INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications,  announced that its award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution is now available to passengers traveling with new Spanish airline World2Fly, in partnership with SITA as the service provider.

The long-haul carrier, founded by Spanish hotel group Iberostar, provides advanced, high-speed GX Aviation connectivity onboard its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft. Passengers can access the service thanks to SITA’s Internet ONAIR solution, allowing them to browse the internet, stream video and audio, shop online, or keep in touch with friends and loved ones. The seamless experience offers passengers the same broadband reliability and consistency in the air as they are used to on the ground.

World2fly’s A350-900s feature a modern and comfortable single-class cabin layout with 432 seats. The Mallorca-based airline will expand its fleet and operate flights from Madrid to leisure destinations such as Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) and Cancún (Mexico).

Demand for inflight connectivity has soared as passengers start returning to the skies after the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Inmarsat’s recently released 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, 41% of respondents believe that having Wi-Fi on their flights is even more important now than pre-COVID. Wi-Fi allows them to stay connected with friends and family and supports a touch-free environment.

Inmarsat owns and operates the a diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.

SITA is the air transport industry’s IT provider, delivering solutions for airlines, airports, aircraft and governments. Our technology powers more seamless, safe and sustainable air travel.


FTS & SHANDONG AIRLINES

On November 18th 2021, Shandong Airlines and FTS signed a cooperation agreement to formally launch the first domestic Digital Aircraft pilot project for this Boeing only airline fleet. This is the pilot deployment of FTS with full hardware and software solutions to digitalization of Shandong Airlines Boeing 737 fleet, including multiple stages of aircraft modification, airworthiness certification, applications verification and final flight testing.  The first aircraft is expected to be modified and enter into service in the middle of 2022.

As part of this collaboration, the two parties will jointly build a “Digital Aircraft Innovation Lab”, with goals of incubating digital aircraft innovations, training of talent, and continue to explore new scenarios and operational models. The project is leveraging on China’s own High Throughput satellites for air-to-ground high-speed data transmission.  The Lab is planned to function as a resource integrator for various ecosystem players – local tech startups, system integrators and even global partners to co-create solutions for digital aviation, from idea generation to testing to commercialization.

More and more airlines are now embracing the concept of Digital Aircraft. This refers to enabling high speed air to ground broadband connectivity in both the flight deck and passenger cabin, providing seamless data transmission services and collaboration between the Digital Aircraft and ground operations networks.  Airlines can harness real-time data to produce insights that can enhance flight safety and efficiency, reduce operational disruptions, improve passenger experiences, and make real-time decisions regarding fleet health.

As one of the world’s major civil aviation hubs, China sees digital transformation as the necessary way to lay down the infrastructure foundation for sustaining growth in aviation.  The Chinese authorities and regulators have convened and proposed a national framework of Digital Aircraft solutions to guide and oversee the accelerated deployment of digital transformation of its domestic airlines to improve operational safety, optimize costs and improved passenger experiences.


AIRBUS, THALES, and DIEHL

Airbus, Diehl and Thales open a new chapter in safe and sustainable air mobility:

  • Airbus has selected Thales and Diehl to supply the electrical flight controls for its future CityAirbus NextGen air taxi, providing a safe and secure response to tomorrow’s air mobility needs.
  • The new-generation flight control computer meets the size and weight requirements of an eVTOL (electrically powered vertical take-off and landing) aircraft and is particularly well suited to the emerging urban and regional air mobility markets.
  • Thales has more than 40 years of experience in electrical flight controls, having supplied the systems for the first ever fly-by-wire commercial airliner, the Airbus A310.

By 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. This sustained growth in urban populations is expected to drive demand for innovative mobility solutions as ground transportation systems become increasingly congested. One way forward could be to offer a safe, sustainable and efficient alternative that makes optimum use of urban airspace.

Flight control systems are critical to flight safety, calculating and adjusting the position of the aircraft’s control surfaces and managing engine thrust. Electrical flight control systems are progressively replacing conventional mechanical systems and offer significant advantages in terms of safety, performance and reliability, as well as reducing aircraft weight and improving passenger comfort.

The system selected by Airbus will combine Thales primary flight computers with secondary flight computers from Diehl. The choice of different flight computers will help improve flight safety and guarantee system integrity to comply with the new EASA regulation for eVTOL.

The streamlined architecture of the flight control computers will make certification simpler while retaining the capacity to accommodate further developments and host multiple functions such as navigation, guidance and pilot assistance.

Drawing on its long-standing experience of electrical flight controls, which dates back to the 1980s with the pioneering fly-by-wire systems for the Airbus A310, and with a total of 12,000 aircraft equipped to date, Thales is joining Airbus and Diehl to write the next chapter in the future of air mobility.The fully electric CityAirbus NextGen is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero emissions flight in multiple applications. CityAirbus is being developed to fly with a 80 km range and to reach a cruise speed of 120 km/h, making it perfectly suited for operations in major cities for a variety of missions. It is optimized for hover and cruise efficiency, while not requiring moving surfaces or tilting parts during transition. Designed with simplicity in mind, CityAirbus NextGen will offer best-in-class economic performance in operations and support. Its first flight of a prototype is planned for 2023.


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) announced an agreement with Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) to provide its latest 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment (IFE) innovations on its 35 new Airbus A321neo family aircraft.

Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT IFE system will be installed on 20 new Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321neoXLR aircraft. The company’s NEXT system, which delivers one of the industry’s most advanced cabin experiences, has been configured to evolve with the future business objectives of the airline. It leverages a large and evolving suite of digital services from Panasonic Avionics aimed at improving loyalty, revenue generation and passenger engagement.

In addition to the full cabin advanced HD experience, Saudia will also feature Bluetooth audio streaming, allowing Saudi’s guests to unlock a library of premium entertainment options safely, using their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Business Class passengers will be able to experience the full 4K experience on 16-inch screens and use wireless charging to seamlessly connect with friends, family and colleagues as soon as they reach their destination. In Economy Class, Saudia has selected 12-inch 4K screens, and high power USB charging at every seat.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “We are delighted to extend our strategic partnership with Saudi Arabian Airlines by taking their passenger experience to the next level with our 4K and Bluetooth audio in-flight entertainment technology. We are very excited to broaden our relationship with Saudia to this new fleet of aircraft and deliver the hardware and digital services that help ensure passengers expectations are exceeded by the best-in-class services available today and into the future.”

Panasonic Avionics is already the IFE provider for Saudia’s fleet of Airbus A320 and Boeing 787-10 aircraft – with 45 aircraft utilizing its technology.

More News From Panasonic:

Panasonic has been selected by Iraqi Airways to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for its new fleet of 21 narrowbody and 10 widebody aircraft.

These aircraft, which includes 5 A220, 16 B737MAX and 10 B787 aircraft types, will be line-fitted with Panasonic’s X Series IFE solutions and are expected to enter service in October 2022.

Panasonic Avionics’ X Series offers elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with capacitive touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface. Passengers will have access to USB and laptop charging power points at every seat as well. The X Series portfolio also includes eXW, which delivers a premium passenger experience to passengers’ personal devices. Each of these systems are designed to help drive ancillary revenue, foster higher levels of passenger loyalty, and increase passenger engagement.

The airline’s Boeing 737 MAX fleet, which will feature the company’s eX1 narrowbody IFE solution, also offers Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight Wi-Fi service. Its next-generation connectivity enables a host of connectivity benefits, from fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

Panasonic Avionics’ IFEC solutions are also being fitted to Iraqi Airways’ new fleet of five Airbus A220 aircraft, the first of which entered service last month. To meet the airline’s requirement of offering state-of-the-art wireless IFE streaming on its A220 fleet, Panasonic Avionics is installing its eXW solution, which delivers a wide range of content to passengers’ personal electronic devices, along with its in-flight Wi-Fi service.

For Iraqi Airways’ Boeing 787 aircraft, Panasonic Avionics is providing its industry-leading eX3 in-flight system and global high-speed connectivity services.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to have been chosen as Iraqi Airways’ partner for its new narrowbody and widebody fleet. Our proven blend of in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions will enhance the passenger experience on their flights across the Middle East and beyond.”

Farazdaq Al-Qazaz, Configuration and EIS Program Manager, said, “Iraqi Airways celebrates its partnership with Panasonic Avionics on its new fleet, as it will provide passengers with entertainment services as well as add unique internet services, and it will be an enjoyable experience for passengers during their flights with Iraqi Airways.”

Panasonic & Emirates:

Panasonic Avionics has been selected by Emirates to deliver a suite of in-flight entertainment (IFE) solutions for its Premium Economy cabin being rolled out across its fleet.

Panasonic Avionics’ IFE systems are being integrated into the Premium Economy cabin being introduced on 105 of Emirates’ Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft, with the first due to enter service in the summer of 2022.

This follows the unveiling of Emirates’ Premium Economy cabin in December 2020, and its initial rollout to widespread acclaim on several of its newest A380 aircraft.

Emirates’ new Premium Economy cabins will feature a range of the latest IFE innovations from Panasonic Avionics. Elegantly designed 13-inch HD screens will be fitted at each seat, with integrated control buttons, ultra-wide viewing angles, LED backlighting and capacitive touch all creating a luxury feel for passengers when choosing from over 4,500 channels of entertainment on Emirates’ ice system powered by Panasonic Avionics.

Passengers can connect their own headphones to the IFE system via Bluetooth, experience its 3D gaming options, use the screen’s high-power USB type A and C chargers, and use AC sockets at each seat to power their laptops.

At the Dubai Air Show, Emirates announced that its new Premium Economy cabin would be fitted on 52 A380s, and 53 Boeing 777s in its fleet.


INMARSAT & SAUDI ARABIA

Inmarsat has announced that the national airline of Saudia Arabia, SAUDIA, has selected Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation connectivity solution and OneFi passenger experience platform for its upcoming fleet.

GX Aviation and OneFi will be available on SAUDIA’s upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft, with the aircraft connected to the advanced connectivity service using a new ultra-high performance terminal by GDC Technics. The first installation of GX Aviation is expected in late 2022.

This selection marks a significant number of firsts for aviation, including:

  • The launch of GX Aviation in Saudi Arabia
  • The first major inflight connectivity agreement in the Middle East since the Covid-19 pandemic
  • SAUDIA has become the first in the Middle East to select Inmarsat’s revolutionary new OneFi customer experience platform (CXP)
  • SAUDIA is the first in the world to select the next-generation terminal for GX Aviation, developed with GDC Technics.

It comes at a critical time for airlines, with the global pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences. In fact, Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, found that 41% of air passengers worldwide believed inflight Wi-Fi had further increased in importance after the pandemic.


BLUEBOX & GLOBAL ONBOARD PARTNERS

As announced to passengers last week, Jambojet has launched an innovative travel platform in conjunction with Global Onboard Partners to provide unique destination experiences in the air and on the ground, as the digital passenger experience takes flight in Kenya.
Customized for Jambojet, Global Onboard Partners’ destination platform Global Destination Explorer provides Jambojet passengers with the opportunity to explore exciting destinations across their route network. Branded Jambojet Destination Explorer, it provides information and the best travel tips across the customer journey, before, during and after the flight with helpful real-time notifications in each destination.
On board, Jambojet Destination Explorer is the highlight of the new JamboPlay IFE service which can be accessed via a browser on passengers’ own devices over a wireless network provided by Bluebox Aviation Systems’ award-winning portable wireless IFE platform, Bluebox Wow. Bluebox Wow provides a captive wireless network on board and integrates Global Onboard Partners’ Global Destination Explorer service into the bespoke Jambojet digital experience that passengers see.
With exclusive offers, rewards and dynamic maps to help passengers find the best places to stay, food to eat and attractions to visit, passengers can use Jambojet Destination Explorer to make the most out of their travel experience and see the best of each incredible destination in Jambojet’s network.
“We are excited to welcome Jambojet as our latest airline partner,” said Kirk Adams, CEO, Global Onboard Partners. “Our innovative platform has been designed to provide a win-win for everyone through the delivery of the best destination experiences and special offers to passengers through important new revenue streams to airlines and at the same time, providing greater access to tourism and hospitality partners to participate at affordable prices and receive direct contact with passengers.”
“With the deployment of Jambojet Destination Explorer on Bluebox Wow, we’re demonstrating yet another new application for IFE – tourism and destination promotion. Our digital platform is being used to excite passengers about their destination ahead – engaging them via their own devices and establishing a foothold from which Jambojet itself can explore adding further revenue-generating features to the service as it evolves,” said Paul Rayson, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “Whether more traditional movies and TV, onboard retail, or this kind of unique destination-focused engagement, Bluebox Wow offers so much scope for creativity and innovation, enabling our airline customers an opportunity to explore how best to enhance their own unique passenger experience on board.”
Bluebox Wow is a discrete, lunchbox-sized unit, typically stowed securely in overhead bins. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and other digital content, such as Global Destination Explorer.

BOEING

Boeing to Open Three New Freighter Conversion Lines; Takes Order for Eleven 737-800BCF

  • New conversion lines to open at KF Aerospace in Canada and at Boeing’s London Gatwick MRO in the United Kingdom
  • Icelease orders eleven 737-800BCF; will be launch customer for new conversion line at London Gatwick MRO facility
  • 737-800BCF now has more than 200 orders and commitments from 19 customers

As global demand for freighters continues to soar, Boeing  announced plans to add three conversion lines for the market-leading 737-800BCF across North America and Europe. The company also signed a firm order with Icelease for eleven of the freighters as the launch customer for one of the new conversion lines.

In 2022, the company will open one conversion line at Boeing’s London Gatwick Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facility, its state-of-the-art hangar in the United Kingdom; and two conversion lines in 2023 at KF Aerospace MRO in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

For Icelease, which recently expanded its cooperation with Corrum Capital through a joint venture called Carolus Cargo Leasing, the order for eleven 737-800BCF will be their first converted freighter order with Boeing. The lessor will be the launch customer for conversions at Boeing’s London Gatwick MRO facility.

Earlier this year, Boeing announced it would create additional 737-800BCF conversion capacity at several sites, including a third conversion line at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO), and two conversion lines in 2022 with a new supplier, Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica. Once the new lines become active, Boeing will have conversion sites in North America, Asia and Europe.

Boeing forecasts 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years to meet demand. Of those, 1,200 will be standard-body conversions, with nearly 20% of that demand coming from European carriers, and 30% coming from North America and Latin America.

DHL

  • DHL places its largest Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) order for nine 767-300BCF
  • The expanded 767-300BCF fleet will strengthen DHL’s response to the continued growing demand for express cargo driven by e-commerce

DHL Express (DHL) and Boeing announced that the logistics company placed a firm order for nine more 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF). Representing their largest single 767-300BCF order to date, the additional freighters will help expand DHL’s long-haul intercontinental fleet in response to increased global demand for cargo capacity. DHL has taken delivery of seven of a batch of eight 767-300BCF, that have been leased to DHL partner airlines in the Middle East and Latin America to support its expanding regional networks.The 767-300BCF is the world’s most efficient medium widebody converted freighter and can carry up to 51.6 tonnes (113,900 pounds) up to 6,190 kilometers (3,345 nautical miles). 767 Freighters provide the lowest operating costs per trip with excellent payload and range capability. The 767-300BCF has more than 100 orders and commitments to date

VSMPO-AVISMA

Boeing and Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) affirming that VSMPO-AVISMA will remain the largest titanium supplier for current and future Boeing commercial airplanes. Under the MOU signed by company leaders at the Dubai Airshow, Boeing and VSMPO-AVISMA will work together to:

  • Increase utilization of their Russia-based Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM) joint venture;
  • Increase R&D investment and continue to develop new titanium alloys and technologies;
  • Explore new opportunities to expand VSMPO-AVISMA’s role producing titanium parts and components beyond raw material or forging, for current and future Boeing commercial airplanes.

EMIRATES

Boeing and Emirates announced an order for two 777 Freighters at the 2021 Dubai Airshow, expanding the future capability of one of the world’s largest cargo airlines at a time of significant global demand for air freight. The freighters will be operated by Emirates SkyCargo, which currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 10 777 Freighters and also carries cargo on Emirates’ 134 777 passenger airplanes. Valued at more than $704 million at list prices, the orders were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website.

Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook forecasts increased demand for dedicated freighters, including new and converted models. By 2040, the global freighter fleet will be 70% larger compared with the pre-pandemic fleet, with the Middle East freighter fleet growing by 87%.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS

  • Industry-first strategic partnership focused on Etihad’s 787 Dreamliner fleet
  • Building on collaboration to improve sustainability through navigation, flight operations and airframe technologies

Boeing and Etihad Airways announced they will expand the companies’ deep collaboration towards environmental goals. Centered on the airline’s 787 Dreamliner fleet, the new memorandum of understanding (MOU) furthers Boeing and Etihad’s mutual commitment – initially set through a 2019 sustainability partnership – to develop sustainable flight operations across Etihad’s global network.

The new agreement will focus on enhancing the efficiency of navigation and flight operations, airframe technologies and sustainable practices to reduce Etihad’s fuel use and emissions. In addition, company leaders said their partnership provides an opportunity to validate concepts that could be scaled up to benefit the broader aviation industry.

 SAUDIA

  • SAUDIA selected Boeing’s advanced digital analytics tools to improve maintenance operations and on-time performance of their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets
  • Boeing will also provide interior modification services for SAUDIA’s 777 fleet

SAUDIA selected Boeing for a suite of services to improve their 787 Dreamliner and 777 fleets’ operational efficiency through digital analytics, and to modify their 777 cabin interiors.

 AIR TANZANIA

  • Order for 787 Dreamliner, 767 Freighter and two 737 MAX airplanes
  • Passenger and freighter models will boost airline’s capability in Africa and beyond.

Boeing and the United Republic of Tanzania announced an order for a 787-8 Dreamliner, a 767-300 Freighter and two 737 MAX jets at the 2021 Dubai Airshow. The order, valued at more than $726 million at list prices, was previously unidentified on the Boeing Orders and Deliveries website.

Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook forecasts that, by 2040, Africa’s airlines will require 1,030 new airplanes valued at $160 billion and aftermarket services such as manufacturing and repair worth $235 billion, supporting growth in air travel and economies across the continent.

AKASA AIRLINES

Akasa Air Orders 72 Fuel-Efficient 737 MAX Airplanes to Launch Service in Fast-Growing Indian Market

  • New Indian carrier’s order valued at nearly $9 billion, includes 737-8 and high-capacity 737-8-200

Boeing and Akasa Air, a brand of SNV Aviation, announced the new Indian carrier has ordered (72) 737 MAX airplanes to build its fleet. Valued at nearly $9 billion at list prices, the order is a key endorsement of the 737 family’s capability to serve the rapidly growing Indian market.

Akasa Air’s order includes two variants from the 737 MAX family, the 737-8 and the high-capacity 737-8-200. Providing the lowest seat-mile costs for a single-aisle airplane as well as high dispatch reliability and an enhanced passenger experience, the 737 MAX will ensure Akasa Air has a competitive edge in its dynamic home market.


THALES

Thales announces that it will supply flight control computers for the newest Gulfstream business jet aircraft, the Gulfstream G400 and Gulfstream G800. All Gulfstream’s large cabin business jet aircraft are equipped with Thales Fly-By-Wire solutions. Thales pioneered the development and certification of Fly-by-Wire (FBW) technology on modern commercial aircraft in 1983. Today, it remains at the forefront of FBW technology, supplying the most advanced flight control electronics in over 10,000 aircraft worldwide.


ACROPOLIS AVIATION

Acropolis Aviation was the launch customer for Airbus’ new ACJneo single-aisle family in May 2015, during EBACE in Geneva. This week’s 2021 Dubai Air Show will see G-KELT make its first public appearance on the static at the Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport venue – for Airbus Corporate Jets.

The aircraft entered service in March 2020, sporting a distinctive, luxurious cabin design by Yves Pickardt from Alberto Pinto and installed by leading completion specialist AMAC Aerospace at its Basel Airport facilities in Switzerland. “We are absolutely delighted Airbus Corporate Jets is showcasing our aircraft at the Dubai Air Show”, commented Acropolis’ CEO Jonathan Bousfield. “We are very much looking forward to presenting the aircraft to our Middle Eastern clientele for the first time.”

G-KELT can accommodate up to 19 passengers, sleeping 17 on fully lie-flat beds, with luggage space for over 100 pieces of baggage and the support of a crew of six. The aircraft is also certified for extended-range flights of up to 12 hours and low visibility ‘CAT 3A’ landing minima in severe weather conditions. Flight entertainment and onboard connectivity is via Collins Aerospace and Satcom Direct.


WOMEN IN AVIATION

Women in Aviation International (WAI) is proud to announce the awarding of a $1 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to strengthen the organization’s initiatives encouraging youth to pursue STEM futures through media platforms, industry partner coalitions, and cultivation of female aviation champions.


OTHER NEWS

Today’s Image: The 777-9 flight test airplane makes its international debut, flying non-stop from Seattle to the United Arab Emirates. It will be on display at the Dubai Airshow starting November 14. The 777-9 has seating for 426 passengers and a range of over 7,285 nmi (13,500 km). The 777X program was proposed in the early 2010’s.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) announce that the launch of Inmarsat’s first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 fleet (I-6 F1) by MHI’s H-IIA Launch Vehicle No. 45 (HIIA F45), will be as follows:

  • Launch Date: December 21st, 2021
  • Window: 14:33:52 p.m. through 16:33:26 p.m., Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) 23:33:52 p.m. through 01:33:26 a.m. (the next day), Japan Standard Time (JST)
  • Location: Yoshinobu Launch Complex at the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

Inmarsat’s sixth-generation (I-6) fleet will be its first to feature dual-payload satellites. The I-6s will support L-band (ELERA) and Ka-band (Global Xpress) services as part of the company’s unique, global, multi-dimensional, dynamic mesh network ORCHESTRA.

MHI Launch Services enjoys an extremely high success rate of 98.1% and has provided 47 successful consecutive launches, delivered on-time and to the customer’s satisfaction. MHI provides a dedicated launch service for the I-6 F1 launch with the H-IIA Launch Vehicle, configured as H2A204/4S, with 4 Solid Rocket boosters (SRB-As) and 4m diameter payload fairing. The core stages of the H2A launch vehicle are undergoing final checks at MHI’s factory in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, ahead of their shipment to the launch site on Tanegashima island, Kagoshima Prefecture, which is located in the southwest of Japan.

“Our first Inmarsat 6 satellite, I-6F1, is the largest and most advanced commercial communications satellite ever launched and we look forward to the event in Japan with our trusted partner, MHI,” said Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO. “The I-6s are Inmarsat’s first ever hybrid L- and Ka-band satellites, incorporating increased capacity and new technological advances for ELERA’s transformational L-band services alongside additional Global Xpress high-speed broadband capacity. They demonstrate Inmarsat’s ongoing investment and commitment as a global leader for the benefit of mobility customers worldwide, delivering an enhanced platform for world-changing technologies that ELERA enables, including the Industrial Internet of Things, by providing dramatically increased network capacity and resilience. I-6 F1 also plays an integral role in the reliable geostationary earth orbit infrastructure that underpins Inmarsat ORCHESTRA – the world’s first network that will combine geostationary, low earth orbit and terrestrial 5G into one harmonious solution.”

”We are honored to have been selected by Inmarsat, a leader in the global mobile satellite communication industry, to provide launch services for their first satellite in the Inmarsat-6 series,” said Tomoe Nishigaya, Vice President & Senior General Manager for Space Systems in MHI. “We strongly believe and expect that Inmarsat’s L-band services, ELERA, and Global Xpress high-speed broadband capacity delivered by their I-6 fleet of satellites will trigger further growth of demands in the global mobile satellite communication market. Again, we are excited and sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an innovative mission as a launch services provider. We are committed to providing highly reliable launch services for this 45th mission of H-IIA, following the success of previous missions. We intend to support Inmarsat and its partners with best efforts and great teamwork through the final preparation for the successful launch.”


ASTRONICS

  • Sales for the quarter were $111.8 million, up 5% over
    prior-year period
  • Net loss of $7.2 million continues sequential improvement through 2021
  • Adjusted EBITDA* was $2.8 million; measurably improved over prior-year period loss and trailing second quarter
  • Bookings up 88% over prior-year period and up 22% over trailing second quarter to $153.5 million; Achieved book-to-bill ratio of 1.37
  • Aerospace segment book-to-bill was 1.49 for the quarter
  • Backlog increased 13% sequentially to $354.4 million

BOEING

ATSG Selects Boeing for Next Converted Freighter Order

  • Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (ATSG) placed its first order with Boeing to convert four of their 767-300 aircraft into freighters
  • 767-300BCF now has more than 100 orders and commitments

Air Transport Services Group, Inc., the world’s largest lessor of 767-300 converted freighters, has contracted with Boeing for the conversion of four aircraft to 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF).

“Our continued confidence in the 767-300 platform, now coupled with the services and support of the OEM, reinforces our commitment to deliver best-in-class reliable services to our customers,” said Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “We’re proud to partner with Boeing as we expand our fleet to meet growing demand and look forward to future growth together.”

The 767-300BCF now has more than 100 orders and commitments from customers around the globe, providing widebody converted freighter capability to meet growing market demand, and building on a record year for customer orders of Boeing’s family of freighters.

“We are honored that ATSG has decided to make the 767-300BCF an integral part of their fleet expansion strategy, supporting customers looking to capitalize on strong e-commerce demand,” said Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing Converted Freighters. “As the OEM, Boeing has the original design data, robust supply chains, and dependable delivery schedules that benefit BCF customers such as ATSG. With that OEM advantage, we stand ready to meet ATSG’s needs by bringing forward market-leading 767-300BCFs into its fleet.”

ATSG is a global leader in cargo leasing, operating a fleet of 106 Boeing aircraft, including more than ninety 767 converted freighters.

And More News:

Boeing to Debut 777X, Spotlight Defense and Global Services and Highlight Sustainability, Technology and Partnerships at 2021 Dubai Airshow.

  • Boeing ecoDemonstrator 737-9, Etihad Airways 787-10 Dreamliner and flydubai 737 MAX 9 on display at global aerospace event.
  • Boeing defense platforms include KC-46A Pegasus, P-8 Poseidon and MV-22 Osprey.

Boeing will showcase its market-leading portfolio of commercial, defense and services products at the 2021 Dubai Airshow this month, including the international debut of its newest fuel-efficient widebody jet, the 777X, along with the company’s growing autonomous capabilities such as the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.

“Boeing is excited to participate fully in the Dubai Airshow, the first global airshow in almost two years, and to be able to engage directly with customers, partners, suppliers and other stakeholders from the region and beyond,” said Kuljit Ghata-Aura, president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa. “The show is a perfect opportunity to come together and remind the world of the importance of our industry and discuss technology and innovations that are critical to advance a more sustainable aerospace industry over the long term.”

During the event, a Boeing 777-9 flight-test airplane will soar in the airshow’s flying program and appear in the static display. Building on the best of the industry-leading 777 and 787 families, the 777-9 will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, delivering 10% better fuel use, emissions and operating costs than the competition.

The company’s static display will also feature the 2021 Boeing ecoDemonstrator, an Alaska Airlines 737-9 that is flight testing about 20 technologies to reduce fuel use, emissions and noise and further improve safety.

In addition, Etihad Airways will display a 787-10 Dreamliner that showcases the airline’s collaboration with Boeing to advance sustainable aviation. Etihad’s program researches and tests innovative technologies, products and practices on its fleet of 787s and within its operations to further reduce carbon emissions. Also on display, flydubai – the region’s largest 737 operator – will feature a 737 MAX 9 that reduces fuel use and CO2 by 14% compared to its predecessors.

Boeing’s exhibit in Dubai will highlight defense products including the F-15EX Eagle II fighter jet and T-7A Advanced Pilot Training System, as well as its Autonomous Systems portfolio, including the Boeing Airpower Teaming System and the Insitu Integrator ER and ScanEagle unmanned systems.

Global defense customers are expected to display several operational Boeing aircraft, including the MV-22 Osprey, KC-46A Pegasus, P-8A Poseidon, C-17 Globemaster III, AH-64 Apache and CH-47F Chinook.

Boeing also will discuss its parts, modifications, digital, sustainment and training solutions, including an expansive global supply chain, maintenance and logistics network. Government services will feature in-country partnerships with on-the-ground support for its installed base of defense platforms. Commercial services highlights will include Boeing Converted Freighters, expanded support to regional customers and near-term sales opportunities.

More News From Boeing:

Boeing Projects Asia Pacific Commercial Aviation Market Valued at $6.8 Trillion by 2040

  • Forecast anticipates need for more than 17,600 new commercial airplanes with a focus on efficiency and sustainability
  • By 2040, Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of global air traffic; cargo fleet to more than triple

Boeing estimates that air travel within Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of global air traffic by 2040, driving 20-year demand for 17,645 new airplanes valued at $3.1 trillion. To support its commercial aviation industry, Asia-Pacific countries also will require aftermarket services valued at $3.7 trillion. Boeing provided the data in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

The Asia Pacific region has diverse air travel markets, including mature economies in Northeast Asia and Oceania as well as rapidly growing aviation markets in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia. With the travel recovery enabled by rising COVID-19 vaccination, Asia Pacific carriers are well-positioned to capitalize on recovering business and leisure travel as well as air cargo transportation, according to Boeing.

“We have seen strong resilience in Asia Pacific traffic when restrictions are lifted and passengers feel confident about travel,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of Commercial Marketing. “Carriers with efficient and versatile fleets will be positioned to meet passenger needs and air freight demand with airplanes that reduce fuel use, emissions and operating costs.”

Boeing’s CMO analysis addresses 20-year demand for the five regions within Asia Pacific:

  • Southeast Asian countries seeing rapid economic growth will also see fleet growth and passenger traffic well above global averages. Low-cost carriers are forecast to expand intra-regional networks with single-aisle jets, while open skies and trade agreements will enable carriers to invest in fuel-efficient widebodies to serve long-haul routes. Southeast Asia is forecast to need 4,465 new airplanes valued at $765 billion and commercial aviation services valued at $790 billion by 2040.
  • In Northeast Asia, mature economies will continue to support a balanced air travel market across domestic, regional and long-haul travel segments. Fleet replacement will account for nearly 75% of new deliveries as airlines look to improve sustainability and fleet versatility. The region is expected to need 1,385 new airplanes valued at $310 billion as well as services valued at $555 billion in the next 20 years.
  • In Oceania, commercial aviation serves as critical transportation infrastructure across long distances and island nations. Domestic and regional travel accounting for 80% of passenger traffic will drive single-aisle demand, while versatile widebody jets such as the 787 Dreamliner will support long-haul and international network development. Oceania is projected to need 785 new jets valued at $135 billion and services valued at $165 billion by the end of the forecast period.
  • Boeing previously released its China CMO forecast. The South Asia forecast will be highlighted in coming months.

The 2021 CMO includes these projections for Asia Pacific through 2040:

  • Single-aisle jets will account for nearly 13,500 deliveries, about three-quarters of demand in terms of units. Widebody jets including passenger and cargo models will total nearly 3,800 airplanes.
  • The cargo fleet will more than triple to 1,160 airplanes, including new and converted models, to support diversifying global supply chains and meet e-commerce demand. The Asia Pacific cargo fleet is expected to roughly equal North America’s cargo fleet by 2040.
  • Tied to economic and fleet growth, demand for maintenance, repair, overhaul and modifications account for a majority of projected commercial aviation services demand. Digital solutions, analytics and training services also will support the Asia Pacific fleet.
  • Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook (PTO) forecasts that the region will require nearly 820,000 new aviation personnel, including more than 230,000 pilots and nearly 250,000 technicians and 340,000 cabin crew members. The global PTO is available here.

OTHER NEWS

COLLINS AEROSPACE

  • Customized Club Suite offers passengers luxury, privacy and all-aisle access
  • Creates a consistent passenger experience across the British Airways fleet
  • Completion expected by the end of 2022

British Airways has selected Collins Aerospace to upgrade its fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft to the Club World experience for business class passengers.

The agreement includes installation of the popular Club Suite business class seat, the Club Kitchen and a new cabin configuration. Collins will also perform full-cabin integration work – including engineering design, test and approval – along with program management and third-party supplier approvals. Some of the modified aircraft are already flying with the upgrades expected to be complete by the end of 2022. The retrofitted Boeing 777 aircraft will be operating from London Heathrow.

“When we launched our Club Suite product, it was a huge hit with our customers who loved the privacy the new seat offers,” said Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product for British Airways. “We are focused on the roll out of this product and other cabin enhancements to ensure we deliver on our commitment to provide the very best British quality, style and comfort for our customers.”

The Club Suite is a customized version of Collins Aerospace’s industry-leading Super Diamond business class seat, providing British Airways international passengers with privacy doors, a spacious seat that converts to a fully flat bed and an upgraded inflight entertainment system. Similar to the upgraded cabin on British Airways’ new Airbus A350 fleet, the suites are laid out in a 1-2-1 pattern, allowing all-aisle access for every passenger. This proven design can be tailored to fit different airframes, helping maintain a consistent passenger experience.

The Club Kitchen is an area consisting of galley inserts, chillers and built-in storage for snacks, drinks and other refreshments, allowing passengers the ability to collect self-service snacks and refreshments at their leisure.

“The upgraded Club World cabin raises British Airways’ already high standards and provides commonality across their fleet of aircraft,” said Trevor Skelly, general manager of Integration Engineering for Collins Aerospace. “Our Integration Engineering team has worked closely with British Airways designers for several years to bring the latest in business class comfort, style and privacy from concept to reality.”

Through its Integration and Engineering group, Collins Aerospace has an Organization Designation Authority from the FAA to oversee the certification and Supplemental Type Certificate for the upgrade. Manufacturing of the new suite seats is being completed at the company’s facility in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland, while the new Club Kitchen was designed at the company’s facility in Everett, Washington.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has announced a new partnership network for its ground-breaking Velaris connectivity solution and confirmed the first member is set to be Altitude Angel, the world’s leading Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) technology provider.

As part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week, the two companies will explore opportunities to further integrate Inmarsat’s recently-launched Velaris connectivity solution for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) with Altitude Angel’s market-leading UTM technology. Together, they will offer secure communications for commercial UAVs – commonly known as drones – to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) on long distance flights and access applications, including real-time monitoring, to ensure safe integration with aircraft in commercial airspace.

The new agreement will strengthen the existing partnership between Inmarsat and Altitude Angel, which has initially focused on the development of a Pop-Up UTM platform that delivers advanced flight tracking and management capability for UAVs. The solution has already been successfully demonstrated on a number of flights, offering full situational awareness to the operator team and preventing any potential conflicts with commercial aircraft. In addition, the Pop-Up UTM was crowned winner of Air Traffic Management Magazine’s UTM Service Supplier Award earlier this year and has been shortlisted in the prestigious Maverick Awards innovation category at World ATM Congress 2021, taking place this week.

Anthony Spouncer, Inmarsat’s Senior Director of UAVs and UTM, said: “Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network (VPN) allows us to develop an unparalleled array of end-to-end UAV solutions and capabilities, working alongside a world-class ecosystem of leading players from across the industry. We are delighted that Altitude Angel has been announced as the first member and look forward to expanding the network further, with the additional of both new and well-established companies expected in the near future.”

Phil Binks, Altitude Angel’s Head of UTM, said: “Our Pop-Up UTM platform has received an outstanding response from the UAV industry, showing the immense potential for unmanned traffic management to enable safe, highly-automated UAV flights in both urban and rural environments. As the inaugural member of Inmarsat’s Velaris Partner Network, we will build on this momentum together by developing cutting-edge new innovations for this fast growing market that combine our unique individual strengths.”

The announcement comes a day after Inmarsat and Cranfield University published a new report, titled ‘UAVs: Unlocking positive transformation in the world’, which examines the wealth of new possibilities and applications unlocked by commercial UAVs. A key finding was the potential of UAVs to almost half the CO2 emissions of urban freight transport compared to small light commercial vehicles (LCVs), providing an unprecedented opportunity to reduce the logistics industry’s environmental impact.

The report, which analyses both new and existing research, also identifies the many other commercial advantages provided by UAVs to organizations that embrace the technology and adopt new operational methods, with cost and time savings leading to enhanced supply chain and business efficiencies. In addition, it explores the considerable benefits that extend beyond those driven by commercial gain, such as delivering humanitarian and medical aid to remote communities and conflict zones, surveillance to protect endangered animals from poachers, and monitoring for illegal deforestation or mining operations.

Velaris is powered by Inmarsat’s ELERA global satellite network, which delivers the world’s most reliable and flexible global connectivity, with full global redundancy and unique resilience in all conditions. ELERA capabilities will be enhanced further with the upcoming addition of Inmarsat-6 satellites, the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, the first of which (I-6F1) is scheduled to launch before the end of the year. The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will be substantially greater than Inmarsat’s 4th generation spacecraft and, among other enhancements, delivers 50% more capacity per beam in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility.

More News:

Inmarsat, announced that Philippe Carette will be joining the company as President of its Aviation Business Unit on 22 November 2021.

Philippe joins Inmarsat from Thales, where he held several roles since joining the company in 2013. This includes the position of CEO of Thales’ InFlyt Experience Business Line (IFE), where he led a digital transformation of the business, leveraging cloud based disruptive applications and achieving a significant increase in customer satisfaction. Philippe has over 30 years’ experience in the technology & aerospace industries, which in addition to his tenure at Thales includes 14 years with the Safran Group, a major French aerospace engineering company.

Philip Balaam, currently business unit President for aviation, is moving into a new strategy role at Inmarsat, where he will be working with Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Fredrik Gustavsson to reinforce the company’s growing, broad-based commercial momentum.

“I am very pleased to welcome Philippe Carette as president of our aviation business at the start of a new era of growth across our aviation business lines, and throughout the company as a whole”, said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat. “He brings a wealth of experience and I look forward to working with him as a member of Inmarsat’s executive team as we extend our technology leadership and significantly enhance the services we offer to our partners and customers through new initiatives such as ORCHESTRA and ELERA. His 30 plus years of experience in aviation, technology and aerospace will be invaluable.

“I wish to thank Philip Balaam for the pivotal role he played in establishing Inmarsat as a leader in the IFC sector and for his many other contributions to the growth of our aviation business. In his new strategy role at Inmarsat, he will play a crucial role in enhancing the future strategic framework for the whole business.”


SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has inked a preferred supplier agreement with Slovenia-headquartered aviation services company Elit’Avia. Voice, data, connectivity, and flight deck communication functionality, along with customer support and training, is now enabling Elit’Avia to optimize the full range of SD connectivity services for its mixed fleet. Demonstrating the value of the SD Xperience portfolio, which enables customization of bundled packages, the deal realizes the opportunity for Elit’Avia to tailor SD services to meet individual aircraft requirements.

The Elit’Avia flight department already uses the digital flight operations system SD Pro® to synchronize flight operations, access the SD Cyber Security Threat Monitoring module, and to track and monitor flights. The three-year arrangement strengthens and extends the existing commercial relationship between the two companies


THALES

Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) renews their trust in Thales with a turnkey modernization of their nationwide Air Traffic Management (ATM) system. The new ATM system will improve capacity and safety thanks to a complete nationwide surveillance coverage using the latest ATC and air surveillance technologies compliant with ICAO standards. An iconic new Air Traffic Management Centre and Control Tower as well as new radar building will be constructed at the Hazrat Shajalal International Airport (HSIA) in Dhaka.


BOEING

Boeing Projects Demand for 1,540 New Airplanes in the Russia, Ukraine and CIS Aviation Market Through 2040.

  • 20-year commercial airplane market valued at $520 billion, including jets and services
  • Forecast anticipates that Russia, leading all regions in domestic air travel recovery, will see additional growth in leisure and business travel

Boeing said that airlines in Russia, Ukraine and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will require 1,540 new airplanes valued at $200 billion over the next 20 years, driven mainly by growth in the single-aisle market. The region also will need aftermarket aviation services such as passenger-to-freighter conversions, maintenance and repair, and digital services worth $320 billion, according to the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), Boeing’s long-term forecast of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Global and regional air travel markets are recovering largely as Boeing projected last year. Following a strong economic rebound and large pent-up demand, Russia has led all regions in domestic air traffic recovery, with growth expected to continue, according to Boeing.

“Boeing is ready to support carriers in Russia, Ukraine and CIS as they transform their business models and take advantage of opportunities for further growth,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for Russia, Ukraine and CIS. “Aviation is vitally important for enabling robust domestic tourism growth and a rebound in long-haul leisure travel while also supporting trade and cargo links across a huge geographic region.”

The 2021 CMO for Russia, Ukraine and CIS includes these projections through 2040:

Air traffic is projected to grow by 2.9% annually, tied to economic growth of 2.1% per year.

More than half of deliveries to the region will be for growth. The overall fleet is expected to total more than 2,000 airplanes, with demand for more fuel-efficient models.
Single-aisle airplanes will represent 75% of deliveries, with demand for 1,150 airplanes. Demand will be driven by growth in the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment, including opportunities for new and expanding low-cost airlines.

Demand for 160 new widebody passenger and freighter airplanes to serve regional leisure markets as well as long-haul passenger and cargo markets.

The region will require 83,000 new aviation personnel, including 25,000 pilots, 25,000 technicians and 33,000 cabin crews. For Boeing’s global demand forecast, go to the Pilot and Technician Outlook website.

For Boeing’s global and regional forecasts, including data and analysis, go to the Commercial Market Outlook website.

More News:

A.P. Moller – Maersk Orders Two Boeing 777 Freighters

  • Global logistics and shipping company places first order for 777 Freighter
  • 777 Freighters to be operated by Maersk’s air freight operator Star Air

Boeing and A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) announced the global provider of end-to-end container logistics has placed an order for two 777 Freighters. The freighters will be operated by Star Air, Maersk’s in-house aircraft operator and is the company’s first 777 order. Star Air currently operates an all-Boeing 767 Freighter fleet.

More News:

Boeing contribution – Boeing Contributes Nearly $2 Million for Indigenous Communities in the U.S. – Nov 1, 2021


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has announced the appointment of Kim Creaven as Director of Advertising Sales.

Kim will serve as the organizational lead for all Panasonic Avionics’ market-driven, advertising-related solutions. She will be responsible for the development and oversight of the business to include product, sales, and marketing solutions that maximize opportunities for the monetization of passenger engagement through in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems.

In her role, Kim will report to Andrew Mohr, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President, Digital Solutions. She will be working with customers, stakeholders, and third-party vendors to help develop and execute product and marketing strategies for its advertising services across the company’s business verticals.

Andrew Mohr said, “There is incredible room for growth in the in-flight advertising space, and Kim’s expertise and in-depth industry knowledge will contribute greatly to unlocking that potential through Panasonic Avionics’ IFE and Connectivity.”

Kim has more than 26 years of experience in advertising and sales roles with airlines, media, and IFEC providers. She previously held roles at Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Gogo and joins Panasonic Avionics from ANUVU (formally Global Eagle Entertainment), where she was Vice President of Sales, Strategy and Partner Marketing from 2014 – 2020.

Kim Creaven said, “Panasonic Avionics is a proven leader in digital aviation products and services, and I am delighted to be joining their talented team at such an exciting time for our sector.”

“As Panasonic Avionics continues its advances in digital ancillary revenue innovation, we will be taking today’s in-cabin entertainment experience to the next level of engagement with our industry-leading advertising services.”

“I will use my experience and passion for our industry to help Panasonic Avionics become the lead in onboard advertising and ancillary revenue standards and to deliver innovative customer partnerships across the globe.”

Since 2017, Kim has also been Chairwoman of the APEX (The Airline Passenger Experience Association) Advertising & Ancillary Revenue Committee – the first within APEX to elevate airline ancillary revenue related to advertising, sponsorships, and loyalty partnerships. In this role, Kim has led the creation of industry best practices and the first glossary of terms for creative airline advertising.

Kim attended the University of Kentucky, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree within the School of Business and Journalism.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global, mobile satellite communications, today confirmed that its strategic partner BSNL has received the necessary licenses to deliver Inmarsat’s world-leading Global Xpress (GX) mobile broadband services in India.

Under BSNL’s Inflight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) license from the Department of Telecommunications, GX will be available to Indian customers across government, aviation and maritime.

The announcement means that India’s airlines will be able to deploy GX for in-flight connectivity within India and throughout the world, while India’s commercial maritime companies will be able to enhance significantly the digitalization of their vessels for more effective ship operations and crew welfare services. BSNL’s license will also see the award-winning GX service offered to government and other users. There will be a phased introduction of services for customers and partners.

Rajeev Suri, Inmarsat CEO, said: “Today is a significant day for Inmarsat and our valued, long-term partnership with India, which was a signatory to the founding treaty establishing Inmarsat in 1979. Inmarsat is delighted to make the world’s only global high-speed mobile broadband Ka-band network available to the Government and businesses in India through our partner BSNL. We are committed to India and the company has been a trusted partner for the Indian government for four decades. Today’s announcement, which we share proudly with our friends at BSNL, will help to underpin the further economic growth that we all wish to see in India.”

GX, operating in the Ka-band, is the first and only high-speed broadband network designed for mobility and government customers to seamlessly span the world. This market-leading service delivers the high bandwidth, reliability and security that commercial and government-grade mobility customers demand. GX is continually evolving to offer even more capacity, capabilities and operational agility for Inmarsat customers now and well into the future. The company is launching a further seven GX satellites, including its next generation GX satellites, over the coming three years, each of which will add more capacity into a single region than the first four satellites combined. The GX gateway for India is located in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh.

Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL, Mr P.K. Purwar said: “BSNL and Inmarsat are delighted to share this key milestone with our partners and customers in India. Global Xpress is recognized as the world’s best high-speed satellite communications service for government and mobility business customers and we are very pleased to make these capabilities available to users in India. All of us at BSNL appreciate the commitment to excellence shown by the Indian Government as we have worked on approvals to deliver this service to the country. Equally, we thank our partner Inmarsat for their spirit of collaboration in reaching today’s milestone to help power forward economic development in India through higher quality connectivity for our customers.”

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet Ltd, said: “We are delighted that Global Xpress, the world-leading passenger inflight connectivity service, is now coming to India. We are looking forward to offering this ground-breaking connectivity service to our passengers later this year, when we introduce our new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. It will enable our customers to remain connected in the air as they do on the ground.”

Gautam Sharma, Inmarsat India Managing Director, said: “Inmarsat is well-positioned to partner with the Indian government to address the ever-growing demand for reliable, mobile satellite communication services across a broad range of commercial and public sectors. Following the successful introduction of Inmarsat’s voice and broadband data communication services across India in the past, today we are announcing that Inmarsat’s award-winning Global Xpress services has now secured the necessary licenses through our valued partner BSNL. Global Xpress is the gold standard of high-speed satellite mobile broadband communications. It will enable Indian domestic airlines and international airlines flying over India to provide the world’s fastest inflight connectivity. It will also speed up the digitalization of Indian-flagged maritime vessels and give an edge to the Indian Government, including its defense forces. We are proud to be led by Rajeev Suri, an Indian-born global leader as we unlock the next phase of commitment to the Indian government and Indian market.”

Also From Inmarsat:

Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring the company’s existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellite networks [GX and Inmarsat ELERA operating in the L-band] together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA allows capacity to be boosted in high-density areas such as at airports and maritime ports, eliminating network ‘hot spot’ congestion forever and ensuring that the connectivity needs of mobility and government customers continue to be met for decades to come, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


AVALON

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, and Japan Airlines (‘JAL’), announce a partnership to commercialize zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft in Japan.

Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, has formed a strategic partnership with JAL to identify and target local partners and customers, infrastructure requirements, certification, and a range of commercial models to introduce one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses in Japan. Through this partnership, JAL will have a right to purchase or lease up to 50 Vertical VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon, with the option to purchase or lease up to 50 additional units.


BOEING

Boeing Forecasts 20-year Middle East Commercial Jet and Services Market Valued at more than $1.4 Trillion

  • Commercial fleet expected to more than double to serve passenger and cargo demand
  • Projected widebody deliveries will be the highest proportion of any region at 44%
  • Aftermarket commercial services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion

Boeing said that airlines in the Middle East will require 3,000 new airplanes valued at $700 billion and aftermarket services such as maintenance and repair worth $740 billion, with the region positioned to capitalize on the recovery of regional and international travel and cargo demand. Boeing provided the estimate in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), a forecast of 20-year demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Middle East passenger traffic and the region’s commercial fleet are projected to more than double over the 20-year forecast period, according to the CMO. More than two-thirds of airplane deliveries to the Middle East will accommodate growth, while one-third of deliveries will replace older airplanes with more fuel-efficient models such as the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X.

“The Middle East region’s role as a global connecting hub continues to be important for developing markets to and from Southeast Asia, China and Africa,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for the Middle East. “The region has been a leader in restoring confident passenger travel through multi-faceted initiatives that aid international travel recovery.”

Air freight represents an ongoing area of opportunity for Middle East airlines, with the freighter fleet projected to nearly double from 80 airplanes in 2019 to 150 by 2040. Notably, air cargo traffic flown by Middle East carriers has increased since 2020 by nearly 20%, with two of the world’s top-five cargo carriers based in the region.

The 2021 Middle East CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

To accommodate increased passenger and cargo traffic, airlines are predicted to grow their fleets to 3,530 jets.
The region will continue to see robust widebody demand, with 1,570 deliveries supporting a growing network of international routes.

The current single-aisle fleet of 660 airplanes is forecast to nearly triple to 1,750 jets.

Commercial services opportunities include fleet renewal, maintenance, repair and parts supply, and operations optimization.

Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook forecasts that the region is estimated to require 223,000 new aviation personnel by 2040, including 54,000 pilots, 51,000 technicians and 91,000 cabin crew members. The complete PTO is available here. The complete CMO forecast is available here.

Boeing Forecasts Africa’s 20-year Commercial Aviation Market Opportunity Valued at Nearly $400 Billion.

  • Africa’s commercial airplane fleet projected to grow to 1,560 over the next 20 years
  • 80% of new deliveries are for African carrier growth as intra-continent traffic rises

Boeing forecasts that Africa’s airlines will require 1,030 new airplanes by 2040 valued at $160 billion and aftermarket services such as manufacturing and repair worth $235 billion, enabling growth for air travel and economies across the continent. Boeing shared the projection as part of the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term assessment of demand for commercial airplanes and services.

Africa’s strong, long-term growth prospects for commercial aviation are closely tied to the continent’s projected 3% annual economic growth over the next 20 years. Initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area and Single African Air Transport Market are expected to stimulate trade, air travel and economic cooperation. Additionally, the region’s middle class and working population is projected to double by the end of the forecast period, driving increased demand for air travel, according to Boeing.

“Africa has healthy opportunities to expand travel and tourism, coinciding with increasing urbanization and rising incomes,” said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for Middle East and Africa. “African carriers are well-positioned to support inter-regional traffic growth and capture market share by offering services that efficiently connect passengers and enable commerce within the continent.”

The 2021 Africa CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

  • Airlines in Africa will grow their fleets by 3.6% per year to accommodate passenger traffic growth of 5.4% annually, the third-highest growth rate in the world.
  • Single-aisle jets are expected to account for more than 70% of commercial deliveries, with 740 new planes mainly supporting domestic and inter-regional demand. In addition, African carriers are estimated to need 250 new widebodies, including passenger and cargo models, to support long-haul routes and air freight growth.
  • 80% of African jet deliveries are expected to serve fleet growth with more sustainable, fuel-efficient models such as the 737, 777X and 787 Dreamliner, with 20% of deliveries replacing older airplanes.

Estimated demand for aviation personnel will rise to 63,000 new professionals, including 19,000 pilots, 20,000 technicians and 24,000 cabin crew members.

Commercial services opportunities such as supply chain, manufacturing, repair and overhaul are valued at $235 billion.


OTHER NEWS

  • MORGAN STANLEY
    – The White House is adopting a new air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccinations to advance the resumption of international air travel to the U.S. beginning in November.
    – Southwest Airlines walks back its plan to place unvaccinated staff seeking medical and/or religious exemptions on unpaid leave after the December federal deadline.
    – Southwest also announced a 10-year environmental sustainability plan in support of the airline’s overall goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
  • This is unbelievable:”Apple disclosed the M1 Pro transistor count to be at 33.7 billion, while the M1 Max bloats that up to 57 billion transistors.” Apple Announces M1 Pro & M1 Max: Giant New Arm SoCs with All-Out Performance
  • What is AI? Morning Brew OK, now, what is 5G? Morning Brew
  • Want to see how Airbus retrofits aircraft wings for installation of Sharklets? Airbus’ Sharklets: Ready for retrofit – YouTube Oh, you don’t know about how winglets work and what they do? Understanding Winglets; Drag; & How the Winglets Improve the Aerodynamic Efficiency on an Aircraft! – YouTube


PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced a new venture with Air Belgium to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for the carrier’s new Airbus A330neo aircraft.

The agreement will see Air Belgium’s A330neo aircraft equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ renowned connectivity and mobile services, enhancing the onboard passenger experience.

The airline’s two new A330neos, the first of which entered into service this weekend, will be fitted with Panasonic Avionics’ full HD seatback monitors, complete with handsets, touch displays, and personalized interfaces.

Air Belgium’s passengers will also experience in-flight connectivity, powered by Panasonic Avionics’ global network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites, delivering a host of next-generation connectivity benefits such as fast internet and in-flight mobile phone services. The system will also feature ArcTM, Panasonic Avionics 3D in-flight moving map platform.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics, said, “We are delighted to be working with Air Belgium to enhance the passenger experience on their new fleet. By tailoring the way we offer our award-winning solutions to meet the individual needs of carriers, we are able to create a product portfolio that can fit every airline’s business model.”

“Our in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions will help Air Belgium strengthen their long-haul operations and drive customer satisfaction as they look to grow in the years ahead.”

By adopting Panasonic Avionics’ industry-leading IFEC solutions, airlines can offer a powerful onboard experience to increase brand loyalty, while delivering fresh, personalized content to passengers across the world.

Niky Terzakis, Chief Executive Officer at Air Belgium, said, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with Panasonic Avionics to continue to enrich and elevate our onboard experience. Their flexibility and innovative approach in delivering IFE and connectivity perfectly complements our internal resources and strategy.”

More Panasonic News:

Middle East Airlines-Air Liban (MEA) has started a two-month trial of Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight Live Television service.

The service was rolled out on MEA’s fleet of nine Airbus A321neoLR aircraft on the 1st of October 2021, helping passengers to Never Miss A Moment™ with a wide range of premium news and live sporting events.

Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service connects passengers to unmissable on-the-ground entertainment from the comfort of their seats. The integrated service enables passengers to watch news channels including the BBC World and CNN International, along with live sporting action in partnership with Sport 24.

Sport 24 is provided exclusively by Panasonic Avionics and is the world’s first and only live in-flight sports platform. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting airline passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content from over 30 different global sports leagues each day.

MEA’s customers will be able to enjoy all the live action from the world’s top sporting events, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, all four Tennis Grand Slams, all four Golf Majors, the NRL, the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Bundesliga, and more.

The Live Television service onboard MEA’s aircraft will be powered by Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services, and broadcast through its eX1 in-flight entertainment platform, both of which were launched on the airline’s A321neoLR fleet in 2020.

eX1 is designed specifically for narrowbody aircraft and offers elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President of Digital Solutions for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to extend our partnership with Middle East Airlines and to enhance the in-flight experience they provide by bringing live news and the world’s best sporting action to their passengers.”

Houssam Moghrabi, Head of In-flight Services at MEA, said, “Panasonic Avionics is a proven partner for MEA. The trial of their Live Television service is a natural next step following the installation of their state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems last year, which has been well received by our passengers.”


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, celebrated the 1,000th installation and activation of its market-leading Jet ConneX inflight connectivity solution, cementing the company’s leadership in the business aviation market.

The milestone was celebrated with Inmarsat’s partners at the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, USA and also coincides with the fifth anniversary of Jet ConneX. Since entering commercial service in November 2016, Jet ConneX has quickly developed into the business aviation industry’s gold standard inflight connectivity service, offering the same level of reliable, consistent and high-speed broadband in the air that was previously only available on the ground.

Powered by Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network Global Xpress, Jet ConneX is the preferred linefit option of all major business jet manufacturers, including Gulfstream, Bombardier and Dassault, and uses JetWave hardware by Honeywell Aerospace. Inmarsat has received type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals for the service from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) across all popular platforms, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and aftermarket maintenance repair and overhaul service providers (MROs).

The 1,000th activation comes at an important time for the business aviation industry. Following a period of turbulence over the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent survey commissioned by Inmarsat and Corporate Jet Investor (CJI) found that almost 80% of respondents around the world believe more frequent business aviation flights will be taken in the next year. A staggering 90% also feel online activities will dominate principals’ time in the air, almost evenly split between business and leisure.

Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said: “The business world has evolved considerably since the onset of COVID-19 and during times of unprecedented turbulence and instability, business leaders cannot afford to be disconnected. As a result, we have experienced a rapid surge in demand for the fast, reliable and consistent inflight Wi-Fi that only Jet ConneX can deliver, wherever and whenever they fly. We believe this is a long-term trend that won’t level off as we come out of this COVID era.

“Therefore, the outlook is bright and we look forward to working with our partners to build on the momentum of the past five years, with 1,000 activations now achieved and many more to come. As part of these efforts, we are investing more than ever in several upcoming next-generation satellites, plus significant enhancements to our ground stations, hardware and software, all backed by world-class cybersecurity. This will amplify Jet ConneX capabilities even further and also result in unprecedented new L-band offerings to cement our long-term leadership in business aviation connectivity.”

Inmarsat recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA boosts capacity in high-density areas such as at airports, eliminating congested network ‘hot spots’ and ensuring the connectivity needs of business aviation customers continue to be met well into the future, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


BURRANA

Burrana, a leader in the inflight entertainment (IFE) and cabin technology industry, announced the appointment of Graham Macdonald as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Graham brings 30 years of aerospace experience with 15 years in the IFE industry — including Rockwell Collins from which the commercial IFE business was acquired in early 2019 to form Burrana. Mr. Macdonald’s extensive experience managing multi-site, multi-national operations and background integrating acquisitions provide a strong foundation for leading Burrana through the industry recovery and eventual return to normalcy.

For the past 18 months, Neal Nordstrom, Operating Partner for JW Hill Capital, led the business through the challenges created by the global pandemic. He will now transition back to his board role where he will continue to support Mr. Macdonald. Mr. Macdonald came on board as acting Chief of Staff two months ago to begin his onboarding process. A seamless transition of responsibilities will take place over the next few weeks.

Mr. Macdonald said, “I am excited to have been chosen by the board for this role and look forward to embracing the challenges ahead. I am inheriting from Neal a strong team and competitive product range. Our immediate focus is of course continuing to navigate COVID-19’s impact on the industry and coming out of these challenging times strong and ready to compete.”


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense and other mission critical industries, announced that it has closed on the sale of its facility in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for total consideration of $9.1 million. Net proceeds were approximately $8.7 million in cash. The Company expects to record a gain in the fourth quarter of 2021 of approximately $5.0 million. The sale was a result of the consolidation of the DME lighting and safety operations into its East Aurora, NY operations.

The Company also confirmed that it entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation under the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program, or AMJP, for a grant of up to $14.7 million. Astronics received the first installment of $7.3 million under the grant in September. The Company expects to receive a second installment in the range of $5 million to $6 million during the fourth quarter of 2021 and a final installment in the second or third quarter of 2022 upon final confirmation of meeting its grant commitments.

Astronics was required to make several commitments to qualify for the program, including a commitment not to furlough or lay off a defined group of employees during the period of performance. The grant benefit will be recognized ratably over a six-month performance period as an offset to cost of goods sold. The contribution to gross profit by quarter is expected to be $1.1 million in the third quarter of 2021, $7.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 and $6.2 million in the first quarter of 2022.


BOEING

Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The award, the highest honor in the long-running program, recognizes a public or private sector leader who has navigated business challenges and expanded opportunities for African-Americans in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Colbert leads Boeing’s aerospace services development and delivery model for commercial, government and aviation industry customers worldwide, focused on global supply chain and parts distribution, aircraft modifications and maintenance, digital solutions, aftermarket engineering, analytics and training.


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC AVIONICS

Panasonic Avionics is enhancing its in-flight Live Television sports offering with the addition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

AFC’s competitions are being added to IMG’s Sport 24, the world’s first and only live in-flight sports platform, which is offered exclusively in-flight by Panasonic Avionics. These include all the major football championships in the Asia-Pacific region, including qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

It will join a wealth of other content on Sport 24 including NFL, NBA, NHL, tennis’ Grand Slams, golf’s Majors, Premier League, UEFA Champions League, AFC Champions League, European and Asian World Cup Qualifiers, and more.

Sport 24 broadcasts 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting airline passengers to more than 16 hours of premium live content from over 30 different global sports leagues each day. It creates a unique viewing experience for passengers – from the casual to the avid sports fan – which results in a dwell time almost three times higher than the most popular US sports channel.

Dominic Green, Senior Director, Digital Product Management of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are delighted to be enhancing the live sports we offer airlines across the globe with the addition of top-flight football from the Asia-Pacific region. Football is one of the most popular live sports we offer in-flight and we are confident that AFC tournaments will prove a hit with passengers from the outset.”

Richard Wise, Senior Vice President, Content and Channels, IMG’s media business, said, “We are delighted to bring Asia’s top national team and club competitions to our audiences and bolster our portfolio. Our long-standing relationship with Panasonic Avionics enables us to broadcast live sports coverage to passengers all over the world.”

The AFC is the governing body of Asian football and one of the six Confederations making up FIFA. Established in 1954 in Manila, the AFC is headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and comprises 47 Member Associations.

Almost 1,000 aircraft across the globe are installed with Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service, of which Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra are an integral part.


SATCOM DIRECT

  • SD adding SKYTRAC Iridium Certus products to SD Xperience portfolio
  •  Deal enhances connectivity configuration options for SD customers globally
  • SKYTRAC addition expands current broadband offering to satisfy increased demand

Satcom Direct, has signed a deal with SKYTRAC, a Canada-based provider of intelligent connectivity solutions for aviation, to become an exclusive reseller for the business aviation sector. The newly ratified agreement positions SD as a global reseller of SKYTRAC Iridium Certus® hardware and data services directly to business aviation jet owners, operators, and business aircraft manufacturers.

Aligning with the SD strategy, which offers customizable, robust connectivity solutions for aircraft of all sizes, the agreement immediately adds an impressive range of Iridium Certus products to the SD Xperience portfolio. A full suite of robust connectivity options, powered by the Iridium LEO Certus constellation are available to satisfy the increased demand for connectivity from all sizes of business aviation aircraft. The SKYTRAC offering meets both cabin and flight-deck communication requirements for a range of business aviation platforms through its compelling broadband solutions.

“What sets us apart within the industry is our consultancy service that streamlines connectivity acquisition and ensures a seamless service that’s easier to manage. The addition of the SKYTRAC component enables a greater variety of options for owners and operators of business jets of all sizes, to receive consistent, secure, reliable connectivity, now. It also boosts our mixed fleet offering which, as we add more and more fleets worldwide to our roster, adds real value for the customer. We are proud to have partnered with one of the industry’s most respected Iridium Certus suppliers,” says Chris Moore, President, Satcom Direct Business Aviation.

The SKYTRAC products and services bring even more flexibility to the SD Xperience portfolio to support internet browsing, email, voice, and text services in the cabin, even on smaller aircraft. Flight-deck tools include improved situational awareness through flight tracking, weather alerts, and FANS capabilities. The additional products augment the SD commitment to provide cabin and flight-deck communications services, aircraft connectivity hardware, data management, and flight operations software, from a single resource. The SD Xperience portfolio delivers purpose-built technology to satisfy the unique, evolving requirements of business aviation, and gives SD the capabilities to create tailored, customer-driven solutions. In addition, all SD SKYTRAC customers will benefit from the award-winning SD 24/7/365 customer support.

“SD has gained impressive global market share of the business aviation sector and is dedicated to empowering owners by harnessing the full potential of data connectivity. This new relationship immediately broadens our potential customer base,” said Jan van der Heul, Vice President Sales of SKYTRAC. “The SD market penetration, combined with the expansion of the SD Xperience portfolio with the SKYTRAC products, adds up to a powerful connectivity offering for the international business aviation market. We’re excited to work with SD to bring our products to a much wider audience.”


THALES

Vantis and Thales Partner to Build Nation’s First Statewide BVLOS Network

Vantis, North Dakota’s Statewide Unmanned Aircraft Systems Network, has selected a long-term systems integrator to build out this groundbreaking UAS, or drone, infrastructure across the state. Thales, a global technology leader, was one of three aviation giants providing engineering and integration services being evaluated to enable BVLOS UAS flights on Vantis. A state selection committee made up of members from the North Dakota Department of Commerce and Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), which administers Vantis, selected Thales as the long-term systems integrator for Vantis design, operations and maintenance.

“We’re excited for the next phase of our partnership with Thales,” said James Cieplak, program manager of Vantis. “They were chosen not only because of their outstanding technical performance and innovative approach to building this system, but because they provide the best long-term value to the state. Thales shares our vision for what a partnership of this magnitude could achieve, and for Vantis as the future of the UAS industry.”

One of the major barriers to commercial UAS flights – package deliveries, infrastructure inspections, search and rescue efforts – is that UAS currently must remain within visual line of sight of the pilot. Vantis is a State of North Dakota-funded technology infrastructure that uses radar, radios, and other communications equipment on towers distributed throughout the state to provide command, control, and situational awareness to UAS pilots flying aircraft within the network’s coverage area. With Vantis, UAS pilots can see and avoid obstacles and fly safely at a distance – which means commercial UAS flights that are economically feasible and scalable to the size of business.

“North Dakota continues to be the nation’s proving ground for the testing, training and commercialization of unmanned aircraft systems, and this partnership with Thales to build out the first-of-its-kind Vantis statewide network will help cement our state’s reputation as a UAS leader,” said North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who chairs the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority. “Our state’s nearly $50 million investment in this groundbreaking technology is attracting companies, jobs and entrepreneurs and diversifying our economy for the benefit of all North Dakotans.”

As the systems integration partner for Vantis, Thales will deploy new communications and surveillance infrastructure in phases across the state. This infrastructure will be supported by a Mission and Network Operations Center (MNOC) that uses the State of North Dakota’s fiber optic telecommunications network along with robust digital services deployed on cloud-based infrastructure to support operational resilience.

Vantis infrastructure has been installed at key sites in western North Dakota, where testing is currently underway. Testing standards were developed in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure they are rigorous, do not interfere with existing manned aviation operations, and to prove the safety and reliability of Vantis moving forward. Currently, approvals to fly BVLOS must be obtained directly from the FAA on an individual basis. Working with the FAA as the Vantis network is built out and proven will enable any operator who flies on the network to receive the appropriate approvals to facilitate true BVLOS flights – something that does not exist at this scale anywhere in the country.

“BVLOS operations are the greatest economic driver for sustained commercial UAS use-cases and, until now, there hasn’t been any common, or shared-use, infrastructure to support routine BVLOS operations,” said Todd Donovan, Vice President, Airspace Mobility Solutions, Americas, Thales. “Ultimately, the approach for unmanned systems with Vantis in North Dakota will likely shape how we approach UAS integration more broadly.”

As the system matures, Vantis will continue its expansion across the state. The expansion strategy targets areas with existing use cases where commercial interests and capable UAS operators intersect, such as the initial stage in North Dakota’s Bakken oil fields. The second stage of implementation will include the Red River Valley, priming Vantis to support businesses in two of the state’s largest metropolitan areas as well as one of the major agricultural regions in the state. Then, Vantis will begin connecting these major economic powerhouse areas across North Dakota.

“BVLOS flights are the future of UAS. They are how we achieve repeatable, scalable, economically viable commercial UAS services,” said Trevor Woods, interim executive director of NPUASTS. “Vantis, through our partnership with Thales USA, is making that future a reality. We’re building the blueprint for commercial BVLOS flights across the country.”


IATA

Mehmet T. Nane, CEO of Pegasus Airlines, has been appointed Chair of the IATA Board of Governors at The International Air Transport Association’s 77th Annual General Assembly, to commence his term in June 2022. Mehmet T. Nane, who will serve as the first Turkish Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, will commence his term at the 78th Annual General Assembly to be held in Shanghai on 19-21 June 2022, succeeding the current Chair of the Board of Governors Robin Hayes. Mehmet T. Nane will serve until the conclusion of the 79th Annual General Assembly in 2023. With this appointment, Mehmet T. Nane will also become a Member of the IATA’s Chair Committee and this Chair Committee Membership will last three terms as an elected, active and former Chair of the Board of Governors.


OTHER NEWS

Stay up on this airplane –  Widebody Challenger: The CRAIC CR929 Is Now Under Production – YouTube Russia and China are building it!

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has named Kent D. Craver to lead the company’s marketing activities, effective today.

As Senior Director, Kent will shape the company’s marketing efforts with responsibility for Panasonic Avionics’ global brand, and digital marketing transformation, with the goal of becoming the world’s leading brand for delivering an extraordinary passenger in-flight experience.

He will lead a global, multi-disciplinary team including the Brand, Marketing, Digital Marketing and Market Analysis groups. Kent will report to Andy Masson, Panasonic Avionics’ Vice President of Product and Portfolio Management.

Andy Masson, Vice President of Product Management, said, “Kent has a proven track record in delivering results in customer engagement, brand management and passenger experience. I am confident he will be a valuable addition to Panasonic Avionics and I am delighted to welcome him to our team.”

Kent has over 25 years of experience in the aviation industry. For 12 years, he was Regional Director – Cabin Experience and Revenue Analysis at Boeing Commercial Airplanes. His responsibilities included identifying passenger preferences and airline requirements, using that information to guide product development and helping carriers configure their aircraft to maximize profitability.

He joined Boeing in 2007 from Continental Airlines, where he managed Onboard Product Marketing and Research, with the responsibility for developing and maintaining the branding and customer experience aspects of the carrier’s onboard products.

Kent Craver said, “Panasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity provider. I’m excited to be leading the marketing team as we evolve the company’s brand to reflect the way it is transforming the passenger experience.”

An active participant and speaker in various industry forums, Kent also served two separate terms as president of the World Airline Entertainment Association (now APEX). He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.


NetForecast

NetForecast, a leading provider of Internet performance measurement services, has named Mary Rogozinksi Director of Aviation Business DevelopmentMary has been a leader in the inflight entertainment and communications industry for over 30 years. In her new role, Mary is responsible for strategy, marketing, sales, and account managementworking with airlines, inflight connectivity providers, business aviation partners, and other transportationrelated companies to improve the passenger WiFi experience. NetForecast recently unveiled its QMap® Inflight Internet Experience Monitoring service, which continuously measures the passenger WiFi experience from personal electronic devices, and reports on endtoend network experience quality in near realtime.

As current Chair of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Connectivity Working Group (CWG)Mary leads the effort to document metrics for measuring the inflight connectivity passenger experience. Through her work at United, SmartSky, and Gogo, she was instrumental in introducing inflight connectivity to airlines, and helped launch the service on American, Alaska, and AirTran Airways. Mary has been actively involved in the inflight entertainment and connectivity industry throughout her careerShe served as Director on the APEX Boardis a member of the Leadership Team for the APEX Technology Committee, and is a longstanding member and formeChair of the APEX Thought Leadership Committee. She has also served as President of APEX.

According to Rebecca Wetzel, NetForecastPresident: NetForecast is delighted to welcome Mary Rogozinski to our team. Her deep understanding of the aviation industry and her longstanding commitment to improving the passenger experience make her the perfect fit for our mission to improve the Internet experience for aircraft passengers.

NetForecast is a privately held company headquartered in Charlottesville VA. Its customers provide Internet service to over 62 percent of the nation’s broadband Internet subscribers.


SATCOM DIRECT

Satcom Direct (SD) has confirmed successful functioning of the Plane Simple™ Antenna System during a series of transatlantic and European validation flights. In more than sixteen hours of testing amassed during a three-day mission, the tail-mounted, Ku-band Plane Simple Antenna System demonstrated its compatibility with the Intelsat FlexExec satellite network. Seamless data transmission was supported by the SD ecosystem of hardware, software, and terrestrial infrastructure, as it delivered consistent data streaming across multiple devices.

The SD Gulfstream G350 flight, confirmed the reliability of the new hardware, which has been developed specifically for business aviation. Constant data transmission verified the terminal’s functionality across the Intelsat FlexExec network, stressed the system, and proved its capabilities across a range of aerial dynamics. The flight transitioned between three satellites on the Intelsat network as the aircraft flew along the east coast of the USA, across the North Atlantic, and on to Ireland, before returning back to base in Melbourne, FL.

The beam transmission was flawless as more than 29 GB of data was transmitted during the flight trials across Intelsat’s multi-layered, redundant, high-throughput satellite network. The SDR® Gateway router supported Wi-Fi distribution to numerous personal electronic devices in the cabin, enabling multiple streaming applications, video conferencing calls, and Live-TV, to be simultaneously active.

“This heralds a new era for business aviation as it confirms SD has successfully developed a powerful hardware system that supports unparalleled connectivity services from a single source supplier. Contacting just one company for all connectivity needs streamlines the ownership experience, enhances customer support, and demystifies the complexity of aviation connectivity,” says President of Satcom Direct Business Aviation, Chris Moore. “The results prove that SD can support high-definition data streams for numerous on-board users concurrently and demonstrates that we remain committed to optimizing the possibilities delivered by the digitization of aviation.”

The Plane Simple Antenna System delivers a number of firsts to the business aviation sector. It consists of only two LRUs, an antenna and a modem, both of which are easy to access, enabling seamless upgrade paths and maintenance. The modem is positioned in the unpressurized part of the aircraft which also returns valuable stowage space to the passenger and crew.

SD is now working on generating commercial Supplemental Type Certificates to support Plane Simple installations. It is anticipated the first will be for Falcon 2000 owners, with others to follow by the end of the year to support business, military, and government aviation customers.

The tail-mounted Plane Simple Ku-band antenna is the first in a series being developed by SD in partnership with Germany-based QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme GmbH, a worldwide market leader in innovative aeronautical antennas. Once activated it will support the Intelsat FlexExec Ku-band service, which has been designed as the only airtime service dedicated exclusively for business aviation.


BOEING

The Boeing Company announced the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), excluding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, effective Sept. 30.

Ghata-Aura, who is returning to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, will be based in Dubai. He will be responsible for leading all company-wide activities and developing and implementing strategies for a region that is home to some of Boeing’s largest commercial, defense and services customers.

Ghata-Aura, who previously served as the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, will oversee the company’s new business and industrial partnership opportunities, safety and sustainability efforts, government affairs and corporate citizenship. He also will oversee Boeing’s efforts to expand its presence and strengthen its relationships with customers and other stakeholders in the region.

Ghata-Aura succeeds Bernie Dunn, who is leaving Boeing after more than nine years with the company in the region.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Kuljit Ghata-Aura as the new president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Kuljit brings a wealth of experience to the role from many of Boeing’s most important markets and businesses, including the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region, where he has spent considerable time. I look forward to working with Kuljit to drive further growth in the region,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president, Boeing International. “We thank Bernie for his great contribution to the growth of Boeing’s presence in the META region over the last seven years and wish him well for the future.”

Boeing’s presence in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa goes back several decades. Boeing has offices in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, South Africa, Egypt, Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The company also has several industrial and academic partnerships in the region. Today, the region is one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial airplane markets, and its defense needs are rapidly expanding.

“I am delighted to return to the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region in this significant leadership role and rejoin my colleagues as we continue to focus on partnering with all stakeholders in one of the fastest-growing and important markets for the company in META. Boeing has a strong presence in the region and there continues to be unique opportunities. We are, and continue to be, committed to working closely with the civil aviation and defense authorities and our customers to help achieve the region’s aerospace ambitions and objectives,” said Ghata-Aura.

Ghata-Aura joined Boeing in 2010 and has held several leadership roles for the company in Europe, Russia, Israel, India and the META region. In addition to being the regional counsel for Boeing India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for almost six years, Ghata-Aura also held the role of director of market development for UAE from 2015-16. Prior to joining Boeing, Ghata-Aura was a partner at a large international firm practicing cross border mergers and acquisitions. He is a graduate of Oxford University.

Also From Boeing:

In observance of Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S., Boeing  announced a $1 million donation to organizations supporting Hispanic and Latinx communities. The investment package will fund 28 organizations working to strengthen appreciation for Hispanic and Latinx history and culture, increase STEM education curriculum in underserved schools, advance Latinx-focused leadership and workforce development programs and diversify the aerospace talent pipeline.

“We celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans every year from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, but partnering in a practical way to support these communities every day can be life-changing,” said Susan Doniz, Boeing’s chief information officer, senior vice president of Information Technology & Data Analytics and executive sponsor of Boeing Familia, the company’s Hispanic and Latinx business resource group. “This grant will empower students, artists and families to tap into their creativity and turn possibility into reality, which not only has the power to transform communities, but also industries – and the world.”

The funding package includes support for the following organizations with a national focus:

  • $300K: Hispanic Heritage Foundation – funding to develop a new program called Engineering on the Fast Track to introduce aerospace engineering concepts to underrepresented students across the country, based on its popular Coding as a Second Language program; and sponsorship of a new STEM category for the Hispanic Heritage Awards to honor the Latina NASA scientists working on the Mars Rover Mission
  • $100K: Great Minds in STEM – funding will support the Viva Technology program which engages K-12 Latinx students, teachers and parents in STEM challenges
  • $50K: National Association of Latino Arts and Culture – funding will support artists, projects, and organizations working to address challenges in urban and rural Latinx communities across the U.S.
  • $25K: Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – funding to support the Pre-College and Community College Conference to provide parents and community college student members with the knowledge, resources and network they need to successfully transfer to four year universities
  • Boeing’s contribution will also fund an additional 24 organizations providing support across 11 states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington.

A full list of partners receiving grants can be found here.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is energized to partner with The Boeing Company, not only to recognize amazing Latina engineers like Christina Hernandez, Clara O’Farrell and Diana Trujillo, but also to inspire many more engineers through our new STEM initiative, Engineering on the Fast Track for Latino youth across the country,” said Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

“In addition, Boeing will be the exclusive sponsor of this year’s STEM Category at the Hispanic Heritage Awards where we will highlight three incredible and talented Latinas who are currently working on the MARS Rover Mission and demonstrating that anything is truly possible, whether here on earth or on another planet. Christina Hernandez, Clara O’Farrell and Diana Trujillo truly exemplify leadership in every way by proving that dreams can come true.”


OTHER NEWS

CRYSTAL CABIN

As part of the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2021, the Crystal Cabin Awards in the special categories “Clean and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award” have been presented for the first time. French cabin interiors specialist Safran won over the international expert jury in both categories. The two special categories were developed by a task force of jury members in response to the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on aviation worldwide. 2022 is expected to see the leading international industry prize take place in person again as part of the key global trade show, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, drawing the who’s who of the commercial aviation industry to Hamburg as it regularly does.

“Clean & Safe Air Travel” is targeted at innovations for aircraft in the areas of health, hygiene, safety, and cleanliness. The “Judges’ Choice Award” has been designed for entries that would otherwise have been submitted in one of the eight regular categories, including Cabin Systems and In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity. These two special categories were developed by a task force of the Crystal Cabin Award Association, which is led by Hamburg Aviation, in collaboration with members of the expert jury, spread over four continents. For the first time, five finalists were shortlisted per category, rather than three. The awards ceremony for the eight main categories of this globally recognized prize for cabin innovations and on-board products was also broadcast in TV format in March 2021. For the virtual presentation of awards in the two new special categories, the digital Aircraft Interiors Expo on 15 September represented the ideal setting.

Hygiene concepts for the aircraft cabin competed neck-and-neck in the “Clean and Safe Air Travel” category. In the end, Safran Cabin took the honors with its “Beacon Clean Lavatory”. This innovative bathroom concept represented the company’s response to increased passenger hygiene expectations, combining antibacterial surfaces with hands-free features. Speaking from Hamburg’s ZAL Center for Applied Aeronautical Research, Carsten Laufs, Vice President Product and Innovation Management of Crystal Cabin partner Diehl Aviation congratulated the winners.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat, a leader in global mobile satellite communications,  announced the launch of its innovative new OneFi customer experience platform for airlines. The first-of-its-kind solution will serve as a catalyst to monetize inflight connectivity by bringing a host of onboard services together within a single portal interface, which passengers can easily access using their own personal devices.

OneFi delivers a rich airline-branded digital platform to enhance the passenger experience onboard flights. It allows passengers to order food and beverages, purchase seat upgrades, receive the latest flight and destination information, and sign-up to the airline’s frequent flyer programs, all in real-time from the comfort of their seat. In addition, passengers can browse the internet, stream videos and audio, shop online and enjoy other e-commerce offerings, using high-speed inflight broadband that airlines could choose to offer free-of-charge, funded through OneFi’s sponsorship and advertising features.

The launch of OneFi comes at a critical time for airlines, with the global pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences. Inmarsat’s recent 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimize their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence. In addition, out of the 10,000 respondents worldwide, 41% believed inflight Wi-Fi had increased in importance after the pandemic.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “For many years, Inmarsat has advocated the vast commercial opportunities of inflight connectivity. However, until now, airlines have struggled to realize the full potential of the business model. OneFi is a step change for those looking to monetize their Wi-Fi services and ensure they keep pace with evolving passenger needs. It will empower a digital transformation in the cabin, which is especially important at this critical time for the aviation industry.

“OneFi allows airlines to improve their brand experience and secure passenger loyalty, with the flexibility to incorporate their own services and use existing and new partners, such as content providers, advertisers and retailers. We are in advanced discussions with leading airlines about adopting this innovative new platform and expect to see a rollout with our first OneFi customer by the end of this year.”

In recent years, airlines have continued to increase their focus on unlocking new revenue streams through broadband-enabled ancillary services. The market for digital inflight advertising alone is forecast to grow from $266 million today to $3.3 billion by 2030, representing a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.9% between 2020 and 2030, according to Valour Consulting. The launch of OneFi is a significant step in turning that untapped commercial opportunity into a reality.

What truly sets OneFi apart is its industry grade targeting features, media inventory and calls-to-action that are made available to the airline and its partners. These ensure that content is contextual and relevant to the individual passenger. It also enables partners to engage in more meaningful ways with passengers and boost sales lead generation rates. The platform’s intuitive, user-friendly interface will enable airlines to boost passenger take-up rates and create a frictionless funnel to purchase.

In addition, OneFi is network agnostic and uses open architecture, meaning it can integrate with any technology infrastructure and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) used by airlines, ensuring a uniform experience across mixed aircraft fleets. The platform is also scalable, giving airline customers the flexibility to add new third-party services over time and helping to future proof their onboard offering.

Inmarsat is transforming global aviation by bringing complete connectivity to aircraft and flight paths across the world. It recently unveiled plans for ORCHESTRA, the communications network of the future, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering. ORCHESTRA allows capacity to be boosted in high-density areas such as at airports, eliminating congested network ‘hot spots’ and ensuring the connectivity needs of aviation customers are met well into the future, with capacity scaled directly to match their requirements.


LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS

Lufthansa Systems will welcome around 500 participants to the 14th edition of the Airline Forum, one of the industry’s leading airline IT user community conferences. The airline IT provider is bringing together about 80 airlines from across the globe who use its Ground Operations and Commercial Solutions. During this year’s edition of the Airline Forum, entitled “Back in the sky,” the user community will continue its dialogue in a fully virtual environment in which attendees will learn about forward-looking solutions and pioneering technologies for managing dynamic market situations.

Olivier Krueger and Dr. Thomas Wittmann, both CEOs of Lufthansa Systems, will kick off the event with their opening remarks, welcoming speakers from Air Canada, Avianca Holdings, Cathay Pacific Airways, Eurowings, GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes, Lufthansa and Trans States Holdings. Participants will be able to put together their own individual programs by choosing from a range of 48 presentations and workshops spread over the two days of the event.

“The world is changing, and the aviation industry is constantly facing new challenges. Thanks to our close partnership with our customers, we understand how this dynamic environment affects their business,” said Olivier Krueger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “We greatly value this mutual exchange with and within the community and consider it vital to the successful recovery and sustainable future of our industry.”

Latest developments unveiled for Lufthansa Systems’ NetLine and Commercial Solutions

The Airline Forum will break new ground by showcasing Lufthansa Systems’ latest developments covering ground operations and commercial management processes.

In keeping with the NetLine vision of “together we connect to make the best decision ahead of time,” Lufthansa Systems is pointing the way to a future of connected, cloud-native software. From network and schedule planning, through codeshare, crew and load management, to operations control, NetLine improves productivity and speeds up decision-making, rollout and execution, increasing revenue and reducing costs.

The NetLine/HubDesigner was developed in response to the current market situation, where demand and the competitive landscape are subject to dynamic and sweeping change. The solution uses AI to create the best (multi-)hub network at an unmatched speed. Changed schedules also mean changed codeshare connections. SchedConnect helps airlines manage their codeshare operations by automating connection building and schedule exchange. Another critical bottleneck in ramping up and down networks is crews and their qualifications. Lufthansa Systems has developed a new Qualification and Training Management module for NetLine/Crew to always have up-to-date information on the certification state of cockpit and cabin crews and plan qualification and re-qualification in due time.

Lufthansa Systems has also designed sophisticated solutions that perfectly support revenue management and pricing processes, the cornerstones of an airline’s commercial strategy. The ProfitLine/Price fare management solution helps airlines keep fares profitable and competitive, while the Revenue Integrity software keeps the inventory up to date.

“Lufthansa Systems has 25 years of experience in building forward-looking IT solutions and is committed to helping airlines move forward,” said Dr. Thomas Wittmann, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “Airlines benefit from our scalable solutions that enable our customers to better cope with volatile demand through automation, optimization, and data-driven decision-making.”


MORGAN-STANLEY

The White House aims to advance the future of sustainable fuels in American aviation. Last week, the Biden Administration published a factsheet on the future of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), targeting carbon neutrality in the aviation sector by 2050. The new initiative aims to produce 3 bn gallons of sustainable fuel, reduce aviation emissions by 20% by 2030, and grow good-paying union jobs. Today, aviation (including all non-military flights within and departing from the U.S.) represents ~11% of United States transportation-related emissions. Due to this, and the increased focus on sustainability throughout the industry, several airlines have already made commitments to ramp up the use of SAF and advance sustainability across their operations: United (UAL) announced a new goal to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 50% compared to 2019 by 2035 and also committed to purchasing 1.5bn gallons of SAF over the next 20 years from Alder Fuels, Delta (DAL) committed to replacing 10% of its current jet fuel use with SAFs from 3 producers (Neste, Gevo, and Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels), American (AAL) plans to procure 10 million gallons of SAF from Prometheus Fuels by 2025, Alaska (ALK) offers the purchase of SAF to offset corporate travel on key routes, Southwest (LUV) is partnering with the National Renewable Energy Lab, and JetBlue (JBLU) is committed to electric and hydrogen aircraft development. We generally see the industry as broad beneficiaries from both increased fuel efficiencies as well as more commercially viable solutions for fuel.


BOEING

The Boeing Company named Ziad S. Ojakli as the company’s executive vice president of government operations effective October 1, 2021.

In this role, Ojakli will lead Boeing’s public policy efforts, serve as chief lobbyist for the global enterprise, and oversee Boeing Global Engagement, the company’s global philanthropic organization. He will report to Boeing President and CEO David Calhoun and will serve on the company’s Executive Council. In this role, Ojakli succeeds Marc Allen, Boeing’s Chief Strategy Officer, who has served as interim executive vice president of Government Operations since this past June.

“Ziad is a proven executive with an impressive track record of leading public policy and government relations operations for global companies,” said Calhoun. “His broad experience serving in executive roles in government and the private sector will contribute to our engagement with our stakeholders as we continue our focus on safety, quality and transparency, and transforming our company for the future. I also want to thank Marc Allen for his impactful leadership of our Government Operations organization in recent months as it has continued to advance our company’s policy priorities.”

Ojakli joins Boeing following a successful and diverse career in senior global government relations roles in the automotive and finance industries in addition to serving within the White House administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush.

Most recently, Ojakli served as the managing partner and senior vice president of Softbank from 2018-20, where he created and led the investment company’s first global government affairs operation in support of all legislative, regulatory and political matters for the company. Prior to joining Softbank, Ojakli spent 14 years at Ford Motor Company as group vice president, where he led a global team that amplified the company’s core business objectives and managed interactions with governments in 110 markets around the world. In that role, he also directed Ford’s philanthropic arm devoted to supporting global causes.

Previously, Ojakli served in the White House as Principal Deputy for Legislative Affairs for President George W. Bush from 2001-04. Earlier, Ojakli was Chief of Staff and Policy Director for U.S. Senator Paul Coverdell and he began his career in the office of U.S. Senator Dan Coats.

Ojakli currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. and he is a board member of The Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Ojakli holds a bachelor’s degree in American Government from Georgetown University.


AVOLON

Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, announces a partnership with Gol, Brazil’s largest airline and Grupo Comporte, Brazil’s leading transport operator, to commercialize an eVTOL ride sharing platform in Brazil.

Avolon, Gol and Grupo Comporte will collaborate to identify and target local partners, infrastructure and certification requirements across a range of commercial models, launching one of the world’s first eVTOL ride sharing businesses. As part of the agreement, Gol and Grupo Comporte has committed to purchase or lease up to 250 VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft.

The VA-X4, manufactured by Vertical Aerospace, will be the most advanced and safest eVTOL in the market on its introduction in 2024. Avolon is a launch customer for the aircraft which can transport four passengers and one pilot distances of 100 miles at up to 200 miles per hour. eVTOLs are central to the future of transport. They introduce the ultra-short-haul aircraft category to commercial aviation and will revolutionize air travel with VA-X4 zero emissions aircraft.

This announcement means Avolon already has commitments for over half of its order for 500 VA-X4 aircraft which was announced in June 2021.


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC & THINKOM

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics)announced the launch of a new, next-generation Ku-band antenna, which will be developed in partnership with ThinKom Solutions, Inc.

The newly designed ThinAir® builds upon ThinKom’s flight proven, VICTS (Variable Inclination Continuous Transverse Stub) technology. It will be offered by Panasonic Avionics to its airline customers for both line-fit and retrofit installations, with first deliveries occurring in 2023.

The antenna will connect aircraft with Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network of high-speed, high-bandwidth Ku-band satellites, which place capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers.

The new highly efficient and low-profile antenna offers airlines a wide range of advantages. These include support for both LEO (low earth orbit) and GEO (geostationary orbit) satellite networks, higher speed throughput, greater aerodynamic efficiency, gate-to-gate operations, and reduced operating costs.

Jeff Sare, Vice President of In-Flight Connectivity Solutions at Panasonic Avionics, said, “Panasonic is committed to delivering seamless, scalable, and future-proofed in-flight connectivity to our airline customers and their passengers. Our new antenna offering with ThinKom is an integral part of our network and will allow airlines to access both current and future satellite constellations.”
Panasonic Avionics offers global high-speed connectivity service everywhere commercial aircraft fly and has over 210 regulatory approvals across the globe. Its network consists of high-throughput (HTS) and extreme throughput (XTSTM) satellite technologies that provide the best end-user experience possible.

“This agreement with Panasonic Avionics is an important validation of our VICTS phased array antennas, which are designed to seamlessly roam on both LEO and GEO networks, delivering unparalleled flexibility and resiliency to ensure the highest level of bandwidth services and availability to airline customers,” stated Mark Silk, President of ThinKom Solutions, Inc.

“The combination of our VICTS technology and Panasonic Avionics’ experience and commitment to in-flight entertainment and connectivity provides an extremely compelling value proposition to commercial airlines, both today and in the future.”

Over 2,300 aircraft are now connected to Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network, which supports improved airline and passenger experiences including faster internet, video streaming and greater bandwidth for crew applications. Over 3,750 aircraft from various airline customers are currently committed to Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight connectivity services.


BLUEBOX WOW & QANTAS

Bluebox Wow wireless IFE to be deployed on all jet aircraft in QantasLink fleet

Travelers flying the network of cities and regional destinations across Australia served by QantasLink, the regional airline for the Qantas Group, can soon enjoy free wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) on board.
Bluebox Aviation Systems has been selected by QantasLink to deploy its Bluebox Wow W-IFE system on QantasLink’s fleet, initially on Airbus A320 aircraft, then expanding to its Fokker F100, Boeing 717, and Alliance Airlines’ Embraer E190 aircraft. The Bluebox Wow system will enhance the regional airline’s service on board, providing entertainment content directly to passenger devices over a captive wireless network.
Bluebox Aviation Systems has been selected by QantasLink to deploy its Bluebox Wow W-IFE system on QantasLink’s fleet, initially on Airbus A320 aircraft, then expanding to its Fokker F100, Boeing 717, and Alliance Airlines’ Embraer E190 aircraft. The Bluebox Wow system will enhance the regional airline’s service on board, providing entertainment content directly to passenger devices over a captive wireless network.
The IFE content will include movies, TV, audio books and podcasts. Access to the Bluebox Wow system will be integrated with the Qantas Entertainment app to help facilitate a seamless flight-to-flight IFE experience, but will also be available app-free with simple browser access for anyone who does not have the Qantas Entertainment app loaded on their device.
The Bluebox Wow aircraft-powered option will be deployed, which will also have fully-automated PA Pause functionality. This is provided and fitted via an EASA STC, recently awarded for the A320 Family aircraft and which will be modified for use on the other aircraft in QantasLink’s fleet.
“Recently receiving our STC on the Airbus A320 Family for our aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Wow system, and now being able to announce Qantas’ selection of Bluebox Wow for its QantasLink network, are two exciting and very positive milestones for us to mark as our industry begins to emerge from the global pandemic,” said David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox. “It’s not insignificant either that we’re demonstrating that our W-IFE systems can replicate offerings of traditional aircraft avionics-based installed systems and proving the value of low-cost W-IFE systems across larger fleets. Just as Bluebox Wow expanded the market for IFE in its original battery-operated form, we’ll now see it capture more of the W-IFE market, given its lower cost of deployment and digital platform scope for everything from entertainment to touch-free retail and to even more as digital in-flight services develop.”
Bluebox Wow is a discrete, lunchbox-sized unit, typically stowed securely in overhead bins. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, it provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and other digital content. These services can be offered to passengers on a complimentary basis or paid for via payment card or voucher access with no cabin crew interaction required. Bluebox also offers onboard retail services, including the ability to order and pay for products and services via passenger devices with full inventory synchronization, in parallel to traditional sales from galley carts via cabin crew point-of-sale devices. In addition to onboard touch-free sales, Bluebox’s retail solutions also enable pre-paid (booking path) purchases.
With battery- and aircraft-powered versions of Bluebox Wow, the linefit option for Bluebox’s W-IFE platform available on Airbus OSP and retrofit on traditional avionics grade hardware, Bluebox’s range of hardware options for its digital in-flight platform ensures the greatest choice and flexibility are available to customers, especially those with different aircraft types and fleets of any size. This also means that Bluebox can deploy a consistent customer experience across a fleet – whether that be to provide more traditional entertainment content, offer food & beverage or retail sales on board or through the passenger journey, or deliver other innovative services designed to engage passengers and build customer loyalty as well as increase ancillary revenue.

BOEING

  • Aircraft Lessor Griffin Global Asset Management Orders Five Boeing 737-8 Jets
  • The Los Angeles- and Dublin-based aircraft leasing company places its first direct order with Boeing
  • With the Griffin order, customers have placed 529 gross orders for the 737 MAX family in 2021

Boeing and Griffin Global Asset Management announced the aircraft lessor is expanding its commercial aircraft portfolio with five new 737-8 jets. The purchase is Griffin’s first direct order with Boeing as it sees strategic opportunities to place the airplanes during the market recovery.

“As market conditions rebound, we are finding opportunities to serve our airline customers in innovative ways. An important component of this strategy is providing balanced capacity that meets returning passenger demand. The 737-8 is well-positioned to support this objective, and this order lays a strong foundation for more to come with Boeing and Griffin on future opportunities,” said Ryan McKenna, founder and CEO of Griffin.

Designed and built in Renton, Washington, the 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes they replace. The 737-8 seats up to 189 passengers and can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers. Every 737 MAX features the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.

“Griffin Global Asset Management is building a first-class aircraft leasing business, and we are delighted that they have selected the 737-8 for their single-aisle portfolio. As Griffin places its first direct order with Boeing, we welcome them to the 737 family and look forward to working with the team in the future,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.

As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Learn more at www.boeing.com .
Backed by Bain Capital Credit, Griffin provides commercial aircraft leasing and alternative asset management with offices in Dublin and Los Angeles. The team is staffed by experienced aviation professionals who work closely with airlines, aircraft manufacturers and investors to provide custom fleet solutions and innovative financing products to airlines around the world.

More Boeing News:

Boeing named Matt Welch as vice president of Investor Relations. Welch will succeed Maurita Sutedja, who has accepted an opportunity outside of Boeing following more than a decade of leadership within several finance roles at Boeing. Welch’s appointment is effective immediately.

Welch will lead Boeing’s interactions with the investment community, providing shareholders and financial analysts timely, accurate and transparent information on the company’s market environment, business, performance and outlook.

Welch is a seasoned leader with more than 20 years of deep financial experience across Boeing’s operations. Currently serving as vice president of Revenue Management at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Welch has held several roles of increasing responsibility, including in Investor Relations; Financial Planning and Analysis; and program finance


OTHER NEWS

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) is enhancing its in-flight mobile connectivity offering through a strategic partnership with GigSky, a global mobility provider based in Silicon Valley, California.

The partnership between Panasonic Avionics, its subsidiary AeroMobile and GigSky enables any eSIM-equipped mobile phone user to enjoy their in-flight mobile connectivity service—regardless of network operator—on selected airlines and flights. By downloading the award-winning GigSky app prior to departure, passengers can effortlessly pay for and access a daily connectivity pass.

Kevin Rogers, Senior Director, Mobile Services at Panasonic Avionics, said, “Digital innovation is at the forefront of everything we do at Panasonic Avionics. Our collaboration with GigSky marks our first eSIM partnership and enables us to enhance and bring more choice to the passenger experience. With GigSky’s support of our mobile services platform, passengers can connect their mobile phones across the globe regardless of which network provider they are with, replicating on-the-ground integrated connectivity in the skies.

Ravi Rishy-Maharaj, Founder and CEO at GigSky, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Panasonic Avionics to bring a first of its kind service to airlines and passengers. Through the GigSky app, we now offer data services in the air, land and sea with our partners. With the addition of an inflight plan, customers can stay connected at their destination – and in between destinations – truly enabling an always-online, always-connected experience, anywhere they go.”


INMARSAT

  • Inmarsat ELERA will be a catalyst for the next wave of world-changing technologies and is ideally suited for the Internet of Things and the billions of devices that are being connected every year
  • Inmarsat ELERA builds on the company’s global leadership in L-band satellite services with breakthrough technologies that will deliver unparalleled L-band speeds and the smallest, low-cost user terminals, underpinned by Inmarsat’s record for reliability, resilience and availability
  • Inmarsat ELERA will help ensure the world works better for decades to come, by delivering vital services already trusted by businesses and governments worldwide to drive operational efficiency and effectiveness, while protecting people, assets, data and our environment
  • ELERA will be a key component of Inmarsat ORCHESTRA, a world first network that will combine GEO, LEO and 5G into one harmonious solution

In its second major announcement in two weeks, Inmarsat is unveiling Inmarsat ELERA; a global narrowband network that is ideally suited to the rapidly evolving world of the Internet of Things (IoT) and for global mobility customers, including aviation, maritime, governments and select enterprises.

“ELERA is perfectly suited to the needs of the connected IoT world,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO, Inmarsat. “Global reach, extraordinary resilience, faster speeds, smaller and lower cost terminals are all part of ensuring that we remain ahead of others in meeting the needs of our customers.”
“ELERA is a further sign of a company with true momentum and one that is delivering new innovations and strong performance,” continued Suri. “I expect that Inmarsat will grow strongly in 2021 compared to the previous year, and that growth will span most of our business units. Our progress was evident in the first half, where we saw strong growth in revenue and EBITDA and robust cash flow. We have sharpened our strategy to focus on driving growth, accelerate decision making, launch new innovations, and are creating a more commercially focused, customer-centric culture.”

ELERA builds on Inmarsat’s #1 position in Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) and will be a springboard for innovation, unlocking, accelerating and scaling pioneering use cases on land, at sea and in the air. Its foundation is Inmarsat’s world class L-band network and incorporates new innovations ranging from higher speeds to smaller, low cost terminals and [the previously announced] Inmarsat-6 satellites, the first of which (I-6 F1) is scheduled to launch before the end of the year.
Coming just 14 days after Inmarsat announced ORCHESTRA, the world’s first network to combine GEO, LEO and 5G into one harmonious global communications solution, ELERA underlines Inmarsat’s strategic focus on the global mobility segment of satellite communications. It is also a signal of a company with momentum, delivering major technological innovations and growth.

The unique capabilities of ELERA, combined with Inmarsat’s superior spectrum and the ideally suited orbital position of its satellite networks, will make it the essential catalyst for new IoT use cases, across everything from autonomous transport and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to industrial and agricultural IoT applications.

ELERA is built on Inmarsat’s market leading L-band network, which already delivers the world’s most reliable and flexible global connectivity service with unique resilience in all conditions and full global redundancy. It supports everything from worldwide maritime and aviation safety services and humanitarian missions to IoT applications across agritech, transportation and utilities, among many others.

The new innovations that the company is investing in to bring to market in the near future include spectrum management technology to deliver L-band speeds up to 1.7Mbps, the smallest footprint, low cost L-band terminal and two new L-band satellites, which are the largest and most sophisticated commercial communication satellites ever created.
The new spectrum management capabilities (known as Carrier Aggregation) being incorporated into the ELERA network will deliver the fastest speeds globally available to L-band customers, far outstripping the capabilities of any other worldwide L-band network.
Live customer trials in commercial aviation are scheduled to start during the course of 2022 and this technology will be rolled out across a range of sector specific applications for Inmarsat’s mobility, government and IoT customers over the coming few years.

ELERA will also see the creation of the smallest footprint, low cost terminal for L-band users, delivering the ideal framework for satcom IoT at scale, with supporting cloud-based management, for vertical sectors such as infrastructure, rail, logistics, mining, agriculture, government, maritime and aviation.

Inmarsat is launching two new satellites to enhance the ELERA network. The I-6 satellites, the first of which is scheduled to launch at the end of 2021, are the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built.

The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will be substantially greater than Inmarsat’s 4th generation spacecraft and, among other enhancements, they will deliver 50% more capacity per beam; meaning that much more data can be carried over the same geographical area, in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility.

ELERA will also deliver a major extension to Inmarsat’s portfolio of voice-enabled devices, bringing new capabilities and innovations to hundreds of thousands of customers. This initiative represents our commitment to voice service innovation and underlines the company’s long-term commitment to the handheld voice services over satellite market.

“ELERA is the exciting vision of how Inmarsat is planning to transform the capabilities offered to IoT and mobility customers for years to come and confirms our long-term commitment to L-band services. We will be sharing further detail on these innovations with our partner community in the coming months and continue our programme of announcements as we achieve major milestones.” said Rajeev Suri, CEO, Inmarsat.
The investments in ELERA are already included in Inmarsat’s current CAPEX plans and guidance.


HAMBURG AVIATION

With climate change progressing, the measures that are currently planned by the aviation industry will be not enough. A new study by Hamburg-based Sustainable Aero Lab maps 40 promising startups in the new field of sustainable aviation.

The overview by Sustainable Aero Lab maps 40 promising startups, clustering sustainable aviation in four technological fields: Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), Electric Propulsion, Hydrogen, and the Digital Backbone. It also looks at global venture capital investment into zero emission tech, a field that has gained significant traction over the last six years, but so far has been shy to connect with the aviation sector, especially when it comes to complex segments such as hydrogen. Yet with a growing attention in all industries to act on climate change and reduce global CO2 emissions, the potential for new players in aviation technology has never been greater.

Sustainable Aero Lab is focused on accelerating startups and has been mentoring startups in each segment outlined in this study since its launch in February 2021. Some of the most prominent experts from all segments of aviation have already joined as mentors.

You can find the entire study by Sustainable Aero Lab, including the startup map and an analysis of venture capital investments into zero-emission tech, on the Lab’s website www.sustainable.aero.


OTHER NEWS

Editor’s Note: It is with much sadness that IFExpress reports the passing of long time IFE professional, Harry Gray. Harry worked in the inflight entertainment realm for 30 years and was the consummate professional, as well as, an extraordinary salesman. But most importantly, he was a great friend. Our hearts go out to the Gray family at this time. Rest in peace Harry, you will be sorely missed.

PANASONIC

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced Singapore Airlines (SIA) as the launch customer for its new Marketplace digital eCommerce platform.

This latest digital solution from Panasonic Avionics enables airlines to introduce a turn-key eCommerce experience onboard. It facilitates in-flight food and beverage ordering, expands storefront retail and duty-free offerings with the ability to present dynamic inventory, and initiates promotions throughout the customer journey, in both connected and non-connected environments.
Marketplace will enable Singapore Airlines’ passengers to experience an omni-channel shopping experience, offered in partnership with the carrier and its KrisShop retail platform, that will be branded eShopping. By using Marketplace, the airline can customize its current retail offering and add future stores to deliver real-time inventory updates to KrisShop.

Panasonic Avionics’ eCommerce platform will enhance the shopping experience for Singapore Airlines’ passengers by enabling them to shop in-flight and browse a hugely expanded choice of around 4,000 products. They will have the choice of delivery directly to their homes or on their next flight.

As an integrated solution, Marketplace enables retail catalogs to be pre-loaded on to the airline’s in-flight entertainment content server. This allows passengers to continually browse regardless of the connectivity status at the time.

Singapore Airlines will roll out the platform across its fleet installed with Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight entertainment solutions and is the latest chapter in their longstanding partnership which first commenced in 1995.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President, Digital Solutions at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “We are thrilled to launch our new Marketplace platform with our longstanding partner Singapore Airlines, whose dedication to pioneering the passenger experience reflects our own.”

“Marketplace marks our latest commitment to revolutionizing and revitalizing the in-flight experience with our growing portfolio of digital solutions, and is an integral part of our efforts to welcome passengers back to the skies.”

Panasonic Avionics has designed Marketplace to enable airlines to customize the passenger experience by route, cabin and destination. For example, different retailer catalogs can be assigned to specific routes and cabins to align the experience to the passenger demographic.

Marketplace incorporates a range of eCommerce analytics tools that enable airlines to continually measure and refine its performance to ensure it meets their passengers’ needs.

Mr. Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Singapore Airlines, said: “E-commerce is the future of shopping, and integrating this feature into our in-flight entertainment system is yet another industry first for SIA. This allows KrisWorld to go beyond movies, television shows, music, and games, and offer customers more of what they want while flying with us. This is part of our unwavering commitment to continuously innovate and enhance our product and service offerings, and augment the travel experience for our customers.”

More News From Panasonic:

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) has launched the world’s first full cabin 4K ultra-high-definition in-flight entertainment (IFE) with Cathay Pacific Airways (Cathay Pacific).

Its market-leading 4K screens are taking to the skies on the airline’s new fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft, incorporating on-demand services with one of the largest movie and TV libraries available on a regional single-aisle aircraft.

The rollout of Panasonic Avionics’ screens will also include Bluetooth audio streaming, enabling Cathay Pacific’s passengers to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters in 4K using their own Bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Panasonic Avionics’ integrated technology delivers the highest quality pixel density of any IFE screen in the skies today, enabling Cathay Pacific’s passengers to enjoy the latest films and box sets in stunning resolution, color depth and contrast.

The new IFE experience will be featured in all cabins on Cathay Pacific’s A321neo fleet. The airline’s economy class seats will feature 11.6-inch personal screens, while business class will feature 15.6-inch personal screens.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics said, “Cathay Pacific has been a strategic and highly valued airline customer of Panasonic Avionics for many years. We are thrilled to help them take their passenger experience to the next level with the introduction of 4K content using our NEXT IFE system.”

“We continue to work tirelessly to develop the highest quality resolution for our seatback screens, and the launch of 4K is the latest milestone in our 40-year long commitment to delivering the world’s best in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

The introduction of 4K IFE marks the latest chapter in Cathay Pacific’s longstanding partnership with Panasonic Avionics, which first commenced in 2007. In addition to introducing its Live Television service in 2016, Panasonic Avionics is the principal provider of in-flight entertainment systems for Cathay Pacific’s fleet of over 130 aircraft.

“We are excited with the launch of the most advanced in-flight entertainment system with our long-term partner, Panasonic Avionics, on our A321neo aircraft,” said Vivian Lo, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Customer Experience and Design. “We’ve always aimed to provide our passengers a comparable entertainment experience as what they would find at home. With the large screens and 4K ultra-high-definition viewing experience, passengers may enjoy our curated premium 4K content with their personal Bluetooth wireless headphones. We are determined to continuously elevate our passengers’ travel experience, and today, we are marking a milestone with our new A321neo fleet.”

The new 4K screens are an integral part of Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT IFE Series, the industry’s most powerful in-flight entertainment system. Incorporating the latest advancements in aircraft architecture, NEXT delivers an augmented cinematic experience and simplified seat integration for every cabin class.

And More News:

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) announced China Eastern Airlines (China Eastern) as the launch customer in China for its in-flight Live Television service.

The service will be rolled out across its entire widebody fleet of Airbus A330, A350 and Boeing B777 and B787 aircraft in the future, initially providing their passengers with unmissable live coverage from major local broadcasters, such as CCTV and CGTN.

Live Television is enabled by Panasonic Avionics’ third-generation (Gen-3) communications network of high speed, high bandwidth Ku-band satellites. The network covers over 99% of all routes, and places capacity where it is most needed to meet the growing needs of airlines and their passengers.

The most recent addition to the Gen-3 network is APSTAR 6D, Panasonic Avionics’ first extreme high throughput satellite, which has significantly boosted satellite capacity over China through teleports which have just gone live in Beijing. This will enable China Eastern, and other airlines based in China and flying over it, to benefit from this enhanced capacity and a range of other in-flight connectivity services.

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “China is a strategically important market for Panasonic Avionics, and we are delighted to welcome China Eastern as the first airline in this market to launch our Live Television service. Their passengers can now stay up to date with global news and sporting events in-flight, taking advantage of the additional satellite capacity we have just invested in over China.”

Panasonic Avionics’ Live Television service offers premium live sports and news events as they unfold, connecting passengers to unmissable on-the-ground entertainment from the comfort of their seats. The integrated service enables passengers to watch their favorite national news channels. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content each day. Over 30 different global sports leagues, federations and unique events will be shown in 2021, including the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 and UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.


ASTRONICS

  • Sales for the quarter were $111.2 million
  • Net loss was $8.1 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA* was $0.4 million
  • Bookings for the quarter continued sequential improvement to $126.3 million; Achieved book-to-bill ratio of 1.14
  • Aerospace segment book-to-bill of 1.32 for the quarter
  • Backlog increased 5% sequentially to $312.7 million

Peter J. Gundermann, the Company’s President and CEO, commented, “Our second quarter was one of slow but steady progress. Our core aerospace markets strengthened as vaccinations took hold and passenger traffic accelerated. We are encouraged by our bookings trend, especially in our Aerospace segment, where we achieved a book-to-bill ratio of 1.32 for the quarter. We expect these bookings will drive higher sales in the second half of 2021.”


THALES

  • Thales Partners with DAS in Fully Supporting Hong Kong International Airport’s Three-Runway System Expansion Project
  • Thales partners with DAS to provide an advanced Instrument Landing System (ILS) solution in fully supporting the Three-runway System (3RS) expansion project at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) helping to further improve the capacity and efficiency of aircraft landing while maintaining the highest standard of flight safety.
  • As one of the most trusted partners, Thales has been providing various critical air navigation service equipment to the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government for over 20 years.
  • Thales state-of-the-art ILS solution has already been implemented in various major international airports worldwide.

BOEING

Boeing announced a $500,000 (equivalent to IDR 7.2 billion) donation from the Boeing Charitable Trust to CARE in support of COVID-19 relief efforts in Indonesia. Funds will be used to increase capacity of local health centers, provide inflatable negative pressure tents and beds to accommodate COVID-19 patients, as well as personal protective equipment kits and food supplements for health care workers.

“Boeing stands by the people of Indonesia as the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant continues to spread across the country, leaving families and communities in desperate need of assistance,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing International. “We are in this fight against COVID-19 together, and Boeing is committed to helping communities respond to this most recent surge in cases. This donation will help save lives and support those impacted the most.”

“As the COVID-19 crisis grows in densely populated areas in Indonesia, CARE’s support to treatment facilities and isolation centers is more critical than ever,” said Bonaria Siahaan, CEO Yayasan CARE Peduli (CARE Indonesia). “We are grateful to our partners at Boeing for joining this enormous effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities.”

Only slightly more than 11% of the Indonesian population has been fully vaccinated against the virus. CARE is currently mobilizing response efforts that include converting health centers into treatment facilities and isolation centers; supporting communities with water and sanitation facilities; and providing nutritional support for vulnerable children under the age of 5. CARE is also ensuring the fair and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region.

As part of the Boeing Gift Match program, the company will match dollar for dollar monetary donations made by Boeing employees to charitable organizations supporting COVID-19 relief in Indonesia. This will extend the reach of assistance being provided to the Indonesian people.

COVID-19 relief efforts in Indonesia align with Boeing’s ongoing commitment to the communities where Boeing employees live and work. Boeing’s presence in Indonesia spans more than 70 years. Over the past decade, Boeing has contributed more than $2.8 million in charitable giving in the country.


OTHER NEWS

AVIATION RECOVERY IMPACTED BY LACK OF GLOBAL SYNCHRONISATION, INDUSTRY LEADERS STATE DURING RECORD-BREAKING VIRTUAL BROADCAST

FlightPlan: C-Suite Week, hosted by Inmarsat and APEX, aired a series of ‘no holds barred’ discussions with the CEOs of Qatar Airways, AirAsia, United Airlines, TAP Air Portugal and IATA

Exclusive interviews were viewed by 6,500 viewers from 80 countries around the world, with thousands more expected to watch the videos on demand

26 JULY 2021: The biggest names in global aviation came together at FlightPlan: C-Suite Week for a series of exclusive ‘no holds barred’ interviews with leading BBC World News reporter Aaron Heslehurst, touching on the most immediate and pressing issues facing air travel in 2021.

The latest edition in the popular FlightPlan online broadcast, developed by Inmarsat Aviation and APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), attracted a record-breaking audience of 6,500 from 80 countries worldwide last week, with thousands more expected to watch the videos on demand.

FlightPlan: C-Suite Week aired interviews on five consecutive days with:

  • Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO, Qatar Airways.
  • Tony Fernandes, CEO and Founder, AirAsia Group.
  • Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines and APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Chair.
  • Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO, TAP Air Portugal.
  • Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA (and former CEO of IAG).

Several pertinent topics were debated during the daily ‘power hour’ broadcasts, including leadership lessons from the industry’s biggest ever crisis, how airline recovery has been stilted by a lack of global synchronization, and the importance of addressing sustainability challenges. The interviews also explored the ability of digitalization to accelerate profitable growth for airlines and meet evolving passenger needs.

Summarizing the event, Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “FlightPlan was launched by Inmarsat and APEX during the very onset of the global pandemic, bringing the global aviation industry together for much needed debates, discussions and direction at a time of great uncertainty.

“The response has been phenomenal, with a combined audience of approximately 17,000 for the first three editions, reinforcing its position as the industry’s biggest virtual broadcast. FlightPlan: C-Suite Week delivered insight into the difficult decisions faced by leaders over the past 18 months. It also uncovered many impressive future-facing initiatives underway – from sustainability to passenger experience – that will not only secure a strong recovery for airlines, but also ensure a bright future for the industry at large.”

Never waste a crisis

FlightPlan’s C-Suite line-up shared valuable leadership lessons from steering their aviation businesses through the COVID-19 travel crisis over the past 18 months. Al Baker shared his biggest learning for leaders: “there should always be a plan B and even sometimes a plan C of how to conduct your business in dire circumstances like the pandemic.”

For Kirby, a major learning has been the critical importance of customer experience. “Many of us in aviation have a new focus and commitment to change the customer experience. To use what we went through – the worst crisis in history – as a transformative moment to really make it better for customers,” he said. Kirby’s ambition is to turn flying into something passengers truly enjoy as part of the journey, “so that their vacation starts the moment they leave the house, instead of once they land at the other side”.

Unilateralism has stilted recovery

Across the board, the interviewees agreed that industry recovery has been stilted by unilateralism and a lack of global synchronization. For Fernandes, co-ordination between different governments “has been a failure… because every country has their own vaccine rules and entry requirements”. Lamenting the lack of standardised policies, he called for closer co-ordination between airlines and airports, noting: “we’re symbiotic; we need each other”.

Walsh echoed the challenges of a siloed international approach: “You would have expected the EU to have corralled everybody together and say, look, ‘we’ve got to demonstrate to everybody now that we are in this together’. That’s probably been the most disappointing thing for me. If we’ve struggled to see a political and a coordinated political response from the EU, I think we’ve no hope of expecting to see a coordinated political response globally.”

Sustainability in aviation

With climate change rapidly rising up the consumer, corporate and policy agenda, sustainability was highlighted as an urgent priority for the airline industry to ensure its right to operate in the future. As OurmieÌres-Widener told viewers: “Our contribution to the future of the climate is key.”

Walsh backed further political focus on environmental performance, noting: “The equipment that we have on aircraft today is so advanced and yet we’re still operating the way we were back in the 1960s. It’s a scandal on environmental grounds and is making our operations so much more inefficient than they could be.” He speculated, “Why isn’t it being done? Because there’s a lack of political will to address the issue.”

Kirby agreed that policies are needed to drive forward ambitious targets, but that “we have to be real about the art of the doable,” noting that Net Zero by 2035 would come at the expense of reliable power supplies. He shared insight on United’s efforts to invest in Boom aircraft that run on sustainable fuel – part of the airline’s commitment to reach Net Zero without carbon offsetting.

Qatar Airways is also underway with its sustainability drive, according to Al Baker, who said: “We are prepared to look after our environment, and this is why we are continuously investing in aeroplanes that are more fuel-efficient.” 

Readiness for digital transformation

OurmieÌres-Widener mused that while the crisis brought many challenges to the industry, it has also confirmed several trends – one being the huge opportunity for airlines that embrace digitiation. She said that the “full digital experience” is no longer just a buzzword, but a reality that airlines need to offer.

Digitization is well underway for AirAsia, too, with data sitting at the heart of Fernandes’ vision to make the brand more than just an airline. “We have much better customer data than Uber,” from credit card to loyalty information, Fernandes explained. His ambition is to make AirAsia “a travel company like Expedia,” encompassing services from currency to grocery delivery. “We’re trying to turn the AirAsia customer on the plane into a customer on the ground, keeping them with us before and after their flight,” he said.

To watch all interviews on demand, visit: flightplan.wavecast.io.


FLIGHTAWARE

FlightAware, the largest global provider of flight information and actionable aviation intelligence, announced the launch of Aviator, the ultimate flight tracking suite for piston airplane pilots and operators.

FlightAware’s Aviator is an inexpensive subscription-based software, accessible via the web and iOS. Any subscriber can register multiple aircraft, including rentals, and unlock indispensable features like Ready To Taxi™, Premium Weather and Map Layers, Surface Visualizations, FBO Scheduling, and ETAs automatically updated via FlightAware’s powerful machine predictive technology, Foresight™.

“Aviator was created by FlightAware pilots to share advanced flight tracking features with other piston airplane pilots. Over the years we’ve gone from flight tracking to becoming the central data hub for both the business and commercial aviation industries. With Aviator, we’re bringing a product with robust tools and processes developed for the most sophisticated flight departments and commercial airlines, right to the GA pilot.” said Daniel Baker, FlightAware CEO.

With Aviator family, friends, and FBOs can receive alerts from preflight and taxi out, through landing and taxi in.

Communications are coordinated as stakeholders stay informed. From surface visualizations displaying taxiing planes and surface movements to comprehensive airborne flight tracks, Aviator also provides monthly history reports for pilots and operators to review critical flight details.


MORGAN STANLEY

Airlines: Corporate Travel Survey 2H2021: US is leading the recovery

High number of Covid cases and slow lifting of travel bans have postponed the recovery of corporate travel budgets to post 2022. The shift of travel volume to virtual has stabilized at 27% by 2022 and is expected to be 19% by 2023. US travel is benefiting from a quicker corporate recovery vs EU and Asia.

We conducted an online survey of ~140 corporate travel managers between June 30-July 12, who represent over US$8B of typical annual travel spend. Around 67% are headquartered in the US, 19% in Europe, and 14% in Asia/Other, and their travel budgets are allocated relatively similarly. This survey is the fourth wave since the Covid pandemic started a stabilization, which we find interesting to track changes in trends as we return to normal.

Travel budgets recovery has slowed down, with the US leading the recovery. Travel budgets are expected to be down an average of 39.2% vs 2019 in 2H21 compared to the 57.3% drop seen in the 1H21. The pace of recovery will increase in 2022 with budgets expected to be down only 17.5% on average, which is 2pp worse than our previous survey in March. The US will lead the recovery as 17% of US based respondents replied that their 2H21 travel budgets would be increasing vs 2019, compared to 10% of Europeans and 0% of Asian/Other responders. In addition, while 62% of European responders expected cuts of greater than 50%, only 45% of US counterparts expected the same.

Passenger volumes continue to deteriorate, though expectations are for higher fare increases. Similar to travel budgets, our latest data suggests 2022 volumes vs 2019 will be down 21.1%, a 2.7pp decrease vs March. Once again Europe will be the laggard with 57% expecting a decline of 30-50% compared to just 25% of US respondents expecting the same. Expectations of air fares have improved, with 2.8% increases in 2022 (up 80bps vs March).

The shift to virtual meetings trend seems to be stabilizing. Despite some deterioration in corporate travel expectations for 2021/2022, the shift to virtual meetings in 2022 remains at 27% level, with 2023 expected to be 19%, on average.

Time and cost cited as key issues for switch to virtual, with environmental concerns higher in Europe. More efficient use of employee time and cost reductions were cited by 74% and 72% of respondents, respectively, as at least a top 3 reason for replacing travel with virtual options. Perhaps unsurprisingly, European companies considered environmental concerns as the most important reason to replace corporate travel. 25% of Europe based travel managers cited this as their number 1 reason compared to just 5% of US counterparts.

Conclusions for Europe: We think US based respondents’ more positive outlook for travel could be an indication of a faster recovery once restrictions ease. Nonetheless, we still do not anticipate corporate air travel in Europe to recover before 2023/2024, and higher environmental concerns on travel support our thesis. All in all, weaker demand and 27% convergence of travel into virtual events should negatively affect legacy carriers (Lufthansa, IAG and Air France-KLM, in that order) more than low cost carriers (easyJet, Ryanair and Wizz). We continue to prefer Ryanair and easyjet (OW), over Lufthansa and AF-KLM.

Conclusions for US Airlines: From a US perspective, it is encouraging to see the results lead the rest of the world given the higher pace of vaccinations and the growing momentum toward return to the office, which will likely lead corporate travel. We note that most airlines have already seen a notable pickup in corporate travel from -80% vs. 2019 in April to -60% in May and expected to be -40-45% in September.

Furtherrmore, the Airlines expect the momentum to continue to pick up in 3Q/4Q and their internal surveys show that permanent substitution of corporate travel will be as little as 5% (in DAL’s survey down from 8% a quarter ago) to zero (for UAL), vs. our ~20-25%. Perhaps all this tells us is that there is still significant uncertainty out there on how much the corporate tide will rise as we re-open and whether that will stop 20%, 10% or 0% below 2019 levels or even exceed 2019 levels. What is clear to us is that the initial rising tide (returning to 70-80% of normal corporate) is nowhere close to being priced into the US Airline stocks today (esp. Legacies like DAL and UAL) and none of this debate really impacts the investment decision on the LCC/ULCC stocks (JBLU, ALK, ALGT, ULCC, LUV) that have limited exposure to corporate. As a result, we continue to remain bullish on the US Airline stocks. We will closely watch the progression of the COVID variant but if we do not see incremental lockdowns or steps backward by Labor Day (Sept 7), we expect corporate travel to recover quickly after that.

“The U.S. will not lift international travel restrictions at this time due to the Covid-19 Delta variant. The U.S. announced earlier this week that it will not lift any existing travel restrictions “at this point” due to concerns over the highly transmissible Covid-19 Delta variant and the rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases. According to a White House official, cases of Covid-19 are rising within the U.S., particularly among those who are unvaccinated and appear “likely to continue to increase in the weeks ahead.” This comes a week after the Biden Administration said U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico will remain closed to non-essential travel until at least August 21st, despite Canada announcing it will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated Americans beginning on August 9th. In early June, the Biden Administration formed expert working groups with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and the U.K. to determine how to best reopen international borders safely; however, the White House official stated that any decision to lift restrictions “has to be a sustainable decision” going forward. Although international travel restrictions remain in place for now, many U.S. airlines stated that the Delta variant has not had much of an impact on domestic leisure bookings. During an earnings conference call, UAL’s management said the company hadn’t seen “any impact at all on bookings” due to the Covid-19 Delta variant, and ALK’s management noted that they have seen “no slowing signs of demand,” but that they are continuing to watch trends carefully.”


BOEING

Boeing released its first Sustainability Report. In the report, the company shares its vision for the future of sustainable aerospace, establishes broad sustainability goals and highlights environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress in alignment with global sustainability standards.

“In September 2020, amidst a global pandemic, Boeing formed a Sustainability organization dedicated to advancing our ESG efforts across the enterprise. As we continue on this journey, we are pleased to publish our first comprehensive report, focused on stakeholder responsiveness and data transparency,” said Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. “We know there’s still work to do and are committed to communicating our progress and holding ourselves accountable to ensure the aerospace industry is safe and sustainable for generations to come.”

Boeing’s sustainability efforts are organized around four key pillars: people, products and services, operations and communities. In 2020, highlights across these four pillars included:

Establishing six broad new sustainability goals in alignment with our key sustainability priorities and stakeholder interests.

Defining the company’s vision for the future of sustainable aerospace through fleet renewal, network operational efficiency, renewable energy and advanced technology.

Committing to deliver commercial airplanes capable of flying on 100% sustainable fuels by 2030.

Partnering with Etihad Airways on the 2020 ecoDemonstrator program, which tested sustainable technologies on one of the airline’s new 787-10 Dreamliners.

Implementing digital engineering tools on the T-7A Red Hawk program, achieving a 75% increase in first-time engineering quality and an 80% reduction in assembly hours.

Advancing flight tests for Cora, an all-electric, self-flying air taxi developed by Boeing and Kitty Hawk joint venture Wisk.

Responding to COVID-19 by executing airlift missions to transport supplies, providing community vaccination sites and minimizing air travel health risks through the Confident Travel Initiative.

Establishing a 20-member Racial Equity Task Force to represent diverse viewpoints and amplify all voices at Boeing.

Setting 2030 environmental performance goals to reduce emissions, waste, water use and energy consumption.

Achieving net-zero carbon emissions at work sites, while reducing energy consumption by 12%, water use by 23%, solid waste by 44% and hazardous waste by 34%.

Attaining the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence every year since 2010.

Contributing $234 million in community giving, working with 13,400 community partners and volunteering 250,000 hours.

United Aviate Academy has selected Boeing to provide a comprehensive suite of training tools, materials and digital solutions to develop and provide early career training to United Airlines’ next generation of pilots. The companies commemorated the five-year training agreement with a ceremonial signing event at EAA AirVenture.

The comprehensive training package of courseware and multimedia materials spans Boeing’s portfolio of service offerings, including its Jeppesen and ForeFlight solutions, and provides United Aviate Academy with the tools to help cadets master key concepts and information needed to confidently and safely pilot aircraft.

“We are pleased to extend our long-term partnership with Boeing to help train the next generation of United pilots,” said Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations. “Boeing’s unique suite of tools and materials will help provide effective training for Aviate pilots who are working to meet future air travel demands and uphold United’s high standards of safety and excellence.”

The agreement includes:

  • Initial cadet assessment materials with accompanying online courses and e-books, supporting higher program completion rates through analytics of data-driven assessments
  • Jeppesen Academy courseware, textbooks and digital learning materials for private, instrument, commercial, multiengine and instructor training
  • The ForeFlight Mobile integrated flight app for pilots equipped with Jeppesen NavData®, electronic charts and Airway Manuals, a one-stop shop for flight tasks like routing flights, planning and filing flight plans, managing electronic charts and maps, and gathering destination and weather information
  • Pilot supplies including Bose headsets, computers, student flight bags, logbooks and more
  • GPS NavData for the United Aviate Academy fleet

“We are fully committed to providing United Aviate Academy—and all of our customers—with tailored, high-quality training solutions that enhance safety and meet the learning and development needs of pilots from all backgrounds,” said Chris Broom, vice president of Training Solutions, Boeing Global Services. “By leveraging our broad portfolio of solutions, we offer customers tremendous value in delivering efficient, effective training throughout the pilot training life cycle.”

Following the agreement signing, Boeing further demonstrated its support for the program and its commitment to diversity by presenting Delia Nina Nava with a scholarship to United Aviate Academy to join a future pilot training class. Nava is a Hispanic woman from Houston with a passion for aviation and aspirations of becoming an airline pilot. She is a graduate of Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation High School and a student at the University of Houston.

Boeing produced their first sustainability report this week and you can read it here: Boeing: 2021 Sustainability Report Interestingly, they want to deliver commercial planes flying on sustainable fuels by 2030. Here is another bit of data on the report: Boeing’s 1st Sustainability Report: Here’s What You Need To Know – Simple Flying


OTHER NEWS

  • A lot of folks have quotes but this one is really significant and important. Steve Jobs, a person we have forever respected, had a remark we think makes a lot of sense: “You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains!” (Editor’s Note: Also, we should probably mention that Robin Williams said something that means a lot to us as well: “Being a famous print journalist is like being the best-dressed woman on the radio.”)
  • If Boeing regressions have you wondering, you need to read this story because there are a number of downward changes that might be a clue to what is going on and what might happen! Boeing ($BA) News: Talent Loss to Amazon, SpaceX Hurts Turnaround Prospects – Bloomberg

NetForecast

In advance of a Department of Transportation proposal to mandate fee refunds when inflight Wi-Fi “doesn’t work,” NetForecast is launching a new service to independently and proactively monitor passenger Wi-Fi experience quality—enabling airlines to identify and correct Wi-Fi performance issues. The service, QMap® Inflight Internet Experience Monitoring, continuously measures the passenger Wi-Fi experience from personal electronic devices, and reports on end-to-end network experience quality in near real-time. The service notifies airlines when the passenger experience degrades below pre-determined thresholds, and locates problem areas along the network path within the aircraft Wi-Fi network, between the aircraft and the ground station, and beyond that to intermediate networks and network destinations.

End-to-end monitoring is important because the quality of a passenger’s Wi-Fi experience depends on the aggregated quality of service delivered by all elements along the network path. NetForecast’s QMap service is calibrated to reflect realistic performance expectations for each network technology (e.g., geosynchronous satellite, cellular, low earth orbit satellite, etc.).

According to Rebecca Wetzel, NetForecast President: “As members of the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s Connectivity Working Group, we collaborated with the industry to create a specification that provides guidance for measuring and assessing passenger inflight Wi-Fi experience quality. We are excited to put that industry guidance to work with our new QMap service to empower airlines to deliver the best possible experience to their Wi-Fi connected passengers.”

NetForecast is a privately held, woman-owned company headquartered in Charlottesville VA. It is an independent provider of internet performance measurement and data usage accuracy audit solutions. NetForecast customers provide Internet service to over 60 percent of US broadband Internet subscribers.


Bluebox

Bluebox Aviation Systems has been granted an Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the aircraft-powered version of its wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) system, Bluebox Wow. Issued by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to Design Organization Approval (DOA) holder Aerospace Engineering Solutions, the STC applies to all Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The STC was approved after testing was completed with a soon-to-be-announced customer in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The granting of this STC is an exciting and major milestone for us as we continue to sign up new airline customers eager to return to the business of delivering exceptional digital in-flight experiences to their passengers,” said James Macrae, CTO, Bluebox. “Our original version of Bluebox Wow, with its swappable battery system, has been a game-changer in the IFE market, introducing a cost-effective way to deploy IFE to airlines that might never have considered it before due to the high costs involved with installing fully embedded systems. But as the demand for W-IFE has grown – in conjunction with the development of our more powerful digital platforms that our customers can use for engaging their passengers and earning ancillary revenue – we’re attracting the interest of airlines with larger fleets. By utilizing aircraft power, Bluebox Wow devices can deliver the same digital IFE services without a battery present, eliminating the need for logistics management of batteries, and still offering a considerably lighter and lower-cost system than fully fitted W-IFE.”

Macrae continues: “The STC also includes automatic Pause on PA functionality that pauses playback in the event of announcements from the flight deck or cabin crew. Further, by removing the battery completely from this version of Bluebox Wow, we avoid the need for complicated battery/flight status logic and control and the possible risks involved with that – making it much easier to ensure our system is DO-178 compliant. It’s a simple and elegant approach.”

Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, including a wide range of film, TV, audio, games, and other digital content. These services can be offered to passengers on a complimentary basis or paid for via payment card or voucher access with no cabin crew interaction required. Bluebox also offers onboard retail services, including the ability to order and pay for products and services via passenger devices with full inventory synchronization, in parallel to traditional sales from galley carts via cabin crew point-of-sale devices. In addition to onboard touch-free sales, Bluebox’s retail solutions also enable pre-paid (booking path) purchases. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, lunchbox-sized unit, typically stowed securely in overhead bins.

With battery- and aircraft-powered versions of Bluebox Wow, the linefit option for Bluebox’s W-IFE platform available on Airbus OSP and retrofit on traditional avionics grade hardware, Bluebox’s range of hardware options for its digital in-flight platform ensures the greatest choice and flexibility are available to customers, especially those with different aircraft types and fleets of any size. This also means that Bluebox can deploy a consistent customer experience across a fleet – whether that be to provide more traditional entertainment content, offer food & beverage or retail sales on board or through the passenger journey, or deliver other innovative services designed to engage passengers and build customer loyalty as well as increase ancillary revenue.


GOGO

Cirrus Aircraft has selected Gogo Business Aviation’s  AVANCE L3 system to be installed as a factory option on new production G2+ Vision JetTM aircraft.

The G2+ Vision Jet is the first “Personal Jet” aircraft to add Gogo’s inflight connectivity service. Cirrus joins Gogo’s distinguished list of aircraft manufacturers that offer Gogo equipment from the factory, which includes all nine of the largest manufacturers of business aviation aircraft in the world.

“The need and desire to be connected in flight is not bound by aircraft size or aircraft mission – everyone who flies in their own aircraft deserves to have fast, reliable connectivity,” said Mark Sander, vice president of OEM sales for Gogo. “The AVANCE L3 is clearly the best solution for personal jet owners and operators who want, fast, reliable inflight connectivity on the most reliable network for aviation.”

Cirrus’s selection of the AVANCE L3 highlights the increasing desire for connectivity on aircraft of all sizes and mission types. The L3 delivers the power of the AVANCE platform in the lightest and smallest form factor available, enabling passengers and crew to be connected to email, browse the web, or access AVANCE L3’s other value-added features such as moving maps, news feeds, and flight information.

“Last year Gogo lowered its minimum service level from 10,000 feet AGL (above ground level) to 3,000 feet AGL which provides additional connectivity time to each flight,” Sander continued. “Today we’re seeing a trend where connectivity has become increasingly important on smaller aircraft such as light jets and turboprops.”

Launched in 2016, the Vision Jet defined a new category in aviation – the Personal JetTM – with its spacious pilot and passenger-friendly cabin featuring panoramic windows, reclining seats, comfortable legroom for five adults and two children and the only turbine aircraft with a whole airframe parachute system as standard equipment. The G2+ Vision Jet is a versatile single-engine jet capable of adapting to the unique needs of business and personal travel missions.


Boeing

Boeing, SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas announced a partnership focused on scaling the availability and use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) globally. Boeing will also invest in SkyNRG Americas’ SAF production project, for which Alaska Airlines is a previously announced partner.

“Sustainable aviation fuels are safe, proven and offer the greatest potential to reduce our industry’s carbon emissions in the near, medium and long term,” said Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. “This partnership is an important milestone on our journey to decarbonize aerospace, while ensuring that its societal and economic benefits are available to people everywhere.”

Boeing, SkyNRG and SkyNRG Americas will work together to accelerate SAF development globally, focusing on scaling production capacity, building awareness and engaging stakeholders throughout the value chain, including airlines, governments and environmental organizations.

“We are extremely proud to take the longstanding Boeing-SkyNRG relationship to this new level. We have always been strong collaborators and through this teaming effort, we’re strengthening our relationship even further,” said Maarten van Dijk, Managing Director of SkyNRG.

As a leader in the SAF industry, SkyNRG sources and supplies SAF, develops production capacity, advises on policy decisions, manages corporate SAF programs and takes the high road on sustainability. SkyNRG Americas is a new company focused on growing SAF production in North America. Its first dedicated U.S. production facility for SAF will supply airports and airlines on the West Coast. Boeing’s investment in the project includes the advance purchase of SAF from this facility for use in company flight tests and other operations.

“We are thrilled to be in this partnership with Boeing and grateful for their leadership by providing an advance payment for SAF from our first facility. With this teaming agreement, SkyNRG Americas will be able to accelerate our efforts to expand the SAF industry throughout North America,” said John Plaza, CEO of SkyNRG Americas.

The partnership builds on Boeing’s long-term industry leadership and investment in SAF. The company began SAF test flights in 2008 and helped gain approval for commercial use in 2011. The Boeing ecoDemonstrator uses SAF for all flight test programs and completed the world’s first commercial airplane flight using 100% SAF in 2018. Earlier this year, Boeing committed that its commercial airplanes will be capable and certified to fly on 100% SAF by 2030.

“Our industry will need a strong, reliable supply of SAF to address climate change and drive adoption,” said Raymond. “We aspire to partner and help create that supply.”


Other News

  • If you are into AI or want to be, we strongly suggest subscribing to INSIDE AI. Here is last weekend, July 18 issue – Inside AI – July 18th, 2021

THALES

  • New line of Thales displays (4K high dynamic range HDR) enhanced with Samsung QLED technology to provide unrivaled picture quality plus a 50% increase in reliability and a 30% decrease in weight.
  • Smart power supply solutions designed with the passenger in mind, allocating power where they need it all while reducing weight and total cost of ownership.
  • New digital technologies to drive operational efficiency and to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and revenue.
  • More than 30 leading airlines worldwide are equipped with the AVANT IFE system.
  • Optiq – 4K QLED HDR Displays

Developed in partnership with HARMAN, a Samsung Company, Optiq by Thales is the industry’s first line of intelligent 4K high dynamic range (HDR) displays enhanced with Samsung QLED proprietary technology. The new in-seat and cabin displays have a sleek passenger centric design focused on ergonomics and fits seamlessly into the modern cabin environment. Optiq provides passengers with the best experience in the air, with an unrivaled picture quality featuring more than one billion colors. Two Bluetooth connections and built-in Wi-Fi allows passengers to pair multiple devices simultaneously to the system. Airlines benefit from a significantly reduced total cost of ownership, thanks to a lower acquisition cost, 30% weight reduction, 50% increase in reliability, and improved durability and serviceability.

Pulse – Smart Power Management

Thales’ Pulse power solutions are designed to meet the specific power needs of passengers, now and in the future, as PED devices increasingly migrate to the USB Power Delivery standard. Pulse is a modular system built with smart power management that dynamically allocates power where the passengers need it. Pulse is highly efficient while being compact in size, providing a 30% weight reduction, lower heat dissipation and the ability to install Pulse between the seat beams. With more power, improved seat integration, and reduced acquisition and operational cost, Pulse provides substantial benefits to the passenger and the airline.

Digital Services – Unlocking the True Potential of IFE
AVANT’s open platform allows Thales to work with an extensive network of partners to develop and deploy new applications for airlines, offering passengers the latest features and a broad range of interactive entertainment options. Thales’s digital product portfolio features e-commerce capabilities with Airfree’s shopping platform, a multifaceted approach for delivering personalization, and an industry leading advertising platform.

Their Ready to Fly digital portfolio is designed to help airline customers restore passenger confidence in air travel in a post-pandemic world. Such as Thales’s “touchless” solutions, allowing passengers to safely control the inflight entertainment system with their mobile phones for a full IFE experience. Thales digital technologies provide airlines fresh opportunities to maximize passenger satisfaction, loyalty and revenue.

In another news story, Thales to acquire Moog navigation aids business.

  • Moog navigation aid offerings complement Thales’ family of navigation aids.
  • Upon acquisition closing, in addition to fixed navigation aids, Thales will gain “man-portable” technology, further supporting contingency air operations as well as evolving military mobility needs.
  • The post-acquisition integration will augment Thales U.S.-based engineering, industrial and technology capabilities.
  • Thales has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Moog ground-based navigation aids business located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

MOMENT

Moment announces a partnership with Air Cairo, amongst the largest hybrid and scheduled operation carriers in Egypt. The airline’s fleet will be equipped with the Flymingo box, Moment’s Wireless In-Flight Entertainment system, to elevate passenger experience and contribute to enhanced comfort in the cabin.

Established in 2003 and based in Cairo, the airline operates 7 aircrafts (Airbus A320-200 aircraft and Airbus A320-ceo & neo aircraft) and already contracted to add 3 more aircraft by the end of the year 2021 and are planning to reach 19 aircraft by the end of 2024, schedules flights to the Middle East and Europe, and serves 30 destinations. Affiliated with EGYPTAIR, the national carrier and second largest airline on the continent, Air Cairo is experiencing a new dynamic of expansion. The airline’s growth strategy includes the opening of new routes to West Africa, East Europe, Middle east, and Europe.

The airline has selected Moment to support its ambition with a cutting-edge digital entertainment service designed to enhance the customer experience while providing new opportunities to generate ancillary revenues in-flight. For Air Cairo, it was essential to offer a personalized digital traveler experience as an increasing number of passengers bring their smartphones or tablets aboard. The capacity to provide a global IFE service was a determining factor for Air Cairo. “We were on the lookout for a full-service IFE company that could support us in all aspects from provisioning the hardware, to creating an engaging IFE portal and sourcing a variety of content.” said Mr. Hussein Sherif, Chairman & CEO at Air Cairo.

As the most powerful W-IFE server on the market, with a capacity of 100 simultaneous streaming sessions, Moment’s Flymingo Box met Air Cairo expectations as the company was searching for both a powerful and compact W-IFE device. The seamless, multi-DRM and browser-based platform gives passengers the opportunity to choose entertainment programs from an international and Arabic catalogue of films, documentaries or podcasts.


GOGO

Gogo has installed the first two 5G antennas on a tower. With the antennas now installed, the company will conduct prototype testing of system performance. Gogo completed development of its 5G air card prototypes and recently completed coast-to-coast flight testing of its 5G belly-mounted antennas to validate their performance. Additionally, Gogo conducted a flight test and successfully established a connection between the 5G antennas on the aircraft and the 5G antennas on the ground tower. Gogo has also successfully performed an end-to-end call using a 5G SIM card, from the onboard equipment to the cell site, through the data center to the internet, and back. The Gogo 5G network is being designed for aircraft operating within the contiguous United States. Gogo, which has 349 patents in its portfolio, expects the nationwide 5G network to be available in the second half of 2022.


SMARTSKY

The folks at SmartSky Networks have selected Honeywell as an authorized reseller of its air-to-ground connectivity services for North American business aviation operators. Since 2019, Honeywell has had the commercial aviation market there as well.


AIRBUS

United Airlines placed an order for 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft, positioning the airline to grow its presence in the single-aisle market in alignment with its “United Next” initiative. The new order complements existing orders from United for 50 A321XLR aircraft, bringing the total commitment from the airline to 120 A321 aircraft.
“Such a significant order from a great airline like United underscores that the A321neo offers unmatched capabilities, operating economics, and passenger friendliness,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “No other aircraft can do what the A321neo can do, and the Airbus team is most gratified by United’s strong affirmation of its premium status. The A321neo will complement United’s future A321XLR aircraft, together creating a privileged segment on its own.”

Another reason the A321neo is in such high demand globally is that the aircraft provides superior environmental performance with the lowest CO₂ emissions per seat in its class. The A321neo’s lower carbon footprint will support United along its journey to reduce the airline’s CO₂ emissions 100% by 2050.

United’s A321neo aircraft will feature Airbus’ Airspace cabin design, which brings the following passenger-pleasing enhancements: unique welcome and customizable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surfaces.

A significant number of the newly-ordered aircraft will be produced at the Airbus U.S. Manufacturing Facility in Mobile, Alabama. Globally, as of the end of May 2021, the A320neo Family had achieved 7,400 firm orders from 121 customers.


BOEING

Boeing and United Airlines announced the carrier will expand its 737 order book by purchasing an additional 200 737 MAX jets, including 150 for the largest member of the family, the 737-10, and 50 for the airplane that serves the heart of the single-aisle market, the 737-8. The new purchase positions United’s fleet for growth and accelerating demand for air travel.

The purchase increases United’s order book for the fuel-efficient, single-aisle family to 380 airplanes, including 30 that have been delivered. As the launch customer for the 737-10, United placed its first order in 2017 by converting 100 737-9 orders to the larger 737-10 variant. Today’s agreement also includes the purchase of Boeing 737 MAX training simulator data packages to support United’s pilot training programs.

Designed and built in Renton, Washington, the 737 MAX family delivers superior efficiency, flexibility and reliability while reducing fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 14% compared to the airplanes it replaces. The 737-8 seats up to 189 passengers and can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers.

The largest model in the family, the 737-10 seats up to 230 passengers in a single-class configuration and can fly up to 3,300 miles. The fuel-efficient jet can cover 99% of single-aisle routes, including routes served by 757s.

“We are truly humbled by United Airlines’ confidence in the people of Boeing and the airplanes we design and build every day. Our strong partnership, dating back to United’s founding, has helped us grow and weather challenges through the decades. As we look forward to the recovery ahead, we are honored that United has once again chosen the 737 family’s performance, efficiency and flexibility to power their growing network. The Boeing team is excited to be building hundreds of these new jets for United and delivering on a landmark agreement that solidifies our future together for the next decades,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.


VISION-BOX

Vision-Box, a world leader in biometrics seamless travel, automated border control and digital identity solutions has announced the launch of a Frontex awarded trial to implement an innovative pilot project at two land borders in Bulgaria, in the context of the EU Entry/Exit System (EES). The EES is a landmark framework set to replace traditional border controls of Third-Country Nationals with interoperable digital data processing and automated biometric data collection in 2022. The Frontex pilot, which went live in June 2021 in Bulgaria in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and the Border Police will be for coaches, cars and pedestrians at entry of Kapitan Andreevo BCP from Turkey for phase 1, and exit at Kalotina BCP to Serbia for phase 2.

The implementation of the EES will influence the flow of travelers and the technology deployed at the border to collect the required data, in order to cope with the variety of sites and related complexities. This effect will possibly be more important at the EU land border crossings, which are more constrained environments as compared with airports and ports, as many travelers arrive in their vehicles. Therefore, the introduction of EES will have a significant impact on travelers’ flow at those border crossing points (BCP).

The purpose of the pilot project is to deliver a Self-Service Enrolment System to enable travelers to perform a self-service collection of travel document data, biometric data and other information (e.g., questionnaire on entry conditions). It also executes real-time intensive queries into the Bulgarian national border control systems, in combination with an EU EES backend simulator. After the Enrolment, travelers are invited to go to an open corridor and be identified On-the-Move to directly cross the Border, or to be redirected to the manual control booth to be verified by a border guard with last generation Coppernic handheld technology. The secured linkage and encrypted communications with the national and EU border control systems, performing border checks on all travellers and EES registration/verification on third country nationals, is jointly performed by Vision-Box and the respective border agencies.

The EES Frontex pilot applies to short stay visa and visa-exempt third country nationals as well as EU citizens entering or leaving the European Union.

The pilot ecosystem (enrolment kiosks, biometric corridor, handheld tablets) is powered by Vision-Box’s award-winning Orchestra™ Identity & Border Management Platform. Orchestra™ removes the time-consuming task of manual data collection and verification, meaning that travelers do not need to physically interact with touchpoints or manually exchange travel documents and biometrics at counters. The whole process leverages identity and biometrics’ tokenization to digitize the operation in a touchless manner. This also reduces long queuing at checkpoints and curtails crowding at clearance hotspots, allowing travellers to navigate the border a lot quicker and safely with biometric recognition technology. Facial recognition biometrics offers the highest level of convenience for traveller identity proofing, in compliance with the EU regulations, combined with touchless fingerprint sensors for combined verification against the EU EES biometric backend systems. The solution drives significant improvements over traditional manual and touch-based identification procedures in terms of hygiene, accuracy, and privacy protections.

The powerful Orchestra™ Service Platform is compliant with EU GDPR regulations through its unique Privacy-by-Design certification. It operates under user-centric business rules and is the kernel of the advanced management of Identity proofing and Flow Monitoring of traveler processes at the border. The platform’s powerful capability allows it to process the full extent of national border passenger volume, thanks to its future-proof scalable design and resilient architecture.

For this pilot delivery, Vision-Box has hired the services of PwC Luxembourg, in order to help sustain the definition of the use cases, their testing, and overall pilot reporting. In addition, Bulgarian system integrator – Global Sat, is supporting Vision-Box in the deployment of the solution on the ground and its maintenance during the overall 6 months’ operation of the two pilot phases at the two different land borders.

With the industry expected to resume travel as restrictions begin to ease, Vision-Box’s technology is proving crucial in guaranteeing a safe and efficient travel processes. Over the past months, Vision-Box has also inaugurated Automated Border Control eGates at Malta International Airport in collaboration with the Malta Police Force, implemented an integrated Biometric experience for Emirates Airline at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, and secured a regional strategic partnership with AirAsia Group, to implement industry leading, identity management technology across its network of 152 airports.


OTHER NEWS

European Aviation Network

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a milestone decision answering a set of questions referred to the ECJ in proceedings initiated by Eutelsat (and supported by Viasat) regarding Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN). The decision rejects the arguments of Inmarsat’s competitors, which have been trying for years to deprive European consumers of the pro-competitive, innovative and efficient EAN service offering.

Inmarsat operates EAN with Deutsche Telekom and has always known that its EAN platform complies with applicable EU rules.

Brad Swann, Inmarsat General Counsel, said: “Inmarsat welcomes the ruling of the European Court of Justice rejecting our competitors’ arguments aimed at limiting the operation of the European Aviation Network. EAN is an asset for Europe as a whole and it is proving very popular with passengers and airlines. Inmarsat looks forward to continuing to provide the rapidly growing number of EAN users with a world-leading in-flight connectivity experience.”

This decision by the ECJ is final and binding.

Inmarsat has always known that the allegations made by its competitors were entirely without merit and fundamentally misconceived. The legal actions by Inmarsat’s competitors were filed with the sole intention of artificially creating legal and regulatory uncertainty around EAN. The claims of Inmarsat’s competitors have been rejected by all national administrations in the 27 EU Member States and in the UK. Legal actions have also been rejected by courts in the countries where litigation was initiated by either Viasat or Eutelsat, including the UK (including on appeal, now final and binding), Germany and Belgium, as well as in not less than four other earlier decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU (three by the General Court and another one of the Court of Justice).

EAN is an award-winning inflight broadband solution based on outstanding technological innovation developed by European businesses, which has taken years of hard work and commitment by Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom and a range of European technology partners to deliver. It is providing high quality connectivity services to thousands of passengers on hundreds of flights across Europe. The successful operation and roll-out continues and over the coming months thousands more European airline passengers will be able to experience a world-class cabin Wi-Fi service.


Gogo

Jet Edge, a leader in full-service private aviation, is proud to announce a new partnership with Gogo Business Aviation, the industry’s top inflight internet provider. The long-term partnership will upgrade Jet Edge’s AdvantEdge and Managed super-mid and large cabin fleet to AVANCE L5, Gogo’s most popular connectivity system that delivers a robust inflight 4G Wi-Fi experience.
Jet Edge offers the most extensive and elevated selection of point-to-point super-mid Bombardier Challenger and large cabin Gulfstream aircraft in the United States, and will have the first-ever fleet to be entirely equipped with Gogo AVANCE L5. The conversion is slated for final completion by end of Q3-2021. The commitment to an all-AVANCE L5 Charter fleet has already begun, with over 20 aircraft now equipped with Gogo’s 4G Wi-Fi connectivity. Gogo’s advanced system enables the use of popular streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, video conferencing, and on-demand movie viewing. Passengers are able to access high-speed internet for web browsing on their personal smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Real-time data for cockpit apps, and remote diagnostics and support are also available.


Boeing

Boeing and Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) announced the aircraft lessor is growing its 737 MAX portfolio with an order for 15 737-8 jets. DAE had been investing in the 737 MAX by buying jets from existing customers and leasing them back to the carriers. The new order is DAE’s first direct 737 MAX purchase from Boeing as it modernizes its portfolio for better economic and environmental performance.

The order will appear on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once finalized.

Firoz Tarapore, Chief Executive Officer of DAE, said: “We are delighted to deepen our already strong relationship with Boeing. Including this order, we own and manage 162 Boeing aircraft. An increasing number of global aviation regulators are returning the MAX to the skies. We are confident in the success of these aircraft as domestic and regional air travel are seeing strong signs of recovery.”

The new purchase is DAE’s second investment in the 737 MAX in the past year. In the third quarter of 2020, the lessor signed an agreement with American Airlines to purchase and lease back 18 new 737-8 airplanes. Since the agreement, the lessor has delivered 17 of the jets to the U.S. carrier. DAE previously completed a similar purchase-leaseback deal with Brazilian carrier GOL for five 737-8s.

“DAE has been instrumental in helping its customers realize the operating economics and environmental performance of the 737-8. We are delighted that they have come back to add more 737 aircraft to its growth plan as it positions itself for the recovery in commercial passenger traffic,” said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “We are honored by DAE’s trust in the 737 family and we look forward to partnering with them to serve the fleet requirements of airlines around the world.”

The 737-8 is a member of the 737 MAX family which is designed to offer more fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility in the single-aisle market. The airplane can fly 3,550 nautical miles – about 600 miles farther than its predecessor – allowing airlines to offer new and more direct routes for passengers. Compared to the airplanes it replaces, the 737-8 also delivers superior efficiency, using 16% less fuel and significantly reducing CO2 emissions and operating costs.

Also From Boeing:

Boeing projects global and diversified funding will continue to flow into the aircraft financing sector as the aviation sector navigates the global pandemic and vaccine deployment continues to accelerate.

“Financiers and investors understand the industry’s resilience and the long-term fundamentals that make aircraft a valuable asset class,” said Tim Myers, president of Boeing Capital Corporation. “Despite the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on the global aerospace industry, there generally continues to be liquidity in the market for our customers, and we expect it to further improve as travel begins to rebound.”

The 2021 Current Aircraft Finance Market Outlook (CAFMO), the first published since 2019, reflects Boeing’s near-term view of market dynamics and assesses financing sources for new commercial airplane deliveries. Due to the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, the 2021 CAFMO excludes its customary one- and five-year industry financing projections.

“Industry fundamentals continue to show varying degrees of strength in different markets depending on the regional trends of the global pandemic,” Myers said. “We expect that capital will continue to be routed into the sector by established players and as new entrants seek opportunities during the industry’s recovery.”

The 2021 CAFMO reports the aircraft financing environment ended 2020 with enough liquidity to finance deliveries, but with stresses particularly in the bank debt and tax equity markets. The 2021 CAFMO, an introductory video and regional financing data is available at here. Select highlights include the following:

  • At the industry level, commercial aircraft delivery funding volume totaled $59 billion, a 40% decrease from 2019 levels.
  • The top sources of Boeing delivery financing were cash, bank debt and capital markets, and 100% of Boeing deliveries were financed by third parties.
  • Aircraft lessors executed a significant volume of sale-leaseback transactions, and the industry-wide leased fleet climbed to 46%.
  • Capital markets for aviation volumes were 70% higher than 2019.
  • Commercial banks shored up the aviation industry’s need for liquidity early in the pandemic, but long-term bank debt became one of the less utilized forms of financing.
  • Institutional investors and funds continued to seek aviation exposure, stepping up as some financiers paused and sector credit spreads widened.
  • Export credit agencies remain a small but important funding source during the pandemic.
  • Credit-enhanced financing saw further progress as a complementary funding source, totaling to 4% of the financing mix for Boeing deliveries.

The Boeing 2020 Commercial Market Outlook, a separate annual 20-year forecast addressing the market for commercial airplanes and services, projects passenger traffic growth at an average rate of 4% per year. The global commercial fleet is expected to reach 48,400 by 2039, up from 25,900 airplanes today.


Galgus

Panasonic Avionics

In late 2020, Panasonic Avionics, in conjunction with a major airline, conducted a trial providing passengers unlimited inflight Wi-Fi. The trial ran over several months with the goal of finding out how the airline could enhance the relationship with their passengers by providing high-quality onboard Wi-Fi. Specifically, it allowed them to better understand if Wi-Fi boosted passenger loyalty; to see if Wi-Fi facilitated a better understanding of passenger behavior; and if better Wi-Fi correlates to an increase in potential revenue.

The Wi-Fi experiment was quietly rolled out on 109 aircraft with very limited promotion but once available, the service was quickly discovered by passengers – and they began streaming. On average, the engagement time per user increased by 23%, streaming content was viewed 41 minutes more with YouTube and Netflix being the top choices watched by passengers and music aficionados tuned into their Spotify and Apple Music Apps to stream their favorite tunes. Prior to the trial the average passenger data consumption per aircraft was 1.6 GB of data which jumped to 3 GB during it.

The trial ran during the holiday travel times, which had the highest travel numbers since the start of the pandemic. Even with the increased load factors, complaints about slow inflight internet rates fell by up to 46% in December and 61% in January! Amazing.

The most significant takeaways from the trial: 1) Fast, reliable, highspeed internet is a cornerstone of the passenger experience. 2) Increased usage of streaming apps, either via PEDS or seatback screens, provide a big opportunity for increased revenue-generating ads and content for the airlines.

Panasonic states that the trial was possible because of their Gen-3 network of high speed, high bandwidth Ku-band satellites that direct capacity to where it is needed most. Panasonic reports that In February, their first of high-throughput satellite (XTS) joined their network and entered service over Asia-Pacific. Also, the new Newtec modems played an integral part in the success of the trial. Additionally, the migration from Panasonics’ previous generation IFEC technology means faster browsing and higher reliability in video streaming. The Gen-3 network also enables 4G and VoIP services and powers Live TV channels like Sport 24.

The trial proved that passenger demand for highspeed, high quality internet is growing. This is supported by: 1) an increase in long-haul flights 2) passengers are carrying more connected devices 3) high customer expectations for technology and airlines. Further, the increase in BYOD (bring your own device) will continue the drive the demand for high quality, connectivity. Perhaps more significantly, this increasing expectation and new demands for inflight services are encouraging airlines to brand their onboard entertainment experiences, not only for the seatback IFE, but also the BYOD and to coordinate these efforts with the IFEC manufactures.

Embracing highspeed, reliable connectivity will put airlines in a better position to meet their passenger needs, both now and in the future, whether the service is free or paid. As the industry begins to recover from the pandemic, maximizing connectivity will be a major differentiator.

Also From Panasonic Avionics & JetBlue:

JetBlue announced  that it has selected Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic) for its live sports in-flight offering on the airline’s Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft.

This offering will expand JetBlue’s transatlantic inflight entertainment options to include one  channel of live sports, Sport 24, with satellite-based streaming facilitated by the airline’s connectivity provider. JetBlue’s new fleet of Airbus A321LR aircraft due to be delivered from 2021 onwards, will be outfitted with the service.

Panasonic is the exclusive provider of Sport 24, the world’s first and only live in-flight sports platform. It broadcasts 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, connecting airline passengers to over 16 hours of premium live content from over 30 different global sports leagues each day.

From 2021, JetBlue’s customers will be able to enjoy all the live action from the world’s top sporting events, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, all four Tennis Grand Slams, all four Golf Majors, the NRL, the UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, Bundesliga, and more.

Sport 24 creates a unique viewing experience for passengers – from the casual to the avid sports fan – which results in a dwell time almost three times higher than the most popular US sports channel.

Almost 1,000 aircraft across the globe are installed with Panasonic’s Live Television service, of which Sport 24 are an integral part.


Hiring Trends Survey: Covid-19 Impact Results

JSfirm.com, an aviation job website, released their Hiring Trends Survey for 2021. Of the hiring professionals, executives, and business owners surveyed, over 50% are projecting growth in 2021. Additionally, 66% of those surveyed did not cut any jobs in 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

In summary:

  • 200 aviation companies across various sectors were surveyed
  • 84% are projecting moderate growth in 2021
  • 93% expect to hire in the 2nd Quarter (Apr – Jun) of 2021
  • Pilots, maintenance & avionics technicians remain in highest demand

Sam Scanlon, Managing Partner of JSfirm.com, said, “The results of our recent survey are encouraging for the industry. It’s interesting to see how many companies were not affected too much by the pandemic: airlines make the headlines, but the fact is, the small to medium size companies that make up the majority of our infrastructure made it through the past year and are now gearing up for growth.” He continued, “Overall traffic on our website continues to increase from both job seekers and companies – we are anxious to see how the remainder of 2021 plays out.”


Morgan Stanley
Airlines: More than Just a Re-Opening Trade; Fundamentals Still Supportive of Upside: Upgrade UAL, ALK; Initiate on AAL

Morgan Stanley (MS) reiterates their Attractive view on the US Airlines despite the stocks up 85% in the last 5 months. With a clear path to re-opening now in focus, they look out to 2022+ and find consensus numbers are too low given their view of strong volume and cost tailwinds. MS are ~30%+ above consensus in 2023.

They initiate coverage on American Airlines (AAL) at Underweight. MS upgrades Alaska Air Group (ALK) from Equal-weight to Overweight and United Airlines (UAL) from Underweight to Equal-weight. Remain Overweight on Southwest Airlines (LUV), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Allegiant Travel (ALGT) and Delta Airlines (DAL).

MS sees ~30% upside to our price targets and 45% upside to consensus 2023 estimates, on average, driven by quick rebound of air traffic, structural cost savings and a supportive jet fuel environment. They also believe a Roaring ’20s/Swinging ’60s-like macro environment can drive traffic significantly higher than a 2019 baseline level, in a bull case. MS sees the most upside at names with the most idiosyncratic tailwinds especially LUV, JBLU, ALK and ALGT though international and corporate could also surprise to the upside relative to expectations keeping the Legacies in play (especially DAL).

Morgan Stanley also believes the market is missing a few powerful tailwinds driving upside to our estimates vs. consensus:

1. 2022+ estimates still do not reflect a rapid reopening. The circumstantial evidence points to the bull case on a traffic recovery. Yet, consensus is modeling in 2022 revenues ~20% below and 2022 ASMs (Available Seat Miles or volume) ~10% below 2019 levels, which we believe is too conservative. MS continues to expect a return to 2019 ASM levels on average by end 2021/early 2022, which implies 2022 ASMs at least equal to 2019 levels.

2. 2019 is the wrong baseline to use for 2023 and beyond. They used 2019 as the baseline for the reopening but consensus (and the market) appear to be maxing out at that level. MS believes the ceiling for air traffic can be significantly higher in a Roaring ’20s/Swinging ’60s like macro environment, which is possible given the strength of consumer balance sheets. In the 1920s, passenger car miles driven nearly doubled in 5 years above the WW1/Spanish flu baseline of 1918 and again after WW2 in the 1950s, while the emergence of commercial air travel saw passenger volumes up 6x in 5 years. While travel today is certainly more mature, we would not be surprised to see the return of the “golden age” of travel in the 2020s, which would represent upside to our numbers.

3. Structural cost savings suggest margin upside on rising volumes. Several airlines have provided either LT structural cost savings targets (UAL, JBLU, AAL) or benchmarks for achieving 2019 CASMxF (Cost per Average Seat Mile ex-fuel) levels (DAL, LUV). These targets imply margins should be comfortably higher than 2019 levels, if 2022/23 revenues are at a similar level, as expected.

4. Jet fuel pricing is in a sweet spot. Despite jet fuel prices rising 40% off the 2Q20 bottom, we note that: a) fuel prices are still comfortably below 2019 levels, b) current levels could be supportive of industry pricing, and c) our Energy team believes that in the long-term oil prices will stabilize at $50-55/bbl level (vs. ~$60 today), providing further support for structurally higher margins than 2019.

Riding the biggest waves in the rising tide + Idiosyncratic catalysts characterize our top picks.  Morgan Stanley likes airlines with catalysts that will help them outgrow the rising tide. This means Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) and Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCCs) with a US Domestic Leisure footprint that will rebound first though we expect International and Corporate travel at Legacy carriers to catch up in 2022. Also, we prefer stocks with idiosyncratic catalysts, including LUV (MAX transition, new corporate/GDS integration), JBLU (fleet renewal, international operations, AAL alliance), ALK (MAX transition, AAL alliance) and ALGT (20% larger fleet). They also prefer Airlines that are likely to start returning cash to shareholders first, given limited to no balance sheet impairment. Legacy airlines are likely to experience the rear of the rising tide and the balance sheet needs to be fixed before cash return or growth investments can occur. DAL is their top Legacy pick.

MS initiates on AAL at UW and a $20 PT (20% downside to the current price) – we believe AAL will rise with the industry tide of returning air traffic and they like its young aircraft fleet which could limit capex pressure in the critical years ahead. However, with the stock up over 50% YTD, positioning is no longer skewed as negative as it used to be, which raises the bar. Our FY23 EPS is roughly 40% below 2019 levels. They are also upgrading ALK from EW to OW (PT from $49 to $90 or 30% upside) and UAL from UW to EW (PT from $38 to $65 or 12% upside) as they see more favorable relative risk-rewards than previously.

Risks to their bullish view include another black swan macro event, labor shortages/disruptions, runaway inflation that pressures the consumer’s balance sheet, safety issues (like COVID resurgence or MAX in 2019) and sharp jet fuel inflation could put our 2022/23 estimates at risk.


Other News

 

 

Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications provider, has been crowned the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ for the fourth year in a row at the World Travel Awards 2020.

The prestigious accolade was announced following a year-long search for the world’s top travel, tourism and hospitality brands, with the latest edition of the World Travel Awards attracting a record number of votes from across the world by industry professionals and members of the public.

Inmarsat once again retained its title in recognition of its market-leading GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband solutions, which enable airline passengers to browse the internet, shop online, stream videos, enjoy social media and more seamlessly during their flights. Inmarsat airline customers include Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Iberia, Singapore Airlines, AirAsia and Virgin Atlantic.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Last year was particularly challenging for the aviation industry, which faced its biggest crisis to date as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we have been working closer than ever with our airline customers, both old and new, to support their evolving needs as they navigate through the storm and head towards a future recovery. It is uplifting, therefore, to receive an award where the industry itself helped to determine the winner. This accolade reinforces our position as the global market leader and is dedicated to our talented employees and partners for their continued hard work and dedication over the past year, even in the toughest of circumstances.”

Inmarsat crossed a number of important milestones last year as part of its extensive, fully-funded technology roadmap. This included the commercial service introduction of GX5, Inmarsat’s most powerful satellite to date, last month. Conceived, designed and procured principally to meet the needs of aviation customers, GX5 delivers approximately twice the capacity of the entire existing GX satellite fleet (GX1-GX4) combined. It is essential to support rapidly growing demand for airline and business aviation connectivity in Europe and the Middle East. 

Inmarsat’s technology roadmap will see seven further satellite launches by 2024: five in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, which will enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service in the commercially and strategically critical Arctic region.

Other highlights of 2020 included the development of an advanced new lightweight, low drag terminal for GX Aviation in partnership with GDC Technics and the launch of GX+ North America in collaboration with Hughes, bringing unrivalled inflight Wi-Fi to North American airlines and passengers.


NEW SST IN DEVELOPMENT

It is not surprising that IFEC news and information is pretty quiet during the pandemic. The equation is simple: less people; less flights; less travel; and aircraft delivery delays or cancellations all result in less demand for IFEC in the short term.

Having said that, it appears there is one aviation area that is experiencing a resurgence in development and/or exploration – supersonic flight. Companies like Boon Overture and Aerion are not sleeping, and you might ask, what has this to do with IFEC? Well, probably not much in the immediate future; however, as folks improve the speed of flying we would expect a future of more advanced, smaller, lighter, better performing IFEC.

We say “expect” because we have little or no information on this future subject, but we were wondering what we might see … and the word “might” is used here since weight and size on these eventual airplanes will be a big issue. To give you a better idea, lets first see what Wikipedia says about the SST subject:

Wikipedia – “A supersonic transport (SST) is a civilian supersonic aircraft designed to transport passengers at speeds greater than the speed of sound. To date, the only SSTs to see regular service have been Concorde and the Tupolev Tu-144. The last passenger flight of the Tu-144 was in June 1978 and it was last flown in 1999 by NASA. Concorde’s last commercial flight was in October 2003, with a November 26, 2003 ferry flight being its last airborne operation. Following the permanent cessation of flying by Concorde, there are no remaining SSTs in commercial service. Several companies have each proposed a supersonic business jet, which may bring supersonic transport back again.”

Further, Wikipedia notes: ”For all vehicles traveling through air, the force of drag is proportional to the coefficient of drag (Cd), to the square of the airspeed and to the air density. Since drag rises rapidly with speed, a key priority of supersonic aircraft design is to minimize this force by lowering the coefficient of drag. This gives rise to the highly streamlined shapes of SSTs. To some extent, supersonic aircraft also manage drag by flying at higher altitudes than subsonic aircraft, where the air density is lower.”

Next, we tried to find out more about the Concorde IFE hardware and the British Science Museum noted: “Brochure, ‘For your entertainment in flight : Supersonic Stereo : Five stereo programs specially produced for Concorde’. Part of collection of in-flight material gathered by Alastair Greenlees who flew on Concorde in January 1978 and with BOAC from Manchester Airport.” Admittedly, a multichannel IFE audio service was quite good since  flight time was reduced by roughly 50%. Concorde In-flight Entertainment Brochure | Science Museum Group Collection

Also we found a wonderful website that features the history and present news on the heritage Concorde here: Heritage Concorde
which features a great video about the plane that you can watch here: (3) UK Concorde first nose move – Heritage Concorde – Project Salute – YouTube. And yes, if yes, if you want more Concorde “stuff’, check out this Etsy site: Concorde Supersonice Transport Gray Travel Folder Inflight | Etsy

We should mention that the IFE we found on the Concorde was some 6 channels of audio entertainment, and having noted that, we expect the “future” products from the likes of Boom and Aerion will reflect the growing demand for real-time connectivity. And we firmly believe that satcom and Wi-Fi connectivity/streaming to PEDs will be a must. We’ve been asking ourselves what engineering and certification requirements there will be for a satcom radome aboard an SST – stay tuned on this one! There is one certainty, whichever IFEC offering is selected, it will be the ‘brightest and shiniest’ available! After all, why put old technology on such a technologically advanced aircraft?!

Articles have also noted that the earlier supersonic designs had to minimize weight and space because of increased drag and limited aircraft engine performance, newer technology will surely provide more and better personal space than its SST predecessor.

The passenger capacity of the new SST appears to be less than half of the Concorde’s. However, with the current trend toward smaller load factors this may end up being an advantage for future operators.

Here are some interesting links on the aviation future:


AIRBUS

The airframer delivered 566 commercial aircraft in 2020 vs 863 in 2019:

A220 Family: 38 vs 48 (2019)
A320ceo Family: 15 vs 91 (2019)
A320neo Family: 431 vs 551 (2019)
A330ceo: 6 vs 12 (2019)
A330neo: 13 vs 41 (2019)
A350: 59 vs 112 (2019)
A380: 4 vs 8 (2019)
A220: 64
A320 Family: 296
A330: 2
A350:

Airbus recorded 383 new orders (268 net):
A220: 64
A320 Family: 296
A330: 2
A350: 21

Aircraft Cancellations – 115 (2020), backlog stood at 7,184 aircraft on December 31.


BOEING

The company recorded 184 new orders in 2020 (-471 net of cancellations/conversions).

737 MAX: 112
737NG: 18
767: 11
777: 13
787: 29
747: 1

And they delivered 157 commercial aircraft in 2020 compared to 380 in 2019:

737 MAX: 27 vs 57
737NG: 16 vs 70
767: 30 vs 43
777: 26 vs 45
787: 53 vs 158
747: 5 vs 5


OTHER NEWS

This topic may be up your alley – What is Quantum Computing. If it’s not, but you are interested, below is a free 27 page report. As a quote from the article: “Soon, quantum computers could change the world. Quantum computing is the processing of information that’s represented by special quantum states. By tapping into quantum phenomena like “superposition” and “entanglement,” these machines handle information in a fundamentally different way to “classical” computers like smartphones, laptops, or even today’s most powerful supercomputers.” CBINSIGHTS has a real understanding of the subject … we think! What Is Quantum Computing?

Season’s Greetings

For most of us 2020 has been a tumultuous and turbulent year both professionally and personally. In an effort to contain and control the spread of COVID-19 we’ve all had to adapt the way we perform and deliver our services and live our day-to-day lives. The result has been physical distancing but in a way this common, shared experience has brought us all closer.

The IFExpress team thanks our readers for your continued support and we look forward to a time when our industry can once again gather together to discuss new concepts and product developments in person. In the meantime, we wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season.

May 2021 bring you health and prosperity,

Patricia Wiseman, Editor & Founder of IFExpress


TURKISH TECHNIC

Turkish Technic has completed the design, production and certification process of its new server and wireless access point (WAP) products, the backbone of in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems. This also marks a new milestone of in-house production in aviation sector for Turkish Technic following the production of its aviation seats and galley. Turkish Technic’s new server and WAP surpass the competition with the features such as easy integration with various software applications and providing flexibility in determining equipment configuration according to current system requirements.

Providing the option of storing media (movies, videos, newspapers, magazines etc.), internet access and sharing the content with the passengers abroad the aircraft, servers act as a media source to transform air travel into a fun experience. Developed and produced by Turkish Technic, the products are customized according to the market needs and equipped with new features. Both the server and WAP are a step up from the IFE & Connectivity market competition. The new server provides 6 TB of data storage, which is 3 times bigger than its counterparts. The WAP has 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual band radio.

On the launch of new connectivity products, General Manager of Turkish Technic Ahmet Karaman stated that: “During these challenging times that affect aviation and the whole world, our commitment to improve our software and hardware capabilities continues.

Being a leading MRO company in the world, we work to improve our service quality as well as the product range. With an aim to provide best connectivity products in the market, our team continues to bring their best efforts forward to achieve that goal. After developing and producing our aircraft galley and seats, we now add our servers and WAP products to the list. We would not be able to do all this without the passion and commitment of our people. I thank them for their tireless efforts and cooperation.”

Developed by the highly skilled and dedicated experts and engineers at Turkish Technic, the server and WAP are designed to meet all advanced communication needs of its customers. With their full function tests and trials in extreme conditions complete, the server and WAP are approved by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

 


MOMENT

Moment, French on-board digital solutions provider, is currently working on a trial with French aviation group Amelia (by Regourd Aviation) to implement Moment’s Flymingo box aboard its planes. 

Created in 1976, the Group is based in Paris and has strong French, European and African footprints. The Group is specialized in business, corporate and regional travels on 19 to 72-seat aircraft, operating 19 aircraft in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, offering charter, scheduled flights and ACMI services.

In 2019, Regourd Aviation created the brand Amelia, uniting its activities under one banner. The Group’s airline, Amelia International, conducts short-haul domestic flights between Paris and two cities in France: Rodez and Clermont Ferrand. In line with this recent accomplishment, Amelia decided to partner with Moment to provide its customers with an unparalleled digital journey aboard its fleet.

Therefore, Moment deployed its Flymingo box, a portable Wireless IFE solution, along with its digital platform allowing for a seamless digital passenger experience. This solution offers Amelia’s customers the chance to access a wide range of content, including entertainment, but also, to read the news and receive information related to their flight; a tailor-made experience for Amelia’s clientele which consists mainly of business passengers, and vacationers on the weekends.

Amelia originally being a private aviation company, the goal was to reach a premium target and to elevate the experience on board, by providing a digital platform that is user friendly and that the company could personalize according to its passengers’ different preferences.

The health crisis the world is facing today emphasizes the importance of the contactless in-flight experience, which is why Moment’s offer is optimal. The digital interface is accessible via passengers’ own devices, and grants them access to all the information they previously would have in paper aboard the plane.

“We are beyond excited to work on this trial with a leader in W-IFE solutions such as Moment. We wanted to partner with a company that could guarantee we would attain our vision for a one-of-a-kind digital experience for our customers; that is exactly what we found with Moment’s Flymingo box.” announced Alain Regourd, President of Amelia.

Tanguy Morel, CEO of Moment said: “We are thrilled to begin this trial with Amelia, and we hope it will be the beginning of a great working relationship as partners.” He adds: “We were involved in providing the company with a personalized experience to satisfy the needs of its passengers. With Flymingo box, Amelia will offer a reliable solution, ensuring access to entertainment like never before.”


Alaska Airlines Boosts 737 MAX Orders and Options to 120 Jets

Boeing nd Alaska Airlines announced that the carrier is buying 23 more 737-9 airplanes, building on its original order and an agreement last month to acquire new 737-9s through lease. The new deal brings Alaska Airlines’ total 737 MAX orders and options to 120 airplanes, which will give the fifth largest U.S. carrier the scale, efficiency and flexibility to expand as air travel recovers. Alaska Airlines, a longtime Boeing 737 operator, placed an order for 32 737-9 jets in 2012 as part of its fleet modernization program. The 737-9 is a member of the 737 MAX family that is designed to offer more fuel efficiency, reliability and flexibility in the single-aisle airplane market. Last month, Alaska Airlines announced it is expanding its commitment to the 737 MAX program by leasing 13 new 737-9s while selling some A320 jets it had taken on through its acquisition of Virgin America.

The new agreement announced on 12/21/2020 will add 23 firm orders for the 737-9 and more options for future purchases. In all, Alaska will have 52 options which, if fully exercised, would take the carrier to as many as 120 737 MAX airplanes. The airline said the deal moves it toward a more efficient, all-Boeing mainline fleet that will “enhance the guest experience, improve operational performance and support the company’s growth.”

Alaska Airlines and Boeing leaders announced the agreement during a signing ceremony at Boeing’s delivery facility in Seattle, flanked by a new 737-9 that will be among the first such jets to be operated by Alaska Airlines. In observance of COVID-19 restrictions, both companies limited attendance at the event and addressed the pandemic that has severely affected air travel, expressing confidence in the fundamental strength of the industry and long-term passenger demand.

“Alaska Airlines has done a tremendous job of weathering the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and is well positioned to return to its growth trajectory and strengthen its standing as one of the top U.S. airlines. With Alaska’s industry-leading reputation for safety, sustainability and customer service, we are honored they have chosen to invest in their future with a significant purchase of additional Boeing 737 airplanes,” said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are grateful for Alaska’s trust and partnership. Our team is focused on delivering their first 737 MAX jets and helping ensure a safe and seamless entry into service.”

Alaska Airlines says the 737 – equipped with new, more fuel-efficient engines and improved aerodynamics – will use 20% less fuel and reduce emissions by 20% per seat compared to airplanes it replaces. The airline will configure the jet with 178 seats in a three-class configuration. The plane can fly 3,550 nautical miles, about 600 miles more than its predecessor. This additional capability will allow airlines to offer new and more direct routes to passengers. Every airplane will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead storage bins.

Learn more about Alaska’s confidence in the safety and certification of the MAX at alaskaair.com/737MAX.

(Note: AEROMEXICO, who has 6 737 MAX aircraft on its books, is expected to reinstate 737 MAX operations out of Mexico City this week.)

Also from Boeing:

Boeing and the University of Arizona put an age-old technique, thermal disinfection, to use in the fight against COVID-19. Researchers validated that applying heat to surfaces, especially on hard-to-clean flight deck equipment, effectively eliminates SARS-CoV-2.

Results indicate that the virus can be destroyed by more than 99.99% after three hours exposure to temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit) and will still effectively kill more than 99.9% of the virus at 40-degree Celsius temperatures (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

“Passenger and crew safety are our top priorities — that extends from the cabin to the flight deck,” said Michael Delaney, who leads Boeing’s Confident Travel Initiative (CTI) efforts. “Thermal disinfection could deliver another valuable tool to destroy COVID-19 on sensitive and difficult-to-reach components that protect pilots.”

Boeing completed the testing as part of its CTI effort to support customers and enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic. This testing was conducted in a protected laboratory environment at the university using flight deck parts and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, this fall.

“We’re basically cooking the virus,” said Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona microbiologist and infectious disease expert. “Thermal disinfection is one of the oldest ways to kill disease-causing micro-organisms. It’s used by microbiologists in our laboratory every day.”

The flight deck is one of the most challenging areas to sanitize using traditional chemical disinfectants. In areas with sensitive electronic equipment, heat has the ability to disinfect without adverse effects from cleaners. The flight deck is designed to withstand temperatures up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (about 70 degrees Celsius), which makes thermal disinfection a safe, practical and effective sanitization method.

As air travel is fundamentally disrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing and the University of Arizona continue to test recommended cleaning methods in a lab against SARS-CoV-2 and other similar viruses to further validate their efficacy.

And Lastly:

Boeing has entered into a 25-year lease agreement with the Jacksonville Aviation Authority to grow its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations at its Cecil Field site, located at Cecil Airport. Under the agreement, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) will construct and lease to Boeing new facilities on approximately 30 acres located on the northeast side of Cecil Airport, near Boeing’s existing MRO site. The new construction will eventually house Boeing’s on-site operations and include nearly 270,000 square feet of hangar space and more than 100,000 square feet of office and support shop space. Construction work by JAA will begin in fall 2021 with a planned commencement of operations date in January 2024.

(Editor’s Note: If you are wondering about flying on a plane in the COVID time-frame, here is one article that touts masks – Risk of COVID-19 exposure on planes ‘virtually nonexistent’ when masked, study shows – ABC News and here is the TRANSCOM Study that supports mask testing on aircraft – you probably should read it.)


HIGHLIGHTS FROM INMARSAT’S CONFIDENCE TRACKER

American flying habits are set to drastically change for the long haul, with nine in ten Americans not expecting to return to their previous travel routines once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. The survey reveals a number of fascinating insights, including:

  • 43 per cent of American passengers planning to travel less often by any means and a third (36%) expecting to fly less.
  • US passengers are the second most likely globally to have already flown during the COVID-19 pandemic, with half (50%) of those surveyed in the US having taken at least one flight.
  • 71% US passengers are satisfied with the aviation industry’s response to the crisis.”

OTHER NEWS

  • We at IFExpress want to thank the world of health professionals who risked their lives (and will continue to do so) to help with a solution to the COVID anti-virus problem … and especially to those who paid their lives for our health! And while we are on the subject, you might want to see what Bill Gates has done – The Gates Foundation, COVID-19, and the race for a vaccine
  • Stay tuned to the ultra secure, quantum internet-based communications China is developing from their 2016 satellite they launched. You see, the communication is non breach-able and this will be the future of secure communications … a quantum internet. China Reaches New Milestone in Space-Based Quantum Communications – Scientific American
  • Got Wi-Fi? Well, you can be hacked, say the folks at Ben-Gurion University! Here is the paper on it. “In this paper, we show that attackers can exfiltrate data from air-gapped computers via Wi-Fi signals. Malware in a compromised air-gapped computer can generate signals in the Wi-Fi frequency bands. The signals are generated through the memory buses – no special hardware is required”
  • Ugh-oh! Seattle Times report: “Democrats and Republicans in U.S. House and Senate committees reached agreement in down-to-the wire negotiations a week ago on a bill tailored to address the FAA’s oversight failures in its original certification of the MAX.” Stay Tuned.

INMARSAT AND HUGHES BRING UNRIVALED INFLIGHT CONNECTIVITY TO NORTH AMERICAN AIRLINES AND PASSENGERS

GX+ North America will seamlessly combine the Hughes JUPITER satellite fleet, which has the largest Ka-band satellite capacity over the US, with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress, the widest, most resilient global network, to offer faster, more reliable inflight Wi-Fi.

Inmarsat, a world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, unveiled a major strategic collaboration that marks an important new step change for North American commercial airlines and their passengers.

The companies have joined forces to launch a transformational aviation connectivity solution, which has been specifically designed for North American commercial airlines and is available today. GX+ North America seamlessly integrates the unrivaled capacity of the Hughes JUPITER™ High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) constellation across North America with the extensive worldwide coverage and resilience of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) HTS satellite network, bringing a unique combination of unprecedented capacity, speed and reliability to the region, unavailable from any other satellite provider.

The ground-breaking new solution underscores the strategic vision of Inmarsat and Hughes as they look past the pandemic and into the future needs of commercial airline fleets in North America, whose passengers will require ubiquitous connectivity as they return to the skies.

The ultra-high capacity of GX+ North America will, for the first time, make it possible for North American airlines to meet increasing passenger demand, including the surge in traffic expected from free-of-charge inflight Wi-Fi. Today, satellite networks are trying to serve thousands of commercial aircraft in the world’s busiest airspace, and as they reach capacity, airlines will struggle to meet the demands of data-hungry passengers who want reliable, affordable, high-speed Wi-Fi while on board.

For too long, North American airline passengers have had to settle for constrained bandwidth activities such as email and limited messaging while on board flights. GX+ North America will give passengers the freedom to stream videos and audio, shop online, check and update social media, and catch up on work, all while in the air.

The superior capabilities of GX+ North America mean that North American airlines no longer need to compromise on speed, reliability, availability or coverage for inflight broadband, even when flying at full capacity over the busiest airport hubs. This also offers full flexibility for route planning, even on short notice, as the solution can cover any route worldwide through the GX global network — whether to Hawaii, Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean, across the Gulf of Mexico, to Central and South America, across the Atlantic or even to the most extreme northern latitudes.

Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said: “GX has firmly established itself as the reference inflight connectivity solution for today’s demanding passengers and is used by airlines worldwide. We are very confident that this game-changing collaboration with Hughes, combining their market-leading depth of capacity with Inmarsat’s award-winning passenger connectivity solution, delivers for the first time, inflight broadband that is consistently superior regardless of the number of passengers using the service or where they are traveling. It is truly a ‘no compromise’ solution for airlines that no other service provider can offer. We’ve also ensured the transition path for airlines upgrading from other connectivity providers is simple, quick and cost efficient.”

“This strategic collaboration is further evidence of Inmarsat’s strength, resilience and innovation despite these unprecedented times in our industry. As a number of connectivity providers in North America face financial challenges and airlines are forced to reconsider their choice of supplier, Inmarsat’s offer continues to go from strength to strength.”

Paul Gaske, Executive Vice President and General Manager, North America division at Hughes, said: “We are proud to partner with Inmarsat to launch GX+ North America. This unique strategic collaboration leverages the full power of the JUPITER System, including the depth of capacity of our Ka-band High-Throughput Satellite fleet, as well as our JUPITER gateways and modems. Combining the Hughes JUPITER System and Inmarsat’s leading inflight connectivity solution, GX+ North America marks a new era for inflight connectivity.”

The new solution will be provided and managed end-to-end by Inmarsat. Prototype flights are expected to start later this year with commercial availability scheduled for 2021.

GX+ North America utilizes a robust Ka-band flat panel antenna from Thinkom, with millions of flight hours behind it, together with smart dual aero modem technology powered by Inmarsat’s aviation solutions that intelligently chooses the optimal satellite path with no service interruption or delay for passengers.

Looking forward, as commercial aviation returns to growth and aircraft return to the skies, Inmarsat and Hughes will continue to anticipate and respond to the North American market’s evolving needs. Expanding the service over the next four years alone, the Hughes and Inmarsat combined constellation of seven GX and JUPITER satellites will more than double to a total of 15 spacecraft. These additional satellites include the Hughes ultra-high capacity JUPITER 3 satellite and Inmarsat’s seven advanced, fully-funded next generation GX satellite payloads (6A, 6B, 7, 8, 9, 10A & 10B), which will enhance capacity and coverage throughout the world, including the Arctic.

Be sure to check out this infographic.



FLIGHTPATH3D

FlightPath3D Now Comes With More Places Than You Can Imagine

FlightPath3D announces that Flying Over Places is now included as a new view in all 3D map products. A retrofit is available for all existing 3D map installs.

FlightPath3D President Duncan Jackson said, “Flying Over Places significantly expands our map feature set with the integration of over 50,000 points of interest (POIs) that auto-play as the flight progresses, providing historical information about landmarks, attractions, and places as they’re flown over en route.”

Jackson adds, “We want every airline to be able to inform their customer what they can see out the window, with each point displaying its distance and direction.”

“This, and our many other map features, help provide an innovative and consistent passenger experience across multiple aircraft types and IFE systems. So you can continue to elevate your brand and differentiate your inflight service”, says FlightPath3D CEO Boris Veksler.

Veksler continues, “We design and deploy apps that are available as an Android, iOS or Linux app, can be streamed as a web service or API, and as widgets that can be embedded in other applications.”

To conclude, Veksler says, “We have the largest team of map specialists and geospatial engineers in the industry, building software selected by all the leading IFE vendors, and we’ll continue to lead, innovate and elevate the passenger experience.”

NOTE: Video of Flying Over Places for embed/viewing here.


SMARTSKY

SmartSky Networks announced that mobile broadband communications technology executive David Helfgott has been named CEO, reflecting the company’s upcoming transition from the development and deployment stage to an operational aviation broadband communications services and products company.

“On behalf of both the SmartSky board and management, I am delighted to welcome David to our team, reflecting our longstanding company plan. His extensive technology and mobile communications experience will help us ensure that all of our operations reflect the high level of quality set by our transformational connectivity technology,” said Haynes Griffin, outgoing CEO who will remain as Executive Chairman.

“I am honored to be selected to lead SmartSky at this exciting inflection point,” said SmartSky CEO Helfgott. “When you look at SmartSky’s unique positioning and expansive patent portfolio, it highlights the company’s incredible potential and culture of sustained innovation. Since COVID-19 first began to impact the inflight communications industry, SmartSky has proven its resilience in many ways, having added more than 40 patents since January 2020, successfully defended its IP from a challenge brought by an industry incumbent, closed on funding of more than $50 million in additional equity and debt, and overhauled its radio technology supply chain on the way to completing the deployment and launch of its network next year.”

Helfgott most recently was President & CEO of phased-array antenna developer Phasor, which was recently acquired by Hanwha Systems. Prior to this, he held several senior executive roles including President & CEO of Inmarsat Government; President of Tactical Wireless Communications for Cobham; President & CEO of Datapath and President & CEO of SES Government.

Haynes Griffin, who has been SmartSky’s Chairman and CEO since 2013, also was the founding CEO of Vanguard Cellular and a past Chairman of CTIA, a major wireless industry trade association.

SmartSky is reinventing connectivity, building a next-generation inflight WiFi network from the ground up. The company also is developing pioneering aviation data products to improve safety and efficiency while providing the industry with novel ancillary revenue sources. SmartSky’s unique single-beam-per-aircraft inflight WiFi approach is backed by 190 patents and over 1,000 hours of flight testing.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat announced that it will provide engineering support, communications services and equipment to Cranfield University’s Digital Aviation Research and Technology Center (DARTeC) consortium, supported by Honeywell Aerospace.

Set to open at Cranfield University during the first quarter of 2021, DARTeC will spearhead UK research into digital aviation technology. The center will address the most pressing research challenges facing the aviation industry, including the integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles into civilian airspace, increasing the efficiency and reliability of airports and aircraft through technology, and creating a safe and secure shared airspace.

Inmarsat and Honeywell Aerospace will support the Center’s research by providing Aspire 400 satellite communications terminals, airtime and engineering expertise in the Saab 340B flying test-bed and test lab for evaluation and development of future applications and solutions. The Saab 340B will effectively serve as a ‘flying laboratory’ to evaluate multiple advanced radar systems and airborne digital communications.

John Broughton, Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety, Inmarsat Aviation said: “Advances in digital aviation are driving innovation opportunities in all aspects of the airline industry. Today’s commitment with Honeywell Aerospace to support DARTeC highlights the importance of creating a collaborative research environment in the aviation industry. We are looking forward to working closely with other members of the DARTeC community to reap the rewards of a digital aviation industry for many years to come.”

Mark Goodman, Director of Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace said: “We’re excited to be partnering with Inmarsat to support the DARTeC consortium and bring the benefits of the digital revolution to the aviation industry. There is no time to waste in responding to the opportunities of digital transformation and ensuring that the industry is ready to serve the needs of our airlines today and tomorrow.”

Through the DARTeC consortium, members are able to create, develop and test next generation air traffic control (ATC) applications for manned and unmanned aviation that will utilize digital voice and data. Members will also have access to Inmarsat’s Iris program fully serviced aircraft for testing, evaluation and demonstrations as well as conducting live Iris test flights with specific air navigation service providers (ANSPs).


BOEING

The European Union has been authorized by the WTO to impose $3.99b in annual tariffs on US imported goods. This includes Boeing aircraft and has done so as a result of illegal subsidies to the company.


STELLAR

Stellar boarding music boosts Virgin Australia Brand. Passengers traveling on Virgin Australia and VARA (Virgin Australia Regional Airlines) will now hear customized boarding music as of September 2020, a first for the airline group. The original piece was written in-house at Stellar Entertainment and replaces the commercially available music playlists previously played onboard the airline for years.

Stellar Entertainment’s Creative Director, Brad Power, describes the composition:

“Our latest piece draws on deep house and Balearic beats to create a fresh, vibrant and modern sound that is upbeat without being too exuberant. Perfect for a contemporary airline looking to do something a little different.”

Bespoke boarding music offers airlines an opportunity to create their own unique brand identity and sound, one that passengers can always relate to their experience onboard that airline. This area of expertise is just one of many offerings from Stellar’s fully equipped, multi-studio facilities specializing in various audio solutions and services, such as original music composition and sound design.

Director of Licensing at Stellar, Sam Allen remarks, “A bespoke piece doesn’t stop at boarding music. It can be implemented across the airline via other platforms and applications such as advertising campaigns and promotional buzz reels, to optimize usage as part of an over-arching sonic strategy.”

Besides rolling out this new signature music across the fleet for boarding and disembarking, Virgin Australia and VARA have also implemented it as on-hold music for their phone lines. Working directly with Stellar Entertainment has given the airline group the ability to license the music as needed, allowing for greater flexibility in how and where they use the new sound. This also includes a financial benefit, with a direct license with Stellar saving the airline group royalty fees paid to local collection agencies.

This is the second composition from Stellar Entertainment to be used by an airline, following the bespoke piece used by Malaysia Airlines earlier this year.

To hear the new boarding music for Virgin Australia and VARA, click here.

To listen to a broader range of audio samples from our in-house composition team, click here.


OTHER NEWS

ZIPAIR Selects Panasonic Avionics Connectivity

ZIPAIR, the new Japanese middle-long haul carrier, has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to provide inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions for its Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

ZIPAIR’s B787s will be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service. Panasonic’s next generation connectivity enables a host of connectivity benefits, from fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

The announcement marks the beginning of Panasonic’s relationship with ZIPAIR, the new Japanese low-cost carrier which is a 100% subsidiary of Japan Airlines.

Shingo Nishida, President of ZIPAIR, said: “By making the most of inflight Wi-Fi services provided by Panasonic Avionics, we hope to become an airline that gives customers the freedom to spend time on the plane in their own personal way and that makes flight time feel short.”

Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with ZIPAIR to enhance their passenger experience with our world-class inflight connectivity. Our advanced inflight solutions will help ZIPAIR drive brand loyalty, encouraging their passengers to return time and again.”

ZIPAIR was established in 2018. It is a low-cost carrier and is due to operate medium to long-haul international flights. It currently operates a fleet consisting of two Boeing 787-8s, transferred from its parent’s fleet.


Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) Announce They Will Bring the Industry Together in Hamburg in September 2021

Reed Exhibitions, the organizer of the leading events for the global cabin interiors and inflight services industry, has today announced new dates for 2021. Both AIX and WTCE will return to the Hamburg Messe from 31 August to 2 September 2021, moving from the original April dates.

This early announcement allows time for businesses to adapt and plan to ensure that the events continue their critical role in bringing the global industry together again.

Speaking about the announcement, Polly Magraw, Exhibition Director, Aircraft Interiors Expo and World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, said: “After consulting with exhibitors and airlines, we recognise the industry needs more time to allow for the reopening of borders, lifting of travel restrictions and resuming of services. It is clear that the industry needs to meet in person later in 2021. Our priority is to deliver an engaging and COVID-secure face-to-face event in September that gives our exhibitors and visitors the additional time to adapt and continue on the path to recovery.

“We once again want to thank all of our exhibitors, visitors, and partners for their support.”

“Now, more than ever, there is a strong need to reunite, connect and do business. The importance of AIX and WTCE cannot be underestimated as the largest marketplace that brings together key stakeholders from the global supply chain. We are confident that this decision best supports the industry, and in September we will be ready to regroup and look ahead to the future.

“The majority of exhibitors have already confirmed their participation at the face-to-face events in 2021, and we continue to focus on keeping the industry connected during this time, fostering collaboration, promoting new innovative solutions and helping to nurture critical business contacts. We look forward to facilitating this through a further series of virtual events, set to take place in April, details of which will be announced soon.

“We once again want to thank all of our exhibitors, visitors, and partners for their support. We believe this extra time ahead of the 2021 events will offer exhibitors reassurance and more opportunity to prepare their fantastic showcases, and for our visitors to be ready to restart planning for the cabins of the future.”

For updates and further information, please visit the Aircraft Interiors Expo website or the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo website.


Crystal Cabin Award: Now Open for Submissions

Entry period for new Crystal Cabin Award special categories begins, open until 12 January 2021.

Innovations that make passengers feel safe and other ideas to make air travel attractive: the entry period for the two Crystal Cabin Award special categories, “Clean & Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award”, has begun. Manufacturers, suppliers, researchers, students, design agencies and airlines can submit their concepts directly at www.crystal-cabin-award.com until 12 January 2021. The winners in the two special categories will be announced in parallel with the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg next year.

“Clean & Safe Air Travel” is open to all on-board innovations focusing on hygiene and safety standards for passengers and crew. Entries must be implementable within two years, and the concepts should not be more than one year old. Concepts and products that have already been entered in a different CCA category in the past are excluded.

The “Judges’ Choice Award” is aimed at innovations for the cabin not explicity focused on health and safety, which could normally have been submitted in one of the eight main categories: Cabin Concepts, Cabin Systems, In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Passenger Comfort Hardware, Material & Components, Greener Cabin, University, Visionary Concepts. Here, too, it must be possible to implement the innovations within two years. Up to three innovations may be submitted.

Both categories are also open for student submissions.

Entries for the two special categories may be lodged online now www.crystal-cabin-award.com.

These two categories are part of the independent Crystal Cabin Award Association’s response to the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on the civil aviation industry. An international task force with representatives of the almost 30 experts on the award judging panel, selected from every sector in the aviation industry and every continent, developed the categories.

Entry fee for the first time — student entries exempt

For the first time in its history, the Crystal Cabin Award is levying an entry fee of 290 euros per submission for this entry phase. This brings the award in line with most international industry awards and is a response to the massive increase in project management expenditure, for example in the premium exposure given to candidates within specialist audience and media. The voluntary industry prize, launched by the Hamburg Aviation industry cluster, will continue to be funded by sponsorship. It’s worth getting in early this year, with an early bird fee of 200 euros until 20 October.

Student submissions are expressly exempt from the entry fee and can still be made free of charge.

Existing finalists from 2020 still in the race

In addition to the two special categories, the 24 finalists in the eight regular categories, selected at the start of the year, are still in the running. The current Crystal Cabin Award round was temporarily suspended in March this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. All winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2020 season will be crowned in the spring of 2021 after a personal final presentation to the international experts of the judging panel. The two special categories will be awarded in parallel with the world’s leading trade fair, the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg on 31 August 2021.

Want to submit your innovation? Please download the application information package folder in order to prepare your application.


Global Airport Smart Baggage Handling Solutions Market to 2024 with Profiles of Leading Players – ResearchAndMarkets.com

 The “Global Airport Smart Baggage Handling Solutions Market 2020-2024”  report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s offering.

The airport smart baggage handling solutions market is poised to grow by $ 1.15 bn during 2020-2024 progressing at a CAGR of 6% during the forecast period.

The reports on airport smart baggage handling solutions market provides a holistic analysis, market size and forecast, trends, growth drivers, and challenges, as well as vendor analysis covering around 25 vendors.

The report offers an up-to-date analysis regarding the current global market scenario, latest trends and drivers, and the overall market environment. The market is driven by the development of smart airports and expansion and growth in the number of airports. In addition, development of smart airports is anticipated to boost the growth of the market as well.

This study identifies increasing use of AI in SBH solutions as one of the prime reasons driving the airport smart baggage handling solutions market growth during the next few years.

The robust vendor analysis is designed to help clients improve their market position, and in line with this, this report provides a detailed analysis of several leading airport smart baggage handling solutions market vendors that include Babcock International Group Plc, BEUMER Group GmbH & Co. KG, CIMC Tianda Holdings Co. Ltd., Daifuku Co. Ltd., G&S Airport Conveyor, Leonardo Spa, Siemens AG, SITA, Vanderlande Industries BV, and WFS Global SAS.

Also, the airport smart baggage handling solutions market analysis report includes information on upcoming trends and challenges that will influence market growth. This is to help companies strategize and leverage on all forthcoming growth opportunities.

Key Topics Covered:

Executive Summary

  • Market Overview

Market Landscape

  • Market ecosystem
  • Value chain analysis

Market Sizing

  • Market definition
  • Market segment analysis
  • Market size 2019
  • Market outlook: Forecast for 2019 – 2024

Five Forces Analysis

  • Five forces summary
  • Bargaining power of buyers
  • Bargaining power of suppliers
  • Threat of new entrants
  • Threat of substitutes
  • Threat of rivalry
  • Market condition

Market Segmentation by Product

  • Market segments
  • Comparison by Product
  • Smart baggage and tracking devices – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Smart baggage screening devices – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Market opportunity by Product

Customer landscape

  • Overview

Geographic Landscape

  • Geographic segmentation
  • Geographic comparison
  • APAC – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • North America – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Europe – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • MEA – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • South America – Market size and forecast 2019-2024
  • Key leading countries
  • Market opportunity by geography
  • Market drivers
  • Market challenges
  • Market trends

Vendor Landscape

  • Overview
  • Landscape disruption

Vendor Analysis

  • Vendors covered
  • Market positioning of vendors
  • Babcock International Group Plc
  • BEUMER Group GmbH & Co. KG
  • CIMC Tianda Holdings Co. Ltd.
  • Daifuku Co. Ltd.
  • G&S Airport Conveyor
  • Leonardo Spa
  • Siemens AG
  • SITA
  • Vanderlande Industries BV
  • WFS Global SAS

Appendix

Click on this link for more information about this report.


A Human Interest Story

As many of you know, our industry is full of creative and innovative individuals. But sometimes their brilliance reaches beyond our industry and touches upon events that vividly live in many of our memories. One such case pertains to the now retired but long-time IFE aficionado, Ken Lew. Ken spent many years working with companies such as Sony Trans Com and Thales before retiring. Prior to joining the IFEC industry, Ken worked for United Airlines and in the mid 1980’s he was tasked with designing something very unique that many of us across the globe experienced/witnessed to some small degree. Here is an interesting story, courtesy of Ken Lew and in his own words, which we thought our readers would enjoy.

“Some of you may recall the highlight of my aviation career when my United Airline boss assigned me the task of designing the Flame Carrier that transported the Olympic Torch Flame from Mt. Olympus to NY City to start off the 1984 Olympic Torch cross country run to LA. Recently, I returned to Irivine, CA from Presscott, AZ to deal with some issues upon the death of my ex-wife, Gerrie. Just before I closed up her house to return home, I did one last look in the garage and discovered a cabinet that I had overlooked and NOT cleared it out.  There were only 3 empty boxes that had previously been used to house the garage door opener replacement; an empty box for an old printer; and one other insignificant empty box.  The FOURTH box had an odd shape to it:  square ends and long, about 2.5 feet, with a handwritten “SFO” on one side (SFO are the call letters for San Francisco Airport.)   I brushed off the years of dust and open the box . . . . . and discovered an item that had completely vanished from my memory:  it was the actual 1984 Olympic Torch that I used to test my Flame Carrier on the San Francisco Airport/United Airlines’ tarmac; in the rain; in the fog; at night. This memory was squirreled away in the recesses of my mind as was the fact that the Olympic Committee had told me to keep this as a memento of my support efforts for the 1984 Games.  It is now safely stashed in my new home in Prescott, AZ.  I’ll think about getting a display case made for THAT, and the coal-mining lamp I used to test my engineering design.”  – KEN LEW


Other News

 

 

Galgus, new member of the WiFi Alliance

The WiFi Alliance is a global organization in which the main players related to this wireless technology participate, whether they are operators, hardware manufacturers, or software developers.

It is also the benchmark certifier for WiFi technology, having completed more than 50,000 certifications since 2000. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates those products capable of offering a user experience according to their expectations of WiFi connectivity.

For Galgus, this membership is a recognition of its technology – patented in Europe and the USA -, that is used daily by more than a million people around the world and, in addition, it’s an endorsement for its WiFi4EU projects: the European Commission’s plan to provide WiFi connectivity to municipalities throughout Europe. A project in which Galgus has already deployed its technology in around twenty locations.

WiFi is the main option to connect to the Internet. Thus, more than half of the Internet traffic is done using this wireless connection technology. A technology that, in these times of pandemic and a new normal, is playing a fundamental role, offering users the possibility of working, studying, and enjoying themselves remotely. For businesses that need faster internet connection, they can switch to a SD-WAN network.

Since last July 1, Galgus is a member of the main international organization for WiFi technology, being one of the few Spanish companies that have achieved it to date.

The WiFi Alliance (www.wi-fi.org) is responsible for leading, developing, and adopting the standards agreed by the WiFi industry. To do this, it fosters collaboration between member companies, thus promoting innovation in this field.

WiFi Alliance importance is appreciable when reviewing its list of member companies. Thus, global giants such as Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Facebook, Nokia, or Samsung; telecommunications operators such as Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, or Orange or manufacturers such as Acer, Logitec or Motorola, are part of this organization.

Galgus CEO and Co-Founder, Jose González, points out that “for our company, having been admitted as members of the WiFi Alliance is a recognition of the development in WiFi technology that we have been making for more than six years. This achievement is comparable to the patents that our products have obtained in the US and Europe”, adding: “This is something that gives not just added value for our brand but also for our clients and society”.

This membership represents a reinforcement in Galgus’s commitment to its consolidation as a reference provider in the European Commission’s WiFi4EU (WiFi for Europe) program. A project, with which the European Union wants to promote WiFi connectivity for citizens in public spaces such as parks, squares, official buildings, libraries, health centers, museums, etc. To achieve this, it has provided a budget of 120 million euros between 2018 and 2020 that will be allocated to the deployment of state-of-the-art WiFi equipment in public life centers.

To date, and within the framework of this pan-European project, Galgus has deployed its WiFi solution in around twenty locations throughout Spain. “It’s great to feel that we are helping to bridge the digital divide in so many places. With digitization, the business, development, and growth opportunities for these towns will undoubtedly grow exponentially”, Gonzalez stressed.


British Airways

British Airways’ award-winning on board magazine, High Life, is moving online to ba.com and will offer access to content for customers before, during and after a flight.

Created with publishing house, Cedar, the magazine will also include a new section for Business Life which will replace the current on-board paper versions of both publications.

Each issue will include monthly audio stories, photo experiences and live panels so customers can experience the magic of travel on the go wherever they are in the world. The magazine will continue to feature first person stories from travel experts and carefully curated guides for exploring cities across the world.

As well as trusted travel content, High Life digital will keep customers updated with any changes to the airline’s customer experience and route network. The new digital format also means that the airline can update content in real-time with any developments in this Covid-19 era.

The magazine will be emailed to five million Executive Club customers every month and customers can download the magazine on board, using the airline’s in-flight WIFI for free. This airline definitely has one of the best WiFi services a business could have.

High Life will also continue to offer British Airways’ partners and advertisers new opportunities to reach the airline’s customers with products and offers, through BA media*

Hamish McVey, British Airways’ Head of Brand and Marketing said: “Our High Life magazine has been a source for travel inspiration for our customers for nearly half a century. When we trialled moving High Life online at the beginning of this year, it was a great success.

“We know our customers value technology and a contactless journey, especially in the current climate, so we are delighted to now be able to provide over five million customers a month with digital High Life.  We hope this new digital magazine will help customers plan their holidays with our expert holiday guides, as well as provide the latest information as we make important changes to our customer experience.”

Clare Broadbent, Cedar’s CEO said, “High Life online is now here: online, on email, and on board through your personal device, bringing wonderful and trusted travel inspiration to bigger audiences than ever before. With High Life’s mix of expert writers, photographers and audio-visual storytellers sharing the latest travel ideas from around the world, we can’t wait to help travellers to dream, plan and take off in 2020 and beyond.”

The airline’s on-board magazine, first took to the skies 47 years ago in 1973 and has provided British Airways’ customers with inspiration ever since. The magazine has document significant milestones in the airline’s history including the launch of Concorde and the A380, as well as featuring cover stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Tracey Emin, Idris Elba and HRH The Prince of Wales.

Click here to visit High Life


Satcom Direct

Satcom Direct (SD), the business aviation solutions provider, has achieved a significant milestone for its FlightDeck Freedom® datalink service by activating its 2,000th aircraft. The head-of-state customer signed for the service to take advantage of its unique configuration options, ability to integrate third-party flight planning services, evolving compliance support, and the streamlining of flight crew and ground operations workflow.

Specifically designed for business and military aviation, FlightDeck Freedom® features an open architecture design to support every type of avionics and datalink-capable airframe and can be customized to meet each customer and/or aircraft platform’s mission needs.  On launch in 2007 it was the first datalink service to give customers the freedom – hence the name –  to select, upload from, and communicate with preferred third-party trip planning services and today is still the only datalink service provider with a comprehensive offering of flight planning options.  FDF also continues to be the only service that supports flight deck and cabin communications enabling crew to monitor connectivity and troubleshoot issues in real time to better manage passenger expectations.

In addition, FDF enhances operational safety through direct delivery of automated notifications including hazardous weather, route and security alerts, and supports real time aircraft and fleet tracking worldwide, which can be monitored from the ground and in the air. The unique GeoNotification feature details when aircraft are approaching a defined geographic area which may affect connectivity or be defined as sensitive airspace.

Integrated with SD Pro®, the digital flight operations management system, data shared through FDF synchronizes flight crew with ground operations keeping team members informed about aircraft performance in real time to support improved flight operations, budgeting and maintenance scheduling.  FDF also supports fleet compliancy with FANS, ADS-C and CPDLC to meet evolving Air Traffic Control safety requirements and the changing landscape of business aviation operations.

“Our focus is to always enable our customers to manage their flights and operations using the services, products and systems that best suit their needs. FDF was one of our first services built using open architecture to allow integration of third-party services. Reaching this milestone demonstrates the market’s hunger for integrated services that streamline the workflow. As the digitization of aviation continues to evolve, we will continue adapting and modifying our products to meet the changing requirements of flight crew, ground operations and the business aviation infrastructure,” says President of Satcom Direct Business Aviation, Chris Moore.


ASM

Aircraft Systems and Manufacturing, Inc. (ASM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of JANA, Inc., announced it has achieved FAA Organization Designation Authorization (ODA) after completing the extensive application and preparatory effort coordinated through the FAA’s Delegation Systems Certification Office. This appointment allows ASM’s ODA unit to conduct an array of aircraft design certification functions and approvals typically provided by the FAA.

This designation enables ASM to directly provide certification approvals for avionics and aircraft system integration solutions for Part 25 aircraft, functions which are typically conducted by the FAA’s Aircraft Certification Service. This provides aerospace companies with a much shorter path to certification as it bypasses the lengthy wait times often associated with submitting documents to the FAA for review and approval.

“This is a big step forward for us as an organization,” says ASM President Edward A. (Ean) Niland. “It not only shows the faith that the FAA has in our people and our processes, but it allows us to streamline the STC certification process for the airlines, MRO’s and equipment OEM’s that we work with, which is as important in this current business climate as it ever has been.”

Pete Chilsen, ASM’s Vice President of Sales, believes that the company’s new designation will provide much needed relief to certification project timelines for companies throughout the aviation industry. “Our designation as an ODA allows us to offer our customers a much higher level of service than we ever could have before. It gives aircraft owners, operators and integrators a new path toward expedited certification, which has been a serious issue for many of them in the past few years. The sheer volume of new and supplemental aircraft type design certification programs continues to increase, and we are proud to be able to offer our services to supplement the diligent efforts of the FAA.”


Airbus: August In Review

Airbus’ 2020 gross orders by August 31st totaled 370 aircraft with net orders of 303,  after the year’s cancellations. The company registered 1 new order for an ACJ320neo and no cancellations in August.

In August, Airbus delivered a total of 39 aircraft spread out between  35 A320 Family aircraft including the first A321neo to Gulf Air, two A330 including the first A330-900 to Portuguese carrier Orbest and two A350.

Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of August 31st stood at 7,501 comprising  524 A220s, 6,091 A320 Family aircraft (including 6,034 A320neo Family), 319 A330s (including 285 A330neo Family), 558 A350 XWBs and nine A380s.


China Eastern Airlines Uses Big Data From ‘Clear Your Plate’ Initiative

“Wow! You finished all your food. Well done, little handsome,” a stewardess said to a little boy on flight MU5427 of China Eastern Airlines (China Eastern) on August 18. The praise aroused a round of warm applause from other passengers.

The occasion described above was actually a common scene on flights of China Eastern since the company actively joined the nationwide “Clear Your Plate” initiative 2.0 against food waste in China with actual practice.

China Eastern has asked flight attendants to verbally remind passengers to not waste food and take only what they need, and added labels with the words “‘Clear Your Plate’ initiative” onto the packages of in-flight meals.

Besides in-flight friendly reminders of the initiative, China Eastern has also put up eye-catching signboards bearing slogans such as “Take as much as you need, and say ‘no’ to food wastage”, as well as “Strictly practice thrift and oppose waste” in its VIP rooms at airports across the country.

Moreover, the company has taken advantage of big data in in-flight meal preparation and established an effective food preparation scheme as part of the efforts to curb food wastage.

According to relevant statistics, the system can save about 100 kg to 150 kg of food materials on a daily basis for the in-flight meal processing workshop of China Eastern in Shanghai alone.

In order to make sure the amount of food prepared for each flight is reasonable, China Eastern’s catering staff now pay real-time attention to flight information and changes in passengers’ seats through the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system of the company, and adjust the amount of food for flights timely before delivery.

Recently, China Eastern launched an innovative “souvenir-like” snack for long-haul flights which are not during breakfast or dinner time, substituting home-made exquisite cakes, bread, fruit and desserts kept in lunch boxes or bags for the previous airline snacks, so that passengers can take the snacks away if they could not finish them on the plane.


OTHER NEWS

Gogo’s new 3,000ft service altitude is giving AVANCE customers 20 more minutes of inflight Wi-Fi time: Here are 6 productive ways to spend it. Ask any busy professional, and they’ll all agree that time is their greatest, and most limited, asset. That’s why Gogo worked tirelessly to lower its network service altitude from 10,000ft AGL to just 3,000ft. It’s a big change that will give Gogo AVANCE customers, on average, an extra 20 minutes of inflight connectivity. Plus, for the first time ever, smaller aircraft that don’t typically fly above 10,000 feet will now have the opportunity to enjoy seamless inflight connectivity for the majority of their flight.

Why is 20 more minutes of Wi-Fi a big deal? Here’s a list of 6 productive things you could do to make valuable use of your flight time:

1. Join a Zoom or Teams group meeting – Connect live with your colleagues sooner, and for longer during your flight.

2. Download The Pomodoro Technique on Audible – Learn how to use this legendary time management strategy. The Pomodoro Technique (Audiobook) by Francesco Cirillo | Audible.com

3. Check and reply to your email – On average, professionals check their email 15 times per day, or every 37 minutes.

4. Watch Simon Sinek’s: How Great Leaders Inspire Action – This TED talk is 18 minutes and hugely popular. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | TED Talk

5. Binge on the news – On the Gogo network, the most popular sites with business travelers are Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, NBC, the New York Times and ESPN.

6. Schedule a ride and find a great place to eat

According to Gogo bizav customers, Yelp and Uber are 2 highly valuable personal apps.
There’s so much more you can do to maximize 20 extra minutes. And connecting at lower altitudes is yet another example of why AVANCE is connectivity’s smartest platform: allowing Gogo to quickly and easily deploy new innovations for our customers.


PANASONIC

Air Tanzania has selected Panasonic Avionics’ (Panasonic) inflight entertainment (IFE) and connectivity systems to enhance the passenger experience onboard its Airbus A220 aircraft. The airline has equipped two of its A220s with Panasonic’s eX1 IFE solution which is specifically designed for narrowbody aircraft. Each seat will feature elegant full HD seatback monitors, complete with touch displays and handsets, and an intuitive, personalized interface. Passengers will have access to USB and laptop charging power points at every seat.

Air Tanzania’s A220s will also be fitted with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service. Panasonic’s next generation connectivity enables fast internet to video streaming, all powered by its new satellite modem featuring bandwidth up to twenty times greater than previously available.

The announcement marks the extension of Panasonic’s relationship with Air Tanzania following the airline’s selection of its inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions for two of its Boeing 787 aircraft and two Airbus A220s in 2018. “By selecting Panasonic’s inflight entertainment and connectivity systems, Air Tanzania can deliver personalized, immersive entertainment to every passenger, no matter where in the cabin they are seated,” said Ken Sain, Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics Corporation. “These inflight experiences will help Air Tanzania encourage brand loyalty, keeping their valued customers coming back time and time again.”

The flag carrier of Tanzania was the first African airline to take delivery of the A220 in November 2018 and January 2019. It operates a fleet consisting of the Dash 8-Q400, Airbus A220 and Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. “Operating our new A220 equipped with Panasonic’s IFE and Wi-Fi service brings together the right culture, values, and expertise to fulfil our goal of satisfying our customers—which is part of our vision.” said Eng. Ladislaus Matindi, CEO & Managing Director of Air Tanzania. “The installation of Panasonic’s systems allow ATCL operations to adjust to the new market realities. With highly-standardized facilities, Air Tanzania will expand its geographic reach by merging with other partners—especially foreign ones. This will also further strengthen our operations through more innovative strategies and allow us to remain competitive in today’s emerging markets.”

Also from PAC: Panasonic Avionics Corporation has announced the appointment of Joe Bentley as Chief Technology Officer.

Bentley, who joins Panasonic, will be responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s software and systems engineering teams, cloud, hardware, and IT/security. He will serve as a key member of Panasonic’s executive team and be directly responsible for an organization of over 800 employees spread across Panasonic’s Lake Forest, California headquarters, as well as the Bay Area office and other global locations.

Bentley was previously Senior Vice President, Engineering at Hulu where he led its 700-person engineering, program, and research organizations across three international offices. During his tenure, Hulu doubled subscribers to over 30 million while becoming the largest digital multichannel video programming distributor (DMVPD) in the US. Prior to joining Hulu in 2018, Bentley was Vice President, Software Engineering at GoPro, leading the company’s overall software research and development and launching its award-winning mobile apps to over 150 million devices worldwide and bringing its spherical Fusion camera to market. From 2012-2015, he was Director, Digital Products at Amazon, where he launched the market-leading Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick and led the development of the first-of-its-kind feature, the award-winning Voice Search through Alexa. Fire TV Stick was the fastest-selling product in Amazon’s history.


BOEING

Boeing and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, have finalized agreements for several supply chain solutions. These agreements strengthen Etihad’s commitment to ensuring the on-time performance and availability of its aircraft. The solutions included in the minimum 10-year agreements will help the airline simplify asset and maintenance management, reduce spare parts costs and improve parts availability. The new contracts include Boeing’s Component Services Program, Landing Gear Exchange program and Quick Engine Change kit purchases.

The agreements continue the strategic partnership between Boeing and Etihad Airways announced during the Dubai Air Show in 2019.

Etihad Airways joins the growing list of customers that trust Boeing solutions to enable and support the future growth of their 787 Dreamliner fleet, pushing the Boeing share of the 787 fleet’s component services market to almost 30 percent. This includes a 50 percent share of the 787-10 variant, covering both in-service fleet and orders on backlog.

Also from Boeing: FAA says when it issues NPRM for AD affecting the 737 MAX, it will keep commitment to transparency and provide 45 days for public comment on proposed design changes and crew procedures, which would most likely mean the aircraft will not return to service until 4Q20 at earliest. (SpeedNews)

And more Boeing News: DHL Express and Boeing announced that it will add four 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) as part of the logistics company’s efforts to continue modernizing and growing its fleet with cost-efficient and reliable freighters. This step is part of DHL’s effort to modernize its long-haul intercontinental fleet in order to fly more eco-friendly and cost-efficiently. The aircraft are converted from passenger to freighter configuration by Boeing to fit the needs of DHL Express and meet the rising global demand for express services.
The world’s most efficient medium wide-body twin-engine freighter, the Boeing 767 freighter family boasts the lowest direct operating costs, best payload-to-weight ratio and allows airlines to develop new opportunities in the long-haul, regional and feeder markets. The 767-300BCF has virtually the same cargo capability as the 767-300F production freighter with approximately 50 tonnes structural payload at a range of approximately 3,000 nautical miles (5,556 kilometers) and 412,000 pounds (186,880 kilograms) maximum takeoff weight.

 


OTHER NEWS

Today’s Image: the new Airbus A330-200 MRTT air-bridge flight between Europe and China delivering additional face mask supplies to support the COVID-19 crisis.


ECLIPSE GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY & DISPLAY INTERACTIVE

Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive have signed a strategic agreement to provide end-to-end Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity solutions to airlines and business aviation operators worldwide. The agreement, which came into effect on March 15, 2020, sees Eclipse Global Connectivity taking an equity position in Display Interactive (DI) and becoming their first industry-based shareholder.

“This agreement brings our relationship to a new level,” said Marc Pinault, CEO Eclipse Global Connectivity. “We have a long-standing relationship with Display Interactive and we are con – dent that our respective partners and customers will see an immediate benefit from this partnership. We are combining the quality and flexibility of DI’s proven wireless solution for air- lines with the technical, design and security expertise of our own connectivity systems, plus our long-time engineering and certification know-how. As a result, we can o er a comprehensive IFE solution to our customers.”

Highlighting the value that the partnership will bring to airline operators, Display Interactive’s CEO, Tarek El Mitwalli says, “Over the past 18 months, Display Interactive has invested heavily in the transformation of its wireless entertainment solution into an engagement and ancillary plat- form—focused on revenue generation. Adding connectivity will multiply revenue opportunities and open new business models for airlines.”

Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive are creating a one-stop shop for airlines, to streamline the implementation process, roll-out and service operation. Airlines, including Qatar Airways, Corsair International, and the former Joon / Air France, rely on DI’s solutions. British Airways, Philippine Airlines, and Ethiopian airlines, among others, y with Eclipse Technics, the aircraft modification arm of Eclipse Global Connectivity, solutions on board. Leveraging this expertise in technical design, kit manufacturing, STCs and engineering studies, both companies will o er an end-to-end inflight entertainment and connectivity solution under a single point of contact and a unique SLA (Service Level Agreement), reducing costs and delays.

Intending to demonstrate immediate benefits, Eclipse Global Connectivity and DI are launching a new entity based in Shanghai, China, which will be jointly operated under a new name. The company will commence operations in mid-2020, the schedule slightly impacted by the CO- VID-19 pandemic.

The new company will provide a customized, localized version of the complete Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive IFEC solution, fully integrated into the Chinese aero and digital ecosystems.

“Our main goal is to serve Chinese airlines directly in-country,” observed Thierry Carmes, COO at DI. “This means customizing our solution to fully meet airline- and business-partner-specific requirements, as well as supporting their programs and operations locally on a day-to-day basis. We are keen to demonstrate that our IFEC model will work in China—with the same benefits and performance as elsewhere. This is an invigorating challenge, and a deep motivation for our local teams, particularly since many connectivity programs have not yet delivered expected results.”

“Airline demand for airborne connectivity in China is growing, but not satisfied yet,” explained Marc Pinault. “Our strategy is to bring solutions that are already in common use in Europe or the Middle East, and deliver them with the Chinese operator and passenger specifically in mind. Our shared intention is to adapt and to become an integral part of the Chinese IFEC ecosystem.”

Display Interactive and Eclipse Global Connectivity are looking forward to providing cost-effective, innovative IFEC solutions that generate ancillary revenues, and being ready for when the aviation industry ramps-up service again in a few months. Their overriding aim is to offer a complete off-the-shelf solution from nose-to-tail, that ts all kinds of aircraft and delivers a visionary passenger experience and benefits for operators.


Editorial Courtesy of VT Miltope: Software Defined Cabin Wireless Networks

For two decades, cabin wireless functionality has been driven by aviation standards such as ARINC 763 and ARINC 628 Part 1. The industry has evolved through IEEE 802.11a to 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6). Each time the “standards upgrade” resulted in a higher functionality, often simply related to higher data throughput rates.

Unfortunately, these evolving standards resulted each time in changing radio equipment; subsequently, driving new access point hardware designs. At that time the technological race between the various vendors was determined by who was able to adapt the previous “box” to the new standard faster.

Meanwhile the factors that drive the evolution of the value and services generated by, and with, the cabin Wi-Fi networks for passengers and airlines are no longer just determined by the latest transmission standard. They are driven by various other functionalities of the Wi-Fi network that can be implemented through software solutions and do not necessarily need a change in hardware. The system complexity shifts from designing new hardware towards establishing a hardware infrastructure that can handle continuous functionality or performance improvements via software changes.  Software becomes the leading design entity creating value and flexibility, with hardware providing the processing platform.

Two examples for such software based added-value solutions are Hotspot 2.0 -allowing for seamless Wi-Fi roaming between different providers, systems and modes of transportation – and the embedding of Cyber Security applications to incorporate continuous network monitoring and anomaly detection as essential functionalities of the systems operation.

Miltope Corporation’s next generation cabin wireless solution, the xMAP, is driven by this evolved design philosophy. It enables the xMAP to be an adaptable foundational component to any wireless network in the aircraft.


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced actions the Company has taken to address the impact the coronavirus, or COVID-19, is having on the aerospace industry and its business. Peter Gundermann, Astronics Chairman and CEO, noted, “This is an unprecedented situation in our industry and we have to take measurable actions. First and foremost is the safety of our team members. We have implemented enhanced cleaning protocols, increased spacing of workstations, work-from-home wherever possible, minimization of visitors, meetings and travel as well as emphasizing the importance of personal hygiene and responsibility.”


AIRBUS

Airbus has deployed a new air-bridge flight between Europe and China to deliver additional face mask supplies to France, Germany, Spain and United Kingdom health systems in support of the COVID-19 crisis efforts (today’s rectangle). The aircraft, an Airbus A330-200 undergoing conversion as Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), took off on 26 March at 19.15 local time (CET) from Airbus’ Getafe site near Madrid. (Spain) reaching the Airbus site in Tianjin (China) on 27 March. The aircraft, operated by an Airbus crew, returned to Spain on 28 March at 04.05 local time (CET) with a cargo of more than 4 million face masks. In recent days, Airbus had already organized flights from Europe and China with A330-800 and A400M aircraft to donate thousands of face masks to hospitals and public services around Europe.

Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury provides an update on the Company’s action to support the fight against Covid-19.
 Airbus CEO statement on Covid-19 – YouTube

The Spanish Government announced new measures on 29 March in the fight against COVID-19. These measures are taking effect between Monday 30 March and Thursday 9 April inclusive and restrict all non-essential activities across the country. Some key activities in Commercial Aircraft, Helicopters and Defence and Space remain essential. Minimum activity in these areas for necessary support functions such as Security, IT, Engineering, will remain under the stringent health and safety measures implemented by Airbus to protect its employees against the COVID-19 pandemic. All other activities in Commercial Aircraft, Defense and Space as well as Helicopters in Spain will be paused until 9 April, the date when it is foreseen that restrictions will be lifted. Airbus will closely work with its social partners to apply the social measures applicable under the latest restrictions. Airbus employees in Spain whose jobs are not linked to production and assembly activities and can work from home will continue to support Airbus business continuity in these difficult times. As a leading company, Airbus needs to retain its ability to support the global crisis efforts, support customers, suppliers and continue to bring its essential contribution to society.


BOEING

Boeing announced a temporary suspension of production operations at its Puget Sound area facilities in light of the state of emergency in Washington state and the company’s continuous assessment of the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in the region. These actions are being taken to ensure the well-being of employees, their families and the local community, and will include an orderly shutdown consistent with the requirements of its customers. Boeing plans to begin reducing production activity and projects the suspension of such operations to begin on Wednesday, March 25, at sites across the Puget Sound area. The suspension of production operations will last 14 days, during which Boeing will continue to monitor government guidance and actions on COVID-19 and its associated impacts on all company operations. During this time, we will be conducting additional deep cleaning activities at impacted sites and establishing rigorous criteria for return to work.

Editor’s Note: Boeing said they will be using 3D printing to develop and build face shields for medical personnel. They intend to transport the mask cargo on a Dreamliner – all this with their advanced technology and engineering personnel.


COVID-19


OTHER NEWS

Challenges and Opportunities In Today’s IFE Market

By: Juraj Siska of IdeaNova

Building an IFE system into an airline platform is more attainable than ever before. With advancements in technology and a growing proportion of younger passengers expecting entertainment during their flight, integration is both affordable and necessary. Although there are some challenges, there are also many opportunities to include an IFE system in your airline.

Challenges to Including IFE on Your Aircraft

IFE providers need to pay attention to studio requirements, which have increased significantly for display as well as headend servers located on the aircraft.  These requirements range from various operational procedures which are there to ensure data integrity, to authenticity and the ability to handle a wide range of common malicious activities such as physical theft.  Another group of requirements is specific to the hardware the IFE providers choose to either play or stream media content.  For example, to stream higher quality video (content that is higher than Standard Definition) displays and headend servers must be equipped with hardware components that ensure hardware based protection for managing and using content keys.  This is a shift that has recently been documented by studios and industry representatives in the Apex 0415 v2 specification.

Opportunities to Include IFE on Your Aircraft

However, even with studio challenges, content is also more accessible – directly in-browser, eliminating the need for the download of applications or browser plugins (a nuisance that was finally put to bed when the majority of browser vendors stopped supporting plugins).  Content is also more standardized, allowing interoperability between products from Apple, Microsoft and Google.  This results not only in a better user experience but also operational efficiencies gained by deploying only one set of content that can be played equally well on Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android phone or tablet.

There is also an increasing amount of content being made available, ranging from standard Hollywood studio content to independent movies or video created by famous Internet celebrities – widely sought by especially younger audience.

An important opportunity has emerged in IFE, and that is affordability.  The cost of an IFE system is rapidly decreasing.  This is enabled by the cost of hardware (Moore’s law) and the ability to stream content directly to personal devices.  Retrofitting cabins with new displays and wires can be costly and time consuming, but the implementation of a portable IFE system that streams wirelessly to passengers’ personal devices is much simpler and faster to rollout.  Improvements in wireless technology also aid in this trend, by making wiring between IFE servers and displays no longer necessary.  Additionally, new wireless specs (e.g. WiFi 6 and LiFi) are eagerly anticipated by the industry to bridge IFE technology to all aspects of aviation.  A common misconception is that IFE needs to be accompanied with IFC.  While connectivity is important and adds to overall passenger satisfaction, it is not mandatory for a functional IFE.  This drives the cost further down.

IFE Can Be Part of Your Airline Operations

It is always advantageous to be apprised of the capabilities that a new technology can bring to the table in the form of improved passenger experience or optimized workflow.  We are at a junction in IFE where what used to be an expensive value proposition, affordable for only the largest airlines, is now realistic and accessible to all aircraft operators.  Airlines and operators should embrace this opportunity to improve the passenger experience and retain customers.


AIRBUS

Benefiting from a maximum take-off weight increase to 251 tonnes, the A330neo offers a significant 650-nautical mile boost in range – or six tonnes more payload – when compared to the A330neo’s current 242-tonne version. This increase in range responds to evolving market needs, enabling airlines to benefit from the unique economics of the A330neo on even longer routes. Taking to the skies for the first time this past week from Toulouse, France, was the 251-tonne A330-900 – which provides the perfect fit for longer trans-Pacific or Asia-Europe routes. The A330-900 is the longer-fuselage A330neo version, seating 260-300 passengers in a typical three-class cabin configuration. The shorter-fuselage A330-800 – which accommodates 220-260 passengers in a three-class configuration, will open up very-long-range Pacific routes for the 251-tonne version, while delivering the lowest seat-mile cost in its category.

Since the beginning of the year Airbus logged net orders for 274 commercial aircraft from its A220, A320 and A350 XWB product lines in activity. During the month of February, Airbus recorded no new orders. In February Airbus delivered 55 aircraft to 35 customers. Single-aisle deliveries in February involved 40 A320 Family aircraft (composed of 37 NEO versions and three in the CEO configuration); plus four A220s. For Airbus widebody aircraft, seven A350 XWBs were provided in the A350-900 configuration and two A350 XWBs in the A350-1000 configuration; along with two A330 Family aircraft (composed of one NEO version and one CEO). Airbus registered three new airlines in its A320neo operator base this month and among the month’s notable deliveries was the first A350-900 delivered to AEROFLOT out of 22 aircraft of the type on order. Airbus’ backlog of aircraft remaining to be delivered as of 29th of February stood at 7,670. This total was comprised of 6,209 A320 Family aircraft and 547 A220s, as well as 328 A330s, 577 A350 XWBs and nine A380s.

The overall total orders logged by Airbus since its creation to 20,382 commercial aircraft, which includes 15,522 A320 Family aircraft, 1,823 A330s, 935 A350 XWBs, 658 A220s and 251 A380s.


SITA

How Will 5G Transform Air Travel?

SITA, the leading IT provider for the air transport industry, has made six predictions about how ultra-fast 5G networks will bring major change for airports, airlines, and passengers. With download speeds of up to 400MB per second, 5G will be a game-changer.

The potential for innovation is huge and airports, airlines, and passengers will feel the force of 5G in very different ways. SITA’s predictions are based on unique IT insights and emerging air transport industry technology trends. They follow hot on the heels of 5G trials like the recent ones carried out by both London Gatwick Airport and Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport services which signpost our entry into a new era of ultra-connected air travel. Gilles Bloch-Morhange, VP SITA Platform, said: “5G is already enhancing our existing applications at airports, for aircraft communications, airport operations, baggage management, and of course passenger processing. And it’s impossible to talk about 5G without discussing Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and the other applications it enables. We’re already using 4G for IoT applications for several applications around our biometric passenger processing solution, such as Smart Path and baggage management and the uptake of 5G will provide many more opportunities.” 5G is coming fast. According to CSS Insight data*, there will be 340 million 5G connections globally by 2021 and a staggering 2.7 billion by 2025, mostly in developed markets. In money terms, in the aviation industry 5G amounted to just USD 0.2 billion in 2019 but is projected to reach USD 4.2 billion by 2026.

Fast forward: how will we use 5G in 2025?

5G will be the lifeblood of IoT

5G will soon be commonplace at airports and the idea of everything intelligently connected to everything will be viable.

The Internet of Things (IoT) brings the inherent need to manage increasing amounts of objects and therefore data. Today’s 4G technology can manage around 10,000 devices in each square kilometer; a 5G network can manage a million. Multiple objects at airports will interact with people and objects will interact among themselves. With 5G, connectivity will be much more fluid and flexible. The new networks will enable massive data flows, providing secure, real-time, predictive and historic views of airport operations. This will make collaboration between airports, airlines, ground handlers, air traffic managers and concession holders easier and effective. The result will be the intelligent monitoring of queues throughout the airport and tracking and controlling autonomous vehicles that assist passenger journeys. Vehicles on the ramp will be served by connected smart tugs and baggage carts. Wheelchairs, mobile kiosks, and robotic assistants will be controlled remotely. It is not all about bandwidth. 5G’s low latency will make autonomous vehicles much safer. With signals going up to 100 times faster than 4G, the speed of digital instructions will make the difference between a vehicle traveling tens of meters or just a few centimeters before taking corrective action.

5G will power air transport-specific AI applications

5G connected Artificial Intelligence (AI) will solve major pain points at airports and borders. For example, biometrically matching passengers to their bags will be simple. AI will be able to recognize unique scuff marks, creases, and material characteristics to distinguish between seemingly identical bags and match them to the correct passenger. AI-assisted computer vision will continually scan boarding gate areas and intelligently predict capacity issues for hand luggage on flights and enable staff to act accordingly before boarding.

5G will drive operational efficiency, increase ancillary revenues and cut costs.

Putting IoT and 5G together will offer great opportunities for airlines and airports to unlock the value of all their data to deliver tangible business benefits. All airport assets will be connected, making monitoring efficiency and optimizing usage much simpler. It will, for example, provide the tools to make vehicle usage around the airport more efficient, delivering considerable savings in fuel costs and overall resources, including labor.

5G will mean exploitation of the potential of ‘flying data centers’

5G will enable the next-generation aircraft to exchange vast amounts of data around the airport and at the gate. The fast transmission of aircraft data, and analysis of that data, will enable pro-active maintenance, quicker aircraft turn-around, more on-time departures and, most importantly, an improved customer experience. Convergence of 5G and satellite communications will serve the end-to-end approach of the aircraft as an IoT-flying device, connecting it with all the relevant systems. Airports will control Wi-Fi quality and have improved disruption management capabilities We see opportunities in licensed and unlicensed 5G spectrums thanks to new 5G standards. Airports will have more control of quality of service in their private and public spaces, converging 5G with Wi-Fi networks to create a seamless mobile experience, with continuous connectivity.

5G is likely to replace the commonly used digital radio communications service TETRA, which is only voice-enabled, for operational and mission-critical services, providing a secure network for running airport operations. Airport staff will have access to real-time rich video updates and live feeds based on evolving scenarios and locations, as well as CCTV feeds for computer vision analysis for many functions and enabled remote biometrics.

5G will deliver the digital traveler promise

For passengers, real-time augmented reality and personalized mobile services will be provided, combining all data exchanged from the various applications and interactions with the building and objects. The airport will provide passengers with relevant, contextualized information and services to assist and entertain them. HD films will download in seconds, entire series will be available to watch offline almost instantly and passengers will be able to live stream sports events in crystal clear quality, no matter how busy the airport.


OTHER NEWS

  • IATA is now projecting global passenger revenue losses of $63b-$113b in 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak; no estimates are yet available for the impact on cargo operations.
  • Curious about the size of the Airbus A380 vertical stabilizer? Check out number 7 in this image (#7 BrightSide photo – 20+ Things That Are So Awfully Big, It’s Inappropriate There are 22 people standing at the base! (Editor’s Note: The other images are amazing as well!)
  • Trying to figure where to move and get a tech job? San Francisco and a few other cities saw most growth in new tech jobs – Vox
  • If jet engine operation is a mystery to you – here is a good introduction to how they operate – How A Jet Engine Starts – YouTube
  • We Were Wondering: As the ‘virus’ blasts the airline industry, companies like Airbus and Boeing are going to feel their losses later this year. And speaking of Boeing, as upper management from New York, Chicago, or wherever, works to redevelop and rebuild the Boeing 737 MAX, we wonder if they have considered an upper level observation team of top retired expert design/management/manufacturing heroes (such as Alan Mullally, for example) who could provide teamed guidance/assistance/recommendations on the corrections to the ’737?