Vueling debuts high speed wifi
October 30, 2019
Vueling has become the first European low-cost carrier to debut fast inflight broadband through The European Aviation Network (EAN).
The airline has commenced a soft launch of the service on five initial short-haul aircraft. The rollout will continue over the coming months with installations expected to be completed on its fleet of more than 110 Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft by early next year.
Passengers purchasing wifi on Vueling flights will have access to a full range of packages, including ‘Fly and Chat’ for messaging, ‘Fly and Surf’ for browsing and ‘Fly and More’ for streaming.
EAN’s integrated system delivers consistent wifi that enables passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, enjoy real-time interactive applications such as gaming, and more.
Vueling is the third airline to make the connectivity solution available to passengers. In total, EAN can now be accessed on more than 250 routes covering key destinations across Europe.
Developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom (DT) in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and EAD Aerospace, EAN marks a paradigm shift in the airline passenger experience.
Film Festival takes flight
October 30, 2019
SWISS is to supplement its regular inflight entertainment programme with the “Flying Film Festival” onboard its long-haul flights.
The Festival, running from the beginning of November to the end of December, will feature 13 varied short documentaries by young filmmakers from all over the world.
The Flying Film Festival is a collaboration between SWISS and the Fribourg-based, Le Système D association, and was first staged in 2015, being repeated every other year since.
The Festival is designed to support and promote innovative young directors of short documentary and docu-animation. This year’s selection includes short documentary films from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia. Details of the programme and the films’ directors can be found at swiss-inflightentertainment.com
Wireless charging from Astronics
October 30, 2019
Astronics Corporation, a provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defence, and other mission critical industries, is now offering new wireless charging module (WCM) to business aircraft and rotorcraft markets.
Astronics’ WCM provides wireless charging capability for passenger smart phones and other devices, and positioned as ideal for both forward fit and aftermarket retrofit.
The new wireless charging module has already been adopted by some seat manufacturers to provide fast, safe charging for passenger electronic devices (PEDs) including smartphones. The WCM integrates into the aircraft cabin with options to fit it in passenger seats, furniture, or galleys, and provides quick charging of Qi-enabled wireless devices.
Astronics’ EmPower in-seat power is already used by 280 airlines and business aircraft OEMs and the new wireless charging module represents a way to provide the convenience of wireless charging easily.
The 15 watt charger is Qi certified and compatible with the most popular mobile devices. Astronics’ WCM is the only Qi-certified wireless charging module available for aircraft, and it is already linefit offerable by both Airbus and Boeing. Qi certification ensures safety through testing as well as device compatibility.
EGYPTAIR partners with AeroMobile
October 30, 2019
EGYPTAIR has launched mobile connectivity onboard its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, in partnership with Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, AeroMobile
The move sees the deployment of mobile and internet connectivity across the carrier’s entire fleet of Dreamliner aircraft. In addition to the onboard wifi and a live TV service, passengers will be able to access the AeroMobile network to connect their roaming-enabled GSM mobile phones to use mobile data services, send and receive SMS messages and emails, and make and receive calls.
The roll-out will be complete by the end of autumn 2019.
Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile, Panasonic Avionics, says: “EGYPTAIR has reached an exciting milestone through developing mobile connectivity to its passengers with seamless connectivity in most of the flight. The airline joins our ever-growing connected fleet enabling inflight mobile connectivity to become more accessible to travelers than ever before. We look forward to continue working with the team to provide a great passenger experience.”
Cathay Pacific increases selection of inflight entertainment
October 21, 2019
The Cathay Pacific Group is quadrupling its amount of inflight entertainment available to passengers.
Travellers can now expect to see more new-release movies, more complete boxsets and more sports coverage, as well as more Asian content. The increased content means customers could fly non-stop around the world 45 times and never have to watch the same thing twice.
The airline has partnered with channel Sport 24 to offer customers flying on Airbus A350 aircrafts live coverage sporting events from around the world. Passengers can catch the Rugby World Cup Finals live this month, and next year live coverage of the Tokyo Olympics and the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens will be shown.
The move also makes Cathay Pacific one of the first airlines to offer multi-season boxsets, meaning passengers can binge-watch series, starting with the pilot episode all the way to the finale. Its large library of Asian content includes HD movies, TV collections and worldwide exclusive titles.
Passengers can also explore specially curated collections compiled by renowned celebrities and entertainment experts.
AeroMobile partners with TrueMove Thailand
October 21, 2019
Panasonic Avionics Corporation subsidiary, AeroMobile, and telecommunications operator TrueMove Thailand, have partnered to launch an inflight data roaming bundle.
Customers who subscribe to the inflight service will be able to use their mobile phones to browse the internet, send and receive emails, texts and calls and stay in touch with friends on social networks, whilst travelling on AeroMobile-equipped aircraft.
Parinthon Tansuthepverawong, general manager of True Corporation, says: “Our customers expect a high-quality user experience, and through our partnership with AeroMobile we are now able to offer valued inflight roaming service at an attractive price.”
Kevin Rogers, ceo AeroMobile, adds: “With the new inflight roaming bundle, TrueMove’s customers no longer need to worry about continuing to communicate whilst travelling. This new market-leading package shows a continued commitment to providing the very best service to customers.”
The service is currently available to post-paid customers that purchase the inflight bundle and will enable TrueMove Thailand’s customers to enjoy more value and convenience when travelling.
Vision-Box to present Seamless Flow at FTE-APEX Asia 2019
October 21, 2019
At FTE-APEX Asia 2019, Vision-Box will present a multi-stakeholder One-ID ready platform enabler of the digitalisation of passenger experience and of frictionless journeys.
Seamless Flow orchestrates a trusted digital identity ecosystem that allows for a seamless, contactless and on-the-move passenger walkthrough. It proposes an identity management model, where passenger identity is vetted and enrolled at an initial stage, i.e. at home or at check-in, and no further lengthy verifications are required. The passenger moves to the boarding gate without the need to show passport or boarding pass or stop for identity checks.
A glance at a camera is enough to gain access to airside, clear the border, access the lounge, make purchases at airport boutiques, and finally board on time. Any process, whether crossing security, border control or boarding, is contactless, on-the-move and can deliver a personalised experience. Passengers take full control of their journey, using their biometrics features to clear checkpoints, book services, shop and receive personalised information.
Vision-Box’s line of seamless interaction points is ready: self-service, on-the-go, with minimum environmental footprint, One-ID ready, IoT-enabled, using biometrics and mobileID for speedy on-the-move transactions. Orchestra, the passenger-centric 4.0 Common-Use-compliant Services Platform, interconnects all IoT-enabled devices and integrates multiple data sources, including bookings, API/PNR, passenger profiles, check-in, baggage, etc. into a fully-connected multi-stakeholder collaborative ecosystem. It delivers value in real-time operations control, business intelligence, sustained by Privacy-by-Design.
Vision-Box will present Seamless Flow at FTE-APEX Asia 2019 at booth A19.
Vietnam Airlines launches inflight wifi
October 15, 2019
Vietnam Airlines passengers flying the airline’s Airbus A350 are now being offered wifi internet inflight.
Available on routes between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Osaka as well as between Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka, Singapore. The airline will continue its research to develop this service on Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 with better speed and accessibility.
“With the goal of becoming a digital airline, Vietnam Airlines continues to take the lead in adopting information technology to bring customers added service,” says Le Hong Ha, executive vice president of Vietnam Airlines. “By providing the first inflight wifi service in Vietnam, we hope to bring passengers a brand-new experience and convenience by allowing internet usage during the flight.”
With prices ranging from $2.95-$29.95 USD, Vietnam Airlines passengers can choose their package based on their desired usage length and data capacity (up to 80MB). Passengers make their selection and pay online via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, or Diners Club credit cards once the aircraft completes its ascent. The registered package is valid until the end of the journey and can be used on a variety of device platforms but cannot be used on multiple devices at the same.
To help passengers to identify flights equipped with wifi service, Vietnam Airlines will notify passengers at the check-in counters, through signage at the aircraft gate, and also through inflight announcements.
First ever inflight internet for China
October 15, 2019
Lufthansa Technik has increased its market presence for connectivity modifications in Asia by signing an agreement with Chinese service provider Air Esurfing Information Technology Co., Ltd.
This will help in providing aircraft with the first ever inflight connectivity solution for the Chinese market. Further contract partners include Honeywell (antenna hardware provider) and China Satcom (satellite provider).
According to a new five-year agreement, Lufthansa Technik will design and certify Ka-band-based connectivity retrofit packages for both the Airbus A320ceo and A320neo aircraft families as well as the Boeing 737NG and 737MAX. The company will also work with Air Esurfing Information Technology Co., Ltd. to provide the respective CAAC validated EASA Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) to support Chinese airlines. Moreover, Lufthansa Technik will take care of material supply and material handling services for the installation of the packages, which can be tailored to each of Air Esurfing’s airline customers and their specific requirements.
“As an inflight solution provider on connectivity, the company’s strategic cooperation with Lufthansa Technik signals a new chapter in our history, as we take a big step forward empowering Chinese airlines with high-speed inflight internet services,” said Herman Guo, chief executive officer of AirNet, Air Esurfing’s parent company.
“The partnership with Air Esurfing is a significant step in Lufthansa Technik’s global focus to meet a promising market demand in China,” said Gerald Steinhoff, vice president corporate sales Asia Pacific of Lufthansa Technik. “As a joint force, we shall exploit the full potentials of the Chinese market
TV first for Singapore Airlines inflight
October 07, 2019
Singapore Airlines has partnered with Sky Sports for the world’s first live broadcast from a commercial Airbus A380 flight.
The first-of-its-kind event saw Sky Sports presenter Craig Slater interview Ruth Buscombe, senior strategy engineer for the Alfa Romeo Racing Formula One team, on their flight to Singapore for this year’s Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. The live broadcast took place one one of Singapore Airlines’ new Airbus A380 aircraft.
This world first was made possible thanks to inflight wifi connectivity powered by SITAONAIR’s high-speed Internet ONAIR over GX Aviation.The portal enabled Sky Sports to stay connected and bring the live broadcast to television.
Subhas Menon, regional vice president Europe from Singapore Airlines, said: “This was a great way to celebrate the excitement ahead of the Singapore Night Race. It is testament to the sophistication of our aircraft and our commitment to innovation that this technological feat could take place.”
Iberia adds whatsapp ibot
October 07, 2019
Iberia customers can now use the airline’s new WhatsApp channel for general information about their trip, or to check the status of their flights and check-in.
The launch of the new virtual assistance service through WhatsApp is part of Iberia’s ongoing digital transformation programme.
The move is designed to bring the airline closer to its customers and provide a service suited to their needs. The new Spanish-language virtual assistance channel is available through the airline WhatsApp number +34 676 67 60 04.
Iberia has worked with Mindsay to develop this new customer assistance channel, following a successful chat collaboration for iberia.com. Guillaume Laporte, Mindsay’s co-founder and ceo, comments: “From automated check-in to live flight information and FAQs, Mindsay technology allows Iberia to provide its customers with a personalised service.”
Iberia is currently engaged in a digital transformation process towards a new culture and a 100% digital experience with connected operations for both customers and employees.
Inmarsat progresses to Iris phase two
October 07, 2019
Inmarsat has signed a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) for phase two of the Iris air traffic modernisation programme, which will include important flight trials across Europe to assess the service in a real operational environment.
Iris is being developed to deliver powerful benefits to European aviation by enabling high bandwidth, cost-effective satellite-based datalink communications over Europe.
John Broughton, senior vice president of aircraft operations and safety services at Inmarsat, said: “We are very excited to embark on the next phase of Iris with all of our partners. Important progress has already been made on various critical elements and as a result of strong industry-wide interest, several important agreements have been signed with major European ANSPs, aircraft manufacturers and airlines. Today’s agreement brings us another step closer to delivering the Iris programme.”
Airline Edition push for OM3 retail
October 07, 2019
Michael Raasch, former head of consulting at LSG Group, has joined the OM3 team at AOE to support deployment of the company’s Airline Edition.
Raasch brings more than 20 years of experience to the company and says: “Compared to other approaches, OM3 is, in my opinion, the most innovative solution and far ahead of its time and interesting for airports and airlines alike. I am looking forward to working actively on the further development of the platform and to further positioning the OM3 Airline Edition in the market.”
Raasch spent four years developing inflight concepts for the Lufthansa Group before joining the LSG Group in 2006 as project manager A380. His focus has been on innovative concepts that optimise the airline customer experience, and was responsible for the conceptualisation and development of the LSG Group’s global E-Commerce platform strategy and onboard concepts ofor Lufthansa.
The OM3 Airline Edition was recently launched on Singapore Airlines. Raasch says: “It’s obvious that all airlines are currently reorienting their business models for travel retail. This is why there is so much interest in our solutions and we currently have a number of airports and airlines that are in discussions or planning with us.”
Panasonic Avionics names Vistara as launch customer for Arc and Games
October 01, 2019
Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has today announced Indian airline Vistara as the launch customer for its new Arc Inflight Map Platform and Games, part of its Theatre solution.
Arc and Games are newly-launched entertainment solutions developed by Panasonic to create an immersive and engaging travel experience.
The solutions will be installed on Vistara’s fleet of Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321neo aircraft from 2020.
Arc is a personalised 3D inflight map application and solution for Panasonic’s inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems. It brings a wide range of innovations to the traditional inflight map, while expanding that into a fully- integrated experience within its IFEC eco-system, in particular by aligning it with Panasonic’s Theatre (inflight entertainment) and Marketplace (e-commerce) solutions, all backed by its NEXT Cloud infrastructure.
Arc’s innovations include the industry’s first personalised maps capability, and new Map-as-a-Service technology that enables further applications using the map engine. The system features set, premium destination and point-of-interest content, and money generating opportunities through Panasonic’s Marketplace e-commerce platform. It can also be integrated with airline advertising and promotions.
Games was launched by Panasonic in April 2019 to meet the needs of the 2.4 billion gamers worldwide and is part of its Theatre entertainment solution. It will enable Vistara’s passengers to play premium games created by globally recognised brands creating a fun and engaging travel experience inflight.
Ethiopian Airlines rolls out onboard wifi
October 01, 2019
Ethiopian Airlines has launched onboard wifi internet connectivity on its A350 fleet using the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band).
Tewolde GebreMariam, group ceo of Ethiopian Airlines, says: “This launch is part of our relentless effort to add to passenger comfort, keeping pace with the technology of the day. As customer-centric airline, we will remain focused on continuous service excellence, taking advantage of emerging technologies and infrastructure.”
Passengers can access the inflight connectivity service by purchasing vouchers at Ethiopian Airlines sales outlets including Addis Ababa International Airport customer service desk, boarding gate and cabin crews onboard the fights. Online sales through credit/debit card and ShebaMiles miles are also available.
The inflight wifi is initially launched on the A350 fleet of Ethiopian with further plans to expand the service on other airplanes deployed on long haul flights.
American’s insight into movie viewing
October 01, 2019
New research commissioned by American Airlines has shown that almost a quarter (23%) of Brits say catching up on the latest film releases is what they look forward to the most about flying, but more than half (53%) find it difficult to choose which films to watch.
The carrier has created a unique movie menu in partnership with the BFI to help make choosing iconic films much easier.
Kicking off in time for the BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express, the menu has been curated by BFI London Film Festival Director Tricia Tuttle and recommends must-see movies to alleviate the dilemma of choosing what to watch.
Over half (51%) of Brits find films more memorable when they watch them on board a plane and almost a third (32%) feel more emotional watching films at altitude. Almost a fifth (17%) of Brits say their favourite thing about flying is watching films.
Jon Bird, Director of International Marketing at American Airlines said: “Our customers love watching movies when they fly, but with over 285 movies and hundreds of box sets to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision.
To tackle this we’ve launched this new movie menu – just in time for the BFI London Film Festival – so our customers can enjoy a selection of the best films on offer.
For more than 60 years, we have supported filmmakers on both sides of the Atlantic. Our new menu is the perfect way to ensure every film customers watch will stay with them long after they’ve landed.”
Comedy came out on top as the genre of films Brits most like to watch when they fly (32%), followed by action (16%) and horror (8%). Romantic films scored the lowest at just 6%.
GX Aviation now available with AirAsia
September 20, 2019
Inmarsat has announced that its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution has entered commercial service with low-cost airline AirAsia.
AirAsia is currently offering GX Aviation to passengers onboard a number of initial aircraft through its RedBeat Ventures subsidiary, ROKKI, marking a significant upgrade to their inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) experience. To celebrate the occasion, passengers are being offered a free trial on GX Aviation-equipped aircraft until September 30 2019.
The service integrates with the airline’s entertainment and e-commerce platform, allowing passengers to access a variety of free entertainment, music, games, news and shopping using their personal mobile devices. It will be rolled out across AirAsia’s Airbus A320 and A330 fleet over the next year.
Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation, says: “AirAsia’s launch of GX Aviation services is a significant milestone, as it brings to life the airline’s bold and innovative new digital offering for passengers. We are confident that its upgrade from basic connectivity to the industry’s gold standard inflight broadband will be warmly embraced by passengers.”
Aireen Omar, AirAsia group president (RedBeat Ventures), says: “As the pioneer of LCC inflight wifi in the region, we are always looking for ways to redefine the inflight digital experience for our guests. Introducing Ka-band, powered by ROKKI, is the next logical step in this process, with the enhanced inflight connectivity allowing our guests to stay connected throughout their journey and perform data-intensive activities such as live-streaming. This also enables better real-time analytics, allowing us to offer more personalised services to AirAsia’s 100 million guests annually.”
Inflight Dublin releases next-generation Everhub Portable Wireless Server
September 20, 2019
Inflight Dublin has announced the launch of its next-generation Everhub Portable Wireless Server. It claims the device is the most powerful and advanced wireless IFE solution available, and its DO-160G certification is stated to makes it one of the safest and most reliable solution on the market.
The new hardware is accompanied by the Everhub software platform, which is fully customisable to suit clients’ requirements.
The server can be powered by batteries or directly from the aircraft. It can also deliver secure, high-definition, browser-based DRM content to 75 passengers per unit. The Everhub portable server minimises logistics costs through its swappable battery configuration and remote loading of content.
The device comes preloaded with Everhub software for inflight entertainment and ancillary services and supports secure Digital Rights Management (DRM) content streamed to browsers. It is available as a standalone portable box using batteries or hybrid (aircraft powered) option.
John White, ceo of Inflight Dublin, says: “The next-generation Everhub server further enhances Inflight Dublin’s position as the only true end-to-end wireless IFE solution provider in the market. With the launch of our own server hardware, we are in complete and direct control of all the elements that airlines need in order to implement a wireless solution, namely hardware, software, content (including Early Window Hollywood movies) and design services”.
David Miller, Inflight Dublin’s cto, adds: “We started looking at an option for our own server based on our experience providing wireless IFE solutions on a number of fixed and portable platforms. We fed this learning into the design of our new server to provide a robust and scalable system which seamlessly integrates both our cloud and aircraft hosted services to deliver the best passenger and airline experience in a single offering.”
IdeaNova Technologies innovates Inplay
September 20, 2019
IdeaNova Technologies has continued to innovate its Inplay IFE Portal, this time offering the ability for passengers to choose their content before entering the aircraft. The Inplay Portal and its secure Inplay Players integrate with an onboard chat function and moving maps for convenient flight tracking while watching the entertainment.
The player offers multi-language audio, subtitles and accessibility features all suited for either in browser or application-based playback.
“The new Inplay IFE Portal is a result of the collaboration of various technologies with one single goal: to improve passenger experience on and off the aircraft,” says Juraj Siska, ceo of IdeaNova Technologies. “The entertainment playback now allows passengers to interact with chat and moving maps without leaving the portal or the player. Customers can also build a watch list for binge watching their favorite shows on or off the aircraft.”
GX Aviation takes flight on Virgin Atlantic
September 17, 2019
Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband solution is now available on Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A350-1000 flight from London to New York.
The high-speed coverage will enable Virgin Atlantic’s customers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights – with speeds comparable to mobile broadband on the ground.
Between now and 2021, the carrier will take receipt of 12 Airbus A350-1000s with GX Aviation pre-installed on delivery. Virgin Atlantic has selected Deutsche Telekom as the internet service provider for the aircraft, having already worked together on the airline’s 787 and A330 fleets since 2014.
Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation, said the partnership between Inmarsat and Virgin Atlantic will transform passenger experience as the airline’s customers begin to benefit from the high standard of inflight broadband.
“As one of the aviation industry’s greatest innovators, Virgin Atlantic is focused on providing a world-class experience onboard its aircraft,” he said.
“And that’s exactly what customers can expect when flying on the airline’s brand new Airbus A350s. In addition to exciting new suites and social spaces, they will have access to a broadband service with fast, reliable and consistent coverage powered by GX Aviation.”
Virgin Atlantic’s head of inflight services, Gail Yates, also applauded the airline’s maiden A350.
“Today we celebrated an exciting milestone for Virgin Atlantic as the first aircraft in our new Airbus A350-1000 fleet took to the skies,” she said.
“We are always looking to raise the bar and provide our passengers with a world-class experience. We are delighted to have Inmarsat’s GX Aviation onboard to offer high-speed inflight broadband to our customers.”