Airbus Corporate Jets has announced a tie-up with Aircom Pacific to fit a low-profile Ka-band antenna onto the company's range of aircraft. The contract, signed at EBACE, will see ACJ carry out integration work and flight test, with the technology being ready to deploy early next year.

"It's going to be applicable worldwide, but there is specific applicability to China," says Louis Giordimaina, Aircom Pacific's chief operating officer. "We have a specific agreement with a partner from the China government, and are just waiting now for final approval from the CAAC."

While aircraft registered elsewhere in the world are able to fly in Chinese airspace without any special equipment, Chinese-registered aircraft have to incorporate some country-specific systems. Aircom says their product is the only one on the market that will meet these requirements.

"This means we can enlarge the offering we have for Ka-band solutions for all our customers, including the Chinese customers," says Benoit Defforge, ACJ president. "It's a high-performance system, and it's consistent with the innovation we try always to bring to our customers."

The deal will mean Aircom Pacific using a different business model to the one it uses when supplying IFE and connectivity solutions to commercial airlines. Under that construct, the company provides systems that are free for passengers to use, and free for airlines too: the company makes money from advertising.

"When it comes to business jets, we're working on an attractive price package," Giordimaina says, confirming that the ACJ contract works on this basis.