Cathay Pacific is committing further to connectivity on its long-haul fleet. The carrier announced a contract with Gogo today to fit its 777 and A330 aircraft with the 2Ku product beginning in mid-2018. The full rollout is expected to be completed by 2020.
We have been listening to our customers who have told us that staying connected inflight is important to them. Our passengers will soon be able to not only roam around the cabin when the fasten seat belt sign comes off – the whole internet awaits at 35,000 feet… This will open up a wealth of opportunities for us to provide more innovative experiences for our customers. – Cathay Pacific Chief Customer and Commercial Officer Paul Loo
The deal covers more than 100 aircraft in the Cathay Pacific fleet, mostly 777s, and the 24 A330s in the Cathay Dragon fleet.
We are excited to partner with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon to bring their guests a new onboard connectivity experience with 2Ku. As a premier global airline group, and Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, Cathay passengers expect a premium experience, which 2Ku is delivering today with superior bandwidth, coverage and availability. – Gogo President and CEO Michael Small
Cathay is not new to the inflight connectivity space. The carrier’s A350-900 aircraft carry the Panasonic Avionics Ku-band solution. Today’s announcement means the carrier will split its connectivity across multiple providers. It is an increasingly common choice these days for airlines (see this morning’s announcement from Emirates/Thales/Inmarsat for another example) as they optimize service levels and pricing. But it can also create customer confusion and challenges, depending on the implementations. It remains to be seen how that will play out with Cathay Pacific.
The deal puts Gogo over the 2,000 aircraft commitment mark according to the company. The company expects to sustain its aggressive deployment pace, fitting out these aircraft in the very near term of a couple years.