Jet ConneX take-up mirrors rise in business aviation market
Inflight connectivity is booming in business aviation as Jet ConneX experiences fastest network deployment rate ever
Private flying is on the rise. While at APEX 2017, we caught up with Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Business and General Aviation, to find out how inflight connectivity is helping the business jet market.
He pointed to a “dramatic evolution” for business aviation over the last 12 months. Following 2008’s financial crisis, the business jet market softened, and delivery slowed. However, in the last few years the business aviation market has picked up significantly.
Along with an uptake in miles-flown, business aviation is also experiencing a big uptake in cabin connectivity. Weidemeyer says: “We’re starting to look at what’s next. Over the last year we introduced Jet ConneX, and it’s been extremely successful because we’ve been able to get OEMs on side. We’ve had 40 STCs in the first 18 months, the fastest network deployment rate anyone has ever accomplished.”
It’s crucial to understand the groundbreaking role business aviation has played in connectivity. “In private aviation, they’re willing to invest to make sure that the aircraft can deliver exactly what the VIP needs. Because they have this need and they have the willingness to pay for and get the tools in their hands as fast as they can, that puts them at the bleeding edge,” explains Weidemeyer.
A lot of aviation tech began in business aviation, because it’s a sector that’s willing to pay to create efficient tools, and connectivity is no different. “With SwiftBroadband-Safety, it was business aviation that adopted it first at a high rate. It’s the same thing with Jet ConneX,” Weidemeyer adds.
But what makes Jet ConneX so special? “Ultimately, Jet ConneX is recognised as the gold standard because it’s a global system,” says Weidemeyer. “We’ve been doing what we do for 35 years, so we can guarantee great service to passengers wherever they fly, whether that’s LA, Hong Kong, or London. Plus, we have a strong array of partners who can help with flight planning, alongside great customer support in the field.”
Every OEM signed up to Jet ConneX in its first 12 months of service. No other global satellite connectivity network has seen that level of participation from the OEMs. Why? Because their customers – the CEOs and VIPs – demand excellent inflight connectivity. The service offers data plans with up to 15Mbps and consistent global coverage, which is what’s expected by private jet passengers who require 24/7 connection.
And now, over 100 business jets are flying with the high-speed Wi-Fi solution, powered by Honeywell’s JetWave™ system. More than 150 installations are expected by the end of this year, and Weidemeyer also attributes this rapid take-up to forward-thinking manufacturers who were unhappy with previous connectivity options.
Customers who have adopted Jet ConneX include some of the biggest names in the industry from Airbus and Boeing to Bombardier, Dassault, Cessna, Embraer and Gulfstream.
Jet Connex is, concludes Weidemeyer, the clear frontrunner for private aviation connectivity: “It’s the only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for business jets today.”
Platforms Supported by JetWave and Jet ConneX:
- Bombardier: Jet ConneX is the preferred line-fit option on Bombardier business jet aircraft and can be installed on all Bombardier Global models.
- Dassault: Line-fit option on Dassault Falcon business jets including new Falcon 900LX, Falcon 7X, Falcon 8X and Falcon 5X business jets. For existing Dassault customers, Jet ConneX is available on the Falcon 7X, Falcon 2000 and Falcon 900 Series aircraft.
- Embraer: Line-fit option on Embraer Lineage 1000E executive jets starting in early 2018.
- Gulfstream: The only global, high-speed Wi-Fi option available for Gulfstream aircraft today. It has already been installed on over 35 Gulfstream G650 jets, only a few months after achieving installation approval for the aircraft with more than 50 additional installs expected on G650s this year alone. As well, linefit availability for the G450 and 550 will occur over the next three months.
- Boeing: Boeing Business Jet customers are benefiting from accelerated install options like the Two-In-One (TIO) tail mounted radome well as STCs from our aftermarket installation and modification centre partners on the 737BBJ, 737-700, 737-900 and 777-200, with several additional platforms receiving approval over the coming months.
- Airbus: Airbus Corporate Jets’ MROs were on the cutting edge of Jet ConneX adoption with several aftermarket centres completing certifications earlier this year on the A319, A320, A330-200, A340-200 and A340-500.