APEX2014: Vietnam lines up to be GX Ka-band launch customer

An Inmarsat I-5 satellite being built at Boeing’s El Segundo facility near Los Angeles.
An Inmarsat I-5 GX satellite being built at Boeing’s El Segundo facility near Los Angeles.

Gogo says it that it has received a bid award letter from Vietnam Airlines to provide in-flight connectivity services on Vietnam Airlines’ fleet of Boeing 787 aircraft and a majority of the airline’s Airbus A350 aircraft.

The aircraft will be outfitted with a mix of Inmarsat’s new GX Aviation Ka-band service and existing SwiftBroadband connectivity.

The parties are currently negotiating a definitive agreement, with the GX service currently expected to launch in the second half of 2015.

Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small, said: “Gogo continues to gain momentum with the global expansion of its connectivity service.

“This partnership with Vietnam Airlines will mark many firsts for Gogo, notably the first airline commitment to Inmarsat’s GX Aviation broadband connectivity and Gogo’s first Airbus A350 aircraft and Boeing 787 service commitment.”

Leo Mondale, President Aviation, Inmarsat, said: “GX Aviation is gathering momentum fast. The first satellite is in operation and the other two satellites are awaiting launch to support a global commercial service expected at the end of June 2015.

“As the technology challenges are now largely met, we are able to enter into firm contracts with airline customers, and it is particularly exciting to have Vietnam Airlines, who are expanding rapidly in the Asian market, as our GX Aviation launch customer.

“We are very pleased to support Vietnam Airlines as they upgrade their fleet and their service to their passengers, who are increasingly demanding the type of connectivity they enjoy on the ground.”

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