Emirates has selected Inmarsat to provide high-speed, inflight broadband onboard 50 new Airbus A350 aircraft.
The new A350s – scheduled to enter service in 2024 – will use Inmarsat’s GX Aviation for the broadband.
They will be the first Emirates aircraft to use Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network which allows passengers to enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, no matter their destination.
Inmarsat GX network
The GX network currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with the addition of seven more satellites.
The seven include:
- 2 Inmarsat-6s, both of which are scheduled to enter service in 2023 (Inmarsat says they are most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built)
- followed by 3 additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity, and resilience
- then 2 satellites in highly elliptical orbit
This will enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic, such as routes between the Middle East and North America.
Adel al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer:
“Delivering a world-class onboard experience has always been paramount to Emirates and we understand the importance of being connected during flights.
“Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supplier partners to ensure all our aircraft offer Wi-Fi connectivity.
“We look forward to finding ways and options to improve the connectivity on-board our aircraft by utilising GX Aviation for our Airbus A350 fleet.
“The advanced capabilities being introduced by the forthcoming satellites are particularly important, as this will boost capacity across our global network, including aircraft flying over the Arctic for routes between the Middle East and America.”
William Huot-Marchand, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity:
“We are delighted that Emirates has joined the GX Aviation family. This will be the first fleet with Emirates to be equipped with our highly advanced GX Aviation solution.
“GX Aviation is well positioned to meet growing passenger expectations around a digital onboard experience, offering high-speed connectivity with uninterrupted global coverage across all flight routes, even over the Arctic.
“We look forward to working closely with Emirates on the rollout and other exciting innovations that build on its excellent history of providing a best-in-class passenger experience.”
Improved passenger experience
The plan for high-speed inflight broadband onboard A350’s is the latest addition to Emirates multi-billion-dollar investment into its onboard product and passenger experience
- cabin refresh for 120 aircraft along with the installation of Premium Economy seats
- extensive investment into menu development and food and beverage experiences
- introduction of next generation inflight entertainment systems on incoming aircraft
- hospitality training programme designed by Swiss hotel school – Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne
Inmarsat recent success
In September 2022, Qatar Airways selected Inmarsat for inflight broadband on 787-9 and 737-10 fleet – over 50 aircraft.
N.B. Image credit: Emirates