Emirates and Thales have signed an agreement to equip the airline’s Boeing 777X fleet with next-generation broadband inflight connectivity using the Inmarsat GX Aviation global network.
The airline says the partnership will give Emirates’ customers best-in-class connectivity on its Boeing 777X aircraft due for delivery starting in 2020.
Emirates and Thales already have an existing multi-million dollar deal in place to fit its Boeing 777X fleet with a Thales AVANT inflight entertainment system.
The new agreement is part of Emirates’ and Thales’ plans to develop and enhance the inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) on the 777X fleet.
Over the years, Emirates says it has invested more than US $200 million to equip its aircraft with inflight connectivity.
Demand for Wi-Fi on board has been steadily increasing and today more than 800,000 passengers per month connect while inflight.
Emirates offers all its customers 20MB of complimentary Wi-Fi data on board, while Emirates Skywards members in First Class and Business Class enjoy unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi and discounted plans in Economy Class.
Emirates, Thales and Inmarsat say they have invested heavily in the new generation Wi-Fi solution and will work together to meet increasing demand for Wi-Fi on board.
Broadband connectivity speeds, coupled with Thales’ AVANT IFE system, will provide a further boost to Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, ice.
Emirates is the largest operator of the Boeing 777 aircraft, one of the most popular and advanced wide-bodied aircraft in commercial operation today.
The airline has 165 Boeing 777s in its fleet, and a further 164 on firm order, including 150 of the next-generation Boeing 777X aircraft.
This was also good news for Honeywell Aerospace, which supplies the fuselage-mount antenna and equipment for GX Aviation.
Mike Edmonds, President, Connectivity and Services, Honeywell Aerospace, said: “The combination of GX Aviation’s global coverage and Honeywell’s JetWave hardware allows for a seamless experience of connectivity and capability from the time you walk on the airplane until you get off on the other side of the world, which cannot be duplicated by other networks.
“When airlines like Emirates, who fly global, long-haul routes, pick GX Aviation for in-flight connectivity, you know they understand the importance of being connected anywhere in the world. Only GX Aviation and JetWave can provide that.”
Inmarsat says GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator.
It claims it is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an on-board connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.