Inmarsat Wins In-flight Connectivity Deal on SAUDIA’s A321 Fleet

By Mark Holmes | November 17, 2021
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Executives from Inmarsat and SAUDIA participated in a signing ceremony for the supply of GX Aviation in-flight connectivity on the Middle Eastern airline’s fleet of A321neo and A321XLR aircraft. (Inmarsat)

Inmarsat has signed a lucrative in-flight connectivity (IFC) contract with one of the Middle East’s biggest airlines, announced a week after the deal for Viasat to acquire Inmarsat.

SAUDIA, the Saudi Arabian national carrier, has announced that its upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft will offer Inmarsat’s GX Aviation connectivity. The aircraft will connect to GX Aviation using an ultra-high performance terminal supplied by GDC Advanced Technology.

Inmarsat claims this is the first major in-flight connectivity agreement in the Middle East that the company has reached since the COVID-19 pandemic began. SAUDIA will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, SAUDIA will be the first airline in the Middle East to select Inmarsat’s new OneFi customer experience platform, and the first in the world to select GX Aviation’s next generation terminal. The solution, which launched two months ago in September 2021, allows passengers to order food, beverages and duty free items, enjoy e-books, newspapers and magazines, receive the latest information for their flight and destination, and sign into SAUDIA’s AlFursan frequent flyer program.

“We understand the growing importance of high-speed inflight broadband, providing a seamless experience for guests to remain connected and entertained while flying with us. Inmarsat’s GX Aviation and OneFi solutions, together with GDC Advanced Technology’s next-generation terminal, will ensure our passengers have access to world-class connectivity on all flights operated by our Airbus A321neo and A321XLR aircraft,” Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy, CEO of SAUDIA, said in a statement.

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