Airbus has announced at APEX IFSA Global EXPO that it has selected Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) and Intelsat as Ku-band managed service providers (MSPs) for its Airspace Link HBCplus in-flight connectivity solution.
The news firms up a Memorandum of Understanding with both companies that was revealed at Aircraft Interiors Expo in June and further expands Airbus’ range of MSPs – the OEM is already working with SES and Viasat London on its Ka-band HBCplus connectivity offering.
As MSPs, both companies will be able to integrate their multi-orbit connectivity services, which incorporate low-Earth orbit (LEO) and geostationary orbit (GEO) satellite constellations, onto Airbus aircraft using an electronically steered antenna (ESA) with a multi-beam operation.
Airbus also revealed it has selected Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) as its Ku-band satcom hardware supplier, which will integrate Get-SAT’s low profile ESA as part of its RAVE AeroConnect Ku system. Entry into service is expected to become available next year and enter into service during the first half of 2026. SPI is also providing the hardware for Airbus’ Ka-band HBCplus solutions with an antenna from ThinKom Solutions.
Get SAT CEO, Kfir Benjamin, said, “Together with SPI and Airbus, we’re gearing up to amplify the RAVE AeroConnect IFC offering using our innovative communication terminals, which are specifically designed to cater to airline demands. It’s a matter of pride for us to be a part of such transformative steps in commercial aviation.”
“HBCplus aligns perfectly with our multi-orbit strategy and will seamlessly integrate with our LEO and GEO connectivity solutions,” said John Wade, VP Panasonic Avionics’ In-flight Connectivity Business Unit. “We understand the needs of airlines and OEMs alike. By offering HBCplus we are providing airlines with a greater choice of connectivity services, and ultimately enhancing the passenger experience.”
Dave Bijur, Intelsat’s SVP Commercial Aviation, explained, “Understanding that no airline is like any other, Intelsat has long offered flexibility and choice to its customers, including fit-for-purpose equipment options, and a variety of business models and passenger service offerings. With Airbus, we are offering a new level of sophistication and flexibility that leverages the high throughput of GEO satellites with the low latency delivered by LEO satellites.”
Under the new agreements with Panasonic Avionics and Intelsat, Airbus will manage the HBCplus system installation in both line-fit and retrofit, as well as the related in-service support.