Starting from 2013, Air France will offer for free to its passengers digital versions of several newspapers and magazines on their tablets or smartphones. In order to define future services, the company requested the opinion of its passengers: for several weeks now, a large panel of frequent travellers have been questioned about their expectations and opinions in an aim to determine the main lines of a more upmarket positioning of the company’s products and services.
The company will first make tablets with those newspaper available in airports. It will later on allow passengers to download the newspapers and magazines of the day.
The safety pilot has his hands off the controls during an Xwing demonstration flight. Image Credits: Xwing Xwing has scored another win two months after it completed its first gate-to-gate autonomous demonstration flight of a commercial cargo aircraft. The company said Thursday it has raised $40 million at a post-money valuation of $400 million. The company is setting its sights on expansion — not only tripling its engineering team, but eventually running regular fully unmanned commercial cargo flights. Xwing has been developing a technology stack to convert aircraft, including a widely used Cessna Grand Caravan 208B, to function autonomously. But it’s had to solve a few problems first: “the perception problem, the planning problem and the control problem,” Xwing founder Marc Piette explained to TechCrunch. The company has come up with a whole suite of solutions to solve for these problems, including integrating lidar, radar and cameras on the plane; retrofitting the servomotors that
Sea-Tac Airport, it’s not just for travelers anymore. On Friday, the Port of Seattle launched a program allowing visitors past security, even if they aren’t booked on a flight, to greet loved ones at their gate or to see them off. The visitors — up to 50 each day — can also dine at one of the airport’s restaurants or shop in the so-called air-side area of its terminal. The “SEA Visitor Pass” program allows those without tickets to reach the domestic-travel gates provided they meet Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements, according to the Port of Seattle. Sea-Tac is one of the first airports in the nation to reintroduce the practice since it was suspended in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The program gives visitors access to passenger-only areas that lie beyond the security checkpoints run by the federal government. “For me it is nostalgic,” Lance Lyttle, managing director at Sea-Tac, said by phone. “As a child I used to go to the airport and watch lo