Live television provider AIRIA hopes to secure an airline customer in the next few months after the first demonstration flight of its system on a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ), writes Graham Dunn in Newcastle.

Last week's flight from Newcastle in the UK broadcast the BBC World news channel live. AIRIA was formed over three years ago, but its progress slowed after 11 September.

Although the company is using a BBJ as the demonstrator aircraft for the system, the service primarily aims to tap into the large number of long-haul aircraft that already have hardware to support Inmarsat H/H+ satellite communications services.

AIRIA marketing vice-president Vardhan Rajkumar says that now the first installation is running, the company aims to secure its first customers. "We're hoping to sign an airline within the next few months," he says.

The company believes its relatively simple live television solution and global coverage will attract airlines. Meanwhile AIRIA shareholder APR is looking for a new strategic partner after its co-founder Inmarsat pulled out as a shareholder.

Source: Flight International