AJW has signed a 10-year partnership agreement with the largest seat cover manufacturing facility in Europe. AJW is joining forces with Autostop Aviation, the producers of SkyLeather, a synthetic leather for airlines designed by the automotive industry.
SkyLeather, available in any colour and grain, is a new cost-effective, lightweight, and unparalleled product boasting advanced durability, soft to touch, antimicrobial and, with easy clean technology. The Polyurethane synthetic leather is both vegan and eco-friendly.
The partnership offers airlines lean seat cover manufacturing with embedded Six Sigma principles, practiced as standard in the automotive.
The in-house, synthetic leather production gives airlines the opportunity to benefit from a one-stop-shop facility, with design, development, testing and production of seat covers, all housed under one roof.
Christopher Whiteside, Chairman and CEO of AJW Group, commented: “AJW prides itself on transforming aviation efficiency, and the announcement of the new AJW Technique Interiors division offering synthetic leather, seat cover manufacturing, life vest pouches and carpet kitting, to name a few, will bring game changing savings and efficiencies to airlines across the globe.”
Aeroflot has selected Panasonic Avionics to provide upgraded in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions for its entire fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft.
The agreement will see Aeroflot’s fleet of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft retrofitted with Panasonic Avionics’ eX3 IFE system and satellite-based IFC system, providing the same IFEC experience on Aeroflot’s A350-900 fleet.
Panasonic Avionics’ eX3 system features full 1080p HD monitors, in-seat power, and HD video handsets with capacitive touch. It can deliver more than 700 hours of on-demand entertainment, offering 1080p content with enhanced video colour support.
Aeroflot’s passengers and crew flying on its Boeing 777-300ERs will also be able to access connectivity from Panasonic Avionics’ global communications network of high-speed, high-bandwidth satellites.
The first of Aeroflot’s Boeing 777-300ERs to be retrofitted with Panasonic Avionics’ upgraded IFE and IFC systems flew in the middle of August.
Heston MRO, one of the largest independent MRO organisations in Australasia, has expanded into Europe with the establishment of subsidiary, Heston MRO Europe.
Based in Lithuania, Heston MRO Europe, plans to operate local European warehouses and have AOG support and logistics teams located next to its European customers and suppliers.
‘Heston MRO realises that the pace of aviation recovery varies significantly between different regions’, commented Asta Zirlyte, CEO of Heston MRO. ‘It has always been in our plans to expand geographically beyond our home region in Australasia, following the actual needs of airline customers and asset owners. Faster post-Covid recovery in the Northern Hemisphere repositioned our strategic goals and accelerated that decision. We have established our presence in Europe to capture the local MRO opportunities driven by the recovering travel.’
‘Based in the European Union- Lithuania, Heston MRO Europe will aim to service operators and asset owners in EMEA and CIS markets’, said Kestutis Volungevicius, CEO of Heston MRO Europe. ‘Having started with Components and Asset Management solutions, we aim for organic customer driven expansion into other adjacent MRO offerings like engineering services, engines solutions, and other technical support services’.
Heston MRO Europe has tailored its Components and Asset Management solutions for narrow body aircraft, covering B737 and A320 families through spare parts support, AOG coverage, asset part-outs and trading. The company is seeding its European stock with own part-out projects and partnerships with asset owners.
Recaro Aircraft Seating has opened its new building complex at its Schwäbisch Hall headquarters.
With a €50 million investment, the 19,000-square-meter building features a customer service production area, crash test and flame lab facilities, and customer service offices for more than 120 employees.
“It has been an exciting day for Team Recaro, as this has been a long-time vision that has finally been brought to life. The new space will be a game-changer, especially the new flame lab and test crash facility,” said Mark Hiller, CEO at Recaro Aircraft Seating. “The facility will also serve as a visible icon to the onsite and global team members who demonstrated unprecedented resilience over these past 18 months. Thanks to their hard work, we can continue driving comfort in the sky.”
In front of the building is the company’s newest icon, the tail fin from a B707 aircraft. Gifted to Recaro earlier in 2021, the tail fin will serve as a landmark to visitors and is a public representation of the company’s heritage.
The facility was designed with a KfW-Effizienzhaus 55 standard and was constructed with sustainable materials. From energy-efficient solar shades to district heating integration, the new facility was built to improve the end-use of energy and be a resource-saving future during operations.
The customer service building is a part of the space2grow expansion plan at Recaro, which is integrated into the long-term strategy for its five global manufacturing facilities. Recaro established the space2grow initiative in 2018 to invest in new buildings production space.
Flying Colours Corp., has completed a 240-month heavy inspection for a Bombardier Global aircraft, that has included the installation of a Collins Venue Cabin Management System, blended with Alto Aviation switches. The controls are specifically designed to fit into previous switch panel location holes resulting in a solution that maximises client budget and reduces installation time significantly.
To support the existing Ka-band connectivity upgraded routers were repositioned to support cabin and flight deck connectivity. To optimise rest, relaxation, and productivity the AIMSKYLAB sound proofing system was integrated, considerably reducing noise in the cabin. Externally the aircraft fuselage was stripped and repainted to deliver an as new look to the airframe.
“Our experience installing the blended Venue and Alto Switch offering and our capacity to fulfill maintenance, interior, paint and avionics tasks makes Flying Colours Corp. an attractive choice for aircraft owners. Undertaking all the work at a single venue reduces down time and maximises budget which is also very appealing. For this customer the result was an improved ownership experience with improved connectivity, reduced noise levels and a new-look fuselage,” explains Eric Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp. “We have a consistent pipeline of Global heavy checks coming through the facility and our experience just keeps strengthening. This makes us a great option for owners looking for a provider that can meet all their maintenance, interiors, repairs and overhaul needs.”
The 240-month inspection involves completely stripping the aircraft down to the frame, enabling an in depth look at the aircraft fuselage to check for signs of everything from stress fractures to corrosion, as well as other issues that may have affected the structural integrity of the aircraft. The cabin was also laid bare, with panels, carpets, insulating surfaces floorboards, monuments, fairings, and side ledges removed for assessments and overhauls.
The Lufthansa Group airlines is building upon its ongoing distribution of content through traditional EDIFACT channels with a new distribution agreement with Travelport.
Under the agreement, which covers the carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS and Air Dolomiti, Travelport will distribute Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC content through the next-generation content distribution and travel retailing platform, Travelport+.
Both companies are already in the process of implementing end-to-end NDC functionality. The launch, expected in the first half of 2022, also lays the foundation for a diversified NDC program giving Travelport-connected travel agencies the ability to access Lufthansa Group airlines’ content through Travelport+ by signing up to one of the two available commercial NDC models, the NDC Public model or NDC Bilateral model.
“Lufthansa Group is firmly committed to delivering superior customer experiences along the entire travel journey, increasing reach of our most attractive offers and enabling a diverse travel ecosystem. Especially in these times of crisis and when creating additional customer value through advanced technology proves to be more important than ever, we are doubling down on our long-term NDC strategy”, said Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Senior Vice President Channel Management at Lufthansa Group Network Airlines and Chief Commercial Officer SWISS. “This future-oriented agreement allows a maximum level of flexibility and confirms that Travelport and Lufthansa Group airlines are teaming up to drive change in our industry towards true retailing capabilities and implementing customer-centric processes that together elevate the customer experience to new levels.”
Jason Clarke, Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Partners at Travelport, said: “Expanding our longstanding partnership with Lufthansa Group airlines to include NDC content, with the retailing possibilities it offers, is a significant stride forward. Managing multiple sources of content and merchandising them effectively with personalised and dynamic offers is exactly what Travelport+ has been built for. We look forward to delivering exponential value for the agency community and Lufthansa Group airlines’ travellers.”
Sport 24 has been selected as the in-flight and in-ship partner of The Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
Under the deal which runs until 2024, the IMG-owned and-operated service will broadcast the AFC’s national team and club competitions (excluding domestic rights in China PR, Japan and Australia), including the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, as well as the AFC Champions League.
Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary, said: “The AFC has outlined its ambitions to ensure football continues to be the continent’s most popular sport and we want to thank Sport 24 and IMG for their confidence and for sharing our vision to expand the reach of the AFC’s brand and competitions to our passionate fans.
“This partnership presents an excellent opportunity to showcase the best of Asian football to one of the widest ever in-flight and in-ship audiences in the world, ensuring that the AFC’s world-class competitions are accessible to all fans whether on land, in the air or at sea.”
Patrick Murphy, Board Member and CEO at Football Marketing Asia (FMA) said: “We are pleased to welcome Sport 24 as the AFC’s new media partner. Our mission has always been to increase the accessibility of Asian football; hence we are proud to see the AFC’s national team and club competitions being added to the on-board entertainment offerings of the world’s leading airlines and cruise ship operators.
“We are looking forward to working with Sport 24 to provide a seamless AFC football experience for passengers, and to continue to grow the audience of Asian football fans worldwide.”
As part of its continuing commitment to educate guests arriving in Hawaii on how to safely and responsibly enjoy the islands, Hawaiian Airlines has launched a new in-flight video.
The five-minute Travel Pono spot, which begins airing next week in the cabins of Hawaiian’s transpacific aircraft and will be shown prior to landing on the in-flight entertainment system of Hawaiian’s wide-body Airbus A330 and via the wireless streaming function for personal devices on the narrow-body Airbus A321neo.
The Travel Pono video features five crewmembers including a firefighter, volunteers for search and rescue operations and marine mammal protection, and a cultural practitioner – who share expert advice on ocean and hiking safety, conservation of endangered species and the environment, and cultural and community best practices.
“We’ve served as Hawai‘i’s hometown carrier for over nine decades, and as residents of this special place, we are proud to welcome our guests with valuable information that will enrich their experience on the islands while helping protect Hawai’i’s natural resources and our way of life,” said Avi Mannis, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Hawaiian Airlines. “Over the last month we have heard from our community and employees calling for a video like this, and we listened.”
“We all have a shared responsibility to mālama (to care for) our guests, and in return, we ask that they care for us and our home,” said John De Fries, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “We thank Hawaiian Airlines for taking a leadership role in educating visitors about how to respect and nurture our people and place, for the well-being of our communities throughout the state.”
The in-flight spot is an extension of Hawaiian’s Travel Pono program, which the carrier introduced last year to encourage responsible tourism as Hawaii welcomed back visitors through its Safe Travels programme. The programme has since equipped thousands of guests with tips on how to experience Hawai’i safely and respectfully, shared via Hawaiian’s pre-trip emails, website, Manaʻo blog, and social media channels.
In addition to the new Travel Pono video, Hawaiian’s guests will continue to have access to a library of informative content, produced by the carrier’s local partners and ranging from ocean safety to cultural education. In April 2019, Hawaiian partnered with the state of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources on educational public service announcements focused on caring for the islands’ natural resources, and this month added videos created by the Hawaii Tourism Authority for its Mālama Hawaii campaign.
Emirates Airlines has unveiled a new virtual reality experience allowing customers to explore the airline’s signature A380 Onboard Lounge or check out the cabin around their seat in row 77 from the comfort of home.
The fully-enclosed Gamechanger First Class Suites is available on emirates.com to anyone with an internet connection, via the Emirates app, and also on the Oculus Store for Oculus Rift users.
Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand, said: “Emirates aims to provide innovative and outstanding customer experiences whether onboard, on the ground, or in the digital space. In 2018, we were the world’s first airline to introduce advanced web VR technology on our digital platforms, offering our customers an immersive opportunity to learn about the fantastic Emirates experience that awaited them before they stepped on board. We’ve continued to invest and develop that experience, and today we are delighted to be the first airline to launch a fully-fledged Oculus VR app.
“This initiative expands our global reach and ability to engage with our audiences across digital platforms. It is also particularly relevant right now, as many people have not travelled for a while due to the pandemic and are seeking inspiration and researching and rediscovering their flight options.”
Created in partnership with technology company Renacen, Emirates’ customers can navigate through economy, business, and first-class cabins, explore their seats, as well as the Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa on the Emirates A380 using navigational hotspots. Emirates is working on an updated version featuring its premium economy cabin and latest A380 aircraft interiors.
In future developments, Emirates plans to offer customers the ability to explore destinations, select a cabin, and book and pay for their Emirates flight from within the Emirates Oculus VR app.
Currently, users can explore the following Emirates’ VR experiences via:
Emirates Oculus VR app on the Oculus Store: offering users accurate, life size and interactive cabin interior experiences onboard Emirates’ flagship A380 aircraft and Boeing 777-300ER Gamechanger aircraft. For instance, users can “pick up” items from the Onboard Lounge, “turn on” the Shower in the Shower Spa or close the private suite doors behind them. They can even explore the cockpit. Emirates.com on PCs, mobile devices or the Emirates app for iOS and Android: An immersive 3D, web VR and 360 degree view of Emirates’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft cabin interiors (all 20 different configurations across the airline’s fleet). Customers can explore their seats before checking in online with the 3D seat map. The tool allows customers to navigate from one seat to another, and even allows would-be customers to book their preferred seats from within the 3D environment. Users can also enjoy hands-free cabin navigation and seat selection by using any VR headset like Google Cardboard. This technology is compatible with all devices without the need for external applications or plugins.
TT Electronics has launched its Digital Cabin experience at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (14-16 September 2021), showcasing excellence in next generation aircraft interiors at the virtual event.
Hosted by trade organisation ADS, the Digital Cabin uses 3D Web-GL technology to deliver a virtual aircraft cabin space where aircraft interiors companies can showcase their products and services to a global audience. OEMs and airline buyers can engage with the products in a new and immersive way.
TT worked with ADS to build a virtual space within the business class cabin, showcasing its design-led human machine interface (HMI) solutions including passenger control units, mood lighting, and illuminated signage.
The Digital Cabin is accessed via a standard web page; its computer graphics enable users to visualise a realistic cabin, viewable online via computer, tablet, or mobile device. By navigating around the page using clickable hot spots, users can browse the different products such as seats, galleys, and lighting. Products are also indexed and text-searchable.
Terry Moss, Sales Director at TT Electronics commented: “The cancellation of trade shows and ongoing travel restrictions during the COVID pandemic has meant that the traditional routes to market have been disrupted. Yet our HMI technologies are visual by nature – the ability to touch and interact with our solutions is important. The Digital Cabin enables customers to immerse themselves in the virtual aircraft cabin where our products are brought to life in a smart, 3D interactive medium.”