The first two aircraft in Latin America with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution are now online. Avianca officially inaugurated the service this week, launching a two month trial period where passengers can connect for free while in flight.
A pair of recent earnings reports left open questions about just how many aircraft are generating how much inflight connectivity revenue. Both Gogo and Inmarsat clarified those positions, providing better context around their numbers.
SkyTeam lost its largest mainland China airline this week. China Southern announced it will quit the alliance in 2019. The non-renewal of the membership contract will see the carrier transition out of its alliance relationships in the coming year. This is not a hard stop of relations; rather, the changes are likely to roll out over time. It is also not a surprise.
A pair of earnings reports last week left open questions about just how many aircraft are generating how much inflight connectivity revenue. Both Gogo and Inmarsat clarified those positions, providing better context around their numbers.
American Airlines continues its cuts to Asia service from its hub at Chicago O’Hare. After previously announcing that it would drop Beijing service, Shanghai flights will also be terminated this October. Seasonal adds across the Atlantic in 2019 will help offset these cuts.
Inmarsat's European Aviation Network (EAN) received approval this week from Belgian telecom authorities for its ground component service. Again. That's good news for the inflight connectivity provider as it works to secure the necessary regulatory approvals across Europe in advance of service launch, still expected later this year. It is a setback for Viasat, Eutelsat, and Panasonic Avionics as they fight the EAN deployment through legal and regulatory battles.
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.
Oneworld wants to grow its route network and it is willing to take on smaller airlines to deliver on that plan. Fiji Airways is the inaugural member in the new “oneworld connect” program allows limited alliance membership and limited benefits for passengers. But locking up the new connect member airlines is a smart move for the group.
When senior airline executives are willing to trash their vendors in public that's usually bad news for everyone involved. Welcome to the inflight connectivity world, where airlines are almost as unhappy as the passengers struggling to stay online in the sky. Alas, only part of that frustration is grounded in reality.
Is the current biometrics push in aviation a gimmick or a real improvement for passengers and airlines alike? Likely a bit of both. Let’s look at two recent demonstrations of the technology to see how the benefits play out.