Emirates taps Inmarsat for high-speed inflight connectivity

Emirates taps Inmarsat for high-speed inflight connectivity
An illustration of Emirates’ Airbus A350 aircraft with a terminal for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband solution.
Short Url
Updated 14 January 2023

Emirates taps Inmarsat for high-speed inflight connectivity

Emirates taps Inmarsat for high-speed inflight connectivity

Emirates has selected Inmarsat as the inflight connectivity provider for its incoming fleet of Airbus A350s, as part of a commitment by the UAE airline to ensure passengers “fly better.”

The milestone agreement marks an expansion of the long-standing partnership between Emirates and Inmarsat. It will enable the airline to provide advanced, high-speed inflight broadband using Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation solution onboard 50 Airbus A350s, which enter service from 2024. As a result, passengers will be able to stay connected with family and friends, browse the internet and enjoy social media, all from the comfort of their seats.

The Airbus A350s will be the first Emirates aircraft to take advantage of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network, which powers the world’s first and only globally available high-speed broadband network, ensuring passengers can enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, no matter their destination. 

The GX network 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 this year.

These will be followed by three additional satellites in geostationary orbit — adding speed, capacity, and resilience — and two in highly elliptical orbit, which launch later this year and enter service next year, enabling 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.

William Huot-Marchand, Inmarsat Aviation’s senior vice president of inflight connectivity, 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.”

Adel Al-Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer, 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 on-board our aircraft by utilizing GX Aviation for our Airbus A350 fleet.” 

Inmarsat’s latest Passenger Experience Survey found that more than three-quarters (77 percent) of passengers worldwide say inflight Wi-Fi is important to them — 40 percent more than before the pandemic. Moreover, 97 percent say they now use their personal devices onboard, so it is clear that providing a reliable, high-quality, and continuous connection is crucial to giving passengers the best experience.