(Today’s image refers to a story in the Airbus section of IFExpress.)

United Airlines Orders 50 A321XLRs

United Airlines placed a firm order for 50 Airbus A321XLR aircraft as it begins to phase out older models and launches an expansion of transatlantic routes from its key U.S. hubs in Newark/New York and Washington D.C. United plans to take delivery of the first A321XLR in 2024 and expects to begin international service with the aircraft in 2025.

“The new Airbus A321XLR aircraft is an ideal one-for-one replacement for the older, less-efficient aircraft currently operating between some of the most vital cities in our intercontinental network,” said Andrew Nocella, United’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “In addition to strengthening our ability to fly more efficiently, the A321XLR opens potential new destinations to further develop our route network and provide customers with more options to travel the globe.”

“We are delighted to be re-United with our friends in Chicago and thank them for their trust. The selection of the A321XLR by the leadership of United Airlines is a ringing endorsement of the range, payload, and fuel efficiency that Airbus incorporated into this state-of-the-art aircraft,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer. “The exceptional versatility and performance of the A321XLR enable new operational efficiencies that flow to the airline’s bottom line.”

The A321XLR is the next evolutionary step in the A320neo/A321neo family of aircraft, meeting market requirements for increased range and payload in a single-aisle aircraft, and creating more value for the airlines by enabling economically viable service on longer routes than any comparable aircraft model. It will allow service from the U.S. East Coast to a much larger selection of European destinations.

The A321XLR will deliver an unprecedented narrow-body airliner range of up to 4,700nm, with 30% lower fuel consumption per seat compared with previous-generation competitor jets. It will have a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 101 metric tonnes, while takeoff, climb, and flight performance will change little from the A321neo.

The A321XLR will be operated by the same crew, powered by the same engines and have the same cabin as the A321neo, with more than 90 percent commonality. Combining the A321neo’s two rear center fuel tanks into one adds fuel capacity and reduces structural weight. Other significant changes include structural reinforcements and modified landing gears for the increased MTOW, increased braking capability, higher tire speed, and additional flap and slat configurations.

With the Airbus Cabin Flex fuselage, the A321XLR will accommodate a variety of seating classes and configurations suitable for longer flights.


SITA

Airlines and airports in China are moving to another level of passenger service. They are embracing artificial intelligence and automation to provide the hyper-personalized self-service experience their passengers are demanding. According to the SITA 2019 China IT Insights, China’s airlines and airports are using these technologies to expand mobile services and automating the journey with self-service every step of the way.

A key technology that is attracting investment is artificial intelligence (AI). SITA’s China IT Insights reveals that 88% of both airlines and airports are planning major programs, or R&D, with AI by 2022 and they are focusing on virtual agents and chatbots. This investment matches the demands from passengers; SITA’s research of passengers in China shows that 64% of them want a digital travel concierge. Already nearly half (43%) of airlines in China have AI-driven chatbot customer services and the planned investment should see the availability of them rising quickly over the coming years. For passengers of China’s airlines and airports, self-service has reached a strong level of maturity, but a step-change is coming as biometrics is being adopted. Today, 27% of airports have self-boarding gates using biometrics with travel documents but in just three years this will jump to 66%. And more than half of the airports have plans for secure single biometric tokens for all touch points by 2022. Airlines too are committing to self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID, 60% are planning to use them driving a secure and seamless passenger experience right through the airport with the next three years. Mobile services are vital to meet China passengers’ demands and by 2022, all airlines and 93% of airports are planning investments in them. Services including flight discovery, airline offers, check-in and flight status notifications via mobile are already provided by all airlines. One fifth are also using mobiles to sell newspapers, magazines and movies/TV to passengers. Airports too are investing in mobile services to offer a more personalized experience for passengers. Services including, notifications about flight and airport status, and customer relationship management are well established and are offered by up to 81% of airports. Keeping the passenger informed and connected is not only what China’s airports are providing via mobile, they are also facilitating mobile payments. Close to three quarters enable passengers to buy airport services and allow cashless payments via mobile. This hyper-personalized service via mobile confirms it as a vital tool for China passengers. The report highlights that blockchain technology is another key area of investment for airlines, today only 24% have major programs, or R&D, planned but this is set to jump to 80% by 2022. This is in line with the recent trends and commitments to blockchain technology in the country.


CARLISLE IT

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies (CIT) announced membership in the Independent Aircraft Modifiers Alliance (IAMA). CIT has a nearly 80-year history of providing the highest quality aircraft components and for over 30 years has been developing modification packages and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) for airlines, avionics manufacturers, and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) partners.

IAMA is an alliance of leading companies in the aircraft retrofit and modification industry that are committed to common standards for documentation and quality of STCs. IAMA’s founding members include EAD Aerospace, Envoy Aerospace, Etihad Airways Engineering, and Lufthansa Technik. By joining IAMA, CIT will contribute its decades of experience and expertise along with industry peers to improve the STC experience for its customers.

“We look forward to joining our industry colleagues in establishing standards for STC data packages and support,” said Jeff Behlendorf, director of product management, integrated products at CIT. “Our membership in IAMA builds on CIT’s longstanding tradition of providing the highest quality aircraft modifications, and our IAMA involvement will allow us to share experience and best practices with the entire industry.”

CIT holds more than 200 STCs for upgrade of Part 25 aircraft avionics, systems, and special mission equipment from regulators globally. CIT is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 21 Design Approval Holder, has European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Organization Approval (DOA), and maintains multiple Part 21 manufacturing locations and Part 145 repair facilities. This allows CIT customers the flexibility to certify in the US, Europe, or anywhere else in the world, leverage global manufacturing while coordinating with design and qualification activities, and enjoy robust support for the aircraft modifications on site.


INMARSAT

Inmarsat confirmed the successful launch of GX5, the fifth satellite in its Global Xpress (GX) network that delivers the award-winning GX Aviation and Jet ConneX (JX) inflight broadband services. The satellite was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana. It will bring additional, focused capacity over Europe and the Middle East to meet growing demand for high-speed passenger Wi-Fi in the airline and business aviation markets.

GX Aviation customers include leading airlines such as Qatar Airways, Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, AirAsia and Singapore Airlines, while JX has been activated on more than 600 business jets. GX5 was built by Thales Alenia Space and launched by Arianespace at 21:24 UK time on Tuesday 26 November 2019. Following satellite separation from the rocket at 21:58 UK time on 26 November, telemetry was successfully acquired shortly after separation and the mission is proceeding to plan. In less than four years, GX has established itself as the benchmark for reliable communications across the fastest growing sectors for mobile connectivity.

Additionally, Inmarsat has been named the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Service Provider’ for the third year in a row at the prestigious World Travel Awards, in recognition of the company’s pioneering GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) connectivity solutions for the airline industry. The prestigious accolade was announced at a gala ceremony in Muscat, Oman last night, following a vote by travel and tourism executives from across the world. Inmarsat was hailed for delivering a major step-change in inflight broadband capabilities with GX Aviation, powered by the world’s first and only globally available broadband network, and EAN, which offers unprecedented performance over Europe’s well-traveled skies. Both solutions enable airline passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with connectivity onboard at comparable speeds to land-based broadband. Almost 1,800 aircraft are currently under signed contracts for GX Aviation and EAN, with a new business pipeline of approximately 3,000 aircraft worldwide. Inmarsat is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and has outlined an ambitious development roadmap for its Global Xpress (GX) network, which commenced this week with the launch of its fifth satellite, GX5, providing focused capacity for airlines and business aviation over Europe and the Middle East. Seven additional satellites are scheduled to launch in the coming four years, making GX the most agile and flexible constellation ever built.


AIRBUS

Scandinavian carrier SAS has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the newest operator of this latest generation, highly efficient widebody aircraft (see image above). The airline has a total of eight A350-900 aircraft on order and operates an Airbus fleet of 68 aircraft (51 A320 Family, 17 A330 and A340 Family aircraft). In the coming years, as part of an extensive fleet modernization, SAS will take delivery of 54 additional A320neo Family aircraft and the remaining seven A350-900s through direct purchase and lease contracts. SAS’s A350-900 features a modern and highly comfortable three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats. On 28 January 2020, the airline will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other international destinations including North America and Asia.

The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, a carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency with a 25 per cent reduction in fuel burn and emissions. The A350 XWB’s Airspace by Airbus cabin is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crews the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable flying experience. Moreover, SAS will benefit from Airbus’ unique aircraft commonality. The incoming A350s will seamlessly integrate into SAS’s current Airbus fleet today in service at the airline. At the end of October 2019, the A350 XWB Family had received 913 firm orders from 50 customers worldwide, making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

On another note, Air Corsica has taken delivery of its first of two Airbus A320neo aircraft on lease from ICBC Leasing. With this delivery, the airline becomes the first French A320neo operator. The highly fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft will help reduce Air Corsica’s operating costs. The airline’s A320neo is powered by CFM International LEAP-1A engines and is configured in a single-class cabin layout, seating 186 passengers.Each passenger will benefit from a modern cabin that includes USB ports to charge electronic devices during flight. In addition, the aircraft’s lavatories are designed to facilitate access for passengers with reduced mobility. The two Air Corsica A320neo aircraft will replace the older aircraft in its fleet and will operate on the airline’s main domestic and European networks. Air Corsica is currently operating a fleet of six A320 aircraft. Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver 20 percent reduced fuel burn as well as 50 percent less noise compared to previous generation aircraft.

Airbus has also celebrated the 100th A220 aircraft produced for a customer during a ceremony at the aircraft program’s headquarters in Mirabel, Canada. The aircraft, an A220-300, destined for Riga, Latvia-based airBaltic, features a brand new and comfortable cabin layout with 149 seats plus a modernized livery.

The A220 Family is assembled at Airbus’ main Final Assembly Line in Mirabel and more recently, also at the program’s second assembly line in Mobile, Alabama. The world’s first A220 (formerly called the C Series) was delivered in June 2016 to A220-100 launch operator SWISS. airBaltic became the A220-300 launch operator when the Latvian airline received delivery of the first ever A220-300 three years ago, on 28 November, 2016. airBaltic has since then re-ordered A220-300 aircraft twice – bringing its firm order to 50 aircraft to become the current biggest European A220 customer. The airline now operates a fleet of 20 A220-300 aircraft to various European and Russian destinations as well as to the Middle East.

And lastly, A WTO panel assessing the measures the EU and Airbus have taken to comply with the WTO recommendations has issued its findings. As a result of the panel’s findings, the US should immediately reduce the USD 7.5 billion in tariffs that the WTO authorized to the US in October by around USD 2 billion. This is the direct result of the panel finding that the loans for the development of the A380 no longer have an impact on Boeing sales and that therefore the value of the lost sales no longer exists.

The panel also asserts that the amendments already made to the A350 loan agreements are not sufficient to fully align the loans with market conditions. Based on these findings, Airbus would support to appeal this report, as per WTO rules. In May 2018, the WTO Appellate Body clarified that the EU and Airbus have achieved compliance with respect to the vast majority of measures at issue, but considered that some adjustments were needed to the A380 and A350 loans, or to remedy their market effects. Measures have therefore been taken on both programs relating to the respective loans of Members States or on the market effects those loans had on Boeing.

Airbus remains committed to working with the EU and its member states to comply with the WTO recommendations. With the wide range of additional steps to comply with WTO findings since 2018, the EU and Airbus have demonstrated their willingness to ensure a fair trade environment respecting international trade agreements.


OTHER NEWS

  • No doubt, you just don’t see how AI will change your life. Hey, AI is just math – as it is applied to a lot of real, daily, and not so daily problems. This video on PBS Frontline is one of the best. Why? Because they take real problems and show the AI solutions. This is really a great beginning application story to AI so don’t miss it! In the Age of AI | Watch S2019 E5 | FRONTLINE | PBS | Official Site
    However, the two hour video may just scare the heck out of you! As an example, they note US (and worldwide, for that matter) productivity is increasing under robotics, while medium household income has not grown with the increase in productivity. And thus, while productivity has grown, job growth has not – at least not at the same rate. No doubt, your challenge will be to envision how AI will affect aviation! And if you can figure it out, you may well secure your job of the future!
    We will go one step further and tell you that the second hour of the show scared us.  It wasn’t just what AI technology can do but the real kicker is how it is applied and information extrapolated. As Kai Fu Lee says; “AI technology can be used for good or evil.” However, be sure to watch the video and come to your own conclusions.
    And speaking of AI issues: How AI Will Go Out Of Control According To 52 Experts – CB Insights Research
  • We found an interesting (and free) newsletter from Avionics International and it is very good and up to date. Called the Skyport, again, it’s free and you sign up here: The Skyport: Your Guide to the World of Urban Air Mobility – Avionics It comes out every 2 weeks.

Toulouse | June 11, 2019–United Airlines has become the latest US airline to connect to Airbus’ open-data platform, Skywise, following an agreement recently signed between the airline and Airbus. United will leverage Skywise to enhance all aspects of its maintenance and engineering operations on its Airbus fleet.

With flexible and visual tools, Skywise enables airlines to store, access, manage, and analyze data more efficiently while also benchmarking against other airline users’ trends. Skywise provides all technology elements in one place, including data warehousing, visualization, alerting, and even machine learning packages, allowing United and other airlines to nimbly develop and deploy their own analytical products.

In addition, Skywise seamlessly connects with the data integration platform, Palantir Foundry. United began using this platform in 2018, and the combination of Palantir Foundry and Airbus’ Skywise will provide United with the data and tools to enhance its operational reliability.

“We are proud to partner with Airbus and Palantir on this new data platform, which will allow us to maximize the performance of our Airbus fleet by analyzing the best data we have available and using those insights to continuously improve our operation,” said Praveen Sharma, United’s Vice President of Digital Products and Analytics.

Marc Fontaine, Airbus’ Digital Transformation Officer said, “Skywise will bring significant value by unlocking data, which will power operational efficiency in aircraft maintenance and flight operations for United Airlines’ fleet. He added, “By extending Skywise to other company business functions, with Palantir, the potential for United will be even bigger.”

Launched in 2017, Skywise is fast becoming the platform of reference used by all major aviation players to improve operational performance, ensuring complete data continuity with benefits across the entire value chain. Today over 70 airlines around the world are connected to Skywise.

Skywise provides all users with one single access point to their aggregated and anonymized aviation data, enriched from multiple sources across the industry into one secure, cloud-based platform. The more data that airlines or OEMs share into the Skywise Core platform, the more accurate the predictions and models for customers connected.

  • SchedConnect adds another Star Alliance member to its user base

Raunheim, Germany | March 8, 2016– Lufthansa Systems announced today that global carrier United Airlines will use its SchedConnect IT solution for codeshare management. The two companies recently signed a long-term agreement to this effect. This solution will enable United Airlines to optimize its codeshare management, lower costs and increase revenues.

“We handle nearly 5,000 flights worldwide every day. To help ensure we are able to continue to provide reliable service to our customers, we need dependable software that meets our demands. Lufthansa Systems impressed us with the broad functionality and high quality of SchedConnect,” said Sam Patel, United’s managing director flight profitability and schedule analysis.

SchedConnect is currently the most technologically advanced system of its kind. The solution ensures a high degree of automation by processing schedule data from around 25 customers and their codeshare partners to calculate the optimal codeshare connections for the customers’ current schedules on a daily basis. If a minimum connecting time is violated due to a schedule change or if a partner flight is canceled, SchedConnect assigns the marketing flight number to another suitable connecting flight operated by the partner. Changes are sent through the reservation systems to travel agents and customers as well as to the operations and passenger-related systems of the airlines involved.

“We are delighted to have signed United Airlines as a new customer to join the growing SchedConnect community. Now all of the airlines in our clients’ trans-Atlantic joint venture (Lufthansa – together with Austrian Airlines, SWISS and Brussels Airlines – Air Canada and United Airlines) are using our codeshare management solution, which further optimizes the management of codeshare flights between all of these members,” said Alexander Ottes, Director Sales and Account Management North America at Lufthansa Systems.

To arrange codeshare connections, SchedConnect uses a database which currently holds around 39 million flights for 140 different airlines. In January 2016 alone, 34 million schedule changes were managed with the help of SchedConnect.

  • Launch areas announced for August 18 rollout

Carlsbad, CA | August 12, 2014– Beginning Monday, August 18, ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) will offer Exede® high-speed satellite internet plans that provide households in select locations across the country with virtually unlimited data usage for communications, web browsing, and streaming media. The new “Freedom” plan will be initially offered along portions of the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf Coast; select counties in California, Arizona, and Minnesota; and across most of Alaska, Hawaii, and Florida.

Virtually unlimited satellite internet service (providing at least 150 GBs of monthly data without a strict data allowance) is another notable first for ViaSat, a company with a history of leadership in technology and market innovation. Its Exede Internet consumer service, powered by the world’s highest capacity communications satellite ViaSat-1, was the first high-speed satellite service to reach a significant portion of the U.S., including rural and remote areas that had historically limited internet options. With the recent growth in household data usage, especially for streaming services, ViaSat is again leading the industry in addressing customers’ needs for higher data volumes with its Freedom plan.

“The Freedom plan shows our dedication to continually improving the customer experience and responding to their desire for more data,” said Lisa Scalpone, vice president, Broadband. “With Exede Internet, we’ve shown that we can deliver high speeds at reasonable cost to virtually anyone in the U.S. Now we’re excited to demonstrate that satellite internet can deliver data volumes that are competitive with wireline services. Our Freedom plan will provide a preview of the next leap forward for satellite internet.”

In addition to the Freedom plan, other Exede plans debuting August 18 across a large area of the country will offer double or triple current data allowances. These expanded data allowances are available for Exede Evolution, a plan introduced late last year that offers unlimited e-mail and web page access.

“Within the coverage we have on ViaSat-1, our objective is to put our available bandwidth to work for the benefit of our customers,” said Scalpone.

Mike Jude, program manager for Consumer Communication Services at Frost & Sullivan, said, “Through our research, we’ve found that ViaSat is dedicated to providing improved, state-of-the-art satellite services that don’t have the typical limitations of satellite technology. The data cap has been one of those limitations, so this is a very interesting development to see them take another step ahead in responding to consumers’ growing need for higher volumes of data.”

ViaSat also offers Exede In The Air high-speed in-flight internet for airline passengers on JetBlue and United; Exede Business for added speed and data tailored to business subscribers; and Exede Enterprise communications for live events, field operations and disaster response. In a June 2014 report from the FCC, Exede Internet led 14 other internet services in delivering advertised speed, with peak period upload and download speeds of approximately 140 percent of what is promoted. This is the second consecutive year that Exede Internet’s performance was at the top of the charts in the agency’s annual independent study, “Measuring Broadband America.”

ViaSat has also announced plans for another groundbreaking satellite, ViaSat-2, now in development. Its launch, planned for 2016, is expected to facilitate a significant expansion of Exede services, capacity, speed, and coverage areas.

– Airline orders 10 more A350s, converts order for 25 A350-900s to -1000 model

Paris Air Show, France | June 20, 2013– United Airlines and Airbus have announced that the airline will add 35 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to its future fleet. The agreement between the companies represents a conversion of the U.S. carrier’s previous order for 25 A350-900s to the -1000 model, as well as the addition of 10 more orders for A350-1000 aircraft. The announcement was made today during the Paris Air Show.

The A350-1000 is the largest version of the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide-Body) family and typically seats 350 passengers in a three-class layout. The aircraft is capable of flying 8,400 nautical miles non-stop and will be operated by United on higher density routes, including non-stop flights between the United States and the Asia/Pacific region. The aircraft will be powered by two Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines delivering 97,000lbs of thrust – the most powerful engines ever developed for an Airbus aircraft.

“We look forward to taking delivery of the A350-1000,” said Jeff Smisek, United’s Chairman, President and CEO. “This is a modern, fuel-efficient and advanced-technology aircraft that our customers and co-workers will enjoy flying. It will be a great addition to our fleet and will allow us to meet demand on larger, long-haul markets in our world-leading network.”

“The latest announcement from United Airlines is yet another endorsement for the A350-1000,” said Fabrice Bregier, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “Less than a week after the success of the A350 XWB’s first flight, we see that demand for the new aircraft continues to grow, especially for the larger -1000 model. Airbus is proud to have United Airlines on board the exciting A350 program in such a significant way.”

The A350 XWB is an all-new mid-size long range product line featuring three versions and seating between 270 and 350 passengers in typical three-class layouts. The aircraft will bring new levels of efficiency to the mid-size market, using 25 per cent less fuel than existing aircraft in this size category and providing an equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions.

The first A350 XWB began an extensive flight test program last Friday, June 14th. Entry into commercial service of the first customer aircraft is scheduled for the second half of 2014.
To date, Airbus has recorded 678 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 34 customers worldwide.

– SkyWest Airlines to Operate 40 Aircraft Under United Express Brand Through Capacity Purchase Agreement

Chicago, IL | May 21, 2013/PRNewswire/– United Airlines today announced a capacity purchase agreement for SkyWest Airlines, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SkyWest, Inc., to operate 40 Embraer 175 aircraft under the United Express brand. SkyWest, Inc. will purchase the 40 76-seat aircraft with deliveries in 2014 and 2015. These aircraft are in addition to 30 Embraer 175 aircraft that United previously announced it will purchase and which will be operated by a United Express carrier, also scheduled for delivery between 2014 and 2015.

“These new aircraft will offer our customers an improved travel experience with a larger first-class cabin and wider fuselage and larger overhead bins,” said Alex Marren , senior vice president Network Operations and United Express. “United Express is an integral part of our overall network, and enables us to bring customers from smaller cities to destinations worldwide. We have a longstanding partnership with SkyWest and we look forward to continuing to work together to provide a great travel experience for our customers.”

The Embraer 175 is the first 76-seat regional jet aircraft in the United Express fleet. The aircraft will be configured with 12 First, 16 Economy Plus and 48 Economy seats. The design of the aircraft will result in more personal space for customers with wider seats and aisles than those on other regional aircraft. The aircraft can accommodate standard carry-on bags, resulting in more convenience for customers.

As United inducts the new aircraft into the United Express fleet, the company will remove some less efficient regional aircraft from the fleet. The E175s will consume less fuel per seat and will have less CO2 emissions per seat than the aircraft they replace.

– Airline offers the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with live television

Chicago, IL | May 8, 2013– United Airlines has equipped its 200th aircraft with live television, offering customers more than 100 channels of live programming while in-flight. United operates more live television-equipped aircraft than any other airline in the world.

United currently offers live television on most Boeing 737 aircraft and on many of its Boeing 757-300 aircraft. In addition to live news, sports and family entertainment, customers may enjoy up to eight newly released movies a month. The service is complimentary for customers in United First and available for purchase in United Economy starting at $5.99 and varying depending on the length of flight.

“The launch of live television on our 200th aircraft, our introduction this year of flat-bed seating on the transcontinental ‘p.s.’ service and satellite Wi-Fi now being implemented on our entire mainline fleet reflect our commitment to advancing the inflight experience for our customers,” said Tom O’Toole, senior vice president of Marketing and Loyalty at United and president of MileagePlus.

Live television-equipped aircraft also feature power outlets in United First and United Economy Plus, enabling customers to charge their cell phones, laptops, e-readers and other mobile devices.

Onboard Improvements

The expansion of live television on United aircraft comes as the airline continues to invest in its onboard products.
United offers personal on-demand entertainment for premium-cabin and economy-cabin customers on the majority of its long-haul international aircraft, providing hundreds of hours of movies, television programs, music and games. Additionally, United is:

 

  • Installing satellite Wi-Fi. The airline expects to have more than 200 aircraft equipped with the service by the end of 2013.
  • Adding flat-bed seating on all of the airline’s long-haul international aircraft. United currently offers more flat-bed seating than any other U.S. carrier.
  • Introducing flat-bed seats on its transcontinental ‘p.s.’ Premium Service, offering a revamped premium cabin, all-new interiors, personal on-demand entertainment, Wi-Fi connectivity, in-seat power and USB ports. The airline expects to complete the reconfiguration of p.s. aircraft by the end of the year.
  • Adding extra-legroom Economy Plus seating. The airline currently offers Economy Plus seating on nearly 650 mainline aircraft and approximately 150 regional jets.
  • Nearly doubling the overhead storage space on more than 150 Airbus aircraft, with more than half of those retrofits completed.
  • Implementing streaming wireless video onboard its Boeing 747-400 aircraft beginning later this year.

Chicago, IL | January 15, 2013/PRNewswire/– United Airlines has introduced onboard satellite-based Wi-Fi internet connectivity on the first of its international widebody aircraft, becoming the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer customers the ability to stay connected while traveling on long-haul overseas routes.

The aircraft, a Boeing 747 outfitted with Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s Ku-band satellite technology, serves trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes.

Additionally, United has outfitted Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi on two Airbus 319 aircraft serving domestic routes, offering customers faster inflight Internet service than air-to-ground technology (ATG). The company expects to complete installation of satellite-based Wi-Fi on 300 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.

“Satellite-based Wi-Fi service enables us to better serve our customers and offer them more of what they want in a global airline,” said Jim Compton, vice chairman and chief revenue officer at United. “With this new service, we continue to build the airline that customers want to fly.”
Customers have the choice of two speeds: Standard, priced initially between $3.99 and $14.99 depending on the duration of flight, and Accelerated, priced initially between $5.99 and $19.99 and offering faster download speeds than Standard.

United will install satellite-based Wi-Fi on Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft, and on Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft. Customers will be able to use their wireless devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets onboard those aircraft to connect with internet service using the in-flight hotspot.

United is upgrading its fleet with more than $550 million in additional onboard improvements, including: Offering the world’s largest fleet of aircraft with flat-bed seats, with more than 175 aircraft with 180-degree flat beds in premium cabins once the airline completes the installation in the second quarter. Expanding extra-legroom Economy Plus seating to provide the most such seating of any U.S. carrier. Revamping the transcontinental “p.s.” fleet of airplanes that fly between New York Kennedy and Los Angeles and San Francisco, offering an improved premium cabin with fully flat beds, Wi-Fi Internet service, and personal on-demand entertainment at every seat. Improving inflight entertainment options with streaming video content on the Boeing 747-400 fleet. Retrofitting overhead bins on 152 Airbus aircraft, allowing for significantly greater storage of carry-on baggage.

CHICAGO, Nov. 23, 2009 – Just in time for the busy Thanksgiving holidays, United Airlines customers on transcontinental p.s. (SM) flights can enjoy a complimentary onboard Internet session with the new Try-Before-You-Buy promotion, offered in conjunction with airborne communications provider Aircell.

Through Dec. 31, first-time users of Aircell’s Gogo ® Inflight Internet service will be offered one free session upon creating a new account.

Gogo enables customers with Wi-Fi enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs to surf the Web, check e-mail, send and receive instant messages, and access a corporate VPN.

The service is available on all of United’s p.s. flights between New York Kennedy and the airline’s Los Angeles and San Francisco hubs.

“Gogo Inflight Internet service on our p.s. flights provides our customers with an even more productive and enjoyable travel experience,” says Allen Will, managing director of strategic aircraft programs. “With Gogo Inflight Internet and an AC power port at every seat, p.s. customers will get more accomplished in the air this holiday season, leaving time for more holiday cheer on the ground.”

For more information on United’s inflight Internet service, visit united.com/Wi-Fi.

About United

United Airlines (Nasdaq: UAUA) operates approximately 3,300* flights a day on United and United Express to more than 200 U.S. domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. With key global air rights in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and Latin America, United is one of the largest international carriers based in the United States. United also is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides connections for our customers to 1,071 destinations in 171 countries worldwide. United’s 47,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. News releases and other information about United can be found at the company’s Web site at united.com.

*Based on United’s forward-looking flight schedule for October 2009 to October 2010.