In-flight connectivity performance should get a bit better in the coming months for some Global Eagle customers thanks to an improved on-board transceiver. The Aerostream 40Ku, developed by Gilat, achieved DO-160G certification this week, allowing for development of production units as it moves towards FAA certification and aircraft installation.
Virgin Atlantic reiterated its expectation that in-flight WiFi connectivity will eventually be free to passengers. But don’t expect that in the immediate future. The company is much more focused today on improving the paid take rates than transitioning to a free model.
Alaska Airlines is the latest member of the 737MAX family, operating its first commercial flights with they type today. But passengers on board faced a bit of a surprise: No WiFi active on the newest plane in the fleet.
United Airlines will grow its 737 MAX fleet significantly in the next three years. The company announced a deal to increase the order book with Boeing by 25, with delivery slated for 2023. Additional adjustments to the order book should see a total of 90 new MAX join the carrier’s fleet by the end of 2023.
Passengers will soon have the opportunity to play some of the most recognized games in pop culture history on a flight. Panasonic Avionics Corporation announced an agreement with Bandai Namco to offer a number of gaming classics on its in-flight entertainment systems as part of a push to strengthen its IFE gaming portfolio.
KLM’s brand new E195-E2 contains an updated interior that should keep passengers comfortable on board, though questions remain about the full suite of amenities to be offered.
SmartSky announced a new timeline for network deployment, plus some additional cash to help it get there.
Qingdao Airlines is moving forward with installation of in-flight connectivity on its fleet. Integrator FTS is leading the project with hardware from Gilat and the CHina Satcom satellite infrastructure.
Intelsat has a plan to emerge from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It involves slashing debt owed by more than half, from $15 billion to $7 billion. But the debtors must agree to those losses. If not, the company faces a more dire outcome, including the likely liquidation of its recently acquired Gogo Commercial Aviation business.
As the business aviation industry bounces back the need for in-flight internet services on board is proving to be compelling across the globe. And while China has generally lagged in delivering those connections on its domestic aircraft the country’s largest operator of private jets is finally ready to get online.