Global Eagle announces Airconnect Go 2.0

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Global Eagle Entertainment has released its response to a post-COIVD-19 travel experience with the launch of the second generation of its Airconnect portable wireless inflight entertainment solution.

Airconnect Go 2.0 reduces touchpoints in flight as passengers do not need to engage with onboard screens, using their own smartphone, laptop or tablet to access over 3,500 hours of content including Hollywood movies, TV series, music, podcasts, digital publications, games, and the interactive flight tracker.

Mike Pigott, Senior Vice President Connectivity, Global Eagle, says: “Our upgraded solution is lightweight and robust, providing 15 hours of continuous service and expandable storage capacity, double that of the previous iteration. There is no hardware to install and it delivers instant results, offering curated content packages to relax, inform, and entertain travellers.

According to Pigott, airlines can benefit from an “affordable monthly subscription model, touchless cellular or Wi-Fi updates and comprehensive user-consumption behaviour data, enabling IFE managers to gain an in-depth understanding of passenger tastes.”

Global Eagle’s second generation of Airconnect Go has no hardware activation fee and can fit into the overhead bin of most commercial aircraft, weighing only seven pounds. Airconnect Go 2.0 uses the latest file encryption technologies to maximise content storage by 50%. Multiple units can be positioned throughout the aircraft, with only one connection point for passengers, smoothing their access to the entertainment portal.

New lower pricing for optional accessories is available, including: an aircraft powered solution, a PA Pause Dongle to automatically pause media playback during onboard announcements, a mounting tray, and a bag bin partition, enabling Airconnect Go 2.0 to be securely stored in the overhead storage bin.

Norwegian commits to further green measures

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Norwegian has launched a new environmental sustainability strategy that will see it aim to cut CO2 emissions by 45%, remove all non-recyclable plastics and recycle all single-use plastics.

Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said: “At Norwegian we take our responsibility towards the environment seriously, and that is why we must look to the future and implement a strategy that produces immediate and tangible benefits for the environment today. Norwegian will continue to instigate a positive change across the industry in this field that will benefit not only the environment but also our customers and our business. The low-cost business model is the sustainability model as it enables efficient energy and resource management.”

Initial elements of the sustainability strategy will also include a 100% reduction of non-recyclable plastics and 100% recycling of single-use plastics by 2023.

Anders Fagernæs, Norwegian Head of Environmental Sustainability, said: “More sustainable and smarter options are becoming a greater part of the considerations that customers make when choosing which airline to fly with. We will champion this attitude and become the customers sustainable choice by reducing and recycling plastic waste, promoting sustainable aviation fuel and continuing to fly one of the world’s youngest fleets to achieve a 45% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.”

Pilatus receives STCs for AVANCE L3 on PC-24 and PC-12 NGX

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Pilatus has selected Gogo Business Aviation’s AVANCE L3 system as a factory option on new production PC-24 aircraft and has secured STCs for the PC-24 and the PC-12 NGX.

“Pilatus’ selection of Gogo AVANCE L3 is a great step forward with a valued partner who recognises the value of our software-centric AVANCE platform and the reliability and performance of the Gogo network,” said Mark Sander, vice president of OEM sales for Gogo. “The AVANCE L3 enables a customised experience to best fit customers’ needs based on the number of passengers and the online experience they desire.”

AVANCE L3 allows passengers and crew to email, send text messages and make voice calls with Gogo Text & Talk and access flight apps such as moving maps, weather and flight information. The L3 system comes installed with Gogo Vision featuring entertainment and news including the latest Hollywood films, television programs, business programming from Bloomberg TV, and 30 leading magazine titles in digital format.

“The AVANCE L3 system stands out in the market because our customers can choose the in-flight Wi-Fi experience they want, as well as the additional value-added features and benefits it enables,” said Tom Aniello, vice president of marketing for Pilatus. “In-flight Wi-Fi has become one of the most important features requested by our customers, and based on the performance our PC-12 operators have enjoyed, it was an easy decision for us to add it as an option from the factory for the PC-24.”

The AVANCE platform also integrates a full range of Smart Cabin features, allowing passengers to access and use all available data, voice, maps, entertainment, and cabin management system (CMS) services.

FAI Technik completes Ku-band install on Challenger 850

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Authorised Collins dealer FAI Technik GmbH has installed its first Collins ultra-high-speed Ku-band in-flight connectivity system on a Bombardier Challenger 850 aircraft on behalf of a corporate client.

The Albrecht Dürer International Airport, Nuremberg-based MRO company collaborated with Spain’s EASA-Part 21 organisation S4A to obtain an EASA-STC for this modification.

FAI´s Chairman, Siegfried Axtmann stated: “Following this prototype installation, FAI plans to install this solution on many other aircraft to meet the specific needs of our business aviation clients. We are pleased to report that we have been contracted for a second installation of the system on another Challenger 850.”

Donaldson gains latest Airbus approval for Air Purification System

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Donaldson Aerospace & Defense has received product manufacturing approval for its A330/A340 Air Purification System (APS), originally developed in conjunction with Boeing for the 787 Dreamliner.

Donaldson’s HEPA filtration captures 99.97% of harmful contaminants down to 0.3 microns, including pollen, smoke, dust, allergens, bacteria, spores, fungus, and viruses. Air purification takes HEPA’s work one step further by removing odors as well. Air purification is achieved through a gas phase adsorption chemical filtration process that removes unpleasant and irritating odors originating inside and outside the aircraft that inhibit passenger comfort – exhaust, anti-icing fluid, bleed air, perfume, cleaning agents, harsh chemicals, etc. The result is cleaner air to breathe for all onboard for a more comfortable environment.

“The Donaldson APS gives airlines the peace of mind that they are going the extra mile to ease passenger comfort,” said Fixed Wing Director, Lars Hesbjerg. “Commercial airline passengers want to breathe air that is clean and free of allergens, uncomfortable odours, and potentially harmful particulates. With the extensive cleaning airlines are undertaking today with harsh chemicals that can affect allergies, the Donaldson APS helps ensure fresh, clean air to increase passenger comfort.”

The Donaldson APS is interchangeable with the HEPA filter with minimal weight increase and similar change intervals compared to a standard particulate filter.

Donaldson’s APS is currently installed and in use on hundreds of Airbus A320s and Boeing 777s, and all Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Approval for the Boeing 777 is expected later this year.

Recaro Aircraft Seating wins design award

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Recaro’s CL3710 economy class seat has won a Focus Open Silver Award, from the Baden Württemberg International Design Academy.

This is the fifth Focus Open Award won by Recaro since the competition’s inception in 1991.

“The CL3710 is in a class of its own, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the recognition it has received from such a prestigious competition,” said Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO and Shareholder at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “Our customers view this product as an opportunity to set themselves apart from their competitors, and passengers appreciate the support and comfort the seat offers, especially while sleeping.”

The CL3710 is currently flying on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Vistara, Air China, and several other international airlines.

Recaro implemented numerous signature innovations to the CL3710, including the Abrazo headrest, extended seat bottom, and flip cushion for enhanced lumbar support. The modular design reduces maintenance, while still allowing for significant customisation features, including connectivity options and cabin configurations.

The CL3710’s combination of ergonomic comfort, space savings and lightweight design has also earned Recaro an iF Design Award and a Crystal Cabin Award in “Passenger Comfort Hardware.” In addition, the seat has been awarded two Gold German Design Awards, including one for its hygienic seat concept, which coats seat touchpoints with an antibacterial solution. Most recently, the solution has been revamped to also fight viruses.

Buzz promotes MicrobeBARRIER technology

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Australia-based Buzz has introduced a new antimicrobial fabric protection, MicrobeBARRIER, to reduce the presence of germs.

Laboratory tested and proven, MicrobeBARRIER protects from bacteria, mildew, mold and odours caused by heat, moisture and organic matter that builds up on textiles,

Buzz has partnered with leading suppliers to create MicrobeBARRIER, and recently launched protective wear treated with the technology for Etihad Airways First and Business Class passengers.

FORMIA and Calego unveil new partnership

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A new collaborative initiative has been launched by Calego International and FORMIA to develop a range of health & wellness amenity kits for airlines.

Branded under Calego’s iFLYSmart brand, the kits will contain antibacterial products, protective face masks and soon-to-be announced items.

“We developed our health amenity kits back in 2017, long before COVID-19 emerged, because we always believed travellers must prioritise their health,” said David Rapps, President of Calego and CEO of iFLYSmart. “We’re thrilled to partner with FORMIA because together we will provide travellers around the world a range of products that answer their health and safety concerns in the most practical way possible.”

“As we watch the aviation community grapple with changes to travel and travellers, we believe it’s critical to be at the forefront of product innovation in the health & wellness space,” said Roland Grohmann, FORMIA’s CEO & Managing Partner.

SmartSky Networks takes legal action to protect IP

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SmartSky Networks has filed a federal lawsuit through law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in North Carolina Middle District Court, against its former radio contractor, Wireless Systems Solutions LLC (WSS).

The complaint alleges that WSS, whose contract was terminated, misappropriated SmartSky’s intellectual property, and breached a US$30 million contract related to air-to-ground wireless network service, through the improper actions by WSS, two related entities (DAG Wireless LTD and DAG Wireless USA), and three of their senior leaders.

“We have pledged to defend our intellectual property vigorously because it is critical to our success. In this situation, WSS failed to complete what it was contracted to do for SmartSky. Simultaneously, we believe WSS attempted to sell our product as its own, including through an alter-ego company formed after we began working with WSS yet involving the same people,” said Ryan Stone, SmartSky President.

“This activity has caused a delay in SmartSky bringing our next-generation Wi-Fi network to the aviation market,” Stone said. “We’re transferring WSS’s former work scope to contractors who have performed well for us in the past on other aspects of our program.”

SmartSky now expects to launch its network in 2021.

dnata expands Dublin catering capacity

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dnata has begun operations at its new catering unit in Dublin, following an agreement with Aer Lingus, which sees it now provide in-flight catering services to the airline at four airports in Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Belfast

The state-of-the art facility, located in the Dublin Airport Logistics Park, covers an area of 6,300m², is equipped with the latest technologies and has a capacity of over 30,000 meals a day.

The new centre quadruples dnata’s catering capacity in the Irish capital, enabling the company to deliver 40,000 in-flight meals a day for customers.

Robin Padgett, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President for Catering, said: “It is great to be operational at our new, ultramodern catering centre, the 65th production facility in our global network. Despite the impact of COVID-19, our team and our partners have managed to deliver a quality operation on budget, as planned. We look forward to serving more customers in Dublin, both in the air and on the ground, with a team of highly-experienced culinary professionals.”

Between its facilities in Cork and Dublin dnata currently serves six airlines.