Editor’s comment: Fever pitch

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Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

There’s been a happy marriage of social media posts for avgeeks and football fans over the past couple of days, as 31 national squads touched down across Russia for the 21st FIFA World Cup.

Held in 11 cities, from Kaliningrad in the west to Ekaterinburg in the east, being hosted in the largest country on earth will involve all players racking up the air miles. At one end of the spectrum is Colombia who travel a miserly 761 miles, while Egypt will travel a whopping 5,288 during their group stage matches.

With the news that the 2026 World Cup will be jointly held in the US, Mexico and Canada, it will come as some relief to players and fans alike that, should they need to attend the tournament they can do so in comfort while being connected – at least for the 10 games held across Canada.

As the BBC points out, the distance between the most northern host city (Edmonton) and the most southern (Mexico City) is almost 3,000 miles, which compares to 1,900 miles at this month’s tournament in Russia.

So it’s welcome news that WestJet is fitting out 20 of its aircraft with a mixture of Recaro seating across long-haul and short/medium-haul routes.

As of this year, the German-based seat manufacture will deliver its CL3710 seats for the carrier’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner while kitting out its 737 MAX with BL3250 economy seats and CL4710 business-class seats, respectively.

Perfect if you’re making an early exit home.

Elsewhere, Air Canada, in association with Gogo, has launched Air Canada Wi-Fi becoming the first Canadian carrier to offer customers the ability to stream TV and movies in-flight through the internet.

According to Benjamin Smith, president, Passenger Airlines, at Air Canada, the service is an “excellent productivity tool for business travellers,” who “can stay up-to-date and arrive fully prepared for any meeting or event.” Or manage their World Cup fantasy football team.

As they say in Russia ‘Nu i gol! Otlitchny gol!’


The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

Video: Summary of the latest news from the IFEC and cabin technology sector.

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Inflight Two Minutes provides a convenient summary of recent headlines and topical content for our followers. This week features updates from Inmarsat and Deutsch Telekom and their European Aviation Network, Embraer’s new partnership with Viasat, Airbus has unveiled its latest cabin design concept Harmony and Inmarsat’s JetConnex IFE service.

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Timeshifter app launches to help travellers tackle jet lag

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Timeshifter has announced the release of its Timeshifter app for iOS and Android, developed to help travellers eliminate jet lag.

Based on the latest research in sleep and circadian neuroscience, the company said Timeshifter is developed with an expert in the field of circadian rhythms, Harvard Medical School Associate Professor Steven Lockley, Ph.D.

“Helping travellers overcome jet lag is a perfect example of how mobile devices will improve our lives in unexpected ways, and represents a paradigm shift in jet lag solutions” says Mickey Beyer-Clausen, CEO of Timeshifter. “We are thrilled to finally put an end to all the jet lag myths and misinformation out there, and instead offer an effective tool that truly addresses the underlying cause of jet lag.”

In a statement, the company explained: “Jet lag is caused when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycle shift too quickly. Our 24-hour circadian clock easily adapts by minutes each day in response to the changes in sunrise and sunset, but when crossing multiple time zones quickly, the brain just can’t keep up.”

The app provides advice to alleviate the symptoms of jet lag, such as insomnia and tiredness, and Timshifter says it also addresses the underlying circadian disruption by resynchronising the circadian clock to the new time zone, reducing the negative impact of jet lag on other brain and body functions.

“The problems caused by jet lag cannot be tackled using generic advice, which is over simplistic and can often be counterproductive, making jet lag worse”, says Dr. Steven Lockley. “Each traveller and trip is different and requires a personalized approach taking your sleep pattern, chronotype, flight plan, and a range of personal preferences into account.”

Timeshifter generates personalised jet lag plans based on the traveller’s sleep pattern, chronotype, flight plan and optional preferences such as pre-travel adjustment or the use of melatonin for faster adaptation.

The app also incorporates a ‘practicality’ filter ensuring advice is realistic and easy to follow, and also has a ‘Quick Turnaround’ feature for business travellers on trips that are not long enough to allow full adjustment.

Timeshifter launch partners include Under Armour, which is bringing the app to elite athletes, and Six Senses, which will offer the app to its resort and hotel guests.

HMG Aerospace up for three Aerospace Media Awards

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HMG Aerospace, publisher of Inflight, is on the final shortlist for three categories at the upcoming Aerospace Media Awards.

Alexander Preston, Inflight editor, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Bill Gunston Technology Writer of the Year award. Across his three years as editor, Alexander has spearheaded the publication’s rapid growth into the market-leading title covering aircraft cabin technology in the commercial and business aviation sectors.

Alexander has compiled numerous exceptional features delving deep into the world of in-flight entertainment and connectivity, outlining the steps airlines must take to remain competitive in 2018 and beyond. Preston’s knowledge, expertise and commitment to aviation technology has attracted the attention of several high-profile industry events in the Americas, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, allowing him to participate as a moderator and keynote speaker throughout the aviation calendar.

“Over 250 nominations were submitted for this year’s awards, so we are naturally delighted to make the shortlist in three competitive categories. These achievements are testament to the hard work and commitment shown by our entire team.”

Ross McSweeny, Marketing and Communications Manager

Another member of the HMG Aerospace editorial team, Kimberley Levey, is up for “Best Young Journalist”. Kimberley’s Catching up with fuel efficiency article in LARA magazine captured the attention of judges, an outstanding achievement so early in her journalism career.

Just two months after joining HMG Aerospace, she produced an informative, topical and insightful article, completely self-generated and researched on a technical subject that many more experienced writers would find complicated to cover. Kimberley’s other duties include producing daily news content and recurring features for Inflight, LARA and Regional Gateway’s digital channels.


Alongside these individual nominations, HMG Aerospace has been shortlisted for The Innovation in Aerospace Journalism and Publishing Award, for the first time. The nomination recognises the outstanding digital growth achieved over the past 12 months across the LARA, Inflight and Regional Gateway media portfolios.

The launch of a new website yielded an extraordinary 600% increase in website traffic, with monthly digital impressions now exceeding 100,000 across the three brands’ online channels. This was coupled with a record number of new subscribers and exponential social media growth.

Ross McSweeny, marketing and communications manager, commented: “Over 250 nominations were submitted for this year’s awards, so we are naturally delighted to make the shortlist in three competitive categories. These achievements are testament to the hard work and commitment shown by our entire team. As a company, we continue to invest in innovative awareness campaigns, including expanding our industry event series, a ‘playing card’ media pack to launch the Regional Gateway platform and new weekly video content. We are delighted these initiatives have been so well-received by the industry and look forward to a celebratory evening in July.”

The winners will be announced at the Aerospace Media Dinner on Sunday 15 July, taking place at the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Award shortlists

Best Young Journalist – sponsored by Nammo

James Drew – Aviation Week & Space Technology
Kimberley Levey – HMG Aerospace
Ghim-Lay Yeo – Flight Airline Business
Beth Maundrill – Shephard Media
Valerie Insinna – Defense News
Craig West – Airliner World

The Bill Gunston Technology Writer Of The Year Award – sponsored by Boeing

Eric Brothers – Aerospace Manufacturing and Design
Bill Carey – Aviation Week & Space Technology
Elan Head – Vertiflite Magazine
Guy Norris – Aviation Week & Space Technology
Alexander Preston – HMG Aerospace
Patrick Veillette – Business & Commercial Aviation

The Innovation in Aerospace Journalism and Publishing Award – sponsored by Rockwell Collins

Marino Boric – AMT
Farnborough International News Network (FINN) – www.wearefinn.com
HMG Aerospace
Amy Kluber – Rotorcraft Collective Podcast
Joe Pappalardo – The Dallas Observer
Warbird Radio.com

Editor’s comment: Relieving FOMO and enhancing experience

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With editor Alexander Preston overseas at San Diego’s GCA Summit, Inflight’s Kimberley Levey steps in to offer her take on the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

Many internet savvy people will recognise the Fear of Missing Out (or FOMO), described by the Oxford English Dictionary as: “Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.”

Added to the dictionary in 2013, FOMO has become more commonly known as the desire to stay connected at all times.

Now research commissioned by Virgin Australia has revealed that 70% of Aussies confessed to having experienced ‘net-lag’ during a flight – referring to feelings of stress and FOMO caused by the inability to stay connected on flights.

Rob Sharp, group executive for Virgin Australia Airlines, said: “Most of us use our phones on a daily – if not hourly basis – meaning it can be incredibly disruptive to have extended periods of time when you can’t connect with friends, family, colleagues, or what’s going on in the world.”

The airline announced this week that after a successful testing period, its international in-flight Wi-Fi will be officially live with passengers travelling between Australia and Los Angeles, enabling them to remain connected to their family, friends, favourite TV shows or the news during their flight.

The airline believes the introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi may alleviate these feelings of ‘Net-Lag’ for passengers.

Meanwhile, leisure carrier SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, is also enhancing its passenger experience and has partnered with Immfly to introduce a new in-flight entertainment system – SunExpress Entertainment – on its fleet of Boeing 737-800NG and MAX aircraft.

Passengers will be able to enjoy a range of content, from TV shows and films, to music, games, magazines and children’s content, by using their own personal electronic devices to enter the Immfly Wi-Fi network on board.

The platform will also offer a ‘Your Destination’ section providing tips for passengers of where to go and what to do in their destination city, as well as guides offering information on transfer services and tours, covering the airline’s routes and in several languages.

Along with an interactive 3D route-map and flight information, the airline’s catering and duty-free menus will also be available on the digital platform. The airline plans to enhance this channel by allowing the passenger to select and pay from the platform in a ‘self-service’ style.


The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

FAI Aviation Group receives Diamond Safety Award from EBAA

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FAI Aviation Group has been awarded a Diamond Safety of Flight Award from the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA).

The award was presented at a special event held during the EBACE Convention in Geneva, Switzerland with Siegfried Axtmann, FAI Group chairman accepting the award on behalf of the company.

Diamond status is the highest safety recognition awarded by EBAA to member companies operating business aircraft for 50 years or 100,000 hours without an accident.

On accepting the award, Siegfried Axtmann said: “Having received the Gold Award last year, it is very gratifying to be recognised again, particularly with such a prestigious award. The Diamond Award is an outstanding achievement and an important milestone for the company. Safety is our number one priority and at the heart of everything that we do. It also highlights the tremendous effort that everyone in our team puts in every day for which I am grateful.”

FAI is the world’s largest air ambulance jet operator by revenue, having logged more than 200,000 hours flying air ambulance missions. It is also Germany’s largest general aviation operator by fleet, operating more than 13,000 hours of airtime in 2017.

Photo Caption – Right to Left, Siegfried Axtmann, FAI founder and Group chairman accepts his Diamond Award, presented by EBAA’s chairman, Juergen Wiese.

Editor’s comment: Legacies old and new

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Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

Geneva may have been bathed in sunshine at the beginning of the week, but the start of this year’s European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) was overshadowed by the death of Serge Dassault, chairman and CEO of Groupe Dassault. Indeed, his memory and legacy were remembered throughout the four-day event.

While several new aircraft models debuted at the show, it was on-board connectivity that was the talk of the newswires. Whether it was an integrated bundle of hardware, software or services, investment in high-speed connectivity continues apace, and it’s not just on new and in-production models, but as a retrofit option too, ensuring that owners and operators remain connected wherever they are in the world.

Affordability, reliability, security and coverage are the names of the game here and there’ll no doubt be more customer announcements and STC awards to come in the days and weeks ahead.

For now, the industry mourns the loss of an innovator. As National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen commented of Dassault, “Without question, he will long be remembered as a diplomat, statesman, innovator and leader, not just within the industry, but among all those who have been influenced by his leadership.”


The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

Editor’s comment: IFC swoops to conquer

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Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

To date, Iridium has completed six launches, all with SpaceX out of its west coast launch facility, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A total of eight Iridium NEXT launches are currently planned with SpaceX and will deliver 75 new satellites to orbit. In total, 81 satellites are being built, with 66 in the operational constellation, nine serving as on-orbit spares and six as ground spares.

The Iridium NEXT constellation of interconnected low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites will pave the way for the new broadband service, Iridium Certus, as the in-flight connectivity sector heats up.

While Certus uses Iridium’s L-band spectrum, it is the Ka-band spotbeams of the EUTELSAT 3B satellite that has interest piqued, as Axinom becomes the latest player to sign up to Taqnia Space’s UON service – a complete aviation connectivity package which includes internet service, live TV streaming, and voice roaming service. Axinom introduced its smart traffic management technology enabling live TV at April’s AIX in Hamburg.

EUTELSAT 3B has been steered by Eutelsat to cover flight paths extending from London to Saudi Arabia and from Casablanca to Oman, as Saudi Arabian Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to connect to the platform later in the year.

Eutelsat, Jamco and SITAONAIR are the other collaborative parties to the UON project.

According to Abdullah Alosaimi, CEO of Taqnia Space company, “With UON, all airlines around the world will be able to offer their passengers high-throughput-connectivity services that are currently provided on a limited scale by a few airlines in North America.”

One such airline readying to offer in-flight Wi-Fi is the WestJet-backed Swoop, Canada’s first ultra-low-cost carrier. With a planned all Boeing 737-800 series fleet, IFC is just one of a number of amenities that includes in-seat power and in-flight entertainment.

If you’re visiting EBACE in Geneva next week, you can stay connected and entertained with us by visiting our Booth – L97. Loyal supporters of the event, we’re exhibiting for the first time this year, so please do drop by and say hello to the team.

Editor’s comment: ‘I do’ for IFC

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Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

It’s difficult to avoid the bunting as the UK and it seems most of the world gears up for this weekend’s Royal wedding.

Even flying at 35,000ft won’t make you immune from wedding fever as British Airways will celebrate the Royal wedding, by operating flight BA93 on May 19 to Toronto – the city where their relationship took off – will be operated by a crew of only Meghans and Harrys.

More sparkle is available as throughout May, customers on long-haul flights will be able to watch episodes of the Toronto-shot TV series Suits, enjoy documentaries and podcasts about how Harry and Meghan met and the history of Windsor Castle. Passengers who miss the event on television will be able to catch up on board, as the wedding highlights will be available on long-haul flights the following day.

The theme of union continues as Bombardier Business Aircraft ramps up its investment in the passenger experience with collaborations with Lufthansa Technik – for enhancements to the nice Touch cabin management system for the Global 7000 aircraft (we look forward to seeing it up close at EBACE in a few weeks’ time) – and Duncan Aviation for STCs covering Gogo’s AVANCE L5 4G system.

Elsewhere, SAS has launched Wi-Fi services in co-operation with ViaSat on its short- and medium-haul routes between Scandinavia and continental Europe. The airline has already begun installations and expects the vast majority of its fleet to be Wi-Fi enabled by the first quarter of 2020.

While young Prince Louis may have grabbed the attention of royal watchers recently, it’s LEO which is gaining the interest of the aviation market. Global Eagle, a customer of Telesat’s geostationary satellites, is to begin tests of Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite, using its newly developed Ka-band antenna.

LEO promises to deliver low-latency, high-speed broadband – perfect for announcing future royal proclamations.


The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

Video: Featuring news updates from Westjet, Utalk, Gogo and Alaska Airlines

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Inflight Two Minutes provides a convenient summary of recent headlines and topical content for our followers. This week features news from Westjet on its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner livery, logo and cabin, Utalk partnering with Emirates and easyJet, Gogo gains STC for 2Ku on A321neo and Alaska Airlines has unveiled its first DisneyPixar film livery.

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