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IMS EMEA Newsletter Issue 5 - May 2011

 

ARINC Chief looks to EMEA and Asia-Pacific for growth

 

Vol5-2ARINC Chief Executive John Belcher expects the company to continue its 12-year record of annual double-digit revenue and earnings growth. And he’s depending on the recently created International Division – bringing together the EMEA and Asia-Pacific operations under a UK-based HQ – to provide a lot of the momentum that will carry revenues beyond today’s figures of over $1 billion.

"We did well last year, thanks in large part to our globalisation and diversification efforts,” he said. “Our total international activity now accounts for a significant proportion of our revenues. We see it strengthening further to become an even more powerful engine of future growth and propel us to more good results over the next five years.”

Belcher points to airports as one of the sectors that helped the company to fly clear of the global downturn. “I don’t think the state of the economy has really hit the airports at all,” he said. “Show me a major airport that has shut down in the past ten years. We have diversified our service offerings by implementing a hosted Local Departure Control System (L-DCS) service from the EMEA data centre. And our first contracted customer for vMuse enterprise is now onboard, benefitting from all the functionalities of vMuse for regional airports without the requirement for costly on-site servers and associated infrastructure.”

One of the ways that ARINC’s International Division is pursuing the opportunities presented by the resilient airports sector is its Airport Technology Centre.

“The International Division serves some of the most technologically advanced airlines and airports in the world,” said Belcher. “So we’ve entrusted the Airport Technology Centre, formerly the Airport Factory, to the division, which along with the Global Product Management group are now the custodians of our products and services for this sector. We’re meeting our customers’ requirements - those that are immediate and those that are on the horizon. But we also have a roadmap for where we are going over the next three to five years.”

Potential new airport offerings include offsite check-in systems at hotels and other locations, and ‘micro-FIDS’ mobile flight information systems.

“Travelling by air can be challenging at the moment – we want to help fix that,” said Belcher. “Picture yourself showing up with your family and several pieces of luggage at a rental facility to drop your car off at the end of your holiday. We want to be able to take your bags off your hands, give you your luggage tags and boarding passes, and send you into the airport for your trip home in a much more relaxed state.”

In the van there would be a wireless micro-FIDS showing such things as the passengers’ gate and updated departure information. “We have trialled this at Las Vegas and Orlando airports and are now talking to two car rental companies about operational implementations,” said Belcher.

We continue to innovate in other areas throughout the company. Our Aviation Solutions business area is working with Cathay Pacific on the use of Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) to facilitate in-flight commerce and other cabin and operational functions. “We supplied end-to-end communications and data management for their trial last year and hope to go on contributing as the airline moves towards an operational programme,” Belcher commented.

ARINC’S established aviation offerings include its worldwide VHF air-to-ground datalink network and the ARINC Direct service for business and VIP operators.

“We continue to grow our market share and are investing significant amounts in new ground sites as we capture more of the leading airlines,” said Belcher. “Take-up of ARINC Direct’s flight-planning and other offerings continues to grow – we now support more than 2,200 aircraft worldwide.”

Among the regional markets firmly in the International Division’s sights is China, where ARINC is the exclusive VHF datalink service provider.

“On the airport side, we’re working with partners there to see how we can best contribute to modernising the nation’s infrastructure,” Belcher revealed. “We already serve Hong Kong and a couple of smaller airports. Now we’re going after more of the bigger airports.”

Further success in China would swell an already impressive order book. “We feel very comfortable about the volume of work coming our way,” Belcher concluded. “We’ve got a very robust pipeline for all the activities driven by the International Division – airports, airlines and others. The world isn’t going to stop travelling, and we’re going to keep on providing our airports and airline customers with applications that will continue to help them be more profitable and provide their customers with innovative services.”

 

 

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A Departure Control System (DCS) is fundamental to the daily business of an airline. It acts as the clearing house for a range of tasks that have to be completed before a plane-load of passengers can board and be on their way – check-in, the issue of boarding passes and luggage tags, load control and more.

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