Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has selected Inmarsat’s GX Aviation in-flight broadband service for its new fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft.

As part of its fleet renewal programme, SAS has ordered a number of new Airbus A350 aircraft, the first of which will be delivered from the Airbus factory in Toulouse at the end of the year with GX Aviation pre-installed.

The aircraft will officially enter service on 28 January 2020, serving high demand long-haul routes to destinations such as Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The connectivity will form a part of the passenger experience in the new aircraft’s economy, premium economy and business class cabins, and will enable passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream video and audio, check social media and instant message, with speeds expected to be on par with mobile broadband on the ground.

Inmarsat suggested GX Aviation’s “fast, seamless global coverage” was a key factor in its selection by SAS.

Philip Balaam, president of Inmarsat Aviation said the long-term development plans for the GX Aviation service have been “extremely well received by the aviation industry, as this contract win with Scandinavian Airlines has shown.”

He added that the capabilities and global coverage of GX Aviation made it a “perfect fit” for the airline’s new Airbus A350 aircraft which will cover high demand long-haul routes from Scandinavia to the United States and Asia, adding, “We look forward to working with the airline on the service’s rollout to passengers from early next year.”

Inmarsat added that the airline will also benefit from upcoming enhancements to the GX network, with additional capacity to be introduced by three new satellites launching in 2019, 2020 and 2021 and the recently signed agreement with Airbus Defence and Space to develop a new generation of GX satellites – GX7, 8 and 9 – which are optimised for real-time mobility and feature dynamically-formed beams to direct capacity with precision over high-demand areas.

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