Cellular-based air-to-ground technologies brought inflight internet to thousands of aircraft and millions of passengers, first in North America, then in Europe and beyond. And while the technology continues to grow in some markets, some suppliers are more skeptical of its continued value, at least for commercial airlines.
Qatar Airways will join the Avios loyalty family next month. The carrier announced its Privilege Club loyalty program will transition from Qmiles to Avios as the currency of record from March 2022.
British Airways’ newest long-haul planes will not be fitted with the Gogo 2Ku solution. Instead, the company will diversify its vendor portfolio, though passengers shouldn’t notice the difference.
Another pair of airlines will halt operations, with the financial impact of COVID-19 the tipping point. LATAM Argentina and LEVEL Europe are both poised to shutter, though the larger parent operations of each will continue services.
JetBlue still intends to launch service to Europe. CEO Robin Hayes believes that “the need for us to enter that market and bring more competition” remains relevant. Just don’t expect it to happen quite so soon, and that may be a good thing.
For inflight connectivity, entertainment and commerce the portal is king. IAG and Immfly are teaming up to give the portal a boost across their fleet.
Consolidation continues in the global aviation market, this time delivering a shift in transatlantic services. International Airline Group announced this morning its intentions to buy Air Europa. The Spanish carrier will become part of the Iberia operation within IAG though remain an independent brand, at least to start. The deal is valued at 1 billion euro and full integration is expected by 2025.
Can LiFi replace WiFi on board, opening up more spectrum for passengers? And can new satellite launches deliver the capacity that airlines need for inflight connectivity? Plus an expanding award chart and plans for a massive fleet expansion in India.
Flying an LCC in Europe no longer means being disconnected while in the sky. IAG’s Vueling operation soft-launched inflight wifi connectivity delivered via the European Aviation Network (EAN), powered by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, on five of its aircraft earlier this month. Vueling is the third EAN airline and the first LCC with the service.
Virgin Atlantic wants to grow at London’s Heathrow airport. A lot. This is no secret, of course. The carrier has strongly endorsed a third runway at Britain’s busiest airport for years, hoping to secure a significant boost to its landing slots portfolio should that finally come to pass. This week the company translated that drive into maps, hoping to generate public support for its plans. There’s just one problem: It is almost certainly impossible for Virgin Atlantic to deliver what it is suggesting.