April 30 2018  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Qatar rolling out Inmarsat system

By Rachel Debling

One of Qatar's 777s that will be installed with the new connectivity technology

More than 130 of Qatar Airways' 777 and A350 aircraft will be installed with Inmarsat's GX Aviation inflight broadband service, the airline announced today. This move will make Qatar the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to offer this service.

Airlines connect to the GX network via JetWave terminals, designed for ease of installation and maintenance and produced by Honeywell Aerospace. On board, passengers on eligible global routes will be offered one free hour of GX Aviation access; additional access can be purchased at an affordable full-flight rate.

Mr. Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said in a statement released today: “Qatar Airways is renowned as one of the greatest innovators in global aviation with passengers being at the center 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.”

His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, also commented: “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 travelers in particular will be able to maximize their ‘office in the sky’ with seamless continuity."

The GX Aviation announcement comes on the heels of news that the airline worked with Inmarsat on a new space-based system to track its worldwide flights. This new solution will provide real-time locations of flights using Inmarsat's satellite technology.