airfi airasia

AirFi announces partnership with AirAsia

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airfi airasia

AirFi has revealed it will delivering a seamless in-cabin extension of AirAsia’s acclaimed travel and lifestyle “super-app” digital ecosystem in the coming months.

“We’re so excited to begin a new partnership with one of the most innovative airline groups in the world,” said AirFi CEO, Job Heimerikx. “AirAsia’s goals are ambitious, unique, and well-defined. Their digital vision is nothing short of inspirational, and the fact they’ve selected AirFi to help deploy their IFE and onboard retail strategy truly underscores the flexibility of the solutions we can offer.”

AirFi says that, with the addition of AirAsia to its client portfolio that includes Bamboo Airways, Scoot and the Lion Air Group Group, it is now the largest provider of onboard wireless retail and entertainment solutions to low-cost carriers across Southeast Asia.

Air Canada

Air Canada updates customer experience on board

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Air Canada

Air Canada has announced a comprehensive range of new product improvements to elevate the customer experience from upgraded Economy dining, more in-flight entertainment and connectivity options to enriched Premium offerings.

“Air Canada is committed to elevating the customer experience and offering the kind of world-class services Canadians can be proud of from their flag carrier. Accordingly, we are investing in all aspects of the journey to make travel even better for customers, including in our Economy and Premium cabins. Today’s announcements go beyond emerging from the pandemic; we’re proud to introduce many new services and options not available today in Canada,” said Mark Nasr, Senior Vice President, Products, Marketing and eCommerce at Air Canada.

“Among the improvements customers will see starting in November are new dining services in International Economy Class featuring the addition of regional appetizess and an entree created by acclaimed Montreal Chef Jérôme Ferrer on flights departing Canada and fresh Air Canada Bistro options on North American flights. Premium cabin customers will also find new amenities, such as Acqua di Parma amenity kits and complimentary Wi-Fi in Premium Rouge. What’s more, we’ll begin introducing additional in-flight entertainment content, including Live TV, so customers can watch sports events or stay on top of the news while in the air.”

From 1 November, Air Canada becomes the first Canadian airline to begin offering complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi on flights. Customers flying in Premium Rouge can stream their own entertainment, TV shows and movies, listen to their own music or simply remain connected.

From 2023, the carrier will expand its onboard entertainment content by more than 25%, introducing options such as Live TV to enable customers to watch sports events and news live. The carrier says it will release more details on the Live TV as well as additional new features such as Bluetooth audio connectivity and an outside camera feature soon.

Air Canada will be elevating its International Economy Class dining experience from November to reflect Canada’s culinary talent and tastes from our global network of destinations. Economy Class dining on all international flights departing Canada is being revamped to feature a hot entree created for Air Canada by renowned Montreal Chef Jérôme Ferrer, a member of Air Canada’s culinary panel. An appetizer reflecting destination cuisine is also being presented with all meals, and a separate dessert service will follow.

North America Economy Class Dining
In Economy Class on North America and Sun destination flights, the Air Canada Bistro menu will be refreshed and expanded to include a brioche bagel smoked salmon sandwich, vegan options such as Farro Salad or Spiced chickpea wrap, Canadian snacks such as Good To Go Blondies and Nomz energy bites, in addition to choices such as Montreal smoke meat sandwiches and fruit & cheese board.

Premium Cabin services and amenities
Air Canada is fully restoring its premium cabin services from November for both pre-departure and in-flight, offering to hang coats and jackets and providing pre-departure beverages on international flights and hot towels prior to meal services.

Air Canada is also introducing new amenity kits to premium cabin customers. The carrier says the new line of amenity kits and totes have been purposefully designed to significantly minimise single-use plastics including the elimination of plastic wrap.

Air Canada Signature Class customers on all international flights will be given Acqua di Parma amenity kits featuring stylish amenity bags containing Acqua di Parma luxury skincare products and an oversized eye mask, socks, dental products and 3M earplugs.

Customers in International Premium Economy and North America Signature Class overnight flights will receive reusable amenity totes containing an eye mask, socks and dental products.

Virgin Atlantic APEX/IFSA awards 2023

The 2023 APEX/IFSA Awards: winners announced

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Virgin Atlantic APEX/IFSA awards 2023

The annual APEX/IFSA Awards took place at the APEX/IFSA EXPO on 27 October in Long Beach, California, with Inflight Editor Satu Dahl as part of the judging panel.

The awards recognise specific and innovative new achievements successfully implemented in the past year. Winners of the six different categories of the 2023 APEX/IFSA Awards were revealed during the ceremony at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center.

APEX Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation award honours airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new in-flight innovation such as interactive connectivity on board and unique Wi-Fi features/offerings. The finalists in this category were AirFi’s LEO Connectivity Solution, Astronics’ CSC Cabin AXe Wireless Access Point and Stellar Blu’s Sidewinder Multi-modem Terminal. Astronics’ CSC Cabin AXe Wireless Access Point was announced as the winner.

APEX Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation award celebrates airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new in-flight innovation that is elevating the passenger experience via GUI design, features/applications, streaming, hardware, seat integration, and so on. Finalists were ABOVE’s One-Stop-Shop Digital Platform, AERQ’s AERENA Accelerated App Integration and Burrana’s RISE Power. Burrana’s RISE Power was chosen as the winning product.

APEX Best Marketing Innovation is given for a new marketing campaign or idea and 2023 finalists were Thales Avionics and Diehl Aerospace’s ICEE, Touch, Warner Bros and LATAM’s IFE Cross-Brand and Virgin Atlantic’s See the World Differently campaign. Thales Avionics and Diehl Aerospace’s ICEE won the award. The “In Cabin Experience Enhancer” (ICEE) combines the IFE with cabin projection, offering an unprecedented passenger interaction via the IFE interface.

APEX/IFSA Best Cabin Innovation award recognises outstanding achievement in creating a thoughtful new cabin environment, including galleys, lavatories, and means to increase efficiency for crew. The finalists were Avianca’s Premium Seats Narrow Body Fleet, Finnair’s Elevated Long Haul Experience and IdeaNova Technologies’ Intouch Nearcast. Finnair took home this award for its impressive new long-haul cabin design.

Finnair team with award

Finnair team with the award.

APEX/IFSA Best Product or Service honours innovations in passenger comfort, including seats, design, lighting, temperature control, air quality and more. Sustainable entries will be given additional credit. 2023 finalists in this category were HRS: Crew & Passenger Solutions, Thales Avionics: Pulse Power and Virgin Atlantic: “The Booth”. Virgin Atlantic was announced as the winner in this category for its cleverly designed Booth social space on board.

IFSA Best Inflight Food or Beverage award recognises a food or beverage product that appeals to passengers’ taste and enhances the onboard experience. The product can be an economy class complimentary or buy on board. 2023 finalists were Air France: Sustainable Onboard Experience, Thales Avionics: JetBlue Meal + Customizable Ordering and United Airlines: Impossible Meatball Bowl. Thales Avionics’ JetBlue Meal + Customizable Ordering won this category.

IFSA Best Onboard Amenity award recognises an amenity kit that provides an enhanced onboard passenger experience. The finalists were Air Astana JSC: Business Class Amenity Kits, Delta Air Lines: Someone Somewhere Amenity Kit Partnership, Fiji Airways: Our Ocean, Our Life Kids Activity Pack and John Horsfall & Sons: Finnair BC Mattress Pad. This award was won jointly by Delta Air Lines and Fiji Airways.

Big congratulations to all the winners!

Panasonic Avionics Launches Its Newest Digital Solution

Panasonic Avionics launches all-in-one digital solutions platform

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Panasonic Avionics Launches Its Newest Digital Solution

Panasonic Avionics has launched a new all-in-one digital solutions platform called Modular Interactive (MI).

MI has a fully-integrated IFE interactive design and is the latest product introduction to Panasonic Avionics’ highly acclaimed digital solutions portfolio.

According to the company, the platform addresses the needs of airlines looking to extend their brand using economically sophisticated or fully custom-built IFE interactives that appeal to today’s digitally savvy travellers.

The platform has a modular design that allows airlines to integrate and scale required software builds. By personalising the seatback experience, airlines are able to speak directly to passengers reflecting different loyalty schemes, flight themes, locations, and promotional offers by tier, airline route or cabin class.

MI eliminates the expensive and time-consuming process that is typical of traditional custom GUI interactive solutions. The company says its solution is backward compatible with Panasonic Avionics’ eX3 and NEXT series systems, making it easy for airlines with Panasonic-equipped IFE to onboard and upgrade to MI.

The solution will be a part of the recently launched Astrova seatback system and will be available in the summer of 2023.

Andrew Mohr, Vice President, Digital Solutions for Panasonic Avionics, said: “With Modular Interactive, airlines are given the freedom to turn on or off services and change interactive layouts at any time and without additional software deployment.

“Airlines can assess higher levels of passenger engagement by simultaneously changing its interactive to display customised and tailored A/B testing campaigns.

“Once paired with Panasonic Avionics’ suite of solutions, airlines are able to access a full suite of revenue opportunities focused on improving passenger satisfaction, driving airline loyalty and increasing net promoter score.”

Anuvu and QEST unveil new dual-panel Ka antenna

Anuvu showcases new dual-panel Ka-band antenna

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Anuvu and QEST unveil new dual-panel Ka antenna

High-speed satellite connectivity and entertainment solutions provider Anuvu has showcased its new Dual-Panel Ka-Band Inflight Connectivity Antenna System (DPSAA) this week to airlines attending the Airline Passenger Experience Association Expo in Long Beach, California.

According to Anuvu, the antenna is a key component of Anuvu’s Airconnect Ka multi-orbit connectivity platform designed specifically for both GEO and LEO networks. This results in providing the best possible performance on each network.

Mike Pigott, Anuvu’s EVP Connectivity, said: “We are thrilled to be able to showcase our latest hybrid-network, multi-orbit innovation with our long-time partner QEST. QEST continues to innovate in satellite communications through the development of antenna systems based on their decades of experience.

“Anuvu remains committed to designing and developing the best solutions to enable our aviation customers to obtain superior connectivity services today and well into the future. Our open-architecture design doesn’t lock customers into specific system components, enabling customers to maximise the value of their investment over time while receiving the best service in the market.”

Anuvu says the dual-panel antenna delivers class-leading performance on today’s GEO networks, optimising for fast handoffs and ultra-high data rates. The antenna maximises data flow even when GEO and LEO satellites are low on the horizon and customers can select the GEO satellite connectivity option that provides the most efficient in-flight connectivity performance today, while maintaining full forward compatibility with current and future non-geostationary networks.

The DPSAA is the latest innovation from a family of antenna products designed by QEST to withstand the harsh environment on the aircraft fuselage.

Stefan Bihler, Executive Manager and Chief Commercial Officer at QEST, said: “We are excited to see an innovative and forward-looking company like Anuvu introduce this dual-panel antenna design to address an immediate need in the market as airlines consider how new LEO networks can enhance their connectivity options.”

OneWeb launch. Photo Credit ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE Optique Video du CSG

OneWeb and Panasonic Avionics to deliver LEO connectivity to airlines

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OneWeb launch. Photo Credit ESA-CNES-ARIANESPACE Optique Video du CSG

Panasonic Avionics is to market, sell, and support OneWeb’s high-speed, low-latency in-flight broadband services to commercial airlines globally.

The company will offer OneWeb’s global service standalone or paired with Panasonic Avionics’ GEO service, which covers 99.6% of the world’s flight routes.

This coverage and performance will improve the in-flight surfing and streaming experience for passengers and will open the door to new airline passenger experiences. Examples include live gameplay, video conferencing and VoIP communication.

Panasonic expects to support OneWeb-equipped aircraft in the second half of 2023 and will make its catalogue of cloud-enabled, broadband-connected applications available over the OneWeb network, including mobile phone connectivity, ARC moving map, ZeroTouch content management and related services.

Ben Griffin, OneWeb’s VP Mobility Services, said: “Our mission at OneWeb is to enable airlines to deliver a consistent, terrestrial-like connectivity experience to their passengers, no matter when or where they are flying – over oceans, over the North Pole – absolutely everywhere. This connectivity experience will drive value through enhanced passenger satisfaction and loyalty. This agreement with Panasonic is significant for OneWeb, as it allows us to leverage their reputation, expertise, and reach to bring our LEO network to airlines, while seamlessly integrating our connectivity solution within existing IFEC infrastructure.”

John Wade, Vice President of Panasonic Avionics’ In-flight Connectivity Business Unit, said: “Airline passenger expectations, and therefore the demands of our airline customers, continue to change. Passengers are accustomed to high-speed, low-latency connections supporting remote collaborative working environments, high-quality video streaming, and real-time gameplay. With OneWeb, we can now offer that experience everywhere our customers fly. This is a truly exciting day for the in-flight connectivity market.”

SES, a leader in global content connectivity solutions, has signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with Airbus

Airbus on track with Airspace Link HBCplus catalogue expansion with SES

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SES, a leader in global content connectivity solutions, has signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with Airbus

Global content connectivity solutions company SES has signed a letter of agreement with Airbus.

Airbus says the development paves the way for the company to become the second managed service provider to join the Airspace Link HBCplus catalogue offering for airlines.

HBCplus provides airlines with flexibility as it decouples the bandwidth provider from the antenna and the IFE systems. The agnostic SFE antenna de-risks the airlines’ far-reaching bandwidth supplier decisions and comes with Airbus support, warranties and seamless aircraft integration.

SES will now bring its combined MEO and GEO network through the Airbus ecosystem for the first time.

Andre Schneider, Airbus VP Cabin and Cargo Programme, said: “We look forward to adding SES to our HBCplus MSP catalogue, and continue our journey of offering best-in-class aircraft technology combined with industry-leading service providers. Additionally, SES’s innovative use of GEO and MEO satellites to seamlessly offer a multi-orbit solution fits the disruptive nature of the Airspace Link open ecosystem to provide an end-to-end solution.”

JP Hemingway, Chief Strategy and Product Officer (CSPO) at SES, said: “SES along with its global partners are building a truly differentiated multi-orbit network which is capable of providing the best IFC service in the air for both short-haul and long-haul commercial aviation markets.

“We look forward to concluding our partnership with Airbus and working together to bring these innovative multi-orbit global capabilities to the Airspace Link HBCplus ecosystem.”

Panasonic Avionics has marked the two-year anniversary of the launch of Arc, its 3D in-flight moving map platform, by unveiling a range of new and upcoming features.

Panasonic Avionics adds new features to its in-flight map platform

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Panasonic Avionics has marked the two-year anniversary of the launch of Arc, its 3D in-flight moving map platform, by unveiling a range of new and upcoming features.

Panasonic Avionics has announced new features for its Arc in-flight map platform and is showcasing them at APEX/IFSA Expo in Long Beach, California, from 25-26 October.

The company says its Arc v2.0 release is a significant progression for the entire in-flight map category. It features live data capabilities and new tools for customers to control their map experience, delivering an advanced map design in a connected environment.

Arc v2.0 fully leverages Panasonic Avionics’ NEXT technology and its recently launched Astrova in-flight entertainment systems.

The new and advanced functions include:

  • Arc Weather: regularly updated weather data, presented both globally and specific to the flight’s destination, as well as other locations of the passenger’s choice. Arc Weather is just the first of many live, data-enabled features and map content layers that will become available in future releases.
  • Arc Studio: extend the flexibility and longevity of the map with this web-based designer’s tool to update and manage map data such as place names, landmarks, or points of interest. Future capabilities include authoring and deploying new templates for map content and views.
  • Information for Islamic passengers: an updated Mecca pointer, and relevant timings for each day during Ramadan.

Arc v2.0 also features enhanced city guides that incorporate new design elements into points of interest and create custom articles to drive destination engagement and bolster partnerships.

Dominic Green, Senior Director of Digital Product Management at Panasonic Avionics, said: “Arc v2.0 takes in-flight maps to the next level. It leverages our proven design thinking, the latest 4K technology and in-flight connectivity to deliver a breadth of real-time information and insights in flight.”

Burrana and Akkodis to provide RISE Power system for PlusUltra Airlines

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Burrana has signed an agreement with Akkodis to provide its RISE Power system for installation on two Airbus A330s for PlusUltra Airlines.

Burrana and Akkodis will begin delivering in the fourth quarter of 2022 for retrofit installations on PlusUltra Airlines’ existing A330 fleet, which will begin in early 2023. Burrana says the award is part of PlusUltra’s recently announced fleet and cabin upgrade initiative to maximise its passenger experience.

The system configuration selected by PlusUltra will provide two dual USB-A jacks per triple seat group (a total of four USB-A jacks per triple seat), and one dual USB-A jack per double seat group (a total of two USB-A jacks per double seat).

Mojca Svensek, Sales Director for Aircraft Support & Operations at Akkodis, said: “Our goal is to ensure that we provide our customers’ passengers with the best in-seat power system and guarantee high-quality aircraft engineering support through our approved Part 21J&G design team within our aircraft support and operations business.

“Burrana is a clear choice, with their ultralightweight solution providing USB-A power ports on every seat in the aircraft, in a space-saving system architecture that does not compromise leg room or aircraft weight.”

ThinKom's ThinAir® Ku3030 antenna – branded as 2Ku by Intelsat – has logged more than 30 million hours of operational time on commercial aircraft.

2Ku antenna passes significant milestone

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ThinKom's ThinAir® Ku3030 antenna – branded as 2Ku by Intelsat – has logged more than 30 million hours of operational time on commercial aircraft.

ThinKom’s ThinAir® Ku3030 antenna, branded as 2Ku by Intelsat, has logged more than 30 million hours of operational time on commercial aircraft.

“The 2Ku program really changed what was possible to deliver to an aircraft,” said Bill Milroy, ThinKom’s Chief Technology Officer. “We were really the first team to enable a streaming experience via a high-efficiency phased array antenna system. That was a game changer. And now, operating the third generation of the system, 2Ku is still acknowledged as being the most efficient, most reliable and most capable system available.”

Jeff Sare, President of Commercial Aviation at Intelsat, said: “2Ku is the lowest-profile and highest-performing antenna in the market. Our team has worked hard with airline partners and ThinKom to reach this critical milestone and deliver phenomenal in-flight reliability. It’s the most dependable product in the market, and airlines like that.”

As part of Intelsat’s 2Ku solution, ThinKom’s ultra-efficient phased arrays have delivered consistent connectivity to more than 100 million passengers on more than six million flights since inception.

The solution is being used by 19 major airlines and consistently supports over 98% total end-to-end system availability with industry-leading connectivity and throughput rates.