Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, has been named ‘Satellite Network Provider of the Year’ at the Aviation Achievement Awards 2021.
Judging panel hails Inmarsat’s outstanding support to airline and business aviation customers in the Middle East during one of the industry’s most challenging years to date
This year’s edition of the Aviation Achievement Awards was dedicated to organisations that have shown exceptional leadership, innovation and resilience within the aviation industry over the past 12 months, despite the challenge of uncertain market conditions due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The awards have a particular focus on the Middle East and winners were announced during a virtual ceremony, broadcast from Dubai, this week. The judging panel selected Inmarsat as ‘Satellite Network Provider of the Year’ for providing outstanding support to customers of its market-leading cockpit and cabin connectivity solutions during the global pandemic and bringing thousands of industry professionals together with two editions of its FlightPlan online broadcast event.
Inmarsat was also praised for successfully continuing the rollout of its market-leading inflight connectivity solutions and commencing an ambitious, fully-funded technology roadmap that began with the launch and commercial service introduction of GX5, its newest and most advanced satellite to date. GX5 brings significant layered capacity and network redundancy over the Middle East and Europe, which form one of the world’s busiest travel corridors. It delivers approximately twice the combined capacity of the entire GX satellite fleet (GX1-GX4) launched before it.
Inmarsat’s technology roadmap will see seven further satellite launches by 2024: five in geostationary orbit – adding speed, capacity and resilience – and two in highly elliptical orbit, which will enable the world’s only commercial mobile broadband service for aircraft flying in higher elevations and across the Arctic.
Alongside technology enhancements, the past 12 months saw a stream of airline and business aviation contract wins, installations and activations. Key milestones for Inmarsat’s inflight connectivity solutions include:
- GX Aviation being installed on 100 Qatar Airways aircraft and crossing one million free sessions with Air New Zealand passengers;
- The European Aviation Network (EAN) becoming available on 250 aircraft with British Airways, Iberia and Vueling;
- More than 200 aircraft flying with SB-S; and
- Thousands of business jets equipped with Jet ConneX and SwiftBroadband.
Neale Faulkner, Inmarsat Aviation’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: “The Middle East is one of our most important markets and although 2020 was undoubtedly a challenging period for the aviation industry as a whole, Inmarsat crossed a number of important milestones in the region that highlighted our unwavering confidence for the future. From significantly expanding our inflight broadband capacity between the Middle East and Europe with GX5 to achieving 100 installations of GX Aviation with Qatar Airways.
“The recognition for Inmarsat at this year’s Aviation Achievement Awards is truly a testament to the efforts of our employees and partners in supporting customers on the ground through an incredibly challenging time, without losing sight of our long-term vision for the future.”
Kenneth Mitchen, Executive Director at Creative Middle East Media, organisers of the Aviation Achievement Awards, said: “Aviation has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and we firmly believe it is more important than ever to highlight the inspirational achievements of companies within the industry, despite such a challenging environment.
Our judges were particular impressed with the proactive attitude of Inmarsat in terms of supporting its aviation customers and remaining laser focused on providing world-class inflight connectivity solutions that not only meet passenger needs today, but will continue to meet them when air traffic returns on the upward trajectory.”
Inmarsat’s win at the Aviation Achievement Awards comes just months after it was named the ‘World’s Leading Inflight Internet Service Provider’ for the fourth year in a row at the World Travel Awards.