SITAONAIR’s Chief Technology Officer Gregory Ouillon says Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution is proving its worth with customers Singapore Airlines and Philippine Airlines.
He said the passenger experience is good and it is progressing with cabin connectivity software solutions that take advantage of the rich pipe to the ground.
Ouillon says Singapore Airlines continues to innovate across its fleet. In December 2017 its new Airbus A380, with SITAONAIR’s help, became the world’s first GX Aviation-enabled A380 aircraft.
As with the airline’s 777-300ER, the fleet guarantees an uninterrupted, super-quick internet connection over land or sea.
Alongside its passenger Wi-Fi services, SITAONAIR has now equipped the airline with its full suite of high-speed-connectivity-enabled services for the cabin.
These span from its custom-made high-speed inflight Wi-Fi portal (Internet ONAIR) and mobile data services (Mobile ONAIR) to enhance the passenger experience and operational efficiencies.
SITAONAIR also announced it has forged a deal with major mobile network operator (MNO) Etisalat in the UAE that will transform how inflight cellular services are offered to airline passengers.
SITAONAIR’s new partnership with the United Arab Emirates-based MNO means subscribers to Etisalat’s business roaming packs, who fly with any airline using SITAONAIR’s Mobile ONAIR network, can now use their data and minutes inflight as part of their bundle at no extra cost.
The SITAONAIR-Etisalat roaming agreement offers consumers a stress-free, seamless mobile connectivity experience. It says that as inflight technology evolves from 2G, 3.5G and 4G networks, the agreement also represents a positive step in preparing for future inflight connectivity provision from the UAE.
On other e-enabled applications Ouillon says it is making good progress on providing flight data on electronic flight bags (EFBs) for pilots. This is now moving into production on Air France Boeing 777s in a partnership with Teledyne.
Ouillon added that we can expect to see more “Internet of things (IOT)” applications for airlines in the near future, including cargo temperature monitoring.
He said a typical use case might be for monitoring high-value vaccines in the cargo hold that must be kept below certain temperatures.
“Monitoring them while in flight might mean that new vaccines could be ordered ahead of the aircraft landing should they go above a critical temperature,” Ouillon said. “We can expect to rise a big rise in the number of IOT applications for airlines in the future.
“This is a good example of how the inflight connectivity connection off an aircraft can add value beyond just passenger internet use,” he said.