Faroe Islands based Atlantic Airways, a long-time AirFi client, will become the global launch partner for AirFi LEO, which launches in Q4 2018.
Previously deployed in the bus and coach market, AirFi LEO is the company’s first in-flight connectivity service for aviation, and combines a walk-on, non-certified system with connectivity services that enable a host of new real-time passenger experience features such as real-time bookings, online payments and instant messaging.
AirFi LEO connects to the global Iridium NEXT network via one or a number of patent-pending internal cabin antennas, allowing the same ‘offline’ AirFi Venus Box to become online, combining multiple channels into one meshed network.
“We have been researching new technologies to enable AirFi Boxes to use ultra low cost connectivity to enhance the range of features we can offer our airline clients. In the bus and coach market we can readily do this via cell modems integrated into each Box and now with AirFi LEO we can enable real-time availability & booking confirmation, digital wallets & online payments, instant messaging & social media for airline passengers. As with AirFi Boxes, the additional AirFi LEO component needs no STC or aircraft downtime. There is high demand for basic connectivity across our client base – more so than high-speed internet for streaming or browsing. AirFi LEO delivers an extremely important addition to our portfolio and meets our criteria for safe, rapid deployment.” commented Eli Atiya, COO AirFi.
Iridium NEXT is still a relatively new technology that promises upload and download speeds of 350 kbps and higher. As AirFi LEO is a multiplex solution, it enables passengers to get up to 4x faster speeds than the baseline standards.
“We are hugely excited to bring on-board connectivity services to our passengers by the end of this year. AirFi LEO is simply an additional walk-on component alongside the AirFi Boxes we load every day, so we are able to roll out these new services almost overnight. Passengers will be able to message their friends and families at 35,000 ft, check their social media feeds and complete last minute transactions like renting a car or booking a hotel room, from the comfort of their aircraft seat.” commented Johanna a Bergi CEO Atlantic Airways.