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News : Virgin Atlantic opts for Panasonic IFEC services on Dreamliners

Virgin Atlantic opts for Panasonic IFEC services on Dreamliners


Virgin Atlantic has announced that its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has been equipped with Panasonic Avionics’ in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions.
 
Panasonic’s ex3 IFE system will provide passengers with a wide touchscreen monitor featuring content like Betria Interactive’s 3D moving map service. All seats also have a USB port so travellers can charge their personal electronic devices.
 
In terms of connectivity, Panasonic’s exConnect in-flight Ku-band Wi-Fi platform will provide internet whilst T-Mobile’s services will allow passengers to use their mobile phones.  
 
Passengers can browse destination and aircraft information, Retail Therapy and further Virgin Atlantic services for free, but to secure internet for the duration of their flight there is a cost of £14.99.
 
Virgin Atlantic has also developed a #SkyHighSelfie app in conjunction with Wavealot, allowing passengers one chance to update their location with a picture of themselves on Facebook free of charge whilst in-flight, even developing certain #SkyHighSelfie spots in the cabin.
 
The airline hope the #SkyHighSelfie app will also act as a mile high discussion forum where customers on the flight can chat and spark debate in the air.
 
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News : Qatar’s first A380 enters service with OnAir in-flight connectivity

Qatar’s first A380 enters service with OnAir in-flight connectivity


Qatar Airways’ (Qatar) first A380 has begun operating scheduled flights between Doha and London fully ‘switched on’ with Mobile OnAir and next generation Internet OnAir in-flight connectivity services.
 
“Qatar Airways is one of the pioneers of in-flight connectivity on both long- and short-haul aircraft,” commented Ian Dawkins, OnAir’s CEO. “We are the only service provider with multiple inflight connectivity systems. We can therefore meet the airline’s connectivity requirements across all fleets.”

Dawkins continued, “Qatar Airways has provided connectivity for its passengers for nearly five years. Keeping passengers connected everywhere they fly around the world is an integral part of the airline’s exceptional cabin offering.”

OnAir claims that once Qatar’s nine other A380 aircraft are equipped with its platform-agnostic products, the company will have supplied over half of the world’s A380s with in-flight connectivity.
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News : Virgin Atlantic live streams gig from on-board 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic live streams gig from on-board 787 Dreamliner


London-based bands Rudimental and Gorgon City are performing on-board Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural 787 flight from London to Atlanta, USA, with the gig being streamed live from the Atlantic Ocean via in-flight Wi-Fi to the website flightdecks.virgin-atlantic.com.
 
Rudimental's Amir Amor said, “We are all buzzing for this gig. We've played some pretty mental shows over the past 2 years but I think this is going to be a memorable one!”
 
After the event has been streamed, the audio will be available to listen to on SoundCloud’s website. 
 
The 787 aircraft on which the gig is taking place, ‘Birthday Girl’, celebrates Virgin Atlantic’s 30th year with special paintwork featuring the iconic Virgin Atlantic ‘Flying Lady’ holding a champagne coupe!
 
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News : Manchester Airport Group and Ryanair offer flight and car-park bundle

Manchester Airport Group and Ryanair offer flight and car-park bundle


Ryanair is to list Manchester Airport Group (MAG) as its car parking provider on the Ryanair website, meaning that passengers travelling from the three airports which make up MAG – Manchester, East Midlands and London Stansted – can purchase their flights and car parking tickets in one transaction.
 
“Booking direct with the airport secures the best car parking prices and helps us to plan ahead, but this new deal means the customer will still receive those great best-price deals via Ryanair directly, saving the customer both time and money,” explained Nolan Hough, MAG’s commercial director for car parks.

Ryanair serves 130 destinations throughout Europe and North Africa across the MAG airports.

Photo shows MAG’s head of business development and planning, Matt Etchells, with Ryanair head of communications, Robin Kiely.
 
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News : QantasLink signs multiyear agreement with Dowty Propellers

QantasLink signs multiyear agreement with Dowty Propellers


Dowty Propellers has signed an agreement to provide QantasLink’s fleet of Bombardier Q400s with a complete propeller system support package, including repair, overhaul and technical assistance.
 
Dowty Propellers is already a type certificate holder for the Q400 system, which incorporates six all-composite blades. The company will provide the support to QantasLink using its MRO facility in Brisbane, Australia, which has recently expanded its capability to support Q400 propeller systems.
 
QantasLink’s CEO, John Gissing, remarked, “Dowty is a world-class leader in propeller systems and we’re pleased that we’ve secured the agreement, which will deliver through-life savings on the Q400 aircraft, and having a world class facility nearby in Brisbane allows us to save significantly in logistical costs.”
 
“Dowty Propellers is pleased to be evolving our support of QantasLink and our Brisbane team in particular is excited by this agreement,” added Dowty Propellers’ president Oliver Towers. “Our agreement allows QantasLink to benefit from the full resources of the propeller system’s original manufacturer, ensuring the aircraft are maintained to the highest standards.”
 
QantasLink’s fleet also includes Bombardier Q300s and Q200s as well as Boeing 717-200s.

Photo shows Dowty Propellers president, Oliver Towers, with John Gissing, CEO of QantasLink.
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News : NBAA 2014: CCC shows off large format 4k touchscreen

NBAA 2014: CCC shows off large format 4k touchscreen


Custom Control Concepts (CCC) is showcasing its newly certified large format 4K touchscreen display, which is currently undergoing certification, at NBAA. 
 
Austin Campbell, the company’s marketing communications manager, says, “It is an exceptionally light product in comparison to its predecessor. We’ve shaved 40lbs off the last version.”
 
CCC’s new displays feature an innovative attachment system for a variety of custom bezels. Campbell explains, “One of the great things about the bezels is that they simply screw into the cabinetry, eliminating the need for extra tooling. Completion centres love us.” 
 
The 4k Ultra HD display uses optical imaging IR technology to make sure the touchscreen senses precise touch, which CCC thinks is perfect for meetings, since users can show slide presentations whilst drawing onscreen. 
 
Powered by the Android operating system, the new displays also offer full access to an aircraft’s cabin management user interface. The screen forms part of a full range of premium in-flight entertainment and cabin management offerings from CCC.
 
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News : NBAA 2014: Lufthansa Technik presents e-configurator

NBAA 2014: Lufthansa Technik presents e-configurator


Lufthansa Technik's creative design department has developed electronic cabin configuration tools for its Leadership Select programme and the joint Lufthansa Technik and Airbus ACJ Elite programme. 
 
The configurator tools can be used on different electronic devices, and both show interactive 3D views of the interiors. They offer the possibility to demonstrate the large variety of cabin configurations in the two programmes and to adapt the cabin layout quickly to individual customer needs.  
 
Leadership Select, the new platform-adaptable modular concept for the Airbus ACJ319 and Boeing BBJ2 aircraft, is mission optimised with regards to cabin interior weight, seating comfort, sufficient stowage volume and the integration of client oriented features for maximum comfort and usability. Features can include a king size bed, vanity table, master bathroom with full size shower and a private office.
 
The e-configuration tools allow the customer to combine a multitude of different cabin elements to create an almost completely individualised cabin layout. Operators of the ACJ319, for example, can choose from among 96 variations, and there are 720 combinations available for the longer BBJ2 and other comparable aircraft.  
 
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News : NBAA 2014: Airshow 3D and Venue CabinRemote apps now on Google Play

NBAA 2014: Airshow 3D and Venue CabinRemote apps now on Google Play


Business aircraft passengers in possession of android tablets will now be able to download Rockwell Collins’ Airshow 3D Moving Map and Venue CabinRemote apps from the Google Play store.
 
The apps are optimised to work alongside Airshow and Venue systems on-board to offer passengers new capabilities. Advanced features of Airshow include advanced touch-enabled map interaction, topographical, high-resolution LandSat satellite imagery and interactive panoramic and pilot head-up display views.
 
The Venue CabinRemote mobile app will allow for two-way communication with an on-board wireless access point as well as seat-specific controls in addition to the cabin control already available.
 
“The marketplace has been asking for more mobile application solutions, and we’re delivering,” said Greg Irmen, vice president of flight controls and information systems for Rockwell Collins. “The new Airshow and Venue Android apps represent our mission to enable the cabin tablet revolution by offering graphically enhanced, relevant real-time information to business jet passengers.”
 
The Airshow 3D moving map and Venue CabinRemote are also currently available via the Apple iTunes App Store.
 
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News : NBAA 2014: ICG’s eRouter receives Parts Manufacturing Approval

NBAA 2014: ICG’s eRouter receives Parts Manufacturing Approval


International Communications Group (ICG), a cabin router partner of Satcom1, has received a Parts Manufacturing Approval (PMA) from the Federal Aviation Administration for its eRouter ERT-120 unit.
 
The ERT-120 provides scalable data routing services for a variety of aircraft applications using routing software based on Satcom1’s AvioIP software suite. It can access multiple LAN clients and offers WAN connectivity to multiple satellite communications networks including Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, Iridium, Ku and Ka bands as well as 4G LTE GSM.
 
The PMA will allow ICG to legally install replacement or modification parts of the ERT-120 on a certificated aircraft, even if they may not have been the manufacturer of the aircraft’s original data routing system.
 
The eRouter has been designed with a modular architecture so it makes it easy to expand its capabilities and adapt to different systems and emerging technologies. It includes Satcom1’s ‘Office in the sky’ services such as Voice over IP, Fax over IP, and a Virtual Private Network, enabling passengers to use the aircraft just like their office on the ground. 
 
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News : Jetstar Japan agrees to codeshare with American

Jetstar Japan agrees to codeshare with American


From 26 October, American Airlines will place its 'AA' code on domestic services operated by Jetstar Japan between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Fukuoka, Matsuyama, Okinawa (Naha), Osaka (Kansai) and Sapporo (Shin Chitose) as part of a new codeshare agreement between the carriers.
 
Masakazu Tanaka, Jetstar Japan’s head of commercial, commented, “This codeshare will offer American Airlines customers more choices and seamless connectivity to some of Japan's most popular destinations.” 
 
“We also look forward to welcoming Jetstar Japan's customers on our direct flights from Tokyo Narita International Airport to our hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles,” added Andrew Nocella, CMO of American Airlines. “We are delighted to work with Jetstar Japan, which is partly owned by two of our business partners in Asia, Qantas and Japan Airlines.”
 
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News : Monarch updates rules on PEDs in accordance with EASA

Monarch updates rules on PEDs in accordance with EASA


Monarch Airlines (Monarch) is the latest airline to take advantage of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s updated regulations regarding the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) from take-off through to landing.
 
Monarch passengers will now have permission to use their smartphones, laptops and e-readers in flight mode, although voice calls and text messages are still prohibited and, because laptops may cause injury, they must be stowed for the beginning and the end of a flight.
 
Using their PEDs, Monarch passengers can connect to the airline’s new MPlayer on-board Wi-Fi network, allowing them to access the airline’s free or charged-for in-flight entertainment content.
 
“For Monarch customers to be able to access entertainment options, including the premium content available on Monarch’s new MPlayer app, from the moment they step on the plane ensures that they can get into holiday mode earlier than ever before,” claimed Tim Williamson, Monarch’s director of customer experience and marketing.
 
“Since its launch, the MPlayer app has been very popular, with almost 10,000 downloads in its first month alone, demonstrating the real value that our new initiatives are adding to our customers’ travel experiences,” Williamson concluded. 
 
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News : Monarch to allow PEDs gate-to-gate

Monarch to allow PEDs gate-to-gate


Monarch Airlines (Monarch) is the latest airline to take advantage of the European Aviation Safety Agency’s updated regulations regarding the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) from take-off through to landing.
 
Monarch passengers will now have permission to use their smartphones, laptops and e-readers in flight mode, although voice calls and text messages are still prohibited and, because laptops may cause injury, they must be stowed for the beginning and the end of a flight.
 
Using their PEDs, Monarch passengers can connect to the airline’s new MPlayer on-board wireless network, allowing them to access the airline’s free or charged-for in-flight entertainment content.
 
“For Monarch customers to be able to access entertainment options from the moment they step on the plane ensures that they can get into holiday mode earlier than ever before,” claimed Tim Williamson, Monarch’s director of customer experience and marketing.
 
“Since its launch, the MPlayer app has been very popular, with almost 10,000 downloads in its first month alone, demonstrating the real value that our new initiatives are adding to our customers’ travel experiences,” Williamson concluded. 
 
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News : NBAA 2014: SmartSky Networks announces connectivity partners for 4G service

NBAA 2014: SmartSky Networks announces connectivity partners for 4G service


SmartSky Networks, which plans to launch the first 4G LTE-based in-flight Wi-Fi service, has announced its connectivity partners at NBAA.
 
The company plans to work with Textron Aviation, Duncan Aviation, Satcom Direct, International Communications Group and Harris Corporation in the engineering and supply of key equipment, certification on aircraft, system sales and installation and provision of subscription service and support.
 
SmartSky claims its connectivity service will offer up to 10 times the typical speed and capacity of in-flight broadband currently on the market by accessing 60 MHz of the Air To Ground (ATG) spectrum. 
 
 “With the largest ATG spectrum position ever utilised, enabled by a patented 4G LTE-based technology advantage, we're transitioning the industry from 3G to 4G, much like what has happened on the ground over the last 10 years,” said SmartSky Networks CEO, Haynes Griffin. “In fact, SmartSky 4G will provide internet capabilities in the air just like what people are accustomed to on the ground, in both the upload and download directions. The only thing that changes is your altitude.” 
 
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News : NBAA 2014: TrueNorth Avionics unveils new Optelity Product Family

NBAA 2014: TrueNorth Avionics unveils new Optelity Product Family


TrueNorth Avionics has revealed its new ‘Optelity’ in-flight connectivity platform at NBAA, alongside an app-based touchscreen ‘valet’ handheld device, which will give business jet passengers the capability to control the cabin environment, access email and the internet and make calls.
 
The new communications service offers all the cabin connectivity associated with a Wi-Fi platform and can be configured to offer a complete in-flight office or networking/telephony only versions. 
 
Optelity is designed to accommodate the latest passenger devices and future technology developments to prevent owners from having to replace full systems after a certain period of time.
 
Mark van Berkel, True North’s CEO, commented, “We’ve taken a page from the aircraft engine ownership model, which means owners and operators can be assured that future software and hardware upgrades, and customer care will be up-to-date for the life of the system—without additional unexpected costs.”
 
The Optelity family has also been designed to work seamlessly with True North’s stylus handsets and offers an upgrade path for aircraft operators using, or planning to use TrueNorth’s Simphonē connectivity systems.
 
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News : NBAA 2014: Custom Control Concepts debuts new skyPlay app

NBAA 2014: Custom Control Concepts debuts new skyPlay app


Custom Control Concepts (CCC) is introducing its new in-flight entertainment/cabin management system (IFE/CMS) app, skyPlay, at NBAA.
 
skyPlay is the next evolution of CCC’s original iPlane IFE/CMS app, which was launched for iPad in 2010. Whilst still featuring all the successful elements of iPlane, skyPlay has been built from the ground up to incorporate iOS 8.
 
The app also offers CCC’s new ‘SkyShow’ flight information system, which runs on iPad, iPhone and iPod, allowing passengers access to HD maps with current aircraft location, flight path, and trip info from their iOS devices. 
 
The skyPlay app will be available from the app Store in early 2015, with current iPlane customers able to discuss upgrading to skyPlay with the CCC team. 
 
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