The AIX 2018 connectivity round-up
The annual Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) provides a useful snapshot of the latest innovations for aviation passengers, covering everything from cabin interiors to inflight entertainment. Much of the excitement during this year’s show revolved around connectivity, and it’s clear that IFC was fundamental to many of the developments on display.
For Inmarsat it was a chance to connect with the industry, announce some great new partnerships and give first-hand demos of its connectivity capabilities.
Let’s take a look at the major talking points.
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After much hard work, Inmarsat opened not one but two interactive stands – the first to showcase its range of services, and the second, to reveal the European Aviation Network (EAN) live in action alongside its European partners.
Here’s Inmarsat’s Dominic Walters to walk you through the impressive stand at AIX 2018…
Take a stroll around our stunning stand at #AIX18 with Inmarsat’s Dominic Walters, where he reveals the cutting edge of inflight connectivity. In town for the event? Join us at stand 2A10 pic.twitter.com/OpvrGIHR2O— Inmarsat (@InmarsatGlobal) April 10, 2018
Our APEX hosts were given a tour of the EAN stand by Inmarsat’s Frederik van Essen.
"APEX@" VIDEO interview. https://t.co/Gza8RouL04 @InmarsatGlobal's Frederick van Essen guides us through EAN demo in the IFEC zone at #AIX18. Cheers to @WestEntLLC for making our #AIX2018 possible. #PaxEx #avgeek @theAPEXassoc pic.twitter.com/t5fAP2Pdve— Maryann Simson (@JetwayMJ) April 12, 2018
Plus here’s aviation expert Seth Miller touring the EAN live demonstration, including the ‘tiny antenna’.
Join me for a walk through the #EAN booth at #AIX18 to see the components in action. With a real S-Band LTE link as part of the connection. #paxex #EuropeanAviationNetwork @InmarsatGlobal @Telekom_group pic.twitter.com/OfnjnHJ4Tw— Seth Miller (@WandrMe) April 12, 2018
...saw Inmarsat celebrate the 250th installation of GX Aviation, which is particularly impressive given the inflight broadband solution only entered commercial service less than a year ago. The lucky number 250 was an Air New Zealand aircraft – and there’s a more than 1,050 additional aircraft from a number of other airlines earmarked for fitting with Inmarsat’s next-gen inflight broadband solutions.
Users have been giving good reviews of their experiences with GX Aviation…
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Demand for connectivity in the Middle East continues to ramp up as Kuwait Airlines signs a deal to use GX Aviation in partnership with SITAONAIR, across the airline’s new A320 and A321 Neo aircraft fleet.
Elsewhere, the value of passenger data has become a hot topic.
As more aircraft become 'connected', who should own and who should access the data they provide? OEMs, airlines, passengers, everyone? Representatives from @LHTechnik, @Gogo and @airtransat discuss predictive maintenance and the connected aircraft at #AIX18. #PaxEx #avgeeks pic.twitter.com/BSrm6HmtlR— Aircraft Interiors (@aix_expo) April 11, 2018
Here’s Inmarsat’s Asbjorn Christoffersen talking about the revenue opportunities that IFC data presents for airlines…
“Data is [here] to create revenue opportunities and transform the airline industry,” says Inmarsat’s Asbjorn Christoffersen. We’re at #AIX18 all week – and ready to answer all your IFC questions. pic.twitter.com/c87t1PlbDk— Inmarsat (@InmarsatGlobal) April 10, 2018
Airlines now have a greater opportunity to own more of the passenger experience through data from social and customer interactions.
An airline has the opportunity to pull data from social, TripAdvisor and many others to check-in with an individual's #passengerexperience. Bruce Randall from @SAPHybris talking about the importance of the end-to-end travel experience #PEC2018 #AIX18 #PaxEx #Aviation pic.twitter.com/fdpQ6IkacC— Aircraft Interiors (@aix_expo) April 9, 2018
In a panel of industry leaders, connectivity was cited as an essential part of the mix of future IFE
The future of #IFE with @BlueboxAviation, @VoeGOLoficial, @LHTechnik, @SmallPlanetAir, @Gogo, @QatarAirways, @ViasatInc. Airlines must have flexibility to provide choice to the passenger - embedded & wireless IFE, & connectivity will all be part of the mix. #AIX18 #PaxEx #avgeek pic.twitter.com/WMw8G1L83C— Aircraft Interiors (@aix_expo) April 10, 2018
There was news too from Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell Aerospace, with the launch of its Aspire 400 system.
The passenger demand for inflight connectivity continues apace with the world’s largest international carrier, Emirates, exceeding one million Wi-Fi sessions in March alone.
...saw Turkish Technic and HAVELSEN sign an agreement with Inmarsat to provide GX Aviation – and a truly integrated world-class IFEC solution – to one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world.
As our #GXAviation inflight broadband joins forces with @Turkish_Technic and @HAVELSANResmi inflight entertainment system, we will create a truly integrated world-class IFEC solution for the region pic.twitter.com/yCQS9YMbup— Inmarsat (@InmarsatGlobal) April 12, 2018
Inmarsat also made an exciting announcement about a collaboration with Citilink, the Indonesian low-cost carrier, as well as MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik who will unite to build ‘infrastructure in the sky’ for Indonesia.
Inmarsat will play its part by providing the award-winning high-speed GX Aviation inflight broadband service to enable Citilink to offer its customers ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) connectivity.
See how Inmarsat builds "infrastructure in the sky" for Indonesia with #GXAviation, in partnership with @Citilink, Mahata Aero Teknologi, @LH_Systems and @LHTechnik #AIX18 #BringItOn https://t.co/AuJBeLK2k4 pic.twitter.com/pSZlHY2UfE— Inmarsat (@InmarsatGlobal) April 12, 2018
GX Aviation has been a big story for aviation, and over AIX it continued to deliver excellent reviews.
As Inmarsat’s Frederik van Essen said at a media roundtable: “Airlines are queuing up to get it on their aircraft and GX has won 12 awards so far in 2017 and 2018. It is great to see the recognition GX is getting in the marketplace.”
And as we bid goodbye to AIX for another year, we thought we’d leave you with a light-hearted roundup of just how much the industry is looking to transform the onboard experience – courtesy of BBC reporter Aaron Hestlehurst.