From the Control Tower
The annual Satellite show in Washington, DC rarely disappoints for scale and significance of news, and 2023 was no exception. New entrants to the market and new concepts from existing players, and even some old stuff trying to become new again.
A few highlights are featured below, with more to come during the days ahead.
ThinKom sees ESA integration as a Plus for connectivity hardware
Looking to combine the best-in-class antenna performance with an electronically steered solution for multi-constellation support? ThinKom may soon have a new "Plus" option available.
Viasat confirms Delta fleet growth
Viasat will install its inflight internet solution across more than 1,000 planes for Delta Air Lines as part of an updated agreement between the two companies. The deal includes all active aircraft in its Airbus A330, Airbus A350, and Boeing 767 fleets.
Starlink shines on JSX
Of course it works; this was a media demo flight, after all. But the fact that the Starlink internet service works so well on the JSX fleet was never a sure thing; the program had a few hiccups along the way. But the overall performance was impressive, and in a couple ways that were true differentiators from competing solutions.
The Yankees provide their players many perks. But not in-flight Wi-Fi.
Tragically, one of the world’s most valuable sports franchises doesn’t provide complimentary Wi-Fi to its millionaire employees.
Removing inflight connectivity friction, and maybe creating another problem along the way
Step on board a plane flying with the SpaceX Starlink satellite network and you're online immdiately. There's no capture portal, no extra clicks. And that approach may also limit Starlink's reach into the market, in a somewhat unexpected way.
Crystal Cabin Awards short list: 80+ designs that will change the way you fly
More than 80 companies and products are set to compete for top honors at the 2023 Crystal Cabin Awards, highlighting new an innovative solutions that will change the passenger experience in the years ahead.
Other Industry News
Canada Jetlines wants to fly to Doha
Upstart Canada Jetlines is still trying to figure out what it wants to be when it grows up. After a few false starts on domestic routes the airline now flies mostly transborder leisure routes from its Toronto hub. In something of a surprise move it now also says Doha is on its radar, in cooperation with Qatar Airways.
JetBlue promises massive Orlando growth if Spirit merger approved
JetBlue plans a pair of new routes between Orlando and the Dominican Republic from November 2023, a down payment on what it sees as more than doubling daily operations in Central Florida should its merger with Spirit Airlines be approved.
Big oil firms touted algae as climate solution. Now all have pulled funding
Insiders aren’t surprised as ExxonMobil, the last remaining proponent of green algae biofuel, ends research
The History of SFO Reflects Racial Tension in California Bay Area
For many travelers, transit hubs like San Francisco International Airport are what anthropologist Marc Augé considers “nonplaces” — a connection from one place to another devoid of historical significance or intimacy.
But a new book by Eric Porter aims to defy that perception. A People’s History of SFO: The Making of the Bay Area and an Airport charges that SFO can tell the story of the Bay Area’s past and future, as it has played a key role in the region’s economic expansion.
After strategic 787 wins, Boeing jet battle shifts to factory floor
A major purchase by Saudi Arabia caps sales of almost 200 Dreamliners over the past four months, handing Boeing Co major industrial and political wins in lucrative widebody sales against European rival Airbus.