With the bulk of the global 737 MAX fleet grounded the impact to passengers is very real. Canceled flights, delays and rebookings will affect hundreds of thousands of travelers each day. Airlines are already lining up leased aircraft to replace the grounded planes and at least on airline made it clear that they would seek compensation from Boeing for the costs of the replacement service.
Airline partners are also affected by the groundings, as their systems and services remain grounded with the planes. In the inflight wifi connectivity world nearly everyone is feeling the impact of the move to halt 737 MAX flights around the globe. The relatively low number of grounded planes means the financial impact should be limited, but it is happening.
Here’s a breakdown by supplier of affected systems.
- flyDubai operates 10 737 MAX frames, both the –8 and –9 types.
- Jet Airways might eventually install the Global Eagle system on its MAX fleet, along with the rest of its 737s. As the carrier continues to ground aircraft (its MAXen are not operating due to lease nonpayment) it is unclear that the installations will ever happen, though Global Eagle is ready to deliver.
- GOL operates 6 MAX 8 aircraft; one has the 2Ku kit installed with the others pending.
- Norwegian just recently began installations of the GX Aviation solution, with integration provided by Collins Aerospace. The carrier operates 18 MAX but not all are online yet.
- Garuda is expected to install Inmarsat’s service on its MAX fleet eventually, though that work has not yet begun. Integration (and financing) will be provided by Mahata Aero Technology.
- SpiceJet is also expected to install the Inmarsat service. Neither the carrier nor Inmarsat have named the integration partner involved.
- Fiji Airways’ newest pair of MAX planes carry the PAC eXConnect kit on board.
- Turkish Airlines chose the PAC solution for its MAX fleet.
- WestJet also operates with the PAC hardware on its MAX planes.
- While still not officially active or even announced as a customer the Air Canada MAX fleet has a couple Thales radomes installed.
- Aeromexico‘s MAX fleet carries the Viasat solution.
- Icelandair has been inching ever closer to activating the Viasat solution on its first 737 MAX 8, with proving flights earlier this month. That work is now suspended.
In the United States the MAX remains active. Those planes also represent the bulk of the connected MAX aircraft in service. While it is unlikely that the FAA will change its position without new evidence some unions are pushing for the aircraft to be grounded. Should that happen Viasat faces the largest pool of planes out of service; its system operates on the United and American planes. Global Eagle powers the inflight wifi for Southwest Airlines.