Gulf Air Selects Thales GX Connectivity for Dreamliners & A321neo LRs

Image via Bahrain Economic Development Board

Following the debut of an enhanced passenger experience with the introduction of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on a double-daily route between Bahrain and London Heathrow, Gulf Air has decided to further embellish its long-haul services with in-flight Wi-Fi.

Gulf Air is to install Thales’ Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution, which leverages Inmarsat’s Global Xpress satellite network, across its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Airbus A321neo LR aircraft as part of its ongoing fleet modernization program.

Through a connectivity portal and onboard Wi-Fi network, Thales said Gulf Air passengers will be able to browse the internet, check social media, shop on board and more during their flights.

The news follows Gulf Air’s 2016 decision to install Thales’ AVANT in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on board 39 of its incoming Boeing 787-900, A320neo and A321neo aircraft – the latter having gained itself the nickname the “Goldilocks” aircraft – meaning that passengers will benefit from the pairing of both the supplier’s IFE and connectivity solutions.

“Thales is proud to be a long-term partner with Gulf Air in their goal of excellence in passenger experience.” – Philippe Carette, Thales InFlyt Experience

Since then, Gulf Air has taken delivery of four Boeing 787-900 Dreamliners, which also feature the carrier’s new brand identity, and two more of the type are set to be delivered by the end of this year. The delivery of its A321neo aircraft are scheduled to begin in 2020.

“Thales is proud to be a long-term partner with Gulf Air in their goal of excellence in passenger experience,” commented Philippe Carette, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience. “It is an honor to equip Bahrain’s national carrier with our connectivity solution and the AVANT high-performing IFE system onboard their newest aircraft. Thales is committed to support Gulf Air in driving innovations and the highest standards in passenger engagement.”

During an event at its Artificial Intelligence Hub in Montreal, Canada during March, Thales revealed its plans to officially launch a content recommendation engine as part of the company’s InFlyt 360 platform in 2020, with one unnamed airline due to start using the technology in 2019. It’s not yet confirmed whether Gulf Air is planning to make use of the service.