The aviation industry is in turmoil. As airlines slash spending the supplier network is scrambling to survive. For many of these companies staff furloughs is the name of the game. Panasonic Avionics Corporation (PAC) is the latest in the IFEC sector to implement such moves.
Airlines have plenty of reasons to be concerned as the cashflow crunch threatens their survival. So too, however, do the many smaller suppliers that deliver services to those airlines. What was mild trepidation at the beginning of the year, generally tied to the 737 MAX grounding is now, in some cases, a full-on threat to the survival of these businesses. And, unlike the airlines, these suppliers generally do not have the luxury of bailout funding from the federal government.
In part two of this report we explore the impact on Viasat, Thales, Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics.
This was supposed to be a year of recovery and free cash flow and all sorts of other good news for an industry that spent the better part of the last decade hemmorhaging cash in search of market share. Turns out the global health pandemic cares not for borders nor those plans. Welcome to part one of a deep dive into the inflight connectivity world and the suppliers affected by this recent turn.
As it developed a new, high-speed, terrestrial inflight communications platform SmartSky also worked diligently to develop a broad intellectual property portfolio. The company hit 150 patents issued in January 2020 and even hosts a separate website dedicated to tracking the portfolio. The patents are intended, among other things, to help the company fend off competition […]
The final few months of 2019 delivered strong numbers for inflight connectivity provider Gogo. The company saw revenues improve in the business aviation and global segments while the North American market held up pretty well. Things continued looking good into early 2020. But since the beginning of March, similar to airline demand, Gogo saw a “significant decline” in Asia followed by a “more pronounced decline” in recent days.
Getting inflight connectivity gear installed on the assembly line opens up great opportunities for suppliers. It appears that, very quietly, another vendor/aircraft combination recently realized that goal.
With Astronics cutting exposure to the inflight connectivity antenna business some commercial aircraft products are likely looking for new partners. That’s bad news for airlines hoping to see new tech flying soon.
Satisfied customers that want to take their inflight connectivity experience further afield appear to be driving the Ku/Ka offering from Viasat. And it should be online sooner than not, according to President & COO Rick Baldridge.
India’s Vistara has big plans as it aims to bring the 787 Dreamliner into its fleet later this year. What passengers experience on board, however, will not quite be exactly what the press releases have suggested to date, at least not when it comes to the inflight map.
The past few years have not been easy for top leadership at Panasonic Avionics Corporation (PAC) . Following a bribery scandal in 2017-2018 the company brought in many new executives, including CEO Hideo Nakano and CTO David Bartlett. Nakano departed that role in November 2019, replaced by Ken Sain. PaxEx.Aero has also learned that Bartlett is no longer with the company.