February 2, 2016 – Panasonic Avionics has confirmed that over 1,000 commercial aircraft are operating on its Global Communications Services network. This landmark announcement means that the company’s worldwide Ku-band satellite network now delivers broadband communications services and global live television over 99.6% of all commercial aviation routes.
The 1,000th aircraft was a B777-300 that was line-fitted with the system at the OEM and delivered in mid-December to China Eastern Airlines. Since then, Panasonic has equipped an additional 25 aircraft, bringing the total number to 1,025.
According to Panasonic, over 50% of all airlines with connected aircraft have chosen its systems. The company has approximately 70 airlines and 3,000 aircraft signed up to its global broadband connectivity service and expects to add an additional 12,000 to its network by 2025.
Paul Margis, president and CEO at Panasonic Avionics said, “Our connectivity solutions combine operation benefits with an elevated passenger experience. Reaching the benchmark of 1,000 connected aircraft shows that our customers realize Panasonic’s compelling business proposition. Over the next 12 months our focus will be on helping customers better utilize our network to improve efficiency and the way they can engage with their passengers.”
In 2016, the company projects to add another 600 aircraft to its network, and 34% of these installations will take place at the OEM during production. Today, Panasonic is the only inflight connectivity provider that is line fit offerable at the major aircraft manufacturers.
David Bruner, VP for Global Communications Services at Panasonic Avionics added, “This year, we will introduce several new enhancements to our network, the passenger experience, and the ability of our customers to monitor their aircraft in real time.”
Bruner continued, “In April, we will introduce high-throughput satellite (HTS) service over North America and the Atlantic. Europe and the Middle East will follow later that year, and by mid-2017, we will complete our HTS network, offering over 200 megabits per second in regions that cover 80% of all traffic routes.”
“Leveraging our unique HTS design, we’ll be able to tailor the inflight experience to match passenger expectations for bandwidth and give them even more access to the services that they use every day on the ground. We will also be able to expand the number of channels available in our global live television service, which continues to become increasingly important to our customers and their guests,” added Bruner.
In conclusion, Bruner also stated that 2016 will be an exciting year for airlines that wish to leverage connectivity for operational efficiencies. “We are actively working with our customers on several key operational initiatives. Whether it’s highly accurate, real-time weather and EFB applications that help pilots make better informed inflight decisions, global flight tracking, real time remote monitoring and data analysis or even telemedicine, we are committed to helping our customers realize the real value of the connected aircraft.”