Corporate jets are back in the air, and they’re more connected than ever. Gogo’s Q2 results indicates a strong rebound in activity for its corporate jet market, boosting revenues. But the company’s 5G network upgrade will slip a bit more owing to chip shortages.
With SpaceX and ISRO contracts signed, OneWeb will soon be ready to resume launches of its low earth orbit satellites. Under the revised plan the launches will extend into 2023, as the company works to complete its satellite constellation and establish its global footprint.
Satcom Direct will soon offer broadband connectivity for its business aviation customers on the OneWeb low earth orbit (LEO) network. The companies announced a partnership, including QEST for antenna hardware, at EBACE 2022 in Geneva.
Don’t call it a comeback; FlexExec’s been here for years. Still, after laying low for a while, Intelsat and Satcom Direct are launching a new push into the business jet connectivity market, with high hopes for improved WiFi service on board.
Business aviation integrator Satcom Direct completed testing of its new Plane Simple in-flight connectivity antenna solution, confirming full functionality of the kit across multiple satellites and geographies. Across three days of testing the aircraft flew for 16 hours, transitioning between three satellites on the Intelsat FlexExec network, including crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
QEST expects mechanical antennae to remain key to the in-flight connectivity market for many years to come. The company’s latest offering demonstrates its commitment to that segment, even as it continues to work on ESAs for the longer-term future.
Global Eagle will restructure and recapitalize under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy code. Substantially all of the company’s assets are to be acquired for $675 million, reducing total debt by approximately $475 million. The deal also includes $80 million in fresh debtor-in-possession financing to ride out the current downturn.
The only official announcement around electronically steered antennae (ESA) for commercial aircraft this week at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg came from Gogo. And it probably was the least significant ESA story from the show. Instead, a surprise from a different supplier stole the spotlight.
Score another successful test of existing antenna hardware on the new, LEO satellite technology. This time it is Ball Aerospace and its electronically steered flat panel kit linking up with Telesat’s LEO 1.
Global Eagle took Albatross One, its flying testbed, on a field trip to Canada last week and the results proved incredibly positive. The inflight connectivity provider partnered with satellite-operator Telesat to deliver data across the Phase 1 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite and geostationary Anik F3 using a common on-board antenna from Qest and modem from Gilat. The test flight proved that transitions from the GEO satellite to LEO and back can work on the company's gimbal-mount Ka-band antenna solution. During inflight testing, the team successfully demonstrated industry-leading data upload speeds from the aircraft, engaged in uninterrupted video chatting and movie streaming, and experienced the lowest latency of any satellite connection to date.
The test flights are the latest step in Global Eagle's efforts to position itself as a technology leader in the inflight connectivity world. Company executives have talked up the new constellation since the test satellite launched at the beginning of 2018. During the recent APEX EXPO in Boston LEO connectivity was a frequent topic of conversation. For Alexis Steinman, SVP Aviation Solutions, there is no subtlety in the company's plans: "We are betting big on LEO." With this latest successful test expect that bet to continue to grow.