Rundown of news and happenings from Long Beach
Southern California was again the stage for three important cabin service events as thousands flocked to Long Beach September 24-28 for the International Flight Services Association, Airline Passenger Experience Association and Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas.
Brisk activity in a familiar venue generated a full week of news. In addition to stories posted last week during the event, PAX International has compiled a list below of some of the important announcements that took place last week:
Lufthansa Systems announced a new customer and a new collaboration in Long Beach last week.
Starting next year, Air Europa will be working with Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Epteca on an inflight entertainment solution that will be phased in on its fleet of 737s and Embraer 195s. Passengers will access the content on their personal devices.
Lufthansa Systems digital BoardConnect 5.0 system will be the platform for the entertainment on the Spanish airline. Epteca will be supplying the ancillary revenue solutions from the company’s travel platform. Passengers will be offered booking options for tourist attractions, shopping and destination specific revenue choices.
A total of 26 aircraft will get the system starting early next year.
Lufthansa Systems also announced a partnership with Touch Inflight Solutions a content service provider. The two companies have been working together for the past year installing products on more than 100 aircraft from Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Azul Linhas Aereas.
Content from the partnership will be stored on local servers aboard the aircraft and streamed through a Wi-Fi network. Content will be films and television, branded and web content, music, magazines and airport guides and destination content.
Lufthansa Systems and Touch are also looking to supply products to the business and VIP jet market with a joint with a company called IDAIR, and first deliveries have been made recently.
Global Eagle Entertainment announced September 25 it had signed a worldwide agreement to distribute Time, Inc. produced programming to airline, cruise line and maritime customers. The first two content products are multimedia Time projects “100 Photos: The Most Influential Images of All Time,” and “A Year In Space,” an Emmy-nominated series chronicling NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and his record-breaking time aboard the International Space Station.
Global Eagle will be marketing the content under the name “Time Flies.”
Another partnership, this one between Panasonic Avionics and Tascent, Inc. will promises “to bring biometric passenger identification to every stage of the passenger journey – both on the ground and in the air.”
Tascent specializes in biometrics and identity products. The companies will develop products for airport and connected passenger usage and see a future that could include seatback solutions, passenger experience personalization and inflight biometric payments. The goal will be services that will reduce stress for passengers and airlines at every stage of the journey.
Also at APEX, Panasonic Avionics announced a new Vice President of Operations, Adri Ruiter.
In a move that promised a shake up of the industry playing field, connectivity provider Gogo took the APEX event to announce that it was a player in the embedded IFE arena with a product called Gogo Vision Touch, with a launch customer of Delta Air Lines.
Gogo Vision Touch will be a seatback product that supplies streaming inflight entertainment similar to Delta Studio. Passengers will be able to access the content through personal devices or a tablet mounted in a seatback. Bombardier will install the devices in conjunction with the Gogo’s 2Ku connectivity on the CS100 aircraft.
The CS100 will be Delta’s first C-Series aircraft to offer inflight connectivity to passengers starting next year. Gogo’s server, modem and wireless access points will be used to bring entertainment to seatback. Gogo says the system is engineered to be inexpensive, lightweight, and modular.
Gogo Vision Touch is a commercial-grade tablet mounted in the back of the seat that will leverage Gogo’s existing onboard wireless network to stream content to the tablet. “It’s as simple as popping a tablet into the seat. If that tablet needs to be replaced, it can simply be popped out and replaced,” said a spokesperson for Gogo.
A new, sleeker version of a virtual reality headset from the French company Skylights will be part of the business class cabin on Corsair, the company announced at APEX.
Dubbed the AlloSky, the headset supplies content in 2D, 3D and 180-degree vision with a size 60% smaller than its first generation product. Content is full HD at 1080p and promises passenger and experience in total isolation from cabin noise.
Skylights has new partners in Warner Brothers, National Geographic and the BBC. They will join 20th Century Fox, DreamWorks and Lionsgate to offer the content.
Air France and its new airline Joon, gategroup, AccorHotels, Corsair and Jetfly are among the launch partners for AlloSky, which is tailored towards upgrading and differentiating the business class experience.
Passengers in the Great White North flying on Inuit Airlines in Quebec will access content aboard the carrier’s 737s and de Havilland Dash 8s with the Bluebox Wow system from UK-based Bluebox Aviation Systems.
Wow devices provide wireless content for a passenger's personal electronics and can supply 15 hours of streaming content at 50 passengers per device.
Air Inuit operates a fleet of nearly 30 aircraft specially adapted for northern operations. Its 737s can carry up 112 passengers while its Dash 8s carry up to 45 passengers. The Air Inuit designed Dash 8-300 45-seat "combi" allows a cabin seating of 45, and expands the aft cargo hold to accommodate 4,000 pounds in a self-contained C class cargo compartment. Both aircraft types as well as the other types of the fleet offer cold weather adapted passenger cabin enhancements and operate comfortably on paved or gravel runways.
SITAONAIR is to deliver the upgrade of PAL’s existing 777 Swift Broadband fleet to GX Aviation, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave SATCOM terminal, together with line-fitting PAL’s new A350s and A321s.
SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR portal offers contextualized and personalized content.
Over GX connectivity. by mirroring their ‘at-home’ experience, and with free 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions and cheaper price plans on offer to all passengers.
In addition, PAL customers will benefit from SITAONAIR’s mobile connectivity over GX via SITAONAIR’s Mobile ONAIR; ONAIR Plug’s secure online channel for inflight card transactions and crew and passenger interactions; plus integrated, connected inflight entertainment from Zodiac Inflight Innovations. The close partnership between SITAONAIR and Zodiac Inflight Innovations with PAL plays an important part in the program’s success.
In April PAL announced their selection of SITAONAIR’s CrewTab solution to digitize cabin crews’ operations. Coupled with GX connectivity, this solution’s capabilities will further optimize the customer service experience and efficiencies CrewTab-equipped cabin crews can deliver in flight.
Immfly of Barcelona announced at APEX that easyJet has chosen its wireless in-flight entertainment service, “Air Time.” The first five easyJet aircraft equipped with Immfly’s service will take off this fall.
Immfly, will provide easyJet passengers with in-flight entertainment through their own smart devices. Immfly also supplies Iberia Express, Volotea, and XL Airways.
Rakuten will be the official entertainment sponsor of easyJet’s in-flight entertainment service integrated by Immfly.