The annual Aircraft Interiors Expo saw more than 14,000 visitors this year over its three-day airing in Hamburg, Germany.
The latest innovations in cabin connectivity were shown and discussed, in addition to some incredible interior designs.
Airlines and service providers were asking new questions this year, leading us to believe that in-flight connectivity, as a relatively new requirement for the cabin, is climbing higher on the list of priorities for passengers.
Rockwell Collins’ Jeff Standerski, senior VP, said that the term IFEC (In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity) should be referred to in the future as IFPE (In-Flight Passenger Engagement), demonstrating that the way we are thinking about cabin connectivity is changing.
Rockwell Collins’ ARINC Cabin Connect is certainly moving with the times, offering next-generation connectivity with support for personal electronic devices, and opportunities to increase in-flight revenue and enhance customer service with AirCrew Connect.
Gogo has announced that its IFE connectivity product, Gogo Vision is improving, and has started to ‘return more interesting dollars’ at last.
The company, who supply IFE connectivity solutions for both business and commercial aircraft have admitted that a lot of its content does not get to airlines, as they offer many smaller, independent films and documentaries, and an opt-in functionality for passengers.
As passenger demand increases for cabin connectivity, providers are under pressure to provide superfast connection rates for live streaming. Other providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ Cabin Connect, also deliver the opportunity to operate IFE, and cabin connectivity for passengers and crew via a single installation, and satellite communications networks.
Satcom Direct has announced the validation of its business aviation passenger communications via Inmarsat services over the latest 5F-1 satellite for Jet ConneX.
Inmarsat Jet ConneX promises to deliver enhanced capabilities for the world’s business aircraft passengers as demands increase for connectivity.
Other providers of Inmarsat services exclusively for business aircraft, such as Rockwell Collins’ ARINCDirect, look forward to providing their customers with the ability to use personal devices from their seats in the aircraft with superfast speeds comparable to those on the ground.
Acropolis Aviation, Farnborough, UK-based luxury Airbus charter provider, has received EASA approval for upgraded on-board Wifi and IFE systems.
Using a Rockwell Collins Skybox solution, Acropolis Aviation will be able to offer its passengers secure aircraft internet, in partnership with Satcom Direct’s SkyTicket.
Acropolis Aviation are pleased to offer the upgraded service and have enjoyed a ‘good working relationship’ with both companies.
Virgin America’s passengers will soon be able to make the most of their Netflix membership during flights thanks to a new partnership agreement between the airline and the online media provider.
Using the aircraft’s onboard WiFi, Netflix programmes will be accessible via live streaming to passenger’s personal devices at no additional cost.
Airline connectivity is a booming market as passenger demand grows and competitive packages increase in availability across the industry. Faster WiFi via the latest satellite technology enables the opportunity for live streaming and improved access for passengers using their mobile devices.
Inmarsat, the British satellite company that sprang into the headlines earlier this year when they aided the search for lost Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, have said that they have conducted tests that show the possibilities for tracking flights at 15 minute intervals without the need for elevated costs.
The tests, conducted with Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia, highlighted that current technology is capable of identifying aircraft positioning every 15 minutes, effectively supporting the ICAO plan to scrap current 30-40 minute reporting intervals.
Inmarsat suggested that 15-minute reporting intervals are possible without raising costs, creating a ‘good balance’ between monitoring requirements, limitations of the system installed and the cost of operation.
As the demand for passenger connectivity soars, Gogo have announced that it has received Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for its latest 2Ku satellite service. They are hoping for a successful launch later this year for commercial aircraft.
Passengers on commercial planes today want to be able to use the internet onboard and the competition is hotting up amongst the providers.
Rockwell Collins’ Cabin Connect, powered by Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and with plans for the additional speed capabilities of GX later this year, allows for live streaming, video calling and surfing the internet from the passenger’s seat on the aircraft.
The video below shows how.