Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

A year after announcing its intent, UTC has passed its last regulatory hurdle and acquired Rockwell Collins in a deal valued at about US$30 billion.

The acquisition is one of the largest in aerospace history and will bring together Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems under a new brand Collins Aerospace Systems.

Speaking back in September 2017, UTC chairman and chief executive officer, Greg Hayes, commented: “Together, Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will enhance customer value in a rapidly evolving aerospace industry by making aircraft more intelligent and more connected.”

This week Hayes said: “Collins Aerospace brings together two great companies with unmatched expertise in developing electrical, mechanical and software solutions. We will have a laser focus on developing innovative solutions for customers and generating strong returns for shareowners.”

This focus does not include in-flight entertainment though, an area Rockwell Collins does not see aligned with its commitment to in-flight connectivity solutions. Instead, this portfolio is joining digEcor – although unofficially announced during APEX EXPO in Boston in September, an official announcement is yet to be made.

The UTC deal is the latest in a series of industry consolidations and chimes with the latest findings from Valour Consultancy. At this month’s Inflight Asia Pacific Workshop, co-founder and consultant Daniel Welch presented publicly for the first time the preliminary findings of Valour’s Connected Aircraft Airline Survey.

The survey purports a growing desire by airlines to maximise efficiencies and minimise supply chain issues by dealing with a one-stop-shop. However, some have voiced concerns that such consolidation restricts choice and therefore competition.

With a new year approaching fast, whispers of more M&A activity to come are already echoing through the industry halls. Watch this space!

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