Inflight safety services communications have a new data network. Inmarsat announced today that the FAA approved its Swiftbroadband-Safety (SB-S) solution for support of air traffic services, delivering a link between air traffic control (ATC) and pilots via Inmarsat’s global L-band satellite constellation.
After nearly three billion dollars invested and eight successful launch missions the Iridium NEXT constellation is nearly complete. In just a couple weeks the final swaps will take place and the full complement of 66 NEXT satellites will be online. For Iridium the milestone brings a dramatic shift in business plans and economics. CEO Matt Desch is clear that reducing CapEx is a key near-term goal and that the company will remain focused on its niche markets, "If we can offer that service at 22-100kbps with a very small antenna that can be installed into a small drone or an automobile or a sensor in the ocean, that will expand the market tremendously. That is not a market that anyone is talking
about. We believe Iridium NEXT and Certus is best positioned to deliver on that." But he also makes clear that neither of those plans is truly absolute. Expect to see Iridium "bleed into some things" that don't truly fit the mold. Inflight services is one vertical where Certus will likely disrupt the status quo.
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.
“Inflight connectivity doesn’t just create revenue, it could save the airline industry US$15bn a year.”
That’s a bold claim from Inmarsat and the research it commissioned from the London School of Economics (LSE). Much of the savings comes from better weather forecasting and the associated effects: reducing delays and fuel burn. Part of the forecast savings comes from predictive maintenance opportunities, allowing the plane to track its own performance and use on-board connectivity solutions to report back to headquarters when operations are less than nominal. The so-called Internet of Things for Aviation (IoT/A) has long been held up as the financial savior of the connectivity platforms, delivering the necessary financial support to justify installations. What will it take to realize the $3-46bn in annual savings the research revealed? A lot of work, and it is unclear which connectivity vendors are truly committed to that effort.
One lucky 737 MAX 8 BBJ customer will soon be flying with the newest triband connectivity radome available in the business aviation market. The sleek tailmount kit is the latest from Technik’s in-house innovation team, part of a transition the company is making towards developing more cool systems rather than just installing those designed by other companies.
A spike in aviation-related revenue is good news for Inmarsat but not all revenue is created equally. There's more to this story than just the raw numbers.
It has been flying for a while, but the high speed Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX) service is now officially live on Qatar Airways. Some 130 777 and A350 aircraft will eventually carry the kit. And all passengers still get a free hour of connectivity on board.
Iberia’s faster inflight internet service is now flying. The Gogo 2Ku service recently activated on multiple aircraft, delivering a significant upgrade for passengers on board.
The past few weeks have been huge for premium cabin redesign news. Singapore Airlines and Emirates are not pulling any punches in their first class suite redesigns. Alas, those products are mostly irrelevant for most travelers. A first class suite doesn’t matter for the 99%+ of consumers. They’re not a factor for business travelers and […]