September 7 2022  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Qatar Airways selects GX Aviation for two aircraft types

By Rick Lundstrom

Inmarsat has been selected as the inflight connectivity (IFC) provider for Qatar Airways’ 787-9 and 737-10 fleet.

GX Aviation has been rolled out successfully on other aircraft within the Qatar Airways fleet and, under the new agreement, it has already been activated on the first seven 787-9s.

Qatar Airways provides one hour of free access to its ‘Super Wi-Fi’, powered by GX Aviation, with the option to purchase full access for the remainder of each flight. The broadband will be available across the airline’s aircraft and flight routes.

The announcement comes as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November, with a huge influx of tourists set to travel by air into Doha’s Hamad International Airport. With a fully connected fleet, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to stay up-to-date with match scores, watch video replays and even livestream matches from 30,000 feet. Inmarsat is committed to meeting the bandwidth requirements generated by Alongside its partner Safran Passenger Innovations, Inmarsat installed and activated GX Aviation on the first Qatar Airways 787-9 aircraft in less than five months from contract award.

“Over the years, Qatar Airways has pioneered a range of game-changing innovations as part of our exceptional five-star passenger experience. This, in turn, has resulted in the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax naming us ‘Airline of the Year’ an unprecedented six times,” said His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive. “The launch of our Super Wi-Fi, powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, is a prime example. We were amongst the first airlines in the world to adopt this technology and remain the largest operator of GX-equipped aircraft in the Middle East and North Africa.

Niels Steenstrup, President of Inmarsat Aviation, added “It has been more than four years since Qatar Airways became the launch customer for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in the Middle East and North Africa and, during that time, millions of passengers have enjoyed access to its Super Wi-Fi service. We are delighted to expand our important partnership even further.”

The GX network has five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with seven more satellites as part of Inmarsat's fully-funded technology roadmap. This includes two Inmarsat-6s, which are scheduled to enter service next year and will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, enabling the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic.

The GX network will also play a crucial role in the ongoing growth of Inmarsat’s ORCHESTRA dynamic mesh network, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering.

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