With the bulk of the global 737 MAX fleet grounded the impact to passengers is very real. Canceled flights, delays and rebookings will affect hundreds of thousands of travelers each day. Inflight connectivity providers will also be impacted as their systems are grounded.
Can Jet Airways climb out of its financial funk to become the first Indian airline offering inflight wifi connectivity on board? Global Eagle is ready to execute, assuming the airline finds its fiscal footing.
The paperwork is finally submitted: India is ready to get online in the sky. The Ministry of Communications issued the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018 in an official filing on 14 December 2018, codifying the rules around delivery of mobile internet services on aircraft and ships. With the new rules defined service providers and airlines can finally move forward with fitting the planes. So, who will be first??
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.
Spicejet took delivery of its first 737 MAX aircraft today, ushering in an era of growth and modernization for the carrier’s fleet. The aircraft also include Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) inflight wifi connectivity solution on board. The kit remains inactive, pending regulatory approval but multiple carriers now sit poised to connect passengers once that moment arrives.
Airlines in India could be online as soon as October. The legal wrangling is approaching its final phase, after which Jet Airways and Global Eagle are expected to be the first to activate satellite-based inflight connectivity services.
We’re mere months away from seeing inflight internet take to the skies over India. Regulators approved the services, with a licensing scheme to be delivered in the next 90 days. Like many things in India it comes with a catch, but at least one airline is poised to activate as soon as the final details are realized.
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.