Boeing’s new Connexion satellite Internet service last month began operating in revenue passenger service aboard a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 flying daily between Frankfurt, Germany, and Washington Dulles International Airport. The good news for passengers is that Lufthansa is offering the service free of charge for the duration of this initial three-month trial.
The scheduled airlines, after years of seeing business-class travelers lured away by business aviation operators, are fighting back.
Aegean Airlines, host carrier at this month’s European Regions Airline Association (ERA) general assembly in Athens, has an eye on opportunities in Eastern European and Middle East markets, according to Aegean COO Antonis Simigdalas, who is also president of ERA. He told AIN that the airline is “geared for such developments, through its fleet plans, traffic-rights applications and economic stability and planning.”
To ensure their continued survival in the face of reduced income per passenger, regional operators sometimes seek solace in the arms of major carriers, which then might have to re-learn the realities of the regional game. For Portuguese flag carrier TAP Portugal, consideration of short-haul equipment and service costs has become a new experience as the major prepares to complete its acquisition of regional operator Portugalia Airlines.
To meet surging demand for its executive jets, Airbus is appointing Stork Fokker in the Netherlands as an additional completion center and reviving the defunct company-owned Sogerma completion center located within Airbus’ premises in Toulouse, France. This new facility is called Airbus Corporate Jet Centre and will be independently managed to provide the flexibility needed in the VIP market.
The Airholding consortium led by Embraer of Brazil, with EADS as a minority partner, has taken a majority stake in Portuguese aircraft maintenance specialist Ogma, following the latter’s privatization late last year. European Union competition authorities have since approved the ?11.4 million ($14 million) deal, in which a company controlled by the Portuguese government retains the remaining 35 percent of the shareholding.
Honeywell has signed several major long-term support contracts with JetBlue and US Airways.
Embraer has tapped DeCrane Aircraft to complete the interiors of its new Lineage 1000 large executive jet. The two companies announced the deal here yesterday. Under the agreement, key interior components such as seating, furniture and entertainment systems will also be supplied by DeCrane. Embraer announced the $40.95 million aircraft, based on its EMB 190 large regional jetliner, in May.
Cabin electronics specialist PGA Avionics (Booth No. 1473) is introducing at NBAA an in-flight entertainment system called Paradize 3, notable for incorporating digital video-on-demand capability.
Paradize 3 will be offered for sale next year, so PGA is exhibiting only some components of the system here in Orlando. As described by the manufacturer, the system’s network links an aircraft’s IFE system and cabin lighting.
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