Virgin Atlantic opts for Inmarsat’s GX
Inmarsat announced that its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution is now available to customers on-board the first of Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A350 aircraft. The service became available when Virgin Atlantic operated its inaugural Airbus A350-1000 flight from London to New York with the airline offering free access to GX Aviation for the next month, allowing passengers to browse the Internet, check social media, instant message and more across their devices. Virgin Atlantic is scheduled to receive 12 Airbus A350-1000s over the next three years. All of the aircraft will be installed with GX Aviation. Inmarsat’s partner Deutsche Telekom, which is already the Internet service provider on Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 and Airbus A330 fleets, has also been selected for the same role on the airline’s new Airbus A350 fleet.
Satcom Direct maintains top spot in survey
Satcom Direct, a business aviation solutions provider, said it maintained its first place position in the cabin electronics category for the past five years in the Aviation International News survey. The company achieved average 8.4 rating for this year, up 0.2 from the 2018 results. Satcom got high marks for warranty fulfilment, technical manuals and overall product reliability. The company’s technical reps scored a 9.0, the highest of any of the rankings in the segment.
Airbus starts in-flight trials of ‘connected cabin’ tech
Airbus has commenced in-flight trials of connected-cabin technologies on-board an A350-900 Flight Lab aircraft, claiming to be the first aircraft manufacturer to undertake such flight-testing of actual connected-cabin innovations. The platform, known as the Airspace Connected Experience, was unveiled at the APEX Expo last year. The Flight Lab is one of the original A350-900 certification flight-test aircraft – MSN002 – and is fitted with an Airspace cabin that now serves as the platform to evaluate the new connected-cabin technologies in flight. An initial set of working elements have been installed that include: prototypes of the connected iSeat (Recaro), the Connected Galley (gategroup), a remote wireless cabin management control system, a large OLED display and importantly, the first step of Airbus’ new “IoT backbone” which includes an open software platform.
Plaza Premium lounge added at Mactan Cebu International Airport
Plaza Premium Lounge has added a new facility at the domestic arrivals area at Terminal 1 of Mactan Cebu International Airport in the Philippines. The lounge is the second location in the airport following the first Plaza Premium Lounge at Terminal 2 in the International Departures area. “Terminal 1 is undergoing a total renovation plan that will complement Terminal 2’s resort-airport design concept and will provide an enhanced travel experience for the airport users. As we usher these improvements, we are glad to have Plaza Premium Lounge on board to establish its second lounge at Mactan Cebu International Airport. We strongly believe the synergy built will continue to elevate the travel experience for our passengers,” commented by Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, chief executive advisor of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation.
Locatory.com investing US$10 million in engine-stand leasing business
Locatory.com, an aviation IT company primarily acting as an aircraft parts locator and a part of Avia Solutions Group, has announced they have started investing in the leasing of aircraft engine stands globally and plan to invest US$10 million in the business in the next five years. “Our company just started the business after realising that there is a gap in the market. We understand that owning engine stands might be a luxury for many MROs and airlines, thus we decided to implement this project and invest over US$10 million to its growth and the variety of stands. We start with the most popular ones and the most important part of it – we partnered with one of the leading certified engine-stand manufacturers to ensure the highest quality of our product. Besides that, we will make the process smart by adding extra convenience and efficiency to the regular market standards,” says Dainius Meilunas, CEO at Locatory.com. The company partnered with AGSE for their stand manufacturing. They will start its service by providing two options – stands for CFM56A/B and CFM56-7 engines. The company will offer worldwide shipping services for all leasing orders. The first operations already started in Europe and will advance soon enough as the first orders are being planned for Asia in 2019.
ANA upgrades SITAONAIR Wi-Fi portal
All Nippon Airways (ANA) has begun equipping selected Boeing B777-300ER aircraft with SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR Wi-Fi portal, powered by GX Aviation. In partnership with JSAT MOBILE Communications Inc. (JSAT MOBILE), SITAONAIR has boosted ANA’s major upgrade for passengers, through the deployment of its Internet ONAIR Wi-Fi portal over Inmarsat’s Ka-band satellite network. The solution will provide ANA passengers with seamless, reliable and secure internet connectivity, anywhere in the world.