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October 3, 2017

Air Travel: Delta’s In-Flight Messaging + Ethiopian, Azul Codeshare


A new, free in-flight mobile messaging service, a new codeshare agreement and new flights all lead this week’s air travel news in the meetings and events industry. 

Delta Announces Free In-Flight Mobile Messaging

Delta has begun to provide free mobile messaging in flight. It will also have the most aircraft with a free messaging option, according to the company. 

Flyers can stay fully connected with those on the ground and exchange real-time messages in flight via iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. The enhancement is part of Delta's multi-billion dollar investment in the customer experience, the airline said.

Free messaging will be available on all Gogo-enabled Delta flights, including all aircraft with two or more cabins. Customers will be able to access free messaging through Delta's Wi-Fi portal page, airborne.gogoinflight.com. Free mobile messaging will be for text use only and does not support the transfer of photo or video files.

In addition to mobile messaging, Delta continues expanding high-speed Wi-Fi, seat-back entertainment screens and free entertainment options. Over the next two years, Delta plans to install high-speed Wi-Fi in over 600 aircraft for domestic and international flights. It currently has the largest fleet of aircraft with Gogo's 2Ku Wi-Fi technology, according to the company.

There are currently 200 aircraft under Delta with the latest Wi-Fi technology.

Additionally, Delta installed its 500th aircraft with seat-back entertainment in July. It plans to install the technology in 600 aircraft by the end of 2018. In addition to investing in seat-back entertainment, customers can also stream Delta Studio entertainment to their personal devices on the airline's entire mainline fleet, as well as all two-class regional aircraft.

Ethiopian and Azul Brazilian Airlines Enter Codeshare Agreement

Ethiopian Airlines and Azul Brazilian Airlines have entered a codeshare agreement effective October 1, 2017 that will allow easier travel for their customers.

Through the codeshare partnership, Ethiopian Airlines will add its flight code to Azul’s operations, giving customers the ability to purchase tickets directly from Ethiopian Airlines sales channels to fly to seven Brazilian destinations operated by Azul.

Initially, Ethiopian Airlines will place its code in Azul’s operations from São Paulo to Belo Horizonte, Curitiba, Goiania, Porto Alegre, Cuiabá, Foz do Iguaçu, and Florianopolis. The routes offer fast and convenient connections for customers leaving Addis Ababa to São Paulo.

Delta and Virgin Atlantic Update Network Between U.S. and U.K.

Finally, in flight news, Delta and Virgin Atlantic have announced updates to their summer 2018 schedules to optimize their joint network between the U.S. and the U.K. The partnership is focused on offering customers more convenient travel options and optimal travel experiences across the Atlantic.

Starting on March 24, 2018, Delta will introduce the Airbus A330 on its New York-JFK, Atlanta, and Detroit routes to London-Heathrow.

The joint summer 2018 schedule between the two airlines will include a total of 37 daily nonstop flights between the U.S. and the U.K. 26 of these flights will operate between London-Heathrow and popular U.S. destinations like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C.

11 of the 37 flights will travel between Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, London-Gatwick and Edinburgh to popular U.S. cities.

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