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Satcom Direct introduces TerraCom Direct for data security
Satcom Direct has launched a new data centre solutions provider, TerraCom Direct, to host and protect clients’ critical business technology systems and information.
TerraCom Direct secures Satcom Direct’s aviation based services, constantly monitoring data traffic generated in the air in an effort to detect and report potentially malicious activity to customers. The solutions provider also offers this service for maritime and terrestrial based satcoms.
“Information security is a huge issue for businesses and individuals” explained Jim Jensen, CEO and founder of Satcom Direct. “Our new data centre is the key to safeguarding connectivity and communications streams, and better securing the missions of our customers. Satcom Direct and TerraCom Direct customers can have enterprise level security for air, land and sea.”
All of TerraCom Direct’s security policies are in accordance with SSAE 16 and FISMA recommendations and the operation is SSAE 16 SOC 1 type 2 compliant, accommodating a wide array of network requirements including hosting, power, cooling, or security.
“The key advantage we have over other data solution providers is flexibility. We offer a wide range of connectivity options, so whether the client simply needs rack space, a private network or full migration to the cloud, we have the expertise and the capabilities,” commented Rich Pilock, president of TerraCom Direct. “With our highly-redundant infrastructure and 24/7 support, we do everything possible to ensure 100 percent uptime and uninterrupted service.”
PowerJet to support VLM’s SSJ100 engines
After announcing it was to become the first European operator of the Sukhoi Superjet 100 long-range aircraft in October, VLM has signed a long-term support agreement with PowerJet, which manufactures the aircraft’s SaM146 engines.
“We are extremely pleased to sign this SaM146 engine support agreement with VLM Airlines, confirming PowerJet’s commitment to offering a complete support package,” commented Claude Poulain, chairman and CEO of PowerJet. “We are also very proud of being able to provide VLM Airlines with a state-of-the-art engine that combines high performance and high reliability, and is very well-suited to the specific needs of both charter and scheduled services.”
Arthur White, CEO of VLM Airlines, added, “This agreement is a major milestone we are proud to have reached with PowerJet. This co-operation is another step for VLM Airlines in completing the journey to deliver new scheduled services with the SSJ100LR by summer 2015.”
QantasLink announces Adelaide–Whyalla route
From 15 April 2015, QantasLink will begin operating a twice daily service between Adelaide and Whyalla, marking the airline’s 3rd South Australian destination and 58th destination overall.
The flights will be operated on a 50-seat Bombardier Q300, providing 1,300 seats per week and 65,000 seats a year. QantasLink CEO John Gissing hopes this will expand both tourism and business opportunities in Whyalla.
“QantasLink will operate the largest, quietest and most comfortable aircraft on the Whyalla route, providing customers with seamless connectivity to Qantas’s domestic and international network,” Gissing continued.
Second GX satellite arrives at launch site
Inmarsat Aviation’s Inmarsat-5 F2 Global Xpress (GX) satellite, the second of three, has arrived at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in preparation for its launch early in 2015.
“The arrival of Inmarsat-5 F2 to the launch site in Baikonur demonstrates that we will be able to offer our high-speed Ka-band service, GX Aviation, early in the second half of 2015,” announced Leo Mondale, Inmarsat Aviation’s president. “The ground networks are in place and Honeywell will start transmission testing of the airborne satellite communications equipment imminently.”
The Inmarsat-5 F2 satellite left the Boeing El Segundo facility on 16th December and was flown from Los Angeles International Airport to Kazakhstan in an Antonov AN-124 heavy transporter. When in orbit, it will provide high-speed broadband services on land, sea and in the air covering the Americas and the Atlantic ocean region.
The first GX satellite – Inmarsat-5 F1 – was launched at the end of 2013 and began delivering regional commercial services over Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia in July 2014. The third GX satellite – Inmarsat-5 F3 – has now completed its final testing and is ready for shipping to Kazakhstan in early 2015. F3 will complete the GX constellation by providing coverage over the Pacific Ocean region.
Etihad Regional debuts new website
Designed to improve the passenger experience, Etihad Regional’s website has been updated to better reflect the airline’s brand.
To develop the new website, the airline undertook research including analysing user feedback of the old website and understanding customer expectations for a revamped website.
“The launch of our new website aligns with our new commercial approach,” explained Christian Schneider, CCO of Etihad Regional. “Our Premium Economy and Economy Class products have been completely refreshed to better fit the needs of our guests, so has our fare concept, which enables guests to pay for the fare that suits them.”
The new fares are ‘easy’, which includes a carry-on bag; ‘essential’, which comes with a checked-in bag; and ‘everything’, which comprises of two checked-in bags, cancellation and refunds, and ticket change fees.
The website is available in four languages - English, German, French and Italian – giving all Central European travellers wishing to travel from Switzerland, Germany, France and Italy the ability to purchase air tickets, check-in online and pre-book additional baggage. They can also scroll through the latest promotions, book car rental and hotel rooms and discover comprehensive information on the destinations to which Etihad Regional flies.
V Air embarks on maiden flight
V Air has successfully completed its inaugural flight, ZV005, from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei to Don Muang Airport in Bangkok.
The flight was operated on the airline’s Airbus A321. After hosting a ceremony in Taipei, V Air’s chairman, Vincent M. Lin; and CEO, Eleni Lung, travelled with the inaugural passengers.
Two people who won a competition to name V Air back in March were also on the flight.
V Air plans to increase its fleet to five aircraft in 2015, launching services to Chiang Mai, Thailand on 7 January 2015.
Virgin America rolls out Gogo ATG-4 in-flight connectivity
Virgin America has announced the installation of Gogo’s ATG-4 in-flight Wi-Fi service across its entire fleet is near completion.
Gogo’s ATG-4 technology offers peak speeds of 9.8 Mbps to each aircraft, more than triple the peak speed of the 3.1 Mbps available when Virgin America installed the first generation of Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi service back in 2007. This has been achieved by introducing directional antennas and dual modems on each aircraft.
Gogo has also deployed EV-DO Rev B technology on its airborne and ground networks for ATG-4, allowing the aggregation of multiple broadband channels, which doubles network capacity.
“Virgin America remains on the cutting edge of offering the best experiences to its passengers and we are excited to continue to work with them on creating a better in-flight Wi-Fi experience,” said Dave Bijur, Gogo’s regional president. “ATG-4 has had a significant impact on the market and we continue to see positive results from this newer technology.”
“Our team looks forward to reaching the milestone of becoming the first airline to install Gogo’s enhanced ATG-4 service across our entire fleet of 53 Airbus A320 family aircraft,” remarked Mark Bianchi, senior VP of technical operations at Virgin America. “This upgrade is the latest in a series of investments aimed at keeping our tech-forward travellers more connected, productive and entertained at 35,000 feet.”
To celebrate the rollout of ATG-4, Virgin America and Gogo are asking passengers to share their best “office in the sky” moment on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #OfficeInTheSky for a chance to win a round trip Main Cabin flight for two on Virgin America, a brand new iPad or complimentary Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi service for one year.
Satcom1 becomes satcoms service provider for Alpha Star
Satcom1 has signed a contract to provide Alpha Star Aviation Services (Alpha Star) fleet of VVIP business aircraft with long-term satellite communications solutions.
Alpha Star, based in Saudi Arabia, has been deploying Satcom1’s high-speed in-flight internet, voice software and consultancy services on its wide-body VVIP aircraft since 2009, but this new agreement marks the formalisation of the relationship between the two companies.
Now, the Alpha Star fleet will also receive technical support for its airborne network design and engineering services, as well as the latest developments in technology.
“Many satcom providers today broaden themselves so much that they forget to inspire the aeronautical segment with innovation or with bringing new technologies or solutions to market,” said Karina Larsen, co-founder and vice president of partnerships at Satcom1. “Satcom1 concentrates on providing unique aero solutions for both cabin and the cockpit. We believe our customers and partners benefit from this business focus.”
“Satcom1 is extremely honoured to partner with Alpha Star. Our services are tailor made and strongly focused on VVIP segment. Customers are our absolute priority and their needs and expectations shape our business portfolio,” explained Satcom1’s CEO, Henrik Zinck (pictured left). “We will make sure that we continue our efforts when it comes to innovation and highly-skilled and proactive customer service in order to bring the best connectivity experience to all Alpha Star’s aircraft.”
Alpha Star’s CEO, Salem Al Muzaini (pictured right), remarked, “It is my great pleasure to re-confirm our trust in Satcom1 and I am looking forward to seeing this co-operation growing. We strongly believe we chose the right partner, which shares the same values and approach when it comes to servicing VVIPs.”
Jet Aviation selects Honeywell’s CMS for Global Express
Jet Aviation Geneva (Jet Aviation) has chosen to employ the Ovation Select cabin management system (CMS) from Honeywell Aerospace (Honeywell) on a Bombardier Global Express corporate jet.
Ovation select allows passengers to control both in-flight entertainment and environmental conditions ─ including lighting, seats, temperature, galley and window shades ─ via a touch-screen interface by the seat or a personal electronic device.
Honeywell’s programme managers and engineers based in both Geneva and the US will provide direct support to Jet Aviation on a daily basis to ensure on-time completion meeting the operator’s requirements. The final delivery of the jet to the customer is projected to be at some point during 2015.
Gogo and AMEX partner on ‘Gogo Preferred Program’
Under a new partnership between Gogo and American Express (AMEX), AMEX Business Platinum card holders have access to 10 complimentary Gogo in-flight internet passes each calendar year.
This benefit is a part of the ‘Gogo Preferred Program,’ a revamped version of the previous offering from the two companies to AMEX Corporate Card Members, currently known as ‘Gogo Fee credit.’ The ‘Gogo Preferred Program’ will be available from early 2015.
“American Express has been a great partner and we’re excited to continue to build on our relationship by offering Business Platinum card members this valuable benefit,” said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo’s chief commercial officer. “Business travellers have come to rely on Gogo to stay productive in-flight, what better way to connect them than by partnering with a company that’s synonymous with business and travel.”
GEE to provide in-flight content services for WestJet’s wireless IFE
WestJet, which is currently in the process of overhauling its in-flight entertainment (IFE) offering, has announced that it has chosen Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) to provide in-flight content, which will be accessed by passengers on their own devices or tablets rented from the airline.
“We’re delighted to enable the deployment of content for WestJet’s wireless IFE programme,” averred Amir Samnani, SVP of content services for GEE. “This is a first for the airline as it has traditionally managed content services in-house. In this strategic relationship with WestJet, we are looking forward to supporting the airline with our extensive expertise in technical services and delivery of wireless content and solutions.”
As part of its long-term agreement to provide WestJet with in-flight content services, GEE will deploy current films and television programmes on the airline’s aircraft as early as 1Q15.
CCC appoints new CTO
Russ Johnson (pictured) is set to join Custom Control Concepts (CCC) as chief technical officer, reporting directly to the company’s CEO, Bill Weaver.
“Johnson’s experience and vision will help lead CCC to the next level of in-flight entertainment and cabin management system product development. Our customers demand the very latest technologies and Russ’ leadership of our technical and product management teams will ensure that we deliver and exceed our customers’ expectations” commented Weaver. “We are very pleased that Russ has joined our team at a time when we are introducing several new technology products for VIP 787 aircraft.”
Over the past 12-years, Johnson has operated his own engineering consulting firm, providing product development and strategy for many of the major in-flight entertainment firms as well as airframe OEMs. During his 25 year career, Johnson also served as director of strategy for Panasonic Avionics and VP of corporate development at Airshow.
Alaska launches new IFE as part of ‘Alaska Beyond’
Alaska Airlines (Alaska) has launched its new ‘Alaska Beyond’ offering, consisting of ‘Alaska Beyond Entertainment’, ‘Alaska Beyond Comfort’ and ‘Alaska Beyond Delicious’.
The introduction of ‘Alaska Beyond Entertainment’ allows passengers travelling on any of the airline’s 50 connected B737 aircraft the ability to stream in-flight entertainment (IFE) to their personal electronic devices (PEDs). All IFE content can be viewed for free until 31 January, at which point some custom content will still remain complimentary, but premium content such as films and TV programmes will be available from $1.99.
Alaska plans to have in-flight Wi-Fi – powered by Gogo Vision – installed on its entire fleet by April 2015. Passengers flying without a PED have the option to rent a video player with pre-loaded content on longer flights, with prices beginning at $8.
Part of the ‘Alaska Beyond Comfort’ offering is access to both standard and USB power outlets located in the seatback in front of each passenger. Today, more than 95% of Alaska's fleet of Boeing 737-800s, 737-900s, and 737-900ERs have power outlets at every seat. Many of Alaska's aircraft also feature the Boeing Sky Interior, which creates a lighter and more spacious cabin.
Finally, ‘Alaska Beyond Delicious’ offers travellers locally-sourced food and beverages including signature entrees designed by award-winning chef Tom Douglas.
Braathens renews Lufthansa Systems flight planning deal
Braathens Aviation will continue to deploy NetLine/Sched, NetLine/Ops++ and NetLine/Crew flight planning software from Lufthansa Systems after deciding to renew its contract with the company for another five years.
The two parties have worked together since 2008. Both of Braathen Aviation’s airlines, Malmö Aviation and Braathens Regional, which operate out of Bromma Airport in Stockholm on Swedish domestic and regional flights, use NetLine/Sched to optimise the operational and commercial aspects of flight planning and provide schedulers with decision-making support. The NetLine/Sched software compares all the possible scheduling options and carries out what-if analyses.
NetLine/Ops++ helps keep the impact of unforeseen, last-minute deviations from the regular flight schedule, whether due to bad weather, technical problems or delays, to a minimum.
Finally, NetLine/Crew will help support Braathens Aviation’s crew management process, from rotation planning to de-briefing activities for individual flights, facilitating the preparation of cost-effective duty rosters that take crew preferences into account.
Air Costa enters into MTU Maintenance Total Engine Care programme
MTU Maintenance has signed a ten year agreement with India’s Air Costa to provide the airline with its Total Engine Care programme, under which MTU will offer exclusive maintenance on the airline’s CF34-8/-10 engines as well as line replacement unit (LRU) management and spare engines.
The CF34-8/-10 engines, which power Air Costa’s Embraer 170 and 190 fleet, will be overhauled at MTU’s Berlin Brandenburg facility, whilst LRU management services will be conducted by MTU Maintenance Canada. Spare engine support will be delivered by MTU Maintenance Leases Services, a joint venture with Japanese Sumitomo Corporation based in Amsterdam, providing integrated leasing solutions to MTU’s MRO customers.
Air Costa, which is MTU’s first Indian customer, recently placed an order for 50 E2 E-Jets from Embraer, making the order the second largest ever by an airline for that aircraft type.
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