Southwest reveals talks with Aircell!

For more information, check out my article now running on the new IFE&C channel

Southwest Airlines today told a packed room of IFE&C executives and airlines that, unlike most of its colleagues, it hasn’t “chosen Aircell at this point”.

Speaking at the WAEA single focus workshop in Mukilteo, Southwest senior manager, flight operations technologies Doug Murri said: “We have not committed to full fleet rollout. We are watching the market and letting things shake out a little bit.”

Adding further intrigue, Murri says: “We expect in the next few weeks, a month or so, an announcement to share with all of you.”

Southwest has been trailing Row 44′s Ku-band satellite-based solution on four Boeing 737s. Alaska Airlines has been trialing the same solution on a single 737.

Row 44 has faced opposition to its application for permanent authority with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Until this crucial hurdle is overcome, Row 44 cannot install its system across Southwest or Alaska’s fleets.

“We have been very pleased with the Row 44 system. We have had no technical issues with the throughput, bandwidth and speed of that system,” says Murri. He admits, however, that Southwest has “also spoken a lot with Aircell”. 

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10 Responses to Southwest reveals talks with Aircell!

  1. Yossarian July 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    Wow, this is an interesting tid bit. Maybe SWA is trying to put some pressure on Row 44

    The only thing worse that could happen to Row 44 is to get stuck in an elevator with Stinky after one of his all night benders with his Romanian mail order bride.

  2. Mary Kirby July 14, 2009 at 3:33 pm #

    I’m hearing from readers that comments from the likes of Stinky and Peter are getting too inappropriate and are degrading this product.

  3. Yossarian July 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    RWG-While Stinky is “small school bus special”, he is harmless.

    Not so the comments by SWA, it appears to me they are losing faith in Row 44.

  4. Bob July 14, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    You need to clean the wax out of your ears and listen to what Doug really said. Christ.

  5. Mary Kirby July 14, 2009 at 6:38 pm #

    Bob,

    Let’s be fair. This is the first time Southwest has specifically confirmed talks with Aircell.

    Is Southwest using the media – and hints that it is eyeing Aircell – as a means of driving down the price-tag with Row 44 (with full intent to go with Row 44 fleet-wide)? That’s totally possible. In fact, some folks here at the show think just that.

    Did Murri say the carrier is really pleased with the Row 44 service, but that other issues are involved, like cost – yes he did.

    Mary

  6. Ludwig von Hapsburg XII "Stinky" July 15, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    WN leave Row44? Uh oh.,.where is this shindig in Seattle? I may needs to make an appearance.

    I agree 100% Sir Peter and this Stinky character are really putting a nasty taste in my mouth too. Isn’t there some airplane spotters reunion or something they can go to?

    I can’t speak for Sir Peter, I do believe I am classing this place up a bit. What else am I supposed to do between pizza deliveries?

    As soon as the “Planet of the Apes” fan site is back online, I will be on my merry way.

  7. Yossarian July 15, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    SWA has always been a smart operator, looks like they may be “hedging” their bets. It makes sense to me to at least have a dialogue with Aircell as Row 44 seems to be having trouble getting traction.

    Stinky, where do you find the time? I heard your also the President of the Bay City Rollers fan club as well as a client for the Hair Club for Men. I’m telling you, women like short, bald skinny guys.

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