Emirates will offer passengers new high-speed inflight broadband powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation onboard 50 new Airbus A350 aircraft that are scheduled to enter service in 2024. The new agreement will significantly improve the passenger experience with enhanced connectivity and greater global coverage.
The Airbus A350s will be the first Emirates aircraft to take advantage of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which powers the world’s first and only globally available broadband network. This ensures that passengers can enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, no matter their destination, including the North Pole.
The GX network that will power the Emirates’ in-flight broadband currently consists of five Ka-band satellites and will be further enhanced with the addition of seven more satellite payloads as part of Inmarsat's fully funded technology roadmap.
This includes two Inmarsat-6s, the most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, both of which are scheduled to enter service in 2023, followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit — adding speed, capacity, and resilience — and two in a highly elliptical orbit to enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying at higher elevations, including routes between the Middle East and North America.
Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer Adel al Redha said: "Delivering a world-class onboard experience has always been paramount to Emirates, and we understand the importance of being connected during flights. Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supplier partners to ensure all our aircraft offer Wi-Fi connectivity. We look forward to finding ways and options to improve the connectivity onboard our aircraft by utilizing GX Aviation for our Airbus A350 fleet. The advanced capabilities being introduced by the forthcoming satellites are particularly important, as this will boost capacity across our global network, including aircraft flying over the Arctic for routes between the Middle East and America."
Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity, William Huot-Marchand, said: "We are delighted that Emirates has joined the GX Aviation family. This will be the first fleet with Emirates to be equipped with our highly advanced GX Aviation solution. GX Aviation is well positioned to meet growing passenger expectations around a digital onboard experience, offering high-speed connectivity with uninterrupted global coverage across all flight routes, even over the Arctic. We look forward to working closely with Emirates on the rollout and other exciting innovations that build on its excellent history of providing a best-in-class passenger experience."
The plan for high-speed inflight broadband onboard A350s is the latest addition to Emirates' multi-billion-dollar investment in its onboard product and passenger experience.