Global Eagle hurt by Boeing crisis
March 18, 2019
In-Flight Entertainment specialists Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) has been hurt by the worldwide grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX aircraft.
Currently only 26 of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are fitted with GEE’s broadband equipment, but another half-dozen are waiting to be equipped while GEE was expecting 40-50 more 737 MAX aircraft to be fitted during the year. GEE has 1022 aircraft globally using its kit.
“As of (March 14th) we have not been informed of any changes to shipment dates related to the Boeing line-fit program,” CEO Josh Marks said. “We’ve been told to maintain our expectations about equipment delivery and equipment shipments.”
GEE expects to add another 150 or so installations this year. Air France is a user and commenced services in January and with 15 aircraft activated.
Also not helping are potential financial problems with India’s JET Airways, who are a major client of GEE with some 70 aircraft now being installed. JET is, according to local reports, undergoing a financial restructuring with allegations that some aircraft lease payments have not been made.
“Given the ongoing conversations between Jet Airways and their aircraft lessors, it is important for us to confirm which aircraft are going to be in the fleet long term before we begin putting antennas onto aircraft to complement the in-cabin systems that are already installed,” Marks told analysts.