Philippine Airlines adopts GX Aviation, increasing APAC expansion for Inmarsat

The world’s most improved airline equips fleet with a world-beating broadband service

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has become the latest airline in Asia-Pacific (APAC) to equip its long-haul fleet with Inmarsat’s award-winning, inflight broadband solution, GX Aviation.

Following the news that Inmarsat’s partner SITAONAIR has activated GX Aviation, and its best-in-class IFC portal Internet ONAIR, on board most of the airline’s new-generation aircraft, passengers on PAL’s US, Canada and London flights will now enjoy seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage, allowing them to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, just as they do on the ground.

Inmarsat Aviation’s Asia Pacific Regional Director, Chris Rogerson, was quick to acknowledge this significant event for the flag carrier.

“GX Aviation is helping airlines to differentiate their services from competitors by offering market-leading inflight broadband capabilities,” he said. “We are delighted that it is now being enjoyed by Philippine Airlines’ passengers and congratulate our partner SITAONAIR on this important achievement in the Asia-Pacific region.”

As it strives for Skytrax’s coveted 5-Star Airline rating, PAL has made inflight connectivity central to its plans in boosting passenger experience. It now offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all passengers and the improved myPAL Wi-Fi high-speed product also allows passengers to stay connected longer with an affordable renewal plan.

Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista, confirmed the airline’s focus on IFC, when discussing its partnership with Inmarsat and SITAONAIR.

He said: “We are taking our inflight passenger experience to the next level with SITAONAIR’s connectivity services over the high-speed capabilities of GX Aviation. We have high hopes that our partnership will help us achieve our mission of enhancing the total passenger experience while achieving operational efficiency.”

It was unsurprising therefore, when alongside a series of innovative product and service upgrades in recent months, PAL was named the Most Improved Airline in the World by airlineratings.com for 2019.

And there was more good news to share. Improved Wi-Fi installation techniques have seen the time PAL’s aircraft spent on the ground reduced by up to 70%.

Previously, installing inflight connectivity services typically took about 15 days per aircraft to complete, but SITAONAIR achieved GX Aviation installation for Philippine Airways in just four days per aircraft.

Katrina Korzenowski, SITAONAIR Vice President, Asia Pacific, noted: “With our customisable Internet ONAIR portal, Philippine Airlines will be equipped to provide its most enhanced, brand-defining, personalised passenger experience yet, from the forefront of the connected aircraft age.”

The move comes at a time when the APAC region continues to be at the vanguard of aviation’s connectivity revolution. Dr Alexander Grous, the author of the London School of Economics’ Sky High Economics survey, reported that APAC would be the largest single market globally for Wi-Fi enabled revenues by 2035.

That comprehensive report highlighted a market at the tipping point of transformation. Thanks to the implementation of next-generation inflight broadband, the report demonstrated the potential to unlock a $52bn market within the Asia Pacific region by 2035. This would mean airlines in the region could benefit from a $10.3bn boost in ancillary revenues.

Passengers in this vast and diverse part of the world are also demanding high-quality IFC. The results of Inmarsat’s latest Inflight Connectivity Survey certainly bear this out. The survey found that 86% of APAC fliers would use inflight Wi-Fi if it was available on their next flight, while 78% said they were more likely to rebook with an airline if high-quality Wi-Fi was available.

Across APAC, GX Aviation has been installed on a wide range of different aircraft types, from Airbus A320s to Boeing 777s, and the Airbus A380 superjumbo. Inmarsat’s customers include Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, AirAsia and Citilink.