Image: Maxim Sergienko

SITAONAIR made two major announcements for in-flight connectivity (IFC) deals in Asia, during Aircraft Interiors Expo this week – both enabled by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation satellite network. The first was with Philippine Airlines (PAL), which has now equipped 21 of its aircraft with the solution. PAL will be offering complimentary Wi-Fi through its myPAL platform to passengers on US, Canada and London flights.

“We have high hopes that our partnership will help us achieve our mission of enhancing the total passenger experience while achieving operational efficiency,” said PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista. “Our message to our passengers: ‘Fly on PAL’s long-haul routes and enjoy in-flight connectivity at its finest.’”

Installing the IFC service on each aircraft only took five to nine days, instead of the typical 40 to 50, thanks to “an innovative approach involving inflatable, specially designed shelters to support the installation on the fuselage,” said David Lavorel, CEO, SITAONAIR. “With this method, airlines can return aircraft to service faster than before, with the latest offering in IFC,” he added.

SITAONAIR’s second announcement was that Taiwanese startup carrier Starlux Airlines’ Airbus A321neos and A350s will be equipped with its ONAIR Internet Wi-Fi portal, once again being made available via Inmarsat GX. Founded in May 2018, Starlux will operate both Asian and North American long-haul routes from its headquarters in Taipei, when it launches in 2020.

According to Lavorel, SITAONAIR is constantly monitoring the market to identify the most popular IFC options in specific regions – in the above cases, that means Asia Pacific. “SITAONAIR is proud to be supporting several Asia-Pacific carriers in the enablement of their in-flight connectivity offerings and provide IFC solutions across a number of Asian routes,” Lavorel added.