Emirates Airline to upgrade onboard connectivity for US-bound flights

Emirates Airline

Dedicated to providing the ultimate onboard experience, Emirates Airline will soon offer WiFi, mobile service connectivity and Live TV broadcast on its US-bound flights, even when flying 40,000 feet over the North Pole and Arctic circle.

The carrier has led the inflight connectivity movement, with each of its aircraft connected for WiFi, voice and SMS services. However, on its flights to the US, which often fly over the polar region, passengers can find themselves without connectivity for up to four hours, due to the fact that most satellites that connect aircraft are geostationary, located over the equator, and aircraft antennae cannot see the satellite when in the far north because of the earth’s curvature.

Emirates Airline’s partner, Inmarsat, will soon solve this problem with the addition of two elliptical orbit satellites, thus providing coverage over the North Pole by 2022.

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The new satellites will also provide Live TV broadcast on the airline’s flights, allowing customers to watch live news or sports over the polar region. Emirates Airline’s Live TV is currently available on 175 aircraft, including all Boeing 777s and select Airbus 380s.

Executive vice president and chief operations officer, Emirates Airline, Adel Al Redha stated: “We are very pleased with this development, which will ensure Emirates continues to lead the industry in providing our customers a seamless inflight connectivity experience across geographies, on all of our flight routes.

“Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supply partners to continually raise the bar on inflight connectivity, and we look forward to further enhancing that experience, taking advantage of new technologies and infrastructure,” he added.
Meanwhile, president, Inmarsat Aviation, Philip Balaam declared: “Inmarsat has an extremely successful track record of working with Emirates to ensure their inflight connectivity requirements are met on a global basis, both in the cockpit and the cabin. We are delighted to continue that tradition with the rapid development of our Global Xpress (GX) satellite network.”

Over one million WiFi connections are made onboard the airline’s flights in an average month. Passengers in all cabin classes receive 20MB of free WiFi data or unlimited use of messaging apps for two hours, allowing them to log on and stay in touch with friends, family or colleagues. Emirates Skywards members enjoy special benefits depending on their membership tier and class of travel, including free WiFi when travelling in first or business class.