As reported on the Flightglobal IFEC channel and the Wandering Aramean blog, Continental Airlines has opted to postpone its trial of Aircell’s Gogo in-flight Internet system on 21 Boeing 757-300s, as it thrashes out strategy with merger partner United Airlines.
So is the deal dead, RWG?
Not quite. Aircell tells me that its agreement with Continental for the 757-300 fleet “remains in place”, but that Continental “has, in effect, ‘hit the Pause button’ as they work through the merger-integration planning process”.
United already operates Gogo on a portion of its 757-200 fleet. So it makes perfect sense that Continental and United are looking at fleet rationalization before deciding on a consistent in-flight service for their merged operation. In other words, I don’t think it’s time to pick apart Continental’s decision to postpone Gogo…yet.
It is logical to assume, however, that Continental and United are studying all their options for domestic fleet-wide equipage (I mean they’ve got to do something, since Delta Air Lines is nearly fleet-wide with Gogo, and Southwest Airlines has begun equipping its Boeing 737s with Row 44′s satellite-based system).
And, even as it hits “pause” on Wi-Fi, Continental is pushing ahead with equipage of LiveTV’s LTV3 system across its Boeing domestic fleet. As of 8 June, Continental had completed 51% of the installations.
As you can see, the LiveTV guys down in Melbourne, Florida have been busy, but they’d be even busier if the merged Continental/United opted for LTV3.
And who’s to say the two carriers won’t do both Gogo and LTV3? If they want to truly duplicate in the air what’s happening on the ground (iPhone or laptop sitting on our laps while we watch TV), they could do it.