Welcome to this edition of the PaxEx Update, bringing you the top headlines for the week ending 11 October 2019.
Qantas tees up the first of three Project Sunrise test flights this weekend from New York to Sydney and the plane looks mighty fine. There’s a bit of irony in the use of a Boeing jet, however, as the 777-8 appears further delayed and Emirates President Sir Tim Clark now believes his airline won’t receive its first 777X in 2020 at all.
Inflight connectivity maybe got a bit of a boost with a roaming agreement between Thailand’s TrueMobile and the AeroMobile subsidiary of Panasonic Avionics. It should bring down connectivity costs for some travelers, though the process is still not truly frictionless. And Lufthansa Technik is the latest to make a connectivity play in China, hoping to leverage its experience with Ka-band systems installations to help bring domestic planes online in the country.
Royal Air Maroc will trial a new streaming IFE product from upstart AirGo for at least a couple months. The initial product feels a lot like many others on the market, but AirGo has visions on a narrowband connected model that could prove more innovative.
Air New Zealand is adding an extra leg room option, increasing pitch in a few rows of long-haul economy class to 35″ plus upgraded pillows and blankets. A few rows at the front of the regular economy cabin will sacrifice legroom so “economy stretch” can be added without reducing the seat count on board. The product will roll out through 2020.
Also on the seating front, upstart JHAS secured its first customer with its Aurora 2.0 model while Acro expands into Ukraine with its Series 3 that targets LCCs.
Southwest Airlines announced major changes to its loyalty program elite tier qualifications this week, the latest airline to push the top tier requirements just a bit further away for travelers. Clearly the loyalty programs have no worries about their customer base right now.
Keep up with these stories and more all week long at PaxEx.Aero and have a great trip.