From the Control Tower
The coming week brings NBAA 2019 to life, with a ton of business aviation news on the horizon. We're keeping an eye on Las Vegas while also hoping to see some progress on the chaos that engulfed the 737MAX program over the weekend. Those internal messages and emails are not going to play well in front of a jury, regardless of how Boeing tries to spin it.
AeroMobile adds Thai, UAE partners to inflight cellular roaming
Easier access to inflight connectivity is now available to cell phone subscribers on du in the UAE or TrueMobile in Thailand, thanks to preferred roaming agreements signed with AeroMobile in recent weeks.
AirGo, Royal Air Maroc launch streaming IFE trial
Royal Air Maroc will bring inflight entertainment to its smallest aircraft this month. The company will trial a streaming solution from AirGo.Aero on one of its Embraer E190 planes. This also represents the first installation for AirGo, bringing another streaming IFE vendor into what is already a crowded market.
Air France picks ECOS for bigger bins on A320 family
Air France passengers will soon find more overhead bin space on board. The carrier announced its intention to retrofit 40 A320s and 11 A321s with the"Efficient Cabin Open Space" ECOS bins from Safran. Air France is the first customer for Safran's new product.
Air New Zealand to add new economy class option
Looking for a little extra leg room on board. Air New Zealand will adjust the way it sells some economy seats, going for incremental ancillary revenue in exchange for a couple inches of pitch, though not changing the number of seats on board.
Delta seeks subscription success with SkyMiles Select
Is it a new, lower elite tier that passengers can just buy outright, a threat to the co-branded credit card cash cow that drives so much of the airline's profits, or just another way to get passengers to pay up for services at a margin far beyond their hard costs? Probably a bit of all three and then some.
Other Industry News
United plans more seats per departure with fleet renewal
United Airlines wants to get bigger. The carrier has plans to expand its fleet in the coming years but it also wants to get more seats in the sky per flight. And it wants to accomplish that without adding more seats to the existing aircraft. It is a somewhat complicated challenge, but if things go right United expects 3% more seats per departure on average a year from now.
Some Sunrise skepticism
Over the weekend Qantas brought another 787-9 home to its fleet in Sydney. But this was not a normal delivery flight. Project Sunrise is coming, and maybe it shouldn't.
New document in 737 Max investigation points to chaos, pressure in MCAS development
They should've found this internal conversation way sooner. And they definitely shouldn't have waited months to disclose it to regulators. It seems Boeing new more than it wants to admit about the MCAS problems, even before the plane was certified.
Boeing 777X delays may affect Emirates fleet plans - Clark
Emirates has big plans for Boeing's next big jet. But the timeline for when they'll fly keeps slipping. President Sir Tim Clark now has no expectations of the aircraft joining the fleet in 20200.