Did Ryanair want free or nearly free equipage?

That’s just one of the many questions being asked by industry observers today after OnAir’s stunning announcement that it has dropped a contract with its biggest customer, Ryanair, after equipping no fewer than 50 of the low-cost giant’s Boeing 737s with in-flight mobile connectivity service.

Key quote from OnAir:

“After operating the OnAir service on 50 of its aircraft for about a year, Ryanair wanted to expand deployment to its entire fleet. However, the two companies did not reach a mutual agreement on the proceeds and timing leading to the full deployment. Neither company can comment further on the terms of the agreement.”

It costs a pretty penny to equip an aircraft with in-flight connectivity. And, at the end of the day, somebody has got to pony up. There are creative ways to cover equipage for cash-strapped carriers (we’ll hear more on that from Aircell later).

But with specific regard to Ryanair, some wonder – did the carrier want free or nearly free equipage for the balance of its fleet?

Ryanair, meanwhile, says it is seeking a new service provider. Calling AeroMobile?

(Photo above from Mikelo’s photo stream on Flickr)

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5 Responses to Did Ryanair want free or nearly free equipage?

  1. Anonymous March 29, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Doesn’t sound good. Suggests a miss management of expectation. Is this what happened to the Air France, BMI and Shenzhen OnAir trials as well….? I dont recall these ammounting to anything either.. Maybe OnAir should focus on framing a deal that makes sense rather than cutting silly deals for trials….

  2. Kinbin March 30, 2010 at 2:37 am #

    Given Ryanair’s notoriety in cutting deals, they will not dish out one extra penny…. the product and service has got to pay for itself, and more (such as making a visible contribution into Ryanair’s ancilliary revenue streams). But alas, this service and product is still in its infancy when it comes to the charges to be levied….

  3. NextSeat April 1, 2010 at 10:34 am #

    As I wrote in a previous post, OnAir has just now realized how ‘hungry’ RyanAir can be. They want to have their cake and eat it too! There is nothing new here except to say that OnAir has a high ‘gullibility’ factor. RyanAir offers cheap fares for cheap passengers because they get every airport they land at to wave a slew of service fees or subsidize their marketing. It’s the same attitude here, where RyanAir wants the stuff for free and want to collect all the money charged to passengers…OnAir after fitting 50 (that’s five-0!) planes with this service pulls the plug. Hmmm…I wonder if someone at OnAir got fired for this? Who’s next? Aeromobile? I wish them luck…

  4. Mary Kirby April 1, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    I’ve been told that AeroMobile didn’t want to touch the original Ryanair deal with a barge poll. But there must have been some method to OnAir’s alleged madness. The company got an awful lot of attention for the Ryanair deal. Ryanair, for better or worse, is seen as a leader in the industry, and it’s likely that other carriers followed suit – and inked deals with OnAir – simply because Ryanair appeared committed to fleet-wide equipage (Ryanair even vowed to use connectivity for onboard gambling and other potential revenue generators).

  5. vacations May 8, 2010 at 1:47 am #

    I am tired of hearing about airlines’ problems and how some companies are experiencing profit losses. I just want them to fly on time and stop causing chaos in the skies. I regularly travel on business with BA and I must say, usually the service is great. But other airlines such as Ryanair are frequently late and I have had a number of vacations ruined thanks to their mishandling of my luggage. Many of the lastminute sites listed on http://www.dozenvacation.com offer better deals than the airlines’ direct websites. I just wish that the airline operators can limit their delays so passengers like me do not face any more travel misery.