AUG/SEPT 2019 ISSUE EIGHT
Tech Innovation innovation
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Up the ante
s APEX Expo marks its 40th anniversary and the industry gathers in L.A. it's impossible not to be impressed by the progress made in inﬂight technology over the past four decades. Remember the communal movie viewing on screens hung from the aircraft ceiling? And the headsets that looked like stethoscopes? Choice? Forget it. Things have changed, and undoubtedly for the better, with passenger choice now on a seemingly exponential Julie Baxter, growth curve with investment rolling in to vast libraries EDITOR of content, live event streaming, personalised playlists and inflight connectivity fast becoming the norm. And while APEX had its roots in entertainment technology, now its focus is firmly on the entire passenger experience and the tech that touches every element of the traveller's journey. We're broadening the reach of this bi-annual supplement to reflect that trend and will increasingly be looking at technology for crew, at airports, across retail and catering provision, as well as the on-going IFEC innovation. April Waterston, our new staff writer, will be touring the APEX halls for your news, views and product demos. Like her, we are all excited to see what the next 40 years might bring and look forward to seeing the best of it entered into our Onboard Hospitality Awards technology category. Entries open September 1. 04 NEWS AND TRENDS Good luck and have a great show. APEX Expo and beyond 08 SMART SEATS When seats meet tech
It’s a truism in the passenger experience world that when people are offered an innovation they like, they very soon come to expect it. In this supplement, we have articles on the growing trend for live events to be broadcast onboard, a moving map that delivers a real entertainment experience, crew apps that keep the cabin staff smiling, and the technology in your seat that can make you more comfortable. All these innovations are enabled by technology specialists who continue to raise the bar for airlines, railways and cruise ships as they battle to keep their customers happy. Long may it continue!
Richard Williams, WRITER
ACCESS ALL AREAS In praise of United's IFE
IN CONVERSATION... with Flightpath3D
FOCUS ON... shoppertainment inflight
IN CONVERSATION... with Global Eagle
20 FTE ASIA EXPO PREVIEW Get set for Singapore 21
LIVE EVENTS Streaming opportunities
23 HOW TO... optimise catering logistics 25 CREW SUPPORT Take your pick of apps 26 ON THE GROUND Easing the journey to gate
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4 / NEWS AND TRENDS
Your industry update We cover the biggest news in onboard tech innovation through this supplement and weekly updates online. We look forward to gathering your latest updates at APEX EXPO and FTE Asia EXPO
BIG DATA APPS FROM FLIGHTPATH3D
NEW PAYLOADS FOR INMARSAT
Inmarsat returns to APEX EXPO 2019 following a series of major announcements about the development of its inflight connectivity services. Visitors can expect to learn about enhancements to Inmarsat’s next-generation Global Xpress network, including its contract for two new payloads in partnership with Space Norway and Space Norway HEOSAT, as well as updates on the European Aviation Network (EAN) which is now available to thousands of passengers across Europe each day. inmarsat.com
Moving map company FlightPath3D has announced the launch of two new big data-driven apps. The Favorite Places app enables passengers to see which destination experiences are trending or search for new ideas. Experiences are prioritised based on billions of travellers’ social media records. The second app is an interactive route map called Where We Fly that promotes airline destinations. Where We Fly can filter flights and routes for a passenger-specific search and show daily flight times within a calendar view. flightpath3d.com
VIASAT IN IFC DEAL WITH CHINA SATCOM
Viasat and China Satcom have set up a partnership to provide IFC services in China for domestic and international airlines. This will enable Viasat’s global airline customers to have roaming connectivity when flying over China. It will also allow Viasat to provide IFC service to domestic flights within China, and enable Chinese airlines to roam onto Viasat’s global network. viasat.com
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NEWS AND TRENDS / 5 Top stories from across the industry
At APEX EXPO Panasonic will be showcasing Insights, Arc and Wellness, the new key solutions which support Panasonics vision of a fully personalised passenger experience. Arc has been designed to enrich the travel experience through bespoke journey storytelling and can be integrated with the rest of Panasonic's solution portfolio. panasonic.aero
APEX EXPO PREVIEW GLOBAL EAGLE IMPROVES IFE
At this year’s APEX EXPO Global Eagle will be showcasing its September 9-12 100 airlines cloud-based content delivery platform Open and data intelligence 3,000 visitors LA, USA software, Pulse. Chris Esposito, chief technology officer, Global Eagle, says: “Open creates the ability for Taking place alongside the airlines to tactically refresh their content at any IFSA Expo and AIX in Los time, giving passengers access to the most Angeles this September, recent entertainment, maximising its release the APEX EXPO will ‘window’ value. Using Pulse, airlines can attract more than evaluate rich user-behaviour data to According to a recent study by Valour 3,000 industry precisely curate content for passengers, Consultancy, wireless IFEC provider AirFi professionals, increasing satisfaction.” Global Eagle has has become the fourth largest global including wireless IFEC service provider, with 11% also teamed up with language learning representatives from market share of aircraft both equipped app Drops to offer Travel Talk lessons on nearly 100 airlines and under contract, after Gogo, seatback screens. and some 300 content Panasonic and Viasat. It is also the globaleagle.com number one supplier of portable providers, systems wireless IFEC systems. manufacturers and other airfi.aero industry suppliers from around the globe. The four-day event features Safran Passenger Innovations (formerly Zodiac Inflight seminars led by industry experts, Innovations) is anticipated to be the first supplier to bring 4K displays the latest and most comprehensive and Bluetooth audio for the entire cabin without impact to wifi. The 4K display of airline-related technologies, displays come with configurable user interfaces enabling products and services, and valuable multi-tasking, multi-touch and multi-window applications. networking opportunities. Displays are offered in a variety of sizes ranging from The APEX EXPO will be held at the 13.3” to 32”. With the slimmer, lightweight Los Angeles Convention Center. For design, the airline achieves 30% full details of the keynote speakers and weight savings from previous conference sessions visit the website. generation IFE systems. See you there! expo.apex.aero safran-group.com
AIRFI NO.1 IN PORTABLE IFEC
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6 / NEWS AND TRENDS Top stories from across the industry
GULF AIR OPTS FOR THALES
Gulf Air, the Kingdom of Bahrain’s national carrier, has chosen Thales’ Ka-band connectivity solution for its B787-9 and A321Neo-E (LR) aircraft. Thales will deliver a complete end-to-end connectivity solution using the Inmarsat Global Xpress satellite network. Through the connectivity portal and onboard wifi network, passengers can check social media and shop onboard during their flights. thalesgroup.com
IMMFLY ANOUNCES FIRST U.S. CLIENT
Immfly has announced its first American customer. Its WIFE platform will be installed on nine Eastern Boeing 767s. Eastern passengers will be able to enjoy a WIFE portfolio of video and audio content from Hollywood studios. The platform will also be available in various languages to serve the airline’s demographic profile. Immfly ‘s platform of integrated digital services is also said to include a combination of breakthrough revenue generation tools. immfly.com
VIASAT WIFI ON FINNAIR
Finnair has completed its
installation programme of Inflight connectivity on its whole narrowbody Airbus fleet flying within Europe. The Ka-band connection provided by Viasat enables connection speeds of 12 Mbit/s or more, which makes it possible to use streaming services during the flight. Inflight connectivity on European flights includes a selection of digital newspapers and other services offered through Finnair’s Nordic Sky portal. finnair.com
PHASOR ACHIEVES ISO 9001 CERTIFICATION
Phasor, a developer of electronically-steered antenna (ESA) systems for satellite-based mobile broadband, has announced that it has achieved ISO 9001 Certification for its quality management system ahead of the commercial release of its products for the land mobile, maritime and aviation markets. Phasor’s ESA features a flat, ultra-low-profile design, and supports traditional fixed satellite networks (FSS), High Throughput Satellites (HTS), and Non-Geosynchronous (NGSO) satellite networks. phasorsolutions.com
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NEWS AND TRENDS / 7 Top stories from across the industry
LIVE TV ON AIR FRANCE
JAL CHOOSES SPAFAX IFE
Entertainment and media agency Spafax has announced that it has been chosen by Japan Airlines (JAL) to license, curate and Air France’s passengers now have deliver its short-form content on all the airline’s aircraft. Short-form access to TV channel France 24’s full entertainment includes TV shows, documentaries and live content. On medium-haul flights compilations. The Japanese Transport Ministry is equipped with the Air France expecting more than 40 million foreign visitors for CONNECT connectivity service the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in supplied by Global Eagle, the 2020. Spafax will manage the JAL contract company’s customers can from its Hong Kong office, supported by its use an entertainment teams in London and California. Spafax’s portal, in addition to the Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight first content cycle wifi service, on their broadband service has been selected for JAL is due in August 2019. smartphone, tablet by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) for its new spafax.com or PC. It also gives fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft. The first A350 them access to realwill be delivered from the Airbus factory time news bulletins in Toulouse at the end of 2019 with GX on France 24 channel’s Aviation pre-installed. The aircraft will live-streaming TV. enter service in January 2020, corporate.airfrance.com serving long-haul routes. inmarsat.com Singapore Airlines has launched a new mobile app for Android and iOS smartphones. The app introduces new features that offer customers a more personalised experience. Based Garmin International has developed on a ground-up rebuild and a small, lightweight USB charger for all-new underlying technical aircraft use. The GSB 15 has dual USB architecture, it delivers configuration giving simultaneous fast customers significantly 3A charging from each port. It can charge enhanced booking and two full-size iPad tablets or similar check-in flows, improving smart devices while using them at full transaction time by up to brightness. It has FAA TSO and therefore 60%. The app will be fully also European approval. released by September. garmin.com singaporeair.com si
SAS CHOOSES INMARSAT GX
SINGAPORE AIRLINES' NEW APP
NEW USB PORT FROM GARMIN
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8 / SEAT TECHNOLOGY
The future is behind you Technology is increasingly embedded in every element of the passenger journey. Richard Williams discovers how designing for digital innovation is impacting the very seats we’re sitting on
he average passenger may not pay much attention to his or her aircraft seat – unless it’s particularly uncomfortable – but those on commercial aircraft today are unquestionably different from those 20 years ago. They are likely to be lighter and less bulky, constructed from different materials, and increasingly ‘smart’ – adapted to serve our tech-centric lifestyles. Craig Foster, of market intelligence firm Valour Consultancy, recently produced a report on the seats market. He says: “With airlines constantly looking to reduce fuel burn, there has been an intense focus on producing lighter and lighter seats and materials that promise to reduce ongoing operational costs. Airlines will pay more for lighter
materials when fuel prices are high, but there is, of course, a breakeven point above which airlines cannot justify the cost.”
Materials such as new iron-aluminium alloys and carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites, titanium, magnesium and graphene, are all in the mix, and when new designs and constructions incorporate passenger enhancing technologies too there’s the potential for a further return on investment in terms of the passenger experience. Airlines are investing, with the seat market showing strong growth, and Foster expects the commercial aircraft seating sector to be worth $4.9 billion by 2028 – up from $3.8 billion in 2018.
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SEAT TECHNOLOGY / 9
At the heart of the sector are the ‘big three,’ he says: Safran Seats, Collins Aerospace and Recaro Aircraft Seating. Together, these account for about three-quarters of annual revenues, but a clutch of new players are also seeking to chip away at the dominance of the big three. And as airlines also look to invest in technology, to improve every element of the onboard experience, seating specialists are collaborating more closely with digital specialists to combine services to best effect.
Adam White, director at aviation design consultancy Factorydesign, says: “There is no lack of enthusiasm for bringing technology into aircraft
interiors, or lack of knowledge of what is possible, but what has been hard is the transfer of new technology into the cabin without adding weight, without time-consuming certification, and all for an acceptable cost. “Key is to create pieces of added value that enhance the experience. Once the technology itself is part and parcel of the seat, the ground and in-air experiences really start to align. “We are already seeing passengers getting much more control over their environment, with growing opportunities for interaction in the luxury end of the market. But there is still an awful lot more that can be done to improve the Economy experience through technology. “As inflight technology becomes routine
Above: The Air Lair cabin concept from Factorydesign
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10 / SEAT TECHNOLOGY
deodorises and neutralises the air in the cabin and around a passenger’s seating area by applying a low voltage to moisture in the air, which bursts into nano-sized electrostatic atomised particles at a rate of 480 billion nm particles per second. David Bartlett, cto of Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Our mission is to leverage the latest advancements in The challenge is to add technology to improve Purer air technology economically the passenger experience onboard all PanasonicActive Noise Control aims without adding weight equipped aircraft. Wellness to support more restful or certification delays solutions are already proving sleep on long-haul flights by popular with airlines and we reducing background noise are working with seat manufacturers and airline without the need for headphones. The system partners to identify ways our technology and fastcan reduce ambient noise at the seat by evolving systems can help support in-seat comfort, up to 15 decibels, and is optimised for as well as the entertainment offering. the 80-400Hz frequency range, with no Innovative German company AMC encourages impact on the ability to hear human passengers to take a proactive approach to their voices. The technology is adaptable to own comfort and proposes the use of sensors each seat configuration and embedded into the seat. These relay information will calibrate automatically to to its SMEATED (smart seated) app to make inflight a passenger’s seat inflight. recommendations to the passenger on how to The programme brings improve his or her posture en route for better longpurer air to the seat term comfort. environment too through In the same vein, Aviointeriors has Nanoe, a system that
you can piggyback on myriad features and enhancements on the back of that and customisation becomes far easier. It is an exciting prospect and we know this is becoming a significant driver.” Panasonic has been making headlines with its in-seat wellbeing initiatives – first with its Calm app giving wellness advice through the IFE system, and then most recently with its Wellness solution, which features Active Noise Control and technology to improve air quality. Above from left: Connectivity onboard is becoming a must-have for many passengers; and the key asset of a long-haul Economy seat (Singapore Airlines) Below: Recaro's Business seat for WestJet
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12 / SEAT TECHNOLOGY
incorporated a massage system into its new Business seat, The Adagio. As growing numbers of passengers board with their own technology in their hand luggage, the seat design trend has moved away from seatback screens in favour of a wireless IFE systems that allow passengers to use their own personal electronic devices (PEDs) for IFE and connectivity. With this has come a boom in the market for in-seat power provision. Foster’s report predicts the proportion of seats with in-seat power is set to increase from about 38% to 66% in the next 10 years.
Power to the people
The retrofit opportunity for in-seat power – especially in the largely untapped single-aisle segment – will represent an increasingly fierce battleground going forward. Foster explains: “In 2018 Astronics and KIDSysteme generated a combined 98% of total revenues, with six or seven companies fighting it out over the remainder. But with the likes of IMAGIK, Burrana and Inflight Canada all winning sizeable contracts recently, concentration is set to shift.” In-seat power vendors have begun to strike up relationships with seat manufacturers. KIDSysteme and IFPL are integrating their system with Mirus’s Hawk seats for AirAsia. IMAGIK and Recaro had a similar relationship for deployment with the GOL airline, while Burrana is collaborating with Acro, Recaro, HAECO and Aviointeriors on various programmes. Seatmakers are starting to view pre-
integrated in-seat power as a design feature that can help set them apart from competitors and increase profit margins.
Safran Seats’ new generation of A+C in-seat USB electrical power systems are capable of charging most types of personal electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, and these sockets can provide up to 45W of power to each passenger. And Recaro’s BL3520 Economy seat makes it easier to hande personal electronic devices with a tablet PC holder, a new pocket for stowing, as well as power supply for charging. Collins Aerospace has a Pinnacle seating range that offers optional audio inflight entertainment integration, PC power and USB integration, and the company says it recognises that for more and more passengers, being connected inflight is no longer a luxury. It has also evolved the CabinConnect wireless inflight connectivity solution, which allows airlines to keep passengers ‘engaged, entertained, empowered and informed through all phases of flight’. Its partnership with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation service, to deliver global high-speed aviation broadband onboard, is also opening the way to more fully-connected and offer personalised services, as well as creating new revenue generation opportunities. Foster identifies some real benefits for airlines integrating their seat and tech investments: “The benefits of these integrations include lower part count and reduced installation and maintenance costs. And power that can be integrated into the seat design in a more aesthetic manner that does
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SEAT TECHNOLOGY / 13
defined classes (Economy, Premium Economy, not compromise ergonomics is viewed more Business and First) is also creating opportunities in favourably by passengers, which helps drive better the seating sector. Net Promoter Scores (NPS),” he says. “Super First class is emerging, and mini-rooms, “Furthermore, the seat structure itself can be rather than seats, are seen to represent the used to help with heat dissipation, resulting in ultimate in comfort and a way to differentiate lighter and less obtrusive power equipment.” top-tier service from an ever-improving Business Burrana, formerly digEcor, is one of the largest – where suites with sliding privacy doors are and most dynamic players in this new market. becoming more commonplace,” says Foster. It focuses on supplying in-seat power flexibly to One example of this new flexible approach airlines, with minimal investment or aircraft down comes from Safran Seats. Its Versa seat is built time. Standalone in-seat power solutions can be upon a modular platform that delivers weight and either USB-A (5V 10W), USB-C (power delivery up space savings. Thanks to its to 100W), or 110V AC (160W). architecture, the Versa is The system can be delivered ready to receive modules and in any configuration of these technology bricks developed options. David Withers, ceo, says: Power integration to the across the Safran Seats premium range, such as wider “Passenger Power is a great seat design can help screens, wireless charging and area of focus for us at drive a better NPS audio, advanced lighting, and Burrana and we have been new control systems. With a successful in implementing herringbone layout and its unique design approaches ability to provide passengers direct access to the to fit specific airline seats and configuration needs aisles, Versa also offers a spacious fully horizontal including redesigns of line-replaceable units (LRUs) bed. and designing mounting kits that enable airlines to Foster concludes: “Premium Economy and install power without any further seat testing. We fully flat Business beds with direct aisle access continue to drive down cost, weight and options on single-aisle aircraft will become increasingly for more efficient consumption of aircraft power. important as longer-range narrow-bodies like the Our reduced componentry approach also delivers new A321XLR and 737 MAX are deployed efficiencies to streamline supply chains.” more frequently. The likely knock-on effect is increased demand for multiple Super First in-seat power options in the more A blurring of the lines between cabin categories as premium cabins.” • the airline industry moves away from four clearly
Above from left: Manufacturers such as Safran Seats are using hightech materials to cut seat weight; Emirates has its IFE offer at the heart of its A380 First offer Facing page from left: Virgin Atlantic's new loft space allows for communal IFE viewing in belted seating; and FactoryDesign is working to inspire new ways to incorporate tech with style
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CASE STUDY / 15
Access all areas United Airlines is winning plaudits for its onboard accessibility initiatives, Linsey McNeill discovers more
nited Airlines’ latest entertainment system, winner of this year’s Onboard Hospitality Best Use of Onboard Technology Award, seems to indicate a step change in the onboard experience for all. Created after more than 20,000 hours of research, the system includes industry-leading features such as audio descriptions for blind passengers, text to speech functions, and, for deaf and hard of hearing customers, subtitles on movies and TV programmes. Passengers with limited vision can adjust the text size, turn on highercontrast text to make it easier to read, and invert screen colours to cut glare. There is also a magnification feature
that enlarges parts of the screen and colour filtration to aid colour blindness. Those who can’t see enough to use these features can navigate the IFE using the text to speech function, which is easy to turn on by triple-tapping the screen with two fingers. The volume, speed and pitch of the voice can be changed according to preference. Users can then swipe left or right to select content or search by dragging their finger across the screen while the content is read out to them. When they want to select the content, they simply double-tap the screen with one finger. Passengers in premium cabins can also navigate using the remote control. The IFE, which was three years in the making, comes in 15 languages and
United wanted to ensure all passengers, regardless of vision, hearing or mobility issues, could enjoy the full range of seatback IFE as part of its wider commitment to accessibility. The airline worked with a number of technology partners, including Panasonic Avionics, to create a bespoke system to premiere on the Boeing 787-10 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft, which operates on both domestic and international routes from Newark, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
allows passengers to create their own movie, TV or audio playlists. Other features include a search function to find movies, programmes or audio; live text news and weather reports, and video ratings from IMDb. Unique to United are a relax mode, end-of-video recommendations of other things to watch based on flight time, favourites and previously watched content. A split screen option allows passengers to watch a movie and the flight map at the same time. Onboard Hospitality Award's judges commented: "This product takes the passenger experience to a new level. sets a new benchmark for other airlines to follow. It is an investment which sends a strong caring message. •
Best Use of Technology United Airlines
BE A 2020 WINNER onboardhospitality.com
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16 / IN CONVERSATION WITH...
Duncan Jackson PRESIDENT, FLIGHTPATH3D
Richard Williams discovers how FlightPath3D is using technology to transform the humble moving map into something far more powerful
Q. Why is the moving map still
relevant as part of the inflight entertainment experience? A : The moving map is becoming increasingly relevant for today's traveller. 'Where am I?' and 'What's my estimated time of arrival?' has become: ‘Estimate my journey time from the airport to my final destination; Share my landing and arrival times with my family and friends; Personalise my travel map to include places and activities to explore near my destination; Let me watch an augmented camera view of what the pilot is seeing; Buy me some lastminute tickets for shows or games at my destination; Request a ride with my preferred transfer service while in flight; Show me a virtual tour with audio and visual highlights of the main attractions in my destination city.'
Q. How is FlightPath3D evolving to
enhance the passenger experience? A : We've evolved our moving map to use immersive technology that allows passengers to pre-experience their destination and trip in full 3D and with augmented reality. Our window views let them see what they're flying over, with the ability to zoom in, look at place names and points of interest. The cockpit view, showing what the pilots see, is among the most popular features. And now we've added camera
feeds mashed up with flight displays for augmented reality that makes viewers really feel like a pilot. Through the inflight map passengers can leave the aircraft and explore the world with the free-roaming mode and our unique Fly-To-Location feature, and drag the aircraft along its flight path to see what they will be flying over and when. We also have night views, street maps, destination content and 360-degree panoramic views of destinations and the wonders of the world.
The ancillary revenue potential of maps is significant, with opportunities for advertising, sponsorship and sales
Q. What new technology are you
incorporating going forward? A : We are launching apps to stimulate and help predict flight demand leveraging big data. Passengers are curious about 'What's trending?' The need to know where everyone else is going and what activities they're doing has people continually searching for the next new thing. Our new Favorite Places app displays what is popular in
any neighbourhood around the globe and presents passengers with socially ranked activities and attractions that dynamically change based on any zoom level in the map.
Q. How does this add to the user
experience inflight? This means passengers can check out what's below them while in flight or what's waiting for them at their final destination. We've applied proprietary algorithms and analysed billions of traveller reviews, photographs, visits and other social media records to identify more than 400,000 attractions worldwide ranked by popularity. Users can see the top ten things to do at any zoom level – globe, country, city or block. We’ve even ranked the rides at Disneyland: passengers save them to their favourites and create a bucket list!
Q. How can the maps and data
capture inspire revenue for airlines? A great data-driven example is the dynamic map called Where We Fly. At the heart of every airline is its network of destinations and routes and with this they can gain insights into their future needs. Airlines can showcase routes and allow passengers to plan their next trip right inside the inflight entertainment map. It's easier and faster to plan a journey visually and
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IN CONVERSATION WITH... / 17
we can give passengers the chance to view and play with routes and flight durations from their seat. The data gathered from these passenger searches can then, for example, help an airline management team plan routes, rank destinations, and find out what is essential to passengers when booking a trip.
Q. What is the potential in terms of
ancillary revenue generation? A : This potential is significant, with opportunities for advertising, sponsorship and the purchase of destination activity tickets and ground transportation services. These features can be enabled in many of our applications, but of course, it is down to our airlines to decide whether or not they want to include them.
Q. Do airlines recognise the value
of developing maps? In the past five years, we've seen our maps fly on over 2,000 commercial aircraft with 50-plus airline customers. These include brands such as Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, Air Canada, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic and LATAM.
Q. How will FlightPath3D look and
what will it do in two years? A : We built our inflight moving map software to run on LINUX, iOS or Android and on any inflight entertainment system. We have the largest team of map specialists and geospatial engineers in the industry â€“ which means we can continuously innovate. Our future looks very strong based on our product breadth and experience, OEM integration and partners and unique IP and patents. Our goal is to enable a billion passengers to explore places through the inflight map each year. We're well on track. flightpath3d.com â€˘
For two decades Duncan Jackson has been taking industries online. He was a pioneer in the sports management and eCommerce sectors building multiple billiondollar businesses, and has now turned his attention to the airline industry with a mission to connect one billion airline passengers to travel data and services.
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18 / FOCUS ON
Reinventing retail Julien Sivan, founder and ceo of shoppertainment platform SKYdeals, tells April Waterston, how inflight connectivity is transforming retail inflight
KYdeals offers the first marketplace dedicated to airline passengers. Already deployed on more than 50 Air France aircraft, it will soon be onboard boutique airline La Compagnie and claims to be transforming the retail experience inflight. SKYdeals founder and ceo, Julien Sivan, says: “We are reinventing travel retail thanks to inflight connectivity. Our job is to make shopping entertaining throughout the flight and we call it inflight shoppertainment.”
Retail orders are placed through the SKYdeals app and delivery can be to the customer’s home or to the passenger's arrival airport. Sivan says: “Our first year was focused on developing our marketplace and pure e-commerce features but then we looked to add features to entertain passengers while activating sales.” This included the idea of flash sales – limited time offers scheduled at fixed times; and fly-over offers, with special deals related to country's the aircraft is flying over. Most recently a group sales offer was added, where the more passengers who order a
deal, the more the discount increases. The shoppertainment features are still in testing but initial reaction from passengers suggests they are beginning to create something of a buzz onboard.
He believes inflight e-commerce is offers great potential for future sales growth and new elements. SKYdeals hopes to explore shoppertainment alerts on IFE screens, Taking flight for example; Key to success is full We are reinventing purchase delivery understanding of the concept. “At the start, travel retail thanks to directly to gate; one of the major inflight connectivity and customised catalogues difficulties we had personalised for was how to correctly each passenger. promote the service,” Sivan says: “It will soon be possible explains Sivan. “Passengers thought to offer much more personalised retail it was a classic inflight duty free offer offers according to the passenger available on a digital platform. We profile and route. For example, a kitehad to really work on the promotion surfing teacher based in Punta Cana will to make it clear that SKYdeals offers be able to send a specific tuition offer to private event sales exclusive to the all passengers under the age of 50 due flight. Once this is understood, the to land in Punta Cana within the next reactions are very positive and orders 48 hours.” • are placed.” onboardhospitality.com
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IN CONVERSATION / 19
NEXT-GEN TECHNOLOGIES ARE NOW COMING DIRECT TO THE AIRLINE SEAT Chris Esposito, cto Global Eagle, explains how the company’s cloud-based platform is transforming IFE content delivery
pen is an industry-first, cloud-based global supply chain platform, empowering airlines to provide their customers with everyday connectivity and entertainment experiences inflight. It is scalable to match changing demands and expectations, and allows content to be refreshed anytime, challenging traditional monthly scheduled updates, which can be timeconsuming and constraining.
Capturing viewing choices
The system uses AI tools that harness live user data to provide a personalised Netflix-style Video on Demand (VoD) service. By capturing viewing choices and inflight consumption behaviour we can ensure the experience is more directly targeted, increasing enjoyment – and validating investment. As an open-source platform it can host advanced VoD capabilities,
such as 4K UHD picture quality, and is updated on a two-hour cycle to support the latest technological innovations. Airlines can now curate from greater volumes of content, with more control and choice over how and when it is consumed by passengers. Open is interoperable between various hardware and software solutions from different OEMs as well as the passengers' own devices. This gives airlines the confidence to invest in new IFE solutions, on twin-aisle and single-aisle aircraft, knowing they’ll be technically supported. Powered by its personalised, cloud-based infrastructure and our relationships with advertisement and sponsorship agencies, Open
lets airlines realise the individual passenger’s commercial value.
Next-generation, everyday technologies are now coming direct to the airline seat. We have invested in research to ensure we understand what the passenger wants, and then identified and built innovative solutions to deliver high-quality, international content in all formats. We believe Open will become an industry-standard platform. Our entire airline customer base will migrate onto it by the end of 2020. We know that choosing connectivity and IFE products is a complex process, but our expertise can guide airlines through the challenges to provide the optimum passenger experience. •
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8/20/19 06:05 PM
20 / FTE PREVIEW
Future Travel Experience: November 12-13
Next up... Asia EXPO
nboard Hospitality is to repeat its partnership with the rebranded FTE-APEX Asia EXPO. Asia’s biggest free-to-attend passenger experience and business performance expo, this will be the first meaningful joint effort by FTE & APEX/IFSA since the two integrated in April. Building on the record attendance of 2018, when representatives from 101 airlines and airport operators registered, the 2019 event will provide an unrivalled platform for learning across three conference stages. Tech exhibitors will sit alongside hospitality providers to showcase some of the industry’s most innovative products, services and equipment. This year's event theme is Collaborate to Innovate with conference tracks covering ‘On the Ground’, ‘Up in the Air’, ‘Ancilliary’ and ‘Digital Innovation’.
Combine tech talk with hospitality buying
Onboard Hospitality will also host four key sessions on the EXPO stage focused on best practice in sustainability, accessibility for all, inflight catering and hospitality collaborations. Joe Leader, APEX ceo, will be there and says: “Asia is the fastest growing air travel region in the world and we are delighted to be co-hosting FTEAPEX Asia EXPO in Singapore. As the definitive regional event for the industry, this show serves APEX members from across Asia and beyond, and provides a perfect platform for them to engage with and learn from Asian airlines and their partners.”
Sponsors already confirmed to support the event include: Collins Aerospace and Airbus. •
See you in
Singapore at our Onboard Hospitality Forum-Asia
November 12-13, 2019 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Onboard Hospitality will collaborate with APOT.Asia to support a fun 'street food festival' networking opportunity as part of this event. In a dedicated Onboard Hospitality area, leading hospitality suppliers will showcase products designed to improve the end-to-end customer experience. Join us to share some tasty treats and learn more about airline best practice onboard.
WANT TO KNOW MORE: email@example.com FutureTravelExperience.com/FTEAsia onboardhospitality.com
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FOCUS ON / 21
Live action in flight Better connectivity and streaming technology is transforming the passenger experience by bringing the excitement of live events onboard, says Richard Williams
his summer, Emirates brought a live event onboard – serving strawberries and cream to First and Business passengers as it live streamed the tennis action from Wimbledon at 40,000 feet.
Emirates has 175 aircraft equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ Live TV, which gets them exclusive inflight distribution rights of IMG’s premium sports channels, Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra – the world’s only 24/7 live sports channel for airlines. The airline will screen other major sporting events too, such as tennis at the U.S. Open and early-season football matches from the English Premier League. It's a premium experience that can transform the atmosphere onboard and shows the real added-value available through technology partnerships. Beyond pure entertainment, such offerings can create a real sense of community onboard and make passengers feel exclusive and privileged inflight.
Growing live TV options
Lufthansa is in on the act as well, with the Sport 24 English-language live TV channels. Events broadcast include German Bundesliga football, English Premier League football, UEFA Champions League matches, NFL American football, NHL hockey, NBA basketball, Grand Slam tennis tournaments, selected golf tournaments and more. Passengers use their seatback
system has a dozen streaming channels screen or portable devices, and the from the DISH satellite network, service is available on all long-haul including CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, CNBC, flights in all cabins. Air France also offers Bravo, the Disney Channel, ESPN, TNT, the France 24 TV channel though its USA, the NFL Network and Telemundo. CONNECT service supplied by Global Last year, Viasat Eagle for live news. helped the airline In the sport-obsessed live-stream a festival U.S., American Airlines performance by offers live TV on its A wider variety of music legend international flights live streaming Willie Nelson. Don and is adding it for events is coming, Buchman, vp of domestic passengers with revenue Viasat, said: “We’ve using their own laptops, potential been live-streaming tablets and phones. It events on the is free and available ground for years, so it was a natural on 100 domestic Airbus aircraft progression. You do see a change in the equipped with Gogo’s highatmosphere; it is as if viewers have been speed 2Ku wifi system. The transported.” airline is moving some of its When free wifi is available, the rate of domestic fleet to Viasat for uptake doubles, and Buchman predicts high-speed wifi and plans to a wider variety of live streaming events show live TV with this on its is coming, with the potential to make single-aisle aircraft soon. revenue too. • It’s not just sport: the new onboardhospitality.com
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CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION FOR THE ONBOARD HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN AIR, RAIL AND CRUISE AWARD CATEGORIES AMENITIES � BEVERAGE � CATERING INNOVATION � FOOD SERVICE EQUIPMENT � KIDS ONBOARD � SNACKS � SUSTAINABILITY � ONBOARD TECHNOLOGY� TEXTILES � WELLBEING • ONES TO WATCH
CABIN CONCEPT OF THE YEAR 2020
Recognising innovation in the passenger experience This prestigious airline award will recognise cabinwide innovation created by multiple touchpoints. Share your new cabin vision be it in style, service, catering or comfort
Cabin Concept of the Year 2020
2020 ENTRIES OPEN SEPTEMBER, 1 2019 onboardhospitality.com/awards
8/20/19 06:37 PM
HOW TO... / 23
optimise logistics Young Swiss company, yaos, is helping airlines optimise loading logistics with its web-based catering solution, LimeFlight. April Waterston discovers more SCRAP PAPER, GO DIGITAL
LimeFlight was designed to help airlines eliminate the need to maintain multiple records by providing a fully-integrated system covering the entire inflight catering management process, with load planning, meal planning and inventory management. As a cloud-based app, the system is accessible anywhere, on desktop and mobile devices. Managers can look back to review progress and see costs saved.
EMPOWER THE CREW
Crew are able to search and update information from their mobile devices and see what items are loaded into the galley and all specifications of the onboard menu – a big step forward from the paper-based reports.
lunch. LimeFlight can effectively plan and predict consumption, reducing food waste to a minimum.
TAKE BACK TIME
SHARE YOUR INSIGHTS
Airlines can evaluate complex inflight catering processes across all interfaces, with multiple partners, and remain in control. They can analyse processes and performances.
ALLOW FOR CHANGE
LimeFlight is designed to allow airlines and catering managers to react quickly to change. Fabian Niederer, co-founder and cfo, explains: “We focus on change because airlines constantly change their routes, fleet, inventory and much more.” If, for example, a flight is delayed for a few hours, LimeFlight will quickly change meals from breakfast to
FACT FILE LimeFlight data for the weight and balance system, allowed a Swiss airline to produce powerful ‘what-if’ scenarios to assess, for example, the impact of a lighter weight new cup onboard
After the airline implemented LimeFlight they identified ways to make a $28,000 fuel cost saving The app cut time spent on load and meal planning by 72 hours a month
Following the implementation of LimeFlight on a Swiss airline, time savings were achieved in the creation of loading configurations, maintaining and adapting load plans, weight calculations, material requirements planning, and communications between stakeholders.
LimeFlight's load planning module helps cut total weight loading configurations; the meal planning module helps plan the correct amount of food; and the inventory management module enables collaboration with caterers, to ensure airlines only ship the necessary goods to their outstations. •
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8/21/19 05:56 PM
ASIAâ€™S BIGGEST FREE TO ATTEND PASSENGER EXPERIENCE AND BUSINESS PERFORMANCE EXPO
12- 13 NOV 2019 SINGAPORE
ER R E G I S TW NO
THE FIRST MEANINGFUL JOINT EFFORT BY FTE AND APEX SINCE ANNOUNCING OUR INTEGRATION BACK IN APRIL
CELEBRATING 40 YEARS
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TAKE YOUR PICK / 25
Handy help MCABIN
Acquired from Lufthansa Systems, this Retail inMotion app helps crew give a more personalised service and supports crew productivity and team management. Cabin managers can manage tasks before, after and inflight with insights on crew actions and passenger requirements.. retailinmotion.com
Burrana’s ENGAGE app for iPad or iPhone connects via ground servers to deliver a personal passenger welcome, solve issues and capture passenger preferences in a paperless cabin. The ‘Cabin’ module captures feedback and operational data while in the air, which is then synched with ground systems. Point-of sale (POS) functionality includes Bluetooth integration with a portable card reader terminal. burrana.aero
Technology to assist crew is helping deliver a better passenger experience. Richard Williams checks out some crew-friendly apps
Small but powerful, with full Windows 10 Enterprise, this product from ECR Retail Systems enables airlines to manage stock and sales, linking with logistics and flight data – and has real-time updates when connectivity is available. It loads manifest details so passengers can be addressed by name and offered tailored products, and recognises loyalty to flag up status. Supported by an at-seat ordering app, it can integrate with existing IFE so passengers can browse, order and pay from their own devices. ecr.co.uk
AirFi’s mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) product speeds up online retail as it only takes five seconds to complete a transaction and supports a wide range of payment options offline. The app requires very little or no training for crew, and eliminates nearly all admin paperwork. All tablets communicate to share current inventory levels, transaction data and passenger remarks, making sure that all admin and consolidation is done in the background. airfi.aero
SITAONAIR’s tablet dashboard helps manage crew activities, intelligently integrating with existing IT systems to streamline workflow and advise a personalised passenger experience. Two-way integration with loyalty systems helps tailor and update preferences. sitaonair.aero
Levarti’s MAX Crew digitises all cabin operational processes with one easy-to-use, integrated mobile application. It delivers rich passenger data, automated crew reporting, performance management and training, all combined with a full point-of-sale solution to encourage ancillary purchases. levarti.com
8/20/19 06:08 PM
26 / ON THE GROUND
ease the journey to gate Technology now touches every aspect of the journey. April Waterston reviews how getting your passenger to the gate is getting easier CHECK THEM IN
Biometrics at check-in are now common practice at many U.S. airports. The technology matches a facial scan to the passport photo and pre-cleared passengers can also get through border controls faster.
TRACK THE BAG
Adding radio frequency identification (RFID) into luggage tags means bags can be identified and tracked without human intervention. It helps limit the chance of bags being misplaced and also cuts passenger anxiety.
Social media apps now allow airlines to keep in touch along the journey. The likes of Aeromexico now use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with an 'Aerobot' using artificial intelligence (AI) to answer passenger queries and update them on luggage location. Augmented reality (AR) can also play a role in optimising luggage loading. At Changi Airport, Singapore, ground crew already wear cuttingedge headsets that read QR codes on cargo to help them load efficiently.
BRING IN THE ROBOTS
No longer just a novelty, robots are now at work in many airports – informing, entertaining, performing services such as cleaning and maintenance, and helping with passenger safety. Shenzhen Airport, China, is home to ‘Anbot’, a robot that uses facial recognition, bright lights
and loud noises to deter crime. It can even chase fugitives at 18 km/h. At Hong Kong International Airport, restaurant group Maxim’s is planning a ‘smart’ restaurant with robotic arms both preparing and serving food.
FACT FILE British Airways' use of biometrics halved the time to board 400 passengers in L.A. Passengers flying with Aeromexico can now use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to chat
with 'Aerobot' AI to update them on the location of their luggage Changi Airport is helping to optimise luggage loading through the use of cutting edge headsets and QR codes
Virtual reality terminal tours, viewed pre-arrival, can alleviate anxiety and save time navigating to gate, while AR wayfinding can overlay directions onto a passenger's phone. Aira, an assistance app for UK airports, supports visually-impaired passengers through the airport.
GET THEM ONBOARD
Biometrics during the boarding process can cut queuing for passengers, and make for a quicker turnaround between flights. British Airways has already introduced biometric boarding gates in L.A. •
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Visit us at APEX EXPO booth #1901
BoardConnect The complete solution for your digital passenger experience Count on the market leader in in-flight entertainment and choose from a wide range of services available through our strong partner network. Or build your own onboard offering based on our framework with BoardConnect Dock.
Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim | info@LHsystems.com | www.LHsystems.com
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8 of 10 Airlines flying to the most countries
Fly with our Map
APEX Booth 1142 Untitled-5 Untitled-1 1
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As APEX Expo marks its 40th anniversary and the industry gathers in L.A. it's impossible not to be impressed by the progress made in infligh...
Published on Aug 22, 2019
As APEX Expo marks its 40th anniversary and the industry gathers in L.A. it's impossible not to be impressed by the progress made in infligh...