Dassault Falcon Service converts Falcon 900B ..

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Dassault Falcon Service (DFS), a Dassault Aviation subsidiary based in Paris-Le Bourget, has completed the conversion of a Falcon 900B from passenger configuration to full cargo in record time.

The conversion, involving a company-owned aircraft, took eight days from reception of the order to approval by French Civil Aviation authorities, granted under a fast-track exemption. The project entailed stripping passenger seats and furnishings and installing equipment to stow and secure freight. No major modifications to access doors or other systems were undertaken and the conversion is readily reversible back to passenger configuration.

The modification involved customer service, engineering and operating teams from DFS as well as test and certification resources from Dassault Aviation.

The aircraft is being used to transport fabric needed for the production of face masks to a plant in Eastern Europe and to return completed masks for distribution in France, North Africa and other areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic or recovering from the coronavirus lockdown.

Images In Motion releases live TV-over-IP sol..

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Content service provider Images In Motion has developed a Live TV-over-IP delivery solution for the airline sector.

Branded IIM+, the patent pending solution enables airlines to receive live television broadcast feeds through their existing IP connectivity. The company claims its patented signalling server technology yields a 75%-90% saving on traditional data consumption while requiring no additional hardware.

“Post-COVID-19 there will undoubtedly be changes in the IFE industry but one thing that won’t change is the development of broadband connectivity, aligning the onboard passenger experiences with what passengers’ experience at home”, commented Ong Yong Beng, CEO of Images In Motion. “Adopting our solution will create a new type of in-flight entertainment service, one that minimises OPEX costs while adding a Live TV-based service which is instant, route-specific and which works simultaneously on both embedded systems and PEDs.”

In addition to airlines themselves, the platform could also draw interest from established hardware companies as an extension to their existing infrastructures whilst also enabling connectivity providers with an exciting new service tool.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak the company had been in advanced discussions with two of its Asian airline clients about implementation of the service and while those plans had to be paused due to fleet groundings, IIM has also seen some initial interest in IIM+ from the private business jet market in both Europe and Asia.

easyJet to hand out comic book inspired face ..

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As easyJet prepares to restart limited flights from 15 June, the airline has partnered with Irish artist Will Sliney, best known for his work on Marvel comics Spider-Man and Star Wars, to launch a new range of new comic book inspired face mask covers for children over six.

The new comic book face mask covers have been designed to help ease the experience for both kids and parents. Two character themed ‘Lion’ and ‘Pilot’ masks will be made available for free.

The airline stresses that the face mask covers don’t replace the need for a mask to be worn but have been designed as a covering to be worn over the top of a younger traveller’s own face mask. They can be taken home to keep and are washable for re-use.

Captain David Morgan, easyJet’s Director of Flight Operations commented: “We have teamed up with a comic illustrator to create some bespoke children face masks covers as we know the airport environment could feel different and possibly daunting for younger travellers when flying initially resumes. So, we hope these face mask covers help children enjoy flying with us over the summer and this makes things a little easier for parents too.”

Will Sliney said: “Flying with face masks is going to a new experience for everyone, especially young children so I hope these fun designs, inspired by comic book characters, help to encourage kids to wear their masks onboard.

“I have used a combination of a lion animal character and a futuristic pilot to create a set of mask covers to bring out the inner superhero in all young flyers.

“As a parent myself I know how tricky traveling can be, so I hope these fun face masks covers can help make things easier for parents too.”

MNG Jet installs Honeywell JetWave satcom sys..

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MNG Jet has achieved a Turkish first with the installation of Honeywell’s JetWave satellite communications hardware on MNG Jet’s Bombardier Challenger 605.

This satellite communications installation enables high-speed cabin Wi-Fi, via Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX service, for a better passenger connectivity experience. It also provides pilots with a better internet connection to support flight planning and management.

As a Honeywell channel partner, MNG Jet can offer business jet operators in Turkey a local base to install JetWave, in addition to other Honeywell services to support operators in the market. MNG Jet offers operators line maintenance across select Honeywell auxiliary power units, engines and access to the latest retrofit, upgrades and modifications. To ensure local operators have the in-market support required, they can enroll in the Honeywell Maintenance Service Plan, an umbrella of services for business aviation.


Safran partners with Universal Movement to ex..

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Safran has signed an exclusive partnership with Universal Movement to bring the Interspace seat range to market.

Following the launch of Interspace at the Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit in December 2019 (https://www.inflight-online.com/new-territory-spins-out-universal-movement-and-launches-interspace/) Safran will develop and manufacture the Interspace portfolio, across economy and premium/domestic business class; an upgradable retrofit solution for existing premium economy seating (pictured); and the Interspace ‘Lite’ edition for economy.

On novel feature of Interspace is the use of its patented lateral-support wing design to provide greater privacy and comfort to passengers when travelling in premium economy. Passengers are able to fold out two padded wings to provide greater lateral support and the ability to change posture at seat. The system is also retrofittable, which allows carriers to remove an existing seat-back and fit the Interspace technology onto a fleet without replacing existing seat units and adding additional cost.

The two companies are working on an equipment adaptation called Interspace Lite, which gives airlines flexibility to easily reconfigure their economy cabins, by providing delineation and privacy between passengers by locking out either the central or outboard seats of a row.

Luke Miles, Founder of Universal Movement, said, “With the travel industry severely affected by the spread of coronavirus, we have also sought to provide a solution through the Interspace Lite solution that could allow airlines to get back on their feet much sooner than if standard aircraft seating were to remain the same. Our partnership with Safran is a significant step in helping support the industry and also make planes a much more comfortable space for passengers when they look to travel again in the future.”

The manufacturing of both Lite and Premium Economy upgrade products is set to begin early summer of this year, with supply and kitting tailored to meet demand thereafter.

Design and development work will continue leading to a fully integrated Interspace product for Economy and Premium Economy as a new seat offering.


Satcom Direct and Avcon Jet ratify exclusive ..

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Austria-headquartered aircraft management and charter operator, has turned to Satcom Direct (SD),

for connectivity tools, including voice and data services, flight deck communications and cybersecurity solutions.

The SD Xperience portfolio of software, hardware, and infrastructure services will support an integrated, customised hardware upgrade roadmap to ensure that each of Avcon Jet’s 70+ mixed fleet aircraft, is equipped with the appropriate connectivity tools, making for more efficient planning and budgeting.

Integration of third-party trip planning, and other operational software, into the open architecture of the SD Pro platform, adds further value to Avcon Jet operations.

“As one of Europe’s major business aviation companies offering a wide range of services it is imperative that our preferred provider can supply all our aircraft with the right connectivity services, seamlessly and securely. As technology moves so rapidly, we also needed to know we have immediate access to the necessary support and assistance for those services. The additional focus on cybersecurity and ability to customize services made SD the obvious choice for our needs,” said Maximillian Maruna, Chief Operating Officer for Avcon Jet.

“Providing customised solutions that adapt to a growing and changing fleet delivers tangible value to operators. The ability to synchronize the flight operations of each aircraft will reduce workload and make life easier for Avcon Jet, its customers and crews,” added Michael Skou Christensen, SD VP International.

WTTC launches Safe Travels protocols for avia..

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The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the second phase of measures to rebuild global consumer confidence to encourage the return of travelling.

The latest protocols are designed to drive the return of safe travel and enable industries, namely tour operators and convention centres, meetings and events to thrive once again.

Detailed discussions took place with key stakeholders and organisations to ensure maximum buy-in, alignment and practical implementation, to set clear expectations of what travellers may experience in the ‘new normal’.

Those relating to airports and airlines have been devised following close consultation with WTTC Members such as Iberia, Emirates Group, Etihad and the Oman Aviation Group among others.

It has also involved the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airports Council International (ACI) to rebuild trust and provide reassurance that airports and airlines will offer safe environments in which to fly once travel restrictions are relaxed.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “For the first time ever, the global private sector has rallied around our Safe Travels protocols which will create the consistency needed to allow a re-invigorated Travel & Tourism sector re-open for business.

“Among the most important of these measures are those which will enable the aviation sector to take-off. Aviation’s return is critical to help repower the global economic recovery.

“WTTC aviation protocols were created in close collaboration with ACI and IATA. We thank their leaders Angela Gittens and Alexandre de Juniac for their guidance, as it is vital we restore consumer confidence to get people travelling and flying safely again.”

de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said: “COVID-19 is a gamechanger for the travel and tourism sector, requiring us to enhance our approach to health and safety to protect our travellers and workforce.

“Aviation is the business of freedom and it is vital to enable its restart on a safe basis. IATA is delighted to lend its framework and collaborate with WTTC on the Aviation Protocols as part of its Safe Travels initiative. This is an excellent example of the industry solidarity and cooperation that will be so vital to ensuring a strong recovery for travel and tourism.”

Backed by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the new protocols avoid the emergence of multiple standards, and will recognise businesses and governments worldwide which have adopted them to rebuild confidence among consumers.

Measures announced for airlines include:

  • Provide personal protection equipment (PPE) to staff such as masks
  • Reduce passengers’ touchpoints through online check-in before departure, use of self-check in kiosks and bag drop, home-printed bag tags, greater use of biometric e-gates and boarding card reading at gates
  • Provide approved hand sanitisers as appropriate based on high-traffic areas, such as check-in and boarding areas
  • Revisited guidance for cleaning teams for all areas of the plane including washrooms, as well as check in and boarding areas, with a specific focus on high-frequency touch points
  • Consider boarding from back of the plane to the front, window to aisle
  • Limit movement in the cabin as much as possible
  • Retrain crew and frontline staff regarding infection control and hygiene measures

SimpliFlying launches new initiative to kicks..

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Aviation consultancy SimpliFlying has launched an accelerator designed explicitly for post-COVID-19 travel.

The SimpliFlying Launchpad curates market-ready technologies and matches them with airports and airlines looking for urgent solutions on everything from sanitisation to contact tracing.

The launch of the SimpliFlying Launchpad comes after SimpliFlying’s April report, The Rise of Sanitised Travel, identified over 70 different passenger touchpoints that will change as a result of the need to reassure both passengers as well as industry regulators, that air travel won’t be a spreader of the pandemic.

Over the next two months, the SimpliFlying Launchpad is inviting applications in four different areas that have been shortlisted after consultation with the industry partners. They include sanitisation, touchless travel, contact tracing and ancillary revenues.

All applicants are invited to join SimpliFlying Marketplace, which is a private platform for airlines and airports to find the best solutions, without having to conduct rigorous research on their own.

In just a couple of weeks, the SimpliFlying team curates the most promising solutions and invites them to work with industry mentors. Finally, a virtual demo day showcases all finalists to pilot partners,aviation executives and even investors. Startups exit the programme and are ready to go live, with the SimpliFlying team having developed their launch trajectory in aviation.

SimpliFlying’s CEO Shashank Nigam said, “To deal with the unprecedented challenges brought on by the pandemic, the aviation industry urgently needs transformative innovations to help rebuild passenger trust in travel. We aim to curate ready-to-deploy solutions for aviation partners who are willing to pilot them. We’ll also ensure that the aviation industry can successfully and quickly meet the challenges of the COVID-19 era of travel and beyond, with tried and tested and ready to go solutions.”

Wellness Ambassadors to champion Etihad’s n..

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Etihad Airways become the latest airline to launch a health and hygiene programme.

‘Etihad Wellness’ builds on the measures already put in place by the airline to deal with COVID-19 and will be championed by the introduction of specially trained Wellness Ambassadors who will provide essential travel health information.

Etihad Wellness initiatives will be communicated through an easy-to-use online guide highlighting the high standards of cleanliness, health and hygiene being applied at every stage of the customer journey. This includes culinary hygiene at the airline’s catering facilities and food testing laboratory, aircraft cabin deep-cleaning, check-in, health screening, boarding, in-flight experience and product, crew interaction, arrival, and ground transportation.

For those needing more specific and personalised information, skilled Wellness Ambassadors can be contacted directly 24/7 by emailing wellness@etihad.ae. This dedicated multi-lingual team will offer reassurance to customers by sharing advice on travel wellbeing and details of the health and sanitisation measures being implemented throughout their journey. Etihad will expand the service to include a web-chat option. All Wellness Ambassadors will undergo special training at the airline’s training facilities in Abu Dhabi, and online.

Wellness Ambassadors will be introduced first at Abu Dhabi International Airport in partnership with Abu Dhabi Airports (ADAC), ensuring customers receive the same levels of care and support at every point of the customer journey through the airport, from check-in to security, immigration, the retail areas, lounges and boarding, so that guests can fly with added comfort, security and confidence.

Once travel restrictions to and from the UAE are lifted, and the airline resumes an expanded network of international flights, Etihad will introduce Wellness Ambassadors on board, complementing the roles performed by other cabin crew.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Providing for our guests, and their wellbeing, is one of Etihad’s core values, and we have a responsibility to protect them, to keep them fully informed, and to provide even greater levels of genuine warmth and personal care. We must guarantee they can travel assured in the knowledge that we have every aspect of their journey with us covered, while still providing a top-quality travel experience. The Wellness Ambassadors will play an important role in delivering this.”

deSter expands hygienic offering

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gategroup company deSter has expanded its range of hygienic products to meet new, additional passenger requirements. Designed in-house, the items can be customised to meet different requirements across both the airline and food service industries.

The personal protective solutions for passengers and consumers include mouth masks, disinfecting wipes, gloves, hand gels and individual hygienic packs containing a number of items upon customers’ request.

deSter’s professionals’ range consists of protective gowns, shoe covers, hairnets, visors, face shields and ear guards to relieve the pressure of long-term use of visors and masks on the users’ ears.

By assembling product and kit at deSter’s own facilities in Europe, Asia and the US, the company says it is created a robust supply chain capable of meeting customer demand ensuring the proper certification and short lead times.

New items are being added to the ranges and will encompass full customization capability as well as branded license manufacturing.