Singapore Airlines hit a milestone in late December with the intercontinental launch of its brand-new Airbus A380, which was line-fit with SITAONAIR’s inflight connectivity powered by Inmarsat’s Ka-band GX Aviation.
Around 100 VIP guests joined the landmark 14-hour trip from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Toulouse, France, to Singapore Changi Airport.
Aviation analyst Alex Macheras, said: “At its peak, there were 70 connected users inflight, and the speeds were super strong.
“Applications like WhatsApp were as if they were on the ground, with messages being delivered and received without any slight pause or interruption, nor delay.”
Long-standing customer Singapore Airlines’ next-gen A380 has been equipped with SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR inflight Wi-Fi portal and Mobile ONAIR service.
SITAONAIR says both are powered by Link ONAIR services over Inmarsat’s Ka-band GX Aviation – offering reliable and seamless high-speed broadband services with global coverage and giving passengers a similar experience to what they would have on the ground.
This was also good news for Honeywell Aerospace, which supplies the fuselage-mount antenna and equipment for GX Aviation.
To further celebrate this first line-fit delivery of GX Aviation capabilities for SIA, passengers were offered free, unlimited Wi-Fi access.
By enabling Wi-Fi on their personal electronic devices, passengers achieved seamless inflight internet connectivity, simply by entering their email address, just as they would to use any on-the-ground public hotspot.
Katrina Korzenowski, SITAONAIR Regional Vice President for APAC, who was among the guests at the A380’s prestigious arrival ceremony, said: “Singapore Airlines is an award-winning carrier known for its outstanding customer service reputation and willingness to take passenger experience beyond expectations.
“We are proud to count SIA among our top tier airline customers in enabling them to deliver the promise of the connected aircraft experience.
“SIA is pioneering in the digital transformation journey of the nose-to-tail connected aircraft. The new A380, fitted with all-new cabin products and services, marks a very important milestone for SIA, SITAONAIR and our partners, especially our GX Aviation partner Inmarsat.”
Yann Cabaret, SITAONAIR Vice President of Customer Program added: “As we all know, providing high-speed satellite connectivity, and delivering services that enrich the global inflight passenger experience, is a highly complex challenge. Here at SITAONAIR we are honoured that together we have accomplished such a major achievement.
“Despite passenger activities requesting a lot of bandwidth, and the significant number of simultaneous connections, 20 Mbps of resources was used, with no congestion, thanks to SITAONAIR’s expertise in managing and optimizing bandwidth and passenger experience.
“With the 50 Mbps satcom capability soon increasing to 100 Mbps and more, SITAONAIR is the long-term partner helping airlines meet their passengers’ growing expectations.”
The first SIA A380 commercial flight took place on 18 December with the same success, enabling all passengers to enjoy the benefits of the inflight connectivity with Link ONAIR on GX Aviation.