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Thursday, 06 April 2017 02:33

Inmarsat flies past 1000 aircraft in contract for in-flight broadband

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UK-based global mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat has more than 1000 aircraft under signed contracts, both installed and as a backlog, for its next-generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight broadband services.

The company hit the milestone this week and says the fast-growing backlog, which includes aircraft that have either been installed, or are awaiting installation, is a major endorsement of its strategy to make the connected aircraft a reality.

It follows a succession of airline customers that have selected to equip their fleet with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and EAN services, including Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group (IAG), Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Norwegian Air and Air Asia.

Inmarsat signed a deal with International Airlines Group (IAG) earlier this year to be the launch partner for the European Aviation Network (EAN), which the satellite provider says will provide passengers with “unparalleled inflight connectivity across Europe”.

Under the deal, IAG plans to equip in excess of 300 aircraft across British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling and aims to have 90% of its short haul fleet complete by early 2019.

“The fact we have crossed more than 1000 aircraft in backlog at this point is an incredible milestone, given that GX Aviation only went live a few months ago,” says Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation.

“It is further proof that the inflight broadband revolution has truly begun; passengers are demanding quality connectivity and airlines are endorsing Inmarsat’s superior offering. We are deeply engaged with additional airlines worldwide, so this really is just the tip of the iceberg. The message is clear: we are coming to a plane near you!”

According to Mondale, the EAN is the first solution to combine the “best of two worlds” – integrating connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a complementary LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom.

Inmarsat says EAN remains on track to enter service this year.


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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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