Inmarsat has announced that its partner Lufthansa Technik, the Hamburg-based technical division of the Lufthansa group of companies, has received Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to install Global Xpress (GX) Aviation system antennas on Airbus A340 aircraft.

The European aviation regulatory body found that Lufthansa Technik’s installation processes of a Honeywell Aerospace designed Ka-band antenna for GX Aviation onboard an Airbus A340 were successful and in keeping with regulatory standards.

“We are delighted about obtaining the certification from EASA to install GX Aviation on Airbus A320 and A340 aircraft within weeks of each other, and expect to keep the momentum going with follow-up STCs for Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft before the end of 2016,” says Bernd Freckmann, Vice President Base Maintenance Services at Lufthansa Technik.

This STC opens up greater possibilities for customers to have GX Aviation systems installed on their A340 aircraft as a line fit or retrofit option. Lufthansa Technik’s installation processes, including electrical modifications inside and outside of the fuselage, can be completed within days, or during regularly scheduled maintenance.

“GX Aviation has become widely recognised 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,” said Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation.

“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.”

The GX Aviation system is now approved for retrofit and line fit on Airbus A340 long-haul, Boeing 757 medium-haul, Airbus A320 short-haul, and Bombardier’s 5000 and 6000 private jets.

“There are several additional certification programmes currently underway as we approach the finishing line for launching GX Aviation,” Mondale says.

Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik have an established service relationship, and the two have also worked with Lufthansa Systems, as an aviation IT specialist, for the required infrastructure onboard the aircraft.

“Inmarsat, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems are leaders in our respective markets and by combining our individual capabilities, we can offer a powerful multifunctional connectivity solution that is unparalleled in global aviation,” Freckmann says. “Our partnership was formed as part of the GX Aviation contract signed by the Lufthansa Group, but is also available to other airlines. We have received extremely positive interest at a time of major investments by airlines to enhance their passenger experience and brand value. In addition, our consistent, stable and fast in-flight broadband experience has appealed to private operators, governments and other markets.”

Featured Image: An Airbus A319 aircraft with the radome installation completed for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation service. Source: Inmarsat Aviation 

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