It could come online within the next few days. The company is confident that timeline won’t stretch past a few weeks. And AirFi‘s LEO customers want the service yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the company’s Customer Innovation Days, co-founder Martijn Moret is not keen on timelines, but he is clear that the development is in the home stretch. “There’s already a number of installed aircraft, with all the equipment on board. We just need to switch it on. But for for that to happen we want to make sure that we don’t run have any mistakes or security issues, that it is working as promised… But in the end, the best case it’s end of this month; in the worst case, next month.”
Note: PaxEx.Aero was compensated to moderate the AirFi Customer Innovation Days event. All content from the sessions was, however, strictly off the record. This story was reported outside of that remit based on willingness of attendees to talk about their plans and expectations on the record.
Atlantic Airways, for example, has been looking to activate the system since a 2018 announcement. COVID got in the way of that testing program, but things picked back up in 2022, including additional partners in the testing program. And, just last week, Suriname Airways announced it would implement the LEO option as part of its new IFE/C plan.
Jermaine Kerk, representing the carrier at the innovation Days event, noted that Suriname Airways felt competitive pressure to add connectivity to its portfolio, but also that a full broadband link was not necessary for their needs. Or too expensive to justify.
The rapid installation timeline was also a significant factor in the selection. “We’re really excited at how quickly it can deploy was we acquire new aircraft,” Kerk explained. “And we want to get it flying as quickly as AirFi can activate it.”
Standing between AirFi and activation are final validation of two technical features.
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