Honeywell Launches New SATCOM for China’s Airlines

March 15, 2019 | Author: Jim MacDougall

Admit it. Connectivity is part of your life. You expect to use your laptop, tablet and smartphone everywhere – even when flying at 35,000 feet. You’re disappointed when you can’t.

Offering their passengers in-flight Wi-Fi that is fast, reliable and always-available helps airlines attract passengers, create a better flying experience and build customer loyalty. Honeywell research finds that most passengers will switch airlines for better in-flight internet access. No one willingly enters a multi-hour communications vacuum anymore.

Passengers on domestic airlines in China are no exception. In a country with an estimated 713 million smartphones (close to 30 percent of the world’s total) business people and leisure travelers place a high priority on in-flight connectivity. This is especially true of China’s 385 million millennials, many of whom are queuing up to become frequent flyers, giving China one of the youngest passenger profiles on the planet.

Airline passenger numbers continue to grow faster in China than anywhere else and China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest passenger market with more than 750 million annual journeys around 2022, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Chinese airlines will add thousands of new airplanes to their fleets over the five years to accommodate growing demand for seats.

With all these new aircraft and all these travelers with their high expectations for staying connected, it’s no surprise that China’s aerospace community is working hard to strengthen the country’s aerospace connectivity capabilities and infrastructure.

Government agencies, like the State Radio Regulation of China (SRRC); leading aircraft manufacturers, including COMAC; top domestic airlines; satellite communications and connected aerospace companies, including Honeywell; satellite network operators; communications services and in-flight entertainment companies; and others are involved in this quest.

Honeywell is excited to introduce our newest JetWave satellite communications system, which was designed with the specific needs of Chinese airlines in mind. Our engineering development team talked to major Chinese carriers, aircraft manufacturers and others during the development, using the proven Honeywell User Experience process to make sure we understood the needs and requirements of China’s airlines and their passengers.

The new SATCOM builds upon the highly successful JetWave platform, which is getting rave reviews from our customers. We’ve shipped more than 1,800 systems to airlines and business jet operators so far and the system has logged more than 700,000 hours of use.

JetWave provides users with the best Wi-Fi experience flying. From the minute they get on the plane, through every phase of flight, right up until landing, passengers can connect to the internet, send and receive email, download or upload huge files, video conference and stream live video. Thanks to the fact that it operates on the new, faster Ka-band rather than the more-limited Ku-band, the JetWave system provides a similar experience to the one users have on the ground, at their home or office.

The new JetWave SATCOM for China is the centerpiece of Honeywell’s singular connected aerospace solution that will provide Chinese operators with enhanced capabilities. We will soon announce some exciting partnerships that will take Honeywell’s connectivity offerings to the next level – stay tuned!

Jim MacDougall

Jim MacDougall




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