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.
It is just one small line inserted into today's Viasat earnings notes, "... total next-generation IFC system installations to around 200 aircraft across eight commercial airlines." The 200 number is nice, but the eight is more significant.
Just how many aircraft carry inflight connectivity hardware? And which kit?? A pair of announcements this week gives greater insight into which kit is where and how the market is shifting, rapidly in some cases. Not that installation number 1000 matters more than number 999, of course. Yet somehow it does. Just a little.
A year after announcing that it would no longer be an Aimia customer Air Canada (and its banking partners) now wants to buy the Aeroplan program off the loyalty operator. At a nice discount, of course. And it still is probably a smart move for everyone.
Developing a new route to profitability often takes months, if not years. United airlines is pulling the plug on its nonstop service between Los Angeles and Singapore after just one year, a quick decision that reflects the challenges of ultra long-haul flights as new, longer services are poised to launch.
Qatar Airways GCEO Akbar Al Baker is known for making controversial statements. Now he is doing so representing both his airline and IATA, the global aviation trade group. So when he suggests that airline CEOs must be men because “It is a very challenging position” that creates all sorts of new problems.
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.
Can Qantas squeeze a dozen(ish) more seats in its A380s without hurting the passenger experience? The Airbus A380 Cabin-Flex program aims to deliver precisely that, with retrofits starting in mid-2019. Here’s how it will work…
One antenna kit to handle connections to multiple satellite networks sounds like a great idea. Gilat now has one on offer but there’s just one problem: It is unclear that commercial demand is truly sufficient for such. Oopsie.