Indonesian national carrier Garuda is expanding its inflight wifi commitment with Inmarsat‘s GX Aviation solution. The move follows the selection earlier this year by Citilink, an LCC carrier in the Garuda Group, to install the same kit. The signed contract comes 90 days after the deal was first announced and closes out questions on the deal raised by another vendor also claiming the business.
More than 175 aircraft within the Garuda Indonesia Group will now be equipped with GX Aviation, including Airbus A320s, Airbus A330s, Boeing 737s and Boeing 777s. Lufthansa Technik will manage hardware, engineering, installation design and certification for the project, while Lufthansa Systems is responsible for software platform and integration, based on its BoardConnect´s open architecture. The overall integration is managed by Indonesian wireless technology provider Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT).
Connectivity has become a key requirement for people today, whether on the ground or in the air. We are excited, therefore, about the prospect of offering fast, reliable and consistent inflight wi-fi to passengers with GX Aviation. As a Skytrax 5-star airline, it was important that we offered the best solution in the market and we look forward to working with Inmarsat, Mahata, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems on the rollout. – Garuda Indonesia President Director, I Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra
Read More: Citilink goes live on Inmarsat GX
The first Citilink aircraft went live with the GX offering earlier this year in one of the fastest deployments of inflight connectivity seen to date. The successful execution of that implementation converted to a larger contract for MAT and Inmarsat. Inmarsat Aviation President Philip Balaam highlighted that speed of delivery in comments about the expanded deal, “This project has been moving ahead at impressive speed, from meeting Garuda and Citilink for the first time to signing our Memorandum of Understandings and final contracts. We look forward to continuing our rollout with them, alongside Mahata, Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik, so their passengers can experience the full capabilities of GX Aviation first-hand later this year.”
Read More: Garuda goes GX for inflight connectivity
We are delighted to welcome the national airline Garuda Indonesia as a customer and look forward to working with them on the rollout. This further confirms the confidence in our partnership’s ability to bring state-of-the-art connectivity to passengers in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets. – Iwan Setiawan, Executive Director of PT Mahata Aero Teknologi
While the news is good for Inmarsat and Garuda it is a setback for Global Eagle. In April 2018 the company announced a Letter of Intent with “a major South East Asian Airline” for connectivity on a Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 fleet. This was later determined to be Garuda. Seeing that 100ish aircraft disappear from its potential fleet is undoubtedly disappointing. Things are not all bad for Global Eagle, however, as it sees growth in the Southwest Airlines install portfolio as that carrier removes the GCS Suite solution from Panasonic Avionics.
The inclusion of the 777s for the Inmarsat/Garuda deal – not previously mentioned by Global Eagle – also means that those aircraft are set to shift from Panasonic Avionics to Inmarsat for their on-board wifi solution. Securing a significant foothold in Southeast Asia while also taking an airline away from two different competitors is a strong play in many ways.