Honeywell, Inmarsat and Air China to test GX Ka-band connectivity solution on the airline’s A330 aircraft
Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Air China to begin testing GX Aviation on the airline’s A330 aircraft. Air China is the first airline to collaborate with Honeywell and Inmarsat to test the GX Ka-band connectivity solution, and joint testing is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2015.
GX Aviation represents a new era in cabin connectivity for commercial aircraft. Its unprecedented speed and bandwidth will bring Air China one step closer to providing customers with a home- and office-like wireless connectivity experience even at 40,000 feet. Passengers will have the freedom to do what they want online in-flight, from chatting on social media to streaming videos. With GX Aviation, passengers can expect a 60 percent improvement in download speed for their in-flight connectivity compared with current solutions in the market today.
“The airline industry is highly competitive, and airlines must constantly innovate with new and compelling value offerings to stay ahead of the competition. GX Aviation will enhance the in-flight experience for Air China’s customers, providing them with a superior level of in-flight connectivity,” said Brian Davis, vice president, Asia Pacific, Airlines, Honeywell Aerospace.
“GX Aviation will undoubtedly establish new global benchmarks for passenger standards for the next two decades. True worldwide coverage and highest speeds are just some of the benefits that Air China can look forward to enjoying once the service comes into play in 2015.”
“GX Aviation is rapidly gathering momentum,” says Bill Peltola, Inmarsat vice president, Aviation. “The first satellite in the Global Xpress constellation is in place following a successful launch in December 2013. The second and third satellites are scheduled to be launched by the end of 2014. This testing program with Air China is further confirmation that everything is on track for GX Aviation to be available globally for all types of aircraft from the get-go.”
The Evolution of In-Flight Connectivity
Around the world, passenger demand for global, transoceanic, fast and consistent in-flight wireless connectivity is rising. A 2013 Honeywell connectivity survey of more than 3,000 global airline passengers revealed that more than three in four surveyed think wireless access should always be available on airplanes, while almost 90 percent would give up an amenity on their flight — preferred seats, extra legroom and more — to be guaranteed a faster and more consistent wireless connection.
About GX Aviation
Beyond passenger comfort, the Honeywell-developed avionics and hardware for GX Aviation will more effectively enable new services for aircraft operators and airlines, such as predictive maintenance and better aircraft communications, that will take advantage of fast, consistent and global connectivity, essentially creating a truly “connected aircraft.”
Honeywell and Inmarsat signed an agreement in 2012 to provide global in-flight connectivity services to business, commercial and government aviation customers around the world. Under the terms of the development and supply agreement, Honeywell will exclusively develop, produce and distribute the onboard hardware that will enable users to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress constellation network. GX Aviation Ka-band satellite communication services will further strengthen Honeywell’s industry-leading SATCOM product portfolio catering to customers’ needs from the cockpit to the cabin. That portfolio include the MCS series of satellite communication products for large aircraft and the Aspire systems for smaller aircraft and helicopters.
Along with GX Aviation, Honeywell has a range of satellite communication solutions that is well-placed to address China’s mandate that by 2015, half of Chinese commercial transport aircraft are to be equipped with a satcom unit (and by 2017, across all similar fleets) by providing an innovative and cost-effective solution.
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Thousands of Honeywell Aerospace products and services are found on virtually every commercial, defense and space aircraft worldwide. The Aerospace business unit develops and integrates technologies that span air traffic modernization, flight and runway safety, engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, connectivity, logistics and more that deliver safe, efficient, productive and comfortable transportation-related experiences. For more information, visit http://aerospace.honeywell.com or follow us at @honeywell_aero on Twitter.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; turbochargers; and performance materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell’s shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
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