Airlines want to invest in emerging technologies. They want access to the startups and to foster those relationships. This is the message delivered around the world as investment funds, incubators and accelerators sprout up. Many of these programs claim success and continue to grow. For Qantas, however, the message is different. Its dedicated venture group dissolved in recent weeks and the accelerator shuttered.
Seats & Cabin
Say hello to FlyArystan, the world’s newest low cost carrier. The airline officially came into existence today, with parent company Air Astana announcing its formation and plans. The carrier will start with four A320 aircraft in 2019, with plans to fly 15 frames by 2022. Route details remain unclear but domestic operations in Kazakhstan and shorter international routes are the initial targets.
Etihad Airways wants to give passengers a bit more comfort on board. The new Etihad Economy Space offering delivers extra leg room for economy class passengers at a relatively low price. All ten of the A380s will carry the new product by December 2018.
Sun Country’s pivot to a ULCC continues unabated. More than a year after the carrier announced plans for a new approach to the market the changes continue. Up next: further cabin reconfiguration and a revamp of the loyalty and co-brand credit card strategy that seem unlikely to make many customers happy.
Brighter, more open aircraft boarding areas may soon see a new feature installed. Lufthansa Technik and LG Electronics are teaming up to delivery OLED digital billboards to the aero industry, increasing advertising opportunities on board.
The first Delta Air Lines A220 flights are now loaded into the schedule and on sale for travelers. The carrier intends to base the fleet initially at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport and serve routes focused on business travelers, with Boston and Dallas-Fort Worth the first two destinations starting 31 January 2019. Over the summer of 2019 as the fleet grows the A220 will also serve Houston, Salt Lake City, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul and JFK.
Is the Internet of Things finally set to fly in passenger airline cabins? After years of hearing how it will revolutionize the passenger experience travelers might finally start to see some benefits of such programs. Or, if things go to plan, never see the changes at all, even as the improvements take flight.
JetBlue spent the past several years teasing the idea of transatlantic flying. The company believes its Mint business class service could clean up in a market that sees high fares and relatively limited competition. Alas, it remains a dream in many ways. The market was reminded this morning at an investor briefing that such a “distraction” is not welcome at this time.
Sick and tired of tiny airplane toilets? The news out of Aircraft Interiors Expo this week in Boston (collocated with APEX EXPO) probably won’t improve that feeling. Diehl Aerospace showed off its 31″ lavatory for the A320 family of aircraft, soon to be retrofit on American Airlines airplanes.
Aer Lingus is poised to launch a new livery and uniforms in Q1 2019 as part of a brand update. The new look will launch on the company’s A321neo fleet and come with improvements to the economy class product – free drinks and wifi – as well. CEO Stephen Kavanagh revealed these changes at APEX EXPO this morning as part of the carrier’s goal to continue its growth across the Transatlantic as the leading “value carrier” in the market.