Gulf Air joins Team GX

Bahrain’s national carrier boosts its passenger experience with Inmarsat’s connectivity solution

The soaring growth of GX Aviation, Inmarsat’s award-winning next generation inflight broadband solution, shows no sign of diminishing, as yet another leading airline is welcomed to Team GX.

Inmarsat partner, Thales, has confirmed an agreement to provide GX Aviation for Bahrain national carrier Gulf Air’s new Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321LR aircraft fleet.

The agreement was ceremonially signed during His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain’s visit to France, as part of a business lunch hosted by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and the MEDEF, France’s main organisation of business owners.

Gulf Air, renowned for its world-class hospitality and service, has a number of exciting developments underway to enhance its onboard experience for passengers.

In 2016, the airline selected Thales’ AVANT inflight entertainment (IFE) system for its fleet renewal programme, which combines a leading IFE offering with global connectivity, to bring passengers a complete end-to-end entertainment solution.

Passengers can use the connectivity portal and onboard Wi-Fi network, powered by GX Aviation, to browse the internet, check social media, shop online and much more during their flights.

Gulf Air’s CEO, Krešimir Kučko was enthusiastic about the agreement. “We are proud to announce our partnership with Thales once again for the onboard connectivity project. Back in 2016 we selected AVANT IFE system for our yet-to-receive orders of new aircraft and today we complement this partnership with Thales for another product – all to elevate the customer experience during the flight.”

Philippe Carette, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience, also praised the deal. “Thales is proud to be a long-term partner with Gulf Air in their goal of excellence in passenger experience,” he said. “It is an honour to equip Bahrain’s national carrier with our connectivity solution and the AVANT high-performing IFE system onboard their newest aircraft. Thales is committed to support Gulf Air in driving innovations and the highest standards in passenger engagement.”

Due to the continuing growth in demand for GX Aviation – the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight connectivity service that is delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of high-throughput satellites – Inmarsat has developed a fully-funded roadmap, including three further Ka-band payloads.

A fifth GX satellite will be launched later this year and two sixth-generation satellites are scheduled to launch in 2020 and 2021. There is also planning underway for the next generation of GX satellites.

Sean Lund, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Market Capture, said: “GX Aviation has quickly established itself as the flagship inflight broadband solution for the global aviation industry. Within weeks of announcing new customers such as Virgin Atlantic and Starlux, we are delighted that Bahrain’s national carrier Gulf Air has also confirmed its intention to install GX Aviation on its Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A321LR aircraft fleet. We congratulate our partner Thales on this exciting announcement.”