APEX Insight: APEX Media is on-site at the 2017 Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, covering the latest in passenger experience news. Here are the top headlines from day two on the tradeshow floor.
Acumen and Zodiac Come Up With an Optima Solution
Just when it seemed that every possible business-class seating configuration had been created, the creative wizards at London-based Acumen Design Associates came up with a new one that ticked all the boxes. On Tuesday at AIX, Zodiac Seat unveiled the Optima solution, based on Acumen’s new layout. This concept builds on Acumen’s decades-long innovative design work, which includes the world’s first lie-flat seat for British Airways in 1996. Read more.
Recaro Secures Major Deals With Alaska Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines
Recaro has announced that Alaska Airlines will be the launch customer of its new domestic first-class seat, the CL4710. The seat will be installed on the airline’s Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Recaro has also received a major order from Shenzhen Airlines for CL5710 business-class seats and BL3530 economy-class seats to be linefit on 37 Boeing 737 MAXs and retrofit on 14 Airbus A320s.
ViaSat Launches Second-Generation Equipment for Satellite Platforms
ViaSat has announced upgrades to its in-flight connectivity hardware that will take full advantage of the company’s anticipated space-segment capacity increases from the soon-to-be-launched ViaSat-2 and the future ViaSat-3 constellation. From the antenna to the onboard server, ViaSat’s Gen-2 upgrades will be forward and backward compatible with its current platforms, will support the full Ka-band spectrum and will be compatible with other Ka-band satellites.
SITAONAIR to Deploy 3.5G Mobile Network Over GX Aviation
SITAONAIR will be deploying a 3.5G mobile network over Inmarsat’s high-speed broadband satellite connectivity, GX Aviation, which will be available to airlines by the end of this year. Mobile operators will be able to offer passengers unlimited data bundles, simplifying billing through capped costs. Airlines will also be able to boost ancillary revenues by monetizing the cellular service.
Embraer Selects Panasonic IFE for the E-Jet E2
Embraer has announced that it has selected Panasonic Avionics to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity for the E-Jet E2, the second generation of its E-Jet family of commercial aircraft. “Panasonic offered a world-class solution for wireless IFE and global broadband connectivity systems aboard the E-Jet E2,” said Fernando Antonio Oliveira, director of the E-Jet E2 program.
AirFi Lands Six New Customers Thanks to APEX Community
Portable in-flight Wi-Fi platform provider AirFi announced six new aviation customers at AIX this week. Aramco Aviation, Cobalt, Freebird, SalamAir, Tailwind and Yakutia airlines will use AirFi’s portable wireless IFE and connected crew retail EPOS solutions. AirFi CEO Job Heimerikx credits last year’s APEX EXPO for this win: “Making exhibitors feel part of the community is something that APEX does very well. We’re growing very fast in Asia thanks to last year’s event in Singapore.” Read more.
Spafax Enhances Pre-Flight Experience With Amazon Alexa
Spafax has announced an Amazon Alexa skill for its entertainment personalization platform, Profile. The skill allows passengers to ask Alexa, a voice-controlled personal assistant, what movies will be playing and what languages a movie is available in. “The Spafax Profile skill will further enhance the pre-flight experience, a key point of contact between airlines and their customers,” said Kevin Birchmore, director of Sales, Technical Products and Solutions, Spafax.
WestJet Becomes First Customer to Use Farelogix’s New NDC Pricing Engine
WestJet was today announced as the first customer actively using FLX Shop & Price, Farelogix’s latest NDC pricing and shopping engine. The next-generation platform enables the Canadian carrier to use dynamic pricing to modify ATPCO fares. “By taking control of its offer using next-generation technology for shopping, WestJet is better positioned to compete for customers, react to competition and improve revenue management,” said Jim Davidson, CEO of Farelogix.
Phitek and Telefonix Unveil Hardware to Support Next-Gen IFE
Phitek and Telefonix have each introduced new hardware at AIX. Phitek unveiled a digital audio jack using its patented Magnetic Jack Unit (MJU) technology. The addition of digital audio, combined with Phitek’s next generation of digital headphones, enables a new range of features such as 3-D Surround sound, gesture control and biometric wellness sensing. Telefonix unveiled CabinACe-2, the industry’s first 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless access point for the aircraft cabins.