Magazine shows from electric SUV racing series, Extreme E, have been added to British Airways’ in-flight entertainment channel, High Life © ANDREW FERRARO

Extreme E reaches new heights with British Airways

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Magazine shows from electric SUV racing series, Extreme E, have been added to British Airways’ in-flight entertainment channel, High Life © ANDREW FERRARO

Magazine shows from electric SUV racing series, Extreme E, have been added to British Airways’ in-flight entertainment channel, High Life.

With unrivalled behind-the scenes access to the creation and progression of this ground-breaking motorsport series, the programmes, How to Build a Race Car, Electric Odyssey and Climate Changers, take viewers on a journey all the way from the championship’s inception through to the mind-blowing race action, the people and brains behind it, as well the stories of climate change, science, exploration and passion surrounding the series.

Ali Russell, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme E, said: “We are delighted that British Airways has chosen Extreme E’s magazine shows for its prestigious High Life entertainment package. Our sport for purpose championship has so many fascinating stories to tell – everything from the creation of the incredible ODYSSEY 21 electric race car to life on our ocean centrepiece, the St. Helena. These programmes add so much additional depth to the championship and extend the conversation outside of the racing itself.

“Extreme E’s plethora of behind-the-scenes content which includes the fascinating people, the technology, the science and the legacy initiatives, all make for compelling viewing not only for lovers of motorsport but for anyone with a sense of adventure and care for the environment and I’m confident they will delight and entertain BA’s discerning traveller.”

Image – © ANDREW FERRARO
easyJet has partnered with children’s book series Mizzi Mozzi, to offer a selection of free digital language books onboard.

easyJet launches in-flight learning initiative

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easyJet has partnered with children’s book series Mizzi Mozzi, to offer a selection of free digital language books onboard.

easyJet has partnered with children’s book series Mizzi Mozzi, to offer a selection of free digital language books onboard. Available across easyJet’s entire network, young passengers can choose from a collection of interactive stories that encourage them to discover foreign languages, including English, French, Greek, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

The new study by airline easyJet, which polled 2,000 parents with children under the age of 18, identified, however, that over half (53%) of parents believe learning languages can be too difficult for their children. To help parents and families address this gap, easyJet’s new in-flight learning initiative to aims to make picking up a language easier with our onboard digital book selection this summer.

Despite this, the overwhelming majority of parents (91%) believe it is important for children to speak a second language. A similar 90% think that being able to speak a foreign language will enhance career opportunities and boost employability for their children, with more opportunities to pursue careers overseas, too.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet CEO stated: “easyJet is excited to be taking as many families as we can on that long-awaited family holiday this summer. Kids around Europe have missed out on so much in the past 18 months, including learning about different cultures and languages whilst visiting foreign places. That’s why we are delighted to be relaunching our Flybraries service onboard all our flights this summer to help kids learn languages whilst flying with us.

“We know travel has the power to inspire and provide rewarding and memorable experiences for children of all ages so we are thrilled to team up with Mizzi Mozzi and Nebra Sky to introduce new, interactive ways for our customers to spend their time onboard with us.”

easyJet is offering the first two books out of the new Mizzi Mozzi digital series for free, a total of 84 titles spread across seven language combinations, to enjoy before arrival. Customers simply scan the QR code on the seatback in front of them before take-off, download the app for free, choose the language they would like to discover and download the selected books before take-off.

Mizzi Mozzi features bite-sized content that is loaded into the official Mizzi Mozzi app, available in the Apple iTunes app store and Google Play, that builds children’s confidence to discover foreign languages.

Friends of Mizzi Mozzi, easyJet’s Holiday Helpers, will be available at London Gatwick during peak travel times throughout the summer to help travellers navigate through departures and arrivals safely, quickly and most importantly, enjoyably. The initiative will offer support for holidaymakers travelling with young children and hand out stickers with Mizzi Mozzi QR-coded stickers, customised activity books and colouring pencil kits, and even be dressed in QR-coded clothing for downloading the free books before boarding.

Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.

Icelandair to turn on Viasat IFC on 737 MAX-9 fleet

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Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.

Viasat has received EASA certification for its in-flight connectivity system onboard Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.

IFC system was installed earlier this year, but it had been deactivated pending the certificate from EASA. The MAX-9 aircraft will now join Icelandair’s MAX-8 fleet, providing connectivity to passengers flying between the US and Europe via scenic Iceland. This service launched on MAX-8 aircraft in March 2021.

Icelandair expects all Viasat-enabled aircraft to be installed by April 2022.

“We are honoured to work alongside the highly motivated Icelandair team in accomplishing this major milestone,” said Don Buchman, VP/GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. “As passengers increasingly return to air travel, the importance of great in-flight Wi-Fi is paramount, and Icelandair is providing customers a great connectivity experience so they can do what they want online while in the air.”

The Viasat-equipped Icelandair aircraft will connect to Viasat’s high-capacity satellite network. Over Europe, this network includes the KA-SAT satellite and could include others like Avanti’s Hylas constellation in the future. When traveling over the US, Iceland and the Atlantic Ocean, the aircraft will connect with several other Viasat satellites, including ViaSat-2.

In the future, these aircraft will be able to link to the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, ViaSat-3. The ViaSat-3 constellation includes three ultra-high-capacity satellites that will offer global coverage, with each expected to deliver over 1 Terabit per second of total network throughput.

World2fly, the new long-haul airline recently founded by the Spanish hotel company Iberostar, has become the first customer to sign up to Newrest’s pre-order digital solution, Fly'Eat.

World2fly selects Newrest’s pre-order digital solution

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World2fly, the new long-haul airline recently founded by the Spanish hotel company Iberostar, has become the first customer to sign up to Newrest’s pre-order digital solution, Fly'Eat.

World2fly, the new long-haul airline recently founded by the Spanish hotel company Iberostar, has become the first customer to sign up to Newrest’s pre-order digital solution, Fly’Eat.

Developed by Newrest’s Digital Lab, Fly’Eat enables pre-ordering, control and order flows management, their traceability and interconnection with on-board sales systems through QR code identification. It is offered as a white label directly integrated into the airline’s customer path. By signing a first contract with World2fly, the Group is deploying its independently developed tool for the first time.

Passengers can order products from the airline’s catalogue before the flight. This order is integrated in Winrest, Newrest’s ERP and then loaded on the plane. The airline crew takes care of the delivery of the products. This white label solution marks a turning point in the innovation of the Group’s in-flight catering offer.

The partnership with W2fly will commence in Cancun by offering in-flight catering services based on sustainability. Seasonal products are featured on the menu and offered using sustainable materials, such as sustainable cardboard boxes and cutlery made from avocado seeds.

World2Fly’s A350-900s are supplied by Newrest from its hubs in Madrid, Cancun.

World2fly will use QR code technology to evolve the sales process, with other airline customers expected to follow.

Crystal Cabin Award

Crystal Cabin Award special categories reach final round

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Crystal Cabin Award

A total of ten finalists have been selected for the “Judges’ Choice Award” and “Clean & Safe Air Travel” categories of the Crystal Cabin Award. The winners will be announced on 15 September during the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo.

The final shortlist for the Crystal Cabin Award special category “Clean & Safe Air Travel” includes:

The Holographic Controller from US company Rosen Aviation eliminates the need for buttons. With this futuristic control panel, functions in the galley, for example, can be activated and operated using infra-red and motion sensors, so that cabin crew members don’t have to touch surfaces.

Safran Cabin’s Beacon Clean Lavatory is a concept for antimicrobial surfaces in the cabin bathroom with components that can be used without contact as far as possible.

Lilac-UV from Collins Aerospace allows both cabin crew and passengers to activate an ultraviolet disinfection lamp above the passenger seat during the flight for reliable occasional cleaning.

MGRSafeWall is an aircraft cabin anti-microbial protection system developed in direct response to the pandemic and has been proven 99% effective against SARS-CoV-2, the actual virus that causes COVID-19. MGRSafeWall provides effective, safe, long-term inherent protection against a wide range of threats and hence will provide long-term enhanced hygiene. MGRSafeWall is simple to apply, has excellent flammability characteristics, is highly resistant to wear, abrasion and all types of cleaning processes.

Les Simpson, CEO of MGR Foamtex commented: “This is very exciting news and demonstrates both our confidence in the future and our continued investment in the development of new products. MGRSafeWall really brings a higher level of protection and technology to the aircraft cabin and MGR is very proud to have brought this product to market.”

CleanAir from finalist Villinger GmbH promises to make germs and viruses harmless. This air filter makes use of thousands of ionising micro-electrodes which make it possible to absorb particles substantially smaller than what is required by the current HEPA standard. Furthermore, the filter does not create ozone or nitric oxide as by-products.

“Judges’ Choice Award” honours entries that impressed the international jury in 2021. Toyota Boshoku is nominated for two ideas. The Japanese interior specialist’s CLOUD CAPSULE CONCEPT offers economy passengers the option of climbing into a bunk bed berth in addition to their seat. The POSITIVELY ECONOMY concept delivers three economy classes in one: an innovative eco-seat at the window, a personalised Premium Economy class, and Premium Plus seating in the centre with more space and privacy.

Safran Seats (in cooperation with Universal Movement) is recognised for foldable Interspace wings, another concept promising a more peaceful experience for individual passengers. The wings, which can be retrofitted to economy and domestic business class seats, fold out of the backrest when required, providing both comfort and a protective screen between adjacent seats.

Rosen Aviation is nominated for The Maverick Project, a private jet cabin full of digital highlights and intuitive control panels and applications, developed in cooperation with SKY Style and KIPCreating, that learn from passenger behaviour.

Austria’s FACC AG and its cooperation partners FH Joanneum, Netwiss, Raltec research group, Rodlauer Consulting, TU Vienna, FFG, and BMVIT are also aiming to make an aircraft that is more accessible to everyone. On short-haul and medium-haul single-aisle aircraft, the lavatories are not really barrier-free, because the space for toilets is limited by the demand to maximise seating capacity. LAV4ALL promises 100% disabled-accessible aircraft lavatories for retrofit in aircraft ranging from the Airbus A320 up to wide-bodied jets.

Cathay Pacific is resuming flights to Dubai with the introduction of Premium Economy cabin on-board its Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific introduces Premium Economy to Dubai

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Cathay Pacific is resuming flights to Dubai with the introduction of Premium Economy cabin on-board its Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

Cathay Pacific is resuming flights to Dubai with the introduction of Premium Economy class on-board its Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

The aircraft is configured in a three-class layout with 280 seats, comprising of 38 Business Class, 28 Premium Economy and 214 Economy seats. Each state-of-the-art cabin class on the A350-900 provides extra-wide cabins including new seats, an innovative in-flight entertainment interface and in-flight connectivity.

“We are thrilled to not only announce the operation of the Airbus A350-900 to the UAE, which will allow us to cater to the wider cargo and passenger demand, but also the introduction of a brand new cabin class on this route,” commented Vishnu Rajendran, Area Manager, Middle East.

“Given the current situation, we would like to give our customers a choice to travel in a more spacious cabin, while also providing a premium product with features such as an immersive in-flight entertainment system, LED mood lighting, 50% quieter cabins, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling our guests to have a luxurious and worry-free travel experience.”

All Premium Economy seats on the Airbus A350-900 are equipped with a full-length leg-rest, leather-padded footrests, retractable armrest that can be adjusted. The seats also boast of a generous recline of nine inches, expanded seat pitch of 40 inches, and a supported head rest.

The cabin incorporates a raft of useful features making the journey more enjoyable. The dimmable personal reading light, slide-out cocktail table, larger meal table, in-seat power outlet, and an amenity storage on each seat, heightens a customer’s experience providing a personalised service throughout their journey.

The first factory-installed Intelsat 2Ku system has been delivered on an A321neo aircraft.

Cathay Pacific receives first A321neo aircraft with linefit Intelsat 2Ku

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The first factory-installed Intelsat 2Ku system has been delivered on an A321neo aircraft.

The first factory-installed Intelsat 2Ku system has been delivered on an A321neo aircraft. The 2Ku system was installed by Airbus at its factory in Hamburg, Germany as part of its High Bandwidth Connectivity Service (HBCS) and delivered to Cathay Pacific.

Cathay Pacific’s A321neo aircraft will fly regional routes from the airline’s base in Hong Kong. The carrier has already taken delivery of four A321neos and will receive a further two during the second half of 2021. By the end of 2023, it will have a total of 16 A321neos in its fleet.

“We’re honoured to work with Airbus and Cathay Pacific to create this substantial catalogue offering. Being part of the world’s largest satellite company creates a great opportunity to expand the services we offer and the fleets we serve. We have been working with Airbus to deliver linefit aircraft, and are pleased to now make that a reality,” said Dave Bijur, Senior Vice President, Commercial for Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation business division.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Intelsat to the A321neo fleet, adding to the fully connected long-haul fleet and regional wide-body aircraft already flying with Wi-Fi,” said Vivian Lo, Cathay Pacific’s general manager customer experience and design. “Having these new short-haul aircraft connected is essential in the modern world for business and leisure travel alike. As a premium service carrier, Cathay Pacific is determined to innovate and elevate the short-haul flying experience by offering connectivity, seatback 4K in-flight entertainment and Bluetooth headphone pairing on our new state-of-the-art A321neo fleet.”

Gulfstream Aerospace has surpassed 500 installations of Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX in-flight connectivity platform on its large-cabin aircraft.

Gulfstream passes IFC service installation milestone

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Gulfstream Aerospace has surpassed 500 installations of Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX in-flight connectivity platform on its large-cabin aircraft.

Gulfstream Aerospace has surpassed 500 installations of Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX in-flight connectivity platform on its large-cabin aircraft.

“Gulfstream owners expect a seamless transition from life on the ground to life on their aircraft, making connectivity essential,” said Mark Burns, President, Gulfstream. “This milestone illustrates our commitment to performance with high-speed connectivity and increased productivity, allowing our aircraft to truly be offices in the skies. As the industry leader in Jet ConneX installations, Gulfstream is dedicated to providing our customers with top-of-the-line products and services.”

Jet ConneX is powered by Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network, providing extensive internet coverage that supports video streaming, file sharing and more. Certified by the US FAA and EASA, it transmits at speeds of approximately 20 megabits per second. Its coverage is worldwide and reliable over land and water through all phases of flight, with extended coverage over the polar regions coming soon. Honeywell and Satcom Direct hardware and technology also complement Gulfstream’s Connectivity Service.

“We are delighted to celebrate the 500th installation of our Jet ConneX in-flight broadband solution on Gulfstream aircraft and proud of their continued trust in Inmarsat,” said Kai Tang, Head of Business and General Aviation, Inmarsat. “This milestone is a testament to the Inmarsat ecosystem of partners and our joint commitment to delivering the highest standard of global connectivity to Gulfstream and their customers, for whom only the most reliable and consistent customer experience is acceptable. We look forward to building on this momentum and working side-by-side with Gulfstream on the next 500 installations and beyond.”

The Inmarsat Jet ConneX solution is available for all in-production, large-cabin aircraft, including the Gulfstream G650, the Gulfstream G650ER, the Gulfstream G500, the Gulfstream G600 and the all-new Gulfstream G700. It is also available as a retrofit option on in-service large-cabin Gulfstream aircraft, including the Gulfstream GIV, the Gulfstream GV, the Gulfstream G450 and the Gulfstream G550.

Bluebox Aviation Systems has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the aircraft-powered version of its wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) system, Bluebox Wow

Bluebox Wow certified for Airbus A320 Family

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Bluebox Aviation Systems has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the aircraft-powered version of its wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) system, Bluebox Wow

Bluebox Aviation Systems has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the aircraft-powered version of its wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) system, Bluebox Wow. Issued by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to Design Organisation Approval (DOA) holder Aerospace Engineering Solutions, the STC applies to all Airbus A320 Family aircraft. The STC was approved after testing was completed with a soon-to-be-announced customer in the Asia-Pacific region.

Recently issued by EASA, this latest STC (No. 10076801) applies to all Airbus A320 Variants with an added feature of an automatic Pause on PA functionality that pauses playback in the event of announcements from the flight deck or cabin crew.

“The granting of this STC is an exciting and major milestone for us as we continue to sign up new airline customers eager to return to the business of delivering exceptional digital in-flight experiences to their passengers,” said James Macrae, CTO, Bluebox. “Our original version of Bluebox Wow, with its swappable battery system, has been a game-changer in the IFE market, introducing a cost-effective way to deploy IFE to airlines that might never have considered it before due to the high costs involved with installing fully embedded systems. But as the demand for W-IFE has grown – in conjunction with the development of our more powerful digital platforms that our customers can use for engaging their passengers and earning ancillary revenue – we’re attracting the interest of airlines with larger fleets. By utilising aircraft power, Bluebox Wow devices can deliver the same digital IFE services without a battery present, eliminating the need for logistics management of batteries, and still offering a considerably lighter and lower-cost system than fully fitted W-IFE.”

AES believes this certification will open opportunities to provide aircraft operators of single-aisle, and wide-body aircraft in the future, with Bluebox’s aircraft-powered W-IFE units. The installation is simple with wiring to the W-IFE units easily accessible via the panels in the aircraft cabin. Utilising aircraft power eliminates the need for the logistical management of batteries and still offer a considerably lighter and lower-cost system than fully fitted W-IFE.

The Bluebox Wow units are delivered with Part 21G Form 1 approval and can be supplied with the associated installation kit as a total package.

Andrew Dolby, Director of Aerospace Engineering Solutions, said: “I would like to thank our dedicated and highly experienced engineering and design team here at AES for achieving this ‘game changing’ STC for the installation of Bluebox’s aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Wow on the Airbus A320 Variants, especially during these challenging times for the aviation industry. We are actively working on solutions for other models including single and wide-body aircraft.”

Etihad Airways passengers wearing masks

Passengers continue to place confidence in onboard safety measures

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Etihad Airways passengers wearing masks

The majority of air travellers are confident about the safety of air travel and support mask-wearing in the near-term, according to the latest passenger survey from IATA.

The survey statistics are sourced from IATA/Rockland Dutton passenger survey, which surveyed 4,700 travellers across 11 countries from 14-22 May 2021.

While confidence may be high, passengers are overwhelmingly frustrated with the “hassle factor” around COVID-19 protocols, including confusion and uncertainty about travel rules, testing requirements, and excessive test costs.

Among those who have travelled since June 2020, 86% felt safe onboard owing to COVID-19 measures: Eighty-nine percent believe protective measures are well implemented while 90% believe airline personnel do a good job of enforcing the measures.

Passengers strongly support mask wearing onboard (83%) and strict enforcement of mask rules (86%), but a majority also believe the mask requirement should be ended as soon as possible.

“Air travellers recognise and value the safety measures put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel. And they support the continuation of these measures as long as necessary, but they also don’t want the measures to become permanent. In the meantime, we all need to respect the rules and the safety of fellow passengers. It is unacceptable that unruly passenger incidents have doubled compared to 2019, and the increase in physically abusive behaviour is a particular cause for great concern,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

At the same time, participants admit that they struggle with the COVID-related rules and requirements and that this impacts their willingness to travel: 70% thought the rules and the accompanying paperwork were a challenge to understand; 67% saw arranging testing as a hassle and 89% agreed governments must standardise vaccinations/testing certifications

“These responses should be a wake-up call to governments that they need to do a better job of preparing for a restart. Almost two thirds of respondents plan to resume travel within a few months of the pandemic being contained (and borders opened). And by the six-month mark almost 85% expect to be back to travel. To avoid overwhelming airports and border control authorities, governments need to agree to replace paper-based processes with digital solutions like the IATA Travel Pass for vaccine and testing documentation,” said Walsh.

Almost nine out of ten respondents like the idea of using a mobile app to store their travel health credentials and 87% support a secure digital system to manage health credentials. However, 75% say they will only use an app if they have full control of their vaccine/test data. “IATA Travel Pass enables travellers to receive, store and share their health information with governments and airlines but they always keep control of the information on their own mobile device. Now is the time for governments to facilitate digital solutions like IATA Travel Pass to avoid chaos at airports as travel begins to return,” said Walsh.