From the Control Tower
Last week's Future Travel Experience Global conference in Las Vegas offered up plenty of pie-in-the-sky thinking about the future of the passenger experience. It also offered some more grounded timelines for what travelers can expect in the next year or two from airlines large and small.
Some good stories from that included below, and more to come...
JSX details Starlink aircraft activation plans
As the first airline to sign for the SpaceX Starlink inflight WiFi solution, JSX also expects to be the first airline to activate the service. Speaking at the Future Travel Experience conference in Las Vegas this week, CEO Alex Wilcox unveiled a few additional details about plans for the service.
Qatar Airways picks Inmarsat GX for Super Wi-Fi service on 787s, MAX 10s
Qatar Airways is not shy about shifting providers to make sure the services offered meet its standards. That the carrier shifted suppliers on for inflight WiFi on the 787-9 fleet to Inmarsat’s GX Aviation hardware on board is perhaps even more notable.
SmartSky offers details on nationwide network deployment
Wondering where SmartSky's air-to-ground inflight WiFi towers are? The company appears happy to share that information. It released a map showing the coverage footprint in response to "several requests for a coverage map to illustrate the availability of SmartSky's inflight connectivity and the distinctive way in which it is delivered."
United joins T-Mobile’s free inflight WiFi program
United Airlines plans to offer free inflight WiFi to some T-Mobile customers beginning this fall.
Emirates picks AVANT Up for next generation IFE on A350 fleet
Emirates’ next generation of planes will show off the next generation of the airline’s ice inflight entertainment solution, delivered on the Thales AVANT Up platform. The update entertainment solution is part of a $350 million investment by the airline in the passenger experience on the upcoming fleet.
easyJet adds lounge access to some FLEXIfares
Some easyJet travelers now can access the lounge at Gatwick for free prior to their trip. The trial program for FLEXIfare customers runs for the next three months.
Allegiant plans more Extra on 737 MAX fleet
Allegiant's upcoming 737 MAX fleet will feature even more rows of “Allegiant Extra” seating, with additional legroom on board, than the retrofit Airbus fleet.
Inside the early digital aircraft cabin Internet of Things trials
IoT is coming to planes. At least that's the hope in some circles. And the technology works. But does the business case?
IAG Wants Other Companies – Not Just Airlines – to Use Its Avios Points
IAG's Avios points are coveted among people who want free or reduced-priced flights. A company might prefer to adopt its currency rather than start its own program. But IAG needs to invest in technology to make earning and burning a more attractive proposition for consumers.
Other Industry News
India proves critical for Air Canada, Emirates truce
A lot can change in ten years, especially in the aviation world. Now, rather rivals, Air Canada and Emirates have a burgeoning partnership. And it is all about India.
Tailwind shifts DC flights to Dulles
Seaplane operator Tailwind Air generated a lot of excitement over the summer when it promised service from the East River in New York City to Washington, DC. Alas, just days before the service launch, the carrier has quietly shifted its plans. Tailwind's DC flights will now operate to and from Dulles airport.
Why did China Airlines order the 787-9
Some might say that Boeing’s win is related to the recent geopolitical tensions between Taiwan and China. The geopolitical considerations are at best secondary, however, with cargo capacity a major factor.