Just over two weeks after the first Citilink A320 entered the shop for wifi installation it is back in service. Aircraft PK-GQR operated a handful of flights on Wednesday with the Inmarsat GX kit installed. It is unclear is the service is active yet or (more likely) still in testing mode.
Proudly announce the 1st Wifi using GX system in Asia Pacific on LCC Citilink Airline.
— M. Fitriansyah TEMI (@TemiFitriansyah) December 19, 2018
The new install is the first of 50 for the Citilink fleet and that number may yet grow into the parent company Garuda Indonesia. Citilink and Inmarsat announced an agreement to extend the installations to Garuda in November but the status of contracts or even a final decision on that front remain unclear. That announcement raised questions as no Garuda employees are included in the quotes and Global Eagle had previously hinted at a deal with Garuda (as an unnamed customer). Moreover, in its recent earnings call Inmarsat acknowledged that it does not yet have a signed contract with Garuda nor with SpiceJet, another recently announced customer.
The pace of implementation for Citilink remains impressive. The carrier went from MoU signed to aircraft installed in just over eight months. This is one of the fastest deployments the market has seen and benefits from the skills and experiences of implementation partners. The implementation is overseen by first-time IFC vendor Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), and Indonesian wireless technology provider, but MAT did not work alone. It leaned on Lufthansa Technik for installation support and Lufthansa Systems for portal development. Those two groups supported the first GX hardware rollouts for the Lufthansa Group airlines and continue to spread their knowledge and skills around the globe.