August 1, 2016 – The Global Xpress (GX) Aviation in-flight connectivity service from Inmarsat has been certified for the Airbus A340. Inmarsat’s partner Lufthansa Technik received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after it successfully installed a Honeywell Aerospace designed Ka-band antenna for GX Aviation on board an A340 in Germany.
The STC validates and approves Lufthansa Technik’s installation process for the A340 family, which can be completed within days or during regular maintenance schedules, including all electrical modifications inside and outside the aircraft fuselage.
According to Inmarsat, GX Aviation has attracted “extremely strong” interest from airlines, business aviation operators and airplane lessors with long-range aircraft such as the A340 family in their fleets. Hundreds of A340s are currently operated worldwide and in total, more than 600 million passengers have flown over 20 million flight hours on the popular wide-body jetliners.
The STC was awarded within only weeks of Lufthansa Technik receiving certification from EASA to install GX Aviation on the A320 aircraft family, which forms the backbone for nearly half of the world’s aircraft fleets.
GX Aviation will launch this year as what Inmarsat says is the world’s first broadband internet solution for aircraft with seamless global coverage, delivered through a single operator. GX Aviation has been selected by airlines such as Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Air Astana and Jazeera Airways, in addition to leading business jet manufacturers. Final global testing is now underway with Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell Aerospace, whose JetWave terminals will connect airlines to the new in-flight connectivity offering.
Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation, stated, “GX Aviation has become widely recognized within the global aviation industry as being the ultimate new connectivity solution for commercial airlines, private jet operators and aircraft lessors, allowing them to provide a superior passenger experience and gain a valuable competitor advantage.
“The service has been developed over the past five years as the only end-to-end solution in which every component, from the satellites, ground network and terminals to the cabin networks, internet features and support, has been engineered with mobility in mind.
“It will be widely available on all popular aircraft types, both as retrofit and linefit, to ensure maximum flexibility for airline fleets. This is reflected in the STCs received to date – ranging from Airbus A340 long-haul, Boeing 757 medium-haul and Airbus A320 short-haul aircraft to Bombardier’s 5000 and 600 private jets – and there are several additional certification programs currently underway as we approach the finishing line for launching GX Aviation.”
According to Bernd Freckmann, VP of base maintenance services at Lufthansa Technik, the company is also expecting EASA STCs for Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft to follow before the end of 2016.