Gogo’s AVANCE L5 hits 100th installation milestone

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Gogo Business Aviation has reached the 100th installation of a Gogo AVANCE L5 system in six months.

The installation was recently completed by Constant Aviation on an Embraer Legacy 500 for a mid-west US-based flight department.

Gogo said more than 275 AVANCE L5 systems have been shipped with hundreds of additional systems on back order and scheduled for delivery in 2018, in total Gogo expects to have approximately 500 installations of the new system by the end of 2018.

AVANCE L5 systems are being actively installed at all MROs and aftermarket OEM service centres. To date, Gogo and its OEM partners and dealers have received type certificate and supplemental type certificate (STC) approvals for AVANCE L5 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) across more than 35 airframes.

In the coming months, Gogo and its partners are securing STCs for more than 25 additional airframes, meaning AVANCE L5 will be available for installation on more than 55 business jet platforms.

Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation said the demand for the systems has been “overwhelming” continuing: “The reports we’re receiving from those who are using L5 have been extremely positive and the system is performing as expected. Our mission now is to get our product manufacturing caught up with the demand, and we’re making tremendous progress on that front every day.”

“Flight departments, passengers and owners appreciate both the value and the enhanced inflight connectivity experience the AVANCE L5 delivers for everyone on board,” said Jay Rizzo, executive vice president of strategic sales at Constant Aviation. “In addition to the installations completed thus far for Gogo, Constant Aviation has more than 50 AVANCE L5 installations scheduled before the end of 2018. We’re pleased to partner with Gogo to help bring this technology to the cabin and improve the quality of air travel through a better in-flight Wi-Fi experience.”

Constant Aviation has secured STCs for Gulfstream, Cessna, Embraer and Bombardier airframes.

AIX 2018 launches Ideation Hub

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Aircraft Interiors Expo is launching an Ideation Hub at this year’s event, creating a platform for further innovation.

The Hub will allow attendees from across the supply chain to synthesise future innovative ideas and collaborate on key issues relating to passenger experience.

The sessions will draw inspiration from ‘related worlds’, along with trends and technology from other industries, to generate ideas that will seek to provide the customers of tomorrow with a more seamless passenger experience.

Polly Magraw, exhibition director of the Aircraft Interiors Expo, said: “The Aircraft Interiors Expo has become known as the global showcase for innovation in the passenger experience. The Ideation Hub we are introducing this year will take this to the next dimension as we work with attendees including engineers, designers and innovators to foster collaboration within the industry at AIX.

“As we approach our 20th anniversary next year, we are reaffirming our commitment to creating an event that celebrates innovation at every stage – from the initial ideas to fully established products – and the Ideation Hub will form a key element of this moving forward.”

AIX 2018, which returns to the Hamburg Messe from 10-12th April, will welcome 50 new exhibiting companies, and other enhancements for this years’ event include an expanded FlightGlobal CabinSpace LIVE programme, where attendees can hear industry leaders discussing the latest trends and insights on major industry topics on 10 and 11 April.

Also new to Passenger Experience Week is the Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) event, new for 2018, showcasing and exploring the latest technology trends that are transforming the passenger journey.

Hawaiian brings cultural education series to IFE

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Hawaiian Airlines is adding a series of videos showcasing culture-based native Hawaiian education to their on-board offering.

The new series was produced by Kanaeokana, a network of more than 50 local schools and organisations focused on strengthening Hawaiian education, and will highlight how educators are turning streams, fishponds and Hokule’a into immersive classrooms, while using traditional Hawaiian practices to empower youth.

“We are excited to partner with Kanaeokana to present stories that demonstrate the importance and depth of our culture and its powerful impact on native Hawaiian youth,” said Evan Nomura, in-flight entertainment manager at Hawaiian Airlines. “It’s a privilege to be able to showcase the authenticity of Hawai‘i and its people to guests visiting from around the world.”

The content highlights three experiences from schools statewide; ‘He Moku He Wa’a, He Wa’a He Moku: Our Canoe is an Island; Our Island is a Canoe’, ‘Ho’okahe Wai: Let the Streams Flow’ and ‘Changing Tides: Ka ‘Umeke Ka’eo’s Education Movement’.

Kanaeokana’s videos will be available through June on all of Hawaiian’s international flights operated by its Airbus A330 aircraft.

“Expanding our reach helps us bring our message to different audiences. The experiences nurturing our students are valuable not just for Native Hawaiians but have relevance to everyone,” said Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier, a member of Kanaeokana’s Komike Ho’okele (Steering Committee) and Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Hawaiian protocol facilitator. “We all should be sharing in the kuleana (responsibilities) to Malama Honua and each other.”

(Malama Honua is a Hawaiian concept simply translated as ‘to care for our Island Earth)

SWISS enhances IFE experience with Spafax

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Passengers of Swiss International Air Lines will soon be able learn what entertainment will be available on their trip, as well as more in-depth information about each program via a highly interactive web experience.

The airline is the latest customer to launch Spafax’s entertainment personalisation platform, Profile. Using proprietary software developed by Spafax, the new site features a full listing of all movies, television programs, music and games onboard as well as specially curated entertainment categories including “SWISS Kids” and “Made in Switzerland.” Profile’s responsive design allows visitors to navigate the site from any device.

Spafax CEO, Niall McBain added, “We are always trying to help our clients further their digital transformation strategies. We are excited to launch Spafax Profile with SWISS to enhance their customer experience and highlight their digital entertainment program.”

“We are excited to launch Spafax Profile with SWISS to enhance their customer experience and highlight their digital entertainment program.”

Spafax currently supports SWISS’s in-flight entertainment programming with content licensing, curation and delivery services through its offices in London and Frankfurt. Future releases of the site will feature additional options, including the ability to personalise content recommendations based on passenger preferences.

Lufthansa Group extends IFE contract with Spafax

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The Lufthansa Group, which includes members Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa and SWISS, has renewed its in-flight entertainment contract with Spafax until 2022.

The agreement will include licensing, programming and delivery of in-flight content across six different in-flight entertainment systems for the four carriers, whose combined fleet is over 600 aircraft.

This includes both video and audio programming in up to 20 different languages as well as production services for inflight announcements, safety videos and more.

The Lufthansa Group/Spafax relationship will continue to be managed by the Spafax team based in Frankfurt, with oversight and technical support from Spafax’s London headquarters.

Aeroco Group announces further investment plans

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Aircraft cabin and component maintenance specialist Aeroco Group International is to double the size of its brand-new state-of-the-art facility in response to growth in customer demand.

Jonathan Bird, managing director of Aeroco Group International commented, “Today’s further investment announcement reinforces our ambition and drive to support new and existing customers. We are seeing continued growth with airlines increasing focus to improve the look and feel of their cabins and the expanding capabilities within the aircraft component repairs and overhauls.

At the beginning of January, the company announced it had acquired a 20,000 sq ft new facility at Stockport, UK. Aeroco has now taken the decision to secure an additional 20,000 sq ft, increasing the capacity to 40,000 sq ft in total, complementing Aeroco’s existing facility at Manchester Airport.

The fit out is already underway and due to be completed and operational by the middle of this year.

The new premises will support Aeroco’s increasing customer base of airlines, leasing companies, MRO’s and component traders with industry leading aircraft cabin and component maintenance and advanced manufacturing services.

FAI Technik becomes authorised Rockwell Collins dealer

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FAI Technik GmbH, part of the FAI Aviation Group, has signed a dealership agreement with Rockwell Collins to become one of its accredited dealers.

Effective immediately, the agreement means FAI Technik can sell, install and maintain Rockwell Collins’ avionics and cabin electronics equipment from its headquarters at Albrecht Dürer International Airport in Nuremberg, Germany.

The announcement marks a new phase in the relationship between Rockwell Collins and the broader FAI Aviation Group, which began in July 2016 and was formally launched on 5 January, 2018.

Rockwell Collins’ regional sales manager for Germany, Robert White, commented, “Given FAI’s growth since 2016, we believe we are best placed to take advantage of the upturn within business aviation. Adding FAI Technik to our group of dealers in Europe brings an encouraging scope to both our cabin and avionics capabilities, providing our customers with targeted aftermarket solutions being carried out by a competent and qualified dealer.

“We are excited to further expand our maintenance capabilities by offering Rockwell Collins’ industry-leading products to our customers,”

“FAI Technik is growing incredibly fast,” stated Siegfried Axtmann, chairman and co-founder of FAI Aviation Group. “In 2017, we inaugurated our new hangar 8 and undertook some of our most challenging maintenance projects to date. We also marked our most impressive year in terms of revenue, which increased by 40% compared to 2016.”

Diehl Aerosystems launches on-site-support service to support Boeing South Carolina

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Diehl Aerosystems has officially launched its On-Site-Support Service (OSS) in Charleston, South Carolina, US.

The Diehl OSS in the Leeds area near Charleston is based in a newly refurbished facility covering 550 sq meters, and will be overseen by service supplier Vartan.

This local presence will enable Diehl to provide the ability and agility to deliver just-in-time support to the growing demands of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family production system, for which it provides state-of-the-art cabin interior lighting solutions. The facility also has the potential for expansion to support additional activities such as warehousing and kitting along with capacity for potential growth opportunities.

OneJet introduces enhanced on-board experience

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US-based business aviation and regional carrier OneJet is introducing its latest product, OneJet Plus to the Pittsburgh market.

The soon to launch Pittsburgh – Kansas City route becomes the second route to offer the expanded service on-board the larger 30-seat Embraer ERJ135 aircraft

The brand new leather interior is complemented by exit-row legroom at each seat; free 4G high-speed Wi-Fi; streaming entertainment gate to gate; and complimentary beer, wine and snacks en route. Travellers will also receive the same check-in conveniences that standard OneJet flights provide, including TSA Pre access for eligible travellers and valet planeside baggage service.

“For the past two years, OneJet’s right-sized, point-to-point, nonstop services have met our customers’ demand for expedited travel between key business and leisure destinations,” OneJet CEO Matthew Maguire said. “The introduction of the OneJet Plus service marks a major milestone for the company, providing access to longer routes, along with an even further enhanced in-flight experience. We look forward to continuing to expand our network and supporting the growth of the communities and corporate customers we serve.”

Gilat launches dual band terminal for in-flight connectivity

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Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd has launched AeroEdge 6000, a dual-band terminal that includes Gilat’s ER 6000-A Ku/Ka antenna, SkyEdge II-c Taurus MODMAN, Ku/Ka Antenna Networking Data Unit (KANDU) and Wavestream’s Ku/Ka Radio Frequency Unit (KRFU).

The terminal allows seamless transition between Ka-band coverage and Ku-band coverage. In support of a high quality passenger experience, the Taurus MODMAN is equipped with a full set of embedded protocol optimization and application acceleration features. High spectral efficiency is delivered via wideband DVB-S2X carriers in the forward direction and fast adaptive and spread-spectrum LDPC transmission in the return direction. Operated over Gilat’s SkyEdge II-c multi-service platform, AeroEdge 6000 is a new addition to the family of SkyEdge terminals.

“We are pleased to bring to market AeroEdge 6000, a complete terminal with superior system transmission performance and efficiency. The terminal maintains application continuity with automatic beam/gateway and satellite switchover, and was designed to assure continuous gate-to-gate operation,” said Amir Yafe, head of products at Gilat. “The terminal recently achieved download speeds of 130 Mbps in a live customer demonstration in China with dozens of concurrent users. This terminal is a major milestone in Gilat’s strategy to leverage our global IFC expertise and leadership for adoption to local markets and with regional service providers where different frequency bands are used in different flight routes.”