Nov 23, 2021

FTS signs agreement to launch the first Digital Aircraft Pilot Program for Shandong Airlines Boeing 737 fleet in China

Beijing, China – 23 Nov 2021 – On November 18th 2021, Shandong Airlines and FTS signed a cooperation agreement to formally launch the first domestic Digital Aircraft pilot project for this Boeing only airline fleet. This is the pilot deployment of FTS with full hardware and software solutions to digitalization of Shandong Airlines Boeing 737 fleet, including multiple stages of aircraft modification, airworthiness certification, applications verification and final flight testing.  The first aircraft is expected to be modified and enter into service in the middle of 2022.

As part of this collaboration, the two parties will jointly build a “Digital Aircraft Innovation Lab”, with goals of incubating digital aircraft innovations, training of talent, and continue to explore new scenarios and operational models. The project is leveraging on China’s own High Throughput satellites for air-to-ground high-speed data transmission.  The Lab is planned to function as a resource integrator for various ecosystem players – local tech startups, system integrators and even global partners to co-create solutions for digital aviation, from idea generation to testing to commercialization.


More and more airlines are now embracing the concept of Digital Aircraft. This refers to enabling high speed air to ground broadband connectivity in both the flight deck and passenger cabin, providing seamless data transmission services and collaboration between the Digital Aircraft and ground operations networks.  Airlines can harness real-time data to produce insights that can enhance flight safety and efficiency, reduce operational disruptions, improve passenger experiences, and make real-time decisions regarding fleet health.


As one of the world’s major civil aviation hubs, China sees digital transformation as the necessary way to lay down the infrastructure foundation for sustaining growth in aviation.  The Chinese authorities and regulators have convened and proposed a national framework of Digital Aircraft solutions to guide and oversee the accelerated deployment of digital transformation of its domestic airlines to improve operational safety, optimize costs and improved passenger experiences.


About Shandong Airlines
Shandong Airlines is a key airline in China and has established an impressive fleet comprising of 134 Boeing-737 family of aircraft. The airline has always pride itself by emphasizing “Safety assurance, Attention to efficiency, Strive for punctuality, and Quality in service”. The Digital Aircraft strategy is a critical initiative for Shandong Airlines to significantly enhance its service capabilities adopt digital transformation. It is now serving more than 200 air routes, over 3700 flights to more than 80 destinations every week.


News Nov 23, 2021