SEPTEMBER 2018 | VOL. 25, NO. 7 | www.pax-intl.com
MRO, Interiors & IFEC
Come see the future of IFE Visit us at the APEX EXPO Booth 731
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.
ZODIAC INFLIGHT INNOVATIONS ZODIAC AEROSYSTEMS Connected Cabin Division
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ith this issue, we launch a new brand in the PAX International portfolio. PAX Tech will now be part of the group that includes PAX International print magazine, our electronic newsletter, summertime digital themed issues and our website. PAX Tech will be distributed at events such as the one this fall in Boston and the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. This new offering will have a distinct, forward-looking theme as we survey the technological horizon and how it is affecting the passenger experience in ways few could have expected when we originally launched our first PAX International issue in the spring of 1997. “We wanted something to reflect the present of the IFE, interiors and MRO industries, as well as the future,” says PAX International Editor Rachel Debling regarding the new title. ‘“Tech’ brings to mind innovation in all forms, whether in engineering, connectivity or passenger electronics. And partnering it with ‘PAX’ not only keeps our brand recognition intact but also links the theme back to the magazine’s more than 20-year-strong heritage.” Over the summer, our design team wrestled with the brand’s new look. We settled on a clean, simple design from of a group of several options that the team felt called attention to our three-year effort to extend our cabin interior, maintenance, repair and overhaul coverage. Our Art Director, Jessica Hearn, pulled together a catchy cover look with new elements. “The Wi-Fi icon was used in our previous MRO/IFEC issues, so we decided to keep it to bring some consistency to our brands. It is a new branding but not so different that readers won’t recognize us,” she adds. We expect to have our work cut out for us. The industry is moving so fast with new developments and products that are filling the halls of events around the world. We welcome your feedback and ideas as we stretch our coverage and take on new topics with the help of our staff of writers, guest columnists and our steady group of sources who are no doubt as excited with the challenges of the changing passenger experience as we are.
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. September 2018, Vol. 25, No. 7. 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 and PAX Tech
www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 3
CONNECTIVITY 12 HANDS-ON INNOVATION
Lufthansa has been laying the groundwork on an extensive program of high-speed connectivity installation, and on an upcoming flight into Boston the future of the passenger experience will be available for a lucky few to sample
22 SKY-HIGH MARKET IN FLUX
The satcom market holds huge potential for the world’s leading players and airlines but isn’t without enormous challenges
26 A RESEARCH-BACKED PLAN
Under new leadership this year, Gogo is pushing ahead to make its Gogo 2Ku system standard in the commercial aviation world
INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT 16 NEWSSTAND IN HAND
With weight and logistics costs an ongoing concern among airlines, several have moved away from distributing onboard print, and a French company is waiting in the wings to snatch up more potential customers
36 AN APP THAT KNOWS YOU
The myKrisWorld app on Singapore Airlines was an industry first two years ago. The airline is now considering ways to expand its capabilities
38 PLAY IT SAFE
The latest inflight safety videos prove that delivering the message “Safety first!” doesn’t have to be a dry and humorless endeavor
18 THE EMPOWERED PASSENGER
SEPTEMBER 2018 | VOL. 25, NO. 7 | www.pax-intl.com
MRO, Interiors & IFEC
ON THE COVER:
Inmarsat’s S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network (EAN) was successfully launched on an Ariane 5 rocket by Arianespace on 29 June 2017. For more, see page 22.
Guestlogix will be showing APEX visitors the latest digital capabilities of its e-commerce platform that helps passengers maneuver through the travel process and allows airlines to offer services before and after their flight
CABIN SOLUTIONS 28 HITTING THE LOWER DECK
With its new lower-deck modules, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have discovered a novel way to enhance the passenger sleeping experience
30 A PLACE IN LINE
A line-fit position within the massive catalogs of the world’s major airframe manufacturers is a sought-after spot, and HAECO achieved that status this summer for its Vector™ Economy and Premium Economy seats
34 A FRESH NEW LOOK
LATAM’s recently announced US$400 million cabin retrofit project will cover two-thirds of its fleet, helping to further modernize Latin America’s largest airline
40 WHAT TO EXPECT AT APEX
FACTS & FIGURES
4 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
Ahead of APEX’s annual North American expo, PAX spoke to Katie Goshgarian, Executive Director of APEX, for an exclusive look at what to expect in Beantown
Citilink signs fleet-wide Recaro announces GX Aviation contract management changes Indonesian low-cost carrier Citlink will have their entire A320 fleet installed with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband solution, according to a July 31 press release. Installations are expected to begin later this year. Inmarsat signed a contract with Indonesian wireless technology provider Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT) to deploy the project, along with Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik for a “Bring Your Own Device” offering across the airline’s fleet. (For more information, see page 12.) Juliandra Nurtjahjo, President and CEO of Citilink, said in a statement: “As a modern, digitally-focused airline, it’s imperative that we offer our passengers a world-class inflight Wi-Fi service. We are confident that the combined strengths of Inmarsat, MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will ensure we deliver gold-standard broadband on board all of our flights.” “Together with our partners MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik, we look forward to delivering an outstanding connectivity service to Citilink and its passengers,” said Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation. “Citilink’s adoption of GX Aviation and signing of this contract mere months after the MoU are testament to both the importance of inflight connectivity to passengers today and Citilink’s confidence in our solution. This partnership also represents a significant milestone for Inmarsat in one of our priority regional markets.”
The Citilink, Inmarsat, MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik teams
This October, René Dankwerth will take on the role of General Manager at Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas, replacing Sunitha Vegerla. Citing the desire to focus more attention on her family, Vegerla is stepping back from her current GM responsibilities to take on the role of Director of Quality and Process Management. Leading up to his October 1 start date, Dankwerth and Vegerla will work together to prepare for his transition. The role of Executive Vice President Research and Development will be taken over by Heiko Fricke, who joined the company on August 1. Fricke will also serve as an Executive Board member for Recaro Aircraft Seating. “Recaro thanks Sunitha for her endless engagement, for the substantial success story she has created and for her always moving forward attitude in order to generate excellent business for Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, Chief Executive Officer and Shareholder of Recaro Aircraft Seating, in a statement from the company. “Her global business approach created valuable contributions to Recaro in general. We are delighted to announce that she will take the Director Quality and Process Management position and will remain part of the executive team at Recaro Aircraft Seating Americas.” Hiller also commented on Fricke’s appointment: “I am delighted for Heiko joining our company. He perfectly matches our current and future business challenges and I am positive he will make great contributions to our company’s success.”
Global Eagle celebrates installation milestone Global Eagle Wi-Fi equipment is now flying on more than 1,000 aircraft around the world, according to an announcement from the company. This number includes 700 aircraft for Southwest Airlines, a decade-long customer of Global Eagle. These installations allow the airline to provide its passengers with newly deployed live streaming of iHeartRadio music, in addition to other inflight entertainment options.
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“Global Eagle continues to grow on all continents and deliver industry-leading technology and customer experience as consumer habits evolve,” said Josh Marks, Global Eagle CEO, in a statement. Per Norén, Global Eagle EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, also commented: “We will deliver innovative and integrated connectivity, content solutions and continued best-in-class service to all customers globally.”
The new Singapore Airlines regional Business Class seat Photo credit : Singapore Airlines
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A look ahead to AIME 2019 The tenth Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) is coming back to the Dubai World Trade Centre on February 11 and 12, and organizers have already released a few sneak peeks as to what can be expected at the event. In an August 6 press release, AIME noted that research company Markets and Markets predicts the aircraft cabin interiors industry will grow globally from $26.02 billion in 2017 to $38.85 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 8.35%, as evidenced by investments from Middle East airlines. Dirk Gundermann, Area Sales Manager at Rudolf Wulfmeyer Aircraft Interior Gmbh, told AIME about his company’s decision to participate in the 2019 edition. “We attended AIME 2017 as visitors and decided to exhibit in 2018,” he said in a statement. “We have a lot of customers in the Middle East and it is good to meet them and stay in contact with them, so it is important for us to exhibit here.” Confirmed exhibitors include Kets Tekstil, Acro Aircraft Seating and Cooper Standard. “We are really pleased with the plans for the tenth edition of AIME, and thrilled to see so many returning exhibitors from previous years,” said Caryn McConnachie, Aerospace Director of show organizers Tarsus F&E LLC Middle East. “With the current and future levels of fleet investment in the region, the show is the place to be for aircraft interior suppliers of all types.” The Inflight Middle East Pavilion, in partnership with HMG Aerospace, will also be featured again this year, along with the sixth annual Inflight Workshop and Awards. For more information on how to book space or for the most up-to-date list of exhibitors, visit aime.aero or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shenzhen equips 737 MAX with Recaro seating Shenzhen Airlines has ordered more than 300 CL5710 Business Class seats and 5,500 BL3530 Economy Class seats from Recaro Aircraft Seating for its 37 737 MAX aircraft. The first updated aircraft took off August 3. This is the first time The CL5710 from that the CL5710 has Recaro will fly on Shenzhen’s been equipped by a 737 MAX and Chinese airline. The A320 fleets Business Class seat offers high passenger comfort thanks to a lumbar support, an extendable leg rest and various predefined seating positions. It is the only Business Class seat for short- and medium-haul routes that is electrically adjustable and approved for 737 and A320 aircraft. Shenzhen Airlines also selected Recaro’s BL3530 Economy Class seat, which combines passenger comfort and lightweight design with solutions that simplify the handling of electronic devices. The BL3530 features storage and shelving space for tablets, smartphones or e-readers.
Bluebox Wow to fly on Vistara
Attendees browse the AIME expo floor in February 2018
Following final regulatory approvals, Vistara’s fleet of 21 A320 aircraft will feature Bluebox Wow as its IFE technology solution with more A320 aircraft planned in the future. The Indian airline has also announced the launch of a complimentary inflight entertainment program called “Vistara World” which contains more than 70 hours of content that can be wirelessly streamed onto passengers’ personal devices via Bluebox Wow. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of Vistara, commented: “With the introduction of wireless streaming of inflight entertainment content, we will deliver on a product that our customers said they desired, enhancing overall customer satisfaction and experience with an efficient and cost-effective IFE solution.” Twenty-one aircraft in Vistara’s fleet will carry the Bluebox Wow system
8 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
Wamos Air adds Immfly Delta to add new routes to long-haul service with One and Premium Select cabins Wamos Air is the fourth Spanish airline to carry Immfly’s system
For the second time, Immfly is providing its inflight digital services for long-haul airline service – this time with Spanish airline Wamos Air, in its 747-400. This is the fourth Spanish airline that has selected Immfly. The new onboard entertainment and digital services platform “Wamos On Air”, designed and developed by Immfly, is now available for its one million annual passengers via their phones, tablets and laptops. Passengers can access the onboard service by activating the airplane mode on their personal device, selecting the Wi-Fi network and typing www.wamos-onair.com in the browser. Several movies, TV shows, newspapers, magazines and a section for kids are now available at passengers’ fingertips. Recent examples from the movie offering are The Shape of Water, The Revenant, The Greatest Showman, X-Men and Birdman. As the airline’s audience is considerably diverse, Wamos Air and Immfly focused on providing different content modules for every type of passenger by separating content into distinct ages and languages.
More Delta flights featuring Delta One Suites and Delta Premium Select seating are coming in 2019, the airline announced in July. Delta will be taking delivery of additional A350-900 aircraft and refurbishing its 777-200 extended-range and long-range aircraft with Delta One Suite, Delta Premium Select cabin and nine-abreast seating in the main cabin. Routes set to receive the service are Minneapolis St. Paul – Tokyo Haneda; Atlanta and Seattle – Tokyo Narita; and Los Angeles – Haneda and Sydney. Enhanced 777-200LR service between Los Angeles and Sydney will start in 2019; exact schedule details will be published at a later date. All Delta trans-Pacific departures from Los Angeles will feature the Delta One Suite and Delta Premium Select once fully implemented. Delta will refurbish all eight of its 777-200ER and all 10 of its 777-200LR aircraft and expects to have taken delivery of 13 A350s by the end of 2019.
Four routes with the new Delta A350 cabin were launched in July
New marketing head at Panasonic Avionics Panasonic Avionics Corporation has appointed Gaston Sandoval as Global Head of Marketing and Product Management. In this role, Sandoval will lead Panasonic’s marketing and product strategy as the company evolves into a digital platform and services company delivering the next generation of passenger experiences. He will also oversee Panasonic’s branding, market insights, product marketing, performance marketing, content marketing, creative and communications, as well as product management. Most recently, Sandoval served as Senior Vice President, Global Marketing at OpenLink Financial, a leading enterprise software company, where he led its marketing transformation to a digital-first, outcome-based organization, reposi-
10 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
tioning the company that resulted in its accelerated successful acquisition by the ION Group. Gaston Sandoval
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Hands-on innovation Lufthansa has been laying the groundwork on an extensive program of high-speed connectivity installation, and on an upcoming flight into Boston the future of the passenger experience will be available for a lucky few to sample by RICK LUNDSTROM Cabin lighting on Lufthansa’s A350-900. Passengers in the FlyingLab will be discussing lighting and other advancements during a flight from Munich to Boston
ven before the start of this September’s Airline Passenger Experience Association and Aircraft Interiors Expo in Boston, a contingency of attendees may already be well on their way to a technology and gadget overdose. Those lucky souls will be flying into Beantown from Munich on Lufthansa German Airlines Flight 424 – an A350 dubbed the FlyingLab – for the purpose of this trip. The trip was put together through a partnership between APEX and Lufthansa Systems, and as of the initial announcement in mid-August six onboard presentations were planned to highlight the passenger experience of the future. The list of discussion topics was growing as PAX International went to press, but the initial offering included innovative lighting concepts, cabin designs, and new seating and communications options. Presentations will be streamed via Wi-Fi to smartphones, tablets and laptops in all corners of the aircraft. Other attendees of the FlyingLab will watch videos with the latest virtual reality glasses from French company SkyLights and relax with a temperature-regulated blanket and neck pillow from a company called feel.flight.
GX installations nearly completed
Such inflight steaming and communications capabilities would not have been possible a few short years ago. However, for the past two years Lufthansa has been busy with its partnership with Inmarsat, installing its GX Aviation platform on all its international fleet. At the end of this summer, crews from Lufthansa Technik were putting the final touches on a handful of aircraft that will be deployed in the airline’s continental fleet while also embarking on installation of GX Aviation with SWISS International as well as two aircraft for its Eurowings subsidiary. This monumental list of tasks started in earnest when GX Aviation made its soft launch during the October 2016 APEX event in Singapore. By the end of this year or early next year, Lufthansa expects to complete retrofits on the final eight aircraft, bring the total flying 12 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
with GX Aviation to 138 aircraft for Lufthansa, along with 31 aircraft from the Austrian Airlines fleet. From there, Lufthansa will work to maximize use of the system for its passengers, adding a “dynamic pricing system” to make connectivity a value for the maximum number of passengers, whether they are on a flight of five hours or 45 minutes. Currently Lufthansa offers three fees for Internet use said Tim Obmann, Project Lead Lufthansa Hub Airlines Connectivity. There is a basic fee is ideal for messaging and another for web browsing and a premium tier that offers video streaming. With this new “dynamic” pricing model, Lufthansa will in some cases be dropping prices based on the length of the flight. The airline also plans to make it easier for passengers to pay for the service by working with roaming partner iPass, which has established a network of tens of millions of hot spots in countries around the world. In recent years, the company has branched out to help travelers stay connected at every step of their journey. Obmann said one of the benefits in taking on a partner like iPass is the ability to allow passengers to free themselves of the need for credit card verification when purchasing Wi-Fi on board. “We hope that this will boost take-up rates and we are looking forward to introducing that with our partner, Inmarsat,” said Obmann.
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The new version of BoardConnect is being developed by Lufthansa Systems
The installations of the GX system were carried out at six stations by Lufthansa Technik under a variety of scenarios, said Stefan Barck, Program Manager Connectivity at Lufthansa Technik. Standard installations were originally scheduled to take four days, but toward the end of the program crews had cut the down time for the aircraft to three days. Eighty to 90 of the aircraft were pulled from service for “special layovers” while others underwent the installation during C and D check maintenance. “It was a very huge campaign to really bring the connectivity system on the Lufthansa Group airplanes as quickly as possible,” Barck said.
Next on Board
There are more ways Lufthansa Group is closing the digital gap, and one of them is through Lufthansa System’s BoardConnect and BoardConnect Portable. A next-generation version of the system is also in the works and the company aims to have its 5.0 version available for customers this year. The new system will have a fresh design with a new user interface and an open platform architecture based on HTML5. One of the first in line for the new BoardConnect will be Virgin Australia, which has been a customer of Lufthansa Systems since 2013. This past spring, Lufthansa Systems also took on a new partner in advertising specialist Inadvia, strengthening the BoardConnect platform by allowing programmatic advertising – a process that automates the buying and selling of media. Inadvia developed the first platform of its type that allows programmatic video advertising in a platform dedicated to inflight media. “Our BoardConnect open-aircraft IT platform has all the necessary advertising standards built in already,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products and Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, in the announcement of the new agreement with Inadvia. “We believe the integration of the Inadvia capabilities on the platform represents the strongest possible approach in the market today.” The new BoardConnect Portable has a modular structure. As with all BoardConnect versions, airlines can tailor their offerings regarding content, advertisements, retail and entertainment. On request it can also be supplemented by lowbandwidth connectivity using Iridium NEXT (BoardConnect Portable/Link). The required antenna can be installed in a smart position of the cabin, with no STC required. Besides messaging services, the solution enables online payment and many other e-commerce use cases. The smart STC free service is part of the Lconnect product family by Lufthansa Technik and requires only a minor modification.
LUFTHANSA HUB DEVELOPS TEST PROGRAM FOR AIRLINE CHECK-INS AirlineCheckins, an online service developed at the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, has been expanded and is undergoing a test program that will allow paying users to not only check-in automatically but also allow them to use inflight Wi-Fi on more than three dozen airlines, if purchased in its premium form. The service works for any airline offering online checkin. Once a person registers for AirlineCheckins free of charge, the check-in process is completed automatically. However, AirlineCheckins customers can also add features in two tiers. The BASIC package adds current flight information such as gate changes and delays in real time. The package costs €4.99 for three months. Connectivity aboard airlines is part of the PLUS feature, which costs €29.99 for three months. PLUS users have unlimited Wi-Fi access on board 36 airlines, including Air France, Eurowings, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, SWISS International and American Airlines, as well as millions of in-city centers, at railway stations, airports and trains.
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In the initial phase, the availability of the model will be limited to 2,222 users. The decision to make any changes or to continue the packages beyond the test phase will be dependent on user feedback.
Approximately 2,200 users will put the AirlineCheckins PLUS system through its paces
We live in an era of choice, where options create opportunity.
Find out more at APEX EXPO
Airlines demand a reliable IFEC approach that leads to a measurably great passenger experience. Global Eagle is perfectly positioned to deliver this. Let us know how we can help: firstname.lastname@example.org
globaleagle.com ÂŠ All rights reserved. Global Eagle 2018.
Newsstand in hand With weight and logistics costs an ongoing concern among airlines, several have moved away from distributing onboard print, and a French company is waiting in the wings to snatch up more potential customers BY RICK LUNDSTROM
The new version of ACES from Adaptive has made browsing on smartphones particularly easy
A six-month rollout put ACES in the hands of all passengers on Scandinavian Airlines
16 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
t’s enough to make a grizzled newspaper reporter, copywriter or any other ink-stained wretch weep tears for the past. The digital revolution is slowly (or not so slowly, depending on an individual’s point of view) turning how consumers read from an ink-and-paper format to a flickering image encased in glass and manipulated with the flip of a finger. Media like newspapers, magazines and books are making way for the future. Changes in the way print media is consumed, combined with a desire by airlines to reduce weight and the logistics cost connected with handling and distributing print media in flight, has led to a number of changes in recent years. Trend-setting airlines such as Singapore Airlines, SAS, TAP Portugal, Air France and more than two dozen others have added a digital media platform to their services that use the capabilities of a French company called Adaptive. Adaptive’s success in gaining new customers can be attributed
as much to the devices passengers travel with as to the changes airlines are constantly making to enhance the travel experience. Just four years ago, SITA conducted a trends survey that showed more than eight in 10 passengers traveled with a smartphone while more than 40% carried a laptop or tablet. In addition, 18% of the passengers carried all three devices. At about the same time the survey was conducted, the airline industry was feeling the first rumblings of a revolution of its own, brought on by an expanding offering of IFEC solutions. Fixed and portable boxes were joining embedded IFE among the offerings and satellite companies were beginning to weave constellations of orbiting technology that now are on the verge of linking airlines around the world with high-speed digital content. About that time, the term BYOD (bring your own device) began to take on an important meaning and shape airline decisions. With these changes came new opportunities for airlines to
Laurent Safar, CEO of Adaptive, headquartered in Toulouse, France
A look at the ACES program from Singapore Airlines as used on an iPad
learn about their passengers by following the digital footprints of everything they watched, read and purchased on board. This summer, PAX International caught up with Adaptive’s CEO, Laurent Safar, in the midst of several projects, among them improvements to the company’s ACES digital press product which delivers curated content previously found only in print to a number of airline customers and in multiple languages. The company had recently signed on with Changi Airport in Singapore to provide digital media to passengers at the gate and in transit. Adaptive cemented its relationship with Air Caraïbes and its new spinoff carrier French Bee, which provides low-cost long-haul service to five destinations. He said the company was also on the verge of announcing two more new customers. Adaptive has also made changes to the ACES product to improve the passenger experience on several types of devices. The past year was important in terms of evolution in the digital press, said Safar. Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways both moved away from distributing print media. Other airlines like Finnair have also indicated a phase-out of print media. “In both cases, these are very
significant players and I’m sure that has an impact on other players in terms of maturity,” said Safar of the move by Singapore and Qatar. With pace-setting airlines now moving to digital distribution of magazines and newspapers, Adaptive organizers set about improving the capabilities of the ACES system, a project that has now been completed. Several important changes have been made to the ways passengers can access media on ACES. One change occurs at the passengers’ fingertips, allowing them to “dig into” the details of a magazine or newspaper article and view the content in a greater variety of ways. Safar said the company sought to get away from the “PDF experience,” which is essentially flat viewing of a page. With the new technology, Safar says users have a more fluid and convenient experience, particularly if they are viewing material on a smart phone. The other improvements took place in the backend of the system. With the ACES viewer, whether it is standalone or combined with an airline’s app, knowledge of the passenger’s viewing habits and preferences can be passed on to the airline. The other improvement makes ACES similar
to an airline’s inflight music system. Like selecting music to suit a certain mood or experience, passengers can use ACES to select news topics and stories using certain access words. And Adaptive has a massive selection of available press titles. While first-tier titles such as The New York Times, Financial Times and The Economist are among the most sought out by readers, Adaptive can offer airline customers a selection of more than 10,000 titles. In addition to journals from around the world, the company has an inventory of city guides, movies, games, sports news, music, and lifestyle and shopping publications. Even though the company has grown since its founding in 2009 to more than 30 airline customers, Safar said one of the challenges to selling digital content is tackling misconceptions of potential customers. “It is perceived as complex by airlines because it involves many people,” he said. “Inflight entertainment and operations. Lots of people in different departments.” However, several airlines are clearing the perception hurdles when they consider the costs of providing printed material, which adds weight to the aircraft and additional cleaning time after reaching the destination. And with news delivery moving at breakneck speed, a passenger with a newspaper in hand is getting a story that could likely change by the time he or she lands. “[With print] half the time you’re serving what they want and half the time the passengers don’t get what they want,” Safar added, pointing to another benefit of their system — happier, more well-informed passengers for their airline clientele.
passenger by RICK LUNDSTROM
Guestlogix will be showing visitors to APEX the latest digital capabilities of its e-commerce platform that helps passengers maneuver through the travel process and allows airlines to offer services before and after their flight
little less than a year ago, Canada-based Guestlogix published a lengthy report in which the term “learned helplessness” was used to describe the many ways passengers are prevented from enjoying the air travel experience and how it affects airline revenues. The term surfaced more than 50 years ago in studies on laboratory animals. Now, the condition can develop in humans. “It is not a stretch to say that airline passengers as a group often suffer this affliction,” said a primer on the condition found in the October 2017 report “The Empowered Passenger,” commissioned for Guestlogix and prepared by Gary Edwards, PhD of Gulfdale Consulting. Learned helplessness occurs when a person encounters an uncontrolled environment. Even when a person observes all the rules and prompts required by an airline and aviation security, a sudden shift can occur in the sometimes-tricky world of air travel and all the best-laid plans can be dashed by unforeseen
A sample of some of the additional offerings in the Guestlogix e-commerce platform
18 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
CEO Robin Hopper took the top spot at the company this summer
events. That helplessness causes the passenger to move through the process with a constant feeling of low-level anxiety. But what if some of that could change, with just a small additional fee? “The empowered passenger has tremendous revenue potential,” says Robin Hopper, who has recently moved up the ranks of Guestlogix from Senior Vice President Product and Marketing to the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Since the report was published last year, Guestlogix has expanded the capabilities of its onboard retailing and ancillary revenue app and accompanying features to give the passengers of its airline customers a few more ways to get that empowered feeling. And one of the ways that has been most popular is the ability to get the jump on fellow travelers. For a small fee, in the range of US$20 to $40, a few taps on a mobile app around boarding time gives passengers the ability to grab that dwindling extra space in the overhead bins with a move from a Zone 5 boarding position to a Zone 1 boarding position. It is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. “This reduces their stress level,” Hopper tells PAX International. “It goes down because it feels like it is partly back in their control.” The company plans to show potential customers that and much more as it sets up shop at this year’s Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo (APEX). Gone are the days when
Enabling all airlines to create extraordinary travel experiences
Visit us at Booth 713 Inflight Entertainment | In-seat Power | LED Lighting | Cabin Management
TOP 10 AIRLINES TOTAL ANCILLARY REVENUE IN BILLIONS OF US DOLLARS
TOP 10 AIRLINES ANCILLARY REVENUE AS PERCENT OF TOTAL REVENUE
Frequent Flyer Program
Á la Carte and Travel Retail Commissions
Air France/ KLM
Percent of Total Revenue
Source: IdeaworksCompany and Cartrawler
Gone are the days when Guestlogix sold bulky, proprietary point-of-sale devices used by flight attendants. Guestlogix sold bulky, proprietary point-of-sale devices used by flight attendants. These products have been mostly replaced by the sleek Android- and iOS-based tablets. Along with them, opportunities for additional ancillary revenue have grown from beyond the moment the passenger has boarded the aircraft to nearly the entire travel process. The aforementioned “jump the line” sales opportunities have been joined by the ability to book services like hotels and rental cars as well as events and destination attractions popular with leisure travelers. “Guestlogix initially had always been about doing retail only once the doors closed on the plane,” said Hopper. “And the interface for driving those sales was the flight attendant.” With an expanded offering and more information about airline passengers – their likes and dislikes – the potential exists to move onboard purchasing forward from a small player in the ancillary revenue market. At the start of this year, Guestlogix noted that for all the new offerings and sophisticated marketing done by airlines, only about 7.5% of airline passengers make onboard purchases – a percentage that has remained largely static over the years. While ancillary revenue by the airlines has increased dramatically, airlines still derive most of it from fare bundling products and services such as baggage handling (see sidebar). The company’s airline commerce platform has three components: a point-of-sale app for flight attendants, a management console, and a passenger mobile app that can be customized by the airline to add sales opportunities. In addition, the company’s “retail analytics engine” allows airlines to tailor sales offers and the needed onboard inventory 20 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
TEN LEADERS IN ANCILLARY REVENUE By the end of September, IdeaworksCompany and Cartrawler will release their report that tracks the ancillary revenue of more than 70 airlines, giving the industry its most comprehensive look at how much airlines earn from additional charges. But late in the summer the partners released preliminary figures (see charts, above), this year noting the top 10 producing airline received nearly US$30 billion in ancillary revenue, with the usual players topping the list in overall numbers and owing a substantial percentage of their revenue to additional charges. Some carriers, like Spirit Airlines, are approaching 50% of their revenue from add-on costs. Not all ancillary revenue is the result of passenger charges, the report notes. Revenue generated from frequent flying programs is a large percentage of the ancillary revenue for the top 10. “Passenger fares may dip and climb, but ancillary revenue has grown steadily in its contribution to the industry’s bottom line,” said the report.
around passenger preferences. This feature can free flight attendants from the burden of cart sales and allow passengers to place orders directly from their personal electronics device at their seat or before their flight – pre-ordering meals, upgrading their seats and any number of other amenities. In addition, Guestlogix has developed a special program for cabin crew, where airline customers can offer discounts and other products as a way to build goodwill. So far this summer, Guestlogix has picked up four new customers: Air Belgium; two carriers from Chile; JetSmart and Sky Airlines; and a Canadian LCC called Swoop. By the end of this year, Hopper said the new platform would be rolled out to two longtime customers, Southwest Airlines and WestJet.
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market in flux by MARY JANE PITTILLA
Inmarsat has launched the European Aviation Network (EAN), which uses an integrated satellite and air-toground network
The Inmarsat-5 F4 (I-5 F4) satellite boosts the power of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, which has been delivering seamless, high-speed broadband connectivity since December 2015
The satcom market holds huge potential for the world’s leading players and airlines but isn’t without enormous challenges
he satellite communications market is maturing, but it is also in a state of flux as companies try out different business models in a sector that is ultra-competitive and expensive to operate in. Viasat was one of the first in the satellite market since their 2003 entry with business jets, and has been providing services for commercial aviation since 2013. “Satellite is a natural way to deliver the Internet and we’ve matured [the market],” says Don Buchman, Viasat’s Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Aviation. “Initially, there wasn’t enough bandwidth, but we made the market viable. Our ViaSat-1 satellite changed the capacity, and it has been all systems go since then.” Viasat’s satellite reach is strong over North America, Europe and Australia. The company launches its own satellites and has a joint venture in Europe. In Australia, the satellite is owned by NBN – Viasat is the technology partner and resells capacity to the aviation market.
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David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer, SITAONAIR
chose to use Ka-band capacity, as there was plenty of room to grow. “It was a smart choice,” says Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President, Inmarsat Aviation. “We invested in a next-generation global network that offers fast, reliable and consistent connectivity throughout the Frederik van world. Where there is a busy airline hub Essen, Senior and a need for more capacity, we can meet Vice President, Inmarsat that demand by adding to the network’s Aviation base layer. We therefore take an incremental approach by layering on the capacity where needed. This approach reduces the risk for investors This year, ViaSat-2 was launched and airlines, and it is less of a gamble for them,” he explains. and came into service with a focus Speaking about the current satcom market, van Essen on North America, the U.S. Eastern observes: “It is very much an industry in a state of flux now. It Seaboard, and the North Atlantic over is a maturing market with lots of technology and innovation. Europe. It offers Ka-band coverage We see different business models and we are seeing the first from Los Angeles to Istanbul. failing, as resellers of capacity are struggling. This will continue. The next satellite constellation to “There is very strong demand, which only seems to grow launch will be ViaSat-3, which will have year-on-year, and it is predicted to grow for many years. We global coverage and the most capacity conduct the industry’s largest survey of passenger attitudes on orbit, compared to any other inflight every year, and we see demand for quality Wi-Fi growing.” connectivity provider. The first ViaSat-3 According to David Lavorel, Chief Executive Officer satellite will launch service in 2020; it of SITAONAIR, demand for inflight connectivity is being will serve North and South America, addressed thanks to technological advances (many of Hawaii and the mid-Atlantic. Six months which SITAONAIR is playing a major role in), including after launch, the second ViaSat-3 class new services such as Inmarsat’s GX Aviation. satellite will launch, covering the EMEA SITAONAIR is already working with partners like Inmarsat market, up to India. By the end of to bring these advances to airline customers. For example, 2021/2022, the third ViaSat-3 satellite in SITAONAIR is deploying its Internet ONAIR portal and the global constellation will launch and Mobile ONAIR services – powered by Link ONAIR – over serve the entire Asia Pacific region, from Inmarsat’s high-speed GX Aviation. India to Hawaii, and the Pacific Ocean. “SITAONAIR is well positioned to help many more airlines Inmarsat is another major global achieve their connected aircraft aims. Our strategy for getting operator with its Global Xpress (GX) more of the world’s airlines connected is based around our solution for airlines. In 2010, having open-platforms approach to inflight connectivity innovation,” observed that Ku-band capacity from he says. the first-generation satellites was in This is built on the premise that, facing operational short supply, the company decided limitations across platforms, technologies, fleets and to invest in a new satellite network. It service providers, many airlines struggle to fully realize the opportunities offered by connected aircraft. This makes technology Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) solution for airlines offers global, high-speed Ka-band integration and a unification broadband service from a single operator of user/passenger experience a complex, time-consuming and expensive process for airlines. “Our open-platforms approach is designed to solve this issue by creating harmony across airline fleets and avionics, and helping to deliver a unique passenger experience without the need to expensively overhaul entire fleets,” says Lavorel. “Ultimately, this helps our airline clients deploy aviation satcom innovation in a way that is flexible, scalable and sustainable. “We need to encourage the air transport industry to embrace our open-platforms approach to inflight connectivity innovation, which will www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 23
in turn help airlines to get connected. Encouragingly, we are seeing airlines already maturing their inflight entertainment and connectivity decisions, looking for the flexibility to develop a bespoke package. We expect this to continue.” Viasat’s Buchman says there are a lot of opportunities in the inflight connectivity market for airlines. “What started with the passenger experience has become an amenity, for either a passenger who pays or [one who receives it] free of charge. “It is part of the digital transformation of airlines, where the aircraft is smarter, including for maintenance and operations. Once they are connected, the airlines get operational cost savings. It’s a big growth area. But today, many airlines are still focused on getting the passenger connected, and there are various business models that airlines can look at to make it more cost-effective. For example, a lot of third parties want to be part of the connected airline opportunity. For example, JetBlue Airways signed up Amazon as its title sponsor for branding and customer acquisition; the airline gets money and it’s free [Wi-Fi] to passengers. It’s a win-win situation.” 24 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
A rendering of ViaSat-3, which will have global coverage and the most capacity on orbit, compared to any other inflight connectivity provider, says Viasat
The revenue generated can offset costs and generate income. According to research conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science in association with Inmarsat, broadband in the sky will create a total market of US$130 billion by 2035. The research in “Chapter One: Sky High Economics” predicts that broadband-enabled ancillary revenue will reach an estimated US$30 billion for airlines by 2035, through services such as e-commerce, advertising and premium content. What does the future hold for a satcom market in flux? Inmarsat sees the older generation Ku-band satellites as having capacity shortages in three to five years. Meanwhile, there are new innovations happening in the Ka-band satellites. In addition, Inmarsat has developed the European Aviation Network (EAN), which does not use a traditional satellite-only network but an integrated satellite and air-to-ground network. “Connectivity will be standard. We see it as a staple, ubiquitous, going forward. Connectivity in the air will be as normal as it is on the ground,” says van Essen, who said he thinks the timeline for every aircraft to be fully connected will be 20 to 25 years from now. Viasat’s Buchman reckons there will be fewer players in the market in the future, as it is a difficult and costly sector to operate in, and adds the majority of planes are set to benefit from inflight connectivity in around five years’ time. Buchman concludes with a message for the aviation industry: “We’ve been in the market for five years now. Wi-Fi in planes used to have a bad name and suffered a poor reputation. We say that Wi-Fi doesn’t have to be limited – you don’t have to suffer. We continue to invest in Don Buchman, Vice President infrastructure. We have and General the bandwidth at prices Manager, Commercial you can afford. You Aviation, Viasat should expect really great Internet at a fair price.”
ViaSat-2 photo credit: Service Optique CSG | Copyright: ESA/CNES/ARIANESPACE
This year, ViaSat-2 was launched and came into service with a focus on North America, the U.S. Eastern Seaboard, and the North Atlantic over Europe
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Reliable inflight internet is more important than ever, stresses Gogo
A research-backed plan Under new leadership this year, Gogo is pushing ahead to make its Gogo 2Ku system standards in the commercial aviation world by RACHEL DEBLING
ith the rollout of Gogo 2Ku, Gogo’s high-speed satellite Wi-Fi, slated on more than 2,000 aircraft (including several new airline customers added since last year’s APEX show), the inflight Internet company is putting its best face forward ahead of this year’s Boston-based event – and that includes a strategy supported by in-house research. The results of Gogo’s 2018 Global Traveler study emboldened the company’s stance that inflight Internet is no longer considered a luxury but instead is a must-have for many travelers, with half of those polled saying they consider it a necessity on all of their flights. “This high expectation mirrors expectations on the ground: you should be able to connect to the Internet wherever you are,” Gogo told PAX International this August. And, according to the company, the air travel industry is rapidly catching up to people’s wants and needs. “[The connectivity industry] is constantly evolving. There have been great strides over the past couple of years to better enable passengers to get connected when in the air – passengers can now stay connected from departure to arrival and are able to do whatever they usually do when connected to the Internet, whether it be messaging with their friends and family, checking
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A representation of how GogoTV will look in the hands of aircraft passengers
emails or streaming content from their own devices,” Gogo noted. Meeting the demand of its airline customers’ passengers is Gogo’s top priority. After Oakleigh Thorne was appointed the company’s new President and CEO in March, the industry has been watching to see what changes would be made to its business model to maintain a competitive edge. An integrative business plan, PAX International was told, as well as a healthy performance from its 2Ku inflight connectivity system will help steer the company over the coming years. “We regularly communicate with our airline customers and will continue to do so moving forward regarding our business,” revealed company representatives. “Gogo 2Ku system availability performance is currently at approximately 97%, ahead of projections.” At the time of press, 850 2Ku installations had been completed since 2016.
But it’s not just the connectivity aspect of the business in which Gogo is looking to make a splash. GogoTV, the company’s live TV offering, is now flying on three airlines. Though it allows passengers to access a variety of content through their own personal electronic devices, the system is about more than just entertainment, says Gogo. “The product allows passengers to stay up-to-date on breaking events in sports, business, politics and entertainment events. Channel options are customized by the airline, allowing passengers to watch popular networks in their country or region. The service is available to airlines that select Gogo’s 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi technology and is delivered through the Wi-Fi system onboard the aircraft using Internet protocol.” To learn more about Gogo and their latest offerings, visit booth 1029 at APEX Boston.
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EXPERIENCE ADDED VALUE
lower deck With its new lower-deck modules, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace have discovered a novel way to enhance the passenger sleeping experience by MARY JANE PITTILLA
A mock-up of the lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths being developed and marketed by Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace
uring the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2018 in April, Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace heralded their new partnership to develop and market lower-deck modules with passenger sleeping berths. The modules, which would fit inside the aircraft’s cargo compartments, offer new opportunities for additional services to passengers, improving their experience while enabling airlines to differentiate and add value to their commercial operations. The new passenger modules will be easily interchangeable with regular cargo containers during a typical turnaround, if required. Moreover, the aircraft’s cargo floor and cargo loading system would not be affected at all, as the passenger module will sit directly on it. “This approach to commercial air travel is a step change towards passenger comfort,” said Geoff Pinner, Head of Airbus Cabin and Cargo Program, at the time of the announcement. “We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups. We are pleased to partner with Zodiac Aerospace on this project which will introduce
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a new passenger experience and add value for airlines.” Zodiac Aerospace’s Cabin branch also enthused: “We are delighted to work with Airbus on this new and innovative project, which reaffirms our expertise in lower-deck solutions. An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.” Airlines will initially be able to choose from a catalog of certified solutions on the A330 for retrofit and line-fit markets by 2020. Offerability of sleeper compartments on the A350 XWB is also being studied. The innovation builds on both Airbus’ and Zodiac Aerospace’s experience in producing and integrating lower-deck crew-rest facilities.
Optimized sleeping solutions
Zodiac Aerospace told PAX International that the feedback from airlines had been very positive since the concept was unveiled at AIX in Hamburg. “Our customers demonstrate a strong interest in the project, confirming the opportunities identified by our teams. We are now following up with all the customers who visited us at AIX or in the Airbus
The A330, shown here in the new neo model taking part in the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow
An improved passenger experience is today a key element of differentiation for airlines.”
other than business seats, with a solution focused on one specific function: sleeping,” said Zodiac Aerospace. However, airlines can adapt the concept to suit whichever type of passengers they would like to target, based on their service and brand model. “We can, for example, imagine an offer not based on class but type of travelers, such as families,” noted Zodiac.
Expertise in lower-deck solutions Toulouse mock-up center together with Airbus, having more detailed discussions on how our concept can best support their services,” said a company spokesperson. Zodiac Aerospace is sure the development will improve the passenger experience. The concept is about offering optimized sleeping solutions by having flat beds (bunks) in a dedicated and calm area in the lower deck, offering privacy without compromising the overall cabin business model of the airlines, as the seat count is not heavily impacted. It is therefore directly addressing one of the main expectations of passengers when flying long-haul: comfortable sleep. A sleeping bunk is the first focus of the development, but depending on how airlines want to use this extra cabin space other functions can be created, all supporting a better passenger experience, such as a playground area for children. The concept is primarily aimed at Premium or Economy passengers willing to pay for an option – a bunk in the lower deck – in addition to their main cabin seat, the same way you would select extra leg room or a premium meal. “We see a clear potential to offer sleeping solutions
The modules are the size of an LD36 container, and the weight is highly dependent on the configuration chosen by the customer. The modules are transported the same way as classic cargo containers and installed the same way: the regular aircraft cargo loading systems are used, and the only extra step is to connect the modules to aircraft systems such as air flow. For Zodiac Aerospace’s current flying crew-rest, which uses the same LD36 container-based solution, the installation/removal time is shorter than one hour and it would be the same for the passenger modules. Zodiac Aerospace already has expertise in lower-deck solutions. In addition to its freight solutions portfolio for cargo containers, Zodiac Aerospace has 25 years of experience in lower-deck mobile crew rests (LDMCR). Over the past 20 years, it has delivered 350 crew rests, including 280 LDMCR to more than 30 operators, both linefit and retrofit. The LDMCR is a LD36 container-based solution for the A330 platform, providing class 1-compliant areas for cabin crew to rest during long-haul flights. Easily installed and removed using the aircraft cargo loading systems, its mobility allows flexibility in an airline’s use of the cargo bay. www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 29
The Vector Economy seat was introduced in 2016
A place in line by RICK LUNDSTROM
A line-fit position within the massive catalogs of the world’s major airframe manufacturers is a sought-after spot, and HAECO achieved that status this summer for its Vector™ Economy and Premium Economy seats
he aircraft that roll off the production lines in Toulouse, France, and elsewhere rightfully bear the name “Airbus.” But from nose to tail, you can find the work of companies from around the world. On its website, Airbus states that 80% of its activity is sourced. The big aircraft maker continuously develops its supplier base, which is valued at nearly €50 billion (US$58 billion), taking up more than two-thirds of its yearly revenue. As of August, Airbus works with more than 12,000 suppliers.
Airbus is also committed to searching the world for reliable suppliers, and one of its long-term objectives is to seek out companies from outside Western Europe and the United States. In fact, Airbus has a goal to get 40% of its supplies from outside of those two main regions by 2020. Turn to page 71 of the 353-page “Airbus Approval Suppliers List” and you’ll find HAECO Cabin Solutions and HAECO Americas Cabin Solutions. The latter is the Swire Group company’s U.S. facility, located in Greensboro
The Vector Premium seat was shown to the airline world at AIX in 2017
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in North Carolina’s Piedmont region. Though a longtime supplier of Airbus for other products, HAECO proudly announced this past summer that its Vector™ seat is now part of the A350 aircraft catalog for line-fit selection. At the same time, HAECO revealed that it has secured an Asian airline customer for line-fit of the Vector for the A320. “Offerability in the catalog is achieved after Airbus determines a supplier’s ability to reliably deliver seats to meet production line and customer requirements,” said HAECO in the announcement of the Airbus designation. Such a status is no small feat, as aircraft are rolling off assembly lines at a pace unseen in history and order books from airlines around the world have created backlogs stretching years into the future. HAECO received FAA Technical Standard Order authorization for the Economy Class Vector model in 2016, followed by similar approvals in March of this year for the Vector Premium seat model. Though the company is moving ahead in developing its Eclipse model seat for Business Class, Doug Rasmussen, President and Group Director of HAECO Cabin Solutions, said HAECO will be busy in the near term producing seating products for two customers that could not be
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CABIN SOLUTIONS announced this past summer. It will also continue to develop products in other parts of the Cabin Solutions Division of the company. While seating is the primary business for the division, HAECO also specializes in reconfiguration engineering services, and kits and monuments. The organization is part of the larger Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd., with activities and interests in nearly every segment of aviation and more than 17,000 employees. Obtaining line-fit status for the seating product was a process that took between 18 and 24 months, Rasmussen tells PAX International. The Vector model for Economy Class was launched in early 2016, with the Vector Premium debuting at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2017. From the beginning, HAECO had its sights set on a product built for easy and low-cost maintenance for the single-aisle market that demands shorter lead times. The company has found customers in Latin America with Wingo and in the Middle East with Jazeera Airways. Now, with the new line-fit designation for the A350, HAECO has increased its opportunities to find legacy carriers providing long-haul service. Other HAECO products have been approved for line-fit in Airbus cabins. In April of 2017, HAECO received approval for line-fit production of its Centerline Ceiling Stowage (CCS) unit for the The CCS is designed to hold crew luggage and emergency equipment
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A320 family of aircraft, and deliveries of the first orders began this year. The compartment is offered in two sizes, and is available in two positions on the A320 and three positions on the A321. The ceiling compartment is compatible with fixed and pivoting bins, and will also be available as a retrofit option through an Airbus service bulletin modification. The CCS units are designed to hold crew luggage, emergency equipment such as life rafts, and non-standard sized products like wheelchairs. HAECO is also working with Wi-Fi connectivity suppliers and has developed adaptor plates to install in domes to support wireless streaming throughout an aircraft. It is part of a growing portion of its business that started in May 2017 with the opening of a component overhaul and authorized repair center in Xiamen, China, for inflight entertainment and communications equipment from Panasonic Avionics. At the facility, repairs performed by HAECO Component Overhaul
on behalf of Panasonic carry the same Panasonic warranties, as is the case with repairs performed by all authorized service providers within the Panasonic repair network. The 2017 solar eclipse could be seen at HACEO’s facilities in North Carolina, but by 2019 a new Eclipse will be seen – at least in the aviation world – with the development of the company’s new seat bearing the Eclipse name and designed for single-aisle Business Class, Though much is still under wraps, Rasmussen said the industry would likely get its first look at the Eclipse seat next year in Hamburg. Like other seat manufacturers around the world, HAECO is looking to find seating customers in the market for the A320 and 737 MAX family of aircraft that will soon forge a new path in aviation. “It is a really interesting and growing part of the industry as you see [airlines] deploying narrow-body aircraft on routes that have historically been for wide-body aircraft,” Rasmussen said.
A look at the HAECO Centerline Ceiling Stowage unit in cabin configuration
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CABIN SOLUTIONS LATAM’s new Premium Business seat can also be extended into a fully flat bed, as seen here
A fresh new look LATAM’s recently announced US$400 million cabin retrofit project will cover two-thirds of its fleet, helping to further modernize Latin America’s largest airline by RACHEL DEBLING
ver 200 of LATAM Airlines’ aircraft will have their cabins renovated as part of a US$400 million investment that will further enhance and personalize the travel experience of its passengers. The first renovated aircraft, operated by LATAM Airlines Peru, is slated to fly before the end of the year. LATAM Airlines Brasil will launch its upgraded cabins early next year, and LATAM Airline’s Chile affiliate will debut its new cabins in the second half of 2019. The entire project, which took three
years to plan, will take approximately two years to complete and affects both short- and long-haul routes. “As part of LATAM’s long-term vision, the transformation of our cabins will enable us to offer an industryleading onboard experience with more options, flexibility and personalization to better serve each and every passenger,” said Claudia Sender, Vice President Clients, LATAM Airlines Group, in a release from the airline. “This means being able to serve leisure passengers who want to ‘travel lighter for less’ at One of LATAM’s Premium Business Class seats, supplied by Thompson, in an aisle configuration
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the same time as customers traveling for business who want privacy to both rest and work, in addition to those who wish to be able to upgrade the services that they value the most.” The 767, 777, 787-9 and A350-1000 aircraft on LATAM’s long-haul routes, including those to and from the United States and Europe, will feature wide Thompson seats in Premium Business Class, complete with 18-inch personal screens. The Economy Class of the airline’s new long-haul aircraft will include Recaro seats with fast-charging USB power ports and a 12-inch seatback screen. Upgraded A320 and A321 aircraft will be deployed on LATAM’s domestic flights within Latin America and will feature more inflight entertainment options, Wi-Fi connectivity and Recaro seating with USB power ports. “Onboard experience is one of the most important differentiators in choosing an airline and the most relevant factor in customer satisfaction, so it was essential that our passengers were involved in the development process,” noted Sender. “We are committed to better understanding and satisfying passenger needs and we believe that with these new cabins – in addition to our unrivaled network of destinations – that LATAM is well placed to consolidate its position as the first choice for passengers traveling in Latin America.”
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The KrisWorld system in Economy Class. Singapore Airlines plans a complete rollout of myKrisWorld on long-haul routes by early next year
AN APP THAT KNOWS YOU The myKrisWorld app on Singapore Airlines was an industry first two years ago. The airline is now considering ways to expand its capabilities
by RICK LUNDSTROM
hen Singapore Airlines introduced its A350 into service in the spring of 2016, in addition to the many other features of the aircraft, passengers could use a new mobile app – the first of its kind in the industry – to learn about the movie selection on the airline’s KrisWorld inflight entertainment system. Two short years later, the myKrisWorld companion app has evolved into a clear example of the way airlines and suppliers are making technology designed for use by a large number of people important to passengers on a personal level. Time and again, the concept of “the Internet of Me” finds its way into the planning of future products for inflight use. With myKrisWorld, developed by Panasonic Avionics and MTT with additional help from a Swedish company called Tactel, passengers have the ability to pre-program their inflight entertainment before their flight and use their personal electronic devices to control their viewing experience once on board. More improvements in the system are in the offing. The process starts when a passenger loads the SingaporeAir application onto a device before departure. On board, a link to the aircraft’s Wi-Fi network puts the KrisWorld inflight entertainment system, run on Panasonic hardware, into the hands of the passenger and their own familiar handheld device. They can browse entertainment choices with their mobile device while watching a movie on the seat monitor. Passengers can also access real-time information on the flight progress
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and flight path without interrupting their movie viewing. Now, two years after the initial launch of myKrisWorld aboard the airline’s A350s, the product has been expanded to the airline’s fleet of 777-300ERs and A380s, with plans to have it on all the airline’s long-haul flights by early next year. Officials at the airline and its suppliers say the launch aboard Singapore Airlines provided them with an ideal first customer. Singapore’s inflight multi-device usage is among the highest in the world, said David Moran, CEO of the Travelport Digital branch of MTT, at the time of the announcement of myKrisWorld. Tan Pee Teck, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President Products and Services, added that the companion app offers passengers greater interaction possibilities from gate to cabin. “We are excited to be the first airline in the world to offer such an application to our customers,” he added. More than two years after the initial launch of myKrisWorld, development has not ceased and its possibilities and potential has grown. On the new A380s, myKrisWorld provides passengers with content recommendations based on their personal viewing history, as well as the ability to bookmark and
A look at the myKrisWorld companion app showing movie lineups and flight information
review content and customize and save preferences for future flights. Panasonic has also given passengers the ability to log in at their seats, specify preferences and customize wallpaper between flights. myKrisWorld gives passengers a lineup of alternative programming by delivering content that is trending at the time of the flight (determined via crowdsourcing) and can even give passengers the option to finish a movie they started on a previous flight. Exclusive content is also available based on the passenger’s frequent flyer status. The app also remembers a passenger’s IFE and seat lighting preferences across flights. With all these features and the option for passengers to use their personal electronic devices as a graphic user interface (GUI), there is still opportunity to grow. This is bolstered by the fact the airline has seen how convenient myKrisWorld has become for passengers. “With myKrisWorld, we have evolved from a simple listing and movie trailers,” Yung Han Ng, Vice President of Product Innovation at Singapore Airlines, tells PAX International. “Now the companion app allows you to sign in as a KrisFlyer member. It is an ongoing process that will not stop here. In the future, we will use an e-menu and integration with a magazine reader to improve it.” Beyond watching the frequency of usage, Singapore Airlines has not kept detailed data on the profiles of myKrisWorld’s users. Yung says the airline estimates between 30% and 40% of its passengers that have access to the companion app make use of it. Demographically, regular users tend of be a “slightly younger group of people,” Yung adds. For now, Singapore Airlines is viewing the use of myKrisWorld as a service to passengers. Yung said there are no plans to add features and services designed to generate revenue or use myKrisWorld as a platform for advertising. However, that has not stopped other airlines from making use of companion app technologies for sales. In a July post on the Panasonic Avionics blog page, the company outlined six ways for airlines to make better use of their companion apps. Low-cost carriers have made extensive use of companion apps for up-selling services. The top 15 LCC airline apps offer passengers up to 13 categories of à la carte ancillary programs that they pay for directly on their mobile devices. “Companion apps and multi-screening allow passengers to socialize, shop and pay in the privacy of their own device while watching a movie on the seatback,” said the company. “This removes friction and augments the passenger experience.” Building loyalty and passenger goodwill is changing from a game of points and frequent flyer miles to one offering products and services that personalize the travel experience. Panasonic said one way to do this is to collect valuable information about what a passenger likes and what they do not, and many popular apps on the market, including myKrisWorld, are well on their way to providing these valuable metrics.
CREATING GALLEY SPACE WHERE IT DOES NOT EXIST
Your Space Saving Companions in the Galley
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www.onboardlogistics.com www.pax-intl.com | PAX TECH | 37
Play it safe
The latest inflight safety videos prove that delivering the message “Safety first!” doesn’t have to be a dry and humorless endeavor
by RACHEL DEBLING
e know that pre-flight safety videos are an important and necessary part of every flight, and airlines can’t assume that passengers have heard it all before – even if they have, as evidenced by video footage taken earlier this year in the aftermath of a Southwest midflight emergency, the likelihood that every passenger will recall each step of the process in a moment of panic is very, very low.
AIR NEW ZEALAND
The scientists and staff of the Scott Base, New Zealand’s only Antarctic research facility, partnered with Air New Zealand and United Nation’s Environmental Ambassador Adrian Grenier, star of TV’s Entourage, to dazzle and educate the airline’s passengers on the effects of global warming on Antarctica’s climate. The nearly five-minute clip takes viewers on a breathtaking journey set to Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” bringing them above the Antarctic tundra, across its frigid landscape and under the ice shelf, all while providing teachable moments about our day-to-day impact on the global environment and guiding travelers toward best practices for inflight safety. As one child featured in the video says, “Whoa, that’s so cool!”
“Filming in sub-zero conditions was intense, but it was an adventure I will carry with me forever. One unforgettable moment was stepping below the ice shelf to see the underwater life beneath in a scientific observation cylinder drilled through the ice.” – Adrian Grenier
All of the videos mentioned above can be found on the airline’s YouTube channel and on pax-intl.com
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So how do you capture the attention of an aircraft full of passengers who want nothing more than to get their journey started, safety precautions be damned? If these recent releases from airlines around the world are any indication, all it takes is some tongue-in-cheek humor, a dash of education, and a bit of star power.
The nervous laughter that accompanies most aircraft touchdowns aren’t the only giggles that can be heard throughout the cabins of British Airways. This past July, the airline debuted their second starstudded pre-flight safety video, featuring the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Absolutely Fabulous’ Joanna Lumley, and Olivia Colman, who will be taking over the part of Queen Elizabeth II in season three of The Crown. (The first video landed on board in 2017, with famous faces such as Sir Ian McKellen and Thandie Newton.) In the clip, Chabuddy G, as depicted by comedian Asim Chaudhry, takes his celebrity guests down a few pegs as he mispronounces names, takes inappropriate selfies and provides feedback that would cause most Hollywood royalty to walk off set. The jokes are good fun for a good cause, however: the series promotes Flying Start, BA’s partnership with international charity Comic Relief.
“Our first video was seen by customers nearly 25 million times so it’s a great way to promote Flying Start, our global charity partnership with Comic Relief. Thanks to our generous customers and colleagues, we’ve raised over £19 million for Comic Relief over the past eight years.” – Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience
Since 1932, LEGO® has provided children of all ages with the means to create miniature versions of nearly any method of transportation from the comfort of their home. Now, kids and adults on Turkish Airlines will be treated to an exclusive spectacle of LEGO-proportions – all from the comfort of their aircraft seat. The video, which took 950 days and almost three million LEGO bricks to create, utilizes the nostalgia that made The LEGO Movie franchise attractive to moviegoers around the world to deliver the same old, same old “fasten your seatbelt” message in an all-new way. Many of the LEGO characters fans are familiar with – including Emmet, Wyldstyle and even fan-favorite Batman – make appearances, and passengers will be left with one special gift: an earworm ditty that will guarantee they won’t forget this clip for days to come.
Emmet: After our last adventure, I guess you can say we’ve kind of become movie stars. Wyldstyle: But we’re between movies right now. And what do movie stars do between movies? Together: Star in a flashy airline safety video!
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Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.egret.aero
What to expect
Attendees listen with rapt attention to presenters at last year’s APEX Expo in Long Beach
Ahead of APEX’s annual North American expo this September, PAX spoke to Katie Goshgarian, Executive Director of APEX, for an exclusive look at what to expect in Beantown. Plus: news on the 2018 edition of co-located Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas
Katie Goshgarian, Executive Director of APEX
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On what return attendees can look forward to
One major change is, due to limited space within the Boston Conference and Event Center, APEX and AIX Americas will be located together, with IFSA and Worldwide Airline Customer Relations Association (WACRA) at the Hynes Convention Center. With more than 100 representatives from airlines and more than 5,000 overall expected attendees, APEX EXPO continues to be the industry’s largest PaxEx event exclusive for experts and decision-makers committed to elevating the level of the worldwide airline passenger experience. The four-day premier event features top-notch seminars led by industry experts, the latest and most comprehensive display of airlinerelated technologies, products and services, and valuable networking opportunities. This year, we are proud to feature a stellar lineup of keynote speakers that includes CEOs from American Airlines, Air Canada, LATAM, Aeromexico and Aer Lingus. Their combined knowledge and experience will give attendees unique and invaluable insight. This will be followed by an afternoon of breakout sessions dedicated to enabling attendees to learn more about a certain areas of interest.
new aerospace technology
EVENTS A sampling of the speakers at APEX’s 2018 edition, including the President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark (bottom)
On the wide variety of exhibitors
There are more than 130 companies and organizations confirmed to exhibit at this year’s APEX EXPO. These exhibitors include manufacturers, content providers and technology solutions developers, all showcasing their latest offerings and innovations. Attendees can expect the most comprehensive and diverse display of airline-related technologies, products and services. Some of the first-time exhibitors at APEX EXPO include Aeroplay Entertainment, airfree, APT Worldwide/American Public Television, ELTA (ECA Group), Inflight VR Software GmBH, Intramovies, O’Brien International, RebelRoam, SKYdeals, Telesat, The Television Syndication Company, and TQ-Systems GmbH. Consult the current list of exhibitors at apex.aero for more information.
On how new exhibitors should tackle the event
The best advice to exhibiting companies is to note who is coming and set up meetings on the show floor (or at the bar post-show hours!) to ensure you get the most value from the expo. The 5,000-plus attendees at APEX EXPO are leaders and decision-makers within their respective organizations, meaning they typically having buying power. Exhibitors should also be aware of the Cool Awards. These awards are voted on by attendees who walk the show floor and are given out by APEX to the companies that showcase the most innovative technologies and products at their booths. Winners will be announced at the event on Thursday. Finally, be sure to also promote your organization or company’s attendance by engaging with APEX on social media using the hashtag #APEXEXPO. Attendees can also look forward to the annual APEX Awards ceremony that celebrates innovative and new achievements by airlines and vendor partners. Awards will be given for the APEX Awards, Official Passenger Ratings™, global Passenger Choice Awards (PCAs), APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award and the new APEX + Crystal Cabin Best Customer Journey Experience Award.
On what newbies should make note of
For those attending APEX EXPO for the first time, the best advice is to set up appointments with key attendees in advance. It’s definitely an appointment-centric show as opposed to a foot traffic show. APEX members value relationship-building, so that is important to note as well. Attend as many networking events as you can to make those connections. The executive keynotes are also a must-see for any attendees. This year, APEX EXPO will feature a record number of these presentations including Doug Parker, Chairman and CEO of American Airlines; Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO of Air Canada; Claudia Sender, Vice President of Customers at LATAM Airlines Group and CEO of LATAM; Andres Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico; and Stephen Kavanagh, CEO and Executive Director of Aer Lingus. Another highlight for attendees is the annual APEX Networking Event sponsored by SmartSky Networks. This year’s party will feature local Boston cuisine and a celebration of the city’s rich history, all to music from some of Boston’s most famous artists and bands. 42 | PAX TECH | SEPTEMBER 2018
AIRCRAFT INTERIORS EXPO LANDS IN BEANTOWN
Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, held this year at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center from September 25 to 27 and co-located with the Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association Expo (IFSA), has plenty of new offerings for the executives and company reps from across the aircraft supply chain in attendance. The CabinSpace LIVE Seminar Theatre is coming to the North American AIX expo for the first time (AIX Hamburg hosts the sessions each spring), providing delegates and exhibitors a place to “learn, network and seek inspiration on pressing industry issues” over its two-day course, according to a press release from Reed Exhibitions, the company behind AIX. Over 5,000 visitors and 280 airline VIPs from 63 international airlines are expected to attend. Verity Newton, Exhibition Manager at Reed Exhibitions, said in a statement: “Over the past nine years, AIX has firmly established itself as the leading fall event for the global aircraft interiors industry to gather and discuss the trends shaping the industry.
“This year we are delighted to be welcoming new exhibiting companies who will continue to showcase the evolving spectrum of aircraft interiors products that are shaping the passenger experience.”
THE DESTINATION FOR THE AIRCRAFT INTERIORS INDUSTRY. Aircraft Interiors Expo 2019 2 - 4 April 2019, Hamburg Messe, Germany Aircraft Interiors Expo is the world’s market leader event dedicated to airlines and the supply chain to source the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment, connectivity and passenger comfort industries. Register today www.aircraftinteriorsexpo.com
SAVE THE DATE APRIL 2019
Co-located with: World Travel Catering & Onboard Services 2 – 4 April 2019 Hamburg Messe, Germany
In co-operation with:
HOT! ID-44 and ID-227 headsets – InflightDirect: InflightDirect’s newest earbud, ID-227 (above right), is a comfortable, rubber-tipped earbud that offers a design upgrade with a unique earpiece that allows for easier placement in the ears. The earbud has a neodymium speaker element that provides great sound reproduction. Another new introduction is ID-44 (above left), the company’s headband model. This model is a single-wire version available with either a foam or leather-like earpad. The lightweight new model offers a rectangular earpiece that accommodates a 30mm speaker, which is not only comfortable but provides acoustics that rival many retail models. Visit InflightDirect/Mills Textiles at APEX, booth 117
Multipurpose disinfectant wipe – Freshorize: Introducing a powerful, EPA-approved, multipurpose disinfectant wipe. This one-step, single-use wipe contains a deodorizing, broad spectrum disinfectant that has been evaluated against pathogenic bacteria, viruses and fungi, including the flu virus, Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, SARS, HBV, HVC and HIV-1. In addition, these wipes are bleach-, ammonia- and phosphatefree, and AMS- and Boeing-certified. Visit Freshorize at IFSA, booths 221 and 223
Indestructible PET cup – Global Inflight Products: Global Inflight Products’ unbreakable PET Cup offers the same clarity as injection cups while being eco-friendly and more economical. Offering no risk of injury to passengers or crew, as well as no risk of leaks, Global Inflight Products’ PET cup is available at a 20% to 30% lower cost, is 100% recyclable, and offers the option for an embossed logo – something that is impossible with injection cups. Visit Global Inflight Products at IFSA, booths 207, 209, 306 and 308
Phased-array satcom antennas – ThinKom Solutions Inc.:
Super absorbent polymer – Gobi/Onboard Logistics: Gobi offers a revolutionary solution for a zero-catering waste goal and leak problems that can occur during a flight. With its power to absorb 150 times its weight, Gobi collects the liquid waste to allow the isolation of international catering waste (ICW) and the recycling of non-contaminated material. Composed of recycled super absorbent, it turns the liquids into a solid form, thus preventing any chance of leaks.
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ThinKom Solutions will showcase its GEO/MEO/LEO compatible phased-array antennas at APEX. ThinKom’s patented phased-array architecture provides rapid switching speeds without the limitations of electronic scanning antennas in terms of instantaneous bandwidth, low-look-angle performance, power consumption and aperture efficiency. Agility tests have shown ThinKom’s antenna design achieves switching speeds of less than 800 ms – more than sufficient for beam switching among the fast-moving LEO satellites with virtually no interruption in connectivity. Visit ThinKom at APEX, booth 557
T H E M I D D L E E A S T ’ S O N LY A I R C R A F T I N T E R I O R S E V E N T
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11-12 February 2019 Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE
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FACTS & FIGURES
Brushing up on Beantown A closer look at the city APEX/AIX is calling home this year
35 Washington, D.C. Location that tied Boston as the U.S. city with the highest number of people who walk or cycle to work in a 2016 Benchmark Report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking
How many more people went through BOS in 2017 than the amount that live in the city (685,094 in July 2017, as per U.S. Census estimates)
Number of Universities in Boston, together employing more than 42,000 people
December 16, 2023 The 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. For its 200th anniversary in 1973, a number of commemorative items were released, including plates, stamps and medals
Amount Fenway Park went over capacity when it hosted almost 60,000 people for a 1934 political rally. (It was made to fit 37,673.)
38,412,419 Number of passengers who passed through Logan International Airport (BOS) in 2017
211,044 Number of dents in the Green Monster, Fenway Park’s famed wall, according to a 2014 estimate by The Boston Globe
Molasses The liquid that caused a legendary Boston flood in 1919, killing 21 and injuring 150
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Visit us at IFSA 2018 Booth #421 APEX 2018 Booth #1009
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 look-out 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.
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