APEX Media: Valour Consultancy provides an overview of the in-flight connectivity landscape in the Asia-Pacific region. The takeaway: the market is booming.
Market intelligence firm Valour Consultancy shares its outlook on the in-flight connectivity market in the booming Asia-Pacific region.
What was previously the biggest offline zone in in-flight connectivity (IFC) is gradually opening up. The granting of trial licenses for IFC in China mean more and more aircraft are being connected. “Major service providers looking to crack the China market are finding it is beneficial to find a local partner as the government can favor local players rather than international corporations,” says Craig Foster, senior research consultant, Valour Consultancy.
“Major service providers looking to crack the China market are finding it is beneficial to find a local partner.” — Craig Foster, Valour Consultancy
Panasonic Avionics has been conducting trials of Ku-band IFC on multiple Chinese airlines in partnership with China Telecom Satellite. Currently, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan and Xiamen airlines are offering in-flight Wi-Fi on their international routes. Gogo has an agreement with Beijing Shareco Technologies to install its 2Ku antenna and wireless IFE (wIFE) product, Gogo Vision, on 50 aircraft between Beijing Capital Airlines and Hainan Airlines.
Global Eagle Entertainment has also partnered with Beijing Shareco Technologies to provide Airconnect aboard five 737NG aircraft operated by Hainan Airlines and five A320 aircraft operated by Beijing Capital Airlines.
AirCom Pacific will provide IFC on board 50 Hong Kong Airlines aircraft through Klingon Aerospace Ku-Ka connectivity. Donica provides IFEC to Lucky Air, Air China, Hainan, Shenzhen and Hongtu airlines through AeroSat Ku-band connectivity.
APAC IFC Abounds
In addition to China, two other hotbeds for IFC include Australia and India.
ViaSat is set to fit Qantas’ domestic fleet with in-flight Wi-Fi in early 2017. And Virgin Australia has expressed interest in finding the right partner to provide its passengers with IFC too. Air New Zealand recently announced a connectivity program supported by Inmarsat’s Global Xpress.
Global Eagle Entertainment is providing Ku-band connectivity and its Airtime wIFE product on Jet Airways’ B737 NG aircraft. BAE Systems wireless IFE solution, IntelliCabin, is underway on Vistara. IndiGo and SpiceJet have expressed interest in connectivity, too. Also, Air India previously had discussions with SITAONAIR.