EBACE: Cessna gets connected with Aircell's Aviator 300

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Underscoring the growing demand for airborne communications across the globe, Cessna has opted to offer Aircell's Aviator 300 in-flight connectivity system as an option on its midsize Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign and Citation X.

The Aviator 300, powered by Thrane & Thrane, provides global data connectivity for email and light internet service at speeds of up to 332Kbps via Inmarsat's L-band satellite-based SwiftBroadband aeronautical service. It will be fully integrated with Aircell's Axxess cabin system, which provides dual channels of global voice service via Iridium satellites.

The Aviator 300 has been selected for 12 factory airframe programmes, including those at Bombardier, Hawker Beechcraft and Gulfstream. The system's selection by Cessna comes at a time when Aircell is witnessing increased interest in in-flight connectivity from the European business aviation market.

"A number of things are seen as contributing to the boost in activity, including increased market understanding and awareness, the advent of a new generation of connectivity products and services, and a recovering world economy," said Aircell.

Jet Aviation, one of Aircell's authorised aftermarket dealers, including at 10 European facilities, is "fielding more inquiries, giving more proposals and performing more installations", said Florent Feltrin, regional sales director southwestern Europe at Jet Aviation MRO EMEA.

Cessna Aircraft senior vice-president, sales and marketing Mark Paolucci noted that in-flight connectivity is "quickly becoming a vital element of the travel experience".

Aircell's air-to-ground supported in-flight high-speed internet service, available in the domestic USA to business aircraft operators and sold commercially as Gogo, is already offered on the Citation XLS+, Citation Sovereign and Citation X aircraft.