Qatar Airways has chosen global mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat for its in-flight broadband.
The service will initially be available to Qatar Airways passengers on board more than 130 aircraft, consisting of Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s.
GX Aviation technology has already been equipped on Qatar Airways’ Airbus A350s while installations on the airline’s remaining Airbus A350s, together with the Boeing 777s, will commence on a retrofit basis from this summer.
Inmarsat says GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It promises airline passengers they will be able to browse the internet, stream videos and check social media during flights with an on board connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground.
Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Qatar Airways is one of the world’s most successful, fastest growing and in-demand airlines, with an unwavering focus on providing the best service possible. It has offered Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband connectivity solution for over five years now. However, with our next generation GX Aviation service now live, its upgrade to true broadband on more than 130 aircraft initially will ensure passengers have access to consistent, reliable and high-speed connectivity wherever they fly.
“Broadband transformation on the ground is already well advanced and we are able to transfer that into the very challenging in-flight environment, working with Qatar Airways to make connectivity a success. Our networks are engineered with multiple layers for redundancy and global coverage. Our design philosophy is to scale up capacity over time to fit the route systems of our airline customers and reflect the industry’s real needs.”
Qatar Airways’ rollout of GX Aviation-equipped aircraft is scheduled to start this summer and the service will integrate with Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive, said: “Qatar Airways prides itself on assessing and understanding the latest market innovations, demonstrating over and over again our ability to ride and guide trends in passenger preferences. By partnering with Inmarsat, we are confident that Qatar Airways will meet the highest expectations in the industry for in-flight broadband services, and avail of the many other new opportunities powered by connectivity.”