Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Global Eagle looks abroad for new aviation business

Satellite connectivity provider Global Eagle Entertainment on April 2 detailed three nearly complete international connectivity deals with airlines in Europe and Asia that have the potential to increase its number of connected aircraft by a third.

Global Eagle executives said that two of those customers already have its offline inflight entertainment systems installed, making them prime candidates for upselling satellite Wi-Fi.

Having filed late financial documents for 2016 and averted a Nasdaq delisting threat that made prospective customers second-guess signing contracts, executives told investors to expect new revenue as the company capitalizes on network investments made over the past two years.

Europe, India and Southeast Asia

Speaking to investors April 2, Josh Marks, Global Eagle’s new CEO promoted from the company’s connectivity division, said Global Eagle’s satellite network has “nearly tripled” in size following the mid-2016 acquisition of land and maritime connectivity company EMC, and is poised to support new customers, notably international airlines in Europe and Asia.

“Our content relationships provide a foundation to cross sell our connectivity as we do business with more than 220 scheduled airlines,” he said.

Marks said Global Eagle has a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with inflight entertainment customer Jet Airways in India, in anticipation of new Indian regulations allowing connectivity on domestic flights. Jet Airways has Global Eagle equipment installed on around 70 aircraft, which Marks said are upgradable to support connectivity once authorized, and that the MoU adds another 81 aircraft.

Marks said he anticipates India will finalize the new regulations “within the next quarter,” opening up the market there to Global Eagle.

“We will work together with Jet Airways to deploy inflight connectivity as soon as the regulatory approvals are in place,” he said.

Marks said once India stands up its authorization process, Global Eagle and Jet Airways will only need to install antennas and protective radomes. Those installations can take place overnight, he said, when fewer aircraft are in service.
03/04/18 Caleb Henry/Space News