At the recent APEX Expo in Long Beach, California, Frederik van Essen, Senior Vice President Strategy and Business Development, Inmarsat Aviation, spent some time with “Get Connected’s” Steve Nichols and other journalists in a round table question and answer session. This is what he had to say:
Question: Why did you commission the “Sky High Economics: Quantifying the commercial opportunities of passenger connectivity for the global airline industry” study?
Answer: Many airlines are currently asking a lot of questions about inflight connectivity and some may be struggling to make a business case for it. This wholly-independent study by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) can help them make the right decisions.
Question: I understand this is the first of three reports. What’s next?
Answer: Part two will look at the benefits of inflight connectivity to airline operations and will follow in about three months. The third and final part of the study will look at how airlines can use connectivity to increase customer loyalty. That will be released approximately three months after the second report.
Question: How is the rollout of Inmarsat’s GX inflight connectivity progressing?
Answer: There are now more than 1,300 aircraft in the GX backlog. Lufthansa Technik is really stepping up its production lines for the Lufthansa aircraft and should be finished in 2018, as should Austrian Airlines. Lufthansa Systems is currently working on the passenger interface for GX on Eurowings. Meanwhile, Air Astana has its first aircraft online and Qatar Airways is working on its installations. In total, there are currently about 100 commercial aircraft flying with GX. Continue>