PAX Tech AIME & MRO Jan/Feb 2019

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MRO, Interiors & IFEC

What sparks the industry A look at today’s MRO landscape



Building the future of IFE

Our next generation of RAVE is sure to amaze. We are always looking forward. Not just to what’s next, but beyond. Zodiac Inflight Innovations invites you to come build your future with us and set the new standard of IFE.



PAX Tech 26 Pearl Street, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 1X2, Canada Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 Fax: (1 905) 821-2777 Website:

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EDITORIAL OFFICES Rick Lundstrom, Editor-in-Chief PAX Tech 723 Jefferson Street, NE Minneapolis, MN 55413, USA Tel: (1 612) 378-0862 Fax: (1 612) 378-0852 E-mail: Rachel Debling, Editor Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x21 E-mail: Ash Khan, Social Media Coordinator Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x30 E-mail: CONTRIBUTORS Mary Jane Pittilla

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ADVERTISING OFFICES Kevin Greene, Advertising and Marketing Manager Tel: (1 905) 821-3344 x31 E-mail: PAX International and PAX Tech are published a total of 10 times per year (January/February, March/April, May, June, July, September, October, 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

Up for the mission


hree years ago, PAX International had the privilege of visiting the gleaming facilities of Turkish Technic and traveling across Bosphorus Bridge, the iconic path over the straits that separate Europe from Asia and a structure that appears to be constantly choked with traffic. Nonetheless, it was a rare and valuable experience. Now, as MRO and interiors companies again descend upon Dubai, representatives from PAX Tech will be in attendance, taking a journey across the globe that is well worth the miles and time. Aircraft Interiors Middle East is growing hand in hand with a region that is facing the challenges that come with good fortune. Among the challenges is the need to find trained mechanics and technicians to work on aircraft exposed to extreme weather conditions and climates for much of the year, a reality which puts new materials and technology in the Middle East’s youngest fleets to the test, day in and day out. “The birth of new-generation aircraft triggered [the] MRO industry to enter a new era in which composite materials utilized for aircraft structure are ever-changing,” says Ahmet Karaman, CEO of Turkish Technic, in our story on page 28. An ocean away, in a much more mature aviation market, demand for air

travel continues to drive the fortunes of companies like StandardAero, which has opened a new facility in Ohio and expanded two others in the United States and one in Canada in anticipation of future demands from airlines. “We believe that currently low fuel costs, healthy Western economies and high-growth emerging country economies are driving demand for air travel, which in turn drives demand for maintenance,” said Russell Ford, Chairman and CEO of StandardAero. Various estimates place growth in the cabin interiors market at a compounded annual rate of 8.35%, and according to a study by Markets and Markets, spending on interiors could reach US$38.8 billion by 2020. Much of that growth will be in the flourishing desert nations of the Middle East where repair and retrofit will become increasingly important. Two years from now, visitors to Aircraft Interiors Middle East will probably see many of the same companies and products that will be found in its halls this year. However, the demands of an aircraft interiors market that is growing much faster than most of the world’s economies means companies that supply it with necessary goods and services will be striving to keep up with an industry whose story is still being written and will be for years to come.

not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher or editor. January/February, Vol. 26, 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

Rick Lundstrom Editor-in-Chief PAX International  |  PAX TECH  |  3




The team at BOXMARK sheds some light on how the deep-rooted wants of airline customers play into the development and creation of today’s aircraft seating



As the new year starts, aircraft seating companies reveal some enticing trends taking shape that will optimize the real estate around passenger wellness, comfort and technology


Aditya Chatterjee, SES Networks’ Senior Vice President of Aero Market Solutions, shares his company’s strategy with IFC services providers and tech partners, plus the potential impact of next-generation GEO and MEO satellites


Born at the tail end of the 20th century, KID-Systeme has since grown into an innovator in the aviation power, connectivity and safety markets. With a new solution ready for its inflight debut and more already flying, there’s no turning back for this ambitious and creative team



PAX Tech examines today’s MRO industry with interviews from exhibitors at this year’s AIME & MRO Middle East, plus many others








Following the announcement of plans for a U.S. repair center in the Greater Miami Area – often called “the Capital of Latin America” – and the 2018 opening of its new UK facility, Leki Aviation finds itself squarely at the crossroads of two important markets


digEcor is entering the new year with a new attitude and look as its most recent acquisition reintroduces the company as a new entity: Burrana


Major players in the MRO industry are expanding their operations – but this buoyant sector isn’t without some challenges ahead


Business France is showcasing an array of its aviation industry members at this year’s AIME and MRO Middle East. PAX Tech spoke to a handful of returning companies in the hope of finding out what all the – dare we say – je ne sais quoi is about


A relaxing evening in the UAE capital gave visitors to 2018’s SIAL Middle East a chance to see some of the award-winning innovations in the travel catering industry

new aerospace technology





New business plan for Gulf Air enters second year On January 6, Gulf Air announced a new boutique-airline business model as part of its five-year strategy that will place increased focus on product and customer experience. “As already done in the hospitality industry, Gulf Air will differentiate itself as a boutique airline that is different and unique in the way it operates compared to the bigger airlines that are more volume-driven,” said a release from the carrier. “This approach will give the airline a competitive advantage that will translate in its new fleet, new Falcon Gold class offering, new exclusive products, new destinations for 2019 and its presence in the new terminal at Bahrain International Airport, due to open towards the end of the year.” Gulf Air began the five-year strategy last year with the delivery of five 787-9 Dreamliners and one A320neo, as well as the addition of six destinations. The airline deployed its first Dreamliner flights to London Heathrow, Casablanca, Bangkok and Manila. The new livery and brand identity were also launched in 2018 at the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The additions include a new logo, color scheme, uniforms and a refreshed look and feel in the cabin. Two more Dreamliners and five A320neos are scheduled to arrive this year. The airline concluded 2018 with the launch of a mobile app and Bahrain stopover packages that allow passengers to bundle hotels, airport transfers and tours in the kingdom.

Gulf Air will acquire new 787s and A320neos this year

SAUDIA offers limited free Wi-Fi to loyalty group Silver and Gold tier members of the Al Fursan loyalty program on Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) can now access up to 100 megabytes of free Wi-Fi onboard any Internet-enabled SAUDIA aircraft to domestic and international destinations. Passengers can access the plan by inserting their ticket number on the Wi-Fi login page and begin surfing the web after a short signin process. The airline announced the new feature at the end of December. To date, 104 aircraft in SAUDIA’s fleet are enabled with Wi-Fi and GSM capabilities. The inflight entertainment system has more than 4,000 hours of Hollywood premieres and the latest television shows, box sets, music, multi-language, international and children’s programming, as well as digital and audio books. In 2018 SAUDIA introduced five new routes to its network: Vienna, Austria; Trivandrum, India; Surabaya, Indonesia; and Medan, Indonesia, and it re-introduced flights to Cochin, India.


Turkish selects STELIA for bespoke Business Class seat Turkish Airlines has tapped STELIA Aerospace to develop custom Business Class seats for the airline’s new 787-9 and A350-900 aircraft. Deliveries are slated to commence this summer. According to a January 22 press release from STELIA, the bespoke seats will be fully flat and feature “full access” and “full privacy,” thanks to lowerable armrests, adjustable dividers, a spacious footwell and a seat pitch of 44 inches. Other characteristics of the tailor-made product include additional stowage space, built-in reading lights, a generously sized meal table and Alcantara padding, a


material that has been used in luxury sports car interiors. For passengers’ entertainment, the seats will also feature 18-inch, HD touchscreen monitors. “This bespoke Business Class seat has been developed for Turkish Airlines as their best-in-class seat, in order to enhance passenger comfort for long-haul,” said Thierry Kanengieser, VP Cabin Interior at STELIA Aerospace, in a statement from the company. “We are very involved in customizing our products at every step of design, so as to meet our customer’s needs and expectations. This new seat offers comfort combined with modern styling.”





At HAECO we understand space is a finite, precious thing, and so is passenger experience. Backed by our extensive MRO heritage, our stowage soluuons offer innovaave designs and features for both passengers and operators alike. Coupled with our in-house engineering and installaaon services make HAECO your Network of One. | ©2019 HAECO Americas



Jeju Air selects Bluebox IFE Jeju Air’s 737-800 fleet is set to feature portable wireless IFE via Bluebox Wow, starting with 10 aircraft and expanding to an additional 29 this April. The Korean airline first trialed the solution in late 2018. Current routes with the service include those from Incheon Airport to destinations such as Bangkok, Guam, Saipan, Vientiane, Hong Kong, Macau, Kota Kinabalu and Da Nang. Kevin Clark, CEO of Bluebox, said in a January 14 press release: “We are excited to welcome Jeju Air to the growing list of airlines flying with Bluebox Wow. We’ve watched as Jeju Air has expanded its reach across Asia and how they innovate in so many areas, so it is an honor to be part of their growth story, and more importantly, that they’ve put their trust in Bluebox to enhance their passenger experience on board.” According to the release, Bluebox Wow now features the “KC Mark” denoting its KC Certification, which is mandatory for all electrical and electronic products entering South Korea. It not only verifies the safety of the product but also that it meets Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Radio Frequency (RF) requirements.

Bluebox Wow will be flying on nearly 40 Jeju Air 737s by late spring


SriLankan offers VR headset at CMB lounge SriLankan Airlines, in partnership with immersive entertainment specialist SkyLights, recently unveiled a new virtual reality (VR) cinema at its Business Class lounge. Installed in the Serendib Lounge at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, SkyLights’ Allosky and Skykids cinematic VR headsets offer passengers the unique opportunity to

relax and enjoy the latest films and TV series in 2D, 3D and 360°. SkyLights is an American-French company that is marketing VR as passenger entertainment in flight and in the lounge. “We are pleased to partner with SkyLights in our endeavor to provide a memorable travel experience to our valued customers,” said Vipula

The Skykids headset from Skylights is in the SriLankan Airlines lounge in Colombo


Gunatilleka, Chief Executive Officer of SriLankan Airlines. “Introducing this immersive cinema experience for the enjoyment of our premium passengers is a truly progressive step given that we are one of the first airlines in the Asian region to adopt the service.” With the sleek and comfortable Allosky headsets and Bluetooth headphones, visitors to the Serendib Lounge will enjoy films such as the critically acclaimed Crazy Rich Asians and Spielberg’s Ready Player One. For young travelers, films such as Ferdinand (3D), Harry Potter and The Lego Batman Movie (3D) will be available on Skykids headsets, which have a fun design, are easy to use and allow reading glasses to be worn inside of the headset. “The lounge is an important part in the premium customer journey and to date there has been little in the way of passenger entertainment in this space,” said David Dicko, SkyLights CEO. “With SriLankan Airlines we secure our first deployment in the AsiaPacific region. Together we are working to set a new standard in customer experience before passengers even step foot on the plane.”



Emirates expands IFE app capabilities Emirates has introduced a new function on its app that allows users to create bespoke playlists ahead of their flight and synch it to their seats once on board. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. Emirates’ inflight entertainment system, ice, has more than 4,000 channels of on-demand entertainment. The catalog includes more than 1,000 movies, popular box sets, music tracks, podcasts and games. “In keeping with our ‘Fly Better’ promise, our teams work tirelessly to provide ever-better world-class travel experiences,” said Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, in a January 21 announcement. “Every detail is carefully considered as we continually enhance and develop innovative products and services for our customers. This latest functionality on the Emirates app elevates the customer experience even before they step on the aircraft. Our customers can now browse the unmatched content on offer and create personal entertainment playlists at their leisure, and once comfortably settled in their seats on board, they simply synch and press play.”

The synching capability is currently available on more than 100 of Emirates’ 777s and will be gradually added across its fleet, including the airline’s A380s. Emirates offers entertainment in 44 languages and more than 100 movies are added each month. Emirates recently added its own Food and Wine Channels to give passengers a behind-

the-scenes look at how it creates its menus. The app also has menus and wine lists up to one month before departure date. In addition, the airline has expert-led LinkedIn Learning courses and uTalk language courses offering lessons for beginners. The Emirates app allows passengers to book flights, hotels, car rentals, tours and attractions.

The ice IFE app will first be available on the airline’s 777s


Lufthansa Technik to offer comprehensive services for JAL A350 fleet A ten-year Total Component Support (TCS®) services agreement between Lufthansa Technik and Japan Airlines (JAL) has been signed, covering the majority of components for the carrier’s A350 fleet. The airline currently holds 31 firm orders and 25 options for the aircraft. Maintenance, logistic services and programs for reliability monitoring and enhancement are also included as part of the deal. The two companies have already been working together for a number of years on activities such as TCS® services for JAL’s 787 fleet. Atsushi Maeda, Executive Officer of Procurement at JAL, said in a statement from the carrier: “The A350 constitutes a key element of the future Japan Airlines fleet. We believe this agreement will bring us even more stable and smooth component operations and the highest performance for our


customers. Furthermore, it provides us additional benefits such as maintenance cost optimization and cost control, while enhancing the long-term partnership with Lufthansa Technik.” Gerald Steinhoff, Vice President Corporate Sales Asia Pacific at Lufthansa Technik, also noted: “We are very proud and honored to extend our services with comprehensive MRO solutions for Japan Airlines’ A350 fleet. We will work very closely together as partners to ensure the highest safety and reliability. With this latest agreement, Lufthansa Technik has proven its position as leader for A350 component services in Asia-Pacific. This will also result in a further increase of A350 components allocated to our warehouses in the region.”


Armchair psychology?

Patterns not only have to be visually appealing; more and more often they also represent functional properties

The team at BOXMARK sheds some light on how the deep-rooted wants of airline customers play into the development and creation of today’s aircraft seating


he exterior design of a seat is not simply utilized for aesthetics – its appearance can indicate its functional properties and even the seat’s desirability. Austrian leather manufacturer BOXMARK encounters this firsthand in its work with aircraft seating. Lighter slimline seats, for example, can contribute to overall fuel savings for the airline and more freedom of movement for the passenger, but the person intended to sit on that surface could judge the upholstery as too thin, in turn casting doubt on the quality of the airline at large. This is an end result that BOXMARK strives to counteract. “One of our tasks as seat designers is to make the cushions appear more voluminous,” says Thorsten Buhl, Head of Design at BOXMARK. “The unique surface texture of genuine leather helps here, while special patterns can also achieve the desired psychological effect.” But it’s not just the patterns and colors that can affect an airline guest’s experience. The texture and feel of everything they come into contact with adds to or takes away from their perception of wellbeing. As Buhl notes: “Products need to pass the feeling test, because we can mishear and oversee, but there is no misinterpreted feeling we know.” These properties unconsciously influence the perceived quality of an object, especially in the fickle commercial airline market. Buhl estimates that the connection between humans and leather goes


beyond a simple appreciation for its sensory qualities. “This evolved, highly emotional relation cannot be achieved with imitations,” he insists. “Thus, there is no true alternative for genuine leather in this respect.” The designer, referencing a University of Wisconsin-Madison study called “To Have and To Hold: The Influence of Haptic Information on Product Judgments,“ adds that the touch, smell and sight of the material triggers emotions in the brain, influencing product preferences and, by extension, purchasing decisions. BOXMARK’s design department and its “human-centered approach” play key roles in the overall design process, steering the company and the industry at large toward a system more in keeping with the one that the automotive production industry has come to master. Buhl

There is an evolved, highly emotional relation between humans and genuine leather which is psychologically deeply rooted, according to BOXMARK

The “feeling test” is an important element when building trust with a consumer

says: “In the decades of cooperation with our automotive customers, we have acquired extensive experiences [and we understand] what needs to be especially considered in the interior designing process for vehicles. “With this know-how we can also offer valuable input for the aviation industry.”

Enabling all airlines to create extraordinary travel experiences

We have exciting news that will make it even easier to create extraordinary passenger experiences.

Visit us at AIME, 11-12 February, Booth 935. Overhead and Embedded IFE | In-seat Power | LED Lighting | Tape Replacement


The award-winning Skylounge seat from Safran Seating

The T seating space As the new year starts, aircraft seating companies reveal some enticing trends taking shape that will optimize the real estate around passenger wellness, comfort and technology by RICK LUNDSTROM 14  |  PAX TECH  |  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

he aircraft seating market is not only growing up – in many ways it is also growing out. While airlines once demanded seating be developed to fit the needs of increasingly dense aircraft cabins, additional challenges have since emerged. Seat makers must now design products to meet the needs of new cabin configurations, technological advances and aircraft with expanded capabilities and missions. Products that were suited for wide-body aircraft will now be needed for the newest of the narrow-body aircraft. Also, the growth in ultra-long-haul flights has airlines concerned about the wellbeing of their passengers, not only for their comfort but also for their health, fitness and hygiene. All this must be done while aircraft roll out of production hangars at a pace that has seldom been seen, causing seating companies to invest in new facilities in every corner of the world. As the new year began, several companies responded to queries from PAX Tech that examined their industry and its new challenges and trends, and their answers revealed a wide range of concerns. But with each challenge also holds new opportunity to not only gain sales but to also contribute to a historic time in the evolution of the aircraft cabin.

HAECO has 50 years of seating experience backing its Vector seat with new developments planned for Hamburg this spring

The Adagio Business Class seat from Aviointeriors

TUI is the newest customer for the Hawk seat from Mirus

“The growing focus on modernizing cabins will drive the commercial aircraft seating market growth in the year ahead.” – ERMANNO DE VECCHI, CEO OF AVIOINTERIORS

To fill those needs, manufacturers large and small have stepped up. Italy-based Aviointeriors ended the year with a full order book for its products, named in Italian style: Michelangelo for its Economy Class seats, Caravaggio for its Premium Economy and Adagio for its full-flat Business Class seat. The company has moved away from the romantic to the practical for its Skyrider 2.0 seat, designed for denser, short-haul Economy Class. Whether simple or complicated, Ermanno De Vecchi, CEO of Aviointeriors, says each product presents its own set of challenges. Aviointeriors is focusing on vital requirements, such as reducing weight for more efficient fuel consumption, increasing comfort for a positive customer experience, and IFE provisioning to accommodate larger screens or components for bring your own device (BYOD) passengers. To hold all this new hardware, airlines are also demanding seating with fewer components to lower maintenance costs, says De Vecchi. As if the diversity of cabins now flying isn’t enough of a challenge, De Vecchi said seat makers must also think outside the space they are tasked with filling and adapt products to the changing environment. “Airlines are adopting digital cabins that use Internet to integrate systems, making the most effective use of space and weight to provide a seamless connected experience,” he added. “Therefore, the growing focus on modernizing cabins will drive the commercial aircraft seating market growth in the year ahead.” HAECO Cabin Solutions President and Group Director Doug Rasmussen looked out over the industry at the start of this year and saw airlines and suppliers faced with some of the same challenges that have occupied their time for years. Retrofits and production have put a strain on seating companies trying to keep up with demand. New players in the market have made a difference, but those startups still face development and regulatory hurdles. With 50 years of experience under various company names (TIMCO and Brice), HAECO has the wisdom and perspective to look back while looking forward. “We understand the challenges presented by our growing backlog and will not take programs that we cannot successfully deliver,” Rasmussen said. HAECO’s newest product is the Vector Premium Seat which achieved its Type Standard Order (TSO) from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in April of last year. The product was made part of the Airbus catalog last summer, and at the end of 2018 HAECO upped the seating plant’s capacity and added to its engineering and manufacturing workforce (most notably Uwe Salzer, Vice President of Product Development, formerly of Recaro and ZIM FLUGSITZ). “In short, business is strong and we are eager to continue to grow as a seating supplier,” said Rasmussen. With its production and research team in place, HAECO is moving ahead with plans for the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg where it will unveil a new seating product. “We do not throw around the word ‘revolutionary’ lightly, but this product will be just that,” Rasmussen predicts. It was three years ago at that very event that one of those feisty start-ups, Mirus Aircraft Seating, shook the expo floor with a massive order from AirAsia that brought the airline’s  |  PAX TECH  |  15


LOT Polish selected the BL3710 Economy Class seat from Recaro

Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating (left), is shown here with LOT Polish Airlines CEO Rafał Milczarski at the announcement of the airline’s seating purchase

colorful CEO, Tony Fernandes, and an entourage of flight attendants to the signing table in Hamburg. In March of last year the first of the Hawk seats, designed with Formula 1 racing engineering, took to the skies on AirAsia’s A320s. The Economy Class seat is made from carbon fiber and aluminum and is tricked out in leather upholstery. “The new seat is also lighter and is expected to help AirAsia reduce fuel consumption by more than 70,000 liters and CO2 emissions by 200 tonnes per aircraft per year,” said a March 2018 release from the airline. More innovations are on the way, including a personal electronic device holder and a high-power 2A USB port. As PAX Tech was going to press, the company announced its newest customer in TUI Group airlines, which will be upgrading its 767 fleets in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands with the Hawk seat. The Hawk is made at Mirus headquarters in Norfolk, United Kingdom. In the year to come the company will be adding to the plant’s capabilities with carbon fiber and additive manufacturing. David Spalding, the Sales Manager at Mirus, sees the seating market changing from region to region. “We are seeing strong evidence of increased densification in some cases and increased cabin segmentation in others,” Spalding says. “In terms of densification, we see competing pressures to improve both cabin economics and passenger comfort/living space. We have a number of innovations in the pipeline that address this. “Technology remains a key source of trend, with BYODcentric streaming systems continuing to rise in popularity.” When the industry gathers in Hamburg this spring, Mirus plans to display two new seating platforms to complement the Hawk. “The first of these offers a truly game-changing space and comfort proposition,” says Spalding. 16  |  PAX TECH  |  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

“With the megatrends of digitalization, individualization and customization as well as health and fitness, the aircraft seating industry faces many opportunities to improve the flying experience for passengers in the future,” says Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder at Recaro Aircraft Seating. Recaro’s market share is sizeable, and the company’s past year was one of its most successful. In 2018 Recaro logged more than half a billion euros in sales for the first time in its history. It also manufactured nearly 140,000 seats for more than 40 airline customers, including eight of the 11 five-star airlines. To keep up with future demands, Recaro also launched a program called space2grow that will take the company’s expansion plans from its headquarters in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, to its sites in Świebodzin, Poland, and Qingdao, China. Recaro will add 7,500 square meters of production area in China, which includes four assembly lines with the capability of manufacturing 60,000 seats per year. Recaro also operates a dress cover production center called cut2dress in Poland, near its production site. The new center opened in November of last year. “In-house production opens up a much higher level of flexibility for us and our customers – even for changes within a current order,” says Hiller. “Moreover, it shortens both the supply chain and the lead time of customer projects.” No doubt some of the seats rolling off the lines will be the product of research and development – a seat that is a tool for communication as well as for comfort. These smart seats will be useful to both passengers and crew, predicts Hiller. “Passengers can control their seat in a smart way and connect their personal devices,” says Hiller. “With hygienic solutions for seat surfaces and personalized comfort, adaptable to temporary demands, passengers can work or relax and feel at home anywhere in the world.” Relaxation will be important in newly developed single-aisle aircraft, particularly those that will have new missions that were previously the sole purview of widebodies. The global aircraft market is both growing and maturing, said JeanChristophe Gaudeau, Safran Seats’ Vice President Marketing Director. The new capabilities of single-aisle aircraft to fly greater distances will place new seating designs in the front and rear of the cabin to help airlines better differentiate their inflight offerings. “More than ever before, Safran Seats needs to address airlines’ expectations to make seating products their own while delivering the right levels of operational performance,” said Gaudeau. Overall, the company sees the aircraft seating market remaining at a sustained pace of growth both in terms of line-fit as well as opportunities in cabin refurbishment for aircraft delivered in the past 10 years. Safran has a base of 150 airline customers. Its best seller in the past year has been its Z85 Economy Class seat, with orders for more than 51,000 units. In addition to the respect of its customers, Safran has also earned the admiration of industrial designers with the development of its Skylounge Business Class seat which was awarded the Janus Label of Excellence by the Institut Français du Design last year. Safran developed the Skylounge for the A330 and 787 aircraft. The lie-flat seat is 20 inches wide and outfitted with many options for customization and ergonomic comfort. The company is planning to show more seating improvements and design in the Business Class space this spring in Hamburg.


Aim for the sky SES-12 was successfully launched onboard a flight-proven SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket

O3b mPOWER will launch with seven satellites and is designed to provide cloud-scale connectivity through a “virtual fiber” network for application-aware services virtually anywhere in the world

Aditya Chatterjee, SES Networks’ Senior Vice President of Aero Market Solutions, shares his company’s strategy with IFC services providers and tech partners, plus the potential impact of nextgeneration GEO and MEO satellites

Aditya Chatterjee

Can you give a brief overview of how SES Networks – the data and connectivity business for satellite operator SES – is enhancing inflight connectivity and entertainment?

SES Networks is building a global aero network in an era of intelligent connectivity where each aircraft will be provided with a software-based, adaptive connectivity pipe that delivers tailored capacity to meet a passenger’s specific demands based on latency-sensitive and latency-friendly applications. Our multi-orbit, multi-band approach is aimed at satisfying the fast-growing demand for faster Internet speeds and bandwidth-hungry apps/services aboard commercial flights. Our scalable NGSO/GEO constellations and the ability to cater to current and future air travel requirements is at the heart of our global aero network. Leading IFEC services providers, including Global Eagle, Gogo, Panasonic, and Thales, and the airlines they support around the world, rely on SES Networks’ tailored satellite capacity across our global aero network, which is enabled by more than 70 SES satellites in orbit today.

How specifically will this global aero network enhance the passenger experience?

We have recently launched three high-throughput satellites (HTS) – SES-14, SES-15 and SES-12 – to help us deliver a telco-type model to the skies. The high throughput spot beams coupled with traditional comprehensive wide beam coverage over air travel routes will enable airlines to meet specific passenger demands with 18  |  PAX TECH  |  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

SATELLITE CHEAT SHEET Geostationary orbit (GEO): Located 22,000 miles above the earth NGSO: Non-geostationary orbit

SES-14 is empowering the Americas with highperformance connectivity providing premium in-air travel experiences for passengers

tailored connectivity. Live television broadcasts and live sports coverage are best delivered over wide beams while the high throughput beams are best suited to connect passengers, cockpit and crew with high-speed Internet access, email and web browsing services. Emerging apps, such as gaming and virtual reality, work best with lower latencies. This is where our O3b MEO constellation, and next-generation O3b mPOWER technology, is poised to take some of these services to a whole new level in flight, and we are already working with IFC service providers and technology partners to open the door to new possibilities and an enhanced passenger experience.


How important are nextgeneration IFC services for airlines flying today?

Inflight connectivity services are increasingly important. According to Gogo’s “2018 Global Traveler Research Study,” eight out of 10 airline passengers today want inflight Internet access and at least 30% say inflight Wi-Fi availability is a must-have when booking their flight. More passengers than ever before would choose connectivity over movies, frequent flyer miles and even seat class. Layers of tailored capacity making up a ubiquitous multi-band, multi-orbit solution that allows airlines and their passengers to connect in flight without any worries is the right approach, much like cellular service on land. Passengers

Medium earth orbit (MEO): Located 5,000 miles above the earth Low earth orbit (LEO): Located 400 to 1,000 miles above the earth

and crew simply want to turn on their smartphones and tablets and connect. Airlines are also exploring new ways to drive better operational efficiencies with their connected aircraft. Today our O3b MEO fleet is the only NGSO constellation delivering low latency, commercial broadband services across the globe for customers on the ground and at sea. It has absolutely redefined connectivity aboard cruise ships, where passengers can now enjoy ultra-highspeed connectivity services. A new level of connectivity in the skies is next up, as we work closely with leading antenna solutions innovators to investigate and test cutting-edge terminal technologies that will bring the ultra-low latency and ultra-high throughput of our O3b MEO constellation to the aero market.

How is SES Networks addressing the connected aircraft both for passengers and for airline operations?

The connected aircraft enables airlines to obtain better real-time information and communications for improved fleet management and higher standards of safety; to monitor and manage fuel consumption; and even to track what meals, snacks and beverages passengers are consuming on certain travel routes. For example, pilots aboard connected aircraft can review flight path weather conditions in real time. That accurate weather data can allow pilots and airlines to avoid costly reroutes and unpleasant

turbulence – boosting the bottom line with fuel savings and passenger satisfaction. When passengers use connectivity to select entertainment or to order food in flight, airlines are beginning to use predictive analytics to eliminate wasted food, drinks and retail products by zeroing in on exactly what passengers want. Airlines can accurately predict what menu items will and won’t be ordered – allowing them to refine their retail and meal inventories to cut waste and expense dramatically. By cutting the number of uneaten meals and snacks alone, airlines can cut costs and drive efficiencies to all new levels.

What’s ahead for SES Networks?

We are bringing more multi-orbit, multi-band capacity to market, with the launch of SES-17 and the O3b mPOWER constellation that are scheduled for 2021. SES-17 is an HTS satellite that will support Thales’ FlytLIVE inflight connectivity solution. Our GEO HTS capabilities combined with our O3b mPOWER global constellation will be the cornerstone of our intelligent connectivity. We are very excited SES Networks will be enabling much of the innovation that is opening up whole new possibilities for inflight retail, entertainment and communications – everything it takes to bring ground-like connectivity to the skies.  |  PAX TECH  |  19



Born at the tail end of the 20th century, KID-Systeme has since grown into an innovator in the aviation power, connectivity and safety markets. With a new solution ready for its inflight debut and more already flying, there’s no turning back for this ambitious and creative team by RACHEL DEBLING


irbus subsidiary KIDSysteme is marking an important – and increasingly rare – milestone this year: 20 prosperous years in business. Fittingly, this anniversary coincides perfectly with another landmark industry occasion – in 2019, Aircraft Interiors Expo is also celebrating two decades in the business of promoting the aerospace industry on a grand and international scale. Since its inception in 1999, KIDSysteme has grown in size and scope to its current iteration in which it not only manufactures and supplies in-seat power systems to the passenger and corporate aircraft sector but also a selection of additional products that address the growing onboard safety and security requirements for aircraft. Its expanded portfolio includes connectivity systems and onboard surveillance monitoring equipment, and the company proudly counts Airbus, Boeing and Embraer as customers. But all of this growth has to start somewhere. The technology itself is 20  |  PAX TECH  |  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

The KID-Systeme Universal Video Surveillance System product family

The Universal Video Surveillance System’s cargo camera (top) and cabin camera (right)

obviously the driving factor and catalyst for KID-Systeme’s success, but it’s the people who put the innovations its talented team creates into the hands of aircraft manufacturers and airlines around the world who are on the frontlines of the company’s prosperity.

Johannes Ferstl, Head of Product Marketing and Customer Programs at KID-Systeme, promotes the company’s products through several different pillars, with focuses on direct sales; marketing via exhibitions, editorial and influencers; working hand-in-hand with



The proper way to pronounce KID-Systeme is by spelling out the first word – K-I-D – and not as you would a synonym for “child,” an honest mistake many newcomers to the industry make, says Muente. The KID stands for “Kabinen-Interkommunikations-Datensysteme” in German, meaning “cabin intercommunication data system.”

customers to deliver bespoke versions of its products; and social media and other channels, a small but growing faction that will only continue to progress in Ferstl’s estimation. (“I think the time has passed by in which it was a probability [for a business to succeed] without social media,” he admits.) Two products that the KID-Systeme team has been focusing much of its marketing attention on as of late are the CLIP Mount USB System and the Universal Video Surveillance System, both of which were highlighted at the company’s stand at APEX Boston this past September, attracting attention across the industry. The lightweight and easy-to-use CLIP system – characteristics that can be verified by the PAX Tech team, who tested the product in Boston – provides more than just a source of power, a feature most travelers have come to expect when taking their seat on an aircraft. According to KID-Systeme, the true benefit lies in what it offers the airlines that decide to switch out their fully hardwired systems for the snapin solution. “There are two simple figures [that show the product’s benefits]: installation time reduced by 80% and maintenance replacement time by 85%,” Ferstl says proudly, noting that the passenger experience was not the focal point as they began developing and marketing the power system, for the same reason listed above: inflight power is now seen as a necessity, not an extra, for seasoned fliers. “Power is no longer a differentiator,” agrees Maren Muente, Manager, Communications and Events at KIDSysteme. “It has become more and more convenient in standard aircraft so we


need to find solutions in the industry on how to integrate it into the entire operational network.” The simple design of the CLIP system, she says, allows just that. Though the product isn’t currently flying (KID-Systeme wanted to be the first to market), the company is now in the process of generating contracts for a launch customer, thanks to the interest generated from the solution’s demonstrations in Boston. Attendees of AIME and MRO Dubai will also have an opportunity to feel the difference themselves: the KID-Systeme booth will have samples on hand for interested parties to hold, giving them an opportunity to literally “weigh” the option. KID-Systeme has built a reputation on in-seat power, but the other facets of its business are continuing to grow. One example is its Universal Video Surveillance System, a solution that allows up to 40 cameras to be installed on an aircraft to observe the baggage compartment and monitor cabin activities. Since the system is built with Wi-Fi connectivity, the product can also provide live streaming to the ground. This new offering has much potential, especially in the Middle East market, which is rapidly changing to a “surveilled” region, Ferstl explains. And since it’s already flying, he stresses this level of control is not just a pipe dream. “We had production line-fit installations for Boeing, even retrofit installations on some airlines,” he explains. “Finally – and this is something new and differentiating from many other products

– we have connectivity.” But even in this tech-driven and plugged-in age, not everyone may be open to such a high level of surveillance. During the planning stages of the product, KID-Systeme’s internal discussions and research revealed an approximately 50-50 split for and against in-cabin surveillance, both from airlines and passengers. Still, with regulations rapidly changing each year to increase inflight safety, Ferstl sees this system as the company’s launch into a business that is only expanding. As he states: “My personal opinion is that governmental laws and rules will change the business. It’s quite similar to the entire data discussion. Obviously, a lot of people don’t want to have this data-based business around them, but it’s no longer a possibility to say no due to the fact that it is all around us already.” Muente also points out that the system’s efficacy and popularity will be proven as it continues to fly and more feedback is collected. She notes that having cameras in the cabin can help create a sense of calm while discouraging unruliness, and can even benefit an airline’s brand by showing it truly cares about the safety and comfort of its guests. “These airlines increase operational excellence from becoming more safe,” she notes. To speak with KID-Systeme’s team and to learn more about these and other products, visit AIME and MRO Middle East February 11 and 12, stand 840 in the Inflight Pavilion.

The CLIP Mount system (double mount version seen here) can reduce installation time by up to 80%

A look at the front of KID-Systeme’s ACP


HELP US HONOR THE BEST IN THE BIZ From onboard caterers to amenity programs, and from connectivity to the latest in aircraft cabins, the PAX International Readership Awards will once again recognize those in the industry that stand out from the crowd. The award winners will be announced on April 3rd, 2019 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg. Deadline to vote is March 1, 2019. Award winners will be featured in a special spread in PAX International, as well as in our e-Newsletter.

Don’t miss your chance. Make your voice heard.




Vive la France! Business France is showcasing an array of its aviation industry members at this year’s AIME and MRO Middle East. PAX Tech spoke to a handful of returning companies in the hope of finding out what all the – dare we say – je ne sais quoi is about by RACHEL DEBLING

Turbine and engine repair are among the services offered by companies in this year’s French Pavilion.



usiness France, the national agency that supports the international promotion of the French economy, is returning to AIME and MRO Middle East this February for its eighth appearance. According to the organization, a massive 85% of French aerospace activity is in exports, making it a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Samantha Douarin, Aerospace Project Manager at Business France, understands the importance of her home country’s role in the aviation industry and says she believes its success lies in its ability to cater to the needs of airlines and aircraft manufacturers around the world. “France has a strong reputation when it comes to aircraft interiors and aerospace maintenance,” she explains. “French specialists are able to supply products and services perfectly suited to the needs of airlines and MRO centers.” With this enterprising spirit in mind, Business France is welcoming more than 20 homegrown exhibitors to the French Pavilion at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 11 to 12 as part of the annual aerospace expo. Many are returning companies, eager to bank on the exposure that the prime location and organization-led promotions bring.

A Dedienne Aerospace employee performs an axle jack load test


“This is a historical cooperation,” says Thomas Martinez, Aerospace Sales Manager for ADHETEC in the Middle East, a company that manufactures technical self-adhesive films for the aeronautical market, among others. “We’ve got good visibility thanks the French Pavilion, and their organization is always well coordinated.” 2019’s show marks the third year they will be returning to showcase their wares and meet with international partners and customers. ADHETEC is gearing up to present ADHESKIN®, its new range of interior self-adhesive decorative foil that can be used in aircraft galleys, lavatories or on partitions. The product will be displayed in partnership with Aviointeriors on a Business Class seat decorated with the high-tech ADHESKIN® foil. “This is one of the main advantages of this technology: we can deliver it as a kit on a pre-cut shape adapted to the interior parts without a minimum order quantity and on a short lead time,” Martinez adds. With approximately a third of its business conducted abroad, ADHETEC recognizes the value in international events such as this. “The French industry is still growing thanks the OEM activity,” he notes.


Aircraft tooling is one of Dedienne’s services

Dedienne’s LEAP-1B engine stands

Patrick Fretelliere, Head of Sales, Equipment and Systems at LATECOERE, also appreciates the value of the event. He will be attending the show with his company for the fourth time, but it is by far not his first rodeo – he has personally had a presence on the expo floor since 2008 when he was with Zodiac Inflight. The decision to be a part of the French Pavilion was made based on the exposure it will offer LATECOERE, says Fretelliere. “[Up until this year], we had our own booth within the IFE business area,” he explains. “LATECOERE activities, combined with the decrease of IFE space, pushed us to revisit our participation strategy. Being part of the French Pavilion looks much more convenient for us.” The division that Fretelliere leads deals mainly with airborne video systems, so visitors to the pavilion can expect to encounter a wide variety of this equipment for aerospace use, including cabin and cargo surveillance cameras, as well as entertainment and ground operation assistance camera systems. (“We are the worldwide leader for external cameras,” he notes.) Ahead for his company this year are innovative technologies such as 360° cameras and aircraft bubble surrounding vision – areas that he and his team are “pushing hard” – and the extension of HD definition to its current systems.  |  PAX TECH  |  25

EVENTS operations), its employees are coming together to represent their roots in the 2019 French Pavilion. (Dedienne’s first office opened in France more than 75 years ago, and strong relationships with French customers such as Air France and Safran Aircraft Engine have helped to anchor the company in its birthplace.) The Middle East is an especially burgeoning market for the company – it began operations at Dubai Airport Free Zone in 2013 – and Dedienne continues to look toward this sector as an important region in which to strengthen its presence. At this show in particular, they will be highlighting the wide variety of services and products available through their international locations. TESTIA’s ThicknessTool in action on an aircraft “Our aim is also to focus on customer services and be able to propose 360° tooling services solutions that will perfectly fit our customer’s Though LATECOERE is happy with its status within France, needs,” Dedienne tells PAX. “Dedienne AeroEurope and the international stage, Fretelliere extends that space can manage the entire tooling inventory and keep the “pushing hard” attitude to its worldwide goals. “We are dealing tooling always serviceable. Reliable, efficient and responsive, with OEMs, MROs and worldwide airlines … France and our Customer Services team is also deployed in the Middle East Europe is our nearest market but we stand no chance if we do in order to support our local customers with optimal services not address the worldwide market,” he concedes. and solutions for every situation: calibration, repair, upgrade, load tests, training, spare parts, leasing solutions, etc.” WEARE GROUP Looking to the future, both for Dedienne and the industry Exhibiting for the second time at AIME and MRO Dubai, at large, the company has its bets hedged on the digital WeAre Group (also known as WeAre Aerospace) returns to the revolution that is already engulfing most industries. But it show, as most exhibitors do, to make a stake in the lucrative feels it is prepared. Middle East market. The French group of companies, rooted in “In 2019, we will continue our development in line with our Toulouse and serving Airbus and others in the aerospace defined strategy,” Dedienne explains. “We will focus on the industry from its international locations, including its Gulf opening of new facilities and service centers to strengthen our base in Dubai, secured a spot in this year’s French Pavilion to worldwide presence [and we] will consolidate our relationships better position themselves in this region. with prestigious airlines and OEMs to expand our market Providing certified spare part production, including turning, shares.” The company also hints at a big announcement in milling, global finishing, subassembly, and reverse engineering upcoming months, so be sure to watch this space for more. and design optimization, WeAre is looking toward another up-and-coming sector that has been gaining traction in recent TESTIA years and shows no signs of slowing down. “Un pour tous, et tous pour un!” “One of the biggest innovations and trends in the interiors/ That’s what Teddy Canadas, Chief Commercial Officer of MRO landscape is the introduction of 3D printing/additive TESTIA, says of the reason his company chooses to participate manufacturing to enable on-demand manufacturing of spare in the AIME and MRO Middle East French Pavilion. (Angloparts through a 3D digital library,” the company explains, phones may be more familiar with its English counterpart: “All eventually eliminating the need for physical inventory. WeAre for one, and one for all!”) He returns with his company time recognizes there are hurdles in the additive manufacturing and time again to the Dubai event because of the volume of realm, such as the 3D digital CAD files of the spare parts and business they already do in the region – a territory in which the number of certified 3D printing materials, but the company they plan to grow even more through the introduction a is working to address these head-on. yet-to-be-determined future facility. TESTIA specializes in aerostructure inspections tools for DEDIENNE AEROSPACE the MRO industry, such as the award-winning ThicknessTool, One company that has been with the expo since it began a a device that divides inspection times – up to 20 times shorter decade ago is Dedienne Aerospace, a business that specializes in some instances. (“Our MRO-customers love it!” shares in aerospace maintenance tooling for both the commercial and Canadas.) New product launches are planned for the coming defense markets. With international locations in North year, but in the meantime TESTIA is looking far into the America, the Middle East, Asia and, of course, Europe, the future to get ahead of what customers will be expecting annual Dubai event is a must-exhibit for the Dedienne team. from suppliers. And though they are now spread across the globe (“We feel “Structure,” Canadas says when asked about what is to come before all like an international company and we don’t really for the industry. “We talk a lot about systems. And I think now belong to one country more than another,” Dedienne reps told is the time to ‘make structure talk.’ Our strategy is to enable our PAX Tech, as 80% of its total turnover is thanks to international customer to gain full traceability, modularity and continuity of 26  |  PAX TECH  |  JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2019

their structural data.” At their booth in the French Pavilion, TESTIA reps will be on hand to talk about and demo their current product line – and to discuss what’s in store for the company and its customers in the years to come.


“[Our] main reason for coming back is the continuous growth of the airlines and MROs in the Middle East area, which leads to more business opportunities,” notes Roland Chemama, President of GMI Aero, another business taking a spot in this year’s French Pavilion and one that is marking its third year as exhibitors at the show. “MRO Dubai provides good access to those end users for our innovative products and services.” What drew Chemama to this section of the show floor is that its organization helps ease some of the burden a small or medium enterprise experiences when attempting to participate in shows abroad. “[Business France] really supported us in every sense, making our mission much easier and more efficient,” he recalls. “Secondly, participating in a national pavilion increases the visibility of our products, thanks to the combined attraction of commercial visitors from all member companies. This is especially the case with the French Pavilion, given the existence of remarkable aeronautical companies in its synthesis.” With more than 30 years of experience, GMI Aero’s wheelhouse is innovative bonded composite repair equipment and service, which is exactly what they will be displaying for customers new and old at their booth this February. Its reps will be on hand to discuss its latest solutions targeting allcomposite aircraft repairs (namely A350 and 787) which, according to Chemama, enable the reduction of maintenance cost and repair turnaround time. He adds: “Of course, the latest features of our ANITA EZ hot bonders and Leslie composite repair toolkit will be equally promoted, targeting both legacy and state-of-the-art aircraft.” Chemama and the GMI Aero team see much value in connecting with and representing French companies at international events such as this. “The aeronautical sector, both civil and military, is really strong in France so, traditionally, a big part of our business concerns interaction with French entities,” he points out. “At the same time, the global market is increasing, while demanding more innovative solutions, which is really the main GMI strong point.” Continuous turnover is also a reality for the company, a change that is seen equally in both French business and abroad. The future holds a lot of promise for GMI Aero. Chemama notes that the company is shifting from a business model that

French specialists are able to supply products and services perfectly suited to the needs of airlines and MRO centers.” SAMANTHA DOUARIN, AEROSPACE PROJECT MANAGER AT BUSINESS FRANCE

ADHESKIN® in use in a 737 lavatory

improves production to one that focuses more on integration into the global market – what he refers to as “Industry 4.0.” “The MRO landscape will be inevitably influenced by this trend and we will have to face the corresponding challenges,” he says, adding: “GMI is working to this end by developing all required software and hardware interfaces to permit full integration of our innovative repair tools into this global network, through the so-called ANITA 4.0,” an upgraded hot bonder with Wi-Fi connectivity that will provide online reporting of curing data toward international engineering, quality assurance or certification authorities around the world. Want more information on these or other companies participating in the French Pavilion? Head to or, or attend the event in person from February 11 to 12 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

TESTIA’s award-winning ThicknessTool  |  PAX TECH  |  27


High-flying maintenance Major players in the MRO industry are expanding their operations – but this buoyant sector isn’t without some challenges ahead by MARY JANE PITTILLA


t’s been an exciting year for the leading MRO companies. As the number of passengers increases globally, more airline operators and aircraft are coming into service, and this steady upswing paves the way for the potential growth of the MRO sector all around the world. Take Turkish Technic, part of Turkish Airlines group, one of the world’s leading aviation service providers. It offers comprehensive MRO, modification and reconfiguration services with a workforce of 8,500 staff at facilities in Istanbul Ataturk Airport, Sabiha Gokcen Airport and new Istanbul Airport. One of the highlights of 2018 was the new, state-of-the-art Istanbul Airport, which started its operations on October 29. “Having been built where two continents meet, this airport is a gift to Turkish civil aviation and therefore to Turkish Technic,” says Ahmet Karaman, CEO of Turkish Technic. “We started providing line maintenance services from our new hub with a commitment to the highest quality standards. While we can accommodate and provide MRO services to eight wide-body and 18 narrow-body aircraft in our Sabiha Gokcen and Ataturk Airport hangars combined, the new Istanbul Airport MRO facility will be meeting the needs of 19 wide-body and 26 narrow-body aircraft simultaneously.” Spelling out the company’s big ambitions, he continues: “With the MRO facilities at the new Istanbul Airport, our extensive in-house capabilities and the team of experts around the clock, we continue to aspire to be in the top five MRO companies in the world.”

Turkish Technic’s Istanbul New Airport MRO facility will be simultaneously meeting the needs of 19 wide-body and 26 narrow-body aircraft


International investment initiatives

Karaman describes 2018 as an “excellent” year for Turkish Technic, with Asia and the Middle East as its fastest-growing markets. “Additionally, there has been an ongoing increase in third-party business volume with an average of 14% in the last 12 years and we are planning to take international investment initiatives to support this growth, especially in the U.S. and Asia.” He is optimistic about the future potential of the MRO industry. Turkey’s total commercial fleet has increased dramatically, he notes, with an annual average growth rate of 9.2% in the last decade, from 209 aircraft to 500. Currently, Turkish Airlines has a fleet of 330 aircraft and will be reaching 500 by 2023. This growth in fleet also means growth in maintenance, repair and overhaul services. However, there are challenges ahead in the fast-evolving aviation market, as Karaman explains: “The birth of newgeneration aircraft triggered the MRO industry to enter a new era, in which composite materials utilized for aircraft structure are ever-changing. In order to keep up with these changes, the leaders of the MRO industry have to take necessary steps to train their staff, encourage innovation and find the best suppliers to meet their demands. In addition, gaining the upper hand in the market by not only manufacturing aircraft materials but also providing services for the aftermarket, the OEMs present a challenge for the future of the MRO industry.” (Also see Diehl Aviation sidebar, page 30.)

Like Turkish Technic, StandardAero, headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, reports a successful year of expansion. One of the world’s largest independent providers of MRO services, StandardAero has 37 primary facilities with sales offices on five continents and 6,000 employees. It services 41 aircraft engine platforms and is authorized by the world’s leading aircraft engine manufacturers. Since 2017, the company has been on an expansion trail and has completed four acquisitions: Jet Aviation Specialists (JAS), PAS Technologies, Lockheed Martin Kelly Aviation Center (facilities and equipment) and Vector Aerospace, more than doubling its facilities and expanding component repairs and StandardAero expects to turboprop engine MRO. And it was awarded new large employ 200 to 300 new commercial engine MRO contracts by the world’s largest technicians over the next 12 to18 months in its new Cincinnati aircraft engine OEMs. component repair facility In addition to these acquisitions, StandardAero has been expanding facilities by opening a new 206,000-square-foot Turning to the coming year, Russell Ford, Chairman and component repair facility, adjacent to its 236,000-square-foot CEO of StandardAero, says: “2019 will be another year of facility in Cincinnati, nearly doubling capacity to accommodate tremendous growth as we will begin to see the incremental rapid growth in customer demands during 2018 and beyond. revenues from several new, long-term, large engine MRO The facility will accommodate component repair growth on programs that we won last year and have completed standing new and legacy platforms and commercial aircraft engine up new facilities, tooling and training to increase our revenues component repair, as well as larger components. Once fully via the increased volume and shop capacity. We also have some operational, StandardAero expects to employ 200 to 300 new very exciting potential new programs that we are bidding in technicians over the next 12 to 18 months in the components our military, business aviation and commercial divisions divisions alone. in 2019.” Ford points to a buoyant outlook for the MRO industry. “We Major contract award believe that currently low fuel costs, healthy Western econoDuring 2018, StandardAero also increased component mies and high-growth emerging country economies are driving repair shop capacity by an additional 60,000 square feet with expansions of facilities in Hillsboro (Ohio) and team of ouse capabilities and c With its extensive in-h the clock, Turkish Techni Miami. Investment to fund these expansions will exceed experts available around MRO companies in the world five aspires to be in the top US$20 million. In a major contract award during 2018, Rolls-Royce designated StandardAero as the Rolls-Royce end-of-life engine maintenance service partner for engines that are expected to remain in commercial airline service until the year 2040. The company also has capacity available for incremental engine programs, and it is industrializing a second large facility in Winnipeg to accommodate capacity requirements from GE and operators of CFM56 and CF34 engines.  |  PAX TECH  |  29

MRO demand for air travel, which in turn drives demand for maintenance. Also, deliveries and ensuing maintenance needs of next-generation aircraft will create capacity constraints, thereby creating opportunity for companies willing and able to make investments in capacity and capability – aligned with and supporting OEM requirements – as StandardAero has demonstrated, [which] will continue StandardAero to drive growth in the MRO industry.” authorized by services 41 aircraft engin e platforms an the world’s lea d is Keeping up with growing customer ding aircraft engine manuf acturers demands is the biggest challenge, Ford believes. There are also challenges regarding supporting the legacy engines. As more older aircraft are approved by Jordan Civil Aviation retired, this will lead to increased availability of used engine Regulatory Commission (CARC) under the number parts, which will help facilitate some of the customer requireCARC.AMO.05. ments on cost. Aircraft retirement will also increase the need “We deliver complete aviation solutions, focusing on for creative, customized maintenance solutions for certain effective, high-quality and value-added services,” says Malek customers, such as with airlines meeting lease return condiSmadi, Commercial and Business Development Manager. The tions and lessors/owners retaining asset value and re-marketcompany provides line and base maintenance for 737ability to the next tier of operators – which is StandardAero’s 200/300/400/500, C-130 (L382), T53 engine repair and strength, notes Ford. overhaul and Agusta AW139 light maintenance. JAC’s maintenance services also include the JT8D, CFM56 Value-added services and Allison T56-7/15, removal/installation, synchronization For Middle Eastern MRO specialist Jordan Aeronauticaland ground run. Other general maintenance services such as systems Company (JAC), 2018 has been a good year. JAC is structure repair, wheels and brakes, non-destructive testing located in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of (NDT) and interior cabin services are also available. Jordan. Its facility is situated in Marka Amman Civil Airport. “We have done well in the past year and the majority of our JAC is an Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) efforts were from the African countries covering areas of C130 specializing in aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul and and 737 heavy maintenance,” Smadi says.

DIEHL AVIATION RAMPS UP AFTERMARKET ACTIVITY Diehl Aviation is not an MRO service provider, but serves the after-sales market with customer services products as well as cabin retrofit solutions. The rapidly growing company has its corporate head offices in Laupheim, Germany, which is also its biggest engineering and manufacturing site. Other major sites in Germany are Hamburg, Überlingen, Frankfurt, Nuremberg, Gilching and Dresden, as well as Nýirbátor in Hungary. Diehl Aviation’s customer services organization is represented worldwide by customer service centers in Toulouse, France, for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; in Sterrett (Alabama), U.S., for the Americas; and in Singapore for the Asia-Pacific region. In addition, Diehl Aviation maintains commercial representations in several business hubs worldwide, as well as onsite support (OSS) stations at OEM customer final assembly sites in Europe, North America and China. Diehl Aviation has enhanced its after-sales activities considerably over the last few years. For example, in 2018 a new OSS station was established in Charleston (South Carolina), U.S., which serves as interface between Boeing’s 787 final assembly in Charleston and Diehl Aviation’s industrial organization, while a previously opened OSS station in Montreal, Canada, as well as the new customer service center in Singapore have gained momentum.


As for cabin retrofit solutions, the most recent highlight was the first delivery of the SKYPAX monument – a highdensity galley-lavatory solution for single-aisle Dr Thomas Stüger, Lufthansa Technik board member (left), aircraft – to its partand Rainer von Borstel, Diehl ner, Lufthansa Technik, Aviation CEO, at the delivery of the first SKYPAX monument in November 2018. Diehl Aviation has maintained its position as first tier supplier in the aerospace industry, with about €1.5 billion (US$1.73 billion) annual turnover and more than 5,500 employees worldwide, following a phase of strong growth over the last decade. The growth since 2008 was driven both by acquisitions and organically, primarily by the A350 XWB production ramp-up. In terms of world regions, Diehl Aviation is following the industry’s trends, both via its OEM customers and by its retrofit business conducted directly with airlines. The hotspot for future growth is the Asia-Pacific region, according to the firm.

WELCOME ON BOARD. Defining the future of the global passenger experience industry. Four leading events, one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail offerings and software technology to create the ultimate passenger experience. Register at

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The Middle East welcomes The Mercurys A relaxing evening in the UAE capital gave visitors to 2018’s SIAL Middle East a chance to see some of the award-winning innovations in the travel catering industry by RICK LUNDSTROM


pleasant evening of dining, sipping Argentinian wine from Trapiche, and laughter kicked off events in the UAE capital December 10 as attendees of 2018’s SIAL Middle began their week recognizing the contributions of companies in the travel catering industry for the 37th Mercury Awards. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was a striking blue and white presence across the water from the Shangri-La Hotel where this year’s awards were held, and a crescent moon hung high in the sky above the festivities. Throughout the evening, winners in five categories received a gold-plated statue bearing the likeness of the Roman god whose name inspired the awards while the event’s host, Jeremy Clark, kept the atmosphere light and jovial. This year, judges received a full slate of entries to evaluate. In addition to the Mercurys, PAX International honored the efforts of Etihad Airways to raise awareness and combat the depletion of wildlife through its association with the Born Free Foundation, a partnership now going into its fourth year. For its efforts, the airline received this year’s PAX International Pay it Forward Award. This year, judges picked the best from a field of more 60 entries, which was a 10% increase from the previous year. Judges for the 2018 Mercury Awards were Jeremy Clark, Mirko Brenzinger, Werner Kimmeringer, Simon Heppner, George Banks, Mark Tazzioli, Keerthi Hapugasdeniya, Mike Fishburn and Stephanie Taylor. But the stars of the show were the innovative products that judges awarded from a selection of finalists. Below are the winners of the 2018 Mercury Awards. Food Product — Savory: ZADI Dates and Saudi Airlines Catering for its salad dressings infused with the flavor of dates

CATEGORY ONE: AIRLINE MEAL Airline Meal — Economy Class: Tops Foods for its Vegan Ambient Lasagne

Food Product — Sweet: Savarin for its frozen desserts with single pop-out action and flowing sauce topping

CATEGORY TWO: SERVICE CONCEPT Service Concept — Economy Class: D&F Marketing for its warm cookie service for Delta Air Lines

CATEGORY FOUR: BEVERAGE Winner: Fibs for its Virgin Gin and tonic non-alcoholic cocktail in two flavors

Highly Commended Certificate: SATS Ltd for its SATS Culinary Consultant’s Panel

CATEGORY FIVE: EQUIPMENT Equipment — Passenger: Kaelis for its beverage pot developed with British Airways, and Sola Cutlery Netherlands for its Durban hollow handle design

Service Concept — Premium Class: En Route International for its Business Class cheese service, a selection of cheeses and a garnish packaged to improve crew handling and enhance shelf life CATEGORY THREE: FOOD PRODUCT Food Product — Snack: Beemster for its “Beemster Bun” Premium Cheese Snack based on the traditional Dutch sausage roll Highly Commended Certificate: Mr. Lee’s Pure Foods Co. for its healthy gourmet snacks


Highly Commended Certificate: WESSCO International for its Casper Bedding for American Airlines’ long-haul and transcontinental routes Highly Commended Certificate: RMT Global Partners and United Airlines for the airline’s dessert bowl and pre-departure glass on the airline’s Polaris Service Equipment — Production: Diversey for its Remote Guidance diagnosing technology for iOS and Android smart phones


1 2019 APRIL


A ls

o a t te n d

Immerse yourself in new ideas, innovative solutions and the next steps in the evolution of passenger experiences, onboard environments and services.


Hosted by:

Organised by:

World Travel Catering & Onboard Services 2 - 4 APRIL 2019

2 – 4 April 2019 Hamburg Messe, Germany

2 – 4 April 2019


Looking south Following the announcement of plans for a U.S. repair center in the Greater Miami Area – often called “the Capital of Latin America” – and the 2018 opening of its new UK facility, Leki Aviation finds itself squarely at the crossroads of two important markets by RICK LUNDSTROM


eki Aviation bills itself as “Your 360 Degrees of Fleet Support,” and over the last year, the Danish company has expanded its reach and influence to important latitudes and longitudes to fulfill that claim. To complement its extensive online shop, Leki Aviation threw the switch in December on a new Leki Tech repair facility in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in the Greater Miami area. The new repair facility is located just north of Miami International Airport, the 10th busiest airport in the United States and a stop for airlines throughout Central and South America. The Leki Tech operation in the Sunshine State is an FAA-, EASE- and TCCA-approved 145 facility that can handle a wide variety of repair needs. At the same time, the company is consolidating its operations, integrating its United Kingdom and United States businesses with its main enterprise in Denmark. “With the vision of consolidation and stronger implementation of our services, the repair capabilities are now being brought in under the Leki Aviation umbrella and offered in our new repair facility,” said Peter Kjeldsen, COO of Leki Group, in the December 18 announcement.


Leki Aviation’s new repair facility in Florida comes on the heels of the opening of its 30,000-squarefoot shop in the United Kingdom, shown here

Leki also completed another milestone in fall of 2018 with the purchase a new 30,000-squarefoot shop in Tangmere, West Sussex, giving it an important foothold in the United Kingdom and aiding its business as the country enters a post-Brexit environment. In November, its employees went to work in the new facility, complete with enhanced digital capabilities and a fully automated, robotically controlled warehouse. The United Kingdom is familiar territory for the company. Leki has been performing maintenance in the country through its sister firm, 25+ Repair Centre, for more than 10 years. “The entire key word is the ‘consolidation,’ which this entire process brings with it,” said Odin Sohrabi, who works in Marketing and Communications for Leki, on the merging of company operations. With the two divisions together, he said Leki Aviation and Leki Tech have expanded and enhanced services. Not only do the new facilities give the company a physical presence in important markets, the consolidation of services adds value to the company’s supply chain.

Peter Kjeldsen, COO of Leki Group

“Having the broad service concept for spare part support, and now further enhanced by the repair capabilities, gives the customer the possibility for even further optimizing their own supply chain management and thereby reducing movement and the costs associated,” says Sohrabi. Representatives from Leki’s operations in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. will be under one roof to discuss the company’s capabilities at stand 545 at Aircraft Interiors Middle East February 11 and 12.

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Shevantha Weerasekera

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BIGGER AND BETTER digEcor is entering the new year with a new attitude and look as its most recent acquisition reintroduces the company as a new entity: Burrana by RACHEL DEBLING

The former Rockwell Collins’ PAVES family is part of the new Burrana product line


he turn of the calendar from 2018 to 2019 brought with it a highly anticipated revelation from digEcor. On January 22, the company announced it had successfully finalized its acquisition of Collins Aerospace’s commercial IFE business and unveiled the subsequent rebranding of the new entity as Burrana. The transition, which began via talks with Rockwell Collins prior to its 2018 acquisition by United Technologies, was supported by JW Hill Capital, a Newport Beach, California-based private equity firm. The deal brings together the former Rockwell Collins’ PAVES family, PAVES™ On-demand, Total Entertainment System (TES), Enhanced Total Entertainment System (ETES) and content services with digEcor’s GLIDE, Engage, Power, PSS and Lighting products. “Our brand is the symbol of our heritage as a pioneer and market leader in inflight entertainment,” said a statement from David Withers, Burrana’s Chief Executive Officer, on the company’s website ( “To our customers, it embodies a team of professionals dedicated to creating a quality experience for passengers. To our employees, it represents our commit-


ment to providing innovative solutions that align with our values.” Withers explained the rationale behind the company’s new identity in an announcement on the day of the reveal, saying that Burrana, an indigenous Australian word meaning “to fly,” perfectly aligns with the new company’s vision. “It is the history of innovation that is the common thread that binds these two organizations together as Burrana, and the main driver for the acquisition,” he noted. Speaking with PAX Tech in a January 24 email, Withers said that the workforces from both organizations have been merged along with their brands, resulting in a team that will continue to grow as the company expands globally. Its global presence remains as is, he goes on to say, with facilities in the U.S., UK, France, Mexico, Australia and China. “Business operations will be status quo for now as we focus on transitioning our customers, suppliers and partners across to the new business and ensuring our focus is on offering excellent customer service to meet the market needs,” he added. When asked by PAX Tech about what is ahead for the industry at large, he notes that the technology Burrana specializes in it isn’t slowing down in popularity any time soon. “As for the

David Withers, CEO of Burrana

IFE industry in the near future, there are some interesting trends, particularly the increased adoption of seatback IFE in favor of other IFE solutions on narrowbody aircraft,” Withers predicts. Burrana’s global operations will serve an installed base of more than 1,400 planes and 300 customers which, as Withers noted in the announcement of the merger, will position the new company as the third largest player in the IFE sector. “It is the sum of our parts that makes us stronger together,” Withers explained to PAX Tech. “We will now be able to offer innovative new best-of-breed cabin technologies to the market, combining the heritage of Rockwell Collins products with the new technologies we continue to see from digEcor – there will be further announcements on the product portfolio soon, so watch this space!”

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Making aviation history When, where and how the aircraft industry cut its teeth


Until around 70 years ago, this was the standard shape of airplane windows

South African airline Kulula gave passengers and passerbys an amusing peek at what goes into air travel with its “Flying 101” livery which pointed out the location of the galley, black box and other important elements of the aircraft. It debuted in February 2010 on one of the airline’s 737-800.


200-300% Amount of excess stress caused by square metal frames on aircraft windows when compared to other areas on the aircraft. This stress caused several major airline disasters during the 1950s, prompting several component redesigns, including window frames.

The first airport, which opened outside of London nearly 100 years ago. Though the Wright Brothers did previously establish an airfield, the Hounslow Heath Aerodrome featured a control tower, space to store and maintain aircraft, and a runway.

FOUR MONTHS The amount of time the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, the world’s first commercial airline, was in operation. (From January 1914 until April 1914.)


The fare, in U.S. dollars, of the airline’s 23-minute route. (About $100 in today’s currency.)

MARGA VON ETZDORT IMAGE - Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2008-0814-500 / CC-BY-SA 3.0

“Flying 101”

The year Sir George Cayley, considered by some to be the father of aviation, designed a twin-propellered flying machine

Hounslow Heath Aerodrome

Marga von Etzdorf The first professional female pilot, hired by Lufthansa in 1928


WE ARE PRACTITIONERS OF PERFECTION. Climbing higher. Together In hardly any other industry is perfection as important as it is in aerospace. This is why we are so meticulous when it comes to further optimizing our above-average solutions. We are always on the lookout for the opportunity to improve, even critically appraising our own products, and dare to change. Precisely what we are doing with our new name, under which we are immediately available to all of our customers: Diehl Aviation.

us sit i v ase RO Ple the M ast, at dle E 1 d 1 Mi th #2 o bo

Visit us at AIX booth no 4D11

BoardConnect The IFEC platform for the digital journey Passengers have come to expect the anytime, anywhere availability of a broad range of entertainment options, comprehensive service, shopping opportunities and access to the Internet. BoardConnect makes flying with your airline a digital experience. Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim | |

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