Dave Davis on the Current State of In-Flight Connectivity and Its Future (Part 1)
Global Eagle Entertainment’s former chief executive officer, Dave Davis, spoke to APEX Media to give his unfiltered thoughts on the current state of satellite services and in-flight connectivity, and what he thinks will happen in the near and distant future. In part one of the interview, Davis looks back on his time at GEE, explaining why he left, and looks ahead at the satellite services space, discussing topics including consolidation and profitability. “People are investing a lot of money in this space, and they’re having a hard time generating positive returns and cash flow,” he said. “I think in an environment like that, you inevitably see some form of consolidation.”
[IMAGES] Boeing Gives Sneak Peek of New Mid-Sized Aircraft
Boeing released the first image of its new mid-sized airplane at the Paris Air Show yesterday. Unofficially dubbed the 797, it would represent the manufacturer’s first new family of commercial aircraft since the Dreamliner was announced more than a decade ago. The jet would fill a gap between the 737 and 787, seating between 220 and 270 passengers on flights of up to 5,200 nautical miles, or just over 10 hours. Boeing says it has talked to 57 potential customers and estimates there could be demand for 4,000 such aircraft over a 20-year period starting around 2025.
[PHOTOS] Airbus Unveils A380plus
Airbus revealed an upgraded version of the world’s biggest passenger aircraft on Sunday ahead of this week’s Paris Air Show. The A380plus features a new wingtip design with improved aerodynamics, reducing fuel burn by up to four percent. The revised A380 can also fit 80 more seats, delivering a 13-percent seat-mile cost reduction compared to the current A380. The optimized cabin layout is achieved by decreasing the size of the staircase, increasing the economy-class section from a 10- to 11-abreast configuration, removing sidewall storage bins and raising the floor to increase shoulder and cabin width.
PXCom’s PXVision Brings Passengers a 360° External View
PXCom and IrisAero have partnered to create PXVision, a new service allowing passengers to watch live 360-degree external videos. Whether streamed through a seatback IFE screen or a passenger’s personal electronic device, “PXVision allows passengers to discover points of interest the aircraft is flying over in real time,” said Cyril Jean, CEO of PXCom, which won the APEX Cool Award at the 2016 APEX EXPO in Singapore. “We add in pictograms, which the passengers can click on, and a pop-up or a microsite appears on the screen.” The service is on display at ATR’s showcase at the Paris Air Show this week.
Airbus Introduces A320 Airspace Interior
Airbus is now bringing its Airspace interior to its A320 family of aircraft. The cabin features what Airbus claims are the largest overhead storage compartments for aircraft of that size, accommodating up to eight bags, compared to five in existing cabins. Airbus also increased cabin width by one inch at shoulder level by creating new sidewall panels. The lavatories now include mood lights, antibacterial coating, touchless options and an automatic aroma dispenser. Airspace also features cabin-wide LED lighting with 16.4 million color options and fully integrated window shades, which, according to Airbus, offer “more window space and an unobstructed view, evoking the feel of the A350.”
Avianca Becomes First Latin American Carrier to Select Inmarsat GX
Avianca will become the first Latin American airline to equip its aircraft with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation connectivity. The Ka-band satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi will be available on about 125 of the Colombian carrier’s Airbus A320s, A330s and Boeing 787s, with the possibility of more aircraft becoming equipped in the future. “Avianca understands that its passengers and cabin crew today expect a consistent, reliable and fast in-flight broadband service wherever they fly,” said Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation. “The rapid uptake from airlines is evidence of the market’s confidence, with launch customers signed in key regions such as Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Australasia and now Latin America.”