Global Eagle posted strong revenue numbers in Q3, with its content and aviation connectivity segments showing particular strength. The company also announced a couple "take away" deals that see it grabbing business from competitors. Those moves come at a cost, however, especially on the connectivity side. The increased revenue from these deals over the long term is welcome but a short term cash crunch could be bad for business.
Gogo revised its expectations for 2020 and beyond, announcing updated goals as the company continues its drive towards profitability. Alas, details on those revised targets will not be shared with investors. CEO Oakleigh Thorne shared that the new math takes into account "more realistic expectations" of satellite costs and the shift to the airline-directed model. Assuming the new numbers are part of the Q3 '18 numbers they should help the company significantly, though there are indications some parts of the operation could revert to higher costs. The inability for global revenue to keep pace with growth in North America is also concerning given the company's current backlog.
Finnair’s new short-haul wifi solution, powered by Viasat, is no longer free. The carrier ended the introductory trial period for the service this week, bringing a split-tier performance and pricing model into play.
It was called "Kiteline" and it was going to revolutionize the inflight passenger experience. A light weight connectivity solution with visions of delivering core functionality, the Kiteline concept is now being emulated by Lufthansa Systems, Iridium, AirFi, fflya and more. And, unlike Kiteline's failure nearly a decade ago, these solutions are now (finally) taking flight.
It was one of the worst kept secrets in the inflight connectivity world. Now it is no longer a secret. Air France finally confirmed that its single-aisle fleet will carry the Global Eagle Ku-band satellite system for its on board wifi service. The service will operate in partnership with French telecom carrier Orange.
Air France Connect, the company’s inflight wifi connectivity service, is officially online. After months of testing the Gogo 2Ku kit is now available to passengers on a Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft. Air France expects to have 22 wide-body planes installed and active by the end of 2018 and the full fleet online by the end of 2020.
Chalk up another split fleet for inflight connectivity. The latest intelligence in to PaxEx.Aero suggests another A350 operator will add a new vendor to its IFC roster.
Benjamin Smith’s early days at Air France-KLM will be anything but easy. Union issues dog the company and the latest salvo from Joon flight attendants is a doozy!
Alitalia’s struggles continue. The carrier still needs a fresh infusion of cash to pay off the bridge loan from the Italian government and some sort of long-term plan. And, for the latter, Alitalia will soon find itself forced to be more independent than it is today. Ouch.
Earlier this month EASA issued an Airworthiness Directive affecting certain of Gogo’s 2Ku inflight connectivity installations. Air vortices created by the 2Ku radome cause excessive vibration in the ELT antenna, potentially shaking it loose or causing structural issues in the fuselage. Fortunately the issue was discovered relatively quickly, the number of aircraft affected is low and a revised installation process is expected to be in place in the near future.