Per Noren: What's Ahead in 2021

December 18, 2020

At the end of every year we reflect and learn on the past 12 months and look forward to the future. This year has presented many challenges for the industry we serve and we have sadly had to say goodbye to several historic brands. We, too, have been through a successful Chapter 11 process and we are about to enter a new chapter in our story. 

There is so much potential in our industry and I am very excited about how we will be working to support and rebuild aviation during the coming year. 2021 will bring a new wave of leisure travelers, driven by the blurring lines between work time and vacation time; the ability to remotely work anywhere; and the consumers spending less time and money on commuting and work-related expenses, leaving more to spend on vacations and a change of scenery. These travelers will be critical in helping drive the recovery of the aviation sector and Global Eagle is ready to welcome them onboard.

Nonetheless, the IFEC supply chain needs a radical change. It is still complex, laborious, and manual, making it cumbersome to bring the latest quality content to passengers in a timely fashion. As the market leader in content services, we identified the need for more efficiency in our supply chain a long time ago. Ever since, we have been working to develop platforms to give airlines more agile methods to curate and deliver content that will delight the travelers of 2021. 

Many global industries have used digital platforms and capabilities to drive transformation. Leading the way for the IFEC sector, we began our digital transformation many years ago, investing in a new cloud-based, automated content and media supply chain solution, which most of our customers are operating on today and we look forward to expanding on this over the next 12 months. 

Turning to connectivity, we are fortunate at Global Eagle to be the only vendor-agnostic provider that can take and use bandwidth from any network and satellite provider. The satellite industry has some of the most advanced technology in the world and with more constellations being planned and launched, our ambition to provide fast, continuous connection to passengers will become a reality. 

I have said for a long time that multi-orbit, multi-band and multi-platform is the future for the network portion of IFC. Bringing together different platforms opens-up a range of opportunities and we should expect to see more collaboration across the value chain. We take our role in serving the last mile to the passenger very seriously and we are championing making software defined networks a reality. We are committed to getting the network to the place it needs to be to ensure the user experience is seamless and fast. We’re only at the early stages of the technology evolution and there is much more to come. 

This has been a year of great loss, reflection and change. We have planned, reset and now is the time for our industry to capitalize upon the innovation and technology that will create the best experience for airlines and their passengers. We look forward to bringing travelers back to the magic of flight once again. 

I wish all customers, suppliers, partners and employees the best for a happy and healthy 2021.