Thursday, 29 June 2017 20:36

Inmarsat launches satellite for European Aviation Network

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Inmarsat has successfully launched its S-band satellite for the European Aviation Network on an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou in French Guiana.  

Inmarsat says the launch is a key milestone for its unique EAN service, which is on course to commence commercial service in the second half of 2017.

The Inmarsat S-band satellite was built by France’s Thales Alenia Space.

The launch team from Inmarsat and Thales Alenia Space will now raise the satellite into its geostationary orbit over Europe and the Middle East, at which point the spacecraft will deploy its solar arrays and reflectors, and undergo rigorous payload testing.

According to Inmarsat, the EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution to integrate space-based and ground-based networks to deliver a seamless Wi-Fi experience for airline passengers throughout Europe.

The satellite company says its strategic partner, Deutsche Telekom, is well advanced in the construction of the complementary ground network, which will be fully integrated with the S-band satellite to deliver a “truly seamless service for Europe’s airlines and their passengers”.

International Airlines Group, which includes airline brands such as British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling, has been confirmed as the launch customer for the new service.  

IAG has begun equipping its aircraft and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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