We’re a couple years out from the ViaSat-3 satellite delivering a massive boost in Ka-band satellite capacity over Europe, but Viasat is ready to scale up its offerings on the continent. The company will buy out Eutelsat’s stake in their joint venture (“EBI”) for 140 million euro, giving Viasat full control over the wholesale business as well as the KA-SAT satellite.
When Intelsat announced plans to buy the Gogo Commercial Aviation (CA) business the plan called for an early 2021 closing. The pair now expect the deal to close in December 2020.
The Viasat Ka-band solid-state, fully-electronic phased array flat panel antenna is ready to begin the final stages of testing on the SES O3b mPOWER constellation. The system entered the Test Readiness Review (TRR) stage of the program. TRR is the final stage of testing to verify compliance with the antenna’s performance requirements.
The stale half-sandwich snack will disappear from Lufthansa Group flights in the new year. Passengers demanded better, and now they have the option to pay for it.
Earlier this summer rumors were swirling about a possible UK base for some Aer Lingus planes. It now appears that Manchester is the airport of choice for those operations. The carrier secured just over 1,500 new slots at the airport, enough to operate a full summer of flights with four long-haul aircraft.
A year has passed since the company initially planned to start selling seats, enough time to question whether launching a new airline right now is really a smart choice. But Iceland’s PLAY secured access to at least two London-area airports should its operations launch in Summer 2021, suggesting that the company is still pushing forward.
JetBlue continues to pursue Heathrow as an option for access to the most lucrative London market, but should the carrier launch transatlantic service in Q3 2021 as currently filed it will be to Stansted and Gatwick.
Aer Lingus received tentative approval from the US Department of Transportation on Monday to join the Transatlantic OneWorld Immunized Alliance joint venture. The ruling, pending final approval and a similar order from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will allow Aer Lingus to fully participate in the coordination of fares and scheduling with American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and OpenSkies.
Passengers on Qatar Airways’ 777s are getting an entertainment system upgrade. The carrier committed to refreshing the Panasonic Avionics hardware on board, including new 10″ EcoFW HD screens and other infrastructure.
JetBlue was one of the last carriers to keep seats blocked on board. Headed into the new year, however, that era will come to a close. As of 8 January 2021 all seats on board will be available for sale.