AirAsia, through its subsidiary ROKKI Sdn Bhd, has signed a Memorandum of Understand (MoU) with Inmarsat for its next-generation GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution.
The agreement covers AirAsia Group's Airbus A320 and A330 fleets, subject to final contracts. Installation is expected to commence this year, with the service to go live in 2018.
AirAsia is currently one of the leading airline customers for Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband service and will upgrade to GX Aviation, the world's first inflight broadband solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, "Travelers today expect fast, reliable broadband wherever they are, whether it's on the ground or 30,000 feet in the air. GX Aviation's market-leading capabilities represent a step-change in inflight connectivity that allows us to close the gap between the on-ground and onboard experience.
"Our guests will be able to enjoy extra fast internet connectivity as well as free movies, music, articles and games on our ROKKI IFEC platform. Not only that, they can shop for meals, merchandise and duty-free from the comfort of their own seats, which also allows us to better understand what our guests want so we can continue to improve on our inflight offering."
Inmarsat Aviation President Leo Mondale said, "GX Aviation is now live and operational, introducing an unprecedented new era of inflight broadband for passengers. We are delighted that a hugely respected and successful low-cost carrier such as AirAsia has selected it.
"GX Aviation's global and consistent performance provides AirAsia Group with the commercial flexibility needed to quickly deploy the service on routes across Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Inmarsat and AirAsia share many of the same traits and this preliminary agreement is not only great news for our partnership, but importantly, it's a truly exciting development for their passengers too."