May 2015

May was a busy month. There were exciting developments in the skies, including the reveal of Singapore Airlines’ long-awaited Premium Economy cabin, which I was fortunate enough to see in person. The final product was far better than pictures can communicate, and I expect it will do very well.
Here’s a list of the other trends in aviation which I covered this month:

Asiana-First-with-IFE-at-Night

 

Inflight Entertainment (IFE) has become the predominant differentiator for airlines, regardless of their business model. This makes lots of sense with cabin space tightening, though I’m starting to wonder how long that will continue–more on that in the coming months. Another developing trend is for Inflight Connectivity (IFC) to complement and enhance IFE through live streaming. This feature, along with the benefits of connected aircraft to airlines–potentially making aircraft maintenance and operations more efficient–is bound to make onboard Wi-Fi more common and powerful over the next five years. Exciting times. And should we worry about someone hacking IFE to mess with aircraft? Absolutely! But not so much.

4 ways the aviation industry hopes to distract you from cabin crush, CNN

Are the Skies Ready for Fully Immersive 3-D Passenger Entertainment? Skift

It was an AvGeek treat speaking with FlightRadar24’s CEO, Fredrik Lindahl about the growth of the ultimate intelligent resource on the skies. In case you’re wondering, he’s a very clever and very likeable man.

Fredrik Lindahl, CEO, Flightradar24

ANA Makes Its Dreamliner Experience Stellar with Panasonic Live TV, APEX Digital

American Airlines Amps Up Its In-Flight Entertainment, APEX Digital

6 Innovative In-Flight Technologies Keeping Passengers Distracted, Skift

High-Speed Wi-Fi on Connected Planes Will Fly Sooner Than You Think, Skift

Hacking In-Flight Entertainment Is Harder Than Hackers Would Have You Believe, Skift

As a writer, I am especially fascinated by the developing trend of publishers and book distributors partnering with airlines and airports to distribute books, newspapers, and–in the case of Amazon–other entertainment content.

I suspect it is this sort of brand partnership that will pay the bill for those pricey radome antennae on planes and massive upgrades in Wi-Fi infrastructure at Terminals. It could generate nice revenue for airlines and airports to boot.

Inmarsat_Global_Xpress_-_changing_the_future_for_us_all_-_YouTube

JetBlue to Keep In-Flight Wi-Fi Free, Thanks to Amazon Prime, Skift

Simon & Schuster and Foli Wi-fly e-Books to an Airport Near You, APEX Digital

Kobo and Southwest Airlines Take the Weight Off In-Flight Reading, APEX Digital

There were other interesting developments in design, branding, and social media. 

In-Flight Food Service Company Looks to Sushi Automats for Inspiration, Skift

Emirates Fly With Me Monsters Kids Toys

Australian airline amenities supplier, Buzz, makes me wish I were 10 again:

Turning Airline Amenity Kits Into Brand-Building Weapons, Skift

The New Aircraft Design That Could Solve Boarding Nightmares, Skift

The Favorite Plane of Low-Cost Carriers Gets a Private Jet Makeover, Skift

United’s Improvements Could Make LAX One of the World’s Priciest Airports, Skift

American Airlines’ In-Flight Indie Music Experiment Pays off in Social Media Love, Skift

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Getting to know the new Singapore Airlines Premium Economy cabin.

As I pointed out here on Flight Chic: it is not only modern and comfortable, but exceptionally well crafted.

Singapore Airlines’ New Premium Economy Class Was Worth the Wait, Skift

The Best Feature of Singapore’s Premium Economy We Weren’t Expecting, Skift

Man Using Free Wi-Fi at Oslo Airport/Avinor
Man Using Free Wi-Fi at Oslo Airport/Avinor

And other developments in aviation technology, including valuable insights from SITA:

Boingo and Sprint Partner to Make Wi-Fi Seamless at 35 Major U.S. Airports, Skift

Survey: Passengers Want Simpler Tech Solutions From Airports and Airlines, Skift

How SITA Measures Travel Tech’s “Feel Good” Factor, APEX Digital

And the seemingly never-ending Open Skies battle rages on in the US:

Etihad’s New Open Skies Tactic: Sports Sponsorships, Brand USA Partnership in Open Skies Fight, Skift

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There was also tasty fun behind-the-scenes in aviation.

I never tire of learning just how complex the logistics of commercial aviation can be. It is a beautiful industry for many reasons, not the least of which is its ability to get billions of little things right every day so that millions of us can enjoy the pleasures of floating in the clouds.

Secrets of Airline Catering Kitchens Serving 100,000 Meals Per Day, Skift

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