Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom are celebrating the third anniversary of their European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband being offered commercially by airline customers. To date, more than 50 million passengers have accessed the high-speed connectivity solution on over 420,000 flights across the continent with British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aegean.
EAN has now been activated on more than 265 aircraft, including British Airways’ entire short-haul fleet. These numbers will continue to grow in the coming years, as final roll-out progresses with Iberia and Vueling – both members of the International Airlines Group (IAG) alongside British Airways – in addition to all of Greek national carrier Aegean’s existing and new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.
The EAN combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based ground network. EAN has been developed by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and Eclipse Technics. Specifically designed to meet the needs of European aviation, it delivers the fastest speeds over one of the world’s most congested airspaces, plus quick installation times and easy scalability.
EAN’s popularity reached new heights last year, with Inmarsat reporting record usage as passengers returned to the skies. This aligns with Inmarsat’s latest Passenger Confidence Tracker survey, which found that 41% of the 10,000 respondents believed inflight wi-fi had further increased in importance post-pandemic. The results also indicated digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimise their contact with cabin crew and fellow travellers are helping to boost travel confidence.
Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Back in March 2019, British Airways became the first airline to make our EAN inflight broadband service commercially available to passengers. It has since been joined by Iberia, Vueling and most recently Aegean, which have all been able to delight passengers with the highest standard of connectivity on short and medium haul flights. EAN has played an important role in enhancing their onboard experience, unlocking new revenue opportunities for airlines and instilling greater confidence in air travel following the pandemic. We’re delighted to celebrate this anniversary with our partners and customers, especially at a time when passenger usage of EAN is now higher than ever before, showing an increased desire to stay connected post Covid-19.”