Yahsat, in partnership with du, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect, has conducted successful trial of a 50Mbps in-flight connection. "We are incredibly proud to have brought together leading Emirati and global companies to achieve this milestone," said Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO of Yahsat.
The test took place in Abu Dhabi, simulating the environment found on an Airbus A320 aircraft. Yahsat’s Al Yah 2 satellite, and the latest generation Ka-band technology was used.
Selected guests will be invited to experience the high speed connectivity onboard an Etihad Airways Flying Testbed Airbus A320 aircraft at the upcoming Dubai Airshow taking place from the 12th to 16th of November. Following that, Yahsat and the other partners will work towards facilitating the commercial roll-out of the offering to airlines in the Middle East and beyond in 2018.
Abdul Khaliq Saeed, CEO, Etihad Airways Engineering, said: “This is a first for commercial aviation and Etihad Airways Engineering is delighted to be part of this exciting and challenging project. Our country is known as an incubator to generate new commercial ideas, and this latest initiative with Yahsat and du will ensure today’s travellers will enjoy the high-speed connectivity they already experience on the ground.”
Saleem Al Balooshi, chief infrastructure officer at du said: “Our partnership with Yahsat will allow us to establish the necessary infrastructure needed to keep passengers comfortably connected in the air through the latest and most advanced in-flight connectivity. We believe that together we will set the benchmark for high speed WiFi in the air and we look forward to enhancing our customer experiences like never before."
Al Balooshi further added that du is introducing data analytics as well as backend systems to this in-flight WiFi. That will enable the airline to use such analytics of the user behaviour to enhance the customer experiences on board airplanes.