From the Control Tower
Two years ago the Satellite Show in Washington, DC was cut short as a pandemic began its global assault. Last week the show was back in full force, with hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees. And a few cases of COVID, too.
News from the show was mostly positive, as the companies that survived the pandemic so far are keen to demonstrate their ability to extend that success into the future. And the in-flight connectivity market in particular shows signs of a transformation towards profitability.
Hughes shows off flat panel antenna for OneWeb service
It is not a product, at least not quite yet. But Hughes is showing off a cool new flat-panel antenna* that will soon be used for enterprise connections to the OneWeb low earth orbit satellite constellation.
Is Starlink finally ready for commercial flight?
"We are already on airplanes. We are testing the antenna and working towards certification."
With that statement at the Satellite 2022 conference in Washington, DC this week, Jonathan Hofeller, VP of Starlink Commercial Sales kicked off another round of speculation about what the future of in-flight connectivity will be.
OneWeb secures launch plan with SpaceX, capacity deal with Speedcast
OneWeb secured a contract with SpaceX, allowing the company to resume its launch efforts. The deal comes several weeks after the company lost access to Soyuz rockets as part of the collateral damage from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Alaska Airlines to speed retirement of Q400, A320-family aircraft
Chester will fly on fewer aircraft types sooner than planned. Alaska Airlines' accelerated fleet harmonization plan will drop the Q400 and Airbus A320 family aircraft from its operations by the end of next year.
Air Canada to fly the A321XLR
Air Canada announced plans to acquire 26 A321XLR aircraft, updating its long-haul offerings. The aircraft will be used for flights within North America, as well as some Transatlantic markets, pending approval from Transport Canada regulators.
JetBlue boosts TrueBlue partnerships with American Airlines, Qatar Airways
JetBlue‘s partnerships with American Airlines and Qatar Airways continue to expand. The carrier announced new loyalty program benefits this week, giving TrueBlue members access to options with the partner programs.
Other Industry News
JetBlue snags slots for London-Boston flights
Is JetBlue finally ready to launch transatlantic flights from Boston? The carrier secured slots for the Summer 2022 season at both Heathrow and Gatwick, making such service possible.
FAA tells Boeing it doubts MAX 10 will meet safety standard deadline
The FAA has asked Boeing to update the MAX 10 and 777-9X certification timelines. The MAX 10 may not be certified by year's end, which means it may need a safety exemption extended.
Mediocre name, benefits as Southwest launches new fare family
The new Wanna Get Away Plus fares from Southwest Airlines (re)open a nice benefit for some travelers, though the overall offering does not appear especially compelling for most travelers.
Air France-KLM to levy surcharge on legacy GDS corporate bookings: Travel Weekly
Extra fees for leisure bookings are not new. But is going after the corporate market just at it begins a rebound such a good idea?? The airline group will extend its surcharge of 13 euros per one-way ticket this spring to corporate bookings when they are not enabled via NDC.