WHAT TO KNOW NOW

The battle to deliver Internet to your airplane seat got a little bit hotter last week, despite that fact that Gogo still isn’t profitable and several other parties have tried and failed.

Thales, the French aircraft company that is traditionally associated with cabin and seat design, just announced that it plans to launch its own satellite-based Wi-Fi service with Luxembourg-based operator SES.

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The service would initially only operate over Europe starting next summer (where a host of other companies already offer service) but with a new satellite in 2020, Thales will also be able to target North American consumers.

Hopefully the new competition will motivate Gogo, Panasonic and ViaSat to double down on innovation. As it is, inflight Internet is still too slow.

SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY

I think @Gogo should add in screeching modem sounds when you connect, because more often than not it’s slower than 1992 dial up

– @thepointsguy | Brian Kelly, The Points Guy

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AIRLINES

Can the New CEO of Air France-KLM Help the Airline Group Soar Again? Even by the cutthroat standards of the aviation industry, Air France-KLM Group has been a dire case: labor fights that have turned violent, cost-cutting efforts blocked by politicians, low-cost carriers aggressively taking over its home market. Yet more investors are starting to buy in. Read more at Skift

Delta Air Lines Falling Out of Favor With Some Investors: Shares of Delta Air Lines, darling of the industry for its on-time flights and robust profit margins, suddenly seem stuck at the gate. Read more at Skift

Southwest Airlines Adds Standby Perks for Elite Frequent Flyers: Southwest Airlines has generally flown against the grain among U.S. carriers as it bucks the trend of legacy pricing models, marketing strategy and customer service. But with a move it made this week, it’s getting squarely in line with its competitors on how it treats elite frequent flyers. Read more at Skift

Boeing 737s Rarely Fly Trans-Atlantic — But That’s About to Change: The smallest aircraft made by Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE are about to find a new role operating trans-Atlantic routes that were previously the preserve of some of the world’s biggest planes. Read more at Skift

 

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AIRPORTS

Malaysia Is Spending $1 Billion to Fix Its Airports: Malaysia plans to spend about $1 billion over the next five years to refurbish and expand its airports as the Southeast Asian country paces infrastructure growth with a surge in passenger traffic, its main airport operator said. Read more at Skift

An amazing upgrade for LAX — in pictures: Departing passengers coming into Los Angeles International Airport too often ride into a traffic nightmare as they try to get to their terminals. Los Angeles World Airports – the agency that operates LAX – has big plans to make that better, and it just came out with some renderings of what the “new” LAX might look like after it implements its years-long overhaul of intra-airport transportation. Read more at Travel Skills

Turkmenistan Has Few Tourists But an Amazing New Airport: The capital of Turkmenistan, a country largely closed to outsiders, has opened a $2.3 billion terminal at its international airport in the shape of a flying falcon. Read more at Skift

Argentina’s Airports Are Getting Upgrades to Help Lure More International Carriers: Argentina’s airline passengers must wait for a more competitive market while the government focuses on improving the country’s infrastructure to be able to handle more flights, even as Avianca Holdings SA and others show interest in entering the market. Read more at Skift

TripAdvisor

 

TECH

3 Airline CEOs Defend the Complexity of the Industry’s Technology Systems: Three U.S. airline CEOs on Tuesday downplayed criticism that the industry is too reliant on antiquated and inefficient computer systems, but all generally acknowledged carriers can do a better job of investing in technology. Read more at Skift

Trashing a Hotel on TripAdvisor May Soon Be Protected, Thanks to U.S. Congress: Some hotels and other businesses have come up with a sneaky way to discourage unfavorable guest or customer reviews — prohibit them in the fine print of their terms and conditions. The U.S. House of Representatives took a major step to bar such punitive actions by businesses. Read more at Skift

Yet Another Company Promises to Revolutionize U.S. Airline Wi-Fi: U.S. airlines seeking faster, more reliable Wi-Fi soon will have a new option, after France’s Thales, which has long focused on created embedded in-flight entertainment systems for passenger cabins, said Monday it will sell its own Internet platform in the Americas. Read more at Skift

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HOTELS

Marriott’s New Global Ad Campaign Puts Its Loyalty Members First: If you tuned Thursday’s NFL game between the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, you’d have come across an ad from Marriott’s newest global campaign, “You Are Here.” Read more at Skift

Morgans Hotel Group Receives Unsolicited Takeover Bid: Morgans Hotel Group’s deal with SBE may, in fact, be in jeopardy. Instead of having its shareholders approve the $82-million, or $2.25 per share, bid from SBE today as previously scheduled, Morgans Hotel Group’s board is currently mulling over an unsolicited, last-minute bid from a company known only as “Bidder V” in the company’s SEC filings. Read more at Skift

For Fall, Seven Notable New Hotels: It’s a new season with new hotel openings. Although fall usually sees a glut of splashy properties making their debut, that’s not the story line this year. Read more at The New York Times

Trump’s New Washington, D.C. Hotel Is a Test for Brand Ivanka: Three decades after Donald Trump bought New York’s Plaza Hotel and put first wife Ivana in charge of renovations for “one dollar a year plus all the dresses she can buy,” his new castle-like hotel opened last week in Washington. It’s a showcase, and a test, for 34-year-old daughter Ivanka. Read more at Skift

YOUR TURN

Skift has a new vertical. Chefs+Tech covers the bleeding edge of food tech and will be penned by the talented Kristen Hawley. Read more about the new vertical here.

TIPS AND COMMENTS

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo Credit: French firm Thales will offer an in-flight Wi-Fi product for airlines in Europe and the Americas. Thales