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IFEC, INTERIORS & MRO
ZODIAC INFLIGHT INNOVATIONS ZODIAC AEROSYSTEMS Connected Cabin Division
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 | VOL. 25, NO. 1 PAX International 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 website: www.pax-intl.com
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EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX International 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: email@example.com Ash Khan, Editorial and Marketing Assistant Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla
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ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PAX International is published seven times a year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, December) by PAX International, 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada. International Distribution. Subscriptions: $200 for one year; $300 for two years; $400 for three years. Art and photographs will not be returned unless accompanied by return postage. The views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. January/ February 2018, Vol. 25, No. 1. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. © PAX International magazine
ISSN 1206-5714 Key title: Pax International
UAE: UNSTOPPABLE AND UNITED
t was about six weeks ago that staff from PAX International traveled to the Middle East to visit the large SIAL Food Show in Abu Dhabi and reward the efforts of Oman Air to help local businesses become the airline’s key suppliers. It was a rewarding event to present representatives of the airline with the second PAX International Pay it Forward award. The airline, along with its partner, a company called Taiseer, streamlines access to the services of local businesses. The two parties report that local companies take part in more than 80% of the tenders. Among the businesses that have gained the airline as a customer are printing and stationary, food items and paper products. A similar movement seems to be taking place in the MRO segment of the aviation market in the Middle East. New facilities are cropping up in every corner of the region and paving the way for MRO to become more localized and handled within the borders of nations and the maintenance hangers of airlines. “The rapid growth of the MRO industry in the Middle East, surpassing $4.6 billion annually, shows no signs of slowing down,” said Lydia Janow, Managing Director/Events & Tradeshows,
Aviation Week Network, in a release on this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East. The United Arab Emirates, host of this year’s AIME, is the hub around which the wheel of Middle Eastern growth and advancement seems to spin. Last month, PAX International sat in on sessions that discussed the UAE’s growing culinary scene. Dining in the UAE generated an estimated AED54 billion (US$14.7 billion) in 2015. The number of food and beverage outlets is expected to grow from 16,200 to more than 19,000 by 2020. Emiratis love to dine away from home. According to research presented at the event, 67% of the region’s consumers dine out every weekend. The UAE is also burnishing its cultural image. Its efforts were on display for the world late last year, as the doors finally opened for the new Louvre museum, housing an impressive collection and equally impressive design. All of these examples are reason enough for the UAE to look with anticipation to the future in 2018: the Year of Zayed, the centennial year of the birth of the founder HH Sheikh Zayed. Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief, PAX International
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 3
Contents J A N UA RY / F E B R UA RY 2 0 1 8 | VO L . 2 5 , N O. 1 | w w w. p a x - i n t l . c o m
14 SEATING IN MOTION
High-tech capabilities and new manufacturing locations are sprouting up around the world as the seating market grows with each new aircraft off the assembly lines
18 SKYFI FLYING HIGH
The Embraer family of jets will now be offering KID-Systeme’s wireless platform as line-fit feature, and the company is making important inroads in the Middle East
20 A KID’S REALITY
A new games program by KIDZInflight could soon bring augmented reality play to the airline cabin
22 MAINTAINING THE DREAM
With a two-generation technology leap ahead of the 767, the 787 Dreamliner roared into the skies with its commercial debut in 2011. PAX takes a closer look at its past, present and future
24 AFT CABIN BOOST
Two industry players have teamed up to develop a solution that balances the need for increased revenue seating while adding features in rear of the A320 family to maximize space and reduce weight
28 ASTRONICS POWERS UP
The purchase of Telefonix and Custom Control Concepts has positioned the company for additional revenue and a range of new IFEC services for airline customers
34 VECTORING THE INDUSTRY
HAECO Americas has a long history and a keen understanding of what current airline customers need — an understanding that is reflected in the changes to the company’s seating line
ANCILLARY REVENUE 30 PAY AS YOU GO
Etihad Airways is making it easier for passengers to purchase with several new programs aimed at e-commerce and ancillary revenue
32 MERCURY AWARDS KICK
OFF SIAL WEEK IN ABU DHABI
22 DEPARTMENTS 3
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IFEC, INTERIORS & MRO
ON THE COVER: HAECO Americas employees performing airframe maintenance on commercial aircraft. See story on page 34.
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SkyTeam offering VR sets in DXB lounge SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, teamed up with hightech start-up SkyLights for a two-month period to offer passengers multimedia content on immersive Bravo headsets so they can enjoy the latest cinematic VR technology before they fly at the alliance lounge at Dubai International Airport. Bravo headsets are lightweight and offer up to six hours battery life. Passengers flying on one of the SkyTeam airlines serving Dubai can request a complimentary Bravo headset and select from entertainment options that include 2D, 3D and carefully curated 180°/360° content; early window blockbuster films; series and documentaries; and a wide-angle cinema screen experience. “Our Frequent Flyers are increasingly tech-savvy and because they spend so many hours in the air, we’re making sure their time on the ground is worthwhile by investing in technology to enhance the experience we offer in our lounges,” said
Mauro Oretti, SkyTeam’s vice president, Sales and Marketing. “Our partnership with SkyLights gives them a chance to relax and immerse themselves in a private IMAX-style movie theater from the comfort of their airport lounge seat.” SkyTeam’s Dubai lounge is available to Elite Plus, First and Business Class passengers of all member airlines serving the airport: Aeroflot, Air France, China Eastern, China Southern, Kenya Airways, Korean Air, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Middle East Airlines, Saudia and Tarom. “For many guests, it will be the first time they have experienced this remarkable new type of entertainment, making it a great opportunity to create a memorable moment with them,” said David Dicko, SkyLights CEO. “Teaming up with SkyTeam on this project is a significant step towards our mission of transforming the passenger journey both in flight and on the ground.”
SkyLights, a French company, makes the Bravo headsets
Seatback IFE will persevere: Valour Consultancy Many airlines seem intent on making the transition to wireless IFE, according to recent research from Valour Consultancy, with more than 15,000 aircraft expected to be fit with wireless IFE systems by 2026. Report author Craig Foster noted that 81% of wireless IFE systems were installed alongside connectivity in 2017, adding that the industry can “expect this proportion to increase as IFC technology improves and the benefits of an integrated IFEC approach (greater personalization, tailored content, operational efficiencies, etc.) become more obvious.” However, Foster is quick to dispel the myth that seatback screens are headed for extinction. “Nearly every single wide-body aircraft is delivered with embedded IFE and this is unlikely to change for some time yet,” he commented in a December 12 press release. “Additionally, passengers have come to expect 6 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
that they will be able to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters on longer journeys, but this early-window content still cannot be streamed to passengers’ devices.” Valour Consultancy estimates that embedded IFE systems can be expected to grow to 8,600 by 2026, up from 6,500 in 2016. Overhead screens are on the decline, the report noted, which is in part due to the introduction of virtual reality headsets, seen as the next IFE realm to explore. “Airlines are always looking at new ways to innovate and stay one step ahead of the competition,” Foster noted. “This, coupled with the fact that some passengers want to cut themselves off from the cabin environment and forget the unpleasantness associated with air travel, has resulted in interest in more immersive IFE platforms.”
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ABC helps brand TAP cabin As part of its refurbishment program, TAP Air Portugal has selected ABC International to manufacture and certify the cabin branding elements for several aircraft types. Two versions have been made for the A330 business and economy classes. The monochromatic version, reproducing the airline’s logo with metallic grey shades, is installed in Business Class, and in Economy Class passengers will find a version in the airline’s corporate colors. TAP Air Portugal has signed an agreement with Airbus for the A330-900, and plans to upgrade the cabins of 41 A319s, A320s and A321s as well as the seven A330-200s. The Portuguese carrier is targeting to complete the process by the end of 2017. On A319, A320 and A321 aircraft, ABC International has manufactured a satin anodized aluminum brand panel featured with a special resin layer showcasing the airline’s green and red color shades. The panel also has a customization sign on the right lower part where travelers will recognize new airline’s brand name: TAP Air Portugal. “We are proud to being part of this renewal process. It was a great experience working with TAP Team and we all look forward to continuing the branding project on the new A330900 (NEO) aircraft,” said a release from ABC International.
The TAP logo from ABC International will be on several aircraft types
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Panasonic signs IFE deal with Saudi Arabian Airlines Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) and Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) announced in November a new 43-aircraft commitment for inflight entertainment across the carrier’s short and long haul fleets. Saudia has selected Panasonic’s X Series entertainment solutions — specifically, the company’s eX3, eXO and eX1 systems — for installation on its various fleets. The airline has selected the Panasonic eX3 inflight entertainment system to be line-fit installed on eight 787-10 aircraft that it has on order. The eX3 system on Saudia’s 787-10s will feature an elegant industrial design across all the aircraft’s cabins. Business Class passengers will enjoy a wide range of inflight entertainment on HD monitors with a video touch handset, while Economy Class passengers will benefit from individual seatback HD screens. The first Boeing 787-10 is expected to be delivered to Saudia in the third quarter of 2019. The fleet of A320NEO/A321-NEO is also expected to arrive in the same quarter, and A320 aircraft with eX1 IFE System retrofit is expected to deliver in the second quarter of 2018. Saudia has also selected Panasonic’s eXO overhead entertainment system to be line-fit installed across 20 A320neos and 15 A321neos that the airline has on
order. The news follows an earlier order from Saudia in which Panasonic will install its eX1 IFE system across the airline’s existing fleet of seven A320 aircraft. The Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines, His Excellency Eng. Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, said: “Saudia’s fleet is undergoing a complete revitalization program, which includes an upgrade to the existing fleet in terms of the inflight entertainment offering and overall onboard experience. “Once the new entertainment solutions by Panasonic are retrofitted on the existing A320 fleet, and new A320 aircraft are delivered, our guests onboard will be able to maximize their time in the sky with a wide range of entertainment solutions to make their onboard journeys even more enjoyable.” Panasonic IFE products will be found overhead and in the seatback on Saudi Arabian Airlines aircraft
Bluebox and Virgin Atlantic launch full-fleet IFE for visually impaired Beginning December 1, Virgin Atlantic featured an air-travel first, offering an accessible IFE (aptly named aIFE™) across its entire fleet. The Blueboxdeveloped platform will allow travelers with visual impairments to enjoy the same in flight entertainment selection as their fellow passengers on flights Virgin Atlantic and to North America, Africa, Bluebox collaborated with agents from China, India, the CaribBritain’s The Guide Dogs for the Blind bean and the Middle East. Association Virgin Atlantic and Bluebox collaborated with agents from Britain’s The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association to develop the platform to ensure that the design addressed the needs of the passengers and the airline. For example, the end result is more advanced but costs less to the carrier, since a fleet’s IFE system does not need to be updated ahead of the impending government legislation surrounding accessible IFE. (aIFE™ is iPad-based and uses many of the features already built into Apple’s iOS.) These user experience-based decisions were made after fielding feedback from people who would be using the sys-
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tem on a typical flight. At the beginning of the project, Bluebox was connected to Guide Dogs by Virgin Atlantic, and the companies worked with a number of people with varying degrees of visual impairment during development. “Nearly thirty years ago, Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to offer seatback entertainment in all cabins, so it’s apt that we should be the first to ensure our entertainment is fully accessible across all flights,” said Mark Anderson, Executive Vice President — Customer at Virgin Atlantic, in a November 27 release. “Working with Bluebox and Guide Dogs, we’ve been able to create a world first that ensures customers with sight loss can experience the full range of onboard entertainment including the latest blockbusters, TV shows and albums.” James Macrae, CTO, Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. and contributor to the IFE Accessibility Working Group (ACCESSWG) of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), was equally pleased with the outcome. “We distilled the most critical elements of our Bluebox Ai IFE platform into a simple design that someone with sight loss can easily and consistently navigate, enriching this with additional background functionality,” he said in the same November release. One of the differences between this version and a traditional screen reader, he went on to note, is that synopses are read aloud with a tap of the film title. “By putting these in the background, we kept the interface uncluttered and simple to navigate, but still providing information to help the passenger choose their selection.”
Moeller new MD at Spairliners
Spairliners has appointed Thies Moeller Managing Director and CEO, replacing Sven-Uve Hueschler. Moeller took over the role as of November 1 and joins Benoit Crombois, Managing Director and CFO, in helming the company Before joining Spairliners, Moeller held several positions at Lufthansa, including lead roles in Key Account Management, Central Services and Processes, and Central Controlling and Risk Management. After turning his position over to Moeller, Hueschler returned to Lufthansa after four years at Spairliners. In 2013, he led the company when Spairliners revealed its E-Jet component support and during the development of its latest product SPACE.
Two receive extensions on Technik’s board
Two members of Lufthansa Technik’s Supervisory Board had their posts extended until March 31, 2023, according to a November 17 release from the technical aircraft services company. Both Dr. Johannes Bussmann, Chairman of the Executive Board, and Antonio Schulthess, Chief Human Resources Officer, will remain in their positions for an additional five years. This decision was made at a November 17 board meeting. Bussmann has held the position of Chairman since April 2015. He is responsible for Strategy and Innovation, Communications and Marketing, Corporate Sales, Digital Fleet Solutions and Original Equipment Innovation. As Chief Human Resources Officer, Schulthess has been responsible for Human Resources and Technical Services, including the engine business, the Aircraft Systems division and Lean Management, since his appointment to the board in April 2015.
Margis joins board at digEcor digEcor announced in early November the appointment of Paul Margis as Non-Executive Chairman of the company’s Board of Directors. Margis has more than 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, including 15 patents relating to innovation across inflight entertainment hardware, software, communications and telecommunications pertaining to the commercial aircraft environment and other vehicles. Margis’ career began at Hughes Aircraft and he subsequently joined Matsushita Avionics (now Panasonic Avionics Corporation) in 1992. He was part of Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s executive team in various roles, including Field Applications Engineer, Director, General Manager and eventually Vice President of Advanced Systems Engineering, where he led the development of AVOD and the popular X Series systems. In 2000, Margis was promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, and in 2005 he was named President and CEO. Margis also served as Chairman of the Board at Aero-
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mobile, Tactel and IDAir. He was on the Board of Directors at ITC Global and Panasonic Avionics Corporation. He was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by WAEA/APEX for his long-term dedication and innovative contributions to the airline inflight entertainment and communications industry in 2010.
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Seating in motion
High-tech capabilities and new manufacturing locations are sprouting up around the world as the seating market grows with each new aircraft off the assembly lines by RICK LUNDSTROM
round is being broken, doors opened and companies around the world are jockeying for position as the aircraft seating market, long robust and in tune with the breakneck speed of aircraft orders and production, closes out another important year. There is good reason for optimism among the large — and growing — number of seating suppliers around the world. The world aircraft seating market is expected to grow steadily over the next several years. Seating spending by airlines around the world was expected to top US$8.74 billion at Companies, such as Pitch Aircraft Seating, are increasingly making use of the latest in visual technology to help potential customers see a version of their cabin before any installation
the end of 2016 and continue to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 14.5% to reach sales of US$16.94 billion by 2021, according to a study by UK-based MarketsandMarkets. A few of the drivers of the industry are obvious and have been followed for years, says the study; tourism and travel are becoming a worldwide activity. Emerging economies and larger middle class populations in countries like China and India are using their newly acquired income to see the world. MarketsandMarkets sees continued demand for very large aircraft with multiple cabins and seating varieties.
Eyes on China
Seating companies are making use of the powerhouse manufacturing capabilities that are found in China. Just four years ago, Recaro Aircraft Seating opened a plant in Qingdao to accommodate demand from some of its largest Chinese airline customers. A Chinese producer of seating for the transportation sector has purchased UK based Acro Aircraft Seating and plans are in the works for new manufacturing capabilities and investments in the years to come. Acro announced the company’s
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Acro Aircraft Seating’s line of designed-for-comfort Economy Class seating could be joined by a Business Class product under the company’s new owner, ZTC of China
purchase by Zhejiang Science and Technology Investment Company (ZTC) in September of last year. ZTC was founded in 1992 and develops, produces, sells and services vehicle seats in China and internationally. Its products include engineering mechanical seats, commercial vehicle seats, agricultural machinery, passenger cars and construction machinery seating. Since the company was started approximately 10 years ago, Acro has produced more than 90,000 aircraft seats for Economy Class cabins. It has opened offices in Malaysia, China and the United States. With the purchase by ZTC, Acro will be manufacturing its line of seating close to their future customers with a new plant in China. “The Shanghai plant will open within the next two years as demand for our products grows within the region,” said Alan McInnes, Senior Vice President of Sales at Acro. “The facility has been identified and we are currently working on an implementation plan to ensure a smooth startup of operations. Once China has been established we will look to the U.S. for future development, this is likely to be after 2020.” Acro has been a specialist in seating for Economy Class and Premium
READERSHIP AWARDS 2018
You and your colleagues are invited to take part in The PAX International Readership Awards. With categories ranging from Best New IFE / Connectivity Launch by an Airline to Outstanding Food Service by a Carrier, PAX International is asking readers and their colleagues to vote for the industry’s most deserving players. The award winners will be announced on April 11th, 2018 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg. Please vote by February 28, 2018. Award winners will be featured in a special spread in PAX International, as well as in our e-Newsletter.
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SEATING Economy Class. However, with the purchase by a big player and the possibility of greater investment in development, McInnis said the company could soon broaden its focus. “There will be a significant investment in our product range,” he said. “Allowing us to sell a wider range of products to a wider range of airline customers. “We know there is demand for new Twin Aisle and Business Class products and we can now plan our product road map for the long term.” Another seating company has also stepped up production with the March opening of a second factory capable of producing more than 20,000 seats per year with a staff of 80 employees. Zim Flugsitz opened its plant last spring in the city of Schewin, approximately an hour from Hamburg Airport. Plans are to continue to grow the facility to eventually reach an employee base of approximately 240 that will more than double the manufacturing capacity of the young company. Since its startup, Zim Flugsitz has sent more than 65,000 seats to airline customers around the world. One of the company’s interesting collaborations is very close to home. This past summer, Zim Flugsitz’s main plant in Markdorf began supplying seating to SWISS International for its fleet of C-Series aircraft manufactured by Bombardier. Zim developed the seats especially for SWISS. It features a proprietary design that includes a one-arm
Pitch Aircraft’s PF3000, with power and personal electronic device features
Recaro supplies GOL with connectivity-friendly seating The first shipset of the Recaro BL3530 seat for Economy Class will be delivered to GOL Linhas Aéreas Brazilian airline this year. Recaro will equip 86 of GOL’s aircraft in this first-time collaboration between the company and the airline. The BL3530 delivers premium seat quality for short- and medium-haul flights, allowing passengers to charge their own electronic devices on board and to mount them on a holder. “With our innovative connectivity solutions, we reacted early to a new market requirement. The intelligent design allows the ideal ergonomic positioning of tablet devices in all standard sizes. This enables passengers to use their devices comfortably from any viewing angle,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating. “We are very pleased that we were able to win over GOL as a new customer.” The tablet holder allows passengers to use their device in the upper backrest where traditional IFE screens are installed, and allows passengers a comfortable viewing angle of near 90 degrees while sitting comfortably upright. Additionally, the tablet holders permit the use of the tray table independently from the tablet holder, allowing passengers to dine while viewing content and not requiring them to hold a tablet upright or constantly reposition their viewing screen. Since 2014, the tablet holder has been part of the Recaro portfolio. 16 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
The new BL3530 seating on GOL will have Recaro’s specially designed seatback devoted to personal electronic devices
meal table. SWISS ordered 4,000 seats for 30 Bombardier aircraft. While not opening a new plant at this point, another UK seat manufacturer is adding to its capabilities with the latest in audio visual and virtual reality as a sales tool. The rise of virtual reality headsets and goggles is beginning to take shape as an important sales tool and a way for potential customers to get a glimpse of a finished aircraft cabin before any equipment is moved in or any modifications are completed.
A new dimension and a new product
Pitch Aircraft Seating was touting the new sales tool late this past year. Pitch has launched a “Virtual Cabin Tour” on the company’s website that would provide users a three-dimensional panorama of the company’s PF3000 Economy Class seat inside an A320. Viewers using the goggles can look around a virtual cabin from both a standing and seated position to give a better feel for the PF3000 seat and the additional passenger living space it provides. The panorama can also be viewed through virtual reality goggles on request. Pitch manufactures the PF3000 fixed back seat from its facility in the Midlands of the United Kingdom close to Birmingham Airport. The slimline product has been developed for airlines looking to fill cabins at a 28-inch seat pitch. However, there will soon be a new seat
in the company’s portfolio that can also be sized up with virtual reality goggles. At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Middle East, Pitch will be showing two triple seats at on the SabetiWain stand (1115). One set of seating will be presented in Lantal fabric, and the company will feature E-Leather on the second set. Also featured will be leather Antimacassars by Andrew Muirhead which have a robust process for printing airlines logo. Deliveries are planned for the first quarter of next year for the newly developed PR3000 seat, manufactured with a four-inch recline feature. Gary Doy, Director at Pitch Aircraft Seating, said the new product would be particularly important to the airlines that frequent AIME in Dubai, where Pitch has several customers. “In the Middle East, they still have the perception that recline is important,” he said. In the limited amount of space that that is afforded in Economy Class, companies like Pitch have to be creative. Cup holders made from injection molding are among the features that the company offers. Pitch has also developed a metal product that is mounted to the side of the seat and can be used when the tray table is down, as well as up. Pitch has developed another feature: a center table that attaches to window and aisle seats and serves as a table for extra storage space. The center table essentially converts three seat rows into two with a minimum of requirements.
LIFT Announces first Tourist Class Seating delivery LIFT by EnCore announced in December that its first 737 Tourist Class Seating entered into service on LOT Polish Airlines as part of a delivery of six aircraft. Tourist Class Seating is a collaboration between LIFT and Boeing, first announced in April 2016, to develop seats that are ergonomically optimized and designed for the Boeing Sky Interior, as well as for maintainability and reliability. LIFT’s 737 Tourist Class Seating is the widest 737 Economy Class seat on the market. Since it was first announced, 737 Tourist Class Seating has been designed, engineered and successfully received regulatory certification. Last month, Boeing received the seats on time and ready for installation onto LOT’s first 737 MAX. “LOT, as one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe, is proudly the first legacy European airline to fly brand new Boeing 737 MAX 8 and at the same time the first one to offer this exceptional travel experience with new LIFT by EnCore
seats onboard. Our passengers already appreciate the unique level of their comfort. Seats manufactured by LIFT perfectly suits to our strategy of being perceived as the most modern, comfortable and hospitable airline at the European sky,” says Rafal Milczarski, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines. “This is an important milestone for LIFT, as it marks our first delivery of 737 Tourist Class Seating,” says LIFT by EnCore’s CEO, Tom McFarland. “EnCore has consistently built a reputation of reliability and dependability, showing our dedication to follow through on all promises – LIFT is continuing this tradition.”
The LIFT by Encore seating available in the 737 Sky Interior. LOT Polish took the first installation
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 17
SKYfi flying high The Embraer family of jets will now be offering KID-Systeme’s wireless platform as a line-fit feature, and the company is making important inroads in the Middle East by RICK LUNDSTROM Use of personal electronic devices are at the heart of the SKYfi system, available for line-fit on Embraer aircraft
or any equipment manufacturer, obtaining line-fit status for a product is a soughtafter venture – sometimes taking years and lots of effort to achieve. With its products part of an aircraft maker’s catalog of options, new doors open for suppliers. That opportunity was afforded to Germany-based KIDSysteme this fall with the announcement that its wireless streaming system, called SKYfi Club, would be available for airlines to install on the Embraer family of jets that include the E195-E2, E190-E2 and E175-E2. The announcement was made in September around the Airline Passenger Experience Association event in Long Beach. At the same time, KID-Systeme was wrapping up an important SKYfi installation on Saudi Arabian Airlines. “The entire A330 fleet installation will be completed by the end of this year,” said Johannes Ferstl, Vice President Marketing and Programs at KIDSysteme. “A big part of the A320 aircraft are well in service. Saudia provided very positive feedback and extended the content package a few months ago, extending the passenger experience.” SKYfi Club is part of a flexible and scalable package of cabin services offered by KID-Systeme, which will be available for visitors to see at this year’s
Aircraft Interiors Middle East in Dubai. In addition to SKYfi, the company will be showing its SKYpower in-seat power and cabin management system and a Universal Video and Surveillance System that can monitor cabin and cargo holds. The company develops and designs its products at its headquarters in Buxtehude, Germany, near Hamburg. SKYfi is based on the trusted Airline Network Architecture connectivity platform, which is now flying on more than 650 aircraft. Ferstl said the platform consists of several hardware and software equipment servers and access points which enable a number of functions, such as onboard mobile GSM telephony, Internet and audio and video streaming. Passengers access the range of possibilities through their personal electronic devices. KID-Systeme works with Global Eagle Entertainment to supply content for the SKYfi system users. Components in the SKYfi system
18 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
KID-Systeme was awaiting its first customer from Embraer’s list of airline buyers. Ferstl said he sees SKYfi as an ideal fit for the short-range aircraft, and it will be an important consideration for airlines that are operating Embraer aircraft and seeking an enhanced passenger experience beyond the two-hour cruise time that is within the aircraft’s capabilities. Saudia was the company’s launch customer for SKYfi, and the initial order in August 2016 called for line-fit of the system on 20 A330s and 30 A320s. KID-Systeme has worked with Embraer on other projects. In May 2016, the company’s SKYpower product flew on the Embraer E190–E2 maiden flight in São José dos Campos, Brazil. In addition to the E190-E2, KID-Systeme can also equip the E175-E2 and E195-E2 SKYpower to supply AC-power to the cabin and cockpit area.
An example of the play options available in the new app developed by KIDZinflight and Zappar
A kid’s reality by RICK LUNDSTROM
A new games program by KIDZInflight could soon bring augmented reality play to the airline cabin
or more than two decades, the Danish company UNISET successfully brought the world of children’s entertainment to airlines, with a vast portfolio of cleverly developed amenities, games, magic sticker sets and other products designed to keep youngsters occupied for hours at a time. Now, a year after UNISET emerged with the new, more descriptive name KIDZInflight, the company has teamed up with a London-based tech firm called Zappar to develop augmented reality content that can make the airline cabin come alive for children, in much the same way that millions around the world are enjoying the gaming craze of Pokémon Go. The journey for a journeying child begins with an app and an aircraft with onboard connectivity. The app, developed by Zappar, creates an opportunity for play for the child by adding “an extra layer on top of the real world,” said Charlotte Gade, Head of Consulting and Concept Development at KIDZInflight. With that layer, children
onboard with smartphones and tablets are able to make the cabin their playground quietly and privately. While Pokémon Go may be the most well-known example, it is only one of many similar technological changes that have been developed or are on the horizon. Snapchat, Google Glass, Apple’s recently developed ARKit and Bixby Vision are a few other examples of the way the medium is being shaped and mainstreamed. While it might be fun for children, there are other uses for augmented reality in the business world. Companies seeking to develop their brands are making use of the medium as well. “Brands that want return and value with real strategy should be using tech like Zappar,” said Keith Curtin, East Coast Vice President of Sales for Zappar, in a recent post on the company’s blog. “By baking it into their own existing platform to control the distribution of their content, they have easy access to a wealth of data and analytics while rewarding con-
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sumers with premium content as an incentive for purchase behavior.” Access to the KIDZInflight augmented reality system requires the download of the Zappar app. Gade said airlines can embed the feature on their own apps and also promote it through in flight material. A strong Wi-Fi signal is needed, and KIDZInflight can tailor the product in a number of different ways. Generally speaking, the activity is designed for children ages five to 12 years. Given the electronic and technological world that children are now growing up in, Gade said teaching its use is generally not required, as children have become very adept at finding their way around the workings of a computer and are comfortable trying new commands until they find the way that works. Once successfully engaged, she said an important passenger demographic has had their demands satisfied. “Kids on board are the only passenger group that can basically set the agenda for the cabin environment,” she said. “If the kids are not happy then the whole cabin can get influenced. So the airlines have every interest in having the kids well-entertained.”
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With a two-generation technology leap ahead of the 767, the 787 Dreamliner roared into the skies with its commercial debut in 2011. PAX takes a closer look at its past, present and future. by RACHEL DEBLING on location in Santiago, Chile
he years leading up to and following the launch of the 787 by Boeing have been rife with challenges. But for those airlines that count the Dreamliner as an important member of their fleet, it’s the cornerstone of their business and an example of the modern spirit that drives carriers worldwide. During a tour of LATAM Airline’s Santiago, Chile maintenance base in November 2017, PAX International and other members of the international press were given a behind-the-scenes look at the work that goes into maintaining the aircraft, from day-to-day light maintenance to the heavy work that keeps the engines in tip-top condition. (The company also has another maintenance base located in São Paulo, Brazil.) As explained to the tour group, LATAM was the first airline in the Americas, including the U.S., to fly the 787s after bringing them into their fleet in 2012. To commemorate this milestone,
the LATAM base proudly displays a decommissioned 787 Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine on its property, gifted to them by the manufacturer. Though the engine has undergone many revisions in the time since its debut at LATAM, to the untrained eye it is no different from the models currently taking to the skies. One of the striking features of the 787 engine is its size. Generally speaking, LATAM’s guide explained, the more modern the engine, the larger the fan will be, and the 787 engines are so massive that it takes their crews a full day to undress them. The long, cigar-style engines of the 70s and 80s have given way to larger models like the 787’s GE and Rolls-Royce engines, which are able to generate more power because of their ability to move more air. And with a list price of more than US$30 million, it certainly should be able to move. Several airlines have experienced issues with the 787 aircraft engines in LATAM has much pride for its 787 heritage, as reflected in the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 on display at their base.
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A Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, powered by the Trent 1000 TEN, recently took an 18-hour test flight, drawing the outline of a plane over the U.S.
recent years, beginning not long after its official debut with problems involving the lithium-ion batteries during commercial flights – a problem that in some instances resulted in fires. These troubles caused the FAA to ground the engines in January 2013. Boeing altered the battery design and, after a series of successful tests, were able to fly them once again in April 2013. In December of last year, Air New Zealand halted two of their 11 787-9s due to engine problems. The FAA, CAA, Air New Zealand and RollsRoyce have been working together to determine the cause of the incidents. During the busy 2017 holiday season, British Airways also had to adjust their schedule to allow for inspection of their 787 fleet, which meant cancelling flights to some cities into the new year. All Nippon Airways and Virgin Airlines had previously experienced similar issues with the engines. Before these recent issues, RollsRoyce had stated that the alloy turbine blades in almost 200 of the more than 430 installed Trent 1000 engines will have to be replaced, citing their inclination to corrode as the culprit. A new version of the Trent 1000, the Trent 1000 TEN, has been introduced in the meantime, boasting the promise of better fuel consumption and fewer of the issues that are grounding the Dreamliner. Air New Zealand, Norwegian and Scoot will have this latest version of the Trent 1000, which entered into service in November 2017, powering their 787 Dreamliners.
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INTERIOR MRO REPORT
Aft cabin boost Two industry players have teamed up to develop a solution that balances the need for increased revenue seating while adding features in rear of the A320 family to maximize space and reduce weight by MARY JANE PITTILLA
KYPAX is the name of a new solution in the aft monument developed by Lufthansa Technik and Diehl Aerosystems to maximize cabin space Aviation engineers have been working for years to achieve the maximum seat count in the aircraft cabin while preserving passenger comfort and safety. This year, German manufacturers Lufthansa Technik and Diehl Aerosystems say they have solved this conundrum with SKYPAX, an enhanced A320 family densification solution. While the concept of reaching the maximum seat count on aircraft of the A320 family was developed some years ago, today’s known solutions for the aft monument – a combined high-density galley and double lavatory – still show considerable room for improvement, according to Lufthansa Technik and Diehl Aerosystems, which jointly developed the new High-Density Solution. When developing SKYPAX, the two companies focused on these improvement areas and came up with a substantially enhanced monument design. The SKYPAX aft monument is equipped with a camera-monitor system that provides direct view for crew during taxi, takeoff and landing. The Digital Direct View system has significant advantages over the additional monument-mounted cabin attendant seat used in currently available solutions.
Lufthansa Technik has developed a High-Density Solution for A320 family aircraft that provides a maximum of stowage options in the aft galley in combination with a double lavatory
The monument-mounted seat reduces the usable space inside the monument, causes high weight, substantial issues in handling and eventually high maintenance cost, the two firms say. Whereas in current line-fit and retrofits the galley and double lavatory are two separate units which are installed and linked in the aircraft, SKYPAX features an integrated monument that provides more space by sharing structures and systems and will require fewer adjustments and issues during installation. The SKYPAX aft monument also addresses today’s need for solutions which fully comply with latest PRM (persons with reduced mobility) regulations. The double lavatory is optionally equipped with a removable inner wall, allowing a person in a wheelchair to use the lavatory independently on their own. SKYPAX will start service in the second quarter of 2018. Lufthansa Technik displayed the retrofit at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in April 2017. Then, in
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cooperation with Lufthansa Technik, the mock-up was introduced to the trade by Diehl Aerosystems in North America at Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas in September 2017, in Long Beach, California. The cabin mock-up was a highlight at this year’s trade shows. Simply by installing double lavatories alongside the aft galley to gain extra cabin space, the design helps operators maximize operating profit and fleet flexibility by enlarging their seat capacity, while also reducing maintenance costs and weight.
A modular design
The introduction of the Airbus A320neo with 180 passengers set a new standard for onboard capacity. European regulators have determined that the capacity of the A320 can be increased to a theoretical maximum of 195 seats. Current market trends, such as smart monuments, slimline and ultra-slim seats, lead more and more often to the modification of A320 aircraft equipped for 174 passengers or fewer. The new
With new features such as modern seating and smart monuments, the A320 could seat up to 195 passengers
High-Density Solution achieves a capacity of up to 186 passengers. Lufthansa Technik offers a modular A320 family modification platform. The High-Density Solution incorporates double lavatories alongside the aft galley, offering flexible trolley and container capacity and a Digital Direct View solution. Thanks to the very small footprint, operators can maximize their cabin revenue space while ensuring that passenger needs and legal requirements are fully met. In addition, weight is reduced by removing the rear cabin attendant seat and substituting it with the Digital Direct View Solution. Cabin attendants are provided the necessary view of the cabin using modern camera and display technology. The new system meets all authority requirements, at the same time reducing weight. By ensuring secure and rapid egress from the aircraft with new single-lane slides developed by EAM Worldwide, further weight savings are realized.
replaces the rear cabin attendant seat. When it comes to onboard catering, a reduction to eight half-size trolleys can be challenging, so Lufthansa Technik offers a combination of classic trolley stowage and Diehl Aerosystems’ Stowalley. One Stowalley holds two additional half-size trolleys, four standard containers as well as a flexible stowage area that functions as coat
hanger or stowage space. Integrating the High-Density Solution and Stowalley gives customers a true high-capacity configuration with “extraordinary” galley and stowage options, the companies say. More passengers means more luggage volume inside the cabin. A Center Ceiling Stowage (CCS) uses the space available in the center ceiling area. Through the modular design, it fits different positions in the cabin. The CCS typically holds items that are needed less frequently, such as emergency equipment. By removing such equipment from the overhead bins, more space is available for the personal belongings of airline customers. CCS therefore relaxes the carry-on luggage situation onboard, enhancing passenger comfort. In a further enhancement, singlelane slides from EAM Worldwide, the Miami-based safety equipment specialist, are Lufthansa Technik’s solution for cabin configurations with a maximum passenger seating capacity. Compared with other high-density solutions, such as wide slides or duallane slide rafts, a weight advantage of approximately 80 kilograms per aircraft is gained. EAM’s new single-lane
New aft bulkhead solution
The new, compact and flexible aft bulkhead seeks to provide a maximum of stowage options in the aft galley in combination with a double lavatory. Depending on the configuration a customer chooses, the aft galley provides space for up to eight half-size trolleys or 19 standard containers, and can also accommodate beverage makers, ovens and USB charging options. Maintenance costs and weight can be further reduced through an innovative Digital Direct View Solution which
High-density, slimline seats, like the Mirus Hawk, will also reshape the cabin of A320s in the future
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 25
INTERIOR MRO REPORT slide is a high-performance solution that meets the latest FAA TSO-C69c requirements and is designed for safe and rapid evacuation of the aircraft. Lufthansa Technik and Diehl Aerosystems clearly believe they have hit upon a system that caters to current airline demands. “With the High-Density Solution, Lufthansa Technik and Diehl Aerosystems have realized a design that offers maximized cabin revenue space, helping A320 operators to increase operating profit and fleet flexibility by enlarging their seat capacity. Other features are enhanced flexibility, reduced weight and short installation times,” they say. Personalization is also a key factor in the retrofit design. “Customers have the choice to configure the product according to their individual needs, from consulting to materi-
als kits including Engineering Bulletin (EB) up to turnkey solutions. By integrating a modification event into a scheduled maintenance layover, Lufthansa Technik can further reduce additional downtimes and the time to market,” Lufthansa Technik concludes.
OPTIONS A319: up to 151 passengers (with one overwing exit); A320: up to 186 pax; A321: up to 226 pax Aft galley with double lavatory Emergency slides Bin space solution Stowalley
AFT COMPLEX FEATURES
Aft galley with double lavatory
Digital Direct View
Digital Direct View cabin crew solution
Lower weight (up to 100 kilograms)
Up to eight half-size trolleys
Up to 19 standard containers Oven capacity for max. 96 meals
Shorter lead-time and downtime means fast return on investment
USB charging options
Flat front surface
Engineering Bulletin & material kit
Possible return on investment in less than 12 months
FULL PAGE AD Lufthansa Technik will be taking its Lconnect product to China
Lufthansa Technik takes connectivity solution to China Lufthansa Technik AG announced at this year’s APEX Expo that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese company Air Esurfing (ARE) to provide connectivity services to airlines in the country. Air Esurfing is a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media Group. The MoU, signed at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, calls for Lufthansa Technik and Air Esurfing to enter a long-term partnership with the goal of offering turnkey connectivity solutions for commercial airline fleets in China. Once the contract has been signed, Lufthansa Technik and Air Esurfing will install a high-speed Ku-band/Ka-band antenna and onboard distribution systems in 200 A320 family and 737 aircraft. 26 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
“Together with Lufthansa Technik, we are about to transform the domestic inflight connectivity market in China,” said Grant Zhou, CEO of Air Esurfing in the announcement of the deal. “The partners intend to use China’s Ka- and Ku-band high-throughput satellite capacity for domestic inflight connectivity services over mainland China.” Under the product name Lconnect , Lufthansa Technik is able to manage the certification and installation in large fleets, while customizing the process to a customer’s individual requirements within a short time frame. The company has a connectivity center of excellence based in Hamburg supported by a worldwide facility network.
9 2018 APRIL
DEFINING THE FUTURE OF THE PASSENGER EXPERIENCE INDUSTRY
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INTERIOR MRO REPORT
Astronics powers up
Astronics AES’s industry-leading EmPower in-seat power system has been selected for up to 1,400 narrow-body and regional jet aircraft PHOTO: BUSINESS WIRE
by MARY JANE PITTILLA
The purchase of Telefonix and Custom Control Concepts has positioned the company for additional revenue and a range of new IFEC services for airline customers
his year, Astronics has made major advancements in its strategy to increase its value, thanks to a number of acquisitions. The US-based firm’s products and services span advanced, high-performance electrical power generation and distribution systems, lighting and safety systems, avionics products, aircraft structures, and systems certification. In December 2017, Astronics completed the acquisition of Telefonix Inc. and a related company, Product Development Technologies (Telefonix PDT) for approximately US$104 million in cash. Telefonix PDT designs and manufactures advanced inflight entertainment and connectivity equipment, and provides design consultancy services for the global aerospace industry. The company’s products include wireless access points, file servers, content loaders, passenger control units, as well as engineering services. Astronics expects that Telefonix PDT will contribute approximately US$70-75 million in revenue in 2018. And in another deal announced in April, Astronics acquired US-headquartered Custom Control Concepts (CCC), a market leader in cabin and inflight entertainment systems, thereby enhancing Astronics’ VVIP aircraft offerings. Custom Control Concepts provides cabin management and IFE systems for the complete range of privately operated Boeing and Airbus aircraft, along with other fixed and rotary wing aircraft models. Founded in 1998, CCC has completed more than 165 technology installations. The product line covers every facet of IFE and cabin management, including entertainment, lighting, temperature, audio/video on demand, iPod/iPad
integration and real-time 3D moving map. It also offers customized graphical user interfaces accessible on its touchscreens, allowing seamless and intuitive control of the system for the passenger. Custom Control Concepts’ Spectrum cabin lighting system was designed with the needs of the VIP aircraft owner. Spectrum lights use advanced LED technology to create natural whites and vibrant color variations to bring out the beauty of the aircraft’s interior and set the mood for any occasion. Custom Control Concepts is advancing IFE and cabin management technology with the use of 3D manufacturing. This cutting-edge technology allows it to produce creative and innovative designs not possible with traditional techniques. The firm uses an aviation-grade thermoplastic that has an “incredible” weight-to-strength ratio and is heat- and flame-resistant. “3D manufacturing is perfect for IFE/CMS, primarily because of its tremendous weight savings. Our new composite speakers are 55% lighter than our traditionally machined speakers,” the company says. Commenting on the acquisition of Custom Control Concepts, Peter J. Gunderman, President and CEO of Astronics, said: “We are very familiar with the VVIP market through our PGA Avionics subsidiary, and while current market conditions are challenging, we believe the cooperative pursuits of PGA and CCC working together will provide best-in-class technology and innova-
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tion to our customers. The addition of CCC furthers Astronics’ commitment to be the global leader in this market as it recovers in the coming years.” Meanwhile, in a business win announced in October 2017, Astronics has been awarded contracts by several major North American airlines for its industry-leading EmPower in-seat passenger power system. Installations are expected on 700 to 1,400 narrow-body and regional jet aircraft. Astronics’ subsidiary, Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems (AES), will equip the airplanes with 110VAC and high-output USB power for every passenger. Line-fit and retrofit installations will occur from early 2018 through 2023. Gunderman noted: “Being selected for these significant fleet upgrades further solidifies our leading global market position for passenger power on commercial aircraft and is a strong indication of the increasing trend for airlines to provide power for their passengers on narrow-body and regional aircraft. Carriers worldwide are responding to passenger requests for power at the seat so they can use their personal electronic devices to fully enjoy the streamed inflight entertainment and upgraded connectivity systems provided by the airlines, while remaining fully charged when they land.” Astronics AES’s EmPower system is in service with over 230 airline and OEM customers with over one million power outlets installed.
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Passenger Technology Solutions
10–12 April 2018 Hamburg Messe, Germany
Pay as you go Etihad Airways is making it easier for passengers to purchase with several new programs aimed at e-commerce and ancillary revenue by RICK LUNDSTROM
wo initiatives launched toward the end of last year are helping customers of Etihad purchase airline tickets more easily for travel now and in the future. The first initiative allowed people booking travel on the airline’s app the option to use Apple Pay, while the second allows future passengers, through a partnership between banks and e-commerce providers, to pay for upcoming trips through what resembles a high-tech version of an old-fashioned layaway plan that can finance travel on the airline years in the future. The latter program, which accepts installment payments for air travel, is a first of its kind in the region, say planners, and part of an overall effort by the airline to aggressively harness emerging technologies. “We are building technology and innovation into all areas of our business as an enabler for better product and service delivery, business efficiencies and customer service,” Justin Warby, Vice President Digital Strategy and Innovation, tells PAX International. “Stay tuned for further updates.” Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service created by the computer giant that lets users buy products and services using any of the company’s products. In addi-
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The Installment payment plan by Etihad Airways gives passengers to ability to book premium travel and pay over time. Here, and Etihad A380 overflies the new Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi
tion, the program can make payments at non-contact terminals at retail outlets using iPhones, Apple Watches or iPads. While the feature had a slow start initially, Apple Pay’s monthly active users have grown significantly in the past year. According to a report from Business Insider, released in July 2016, tens of millions of consumers were at the time using Apple Pay internationally and the service was live in 11 countries. The report noted that among people who made regular payments by using a smart phone, Apply Pay held a market share of 43% as the method gained acceptance. “Mobile payments are becoming more popular, but they still face some high barriers, such as consumers’ continued loyalty to traditional payment methods and fragmented acceptance among merchants,” said an introduction to the Business Insider report. “But as loyalty programs are integrated and more consumers rely on their mobile wallets for other features like in-app payments, adoption and usage will surge over the next few years.” For passengers wishing to book a flight, the Apple Pay option involves a simple command on the Etihad Airways app. On the booking summary pages, users are given two
options: pay with Apple Pay or pay with a standard credit card. If Apple Pay is the choice, users are prompted to authorize the payment with a feature called TouchID. In addition to making it easier to purchase, Apple Pay also adds a layer of security. Information is encrypted and stored so the user’s device does not reveal actual credit or debit card numbers. In addition to flights, Apple Pay can be used for ancillary revenue, such as buying seats with additional legroom. Etihad’s app supports four languages: English, Arabic, German and Italian. The airline worked with an e-commerce team from Apple to develop the feature at the same time Apple Pay was gaining a foothold in the United Arab Emirates. “We were able to quickly adjust the release cycle of our mobile app to ensure we coincided our launch with Apple in the UAE,” said Warby. Warby said passengers have so far liked the ease of use with the feature and the airline experienced a 300% increase in downloads of the app as Apple Pay went live in the Emirates. While Etihad is not the first airline to work with Apple Pay (Finnair recently announced its passengers could use the feature), the automated credit card installment payment program is the first of its type in the region, said the airline. To make the program work, Etihad had to seek out cooperative banks in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In a region that has many expatriate laborers look-
ing to make regular trips to their home countries, the installment payment plan is one way for the airline to capture an important travel market. “When we were designing this product, we were really looking at how we can assist low- to mediumincome travelers and families,” Warby said. “Spreading the payment over a period of months is also a great way to indulge in our famous premium cabins.” In addition to several banks, Etihad partnered with a company called PayFort, which is a well-known online payment service provider in the region. Etihad offers more than 20 payment methods on its website. Any ancillary purchases, such as seating, baggage and flight insurance, can be part of the purchase. To keep up with the fast-moving world of all things digital, Etihad has a brought on board a dedicated team that does in-house research, development and delivery of programs. In addition to solutions that help the passengers, the Digital Transformation and Innovation group is harnessing the possibilities for making use of the mountain of data that airlines accumulate in the process of booking and handling passengers. “Our mission is to turn Etihad Airways into the industry’s leading, integrated airline, capable of harnessing emerging technologies and capabilities, big data and innovation to create a product and service offering unique to each individual guest,” said Warby.
More inflight purchase options for Etihad passengers Passengers on Etihad Airways flights to and from Abu Dhabi now have more inflight purchase selections, including comfort items and healthy snacks. This new selection is in addition to its current complimentary custom meal service. “In addition to providing extra comfort and choice in the air, some of the items are great gift ideas, particularly in the run up to the holiday season,” noted Linda Celestino, Vice President Guest Experience and Delivery in a December 11 press release. “We will monitor guest satisfaction and aim to expand the range of items for sale in the future.” Economy Class travelers on Paris, London and Australian routes will be able to purchase cold-brewed coffee from Coffee
Planet (US$4), while all long-haul and ultra long-haul economy flights (except US) will offer Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV champagne (US$8). All cabins in ultra long-haul sectors (except U.S. routes) have Christian Lacroix cotton sleepwear (US$35) and male and female amenity kits featuring skincare products from Hungary’s Omorovicza (US$22). In addition, a box stocked with both sweet and healthy snacks will be introduced in January 2018. These offerings are part of Etihad Airways’ recent efforts to enhance the experience of Economy Class passengers. Other newly released pay-for upgrades include lounge access, chauffeured transfers at several international airports, extra legroom and the option of neighbor-free seats. — Rachel Debling
This kit is available for purchase on Etihad for US$22
www.pax-intl.com | PAX INTERNATIONAL | 31
Oman Air was the recipient of the PAX International Pay it Forward Award for its work with local businesses. Pictured here, left to right is PAX International Publisher Aijaz Khan, Marleine Rizk, Regional Manager for Commercial Sales, Central Gulf (UAE) at Oman Air and PAX International Editor-in-Chief Rick Lundstrom
Judges Jeremy Clark (left) and Werner Kimmeringer (Center) present Paul Whyte of STR-EATS Food Ltd. with the Mercury Award for Food Product Snack
MESSAGE The 36th version of the Mercury Awards played out December 12 on the sands of Abu Dhabi, where the industry came together again to honor innovation by RICK LUNDSTROM
The Bake Factory’s Taco Sliders won this year’s Mercury Award for Food Product Savory. James Strawbridge and Leigh Loomes were on hand to accept
32 | PAX INTERNATIONAL | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018
eople from around the world gathered on the beach in mild December weather at the Shangri-La Hotel in Abu Dhabi to honor the best in cabin products, food and beverage, and equipment innovation at the 36th edition of the Mercury Awards A gentle breeze blew in from the water during the evening-long awards presentation and banquet, hosted by Jeremy Clark of JC Consulting who was aided in the presentations by a number of well-known industry representatives. The Mercurys were held the opening day of the SIAL Middle East event from December 12 to 14 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. SIAL took over the Awards in 2011 from the former organizer, the International Travel Catering Association. In addition to the Mercury Awards, PAX International honored Oman Air for its comprehensive program to include local companies in the bidding process with the magazine’s second Pay It Forward Award. The awards were presented after a long judging day by a panel of industry figures, chefs and authors. Taking part this year were Jeremy Clark of JC Consulting; Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Founder and CEO of APOT.Asia and Managing Director of happyK Solutions;
Judges for this year’s Mercury Awards (left to right) Joanne Cook, Jeremy Clark, Pam Suder-Smith, Werner Kimmeringer, Keerthi “Happy” Hapugasdeniya, Simon Heppner
Buzz Products won the Mercury in the Equipment Passenger for its Alessi tableware for Delta Air Lines. Miranda Hill accepted the award for the Australian company
The Seasons West Australia menu from Perth Inflight Catering won this year’s Mercury Award for Airline Meal Premium. Managing Director Salim Hazife accepted the award
ITW Envopak won the Mercury Award for its buyon-board revenue protection. Accepting the award for the company was Nicky Slater
Merko Brenzinger, Senior Manager Catering Commercial Planning at Etihad Airways; Pam Suder-Smith, Director of Sales at gategroup; Simon Heppner, Founder and Director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association; Werner Kimmeringer, Managing Director for Global Catering Services and Logistics; Mark Tazzioli, Menu Design Manager, British Airways; and George Banks, author of Gourmet and Glamour in the Sky. “There’s nothing more satisfying than being involved in making things a little bit better,” said Heppner, who suggested that organizers of the Mercury Awards should add a sustainability component to the judging criteria. “I fully expected them to do what most people do and change the subject. By agreeing that this would make sense, SIAL showed themselves to be a progressive organization with an eye on the social value that they can deliver through their business. The results from that decision have been remarkable and testify to the positive power of reward to create change.” “It was yet again one of the greatest events in the industry, and the finalists’ selection of the entries are very appropriate to today’s airline industry trends,” added Hapugasdeniya. “Very proud to be part of The Mercurys.”
Rungsiya Pongsudhiraks of Al Rabia Al Daim was on hand to accept the Mercury Award for the Beverage Category
Jeremy Clark (left) and Keerthi Happugasdeniya (center) present the Mercury Award for Service Concept Economy Class to William Coan of En Route International
Winners of this year’s Mercury Awards by category Beverage Ginger Green Tea from Al Rabia Al Diam Food & Beverage Trading Service Concept Economy Class Cloud Dine Meals from En Route International Food Product Savory Taco Slider from The Bake Factory Food Products Sweet UTZ Certified Chocolates and Desserts from Lily O’Brien’s Equipment – Production Buy on Board Revenue Protection from ITW Envopak Equipment – Passenger Alessi Tableware for Delta Air Lines from Buzz Products Food Product – Snack Mumbai Vegetable Street Food from STR-EATS Airline Meal Premium Seasons of West Australia Seafood from Perth Inflight Catering
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Vectoring the industry
HAECO Americas has a long history and a keen understanding of what current airline customers need — an understanding that is reflected in the changes to the company’s seating line by RACHEL DEBLING
ne striking example of the versatility and dependability that Greensboro, North Carolina-based HAECO Americas offers its clients is the Vector™ series of seats, which is currently flying on South American carrier Wingo’s fleet. The Vector line of seating has been updated with a new entrant, the Vector Premium seat, seen for the first time by the industry at APEX/AIX last September. The seating line is just one part of a company with a long history that spans continents and has grown and evolved to take its place among other players in the aviation world. One characteristic stressed by the company is its ability to quickly deliver the seating line, advertised at under six months but can be as low as three, according to David Kelly, Vice President, Strategy and Marketing at HAECO. The base model can be customized to the airline’s needs, and the product was designed to offer the same experience for males within
the 95th percentile of height and the smallest of female passengers. The Vector Premium seat adds another element of customization to an already solid line of seating. Kelly notes that operators appreciate the line because it pulls from the same part numbers, whether being installed in short-haul Business Class, long-haul Premium Economy or anywhere in between. This can make repairs less costly and much quicker when compared to other seats, without skimping on quality. “As an MRO, we are the people who fix the problems, not make them,” stresses Kelly. “We don’t want to sell a seat that is unreliable because it would go against our culture.” If the problem that needs fixing is a tight deadline, the Vector seat has been an answer for the company’s airline customers. Kelly recalls eating his words after balking at the idea of being able to deliver the seats in a scant six months, and the HAECO team produced them in two-thirds of the time. As Ian Raulston, Marketing Manager at HAECO Americas, points out, “We have a great staff of engineers and a really dedicated team that makes those type of seemingly impossible things possible.” HAECO Americas was originally founded in 1990 as Triad International Maintenance Company (TIMCO) and later purchased by HAECO Group in 2014. But the company traces its history even further back to an early 19th-century trading group. Swire Group, then a textile
Workers busily assemble seats at HAECO Americas
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importer/exporter, was founded in 1816 by John Swire. The company began trading in cotton, tea and silk when it formed Butterfield & Swire 50 years later, and later established Taikoo as a sugar refinery and ship repair business. Then, in 1950, amidst the aftermath of the Second World War and realizing the potential in the air transport business, Swire’s great-grandson, John “Jock” Kidston Swire, built on the technical skills his organization acquired in the dockyard industry and opened HAECO. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and the aforementioned purchase of TIMCO brought HAECO Americas to life. The original TIMCO team has witnessed the benefits of being associated with the long-established company. “The great thing is that is that they were in the same business, they had the same goals, and they were ready to really give TIMCO the time, guidance, leadership and financial backing that we were looking for to allow us to reach our potential,” recounts Raulston, who was with TIMCO before its purchase by HAECO. In his short time with the company, Kelly has already gained an acute understanding of how HAECO Americas stands out among the crowd. “There are a lot of MRO organizations, a lot of cabin solutions organizations and a lot of engineering or reconfiguration organizations, but we are the only one that does all of that under one umbrella,” he explains. “We can manufacture, design and engineer a cabin reconfiguration or integration. We can manufacture a product, certify it and install it. This ability to bundle services under one umbrella is unique, and saves our customers money.”
10-12 APRIL 2018
THE DESTINATION FOR THE AIRCRAFT INTERIORS INDUSTRY. Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 10 - 12 April 2018, Hamburg Messe, Germany Aircraft Interiors Expo is the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s market leader event dedicated to airlines and the supply chain to source the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, infl ight entertainment, connectivity and passenger comfort industries. Register today www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com
SAVE THE DATE
In co-operation with:
HOT! On-Trend Small Bites – Global Inflight Products: This beautifully designed porcelainware by Global Inflight Products allows passengers to sample a variety of chef specials, both savory and sweet, making it perfect for the finest onboard cuisine.
Bluebox Wow – Bluebox Aviation Systems: Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin, offering up to 1.6TB of content including film, TV, audio, games and other digital media. The system is designed to support advertising, inflight shopping and payment processing options for generating ancillary revenue, whether the IFE service itself is offered free or for a charge. Each box’s single swappable and rechargeable battery offers 15 hours of streamed content to 50 passengers.
KID-Systeme – High-Power USB port: KID is bringing you the future of seamless innovative power. Together with IFPL, KID is offering an innovative, low-cost, low-weight and high-power USB solution, neatly integrated into the passengers’ armrest. This high-power USB port comes with a surrounding light guide which provides immediate feedback on operational performance. An exercise in elegant simplicity, the system will mark a step change in LCC passenger experience, bringing power to passengers.
Buzz Products – Fly With Me Animals: Emirates has become the world’s first airline to integrate plush toys with immersive 3D tech with the introduction of Noel the Polar Bear, the latest member of their Fly With Me Animals family. Noel the Polar Bear came to life for these young travelers as they witnessed he and his family celebrating Christmas at the North Pole via a short 3D augmented reality (AR) animation
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49% SAVINGS AND 9.5X PRODUCTIVITY INCREASE??
Air Time digital platform – Immfly: Immfly’s onboard entertainment and services platform Air Time is on five easyJet aircraft. The digital platform created by the Barcelona company provides pas-
ONLY with DTi’s Best-In-Class Wire Protection & Interface Solutions
sengers with the opportunity to access a unique entertainment and services experience during their flight. Passengers will be able to enjoy personalized options on their own smart devices (smartphones, tablets and laptops) in a way which removes the need for the older model of seatback screens.
SEAL-FAST™ EDGE SEALS
SPRING-FAST ® SL GROMMET EDGINGS
TRIM-FAST™ EDGE TRIMS
LIFT 737 TOURIST CLASS SEATING - LIFT by EnCore: LIFT’s 737 Tourist Class Seating is the widest 737 economy class seat on the market. The company announced in December that its first 737 Tourist Class Seating entered into service on LOT Polish Airlines as part of a delivery of six aircraft. Since then, 737 Tourist Class Seating has been designed, engineered and successfully received regulatory certification. In November 2017, Boeing received the seats on time and ready for installation onto LOT’s first 737 MAX.
r ions Fo t lu o t Us S l a t Idea FEC – Con cK &I ple it Seatingour Free Sam For Y
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Motorized drive products – Faulhaber Group: Faulhaber Group has developed a line of motorized drive solutions for the aircraft cabin. The small motors can be used to operate window blinds, seat adjustments, moving toilet seats and other tasks in the aircraft cabin. The company uses high-quality gear heads and lightweight construction. Faulhaber has been supplying drives for adjusting First Class seating for more than 15 years. It also supplies a window adjustment engine for the A319 as well as mechanism for locking cabin doors, emergency exits and pilot seats and other cabin functions.
BOXMARK – “Duke” leather in 56 colors: Those helping quickly help twice. Leather specialist BOXMARK bases its operation on this principle and as such decided to produce the new leather “Duke” as a stock item. Furthermore, their service-oriented warehousing also offers the advantage of a minimum order quantity of only one skin (approx. 5 m²) per color. Concerning the design, BOXMARK uses a fine grain for “Duke.”
Wireless integrated PED holders – SmartTray®: SmartTray® Rail & Bus, LLC unveiled its “no wires” integrated PED holders in passenger seats and tray tables for use in rail and bus mass-transit at UMA MOTORCOACH EXPO 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, from January 6 to 10. SmartTray® tables allow handsfree operation – no fatigue from holding smartphones and tablets onboard; “no wires” wireless charging; and tablets and smartphones are always within arm’s reach and in full sight, gripped firmly in SmartTray’s patented PED holders, lowering the risk of falling off tray tables during vehicle unexpected turns or stops.
Travelport Fusion – Travelport: This leading travel commerce platform will provide Fiji Airways with a mobile application powered by its new Travelport Fusion product. Travelport Fusion is a quick-tomarket mobile solution that helps airlines keep up with the rapid changes in mobile technology. The new mobile app will provide Fiji Airways with a robust tool to provide a more compelling and engaging experience for passengers. It will allow Fiji Airways to fully maintain their brand identity with consistent brand experience. As part of the service and support from Travelport, Fiji Airways will also benefit from future product upgrades.
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MAKE BRANDING AN EXPERIENCE Digital printing turns lining elements into more than just lining. In digital printing, the conventional dĂŠcor foils on the lining elements are replaced by direct printing. Direct printing is not only lighter and more durable, but also 100% customizable: Unobtrusive patterns, complete panoramic images, realistic renderings or freely scalable vector graphics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there are no limits to flexibility.