Round Trip is your weekly roundup of what’s been happening in the passenger experience and airline ancillary revenue space. Here are the top stories from this past week:
After last month’s bankruptcy announcement, multiple parties, including Lufthansa, have put in bids for parts of Air Berlin. The deadline for bids was Friday, 9/15, at 1200 GMT. Bids have gone in for the airline’s 140 aircraft as well as airport landing and take-off slots, but it doesn’t look as though taking over the business has been of interest.
Ryanair is in the final process of acquiring Alitalia. Alitalia will keep its brand and long-haul operations, but Ryanair will be changing the short-haul fleet. Alitalia has leased its planes, but Ryanair prefers to own them. CEO, Michael O’Leary, commented that Ryanair will not be in the bidding for Air Berlin.
Passengers flying Ethiopian Airlines B767-300 fleet can expect a more comfortable experience. The airline has refurbished the planes with flat-bed seats in Cloud Nine, new seats in the main cabin, and more robust inflight entertainment, including a 17-inch hi-res screen for Cloud Nine and BYOD accessibility for the main cabin. Oh, and don’t forget in-seat power outlets.
All three of Air Astana’s Boeing 767s will be fully equipped with broadband-speed connectivity. The airline will offer three connectivity packages for passengers: Light for up to 15 Mb, Business for up to 50 Mb, and Super for up to 100 Mb. Speeds are said to average 2 to 5 Mbps.
While Air Astana went with Inmarsat GX for inflight connectivity in the last article, EL AL Israel Airlines has selected ViaSat as its system for onboard wifi. EL AL believes that this choice will help in their customer service and innovation focus, allowing passengers to stream more content and flight crew to stay connected. EL AL is expecting to have its internet equipped B787s in early 2018.