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Rachel Yangoyan Named New CEO of QantasLink

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Rachel Yangoyan Named New CEO of QantasLink

Rachel Yangoyan Named New CEO of QantasLink. The Qantas Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Yangoyan as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of its regional and charter business, QantasLink.

Read Also: QantasLink Welcomes New CEO Amid Leadership Changes

Transition Following CEO Retirement Announcement

This significant leadership transition comes in the wake of the retirement announcement made in June by the current QantasLink CEO, John Gissing, who is set to retire in early November 2023. Mr. Gissing will continue to contribute in an advisory capacity for the next 12 months.

A Proven Qantas Group Veteran

Rachel Yangoyan brings a wealth of experience to her new role, having served within the Qantas Group for two decades across a variety of executive positions encompassing Customer Experience, Operations, Airports, Loyalty, and Strategy. Notably, her most recent role involved leading the ‘entry into service’ program for Qantas’ significant fleet renewal, with a particular emphasis on the Airbus A220, a pivotal component of QantasLink’s future. The first A220 delivery is expected by the end of the calendar year 2023.

Comment from Qantas Group CEO

In response to the appointment, Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson commented, “Rachel has a deep understanding of what it takes to run an airline and brings a lot of capability to this role. As CEO of QantasLink, she’ll be responsible for our regional and charter operations, which are key parts of our business and also vital to the role we play in connecting remote parts of Australia.”

Ms. Hudson further noted, “This appointment completes the new leadership team structure we announced earlier in the year, which is focused on dealing with the challenges and opportunities now in front of us.”

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Read Also: Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker Announces Retirement, Successor Named

Statement from Rachel Yangoyan

Expressing her enthusiasm for the role, Ms. Yangoyan stated, “Qantas started in outback Australia, and it’s an honor to be taking on the role of QantasLink CEO and working with our people on improving how we serve regional communities as well as the resources sector.”

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Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed

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Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed

Qatar Airways Plans to Offer Complimentary Starlink Internet Details Yet to Be Disclosed. In a recent development, Qatar Airways, a long-standing user of Inmarsat-now-Viasat Global Xpress (GX) Ka-band satellite-based inflight connectivity service, has indicated its intention to offer SpaceX’s Starlink Aviation onboard Internet to its passengers on a complimentary basis. This offering will be accessible to passengers with a simple “one-click” process.

Read Also: Air Travel in Australia Senate Inquiry, Qantas, and the Shifting Aviation Landscape

Rollout on Specific Aircraft and Routes

According to an official press release from Qatar Airways, the low-latency In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service will be introduced on “specific aircraft and routes.” The airline has also mentioned that they are currently in the pre-launch phase of the rollout strategy in collaboration with Starlink. SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales, Jonathan Hofeller, has expressed that Starlink is “set to support the entire Qatar Airways fleet.”

This news emerged following the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO event in Long Beach, where Qatar Airways Group’s Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. During this event, Starlink executives met with airline representatives in a nearby hotel.

Changing Landscape in In-Flight Connectivity

The Qatar Airways-Starlink collaboration signifies a shift in the in-flight connectivity landscape. Traditional GEO satellites are being challenged by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink. For example, Flexjet has announced plans to replace the Viasat hardware on some of its aircraft with Starlink.

Viasat acquisition of Inmarsat, coupled with these changes, has led to some Inmarsat value-added resellers reevaluating their positions. SITA, a service provider to Qatar Airways, has already disclosed its intention to exit the cabin connectivity market by January 2025.

See also  Qatar Airways Reduces Airbus A380 Service to Bangkok

Read Also: Qantas Loyalty Chief Olivia Wirth Resigns Amidst Ongoing Leadership Transition and Controversies

Seeking Clarity from Qatar Airways

Runway Girl Network reached out to Qatar Airways to seek clarification on several points. They inquired about:

  • Qatar Airways plan regarding the replacement of Inmarsat (now Viasat) GX inflight connectivity hardware with Starlink.
  • Whether Starlink will be deployed across Qatar Airways’ entire fleet.
  • Commencement dates for supplemental type certifications and Starlink installations.
  • Which aircraft type will be the first to receive the new hardware.
  • The impact of SITA’s decision to cease being a GX value-added reseller on Qatar Airways’ decision to select Starlink.
  • Qatar Airways’ plans for continuing to roll out Inmarsat GX on its 787-9s.

Qatar Airways Response

In response to these queries, a Qatar Airways spokesperson stated via email that they would keep Runway Girl Network updated on any future operational developments. In a follow-up exchange, when further clarity on the deal was sought, the spokesperson requested the removal of a specific phrase from their press release.

Implications and Future Plans

In the absence of comprehensive details, it seems logical for Qatar Airways to consider introducing Starlink initially on its 787-8s. This fleet has seen recent in-seat In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) upgrades but still lacks true broadband connectivity.

Once Starlink is operational on Qatar Airways aircraft, passengers can anticipate complimentary access to ultra-fast Wi-Fi speeds of up up to 350 Mbps, which can be used for various Internet-based services including video streaming, gaming, web browsing, and more. In contrast, the airline presently charges $10 for inflight access to its ‘Super Wi-Fi.

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Read Also: Qatar Airways Elevates In-Flight Connectivity with Starlink Partnership

Conclusion

Qatar Airways, in its press release, also proudly asserts its position as “the largest airline to collaborate with Starlink.” Other notable Starlink customers include Part 135 operator JSX, Hawaiian Airlines (launch delayed until early next year), airBaltic, and ZIPAIR.

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