technology ensuring the highest levels of performance, already provided on current HNA Group Airline fleet, will be expanded to these new aircraft. The dedicated Aircraft Technical Services team, will support system reliability for the enhancement of passenger experience.

Posted by on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm 
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Oman Air Boeing 737 MAX Fleet to Fly with Thales AVANT IFE System

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November 14, 2017– Oman Air, the National Carrier of the Sultanate of Oman signed an agreement with Thales on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow, to equip its B737 MAX fleet for developing its Inflight entertainment systems.

As one of the respected airlines of the region with a focus on service excellence and the promise of the highest standards for passenger experience, Oman Air relies on Thales’ advanced state- of-the-art AVANT IFE System to equip its B737 MAX fleet. This new aircraft will enter into service on January 2018.

Oman Air and Thales share more than a decade long relationship. During that time, we have worked together to fulfill the airlines promise to their passengers by developing best in class in-flight entertainment systems for the entire fleet of A330s, B737s, B787s and E-175s.

Oman Air’s B737 MAX business class passengers will enjoy the largest screens provided on a single aisle aircraft. Thales’s unique passenger interface will enable business and economy passengers to access an impressive list of entertainment and informative features.

AVANT is an open, Android-based platform, equipped with high capacity servers, featuring lightweight and full high definition monitors for incredible viewing angles. The system uses a modern industrial design and offers a customizable passenger experience with the latest applications available on the consumer market.

The innovative AVANT infrastructure enables a diverse range of configurations and cutting edge entertainment that will enhance Oman Air’s passenger experiences wherever they fly.

“Guest experience has always been a priority for us, and today Oman Air extends its decade trust in Thales for its newest B737 MAX fleet with one priority in mind: delivering a memorable guest experience with the best in-flight entertainment. The innovative AVANT infrastructure enables a diverse range of configurations and cutting edge entertainment that will enhance Oman Air’s guest experiences wherever they fly. We are very pleased with the choice of Thales In-flight system that match well with our operations.”
Abdulaziz Al-Raisi, Acting CEO, Oman Air said

Posted by on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 3:21 pm 
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Thales and Emirates Aviation University to Initiate a New Partnership

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UAE and France | November 13, 2017–Thales and Emirates Aviation University, the education arm of the Emirates Group sign a Memorandum of Understanding which will initiate a new partnership to explore areas of cooperation in the aviation field.

Thales is one of world’s leading solutions providers in the aerospace industry, with a proven track record in operational training to customers worldwide. Emirates Aviation University is the ideal launch-pad for careers in management and the technical spheres of aviation. Together, Thales and Emirates Aviation University make the ideal partners in this venture.

This new collaboration between Thales and Emirates Aviation University will start with joint educational programmes, research and development activities and graduate internships.

This initiative is linked with Thales’s commitment to share knowledge, strengthen its presence in the UAE and aims to bring cutting-edge expertise to Emirates Aviation University students in the continuously growing field of aviation and transportation.

This agreement underpins the strengthening of the partnership between Thales and Emirates group, began last year when Emirates Airlines and Thales InFlyt Experience joined forces to create the future of in-flight entertainment and connectivity.

“We are pleased to start our collaboration between Emirates Aviation University and Thales to develop world-class educational and development programmes for our students. We are committed to providing our students with the latest developments in the ever-changing aviation industry and we look forward to benefitting from all technologies that Thales has to offer”

Dr. Ahmad Al Ali, Vice Chancellor of Emirates Aviation University

Posted by on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 3:04 pm 
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Thales and Japan Airlines Celebrate the Entry into Service of Their First Newly Configured Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with AVANT IFE System

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Paris, France | August 29, 2017– Thales and Japan Airlines welcome the entry into service of the Boeing 787-9 newly configured aircraft equipped with AVANT In- Flight Entertainment system. The new JAL Sky Suite 787-9 cabin on the airline’s Tokyo Narita to Kuala Lumpur route debuted this summer.

Japan Airlines is a long-term, valued Thales customer who is the first Asian airline to choose AVANT on the Boeing 787 series. AVANT offers a state-of-the-art Android-based IFE solution with customizable passenger experience and an extensive selection of features and applications.

The Boeing 787-9 aircraft, equipped with AVANT, utilizes the latest Magic VI system which includes Audio and Video On Demand (AVOD), games and applications customized to JAL – On-Boarding Shopping, Meal Order and Sky Manga, eBook application. Magic VI offers in total 300 movies, videos and music programs for passengers to enjoy right at their fingertips. The newly configured aircraft has 52 business class, 35 premium economy class and 116 economy class seats.

Japan Airlines’ decision to use AVANT on Boeing 787-9 linefit fleet testifies the utmost satisfaction the system brings to their passengers. The airline also operates Thales IFE systems on their Boeing 767, Boeing 777 and Boeing 787 aircraft, flying across domestic and international routes.

Posted by on Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at 3:00 pm 
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Airbus Rewards Thales’s Excellence in Avionics Support

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France | July 4, 2017– Thales was ranked third best amongst 41 suppliers in the annual Airbus Supplier Support Rating 2016. The rating is based on a direct survey conducted by Airbus of more than 150 customer airlines worldwide.

 This result confirms the proven and constant reliability of the customer support organisation that Thales can bring to bear globally. The Group has been within the Top 10 performers for Airbus over the past 11 years. Thales also reached an unprecedented 1st position in Airbus’s own evaluation of its suppliers. All Airbus customer services departments recognised the excellent support provided by Thales.

A Airframers and airlines nowadays operate in an ever more complex, competitive and global marketplace. As such the ability to maintain fleet operations at maximum capacity at all times is essential to their success. In a market more and more saturated with MROs offering average service levels, having Thales’s technical, operational and relational excellence makes us the ideal choice for the more demanding customers. We always strive for more and will continue our efforts to make airline operations ever smoother and more efficient

Eric Huber, Thales Vice President, Avionics Services Worldwide activities.

Posted by on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm 
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