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entertainment & connectivity

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Enabling all airlines to create extraordinary travel experiences

Visit us at Booth 713 Inflight Entertainment | In-seat Power | LED Lighting | Cabin Management Untitled-1 1

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here was a time when asking personal questions seemed rather presumptuous. It took time and tact to learn the likes and dislikes of an acquaintance or client, and discovering their personal preferences was a subtle, sensitive and slow art.


Julie Baxter WRITERS

Richard Williams Benjamin Coren PUBLISHER




Louisa Horton DESIGNER

Ross Clifford

Today however, we hand over our personal details as quick as a log-in double click if it means we can access free wifi. And we'll reveal all kinds of tastes, traits and movement trails in a heartbeat through our digital footprint. By digitally revealing our unique quirks and wrinkles, consumers - and passengers in particular - increasingly find that the products offered to them along their journey are more relevant and appealing. While some tailored marketing may make us curse, a personalised offer of something we really want, makes us smile and connect. Recommendations that turn out to genuinely reflect our tastes give us confidence in the tech and build trust with the associated brand, inspiring us to share more. Throughout this latest onboard entertainment and connectivity supplement it is clear, technology is helping business News understand their clients quicker and enabling Deals and developments them to tailor the passenger experience better. Technology is no longer just gigabytes and Trends gadgetry, it has a shiny new face and this time, Insight and APEX 2018 it's personal!

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Clare Hunter

How IFE can respond to the native digital generation




Millennial dilemma

Julie Baxter, EDITOR


In conversation...


As APEX 2018 opens in Boston, everyone casts about for The Next Big Thing in passenger experience. It’s easy to fix on the next piece of clever technology or the launch of a new satellite, and make it the star of the show. But success and profitability lie elsewhere. The debate is moving beyond bandwidth and speed to now focus on the development of unique, brand-defining experiences for passengers. Increasingly the onboard entertainment and connectivity sector is all about relationships and partnerships and finding people you can trust to deliver what you want. It's not about what you’ve got, but what you can do when you share it. And to find the best partners, you have to be the best-informed. So enjoy this fact-packed supplement and we look forward to hearing your latest ideas and inspiration at the show.

Richard Williams, WRITER


Focus on...

Maximising wifi efficiency


How to... ...stay powered up in-seat


Retail shift

Top tech to support sales


Focus on...

Disruptor: SmartSky Networks


Case study

Finnair delivers with Reaktor


Focus on... Onboard gaming


Case study... AirFi on the buses


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4 / news updates


news updates


faster Video

immfly's new deal

Immfly is supplying Wamos Air with a new onboard entertainment and digital platform for its Boeing 747-400 offering passengers a broad range of entertainment via their own devices. immfly.com

RebelRoam has a new solution which reduces the bandwidth usage of video streaming apps by up to 50%. The company achieves this by using proprietary Per Flow Queue (PFQ) technology and TCP acceleration which looks into network traffic flow and optimises settings accordingly. rebelroam.com

ways to pay

GoGo's 2Ku on air canada

Air Canada is now offering Gogo’s 2Ku satellite connectivity on its wide-body international fleet. The upgraded service has been installed on all 19 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, and enables passengers to stream TV and movies inflight through the internet. The entire Air Canada and Air Canada Rouge wide-body fleet is to be fitted with the new wifi system by summer 2019. The airline also plans to use a ground-based system on its narrow-body Airbus A319/320/321, Embraer 175/190 and Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft flying on North American routes. gogoair.com

bluebox for caribbean

Caribbean Airlines has selected Bluebox Aviation Systems' portable wireless streaming platform, Bluebox

Wow, for its fleet of 12 Boeing B737800s serving the Caribbean and North and South America. Bluebox Wow will stream 'Caribbean View' - a free inflight entertainment service to passengers' own smartphones, tablets and laptops. The Caribbean-themed content includes blockbuster movies, TV programmes, games, and the option to download magazines. blueboxaviation.com

Onboard retail provider, TouchStar On-Board Retail, and payments software specialist STS have announced a strategic partnership designed to deliver an improved payments acceptance capability. The joint solution aims to boost onboard ancillary revenue opportunities and add new payment options and data security. touchstar.co.uk

aeromobile in the uae

The UK's AeroMobile has partnered with UAE telecoms operator Etisalat to simplify and reduce the cost of inflight calls. The tie-up allows Etisalat subscribers to stay online, make or receive calls and listen to voicemail on AeroMobileequipped aircraft at no extra cost. aeromobile.net


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onboard entertainment & connectivity

Thales for spirit

sunexpress selects immfly

Spirit Airlines, an ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC) in the U.S., has selected Thales’s Ka-band FlytLIVE connectivity solution to improve its passenger experience. Spirit has over 550 daily flights to 65 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. Spirit is the first U.S.based airline to select FlytLIVE, and will be the only ULCC in the Americas with connectivity. With FlytLIVE, Spirit’s guests will enjoy full internet services including video streaming, games and social media. Installations are beginning this year on Spirit’s Airbus fleet and it will be offering full Wi-Fi by next summer. spirit.com

qatar opts for GX

news updates / 5

Immfly is working with SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, to provide a new entertainment and e-commerce system. ‘SunExpress Entertainment’ will be rolled out across the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737-800NG and MAX aircraft. A broad range of entertainment such as TV shows, movies, music, games, newspapers and magazines, as well as kids’ content, will be available onboard the SunExpress aircraft. To access it, passengers use their own personal electronic devices, and join the Immfly wifi network onboard. Immfly will use international content service providers such as 20th Century Fox as well as local content from Turkey and Germany. immfly.com; sunexpress.com

preflight retail

Air Europa passengers can now order inflight services up to three days prior to departure through a new online shopping service. Skyshop offers the inflight shopping pre-departure with an extensive range that can be reserved pre-flight and delivered to their seat. They pay onboard. aireuropa.com

Qatar Airways has chosen to equip its fleet with the new GX Aviation inflight broadband solution from Inmarsat. The service, integrated with the existing IFE system, will initially be available on more than 130 Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s. The remaining aircraft will be retrofitted with the connectivity equipment, including JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. inmarsat.com

low earth orbit deal

Telesat and Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) have agreed to collaborate in optimising the capabilities of Telesat’s low-earth orbit (LEO) system to serve the growing broadband requirements of the aviation and maritime markets. The collaboration will include user terminal development, service-offering design, marketing, inflight and at-sea performance testing. GEE chose Telesat’s LEO system because it is designed to provide low latency, high throughput and global coverage. The two companies will work together on design and testing activities for Telesat’s planned LEO constellation using Telesat’s recently-launched Phase 1 Ka-band LEO satellite. For aviation, Global Eagle will test its new, mechanically steered Ka-band antenna. geemedia.com; telesat.com


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Nearly 93% of all passengers travel with some form of smart device. The focus should be on enabling passengers to use them BARRY FLYNN Inflight Dublin


Airline app developers are widening their reach to offer solutions for both passenger communications and crew engagement. Etihad Airways has added a WhatsApp customer service tool for its Business passengers, for example, providing fast, personal and efficient customer service; while Retail inMotion has developed a Crew Food App enabling crew to pre-order their onboard meals before they fly.


The goal of enabling mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins continues to gather momentum through the Seamless Air Alliance consortium. Satellite network operator Intelsat has now joined the consortium founded by Airbus, Airtel, Delta, OneWeb, and Sprint to build SMARTER WIFI Spanish company, Galgus, has responded to standards that will help ensure airlines' need for smarter wifi with a WiFi Network passengers can use their own TOP Optimisation Engine, called CHT (Cognitive devices to get online with no MARKS Hotspot Technology) now used by VT Miltope complicated login process In the U.S. Virgin America has cabin wireless access points (WAPs). CHT and no paywall. won the Best Entertainment can cut the number of WAPs and will soon Intelsat will contribute Award at the APEX TECH show. enable location and device tracking in the with the integration of JetBlue got the award for Best Wifi. cabin. Combined with the new EU-compliant geostationary and lowIn Europe, Icelandair won the cyber security solution by Razor Secure, the Earth orbit (LEO) satellite award for Best Entertainment location tracking capabilities form a highly solutions into the hybrid and Norwegian Air for effective cabin wifi security blanket - so that both network. Best Wifi passengers and their data have a safe flight. View it seamlessalliance.com; at APEX Booth 701. mymiltope.com intelsat.com


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September 24-27 3,000 industry professionals

100 airlines, 300 content providers The Onboard Hospitality team will be looking for news, views and the latest tech trends at APEX EXPO in Boston. The EXPO is set to attract more than 3,000 industry professionals, including representatives from nearly 100 airlines and some 300 suppliers including content providers, OEMs and systems manufacturers. The EXPO will be co-located with the International Flight Services Association Conference & Expo and Aircraft Interiors Expo. The four-day event starts with an Education Day featuring keynote addresses by top airline executives, seminars and breakout sessions. The three days of exhibition will showcase the latest and most comprehensive airline-related technologies, products and services. apex.aero

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Lufthansa Systems is claiming its new BoardConnect Portable prototype is the most efficient and robust portable IFE hardware yet. The Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) acts as a server platform and includes all necessary access points while the size and weight (less than 2kg) remain unchanged. Each MSU provides sufficient streams to support a typical single-aisle aircraft. View the prototype at APEX Booth 753.



Rail operators are turning to tech to improve their service. SBB in Switzerland is deploying a ‘smart travel assistant’ to provide personalised service and info; while Virgin Trains' tickets can now be booked by voice-activated Alexa-enabled devices.

Everyone is talking about in-seat power – and in particular, USB power. Passengers are asking for it. Seatmakers are integrating it. Airlines are installing it. And right on trend, digEcor has launched a new solution to deliver it. Chief executive David Withers says: “The digEcor passenger power solution is a modular, affordable installation, designed with reduced components, to achieve a lighter weight, lower cost and minimal installation time. A reversible USB outlet means passengers don’t have to endure the frustration of figuring out which way to connect.” View the new solution at APEX Booth 713.

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Millennial dilemma

Are inflight entertainment systems really worth the expense if millennial travellers just want to use their own devices and curate their own content? Richard Williams poses the challenge


Chloe is a 24-year-old digital native and travels regularly for work and pleasure. She says: “I rarely even look at the IFE systems these days, I carry all my own inflight entertainment – downloaded on my own devices before I leave home. I’ve seen most of the films onboard, they rarely have my favourite TV shows and if I want music I have my own playlists. Onboard games are a bit lame so the only thing I really use is the moving map, to see how the journey is going!"

THE RESPONSES Jessica Sammut, global marketing manager, Spafax:

Our qualitative research – which integrates data from multiple open and proprietary sources including social media, search and CRM – confirms that millennials like Chloe are heavily focused on technology throughout their journey. The research reveals that most millennials would rather curate their own viewing and/or listening than use the airline’s entertainment offering, and therefore tend to download movies and TV shows onto their devices. To reach millennials, it’s important for content service providers to understand this demographic and the brands they’re engaging with. We’re already partnering with youth media brands, so our airline clients have the opportunity to

engage passengers like Chloe with the content she's looking for, from music to TV shows to movies. Our entertainment personalisation platform, Spafax Profile, lets passengers like Chloe find out what entertainment will be available on their upcoming flight, via a highly interactive Netflix-style experience. Alternatively, Chloe can find out what will be available using her Alexa-enabled device or even find out if the flight she’s on will have wifi. Chloe might also enjoy new features including passenger login, content tracking and recommendations. Once logged in, Chloe can manage her favourites list and receive personalised recommendations – a feature any passenger, demographics aside, will appreciate in a sea of content.

Barry Flynn, chief commercial officer, Inflight Dublin

Understanding the latest trends, and the implications for IFE providers, highlights new opportunities in how we engage millennials. With nearly 93% of all passengers travelling with some form of smart device, combined with new advancements in IFE hardware and software, second-screen services can provide passengers of all demographics with a more home-like IFE experience. Instead of trying to increase content volumes to cover the diverse needs of every passenger, the focus should be on enabling passengers to utilise their own personal device to access information/media that complements the content that is displaying on their in-seat screen. Another option is the development of personalised content, where passengers pre-select their preferred content choices. This is an emerging trend that has a great potential to take off.


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Digital natives are typically hungry for high-quality new experiences, and value video content


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Find out more at APEX

Stand #155

We live in an era of choice, where options create opportunity. Airlines demand a reliable IFEC approach that leads to a measurably great passenger experience. Global Eagle is perfectly positioned to deliver this.

Let us know how we can help: travelexperience@ globaleagle.com

globaleagle.com Š All rights reserved. Global Eagle 2018.

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p3 Aero systems benchmArk oF AircrAFt connectivity services Using trAnspArent & reAlistic User scenArios Active performance measurements Fast and flexible implementation of use cases into representative test environments to identify aircraft connectivity services performance using end user devices. Detailed results analysis allows to optimize system performance.

Passive performance measurements Unique solution for assessing passenger experienced quality of aircraft connectivity services. Analyses of passenger’s devices key performance parameters allows to monitor system performance and create market insights.

P3 aero systems Performance benchmark - an indePendent quality benchmark of AircrAFt connectivity services For Airlines, system sUppliers AnD service proviDers.

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Laurence Fornari, head of sales & marketing, SkyLights:

d f s e

It is perhaps unsurprising that millennials are opting to use their own devices onboard rather than the airline's seatback screens given the diminished value they offer in terms of screen size, resolution, content and convenience. However, we believe SkyLights’ new Allosky Cinematic VR trumps both seatback screens and personal devices when it comes to entertainment quality. The Allosky is a wearable, full HD, IMAX-style cinema, setting a new standard in terms of inflight experience. Passengers are immersed in their personal movie theatre, where they can choose from a catalogue of early-window 3D and 2D blockbusters, trending series, been waiting for. Airlines such as JetBlue are already documentaries and forward-facing 360° virtual partnering with content providers like Amazon Prime reality experiences. to offer passengers streaming video at 35,000 feet and Digital natives like Chloe are typically hungry for as satellite operators expand their coverage areas and high-quality new experiences, and value video gain capacity, they can ensure inflight connectivity content, and it is no surprise that 75% are ready to services are more reliable, with greater reach and switch to VR IFE over other IFE options; a figure that is faster speeds, so Chloe can spend her time in the air as particularly pronounced among frequent flyers. she might any other day at work or evening at home. Allosky’s catalogue of VR experiences and earlyFor example, she can send and reply to emails window 3D films is its uniue advantage. SkyLights is or upload images to Instagram; watch a new-release also now adding VR features in relaxation, travel and film on pay-on-demand; binge events. With millennials driving on a boxset from Amazon ‘The Yoga Generation’ into the Prime or Netflix; stream live mainstream, fully-immersive High-speed inflight action from the World Cup or relaxation content is likely to internet will offer the Olympics; or download the resonate well. Travel items and entertainment latest tunes from Pandora, event features match their experience passengers Spotify or Apple Music. She global interests. have been waiting for could even access the online Millennials will soon be able map of her choice, using to watch their own content on Allosky’s big screen too. SkyLights is integrating Airplay geolocation sites like FlightAware, to keep completely up-to-date with her journey and Miracast functionality, allowing passengers to cast and learn more about the places she passes their favourite films and TV shows onto the headset over. Ultimately, her experience is entirely from their Apple and Android devices (launching early self-curated. in 2019). Time and again, passenger feedback states Inflight internet creates unlimited that 'Allosky made time fly’ so it makes a great upgrade possibilities - passengers can shop for frequent travellers. online; make dinner reservations; Don Buchman, vp & gm book and confirm travel and commercial aviation, Viasat: adventure plans; secure car or shuttle For Chloe, and passengers of any age, services inflight - and all from their personalising the inflight entertainment experience own familiar devices. has got easier, and it’s more about self-curation. Investment in fast, reliable inflight High-speed inflight internet is giving passengers like internet and chosing the right Chloe the inflight entertainment experience they have business model is critical. • onboardhospitality.com

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David Lavorel CEO, SITAONAIR

Richard Williams explores how SITAONAIR is driving nose-to-tail digital transformation of the air transport industry


hat is SITAONAIR doing to personalise the passenger experience?

A. SITAONAIR’s inflight connectivity

portfolio holds personalisation at its heart. The inflight connectivity discussion has already moved beyond speed and bandwidth, and is now focusing on how we can work to develop a unique, branddefining experience with airlines, for their passengers. We deliver this by developing a bespoke look, feel and capability for our solutions that's consistent with the airline’s brand, and through our digital integration and data management. For example, integrating Internet ONAIR within an airline’s existing customer relationship management system, frequent flier programme or passenger manifest. In securely integrating the portal with this latest passenger profile data, airlines can now shape their offer according to a passenger’s shopping or surfing preferences, previous airline interactions, or simply where they’re sitting. This includes anything from promoting a tailored wifi price plan for specific passengers, to bespoke offers such as destination guides or booking services and other exclusive online content. On the cabin crew side, CrewTab gives onboard staff ample access to real-time passenger information via a touchscreen. The mobile- and tablet-ready application enables connected cabin crews to quickly discover passengers’ favourite meals and

duty-free items, even their birthday or past service preferences, so crews can be truly proactive and responsive.

onboard connectivity experience for both passengers and airlines consistently across diverse fleets and existing avionics.

Q. How do you serve different airline strategies, attitudes and business approaches?

Q. Who uses your crew tablet solution and what is the feedback?

A. We are incredibly well-versed

in helping our airline customers develop their business case for inflight connectivity – it’s a key aspect of our service. Every airline is unique in its priorities, fleets and digital capabilities so we work closely with them to explore, innovate and tailor IFC solutions to best serve their passengers’ needs, and deliver maximum ROI.

The inflight connectivity discussion has moved beyond speed and bandwidth to focus on unique, brand-defining experiences

Q. How can digital experiences bring flexibility to what you have described as a ‘rigid’ airline product? A. We focus on delivering integrated

solution flexibility for a personalised IFC experience – it’s like going from 2D to 3D. In the background, our open platforms approach also delivers technological flexibility by creating a harmonious

A. SITAONAIR’s CrewTab is an interactive user-friendly application that digitises cabin crew activities before, during and after a flight, by swapping cumbersome paper-based processes for a hand-held, digital dashboard. Through CrewTab’s comprehensive mobile- and tablet-ready interface, cabin crews can access essential passenger details, from inflight preferences to the status of connecting flights, and even view and update the airline’s back-end processes and information. We achieve this by intelligently integrating the solution with the airline’s particular IT systems and processes, making it truly intuitive. We are also working with airline customers to connect CrewTab to onboard connectivity channels to enable fresh capabilities, such as live crew and catering communications. We are proud to say that SITAONAIR’s CrewTab solution has been adopted by Philippine Airlines (PAL), Virgin Australia (VA), Etihad Airways and Aerolineas Argentinas, among others, with more deals in the pipeline. For VA, adopting CrewTab – known as ‘vCabin’ by the airline – enables crews to deliver a range of services at optimum efficiency. To quote Tash Tobias, Virgin Australia’s general manager of inflight


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experience: “Going from having a piece of paper, and running your finger down an old manifest to look for what a guest requires, to having a seat plan that actually shows you where everyone’s sitting, who’s missing, whether they’ve got a special requirement of any sort, is really, really important in terms of delivering an outstanding experience to our guests.” Meanwhile PAL’s state-of-the-art CrewTab is also actively enabling crews to elevate the experience they deliver to customers. By embracing such emerging technologies, CrewTab is playing a key part in PAL’s ambitions towards becoming a full-service five star carrier.

Q. You also have an electronic Weather Awareness System (eWAS). How does that affect the passenger experience? A. Significant and volatile weather

phenomena, such as turbulence, lightning and ice crystallisation, are becoming increasingly prevalent. SITAONAIR’s popular pilot weather application, eWAS – the EFB Weather Awareness Solution – gives pilots the best real-time pre- and inflight weather view. It does this by providing a graphicallyoptimised weather display, drawing data from multiple best-in-class sources, which update as you fly. More than 10,000 pilots are already using eWAS to help them to stay a step ahead. By equipping pilots with this hi-tech, user-friendly application, showing the complete, accurate weather picture – enhanced further by real-time inflight connectivity where available – pilots can be better prepared for any flight. As a result, they can offer passengers the most efficient and comfortable service, support On Time Performance, and minimise unnecessary fuel burn, for an optimal onboard experience and operational efficiencies. In short, it's really a winner all round. •


With more than 20 years of experience in international IT and telecommunications, David Lavorel has been instrumental in shaping the SITAONAIR’s vision of the connected aircraft. He previously managed the SITA Group’s long-term strategy and execution and served as a SITAONAIR Board member.


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onboard entertainment & connectivity

Maximising wifi Efficiency is key but how much wifi capacity actually arrives at each seat? Richard Williams talks to Markus Gilges at VT Miltope about new ways to improve performance


irlines are increasingly offering their passengers a more personalised experience, and key to it all is the cabin wifi system. But Markus Gilges, director for EMEA at Miltope, asks: “Are airlines in control of that? Do they even know how much wifi each device gets?” His colleague, Bernd Knobe, md of P3 Aero, an independent connectivity consultancy replied: “Airlines typically have SLAs (service-level agreements) with external connectivity providers, based on the capacity that arrives at the single modem (SatCom or ATG) of the aircraft. They tend to have no mechanism to understand what capacity actually arrives on each passenger electronic device (PED).”

Years of hype Gilges elaborates: “Throughout the years of hype about the capacity to/from the aircraft the question of how much of that capacity actually arrives at each seat - let alone each device - has been conveniently neglected. I say conveniently, because it’s a complex topic that cannot be solved by throwing hardware at it. In fact, more hardware actually exacerbates problem. Whilst the number of PEDs in the cabin, the apps used, the content supplied and the bandwidth per passenger grows exponentially, fuselages stay roughly the same. Trying to increase capacity through more access points won't work because

Technology) that resides on Miltope cabin access points. A useful side effect of CHT is that maximising the wifi capacity Fewer WAPs allows for a reduction in access points So, what can be done? needed onboard (at Gilges advocates current wifi system maximising the existing usage rates). The next wifi capacity and all its How much capacity incarnation of CHT will contributing elements also enable location actually arrives at ie the radios per access each seat has been and device tracking point (2.4 and 5 GHz), in the cabin. This will neglected the channels per radio, increase the potential the power levels etc. for personalisation, Galgus, a small but growing Spanish whether through advertising or the company, is doing just that. It has provision of maximum capacity to developed a wifi Network Optimisation premium passengers. Engine, called CHT (Cognitive Hotspot Gilges says: “In combination with the new cyber security solution by Razor Secure that adheres to the new EU legislation on cyber security and operates on the same Miltope access points, the location tracking capabilities can be turned into a highly effective cabin wifi security blanket. Learn more at APEX 2018, Booth 701. •

their interference with each other in this narrow tube also grows exponentially.”


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HOW HOWTO... TO... // 17

How to...

… stay powered up Everyone is talking about in-seat and USB power. Passengers are asking for it. Seatmakers are integrating it. Airlines are installing it. Richard Williams asks digEcor how it is delivering it MAKE IT SIMPLE

The digEcor passenger power solution is a modular, affordable installation, designed with reduced components, to achieve a lighter weight, lower cost and minimal installation time. With a reversible USB outlet, passengers don’t have the frustration of working out which way to connect their cables.


digEcor chief executive David Withers says: “If we’re going to get in-seat power rolled out across all economy seats worldwide, we have to make it simple, quick and cost effective. We’ve invested heavily to make this a reality, collaborating with a growing number of seatmakers to deliver customised seat modification kits that adapt to each seat design.”



All components can fit into one box – housing either single or double USB jacks, seat box and harnesses. For triple or quad seats, a second box can be installed on additional seat legs, providing power to all passengers with all seat options, delivered through one lightweight, small seat box installation. David Kelly, HAECO vp marketing and strategy, comments: “These products use innovative materials and lower part count to reduce weight, and efficient design ensures greater durability and lower lifetime maintenance cost.” Chris Brady, Acro Aircraft chief executive, echoes this: “digEcor’s passenger power solution exploits extraspacial design to maximise the micro-spaces that are often overlooked in traditional aircraft seating.”

FACT FILE digEcor’s in-seat power seat mod kit will be on show at Booth 713 during APEX Expo this year digEcor USB power is being installed this year on a 130+ narrow-body fleet

As well as USB 2.1A, digEcor provides 110v passenger power and a new, powerful USB-C option, upgradable from USB-A. Airlines can choose USB-only or a fully-integrated solution with USB power

digEcor’s USB passenger power is being installed via the seat spar solution across a 130-plus narrow-body international fleet later this year. Applying digEcor’s FAA approved AML-STC for the installation enables the seat spar kit to be quickly adapted to the specific needs of airlines. “With such an innovative solution, airlines can introduce passenger power into their aircraft virtually overnight,” says Withers. In addition to the USB 2.1A solution, digEcor also provides 110V passenger power and a new USB-C more powerful option for airlines, which is upgradable from USB-A. Airlines have the option of choosing a USB-only solution, or a fully integrated solution with USB power installed as part of the seat-centric GLIDE IFE system. Both solutions enable airlines to give their passengers something that they are now beginning to insist on: reliable and convenient in-seat power for their devices. •


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Retail shift Simple, user-friendly technology that can help airlines monetise the passenger journey is becoming a top priority. Benjamin Coren looks at some of the latest developments for onboard retail



ECR’s electronic point of sale (EPoS) system supports various buy-on-board programmes. Pairing with ECR's AirPoS software, it delivers data for customer revenue management and data needed for developing passenger profiles based on purchasing habits. Using this data carriers can create far more personalised passenger offerings for repeat customers and target offers to specific passenger types.

The company’s latest airline commerce platform launched in January, providing a flight attendant point-of-sale app, management console and passenger mobile app. It supports a new retail analytics engine for mobile ordering designed to help generate ancillary revenue before, during and after the flight. The platform offers a full onboard sales and marketing platform modelled to reflect the best practices seen in on-the-ground retailing and e-commerce. It focuses on using customer intelligence more effectively. It is connectivity-agnostic, meaning it can power an onboard store without wifi.


This French start-up has developed a seamless e/m-commerce experience for inflight. The software digitally connects travellers to pre-loaded duty free retailers giving the impression inflight of online browsing. This provides carriers with the opportunity to make incremental sales. The software is designed to minimise bandwidth consumption and optimise the speed at which pages load for passengers onboard.


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Flying Plaza, by this Cypriot start-up, offers personalised travel retail and entertainment via a passenger’s personal device. Working with any existing onboard server, MiniMe Lab’s media server requires no specialist fitting and is suitable for budget airlines. Passengers can order meals, shop and access a wide range of entertainment.


Gategroup partnered with predictive analytics company Black Swan Data and Panasonic Avionics to develop its new retail platform. The system uses data to predict the types of orders passengers will want and to offer them a more personalised experience. Carriers are hence more likely to offer products passengers want and can cut waste. It reaches customers at touch points across the journey providing options for pre-ordering, inflight ordering and the re-ordering of favourite items at home, postjourney. The full platform will be rolled out by early 2019 with a stand-alone app that can be built into airline's existing apps.



This French company is offering what it calls ‘Inflight Shoppertainment’. Passengers can connect to the service midflight and find deals and offers for products and services relating to the region or country they are flying over. A group buying scheme feature means the more passengers that purchase a deal, the better the offer becomes and there are brief ‘flash sales’ exclusively available in the air for 15-minute time periods. The aim is to offer a different selection every flight. SKYdeals is already deploying in Europe, the U.S. and Asia as well as working on cruise, rail and autonomous car retail solutions.


Foxtripper has developed an interactive moving map which provides airlines with data based on the information passengers access about cities they are flying over. The software additionally features Omnishop, which allows users to browse and book activities for when they reach their destination, essentially operating as an inflight marketplace where they can book tours, activities, services and restaurants.


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Our mobile wireless network solutions • optimize wireless network performance • maximize wireless system capacity • improve network reliability • enable customized wireless architectures


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Learn more about

the world's fastest growing travel region from top airline speakers

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See you in


It's Asia's

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Be a part of our

inaugural street food chef's challenge


Onboard Hospitality has formed a strategic partnership with Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO to invite inflight caterers, wellbeing and design specialists to meet at this well-established show, within a dedicated Onboard Hospitality area adjoining the Asia EXPO

TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE or enter our Onboard Street Food Challenge contact: Exhibition Director: craig.mcquinn@onboardhospitality.com or Publisher: sue.williams@onboardhospitality.com / +44 (0)20 8649 7233

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SmartSky Networks


Forget satellites: a U.S. air-to-ground connectivity company plans to disrupt the future of IFC and the aviation industry. Richard Williams asks how

he need to be constantly connected comes with an increasing demand for inflight connectivity experiences to match those of ground-based networks. While inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions exist today, the experience is inconsistent and often noticeably slower than on the ground. Enter SmartSky Networks, with a technology solution in the U.S. that provides nose-to-tail, two-way connectivity. It is designed not only to impress passengers in the aircraft cabin, but also pilots in the cockpit and crew supporting the aircraft on the ground.

Ten times faster

SmartSky is developing the first 4G LTE airto-ground (ATG) network, using 20 times more spectrum to provide claimed speeds 10 times faster than current ATG solutions. SmartSky says that its patented spectrum reuse and beamforming technologies deliver data to aircraft at speeds that rival or beat Ka/Ku satellite systems. SmartSky also claims that its network can transmit data from an aircraft at unmatched speeds, to guarantee each aircraft dedicated bidirectional connectivity. By allocating one beam per aircraft, high speeds are maintained

are now under construction, with many even on high-density flight routes. This in the final stages of deployment. The will provide the always-on, always-fast first STC was granted in January 2017 connections that people crave. with additional STCs After a Las Vegas underway. test flight in late For the commercial 2017, chairman and market, SmartSky is ceo Haynes Griffin High speeds are said: “Customers are maintained even on working closely with unanimously impressed high-density flight domestic airlines to identify mutual after experiencing routes opportunities. A inflight demos, regional 50-seater jet confirming that we will soon have equipment installed to have significantly raised the bar for what obtain another STC and this jet will be will constitute best-in-class, future-ready used for testing and demonstration flights. airborne connectivity going forward.” SmartSky’s technology also has benefits Business aviation launch for cockpit and crew. The strong return SmartSky’s network is currently live link and low latency enable real-time and nationwide roll-out is proceeding, applications that can lower operating in preparation for the launch of expenses and increase efficiencies. the Business Aviation offering. The As we enter a new era of connectivity, company has confirmed that more SmartSky Networks claims that it is on than 80 percent of the ground sites track to change the aviation industry for needed to provide U.S. coverage the better. SmartSkyNetworks.com. • onboardhospitality.com

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Aircraft Interiors Expo Boston is the place for you to network, reconnect and source the latest innovations. Through our industry networks and global reach, we create business opportunities, providing you with quality contacts, content and communities.

Register today aircraftinteriorsexpo-us.com/boston


25 -27

Organised by:

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Adding a touchpoint Using next-gen IFE and connectivity, Finnair has put the focus on passenger peace of mind. Benjamin Coren finds out more


innair partnered with digital services consultancy Reaktor to create an IFE system that delivers passenger peace of mind. The system needed to support practical passenger needs and work for both travellers and crew, as well as supporting the airline's brand and product. The new A350 aircraft came equipped with wifi and a satellite connection so passengers had easy access to an inflight portal. Content could be updated over this satellite easily. Finnair wanted full control over its passenger experience and Reaktor was able to run its own node.js server from the onboard server. New features were created for the entertainment system linked to different

stages of the flight, showing meal options, for example, and synchronising the IFE screen backgrounds with aircraft cabin mood lighting. The system allows the crew to receive operational data from the ground via satellite and when relevant this can be presented in the seatback displays. Elements are also controllable by Finnair's crew through their tablets so they can adjust the flight information and process inflight purchases through the system. A Finnair app further streamlines the travel process, providing loyalty programme services such as check-in, seat upgrades, extra baggage and loyalty points. It also allows travellers to go paperless, storing travel documents and providing information at the right times.

The airline has now also added gateto-gate high-speed internet services on European flights, deploying Viasat’s connectivity on its entire narrow-body Airbus fleet. Passengers can use the internet onboard as they do on the ground, surfing the web, doing some online shopping, listening to music and even streaming movies and TV shows from popular video services. “We are very happy that we can offer our customers something truly special, a state-of-the-art internet connection on our European flights,” says Piia Karhu, senior vp, customer experience at Finnair. “Customers can also enjoy the services we provide online through our Nordic Sky portal, such as the latest digital newspapers and shopping opportunities.” •

THE FINNAIR BRIEF Finnair wanted to create onboard services with the same agility as digital channels. The aircraft was to be another effective touchpoint for Finnair’s services, an opportunity to offer relevant services along the journey - filling the so-called ‘black

hole’ when passengers are digitally disconnected. Having an internet connection onboard would also enable the airline to introduce new tools for crew to improve the customer experience.


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Touchstar: Getting onboard point-of-sale right Discover why TouchStar's NovoStar point-of-sale solution could be right for your business when it comes to implementing the best sales process


or many airlines and their catering / duty free partners, the trend to replace revenue off-set with ‘paid for ancillaries’ is a key driver in investment in modern on-board POS systems. It can be exceptionally challenging for organisations to get the selection and implementation process right and to ensure the desired outcomes can be achieved.

Maximising revenue At TouchStar, we help the airline industry define, develop, implement and support their best fit on-board retail solution. “NovoStar” provides the airline industry with a software suite that facilitates the sales of in-flight duty-free, food and beverages and other ancillary products. Streamlining in-flight operations whatever the connectivity, we have the technology that makes on-board selling a fast, easy and personalised experience. The availability of all major payment options allow NovoStar to maximise revenue and enhance the payment experience whilst full integration with the NovoStar back office offers greater management control of all aspects of pre- and post-flight sales.

Meaningful innovation For the airline industry, the pace of innovation in the cabin is accelerating, creating greater opportunity for myriad advances in on-board connectivity, IFE content, applications and the creation of new and better sales channels and purchasing opportunities. All this whilst at the same time generating potentially greater complexity for project definition and implementation. Navigation of the above complexities is the challenge presented. The good news is that it is possible to create meaningful change that can drive the airline industry to new models for success.

Get it right Reasoning on how to get these projects right and what can be done to maximise positive outcomes, TouchStar’s recently released buyers guide, “Implementing On-Board POS – A Guide to ‘Getting it Right’ takes a look at the key considerations, purchasing criteria, control of implementation through to go live and the support phase. To request the guide, or to find out more NovoStar, contact TouchStar On-Board Retail for a non-committal dialogue on +44 (0) 1926 831 173 or email onboard@touchstar.co.uk.

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Blockbuster gaming


Blockbuster gaming titles beloved on the ground are still not available in the air. Benjamin Coren looks at the obstacles blocking progress onboard

assengers expect the latest Hollywood blockbusters and top TV shows when they get onboard, yet gaming often disappoints. Though well-known intellectual properties such as Angry Birds, Tetris, Plants vs Zombies and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? can be found in seat-back entertainment systems, major titles found on home consoles such as the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch are nowhere to be seen. But it’s not impossible, and has in fact been done before. Back in1993 Nintendo developed its Nintendo Gateway System, a service designed to provide its games on airplanes. Nintendo integrated its technology into the existing service provider’s entertainment system. Airlines carrying the Gateway System included Air Canada, ANA, bmi, China Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai and Virgin Atlantic. What’s more it was available on Thales' IFE system along with systems from Panasonic Avionics and Rockwell Collins. Henry Gummer, vp entertainment, Spafax says: “There’s always been a bit of a barrier to gaming in terms of presenting market-leading current titles. The legacy systems require the games to be adapted for their system; it is possible but it is quite

It will come eventually. Connectivity will also change things. Cloud-based streaming to personal electronic devices could enable people to play together on the ground and onboard via inflight wifi.” He cites the growing popularity in Getting connected worldwide gaming There are companies as a key driver, with like G.U.E. Tech and competitive e-gaming Ensemble Media which It is only a matter of likely to come onboard have been working with for people to play. time before game publishers in the Technological passengers will be past to adapt AAA titles developments will playing blockbuster for inflight systems, also help. “VR is the titles together working to bring ideal solution. In onboard games from Xbox and the next five years I Playstation consoles. think you’ll be able to Mobile editions of major multiplayer present premium gaming to a number of titles such as the hit Fortnite are also passengers in premium classes,” he says. available for use onboard. Even if the seatback is not equipped for Gummer adds: “Suppliers are trying to top-end gaming it seems it is only a matter offer ways to extend the entertainment of time before passengers will be playing experience onboard. The latest IFE systems blockbuster titles together onboard, using will have the capacity to use this software. their personal devices. •

labour intensive. For example, a company like Nintendo would need to re-engineer their games for every different IFE system. The question is then, will the income from this reward them enough?”


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AirFi catches the bus AirFi, a leading supplier of wireless IFE systems to the aviation sector, is now rolling out its products to a major bus and coach company


irFi brought the world’s very first portable, carry-on wireless IFE system to the aviation market back at the beginning of 2015. Since then, other mass-transportation sectors, looking to airlines as the benchmark industry for continually improving their onboard passenger experiences, have started to commit to similar projects. Job Heimerikx, AirFi ceo, says that AirFi’s portable wireless IFE is a game-changer for this new, wider client base across the bus, coach, ship and train markets. The key drivers of this expansion being low-cost, zero-maintenance hardware; ease and speed of deployment; and the broadest range of features and functions. The new bus and coach project added a few new dimensions and some extra

challenges for the AirFi team to overcome. Passengers have onboard connectivity for messaging and browsing through the same AirFi box and user interface as the locally-stored content for streaming. AirFi developed a cloud-based management suite to provide automated and manuallycontrolled functions that manage the quality of service right down to individual end-user devices. With an extremely high volume of passengers per month across a very broad demographic, a very high level of repeat passengers per week and a short average journey time, the AirFi Content team created an entirely bespoke passenger experience offer to meet these profiles. For instance, AirFi boxes automatically update CNN news feeds throughout the day and

daily newspapers and weekly magazines overnight. The challenge of 24-hour bus routes was to ensure a full refresh across all buses every single day. Heimerikx comments: “Our expansion into the bus and coach markets and further penetration into the rail sector is enabling AirFi to learn from one market and apply it to the others, which increases our ability to meet future demands. We are also continuing to drive up our operating performance benchmarks. This fast-growing end-user passenger base makes key revenue opportunities from advertising, sponsorship and partnerships become a really substantial proposition for brands that want to be present across multiple digital onboard passenger touchpoints.” •

THE BUS AND COACH OPERATOR BRIEF AirFi was recently selected by one of the world’s largest bus and coach operators to enhance the passenger experience on a major commuter bus network. The primary requirement for the operator was to meet their financial return on investment (ROI)

parameters. AirFi's solution was a single AirFi box per double-decker bus, vehicle-powered, with battery back-up for maintenance and content management, plus a tailored passenger experience package to suit the customer profile and a clear pathway to revenue generation.


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apex EXPO



Boston, USA 24-27 September 2018 EX ECUTI VE KEYNOTES

Doug Parker

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Kavanagh Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Claudia Sender

Andrés Conesa

Chief Executive Officer, LATAM Brasil

Chief Executive Officer

Calin Rovinescu President & Chief Executive Officer


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Jo i n t h e c o m m u n i t y a t w w w. f t e - h u b . c o m





FO R FURTHER INFO RMATIO N V I S I T w w w. F u t u reTravel Ex p eri en c e. c o m / ft ea s i a


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Visit us at Apex Expo Booth #753

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity September/October 2018  

Onboard Hospitality Magazine's Entertainment And Connectivity Supplement. This Edition: Trends • News • APEX 2018 • Onboard gaming • wifi e...

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity September/October 2018  

Onboard Hospitality Magazine's Entertainment And Connectivity Supplement. This Edition: Trends • News • APEX 2018 • Onboard gaming • wifi e...