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Last week’s announcement of polar coverage in the GX Aviation network brings a huge advantage to Inmarsat as the company seeks to grow its inflight connectivity install base. This week Emirates followed up with an announcement of its own, “Emirates’ passengers bound for the US will soon be able to enjoy Wi-Fi, mobile service connectivity and Live TV broadcast, even when flying 40,000 feet over the North Pole and Arctic circle.” Is the company over-reaching in what this promises??
Most notably, the new coverage only applies to aircraft fitted with the Inmarsat solution. Zero of Emirates’ planes today have the offering installed. The GX offering is contracted on the first tranche of 777X frames, scheduled for delivery starting in 2020, though that may slip owing to issues with the engines recently identified on the first test aircraft.
We are very pleased with this development, which will ensure Emirates continues to lead the industry in providing our customers a seamless inflight connectivity experience across geographies, on all of our flight routes. Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supply partners to continually raise the bar on inflight connectivity, and we look forward to further enhancing that experience, taking advantage of new technologies and infrastructure. – Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
Promising the connectivity on flights to the USA could simply be Emirates’ way of signaling that that 777X is intended to serve Los Angeles and other destinations that require more polar routings. Or it may be signaling something else entirely.
At a minimum, more questions need to be asked before simply printing the content of these releases as fait accompli.