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Singapore Airlines broadcasts F1 interviews live from 35,000 feet

The first airline to host a live TV broadcast through SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR portal, powered by GX Aviation

Singapore Airlines, the title sponsor of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, recently became the world’s first airline to host a live television broadcast onboard a commercial airliner using SITAONAIR’s Internet ONAIR portal, powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed broadband.

Sky Sports F1 reporter Craig Slater travelled with the Alfa Romeo team, interviewing them live during flight SQ346 from Zurich to Singapore. F1 fans were able to watch the reporter chat with the team, as well as Sky F1's Paul Di Resta at 35,000 feet, as they discussed what it’s like to be a world-class racing team and made predictions about upcoming races.

SITAONAIR’s Commercial Regional VP Asia-Pacific, Katrina Korzenowski, expressed her pride in the achievement. “We’re excited to support Singapore Airlines in this pioneering venture, bringing live broadcast interviews to fans on the ground from 35,000 feet! The event is a testament to SIA’s dedication to outstanding passenger experience, as well as SITAONAIR’s ever-evolving work with Inmarsat to provide highly reliable, advanced inflight connectivity to airlines throughout the globe.”

The importance of staying connected

Being able to achieve the live broadcast without a hitch, demonstrates the ‘always-on’ reliability of the inflight broadband solution provided by Inmarsat in partnership with SITAONAIR. Of course, staying connected is not just important for world-class racers travelling between international locations. Singapore Airlines has been committed to providing best-in-class inflight connectivity to passengers since 2017, when it first adopted SITAONAIR’s award-winning services powered by GX Aviation, enabling them to stay in touch with work, friends and family during flights.

The airline has further demonstrated its commitment to passenger service by rolling out new free and unlimited WIFI plans for all passengers travelling first or suites and increased WIFI allowances for other premium passengers.

“Singapore Airlines and SITAONAIR are breaking new ground with live broadcasts from the air through our ground-breaking GX Aviation inflight broadband,” summed up Inmarsat Aviation’s Channel Director, Martin Kroepl. “Inmarsat is glad to have a partner like SITAONAIR who is continuously enabling airlines to provide the best passenger experience and pushing boundaries for inflight connectivity. We hope to see many more events like this live interview that showcase the capability of Inmarsat services when combined with the value adds from our partners. Congratulations SITAONAIR and Singapore Airlines for leading the way.”

Committed to connectivity in the future

Inmarsat is committed to providing truly global and reliable inflight connectivity and has a roadmap for capacity growth to ensure airline passengers remain online when they want and where they want, now and in the future.  2019 will see the launch of GX5 over the Middle East region, to meet increasing demand in this fast-growing area.

Then, the next two years will see the launch of Inmarsat’s I-6 F1 and F2 satellites, which will again meet growing demand and support 5G, which is crucial for both the future of mobile communications and the Internet of Things.

Beyond that, the launch of GX7, 8 and 9 satellites are set to genuinely revolutionise and disrupt the industry, enabling thousands of spot beams to be simultaneously delivered to instantly provide more capacity wherever it may be lacking. Further to this, the launch of GX10A and B satellites in 2023 will deliver much better, more reliable coverage over the Arctic.