Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, CEO of Saudi Arabia’s national flag carrier, met with Inmarsat Aviation’s President Philippe Carette to celebrate a recently announced deal for GX Aviation.
Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and SAUDIA, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, yesterday reinforced their new inflight connectivity partnership at the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) EXPO 2021 in Long Beach, California. A celebration and gift exchange was hosted at Inmarsat Aviation’s stand, where its President Philippe Carette welcomed a senior delegation from SAUDIA, including the airline’s CEO Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy.
It follows the recent selection of Inmarsat’s award-winning GX Aviation inflight broadband solution and OneFi passenger experience platform for SAUDIA’s upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and A321XLR aircraft, marking the Middle East’s first major airline connectivity agreement since the Covid-19 pandemic began. The combination of GX Aviation and OneFi will enable SAUDIA to provide a world-class digital experience for passengers onboard the aircraft, with the first installation expected in late 2022.
Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “SAUDIA has ambitious plans to enhance its passenger experience and reinforce its status as one of the Middle East’s leading carriers, with digitalisation playing a fundamental role. We are delighted to be selected as the airline’s inflight connectivity provider as part of this exciting journey, with an initial focus on its upcoming fleet of 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR aircraft. We are committed to meeting SAUDIA’s needs and it was a pleasure to reinforce that once again with Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy at APEX EXPO this week.”
SAUDIA will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia, with the service allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, shop online and more during flights using their own personal devices.
In addition, the OneFi platform will serve as a catalyst for SAUDIA to monetise its inflight connectivity by bringing a host of real-time onboard services together within a single portal interface, such as ordering food, beverages and duty free items, enjoying e-books, newspapers and magazines, receiving flight updates, and signing into SAUDIA’s AlFursan frequent flyer programme.
The aircraft will connect to GX Aviation using an ultra-high performance terminal by GDC Advanced Technology, a leader in engineering and technical services, modifications and electronic systems.