Air New Zealand has just signed on with Inmarsat (ISAT.L) for Global Xpress (GX) connectivity across the airline's long- and short-haul fleets.
GX for Aviation will be deployed by Air New Zealand to deliver a reliable, seamless broadband in-flight Wi-Fi experience across the world. For the first time, GX for Aviation connectivity will be integrated with Air New Zealand’s Inflight Entertainment (IFE) system provided by Panasonic. This was specifically requested by Air New Zealand.
The global nature of the GX network means that Air New Zealand’s ultra-long-haul routes, across the Pacific and on to the United Kingdom are covered, while the ability to layer-in capacity over Air New Zealand’s key regional destination hubs, such as the East Coast of Australia, will ensure that the customer experience will be of consistently high quality. The first GX-equipped aircraft are expected to begin proving flights in the second half of 2017, with services progressively available on Tasman, Pacific and long-haul fleets from the end of next year. It is anticipated that domestic routes will be added to the connected fleet from 2018. Air New Zealand joins a growing fleet of airline customers who have selected GX, including Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
According to Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale, GX for Aviation is the only in-flight broadband solution that is fast, reliable and truly consistent, with seamless coverage across the world provided by a single operator. Our focus is on ensuring customers enjoy a frictionless inflight broadband experience,” continued Leo Mondale.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer, Avi Golan, added that his company wanted a world-class solution that would meet the high expectations of their customers, a solution that offered both consistent and reliable service. The company tested the GX live experience on Honeywell’s B757 test aircraft, all as part of Inmarsat Aviation’s global test tour. The developments for in inflight connectivity were monitored for some time and with GX, Air New Zealand believes they will be able to offer broadband on-board in innovative ways.