How do you keep improving on the most popular channel for inflight entertainment systems? With 50 airlines on board in just five years FlightPath3D keeps pushing forward with new features to benefit airlines and passengers alike.
The official unveiling is set for Monday in Nadi but Fiji Airways cannot wait to tease some details around its new 737 MAX aircraft. Among them, confirmation that the inflight entertainment and connectivity will be provided by Panasonic Avionics. The partnership was reported to PaxEx Premium subscribers last month.
It was supposed to be a massive shift of market share in the inflight connectivity world. Former Panasonic Avionics executive David Bruner claimed significant numbers of Southwest Airlines aircraft would see the Global Eagle kit uninstalled, replaced with PAC's solution, along with the ongoing line-fit deliveries. Instead Global Eagle is replacing PAC on the small number of 737s that were installed. And that might not even be the largest challenge Panasonic faces today.
In the couple months since PAC's partnership announcement with Inmarsat the company has pushed a two pronged approach to its future business. One one side sits the core competencies of its inflight entertainment business. On the other, driven by many of the new faces in the company's leadership, comes a shift towards a services operation. Both sides face challenges.
Last Friday's news of a new wireless IFE offering on Delta's A330neo fleet suggested a high likelihood of the Gogo Vision Touch product expanding beyond the carrier's A220 fleet. New - and unconfirmed - details now suggest another, somewhat unexpected vendor in play.
The add-on order for ten more Delta A330-900neo aircraft is not nearly as significant as a couple of the cabin amenity changes it includes.
Previously known for its tablet-based IFE offerings, inflight entertainment provider digEcor announced its first embedded aircraft systems retrofit this week. The company partnered with Jamco Aero Design and Engineering (JADE) to announce a deal for installation of digEcor’s Passenger Services Solution on Boeing 777 aircraft. This is the first step of a much larger journey for digEcor.
This year’s Zhuhai Air Show in China delivered little significant commercial aircraft news. Standing out in the event the partnership between Thales and China Southern offered up a pair of new deals. The two companies have a strong relationship dating back nearly 20 years and this week’s moves further those ties.
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.
Two stories should deliver a net boost for Global Eagle headed into Thursday's earnings release. They are not both good news (and one remains unconfirmed), but the positive outweighs the negative significantly.