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Leading satellite communications companies OneWeb and Intelsat have signed a global distribution partnership agreement to offer airlines a seamless inflight connectivity (IFC) solution for efficient performance, coverage and reliability on the market.

Under the arrangement, Intelsat will distribute OneWeb’s innovative low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite services to airlines worldwide, combined with Intelsat’s extensive IFC experience and existing geo     stationary (GEO) satellite service, providing a multi-orbit solution for the aviation community.

Leveraging the power of multi-orbit capabilities, Intelsat will provide airlines and their passengers the best IFC experience while bypassing significant gaps in IFC coverage or capacity – even at busy hubs, across oceans and over polar routes. The companies expect the multi-orbit solution to be in service by 2024.

“This level of connectivity will enable airlines to maximize brand affiliation with passengers through all their onboard services – delivering a truly connected end-to-end passenger journey,” said Jeff Sare, president of Intelsat’s Commercial Aviation.

“The hybrid service offering further allows the global airline community to plan their suite of next-generation onboard services with confidence – not only ensuring a future-proofed passenger inflight connectivity experience, but also the implementation of a connected airline digitalization strategy,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Ben Griffin, OneWeb vice president of Mobility Services, said, “This is a watershed moment for the inflight connectivity market, and we’re excited to work together with Intelsat to bring our multi-orbit solution to commercial aviation. We’re committed to delivering the most differentiated and innovative solution for airlines.” He further added, “We are proving that, through the power of partnership, a superior suite of multi-orbit capabilities can be offered to better serve the growing connectivity needs of the commercial aviation industry, delivering the highest value coupled with the lowest risk.”

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