Taiwanese carrier Chinese airlines recently entered into service its first Airbus A321neo offering passengers InmarsatGX Aviation’s in-flight broadband powered by SITA of the ONAIR Internet solution.
The plane conducted its maiden flight between Taoyuan and Hong Kong with passengers taking advantage of high-speed Wi-Fi to seamlessly browse the Internet, stream video and audio, and play games, among other things.
“The fact that this is our second new airline customer announcement with SITA in recent months is a testament to the success of our partnership, despite the challenges Covid-19 has presented to the aviation industry over the past two months. years,” said Niels Steenstrup, Inmarsat Aviation. senior vice president of the inflight connectivity business.
China Airlines has ordered a total of 25 Airbus A321neos as part of a narrow-body fleet replacement program that aims to transform its onboard experience, support the expansion of its regional network and meet growing demand. long-term passenger volume.
All aircraft will be equipped with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and SITA’s ONAIR Internet, as well as other new cabin features such as fully flat seats in Premium Business Class, the latest in-flight entertainment system and high 4K resolution.
Inmarsat’s latest passenger confidence tracker, the largest global survey of its kind since the start of the pandemic, found that 41% of more than 10,000 people polled believe it is even more important to have Wi-Fi on flights than before Covid-19, allowing them to stay connected. with your friends and family, and supporting a contactless environment.
According to Katrina Korzenowski, Vice President Asia-Pacific at SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, providing a digital and contactless experience on board will be key to increasing passenger confidence as air travel recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our ONAIR Internet technology, combined with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation connectivity, provides China Airlines with the perfect model for a world-class inflight broadband offering on board its Airbus A321neo and we are proud to work together to achieve this. It also means that SITA now provides a full range of services, from cockpit to cabin, to China Airlines.
GX Aviation is powered by the high-speed Global Xpress (GX) network, which provides in-flight connectivity comparable to mobile Wi-Fi on the ground.
The GX network currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with the addition of seven additional satellites as part of Inmarsat’s fully funded technology roadmap. This includes two Inmarsat-6s, both of which are expected to enter service next year.
They will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, enabling the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying at higher altitudes. high and across the Arctic.
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