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.
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.
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.
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.
Starting an airline is a long, complicated process. It takes months or even years to pull off. Or maybe you just whip something together in a few weeks and join the LCC fray in Europe. Welcome LEVEL short-haul to the party.
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.
Demand for the Inmarsat EAN inflight connectivity product in the business aviation market is no surprise. And now the company is ready to deliver. The high-speed hybrid connectivity service will be availalbe to the BizAv market starting in January 2019.
Peace is possible between the airlines and GDS platforms! Air France/KLM and Amedeus agreed to waive distribution fees in some cases, benefiting passengers in the near term. But it is the longer term plans around NDC content distribution that hold real potential for an improved passenger experience.
This week’s edition of “What’s under that radome?” comes to us from Toulouse, where Iberia’s first A350-900 broke cover. The carrier shared a few photos on Twitter and the aircraft is sporting a line-fit radome on the fuselage.