Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic) and its partner China Telecom Satellite (CTS), today announced a one-year extension of their Ku-band inflight connectivity trial.
With this milestone, all approved Chinese and international airlines can now select Panasonic’s Global Communications Service and enjoy connectivity services worldwide.
Per terms of the license, over 20 foreign airlines with more than 1,000 aircraft are expected to begin operating connected flights over Chinese airspace, with more in process.
In addition, Panasonic’s Chinese airline customers, including China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen Air, Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines have begun preparations to offer connectivity services across their global route structure.
David Bruner, Vice President, Global Communications Services, Panasonic Avionics:
“We have worked closely with China Telecom Satellite for the past several years to support connected flights over China with our global broadband service.
“Today’s announcement is the next step in this special partnership, and we look forward to working with China Telecom Satellite over the months ahead to roll this service out across our approved international customer base.”
The announcement follows recent news that the leading Chinese carrier, China Eastern Airlines, in partnership with CTS, was the first to offer Wi-Fi on domestic flights. China Eastern Airlines installed Panasonic’s award-winning eXConnect inflight connectivity system on its newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
The service was initially offered by 12 foreign airlines with just over 200 aircraft offering inflight connectivity over this key region. There were also three Chinese-registered airlines and 30 aircraft offering connected flights in and out of China.
Panasonic and China Telecom Satelitte signed their first joint venture in December 2013.
N.B. Image credit: Boeing