The first Citilink Indonesia inflight wifi connectivity installation is underway. Work to add the Inmarsat GX Aviation kit to the aircraft began recently on the first of 50 A320s contracted to receive the system. The implementation is being overseen by Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), and Indonesian wireless technology provider.
The end-to-end inflight Wi-Fi solution we will provide with Inmarsat, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik is truly cutting-edge and the perfect fit for an innovative low-cost airline such as Citilink. Together with our strategic partners, MAT has become the first Indonesian tech company that is transforming idle passengers onboard flights into fully entertained, engaged and satisfied travellers for our airline customers. – Iwan Setiawan, Managing Director of PT Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT)
The Citilink deal was first tipped with the signing of an MoU in April 2018. The formal contract came at the end of July. Getting to installation just seven months after the MoU is rapid for the inflight connectivity world. MAT is supported by Lufthansa Technik on the installation work and by Lufthansa Systems to develop and deliver the portal solution. The BoardConnect solution “will enable a range of e-commerce services, serving as a perfect base to monetise the airline’s inflight wifi,” according to Jan-Peter Gaense, Head of Passenger Experience Products and Solutions at Lufthansa Systems.
#MahataAeroTeknologi started installing our #GXAviation inflight connectivity system on @Citilink’s first Airbus A320 this week. Our #TeamGX, includes @LHTechnik and @LH_Systems and will continue the rollout across @Citilink and @Garuda fleet in 2019 pic.twitter.com/TvddtIVBwo
— Inmarsat (@InmarsatGlobal) December 4, 2018
Inmarsat notes that the aircraft deployments will continue into 2019 and specifically includes mention of Citilink’s parent Garuda Indonesia as part of those plans. This raises questions as to the state of the deal with the parent carrier. Inmarsat announced a deal with Garuda at the beginning of November. 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.
It remains to be seen how these not-yet-contracted deals play out. Inmarsat remains confident in its claims and that could be enough to see the kit installed on the aircraft soon enough.