Qatar Airways is not shy about shifting providers to make sure the services offered meet its standards. The company announcing in 2019 it would install the 2Ku platform on its 787s was a big deal in this regard. That the planes ultimately took to the skies with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation hardware on board is perhaps even more notable.
Making Super Wi-Fi available across our fleet is an important milestone at a time when staying connected with loved ones and friends has never been more important for passengers. As the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaches, Inmarsat is the perfect partner we need to ensure Qatar Airways can offer unrivalled inflight connectivity to each and every passenger, continuing our track record of service excellence.– His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive
Inmarsat, in partnership with Safran Passenger Innovations, installed and activated GX Aviation on the first Qatar Airways 787-9 aircraft in less than five months from contract award. The system is now active on the first seven Boeing 787-9s for Qatar Airways.
In addition to the 787s currently being delivered, the deal extends to the 737 MAX 10 order placed by the carrier. All told, an additional 80 planes are expected to add the GX Aviation kit in the years ahead.
Niels Steenstrup, President of Inmarsat Aviation, added, “Qatar Airways’ decision to select GX Aviation is testament to its continued satisfaction with our global, consistent, and reliable connectivity, as well as the positive feedback it has received from passengers. It has been a pleasure working with the airline on this rollout.”
With the upcoming World Cup 2022 in Qatar the airline is keen to prove that it can also deliver football content to passengers as they travel to and from the host country. The release notes that “Qatar Airways passengers will be to stay up-to-date with match scores, watch video replays and even livestream games from 30,000 feet, enhancing their onboard experience.”
Details remain scarce on what form the livestream of games inflight will take, and Inmarsat didn’t spill the beans, preferring to let Qatar Airways share that news. But the satellite company did promise that sufficient capacity exists on the currently active satellites to support the live content.
There’s more to the story…Dig deeper with a PaxEx.Aero Premium Subscription
The GX network currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with the addition of seven more satellites as part of Inmarsat’s fully-funded technology roadmap. This includes two Inmarsat-6s scheduled to enter service next year. They will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, enabling the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher latitudes and across the Arctic.
A favor to ask while you're here...
Did you enjoy the content? Or learn something useful? Or generally just think this is the type of story you'd like to see more of? Consider supporting the site through a donation (any amount helps). It helps keep me independent and avoiding the credit card schlock.