From the Control Tower
A not so merry holiday season for many in the aviation industry as Boeing's 737 MAX grounding now means a halt in production, Most still expect that the company will eventually pull through the mess, but the impact to smaller suppliers could be catastrophic.
Plus, lots of news in the inflight connectivity space, some good and some bad. Might the confidence and bravado of some vendors finally be called out for repeated delivery failures??
Most likely going to take off next week unless something dramatic happens that deserves special attention. Happy New Year and expect a return of the PaxEx Update in 2020!
Gilat delivers a successful Ka-band ESA test flight with Honeywell, Telesat
Finally some good news worth celebrating in the ESA space. Gilat's new kit went flying on Honeywell's 757 and successfully linked with a Telesat GEO Ka-band satellite.
Antenna woes derail Spirit’s WiFi installation efforts
More troubles for the Spirit Airlines inflight wifi program came to light today. Antenna issues with the Thales FlytLIVE kit will require the few existing installations to be replaced and tested anew before the full fleet deployment resumes.
More bandwidth coming for Ka-band inflight connectivity
Gaining access to more radio spectrum for inflight wifi connectivity is a rare event. A recent agreement by the ITU that boosts the available Ka-band satellite frequency range 400% is a massive win that should begin to pay off in mid-2020.
Evelop taps Inflight VR for premium passenger entertainment
Some passengers on Spanish leisure carrier evelop! have a new inflight entertainment option on board. The Turista Plus (premium) cabin on the carrier's A350s is now stocked with InflightVR headsets to help entertain passengers traveling between Spain and the Caribbean.
Wheelchair accessibility regulations to be updated with Department of Transportation proposal
The US Department of Transportation is finally poised to take action related to wheelchair-bound passengers on single-aisle aircraft. While any progress is good news, the limited scope of this effort leaves much to be desired.
ZIPAir brings a basic cabin configuration to life
Fully flat beds are coming to the Asian LCC market in mid-2020. But that's about the only thing exciting in the new ZIPAir cabin configuration unveiled last week. And some of the finer details straddle the line between disappointing and concerning.
Other Industry News
Boeing 737 MAX freeze divides suppliers into haves and have-nots
As Boeing prepares to halt production of the 737 MAX suppliers are bracing for the impact. And the extent of the pain is not split only between large and small companies. Lots of affected parties could be hurt - potentially catastrophically - with this cut.