Iridium is taking full advantage of its Partners Conference this week to bolster its market position. Following yesterday’s announcement of a major US Department of Defense contract the company announced today a Memorandum of Understanding with LEO upstart OneWeb to see if there are synergies in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) neighborhood that could allow the two companies to grow better together rather than apart.
When it comes to screens on airplanes the industry is focused squarely on the seatback. AERQ, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and LG Electronics wants to shift that conversation. Taking advantage of LG’s screens technology and the inflight services prowess of Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems, the company has big expectations for delivering its services on board.
When JSX (formerly JetSuiteX) CEO Alex Wilcox took the stage at APEX EXPO last week in Los Angeles and proclaimed his optimism about the carrier’s upcoming inflight wifi service it was not much of a surprise. That the service will not be live until Q1 2020 was a bit of a surprise, however, as the original announcement expected the offering online before the end of this year.
Trade shows usually make for great insight into the future of the industry. This week’s APEX EXPO brought some of that to the surface, with news about seats, entertainment, connectivity and more. Here are some highlights.
As India’s Vistara begins its long-haul operations it will bring a new inflight entertainment ecosystem to the passenger cabin. Perhaps even more interesting is the bit that will be included that were not included in the press release.
JetBlue’s A220-300 fleet will bring a new passenger experience to the airline. But it will do so with familiar partners. The carrier announced today that the planes will fly with the Thales AVANT inflight entertainment (IFE) solution on board. Delivery for the first of seventy A220s to the carrier is due in 2020.
Viasat’s high-speed inflight wifi connectivity will soon fly farther on SAS. The two announced a deal at APEX EXPO this week for two new types to be retrofitted with the Ka-band connectivity solution. Unlike the current short/mid-haul SAS fleet these planes are intended to fly transatlantic routes with the Viasat hardware on board.
It is a product years in the making, with mentions at multiple prior trade shows. This week, for the first time, Safran confirmed that its Bluetooth headphones pairing solution will fly cabin wide on Lufthansa and ANA starting in 2021(ish).
Airlines in China find themselves spoiled for choice when it comes to picking an inflight connectivity solutions provider. Gogo (re)joins that party with an announcement this week that it will partner with APT Mobile Satcom Limited (APSATCOM) in selling its 2Ku connectivity solution in the country.
The news was not particularly secret. Still, confirmation proved elusive until today. Air Canada now affirms its selection of Thales as the inflight wifi provider on its 737 MAX fleet.