Gulf Air has taken delivery of its first A330-200 aircraft retrofitted with Panasonic Aviation’s Global Communications Suite. ‘Sky Hub’ offers passengers onboard full broadband connectivity to access Internet, mobile phone services and, for the first time in the world, a global, live television service onboard. The service is being installed across Gulf Air’s entire fleet of aircraft progressively.
Unveiling the ‘Sky Hub’ onboard the aircraft to the media and senior Bahrain civil aviation officials, Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Samer Majali said: “It is another important milestone in our customer service journey as we unveil our latest inflight entertainment system, ‘Sky Hub’ on our fleet.
“We are bringing to you, for the first time in the world, fully integrated broadband connectivity offering high-speed Internet with high-speed wi-fi and data services, voice over the Internet, streaming videos and the world’s first inflight live TV satellite stream across continents.
“In tune with the fast-paced economy, Gulf Air is providing the fastest, affordable and unlimited Internet and mobile access onboard for our customers to stay fully connected in the air and we are pleased to be the first in the industry to offer our customers a connected airline.
“I am sure this avant-garde, cutting-edge technology will fundamentally change our passengers’ communication and entertainment experience onboard, setting a new standard for in-flight entertainment.”
Gulf Air will offer two-way broadband connectivity at speeds of up to 50 Mbps to the aircraft, enabling faster browsing, chatting and other Internet-based services. Gulf Air will offer deeply immersive, content-rich entertainment in addition to live, uninterrupted television services on routes across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Travelers will no longer have to wait in anxiety until they land to find out scores from their favorite sporting events or news from around the world. Now they can watch their favorite football teams on IMG Media’s Barclays Premier League channel or keep up with world events on favorite news channels such as BBC World News, BBC Arabic and Euronews.
Passengers also will be able to browse the web at broadband speeds, and access social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, business travellers can access their virtual private network to send and receive emails while watching live-news and stock market updates at 35,000 feet. They simply need to turn on their personal device, connect to the in-flight wi-fi network, and log on to the service through Deutsche Telekom, the wireless Internet service provider onboard.
Panasonic’s mobile voice and data service, offered in collaboration with AeroMobile’s award winning inflight mobile phone technology, will enable passengers to use their mobile phone, Smartphone or BlackBerry device to call, text, email, browse the Internet and use other applications throughout the flight. They will also be able to use GSM-enabled tablets and laptops to go online in flight.