The AIX 2018 connectivity round-up

The annual Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) provides a useful snapshot of the latest innovations for aviation passengers, covering everything from cabin interiors to inflight entertainment. Much of the excitement during this year’s show revolved around connectivity, and it’s clear that IFC was fundamental to many of the developments on display.

For Inmarsat it was a chance to connect with the industry, announce some great new partnerships and give first-hand demos of its connectivity capabilities.

Let’s take a look at the major talking points.

After much hard work, Inmarsat opened not one but two interactive stands – the first to showcase its range of services, and the second, to reveal the European Aviation Network (EAN) live in action alongside its European partners.

Here’s Inmarsat’s Dominic Walters to walk you through the impressive stand at AIX 2018…

Our APEX hosts were given a tour of the EAN stand by Inmarsat’s Frederik van Essen.

Plus here’s aviation expert Seth Miller touring the EAN live demonstration, including the ‘tiny antenna’.

Day One

...saw Inmarsat celebrate the 250th installation of GX Aviation, which is particularly impressive given the inflight broadband solution only entered commercial service less than a year ago. The lucky number 250 was an Air New Zealand aircraft – and there’s a more than 1,050 additional aircraft from a number of other airlines earmarked for fitting with Inmarsat’s next-gen inflight broadband solutions.

Users have been giving good reviews of their experiences with GX Aviation…

Demand for connectivity in the Middle East continues to ramp up as Kuwait Airlines signs a deal to use GX Aviation in partnership with SITAONAIR, across the airline’s new A320 and A321 Neo aircraft fleet.

Elsewhere, the value of passenger data has become a hot topic.

Here’s Inmarsat’s Asbjorn Christoffersen talking about the revenue opportunities that IFC data presents for airlines…

Airlines now have a greater opportunity to own more of the passenger experience through data from social and customer interactions.

In a panel of industry leaders, connectivity was cited as an essential part of the mix of future IFE

There was news too from Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell Aerospace, with the launch of its Aspire 400 system.

The passenger demand for inflight connectivity continues apace with the world’s largest international carrier, Emirates, exceeding one million Wi-Fi sessions in March alone.

Day Two

...saw Turkish Technic and HAVELSEN sign an agreement with Inmarsat to provide GX Aviation – and a truly integrated world-class IFEC solution – to one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world.

Inmarsat also made an exciting announcement about a collaboration with Citilink, the Indonesian low-cost carrier, as well as MAT, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik who will unite to build ‘infrastructure in the sky’ for Indonesia.

Inmarsat will play its part by providing the award-winning high-speed GX Aviation inflight broadband service to enable Citilink to offer its customers ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) connectivity.

GX Aviation has been a big story for aviation, and over AIX it continued to deliver excellent reviews.

As Inmarsat’s Frederik van Essen said at a media roundtable: “Airlines are queuing up to get it on their aircraft and GX has won 12 awards so far in 2017 and 2018. It is great to see the recognition GX is getting in the marketplace.”

And as we bid goodbye to AIX for another year, we thought we’d leave you with a light-hearted roundup of just how much the industry is looking to transform the onboard experience – courtesy of BBC reporter Aaron Hestlehurst.