UPDATE 2: Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation tell RWG that Ian Dawkin’s comment about why Airbus connectivity kit is not being installed on Qatar’s 787s is wrong. This, in turn, makes my article inaccurate (by default).
I will post a follow-up blog shortly to explain the real story. But I must say that this entire debacle could have been avoided had OnAir simply stated fact, which is that all parties are bound by a confidentiality agreement.
Qatar Airways recently tapped Thales to provide in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems for its 787s, and turned to Airbus/SITA joint venture OnAir for onboard mobile connectivity.
When the deal was announced at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, I opined I found it interesting that a connectivity solution in which Airbus is intricately involved would find its way onto Boeing aircraft.
It turns out that Boeing will not have Airbus connectivity kit on Qatar’s 787s, according to OnAir’s new CEO Ian Dawkins. However, despite what Ian says in the video below, the reason why Airbus kit will not be brought to Qatar’s 787s is NOT a result of requirements from Qatar or Boeing but a scheduling issue.
OnAir is still very much the service provider for Qatar’s mobile connectivity, but it is seeking to broaden its partnerships to include other connectivity hardware suppliers.
Here is my first interview with Ian.