As airlines gravitate towards digitalization and touchless service offerings in preparation for recovery, satellite-based internet connectivity is gaining ground.
Amidst the gloom in the airline sector, 100 of Qatar Airways’ fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft will offer ‘Super Wi-Fi’ inflight connectivity for a premium five-star onboard experience.
According to Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive: “Where other airlines are reducing their Wi-Fi offering, Qatar Airways is expanding it. With connection to our loved ones and friends now more important than ever during these challenging times, we are delighted to work with Inmarsat … to bring high-speed Super Wi-Fi broadband to passengers onboard our fleet.”
According to Inmarsat, their technology is the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. Major upcoming enhancements to the network are in the pipeline, with additional capacity being introduced by seven new satellite payloads scheduled to launch in the coming four years, representing a transformative step-change in inflight broadband capabilities. This includes the entry of the GX5 satellite later this year over the Europe and Middle East region.
The GX7, 8 & 9 satellites, featuring thousands of dynamically-formed beams that direct capacity over high-demand areas, will follow soon with the new GX10A & 10B Arctic payloads. These will be the only broadband satellite services dedicated to this region.
Said Philip Balaam, President, Inmarsat Aviation: “Feedback from passengers has been hugely-positive and now, with the service being available on 100 aircraft, even more can enjoy the best connectivity in the skies. This is particularly important, as the desire to stay connected with families, friends and colleagues increases.”