British Airways and LSO brings the classics to in-flight entertainment

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British Airways has added tracks from the London Symphony Orchestra to its in-flight entertainment system.

A selection of music from 10 London Symphony Orchestra albums are now available on board, spanning the classical, opera and choral genres.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said, “It’s a real pleasure to be adding music from the London Symphony Orchestra to our entertainment system, which gives customers even more choice on what they want to listen to or watch on board. They’re an example of brilliant British talent with a fascinating history, which we know our customers will enjoy regardless of whether they’ve listened to much orchestral music previously.”

Becky Lees, head of LSO Live, the London Symphony Orchestra’s record label, said, “The London Symphony Orchestra has a mission to bring its music to as many people as possible. We’re delighted to share this selection of our live recordings via British Airways’ in-flight entertainment system. International touring is an important part of the Orchestra’s life so this is an excellent way to give British Airways customers the chance to explore our music making as they also travel the globe.”

Spirit Airlines selects Thales FlytLIVE solution

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Spirit Airlines has become the first and only Ultra Low Cost Carrier (ULCC) in the Americas to offer connectivity following an agreement with Thales to install FlytLIVE.

The all-Airbus fleet of A319, A320 and A321 aircraft will be equipped with the Ka-band High-Throughput connectivity solution, with the first aircraft ae scheduled to enter into service by the end of 2018, and the entire fleet operating with FlytLIVE by summer 2019.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the in-flight guest experience with the addition of Thales FlytLIVE Wi-Fi,” said Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s president. “By summer 2019, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped with Thales’ state-of-the-art connectivity service to keep our guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made, and will continue to make, for our guests.”

Together, Spirit and Thales will collaborate on optional products and services giving customers the flexibility to choose only the options they value. FlytLIVE is capable of creating innovative revenue generation and advertising opportunities for the airline. The Thales offering also provides bandwidth and session management, operational support tools, maintenance, service and support with the highest Service Level Agreements; leveraging Thales leading digital and cybersecurity expertise.

GKN Aerospace sells 1000th Electronic Flight Bag solution

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European wet lease specialist airline Hi Fly has become the recipient of GKN Fokker Services’ 1,000th Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution for iPad.

“This 1000th order clearly illustrates the success of the product. Our modification has proved to be a very cost-effective and user friendly solution which is recognised by customers all over the world. Its success also proves our capability to develop affordable modifications for all aircraft types,” said Bert Leijen, product manager modifications of GKN Fokker Services.

In 2012, Hi Fly became one of the first customers of the EFB solution, which is EASA certified and approved for almost all regional and long haul transport aircraft types ranging from Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Embraer to Fokker.

The EFB solution can also be delivered with a special connection to show, for example, Aircraft Moving Map (AMM) on the iPad.

Gogo gains STC approval for 2Ku installations on A321neo

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Gogo has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the installation of the 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi system on the Airbus A321neo.

In a blog post the company said: “Gaining the STC for the A321neo is a major milestone for Gogo, especially since several of our airline partners already have this aircraft in their fleet, or are awaiting delivery.”

This is the latest in a line of STC’s Gogo has received covering 2Ku installations on a variety of aircraft.

Gogo’s 2Ku in-flight connectivity solution was recently selected by Air Canada for its Bombardier CS300 aircraft, an announcement made at Aircraft Interiors Expo.

More than 2,000 aircraft are slated to be installed with Gogo’s 2Ku technology, and more than 650 aircraft are flying with the technology.

Sennheiser brings headsets to Etihad’s premier cabin

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Sennheiser Middle East has formed a partnership with Etihad Airways to become the exclusive provider of headsets for the airline’s premier cabin.

Under the agreement, Sennheiser’s PXC 480 will be available for passengers travelling in Etihad Airways’ The Residence, the first and only private luxury three room suite on a commercial aircraft.

Guests of the Residence will be able to listen to music and movies with Sennheiser’s sound quality and the proprietary NoiseGard hybrid adaptive noise cancellation.

“The opportunity to partner with Etihad Airways allows us to contribute to an experience that goes beyond just sound. With the PXC 480 we have crafted a premium headphone that brings our leadership in high-quality audio to address the travel needs of the most discerning set of customers. For Etihad guests seeking the ultimate way to travel, the PXC 480 will prove to be the perfect companion”, says Eric Denise, Sennheiser senior vice-president market development.

The Residence features a lounge, bathroom with a shower and a separate bedroom which offers a bedside table, two storage drawers and a full length wardrobe, and is certified for two guests.

Etihad Airways vice-president marketing partnerships, Patrick Pierce, said: “Enhancing our guest proposition is one of the key drivers of this partnership. Aligning with Sennheiser provides premium guests flying in the world’s most exclusive cabin a best-in-class audio product to further improve their experience in The Residence.”

Inset image: Sennheiser Middle East Announce Etihad Airways Partnership (PRNewsfoto/Sennheiser Middle East)


AES gets EASA thumbs up for T-PEDs

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Aerospace Engineering Solutions (AES Global), the UK-based aerospace design and certification organisation, has obtained a new EASA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) allowing the use of Transmitting Portable Electronic Devices (T-PED) on all Boeing 777 aircraft.

AES has developed this STC for operators to ensure their aircraft fleet is capable of using PEDs safely and securely in all phases of flight.

This EASA STC (No 10065407) can be used by an operator as evidence to meet the necessary European Union regulatory operational requirements for PEDS operating in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency band. It can also be used in combination with a Wi-Fi system activation to allow full use of T-PEDs.

Anton Heissig, director and head of design for AES, said: “Receipt of this EASA certification broadens our ability to offer this solution to customers and reinforces our commitment in the wireless connectivity market.”

uTalk brings language lessons to Emirates and easyJet

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British language company uTalk has teamed up with Emirates and easyJet to launch a new ‘Learn as you Fly’ scheme.

The scheme will make videos and taster demos available for passengers to learn a language; particularly useful for business passengers who can learn the basics of the language in their destination country, or brush up on their linguistic skills.

uTalk’s deal with Emirates will make the language learning videos available fleet-wide on its in-flight entertainment system, ice. Emirates customers across its six-continent global network will be able to use the new language package. The airline is screening 45 different language videos on the ice system, offering lessons in 15 languages, and with more videos to be available later this summer.

Travellers on selected easyJet flights across Europe will also be able to learn while they fly. Through easyJet’s in-flight entertainment system, passengers will be able to access any of uTalk’s 136 languages from an on-board server to learn the language’s basics on their own phones or devices.

Richard Howeson, chairman of uTalk said in a statement: “In-flight learning is a great idea because it means that, with very little effort, passengers can learn enough to order their first drinks or negotiate transport, all by the time their plane lands. Even better, just by speaking a few words in the local lingo, you start to become more than a tourist. And, because we always use native speakers on the uTalk app, you’re learning to speak like the locals from the locals.

“It’s not just British flyers who will benefit from learning in the sky. Emirates, who currently offer video learning with uTalk in 15 different languages for English speakers, will also soon be catering for Arabic, Spanish, Mandarin and German speakers. Passengers flying with selected easyJet flights will get the whole works: a choice of 136 different languages to learn, all available to access on their own device from the comfort of their plane seat,” he continued.

Once they have arrived at their destination, passengers will be able to continue learning by logging onto the new multi-platform uTalk app using their mobile devices.

Howeson told Inflight that what makes them stand out is not just the range of languages it offers, but the range of languages people can learn from, as not all passengers will want to learn from one the five main languages (English, French, German, Italian or Spanish) that many courses offer. The company have close to 20,000 language combinations and “no other service in the world translates to as many” he said, providing the example that a Mandarin speaker can learn Hindi, or an Icelandic speaker can learn Malay.

Including language lessons in the IFE could have benefits for airlines in the future, Howeson suggests: “Airlines are looking to get revenue from in-flight systems but they need to create value for passengers before adding adverts, and where we fit nicely is that we add value for the passengers.”

It could also benefit the airlines by meeting the needs of passengers, Howeson said, arguing that though many travellers want to learn some of their destination language, they rarely have time before a trip to do so. He added, “At uTalk we say that what we sell is friendship. Being able to speak a little of someone else’s language is something you can learn on board and is enough to show you care. For airlines, this provides the ability to offer some of that friendship.”

Turkish Technic and Havelsan form IFE joint venture

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Turkish Technic and Havelsan have established a joint venture (JV) company to produce in-flight entertainment and internet service provider systems.

The joint venture will also be active in the field of other software used in civil aviation including design, production, maintenance, repair, marketing, sales and after-sales services in land, sea, rail systems and air platforms.

The company is aiming to provide linefit in-flight entertainment systems as approved supplier for both Turkish Airlines’ new generation aircraft to be delivered between 2022-2023 and other domestic and international airlines’ aircrafts.

Operating out of Turkish Technics’ Sabiha Gökçen International Airport facilities in 2018, the company is planning to commercialise its products for domestic airline operators and other operators within the close region.

“Besides our comprehensive maintenance and repair capabilities and our high quality aircraft galley and aircraft seat producer JV’s, we are pleased to operate in the in-flight entertainment market through our joint venture company to be established with Havelsan. I believe that this step will create many opportunities for both parties and also customers,” said Ahmet Karaman, CEO of Turkish Technic.

Ahmet Hamdi Atalay, CEO of Havelsan, said “Havelsan has demonstrated its claim in civilian aerospace as well as defence technologies. The joint venture company by Havelsan and Turkish Technic will increase Turkey’s civil aviation export and combining our forces will enable us to reach global markets.”

EVA Air and Georg Jensen in amenity kit partnership

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EVA Air has partnered with design brand Georg Jensen to create a new amenity kit for its Royal Laurel and Premium Laurel Class passengers.

Launched in April, the new Georg Jensen branded kits have a duo bag design, featuring a black safiano bag with a detachable chocolate brown bag. The kits can be used for glasses, jewellery, technology storage, as a wash bag, or for a variety of travel items.

Designed and created by Buzz, the new Business Class kit has been made to be able to be re-used post-flight as a travel organiser and to appeal to male and female passengers.

Each kit contains premium 3LAB skincare products comprising ‘Perfect’ Hand Cream, ‘M’ Cream Ultimate Lift Eye Cream and ‘Perfect’ Lip Balm. Also included are a Georg Jensen dust bag, Georg Jensen eyeglass cloth, comb, socks, eye mask, earplugs and a White Glo Dental kit.

JetBlue restyles A320 cabin interior

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In the first major overhaul of its original fleet since launching in 2000, JetBlue has formally unveiled its first Airbus A320 to undergo the airline’s fleet restyling, which is bringing an all-new interior to its A320 aircraft.

“JetBlue’s A320 restyling is about making the best even better,” said Marty St. George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “JetBlue has built its innovative reputation on offering our customers the very best products and a level of service they won’t find on another US airline and this update ensures we remain the go-to choice for flyers who expect nothing but the best.”

A major focus of the restyling is keeping customers connected throughout their flight, including a new inflight entertainment system, high-definition seatback televisions, in-seat power outlets with USB ports and continued free gate-to-gate Fly-Fi high-speed internet.

The restyling will include two iterations of the design, with the 2018 model introducing features from the popular A321 interior and the 2019 and beyond model featuring an innovative seat design and new in-flight entertainment system.

For roughly the next nine months, JetBlue’s A320s will be restyled with the Rockwell Collins Pinnacle seat and LiveTV 4 entertainment options currently on the airline’s A321 aircraft.

In early 2019, JetBlue will transition to the restyling featuring the Rockwell Collins Meridian seat, customised for the airline’s needs and Thales AVANT and ViaSat-2 products, which will offer a 10.1 inch, 1080P high definition screen at every seat, an expanded collection of on demand movies, TV shows and video content, plus new gaming features, destination-specific content allowing customers to enhance their travel experience, picture-in-picture function, NFC paining turning personal handheld devices into remotes or gaming controllers, and an expanded Fly-Fi connectivity, providing coverage to nearly the entire JetBlue network.

New LED lighting will enhance the look and tone of the in-cabin ambiance and allow for a variety of lighting settings to increase customer comfort. New sidewalls and overhead bins will also be installed, as well as a variety of newly incorporated design elements throughout that will capture JetBlue’s unique style and personality.

JetBlue expects to complete approximately a dozen A320 restyles by the end of 2018, with the ability to complete multiple aircraft each month by 2019. JetBlue’s so-called A320 classics will be restyled first. JetBlue’s overall A320 restyling is set to take approximately three years.