MH370 Forgotten Soon, as Companies Battle to Market New Tracking Services and MAS Focuses on Customers Flying With Them Again
By Athena Yenko | May 15, 2014 4:55 PM EST
The world seemed gone silent on MH370 as pings, 'the most credible lead' to the search, returned frustrating results.
It would seemed like that it is now time to move on from grieving and shift towards the monetary gain that the tragedy may bring as companies now battle against each other for the potential market of new tracking services.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Airlines is now focusing on winning their customers back and recovering from the company's dropped of shares.
Inmarsat made an interesting offer: it will provide tracking services at no cost to airlines, Reuters reports.
However, rival companies were quick to slam Inmarsat as installing tracking system to airlines could cost more than $100,000.
"We think it's a bit disingenuous, what (Inmarsat) is saying. If it was mandated that satellite data links needed to be on every aircraft, I think we're going to get the primary benefit of that, not Inmarsat. Their system is extremely expensive compared with ours," Matthew Desch, Iridium's chief executive, told Reuters.
Obviously, Iridium would be Inmarsat's competitor.
Desch acknowledged that only Inmarsat was mandated by ICAO. However, of course, being mandated will pose a threat to airlines.
"But I just don't think that would be part of the solution. That would be an extremely expensive solution to a problem that is being solved many other ways, much less expensively -- either today through existing technologies or in the future through Aireon."
Aireon is a system that is able to track all planes flying around the world, in real time, Desch's boasted.
Canada, Ireland, the UK and Denmark already had contracts with Aireon.
"And by the way it knows where every airplane is all the time," he added.
Don Buchman, vice president at ViaSat, claims, on the other hand, that satellite-based Wifi systems are better trackers. ViaSat supplies for JetBlue Airways and Unite Airlines.
"We have the tracking information that's coming off the plane. ViaSat's system tracks latitude and longitude of aircraft, and could pinpoint the location to between four and 10 nautical miles, the same standard that ICAO is considering," he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Airlines is in the process of a "thorough review" of its marketing strategy to recover from the MH370 tragedy.
In a company statement obtained by Bloomberg, the company said that talks with stakeholders are underway.
"Winning back customers and a relentless cost focus will be part of the airline's recovery plan, and these two exercises are critical enablers to energize its recovery," the company wrote.
Apparently, the airlines is already facing hurdle in the market prior to MH370 tragedy as competition tightens and higher costs of maintenance, fuel and financing devour its revenue gains.
Malaysian Air's shares dropped to 43 per cent in 2013 and its due to release first quarter results on May 15.
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