Turkish Airlines picks Global Eagle for inflight WiFi on 100+ narrowbodies

Turkish Airlines and Global Eagle have announced a new partnership to supply high-speed inflight WiFi to Turkish’s narrowbody aircraft. The deal, announced yesterday, will see more than 100 737 and A321 aircraft installed with the Airconnect system by 2022.

Turkish Airlines global eagle
Global Eagle’s Airconnect will be retrofitted to over 100 A321 and 737 NG aircraft. Photo: Turkish Airlines

The newly minted agreement will see Turkish Airlines retrofitting in excess of 100 narrowbody aircraft with Global Eagle’s Airconnect solution. Specifically, the deal relates to the supply of inflight connectivity for the carrier’s Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 jets.

İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee commented in a press release,

“We are confident that with this partnership, Profen and Global Eagle will meet Turkish Airlines’ high expectations for effective connectivity in its fleet by delivering large-scale Inflight Connectivity (IFC) solutions. Thus, we as Turkish Airlines are pleased to have selected Profen and Global Eagle, two companies that have the competent skill-set to deliver high quality connectivity to our passengers.”

Installations across the Turkish fleet are slated to start towards the back end of next year. The airline plans to ramp up installations throughout 2021, with a view to completing the project by 2022.

The Global Eagle solution

The Airconnect high-speed WiFi solution from Global Eagle is a great option for Turkish. The company has a strong track record with both the Airbus A320 family and 737 products, supplying Air France, Southwest, LOT Polish and Norwegian, among others, with narrowbody connectivity.

Aditya Chatterjee, GEE's chief technology officer.
Aditya Chatterjee, GEE’s chief technology officer with the Airconnect antenna. Photo: Get Connected

The system leverages Global Eagle’s HTS Ku-band network, with hardware that is compatible with future LEO constellations also. The solution integrates a high-performance three-axis antenna with some 500Mbps capability per aircraft.

In order to ensure a seamless installation for Turkish, Global Eagle is working alongside two local partners. These are Turkish Technic for components, and Profen to ensure regulatory compliance.

IFC diversity

It’s becoming more commonplace to see carriers opting not to stick with just one supplier for their IFC requirements. However, it’s usually a case of one for the narrowbody, short-haul needs, and another for the widebody long haul missions.

Turkish Airlines global eagle
Global Eagle is a new partner for Turkish. Photo: Turkish Airlines

For Turkish Airlines, this deal represents diversity within an aircraft and mission type. The carrier already has a deal with Panasonic Avionics for its other narrowbody aircraft, the A321neo and 737 MAX. Panasonic also supplies its widebody fleet.

Selecting another supplier is a slick move by Turkish. In future, it will be able to leverage its more diverse supply chain to encourage competitive pricing.

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