Air New Zealand’s GX Aviation Inflight Wi-Fi reaches 1m free sessions

Milestone highlights strong demand for Inmarsat’s award-winning global connectivity solution

Air New Zealand A321neo equipped with GX

Air New Zealand passengers have enjoyed more than one million sessions of Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband, since the airline switched to a free-of-charge model for the service just over a year ago.

GX Aviation is currently available on almost 25 aircraft within the Air New Zealand fleet operating on Trans-Tasman, Pacific Island, US and London routes. This includes a combination of Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 aircraft, in addition to Airbus A320 and A321 neos.

 “Air New Zealand is one of the airline industry’s biggest advocates of free inflight broadband. Whenever and wherever passengers fly with them, they will be offered unrestricted internet access at zero cost. It is a prime example of how this leading airline always seeks to delight and surprise their passengers,” shared Chris Rogerson, Inmarsat Aviation’s Regional Vice President for the Asia Pacific region.

He continued, “The fact that over one million sessions have been enjoyed by passengers since the free-of-charge model was introduced in December 2018 is testament to incredibly strong demand for high-speed, reliable and easy to access inflight broadband. It also underpins Inmarsat’s leadership in providing ‘gold standard’ aviation connectivity that empowers our airline customers to offer a world-class experience that meets the demands of today’s passengers.”

Airlines and GX Aviation: a winning combination

There’s no doubt that this accomplishment of a million inflight Wi-Fi-sessions demonstrates Inmarsat Aviation’s continued efforts towards achieving excellence for its customers. Air New Zealand was recently voted ‘World’s Best Airline’ in the 2020 Airline Excellence Awards, and this was partly due to inflight innovations which includes offering high-quality inflight connectivity services free of charge to all their passengers.

Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod recently told Scoop Business that the airline hit the one million milestone on a flight from Auckland to Perth. “In addition to reaching the one million milestone, December was our biggest month ever for free inflight Wi-Fi sessions with more than 122,000 customers connecting. This beats our previous record of 103,000 sessions in July 2019,” he said.

“We’re delighted with the uptake of our inflight Wi-Fi and have had great customer interest since its introduction, with travellers from around the world finding it a fantastic way to be able to stay connected with their friends and family.”

With Air New Zealand’s remaining fleet of international aircraft scheduled to be equipped with GX Aviation by the end of 2020, the next one million sessions are expected to be achieved even sooner, before the current year ends.

Loyalty isn’t what it used to be

In final instalment of their “Sky High Economics” report, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) found that traditional loyalty schemes aren’t as effective with Millennials and Generation Zers (born between 1997-2012). It seems that seamless onboard Wi-Fi could create the kind of allure airlines are hoping to generate amongst this new generation of fliers.

The report suggests that as passenger behaviour changes in our connected world, there’s a potential $33bn annually on the table be won by airlines that offer the kind of connected inflight experiences that Millennials and Gen Zers are seeking.