News and views plus a flooze and vibrant hues

A lot of IFE&C&I (in-flight entertainment and connectivity and interiors) stuff is piling up around me and so a “news and views” blog is in order. Please excuse my made-up acronym. It is useful for this little exercise.

Firstly, I’m delighted to report that I’ve received a number of answers in the affirmative to my 18 December question: “Can we sleep together?” 

 

Thank you for your direct email responses. I will take all genuine offers under advisement and consideration (I’m a single gal, after all).

Summer Slumbers.jpgAll joking aside, ahem, that blog questioned whether the collective “we” can sleep side by side in a civilized fashion on stacked sleeper seats in economy class (no legs akimbo, thanks).

It seems that many of you are willing to give it a try. A good thing too, since MmilleniumM Group has finally erected a web site about its AirSleeper solution. Check it out at www.airsleeper.info

If the akimbo bit is too much to ask, maybe you should be in Las Vegas. In addition to its Sin City reputation, Las Vegas also happens to be where International CES gets kicked off tomorrow through 11 January. 

Personally, I’d love to be present for the one-on-one session with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Kevin Martin. Apparently American Airlines is also holding a round-table discussion on in-flight technology for tech-bloggers. But alas, this journa-blogger will not be there. In spirit, my friends, in spirit.

Now what else is going on? Oh yes, JetBlue Airways subsidiary LiveTV reports that it closed its acquisition of Airfone from Verizon on 1 January.

Additionally, it says “progress continues towards installation and certification” of LTV3 on Continental Airlines’ Boeing narrowbodies. The first aircraft featuring the new system is expected to enter service in February, according to Continental.

Okay then, did you know that Virgin America was created in a loft in SoHo, New York amongst 15 people? “Richard Branson had an idea to start a US airline and had an idea to start something that wasn’t just an airline, something that was revolutionary. So Richard came along and wasn’t able to start an airline in the US. He found out that they were very, in terms of a regulatory framework in the US, very restrictive for foreign ownership being able to start it up”, Charles Ogilvie told attendees at the PSFK Conference Asia.

Explaining the reason why Virgin America uses that funky purple hue for mood lighting, Ogilvie notes that when you’re in a plane, you “usually look like you’re sick, like you’re going to vomit”.

Check out his entire speech here (the sexy Asian flight attendants bit is interesting in a pro-discrimination-if-it’s-legal sort of way) and then read on.  

Ogilvie, the creative force behind Virgin America’s signature “Red” IFE system, left the low-cost carrier last year to return to his former employer, Panasonic, as head of the firm’s IFE strategy in China.

Speaking of China, Panasonic is still working on a new date to formally open its new Shanghai office. We should know more soon.

And if you are in any way interested in foreign ownership issues, the likes of which were referenced by Ogilvie, then check out my new interview with John ByerlyUS deputy assistant secretary of state for transportation affairs and the country’s chief negotiator on Open Skies.

(Photo of Summer Slumber above by Shawnisa)  

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