Five star airline to offer five star inflight Wi-Fi
Qatar Airways becomes the first airline to roll out GX Aviation in the Middle East and North Africa
In another impressive first for Inmarsat, Qatar Airways has become the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to install its next-generation high-speed broadband service, GX Aviation.
GX is currently being rolled out on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft. In total, GX Aviation, the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator, will be fitted on 130 of the state-owned flag carrier’s aircraft.
The milestone moment has been enthusiastically welcomed by Inmarsat Aviation’s President, Philip Balaam, who commented: “Qatar Airways is renowned as one of the greatest innovators in global aviation with passengers being at the centre of everything they do. We are delighted that they are now pioneering our game-changing GX Aviation inflight broadband across the globe. This unprecedented service adds to the airline’s award-winning, five star onboard experience by allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights.”
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, echoed Balaam’s positive comments, noting that passengers will now be able to access the same broadband service in the air as on the ground.
He said: “In another first for the MENA region, Qatar Airways passengers can now enjoy high-speed broadband connectivity, providing rich content without restriction, whether using the internet for work or relaxation during their journey. Business travellers in particular will be able to maximise their ‘office in the sky’ with seamless continuity.”
This is the best product in the market today
The rollout is the culmination of a year’s worth of behind-the-scenes activities; from the initial announcement of the award-winning airline’s intention to adopt GX last June, through obtaining the Supplemental Type Certificate for GX Aviation retrofit installations on the Boeing 777 aircraft and a highly successful inflight test campaign across Qatar Airways’ global flight routes.
Passengers will now be offered an hour’s free access to the service, after which full-flight access can be purchased.
When asked why the airline, which celebrates its 25th birthday later this year, chose Inmarsat, Al Baker explained simply, that “the super technology of Inmarsat… is the best product in the market today. It will be constant, reliable and high speed.”
The rollout of GX Aviation follows a separate announcement that Qatar Airways has activated an advanced new space-based system, supplied by Inmarsat, to track all of its flights across the world. Inmarsat worked exclusively with Qatar Airways to develop this cutting-edge solution, which utilises Inmarsat’s market-leading satellite technology to provide the exact real-time location of the airline’s aircraft in latitude and longitude.
The timely news also chimes with the ambitious carrier’s expansion strategies across the globe. Earlier this year, Al Baker said the airline was increasing frequencies into Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and the sub-continent.
It caps a successful 12 months for the airline, in which it picked up 50 awards. The most prestigious of these was being named Airline of the Year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards – the fourth time it had been bestowed with such an honour.