Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight wifi service is expected to come online over India later this year, with SpiceJet as the launch carrier.
Emirates passengers will gain access to six new Indian destinations via its Dubai hub thanks to a new codeshare agreement with SpiceJet.
The race to bring the first aircraft online in India took an interesting turn in recent weeks. While SpiceJet has talked about its plans to add the GX Aviation system from Inmarsat to its new 737 MAX aircraft other players have been less public about their efforts. But installations are underway to deliver a fleet-wide solution, potentially within a year.
New cabins on the horizon for economy and business class, short-haul and long; might travel get more comfortable rather than less? Plus some good news for travelers looking to get online in the sky or earn free travel with their points.
Two weeks from now it will be permissible to use WiFi enabled devices on board aircraft in India, assuming the pilot agrees. But that doesn’t mean the systems will actually be available to use.
Where and when will inflight internet finally take flight in India. A pair of players – Inmarsat and Global Eagle – are leading the charge to deliver connected aircraft in the region. At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg last week both vendors provided updates on their efforts, with neither appearing likely to fly in 2019.
With the bulk of the global 737 MAX fleet grounded the impact to passengers is very real. Canceled flights, delays and rebookings will affect hundreds of thousands of travelers each day. Inflight connectivity providers will also be impacted as their systems are grounded.
Can Jet Airways climb out of its financial funk to become the first Indian airline offering inflight wifi connectivity on board? Global Eagle is ready to execute, assuming the airline finds its fiscal footing.
The paperwork is finally submitted: India is ready to get online in the sky. The Ministry of Communications issued the Flight and Maritime Connectivity Rules, 2018 in an official filing on 14 December 2018, codifying the rules around delivery of mobile internet services on aircraft and ships. With the new rules defined service providers and airlines can finally move forward with fitting the planes. So, who will be first??
Maybe it has never truly been cheap for passengers, but airlines historically took advantage of great deals from suppliers to secure inflight wifi connectivity solutions relatively inexpensively. As those vendors now seek financial stability more than market share a shift is underway. Is the era of cheap wifi over? (And did it ever really exist?!?)