Emirates will offer passengers yet another opportunity to ‘fly better’, with new high-speed, inflight broadband powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, onboard 50 new Airbus A350 aircraft – scheduled to enter service in 2024. The new agreement will significantly improve the passenger experience with enhanced connectivity and greater global coverage, even on flights over the Arctic.
The Airbus A350s will be the first Emirates aircraft to use the Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which powers the first and only globally accessible broadband network in the world. This will guarantee that passengers can enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, regardless of their destination, including the North Pole. The sophisticated high-speed capabilities of the broadband will allow Emirates passengers to use social media, browse the internet, and stay in touch with family and friends from the comfort of their seat.
The GX network that will power the Emirates inflight 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.
These will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity, and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, to enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic, such as routes between the Middle East and North America.
Emirates have also introduced connectivity enhancements for Skywards members – including complimentary internet access throughout the flight for all Skywards Gold or Silver members travelling in Business Class, in addition to First Class, and Platinum members travelling in any cabin class.
The plan for high-speed inflight broadband onboard A350’s is the latest addition to Emirates multi-billion-dollar investment into its onboard product and passenger experience; which also includes the largest known fleet retrofit project of 120 aircraft, extensive investment into menu development and food and beverage experiences, the planned introduction of next generation inflight entertainment systems on incoming aircraft.