First OnAir-equipped commercial widebody headed to Oman Air

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An Airbus A330-300 destined for Oman Air will become the first commercial widebody to enter service with the airframer's ALNA v2 platform over Inmarsat's higher-bandwidth SwiftBroadband (SBB) aeronautical service.

ALNA, which stands for Airline Network Architecture, serves as Airbus' platform for both airborne mobile telephone and Internet services. Whereas the ALNA v1 system uses Inmarsat's Swift64 service, ALNA v2 is a multi-program, scalable and modular platform that enables Airbus/SITA joint venture OnAir's 'Internet OnAir' and 'Mobile OnAir' solutions via SBB.

It is designed on an open architecture that also allows for future integration with other connectivity systems such as Ku-band or terrestrial air-to-ground systems. However, integration with ALNA v2 is a prerequisite for offerability on Airbus long range A330/A340 and A380 aircraft.

Aircraft MSN1063, an A330-300 scheduled for delivery to Oman Air on 27 November, represents a milestone of sorts for Airbus, Inmarsat and OnAir.

"Not only is this the first deployment of OnAir on a widebody, it's also the first line fit installation of SwiftBroadband on a widebody airliner," says Lars Ringertz, Inmarsat's head of marketing aeronautical business.