Air France has become the launch customer for Safran Cabins' ECOS shelf bins.

Safran ECOS shelf bins debuts on Air France

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Air France has become the launch customer for Safran Cabins' ECOS shelf bins.

The first Air France A320 retrofitted with Safran Cabin ECOS shelf bins has returned to service.

Installed by Air France Industries in July 2021, the ECOS (Efficient Cabin Open Space) shelf bins offer up to 60% more storage capacity.

The new luggage compartments are equipped with easy to reach doors that do not encroach into the cabin aisle and provide a lower shelf height for ease of loading and visibility.

According to Safran, ECOS shelf bins provide an easier and smoother boarding experience, greatly reducing the time spent searching for luggage space or the need to put certain bags in the cargo hold. Aircraft turnaround times are also reduced its claimed.

The modification also included the installation of Movable Class Dividers supplied by Safran Cabin.

In total, Air France will equip 24 Air France Airbus A320s.

Rendering of Qatar's new CL3810 economy seating from RecaroL

Qatar Airways to outfit A321neo with Recaro economy class seating

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Rendering of Qatar's new CL3810 economy class seating - rear

Qatar Airways will receive Recaro brand-new CL3810 economy class seat, for outfitting its new A321neo fleet.

Starting at the end of 2022, 20 shipsets of the CL3810 will be installed.

Qatar Airways is one of the first airlines to select the CL3810, which was unveiled in 2020. The customised seat features offer a wider backrest for increased comfort and privacy, as well as a six-way headrest with adjustable neck support feature.

“We are pleased to be one of the first global airlines to select the CL3810 Economy Class seat – Recaro’s latest, sustainable and advanced seating product,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker. “Established nearly two decades ago, our long-term partnership with Recaro Aircraft Seating reflects our confidence in the supplier’s exemplified designs and technology.”

The newest addition to the economy class portfolio, the CL3810’s unique shape was designed to support the passenger’s points of tension, which reflects the design of the Recaro Automotive sport seat. Compared to its predecessor, the CL3810 offers an additional inch of living space, a more advanced articulated seat pan, and a wider backrest to enhance row-to-row privacy.

The seat weight was reduced by more than 15% when compared to the CL3710, which can save airlines thousands in fuel costs and optimise cabin performance. All Recaro seats are comprised of long-lasting and durable materials that help extend the life cycle of seats and minimise the total cost of ownership for airlines.

Centtrip montage

Centtrip expands into the US

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Centtrip montage

Fintech business Centtrip has partnered with Adyen to launch its platform, app, and card in the US, with a particular focus on the private and business aviation industry.

The Centtrip card has been designed for the demands of highly mobile organisations such as air charter businesses.

The Centtrip platform gives businesses in the sector real-time visibility and control over their expenses and card payments, helping them empower their pilots and crew, streamline expense payment processes, reduce the cost and risk of carrying cash, and make the accounting process significantly easier.

Jane Turner, Chief Executive Officer, said: “The aviation industry was one of the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the fundamentals such as speed and service remain. The Centtrip app and online platform, as well as our high card limits, are tailor made for the private aviation industry when dealing with large expenditure. By expanding into the US, we are giving highly mobile businesses in the private aviation industry more control, flexibility and visibility over their money.”

As part of the expansion Centtrip has opened an office in Miami Beach, Florida, and plans to expand its US based team in the coming months.

Gotham Studios' Goji Geotainment system

GAT installs Goji Geotainment IFE System

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Gotham Studios' Goji Geotainment system

Global Aviation Technologies (GAT) has successfully installed the first Goji Geotainment system, a plug-and-play replacement for legacy Collins Airshow cabin entertainment systems ideal for business jets.

The system offers passengers a state-of-the-art 3D moving map and flight information, as well as high-quality video and audio “stories” of the cities and points of interest shown on the map.

Global Aviation Technologies owns the STC for the installation and is the leading supplier of the Goji Geotainment System, developed by Gotham Studios. Goji is a drop-in upgrade for Collins Aerospace Airshow 200, 400 and 4,000 systems popular in business aircraft around the world, and its database allows global operation in several languages.

“The installation couldn’t have been easier for our technicians here at GAT and the Goji system is operating as promised,” said Woody Cottner, Vice-President of Business Development at GAT. “The concept, the quality of the content and the ease of operation for the passenger will make Goji a game-changer for fleet and individual aircraft owners alike.”

“We are very excited to be launching our new in-flight experience and sharing all of our wonderful stories about the places we are flying over,” Gotham Studios’ Russ Johnson said. “The in-flight tour guide dynamically assembles the stories based on current location and destination so that no two flights are ever the same.”

In addition to the 4K 3D moving map and high-resolution satellite imagery available on cabin monitors as well as passengers’ personal devices, the Goji Geotainment offers a continuous series of geo-relevant visual and audio stories or a more interactive mode to more fully explore points of interest, listen to music or watch personal movies.

The system can be customised with company branding and aircraft livery and the database is updated automatically.

“This is going to be a cost-effective way for fractional owners, charter operators and individual owners to enhance the cabin experience for passengers and really set their in-flight entertainment system above those found in other aircraft,” said Cottner. “Goji has been designed for quick installation, so we can return the aircraft to service very quickly.”

SWISS and Too Good to Go will sell unused food as part of a trial to reduce food waste.

SWISS trials food waste reduction concept

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SWISS and Too Good to Go will sell unused food as part of a trial to reduce food waste.

SWISS is trialling a new concept that aims to reduce the volumes of fresh food items which remain unsold on its flights and must therefore be thrown away.

The airline already uses historical sales data for each flight to tailor its fresh product uplifts as closely as possible to likely passenger demand. As part of an existing collaboration, SWISS and partner “Too Good To Go” will offer at reduced prices any fresh food items which remain unsold. To test customer acceptance, a trial of the new approach is being conducted in August and September on the last flights of the day from Geneva on SWISS’s European network.

The new concept consists in offering any fresh food items that remain unsold on certain services at the end of the flight concerned. These items’ availability is communicated via an inflight announcement, and interested passengers are offered a bag containing one, two or three such fresh food items at one third of their usual price. The bag’s contents are not revealed in advance and remain a surprise for the purchaser.

“Managing waste on board is an important part of our commitment to greater sustainability,” said SWISS CCO Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “We hope to significantly reduce unused food on board our aircrafts by introducing this service. Thinking about sustainability in all our products, services and processes is part of our SWISS DNA.”

“The first results from these trials have been promising,” added SWISS’s Head of Western Switzerland Romain Vetter. “The new approach has been well received by our passengers on the flights concerned. We’re now awaiting a final analysis of the trials’ findings to decide if we should extend it to further routes.”

ANA is trialling a new refrigerant, Fujiyama18 to cool its F&B services on domestic flights

ANA introduces new way to keep F&B cool

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ANA is trialling a new refrigerant, Fujiyama18 to cool its F&B services on domestic flights

From 20 September, All Nippon Airways (ANA) is adopting a new way to cool in-flight meals and beverages on all domestic flights to reduce CO2 emissions and operating costs.

At ANA, the dry ice traditionally used in the in-flight carts of domestic flights to cool the in-flight meals and beverages lead to an annual CO2 emission of approximately 1,700 tons (FY2019). From April 2020, ANA began studying the introduction of alternative refrigerants and through testing the cooling effect, temperature maintenance, and impact on the quality of the cooled goods on flights and in regular situations, we decided to switch from dry ice to a new refrigerant.

The newly introduced refrigerant, Fujiyama18,” manufactured by Japan Cold Chain Co.,  is made of material used as food additives, which is harmless for humans and will help maintain the in-flight meals and beverages at a stable temperature with its capability to maintain cool for a long period of time. In addition, by using the same device repeatedly, the amount of packaging materials used with dry ice will be reduced by about 30 tons per year, which is expected to cut costs by about ¥200 million per year (about 80%). Additionally, as there is less risk of frostbite compared to the handling of dry ice, the new alternative is a sustainable approach for the global environment, economy, and safety.

“This change brings ANA another step closer to achieving our sustainability goals addressed in the ANA Future Promise” said Junko Yazawa, Senior Vice President overseeing Customer Experience Management & Planning. “It will benefit the environment and reduce costs while ensuring that ANA passengers continue to enjoy quality food and beverages.”

SES-17 satellite

SES sets launch date for SES-17

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SES-17 satellite

SES has confirmed the launch date for SES-17.

Built by Thales Alenia Space, the SES satellite will be launched by Arianespace, using an Ariane 5 vehicle on 22 October 2021.

The satellite has completed its performance tests at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Cannes, France and is being prepared for shipment to Arianespace’s Guiana Space Centre in Kourou, French Guiana ahead of the launch.

SES-17 is a very high-throughput satellite in geosynchronous orbit, built to serve North America, South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean with Ka-band coverage. It will address demands for high-speed and flexible data connectivity across aviation, maritime, enterprise and government segments, advancing the region’s digitalisation objectives and helping to bridge the digital divide.

For commercial aviation, SES is partnering with its anchor customer, Thales Avionics.

OneWeb 10 launch

OneWeb LEO constellation grows with latest satellite launch

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OneWeb 10 launch

OneWeb has successfully launched 34 satellites by Arianespace from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

This latest launch brings OneWeb’s total in-orbit constellation to 322 satellites, nearly half of OneWeb’s entire 648 LEO satellite fleet that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity.

The company remains on track to start service this year at the 50th parallel and above with its constellation and to deliver global service in 2022.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, commented: “The team continues to stay focused on execution and delivering our network. I am enormously grateful to the team and all our partners who are making these milestones possible. We continue to see a huge and growing demand for our services from global customers, and we are incredibly excited about both introducing commercial service and scaling our global network.”

Photo Credits: Roscosmos, TsENKI

Inmarsat has released its Passenger Confidence Tracker 2021

Study reveals extent of wanderlust and passenger confidence

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Inmarsat has released its Passenger Confidence Tracker 2021

Insights from more than 10,000 passengers reveal that demand for flights is returning but rebuilding passenger confidence requires consistent global safety protocols and digital technology that minimise touchpoints.

In total, 60% say they would happily take to the skies by the end of the year (compared to only 47% last year), with air passengers in Greece the most confident about flying with an airline today (29%), followed by Australians and Brazilians (both 20%). The study also showed that taking a flight improves the confidence of airline passengers towards health and safety issues by 20%, showing that the experience of flying is very reassuring.

These are some of the findings of Inmarsat’s Passenger Confidence Tracker 2021, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of airline passengers since the pandemic began.

The number of passengers who expect to travel less frequently has dropped by 6% in comparison to Inmarsat’s 2020 Passenger Confidence Tracker. However, with 84% of respondents believing their travel habits are likely to change post pandemic, the onus is firmly on airlines to ensure their service offering keeps pace with the evolving requirements of passengers.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “There is no denying that the past 18 months has been a turbulent time for airlines and passengers alike. However, the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that demand for both international and domestic travel is gaining significant momentum. In order to maintain and even accelerate this growth, it’s essential to rebuild passenger confidence and ensure their evolving needs are met in a post COVID world.

“Our latest Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest global survey that Inmarsat Aviation has ever commissioned, offers detailed insights into the main areas of confidence and concern around air travel, direct from the passengers themselves. Such findings will allow airlines to increase their focus on key priorities and seize the exciting opportunities ahead as the industry continues its long-term recovery.”

Following the pandemic, the passenger service experience was regarded as the most important factor when it comes to the enjoyment of a flight globally (46%), with the highest responses coming from India (67%), Brazil (67%), Indonesia (59%) and China (57%).

The survey also indicates that greater importance should be placed on customer experience, because interacting with airline personnel was seen to help instill the most confidence for passengers during a flight. This made passengers the most confident in Mexico (55%), the US (51%), UAE (50%), Brazil (49%), Greece (42%), Canada (41%), Australia (39%) and the UK (36%).

While onboard, digital technology helps to improve confidence by keeping passengers connected and minimising their contact with others, including cabin crew and fellow passengers. In addition, 41% of respondents believed in-flight Wi-Fi had increased in importance after the pandemic, compared to 30% for in-flight entertainment. In-flight Wi-Fi was the most important factor for the US (55%) and Canada (41%).

“A digital transformation was already underway in the aviation industry, but the pandemic has undoubtedly fast-tracked its implementation,” added Balaam. “As the trusted connectivity provider for airlines throughout the world, Inmarsat has experienced higher passenger usage for our inflight broadband solutions compared to pre-COVID levels, showing the desire to stay connected has only amplified. Airlines are also embracing innovating new ways to enhance their onboard experience using connectivity, with a major focus on touchless experiences in keeping with today’s passenger expectations.”

The study also reveals that factors such as region and age influence the individual preferences of passengers. In the Americas, passengers report that in-flight Wi-Fi, the passenger service experience and in-flight entertainment are more important now than before the pandemic. In comparison, passengers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) consider free baggage and extra legroom as more important.

For further insights from Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, download the full report here.

The ‘Passenger Confidence Tracker’ is a global survey of airline passenger attitudes in light of COVID-19, commissioned by Inmarsat and carried out by market research company Yonder. It is the largest known global passenger survey since the outbreak of the pandemic. Yonder conducted an online sample of 10,110 online interviews among respondents who have taken a flight for leisure or business in the last 24 months. Invitations were sent out on a nationally representative basis. Respondents were surveyed across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, UAE, the UK and the US.

As part of the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2021, the Crystal Cabin Awards in the special categories “Clean and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award” have been presented for the first time, with Safran winning both categories.

Safran triumphs at Crystal Cabin Awards

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As part of the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2021, the Crystal Cabin Awards in the special categories “Clean and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award” have been presented for the first time, with Safran winning both categories.

As part of the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2021, the Crystal Cabin Awards in the special categories “Clean and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice Award” have been presented for the first time, with Safran winning both categories.

The two special categories were developed by a task force of jury members in response to the global coronavirus pandemic and its impact on aviation worldwide.

Clean & Safe Air Travel is targeted at innovations for aircraft in the areas of health, hygiene, safety, and cleanliness. The Judges’ Choice Award has been designed for entries that would otherwise have been submitted in one of the eight regular categories, including Cabin Systems and In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity. These two special categories were developed by a task force of the Crystal Cabin Award Association, which is led by Hamburg Aviation, in collaboration with members of the expert jury, spread over four continents.

For the first time, five finalists were shortlisted per category, rather than three. The awards ceremony for the eight main was broadcast in TV format in March 2021.

In the Clean and Safe Air Travel category, Safran Cabin won with its Beacon Clean Lavatory. This innovative bathroom concept represented the company’s response to increased passenger hygiene expectations, combining antibacterial surfaces with hands-free features.

Safran also came out on top in the Judges’ Choice Award for its entry in cooperation with Universal Movement on Interspace. The innovation is targeted primarily at short and medium-haul economy and business class flights.