Airbus rejects claims of anti-competitive behaviour in connectivity space

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Airbus today hit back at allegations that it is not open to allowing alternative in-flight mobile connectivity providers' solutions from being made available to customers of new Airbus aircraft.

Sources claim Airbus is allegedly proposing a single option - OnAir - to airlines that want Inmarsat-supported mobile connectivity line-fit on aircraft. They claim Airbus' behaviour is stifling competition. OnAir is a joint venture between Airbus and SITA.

Additionally, Panasonic Avionics and AeroMobile say they face difficulty in securing offerability status from Airbus for the Arinc/Telenor joint venture's own in-flight mobile connectivity service, which is branded by Panasonic as eXPhone.

Responding to these claims, the European airframer tells ATI: "Airbus is not opposed to accommodating additional connectivity service providers. In fact we are fully open to receiving requests from other service providers to be present on the hardware platform developed by Airbus, and which would use the standard interfaces and systems that are integrated into the actual aircraft design.

"Moreover, Airbus does not accept that the aircraft platform architecture should become vendor dependent to exclude other providers - as that would then create a vendor-monopolistic situation."

With specific regard to AeroMobile and Panasonic's assertions, Airbus says: "It is Airbus policy not to comment publicly on the offerability of a specific product or supplier without prior discussion with that supplier or formal notification of a decision."

The company adds that it has been "listening to its customers' long-standing concerns and is proactively supporting industry-wide initiatives to standardize interfaces between systems and aircraft".