Gogo announces new management structure

By General News, IFECNo Comments

Gogo has announced a series of leadership changes, effective 1 May, designed to strengthen its organisational structure and increase alignment with the Company’s objectives of driving quality for airlines and passengers and sharpening its operational focus.

John Wade, current executive vice president and chief operating officer, will serve as the first president of Gogo’s Commercial Aviation Division (CA), he will have end-to-end responsibility for managing all aspects of the CA business, including product development, technology, sales, account management, quality, marketing and all aspects of product delivery.

Sergio Aguirre will serve as president of Gogo’s Business Aviation Division reporting directly to the CEO, Oakleigh Thorne.

Jon Cobin, most recently serving as executive vice president and chief commercial officer will serve in the newly created role of chief strategy officer and EVP corporate development. Cobin will be responsible for leading Gogo’s companywide business, strategic planning and corporate development efforts as Gogo seeks to leverage the CA and BA product portfolios to drive growth and shareholder value.

Anand Chari, who has served as the Company’s Chief Technology Officer since 2011, will move into a new role as Strategic Technology Advisor. Chari has been with Gogo since 2003 and has been instrumental in the design and development of the company’s ground-breaking ATG (air-to-ground) and 2Ku (satellite) products.

“Gogo has a deep bench of talent and this realigns our leadership structure to accelerate our strategic priorities of driving quality for airlines and passengers and sharpening our operational focus,” said Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s president and CEO. “These appointments will help Gogo fully capitalise on John and Sergio’s deep aviation experience while enhancing accountability with end-to-end responsibility for our two critical divisions. We are also confident that Jon’s new role will help maximise the value of in-flight internet and help us realise our significant long-term growth and value creation opportunities.”

BlueFocus signs strategic agreement to promote Chinese IFE

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BlueFocus IFEC Technology Co has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Global Broadcasting Media Group to provide richer audiovisual content for domestic tourists and to promote Chinese culture abroad on both domestic and foreign airlines.

BlueFocus IFEC plans to establish a 10 billion Belt and Road Inflight Internet Industry Fund and China’s first innovation center for in-flight internet entrepreneurs, aimed at winning a competitive edge in the global in-flight internet market. It has already received a 60 million yuan investment from Science City (Guangzhou) Investment Group Company Ltd.

As a strategic investment project by BlueFocus Group, BlueFocus IFEC has developed its own intellectual property, a management & operation platform called BAO (BlueAir Operation) and a one-stop scene marketing solution for all civil aviation called BAM (BlueAir Marketing), to elevate the value of scene marketing for civil aviation by integrating branding with performance. At present, BlueFocus IFEC has established collaboration with China Eastern Airlines, Air China, China Southern Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Hainan Airlines. Meanwhile, extensive cooperation has also been established with upstream and downstream manufacturers in the in-flight internet industry, both domestic and international.

Lufthansa Systems teams up with Inadvia

By Ancillary revenues, Featured, IFECNo Comments

German airline IT provider, Lufthansa Systems, has partnered with in-flight advertising specialists Inadvia to enable airlines to better monetise their in-flight entertainment (IFE) offerings.

The partnership will lead to increased advertising revenues for Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect customers by allowing them to monetise their IFE through the global digital programmatic marketplace.

Monetising entertainment and connectivity offerings “is always a crucial topic for our airline customers,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, head of passenger experience product and solutions at Lufthansa Systems.

He continued: “Our BoardConnect open aircraft IT platform has all of the necessary advertising standards built in already, and we believe the integration of the Inadvia capabilities on the platform represents the strongest possible approach in the market today.”

While programmatic and digital advertising have shown significant growth in recent years, there has been no infrastructure available for airlines to fully access these advertising budgets. The cooperation between the two companies changes that, by allowing airlines to effectively monetise IFE, while at the same time allowing them to remain in complete control of their environment.

Commenting on the partnership, Tim Lethern, Inadvia’s director said: “Beyond having a proven IFEC solution in BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems have consistently shown us how forward-thinking they are in their adoption of some of the necessary standards the advertising and media industry require to invest, and that makes them a wonderful partner for Inadvia.”

By setting media-industry friendly standards and being able to work in both disconnected and connected environments, Inadvia has overcome the technical challenges involved in plugging IFE systems into the programmatic advertising ecosystem.

“Working with BoardConnect gives us an opportunity to display how programmatic advertising allows the highest possible sell-through rates, and an incredibly competitive revenue yield, while providing passengers with more relevant advertising than ever before,” Lethern concluded.

Media Box on-board Edelweiss

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Swiss airline Edelweiss, an affiliate of SWISS International Air Lines, has integrated Media Carrier’s Media Box in its digital in-flight entertainment programme, meaning passengers can now choose from a selection of more than 500 high-quality Swiss and international newspapers and magazines to curate their personal digital library.

The Swiss leisure travel airline becomes the sixth Lufthansa Group carrier to use the e-paper library and 15th airline to have opted for Media Carrier’s comprehensive content service offering.

Media Carrier’s digital media library can be used on any web-enabled device, without having to install an app or register and provide personal data. Edelweiss passengers are provided with different touchpoints that enable them to put together their digital holiday reading selection: For instance, seven days prior to departure, passengers are sent a pre-flight services email that, together with flight info, includes details about how to access their Media Box. They can then choose and download their personal reading selection from a range of more than 500 Swiss and international newspapers and magazines. Depending on the booking class, a certain number of free-of-charge downloads are available. The chosen digital publications are provided in PDF format and can be read at passengers’ holiday destinations without any restrictions.

“Digital content consumption is not only relevant for business travellers but also needs to be part of the infotainment programme of any high-class leisure travel airline. Alongside offering attractive flight times, comfortable seats or first-class catering, flying comfortably into your holidays at Edelweiss also includes a comprehensive digital entertainment offering that is tailored to our guests’ needs. In Media Carrier, we have found a renowned IT and digital media distribution company that – through its Media Box – can further improve the service we provide,” says Rahel Ammon from Edelweiss.

Qatar Airways Oryx One IFE platform

Regional first as Qatar Airways prepares to provide gate-to-gate internet

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Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) is to allow the provision of internet service on board aircraft at all altitudes, paving the way for Qatar Airways to become the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) to provide gate-to-gate internet connectivity on board.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said, “In another first for the MENA region, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted internet connectivity from the moment they step on board a Qatar Airways flight. This is another significant enhancement to our award-winning levels of service that our passengers around the globe have come to appreciate. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board and helping them stay connected throughout the flight.”
Inflight entertainment

Global Eagle selects Kontron ACE Flight 4608

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Global Eagle Entertainment has selected Kontron’s ACE Flight 4608 server aiming to deploy the ACE Flight 4608 as a key component of its next-generation Airconnect system starting in 2018.

The Airconnect system provides high-speed Ku-band connectivity services to airline customers around the world, and supports delivery of internet connectivity, IPTV and wireless IFE services to passengers and crew, while the ACE Flight 4608 acts as the Server Management Unit (SMU) in the Global Eagle system.

The ACE Flight 4608 Server is the latest airborne server product offering from Kontron, its 8-core Intel Xeon processor D-1539 with 32 GB RAM delivers data centre-grade performance. The company said, other server features include L3 managed Gigabit Ethernet switching, dual 4G modems with worldwide coverage, and an advanced cooling design that maximises reliability.

“Kontron has been a key supplier of Global Eagle for many years, and we recently achieved Linefit approval with them for several Kontron products on-board the Boeing 737 MAX,” said Andy Mason, vice-president technology at Kontron America. “Our line airborne servers form the backbone of Global Eagle’s existing deployed connectivity solutions currently flying on over 700 narrow-body aircraft.”

The ACE Flight 4608 launched in 2017 and has already been installed on more than 100 aircraft.

“Our collaboration with Kontron adds best-in-class in-flight connectivity and helps to remove the worry of aircraft downtime and revenue loss for retrofit installations,” said Per Norén, Global Eagle executive vice-president and chief commercial officer.

STECCOM to provide enhanced IFC over Europe and CIS region

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Passengers and crew flying across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region and Europe are to benefit from improved in-flight connectivity following an agreement between Sputnik Telecommunications Entertainment Company (STECCOM) and SES.

Under the agreement, STECCOM, Russia’s major satellite communications operator and developer of VSAT-based communication systems, will leverage a high-capacity, global managed services platform built on an open architecture. SES Networks global mobility solution will enable the service provider to customise and efficiently distribute bandwidth, adapting their offerings according to the needs of commercial passenger aircraft and business jets operating on their network. Additionally, STECCOM’s customers will benefit from high-speed, high-throughput connectivity.

SES Networks and STECCOM will also use each other’s ground facilities, opening up opportunities for enhanced connectivity across Europe, Russia and Central Asia.

“With this agreement STECCOM is positioning itself to extend its aeronautical network throughout Europe and is able to create opportunities for future reach beyond this geographical area,” said Oleg Kuts, CEO at STECCOM. “Our partnership with SES Networks gives us access to a multi-band, multi-orbit aero platform, which allows us to offer differentiated solutions.”

Elias Zaccack, executive vice president, global sales, at SES Networks commented, “SES Networks is delighted to be supporting STECCOM in its ambition to reliably deliver the highest quality of connectivity and elevate the travel experience for air passengers in Russia and adjoining markets, and to help airlines in the region expand their number of connected aircraft.”

Bombardier’s Singapore Service Centre completes Ka-band installation on Global 6000 aircraft

By Business aviation, Featured, IFEC, MRONo Comments

Bombardier’s Singapore service centre has installed its first Ka-band system on an in-service Global 6000 aircraft, two years after installing the first-ever Ka-band system on an in-service Global 5000 aircraft.

“Our customers need to stay connected no matter where they are in the world, and Bombardier continues to lead the industry in offering the most advanced in-flight media experience available today on both its new and in-service aircraft,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, vice president and general manager, customer experience, Bombardier Business Aircraft. “With Ka-band, passengers can remain connected across oceans, at 41,000 feet, and virtually everywhere they fly. Moreover, our OEM-owned service centres have become masters of the installation to ensure aircraft are returned to service within a minimum downtime.”

“In Asia Pacific, business jet owners and operators are demanding better, faster, and more consistent in-flight Wi-Fi that is identical as what they have on the ground. With Honeywell’s JetWave hardware and GoDirect Cabin services, business jet owners and operators now have the ability to manage usage and bandwidth to be cost effective,” said Andy Gill, senior director, business and general aviation, Asia Pacific, Honeywell Aerospace. “This new generation of technology is a complete step change from previous generations of airborne hardware allowing a much smoother installation process. We have been working very closely with the Bombardier team to minimise the down time for Jetwave installations, so operators can adopt this technology with a minimum amount of disruption to their flight operations, which has been key to the rapid adoption of our JetWave system by leading business jet manufacturers like Bombardier.”

Located at Seletar Airport, Bombardier’s Singapore service centre is one of nine service centres, six line maintenance stations and 23 Mobile Response Team vehicles that comprise Bombardier’s worldwide maintenance network.

AIX 2018: Taqnia launches high-speed internet solution

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Taqnia, the Saudi-based technology development and investment centre, has unveiled a new service that provides passengers with high-speed internet around the world.

UON, which has a launch date of Q2 2018 on Saudia Arabia’s flag-carrying airline Saudia, is a solution that allows passengers, travelling on both short and long-haul flights, to access the internet, telephone and live TV streaming services using their own mobile devices.

Abdullah Alosaimi, CEO of Taqnia Space company, said in a briefing during Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg: “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.”

The solution has been deployed by Taqnia in collaboration with its international partners including the satellite operator Eutelsat, the aero design and engineering firm Jamco, satellite technology provider Idirect, content delivery solution provider Axinom and connected aircraft solutions provider SITAONAIR.

Key features include true broadband in-flight connectivity (up to 50 mbps) and an entertainment service through guaranteed connectivity to satellites. Through the UON platform, all services can also be billed using a simple, easy-to-use payment system. “With UON, airlines are opening entirely new segments of value creation – without expensive investments in in-flight connectivity (IFC) and technology updates, which saves a lot of money and time for airlines,” said Alosaimi.

For passengers looking for the next-generation connectivity service, UON travellers will benefit from interactive broadband internet, GSM roaming with no hidden costs and easy access to their personal mobile devices.

 

AIX 2018 – Inmarsat and partners sign MoU with Indonesian carrier Citilink

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Inmarsat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see it provide low-fare Indonesian airline Citilink with its GX Aviation inflight broadband service across the carrier’s fleet of Airbus A320s.

The deal in partnership with Lufthansa Technik, Lufthansa Systems and Indonesian tech company Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT) will entail a retrofit of 50 of the airline’s aircraft. The collaboration will enable Citilink to provide “a unique onboard experience and build passenger loyalty through a market-leading Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) connectivity offering, powered by Inmarsat’s high-speed, award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband service.”

Ben Griffin, Inmarsat Aviation’s regional vice-president, said: “Asia Pacific is a key region for Inmarsat Aviation and we are delighted to welcome Citilink as a customer of GX Aviation. In partnership with MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik, we will provide an advanced inflight broadband solution that will allow Citilink passengers to browse the internet, use social media and stream online content in the air, just as they do on the ground.”

President director of MAT, M Fitriansyah, said: “The option to deliver inflight passenger Wi-Fi services for Citilink is particularly interesting due to the airline’s strong technology focus. There is significant interest in this new era of digital technology and through this collaboration, we will bring the passenger a state-of-the-art inflight Wi-Fi experience with GX Aviation.”

Jan-Peter Gaense, head of passenger experience products and solutions at Lufthansa Systems, added that, thanks to BoardConnect´s open architecture and the use of modern docker technology, MAT “will be able to include any additional e-commerce service Citilink wishes for.”

Nina Schulz, head of product sales aircraft modification at Lufthansa Technik, said: “With 15 years of experience in state-of-the-art connectivity, we are able to tailor the equipment of even the largest fleets to our customer’s individual requirements in the shortest possible time. I am convinced that we will contribute significantly to MAT’s goal of providing market-leading wireless solutions for passenger airlines services. This is a further proof of our successful co-operation with our partners Lufthansa Systems and Inmarsat. Both Mahata Aero Teknologi and Citilink Indonesia will benefit from our multiple expertise.”

[Photo: The team from Inmarsat, Mahata Aero Teknologi, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik will provide inflight broadband to Citilink Indonesia.]