Nearly every conversation about in-flight connectivity at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022 in Hamburg this week includes mention of the SpaceX Starlink offering. Company executives are wandering the show floor carrying an antenna panel that they hope will soon be certified to fly, while airlines and competitors alike debate the unique path the company has chosen for nearly every facet of the offering.
The A321XLR should make its first flight by the end of next month, kicking off the certification process. But Airbus now expects certification to take a bit longer than previously planned.
Look for a new business class seat flying on Air New Zealand in the months ahead. It includes an option dubbed “Business Premier Luxe” at the front of the business class cabin.
More than 30 years after the US Department of Transportation required airlines to provide accessible lavatories on twin-aisle planes the agency might finally be ready to mandate similar on single-aisle aircraft. But even if the new rules take effect, the impact will not be felt for a long, long time.
Consolidation finally arrived to the in-flight connectivity world, and it arrived in a massive way. Viasat agreed to buy Inmarsat in a deal valued at $7.3 billion. Subject to typical regulatory and closing conditions, the companies hope to close the transaction in the second half of 2022.
Come October 15th Alitalia will cease operations; Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will take its place as Italy’s flag carrier. Except that Alitalia will still probably be in business. ITA confirms that it intends to bid on the Alitalia brand at auction as part of its application to serve the United States.
Questions about the impact to competition hampered the proposed Air Canada/Transat merger from its announcement. Ultimately they killed the deal.
How quickly can an airline convert a passenger plane to freighter service? Airbus hope to ease the process for the A330 and A350 with a new Service Bulletin modification.
Expect to see another tranche of significant cuts from airlines in the coming days, lasting through June 2020. EU regulators are the latest to approve a change to the way airport slots are accounted for, opening up the opportunity for carriers to trim flights and conserve cash as the COVID-19 crisis wears on.
Gaining access to more radio spectrum for inflight wifi connectivity is a rare event. A recent agreement by the ITU that boosts the available Ka-band satellite frequency range 400% is a massive win that should begin to pay off in mid-2020.