|Photo: China Eastern Airlines
[Avionics Today 07-12-2016] Panasonic Avionics and China Telecom Satellite (CTS), announced a one-year extension of their Ku-band In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) trial that will expand connectivity to several Chinese airlines. With the trial’s extension, all approved Chinese and international airlines can now select Panasonic’s Global Communications Services.
Per terms of the license, more than 20 foreign airlines with more than 1,000 aircraft are expected to begin operating connected flights over Chinese airspace, with more in process. Initially, 12 foreign airlines with just more than 200 aircraft were offering IFC over this key region. There were also three Chinese-registered airlines and 30 aircraft offering connected flights in and out of China. In addition, Panasonic’s Chinese airline customers, including China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen Air, Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines have begun preparations to offer connectivity services across their global route structure.
The announcement follows recent news that the leading Chinese carrier, China Eastern Airlines, in partnership with CTS, was the first to offer Wi-Fi on domestic flights. China Eastern Airlines installed Panasonic's eXConnect IFC system on its newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.