Two private airlines in China will soon fly the FTS XStream-SAT inflight wifi connectivity system, delivering wifi to passengers and cabin crew. This is the first solution to operate on the Ka-band spectrum over China. The service will operate on the ChinaSat-16 satellite, launched in May 2017.
The first deal involves Qingdao Airlines, a private airline based at Qingdao Liuting International Airport in northeastern China, currently operates a fleet of 14 A320s and plans to expand to over 100 aircraft by 2025. “Even before the lifting of the ban on passengers using their smartphone, we had been actively looking for a solution that meets our needs. The timing is right now that the smartphone ban was lifted, ChinaSat launched its Ka-band satellites CS-16 and FTS is here with its XStream-SAT system to complete the puzzle,” said the spokesperson for Qingdao Airlines.
FTS also announced service on Donghai Airlines’ fleet of 737-800 aircraft based in Shenzen, China. The agreement is significant as it will be first fully “Connected Aircraft” implementation in China to integrate both cockpit and passenger cabin applications over Inflight broadband connectivity service.
“Our vision of ‘Connected Aircraft’ is not merely just Wi-Fi streaming IFE. With full integration of front and back cabin applications over inflight broadband, we aspire to offer unparalleled passenger experience, improve air travel safety, efficiency and quality.” – Mr. Yang Jianhong, CEO of Donghai Airlines
Rich Salter, Chief Technology Officer of FTS added, “The seamless integration of the aircraft data network with the airline’s IT infrastructure enables the aircraft to become more intelligent and data-centric. Airlines can provide precise support to flights through analysis of real time data transmitted via the air-ground broadband network. By remote monitoring of flight systems’ performance and leveraging AI deep learning, airlines can even preemptively predict defects, recommend preventive measures and thereby greatly improve flight reliability.”
The 26 Ka-band spot beams of the ChinaSat-16 satellite will deliver service across nearly all of the routes the two carriers operate
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