JetBlue’s newest A320 configuration entered service today after 10 weeks of work overhauling the interior from nose to tail. The new layout kicks of the final phase of the company’s fleet refresh, a much needed update to interiors designed 20 years ago.
As the installed aircraft count ticks higher for Viasat so, too, does the share of revenue the company realizes from that segment. The growth rate will slow in the coming year as the American Airlines fleet completes its conversion (more than 450 aircraft installed to date) but CEO Mark Dankberg believes there is still runway left in the market. Even if it is going to be a little later than previously expected.
Little deals matter, too. Italian leisure carrier Neos is the latest carrier to choose an inflight wifi connectivity solution. The carrier picked Viasat’s Ka-band system to operate on its trio of 787 Dreamliners.
When French all-premium carrier La Compagnie launched in February 2014 it promised inflight wifi connectivity for passengers on its flights between New York City and Paris. Some five years later the carrier is poised to deliver on that promise. The Viasat Ka-band kit will fly on its new A321neo aircraft in 2019.
Aeromexico confirmed its plans to add Viasat’s Ka-band connectivity on the 737 MAX fleet. The announcement at APEX Expo this morning confirms the long-rumored plans between the two and adds 18 planes to the Viasat fleet in North America. Aeromexico has options for an additional 60 MAX planes to be fitted with the Viasat kit.
The annual APEX EXPO is less than 24 hours away and anticipation for this year’s event is high. Many suppliers are promising big new throughout the week. In the inflight connectivity world it remains to be seen if anything will top the Panasonic Avionics/Inmarsat announcement from last week. Of course new order announcements are anticipated and will likely be big news. But what additional news will develop during the week?
American Airlines will take the Viasat Ka-band inflight connectivity solution on its A321neo fleet when deliveries begin in 2019. The 100-aircraft deal was secured in recent weeks and announced by Viasat as part of its quarterly earnings release Thursday afternoon.
New seats, new screens and more live television took flight one JetBlue this week. The first of the restyled A320 planes is now in service, delivering upgraded amenities. And 12 extra seats on board.
Major drama in the inflght connectivity world this afternoon as joint venture partners Eutelsat and Viasat are splitting on a major project. Eutelsat is launching KONNECT, its own massive increase in Ka-band capacity in 2021 and has new partners to work with on that deal. Oh, and it is bailing on its potential partnership for the ViaSat-3's EMEA coverage.
Icelandair is the latest carrier to join the 737 MAX family. The carrier took delivery of its first MAX8 today and will press it into service just a few weeks hence. That may hamstring the inflight connectivity experience for passengers, unfortunately.