AeroMobile’s In-Flight 3G Takes Off on Board SIA’s First A350
Singapore Airlines and AeroMobile have launched the world’s first connected Airbus A350. The 3G wireless data service, which enables Internet browsing via mobile devices, was made available to passengers on board the inaugural flight of SIA’s latest wide-body aircraft from Singapore to Amsterdam. Further A350s entering the Southeast Asian carrier’s fleet will also be equipped with the in-flight connectivity service. “We’re excited to be expanding our current connected fleet with our first ever A350. Asia is a key area of growth for us, and we’re pleased Singapore Airlines continues to see the value of facilitating in-flight connectivity for its customers,” says Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.
Mile-High Pub: KLM Partners With Heineken to Serve Draft Beer at 35,000 Feet
KLM has partnered with Heineken to begin offering in-flight draft beer. Starting next month, the Dutch flag carrier will introduce a custom-made bar cart specifically designed for pouring the perfect pint at 35,000 feet. The airline worked alongside the Netherlands-based brewery to develop a beer keg and dispenser that work at high altitude. “Because the air pressure is so much lower in an airplane than at sea level, a traditional beer tap will not work as it will only dispense a huge amount of foam,” says Edwin Griffioen, Heineken. “We do have dispensers that work on air pressure, but these were too big to fit in a plane. It was one big jigsaw puzzle.”
Gulf Air Opts for Thales AVANT IFE on Board Upcoming Fleet
Gulf Air has selected Thales’ AVANT in-flight entertainment system for its new fleet of Boeing 787-900s and Airbus A320/1neos. The Android-based IFE platform will be equipped with AVANT high-definition displays and installed on board the upcoming 39 aircraft, which will begin scheduled delivery in 2018. The Bahraini flag carrier’s business-class cabins will be equipped with Thales’ Touch Passenger Media Unit, allowing passengers to multitask on a second screen. “With Thales AVANT IFE system, passengers now have greater entertainment options on board,” says Maher Salman Al Musallam, Gulf Air’s CEO.
Unveiled at Farnborough: Sukhoi’s SportJet Is a Team Player
Sukhoi’s SportJet concept – unveiled yesterday at the Farnborough International Airshow and slated for certification in 2018 – enables athletes to fully recover from a previous game and prepare psychologically and physiologically for the next one while in flight. “SportJet by Sukhoi is a kind of diagnostic and recovery center,” says Evgeny Andrachnikov, senior vice-president of Commerce at Sukhoi. “A set of procedures will be provided to the passengers of SportJet, neutralizing the influence of negative factors associated with flight.”
Superjumbo Me: Airbus to Launch A380 Flight Booking Search Engine
Airbus is set to launch a new online travel search engine that would allow travelers to book flights on the A380. The aerospace company partnered with 12 A380 operators to develop iflya380.com. Users will enter their departure and destination airports, dates, number of travelers and preferred class to generate a list of flights on A380s. After selecting a flight, customers will be redirected to the website of the operating airline. “Booking systems today do not allow passengers to easily choose their preferred aircraft, and we decided to fill that gap by easing the access to the iconic A380 aircraft for everybody,” says Marc Fontaine, Digital Transformation officer at Airbus.
Passengers Begin Checking in at JetBlue’s Redesigned JFK T5 Lobby
JetBlue has officially opened a new check-in area inside JFK’s Terminal 5 building. The redesigned lobby offers 75 percent more space and features over 70 interactive self-service kiosks, self-service bag tagging options and a dozen bag drop locations. “Some airlines see self-service as a cost-saving initiative, but we see this as an opportunity to increase service,” says Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s EVP of Customer Experience. “There’s no real value in having an airline staff person print a bag tag, but we can add value in a way customers want, expect and don’t even know they need.”.