Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has reached an agreement with Nelco, India’s leading VSAT solutions provider, to provide satellite connectivity services to aircraft flying into India and over Indian airspace. This deal makes Panasonic the first satellite communications provider to begin inflight connectivity (IFC) operations under Nelco’s Department of Telecommunications licence for In-Flight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC), in accordance with the Flight and Maritime Rules. In short, Panasonic, and its subsidiary ITC Global, now offer connectivity to both aircraft and maritime vessels operating within India.
“Becoming the first satellite communications provider to offer services over India is a major milestone for Panasonic,” stated Ken Sain, CEO.
With the implementation of the agreement and subject to regulatory approvals from relevant authorities, in early 2020 Indian full-service carrier Vistara may become the first airline in the country to offer satellite connectivity on international flights.
Vinod Kannan, Vistara’s chief commercial officer stated, “As Vistara inches closer to launching long-haul international operations and becomes a global brand, our steadfast effort is to provide a truly world-class service to our customers to and from India. Our partnership with Panasonic in providing a state-of-the-art IFE system and satellite connectivity is a step in that direction, and we are confident that it will further elevate the five-star flying experience that Vistara is renowned for.”
Panasonic’s IFC service is currently offered by more than 65 airlines globally. The GSAT 14 satellite will ensure that passengers onboard Panasonic-connected flights can access a full suite of connected services while flying over Indian airspace or into India. At this time, over 700 aircraft from over 30 airlines installed with Panasonic’s connectivity solutions have begun using the GSAT 14 satellite.
Nelco CEO, P J Nath, said: “We are delighted that Nelco is spearheading in providing the long-awaited aero IFC services in the country, marking the beginning of a new chapter in passenger services for the aviation sector in India. We foresee a great opportunity for growth in the IFC services in the country in the coming years and intend to be a leader in this market”.
Panasonic’s inflight connectivity solutions will enable passengers to stay connected while they fly. Along with Panasonic is also working with its AeroMobile subsidiary, Nelco, and local telecoms organisations to deliver seamless connectivity for data, text and voice services, accessible via passengers’ mobile devices in flight.