A Gogo 2Ku installation takes place on an aircraft

Gogo announces strong financials; 2Ku uptake continues

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Gogo has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and full-year ended December 31, 2017, recording record revenues for both periods.

“During the fourth quarter, we executed on our strategic initiatives: installing 2Ku rapidly, engaging more passengers, and winning aircraft,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “Our continued rapid deployment of high-bandwidth technologies in 2018 is the catalyst for delivering a great customer experience and long-term revenue and profitability growth.”

“Our record financial results for the quarter lay a strong foundation for 2018 financial performance,” said Barry Rowan, Gogo’s executive vice president and CFO. “With 2Ku aircraft online scaling in 2018 and continued rapid growth of our Business Aviation division, we look forward to delivering another strong year of financial performance as we target achieving positive free cash flow in 2019.”

In North America, Gogo provided connectivity services to 2,900 commercial aircraft in the quarter, of which approximately 15% were satellite-equipped aircraft. The weighted average peak speed to an aircraft in this region increased to nearly 20 Mbps, approximately doubling from Q4 2016.

The number of aircraft online reached 2,840, up 164 aircraft from 31 December, 2016. As of December, 2017, CA-NA had more than 650 awarded but not yet installed 2Ku aircraft, of which approximately 75 are net new aircraft.

Take rate reached a record 9.9%, up 36% from 7.3% in Q4 2016, due to increased passenger adoption resulting from airline and third party paid offerings.

In the rest of the world, aircraft online reached 391, up 124 aircraft from 31 December, 2016. The region had approximately 770 net new 2Ku awarded but not yet installed aircraft as of December 31, 2017.

Gogo’s business aviation service revenue grew 25% year-over-year to US$45.5 million. ATG aircraft online increased to 4,678, up 12% year-over-year, as demand for in-flight connectivity grew across all market segments, including a 19% increase in light jets and turboprop aircraft online.

2Ku was installed on more than 470 aircraft in 2017, including more than 130 outside North America, to end the year with more than 550 2Ku equipped aircraft online.  This includes LATAM Airlines and Cathay Pacific Group.

Air Nostrum selects Immfly for full fleet adoption

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Spanish regional carrier Air Nostrum has selected Immfly’s digital services, becoming the first airline to deploy full fleet adoption and the first Spanish airline to install a plugged portable solution.

The first CRJ aircraft equipped with Immfly’s service, SkyCube, will take off in April. Air Nostrum Play, will be available as a freemium model to its passengers. Through a set of access points installed inside the planes, passengers will be able to connect to Air Nostrum Play and enjoy multiple entertainment modules among other airline services.

“Air Nostrum is a highly important client for us, it will prove a new technology and with a new business model perfectly suited for regional carries. The airline performs predominantly short-flights and therefore the services will be more oriented to TV shows, series, press & news, due to the flight duration. Bringing this services to regional carriers is a before and after in the IFE industry”, explained Vincent Tomasoni, chief customer and content officer at Immfly.

“We are very proud to announce this partnership with Immfly, which will allow our passengers to enjoy media contents during their flights, therefore enhancing their on-board experience. We feel especially satisfied for having developed, together with Immfly and Sirium, an innovative technological solution, that endows our regional full fleet with the ideal technology to bring a variety of media content on-board our aircraft”, mentioned Juan Corral, the commercial director of Air Nostrum.

Sony headphones offered in AirAsia X Premium Flatbed cabins

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AirAsia X is partnering with Sony Corporation to feature Sony’s latest noise-cancelling headphones for its Premium Flatbed seats.
From 26 February, the h.ear on 2 Wireless Noise Cancelling WH-900N wireless headphones in stylish twilight red have been available in the Premium Flatbed cabin on flights between Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo Haneda, Japan.
AirAsia X group head of Commercial Barry Klipp said, “As the only low-cost airline to offer a fully reclinable flatbed, the addition of these headphones with superb high-resolution audio and noise cancellation will take our award-winning premium product to even greater heights. Now our guests can truly immerse themselves in a broad variety of entertainment choices available on our Xcite in-flight entertainment tablets offered on-board.
“These headphones are first be made available on our Kuala Lumpur-Tokyo Haneda flights, with a view to deploying it on other routes later.”
Sony Malaysia managing director Satoru Arai said, “We are delighted to be partnering with AirAsia X to feature one of our latest and finest technology on Premium Flatbed cabin on-board the flight. We  hope our latest wearable technology would give AirAsia X’s guests a new and comfortable experience during their travel.”
To celebrate the partnership, AirAsia X is offering guests a 20% discount on all AirAsia X flights in both standard and Premium Flatbed seats. To enjoy the discount, book with the “SONY20” promotional code from now until 4 March 2018 for travel between 26 February and 31 July 2018, subject to terms and conditions.
As part of the partnership, Sony will also offer gifts to all AirAsia X guests travelling to Japan via AirAsia X Malaysia (airline code D7), AirAsia X Thailand (XJ) and AirAsia X Indonesia (XT) at the Sony store in Ginza, Tokyo, as well as discounts at Sony stores at KLCC and The Curve in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to all AirAsia X guests who present their AirAsia X boarding pass.

 

AirFi Indonesia announces first customers

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In only its third month of operations, AirFi Indonesia has signed its first airline clients – Sriwijaya Air and subsidiary NAM Air based in Jakarta.

AirFi Wireless IFE will deployed on all 40 of Sriwijaya Air’s Boeing fleet and the 10 Boeing aircraft of NAM Air.

In addition, mirroring MENA regional expansion plans revealed last month, AirFi Group has signed a second regional partner contract with a major Singapore-based in-flight caterer which will accelerate roll-out of AirFi crew and passenger digital platforms across more airlines in the world’s fastest growing aviation region.

AirFi now has three fully resourced bases serving the region: AirFi Development Hub in Banglaore, India, AirFi Indonesia in Jakarta and Regional Partner HQ in Singapore.

Inflight Dublin teams up with Travel Service for IFE roll-out

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Travel Service, the biggest Czech air carrier, is rolling out Inflight Dublin’s Everhub in-flight entertainment service under its SmartWings brand.
In October 2017 Travel Service agreed to increase its stake in the national flag carrier CSA Czech Airlines, from 44% to almost 98%.
Travel Service Group currently has a fleet of 34 Boeing 737s, and CSA an 18-strong fleet. However the Group plans to operate a fleet of 70-80 aircraft. Using Everhub SmartWings passengers in Czechia, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, France will soon enjoy streaming content on the airline’s complete fleet.
In the initial phase, Inflight Dublin will be offering the latest content, including movies, TV, audio, games, magazines and newspapers, provided in different languages. The second phase will include the roll-out of the extended service offering beyond content such as destination services, ground transportation services and retail services.
Peter Sujan, Travel Service’s sales director, said, “This revolutionary wireless IFE system comes at the right time for Travel Service,  who are dedicated to boosting passenger experience to the new level. We are delighted that Travel Service is one of the first Central European airlines that offers this service to its passengers. I believe that this novelty will make the flight more enjoyable to our passengers.”
John White, Inflight Dublin’s CEO, added, “This is our first Everhub partnership in the Central Europe and we couldn’t be more excited! Travel Service’s continuous dedication to elevating passenger experience sits accordingly with our strategic vision on bringing IFE to every airborne passenger.”

 

JAL offers SkyLights VR to VIP guests

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A delegation of VIP guests travelling between Japan, India and Sri Lanka from 21 to 27 January on Japan Airlines  had the opportunity to test SkyLights’ Cinematic VR Entertainment.

The airline selected SkyLight’s solution to demonstrate innovation and gauge the potential of virtual reality as in-flight entertainment.

Through the SkyLights headsets, the 50 VIP passengers were given the opportunity to choose from over 30 titles, including 180°/360° VR videos, 3D and 2D feature films and documentaries.

“We are delighted to take our first real step into the Asian market with an innovative airline of world-class standard. JAL have made a vote of confidence in our solution and we are honoured to have been able to work with them to introduce a new type of experience to their premium passengers,” said David Dicko, SkyLights CEO.

JAL sales VP said, “Customers who experienced the VR videos praised the content and we did not have any problems such as VR sickness. I’m very happy to have made the project successful and I would like to thank SkyLights for their cooperation.”

SkyLights is now focusing on global expansion with its Allosky headset. With 2K resolution and weighing only 135g, the headset has already generated significant interest throughout the industry, with its first commercial deployments scheduled for late March.

Visa opens doors to new Center of Excellence

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Visa has unveiled its Transportation Center of Excellence, a global service that brings together the power and scope of Visa’s programs including the Visa Developer Platform, Visa Token Service, Visa Ready for Transit and Visa Global Transit Solutions with its global network of Innovation Centers and Studios.

Bill Gajda, SVP, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at Visa said, “Today’s consumers simply want get to their next destination quickly and easily – whether commuting to work or going on holiday. Unfortunately, purchasing tickets, paying for parking or filling up the car is often inconvenient, involving long lines, complicated ticketing machines and outdated transit systems. The Transportation Center of Excellence examines how new technologies can transform the consumer experience by using digital credentials to make it easier for travel and transportation providers to seamlessly integrate payments into the customer journey.”

The Center is part of a wider program focused on giving consumers a better experience for any mode of travel, including air. By engaging directly with airlines Visa can help create innovative solutions that integrate new and emerging technologies into every kind of journey.

As part of the new program, Visa is hosting co-creation sessions at its Innovation Center located at its European headquarters in Paddington Basin. The 1,000+ square meter space, the largest in Visa’s global network of innovation centers, is an immersive environment where Visa can work side-by-side with its partners in transportation, banking, and retail – with the goal to remove friction in travel and create new and easier ways consumers can access and pay for transportation. Applying human-centered design, the program incorporates new and emerging technologies to develop capabilities in key transportation sectors, including air, where Visa has hosted co-creation sessions with the industry’s largest airlines, collaborating with them to address the consumer journey starting with planning, ticketing and in-flight experiences enabled through new technologies like virtual reality.

Last year, Visa partnered with Etihad Airways and Helios Interactive to show how Virtual Reality can enhance travellers’ in-flight experiences for the ultimate first class experience at a guest event in Barcelona.

Etihad docents led guests to a first-class seat where they donned the Google Daydream headset and embarked on their virtual journey.

Once inside the headset, guests could order their gourmet in-flight meal, choose from a selection of movies and entertainment, and book a tour for their destination city, using Visa Checkout via gaze selection to complete their purchase.

Visa / Etihad Inflight VR shopping from Helios Interactive on Vimeo.

Gajda adds, “Visa has created a collaborative environment that enables developers to reimagine the consumer journey across any mode of transportation they take along with the building blocks to make that vision a reality. Through the Visa Developer Platform, they can select from a broad range of APIs (Application Program Interfaces) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) to create the next generation of commerce applications.”

The program is led out of the London Innovation Center and is open to companies from across the globe.