From the Control Tower
Despite the turbulent conditions several companies managed to hit promised milestones before 2020 closed last week. The impact of some of those programs will be felt for years to come, with new fleet inductions and new on-board offerings ready to really fly early this year.
These, combined with COVID-era record levels of travel over the Christmas and New Years holidays, give some hope to an industry beaten and battered over the past year. But a full recovery remains a distant vision. We're still years away from what once was in terms of traffic, and finding the revenue levels to support future growth may be even further away.
Here's to an exciting and entertaining 2021. And thanks for joining me on the adventure.
Turkish Airlines completes first Global Eagle IFC installation
Global Eagle is ending the year on a high note, at least in one market. Just over a year after announcing a deal to install Ku-band satellite connectivity services on a large portion of the Turkish Airlines single-aisle fleet the company confirmed on Monday that the first of those aircraft is now equipped with its Ku-band satellite connectivity solution.
Executive shuffle atop Gogo
Gogo President and CEO Oakleigh Thorne will fill another leadership role at the company as of last Friday. He takes over as Chairman of the Board of Directors as Ronald LeMay retires at the end of the year.
Viasat acquires RigNet, expands satellite service range
Viasat's global satellite mobility services offering now includes a major off-shore component. The company agreed to acquire RigNet, a provider of networking services to the oil and gas industry, in an all-stock deal that should have some trickle-down impact to the IFEC segment.
Tata’s aviation web grows as AirAsia’s shrinks
Shifting alliances and ownership in India could dramatically change the aviation landscape, including IFE/C offerings and suppliers. Or it could be years of talk and nothing really changing.
Emirates unveils Premium Economy offering
Emirates' customers finally have a premium economy option for their travels. But there's a catch: Travelers cannot book the seat yet and might not be able to for some time.
Singapore Airlines’ new catering gets a container boost
Delivering a wholesale change to the in-flight dining experience requires more than just menu planning. As Singapore Airlines revamped its economy class menus on regional routes earlier this month the 40+ new dishes are only part of the story. Also enabling the shift in dining options was the team at Global-C, a leading supplier of in-flight products worldwide, and its line of bamboo and paper-derived packaging.
Other Industry News
JetBlue takes delivery of first A220
JetBlue promised it would take delivery of its first A220 in 2020 and it beat the deadline by mere hours, with an evening ferry flight from Mobile to JFK on New Year's Eve.
Alaska Airlines boosts Boeing 737 MAX order, plans Airbus retirements
It won't truly be "Proudly all Boeing" as was painted on the nose for many years, but Alaska Airlines is moving aggressively back in that direction. The carrier announced an expanded order book with Boeing for the 737 MAX today, with plans for a total of 68 firm orders of the 737-9 type. An additional 52 options are also included.
Delta CEO sees some recovery from travel slump later in 2021
Can Delta get to positive cash flow early in 2021 and a tangible recovery later in the year? CEO Ed Bastian tried to rally the troops with an optimistic message on New Year's Day.
Airlines We Lost 2020
While it is great to look forward, we must also remember what came before. And this year saw many airlines fail, both due to COVID and just because.