From the Control Tower
When it comes to the Super Bowl most AvGeek attention is on the USAF flyover or all the private jets racing away at the end of the night. But neither of those are the highlight for me. Getting a peek inside N101TD, the BBJ of Indianapolis Colts owner Isray, gets me more excited. Amazing what you can do with all that space if you're not squeezing 130ish seats inside.
Speaking of squeezing seats inside, JetBlue's new Mint seats are finally official. And some fun news on the in-flight connectivity beat, too. Check out the details below.
Scrapping the North Atlantic tracks thanks to Aireon space-based ADS-B
Controllers are working to scrap the Organized Track Structure routes across the North Atlantic Ocean, ending a decades-long practice of aircraft management in favor of more efficient routings.
Panasonic Avionics activates first XTS payload, boost connectivity capacity in Asia
Panasonic Avionics has entered the next stage of its in-flight connectivity solution evolution, with activation of the first extreme high throughput satellite (XTS). The APSTAR-6D satellite launched last summer and is now ready to serve airline customers with additional Ku-band capacity in the Asia-Pacific region.
Another fleet comes online
Airlines are still navigating the timing challenges of how and when to return their aircraft to service. But as they do in-flight connectivity remains an important amenity to offer. And if you listen to the suppliers it is even more important now. PaxEx.Aero can now confirm that another airline fleet has wifi installed on board.
Ansat helicopters add Ku-band satellite connectivity
In-flight satellite connectivity is now available on Ansat helicopters in Russia. The Mku30 system from Kazan Helicopters, a subsidiary of the Rostec State Corporation, received regulatory approval for in-flight operations.
Qatar Airways upgrades 787-8 IFE to Thales AVANT
The Qatar Airways 787-8 fleet is getting an upgrade. The carrier will swap out the in-flight entertainment system on board its oldest Dreamliners to the Thales AVANT platform.
JetBlue unveils Mint 2.0, business class cabin for London
This is the new JetBlue Mint business class seat that will carry passengers to London later this year. After years of development the carrier unveiled its Mint 2.0 cabin with a unique all-aisle access, flat bed option for travelers on the A321LR fleet.
Also check out TheDesignAir's interview with Acumen about how the Studio concept came together.
Norwegian halts most CashPoints loyalty during restructuring
The Norwegian CashPoints loyalty program is taking a break. As the carrier moves through the bankruptcy protection and reorganization processes in Ireland and Norway the bulk of the programs benefits will be removed.
Other Industry News
JetBlue plans major route growth with American alliance
With its Northeast Alliance (NEA) approved, JetBlue and American Airlines are pushing quickly towards implementation of coordinated operations in the New York City and Boston markets. In earnings calls last week both companies spoke to the potential opportunities the relationship brings.
Rolls Royce plans summer shutdown to help cut losses
Nothing quite as telling for the industry as one of the major engine manufacturers, already beset by troubles with its products, taking a couple weeks off to help conserve cash against a drop in demand.