GX Aviation goes live for the first time in Africa with Air Senegal

11 February 2019: Air Senegal has become the first airline on the African continent to activate Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight passenger connectivity service onboard its new-generation A330neo fleet.

The airline has appointed Inmarsat partner SITAONAIR as the inflight connectivity (IFC) service provider to support its goal to fly increasing passenger numbers and drive innovation to meet the growing demand for connectivity from Africa’s young population.

Under the deal, SITAONAIR has activated its Mobile ONAIR and Internet ONAIR inflight connectivity solutions via Link ONAIR, powered by our award-winning high-speed GX Aviation broadband network.

Cutting-edge connectivity

Following the launch of its first commercial flight in February 2019, passengers can now enjoy cutting-edge cabin connectivity across Air Senegal’s Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy offerings, on routes connecting West Africa with Europe.

The new IFC solution from SITAONAIR and Inmarsat enables passengers to access a personalised and seamless inflight connection to stay in touch with their digital lives, business and loved ones as they fly, as well as make calls and send texts from the air, just as they would on the ground.

Air Senegal’s new IFC offering coincides with the launch of Inmarsat’s brand new whitepaper on Africa’s inflight connectivity market. Chapter one of the London School of Economics’ Sky High Economics survey forecasts that the adoption of IFC could lead to a potential $587m in revenue for airlines in the region by 2035. Further details on the white paper are available here.

High expectations

Philippe Bohn, CEO of Air Senegal says: “We at Air Senegal are extremely proud to say we are leading inflight innovation in Africa’s aviation industry, and delivering, thanks to our carefully-considered partnership with SITAONAIR.

“With our new A330neo fleet, we can connect passengers from Europe with the heart of our country within six hours. These passengers have high standards, needs and expectations when it comes to inflight connectivity and Air Senegal is ready to empower them, thanks to SITAONAIR’s support and solutions.”

Ben Griffin, Regional Vice President of Inmarsat Aviation, says: “Our award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband has already launched with leading airlines in markets across the world, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. We are delighted to welcome Air Senegal as a customer, marking an important milestone for GX Aviation in the important, fast-growing African market.”

Burgeoning markets

David Lavorel, SITAONAIR CEO, says: “We are pleased to support and pioneer the inflight connectivity landscape, in what is a growing innovation area in Africa. SITAONAIR’s knowledge and expertise, both in establishing aircraft connectivity in burgeoning markets and in working alongside African telecommunications organisations and governments, makes us perfectly placed to enable all of Africa’s airlines to realize their connectivity ambitions.

“Our telecommunications experts have been at the heart of the significant work done with regulators and we look forward to advancing further for the benefit of the region.”

For more information contact news@inmarsat.com.