GX Aviation receives EASA certification for Airbus A320 family

tInmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) Aviation in-flight connectivity service has been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for installation on board Airbus A320 family aircraft.ttThe newly-obtained Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) was obtained after Inmarsat’s partner, Lufthansa Technik, developed a highly efficient installation process including all required electrical modifications inside and outside the aircraft fuselage. Installation can be completed within four days or during regular maintenance schedules.ttInmarsat secured a contract in October 2015 to provide GX Aviation on Lufthansa’s short- and medium-haul fleet of over 150 aircraft. The first of these aircraft is expected to offer the service in October 2016 and Lufthansa’s entire A320 fleet is scheduled to have the technology installed by mid-2018. Other airlines in the Lufthansa Group will follow at a later date.tt“EASA’s certification is an important milestone towards the launch of GX Aviation this year, as the A320 family is a popular workhorse for many airlines, business aviation operators and aircraft lessors," declared Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation. “In addition, single-aisle aircraft as a whole are expected to account for 70% of new deliveries over the next 20 years. This highlights the many market opportunities opened by this STC, especially as Inmarsat is positioned as the only provider that can serve A320 aircraft on a global basis throughout their lifecycle.tt“It is also concrete evidence of the service’s growing maturity," added Mondale. "We have developed GX Aviation over the past five years as the only end-to-end solution in which every component, from the satellites, ground network and terminals to the cabin networks, internet features and support, has been engineered with mobility in mind to provide a high-quality experience for airline passengers. With all key components now in place, we are in the final stages of testing and, as a single network operator, we can commit to a uniform high quality of service wherever the aircraft may go.” ttThe STC, which follows certification for GX Aviation on the Boeing 757 and Bombardier Global 5000 and 6000 aircraft, also cements the long-term partnership established between Inmarsat, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems (which provides the required IT infrastructure onboard the aircraft as well as the FlyNet portal for passengers).ttMondale concluded, “Other airlines can also benefit from this partnership solution. It offers today’s passengers what they want – connectivity, content and services on their own Wi-Fi devices – and complements the aviation industry’s current in-flight entertainment model, which is often impacted by obsolete technology that delivers dated content with high installation and operational costs.”t

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