Anuvu renews relationship with Gulf Air

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Anuvu has extended its in-flight entertainment partnership with Gulf Air for a further five-years.

The agreement will provide Gulf Air with a bespoke content strategy, allowing passengers to enjoy the best Hollywood, Arabic, Bollywood, international new and classic movies, as well as the trending audio albums and the latest digital games.

Captain Waleed Al Alawi, Acting Chief Executive Officer at Gulf Air, added: “Anuvu has supported Gulf Air since 2018 and we have already seen the positive outcome of our strategic relationship. The content strategy based on data-analytics and personalised experiences has been instrumental to our success. As we prepare for the post-COVID-19 era, we want our guests to have the best content selection onboard and be entertained with premium media.”

Passenger using a PED

Intelsat drops Gogo name as integration complete

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Passenger using a PED

Gogo Commercial Aviation has officially been renamed Intelsat, following its acquisition last December.

“Intelsat’s unparalleled global reach, depth of capacity and vertical integration provides commercial airlines with unmatched optionality and flexibility, delivering the frictionless IFEC experience essential to commercial airlines,” said Intelsat Chief Executive Officer Stephen Spengler. “With Intelsat’s powerful, integrated offering, airlines no longer need to trade speed, reliability or availability for coverage — even when flying at full capacity in and out of the busiest airports.”

“Our company is known for its flexibility and commitment to exceptional customer service, and we’re always innovating new models aimed at helping airlines identify the right distribution strategy to meet their unique needs,” said John Wade, President of Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation Business division. “We do more than talk a good game; Intelsat’s superior customer experience is backed by meaningful and easy-to-understand SLAs that commercial airlines can trust to meet their passenger experience needs today, tomorrow and for decades to come,“ said Wade.

“This name change is happening while Intelsat is leveraging its unparalleled global orbital and spectrum rights, scale and partnerships to build the world’s first global 5G satellite-based software-defined network of networks,” added Spengler. “The Intelsat network will be capable of supporting virtually any access technology, enabling the next generation of global mobility, IoT and 5G services with never-before-seen combined simplicity, coverage, economics and performance.”

The US$400 million acquisition further propels Intelsat into vertically integrated managed mobility services, and deeper into the growing inflight connectivity market. Broadband connectivity for nine of the top 20 global airlines and an installed base of more than 3,000 commercial aircraft are now part of Intelsat’s portfolio of services.

JetBlue tail fins

JetBlue to give iPad Pro to pilots

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JetBlue tail fins

JetBlue has begun introducing the new iPad Pro powered by Apple’s M1 chip to its pilots.

JetBlue first received Federal Aviation Administration approval to give iPads to all pilots in 2013, which enabled more real-time capabilities in the cockpit. The new iPad provides safety-critical functions for all JetBlue crewmembers, including loading operational tracking apps, hosting system maintenance checks, checking real-time weather patterns to avoid turbulence, and accessing procedures and manuals.

“Not only will the new iPad Pro with M1 take our pilots to the next level of advanced technology, but also future-proof JetBlue with top-of-the-line hardware for years to come,” said Captain Chuck Cook, director communications, navigation, surveillance and technical programs.

In the coming months, JetBlue will provide iPad Pro to new incoming pilots, and will replace older models in use over time.

SD named preferred connectivity supplier to Luxaviation Group

SD becomes preferred connectivity supplier for Luxaviation

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SD named preferred connectivity supplier to Luxaviation Group

Satcom Direct (SD) has signed a preferred supplier agreement with Luxaviation Group, under which it will provide connectivity solutions to the global Luxaviation fleet.

The scalable offering meets the specific connectivity needs, missions, and budget requirements of each individual Luxaviation aircraft.

The agreement provides access to high-speed data as well as SD FlightDeck Freedom which brings datalink functionality, improving situational awareness and flight deck communications for the crew.  Supporting the arrangement Inmarsat’s Jet Connex and SwiftBroadband services enhance passenger productivity, or relaxation, through high-speed cabin Wi-Fi capabilities, as well as bolstering crew operations.

Stuart Williamson, Chief Operating Officer of Luxaviation’s Business Aviation Support Services Division commented: “The ability to tailor the offering for each customer, and the responsive, global, pro-active customer service team, which has shown it meets and exceeds the needs of our clients, influenced our decision to switch to SD as our preferred supplier.”

SD is also working with Luxaviation to optimise the expanding suite of SD Cybersecurity solutions, accessed through SD Pro, the digital flight operations dashboard. “Finalising this agreement with Luxaviation highlights that our approach of creating tailored solutions, blended with genuinely expert customer service is extremely important to the end clients. We recognise value is not simply budget related, and the ability to package services to effectively support the differing requirements of an international mixed fleet, demonstrates the many advantages of the SD eco-system,” said Michael Skou Christensen, Senior Vice President, SD International.

“SD puts customers first in terms of productivity, entertainment, and flight efficiency, and Luxaviation recognises the significance of this to their successful operations. It is a tribute to our global team, their hard work, and dedication, that this deal has been ratified, and I’m extremely proud of them.  I know that the team is as excited as I am to build upon this relationship and begin the next chapter with Luxaviation.”

Panasonic global satellite coverage

XTS connectivity switched on over China

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Panasonic global satellite coverage

Panasonic Avionics Corporation has completed the latest phase in its continuing investment in in-flight connectivity with the activation of extreme high throughput (XTS) satellite coverage over China and the Asia Pacific region.

The beam over Asia Pacific from APSTAR 6D, Panasonic Avionics’ first XTS satellite, has gone live through teleports in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and Perth. This will enable airlines based in the region and others flying over it to benefit from its greatly enhanced satellite capacity.

APSTAR 6D went into its first stages of operation in early 2021 and is now providing airlines flying across Asia Pacific with multiple gigahertz of new Ku-band capacity over China, including high-density air traffic routes across East Asia using XTS spot beams. APSTAR delivers 90 beams across the whole region, and 50 Gbps in capacity.

Jeff Sare, Vice President of In-Flight Connectivity Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said, “China and the Asia Pacific region is a strategically important market for Panasonic Avionics and a key priority in our roadmap for introducing increased satellite capacity. Chinese airlines can now enhance their in-flight experience and brand value by enabling their passengers to enjoy our industry-leading connectivity in the skies.”

Panasonic Avionics is planning a range of further investments in in-flight connectivity in the next two years. These include the increase in satellite coverage over Russia this month with SES NSS-12 satellite and further capacity over the Middle East this autumn with the addition of the SES12 HTS satellite capacity.

The next XTS satellite to join Panasonic Avionics’ Gen-3 network, Eutelsat 10B, is due to launch next year, entering into service in 2023. It will provide enhanced connectivity to airlines and their passengers flying over Europe and the Middle East.

SmartSky Networks aicraft

FCC certification for SmartSky

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SmartSky Networks aicraft

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has certified SmartSky’s ground-based remote radiohead for its next-generation air-to-ground network.

“Deployment of the FCC-certified tower radios for our network, coupled with the availability of our shipset products (high-performance antennas, aircraft radios) gives our service-partners and dealers great confidence to begin accepting orders. We are already seeing increased interest and demand with the business aviation markets rebounding ahead of schedule in 2021. The timing is great as we plan for our commercial launch, and to be the leading catalyst for the advent of the connected aircraft market,” said SmartSky’s CEO, David Helfgott.

All Nippon Airways is expanding its digital in-flight e-Libraryblank with the addition of 30 newspapers from across the globe to the ANA Appblank.

ANA expands e-library

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All Nippon Airways is expanding its digital in-flight e-Libraryblank with the addition of 30 newspapers from across the globe to the ANA Appblank.

All Nippon Airways is expanding its digital in-flight e-Library with the addition of 30 newspapers from across the globe to the ANA App. These include five Japanese papers and 25 foreign language papers from a total of 14 different countries.

Like other items in the e-Library, the newspapers can be downloaded via the ANA App 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight, and the downloaded content can be viewed for up to 24 hours after the scheduled arrival time. In addition to offering in-flight entertainment options, passengers can also use the ANA App to make flight reservations, display boarding information and check for updated flight information.

“ANA is constantly looking for ways to leverage technology to improve the travel experience for our customers,” said Junko Yazawa, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience Management & Planning. “The decision to offer digital versions of prominent newspapers from across the globe will cut down on waste while offering passengers additional opportunities to engage with news and perspectives offered by papers that usually are not available in paper format.”

Digital newspapers will only be displayed to passengers who are eligible for the service.

This effort will enhance convenience for passengers while reducing the airline’s carbon footprint. Digitising ANA’s newspaper service will cut paper consumption by about 890 tons per year and contribute to the reduction of fuel use and CO2 emissions by reducing the weight of the aircraft.

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has successfully launched another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ mission.

Latest successful launch for OneWeb

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OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has successfully launched another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ mission.

OneWeb, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite communications company, has successfully launched another 36 satellites to mark the completion of its ‘Five to 50’ mission.

The latest launch takes OneWeb’s in-orbit constellation to 254 satellites, or 40% of OneWeb’s planned fleet of 648 LEO satellites that will deliver high-speed, low-latency global connectivity. OneWeb intends to make global service available in 2022.

With this major milestone, OneWeb is ready to deliver connectivity across the UK, Canada, Alaska, Northern Europe, Greenland, and the Arctic Region.

Service demonstrations will begin this summer in several key locations – including Alaska and Canada – as OneWeb prepares for commercial service in the next six months.

Neil Masterson, OneWeb CEO, said: “This is a truly historic moment for OneWeb, the culmination of months of positive momentum in our ‘Five to 50’ programme, increased investment from our global partners and the rapid onboarding of new customers. We are incredibly excited to start delivering high-speed, low-latency connectivity first to the UK and the Arctic region and to see our network scale over the coming months as we continue building to global service. Thanks to all our incredible partners who have been with us on this journey and are instrumental to making OneWeb’s mission a success.”

OneWeb satellite in assembly

OneWeb fully-funded following latest US$500m investment

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OneWeb satellite in assembly

OneWeb has secured further fund-raising on the anniversary of the successful bid by UK Government and Bharti Global (Bharti) to purchase OneWeb from US Chapter 11 to bring its total funding to US$2.4 billion. OneWeb has completed its transformation with the exercise of a Call Option by Bharti to invest an additional $500m into the company.

The announcement comes as OneWeb prepares for its eighth launch on 1 July, delivering highly anticipated and strategically valuable Arctic region coverage down to 50 degrees latitude.

The Call Option is expected to be completed in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals. On completion of the Call Option and with Eutelsat’s $550m investment, Bharti will hold 38.6%. The UK Government, Eutelsat and Softbank will each own 19.3%.

On completion, OneWeb will have secured $2.4 biilion of equity investment, with no issued debt.

Neil Masterson, CEO of OneWeb commented: “The completion of our funding puts OneWeb in a powerful position. We have significantly lower entry cost of any LEO. We benefit from $3.4 billion of pre-Chapter 11 investment by the original shareholders, making new OneWeb a three-times lower cost Constellation. With the forthcoming launch we will have completed 40% of our network. We are intently focused on execution and just ten more launches will enable us to deliver global coverage. Investors have backed the extraordinary efforts of the OneWeb team to deliver more of the global connectivity the World needs.”

Eutelsat HQ

Eutelsat launches Eutelsat ADVANCE

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Eutelsat HQ

Eutelsat Communications has launched the global network solution Eutelsat ADVANCE.

Eutelsat ADVANCE is an end-to-end managed connectivity service, including network interconnection, a management portal and APIs for service providers and their clients, terrestrial connectivity, Ku and Ka-band capacity, and satellite terminals. Available via Eutelsat’s certified network of partners, Eutelsat ADVANCE will enable clients to enhance their service portfolio by increasing the range of services they offer, leveraging Eutelsat’s powerful global capabilities and 24/7 support.

The new solution includes a suite of tailored offerings addressing multiple markets, including  aviation, with custom backhaul solutions supporting all 4G/5G coverage expansion needs and high-speed transmission links.

Eutelsat ADVANCE’s global Ku-band network leverages the ST Engineering’s Newtec Dialog platform. It facilitates application-use identification and prioritisation at a cost that scales with demand.

Philippe Oliva, Chief Commercial Officer of Eutelsat said: “The current context has accentuated the need for worldwide connectivity, as more and more business processes migrate to the cloud. This is why we are launching Eutelsat ADVANCE, our new satellite network-as-a-service offer. Through an innovative portfolio of globally managed services, optimising and sharing in-orbit resources in Ka and Ku-bands, terrestrial connectivity, the automation of data connectivity services, and a wide range of offerings tailored to specific markets, Eutelsat ADVANCE enhances our customers’ portfolios of service offerings in their markets.”