Coronavirus could pose long-term problems for in-flight connectivity
The specialist gave an overview of the main players, highlighting their strengths. For instance, Gogo “comes from a telco mentality in rolling out an infrastructure and then accessing consumers directly.” Meanwhile, with ViaSat, “their expertise is not to be underestimated. They were the modem provider for Panasonic. I think they actually created a system called ArcLight, which went onto some of the larger bizjets.”
He went on to discuss the market size and opportunities. “The ability to really connect an aircraft and get value out of it is really dependent on the digital transformation of the airline business… Post-COVID, the ability to use data much more creatively and much more analytically, I think, will be essential.”
Coronavirus’ impact on the in-flight connectivity market could be long-lasting. Looking at previous crises like 9/11, aviation lagged other industries when recovering, with domestic routes seeing faster uptake than international. Another aspect to consider is if there will be prolonged social distancing on planes: “Load factor is a key determinant of revenue for connectivity companies that are still in the retail model.”
In terms of consolidation, it was noted that all the players working in this industry are highly specialised. Consequently, “the question is should all these companies be doing this as different, independent businesses. Clearly, the market can’t sustain that. I think some of these companies will need to come together.”
To access all the human insights from Third Bridge Forum’s In-Flight Connectivity – Coronavirus Impact for Gogo, Global Eagle & ViaSat Interview, click here to view the full transcript.
The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.
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