AIX: Gogo marks its first 2Ku line-fit deal, with Airbus

Gogo is celebrating a key milestone after announcing at the show that its 2Ku satellite connectivity solution has received the nod from Airbus to eventually be offered as a linefit option on A320 family, A330 and A380 aircraft.

It will be the first time the company has been able to offer the solution as something that can be added to an aircraft in the factory rather than in the aftermarket, a development that Gogo believes will make boost its prowess with international airlines.

“This is a major milestone for Gogo. We’ve built our business over the last 10 to 15 years only in the aftermarket. For us to be a highly desirable option for the world’s airlines we need to be linefit,” says Gogo vice-president product management Blane Boynton. “It is very desirable in the eyes of international airlines to have this factory installed.”

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Boynton acknowledges that Gogo “had to wait longer than some of our competitors” to be selected for linefit offerability “because we’re the newest player”, but he is confident that it has the right product in a fiercely competitive market.

“This antenna brings 100MB to the aircraft – our competitors maybe offer half that,” says Boynton.

Gogo will have to wait for further system certification procedures to be completed before linefit offerability becomes a reality, and it does not say how long this will take. The company has “redesigned our equipment to meet Airbus standards” and is “working with them” to complete the process as soon as possible, says Boynton.

Next on Gogo’s agenda will be to secure the factory-fit green light from Boeing. The company is “working with” the US manufacturer, but Boynton is coy over when it expects this second milestone to be achieved.

Gogo has more than 1500 aircraft commitments to 2Ku and has 13 commercial airline customers. It recently announced its latest customer, Virgin Australia, which will install 2Ku across its fleet of Boeing 737-800, 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.

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