Inflight Wi-Fi provider (Gogo) has discontinued its deal to provide roaming Internet access for customers of Boingo airport Wi-Fi, announced in a notice sent to Boingo customers yesterday. In the past, users of Boingo could log on to Gogo with the same password. The company said to it’s customers; “Because you’re a loyal Boingo user who has logged in to the inflight Wi-Fi services provided by our partner Gogo, we thought it was important to let you know that effective June 1, that will no longer be possible.” As an“ease of service deal” only, we suspect more is going on here. The note from Boingo went on: “We’d like to apologize for this change, since we know our customers really appreciated this convenience.” Boingo and Gogo inked a deal in 2011 and Gogo has “opted not to renew its roaming contract with Boingo.” The airport Wi-Fi service provider noted that it still has roaming agreements with Deutsche Telekom, for access on international flights who services nine other international airlines and we were wondering if this cancellation was a notice to the industry that Gogo might be heading in another direction – Airport Wi-Fi? It makes a lot of sense since a ground application at the airport – both before takeoff and upon landing – it could usher in a new line of service and revenue for Gogo… but that is just a guess on our part. Stay Tuned!

Here are a couple news notes from Global Eagle – “IFE Services, a subsidiary of Global Eagle Entertainment (NASDAQ:ENT), announced today that it has developed Iberia’s new inflight entertainment (IFE) content app. Called ‘IberiaOnBoard’, the freely downloadable app allows travellers to check out all of the IFE content available to them on their upcoming Iberia flights. Every movie and TV show is listed by genre and has a trailer with accompanying useful information including synopsis, cast, director, rating, duration and language availability. Music album information lists tracks and their times. A special Kids’ section showcases all of the specially selected children’s content on offer inflight. Mobile app development is just one of many new products Global Eagle Entertainment has introduced to the airline industry recently as the world’s leading inflight entertainment content and connectivity provider continues its focus to innovate on behalf of clients.” And the second “Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: ENT) announced today that its subsidiary IFP has entered into a multi-year agreement with Etihad Airways to provide inflight entertainment (IFE) content programming across its entire fleet, as well as to its partner airlines Air Serbia and Air Seychelles. Starting this quarter, IFP will provide a rich and varied program of regional and international content including popular movies, TV shows and audio programming to support the airline’s world-renowned guest experience. “We’re thrilled to have been selected by Etihad Airways for its content services,” added Walé Adepoju, Executive Vice President of Customer Solutions for Global Eagle Entertainment. (Editor’s Note: Strangely, the market has reacted negatively – “Global Eagle Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ:ENT) takes the last spot on today’s list of midday losers. Its price dropped -8.27% even after the announcement that its subsidiary IPF has entered into a multi-year agreement with Etihad Airways to provide inflight entertainment and content programming. In Soros’ investment portfolio since March 2013, ENT’s price has fallen -23.87% YTD,” noted Motley Fool.)

On another note, BE Aerospace just purchased EMTEQ, the LED lighting company who has a large investment in replacement lighting. The very profitable BEA has quite a business in the Boeing Sky Interior and we suspect they may be looking to garner more retrofit LED lighting work. The deals come about a month after B/E said it may be putting itself up for sale as part of “exploring and evaluating” its strategic alternatives. “Demand for comprehensive and integrated solutions for power management, lighting and connectivity within the aircraft cabin is growing,” Amin Khoury, B/E’s chairman and co-chief executive, said in a statement. ”The combination of our lighting and power management systems business with EMTEQ’s highly complementary lighting, cabin management and power systems businesses, as well as their electrical and connectivity expertise, will allow us to expand our product and service offerings in the commercial airliner and business jet markets.”

If you have been wondering why we have been covering the real-time aircraft inflight positioning brouhaha it is because there are a lot of potential links between inflight entertainment hardware (severs for example), and the connectivity platforms and data acquisitions that serve them. Yes, we are out on a limb here but we have been talking to a number of companies, new and some presently in the IFE business, who feel that there is a need to get this job done. While some see the potential of revenues based on position acquisition, weather, system data, and performance information, if data connections to the ground are established, it might fulfill an age-old discussion that claimed that the aircraft is the last remaining un-served node on the airline network. As it turns out, there is some compatibility. A good example is Panasonic’s FlightLink. Compatible or not, companies in our industry are racing to get in the business (or related industries) by acquisition, developing new services, and is some cases, new start-ups. This brings us to a “Stay Tuned” note for an upcoming article on Wisscom. You probably never heard of them but you might in the near future.

Now, while still on the previous subject, IATA Chief, Tony Tyler, in a recent speech referring to safety challenges, said the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 pointed to an immediate need. “A large commercial airliner going missing without a trace for so long is unprecedented in modern aviation. It must not happen again. IATA, ICAO and experts from around the world are working together to identify the best recommendations for improved global tracking. By September, we will deliver draft options to ICAO,” he said. Watch this one.

Recently, an IATA news release noted the following: “The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts the global airline industry will generate $18 billion in profits this year, but far from being a cause for cause for celebration, Director General Tony Tyler called this forecast a “challenge.” “The brutal economic reality is that on revenues of $746 billion, we will earn an average net margin of 2.4%,” Tyler said June 2 at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Doha, Qatar. “That’s less than $6 per passenger.” Tyler noted profits are improving, and the average return on invested capital (ROIC) today is 5.4%, higher than it has historically been, but that is short of what he said is the 7-8% ROIC investors demand.” We wonder if future IFE sales have fallout from this development, but it certainly explains the drive for ancillary revenue. Interestingly AIER noted in February 2014, commercial airlines—the buyers of commercial aircraft, the transportation sector’s third major component—hit a new record high in their revenue passenger load factor (the ratio of revenue passenger miles divided by available seat miles in passenger services, a measure of the portion of aircraft seating capacity that is actually sold and utilized).”

A recent article in a communication weekly noted “Rumors have been rampant over recent months regarding Google’s satellite ambitions, which are tied to a desire to increase its information-gathering prowess (think Google Earth and Google Street View) as well as an effort to extend wireless broadband services worldwide and, thus, create a larger market for its other Internet-based products, including search, YouTube and more.” Further, we understand Facebook is also eyeing a similar solution for worldwide social media domination. FierceTech Wireless went on; “I would expect the (Google) constellation to be launched in two phases, with the higher altitude satellites providing complete global coverage, and the lower satellites being added later, in between the initial nine planes, to provide additional capacity. It also seems likely that the system could include inter-satellite crosslinks (within each of the two halves of the constellation) given the near polar orbit that is planned,” he wrote in a blog on his TMF Associates website.” You note, nothing was mentioned about inflight connectivity but watch this space.

We found a very quick synopsis on inflight Wi-Fi installations/pricing – Check it out. And speaking of inflight Wi-Fi, here is a pretty good primer on the subject.

It looks like UAL has selected to use iOS for their content distributionUnited Airlines updates iOS app to support exclusive, free in-flight video content

If you plan to go to the APEX EXPO in September (15 – 18) here is your first notice from IFExpressRegistration