United toys with free in-flight WiFi for messaging, plus a streaming option
Expect to see some new wifi options on some United Airlines flights, at least for a short while. The company is testing options for higher speeds to support streaming video services, as well as a free option for messaging services, on some of its aircraft.
Icelandair brings the MAX 9 online
Icelandair can once again claim in-flight wifi availability on 100% of its flights. The carrier's 737 MAX fleet, fitted with Ka-band satellite connectivity from Viasat, began activation earlier this year and will accelerate thanks to a recently received certification on the MAX 9.
Gulfstream, Inmarsat hit 500 Jet ConneX install milestone
Gulfstream owners seem to love the Inmarsat Jet ConneX (JX) in-flight connectivity system. The companies announced this week more than 500 of the large cabin business jets now carry the JX kit on board.
American Airlines won’t bring back IFE screens
In-seat screens are not coming back to American Airlines' single-aisle fleet. The company doubled down on its decision to focus on streaming entertainment on board in the wake of United Airlines' about face on the issue, citing technical and ecological reasons.
Bluebox, Aerospace Engineering secure certification for plug-in model
The Bluebox Wow streaming IFE solution is now available as a plug-in model. The company announced certification from EASA this week, allowing the updated option to be installed on A320 aircraft.
Cathay Pacific A321neo brings many firsts to market
With its inaugural flight A321neo to Shanghai-Pudong on 4 August, Cathay Pacific will break through a number of milestones, particularly around in-flight entertainment and connectivity services.
American, JetBlue announce elite status reciprocity
With their new Northeast Alliance continuing to grow, American Airlines and JetBlue confirmed the initial elite status benefits for travelers using the partner airline. Don't expect too much, however. The initial reciprocity is spectacularly limited.
Other Industry News
Atlantic City scores international, Caribbean service with Spirit Airlines expansion
Spirit Airlines will bring international flights to Atlantic City, NJ this winter, a first for the airport. A trio of new destinations will see the low cost carrier expand to 10 total markets from the airport, continuing to expand well beyond 2019 levels at its South Jersey base.
How to shrink greenhouse gas emissions from your next flight
Some great research out from the International Council on Clean Transportation last week about emissions and the range of pollution caused by different flight options on a given city pair. As governments and airlines reject the idea of including details like this in their sales channels is it perhaps time to actually make travelers more directly aware of the impact.
Clear, others, expected to add TSA PreCheck enrollment later this year
Airport biometrics company Clear could be expanding into the TSA PreCheck business by the end of the year. It is one of three companies eligible to enroll travelers in the expedited airport screening program, and the Agency expects that at least one, if not all three, could have their new systems online later this year.