NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns looks on during the second half of the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)Houston coach Tom Herman may be the hottest coaching commodity in the country after leading the Cougars to an upset victory over Florida State in the Peach Bowl on Thursday, but his wife Michelle might have attracted her own set of suitors after the contest. Michelle Herman’s Twitter mentions skyrocketed after she was shown live on ESPN.There are thousands of tweets – you can guess why.Mrs. Tom Herman pic.twitter.com/Pbm7G1dwCL— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) December 31, 2015If Tom Herman’s wife cheated on me I would apologize to her pic.twitter.com/Ilk2BoL5w1— BMOC (@TailgateC9) December 31, 2015Tom Herman’s wife is proof he can recruit. Hubba hubba— Brandon #GoBucks (@fierybuckeye) December 31, 2015Y’all see Tom Herman’s wife? Lawd have mercy— Max Thompson (@itsmaxthompson) December 31, 2015Did @UHouston name their mascot after Head Coach Tom Herman’s wife? Daaang!!! #Cougars @ESPNCFB— Kacey Brown (@KaceBrown) December 31, 2015Tom Herman’s wife….straight up hottie.— Matt (@gatriguy) December 31, 2015Tom Herman’s wife. It’s fair to say the man is winning both on and off the field.— Donny (@DonnyTello50) December 31, 2015Lol Tom Herman’s wife finna break twitter. You guys make me laugh.— Chad (@ChadSpringer) December 31, 2015Life isn’t so bad for Tom Herman right now.
Delaney Windigo APTN National NewsAfter spending years on a housing wait list, a Six Nations woman is getting a new place to live.It was donated by a company based in New Mexico, and it’s not your average home.
The global travel and tourism industry is one of the most dynamic economic powerhouses on the planet. It not only creates jobs, but connects businesses to markets, drives exports, is a catalyst for prosperity and generally helps people enjoy better lives worldwide. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the sector accounts for 10.4% of global GDP and 313 million jobs, making it one of the largest contributors economically in the world. The connectivity provided by international air and rail transport is one of the key factors in facilitating its growth.It is estimated that over half of international tourists travel by air, meaning aviation plays a crucial role in supporting one of the globe’s most important economic sectors. And according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), it contributes an enormous €2.3 trillion with more than 120,000 flights taking off daily – transporting more than 10 million passengers worldwide.It’s clear that the aviation sector is thriving, and the global rail market is also in a period of growth according to the 2018 Worldwide Market for Railway Industries Study. Since 2016, its value has grown from €169 billion to €183 billion, with the rate outstripping forecasted growth of 2.3% two years ago, to 2.8%.This strong growth has resulted in changes across the air and rail sectors with a greater focus on improving customer satisfaction levels through innovations in onboard service and environments. For example, a new raft of commercial aircraft models from leading manufacturers Airbus and Boeing has forced airlines to refine the offering they provide to passengers, while developments in onboard catering and cutting-edge technology are attracting passengers to travel operators that have a modern and unique approach to travel. The key to sustaining this success lies in being aware of – and acting on – key trends without being outmaneuvered by competitors.The spotlight is on passenger experienceThis year’s Passenger Experience Week, taking place in Hamburg from 1-4 April 2019, brings together four leading events that aim to provide ideas, inspiration and solutions for air, rail and cruise buyers looking to improve the experience they offer to their passengers. Comprising Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE); Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS); and the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC), the series of events will showcase the latest cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail offerings and technology software that will ultimately transform the experience passengers receive on a plane, train, coach or cruise ship.Over 950 exhibitors will be on hand throughout the week to showcase their innovations to 18,000 attending industry professionals. Of these, more than 2,000 will be VIP guests – leading decision makers representing the world’s major air and rail operators – looking to find those unique, new-to-market products that will set their business apart from the rest. Face-to-face buying, selling and networking will dominate proceedings across the Hamburg Messe throughout the week.Learning from industry visionariesMarking the start of Passenger Experience Week 2019, the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) will bring together thought leaders from across the global aviation, rail and cruise sectors, who will share new ideas and discuss the next steps in the evolution of the passenger experience from onboard environments to services.Delegates joining this year’s conference on 1 April will be able to hear speakers from Airbus; Seymourpowell; Diehl Aviation; Panasonic Avionics Corporation; Collins Aerospace; and Passenger Experience Week supporting organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA).Opening the conference, Joe Leader, Chief Executive Officer of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and International Flight Services Association (IFSA), will provide the inside track on the strategies that will deliver more competitive cabins. He will offer insight on how to deliver greater value for passengers and improve revenue for airlines; the transformative approaches to making the journey better; and how to integrate new technologies and tools every step of the way.Following the day’s keynote sessions, three breakout streams will focus the discussion on key trends shaping the future of the industry – The Competitive Cabin, Digital: The New Reality, and Revitalising the Journey.The Competitive Cabin stream will help delegates understand how suppliers are innovating products and services to deliver a better passenger experience and increase revenue. The session will explain the importance of technology collaborations in creating innovative interiors solutions that enhance the journey of all travellers – including those with mobility, visual or hearing impairments.With a digital revolution underway in the travel sectors, Digital: The New Reality will explore the importance of integrating technology across the entire journey to create a seamless and connected environment. Speakers will explore the role of automated and digital/mobile self-service; how biometric technologies are opening up opportunities through airports and on aircraft; and how the food and retail experience onboard can be digitalised to improve engagement and passenger enjoyment.In the final stream, Revitalising the Journey, speakers will address how new sensory technologies can help passengers navigate their journeys. From sensory touchpoints – sonic branding, voice technologies, haptic feedback – to augmented and virtual reality, delegates will learn more about the opportunities to improve experiences, while tackling new challenges in cabin design. Sessions will encourage delegates to rethink both the physical and onboard experience, from understanding how biometric technologies, such as facial recognition, are transforming passenger experiences in a world of self-service; to the opportunities to deliver outstanding personalisation, helping passengers to arrive at their destinations feeling relaxed and refreshed.20 years of cabin innovationWith the global aviation industry going from strength to strength, it’s no surprise that the airline interiors industry is also booming. The market for aircraft interiors is predicted to hit €13.9 billion by 2020 according to market research by Industry Arc, thanks to a dramatic surge in air travel and the accompanying upturn in passenger expectations as a result.For two decades, AIX has played a pivotal role in helping the world’s premier airlines source the latest cabin innovations, technologies, inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions that have transformed their offerings and helped turn them into the leading global players they are today. The 2019 instalment sees the exhibition reach its 20th anniversary with a celebration of the cutting-edge innovation that is continually propelling the industry forward.More than 500 businesses – including industry players both, large and small – will showcase their latest products and services aimed at enhancing the cabin, in-flight entertainment and connectivity onboard. These include materials suppliers such as Zotefoams, a world leader in cellular materials technology, which is confirmed to showcase its ZOTEK F foam. The material is manufactured from specialist PVDF engineering polymers to meet the exacting standards of aviation manufacturers. Helping to improve inflight hygiene, Mankiewicz will present its second-generation interior paint featuring antimicrobial effective additives. Its ALEXIT PureGuard paint contains special chemicals that hinder the spread of mould and unpleasant odours, helping to reduce the microbes and bacteria which accumulate over the course of a flight.And, with the industry’s leading seat manufacturers present, attendees will be able to discover the latest seat configurations from Safran SA; Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG; STELIA Aerospace; and Adient Aerospace, which will showcase its Ascent Business Class at the show. Molon Labe Seating will also join the line-up, revealing the launch customer for its S1 staggered short-range economy class seat.Visitors can also explore mock-ups of the new Boeing 777X – the largest and most efficient twin-engine jet in the world. The cabin interior, which will be on display at AIX 2019, is inspired by the comforts and conveniences of the 787 Dreamliner, with larger windows, a wider cabin, new lighting and enhanced architecture – all of which will be custom-tailored for a unique in-flight passenger experience. The 777X is one of many topics explored by Boeing’s Blake Emery and PJ Wilcynski on the newly launched PAX Week Views podcast. The podcast brings together a host of leading industry experts from across the aviation, rail and cruise sectors to share their thoughts on the future of the passenger experience industry. It is now available to download or stream via iTunes or Spotify here: http://bit.ly/2BopFfhAirline buyers looking for suppliers to support Maintenance, Retail and Overhaul (MRO) operations, will find a host of businesses that will be demonstrating the importance of cabin refurbishment services. Exhibitors, including Delta TechOps, Etihad Airways Engineering and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, will explain how they deliver the highest quality interior maintenance and refurbishment of seating, monuments – comprising galley, lavatory, closets, overhead bins and sidewall panels – IFEC solutions and unit load devices (ULDs).What’s on at AIXIn addition to the smorgasbord of innovations on display on the show floor, there will be a whole area dedicated to the very latest developments in inflight entertainment technology. According to IATA’s 2018 Global Passenger Survey, people now prefer to watch digital content on a seatback device (54%) rather than a personal device (36%).This technology and more will be presented in The IFEC Zone, which aims to keep visitors abreast of the latest developments in inflight technology solutions. It will feature everything from servers and OTT systems to 5G and VR, with more than 100 leading providers of state-of-the-art entertainment and communications solutions on display, including AirFi BV, Astronics, Panasonic, SITA OnAir, Thales and Kontron.Demonstrating how cinematic Virtual Reality (VR) can transport premium passengers to their own private movie theatres, SkyLights will reveal how operators can set themselves apart from the competition and enable passengers to enjoy the latest releases in 3D, 2D and 180° VR with its AlloSky VR Headset. Bluebox Aviation Systems will highlight the latest innovations in tablet-based and wireless IFE solutions including its Bluebox aIFE – an accessible IFE solution for passengers with sight loss that Virgin Atlantic launched in December 2017; while Gogo, the in-flight internet company, will demonstrate its next-generation satellite technology for global in-flight connectivity: Gogo 2Ku.Meanwhile IFEC technology will, for the second year, be recognised in the Crystal Cabin Awards, enabling visitors to quickly identify the most innovative new launches. Eight categories in total will be awarded, all of which celebrate innovation in the aircraft cabin. Innovations across the eight categories will be on display, with winners announced in the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre.Held within the theatre, the CabinSpace LIVE Seminar programme, offers a place for attendees to listen and learn from industry leaders, and discover the latest challenges and trends impacting the industry. Curated to help airlines grasp the opportunities and navigate the challenges posed by the ever-evolving air travel industry, this year will feature free-to-attend forecast sessions exploring a wide range of hot topics. The rapid evolution of connectivity, IFEC and tools for engagement; the outlook for the aircraft interiors industry; and IFC trends in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will all be covered.Airbus BizLab, a global aerospace accelerator, will also lead a panel discussion on the future of flight, questioning how factors such as demographic and economic growth, tourism trends, oil prices and the development of new and existing routes help shape air transport mobility. With a particular focus on innovation in aircraft interiors, a panel will discuss how global macro trends can change the future of aircraft-based mobility, moderated by Reymound Buckman, Airbus BizLab Campus Leader in Hamburg.As ever, there will be plentiful networking opportunities at AIX, focused particularly on helping to develop strong working business relationships between airlines and suppliers. The Airline Club Lounge, exclusively reserved for members of airlines, bizjets and lessors, is designed to provide a space to escape, relax, work or network away from the show floor.Serving up innovation at WTCEFor the past two decades, AIX has become the global meeting place for airlines to source innovative technologies and solutions to improve the passenger experience. In more recent years, it has been joined by sister exhibition, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), which has also grown significantly in its own right to become the leading global event for travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort.This year’s instalment, which sits alongside AIX at the Hamburg Messe in halls A1-A3, is set to be one of the biggest to date, thanks to continued demand for the very best onboard experience the world’s leading airlines, rail companies and cruise liners can provide.Indeed, according to Global Industry Analysts Inc., the worldwide market for in-flight catering services is projected to reach €15.5 billion by 2020, driven by ever increasing – and demanding – passenger traffic and an abundance of service innovations by airline operators. And with more than five million meals served onboard flights each day, it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for new and innovative ways to improve their onboard offerings and attract new customers.Many airlines are already switching things up when it comes to their catering. Take Emirates for example, which has announced it is building a vertical farm to grow food for its meals with less impact on the environment. Meanwhile, Delta Airlines is trialling a new three-course meal plan served with sparkling wine; Air France has added a new ‘healthy’ meal option to it’s a la carte menu, while conversely, Swiss Air has added new hot cheese fondue to its menu. Whatever the innovation, its clear there is a place in the market for new ideas when it comes to onboard catering, and this year’s WTCE is the place to find them.What’s on at WTCEThe free-to-attend exhibition houses over 350 suppliers of onboard products and services, including more than 180 dedicated to food and drink. These include The Barilla Group, which will showcase its dedicated line of Italian food solutions for foodservice professionals under its most famous and well-loved brands, Barilla and Mulino Bianco. Cuisine Solutions, an industry leader in the expert development and manufacturing of premium, fully cooked foods using the sous-vide method, will also be present, demonstrating its slow-cooking technique that was pioneered and perfected by its Chief Scientist Dr. Bruno Goussault.WTCE will once again present visitors with a host of new products for complimentary in-flight and buy onboard menus from cheeses to chocolates. Companies such as Brazzale Spa, the oldest Italian family business in the dairy and cheese-making industry; Butlers Chocolates, Ireland’s premier family-owned firm dedicated to the craft of exceptional chocolate-making; and Dr. Schär Group, the European leader in gluten-free products, will all present the latest food and beverages suitable for onboard consumption.Visitors can also see products from a broader range of categories including hygiene, transport and logistics, packaging, travel retail, passenger comfort and toys and games, with many launching products that have never been seen before. This year, visitors will have the opportunity to view products from the full spectrum of airline and rail suppliers – large and small – including LSG Group, Matrix, Bayart Innovations, dnata and gategroup, as well as those from more than 100 new exhibitors that have not previously launched into the industry.The New Exhibitor Village gives companies that are new to the industry the opportunity to reveal their services or products to more than 200 international airlines and rail operators. With a dedicated, stand-out area on the show floor, participants will benefit from a unique platform to market their innovations.Companies already signed up to showcase their products in the Village include Belberry Preserves, Belgian-based purveyors of fruit preserves; Chum Fruit Snacks, 100% healthy fruit snacks featuring the simplest purest ingredients; Farmhouse Biscuits, biscuits baked from traditional, old-family recipes; Nature Frais, an agri-food company which specialises in the cutting of fresh vegetables and fruits; and frozen bread producers Novepan.Elsewhere, there will be a selection of designated areas to enable visitors to easily identify products and services that are of interest to them. Giving airtime to brand new products will be the What’s New Onboard showcase that will feature products and innovations launched to the market in the past 12 months or less.The growing Focus on World Travel Retail will return to Hall A4 to showcase products that can help drive revenue opportunities onboard. In the cut-throat travel retail industry, operators need that all-important competitive edge to set their business apart from the rest and win customers. Exhibitors taking part this year include Schäfer Travel Retail GmbH, a supplier with more than 10 years’ experience supplying a wide selection of brands and products to over 60 airlines and 40 airports worldwide; Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel, a leading producer of a renowned range of Côtes de Provence rosés; Lemonaid Beverages, fairtrade lemonade made from fresh, organically grown ingredients; MeMento, a blend of distilled aromatic waters filled with the scents of the Mediterranean; and Gebr. Heinemann, one of the top players on the international travel retail market. Visitors will also have an opportunity to sample new products and engage with other attendees at the Gebr. Heinemann networking bar.The Spotlight on Travel Apparel feature, sponsored by Egret Aviation and MODUS, will return to the exhibition’s central entrance to showcase the latest onboard clothing. Operators looking to update their brand or source new uniforms will find plenty of inspiration and ideas in this area. Further examples of the latest uniforms, crew luggage and travel accessories can be found on the show floor, with new companies CREATION & IMAGE Paris, GATE8 Luggage, OX’BRIDGE and Sky Soles joining the exhibition.Also providing visitors with unrivalled inspiration for their air, rail and cruise operations will be this year’s Taste of Travel Theatre. Run in association with Onboard Hospitality magazine, presentations and live demonstrations – delivered by leading consultants, industry experts and award-winning chefs will aim to educate the audience about the future of the sector, encourage them to think about current and upcoming trends and urge them to understand how they can best enhance the passenger experience. Taking place across all three days of the show, the sessions will focus on a diverse range of trends including sustainability, packaging, food waste, pre-ordering and wellbeing.Sustainability in the air is one of the current industry hot topics and will feature prominently in this year’s Taste of Travel programme. Matt Rance of MNH Sustainable Cabin Services will lead this important debate in a session entitled Sustainable Thinking as he examines how suppliers and airlines can work together to provide cradle-to-grave thinking for onboard products.Phil Chadwick, editor of Packaging News magazine, will also chair a debate around the challenges of plastic and sustainability onboard, in a session entitled Less Plastic in the Air. Taking a look at current hot packaging innovations, a further session entitled Best Sustainable Packaging will invite five exhibitors to give a quick-fire pitch to three expert judges on how their solutions are the most environmentally friendly.Wellbeing is another hot topic that is sure to provoke lots of lively debate in the Taste of Travel Theatre. Tied to this is the theme of gut health, which will be addressed by Marc Warde, culinary consultant to the airline rail and cruise industries, as he explores the new generation of meat-free, gluten-free and allergy-friendly meals suitable for health-conscious passengers. Ariane Van Mancius of Now/New/Next will also examine the habits and hang ups of passenger eating habits in her session entitled ‘How Generations Y and Z eat’. She will look at the influences of these ‘new kids on the block’, and in particular how the rules are being re-written through social media and Instagram.Other themes that will be covered include ‘Dine on Demand’ by Werner Kimmeringer and Craig Devoy of Yates+Partners; how consumers are using technology to personalise their food, health, travel and lifestyle by Mariette Abrahams of Mariette Abrahams Consulting; ‘Pre-ordering’ by Delta Airlines Executive Chef Christian Hallowell; and a session on ‘Best Rail Dining in Europe’ by two members of the Junior National Team of AKC (Czech Chefs Culinary Association) who will also demonstrate the latest dining concepts on Czech Railways. In celebration of its centenary year, representatives from British Airways will also present some of the airline’s new menus along with samples.Returning to facilitate meetings on site, WTCE’s Business Meeting Hub provides the perfect place to do business at the show. Private meeting rooms will be available, enabling VIP airline and rail attendees to arrange meetings with existing or new suppliers. Also aiding relationship building is the improved My Event tool that allows visitors and exhibitors to pre-arrange meetings, so they can maximise time spent at the show.Embracing the digital revolutionLaunched last year to great acclaim, the Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) event will provide a new way for the aviation and rail sectors to improve passenger experience by bringing together some of the world’s most exciting and technologically advanced solutions. This year, the show is back, bigger and better, and ready to provide the perfect platform to showcase game-changing technologies to the world’s leading airlines, airports and rail operators.What’s on at PTS?Trends in technology impact all industries and travel is no exception. To stay competitive, the industry is turning towards the latest solutions to offer customers a better travel experience.Artificial Intelligence (AI), biometrics, blockchain, machine learning and Virtual Reality (VR) are all transforming the way people travel and developments in these areas are showing no sign of slowing down. And with airlines preparing to increase investment in IT by 3.6% as a percentage of their revenue, now couldn’t be a better time for the second edition of PTS, where it will move from the A Halls to Hall B4 Upper of the Hamburg Messe.The move positions the show closer to the popular In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Zone in the co-located Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and demonstrates the growing importance of big data analytics, machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions in personalising the passenger experience and delivering innovative in-flight entertainment services.Exhibitors at this year’s event will be showcasing a whole range of products, from ancillary revenue optimisation systems, CRM and Ecommerce Systems to IT solutions and mobile apps. These include Aviget Ltd, a technology start-up developing multi-platform chatbots, that helps airlines improve customer engagement. It enables passengers to get an instant answer to any question, book a flight, check-in online, get flight status alerts and even rebook cancelled flights without the need for human interaction. Also exhibiting at PTS, ECR Retail Systems, one of the oldest mobile EPoS providers in the UK, will demonstrate its in-flight mobile point of sale (MPoS) systems; TouchStar OnBoard Retail will introduce attendees to NovoStar, a software solution that facilitates the sale of in-flight duty free, catering and ancillary products; while Black Swan, will return to highlight the importance of data-driven passenger experience software solutions.In addition to the revolutionary technology on show at this year’s PTS, there will be a new feature taking centre stage with the aim of generating further cutting-edge innovation at the event. The Pax Tech Hack – Passenger Experience Week’s first ever Hackathon – will see teams of international developers, designers and marketers battle it out to create revolutionary new solutions that will improve the end-to-end passenger journey.With backing from the official supporting organisation, International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Pax Tech Hack will kick off with a selection of challenges that are currently facing the travel industry. Participating teams will be given just 48 hours to develop a functional concept, with a strong practical application, that will utilise new technologies to tackle issues and help shape the future of the global passenger experience industry.With the first two days of the hackathon devoted to non-stop development, the teams will then be given an opportunity to present their working concepts to judges on the show floor on the final day of PTS. With an audience of passenger experience professionals from airline and rail operators watching on, the winning team in each challenge will receive €5,000.This year’s event will include an exciting free-to-attend educational programme – the PTS Seminar Theatre. A host of industry experts will introduce and explore the latest smart solutions and innovative technologies, data tools and digital solutions that will transform the travel experience. The focus will be on how to enable more seamless and connected experiences, create new business models and increase engagements.Luke Miles, Co-founder and Creative Director of New Territory, will run a workshop on ‘Using emerging technologies to provide truly bespoke passenger experiences.’ The session will explore how airlines can offer more bespoke onboard services at both ends of the plane and achieve continuity between classes. He will present a suite of emerging technologies and examples that are shaping the future of the passenger experience and encourage discussion on the next steps for integration by operators across the air, rail and cruise industries.Speaking about the session, Luke commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to be taking part in this year’s PTS Seminar Theatre. The industry is fast approaching a turning point, which will see the passenger experience undergo a technologically-driven period of advancement. The topics covered in the programme – biometrics, bespoke onboard services and blockchain technology amongst others – will be central to this shift and I’m looking forward to hearing the ground-breaking ideas presented.”A further session titled ‘Flying in 2025 – a holistic approach to passenger engagement’ will be led by Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis, Founder and President of Branding.aero and Noesis Analysis labs. This interactive panel discussion will highlight the perspectives of aircraft manufacturers, technology providers, catering and culinary experts, behavioural scientists and passengers, providing a unique viewpoint on future passenger trends.It will also explore the deployment of the latest technological capabilities, focusing on the role of new aircraft and cabin designs; data analytics, augmented reality, co-branding, collaborations and new product development; passenger-journey customisation and passenger engagement via behavioural and biometric analyses.In another session, Anne De Hauw and Anne-Celine Donkersloot, from IN Air Travel Experience, will take part in a discussion on ‘Transforming the travel ecosystem: Why today’s digital travelers need you to be there’ beyond the flight’, while a session on blockchain technology will evaluate the potential opportunities and challenges that the burgeoning technology can offer the travel sector.Also under the spotlight, sessions will explore the power of biometrics and how it can remove stress and bottlenecks from the travel journey, for passengers and operators alike. Here, Pierre Charbonneau, Director, Passenger Experience & Facilitation from International Air Transport Association (IATA) – Passenger Experience Week’s supporting organisation – will join a panel to discuss One ID, IATA’s visionary concept that introduces a collaborative identity management solution, meaning passengers need to confirm their identity just once, eliminating repetitive ID checks at security, border control and the gate. And finally, during ‘Digital Visionaries’, industry-leading chief digital and passenger experience officers will present exclusive insights on how they are transforming passenger/traveller engagement within their organisations.Katie Murphy, Portfolio Director at Reed Exhibitions, said: “We’re delighted to return to Hamburg this April to mark the 20th anniversary of AIX and the continued growth of co-located events, World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, Passenger Technology Solutions and the Passenger Experience Conference.“More than ever, we’re seeing a clear need for collaboration and cross industry pollination as operators look to transform the passenger experience and learn from best practice across the industry. And, with digital technologies connecting services on the ground and in the air, our four events will help the aviation, rail and cruise sectors transform the passenger experience by sourcing the most innovative products and services and learn from the brightest minds from across the travel industry.”Passenger Experience Week 2019 returns to Hamburg from 1-4 April comprising Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE), Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) and the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC). The four leading events in one location – the Hamburg Messe – share one goal: to shine a light on the latest innovations and services available to enhance the travel experience and improve the onboard comfort and wellbeing of passengers.About Passenger Experience WeekFour leading events – the Passenger Experience Conference, Aircraft Interiors Expo, World Travel Catering and Onboard Services Expo and Passenger Technology Solutions – one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest in cabin interiors, in-flight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort, catering and travel retail to create the ultimate passenger experience. Taking place 1-4 April 2019 in Hamburg, the events attract more than 18,000 visitors including 2,000 buyers and decision makers from major full service, regional and charter airlines and rail operators and offers the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers and manufacturers covering the full spectrum of the industry.About Reed ExhibitionsReed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in over 30 countries. In 2016 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 38 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information and analytics for professional and business customer across industries.
Aireon today announced that Jonathan Astill, from NATS, has been tapped for strategic support and expertise to develop the new Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) Services line of business for Aireon.Astill, will act as Vice President and General Manager of ATFM Services and will develop Aireon’s ATFM business line, closely collaborate with introductory customers and establish a channel of partners to ensure a smooth rollout of the company’s offering. Aireon is deploying the world’s first and only global space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) aircraft surveillance and tracking service, providing real-time aircraft visibility anywhere on the planet.“Jonathan brings deep knowledge and expertise to Aireon at such a crucial moment for our company, as our system nears full operational status,” said Don Thoma, CEO, Aireon. “His extensive experience, working across multiple facets of the aviation industry, offers a unique perspective for this new line of business. We are thrilled that he will be working with our team.”Prior to taking on this new role, Astill served as Director of Alliances, Airline and International Affairs for NATS, the United Kingdom’s leading Air Navigation Service Provider, where he was responsible for NATS’ global engagement across the aviation industry. His career with NATS spans 30 years, with the first 10 years of his career as an operational Air Traffic Controller.In the Aireon role, Astill will be responsible for all aspects of Aireon’s ATFM services, leading technical support, business strategy, operations, business development and service rollout.“I am excited to assist the impressive Aireon team and help usher in this next era of global air traffic surveillance,” said Astill. “When I was in my previous position at NATS, Iworked with Aireon very closely on the deployment of their service in the UK and truly believe what Aireon is doing will change air traffic management and the aviation industry as a whole. I am honored to be working with Aireon at such an important time and look forward to getting started on their new business line.”On January 11, 2019, the final Iridium NEXT launch successfully took place from SpaceX’s west coast launch facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Each Iridium NEXT satellite hosts an AireonSM ADS-B payload. On February 6, 2019, Aireon formally took control of the final six payloads from Iridium Communications. With the final launch and payload handoff complete, Aireon is set to go live with its air traffic surveillance service in early Spring 2019.About Aireon LLCAireon is deploying a space-based air traffic surveillance system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) equipped aircraft throughout the entire globe. Aireon will harness next-generation aviation surveillance technologies that are currently ground-based and, for the first time ever, extend their reach globally to significantly improve efficiency, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide cost savings benefits to all stakeholders. Real-time ADS-B surveillance will cover oceanic, polar and remote regions, as well as augment existing ground-based systems that are limited to terrestrial airspace. In partnership with leading ANSPs from around the world, like NAV CANADA, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Enav, NATS and Naviair, as well as Iridium Communications, Aireon will provide a global, real-time, space-based air traffic surveillance system to all aviation stakeholders.
Think back to your last flight. You walked through the busy airport, down the jetway, or up the aircraft stairs. You entered the aircraft, turn right (or infrequently left), find your seat, and the clock starts: the airline has just about thirty seconds to impress you.Did it do so on that flight? Did the seat and its environment look welcoming, comfortable, interesting, and attractive? Or was it bland, blue-grey, poorly lit, and generic? If it was on a low-cost carrier, did it look cheap and cheerful, or cheap and nasty? If it was a full-service airline, did it look and feel premium, distinctive, or stylish? Did it meet the design, branding and experience expectations that the airline set for you in its advertising, booking process, and the #PaxEx so far?In economy and premium economy, the first impression we see is often set by the lighting. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the very latest in programmable lighting along the lines of that used by Finnair or Icelandair or Philippine Airlines. But it should at the very least be something more than the bright stark white that so many airlines still use, or the tired dim beige that screams thirty-year-old aircraft.Light-colored neutrals aren’t necessarily a problem if they can be coloured by light. Image: John WaltonThe seat fabric used is also key, and it’s a shame that so few airlines make the most of it. After all, it’s practically invisible once passengers are sitting on it, but there’s an opportunity for real fun and differentiation on first sight. Does it break up the serried ranks of seats? Does it catch the lighting, and does it harken back to the airline’s brand? Or is it row after row of dark blue or grey material that could belong to dozens of airlines?Could you name this airline from the cabin design? If not, does that create a problem for a carrier like Scoot? Image: John WaltonAll of those factors from economy are relevant in business and first class too, of course, where passengers paying premium fares are increasingly expecting a premium look and feel. But here there’s more space to work with — and correspondingly more design opportunities to grasp or to squander.Crucially, there is the factor of in-cabin seat shells to consider up front. Walls of greige thermoplastic should sound a cautionary note unless there is thoughtful, consistent lighting that ups the interest level, and a materials choice that works with the lighting rather than against it.Walls and cabin monuments, too, are growing in importance, as is the work done by companies like ABC International alongside design houses to brand cabins and give them a premium feel.Increasingly, the thought given to how the soft product for a flight is presented is a shibboleth for good design and good passenger experience in business class.How are the blankets, pillows, duvets, mattress pads, amenity kits, headphones slippers and other items presented? Are they squeezed into a shrink-wrapped plastic bag and shoved into the footwell? Do you end up with so much plastic wrapping to throw away that you wince in guilt for the future of the planet? Are the seat and side-table surfaces so covered with bits and bobs that you can’t put your hand luggage down to pull out the few things you need for takeoff and landing?Just how much plastic wrapping is truly required of soft product? Image: John WaltonOr have the headphones been discreetly hung on their special hook, the slippers slipped into the magazine rack, the amenity kit positioned attractively, the pillows arranged to look plump and inviting, the duvets tucked out of the way, the mattress pads stored overhead until it’s bedtime?A legitimate question for passengers – just where do you put all that stuff? Image: John WaltonOnce you’re seated, is the screen on and showing something attractive, informative, fun, or otherwise eye-catching? Is what you’re looking at interesting or swanky enough to take a quick snapshot for your family and friends on social media? Or are you staring at a featureless seatback and a dark screen?Is what you see when you sit down worthy of a snap with your cameraphone? Image: John WaltonThere’s a strange mirror dichotomy between designing for a first impression looking down at a seat and, by contrast, for the fact that passengers might be looking at the other side of that seat for nearly twenty-four hours. Getting it right — designing a seat that does both well — takes a long time and much expertise.Related Articles:Towards designing Instagram-worthy modern premium PaxExItaly’s ABC International takes cabin branding to the next levelIs the future of seatback thermoplastics really greige?Finnair’s London A350 is a refreshing change from Eurobusiness normLift explores cabin lighting as a brand canvas and revenue streamBetter flight in amber: is it time to bring warmth back to cabin colors?Gulf Air gets to the heart of identity with rebranding effortCabin designers lavish praise on new airframer-branded cabins
When an airline brands a route as a “shuttle”, a certain level of expectation kicks in. Frequent service, minimal time spent in the airport, and elevated onboard amenities are all expected. But as the amenities offered on board your everyday flight are elevated, does anything special remain about the shuttle flights?On a recent same day roundtrip with American Airlines Shuttle between New York LaGuardia and Boston Logan, very little stood out as elevated above the norm. As this was a same day turn, the reduced bag drop times didn’t matter, as it probably doesn’t for most business travelers. A dedicated check-in kiosk in 2019 isn’t a compelling perk, as many seasoned travelers check in and receive their boarding pass on their phone. While American does not offer a dedicated security lane for Shuttle passengers, TSA PreCheck supersedes that need for many, anyway.Another airport-based perk of the Shuttle could be boarding gates close to security and the curb. This would enable a dashing passenger to pass through security and get to the gate or out to a cab quickly, saving precious seconds. Unfortunately, American doesn’t actually seem to do this at LaGuardia or Boston.Both of my flights departed from and arrived at gates particularly far from the curb. In the case of LaGuardia, the gates were as far down the concourse as possible. Not that either of these airports are huge, but two minutes is two minutes. The American Shuttle website mentions “quick deplaning from the front or rear door”, but that didn’t happen at either end of my trip.I arrived at LaGuardia a bit early for my 8am flight, early enough to see the tail end of boarding for the 7am flight. Although there was space available, a change fee of $75 would be required to hop on board. The American and Delta shuttles don’t allow for free flight changes, further watering down the appeal of a shuttle.Boarding began a few moments after the arrival of the Embraer E190 from Boston. The E190 makes for the perfect shuttle route aircraft. A First Class cabin allows for upgrades and a sizable Main Cabin in a 2-2 economy configuration make for a comfortable ride. The E190 will be exiting American’s fleet soon, likely to be replaced with the equally comfortable but smaller E175.The E190 is perfect for shuttle operations in your writer’s opinion. Image: Jason RabinowitzThe weather was merciful that day, and both of my flights pushed back and departed without delay. Once in the air the flight attendants quickly sprang into action. One of the few tangible perks of the Shuttle is free snacks, beer and wine in the Main Cabin. I choose a cup of water on the outbound flight, while the snack was a run-of-the-mill Biscoff cookie offered on just about every other American flight. The flight was so quick that the flight attendant had to cheer me on by quietly chanting “chug chug chug” as she collected trash before landing.A quick snack for a quick flight. Image: Jason RabinowitzI enjoyed a solid Goose Island IPA on the return, along with the standard bag of pretzels common on daytime American flights. That beer turned out to be the only tangible perk of these two Shuttle flights.Image: Jason RabinowitzThe E190 features Gogo’s original air-to-ground (ATG) network and free streaming entertainment, though neither are particularly useful on this route. Flights on this route hardly spend any time above 10,000 feet, providing about 10-15 minutes of usable access.A fast connection in that it was over fast. Image: Jason RabinowitzOnce the system activated, “full flight” connectivity cost $10, which is a laughably bad deal, working out to nearly $1 per minute of usable airtime. My T-Mobile promotion for an hour of free access provided me with all the time I could get.Image: Jason RabinowitzWhen my meetings wrapped up early I decided to change to an earlier flight home. The American app isn’t the most robust out there, but this function is supported. I forked over the $75 to move from the 7pm to 5pm flight, but the app errored out while processing the change. The change was made on the backend, thankfully. With the Boston traffic Gods smiling, I made it to Logan in record time, and the gate agents for the 4pm flight allowed me to change once again since I had already paid the $75 fee.These two Shuttle flights felt like any other. The Shuttle term has become so watered down that I’m not sure if it even means anything anymore. Gone are the days of standby aircraft for full flights and a meal for all passengers. There are plenty of other routes with shuttle-like frequency as well, such as LaGuardia to Dallas. Both of my flights arrived early, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most to me.Related Articles:Room for improvement in first class on Alaska Boeing 737-900Delta has good reason to be proud of Delta One SuitesWhy I always say yes to Spirit Airlines’ Big Front SeatAlaska versus JetBlue: A study in transcon PaxEx outside the Big ThreeDelta hits a home run with Airbus A220 passenger experienceRegional airlines up their game to meet customer expectations
Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering or the Group) today announced that its subsidiary Singapore Technologies Engineering (Europe) Ltd, has entered into a conditional share purchase agreement to acquire a 100% ownership in Newtec Group NV (Newtec) (the “Proposed Acquisition”), an established Belgium-based company in the satellite communications (satcom) industry.The consideration of €250m (approximately S$383m) (the “Consideration”) on a cash-free and debt-free basis for the Proposed Acquisition, subject to closing adjustments, is payable in cash.Satcom is a growth industrySatcom is a fast-growing industry with an expected CAGR of 8%1 over the next 10 years. The surge of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations will increase bandwidth capacity and reduce operating cost, thereby creating new demand. New use cases, especially to support Smart City applications such as IoT and connected cars, will drive demand for satcom services.Acquisition complementary and synergistic ST Engineering has been growing its satcom business through its U.S.-based iDirect and Singapore-based satcom product and solution business. The Group’s satcom business is an industry leader in the Aeronautical and Maritime segments and has led the industry’s transition to high-throughput satellite (HTS) managed services. It is also the technology provider for leading global satellite operators such as Inmarsat, Intelsat and SES. In 2018, ST Engineering formed a JV company named Jet-Talk Limited, with SatixFy UK Limited to develop cost-effective, high-performance flat panel antenna to address the growing demand for in-flight connectivity. The Group offers a suite of satcom solutions to provide seamless global network Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd ST Engineering Hub, 1 Ang Mo Kio Electronics Park Road #07-01, Singapore 567710 T: (65) 6722 1818 F: (65) 6720 2293 (Regn. No.: 199706274H) and bandwidth management with end-to-end integration that addresses the growing needs of enterprise, government, mobility and defence market globally.On the other hand, Newtec is a key technology provider in the satellite broadcast segment with unique ultra-high throughput capabilities and a strong presence in the European satcom market. It has a proven range of cost-effective consumer satellite terminals, and industry-leading bandwidth efficiency technology. Recently, Newtec was among the first companies to successfully test over-the-air communication via LEO satellites. LEO satellites are expected to take off with the launch of more than 5,000 satellites in the coming years. The company is also well placed to leverage the advent of IP-based satellite broadcast which is critical for real-time content distribution.The proposed acquisition of Newtec will add intellectual property, products and market access. ST Engineering will continue to invest in Newtec in Belgium to position it to be the Group’s European centre for the satcom business. The complementary and synergistic effect of this proposed acquisition will enable ST Engineering to meet demand across the full spectrum of the satcom market.Positioning for future growth With enhanced satcom capabilities, ST Engineering can better participate and lead the advancement of the satcom industry to enable Smart Cities globally. Capitalising on an enlarged IP and product portfolio, the Group will be able to:Accelerate the deployment of satcom-enabled 5G telco network, bringing high bandwidth connectivity to remote regions. This will help bridge the digital divide and enable the development of new applications such as tele-medicine and tele-education.Address the growing needs for IoT and M2M connectivity, where millions of devices and telematic sensor points are expected to be connected for surveillance, data gathering and big data analytics.Provide end-to-end solutions for the mobility segment, enabling seamless internet connectivity and remote monitoring for the aeronautical, maritime and connected car segments.“This proposed acquisition expands our satcom business in a meaningful way in an attractive industry that is high-tech and high-growth, driving connectivity advances in a world where 5G and satcom converge,” said Vincent Chong, President & CEO, ST Engineering. “It aligns with our strategy to invest in businesses that help accelerate our growth trajectory, especially in Smart City, to deliver long-term shareholder value.”“We are pleased to be able to acquire Newtec, an established satcom player with strong technology foundations. The differentiated yet complementary technologies, combined with our track record and established satcom experience, will enable us to innovate and deliver more value-added, advanced satellite products and capabilities to our customers, at a more rapid pace,” said Ravinder Singh, President, Electronics sector, ST Engineering.“This coming together of two companies will enable us to move forward together, using our deep-rooted passion for innovation to address our rapidly changing world of connectivity,” said Roald Borré, Chairman of Newtec Board of Directors. “This is an exciting and hugely significant step that simply makes sense for our customers and our staff.”Details of the Proposed AcquisitionThe Consideration was arrived at after negotiations between the parties taking into account, among other factors, Newtec’s current financial performance and future growth prospects. The Consideration translates into a multiple of 14.6 times Newtec’s EBITDA and 2.7 times revenue for the financial year ended 30 September 2018. The businesses when combined, is expected to produce about S$200m in value creation arising from revenue and cost synergies.The proposed acquisition is not expected to have any material impact on the earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year but is expected to be earnings accretive from the second year post acquisition. The proposed acquisition is expected to reduce ST Engineering’s audited consolidated net tangible assets by approximately S$0.112 per share from S$0.41 per share to S$0.30 per share, assuming the Proposed Transaction has been effected at the end of FY2018. Newtec has consolidated net tangible assets (NTA) of €5.1m (approximately S$8m) and consolidated net assets of €28.4m (approximately S$44m) as at 30 September 2018.Subject to regulatory approvals and conditions that include receipt of clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, Foreign Investment Review in France, and anti-trust approvals in Austria, the Proposed Acquisition is expected to complete in 2H2019.Numbers are based on in-house analysis of the third edition of Northern Sky Research (NSR) Commercial Satellite Ground Segment report (2018).Calculated based on Newtec’s consolidated net tangible assets as at 30 September 2018.ST Engineering is a global technology, defence and engineering group specialising in the aerospace, electronics, land systems and marine sectors. The Group employs about 22,000 people across offices in Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, serving customers in the defence, government and commercial segments in more than 100 countries. Its employees bring innovation and technology together to create smart engineering solutions for customers in the defence, government and commercial segments. With more than 500 smart city projects across 70 cities in its track record, the Group continues to help transform cities through its suite of Smart Mobility, Smart Security and Smart Environment solutions. Headquartered in Singapore, ST Engineering reported revenue of S$6.7b in FY2018 and it ranks among the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange. It is a component stock of the FTSE Straits Times Index, MSCI Singapore, SGX ESG Transparency Index and SGX ESG Leaders Index.
Curling up contentedly on a sofa in comfy pyjamas with a cosy rug, a warm mug of hot chocolate, in a warm room with soft lighting, and perhaps candles or a crackling fire: this is hygge, the Danish and Norwegian concept of relaxation, wellness and quiet happiness that doesn’t easily translate into English.“Hygge is a feeling of complete comfort and contentment,” Alessia Giardino, lead CMF designer at JPA Design, explains to Runway Girl Network. “It is associated with a lifestyle attitude, the contemporary way of living that invites you to unplug, decelerate, disconnect from everyday life, embracing a sense of calm, balance and a healthy lifestyle.”But how do airlines bring that feeling of cosy contentedness into the aircraft, a place that can be crammed with hard white surfaces, glaring lights — and, in fairness, hopefully a complete absence of fires?Some airlines do it really well: mood lighting is well named in that it allows airlines to truly set the tone for a flight, especially as the circadian rhythm benefits of orange light rather than blue light become increasingly familiar. The flickering LED candle in some airlines’ business class meal place settings, including Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways, is also an excellent example. And Qantas has long offered a cosy cup of hot chocolate throughout the aircraft during its long overnight flights.“The use of ambient lighting is now more prominent and increasingly becoming the focal point within premium cabins,” notes Giardino. “Such ambient lighting has the ability to reflect materials and surfaces, suggesting an interaction. Equally cabin lighting and bulkhead features can make a space more personal and human.”Understanding how direct and indirect lighting — such as Etihad’s Business Studio lamp — can create a mood is crucial to achieving hygge. Image: John WaltonBut it’s not just up front: on Brussels Airlines’ new Airbus A330 premium economy and economy cabins, designed by JPA, “a specially created digital artwork and complementary mood lighting evoke both the morning and evening natural light on the Nordic sea.”So how do you get to hygge?“Hygge should be seen as a target state of mind,” Daniel Baron, managing director of Lift Strategic Design, tells RGN. “It’s a method of embracing warmth and comfort and positivity through tactile qualities of one’s surroundings. Inside the aircraft, it’s the tiny details in seat fabrics, for example. A small pattern in warm tones, pronounced stitch lines, foams with generous cush factor, large wings on headrests that say ‘you’ll feel relaxed here, like you’re at home’.”On the A330, the new configuration means single seats on the starboard side of the aircraft. Image: Brussels AirlinesBaron explains that, in his well-received work for Philippine Airlines’ Thompson Aero Seating Vantage XL business class, he (and industrial designers Factorydesign), made the most of the softly curving shapes of the hard product rather than right angles. Materials, too, helped: a piece of Kydex thermoplastic from Sekisui SPI that glows when the light touches it required “many samples to achieve ‘stunning’, but it was seriously worth it.”Fabric is almost a no-brainer in adding warmth to a cabin, and here Baron used a calming blue that avoids some of the coldness often found in aviation seat fabric, with a low contrast to keep the sense of calmness. A darker blue-grey nomex fabric features both inside the seat shell and in the stowage area. The effect, Baron says, is calm, cozy, comfortable, caring. A lot of thought went into realizing hygge with a Filipino touch.”Closer to hygge’s home, JPA Design’s Alessia Giardino highlights that the design house’s “recent work with Finnair in terms of aesthetic and material choice is in tune with the hygge principle: crafted fabrics, encapsulating clean colors and creating fine texture, suggest warmth, a tactile feel and surface quality.”Rounded shapes create a more friendly and human feel, while integrating technical or technological elements within the seat using lower profiles, soft chamfers and bezelling can help the seat feel more like furniture rather than the industrially designed piece of transportation architecture that it is. Creating materials in different textures, too, adds hygge-friendly tactility, and soft product can help enormously here: it’s the difference between a threadbare thin acrylic fleece and a warm woven natural fibre.Say what you will about United’s linen mountain in Polaris, it does a lot to add cosiness to the space. Image: UnitedDesigning Hygge into interiors is not rocket science — it’s almost the opposite. But while it takes some planning, it’s worth thinking about for airlines, especially as they continue to seek to fly longer nonstop routes and the amount of time that passengers are in their seats increases.Related Articles:The Nordic values behind the sensory design of Europe’s Northern airlinesExploring business class trends for 2019Better flight in amber: is it time to bring warmth back to cabin colors?Factors driving the perception of inflight comfort and discomfort“Wellness” trend expands into premium hard product at APEX EXPOLift explores cabin lighting as a brand canvas and revenue streamLift designs thoughtful, elegant cabins for revitalised Philippine AirlinesJPA’s Alex Duncan considers continuity of design in air travelJPA Design leads the way in narrowbody #PaxEx with flydubai MAX 8Brussels Airlines retains own brand, goes three-class with JPA DesignPhilippine Airlines’ new three-cabin A330 wows with detailsProliferation of mattress pads proves airlines take sleep seriously
ThinKom Solutions, Inc., today announced the successful completion of in-flight connectivity trials of its ThinAir® Ka2517 phased-array antenna mounted on the Proteus high-altitude long-endurance aircraft.The Proteus satellite data communication package was developed as a joint effort involving ThinKom, Inmarsat Government and Scaled Composites. The trials included initial tests in Chantilly, Virginia and the Mojave Air and Space Port, California, culminating in a series of demo flights at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico.The ThinAir antenna delivered a 25 Mbps return link and a 5 Mbps forward link operating at over 50,000 feet altitude through an Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band satellite in geostationary orbit. The phased array maintained connectivity to the satellite each flight, including during take offs, in-flight maneuvers and landings. Further, the ThinAir antenna was able to send the full 25 Mbps from the aircraft at an elevation angle of 25 degrees, while providing data rates of 12 Mbps at elevation angles as low as 15 degrees.ThinKom supplied the Ka2517 phased-array antenna in a low-profile 7.8-inch high radome, along with an adaptor plate, antenna controller and transceiver electronics. Scaled Composites designed and built a custom fairing to mount the radome on the aircraft’s fuselage and integrated the ThinKom system with the payload on the aircraft.Inmarsat Government developed and provided the system’s modem manager, PRO-MODMAN, designed specifically for the Ka2517 to operate on Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band steerable beams. The PRO-MODMAN integrates the capability of a DVB S2X modem with the flexibility of an OpenAMIP configurable system controller.“These successful in-flight demonstrations further validate the ThinAir Ka2517’s capability to provide uninterrupted broadband connectivity with near-zero aerodynamic drag – an important consideration for many classes of UAVs and long-endurance missions flying at extreme altitudes,” said Bill Milroy, Chief Technology Officer of ThinKom Solutions. “I would like to thank the superb engineering teams from Inmarsat Government and Scaled Composites who worked with us to achieve this important milestone. This was truly a team effort.”“Inmarsat Government was pleased to support this important joint demonstration using the Inmarsat Global Xpress capability. The results of the trials proved, once again, that highly mobile government customers can rely on Global Xpress – a globally-available high-throughput, flexible and interoperable connectivity solution that provides coverage wherever and whenever required,” said Steve Gizinski, Chief Technology Officer, Inmarsat Government.Proteus is a twin-turbofan tandem-wing aircraft originally developed and built by Scaled Composites in 1998. It is currently owned and operated by Scaled Composites. The experimental aircraft is designed to carry payloads up to 2,000 lbs. at altitudes from 50,000 to 63,000 feet and remain on station more than 14 hours. It is intended to support the demonstration of piloted and UAV missions, including telecommunications, reconnaissance, atmospheric research, commercial imaging and space launch.Photo Caption: ThinKom Ka-band phased array antenna mounted on Proteus aircraft.About ThinKom Solutions, Inc.ThinKom Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of innovative highly affordable compact broadband antennas and products for aeronautical, vehicular and man-portable applications. The company’s primary products uniquely enable near-term worldwide availability of high-data-rate connectivity in the Ka-, X-, Ku-, and Q-bands. ThinKom offers a range of reliable, proven technology solutions for the consumer, enterprise, first responder, civil, military and intelligence communities.About Inmarsat GovernmentThe U.S. government has relied on and trusted Inmarsat satellite services since 1979. Inmarsat Government continues to deliver the world’s most advanced global, mobile satellite communication services to U.S. defense, intelligence, homeland security, public safety and civilian agencies, with highly reliable, secure and affordable connectivity. Built with government users in mind, Inmarsat Government provides resilient, flexible capabilities to augment government satellite resources, anytime, anywhere. Leveraging an industry-leading scalable multiband network infrastructure, Inmarsat Government offers a suite of managed network services and end-to-end communication solutions to support users on land, at sea and in the air, even in the world’s most remote regions. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Inmarsat Government is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat plc.About Scaled CompositesScaled Composites is an American aerospace company founded by Burt Rutan that is located at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Mojave, California. Founded to develop experimental aircraft, the company now focuses on designing and developing concept craft and prototype fabrication processes for aircraft and other vehicles.
Lufthansa Systems today announced that it is presenting an expanded BoardConnect portfolio at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg. The airline IT specialist is responding to changing demand in the market and the different needs of airlines and partners.“BoardConnect is the perfect open platform for combining all of the features desired in the field of inflight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) to further improve the passenger experience. We work with various partners to offer airlines exactly what they are looking for,” said Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “In order to meet customer requirements even more precisely, our portfolio will now distinguish between solutions for airlines and partners.”BoardConnect DockWith its new BoardConnect Dock solution, Lufthansa Systems is providing technology, content and financing partners with a BoardConnect framework for creating their own onboard program. Depending on the partner, this might include a connectivity portal, classic IFE content or a platform with booking options and targeted advertising to generate additional revenue. This approach is reflected in successful projects carried out with Epteca at AirEuropa and Mahata Aero Teknologi for Citilink, and Garuda Indonesia.For its refinancing models, Lufthansa Systems is additionally working with providers such as WhileFly and repay.me. In terms of content providers, its partner network includes Touch, Lasker, IMM and PXCOM, and is supplemented on a technical level by IMD, optile, INADVIA, RIM and Lufthansa Technik.BoardConnectBoardConnect is Lufthansa Systems’ complete solution for the digital passenger experience that continues to address airlines of all sizes with different business models. In addition to traditional IFE features such as moving maps, movies, music, games and destination information, customers can choose the content they want from a wide range of services available through Lufthansa Systems’ strong partner network. This content can also be provided simply and easily from the cloud if desired.Visit Lufthansa Systems from April 2 to 4 at AIX at stand #4B11.Caption (Copyright: Lufthansa Systems): For an even better passenger experience – Lufthansa Systems presents new BoardConnect portfolioAbout Lufthansa SystemsLufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG is a leading airline IT provider. Based on long-term project experience, a deep understanding of complex business processes and strong technological know-how, the company provides consulting and IT services for the global aviation industry. More than 350 customers worldwide rely on the know-how of IT specialists at Lufthansa Systems. Its portfolio covers innovative IT products and services which provide added value for its customers in terms of enhanced efficiency, reduced costs or increased profits. Headquartered in Raunheim near Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Lufthansa Systems has offices in 16 other countries.
The cabin and avionics specialist Diehl Aviation has delivered the largest, fully 3D-printed part for passenger aircraft to date which is installed on an A350 XWB.The module is a Curtain Comfort Header – a complex enclosure for the curtain rail, that can measure up to 1140 x 720 x 240 mm.The curtains separate the classes from one another within the cabin. Qatar Airways will be the first airline to use the 3D-printed Curtain Comfort Header on board its aircraft. In a joint project, Diehl Aviation and Airbus developed the curtain header in close co-operation. With only 12 months between the first improved concept until delivery of the first ready-to-use model the project always was on the fast lane.Curtain Comfort Header Shark fin. Image: DiehlThis new production method solves several problems for Diehl Aviation: Until now, these modules were formed from numerous layers of laminated fiberglass, each of which required its own individual, complex aluminum tool.Incorporating further functions was also an added, arduous task and could include anything from the simultaneous integration of cable channels, through emergency escape route signage, to specialized retaining clips.One complete Curtain Comfort Header is comprised of up to 12 component parts – all produced by a 3D printer and simply glued together when complete. This new production procedure has made many of the old, individual tools – which had previously been absolutely essential for manufacturing these parts – redundant.Curtain Comfort Header Exit. Image: DiehlGiven these many advantages, Diehl Aviation is now only producing Curtain Comfort Headers for the A350 XWB with the 3D printing method. This procedure offers several advantages for the airline too: The shorter production processes and significant lead time reduction are particularly beneficial to airlines under pressure from quick turnaround times. Furthermore the parts themselves require less reworks and can easily be removed for repairs or replacement, contributing to even shorter waiting times during repair works. Also, the modules can easily been customized for retrofit solutions. Passengers benefit from the precision-made parts that lead to dampen noise and allow better integration in the cabin.The 3D-printed Curtain Comfort Headers already have the requisite approvals and are certified by the EASA. Diehl Aviation will be exhibiting the Curtain Comfort Header at its booth 7D20 at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.Diehl Aviation is a division of Diehl Stiftung & Co. KG and combines all aviation activities of Diehl Group under one roof. In the aviation industry, Diehl Aviation – including Diehl Aerospace (a joint venture with Thales) – is a leading system supplier of aircraft system and cabin solutions. Diehl Aviation currently has around 6,000 employees. Its clients include leading aircraft manufacturers like Airbus (both airplanes and helicopters), Boeing, Bombardier and Embraer, as well as airlines and operators of commercial and business aircraft.
Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, today announced that more than 1,000 terminals have now been installed for its next-generation inflight broadband solutions by customers in the global airline and business aviation markets.The milestone, celebrated at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, highlights the growing market dominance and adoption of Inmarsat’s three award-winning new connectivity services, GX Aviation, Jet ConneX and European Aviation Network (EAN).GX Aviation and Jet ConneX are the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight connectivity services delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of high-throughput satellites, allowing airline and business aviation passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.GX Aviation is currently available with leading airlines such as Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Norwegian, Avianca and Citilink. Earlier today, Inmarsat partner SITAONAIR announced that it has now activated GX Aviation on the majority of Philippine Airlines (PAL)’s new-generation aircraft.Jet ConneX has been the most successful launch of an inflight wifi solution in business aviation history. It is currently flying on more than 450 aircraft across the world, offering unprecedented new capabilities and reinforcing Inmarsat’s status as the number one connectivity provider to business aviation customers globally.EAN, developed in partnership with Deutsche Telekom, is a new purpose-built inflight broadband solution that is uniquely suited to the challenges of European airspace; one of the world’s most congested, with more than one billion passengers per year. The innovative network was founded upon a European Union initiative and has been developed by an alliance of Europe’s leading technology companies to deliver the fastest speeds for passengers, installation times for airlines and scalability to meet future demand.Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “GX Aviation, Jet ConneX and EAN are pioneering an exciting new chapter in global inflight connectivity and we are extremely proud that the market has responded so enthusiastically. We look forward to crossing many more milestones in the future, with a large number of installations currently underway and a healthy new business pipeline of around 3,000 aircraft. To meet future demand, we have a fully-funded development roadmap that includes new satellite launches in 2019, 2020 and 2021.“Our success to date would not have been possible without the support of our industry-leading partnership network, which includes the likes of Collins Aerospace, Deutsche Telekom, Honeywell, SATCOM Direct, SITAONAIR, Thales and most recently Panasonic Avionics.”PHOTO CAPTION: A team celebration of the 1,000th installation of Inmarsat Aviation’s next-generation inflight broadband solutions at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in HamburgAbout InmarsatInmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s best global portfolio of satellite networks, specifically designed for customer mobility, 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. The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners. Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government and Aviation satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high quality partner to its customers across the globe.
Completed in 15 months, the acquisition of Gemalto by Thales for €4.8 billion creates a Group on a new scale and a global leader in digital identity and security employing 80,000 people.The larger Thales will master all the technologies underpinning the critical decision chain for companies, organisations and governments. Incorporating the talent and technologies of Gemalto, Thales will develop secure solutions to address the major challenges faced by our societies, such as unmanned air traffic management, data and network cybersecurity, airport security or financial transaction security.This combination creates a world-class leader with an unrivalled portfolio of digital identity and security solutions based on technologies such as biometry, data protection, and, more broadly, cybersecurity. Thales will thus provide a seamless response to customers, including critical infrastructure providers such as banks, telecom operators, government agencies, utilities and other industries as they step up to the challenges of identifying people and objects and keeping data secure.Research and development: inventing the world of tomorrowThales and Gemalto share a passion for the advanced technologies that serve as a common foundation and focus for their 80,000 employees. Research and development (R&D) is at the core of the new Group, with its 3,000 researchers and 28,000 engineers dedicated to R&D. Thales has been developing state-of-the-art technologies to meet the most demanding requirements of customers around the world for decades. Today the Group has become a giant laboratory inventing the world of tomorrow, with a portfolio of 20,500 patents, of which more than 400 new ones were registered in 2018.Technological synergiesThe new Thales will cover the entire critical decision chain in an increasingly interconnected and vulnerable world, with capabilities spanning software development, data processing, real-time decision support, connectivity and end-to-end network management.With €1 billion a year devoted to self-funded R&D, the Group will continue to innovate in its key markets, drawing in particular on its world-class digital expertise in the Internet of Things, Big Data, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. The first illustrations are as wide as the Group’s portfolio:Banking: Big Data analyticsDefence: biometricsAerospace: unmanned traffic managementGround transportation: Internet of ThingsSpace: Internet of ThingsTelecommunications: Big Data analyticsAn extended global footprintFollowing this acquisition, Gemalto will form one of Thales’s seven global divisions, to be named Digital Identity and Security (DIS). Gemalto will interact with all of the Group’s civil and defence customers and will significantly strengthen its industrial presence in 68 countries. Thales will considerably expand its operations in Latin America (2,500 employees, up from 600), triple its presence in Northern Asia (1,980, from 700), Southeast Asia (2,500, from 800) and India (1,150, from 400) and North America (6,660 employees, up from 4,600).“With Gemalto, a global leader in digital identification and data protection, Thales has acquired a set of highly complementary technologies and competencies with applications in all of our five vertical markets, which are now redefined as aerospace; space; ground transportation; digital identity and security; and defence and security. These are the smart technologies that help people make the best choices at every decisive moment. The acquisition is a turning point for the Group’s 80,000 employees. Together, we are creating a giant in digital identity and security with the capabilities to compete in the big leagues worldwide.” Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, ThalesAbout ThalesThe people who make the world go round – they rely on Thales. Our customers come to us with big ambitions: to make life better, to keep us safer. Combining a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, our architects design and deliver extraordinary high technology solutions. Solutions that make tomorrow possible, today. From the bottom of the oceans to the depths of space and cyberspace, we help our customers think smarter and act faster – mastering ever greater complexity at every decisive moment along the way.Thales generated revenues of €19 billion in 2018 with 80,000 employees in 68 countries.
Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, today announced that its Indian telecommunications partner, BSNL, has received an In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC) license from the Government of India’s Department of Telecommunications.The issuing of the license marks a major step for Inmarsat’s services in the Indian connectivity market. BSNL is now approved to offer IFMC services, which will include Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (Ka-band) and SwiftBroadband and FleetBroadband (L-band) services, to Indian airlines operating within and outside India, as well as foreign airlines transiting through Indian airspace, and shipping companies operating within Indian waters.Inmarsat and BSNL are expected to commence services later this year once the ground infrastructure and associated approvals are in place.Inmarsat owns and operates the award-winning GX Aviation service, which enables passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and much more during their flights, with connectivity comparable to mobile broadband services on the ground. It is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight internet service, delivered through a single, wholly-owned and operated network of high-throughput satellites.GX Aviation is already being used by world leading airlines, such as Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Air New Zealand. BNSL and Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Value Added Resellers (VARs) will be able to offer the world-leading inflight Wi-Fi experience to domestic customers in India. The license will also benefit foreign airlines transiting through in Indian airspace and flying to and from Indian airport hubs.In the maritime sector, Inmarsat operates its award-winning (Ka-band) Fleet Xpress service with unlimited FleetBroadband (L-Band) back-up, which is now installed on over 6,000 vessels and has emerged as the market-leading pathway to digitalisation in the shipping industry and is helping world-leading shipowners and managers deliver improved vessel and fleet efficiency, boost profitability and enhance seafarer wellbeing.Shri Anupam Shrivastava, Chairman and Managing Director of BSNL said: “BSNL and Inmarsat have worked together closely for decades and this announcement further strengthens our relationship, expanding our partnership from GSPS to GX services. This an exciting step, particularly for India’s fast-growing aviation sector. Soon airlines and their passengers will be able to reap the benefits of world-leading, seamless, high-speed connectivity.”Gautam Sharma, Managing Director of Inmarsat India, said: “This issuing of this license is a key milestone in bringing reliable, high-speed connectivity services to India’s maritime and aviation industries and customers. India is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for air travel, with annual passenger numbers consistently increasing. The provision of Inmarsat’s next-generation GX Aviation service and Fleet Xpress will be a game-changer for both Indian and foreign airlines operating in the region and for shipping companies operating in Indian waters.”About Inmarsat Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s best global portfolio of satellite networks, specifically designed for customer mobility, 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. The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners. Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government and Aviation satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high quality partner to its customers across the globe.
Airbus has launched first operations of a new Skywise service – Skywise Health Monitoring (SHM) – with Allegiant Air on its A320s. Dynamically coupled with Skywise Reliability Services (SRS) and Skywise Predictive Maintenance (SPM), SHM is hosted on Skywise, gathering live diagnostic feeds from the aircraft through its *ACARS link to the airline’s information system.Using the power of the Skywise aviation data platform, SHM collates and centralises the alerts, flight-deck effects, maintenance messages etc., prioritizes them, correlates any faults with the relevant troubleshooting procedures, highlights operational impacts, provides the maintenance history of the system (from the logbook and **MIS information collected through Skywise Core and stored in the data lake), allowing effective tracking of the alerts.When fully deployed, and following the in-service feedback from Allegiant Air and other ‘early adopters’, SHM will support airlines’ Maintenance Control Centers, Line Maintenance and Engineering departments in identifying, prioritizing, analyzing and handling in-service events, enabling quicker decision-making and preparation of the optimal solution to ensure aircraft on-time dispatch and minimizing AOG risks.Overall, SHM saves airlines time and decreases the cost of unscheduled maintenance. Natively interfaced with SPM and SRS to provide an integrated user-experience, and also ready to harness the new on-board Flight Operations and Maintenance Exchanger (“FOMAX”) data router which can capture over 20,000 real-time aircraft parameters, SHM enables end-to-end unscheduled event management/fixes for example by anticipating tools and parts’ availability closest to the aircraft. More early adopters will join in the months to come to pilot SHM for other Airbus aircraft, including A330, A350 and A380.*ACARS = Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System **MIS = Maintenance Information SystemAbout AirbusAirbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2018 it generated revenues of € 64 billion and employed a workforce of around 134,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has certified Smart4Aviation’s Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) application, Smart MOBILE, for use on its award-winning SB-S digital aircraft operations platform.Smart MOBILE is a unique solution that allows pilots, cabin crew and other airline employees to access, complete and submit documentation quickly and efficiently on their mobile devices via a single portal, helping to increase productivity, operational awareness and efficiency. It also enables peer-to-peer communication, ACARS messaging and provides instant access to briefing packages and important flight-related information, such as up-to-date weather reports and potential load, fuel and hazard alerts.The application can be tailored to match each airline customer’s exact requirements to deliver tangible cost savings. Benefits include a reduction in the frequency and duration of flight delays, together with improvements to on-time performance. In addition, increased automation and real-time information translates to a reduction in workload, resulting in less bottlenecks for both flight and cabin crew.Smart MOBILE is the latest in a range of value-added operational and safety applications to be certified via Inmarsat’s Aviation Certified Application Provider (CAP) programme for SB-S. Other available applications include flight profile optimisation, weather information, digital navigation charts, and aircraft diagnostics and performance monitoring.Mike Lewis, CEO of Smart4Aviation, said: “We are excited about this partnership, as it allows us to take another major step forward and enhance our products within a connected aircraft environment. Inmarsat is a leading provider of satellite communications solutions to airlines, operators and passengers worldwide, keeping people and systems connected at thousands of feet in the air. Together, we will be able to provide real time situational awareness to flight crew during all flight phases. These benefits will result in more efficient decision making, leading to less disruption resulting in increased cost savings and enhanced flight safety. Together with our new partner, we are ready for the future.”John Broughton, Senior Vice President of Aircraft Operations and Safety, Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Smart4Aviation is a global industry-leader in proving best-in-class EFB technology to airlines. With the launch of Smart MOBILE on Inmarsat’s SB-S, we look forward to bringing Smart4Aviation’s innovative solutions to our commercial airline customers, driving operational efficiency and enhancing safety with a cost-effective, tailored offering.”The SB-S digital aircraft operations platform is powered by Inmarsat’s advanced global L-band satellite constellation, which has underpinned safety services for 40 years. Inmarsat is scheduled to launch two additional L-band payloads in 2020 and 2021, further cementing its long-term commitment to offering highly reliable services over this spectrum.PHOTO CAPTION: Smart MOBILE is now available on Inmarsat’s award-winning SB-S digital aircraft operations platformSmart4Aviation’s Smart MOBILE application includes the following components: BRIEF (Pilot Briefing, Navlog and Fuel Ordering), BRIEF CABIN (Cabin Crew Briefing), CREW INFO (Calendar & Roster), DOC (Operational Manuals), eFORMS (Electronic Forms) and COMM (Communication & Alerting). Learn more about Smart4Aviation and Smart MOBILE here.About InmarsatInmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s best global portfolio of satellite networks, specifically designed for customer mobility, 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. The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners. Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government and Aviation satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high quality partner to its customers across the globe.About Smart4AviationSmart4Aviation is a company founded to provide web based and mobile products and services to optimize, simplify and improve airline operations. The company is committed to the delivery of single, modular solutions which create a unique IT ecosystem, supporting all domains of aviation operations. Web-based applications are accessed through modern, light-weight technologies and endpoints, with the intent of providing the best possible user experience and operational benefit to S4A customers. S4A goal is to provide tools that airlines can use to solve problems, generate productivity and efficiency gains, and increase levels of operational awareness and communication for both operational staff and flight crew. Smart4Aviation is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands with its development offices located in Gdansk and Krakow, Poland. It also conducts business activity in Toronto, Canada and New York City, USA.
With deliveries of new CRJ regional jets featuring Bombardier’s updated Atmosphère cabin to Delta, American and other carriers progressing apace, the Canadian airframer is seeing much demand from airlines for retrofit options for their current fleets — so much, in fact, that it decided to send its cabin mockup to a customer rather than to the Aircraft Interiors Expo earlier this month.Suggesting wryly that “we need two mockups with the success we’ve had with it,” vice president and head of marketing Patrick Baudis told Runway Girl Network in Hamburg that, as a result, “our presence will be a bit limited in terms of booth this year because of that, but hopefully we can come back with something next year.”Bombardier’s CRJ Atmosphère cabin mockup is so much in demand that it didn’t make it to AIX this year. Image: BombardierEight aircraft with the new cabin are already flying with launch customer Delta, and in the coming month American and certain unnamed customers are also expected to take delivery of Atmosphère, featuring bigger bins, a more modern design and the option of a lavatory suitable for people with reduced mobility. (There is currently no regulatory requirement for single-aisle aircraft to have accessible lavatories.)“The big picture at Bombardier,” said Baudis, “is that the C Series went to Airbus, in a great partnership there, and in the meantime we had the transition that we are currently doing, the Q400 to Longview, and we are now focussing entirely on the CRJ at Bombardier.”As we’ve seen on larger aircraft, there’s much demand for bigger bins from airlines. Image: John WaltonA key part of that focus is on the retrofit market for Atmosphère. “That’s what we’re gauging at the moment, to be frank. Everything can be done in aviation, right? Technically it is fully retrofittable. Is it making sense from a business case from an airline standpoint? That’s what we are gauging at the moment. I think the bins are the big catch there,” Baudis explained, in a message similar to that from Airbus about the larger Airspace bins on the A320, which are now being delivered to launch customer American.“Looking at the fitted equipment, like fixed monuments, galleys, there’s plenty of new cool things in there on the Atmosphère cabin, but is this something where airlines will see value to retrofit? It’s not necessarily cheap when we start to touch on the monuments in the cabin,” Baudis said. “We’ll see what we do. We have an established base of CRJs out there. We have a fantastic solution now. We designed it to be retrofittable. Of course we’re going to start looking at it now that it’s entering into service.”Atmosphère is now flying with Delta Air Lines. Image: John WaltonBut are airlines beating down the door, or is Bombardier having to work hard to drum up the interest?“Airlines are asking questions,” Baudis said. “It’s gradual in this industry, particularly for cabins. You can do any presentation of the cabins, any photo — but the best photo will not describe as best as being in the cabin and feeling it.”He continued: “In North America in particular, where we have a very big established base of CRJs, you start to see a phenomenon of people focussing a bit more the attention from an airline standpoint into the regional space, moving single-class airplanes into two- to three-class airplanes in this segment. There’s a big attention focus that is put on that space at the moment.”Indeed there are some #PaxEx improvements like bigger bins that fit modern suitcases from long-haul to medium-haul and now to regional aircraft, with airlines keen to think about which of the benefits from a new cabin make the most sense to port over to an existing fleet.“The question comes naturally, particularly when they realize that technically speaking it’s feasible,” Baudis concluded. “The sweet spot is really, as usual, making something that is attractive from a functionality standpoint, from a cost standpoint — and also from our side in terms of a production standpoint, something that makes sense so it’s easy to distribute and bring to the marketplace.”Related Articles:In Conversation: Wheelchair travel with John MorrisDelta takes main cabin consistency seriously and it showsDelta Flight Products expands IFE platform to be totally Delta-sourcedBombardier’s Atmosphère cabin looks great; shame about the Delta seatsAn Atmosphère of renewed CRJ PaxEx focus at BombardierHow Airbus leveraged experience on A350 to aid A220 programDelta, Bombardier quickly push the boundaries of regional PaxExCabin designers lavish praise on new airframer-branded cabinsRegional airlines up their game to meet customer expectations
“You want a lean maintenance process?” Cornell asks rhetorically. “How do you consistently perform that at any maintenance facility around the world? You give explicit, clear instructions, visually, so in any language you can understand exactly where to place it.”As one example, Jamco suggests that using mixed reality can reduce the amount of consequential seat damage — all the way down to eliminating scratches caused by internal mechanisms coming into contact with the surface materials during maintenance. As an example, if disassembling a seat midflight to retrieve a cellphone, the system visually shows crew exactly how to “place the seat pan against the cushion so that you don’t scratch the paint. You’re never going to have scratched paint because we’re telling you exactly the optimal maintenance procedure,” Cornell says.Disassembling and reassembling a seat gets a lot less complex and risky if guided step by step. Image: John WaltonCrew can feel more confident carrying out rare but necessary tasks without having to dredge up training from their memories or flip through paper (or, increasingly likely, electronic document) versions of their procedures.“Something that rarely happens can be performed perfectly without having to remember training that you had twenty years ago, ten years ago, whatever it is,” Cornell notes.If a seat is stuck in one position, it needs to be blocked, costing the airline money and unhappy passengers. Image: John WaltonJamco is clear that the technology isn’t restricted to the HoloLens platform. Augmented and mixed reality are already happening on personal electronic devices like phones and tablets, with Apple’s ARKit framework enabling everything from the Ikea Place app (view furniture at real size inside the room) to a variety of gaming applications.Could the technology extend to crew PEDs? “Certainly,” Cornell says. “It doesn’t have to be a head device that you’re wearing. This gives you a hands-free methodology to do the augmented reality maintenance, but you could also have augmented reality in the iPad, and it’s pointing arrows: this is where you need to check, check this, check this. Maybe some troubleshooting steps to get you to an open seat again.”The end goal, says Cornell, is shared between airlines and seat manufacturers: “we don’t want to have any blocked seats.”Related Articles:VR could be a boon to aircraft interiors, if properly appliedGrowth ahead and innovation in cabin crew simulator marketOptech4D pitches AR, VR training and testing solutions to aviationOnboard battery fires underscore need for meaningful actionPress Release: Lufthansa Technik app identifies seat cover part numbers As airline seats become more complex, more customized and more detailed in terms of color, material and finish, keeping them fully functional for every flight — and looking as intended — is an increasingly difficult task.As a rule, that’s true for anything that comes into contact with passengers, and no matter how much seatmakers test for robustness, at some point the seat will need immediate line maintenance.Even beyond the simple failure of a component that leaves a seat immovable in one position, a passenger might drop their passport down the side of the structure, for example, or a mobile phone might slip into the mechanisms and risk an onboard fire.The production of a gaggle of cabin crewmembers all trying to remember their training on how to open up the seat to fix it, to retrieve a phone or pluck out another lost item is not only wasted time but a disruption to the rest of the cabin — and also risks further damaging the seat if the steps for disassembly are carried out incorrectly.Seatmaker Jamco has a solution: mixed reality, which it demonstrated impressively at last month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo.“Mixed reality,” John Cornell, Jamco’s manager of product research and development, tells Runway Girl Network, “is when you’re combining the physical touch — actually touching an object that’s real, but using augmented virtual reality, overlaying with the HoloLens over the physical plant that you’re touching. That allows you to move the object, place it exactly where you need to place it on the aircraft, for what we would consider optimal maintenance.”Jamco is demonstrating the technology using Microsoft’s HoloLens smart glasses, which project additional instructions, diagrams and demonstrations onto their lenses.
Imagine a future where managers and executives at airframers and suppliers can move instantly from Toulouse to Tianjin, Seattle to Singapore, Cwmbran to Kadoma at the tap of a key, giving project managers and leadership real-time views of progress on an airframe, a seat, an inflight entertainment system.That’s the future that Altran sees, and the first step to getting there is a project that “recreated a complete aeronautical plant as part of a proof of concept for the smart factory of the future,” Altran spokesperson Karoline Heidtmann tells Runway Girl Network. “The application allows a virtual visit to the factory, including information about the operations of the plant through virtual dashboards in real time, with analytics performed on the IoT platform for predictive maintenance.”Including a training scenario for one of the maintenance processes from the factory and a management capability demonstration (rescheduling a maintenance operation), it’s clear that this is only the beginning for this technology, which is currently based on static imagery rather than live video.At present, it uses three technologies. To build the 3D model, Altran’s supplier used drone-based photogrammetry to take measurements, using GPS, angles and photographs to feed into its computer aided design, in this case CATIA, the software suite from Dassault. Images from the real factory were then placed on top of the CAD models by Altran and outsourced developers, and presented in the application, with from-scratch modeling of non-virtualized elements and object using the photogrammetry images as reference.But it’s not just a demonstrator. Altran is also planning to use some of the techniques for future projects, and has used the VR factory as a proof of concept. To create a live factory, Altran currently expects to require a large amount of data from the factory. That would include a digital twin process, where individual machines’ live performance from the real world part of the twin is fed back into the virtual twin, in a way that enginemakers and airframers are already using to greater and lesser extents on their products. Live streaming would also be required, but none of these needs are either revolutionary or dealbreakers.This is still very much a proof of concept, but it’s by no means an unreasonable dream. Image: John WaltonThere are, however, five key barriers that Altran sees. Firstly, industrial security and data regulations: nobody wants their live factory to be viewable by just anyone online. Secondly, network limitations, where infrastructure underinvestment in some countries may mean that connection improvements, redundancy or supplementation are required to deal with bandwidth, lag or other problems. Third, there may well be a large data acquisition effort: companies and factories may imagine that they are digital organizations when in fact they are not.Barriers four and five come when the live virtual factory wants to be two-way, with interaction between the remote participant and factory-based machinery a challenge, at which point the performance limits of the remote IT setup and the comms robustness between the remote and factory-based ends may also pose issues.Limitations of the remote-end computer system may end up being a temporary blocker. Image: John WaltonThe key technologies, though, are largely in place. Virtual reality, says Heidtmann, “is mature enough and it will be improved in terms of quality of the headset and how easy is the set up”. The IoT is well established on the ground even as it continues to push onto the aircraft, and sensors are increasingly connected and available. Analytics requires more consideration along the ‘solutions looking for problems’ sort of angle, while biometric monitoring (EEG in particular) raises huge ethical questions.But with supply chain problems from engines to cabins, the ability for an airframer’s program management team to hop instantly from the production site of lavatories, seats, galleys, engines, and any other crucial component will be nothing short of revolutionary.Using a virtual glove, Altran was demonstrating the possibilities of manipulating the virtual world. Image: John WaltonRelated Articles:Jamco uses Mixed Reality tech to help on-the-fly seat fixesVR could be a boon to aircraft interiors, if properly appliedOptech4D pitches AR, VR training and testing solutions to aviationRockwell Collins finds virtual reality drives seat designAltran opens up future of crew wearables with usable prototypePodcast 031: Getting real about Virtual Reality in aviation
As the planet confronts an environmental crisis, airlines face increasing scrutiny and public pressure to improve their environmental credentials. An anti-flying movement which started in Sweden is gaining momentum in other European countries, bringing attention to aviation’s contribution to climate change. The phrase “flight shame” is now on the International Air Transport Association’s radar. The group is responding with concrete plans to cut CO2 emissions, adopt new aircraft technologies and sustainable fuels, and address infrastructural issues.During this week’s IATA AGM in Seoul, airlines signed a resolution calling on governments to implement ICAO’s CORSIA carbon offsetting scheme for carbon neutral growth for international airlines by 2020. IATA members also repeated their commitment to cutting emissions by half by 2050, using 2005 levels as the baseline.“Aviation is the business of freedom. For 4.6 billion travelers it is their freedom to explore, build business, or reunite with friends and family. The economic benefit of this is 65 million jobs and a $2.7 trillion boost to the global economy,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.“Aviation is growing responsibly to meet this demand. From 2020, for example, the industry will achieve carbon-neutral growth. And that is on the way to the much more ambitious goal of cutting emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. We are determined to deliver sustainable global connectivity through aviation.”Airlines have been calling on their governments to help advance development of alternative sustainable fuels and invest in more efficient infrastructure. Many operators have also expressed a commitment to new technologies, including the development of more fuel efficient aircraft and a focus on weight-reduction.Cathay Pacific chairman John Slosar believes new, more fuel-efficient aircraft are key. “Aviation efficiency goes up about 15% every ten years. So if you’re two generations behind [with your fleet] you’re 30% behind in terms of eco-efficiency,” he said last week during a Wings Club luncheon in New York.Slosar also pointed to the efforts of Fulcrum BioEnergy, which is turning municipal solid waste into jet fuel. Cathay Pacific has both invested in the business and committed to a long-term jet fuel supply agreement. Slosar noted that a Nevada plant is set to open next year, and the firm is “trying to prove there is a scalable technology” because one of the big questions around biofuels is – how do you scale it and prove its efficiency?IATA director, aviation environment Michael Gill said at the IATA AGM that sustainable aviation fuels, which are already being used on certain commercial flights, will have the potential to cut emissions by up to 80%. “Airlines have been investing in lightweight seats and cabin equipment and even replacing heavy pilot manuals with tablet computers.”Gill also called on governments to ensure that airlines have infrastructure “which relates mainly to navigational improvements, making better use of airspace and streamlining the routes taken by aircraft to cut down on flight time, and optimizing airport layout to improve throughput”.Some of this is already in progress, including the adoption of satellite-based navigation, the FAA’s own NextGen program, and similar initiatives. But there are some notable gaps, especially in Europe where the airspace is constrained by multiple jurisdictions. IATA claims that implementation of the long-delayed Single European Sky ATM Research program could help cut 18M tonnes of CO2 annually in Europe.Cabin waste was also on the environmental agenda at AGM. In 2018, airlines generated around 6.1 million tones of cabin waste of which 20-30% was untouched food and drink.“IATA has developed cabin waste recycling guidance for international flights to ensure airlines are able to meet the requirements of the most stringent regulatory regimes globally, is flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of airline operating models and incorporates best waste management practices from within the aviation industry,” said Gill.While generally supporting the reduction of single-use plastics, IATA raised concerns that alternatives should not add weight to operations, reversing progress on fuel-savings. “Environmental impacts to take into consideration include increased enter by and water consumption from cleaning and return logistics, water pollution from washing, as well as CO2 emissions that result from heavier materials carried onboard aircraft,” said Gill.Airlines also hope that new aircraft designs will help further cut fuel use. During Airbus Innovation Days, SAS and Airbus announced a project to study hybrid electric propulsion for commercial aircraft.SAS and Airbus are researching hybrid and electric aircraft. Image: SASAlso during the AGM, KLM and TU Delft revealed a design for an alternative “Flying-V” aircraft (pictured at top), which would be more fuel efficient.Some airlines expressed an openness to multi-modal transport as part of long-term industry sustainability. KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said that, if Europe were to offer more efficient high-speed rail systems, he would support intermodal alternatives, even if it meant curbing some short-haul flight routes.He suggested that a greater reliance on rail for shorter journeys may be necessary to address airport and air traffic management infrastructure constraints on growth.The environmental movement is also putting pressure on low-cost airlines to address the impact of their operations too. Today, Ryanair became the first airline in Europe to commit to publishing monthly CO2 emissions statistics, reporting an average of 66g CO2 per passenger/km for May 2019.Related Articles:KLM outlines challenges of reducing inflight catering wasteWill Dash 8 hybrid-electric X-plane hit the spot for green aviation?Etihad Airways goes green with new customizable short-haul economyIncreasing reusability of airline inflight amenity kitsOp-Ed: When the train beats the planeIFC cost benefit analysis changes when emissions, ops factoredEnvironmentalists worry about weakening of airline carbon offset planEfforts to rein in aviation emissions continue to spur disagreementGreen lobby challenges airline chiefs to clarify climate change stanceAviation denies claims that green fuel plan is Trojan horse for palm oilUS airlines seek to convince Trump to uphold CORSIA commitmentIt’s not easy being green in the cabinIAG urges airlines to prepare for CORSIA amid fear of regulatory forceCountries move to adopt aircraft emissions standard at varying paceICAO hopes to set new standard of CO2 emissions in 2016Landmark ICAO aviation emissions deal provokes mixed emotionsCan ICAO convince the world to regulate aviation emissions?