Recaro’s SPRINT seat program takes off

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Recaro Aircraft Seating has installed its first shipset of its BL3530 seats from the SPRINT program on Air Lease Corporation’s B737 aircraft. Introduced in late 2019, the SPRINT program develops and ships predefined BL3530 seats for lessors within two months of the order being submitted.

The SPRINT program can equip either an A320 or B737 with the BL3530 economy class seat, which lessors can customise with one of five different predefined e-leather dress covers: light blue, dark blue, light grey, dark grey or red. Recaro is the first aircraft seating manufacturer to introduce a seating program that offers lessors a customisable seat with a two-month turnaround.

“The feedback we gathered from lessors reflected a clear need for seats with a shorter lead time, so we began brainstorming,” said Sophie Moeller, Regional Sales Director, Customer Service at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “We first developed the SMART and SWIFT programs, which supply seats within six and four months, respectively, but it was clear that an even shorter timeframe was needed. We collaborated with program management and engineering to create a predeveloped seat that could be ordered and shipped within two months, and SPRINT was born.”


Uzbekistan Airways pilot uniforms

Uzbekistan Airways debuts new crew uniforms

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Uzbekistan Airways pilot uniforms

Uzbekistan Airways has overhauled its pilots and flight attendants uniforms for the first time in 15 years.

According to the airline, the chosen fabrics take into account different climatic conditions that the crews have to live in every day.

Designed by Turkish-based Dress Best Uniforms, for the first time in the history of the airline a short-sleeved dress has been introduced. The uniform also includes skirts, trousers blouses and a jacket with shade of dark aquamarine and terracotta.

Complementing the new uniform are headdresses, leather gloves, and neck scarves. The winter coat-coat has a detachable insulated lining.

Male crew members wear dark grey suits with a dark aquamarine trim. Shaped caps are dark grey with a silver trimming. Pilots have branded buttons and exclusive men’s ties.

The airline has also upgraded its business class blankets.

Developed by Kaelis, the purple duvet is a quilted rhombus for elegance and comfort.

The long-term survival of Korean Air is at stake

Editor’s comment: The show must go on

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The long-term survival of Korean Air is at stake

According to the proverb, After the typhoon there are pears to gather up.

The ill-winds of COVID-19 continue to spread, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring a pandemic, and the US halting travel from large parts of mainland Europe to the US for 30 days.

At the end of February, the Irish-based IFE hardware provider Mythopoeia Holdings entered liquidation, citing the coronavirus outbreak as partly to blame for its failure.

Formed in 2014, the company supplied its tablet-based wireless seatback IFE solution, Air Cloud, to Air Greenland’s A330-200 as well as a USB power solution (Powerstream) and passenger service system to Mexican low-cost carrier Viva Aerobus.

Korean Air has said its future is dependent upon how long the coronavirus crisis lasts. In a memo to employees, the airline’s President, Woo Kee-hong, warned the company’s survival could not be guaranteed if aircraft groundings and passenger restrictions continue long-term.

And in this week’s UK budget speech, Chancellor Rishi Sunak omitted mention of any support measures for the aviation sector.

As Dale Keller, Chief Executive of BAR UK, a UK airline industry association, said: “The entire aviation industry will be deeply frustrated that the Chancellor has shown zero support to a vital sector which the country relies upon to deliver connectivity and enable economic prosperity. Despite announcing an APD [air passenger duty] review in January in time for this Budget, the Chancellor has instead pushed a response back to spring whilst discreetly publishing a further £2 increase to £82 on economy long-haul flights from April 2021. The lack of action and support for aviation in this Budget demonstrates a Chancellor and Government that has not placed enough importance on sustaining the UK’s domestic and international air connectivity at the very time it is needed most.”

So, what of the pears? Private jet companies have registered a spike in bookings, a result of individuals looking to avoid crowded airports, commercial flights or to evacuate from coronavirus-affected areas. Lunajets said it has seen a sharp rise in demands for its business jet charter services: regular private jet charter flights, emergency private jet hire (evacuation of staff, citizens) and even aircraft cargo charter. GlobeAir has registered a 27% YoY increase in bookings over the past three weeks, according to Bernhard Fragner, CEO.

Inflight’s commitment to delivering industry-leading coverage of the end-to-end in-flight experience remains robust and unwavering, with the magazine’s expert editorial team continuing to support and report on the industry in spite of the increasingly challenging circumstances. Inflight’s loyal readers will still be kept abreast of airlines’ investment decisions and the accompanying emerging capabilities, with exclusive insight into and analysis of the key issues affecting the cabin interior and passenger journey.

In the face of such a difficult and unpredictable situation, we consider it our responsibility to stand behind the in-flight industry, providing our colleagues with a solid and reliable platform from which to communicate developments and achievements, thus driving the industry forward.

Please do send me any announcements, product releases and company news intended for both AIX and WTCE.

MIME - Aiber release

New smart device aims to transform in-flight ..

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MIME - Aiber release

MIME Technologies, a med-tech spin-out from the University of Aberdeen, has unveiled a smart device to help manage in-flight medical events.

A multi-disciplinary team of physiologists, technologists and aviation medicine specialists have created a new wireless technology, named ‘Aiber’, that provides fast and accurate support to cabin crew, pilots and clinicians on the ground.

Allowing more informed decisions, it is applicable for a wide range of medical events, ranging from burns and allergic reactions to potential heart attacks in the skies.

Cabin crew are responsible for passenger care in-flight and receive detailed and specific first aid training, refreshed annually. While some airlines can call on clinical ‘on the ground’ support, this is not mandatory for all flights. Calling the ground can also be difficult, requiring the crew to leave the patient’s side to use the on-board phone or existing headphone technology, which is prone to serious challenges like noise interference.

Aiber is the first technology capable of ‘live’ streaming a wide range of passenger data to the ground, allowing real-time digital communication between the crew, the passenger and clinical support.

Anne Roberts, co-founder & chief executive officer of MIME Technologies, explains: “An in-flight medical event, even of a minor nature, can be hugely stressful for cabin crew. Our affordable technology guides them through their first aid training but, crucially, it live streams medical event updates to the ground.

“This is hugely significant as it allows a more informed decision about how stable a passenger is and whether the flight should divert or continue. It allows cabin crew to stay by the passenger’s side throughout and, using AI, it automatically stores and transmits essential information that can often be missed or only recorded after the event.

“For the first time, clinicians on the ground will be able to follow, in real-time, the deterioration or improvement of a passenger in the air using wireless technology and the tech provides a seamless handover to emergency services meeting the aircraft. We believe the technology will help avoid unnecessary diversions but, more significantly, it will help save lives by providing ‘eyes in the sky’ on flights globally.”

Dr Tim Stevenson, whose previous experience includes Head of Health Services at Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Company Medical Adviser at Easyjet, said: “Medical teams at all airlines are constantly trying to deliver best practice in- flight medical care to any sick passenger in the remote environment that is a plane in the air.

“This could be in the middle of an ocean or over a wide expanse of territory, with few diversion options. Simply flying over the middle of a continent thousands of feet above sea level brings its own medical issues when treating a sick passenger at altitude.

“Aiber helps the crew on board make appropriate, evidence-based decisions. The ability to communicate so efficiently with the ground-based medical support teams, who can advise on particular avenues of treatment or indeed appropriate diversion options for the best possible treatment, is priceless.

“Enabling crew members to communicate seamlessly with the airline operations centres, who can coordinate and facilitate the timely transfer of their sick passenger to advanced medical care, is another incredible benefit.”

Developed with input from two of the world’s leading airlines and suitable for use by commercial airlines and business jets, the technology can integrate wireless, clinical-grade, heart sensing equipment; specifically designed for non-medical professionals like cabin crew.

MIME recently completed field trials with a global aviation company, with multiple commercial and business jet customers in the pipeline.

Jetlite flies on Vistara Dreamliner

jetlite brings light relief to Vistara’s Dr..

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Jetlite flies on Vistara Dreamliner

jetlite’s Human Centric Lighting is flying on Vistara’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet in order to enhance passenger well-being and reduce the effects of jet lag. The customised lighting scenes have been jointly developed by Vistara and jetlite together with Boeing in Everett.

Vistara is Asia’s first airline with jetlite on board.

“Vistara´s lighting scenes by jetlite are based on the findings of Human Centric Lighting and chronobiology, backed by extensive research studies and real test flights. Apart from that, jetlite customises Human Centric Lighting solutions individually for each airline, taking factors such as corporate design, the effect on CMF (colours, material and finishing) and cultural background into consideration.”, said Dr. Achim Leder, Co-Founder and Managing Director at jetlite. The optimal lighting scenes customised for Vistara have been jointly developed by Vistara and jetlite with the support of Boeing in Everett.

“Since inception, Vistara has focused on delivering an exceptional inflight experience that enhances our customers’ wellness. Cabin lighting is one of the elements that makes this possible and we are delighted to partner with jetlite for their cutting-edge Human Centric lighting. This will help us to take the Vistara flying experience to the next level for travellers,” said Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara.


Hughes to market OneWeb services

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Hughes Network Systems has become a worldwide distribution partner for OneWeb.

“We are entering a new era of global connectivity demand that can only be fulfilled by a mix of data transport services, including terrestrial, geostationary and Low Earth Orbit satellites,” said Pradman Kaul, president, Hughes. “OneWeb complements our service portfolio with a truly global coverage, low-latency option that will enable our customers to meet their end users’ needs for connectivity everywhere.”

“Connectivity is only truly valuable when it delivers the user experience that customers need, and in today’s fast-moving digital economy, businesses and civil government organisations need high quality, continuous internet access wherever they are,” said Adrian Steckel, CEO, OneWeb. “I’m delighted that Hughes is joining OneWeb on our mission to deliver this vision. Hughes is already an important investor and an invaluable technology partner, and I look forward to working together to bring OneWeb’s pioneering technology to markets around the world.”

Service testing on the satellites already in orbit is underway, using gateways that Hughes is building for the network. According to the companies, results are positive, including seamless satellite and beam handovers, high speeds and low latency.

The gateways feature multiple tracking antennas to support operation and hand-off of high-speed user traffic to and from the LEO satellites, and can handle up to 10,000 terminal hand-offs per second. Every OneWeb terminal, whether for fixed or mobile services, will incorporate a core module, including modem, developed and manufactured by Hughes.


Finnair wants to banish its carbon footprint

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“The most ambitious sustainability strategy in the aviation industry to banish carbon from its operations,” has been unveiled by Finnair.

Addressing a small group of journalists in London, Topi Manner, Finnair CEO, said: “Aviation is a fast-paced industry subject to many changes, and everything impacts it. Maintaining a long-term perspective at all times, in all market situations is key. The plans we announced today prepare us for the next 100 years of Finnair’s future.”

The airline aims to reduce its net emissions by 50% by the end of 2025 from the 2019 baseline and achieve carbon neutrality latest by 2045. To help achieve this, Finnair will propose at its Annual General Meeting an amendment to the Articles of Association, to enable it to engage in activities which increase the positive effects and reduce the negative impact of its business on the environment and society.

Anne Larilahti, Finnair Vice President of Sustainability, said: “The ambitious targets we have announced today are achievable through the tangible steps which we know will make a real contribution to CO2 reduction.”

Managing weight and fuel is key in reducing the CO2 emissions from Finnair flight operations. Finnair has developed a plan to reduce unnecessary weight from each aircraft, and to operate flights more fuel efficiently. The target is to reduce fuel consumption by 15,000 tonnes per year.

As part of this, from 29 April, Finnair will remove travel retail sales from its short-haul European fleet and focus on pre-orders, reducing on average 50-100 kg from each flight, resulting in a total decrease of 70,000 kg in fuel consumption per year and 220,000 kg of CO2 emissions.

Finnair will also remove 230 tonnes of plastic from its flights, cutting single-use plastics in half by the end of 2022. In 2019, Finnair removed 80,000 kg of plastic through increased recycling and smarter material choices.

The airline will replace plastic cutlery from economy cabin dining with more sustainable knives, forks and spoons, thus reducing a further 53 tonnes of plastic from its flights per year.

To counter CO2 generated by meat production and cater to changing tastes, Finnair will also be introducing more vegetarian meal options for customers during 2020. The airline will take action to reduce food waste in catering operations by 50% by the end of 2022.

MAC Aero Interiors relocates to Estonia

MAC Aero Interiors locates production facilit..

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MAC Aero Interiors relocates to Estonia

AC Aero Interiors, the UK-based subsidiary Magnetic MRO, has moved its production facility to Tallinn, Estonia. The new facility in Estonia’s capital was opened in January 2020 and publicly on 4 March 2020.

Changes in the economic environment in the UK prompted the decision to support its customers in full-scope delivering high standard service via Magnetic MRO Part 145, POA, DOA certified production facility in Tallinn, Estonia.

MAC Aero Interiors Ltd. remains the supplier and holder of its contractual obligations, while production is executed at MAC Aero Interiors Ltd parent company Magnetic MRO facility – benefitting from the wide network of Magnetics’ overall infrastructure in Tallinn. Additionally, China-based MAC Sichuan (a subsidiary to MAC Aero Interiors) continues to provide cabin total technical care support for large-volume orders and brings exposure to the Asian market.

“Year 2020 is a time to write own successes story for MAC Aero Interiors: from the New Year, the big step ahead was taken in our development strategy, resulting in the whole interior business being consolidated under one umbrella – under the name of MAC Aero Interiors. This includes production that has been relocated from the UK as well as the expansion of DOA services and growth of operating interior shop in Tallinn. Our production team has streamlined facility processes, while sales team continue bringing new opportunities and deals that feed our interior business in the short term as well as secure long-term partnership for sustainable work-flow,” commented Inga Duglas, Commercial Director at Magnetic MRO.

SES Isotropic

SES and Isotropic Systems enter new developme..

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SES Isotropic

Isotropic Systems and SES have entered a new developmental phase of their collaborative partnership to produce scalable, cost-effective multi-beam customer edge terminal antennas capable of unlocking access to the groundbreaking O3b mPOWER system across a numbero f markets including aero.

The two companies will review, refine, and test key components of the full line of customised digital software-defined terminals throughout 2020, optimising the tiered platform to meet specific performance, cost, power, and connectivity requirements of user cases around the world. The development roadmap will culminate in a series of comprehensive engineering evaluations of Isotropic Systems’ multi-beam antenna components, prior to the commercial launch of the customer edge terminals and the O3b mPOWER Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) system in 2021.

Many of the upcoming trials, the first underway this month, will focus on maximising the effectiveness of the circuits behind the optical beam-forming lens modules at the core of the Isotropic Systems adaptable multi-beam antenna. The patented lens module technology is a major differentiator, enabling seamless switching between SES’s multi-orbit fleets, and opening the door to a new age of widely accessible and tailored high-performance Ku- and Ka-band connectivity.

SES and Isotropic Systems first announced their partnership in 2018 when SES contracted Isotropic Systems to develop smart, high-throughput customer edge terminal solutions for the O3b mPOWER system. The fully funded, next-gen and highly flexible MEO satellite-based data communications system is a scalable terabit-level constellation supporting thousands of dynamic beams, and exponentially expands SES’s first-generation O3b MEO system capabilities to deliver a new level of customisation.

Emirates awards Alpha LSG Heathrow catering c..

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Alpha LSG has started catering all Emirates’ flights out of London-Heathrow after being awarded a contract that commenced on 1 March.

The agreement to cater six daily flights out of London-Heathrow to Dubai makes Emirates one of Alpha LSG’s largest customers. The company already services the airline’s regional operation in the UK from London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow.
Richard Wood, Alpha LSG’s Sales and Marketing Director, says: “From March 1st we will oversee all of Emirates’ UK Catering requirements. This reflects the outstanding relationship we have built with the airline over recent years, thanks to the skill and expertise of our culinary and logistics teams. The addition of Emirates to our portfolio means we now cater seven of the world’s top ten airlines flying out of London-Heathrow.”

Emirates’ will be catered from Alpha LSG’s exclusive Halal Production Kitchen which is the only dedicated Halal catering facility at London-Heathrow.

Around 50,000 meals each week will be supplied to 42 flights on Emirates’ Dubai route, which is serviced by a fleet of A380s.