Emirates’ forthcoming fleet of A350 aircraft will offer inflight broadband powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation.
The Gulf carrier will begin taking delivery of the Airbus widebody planes from 2024, and the airline said the Inmarsat technology would ensure uninterrupted connectivity on all flights including those between the Middle East and North America which route across the Arctic.
The service will be powered by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which is set to expand to include two Inmarsat-6s – described as “the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built”, as well as three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – “adding speed, capacity, and resilience” – and two in highly elliptical orbit.
Emirates says that these satellites – along with the five Ka-band satellites currently in the GX network – will enable “the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic, such as routes between the Middle East and North America”.
Commenting on the news Adel al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, said:
“Delivering a world-class onboard experience has always been paramount to Emirates and we understand the importance of being connected during flights. Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supplier partners to ensure all our aircraft offer wifi connectivity.
“We look forward to finding ways and options to improve the connectivity on-board our aircraft by utilising GX Aviation for our Airbus A350 fleet. The advanced capabilities being introduced by the forthcoming satellites are particularly important, as this will boost capacity across our global network, including aircraft flying over the Arctic for routes between the Middle East and America.”
Last year Emirates announced that its A350 aircraft would be fitted with Thales’ Avant Up IFE system, featuring Optiq 4k QLED HDR displays which the carrier says will “immerse viewers in more than a billion colours”.