Most leading airlines are now offering, or plan to offer, WiFi and broadband connectivity onto their aircraft. Intelsat, along with the world’s other major satellite operators, are already benefitting from supplying bandwidth to the likes of Gogo, Panasonic Aviation, Thales’ InFlyt, Global Eagle and others.
Intelsat’s CEO Steve Spengler specifically addressed the demand for aircraft connectivity, saying that Intelsat was ready to add satellite capacity to serve demand, especially over North America and in particular following the failure of its I-29e craft.
Spengler said: “Longer-term, we have stated that we are going to have a follow-on or a replacement type satellite for Intelsat 29e that would provide some substantial Intelsat Epic class capacity into the North American regions. So yes, we would envision making the right investments to make sure that our customers are able to meet that ultimate demand when free WiFi becomes a reality.”