Last week’s confirmation that SmartSky is delaying activation of its new high speed air-to-ground network to Q2 2020 is somewhat disappointing. But understanding why the schedule slipped should provide better clarity for the company’s customers and investors with respect to future expectations of the service. CEO Haynes Griffin provided those details to PaxEx.Aero.
What’s the best way to share news that the launch product is going to be delayed a bit? Tying it in as an afterthought to $25 million in additional funding definitely helps. For upstart inflight connectivity provider SmartSky the news this week is a mix of good and bad.
Vistara is making a bid to be the first Indian airline with inflight connectivity installed. The carrier is reportedly partnering with Nelco, a local satellite services provider, to bring the service online. Neither party is confirming the deal, though Indian regulators confirmed that applications were processed and permits issued.
Finally some good news worth celebrating in the ESA space. Gilat’s new kit went flying on Honeywell’s 757 and successfully linked with a Telesat GEO Ka-band satellite.
More troubles for the Spirit Airlines inflight wifi program came to light today. Antenna issues with the Thales FlytLIVE kit will require the few existing installations to be replaced and tested anew before the full fleet deployment resumes.
Panasonic Avionics (PAC) plans a significant boost to its Ku-band satellite capacity from 2022. The company confirmed a contract for multiple gigahertz of capacity on both multi-beam payloads of the Eutelsat 10B satellite slated for launch in three years.
The race to bring the first aircraft online in India took an interesting turn in recent weeks. While SpiceJet has talked about its plans to add the GX Aviation system from Inmarsat to its new 737 MAX aircraft other players have been less public about their efforts. But installations are underway to deliver a fleet-wide solution, potentially within a year.
Adding more than 100 Turkish Airlines planes to its inflight connectivity backlog is good news for Global Eagle. Perhaps more significant, however, is the potential for additional program growth that come from the partnerships it established to secure this Turkish Airlines deal.
For a company that is now mostly known for its Ku-band inflight connectivity offering the idea of bringing Ka-band services online in parallel may appear somewhat incongruous. But for Gogo, the news out this morning that it is pitching Ka-band solutions to potential customers is, according to CEO Oakleigh Thorne, more about holding fast to its plans.
With the United Express ERJ-145 slated for a full interiors refresh starting in early 2020 is now time for entertainment and wifi to also take flight on the company’s smallest jets? It seems likely, even if that bit was not supposed to be public just yet.