The first plane is fitted and flying. The new SpaceX Starlink inflight connectivity system on JSX works, and the companies are excited to deploy it fleet wide. Alas, it does not appear they will meet the target timeline of having the system fully installed before the end of the year. The necessary Supplemental Type Certification (STC) remains pending with the authorities.
Viasat took another major step forward in its efforts to deliver in-flight Wi-Fi service over China. The CAAC now will permit installations on A320 family aircraft thanks to a newly issued certification.
Gogo’s new 5G in-flight WiFi service moved step closer to reality, with the airplane antenna receiving certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Air vortices off the 2Ku antenna system are once again causing troubles. This time it is the Airbus A220 affected, with some 65 fitted aircraft up for additional inspection and hardware replacement as a result.
Airlines around the world removed the seats from their passenger planes to make more room for cargo. But not in the US. That could change very soon, as the FAA now allows for exemptions to cargo restrictions, engineering companies are securint certifications for the new configurations and airlines are getting the paperwork in order to make the shift.
SmartSky took another step forward as it seeks to deliver its ATG wifi solution later this year. Certification on the E135/140/145 family, facilitated by StandardAero, brings JetSuiteX (and potentially others) much closer to flying with the service.
Some good news for Gogo and its 2Ku airline customers as it reaches closure on an outstanding maintenance issue. This should ease the backlog as additional aircraft can once again be installed for three airline customers.
Gogo revised its expectations for 2020 and beyond, announcing updated goals as the company continues its drive towards profitability. Alas, details on those revised targets will not be shared with investors. CEO Oakleigh Thorne shared that the new math takes into account "more realistic expectations" of satellite costs and the shift to the airline-directed model. Assuming the new numbers are part of the Q3 '18 numbers they should help the company significantly, though there are indications some parts of the operation could revert to higher costs. The inability for global revenue to keep pace with growth in North America is also concerning given the company's current backlog.