LONDON – Emirates will offer passengers a new high-speed, inflight broadband powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, onboard 50 new Airbus A350 aircraft – scheduled to enter service in 2024.
The new agreement will significantly improve the passenger experience with enhanced connectivity and greater global coverage, even on flights over the Arctic.
The Airbus A350s will be the first Emirates aircraft to take advantage of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network.
This service powers the world’s first and only globally available broadband network, ensuring passengers can enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, no matter their destination, including the North Pole.
The advanced high-speed capabilities of the broadband will enable Emirates passengers to stay connected with family and friends, browse the internet, and enjoy social media, all from the comfort of their seat.
The GX satellite network
The GX network that will power the Emirates inflight broadband currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with the addition of seven more satellite payloads as part of Inmarsat’s fully funded technology roadmap.
This includes two Inmarsat-6s, the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, both of which are scheduled to enter service in 2023.
These will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity, and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit.
This will effectively enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic, such as routes between the Middle East and North America.
Adel al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer, said “Delivering a world-class onboard experience has always been paramount to Emirates and we understand the importance of being connected during flights.”
“The advanced capabilities being introduced by the forthcoming satellites are particularly important, as this will boost capacity across our global network, including aircraft flying over the Arctic for routes between the Middle East and America.”
William Huot-Marchand, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity, said “We are delighted that Emirates has joined the GX Aviation family. This will be the first fleet with Emirates to be equipped with our highly advanced GX Aviation solution.”
“GX Aviation is well positioned to meet growing passenger expectations around a digital onboard experience, offering high-speed connectivity with uninterrupted global coverage across all flight routes, even over the Arctic.”
Improving passenger experience
The upgrading of in-flight connectivity is becoming a key market upgrade for many airlines. Carriers are steadily progressing towards free in-flight Wi-Fi services, and improved in-flight entertainment systems.
The Emirates plan for high-speed inflight broadband onboard A350’s is the latest addition to the carriers multi-billion-dollar investment into its onboard product and passenger experience.
For the airline this is also included the largest known fleet retrofit project of 120 aircraft, extensive investment into menu development and food and beverage experiences.
In line with changing customer expectations, Emirates has also introduced the planned introduction of next generation inflight entertainment systems on incoming aircraft, and a hospitality training programme designed by the world’s most renowned hotel school – Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.