Jamco unveils Project Blue Sky hands-free lavatory technologies

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Jamco Corporation has unveiled its new hands-free lavatory lock knob and door handle, which allows passengers to unlock and open the lavatory door without using their hands. The hands-free lock and handle system are designed to utilise passengers’ elbows and forearms to operate the familiar lock and handle system on the lavatory door.

The patent-pending hands-free lavatory door lock and handle are part of Jamco’s Project Blue Sky initiative, a global, collaborative effort of the company and its affiliates to develop and produce touchless, hygienic cabin interior products for the aerospace industry.

Jamco is also developing new hands-free and low-touch concepts for other areas within the lavatory such as the toilet seat/lid and waste flap to minimise contact in these high-touch areas, reducing the possible spread of germs, as well as reducing the need for disinfection.

First Bongiovi speakerless sound system in Embraer 135

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C&L Aviation Services, a C&L Aviation Group company, has installed a Bongiovi speakerless cabin audio system into an Embraer 135. The system, which uses Bongiovi’s patented Digital Power Station (DPS) signal processing technology, coupled with transducers attached to the backside of aircraft interior panels, is the first such system installed into an Embraer 135 aircraft.

“C&L are experts in modifying and improving regional aircraft like ERJ 135/145 making them the ideal choice for a project like this one,” said Rob Hamelink, Managing Partner at Bongiovi Aviation. C&L has been a great partner of ours for several years and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

“C&L is always excited to be able to provide solutions like the Bongiovi system to meet the specialised needs of our customers,” said Calvin Tuitt, Senior VP of Business Development MRO. “Due to our regional and corporate aircraft experience, C&L is a logical choice to complete projects like this one.”

Etihad and Lumitics join forces to fight in-flight food wastage

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Etihad Airways and Singapore food technology start-up Lumitics are trialling the use of computer vision and machine learning in order to reduce food wastage on Etihad flights.

The partnership will see Etihad and Lumitics track unconsumed Economy class meals from Etihad’s flights, with the collated data used to highlight food consumption and wastage patterns across the network. Analysis of the results will help to reduce food waste, improve meal planning and reduce operating costs.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad Airways started the pilot with Lumitics earlier this year before global flying was impacted by COVID-19, and as the airline scales up the flight operations again, it is exciting to restart the project and continue the work that had begun. Etihad remains committed to driving innovation and sustainability through all aspects of the airline’s operations, and we believe that this project will have the potential to support the drive to reduce food wastage and, at the same time, improve guest experience by enabling Etihad to plan inflight catering in a more relevant, effective and efficient way.”

Lumitics’s product Insight Lite will track unconsumed meals from a plane when it touches down at an airport. Using AI and image recognition, Insight Lite is able to differentiate and identify the types and quantity of unconsumed meals based on the design of the meal foils, without requiring manual intervention.

flydubai partners with ASD to track cleaning cycles

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Dubai-based airline flydubai has begun using the latest version of a cutting-edge technology that tracks the cleaning cycles of each seat cover to help maintain the highest standards of in-flight hygiene and safety.

The latest RFIDAeroTrack software by Irish company, Aerospace Software Developments (ASD), enhances efficiency by monitoring the cleaning of aircraft seat covers through technologically advanced RFID tags that are attached to individual seat covers to provide a unique identification, enabling the airline to keep track of the seat covers at every stage of the cleaning cycle and life span via RFID handheld scanners and labels.

Seat covers are scanned when removed from the aircraft and any seat cover that has reached its maximum number of cleaning cycles is taken out of service. The remaining covers are scanned again at the time that they are dispatched to the laundry, and tracked and labelled at various stages of cleaning, to keep track of their cleaning cycles and life span.

This latest RFIDAeroTrack application functionality provides numerous benefits to the airline and aids compliance with all safety regulations. It also provides support for the management of the precautionary measures in relation to COVID-19. In addition, the application reduces the time to manage the removal and return of clean seat covers, as well as unnecessary cleaning costs by monitoring of the number of times that a seat cover is cleaned. The technology also enables the tracking of seat covers across multiple locations and helps maintain high standards of cabin cleanliness for the well-being of passenger.

“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to help us to improve efficiency. RFIDAeroTrack has provided a solution to help manage the cleaning of our seat covers using the latest developments in technology and we look forward to the benefits that this service will provide.” Mick Hills, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Maintenance at flydubai.

The system is also able to manage a variety of other laundered items that need to be tracked and monitored.

OWG selects Bluebox WOW for IFE offering

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New Canadian airline, OWG, a subsidiary of Nolinor Aviation, is to deploy Bluebox WOW, the wireless IFE solution from Bluebox Aviation Systems.

Bluebox Wow will deliver IFE content, such as app-free DRM movies and TV as well as a moving map, wirelessly to passengers’ own devices on the Boeing 737 aircraft.

“In the current climate, so much focus is rightly on passenger safety on board. But when we announced OWG, I said our goal is to get travellers excited again,” said Marco Prud’Homme, President of OWG and Nolinor Aviation. “With Bluebox Wow offering movies and other entertainment, passengers can look forward to their time on board being a relaxing and enjoyable experience.”

“Every new deployment is positive for us but this one is particularly special given the state of our industry this year – being part of a new airline intent on providing passengers an exceptional experience on board as they head off to much-anticipated holidays in the sun is very exciting,” said Kevin Clark, CEO of Bluebox.

Launched by Nolinor in July, OWG has since established strategic alliances with Hola Sun Holidays and its sister company Caribe Sol in Quebec to offer direct and dedicated flights to Cuba, with holiday destinations including Cayo Coco, Holguin, Santa Clara and Varadero. The new holiday carrier takes its first flight in November flying Canadian vacationers south to Cuba.

THAI Catering extends special meals offer

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THAI Catering has extended its sale of high-quality meals prepared by its international chefs at THAI Head Office’s lobby to its restaurant.

In addition, the special meals will be available at THAI Silom and Larnluang offices around mid-September.

Throughout July and August, THAI launched “Destination Menu by THAI Catering” by five THAI Catering international chefs under “The Taste of Travel” concept to order through LINEMAN, GrabFood, and at participating Puff & Pie bakery stores.

Varangkana Luerojwong, Managing Director, THAI Catering, said that the “Destination Menu by THAI Catering” dishes were launched in response to the popularity of food delivery service

The special menu was based on THAI’s five destinations by five international chefs of THAI Catering under the concept “The Taste of Travel”, and included dishes celebrating Arabian, Chinese, French, Indian and Japanese cuisine.

Qatar Airways continues roll-out of GX Aviation

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Qatar Airways has launched its ‘Super Wi-Fi’ service on its 100th aircraft, becoming the largest operator of aircraft equipped with the GX Aviation technology from Inmarsat on board in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa.

The service is being rolled out across the airline’s fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft. The service has been used by millions of the airline’s passengers since 2018, when it became GX Aviation’s launch customer in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Qatar Airways passengers on flights fitted with GX Aviation can receive up to one-hour free access to the Super Wi-Fi service, with the ability to purchase full-flight access if more online time is needed. To honour the loyalty of its valued Privilege Club members, Qatar Airways is offering them up to two complimentary Super Wi-Fi vouchers when they book online between 9 September and 1 October 2020. Other passengers can take advantage of this exclusive offer by signing up to Privilege Club using the enrollment code SUPERWIFI. Terms and conditions apply.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “As a leader of innovation within the global aviation industry, Qatar Airways already operates one of the youngest and most technologically-advanced fleet in the skies. Where other airlines are reducing their Wi-Fi offering, Qatar Airways is expanding it.

“With connection to our loved ones and friends now more important than ever during these challenging times, we are delighted to work with Inmarsat and its GX Aviation technology to bring high-speed Super Wi-Fi broadband to passengers on board our fleet as part of Qatar Airways’ exceptional five-star service. We are also pleased to extend full-flight Super Wi-Fi connectivity to our loyal Privilege Club members across the globe.”

flydubai offers free global cover for COVID-19

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Passengers booking with flydubai for travel between 1 September and 30 November 2020 will automatically receive free global cover for COVID-19.

The new service covers passengers’ health expenses and quarantine costs if diagnosed with COVID-19 during their trip and is valid for 31 days from the time they take their first flight on their itinerary. The service enables passengers to benefit from coverage for their medical expenses up to EUR 150,000 and quarantine costs up to EUR 100 per day for 14 days.

Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai said: “The safety of our passengers and crew remains our highest priority. The new COVID-19 cover we are offering to our passengers will encourage more people to travel with ease of mind knowing that they will be looked after at every step of their journey. We see the demand for travel starting to increase as more countries gradually lift restrictions on international travel. Safeguarding the passenger journey with added precautions and enhanced procedures will help to stimulate the flow of trade and tourism globally.”

On Air Dining enjoys post-lockdown revival

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Investment and an efficiency drive made during the COVID-19 lockdown is paying dividends for On Air Dining, with the company recording revenues 45% ahead of projections for July and August and trending higher than the London private aviation recovery rate.

In the face of competition, On Air Dining has also maintained 40% revenue from newly acquired customers.

Both Stansted and Farnborough facilities were streamlined for efficiency to better service last minute requests, with additional staff hired at Farnborough to meet current demand and future growth.

‘It was important to me that we remain open during lockdown to continue to support our customers and crews in their effort to get passengers and supplies safely to their destination. It was most certainly a risk, but it has paid off in customer goodwill and of course increase in market share. I’m incredibly proud of our success in such a competitive market and feel we are better positioned for growth in the post-recovery market. The Team’s dedication to safety, service, and continual improvement was key,’ commented Daniel Hulme, CEO, On Air Dining

Southwest IFE goes app-free

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Southwest Airlines has launched a series of enhancements across its in-flight entertainment portal in conjunction with content services partner Global Eagle.

The improvements give passengers app-free access to content streamed direct to their smartphone, laptop or tablet, including DRM protected Hollywood movies and TV series

Global Eagle uses the encryption standard – Common Media Application Format (CMAF) – to reduce encoding requirements so that multiple DRM technologies can be used on a single video file.

As part of the series of updates, Global Eagle is introducing Cinemagraphs to the airline portal, displaying an animated movie poster to further engage customers.