Aircraft passengers should be able to use their own cellphones in flight safely and conveniently before the end of this year through a new service developed jointly by satellite operator Inmarsat, aircraft communication systems specialist Arinc and mobile telephone service provider Telenor.
Open Travel Alliance
Scottsdale Air Center (SAC) opened its doors for business on Scottsdale Airport in 2003 with the intention of providing a premier FBO for the upscale Arizona area’s residents and visitors. To make that possible, the company needed a maintenance facility. To that end, SAC management contacted Arinc, and the two parties struck a deal in which Arinc began using a portion of one of SAC’s new hangars as a maintenance facility.
Today’s world, including the business jet, is all about being connected. The executives now moving into the cabins of these aircraft are more aware than any previous generation of the need to stay in touch with events below.
These are customers for whom being isolated for just a few hours can cost a deal. Every day, in every way, they are connected–to the office, the broker, the stock market, the clients, and to the wife and kids.
Pinnacle Airlines bought Manassas, Va.-based Colgan Air for $20 million last month. The deal gives Memphis-based Pinnacle, which has flown exclusively for Northwest Airlines during its entire existence, immediate access to code-share revenue from Colgan partners Continental Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways.
A new code-share contract signed last month by St. George, Utah-based SkyWest to fly from Milwaukee and Kansas City as Midwest Connect stands as the centerpiece of Midwest Airlines’ strategy to fend off a hostile buyout overture from AirTran Airways. The deal, scheduled to take effect in April, calls for SkyWest to fly 25 Bombardier CRJ200s, the first 15 arriving by this November.
Delta Air Lines last month signed a letter of intent with Bombardier to acquire as many as 60 CRJ900s to deploy with its Delta Connection regional affiliates from Atlanta, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and New York. A firm order, still subject to bankruptcy court approval, would call for 30 of the airplanes in a two-class, 76-seat configuration, and likely accompany an option for another 30 airplanes.
Although declining from providing revenue figures, Delta AirElite president and CEO Michael Green said the Cincinnati-based charter and management company “is having a record year,” with a 38-percent gain in revenue flight hours over last year. He attributed much of the increase to the company’s introduction of its Fleet Membership jet-card program in February 2003. The company has also increased its charter/management fleet to 19 jets.
Leaders of three general aviation organizations went on the offensive yesterday in response to an Air Transport Association plan that would place a tax (read user fees) on the number of “departures” and “time in system” and give the airlines the most influence among ATC system stakeholders.
The airlines that own Arinc are interested in selling the 77-year-old aviation communications company. Based in Annapolis, Md., Arinc posted revenues of $890 million last year, but its owners, including financially troubled carriers Delta and American, are said to be reluctant to make necessary investments in the company.
Arinc Direct and Starling Advanced Communication have joined forces to offer integrated broadband connectivity to business jet customers. The agreement calls for the integration of Arinc’s SkyLink satellite data service with Starling’s fuselage-mounted satcom antennas. The companies plan to jointly develop and market the system to potential buyers.