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More airlines investing in flight connectivity – Honeywell

PHOENIX – More airlines all over the world are expected to invest in connectivity to cater to the passengers’ need for reliable in-flight Internet and for the upkeep of the aircraft, according to Honeywell Aerospace.

Carl Esposito, vice president for strategy, marketing and product management at Honeywell Aerospace, told visiting international media here more airlines are likely to spend for providing connectivity on flights to enhance services to passengers.

While connecting to the Internet on-board a plane was impossible before, it has become part of passengers’ considerations when purchasing tickets.

Citing a company-sanctioned survey, Esposito said 28 percent or one in four passengers would give up their first class seats for fast and reliable in-flight Wi-Fi.

The survey also found the top complaints of passengers on in-flight Wi-Fi are slow speeds and interrupted connections.

As passengers want reliable Internet connectivity while on-board the plane, Esposito said airlines are now looking at providing cost-effective and reliable Internet on flights.

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“Airlines focus on differentiation and connectivity is a way to differentiate service,” he said.

Given the clamor from airlines, Honeywell and Inmarsat, which provide global mobile satellite communications services, have developed the first reliable, global high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi service.

Esposito said Honeywell is now working on installing the Global Xpress (GX) Aviation system on different aircraft to be able to provide passengers seamless in-flight connectivity.

By using the GX Aviation system, passengers can experience Internet services similar to what is enjoyed in their homes, allowing them to check and post social media updates, send emails as well as watch live streaming TV.

“We’re working around the globe with airlines, aircraft manufacturers. It is rolling out now,” Esposito said.

Among the airlines that have adopted GX Aviation to bring high-speed in-flight Internet to their passengers are Lufthansa, Vietnam Airlines, Air China and Singapore Airlines.

Michael Edmonds, vice president for services and connectivity at Honeywell Aerospace, said different business models for charging for the use of in-flight Wi-Fi are expected to emerge as more airlines start offering the service.

“Some will have it part of the loyalty program,” he said.

Apart from investing in connectivity for better passenger service, Esposito said airlines are also seen to spend for connectivity for the maintenance of the aircraft.

He said Honeywell is currently working on research on how to connect mechanical parts of aircraft so it would be easier to determine if such need to be checked or repaired.

Through connectivity solutions, he said Honeywell’s goal is to help those in the aerospace industry to make their operations more efficient.

Honeywell is a diversified technology and manufacturing company.

Through its Aerospace business unit, Honeywell is involved in developing innovative solutions for more fuel-efficient automobiles and airplanes, more direct and on-time flights, safer flying and runway traffic, along with aircraft engines, cockpit and cabin electronics, wireless connectivity services and logistics.

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