Air Caraibes confirmed as Inmarsat GX customer for A350s

An Airbus A350XWB
An Airbus A350XWB

Thales has confirmed that Air Caraibes is to fit Inmarsat GX Ka-band inflight WiFi connectivity on its new fleet of six Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.

Thales announced last month that it had been selected by Air Caraibes to supply its Avant inflight entertainment and connectivity solution, but although they said it would use Ka-band it did not say whether this would be Thales’ IFE LiveTV solution or Inmarsat’s GX.

“Get Connected’s” Steve Nichols surmised it would be GX as this would be the best network for the routes Air Caraibes flies, and Thales has now confirmed it.

Thales’ own Live TV service, delivered over the ViaSat-1, Eutelsat KA-SAT and soon ViaSat-2 satellites, does not cover parts of the northern regions of South America and some of the airline’s trans-Atlantic routes.

Inmarsat’s GX will easily cover all of these.

Air Caraibes will be an A350 XWB launch customer in France and the first deliveries are scheduled to enter service in December 2016.

Dominique Giannoni, Thales' CEO, Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity
Dominique Giannoni, Thales’ CEO, Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity, at Farnborough 2014.

Thales says Ka-band connectivity will be offered to passengers through Wi-Fi and seat-back screens.

In addition, passengers will be able to access wireless IFE for content streaming on their own personal electronic devices.

Thales has also reached an agreement with Air Caraibes to be a Value Added Reseller (VAR), which will facilitate the airline’s management of the connectivity solution to the passenger.

Dominique Giannoni, Thales VP and CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience, said: “We are pleased that Air Caraibes selected our Android Avant system and connectivity solution for their A350 fleet.

“Their decision to equip the newest planes of their fleet with the latest generation Avant is a testament to our ability to partner with the airline and provide a premier passenger experience.”


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