July 26 2017  |  Partnerships, Collaborations & Acquisitions

GEE signs new contract with Norwegian, develops connectivity product for luxury travel

By Rick Lundstrom

Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. has signed a new five-year contract with Norwegian Air Shuttle and announced it has developed a luxury product that it will market to yacht owners for connectivity in several applications.

For Norwegian Airlines, GEE will provide enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity, live television, portal based content, services and support. The new agreement covers Norwegian Air Shuttle’s entire 737 new generation fleet of more than 120 aircraft, until 2023.

“Our cooperation with Norwegian improves how its passengers experience the airline’s inflight entertainment service on board,” said Per Norén, Global Eagle Senior Vice President Aviation in last week’s announcement. “Norwegian is a world-class award-winning airline that is innovating in the aviation industry globally and how it approaches the passenger total travel experience. We are pleased to be part of their long-term plan.”

Norwegian Air Shuttle was the first airline to offer high-speed Internet and live television on flights within Europe, and was the first airline in Europe to offer Video-on-Demand directly to a passenger’s own device.

Global Eagle initially signed an agreement with Norwegian in 2011 for 40 aircraft. In 2015, Global Eagle launched live TV on Norwegian’s 737NG aircraft. The new agreement includes the option for the airline to cover additional new-generation 737 aircraft for use on trans-Atlantic routes.

“We currently have Global Eagle passenger features on more than 100 Norwegian aircraft, and this agreement widens the scope of both the fleet size and products that the airline can offer on board,” Norén said.

In other news, GEE this week introduced a new luxury brand, PRIVA by Global Eagle, that replaces its legacy brand MTN that operated solely in the yacht connectivity business. 

“PRIVA will expand the company’s ability to reach ultra-high net worth individuals around the world,” said a release from Global Eagle.

PRIVA will operate on land in private villas or islands, at sea on their yacht, and in the air on board private jets. 

The brand will replace the former MTN brand, which began in 1980 and installed the first satellite links on board a yacht in 2003. It was acquired by EMC in 2015, and Global Eagle acquired EMC in 2016.

“Global Eagle is advancing the heritage and quality of our maritime business and expanding our capabilities to allow ultra-high net worth individuals to benefit from the company’s extensive businesses in aviation and on land,” said Jeffrey Leddy, Global Eagle CEO.

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