In-flight mobile connectivity provider AeroMobile has emerged from a five-week stint in administration in the UK as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Norway-based telecommunications giant Telenor Group.
The move is "a significant moment in our company's history and a major step forward", says AeroMobile CEO Bjorn-Taale.
"Becoming a subsidiary of a renowned billion dollar industry giant such as Telenor Group gives us the necessary confidence to further develop the company to the benefit of our customers."
AeroMobile was created in 2003 as a 50/50 joint venture between Arinc and Telenor. By the time it was placed into administration on 21 December, however, Arinc's holding had dwindled to just 0.12%, while Telenor owned the majority 99.88%.
Commenting on Telenor's new long-term investment in AeroMobile, Bjarne Aamodt, chairman of the board of AeroMobile and senior vice-president in Telenor Group, says: "We are delighted to seal an investment in AeroMobile that will develop its potential in the years ahead. This innovative, award-winning business already has a proven track record and, with our long-term vision and support, we are utterly confident that it will continue to grow successfully."
Malcolm Cohen, restructuring partner at UK firm BDO and joint administrator, adds: "It is a great result to have sold the AeroMobile business to Telenor, preserving jobs and reputation. The sale will ensure the ongoing success of the business and we wish Telenor and AeroMobile Communications the very best for the future."
AeroMobile is in the process of equipping Emirates' entire fleet with its in-flight connectivity solution. Malaysian Airlines is also a customer.
The company is partnered with in-flight entertainment and communications (IFEC) giant Panasonic Avionics and its hardware is sold by Panasonic as eXPhone. V Australia is the launch customer for eXPhone.
"V Australia supports the positive steps AeroMobile has taken with Telenor to ensure its future growth. We are excited to be launching the AeroMobile/Panasonic IFE integrated solution, eXPhone, later this year and the unique benefits it will offer our passengers over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband," says V Australia in-flight entertainment manager Greg Mashlan.
Since its launch, the AeroMobile system has been used by over 1.4 million airline passengers.