SAUDIA, the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia, has revealed that its upcoming fleet of 35 Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft will offer the GX Aviation high-speed inflight broadband solution by Inmarsat. The aircraft will connect to GX Aviation using an ultra-high-performance terminal by GDC Advanced Technologymodifications and electronic systems.
As the first major inflight connectivity agreement in the Middle East since the COVID-19 pandemic began, SAUDIA will be GX Aviation’s launch customer in Saudi Arabia. In addition, it has become the first airline in the Middle East to select Inmarsat’s new OneFi customer experience platform and the first in the world to select GX Aviation’s next-generation terminal, developed with GDC Advanced Technology. The terminal provides enhanced customer flexibility and is future proofed to meet the demands of planned and new constellations.
The selection enables SAUDIA to provide a world-class digital experience for passengers onboard 20 Airbus A321neo and 15 Airbus A321XLR. The airline’s first installation of GX Aviation is expected in late 2022 and once the service is live, passengers will be able to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, shop online and more during flights using their own personal devices.
Inmarsat’s OneFi platform will serve as a catalyst for SAUDIA to monetise its inflight connectivity by bringing a host of onboard services together within a single portal interface. The solution, which launched two months ago in September 2021, allows passengers to order food, beverages and duty-free items, enjoy e-books, newspapers and magazines, receive the latest information for their flight and destination, and sign into SAUDIA’s AlFursan frequent flyer programme, all in real-time from the comfort of their seat.