Global Eagle Receives vSTC for Airconnect Global Satellite Connectivity System on Boeing 737NG Aircraft in China
02 Mar, 2017
Chinese Government provides GEE with first approval on Boeing 737NG platform in China; Gives GEE access to over 40% of passenger aircraft operated by China-based airlines
GEE announced today that it received a vendor Supplemental Type Certificate (vSTC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China ("CAAC") to install GEE's Airconnect Global Satellite Connectivity System on Boeing 737 Next Generation ("B737NG") aircraft in China. The Airconnect product is GEE's satellite-based broadband internet connectivity system.
GEE is the first major aircraft satellite connectivity service provider to receive CAAC approval on the Boeing 737 platform, representing a critical milestone for aviation connectivity development in China. GEE has pursued a long-term growth program in China, including the following: establishment of a Wholly Foreign-Owned Enterprise (WFOE) and GEE's China Technology Center; local engineering and software development teams; innovative and new revenue generating services that meet local regulations; partnerships with Chinese media and advertising firms; and establishment of multiple teleports with leading Chinese telecommunications partners.
The B737 is the backbone of Chinese air networks, with over 1,000 Chinese-registered B737 in service and an additional 500 on order. Today, the B737 accounts for more than 40 percent of all passenger aircraft operated by airlines based in China. In 2016, GEE received CAAC approval for Boeing 777 installations and commenced an inflight connectivity and entertainment commercial trial under license from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. With this new CAAC-approved 737NG vSTC, GEE is able to expand to fleet operations with all Chinese B777 and B737NG operators. CAAC approval also facilitates installations of GEE's Airconnect product on HNA Group's Hainan Airlines and Yangtze Airlines as part of GEE's joint venture with Beijing Shareco, once that JV launches.
"Approval of Airconnect for installation on B737NG's represents a critical milestone for GEE's expansion in the rapidly growing China market," said Joshua Marks, Executive Vice President of Aviation at GEE. "B737NGs are the most popular aircraft operated by Chinese passenger airlines. With the approval of our Airconnect satellite-based connectivity system, GEE is well-positioned to accelerate access to its high quality in-flight connectivity across the Chinese market by supporting the 737 in both retrofit and linefit configurations."
"We are thrilled about the new opportunities for GEE to work closely with our Chinese partners to provide passengers with superior IFEC solutions," said Jeff Leddy, Chief Executive Officer of GEE. "GEE is also pursuing vSTC authority for Airbus 320s, which account for an additional 30% of the Chinese commercial aviation market. These CAAC approvals enable us to act quickly in the Chinese market and accelerate our product deployments in the region."
GEE's Airconnect system transforms the flying experience with broadband connectivity, available live streaming of Chinese-language television stations, video-on-demand with Hollywood and Chinese content, games, advertiser-sponsored content, destination guides and moving maps. GEE's Airconnect product is the first in China to offer full-cabin television streaming and joint advertising.