Is it a new, lower elite tier that passengers can just buy outright, a threat to the co-branded credit card cash cow that drives so much of the airline’s profits, or just another way to get passengers to pay up for services at a margin far beyond their hard costs? Probably a bit of all three and then some.
JetBlue and Norwegian intend to establish an interline agreement, allowing passengers to transfer more easily between the two carriers on a single ticket. But the partnership leaves many questions and questionable value for travelers, at least to start.
United Airlines wants to get bigger. The carrier has plans to expand its fleet in the coming years but it also wants to get more seats in the sky per flight. And it wants to accomplish that without adding more seats to the existing aircraft. It is a somewhat complicated challenge, but if things go right United expects 3% more seats per departure on average a year from now.
Score another customer for the Acro’s slimline seat portfolio. Ukrainian LCC and charter operator SkyUp Airlines will fly the Acro Series 3 Ultra on its fleet of 737 NG planes connecting Kiev to the region.
Easier access to inflight connectivity is now available to cell phone subscribers on du in the UAE or TrueMobile in Thailand, thanks to preferred roaming agreements signed with AeroMobile in recent weeks.
Air France passengers will soon find more overhead bin space on board. The carrier announced its intention to retrofit 40 A320s and 11 A321s with the”Efficient Cabin Open Space” ECOS bins from Safran. Air France is the first customer for Safran’s new product.
Royal Air Maroc will bring inflight entertainment to its smallest aircraft this month. The company will trial a streaming solution from AirGo.Aero on one of its Embraer E190 planes. This also represents the first installation for AirGo, bringing another streaming IFE vendor into what is already a crowded market.
Even older planes deserve a refresh inside from time to time. And sometimes that can mean a new product launch as well. This week Italian upstart aircraft seating manufacturer JHAS announced that Tayaran Jet will be the launch customer for its new Aurora 2.0 economy class seating concept.
Announcements related to inflight connectivity in China are hard to process. Vendors continue to sign agreements and push out releases but forward progress in terms of getting hardware on planes remains stalled. This week Lufthansa Technik (LHT) joined the field with an announcement of an offering for airlines in China. But, like the others, it is unclear what the timeline for implementation will be or where things will go from here.
How much is too much for the 737 program in a single week? And is there an end in sight for the shifting of loyalty programs away from loyalty? Plus, inflight wifi and a premium play for mid-haul travel.
Get all the details on this week’s top PaxEx stories inside.