19 February 2014: Air China is to install and test Inmarsat’s GX Aviation – the next generation of high-speed global broadband in-flight connectivity services – on its A330 aircraft.
The agreement with GX Aviation distribution partner Honeywell Aerospace is expected to see the airline begin a testing programme in the second quarter of 2015.
“We are pleased that Air China has chosen to install the GX Aviation system on their aircraft,” said Bill Peltola, Inmarsat Vice President, Aviation.
“Air China has led the movement into passenger connectivity in China with their earlier installation of Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and now GX Aviation allows them to continue that leadership and take the passenger experience to a new level.
“This agreement gives Air China the opportunity to stay at the forefront of a highly competitive market in Asia.”
GX Aviation will deliver consistent, reliable, high-speed and high-capacity communications for both passenger connectivity and aircraft operations.
The new service, which is on track to deliver global availability for commercial airlines in the first half of 2015, will enable new types of passenger connectivity applications including real-time TV and live internet feeds.
Inmarsat will provide GX Aviation through its fleet of three wholly-owned and operated Ka-band satellites and its dedicated, fully redundant ground network.
The first of three Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellites was successfully launched in December 2013 and the remaining two are set to be in place by the end of 2014.
The I-5 fleet will offer a unique combination of seamless global Ka-band coverage from a single operator, consistent performance of up to 50Mbps, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned.