- Satellite Evolution
Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom celebrate third anniversary of European commercial aviation network
Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom are celebrating the third anniversary of their award-winning European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband being offered commercially by airline customers. To date, more than 50 million passengers have enjoyed access to the advanced, high-speed connectivity solution on over 420,000 flights across the continent with British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and AEGEAN.
As Europe’s fastest inflight broadband service, EAN allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media, enjoy real-time interactive applications such as gaming, and more. It has marked a paradigm shift in the airline experience, with incomparable speeds, uninterrupted coverage and significantly lower latency than any other inflight Wi-Fi network in the continent.
EAN has now been activated on more than 265 aircraft, including the entire British Airways short-haul fleet. These numbers will continue to grow in the coming years, as final roll-out progresses with Iberia and Vueling – both members of the International Airlines Group (IAG) alongside British Airways – in addition to all of Greek national carrier AEGEAN’s existing and new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.
EAN’s popularity reached new heights last year, with record usage as passengers returned to the skies. This aligns with Inmarsat’s latest Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest global survey of its kind, which found that 41% of the 10,000 respondents believed inflight Wi-Fi had further increased in importance post pandemic. The results also indicated digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimise their contact with cabin crew and fellow travellers are helping to boost travel confidence.
Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “Back in March 2019, British Airways became the first airline to make our EAN inflight broadband service commercially available to passengers. It has since been joined by Iberia, Vueling and most recently AEGEAN, which have all been able to delight passengers with the highest standard of connectivity on short and medium haul flights. EAN has played an important role in enhancing their onboard experience, unlocking new revenue opportunities for airlines and instilling greater confidence in air travel following the pandemic. We’re delighted to celebrate this anniversary with our partners and customers, especially at a time when passenger usage of EAN is now higher than ever before, showing an increased desire to stay connected post Covid-19.”
Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President, Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier and Global Business, said: “EAN is Europe’s leading inflight connectivity service for good reason, offering reliable, uninterrupted, high-speed broadband on par with services on the ground. Now, airlines are fighting hard to win back customers, and EAN is the best solution available to meet the needs of their passengers, who want to be connected and entertained onboard. Our joint EAN service with Inmarsat means we can continue to help airlines put their passengers first, by providing the fastest and most reliable connectivity available.”
As the world’s first inflight broadband solution that combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based ground network, EAN has been developed by Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, and Deutsche Telekom, in partnership with leading European companies such as Thales, Nokia, Airbus, Cobham and Eclipse Technics. Specifically designed to meet the needs of European aviation, it delivers the fastest speeds over one of the world’s most congested airspaces, plus the quickest installation times and easy scalability to meet growing demand in the future.