A landmark contract has been landed by Inmarsat (ISAT.L) with Austrian Airlines for their GX for Aviation in-flight broadband solution.
More than 30 Airbus A320 family aircraft from Austrian Airlines’ fleet will be equipped with Inmarsat's GX for Aviation, which offers reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. The new service will allow the airline’s passengers to browse the Internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with service levels on par with broadband connectivity available on the ground. The first installation and testing onboard Austrian Airlines aircraft is currently underway.
The Austrian Airlines contract is part of a 10 year strategic agreement announced last year between Inmarsat and the Lufthansa Group, which included the selection of GX for Aviation for Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of over 150 aircraft. The service recently went live under a ‘soft launch’ phase on selected aircraft with Lufthansa and commercial passenger services are expected to start with the airline soon.
According to Leo Mondale, the President of Inmarsat Aviation, for too long, airline passengers have struggled with either substandard or non-existent connectivity onboard their flights. GX for Aviation marks an important turning point. Broadband services are now available in the sky, so passengers can browse the Internet, stream videos, download files, check and update social media, just as they have been doing on the ground. High-speed broadband on flights are key to meeting the expectations of today’s passengers and, therefore, strengthening airlines' position in a highly competitive market.