Qatar Airways celebrates 100 aircraft with GX Aviation inflight broadband
Millions of the airline’s passengers have used Inmarsat’s award-winning connectivity solution
When it comes to the introduction of high-speed broadband onboard flights, Qatar Airways is one of the aviation industry’s fastest movers. It became the launch customer of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in 2018, with the award-winning connectivity service becoming a popular addition to the premium onboard experience on the airline’s Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 fleet, enjoyed by millions of passengers to date.
As the rollout continues at full pace, an important milestone has just been crossed. In total, 100 Qatar Airways aircraft are now fully equipped with GX Aviation. Qatar Airways has named the service ‘Super Wi-Fi’ and offers free access for one hour on equipped flights. Passengers are then able to purchase full-flight access after the taster session, allowing them to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, shop online and more during flights.
The milestone of 100 aircraft has been achieved as Qatar Airways continues to play a leading role in the global aviation industry’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19. It became the largest international carrier between April and June this year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and has now effectively rebuilt its network to over 85 destinations across six continents, with more than 650 weekly flights.
“As a leader of innovation within the global aviation industry, Qatar Airways already operates one of the youngest and most technologically-advanced fleet in the skies. Where other airlines are reducing their Wi-Fi offering, Qatar Airways is expanding it,” explains His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive.
“With connection to our loved ones and friends now more important than ever during these challenging times, we are delighted to work with Inmarsat and its GX Aviation technology to bring high-speed Super Wi-Fi broadband to passengers on board our fleet as part of Qatar Airways’ exceptional five star service.”
An important component
Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, hailed the milestone and highlighted that GX Aviation has become an important component of the passenger experience on Qatar Airways’ extensive fleet of Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 aircraft. “Feedback from passengers has been hugely positive and now, with the service being available on 100 aircraft, even more can enjoy the best connectivity in the skies. This is particular important at the current time, as the desire to stay connected with families, friends and colleagues increases. GX Aviation can also support airlines as they accelerate efforts towards digitisation and a touchless service offering.”
Developing the GX global network
GX Aviation is the world’s first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. Qatar Airways will also benefit from major upcoming enhancements to Inmarsat’s GX network, with additional capacity being introduced by seven new GX payloads scheduled to launch in the coming four years, representing a transformative step-change in inflight broadband capabilities.
This includes the entry into service of GX5 later this year over the Europe and Middle East region. The ground-breaking GX7, 8 & 9 satellites, which feature thousands of dynamically-formed beams that direct capacity over high-demand areas, will follow soon afterwards with the innovative new GX10A & 10B Arctic payloads, which will be the only broadband satellite service dedicated to this region and a perfect match for Qatar Airways aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic.