Qatar Airways Fits 100 Airliners For Broadband Service

Inmarsat Qatar Airways
Credit: Inmarsat

Middle East launch customer Qatar Airways has installed Inmarsat’s GX Aviation broadband service on most of its Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 airliners, the parties announced Sept. 9.

Qatar Airways since 2018 has equipped 100 of the wide bodies—or nearly half of its fleet of 207 aircraft—for the Ka-band satellite service. The carrier reports operating 57 Boeing 777-200LR/300ER and 53 Airbus A350-900/1000 airliners.

Passengers receive one hour of free access to GX Aviation, which Qatar Airways has branded as “Super Wi-Fi.” They then have the ability to purchase access over the course of the flight.

“Feedback from passengers has been hugely positive,” Inmarsat Aviation president Philip Balaam said. “This is particularly important at the current time, as the desire to stay connected with families, friends and colleagues increases.”

Inmarsat says the fifth satellite of its GX fleet—GX5, which was launched from Kourou, French Guiana on Nov. 27, 2019—will enter service later in 2020, providing additional, focused capacity over Europe and the Middle East. 

The GX5 satellite is one of seven new GX payloads the company plans to launch over four years.

Bill Carey

Bill covers business aviation and advanced air mobility for Aviation Week Network. A former newspaper reporter, he has also covered the airline industry, military aviation, commercial space and unmanned aircraft systems. He is the author of 'Enter The Drones, The FAA and UAVs in America,' published in 2016.