The first Citilink Indonesia inflight wifi connectivity installation is underway. Work to add the Inmarsat GX Aviation kit to the aircraft began recently on the first of 50 A320s contracted to receive the system. The implementation is being overseen by Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), and Indonesian wireless technology provider.
Maybe it has never truly been cheap for passengers, but airlines historically took advantage of great deals from suppliers to secure inflight wifi connectivity solutions relatively inexpensively. As those vendors now seek financial stability more than market share a shift is underway. Is the era of cheap wifi over? (And did it ever really exist?!?)
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.
Inmarsat reported a jump in inflight connectivity revenue in Q3, continuing the activation and growth of its GX Aviation solution on aircraft around the world. The numbers suggest additional frames are finally generating revenue, a welcome advance for the company after the first such income was generated just last quarter. Inmarsat also disclosed that at least two recently announced customer wins remain as unsigned, lending credibility to claims that the deals are not yet final. The company also outlined additional details on how it expects the Panasonic partnership to grow.
Today's announcement of Garuda's deal with Inmarsat to fit its full fleet with Global Xpress for inflight connectivity came as a surprise to many in the industry. Notable among them, the other vendors still expecting the RFP process to begin in earnest. Was this announcement premature??
Garuda Indonesia is the latest carrier to get online in the sky. The airline announced today that it will fly Inmarsat’s Global Xpress kit on its fleet, starting with the A330s early next year.
There's arguably no better way to assuage investors after roporting significant losses for 2017 than to report multiple new orders to start 2018. For Global Eagle the balance is a tough one, but the 300+ new planes added to the connectivity backlog is a nice bit of news for incoming CEO Josh Marks to announce.